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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013

  

New EA CEO

A letter from EA Chairman Larry Probst announces that Andrew Wilson is the new CEO at Electronic Arts, after previously serving as executive VP of EA Sports. There is also a new message from Wilson, with word on how he will attempt to fill John Riccitiello's shoes:

I envision EA as the World’s Greatest Games Company. This is not about what we are aiming for or what we will become. Rather, it is about an unfaltering commitment to what we will be every day. This is an attitude that must drive our culture as one team.

I also believe EA’s strategy is sound. Our focus on our talent, our brands and our platform together with our investment in next-generation consoles, mobile and PC free-to-play, as part of our ongoing transition to digital, is right. But we have plenty of work ahead to ensure our collective success.

In the short term, our mission is crystal clear: We are 100 percent focused on delivering our FY14 business plan. We have made strong progress in the first half of the fiscal year, establishing financial discipline and continuing to create a slate of fantastic games for current and next-generation consoles, mobile and PC. But now we’ve got to finish the job – execute in Q3 and Q4 and deliver on the promises we made to our fans and our shareholders.

Looking ahead, my focus will be on three things:

1. Continued transformation for our digital future;

2. Delivering amazing games and services across platforms; and

3. Instilling a culture of execution that will drive profitable growth.

In the days and weeks ahead, I will provide a greater level of operational detail behind the plan that will make these goals a reality.

Steamships Ahoy - Metro Last Light Developer Pack

The Metro Facebook page has news that the Metro: Last Light Developer Pack DLC is now available on Steam. Word is:

The Developer Pack is out today on PC, Xbox Live, and PSN!

Play around in the Shooting Range, pit humans and mutants against each other in the AI arena, and take a stroll through the Museum for a closer look at the characters and creatures of Metro: Last Light. In addition, the Spider Lair mission puts you inside a darkness filled with spiders. SPIDERS!

Grab it from the links below, or download it for free from the in-game Store if you have the Season Pass. Find the new missions under Chapters > New Missions!

Arma Tactics Early Access Begins; Release Next Month

Bohemia Interactive announces an October 1st release date for Arma Tactics, the upcoming PC version of the turn-based close-combat strategy game based on their Arma shooters. For those who can't wait, the game is available right now for early access on Steam, which comes with a 15% discount. Here's word:

Arma Tactics will receive a number of PC specific upgrades/improvements including: Amazingly visually enhanced (high-detailed textures, post effects, high-detailed light maps, enhanced shaders and shadows). Controls optimized for PC (mouse+keyboard) and full support for gamepad. Please note not all enhanced features will be included in the initial beta.

Arma Tactics is a turn-based close-combat strategy game, where the player takes control of a four-member Special Forces team. There are no given strategies, rails to move on, or paths to follow; it‘s up to the player to decide how he will play through both the story-driven missions and generated missions with randomized objectives. Whether using stealth or a more direct approach, players will need to use their strategic thinking and use both basic and advanced weaponry while facing many different opponents - ranging from unorganized local militia to smart and skilled mercenaries.

Extraction Closed Beta Next Month

Nexon announces closed beta testing of Extraction will begin on October 1st, offering the first chance to play this upcoming free-to-play online FPS from Splash Damage. Signups are being accepted on the Extraction website, and here's word on how this works:

The Extraction closed beta will have limited openings, so only a select number of players will be able to participate. Notifications will be sent to chosen players by Oct. 1, when the closed beta period begins. In addition to stability testing, the closed beta will serve as a channel for new players to help further shape Extraction into a fair and balanced playing field. Extraction's alpha community has made significant contributions to the game since December 2012.

Developed by Splash Damage, Extraction takes place in London after a mysterious radiological attack. The only people who dare enter the abandoned city are groups of elite mercenaries tasked with extracting valuable data. Players in the closed beta will get to test several maps and game modes, and can unlock additional Mercs to play as, each with different play styles and abilities.

TimeLines: Assault On America Preorders

Preorders are now being accepted for TimeLines: Assault On America, the alternate-history World War II RTS game. The game is due for release next week on September 24th, and in the meantime it can be had for 15% off its full price. Here's a video touting the preorders, and here's a refresher on the game:

TimeLines: Assault On America™ is a WW II RTS that takes place in an alternate reality and is available on PC, Mac and Linux. A key moment is changed when Hitler is assassinated. After the assassination heard around the world, the Axis powers launch a full scale invasion of the United States Of America. Now is the time to defend the land of the free and home of the brave from the Axis Powers. Battle in 12 single player missions culminating to the battle for Washington D.C.

Team up with or play against your friends in cross platform multiplayer action on PC, Mac, and Linux.

“TimeLines: Assault On America™” is an exciting Real Time Strategy game that PC, Mac, and Linux that users will enjoy. We are proud to offer a cross platform multiplayer game that delivers an exciting premise on the most documented war of all time.” Says Emanuel Wall, Director of Strategy First

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: GTA V Review: So Realistic It's Boring. Thanks HARDOCP.

R.I.P.: Dave Cash, artist and web specialist who worked with ION Storm, GoD, and Digital Eel. Thanks Rich.

Diablo III Auction Houses Shutting Down Next Year

Blizzard announces they are killing the auction houses in Diablo III as of March 18, 2014, saying: "We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls™ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players." Here's word:

When we initially designed and implemented the auction houses, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But as we've mentioned on different occasions, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. With that in mind, we want to let everyone know that we've decided to remove the gold and real-money auction house system from Diablo III.

We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls™ will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.

We're working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the shutdown will occur on March 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process.

Josh Mosqueira and I wanted to provide everyone with a little more information behind this decision, so please have a look at the video, and stay tuned to this site for further updates in the months ahead.

The Evil Within TGS Trailer

Bethesda has released a new trailer from the Tokyo Game Show for The Evil Within, showing off the upcoming survival/horror game from Shinji Mikami. Here's word: "Shinji Mikami will have the opportunity to show off his latest project this week in Japan at Tokyo Game Show. To celebrate the occasion (and for those that can’t make the trip), we’ve just released a new gameplay trailer for The Evil Within™. Shinji Mikami, the father of survival horror, is back to direct The Evil Within – a game embodying the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story weave together to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC and is slated for release in 2014." Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 4 Open Beta on October 4th Confirmed

EA sends along an official clarification about the details recently offered about the launch of beta testing of Battlefield 4 next month. The open beta was announced to launch on October 1st, but as we mentioned, a previous announcement said preorder customers will get three days of early access. Sure enough, according to our new announcement beta access on the first will be restricted to preorder and special edition customers, and access for all begins on October 4th. There are complete details in a new Battlefield 4 Beta FAQ and here's the outline, followed by a new this is Battlefield 4 trailer showing off multiplayer action in the military shooter sequel:

The Battlefield 4 Beta is coming soon. You’ll be able to play the Siege of Shanghai map in Conquest Mode or Domination Mode.

We’ve introduced a lot of new and exciting elements into Battlefield 4, like Levolution, Amphibious Assault, and much more. We can’t wait for everyone to try them out in the Beta!

Looking to get into the Beta? Here’s how:

How to Join: Join the Beta on:
Pre-order the Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Edition October 1*
Battlefield 3 Premium member October 1*
Registered owner of Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition or Digital Deluxe Edition October 1*
Open to all Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC players. Download from Xbox Live, PSN and Origin.com. October 4*

* Date subject to change.

Continue here to read the full story.

Saints Row IV "GAT V" Pack Free Today

Steam News announces a new GAT V Pack is now available for Saints Row IV, which is free for one day only as a dyslexic celebration of the console release of a certain other open-world action game. Word is: "It's the moment every gamer has been waiting for: GAT V is here! Dress up as star-crossed lovers Gat and Aisha and strap on a heavy machine gun and a combat knife launcher for the ultimate Saints Row experience." Here's a trailer showing off the pack. Continue here to read the full story.

Star Citizen Hits $19M - $21M Goal Revealed

The Roberts Space Industries website has a new Letter from the Chairman celebrating a new funding milestone for Star Citizen, which has now secured over $19 million from fans eager for a new game in the vein of the Wing Commander series (thanks Geoff). They recently announced the games $20 million stretch goal is FPS combat on planet surfaces, and now they reveal their $21 million goal, which is a whole new Salvage Mechanic career path:

Salvage Mechanic: Salvage isn’t an aside: it’s a career, with its own mechanic, story tie-ins and universe-shaping endgames. Search the galaxy for a host of valuable and interesting secrets using both the flight and FPS components. Discover the secrets of the ancient Hadesians, locate valuable components and cargo… or go down in history the first to make contact an entirely new alien race!

Void of Darkness Next Week; Preorders Underway

Tropical Games announces that preorders of Void of Darkness are now being accepted on Desura, and word is this Starflight-inspired space exploration game will unlock on September 23rd. There's also an update on the Void of Darkness website for backers saying "the demo for alpha funding was published to Desura last week, it is currently subject to their untimely processes while it awaits being made visible."

Total War: ROME II Patch 2 Live

The Total War Facebook page announces that patch 2 is now out of beta and live for all owners of Total War: ROME II, their historical strategy sequel. Word is patch 3 is already in the works:

Patch 2 is live now! It will be automatically applied to your game on restarted. It includes optimizations for campaign performance, AI round time improvements, adds additional options and guidance for players in tweaking the settings of their game and over 100 other changes and fixes Full patch notes can be found here: http://wiki.totalwar.com/w/Total_War_ROME_II:_Patch_Notes

Patch 3 enters beta testing soon, with changes to battle game-play and further improvements for specific hardware configurations. Assistance for anyone seeking to solve issues or improve the performance of ROME II on their system is available from the CA support team at http://www.totalwar.com/rome2support

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Akasa Venom Medusa CPU Air Cooler on HARDOCP.
  • Alienware 18 Gaming Notebook on AnandTech.
  • ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II OC Mini on Bjorn3D.
  • ASUS PCE-AC66 Wi-Fi AC1750 PCIe Wireless Adapter on Benchmark Reviews.
  • Club3D SenseVision Multi Stream Transport DisplayPort Hub on eTeknix.
  • ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme GANK Machine Motherboard on Guru3D and PC Perspective.
  • EVGA Supernova 1000 G2 on Technic3D.
  • Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W 80 PLUS Platinum Power Supply on TweakTown.
  • Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB GHz Edition Video Card on Legit Reviews.
  • Intel Xeon E5-2600 V2- 12-core Ivy Bridge EP for Servers on AnandTech.
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR3-2133 Kit on OCIA.net.
  • MSI AG2712 All in One Gaming PC on pcGameware.
  • MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming (Intel Z87) Motherboard on TweakTown.
  • MyKronoz ZeBracelet on TechReviewSource.com.
  • Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone 8 Smartphone on MEGATechNews.
  • OZONE Oxygen In-Ear ProGaming Headset on Nikk Tech.
  • PowerColor Radeon HD 7730 1GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Raijintek Themis on techPowerUp.
  • RAVPower 14000mAh External Battery Pack on Testfreaks.
  • Thermaltake Chaser A41 Case on Pure Overclock.
  • Toshiba 500GB SSHD (MQ01ABD100H) on TweakTown.
  • Tt eSPORTS Console One Stereo Gaming Headset on Hardware Heaven.
  • TteSports Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse on eTeknix.
  • Zalman Reserator 3 Max watercooling on RBMODS.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, today is GTA5 release day, and I actually have a copy preordered myself, so that should show up at some point. I say "actually" because I'm predominately a PC gamer (I probably didn't need to explain that here), and this is maybe the fifth release-date game I've ever gotten for a console, with the previous honorees being Rock Band games and GTA4. If you are picking it up yourself, here's a reminder that Bats has started a Blue's News Rockstar Games Social Club if you want to be a friend of ours.

Release Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Enhanced.
Legacy Tales - Mercy of the Gallows.
Stories: "The Walking Dead" Spin-Off On The Way.
Science: Delicate oxidation can transform greenhouse gas into useful chemicals.
Media: GTA V EPIC RAP. Thanks nin.
Marty McFly Screaming. NSFW.
NMA: Grand Theft Auto V: Hookers, violence, drug use and ... necrophilia?



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