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Monday, Sep 30, 2013

  

Ian Livingstone Leaving Eidos

Ian Livingstone is departing Eidos almost 20 years after launching the company, reports Develop. They say the 63 year-old game industry stalwart, who also co-founded Games Workshop, will focus on projects "such as setting up the Livingstone Foundation to open Free Schools and Academies, with a focus on coding and using games as a learning tool." They also have word from Eidos parent Square Enix saying they would like to work with him again on future projects, along with their nice farewell message. "All of us at Square Enix do want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Ian for his unparalleled tenure and contribution to this business and the UK games industry," reads their statement. "And we wish him every success with his future projects and new ventures."

PC Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag in November

A new Pirate Heist trailer from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, offering more of the swashbuckling adventures in the upcoming continuation of the stealthy assassination series. The description accompanying the clip indicates that in spite of recent apparent reassurances that the game would be released on all platforms on October 31st, the PC edition is actually now expected almost three weeks later, on November 19th. Here's the latest schedule: "Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag will be released on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 4 from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox One, Nintendo’s Wii U™ system, and Windows PC. The game will be available on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Nintendo’s Wii U™ system on October 29, 2013, Windows PC on November 19, 2013, and as day one launch titles for PlayStation 4 from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Xbox One." Continue here to read the full story.

Defense Technica Next Month

Devolver Digital announces Defense Technica, a tower defense game in the works at Kuno Interactive for release on Windows and OS X on October 24th. This video includes a look at gameplay, and the game is up for pre-purchase on Steam at 20% off if you like what you see. Here's word, including the always-welcome Fork Parker quote:

Defense Technica is the next evolution in hardcore tower defense strategy games. Players must protect the core from an onslaught of biomechanical and mecha enemies with a powerful range of tower defense units – each with their own upgradable features and methods of attacks. Engage the opposition in gorgeous maps and prepare to rapidly shift tactics as the weather, enemy paths, and even the terrain itself physically changes upending the flow of the battlefield. Presented through sharp 3D visuals and backed by a soaring soundtrack, Defense Technica is the next big step forward in strategic tower defense.

“This country was built on the tenets of life, liberty, and tower defense with our forefathers giving their lives to defend high-tech cores from invading alien hordes,” said Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker. “It’s each gamer’s civic duty to buy Defense Technica.”

Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Catalyst Beta

AMD now offers a new second beta version of the AMD Catalyst 13.10 reference drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards. Among other things, version 13.10 beta 2 includes a 32-bit single GPU and a AMD Crossfire game profile for Battlefield 4 and a Total War: ROME 2 CrossFire profile update. There's also a new AMD Catalyst 13.10 Beta Driver for Linux.

New NVIDIA GeForce Beta

Not to be outdone by the new AMD beta drivers, the GeForce website now offers new version 331.40 Beta Drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. The new drivers have improvements for a bunch of games as well as improvements to the ambient occlusion feature they describe like so: "331.40 beta also includes a major update to our NVIDIA Control Panel Ambient Occlusion feature, which allows you to apply fidelity-enhancing, realistic shading and shadowing to games that do not natively support Ambient Occlusion. With a few simple clicks, you can greatly increase the image quality of your favorite games, and now, with 331.40 beta, the quality of the Ambient Occlusion shading will be significantly higher thanks to the introduction of HBAO+."

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Johnny T's NYC Tourist Tips. That's one street-smart muppet.

Battlefield 4 Beta Preloads

Origin tweets that preloads are now underway for those eligible to participate in early access beta testing of Battlefield 4, which begins tomorrow. Word is: "Pre-load is now available for everyone in the Exclusive #bf4beta. Download now to be among the first to fight on Oct 1." The beta is open to those who preorder Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe and will be released for all to play on October 4th. Thanks VG247.

Blizzard TMs Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard has trademarked the title Heroes of the Storm in New Zealand, reports PCGamesN, though we cannot find this listing, and the link they provide for this is not actually a link, but we've found the U.S. Trademark filing. This has renewed speculation about Blizzard's plans for the MOBA that's been referred to as Blizzard All-Stars and Blizzard DOTA over the years.

Wasteland Kings Renamed Nuclear Throne

Vlambeer announces Nuclear Throne is the new title of their game formerly known as Wasteland Kings, an apparently amicable outcome to being informed by InXile Entertainment that this might cause confusion with the Wasteland series (thanks VG247). Here's part of the civilized explanation:

After announcing the game for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita during Sony’s press conference at gamescom, we were contacted by a Dutch employee of InXile Entertainment, the studio behind 1988 title Wasteland and the recent Kickstarter for Wasteland 2. They explained that InXile CEO Brian Fargo and some of the team were worried about possible brand confusion and argued that Wasteland Kings could be misinterpreted as a title in the ‘Wasteland’ franchise.

We’ve been through a lot of trouble with people riding on things of ours, and we understand that American trademark law is pretty strict in that not defending a trademark weakens it. We realize that both games are set in a similar setting, that the names are similar and that InXile obviously felt the need to reach out. Although we aren’t sure Wasteland Kings and Wasteland are confusing enough for this to be an issue, both us and InXile really don’t want to spend development time on arguing over trivialities.

Most of all, we appreciate that the first contact between us was by a normal employee, and not a lawyer. There was no extravagant Cease & Desist-letter, nor a threatening letter in an envelope labelled ‘URGENT’. The e-mail we received was short, amicable and to-the-point. It was followed up by a quick conversation on Skype, in which we established that it would be the right thing for us to change the name.

This is the way business should work nowadays: between people, not companies, not lawyers, not departments. There’s so much paperwork between one and another that it’s easy for people to forget that they’re dealing with people instead of numbers and dossiers. Things can be friendly, rather than formal for the sake of formality.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track returns with their weekly outline of the bestselling games in the U.K. The PC full-price top 20 reflects the week's new release, as FIFA 14 enters the chart at number one. The new installment in the association football/soccer series is takes the top spot on the all platforms/all prices chart, knocking off Grand Theft Auto V after just one week. Here's their information dense write up:

One week after the launch of ‘GTA V’, the biggest game of all time (week 1 sales), the rollercoaster journey into Q4 continues with the launch this week of EA’s 8-format ‘FIFA 14’ debuting at No1.

In terms of the FIFA series the current version is down on last year’s record-breaker ‘FIFA 13’ by around 24% in volume, possibly due to all the money spent last week and also perhaps due to the nature of a transitional year, where consumers may be delaying this purchase until PS4/Xbox One versions are available. In terms of 8-format games, only 2 other titles have been released simultaneously in the same week on 8 formats (EA’s FIFA 13 last year and EA’s Need For Speed: Carbon back in 2006, another transitional year).

Rockstar/Take 2’s ‘GTA V’ drops to No2 (-83%) but even with such a drop this week 2 number is equivalent to being the 18th biggest week if ranked against week 1 sales of any other games ever released. Microsoft are back in the Top 3 after a 5 week break thanks to ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’, No3 (-2%) and Konami drop 2 places to No4 having debuted last week with ‘Pro Evolution Soccer 2014’ (-46%). Sony drop 2 places to No5 with ‘The Last of Us’ (-41%) and Ubisoft’s ‘Rayman Legends’ re-enters the Top 10 thanks to some price promotion, No10 (+34%).

Op Ed

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The Felina finale of Breaking Bad was just like the series itself, almost perfect. It was an amazing ride, hats off to Vince Gilligan, AMC, Bryan Cranston, and all those involved for the level of quality they consistently achieved. Speaking of consistent, the Giants are looking very consistent right now, which will make for a rough season, not unlike my NFL picks, which have all been in the toilet the past couple of weeks. Ouch.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Thing Thing Arena Classic.
Links: 32 Real Life Cheat Codes That Will Change Your Life. Thanks Boing Boing.
Stories: Card sharp used infrared contact lenses in Cannes poker scam. Thanks Slashdot.
One Target store may have higher prices than another. Store name explained.
Science: How chimps are making monkeys out of humans. Apes, you apes!
Forget Venus and Mars, we’re beginning to understand gender behavior on Earth.
Strange, unpredictable chemistry at high pressure.
Images: Marriage will be the death of me.
Media: Ski Jumping Pairs.
Grand Theft Auto V Mythbusters- Episode 2. Thanks reddit.
The Funnies: Furniture Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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