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Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013

  

Command & Conquer Cancelled, Victory Games Closed

The Command & Conquer website has news of the cancellation of the upcoming free-to-play Command & Conquer revival, and Polygon has word that this also means the closure of its developer Victory Studios. "The team at Victory Games will be disbanded," an Electronic Arts spokesperson told Polygon. "Wherever possible, we are working to help these talented people find other opportunities within EA." Here's word from the website:

Thank you for your participation over the last few months in the Command & Conquer closed alpha test. It’s been much appreciated, and you’ve been instrumental in helping define what a new Command & Conquer experience should and shouldn’t be.

Part of being in a creative team is the understanding that not all of your choices are going to work out. In this case, we shifted the game away from campaign mode and built an economy-based, multiplayer experience. Your feedback from the alpha trial is clear: We are not making the game you want to play. That is why, after much difficult deliberation, we have decided to cease production of this version of the game. Although we deeply respect the great work done by our talented team, ultimately it’s about getting you the game you expect and deserve.

Over the next 10 days we will be refunding any and all money spent in the alpha. If you have a question about your refund, please contact help.ea.com.

We believe that Command & Conquer is a powerful franchise with huge potential and a great history, and we are determined to get the best game made as soon as possible. To that end, we have already begun looking at a number of alternatives to get the game back on track. We look forward to sharing more news about the franchise as it develops. Thank you again for your participation and support.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Announced

Telltale Games offers the promised further details on The Walking Dead Season 2, saying episode one will be released before Christmas of this year. They provide a reveal trailer and they have opened preorders already, which come at a 10% discount off the full price. Some details can be found in this FAQ, and here's the announcement, which notes that Telltale has sold more than 21 million episodes in this series to date:

Leading publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, the Eisner Award-winning creator and writer of The Walking Dead for his Skybound imprint at Image Comics, have officially revealed The Walking Dead: Season Two - A Telltale Games Series , which is now available for pre-order on PC/Mac via the Telltale Games Online Store as well as Steam. The second season will make its highly-anticipated premiere later this year on PC/Mac, home consoles and iOS, with additional platforms to be announced.

The Walking Dead: Season Two - A Telltale Games Series will continue the story of Clementine, a young girl orphaned at the outset of the undead apocalypse, now left to her own devices to seek safety and survive in a world gone mad. Now assuming the role of an ordinary child, players will struggle to outwit both the dead and the living in situations that will test their morals and control the flow of the story through their decisions and actions.

"The terrifying nature of Robert Kirkman's world has allowed Telltale to push the boundaries of interactive drama in video games to a place that has had fans anxious to know what will happen next in this series," said Dan Connors, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games. "Today we can finally lift the veil, albeit only a little, on how this story will continue, and we'll soon be putting players in the shoes of a lead role that will challenge their expectations of how to survive in a world where no one can be trusted."

Expected to premiere later this year, The Walking Dead: Season Two - A Telltale Games Series will consist of five episodes that will be released for digital download over the course of the season and will conclude in 2014. Players can save 10% off of the purchase price of the PC/Mac versions with a pre-order of the season pass, giving them access to all five episodes for the total cost of $22.49 USD or equivalent when ordering through the Telltale Online Store, or through the Steam digital distribution service.

Additionally, this November, Telltale Games will release The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series - Game of the Year Edition to retailers across North America for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. The Game of the Year Edition will include all five episodes of the award-winning series, plus the critically-acclaimed episode '400 Days,' as well as access to the series' original score and exclusive behind the scenes video. Currently available for pre-order at retailers everywhere, the Game of the Year Edition will be available for $29.99 USD or equivalent.

Continue here to read the full story.

EA Earnings

Preliminary Electronic Arts Q2 FY14 Financial Results are online, showing what they describe as "strong" results, as they say: "For the quarter, non-GAAP net revenue of $1,040 million was above our guidance of $975 million. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.33 was above our guidance of $0.12." A post-earnings conference call will get underway shortly. "EA's strong second quarter was driven by great title launches, continued digital growth, and financial discipline," said Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson. "While we have made good progress in the first half of the year, we remain focused on executing our FY14 plan and delivering a full slate of amazing games and services to players on current and next-generation consoles, mobile, and PC."

Take-Two Earnings

GameInformer informs us that Take-Two is enjoying the expected revenue bump associated with releasing a new game in the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto series, reporting $1.27 billion in revenue for the fiscal Q2 2014. MarketWatch has the details, saying GTA5 has sold almost 29 million units already, though this didn't stop Take-Two from losing $124 million for the quarter, though some accounting rosiness notes they had "a strong surge in adjusted sales and profits" for the quarter.

Steam Halloween Sale

Steam News announces the commencement of the Steam Halloween Sale 2013, which has a scary collection of games at a discount until November 1st: "Now through Halloween*, we're unleashing monstrous savings on frightening, creepy, and/or scary titles throughout the Steam store. Hundred of titles are now available at prices so low, you'll shriek in excitement!"

100 More Steam Greenlights

The Steam Community has the announcement that 100 more titles have met with the approval of the Steam Greenlight system. Word is: "These titles were selected on the same criteria we have been using in the past: Votes in Greenlight give us a hugely valuable point of data in gauging community interest along with external factors such as press reviews, crowd-funding successes, performance on other similar platforms, and awards and contests to help form a more complete picture of community interest in each title." This page has the list of all the new approvals.

Steamships Ahoy - Deadly Premonition- The Director's Cut

Steam now offers Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut, which comes at a 10% discount during the Steam Halloween Sale. Here's word from Steam News on the PC edition of this action/adventure game:

Playing as special agent Francis York Morgan (call him York – everyone else does), it’s your job to investigate the brutal murder of a young local beauty in the town of Greenvale. Amidst the backdrop of soaring mountains and a small American suburb, York must solve the mystery of the Red Seed Murders and stay alive in a place where supernatural creatures and a mysterious raincoat-clad, axe-wielding killer seek to end his investigation for good.

Part suspense-filled horror, part action-adventure game, Deadly Premonition offers an open-world experience packed with locals to meet and places to discover, as well as numerous side quests and mini-games that will help you solve the murders and uncover Greenvale’s deepest, darkest secrets.

TrackMania Anniversary Events

ManiaPlanet News has the promised details on Nadeo's tenth anniversary celebrations for TrackMania, their racing series (thanks Frans). Here's the deal:

As we previously announced, TrackMania will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary on December 14th, 2013! Celebration events will include a community driven LAN event [aka LANniversary] alongside streaming events.

In addition, today we are announcing the official TrackMania 10th Anniversary Video, Car Creation, and Track Creation contests!

In order to be considered for any of the three contests, participants will have until November 24th to submit their entries. Official rules of entry for each contest are linked below. Only the first 60 entries for each event will be considered, but don’t rush – you won’t be able to edit your entry once it’s been submitted, so make it count!

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: X-MEN- DAYS OF FUTURE PAST - Official Trailer (2014). Thanks JDreyer and nin.

Battlefield 4 Released, Reviewed

EA's Origin announces that Battlefield 4 is now available for Windows and consoles, offering the latest installment in DICE's military shooter series. Reviews of the FPS are now showing up, so you can read/see impressions on AusGamers, ComputerAndVideoGames, GameSpot, Joystiq, Game Front, GameInformer, IGN, Inside Gaming, PC Gamer, Polygon, and Shacknews. Here's word on the game:

Explore a vast range of experiences that allow you to play your way. Be the lone wolf to take control of your own destiny or work together in tight-knit five-man squads to strike as a team. New maps, more vehicles, weapons and destruction allow you to create your own path and play to your strengths. Absolutely nothing compares to the sheer scale and scope of Battlefield 4.

AMD Catalyst Beta Drivers

AMD support now offers a new AMD Catalyst 13.11 beta driver for AMD/ATI graphics cards. These are offered "as is," but promise performance improvements for a variety of games, including the just-released Battlefield 4.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag PC Trailer

This trailer shows off some graphical effects in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, as NVIDIA highlights the beauty of next month's PC edition of the stealth/action sequel that's out today in North America for consoles. Word is: "Ubisoft Montreal and NVIDIA are enhancing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with NVIDIA-exclusive effects, features and technologies, creating the definitive Assassin's Creed experience." Thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Continue here to read the full story.

Raindrop Kickstarter

Here's a Kickstarter for Raindrop, an eponymous environment-driven survival game from Raindrop Studios featuring "intuitive, complex puzzles" (thanks NamecaF). The two-person development team has been working on this for a few years now, and the page has screenshots showing its transition from the Source engine to the Unity 3D engine along with their explanation of the advantages of the switch. The campaign is currently almost exactly one-quarter funded about halfway through. Here's a bit of the description:

Revolving around a horror themed storyline, the chilling and breathtaking atmospheres will keep you inching around each corner while uncovering the hidden truth behind the complex and its inhabitants. Scavenge items to build objects in order to piece together complex puzzles, or dangerous death traps. Gather hints and schematics to unveil rewards and information. Survive both the haunting environment and your own battered sanity.

Repopulation Trailer

The Repopulation website now offers a second gameplay trailer showing off alpha footage from the upcoming sandbox MMORPG. Word is: "This is a more modern video of the game's general features and includes footage of Combat, Resource Gathering, Vehicles, City Building, Inquiries, Character Customization and looks at a number of different environments in the game." Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

The AC4 reviews are mostly (all?) from consoles.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I've been having trouble with one of the monitors in my dual-monitor setup for a while: I spent some time on the phone recently with a tech support guy who helped confirm that the monitor's flaky behavior in resuming from power-saving mode was because it was going bad, probably one of those capacitors that cause us so much joy and pain. This morning I couldn't get the bad monitor to come on, and for a while had switched everything to one monitor, but I tried it again in a bit and coaxed into coming on, though the writing is clearly on the wall here. I'm not really eager to go further over the hardware budget, but the brief period working in a single monitor shows me how badly I have spoiled myself with the 3840x1200 pixels of screen real estate I use, and it would be quite an adjustment going back, and it's only a matter of time before this thing stops working altogether, so I have to start planning for that.

Dual Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Space Is Key Hell.
Theft Punk.
Links: 6 Movies that Are Inexplicably Getting Sequels Decades Later.
1992 Graphics for Everything!
Science: FYI? Why Do Leaves Turn Different Colors? Thanks Digg.
Images: This Guy Photographed Every Stage Of His Wife's Cancer. Extreme tearjerker. Thanks nin.
Media: Army of Angry Batmen Demand Arkham Origins.
Ten Short Horror Films for Quick Halloween Scares. Thanks JDreyer.
16,000-Brick LEGO Hack Reveals Yoda or Darth Vader Based on Light Angle. Thanks nin.
The Funnies: xkcd- Headlines. Thanks HARDOCP.



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