Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 Happy Waitangi Day (New Zealand)

  

Activision Blizzard Financials - WoW at 7.8M Subscribers

Activision Blizzard announces "better-than-expected" fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2013 results. Word is: "For calendar year 2013, Activision Blizzard delivered GAAP net revenues of $4.58 billion, as compared with $4.86 billion for 2012." For the quarter, they say: "For the quarter ended December 31, 2013, the company delivered GAAP net revenues of $1.52 billion, as compared with $1.77 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012." They also offer the latest World of Warcraft numbers, saying the MMORPG now has 7.8 million subscribers, which is 200K more than their last census. Here's word from CEO Bobby Kotick:

“As we look to 2014 and beyond, we have the strongest and most diverse pipeline of games in our history. In 2014, we expect these releases to enable us to grow non-GAAP revenues year over year and generate record non-GAAP earnings per share. We expect Bungie’s Destiny™, an innovative shared-world, first-person action game to be Activision Publishing’s next billion dollar franchise. Activision Publishing also has terrific new games planned for the Call of Duty® and Skylanders™ franchises, and Blizzard Entertainment has an expansion to the top-selling PC and console game Diablo® III and another major new release. Also in our pipeline for 2014 and the next few years are at least three potentially groundbreaking new free-to-play franchises—Blizzard’s Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ and Heroes of the Storm™, and Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty Online. We believe these games have great global potential. Free-to-play as a business model has now achieved scale, both in the West and in China. Hearthstone, which released in open beta on PC last month and which Blizzard Entertainment plans to expand this year to tablets and smartphones, is already attracting millions of players with strong engagement and monetization in the West and China, putting it on track to join World of Warcraft®, Diablo, and StarCraft® as their fourth mega franchise.”

Sledgehammer Gets Its Own CoD Title

During the investor conference call following their latest financials, Activision Blizzard announced Sledgehammer will take the helm of its own leg of the Call of Duty franchise, reports GameInformer, saying the military shooter series will now have three developers operating on a three-year schedule, giving Infinity Ward and Treyarch a little more breathing room while maintaining annual released. GameInformer notes: "During the call, Activision listed three branches of the Call of Duty franchise: Modern Warfare, Black Ops, and Ghosts. With Black Ops at Treyarch and Ghosts at Infinity Ward, it seems logical to suspect Sledgehammer's entry will be a Modern Warfare title."

The Last Federation This Month

This blog post offers the intro story trailer for The Last Federation, Arcen's upcoming sci-fi grand strategy game, following a previous post with a trailer showing alpha combat footage. According to Indie DB the game is due at the end of this month, but this forum post seems to indicate the alpha runs until later this month. Arcen also notes that their AI War: Fleet Command is on sale on Steam for 75% off, and that all profits from the sale are "basically going right back into pre and post-launch development" of The Last Federation. Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Double Dragon: Neon

Double Dragon: Neon is now available on Steam offering this reimagined remake of the co-op brawler. Here's the deal:

Building on the highly successful release on console, the PC version sports full Steam integration and online cooperative play for a true Double Dragon experience. In its console debut, Double Dragon: Neon revitalized the franchise with an updated look and good ol’ fashioned street fights. The world’s most iconic arcade brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee are back in a reboot of the classic side-scrolling, beat-em-up that fueled a generation of gamers. When Marian is kidnapped by the evil forces of the Shadow Warriors gang, the brothers set out to win her back and take down their chief nemesis Skullmageddon. Along the way, players will take on hordes of street-gangs, guzzle gallons of soda, and rock out to some stellar tunes in the form of ability-enhancing mixtapes.

Democracy 3 Sale; Social Engineering DLC Released

Positech now offers new Social Engineering DLC for Democracy 3, their political simulation sequel. In celebration, the game is on sale for the first time since launching, and will be 50% all weekend. Details on the sale are posted on this page, and here's word on the new DLC: "The Social Engineering DLC introduces a plethora of new policies and governmental dilemmas that will help you subversively guide your country to prosperity... or cause it all to come crashing down upon you." Here's a new Social Engineering Trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Dead Man's Draw

Steam now offers the Windows PC edition of Dead Man's Draw, Stardock's card-based strategy game originally released for iOS. They explain that this edition of the game offers additional features and no in-app purchases or microtransactions whatsoever: "The PC version contains all of the content from the iOS original, plus all-new card abilities and player traits with more than 20 extra tournaments added since the game's October launch. Additionally, no in-app purchases or additional transactions of any kind are present in Dead Man’s Draw on PC."

Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Trailer

This trailer offers a look at Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD, the improved version of the survival/horror sequel that's coming to Windows PCs at the end of this month. The clip shows off the trifecta of gameplay; cinematics; and QTEs (with Xbox prompts), all coming to an unfortunate conclusion. Continue here to read the full story.

Amnesia Fortnight Game Jam

Double Fine announces Amnesia Fortnight 2014 is now underway. Don't worry if you've forgotten how this works, since it's changed this year, as by running the two-week prototyping marathon on Humble Bundle, they are providing the opportunity to pay what you want to vote on projects you feel are worth pursuing. Word is:

Members of the public can now pay any amount for the chance to vote on dozens of ideas pitched by Double Fine staff members, with the top-ranked choices becoming two-week PC prototypes playable by contributors. Contributors decide the percentage that will go to charity.

Buyers who beat the pay-what-you-want average will also get to vote for their favorite idea contributed by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, who will be serving as a project lead on site at Double Fine over the course of the two-week jam.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Audience Suggestion Box- The Big Lipinski. That rink really tied the room together, did it not? Thanks Acleacius.

Amazon acquires Double Helix Games

Amazon has acquired Double Helix Games (Killer Instinct), reports TechCrunch, saying the giant etailer picked up the studio's talent and IP, which includes the new Strider game that's coming next week. Double Helix was formed by a merger of Shiny and The Collective in 2007 that formed a studio called Foundation 9, which soon was renamed Double Helix. Financial details of the deal are not public at this time, but this news is fairly detail-free at this point, with Amazon providing the following statement: "Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers." TechCrunch also reports that Amazon has committed to supporting Double Helix’s current lineup of games, though they reference two future project that will no longer be pursued, saying Dirty Harry and Harker (neither of which ring any bells) are no longer expected to follow Strider. Just last week a story on VG247 said Amazon is gearing up to launch its own Android-based console this year, so this may relate to that, though Amazon acquired Reflexive Entertainment in 2008 without launching their own game system.

Titanfall Beta Closed

Though Respawn's Vince Zampella tweeted earlier this week that this month's Titanfall beta testing would not be restricted to preorders, a new tweet clarifies that this will still be a closed beta, requiring a key for access. Here is his explanation of why restricting access to the game will allow them to get the most players into the test: "@VexX_mendes2878 @abbieheppe @TitanFallBlog goal is to get as many people in as possible, doing it in waves to make sure it works." Thanks NowGamer.

World Cyber Games Ending?

The organization behind the World Cyber Games (WCG) will not run any tournaments or events in 2014, according to a report on onGamers, where the have an email purportedly sent by WCG CEO Brad Lee which says in part: "This year, World Cyber Games Inc. will not organize tournaments and events, including the World Cyber Games finals world." That sounds temporary, but other parts of the message seem more permanent. "Although the brand has disappeared but WCG spirit will remain forever in the hearts of each player and fans," he writes. "This moment is very difficult and painful for me. However, I must say goodbye to the WCG." There letter also states that "each partner can use brand WCG in your country from this point," however a follow-up on Korea's Daily Esports (in Korean) refutes that, saying the WCG brand is not free for anyone to use. Thanks Kotaku Australia via VG247.

Two Witcher 3 Developers Depart

Marek Ziemak and Maciej Szczesnik have departed CD Projekt RED, where they were working on The Witcher 3, to join Polish developer 11bitstudios. While Ziemak's new role is yet to be designed, word is Szczesnik will lead development of a new game. "I'll be responsible for the entire design of a game that took shape in my imagination," said Szczesnik in a prepared statement posted on Polygon. "It's a really exciting feeling to create a new world from scratch, make its characters and rules and to know that I have this blank page to fill with my ideas and then bring them to life."

Vertiginous Golf Released

Surprise Attack Games takes the wraps off of Vertiginous Golf, a game which combines a dystopian society with the dystopian pastime of miniature golf in an alternate-history steampunk setting. The game should come to Steam Early Access next month, but it is already available on the Vertiginous Golf website for Windows, with OS X and Linux support to follow. This is a first-person, physics-based game, and this trailer shows off the setting, which looks like BioShock Infinite golf. Here's word:

Vertiginous Golf is a physics-based, first person exploratory mini-golf game, set in an alternate, steampunk-infused world where life on the ground is enveloped in permanent smog, constant darkness and never-ending rain. Players will chip and putt their way around floating courses with complex machinery and Victorian-era décor, as they slowly discover what the hell is going on.

"This sort of game is basically why we set up Surprise Attack in the first place,” said Chris Wright, Managing Director of Surprise Attack Games. “I mean, who makes a game about mini-golf in the sky, with elaborate victorian contraptions, a golden mechanical hummingbird you can use to explore the levels and a mysterious story to uncover? Awesome people, that’s who.”

Men of War Assault Squad 2 Delayed

1C Publishing announces a delay to Men of War Assault Squad 2, saying the real-time strategy sequel is now due next month, after being expected in two weeks (which was was confirmed less than a month ago). They say: "We would like to inform you that Men of War Assault Squad 2 release date has been changed to March 20th 2014. The reason for this decision is to deliver the best possible Men of War game to our customers worldwide. The new release date will ensure that you will get the best possible Men of War game experience. We will bring you more news regarding the game in the upcoming days." Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Borderlands 2 Update Nears

Gearbox Software announces new updates are rolling out "in the coming days" for the Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 editions of Borderlands 2. This page has the PC update notes, dated February 11th, which is probably when to expect this. Word is this will add the recently revealed colorblind mode along with a bunch of bug fixes and support for next week's Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre headhunter pack.

ManiaPlanet Update Next Month

The ManiaPlanet Blog outlines plans for ManiaPlanet Update #3, which they expect to launch next month. This will add a universal ManiaPlanet demo and will include some gameplay changes for ShootMania and TrackMania. Nadeo lays out the following general goals of the new version, not cheaping out on the boldfaced emphasis: "The goal is really to empower the players and to open the access to Maniaplanet to increase the number of players." Thanks Frans.

Rage Runner Trailer

The Steam Greenlight page for Rage Runner now offers a gameplay trailer hoping to inspire support for this corridor shooter/endless runner that hopes to inspire occasional bouts of rage by being extra-challenging. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

  • Divinity: Original Sin on Eurogamer. Alpha review.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Tonight kicks off the Winter Olympics, an event I could swear happens more frequently than every four years. I always end up seeing more of the games than I intend, since the plan calls for watching none of it, but I may be tempted to tune in more this time around just to see if everything goes completely off-the- rails as suggested by the reports of the various journalists who have been at the venue for the past week.

Olympic Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Death Lab.
Cat Ninja.
Link: Gates Spends Entire First Day Back in Office Trying to Install Windows 8.1.
Science: Most cancers are in our world pandemic preventable -- here's how.
New model- Black holes, neutron stars drove Universe’s reionization.
Scientists Create Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel.
Media: Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks destroy Denver Broncos – brick-by-brick video.
Man Saves Dog After Pup Falls Through Ice In Norway.



Blue's News logo