Archived News:

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2007

Perpetual Lawsuit

Kohnke v. Perpetual: The Opening Round on TenTonHammer reports on a lawsuit filed by PR company Kohnke Communications against Perpetual Entertainment, among other things, for breach of contract, fraudulent transfer, and fraud. Late last month it came to light that a new company named Perpetual LLC had acquired Star Trek Online and Perpetual Entertainment in a report that suggested this may have been a way of skirting creditors (story). The following excerpt from their legal complaint indicates Kohnke also believes that shenanigans took place to get out of paying them what they are owed:
"Star Trek Online Executive Producer Daron Stinnett published comments on November 28, 2007 at startrek-online.net, flatly denying that Perpetual was in the process of liquidating and representing that Perpetual was still an ongoing concern: 'There was also a report about PE liquidating our assets. That report relates to a transaction that took place a while back. And while I can't go into details right now, I want to assure the community that the entire Star Trek team is still here working hard…'

"Just one day later, the story changed dramatically. On November 29, 2007, Keene [Joseph Keene, an officer of both Perpetual and P2 with a 'significant equity stake in the company'] confirmed to counsel for Kohnke that Perpetual had executed the ABC, and that all of Perpetual's assets were in the hands of Perpetual ABC. However, Keene also admitted that, prior to executing the ABC, Perpetual transferred certain assets to P2.

"On information and belief, the assets transferred to P2 include Perpetual Entertainment trademarks and copyrights, the perpetual.com domain name, and assets related to Star Trek Online, including code and the license… Perpetual received less than market value for the assets it transferred to P2, and the transfer made Perpetual insolvent (or worsened Perpetual's existing insolvency)."

Settlers: Rise of an Empire Patch

A new patch is now available for Settlers: Rise of an Empire, updating the latest installment in this strategy series to version 1.3. The new version adds online ladder support, adds map editor and quest system improvements, and includes a number of bug fixes. The 137 MB download can be found on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Evening Q&As

  • Star Wars Galaxy Chapter 8
    WarCry Network SWG Chapter 8 Q&A chats with lead designer Thomas Blair about the next content update for SOE's Force-heavy MMORPG. The article-format Q&A covers various details on Chapter 8, which was slated to go live on the test server today.
  • Running with Scissors
    Manhunt Aftermath: Postal's Developer Speaks on 1UP hears about the Manhunt controversy from Vince Desi of Running with Scissors, no strangers to controversy themselves.

Evening Previews

Neverwinter Nights 2 Patch

This BioWare forum post announces the availability of a new patch for Neverwinter Nights 2, updating the D&D RPG sequel to version 1.11 (thanks Neverwinter Nights 2 Vault). The post has details on the new version, available through the game's internal update function, though the part of the patch notes pertaining to Mask of the Betrayer fixes carries a spoiler warning. There is another post a few from the top outlining a preliminary list of fixes in version 1.12.

NVIDIA Beta Drivers

NVIDIA is offering new "WHQL candidate" beta ForceWare reference drivers for their GeForce graphics cards (thanks Thinus), in spite of that beta status calling the new version 169.21 the "Recommended driver for the latest DirectX 9, and OpenGL applications." There are new drivers for Windows XP, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Vista 32-bit, Windows XP x64, Server 2003 x64, and Windows Vista 64-bit. What's changed can be found in the 60 pages of release notes.

Ships Ahoy - Mac Guitar Hero III

Get ready to rock out with your Mac out, as Aspyr announces the availability of the Mac edition of Guitar Heroes III: Legends of Rock as part of the promised hybrid package with the PC edition:
AUSTIN, TX ­ December 11, 2007 ­ Aspyr Media has granted Macintosh gamers a license to shred with the announcement that Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Mac is now available on store shelves. Released in partnership with Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), the renowned Guitar Hero® franchise makes its debut on Macintosh computers as a hybrid PC/Mac bundle that is available at major retail outlets across the country.

Developed and published exclusively by Aspyr, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Mac matches its console counterparts with a killer set list that includes many of the most popular rock songs ever recorded. Explosive content and features include a multiplayer action-inspired battle mode, grueling boss battles, a host of unlockable content and visually stunning rock venues. Expansive online multiplayer game modes also allow aspiring axe-shredders worldwide to compete head-to-head for true legendary rock status with PC and Mac gamers alike.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for PC/Mac comes bundled with a wired X-Plorer guitar controller for the SRP of $79.99 and is rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB. For more information on this game please visit www.aspyr.com. For more information on the Guitar Hero franchise, please go to the dedicated community site www.guitarhero.com.

Dungeon Runners Updated

NCsoft Launches Chunk 2, Adding Advertising, New Content To Dungeon Runners Game has word on the new content update for Dungeon Runners, NCsoft's free MMOG. As the title of the press release states, this build 99 update (also known by the elegant title Chunk #2) adds ads, but these are only for the users who do not pay the optional $4.99 a month for a premium account, which affords other perks as well. The advertisements come with additional content for free players, described in full in the patch notes, which outline all the changes in Chunk #2.

ATI Gets Steamier

AMD/ATI announces that owners of ATI Radeon graphics cards are entitled to a pair of free games from Steam, Valve's content delivery service. ATI hardware owners can visit this page for details on their free copies of Half-Life 2: Lost Coast and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch as well as discounts on other Valve games. Word is that future versions of Catalyst driver packages will include Steam in case you didn't know you wanted it.

Fury Goes Free, Bad News to Follow

More details are coming to light about the state of Fury, the recently launched MMORPG that has reportedly not lived up to the expectations of developer Auran (story). Following a press release confirming staff cuts and that game support is being outsourced to China (story), Kotaku Australia has word that the game will go completely free-to-play as of the Chosen (story) content update on December 14, and a dire comment from Auran CEO saying: "We will then have some bad news to follow (unless a miracle occurs), but there will be a very positive end to the week." While we wait for that other shoe to drop, here's the announcement of Fury's new business model:
Cockpit, Austin, TX - December 10, 2007 – Gamecock Media Group and Auran Games today announced a new Free to Download, Free to Play option for their fast paced arena combat game FURY. The new business model will begin with the release of the first major free content update “Age of the Chosen” on December 14, 2007.

“FURY was built around giving players options that suit their play style and their wallet,” said Tony Hilliam, CEO of Auran. “With the AotC update, we are introducing a new player category called “Chosen”. As one of the Chosen, players can access all game types, equip all weapons and unlock all 400 abilities – and they can play as much as they like absolutely free. This is a fantastic opportunity for players to jump into battle with their mates and discover the frenetic pace of the fastest RPG combat ever. Chosen will earn less gold and essence, and will not be able to trade with other players.”

“Chosen players can purchase game gold from the FURY store or upgrade to “Hero” status to earn more Essence and Gold. Retail stores sell the “Hero” status pack, along with a free month of “Immortal” status, so this is $30 value for the new price of $19.99 (in US stores). As a Hero or Immortal players can unlock abilities faster and purchase better gear, but the matchmaker then ensures they are playing against other players of similar skill and rank.”

FURY: Age of the Chosen is a massive free content update that introduces two new game types aimed at the new player. “Carnage” throws two teams into battle with the aim of returning blood tokens to their base faster than their opposition. Blood tokens are gained from killing bots, not other players, so the action is indirect competition rather than head to head. The 1v1 Elimination game type means games will spawn faster and matches are more evenly balanced.

Mac Eschalon: Book I Released, Demo

The Eschalon: Book I Website now offers the promised Macintosh edition of Basilisk Games' new RPG. In addition to online purchase and download of the full version of the Think Different™ edition of the game, a playable demo is also available for a 73 MB download.

Morning Q&As

  • Europa: Universalis
    The Europa: Universalis Rome Q&A on GameShark hears from Johan Andersson, producer on the strategy sequel. Topics include the setting, the scale, playable races, and more.
  • The Day
    The Day Q&A on PCGames.de talks with Jino Lee, lead producer on this recently unveiled CryENGINE 2 MMORPG in a conversation that's also available in the site's native German. They are only revealing so much at the moment, but indications are the game will incorporate some manner of time travel. Speaking of time travel, word is the game will probably not be released before late 2010.

Morning Previews

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Okay, following yesterday's theme, here's another surprisingly long-ago anniversary: It was ten years ago today that Mike Wilson parted ways with ION Storm. Todd Porter, BitchX, and all were a decade ago? It still all seems like it was yesterday.

A Decade of Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Link of the Morning: The Top 10 Life Ruining Movies of All-Time. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Tim Burton to direct Alice in Wonderland.
Man freed after 100 hours trapped in a lavatory.
Science: Voyager 2 finds solar system's shape is 'dented'. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Anesthesia Awareness.
Psychology of Gift Giving.
Media: Cockpit View USMC Harrier Take-Off and Landing.
Whopper Freakout Commercial.
Rancho Obi-Wan Star Wars Collection Tour.
Follow-up: Mars robot unearths microbe clue.
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