Archived News:

Friday, Sep 12, 2008 National Video Games Day

Steam Deals

Valve's Steam Service is now accepting preorders for Crysis Warhead, as they will be carrying the shooter prequel. They are also now offering the original Crysis, as well as a bundle of Crysis now and Warhead when it is released. Steam News also has this weekend's sale, offering "indie hits" Gumboy and Gumboy Tournament for $4.99 (regularly $29.98) when purchased together in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Cinemax. Finally, Steam also announces that if you preorder Introversion's Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest before September 19, you'll get Darwinia now for free.

EA on Spore DRM

Gamasutra has a report on the ongoing controversy over the digital rights management in Spore, reporting that for a time today the Amazon reviews criticizing the DRM (story) disappeared (they were later returned with an explanation that their removal was an accident). EA responds to the negative reaction to their SecuROM implementation by restating the reasons things are being done the way they are, and statistics about activations of the Spore Creature Creator they say indicate they have accurately gauged the needs of their users by allowing three activations of the game.

Warhammer Online Interview

The Warhammer Online Video Interview on AtomicGamer is a fun video that peppers Mythic's Paul Barnett with questions about their upcoming MMORPG, including talking about the lessons learned from beta testing, what differentiates WAR from WoW, an explanation of PvP (that's "labeled" an explanation of RvR), accessibility, a humorous rundown on the game's overall appeal, and more.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black


Stargate Worlds Open Beta & Content Plans, Closed Beta Nears

Open Beta testing is planned for Stargate Worlds just prior to the launch of the science-fiction MMORPG, according to VideoGamer.com. They spoke with Dan Elggren of developer FireSky at the Leipzig Games Convention, and he told them: "Yeah. I want to do that just before launch. To me you've got to have a pretty solid product when you go into open beta." He cites Age of Conan as a game that was fixed with a "miracle patch" between open beta and launch, saying they want the open beta to produce a "positive experience" to help market the game. The story is pulled from an interview to be published later today, as is this story that says FireSky is already working on post-release content, even though Stargate Worlds is not due for release until next year: "We're actually developing some of that post-live content before we launch. That's going to consist of new story lines, new worlds, new creatures to fight, as well as we're looking at adding two more levels, so going from 51, 52 and then so on and so forth. So that's new abilities, new armour sets and new ways of exploring the universe as well." He says such content will be free for subscribers, and notes that an MMOG will often see spikes in activity surrounding its launch and subsequent expansions, which is a situation they hope to avoid. Meanwhile, there is a new note on the Stargate Worlds Website saying the closed beta test is "just a few weeks away," and to sign up here to express your interest.

Cyclopean; A Lovecraft RPG

Iron Tower Studio Forums have a section for a project called Cyclopean which includes a FAQ describing Cyclopean as an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired role-playing game currently in preproduction with a small two-person team. This is all very early, but for now word is: "It will have all the features that we love and cherish: isometric, turn-based, focus on dialogues and choices." Thanks Strategy Informer.

Games Convention Canada?

Gamekyo quotes the organizers of the Games Convention on plans to add a North American show to the huge annual events they already hold in Asia and Germany saying they are leaning towards a Canadian venue. Word from GC high command is: "It seems to become a city in Canada, not in the US. We'll inform you as soon as we arrived at a decision." Thanks GamesIndustry.biz, where they say they've heard that Vancouver is likely the location under strongest consideration.

Quantum of Solace Movie

Gametrailers offers a new developer diary movie from Quantum of Solace, featuring several folks from Treyarch discussing how the Call of Duty 4 engine is powering their upcoming James Bond movie tie-in. They describe how using this established technology lessened the number of hurdles they had to vault, and discuss changes they made to offer features not found in CoD4, like a new cover system in Quantum of Solace.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Trailer

A new trailer F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin offers another look at Monolith's upcoming horror-themed shooter sequel. A variety of gameplay sequences are included in the clip, which is posted on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, and FileFront.

Rise of the Argonauts in EU in November

Codemasters plans to release Rise of the Argonauts for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in European territories in November, reports Eurogamer. Release information for Liquid Entertainment's action/RPG based on the story of Jason and the Argonauts for other territories is not included, but the game was announced with 2008 release date (story), so it seems likely it will be released elsewhere around the same time. On a related note, a new "Pan" trailer offers a game-engine cinematic from the game introducing the Pan character, who is not as cherubic as typical depictions, but this is probably welcome, since he has seems to be more of a combatant than a musician. That said, Zamfir fans will still hear the strains of a pan-flute in the background at certain points. The clip is posted on AtomicGamer and FileFront. There's also a two-part Rise of the Argonauts team Q&A on RPG Vault, here's part one and here's part two.

Gold - Dark Horizon

Paradox Interactive announces the completion of development of Dark Horizon, saying Quazar Studios' space action/combat game is on track to make its scheduled release dates of September 23 in North America and September 26 in Europe (story). Word is: "Dark Horizon is a space combat adventure where the player fights for survival through 22 missions of space combat. The title is laced with RPG elements such as original weapon and equipment creation, several modes of combat and advanced ship customization." The game will be available in retail stores and for online purchase from GamersGate.

Spore - One Account Per Household

The EA Forums have a confirmation that only one account can be created in Spore per purchased copy, in spite of the game's manual saying otherwise, an issue first reported here last week (story). According to Violet from EA, the manual for the just-released life simulation has a misprint: "That section in the manual was a misprint and will be corrected in future printings of the manual. There is one Spore registration/account per game/serial code so you are correct in that you cannot make multiple accounts at this time." She does say she will raise this topic with the powers that be: "I have sent your guys' feedback to the game team though since I can understand the desire to share a game on a system that you entire family uses." Thanks Consumerist/Digg/Ant.

Activision Acquires FreeStyleGames

Activision acquires UK studio FreeStyleGames has word that Activision Publishing has acquired FreeStyleGames. This UK-based studio has most recently been working on localized content for Guitar Hero, so this may relate to Activision's stated recommitment to downloadable content for the series. According to president of Activision Publishing Mike Griffith: "An important part of our European growth strategy is to work with local developers and provide music content that resonates with the market."

New Evochron Renegades

The Evochron Renegades Website offers a new version of Evochron Renegades, the freeform space combat, trader and mercenary simulator. The new version 1.908 offers a number of improvements, most focused on multiplayer play. As always, the new version serves as patch for previous versions, a playable demo, or the full game, should you choose to buy a license key and unlock it.

StarCraft and Brood War Patches

Blizzard Support announces the availability of new patches for StarCraft and the Brood War expansion, updating the RTS game and its add-on to version 1.15.3. Both patches can be found on this Blizzard Support Page, and the StarCraft patch is mirrored on ActionTrip, FileFront, and The Patches Scrolls. The Brood War patch is mirrored on ActionTrip, FileFront, and The Patches Scrolls.

On GTA IV Sales and the EA Takeover

GTA IV Sales Slow, Complicating Take-Two/EA Merger is an analysis based on the new NPD game sales data (story) saying sales of Grand Theft Auto IV "have slowed considerably, which may complicate ongoing talks to buy the company." EA is in negotiations to takeover Take-Two (story), and the article suggests Take-Two's case for a higher share price may be weakening: "GTA IV, the company's flagship game, was the 46th best-selling game in August, according to new NPD rankings. That's down from 45th place in July. The slowing sales have also brought fresh concerns that at about 8.5 million sold to date, Take-Two's powerhouse GTA IV may have a tough time meeting sales expectations."

XIII Century: Death or Glory Patch

1C Publishing now offers a new 17 MB patch for XIII Century: Death or Glory to update the European edition of this real-time strategy game set in the middle ages to version 1.2. Word is: "The patch includes several improvements in gameplay and balance. The patch is universal for English, German, French, Spanish and Italian versions of the game." There is also a patch for the Russian edition of the game on The Patches Scrolls.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Interview

The Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Interview on 2404 talks with Tim O’Neil, Lead Gameplay Programmer on the upcoming web-slinging superhero game. The questions are fairly generic, asking about the setting, AI, the game engine, enemies, characters, and more.

New SourceForts for Half-Life 2

A new version 1.9.4 of the SourceForts modification for Half-Life 2 is now available as an updated full client or as a patch for the previous version of this tower defense--style project. The new version address bugs and exploits, and the client release is accompanied by an updated Linux dedicated server. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Op Ed

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Ant and Digg.

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