Archived News:

Monday, Nov 09, 2009

EA Cut "Over a Dozen" Games, MoH "Revitalization" Nears

Gamasutra reports on the post-earnings conference call following up on EA's finacial reporting, where EA CEO John Riccitiello said of the 1500 jobs lost, saying: "these cuts are essential to transforming our company." Big Download has another tidbit from the call, saying that as part of their cost cutting EA has cancelled "over a dozen" games. Finally,'s story on the call reports EA Games label head Frank Gibeau said a "revitalization" of the Medal of Honor franchise will be revealed soon.

Left 4 Dead Patched

Steam News has word that a new patch is automatically available for Left 4 Dead. The new version of Valve's co-op zombie shooter addresses a couple of bugs and adds team versus 4 on 4 competitive matchmaking.

Halo PC Patches

The Forums now offer new version 1.09 patches for Halo Combat Evolved and Halo Combat Evolved CE. This forum thread outlines the new patch, which will be added to the auto-updater if no problems crop up. Downloads of the patches are mirrored on The Patches Scrolls.

Tropico 3 Patched

Impulse and Steam News announces an automatic update is available for Tropico 3 to update the island dictator sequel to version 1.09. The new version fixes support for legacy ATI cards, tweak a couple of gameplay elements, and fixes the music volume reset issue.

Fort Zombie Patched

Impulse Driven announces a new update for Fort Zombie is available through Impulse to update Kerberos Productions' action/RPG to version 1.0.3. The announcement lists a number of additions, changes, and bug fixes.

Sacraboar Demo

A playable single-player demo is now available for Sacraboar, the capture-the-pig RTS game from Makivision Games. Word is: "Makivision Games invites all strategy players to test their skills and play against the extremely challenging AI named "God". The demo also contains a tutorial, a Test Center and easier AI levels to give players a chance to find into the game and practice." The demo is available from Impulse and it is mirrored on AtomicGamer.

PC MTG – Duels of the Planeswalkers Next Year

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers is coming to Windows and PS3 next year, reports IGN in a story about planned expansions for the video game variant of the card strategy game. Word is: "Also planned for the summer of 2010 is the release of the PC version of Duels of the Planeswalkers. The PC version will offer the same style of gameplay as the XBLA title, along with an extra bonus we can't tell you about quite yet."

Konami Financials

Konami Reports Sales, Profit Declines In Half-Year on Gamasutra has the quarterly financial report from the Japanese publisher/developer. If you have a yen for more, here it is: "The lower unit sales resulted in revenues of ¥113.91 billion ($1.27 billion) for the half, a 22.5 percent year-on-year decrease. Profits declined 81.3 percent to ¥2.23 billion ($24.77 million) for the period. Konami's home console software business led all other Konami businesses with ¥51.4 billion ($570.98 million) in sales."

On Sale

Evening Previews

  • Mass Effect 2 on
  • The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege Of Mirkwood on IncGamers.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Giant dominoes mark former path of Berlin Wall. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Borderlands Console DLC This Month, PC "Later"

2K Games and Gearbox announce plans for The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, the first DLC for Borderlands, though only console versions of the DLC for the role-playing shooter are being discussed right now. We contacted Gearbox about this and were told 2K's statement on this is: "we will have information on the PC version at a later time." Here's word on the console DLC:
2K Games and Gearbox are proud to announce that The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, the first in a series of downloadable content for Borderlands, will be available for download for Xbox 360 and PS3 starting November 24, 2009 for 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99). Thought you’ve seen it all? Well get ready to square off against ferocious brain-eating zombies, carnivorous Were-Skags and more as you continue your pursuit for all of that sweet, sweet loot.

EA Announces Record Gains, 1500 Job Cuts

EA Reports Record Q2 Non-GAAP Net Revenue of $1.15 Billion has word of Electronic Arts' fiscal second quarter results, which are in the red in spite of "record" non-GAAP net revenue for the quarter, saying: "GAAP net revenue for the quarter, which includes the impact of deferred net revenue adjustments, was $788 million as compared with $894 million for the prior year. During the quarter, EA had a net revenue deferral of $359 million related to certain online-enabled packaged goods and digital content as compared with $232 million in the second quarter of the prior year. Non-GAAP net revenue for the quarter was a record $1.147 billion, up 2 percent as compared with $1.126 billion for the prior year. Revenues were above street expectations. Sales were driven by the launches of FIFA 10, Madden NFL 10, The Beatles™: Rock Band®, Need for Speed™ SHIFT and NCAA Football 10. GAAP net loss for the quarter, including the impact of deferred net revenue, was $391 million as compared with a net loss of $310 million for the prior year. GAAP diluted loss per share was $1.21 as compared with GAAP diluted loss per share of $0.97 for the prior year." They also shed more light on the job cuts mentioned earlier under a heading "Cost Reduction Plan" Word is:
EA has announced a plan to narrow its product portfolio to provide greater focus on titles with higher margin opportunities.

This action will result in the closure of several facilities and a headcount reduction of approximately 1,500 positions, of which 1,300 are included in a restructuring plan. The majority of these actions will be completed by March 31, 2010. This plan will result in annual cost savings of at least $100 million and restructuring charges of $130 to $150 million.

No AvP In Germany?

German website PC Games Hardware has word from publisher SEGA that Aliens vs. Predator will not be released in Germany. They report receiving a press release saying Rebellion's upcoming shooter revival "might" not receive a rating in Germany, which would make it difficult to sell there and they say, "Sega does not offer any games in Germany that don't get a rating." Word is that SEGA does not intend to create an edited version because they are committed to the mature themes of the Alien and Predator brands.

EA Layoffs?

Rumors about that a rash of layoffs came down today at Electronic Arts, the report on Kotaku says they've heard the cuts impact "hundreds" of employees, including staff at EA's Tiburon and Black Box studios, EA Redwood Shores' QA team, and Mythic Entertainment, and according to separate report on this topic on Bite My Review Warhammer Online is going into "maintenance mode." Kotaku points to Tweets purportedly from former employees, one saying "HUGE chunks of EA" are involved, and another saying this hit about 40% of the staff at Mythic Entertainment. EA's quarterly financial reporting is imminent, so this presumably will be cleared up soon.

Electronic Arts Hooks Playfish

Electronic Arts has hooked casual social game developer Playfish for $274 million in cash as well as $100 million in contingency payments and $25 million in equity-based retention agreements with employees. Word in this report from The Associated Press is: "Playfish makes money by selling virtual items for its free games, which currently have 60 million monthly players. Its most popular game, "Pet Society," has 21 million monthly players. It lets people design and care for a virtual pet. Like with a flesh-and-blood version, owners have the option of buying an endless amount of stuff for their creatures."

StarCraft II Beta Delayed Until Next Year

StarCraft Legacy has an English recap of a Russian story on GoHa.Ru about the Russian games expo IgroMir, where Blizzard producer Chris Sigaty confirmed the StarCraft II beta test is pushed until 2010. During the summer Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said testing of the RTS sequel would commence this year, but these new reports don't include any reason for the delay. Thanks Eurogamer.

Two Worlds II Delay, Trailer

A new Two Worlds II teaser website is online for TopWare Interactive's upcoming RPG sequel. The site offers info, screenshots, and new in-game trailer that shows off some cut-scenes. The game was announced for release this winter, but this trailer concludes saying the game is due in spring 2010.

Modern Warfare 2 Tomorrow

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launches tomorrow, and Robert Bowling tweets about the game's broken street date, saying "if you bought a retail copy on PC, you can play it on 11.10.09," since the game needs to be activated on Steam. Meanwhile, has praise from retailers for Activation's handing of the game's launch. MCV has a roundup of where to get the best price on the military shooter sequel in the UK, including Sainsbury's where the game will be £26. And speaking of the UK, Computer and Video Games reports concerns over the game's civilian shooting scene will be raised in Parliament today. Finally, Reuters reposts their article listing lofty expectations for the title, saying: "Sales estimates range from 11 million-13 million units by end-2009."

Activision's Call of Duty Endowment

Activision Blizzard announces its Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), a foundation they are forming with a $1 million grant to support groups that assist veterans with their careers, reports In spite of recruitment ads promising the military leads to great careers, word is: "Other government and private studies show that the percentage of unemployed veterans has been historically higher than the percentage among civilians. Eighteen percent of veterans who left the military in the past one to three years were unemployed, according to a 2008 Department of Veterans Affairs employment survey." The foundation's first donation of $125,000 is to the Paralyzed Veterans of America to help open a vocational rehabilitation center. "The joblessness rate that [veterans] should have should be far less than the national average, not more," says Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick. "How do you expect people to actually join the military if when they leave the military they can't integrate back into the free market they're supposed to be protecting?"

Morning Previews

  • The Saboteur on GameSpot.
  • Star Trek Online on Massively. "Episode Missions" detailed.

Morning Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Stop me if you heard this one before, but I have some dental work today. Okay, you all stopped me. Anyway, I need to have a pair of crowns replaced, it shouldn't be too painful, but it may be time consuming. Hopefully it won't completely disrupt my day.

Crowned Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Galactic Colonization.
Links: BioWare RPG Cliche Chart.
Really Dumb Warning Labels.
Science: Doomed Dome- The Future That Never Was.
Two-year-old Tianna McHugh risks death if she cries.
Images: 8-Bit Wedding Invitation.
Media: GTA IV- Liberty Suburbs. NSFW Thanks Devicr.
Cheatin' in style: computerized bowling ball.
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