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Monday, Feb 15, 2010


Love Next Month

A tweet from yesterday by Eskil Steenberg announces a release date for Love, the unusual upcoming procedurally generated MMOG. Word is: "Love has a release date: 25th of March." The release would come sooner, but as the Supremes once sang, you can't hurry Love.

Ships Ahoy - Stargate Resistance

As noted on the Stargate Resistance Website, Stargate Resistance has launched, offering a third-person shooter set in the Stargate universe. The game is available on Direct2Drive (where they are also selling an "exclusive" Stargate Resistance - Advanced Combat Pack) and Steam. Here's a bit from the game's official description: "Stargate Resistance is a fast-paced and deadly 3rd person shooter for control of the entire galaxy! The arrogant System Lords believe they are the true masters of the universe, and have begun a savage campaign to dominate and enslave the known worlds. Stargate Command operatives are the first line of defense against this menace. Small teams of brave agents use the Stargate to travel about the galaxy and parry the thrust of these alien overlords. Whichever side you choose, each battle will be one of wits, skill, and reflexes that can decide the fate of the entire galaxy!"

Ubisoft's 12-18 Month Franchise Strategy (registration required) excerpts their interview with Ubisoft's Alain Corre to explain the French publisher's strategy of releasing new titles for their IPs every 12 to 18 months, citing Activision's success with nearly annual installments in the Call of Duty franchise as their inspiration: ""The Call of Duty example is the best around - they've been able over the past five years to iterate every year with growing success each time. They never compromise on quality, which is exactly what we're trying to do with our brands now." The article also highlights the perils of such an approach, pointing out that timing the Avatar game's release with its movie tie-in was one of the reasons the game was so meh, and that Splinter Cell: Conviction has now been in development for over three years.

Torment Revealed

FluidPlay Studios is a new developer launched by gaming website GameReplays, revealing plans for a game called Torment. There are some details about the game to be found in GameReplays' interview with Torment's Game Director, where word is: "'Torment' is a semi-casual, Greek-mythology themed third person shooter. The game will employ most of the formulas that I've proposed for the FluidPlay lineup of games more than a year ago." The interview goes on to explain a development philosophy centered on the idea of reusing art assets and concentrating on gameplay development. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Kung Foo! Beta Rebooting

Perfect World Entertainment announces plans to "reboot" Kung Foo!, the online martial arts game currently in closed beta testing that is based on Chinese MMOG Legend of Martial Arts. The beta will shut down tomorrow and will relaunch later this year with the inclusion of a new expansion with additional content and optimized localization. "We want to thank all of our Kung Foo! closed beta testers for their great feedback about the game," said Craig Beers, Product Manager for Kung Foo! "The closed beta reboot for Kung Foo! means that we will be able to implement players’ feedback so that we can provide players with the best experience possible. When Foo! returns later this year it will be bigger and badder than ever!"

Garry's Mod Patched

Steam News announces the release of a new automatic update for Garry's Mod, the Source engine sandbox program. The new version fixes a helicopter crash and an antlion guard crash and tweaks spawnicon loading.

Atari Financials

Edge Online has news on Atari's financial reporting for their third fiscal 2010 quarter, reporting "stable" revenue, with CEO Jeff Lapin saying: "In early February, Atari launched Star Trek Online, supported by a strong marketing plan. This is a promising MMO game, and I am very enthusiastic about the launch." Here's word from the financials: "US revenues grew by 22 per cent but this was offset by the lower revenue in Europe, which declined 52.5 per cent to €13.8 million due to “lower sales and fewer releases. Third quarter revenues for fiscal year 2009/2010 declined by 38.7 percent €24.0 million, vs. €39.1 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2008/2009. The publisher says the decline was due to a lower number, but more profitable games released during the 2009 holiday season as compared to the same period last year."

Gatherings & Competitions

On Sale

  • Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures on Steam. Save 50%.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
      Continue here to read the full story.

Impulse Top 10

Impulse announces the top 10 bestselling games on Stardock's digital distribution service for the week of February 7-13:

  1. Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy
  2. Sins of a Solar Empire - Trinity
  3. Demigod
  4. Sins of a Solar Empire Expansion Bundle
  5. Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment
  6. THQ Ultimate Bundle
  7. GalCiv II - Ultimate Edition
  8. Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition
  9. Sword of the Stars Ultimate Collection
  10. Star Trek Online

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Life, Love, And Four Paws. Thanks Ant via Digg.

Aliens vs Predator Species Deathmatch Trailer

A new trailer from Aliens vs Predator offers a look at Species Deathmatch in Rebellion's upcoming first-person shooter remake, showing several scenes of combat from this genocidal multiplayer game-type. The clip we uploaded to the YouTube originally had sound, but is silent after being YouTubed, a problem that persists even after uploading an alternate version of the same clip. The now silent movie is embedded below (we are resisting the urge to add a Yakety Sax soundtrack). Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Pre-purchase Bonuses

Steam News announces NecroVisioN: Lost Company is now available for pre-purchase through Steam, and those who commit in advance to the World War I first-person shooter sequel will get a free copy of NecroVisioN, the game's predecessor. They also announce pre-purchases of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising are underway, and those who take advantage of this will receive immediate access to a free copy of Saints Row 2.

Windows Phone 7 Xbox LIVE Integration

Microsoft today unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series, a new mobile OS to be available by the end of this year. A feature of the new OS is integration with Xbox LIVE, something we saw hints of late last year. BusinessWeek has a write-up on the new OS, and Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson outlines the Xbox LIVE integration:

Specifically, the Windows Phone 7 Games hub will allow you to:

    • Collect Achievements and build your Gamerscore
    • View Xbox LIVE leaderboards
    • See your Xbox LIVE Avatar
    • Access Spotlight feeds, including the latest tips and tricks, game news, updates and more
    • Add Xbox LIVE friends to your friends list while out on the go
    • Turn-based (asynchronous) multiplayer gaming

Mac Tales of Monkey Island Demo

A playable demo for the newly released Mac edition of Tales of Monkey Island is now available, allowing a sample of the Mac edition of the episodic adventure series. The demo is a portion of Episode One: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal, and this 236 MB download can be found on AtomicGamer and FileFront.

Star Trek Online Ship Access Plans

Cryptic Studios wants to open up the ships in Star Trek Online to player exploration, executive producer Craig Zinkievich explains to IncGamers, as most areas of the starships in the Trekkie MMORPG are not accessible to the players. "Anything we can do to make the game feel even more like Star Trek is something we want to do. So, definitely, we want to give people more of their ship," Zinkievich tells them. "This is one of those things we want to get perfect before introducing it to players, though. It’s going to be an undertaking."

SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny in April

JoWooD announces an April release date for SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny, the next game in the SpellForce series. The standalone add-on was previously planned for a Winter 2009 release (in an announcement we missed at the time), and word at the time was this game "combines real time strategy with exciting role-play elements," while the emphasis is reversed in a new description that calls it a "Fantasy RPG mixed with RTS Strategy." Word is: "Designed as a standalone extension to 'SpellForce 2', the game will pick up on the predecessor’s widely praised story set in the well-known SpellForce fantasy universe. A multitude of new features, among them new units, buildings, spells and missions have been added in order to meet the high expectations towards a SpellForce add-on. The add-on’s story revolves around a mysterious force threatening the SpellForce world Eo. Playing as a powerful hero, you will help the Shaikan forge an alliance with others in order to oppose the rising threat and end the danger that threatens entire world!"

Chris Taylor's Kings and Castles Announced

Gas Powered Games announces Chris Taylor's Kings and Castles, an epic real-time strategy game for PC and consoles that "will let players take on the role of one of three powerful kings who are vying for control of an all-new, original fantasy world." They say the game will use RTS technology that Gas Powered Games has pioneered with previous titles, and will offer the ability to zoom to any level, incredible maps, and "eye-popping visuals that will run on a wide range of systems." The Kings and Castles Website is online, offering a video blog about the game, as they say "GPG will give its fans a (mostly) unfiltered look inside the development process of Kings and Castles."


A new version 3.1.1 of FRAPS is now available, offering an update to this video capture and benchmark utility. This follows pretty quickly on the release of version 3.1, which is described like this: "Fraps 3.1 gives you the option to capture video with or without a locked framerate. If you have a fast machine you can now play your games at a higher speed than the target movie framerate." Thanks Ant.

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits


Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today is Presidents Day here in the US. At least I thought so, but actually it isn't, as according to the Wikipedia the Federal holiday is still actually officially named Washington's Birthday, and is still officially called that in many states. Almost 40 years ago the "Uniform Monday Holiday Act" moved celebration of the occasion to the third Monday of February, which means it annually falls between the 15th and the 21st. That's all well and good, except George Washington's actual birthday is the 22nd, a date upon which the holiday cannot actually fall. Only in America.

R.I.P.: The Knack lead singer Doug Fieger dies aged 57. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Ski Maniacs.
Link: 7 Disney Films As Episodes Of ‘Maury’. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Technology 'firsts' that made a president's day.
Science: Where’s Your Flying Car (and Your Jetpack)?
Media: Logorama. Thanks Neatorama.
MAJA: UUDDLRL. Game rap.
Runner II.
Follow-up: E. coli fears spark massive meat recall. Thanks Acleacius.

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