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Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010

StarCraft II Sales Estimates

VGChartz follows their preorder figures for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty with an estimate of the first-day sales of the real-time strategy sequel. They think the game sold as many as 1.8 million units, a pretty impressive figure, and all the more so considering it does not account for Asian territories. They say: "Breaking down the 1.8 million sales in the Americas and Europe, VGChartz estimates that around 31% or 570,000 units were sold digitally via Battle.net (obtained via a study of order numbers during the first day of sale) with the remainder coming from physical retail sales and 57% of total sales coming from the Americas with the remainder from Europe." Thanks joao. In other SC2 news, Big Download has word that chat rooms will be included in an upcoming patch, and Joystiq has word on the RTS sequel's inclusion of a Lost Viking arcade mini-game.

Bad Company 2 VIP Map Pack #5

The Battlefield Blog announces the availability of the fifth VIP map pack for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which is free for all owners of the PC edition, which does not use VIP codes. They have a trailer from the map pack, and the following description: "Fight for control of M-COM stations in White Pass Rush Mode. Capture and hold tactical positions as Nelson Bay is enhanced with Conquest Mode. The map pack is available with the VIP code which is included in every new copy of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Players that do not have a code can purchase one via the in-game store."

New Dragon Age DLC Next Month

The Dragon Age: Origins Website has word on new Golems of Amgarrak DLC for the RPG that BioWare plans to release on August 10, though they add this will not be available as a separate download for the Mac version. They offer a screenshot, and the following description. Continue here to read the full story.

L4D2 Toys, Patch, Plans

The Left 4 Dead Blog has details on a range of "strictly limited high end collectibles" from Left 4 Dead 2 coming from IP Factory, the first of which will be the Tank. They also give the lowdown on a new automatic patch with some balance and scoring changes they are planning for the zombie shooter sequel. Here's word on what to expect in the future: "The updates aren't over and you should expect to see some more shortly. As for the blog, besides the regular Friday update, next week we will be going into details on the Mutations, why Realism Versus was made permanent and other Mutations have not been. Plus what gets played more - Versus, Co-op, Survival, Single Player, or Scavenge?" Here is the change list from the new patch. Continue here to read the full story.

Exteel Ending in September

NCsoft announces that their microtransaction-supported shooter Exteel will draw to a close on September 1. They are no longer selling coins for the game, and encourage players to spend whatever coins they already own. They also say they will have a sale in late August where all the game's items will be available for a single credit, saying: "In late August, we will have an event where all items will be available for 1 credit only so that everyone has the chance to experience any weapon, mech, build, etc that they ever could have wanted. Your coins should be used before that time. Additionally, we will be rewarding our loyal players who purchased NCcoins for the time and money they have invested in Exteel. More information about the loyalty rewards will be available in late August." Thanks Gamer's Hell.

R.U.S.E. in NA September 7

Ubisoft announced R.U.S.E. is due in September back in April, and now in response to some "misinformation," they announce specific launch dates for the real-time strategy game via the Ubileaks twitter feed: "Since there is some misinformation, please RT ! #RUSE will release on September, 7th in US ; 9th in Europe territories and 10th in UK."

Star Trek Online Patch, Price Drop

The Star Trek Online Official Site announces the launch of Season Two: Ancient Enemies for the Trekkie MMORPG, along with a price cut for the game client. Word is: "Additionally, we want to take this time to announce Star Trek Online's new, low price. Starting right now, everyone can purchase the Star Trek Online client for $19.99. We’ve also got some great promotions set up with your favorite retailers, like Steam, GameStop, D2D and Stardock. It’s a terrific chance to introduce your friends to the game!"

Stargate Resistance Patched

A new automatic patch is available for Stargate: Resistance, announces Steam News. The update brings the third-person shooter to version 1.1.13.4 with the following changes. Continue here to read the full story.

Fallen Earth Patched

Steam News announces the release of a new automatic patch for Fallen Earth to update the post-apocalyptic MMORPG to version 1.6. The change list is fairly ginormous, showing a minor respec and a new extended tutorial among dozens of tweaks and changes.

QuakeCon Tourneys Announced

The Bethesda Blog announces a whole bunch of tournaments to be conducted at QuakeCon next month, saying there's a total of $50,000 up for grabs in both the Intel QUAKE LIVE Masters Championship and the QUAKE LIVE Capture the Flag Championship, and that there is also an Open Tournament giving "up to 128 amateurs a chance to compete for a respectable purse of $2500." Here's word on eligibility: "Players with professional gaming experience or extensive QUAKE LIVE experience can pre-register by going to www.quakecon.org/tournament between July 27th and August 8th or register on site at QuakeCon from 9:00am to noon CST on Thursday, August 12. Competitors qualified for the Intel QUAKE LIVE Masters Championship and The QUAKE Live Capture the Flag Championship will be selected and seeded by a committee of experts at the close of registration. Players selected for the Intel QUAKE LIVE Masters Championship are not eligible for the Open Tournament."

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Interview

A Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Interview on IncGamers talks with Hamish Young, producer on the upcoming continuation of the long-running racing series. The conversation is available as both a video and a transcript, and topics include what types of cars will be included, handling modeling, exotic cop cars, DLC, and more.

Into the Black

Din's Curse Patch

Another new beta patch is now available for Din's Curse, updating the action/RPG from Soldak Entertainment to version 1.004 to fix some issues with the previous beta patch. The patch is available on this page, and the patch notes can be found here.

Google Social Gaming?

WSJ.com reports that Google is in discussions with several online game developers about plans to launch a Facebook competitor, saying their source for this rumor is "people familiar with the matter." This dovetails with recent unconfirmed reports of a Google investment in Zynga, and the Journal discusses other possible partners, and various aspects of Google's operation that would assist in such an endeavor. Thanks Gamasutra.

StarCraft II Saved Game Problem

The Battle.net Forums have some posts from players of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty who are distressed to find that they have lost progress when playing the single-player campaign in the just-released real-time strategy sequel. There are reports of lost saved games, both local and cloud-based, as well as the failure to receive properly earned achievements. The common thread seems to be problems with being properly logged into Battle.net while playing, with the service not displaying any warnings. A Blizzard representative has posted questions and suggestions, but at this point exactly what's going wrong is not clear. Thanks IncGamers.

City of Heroes: Going Rogue Trailer

A new trailer called The Consequence of Power is the third installment in the "ViDoc" series promoting City of Heroes: Going Rogue, Paragon Studios' expansion for their superhero MMORPG. In this clip the developers discuss the storyline and the major characters in the add-on, character creation option, new powersets, and more.

EverQuest II Free Adventures

A producer's letter from Dave "Smokejumper" Georgeson on the EverQuest II Website outlines a new free service from EverQuest II, SOE's MMORPG sequel that will run on their new EQ2 Extended Servers. There's a Q&A with Dave on Ten Ton Hammer discussing this move, and here's a bit on what's involved:
But the free-to-play concept is a strong way to expose the world of Norrath to hordes of new players. Think of it as a huge new way to run a “free trial” like we’ve always done, but without the “14-day” limit, and with a lot more content available to try before you decide whether you want to commit to the game or not. We’ve had over eight years to grow this game, its content and its features, and there’s simply nothing else like it out there.

So, we’re about to launch a bold new service named “EverQuest II Extended” (EQ2X). This is a completely separate service from the standard EQII Live subscription service (EQII). For all intents and purposes, it’s a completely separate gameplay mechanic with the aim to attract new players to the world of “EverQuest II”.

“EverQuest II Extended” shares all the content and features of Live EQII. It plays the same. It looks the same. It *is* the same, with two obvious exceptions: a) it’s free-to-play, and b) it has a more robust marketplace.

LEGO Trading Card Game

The LEGO Group announces a collaboration with Dire Wolf Digital for a new trading card game to go along with LEGO Universe, the upcoming LEGO-based MMORPG. LEGO Universe is planned for launch on October 26, and the trading card game will follow sometime in 2011. "We’re obviously very excited about LEGO Universe, and adding a TCG provides additional content, as well as a brand new customizable play experience," said Mark William Hansen, Senior Director, LEGO Universe. "The Dire Wolf team are experts in this space, and their passion for excellence made them a natural choice for this project."

Playlogic Bankruptcy

Playlogic has filed for bankruptcy in the Netherlands, reports Gamasutra, saying the New York- and Amsterdam-based publisher has requested a delay of payments, which they say is the Dutch equivalent of Chapter 11. They also report that Playlogic is in the process of attempting to collect $2.4 million USD from Koch Media, and is also conversely at risk of legal action from partners over their own unpaid bills. They detail some loans from investors that are in default, in spite of an extension late last year. "If the Company does not obtain any necessary financing, we may need to cease operations," reads one of Playlogic's filings. "There is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Interview

The Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier interview on Games On Net is a video of a conversation with Stuart White, producer on the upcoming military shooter sequel. Topics include some of the futuristic gadgetry that will allow soldiers to become invisible and do in their opponents, and multiplayer support, including their hopes of being able to support drop-in/drop-out co-op play.

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