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Monday, Aug 30, 2010


Analyst: Mafia II "Unlikely to Achieve Profitability"

IndustryGamers quotes quote-worthy industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, who reflects on the sales of Mafia II, saying he does not believe the open-world crime sequel will ultimately turn a profit. He says: "Mafia II’s average Metacritic score of 74 is well below expectations, and consumer interest appears to be waning, as the game’s position has dropped in many best-seller lists in its first week. With six years in development, we believe the game is unlikely to achieve profitability."

World of Warcraft Dropping support for PPC Macs

IncGamers has some info they say is from the Blizzard forums, indicating that Blizzard is planning to drop support for PowerPC-powered Macs in World of Warcraft sometime before the release of the upcoming Cataclysm (thanks Ant). Here's word:

A little forewarning to those of you that play World of Warcraft on these systems;

Shortly before the release of Cataclysm, a patch will be released in which PowerPC processor based Macs will no longer be supported.

This update indicates the removal of PowerPC support from World of Warcraft.

Attempting to run the game after the update will bring up a message stating the hardware is no longer supported, and the game will not run.

The Witcher 2 Interview

Working In 'A Dying Genre On A Dying Platform' on Gamasutra is the eye-grabbing title of an interview with Tomasz Gop, senior producer on The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings, CD Projekt Red's upcoming RPG sequel. They discuss how work on the sequel began immediately after the completion of the first game, the surprising success of the original The Witcher, their goals for the sequel, their redesigned combat system, the game's engine and tools, inspirations, the game's writing, and more. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Battlezone II Patch

Pandemic's action/strategy hybrid Battlezone II continues to receive strong support from its original programmers, as the website of Nathan Mates has a new patch that Nathan and Ken Miller have created to update the game to version 1.3 beta 6. The major change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

New Steam Client

Steam News has word on a new version of the Steam client that's now automatically available. Here's the change list. Continue here to read the full story.

Counter-Strike: Source Patched

Stream News announces the availability of a new automatic patch to update Counter-Strike: Source, which apparently applies to the non-beta version of the teamplay shooter. The list of major changes follows. Continue here to read the full story.

New BF2142 First Strike

The First Strike Website now offers a new version 1.5 of this Battlefield 2142 modification. Word is: "Today we release the First Strike 1.5 Client Files a little earlier than expected as a gift to all those who have supported us over the years, and to give you all plenty of time to get this large file downloaded and up and running, so that when the official release date of the 28th does arrive you'll all be raring to go, and will have nothing to do all day but enjoy First Strike 1.5." Thanks Ant via Planet Battlefield.

New Chocolate Doom

SourceForge now offers a new version 1.40 of Chocolate Doom, the port of the DOOM source code that looks to emulate vanilla DOS DOOM as closely as possible. Thanks LinuxGames, where they also note a new version 0.5.0 of ODAMEX, a "required update" to another DOOM port. Thanks Ant.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Thanks Ant.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Klingon Opera Ramps Up for Earth-Bound Premiere. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Borderlands: GOTY Edition in October

2K Games announces plans for a Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition for release on October 12, which will offer Gearbox's role-playing shooter along with tokens to download all its DLC; The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, and The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and the recently announced Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution. The bundle will also include a comprehensive map of the Borderlands territories, prompting them to call this the "definitive collection" of the game. Word is: "This new addition to the critically acclaimed Borderlands experience will provide fans with the ultimate outlet to lock, load and face the madness. More than 17 million unique weapons and loot empower gamers to blissfully blast their way through all of Pandora’s inhospitable environments and leave behind a bloody wasteland of indigenous monsters, zombies, Claptraps and evil corporate mercenaries. Level up with the Borderlands experience seamlessly by playing alone or with friends through extensive split-screen or online co-op integration for the most ultimate Role-Playing Shooter fun ever created." The PC GOTY edition will be $49.99 USD, while the console versions will be $10.00 more.

The Sims 4 Domain

EA has registered a domain for The Sims 4, at, providing the not-at-all-surprising news that a fourth game in the lifestyle simulation is a possibility. The domain was registered on June 28. Thanks Systemlink via VG247.

Team 17 Goes Digital-Only

Team 17 announces they've broken all ties with traditional publishers, reports MCV, saying the developer of the Worms series will rely solely on digital distribution to distribute their games in the future. They are also making changes to serve as the digital publisher for other companies, as well, as word is: "Team 17 has recently restructured its management team to handle the new shift in focus. Thanks to a series of new recruits and internal promotions, the former development studio feels it has the experience required to operate as an independent digital publisher."

AMD Dropping the ATI Brand Name

Since chip manufacturer AMD purchased graphics card company ATI in the summer of 2006 there have been erratic experiments in rebranding, but now AMD has fully committed to this, and are dropping the ATI moniker entirely. Going forward will sell their graphics cards under the AMD brand as AMD RADEON and AMD FirePro, as outlined on The Tech Report, while they say AMD will also offer products labeled simply RADEON and FirePro for lack of confusion in Intel systems. Other branding changes include ATI EyeFinity becoming AMD EyeFinity, and the dropping of the Fusion label altogether, and Fusion products will now be part of the Vision brand. They indicate that this rebranding paves the way for the release of AMD's upcoming line of integrated CPUs and GPUs. Current products are not being renamed, and the first AMD-branded GPUs will arrive later this year. They have some slides from AMD reflecting the market research leading up to this decision, though viewing such materials has been known to make one's soul dissolve.

Valve Courting Minecraft Developer?

Markus Persson tweets about where he is headed today on a business trip, indicating Valve may be expanding its already expressed interest in Minecraft by courting the developer of this sandbox adventure. He says simply: "Yes, it's Valve ;)." Thanks Big Download.

Inexpensive EyeFinity DVI Adapters

More news about ATI AMD graphics is on PC Perspective, where they report on the availability of new inexpensive adapters to allow EyeFinity three-monitor support using DVI monitors, as this previously required DisplayPort-capable monitors, which are not very prevalent. They say such adapters are on sale today from several vendors, and they should be priced in the $30.00 range. These support monitors with up to 1920x1200 resolution, so owners of 30" monitors will need to opt for the more expensive adapters, which are not easy to find, and run over $100.00.

Combat Arms YouTube Integration

The Combat Arms Website has word on YouTube integration that will allow users to easily share videos from playing the game. Word is: "Do you ever wish you could show everyone your shining moments in battle? That final kill? That super sneaky attack? Now you can document your success on the field for future generations (and your fellow soldiers) with just the press of a button! Combat Arms brings you its newest features, In-game Video Recording and direct YouTube Uploading! Read on to find out how you can become the next YouTube hero... "

Dark Age Wars Interview

The Dark Age Wars interview on Armchair General talks with Robert Moran about Dark Age Wars, a free-to-play browser-based game offering strategic gameplay they say is similar to Europa Universalis. They discuss the game, its emphasis on quality graphics, and balance issues in a microtransaction-supported game, of which Robert says: "Well, the game is free to play, and we are a company. Any corporation and/or business organization must make capital to prosper and thrive. We want every player to be competitive and to have a great experience with the game. So the trick is that we tried to make the premiums not overpowering but beneficial enough so that they give players an incentive to buy some gold to speed up build times or buy bonuses and what have you … I mean we’ve got to make our money back some way, right?"

Game Music Interview

The Penka Kouneva interview on Video Game Music talks with this composer and orchestrator of music for movies and video games about her work, focusing in particular on the video game side of things. Her work includes compositions and orchestration for games such as Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, World of Warcraft, The Sims 3, and StarCraft II. Topics include her background, advantages and disadvantages to being a woman in this industry, her gaming experience, working on StarCraft II, differences between working on games and movies, and more.

Op Ed

GameZone - Do Today’s Games Require DLC?
Offering an extension of gameplay elements beyond the disc and not charging an arm and a leg for it is definitely a great thing. However, a problem comes when these same features are included on disc, requiring the player to purchase what essentially amounts to a code to unlock content that they technically already have. Large-scale titles like BioShock 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 shipped with content already on the disc, but only those who paid separately for the DLC could access it. This obviously rubbed a lot of gamers the wrong way, who believed that since they were paying for the disc, they should have access to all that it contains.

Elite Bastards - The death of an old friend: ATI.
Now the Intel/FTC settlement changes that, Intel should no longer be able to pressure OEMs to not use AMD parts. (In theory, and probably in fact too since the FTC is sort of watching Intel like a hawk right now. ) The timing for this change couldn't be better from AMD's perspective, and the reasons for the change are sort of compelling. (Unless you're all hung up on the ATI name out of sentiment like me, in which case it still sort of sucks.)

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ARCTIC K381 Multimedia Keyboard on Vortez Hardware.
  • Arctic Sound P311 Bluetooth Headset on Hardware Bistro.
  • ASUS EAH5870 V2 STALKER Edition Graphics Card on [H]ard-OCP.
  • ATI Eyefinity Active DisplayPort Adapter on Neoseeker.
  • AXLE GeForce GTX 460 1 GB (Ace Edition) Graphics Card on techPowerUp.
  • Cooler Master USNA 95 Notebook Charger on InsideHW.
  • Corsair H70 Water Cooling on Overclockers Club.
  • Crucial Ballistix MOD Temperature-sensing DDR3 RAM on XtremeComputing.
  • Genius MaxFire Pandora-Pro USB Mini Gamepad on Benchmark Reviews.
  • GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard on
  • In Win Dragon Slayer MicroATX Mini Tower PC Case on Legit Reviews.
  • Nexus FLC-3000 R2 vs. CoolIT ECO A.L.C. Coolers on RBMODS.
  • NVIDIA GTX 460 Graphics Card on Technic3D.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 SLI vs. Radeon HD 5970 Graphics Cards on X-bit labs.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Camera on Futurelooks.
  • PowerColor Power Jack on PureOC.
  • Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler on Overclock3D.
  • Samsung EX1 10-Megapixel Digital Camera on
  • Scythe Ninja 3 CPU Cooler on X-bit labs.
  • Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk External Hard Drive on EverythingUSB.
  • SilenX iXtrema EFFIZIO EFZ-120HA4 Extreme Silent CPU Cooler on TweakTown.
  • Thermalright Silver Arrow vs. Noctua NH-D14 Cooler on X-bit labs.
  • Vantec Nexstar CX SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure on Tweaknews.


Out of the Blue

The Emmy Winners were announced last night, rewarding our favorite new comedy, Modern Family, with best comedy series. Two dramas we keep meaning to catch up with were also honored, Mad Men and Breaking Bad; we first saw each after they were underway, and decided to catch up from the beginning. We actually have a couple of seasons of Mad Men on DVD, and are greatly looking forward to watching, though we better get on it soon, as I think each show is already in its fourth season, so we already have quite the backlog built up.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Smiley Showdown.
Ink Ball.
Air Transporter.
Link: Big Dreams, Slim Odds: The Lottery Economy.
Stories: Vikings Raid LA Restaurants, IKEAs. Thanks Neatorama.
Warners Plans 3D "Battle Of Midway".
Science: Ogling women a natural reflex. Thanks Neatorama.
Images: LEGO Ghostbusters Scene.
The Best Family Portrait Ever.
Media: The Naked Gun/Police Squad meets Mafia 2.
Fail Compilation.
Back to the Future Coffee Shop.

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