Archived News:

Monday, Sep 20, 2010

APOX Trailer

The APOX Website now offers a concept trailer from APOX, showing preproduction concepts from BlueGiant Interactive's just-announced apocalyptic real-time strategy game. The trailer is accompanied by some screenshots from APOX's air base map, which BlueGiant says is one of the 100 maps to be included with the game, and they are also now accepting sign-ups for the game's beta test. "At the start of the project, we created a concept video intended to help us set goals for look and feel of the final game. Although our game design evolved since this video, the video was invaluable in making sure everyone was on the same page in terms of art style. It set concrete goals for the graphics programmers as to the level of quality we wanted from our rendering engine. I think we'll start all our new projects with a concept video like this," says Prashant Suyal, APOX's Lead Artist.

Frogster Ousters (registration required) has word of senior management cuts at German MMO specialists Frogster Interactive, which is currently facing a takeover bid from Gameforge. Word is the axed employees are Lars Koschin, previously CEO of Frogster America and previously an employee of Gameforge, Ralf Kloppel, who had been acting as CFO for Frogster Online Gaming, as well as board member Bjorn Koschin. A spokesperson refused to comment further.

Strange Quote of the Day

Talking Kinect With Kudo on includes a wacky quote, as pointed out by Computer and Video Games, as Kinect creator Kudo Tsunoda says: "hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore." Here's more of the quote:
Halo did an awesome job of building a first-person shooter exclusively for the console, and now hardly anyone plays first person shooters on the PC anymore. It’s all about the console. And I feel it is the same with Kinect stuff. If you are constantly trying to take something that is made for a controller and port it over to Kinect, it’s not going to be a good experience because it is made for a controller. If you take the time to build it for Kinect from the ground up, however, you can make something that is a very new experience, but lots of times even more fun than it was before.

Dragon Age Witch Hunt Patch

The BioWare Social Network has a new patch for the Witch Hunt DLC for Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare's role-playing game (thanks Big Download). Here are the patch notes:

  • When importing from a post-game save, your conversation with Morrigan in the Witch Hunt module will properly reflect the choices you made in Dragon Age Origin's "Dark Ritual" plot.
  • The game will automatically save after Witch Hunt's final cutscene.

Patrician IV Patch

A new patch for Patrician IV is now available to update the historical trading sim sequel to version 1.1.3. The update should be available from the distributor where you bought the game, including the automatic update on Steam, where they have the full patch notes, which follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Source Engine Patched

Steam News has word of a new automatic update for Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source and Day of Defeat: Source. The new version has three techie changes and fixes, which follow. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Between now and the end of September, receive a $5.00 discount from Direct2Drive on all purchases over $15.00 by using the code "PAX" at checkout.

Evening Previews

  • Ten Things You Should Know About BioShock Infinite: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Syfy plans most awesome day of programming ever. Thanks Kenn.

Digital PC Games Sales Pass Boxed Sales

The NPD Group announces their research suggests digital distribution of PC games has surpassed sales of boxed retail games over the first half of this year, saying 11.2 million full games were sold via digital distribution, compared with 8.2 million sales of physical boxed copies, though they also point out that boxed sales still generated more than 10% greater revenue than digital distribution, thanks to higher per-unit costs. This is tempered by bad news about overall PC game sales: "Combined sales of both digital and physical PC Games for the first half of this year were down 21 percent, and unit sales were down 14 percent compared to the same time period last year." Just two months ago NPD suggested digital sales were on the verge of eclipsing retail sales, and offered a list of the top five digital distributers, which was refuted by some of the parties involved, but this has not deterred them from presenting almost the same data once again.

Top 5 Frontline Digital Retailers Jan.-June 2010 (based on unit % share)


Top 5 Casual Digital Retailers – Jan.-June 2010 (based on unit % share)


ArcaniA – Gothic 4 DRM Details

JoWooD Entertainment, the BVT Group, and DreamCatcher Interactive team up to announce details on how digital rights management will be handled in ArcaniA – Gothic 4, saying the upcoming role-playing sequel will use SecuROM. Here's the explanation of how this will be implemented:
ArcaniA – Gothic 4 can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs and only needs to be activated once via the Internet. To play, which can be done at up to three PCs at a time, neither the original disc nor a constant internet connection is needed. The possibility of an uncomplicated transfer of license between the used PC offers a maximum of flexibility to the customer.

“The implemented digital services will be perfected by a user-friendly Auto Update Feature that informs the gamer pro-actively – without an annoying search – about the availability of a new Update and installs with the permission of the gamer right away” says Sascha Geschwendtner, Product Manager Games Services Sony DADC. “In addition other innovative solutions to increase the usability and the comfort of the game were implemented one of them being the verification of the release date. This feature allows the user to install the game in advance and to start it directly on the release date and therefore helps to avoid unnecessary waiting time to access the game-world.” Statement Expected Wednesday has an additional update following yesterday's shutdown to the home of good old games. They add a little to our minimal understanding of the current state of the service, say they expect to make everyone's games available again on Thursday, and state they plan on making a more informative statement about what's happening on Wednesday. Here's word:
First of all, we apologize everyone for the whole situation and closing We do understand the timing for taking down the site caused confusion and many users didn't manage to download all their games. Unfortunately we had to close the service due to business and technical reasons.

At the same time we guarantee that every user who bought any game on will be able to download all their games with bonus materials, DRM-free and as many times as they need starting this Thursday.

The official statement from's management concerning the ongoing events is planned on Wednesday. If you want to receive further information about, please send an email to if you're a media representative or to if you're a user without a GOG account.

Kotick on Bungie & Indies

Computer and Video Games quotes Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who has made another of his head-scratching statements about the game industry. Presumably chuffed over Activision's ten-year deal with Bungie, Mr. Kotick calls Bungie "probably the last remaining high quality independent developer." CVG provides a brief list of the indies that one would deduce he does not think are high-quality: "Valve, Epic, Ninja Theory, Level-5, Insomniac, Foundation 9, Gearbox, Sucker Punch, Rebellion, and Terminal Reality." He also suggests that Activision alone has the publishing chops to match up with Bungie, saying of their publisher hunt: "But as they started to go and look at the obvious candidates, they realised that no company other than Activision had the skills that they needed to be successful for the vision of that product." Thanks joao.

F2P Battlefield Assault?

Planet Battlefield notes six new domains registered by DICE in August suggesting they are planning another free-to-play Battlefield shooter, possibly named Battlefield Assault. The new domains are:,,,,, and Thanks Ant via Planet Battlefield.

Open Outcast Techdemo

The Open Outcast Website now offer Oasis version 1.1, a techdemo for Open Outcast, an upcoming freeware remake of Outcast, the action/adventure released by Appeal back at the tail-end of the 20th Century. Though the project has "open" in the title, it is not actually open-source, but rather uses the Crysis Wars engine, and in addition to download mirrors, Mod DB also has instructions on how to run this mod using the Crysis Wars Trial. Thanks PCPointer, where they have screenshots from the game.

NA Server Access for SEA/AU.NZ StarCraft II Players

GamePron has word that the version 1.1.0 StarCraft II patch that's expected tomorrow will include a region selector to allow those playing Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel in the region covering Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand to select North American servers. Last we recall it was suggested that multiple copies of the game might be required to play in multiple regions, but they say that the ability to switch regions was promised within 60 days of the game's release, and that this will beat that "deadline" by 48 hours.

Battlefield 2142 Patch Beta

The Electronic Arts Forums have word that the version 1.51 patch for Battlefield 2142 was in public beta testing over the weekend, a full 21 months after plans for the new version were first announced. Bugs and issues are reported in this thread, and word is this may lead to a full release: "The purpose of this Beta is to test server stability and let you see the new content. If the servers hold up to the stress test this version will become the release version that everyone will have." Thanks Ant via Planet Battlefield.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Well the Giants game didn't turn out as hoped, though maybe that this was expected, as Big Blue has had lots of horrible games on the national stage over the years. Boardwalk Empire, on the other hand, was marvelous, and we're completely hooked for future episodes. Highly recommended.

Recommended Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Flightless Dragons.
Links: 10 Things That Outlived APB.
If Tattoos Actually Told the Truth.
Stories: Lion and meerkat friendship echoes The Lion King.
Obama Administration To Require Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Plugged In Gulf.
Science: Melting Glaciers Expose Artifacts Faster Than Archaeologists Can Collect Them.
Ancient seeds in Mexico help fight warming effects.
Tyrannosaurs Were Human-size for 80 Million Years.
Images: Epic Spartan Costume.
Media: Minecraft FIREE WTFFFFFFF. Thanks Morris & LittleMe.
How to feed 100 dogs at once.
High Five FAIL.
The Funnies: So That’s How…
Follow-up: Ozone Hole Has Stopped Growing, Should Be Restored By Mid Century.
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