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Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011


CCP Layoffs

Layoffs have hit CCP, as the Icelandic developer is cutting more than 100 positions, which represents twenty percent of its staff, reports Develop, saying most of the cuts will be at CCP's Atlanta office. "As we re-examine our outward relations, we are also taking time to re-evaluate our internal goals. In doing so, we have come to the conclusion that we are attempting too many things for a company our size," says the developer. "Rather than allowing this to persist, we have made the decision to sharpen our focus. Sadly, this means reducing our staff." Word is they are refocusing on EVE Online, and that development of their World of Darkness MMORPG continues with "a significantly reduced team."

New AMD/ATI Catalyst Preview Drivers

AMD now offers new Catalyst 11.10 Version 3 preview drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards. Among other things, the new drivers feature several RAGE improvements. This tweet says this is nearly the same as the upcoming release driver: "Cat 11.10 official release will happen Oct 31 - but Catalyst 11.10 V3 is pretty much the identical driver, so use with BF3 (plus new CAP)." Thanks Bill.

New Miner Wars 2081 Test Build

The Miner Wars Website has details on a new test build of Miner Wars 2081 now available for preorder customers of the sci-fi strategy game. Word is: "A brand new release is available for our customers for download. It will first be released as a Test Build and once all the features are tested, we will release our Public Build together with a new public demo version. Since we gave all of our customers access to the Test Build (see below for details), everyone who bought Miner Wars 2081 can try the new release today."

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Batman Arkham Asylum and LEGO Batman Package on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes on Steam. Save 50%.

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Deep Black Publishing Dispute

We recently received an announcement from Strategy First and Just a Game about distribution plans for Deep Black, the upcoming first-person shooter. We then received a complaint from Biart refuting Just a Game's rights for such a deal, as outlined here. We contacted Strategy First for their side of this story, which says they have obtained a court order restraining Biart in this case. Here's word:

Just A Game GmbH (“JAG”) announces that it has taken legal action sanctioned by the order of the Regional Court of Berlin against Biart Studio LLC (“Biart”). JAG has obtained a restraining order against Biart and with this legal procedure the German based publisher counters the recent assertion made by the Managing Director of Biart, Mr.Konstantin Popov regarding the publishing rights of ‘Deep Black’ (PC).

The Regional Court of Berlin acknowledges that the statements made by the developer against JAG and their strategic partners are damaging to the company’s business and reputation.

Along with the disparaging public remarks, the developer, Biart are in breach of their contractual obligations to JAG. The injunction made and sanctioned by the Regional Court prohibits Biart and its Managing Director Mr. Konstantin Popov from publicly disparaging JAG and their strategic partners, and from publicly denying the publishing rights of “Deep Black” (PC). Failure to comply will result in substantial fines, up to a detention order.

Continue here to read the full story.

BF3 Norwegian Review Shenanigans Allegations Follow-up

We received a note from one of the publications mentioned in last night's story about possible attempts by EA to influence the review scores of Battlefield 3 in Norway. Gamereactor writes to explain: "We would like to have our name removed from the article, we have received a preview code and have not had any problems with EA. We have had nothing to do with the 'shenanigans'. it seems to be a matter between EA Norway and a major newspaper, why dedicated gaming media are mentioned also must be a misunderstanding." The contact was from their Danish arm, but they operate as one entity, and say none of their Norwegian colleagues can understand why they were mentioned in this article.

Jagged Alliance Online Beta Signups

Gamigo announces they are now accepting signups for open beta testing of Jagged Alliance Online, Cliffhanger Productions' upcoming browser-based, online installment in the turn-based strategy series. Testing should begin soon, as they say it's planned for Q4 this year, which is already underway. Here are some screenshots, and here's word: "Hamburg, October 19, 2011 – gamigo's online reincarnation of the classic turn-based strategy game Jagged Alliance will begin closed beta testing during the final quarter of 2011. Impatient strategists can already sign up for closed beta testing now. The developers from Cliffhanger Productions will also provide answers for the community in the official forum."

Toki Tori 2 Announced

Dutch game developer Two Tribes announces the development of Toki Tori 2, saying the PC is one of the target platforms for the sequel to the original Toki Tori, released a decade ago got the Gameboy Color. The Two Tribes Website offers a development update #1 along with this word on how you can participate in the game's development by getting your hands on an early version through Steam to help put the game through its paces. Here's word:

Toki Tori 2 will see Two Tribes' poultry mascot character return in a completely new adventure, developed from the ground up for today's players and technology. The initial release will be through Steam for PC and Mac in the spring of 2012. Continuing the tradition of Two Tribes to support multiple platforms, subsequent releases on downloadable stores from Apple, Nintendo and more are planned.

'Normally we don't include quotes in our press releases', said Martijn Reuvers, managing director at Two Tribes. 'But for the announcement of the sequel to our most treasured game we'll gladly make an exception!'

New Portal 2 Editor Plans

Geoff Keighley tweets about a new chapter to his Portal 2 app that reveals plans for a new editor for Valve's puzzle/platformer sequel. Word is: "The Final Hours of Portal 2 has been updated with a new 2,500 word chapter for free. First details on the Portal 2 editor! On Steam/iPad now." According to Joystiq, this discusses "Valve's attempt to make an easier-to-use level editor and an in-game level browser -- Valve even hopes to bring the latter to console versions of the game," as well as "the possibility of adding GLaDOS to the editor."

Battlefield 3 MP Trailer

The Battlefield Blog now offers a new trailer showing off multiplayer action from Battlefield 3, DICE's military shooter sequel. Word is: "This trailer features shots from all of our multiplayer maps, including the dramatic Damavand Peak." Continue here to read the full story.

Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm Media

1C Company now offers a product section for Rising Storm, offering some screenshots, and a debut trailer for the expansion in the works for Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, Tripwire's recently released World War II first-person shooter sequel. As the title might suggest, the new add-on will transplant the game's action from the eastern front of WW2 to the Pacific conflict between the U.S. and Japan.

New WoW Public Test Realm Patch Notes

The World of Warcraft Website now offers updated Public Test Realm Patch Notes for the upcoming version 4.3 updated for Blizzard's MMORPG. Thanks Ant.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

This morning on Howard Stern they measured one of their staff who claimed to be 5'10" tall, and found him to be under 5'9". A woman called in an said men always exaggerate their heights, and guys who are 5'10" round up to six feet. This echoes something a friend recently told me, which is somehow the first I've heard of this, and it explains why almost every time I tell someone I am 5'10" they tell me they think I am taller. Okay, it's official, I declare myself to be six feet tall, claiming the intentional inaccuracy is for accuracy's sake.

Accurate Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Zombies Ate My Phone.
Links: 7 Classic Movies You Didn't Know Were Rip-Offs. Thanks Neatorama.
Cubestormer II: The Ultimate Rubik’s Cube Solving Machine.
Stories: Brothers charged with stealing US bridge. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Australian Man’s Illness Prompts Warning on Eating Slugs. Thanks j.c.f.
Was the universe born spinning? Thanks Slashdot.
Texas agency censors scientific report to remove references to reality.
Images: Cyclops of the Sea: Pictures of a One-Eyed Shark. Thanks Cutter.
Media: Need a Many-Tentacled Monster?
A Very Special Supercut of -Very Special Episodes- from the '80s and '90s.
The Funnies: Illustrated Tweets.
Dueling Analogs: Beating the System.
Old Geeks Still Aren’t Cool.
Follow-up: After Stolen Superman Collection Is Returned, Meyer Makes Donation To Children’s Hospital.

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