Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011

Battlefield 3 Sells 8M

Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown announced Battlefield 3 has sold 8 million copies to date during today's Baird Technology Conference in San Francisco, reports GameInformer. They say he went on to tell the assembly that they have now shipped 12 million copies of the military shooter sequel, though per-platform breakdowns were not provided.

WoW Hour of Twilight Patch Live

The World of Warcraft Website announces the new version 4.3 patch, "Hour of Twilight," is now live in Blizzard's MMORPG. The Hour of Twilight Patch Notes outline what's new and there's a Raid Finder Q&A answering questions about this new system. Finally, a new Hour of Twilight Trailer shows off the new patch in action.

Miner Wars 2.5D Announced

The Miner Wars Website has details on Miner Wars 2.5D, an upcoming Tunneler-style game they are developing as a side project alongside Miner Wars 2081, saying this will interact with their flagship project: "Both games share the same player account. Fulfilling missions and achieving special objectives in one of the two games unlocks new weapons, devices, ships and other possibilities for the second one." The game is about 70% complete and will be released in January 2012 for Windows PC and February/March for OS X, iOS, Android), and a playable beta or a gameplay trailer should be coming soon. Here's their outline of the main concept:
Player controls one mining ship and ventures through an underground labyrinth of pathways, old abandoned mines, asteroids and military bases. Situated in a fully destructible environment, player is not forced to use already existing pathways, but can (and should) make tunnels of his own using the ship’s equipment – especially drill and explosives. Each player has its own home base, functioning as a spawn point and able to recharge energy and restore ship’s health (armor). The simplest motive is to destroy the enemy ship, using your weapon, drill and taking advantage of the terrain (walls, tunnels, rocks) to hide from enemy shots or to ambush the enemy from a previously impassable direction.

Borderlands 2 Casting Call

Gearbox Software is casting for a live-action Lilith to appear in Borderlands 2 and at trade events (Lilith Fairs?):
Do you want to be a character in a video game? We're looking for someone to become Lilith from Borderlands. If hired, you will appear in the game, Borderlands 2, as the live action version of the character. Additionally, you may be invited to participate in promotional events and trade shows.

Nuclear Dawn Free Weekend Postponed

InterWave Studios sends a correction to yesterday's announcement that Nuclear Dawn will be free on Steam this weekend. The free weekend for the strategy/shooter hybrid is now scheduled for December 15-19. They offer apologies for whatever inconvenience this change causes.

Dead Island German Ban

Dead Island has landed on "List B" in Germany, as the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) has deemed Techland's zombie game too harmful to be sold in the country. "This isn't unexpected," Techland tells Eurogamer. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply. Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning." EG also says Germany tells them "List B" is usually reserved for media depicting extreme torture or Nazi content. They say that importing retailers would be at risk of having the game seized at the border, and that publisher Koch Media avoided running afoul German law by distributing the game in Austria.

Fallout: New Vegas DLC Interviews - Alternate Dead Money Ending

GameBanshee offers part one and part two of an extensive interview with Obsidian's Chris Avellone who answers questions about the DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, their action/RPG sequel. He concludes by hinting about an alternate ending to Dead Money "which not many people found."

On Sale

  • Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition on Steam. Save 80%.
  • L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition on Direct2Drive.
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Tropico 4 on Direct2Drive.

Evening Previews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Sith Who Stole Christmas. Thanks Ant.

Ships Ahoy - PC Assassin's Creed Revelations

Ubisoft announces that Assassin's Creed Revelations is now available for Windows PC in the United States, offering the latest installment in the stealth/action series:
SAN FRANCISCO - November 29, 2011 - Today, Ubisoft® announced that the highly anticipated Assassin's Creed® Revelations is now available at retail in the United States for PC. Assassin's Creed Revelations marks the peak of the epic journey of master assassin Ezio Auditore in the age-old war between Assassins and Templars. Assassin's Creed Revelations is an action-adventure game that blends thrilling combat, stunning hyperrealistic graphics and a gripping tale of intrigue and self-discovery.

Developed and led by Ubisoft Montreal with the support and expertise of Ubisoft's Annecy, Massive Entertainment, Quebec, Singapore and Bucharest studios, Assassin's Creed Revelations presents the most immersive experience available in the series to date, and the culmination of Ezio's adventure.
Continue here to read the full story.

Indie Royale's Really Big Bundle

Indie Royale now offers The Really Big Bundle, offering five games for a flexible minimum price that goes up when customers spend the minimum and down when they spend more. The bundle includes these five indie games: Really Big Sky, Runespell: Overture, Cthulhu Saves the World, Eufloria, and Breath of Death VII. As of now the price is USD $3.08. Here's word:
SAN FRANCISCO – November 29, 2011 - Following the success of its first two independent game compilation bundles, with almost 70,000 bundles and over 350,000 games sold in less than a month, the creators of the Indie Royale website ( have revealed its third bundle, unveiling a line-up of five top PC indie games.

The 'Really Big Bundle' - which launches with nearly 10,000 'blind' pre-orders from fans of the first two bundles - is led by the title that gave the bundle its name - Boss Baddie's crazed space shooter Really Big Sky, packing a whopping 12 game modes into its beefy, feature-filled frame.
Continue here to read the full story.

Diablo III Lore Book Next Month

Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions announce Diablo III: Book of Cain, an illustrated book of lore from the Diablo series of action/RPGs, saying this will be released in English on December 13, 2011 for USD $35.00, and on February 7, 2012 in localized versions for various international markets. The book will include artwork by Brom, Mark Gibbons, Jim Gurney, John Howe, Alan Lee, Iain McCaig, Jean-Baptiste Monge, and Adrian Smith. Says Blizzard's Chris Metzen: "We're super geeked up about Book of Cain. What's really cool is that after fifteen years of developing the Diablo franchise, we can finally share the definitive look at this world and its rich history with our players." Stay a while and listen:
Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions announce the December 13, 2011 launch of Diablo® III: Book of Cain, a lavishly illustrated tome that chronicles the origins and history of the demon-plagued world of Sanctuary as told by the scholar Deckard Cain, one of the key characters in Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo universe. Filled with breathtaking art commissioned exclusively for the book by some of the world's most renowned fantasy artists, Book of Cain serves as Diablo players' ultimate guide to the dark mythology and sinister mysteries surrounding Sanctuary and the Eternal Conflict.

Designed to look like an in-world artifact from the Diablo universe, Book of Cain conveys the games' rich lore through an exciting first-person account. The story begins as Cain leaves his journal to his adopted daughter, Leah, passing along the tale of Sanctuary's creation and the eternal war that rages between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. Book of Cain chronicles the rise of the Zakarum, the traditions of the Horadrim, the genesis and geography of Sanctuary, and the key moments in the world's history-such as the destruction of Tristram-that set the stage for the events of Blizzard's upcoming action-RPG Diablo III. Containing dozens of sketches, Cain's footnotes, and a hand-drawn map of Sanctuary, this comprehensive tome promises to give readers a deeper understanding of the mysterious Diablo universe.

ESRB Mobile Game Ratings Coming

CTIA: The Wireless Association and the ESRB announce a new rating system which will add the familiar ESRB icons for age-appropriateness to mobile games sold in the U.S. Word is: "AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless are the founding members of the rating system, and other storefronts have indicated their interest in joining. As technologies and build-out schedules differ by each storefront, full implementation timelines will vary; each storefront may make its own announcement on when the rating system will be available for their customers." If you have the feeling there are prominent names missing from that list of members, as Businessweek notes that smartphone behemoths Apple and Google are not participating, as they already use age-specific ratings designations self-assigned by app developers, and they have comments from Google on their stance. Here's how this will work:
When developers submit their applications to a participating storefront they will be able to complete a detailed yet quick multiple choice questionnaire that is designed to assess an application’s content and context with respect to its age-appropriateness. This includes violence or sexual content, language, substances, etc., as well as other elements such as a minimum age requirement, the exchange of user-generated content, the sharing of a user’s location with other users of the application and the sharing of user-provided personal information with third parties. Once developers complete all answers to these questions, their applications are rated within seconds. Each rated app is issued a certificate and a unique identifying code that may be subsequently submitted to other storefronts during their respective onboarding processes, avoiding the need for developers to repeat the rating process. This means consistent ratings across participating storefronts and a convenient, cost-free process for app developers.

To ensure content disclosures were complete and the ratings assigned were appropriate, ESRB will routinely test the most popular applications and closely monitor consumer complaints. If an inappropriate rating is found to have been assigned ESRB will promptly adjust the rating and will notify the developer and the storefront(s) that have the application to ensure consumers have reliable information.

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action in February 2012

Kalypso Media and bitComposer Games announce a new February 2012 global release date for Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, as the military-themed tactical-RPG remake has obviously missed its previously announced October 18th release date. Here are some new screenshots, and here's word:
Bracknell, UK – 29th November 2011 – Kalypso Media and bitComposer Games are pleased to announce that Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, the latest title in the beloved Jagged Alliance series of tactical turn-based games, will arrive in stores worldwide in February 2012 for Windows PC. The game will have players commanding teams of mercenaries as they attempt to retake the island nation of Arulco from an evil dictator. Players will not only take control of combat teams on-the-ground, but will also manage finances, logistics and more. Learn more about Jagged Alliance: Back in Action on the new website located at and on Facebook

Ron Gilbert/Double Fine Art

The Grumpy Gamer blog, home to "Ron Gilbert's often incoherent and bitter ramblings about the Game Industry," now offers the first concept art from Ron's reunion with Tim Schafer at Double Fine Productions. Word is: "Here are a couple of fine pieces of concept art from the game I'm making with the amazing folks at Double Fine. I'm so excited. This is an idea that has been in my head for a long long long time. It predates Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. It's a game that needed to be made." Thanks Tony.

Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai Announced

The SEGA Blog reveals plans for Fall of the Samurai, a new standalone expansion for Total War: Shogun 2 coming in March 2012. This seems like a logical follow-up to the Rise of the Samurai DLC, and they say: "The scale of this expansion is significantly larger than anything we’ve produced so far for Shogun 2." This trailer shows off the new content, and here's word, which includes details on a revamp to online play they are calling "multiplayer 2.0.":
There will be whole new land and sea unit interactions, including the ability to call in offshore artillery support barrages. Coastal gun emplacements can conversely target enemy ships, bringing a new synergy to land and sea elements of gameplay. Players can even call in campaign map bombardments – bombarding armies and cities in adjacent coastal areas of the campaign map itself. It’s time to rethink your strategy…

You’ll also be able to get your hands on three new agent types: the Foreign Veteran, the Ishin Shishi and the Shinsengumi.

Multiplayer has also had a major overhaul, ushering in the era of “Multiplayer 2.0”. We’ll be introducing a new Conquest map, reflecting the 19th century setting, bringing with it a brand new Fall of the Samurai avatar, including:

Continue here to read the full story.

Arkham City DLC Next Month

The arkhamcitynews twitter feed announces plans to release new DLC for Batman: Arkham City next month (thanks Eurogamer). Word is: "Brand new DLC coming December 20th with all new Batcave. Jokers carnival and the iceberg lounge also available to download then!" The DLC is shown off in the new episode of GameTrailers TV.

Resident Evil 6 Hint?

Siliconera notes that Joe Cappelletti's credit page had a since-removed entry where the voice actor apparently revealed Resident Evil 6 as one of his upcoming projects. He also reveals a couple of other unannounced Capcom projects: Steel Battalion and Combat Wings. Thanks MCV.

R.A.W. – Realms of Ancient War

We received some R.A.W. – Realms of Ancient War screenshots today, alerting us to this fantasy-themed hack-n-slash game coming next year to Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. It looks like we missed the game's unveiling at E3, as an official website is already online. Here's word on the game, which will include two-player co-op support:
This heroic-fantasy hack ‘n’ slash takes you on a continent ravaged by a war that raged ten years earlier. The four Kingdoms of Men, Elves and Dwarves lay in ruins, preyed on by raiders and looters. In this chaos, a new, unknown threat is looming... To discover its true nature, the kingdoms sent detachments to investigate, a dangerous mission from which no one returned. But what about you? You, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Take control of a powerful Warrior, a dark Sorcerer or a Rogue master of stealth, and plunge into a grand quest full of action! The world of R.A.W. leads you, alone or in 2-player co-op, through many levels as rich as varied in every corner of the continent.
Continue here to read the full story.

Kotick on SWOTR Economics

An interview with Bobby Kotick mentioned here last night contains a bit we didn't notice at first, as (registration required) notes the Activision CEO opines on the business model of Star Wars: The Old Republic, when asked about the possible impact of the upcoming MMORPG on World of Warcraft. "Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars," Kotick said. "We've been in business with Lucas for a long time and the economics will always accrue to the benefit of Lucas, so I don't really understand how the economics work for Electronic Arts."

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