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Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013


Take-Two Q1 Results

Take-Two Interactive Software reports Fiscal First Quarter 2014 results, showing net losses, but saying the outcome was better-than-expected, so they are raising their outlook for the fiscal year. Here's the positive news, include word on rapid growth on the digital side: "The largest contributors to net revenue in fiscal first quarter 2014 were offerings for Borderlands® 2, NBA® 2K13, Grand Theft Auto® IV, and BioShock® Infinite. Catalog sales accounted for 60% of Non-GAAP net revenue led by the Borderlands franchise, the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and Red Dead Redemption®. Revenue from digitally delivered content grew 128% year-over-year and accounted for a record 52% of Non-GAAP net revenue, driven by offerings for Borderlands 2, the Grand Theft Auto franchise, NBA 2K13, and BioShock Infinite." And here is the dizzying array of numbers that they are reporting:

For fiscal first quarter 2014, GAAP net revenue was $142.7 million, as compared to $226.1 million for fiscal first quarter 2013, which had benefited from the releases of Max Payne® 3 and Spec Ops®: The Line. Non-GAAP net revenue was $144.3 million, as compared to $226.1 million for the year-ago period. GAAP net loss from continuing operations narrowed to $61.9 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, as compared to $110.8 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, for the year-ago period. Non-GAAP net loss narrowed to $47.1 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, as compared to $98.8 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, for the year-ago period. Both GAAP and Non-GAAP net loss for fiscal first quarter 2014 include an impairment of capitalized software development cost related to a 2K title in development totaling $29.6 million, or $0.34 per share, for GAAP, and $29.0 million, or $0.33 per share, for Non-GAAP. As of June 30, 2013, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $646.3 million.

Bully Re-TMed

A new Trademark application for Bully was filed by Take-Two Interactive, suggesting that long-discussed plans for a sequel to the wedgie simulator are not dead. There's no further information there, so feel free to supply your own speculation. Thanks GameSpot.

Red Orchestra 2 Counterattack Map Pack 2 Released

Tripwire Interactive announces the release of a second set of "official" custom maps for Red Orchestra 2, following the recent mapping competition for the military shooter sequel. This coincides with a Steam sale where you can save 50% on Rising Storm and save 75% on Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - GOTY. Here's word on the new maps: "These are some of the best maps you'll see - adding some great new gameplay. All are included for free for everyone who owns the game. Don't forget there are more great community maps and content on Steam Workshop, so head on over there now! We've also got a trailer for the pack showcasing these awesome new maps. You can view it on Vimeo or Youtube."

Zeno Clash 2 New Modes, Cards, Sale

ATLUS announces new challenge modes and Steam trading cards that are now part of the PC edition of Zeno Clash 2, coinciding with the Midweek Madness sale on ACE Team's action series. Here's word on what's new:

Frame-rate Challenge Mode:
Sometimes the internet leaks into games and even Zeno Clash II can't escape. In this unique challenge, surreal wireframe enemies begin spawning with increasing frequency. The enemies still require skill to beat, but the waves are only limited by one thing: the PC's performance. Eking every last ounce of computational horsepower will be the key to surviving as long as possible in this highly unusual challenge.

Colosseum Challenge Mode:
This wave-based attack mode will push players to the limit. 50 waves of enemies will spawn, with increasing difficulty. True mastery of Zeno Clash II's first-person combat system of deadly combos will lead brawlers to victory, but there is some respite between rounds as players will have access to the store to buy weapons, power-ups, even allies. Unlike the game, there's no restriction on the number of allies either, so get ready for the most intense, all-out, battle royale in all of Zenozoik.

Trading Cards:
Zeno Clash II is the latest participant in Steam's new Trading Card system. Backgrounds, badges, chat items, and other Steam features unique to Zeno Clash II will be available to the dedicated players who unlock, bargain, trade and swap the Zeno Clash II cards to unlock badges and additional features for the game.

Watch Dogs Trailer

A new trailer from Watch Dogs highlights the participation of Aisha Tyler in Watch Dogs, the upcoming third-person phoner. The oddly low-resolution clip shows off some gameplay in a scenario where Aisha can't escape the danger zone. Word is: "In the Watch Dogs universe, non-playable characters bring richness and depth to the bustling city of Chicago, and today, we’re highlighting a particularly memorable citizen. As unveiled during the Watch Dogs panel at San Diego Comic-Con, actress, gamer and comedian, Aisha Tyler, makes her Watch Dogs debut."

Payday 2 Trailer

This new video from Payday 2 shows off the character classes and the skill system in the upcoming heist sequel. In the clip David Goldberg explains the characters' roles in the heist, how skills work, and how characters level up over time. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Humble Deep Silver Bundle. Pay what you want and help charity. Includes Saints Row 2 & 3, Dead Island, and more.

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

BioShock Infinite DLC Today & Rapture DLC Planned

The BioShock Infinite website announces Clash in the Clouds, a DLC pack for BioShock Infinite that will start rolling out today, though they say it may take a few days to reach all platforms and regions. This trailer shows off the pack, and here's the description: "This first add-on pack puts an intense focus on BioShock Infinite combat. Combine weapons, Vigors, Gear, Tears, and Sky-Lines in ways you never thought possible as you square off against impossible odds. This pack features 60 challenges in four brand-new environments. Complete Blue Ribbon Challenges and unlock concept art, Voxophones, Kinetoscopes, and more in The Columbian Archeological Society. Climb the Leaderboards and earn new Achievements and Trophies." In a separate announcement, Irrational Games also reveals BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 1, a DLC featuring Booker and (post-jailbait) Elizabeth adventuring around Rapture, the underwater setting of the original BioShock. This is shown off in this trailer, and word is: "this DLC features Rapture as you’ve never seen it before—a shining jewel at the bottom of the ocean, built almost entirely from scratch in the BioShock Infinite engine. Gameplay has been modified to give the player an original BioShock combat experience that merges the best parts of BioShock and BioShock Infinite: new weapons, new Plasmids/Vigors, Tears, Sky-Lines, and Big Daddies." There's an interview on where Ken Levine fills in more details, saying the Burial at Sea DLC takes place in 1958, and that the second part will include the ability to play as Elizabeth. This announcement has the release details:

BioShock Infinite: Clash in the Clouds is available starting today for £3.69 (400 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live® for Xbox 360) via online marketplaces on all available platforms, and is included in the BioShock Infinite Season Pass*.

Also in development at Irrational Games, BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea* is a two-part add-on campaign featuring an all-new story for Booker and Elizabeth, set in the underwater city of Rapture before its fall. These two campaigns will be available individually for £9.99 (1200 Microsoft Points), and are also included as part of the BioShock Infinite Season Pass.

Continue here to read the full story.

Lighting Tech Demo Video

The Geomerics website offers a new trailer showing off Enlighten, a cross-platform dynamic lighting technology. The clip shows this at work in various past and future games, including Battlefield 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, Dragon Age III: Inquisition, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Mirror's Edge, Command & Conquer, and more. Thanks GamesHQMedia. Continue here to read the full story.

Europa Universalis IV Preorders Get Crusader Kings II & Save Converter

Paradox Interactive announces two preorder bonuses for Europa Universalis IV, their upcoming strategy sequel. Those who buy the game in advance will get a prior game to play in the meantime, though those quick to guess this will be Europa Universalis III would be wrong, as they are actually offering Crusader Kings II. This relates to the other bonus, a Save Converter utility for Europa Universalis IV to allow players to continue their progress from Crusader Kings II. This sounds like the type of thing they'd want to release for all Crusader Kings II owners, but for now this is a preorder incentive. Here are some details:

Players who pre-order Europa Universalis IV will be given a free copy of critically acclaimed strategy/RPG Crusader Kings II, Paradox’s hit title of diplomacy, dynasties, and double-dealing set in the Middle Ages, to add to their own library or to give to a friend.

Early adopters will also receive a new Saved Game Converter for Crusader Kings II, which will read the details of a saved game from a Crusader Kings II and convert that into a game that can be played in Europa Universalis IV. Fans of Crusader Kings II will be able to maintain the empires they have established and guide them through the age of exploration in an all-new strategic experience, continuing their personal stories of expansion and conquest.

Both the saved converter and copy of Crusader Kings II will be available as pre-order bonuses on August 1, and players that have already pre-purchased Europa Universalis IV will receive these additional bonuses. Strategy fans can prepare for the long road to conquest by pre-ordering Europa Universalis IV, details on all pre-order bonuses can be found here:

To demonstrate how converted saved games will work in Europa Universalis IV, Paradox will be showing off the converter in a live stream on Eager conquerors can tune in on July 30 at 11 a.m. PDT (6 p.m. GMT, 7 p.m. BST, 8 p.m CEST). The stream will be live at

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Yesterday I saw some bees buzzing about some flowers in the yard when I noticed some of them were actually wasps, though they were clearly harvesting pollen from the flowers. I took note of their characteristics, but was not confident this would help identify them based on previously being unable to come up with positive IDs on birds this way. It turned out to be easy, however, not to mention logical, as they are Sphecius speciosus, or the eastern cicada killer. Easy, because they are pretty distinctive, and logical, since we are in a big year for cicadas (though we haven't actually seen any yet). The good news is that these are not nearly as belligerent as most other varieties of wasps, so there's no reason to think they are going to cause anyone any problems. Except the cicadas, of course.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Let's Go Jaywalking.
Stories: The CW Orders a Second Season of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Well do they?
'Kick-Ass 2' stuntmen rescue suicidal woman on balcony at Comic-Con. Thanks reddit.
Science: If not for clouds and nitrogen, Earth could be an uninhabitable hell right now.
Images: Harkonnen O'Brien.
Follow-up: The writers of 'Ed Wood' are turning John McAfee's bizarro tale into a movie. Thanks nin.

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