Archive for the ‘Weekly Summary’ Category
* Valve Corporation have released beta authoring tools for Portal 2.
* Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games argues that the free-to-play model is the future of PC gaming.
* Cthulhu Saves the World has been approved for Steam release, the creators are hoping for a May release.
* GoG.com have announced a weekend long sale on Activision-themed RPGs, including the Vampire: the Masquerade games.
* Opponents of piracy are pushing a new US Bill to combat piracy. It won’t work, I’m sure.
* The US Navy have taken the fight against Somali pirates online in an MMO, something it’s been building since 2009.
* Valve announced that it has no plans for a Source Engine 2, preferring incremental changes in patches to massive engine shifts.
* Brink has vanished from the UK Steam storm, but Bethesda have been fairly tight-lipped beyond that they are looking into the issue.
* Ars Technica’s Opposable Thumbs looks at the future of the Halo franchise after the release of the Defiant maps.
* After the devastation of the PSN and SOE, Sony Online’s downtime should be only a few more days.
* Also in MMO news, NCSoft has announced that Lineage’s Western servers will be shut down on the 29th June. No new accounts can be created and remaining time will be refunded.
* Despite the push behind The Old Republic, a Janco Partners analyst has proposed that the Mass Effect would make a more profitable MMO for EA.
* Bethesda have revealed that Brink will contain 102 quadrillion unique characters appearances, as well as over 26,000 lines of dialogue (a refreshing high number for the company behind Oblivion).
* Crytek reported around 50 lay-offs, a large hit for the company behind Crysis.
* Sadly, we’re told not to expect a Super Meat Boy 2. After the trials of making the first, Team Meat wants to wash its hands and move on.
* On the plus side, though, there is finally a level editor for the great indie hit.
* Deep Silver, it has been reported, needed Square-Enix to distribute Dead Island.
* Ubisoft have released details about the new Assassin’s Creed game, Revelations.
* The Ages of Empires Online beta is available for download, but best hurry or you will miss the boat.
* Increased game sales of its video games division have partly offset the decline of media giant, Warner Bros.
* EA have reported stated that it expects Star Wars: The Old Republic to be ready and released before March 2012.
* Mass Effect 3 will expand its target market and increase its commercial appeal to a wider audience.
I’m abandoning main news in order to push for more separate news articles, leaving more room for quick-cap news here.
* Opposable Thumbs talked about the story and aftermath of the controversial Potato Sack promotion for Portal 2.
* One of the iconic Abe games (Oddysee or Exoddus) is getting a new HD remake sometime in the future, it has been confirmed. We can hope this’ll find its way to the PC.
* THQ’s Red Faction: Armageddon has been delayed by a week, no explanation has been given but last minute bug fixing is suspected.
* After disaster after disaster, F.E.A.R. 3 has been pushed back again from its already amended release date to later in June.
* EA’s latest Need for Speed entry, The Run, has been detailed and dated for a November release.
* Players will be able to download the Brink server software via Steam before the game’s release. Bethesda have also offered an FAQ about the configuration of the server.
* With their recent woes, JoWood have received a helping hand from GoG.com who are selling JoWood titles with up to 75% off this weekend. With a little luck, this’ll help keep the wolf from JoWood’s doors.
* John Romero has started work on a new Facebook game. The game, Cloudforest Expedition, will be the second game that Romero makes on Facebook and is expected this Summer.
* Lord of the Rings Online creators Turbine are merging their US and EU LOTRO servers, relieving Codemasters Online of their duties maintaining the EU servers on the 1st June.
* After a bumpy ride with Alpha Protocol, but success with Fallout: New Vegas and preparations to ship the new Dungeon Siege game, Obsidian Entertainment have apparently gone through a round of layoffs.
* Mojang have released details about the modding plans to be implemented in Minecraft Beta 1.6.
* Bethesda have released details of the changes from Oblivion to Skyrim. Looking at some of the changes (especially to attributes), I don’t think this’ll be the breaker in my downward preference for Elder Scrolls games (from Daggerfall onwards, anyway).
That’s all for this week. See you after the weekend.
There will be no this week in gaming today due to holidays. All apologies.
* Epic Games will host a two day set of tutorials on the Unreal Development Kit at the East Coast Game Conference.
* Dungeon Siege III has been delayed, now releasing in late June.
* Hi-Rez has switched Global Agenda to a F2P model with those of us already having paid getting “elite agent” status.
* Funcom’s Call of Cthulhu-esque MMO The Secret World, announced four years ago, is officially on the back burner.
* Myst Online is now released as open source, fulfilling promises made as far back as 2008.
* The Call of Duty versus Battlefield 3 marketing war is estimated to end up costing US$200m. This truly is the war to end all wars.
* GameStop are opening a Facebook store. The new system allows sales and pre-orders done via the Facebook interface.
* It’s been reported that Apple has rejected PopCap’s experimental label, Unpleasant Horse, from the App Store on grounds of “maturity” issues.
* Multiplayer has, sadly, been ruled out of Mass Effect 3, but the details are looking good.
* Wrestling star The Rock wants to star in a Black Ops film adaptation. Given his last foray into game-based films, I hold little hope for great artistry.
Minecraft is leaving beta this year, with plans to release the final version on 11th November. This coincides with the release of Skyrim by Bethesda. Many may be disappointed by the fact that the final release won’t look much different from the beta (which itself is not a whole deal different from the alpha), but assurances are that development will continue. Other reports are that beta 1.5 will add weather effects.
Busy week this week, see you after the weekend.
Quick cap news
* League of Legends developers, Riot Games, announced that 100% of sales on the Akali character would go towards relief in Japan. Also, a rare copy of Final Fantasy Tactics is being auctioned by Play for Japan.
* Value have upgraded Steam’s VoIP system by using the SILK codec most commonly found in Skype, increasing bandwidth but allowing much greater quality.
* Crytek are still pretending that they think DRM is at best “a minor inconvenience” and about trying to stop piracy, using simple arguments that have already been knocked out.
* Darkspore gets delayed for another month, but news of an open beta should keep the waiting bearable. New date is 26th April.
* Bioware have warned that SWTOR beta scams have been appearing on the net. Watch out any would-be beta testers that you aren’t getting a raw deal.
* Battlestar Galactica Online was BigPoint’s biggest game launch so far and success was attributed to strong community involvement.
* UKIE welcomed the new budget benefits being offered to UK developers. The benefits are designed to increase investment and encourage smaller developers to grow.
* EA are getting rid of physical copies of manuals in favour of electronic-only copies.
* Deep Shiver has given a very convincing reason why the child violence in the trailer of Dead Island is acceptable. However, there were assurances that there would be no children in the game.
* Finally, the Torchlight MMO will not be charging a monthly subscription, with developers Runic Games arguing that model is no longer viable.
In a twist of fate, Gearbox announced that Duke Nukem Forever will be delayed a little longer. This means everyone can stop the “it’s finally going to be released” and switch to the “it’s fated not to be released” jokes. Randy Pitchford later explained the delay as trying to bring the game more up to scratch. There was a reveal of a tongue-in-cheek game which lead to the usual sort of responses that most of us are tired of, and once again, Penny Arcade states the obvious and wins my heart.
Also, Peter Molyneux has once again followed his old tactic of slamming his last game to make his next look better. This after Molyneux had already apologised for leading game journalists on a merry chase half the time. Game journalists themselves were unsurprised by his interview. Molyneux also, strangely, claimed that Minecraft was the best game he played in the past ten years, giving rather unusual reasoning, which implies a distinct lack of gaming on his part (not that Minecraft is actually bad, I can just think of a lot better). This shows that Molyneux can occasionally ramble on semi-coherently about games that are not his.