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.
The quick cap news
* Peter Molyneux is to receive a BAFTA fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by the British arts award body.
* Tax breaks in the next budget might be in the works for UK games developers, as a measure to bolster the growing industry.
* Bioshock 2 DLC goes up and then down on GfWL. Despite the problems, 2K gave assurances that refunds would be given to those who purchased the originally free DLC.
* A new pro-gaming show, covering Intel-sponsored games, draws in 2.26 million viewers on Eurosport.
* Former RedOctane CEO attributes the death of the Guitar Hero franchise to abuse from Activision.
* Gabe Newell, managing director of digital distribution front-runners Valve, proposes a merit-based system for the purchasing of future DLC and, possibly, games.
* The US Federal Trade Commission are to investigate free-to-play games due to consumer fears that children did not understand the ramifications of in-game purchases.
* Yet another study concludes that there is no desensitising effect to video games. Thank you for saying, yet again, what gamers already know, and conservatives and identity politics groups will ultimately ignore.
* Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood will feature DRM that is much more tolerable than its predecessor. No longer will gamers be required to remain connected to the internet constantly to show Ubisoft that they haven’t been playing a
second-hand pirated game.
* Witcher II developer CD Projekt Red asserted its own opposition to DRM in its new game, preferring a focus on richer game content. It was conceded that DRM may feature in the game as a result of factors from other parts of the retail chain.
* Several former Bizarre Creations employees have started a new studio, Lucid Games. Backed by local concerns trying to keep talent within Liverpool, the studio may create up to 50 jobs.
Telltale Games have been in the news a fair bit recently. Besides the recent Back to the Future series of episodic games, the developer has announced games based on the Jurassic Park franchise to appear in April. Further, they are expanding their range with the acquisition of DC’s Fables and a revival of Sierra classic King’s Quest. Other things in the pipeline included a publishing deal for indie adventure Hector: Badge of Carnage and a sequel to the earlier hit Puzzle Agent. Also, they released a video chronicling the rise of digital distribution.
* You won’t find this side of gaming out from Fox… Chime brings in $96,000 for charity.
* If human rights abuses and lack of democracy weren’t enough, it’s a bad day to be a gamer in Vietnam.
* Wind Waker stained glass auctioned on eBay.
* Petroglyph announces closed beta for its new F2P DotA style game, Rise of the Immortals.
* Also, this is one cool dad.
Have a good weekend all.