This week in gaming   Leave a comment

Quick cap news

* Valve are remaining quite vague about future projects, there are signs of a Counter-Strike 2, but no real news of the next Half Life 2 episode.

* EA seem to be cracking down on fan-made remakes of the old Ultima IV game. The game was declared freeware by Origin before EA’s acquisition of them, leading some to assume incorrectly that the game is public domain.

* Bungie are excited about the hands-off approach Activision are taking towards the former Microsoft developer in their partnership.

* THQ announced hefty job cuts at both Volition and Kaos Studios, further proof that Homefront sucked.

* Despite the interesting choice of day for the announcement, Magicka: Vietnam will be coming on the 12th April, apparently.

* GamesIndustry.biz co-founder and editor talks about the reasoning behind the shutting down of the individual developer ratings on Metacritic, as well as the original concept itself.

* The new Mortal Kombat game will require an online pass purchase for second-hand buyers, with Warner Bros. following suite to EA and THQ. This controversial system sparked criticism when players mistakenly bought passes for first-hand copies of THQ’s UFC 2010 as well as the difficulty it causes for second-hand games retailers.

* Atari have been raiding their old catalogues lately and have come up with a another remake. This time, 1980’s Warlords sees new life for the modern age.

* Rise of the Immortals, Petroglyph’s F2P entry into the MOBA genre, has a closed beta starting on the 5th April. This is your last chance to get in line, folks.

Main news

It seems that David Gaider really sees the haters hating at the moment. Following his defence of Dragon Age II against the attacks of one gamer, Gaider experienced hostility from homosexual gamers who felt that Anders was portrayed as the stereotypical gay man who wants to seduce the straight guy and won’t accept no for an answer due to the rivalry gained for rejecting his advances.

Some think this smacks too much of the stereotype used in the (frankly, barbaric) “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the US military; others think it would be more worrying (and telling) if he didn’t react negatively at all; others have argued that it is good because it shows Bastal (the “Straight Male Gamer” of this affair) what it is like to be a woman (in that he is constantly receiving unwanted sexual advances). I think all of these positions are just the sort of utter nonsense that should lead anyone rational to realise how trivial all this ultimately is.

In more important news that is not becoming increasingly mired in senseless identity politics, Ubisoft have been granted an injunction by a Montreal court against THQ. The injuction prevents THQ from “poaching” staff from Ubisoft for its new Montreal branch. The law courts have been active at the moment, since Silicon Knights’s case against Epic Games over forced setbacks on the development of Too Human is finally going to court. Email logs from Epic apparently show that developers assigned to aid Silicon Knights with the Epic Engine were told that Gears of War tasks took priority over Too Human tasks and the tools for the engine were not up to the agreed-upon standard, which Silicon Knights argues was a breach of contract. Epic launched a counter-suit, claiming Silicon Knights’s subsequent in-house engine stole Epic technology and believes it will be vindicated in the end, according to a press statement they released.

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