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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 02/3/2011: DMC film rights scooped up
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:43 am 
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Sony Online lays off hundreds, cancels Agency

DC Universe Online developer shuttering Seattle, Denver, and Tucson studios, refocusing on new PlanetSide and Everquest MMOGs.

Last July, Sony Online Entertainment cut 4 percent of its workforce. Now, if reports are correct, the layoffs are continuing…at a heftier rate.

As has become somewhat common with game industry layoffs, the news was first reported by 3D Realms president George Broussard on his Twitter feed. Broussard initially reported yesterday that SOE Seattle was undergoing layoffs and The Agency studio may even be closed. Within hours, he followed that up with word that the layoffs expanded beyond the Seattle shop and that multiple SOE studios would be closed today, with Denver among the rumored cuts.

As of press time, representatives with Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment or clarification on the matter.

However, gaming blog Kotaku cites "a source familiar with the matter" as saying Sony Online Entertainment has closed three entire studios, laying off one-third of its staff in the process. The studios reportedly shut down are Sony's branches in Denver, Co.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Seattle, Wash. Additionally, Kotaku reports that half of the workforce at SOE's Austin, Texas branch were given the pink slip, as well as a "sizeable" portion of Sony's San Diego, Calif., studio.

The news comes in the wake of two major launches for Sony Online Entertainment. In January, the company released DC Universe Online--SOE's fastest selling game of all time--after more than five years in the works. Additionally, the publisher launched its free-to-play online game Free Realms on the PlayStation 3 earlier this week.

This would be the third major round of layoffs at SOE in as many years. In July of 2009, the company let 41 staffers go, barely a month after Free Realms' original PC launch. That downsizing eliminated 5 percent of the company's workforce, or 41 positions.

Broussard has proven regrettably accurate when tweeting about the latest layoffs in the game industry. In the past year alone, the 3D Realms veteran has been among the first to detail developer downsizings at LucasArts, IO Interactive, EA Canada, and Black Box, among others.

Sony Online Entertainment confirmed today that it is closing the Seattle, Tucson, and Denver studios, and is shedding 205 positions in the process. The long-in-development online game The Agency has also been canceled. SOE's full statement follows below:

Quote:
As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its global workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate 205 positions and close its Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios. As part of this restructuring, SOE is discontinuing production of The Agency so it can focus development resources on delivering two new MMOs based on its renowned PlanetSide and EverQuest properties, while also maintaining its current portfolio of online games. All possible steps are being taken to ensure team members affected by the transition are treated with appropriate concern.

This strategic decision will have no impact on SOE's current portfolio of live games; additionally SOE will transition development efforts for the Denver and Tucson studios’ suite of products to its San Diego headquarters. This strategic alignment of development resources better positions SOE to remain a global leader in online gaming and deliver on its promise of creating entertaining games for players of all ages, and servicing the 20 million players that visited SOE servers in just the past year.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 21/4/2011: Portal sells nearly 4 million
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:27 am 
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Portal sells nearly 4 million

Not including Steam sales, highly acclaimed Orange Box pack-in has almost hit quadruple-platinum milestone.

Today, Valve launched the highly anticipated first-person puzzler Portal 2, and the game appears to have critical success well in hand. While Portal 2's commercial performance remains to be seen, it will be attempting to fit into a pair of oversized shoes, as Valve confirmed for GameSpot today that, even after excluding Steam sales, the original Portal has to date sold nearly 4 million units worldwide.

Portal's sales milestone comes despite humble beginnings. The game began life as the senior project of a group of students at the DigiPen Institute of Technology, titled Narbacular Drop. After winning the Independent Game Festival's Student Showcase Award in 2006, the game and its creators were subsequently signed by Valve.

Narbacular Drop's interconnected portal concept was adapted for Valve's Half-Life universe and renamed, aptly enough, Portal. The first-person puzzle game was then packed in as part of Valve's 2007 blockbuster The Orange Box, which also included Half-Life 2, that shooter's first two episodes, and the multiplayer-only Team Fortress 2.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 21/4/2011: Portal sells nearly 4 million
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:15 am 
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40% of Xbox 360 activity non-game, 53 million consoles sold

Microsoft reveals its "entertainment" platform is increasingly being used for video and social networking; average 30 hours of video consumption per month.

For years, Microsoft has been expanding the Xbox 360's capacities beyond gaming. Since the platform launched in 2005, the company has added a video and music store, Netflix and Hulu Plus streaming, as well as support for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Most recently, the company brought high-definition ESPN events to the service, as well as improved video chat via the Kinect motion-sensing system.

Now, Microsoft is touting how its efforts to make the Xbox 360 more than just another console have paid off. According to a blog post by corporate vice president of corporate communications Frank Shaw, some 40 percent of all Xbox activity is not related to gaming. The top non-game use for the console appears to be video, with an average of 30 hours of "video consumption" per month by each Xbox 360 user.

That number is more impressive when one considers the size of the entire Xbox 360 user base. Shaw also revealed that some 53 million units of the console have been sold to date, thanks to brisk sales over the past year. According to figures from the NPD group, the platform was once again the top-selling home console in the US during April, when it sold 297,000 units domestically. As of last month, the Xbox 360 topped the PlayStation 3 and Wii during 11 of the prior 12 months in US sales.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 07/6/2011: E3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:09 pm 
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E3 starts tomorrow 06/06/2011
I've found a schedule of all the presentations and stuff here:
http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/tv-schedule/
Spoiler!


I'm guessing these are links to the livestreams once they go up:
ALL: http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/press-conferences/
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Microsoft: http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/press-confe ... rosoft/94/
Electronic Arts: http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/press-conferences/ea/97/
Ubisoft: http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/press-confe ... bisoft/98/
Sony: http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/press-conferences/sony/95/
Nintendo: http://www.g4tv.com/e3-2011/press-confe ... ntendo/96/
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[Archived]Konami: http://www.g4tv.com/videos/53216/konami ... onference/


more streams
http://e3.gamespot.com/live.html
http://www.youtube.com/E3[/center][/quote]

^ Source poehalcho

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 07/6/2011: E3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Analysts weigh in on Vita, Wii U

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich and Wedbush's Michael Pachter give thumbs up to Nintendo's new console and price of Sony's portable, explain lack of investor enthusiasm for Mario maker stock.

Last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo provided gamers with an advance look at the games and systems people will be playing for years to come. While that leaves plenty of time to form fully fleshed out opinions, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich and Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter shared their first impressions of some of the show's biggest news.

New hardware drew a lot of attention at E3, with Sony naming its next handheld the Vita, and pricing it at $250 for the base unit, or $300 for the system featuring 3G wireless support. Pachter was less than impressed with the name (calling it "horrible"), but he added the price point was compelling, and said he believes it will provide Nintendo's 3DS with some legitimate competition. Divnich agreed that the price represents "a best-case scenario for Sony" even if the electronics giant is selling Vita systems at a loss.

On the issue of the Vita's name, Divnich noted, "After the Wii, I almost have to question if a product's name has any relevance to its success."

As for the Wii U, both analysts said they loved the new controller. Pachter called it "an iPad with analog sticks" and said he expected it to resonate with consumers. Meanwhile, Divnich said the system "could be one of the first devices to offer an experience for both non-traditional and core gamers."

"The feedback from the development and retail community has been universally positive," Divnich noted. "The only downside I foresee is the likelihood of AAA core 'ports' to the Wii U console. It would be great to see Battlefield and Assassin's Creed on the Wii U, but let’s be honest, no core gamer is going to break habit and buy it for a Nintendo console. I can only hope Nintendo strongly advises (and aids) publishers in creating truly original content for the console."

As for the Nintendo stock slump that followed the Wii U unveiling, the analysts gave different explanations. Pachter said the stock slip was due to a combination of factors: uncertainty over the price of the Wii U, the 3DS' likely competition from a $250 Vita, and the potential for AppleTV to cut into the market with games of its own. He added that the 3DS competition and AppleTV fears were valid concerns.

Divnich was unfazed by the investor reaction, noting that shareholders were unenthusiastic when the Wii was first revealed as well.

"I almost have to wonder if they got it wrong again," Divnich said. "Personally, I believe so. Investors believe that the Wii U may have some competitive overlap with its 3DS handheld platform, since both can be 'mobile' within a household. Additionally, the lack of clarity on release timing, pricing, and specs didn't help investor confidence."

Although Microsoft didn't show off new systems at E3, Pachter and Divnich also weighed in on the Xbox 360 maker's conference. Pachter said the lack of new hardware made it seem a bit flat, but he loved Bing on Kinect, adding "it makes over-the-top TV happen." Divnich acknowledged that core gamers were likely unenthused by Microsoft's conference, which he said pushed the Xbox 360 more as an all-in-one entertainment device than a box to play games.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 14/6/2011: Analysts weigh in on Vita, Wii U
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:06 pm 
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EA going social with sports

Develop 2011: Wilson reveals plans for a single persistent online profile across platforms and EA sports franchises with a single purchase.

Andrew Wilson is senior vice president and head of development at EA. He's well known for his work on the FIFA franchise, helping it surpass rival PES both critically and in sales. Wilson is currently spearheading EA's expansion into new platforms, such as social media and mobile. Given his current role in expanding EA's social and mobile portfolio, Wilson's speech focused on how EA is doing just that with its sports franchises. The expansion is beginning with FIFA, specifically with the EA Sports Football Club service that made its debut at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. It promises to let fans interact with FIFA across a variety of platforms such as Facebook, mobile, PC, and console.

The service isn't going to be limited to FIFA, with EA planning to connect all its sports franchises to persistent online profiles, including big hitters such as Tiger Woods, Madden, and NHL. While the new cross-platform features will initially be limited to play within a single title, EA's ultimate aim is to have multiple titles interact with each other, letting you work towards building up a single profile regardless of what sport you're playing.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 20/7/2011: EA Capping Old Republic
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:43 pm 
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EA to cap Star Wars: The Old Republic sales

Publisher says it will limit the number of retail, digital copies for upcoming MMORPG to ensure server stability at launch.

The success of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game is commonly measured by how quickly it can gain a bustling population and how many players it has compared to genre kingpin World of Warcraft. However, Electronic Arts appears to be opting out of that race with Star Wars: The Old Republic.

As reported by Game Informer, EA said that it will be limiting the number of Star Wars: The Old Republic copies that will be available at launch, through both retail and digital channels. EA reportedly made this decision so as to ensure server stability when the game goes live later this year.

The publisher went on to note that while it has already established what the exact number of copies sold will be, it will not be announcing that figure. If and when that sales figure is reached, the publisher plans to cease digital sales while it expands server capacity. Once the player load can be accommodated, EA will resume game sales.

Electronic Arts said in February that The Old Republic would be "substantially profitable" with just 500,000 subscribers, with anything above 1 million monthly users making the game "very profitable." Analysts have pegged the game's opening sales at anywhere from 1 million to 3 million units.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 20/7/2011: EA Capping The Old Republic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:39 am 
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Battlefield 3 ships 10 million

EA says DICE-developed shooter has biggest day-one ship in company history; Q2 revs jump 13% to $715 million.

EA and DICE have been expecting big things from their contemporary war fighter Battlefield 3, and thus far, the game appears to be delivering. As part of its July-September earnings report today, the publisher said that Battlefield 3 has shipped 10 million units, with retailers already requesting reorders for the critically well-regarded shooter. This is the biggest opening-day shipment the publisher has ever done, EA said.

Battlefield 3's strong performance did not factor into today's second-quarter results, which reflected higher revenue but a steep loss at EA. Revenue for the period rose 13.3 percent year-over-year to $715 million. However, reversing two consecutive quarters of profit, EA posted a net loss of $340 million, which expenses being led by research & development and marketing.

Some of the best-performing titles during the period came from the EA Sports label. The biggest player was FIFA 12, which has shipped nearly 8 million units and sold 5 million units. EA said that its FIFA game is having its best year ever, with record sales in North America and Europe. By comparison, FIFA 11 has lifetime-to-date shipped more than 16 million units.

Madden NFL 12 also logged a solid performance, shipping 3 million units during the period. EA also said that Battlefield Bad Company 2 has now shipped nearly 11 million units lifetime to date.

EA also touted these games' digital performance. In a post-earnings conference call, COO Peter Moore said that the publisher is now expecting more than $1 billion in digital sales, an accomplishment that only a handful of companies in the world can claim. These sales have also been fueled by The Sims Social on Facebook, which boasts nearly 40 million monthly active users.

The publisher also addressed its new digital distribution platform, Origin. The platform has been downloaded by more than 6 million consumers. Additionally, EA has now opened up the platform to third parties, with Warner Bros. Interactive, Capcom, and THQ all now offering games through the service.

As part of EA's post-earnings conference call, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau also addressed reported outages and technical snafus that the Origin platform has experienced following Battlefield 3's launch.

"We have had unprecedented peaks, and it has caused parts of our network to experience outages," he said. However, Gibeau also said that EA "has a handle" on the issue and does not expect further service interruptions as the game launches in Europe later this week.

Gibeau also noted that Origin's servers are completely separate from those of Star Wars: The Old Republic's, and the company does not expect to experience the same instability upon that game's launch. He also said that SW:TOR preorders are "very, very strong," noting that advance sales are the highest the Sims publisher has ever had for a PC game.

Due to its second-quarter performance and strong start from Battlefield 3, EA raised its fiscal 2012 revenue guidance. EA now expects to pull in $4.05 billion-$4.2 for its 12-month fiscal year ending March 31. This projection is up significantly from previous expectations of $3.83 billion to $4.03 billion.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 28/10/2011: Battlefield 3 ships 10 million
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:13 am 
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AC film deal gives Ubisoft 'unheard of' control

Hollywood insider predicts publisher's influence on adaptation of popular stealth action franchise will keep it from ever being made.

When Ubisoft announced an Assassin's Creed movie, the publisher touted its creative control in the project. While that may have given fans of the series hope for a positive outcome, at least one Hollywood insider is predicting that the publisher's level of control will keep the film from ever being made.

New York Magazine entertainment blog Vulture reports that the terms of Ubisoft and Sony's Assassin's Creed film deal could spell doom for the adaptation. An unnamed Hollywood agent told Vulture, "The whole Ubisoft/Sony deal is a waste of ink, paper and time. The level of control Sony gave up means, effectively, that Assassin's Creed will never--and I mean never--get made."

The deal in question is reported to grant the publisher "unheard of" control over many aspects of the adaptation, including final say on budget, principal cast, script, and release date--control said to be impossible for even Steven Spielberg to land. With Ubisoft's terms seen as demanding for even a property with a large built-in audience, Warner Bros., Universal, and Dreamworks reportedly ended up passing on the project.

On the surface, having a property's creator retain control over every aspect of a film adaptation may seem like a good thing. However, an unidentified studio head reportedly feels different, telling the magazine, "The only way to make sure it's a bad movie is to undervalue what movie studios do."

Ubisoft previously partnered with Disney for last year's Prince of Persia film, with a story adapted for the screen by series creator Jordan Mechner. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was seen as unsuccessful, which Ubisoft reportedly felt was due to its lack of control over the project.

The Halo film met its demise under similar circumstances, according to Vulture. Microsoft required a large chunk of the theatrical gross for the film, and when Peter Jackson and others were brought on board insisting on their own share of the proceeds, Fox and Universal balked. An industry insider said that the Assassin's Creed deal isn't identical to the failed Microsoft mega-franchise adaptation, since Ubisoft is footing the bill for a large part of the film's development.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 07/11/2011: AC film deal gives Ubisoft control
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Legend of Zelda and Mario sell 500k over two day period

The US retail sector received a much-needed boost over the Black Friday shopping weekend, with the National Retail Federation announcing record sales of $52.4 billion between November 24-27. Nintendo was among the companies that benefited, as both The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Super Mario 3D Land posted record performances.

Speaking to USA Today, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that Skyward Sword has sold 535,000 units in the US following its November 20 launch on the Wii. Fils-Aime went on to say that Skyward Sword is now the company's fastest-selling installment in the Zelda franchise.

A similar claim can be made by Super Mario 3D Land, which launched for the 3DS on November 13. According to Fils-Aime, the game has sold more than 500,000 units to date, earning it the title of fastest-selling portable Mario game in company history.

3DS sales, while initially anemic, have rebounded since Nintendo enacted a 32 percent discount in August. Black Friday also proved to be a boon for the 3DS, as Fils-Aime said sales for the portable were up 49 percent compared to the week of November 13, when Super Mario 3D Land debuted. 3DS sales were up 325 percent compared to the week of November 6.

Fils-Aime expects the 3DS to continue its momentum through the holiday season, due in part to the upcoming release of Mario Kart 7 on December 4. The company will also launch a pink 3DS bundle that includes either Nintendogs + cats: French Bulldog and New Friends or Nintendogs + cats: Toy Poodle and New Friends.

The Nintendogs + cats bundles will carry a $170 price tag. They will go on sale December 4, joining the already-available black-and-gold Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS and flame-red Super Mario 3D Land bundles.

Nintendo also saw a strong performance from its five-year-old Wii, which sold more than 500,000 units on Thursday and Friday alone. That's a Black Friday best for the Wii, Fils-Aime said.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 21/11/2011: Zelda & Mario Sell 500k in 2 days
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:37 am 
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Oh god, they'll never learn this way, they'll just make mario and zelda games till the end of time instead of trying to come up with new IP.


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 Post subject: GAME NEWS 19/12/2011: Skyrim ships 10 million
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:03 am 
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Skyrim ships 10 million

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues to post soaring numbers for Bethesda Softworks. Today, Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media announced that its fantasy role-playing game has shipped 10 million units across the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC platforms. That tally amounts to approximately $650 million in retail sales, the publisher noted.

Released to critical acclaim on November 11, Skyrim logged initial shipment figures of 7 million units, 3.5 million of which sold through to consumers within the first 48 hours.

With the publisher calling out "large retail reorders," Skyrim is apparently doing quite well on the PC platform as well. Bethesda said today that the PC version of Skyrim in North America outsold all other PC games by a magnitude of three to one during November. According to Valve, Skyrim is the fastest-selling title on Steam in the digital distribution platform's history. Previously, Valve had announced that the game had set a new Steam record with more than 280,000 concurrent players on Skyrim's launch day.

Bethesda intends to support Skyrim into 2012. PC players will get access to a Creation Kit utility in January that will give users access to Bethesda's own development tools to make new Skyrim content. The studio is also prepping downloadable content for the title, the first two of which will be exclusive to the Xbox 360 platform for 30 days.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 19/12/2011: Skyrim ships 10 million
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:56 pm 
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Talking about walls of text :3

and lol at first post, "172 edits in total"

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 19/12/2011: Skyrim ships 10 million
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:30 pm 
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Modern Warfare 3 DLC hits January 24

Infinity Ward teases latest Call of Duty add-on through Twitter with first image from new map drawing from Bethesda Fountain in New York City's Central Park.

While Activision has already released some of its premium video shows for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty Elite subscribers are still waiting for the meat of the service, a year's worth of downloadable content for Infinity Ward's record-breaking first-person shooter. The wait ends next month, as Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling has announced a January 24 launch date for a Modern Warfare 3 add-on.

The news came in a Twitter post from Bowling that included a picture of a map named "Park" that appears to be set around the distinctive Bethesda Fountain in New York City's Central Park. Bowling called the map "some of the first" DLC for the game and promised more info would arrive next month.

Activision has touted Modern Warfare 3 as the biggest launch in entertainment history after a single day on shelves and then again after five days. Earlier this month, the publisher reiterated the notion, saying Modern Warfare 3 reached $1 billion faster than any other entertainment property, needing just 16 days on sale.

As for Call of Duty Elite, Activision has said the subscription service for its first-person shooter series reached 1 million paid users last month. Elite provides players with gameplay statistics, video sharing, and clan support features for free. Those who shell out for the $50 annual subscription will also receive all downloadable content released in the year, as well as exclusive video content and other perks.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 11/01/2012:MGS: Snake Eater 3D Feb 21st/March 8th
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:20 am 
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Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D creeps into stores March 8.

Konami bringing 3DS stealth action game to North America next month with European debut to follow on March 8.

Japanese gamers will get Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on March 8, but North American fans can pick the title up earlier. Today, Konami announced Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D will arrive in North America on February 21, with a European debut scheduled for March 8.

In addition to announcing North American and European release dates for the game, Konami also confirmed that the title will be compatible with the 3DS Circle Pad Pro accessory.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D is a port of the PlayStation 2 stealth game with tweaks designed to take advantage of the 3DS hardware. These include 3D visuals, as well as touch pad and camera support.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 11/01/2012:MGS: Snake Eater 3D Feb 21st/March 8th
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:11 am 
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Mass Effect 3 demo dropping February 14

Flowers and chocolates are traditional gifts on Valentine's Day, but this year BioWare wants to add Reapers and Omniblade daggers to the list. The studio today announced that a demo for Mass Effect 3 will arrive on Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and PC on February 14.

The demo for Mass Effect 3 drops gamers into the title's opening sequence, allowing players to slog through the initial Reaper attack on Earth. Additionally, the game's demo will give players a taste of the franchise's new co-op multiplayer mode. The Mass Effect 3 demo for the Xbox 360 is fully compatible with the Kinect for the game's voice-recognition features.

The demo's co-op mode unlocks on February 14 for those with a Battlefield 3 online pass and via "other opportunities" that BioWare says will be announced in the near future. The multiplayer option in the demo will open for all on February 17.

Playing the Mass Effect 3 demo will give players more than just a taste of the full experience. As announced last week, those who play the Mass Effect 3 demo will unlock the N7 Armor and Omniblade Daggers for EA's upcoming fantasy role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The N7 Armor is based on Commander Shepard's iconic apparel, and the Omniblade Daggers are holographic blades that let gamers stab foes in close quarters.

Mass Effect 3 is due out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on March 6 in North America, with a European release following on March 9.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 11/01/2012:MGS: Mass Effect 3 demo dropping Feb 14
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:27 am 
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Assassin's Creed III set in Colonial America

[UPDATE] Ubisoft offers box art for upcoming stealth action game, confirms title to be set in Colonial America; full game unveil scheduled for March 5 at 5 p.m. PDT.

Assassin's Creed III will be set in Colonial America, according to purported promotional material for the game.

A Best Buy tipster sent Kotaku an image of what appears to be promotional material for Assassin's Creed III. The image shows an Assassin's Creed-looking hooded character wielding a tomahawk, arrows, and a gun in front of the Continental flag.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations wrapped up Ezio's story, indicating the franchise would shift its focus to a new protagonist in Assassin's Creed III.

Adding credibility to Best Buy's leaked art, the GameStop-owned Game Informer magazine also reportedly leaked similar-looking art for Assassin's Creed III. Toastervision grabbed an image of a hub for Assassin's Creed III (which has since been pulled), showing the hooded character alongside the first United States president, George Washington.

The Best Buy tipster also indicated that Assassin's Creed III will be unveiled officially on March 5, with preorder bonuses also detailed on that day. A reveal on March 5 coincides with the 2012 Game Developers Conference, which runs March 5-9 in San Francisco.

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[UPDATE] Ubisoft has released the box art for Assassin's Creed III (pictured above), confirming rumors that the game will be set in Colonial America. The company also announced that it will officially unveil Assassin's Creed III on March 5 at 5 p.m. PDT.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 11/01/2012:MGS: AC III set in Colonial America
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Star Wars: The Old Republic free-to-play this weekend

BioWare's spacebound MMORPG dropping entry fee for new gamers March 15-19, will let players try out eight character classes, level to 15.

Gamers wishing to try out BioWare's massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic without paying are in luck. From March 15-19, the game will be free to play, the company has announced.

Beginning today at 12:01 a.m. Central US Time, gamers can secure a "Weekend Pass" for The Old Republic and try out the opening adventures of each of the game's eight character classes. Gamers can travel to each class's origin world, as well as their side's capital worlds.

Additionally, those holding a Weekend Pass can try out the game's player-versus-player warzones and work together through Flashpoints: The Esseles and The Black Talon.

The free-to-play version of The Old Republic is not without its restrictions. As stated on the game's website, the Weekend Pass is available only to those who have never had an active game account. Additionally, players can only level their character to 15 and must stay within the above-mentioned zones.

On top of that, players will not be able to use general chat, trade chat, or PVP chat. Further, free players will not be able to exchange mail with other trial characters.

Lastly, free Old Republic players will not be able to use the Galactic Trade Network, earn Legacy XP, or level Crew Skills ranking above 40.

BioWare said it does not plan to delete trial characters following the conclusion of the free weekend, which officially ends on Monday, March 19 at 2 a.m. CT. However, the company said it reserves the right to delete trial characters on "abandoned" accounts

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 15/03/2012:Star Wars: ToR free Weekend!!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Assassin's Creed III PC best with controller, says director

Ubisoft creative director recommends controller over mouse-and-keyboard setup for Windows version of upcoming stealth action game.

Ubisoft wants gamers to play the PC version of Assassin's Creed III not with a mouse-and-keyboard setup, but with a controller. Speaking to GameSpy, Assassin's Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson remarked that the optimal PC experience will be through a controller input.

"We're definitely supporting PC, we love PC, but I think it'll be PC with a controller," he said. "I don't see us investing hugely in a mouse and keyboard setup. I think if you want to play on PC and you want to play Assassin's Creed, you have a controller."

Assassin's Creed III is due out in North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC on October 30, with a European debut scheduled for Halloween. The game is set during the Revolutionary War in Colonial America, with players taking on the role of Native American assassin Connor.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 29/03/2012: AC3 Best with controler: says director
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:30 am 
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Mass Effect 3 sells 1.3 million in US - NPD

BioWare's sci-fi RPG exceeds platinum status in first month; Kid Icarus: Uprising hits 140K, RE: Revelations 122K, Binary Domain 20K

Mass Effect 3 recorded first-month US sales of 1.3 million units across the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions of the trilogy-capping role-playing game, according to NPD data provided to Joystiq.

The figure covers only physical retail copies of the game and does not factor in digitally distributed versions for the PC or PS3. NPD does not break down sales by platform, but Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg said on Twitter that the Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 3 sold 943,000 units during the month, outperforming the PS3 version by a 4:1 margin.

Other NPD data provided to the site reveals that Nintendo 3DS games Kid Icarus: Uprising and Resident Evil: Revelations sold 140,000 and 122,000 copies during March, respectively. Additionally, the site sources NPD data claiming Binary Domain--which went on sale on February 28--sold just 20,000 units during March.

As reported by NPD yesterday, March was a tough month for the industry. Software tanked 26 percent year-over-year, with hardware dipping even more drastically, down 35 percent compared to last year's tally.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 15/04/2012: Mass Effect 3 sells 1.3 million in US
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:49 pm 
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EA investing $80 million into next-gen this year

Publisher puts first bets on coming consoles as digital business brings in $1.2 billion; Star Wars: The Old Republic subscriber base shrinks to 1.3 million.

Electronic Arts is ramping up its investment in the next generation of consoles. The publisher revealed today that for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, it is investing $80 million "in development of games for Gen4 console systems."

EA has already made some next-gen commitments, as CEO John Riccitiello took the stage at Nintendo's last Electronic Entertainment Expo to confirm support for the Wii U, and suggest that Battlefield 3 could find its way to the system. Representatives with the company have also teased a Mass Effect game for the system, but squashed hopes of Crysis 3 for Nintendo's next console. The Wii U is set for release later this year, but both Microsoft and Sony have told gamers not to expect word of their next systems before 2013.

As for its present efforts, EA reported net sales of $4.14 billion for the full year, up from $3.59 billion for the previous fiscal year. The recently completed campaign also saw EA return to profitability, posting a net income of $76 million for the year, compared to a loss of $276 million for the year before. The publisher touted its digital business in particular, saying it brought in $1.2 billion for the year between its downloadable games, subscription fees, add-on content, and mobile and social platforms.

FIFA Soccer 12 did especially well, bringing in $108 million in digital revenues (largely through its FIFA Ultimate Team mode), with another $34 million expected for the current year. The company also has high hopes for Battlefield 3, saying the first-person shooter has generated $61 million in digital revenue, with another $97 million expected in the current fiscal year. Both series posted their best-ever years for digital sales.

EA also updated its Star Wars: The Old Republic subscription numbers, which have dropped off somewhat. In February, EA said the massively multiplayer online role-playing game had 1.7 million subscribers. Today, the publisher put the number at 1.3 million, down about 24 percent. Last month, a BioWare developer claimed The Old Republic wasn't losing subscribers at all, saying only that the peak concurrent user numbers were down.

The digital focus on EA is only going to grow, as the publisher told investors the sector will continue to drive its numbers for the coming year. For the full year ending March 31, 2013, EA expects net revenues to be $4.08 billion, with a loss per share between $0.36 and $0.16.

"In the coming year, we break away from the pack, with a very different profile than the traditional game companies and capabilities that none of our new digital competitors can match," Riccitiello said in a statement.

As for the quarter ended March 31, EA said it posted net revenues of $1.37 billion, up from $1.09 billion. The company's quarterly net income hit $400 million, up year-over-year from $151 million.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 08/5/2012: EA investing $80 million into next-gen
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:53 pm 
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$80 million?
Well, let's see how that investment turns out.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 08/5/2012: EA investing $80 million into next-gen
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Mass Effect 3 ending OK'd by UK ad bureau

Advertising Standards Authority says claims of individualized finale to sci-fi trilogy were not misleading; EA says ending variation takes place over final 3-5 hours of gameplay.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has weighed in on complaints about the ending of Mass Effect 3, saying that Electronic Arts' promises of player decisions shaping the conclusion of the sci-fi role-playing trilogy were not misleading.
Where does the end of Mass Effect 3 begin?

After Mass Effect 3's March debut, fans vocally expressed their distaste for the endgame, saying the conclusion (which was capped off by one of three largely similar cutscenes) did not support player choices made over the course of the trilogy. Specifically at issue for the ASA were claims on the game's website that player decisions "completely shape your experience and outcome," and "drive powerful outcomes, including relationships with key characters, the fate of entire civilizations, and even radically different ending scenarios." Before ultimately concluding that the ad was not misleading, the ASA explained its position.

The ASA acknowledged the complainants' belief that players' choices in the game did not influence the outcome to the extent claimed by EA. However, we considered that the three choices at the end of the game were thematically quite different, and that the availability and effectiveness of those choices would be directly determined by a player's [Effective Military Strength] score, which was calculated with reference to previous performance in the game(s). We also acknowledged that there appeared to be a large number of minor variations in the end stages of ME3, and that those were directly impacted by choices made by players earlier in the game(s). Whilst we acknowledged that the advertiser had placed particular emphasis on the role that player choices would play in determining the outcome of the game, we considered that most consumers would realise there would be a finite number of possible outcomes within the game and, because we considered that the advertiser had shown that players' previous choices and performance would impact on the ending of the game, we concluded that the ad was not misleading.

Electronic Arts also offered its own defense of the ad, telling the ASA that it considered the ending of Mass Effect 3 to take place over the final three to five hours of the game, and not just in the very last cutscene. A portion of the publisher's spoiler-filled explanation follows below.

[Electronic Arts] said the effectiveness of the choice made was also dependent on the EMS score, for example whether the main character "Shepard" would survive and whether the Earth was destroyed. They said there were also a large number of other, more minor, variations. In particular, they explained how the outcome of the Geth/Quarian Campaign and the Genophage Campaign would impact on the cinematic experience at the end of the game, and the implied end state of the player's story. They said that characters who had died during previous games in the series, as a result of player actions, would not be present in ME3, and that other actions in previous games could also lead to the death of supporting characters in the game.

A Better Business Bureau representative said in April that Mass Effect 3's ending had been falsely advertised, but the US group differs from the ASA in that it has no legal authority to impose sanctions on companies.

Regardless, BioWare is revisiting the ending of Mass Effect 3 this summer with free "Extended Cut" downloadable content intended to expand on the RPG's endgame through "cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes."

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 14/6/2012: ME3 ending OK'd by UK ad bureau
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:45 pm 
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New 3DS XL hitting Europe in July/North America this August

Supersize 3DS model coming to North America August 19 for $200; both 3DS and Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros. to be developed by Namco Bandai; more 3DS games announced, European release confirmed for July 28.

Nintendo has announced a new 3DS model--the 3DS XL--for release in North America this August. The new 3DS system will feature larger screens, a bigger body, and longer battery life. The announcement was made during today's Nintendo Direct broadcast.
The 3DS XL: bigger and better.

The body of the new 3DS will be 46 percent larger, measuring 93x156x22mm, and will feature 90 percent larger screens. The system's battery life will also be longer than its predecessor, with the device lasting between 3.5 to 6.5 hours, while running 3DS software. If the device is running DS games, Nintendo announced that it will run 6 to 10 hours.

The 3DS XL will be released in Japan on July 28, this year, in white, red and black, and silver and black colour variants. The North American version will be out on August 19 and will come in blue and red colour variants. The 3DS XL will also come with a bigger SD card.

Players will pay 18,900 yen ($235) for the device in Japan; North American gamers will pay $199.99 for the new console.

The Japanese release date coincides with the release of 3DS titles New Super Mario Bros. 2 and 5 Minute Oni Training, a new Brain Age title. Both of these titles will be sold at retail stores, and also in downloadable form via Nintendo's eShop.

Nintendo also announced that both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. sequel will be developed by Namco Bandai Games. While Kid Icarus: Uprising developer Masahiro Sakurai will be helming the project, Namco Bandai producer Masaya Kobayashi (Ridge Racer series) and director Yoshito Higuchi (Tales series) will be involved as producer and director, respectively.

Nintendo also detailed the Kirby Memorial compilation. The collection contains six Kirby games from the series, a motto challenge mode containing stages from the most recent Kirby title on the Wii, and a Kirby History mode, which contains movies and anime tie-ins from the series. The collection will be out on July 19 in Japan.

New titles introduced for the first time include a soccer game called Pocket Soccer League Calciobit for the 3DS. The game features online support and will be out on July 12 in Japan. Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2 by Tecmo Koei was also announced and will retain the same core action from past Samurai Warriors games. That game will be out on September 13 in Japan.

Namco Bandai also announced a new 3DS RPG called Lost Heroes. The game is billed as a classic dungeon crawler akin to Etrian Odyssey and features characters from the Kamen Rider series. It will be out on September 6 in Japan.

Lollipop Chainsaw publishers Kadokawa Games announced a new music rhythm game for the 3DS, called AKB48+ME. The game features the songs of J-pop group AKB48 and a "live mode," where players can use Miis in tune to the aforementioned songs. The title will be out this fall in Japan.

Nintendo also announced an eShop exclusive called Gyouretsu Nageloop. The puzzle game has players knocking people out of a queue by throwing a person of a particular colour onto a group of three to four people matching that colour. The game will be out this summer in Japan.

Other highlights include gameplay footage from previously announced 3DS titles, with Japanese release dates including Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Soul Hackers (August 30), Square Enix RPG Bravely Default (2012), Project X Zone (2012), Lost Planet spin-off E.X. Troopers (2012), and Animal Crossing (fall 2012).

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 24/6/2012: 3DS XL hitting Europe in July/NA in Aug
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:30 pm 
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Gears of War: Judgment arriving March 19

Epic Games-People Can Fly shooter landing exclusively on Xbox 360 early next year, reveals director of production Rod Fergusson.

Gears of War: Judgment will arrive during March 2013, Epic Games director of production Rod Fergusson told game-centric television show X-Play (via the program's Twitter account). Previously, the game was expected sometime in early 2013.
Gears of War: Judgment goes to war in March.

March 2013 is gearing up to be loaded with big-name games. Projects already confirmed for launch during that window include the Tomb Raider reboot, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and God of War: Ascension.

Gears of War: Judgment is the first entry in the series since last year's trilogy-capping Gears of War 3. Developed by Epic Games in conjunction with Bulletstorm studio People Can Fly, the project focuses on series soldier Damon Baird and will not use the Kinect.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 15/7/2012: Gears of War: Judgment March 13th
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Rockstar animation unit opened in India

CG animation studio Technicolor establishes dedicated art and animation team in Bangalore to work with GTA studio on future products.

CG animation studio Technicolor establishes dedicated art and animation team in Bangalore to work with GTA studio on future products.CG animation studio Technicolor establishes dedicated art and animation team in Bangalore to work with GTA studio on future products.

It was not announced which projects the new Technicolor team will be working on. Announced Rockstar games in the pipeline include the much-anticipated Grand Theft Auto V and Agent, which has long laid behind the curtain. Additionally, Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser has expressed interest in making Bully 2, and a sequel to Red Dead Redemption seems likely, considering its runaway commercial and critical success.

Some of Technicolor's other clients include game companies like Sony Computer Entertainment America, Square Enix, and Electronic Arts, as well as film and television companies like DreamWorks Animation and Nickelodeon.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 5/10/2012: Rockstar animation unit opened in India
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:46 pm 
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PlayStation 4 dev kits shipping to developers

Sony is allegedly conducting briefings on the capabilities of the next PlayStation device; features and hardware were detailed. While Sony has remained silent on the next iteration of its home console, details are beginning to emerge, with sources close to VG24/7 reporting that Sony is beginning to share its plans and specs for the PlayStation 4 with key partners.

The electronics giant is believed to be currently conducting briefing sessions with select US software developers on the capabilities of the PlayStation 4, which is being referred to only by its codename: Orbis. Some game publishers are believed to be taking delivery of an enhanced version of the console’s development kit now, with version one understood to have been little more than a graphics card. The current “modified PC” update, and January’s upcoming third refresh, is believed to be indicative of the final specs, before the unit is provided “next summer” (in the US), ahead of a predicted pre-E3 reveal of the device to the public.

Sources went on to disclose that the console will be powered by AMD’s A10 APU, a combination CPU and GPU single chip, with dev kits featuring either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, a Blu-ray optical drive, and a 256GB hard-disk drive. Ethernet, HDMI, and Wi-Fi functionality are all believed to be making the jump from the PS3 to its successor.

Sony is also reportedly briefing developers on some of its intentions for the device, with suggestions that the user interface on the next PlayStation will be overhauled, and that activating the PS button on the controller mid-game will allow users to explore any part of the system, including the PlayStation Store to buy DLC without the need to leave the active session.

While no pricing details are known, tipsters confirmed that Sony’s approach with its next console is to offer something “very affordable” but “isn’t a slouch”.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 04/11/2012: PlayStation 4 kits shipping to develop
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Xbox 720, PS4 could start at $350, says analyst

Robert W. Baird industry watcher predicts next-gen console prices, believes "lackluster" Wii U launch and holiday sales a concern.

According to one analyst, the cost of entry for next-generation consoles will be lower than prior system launches. Robert W. Baird industry watcher Colin Sebastian issued a note to investors today, predicting that the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 could debut at $350-$400.

The Xbox 360 launched in 2005 at $400, with the PlayStation 3 debuting in 2006 beginning at $500.

Sebastian's estimations are based on conversations with a range of game developers and distributors held last week during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Sebastian explained that these conversations yielded "interesting takeaways with respect to next-generation game development and more broadly, the intensifying battle for the living room."

Sebastian also predicted that the Xbox 720 and PS4 will be built using existing "off-the-shelf" high-end PC components. Other features may include a hybrid physical-digital distribution model, "enhanced" voice controls and motion sensing, as well as "broad multimedia capabilities."

What's more, Sebastian estimates that the PC-based architecture of the new consoles will carry a range of advantages, the first of which is a shorter learning curve for developers compared to existing technology. In addition, this will allow developers to more easily build online services and capabilities, including free-to-play and subscriptions.

Regarding the PS4 specifically, Baird said some production snags may limit the console's launch quantities or timing. According to field checks, these production issues could negatively affect the console's launch, though Baird said these snags are "not necessarily fatal, or even unusual.

As for when the Xbox 720 and PS4 may be announced, Sebastian believes Sony and Microsoft will hold dedicated events prior to the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (June 11-13, 2013) to finally unveil these machines. If all goes to Sebastian's prediction, Sony and Microsoft will hype the consoles during E3 2013 itself before shipping the systems to retail during October and November, respectively. This timetable is in line with previous predictions.

Also in Sebastian's note to investors today, the analyst said Nintendo may be facing an uphill battle with its recently launched Wii U. He predicted that Nintendo will shift to a "niche category" and is concerned that the console will lack broad appeal beyond the dedicated fans.

He said following the Wii U's "lackluster" launch and holiday sales (the Wii U did not outsell the 2006 original Wii during the period), Nintendo must release major first-party games, including the rumored Wii U Zelda title. This would be the only way to "retain the support of key third-party developers and reduce marketshare loss."

In the bleakest of scenarios, Sebastian said Nintendo would be forced to lower the Wii U price point earlier than it would like and even give consideration to releasing first-party titles--like Mario and Donkey Kong--on other platforms.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 14/01/2013: Xbox 720, PS4 could start at $350
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:14 am 
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Read something about the PS$ being announced by Sony on Feb 20th.

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 Post subject: Re: GAME NEWS 14/01/2013: Xbox 720, PS4 could start at $350
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:34 pm 
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Rockstar shoots down GTAV delay conspiracy theories

Developer says such theories are "all nonsense," there were no ulterior motives for four-month delay.

Rockstar Games has shot down conspiracy theories related to Grand Theft Auto V's recent four-month delay. Writing on the company's website, Rockstar said GTAV's delay from spring to September was for quality purposes and nothing else.

"To those of you saying or seeing various conspiracy theories about there being some other ulterior motive for this delay, rest assured that they’re all nonsense," the company said. "Literally the only reason we’ve delayed the release is because we want the game to be as good as it needs to be."

Shares of Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive and specialty retailer GameStop tumbled following GTAV's delay last week. The companies have since rebounded.

In addition, Rockstar confirmed that GTAV's official box art will be revealed "a bit later." The box art was previously slated to debut in January.

GTAV is due out September 17, 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Wii U and PC versions are "up for consideration," according to Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser.

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