Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 60 (week 12, 2012) - News - FileFront News Posted by: Danny on 03-27-2012 @ 16:18
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Here it is the 60th version of the Weekly Gamefront Network News Update, the news part of the update covers the news side of the Network and the Gamefront Main site over the past week. There has been a fair bit of news from the Main site including a lot of trailers, reviews, previews and a lot more, with a lot of interesting articles this week on new consoles, piracy and even a real wipeout model!. However you can find more news from the main Gamefront site - Here
We would love to hear any suggestions that you have; if you see something that you would like to be added to the Weekly Network Update, or you have any suggestions that you think may improve the Network Update then simply drop me an email at Danny[at]filefront[dot]com (please put "Network Update" as the subject though ).
Also If you like the Network Update please feel free write a comment as I would love to hear any critism, or support (constructive though please as this is the only way that I know how good or bad the insider is and it would help me to improve this further). Also I should mention that the comments section is not for complaining about the bugs of the network sites, most of these we do know about and are with the Break.com Tech Team , also again this is not the place for comments about the bugs, I myself do not have the ability or the knowledge to fix them, although you can use our forums to post your comments here - http://forums.filefront.com/filefront-com-help-center-1272/
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Gamefront News: A Closer Look At NVIDIA’s Geforce GTX 680
Last week, we had the opportunity to get a close up look at NVIDIA’s new Geforce GTX 680. The Internet being what it is, the majority of what I intended to report to Game Front readers has been spoiled by the timely leak of an NVIDIA video describing the amazing new GPU. Even so, I can confirm that yes, it is quite amazing, and if what I saw is no longer a secret, I can give a bit more information. To sum things up, it’s going to be expensive, but if you care at all about how your games look, and have the cash to burn, it’ll be worth every penny.
The GTX 680′s capabilities were evident a few weeks back at GDC, when Epic showed off what it can do with a video called Samaritan. In 2011, they showed that video using three Geforce GTX 580s. This year’s demo accomplished the same thing using a single GTX 680. Simply put, everything about the The GTX 680 is impressive. It’s more powerful, more functional, and even manages to use less power, emit less heat and generate less noise.
The reason the 680 is able to pull off feats like this is the tech NVIDIA has crammed onto it. Using the new Kepler architecture unveiled a few weeks back, it boasts a new version of the GTX series’ streaming multiprocessor called SMX, and each unit has 2 SMX for each graphical processing cluster (there are 4 GPCs total). It has an astonishing 1536 stream processors (up from the 580′s 512), 32 ROPs and 128 texture units. Its core clock is 1006MHz, memory clock 6.008GHz, and Boost clock 1058MHz. Frankly, this thing is kind of a tiny monster.
I am become Death, destroyer of noobs. War may have been the hero of the first Darksiders game, but in Darksiders II, players will take control of Death, his more agile, more sinister, more…deadly brother. Though the characters share the same linebacker physique, Death looks more like a corpse — pallid and sinewy, with stringy black hair and a skull mask that makes him resemble Casey Jones from TMNT. Voice acting by The Crow’s Michael Wincott provides a suitably guttural, laconic tone.
Darksiders II is a “parallel” sequel; the events of the game will take place alongside the events of its predecessor. The story is the expected Comic-Book-of-Revelation gobbledygook, mixing biblical allusions and fantasy tropes into a teeming, epic stew.
Developers Vigil games are particularly proud of the size, scope, and scale of the world they built this time around. Death will have multiple regions to visit; each individual region is the size of the first game’s entire world.
Thanks to the efforts of the game’s creative director, comics artist Joe Madureira, Darksiders II preserves the same colorful, hyperbolic art style that made the first game so distinctive. At at PR event in San Francisco, assembled journalists were given access to three hours of gameplay inside The Foundry, a lava-filled dungeon located in a region called The Maker’s Realm. Part wizards, part technologists, the Makers favor architecture that gamers will recognize as “Dwarven,” with lots of chunky bronze and megalithic machinery.
A gamer’s work is never done. Despite the number of terrific titles already released in 2012, things are only getting started. Whether you’re excited for Diablo III or Bioshock: Infinite, read on for a comprehensive look at the all the great games the year has in store.
Kinect Star Wars (360) – April 3rd
Tribes: Ascend (PC) – April 12th
The Witcher 2 (360) – April 17th
Prototype 2 (360, PS3) – April 24th (PC July 24th)
The Walking Dead (PSN, XBLA, PC, Mac) – April TBA
Tera (PC) – May 1st
Minecraft (360) – May 9th
Diablo III (PC) – May 15th
Max Payne 3 (PC, PS3, 360)- May 15th
Game of Thrones (PC, PS3, 360) – May 15th
Risen 2 (PC, PS3, 360) – May 22nd
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PS3, 360) – May 22nd
Inversion (PC, 360, PS3) – June 5th
The Secret World (PC) – June 19th
Darksiders II (PC, 360, PS3) – June 26th
A Ninja Gaiden game has only one job: be punitively difficult.
That’s really it. They don’t have to ‘tell a compelling story’, because the series has never been one for plots that make sense, they don’t need a complex mythology because series protagonist Ryu Hayabusa has never really existed as anything more than a plot device excuse for killing enemies. They’ve never really even had stealth mechanics, making the titular Ninja more of a masked warrior than a sneaky assassin. But good lord, were they ever difficult, requiring a combination of infinite patience and tactical brilliance that could drive gamers crazy, were it not for the thrill of actually managing to succeed.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for Ninja Gaiden 3. As it turns out, fears that the departure of Tomonobu Itagaki (along with the majority of his team) from Team Ninja would cripple the series were completely founded. Tecmo has not only discarded Ninja Gaiden’s central appeal – horrendous difficulty – they’ve also turned in a travesty of a game that, in its best moments, is a mere shell of the series’ former glory.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: Team Ninja
Released: March 22, 2012
A trove of Assassin’s Creed 3 information dove off a church steeple today and landed in the hay we call the Internet. Thanks in part to reporting by VG247, Vox Games, and Kotaku, we can add to what we already know about this highly anticipated title, which has been in development for “well over two years” according to IP development director Tommy Francois.
Assassin’s Creed 3′s hero, new assassin Connor Ratohnhaké:ton, is a fascinating character. Part Mohawk, part British, Connor is caught between two cultures and between two warring factions vying for control of America’s revolutionary destiny.
Whereas Altair was motivated by “duty,” and Ezio by “revenge,” Connor is apparently motivated by “justice.”
This might have something to do with his traumatic past; Connor sees his village destroyed and is left frustrated by his tribe’s unwillingness to do anything about it.
Though the character is an “Olympic-caliber athlete,” designers were careful to ground his abilities in reality, and not rely on any super-human gimmicks.
The voice actor performing the character is half-Blackfoot.
This time around, Ubisoft is performing all the motion, voice, and facial motion capture simultaneously.
They’ll also be rendering even more bones in the face, and the game will switch to hi-res faces on the fly to increase realism during conversations.
Gamefront News: And Now, Some New Details About The Upcoming Left 4 Dead DLC
New details about the upcoming new Left 4 Dead 2 DLC have been revealed in a somewhat circumspect update on the official Left 4 Dead blog. We know what it’s going to be called, and what it does. We just don’t know when you’ll be able to play. DRAMA!
The new DLC will be called ‘Four Swordsmen of the Apocalypse’. It’s a survival pack in which you and 4 friends fight off wave after wave of zombies using only swords. “Armed with only swords the survivors face near continuous streams of Special Infected ready to be sliced and diced.” That sounds fairly awesome, though we’ll of course have to wait and see when it launches. Which will be… sometime. “Now that we have a solid version of the maps (some minor changes still coming),” the post says, “we are focused on the DLC and getting some pesky bugs out of the shipping version. As soon as we have a release date we will let you know.”
They’re currently also deciding on another Mutation, taking votes on Twitter. You can tweet your preference, with the most tweets deciding the winner. As of this post, it’s looking like Versus Survival will win out.
H/T Brenna for alerting us to an error that has been corrected.
Bethesda has filed a new trademark that’s gotten tongues wagging and pundits guessing. It’s called Dawnguard, and some suspect that it may be a clue hinting at the first expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. We’re definitely due some news on that, I reckon.
Naturally, the trademark listing itself gives us nothing but vague pointlessness, stating the name is to be used in conjunction with, “computer game software for use with computers and video game consoles; downloadable computer game software offered via the internet and wireless devices.”
As well as Skyrim content, some speculate it could be another mobile outing for the Elder Scrolls series, like Dawnstar. VG247 notes how the name sounds like it could be associated with the Order of the Mythic Dawn, a cult that kicked off the Oblivion crisis and has a fun little sidequest line in Skyrim. Really, this thing could be anything.
It’d be silly to blindly guess at what it might be, but why not do it anyway?
The fan outrage caused by the ending to Mass Effect 3 — and the conclusion to the series — has “genuinely surprised” BioWare.
In a lengthy statement posted to the BioWare social forums, BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka said:
Mass Effect 3 concludes a trilogy with so much player control and ownership of the story that it was hard for us to predict the range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it. The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes an intense range of highly personal emotions in the player; even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us. This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way. We’re already working hard to do that.
Be sure to read Muzyka’s full statement.
I must say, I’m genuinely surprised that he’s genuinely surprised. The fact that BioWare concluded a series with “so much player control and ownership of the story” the way they did and didn’t expect rage to be within “the intense range of highly personal emotions in the player” is mind-boggling.
The only range of emotions I’ve observed in the community has been denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The response to Mass Effect 3′s ending has taken the internet by storm, and by surprise. Opinions have run strong — some too strong, according to BioWare GM Ray Muzyka. In a statement released today, Muzyka singled out “destructive” criticism, which BioWare won’t be paying attention to:
Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example — has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.
Even though Game Front agrees with the fans criticizing the ending, we enjoin our readers to try to keep their remarks constructive (or, at least, civil). They’re more likely to have an impact if they are, and besides — it’s the nice thing do. Choose Paragon over Renegade on this one, guys.
It might seem blasphemous – it certainly does to us – but Blizzard is still very much considering a Diablo 3 port to consoles. That news is courtesy of Computer and Videogames, who spoke frankly with Blizzard COO Paul Sams on the subject. The gist of that discussion is that Blizzard continues to insist that their developmental decisions are based on factors other than financial concerns, and a console version of Diablo 3 just “makes a lot of sense”.
“We get a lot of questions about why we haven’t made a game for consoles before,” Sams said. “I tell them the same thing I tell them about business models: we don’t let business models or platforms drive our decisions. Those are secondary to what’s the most important aspect for us which is the gameplay.” So what does this mean for a console version of Diablo 3? “We think that the way we built it for the PC may need some tweaking, but it will ultimately be the type of game that can really make sense and be really fun, well polished and a true Blizzard-level experience on a console.”
Crytek told Gamasutra at GDC last week that development of software for high-end PCs will have a trickle down-effect for emerging mobile and browser platforms.
Carl Jones, director of global business development at Crytek, said the company’s CryEngine game development middleware for PC will be the foundation for diversifying Crytek’s business.
Right now [CryEngine's evolution] is about DirectX 11 and high-end PC, because the new PC architecture that’s out there right now gives us a whole lot more to play with. And we think the benefits of building that stuff will apply to future platforms, even as we move into the tablet and mobile space.
The high-end GPU with a really powerful processor is going to become more ubiquitous as an architecture, and that’s something we want to push with the PC market that’s out there. And we hope that filters through other platforms in the future. So that’s one strategy — keep pushing the high-end.
Crytek was always a staunch supporter of the PC platform, but has diversified in recent years to the console and tablet market, and is currently developing CryEngine for browsers.
Jones said the following about the commercial release of CryEngine for web browsers:
It’s always difficult to say when it’ll be done, because we like to finish things when they’re quality-finished, not time-finished. So I don’t know [when it will come out]. I would hope towards the end of this year, people can start seeing browser-based CryEngine games, but we’ll see. There are other things that will have to happen first.
Quake Live shows us that we can run ten-year-old FPS games in a web browser with ease, but a CryEngine game? How stripped down will it be?
BioWare has announced that development of new content for Dragon Age 2 has been canceled and that the entire team has been repositioned on “the next phase of Dragon Age’s future.”
Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah stated to the forums via proxy:
While we will still be keeping an eye out for any issues that might crop up in DA2 and supporting the community should any emergencies should arise, we’re moving the entire team’s focus to the next phase of Dragon Age’s future.
Darrah clarified on Twitter:
TL;DR Version: We're done development on Dragon Age II, and the team has fully moved onto The Next Thing(tm).
19 Mar 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
He went on to explain that a major DA2 project, titled Exalted March, was canceled:
We did have plans for an expansion pack to DA2 but, other DA opportunities came up. There were even shirts! It was called Exalted March.
19 Mar 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Perhaps we’ll yet see Exalted March in the next DA title.
While I understand DA2 polarized the DA fan base and received harsh criticism, I enjoyed the game, and am sad to see it die this way. What does the future have in store for the series? Is “the next phase of Dragon Age’s future” Dragon Age 3, or will it be (dare I say it?) a Dragon Age MMO?
At the recent CCP keynote, NVIDIA and CCP announced that EVE players will be able to buy a GTX 560 graphics card with in-game currency. The official cost, including shipping, is 20 PLEX, a currency that can either be purchased with real money or through EVE’s in-game currency, ISK.
Initially, only 100 cards will be available, and players will be limited to one card per account, but NVIDIA and CCP may decide to offer more cards in the future. If you want a card, you’ll have to keep a lookout for a registration page to pop-up on the EVE website soon and snag one before they run out.
Now, my question is — and it’s been years since I’ve played EVE, so please bear with me — since when does EVE need a high-end graphics card?
Brace yourselves people. Over the weekend, someone claiming to be the friend of a fired former Rockstar employee posted an enormous number of purported details about Grand Theft Auto V. Among other things, the post dished on the size of the map (it’s huge), multiplayer details, and the surprising news that the game will feature slight weapons customizations. The post also purports to confirm that as predicted by everyone except me, the older man featured in the original trailer is the game’s protagonist, and that his name is indeed Albert De Silva.
This post was soon deleted – you can still see the google cache version here – which would seem to indicate that it might indeed be legitimate. However, as ripten (from whom we saw this) points out, this is an awful lot of information for a game that supposedly isn’t due for another 14 months. The post also contains a rather inaccurate depiction of how corporate contracts work, suggesting that being fired terminates any obligations to adhere to non disclosure agreements. I can assure you all this is definitely not the case, and that if the post is truthful, the employee who leaked these details through his friend is probably facing legal sanctions.
As always, this information should therefore be taken with a huge grain of salt. Perhaps we’ll see more if that Belgian magazine cover turns out to be true.
Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn, a fan-made sequel ten years in the making, will finally release on March 22, and has EA’s tacit approval — only because the developers have not been issued a cease and desist order. Built on the Freespace 2 engine, The Darkest Dawn has 55 missions, 70 cinematics and 11,000 lines of dialogues voiced by 60 voice actors, amounting to nine hours of audio — impressive for a fan enterprise.
The developers have said:
We are not officially or unofficially sanctioned or endorsed by Chris Roberts, Origin, or EA. We are thankful to them for permitting us to make Saga- as manifested by them taking no action to shut us down but allowing us to develop it, just as they have done with other projects like Standoff and Privateer: Gemini Gold- but they have in no way, shape, or form sanctioned our project, nor have they done anything to make it official. They have not contacted us and we have not discussed it with them. Once again, we are thankful that they are permitting us to do this, but no endorsement of Saga by these entities should be implied from that fact.
This year’s FIFA Interactive World Cup tournament has reached one million players — over 130,000 more than last year’s. That’s a lot of people shouting, “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!”
FIFA surveyed more than 10,000 registered players in the tournament throughout the world and found that 58% of players believe that the hours they spent playing in the tournament will improve their soccer skills and translate to a marked improvement on the actual field — in real life.
43% of participants claimed they had “dreamt about playing FIFA 12.” I’ve dreamt about playing Unreal Tournament 3 back in the day, so I sure as hell won’t be cracking a joke about this.
While I personally think the most interesting thing to ever happen in soccer was Zinedine Zidane headbutting Materazzi, it’s nice to see sports fans embracing the gaming industry.
They’ve been blamed for mass murder. They’ve been blamed for crime. They’ve even been blamed for political unrest. There are all terrible, terrible things they actually had nothing to do with but are still responsible for. But the true threat posed by video games has never been confronted. Until Now.
At long last, the brave journalists at The Sun have finally managed to make the nefarious, nonexistent connection between video gaming, and SCARY INTERNATIONAL TERROR!
Granted, what the Sun doesn’t mention is that the only thing Al Queda would learn playing Call of Duty is that we can defeat them by requiring them to purchase a gold membership to access any foreign country. But just to be safe, we should burn all our Xboxes and hang anyone caught talking about hunting zombies.
Within days after the Child’s Play fundraiser started by members of the fan community united in pushing for a new ending to Mass Effect 3 was shut down, a new altruistic opportunity tied to the game and its players has popped up.
Known as “Full Paragon,” the new charity fundraiser is Mass Effect-related and riffs on the Paragon/Renegade choices presented in the game, but unrelated to the controversial “Retake Mass Effect 3″ movement to which the Child’s Play fundraiser was tied. Full Paragon funds Kids Need to Read, a charity that encourages literacy in children. After about three days, the fundraiser has already earned $3,750 of its stated $25,000 goal — not quite the explosion of support seen for the Child’s Play drive, but certainly respectable.
The Retake Mass Effect Child’s Play fund drive, which earned $80,000 in roughly 11 days of existence, was ended at the request of the Child’s Play charity for a number of reasons. Among them was the fact that many seemed to believe the charity had directly endorsed the movement — in fact, while the fundraiser was being facilitated and promoted by the Retake community, Child’s Play had nothing to do with it.
Late last year, we reported that Good Old Games would begin to offer new indie titles, in addition to the awesome old games it already provides. Four months later, that time has finally come. Today, in an interview published on GameSpot, GOG managing director Guillaume Rambourg and CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski detailed some of the changes that will take place tomorrow, March 27th, at 9 a.m. GMT.
First and foremost, the site is changing its name to simply “GOG,” to reflect the fact that it will now be offering newer games. These will include indie titles like Trine and The Whispered World, which will be available tomorrow, as well as Machinarium, Darwinia, and Spacechem, which will arrive in the near future.
GOG also plans to offer AAA titles that are 1-3 years old, along with a few “carefully chosen” new releases. More than anything, however, the site deserves credit for its principled business model. GOG is committed to providing all its games DRM-free, in order to demonstrate their worth. “Treat gamers like customers instead of criminals,” Iwinski points out, “and you’ll go an even longer way towards showing them that your game is worth buying.”
Grab your contraband weapons and ski masks, people: We may soon be getting our first real look at Grand Theft Auto V. That is if an image posted to the blog All Games Beta turns out to be real. They’ve posted what looks like the cover of the April issue of a Belgian gaming magazine called Chief, featuring the GTA V logo, and several teaser lines. If true, then this means, for some reason, that either Rockstar is going to the Dutch press first, or that someone has leaked some pretty important stuff.
There’s just a couple of catches. First, All Games Beta appears to be a content farm/clearing house for iffy rumors and easily available information. That doesn’t mean the this is fake of course. However, Chief Magazine’s official website doesn’t load. It appears to have gone down this afternoon, however, as I was able to briefly access it prior to that, my guess is that increased traffic due to this rumor crashed it. Even so, this would be an astonishing amount of information for a game that most analysts think won’t be out until 2013. Until we can verify this is indeed the cover, be wary.
Here’s a look at the supposed cover. NOTE: The teasers (translated) say: “The mystery unraveled”; “The first images”; “Los Santos already mapped”; “Who will be the new Niko Bellic?”
A couple of weeks back, during GDC Maxis was on hand claiming that the upcoming new installment of Sim City would use the most complex engine in series history, with the capability to monitor and employ thousands of micro-simulations for a richer, subtler experience that, among other things, can create realistic smog conditions (including reduced worker productivity due to sick days). Maxis has now released the first in a series of videos giving us a much closer look into the engine, dubbed Glassbox.
The intent here is to demonstrate just how complex a simulation Glassbox can handle. Here, we’ll see how each simulation unit contains variable aspects and operates under specific rules (which appear to be somewhat unique). These rules will trigger certain effects; “what you see is always a 1:1 representation” of what is being simulated. What’s cool is that individual simulation units can be combined with other units for combined effects, for instance adding garages to a Firehouse. The level of depth is also impressive, particularly the way elements are added to a given map; the composition of a map will actually affect things like pollution.
Don’t start typing ‘fund’ just yet. This video doesn’t feature anything close to final game graphics. But it’s an excellent look at the skeleton of Sim City 5, and frankly, I’m drooling. Enjoy
Since it began in 2010, the Humble Bundle has been a force for good in this mixed-up world of gaming. The package combines top-notch indie titles and a “pay what you want” pricing model, while also donating a healthy portion of the proceeds to charity.
Now in its 11th iteration, the Bundle just keeps adding features, like mobile gaming support. New installment The Humble Bundle for Android 2, is made up of Canabalt, Zen Bound 2, Cogs, and Avadon: The Black Fortress. Pay more than the average customer (a mere $6.38!), and you get access to the side-scroller Swords & Soldiers. A number of full soundtracks are also included, and the games will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as Android. When it comes to value for your gaming dollar, the Humble Bundle is hard to beat.
The first Bioshock was an incredible game, but it was pretty terse. Plot and character development were delivered via efficient, carefully written dialogue, not Metal Gear-style bloviating. It’s not much of a surprise, then, when Irrational Games head Ken Levine says that “just one level of BioShock Infinite writing and the amount of character interaction we have is probably three or four times as much writing as in all of BioShock 1.”
In a fascinating interview with Eurogamer, Levine dishes on his storytelling strategy. The approach, which favors gameplay over cutscenes, will be accompanied by a hardcore “1999 Mode,” when the game ships on October 16th, 2012.
Good news to disfigured Shepards everywhere: Mass Effect 3‘s face import issues will be solved in the next patch.
BioWare Community Coordinator Chris Priestly gave us the good news via the BioWare forums
, but followed it with the unfortunate reality that we can’t know when the patch will be released just yet:
The not completely good news is that I do not yet have a confirmed date for when the patch will be available. A new patch gets heavily tested by BioWare, EA, Microsoft and Sony before it can be released to the public. We all want to be sure that it fixes the issues it is supposed to fix and doesn’t start any new issues (this is called testing or certification testing ). If a patch fails during testing, it is sent back, fixed again and retested until it passes. Then it is released to gamers. Until we know that the patch has passed certification testing, I don’t want to give even a rough idea of the date, to prevent disappointment should it need further testing.
So I’m sorry I don’t have the full answer you all want and are waiting for yet. When I can give you the date when the patch will be available I will.
Apparently, the issue was an error with how codes were detected when transferred from Mass Effect 1 into Mass Effect 2 and then on into Mass Effect 3 or importing a Mass Effect 2 saved game with New Game +.
According to a recent job posting, Microsoft is developing a “AAAA” Xbox game. No, that’s not a typo on our part — quadruple-A is what the software titan is aiming for.
The job posting reads:
Microsoft Studios (Xbox) is looking for a dynamic and seasoned Executive Producer to lead and develop a world-class team who will own the creation and delivery of a AAAA experience that delivers on 1st party goals and, more importantly, creates a fun gaming experience for our audience.
I know what you’re thinking: “Surely, that’s just a typo. They meant AAA, not AAAA.”
The want-ad goes on:
-The EP will have P&L responsibility for a major Xbox AAAA console title.
-Deliver the end-to-end AAAA title experience (Concept, Prototype, Greenlight, Pre-Production, Production, Release, ongoing revenue streams and a complete franchise plan).
Still think it’s a typo?
While the industry’s use of the term “AAA” originated as marketing jargon, it has colloquially been adapted to represent the quality of the game. What Microsoft probably means by quadruple-A is a series like Call of Duty, which releases titles annually and brings home more bacon than a Danish pig farmer. But that doesn’t prevent the whole idea from sounding ridiculous.
What’s next? Activision developing a AAAAA game? To which Microsoft responds with a AAAAA+ game?
I must admit — I’ve always dreamed of some form of gaming goggles or helmet that would project a 3D image in front of your eyes to completely immerse you in a virtual world. But I didn’t expect this technology to come to light for at least a decade.
Well, according to Patent Bolt, Microsoft has been secretly working on this very concept since September 2010.
A new Microsoft patent reveals that the software titan has been working on two styles of headgear: an aviation-styled helmet aimed at Xbox gamers and a pair of sunglasses for use with smartphones, MP3 players and other future devices.
The headgear is equipped with a pair of projectors that display images in front of the wearer’s eyes and is capable of producing stereoscopic 3D images from a computer, media player, or other electronic device with privacy and mobility. Each projector can project a 16:9 aspect ratio image that will appear to the wearer as if it were 21 inches in diagonal and viewed at arm’s length.
Further, the projectors may be configured to be at least partly transparent, enabling the wearer to still see the world around him if he so chooses.
I don’t care how ridiculous I would look wearing this. Make it happen. Between this and the “AAAA” game it has in development, Microsoft is really shooting for the moon.
It’s no secret Minecraft has been a staggering success for a game of its humble origins and audience. Why else would Minecraft creator Notch be able to distribute the 3 million he made personally in 2011
among his employees? But until now there hasn’t been an exact figure for the money generated by the little game that could. As it turns out, it’s a pretty big number.
Mojang has finally filed their financial reports in Sweden for the profits earned since Minecraft’s paid-launch in October, 2010. According to that report, more than 20 million people have downloaded Minecraft, with 5 million paying full price for the game. Millions of those fans have also purchased Minecraft merchandise, and the result is a pretty staggering 80 million dollars (580 million Swedish krona) earned in just around 15 months.
Compared to larger profile games, this isn’t a lot. Modern Warfare 3 has already made more than 400 million and it only launched last fall. But put into perspective, it’s mind blowing. Minecraft is almost literally a word of mouth phenomenon, having been created on a shoestring budget and spread by enthusiastic fans, like the more than 4 million youtubers who’ve posted videos of their creations. With the Xbox version launching in May, that success is likely to continue for some time to come. So pat yourself on the back, gamers. You helped make a super obscure something very, very popular. It’s the hippest thing we’ve ever done.
According to a short news item on Game Informer today, Namco Bandai is planning to announce something about Dark Souls in the near future. There are two main possibilities: DLC, which has been rumored to exist ever since developers From Software registered a trademark for something called “Yami no Mori” (“Dark Forest,” in English). Or, more excitingly, a PC version of the game.
An online petition supporting the PC cause currently has just a hair over 90,000 signatures. Namco have responded cagily, but they haven’t exactly ruled the possibility out, either. The prospect of a PC version of one of the best games of 2011 certainly has fans salivating.
As soon as the announcement happens, we’ll have the news up on Game Front. Praise the sun!
UPDATE: Namco are hyping their Dark Souls announcement by asking you to “like” the Dark Souls Facebook page. Sharp-eyed fans have also spotted this page from the current issue of PC PowerPlay magazine, which teases their next issue. Judging from the text, and the font, that issue might well contain news about a Dark Souls PC version. Stay tuned!
Since stepping down as Minecraft’s lead developer late last year, Notch has been keeping himself busy teasing the hell out of his fans with regular hints that he’s interested in doing something that would completely blow our minds through our feet. Maybe he’ll use his magical powers to make Psychonauts 2 happen! Wait, hold on, maybe not. Ok, so what if he funds Dungeon Keeper 3? Yes, that would indeed be awesome, but unfortunately it looks like some other shiny object has caught his eye. And it’s just as likely to be both awesome and never made.
Talking to PC Gamer, Notch teased the project he’d like to make after he’s done with MiniTale; a space trading game like Elite, only “done right”. Done right how? Like a true Browncoat who’d never give in to the purple bellies, that’s how. “I want the space game that’s more like Firefly,” he said, eliciting immediate, reflexive tears of joy from people named Ross Lincoln. “I want to run around on my ship and have to put out a fire. Like, oh crap, the cooling system failed, I have to put out the fire here.”
Which is to say, not really much of a Space Trading game if you control the crew instead of the ship, though of course, this is just a general gist kind of description. For all we know you’d be controlling the minutia of the ship itself and not actually navigating the crew through the interior. And besides, this probably isn’t going to happen anyway. PC Gamer notes that Notch is just kicking ideas around about what would be cool to play. “If someone steals the idea before me, that’s totally fine. I just want to play that game.”
Let’s be honest: by this time next week, Notch will probably be talking about how we wants to get together with Michel Ancel to make Beyond Good & Evil 2 happen. Two weeks after that, it’ll be a stray comment about how awesome it would be to make Eternal Darkness 2. SIGH.
League of Legends is massively popular. I get it. But numbers have a way of conveying the magnitude much more than adjectives. Today’s number is 1,015,443,102. That’s how many LoL games have been played.
Christina Norman, a designer at Riot, tweeted the above image, which has since been removed. Let’s break down that 1,015,443,102 figure.
League of Legends released October 27, 2009, or 876 days ago. That comes out to a gross average of 1,159,182 games per day, or 48,299 games per hour, 805 games per minute, or 13.5 games per second.
In the time it took you to read that sentence, over 50 LoL games were played.
Also, bear in mind that those numbers are averages, and that the figures are higher now then they were in October 2009.
John Carmack has confirmed that a 64-bit executable for RAGE will be released, but didn’t offer a specific time frame. We knew this post-release feature was planned, but given all has been quiet on the Western Front, concerns arose that the project had been abandoned.
When asked if RAGE 64-bit was canceled, Carmack replied via Twitter:
ETPC1@ETPC1 26 Mar 12
@ID_AA_Carmack i hate to keep harping but is the RAGE 64-bit exe with id studio still coming or was it cancelled?
@ETPC1 it is still in QA, but it is definitely going to be released
26 Mar 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
This is the second piece of good news for RAGE fans this month. On the topic of Mod Tools, the official iD software Twitter account for RAGE stated a couple weeks ago:
Andy Sechrist@unreal_tubby 10 Mar 12
@RAGEgame @Thollenshead Any news on mod tools for Rage. Kind of disappointed tbh. I bought the game specifically for these.
@unreal_tubby we'll be sharing new information soon
11 Mar 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Are you looking forward to 64-bit RAGE and Mod Tools, or is it too little, too late?
BioWare boss Dr. Ray Muzyka released a statement today on the company’s blog addressing concerns fans have had with the game’s ending, but buried in the post is a telling statement that all but confirms that future offerings in the Mass Effect series are inbound.
“This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games,” Muzyka wrote, discussing the fact that BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 team is working on ways to address fan backlash over the game‘s ending. Muzyka didn’t provide details as to what that new ending content might be, but he did say more details will be available in April.
Still, the quote above throws into contrast what was basically self-apparent but still nebulous, which is that BioWare has future Mass Effect plans. Some speculation about the ending as available now in Mass Effect 3 was left ambiguous so as to provide leeway for future Commander Shepard games, though BioWare has said that Mass Effect 3 will close off the Shepard storyline. Regardless, it seems BioWare is cooking on new games in the series.
So in addition to all this news about the Mass Effect 3 ending, how do more Mass Effect universe games sit with you? Let us know in the comments.
Just hours before the Retake Mass Effect 3 community’s fundraiser for Child’s Play hit $80,000 in donations, the fundraiser was beginning to draw to a close.
“I was contacted by a representative of Child’s Play and informed that there were beginning to be negative repercussions of using the charity as a form of protest,” Robb, a computer programmer from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and the creator of the fundraiser’s ChipIn page, told Game Front in an email. He asked that his last name not be published.
“In particular, some people who are against the Retake ME effort have written hate mail to the charity, accusing them of supporting our petition directly. (The Child’s Play representative) pointed out, and I agreed, that was a dangerous precedent to set with regard to other potential protests in the future. He was very appreciative of the incredible level of donations we were able to generate, but he very politely asked that I draw the donation drive to a close.”
Robb said he set an end cap on the fundraiser of $80,000, which was reached easily on Thursday evening; the end total raised was $80,240.
It seems that a combination of unprecedented circumstances and misinformation led to the ending of the Retake fundraiser, despite the fact that it was intended to run until April 11. By all accounts, the fundraiser has been incredibly successful, reaching the $80,000 cap in just 11 days. Members of the community responsible for the fundraiser said it gained better than $20,000 in its first 24 hours.
For the past few years, Call of Duty has been the biggest franchise in the gaming world, and the public face of the franchise (all the West/Zampella noise aside) has been Robert Bowling. As Infinity Ward’s Creative Strategist, Bowling spent tons of time on Twitter talking Call of Duty with fans, members of the press, and anyone else who happened along. He was also the front man at major events like E3 and Call of Duty XP. Basically, Bowling was Call of Duty to millions of fans. Until today.
Today, I resign from my position as Creative Strategist of Call of Duty, as a lead of Infinity Ward, and as an employee of Activision.
26 Mar 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
As you can see above, Bowling just announced on Twitter that he’s resigning today from his position at Activision today. He has yet to respond to questions from a number of folks, including us, as to what’s next for him. Hopefully, we’ll find out soon. I’m sure he’ll let us know through his Twitter.
Heck, even the parody Twitter account of Kaz Harai has commented on this news:
CEO Kaz Hirai@KazHiraiSCE
The Creative Strategist of Call of Duty has resigned, to be replaced by a computer which randomly chooses the next world landmark to blow up
26 Mar 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
We’ve contacted Activision for comment on this announcement. Of course, we wish Mr. Bowling only the best wherever he may be headed.
Nothing’s official yet, but Kotaku reports that Zipper is being hit by massive layoffs — big enough to force the studio’s closure.
Middling reviews and poor sales of SOCOM 4 didn’t help Zipper’s cause — they never looked like cracking the lucrative military shooter market in the face of stiff competition. Still, it would be a great shame if the studio behind acknowledged classics like MechWarrior 3 and Crimson Skies were to suffer such an ignominious end. Sony are currently maintaining radio silence, which is a bad sign — if there were nothing to the rumors, the publishing giants would just come out and deny them.
While Human Head Studios’ original Prey wasn’t mindblowing, after getting our hands on the demo at E3 2011 we were cautiously optimistic about the possibility that Prey 2, with it’s Blade Runner meets Boba Fett feel, might actually be pretty good. Scratch that one; a rumor breaking this afternoon on the dutch gaming site PSFocus says that Prey 2 has been cancelled.
No details yet as to just why the game has been cancelled (assuming that it has). PSFocus claims their source tells them that Bethesda (Human Head Studios’ parent company) will be making the announcement next week. It’s notable that the rumor was picked up by Game Informer; when asked by Game Informer for a statement, Bethesda offered no comment. This could mean nothing, but it’s worth mentioning that the Prey 2 team was supposed to appear at GDC but cancelled a few weeks prior. We may now know why.
It would be a shame for a project this far along in development to be cancelled. Hopefully there’s more to the story than “a bunch of people just lost their jobs after working pointlessly for a couple of years”.
Binary Domain is a surprisingly good game. I hoped for a lot, but expected little, out of SEGA’s cover-based shooter set in a world where robots are becoming indistinguishable from humans. When it hit consoles late last month, it turned out to be a very solid experience, with some beautiful human-on-robot violence and legitimately interesting voice commands that even worked 50% of the time. After earning some golf claps from those console gamers who actually bought it, Binary Domain is now readying for a PC release.
The announcement was quite sudden, but the Steam Store now proudly boasts of an upcoming launch for Toshihiro Nagoshi’s mechanized shooter. It’ll be ported over by Devil’s Details and it’s available to preorder for a rather pleasant $39.99. No launch date has been set in stone, but it’s currently slated for some time in April.
I really dug it, and if you enjoy a good shooter, you’ll probably dig it too. You could do far worse with your ill-gotten dubloons.
According to GI.biz, Swedish developers Starbreeze are dipping their toes into the churning, blood-stained waters of “freemium” shooters. New project Cold Mercury is little more than a grainy screenshot (seen above) at this early stage, but the studio has a strong track record thanks to games like Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay and The Darkness, even if we didn’t love Syndicate, their latest offering (despite some clever touches).
Cold Mercury will no doubt be “free to play, not play to win” — freemium distribution has its own distinctive disclaimer. It can also guarantee the availability of hilariously oversized chainguns. We’ll keep you informed as soon as more information becomes available.
A new name in the industry, Red Harbinger is looking to clear some desk space for itself in the cluttered world of PC gaming with a creation titled the Cross: a pristine desk that houses your PC beneath a glass surface.
The Cross comes with three screens and enough room for 28 hard drives, 14 fans, four water cooling radiators, and the components for two PCs, all housed beneath the desk’s surface. The components are separated in a modular fashion to improve cooling and reduce noise, and customizable LEDs for the sake of non-temperature related coolness.
The Cross will be available worldwide, but no word on when you can purchase one or how staggeringly high the price will inevitably be. If you can’t wait, you can try to build your own.
Between this and the ROCCAT Power Grid, it’s a great time to be a PC gamer, even if this desk will be beyond most of our budgets.
It’s not a secret that the entertainment industry is deeply concerned about the problem of online piracy. Generally, proposed solutions have tended toward severely limiting access to their product, even for law abiding people. That is, after all, why so many major industry players got behind the horrendous SOPA and PIPA bills that would have literally destroyed the Internet. Well, the music and movie/tv worlds might be lost causes, but a growing number of powerful individuals in Video Gaming are suggesting an alternate approach, best expressed by newly minted Billionaire Gabe Newell: Make good games, price them reasonably, and maybe people won’t want to steal them.
Crazy, right? And yet many game studios still insist that the best way to combat piracy is to inconvenience potential customers at every turn. But it seems at least one major publisher is catching on, and it’s kind of surprising. Ubisoft. Yes, the same Ubisoft who normally devotes their resources to creating the worst DRM in the industry. And it seems they’re considering a change to that horrible tune.
Ubisoft’s Chris Early said as much talking with Eurogamer. He described a strategy the company hopes can combat piracy without DRM, essentially mimicking MMOs. “The question is,” Early said, “with enough on-going content development, content release, engagement at the community level, can we create that kind of MMO value system? I think we can. As the rest of the game industry continues to evolve, the more you hear about cloud gaming, the more you hear about companion gaming, the less a pirated game should work in all of that environment. So, therefore the value of that pirated content becomes less. Will some people still pirate? Yeah, they will. Will the person who really wants that broad experience pirate? We hope not.
Something is brewing in the world of Uncharted, and we’ll find out what, exactly, tomorrow.
PlayStation Norway’s Facebook account posted a picture (above) of Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, with the word “uutforsket” across his face. The word translates to “unexplored.”
According to Wikipedia, Nansen explored Greenland and participated in an expedition that took him to the North Pole between 1893 and 1896.
Visiting the website uutforsket.no leads to a PlayStation splash page featuring an old-timey map and music reminiscent of the Uncharted series, with the following time stamp: March 22, 20:59.
Apparently, a similar stunt was pulled in Denmark before the release of Uncharted 3. A social campaign had fans solving riddles and following clues in pursuit of a fictional Danish treasure hunter, ultimately leading to a treasure hidden in Copenhagen.
Could the reveal be Uncharted 4? Another DLC? We’ll learn more tomorrow.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. On March 19, US Representatives Joe Baca and Frank Wolf reintroduced a bill that would require games to bear a health warning label stating:
“WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior.”
Baca tried to get the bill passed twice before; first in 2009, then again in January. Third time’s a charm, right?
The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers — to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products. They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility.
Wolf compares video games to cigarettes:
Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents — and children — about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior.
As a parent and grandparent, I think it is important people know everything they can about the extremely violent nature of some of these games.
Call of Duty 6 Modern Warfare 2: MW3 DLC Collection#1 is here!
The First DLC bundle for those people not an Elite member for MW3 (as we know Elite members can download each map as and when without waiting for a bundle, to view DLC release calender visit http://www.callofduty.com/)
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