News archive - February 2008
Eidos' regiment of engineers blew the cover off Battlestations: Pacific, the sequel to last year's action-strategy WWII game Battlestations: Midway. Inside we found the first set of screenshots that you can see below, along with the usual game synopsis. Which goes something like this...
"The game features a massive U.S. and Japanese single player campaign that offers a unique blend of action and strategy. Players must plan their moves carefully on huge open-world arenas and fight in the air, above sea and underwater to relive some of the most hard-fought battles in WWII history. With the newly added Japanese faction, players will also gain insight into what could have been, should Japan have gained the upper hand against the United States. Battlestations: Pacific also features five new innovative multiplayer modes to strategically plan and battle against friends with all new maps and units.
(...) Continue reading 'Battlestations: Pacific Announced For PC, X360'...
Heh, I can't help but chuckle at the sight of this terminal update
on Iron Lore's website, announcing that the studio is shutting down, and as of February 19 it has "ceased active game development", after failing to secure funding for its next project.
Aside from Titan Quest and its Immortal Throne expansion, Iron Lore had recently finished developing another expansion, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm. Ironically, by the time this is released on March 4, Iron Lore will already be ancient history. Well, that's the way it goes in this industry, especially for companies who think they can get away with making mediocre Diablo clones.
Did Hironobu Sakaguchi's classic Final Fantasy game get any sequels?... A few, yeah. Is Blue Dragon getting a sequel?... You bet! What about Lost Odyssey?... I don't see why not. Microsoft Japan seem to be happy with the game's 100,000+ sales there so far, and Lost Odyssey is also enjoying a lukewarm success over on this part of the world. It's only been out in North America for a couple of weeks, and releasing in Europe tomorrow, so it's still too early to tell exactly how well the game is doing on a woldwide scale.
But don't take it from us. Take it from the H&E Head of Microsoft Japan, what's-his-name, interviewed by Nikkei (loose Google translation
, via AllRPG
). He's the one claiming they're happy with the game sales in the territory, and he also says that the Lost Odyssey series will grow in time. Meaning one or more sequels are coming. Hardly shocking, but still nice to get an "official hint" on this.
Which would explain why the vast majority of MMOs in recent years were relative failures, and why the situation won't change much for those upcoming hot-shots, either (I'm not giving names... *cough*
). After all, who on Earth is so filthy rich to afford spending up to $1 billion, just to make a WoW-killer MMO, instead of buying a couple of African countries and playing a real-life war-game.
The billion-dolar figure was estimated by Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium 2008 Conference this Tuesday, as reported by GI.biz
"We don't think that even if we made the USD 500 million or billion-dollar investment to get a product out [to compete with WOW] that we would even be successful doing it. (...) When you... Look at all the money that's already gone to these businesses that have failed (ed. - EA, Microsoft, Sony & co.), there didn't seem a likelihood that even a well-managed company like Activision would have the prospect for profit any time soon in this category."
When you look at it that way, Activision were really the smartest guys around. Honestly, why spend a crapload of money and waste people's time trying to develop a WoW-killer, when you can just merge with Vivendi-aka-Blizzard-aka-WoW itself. Kind of makes you wonder how much Funcom is investing in Age of Onan
Could be Star Wars: KOTOR III, could be a Star Wars MMO... could be anything, really, even a four-years old project which never saw - and maybe never will see the light of day. But for the sake of clix0rz, you'd be surprised to see how many people
are willing to believe that these images are concept arts for Knights of the Old Republic 3, despite the fact that some of them seem to have been drawn back in 2004.
The artist behind them is James Zhang, a long-time collaborator of LucasArts, including on the previous KOTOR game, whose website
is said to be the source of these concept arts. We've only selected the ones worth seeing below, but if you insist on checking all the uncovered sketches, you can start your journey from here
Gladius 2 was also spotted
on James Zhang's website, before being removed from his list of past-and-present projects. So that makes two unconfirmed LucasArts sequels...
Yes, I admit, I've been shamelessly (though strategically) slacking for the past week, leaving my comrade to face the GDC madness on his own, while I turned my perverted eye to our flat-chested sister-website Animekon
(some great new stuff
there lately, by the way). But all good things must come to an end, so... back to gaming.
- Chief among our bypassed GDC news was the announcement of Gears of War 2, coupled with this teaser trailer
teasing at a november 2008 release. CliffyB proclaimed that it's "going to be bigger, better and far more badass than the first one", with chainsaw duels
and stuff. But no Gears of War comic after all
- More recently, Motorstorm 2 was also revealed in a BBC article
. It's "due out in time for Christmas and moves the action away from the desert locale of the original. Gamers will be able to race around a lush island environment, full of interactive vegetation". Interactive... vegetation. That's super. At least it will have 4-player split-screen.
- Still, the hottest topic these days remains EA's $2 billion bid on Take-Two
, which was rejected, but will be taken under consideration once again on April 30, right after the release of GTA IV (not by coincidence). Meanwhile - new Take-Two details revealed
- This year's Leipzig Games Convention might be the last one, as from September 2009 it could effectively be replaced by a new event called GAMESCom
, to be held in Cologne, Germany. The Leipzig organizers are not amused
, but still hope
for a GC 2009.
- Telltale has just sent along the trailer
for Sam & Max episode 204: Chariots of the Dogs, which is hereby officially unravelled. But where in the world is
Bosco? Find out in mid-March.
- The next Indiana Jones action game has gone into production. Yeah, just now
. But you won't see me complain, since LucasArts spent more time with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which looks so
cool in this GDC 2008 trailer.
- Offset Software
, the guys who blew our mind with their Project Offset tech demos a couple of years ago (but kept mostly silent ever since) have been acquired by Intel. Five bucks to whoever can say what this will mean for their potential game. I'm clueless.
- Molyneux despairs
at the "tragic" state of PC gaming, because "The Sims and World of Warcraft [are] sucking all the air out of the PC market". And I feel like I'm right in the ventilation duct, what with patch 2.4
coming up and everything... By the way, "Cliff's an idiot!"
- As of tomorrow, February 29, Phil Harrison is no longer the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios. This week he resigned from Sony after 15 frustrating
years with the company, leaving his warm chair to Kaz “Riiiidge Racer!”
Hirai (who also remains President and Group CEO of SCEI). Where to next
, Phil boy?
This game was supposed to be released last year, if I recall correctly. Nevertheless, due to all kinds of delays, publicity stunts, or producer inability, Haze got postponed multiple times, and Ubisoft has vouched that we will see this PS3 (still) exclusive first-person shooter in May. This year. Probably.
Well, the truth is Haze promises great things, amongst which, sadly, free oral sex from any female character in-game is not included. Trailers are plenty, screenshots are plenty, Hell, you can find seldom previews here and there, some that are actually not licking Ubisoft’s or Free Radical’s ass.
While the game is still PS3 exclusive, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a PC or X360 “port” coming next year.
Every damned piece of industry, be it gaming, be it construction, being any kind of entertainment you could possibly desire, has its Doom heralds. And, thank God, we here in the gaming one, have plenty.
We have Jack Thompson, all-around would-be gaming Terminator, who likes to talk a lot about things like murder, GTA San Andreas, and the new Viagra bottle which he purchased recently. We have Mark Rein, who likes to think that CliffyB is “an idiot”. And last, but certainly not least, we have Gas Powered Games’ Chris Taylor, an interesting, to say the least, fellow who recently shared with us his (unnecessary) thoughts regarding the current state of our beloved industry.
It all happened at At Dave Perry's "Lunch With the Luminaries", a party also attended by folks like Peter Molyneux, Phil Harrison, Raph Koster or Neil Young, and it was awesome. For a good laugh. Mr. Taylor somehow thinks that PC gaming is completely dead, while our bright future will be carried forward by the Internet. And by... Flash! Which, according to him, is „the next console”, and that "the web is kicking the console industry's ass.". Riiiight.... Check the scoop
on Gamasutra for more details.
We can all agree on the fact that Valve hit the Jackpot with its Steam service. Hell, even I use it sometimes, and I am certainly not a big fan of online distribution. I’d rather buy my games in their respective boxes, be it orange, pink, or be it the color of a big bad dump. But business is business, and it is going oh so well right now…
And since they have this area covered (I’m referring to game distribution), Valve decided to look further away. In an interview with Tom's Games
, Valve’s badass Doug Lombardi confessed that they are looking to provide even more entertainment. Not just games, but music, movies, and anything that can be labeled as digital entertainment. According to his statement, before the end of the year, we’ll be seeing new stuff on Steam.
Destination Playstation is a nice and cozy meeting between Sony representatives, retailers and 3rd party developers, which takes place in Arizona, every year. If you are a console freak, then you probably know about all this bullshit, and even more, if you are a proud owner of a Playstation, be it a handheld, be it a PS3, or be it a PS2 for all those juicy bishojou games out there, you’ll be pretty interested in this.
First off, we’ll get a Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots PS3 Bundle in Q2 2008, which will include a nice 80 GB Playstation 3, a retail version of Solid Snake’s upcoming adventure, plus a Dualshock 3 controller, all for only 499.99 USD. The price is good, I must say, the only thing that I do not know for sure is the presence (or absence) of the dreaded backwards compatibility.
Secondly, PSP owners will get a huge boner when this pretty God of War PSP Entertainment Pack hits the shelves, for a mere 199.99 USD. The bundle will include a nice custom red PSP, with Kratos’ face forever carved into the handheld’s back, the upcoming God of War: Chains of Olympus, plus the voucher to freely download Syphon Filter: Combat Ops from the Playstation Store.
Last, but certainly not least, the much awaited Dualshock 3 will finally get its ass on the North American market, starting with April, 2008. It will be charged with no less than 54.99 USD, and it is said to be compatible with over 100 PS3 games. Frankly, I still think Sony lost a LOT with delaying this launch, but, hey, better late than never.