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Thread: The Gaming News Thread

  1. #91

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TevashSzat View Post
    I hope that this content will at least get to the PC sooner or later...
    If this will ever happen, then it makes me wonder for what did Microsoft paid 50 millions...

  2. #92
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Maybe so we PS3 players don't get it, apart from that: Link or it didn't happen.


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  3. #93
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Midway served NYSE delisting notice

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Besieged publisher threatened with stock exchange removal after failing to meet minimum $1 per share average for 30 consecutive trading days.

    Wall Street has always been known as a fickle mistress, and game companies across the board are grappling with keeping on its good side. Some, of course, aren't doing as well as others.

    Midway said today that it has received a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange due to its failure to reach a minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share for the last 30 trading days. Midway has six months to raise its stock price--which is up 16 percent to $0.29 as of press time--before the NYSE takes further delisting action. For its part, the publisher said that it "plans to notify the NYSE that it will seek to cure the deficiency."

    Earlier this month, Midway continued its extended period of decline, posting a $76 million loss on revenues of $36.7 million for its July-September quarter. Shortly before Midway reported its quarterly results, Shari Redstone, daughter of medial mogul Sumner Redstone, resigned her position as chairperson of the publisher's board. She was appointed to the position in 2004, after her father's company, National Amusements, bought a controlling stake in the publisher.

    For the current holiday quarter, Midway hopes to shore up some of its losses, projecting a per-share deficit of $0.20 on revenues of $105 million. Key releases during the period include Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and Blitz: The League II, and the publisher also expects to see continued sales of recent releases such as TNA iMPACT!, Mortal Kombat Kollection, and the Xbox 360 edition of Unreal Tournament 3.{/SPOIL]

    $76 million loss on revenues of $36.7 million
    Okay......that is simply crazyily bad there. I don't see how Midway is going to be able to stay on the NYSE, a 300%+ investment is pretty hard in this economy

    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  4. #94

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Maybe so we PS3 players don't get it, apart from that: Link or it didn't happen.
    What, are you seriously asking this?

    Alright then...

    Take 2 has refused to clarify comments from chief financial officer Laine Goldstein that suggest the publisher received USD 50 million (EUR 37.3m / GBP 25.2m) from Microsoft for exclusive GTA IV episodic content.
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...on-gta-iv-deal

  5. #95
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Well, in a way it's nice that Microsoft invests 50 million so it's customers get some nice extras, I'm sure Sony has paid some people as well to support their products a bit more. The only problem is when you're the wrong kind of customer as in don't want to buy everything twice...


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  6. #96

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Well, in a way it's nice that Microsoft invests 50 million so it's customers get some nice extras, I'm sure Sony has paid some people as well to support their products a bit more. The only problem is when you're the wrong kind of customer as in don't want to buy everything twice...
    Actually, Microsoft has been pushing the release of that new content. Seems like they want to rush no matter how finished and polished the content will be. This must be some kind of first law in Microsoft's bible or something like that, code of conduct.

    I think that it has been revealed that there will be exclusive content for each platform GTA IV is released on. Content you will not see on other platform, I guess. Now this still leaves the question not being answer. If all platforms will get something on the same level, what for Microsoft paid them?

  7. #97
    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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  8. #98
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Tabula Rasa shutting down Feb. 28

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    Following Garriott departure, NCsoft's troubled MMORPG will join Auto Assault on sci-fi scrap heap in three months.

    This century, NCsoft is 0-for-2 with sci-fi massively multiplayer online role-playing games. (Unless you count City of Heroes/Villains.) More than a year after Auto Assault headed for the scrap yard, the Korean publisher announced its latest foray into the future, Tabula Rasa, is also being decommissioned. In a post on the game's official Web site, the developers behind the project today announced its imminent end.

    "Last November we launched what we hoped would be a ground breaking sci-fi MMO," the post read. "In many ways, we think we've achieved that goal. Tabula Rasa has some unique features that make it fun and very different from every other MMO out there. Unfortunately, the fact is that the game hasn't performed as expected. The development team has worked hard to improve the game since launch, but the game never achieved the player population we hoped for."

    As of January 10, 2009, Tabula Rasa will be free to play to its remaining subscriber base, much like the soon-to-be-shuttered Hellgate: London. However, as of February 28, the game's servers will be switched off forever. "We can assure you that through the next couple of months we'll be doing some really fun things in Tabula Rasa, and we plan to make staying on a little longer worth your while," the post concluded.

    Though saddening to its subscribers, Tabula Rasa's demise wasn't completely unexpected. After going online last October one day before Hellgate's Halloween launch, the game struggled with a variety of technical issues and lukewarm reviews. Despite over six years in development--and several delays--the game never caught fire in the World of Warcraft-dominated MMORPG market, selling just over 61,000 copies in the US. In its most recent earnings report, NCsoft said the game--which cost a hefty sum to developer--accounted for just 2 percent, or $1.3 million, of its overall annual revenue.

    Tabula Rasa's chief designer, Richard Garriott, went so far as to promote the game during his recent $30 million jaunt to the International Space Station. However, the writing appeared to be on the wall when Garriott abruptly resigned last week to pursue "new interests." In his departure message, the Ultima creator conceded the MMORPG's sailing had not always been smooth, saying, "I am very grateful to you loyal players for sticking around through what I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch."


    It must really be awful for Garriot seeing all of this happen. He really invested a lot of time/energy into this game only to see it die off
    Last edited by TevashSzat; 11-24-2008 at 20:55.
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  9. #99
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Meh; he'll get no sympathy from me. That's what he gets for being a pretentious blowhard IMO. The only people I feel sorry for are the TR players themselves.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  10. #100

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    I was a tr player and Im suprised it died, There was never a shortage of players and it was imho by far the superior to WoW in just content and fun for the low levels I never got high enough before they announced shutdown
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  11. #101
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Eidos tried to prevent sub-80% reviews for Tomb Raider Underworld from being released until today.

    Eidos UK PR firm Barrington Harvey has confirmed that British sites are being asked not to post Tomb Raider: Underworld reviews with scores lower than 80 percent until Monday.

    The game releases today for 360 and PS3.

    Gamespot UK journalist Guy Cocker revealed the tactic in a Twitter post on Wednesday that said: “call from Eidos–if you’re planning on reviewing Tomb Raider Underworld at less than an 8.0, we need you to hold your review till Monday.”

    Said a Barrington Harvey rep on the phone this afternoon: “That’s right. We’re trying to manage the review scores at the request of Eidos.”

    When asked why, the spokesperson said: “Just that we’re trying to get the Metacritic rating to be high, and the brand manager in the US that’s handling all of Tomb Raider has asked that we just manage the scores before the game is out, really, just to ensure that we don’t put people off buying the game, basically.”

    British site Eurogamer has already gone live with a 7/10 score, an act the rep said had caused “problems”.

    OXM UK has also posted a 7.0 score.

    The news is unlikely to go down well. Eidos’s efforts at controlling review scores are still fresh in the mind: it was a row over Gamespot’s 6/10 review of Kane & Lynch that cost popular US journalist Jeff Gerstmann his job.

    Tomb Raider: Underworld’s Metacritic average stands at 78 percent.

    What's bizarre is that, when questioned on the matter, they pretty much admitted it straight out. Yes, there's something to be said for honesty, but still....
    Last edited by Martok; 11-25-2008 at 06:17. Reason: whoops, forgot the actual articel
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  12. #102
    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    http://www.destructoid.com/g-e-c-k-c...d-112650.phtml

    Release of the Fallout 3 modding tools and first 3 DLCs have been announced:

    There will be three downloadable packs (detailed below) available for both Xbox 360 and PC, release across the first three months of 2009. There's no word on pricing.

    * Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.
    * The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.
    * Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.

    The official modding tools for Fallout 3 have been revealed as well. Cleverly called G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation) kit, the tools will allow players to modify the game in almost any way they desire by creating modifying, or editing any data for use in the game.


  13. #103

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Martok View Post
    What's bizarre is that, when questioned on the matter, they pretty much admitted it straight out. Yes, there's something to be said for honesty, but still....
    That's right, this is the same Kane & Lynch drama all over again. Surprise, by same publisher.

    I thought about Kane & Lynch "thing", that's just unprofessional. Now this, this is just plain stupid.

    I'm throwing this publisher in to a garbage can, good night.

  14. #104
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Is the video gaming industry recession proof?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It would be tempting for those in the video game business to take some recent news -- for instance, that October sales were through the roof, or that the latest World of Warcraft expansion broke the all-time record for single-day PC game sales -- as proof that their industry may be immune from the deep despair confronting the global economy.

    And indeed, that seems to be exactly what many people in the industry are choosing to believe: that in rough times, people always spend money on entertainment, and that as entertainment goes, video game software and hardware offer much higher value than other options. In other words, the theory goes, the video game industry is recession-proof.

    But people holding to that notion may yet want to consider getting their resumes ready or holding off on buying that Porsche, since all optimism aside, the future may not be so bright. It's true that sales may be up in the short term, and look good for the holidays, but Wall Street doesn't appear to be impressed.

    Still, many in the industry contacted for this article say they think the sector could in fact turn out to be one of the few winners as general economic conditions get darker and darker.

    "Nobody's got a crystal ball, but we remain cautiously optimistic" about the future, said David Dennis, Microsoft's corporate Xbox 360 Group PR manager. "All the signs we see point to continued strength for the industry and for the Xbox."

    For example, Dennis explained, a recent survey conducted by the National Research Center indicated that 46 percent of consumers expect to purchase a video game system of some kind on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. At the same time, he said that NPD Group, a leading retail analyst firm, reported that video games came in at the bottom of a list of what kinds of products they expect to cut back on in the coming months.

    NPD has other data as well showing signs of strength in the business. In its report for October, the firm revealed that for the video game industry as a whole, sales were up 18 percent for the month, to $1.31 billion from $1.12 billion a year earlier. Software was up 35 percent in October, from $514.5 million in 2007 to $696.8 million in 2008, while hardware had a more modest 5 percent rise in the same period, from $470.5 million to $494.8 million.

    And on November 13, its first day on the market, Blizzard Entertainment's Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to the mega-hit, World of Warcraft, broke the all-time record for one-day sales for a PC game, moving 2.8 million units of the $40 upgrade and surpassing the record of 2.4 million units set in 2007 by The Burning Crusade, the first WoW expansion.

    The rationale for projected growth, even in the face of a looming and deep recession, is simple.

    "There are a couple of reasons," said Ron Meiners, director of community for the Hollywood Interactive Group. "One is the traditional value of entertainment during tough economic times. Like the great fantastic musicals in the 30s. Movies did great, because they took people's mind off of the troubles they were facing. (And) video games have great value as entertainment. The number of hours of solid entertainment that comes from a video game purchase is much greater than a movie, for example, for very comparable cost."

    At the same time, Meiners added, video games today offer consumers a much higher degree of interactivity and engagement.

    "They're not just passive," he said. "It's a much more involving activity, which helps make them more valuable."

    The industry is also blessed with a steady flow of blockbuster game franchises that seem primed to deliver huge paydays: Fable, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Grand Theft Auto and many others.

    Trouble on Wall Street
    But the publishers of those games, and even a leading retailer, have seen their stock prices hammered in recent weeks, beyond even what has happened in the general market crash.

    While the Dow's value dropped 28.16 percent from September 2 through November 17, and Nasdaq dropped 36.91 percent in the same time frame, six game industry companies (Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Take Two, THQ, Gamestop and Nintendo) saw their share prices fall an average of 52.53 percent.

    And EA, the world's largest publisher of video games, was not on the better-performing side of that group. Its stock fell 60.1 percent, from $48.97 to $19.30 in that time period.

    EA did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but in its most recent quarterly earnings release, in which it reported a net loss of $310 million--compared with a net loss of $195 million during the same quarter a year earlier--CEO John Riccitiello did his best to sound optimistic.

    "Considering the slowdown at retail we've seen in October, we are cautious in the short term," Riccitiello said. Longer term, we are very bullish on the game sector overall and on EA in particular. The industry is growing double-digits on the strength of three new game consoles and increases in the number of homes with broadband Internet connections."

    For its part, Nintendo, which saw its stock drop 36.77 percent between September 2 and November 17--almost exactly the same drop as the Nasdaq--also is making the point of putting on a brave face even as the phrase "the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression" becomes a cliche.

    "We do believe that the continued popularity of our products, even during these tough economic times," said Denise Kaigler, the vice president of corporate affairs for Nintendo America, "are evidence that consumers are judging us as a good value and a great way to engage in social interaction."

    In October, according to NPD, Nintendo sold 803,000 Wiis, up from 617,000 in September and 453,000 in August, and the company has said it plans to increase supply of the console by 50 percent over last year in order to ensure that consumers have an easier time getting a hold of one.

    This would suggest, of course, that Nintendo isn't being disingenuous when it says that it has a strong value proposition that is likely to attract consumers this holiday season and perhaps beyond.

    Microsoft, too, looks like it has some evidence to back up its reasoning for, as Dennis put it, being "cautiously optimistic."

    In October, Microsoft sold 371,000 Xbox 360s, up from 347,000 in September and 195,000 in August.

    But these sales numbers all come from before the economic crisis really kicked in. Now, job losses are mounting daily, the stock market is plunging--though it has risen considerably since Friday--and the government is faced with a more difficult job of pulling us back from collapse.

    The pricing game
    And for those who think that the video game industry can keep up record sales numbers even in the face of such a bleak atmosphere, some have sobering news.

    "Video gaming is not immune," said Gartner analyst Van Baker. "It's certainly been robust over the last couple of years, and it's gotten much more popular, and a much broader install base of users, but they're certainly not immune, especially if it's a deep recession."

    Baker acknowledged that video game hardware and software is likely to perform better than, say, plasma TVs, but still, he said, in an environment where jobs are scarce and people are losing their homes, "$50 (for a game) is $50."

    And while Baker suggested that Nintendo and Microsoft may be able to continue moving the Wii and the Xbox, respectively due to those consoles' low prices ($249 for the Wii and $199 for the lowest-priced Xbox), he said Sony might have a harder time.

    "Sony is the one that stands to get hurt the most," Baker said, "because they've got the most expensive" console. The lowest-priced PlayStation 3 costs $399.

    The front lines of the video game wars, of course, are at retail, and that is one place to look for clues as to what lies ahead.

    According to Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, leading retailer Gamestop could represent a sign that, indeed, the video game industry can weather the coming economic storm, despite its stock dropping 49.87 percent between September 2 and November 17.

    In an alert Sebastian sent out last week by email, he recommended buying Gamestop's stock, citing not only strong October sales, but also sales growth of 20.5 percent during the first two weeks of November compared to last year.

    Driving that growth, Sebastian wrote, was quick sales of games like Wrath of the Lich King, Gears of War 2, from Epic Games and the latest edition of Call of Duty, from Activision.

    But Sebastian's optimism about bellweathers like Gamestop aside, there are those who see deep structural flaws in the mainstream video game industry's business model, flaws that could wreak havoc down the line, even if things stay solid in the short term.

    To Corey Bridges, a co-founder of the virtual world platform developer The Multiverse Network, the problems facing the industry have more to do with how its biggest publishers design and distribute their games.

    "I do think that the video game industry is going to do reasonably well in this time of recession because video games are a pretty damned efficient use of time," said Bridges. "That said, the...industry has some other problems that it has been ignoring for awhile and that are creeping up on it."

    Essentially, Bridges explained, he thinks that the dominance of giant publishers like EA and their general reliance on physical, in-the-box, units, can't hold up. Instead, he said, new tools, ubiquitous broadband and hungry independent developers are going to all combine to eat away at the continued supremacy of the $60 big-name title. And that could spell big trouble for the industry.

    Still, he said, that kind of shake-out could take a few more years.

    "I think the global macroeconomic climate will adjust itself before the video game industry hits the upcoming chaos," Bridges said.

    In the short term, then, there is ample evidence that the video game business may well prove to be stronger than most others. No one is going to do better than companies producing cheap liquor, of course, but in the technology world, it may be tough to identify a sector that could better persevere than video games.

    Even Baker, who said it's unlikely the industry will avoid getting hit by the recession, thinks there's room for optimism.

    "We'll have to wait and see how consumers respond," Bake said, "but I don't think it's unreasonable to see some growth (though) it's certainly not going to be double-digit."


    I've found this article to be quite interesting
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  15. #105
    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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  16. #106
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Reuters is reporting that media mogul Sumner Redstone of Redstone's National Amusements Inc has sold his controlling stake of Midway Games Inc to private investor Mark Thomas for roughly $100,000, or $0.0012 per share. Thomas will assume $70 million of senior secured and unsecured debt.
    Wow.....that is crazy.....Midway's future looks shaky at best....
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  17. #107
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Dungeon Keeper MMO coming:

    NetDragon Websoft Inc., a leading game developer and operator in the People's Republic of China announced a new licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. on the development of the Group's first 3D massively multi-player online role playing game based on Electronic Arts' "Dungeon Keeper" line of games - including themes, characters and other game content. As part of this agreement, NetDragon will develop the game and obtains the exclusive license to operate and distribute Dungeon Keeper Online throughout the Greater China region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

    "We are delighted to enter into an agreement with EA in the development of our first 3D MMORPG. Our partnership with this internationally renowned game developer is proof of our capabilities in game operations and development as well as a reflection of our market reputation," said Mr. Liu Dejian, Chairman and Executive Director of NetDragon. "Capitalizing our strength to create a strong gaming experience, powerful operating platform and unmatched expertise within China's online game market, we are confident that Dungeon Keeper Online will not only become successful in the Greater China region but also achieve remarkable results overseas."

    Jon Niermann, President of EA Asia Pacific said, "The partnership marks a significant milestone for EA as it will enhance our intellectual property and extend our product reach throughout the Greater China region. It will also further enhance our intellectual property with differentiated, high-quality games, particularly in the field of MMORPGs."

    Hmm. Not sure what I think about this.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  18. #108
    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    *facepalm*
    I would rather see DK3 than ANOTHER MMO saturate the market.

  19. #109
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    That's more or less my thinking as well. I'll concede that a DK MMO could possibly succeed -- there's not many that focus on the "bad guys", after all -- but overall I too would prefer to see another strategy incarnation.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  20. #110

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Not going to play just because EA is involved
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  21. #111
    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread


  22. #112

    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    DAMN YOU EA!!!.... ohh well. Now we know they are monopolistic(monopolistic is probably spelled wrong[guess what.... it wasn't]) hounds
    Last edited by Veho Nex; 12-04-2008 at 04:43.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  23. #113
    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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  24. #114
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Irony, thy name is Valve.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Valve is a wonderfully open company—in many cases, direct questions sent to the publisher will be answered by a member of the creative team within hours. One gamer recently e-mailed Valve and asked why he saw EA's logo on a commercial for Left 4 Dead: he bought the game via Steam but didn't want to support EA after the Spore DRM debacle. He got a reply from a managing director at the company, Gabe Newell, that was to the point: EA only handles distribution for the physical product, and Valve thinks most DRM is "just dumb."

    "Left 4 Dead is developed entirely by Valve. Steam revenue for our games is not shared with third parties. Around the world we have a number of distribution partners to handle retail distribution of our games (i.e. make discs and boxes). EA is one of those partners," Newell wrote. In other words, if you buy Left 4 Dead through Steam, EA doesn't see any of your money. This should be good news for gamers who want to slaughter some zombies but don't want to break their EA boycott.

    Newell doesn't have kind words for the use of digital rights managements. "As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb. The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I'll be able to play my game and maybe I won't)," he wrote. "We really really discourage other developers and publishers from using the broken DRM offerings, and in general there is a groundswell to abandon those approaches."

    Buying Left 4 Dead on Steam supports Valve, not EA

    It's easy for him to say; Steam is its own form of DRM, one that makes programs like SecuROM redundant. "You'd have to ask Valve for specific numbers," PC Gaming Alliance President Randy Stude told Ars, "but I believe piracy on Steam is very low." You can add games you obtained at retail to the Steam service to take advantage of its social networking features, but you need your CD key to do it; cracked games are out of luck. Don't assume that buying a game via Steam means escaping SecuROM however, as EA has included the program on some its own games that it has released via Steam, such as Crysis: Warhead.

    If we don't kick you in the gut, can we punch you in the face?

    Newell's take attracted the attention of others in the gaming industry. "I think the problem with DRM is not so much the particular method used, but the attitude behind it. It makes us feel like we're all being punished for the sins of the few," Microsoft's Games for Windows Community Manager Ryan Miller wrote on his blog. "It is also pretty clear that most DRM is not a problem for the pirates, just for the legitimate consumers. These two factors combine to make a ton of bad feelings on the consumer side."

    This is an arguable sentiment: gamers do care about the method of DRM that is used. Programs such as SecuROM (which don't uninstall along with the game) and limits on the number of installations allowed anger PC gamers. When we reported on the use of SecuROM in Grand Theft Auto IV on the PC, many of our readers pledged not to buy the game on principle.

    Miller addresses that controversy directly. "Rockstar has put an interesting twist on the much-maligned software by removing the install limits that have plagued other games, though the software still installs components that can be very difficult to remove should you want them off your hard drive," he wrote. "It seems like a reasonable compromise to me, but what do you think? Is the lack of install limits enough to overlook the installation of code you can't remove?"

    This is the sort of question that may sound reasonable from Miller's point of view, but will enrage PC gamers. SecuROM serves no purpose other than to annoy legitimate customers, and a version of the game that lacks the program (and is superior for that) will be available to pirates as soon as the game is released, if not before. The fact that Rockstar won't limit installations, a new twist on DRM that has drawn bile from gamers and seemingly given pirates the high ground, doesn't excuse the use of SecuROM in the game.

    While Steam is a step in the right direction, giving gamers the ability to play games on multiple systems without having to worry about losing discs or CD keys, some gamers have reported issues getting their games to work in offline mode, and worry about Valve shutting down the servers at some point in the future. Piracy is a complex issue with no easy answer, but what's clear is that gamers are less and less willing to put up with intrusive DRM technology in their games, but there doesn't seem to be much of a movement to lessen its use among game publishers.

    What the industry has to understand is that gamers have the upper hand, as they can simply go to the torrents for a free version of each game that includes no DRM. Until publishers do more to welcome their legitimate customers as friends instead of treating them as potential pirates, piracy will continue to eat at profits and morale.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  25. #115
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Atari planning sequels for both Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights.


    Given that A.) Bioware isn't around to develop them anymore, and B.) the folks at Atari don't seem to know how to make decent PC/video games to save their lives, I'm not optimistic.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

  26. #116
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    GTAIV PC Problems Spark Game Outcry

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Complaints of experience-ruining frame rates, small draw distances, crashes, and more plague Rockstar's port of top-rated action adventure.

    When it launched in April, Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was greeted with a chorus of approval from gamers and critics alike. With the PC edition of the game arriving in stores earlier this week, the reaction has been notably different.

    "Maybe after the patch... things will be different."

    Forum threads on GameSpot, Steam, and elsewhere online are lighting up with complaints from gamers about a host of performance issues. Poor frame rates even on powerful rigs, short draw distances, crashes, and missing textures are among a slew of stated issues gamers have with the title.

    Not content to vent on forums, disgruntled GTAIV PC gamers have taken to Amazon.com and panned the port with negative user reviews. In addition to complaining about the game's performance, the Amazon reviewers have taken exception to its use of SecuROM DRM technology. Of the 56 reviews on the retail site as of this writing, 46 of them have issued a 1-star-out-of-5 rating, with the customer average now sitting at 1.5 stars.

    The technical support section of Rockstar's official site acknowledges a host of known issues. For instance, Rockstar tells gamers with Nvidia 7900 series cards that a driver issue is causing the game to not render anything in the distance, leading to functionally unplayable performance. According to Rockstar, "NVidia is working on releasing a new driver as soon as possible."

    The Rockstar tech support site also suggests that missing texture issues could be caused by driver tuning programs, and includes a list of dozens of possible error codes players may have encountered. Additionally, ATI card owners are advised to set the game's "MipMap Detail Level" slider to "quality" or they will see blacked-out textures, while the ATI 1900 series specifically has problems with flickering shadows. A patch for the shadow issue is underway, according to the developer.

    As for performance issues on high-end rigs, Rockstar's tech support documentation contained the following explanation: "Most users using current PC hardware as of December 2008 are advised to use medium graphics settings. Higher settings are provided for future generations of PCs with higher specifications than are currently widely available."


    Hmmm.....more 1 star Amazon review here....Its ridiculous how many driver incompatabilities there are here. When you make a game or port it, you should optimize the game to the drivers, not release it first and then wait for the GPU manufactures to optimize their drivers for the game

    Edit: Another Interesting Thing:

    Nvidia Desktop & Mobile GPUs Renaming


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It appears Nvidia is carrying out the rebranding of their GPUs on both desktop and mobile front as VR-Zone has learned from the recent releases of the Forceware drivers. On the desktop front, there are GeForce GTS 150 based on G92, GeForce GT 130 based on G94, GeForce GT 120 based on G96 and GeForce G100 based on G98. On the mobile front, there are GeForce GTX 180M and GTX 170M based on G92, GeForce GTS 160M based on G94, GeForce GT 130M and G 110M based on G96 and GeForce G 105M based on G98.


    Great......even more confusion here.

    Basically, the average buyer will just get fooled into thinking that they're getting all new videocards when they mights just get stuck with a crappy 9200M or something like that....

    Seriously, its bad enough that the Geforce9 series is just basically Geforce8 series card that are overclocked or have a smaller manufacturing die, but this will just make things worse....
    Last edited by TevashSzat; 12-05-2008 at 21:23.
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  27. #117
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    The problem is a lack of standardisation. It has pros and cons and among the cons is that it's much harder and more expensive than developing for a console which is completely standardised and thus easier to develop for. The obvious conclusion for R* is to stop developing for non-standardised systems because obviously they aren't good at that, focus on the core competences of your company.


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  28. #118
    Spirit King Senior Member seireikhaan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Ubisoft plans to make a game adaptation of the movie Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Which is an adaptation of the game Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Linky

    Try to wrap your head around this: Ubisoft is planning a game adaptation of the film adaptation of the game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

    It's not enough that we're getting a brand spanking new cel-shaded next-gen Prince of Persia and even spinoff titles for the Wii and DS.


    Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has revealed that next year's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time -- that's the Bruckheimer-produced, Jake Gyllenhaal-starring film adaption set for release in 2009 -- will get its own game adaptation.


    The film itself features a script by the original game's creator Jordan Mechner. We still know very little about the game adaption of the film, but it's interesting to note that the movie is itself based on the plot of one of the games.


    Even a week after their Ubidays media event, Ubisoft is still all over the news. The latest covers the studio's expansion into other media productions, including word of a new animated series.



    Furthermore, Guillemot has also revealed that the company is sitting on a $1.2 billion war chest, to be used in potential acquisitions.


    It's probably a good time to be a Ubisoft share-holder right now, although Prince of Persia fans are probably confused as all hell."
    It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then, the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

  29. #119
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread



    My head hurts.
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  30. #120
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    NCsoft exits ESA

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Korean MMOG publisher opts out of membership, taking wait-and-see approach to industry body's newly rejiggered E3.

    In a sense, this year's E3 Media & Business Summit was defined not so much by those who were at the Entertainment Software Association's annual trade show, but by those who weren't. Leading up to the one-time premier US industry event, game makers such as Activision Blizzard, LucasArts, id Software, and Crave opted out of their memberships with the ESA. Others, such as NCsoft and Foundation 9, said that though they planned to remain in the industry body, they'd be skipping this year's show.

    Today, both NCsoft and the ESA have confirmed for GameSpot that, for the time being at least, the game maker will not renew its membership in 2009.

    "While we appreciate what the ESA does for our industry, we can confirm that NCsoft has elected not to keep membership with the ESA for 2009," said an NCsoft representative. "There have been many changes in the gaming industry over the past couple of years and, like other developers and publishers, we have decided to wait to see how related industry events and organizations further develop before rejoining. We will be reviewing our membership status on an annual basis."

    "We can confirm that NCsoft decided not to renew its ESA membership," said ESA senior VP of communications and research Rich Taylor. "We respect their decision and remain committed to serving the public-affairs needs of the computer and video game industry."

    E3 has begun to face mounting competition from a variety of industry events in recent years. In addition to overseas trade shows such as the Leipzig Games Convention and Tokyo Game Show, E3 has seen domestic challengers from the likes of the Penny Arcade Expo as well as dedicated events put on by individual publishers.

    Furthermore, E3 itself has been on the ropes since 2006, when the ESA said that it would be drastically downsizing the event and moving it out of the Los Angeles Convention Center to a more intimate Santa Monica venue. As a result, crowds were cut from their 2006 high of roughly 60,000 to an invite-only crowd of 5,000 by 2007. The new format was not to the liking of a number of top-line publishers--namely EA and Ubisoft--and the ESA has continued to tinker with the format in the subsequent years, moving the show back to the LACC in 2008 and rescaling the event upward for 2009.

    For NCsoft's part, the South Korean publisher has fallen on hard times of late. In the face of dismal profits, NCsoft said last month that it would be parting ways with celebrity game designer Richard Garriott as well as shutting down his commercial flop Tabula Rasa at the end of February.


    So...Activision-Blizzard, LucasArts, id Software, and now NCsoft have left. The only big players left that do some major PC games are EA, Ubisoft, and Eidos...
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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