Aaron and Ryan strap on their spurs and find out who's got the quickest draw in the west in Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.
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Hauppauge's best efforts come up short in the HD PVR 2, held back by poor software and lackluster hardware.
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Company says project is not related to Xbox One or Reclaimer Trilogy; more information soon.
In addition to Halo 5, Halo 6, and the new Halo TV series, it appears Microsoft is working on yet another project in the science-fiction series.
A listing for "Bootcamp" appeared on the Korean Game Rating Board today (via GameFront) with Halo 3 mentioned in its product description, suggesting the project could be the long-rumored Halo 3 PC port.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed with GameSpot that Bootcamp is something unrelated to the company's other Halo endeavors, but wouldn't go into further detail.
"What's Bootcamp? It is not related to our Xbox One efforts, or the Reclaimer Saga, but rather a project we're very enthusiastic about and will have more to say about in the near future," the company said.
As GameFront points out, Bootcamp is referenced in the title of Brian Reed's novel Halo: Fall of Reach: Boot Camp.
[ Watch Video ]
Watch this weekend as the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 9: Infinity brings you some of the best players and matches on the road to EVO 2013.
5 new shots posted.
Check out the launch trailer for Capcom Arcade Cabinet: All-In-One Pack.
Check out this teaser trailer for the 2D/3D puzzle platformer Contrast.
Activision says updated version of sensor will make gameplay better in latest shooter; current-gen version will be "superb experience."
Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Ghosts will feature Kinect-enabled voice commands, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has confirmed with VentureBeat.
The executive explained that the updates Microsoft has made to the Kinect 2.0 sensor will lead to a level of "responsiveness and detail" that was not possible before.
Hirshberg said more information about Kinect integration for Call of Duty: Ghosts will be revealed at a later date, and made clear that Infinity Ward believes the technology will better the game.
"We've always made sure that we don't just use new technology for novelty's sake," Hirshberg said. "We always make sure that it makes the gameplay better. In this case, we think it will."
Also in the interview, Hirshberg commented on the cross-generational nature of Call of Duty: Ghosts. He said gamers who pick up the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will enjoy a "superb experience" that will include many of the gameplay ideas, including dynamic maps and character customization, promised for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions.
To achieve this vision, Hirshberg said it was decided early on that Call of Duty: Ghosts for current-generation platforms would be developed alongside the next-generation versions at Infinity Ward instead of being ported by an outside studio.
For more on Call of Duty: Ghosts, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
"We haven't said yes, and we haven't said no," developer says about bringing shared-world shooter to PC; "complexities" hurting possibility of save files transferring across platforms.
Bungie's all-new shooter Destiny may be released for the PC, though the developer is not ready to confirm anything just yet. Speaking with IGN, Bungie senior writer and community head Eric Osborne said developing for more platforms means more work, and Bungie is unwilling to develop for one platform at the expense of another.
"We haven't said yes, and we haven't said no," Osborne said. "The more platforms we take on, the more work it ultimately becomes, and what we don't want is to compromise the core experience on any platforms. We have a lot of people who play on PCs. We have a lot of appetite to build that experience. We haven't announced it yet, but we're looking forward to talking more about that kind of stuff in the future."
A PC version of Destiny previously appeared on Bungie's website.
Destiny will be a multiplatform game, launching on next-generation platforms like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as current-generation systems including the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Asked if save files will be transferable across platforms, Osborne said currently there are "complexities" that must be resolved to make it possible.
"For us, [platforms] are purely agnostic," Osborne said. "Any data on our back-end servers and services, like Bungie.net, are ours. We control it, we can do a bunch of fun stuff on that side. So for us, we want to absolutely do the right things for players. But there are some complexities we have to solve that are outside our control. But we're absolutely pushing to solve some of those things. We don't have anything to announce, but hopefully in the future we will."
Destiny's worldwide gameplay reveal will take place during Sony's 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo briefing on June 10. The game's first live-action/CGI trailer, directed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau, launched yesterday. It features Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito.
PC port coming to Steam with Big Picture and Workshop support, as developer Hello Games calls the PC Joe Danger's "spiritual home."
Joe Danger and its sequel, Joe Danger 2: The Movie, will be released on the PC in 2013, UK-based indie studio Hello Games has confirmed.
Both games will be coming to Steam individually, with support for Steam's Big Picture mode and Steam Workshop for user-created levels. Additional levels for the PC versions of the game are also promised.
The original Joe Danger launched in 2010 as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, only to find its way to Xbox Live Arcade. The 2012 follow-up Joe Danger: The Movie is currently available on the PS3 and 360.
"Actually, PC is Joe Dangers spiritual home," said Hello Games boss Sean Murray. "I coded my first ever PC engine when we started making the original Joe Danger back in 2009, because we couldn't get hold of console devkits. So it's incredibly exciting to be finally able to release it."
"We have a rule that whenever we put our games onto a new platform we have to add something. We can't just do a quick and dirty port," added Murray.
"We have some more surprises to announce for the PC editions of Joe Danger as we lock them down."
GameSpot awarded the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Joe Danger 2: The Movie an 8.0 back in 2012, calling the game a "stimulating ride that throws everything at you at once--in a good way."
The UK-exclusive Grid 2: Mono Edition comes with an actual supercar.
Codemasters has announced a single £125,000 special edition of Grid 2 that comes with its own supercar.
The Grid 2: Mono Edition racing suit and custom BAC Mono supercar.
The Grid 2: Mono Edition will be available for only one customer in the UK and is being sold at Game.
Alongside the included British-made BAC Mono, which comes customised with a Grid 2 livery, the customer gets their own racing suit, boots, gloves, and Bell racing helmet. A day at the BAC factory is also thrown in, along with a PlayStation 3 console. A copy of Grid 2 on the PlayStation 3 is also included.
The road legal supercar is made from carbon fibre with a 2.3 litre, 280bhp four-cylinder engine that can go from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds.
Codemasters says it has submitted the Grid 2: Mono Edition for inclusion in the Guinness World Records as the world's most expensive special edition.
Grid 2 will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on May 31 in the UK.
For more information on Grid 2, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Sanctum 2 takes the enjoyable tower-defense-meets-first-person-shooting style of its predecessor and expands upon it with new weapons, towers, levels, and more.
Score: 8.0 / great
Sanctum 2 takes the enjoyable tower-defense-meets-fist-person-shooting style of its predecessor and expands upon it with new weapons, towers, levels, and more.
Soldiers team up on two maps to take down aliens and a barrier-destroying boss.
Aliens get all the way to the core.
The bad guys never stood a chance against the combined arms of rockets, shotguns, and turrets.
Take another look at the gameplay featured in Sanctum 2.
Check out Sam Lake's announcement to his fans talking about Alan Wake as well as their new project.
[UPDATE] Listing for sequel to 2008 first-person free-running game appears on retailer's German website; EA says "we have nothing to announce at this time."
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, an Electronic Arts representative issued a statement to GameSpot on the matter.
"We appreciate fan enthusiasm for Mirrors Edge, especially fans throughout the retail channel. This is not official EA material. We have nothing to announce at this time," the representative said.
The original story follows below
Amazon's German arm has posted a product listing (via NeoGAF) for Mirror's Edge 2, suggesting a sequel to DICE's 2008's first-person free-running game may soon be announced.
The listing indicates Mirror's Edge 2 will be available for the Xbox 360, though no other details are available.
An EA representative was not immediately available to comment.
A year after the launch of the original Mirror's Edge in 2008, EA said that the project was being honed by a small team at DICE. Two years later, production on the game was "stalled" after the company admitted sales of the original were lower than expected.
Most recently, a Mirror's Edge easter egg was found in Battlefield 3 DLC, showing series protagonist Faith's running shoes and audio of her panting.
Remedy says it could have made "less ambitious" sequel, but it wouldn't have done series justice; Quantum Break to be "ultimate Remedy experience."
The Alan Wake series will return "when the time is right," developer Remedy Entertainment has said. In a new video, creative director Sam Lake explained that despite attempts to make a full-on sequel, things never worked out.
"After the first game, we worked hard to make the sequel happen. But you know these games are huge undertakings and many things need to fall in place," Lake said. "The right partners and the funding. From the creative perspective, it would be awesome if we could just create cool stuff and not worry about minor details like money. But we all know that that's not the case."
Lake explained that Alan Wake was not an instant success, but has since become a cult classic with franchise sales (Alan Wake and Alan Wake's American Nightmare) crossing 3 million units. He said the studio would like to return to the franchise some day, but only under the right terms.
"Even though we worked hard on it, the sequel wasn't happening. The time wasn't right for that," Lake said. "Sure, we could have gone ahead and created something less ambitious, but we felt that that wouldn't have done justice to [fans], to us--we want to be really proud of everything we create--and certainly wouldn't have done justice to Alan Wake."
"Alan Wake is really dear to me and to everyone at Remedy. We definitely want to keep on working on Alan Wake," he added. "I definitely want to create something new for Alan Wake when the time is right."
Lake also took a moment to discuss Remedy's just-announced Xbox One-exclusive, Quantum Break, which was revealed during the platform's announcement on Tuesday. He described the game as the "ultimate Remedy experience."
"Happily, we got a full backing for something new. A new concept. A new IP," Lake said. "Something big; something bigger than what we have created ever before. Something where we can take everything that we have learned from Alan Wake; everything that we have learned from Max Payne. And we were able to put that all together and to create what could be called the ultimate Remedy experience. "
Enslaved, Devil May Cry developer hints that it will have "something new to show" tomorrow.
Enslaved: Oddysey to the West and DmC: Devil May Cry developer Ninja Theory has teased a game announcement for tomorrow, May 24.
"Tomorrow. Something new to show," the United Kingdom developer tweeted today.
Ninja Theory's last game was DmC: Devil May Cry, which launched earlier this year for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The game has sold over 1.15 million units to date.
The developer's website states that it has moved on from DmC: Devil May Cry and is now working on "exciting new projects." The studio has no available jobs posted to its careers page.
The studio was also behind Heavenly Sword and Kung Fu Chaos, when Ninja Theory was known as Just Add Monsters.
SCEE CEO Jim Ryan says PlayStation 3 still has "a lot of potential," would rather launch on platform that has 70 million units sold already.
Sony has spoken out to explain why upcoming racing simulator Gran Turismo 6 will debut on the PlayStation 3 and not the company's next-generation PlayStation 4.
Speaking with the PlayStation Blog, SCEE CEO Jim Ryan said Sony is confident that the PS3 "has a lot of potential" that developer Polyphony Digital can make use of.
"You had GT1 and GT2 on PS One; GT3 and GT4 on PS2; then there's GT5 on PS3 and a space next to it. The difference between Gran Turismo and GT2 is unbelievable, but they're both on the same platform," Ryan said. "The difference between GT3 and GT4 is huge. We're absolutely confident when GT6 comes, you'll see a big step change up from GT5 too. There's still a lot of potential on PS3 that a developer like Polyphony can really exploit."
Sony added that if it were to release Gran Turismo 6 on the PS4, it would be doing so with a day-one install base of zero, compared to the more than 70 million PS3 units already sold.
"And the other factor is that on PS3 we have an install base of 70 million units. On PS4 on launch day we'll have an install base of zero units," Ryan said. "There'll be plenty of games to help drive PS4--not least DriveClub in the racing genre from Evolution Studios, a studio with a fantastic pedigree."
Though Gran Turismo 6 has been announced only for the PS3, Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi said last week, "We have a PS4 version in mind for the future."
CGI/live-action trailer for Bungie's new shared-world shooter featuring Breaking Bad star and directed by Jon Favreau teases gameplay reveal during Sony's media briefing next month.
Bungie will provide the "worldwide gameplay reveal" for its new shooter Destiny
during Sony's 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing on June 10, the developer said today.
The news came at the end of an all-new CGI/live-action trailer for the game (below) released today. The video features Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito reading a passage from Rudyard Kipling's "The Second Jungle Book" intercut with CG footage from Destiny.
"Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky. And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die," reads the passage. "As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back; for the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
According to Variety, the short was directed by Iron and Elf director Jon Favreau and produced by advertising company 72andSunny. Visual effects were handled by Digital Domain, the prolific Hollywood production company founded by Titanic director James Cameron.
The Destiny trailer will air during Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals on May 25. Destiny launches next year for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Bankrupt publisher hoping to bring in at least $22 million from upcoming asset auctions.
Bankrupt publisher Atari Inc., the US branch of French owner Atari S.A., has failed to find a buyer for its portfolio of franchises and will not attempt to sell them off piecemeal.
The Wall Street Journal reports that bidding on a pool of game franchises and the Atari name itself will start at $15 million.
The minimum bid for the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise is $3.5 million, while potential buyers must pay at least $1.5 million for the Test Drive series.
Minimum bids totaled around $22.2 million, according to a court filing Wednesday.
Atari Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in January. According to the Wall Street Journal, its investment banker reached out to 180 would-be buyers, with about half agreeing to pursue purchases. However, only 15 actually submitted bids, none of which were approved by Atari.
Thus, Atari Inc. now plans to sell its brands on a franchise-by-franchise basis during auctions beginning next month. The Humongous, Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise, and Math Gran Prix franchises are going for $500,000, while the Total Annihilation series will be available with a $250,000 floor price.
Before the auctions can take place, a judge must approve of the sale process, something Atari hopes can happen during a June 11 hearing. Bids must then be submitted by July 10 ahead of auctions to take place July 16, 17, 18, and 19. If all goes to plan, Atari will seek final approval of all sales during a hearing on July 24.
Atari is also seeking permission to sell games "of minor value" separate from the official auctions. None of these titles were specified.
FIFA 14 coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on September 27. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will arrive later in 2013.
FIFA 14 will be released in Europe on September 27, EA has confirmed.
Additionally, EA is offering numerous preorder incentives in the UK that dish out FIFA Ultimate Team freebies. Customers who opt to buy the Ultimate Edition from Amazon will get 24 gold packs for Ultimate Team, given out at a rate of one a week for 24 weeks.
Each gold pack is a random assortment of 12 items, EA says, offering up players, stadiums, staff, balls, and kits. The players included in the gold packs are mostly rated above 75 in the game, and each pack includes a rare item. The Ultimate Edition also provides an All-Star Team featuring, among others, Lionel Messi.
Preordering at Game gets players the Limited Edition of FIFA 12, which features 24 premium gold packs. These are like the packs included in the Ultimate Edition, only they serve up two rare items every week. This version of FIFA 14 also comes in a steelbook case.
On top of that is the FIFA 14 Special Edition, exclusive to Game, which provides everything in the Limited Edition alongside an Adidas EA Sports glider football.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of FIFA 14 are also in development, but are not yet dated for release by EA.
The publisher announced its next-generation Ignite engine alongside Microsoft's official unveiling of the Xbox One earlier in the week.
For more on FIFA 14, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Mike Fischer has been working at Square Enix since July 2010.
The president and CEO of Square Enix's American operations has left the company.
Polygon reports that Mike Fischer, who joined Square Enix in July 2010, left the company earlier this month. Fischer is now working as vice president of digital music and video for Amazon Japan.
Fischer has updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect the changes.
Square Enix is currently undergoing a costly restructuring, which recently contributed to its net loss of ¥13.7 billion (approximately $134m/£87m) for the financial year.
Former Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada also resigned in March after spending 12 years in the role, and the publisher has said it is unhappy with the sales of its AAA titles Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs. Square Enix's Los Angeles studios have also suffered from job cuts.
Prior to his tenure at Square Enix, Fischer worked for Microsoft, Sega, and Namco Bandai.
Disney bringing 2012 platformer to Sony's latest portable next month with platform-exclusive features.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two will launch for the PlayStation Vita on June 18, Sony announced today. Previously, the game was scheduled to arrive on the portable platform sometime later this year.
The PS Vita version of Epic Mickey 2 will make use of the system's touch controls for painting and tilt controls for the game's racing mode, among other things. In addition, a two-player Wi-Fi co-op mode that is exclusive to the PS Vita version is also included.
Epic Mickey 2 launched in November behind a middling critical reception and sales of 529,000 units in the United States by the end of December, according to NPD data. For more, check out GameSpot's review.
Next-gen versions remain undated, but 360, PS3, and PC versions of this year's Need for Speed will be released on November 19.
EA has announced Need for Speed Rivals, saying that the next entry in the long-running racing series will launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 19.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions are in development, but are not yet dated.
Need for Speed Rivals is being developed by the new, Gothenberg-based studio Ghost Games. The game will use DICE's Frostbite 3 engine, EA says.
The game blends elements of Criterion Games' Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted, offering up a large open world--dubbed Redview County--and allowing players to take the role of a racer or a police officer. Cars are reported to be customisable, and Ghost Games claims the game will seamlessly integrate both its single-player and multiplayer gameplay with a feature called AllDrive, which lets players drop in and out of each other's worlds.
The series' social tracking service Autolog will also return.
Need for Speed's almost 20-year history has seen multiple developers handle the game, and the series has seen both ups and downs. Black Box's Need for Speed: The Run, which was developed using the Frostbite 2 engine, was panned upon its release in 2011. Criterion Games' 2012 Need for Speed: Most Wanted and 2010 Hot Pursuit were both well received, however, and their creative director, Craig Sullivan, has joined the team at Ghost Games to oversee development of Rivals.
A Need for Speed movie is also in the works.
Retailer's mobile business booming; digital sales rise 47.3 percent; overall revenue and profits decline for latest quarter.
GameStop posted overall revenue and profit declines for its first quarter ended May 4, but the retailer's mobile and digital channels saw gains.
The retailer announced today that mobile sales grew 290 percent in the quarter to $46.8 million, while digital receipts jumped 47.3 percent.
That's where the good news for GameStop ended. New software sales decreased 3.8 percent, while new hardware sales fell by an even larger 30.6 percent. Used-game sales fell 7.5 percent.
Year-to-date, GameStop said its US market share for new PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 software stood at 47.7 percent.
Overall, GameStop posted a net profit of $54.6 million during the period, down from net earnings of $72.5 million last year. Revenue came in at $1.87 billion for the quarter, down from $2.00 billion a year ago. Comparable store sales fell 6.7 percent, and GameStop said this negative trend is due to the "late stage effects of the current console cycle."
"GameStop's continuing margin expansion, growing new businesses and market share gains are the results of executing our strategic plan," GameStop CEO Paul Raines said in a statement. "We look forward to capitalizing on the upcoming new console cycle."
GameStop management will hold a call later today to discuss earnings and answer analyst questions. The retailer's stock value has fallen since it was reported earlier this week that Microsoft's Xbox One may require users to pay a fee to play secondhand titles.
Avalanche Studios says PlayStation 4 is preferred console at the moment, though Microsoft expected to catch up with driver updates.
In terms of raw power, the PlayStation 4 currently beats the Xbox One. That's according to Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios' chief technical officer, Linus Blomberg, who explained to Edge that he's not ready to declare Sony's console the better performer just yet.
"It's difficult to say, as it's still early days when it comes to drivers," Blomberg said. "With each new driver release, performance increases dramatically in some areas. The PlayStation 4 environment is definitely more mature currently, so Microsoft has some catching up to do. But I'm not too concerned about that as they traditionally have been very good in that area.
"The specs on paper would favor the PS4 over the Xbox One in terms of raw power, but there are many other factors involved so well just have to wait and see a bit longer before making that judgment," he added.
Avalanche Studios is currently working on projects for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The studio has three in-development and unannounced games, including Project Mamba to be published by Square Enix and a title basic on a comic book franchise, though it's not Superman.
The first of these projects could be announced next month during the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Avalanche Studios has teased. Whatever the games turn out to be, they will have players saying "Holy fu**ing sh**," according to chief creative officer Christofer Sundberg.
$150 Collector's Edition includes money bag, snapback hat, blueprint map, artwork, and various in-game items and bonuses; all preorders receive access to pilot atomic blimp vehicle.
Rockstar Games today announced premium bundles for this September's upcoming open-world game Grand Theft Auto V.
The $80 GTAV Special Edition includes a copy of the game, a collectible steelbook with never-before-seen artwork of Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, as well as a 21.5-by-26.75-inch blueprint map that shows off Los Santos and Blaine County.
The bundle also packs in various in-game perks, including a special ability boost for Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. With the boost, players' special ability bar will generate 25 percent faster.
The GTAV Special Edition also includes single-player Stunt Plane Trials and bonus outfits, tattoos, and "special deals" from shopkeepers inside the gameworld. Lastly, the premium bundle offers gamers additional weapons, including the pistol .50, the bullpup shotgun, and the melee hammer.
A $150 GTAV Collector's Edition will also be available. It includes everything from the Special Edition, as well as a special GTAV-themed 10.75-by-8.5-inch security deposit bag with a logo key.
The bundle also includes a "Los Santos"-branded GTAV hat made by New Era and classic GTA characters for use within the game's multiplayer component. Players who buy the Collector's Edition will also receive an in-game garage to store custom vehicles.
In single-player, these cars include the 1930s-style Hotknife hotrod and the CarbonRS sports bike. In multiplayer, players will get to zip around in the Khamelion electronic car.
Lastly, Rockstar announced today that anyone who preorders GTAV--any version of the game--will be able to pilot the atomic blimp in-game vehicle. Preorders for all premium bundles went live today and will be available while supplies last.
GTAV launches September 17 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Activision studio confirms new instalment in shooter series coming to PS4; DLC to launch first on Xbox One.
PlayStation Call of Duty fans can rest easy, with confirmation that upcoming first-person shooter, Call of Duty: Ghosts will be coming to the PlayStation 4.
Despite the official announcement for the game coming months after the unveiling of the PlayStation 4 hardware, Activision listed only unspecified next-generation consoles as being in development.
Fielding a question from a fan on Twitter, the official Infinity Ward account responded, we'll be releasing #CODGhosts on both platforms #PS3 #PS4.
The news should come as little surprise, given that previous Call of Duty games have launched simultaneously on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, though fan confusion is understandable, with neither Amazon nor GameStop currently listing a PS4 version of the game. As part of its Xbox One announcement held earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that it had once again secured timed exclusivity on downloadable content for Call of Duty: Ghosts.
The latest game in the hit shooter series is being billed as having a more emotional storyline, is being built on a new game engine, and will be written by Traffic and Syriana author Stephen Gaghan. The game is set to release globally on November 5 this year on the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
Deep Silver announces Season Pass for new first-person shooter that includes four add-ons for $15; first expansion out next month.
Four expansion packs are coming to 4A Games' new shooter Metro: Last Light, publisher Deep Silver announced today. Gamers can grab all add-ons together for $15 via the DLC Season Pass, available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
The first expansion for Metro: Last Light is the Faction Pack, which will launch next month for all platforms. It introduces a new and original single-player story that "expands on the Metro: Last Light universe." Further details were not specified.
Following the Faction Pack will be the story-focused Chronicles Pack, as well as the Tower Pack, which will "present a unique solo challenge to Metro veterans." Lastly, the Developer Pack for Metro: Last Light will give players "some interesting tools with which to explore the world of Metro."
"Artyom's story may have been concluded in Metro: Last Light, but there are other characters with stories to tell, some familiar locations that fans of the Metro series wanted to revisit, and some new challenges that 4A wanted to explore," said 4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov in a statement. "Since completing the game we have been working on these new stories and hope to release them throughout the summer."
Gamers who purchase the Metro: Last Light DLC Season Pass will also receive a new semi-automatic shotgun rifle called Abzats. Its secondary fire mode shoots six shells in one blast.
Deep Silver did not divulge prices for individual expansions.
PlayStation Plus subscribers can score a 25 percent discount on the Metro: Last Light Season Pass if they purchase it between May 21 and June 4 in the United States and May 22 and June 5 in Europe and the rest of the world.
Metro: Last Light launched earlier this month for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. For more, check out GameSpot's review.
New bundle includes full game and all DLC only on PlayStation Network for $64.
Konami today announced the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Ultimate Edition, a premium digital bundle that includes the full game and all downloadable content for $64.
The Ultimate Edition is available now for PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Network. PlayStation Plus subscribers can grab the game for $44.79.
No mention was made of a release for Xbox 360 and a Konami representative was not immediately available to comment.
Downloadable content bundled with the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Ultimate Edition includes the Cyborg Ninja Armor Skin, Metal Gear Solid Solid 4 Raiden Skin, Commando Armor Skin, White Armor Skin, Inferno Armor Skin, VR Missions, Jetstream, and Blade Wolf.
For more on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, check out GameSpot's review.
As part of multiyear agreement, Microsoft gets rights to create "exclusive interactive experiences for Xbox One and Surface; branding will appear on-field during NFL games.
The wide-ranging deal Microsoft and the National Football League (NFL) announced yesterday during the Xbox One event is worth an estimated $400 million over five years, according to sources speaking with the Associated Press.
As part of the multiyear agreement, Microsoft will have the rights to create "exclusive interactive experiences" through Xbox One and its Surface tablet line. As shown yesterday during the Xbox One reveal presentation, the NFL on Xbox One will allow for new viewing experiences made possible through Skype and Xbox Smartglass.
In addition, Microsoft said its deal with the NFL will be a boon for fantasy football enthusiasts. NFL on Xbox One will enable users to view live games and simultaneously interact with a personalized NFL destination that features player, team, and game information.
"When we started working with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] and the team at the NFL we knew that we could create great new experiences that fans would love," Xbox boss Don Mattrick said in a statement. "This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and interactive content that you will find only on Xbox. For fans, the NFL on Xbox will provide the most complete way to enjoy live football by bringing the first fully-integrated fantasy football experience to the TV, exclusively through Xbox."
The Microsoft-NFL agreement will extend beyond the TV screen and into the real world. As part of the deal, NFL coaches will be given Surface tablets to "enhance on-field communications, photo viewing, and play calling." Microsoft believes this could change the way the classic sport is played.
"Microsoft and the NFL envision a sideline of the future with players reviewing in-game photos from different camera angles directly from the sideline and head coaches calling plays off connected Surface tablets instead of today's static paper products," Microsoft said in a statement. "With Microsoft technology, NFL coaches, players, and other personnel will have the technology they need to improve decision-making and on-field performance."
Another result of the partnership will be Surface branding appearing on NFL sidelines on the hoods of the official on-field NFL instant replay stations. In addition, the deal reaffirms the Xbox as "The Official Game Console of the NFL," makes Microsoft "The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL," and Surface and Windows will become "The Official Tablet and PC Operating System of the NFL."
Dead Island: Riptide falls to second, and FIFA 13 climbs back up to third.
4A Games' Metro: Last Light has emerged at the top of the UK charts after its first weekend on sale, although the well-received sequel failed to match the numbers shifted by its predecessor in 2010.
The original Metro 2033 was released in March 2010 and debuted fifth in the UK charts at the time.
Deep Silver purchased the rights to Metro: Last Light in January, and the publisher also notches up a second place finish with open-world zombie mulcher Dead Island: Riptide.
FIFA 13 climbs back up to third place, and 3DS-exclusive Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity enters the chart in fourth.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II is fifth, Tomb Raider is sixth, and the retail release of Telltale Games' serial adventure The Walking Dead is seventh.
The top 10 is rounded out by DC brawler Injustice: Gods Among Us in eighth, which pushed Assassin's Creed III into ninth by less than 200 sales, and BioShock Infinite in 10th.
Elsewhere in the chart, poorly reviewed movie tie-in Star Trek drops to 32nd from last week's 24th-place finish, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter reenters the chart at 37th.
The Top 20 UK chart for the week ending May 18:
1. Metro: Last Light
2. Dead Island: Riptide
3. FIFA 13
4. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
6. Tomb Raider
7. The Walking Dead
8. Injustice: Gods Among Us
9. Assassin's Creed III
10. BioShock Infinite
11. Far Cry 3
12. Luigi's Mansion 2
13. Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins
14. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
15. God of War: Ascension
16. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
17. Grand Theft Auto IV
18. Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
19. Skylanders Giants
20: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
NetherRealm's DC brawler the best-selling title in region last month; overall industry sales slide 25 percent; Xbox 360 sales hit 130,000.
Injustice: Gods Among Us was April's top-selling title in the United States, according to data released by the NPD Group today. It marks the first time since April 2011 (Mortal Kombat) that a fighting game ranked in the top spot. No specific sales figures were provided, though it is estimated to have sold 424,000 units in the month.
Rounding out the top five performers for the month were Dead Island: Riptide, BioShock: Infinite, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Defiance.
Overall, industry sales slid by 25 percent to $495.2 million. However, NPD analyst Liam Callahan points out that the sales figures make up only about half of the total consumer spend for the month.
"When taking into account our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in April such as used and rentals at $76 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $267 million, the total consumer spend in April is $802 million," he said.
In addition, Callahan pointed out that the Easter holiday typically accounts for a 10 percent boost in sales for the month. Since Easter fell in March this year and in April last year, a direct comparison is "difficult," he said.
Regarding hardware, total sales plummeted by 42 percent to $109.5 million. Microsoft was again the market leader, selling 130,000 Xbox 360 units in the month, down from 236,000 systems this time last year. Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform (hardware, software, and accessories) was $208 million.
Sony has not divulged PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita sales information for the month, while Nintendo reportedly sold just 55,000 Wii U units during the month, some 20,000 fewer than the 75,000 Wii systems in the period.
As for software, this category decreased 17 percent in April to $267.8 million in April. Though the overall sector declined year-over-year, sales of April 2013 titles posted positive figures over April 2012, which was led by Activision's Prototype 2.
"Despite overall declines, April title launches in 2013 fared better than games that launched in April 2012, up 118 percent in unit sales and 130 percent in dollar sales," Callahan said. "This increase was driven by games like Injustice: Gods Among Us, Dead Island: Riptide, and Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins."
Separately, Nintendo announced that it has sold 2.1 million first-party 3DS games through the first four months of the year, up 52 percent over last year.
"In 2012, it took 30 weeks for Nintendo 3DS to sell 2 million units of first-party software. In 2013, the platform accomplished that same feat in 18 weeks," Nintendo said.
Nintendo said Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins shifted nearly 94,000 combined physical and digital copies. Notably, it was released on April 24, near the end of the NPD Group's reporting period. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon sold 140,000 units in the month (physical and digital), boosting its life-to-date total to 530,000 units.
The only Wii U title Nintendo revealed sales statistics for was New Super Mario Bros. U, which has now sold nearly 770,000 combined physical and digital units to date.
Shifting to accessories, this sector fell 19 percent to $131.4 million for April 2013.
"Though every accessory type experienced year-over-year declines in April 2013, year-to-date trending increased by over 20 percent for the combined sales of point cards, headsets/headphones, and All Other Accessories (which includes Skylanders)," Callahan said.
APRIL US GAME SALES (April 7-May 4, 2013)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $495.2 million (-25%)
Non-PC hardware: $109.5 million (-42%)
Non-PC software: $254.3 (-17%)
Accessories: $131.4 (19%)
Total software: $267.8 million (-17%)
TOP 10 GAMES FOR APRIL 2013
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us (X360, PS3, Wii U) - Warner Bros.
2. Dead Island: Riptide (X360, PS3, PC) - Deep Silver
3. BioShock: Infinite (X360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
5. Defiance - (X360, PS3, PC) - Trion Worlds
6. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) - Nintendo
7. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
8. Skylanders Giants (Wii, X360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
9. Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins (3DS) - Nintendo
10. MLB 13: The Show (PS3, PS Vita) - Sony
Wii-exclusive follow-up Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World also rumoured to be included.
GameCube RPG Tales of Symphonia could be getting an HD re-release on PlayStation 3, a new report claims.
Its Wii-exclusive follow up Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is also reported to be included, with the PlayStation 3 game being packaged as the Tales of Symphonia: Perfect Edition.
Hideo Baba, manager of the Tales series, told Spanish website Koi-Nya the two-game collection would be "a representation of the dreams and hopes of the fans, who have long been wanting it" but would offer no addional details.
GameSpot awarded Tales of Symphonia an 8.8 upon its original release in 2004. "Fans of Japanese role-playing games will take to its style and the depth of its battle system, and those curious about the genre and who loathe the idea of turn-based battle and scads of random encounters will appreciate the quick fighting pace. While the story may rely a bit too much on cliché, the ride is still worthwhile. If you have a GameCube and like RPGs, you definitely need to check out Tales of Symphonia," said the GameSpot review.
GameSpot has approached Namco Bandai for comment.
Silicon Knights says it is still working despite downsizing, closing its offices, and selling equipment.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights says it is "definitely alive" despite the studio's former president Denis Dyack's departure to form Precursor Games.
Talking to Polygon, Silicon Knights chief financial officer Mike Mays declared that the studio was still alive. Despite the assurances, Mays would not say where Silicon Knights is currently located, what projects it's working on, or how many employees the studio currently has.
However, the studio did confirm it has closed its offices, downsized its staff, and sold some of its equipment. Some computers were even sold to Precursor Games, the new studio founded by ex-Silicon Knights staff.
"Silicon Knights was selling off extra assets to laid-off employees and we, along with others, purchased some of them," said Precursor Games CEO Paul Caporicci when asked. "Like so many others who have been laid off in this difficult economy, we are simply trying to turn a tough situation into something positive. This helps give us an opportunity with Shadow of the Eternals to give the gamers something that they have been wanting."
A $4.45 million lawsuit between Silicon Knights and Epic Games ruled in favour of the latter in May 2012, and in November 2012, the studio was ordered to destroy all copies of its ill-fated Xbox 360 action role-playing game Too Human and X-Men: Destiny.
Precursor Games is currently working on Shadow of the Eternals, a spiritual successor to cult survival horror title Eternal Darkness.
Caporicci also asserted that Precursor Games hasn't inherited any of the Silicon Knights technology currently tangled up in a lawsuit with Epic Games. "We are a completely separate and independent entity and always have been," he said.
"Precursor is not and never has been a party to that case, and is not involved in it whatsoever. We purchased completely wiped clean machines, that is all. There is no basis for any liability or any claim against Precursor Games."
"We wish Silicon Knights the best of luck in their future," concluded Caporicci.
The list of domain names registered by Lucasfilm includes Star Wars Alliance, Star Wars Rebels, and Wookie Hunters.
Lucasfilm has registered a group of Star Wars-related domain names, Fusible has reported.
Earlier this week, Electronic Arts and the Walt Disney Company announced a new multi-year exclusive agreement to develop and publish new games based on Star Wars characters and stories.
Several of the new domains reference Star Wars themes, including the following:
- Star Wars Alliance
- Star Wars Rebels
- Star Wars Wolf Pack
- Wolf Pack Adventures
- Order 67
- Bothan Spies
- Gungan Frontier 2
- Gungan Frontier 3
- Gungan Frontier 4
- Wookie Hunters
No further information was available about whether the domains are tied to current or future projects, and none of the domains match currently announced games.
EA also confirmed earlier this week in a post-earnings financial call that it will not publish any new Star Wars games during its 2014 fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2013, through to March 31, 2014.
EA's deal with Disney makes it the exclusive developer of core Star Wars games. These titles will be delivered on all platforms. Battlefield studio DICE and Dead Space outfit Visceral Games are currently making new Star Wars games, which will run on the Frostbite 3 engine.
Disney acquired LucasArts alongside Lucasfilm in October last year for $4.05 billion.
The fates of Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault remain unclear.
House of Mouse's Interactive sector the only division to lose money in latest quarter.
Disney's game division was the company's only unprofitable business during the media giant's latest quarter.
The company reported earnings for its second quarter ended March 30 this week, revealing its Interactive business posted a loss of $54. This is $16 million better than last year's $70 million hit.
Improved performance in the Interactive division was attributed to revenues rising 8 percent to $194 million due to growth in Disney's Japanese mobile business and lower accounting expenses at its social game studios.
Looking ahead, Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo said Interactive expects to see a comparable operating loss in the current quarter due to the delay of Disney Infinity from Q3 (April-June) to Q4 (July-September).
Earlier this week, Disney and Electronic Arts signed a deal that will see EA become the exclusive developer of "core" Star Wars games. New projects are already in development at Battlefield studio DICE and Dead Space outfit Visceral Games.
EA reveals new sales milestones for tentpole franchises as part of full-year earnings report that saw $3.79 billion in revenue and $98 million profit.
As part of its latest financial report today, Electronic Arts announced that FIFA 13 has sold over 14.5 million units, up 30 percent over FIFA 12. In addition, SimCity sales have climbed to 1.6 million copies worldwide, 50 percent of which came through digital sales.
Other highlights in the report included Battlefield 3 Premium generating over $120 million in revenue from more than 3.5 million subscriptions to date. FIFA 13 sales are up 30 percent year-over-year and digital revenue for the game hit $200 million, up 94 percent from last year. With FIFA Online and FIFA World Class Soccer sales factored in, total FIFA digital net revenue was $350 for fiscal 2013.
The Simpsons: Tapped out was a top iOS game for EA, generating close to $10 million in digital net revenue in March alone and almost $50 million since it launched in August. The company's new driving game Real Racing 3 was downloaded over 30 million times and has 2.5 million daily active users since its launch in March, EA said.
EA's Origin platform now has over 47 million registered users (up from 39 million at the end of December), including 20 million mobile users. And for the trailing twelve-month period, company-wide digital revenue jumped 36 percent to an all-time high of $1.7 billion.
"As we enter a new fiscal year, EA is well-positioned for dynamic growth on next generation consoles, PCs, and mobile platforms," said executive chairman and interim EA CEO Larry Probst. "With world-class games, a rapidly growing digital business, and top-notch creative talent, we are excited about EA's strategy for FY 2014 and beyond."
"EA has a solid operating plan with disciplined R&D spending and a sharp focus on delivering the best games and services," chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen added. "We are holding our FY 2014 operating expenses flat to the prior year--a significant achievement in a console transition year."
EA Labels president reiterated that the company is currently creating "a number" of new games based on the Star Wars franchise for consoles, PCs, tablets, and mobile, though none were specified.
Overall, for EA's fourth quarter ended March 31, the company posted revenue of $1.2 billion and a profit of $323 million. For the full year period also ended March 31, EA posted a profit of $98 million on $3.79 billion. The publisher will hold a post-earnings financial call this afternoon. Check back for highlights from the call.
Lollipop Chainsaw developer Grasshopper Manufacture found difficulties in relationship with small studio and big publisher.
Lollipop Chainsaw developer Grasshopper Manufacture has pointed the finger at publishers for poor sales of the studio's games.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, studio boss Goichi "Suda51" Suda complained of a "wall" between creativity and sales, and that the differences in size posed challenges.
"Grasshopper does have a very strong base; it's just that because we were so indie, publishers were always [treating us] differently," Suda said.
Grasshopper has worked with Warner Bros., Capcom, Ubisoft, and EA, amongst others.
"Each publisher operates a different way, has different strategic ideas, so in terms of sales, what they did, was they kept creating what they thought was good. But in terms of publishing, it was a different company's strategic choice.
"So we believe that back then, when we were completely indie without a group company to be together with, we weren't able to translate our creative directly into sales because that was the part where there was always a wall between creative and sales transition wise," argued Suda.
Grasshopper says it will have more impact on the publishing of its unannounced next game, due after the upcoming release of Killer Is Dead, now that it's been bought by Japanese publisher GungHo. Suda believes that being part of a bigger group will allow for a more consistent strategy between creativity and publishing.
"Now that we're one big group together and we'll be publishing our own titles as Grasshopper, we believe that the creative side and the sales side will have a better connection," he added. "We definitely believe that it will transfer to good sales because we will be able to choose our own strategy," concluded Suda.
Grasshopper Manufacture's next game, Killer is Dead, is scheduled to be released this summer and will be published by Xseed Games in North America, Deep Silver in Europe, and Kadokawa Games in Japan.
This story was amended on May 3 to correctly reflect that Killer is Dead is not being published by GungHo.
Executive producer John Vignocchi says franchises are similar in that they have physical figures, but sameness stops there.
Disney Interative executive producer John Vignocchi has spoken out to downplay the similarities between Disney Infinity and Activision's Skylanders series. Speaking with Polygon, Vignocchi admitted some similarities do exist, but claimed that overall, Infinity is a unique game.
"There are similarities, in that we have figures, but the similarities stop there," Vignocchi said. "Infinity is intended to be a platform for all things Disney. The playsets inside of Infinity are new and original stories. They are open-world games."
Another significant differentiating factor, according to Vignocchi, is Disney Infinity's Toy Box mode, which allows gamers to make whatever they want.
"And then of course the Toy Box mode is more Minecraft-meets-LittleBigPlanet," he said. "It's something totally different where we allow kids to use their imagination and take our brands to build whatever they want."
When Disney Infinity launches in August, it will have much work to do to catch up with Activision's Skylanders series, which has minted more than $1 billion worldwide to date from the sale of over 100 million toys.
Activision is not worried about Disney's arrival in the toys-to-life market. The Call of Duty company said in January that it is unfazed by Disney's move and is well positioned to continue to be the genre market leader.
Nintendo supervisor Hiro Yamada says company hopes to reveal the studio's latest project soon.
Gamers interested in learning about the new Wii U game from Metroid developer Retro Studios may not have long to wait.
The Official Nintendo Magazine asked Nintendo supervisor Hiro Yamada if Retro is not making making Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, then what is the Austin, Texas developer up to?
"I wonder what kind of game it is? I hope to introduce it to you in the not so distant future."
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said in September that Retro's Wii U game will be "fantastic."
"Rest assured that Retro is working on a fantastic project," he said at the time. "We've got big games in development that are coming that are going to continue to drive the install base of the system."
Last week, Nintendo announced that it would not host a major presentation at E3 2013 in favor of smaller events to showcase new titles.
Retro Studios' most recent game was Donkey Kong Country Returns, which was released in November 2010 to a warm critical reception and sales of nearly 5 million units. The studio also collaborated with Nintendo EAD on 2011's Mario Kart 7, and was named by Miyamoto as a candidate to work on a future Legend of Zelda installment.
Latest contract awards Activision CEO five-year stock options that could pay up to 800 percent more money than the $8m he earnt in 2011.
Update: An Activision representative has contacted GameSpot to state that Bloomberg has since revised its story to emphasise the distinction between Kotick's annual salary and his stock options, and that the CEO's performance related five-year stock options make up the bulk of the additional extra income reported in the SEC filing. GameSpot has subsequently amended its article.
Call of Duty maker Activision's CEO Bobby Kotick saw an 800 percent raise in potential earnings with his latest contract, as new stock options left the executive with up to $64.9 million extra in the bank. In the 2011 financial year his total pay was $8.1 million.
Kotick is now a contender for the second highest paid public-company CEO in the US, Bloomberg reports, behind Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
The vast majority of Kotick's pay increase came from $55.9 million in stock awards, based on performance, which will vest over the next five years. His total cash salary for 2012 was inline with his previous earnings: $8.33 million.
Activision's report states that Kotick exceeded his performance goals on operating income, diluted earnings per share, and free cash flow. Kotick did not meet his target in the expansion of profit margins, however.
Kotick will receive another $16 million if he steers Activision towards its highest performance targets in 2013.
We dont like any element of this pay package, said GMI Ratings corporate-governance consultant Nell Minow to Bloomberg. "In the past we have expressed concern about this company and its compensation practices."
"The lack of information provided by the compensation committee is a red flag," continued Minow. "Its very difficult to discern how they determined this compensation package from the information thats been provided."
Activision states that it now has a market value of $16.5 billion, and posted a net income of $1.15 billion for the financial year.
The publisher is rumoured to be unveiling its next Call of Duty title on May 1.
Disney VP Bill Roper says company sees potential in adding Star Wars characters to game, but won't commit right away.
Star Wars characters could one day appear in Disney Infinity, according to Disney Interactive VP Bill Roper. Speaking with Games Industry International, the executive said the company recognizes the potential of adding characters like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker to the new game, but wouldn't commit right away.
"That was definitely exciting when [news of the acquisition] came down from within the company. We love the potential for Infinity--we always joke, well, 'the possibilities are infinite'," Roper said. "For us, we're really just focused on launching this platform quickly."
He explained that though Star Wars characters won't be in the game just yet, those characters--as well as any others from Disney's portfolio--may one day appear in the game.
"We've done a lot of work about identifying the properties that we felt would really make the platform sing at launch, but I never discount any possibilities with the vast array of characters and worlds that we can tap into across the company," Roper said.
Disney purchased the Star Wars brand in October 2012 for $4.05 billion. Since the acquisition, Disney has closed Epic Mickey developer Junction Point, as well as Star Wars 1313 outfit LucasArts.
Disney Infinity launches in August for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, 3DS, and PC. Currently confirmed characters are pulled from franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters University, Cars, Wreck-It-Ralph, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Phineas and Ferb.
Notably, Disney Infinity will not feature Mickey Mouse or any characters from classic Disney films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, or The Lion King, among others. However, this could change in the future.
"Please look forward to it," says Okami Twitter account.
Capcom's Japanese Twitter account for Okami appears to be teasing an upcoming announcement.
Sorry Ive been kind of out of touch lately," said the account (translated by Gematsu), "but I have the feeling well be able to drop a fresh announcement like WHAM! around the beginning of Golden Week, so please look forward to it. Right now were on track with preparations.
Golden Week is a holiday period in Japan that runs from April 29 to May 5, and Gematsu also points out that the latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu is teasing an announcement for its issue due out May 9.
Okami was an action adventure title helmed by Devil May Cry and Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya, originally released by Capcom for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. The cult title has seen subsequent re-releases on the Wii in 2008 and PlayStation 3 in 2012.
A Nintendo DS semi-sequel, Okamiden, was also released in 2011.
Funds from the Call of Duty: Black Ops launch event were used to pay for luxury shopping trips, holidays, iPads, and a bachelorette party.
An ex-Activision PR manager in the UK has been convicted of defrauding the company out of £18,963 (approximately $29,000) and spending the funds on multiple shopping sprees, a luxury hotel break, and a bachelorette party.
Former senior manager of PR at Activision UK Kathryn Kirton took the money from the budget of 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops London launch event, which took place in Battersea power station. She was aided by Frank PR consultant Jamie Kaye, who also admitted to taking £5,000. Kaye spent the money on six iPads and a £3,500 holiday to Florida.
Blackfriars Crown Court was told (via the Daily Mail) by Kirton's defence that she was entranced by the "glamorous and luxurious" world of public relations.
Kirton attempted to clear the purchases through Activision's finances by getting Kaye to pay for them on a company credit card. She then approved the expense claims.
The purchases were made over multiple months in 2010, and were discovered in 2011 when Activision investigated the case further.
Both Kirton and Kaye avoided prison, with Kirton being sentenced for 18 months with a suspended sentence of two years. Kaye was given a nine month sentence suspended for 12 months, and was also ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work.
During the sentencing, Judge John Hiller said "What is surprising is that cases like this are happening more and more often in your industry. But this is not the place to explore the PR industry."
Nintendo discontinuing a series of original Wii channels and network services in June due to "very low participation rate."
A handful of original Wii channels and some network services are soon to be no more. Nintendo announced today that due to a "very low participation rate," the company has decided to discontinue the following applications beginning June 28, 2013.
· Forecast Channel
· News Channel
· Everybody Votes Channel
· Nintendo Channel
· Check Mii Out Channel
· Data exchange between Wii friends on WiiConnect24
Concerning the last point, Wii message exchanges through Wii Message Board, Mii exchange via Mii channel, and exchanges of messages or data in "some" games will no longer be possible come June.
Nintendo apologized to gamers using the services and said the move was necessary so the company could focus on an "even higher level of service" for the Wii U.
"We apologize to those of you currently using these services, and ask for your understanding," Nintendo said in a statement.
"In order to focus on the development of an even higher level of service for Wii U and other products, a portion of the network services offered through the Wii console will be discontinued."
Limited edition featuring customized PS Vita skin and lithograph also on sale; Amazon and GameStop preorders include free soundtrack.
The PS Vita version of the Vanillaware-developed action game Muramasa: The Demon Blade finally has a release date for North America: June 25.
Slice up demons in style with the limited edition of the game.
Now called Muramasa Rebirth, the game will ship in both regular and limited editions. The latter version is called the Blessing of Amitabha collector's edition and contains a customized PS Vita face cover, a PS Vita skin, and a PS Vita pouch. The set also contains a high-resolution framed lithograph drawn by series creator and lead designer George Kamitani. Players will need to fork out $60 for the collection.
Amazon and GameStop are currently accepting preorders for both versions of the game. Gamers who do that will get the "Muramasa Rebirth Abridged Soundtrack" music CD, which contains five songs created by composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.
The Wii version of Muramasa: The Demon's Blade was praised for its visuals and boss battles but panned for its lack of depth. For more information, check out the review.
Customers who have already purchased songs will be unaffected, with Harmonix saying that future updates on DLC will likely arrive quarterly.
Rock Band's older DLC content will begin to leave the game's store as licensing agreements expire, developer Harmonix has said.
Metallica's "Ride the Lightning," "And Justice for All," and "Blackened" are the first, and currently only, tracks to be affected. The three songs were released on the Rock Band store back in November 2007.
Speaking about the potential removal of songs from the Rock Band library, Harmonix said on Facebook that "our Music Team has been hard at work extending these licenses to make sure that this has as small an impact on the community as possible, but there may be a very limited number of songs that will no longer be offered for new purchases in the Rock Band store."
At present, customers who have already purchased the content will be unaffected by the removal of the songs and will be able to download them if required.
Harmonix says that future updates on Rock Band DLC relicensing will likely arrive on a quarterly basis. The developer says it is "making it a priority" to give players notice ahead of content expiring.
"We'll do our best to make sure that you have one last chance to buy these legacy catalog tracks," said Harmonix.
The final downloadable track for Harmonix's Rock Band Store, "American Pie" by Don McLean, was released on April 2. In total, the store saw over 4,000 tracks released across 275 consecutive weeks.
"We're incredibly proud of the DLC milestones we've set, especially producing the largest music library of any game available, and we wouldn't have been able to release as much outstanding content without the support of our amazing community," wrote Harmonix in February.
Deus Ex, Epic Mickey designer says working on big-budget games is "a lot less fun than making games should be."
The process of making big-budget, AAA games can be a challenging endeavor that breaks a person's spirits. That's according to Deus Ex and Epic Mickey designer Warren Spector, who told Games Industry International that developing such projects comes with many burdens.
"As cool as triple-A games are, the time and money that go into them now is just soul-crushing, at least for me," Spector said. "There are so many voices you have to listen to, so many legitimate stakeholders; it's just a lot less fun than making games should be."
Spector is recently jobless, after Disney shuttered Junction Point Studios at the end of January. The industry veteran does not know what he plans to do next.
According to Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios creative director Stefan Ljungqvist, big-budget games are here to stay, though they may decrease in number.
"I don't think big-budget games are going away," Ljungqvist said this week. "There's going to be less of them. But that's a good thing, because maybe we don't need 40 first-person shooters. I don't want to play them all [laughs], but maybe we need one, two or three."
The Wii-exclusive RPG will hit North American shelves this month for $39.99.
North American JRPG fans can finally experience the next Nintendo Wii RPG, when Pandora's Tower hits gaming store shelves later this month.
"Hey, miss, you got a little something on your left cheek."
Publisher XSeed Games has confirmed that the game will be out on April 16 for $39.99. To coincide with the announcement, a North American website has been revealed.
Pandora's Tower originally launched in Japan in 2011, with an English version going on sale in Europe and Australia in April 2012. GameSpot praised its combat and time-management mechanics in its review, but criticised fixed camera angles and a lack of enemy variety. For more information, check out GameSpot's full review here.
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