Blizzard announced that Diablo III for the PlayStation 4 (subtitled Ultimate Evil Edition) will be playable at PAX East. The Penny Arcade Expo in Boston will run from April 11 to 13.
If Light Yagami was a military strategist, he’d be Shu. Continue reading ‘Mass Media 03/03/13’ »
In a recent interiew, Blizzard production director John Hight indicated that Diablo III will have some form of offline play. This was mentioned in the context of multiplayer, with Hight saying that “You can have four people on the same screen—no split-screen, we just zoom the camera out. Or if you’re offline.” As a reminder, the PC version requires a constant connection, largely for the Real Money Auction House.
Hight also said the PS3 version was further along than the PS4, given the team has only just been introduced to the PS4′s controller.
Presumably because they like money, Blizzard announced that a Diablo III expansion is currently in development. This was brought up during an investor call with Mike Morhaime, though he was unable to give any specifics about timeframe or content.
With last year’s orchestral album based on video game music under their belt, the London Philharmonic Orchestra is putting together a second one. The tellingly-named Greatest Video Game Music 2 launches on November 6, and includes the following tracklist: Continue reading ‘London Philharmonic Composes Second Game Music Album’ »
Blizzard has launched the 1.0.4 patch for Diablo III, which, among other things, adds the Paragon system. This endgame content kicks in after players hit level 60, with 100 Paragon levels that increase core stats and improved magic/gold finding. Progress through these is indicated publicly with distinctive portraits every ten levels.
The patch also addresses several bugs and UI issues. A full list of patch notes is available here.
Ooof… man, what was I thinking? Don’t… nobody even tell me the damage. If I don’t see the bill, it doesn’t exist. I’ll pretend this big stack of games I bought just magically appeared there. Yeah, that works for me. Anyhow, it’s time to distract myself, and you, with the news:
- Apple suffers a serious hack, allowing users to bypass some in-app purchases and get the goods for free. Welcome to the 99%, Apple users!
- Meanwhile, Microsoft posted its first loss in 26 years. Strangely enough, they could probably commiserate with Nintendo, right down to the “constant media doom chorus” thing.
- Michael Pachter speculates that Activision strongarmed Nintendo into developing a conventional Wii U controller, a silly notion for multiple reasons.
- Gamasutra’s half-year analysis of gaming industry retail paints a grim picture for 2012. The numbers don’t lie: CODBLOPS2 probably won’t save this year.
- Torchlight‘s developer uncovers more than a few similar art assets between a Chinese-based iOS MMO and their game. Purely coincidental, I’m sure.
- Weird new software categories show up on Steam’s droid app, the Ouya’s first game is a prequel to a game planned for 2015, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Now Seventy-Five Percent Off!’ »
Regarding various issues with Diablo III post-launch, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime took to the official forums to issue a statement. In particular, he acknowledges that the company underestimated Diablo III‘s launch numbers and the subsequent strain on servers. The company, says Morhaime, used historical data for multiple big-name sales, including past Blizzard titles, and scaled up from its own estimates. Obviously, this wasn’t quite enough, as he says that “we’ve never gone from 0 to more than 6 million players across multiple continents within a few days with a brand-new game.” Continue reading ‘Blizzard CEO Responds to Diablo III Issues’ »
Since its release, Diablo III has been keeping Blizzard busy. The latest round of hotfixes addresses two particular issues: the first, an exploit to boost attack speed or double-cast a spell by hitting the Town Portal button on the hot bar; the second, rare item drop rates, which have been increased for various difficulties and campaign acts.
Over on the game’s official Twitter feed, Blizzard announced that Diablo III‘s real money auction house is now online. As previously noted, all participants are required to use an authenticator with their Battle.net account.
Say what you will about obscure Korean MMOs, but they come up with some catchy (if unrelated) promo videos. But I digress. News time! Here’s what’s going down:
- 38 Studios and Big Huge Games got shuttered this week, their staff laid off and Amalur now property of Rhode Island. Sadly, not too surprising given the money hole they were in.
- Conflicting sales goals hide the real issue of what those 300+ developers – and their shiny new second mortgages from relocating – are going to do now.
- Meanwhile, BioWare lays off some of its own people from The Old Republic team. How’s that $200 million development cost working out, guys?
- All this prompts Pachter to speculate that MMOs are dooooooomed! My take: maybe, if everybody keeps trying to imitate/defeat World of Warcraft. And speaking of which…
- Diablo III got hacked, with reports of stolen items, money, and even characters. Getting hacked in a single-player game has got to be some kind of record.
- The horrible, horrible contract between Activision and Bungie is revealed. Short version: 5 million sales of a new property in six months, and eight titles in eight years. Read it and weep.
- Sony patents a technology to interrupt your game with advertisements, Japan developers alternatives to kompu gacha, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Endless Online Phenomenon’ »
“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” John Maynard Keynes said that, and I’d wager he knows a little more about the economy than you do, because he invented it! Yeah, the financial world is abuzz over Facebook’s IPO, and we’ve got our own take on that, along with a few other items of interest. Behold:
- 38 Studios (Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning) owes the state of Rhode Island $75 million in loan payments. I don’t even have a quip, you have to hear the whole crazy situation to believe it.
- Facebook, as mentioned, went public, and then immediately flatlined before dropping a few bucks today. Cue me feeling smug in three… two…
- Activision drops its suit against EA over the Infinity Ward fiasco, on revelation that they went to absurd lengths to dig up dirt on IW staff. Bobby Kotick, up to no good? Pshaw, sirrah.
- Epic unveils the Unreal 4 engine, prompting a new wave of speculation as to how many shades of brown and grey it can render.
- CD Projekt’s hiring for a modern IP. Given their work with fantasy IP, I expect good things. Difficult things that kill me in the tutorial, but good things all the same.
- Diablo III goes live, then dies, then lives again, then dies again, and so on. Who could possibly have forseen difficulties with millions of players going online at once?
- Square Enix is profitable again, Bamco keeps busy with the Tales series, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Go Public or Die Trying’ »
Look, Blizzard, I told you: I’ll come back when you start making RTSs. Complete RTSs, not the shenanigans you’re pulling with Starcraft 2. Your Diablo III screenshots, while delicious, have no power over me! I’ll not be tempted, damn you!
…I’m gonna wind up buying Diablo III, aren’t I. Nyaugh. Anyhoo, let’s get to some news:
- Japan makes noises about regulating a peculiar form of
gambling social media sales. Japanese game companies shriek in horror, including a few you may recognize.
- EA confirms it’s restructuring, which includes some of the previously-mentioned layoffs. CEO John Riccitiello also owns up to the company’s distant second place in social gaming.
- All aboard the doom train: Sony posts its forecasted loss, announcing (in a roundabout fashion) a meager 1.8 million Vita sales. Experts (and professional amateurs such as myself) opine on what may save the device.
- Microsoft, by way of Michael Pachter: “Don’t expect a lot of game stuff [at E3]; expect a lot of dashboard, interface, multimedia.” Excellent, now I know which conference I can ignore.
- Tetsuya Nomura indicates that he’d like to see Kingdom Hearts return to consoles. Square Enix confirmed for working on the Blizzard-Valve Timescale.
- Diablo III preorders make it bigger than Jesus, Redbox goofs on Max Payne 3, social gaming is slowing down in the US, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Random Revenue Generators’ »
In a recent announcement, Blizzard explained more Diablo III‘s online features. In particular, the game will allow for Global Play, meaning players from all regions – the Americas, Europe, and Asia – will be able to play with each other. However, servers are divided by region, and all characters, items, and friends lists will be exclusive to each one, meaning players will have different sets of each depending on the region they join.
This also applies to in-game auction houses, which are restricted to their ‘home’ region. And speaking of which, Blizzard has updated the game’s official site with a guide to the auction house. The guide details how one goes about buying or selling things, and clarifies transaction fees; check out the full thing here.
Hello and welcome, everybody! It’s that time again. GDC occupied a lot of the news this week, but among that we have the following:
- Valve’s marketing director clarifies that they are not working on a Steam box… for now. Actually they left off the “for now” part, but let a man dream :3
- Peter Molyneux leaves Lionhead and Microsoft to start his own company once more. Shine on, you awesome fibber. Shine on… or go on to develop social/iOS games like other gaming legends.
- Blizzard offers a rather hefty
bounty returning bonus for players who bring friends back to World of Warcraft…
- …which doesn’t quite distract from their announcement that Diablo III will not have PvP at launch.
- A quartet of big names – Will Wright, Sid Meier, John Romero, and Cliff Bleszinski – offer various insights on the state of the industry, ranging from concerns about self-referential development to homeless simulators. It makes sense in context.
- Tim Cain gives a postmortem on Fallout, sharing the dirt on how the now famous post-apocalyptic RPG almost never saw the light of day. Short answer: blame Windows NT. Watch the whole thing if you can, it’s enlightening stuff.
- Two men make more or less the same complaints about Japanese games, with vastly different levels of tact (and authority), I suggest the big picture might be a bit more complicated, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – There He Goes Again On His Own’ »
The news: disturbing the Force, all day erry day. Also, going to be off next week for the Super Bowl; not that I have a huge stake in it, but I owe the Giants some residual gratitude for taking out Green Bay. Us poor Chicagoans would never, ever hear the end of it if they made it back-to-back. But I get off topic. I’ll see you all the week after next, but in the meantime here’s what’s going down:
- The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement steps in to fill the SOPA/PIPA void of “simultaneously overzealous and ineffective legal frameworks for punishing 4chan users.” Also, at least part of Poland’s parliament is awesome.
- The Economist dispels a few myths about the US trade deficit with China, using the iPad as an example. Short version: paying workers ten cents an hour means China doesn’t actually get a lot of money per gizmo.
- Diablo III‘s senior producer makes an abrupt departure from Blizzard. Since the game doesn’t even have a release date yet, there can only be one explanation.
- Meanwhile, EA expands Origin’s reach to include several third-party companies, counting beloved Polish developer CD Projekt among them. The more you tighten your grasp, EA…
- The Family Research Council claims the Gay Agenda has its claws in Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare responds by thanking them for the free advertising.
- Nintendo mulls over a rebranding effort for the Wii U, worried that nontraditional gaming demographics might not get the concept of console cycles.
- Mass Effect 3 will tie random DLC to action figures, Voodoo Extreme faces staffing budget cuts, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Jedi Are Gonna Feel This One’ »
Nothing like a week of updates to make a guy feel like he’s treading old ground, but hey, anything worth talking about is worth talking about again. Tonight’s discussion topics are as follows:
- The Bethesda-Interplay legal mess comes to a close, with Zenimax paying $2mil for Interplay to stop harassing Fallout and claiming the MMO’s going to make it.
- GSC Game World announces on Facebook that development of STALKER 2 is somehow still underway. Why do all the beautiful things in life have to be undead?
- Zynga acquires another executive from EA. Poor Zynga… their stock’s lackluster performance has caused them to mentally regress to last year.
- BioWare reveals that Mass Effect 3 will require Origin and will not be available on steam. Also, they broke their arm in a boking accident.
- Workers at a Foxconn plant in China threaten mass suicide over low pay and poor conditions. Industry leaders feign shock that they’re still doing business with Foxconn.
- Ars Technica gets a closer look at the Wii U, and learns surprisingly little.
- Diablo III gets a console version, a Gaikai rep makes a silly assumption about the Big Three, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Is This the 50′s or 1999?’ »
Howdy-howdy! Slowly getting back to a working schedule, though still suffering connection issues. Making some progress on my end, or at least narrowing down the problem. But enough about my griping, we’re here for the news! News, and the joy of shows about time-travelling quad bikes on YouTube.
Gotta love Klyka, man. Anyway, let’s get at it:
- Sony is reportedly beginning work on game concepts for the yet-unannounced PS4, with an expected release window of 2014…
- …while Microsoft looks to debut the “Xbox Next” at E3 2013. Also, Fable will get a chance to disappoint people on the Next.
- A Gamasutra interview on Rage sparks… rage. The writer responds, arguing that being potentially blacklisted for a pointed question or two is kind of an overreaction.
- Blizzard offers up a side of Diablo III free with $180 worth of World of Warcraft. Such a deal! Blizzard, throw in Warcraft 4 or the rest of Starcraft II and we’ll talk.
- Speaking of tie-ins, Mass Effect 3 teams up with Battlefield 3 to prop up the latter gain early access to the ME3 multiplayer demo. Maybe they’re hoping BF3‘s multiplayer mojo will rub off or something.
- Namco Bandai is set to publish Ni no Kuni in Rest-of-the-Worldia, Yoshida says more about FFXIV, Batman: Arkham City opens up fresh DLC wounds, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – New Generation, Same Tricks’ »
At the Citi 2011 Tech Conference, Activision Blizzard COO Thomas Tippl stated that the company is expected to release six “proven property” titles over the next three years. Tippl confirmed that this includes both Starcraft II titles – the Zerg and Protoss campaigns – two World of Warcraft expansions, Diablo III and its own expansion.
Searching for duplicates of Makai Kingdom PSP media is ever so fun, right up there with smashing yourself in the face with a brick. Anyway, it’s media time, and it’s a biggie. In additional to the aforementioned Makai Kingdom PSP, we have 7th Dragon 2020, Dark Souls, Diablo III, Heroes’ Phantasia, Grand Knight’s History, Persona 4: The Golden, and Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena. Dig in! Continue reading ‘Mass Media 09/07/11’ »