Yeah, I watched the Idolm@ster anime. What can I say? I indulge in the occasional weird Japanese thing. Went better than expected, although I’m not wading into the games anytime soon unless one can guarantee more box malfunctions.
Right then, to the news! This week we have the following:
- UK retailer GAME files for administration, the UK equivalent of Chapter 11.
Which means it’s game over NO MUST RESIST THE OBVIOUS PUN
- Meanwhile, Zynga buys out Omgpop, makers of Draw Something, for a whopping $200 million. They’re gonna have to sell a lot of Zynga funbucks to make it up.
- BioWare plans “clarification” DLC for the Mass Effect 3 ending. Forbes, by the way, has a better read on this fiasco than most games media outlets; spoilers aplenty, but give this article a read when you get time.
- Dragon Age 2 winds down as the team gets ready for Dragon Age 3. Presumably they’re all just glad they’re not the Mass Effect team right about now.
- Speaking of dragons, Dragon’s Dogma‘s producer wants to sell ten million copies worldwide. I’m just going to leave that there and let you picture it.
- Yet another producer, this one for Resident Evil: Revelations, tells the truth and breaks my heart about where the survival horror genre has gone in recent years.
- GameStop’s standing in retail is examined, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition gets confirmed for the iPad, the .Hack series gets a fighting game, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – What Do You Do For Money, Hanii’ »
Via Twitter, Dragon Age 2 executive producer Mark Darrah has revealed that planned DLC for the game – titled Exalted March – has been halted in mid-production. The reason for this came later, as Darrah further announced the Dragon Age 2 team has officially moved their focus to “the next phase of Dragon Age‘s future.” Darrah added that the team has spent time reexamining BioWare’s older titles, looking at “new possibilities that today’s industry allows.”
The news never stops, which in that respect is very much like Skyrim. But I digress. The Spike VGAs have given us plenty of material, and thus tonight’s topics include:
- The nominees, broken down: Skyrim wins GOTY, Dragon Age 2 somehow got on a ‘best of’ list for RPGs, Witcher 2 is looking mighty snubbed…
- …although the train of unneeded celebrities, lackluster announcements, and literal on-stage teabagging did a fine job distracting from the awards themselves. And we wonder why gaming is still seen as immature.
- Meanwhile, with the VGAs posing as E3 Lite, speculation abounds that the actual E3 could come to an end (as we know it).
- A team of students at George Washington University use Kinect for other than its intended purpose, netting a $100,000 scholarship. And they complain about the kids today!
- Shiggy scares everybody with a Wired interview, saying he’s stepping down, prompting a panic until he can finish the sentence with “to smaller projects.”
- GSC Game World closes its doors, signalling an end to the eccentric yet beloved S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. Let’s drink to them once more.
- Namco-Bandai wins their suit re: Witcher 2 distribution in Europe, the 3DS sells 3 million units in Japan, Square Enix moves FFXIV to a paid subscription, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Such is Life in the Industry’ »
To counter the deluge of TGS news, BioWare recently revealed more DLC for Dragon Age 2 is in development. Mark of the Assassin puts Hawke in touch with, surprise surprise, an assassin by the name of Tallis (voiced by Felicia Day). Tallis convinces Hawke to join up for a heist of sorts involving the heavily guarded estate of an Orlesian baron. Even money says the head of a certain famous statue won’t be in this one.
Further details can be found on BioWare’s homepage, and a trailer is available over on YouTube.
Good evening, folks! My kingdom for a newsman fedora, but the show must go on. At least until Deus Ex: Human Revolution lures me back in with its siren song. Goddamn but that game is hard to put down. Anyway, let’s get to the news:
- GameStop opens PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution to remove OnLive coupons. Square Enix, like everyone else, had forgotten GameStop sells PC games.
- MCV conducts a survey of games journalists about the industry, with some surprising consistency in their answers. Check the full thing out here, it’s worth a read.
- Steve Jobs vacates his position as Apple’s CEO, prompting everybody to panic before he can finish his sentence with “…but staying on the board of directors.”
- BioWare’s Greg Zeschuk gives an interview with VG 24/7; the internet hears ‘RPGs’ and ‘less relevant’ and takes it from there. Go Team Knee-jerk! (Full disclosure: I do mourn the absence of big-budget Baldur’s Gate-style RPGs.)
- EA and Starbreeze Studios may be developing a new Syndicate game. Somewhere, Peter Molyneux is feeling an unexplained pang of regret and loss.
- A Latitude Research survey attempts to dispel old myths about gamers, the .hack series gets a movie when they really need a (better) game, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Comparing Apple and Lemon-Lime’ »
Damn but it was hard to focus and get this done. Human Revolution is right there on my hard drive, locked away and waiting for a signal from the Steam mothership to grant access. Buuuut I guess while I’m waiting we should get to the news. Here’s what’s going on this week:
- Following sluggish sales, Japanese retailers begin scaling down 360 business. Microsoft, trying sticking anime girls on more things next time. Hey, it worked for Windows 7.
- Valve’s Gabe Newell responds to the whole EA-taking-its-games-off-Steam thing. Gabe, if they threaten Mass Effect 3, for the love of god just give them what they ask for. It’s not worth the risk, man.
- Sony and Nintendo have a crazy-off, chopping features out of new PSP and Wii models in Europe. I’m short on explanations that don’t involve hallucinogens.
- Nintendo announces The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower for Europe, while ShopTo.net reports “unexpected late demand” for Xenoblade Chronicles. Well, gosh, where could that possibly be coming from?
- Star Wars: The Old Republic may actually need a limited launch to keep servers running smoothly. No, that still doesn’t make it a World of Warcraft killer, stop asking.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution is rumored to be region-locked in Europe, until Squenix drops this idea after being warned it may be illegal in response to fan outcry. Hooray!
- Seriously guys, we’re getting another Deus Ex in a matter of days oh god I forgot to turn off italics I don’t even care eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – My Business is Augmented’ »
Greetings to you all on this lovely Sunday, or as the media calls it, “two days until the world ends.” The debt ceiling might be on everyone’s mind these days – actually job creation is, or at least it should be – but we’ve still got some gaming news to cover. In tonight’s gravity-defying* episode:
- The Big N announces a sizable price drop on the 3DS and Iwata takes the heat for low sales numbers. Some say this is brilliant, others that it’s risky; smarter people say it’s both.
- Alleged members of LulzSec are under increasing scrutiny from the UK authorities, leading to at least one arrest. This is what happens, Larry! This is what happens when you [censored by Standards and Practices]!
- Dragon Age 2 disappears from Steam in the wake of their Legacy DLC release, and EA and Valve bicker despite making so much money together off Portal 2. Somewhere, Bobby Kotick is giggling like a schoolgirl.
- A major Battlefield 3 release party holds a “No girls allowed” stipulation. Apparently, booting less-than-ideal representatives of the online community requires actual work.
- THQ ends the Red Faction series, wondering why people found a corridor shooter about killing aliens in a cave less interesting than a sandbox destruction simulator on the surface of Mars.
- Kinectimals DLC will add bears to the game. The title: Kinectimals: Now With Bears! Would that more DLC could be so honest.
- Lastly, I offer some pointers about the debt ceiling fiasco: how we got here, what might happen, and what (little) we can do about it.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Worldwide Economic Catastrophes, Now With Bears!’ »
BioWare has unveiled Legacy, the first downloadable add-on for Dragon Age 2. A criminal cartel have begun hunting for “the blood of Hawke,” an obvious concern for the like-named protagonist, and the description indicates you’ll travel to a Grey Warden prison in order to get to the bottom of things. Apart from new locations, the content will grant an upgradeable, class-specific weapon and reveal “the harsh truth” about the Hawke family’s history.
Legacy goes live on July 26, with the usual DLC pricing of $9.99 on PSN and 800 MS/BioWare funbucks for 360 and PC. More details can be found on the official site.
Goooooooood evening! Hope all of you are braving the latest storm of the century, seems like we get one of those every five minutes. And then the sun comes out at the end of it just to spite us, that’s just unfair. But I digress. It’s time for What Happened This Week, and all the unusual merriment the topic brings. In tonight’s topics:
- China was revealed to have used prisoners for goldfarming in an unusual twist on forced labor. Well, at least nobody can opt out of raid night.
- Zynga prepares for an IPO in two weeks. Gamers and financial experts look at each other and shrug, gamers with financial knowledge (or vice versa) start panicking.
- Sony plans its bone-crushing five hour E3 event. Someone’s compensating for something, like an unexpected loss even before the hack took place.
- On the other hand, the PS4 won’t see the Big McLargehuge development costs of the PS3. So, hey, they learned something. I hope.
- On BioWare looking for artists. Yes, Dragon Age 2 dropped the ball in several areas. Yes, Dragon Age III is still a day one pickup for me. Yes, I am a consumer whore.
- Speaking of which, CD Projekt patches out DRM from retail copies of The Witcher 2. Oh CDP, you had me at hello!
- President Obama gets strange (and awesome) gifts, GRIN blames Square for its bankruptcy, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Trading the Weird for the Insolvent’ »
Goooood evening, friends! It’s news roundup time, and have we got some stories for you. Here’s the latest:
- Stardock CEO speaks out on selling Impulse to GameStop, but the reasoning behind the sale remains unclear. Also, he claims his fingers were broken in a “boking” accident.
- Nintendo and Sony commiserate over stock price and handheld launch woes. Those two should get together more often.
- Sony says price isn’t a make-or-break factor for a platform’s launch. Uh-oh.
- Rumor mill discussion over an alleged Sony insider leaking E3 2011 details. Kaz Hirai and Jack Tretton to fight to the death confirmed.
- EA thinks it can take on Zynga. Details to follow in the documentary Wall Street 3: Make Games or Die Trying.
- Ubisoft thinks it can take on EA and Activision. Their likely response: “Ubi-who now?”
- BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 deal, PopCap Games loses their mind, and much more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Impulse Buys and Picking Fights Poorly’ »
For those Dragon Age fans who may be a bit behind on a certain other epic role-playing series, BioWare has just the deal for you. To celebrate Dragon Age 2 hitting the one million mark in two weeks, BioWare is now offering free downloadable copies of Mass Effect 2 alongside it. The deal is accessible through registered copies of Dragon Age 2 for any platform, though the download code is for PC only.
Players have until the end of the month to redeem their codes, and all purchases beforehand are eligible. Further details and instructions can be found at the official site.
As if following up on Mass Effect wasn’t enough, BioWare had a major challenge in the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. Despite its flaws, Origins boasted a malleable plot and fantastic characters, and much the same can be said of Dragon Age 2. Discarding the procedural fantasy epic for a more personal story, DA2 speeds up the action even as it paces itself on the narrative. It’s not always a healthy mix, as questionable choices intrude on and sometimes undermine serious developments, but the game easily succeeds in making this new direction fun and engaging. Whether its surpasses its predecessor, however, is far less cut-and-dry. Continue reading ‘Dragon Age 2 – Staff Review’ »
Hello everybody, and welcome back! Sorry to push the update back without notice, but a shortage of time this week really cut into the editing process. It’s a long story, but after careful consideration, What Happened This Week will now be uploaded every Sunday instead of Saturday. Again, my apologies. With that said, let’s get to the news:
- Zynga buys out yet another indie developer, then tries to bribe tax cuts out of San Francisco. Where have I seen this behavior before…
- Blizzard moves its MMO veterans to other projects. Negative projections may be premature, but a decade is a long time.
- Microsoft has something big coming up for 2015. Let the Xbox 720 speculation begin!
- BioWare: Our romances are for everyone, not just straight men. But don’t misunderstand, they are quite angsty.
- AT&T rolls out bandwidth caps in May, invests in a doom fortress, and hires a short man with a bladed hat.
- Portable gaming news, Metacritic rating people, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – AT&T Bills Zynga, Blizzard Gets Too Old for This’ »
Welcome back, everybody! Good to be back from Las Vegas, where tragically I was unable to recruit Danny Trejo and hunt down Matthew Perry. But I suppose a nacho platter at Margaritaville is victory enough for one trip. Anyway, it’s time to round up What Happened This Week. Let’s see what we have this time:
- Sony convinces European authorities to release PS3s, but the legal back-and-forth with LG continues.
- Human Revolution sees a release date, and the reason for the pushback likely goes deeper than Final Fantasy XIV‘s misfired launch.
- Microsoft to retool Windows Live and apologize for unleashing it. Well, they’re doing the first one at least. Also, speculation on possible price cuts.
- Best Buy is on the ropes, but Amazon.com and Steam need better infrastructure to viably fill the gap.
- Strange but true: criticize BioWare, get locked out of Dragon Age 2. Developers have feelings too, you know!
- Krazy Kaz is back, E3 rumor mills are in full swing, and portables join consoles in the counterproductive spending arms race.
- Japan, as you know, was recently hit by a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami. The Red Cross is accepting donations, so chip in if you can.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Cost-Cutting Spin Doctors Reopen Europe’ »
People of the internet, how’s it going today? Got plenty going on this week:
- Hyperdimension Neptunia looks less weird than advertised.
- Dragon Age 2‘s demo will hit the million downloads, not that it matters for the bonuses.
- Social network gaming versus traditional development: who will inspire more premature conclusions?
- China steals Japan’s spot as the #2 economy in the world, but on closer inspection there’s far more to the story.
- Sony “not deliberating” a PS4, a man gets stabbed over a text message typo, knock-offs, torrents, and reboots.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – China Declines Japan’s Friend Request’ »
Lots and lots of arms, as it turns out. BioWare announced today that Dragon Age 2‘s demo will be launched for all platforms on February 22. Not content with simply letting people know it’s there, BioWare further announced that two special items will be unlocked in the game if the demo reaches one million downloads by March 1. The two items, books titled “Lothering’s Lament” and “The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall,” grant respective XP and money bonuses when read.
You must log into your EA account while playing the demo for your download to count towards the total, and further information can be found through the official site. The full version of Dragon Age 2 goes live on March 8 in the US, and March 11 in Europe.
Howdy-ho everybody, and welcome back to What Happened This Week! Our topics this time include:
- Fallout New Vegas DLC finally leaves the 360, begging the question of the whole point of timed exclusives.
- The Writer’s Guild of America picks Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood for best videogame writing. You’ll be surprised who was (and wasn’t) on the list.
- Fox News picks a fight with Bulletstorm and cherry-picks responses to blame it for moral decay in our youth. The sky is also still blue.
- The future editor of the Washington Post will need a stern talking-to from the Space Pope.
- DICE conference rumors abound, Dragon Age 2 goes gold, and Guitar Hero goes bye-bye.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – BioWare Should Have Bribed the Bouncer’ »
Who’s talking about a slow news week now? BioWare announced today that Dragon Age 2 has officially gone gold for PC, Mac, 360, and PS3. As if that wasn’t enough, lead designer Mike Laidlaw hosted a live demo and Q&A session covering various gameplay elements: the updated dialogue system, character controls in combat, inventory management, and so on. Get all the blood splatter you like over yonder.
Dragon Age 2 will release on schedule starting March 8 in North America, and March 11 in Europe.
Dragon Age 2 looks to have some interesting bonuses from outside the game, keeping with the series tradition thus far. Continue reading ‘Dragon Age 2 Unlockables via Facebook and Dead Space 2’ »
Keeping in BioWare tradition, Dragon Age 2 preorders made before January 11 will carry bonus content. Specifically, the preorder versions will automatically be upgraded to the Signature Edition, which includes a unique digital armory, the soundtrack, exclusive weapons, a new playable character, and extra missions; roughly $20 of content according to BioWare, who apparently believe that a game’s soundtrack doesn’t cost more than the game it comes from. I envy them in this belief.
Anyway, further details are available via the official website. Dragon Age 2 is scheduled for a March 11 launch next year.