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?’ »
And I thought to myself, “maybe I should wait a day on this Bethesda/Interplay settlement story, see if more details emerge Monday.” But then I thought “nah man, let’s go with it. What’s the worst that could happen?” My fault for assuming this was going to drag on, I guess.
Anyway, the aforementioned settlement’s details have been revealed, with ZeniMax paying Interplay $2 million dollars in exchange for returning the full rights of the Fallout name to Bethesda. Thus, Interplay has no further license to continue with Fallout Online.
It’s just not a week in the industry without some long-forgotten property being dug up, only to be reburied just as abruptly. Times like these are hell for anybody that was born in time to appreciate the 90s. In tonight’s episode:
- Interplay and Bethesda reach some kind of settlement which allows Interplay to continue pretending to develop Fallout Online. The judge was kind enough to deliver the settlement notice to the cardboard box Interplay is currently working out of.
- The ESA reaffirms their support of SOPA, whereas Epic Games – a member of the ESA – actually comes out publicly against it. It’s… complicated.
- Vox Media plans to launch a gaming news website, and goes on a talent-poaching spree to staff it. So how many articles about Japanese dating sims can we expect per month? This is important.
- Speaking of Japan, Japanese retailers preempt Sony by offering in-store price cuts on 3G PS Vitas. Sony, if you’re hiding Monster Hunter on us, now would be a good time to show it.
- Social game Shenmue Towns is shut down, dashing the hopes of all five people who were aware Shenmue had a social game.
- By contrast, X-Com makes a surprising comeback in all its brainy, strategic glory as X-Com: Enemy Unknown. Take that, Shooter Season 2011!
- Kaz Hirai is announced as Sony’s next president, the iOS gold rush (and pending disappointment) continues, we deal with E3 and 2012 speculation, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Trading Places in Development Hell’ »
Happy Halloween, everybody! Hope you’re all full on candy already, because we’re fresh out. We do, however, have plenty of delicious DOOOOOOOOOOOM to go around! Help yourself!
In today’s obesity-causing episode:
- Shooter Season 2011 rolls on as Battlefield 3 launches to great scores attached to surprisingly critical text. Also, install to your hard drive or the game looks like this.
- Nintendo announces a sizable loss for the year, that may have largely been a fluke in currency exchange rates. Clearly, doom is just around the corner.
- Zynga’s new properties are eating into their existing userbase, while one of the company’s officers leaves for Las Vegas. Given Nevada’s unemployment rate, somebody’s in a gambling mood… or they didn’t like what they saw at Zynga.
- Sony states that the PSN hack “woke up dormant customers,” perhaps figuring such a statement might distract people from the Vita’s cumbersome saving mechanism.
- Bethesda loses its preliminary injunction against Interplay, and so development of Fallout Online can continue in the magical fantasy world that only Interplay inhabits.
- EA, who once claimed Origin was not a competing service to Steam, starts picking up publishers to commit to Origin. Look, EA, just… let’s not do anything crazy, okay? Put Mass Effect 3 back down and let’s talk.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Doom For Everyone!’ »
Mandatory viewing for all Deus Ex fans.
Howdy folks! Getting busy around here before E3, but we still have time to wrap up the news. Let’s break it down:
- Groupon joins Zynga, PopCap, etc. in preparing to go public, despite not actually making a profit. We should make a drinking game out of this.
- A huge preview build for Deus Ex: Human Revolution got leaked to the internet. To everyone’s surprise, nobody minds. File that under “did not see coming.”
- Interplay teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, as they seemingly have for years now. But don’t worry, Fallout Online is gonna be here any day now!
- Dueling digital distribution services: Gamestop automatically charges for re-downloading “insurance,” which its competitors give away for free…
- …while EA launches its own DD network coincidentally named after one of the studios it absorbed. Oooh, awk~waaard.
- E3 pre-conference projections: Nintendo’s new hardware, Sony’s image problem, and Microsoft’s Kinect… stuff.
In addition we have some late-breaking news that didn’t make it into the recording: NPR and NECN.com reported that not only was Nintendo hacked, but they were hacked by the same group that’s been plaguing Sony recently. No data was stolen in the Nintendo hack, but the group, calling itself Lulz Security, has claimed responsibility for an attack on Sony Pictures that resulted in a million more users’ personal information.
From where I sit there’s actually a fairly clear line between exposing a company’s lackluster security procedures – which Sony is clearly guilty of – and releasing sensitive information for all to see. The second Robin Hood starts shooting random people and telling them to blame the authorities for failing to protect them, he’s lost the argument. I don’t see the Nintendo hack changing the game much, although I’d put money down that these ongoing hacks are going to draw more attention than LulzSec might like. Much as it pains me to admit, life isn’t Shadowrun, and when the feds come knocking the game’s pretty much over.
And now, on with the actual episode. Enjoy!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Pre-E3 Warmup With Electronic Old Men’ »
Fallout Online will launch in the second half of 2012, according to Interplay president Eric Caen. Speaking with Edge Magazine, Caen confirmed that the game’s beta will begin in 2012, with the retail version to come later that same year. Although he gave few details about the current state of the game, he remarked that “Even in January 2009, you were already able to move across the world.” It was also stated that combat would be a small portion of the game, and a large amount of gameplay would center around rebuilding the post-nuclear world.
Although he didn’t say much about Bethesda’s take on the series – or the ongoing legal issues between Interplay and Bethesda – he did comment that Interplay was following Bethesda’s installments, and that Fallout Online would go in another, less serious direction from Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
Interplay has launched the official Fallout Online website, located here, which opens with the option to register for the game’s official newsletter. Those who register are fast-tracked for access to the open beta, whose date has not yet been announced.
In a move sure to surprise some of the lawyers involved with the controversy surrounding this game, Interplay announced that Fallout Online will be accepting Beta applications starting immediately. Head on over to the game’s official site and take a look.
Fallout Online has been at the center of a legal dispute between Interplay and Bethseda for a while now, with suits and countersuits calling the eventual release of the game into question. In fact, Interplay previously announced that it would be attempting a Beta in 2012, making this announcement all the more surprising.