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Our second (!) Deal of the Day is Portal 2.
What better way to mix up our Deal of the Day with one of the best games ever? Valve are selling Portal 2 at a heavily reduced price, down from it's usual $19.99 price down to just $6.79. Remember that the new free DLC also came out today, Perpetual Testing Initiative. A two-for-one day if you ask me!
Portal 2 is available for both the PC, and Mac, and can be downloaded directly through Steam, or here.
I've got to say this first: I played Carmageddon for over one hundred hours, easy. My brother and I spent countless hours within the amazing world of this game, and I'm excited to see what they can do with today's technology. But, news is coming through that Stainless' Carmageddon reboot, Carmageddon Reincarnation, has begun development.
Stainless had funding, but have reached out to the wonderful world of the Internet, and in particular, Kickstarter, to get additional funds. This is what seems to make the most sense as the company seemed to have funding, but now they're looking at Kickstarter. We should have more concrete info on this soon. But, the game is already at $78,000 of its $400,000 goal. One contribution was $10,000 in a single hit. This backer will be flown to the UK and have their likeness applied as an in-game character - very cool.
Stainless have been quoted:
We're a modest-sized indie developer (around 50 trapped souls), and we've already invested well over a third of a million dollars getting the rights back and beginning design and prototyping. This represents all of our profits from our other work - but we think it's worth it. We currently have a small team working on the project - but without some sort of dedicated funding, that can't continue indefinitely. We can't put this game into full production without a sizeable team dedicated to it. So we need a pile of CASH to get the game made.
It's finally here! Valve's have announced that the free Portal 2 update 'Perpetual Testing Initiative' is now available for download. Did we mention it's, uh, free? Yep! If you already own Portal 2, you now own this.
Perpetual Testing Initiative is available for both PC and Mac, and lets players "easily create, share and play Portal 2 puzzles". The DLC pack sports a simplified Puzzle Maker which makes the creation of Portal 2 maps that much easier.
The Puzzle Maker can also directly publish maps to Valve's Steam Workshop, where everyone else can browse, vote on, and select to play them.
Blizzard are set to throw some improvements and long-awaited new features into StarCraft II, all before the release of their first expansion, Heart of the Swarm which is coming later this year. One of the best additions to the game will be the ability to resume multiplayer games from a replay file.
StarCraft II requires the Internet to plan, and there have been many games lost due to connections dropping from Battle.net. It may not seem like a big issue, but when there's money involved with tournaments, this can be quite a big deal. Players have been dealing with this issue from day-one, so a resume feature is going to be big, big news for SCII players.
The new replay system has another ace up its sleeve, where it has the feature to allow more than one person to view the same file, a feature that the original StarCraft has, and until now is still missing from its sequel. StarCraft II, like Diablo III, is set to receive Global Play. At the moment, users are restricted to their region which prevents them from playing with friends across the pond. Alternatively, you have to purchase another copy of the game. After the new patch, you won't need to do that anymore.
The sequel to Epic's massively popular Unreal Engine 3 is destined for machines that are yet unannounced. Unreal Engine 3 has had an incredible run. Featured at the heart of over 100 games, it runs said games on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, computer, and even the iPhone and Adobe Flash. The games range from massive, graphically incredible RPGs to lowly iPhone games.
Epic is still milking the last bit out of its aging engine, as demonstrated by the picture above. At the same time they are increasingly talking about their upcoming Unreal Engine 4. Epic has been developing Unreal Engine 4 since 2003 and says that it is still too early for a public demonstration. However, they are talking what machines it will be running on, and this includes unannounced machines!
"We've started a behind-closed-doors showing of the engine to developers; this is part of our very early ramp-up cycle," said Sweeney, "We went through this cycle with Unreal Engine 3 starting in 2003 and 2004. At some point we'll make public announcements and ramp up to the point where developers are shipping games, but it's very early right now. We're aiming very high, and the intended platforms this is aimed at haven't even been announced."
Its likely that the new game engine will make a public debut alongside the announcement of the Sony Orbis or the Microsoft Durango.
EA promise "big social title" this year, is investing $80 million in fourth-generation console games
EA are looking to restructure themselves, where they've started their journey toward treating games as services, instead of packaged goods. EA chief executive, John Riccitiello said in today's earnings call that there would be layoffs, as EA increases production of online, mobile and social games.
While there'll be layoffs, there'll also be new job opportunities, thanks to the restructuring. Riccitiello added that the company are investing $80 million into fourth-generation console games, and from there, we should expect the number to swell as production of the games gets under way.
While he was at it, he teased that EA are planning to release a "big social title" this quarter. What could it be? Well, some are talking of a new version of SimCity that would possibly be released on Facebook, as SimCity for PC will be arriving later in the year. Currently, social gaming is only a blip on EA's revenue radar, but the company have made it clear during their earnings call that social gaming would be a bigger part of its strategy moving forward.
A very naughty Blockbuster UK employee has leaked out a screenshot that shows off the Nintendo Wii U launch title list. The screenshot is from the Blockbuster UK stock system search screen, where it shows a list of 25 games and 2 consoles when searching for the "WiiU" in their systems.
The full list of "launch titles" according to GoNintendo.com are:
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Assassin's Creed
- Batman: Arkham City
- Darksiders II
- Dirt 3
- Formula 1 All Stars
- Game Party
- Ghost Recon Online
- Just Dance 4
- Killer Freaks from Outer Space
- Marvel Super Heroes
- Metro: Last Light
- Monsters Party
- New Super Mario Brothers Mii
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Rabbids Party Land
- Raving Rabbids
- Rayman Legends
- Shield Pose
- Splinter Cell 6
- Sports Connection
- Your Shape 2013
EA and BioWare's MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic launched in late-2011 to surprisingly strong numbers, but EA have released an earnings report today that might shock you. EA have announced that the game currently has 1.3 million subscribers, which is down roughly 25-percent from its peak of 1.7 million subscribers in March.
During a conference call that went with the earnings report, EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said that the subscriber drop was within the company's "original assumptions" about how the game would go post-launch. He added that the company "intends to increase subscribers" with continual upgrades, which include new guild features, players vs. player improvements, and "elder gameplay" that keeps SW:TOR appealing to high-level players.
Gibeau has said that the subscriber drop isn't from the "core MMO users", as they are sticking to the game in good numbers, but seems to be coming from the expanded audience of non-MMO-obsessed Star Wars fans attracted by a title like The Old Republic. Gibeau continues:
As the service evolves, some of those initial casual customers have gone through a billing cycle and decided not to subscribe.
Don't fret, though, EA CEO John Riccitiello has said that The Old Republic could continue to be profitable with as little as 500,000 subscr
Sometimes rumors come true, and today, one of the rumors that was floating around last week has joined the ranks of truth. Microsoft has announced today that it is selling a 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle for $99 plus a $14.99/month subscription with a 2 year contract requirement. The contract even features Early Termination Fees, just like its cellphone brethren.
The sticking point to this deal is that you'll have to be located somewhere near a Microsoft Store as an associate has to scan or enter the promotional code. Additionally, the bundle will cost you $458.76 over the life of the 2 year contract whereas purchasing the device would cost only $299 and $120 for 2 years of Xbox Live Gold. And the gold is often discounted.
The contract also comes with some fine print, such as a $250 Early Termination Fee (ETF). The fee drops to $240 in month 4 and then drops by $12 every month after. This is a pretty breaking story, so stay tuned for more as it comes.
Diablo III is nearly here, and if you were worried about the click-thrashing RPG was not going to run on your rig, then don't be alarmed. Usually, Blizzard-produced games are not hard on hardware, with this trend continuing for Diablo III.
Toms Hardware have taken the RPG through some tests with 12 different GPU configurations with a few CPUs thrown into the mix. They've tested minimum and maximum details, right up to 2560x1600.
You might be surprised just how well it runs, on modest hardware. I was surprised, and now I'm quite content that I'll be able to run it at 120fps-plus on my GTX 570 SLI system with three screens. Check out the article here.