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The popularity of the Call of Duty franchise seemingly increases with every launch. And the announcement and launch for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 pre-orders doesn't break this trend as the pre-sales for Black Ops 2 have smashed records set by previous pre-orders. Amazon has said that pre-orders for Black Ops 2 have outsold the original 10-1.
The 10-1 number is based upon the day one take-up. Black Ops 2 is set to launch November 13. Amazon UK says the figure is up 30%. Additionally, the game is 30% up on "the biggest entertainment launch of all time" Modern Warfare 3 at Amazon US. This means that if the trend continues, Black Ops will blow by MW3 to become the most pre-ordered game ever.
This is one game that I will be partaking in as Treyarch has again brought back the Zombies game mode along with an RTS mode, futuristic weapons, holographic tech and more. If you haven't already, check out the trailer below. It's sure to blow your mind and make you want to pre-order the game with the rest of the fans.
As we reported yesterday, the studio behind The Elder Scrolls is looking to create an MMO based in the Elder Scrolls world. The game, which will be unveiled in more detail this June in the magazine Game Informer, features online social components, such as dungeons and PvP, as well as solo quests.
The video doesn't reveal much, if anything, that we don't already know about the game, but it does do a good job of perking viewers' interest in the game. I'm not a massive MMO player, Black Ops is about as good as it gets, but even I have some interest in the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online after watching the video.
An IGN source is reporting that the next generation Xbox is already in the manufacturing stages. The source reports that assembly of the next generation of Xbox has started at the Austin, Texas branch of Flextronics. Flextronics is the manufacturer of the current Xbox 360 as well as the current Xbox.
Just because the hardware is being assembled doesn't mean that we will be seeing the next generation console anytime soon. The hardware being created is most likely development kits for game developers so that they know what they are dealing with. Microsoft has stated that it will not be an E3 reveal, so don't get your hopes up.
Microsoft told IGN this:
Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation.
Activision aren't letting themselves get kicked down by claims by EA that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 looks like a "tired" game, where they've promised it will be "groundbreaking and visceral" and will feature "disruptive innovation".
With both companies going head-to-head for the Christmas season sales, EA with their Medal of Honor: Warfighter launching weeks before COD:BLOPS 2, Activision is putting up a fight. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision says:
Hands down, this is the most ambitious Call of Duty ever. We are bringing disruptive innovation to the franchise and we are doing it on several fronts. We're pushing the boundaries technologically, graphically, and from a narrative and gameplay perspective.
Activision are promising "an experience that Call of Duty fans have never seen before", where they also add that it is challenging assumptions in relation to the single player campaign and its multiple setting, where the multiplayer side of things will sport zombies and more ways to play. Activision tap their storyline, which is set to feature multiple branches and meaningful choices that will impact the narrative, which is something that will set it apart from the competition.
It has been a long time coming, but we're finally hearing about The Elder Scrolls Online, which will be unveiled in the June issue of Game Informer. The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed by the team at Zenimax Online Studios, where the game merges the exploration of rich worlds that the Elder Scrolls franchise is known for, with the scale and social aspects of an MMORPG.
The Elder Scrolls Online is set 1000 years before the events in Skyrim take place, as daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull of Tamriel into his demonic realm. Game director and MMO veteram Matt Firor says:
It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years. The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made - and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.
While there's been yet another Call of Duty announced in the form of Black Ops 2, but Battlefield 3 is still pumping away. We should receive Battlefield 3's first expansion in June which will begin an entire new world of Battlefield 3 fun.
During a recent interview, DICE's Patrick Bach said that the studio is focusing on giving players between 12 and 18 months of value in Battlefield 3 through DLC and expansions. Whilst speaking to VG24/7 regarding Battlefield 3's upcoming DLC, Close Quarters, Bach said:
We make sure that if you're a Battlefield player, there should be plenty of Battlefield for you to spend your days on. And again, we are focusing on giving you 12-18 months of value for Battlefield 3 and the expansion packs we're releasing.
Are you excited? I'm sure this is great news for Battlefield 3 fans.
Microsoft are reportedly set to release a $99 Xbox bundle which will include the 4GB-sporting Xbox 360, as well as their Kinect motion sensor device. The Xbox 360 won't be sold flat-out for $99, but will have a two-year $15 per month subscription attached to it.
At the end of the two-year period, customers would have paid slightly more for the bundle, compared to if they had dumped $299 down up-front. But, most people would rather pay a smaller monthly fee, then dump all of that money down at once. It's how smartphones are sold, in droves.
Included with the two-year subscription is a two-year warranty, membership to Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold service, and possible extra streaming material. If customers want to break the contract, they can do so by paying an early termination fee. This fee is currently unknown.
It's funny, because I've talked of this before. Microsoft, Sony, Valve and others moving toward a monthly fee type system, which means next-gen consoles could be over-powered, and retail for $999, but offer a two-year contract at less than $50 per month. It seems Microsoft are dipping their toes into the water with this, and if it works well, I fully expect this system roll through to next-gen consoles. Hopefully.
ValveTime are reporting that forum member "tabernumse" has posted the e-mail response he received from Gabe Newell in reference to their plans for E3, shown below:
We are not announcing anything at E3. Really. We are not announcing Half-Life 3 or Portal 3 or Left 4 Dead 3. We are going to be showing stuff everyone already knows about (CS:Go, Dota 2, 10' UI, ...)
On one hand, I'm upset. I really wanted a Half-Life 3 announcement, but in typical Valve style, they'll wait. I'll let them do this, I'll let it slide. But come E3 2013, they'd better not only announce Half-Life 3, but release it close to E3. Release it on their Steam Box, release it on PC, give it to us. Dump out Left 4 Dead 3 and Team Fortress 3 at the same time, wouldn't that be nice.
Diablo III is nearly here, we've already hit May 1 which means there's only two weeks left to go until we can raid dungeons, and start using the new Auction House to sell our loot. Today, Blizzard released a full list of the region servers that will be available for Diablo III.
What this has also unleashed, is that we can play on any region's server in Diablo III, which is great. Game servers will come in three regions: The Americas, Europe, and Asia. Players can choose any server they want, but with caution: you won't be able to transfer characters, or items from server to server. But you can switch between servers as many times as you want. The list of servers is:
- The Americas - For players in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.
- Europe - For players in the European Union, Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, and Middle Eastern countries such as Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
- Asia - For players in South Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
The day has come. The Treyarch-produced Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 trailer is here, and I'm kind of speechless. Before I get into what I think of the trailer, check it out below for yourself, then we'll talk about it:
There you have it, the trailer to a game that most likely has a budget of over $100 million, yet looks like it could've been produced 6 years ago or more. Jaggies everywhere, low-res textures, facial animation from the NES ages. That's what it feels like, anyway. If Crysis and Battlefield, and countless other better looking games had not come before it, then I wouldn't care. But the bar has been raised, significantly.
COD: Black Ops 2 gets below this bar, throws up on the floor and has a fit in its own mess. It tries to get back up, slips over and repeats this pattern every 12 months or so, around November.
But, it will sell, big time. Of course, this is only my opinion, but the gaming industry is better than this. Much better than this. Looks like some dumb fun for a while, though. I won't be touching it.