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Gaming Posts - Page 295

Star Wars: The Old Republic hits nearly 1.7 million subscribers

In the latest conference call reported by CVG, EA's CEO, John Riccitiello has revealed that their super-MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic has almost 1.7 million subscribers. This suggests that SW:TOR has overpowered that usual one-month slump that can happen when the subscription charge slaps players for the first time.




What goes toward helping this is that BioWare have been quite vocal on the upcoming updates to the MMO. The Legacy Patch is said to arrive in April, which should bring a new flashpoint, warzone and operation, expanding the legacy system, as well as improving character textures, adding armour color customization and more.


SW:TOR player? Enjoying the game? What do you think of 1.7 million gamers playing with you? I haven't gotten into it, I just don't have the patience!

Mass Effect 3 sells a massive 900,000 copies in the US in just 24 hours

Arguably the biggest game to launch this year, EA are boasting they sold nearly 900,000 copies of Mass Effect 3 in the first 24 hours of being on sale. If we want to get into some exact numbers, its 890,000 copies, said EA boss John Riccitiello.




The boasting was revealed at the Wedbush Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference. He has been quoted saying "we anticipated it doing well, so we're happy". US giant GameStop saw a huge 40-percent of day one customers also buy a download code for the day one DLC "From Ashes". With Riccitiello saying "the tie ratio at the register is the highest in their history".


This is a huge scoop for Mass Effect 3 and should [hopefully] close off the trilogy quite well for BioWare and EA. Did you grab Mass Effect 3? What are your thoughts so far? Or are you too busy to see this news because you're engrossed in the game itself?

Angry Birds Space, first footage, one big step for man, one giant leap for the birds

Angry Birds fan? Want to see their giant leap into the realm of space? Well, you're in luck. We have a video below where you you can an entire level of Angry Birds Space.



The video doesn't feature any fancy music or fast cuts, so it's just pure gameplay - which is great to see. As an ex-Angry Birds fanatic, this look great! It actually looks like Rovio has put some work into the game.


Rather than just a re-skin of the previous Angry Birds games, they've put some effort into this and it looks like it pays off. Now, the question for me is, should I buy a Galaxy Note just to get this bad boy? Samsung, it's my birthday today (for real), would you like to send me one just for this game? ha!

Continue reading 'Angry Birds Space, first footage, one big step for man, one giant leap for the birds' (full post)

RumorTT: Xbox 720/Next will ship without an optical drive

An MCV-exclusive article has said that Microsoft have been telling their partners that the next-generation Xbox will ship without an optical drive. MCV's source has described the briefings and associated NDA's "the strictest NDA's" they've ever encountered. Obviously not strict enough if this news is leaking out.




The new Xbox would ship without an optical drive, but would sport some form of interchangeable solid-state card storage, where it's not known if this would be a proprietary format, or something more familiar and wide spread like SD.


More news was available apart from the no optical drive business, where it has been "confirmed" that the new Xbox will see a release in 2013, with an announcement of the console at this years E3.


No optical drive would usher in a new way of gaming, simultaneously making it better for games themselves, as over time Microsoft could have a streaming service for games. Something along the lines of what Valve have with Steam, but they could do it with a pre-load, and then as you go through the game, it requires an always-on Internet connection, where it would stream the rest of the game to you.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Xbox 720/Next will ship without an optical drive' (full post)

Epic Games' "Cliffy B" says that new developers should make for PC

Epic Games' Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinksi B has just grabbed a huge crowd of developers at 2012's GDC, and told them how it is. He has said that when starting up as a developer, forget Xbox Live, PSN, iOS, Android and Windows Phones, and instead, create games for PC.




Cliffy B talked down Microsoft and Sony's way of treating indie developers, dismissed mobile gaming, and said that the PC was the only place to start. He only had a five-minute microtalk, but he went through it quite quick, according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun. He heavily emphasised the need to focus on PC, and jokingly suggested that they should use the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) to do it.


He also stated that early games will definitely suck, but added that persistance and passion were necessary for eventual success. He cited Rovio had made 50 games before they hit the big time with Angry Birds. Cliffy B did state that developers should move onto different platforms over time, but primarily said to stick with PC, and consider iOS if you can get the touch controls to work properly. The Xbox and PlayStation he still qualified with warnings that Microsoft or Sony may not give you the promotion you deserve.


He did give one quote at the finish, which is exactly how it should be:


Do it because you love it, but make sure you get paid.


Cliffy B - you're now, my hero.

GDC awards: Portal 2, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3 are all big winners

Game Developers Choice Awards were held, with big winners for Valve's Portal 2, and Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skyrim walked away with non other than Game of the Year (GotY) award, which is quite the epic achievement.




Game of the Year had some serious competition, with Skyrim going up against Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dark Souls. Portal 2 took home the most awards, with it winning Best Narrative, Best Game Design, and Best Audio. Battlefield 3 took out Best Technology, when when pitted against Crytek's CryENGINE 3-powered Crysis 2.


The event itself was hosted by Cliffy B, who you'll know from Epic Games. A full list of the nominees, and winners, is below. I've bolded the winners:


Game of the Year


Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)

Portal 2 (Valve)

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)

Dark Souls (FromSoftware)


Best Narrative


Portal 2 (Valve)

The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)

Bastion (Supergiant Games)

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)

Saints Row: The Third (Volition)


Best Game Design


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)

Portal 2 (Valve)

Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)

Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

Continue reading 'GDC awards: Portal 2, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3 are all big winners' (full post)

Valve say they have no near-term plans for Steam Box, dreams across the world crushed

Rumors started floating around last week, thanks to The Verge, of a possible Steam Box from Valve. We all dreamt about it, and thought it could really change the gaming scene as we know it, but today those dream are crushed, as least in the short-term.




Kotaku spoke to Valve's marketing director, Doug Lombardi, where he has been quoted:


We're prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we're building boxes to test that on. We're also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we've talked about a fair amount. All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware.


But, Lombardi did reduce to flat-out say whether Valve isn't working on a console. Stephen Totilo from Kotaku asked - "What you're saying is, there's definitely nothing coming any time soon, nothing at GDC or E3, but what you're not ruling out is the possibility that, hey, maybe some day Valve would make hardware", to which Lombardi responded with just "I think that's accurate".

Battlefield 3 to get three downloadable expansions, first one 'Close Quarters' drops in June

Battlefield 3 is set to receive some themed downloadable expansions, with the first one 'Close Quarters' arriving in June. The new expansions will feature new weapons, and vehicles that can be used across the entire game, as well as new multiplayer maps.




Console players are set to receive something quite new, with a rent-a-server programme, allowing them to run dedicated game servers that can be customized to their own rules and preferences, just like the PC players know and love. This is a first for any console shooter.


Close Quarters is as it sounds, focused on up-close-and-personal indoor infantry combat with verticality to the map designs. It drops on the PS3 one week early, includes 10 new weapons and four new maps. It has been described as "hectic and intense". The map was shown off at EA's GDC event, and featured a "swish-looking" office block called Ziba Tower, according to Eurogamer, with, my favorite: lots of glass to shatter.


The next add-on after Close Quarters will be called Armored Kill. This pack focuses on tank-based combat, and will offer the Battlefield series' biggest map ever and includes one new drivable vehicle for use in the game. No release date has been stated. The final add-on will be called End Game, where nothing is known about it, this is being kept top secret by DICE.

Continue reading 'Battlefield 3 to get three downloadable expansions, first one 'Close Quarters' drops in June' (full post)

Fibble: Crytek's first mobile game, powered by CryENGINE 3

Crytek's first game in the mobile universe is called 'Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll'. Crytek say that the game is a "highly engaging puzzle game" that "combines strategy with physics-based interactions" with vivid and highly detailed visuals.




CEO and President of Crytek, Cevat Yerli says:


Going mobile is an incredibly exciting step for us as a game development company. The way that people play games on mobile devices is a real blessing. This allows us to get back to our roots, experiment and focus our energy on creating great gameplay experiences while still keeping Crytek's high production values.


Whereas, General Manager Games at Crytek, Nick Button-Brown says:


With Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll, Crytek is aiming to surprise people with a whole new style of game as well as to make a big impact in the field of mobile entertainment. It will also give us a great opportunity to make a big splash with a whole new generation of players who've yet to play a Crytek game. We ourselves love to play games on mobile devices and we very much look forward to bringing our production values and skills to them.

Continue reading 'Fibble: Crytek's first mobile game, powered by CryENGINE 3' (full post)

EA pulls Simpsons game from iTunes, says its due to overwhelming popularity

EA have removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store for a, well, weird reason. First up, an anonymous gamer posted on EA's help forum, asking about the game, and had a very interesting response from an EA representative:




To ensure current players have the best possible experience, we've temporarily removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store to limit the game's server capacity to its current players and address connectivity and lag time issues.


So, EA removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out, because it was too popular? I was never the popular kid in school (contrary to popular belief from my flowing locks and eagle-sharp eyes, I look like a young Alec Baldwin), so I don't understand how this happens. EA predicts that players who have already downloaded the game will experience a smoother experience, with EA saying "actually, your experience should only improve as we work on a solution".


What I don't understand is, we're talking about EA here. Surely they have enough server bandwidth, or enough money to throw up some servers - especially as they saw the downloads ticking over from the App Store... obviously not, or there was an underlying issue with the game itself, and this is an easier way to fix it - rip it offline, fix it, throw it back and blame server overload issues?

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