News Posts matching "Games"

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EA Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Take-Two

Following failed talks with Take-Two’s management, games developer Electronic Arts has instead decided to directly approach shareholders with its takeover bid. EA has kept its offer at $26 per share, which would give the deal a total value of around $2 billion. EA’s CEO, John Riccitiello, said:
This is a great opportunity for Take-Two shareholders. We believe Take-Two investors will see our tender offer as the best way to maximize the value of their investment in Take-Two. This tender offer provides a clear process to complete the proposed transaction. For EA shareholders, the combination would add additional intellectual properties to our already strong portfolio and welcome Take-Two's talented creative teams to the great development organization we've built at EA.
Take-Two has issued a notice to all of its shareholders urging them not to accept the offer, but EA has set a deadline of 11th April – two weeks before the release of the eagerly awaited Grand Theft Auto IV.Source: DailyTech

Atari Joins Steam

Valve has revealed that Atari has become the latest big name addition to the list of publishers distributing their games via Steam, with a number of well known titles going on sale. Nine games are now available for download; Act of War: Direct Action, Act of War: High Treason, ArmA: Combat Operations, Atari 80 Classics in 1, Death to Spies, Desperados 2: Cooper’s Revenge, Indigo Prophecy, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum and Tycoon City: New York. Two more major titles from Atari which will go on sale in the coming weeks are The Witcher and Neverwinter Nights 2. Nizzi Renaud, Atari's Vice President of Online Entertainment, said:
Atari is excited to team up with Steam and deliver great games through a digital platform that our fans have asked for. We look forward to making an extensive collection of games, across many genres, available to Steam’s extensive, globally-connected community.
Source: Steam

Sony Top Rated Games Publisher of 2007

According to a graph compiled by Next Generation, Sony Computer Entertainment America managed to achieve the highest average game rating for titles released during 2007, edging out Nintendo and Capcom. SCEA attained an average score of 77.9%, with Nintendo close behind on 75.1% and Capcom in third place on 74.2%. EA and Microsoft didn’t do too badly, managing 71.3% and 69.2% respectively, with two of the biggest disappointments being Ubisoft and Activision, which came in with average scores of 63.1% and 61.9%. I’ve attached the graph of results below, along with graphs from 2005 and 2006. The graphs are based on data from Game Rankings, which collects average review scores from a number of online gaming sites.

Source: Next Generation

Sony Confirms PS3 In-Game Messaging On the Way

Sony Computer Entertainment’s UK boss, Ray Maguire, has confirmed rumours that Sony plans to include in-game messaging in one of its upcoming PS3 firmware updates. Sony initially sparked rumours when it uploaded a “Friends & Messaging” icon onto its website, which commented about using a USB headset or Eye Camera to engage in voice and video messaging. Maguire told MCV:
Our momentum will continue with the introduction of in-game communication in the summer [and] firmware update 2.4.
Maguire also revealed that Sony has managed to sell over one million of the consoles in the UK.Source: Reg Hardware

EA Proposing Takeover Bid for Take-Two

Given EA’s somewhat criticised reputation for takeovers (Bullfrog and Westwood come to mind), Grand Theft Auto fans may not be best pleased to hear that EA is now making a bid to acquire Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two has a number of major subsidiaries, with some of the best known being developers Rockstar and Firaxis, responsible for the GTA series and Sid Meier’s more recent games such as Civilization IV; along with publisher 2K Games. The company is also responsible for other well-known titles such as Manhunt and Bioshock. EA is offering $26 per share, giving the merger an approximate value of $2.5 billion. The full press release can be read here, and you can read on to see a statement posted by EA’s CEO, John Riccitiello.

Crysis SDK Released

The Crysis SDK, or a compilation of Crysis mods, user created content, and other goodies, was recently punted out the door of Crytek studios. If you click "read full story", there's a big letter from the president of Crytek as to why this SDK came so late. If you'd like to nab yourself a copy, head on over here.

Wii Fit Launch Date Unveiled for North America and Europe

The Nintendo Wii has become a strange source of physical exercise, with worldwide reports of gamers shedding pounds while sweating to Wii Sports. Seeing the extremely lucrative business that exercise can be, Nintendo decided to build upon previous success and make a Wii game sheerly built around exercise. The game, Wii Fit, requires a special controller. This controller, which has been redesigned for an American and European release, can hold 150KG and allows users to better interface with the system. Over one million copies of Wii Fit have been sold since it was released in Japan on December 1st. Expect to see this game in America by May 19, and in Europe by April 15.Source: DailyTech

Mass Effect PC Version to be Released in May 2008

After creating RPG masterpiece Mass Effect, author BioWare went on to win several awards for their work. Now, BioWare is confirming that they plan to spread the love: a PC version of the game is due out sometime in May 2008. The best part about BioWare being responsible for both writing and porting the game is that BioWare will fix many issues in porting. Among the most obvious tweaks...
  • PC-centric controls (aiming with your mouse?), with customizable hotkeys
  • Higher quality textures; PC version will be capable of higher resolutions
  • New decryption mini-game (for hacking turrets, etc.)
  • New GUI for the inventory system
You can check out some current screenshots here.Source: Neoseeker

Super Smash Brothers: Brawl Sells Over 800 thousand Copies in Japan During Week 1

While not nearly as epic as Halo 3, sales-wise, the sequel to one of the most popular Nintendo-based multiplayer games has hit it big. Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, where gamers throw famous characters from classic games at each other, sold 800 thousand copies in the first week of sales. This puts the game at the top of all current game charts, outselling Sony's Devil May Cry 4 by several hundred thousand units. Other than those two games, here are the top five games in Japan right now:
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) - 819,647 units
  • Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) - 205,390 units
  • Tales of Destiny: Director's Cut (PS2) - 116,928 units
  • Suzumiya Haruhi no Tomadoi (PS2) - 114,335 units
  • Wii Fit (Wii) - 73,325 units
Source: Neoseeker

UK Censorship Board to Review Game Rating Policy

With violent video games such as Manhunt 2 causing controversy, the British government is reconsidering the exact rating system. At this point, games are given to the British Board of Film Classification, who slaps an appropriate rating on the game. Selling games to children under the rating's age class is grounds for arrest. However, up to 90% of games needing a high-class rating bypass this system by getting their games rated by the much more relaxed PEGI system. And so, the British government decided that it was high time to change things around. No matter how things turn out, the British government wants their citizens to know that this is being done to "protect children from damaging games". They also want you to know that their definition of a damaging game involves "gross violence towards humans or animals, human sexual or excretory activity, or scenes that would show people how to commit a crime".Source: The Inquirer

Rockstar Denies Any Rumor of Grand Theft Auto Movie

A few days ago, we reported that Rockstar was in talks with a movie studio and rap star Eminem to make a movie based on Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar has a statement in regards to this. Apparently, instead of a movie being just about certain, negotiations were fouled up from nearly the start. Dan Houser, vice president of creativity at Rockstar, had this to say on the whole GTA movie idea.
Some movie producers were trying to put something together to entice us to make a movie, as studios and production teams frequently have done in the past. This proposal was no more interesting than the numerous others we receive. We never entertained proceeding with the project.
Houser also emphasized that a GTA movie is of no interest to Rockstar at this point.Source: 1Up

Professional Eating Comes to Video Games

It's apparently the season for oddball game pitches. Except, this time, the game pitch has already been accepted and is in development. Publisher Mastiff recently took up the concept for a game that will be called "Major League Eating", based off of what some call America's favorite past time. The game itself sounds like something out of a 7-year old's dream. The contest of the "world's greatest gurgitory athletes" will play much like many other fighting games, such as Mortal Kombat. However, instead of using swords and fists, the aforementioned athletes will attack and defend using "burps, belches, and mustard gas", all while making sure that they get their fair share of munchies. Mastiff's announcement did not mention any timeframe for release, or finalize any platforms.Source: 1Up

Industry Trend: 'M-Rated' Games on the Decline

2007 was an epic year for games, as over 1500 were submitted to the ESRB for rating. The ESRB recently released all the ratings they have given games in a pretty pie chart. According to the pretty pie chart, a lot more games than you'd think were actually E-rated. 59% were for "everyone", 15% were for "everyone 10+", 20% were for "teen", and only 6% were for "mature". It should be noted that this chart includes all games, not just blockbusters. It should also be noted that this chart includes all games released on all platforms, even "edutainment" platforms designed specifically around little kids.

Source: DailyTech

3DRealms Denies Any Rumor of a Duke Nukem Forever Release Within 2008

As Neoseeker puts it, "even 3D Realms didn't believe" the latest rumors of an upcoming Duke Nukem Forever release. For those of you who don't know, there was a rumor going around that 3DRealms was planning on sending out a retail version of Duke Nukem Forever within 2008. While geeks and true fans of the series had warm smiles on their faces, alarm bells went off at 3DRealms HQ. 3DRealms was very quick in eliminating false hope, and says, with a hint of disgust, that Duke Nukem Forever is still on the "when it's done" release timeframe. While there are still a lot of months left in 2008, it's very unlikely that we're going to see any hint of Duke Nukem Forever for quite some time. Release platforms have not been announced or finalized.Source: Neoseeker

Epic Games' Mark Rein Confirms Gamers Moving Away from PC in Favor of Console

Epic Games is well known throughout the gaming community. Most well known for their Unreal Tournament series and the Unreal engine series, Epic Games has every reason to be at the peak of their game for the PC gaming crowd. However, they are beginning to doubt their fan base. While Gears of War for the Xbox360 was an instant success for the Xbox360, the PC version of Unreal Tournament failed to take off. In an interview, Mark Rein confirms that gaming itself has begun to move away from the PC, and towards consoles. Even inside Epic Games, a sizable chunk of employees play their games on the Xbox360. Outside Epic Games, a paltry 14% of gamers game on their computer. The reason for this, despite the superior technology the PC offers, is the sheer cost of owning and maintaining a gaming habit on the PC. While an Xbox360 is $400USD including games and extra controllers, a PC is upwards of $1000USD for a game-worthy setup, not including games, and only supporting one player at a time.Source: DailyTech

Hit Movie 'Juno' To Possibly Become Video Game

Being the avid gamers you all are, I'm sure you know that there have been some pretty ridiculous game concepts that went to market, and some pretty good concepts that never went into production. Be it ridiculous or not, the Indy hit "Juno" could possibly show up at your local video game store in the near future. Considering that the movie is a moving comedy with heavy dialog and little action, whoever takes this game up is in for a whopper of a challenge. If they pull it off though, Juno could become quite the franchise. There are very little details on this idea at the moment, other than plans to turn Juno into a game for "casual gamers". How, exactly, they will turn Juno into a video game for the masses is unclear.Source: 1Up

Ditched Grand Theft Auto Movie Plans Unveiled; Eminem Would Have Been Star

It would seem as though, for a while, Rockstar Games was planning on putting out a Grand Theft Auto movie. Rockstar and Take-Two wrote up a script and sent their finest men to pitch their idea out to major studios everywhere. One particular studio almost bought the idea, and everyone inside Take-Two was talking about the Grand Theft Auto movie like they were about to begin casting. Unfortunately, Take-Two and the aforementioned studio were unable to come to proper terms, and the movie is a lost dream.

Fortunately, thanks to "new management" over at Take-Two, we may yet be able to see a Grand Theft Auto movie. Until then, all we can do is wonder how awesome it would have been to see rapper Eminem spinning rhymes while popping caps in his low-rider.Source: 1Up

Gaming Sales Grew 43% in 2007

The games industry managed record sales of $17.9bn in 2007, up 43% from $12.5bn in 2006. The Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 all saw their most successful sales figures in December, shifting a total of 1.4m, 1.3m and 800,000 units respectively, meaning that the Xbox 360 has now sold 8.5m units since its launch, the Wii 6.3m and the PS3 2.8m. However, the best selling console over Christmas was actually the Nintendo DS, which achieved sales figures of 2.5m in December. Meanwhile, the most successful game last year was Halo 3, which sold 4.82m copies, with Wii Play in second place on 4.12m and Call of Duty 4 in third on 3.04m.

Source: USATODAY.com

GoldenEye Almost Came to Xbox Live

N64 fans will remember GoldEye as being an instant classic, and many gamers have been calling for Nintendo or Microsoft to release it on the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade respectively, which had always seemed unlikely. However, Rare has recently revealed that the game was within two months of being released on Xbox Live. According to the game’s original developer, the port had been in development for several months, and would be identical to the original other than that it would feature an online multiplayer mode and several characters would have to be removed due to licensing issues. Unfortunately, just as it was nearing completion, Microsoft and Nintendo couldn’t agree on the financial side of things – apparently whether Nintendo would receive a one-off payment or a cut of the revenues.Source: 1UP.com

McDonald’s Boss Claims Video Games Cause Child Obesity

McDonald's Boss Claims Video Games Cause Child Obesity

Well if this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black then I don’t know what is. McDonald’s UK chief executive, Steve Easterbrook, has hit out at video games claiming that they are responsible for obesity among children. Easterbrook also commented that people need to be aware of the importance of a balanced diet, saying:
The issue of obesity is complex and is absolutely one our society is facing, there’s no denial about that. But if you break it down I think there’s an education piece: how can we better communicate to individuals the importance of a balanced diet and taking care of themselves? Then there’s a lifestyle element: there’s fewer green spaces and kids are sat home playing computer games on the TV when in the past they’d have been burning off energy outside.
Source: www.mvcuk.com

Duke Nukem Forever Trailer Released

Possibly the most delayed video game in history, Duke Nukem Forever, has just had a new trailer released – over six years since the last one. The video is about a minute long, and according to George Broussard of 3D Realms, the company developing the game, it was originally created internally as a festive treat. Broussard said:
"The release is still 'when it's done,' but you can expect more frequent media releases and we're not changing engines again and we have considerable work behind us. It's basically a restart as the tech changed and we've been on this version of the game since 2004 or so. The released media up to this point are no longer relevant other than for curiosity purposes.
The trailer for the game, which began development in 1997, can be viewed here.


Source: Shacknews

Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 Sales 'Tank'

Some of the most anticipated titles of the year, Unreal Tournament 3 and Crysis, have failed to sell very well. In contrast to the overly hyped Halo 3, which boosted actual Xbox 360 sales, Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 sales were, in short, abysmal. Since last month, neither game has managed to sell even 100,000 units. To be precise, EA sold 86,633 copies of Crysis, and Epic Games sold 33,995 copies of UT3. The Inquirer claims that Crysis, despite having a beautiful graphics engine that will have benchmarkers twiddling their thumbs for years, failed to impress anyone without a very expensive gaming machine. And Unreal Tournament, despite being absolutely breathtaking, had gameplay that was uncannily similar to the previous two versions of Unreal Tournament. Hopefully, as systems get better and gamers get more money to spend on games, these sales figures will increase.Source: The Inquirer

United Kingdom Censoring Board to Appeal Manhunt 2 Decision

Just when we thought all the controversy surrounding Manhunt 2 was over, the UK Censoring Board decided to start it right back up. Manhunt 2, the game that almost got banned from several countries and most consoles, was recently cleared for release in the United Kingdom. However, the UK Censoring Board recently brought an appeal of the decision to sell Manhunt 2 in the UK to court. If they succeed, Manhunt 2 will be pulled off of shelves before it is even put on them. The Censoring Board cites "sustained and cumulative casual sadism, unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying, (and) the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer" as reasons that this game should not be viewed by anyone...at all.Source: Reg Hardware
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