July 2006 Archives

Today, U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum blocked the Minnesota law that put fines into place if minors purchased violent or sexually explicit video games.
Activision, through its "Activision Value Publishing" label, has signed on to distribute three PC games from Big Fish Games. Activision Vale will sell boxed versions of Fish Tycoon and two Mystery Case File games for just under $20
Massively Mobile has been founded to develop mobile games. The new developer has representatives in New York and London.
The Electronic Software Association confirmed today that it will reshape the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for 2007.
Turner Broadcasting Systems has signed a deal with Konami to bring some of Konami's classic games to the GameTap broadband game service. Some of the games included are Frogger, Contra Hard Corps and several Castlevania games.
The OpenGL Architecture Review Board, the folks who previously determined the OpenGL standard, have transferred control of the standard to the Khronos Group, an industry association that creates cross-platform open standards.
Russian publisher Buka Entertainment announced that it will publish a game called Collapse for the PC currently being developed by Creoteam. Collapse is a 3D adventure game that Buka expects to release in late 2007.
Shrapnel Games is holding a contest to include music in its "musical role-playing game" Shady O' Grady's Rising Star. Unsigned bands can sign up to have their music included in the game. Of course, they don't get paid. The contest page is here
Xing Mobile has launched its game Xing Roulette for mobile phones. This simple gambling game is available for all MIDP-2 phones with a sufficiently large screen.

FlatOut 2 Ships to Stores

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Empire Interactive's Game FlatOut 2 has shipped to stores for the Xbox, PC and PlayStation 2. The game is an over-the-top racing game.

Moore Exits GarageGames

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Jay Moore, formerly the Director of Business Development for GarageGames, has left GarageGames, the middleware provider that targets independent developers.
Activision has engaged composer Joel Goldsmith to score the soundtrack for Call of Duty 3.
Sierra, a division of Vivendi Games, announced that it will bring a version of its game Scarface: The World is Yours based on the film Scarface to the PSP.
Activision filed a statement disclosing that the Securities and Exchange Commission has requested "documents and information relating to the Company's stock option grant practices."
NCsoft confirmed that the second update for its massively multiplayer online game Auto Assault is on the way. The new content will include new player-vs.-player maps, new Ground Zero missions, and items and XP-adjustments for Mutant and Biomek players.
Sony has released its latest firmware update for the PSP (v 2.80). In particular, this latest update makes it easy for PSP users to view RSS video feeds.
Konami has launched an online site dedicated to its line of role-playing games. Called "RPG Stars," the site can be found here.
Nintendo has announced the tour dates for its Nintendo Fusion Tour, it's musical tour designed to simultaneously promote Nintendo products.
Microsoft has released its downloadable expansion pack for Zoo Tycoon 2 called Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger Pack.
VoodooPC has launched a new PC line, the OMEN.i:121 Extreme. The machine ("Voodoo's flagship desktop system") includes an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and ATI Radeon X1900 CrossFire GPU. Voodoo is also proud of how quiet the machine reportedly runs.
European developer and publisher 10tacle Studios has entered into a relationship with Chinese online content provider Nineyou Information Technology. 10tacle's Chinese subsidiary will work with 9you on new games and 9you will market 10tacle's games in China.
Casual game company, Big Fish Games, has hired Jeremy Lewis as the company's President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Big Fish, Lewis was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, primarily working with Goldman's online operations.
1C Company announced that it is working with Battlefront.com on Theater of War, a real-time strategy game for the PC. Theater of War is set during World War II and should be released by the end of this year.
Xing Interactive has launched its latest mobile game for MIDP-2 handsets, Quan Yin Mahjongg. The game is a straightforward Mahjong title.
Sierra, a division of Vivendi Games, has shipped its game Miami Vice: The Game for the PSP to stores. The game is based on the film that launches tomorrow based on the television series.
THQ announced its financial results for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30.

Distant Guns Arrive

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Storm Eagle Studios has released its first game as a PC download.
Paradox Entertainment announced that Andrey Komarov (sometimes known as Vishudha Kali) will create the music for Perimeter: Emperor's Testament.
Data storage hardware manufacturer Western Digital has begun producing its line of WD Caviar Serial ATA 3.5-inch desktop hard drives in volume. The drives are built on 160 GB platter technology and are designed to be very high performance drives.

Just Cause Site Launches

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Eidos has launched the official site for its upcoming game Just Cause. The game is an open-ended action game that will be released this fall for the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox and PlayStation 2.
Vivendi's Sierra game division announced the voice talent it has secured for its game TimeShift.
Microsoft officially confirmed that it will release Fusion Frenzy 2 this holiday season for the Xbox 360. This will be a new party game in the style of the original Fusion Frenzy.
Sony reported its financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30.
Publisher Yuke's Company has launched the official site for its upcoming game D1 Grand Prix, a racing game for the PlayStation 2 that should be released next month.
Electronic Arts announced that it is bringing pets into The Sims 2.
Eidos Interactive announced that it is working on a game called Kane and Lynch: Dead Men for the Xbox 360. The game is scheduled for release in 2007 and follows the journey of a mercenary and a psychopath – expect violence.
IGA Worldwide, an agency that arranges for in-game advertising, has signed a mutli-title deal with Codemasters to include ads in upcoming Codemasters games.
Three Rings Design announced that more than two million players have signed up for its casual and puzzle-oriented massively multiplayer online game, Puzzle Pirates.
Mobile publisher Gameloft announced certain financial results for its fiscal second quarter.

Birth of America is Gold

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Strategy First's upcoming game Birth of America for the PC is gold, in duplication and should reach stores on August 28. The strategy game is set in 18th century North America.
Electronic Arts announced that it is working on an expansion for its real-time strategy game The Lord off the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II that will have an even longer title.
DreamCatcher has been working for some time on an adventure game scheduled for release this fall called Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express. Today, DreamCatcher announced that it has signed David Suchet to provide the voice for detective Hercule Poirot in the game.
According to a post on the World of Warcraft forums, Blizzard banned 59,000 World of Warcraft accounts last month. Such accounts were typically banned due to gold farming activities, so the bannings also pulled approximately 22 million gold from circulation.
Her Interactive has shipped its PC game Nancy Drew: Danger By Design to stores. The game is another adventure game starring Nancy Drew. In this particular adventure, Nancy Drew heads to Paris to investigate a fashion designer.
Vivendi has released its second quarter results, including some information on the performance of its games division.
Two psychologists at Iowa State University have published a paper in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology called "The Effects of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence."
Powergrid Fitness, a company that makes highly specialized video game controllers, has entered into an agreement with Raydon Corporation to provide its technology to military training devices. Powergrid Fitness' PowerSquad Dw product will be used so that soldiers participating in simulations can use their legs and knees to control the motion of in-game avatars.
2K Games, part of Take-Two Interactive, has released its game CivCity: Rome for the PC. CivCity: Rome is a city-building game inspired by the Civilization franchise and is now in stores.
Kuma Reality Games, the company behind the subscription PC game Kuma\War, has released a new game episode called Assault on Iran, Pt. 3: Payback in Iraq.
Xing Mobile has released its game Super Nanat for mobile phones. Super Nanat is a very basic platformer that imitates Donkey Kong by asking players to rescue a girl named Alyssa from Bubu Kong. The game runs on MIDP-2 phones.
Atlus USA has shipped its game Battle B-Daman for the GBA to stores in North America. The game is based on the animated series of the same name and will be followed by Battle B-Daman: Fire Spirits!, scheduled for release on September 26.
CDV Software Entertainment's game DarkStar One has gone gold, is in duplication and should reach stores in North America on August 14. DarkStar One is an action/adventure game set in a vast segment of space.
Korean mobile publisher Gamevil has opened up a US subsidiary to bring its mobile games to the North American market. The North American subsidiary, Gamevil USA, will be headquartered in Los Angeles.
To promote its PSP game LocoRoco, Sony is offering prizes for players who download the 1.01 demo LocoRoco and complete it.
Storm Eagle Studios announced that its first game, Distant Guns: The Russo-Japanese War at Sea is gold, in duplication and should be released shortly for the PC. The game is an historical strategy game set during the early 20th century conflict between Russia and Japan.
THQ recently amended its employment agreement with Brian J. Farrell, the company's President, CEO and Chairman.
Tripwire Interactive is offering a free demo of its multiplayer online game Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 over the Steam distribution system. Steam players can play Red Orchestra for free from August 2 through August 7.
Cryptic Studios, the developer behind the massively multiplayer online game City of Heroes, is going on a hiring spree.
Microsoft continues to launch new games on Xbox Live! Arcade each Wednesday as previously announced. Today, the classic coin-op game Galaga has been added so that gamers can enjoy vertical shooting action.
2K Games, part of Take-Two Interactive, has released its game Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords for the PC. This expansion for Sid Meier's Civilization IV adds new scenarios to the turn-based strategy game as well as new units, wonders and leaders. The game is now in stores.
Atlus USA has shipped its game Summon Night: Swordcraft Story for the GBA to stores in North America. While this is the debut of the Summon Night franchise in North America, the sequel (Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2) will arrive in stores on October 3.
Electronic Arts has signed an agreement with the Korean company Nowcom to distribute the game Tales Runner in China in conjunction with EA's partner in China, Tian Yue. Tales Runner is a 3D online racing game.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has launched a "Greatest Hits" line for the PSP, offering certain previously released games for just under $20.
Matrix Games announced that it is working with PlayTek to bring the game Blitzkrieg: War in Europe 1939-1945 to Pocket PC and Palm OS devices. The game is a turn-based strategy game set (surprise!) during World War II.
THQ confirmed that its acquisition of Paradigm Entertainment for cash was completed on July 7.
Matrix Games announced that it is working to bring a new game based on the Crown of Glory engine. Called Forge of Freedom, the PC strategy game will allow players to explore the American Civil War from 1860 to 1865 as either the Union or the Confederacy. The game should be ready for release later this summer.
Square Enix has confirmed the release dates for the rest of its summer game releases.
Namco Bandai confirmed that it plans on releasing its game Snoopy vs. the Red Baron in October. The game is an arcade-style flying game featuring characters from the Peanuts comic strip, and will be released for the PlayStation 2, PSP and PC.
Debra Baker has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE), where she will be responsible for "supervising creative development, the videogame green-lighting process and the company's game publishing plan." She is a long-time Warner Bros. employee and has worked as WBIE's Vice President of Legal Affairs and Operations since 2004.
In April, Nyko launched its GameFace 360 product, a system that allows users to create their own faceplate designs for the Xbox 360. Now, Nyko has launched a community site where gamers can download and share additional designs.
Namco Bandai Games has shipped Tekken: Dark Resurrection for the PSP to stores in North America. This latest installment in the series of fighting games adds two new characters to the series.
CDV has partnered with The History Channel to promote The History Channel's program Rome: Engineering An Empire.
Publisher Hands-On Mobile has named Keith McCurdy to the post of President of Studios and Products. McCurdy joined Hands-On Mobile on July 17, having previously served as the President and CEO of Blaze Entertainment (aka Kayak Interactive).
Nintendo confirmed release dates for many of its upcoming games.
Two of SouthPeak Interactive's games have been pushed back. Xyanide and World Racing 2 were both scheduled to be released on July 25, but have been postponed until August 15.
Paradox Interactive has added two new PC games to its Gamersgate.com download portal: Massive Assault (a 3D strategy game) and Supreme Ruler 2010 (a strategy game of global domination).
Take-Two Interactive disclosed to the SEC that a complaint was filed by shareholder Richard Lasky earlier this month in the Southern District Court of New York.
Atlus USA has launched the English-language site for its game Deep Labyrinth. The game is a role-playing game for the DS that should reach stores in North America on August 8.
Red Mile Entertainment has delayed the release of its third-person action game for the PC, El Matador. Previously slated for release in August, the game will now reach stores on September 15.
SanDisk, the manufacturer of flash storage cards announced the results of its second fiscal quarter ended July 2, 2006.
According to a preliminary paper on Oliver R. W. Pergams personal site, he has a paper in press for the Journal of Environmental Management in conjunction with Patricia A. Zaradic on the decline in visits to national parks. According to the authors, the decline (on a per capita basis) of park visitors is the result of media and oil prices. Of course, video games are getting the bulk of the attention, as media (in the context of this paper) include internet use, movies and video games.
Microsoft has launched a teaser site for its upcoming mobile device, the "Zune."
Microsoft's upcoming game for the Xbox 360, Gears of War, will sponsor the upcoming Gigantour musical event – a tour that includes bands such as Overkill, Arch Enemy, Opeth and Megadeth.
Christian developer and publisher Left Behind Games has hired Jerome Mikulich as Strategic Marketing Manager. Mikulich has a background in marketing to churches, and will lead Left Behind Games' plan to deliver a million demo discs to Churches.
In an order dated July 19th, James J. Brady of the Middle District of Louisiana has ruled that Jack Thompson may not file an amicus curie brief in the lawsuit brought by the Entertainment Software Association against Louisiana's game law.
Nintendo revealed financial information concerning its fiscal first quarter ended June 30.
Nintendo excitedly proclaimed that it has sold over 21 million of its DS and DS Lite systems. That means more DS units have sold than... say... copies of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.
Kohnke Communications is excited to let everyone know that it will be serving as the PR agency for the Games Convention Developer Conference (GCDC), a European conference for game developers. That's it – they're just pleased an want you to know. And FI had some spare time to type it up. Why not?
Midway has shipped versions of its game The Ant Bully for the PC, Game Boy Advance, GameCube and PlayStation 2 to stores.
Funcom has entered into a distribution agreement with SCi's Eidos division that will have SCi/Eidos distributing Funcom's upcoming massively multiplayer online game for the PC, Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures.
NHN, a Korean online content provider, has decided to open game sites in the US later this year. Details are sparse, but the CEO Beom-Su Kim plans to relocate to the US, ostensibly to facilitate his company's "entry into the American game market."
Publisher dtp/Anaconda announced that it is working on a role-playing game for the PC called Legend: Hand of God. The game is being developed by the studio "Master Creating" and will be an action/RPG following the tradition of Diablo-style games.

AMD Commits to ATI Merger

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Yesterday, AMD (the manufacturer of processors) and ATI (the manufacturer of GPUs) signed the acquisition agreement that will have AMD acquire all of ATI's outstanding stock for a combination of AMD stock and cash.
Thomson Course Technology has released three new books for those interesting in learning more about game development.
Aspyr Media announced that the Mac version of The Sims 2: Open for Business, an expansion for The Sims 2 is now in beta testing. The game should be released in September.
Xing Mobile has released its game Crazy Duck Hunter for mobile phones. The game is a simple 2D duck hunt for MIDP-2 phones.
Casual developer Enkord has released its game Jurassic Realm. The game is a straightforward, dinosaur-themed puzzle game.
Developer Quotix software announced that it is working on an action/role-playing game called Pompolic: Call for Heroes for the PC.
Blizzard revealed that once the expansion to its massively multiplayer online game World of Warcarft (called The Burning Crusade) is released, two classes (each previously available only to the Horde or Alliance players) will now be available to both sides.
Take-Two Interactive announced that all outstanding matters with the FTC concerning its Rockstar Games label (particularly concerning the explicit sexual "Hot Coffee" material in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have been settled.
Publisher Atlus USA has acquired the rights to publish Battle B-Daman: Fire Spirits! for the Game Boy Advance. The game is based on the animated television series Battle B-Daman.
THQ has released the pre-order package for its upcoming Xbox 360 game, Saints Row. The package will include a DVD with trailers, a "making-of" documentary and Xbox dashboard icons.
Earlier this month, publisher Oxygen Interactive changed the name of its game World Tour Golf to ProStroke Golf to accommodate the North American market. Today, Oxygen Interactive announced it intends to open a North American publishing division and publish ProStroke Golf in August. The game will be available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Codemasters confirmed that Brian Lara International Cricket 2007 will be coming to Europe in March 2007 (the same time as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007) to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and PC. This sequel adds improved batting and bowling styles.
Atari has agreed to distribute 10tacle Studios' upcoming racing game, GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game, in Europe. The game should reach stores in September.
Casual Publisher Big Fish Games has launched its game Hidden Expedition: Titanic as a download for the PC. The game has players exploring the infamous sunken ocean liner.
The official site for Hard Truck Apocalypse: Rise of Clans is live. The game is an action/RPG set in a post-apocalyptic North America. The game will be released for the PC in 2007.
Effective tomorrow, EI Interactive will acquire the game Horizons: Empire of Istaria. EI Interactive already publishes games such as Savage Eden and has not announced any intention to change Horizons at this time.
Peripheral manufacturer Logitech announced its financial results for the first quarter of its 2007 fiscal year, ended June 30, 2006.
Ignition Entertainment previously announced that it is working on a sequel to Archer Maclean's Mercury called Mercury Meltdown. Today, Ignition revealed a new released date for Mercury Meltdown. The game will reach PSPs on August 29.
Microsoft reported its financial data for both the fourth quarter and the full fiscal year. The full details are here. Microsoft continues to make money overall, and while the console and game division is taking in plenty of money, it continues to run at an operating loss. Microsoft is still losing money on each Xbox and Xbox 360 sold.

AMD Reports Net Income

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AMD, the processor manufacturer, announced the financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended July 2, 2006.
Microsoft revealed its financials for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2006. For the fourth quarter, Microsoft reported net income of $2.828 billion compared to net income of $3.700 billion in the same quarter the previous year. For the full year, Microsoft reported net income of $12.599 billion compared to net income of $12.254 billion the prior year.

From July 23 through July 29, owners of Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS will be able to visit a Toys "R" Us store to download special items for the game. The items will all sport a Mario theme, such as a 1-up mushroom a pipe or a goal flag.
IGA Worldwide announced that it will be using Interpret LLC's Gameasure technology to provide performance data concerning ads placed through IGA Worldwide's in-game advertising technology. IGA hopes that the Gameasure system will give advertisers a better idea of the efficacy of placed ads.
Powergrid Fitness announced that it has entered into a market development agreement with Sportwall International. Powergrid Fitness manufactures the device formerly known as the Kilowatt, a controller that is, essentially, a huge and difficult to move joystick that turns game playing into a workout. The Kilowatt is now known as the Exer-station Pro. Sportwall will now take care of marketing and selling the Exer-station Pro
Major League Gaming is shouting from the rooftops that it has received many sign-ups for its tournament in Chicago this weekend. Reportedly, over 200 four-man Halo teams have signed up for the competition with over 1,200 individual entries. Based on those numbers, you might suppose that there's a little interest in playing Halo competitively.
A new company called Lexicon Entertainment has formed in the UK with the stated goal of marketing games and UMD films in territories that major publishers don't feel are worth the expense of exploring.
NCSoft is planning on releasing the next North American content update for its massively multiplayer online game Lineage II shortly. The update is called Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood and will include additional solo content, a higher level cap and new castles and regions to explore.
Sony Online Entertainment announced that it has signed an agreement with Epic Games to license the Unreal Engine 3 to develop future games. SOE noted that this game will be used to develop "...content for some next-generation console and PC-based games...including the DC Comics-based game currently under development at SOE-Austin."
Codemasters confirmed today that it is working on a game in the Colin McRae franchise for the next generation of consoles called DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road.
Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts announced that they intend to sell a new package of their massively multiplayer online game Star Wars Galaxies this November.
Konami has released its product the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Ultimate Beginner's Pack for the GBA. The package is available from Konami's official site and includes a copy of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duel Academy for the GBA, a starter deck of trading cards and a tutorial DVD.
Atari confirmed that its upcoming game Test Drive Unlimited for the Xbox 360 will be released for just under $40. Atari plans to make the rest of its money by selling add-on "car packs" featuring cars and radio stations over Xbox Live! Marketplace.
Activision filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission notifying investors that a person claiming to be an Activision stockholder filed suit against the company on July 12. The plaintiff "alleges, among other things, purported improprieties in the Company's issuance of stock options."
D3Publisher of America confirmed that its game WTF will ship to stores in North America on September 26. The game is a collection of mini-games for the PSP that unlock other PSP functions such as a Ramen Timer.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, confirmed that Dungeon Siege II: Broken World is gold, in duplication and should reach stores in North America on August 1. The expansion to Dungeon Siege II continues the story with a new campaign and a refined battle system.
Glu Mobile has released its game Hoyle 6-in-1 Solitaire Pro for mobile phones. The game includes six customizable variations on solitaire.
Codemasters is working on a new game with author and director Clive Barker called Clive Barker's Jericho. The game will be released for next-generation consoles as well as the PC in late 2007. Jericho is being designed as an action/horror game in which a Special Forces squad is sent in to confront an ancient evil in the desert.
Cartoon Network has entered into a partnership with Grigon Entertainment, a Korean developer, to create a massively multiplayer online game. Cartoon Network's MMOOG should launch in the spring of 2008 and will feature many of Cartoon Network's popular characters.
One of Namco Bandai's mobile games divisions has released four classic games to mobile phones.
Massive Incorporated, an agency that inserts advertising in games, is introducing new ads into the massively multiplayer online game Anarchy Online.

Acer Launches New Monitor

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Acer America Corporation has launched its AL2216Wbd wide-screen flat panel display today in North America. The monitor is an LCD screen with 5 millisecond response times and wide viewing angles priced at just under $400.
Konami announced that it is working with Buena Vista Games to create a dance/rhythm game based on the Dance Dance Revolution franchise that includes Disney characters and songs. The game will be called Dance Dance Revolution Disney Mix and should be released this fall. The game will feature characters such as Goofy and Mickey Mouse while including dance remixes of songs such as "It's a Small World" and "Zip-A Dee-Doo-Dah."
The Adventure Company, a label of DreamCatcher Interactive, announced that Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure is gold, in duplication and should reach stores shortly. This PC game has players opening 35 challenging safes protected by mysterious clues and locks.
As was previously mentioned, Microsoft is launching new retro titles over Xbox Live! Arcade each Wednesday. Today, Microsoft has launched Cloning Clyde, an adventure/puzzle game in which Clyde has to escape from a cloning facility.
The Women In Games International organization declared that its next conference, called "The Balancing Act: Game Industry Careers and Quality of Life" will be held in Seattle on September 16. Folks interested in more information can go here.
Konami will hold the U.S. finals for its 2006 Yu-Gi-Oh! video game tournament in San Diego on July 23. Players will compete using Yu-Gi-Oh! Ultimate Masters World Championship Tournament 2006 for the GBA. The top four players will advance to the August finals in Tokyo, Japan.
Konami announced that it is partnering with U.S. manga publisher Tokyopop to create mobile games. The first game that will be created under this partnership is based on the manga East Coast Rising and should be available in early Fall.
Namco Bandai wants comic fans to know that it will be distributing copies of issue #0 of the Hellgate: London comic at Comic-Con. The comic is, of course, based on the upcoming PC game of the same name.
Square Enix has shipped its game Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth for the PSP to stores in North America.
Majesco and Konami announced that they are working together on a new Dance Dance Revolution game based on the Strawberry Shortcake Franchise. The game will be a "Plug'N'Play" product, meaning that if you want to dance with these saccharine children's characters, you'll purchase the custom Strawberry Shortcake dance pad and plug it directly into the TV.
Atari has shipped its game Super Dragon Ball Z for the PlayStation 2 to stores in North America. The game is another 3D fighting game set in the DBZ world.
Buena Vista Games provided more details on its upcoming game Lumines II, that will be released for the PSP this November.

PDP Goes With B/HI

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Performance Designed Products, the manufacturer of peripherals with brands such as Pelican and Score, has hired Bender/Helper Impact as its public relations firm.
The Electronic Software Association (ESA), an industry trade group, wants to draw everyone's attention to a recent enforcement action by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The ESA, of course, fully supports any action that prevents the piracy of games. According to the ESA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized thousands of pirated games from the Pacific Mall and arrested a game counterfeiting suspect.
Publisher NCsoft and its ArenaNet studio announced that the next title in the Guild Wars series, Guild Wars: Nightfall is now in the beta testing stage. Current Guild Wars players are invited to participate in a "first-look" Player-vs.-Player from Friday, July 28 through Sunday July 30.
JoWood announced that it is working on a follow-up to its hybrid role-playing/real-time strategy game for the PC, SpellForce 2 – Shadow Wars. Called SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm, the new game should be released this winter.
Publisher Matrix Games announced that it is working, along with developer 2by3 Games, on a sequel to Gary Grigsby's World at War. Called Gary Grigsby's World at War: A World Divided, the sequel will add new features such as unit experience and espionage. This PC game does not yet have a release date.
Electronic Arts has shipped its game NCAA Football '07 to stores.
2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, wants everyone to know that its next hockey game, NHL 2K7, will sport a new skating engine. Largely, this involves a lot of new animations to improve the apparent realism of the skating. The game itself will be released in September for the Xbox 360, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 3 version will be released later in the year.
THQ has shipped its game Monster House to stores in North America.
THQ announced that it has created a new internal development studio called Incinerator Games.
Torquemada Games has released its game Video Strip Poker Supreme as a PC download. The game has players playing poker against videos of Eastern European girls.
Developer Last Day of Work has released its game Virtual Villagers for the PC and Mac as a download. This is a simulation/Tamogatchi-style game in which players manage a small village, guiding them to a prosperous island existence.
Shrapnel Games is now offering its game Land of Legends as a digital download. Land of Legends was released last year and is a game of fantasy warfare that should take under an hour to play.
Xing Mobile has released its game for MIDP-2 mobile phones, Pool Billiards Champs. The game has players competing against the AI in a game of six-ball ('cause nine is just too many for the screen).
Steve Riding has joined Outso, a company that provides contract gaming work in Europe. Prior to joining Outso, Riding worked with developer Travelers Tales as the Studio Manager.
SkillJam EU Limited, a subsidiary of Fun Technologies, has been hired to serve as the exclusive provider of a casual gaming platform to Lycos' European web content.
Today, SanDisk launched its 4 GB SD high-capacity card. The card should be available in most outlets for just under $200.
A downloadable side-scrolling beat-'em-up for the PC called Rage of Magic II has launched and is available from the official site
TopWare Interactive has launched a pinball game to promote its upcoming role-playing game, Two Worlds. The Two Worlds pinball table can now be downloaded at Dream Pinball. The person with the highest score on August 31 will win $10,000
SCi Entertainment, the company that subsumes Eidos and SCi Games, announced that it brought on Scott Dodkins as a Managing Director in Europe. Dodkins will be responsible for Europe, Japan and Australia, and has previously worked with Activision and Microprose.

Also joining SCi are Flavia Timiani as the Head of Support Services and Richard Lever as the Head of Operational Services.

Positech games, a one-man developer in the UK, has released its new PC game Kudos as a download. Kudos puts players in the role of twenty-year old resident of Slough in the UK. With no real qualifications, players are invited to earn (or ignore) "kudos" that come from social interactions. The game can be downloaded here.
Midway announced yesterday that it has adjusted the conversion rate for its 7.125% Convertible Senior Notes that are due in 2026.
Aksys Games announced that its first game will be a golf game for the PlayStation 2 that should be released this fall. The game is called Eagle Eye Golf and will allow players to play pre-designed courses or create their own.
Electronic Arts filed with the SEC some requested amendments to its previously proposed voluntary stock option exchange program.
Electronic Arts announced that it will release a special "Hall of Fame" edition of Madden NFL '07 on August 22 for the Xbox 360 and PS2. The new edition will contain more than two hours of special video content that will differ between the two platforms.

War Rock Open Beta Begins

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K2 Network has launched an open beta test for its multiplayer online shooter, War Rock. Players can register for this online PC test here
Publisher Atlus USA announced that it will offer the CD soundtrack for its upcoming PlayStation 2 game, Rule of Rose to folks who pre-order the game. Rule of Rose is an action/horror game that should be released this September.
Sony Online Entertainment has launched the 25th content update for its massively multiplayer online game EverQuest II. This update adds new vendors and containers as well as new player-vs.-player rewards for players between levels 20 and 39.
Stray Bullet Studios, the studio comprised of staff from the now-defunct Wolfpack Studios that continues to maintain the massively multiplayer online game Shadowbane, has added Mark Nausha as the studio's President and Chief Executive Officer. Nausha previously served as the Director of Development for Sony Online Entertainment and has a long history in interactive entertainment.
Blizzard announced that in the upcoming patch for its massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, player-vs.-player (PvP) will be receiving a substantial update.
Electronic Arts is working on another role-playing game based on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy called The Lord of the Rings: The White Council.
Jagex, the maker of the massively multiplayer online game RuneScape, has signed an agreement with WildTangent that makes WildTangent responsible for Jagex's marketing and advertising sales in North America.
Electronic Arts confirmed today that it is working on six titles for Nintendo's upcoming Wii platform.
Lucasfilm Ltd. announced that it is expanding the role of its studio Lucasfilm Animation Singapore (LAS). LAS was created in October of 2005 to created animated television content. Now, the group is being expanded to include a Handheld Games Group that will work together with the other Lucasfilm divisions to create handheld games. The division is actively hiring.
Christian developer Left Behind Games has added Kevin Hoekman to its development team. Hoekman has previously worked on games such as SpellForce and Silent Storm. He will be working as a senior producer with Left Behind Games.
Mobile Publisher Glu Mobile has launched its game Sexy Babes: Wild Waterslides for UK mobile games. The game mixes simple button matching skills with plenty of lo-res cheesecake.

Eve Online Becomes a CCG

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CCP Games, the company behind the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) Eve Online, has been working on a collectible card game (CCG) based on its MMOG.
Christian publisher Digital Praise has signed an agreement with Big Idea, the company behind the Christian VeggieTales line of products. Under the terms of this agreement, Digital Praise will develop a PC dance game based on VeggieTales called VeggieTales Dance, Dance, Dance. The game should be released by the end of this year and will feature Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber talking and dancing to the music.
Bigfoot Networks has launched its Killer Network Interface Card. The card sports a 400 MHz processor and 64 MB of dedicated memory that allow a system to offload networking tasks to the Killer, hopefully upping overall game performance.
Blizzard has opened two new servers for its massively multiplayer game World of Warcraft. "Sentinels" is a new role-playing realm, while "The Venture Company" is a role-playing player-vs.-player realm.
Publisher Strategy First has released two of its classic PC strategy games, Disciples II Gold and Jagged Alliance II Gold over Valve's Steam network. The games are available for just under $20 each or just under $30 for both.
The second module (major content update) for Turbine's massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online went live today.
Bioware has released new in-game footage from its upcoming Xbox 360 role-playing game Mass Effect. The video can be downloaded here or from Xbox Marketplace.
Publisher: Digital Leisure
Developer: Digital Leisure

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: 1.8 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM, 128 MB compatible video card, 16x DVD Drive, Windows XP or more recent operating system

Valiant knight Dirk the Daring braves the torturous traps and malevolent monsters that litter the castle of a dark wizard while questing to save Princess Daphne from the clutches of Singe the Dragon, where Daphne is held in a magical prison. Can Dirk live long enough to save the damsel?

Peripheral manufacturer Razer has joined as the primary sponsor of the Cyberathlete Professional Legaue's 2006 Singapore competition, to be held September 15-17 of this year.
Walt Doublestein has joined Channel M, a company that specializes in advertising and promotion of products through non-traditional channels. Doublestein comes from BBDO Detroit, where he worked as the Director of Video Gaming & Non-Traditional Marketing.
Sony has launched two new Memory Stick Entertainment Packs for the PSP. The sticks come in one and two GB sizes (for $60 and $100, respectively) and come with a DVD that can unlock a Sony movie for transfer to the PSP.
NCsoft is hosting a "Double XP Weekend" for its games City of Heroes and City of Villains. Between 9 A.M. (Pacific Time) on Friday (July 21) and 9 P.M. (Pacific Time) on Sunday (July 23), players will earn double experience for all experience-granting activities within the games.
Atari announced that it is working on a mobile game based on the animated film Arthur and the Minimoys. Atari already announced that it was working on PlayStation 2, PSP, DS, PC and GBA games based on the film. All the games should be released this year.
Accessories 4 Technology (A4T), a manufacturer of video game accessories, announced that it has finalized its deal with Fox Licensing and Merchandising to produce a line of video game accessories featuring The Simpsons in the UK. A4T hopes to launch the product line when the school year begins.
TMS Mobile has launched its game Michael Mepham's Sudoku for mobile phones over its new mobile content service. Players can download sets of ten puzzles for just under $5. The puzzles are, of course, collections of single-digit numbers that fill in a grid. Like all Sudoku.
Fox Mobile Entertainment has hired Natalie Farsi as the Senior Vice President of Content and M-Commerce for its Mobizzo unit. Mobizzo is a mobile content service that includes games among its other offerings. Prior to joining Mobizzo, Farsi ran a media consultancy.
Telephia, a market research firm that measures mobile content consumption, released some conclusions on the UK market.
DreamCatcher Interactive's game Painkiller: Hell Wars for the Xbox is gold, in duplication and should reach stores on July 25. The game is an Xbox version of the Painkiller game for the PC.
Microsoft announced that this summer, on Wednesdays it will launch a new retro title for Xbox 360 gamers on Xbox Live! Arcade.
Sierra, a division of Vivendi Games, has released a new gameplay trailer for its PSP title, Miami Vice: The Game. The trailer can be found here.
On Thursday (July 13), the next downloadable content for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will be available for purchase.
The free massively multiplayer online game from K2 Network, Knight Online, has launched a content expansion. This is the second "expansion" for Knight Online, and has been dubbed Knight Online: Reign of the Fire Drake. The expanded content includes a new level cap and new monsters.
Namco has entered into a strategic partnership with Japanese mobile content provider G-Mode. G-Mode will be able to offer content from Namco's library of games, and will share its own content in return.
Electronic Arts will feature actress Emmanuelle Vaugier in its upcoming game Need for Speed: Carbon.
GameTable Online, the online portal for classic board and table games, has launched Condottiere as a playable game. Condottiere is a card game that has players taking control of Renaissance city-states.
Microsoft Game Studios has released the Project Gotham Racing 3 Style Pack over Xbox Live! Marketplace.
Glu Mobile has launched its game Super K.O. Boxing! for mobile phones. Super K.O. Boxing! is a cartoonish boxing game evocative of Punch Out!.
Publisher Her Interactive's game Nancy Drew: Danger by Design is gold, in duplication and should be in stores by the end of July. This latest Nancy Drew adventure game has Nancy investigating a fashion designer in Paris.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has released its game Prey in North America for both the Xbox 360 and PC.
Christian Publisher Left Behind Games has added Greg Bauman to its staff. Bauman will serve as marketing manager and associate producer at Left Behind Games, and has previously worked with Interplay and Take-Two Interactive.
Sony Online Entertainment announced that it is working on a new downloadable expansion for EverQuest called EverQuest: The Serpent's Spine.
Tian Yue, an online games operator in China, previously entered into a partnership with Electronic Arts that is now coming to fruition. Pogo China is currently in closed beta and should enter open beta shortly.
John Romero, the game designer notable for his involvement in projects such as Daikatana, has launched the official site for a new massively multiplayer online game project. Currently, the site only has listings for available jobs and describes the upcoming MMOG as a "Super Secret Mystery Project."
Crave Entertainment confirmed that it plans to release World Championship Cards for the PlayStation 2 and PSP this holiday season.
Namco Bandai confirmed that it plans to release its game Gunpey for the DS and PSP this holiday season. Gunpey is a puzzle game in which players will connect angles into columns of lines.
Microsoft and Big Huge Games announced that a championship tournament will be held later this year in which players can earn cash playing Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends.
Mobile publisher I-play has launched its mobile title My Dog in the UK. The game is a Nintendogs-style title in which players adopt a dog and then care for and play with that dog.
Aspyr Media announced that it is developing a portal for Mac users called "The Gamerhood." The Gamerhood will allow Mac gamers to purchase and download Aspyr games without the need for CDs, while also saturating users of The Gamerhood with information on Aspyr games.
Xing Interactive has released its Backgammon game for the PC, Xing Backgammon, in Europe. The game allows for backgammon matches over the internet.
Xing Mobile has released its mobile game Kung Fu – Wu Tang Swordsmen for MIDP-2 compatible mobile handsets. The game has a Kung Fu master defending the Xing Temple against an evil gang.
To address previous complaints of low server population in Auto Assault, NCsoft is planning to merge all of the existing servers into a new server called "Nexus." The merger will be effective on July 13. A FAQ concerning the change can be found here.
According to the official site of Ultima Online, Electronic Arts has removed fifteen trillion gold pieces from Ultima Online and terminated more than 180 accounts. Players were exploiting the game's check system and fraudulently creating checks worth more than one million gold.
Atari has signed a deal with Playlogic to distribute Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales in most territories.
German publisher Crimson Cow signed a deal to publish developer Autumn Moon Entertainment's upcoming game A Vampyre Story in 2007.
Middleware provider Kynogon plans on opening an office in Montreal, Canada to serve the game development community there and give Kynogon a North American presence. Kynogon is a Paris, France-based company that creates AI software for games. Jacques Gaubil, COO and co-founder of the company, will relocate to Canada to run the new office.

Alien Shooter 2 Released

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Developer Sigma Team has released a demo of its upcoming game Alien Shooter 2.
THQ Wireless announced that it has released its game MotoGP Manager for European mobile phones. The game puts players in control of a MotoGP motorbike team and asks players to manage those bikers to glory.
Canadian Publisher Throwback Entertainment has acquired the rights to much of the library of now defunct Acclaim entertainment.
Nintendo has shipped its collection of brain-teasers, Big Brain Academy for the DS to stores in Europe. The game is already available in Japan and North America. The game is part of Nintendo's "Touch! Generations" brand of games designed to capture the time and attention of new and casual gamers.
Koei's European division confirmed that its game Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny will be released in Europe this September. This role-playing game for the PlayStation 2 was already released in North America.
Publishers Koch Media and Monte Cristo announced that they plan to release the role-playing game Silverfall in the UK this October. The game is set in a steampunk-fantasy world in which, once again, players are tasked with the job of saving the world.
Majesco announced that it is working on a Game Boy Advance game called Strawberry Shortcake Sweet Dreams based on the film scheduled for release in October.
2K Games, part of Take-Two Interactive, announced that Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords, an expansion for Sid Meier's Civilization IV is gold, in duplication and should ship in North America on July 24. The expansion adds new scenarios and warlord units to the game.

Pelican Gets Piratical

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Peripheral manufacturer Pelican has launched a line of accessories themed after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
The PC adventure game A Quiet Weekend in Capri, already released in many territories two years ago, will be released in the rest of the world by Adventure's Planet SRL.
Oxygen Interactive has changed the name of the game known in the UK as World Tour Golf to ProStroke Golf: World Tour 2007 due to feedback from the North American Market. The game will be released for the Xbox, PC and PlayStation 2.
Outerlight's PC game The Ship will be released over Valve's Steam network on July 11. The game has players hunting one another on a luxury cruise.
Publisher Got Game Entertainment confirmed today that its game Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle, originally scheduled for an August release, will be released on September 1.
SpaceWorks Entertainment was awarded a Production Grant by the Bell Fund, and so wants everyone to know that this brings the Ice Planet project one step closer to completion. Ice Planet is a project starring Michael Ironside that is both a television series and a mobile game.
Samsung Electronics confirmed that it will once again serve as a sponsor for the World Cyber Games. Samsung has agreed to sponsor all of the WCG's US events and will be the exclusive provider of HD TVs for the Xbox 360 matches and monitors for the PC matches.
Mobile developer Tag Games has signed an agreement with Eastern European mobile distributor Redboss such that Tag's mobile games will now be distributed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
IGA Worldwide, a provider of in-game advertising services, proudly announced that received another $5 million investment.
Electronic Arts has shipped its game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 so that the game can reach store shelves by this Thursday. The game was previously released for the PC and is a real-time strategy game set in Tolkien's classic world.
Peripheral manufacturer Razer announced that it will support the Kode5 competitive gaming league by supplying Kode5 with Razer peripherals for Kode5's competitions.
THQ wants everyone to know that its game WWE Day of Reckoning 2 has been added to Nintendo's Player's Choice collection for the GameCube. That means the GameCube version of this game will be available for just under $20.
The organizers of the Austin Game Conference excitedly want to let everyone know that some of the notable speakers at this year's conference include Michael Dell (Chairman of Dell, Inc.) and Rob Pardo (Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard). The conference will take place in Austin from September 6-8.
Matrix Games announced that it is working with Strategic Studies Group to release Battlefront for the PC next month. Battlefront is a battalion-scale wargame set during WWII.
Glu Mobile has launched the mobile game Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 2nd Edition. The game is available for certain handsets in Europe and features similar play to the original Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe confirmed that a sequel to Ridge Racer (not surprisingly called Ridge Racer 2) is underway for the PSP and should be released to the European market in the fourth quarter of this year.
Powergrid Fitness, the manufacturer of the Kilowatt controller, is pleased to let everyone know that the Kilowatt controller is being introduced into Gold's Gym. The Kilowatt controller works with consoles and is, essentially, a very large joystick that is difficult to move, changing conventional play into strenuous exercise.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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