October 2006 Archives

EASYnat Now in 3ds Max 9

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Folks interested in trying out the Bionatics plant-modeling middleware should know that the EASYnat modeling product (and six plants) are now included in the Autodesk 3ds Max 9 product.
Publisher Destineer has launched the official site for its upcoming game Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy. The game will allow players to take on the roles of six characters from the series and will include minigames that use the touchscreen.
NCsoft has shipped its PC game, Guild Wars Nightfall for the PC to stores worldwide, such that the game should be available for purchase tomorrow. This is the latest stand-alone installment in the Guild Wars universe, considered by most to be a massively multiplayer online game. The game adds customizable hero NPC companions, and the ability to join in hero battles, in which one player battles along with his or her heroes.
Dungeon Siege II: Deluxe Edition from 2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, is now in stores. This is a collector's set for the holidays that includes the original PC game Dungeon Siege II and the expansion Dungeon Siege II: Broken World. The box also includes materials such as concept art, portraits, a video and a map.
On November 1, Funcom will handle customer service for German-speaking Anarchy Online customers. Until now, customer support has been handled by Gamigo, a German online service provider.
Home Entertainment Suppliers has released its horse racing game Melbourne Cup in Australia and New Zealand for the PC, Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game features licensed races, multiplayer online competition and the ability to breed and train your own horses.

Sudoku Epic Available for PC

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Kristanix Software has released its game Sudoku Epic as a download for the PC. The game can be found here and allows Sudoku fans to play on the computer or print out puzzles of varying difficulty.
While Activision will not formally release its second quarter fiscal information, it did announce that its net revenues for the quarter ended September 30 were significantly higher than the company provided in its previous outlook. Net revenues for the quarter were $188.2 million. Despite being above expectations, that's less than the companies revenues in the same period the previous year. More detail will be provided on November 6.
Ubisoft has opened a new office in Mexico City, Mexico to build the Mexican market for Ubisoft games. The office is led by Etienne-Charles Nobert (Ubisoft's Latin American area manager).
Turbine has launched the latest major content update for its massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online. The new content is a module called The Demon Sands and adds many features demanded by players. There are now player vs. player battles, both in taverns and as tournaments. The level cap has been increased by ten ranks. There are now auction houses to allow players to easily buy and sell in-game items. Lastly, Turbine has added even more solo content to the game.
The CMP Game Group, part of CMP Technology (the folks behind Game Developer Magazine and the Game Developers Conference), has appointed Kathy Schoback as its Group Director. In the past, Schoback has served in leadership positions at AGEIA, Eidos, Sega and Infinium Labs (the folks behind the elusive Phantom console).
AMD completed its acquisition of ATI, meaning that the companies are now a single entity. As was previously disclosed, the acquisition cost $5.4 billion, including $4.3 billion in cash and 58 million shares of AMD stock.
Nyko has shipped its Charge Station 360 and Power Kit 360 accessories for the Xbox 360. The Charge Station 360 is a charging cradle with two rechargeable battery packs for the Xbox 360 controller – it costs just under $30. The Power Kit 360 is a rechargeable battery with a charging cable so that the Xbox 360 controller can be charged while playing (inevitably transforming it into a wired controller).
Playlogic's development studio has extended its development agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. That's really all the information offered. Playlogic is working on an unannounced project for SCEE, and this announcement suggests Sony is satisfied with Playlogic's performance so far.
Activision's game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is now available in stores for the Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC and PSP. The game is an action/role-playing game featuring many of Marvel's most popular heroes, such as Spider-Man, Blade and Captain America. PlayStation 3 and Wii versions of the game should ship later this year.
Microsoft announced that Gears of War for the Xbox 360 is gold, in duplication and should reach stores on November 12. As many eager Xbox 360 owners know, the game pits humans against the vicious Locust Horde that emerges from the inside of the planet.
Recently, NCsoft announced a veteran rewards program for folks who have been loyally playing City of Heroes for a long time. When the next major content update occurs, players will receive rewards depending on the length of their active subscription. While we tried to compile all the bonuses in one place, NCsoft has added a list of benefits for subscribers that have lasted longer than the game has been in existence. Descriptions of the new rewards follow:

Netamin, the folks behind the massively multiplayer online baseball game Ultimate Baseball Online, announced that the game will carry no subscription fees (although there is still an entry fee). Gamers in UBO get to play baseball through avatars in a more sophisticated and involved massively multiplayer online analog to a fantasy league.
Charles River Media and Course Technology PTR have released five new books to help people involved in the creation of games. Game Character Animation All in One is a guide to developing and animating game characters. Game Developer's Open Source Handbook identifies Open Source software useful for game design, where to get it and how to incorporate it into games. Programming an RTS Game with Direct3D has a self-explanatory title. Game Programming All in One, Third Edition is the latest edition of the game programming overview for folks familiar with C or C++. C++ for Game Programmers, Second Edition is the latest edition of the book that teaches programmers how to apply C++ to game programming.

ECA Acquires GamePolitics

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Recently, the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) announced its formation. The ECA purports to be a lobbying group working on behalf of gamers rather than publishers or retailers. The organization was formed by Hal Halpin, the founder of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association.

Today, the ECA announced that it has acquired GamePolitics, a site dedicated to politically-oriented news concerning computer and video games. The ECA will also partner with NCsoft on the PlaySmart program, such that it will now be known as "PlaySmart presented by the ECA."

The factor that might transform the ECA's plans from noble to self-interested is that the organization demands an annual membership fee of just under $20 per year. The ECA needs to demonstrate that its efforts merit your money. Right now, you would be better off taking $20 worth of your time to write to your senators and congressmen or to agitate on behalf of your personal, pet issue. FI would be more comfortable with the ECA if it worked on a donation basis, and if Hal Halpin openly discussed his salary arrangements.

Electronic Arts has opened its new studio in downtown Chicago today. This studio is the home to around 150 developers and the team responsible for the Fight Night franchise. EA plans to increase the Chicago staff by as many as 100 developers next year.
Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles for the PC is now in stores, published by 2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive. The box is a compilation of all the Civilization games and their expansions released so far (with the exception of the most recent Civilization IV: Warlords expansion).
Koei has shipped its game Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 for the PSP to stores in North America. The game has players taking on the role of Ancient Chinese warriors and taking on hundreds of enemy troops in a tactical/action game.
Live Games Network has launched signups for its game The Prague Files. The game is a mixture of an online game and live action gameplay that costs just under $7 to play. The Prague Files is a two-week game in which players complete simple tasks and solve puzzles to cope with international espionage. The game's winner gets a trip for two to Prague.
Sierra Entertainment, a label of Vivendi Games, confirmed that F.E.A.R. Extraction Point for the PC has shipped to stores. This expansion pack begins where the original F.E.A.R. left off, leaving players to escape from powerful supernatural foes.

Additionally, the Xbox 360 version of the original game is gold, in duplication and will ship on October 31.

Ubisoft has shipped its PC game Dark Messiah of Might and Magic to stores in North America. The game is an action/role-playing game that plays from a first-person perspective and is built using the Source engine that powered Half-Life 2.

Nacho Libre Ships for DS

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Majesco has shipped Nacho Libre for the DS to stores in North America. The game is based on the film of the same name, and offers exaggerated and comic wrestling action.
Activision's Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam is now available for the DS in stores in North America. The game features downhill skateboard racing and supports voice chat over the DS wireless connection.
Ubisoft reported select financial results for the first half of its fiscal year, a six-month period ended September 30, 2006. Ubisoft also confirmed that Assassin's Creed will be delayed. Read on for more details...

Touch Detective Ships for DS

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Atlus USA has shipped its game Touch Detective for the DS to stores in North America. The game is a point-and-click (or in this case, touch-with-the-stylus) adventure game that has players solving four cases as a young private eye.
Namco Bandai Games has shipped .hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth for the PlayStation 2 to stores in North America. The game is yet another in the franchise that explores what happens when a massively multiplayer online game called "The World" overlaps with reality.
LucasArts has shipped Star Wars: Empire at War – Forces of Corruption for the PC. This is the expansion to the real-time strategy game for the PC, Star Wars: Empire at War, and adds a third faction and considerable criminal options to the game.
THQ has shipped its game SpongeBob SquarePants: Nighty Nightmare for the PC to stores in North America. The game has players exploring the dreams and nightmares of Bikini Bottom's residents.
Mobile publisher Gameloft has inked a deal with Sony Ericsson that will have Vijay Singh Pro Golf 3D included on the Sony Ericsson P990 smartphone and M600 messaging device.
Lik-Sang.com, the Hong Kong retailer commonly used by folks in North America and Europe to import games, equipment and modifications, declared itself out of business. Lik-Sang has been the target of lawsuits by various divisions of Sony Computer Entertainment and was ordered by the High Court of London to cease selling Asian PSPs in Europe. Lik-Sang intends to cancel and refund all current orders.
Eidos has shipped its game Reservoir Dogs to stores for the PC, Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game is based on the film of the same name and is an action game that follows the events of the film.

Flushed Away Game in Stores

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D3Publisher of America's game, Flushed Away, is now available in stores for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, DS and GBA. The game is based on the animated film of the same name and has players exploring the underground sewer city from the film.
Outsourcing company Nikitova is pleased to let folks know that Nikitova has entered into the Xbox Registered Developer Program and now has access to Xbox and Xbox 360 developer kits to perform its outsourcing functions.
Bethesda Softworks has shipped its game Star Trek: Tactical Assault for the PSP and DS. The two versions differ, but both versions of the handheld game have players participating in starship combat set in the Star Trek universe with either Federation or Klingon warships. The game supports both a single-player campaign and head-to-head multiplayer combat.
THQ has shipped its game Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, DS and GBA to stores in North America. The game allows players to take on the roles of several Nickelodeon characters and battle against Mawgu, who strives to control Volcano Island.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has shipped its game Stronghold Legends to stores in North America and Europe. The PC game is the latest in the Stronghold real-time strategy franchise, and allows players to fight as legendary characters such as King Arthur and Count Vlad Dracul.
Namco Bandai Games' title, Snoopy vs. The Red Baron, has shipped to stores for the PC, PSP and PlayStation 2. Based on Snoopy's adventures from the Peanuts comic, the game pits Snoopy and Woodstock against The Red Baron in an aerial contest.
Blizzard has postponed the release of the World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade, until January of 2007. The team felt that this expansion to the massively multiplayer online game needed more time for polishing.
Fox Mobile Entertainment has hired Andrew Stalbow as an International Vice President in charge of creating new European distribution channels. Prior to joining Fox Mobile Entertainment, Stalbow arranged content and marketing agreements for Vodafone.
Those customers who pre-order Konami's upcoming DS game, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, will receive a limited edition box with Castlevania goodies. The pre-order box will include an art book, a CD of Castlevania music, a Castlevania stylus, a Castlevania game case and a poster with a Castlevania timeline. The game itself should reach stores in December.

Magical Starsign Ships for DS

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Nintendo has shipped Magical Starsign for the DS to stores in North America. Magical Starsign is a role-playing game that has players attending a magical academy called Will O' Wisp. Yet this is a science-fiction-themed game in which players explore strange planets to understand the disappearance of a Will O' Wisp teacher. The game also supports multiplayer dungeon exploration and should reach stores by Wednesday.
Silicon Graphics has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ATI Technologies (the chip manufacturer). In its complaint (filed with the Western District of Wisconsin U.S. District Court), Silicon Graphics alleges that ATI's Radeon GPUs infringe Silicon Graphics' U.S. Patent No. 6,650,327.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 is now available for purchase through Xbox Live! Arcade for the Xbox 360. The game brings the classic coin-operated arcade title to the Xbox 360.
Namco Bandai's game Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception has shipped for the PSP. This game brings the Ace Combat franchise of modern aerial combat to the PSP.
NCsoft revealed the details of its Halloween plans for the massively multiplayer online games of Lineage and Lineage II. Read on for more details...

Konami plans to release a compilation called Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the DS in March of 2007. The compilation will include coin-op classics such as Circus Charlie, Contra, Gradius, Roc 'N Rope, Rush 'N Attack, Time Pilot, Track and Field and Yie-Ar King Fu.
Electronic Arts has shipped its game Medal of Honor: Heroes for the PSP to stores in North America (the game should be on shelves by Wednesday). The game brings the franchise of WWII-themed first-person shooters to the PSP and supports multiplayer, wireless competition.
Mobile publisher I-play has signed a deal with Fishlabs to publish five of Fishlabs' mobile 3D games. The covered games are Galaxy on Fire, Planet Riders, Burning Tires, Heli Strike and Tank Raid. I-Play will market the game across Europe (except Germany, Austria and Switzerland) as well as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
NCsoft is preparing to launch the eighth major content update for its massively multiplayer online game, City of Heroes. While the content is not yet live on most servers, Issue 8 is now up on the game's test servers.
Mobile publisher Gameloft has signed professional tennis player Lleyton Hewitt to serve as the cover athlete for its upcoming tennis game, Tennis Open 2007 Featuring Lleyton Hewitt. The game is available for most carriers and mobile handsets.
JoWood has launched the official site for its upcoming game The Mark. The game is a first-person shooter for the PC in which players battle terrorism.
Matrix Games has acquired the license to the Close Combat series of WWII-themed real-time strategy games released from 1996 through 2000. Matrix Games will be updating and re-releasing the games soon, starting with Close Combat: Cross of Iron.
As part of its previously announced PlaySmart program aimed at educating gamers about online safety, NCsoft is packing PlaySmart cards into its upcoming game Guild Wars: Nightfall. The cards will include tips known to sensible online gamers, such as the tip that gamers should not give out credit card information and that parents should make sure games are appropriate for their children.

Developer The Mighty Troglodytes has launched its mobile game Crazy Dog. In the game, Crazy must battle hungry dogs trying to steal his food. The game is available for certain handsets in Europe.
Matrix Games has released its PC title, Gary Grigsby's World at War: A World Divided. The game is available online and is a strategy game that features WWII and alternate-history post-WWII scenarios.
Eidos, part of SCi Entertainment, plans to release Zendoku for the PSP and DS in early 2007. The game is a variation on traditional Sudoku that adds a puzzle-themed battle element.
Paradox Interactive has launched the official site for its upcoming game Europa Universalis III. This strategy game for the PC should be released in the first quarter of 2007.
Activision's game, Cabela's African Safari, The game features 40 safaris in which players hunt exotic African animals equipped with Cabela gear. The game is now available for the PC, PSP and PlayStation 2.
Backbone Entertainment has licensed a line of Death, Jr. costumes available online for your Halloween needs. FI, however, recommends that you do not use your scythe to travel down zip lines. The FI office scythe was too sharp and resulted in something closely resembling a messy agricultural accident.
As we approach the launch of the PlayStation 3, Sony has provided a list of the games that will be available through the holidays this year for the upcoming PlayStation 3 console. Read on for the full list:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched the Games for Health Competition. The competition is offering two $5,000 prizes and one $20,000 prize for game concepts and prototypes that simultaneously entertain and lead to better health and health care. Details on the competition can be found here.
AdventureQuest, a Flash-animated massively multiplayer online game has launched its own Halloween events (called Mogloween in the game). Jack Pumpkinface, King of All Gourds, is creating pumpkin golems that players can battle. Also, players can trick-or-treat for candy that can be exchanged for items in the game.
Tomorrow morning, Activision will launch the demo for its game Tony Hawk's Project 8 for the Xbox 360 over Xbox Live! Marketplace. The trick skateboarding game should ship to stores next month.
Kuma Reality Games, the company behind Kuma\War (the episodic shooter based on real-world events), has entered into a deal with The History Channel. The History Channel is launching its second season of the program "Shootout!" on November 3. "Shootout!" explores historic gun battles, and Kuma Reality Games will provide a free game based on "Shootout!" that can be downloaded from The History Channel's site.
BVS Development Corporation has released the BVS Solitaire Collection for the PC on a U3 smart drive. The collection includes 405 variations on solitaire, all of which can be played on any PC with a USB port.

Cubis 2 for PC in Stores

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Casual publisher MumboJumbo has shipped Cubis 2 for the PC to stores. The game has players matching colored cubes and is the sequel to the casual game Cubis.
NCsoft has shipped Lineage II: The Epic Collection for the PC to stores in North America. The Epic Collection is a compilation that includes the massively multiplayer online game Lineage II along with all the expanded content made available since the game was released in North America. The compilation includes 45 days of game time and an in-game character mask exclusive to the compilation.
Developer and Publisher Running With Scissors announced that it is working on Postal III, the next game in the series of outrageous (and often violent) Postal games. Postal III will use Valve's Source engine and will be produced in a partnership with Akella. The game is scheduled for release on the PC in 2008 and will include celebrities such as Playboy Playmates.
JoWood plans on releasing an add-on for the PC game SpellForce 2 called SpellForce 2: Dragon Storm in the first quarter of 2007. This add-on will increase the scope of this game that fuses the genres of real-time strategy and role-playing.
Publisher Meridian4 has signed on to publish Russian developer White Elephant's two action games for the PC, RIP and RIP Strike Back. Both games allow players to wreak havoc as the personification of Death, Halloween or "Rock-N-Roll." Both games should be released as a compilation in North America early next year.
Just as there are constantly new screenshots available for every game, game companies are constantly announcing new (and often tiny) details concerning their sports games. This one, however, caught our fancy. 2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, is including a "Chant Creator" in its upcoming game College Hoops 2K7. Using the chant creator, players will be able to create custom chants for the crowd, "including drum percussions, letters, words, mascots, states/regions, and more." Ah... the potential for abuse by twelve-year olds.
Ubisoft's game, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, is now in North American stores for the Xbox 360. The game once again features Sam Fisher, this time as he infiltrates a terrorist group.
Left Behind Games announced that its real-time strategy game Left Behind: Eternal Forces for the PC is gold, in duplication and should reach stores on November 7. This religious-themed game pits the forces of good against an army led by the antichrist.
Nielsen Media Research has finally launched its GamePlay Metrics service to provide ratings for video games. The service is designed not only to track gaming, but also the activities of gamers relating to TV and the Internet. The service will passively record the titles of games being played and will match that to demographic data. Ratings data will be provided, beginning in the middle of 2007.
THQ announced that it has been named defendant (along with toymaker JAKKS Pacific) in a lawsuit filed on October 12 by World Wrestling Entertainment. As has been previously disclosed, the WWE contends that THQ improperly dealt with sales of WWE video games. The WWE seeks to terminate THQ's license to create WWE video games.

Contact Ships for DS

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Atlus USA has shipped its game Contact for the DS to stores in North America. In Contact, players are asked to help a fellow who has crash-landed his space ship locate power sources for the downed vessel. The journey involves mini-games and players can interact (in-game) with other Contact players.
Sega has move the release date of Football Manager 2007 in Europe to Today. The football (soccer) game wasn't supposed to be sold until Thursday, but some retail outlets began selling the software today, so Sega has made the game available to everyone as of now.
Electronic Arts wants everyone to know that it has lined up a series of actors for the upcoming real-time strategy game Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. When the Command & Conquer franchise returns to the PC in 2007, it will feature live-action video with actors such as Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back and the classic Colt 45 commercials) and Joe Kucan will return to continue playing Kane.
CDV Software and GSC World Publishing's game Heroes of Annihilated Empires is now gold for North American Distribution, in duplication and should reach stores on November 15. The game is a mix of the role-playing and real-time strategy game and is the first game in a trilogy that will gradually mix magic and modern technology.
Nyko provided further details on the line of controllers it plans to introduce called "Zero." The first such controller will be released for the PlayStation 2 in November for just under $50. Other platforms will follow. The controller will be a 2.4 GHz controller with aluminum panels, backlit buttons and will come in three colors. And when the controller is released, it will be possible to determine if it plays differently from other 2.4 GHz wireless controllers.
Electronic Arts plans on releasing Def Jam: Icon for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in March of 2007. This game will continue the Def Jam franchise of fighting games on the next generation of consoles.
Bionatics, the middleware company that provides 3D plant models, has released a new collection of ornamental, tropical plants. The collection generates plants such as this one seen to the right. If you're interested in middleware, you know where to go. If you're not, at least you know where plants like this (found in games) probably came from. Besides, this page needs a colorful plant.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has released Sid Meier's Railroads! for the PC to stores. Similar to Sid Meier's Pirates!, Railroads! is a reimagining of the classic game of the same name. Railroads! Should reach Europe on October 27.
Rockstar Games, the premier label of Take-Two Interactive, confirmed that it plans to release The Warriors for the PSP this holiday season. Released last year for consoles, the game is a fighting game based on the 1979 film of the same name.
Paradox Interactive confirmed that it plans to release a collector's edition of Europa Universalis III when the game is released in early 2007. The collector's edition will include: a 100-page strategy guide and a CD with the Europa Universalis III soundtrack.
Glu Mobile has launched ATV Offroad Fury for certain mobile handsets in North America. The game is based on the ATV franchise of offroad trick-racing games.
Publisher Meridian4 has signed on to publish two of Legendo Entertainment's games in North America. The casual downloadable action games for the PC, Dracula Twins and The Three Musketeers, will both be released in retail boxed version shortly in North America.
The puzzle game Lumines Live! has launched on Xbox Live! Arcade. This version of the game features online multiplayer gaming over Xbox Live!. The basic game costs 1200 points ($15), and can be expanded for an additional 600.
Matrix Games has signed on to publish For Liberty! from Hussar Games. The game is a hex-based strategy game for the PC that will feature campaigns exploring the US Revolution and the Austrian rebellion against Hungary during the War of Spanish Succession. For Liberty! should be available soon.
Ryan A. Brant resigned from Take-Two Interactive yesterday. While Brant founded the company in 1993, this should not significantly impact business. Brant was Take-Two's CEO through February of 2001 and Chairman until March 2004. Since then, Brant has served as a non-executive consultant, and has been on disability since June.

Teen Titans 2 Ships for GBA

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Majesco has shipped its game Teen Titans 2 for the GBA. The game is based on the animated television series and has players battling the Brotherhood as it strives to seize Titan City.
The Legend of Spyro: A new Beginning is now in stores, published by Sierra Entertainment, a label of Vivendi Games. The game is the latest in the long-running Spyro the Dragon franchise, taking Spyro on a quest to uncover his past. The game is available for the Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2, DS and GBA.
Bethesda Softworks plans to release new content for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion dubbed Knights of the Nine for the Xbox 360 (over Xbox Live! Marketplace) and as a paid download for PC gamers on November 21. The new content includes a new faction, new quests and new relics.

A retail version of Knights of the Nine will also be released for the PC on the same day that will include all of the downloadable content released so far.

Namco Bandai Games' Eureka Seven Vol 1: The New Wave is available for the PlayStation 2 in North American stores. The game is based on the Eureka Seven animated series on Cartoon Network. The game explores events leading up to the television series.
Atlus USA has shipped its game Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 for the GBA to stores in North America. The game is an action/role-playing game in which a hero searches for a lost sword. Wait... that probably doesn't tell you much, so know that it is a sequel to the original Summon Night: Swordcraft Story.
NCsoft will hold a Halloween Trick or Treat event in its massively multiplayer online game City of Heroes from October 18 through November 1. During that period, players can knock on the many doors of Paragon City and either receive inspirations and temporary powers (the treats) or have to combat vicious, Halloween-themed monsters (the tricks). On the evening of October 31, the game's signature characters will make an appearance at the Pocket D Dance Club.

Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games

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Crave has shipped its game Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games for the Game Boy Advance to stores in North America. Like Crave's other game to ship today, this game is based on an animated series on Cartoon Network, and features a variety of mini-game challenges.
BFG Technologies has launched its line of new power supplies today. Both BFG's 800 Watt and 1000 Watt power supplies should be in stores, each replete with the bells and whistles desirable in a high-end gaming rig.
Crave has shipped its game Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends for the Game Boy Advance to stores in North America. The game is based on the Cartoon Network animated series of the same name.
Electronic Arts has shipped The Sims 2: Pets to stores in North America for the PC, PlayStation 2 and GameCube. The PC version is an expansion pack for The Sims 2, while both console versions work on a stand-alone basis. Pets allows players to acquire pets, teach them tricks and care for those same pets.
Rockstar Games, the premier label of Take-Two Interactive, has released its game Bully for the PlayStation 2 in North America. The game puts players in the shoes of 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins as he adapts to his new life at Bullworth Academy, a boarding school in New England. The game will be released in Europe on October 27 as Canis Canem Edit.
Microsoft's Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs expansion to Age of Empires III is now in stores. The expansion adds three Native American cultures to the real-time strategy franchise while also adding new units and technologies.
Atari's Neverwinter Nights 2 is gold for the PC, in duplication and should ship to stores in North America on October 31 and in Europe on November 3. The game is sequel to the original Neverwinter Nights offering both D&D adventures and a toolset for creating new adventures.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's game Justice League Heroes has shipped to stores for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game is an action/adventure game featuring the DC Comics characters from the Justice League. The game was developed by Snowblind Studios (of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance fame) and is distributed by Eidos.
Microsoft has released a new Zoo Tycoon 2 expansion and a Zoo Tycoon 2 compilation today. Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania is now in stores and adds marine animals and aquatic shows to the franchise. Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection is a compilation that includes Zoo Tycoon 2, as well as the Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species and Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania expansions.
Electronic Arts has shipped Battlefield 2142 for the PC to stores in North America and Europe. The game takes the franchise that includes Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 into the future. While the gameplay is fundamentally the same as in previous installments, this game includes new vehicles such as hovertanks and bipedal walkers, as well as massive battle platforms called Titans.
The Adventure Company, DreamCatcher Games' adventure game label, has shipped its game Evidence: The Last Ritual for the PC to stores. The game has players tracking the same serial killer who kidnapped a news team in Missing: Since January.
Microsoft has released Flight Simulator X for the PC. This latest installment in the Flight Simulator series adds around 50 new missions and several new planes. A collector's edition is available for $20 more that has even more planes and missions.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, has shipped the Family Guy game for Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PSP. The game is based on the animated television series and has players indulging in cross-genre play to explore three different tales, one of which has Mr. Belvedere trying to take over the world.
Casual game publisher MumboJumbo is planning to release its downloadable PC games on the PSP. The first two MumboJumbo games to make it to the PSP will be Luxor: Wrath of Set and Platypus. Luxor: Wrath of Set is a marble matching game, while Platypus is a side-scrolling shooter with claymation-style visuals. Both games should be available in November.
D3Publisher of America has launched its game WTF: Work Time Fun for the PSP. WTF is a collection of around 40 mini-games and includes some real-life tools such as a ramen timer.
GameTap, Turner Broadcasting's broadband gaming service, has survived its first year, and has launched several new initiatives. Firstly, the service is expanding to Canada. Secondly, GameTap has launched its GameTap Original label. GameTap plans to use this label to acquire new content from independent developers rather than merely acquiring old library games from major publishers.
THQ's Destroy All Humans! 2 has shipped to stores in North America. This game has Cryptosporidium, the war-mongering Furon scout, returning to earth in the 1960s to once again... destroy all humans. The game is available for the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
Electronic Arts has shipped its game Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07 to stores for the Xbox 360. EA's latest golf game was already released for other consoles and handhelds, and the Xbox 360 version should be available for purchase by October 27.
Matrix Games plans to release Carriers at War later this year. This PC strategy game has players commanding carriers in WWII Pacific battles.
In August, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that it was exploring the possibility of holding a large gaming show following the announcement that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) would be downsized. Today, the CEA announced that it will not launch a gaming event in 2007. The announcement appears to be a reaction to the Entertainment Software Association's announcement on Friday giving more details on the new incarnation of E3.
THQ confirmed that it will release four games for the launch of Nintendo's Wii console. The games are:
Ideaworks3D has released a new middleware suite called Airplay 3.0 designed to ease the development of high-end, 3D mobile games across multiple handsets. Ideaworks3D also announced that it is collaborating with ARM to integrate ARM's SDKs (for compiling compact code) with its middleware.
Developer Free Radical Design is holding an entertaining-sounding audition process for a new staff position. At the bar Kudos in Nottingham, UK, Free Radical plans (on October 27) to assemble a large crowd and hold its own version of The Gong Show called "the Free Radical Gong of Terror." – We are most amused.

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

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Namco Bandai Games' Snoopy vs. The Red Baron for the PC, PlayStation 2 and PSP is gold, in duplication and should reach stores on October 24. The game is based on the Peanuts comic strip and features Snoopy and Woodstock battling in the sky as they pursue the Red Baron.
As with its PlayStation 3 pre-orders, GameStop ended Wii pre-orders on the same day that pre-orders began (Friday of last week). And just as the PlayStation 3 immediately appeared on eBay with silly pricing, auctions of Wii consoles are now online at extremely inflated prices. Yet, due to the Wii's lower pricing and rumored greater availability, eBay prices haven't hit the same crazy highs.
THQ has shipped its game SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab to stores. The game, based on the animated television series is available for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, DS and GBA.
Notorious lawyer Jack Thompson has been working to stop the release of Bully a game due out on Tuesday from Rockstar Games (a label of Take-Two Interactive). Thompson hoped to block the release of the game (that he labels a "violent Columbine simulator video game"). Miami-Dade County circuit court Judge Ronald M. Friedman refused to block the game's release yesterday, after Take-Two employees explained the nature of the game to him.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) finally trickled out the first details concerning the new form of the Electronic Entertainment Expo since it announced in July that E3 would be dramatically downsized:
Reflexive Entertainment is celebrating its ninth anniversary with a promotion that offers players free access to its game Ricochet Xtreme. The company claims Ricochet Xtreme is the game by which Breakout-style games are measured, and in this case we agree with them. The game will be available for free through November 15, and players can request the free full version here
Atlus USA has launched the official English-language site for Bomberman Land Touch!. This Bomberman game for the DS will ship to stores in North America on November 7. The game has the Bomberman characters visiting the Bomber Island pirate-themed amusement park.
Square Enix will release a compilation of Final Fantasy XI materials in North America on November 7 called Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection 2007. This compilation of materials from Square Enix's massively multiplayer online game includes the base game as well as the expansions Rise of Zilart, Chains of Promathia and Treasures of Aht Urhgan. The game should be available for just under $30 (not including ongoing subscription fees).
Vanbrio has published the first installment of the Bone game for the Mac. The PC version of the game was developed and previously released for the PC by Telltale. Now Bone Act 1: Out from Boneville is available for Mac gamers.
Sony Online Entertainment confirmed the details of its pre-order and collector's editions for the upcoming massively multiplayer online game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes:
Sega has launched the Phantasy Star Universe multiplayer open beta for the Xbox 360, starting today. The beta can be downloaded (for free) through Xbox Live! Marketplace. The beta will run through October 18 and will be available for download through October 15. The game itself will be released on November 24 in North America.
Funcom has launched its fan club for the massively multiplayer online game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. The idea is that big Conan fans (or people excited to sign up for more marketing materials) can go to the official site and sign up for the "Clan of Conan" newsletter. People who sign up for the fan club will also get an exclusive in-game item that will be presented in-game by Conan himself.
Game outsourcing company Nikitova has opened an office in Los Angeles to better coordinate with North American clients. Nikitova primarily serves as an outsourcing resource for game development.
Xing Mobile has launched its game Xing Fish Farm for certain J2ME-capable mobile handsets. The game is a straightforward mobile title in which players build a fish farm and defend it from a rampaging barracuda.
Matrix Games has acquired the rights to publish games from Boku Strategy Games based on the engines for Combat Command and Horse and Musket. Both are turn-based strategy franchises firmly grounded in traditional chit wargames. Matrix will publish the next game in each franchise.
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron of the Western District of Oklahoma issued a preliminary injunction against the Oklahoma law prohibiting the sale of certain video games to minors. Both sides will continue arguments before this ruling is confirmed, but the ruling follows many precedents demonstrating such laws to be unconsitutional violations of the first amendment.
Blizzard has begun the final beta stages of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the expansion due out this November for the massively multiplayer game World of Warcraft. As World of Warcraft players know, the expansion features two new races and new starting areas for each. Oh... and lots of magical brooms to clean the new expansion areas.
High Moon Studios, the developer owned by Vivendi Games responsible for Darkwatch, has licensed a line of costumes based on the horror/shooter Darkwatch. Now, fans will be able to purchase costumes and accessories so that they can dress as Jericho Cross from the game.
Microsoft jumped on the soapbox today to emphasize the steps it is taking implement parental controls for the Xbox 360 and in Windows Vista. Both platforms will allow parents to set parameters that control which games can be accessed. Additionally, Microsoft has started an educational campaign in conjunction with Best Buy and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America designed to educate parents on interactive entertainment.
Microsoft has launched a new site for Gears of War, in preparation for the game's launch. Gears of War will be released for the Xbox 360 on November 7. In case you aren't aware, it involves humanity battling against the Locust Horde.
It remains to be seen if this is more than a scam to transfer your dollars to salary of its leadership, but The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has been launched. The organization is set up to be a non-profit that aims to focus "its advocacy efforts on consumer rights, anti-games legislation, and a host of other public policy concerns in addition to providing substantial community and affinity benefits to its members."

Activision has shipped Over the Hedge: Hammy Goes Nuts! for the GBA. The game is based on the recent animated film (itself based on a comic strip) and follows the characters in their quest to restore Hammy's cable TV signal. Versions of the game should be released for the DS and PSP on October 24 and sometime next month, respectively.
AiLive, a company that provides AI middleware, is supplying Wii developers with middleware to help them develop for the motion-sensitive Wii remote. The LiveMove software allows developers to train the Wii remote through examples rather than directly programming the controller.
Mobile developer Funmobile has launched its game UFO Predator for certain handsets. The game has players taking on the role of a vicious alien creating carnage on Earth.
Double Fusion, a company that provides in-game advertising, has added two new games you've probably never heard of to its portfolio. Double Fusion is now providing ads for Playwize's games Playwize Poker and Pokerwize.
Legendo Entertainment, a Swedish publisher of casual games, has completed Dracula Twins. The game will be available as a PC download on Halloween and is an action/platformer in which Dracula's twins must rescue Dracula himself.

Dark Star One Review

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Kayron Jarvis is one of the many game characters chosen to save the universe – at least he gets a sinister-looking fighter with which to battle the forces of evil. To learn if its worth unpacking your flight stick for this PC game of space exploration and combat, read our review of Dark Star One.
PawleyScape has launched its game FastCrawl as a downloadable PC game. FastCrawl is a randomly generated dungeon crawl allowing players to finish a role-playing game every thirty minutes. The game can be purchased here.
2K Games, a label of Take-Two Interactive, announced that Sid Meier's Railroads! for the PC is gold, in duplication and should reach stores in North America on October 17 (the game should reach European stores on October 27). In the spirit of Sid Meier's Pirates!, Railroads! is a remake of one of Sid Meier's classic strategy games.

Dark Star One Review

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Publisher: CDV Software Entertainment
Developer: Ascaron Entertainment

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: 1.6 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM, 3D graphics card supporting Pixel/Vertex Shader 1.1 with 128 MB RAM, 6.5 GB HD space, Windows 2000 or more recent operating system. You'll want a flight stick, too.

While several species, including humanity, occupy this corner of the galaxy, they do not coexist peacefully. Centuries ago, a great galactic war left worlds lifeless and scattered the burned-out hulks of cruisers, creating debris fields in every sector. Now there is a Galactic Union that maintains an uneasy peace. Or, at least, it used to do so. The Thul, a technologically advanced race from the fringes of the galaxy, have begun mounting attacks with unmanned drones on research stations and stealing rare resources.

Any galaxy assailed by sinister forces needs a savior, and Kayron Jarvis is that man. Jarvis has just completed training as an escort pilot when he learns of a secret Terran project led by his father. The Dark Stars are a series of experimental fighters, incorporating ancient and mysterious alien technology, designed by Jarvis' father. Only the prototype was completed before Jarvis' father was murdered. Jarvis, still a green pilot, is given this experimental craft to seek out his father's killer, and save the galaxy in the process.

Logitech intends to launch a new 5.1 surround system designed for gamers in November called the X-540 system. The adaptations made for gamers involve a matrix conversion system to translate stereo sound into surround sound output and a clip for the center channel speaker to attach to LCD monitors.
Due to the limited quantities of PlayStation 3 consoles expected to reach stores for the console's launch, certain stores (such as GameStop) have already stopped taking pre-orders. As a result, people claiming to have access to PlayStation 3 units on launch day are auctioning the console on eBay for amounts well in excess of $1,000. Auctions are starting as high as $5,000 although few appear to have many bids.
Sierra Entertainment, a label of Vivendi Games, plans to release Ice Age 2: The Meltdown for the Wii this holiday season. The game is based on the film of the same name.
Handheld publisher Astraware has launched a Palm OS version of Cake Mania. This is a mobile version of the casual PC title from Sandlot Games and has players frantically baking cakes for eager cake-eating customers.
B-Boy has arrived in European stores for the PSP and PlayStation 2. The game is published by Sony and was developed by Freestyle games. B-Boy has players taking on other Hip-Hop B-boys in motion-captured competition. If you don't have an inkling what a "B-boy" might be, the official site should help.
Nintendo has shipped its Touch Generations game Clubhouse Games for the DS to stores in North America. Clubhouse Games is a collection of games including checkers, darts and poker.

Since its launch, Nintendo's line of Touch Generations games for the DS have sold well. The label was designed to designate games that appeal to casual and new games (as well as traditional gamers). According to Nintendo, nearly 3.5 million copies of Touch Generations games have been sold in the United States alone. Of that number, around 2.2 million come from the versions of Nintendogs available to DS owners.

THQ has shipped Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who? for the PSP and DS. Based on the Scooby-Doo cartoons, this adventure has the Mystery Inc. crew participating in a reality TV show about ghost hunting.
Stardock Entertainment has signed on to publish Sins of a Solar Empire for the PC from Ironclad Games. The game is a strategy game that blends elements of real-time tactics with classic 4x play. Sins of a Solar Empire should be released (in stores and on TotalGaming.net) in August of 2007.
Playlogic Entertainment is thrilled to let everyone know that it is now licensed as an official PSP publisher by Sony. Playlogic plans to release a PSP game called Xyanide Resurrection in the first quarter of 2007 in Europe.
Dig-Dug, an updated version of the classic coin-op game, is now available on Xbox Live! Marketplace.
THQ has promoted Timothy Campbell to Vice President of Business Development. Campbell joined THQ in 2004 as Director of Business Development. He will continue on with his existing responsibilities, but now has a snazzier title.
Atlus USA has shipped its game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner for the PlayStation 2 to stores in North America. The game follows a private detective named Raidou Kuzunoha as he investigates crimes in early 20th-century Japan, aided by his power over demons.
Mobile publisher Fishlabs is excited that the German branch of wireless provider o2 is pre-installing a jukebox with five demos from Fishlabs on certain handsets. The full version of the games can, of course, be purchased through the jukebox found on these handsets.
UK publisher Lexicon Entertainment has signed on to publish developer Twelve Interactive's game Crash Dummy Vs. The Evil D-Troit. This game not only has a particularly intriguing title, but should be released for the PC and PlayStation 2. Players will take on the role of a crash-test dummy conspiring to defeat an evil crash-test genius in a non-violent game setting. The game is scheduled for an early 2007 release.

By the way, Crash Dummy has a girlfriend named Tyre.

UK Mobile Publisher Selatra has launched two new mobile games in the UK, Sexy Golf and Sexy Hold 'Em Poker. Both games give successful players access to photos of a model named Leilani Dowding.
Hudson Entertainment is planning to release a version of the classic Lode Runner game for certain Brew- and Java-capable mobile phones later this year. The mobile version is dubbed Lode Runner Deluxe.
UK Publisher 505 Games has signed on to publish Bohemia Interactive's upcoming tactical shooter in the UK. The game is called ArmA: Armed Assault. Bohemia Interactive previously worked on Operation Flashpoint.
Sega plans to publish After Burner: Black Falcon in the first half of 2007. The game is being developed by Planet Moon Studios and will bring the action of the classic coin-op game to the PSP, giving PSP owners arcade-style combat with real military jets and experimental craft.
MumboJumbo has launched Luxor 2, the sequel to Luxor. The game belongs to the class of casual marble-chain games such as Magnetica or Zuma.
Electronic Arts confirmed that it will ship Superman Returns: The Videogame, based on the previously released film, on November 20. The game will be released for the Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, DS and GBA (the GBA version is called Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude).
Tomy and D3Publisher of America have shipped Naruto: Ninja Council 2 for the GBA to stores in North America. The game is yet another fighting game based on the Naruto series of animated ninja action.

Gun: Showdown Ships for PSP

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Activision has shipped Gun: Showdown for the PSP to stores in North America. The game brings the Gun experience to the PSP while adding five new missions to the game.
THQ has shipped its game Avatar: The Last Airbender for the current generation of consoles and handhelds. The game is based on the animated series of the same name and offers gamers four playable characters from the TV show.
Electronic Arts has shipped Tiger Woods PGA Tour '07 to stores in North America (the game shipped in Europe last month). This golf game is currently available for the Xbox, PC, PSP and PlayStation 2 – the game will ship for the Xbox 360 on October 17.
Electronic Arts confirmed that Fight Night Round 3 will ship for the PlayStation 3 on December 12. The game was previously released for currently available platforms.
CMP Technology, the company behind the Game Developers Conference (among many other projects) has acquired The Game Initiative, a company that also organizes game conferences. The Game Initiative's premier conference is the Austin Game Conference – AGC will continue to operate, only now it will be run by the same entity that organizes GDC.
Stardock Entertainment has delayed the release of Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar, the expansion pack for Galactic Civilizations II, until February of 2007. At the same time, Stardock announced that it plans to enhance the features this expansion will add to the empire-building game, such as a new technology tree and abilities unique to each civilization.
Australian Developer Tantalus Interactive has hired David Giles as Director of Development for the company. Giles worked at Atari Melbourne House until 2004 before leaving to work for the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.
10tacle studios has signed on to publish War Front: Turning Point for the PC in Europe early next year. The game is one of real-time strategy for the PC set in an alternate-WWII timeline. The game is being published by CDV Software Entertainment in North America. For more information on War Front, read our preview.
Anaconda has launched the official site for its upcoming PC adventure game Belief & Betrayal. The game is riddled with conspiracies, taking its cue from the recent craze over The DaVinci Code-style stories.
A site called Harry Dragon is running a service that will update player (by text message, IM or e-mail) when server status changes for certain MMOGs. Players of World of Warcraft, EverQuest and City of Heroes who are frustrated by downed servers can request free messages when the server is once again brought back to live status.
Midway has shipped Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, the last game in the Mortal Kombat series for the current generation of platforms, for the PlayStation 2 to stores in both standard and "premium" editions. The Xbox version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon should be available on October 16.
In the wake of the departure of Erick Hachenburg, Electronic Arts has hired Hubert Larenaudie for the position of "President Online – Asia." Larenaudie joins EA from VU Games where he was previously the President for the Asia Pacific Region. Larenaudie will be responsible for the development of EA's distribution, technology and online products in Asia.
Wild Hare Entertainment, a Texas publisher, has entered into a publishing agreement with Alten8 Limited to publish several upcoming PSP titles in development by Alten8 Limited. Details on the games, themselves, have not been revealed.
THQ has shipped Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Dark Crusade for the PC to stores in North America. Dark Crusade is an expansion to Warhammer(R) 40,000(TM): Dawn of War that adds two new races, new units and a new single-player campaign.

Various Scarface Games Ship

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Scarface: The World is Yours is now available for the Xbox, PC and PlayStation 2 in North America. A similar version of the game, called Scarface: Money. Power. Respect., is also available for the PSP. Both versions of the game are based on the film Scarface and have players taking on the role of Tony Montana as he carves his pound of flesh from the Miami underworld of the 1980's
Take-Two Interactive confirmed that it will publish Tokobot Plus: Mysteries of the Karakuri for the PlayStation 2 in Europe this November. The game was developed by Tecmo and has players solving puzzles with the help of the useful mini-robots, the Tokobots.
Xing Mobile has launched its game Jakarta Motorcross Challenge for certain MIDP-2-capable handsets. The game has players racing through the streets of Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia for the geography-impaired).
LucasArts' Star Wars: Empire at War – Forces of Corruption is now gold, in duplication and should reach stores in North America on October 24. Forces of Corruption is an expansion for the PC real-time strategy game Star Wars: Empire at War that adds a new campaign and new "corruption" play elements.
Lighthouse Interactive has released Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle for the PC to stores in the UK, Scandinavia and Benelux. Localized versions of this Cornwall-based adventure game should be released later this month in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Russia.
When Eidos releases Championship Manager 2007 for the PC next week, the football (soccer) management game will include ProZone, a football (soccer) management tool used by professional managers.
Koch media has hired two new staff for its public relations department. Stefano Petrullo has joined as the Head of PR, having departed his own PR agency in Italy (Pulsar Communications). Stephanie Baker has joined as a PR Executive, coming from previous work doing PR for nightclubs.
LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment have upgraded the free trial offer available for Star Wars Galaxies. The trial, available for 14 days, now includes both the initial release An Empire Divided as well as the Jump to Lightspeed starship combat expansion. Players who convert the trial into a paying subscription will have access to all the trial content, plus the Rage of the Wookiees expansion content.
Ascaron Entertainment, in conjunction with 93Games, have launched the English-language site for Sherlock Holmes – The Awakened. This adventure game is scheduled for release in February of 2007.
Lacey Chabert will be joining the vocal cast of Sonic the Hedgehog as Princess Elise when the game is released later this year for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In case you haven't heard of Chabert, the actress has played roles in Party of Five and Mean Girls. Of course, if you haven't heard of Chabert, that probably doesn't help.
Data Design Interactive is excited to let people know that Earache Extreme Metal Racing for the PlayStation 2 received approval from Sony for European release. As a result, the game is now gold and should be released in Europe on November 3. The game is one of extreme racing with a metal soundtrack.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has made the demo for Battlefield 2142 generally available for download. The demo for this futuristic multiplayer shooter can be found here.
Interactive Data Visualization, the folks behind the SpeedTree middleware for generating vegetation, have joined Epic Games' Integrated Partners Program. Thus, for all of you out there concerned with middleware, SpeedTree has been fully integrated into the Unreal Engine 3.
KoeiKoei's Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 for the PSP is gold, in duplication and should ship to stores on October 24. The game draws from the long-running Dynasty Warriors franchise that has players taking on the role of one of 48 great warriors and battling against myriad foes.

Nyko Plans Zero Controllers

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Nyko is working on a new line of game controllers for the Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2. The line is dubbed "Zero," although Nyko has not yet released substantial details on what will differentiate these controllers from any other.
Logitech confirmed that it will release a controller for the PlayStation 3 from its ChillStream line. The wired controller will include a 40 mm fan that blows air across the palm and fingers to prevent sweaty-handed gaming.
Double Fusion, a company that provides in-game advertising, has partnered with Interpret to deliver research to its clients aimed at better targeting in game advertising. Interpret is a research consultancy that. Essentially, Double Fusion wants to sell game providers further services.
dtp/Anaconda announced that it plans to release Undercover: Dual Motives for the DS in March off 2007. The game is a spin-off of Undercover: Operation Wintersun, an adventure game recently released for the PC in Germany. Dual Motives has players taking on the role of spy Dr. John Russell and a woman from his research facility as they hunt down a Nazi nuclear research program.
A federal court in California has ordered that the various branches of the business called Divineo (as well as Max Louarn and Frederic Legault) pay over $9 million in damages to various game companies. Divineo and the two individual defendants were involved in selling mod chips and the HDLoader application that allowed users to download console games onto the console's hard drive.
Desperate Housewives: The Game from Buena Vista Games is now available in stores. The game is a "lifestyle simulation" for the PC (read – in the style of The Sims) that tells a story across 12 in-game episodes. In the game, players customize a housewife and her family, move onto Wisteria Lane and join the characters from the TV series. There's even a cooking interface. If you're into that sort of thing.
Shrapnel Games has released a demo for its game Dominions 3: The Awakening. The game is one of turn-based strategy in which players struggle to conquer a fantasy-themed world. Versions of the demo for Windows, Mac and Linux can be found here.
Xing Interactive, a publisher of casual and mobile games, has released its game Xing Texas Hold'em Poker for the PC. The game is available from Xing Interactive, but Xing is seeking distribution and publishing partners to bring the game to most territories.
Matrix Games announced that its game for the PC, Gary Grigsby's World At War: A World Divided, is gold and should be in stores... sometime soon. This is a strategy game and sequel to the original Gary Grigsby's World At War. The game will include four tutorials, three campaigns and five scenarios.
The Redesign of a website is the kind of fun that game companies like to announce, and dtp/Anaconda is no different. The company has redesigned its own official site so that gamers can get information on their products from a shiny and new set of online pages.
When the eighth major content update (Issue 8: To Protect and Serve)is launched for NCsoft's massively multiplayer online game City of Heroes, the game will launch a "veteran rewards" program. For every three months that a player has maintained a paid subscription, that player will get a reward. All rewards come with a badge, and read on for the full list of additional rewards:
Blizzard, part of the Vivendi Games group, typically releases "Collector's Editions" of its games, and The Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft is no exception. The collectors edition of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade will include a "behind-the-scenes" DVD; a hardcover art book; an exclusive in-game pet (the Netherwhelp); two starter packs and exclusive cards for the World of Warcraft trading card game; a mousepad with a map of Outland; and a soundtrack CD for the game.
Developer BattleGoat Studios announced that it is working on Supreme Ruler 2020, sequel to Supreme Ruler 2010. The strategy and geo-political simulator should be ready for release in the third quarter of 2007.
Codemasters has signed an agreement with Travis Pastrana, a rally racer in the X Games. Pastrana will appear in Dirt: Colin McRae Off-Road, the latest game in the Colin McRae Rally series of rally racing games. Dirt: Colin McRae Off-Road should be released for the Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 in 2007.
Eidos, part of SCi Entertainment, announced that it plans to release a game called Chili Con Carnage in the first half of 2007. The game will be a third-person action game in which players take on the role of Ramiro Cruz as he blasts his way through a drug cartel in Los Toros, Mexico. The game is being developed by Deadline Games.
Nyko, a manufacturer of gaming peripherals, announced that it will release a version of its Intercooler product for the PlayStation 3 later this year. The Intercooler 360 was released earlier this year – a unit that attaches to the Xbox 360 and cools it by increasing airflow. The PlayStation 3 Intercooler will function similarly, running off the PlayStation 3 power and vent systems.
Gameloft, a publisher of mobile games, has launched its game Asphalt 3: Street Rules for various mobile phone platforms. The game is the third title in Gameloft's Asphalt racing franchise, offering a choice of nine cars and three bikes, licensed from popular vehicles.
Reflecting Marvel Entertainment's reliance on licensing (particularly from films and video games), the company has hired Simon Philips as the new President of Marvel International. Philips will start the new position on November 13 and will oversee Marvel's international consumer products group. Philips comes from 4Kids Entertainment where he worked as a managing director. Philips was also previously the founder and CEO of Licensing Dynamics International, an entity that focused on international licensing.
The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) has released a report called "Unlimited Learning: The role of computer and video games in the learning landscape" that is available here. The report promotes the involvement of electronic games in education.
Mobile publisher I-play has launched its mobile game Black Citadel II in Europe. The game was developed by Kaolink and is a fantasy-themed role-playing game.
Ukrainian developer and publisher GSC World Publishing announced that its game Heroes of Annihilated Empires is gold, in duplication and should be in stores shortly. Koch Media is distributing the game in the UK, and CDV Software Entertainment is distributing the game in North America soon after. The game is a hybrid of the real-time strategy and role-playing genres, with a plot scheduled to span three games.
Nevrax has launched the free content update for its massively multiplayer online game Ryzom called the Ryzom Ring. The content update includes a content editor that allows players to create their own adventures within the game. Nevrax has also launched a new server (named "Cho") for Ryzom with English-speaking customer support.
AGEIA, the company manufacturing physics card to aid physics processing (particularly in games), has released its v2.6 software developer's kit. The SDK v2.6 supports both Windows Vista and Linux while adding a variety of additional detailed physics features.
Perpetual Entertainment's massively multiplayer online game Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising has progressed to the closed beta stage of development (that will begin on October 6). The game is set in a more magical version of the ancient world and allows players to lead small armies in a massively multiplayer environment.
Turbine, Inc. has signed an agreement with CDC Corporation, in which CDC will localize and distribute The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar to China.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped its game FIFA Soccer 07 to stores in North America for most consoles, handhelds and several wireless platforms. This is the latest version of the EA Sports soccer game and includes an interactive league mode. The Xbox 360 version should be released later this month and the PSP version will be released on October 17.
Fanatec, a peripheral manufacturer, formally announced that it plans to ship a new PlayStation 2 controller on November 1. Called the "Speedster Controller", it has all the functions of an ordinary PlayStation 2 controller with an added "Twist-n-Turn" axis. The idea is that this additional function can be turned on and off during gameplay to give players an easy method to control driving functions.

Stacked Ships for PSP

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Myelin Media has shipped its game Stacked with Daniel Negreanu for the PSP. The game was previously released on other platforms and is a Texas Hold 'Em Poker Game.
Buena Vista Games' Disney's The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two Kingdoms is now in stores for the GBA. Like Disney's The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure (also available today), this game is based on the film The Little Mermaid. This game features eight "nautical games" that explore the events of the film.
Activision has hired Brian Hodous as its Chief Customer Officer. Hodous will start with Activision in November, and is coming from Cadbury Schweppes (where he served as the Group Director and Executive Vice President of Global Sales).
Gangs of London for the PSP has reached stores today. The game combines elements of many genres (such as action, driving and tactical squad-based combat) to bring players into the London underworld.
For those of you who like to hurl console controllers across the room (or perhaps at other players), a Nerf-branded controller will be available this November. Pelican, one of Performance Designed Products' brands, will launch the Nerf Wireless controller for just under $40. It will, of course, be sports-themed, coming in black, blue, orange and silver.
Verizon Wireless and Capcom have partnered with Buena Vista Television to promote the Millionaire 2007 mobile game. Verizon customers who download the game by November 2 will be entered into a drawing to appear on the Who Wants to be a Millionaire television show.
Mercury Meltdown has shipped for the PSP to stores in North America. This is a sequel to Mercury, the PSP launch title in which players guide blobs of mercury through a maze.
Buena Vista Games has shipped Disney's The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure for the DS. This game, based on the film The Little Mermaid has players taking on the roles of Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian. In fact, gamers even need to sing into the DS microphone to unlock treasure chests.

ArchLord Reaches Stores

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Codemasters has released its newest massively multiplayer online game for the PC, ArchLord, in North America. The game should reach Europe on Friday. ArchLord is a fantasy-themed MMOG that allows players to battle to be the game's supreme ruler.
Despite The Ant Commandos' legal wranglings with Activision, TAC continues to develop guitar controllers. TAC announced that it is creating the Shredder Guitar Controller for release this holiday season. The Shredder Guitar Controller will be smaller and lighter than other guitar controllers, designed specifically for kids who want to shred on the PlayStation 2.
Double Fusion, a company that provides in-game advertising, has inked a deal to serve ads for PowerFootball and ManagerZone. Both are online (and free) sports games.
Take-Two Interactive2K Sports, the sports label of Take-Two Interactive, has shipped its game NHL 2K7 for the PlayStation 2. This latest iteration of 2K Sports' hockey franchise is already available for the Xbox 360 and Xbox. The game will be released for the PlayStation 3 later this year.
Bethesda Softworks has shipped Star Trek: Encounters for the PlayStation 2. The game is an arcade-style shooting game in which players take control of ships and characters from the entirety of the Star Trek universe.
CDC Games, the online games unit of Chinese CDC Corporation, will be the Chinese distributor for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. As such, CDC Games will work with developer Turbine to localize the game an launch it in China in 2007.
Skreem Entertainment, an online entertainment company, plans to enter the online gaming industry in China through its Korean subsidiary, Weaver Interactive. Skreem will work with TOM Online to release its games in China. Based on the emphasis of Skreem's PR folk, Skreem is hoping that simply entering the Chinese market will dramatically improve its stock price.
Disney Princess: Royal Adventure for the GBA is now in stores, published by Buena Vista Games. This game allows players to access secret portals that lead to the castles of various Disney princesses in an effort to recover special tiaras.
Koei confirmed that it will release Gitaroo Man Lives! for the PSP on November 14 in North America. In Koei's words (since its hard to find our own when talking about Gitaroo Man), the franchise is "Packed with a quirky mix of Japanese pop art, lovable characters, and addicting musical death matches."
Atari has completed the previously announced divestiture of Shiny Entertainment. Developer Shiny is now the property of Foundation 9 Entertainment. Atari will continue to publish the current, in progress, Earthworm Jim game.
DreamCatcher Interactive's adventure label, The Adventure Company, announced that its PC adventure game, Evidence: The Last Ritual is gold, in duplication and will reach stores next week. The game is from the same team responsible for Missing: Since January and once again has players pursuing a serial killer using real sites on the internet.
Diamond Multimedia has launched its X1300 PCI 256 MB Viper video card. The card retails for just under $130 and is Diamond's first Vista-compatible card. The card features 256 MB of DDR2 memory.
The tenth season of South Park will premier on October 4 at 10:00 PM on Comedy Central by delving into the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny will find themselves saving the game from a renegade player.
Namco Bandai Games is releasing Warhammer: Battle for Atluma later this fall for the PSP. The game will be an electronic form of a collectible card game based in the Warhammer universe and will support multiplayer wireless play.
Not long after the original Battlefield 1942 was released, EA began its efforts to acquire developer Digital Illusions (DICE). The saga of the acquisition has continued over several years, and myriad games from the Battlefield franchise have been released, but EA has finally completed the acquisition. As of today, Digital Illusions is now part of Electronic Arts.

NDS Acquires Developer ITE

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NDS, a News Corporation company that focuses on fee-based digital television, has purchased Danish game developer ITE. ITE has produced games for the PlayStation 2 and GBA, although community speculation is that ITE will be transitioned to interactive TV games under NDS ownership.

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