February 2009 Archives

Matrix Games is now offering Crown of Glory: Emperor's Edition as a download for the PC. This new and improved version of the turn-based strategy game offers a map including Europe and North Africa with campaigns set in the period between 1792 and 1820. It adds new events, minor powers, scenarios and victory conditions in addition to plenty of tweaks and fixes.

Has Darkfall Gone Live?

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It's generally bad news when even the most ardent fans of a game aren't certain whether or not the game has launched. Along those lines, Darkfall may or may not have launched this week.
Sony announced a major reorganization that will go into effect on April 1, including immediate changes to its executive staff and a change to the way the company approaches the video game business.
PlayStation 3Sony's game Killzone 2 is now available in North America for the PlayStation 3. This latest installment in the Killzone franchise was developed by Guerilla games and has players invading Helghan in this first-person shooter with a substantial multiplayer offering.
EidosEidos, currently the object of a purchase offer by Square Enix announced certain financial results for its six-month period ended December 31, 2008.
Legacy Interactive, together with Paramount Digital Entertainment, has released Mean Girls as a downloadable game for the PC. This casual game based on the 2004 film of the same name has players engaging in a competitive match-three-style against other girls of North Shore High.
PSPThis week's downloadable game available through the PlayStation Store is No Gravity: The Plague of Mind for the PSP. The game is a space-themed shooter in which players blast enemies and complete piloting challenges to find a cure for a mental sickness plaguing the Krosso Empire.

PlayFirst Gets New CEO and CFO

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Mari Baker has been hired as the Chief Executive Officer of casual publisher PlayFirst and Jim Wandrey has been promoted to the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Mabinogi Set to Pioneer Iria

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Nexon America is launching a major content update for its free-to-play (pay for fun) massively multiplayer online game Mabinogi today. Called Mabinogi: Pioneers of Iria, this expansion adds elves and giants as character races, in addition to a whole new continent and the usual slew of new items, monsters, skills and quests.
Spiderweb software has released Geneforge 5: Overthrow for the PC and Mac as a download. This last chapter in the Geneforge series has players exploring a world in which creatures and plants can be shaped and manipulated, and are rebelling against the shapers that created them.
Stardock Entertainment has released the (minor) expansion pack for its PC game Sins of a Solar Empire. For $10, players can purchase Entrenchment to expand their game as a download from Stardock's site. The expansion adds starbases, upgrades to turrets, mine fields and other enhancements to the game.
MicrosoftMicrosoft and Taito (part of Square Enix) have launched Exit 2 as a downloadable game through Xbox Live Arcade. Xbox 360 owners can download this game for 800 points ($10) to continue the adventures of Mr. Esc as he frees trapped people from puzzle-style levels in as little time as possible.
PopCapPopCap Games has released the Mac version of its game Peggle Nights. Peggle Nights is the latest Pachinko-style puzzle game from PopCap, following in the spirit of the original Peggle.
NintendoEvery year, Nintendo provides the U.S. Trade Representative with a "Special 301" filing, requesting aid in cracking down on piracy. This year, Nintendo identified several countries as particularly large contributors to piracy and counterfeiting Nintendo products, including Brazil, China, Mexico, Paraguay, South Korea and Spain.

Sony Has Many PSN Users

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Sony is pleased to share that there are now around 20 million registered accounts on the PlayStation Network (the network service for the PlayStation 3 and PSP that allows players to participate in multiplayer sessions and download new content).
Atlus has released Legacy of Ys: Books I & II for the DS to stores in North America. This compilation brings the two classic role-playing games to the DS, allowing up to four people to play together using the DS wireless connection.
Square EnixSlightly over a year ago, Square Enix filed a federal lawsuit against wholesalers selling copies of Final Fantasy swords. Today, the company excitedly announced that the four defendants (Edgework Imports, Top Swords, Wholesale Gallery and Pacific Solutions Marketing) have settled the suit. Pacific Solutions Marketing has entered a separate settlement agreement, but the other three have (collectively) agreed to pay $600,000 for their infringement.
CapcomCapcom has shipped Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop for the Wii to stores in North America. Based on the game Dead Rising, the franchise's outing on the Wii pits photojournalist Frank West against legions of zombies in the Willamette mall, using the Wii Remote to emulate shooting and slashing zombies.
Crave EntertainmentFillpoint has acquired the videogame distribution and publishing operations of the Handleman Company (respectively, SVG Distribution and Crave Entertainment Group). This further consolidates the distribution network used to bring physical copies of games to stores and raises questions concerning the future of Crave. Will Fillpoint choose to hold onto Crave's publishing operations, or try to sell them off?
Sony Online Entertainment's Tucson studio (formerly Octopi) has launched the ninth expansion for its game PoxNora, called Ancient Awakenings. This expansion for the online collectible strategy game adds new runes, (including champions) a new campaign and the ability to transform player shrines into strategic units (avatars).
PSPSony made a number of announcements concerning its PSP platform, including new bundles and game franchises that will be coming to the PSP:
D3PublisherD3Publisher, in cooperation with Aspyr Media, has released its game Puzzle Quest: Galactrix for the PC and DS. Both versions are available in stores, while the PC version is also available as a download through major portals. A downloadable version should be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 shortly.
MicrosoftMicrosoft has shipped its SideWinder X8 Mouse to stores this week. This latest entry in Microsoft's line of SideWinder mouse products is designed specifically for gaming, offering approximately 30 hours of wireless play on a single charge and a wireless 2.4GHz connection.

PopCap Acquires Gastronaut

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PopCapPopCap Games has acquired the assets and employees of Gastronaut Studios, the developer of games such as Small Arms and the Xbox Live Arcade adaptation of Peggle. The founders of Gastronaut, however, will retain the rights to their games Small Arms and the upcoming puzzle game Gel.
Square EnixSquare Enix has shipped Star Ocean: The Last Hope for the Xbox 360 to stores in North America. This game continues the franchise of Star Ocean role-playing games from tri-Ace, exploring the events in the year 2087 following World War III as humanity begins to take to the stars. For the first time in a Star Ocean game, players can control their own spaceship as they move from planet to planet.
THQTHQ has shipped 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, the sequel to 50 Cent: Bulletproof, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The action game follows the exploits of rapper 50 Cent who, after performing is robbed by local gangsters. He then sets out for revenge.
CapcomCapcom is pleased to let everyone know that Street Fighter IV (that shipped last week) has shipped around 2 million copies worldwide.
FuncomFuncom's massively multiplayer online game Age of Conan has now launched localized versions of the game in Poland and Russia in cooperation with publisher 1C and CD Projekt.
NintendoOnce again, Monday has come, and Nintendo continues to release downloadable games for the Wii through its WiiWare and Virtual Console programs. Not only is there a new WiiWare game, this week also marks the debut of classic Commodore 64 ports for the Virtual Console:
Digital Eel has released the Mac version of Brainpipe through Shrapnel Games' online store. Previously released for the PC, the game is an endurance-run-style arcade game that features eyeball buttons.
Sony Computer Entertainment America indicated today that it plans to officially expand its game business to Latin America, selling hardware and services to the region. SCEA plans to launch a localized web site shortly that will include access to the PlayStation Store. "The Latin America expansion will specifically introduce the PS3 system, PSP system and PlayStation 2 system to 13 different countries in the region."
FuncomFuncom has launched a major content update for its long-running massively multiplayer online game Anarchy Online. Called "The Legacy of the Xan," the update adds new adventure areas, a hub that represents the hidden city of the Xan civilization, hundreds of new quests as well as plenty of fixes and tweaks.
PlayStation 3This week, two more downloadable games have been added to the portfolio of PlayStation 3 options:
Earlier this week we passed on the news that Robot Entertainment arose from the ashes of Ensemble Studios, but they weren't the only ones. Bonfire Studios has also been formed, with 35 former employees of Ensemble working on an original (and unannounced) title.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts confirmed that it is working with Shanghai, China-based developer Spicy Horse to create another game sharing the setting as the first-person shooter released in 2000, American McGee's Alice. This game will bring the emo-ish Alice to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC at an unspecified date in the future.
Casual publisher PlayFirst has launched its game Emerald City Confidential as a download for the PC and Mac. The title is an adventure game with a noire style set in the land of Oz. The game is available through major casual game portals.
THQTHQ has shipped Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II for the PC to stores. This sequel continues Relic Entertainment's exploration of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe, bringing real-time strategy warfare to a new level with persistent squads and new enemies.
MidwayMidway has worked out a deal with Ubisoft that will see Ubisoft take care of the sales, marketing and distribution for its game Wheelman. Midway will continue to be responsible for the game's development and Midway retains the rights to the franchise. Midway's recent bankruptcy filing cast some doubt on the status of Wheelman, but the company still claims the game will ship for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on March 24. The interesting details, of course, are the financial arrangements that Midway did not disclose. If any part of this arrangement isn't considered to be done at standard market values (or isn't in the interest of Midway's creditors), the deal could be blocked by Midway's creditors.
ESAThe Entertainment Software Association (The ESA – a game industry trade association) has hired Jennifer Manner as its Senior Vice President for Government Affairs (the ESA's lobbyist). Prior to joining the ESA, Manner worked as the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Skyterra Communications and has worked at the Federal Communications Commission.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has shipped the Penumbra Collection for the PC to stores. This compilation includes Penumbra: Overture, Penumbra: Black Plague and the Requiem expansion pack, accounting for the complete Penumbra story of adventure-style survival/horror games.
MicrosoftThis week's addition to Xbox Live Arcade is Death Tank, from Flat Games and Snowblind Studios. Death Tank has up to eight players battling it out in this remake of the classic ballistic shooter.
AtariAtari's game for the Xbox 360 Race Pro has reached stores in North America. Developed by SimBin, Race Pro is a racing simulation that supports up to 12 players in the same race, with 13 tracks from real-life venues around the world.
NintendoNintendo confirmed that it will launch the DSi system in the United States on April 5, 2009, and that the system will cost $170.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts plans to release a Dead Space game for the Wii late this year. Called Dead Space Extraction, The Wii installment of this horror-themed action game set in deep space will explore the events leading up to the events of Dead Space.

Robot to Make Halo Wars Content

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While a placeholder site has been online for a few days, Robot Entertainment confirmed to FI today that it was founded by many of the founders of Ensemble Studios, the recently unraveled studio behind the Age of Empires franchise. Tony Goodman is Robot's CEO, and while Robot is working on its own games, it will also be providing additional content for Halo Wars.

Schanz Joins Playlogic

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PlaylogicPlaylogic Entertainment has hired Chandra Schanz as the company's Business Development Director. Schanz has been working in the game industry since 1997 and established Schanz International Consultants. The appointment is a boon for Playlogic, but most certainly indicates the failure of her consultancy in the current market.
CapcomCapcom has shipped Street Fighter IV for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores. This latest installment in the Street Fighter series of fighting games continues the franchise's 2D perspective, adding 3D camera flourishes for a mix of new and familiar characters (such as Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li).
Take Two InteractiveRockstar Games, the premier label for Take-Two Interactive, has released Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned as a download for the Xbox 360. This expansion requires the original Grand Theft Auto IV, adding a new protagonist and a story concerning the motorcycle club The Lost.
Square EnixSquare Enix has shipped Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride for the DS to stores in North America. This installment in the Dragon Quest series of role-playing games has not previously been released in North America.
NintendoNintendo has shipped its game Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS to stores in North America. This latest Fire Emblem game continues the tradition of turn-based strategy offering tactical combat between groups of enemies and the ability to fight human foes using the DS Wi-Fi Connection.
Mobile publisher Gameloft is thrilled to let everyone know that since the company launched in 2003, Gameloft has sold 200 million mobile games, with around 300 games available in around 80 countries. That's really quite impressive growth given that in 2003, the president of Gameloft could be found, sitting lonely in the corner of Ubisoft press events, and now Gameloft is truly a mobile powerhouse.
NintendoMonday has, once again, arrived, so Nintendo has released more downloadable games for the Wii:
NCsoftNCsoft reported its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2008:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has appointed Laura Fryer to the post of General Manager, Seattle Studios, WBIE. In this position, Fryer will oversee WBIE's internal studios located in Seattle, including Monolith and Snowblind. Prior to joining WBIE, Fryer was an Executive Producer for Microsoft Games Studios.

Sony Sold Many PSP Units

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PSPSony proudly announced that cumulative PSP sales (for all units) exceeded 50 million in January. Sony also noted that as of December, 2008, 200 million UMDs had sold, with additional titles sold as downloads for the PSP.
Mad CatzPeripheral manufacturer Mad Catz released its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2008.
MicrosoftMicrosoft plans to open its own set of retail stores. To pursue this strategy, Microsoft has hired David Porter, a long time Wal-Mart Veteran who recently served a brief stint as the head of worldwide product distribution for DreamWorks Animation SKG. While a timeframe for Microsoft's stores wasn't confirmed, part of Porter's job will be to define "...the time frame, locations and specifics for planned Microsoft-branded retail stores..."
This week's PlayStation Store release for the PlayStation 3 is Flower. For $10, players can purchase this game that allows PlayStation 3 owners to navigate through a gorgeous 3D world using the SixAxis controller to...interact with flowers.

Midway Files for Bankruptcy

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MidwayWhen Midway was purchased in December, it came with a significant debt load. FI noted at the time that any sensible investor taking on a company's debt has a plan to deal with it. Apparently, Mark Thomas (the private investor who bought Sumner Redstone's stake in Midway) either isn't a sensible investor, or has another agenda, because today Midway filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Sony Online Entertainment has launched Legends of Norrath: Against the Void, the sixth set for the EverQuest-themed online collectible card game Legends of Norrath. This latest set adds 280 new cards (and 16 new loot cards) to the game, while also introducing new avatars and scenarios.
MajescoMajesco is launching a new game label: "Go Play." The label represents a group of games that Majesco plans to release "that unifies a series of energetic, motion based Wii games..."
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive is launching a label called "Mezmer Games" designed to help bring indie titles to market as PC downloads. The label will avoid retail releases and will focus on downloadable games priced between $10 and $20.

Alawar Acquires Melesta

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Casual publisher Alawar Entertainment has acquired Belarusian developer Melesta, and will (creatively) rename the studio Alawar Melesta. Melesta will continue to develop its Farm Frenzy line of games for Alawar.
Legacy Interactive, in conjunction with Paramount Digital Entertainment has launched the casual PC game Clueless, based on the 1995 film of the same name, as a download. Clueless is a time-management fashion game in which success unlocks more of the film-related plot.
EidosLast month, Eidos acknowledged that it had been approached (again) as a potential acquisition target. Today, Eidos announced that it has a firm offer from Square Enix (actually, from SQEX, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix) to purchase Eidos, and that Eidos recommends shareholders accept the offer.
Activision BlizzardActivision Blizzard reported its results for the quarter and calendar year ended December 31, 2008.
Microsoft has released another two downloadable games for Xbox Live Arcade:
As part of its ongoing effort to compete with movie rental service Netflix, Blockbuster has decided to try out game rentals with its "Total Access" program. Starting in the second quarter, Blockbuster will begin renting Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox and PlayStation 2 games to allow Total Access customers to rent games (in addition to movies) by mail or through their retail locations.
Big Fish Games, in conjunction with Activision, has shipped its game Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst for the PC to stores in North America. The title is the fifth game in the Mystery Case Files series of hidden-object games and has players exploring a sinister, 19th century mansion.
Empire InteractiveEmpire Interactive has entered into deals with American Mensa and British Mensa that gives Empire Interactive the exclusive right to make Mensa-licensed games for the next several years for consoles, handheld devices and the PC. Presumably, Empire Interactive will be releasing its own "brain-training" style games (featuring the Mensa name) in the near future.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts is working on a G.I. Joe for release this summer to coincide with the release of the film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (that should hit theaters on August 7). The game will feature 12 G.I. Joe characters and the ability to indulge in two-player co-operative play. The game is planned for the current generation of consoles and handhelds.
SegaSega announced its financial results for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2008 and announced major restructuring plans for its business.
SegaSega has shipped Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This is a compilation with just over 40 games from Sega's coin-op, 8-bit and 16-bit library (with more than its share of Sonic the Hedgehog games).
XseedXseed Games has shipped Retro Game Challenge for the DS to stores in North America. The game is based on the Japanese TV series Retro Game Master, and transports players back to the 1980s, where DS owners can only defeat Game Master Arino by mastering eight nostalgically retro-style arcade games.
SegaSega has released The House of the Dead: Overkill for the Wii. This is a "...pulp-style take on the classic Sega light-gun shoot 'em up franchise" in which players investigate a horrific house in Bayou City, Louisiana, and end up shooting a lot of zombies.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has shipped F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin to stores in North America. This sequel to the original F.E.A.R. is being released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and follows the events of the original game, sending players in pursuit of Alma (the frightening girl from the end of F.E.A.R.).

X-Blades Ships to Stores

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SouthPeakSouthPeak Games has shipped X-Blades for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC to stores in North America. This action games features "...beautiful treasure hunter Ayumi as she battles through waves of enemies in her search for a powerful and ancient relic." Ayumi is armed with a pair of pistol blades and gymnastic skills that help her defeat enemies and secure treasure.
D3PublisherD3Publisher's game Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers is now in stores for the Wii. Also available today is Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Squad, released for the Xbox 360. Both titles are third-person action games in which players take on the role of Aya and Saki as they hack their way through rampaging zombies.

My DoItAll Ships for the DS

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Tomy has shipped My DoItAll for the DS to stores in North America. My DoItAll isn't quite a game, it's more of a toolbox with everything from mini-games to a voice-changer and calendar. The idea behind the software is that it should provide tons of tools for a (young) DS owner to keep track of friends, stay organized, play and communicate.
505 Games is working with Discovery Communications (The same group that runs the Discovery Channel) to release a series of pet simulation games for the DS that will have children learning to raise and care for puppies, kittens, ponies and dolphins. The games (Puppy Playtime, Kitten Corner, Pony Paradise and Dolphin Discovery) should be available in the first half of this year.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has shipped NASCAR: Kart Racing for the Wii to stores in North America. The game brings the NASCAR brand to a more casual style of racing complete with wacky tracks set in deserts, junkyards, canyons and similar venues.
PSPLocoRoco 2 for the PSP is now available in North America. In this sequel to the original LocoRoco, players continue to guide the cheerful LocoRoco through levels by tilting the world in which the LocoRoco dwell. This sequel adds new mini-games and the ability for four players to work together using a wireless ad hoc connection.
Merscom, a publisher of casual games, announced partnerships today with Lifetime Networks and Ukrainian Dotar Games.
CapcomCapcom confirmed that it plans to release the long-rumored game Dead Rising 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. A release date was not made official, but this sequel to Dead Rising will take place several years after the original game. The game is being developed by Blue Castle Games in conjunction with several members of the development team from the original game.
XseedXseed Games has re-released its software Korg DS-10 for the DS. Korg DS-10 is a musical tool that replicates functions of the MS-10 synthesizer on the DS and was released in limited quantities last year.
NintendoNintendo has released another two downloadable games for the Wii to celebrate the weekly arrival of Monday:
THQTHQ has shipped Deadly Creatures for the Wii to stores in North America. Deadly Creatures is an action game in which players take on the role of a scorpion or tarantula battling against other vicious creatures of the desert.
Afro Samurai Publisher: Surge (Namco Bandai Games)
Developer: Namco Bandai Games

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Afro Samurai, the samurai with an afro and a monomaniacal thirst for revenge, seeks to claim the Number One headband for his own. If he has to, he'll hack hundreds of henchmen in half to destroy his father's killer.

Afro Samurai Publisher: Surge (Namco Bandai Games)
Developer: Namco Bandai Games

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Afro Samurai, the samurai with an afro and a monomaniacal thirst for revenge, seeks to claim the Number One headband for his own. If he has to, he'll hack hundreds of henchmen in half to destroy his father's killer.

Echochrome Review

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Echochrome Publisher: Sony
Developer: Sony

Platforms: PlayStation 3 and PSP
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Echochrome has players maneuvering a wooden artist's model through a line-drawn landscape where tricks of the eye reign supreme over the traditional rules of perspective. Wielding the power of optical illusions, puzzles are solved by manipulating the landscape to lead the strolling model to echoes of itself in seemingly impossible locations.

Sony Online Entertainment has added comic book writer Marv Wolfman to the team at working on DC Universe Online. To be more precise, Wolfman has joined WildStorm Productions, working alongside SOE to develop the upcoming superhero-themed massively multiplayer online game for the PC and PlayStation 3.

WBIE is Snowblinded

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has acquired Snowblind Studios, the game developer responsible for games such as Champions of Norrath, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Justice League Heroes. While financial terms and plans weren't disclosed, this gives Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) access to a top-notch action/role-playing game developer.
3 on 3 NHL Arcade is now available as a downloadable game for the PlayStation 3 through the PlayStation Network. The game costs $10 and features fast-paced, short-handed hockey with no rules. The game allows up to three players on one console to challenge up to three players on another console in multiplayer mayhem, and will be released for Xbox 360 gamers next week.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box is now in stores for the PC. (a downloadable content pack is available to bring Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners of Burnout Paradise in North America up to speed. This box for the PC includes Burnout Paradise, plus all the downloadable content released for this racing game.
StarWraith 3D Games, has launched Evochron Legends as a download for the PC. This latest Evochron game continues the franchise's tradition of open-ended space combat/exploration/trade simulation, adding war zones in which players can participate in military action against the alien Vonari.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts confirmed that it plans to release Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game will, once again, follow "B" Company through a series of intense, freeform battles.
Warhammer Online: Age of ReckoningMythic Entertainment, part of Electronic Arts, has launched its massively multiplayer online game Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning in Russia. Now, Russian gamers can play the localized version of this MMOG (for 349 Rubles per month).
NHN USA has launched Splash Fighters through its ijji.com portal. This online 3D fighting game for the PC requires a minor download, and while ostensibly free to play, more powerful items can be purchased for cash.

The Last Remnant Review

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The Last Remnant Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix

Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Rush Sykes, a young man raised on a backwater island, far from the political and military struggles of the world, rarely sees his parents, for they are the world's foremost researchers exploring "remnants." Remnants are ancient artifacts that, when bound to the life force of a person, can perform acts of magnificent power at the expense of that life force. Remnants are the key protectors of cities, and the crux of a struggle that threatens to throw the entire world into conflict. A conflict that Rush Sykes will find revolves around him and his family.

THQTHQ announced its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2008. THQ also named a new Chief Financial Officer.
Telltale Games confirmed today that when the company releases its previously announced episodic adventure game Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, the game will also be released as a download for the Xbox 360. The game should be released before mid-June and is based on the animated features about an eccentric inventor and his long-suffering dog. Interestingly, the original announcement indicated the game was planned for the PC and Wii, while all mention of the Wii is now gone, suggesting that the game will only be released for the Xbox 360 and PC.
Crytek, the German developer behind games such as Far Cry and Crysis, has acquired the assets and business of Free Radical Design Limited. Free Radical is a Nottingham, U.K. developer best known for its Timesplitters games. Late last year, Free Radical went bankrupt, so it is an open question to what extent Crytek intends to retain the facilities and staff formerly held by Free Radical.
amBX, the sensory surround company that was recently spun off by Philips has entered into a Tools & Middleware License agreement for the PlayStation 3 with Sony. As a result, developers can now more easily integrate the ability to add surround lighting systems, fans and similar devices to surround sound for PlayStation 3 games.
Publisher Tozai Games has released R-Type Dimensions as this week's download for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade. This arcade-style scrolling shooter (that includes R-Type and R-Type II) can be downloaded for 1,200 points ($15) and includes the graphics that represent the original as well as a 3-D adaptation of the original game.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and TT Games plan to release Lego Battles for the DS in the third quarter of this year. The game is actually being developed by Hellbent Games and will have players build bases and armies from Lego blocks and then battle the computer or other players.
Take-Two InteractiveRockstar Games, the premier label for Take-Two Interactive, plans to release Red Dead Redemption late this year for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This sequel to Red Dead Revolver is being developed by Rockstar San Diego and features an open-world style Wild West in which players pick their way through the frontier as gunslingers.
Guinness World Records has shipped the latest version of its book compiling gaming-related achievements, the Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition, to stores in North America. The book should be released in the U.K. on February 11.

Ubisoft Puts On Action Pants

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UbisoftUbisoft has acquired the developer Action Pants Inc, located in Vancouver, Canada. While financial terms were not disclosed, Action Pants employs around 110 people and is working toward releasing its first title late this year: a sports game for the Wii.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts announced its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2008. Electronic Arts also revised the release dates for games including The Sims 3 and Dragon Age.
Disney is working on a persistent-world massively multiplayer online game set in the universe of the Pixar film Cars. Not surprisingly, the MMOG is being called The World of Cars Online, and will let players create cars as avatars, build tracks and garages, compete in mini-games against characters from the film and (most importantly) race. The game should be released in the third quarter of this year.
Merscom has released Coyote's Tale: Fire and Water as a PC download through major portal sites. The title is a hidden-object game in which players search through animated environments set in Mexico to find objects that will stop the gods from plunging the world into chaos.

Killzone 2 Review

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Killzone 2 Publisher: Sony
Developer: Guerilla Games

Platform: PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

The Interplanetary Strategic Alliance recently repelled an invasion by the Helghast. The Helghan had suddenly emerged from their dismal industrial planet to take control of the galaxy with the help of their industrial power and military might. After a series of battles that pushed the Helghast back to their home planet of Helghan, the ISA is launching an invasion of Helghan to capture emperor Visari and dismantle his military.

Helghan was once "a power generator for half the universe, until Visari turned it into a war machine." Now it's up to a squad of four men, a tiny part of the ISA invasion, to reform Helghan, overcoming horrific native weapons and devoted military forces. Success would mean Helghan's decadent military facilities would be dismantled, and the average citizen will get out of the depressing shantytowns and oppressive work conditions.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Executive Director Jason Della Rocca will step down from his post on March 31. He will remain with the IGDA long enough to facilitate the transition to his successor. Rocca has worked with the IGDA since 2000, when the organization had 500 members (there are now around 15,000).
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts has acquired the exclusive right to make video games based on Robert Ludlum's novels (including the Jason Bourne series). The first such game is being developed by Starbreeze Studios (The studio behind The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay and Enclave).
NintendoYet another Monday strikes, and Nintendo has faithfully released even more downloadable games for the Wii. This week's releases are:

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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March 2009 is the next archive.

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