January 2011 Archives

Mobile and social game publisher Gameloft reported selected financial results from its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2010. Read on for more details...
NintendoNintendo has released more downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, including a variety of inexpensive games and software for the DSi ranging from Mahjong to air hockey.

Nuka Break Released Online

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Nuka BreakA fan-made film called Nuka Break was released online earlier this week. The film follows a former dweller of Vault 10 as he searches the California wasteland for an ice-cold Nuka Cola. After the break, see the embedded video...
PlayStation 3Sony has released a mandatory system update that brings the PlayStation 3 system software up to version 3.56. Sony describes this as a "...minor update that adds a security patch." The full extent of the changes is not yet clear.
Beyond Black MesaThe short film Beyond Black Mesa was released last weekend. Despite having appeared previously in film festivals and other venues, this fan-made homage to Valve's masterpieces took around two years to make. Continue past the jump to see the embedded video of this entertaining homage...
NexonNexon, purveyor of free-to-play massively multiplayer online games, confirmed that its North American business unit is not doing too badly. Apparently, Nexon America saw fourth quarter revenues (for the quarter ended December 31, 2010) increase 42% over revenues from the same quarter the previous year. Nexon credited the "Big Bang" expansion for MapleStory as the biggest contributor to revenues.
MicrosoftMicrosoft announced its financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2010. Read on for more details...
Gamigo, a German publisher of persistent online games, has increased its stake in the upcoming massively multiplayer online game Black Prophecy. Gamigo has acquired all the trademarks and copyrights associated with Black Prophecy along with a 19.9% stake in developer Reakktor Media. An official release date for Black Prophecy has not been confirmed.
Sony's NGPSony finally officially acknowledged its long-rumored new portable gaming system by announcing the "Next Generation Portable Entertainment System" (the "NGP"). This new portable gaming system will supplant the PSP, adding Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, along with a host of other features to provide Sony with a new portable gaming platform and a machine capable of interacting with various social media applications. Read on for more details...
Atomic Games' title Breach is now available for the PC and Xbox 360. The game is this week's Xbox Live Arcade release, and (on the PC) can be downloaded through a variety of portals. The game is a multiplayer first-person shooter from a developer that focuses on training simulations for military and intelligence organizations. Breach claims to have unique cover and destructive terrain mechanics.

Two Worlds II Reaches Stores

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SouthPeak GamesSouthPeak Games' title Two Worlds II for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores in North America. The PC version of this role-playing game developed by Reality Pump will be out on February 8. This sequel to Two Worlds features an extensive cooperative campaign and competitive dueling.

Magicka Released for the PC

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Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive has released Magicka, developed by Arrowhead studios, as a download through major download portals. The game allows players to explore the world alone or cooperatively using their magical prowess.
Square EnixSquare Enix's game Lord of Arcana for the PSP is now available in stores in North America and as a download. The game has players eliminating monsters to acquire Arcana stones, setting them on the path to destiny.

Dead Space 2 Reaches Stores

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Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game Dead Space 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC is now available in stores in North America. This game, developed by Visceral Games, should reach Europe by Friday. This sequel to Dead Space has Isaac Clarke awakening near one of Saturn's moons in the midst of a Necromorph outbreak, forcing him to endure and survive the horror by hacking off the limbs of alien undead.
It's another light week for the PlayStation Store, but Sony has released one game each downloadable to the PlayStation 3 and PSP. Read on for more details...
Zoo Games' title Dino Strike for the Wii is now available in stores. The game has players hunting for hidden dinosaur eggs and journal entries while blasting hostile dinosaurs with a variety of weapons.
THQTHQ's game Paws & Claws: Marine Rescue for the DS is now available in stores in North America. The game has players treating seven marine animals, including dolphins and baby polar bears.
AtariAtari, and development studio Cryptic Studios, have officially launched the free-to-play version of Champions Online. Called Champions Online: Free for All, this updated version of the superhero-themed massively multiplayer online game is free to play, or can be played with a subscription that unlocks most of the games content and extra features for $15 per month.
Uber Entertainment's game Monday Night Combat, previously released on consoles, is now available on the PC as a download through Steam. This is a class-based third-person shooter in which players can battle against one another or fight armies of robots.
NintendoNintendo has released another slate of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, this time including two classic Capcom arcade games and a roller derby game. Read on for more details...
Flying Lab Software's massively multiplayer online game Pirates of the Burning Sea is celebrating its third anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, the game has updated the look of San Juan, added anniversary pets and added an anniversary mission.
KonamiKonami announced that it plans to acquire Hudson Soft through a stock swap. Konami is particularly excited to make Hudson a wholly-owned subsidiary thanks to Hudson's success in social and mobile gaming. Konami plans to offer 0.188 shares of Konami common stock in return for each share of Hudson's common stock (Konami already holds 53.99% of Hudson's outstanding shares). Under the terms of the agreement, Hudson would be delisted on March 29, 2011.

Playbrains and Bedlam Acquired

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bitHeads (FI really hates silly capitalization sCheMes) has acquired developers Playbrains and Bedlam games, creating a technology company called Ascension CrossMedia with offices in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada (and thankfully free of silly capitalization). The company plans to continue releasing downloadable games under the Bedlam and Playbrains brands for consoles, PC and mobile devices. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Nintendo 3DS HardwareNintendo finally announced additional official details concerning the launch of the 3DS system. The important details boil down to the fact that the 3DS will go on sale in North America on March 27 for $250. The less important details include that the system will be sold in "Cosmo" black and "Aqua" blue. The unit will also come with six "AR" (Augmented Reality) cards that the 3DS cameras will recognize to superimpose images onto captured pictures or video. The system will come with 2 GB SD memory card with systems in place to allow gamers to import their stored data from the DSi. Oh, there will be some games, too, but indications from retail sites are that they will be more expensive than past portable games.
Gamigo, a German publisher of massively multiplayer online games, has officially launched Loong: The Power of the Dragon. The game has been in open beta testing, but is now officially operational with a functional Dragon Market (a.k.a. "Cash Shop"). As the landing page says, "Remember to accept ALL quests in the first area. Skipping this... will seal you permanently in the tutorial area."
Microsoft has released another downloadable game through Xbox Live Arcade and released a minor update for Xbox Live. The mandatory Xbox Live update once again enables the ability to have the console boot to a game disc in the console's disc tray. Also released today is Spare Parts, downloadable to the Xbox 360 for 800 points ($10). This game follows the robots Mar-T and Chip who find themselves stranded in a pile of trash on a strange planet. Only by finding abandoned parts can they reconstruct an old spaceship and escape the planet.
Sony Online EntertainmentSony Online Entertainment has launched Magic: The Gathering - Tactics, a 3D take on the collectible card game from Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro). The game is free-to-play within a web browser, but offers tons of paid premium content for those so inclined.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' BioWare studio has released Mass Effect 2 on the PlayStation 3. The game was released last year for the Xbox 360 and PC. This sequel to Mass Effect marks the premier of the franchise on the PlayStation 3 in which Commander Shepard continues to try to save the universe. The game is also available as a download through the PlayStation Network.
Sony has released more downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store, including an epic-scale, space-opera of a role-playing game and tons of classic NeoGeo games. Read on for more details...
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive, together with Neocore Games, has released King Arthur: The Druids, an expansion for the PC game King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame. The expansion features a new campaign with additional monsters, heroes, units and skills under a different ruler.
MajescoMajesco announced its financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended October 31, 2010. Read on for more details...
CCP Games has completed launching its EVE: Online: Incursion, improving the appearance and customization of the massively multiplayer game's characters, as well as revising the game's planetary interactions. Epic group player-versus-environment encounters based on the storyline will now begin shortly as the Sansha AI invades systems around known space.
PopCapPopCap's game Plants vs. Zombies for the DS is now available in North American stores. The DS version of this game in which players plant a defensive garden in order to defend against an onslaught of cartoonish and comical zombies adds four new mini-games and touchscreen controls to the already successful game formula.

Mindjack Reaches Stores

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Square EnixSquare Enix's game Mindjack for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores in North America. Mindjack is a third-person shooter set in the near future in which other players can invade the campaign by taking over enemies or joining to help the protagonist on his way.
Sony's game LittleBigPlanet 2 for the PlayStation 3, developed by Media Molecule, is now in stores in North America. This latest collaborative platformer from Sony's "Play, Create and Share" label comes with 40 levels grounded in the high points of history and allows players to create their own levels and share them with the community. This sequel adds new themes, tools to make different games (beyond just constructing levels) and new equipment for Sackboy.
NintendoNintendo has released another slate of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, this time including a time-travelling physics-based puzzler, a strategic game of defense and an animal boxing game.
Telltale Games has released the Mac version of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, previously released for the PC and PlayStation 3. The game features the adventures of Strong Bad in the world of Homestar Runner, and can be purchased here.
New publish research claims that success in the performance of complex tasks (specifically including certain video games) can be predicted using brain imaging techniques. Read on for more details...
FuncomFuncom has formally launched Bloodline Champions, a free-to-play arena-based player-vs.-player combat game. Developed by Stunlock Studios, this game has two teams of ten players apiece jumping into an arena to destroy each other, with different bloodlines (think:classes) working together in different ways.
SG Interactive has "officially" launched its online free-to-play first-person shooter, Project Blackout. This means that the games armory now has weapons, gear, items and avatars available for sale. Project Blackout has players warring as paramilitary and militia forces in the war-torn country Korogese.
Microsoft has released Zeit2 as this week's downloadable game for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade. Available for 800 points ($10), this shooter from developer Brightside Games and publisher Ubisoft has players battling eight massive bosses.

THQ Adopts New Logo

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THQTHQ has decided to transition to a new corporate logo. FI doesn't really have a lot to say about this (except, "Oooo... look at the abstractish thingie to the right!"), so we'll pass on the comments of THQ President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Farrell: "Our new logo epitomizes the change, innovation and creative growth that are the cornerstones of the new THQ."

JoWooD Declares Bankruptcy

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JoWooDLate last week, JoWooD Entertainment AG declared insolvency, noting that "all efforts towards restructuring of capitalization concerning outside capital as well as equity capital had to be considered as failed..." Management is negotiating with investors and creditors to keep the company running.
Venetica for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is now available in stores. This RPG-style game has players taking on the role of Death's daughter as she faces a necromancer and restores balance to the world of the living.
It's another light day for downloadable games in the PlayStation Store. While there's a variety of downloadable content for previously released games, today's downloads include games with "Faery" and "Panties" in the titles. Read on for more details...
Sony Online EntertainmentSony Online Entertainment's latest massively multiplayer online game DC Universe Online reaches stores today for both the PlayStation 3 and PC. Set in the same DC Universe that is host to characters such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, the game has players creating heroes and villains that can explore and battle in locations such as Gotham City and Metropolis.
NIS America has released Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! for the PSP. This sequel to Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? continues in the spirit of the original game with a comedic take on action games and brawlers.
AtlusAtlus has released its game 101 in 1 Sports Party Megamix for the Wii to stores in North America. This party game includes quite a few (101) sports mini-games intended for parties and family time.
Online game company Bigpoint has acquired 37 staff members formerly working with Planet Moon Studios, adding the staff to Bigpoint's San Francisco office and putting them to work on titles such as Ruined Online. Planet Moon was founded in 1997 by several staff from Shiny Entertainment.
ParadoxParadox Interactive has released Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom, an expansion for the fantasy-themed real-time strategy game Majesty 2. This follows the release of the Battles of Ardania and Kingmaker expansions, this time adding an eight-mission campaign complete with new buildings, heroes, abilities and guild powers.
Square EnixSquare Enix's Game Kingdom Hearts Re:coded for the DS is now available in stores in North America. The game allows players to continue Sora's journey following the events of Kingdom Hearts II and unravel the secrets in Jiminy Cricket's journal.
CapcomCapcom has released Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective for the DS to stores in North America today. The game has players taking on the role of Sissel, a murder victim, returned to solve the mystery of his death through a series of logic puzzles.
Activision BlizzardBlizzard, part of Activision Blizzard, is once again gloating over sales of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. This World of Warcraft expansion that sold around 3.3 million copies in the first 24 hours, has sold through around 4.7 million copies in its first month available. Numbers like that make you think someone out there is playing World of Warcraft.
NintendoNintendo has released a new slate of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, including classic arcade games a jelly-themed driving platformer and a cat simulator. Read on for more details...
GameStopGamestop reported its sales results for the nine-week holiday period ended January 1, 2011. While the sales were, technically record highs, they fell short of expectations for the company. Read on for more details...
Fallout: New Vegas Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

If the life of a courier was easy, it wouldn't pay so well. The Mojave Desert is a particularly dangerous spot to carry goods. Only the well-prepared and well-armed can survive trips through this wasteland, straddling the border of the New California Republic, and home to vicious, well-organized gangs who'd rather you did the scavenging so they can steal the fruits of your labor. The grimy, neon-lit beacon of New Vegas was one of the few major cities spared in the recent thermonuclear exchange that rewrote humanity's face and changed the planet. That would make it a welcome resting place, were it and the nearby dam not the vanguard of an invasion by the Roman-styled Legion marching from the East. Couriers aspire to a comfortable retirement with endless whisky and Nuka-Cola, not spending their final moments suffocating through a crucifixion.

This week's downloadable game added to Xbox Live Arcade is ilomilo, from SouthEnd Interactive. Although this game was previously downloadable to those who followed the not-so-secret protocols, it's now available to everyone by just accessing the portfolio of Xbox Live Arcade games. ilomilo features ilo and milo, two creatures living in a surreal word of cubes who often get separated. By cooperating, these two creatures can solve puzzles and continue their journey onward.
THQTHQ's game Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House for the DS is now available in North America. Released last year in Europe, the game has Sherlock Holmes recovering Queen Victoria's genealogical records.
HudsonHudson's game Lost in Shadow for the Wii is now available in stores in North America. This puzzle-oriented platformer has players adventuring in the shadow of a Tower filled with moving shadows.
Sony's first set of downloadable games for the new year are now available for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store, including puzzle games ranging from the classic to the surreal and the ability to wage war against Nazis or microscopic biomechanical invaders. Read on for more details...
NintendoNintendo is starting the year off with a little gloating, declaring that the DS is the "...best-selling video game system of all time...." in North America. Nintendo says that since the DS launched in November 2004, 47 million units have been sold in the United States. Of course, this includes the DS (both original and smaller versions) as well as the DSi and DSi XL. It's a lot of units, but it's (sort-of) conflating the sales of four different consoles, even if they all run (mostly) the same software.
Firemint, the Australian developer responsible for games like Real Racing and Flight Control HD, has acquired developer Infinite Interactive (the developer behind Puzzle Quest). Both studios are based in Melbourne, Australia. Steve Fawkner, the founder of Infinite Interactive, will take on a product management position at Firemint, with his current team, working on a game already in development.
NintendoNintendo is breaking in the new year with yet another selection of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, including music mixing and word-searching titles. Read on for more details.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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