Editor: July 2010 Archives

Sega SammySega Sammy Holdings (parent of Sega) posted its financial results for its fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2010:
Sony released its financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30, 2010. Read on for more details:
CapcomCapcom announced selected financial results for its first financial quarter ended June 30, 2010:
NintendoNintendo announced its financial results for its fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2010:

Majesco's CFO Resigns

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MajescoMajesco announced that its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer John Gross is resigning to accept a position at another company, effective August 20, 2010. Michael Vessey, Majesco's Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer will serve as the Interim CFO following Gross' Departure.
When Richard Garriott was forced by NCsoft to depart the company, NCsoft claimed that Garriott was leaving voluntarily. Garriott claimed that he was forced out of the company while he was still in quarantine after his trip to the International Space Station. As a result, Garriott sued NCsoft for damages resulting from the termination of his NCsoft stock options (he would have retained his options in the event of an involuntary termination). Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas handed down a $28 million breach of contract verdict. A jury trial found that NCsoft did, in fact, breach its stock option agreement with Richard Garriott.
Paradox InteractiveParadox Interactive's game Commander: Conquest of the Americas for the PC is now available both in stores and as a download through leading portals. This historical real-time strategy game has players conquering the New World as one of seven different European powers.
PlaylogicIn a very brief filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Playlogic confirmed that two of its subsidiaries have filed for the "Dutch equivalent of Chapter 11" bankruptcy and are seeking a delay of payments. The company cites "tough market conditions, late payments by large customers and...delays in projects." Undoubtedly, the poor critical reception of games such as Infernal: Hell's Vengeance and Fairytale Fights hasn't helped their financial position.
Alawar Entertainment has released Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club as a download for the PC. This casual hidden-object hunting game has players searching for objects to discover an elusive Snark.
Microsoft has released Hydro Thunder Hurricane as a download for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade. The game can be purchased for 1,200 points ($15) and has players racing watercraft with up to seven other players online.
When Dire Wolf Digital broadcast its existence to the world, the company admitted to working on a collectible trading card game based on a massively multiplayer online game. Today, Dire Wolf confirmed that the upcoming game will be based on the massively multiplayer online game Lego Universe and the card game should be released in 2011.
NCsoftNCsoft announced that it will end Exteel shortly. All global Exteel servers will be shut down on September 1, 2010, ending this "free-to-play" 'mech combat game permanently.
Namco Bandai GamesNamco Bandai Games, together with Warner Bros., has released Clash of the Titans for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 based on the recently released film. This action game has players battling a series of mythological monsters following the events of the film.
UbisoftUbisoft's game Galaxy Racers for the DS has shipped to stores in North America. The game has players racing from planet to planet while avoiding asteroids and competing with aliens.
PlayStation 3Sony has launched the v3.41 firmware update for the PlayStation 3. This update primarily improves Sony's ability to sell you more content, as it adds a "You May Like" section to the store that will appear as you examine items in the PlayStation Store.
Sony has released a new selection of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store, including:
Aksys Games has shipped BlazBlue: Continuum Shift for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This fighting game has players battling with modes not available in the arcades.
Sony Online Entertainment has confirmed rumors that EverQuest II might be going free-to-play, but not in the way people expected. EverQuest II will continue to operate as a subscription-based massively multiplayer online game, but Sony Online Entertainment plans to introduce EverQuest II Extended, with a beta test launching around August 17. EverQuest II Extended will operate as a parallel game, as illustrated here, EverQuest II Extended will have access to certain basic services and character races, with subscriptions or premium fees unlocking further options. Sony Online Entertainment claims to be introducing the parallel program to avoid alienating existing subscribing players, however, given that EverQuest II subscribers will receive benefits in the Extended version, FI wonders how long the original EverQuest II will operate before being consolidated with EverQuest II Extended.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' persistent online racing game Need for Speed World has launched and is accepting racers. Rather than Motor City Online, Need for Speed World offers a more criminally-oriented open-world racing experience, complete with character advancement and considerable customization.
AtariAtari and Cryptic Studios have launched "Season Two: Ancient Enemies" for the massively multiplayer online game Star Trek Online, and also reduced the price of the game to $20. The expansion raises the level cap from 45 to 51, adds new episodes for the Klingons and weekly episodes introducing a new neutral race. The content expansion even adds Dabo gambling to Star Trek Online.
GameStopRetailer GameStop announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kongregate, a social gaming hub with myriad free-to-play games. Kongregate.com launched in 2007, and is expected to remain under the leadership of co-founders Jim and Emily Greer when the acquisition closes on or around August 1. While the terms of the purchase were not disclosed, it is rumored that the purchase offers a significant return on the estimated $10 million that Kongregate had previously raised. From GameStop's perspective, this is clearly an effort on the part of GameStop to diversify from the used-game-sale model that dominates its business before publishers fully figure out how to put an end to the used games market.
Activision BlizzardIf you're a real-time-strategy gamer, you've been waiting for this day for more than a decade. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now on sale. The sequel to the seminal real-time strategy game featuring humanity battling against the protoss and zerg is already being sold to those passionate enough to wait in late-night lines.
NintendoNintendo has released yet another slate of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, now that Monday has arrived, including:

DeathSpank Review

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DeathSpank Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Hothead Games


Platform: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on Xbox 360

DeathSpank: Dispenser of Justice, Vanquisher of Evil, and Hero to the Downtrodden! By the power of his magical thong, DeathSpank – the eponymous hero – attempts an ironic take on hack-and-slash style role-playing games, saving the world one thong at a time.

Danger Close GamesThe Electronic Arts development team working on the new Medal of Honor games has assumed the name "Danger Close Games." Primarily comprised of the Electronic Arts Los Angeles team, Danger Close Games is trying to better define its identity.
MicrosoftMicrosoft reported its financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full financial year ended June 30, 2010:
Square EnixSquare Enix is busy diversifying its business in North America and Europe by adding a digital manga store to its offerings. Square Enix will launch electronic versions of its manga (including Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater) in North America and Europe this Fall.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts cut the ribbon on its new Salt Lake City studio today. EA's Salt Lake City team has worked on many of the publisher's casual games (such as Littlest Pet Shop and Monopoly), and the nearly 100-member team is now moving to the fancy new office with expensive architecture.
Square EnixSquare Enix announced that Mike Fischer has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S.-based Square Enix, Inc. Fischer has worked for companies such as Namco, Sega and Microsoft, and will oversee Square Enix's brands (including Eidos and Taito) in the Americas.
This week's downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game is Limbo. Xbox 360 owners can download this game for 1,200 points ($15). Limbo is a platformer in which a boy enters Limbo to unravel his sister's fate.
Sonic Boom has released Rhythm Zone as a download for the PC through Steam. This game has players using their own music library to generate tracks playable in the same tradition as Guitar Hero- and Rock Band-style games.
Activision BlizzardLittle League World Series Baseball: Double Play from Activision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, is now available for the DS and Wii. This baseball compilation includes both Little League World Series Baseball 2008 and Little League World Series Baseball 2009.
Telltale Games' latest episode, Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, is now available for the PC and PlayStation 3, although it must be purchased as part of the entire Sam & Max season. This episode has the Freelance Police beginning to discover the forces that are manipulating events.
Sony has released a new selection of downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store, including:
Ignition EntertainmentIgnition Entertainment, together with Marvelous Entertainment, has shipped Arc Rise Fantasia for the Wii to stores in North America. This Japanese-style role-playing game has players engaging in turn-based combat to save an empire and even a planet.
MicrosoftMicrosoft confirmed the pricing for its upcoming Kinect motion controlling accessory. As was widely assumed, the Kinect will retail for $150 and will come with Kinect Adventures. Microsoft will also begin selling the spiritual successor to the Xbox 360 Arcade, a slimline console with 4 GB of internal memory that will ship on August 3 for $200. When the Kinect launches, this 4 GB console will ship in a bundle with the Kinect for $300.
Activision BlizzardAnimal Planet: Vet Collection from Activision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, is now available for the DS. This DS card includes both Animal Planet: Vet Life and Animal Planet: Emergency Vets, both of which have players caring for pets, some domestic and some exotic.
Brenda Gershkovitch and Kristen Forbes announced that they have formed Silicon Sisters Interactive, a Canadian game developer focusing on games for a female audience. The studio is primarily comprised of female developers, has retained Brenda Brathwaite as a consultant and is working on two PC projects and one mobile project.
Valve has released Alien Swarm (originally released as a modification for Unreal Tournament 2004) as a free, top-down shoot-'em-up. This new version is built using the Source engine, and free to anyone with access to Steam. Alien Swarm puts players in the armored boots of one of four Marines, battling an alien bug infestation of a colony planet.
NintendoNintendo is releasing a new portfolio of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi today, including:
Disciples III: Renaissance Publisher: Kalypso
Developer: Akella


Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 2 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, DirectX 9.0c compatible video card with 128 MB memory, 5 GB HD space, internet connection, Windows XP SP2 or more recent operating system

A fallen star heralds another era of war in the lands of Nevendar, with humans, elves and demons all battling to recover the celestial object and use it to dominate the land. Replete with high-fantasy posturing from Russian authors, Disciples III: Renaissance has players unraveling this tale, turn-based battle by turn-based battle.

We missed this game's launch last week, but CellCraft is a positively amazing game. This educational game is both entertaining and instructional concerning cell biology. It's a flash game that FI strongly recommends anyone with even the mildest interest in the inner workings of a cell check out. And don't let the viruses attack your cellular structure. This is a great example of an educational game that is also entertaining.
Tri Synergy and Gold Sun have shipped Broken Hearts: A Soldier's Duty to Walmart and select other retailers. This adventure-style hidden-object game features a romance between Maria Lopez and military man David Fox.
Matrix Games, together with Slitherine Strategies, released the expansion to its turn-based strategy game Field of Glory, Immortal Fire as a PC download. Field of Glory: Immortal Fire introduces the armies of Classical and Hellenistic Greece, allowing owners of the expansion to battle against Persia, adding new features and units to the original game.
I-play recently launched its casual adventure game Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby. This is a hidden object game based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. FI is sure that Fitzgerald fans everywhere have been waiting their entire lives to see Fitzgerald's novels turned into hunt-and-seek picture books. Seriously? The Great Gatsby as a hidden-object game? How about Naked Lunch as a physics-based platformer or The Tempest as a SHMUP?
MicrosoftMicrosoft confirmed today that it is cancelling 1 vs. 100 on the Xbox 360. Microsoft did not give specific reasons, noting that around 114,000 people played simultaneously during the game's beta. It struck FI that this was an impressive business that guaranteed the advertisers who participated a quantifiable and actively involved audience. We can only assume the audience just wasn't enough, or that Microsoft didn't want to stick with the 1 vs. 100 brand. Microsoft declared that ""The 1 vs. 100 team is now focusing their skills and applying the technology used to develop 1 vs. 100 to new projects that will be unveiled in the future."
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, has shipped its game Little League World Series Baseball 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to stores in North America. This little league baseball game adds a new "Season Mode" to the franchise.
Microsoft has released this week's downloadable games for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade:
Disney's game The Sorcerer's Apprentice for the DS is now in stores. Based on the film of the same name, the game has players freeing Manhattan from evil.
505 Games has released Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore for the DS to stores in North America. The game is an adaptation of the canine/feline spy movie of the same name.
Sony has released a few more downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store, including:
THQTHQ's game Paws & Claws: Regal Resort for the DS is now in stores. The game has players pampering pets to build a pet care business into a top pet resort.
Activision BlizzardActivision Blizzard has hired Eric Hirshberg as the Chief Executive Officer of Activision Publishing. Hirschberg will start work on September 7, 2010, taking over for Mike Griffith, who was promoted to Vice Chairman of Activision Blizzard. Hirshberg previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Deutsch LA, a marketing and advertising agency.
Dire Wolf Studio recently launched its game development studio in Denver, Colorado. The company is working on hobby-style collectible games, including one related to a massively multiplayer online game. According to founder Scott Martins (formerly of Worlds Apart and SOE Denver) "Dire Wolf is poised to become a leader in the digital collectibles space."
KalypsoKalypso Media and Akella have released Disciples III: Renaissance. The turn-based strategy game is available in stores and as a download through certain game portals. Disciples III includes three campaigns with role-playing elements written by Russian fantasy authors.
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts' game NCAA Football 11 is now available in stores. This latest college football game from EA can be purchased for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 and has players building a college football franchise.
UbisoftUbisoft reported selected financial data for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2010:
A researcher at Texas A&M International University has published research arguing that playing violent video games may help players reduce stress and become both less depressed and hostile. Read on for more details:
NintendoNintendo has released a new portfolio of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi, including:
NintendoDragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for the DS is now in stores in North America. This latest Dragon Quest role-playing game has players beginning as a city guardian, and launching into a world-shattering plot.
The first episode of The Silver Lining is now available as a free download. The Silver Lining from Phoenix Online Studios is a fan-made continuation of the King's Quest series of adventure games published by Sierra Online (and now owned by Activision Blizzard). The first episode is entitled "What is Decreed Must Be."
Matrix Games, together with Black Hand Studios and Strategy 3 Tactics, has released Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem, a remake of Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far. Using the latest Close Combat engine, the game has players carrying out Operation Market Garden and attempting to cross the Rhine, or defending as the Germans in that same conflict.
Microsoft has released two more downloadable games for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade. Read on for more details:
AtlusAtlus' game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable for the PSP is now in stores (and downloadable through the PlayStation Store). This role-playing game from Atlus has players using their inner powers to protect the world from impending doom.
Sony has released even more downloadable games for the PlayStation 3 and PSP through the PlayStation Store, including:
THQTHQ's game Big Beach Sports 2 for the Wii has shipped to stores in North America. The game includes eight summer sports, from disc golf to rugby and cricket.
D3PublisherD3Publisher has shipped Despicable Me: The Game, based on the film Despicable Me, to stores. The game is available for the Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP and DS, and has players taking on the role of Gru as he performs heists to acquire parts for his rocket.
Moonbase Alpha Publisher: NASA
Developer: The Army Game Studio and Virtual Heroes


Platform: PC
Official Site: moonbasealphagame.com

As with so many public projects, Moonbase Alpha started with an RFP ("Request For Proposals"). NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was looking for partners to create a persistent online game to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, and educate the public on NASA's mission. On the way to producing the final game, The Army Game Studio (who won the contract to develop NASA's game) has worked with Virtual Heroes to release Moonbase Alpha. Moonbase Alpha is a "proof of concept" game both to demonstrate that the project could be ultimately successful and to give NASA a chance to evaluate the project's progress.

Microsoft's game Crackdown 2 is now in stores for the Xbox 360. This sequel to the original Crackdown has players once again battling to free the streets of Pacific City from crime, and includes both four-player co-operative modes and 16-player multiplayer action.
KonamiKonami's game The Cages: Pro Style Batting Practice for the Wii. The game is a batting cage simulator that is compatible with the Wii Motion Plus that pits players against some of baseball's most difficult pitches.
NASA has been developing a massively multiplayer game (after a long, formal call for proposals) with The Army Game Studio and Virtual Heroes. Today, the developers released a proof of concept game through Steam called Moonbase Alpha. The game is available free of charge, and has players repairing a lunar settlement whose critical systems and oxygen supply have been damaged by a meteor strike. Presumably, if NASA continues with the project, this will be but one small component of the overall game.
SegaSega has released Tournament of Legends for the Wii. This 3D fighting game features weapons and magical attacks that allow the game's characters to unleash everything from divine weapons to mythological beasts on their opponents.
NintendoNintendo has released a new slate of downloadable games for the Wii and DSi for those folks downloading in North America, including:
On Sony's community forums, the company announced that it plans to terminate the online battle service for The Eye of Judgment on September 30. It's not clear if Sony simply decided that the community of active players for the hybrid collectible card game wasn't large enough, or if Sony didn't like the fact that players quickly figured out how to cheat the system so they didn't have to purchase cards to continue playing. Either way, the game's online service will perish in September.

Too Hot For a Mouse

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Rude Gameware Fierce Teflon & SteelRude Gameware has launched its Fierce Teflon & Steel Mouse Surface through its own website, promising the mouse pad will be available in stores shortly. Rude Gameware continues to have some of the more entertaining marketing, anticipating an exciting 4th of July weekend by showing how their precision Teflon mousing surface can be used for grilling. We'd guess that the rubber base wouldn't survive the experience, and burned burger drippings might ruin your Left 4 Dead 2 game, but we love the picture. Rude was kind enough to also provide the legal disclaimer stating, in part, "Rude Gameware would like to additionally note that using the Fierce Teflon & Steel Mouse Surface to grill and then to game is downright stupid, and whoever tries it deserves whatever happens as a result. Lastly, Rude Gameware does not guarantee the deliciousness of any foods cooked on the Fierce Teflon & Steel Mouse Surface."
Nearly a year ago, the BioWare and Mythic Units of Electronic Arts were combined under the leadership of the former co-founders of BioWare. It appears that EA has waited the customary year to rename the Mythic business. In a letter from producer Carrie Gouskos , the unit has apparently been renamed "BioWare Mythic." FI expects that EA will hold onto the BioWare name, but is curious if this time next year we will discover that the Mythic name has been phased out entirely.
Activision BlizzardActivision Publishing, part of Activision Blizzard, shipped its Wii software 10 Minute Solution to stores earlier this week. The title is compatible with the Wii Fit Balance Board and provides Wii owners with 10-minute workouts designed to promote overall fitness.
Telltale Games has released Puzzle Agent as a downloadable game for the PC. This adventure-style puzzle game claims inspiration from Professor Layton-style games, and is a test pilot on the part of Telltale Games. It still costs $10 to download, but if gamers enjoy it (read: spend enough money on it), you can expect more episodes.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Editor in July 2010.

Editor: June 2010 is the previous archive.

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