Awhile ago EA bought 20% of Ubisoft's stock. While EA insists it's mearly a investment, fears have arisen of EA trying to overtake Ubisoft. In reaction, several other European producers and developers have voiced their support against a takeover. Reports have popped up of Infogrames and VU Games willing to lend a helping hand, even the French government wants to keep Ubisoft out of EA's hands.
EA's interest in Ubisoft is still largely unknown, as EA has not released much press about their plans. It will be interesting to see how this shapes up.
Sony has released a buisness report that states that their console, the Playstation 2, has topped 80 million units sold. Estimates given by Sony look to put it up to over 85 million by the end of March.
If you’re a fan of MLB games, two bits of news have popped up in the last few days.
First off, If you haven’t heard by now, EA is at it again, this time signing a 15 year deal with ESPN for their sports games, including ESPN MLB. Expect ESPN MLB 2K5 to be the last in the series under the ESPN name.
Don’t panic though! If you have any fears of EA trying to muscle the MLB market like it has with the NFL game market, you’ve picked the wrong company to watch. Seems Take Two has begun negotiations to get an exclusive deal to the MLB rights.
While it would be nice to see someone else then EA get the deal, is granting exclusive rights to any company right? In my opinion it’s going to thin out the market, and give gamers much less choices to sift through. So while the big companies are loving these deals and making big bucks, it’s the gamers that will suffer in the end.
World of Warcraft has breathed new life into the MMORPG genre, few will doubt that. Sadly the game from the guys at Blizzard has been plagued with server issues since day one, with customers complaining of massive server down times and connection problems.
Blizzard’s way of dealing with this so far has been to offer free extensions of trial periods and crediting accounts. It’s seems the problem is worse then first thought though.
Fans have been very vocal as of late over server issues, a popular webcomic by the name of Penny Arcade even managed to stir up some dust recently as they called for World of Warcraft’s 2004 Game of the Year status to be revoked.
Things just aren’t looking good for the guys at Blizzard, and it seems they’re taking another drastic step. Seems Blizzard isn’t releasing any more copies of World of Warcraft to be placed on store shelves or for online order till the server problems can be fixed. A recent trip to the Blizzard online store listed the game as “out of stock”.
“We haven’t requested that any retailers pull the games they already have off their shelves,” Gil Shift, public relations representative, said. “We’re just being careful not to release additional copies to be sold until we feel the game servers can support additional players.”
Mainichi News reported today that a 30 year old woman used her ex-boyfriend's username and password to gain access to his online role-playing game "Lineage" and delete his user data consisting of money, weapons and clothing. She said she did it for revenge due to him breaking up with her. The ex-couple met each other through the game, and started a relationship which soon ended. Police accused her of violating a law banning illegal access. Protect your passwords people! Source:Mainichi Daily News
Sony's Deputy President, Ken Kutaragi announced alot of new expectaions for the PSP in the next few months. Sony "will be increasing our capacity from 1 million per month to 2 million per month." The company will also all other companies to incorporate Universal Media Disc (UMD) drives in their own machines, and submitted it for consideration as an international standard. Last, but certainly not least, Sony might offer an add-on that would allow the PSP to work as a cell phone! If you have not had a reason to buy one as of today, find yourself justified to buy one now.
As we reported earlier, Take Two, best known as the publisher for the Grand Theft Auto games, was in talks with the Major League Baseball Players Association to gain exclusive rights over the MLB game market.
Seems the talks went well as the MLBPA and Take Two have reported signing a 7 year deal granting Take Two exclusive rights among third-party publishers to develop and market simulation, arcade and manager-style baseball video games on the current and next-generation PlayStation, X-BOX, Nintendo, personal computer and hand-held video game systems.
I've already described my disgust for any organization to get exclusive rights. It will just lead to a narrower market, and with the lack of friendly competition between companies, do not expect any great advancements between releases.
Blizzard is at it again. Blizzard has yet again brought out the whacking stick and laid down the law on some 12,000 Battle.net acounts, permanently banning them for the use of hacks or cheats while playing online. Half of the CD keys from these accounts will be banned from ladder play for six months, while 1,000 more of thse assoicated CD keys will duffer a permanent ban from ladder play. Let's see but I don't think this will stop them, I think if people want to cheat bad enough they'll find away around it. Source:Blue News
Epic Games has crowned Red Orchestra as the official winner for their $1,000,000 Make Something Unreal contest. With the win the Red Orchestra teams wins $50,000 plus a Unreal Engine commercial license worth about $350,000.
This is a very professional Flash program that pulls stats from Bungie's Halo 2 website as well as RSS feeds. The designer, Marshall Beachy, explains in great detail how to set this program up for your website or forums signature. Notice the 3 buttons at the top left? Click on them for clan stats and recent games. If you are a Halo 2 player, this is a must! Source:Marshall Beachy
THQ announced that substantial upgrades to the highly anticipated street racer, Juiced, will be completed for the games' release in May 2005 for PS2, XBOX and PC. Since acquiring the rights to Juiced in late 2004, THQ has worked closely with developer Juice Games to fine-tune game play elements such as handling and sense of speed, while dramatically enhancing the all-around racing experience with the introduction of arcade mode, a fully redesigned game interface and reworked audio.
"We are excited to be entering into a long-term relationship with Juice Games and look forward to providing racing fans with the attention to detail and high performance they deserve," said Peter Dille, Senior Vice President, worldwide marketing, THQ. "Taking the time to revamp Juiced's career mode and add an in-depth arcade mode will help establish the franchise as one of the leading street racers on the market."
Juiced will fully immerse players in the lifestyle and culture of the street scene. Drivers will start with the dream of building a crew of 'driving gods' and work towards domination of the established street-racing scene of Angel City. Showing off racing skills in show-off mode will help players gain 'respect' from rival crew chiefs, allowing them to attend other crew's events and eventually bet against them for cash as well as challenge drivers 'for pinks.' As a racer's notoriety grows, new drivers will ask to join the team, opening up never-before-seen 'crew races' where the players ability to manage a crew of drivers is key to beating rival crews.
Juiced will feature more than 50 real cars with more than 100 real mods for a total of 7.5 trillion car customization possibilities. The game will also offer a full on-line feature set complete with six player races and world leader boards.