In this week’s roundup, we check in on Guillermo Del Toro’s inSane, grill some bologna with the newest NASCAR game, gaze in awe over FIFA 13 screenshots, become befuddled as a Star Trek Online dev knocks their own multiplayer, mark Remedy off as another next-gen gaming developer, try not to get in the middle of the Notch vs. FortressCraft DDoS attack and listen to Cliffy B tell Japanese developers what’s what about multiplayer.
Let’s round it up!
Video Game News
1. ‘Serious Sam 3: BFE’ & ‘Serious Sam: DoubleD XXL’ Heading To XBLA This Fall
This Fall will see a double dose of Serious Sam with Serious Sam 3: BFE and Serious Sam Double D XXL on Xbox LIVE Arcade. While the Serious Sam 3 port will remain relatively the same, Double D will feature new missions, weapons and a new cooperative not seen in the PC original, to add a little oomph that gamers felt were missing. There will also be an added 12 new challenge maps and a ton of other new features for the XBOX LIVE Arcade version. Fans of double entendre will have their fill this Fall.
2. THQ Has Not Canned Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘inSane’
According to Danny Bilson, EVP Core Games THQ, on his official Twitter, and we quote, “Guillermo Del Toro’s “inSane” is not cancelled!” Can’t get clearer than that. There was word that director Guillermo Del Toro was trying his hand at game design with inSane back nearly two years ago. While the release date was set at 2013, little word on the project raised suspicious as to whether it was still in the works. Last year THQ confirmed inSane was still slated to release before 2014. Bilson seems to just want to reassure fans that the game still isn’t cancelled, but there is no word on an official release date or any other details for that matter.
3. Activision & Eutechnyx Announce ‘NASCAR The Game: Inside Line’
Fans of going around in circles will be excited to hear that NASCAR The Game will be releasing a sequel, NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, a collaboration between Activision and Eutechnyx, and Dave Thompson, Executive Producer at Eutechnyx, promises some nice, new additions.
“We’ve added a new in-depth career mode and robust online features that include realistic race weekends, and now aspiring drivers can rise up through the ranks, attract sponsors, and upgrade their car’s components in the quest to be the Sprint Cup Series Champion.”
It appears that fans of the original will really dig Inside Line.
The game will hit stores this Fall for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.
4. 10 New FIFA 13 Screenshots
EA Sports promised more realistic player faces, along with some other game improvements, and it appears they made good on that promise. Check out these 10 kickin’ FIFA 13 screens in all of their glory.
5. ‘Street Fighter X Tekken’ Didn’t Sell So Well… But Why?
Capcom reported that sales of Street Fighter X Tekken didn’t sell as well as they would have hoped, despite mostly positive reviews, saying the game has shifted 1.4 million copies since its March launch. Capcom says this means sales have “fallen short” of their plan. They believe the influx of fighting games within a short period of time was the primary cause.
“We believe one of causes is cannibalism because of the large number of other games in this genre that were launched within a short time.”
A pretty good assumption, considering the company has launched 5 fighting games, including a few re-releases on PSN and XBLA, since the 2009 launch of Street Fighter 4. However, they weren’t the only ones releasing titles in the genre. Fan-favorite franchises such as Mortal Kombat, which saw a lot of success, as well as Tekken and Soul Calibur have been released during this period as well. Strangely, Capcom did find success with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which shipped 2 million units and has affirmed the companies faith in cooperation with overseas developers — in this case Slant Six Games.
What will this mean for future fighters? It’s hard to tell at this point, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume Capcom will begin focusing their attention in other, more lucrative areas for the time being.
6. IGN’s Tina Palacios To Take Over Robert Bowling’s Position
Move over Robert Bowling, there’s a new Senior Community Manager in town. Former IGN Community Manager, Tina Palacious, will be taking over Bowling’s position at Infinity Ward. Tina has had a long history working with sites 1UP and IGN and their communities, so her experience speaks for itself, but her love of Call of Duty made her a prime candidate for the position. As for Bowling, we eagerly await word on what’s on the way from his new studio, Robotoki.
7. Cliffy B Thinks Japanese Devs Can’t Ignore Multiplayer
The always outspoken Cliffy B has thrown his two cents into Japanese game developers and their lack of multiplayer in a lot of their games.
“My advice to Japan is that in a disc-based market right now, you cannot [ignore multiplayer]. I’m not saying tack multiplayer onto every game.”
Using Grasshopper Manufacture’s Shadows of the Damned, a well received but relatively unknown game, as an example, he noted that it was “a beautifully crazy game with really fun gameplay, but no multiplayer co-op experience in there,” again reiterating the importance of that type of experience. One Japanese franchise, the Demons/Dark Souls series, was worth him mentioning for being “one of the most innovative games” for its multiplayer-esque system. Bleszinski praised the title saying, “that game is going to continue to inspire a lot of Western developers to figure ways that you can have connected elements in campaign games, and have more of a blended experience.”
Perhaps it’s just not as important to the Japanese as it is to Western developers, but multiplayer isn’t just an important addition to games these days, it’s expected — furthurmore, it’s always apparent when it has just been tacked on to appease an audience anticipating it.
8. Cryptic Says PvP Sucks In Their Own ‘Star Trek Online’ MMO
PvP is always a difficult to make engaging and fun, as well as unique in an MMO. Well, apparently Cryptic‘s Star Trek Online never figured that out and even one of its own developers is ragging on it. Dan “Gozer” Griffis, the aforementioned developer, is going as far to suggest that it should be removed entirely.
“Right now because PVP is in such bad shape we (the developers) have to decide if we think we can turn this problem around. Participation in PVP-related activities is so low on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis that we could in fact just completely take it out of STO and it would not impact the overall number of people [who] log in to the game and play in any significant way.”
Griffis is the only developer working on PvP at the moment, so maybe the pressure is just getting to him. Regardless, he feels that he has a plan that could fix things. Giving no details to support this claim, fans will just have to wait patiently to see how it all pans out over the next year.
9. THQ Won’t Be At Gamescom
Surely a result of THQ’s rocky standing, including layoffs and game delays, the company has decided to pull their booth at the world’s largest gaming show this August. While they are suggesting there could still be a small presence in the form of meetings at the expo’s conference rooms, the show floor presence will be nil. THQ told GamesIndustry International that “the team is still discussing options” for the convention. This appears to also be the case with this years E3, already clarifying that they won’t have a booth their either.
10. Remedy Hiring For Next Generation
Following the trend of other high-profile companies, Alan Wake developer Remedy has begun hiring for next-gen consoles. Revealed through a presentation slide tweeted by studio boss Matias Myllyrinne, the company is seeking, “world-class talent to work on an unannounced project targeted at future generation consoles.” Studios are amping up development in preparation for the next generation of consoles since Xbox and PlayStation are expected to launch their new line of game devices as early as late 2013.
11. FortressCraft Developer Hit With DDoS And Blames Notch
FortressCraft designer Adam Sawkins was none too pleased when the game’s website was struck by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack this week. Immediately blaming Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson as the culprit, he tweeted, “Aaaand, the FortressCraft website’s being DDOSd. Fuck you and your ‘community’, @Notch.” In an interview with Eurogamer, Sawkins was positive Notch was behind the attack, but was awestruck as to the reasons behind it.
“We know *who* it was, but sadly we didn’t get a note in the post saying WHY. We’ve sailed over our cap for the month so far, and are going through the process of talking to the police about it. Under British law, yes [the police can act on the attack]. Hacking is a fairly serious crime over here, and it’s not a personal site, it’s a business site. Loss of earnings, all that crap. I personally wouldn’t have bothered, but the guy who does my website is FLAMING over it!”
They are clearly taking the attack very seriously to involve law enforcement. Notch better prepare for trouble, whether he did it or not as Occam’s razor pegs him as the prime suspect.
Video Game Reviews