This week was all about secrets, but we’re in a gossipy mood and can’t help but tell you all of them. In this roundup we have a release date for The Secret World, a revelation about XBLA’s file size limitations for games, mysterious trademarks for “GTA TV” and “Rockstar TV”, a secret way to score Guild Wars 2 and CS: Go Beta keys, a classified collaboration between publishers Capcom, Namco Bandai and Sega, and a shady DLC coming to Uncharted 3.
Let all (or most) be revealed!
Video Game News
1. Remedy Makes Back What They Put Into Alan Wake PC
In just 48 short hours, Remedy earned enough dough to break even on the PC version of Alan Wake. Not too surprising since the PC version not only features 3D and multi-screen, but includes all previous DLC available to the console versions — a pretty killer deal. Alan Wake hit #1 on Steam just after launch, something Remedy’s Aki JÃ¤rvilehto felt was, “Nothing short of amazing.”
We’ll see if they have the same run of good fortune when they launch the game in Europe on March 2.
2. Schafer Discusses Closed Platforms and Their Loss of Indie Titles
Tim Schafer spoke out recently on the issues facing indie developers attempting to release titles for the two main consoles, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and their very unfriendly hardware. Citing indie developer 2DBoy Ron Carmel’s open address on the detrimental effects closed platforms have on indie games, Schafer felt that his words were more of a threat than a side note and that creative talent would be detoured from those consoles in favor of more open platforms if things didn’t change. While Schafer admits he loves both consoles, he finds their difficult and expensive nature to be unfortunate.
We can put something up on the App Store pretty easily, we can put stuff up on Steam really easily. I like the Xbox and the PS3. I like Sony and Microsoft, but those systems are closed and curated very closely and it costs a lot more money to go through that system, to patch a game.
It makes me stressed out that if I put a game up there, I might not be able to patch it because it might cost too much money, whereas these more open platforms will let us manage our own price and our own updates. It’s just a lot more appealing right now.
There are good games on both platforms and that’s the thing, is that I really believe in both those platforms, and I want them to succeed. So when you read an article warning about the migration away from the platform, that’s a shame and we want that not to be the case.
3. Just Add Water Still Trying To Get Stranger’s Wrath On XBLA, In Talks With Other Publishers
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD has been out on PSN since December, but hasn’t been able to release its version for XBLA due strict file size limitations. The game, which is 2.1 gigabytes, is .1 gigs more than the size limit allowed by Microsoft’s XBLA. Developer Just Add Water has been brainstorming on a way to make it into the Xbox Live Marketplace and in an interview with VG247, CEO Steward Gilray stated:
We’ve basically run everything dry in terms of going some kind of first-party route with Microsoft, be it them publishing it or be it us publishing it ourselves so we’re now having to go down the third-party route.
He goes on to say that the developer is talking to two or three different publishers about the issue and that some news should be released around Easter. How these publishers will help them bypass the XBLA limit restrictions isn’t clear. Just Add Water’s cozy, no-hassle relationship with Sony has Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath and Munch’s Oddysee releasing for the Vita. Step it up, Microsoft!
4. The Secret World to Launch June 19, 2012
Great news for MMO junkies, Funcom announced that the highly anticipated MMORPG game The Secret World will launch on June 19, 2012. This is a little bit of a push from its previous April launch, but Funcom wanted to give the game a little more spit and polish before its release. “Allowing for even more time to polish the game really shows just how much faith Funcom as a company has in ‘The SecretWorld’ and how committed we are to making it the best it can be,” said creative Director and Senior Producer Ragnar Tornquist.
Funcom, the company behind Age of Conan, says there are already 750,000 gamers registered as beta testers and feedback has been very positive. Forbes and The Guardian have both given attention to The Secret World as a game to keep an eye on in 2012. Is it a worthy successor to World of Warcraft or even the recent Old Republic? Gamers will just have to see how the ancient society focused game will stack up against the current heavy hitters when it’s released this June.
5. What Are ‘GTA TV’ and ‘Rockstar TV’?
Take-Two Interactive, owners of 2K and Rockstar Games, have trademarked “GTA TV” and “Rockstar TV,” suggesting they might possibly be taking promotion to a different kind of level — or all levels, it seems, as the trademarks cover pretty much anything you can imagine in the entertainment sphere and gamers will be hard-fought to find something they missed. The trademarks include:
Computer game programs and software; animated motion picture films featuring entertainment, namely, action, adventure, dramatic, comedic, children’s and documentary themes; pre-recorded video discs and other pre-recorded digital and electronic media in the field of live action programs, motion pictures, or animation featuring entertainment, namely, action, adventure, dramatic, comedic, children’s and documentary themes.
Most can assume that their bases are covered in whatever project Take-Two Interactive is getting into, which is very unclear at the moment — color us intrigued.
6. Gabe Newell Talks About a Valve Console and “Baking” Projects
Valve has always been the ambitious, innovative and creative sort — and Gabe Newell wants people to know that no piece of hardware is going to slow that down. In and interview with Penny Arcade, he doesn’t see anything being a roadblock for the company.
Well, if we have to sell hardware we will. We have no reason to believe we’re any good at it, it’s more we think that we need to continue to have innovation and if the only way to get these kind of projects started is by us going and developing and selling the hardware directly then that’s what we’ll do.
Newell went on to address the subject of fans who are upset with the ambiguity of certain project statuses, more specifically Half-Life 3, a game that garnered an infamous failed protest. He admits that seeing fans frustrated can make the Valve team upset, but that they like to have their games “a little more baked” before showing them off. Newell says he understands there are many franchises that fans love, but that they want to make sure those games get the attention they deserve to develop their stories to perfection, while also staving off “terminal sequelitis.”
7. Capcom, Namco, Sega Working Together on a New 3DS Game
Japanese game publishers Capcom, Namco Bandai and Sega are working on a project together and good luck guessing what the heck kind it could be. While details are slim (meaning, there are none) a strong guess might be that we could be looking at a mash-up type of game, something along the lines of Marvel vs Capcom or Smash Bros.
Nintendo launched a teaser site for the project that, while a tad dramatic, reveals nill. A gloved hand types some numbers into a keypad that opens a cold storage vault with the company logos in petri dishes. Things possibly worth taking away are the numbers 03-27-60 typed into the keypad and the scientific elements of the tease. Let’s hope it doesn’t mean the project will be finished by March, 2060.
8. Multiple Multiplayer Modes Revealed in Kid Icarus: Uprising
Kid Icarus: Uprising is just around the corner with a March 23 release and Nintendo just announced some great multiplayer options for the 3DS exclusive. Some new modes and features in the game include:
- Light vs. Dark: In which two teams of three are pitted against one another to deplete each others health bars. To keep things interesting, the focus occasionally shifts from all out brawl to protecting the team angel.
- Free-for-All: This mode is more straight forward, where it’s every man for themselves, beating up on anyone and everyone. Scores are tallied by number of kills and the number of deaths.
Both modes will have their own match-up system where CPU players will fill in the remaining open spots in a match. Duration, CPU difficulty, weapons and handicaps are all customizable beforehand. In addition, the game will feature a weapon fusion system that allows players to collect weapons in the single-player campaign that can be used during multiplayer matches – where they can earn even more armaments. The ability to fuse two weapons together, which combine weapon benefits, will add some spice to the matches. Weapons also have a StreetPass function, where players can share weapons with other Nintendo 3DS owners. Look for this high-flying (and weapon crazy) adventure when it is released March 23, 2012.
9. Wanna Sign up for Guild Wars 2 & CS: GO Beta? Here’s How!
If you’re wanting to sign up for one of the most anticipated titles of 2012, it’s as easy as going to their website and signing up. For realsies! Though the rules for invitation generally center around your hardware specs, which are checked through a diagnostic tool. Those without the power to harness the game’s might, could miss out on the invite (that rhymed). Guild Wars 2 is touting a completely different MMO experience, with customized personal storylines within a competitive PvP and world vs. world battle systems.
Last week, the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Beta gave out 7,000 keys to current CSS and CS 1.6 players and 2,000 more went out to community sites. Now, another chance to snag a key comes in the form of an online survey posted on the Counter-Strike website. Potential candidates will have to fill it out completely if they want a chance to get a key. They say that there are no wrong answers, but if there’s a question that asks what they think of the game, we all know it’s ripe for brown nosing.
10. Community Manager Arne Meyer: Naughty Dog Has No Plans For Vita Games
Following the release of Uncharted: Golden Abyss for the Vita, fans have been abuzz about future handheld ventures for developer Naughty Dog. In the community forums, Arne Meyers took the opportunity to make things clear about Naughty Dog’s involvement with the Vita and other handheld games.
I hate to sound like a treading the line spin-meister here, but I’ve said that traditionally consoles have played to our strengths – and desires to push the utmost limit of resources and memory our tech and engine. That can change with the right handheld, as why I said I won’t ever say “never” but we hadn’t encountered that yet – that’s why Jak TLF wasn’t an internal project for us. Of course, I should have expected the GAF hyperbole to go from there – but we’ve never made a handheld game, so us saying we’re not working on anything at the moment shouldn’t be some earth shattering surprise.
What can be gathered is that Naughty Dog wants to put their focus on consoles, which is where they feel they can achieve the most potential and while handheld titles could happen, at this moment it just isn’t in the cards.
11. Naughty Dog Announces Co-op Shade Survival Mode
Hot off the heels of the Uncharted 3 multiplayer Flashback Map Pack #2, out now, Naughty Dog announces a new multiplayer game type comings soon: Co-Op Shade Survival Mode. Aside from a screenshot and the description as “fiery”, there isn’t much else detailed besides that it will be available in March. If gamers are to gather anything, however, it would be that the demonic enemies from the game will somehow make a presence in the DLC.
Source: Naughty Dog
Video Game Reviews
- Lumines Electronic Symphony
- Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
- Twisted Metal
- Asura’s Wrath
- Rhythm Heaven Fever
- WipEout 2048
- Rayman: Origins (Vita)
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