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The Week That Was - 13/08-17/08



Sod all happened. Seriously. Nothing of any particular significance happened at all. I shall attempt to scrape the bottom of the barrel for your amusement, but you should probably just come back next week.

The Week That Was - week ending 17th August 2007
  • Sumo bought out - UK's last great developer now corporate whore
    Sumo Digital, British developer and fine purveyor of excellent arcade ports such as OutRun 2 and Virtua Tennis 3, has been bought up by Foundation 9 Entertainment, an "independant superdeveloper", who consists of other companies such as Digital Eclipse (pretty much any emulated ***le on your PS2 and 360) and The Collective (Mark Ecko, The Da Vinci Code and several other licensed abortions). The group also recently purchased Shiny Entertainment, seemingly killing off the PSP remake of Earthworm Jim. I weep for the games industry, I really do.

    OutRun 2, one of the best games EVER, didnt win any Nobel Prize's or anything, but it really should have. It had blue skies and everything.
  • 360 cheaper everywhere except Europe
    It's official. The 360 is now cheaper in the US and in Australasia. Infact, the core 360 is now so cheap down under, its the same price as a Wii, which kind of proves my point that the Wii was released way too expensive. Nothing has been confirmed for the rest of the PAL regions yet (what a huge surprise) and Japan had a price cut a short while ago, so probably wont get one again just this moment. They also, for some reason, confirmed that the average length of friends lists on the 360 is 23. Somebody must be pulling up the weight, as the last time I checked my Friends list on 360 (just before it died a few weeks back), I had 2.

    Other Xbox-related facts to come out this week reveal that the Live Arcade ***les played by most people were (in order) Ninja Turtles 1989, Worms then UNO. The Arcade ***les played for the longest sessions are (again, in order) Jewel Quest, Hardwood Spades and Catan (softcores FTW). And the longest time spent overall went to UNO, Texas Hold 'Em et Worms. Finally, for those who want to know which games made the most money in 2007, t'is Street Fighter II HF, beating 2006's winner UNO (which took second place) and followed by Worms. Don't you feel so much better knowing all that?

  • Epic plays both sides of the field like cheap whore
    Mark Rein, el presidente of Epic Games, creator of Gears of War has been playing kiss and make up with Sony it would seem. After making Unreal Tournament 3 a temporary PS3-exclusive, Rein expressed his appreciation for blu-ray, warning "we may have fewer maps on the 360 version". A threatening-sounding message and one the Intarwebz has took with furore. Rein eventually later said that Epic "was multi-platform" and was dissapointed we all kept suggesting that they favour one platform over the other. One might suggest he choose his words more delicately next time then. I do understand the logic behind supporting both platforms however. UnrealEngine3, the tools behind theor games, is selling like hotcakes to every developer under the sun. By supporting as many platforms as possible, they can gain many more developers. Developers = money. And, ultimately, thats all that matters. Still, I think what we've all learned from this is "don't feed the fanboys".

    In somewhat related news, user-generated content has always been forbidden on the Xbox Marketplace as Microsoft wanted complete control. However, we know that Sony have no such restriction and as a result, UT3 on the PS3 will sport mods created for the PC version of the game, made available via Sony's answer to the Marketplace, the PlayStation Network (PSN). Perhaps (read: probably) in response to this, Microsoft is now touting a Xbox Live Silver Platform, where data can be transferred through the publisher's servers instead of Microsoft's, with the publishers becoming responsible with what runs through it (so they would have to police the content themselves). Taking advantage of this would require Microsoft's approval, but the implication seems to suggest that user-generated content might actually finally become possible on the 360. I guess we'll see in the future if Epic will try to take advantage of this.
  • Speaking of user-generated content...
    Ubisoft likes user-generated content. They like it so much that it has become the focus of their new secret game. Which... uhh, I guess isn't so secret now. Details are scarce, but it sounds like it will consist of an easy-to-use development kit so that you can create your own adventure ***les. Which you can then upload to the community network for everyone to try and provide opinions and suggestions. Developers dont have to do any work, Ubisoft make loads of money. Interesting idea, but whether it'll work or not...

    Ubisoft have also stated their intention into creating their own books and movies. Not licensing franchises, but actually creating and distributing them on its own. Yves Guillemot, head honcho at Ubisoft said "We will start making movies not because we want to, but because this is what we have to do. If we don't, we will not be able to take advantage of the next generation." No announcement on what their first projects in either field will be, but rumours suggest it might take an Assassin's Creed flavour...
  • Wii officially taking over planet - Darth Miyamoto suitably pleased
    I really hope you like the Wii, as it seems everyone else on the planet seems to. European statistics released by Chart-Track suggest that the Wii is currently outselling the 360 by over 4:1, while it outsells the PS3 by more than 6:1. If current trends continue, the Wii will beat the lifetime UK Gamecube sales of a tad over a million by the end of September. If current trends continue after that, Nintendo will overtake Microsoft's lead in the market by the end of October. Yes, Trauma Centre is that good.

    Naturally, leader of the new world order, Shigeru Miyamoto, had a few things to say. He believes that fun games rather than difficult ones are the way of the future, although he also claims that there will still be room for hardcore gamers as the two markets "have more in common than we think". Presumably because he will create an Orwellian Big Brother-esque dystopia where anyone who doesn't have a Wii will be sent off to Room 101, never to be seen again.
  • EA in making themselves look good shocker
    Introducing Wikipedia Scanner! It's a tool that can check the IP of people who edited Wikipedia and see which companies own said IP's, revealing corporate attempts to remove all history of their previous mis-deeds. And it's already showing results. For example, Electronic Arts slipped up big time by being caught removing references that were unflattering to their image (such as, say, company-wide layoffs and unreasonable work schedules) and downplaying original founder Trip Hawkins role in the company.

    Of course, they are far from the only company caught in the act. Sony Online Entertainment were caught removing references to critisisms and unflattering comments in the EverQuest, Matrix Online and Star Wars Galaxies pages. Nintendo have been caught on the DS Lite and Gamecube pages removing references to dodgy hardware in early production cycles. And, perhaps most damning of all, the f***wits at the Entertainment Software Association (i'm so going to be put in prison for saying that) had tweaked the mod-chips page, changing the law status from "ambiguous" to outright illegal due to that piece of **** the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (i'm going down for 15 years). They also conveniently took out mention of mod-chips that can allow users to play legitimately purchased imported ***les but not pirated ***les. Also altered was The Home of the Underdogs page, changing "illustrious career" to "illegal career". Getting a bit personal, arentcha?
  • Europe Game Releases
    • Wii Virtual Console
      Wave Race 64 (N64)
      Cratermaze (Turbografx-16)
    • Xbox Live Arcade
      Ecco the Dolphin
      Hexic 2
    • PC
      Premier Manager 08
    • PS2
      Final Armada
      Premier Manager 08
    • PSP
      Final Armada
Sorry for the crap update. Next week is Leipzig Games Convention week, so hopefully bountiful news ripe for the picking shall have distilled themselves for next Friday. Until then...
I think that's a pretty good review myself, considering not a lot actually happened. I am becoming keener on a 30 day by day.
I read into the Unreal Tournament 3 bullshit...

And, it has been officially announced that it will be available on the X360.


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