Monthly Archives: April 2010

Bungie deal similar to what West, Zampella wanted – Report

Activision gave Halo makers terms the ex-Infinity Ward heads sought, according to LA Times; four more Modern Warfare 2 devs surface at Respawn.

As the Infinity Ward-Activision saga dragged on this week, an unexpected new player joined the mix in the form of Bungie. The Halo developer isn’t directly related to the publisher’s suddenly litigious relationship with the creators of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but it became a tangent to the story yesterday when it announced an exclusive 10-year deal with Activision for its next original franchise.


“We want a plane with a full tank of gas idling on the runway, $100 million in unmarked bills, and creative control of our intellectual property.”

According to an updated Los Angeles Times report, terms of the Bungie deal are similar to what Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella had been seeking from Activision before the publisher opted to fire them, triggering a flurry of lawsuits and key Infinity Ward developer departures. According to the publicly revealed parts of the Bungie deal, the developer will retain all creative control over its new intellectual property, while Activision will have the exclusive worldwide publishing and distribution rights to that series for a 10-year window that expires in 2020. The Times cited “people familiar with the situation” for the information.

The paper also gave West and Zampella’s attorney Bobby Schwartz a platform to launch a verbal barb at Activision, as the lawyer quipped, “It’s astonishing how much money Activision had to pay to cover up its horns and pitchforks with a halo.” Financial terms of the Bungie-Activision deal were not publicly disclosed.

The aftermath of the West and Zampella firings continued to take shape today as four more ex-Infinity Ward developers had joined the pair at their new studio, Respawn Entertainment. Designers Preston Glenn, Sean Slayback, Zied Rieke, and Chad Grenier have all updated their LinkedIn profiles to list their current positions at Respawn.

Currently, LinkedIn includes over a dozen developers who list Respawn Entertainment as employer, all of them having previously worked at Infinity Ward. West and Zampella both have profiles on the professional networking site, but neither has updated them yet with mention of Respawn.

Three of the four newly Respawned developers are also among the 38 current and former Infinity Ward developers who filed suit against Activision this week over unpaid Call of Duty bonuses. The fourth, Sean Slayback, may be listed on the suit as John Slayback.

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Bungie deal similar to what West, Zampella wanted – Report” was posted by Brendan Sinclair on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:57:42 -0700

THQ registers Red Faction: Armageddon, Origins domains

Publisher floats two possible subtitles for upcoming new installment in Volition’s highly destructible action series.

Even before Volition shipped Red Faction: Guerrilla, THQ had signaled plans to continue the series beyond the long-awaited installment. In April 2009, the publisher slipped mention of the game’s follow-up, tentatively titled Red Faction 4, into a post-earnings release presentation slide, saying it would be out by March 31, 2012. By February 2010, THQ had moved that game’s release up to its current fiscal year (ending March 31, 2011).


Whether it’s the beginning or the end, Alec Mason is ready.

Details on the game remain largely under wraps. However, a title may have surfaced today, courtesy of Internet sleuthing site Superannuation. On February 22, THQ registered a number of domain names and variant spellings for Red Faction: Armageddon and Red Faction: Origins.

The domain registrations are good for a year, expiring on February 22, 2011. However, none of the listed URLs currently contain any form of content. It is also unclear whether the domain names pertain to a single game or two separate ones.

As noted by THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell in February, Red Faction 4 had been pushed up a year to capitalize on Red Faction: Guerrilla’s critical and commercial success. The executive noted that it will feature “robust online gameplay” and that Volition has continued to enhance the game’s noteworthy environmental destruction. The studio expects to have the game on hand at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

[ Watch Video ]

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THQ registers Red Faction: Armageddon, Origins domains” was posted by Tom Magrino on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:27:40 -0700

3D Dot Game Heroes Review

This throwback adventure does a good job of scratching that nostalgic itch.

Score: 7.5 / good

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3D Dot Game Heroes Review” was posted by Tom Mc Shea on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:21:59 -0700

3D Dot Game Heroes Video Review

Grab a sword and get ready to save the kingdom in this video review for 3D Dot Game Heroes.

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3D Dot Game Heroes Video Review” was posted by JimM on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:21:53 -0700

Big in Japan Apr. 19-25: Nier Replicant

Square Enix’s PlayStation 3 action RPG debuts atop the charts as hardware sales continue to slump.

Japanese game sales started this month strong, with tracking firm Media Create reporting nine titles selling more than 30,000 copies for the week ended April 4. Things slowed down after that, with only five titles managing to meet that mark in the following two weeks combined. That malaise continued deep into the month, as Media Create today released its Japanese sales figures for the week of April 19-25, showing that just a single title managed to top 30,000 copies sold.


Nier Replicant sold well for the week. Everything else? Less so.

The good news is that Square Enix’s action-role-playing game Nier Replicant cleared that line, selling 60,174 copies for the week. Its sister release, Nier Gestalt for the Xbox 360, finished just outside of the top 10, selling fewer than 12,500 copies. (Versions of Nier Gestalt were released in North America this week for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Nier Replicant is not yet confirmed for an international debut.)

Nier Replicant wasn’t the only new release in the top 10. Atlus’ Tokyo Mono Harashi isn’t part of the publisher’s Persona series, but the third best-selling game of the week does share both a genre and a scholastic setting with the popular role-playing game franchise. Another PSP RPG, Falcom’s Ys: Felghana no Chikai, slipped into the top five, selling a modest 16,167 copies. The final new entry in the top 10 isn’t terribly new at all, as the PS3 Game of the Year Edition of Bethesda Softworks’ Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion managed to sell 12,479 copies in its first week on shelves.

Continuing the slow sales trend, hardware numbers were also down for the week. The PSP and the PS3 were the only systems to sell more units week-over-week, although they improved their sales figures by only 123 and 39 units, respectively. The pair also finished in first and second place for the week overall, with the PSP hitting 28,758 sold and the PS3 trailing with 25,629.

Overall, the console and handheld pecking order was well preserved for the week. The Wii finished in third place overall, followed by a trifecta of DS systems, the Xbox 360, the PSP Go, and the PS2.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF APRIL 19-25, 2010
Software:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / Unit sales
1. Nier Replicant / Square Enix / PS3 / 60,174
2. New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Nintendo / Wii / 28,757
3. Tokyo Mono Harashi / Atlus / PSP / 21,953
4. Tomodachi Collection / Nintendo / DS / 19,681
5. Ys: Felghana no Chikai / Falcom / PSP / 16,167
6. Pro Baseball Spirits 2010 / Konami / PSP / 15,607
7. Wii Fit Plus / Nintendo / Wii / 15,217
8. Mario Kart Wii / Nintendo / Wii / 13,671
9. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition / Bethesda / PS3 / 12,479
10. Pokemon Ranger: Hikari no Kiseki / Nintendo / DS / 12,408

Hardware:
PSP – 28,758
PS3 – 25,629
Wii – 23,691
DSi LL – 16,676
DSi – 10,640
DS Lite – 2,789
Xbox 360 – 2,214
PSP Go – 1,544

PS2 – 1,490

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Big in Japan Apr. 19-25: Nier Replicant” was posted by Brendan Sinclair on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:06:23 -0700

Bulletstorm Screens

12 new shots posted.

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Bulletstorm Screens” was posted on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 14:12:07 -0700

Lost Planet 2 Character Customization Interview: Jun Takeuchi

We talk to producer Jun Takeuchi about the deep character customization features of Lost Planet 2.

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Lost Planet 2 Character Customization Interview: Jun Takeuchi” was posted by takeshi on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 13:50:20 -0700

Toy Story 3 Screens

6 new shots posted.

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Toy Story 3 Screens” was posted on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 11:24:00 -0700

Just Cause 2 Anatomy of a Stunt: Tuk Tuk Guided Missile

It’s the latest in the Anatomy of a Stunt series in Just Cause 2: Tuk Tuk guided missile!

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Just Cause 2 Anatomy of a Stunt: Tuk Tuk Guided Missile” was posted by DanM on Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:45:43 -0700

ModNation Racers Mod Studio Trailer

There are so many ways to customize your character and kart in ModNation Racers.

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ModNation Racers Mod Studio Trailer” was posted by DanM on Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:39:19 -0700