Gaming Roundup 8/5/08: Independence Day

Nathan Grayson

Yesterday, I briefly heaped praise on the "new" Electronic Arts for its recent push towards creativity and employee practices that are actually legal. However, I know that many people chuck verbal darts at EA's target simply because they don't like big, "soulless" corporations. After all, each of us is the punchy underdog in our own lives, so rooting for the little guy only seems natural -- especially when the Man seems to be breathing down his neck.

But, as I'm sure you've all noticed, we're kind of running out of little guys to root for. "Consolidation" is one of those mean words we're not supposed to like, but in an industry that's expanding rapidly -- one where development costs regularly zip past $10 million -- consolidation is natural.

So, are you ready for our little hobby to become more like the big, bad movie industry, or are you of the opinion that we don't need "E" and "A" to spell BioWare?

This edition of the Roundup is gaming's "The Empire Strikes Back." Large independent devs are dropping like flies, and stalwart supporters are turning to the dark side. No Ewoks, though, so the Roundup isn't jumping the shark just yet. Jumping past the break, however, is highly encouraged.

Valve's Lombardi Talks Potential Acquisitions, EA's 'Boogeyman'

If anyone is interested in acquiring Valve, VP Doug Lombardi is "happy to have that conversation," he told Gamasutra.

He also noted that Valve's relationship with EA is "really good," badmouthed Activision Blizzard, twirled his hair, and laughed at EA's bad jokes.

In the event of such an acquisition, however, Valve would likely retain creative freedom, so Half-Life 6 probably won't occur during our natural lifespans.

Instead, a big, red question mark hovers above Steam. If EA has any sense, they'll promote Steam to death, but leave the service's basic operations to Valve. We'll find out sooner or later.

BioWare Tells Us Dragon Age Stuff — Explains Lack Of Voice, Presence of Origins, Hints At Dragons And Console Versions

Grab a coffee; this one might take a while. MTV Multiplayer conducted a huge Q&A with BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk about his company's latest opus, Dragon Age: Origins. Among other things, Zeschuk discussed the game's "Origins" subtitle, its lack of a voiced main character, and a possible console-specific iteration of the series.

With any luck, Dragon Age's release date actually won't slip and slide about like a fast-moving house cat on a tile floor. Nope, no delays on the horizon. Zeschuk explained:

"Yeah, we’ve announced to folks that it’s coming in early 2009, which baffle folks. Typically we show our games many, many times at E3 over and over again. And we’re not [this time]. We showed it once a while back and went dark on it purposely to get the technology and the game going. It’s not that far off. It’s very exciting."

The whole Q&A is well worth reading. Definitely check it out.

Fury to finally shut down

When Fury first launched, I had high hopes. It looked fun, and seemed to be a unique take on the fantasy MMO. Then the reviews started rolling in, and suddenly WoW looked far more appealing.

Even as a free game, Fury failed to catch on, and now the end is nigh.

"To all those players who have enjoyed Fury and played countless battles, I am sorry that we could not find a viable business model that would allow you to continue playing. To all those naysayers and doomsdayers, we know that deep down you wanted Fury to succeed. Have fun with your parting wishes :)," reads a message on the game's official forums.

Shame, that.

Naughty Dog using “30-40%” of PS3’s power

Naughty Dog's Richard Lemarchand claims the PS3 is still brimming with untapped potential, which means all hope is lost for the Xbox 360, right?

360 hasn’t reached its limit, says Rare

Wrong, it would seem. I sure am glad this argument has ended once and for all and will never be brought up again.

Who Needs Parkour? Mirror's Edge Level Re-created in Portal

Can we see Master Chief in a Metroid game next? I have money riding on this.

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