I’m going to put this right up front: you’re about to dive into my wholly biased opinion. I try to remain as open as I can when covering these types of news bits on a daily basis. This one, however, hits a little too close to home to slap a fair dose of discussion on and call it a day. EA has forced pre-order exclusive DLC on a franchise that’s been widely known for fantastic customer service and satisfaction, DICE’s Battlefield 3.
In a Game Trailers interview at E3, president of EA Games, Frank Gibeau all but confirmed that EA is planning to make Mirror’s Edge 2, adding that it will likely be powered by Battlefield 3′s Frostbite 2 engine.
Battlefield 3 is the best looking game on the showfloor, I think. But the good news is that it plays well; it’s familiar enough to instantly make you fall into some of the same routines: shoot, spot, move to cover. But it has improvements to the feel of the game that make it a significant step up from Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
For some of us, being forced to sit in front of a computer at work is the ultimate drag. It’s not the hardware that bums us out. It’s the outright refusal of our boss and IT department to let us install the games we love on our office rig for a little bit of pew-pew at break time. Sure, you could bring along a netbook or laptop with you everyday to solve the problem, but that extra weight’s not the sort of thing that’s welcome on anyone’s daily commute. Instead, we recommend that you scratch your gaming itch by indulging in Lord of Ultima, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
We all know that PC gaming isn't (and never was, for that matter) dying, but we'll raise you one: it's thriving. Everyone – whether big-budget, indie, social, MMO, or what have you – is hopping aboard the PC bandwagon, and even the publishing world's biggest players are starting to take notice. The latest? EA's one-time dark lord turned knight in shining armor, EA.
We're all for robust single-player DLC, but we can't help but feel like Dead Space 2's first batch of the stuff is missing something. Oh, right: a way for us to play it.
Titled Dead Space: Severed, the new episode will run (or rather, slither unsettlingly on its belly because you, you know, severed its legs) parallel to Dead Space 2's main plot, but will instead star Gabe Weller and Lexine Murdock as they attempt to survive the Necromorph invasion of Ye Future Human Lande, aka The Sprawl.
Unfortunately, the initial announcement failed to make any mention of a PC version, and an Electronic Arts rep went on to hammer a nice, long nail into its coffin by telling The Escapist that the downloadable episode's skipping PC entirely.
This isn't the first time EA's given our favorite platform the cold shoulder when it comes to DLC. Late last year, the publisher put a stop to Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit's PC DLC due to a “lack of resources.”
So yeah, it seems we have the beginnings of a disturbing little trend here. And – knowing PC gaming's seedier side – the unfortunate continuance of another.
According to a NSFW article in The Sun, 26-year-old gamer Jo Eley claims she spent a long time customizing her character in EA's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 to resemble herself using face-mapping technology. Pleased with the result, Eley took to the fairway only to discover that her in-game character was strutting around topless. Another Hot Coffee-esque mod, perhaps?
No way, says EA. In a statement to the U.K. paper, EA said there's no hidden nudity code in the game and that hackers are to blame.
"We have extensively investigated and have determined that this situation is not possible through a retail copy of the game," EA said. "The player model is clearly modified as a result of hacking."
A naughty Easter egg of sorts allowed gamers to unlock explicit scenes in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game, which was known as the Hot Coffee mod. The assertion here is that this is the same type of thing, but we tend to side with EA on this one. It's a little bit suspect that this is an exclusive story to The Sun without any public posting of a supposed nudity mod, and given the much publicized events surrounding Tiger Woods' personal life off the golf course, the timing seems suspect.
Remember that whole kerfuffle between Activision and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella? Yeah, well, it never ended. Also, it's done being a “kerfuffle.” When this much money and bad blood is on the table, we're legally required to call it by a name that packs a much larger punch. Yep, this one's been upgraded to a good old-fashioned gorilla manly man biceps cagefight squabble.
Not only has Activision finally put a price on its lawsuit, it's also taken aim at another alleged conspirator: fellow corporate King Kong Electronic Arts.
"Electronic Arts conspired with two former senior Activision executives, West and Zampella (the 'executives') to derail Activision's Call of Duty franchise, disrupt its Infinity Ward development studio, and inflict serious harm on the company," read Activision's motion to amend its countersuit.
The rabbit hole, however, runs even deeper if Activision's to be believed. Apparently, West and Zampella attended a private meeting in EA CEO John Ricitiello's house in order to devise a plan to wriggle out of their legally binding contracts – which still had two years left on them before expiration.
The publisher is also accusing its former Call of Duty dream team of purposefully stepping on fellow COD dev Treyarch's toes and continuing to “possess Activision confidential information long after they left which makes it likely that West and/or Zampella have misused and/or will continue to misuse valuable Activision intellectual property and trade secrets, including computer code, now that they have left Activision."
And finally, the big, ugly, slobber-knocking kicker: In addition to demanding $400 million, Activision wants the court to “prevent Electronic Arts and the former executives from benefiting from their illegal conduct." In other words, the publisher's spawn-camping Respawn Studios.
Joystiq has kindly posted the entire court document if you'd like to practically taste random flecks of dirt from all the mudslinging. Needless to say, it's a doozy.
Are you the sort that loves to come home, boot up a game like Fallout, Mass Effect, or STALKER and just take a break from the world? Well then, you probably won't like what EA Games label president Frank Gibeau recently saw when he peered into his crystal ball.
“I volunteer you to speak to EA’s studio heads; they’ll tell you the same thing,” he said during an interview with Develop. “They’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out. I think that model is finished.”
“Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at.”
Fellow introverts of the world, join us in pouring one out for the days when millions of bunny hopping, tea-bagging loudmouths weren't constantly breathing down your neck. Well, don't literally join us. Being around other people makes our skin crawl. But you know what we mean.
EA Mobile, a division of Electronic Arts, is raring to go on the Windows Phone 7 platform and has announced the first batch of EA games to ship on WP7 devices this fall. EA's titles will be Xbox LIVE enabled, allowing users to track and share scores with leaderboards, unlock Achievements, add to their Gamerscore, and communicate with other Xbox Live users across the Xbox 360, PC, and WP7.
"Our collaboration with Microsoft brings EA’s world-class catalog of global game franchises to Windows Phone 7, offering a unique set of gaming features perfectly suited to the deep, innovative experiences we value at EA," said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile. "We see consumers deeply integrating devices into their lives and entertainment in new ways every day. Challenging your Xbox Live friends to an EA game from the phone in your pocket keeps you connected and having fun no matter where you are."
The first wave of games will include Need for Speed: Undercover, Tetris, The Sims 3, and Monopoly. EA won't be the only publisher to support gaming on the WP7 platform, however. According to Microsoft, EA will be joined by a handful of studios, including Micrsosoft Game Studios, Gameloft, Konami, Namco Bandai, PopCap, and THQ. Microsoft says you can expect new titles each week.