If your parents always told you that wasting away your time with videogames would never make you any money, Adult Swim comedy show Robot Chicken must be quite the wakeup call. Those guys make money by playing with action figures. And now, they’re doing it with videogames too! It’s really not fair; if we try playing with the action figures on our desks while blogging about videogames, we just get thrown in MPC’s patented Pain Room – the horrors of which we aren’t at liberty to speak about.
“The campaign was conceptualized by Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich and executed by the writing team including Matt Beans, Doug Goldstein, Mike Fasolo, Breckin Meyer, Dan Milano, Tom Root, Kevin Shinick, Hugh Sterbakov and Zeb Wells,” according to the press release, and includes such gags as “exploding poo, angry yetis, ruler yielding librarians and more.” Make of that what you will.
The DLC will be free with the upcoming Spore expansion Galactic Adventures, and is meant to show off the versatility of GA’s Adventure Creator tool. Based on some of the monstrosities birthed by Spore’s creature creator and the above description of this Robot Chicken DLC, we actually think this whole thing makes quite a bit of sense. Now whether that’s a good thing or not, well, we’re not so sure.
What a refreshing change of pace to have a major videogame publisher step forward and not only refrain from ringing the death knell for PC gaming, but to annoint the PC as the platform for games moving forward. That's what Electronic Arts (EA) has done, almost in as many words.
"In terms of distribution, the way we look at a lot of what's happening in the future is, we've got probably a billion PCs out there in the world," said Eric Brown, CFO for EA. "Very rapidly the PC is becoming the largest gaming platform in the world, just not in a packaged-good product."
The comments came during a quarterly earnings call in which EA talked about the digital download market. According to Brown, the online portion of EA's business model is seeing growth by as much as 60 percent year over year.
In a time when it's become vogue to diss on the PC as a gaming platform, EA's comments to the contrary almost makes you forget about the whole SecuROM/Spore debacle. We said 'almost.'
An employee by any other name… is still pretty much an employee. As it turns out, Will Wright isn’t just giving EA first right to develop anything that emerges from his brand new think tank; he’s also continuing to watch over his most recent brainchild, Spore.
“I don’t think it was widely reported, but alongside this whole [Stupid Fun Club] thing, I also entered into a consulting agreement with EA,” he said. “I’m spending a certain amount of time every month actually working with the Spore team on future versions of Spore and expansions. So I will [still] be involved with EA on developing the Spore franchise as well.”
In addition, the god-game god elaborated on how he’d like to see Spore evolve next. His greatest hope? To give his fans everything they’re looking for in his game about everything ever.
“We're finding out cool areas the fans want to bring the game in, what direction they want the tools to go, what experiences they're enjoying in the game the most, which levels they enjoy the most. So I think now we're at a maximum learning where the fans are going to be steering the franchise as much as we will – they have their hands on the steering wheel too.”
We’re wishing for more varied activities outside the Space phase, the ability to actually interact with other players online, and more wishes. How about you?
Do you play MMOs? Do you – as MMO-related Youtube videos have jammed into our noggins on many occasions – also listen to fantasy-oriented power metal? Well, if you’re anything like us, the two tastes go great together until the vocalist starts belting, yet, when he speaks of glorious battle, fails to mention game-specific character classes, locations, and damage stats. Totally kills the immersion of downing the same legendary baddy for the hundredth time.
Well, while Blue Öyster Cult and Warhammer Online haven’t quite satisfied our rigorous demands, they’ve certainly come close. See, as it turns out, clamshell-themed rock and rollers Eric Bloom and Richie Castellano are both card-carrying WAR addicts, so they teamed up with Mythic to put their love into the form of a song, while also avoiding potential lawsuits!
The result, called “Kiss My Axe (While I Drink My Beer)"… doesn’t sound anything like vintage Blue Öyster Cult, but it’s still pretty good. It’s easily the best song about Warhammer Online’s brand new Dwarf Slayer class we’ve ever heard.
So, crank your speakers, put the horns in an upright position, and give it a listen. With any luck, it’ll wash away the taste of listening to DragonForce’s “Through the Fire and the Flames” for the – well, how many times have you downed that raid boss again?
After 12 years of printing money working in faithful service to EA, Sims and Spore’s resident genius has decided to call it quits. But just because Wright managed to create a virtual representation of all biological existence doesn’t mean he’s done making most other game designers look silly just yet – far from it.
Wright’s next endeavor, called Stupid Fun Club, is a think tank that has actually been bubbling around for a few years now. However, back when it was merely a side project, the most unfittingly named club ever seemed content to just manufacture cutting-edge robots – whereas now, it’ll develop new intellectual properties across multiple media formats like film, TV, the Internet, and of course, videogames.
Make no mistake, though: EA may have let Wright off the leash, but – much to the chagrin of some, we’re sure – Stupid Fun Club is still very much in the mega-publisher’s lap. As a result, EA owns just as much Stupid Fun Club stock as Wright himself and has the first right to develop anything the thinkin’-est tank in the business comes up with.
The rub of it all? Mr. Wright hasn’t exactly given EA his walking papers, but he’ll certainly have more wiggling room, at least in the conceptual phase, from now on. As for his first task as an un-tethered man, we’re hoping he’ll invent a few new words to replace “stupid” on the intelligence hierarchy, since he’s apparently laid claim to it. Really, it’s not even fair. If Will friggin’ Wright calls himself stupid, what’s everyone else?
Good news for Digital Rights Management fans, and particularly for those who take masochistic pleasure in filling their machines with SecuROM-protected titles. Electronic Arts, the company who caused an internet uproar over its custom SecuROM implementation on Spore, has released a SecuROM de-authorization tool.
"Certain EA PC games with SecuROM digital rights management technology allow users to concurrently 'authorize' up to five computers at the same time to play the games, EA states. "Users can then play the game on any authorized computer they choose. If your EA PC game was released after May 2008 and has a machine authorization limit, you can now manage your computer authorizations using EA De-Authorization Tools!"
The De-Authorization Management Tool scans your PC to automatically detect games released after May 2008 with machine authorization limits. You can then download the game-specific de-authorization tool(s) to de-authorize your PC and free up a slot. Alternately, you can skip the scanning and jump straight to the appropriate tool if you already know which games are eligible (see list here).
Thoughts on EA's new tool? Hit the jump and sound off.
Trying to decide whether to take another walk down the aisle with Warhammer Online or try your luck with a different MMO of equal value, but just can’t bring yourself to end this excruciatingly long game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe? Well, if giving you gifts can be equated with love – and we don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be – then Mythic loves you more. Always remember that.
Why? The developer is now offering a Call to Arms re-enlistment program which – if you’ve gone astray from Warhammer’s flock – never gives you up and never lets you down with 10 free days of playtime, all the rested experience you accrued while you were pursuing other options, and “a unique quest chain with bonus reward items.” We don’t see any reason not to at least give it a shot.
So, you’ve caught, like, 30 tigers by their toes now. What’s it gonna be?
When worlds collide, things tend to end badly. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning tried to send its ragtag, wax-on, wax-off-trained team of novices against WoW’s dojo, and it lost more than a few teeth. And now, Warhammer’s taking one giant leap right into a different world: its own.
Mythic recently announced (and presumably carried out) mergers between 43 servers on the first ever MMO competitor on The Biggest Loser. Characters and items stored on closed servers were apparently transferred to pre-existing, less corpsified servers.
If your old server’s now hosting TF2 matches for angels, note that all of your character’s items, friend lists, guild info, and ignore lists should have transferred to your new server, while items listed for auction, guild alliances, and in-game mail and attachments, unfortunately, will forever languish in the Internet’s lost-and-found box.
(On the bright side, though, we just discovered that "server merger" is really fun to say. Try it. Hey, don't judge us; we're bloggers -- not grief counselors.)
So, for those among you whose entire world was destroyed, how are the new digs looking?
Update: Looks like we (along with a few other websites) spent too much time losing ourselves in Hollenshead's beautiful blues and -- hearts full of hope -- skimmed over his real meaning entirely. Maybe if they'd stop making these alarm buttons so red and shiny, we'd be less tempted to press them so often.
“When it’s done,” you’re done. Go running back to Duke Nukem Forever. You knew what this was.
While speaking with GameTrailers TV at last month’s DICE Summit, id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead gave gamers the signal to look out over the horizon, because Rage is a comin’.
When asked whether his company’s latest monosyllabic murder simulator would blow its top in 2010, Hollenshead replied, “No, we'll be out this year."
Well, that’s good enough for us. Rage will be published by Electronic Arts and will probably aid F.E.A.R. 2 and Sadness in helping some website establish a “Best Game Ostensibly about a Vague, One-Word Emotion” award category for their best games of – take of whiff of that new release window smell – 2009. We can’t wait to hear more.
Six years after its original release, Command & Conquer Generals has – like a human-controlled competitor at a GameStop Mario Kart kiosk – finally crossed the finish line. Frankly, we would’ve just started a new race.
But we’re not nearly as generous as EA, who has decided to append Command & Conquer Generals with a level once considered too controversial to be deployed with the rest of the game. Why? Because of this little number:
“Players were given command of the Toxin Tractor, a slow-going farm vehicle modified to spray a deadly corrosive agent, and ordered to eliminate a town that had been ‘corrupted beyond salvation’ by the USA's propaganda. While the mission was ultimately removed from Generals, the Toxin Tractor was available in other campaign missions, as well as in multiplayer and skirmish modes.”
Murdering civilians? Detestable! Sorry, EA, but we draw the line at the undiscerning slaughter of friendlies who are actually packing heat, thank you very much. We pick on those who – to the near-sighted – are more or less our same size.
But how about you? Will you be picking up this tiny (and free!) slice of history? Were you even alive when C&C Generals first came out? God, we’re so old.