Wade McGilberry and his wife Katy can now pay off their mortgage and start a family on a positive financial foot, and it's all because Wade's a gamer. Give Take Two a bit of credit as well for offering a $1 million prize to the first person to pitch a perfect game in Major League Baseball 2K10.
Wade, a 23-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, accomplished the feat in just 90 minutes, which is probably a lot sooner than the publisher would have liked. For the McGilberrys, however, it was time well spent.
"I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it, but I was going to try my hardest to," Wade said during a phone interview with GamePro.com. "I already told [my wife] that I was going to be taking the TV for the next couple of weeks or so until I did it."
As it turns out, Wade only needed seven tries, most of which was spent ignoring his in-game catcher's suggestions. Instead, he threw a bunch 2-seam fastballs as weak as possible, keeping them low and out of the strike zone. It would turn out to be a strategy that, after taxes, would be worth about $700,000.
You can't check out of a Best Buy or other retail electronics chain without a sales associate pushing for an extended warranty. Even Toys R Us will try to up sell you on additional coverage, but if Sony has its way, you'll go through them for longer warranties when shopping a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable (PSP) console.
It appears Sony suddenly wants to cash in on all the the third-party extended warranties being sold at the retail level, and perhaps cut into those offered by services like SquareTrade. Helping to do that, Sony will offer additional accidental damage coverage, so should you fall down a flight of stairs and land on your PS3 to soften your blow, you're covered.
Of course it's all going to come down to pricing, and Sony's is fairly competitive. For a barebones extension, Sony will charge $50 to bump up warranty service on its PS3 console from one year to two years, or $60 for three years of coverage. The PSP console will run $30 for two years or $40 for three years. And the accidental damage insurance? That's another $40.
What do you think about Sony's pricing? Do you usually buy an extended warranty when purchasing electronics? Hit the jump and sound off.
Despite ongoing criticism, the University of British Columbia says it will continue to offer a summer camp program in which kids are allowed up to three hours of videogame activities a day. The program, which was launched last summer, lets children play with the Wii, PlayStation, and computer games, while also maintaining traditional games like foosball, ping pong, and board games. A field trip to Electronic Arts to meet designers, preview upcoming titles, and learn about jobs in the games industry also included.
Not surprisingly, the program has been a hit with kids and faculty alike, but not everyone is keen on a videogame summer camp. There's even been some dissension at UBC, in particular the medical department, which criticized the program for not doing enough to fight childhood obesity.
But is the criticism deserved? According to GamePolitics.com, it seems people are taking issue with using "videogames" in the descriptor, ignoring that three hours of gaming leaves plenty of time both before and after to engage in other activities. On the other hand, the CEO of Active Healthy Kids Canada recently reported that only about 12 percent of Canada's youth are getting adequate exercise as part of the company's 2010 Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Youth.
Are critics overreacting, or do they have a legitimate concern?
Scoring a job in the video game industry might seem like a dream gig, and with many industry players looking to take on more talent, there's potential for a lot of dreams to come true this year. But while hiring is starting to pick up, salaries have remained flat.
"Overall, game salaries have risen 24 percent form an average of $60,883 in 2001, the first year we began studying developers' salaries," said Chris Remo, the co-director of Game Developer Research and Editor-at-Large at Gamasutra.com. "For the most part since then, salaries have either risen or remained flat on a year-on year basis, with the only exceptions being this past year, and a 1 percent decline from 2005 to 2006."
Should budding game developers be concerned about this? Not really. Even though this past year saw the first case on record of a big drop in the average salary, 2009 still ranked as the second-highest average salary year ever.
"it's not unusual for video game developers to be making $80,000 to $150,000 a year," said Dr. Peter Raad, executive director of The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, a leading graduate level game design program. "That money typically comes from three different buckets, including base salary, profit sharing, and bonuses tied to a specific game."
Learning to tie different knots is totally rad and all, but c'mon, we all know what kids really want to do with their spare time, which is play videogames. Now they can do that andearn a Cub Scouts belt loop in the process. For any kids out there reading this, before you get too excited, pay close attention to the second of three requirements:
Explain why it is important to have a rating system for videogames. Check your videogames to be sure they are right for your age.
With an adult, create a schedule for you to do things that includes your chores, homework, and video gaming. Do your best to follow this schedule.
Learn to play a new videogame that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.
That means Boy Scouts, Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts aren't going to be successful in convincing their parents to let them play Grand Theft Auto, but hey, even with the chores thrown in, it's still a better deal than some of the other belt loops, like Textile, right?
The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series has earned Activision a lot of money, and now a beef with the game's developers might end up costing the publisher up to $125 million. That's the higher end of what more than three dozen former and current employees of Infinity Ward, the development studio behind CoD:MW, are suing Activision for, claiming the publisher owes them anywhere from $75 million to $125 million in unpaid royalties, and maybe more if damages get factored in.
Activision's legal troubles began when, a little over a month ago, Activision fired Infinity Ward's two main guys, Jason West and Vince Zampella, who subsequently filed a $36 million lawsuit claiming unpaid royalties. West and Zampella went on to form their own studio called Respawn Entertainment and signing a deal with Electronic Arts. Since then, other employees have left Infinity Ward, some of them to join Respawn Entertainment.
The lawsuit alleges that Activision withheld royalty payments in an attempt to prevent the max exodus that has taken place. There are 38 employees represented in the lawsuit, 21 of them former employees of Infinity Ward, while 17 still work there.
"Activision engaged in this inappropriate course of conduct in an attempt to force employees of Infinity Ward to continue to work at a job that many of them did not want just so Activision could force them to complete the development, production and delivery of Modern Warfare 3," the suit says.
Naturally, Activision sees things another way and claims "the action is without merit." According to Activision, the publisher has every right to determine the amount and schedule of bonus payments for CoD:MW "and has acted consistent with its rights and the law at all times."
Maybe so, maybe not, but either way, this one's headed to court.
Growing up, who wouldn't have wanted to be on the cover of a Madden videogame? Anyone with aspirations of playing in the NFL without suffering serious injury or abrupt retirements, that's who. Can Drew Brees, who was selected to appear on the cover of Madden 2011, avoid the longstanding curse that has plagued the videogame series for the past 8 years?
Prior to 2002, Madden himself used to appear on the cover. That changed when EA slapped Daunte Culpepper's mug on the box art, who went on to have an off season throwing more interceptions than he ever had before and finishing below .500 on a Vikings team that began the year with high hopes of winning it all, or at least their division.
But it doesn't stop there. Former Seattle Seahawk Shaun Alexander would break arm after appearing on the cover, and Vince Young would become injured as well. There have been a handful of others, and most recently, EA put Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzerald on last year's cover, each of which dealt with health issues during the season.
This year's cover was decided by a fan vote, the first time EA has ever done so. Games and fans could cast their vote for Drew Brees, Reggie Wayne, or Jared Allen, and it comes as little surprise that Brees emerged as the victor. The question is, will it cost him next season?
Move over Gamestop and make room for...7-Eleven? As crazy as it sounds, your local convenience store will soon begin selling used games priced under $20.
It's part of a new promotion called "Great Games Under $20" in which 7-Eleven has partnered with Game Trading Technologies to outfit half of its stores -- about 3,000 total -- with used videogames.
"What this means to consumers is that they will have many convenient locations, most open 24/7, to buy value-priced videogames," said Game Trading Technologies president and CEO Todd Hays. "The program is available to all 7-Eleven US franchisees, and we hope to have most US stores on board by September."
This isn't the first time 7-Eleven has sold videogames. The convenience store chain tried its hand at selling new games starting in late 2008, but got off to a rocky start when it sold some titles -- like Wrath of the Lich King -- before their street date.
We hold the Battlefield franchise close to our hearts—Battlefield 1942 revolutionized online warfare, and Battlefield 2 is one of the best multiplayer shooters of all time. But the series hasn’t fostered another winner in recent memory. That’s why we were a little apprehensive about playing the newest Battlefield game, Bad Company 2 (a sequel to a console-only spin-off title). But despite fears that this was just going to be a knockoff of Activision’s Modern Warfare 2, Bad Company 2 stands on its own as a refined Battlefield experience that’s worthy of its pedigree.
In fact, Bad Company 2 prides itself in being different from Modern Warfare 2, something it goes out of its way to point out in the 13-mission single-player campaign. That’s right—this is the first PC Battlefield game with a story. The Bad Company in the game’s name refers to you and your squad of four misfit soldiers, sent across snowy mountains and humid jungles in search of a stolen Japanese superweapon.
The first BioShock managed quite a feat: It was that rare game that both opened and closed the book on a strange, new environment. For the most part, it left very few questions unanswered, and despite its flaws, the general consensus was that gamers’ first go-round on the bathysphere should also have been their last. For all intents and purposes, the game was a complete experience that didn’t need a sequel. But it got one, anyway.
And yet, for all the talk of BioShock 2 being nothing more than a quick cash-grab, the game is actually quite good—great, even. But is it a worthy successor to a modern classic? Yes, surprisingly enough.
BioShock 2 stuffs you into the hulking diving suit of the first Big Daddy—roughly 40 percent of which is composed of a gigantic, face-perforating drill. Yeah, you’re not just some wimpy, fish-out-of-water human this time around. And the changes don’t end there. Rapture’s been overtaken by a veritable army of little-girl-kidnapping Big Sisters, and it’s up to you to put a stop to their maniacal plan. What follows, then, is a whirlwind adventure of drilling, Splicer shooting, Adam-harvesting, and more drilling.