After hearing that 2K had quietly held BioShock 2's PC DLC's head underwater until the bubbles stopped, some of you may very well have considered establishing your own undersea utopia – but for PC gamers instead of psychologically unhinged geniuses. Fortunately, that prohibitively expensive plan will no longer be necessary, as the PC gaming community has managed to pull the best possible kind of “would you kindly?” on 2K.
“When we announced that Protector Trials and Minerva’s Den would not be coming out for the PC due to technical and timing issues, we received a lot of feedback (much of it understandably expressing disappointment and anger) about our decision,” 2K’s Elizabeth Tobey in a post on the official 2K forums.
“However, one of the core principles of the 2K Games community is to keep an open dialogue with gamers and listen to what they have to say. We are a company of gamers making awesome experiences for gamers - and given the conversations we've had over the past two weeks, we've decided to go back and finish the PC patch and Protector Trials.”
But those are just the warm-ups. The real main event, of course, is Minerva's Den, which many have hailed as the best piece of single-player DLC to drop this year. Unfortunately, we're not exactly looking at a quick cut-and-paste job with this one.
“When we stopped development on Minerva's Den, it was not in a workable state and needed significantly more dev time to complete. As of now, we are not certain how much longer it would take to complete the project to our standards, but we have reallocated resources to work on completing the project so PC gamers can have this experience in Rapture along with 360 and PS3 owners,” Tobey explained.
Really, that's all we can ask for, and we very much like what we're hearing. 2K, consider this the beginning of a cautiously optimistic friendship.
Are you sick and tired of people declaring PC gaming dead and gone when it's actually still alive and kicking? Does it make you want to physically kick them? In the head? Well, that'd probably get you slapped with some pesky assault charges, so let's not do that! Instead, in case of just such an emergency, we recommend you break the glass around Blizzard executive VP of game design Rob Pardo's viewpoint of the whole situation.
“The PC games industry and the gaming industry is super healthy. It's always been tough to do metrics in any industry and especially once you start having a lot of digital distribution it's hard to capture the real metrics of the health of the industry,” he told GamesIndustry.biz.
“Even if you look at something like NPD there's still an estimation involved there, they don't really have real-time data from every retail chain. By necessity they're guessing. But I think the industry is as healthy as ever. From our experience our games continue to sell better than the last ones. I always laugh because as long as I've been in the games industry, every year I'm asked 'is PC gaming dead?' But it keeps on growing despite the fact it's been pronounced dead 20 times.”
So that's that, then. Of course, now people will be needing another irrelevant gaming topic to perpetuate. So let's see, may we recommend a thoroughly used, mentally broken beyond repair Jack Thompson? Or how about an impassioned argument about the Xbox 360 vs. PS3 console war? Those are always fun.
For those who've been out of the loop for the past few months, videogames have come under fire again. Shocking, we know. This 4858272052nd verse, however, isn't quite the same as the first. See, the stakes are a fair deal higher. It's the gaming industry versus Arnold Schwarzenegger round two, and this time, we'll be trading blows and ogling ring girls in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court. Positive precedents or not, the worst case scenario here could result in mature games essentially being labeled as pornography – in all likelihood a one-way ticket off retail shelves, permanently.
Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford, of course, knows a thing or two about mature games. As a result, he's of the opinion that we need to send these gaming industry “bullies” packing once and for all.
“Seriously, things like Duke really aren't offending anyone. But some people need to act like they do, for some reason,” he told CVG. “Sometimes people will say: 'You know what, that offends me.' And that's fine. If something offends you, you have to decide how to deal with the the best way you can.”
“But it's when people decide: 'Well that offends me, so now it should offend everyone else. And, in fact, because I think it should offend everyone else, I believe that we should make a rule about such things.' Those people just need to get the f*ck off the bus. That attitude is not helpful to any of us - for anyone to think that they should impose their own morality on anyone else in this world. Those guys just need to go away, and just stop,” he explained.
“Unfortunately, those are the bullies, and we tend to let bullies bully. We need to stop them. We need to get away from those people - certainly take the keys away from them. Do not let them play with the sharp objects.”
Among other things, the ECA's hosting a rally in Washington DC on the day of the hearing. If you're in the area on November 2, it'd be well worth your time to attend. Whether or not it ends up having any effect, you'd still be doing something. Sad to say, this is one battle we can't win by sitting at our computers and clicking on our enemies until they die.
Sometimes, gamers. Sometimes, we just don't know. After all, we're looking at some mental gymnastics worthy of an Olympic medal. Here, put these unflatteringly short shorts on your brain; let's try running the course: Someone makes an awesome, extremely innovative game that you love. And we mean someone. Precisely one guy did almost all the work here. So he lets you into his magical land of Grown Up Legos for a reasonable fee and then scrambles to keep his game from getting squashed flatter and less functional than a Macbook Air under your collective weight.
At this point, you have a few options. 1) You could politely thank Mr. Notch for his hard work and enjoy the already massive toolset he's provided for you. 2) You could go on Minecraft's forums and suggest what – in your opinion – would make the game even better. 3) You could slow the game's servers to a one-armed crawl with a massive DDOS attack and basically hold the entire game at gunpoint while throwing a temper tantrum because you want your new toys right now.
Did you pick number three? Well then, congratulations: we hate you.
“Minecraft is currently experiencing a stimulation provided by us,” read a post on uber-popular message board 4chan. “Its purpose is to send Notch a clear message of how the future of Minecraft will turn out unless he gets to work, namely by influencing the amount of sales taking place, due to the attacks. Start providing your customers with the updates that you promise them.”
Minecraft in its current form has been around since the tail end of June. Oh, and let's not forget that Notch and his small staff are currently hard-at-work on a massive update set to launch on Halloween.
Knowing these “protesters,” though, you probably ought to expect the server slowdowns to resume the day afterward at 12:01 AM on the dot.
Hey everyone! We’re at BlizzCon, by which we mean we’re playing as much Diablo III as our broken, caffeine-riddled bodies will allow. However, some angry, impressively large-looking Blizzard people just approached us with looks in their eyes that basically said, “remove your hands from that demo station or we’ll remove your hands,” so we decided to graciously allow others to give the game a try.
So now we’re writing, because we suppose that’s our job or something. Anyway, BlizzCon! Stuff happened. Find out about that stuff below. Diablo III “way over half-way done” – Sorry, folks. No release date this year. Fortunately, just as we prepared ourselves to walk away from the convention information-starved and tail between our legs, Blizzard threw us a bone. See, Diablo III’s “close” to launching its friends and family beta. And according to the developer, when that beta churns to life, Diablo III will be “close” to completion. So close, yet so far away.
Our torrid love affair with Fallout 3 and its DLC is a matterofpublicrecord, so this is exactly the type of news we were never hoping to hear. Unfortunately, Bethesda appears to have taken our previous statement literally, so it's elected to hold off on any real details outside of a proverbial smack to PC gamers' hands every time they attempt to reach for some New Vegas DLC.
"We're excited to continue the partnership between Bethesda and Microsoft, and build on the success of the game add-ons released for Fallout 3 on Xbox LIVE," said Bethesda VP of marketing and PR Pete Hines. "Fans will once again be able to continue their experience in the Fallout universe with the add-on packs planned for after the launch of the game."
But what kind of content are we looking at here? And is this merely a period of timed exclusivity? Surely the DLC's not gonna pull a BioShock 2 and skip PCs altogether, right? Unfortunately, we shook Bethesda's magic eight ball and all we got was a non-committal “ask again later.” More details, however, are planned for “the coming weeks,” so here's hoping we get some good news sooner rather than later.
And here we thought videogame cut-scenes were the most ridiculous thing Activision would ever suggest we'd spend money on. Turns out, that was just a warm-up. The main event of this incredibly avant garde assault on our wallets? A Call of Duty: Black Ops-branded 2011 Jeep Wrangler. That's right: a friggin' truck. And the price of admission for entry into this very, very exclusive sect of the Call of Duty fan club? Oh, nothing too big. Just $33,500. Pocket change, right?
So, what kind of crazy-cool gadgets and Mountain Dew-fueled rocket boosters are you getting with your Call of Dutymobile? Well, uh, there's some Black Ops art on the roof and front quarter panels. And also... oh, wait. That's it. If it's any consolation, though, the car's going to be drivable in Black Ops – hopefully in the game's Cold War sections to promote the 2011 Wrangler's new addition of a flux capacitor.
"It was important for us to make sure that the Jeep partnership would be authentic and enhance the setting we immerse our fans in with Black Ops," said Mark Lamia, studio head at Treyarch. "Our work with the Jeep team focused around using the Jeep Wrangler in our levels, and gameplay experiences, and translating the style and look of the vehicle in Black Ops to the Jeep on the showroom floor that our fans can own."
So, er, yeah. This is happening. We pinched ourselves just to make sure and everything. Granted, we expect to see someone ride by on a unicorn before we actually catch a glimpse of one of these things in the wild, but still.
When you can boast that your product is the size of two-and-a-half World of Warcrafts, it’s pretty much a guarantee that any numbers you put out will make all the other numbers feel so small and inadequate that only the purchase of a big car or remarriage to a disproportionately young spouse will make up for it. So, with that said, grab a cushion, because your jaw is about to make a crater in your floor.
In the past year alone, Valve’s ubiquitous download service has seen a 178 percent growth spurt in its userbase, bringing its total tally up to more than 30 million. Sales, meanwhile, have jumped up a whopping 200 percent, which probably means Valve can afford to add an aircraft runway to its complementary employee party yacht package. The publisher’s also beaming with pride over its infrastructure, which now runs at 400Gps. According to Valve, that’s enough to “ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.”
Yeah, uh, your jaw crater? It’s getting a little drool-filled. You might want to clean that up.
"Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history," said Valve president Gabe Newell. "The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment."
Remember back when Steam first launched, and everyone thought it was gonna be a total flop? Well, consider this Valve’s official response: “Hahahahahaha [sounds of giddy skipping in the direction of a bank].”
For those of your running multiple ATI Radeon videocards in a CrossFire configuration, AMD this week posted a new ATI Catalyst Application Profile (10.9a). The update includes CrossFire performance boosts for a handful of titles, including:
Of all the many videogame genres out there, first-person shooters tend to age the most like a borderline illiterate person's grasp of the English language – which is to say, “Not goodlyish.” Duke 3D, we love you more than mere words can even begin to express, so we're going to be as gentle as possible about this: you're hideous. Thankfully, some intrepid modders have taken to the task of giving Duke 3D an Unreal Engine 3 makeover, and – better still – Gearbox has no intention of stopping them.
“I contacted George Broussard and Scott Miller, to start a conversation about the project - The shots managed to convince Scott Miller to a certain degree - But the project was only doable if Take-Two would approve it,” project head Frederik “Fresch” Schreiber said on Gearbox's forums.
“Thinking that Gearbox might have a better relationship to Take-Two than 3D Realms, I contacted AdamF, who passed me through to PJ Putnam, Vice President and General Counsel of Gearbox Software. Luckily Gearbox was interested in supporting the project, which resulted in a personal non-commercial license to Duke Nukem.”
Duke Nukem: Next Gen, as it's been tentatively titled, will include both single-player and multiplayer components, with a free multiplayer demo scheduled for “sooner than you'd think.” For now, though, bathe in nostalgia with this video. It's quite an impressive sight, and it has Duke shooting lasers out of his hands, which is one of those things you never knew you wanted to see until you've actually seen it.