In a move that can only be described as fretting over the little things, the Thailand military dictatorship has banned the sale of Calypso’s Tropico 5. Thailand has a history of censoring political work that may cause “instability” including Shakespeare (and you know you're in a politically unstable situation when 450 year old English poet/playwrights, TV's John Oliver, the Hunger Games and Banana Republic Empire Building Simulators are a threat to your regime).
Star Citizen hits $49 million:
All us lucky Star Citizen backers will now not have to worry about a lack of oxygen in our hangers, that’s right, Star Citizen has hit $49 million in funding and unlocked the Xi’An Space Plant! Your office cube is not the only space you will have decorated with a plastic looking green shrub. I would insert a Knights Who Say Ni joke here, but some fruit is too low even for me. That brings up the question, where to go next. That question is still in the air as I’m sure RSI wants that funding to keep coming in, the Letter From The Chairman contains a poll asking what backers would prefer but that is by no means a clear indication of what we will get (though so far has been a pretty good indicator).
Source: Letter From The Chairman
Confirmation of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue:
Fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise will remember last year the mention of Assassin’s Creed: Comet the "Last Gen" title to close out the series on the 360 and PS3. Little was known about it beyond the title and that you would be playing a Templar, early last week a video of what looked like a tech demo of a display (most likely for this week’s Gamescom in Germany) was leaked showing a choppy trailer for a new Assassin’s Creed Game. When contacted Ubisoft replied with the standard “we do not comment on speculation or rumour” defence popular with PR firms when they are flummoxed before owning up to the game the next day and releasing a proper version of the trailer.
Set in the period between Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed III you will be taking on the role of a rogue (hence the name) Assassin who has switched sides and joined the Templar. The model looks very similar to Haythem Kenway and covers the period during the Seven Years' War (which has the Canadian history nerd in me in fits especially given the similarity of the protagonist's clothes to colonial French military uniforms). I am unconvinced that this is Haythem despite the convictions of some fans as during the period covered he would have been a very young man, far too young to be the protagonist in the footage from this trailer. As well the accent of the character appears to be Irish to me. I could be entirely wrong, watch for yourself and judge, but we should know for sure on November 11th when the title is released for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
EA On The House Freebie Wing Commander 3:
Not to be outdone by Microsoft’s Gold and Sony’s PS+ services a few months ago EA started giving away games on their Origin platform in a program called EA On The House. So far the offerings have included some fairly decent games including Dead Space, Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, the entire Sims 2 collection and all its add-ons and the latest addition, Wing Commander 3. This is a classic of gaming, the Wing Commander series is one of the most memorable space combat sims in the history of gaming and has a fond spot in the heart of many geeks for getting Biff Tannen and Luke Skywalker together to fly with and against giant space cats. Oh, and Gimli and Alex DeLarge make an appearance too. Get it now over in Origin while you still can.
Source: Electronc Arts
Ghost Collectors Editions cancelled:
If you are lucky enough to have the disposable income and shelf space to own a Ghost Edition of the highly anticipated Destiny video game you may want to check with your point of purchase that your pre-order is still valid. It has been reported that multiple vendors including Gamestop, Best Buy, and Walmart are spontaneously downgrading or cancelling Ghost Edition pre-orders. Activison indicate that the edition was always to be a collectable with limited quantities but most retailers get stock numbers (or at least fairly good estimates) before taking pre-orders to prevent over selling.
Source: Lazy Gamer
Sony Marketing is… weird:
Sony have always had “unique” marketing, their fourth wall breaking Kevin Butler ads, the Long Live Play commercial, even their “Faces” campaign when the PS3 was making its first rounds of advertising. Sony have always been willing to push the evenlope and try new and unique ways of getting their product at the front of gamers’ minds. That said, their recent Gamescom promotional video looks like something ripped straight out of Nintendo Power! I know 90s retro is cool Sony, but unless you are trying for the ironic post –modern hipster vote this is just lame.
Xbox Europe TV Tuner:
In “why don’t we get this” news it would appear another cool thing is coming to another land far away (for many of us). European Xbox One users will soon be able to purchase an over the air digital receiver that can line in to the HDMI In of their Xbox One. The cool thing about this is it will allow users to use the built in PVR features of the Xbox One to control their television experience at the reasonable price of ₤24.99 in the UK or €29.99 in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. The only question I have is when will this come to our side of the pond and will we in Canada be able to get our hands on it (or at least use one from the UK on our consoles).
Sony Sued over Killzone Resolution:
In “this is why we can’t have nice things” news Sony is being sued over the resolution of Killzone: Shadow Fall. Yes, a gamer has decided to sue Sony over the fact they are being sued over the resolution of their flagship title. The fact this is a launch title and that it is actually 1080p in single player and using an optimization technique to run at 960x1080 in multiplayer to ensure frame rate stability seems to be lost on this person. This is just further proof people will sue over anything even if it makes them look like idiots.
First the Doctors left and now Casey Hudson! Casey, one of the staff responsible for Dragon Age, Mass Effect, MDK2, Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has packed it in. After Mass Effect 3 Hudson took a bit of a beating by some enthusiasts but he has always stood his ground insisting on his creative vision. There is no indication of why he is leaving beyond “taking a break” and “seeking new challenges” which after 16 years of dealing with some of the most obsessive fans in video games is entirely understandable. Casey isn’t the first individual to be driven from the industry or Bioware and with a new IP on the verge of launching, Mass Effect 4 about to start production in earnest, and Dragon Age: Inquisition being a done deal this may be the best time for him to bow out gracefully without impacting his colleagues.
Source: Ars Technica
Another You’ve Been Chosen video drops:
Speaking of Bioware, taking a page from Valve’s ARG-tacular marketing techniques, have released another mysterious trailer. The third You’ve Been Chosen advert shows the destructive impact caused by a young woman. Little is known about this title, we don’t know what team is developing it, what the game is, or even when it will come out but given the proximity to Gamescom I suspect we will know soon.
Our own Sarah Stanley will be thrilled by this news, it appears that Activision has caught on to the Adventure Game rebirth and has relaunched its own adventure powerhouse Sierra Games. This has not come without a price, Telltale’s licensed Kings Quest game has apparently been killed (which leads me to believe that we may be hearing something very soon regarding this). Once again, all roads point to Gamescom.
EA Vault Update:
To answer concerns regarding the longevity of its announced “Vault” COO Peter Moore recently told CVG titles once submitted to the vault will remain there permanently (unlike the PS+ and Xbox Gold services who rotate titles monthly). Further he indicated that the selection will be “substantial” with further AAA games will find their way there soon.
Source: Endgadget, Computer and Video Games
Paul McCartney Destiny Single:
Video gamers and Beatles fans take note (and if you are not a Beatles fan you officially have no soul), Sir Paul McCartney will be releasing the theme song for Destiny he co-wrote with former Bungie employee Marty O’Donnell. The single should be released shortly after the game’s September 9th release date and features McCartney along with a 120-piece ensemble. One thing is for certain, those Moon Wizards have fantastic taste in music!
Twitch changes policy and then subsequently apologizes for handling it poorly:
As part of the transition to being a Google owned corporation Twitch instituted a system where an automated bot would scrape your feed blocking audio in a 30 minute block surrounding the sound as well as removing the long term storage of videos from the service (in all likelihood to drive hosting to Youtube as twitch is realigned in to a streaming/event service). On Friday CEO Emmet Sheer admitted that they may have not communicated this information in the most effective way during a Reddit appearance he said "Simply put: we screwed up and should have announced it ahead of time," which I don’t think really would have helped with the complaints that many Twitch users have. The irony is this is impacting Twitch’s own official streams erasing chunks of audio even in their League of Legends championship coverage.