critical-strike-2

eBay Gets Serious On Virtual Property?

January 28th, 2007 . by jb

Ebay LogoAnyone who's played an MMO can tell you that there are things you can buy online to benefit your character in game.  Starting as far back as Diablo II, people have been shelling out their hard earned money to buy something to give them an edge in an online game.

The sale of in-game money and items is probably the birth of microtransactions now that I think about it…

eBay has always had a long standing policy forbidding the sales of unowned intellectual property, however it appears that they may actually be enforcing it now.  Seller's used to make the descriptions for the item misleading, as to thwart the policy.  Well that won't matter anymore!

Being an ex-avid MMO player myself, I can tell you straight up that this won't matter one bit.  While eBay may have been the most popular medium for selling your items, there are many other websites that do the same thing.  If anything is going to change, the game makers that are pissed are going to have to specifically target each individual seller.  Not likely…

It's a step in the right direction, but ultimately it'll have the same effect as me kicking a cat that invaded my property:  One cat may be gone, but many a cat will still live un-punted. 

[Source: 1up

Microtransactions Shake Their Money-Maker

January 26th, 2007 . by jb

No Feeding!Maybe people would understand how bad microtransactions are for the industry if they were given some kind of warning like the one pictured…

A recent analysis by research company, ABI Research, has conclude that console microtransactions alone will account for $833,000,000 dollars in revenue by the year 2011.

Research director guy, go!

"All of the big-three console vendors are working closely with their publisher partners, both internal and third party, to push as much content through digital distribution as possible. In offering original titles and after-market content, publishers will be able grow the average revenue they receive for a single gaming title."

Now written in gamer-vision:

"Publishers are going to be selling you incomplete games so you can buy the rest later."

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to buy some more game money to buy the new costumes I just bought.

[Source: Pro-G via Evil Avatar

No you can’t have an Xbox 360

January 26th, 2007 . by joshtest

NoXBoxThe Boston Channel is hosting a story about a teenager with cancer who was a target for thieves to steal his stuff. WHILE he was away during a chemo treatment!

From the article,

Jeff's sister, Katie Cota, discovered the crime when she came home from work on Sunday. His new XBox 360 and more than $1,000 worth of games and DVDs were missing from his room.

"I couldn't believe that someone would actually do that after everything that he's been through," Katie said. "They definitely knew that they were gone and that I was working. So, it's someone that we know."Police said that they believe the suspects who broke into the Georgia, Vt., home had been in the home before and knew that Jeff had cancer and was in Boston getting treatment

Luckily, when the news of what had happened got out in the town, a local radio station broadcasted the story, which was quickly swamped with calls pledging donations. One person even bought a new Xbox 360 and gave it to the station to give to Jeff. Pretty spiffy eh?

Oh, and I'm going to hell for the picture.

First class please

[Source: The Boston Channel

SquareEnix’s Banning Continues

January 25th, 2007 . by Josh

In an aggressive act against those who use third-party tools, cheat, trade gil or buy gil from farmers. SquareEnix has banned over 6,100 accounts from their famed mmorpg Final Fantasy XI.

This is not the first time SquareEnix has stepped up to fight against those who violate the games terms of service, they banned thousands of users over the summer.

[Source: PlayOnline

Phil Harrison Added to GDC

January 25th, 2007 . by jb

Picard HarrisonThis GDC is really shaping up this year, eh?

Phil Harrison joins the ranks attending GDC to help spread the knowledge.  Calling his keynote "Game 3.0", Harrison is aiming to educate the audience on developing and consuming in an "always on" environment.  Naturally, his speech will focus on the Playstation mentality, and should be pretty interesting in terms of content.

Roll that beautiful GDC event organizer footage!

"Each console cycle gives platforms the chance to reinvent the experiences they enable developers to provide to gamers. Phil Harrison is uniquely positioned to apply both his prescient creative abilities and his command of a globe-spanning network of leading development teams — to bring the entire developer community in on the giant leap forward of the PlayStation 3."

Phil's actually a pretty cool guy.  After the PS3's launch, he was the first to say that the first real game for the PS3 was going to be Motorstorm.

Touche Harrison…touche… 

[Source: Gamasutra]

Ritual Still Releasing SiN

January 25th, 2007 . by Josh

Though just yesterday Ritual Entertainmnt (Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Star Trek: Elite Force II) was bought by MumboJumbo, they want to assure people that nothing will change.

Infact, those who wanted the SiN episodes, ya they’re still coming, along with some other big name titles and smaller titles.

[Source: 1up

Stupid, Stupid Kids

January 25th, 2007 . by Josh

I wonder if it's true as you get older, you just feel the younger generations are getting dumber and dumber, of course I'm only 25 but I do feel they are dumber.

To the point, one Ohio middle school student was arrested after discussing on Xbox Live that he would be bringing a 9mm pistol to school. Shortly after the student was arrested they also placed the high school on lock down just in case of any further incidents.

[Source: Kotaku

FF-FPS?

January 25th, 2007 . by joshtest

FFXIIINo, we're not talking about Dirge of Cerberus 2 : Squawk of the Chocobo , (at least I hope not).  Instead we are talking about Square-Enix acquiring use of Epics Unreal 3 Engine for future deployment.

According to Square, the use of the Unreal Engine will, "expedite our game development process significantly while allowing extra time and resources to be spent on game design and mechanics by establishing an effective technology platform." says Taku Murata, general manager of research and development at Square Enix.

Even Epic admits in a big PR move that they are honored to supply the engine software for Square. Jay Wilbur, VP of Epic Games, says, "Square Enix is one of the biggest and most influential companies in the worldwide game business, and having them work with Unreal Engine 3 is a major honour for us and something we're very proud to be announcing."

What will this ultimately mean for us, the players? Well hopefully it will not only give Square time to polish the mechanic aspects since graphics are done, but also actually make our main male characters LOOK male this time around.

I know.. a bit of a stretch 

[Source: Gamesindustry

WoW tells LOTR, “You shall not pass”

January 25th, 2007 . by joshtest

Destructoid is reporting that an "industry ninja" has revealed the release date of the new Lord of the Rings MMO. Shadows of Angmar will apparently be launched on April 24th, with preorders starting as early as today.

Two things I can easily see happening with this.

First : "Frodoh" and "Samwisee" will engadge in the epic hobbit homosexuality never revealed in the book, but we all know happened.

Second : No one will actually know this game exists, because there are no other MMOs besides World of Warcraft.

 "You shall not pass" indeed…

[Source: Destructoid

3rd Parties Fear Nintendo’s Wii

January 24th, 2007 . by jb

FEAR THE WII!Sounds kinda hot, am I right?!

Frontline Studio's business development manager, Brian Dreyer, has called out publishers in terms of their Wii support.  He cites some examples such as Nintendo being more first party oriented, and that the control scheme could be scaring away developers.

Mr. Dreyer's involvement with the (likely to be hit-or-miss) game Sadness kinda makes his comments a bit off.  Sadness is coming to the Wii in an exclusive way, so you can imagine that he's trying to poor the kool-aid down your throat a little.

What really makes one scratch the head would be this little gem:

"Gamers are yawning at these supposedly great-looking games on other systems. With the Wii, we're back to the fundamentals, the nuts and bolts of any video games experience, which simply means it has to be fun."

Gamers are definitely yawning at such failures as: Gears of War, Resistance: Fall of Man, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Oblivion, Motorstorm, Virtual Fighter 5, Metal Gear Solid 4… 

No fun to be had here folks…move along…

[Source: GamesIndustry]

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