Last night, Electronic Arts (EA) held an investor call in which several details of upcoming titles were revealed. Below is a quick list of the most important stuff to note from the meeting:
It seems to have been quite a good year for EA on the financial side of things – say what you want about their money grabbing schemes with stuff like Online Passes, but the output of games last year was solid, and sales from titles such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic have led to an overall revenue of $5.4 billion; $1.2 billion of which was purely from digital sources such as Origin, EA’s online distribution service
More importantly for gaming fans, we can look forward to a few more titles in the upcoming months. The latest instalment of Need For Speed is set for release sometime around Christmas as per usual. Given the lacklustre response to The Run, here’s to hoping that we will get another game in the same vein of quality as Hot Pursuit.
Football fans like myself should also be anticipated FIFA 13 in the same time period. Series producer David Rutter has promised an updated player impact engine, better ball control and revamped free kicks amongst the major changes for the latest version of the best football game on the market.
The investor meeting also heavily hinted that there will be a third Dead Space game, widely expected to be under the helm once again of Visceral Games. Expect more details of this game to be released at the upcoming E3 conference.
Finally, we have a more concrete release date for the new SimCity, which I am very much looking forward to. Before yesterday we had to guess when it would arrive in 2013, but now the promise of a release in the final quarter of this fiscal year (January to March for those of us not blessed in the ways of accountancy) means the wait becomes only slightly less unbearable.
Hello everyone – It’s good to be finally be home again with my family having just finished the semester at University, as it means I can do a bit more journalism in my free time. The following is a roundup of some interesting news and deals from the last few days…
Usually, Steam are pretty generous on their deals and offers – not a day goes by when there isn’t at least something on offer. This Christmas however, they have gone berserk. From today up until the 1st January, there is a simply enormous catalogue of games of every genre on offer, including sensational deals on individual games (Portal 2 is £5 today….that’s an absolute steal) and packs of games from the likes of Bethesda, Rockstar, Square Enix and of course Valve. The deals will change every day, so be sure to keep checking back regularly. The real big news on Steam however is the Great Gift Pile promotion. By completing various challenges every day, you will earn free games, vouchers, or a piece of coal. Don’t despair if you get some coal however though, because it’s the entry to the Epic Holiday Giveaway – top prize: EVERY GAME ON STEAM. Best clear out some hard drive space and pray then people.
Microsoft has also waded into the murky waters of deals, with their annual 12 Days Of Christmas promotion, where each day one Xbox Live Arcade game will be discounted for the day. Today it’s the turn of Bastion, one of the big winners at the recent VGA awards – its yours for 600 MS Points. Major Nelson has also posted up details about some permanent deals that will be running through the 12 days as well, and you can check the details via this link.
If you bought a 3DS early, the long awaited Game Boy Advance games for Ambassadors are now available for you to download for free. The list, which will probably offer more playability than the earlier NES Ambassador games, are as follows and are available via the E-Shop on your 3DS
– F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
– Super Mario Advance 3
– The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap
– Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
– Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
– Mario Kart: Super Circuit
– Mario vs. Donkey Kong
– Metroid Fusion
– Wario Land 4
– WarioWare Inc
The long awaited Star Wars: The Old Republic, the biggest MMO to be released in years, finally goes on sale today. About 1 million lucky people have been playing early due to pre-order incentives, and it will now remain to be seen whether or not BioWare’s effort can dislodge World Of Warcraft from its lofty perch. I won’t be getting it personally as my laptop will not run it, however I have quite a few friends who have jumped on board, and I may be able to get first thoughts from them in a few days time.
Finally, the best selling game at Christmas in the UK has been announced, and for the first time in eight years it is not an EA or Activision title – it’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, capping off an incredible year for Bethesda’s behemoth. The title of Christmas King has been dominated by Call Of Duty and Need For Speed over the last decade, and Skyrim has become the first game to break the run – the last title was the wonderful Grand Theft Auto: Vice City which ruled the roost in 2002.
Have some delicious gaming news (relatively) hot off the press
The big news for the week has been from Nintendo, who have announced big price cuts for its 3DS, the handheld console which was released earlier this year. On August 12th, the price in the US will drop from $249 to $169.99, while EU countries and the UK will get price cuts of ‘approximately one third’. This move comes after quite disappointing hardware sales of just 0.7 million units in the past three months, and 4.53 million units overall since its release in Japan in February, despite positive reviews for titles such as Ocarina Of Time 3DS. There have also been a recent spate of delays from 3DS games, including Metal Gear Solid 3DS, which have affected confidence in gamers looking to purchase a 3DS. Nintendo did rally back however, by telling everyone who has already bought a 3DS that they will be rewarded for their early support by getting 20 free games (10 NES titles including Super Mario Bros and The Legend Of Zelda, and 10 Game Boy Advance titles including Yoshi’s Island and Mario Kart: Super Circuit) if they connect to the Nintendo eShop before August 11th, and by announcing the release dates for two big 3DS titles; Super Mario 3D Land which will arrive in November, and Mario Kart 7 (previously called Mario Kart 3DS) which will be a December release. It’s certainly a bold move by Nintendo to cut prices so early in the console’s life span, clearly the 3DS hasn’t caught on as they would have hoped (compared to the DS which sold like hotcakes) and they have taken early evasive action. One wonders if the 3DS will be simply swamped out over the upcoming period of massive releases for home consoles though. Keep an eye on Nintendo’s balance sheets to see if it works out for them.
Bioware have made some incredibly bold claims over the past week at Comic Con with regards to their upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. During an open panel, it was claimed that the game will still be going strong in 2025 (that’s over a decade away by the way), and that there will be over 500 world by that point; to put that into context there will be 19 main worlds when you get the game. Genuine aspiration or bullshit claims? I think the latter to be honest. It still hasn’t stopped people pre-ordering it by the shedload however, and it will no doubt be a challenger to World Of Warcraft in the short term at least. You can watch this video to see all the eight classes in action in game.
Resident Evil 4 HD and Resident Evil: Code Veronica X HD have been given release dates and prices: they will be available in both digital and disc form on the 20th and 27th of September respectively, and will cost 1600 MSP on Xbox Live and £15.99 on PSN.
In order to build up hype for Batman: Arkham City (as if it needed any), some viral videos have been released over the last few days. They involve Professor Hugo Strange interviewing several of the Dark Knight’s enemies, including The Penguin, The Riddler and The Joker (in a similar way to the patient tapes you could find in Arkham Asylum). Not much in the way of plot has been revealed by these tapes, but one can at least appreciate the quality voice acting, even if Penguin’s cockney accent is a bit strange to hear for the first time.
As a reward to all its fans, Rockstar Games have announced that the excellent Red Dead Redemption will be getting another DLC pack in September; called ‘Myths and Mavericks’, it will involve new locations for multiplayer matches and reset the Undead Overrun multiplayer settings. Best of all, its free. Cheers Rockstar.
Finally (no catchphrase intended), anyone who pre-orders WWE ’12, THQ’s upcoming wrestling game, will get The Rock as a bonus character. The Rock has been a regular character in every Smackdown vs Raw game, and one would assume he will become standard DLC once the game is released.
Tonight I will finally get round to posting up my review of Crash Team Racing, and I will get round to reviewing Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence some time this week. Cheers for reading.