The News that Almost Was: April
No, I didn’t forget about this. Well, ok, I sort of did, but I was busy taking over as Editor-in-Chief, plus I was sick that one week, fire, locusts, earthquakes, etc.
I really do plan on making this a regular feature, at least until we have such a great staff that we get every single story of note covered, every week. Which will probably happen sometime between pigs achieving flight and hell suffering an unseasonal frost.
The point is this wonderful feature beloved by dozens around the world is back! To make up for lost time, I’ll be doing a couple more stories than usual, but then next week it will be back to normal. Hopefully.
- To start with, I heard someone was making predictions that Half-Life 3 would be announced at E3. Apparently, the source for this was an exceptionally hacky post on Kotaku that used even less reliable methodology that that guy who keeps predicting the end of the world every six months. So instead of giving them any traffic, here’s a video of a monkey riding a dog.
- EA has filed a trademark for SimOcean. This could mean several things. First, they could be following in the 1990s line of SimFarm, SimEarth, and SimAnt and making another spin off cashing in on the SimCity name. Second, it could just be them staving off any trying to sneak in on their territory, like when Activision trademarked “Guitar Villain” a few years back. Or, most likely the way things go these days, this will be a crappy Facebook game that charges you $20 to add dolphins to your own private ocean.
- nVidia has announced the GeForce GTX 690, complete with 4GB of memory, nearly a gigahertz clock speed, and a price tag of $999. Now I understand
compensating for somethingwanting to have the best and fastest gaming rig possible, but what do you actually get out of it? I just upgraded to a used GTX 260 (middle of the rage, two hardware generations back due to odd naming practices) and Battlefield 3 ran fine for me. And to make justifying a purchase even harder, this thing still won’t run Crysis 2 at 60 FPS, even by nVidia’s numbers. Some devs must really suck at optimizing their code.
- The Guild Wars 2 beta is open to everyone, provided you open your wallet to NC Soft. Pre-order the game, and you’re in.
- Speaking of betas, the beta for Family Guy Online is up and running. You need a key to get in, but apparently they are processing requests and letting in a new batch of players pretty regularly. The devs on this one have said they are aiming somewhere in the middle as far as audience goes: not a super hardcore MMO grind, but not a glorified Facebook game either. I’m curious to see how it works out.
- Some guy is suing Ubisoft for copyright infringement, claiming there are a lot of similarities between Assassin’s Creed and his book, Link. He makes a pretty good case, so it will be interesting to see how this goes. It won’t result in the Assassin’s Creed franchise getting shut down or anything, but it could end up costing Ubisoft some money. It kind of reminds me of the issue that popped up several years ago between the Michael Bay movie The Island and the older, lower budget Parts: The Clonus Horror. Things were going so badly for The Island’s producers in court that they just bought the remake rights to Parts and told that guy to go away so they could release their explosion fest on schedule.
- And there might be more than just lack of interest keeping developers from working on WiiWare titles. Beamdog, who ported MDK2 to the platform last year, announced that they are done with WiiWare after a nine-month certification process, ridiculous file size limits, and Nintendo refusing to pony up the cash until it hits a certain sales milestone that, due to WiiWare being about as popular as herpes, the game might never see.
Thanks to Adushan for the Family Guy and Ubisoft tips.