GTA4 Educates Merseyside Pupils
Alarmist idiots pundits continually criticise Grand Theft Auto's corruption of our rosy-cheeked youth, but Merseyside schools are currently using the game to educate students about the effects of violent behavior. In a police-sponsored initiative, stills from the game are being spliced into actual violent footage to deter primary school pupils from committing violent behavior.
Don't worry, this isn't a Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing aversion therapy. The GTA footage is being used to illustrate the difference between good, bad and unreal violence- and it's a great idea in my book. If parents don't get round to explaining that beating up prostitutes in real life isn't okay, at least our schools will. I wonder if Mass Effect footage will make it into Sex Ed classes... [BBC]
DirectX Creator: OnLive is "Doomed"
Alex St. John, one of the creators of Direct X, believes that the cloud-based OnLive service is a great idea that's doomed to commercial failure. Whilst he admits that the idea is technologically sound, he believes that they've overestimated the demand and publisher support for the platform- as well as the average PC Gamer's need for it.
“I would not be surprised to see successful future games that are designed to be delivered as streaming video, but a new streaming delivery technology will not create a new online second life for this dying genre of content. The hard to accept reality is that traditional games are simply dead in an online world and frankly the publishers of these games will ultimately die with them."
Our recent Game Buzz editorial takes a long hard look at the viability of cloud gaming- why not get involved in the debate? A UK release for the OnLive service has yet to be announced, and it'll be very interesting to see whether the fledgling platform takes off in the States. [Industry Gamer via VG247]
Warhammer Online Overcharges by $500!
News Update: Due to a billing glitch, Warhammer Online has been fleecing gamers for hundreds of dollars in $16 increments. As yet, the issue hasn't been resolved and players have been forced to resort to dealing with their banks and building societies directly. People are naturally leaving the game in droves, fearing similar issues.
Play Warhammer Online? Check your bank account. [Warhammer Online Forums]
Activision Countersue "Self-Serving Schemers"
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Activision has issued a countersuit against ousted Infinity Ward devs Jason West and Vince Zampella. IGN has posted the full court documents here, but we've gleaned a few choice nuggets from the expansive (and fairly interesting) piece of legal chicanery.
"[West and Zampella] morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision's assets for their own personal gain,"
"[West and Zampella went] on a secret trip by private jet to Northern California, arranged by their Hollywood agent."
This is the crux of the argument. The two creatives did covertly visit EA, and it's very likely that they were discussing switching back to their original publisher. The rumours have been flying thick and fast, but the fact is that their hiring of a talent agency is a matter of public record. However, their attorney has argued that the talent agency was simply drafted in to advise on negotiations with Activision itself; and that it's the right of any employee (regardless of profession) to keep feelers out for better jobs. He's got a point.
Naturally, the Activision suit tars Wempella as a duo of conniving villains bent on corrupting their beloved franchise, whilst their own attorney paints the picture of two blameless angels who were crushed by an monolithic force of pure evil. Reading between the lines, the two devs were definitely in breach of contract (and certainly not completely innocent), but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve their rightful bonuses for developing a damn fine game (and making Activision an obscene amount of money).
At least Infinity Ward might actually get the money that they rightly deserve. Frankly, it's the hard-working dev team that's continually getting screwed by the ongoing legal situation; both in terms of money and morale.
“When Activision prevails, it intends to reallocate any share of the Modern Warfare 2 bonus pool that might otherwise have been payable to West and Zampella to those employees responsible for the success of the game who remain employees of the company subsequent to the resolution of the matter.”
I'll believe it when I see it. Regardless, expect MW3 development to be severely delayed. [IGN]
What do you think about the Infinity Ward scandal? Found something interesting in the court documents? Want to rant about Activision? Have your say in the comments!