It's midweek and the media gears are churning. A surprising acquisition of a prominent games company promises big things, whilst an even bigger name loses some brand awareness due to a name-change. And finally, Brutal Legend finds its box-art, Dragon Quest’s dominance of Japan goes on, and Yahtzee crucifies Prototype!
Bethesda Consumes id Software
Bethesda, developers of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, have bought id Software, the makers of the Doom and Quake franchises. ZeniMax Media, Bethesda’s parent company, claim no corporate or organisational changes will be made to id Software, whose technical and creative leads respectively, John Carmack and Todd Hollenshead, will remain and seem happy about their company’s acquisition.
Carmack claims he’d been tired of wrangling budgets and publishers, and so the key allure of being bought by ZeniMax Media was the freedom and consistency he could enjoy with a guaranteed publisher. [Eurogamer]
Brutal Legend’s Box-Art Uncovered
Box-art isn’t often a newsworthy piece, but when it’s for Tim Schafer’s rock-epic, Brutal Legend, it demands an exception! The box-art sees protagonist Eddy Riggs, a roadie who is transported to the ancient land of rock and becomes a hero, standing atop a mound of bodies, guitar and axe held up triumphantly, with arms of lightening scarring the blue-sky backdrop. [GamerCenterOnline]
Modern Warfare 2 Drops Call of Duty Moniker, Loses Familiarity
According to tracking firm OTX, Modern Warfare 2, the sixth instalment in the Call of Duty series, has lost brand awareness by removing the series name from its title. OTX estimates 20% of customers do not recognise Modern Warfare 2 as a Call of Duty game, despite the Modern Warfare subtitle being present in the fourth game.
OTX claims including the Call of Duty name in a questionnaire related to Modern Warfare 2 doubled customer awareness, but upon dropping it, a similarly sized reduction occurred. Activision, the game’s parent company, may have been seeking to avoid a long-winded and potentially hard-to-remember title, but in the process have shot themselves in the proverbial foot. [VG247]
Yahtzee Tackles Prototype and Infamous
Fans of Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw, the infamous Zero Punctuation reviewer, famed for his swift and ruthless deconstructing of games, has posted a video-review for Prototype, pitting it against its rival sibling in the superhero sandbox genre, Infamous.
Anyone familiar with Yahtzee’s reviews knows what to expect. It’ll be hard-hitting, hilarious and a tad over-critical! [TheEscapist]
Dragon Quest Slays Japan
Final Fantasy may be the most famous Japanese game in the West, but on its home-soil, Dragon Quest reins supreme. A recent survey in Famitsu magazine reveals 95.5% of Japanese people, aged between 16 and 49 are aware of the Dragon Quest brand.
A total of 32.2 million copies have been sold in Japan alone, and that number will inevitably rise with the release Dragon Quest IX, which has claimed the top spot on Famitsu readers’ Most Wanted list 62 times! [1UP]