IW Employee Bonuses to be "Redistributed"
The unpaid MW2 royalties are a key issue in the ongoing Activision vs Wempella lawsuit, and Activision Community Editor Dan Amrich has spoken out in a Facebook Kotick Hate group (oh, the irony) in order to clear up any confusion.
"Vince and Jason had very large bonuses; those bonuses are being redistributed to everybody else, to the people who did not allegedly attempt to steal company secrets. Activision is not pocketing that bonus money; it's still going to the people who work at IW. But you have to work at IW to get it, see? :) I don't want to see talented people screwed out of a paycheck any more than you do."
On the one hand, Activision might hold the legal high ground on this issue. After all, they could argue that bonuses can only be divvied out to current Infinity Ward employees (although I honestly haven't heard of another industry in which bonuses for completed work aren't awarded even in case of relocation/dismissal). As for the moral high ground, however, it's absolutely ridiculous that they've been withholding the MW2 royalties as a threat against leaving the company.
Having said that, it's a threat that doesn't actually seem to be working. Amrich acknowledges that other IW staffers may well up sticks in the near future- possibly to defect to Respawn Studios.
"More people will probably go too, looking for new situations. Maybe they will join Respawn, maybe not."
PS3 Final Fight has "Ubisoft" DRM; Uncharted 2 Expansion Launches
Oh dear. It appears that the PS3 version of Final Fight: Double Impact (reviewed here) requires a constant internet connection to play, and simply refuses to load offline. Expect the usual Ubisoft-esque public backlash, though the XBLA version is apparently unaffected. [VG247]
However, here's some good news for PS3 gamers: the Uncharted 2 title update and Siege Expansion has launched today! The update has corrected a few glitches and balance issues, and the new Siege Pack delivers a bunch of new maps, skins, game modes and trophies. There's also a double cash weekend coming up. Uncharted 2's multiplayer was a surprise online hit, and this new expansion seems to broaden the experience even further. [PS Blog]
Halo Reach Roundup; Halo 3 OD is Slow
Bungie has brought us a veritable smorgasbord of Halo Reach news courtesy of their devblog, press releases and a new vidoc today. It's time for a roundup!
- There's a new vidoc out today! The Carnage Carnivale showcases some seriously smooth and unquestionably Halo multiplayer moments- and challenges gamers to break the code and find glitches that Bungie aren't currently aware of. This is a beta, after all- so get to work! We're most excited about getting our mitts on the long range DMR rifle- which is described as "having a death star in your hands." Go watch it.
- Reach will ship in 3 different editions.
- Standard Box. Comes with... a manual!
- Limited Edition: Ships with an "artifact bag" that contains an art journal, embroidered patch and a bunch of collectibles. And it's packaged in a wicked 'black box'
- Legendary Edition: Ludicrous. Expect the Limited edition goodies along with a noble team statuette, custom packaging and a unique multiplayer armour effect. [Bungie]
- Bungie expects three million participants in the upcoming Halo Reach multiplayer Beta, thus making it the biggest public beta test ever. It certainly trumps the paltry 820,000 that took part in the Halo 3 beta.
"My expectation is it could be upwards of 3 million people. I think that's a fairly conservative estimate. Certainly there will never be a console beta of this magnitude."- Bungie's Brian Jarrard [Seattle Times]
In other Halo news, Bungie have acknowledged that the downloadable Games on Demand version of Halo 3 has much longer load times than the original. To be honest, you'd be much better off buying a cheap physical copy that you can trade in at a later stage. Maybe you should use some sort of... deals website? Just a thought.