Atlus Dissolved, Team 17 Goes Solo
The harsh financial climate has been taking its toll on every player in the industry, both major and minor. Studios and publishers have been forced to adapt or die (or both), and today brings two very different fortunes for two very different companies.
First up, JRPG publisher Atlus has been dissolved by its Japanese parent company in order to concentrate on "more profitable areas." Atlus are best known for the Persona series, though they were also overseeing the worryingly controversial Catherine and and ACE Team's next bizarre offering. There's apparently an indication that the brand and company might live on in some form, but not without a massively reduced staff and rebranding. [Eurogamer]
On a much more positive note, legendary British developer Team 17 has shrugged off their publisher to become a self-publishing studio. We can expect a digital distribution-based sales model from the guys that brought us the Worms franchise, Alien Breed, Body Blows, Super Frog and... unfortunately... the latest Leisure Suit Larry abomination. Every developer gets one, I suppose. We wish them the best of luck. [MCV]
Microsoft to Raise Xbox Live Gold Prices. A Bit.
Microsoft have announced that they'll be hiking the price for Xbox Live Gold membership from 1st November. The States has been hit with a seriously nasty $10 increase, but luckily us Brits will only have to pay one pound extra for official monthly membership directly from Microsoft. Annual prices should remain unaffected.
Naturally, we'll continue to bring you the best prices for Xbox Live Gold membership- but I'd seriously consider cancelling your monthly subscription and grabbing an annual card if I were you.
Monday Night Combat Free DLC Details
Monday Night Combat was the wild card of this year's XBLA Summer of Arcade. As an independent IP, it lacked the household name of Guardians of Light and the pretentious hype of Limbo. Thankfully, MNC turned out to be an absolutely fantastic blend of team shooting and tower defence; and fans will soon be rewarded by a patch and some free DLC.
The patch will fix a few technical issues and improve the netcode, while the DLC pack will apparently contain "new content". Some more maps would be nice. Or, you know, a straight-up deathmatch gametype. Two more content packs have also been announced, but we can expect to pay top dollar when they roll around. [1UP]
Want to know more? Step up to the plate and read my full review.
Vanquish Demo Deploys Today
We've been featuring a fair few trailers of SEGA's upcoming Sci-Fi shooter on our news roundups these last few weeks... on account of it shaping up to be ridiculously badass. If you've been left weak kneed and salivating by the Vanquish mix of fast-paced cover shooting and bareknuckle brawling with massive robots, you'll be delighted to know that the demo is out later today on Xbox Live Marketplace and tomorrow lunchtime on PSN.
You're going to need a bigger gun. If fututistic gunslinging floats your boat, download it, play it and let us know what you make of it!