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From SWTOR's Space Combat To EA's Smack Talk And 3DS Love - News Roundup 24th July 2010

Matt Gardner
3DS, Activision, David Jaffe, Disney, EA, News, Playdom, Star Wars The Old Republic, Twisted Metal

Space Combat Coming To Star Wars: The Old Republic

From SWTOR's Space Combat To EA's Smack Talk And 3DS Love - News Roundup 24th July 2010

To be honest, this one wasn't much of a surprise to anyone. Nonetheless during their panel session at this year's Comic-Con BioWare announced that space combat would indeed be coming to SWTOR.

'Space combat is an alternative gameplay experience to the primary game of storytelling, questing, and ground-based combat,' wrote Community Manager Sean Dahlberg. 'In space combat, you fly your personal ship to various "hot spots" on your galaxy map. From there, you will blast your way through asteroid fields, enemy fighters, frigates, destroyers, and a variety of other obstacles that will evoke memories of some of the great Star Wars space battles.'

Now I've got to say, generally I dislike MMOs immensely, I'm a relatively solitary player when it comes to RPGs and I was highly sceptical (read 'distraught') when BioWare announced that the follow-up to KOTOR 2 would be taking things online. However, every single thing I see for this game is turning that around. Details are thin on the ground for the space combat at the moment, but you can find screenshots by following the source link. We're psyched...are you? [Shacknews]

Twisted Metal Will Support Split-Screen Online, But Not 3D Or PS Move

From SWTOR's Space Combat To EA's Smack Talk And 3DS Love - News Roundup 24th July 2010

More Comic-Con 2010 news for you. David Jaffe, head honcho at Eat, Sleep, Play, has confirmed that frenetic death racing sim Twisted Metal will support split-screen online. There were a number of pieces of unrevealed concept art on show as well, including the post-apocalyptic theme that had been nixed relatively quickly that Jaffe referred to in his blog earlier in the week. Rather amusingly, Jaffe also rubbished rumours of the game supporting 3D or the Playstation Move, news that, according to G4's reporter on the scene, went down pretty well with the crowd who started cheering . It kind of makes you wonder if anyone actually did any market research and it can't be heartening for Sony (or Microsoft for that matter) to hear people celebrating a lack of integration with new technology. [VG247]

Rumour Mill: Disney To Wade Into The Casual Market By Buying Up Playdom

From SWTOR's Space Combat To EA's Smack Talk And 3DS Love - News Roundup 24th July 2010

As Jon reported earlier in the week, casual games are rapidly becoming big business, with companies like Zynga and Playfish turning over obscene amounts of profit. With Google rumoured to have invested an extravagant amount of cash in Zynga, and considering EA already bought up Playfish for a cool $300 million last year, it's no surprise that some of the other big publishers are looking to get involved.

Disney haven't exactly had the best year, although no-one's really had an excellent last six months if the figures are correct, with Disney Interactive Media continually losing money and in dire need of a big money-maker. Enter Playdom. If sources over at TechCrunch and VentureBeat are to be trusted, Disney's preparing to buy the casual gaming giant for around $600 million. If this does come to fruition, and Disney manage to bring the newly acquired Marvel franchises back in-house, 2011 could look very different for them indeed. [Joystiq]

EA's Schappert Loves The 3DS And Still Has Time To Belittle Activision

From SWTOR's Space Combat To EA's Smack Talk And 3DS Love - News Roundup 24th July 2010

EA's COO John Schappert, second-in-command to Captain Riccitiello, has fallen in love with the 3DS. Talking in an interview with Industry Gamers a day or two ago, he had this to say on Ninty's new handheld:

'The 3DS is just incredibly cool. The 3DS is magical. You put that in your hand, you look down, and all of a sudden it's in 3D without glasses. That's an amazing experience. I'm a huge fan [...] I think that device is going to sell like hot cakes. I think it's going to do incredibly well, and in typical Nintendo fashion they have re-energized the industry, yet again. I give them nothing but credit and we are excited to be supporting that platform with Madden, FIFA, and The Sims that we announced.'

Is that a sly little dig at Sony's big plans for specs-centric 3D? Probably. Mind you, Schappert did go on to say that he really hoped, as I think we all do, that Sony could manage to breathe some life into the PSP yet.

Rather more amusingly, Schappert couldn't help but fire off a dig or two at publishing rival Activision either, softly lamenting their business practices and clearly delighting in the talent that the Infinity Ward mass-exodus has afforded him:

'... Stories of late [regarding Activision] haven't been very positive. And we couldn't be happier to have Jason [West] and Vince [Zampella] as part of our EA Partners program, or Ted Price of Insomniac.

'I would say we're two very, very different companies. What we try to be is a company that embodies creative development, that fosters the development of games, that treats talent as well as you possibly can, because at the end of the day, that's what our industry is and that's what our company is.

'Without great people we can't have great games, and without great games we don't have much of a company and so it's all about taking care of the people that make the products and treating them as the most precious resource because they truly are. So that's really our philosophy.'

Wow. That's a short memory right there, especially considering that it really wasn't so long ago that EA were considered Gaming Enemy Number One. Yes Larry Probst, I'm looking at you and your reign of terror. But that said, if even John Carmack can forgive EA I think we can too. Your move, Activision. [Eurogamer]

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