Contains Unreal Gold, Unreal 2: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament GOTY Edition, Unreal Tournament 2004: Editor’s Choice Edition, and Unreal Tournament 3 Black. Definitely worth the price of admission for some classic FPS carnage. Thanks to grizzl33 @ HUKD!
Former Midway Games VP of business development and licensing, Lee Jacobson, has suggested that companies need to be more decisive when it comes to greenlighting and canning projects, in order to avoid the same fate as publishers such as Midway and, more recently, THQ.Click here to read more...
Indie development is fast becoming one of the most important sources of innovation and inspiration within our industry, and a veritable font of excellent games for negligible prices. The Hearts Of Men was a perfect example of this phenomenon when it released on the Xbox Live Indie earlier this year, and after securing our Indie Game Of The Week accolade, COLTRAN Studios has been hard at work completing a remastered, extended and definitive version. Known as Throne Of Deceit, this new version will offer a massive amount of new content when it launches next week.
Studio director Jason Zielinski is a art department veteran of both Midway and Day 1 Studios with titles like Mortal Kombat, Stranghehold and F.E.A.R. 3 on his resume - one of an increasing number of experienced AAA developers who have decided to jump into the exciting Indie arena. Eager to discuss the new project... as well as learning why developers choose to to go from Triple-A to indie development... I sat down with with him for a chat.
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Many thanks for talking to us. First of all, could you introduce yourselves to our readers - and tell us about your triple-A background?
Jason Zielinski (COLTRAN Studios): First off, thank you for this opportunity! It's always great to speak about all of our efforts and share with the community.My background started out at Midway Chicago, back in 2005 working on such titles as Stranglehold, Ballers, and the Mortal Kombat series to name a few titles, where I worked as a cinematic character artist. After Midway, I went to work at Day 1 Studios, another Chicago based studio, where I was an environmental and concept artist on "Fracture" and "F.E.A.R. 3", as well as many conceptual pitches for games like Tron and Batman. My next step actually went in 2 directions--I was laid off from Day 1 Studios, and it was here I knew COLTRAN was what I wanted to be doing, so as I started to build our (COLTRAN) team, I took the title of Lead Artist at Toy Studio, a social game company in Chicago. While there, I worked on Pet Rescue and Candy Dream for Facebook, and eventually found our way to the mobile market, with over 15 titles on the Nook Color. And, currently, I work as the Lead Artist for a new social startup in Chicago, laying the groundwork within the new studio for our first Facebook game.
Click here to read more...
Remember the epic Mortal Kombat pitch that featured Geri Ryan and Michael Jai White that hit the internet with a resounding OMG last summer? Of course you do. Whilst Warner Bros unfortunately didn't option the idea, director Kevin Tancharoen has confirmed that he'll be filming a 10-part webisode that follows on from the gritty pilot.
You'd better believe that we're excited about this. Jai-White will reprise his role as Jax, but for now, we don't know much beyond the fact that filming will commence next month. Watch this space! [Bloody Disgusting]
Several videos have resurfaced (from way back in the mists of time) of Hero: Midway's superhero sandbox game. It appears to be a solid yet generic mashup of inFamous and Prototype, featuring third person combat and nifty upgradeable abilities. Unfortunately for Hero, the project was canned when Midway hit the skids last year.
However, there's still hope. Many Midway veterans fled to Phosphor Games Studio, where a new (as-yet-unannounced) "3rd person action-adventure title" is in the works. Concept artwork seems to suggest that the two IPs are one and the same. We've reached out to Phosphor Games for comment. [Phosphor Games Studio]
DC Universe Online has hit with massive critical acclaim and fan support, requiring SOE needing to bring two more servers online to cope with the massive demand. However, not content to rest on their laurels, Director Chris Cao has promised that monthly updates will continue to bring tweaks and improvements to the experience at no extra cost to players.
The first update will contain new auction houses to facilitate item trading, as well as several improvements to group chat and social interactions in general. Apparently auctions were redacted from the retail release due to problems with the user interface, but these issues have now been addressed. We're looking forward to seeing how the expanding virtual world evolves over the coming months. [Massively]
The original S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl wowed the PC crowd back in 2007 with its unforgiving and rewarding take on the first person RPG. Whilst an expansion pack hit earlier this year, fans are desperate to get back to The Zone to work out what the hell's going on... and luckily, GSC Game World has finally announced a fully fledged sequel.
"After the official sales of the series exceeded 4 million copies worldwide, we had no doubts left to start creating a new big game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe. This will be the next chapter of the mega-popular game players expect from us" - Sergiy Grygorovych, CEO of GSC Game World
Interestingly, the press release states that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will be powered by "completely new multi-platform technology"- which suggests that the series could well be headed to consoles.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has been slated for a 2012 release. Naturally, we'll keep you updated by the wire. [GSC Game World]
Crytek broke our hears when they announced that we wouldn't be able to play Crysis 2 this year, but at least we now have a solid date to look forward to. According to the official Crysis 2 twitter feed, the European release date has been scheduled for March 25th 2010.
It's a long time, I know. However, expect this extra few months to be spent polishing the finished product to a state of near-perfection... and adding some jawdropping 3D for the PS3 version. Crytek are all about the 3D these days. [via 1UP]
Quakecon has provided Bethesda with a handy new soapbox from which to shout about their wares. During a panel featuring several big-name developers (including ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella), Bethesda Studio Director Todd Howard stated that they were two years into developing an as-yet unnannounced project.
As you'd expect, details are thin on the ground- but the smart money is currently on Elder Scrolls 5 or the rumoured Elder Scrolls MMO. [VG247]
Bizarrely, this was the only real news to come out of the West and Zampella panel. Was anyone else expecting a Respawn announcement?
Midway used to be a development and publishing powerhouse back in the day, but poor sales and lack of truly impressive new IPs forced the company to sell the majority of its assets to Warner Brothers last year. However, the deal shafted a large number of Midway's creditors, who had sunk 9.2 million dollars into the company only to discover that the money could not be paid back. Not only that, but over 155 million dollars was owed to unsecured noteholders who simply couldn't legally recover the substantial sum.
After a couple of unsuccessful court cases to recover the funds, a Delaware judge has finalised the firms liquidation plans once and for all. The full amount will be paid back to Midway's creditors, but only a paltry $25 million will be paid back to its noteholders. This final liquidation essentially marks the end of Midway as we know it... a hollow, miserable husk of the 52-year-old company that thrilled millions of arcade veterans and home console owners with its classic violent beat-em-ups.
Frankly, we're glad to see that at least some of the lost investment will now return to its rightful owners- and that the sorry story of Midway's decline can be put behind us once and for all. [Kotaku]
Update: This isn't happening according to the latest Guerrilla Games press release. Shame.
Mouthwatering leaked details and concept art for Killzone 3 hit the interweb yesterday, but continued analysis of the precious data indicates that Guerrilla Games won't be the only dev team involved with its realisation. Apparently, Naughty Dog (the multiple-award winning studio behind the critically-acclaimed Uncharted series) will be lending a hand to make the game engine run as smoothly and impressively as possible.
This can only be a good thing. Killzone 3 promises to take players to "diverse locales" and environments... and when it comes to luscious colourful next-gen level design and texturing, you can count on Naughty Dog to deliver the goods.
In other Naughty Dog-related news, next weekend marks the rollout of "The Lab" multiplayer playlist for Uncharted 2. As well as being a double cash weekend, it'll also be an experimental beta for new game modes with varied modifiers and settings. This experimental testing will offer new modes every week. [CVG]
MAG, the self-titled PS3 Massive Action Game that allows for enormous FPS multiplayer battles on an unprecedented scale, will be receiving a major new patch and DLC very soon. Speaking on the official Zipper Interactive forums, community manager Jeremy Dunham has confirmed that the details of the new patch will be going live next week. DLC is also apparently on its way, and Zipper plans to unveil the details at E3.
Frequent patching and content updates should allow MAG to mature into an fully-fledged online community; and we're looking forward to seeing what balance issues and networking glitches. For the record though, MAG fans, please make sure you buy a bluetooth headset. The squads that talk to each other always win. [VG247]
It's getting pretty quiet in the office, since everyone's out enjoying the good weather. Why not drop us a line in the comments and get involved!
We love free stuff here at Dealpswn, hence our Click To Play weekly feature of the very best free Flash, but there's nothing quite like nabbing a full game for absolutely zilch. It's been around for a little while now, but, in case you don't know, BigDownload are offering downloadable copies of Area 51 and The Suffering for less than a penny sweet. The former sees Mulder and Marilyn Manson facing off against one another as a mutagenic virus breaks out inside the infamous base, whilst the latter has you playing as a murderer sentenced to death attempting to break free from prison after an earthquake leads to a monstrous invasion of creatures that loosely personify all of the forms of execution used by the judiciary.
Both games were originally released as freeware in a deal sponsored by the United States Air Force, although those links since expired, but now at least we can still get two fairly decent games for absolutely nothing.
Area 51 is actually an alright shooter. The plot is pretty silly and the graphics are really quite outdated now but it's a good little sci-fi action romp and well worth checking out if you're bored and nothing to do but pick your toenails and stare at your navel. There's an interesting little scanning mini-game to give you more details on your surroundings and enemy types and when you get infected yourself, there's some nifty mutant powerhousing to be done. It's pretty unremarkable, but it's fun in short bursts and...oh yeah....it's free!
The Suffering is a third-person action-adventure that bears slight similarities to Manhunt. You play as Torque, the man sentenced to death for murdering his wife and two kids (or did he?) and you have to deal with supernatural monsters and the penitentiary inhabitants as you try to bust your way out. Most interestingly, there's a three-way morality system (good, bad, meh) and a mini battle for your soul going on as you'll encounter situations where you have to make a choice, and the ghost of your wife will vie with hellish demons to try and sway your judgement. It an entertaining little game, if a little repetitive, but there's some solid action, good monster design and multiple endings to be had.
These aren't exactly chart-topping gobsmackers, but they're sturdy games that deserve a playthrough, if only to remember the now-defunct Midway. Plus, you know, they're FREE!
Thanks to james4809 @ HUKD
Sunday is a rather slow day from a gaming perspective, but there are still some interesting tidbits to share. Rumours of the PS3 hitting the gym and slimming down hit the news today, as well as possible price-cuts for it and the 360 Elite. We hear how people become hooked on the lives of Sims, and Rhianna Pratchett believes the action-hero cliché is too prominent in gaming.
An “inside mole” from Ars Technica has recently speculated the possibility of the PS3 receiving a price-cut this fall. Accompanying the price cut will be the launch of the slim-line PS3, similar to the slim-line versions of the PSone and PS2. Sony naturally remain as tight-lipped as ever, but judging from the mole’s previous accuracy in regards to rumours there may be a great deal of truth in them.
These rumours also indicate the Xbox 360 Elite will also receive a price cut around the same time. To accommodate this, Microsoft apparently intend to sell all Xbox 360 Pro Models in the form of bundles such as the Halo 3/Fable 2 bundle. Once all the Pro models have gone, the Elite will replace it for the same price or possibly even cheaper, really upping the ante on the ongoing console war. [1UP]
Massively popular fighter Marvel Vs Capcom 2 has been announced as being released in late July, not June according to the Capcom Twitter page. A marvel Q1 financial report in May indicated that the game would be released on the 29th of June, but Capcom were evidently unaware of this news and issued a statement to fans indicating it is more likely to be closer to the end of July. [Joystiq]
UK game design student Robin Burkinshaw has captured the hearts of many readers through blogging about the lives of two characters he created in Sims 3. What initially started as an experiment testing the limits of the Sims free-will, ended up as a dedicated blog, updating daily what the homeless father-daughter pair Kev and Alice have been getting up to. Sims 3 allows the Sims to interact on their own and placing these two clashing characters into poverty has created some interesting results. That is assuming of course you find Sim-life more entertaining than real-life. [Gamegirl]
Way back in May 2009, Warner Bros made an offer of $33 Million for the struggling but respected publisher and developer, Midway Games. Midway declined, with high hopes of starting a fierce and heated bidding war escalating the price to dazzling heights. Sadly this did not happen, as when the deadline for bidding came they had received just one offer; $33 Million from Warner Bros! Through acquiring Midway, Warner Bros have gained the rights to successful franchises Wheelman, Mortal Kombat and Spy Hunter hopefully providing a future for these games. [IGN]
Rhianna Pratchett reckons that developers are now taking plots in gaming much more seriously. Rhianna, who has previously worked on writing the plot for Mirrors Edge and Overlord, believes that writing teams are now involved early on in the projects lifespan, rather than too late, allowing the story to be better developed and integrated. Despite this she feels much gaming plots revolves around a tough-guy syndrome, and gaming needs to remove itself from this Hollywood mentality. She no doubt targets these accusations at testosterone truck Marcus Fenix, who oozes such manliness he makes regular men look like girls, and girls like an entirely new species altogether. [Thatvideogameblog]