It has been confirmed that the first game in Bungie's multi-game partnership with Activision will release in 2013, codenamed "Destiny", and with a timed exclusivity that would see the game release initially just on Xbox 360 and Microsoft's next-gen console. The contract between Bungie and Activision surfaced as part of the ongoing legal proceedings between the latter and Respawn's West and Zampella.Click here to read more...
It'll be quite a while yet until EA finally unveil what former Infinity Ward and Call of Duty creators, Vince Zampella and Jason West, are actually working on over at upstart studio, Respawn. They might have extracted a fair share of their former stable's employee count, but they're still in the midst of hiring and structuring the studio itself. However, their new publisher, EA, has today revealed their new title isn't a modern military shooter or Call of Duty clone.Click here for details
I'm not going to lie or pretend to be objectively impartial on this, I cannot think about anything I'm more apathetic right now than stereoscopic 3D in gaming...and I'm pretty sure, as our poll results are starting to show, that I'm not the only one. But now, largely thanks to a study conducted by The Eyecare Trust, some research has come to light suggesting that as much as 12% of the British population have eyes too screwed up to fully appreciate the effect anyway. According to Edge magazine, the charity reports:
'3-D technology relies on our eyes’ ability to work together as a co-ordinated team to achieve an accurate perception of depth. [...] However, more than one in ten of us (12%) has a visual impairment that means our brains are unable to correctly process the individual images that are transmitted to it via our left and right eyes. This leads to an inconsistency in viewing the three spatial dimensions (height, width and depth) required to enjoy 3-D films in all their glory.'
By and large this won't make an ounce of difference to those already putting all of their weight behind 3D (yes Sony...and Ubisoft, I'm looking at you), but gradually frittering away percentile chunks of your target audience is never really a good thing. 3D is rapidly becoming gaming's equivalent of a leprous Big Brother winner...for some reason people keep talking about it but frankly most of us can't wait to see which bit's going to drop off next. Stop trying to excite me now and wait three or four years until this technology is at a price which means we won't have to all take out second mortgages or sell our relatives to medical science. [VG247]
The title to this one pretty much speaks for itself. Yes, Captain Obvious is back, this time in a Pach Attack that's actually reassuringly professional and highly informative. Of course, The Pach can't resist making a prediction and this time he's plumped for ex-Infinity Ward veterans' studio Respawn attempting a 'Halo-killer' with their first game and crating a space shooter for their debut. With EALA and DICE working on the latest Medal of Honor to try and square up to Activision's COD: Black Ops it's reasonable to assume that Respawn might have Bungie in their sights. [Gametrailers]
Astute Twitter fans may have witness something of a tirade last Friday on Hideo Kajima's account as the enigmatic development genius went on a bit of a rant and vented his worries that the Japanese games industry was under serious threat of being outpaced by the West, something the bespectacled developer put down to his country's education system and a lack of motivation:
'The West is very motivated. The younger generation of Japan is losing [...] The designers and to-be-designers in the West have the focus, ambition, and ability to make their dream become true. It is not the Japanese technology or culture that is losing; we are lacking the motivation.'
Kojima certainly didn't hold back, citing a lack of cross-cultural experience as a major issue when he said that
'The number of students that study abroad from Japan has decreased. There are very few Japanese students at the prestigious Harvard University, and in MIT...zero. The engineering population in Japan may be in jeopardy. We should first review our education system here in Japan.'
But he didn't stop there, signing off with a complaint that questioned the enthusiasm of those working in the industry at the moment, proclaiming himself to be 'tired of taking care of people who do not have the passion'. do you reckon he has a point? Hit us up with your thoughts in the box below. [GamesIndustry.biz]
I reported back in May that Google had been on the lookout for some high level development talent, specialising, it seemed, in internet gaming. Back then we hypothesised that Google was preparing to launch it's own online gaming platform and now it seems that the Big G has jumped into bed with Zynga, the company behind insidious resource management game FarmVille.
TechCrunch reports that the search engine behemoth has invested somewhere between $100-200 million in Zynga and, whilst the investment part of the deal is now done and dusted, a larger strategic partnership is still being drawn up.
With Zynga reportedly falling out with Facebook and Google potentially looking to make Google Games an actuality by 2011, this one looks to be one to watch. Not that Zynga really need the money mind you, they turned over a massive $350 million profit last year with predicted figures for 2011 looking to nudge the billion mark. World domination looks depressingly within their grasp. [Eurogamer]
Microsoft may have accidentally jumped the gun at revealing Gears 3's release date, but Epic CEO Cliff Bleszinski has officially dated the final chapter in the exclusive franchise for "about" April 8th, 2011. In a television announcement with Jimmy Fallon, a new CG teaser trailer was also released; showing off double-barrelled shotguns, female COGS and huge tentacled lambent that can threaten even well-entrenched soldiers.
See the interview and "Ashes to Ashes" trailer here. It's awesome. [NBC]
In an unsurprising move, ousted Infinity Ward devs Jason West and Vince Zampella have rejoined EA and sit at the helm of the newly-created Respawn studios. The two creatives are apparently delighted by the move, stating that it represents a "fresh start" for the duo. According to the press release (via VG247), it's a win-win situation... for everyone save Bobby Kotick.
“Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve.”
“This is the ultimate screw-you to Activision."- Michael Pachter, Industry Analyst
EA has promised to take a back seat at the studio, providing occasional advice and advertising when asked. The lack of creative control was reportedly one of West and Zampella's biggest gripes against Activision- and whilst EA once were known for forcing release dates down the throats of their studios, they've remained relatively hands-off with DICE and Bioware.
"We're in the back seat advising when asked, we're not necessarily in the front seat grabbing at the wheel trying to make life more difficult," EA Partners general manager David DeMartini told GamesIndustry.biz. "That's one of the key differences, we have taken more of a back seat to allow these developers to stay fiercely independent."
In other news, two more developers have fled Infinity Ward. Programmer Jon Shiring and designer Mackey McCandlish have followed in the wake of two other employees last week, though it's currently unclear whether they plan to join their former bosses at Respawn. The words "rats" and "sinking ship" come to mind... [Gamesindustry.biz]
Project Titan, the canned Halo MMO, would've provided stiff competition to World of Warcraft according to a recent interview with one of its developers. Ex-Ensemble Studios staffer Dusty Monk (really) spilled the beans on the project in a recent interview with incgamers.
"It was going to be the Halo MMO, and it was absolutely going to compete against WoW."
Apparently, Titan would've featured a cover system and a "stylised artform" that could have futureproofed the graphics for a fair few years. Have a look at some of the leaked artwork here. There's some seriously impressive concept art on show- but I've frankly no idea how this title would've slotted into the Halo canon. Also, creating a balanced class system would've been pretty tricky considering that most people would've just selected Spartan II anyway... [incGamers]
Would you have considered playing a Halo MMO? Let us know in the comments!