The first full post-E3 week hasn’t been a quiet one for the gaming world, and we’ve scoured the interwebs to bring you some of the best bits of news that happened this last week.
Apple is a relevant gaming company? Well, maybe. At its WorldWide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled its new line of retina-display-infused macbooks, showing Diablo III running with a 2800 x 1800 resolution. Ffffuuuuuu… Additionally, Siri is coming the New Ipad, so it’s just a matter of time before it gets integrated all the way into games. Playing Infinity Blade? Use voice controls! “Swipe, swipe, swipe, dodge, block, dodge, swipe, swipe, swipe.” (There is no source for that rumor.) There was also talk about an improved Game Center, game promotion, and Facebook integration within iOS 6. Because that’s what everyone needs in a $2200 laptop: more Facebook crap…
Speaking of Diablo, the creatively-named Real Money Auction House is now live, prompting Blizzard to require an authenticator for anyone who wants to use it to make tons of money off of their Magic Hat of Welding Perfection +1 (thanks Irish Samurai). It remains to be seen what’s going to happen once it’s a given part of the game; I for one foresee a future of weird imbalances and crushed dreams. But I could be mistaken…
Also in Diablo news, watch this guy die in hardcore mode. He seems very chill about it, but I’d probably cry like a girl. Hell I do that sometimes when I die on Normal…
In more upbeat and positive news, the Humble Bundle V drew to a close, surpassing $5 million in donations, tips, and dev payments. The pay-what-you-want model has been successful for the humble bundlers, and this one has been the most successful to date. And now I have Bastion for my pc, so yay for me. And you, probably. If you didn’t get it, you should sign up to be notified for their next one, because I swear to god, they just keep getting better with each iteration.
In other indie news, Journey maker thatgamecompany has raised $5.5 million, hoping to expand beyond the reach of Playstation’s Network. Their original deal with Sony was for three games: FlOw, Flower, and the aforementioned Journey. Now that they have some money to fund their own projects, they hope to reach newer audiences, and with their unique take on gaming (I mean, in Flower, you were the wind. The wind.), they might be a good alternative voice, driving innovation in games.
In the Funniest-Way-to-Deal-With-Cheater-Cheater-Pumpkin-Eaters news, Rockstar has started quarantining cheaters into their own prison-like realm called “The Cheaters’ Pool.” They have to stay there until they are found innocent or are fully banned after a second offense. I love this idea, and I hope that every game implements this method, not just because I want to see the chaotic insanity that arises out of a server filled with miscreants (isn’t that how Australia started? And it gave us the Subaru Outback for chrissakes). I can just see it now, some young gamer getting falsely accused of cheating, and sent to the penal-colony-server, only to have his little brother purposefully cheat in order to be sent there just to free his brother from the clutches of the corrupt game developers. Man, that sounds like a good idea for a tv show…
In legal news, one company got a reprieve while another one deals with a judgment not in their favor.
According to CVG, a group of gamers, unhappy with Mass Effect 3’s ending, have been told by the British Advertising Standards Authority that EA didn’t intentionally mislead customers when they made the assertion that “decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome.” While admitting that “players’ choices in the game did not influence the outcome to the extent claimed by EA,” there were still enough variations in the three major endings that gamers could experience to justify some of EA’s wordings. It must be noted that new DLC that will “clarify” the ending is due out later this summer.
The other bit of legal-related news has to do with Silicon Knights’ loss against Epic in their legal battle over Unreal Engine 3 tools. After being told to shell out $4.45 million in damages to Epic, Silicon Knights laid off a “small number of people.” This was after losing much of their staff back in October, too. Here’s hoping that no more coders and staff get laid off in the future. I mean, Too Human wasn’t *that* bad.
From the Reasons-Why-I-Wished-I-Lived-in-London department, The Sun has announced that a lucky gamer will get the chance to meet George St. Pierre this next week in London (Tuesday the 19th). What does this have to do with games? Well, GSP served as a hand-to-hand combat consultant for the upcoming Sleeping Dogs game (A game where you go around Hong Kong as a badass puncher, kicker, shooter? Yes please. Open world? I said ‘yes.’ Reboot of True Crime? As long as there’s no Snoop, I’m in.). While I don’t know the extent to which he consulted on the game, or whether or not they’ll feature some GSP ground ‘n Pound, it would be pretty cool to say high to that Canadian badass. Granted, if I met him, I probably wouldn’t want to shake hands with him (I game with that hand), nor would I want to compare our muscular frames, but I would like to have my Twitter pic be of me and GSP smiling at the screen. Sadly, the contest doesn’t provide airfare for the winner, so if you can’t afford the last minute flight to England, don’t bother.
Finally, Bioware has sort of come out and said what many of us have been thinking, saying that they could perhaps be considering maybe at some point in the future possibly having The Old Republic switch to a Free-to-Play model. While the source link wasn’t working at the time of this writing, Kotaku claims that Emmanuel Lusinchi, one of the lead designers for The Old Republic, has said, in response to the changing MMO market, “we are looking at free-to-play but I can’t tell you in much detail. We have to be flexible and adapt to what is going on.” I certainly don’t have a problem with F2P business models, as it allows the game to continue on, long after the subscription model has become no longer viable. I just worry about Free-to-Win models and 99¢ lightsabers. How do you buy just one?
Did I miss anything that you feel is important? If I did, feel free to yell at me in the comments section. Have a good weekend!