News from the video game industry for the week of March 22
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista takes a moment to gather together some notable stories from the world of gaming. In today's Weekly Game Replay, Atari blocks the man behind Tempest 2000's programming from making similar games, Final Fantasy XI will be heading to mobile devices, rumors of a Metal Gear Solid rift, and the transfer of ownership of Hawken.
Avalanche Studios developing open world sequel for next-gen consoles, PC
Swedish developer Avalanche Studios and publisher Square Enix revealed that they are working on the next entry in the Just Cause franchise. Just Cause 3 is an open-world action adventure game like its predecessor, making its way to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2015. Avalanche Studios Chief Creative Officer Christofer Sundberg said that it will be sold as in physical and digital versions, without hinging on free-to-play models or in-game transactions. After release, the studio intends to look into downloadable content.
News from the video game industry for the week of October 26
Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN report on news from the video game industry during the previous week. In this week's edition, we take a look at the dismissal of Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Softworks officially cancelling Prey 2, Walmart starting used game sales, Shadow of the Eternal development, Dying Light dropping previous-generation console development, and a new trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.
Lara Croft reintroduced to the gritty world of treasure hunting in an awe-inspiring adventure
Last year, Square Enix published a new take on a fan favorite character that made a debut on the PlayStation back in 1996. Under the development of Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider was rebooted to reintroduce the origins of Lara Croft. Rather than rely on some of the typical tropes associated with the character, the development team added a depth and human touch that was welcome in the series. Earlier this year, the game was ported to OS X by Feral Interactive, giving Mac owners a chance to experience Croft's new story.
Sony rolls out the open beta test of the game rental service to PlayStation 3 owners
PlayStation 3 owners wanting to get a taste of PlayStation Now finally have their chance, as Sony rolled out the open beta of the program out to the last-generation console last week. Residents of the United States and Canada with the nearly eight-year-old system can now rent more than 150 titles, rather than paying full price for games that may only be played for a few days. Pricing varies for each rental period and game, but Sony recently reduced the price for the four-hour rental period.
Program similar to Sony's PlayStation Now tiered rental service in the United States
Japanese video game publisher Square Enix announced a new initiative this week, putting some of its most popular games in the hands of mobile device users. The new program, called Dive In, allows users to rent Square Enix titles through a dedicated application ,and play them on their Android or iOS tablets and smartphones.
Hope for mobile version of FF VII port as well, no set plans
Final Fantasy VI, originally released in North America as Final Fantasy III back in 1994, will become an iOS and Android game sometime this winter, Square Enix has announced. The port will feature enhanced graphics while remaining 2D and 16-bit in nature, and will likely be based on the GameBoy Advanced or PlayStation port of the original game. A specific release date beyond "this winter" was not announced, and will follow the forthcoming mobile release of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
To celebrate, Square Enix to discount existing iOS FF titles
The well-regarded second (Western) entry in the Final Fantasy game series, Final Fantasy IV, will arrive on the iOS platform on December 20, in time to celebrate the series' 25th anniversary. Creator Square Enix already has a number of Final Fantasy games available for iOS, but Final Fantasy IV is particularly fondly remembered as a landmark of the series that introduced a number of concepts and characters, along with an involved plot and high-quality music score that resonated with players. To celebrate, a rare sale on the other FF titles is currently underway.
Nintendo 3DS outsells Sony gear for second week
Nintendo's handheld 3DS gaming console has topped the sales charts in Japan for week of March 26 to April 1. While this is the second week its was atop the charts, the week saw nearly a 30 percent boost from that earlier week, now at 121,921 units, according to numbers reported by Media Create (viaAdrianSang). The numbers were large enough that the total of 3DS sales outnumber the combined numbers of all of Sony's consoles, including the PS3, PSP, PS Vita, and PS2.
Publisher launching own app portal
Japanese game publisher Square Enix has announced plans to launch its own app store for Android-based devices. The portal, referred to as Square Enix Market, is expected to launch with an Android edition of the Final Fantasy iOS remake, along with a number of other titles such as Dragon Quest Monsters, Chaos Ring, and Crystal Defenders.
Already available for Windows, consoles
A Mac port of Deus Ex: Human Revolution should arrive sometime during the winter of 2011/2012, says Feral Interactive. The action-RPG was originally developed by Eidos Montreal, and is currently available for consoles and Windows PCs. Pricing, requirements and a specific release date have yet to be announced.
GameStop pulls Deus Ex, has Square Enix support
GameStop has responded to the backlash after it was found to open PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and removing coupons for the game on the OnLive games streaming system by pulling all copies of the game from store shelves. A copy of the e-mail sent to franchise stores was sent to Wired urges stores to pull the regular PC copy of the game for a later return and refund to maker Square Enix. Surpisingly, Square Enix supports GameStop's decision.
GameStop squelches competition with box plans
GameStop drew widespread criticism from gamers Wednesday after it confirmed that it had been altering copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution to silence competition. Store field operations manager Josh Ivanoff sent a memo asking staff to "immediately" open boxes and pull the OnLive coupons for a streaming version of the action RPG from all standard copies. While the note only said that GameStop didn't want the coupon to "go to any customers," GameStop spokeswoman Beth Sharum tried to portray it to Ars Technica as an act of subversion by Square Enix.
Apple has necessary information, defendants say
Four major parties defending themselves against Lodsys' legal accusations are actively petitioning the court to accept Apple's intervention request. Game publishers Atari, Electronic Arts and Square-Enix were joined by Quickoffice in sending a letter to the court yesterday, urging it to grant Apple's motion. All four companies are being represented in the matter by the same lawfirm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The first three have yet to even be served their summons however, and state that they are stepping in early to "ensure that their voices are heard in connection with the pending motion to intervene."
Lodsys expands to target major game developers
Lodsys continued its rapidly widening lawsuit campaign Thursday by trying its hand at attacking major game developers. A larger complaint (below) now adds Atari, EA, Rovio, Square Enix, and Take Two over in-app purchases in their mobile games. The expansion singles out major games and isn't limited to just iPad and iPhone titles, going so far as to target Rovio's versions of Angry Birds for both Android and iOS.
Sequel to Battlestations: Midway hits Oct. 8
Battlestations: Pacific, a popular wartime simulation game, is coming to the Mac in early October via Feral Interactive and original publisher Square Enix. A sequel to Battlestations: Midway, the new game features two elaborate campaigns, over 100 types of aircraft, ships and submarines, 14 missons within each campaign, and an opportunity to change history by having the Japanese dominate the Pacific theater.
Sunflex shows Final Fantasy XIV PC controller
European gaming accessories maker Sunflex has introduced its first official product to come from a deal with video game publisher Square Enix. The device is a PC controller for the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV RPG due for release on September 30. The controller, which bears more than a passing resemblance to a Sony PS3 DualShock 3 gamepad, will only be available in white and is expected to ship at the same time as the game.