Portalarium announced today that Starr Long has joined the team developing Shroud of the Avatar. Long and Ultima series creator Richard Garriott have collaborated in the past on such projects as Ultima Online and Tabula Rasa. Prior to joining Portalarium, Long worked as executive producer at The Walt Disney Company where he oversaw the Disney Interactive studio responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Pixie Hollow and Toontown.
Atari Inc., the US division of French parent company Atari S.A., has asked a U.S. bankruptcy court for permission to auction off its assets in July. The assets include the Atari logo, the Test Drive, Asteroids, Pong, Total Annihilation, and Rollercoaster Tycoon franchises.
Atari filed for bankruptcy in January and tried to solicit bids for its entire catalog, but the 15 offers it received were deemed unacceptable. Now the company hopes to divide its assets up and sell them separately in hopes of generating more cash to pay down its debtors.
Minecraft developer Mojang announced that Minecraft - Pocket Edition for Android and iOS devices, has sold more than 10 million copies to-date. The portable version of Mojang's popular sandbox building game joins other versions of the game - PC and XBLA which have sold millions upon millions of copies to-date. It just goes to show that people never get tired of a game that is decent and is constantly updated by its creators.
"We are very thankful to all the support that we have gotten and people playing and talking about our game," said Mojang's Daniel Kaplan.
A new filing from bankrupt publisher THQ reveals details on the last franchises that were not sold separately as part of THQ's big asset auction earlier this year. Nordic Games has secured the rights to Darksiders and Red Faction, while (as we mentioned yesterday) Gearbox snapped up Homeworld.
Mojang has inked a deal with North American toy maker Jazwares to produce a line of action figures, plush, and papercraft items based on the ultra-popular Minecraft game franchise. The new deal covers the entire globe, with toys shipping by year's end if all goes well.
"We are excited by our new partnership with Jazwares," said Mojang CEO Carl Manneh. "This partnership will help give our community a new way to interact with the game they love."
The effort to crowd source the purchase of the Homeworld series from THQ has failed after the sponsor of the campaign - developer TeamPixel - learned that the license has been bought by someone else. The campaign began in January on Kickstarter, with TeamPixel promising to secure the license and make Homeworld 3 for PC, Mac and Linux, and Homeworld Touch for iOS and Android. But someone else now owns the license, according to an update on the Kickstarter page:
Book publisher Seven Stories Press announced today that it will publish the English language version of the book about independent game Minecraft and its creator Markus 'Notch' Persson at the end of this year. The book is called "Minecraft; The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything, and was written by Swedish journalists Linus Larsson and Daniel Goldberg, with the English translation being handled by Jennifer Hawkins.
Valve's popular MOBA game DOTA 2 has officially surpassed Riot Games' League of Legends as the most played in the West in the first quarter of this year, according to data collected by research firm DFC Intelligence. The report, which covers PC gaming in North America and Europe, is based on the DFC Intelligence PC Game Meter service. It combines data from multiple sources, including real-time stats from Xfire's 23 million users.
If you are one of those YouTube users who put up a Shining Force video and had it unceremoniously yanked by YouTube at the request of Sega, then you'll be happy to read this story. Sega says via this Sega forum post that it will no longer engage in such anti-community activities any longer (thanks to Andrew Eisen for sending this one in).
Director Sam Raimi claims that nine months worth of work on a World of Warcraft film was wasted because Blizzard Entertainment "mismanaged" production. Speaking to Vulture, he made his case for why the movie he was directing never happened:
While most big game developers and publishers have abandoned a lot of the studios they used to run in Australia, one company has decided that it is a good place to open up a new office. Riot Games, makers of the popular online multiplayer battle arena game League of Legends, announced that it has opened up a brand new studio in Sydney Australia.
ESPN is reporting that Take-Two Interactive has signed an exclusive five-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to create and publish WWE-based wrestling games. The new WWE-based games will fall under the name "WWE 2K," with the first game to be released this fall as WWE 2K14, reports ESPN. Take-Two and the WWE have not made an official announcement about this deal yet.
Angry birds, meet real-life science. The John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida announced that it plans to open up a special attraction based on Rovio's number one franchise later this spring.
The creative team behind Adult Swim's Robot Chicken animated show detail a special episode of the show on the PlayStation Blog. The special episode, airing tonight at 10 PM ET during the Adult Swim mature cartoon block on Cartoon Network - features an imaginative PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale skit. Apparently Sony approached the Robot Chicken folks to create this special episode:
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the estate of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien has filed an $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros., its New Line subsidiary and the screen rights holder of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Saul Zaentz Co.
Another day, another milestone met for Mojang's ultra popular sandbox building game, Minecraft. It has managed to surpass the 8 million sales mark on the PC platform, according to a tweet from Mojang co-founder and Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson.
"The PC version of Minecraft just passed 8 million sales," said series Persson via Twitter.
"My face is making grinning sounds, so I assume it's grinning," he added.
Some good news for fans of the Dragon Quest series: Heartbeat, the studio behind Dragon Quest 6 and Dragon Quest 7, is being relaunched by Manabu Yamana. Yamana was the original founder of the company and is now serving as the CEO of Genius Sonority.
In a Tweet today he gleefully announced the relaunch of the company:
"I restart the Heartbeat!" he tweeted.
Ubisoft says that everyone who bought Assassin's Creed 3 should download the "day-one patch" because it "optimizes player experience and is highly recommended." Not exactly an inspiring message for a product that you just bought. The day-one patch fixes bugs and other glitches that shipped with the game, apparently. Ubisoft has a list of fixes here in the patch notes, but you probably won't want to read it because it is chock-full of spoilers.
On the heels of Zynga lowering its outlook for the third-quarter and several research firms downgrading its stock, there's even more bad news for the publicly-traded social game developer and publisher. According to this GamesBeat report, Omgpop founders and Words With Friends co-creators have left Zynga. Paul and David Bettner, the creators of the enormously successful Words With Friends game for mobile and Facebook and other Zynga With Friends titles, announced their departure.
Major League Gaming announced that it is withholding the prizes and titles for the top two League of Legends teams that played at this weekend’s MLG Summer Championships. The pro gaming league said in a statement that the two teams engaged in acts of "collusion."
"MLG regrets to announce that we will not be awarding 1st or 2nd Place finishes for the Summer Championship League of Legends Event," the company said in a statement. "We have determined that there was collusion between the two final teams, Curse NA and Team Dignitas."
League of Legends maker Riot Games has managed to wrestle a web domain from a porn company. The URL, LeagueofLegends.co, relied heavily on user error to lure unsuspecting surfers to its dark and saucy doors where they were served up all kinds of nakedness... Riot Games won its legal dispute against the owner of LeagueofLegends.co, a domain that redirected users looking for the official site of multiplayer online battle arena League of Legends to a porn site.
According to this Joystiq report, EA has made a ton of money off of FIFA 12's Ultimate Team DLC last year, but this year it wants to avoid the headaches associated with the "FIFA hack." The company reportedly made over $39 million in just three months off the DLC, a 69 percent increase from the same period the year before. But it also created a lot of headaches for consumers who found their security on Xbox Live compromised.
CD Projekt RED's DRM-free role-playing game The Witcher 2 has swept the European Games Awards. The game won awards for Best European Art Direction, Best European Character Design, Best European Gameworld, Best European Game Design, Best European Game, and Best European Special Edition.
Battlefield 3 did pretty well too, scoring awards for Best European Action Game, Best European Multiplayer Game, Best European Console Game, and Best European Sound.
League of Legends maker Riot Games announced that, beginning in early 2013, it will kick off the League of Legends Championship Series. The new professional gaming league will feature teams from North America, Europe and Asia, taking part in multiple regular season matches each week, all streamed in HD broadcasts available globally for free.
More importantly, players will actually be paid like the professional gamers that many of them are.
Over the weekend fans were delighted to learn that they could pick up the PC version of Square Enix's popular RPG, Final Fantasy VII for $12.70 on www.finalfantasyviipc.com, but then started having problems with the DRM system it uses, SecuROM. When players tried to start the game, the SecuROM DRM failed to authenticate their purchase. Naturally those who bought the game were quite irate.
A job listing from Irrational Games has a peculiar requirement: the applicant has to have worked on a game receiving an average Metacric.com score of 85 or higher. The job posting, which can be found on Gamasutra's Jobs section, seeks applicants to fill a Design Manager position at the company for its Boston offices.
With QuakeCon kicking off on August 2, organizers decided that now is as good a time as any to detail some of the special things going on at the annual event dedicated to id Software's beloved first-person shooter franchise. With Zenimax now owning the studio responsible for Quake and Doom, you can expect to see some games in the works from Zenimax Online and Bethesda as well.