Richard Garriott to Keynote GDC Europe

June 15, 2011 -

The man, the myth, the legend - Richard Garriott, will deliver the keynote to GDC Europe this year. The creator of the Ultima series and the popular and long-running MMO Ultima Online, will talk about his newfound love for social gaming.

Garriott’s keynote, "The Three Eras of Gaming and Why This One is a Game Changer," will explore the industry’s transformation powered by social and mobile games.

"There are few developers with Richard Garriott’s history, pedigree and vantage point," said GDC Europe president Frank Sliwka.

Indeed. His only real low points were Ultima IX and Tabula Rasa. Last year Garriott founded social game development company Portalarium, to create social games. Recently, the company secured $3.6 million in funding. Garriott plans on creating an "Ultima Online-like social game."

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Fallout Online, Earthworm Jim 4, in Jeopardy as Interplay Stumbles

May 30, 2011 -

Fallout Online and a number of other lesser titles may not see the light of day if Interplay doesn't get its financial act together. Or at least, that's what a recent SEC filing from the company indicates. A 76-page filing obtained by website Develop paints a grim picture for the company, who says that it has “substantial doubts" over its "ability to continue as a going concern," and has told investors that it has a cash balance below $3000 and a working capital deficit of $3 million.

“The lack of any credit agreement has resulted in a substantial reduction in the cash available to finance our operations,” the company said in a filing.

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Upcoming RPG Risen Smacked by Australian Banhammer

August 10, 2009 -

The upcoming role-playing game Risen has become the latest victim of Australia's flawed game content rating system.

Refused Classification reports that Australia's classification board has declined to assign a rating to the game, which is being developed by Piranha Bytes. The board's action makes Risen the third game of 2009 to be RC'd Down Under; the others are 1C's first-person shooter Necrovision and something called Sexy Poker.

In the U.S. market, Risen has been rated M (17+) by the ESRB. Australia, however, has no rating higher than MA15+, which means that any title judged not suitable for a 15-year-old is effectively banned. Australian gamers have been lobbying their government unsuccessfully for an R18+ rating for several years.

The classification refusal might not be the final word, however. Risen could be edited by its creators enough to slip by Australian censors. This approach has worked for other games, most recently Necrovision.

Risen is scheduled for October release on Xbox 360 and PC. The website R18+ is a useful source for information about the ongoing Australian content rating debate.

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BioWare Will Include Sex Scenes in Games If They Fit the Plot

July 9, 2009 -

Despite taking a bit of a thrashing in the mainstream media, BioWare remains unfazed by the 2008 controversy that Fox News ginned up over the well-known and tenderly played sex scene in best-selling RPG Mass Effect. The noted game developer's upcoming title Dragon Age: Origins is set to feature more of the same.
 
In an interview with CVG, co-founder of BioWare, Greg Zeschuk discusses the inclusion of sexual interactions in video games:

I don't think [games] need to have [sex scenes], I think that in certain types of games it makes sense to have them... That said, I think from our perspective we want to reflect real human relationships... And if that involves some sort of intimate scenes, we want to provide those for the player.
 
It's based on the fact that this is a sophisticated mature experience. The same way that a kid's anime or cartoon will have a different style of content in it than a really serious drama, this is like a serious drama. Really what we're going for in all cases is emotional engagement, some kind of impact.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen thinks Microsoft’s Project Natal could make for some interesting sexual interactions in video games...

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Fable II, LBP, GRID Receive Kudos in Parliament

March 29, 2009 -

As noted on the House of Commons website, Conservative MP Edward Vaizey (left) introduced an early day motion last week to recognize BAFTA nominees and winners, including Little Big Planet, Fable II and Race Driver: GRID.

A vocal backer of the UK video game industry, Vaizey also took the opportunity to criticize the Labour Government for not providing what he views as a sufficient level of support to the British game biz:

[Moved:] That this House notes the importance of the video games sector to the UK economy; congratulates the winners and nominees at this year's Bafta Video Games Awards; notes in particular the success of UK developed games, including Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet, Codemasters'  and Lionhead Studios' Fable II, all of which won awards...

 

applauds this recognition of the continued success and significance of video games despite the complete lack of support from Government; regrets the fact that this lack of support from Government has seen the UK fall from being the third largest producer of video games in the world to the fifth largest; and urges the Government to devise a clear and supportive strategy for the UK video games sector as part of the Digital Britain review.

GP: Vaizey's name is popping up on GamePolitics with enough regularity that we've added a tag for him in our category list.

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Children's Charity Turns its Back on Gygax Memorial Donation

November 4, 2008 -

As many gamers know, Gary Gygax (left), the famed creator of Dungeons & Dragons, passed away earlier this year.

By way of honoring the man and his achievement, the folks behind GenCon’s yearly charity auction decided to donate the proceeds to Gygax’s favorite charity, the Christian Children's Fund.  The auction, held at this year's GenCon, raised more than $17,000.
 
Unfortunately, according to a post on Live Game Auctions, the CCF refused the donation when it found out that the money would partially come from the sale of D&D merchandise.  GenCon instead donated the money to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that enables family members to live nearby their hospitalized loved ones.
 
A curious member of the Giant in the Playground forum e-mailed the CCF about its decision and received the following reply:

Christian Children’s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from GenCon, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not.

 

As [with] many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

GU Comics offers an amusing take on the situation.
 
-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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Will the New Nintendo 3DS be region free?:

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Andrew EisenI love Terry Crews but I'm not sure he fits Luke Cage's personality (maybe Crews' acting range is broader than I realize?). How about Michael Jai White?09/02/2014 - 11:25pm
Papa MidnightTerry Crews for Luke Cage. Make it happen, Marvel and Netflix :)09/02/2014 - 9:58pm
prh99I would be shocked if Nintendo said it was region free, or even made it optional like XBox 360 for that matter.09/02/2014 - 7:22pm
Matthew WilsonI should say the recent past.09/02/2014 - 6:58pm
Matthew Wilsongiven their past, I do not blame people for thinking they will not change. I think they will keep region locking too.09/02/2014 - 6:48pm
E. Zachary KnightMan. People have no confidence in Nintendo regarding region locking the New 3DS.09/02/2014 - 6:20pm
Andrew EisenThat doesn't mean there has to be a movie though. Having said that, I've no doubt that we will eventually get a Black Panther movie. But Stan Lee will probably learn about it around the same time you and I do.09/02/2014 - 2:34pm
MaskedPixelanteWell they have to get to him eventually. Captain America's shield didn't grow on a tree, the minerals to make it had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is Wakanda.09/02/2014 - 2:31pm
E. Zachary KnightYes, but it has never been confirmed as in development, or even pre-production.09/02/2014 - 2:21pm
MaskedPixelanteBlack Panther's been on the short list for a while.09/02/2014 - 2:18pm
E. Zachary KnightIt is possible that Stan Lee mispoke. I don't think he knows everything Marvel movies. But it is a sweet idea if true.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
Andrew EisenSo says Stan Lee who almost certainly wouldn't know.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marvel-Black-Panther-Movie-Confirmed-By-Stan-Lee-66993.html Black Panther is apparently getting a movie. And maybe one for Black Widow, even though I think it's too late for her.09/02/2014 - 1:53pm
Cheater87Look what FINALLY came to Australia uncut! http://www.gamespot.com/articles/left-4-dead-2-gets-reclassified-in-australia/1100-6422038/09/02/2014 - 6:49am
Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
 

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