Relic Dumps Games for Windows Support in Dawn of War II: Retribution

September 15, 2010 -

Relic revealed via its blog that the party is over for Games for Windows and its upcoming Warhammer 40,000 titles. The general consensus among PC gamers is that GFW support in earlier Warhammer 40K games was more of a hindrance than a help when it came to playing multiplayer.

Nevertheless, the horror seems to be abating: the upcoming Dawn of War II: Retribution will only use Valve's Steamworks. THQ and developer Relic seem to prefer Steamworks because it provides Steam community features such as groups, achievements, and Steam chat. THQ said that, in addition to Steamworks support, it is working on new matchmaking and ranking built specifically for Retribution.

The bad news is that Relic has changed the game from a regular expansion to standalone, which means that Dawn of War II owners are stuck with Games for Windows. Here is more on the decision to make the game a standalone expansion:

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THQ's Ian Curran on DRM, the Future of the $60 Game

July 22, 2010 -

In an interview with Computer and Video Games, THQ's Global publishing executive VP, Ian Curran, gave his opinions on DRM and the possible future of the $60 retail game.

Speaking about the cost of retail games, Curran said that the industry may move towards a micro-transactional market where the whole game isn't necessarily in the retail box. Citing the free-to-play MMO market as an example, users play the game and then buy additional content they want.

The problem with such an example is that most free-to-play MMO games can be played without ever buying extra content, whereas big publishers will probably charge for features that players consider essential like multiplayer. Of course, with a lower price, consumers might find paying extra for multiplayer more acceptable. Here's a bit from the interview:

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Exec: THQ Anti-Used Game Initiative Could Make Everyone Happy

June 14, 2010 -

THQ Executive Vice President of Core Games Danny Bilson (pictured) stated in a recent interview that the company is working on its own measures to thwart the used games market but indicated that the solution just might make all involved parties—publishers, retailers and consumers—content.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Bilson was tight lipped about specifics, but stated that the ultimate objective of such a movement is to stop gamers who purchased a title new from trading it in at all. He said of that goal, “That’s the war we’re in – that’s really tough for us.”

While emphasizing that what follows is not official, Bilson alluded to one solution that THQ might be working on:

With this one we're not going to lock out the multi-player to the used gamer, we're not. We're going to let them experience some of it but not all of it. And then he'll have to pay a nominal fee to get all the maps and all the stuff. That's not official, I'm saying that today, that's just what I'm thinking.

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A Gold Plated Wii for Queen of England

May 23, 2009 -

It's not that the Queen of England was seeking a gold-plated Wii, but THQ dropped one off anyway, reports Kotaku.

The publisher delivered the system to Buckingham Palace this week in order to promote its newly- released Wii title BIG Family Games. THQ product manager Danielle Robinson hyped commented:

BIG Family Games is the ultimate Wii game to get all family members, from grandparents to young children, playing together. The Royal Family is arguably the most important family in the country so we felt that they had to have a copy of the new game. But we thought that Her Majesty the Queen wouldn't want to play on any old console, so an extra-special gold one was commissioned. We hope that she and the rest of the Royal Family enjoy the game!

GP: Let's call this one what it is: publicity stunt.

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NYPD Spokesman Outraged by Saints Row 2

October 14, 2008 -

GTA knockoff Saints Row 2 launches today, and a spokesman for the NYPD has criticized THQ's new crime game for its graphic depictions of virtual violence against police officers.

As reported by the New York Daily News:

A blood-soaked new video game boasts enough violence, guns and gratuitous sex to make Grand Theft Auto seem as tame as Pac-Man - and it has cops hopping mad.

The over-the-top Saints Row 2 encourages players to butcher cops with chain saws, smoke drugs, annihilate rival gangsters and run prostitution rings... Many in law enforcement and politics don't find any of it remotely entertaining.

Patrick Lynch, who heads the NYPD union, told the Daily News:

These horrible and violent video games desensitize young people to violence while encouraging depravity, immorality while glorifying criminal behavior.

The newspaper also has a quote from our old pal Jack Thompson:

Jack Thompson, a Florida lawyer and longtime critic of violent video games, called Saints Row 2 a "Grand Theft Auto ripoff."

"As is true with pornography, as is true with violence, the subsequent products tend to push the envelope even more," he said.


An unnamed THQ spokesman defended SR2:

Saints Row 2 is not a gang simulation game. It's a tongue-in-cheek game.
 

Meanwhile, the Daily News does acknowledge some of the satirical elements in the game:

Despite the outrage, some of the scenarios depicted in the game seem hilariously over the top. Players can commit insurance fraud by faking injuries, spraying the contents of a septic tank to bring down property values or appearing on a "Cops"-like reality TV show.

If things get boring, competitors can just strip and run around naked.

Survey of Campaign Giving by Company Confirms GP's Earlier Findings: Game Biz Favors Obama

October 13, 2008 -

Video game industry types are leaning Barack Obama's way.

That's the conclusion which GamePolitics cautiously drew a couple of weeks back based on our survey of campaign donations by game industry A-listers.

Kotaku spent some time rummaging through Federal Election Commission records, but took a more global approach, compiling data on a company-by-company basis. In a story posted today, they came to pretty much the same bottom line:

About seventy-five percent of game industry presidential campaign donations went to democrats, based on a sampling of developers and publisher donations over the past two years obtained from the Federal Election Commission.Kotaku looked at presidential campaign donations for nine companies from January of 2007 through the end of July, 2008. The companies included were Activision, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Take-Two, THQ, Ubisoft and Valve...

 

 

The database showed that the nine companies donated a total of about $97,800 to ten candidates, about $61,000 of which went to democratic candidates, while about $36,700 went to republican candidates.

 

Kotaku also serves up a number of pie charts to support their conclusion. Mmmmm, pie...

9 comments

GameCo Stocks Take a Wall Street Beat-down

October 10, 2008 -

Thursday was another bloody day on Wall Street and stocks of video game publishers did not escape the carnage.

As reported by GameSpot,  the likes of Activision, THQ, EA and Take-Two have seen their share price drop between 28-40% in recent weeks:

Worst off is Take-Two Interactive, which has lost 40 percent of its share price in a month, going from $21.77 to $13.01. Besides overall market woes, the decline was also in large part due to Electronic Arts' abandonment of its Take-Two takeover bid, which was $26 per share at its highest point...

 

Despite the apparent game-industry-wide drubbing, analysts are confident the game industry will fare better in a recession than other sectors. "If people aren't traveling and stay home, what are they going to do? They'll want relatively cheap home entertainment," David Gibson, senior analyst at Macquarie Research Equities, told the Wall Street Journal. "[And] core gamers will buy the titles when they come out, regardless of economics."

GP: If you're a T2 shareholder, we've gotta wonder how you're feeling about passing on EA's 25.74 takeover offer.

16 comments

Will Streaking in Saints Row 2 Revive Sex-in-Games Controversy?

October 9, 2008 -

When it comes to the crime game genre, it must be difficult to compete with the Grand Theft Auto series.

Perhaps that explains the inclusion of streaking in the upcoming Saints Row 2. Edge Online put the question to Craig Mitchell, media relations guy for publisher THQ:

In terms of backlash from the game's content, we are not too concerned. THQ and [Saints Row developer] Volition have worked within the guidelines of the ESRB and the international ratings boards and the game has been rated appropriately...

In addition, Saints Row 2 has a very over-the-top tone and the activities like streaking play into that.  In streaking, the character's front is blurred out, plus, all the characters were made 'asexual' so even a possible mod/hack would not reveal anything.

In-game streaking earns respect points for the player's character.

32 comments

THQ Expands into Chinese Online Game Market

September 3, 2008 -

THQ announced yesterday that it will open a new office in Shanghai in order to tap into what the company terms "the fast growing Chinese market."

THQ has plans to launch Company of Heroes Online in China later in its fiscal year. The free-to-play RTS game will be based on a micro-transaction-driven business model. THQ exec Martin Good commented:

The Asian markets represent a significant growth opportunity for THQ, particularly as we execute on our strategy to grow revenue from online gaming, an increasingly important segment for our industry. We look forward to continuing to build new publishing and development relationships in China to expand our presence in this important and fast growing gaming market.

According to THQ, China's online games market was valued at $1.7 billion last year, with some 42 million players. Expectations are that the market will expand to $4.2 billion by 2010. 

2 comments

Saints Row 2 CE to Ship in Pistol Case Box

August 31, 2008 -

Eurogamer reports that the Collector's Edition of THQ's Saints Row 2 will ship in a box which depicts a pistol mounted in a fancy gun case:

...in keeping with the game's general sense of fun and social responsibility, the box is shaped like a gun and you get a USB stick in the shape of a bullet...

 

It's not alone, either, with a 1GB USB key in the shape of a golden bullet to keep it company, along with a 3rd Street Saints poster (a woman blowing the smoke away from the barrel of her man's gun) and a map of Stilwater, the game's sandbox location.

For now at least, the special packaging appears to be exclusive to the Xbox 360 version - and to the European market.

Via: Sports Legends

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MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
 

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