December 5th, 2012
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Skylanders Giants Portal Owner Pack by Activision
DescriptionSkylanders Giants Portal Owners Pack Includes: Video Game, Skylanders Figure, Character Collection Poster, Sticker Sheet with Secret Code and Trading Card
Are you ready?
Join the Skylanders
Kaos is back!
Thousands of years ago, the Skylanders Giants fought epic battles in Skylands but were banished to Earth. With a new threat looming, it’s time to bring them back to join forces with the Skylanders. Only you can put them on the Portal of Power® to unleash their strength in the ultimate battle to save Skylands.
Wii vs. Wii U:The Wii and WiiU use the same portal. They are completely compatible in every way except for the software. The Wii software will work on the WiiU (though the game won't be in HD if they play with Wii software), but the Wii U software will not work on the Wii. Toys will work on both platforms.
EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson has sold his entire stake in Electronic Arts.
As revealed in an SEC document filed Thursday, Wilson has sold all 32,085 shares he held in the company at $21.42 each, earning himself more than $687,000.
Wilson now holds zero shares in EA and is the only EA executive in such a position. All other EA executives listed on the publisher's website carry stock in the company.
An EA representative declined to comment on Wilson's stock sale or give an update regarding the executive's status at the company moving forward.
After announcing an
They closed Wednesday
If Wilson had cashed out earlier in the week, he would have received thousands of dollars less, as EA shares bounced between $17 and $18 on Monday and Tuesday.
EA shares are continuing to climb today, up 3.19 percent (+0.69) to $22.33 at press time.
SyFy has renewed postapocalyptic alien TV show Defiance for a second season. Thirteen additional episodes have been ordered and will air in 2014.
The news comes just four episodes into the show's
Not only will Defiance the TV show live on, but the game is also set to grow. Developer Trion Worlds announced this week that five downloadable content updates are coming to the game in 2013, the first of which will introduce the Castithan species.
This $10 update will allow gamers to play as the Castithan species and will unlock a new story mission line and a new Battle Arena game mode. The update also brings a new four-player "truck of doom," as well as new pursuits and a Charge Weapons starter pack.
New Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 achievements and trophies are also up for grabs in the content. For a full rundown of content and features included with the Castithan expansion, check out the post on the game's website.
Gamers who don't wish to pay $10 for the Castithan expansion will still receive new content via an update. It will add access to a new open-world game mode called Sieges, as well as a player-versus-player map titled Military Academy, among other things. Check out the full post for more.
Defiance launched in April and has seen
Steam's peer-moderated indie game submission service Greenlight has received over 2 million votes since its launch last August, Valve has said.
Hosting a chat for indie developers earlier in the week--with a summary provided by indie developer Crunching Koalas--Valve said it was also "actively looking into" publishing the Steamworks API so that developers could prepare their games for full Steam support ahead of when they are officially greenlit. No time frame for when this might be implemented was given.
The publisher also said that it would like to greenlight more games on Steam, but that it was unable to do so at present. "Unfortunately, we have limited resources at the moment," said Valve, "so we cannot ship every game that we want. We're working toward having an open platform that Gabe [Newell] has talked about, but we're not there yet."
Greenlight currently has "hard technical limits" as to why more games cannot be published using the service, but a "bunch of people" at Valve are said to be working on making the process easier. Valve recently said it would greenlight indie games in smaller, more regular batches.
Some developers challenged Valve on the amount of interest the Greenlight service brought to their games, saying that submitted projects are seen by a base level of roughly 15,000 people unless they are linked to from external media.
"We cannot force people to vote if they don't want to," said Valve in response.
Tom Tomaszewski, co-founder of Crunching Koalas, applauded Valve's intentions with the chat but criticised the publisher's willingness to engage with indie developers. "It was a good idea to gather for such a meeting, and it's definitely a step in the right direction," he said, "but the execution was really bad. No hard feelings for guys at Valve, but the first official Valve Greenlight Chat was a complete waste of time."
Sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal (via Polygon) have indicated that the Xbox maker has created designs for a "simple" non-gaming set-top device that will stream video and "other entertainment options."
However, Microsoft is reportedly not sure how or if it will move forward with the device.
The unnamed sources said the Xbox TV device has gone through "several" design iterations, including "recent" prototypes that operated with Microsoft's Kinect technology.
A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal and to GameSpot.
Microsoft's overall ambition is to create "common experiences" between multiple products, the sources said, similar to the ecosystem in which Apple's various products exist.
The company has begun to lay the groundwork for this initiative by telling its development teams to write applications using recently developed coding standards. The goal of this effort is to simplify the process by which developers can create programs for various devices, whether it be an Xbox, a smartphone, or a PC, the sources said.
The supposed Xbox TV device was first spoken of last year, when
Microsoft is widely believed to formally unveil its next Xbox during an
This announcement will "mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV, and entertainment." The event will be streamed through Xbox.com, Xbox Live, and Spike TV in the United States and Canada.
Drinkbox Studios' PlayStation 3 and Vita-exclusive platformer
Tomb Raider, Terraria, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Borderlands 2 rounded out the top five PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network games downloaded via the US PlayStation Store.
Over in Europe, which charts PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network titles separately, Journey was in second, followed by Hitman: Blood Money HD in third, Crysis in fourth, and The Walking dead in fifth.
Guacamelee also topped the PS Vita charts, followed by quirky role-playing game Soul Sacrifice. Dragon Fantasy Book was third.
The Nuketown Zombies and Revolution map packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops II were first and second in the DLC chart.
For the full Sony charts, check out the PlayStation Blog.
Valve has released an official update for Half-Life 2 that adds Oculus Rift support to the iconic first-person shooter. The update also adds support for SteamPipe, the platform's new content distribution system.
Valve programmer Joe Ludwig, who has led virtual reality development at the company, announced the news in the Oculus Rift forums this week (via Polygon). He cautioned that the port is "more raw" than a similar update for Team Fortress and that fan feedback would be appreciated.
"This port is a bit more raw than [Team Fortress 2] was when it shipped, so we would appreciate hearing about any bugs you find. Just like in [Team Fortress 2], this mode is experimental, so we really want to hear what you think."
Known issues in the Oculus Rift update for Half-Life 2 include the heads-up display being "dim and hard to read," and the "zoom UI shows up in a quad in the middle of the screen instead of on the edges of the screen."
Half-Life 2 is not the only game to now work with Oculus Rift. A modder this week posted videos to YouTube (via Kotaku) showing off how the worlds of Minecraft and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim look using the virtual reality technology.
The next Maxim-sponsored Gears of War: Judgment downloadable content has been revealed. Thanks to a partnership from the men's magazine, gamers can download a new multiplayer map--Dreadnought--for free beginning May 15.
The map is playable in Gears of War: Judgment's OverRun mode. Dreadnought is set on the CNV Pomeroy, a naval vessel where the COG transported captured Locust Berserkers in the months following Emergence Day. However, things quickly went awry.
"Little did they know that the Locust had waterborne beasts from the underground rivers of the Hollow, or that the Locust soldiers would use them so relentlessly to rescue the captured Berserkers," reads a line from the map's description. "The Pomeroy was corralled into a narrow channel and forced ashore, where the Locust sent a mass of troops to assault and overwhelm the beached vessel."
The multiplayer and single-player components of Watch Dogs will overlap "seamlessly," according to comments from Ubisoft made to the PlayStation Blog.
The cross-generational action game's multiplayer mode will be set in the streets of Chicago, like the rest of the game, though Ubisoft is not talking specifics just yet.
The developer's ambition is to break down the wall between single-player and multiplayer that has existed for decades, Ubisoft said.
Watch Dogs is
Set in Chicago, Watch Dogs puts players in the shoes of Aiden Pearce, a hacker who uses his smartphone to break into the city's central operating system to control things like security cameras and also to obtain personal information.
Frequent exposure to violent games can desensitize players to brutality, according to the results of new research.
The study, as explained by Health Day, focused on 30 teenage boys, aged 13 to 15, divided into two groups. One group played violent games for three or more hours a day (high exposure), while the other played such games for less than an hour (low exposure).
Researchers then tracked the boys' attitudes after playing a violent game (Manhunt) and a non-violent game (Animaniacs). Each game was played for two hours on separate evenings.
"Differences between the boys' reactions emerged later in the night after gaming. During sleep, the boys in the low-exposure group who played the violent game had faster heart rates and poorer quality of sleep than those in the high-exposure group," Health Day writes. "The boys in the low-exposure group also reported increased feelings of sadness after playing the violent game."
The study, published in the May issue of Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, concluded that both groups of boys exhibited higher anxiety and stress levels after playing the violent game.
"The violent game seems to have elicited more stress at bedtime in both groups, and it also seems as if the violent game in general caused some kind of exhaustion," said Stockholm University researcher Malena Ivarsson. "However, the exhaustion didn't seem to be of the kind that normally promotes good sleep, but rather as a stressful factor that can impair sleep quality."
The researchers concluded that the disparity between the two groups' responses suggests continual exposure to violent games could have a "desensitizing effect" on players.
Notably, however, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between exposure to violent games and desensitization to brutality. In addition, researchers explained that adolescents with "certain traits" may be more attracted to violent games than others.
Violent games have been a heated topic in the wake of the December schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead. The shooter was reportedly a "
The mod toolkit for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was briefly available recently due to a mistake on the part of developer CD Projekt Red. Access to the tools has since been blocked.
"Just a word of clarification. We were running some tests on the website and it went public for a brief moment," CD Projekt Red community manager Marcin Momot wrote in the game's forums (via Edge).
Momot told gamers who were able to grab the Redkit to "have fun," noting that the files are official. The modkit will be released officially in full soon, he promised, though an official release date was not provided.
"Please give us just a little bit more time (it's almost here!)," Momot said. "We apologize for the confusion."
CD Projekt Red aims to simplify the modding process with the Redkit. The goal is to give users the tools to establish their own worlds, quests, and branching storylines. The Redkit is a spiritual successor to the Djinni toolkit for the original Witcher, though the interface and workflow have been refined in the update.
The Redkit includes access to all assets from The Witcher 2, including character models, textures, shaders, animations, and sound effects.
Xbox owner Microsoft this week appointed Amy Hood as chief financial officer. She will replace outgoing CFO Peter Klein and is the first female CFO in the company's history.
Hood joined Microsoft in 2002 and most recently served as CFO of Microsoft Business Division, where she oversaw all financial strategy and management of the $24.1 billion business. Hood also oversaw the execution of several acquisitions, including
"Amy brings the right talents and experiences to the role as we continue to strengthen our focus on devices and services," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "She has been an instrumental leader in the Microsoft Business Division (MBD), helping lead the transition to services with Office 365 and delivering strong financial and operational management throughout her time on the business."
Prior to joining Microsoft, Hood worked at investment firm Goldman Sachs in various roles. She attained a bachelor's degree in economics from Duke University and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University.
Hood is Microsoft's first woman to serve as CFO and one of four female executives at the company. Others include Windows CFO and chief marketing officer Tami Reller, Windows corporate vice president Julie Larson-Green, and chief people officer Lisa Brummel.
Rockstar North's controversial dark action game Manhunt is coming to the PlayStation Network next week, the company has announced.
The 2004 game,
Manhunt on the PSN will cost $9.99 / €9.99 / £7.99. It will be the latest in the growing catalog of PlayStation 2-era Rockstar Games titles coming to PSN, following Bully, Red Dead Revolver, and multiple Grand Theft Auto and Midnight Club games.
In addition, Rockstar Games teased that The Warriors, the 2005 game based on the 1979 gang film of the same name, will hit PSN "soon."
Speaking during its annual financial report, Sega revealed that the disappointing first-person shooter was slightly outsold by the cheery kart racer
Aliens: Colonial Marines is currently the
Football Manager 2013 also managed to shift 940,000 copies, while the currently Japan-only release of Yakuza 5 has shipped 590,000 copies in the publisher's home territory.
Elsewhere in the financial report, Sega said it made a 54 percent year-on-year increase in profits with ¥33.4 billion ($329/£214 million). Looking to 2014, Sega is hoping to make ¥47 billion.
Talking to Polygon, Silicon Knights chief financial officer Mike Mays declared that the studio was still alive. Despite the assurances, Mays would not say where Silicon Knights is currently located, what projects it's working on, or how many employees the studio currently has.
However, the studio did confirm it has closed its offices, downsized its staff, and sold some of its equipment. Some computers were even sold to Precursor Games, the new studio founded by ex-Silicon Knights staff.
"Silicon Knights was selling off extra assets to laid-off employees and we, along with others, purchased some of them," said Precursor Games CEO Paul Caporicci when asked. "Like so many others who have been laid off in this difficult economy, we are simply trying to turn a tough situation into something positive. This helps give us an opportunity with Shadow of the Eternals to give the gamers something that they have been wanting."
Precursor Games is currently working on Shadow of the Eternals,
Caporicci also asserted that Precursor Games hasn't inherited any of the Silicon Knights technology currently tangled up in a lawsuit with Epic Games. "We are a completely separate and independent entity and always have been," he said.
"Precursor is not and never has been a party to that case, and is not involved in it whatsoever. We purchased completely wiped clean machines, that is all. There is no basis for any liability or any claim against Precursor Games."
"We wish Silicon Knights the best of luck in their future," concluded Caporicci.
Konami has published its financial results for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2013, and highlights that it experienced a net decrease in revenue.
According to the report, the company has suffered a 15 percent decrease in net revenue and a 42.8 percent decrease in net income year-over-year. Its Digital Entertainment business section--which manages the video games division--experienced a 17.1 percent decrease in net revenue year-over-year. Notable properties that were highlighted include the Dragon Collection, Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven, and Metal Gear series.
Konami stated that it may get out of its downturn because of the depreciation of the yen and the rise of stock prices. It also plans to diversify out to the smartphone and tablet market to reach more consumers. The company also stated that it will promote the Metal Gear series at this year's E3 2013, most likely showcasing more information on Metal Gear V.
Previously, Konami saw a 77.9 percent increase in net income and a 3 percent increase in year-over-year net revenue in the fiscal year period ending March 31, 2012. For more information, check out the full report here.
Tri-Ace lead programmer Yuichiro Kitao has announced his departure from the company on Twitter (via Siliconera).
Kitao was known for working on the Star Ocean series and was in the company for 14 years. He was also involved with the Valkyrie Profile games and Resonance of Fate. His last day will be on May 12.
Tri-Ace worked together with Square Enix on Final Fantasy XIII-2 and with Level-5 on Little Battlers eXperience W. The last game the company worked on under its own name was Beyond the Labyrinth for the 3DS, which has yet to be localized for North American markets.
The former executive vice president of THQ, Danny Bilson, announced a new sci-fi fantasy horror project during the GameHorizon conference in Newcastle, UK.
According to the presentation (via Eurogamer), Bilson said that the project is a game-and-film tie-in reminiscent of SyFy and Trion World's Defiance project. His partner in the project is Lloyd Levin, producer of films like Watchmen, Tomb Raider, and Hellboy. He has yet to announce his distribution partner.
He plans to launch three two-hour episodes per year, while releasing a narrative of three to four interactive chapters in-between the episodes. He continues, "Let's take the fan from the film through three chapters of the game right into the next film. We've got the writers of the film writing the game narrative. We've got the actor's likeness, voice, and the players--fans--can participate in the narrative, up to a point, and then rejoin the film narrative, and it's all delivered on the same devices: the PC, the pads, or any digital device."
He added that no one has ever been able to move a story from a linear to an interactive form back-to-back because there's a barrier between the filmmakers and game developers that restricts them from taking creative liberties with that story.
He also said a few things about his time in THQ during the conference. He said that the company "couldn't change fast enough" from a licensed games-making company to a core games publisher. He said that six out of the 17 studios under the company "didn't know what they were making," so he was given the task to manage their direction. During his time, he was also given control of both the production and marketing departments to fix the relationship between the two divisions.
For more information, check out the video of the presentation.
The Diablo III auction house will be remaining offline for at least another day, Blizzard has announced. The downtime began after the game's recent 1.0.8 patch, which triggered an exploit allowing players to generate trillions of gold.
The bug has since been fixed, although the gold and real-money auction houses remain offline for an indefinite time in the Americas. It was stated that a rollback will not be necessary, as Blizzard is conducting an audit on players who exploited the bug.
Blizzard has as yet been unable to provide a time frame for when the service would be restored, but has stated that updates will be posted in the announcement thread on the company's forums.
Diablo III's incorporation of an auction house has remained controversial throughout the game's lifespan. Speaking at The Game Developers Conference (GDC), former game director Jay Wilson said that the auction house had negatively impacted the game.
Wilson revealed that over a million unique users log in to Diablo III each day.
The next Microsoft console will be named Xbox Infinity, according to a report by the UK arm of the International Business Times.
Unnamed sources, who are believed to be involved in the development of the new console, confirmed to the publication that the new hardware will simply be called Xbox Infinity. These claims mirror those of a reportedly leaked image, which recently appeared on the Reddit website.
IBTimes UK sources also revealed that development units have already been made available to software developer partners. Previous rumours suggested that some of Microsoft's next-generation titles may have been cancelled, while others may be as much as
Microsoft is expected to officially unveil its next home console to the public at its
GameSpot contacted Microsoft seeking clarification, but a spokesperson declined, saying, "We do not comment on rumours or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time."
Professional StarCraft II player Greg "IdrA" Fields has been dropped from gaming organisation Evil Geniuses. CEO Alexander Garfield announced the news in a post on the TeamLiquid forums yesterday.
"The eSports industry, and companies like Evil Geniuses, would not be possible without the passion and support of our community. We, as a company, cannot and will not be supportive of anyone who does not show due respect and appreciation for the community that makes everything we do possible," the post stated.
IdrA signed with Evil Geniuses in September 2010 following the expiration of his previous contract with professional gaming organisation CJ Entus.
It is not the first time Evil Geniuses has taken action against its players. French StarCraft II player Ilyes "Stephano" Satouri was temporarily suspended without pay for inappropriate comments made during a live stream in October last year.
Evil Geniuses currently has contracts with teams and players across multiple games including