Living LIVE News Report 07.23.12
Posted by Trace Aber on 07.23.2012
News and thoughts on Battlefield 4's beta being announced, EA holding onto their Madden license, the broken Fez patch not getting fixed, an update in Borderlands 2 and more!
Welcome everyone to another issue of the Living LIVE News Report, and as always, I'm your host for the evening, Trace Aber. I started a new job this week after a near-month of unemployment, which while great and all, has left me bereft of time to play video games. In my last week of not working I managed to log in 60 hours of Skyrim, while this week I only logged in three. Working six days a week will do that to you though, I suppose. I did manage to finish the Dawnguard DLC, however. While I'm not sure if the $20 price tag is truly justified, it was fun and the new Vampire Lord power is great fun. It's more Skyrim, so if that's your thing you'll enjoy the new landscapes and areas to explore. The main quest was rather quick, however, so if you're looking for a lot of story content you might end up disappointed.
Madden's NFL License Still Stands After Lawsuit
After four years of a class action lawsuit claiming that Madden's exclusive NFL license was an illegal monopoly, Electronic Arts' golden ticket remains safe and cozy in their arms. EA settled for $27 million, and some of that money might be yours.
The lawsuit had hoped to rid EA of their exclusive license with the NFL, meaning they were the only company allowed to create NFL-based video games. While the lawsuit did gain support from those who were still upset about the loss of the NFL 2k series (myself included), the lawsuit did not do much to change the game. In fact, the only real difference is that gamers who purchased a Madden game from EA Sports between 2005 and now are entitled to a whopping $1.95 if purchased on the 360, PS3, or Wii. For some reason, if you purchased a Madden game on the PS2, original Xbox or Gamecube, however, you'll get $6.79. Either way, it's probably not worth the four years of hassle and millions of dollars in legal fees.
EA wasn't given a complete victory, however, as it does call for a five-year ban on any exclusive license between EA Sports and the NCAA, though the current deal that runs until 2014 will be allowed to continue. EA also had to agree to not sign an exclusive licensing arrangement with the Arena Football League for five years, though something tells me this won't impact EA Sports' bottom line.
EA has to be happy that they get to keep their NFL deal, which is said to be one of the most lucrative deals in the business. Even if they did lose exclusive rights, it's highly likely Madden would be the biggest name in town and that wouldn't change for a few years, at the earliest. People tend to stick with what they know, and the average fan has probably forgotten all about the NFL 2k series of games, even if they were superior titles at the time.
Battlefield 4 Beta Official
As if this is shocking to anybody, EA has announced that there will indeed be a sequel to last year's megahit in Battlefield 4. The beta is coming next fall, and can be accessed by pre-ordering Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
There's very little official information out on the beta, though DICE released a press release that not only confirmed the beta, but also reminded us, "Hey, there's still more DLC for Battlefield 3 coming out!" You can find the full press release below;
Battlefield fans –
The team at DICE is hard at work on the next entry in the Battlefield series, and to ensure access to the exclusive Battlefield 4 beta, shooter fans can pre-order Medal of Honor Warfighter today. While there is no further Battlefield 4 news at this point – remember, if you don't see it published here, it's just rumor and speculation – we did want to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts on the state of the Battlefield franchise.
We are extremely proud of Battlefield 3, and with millions of fans out there, we're happy you're enjoying it too. When we launched the game, we introduced unparalleled levels of in-game destruction, all-out vehicle warfare and redefined online gameplay. Even with billions of bullets fired and millions of games played, we know the Battlefield 3 story is still just the beginning. As ever, we are humbled by the community's response to the game, and couldn't be happier with the feedback we have received to Battlefield 3 Premium. With the Back to Karkand and Close Quarters expansion packs already out, Armored Kill around the corner, and End Game and Aftermath still on the horizon, we're looking forward to many more hours of gameplay with you, and can't wait to see the stories you will tell through Battlelog and player created videos.
But we're not ready to talk about Battlefield 4 yet - in the meantime, we hope you will continue to enjoy Battlefield 3 and all the Battlefield 3 Premium content still to come. We invite you to check out Danger Close Studio's Medal of Honor Warfighter, which is also powered by the Frostbite 2 engine and the free social network, Battlelog. Don't forget that pre-ordering Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition (at no extra cost) guarantees access to the exclusive Battlefield 4 Beta.
See you on the battlefield!
So that's pretty…underwhelming, really. I get that DICE probably felt the need to announce the beta since it leaked, but there's literally nothing to talk about the game right now. Instead of having an awesome, huge reveal, it just gets a quick note on their blog. I'm sure the internet will explode when the first trailer is released, but this is far from the exciting debuts we've come to expect from AAA titles.
Fez Patch Not Being Corrected
In a strange story that came out last week, Fez developers announced that they would not be fixing the patch that broke the game for a few consumers. The patch would corrupt mostly-completed save game files, though it did manage to fix everything else it promised too. The main reason for the lack of a patch-patch is due to Microsoft wanting "tens of thousands of dollars" to upload a new patch and re-certify the game. The full release from Polytron is below;
We're bringing the first FEZ patch online. It's the same patch.
We're not going to patch the patch.
Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.
And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It's a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!
We believe the save file corruption issue mostly happened to players who had completed, or almost completed the game. If you hadn't already seen most of what FEZ had to offer, your save file is probably safe. It doesn't happen if you start a new game.
We believe the current patch is safe for an overwhelming majority of players.
The patch fixes almost everything that's been wrong with the game since launch. The framerate issues, the loading, the skips, the death loops, everything! All that stuff is fixed! And right now, nobody can get to it since the patch was pulled. For 99% of people, it makes FEZ a better game.
To the less-than-1% who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologize. We know this hurts you the most, because you're the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.Microsoft gave us a choice: either pay a ton of money to re-certify the game and issue a new patch (which for all we know could introduce new issues, for which we'd need yet another costly patch), or simply put the patch back online. They looked into it, and the issue happens so rarely that they still consider the patch to be "good enough".
It wasn't an easy decision, but in the end, paying such a large sum of money to jump through so many hoops just doesn't make any sense. We already owe microsoft a LOT of money for the privilege of being on their platform. People often mistakenly believe that we got paid by Microsoft for being exclusive to their platform. Nothing could be further from the truth. WE pay THEM.
So we're going to go ahead and put Title Update back online, and for a vast majority of people it's going to make FEZ a better game.
Thank you for your understanding and continuing support.
The Polytron Team
While it's strange enough that Polytron had to PAY Microsoft to be an exclusive title, the story becomes even stranger as Microsoft denied responsibility. Microsoft responded to Kotaku with an official statement;
Polytron and their investor, Trapdoor, made the decision not to work on an additional title update for Fez. Microsoft Studios chose to support this decision based on the belief that Polytron/Trapdoor were in the best position to determine what the acceptable quality level is for their game. While we do not disclose the cost of Title Updates, we did offer to work with Trapdoor to make sure that wasn't a blocking issue. We remain huge fans of Fez.
Regardless of what is going on, we're clearly not getting the full story. While less than 1% of users are afflicted by the broken patch, that's little help to those affected and for those who have been holding out hope for a new patch. If anything changes we'll be sure to keep you updated, but I think this story will only get more strange as details come out.
Random News and Notes
-Gearbox has announced that Borderlands 2 is officially done and up for certification. This of course means they're working on their first piece of DLC, the Mechromancer which should be available 60-90 days after the game releases.
-Double Dragon Neon is set to release September 11 for 800MP. You can catch a trailer for the game below;
-Rock Band Blitz, the fast-paced, multiplayer version of Rock Band, will release on August 29 for 1200MP. The game is said to play like Frequency or Amplitude, though quite frankly I'm just confused. One cool thing is that you can import every track that you own, which is really nice.
The Digital Downloads Arcade Games
Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD (1200MP)
Games on Demand
-Batman: Arkham City ($29.99)
-UFC Undisputed 3 ($59.99)
Blackwater Kinect ($19.99)
Metal Gear Rising Blade Mode and Combat Training Gameplay