Living LIVE News Report 07.30.12
Posted by Trace Aber on 07.30.2012
News and thoughts on the latest info about Battlefield 3's recently announced DLC pack, Microsoft opening a new studio in London and what that means for free-to-play gaming, sales numbers for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD 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. Hope everyone has been enjoying the Olympics. Thankfully, my DVR allows me to record those events that I can't watch live, which makes it a lot easier to catch everything I want. It's strange, I'm not a sports fan by any means, and that goes double for a large portion of the events at the Olympics, but for some reason I can't seem to not watch them every four years. I guess I'm a fan of pomp and circumstance. Besides, if you're going to watch only one event, might as well be the one event that features the absolute best athletes from all over the world.
Microsoft Opens new Studio in London
Microsoft is opening a new games studio in London and is currently looking for senior staff to run the studio. This new team will be paired up alongside Rare, Lionhead and Soho Studies.
Many are speculating that this new studio will focus on free-to-play online games for the Xbox. Microsoft has long been interested in developing some sort of free-to-play game on the flagship console, but has yet to produce any content in the area. The current job listings for the studio are looking for people experienced in online, mobile and cloud gaming, furthering speculation.
EMEA is a key market for us and we continue to cultivate the best talent and focus on growing our business, with this role focused on the continued expansion of our Microsoft Studios business in the region," the company said in a statement to MCV.
While the PS3 does have one or two free-to-play games, neither one of them has really made much of a stir, and PC still reigns supreme in that respect. With Microsoft dedicating entire studios towards this push, could this be the beginning of something huge for the console? As we approach its final years, a great free-to-play game could be the console's swansong, and perhaps justification for the Xbox LIVE subscription fee for those still upset about that.
The DLC will include four new maps featuring urban warfare in a post-earthquake Tehran. Players will be fighting amongst the "shattered districts, streets and surrounding villages" in a "continuing struggle for supremacy and survival amongst the devastation." The cracks and fissures in the terrain can be both helpful and a hindrance, depending on how they're played.
The website also mentions "additional support" in the form of "heavily modified military and civilian vehicles," as well as new assignments, achievements, dog tags and even a new mode. There has been no information released about the new game mode,
This pack will be the fourth of five total DLCs for Battlefield 3, and is included in the "Premium" package deal that includes all DLC. The only hint we have on a possible release date is "December 2012," according ot the BF3 Premium calendar. Probably too soon for a release date anyways, since we're still waiting on the third DLC pack, Armored Kill.
Man, DICE should does get antsy with their press releases, eh? The Battlefield 4 Beta had just about as much info when it was announced too. For those curious, the last DLC pack, titled "End Game," is set for March 2013.
Random News and Notes
-The 30-day exclusivity period for Skyrim: Dawnguard has officially ended, though Bethesda has yet to make an announcement for the DLC's release on PS3 and PC. Go Xbox 360!
-Recently released Quantum Conundrum is receiving two DLC packs this summer. The Desmond Debacle will set you back $2.99 when it releases August 15 and will have you solving puzzles around the drinking bird Desmond. IKE-aramba! has you rescuing the Interdimensional Kinetic Entity (IKE), and will once again cost $2.99 when it releases September 12.
-Markus Persson, better known as "Notch," better known as "the guy who made Minecraft,, announced that the default character in the game is genderless, despite being called "Steve." He also mentions that "every character and animal in Minecraft is homosexual because there's only one gender to choose from. Take THAT, homophobes!"
-Despite some disappointing reviews, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD has sold more than 120,000 sales during its first week on XBLA.
The Digital Downloads Arcade Games
Games on Demand
-Rayman Origins ($19.99)
-Raving Rabbids: Alive and Kicking ($19.99)
-Prototype 2 ($59.99)
That does it for me this week. Be sure to check back next week as we discuss all of the latest Xbox 360 news, including releases, rumors and reviews! Also, don't forget to bookmark 411Mania! And a note to all of the Indie Game developers out there – if you have an upcoming title that's going to be released soon drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I'll write a full review of your game to be posted on 411Mania.com, which is a great way to get your game promoted!