Star Wars: The Old Republic Gameplay and Impressions

Posted by | November 30, 2011

The Star Wars: The Old Republic beta weekend has finally drawn to a close and now there’s a plethora of information spreading across the net about the game. By and large, it looks like the game is pressing the cut scenes and the storytelling very hard.

The game has been described as a “solo MMO” with powerfully excellent voice acting and a strong themepark element. In fact, much of the game feels like it pressures the player to remain solo except for the intermittent “HEROIC” quest.

Also: Lightsabers.

Microsoft Sells One-Million Consoles in Best Sales Week in Xbox History

Posted by | November 30, 2011

It looks like Microsoft and Xbox 360 has managed to break their own records again with the “best week in Xbox 360 history” where the company moved almost 1 million consoles. Along with that they’ve moved 750,000 Kinect peripherals during that Black Friday week as well.

Nice to see that the almost-7-year-old console is still a workhorse. Kit Dotson at SiliconANGLE has the story.

Minecraft’s Notch Sits Down for an Interview

Posted by | November 30, 2011

Ever have one of those days where you throw together a fun little game, put it on the internet for beta testing, and then wake up the next morning to discover it sold a million copies? That’s the story of Notch, the developer of the soul-devouring building game, Minecraft. Care to hear what he has to say? IGN has the story.

Game Companies Want to Turn Buyers Into Subscribers

Posted by | November 30, 2011

You can see the trend in that Call of Duty Elite social service, or the “season pass” offerings that give gamers access to DLC releases over time. As it turns out, purchases are unpredictable, vulnerable to piracy, and resellable on the used market. Subscriptions are cold, hard, predictable cash. Predictable is the word game companies like. Who wouldn’t want to rake it in month after month? Who wouldn’t want to force every customer to buy a subscription from you at full price, rather than a used game at half-price from a secondary store? Expect to see games jumping on the subscription service wagon in the future. Reuters has the story.

Lord of the Rings Online Update 5 — Raiding with the Devs

Posted by | November 30, 2011

It’s one thing to run around in a preview of Lord of the Rings Online’s new update. It’s quite another to run around in that update with the developers. Want to know what Armies of Isengard has to offer? Ten Ton Hammer has the story.

Online Pass Codes — The Terrible Future

Posted by | November 30, 2011

Games have started offering online pass codes to reward customers who bought the game fresh from the store, rather than off the used market. The bonuses range from extra weapons and outfits, to an entirely new character and way to play the game. Locking out half the game for used buyers is a bit of a dick move, but game publishers are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you, the customer, don’t save any money on your gaming purchases. What does the future hold? Gameinformer has the story. And a nice picture of Catwoman.

Witcher 2 Developer Believes Game Pirated Over 4 Million Times

Posted by | November 29, 2011

And that’s okay. Witcher 2 has sold over one million copies, which isn’t too bad by anyone’s standards. The developer, CD Projekt, decided to choose bonuses and goodies for legit buyers in order to compete with the pirates. This strategy looks to be paying off, even if the number of pirate downloads seems staggering. As CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski stated, “DRM itself is a pain for your legal gamers – this group of honest people, who decided that your game was worth the 50 USD or Euro and went and bought it. Why would you want to make their lives more difficult?” Industrygamers has the story.

In the Wake of Recent Internet Censorship Bills, Reddit Ponders Censorship-Free Internet

Posted by | November 29, 2011

All hail the darknet. Recent bills stalking through the halls of government like spidery fanged monsters have put the internet under threat. These include the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act. Google them if you want to get good and mad. The denizens of Reddit have seen the eternal struggle against authoritarian control freaks who want to turn the internet into an iron leash of corporate control, and decided to dodge the issue. They’re planning a hidden network, apart and inside the internet proper, where corporations and governments have no power. Game Politics has the story.

Gabe Newell of Valve Says Piracy is a Service Battle

Posted by | November 29, 2011

He’s right, too. We live in an interconnected, borderless world, but the big media companies want to slice us up, region lock us, and price us out for our brick and mortar stores while the internet thrums high above. Staggered releases and DRM make no sense in an always-on internet world. “In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem,” he says. That’s just one bit of wisdom from one of the best game-makers in the business. Have a look at the full interview. The Cambridge Student has the story.

World of Warcraft Reveals Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator

Posted by | November 28, 2011

World of Warcraft is staring down the barrel of a new expansion, Mists of Pandaria. In preparation for this event, Blizzard has added a talent calculator to the Warcraft site, allowing you to see just how the new talents will break your class forever. Also, mage stealth nerf. has the story.

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