Hello NAGonauts, thanks for coming back. This week we have a brand new video-game movie in the works with some star Hollywood writers hammering out the script, Steam has devised a way for us to spend even more money, another misguided American has decided to sue someone for something stupid, Bethesda pimps the Elder Scrolls, a big developer has spent years working on a new IP they’re not willing to talk about and a certain short game has received a shorter price. All that with a crop of videos, other news and NAG highlights, after the jump.
The screenwriting team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are one of the most sought after writers in Hollywood right now.
Which is why we should all be feeling really excited that the duo will be writing and directing a feature film on the Nintendo vs. Sega console wars, based on a book coming out this year.
A press release from the book’s publisher describes it as a “behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.”
If pre-ordering movie tickets was a thing, I’d be doing it.
Good news for PC gamers, Steam now has a new functionality which allows developers to discount their own games without going through Valve first. This can only mean more Steam sales than we already see.
Wait, on second thought, this might actually be bad news.
Poor Microsoft, this Kinect-is-watching-you-masturbate thing will just not go away. We all joked about it when it was first announced (some more serious than others), but ever since its release we’ve heard rumblings around the internet of it legitimately being utilised a monitoring device.
The latest is a report in the Guardian that claims UK spies were considering utilising the Kinect for their “Optic Nerve” program, something which allegedly collected enormous amounts of webcam image from over a million Yahoo users.
A Microsoft spokesperson said they’ve “never heard” of this program. Well I should damned well hope so, the spies wouldn’t be very good spies if you had, would they? Although, considering you’d reading this right now we can assume James Bond has dropped the ball somewhere.
Sigh, here we go again. It seems every time a big video game release happens, some irrelevant TV “star” manages to get his/her name in the headlines by claiming her character was ripped off.
The character in question is Bottino, who Mob Wives “star” Karen Gravano claims looks just like her and has the same backstory.
Basically, Bottino is the daughter of a retired mob boss who took a plea bargain to become a government witness – and so is Gravano.
Apparently, this small character in a random mission is worth $20 million in compensation, along with another $20 million in punitive damages. Reeeaaaally. Seriously, this is not a very original story, there’s no way that compensation amount is even close to reasonable, and the characters look NOTHING alike, unless both having brown hair means anything. They also both have two arms and two legs, so I guess that’s enough for a lawsuit in the US.
Moving on to something less depressing, Bethesda has assured fans that their subscription-based MMO The Elder Scrolls Online will receive “huge, ongoing triple A support”.
The publisher’s VP of Marketing and PR Pete Hines defended the subscription model, saying, “We felt like the subscription model fit best what we wanted to do, not because we want you to pay per month to play the game, but because we want to provide real and meaningful content support on a regular basis. That’s not just a few items or a thing here and there, that’s real significant stuff that adds to the game in a whole host of ways, and doing so needs a good sized group of people who are working on and creating new stuff. That’s stuff we can start working on now, as well as stuff we can work on when we start to get player feedback.”
You can’t help but feel if the subscription model is still viable in an industry chock-full of high quality free-to-play games. Considering the monumental failure of The Old Republic and declining World of Warcraft numbers, are people still willing to fork out $15 a month for a single game? I guess time will tell, but I can’t help but feel Bethesda may have been better off finding another way to monetise the ambitious project.
Meanwhile, Killzone dev Guerilla Games has spent the last 2 and a half years working on something that isn’t Killzone.
Honestly, I had no idea these guys did anything else BUT Killzone, so it’ll be interesting to see what this new IP might be. Unfortunately, executive produce Angie Smets says they’re not ready to talk about it just yet, so we’ll all have to be a little more patient.
Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has received a price reduction on boxed next-gen versions, with the PS4 and Xbox One retail copies getting dropped from £39.99/€39.99/$39.99 to £29.99/€29.99/$29.99.
You have to wonder if this is as a result of the news that you can breeze through the game’s campaign in two hours. I wouldn’t want to pay 600 bucks for that either. Although, to be honest, I don’t really want to pay R450 either.
PS4 exclusive The Order 1886 is generating a lot of hype as a brand new IP set in Victorian London – except with high-tech weapons and mythical beasts. Intrigued? Check out this gameplay footage, taken as a direct feed from the game.
Batman: Arkham Origins is getting an all new DLC entitled Cold, Cold Heart, featuring, as you may have guessed, Mr. Freeze. I’ve been off Mr. Freeze ever since I was subjected to Arnie’s portrayal of the villain in Batman and Robin; sitting through several hundred bad cold weather puns was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. Anyways, if you happened to have never seen that particular “movie”, you might enjoy this. Check it out:
Did you ever play EndWar? It was quite a great strategy game for the PC (and Mac) back in 2008, and now Ubisoft has created EndWar Online, a browser-based, free-to-play follow-up. You’ll take on the role of the “last leader” in the wreckage of World War III, and it’ll be up to you to right the ship, so to speak. It’s entering closed beta soon and I have to say, it looks pretty sweet.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow released this week to somewhat tepid reviews. The game has been criticised for trying to do too many things and losing focus as a result. Feeling dubious? Maybe this video showing off the weapon and ability systems in the game can help you decide.
Best of NAG
Early this week Miklos took Halo: Spartan Assault through its paces, the free-to-play twin-stick shooter set in the same universe as the long-running franchise. It might not cost you any money, but is it worth your time? Click here to find out.
Diablo 3 is back! Okay, technically it never went anywhere but myself and seemingly everyone I know abandoned it a couple of months after release. It was just… disappointing. The auction house ruined the core gameplay, the story was garbage and the whole thing felt dumbed down. I vowed to give it another try when the auction house gets evicted on March 18th, but this article has convinced me to get started a little sooner. A huge overhaul was dropped this week, and Miktar outlines why it’s exactly what the game needed.
Self-plug time! My column this week was inspired by the insane news that a Duke Nukem title had been coded and prepared for release right under the people who actually own its noses; copyright be damned. It got me thinking, what other ridiculously dumb decisions have people in the industry made? See what I turned up here.
Sexism is an issue which rears its ugly head in the gaming industry far too often, and it looked set to be cropping up again with Capcom’s Deep Down, following the news that it was entirely absent female characters (but offered multiple playable male characters). Rick de Klerk wrote a great piece on the issue before it was clarified that there’s actually only one playable character (male); but that doesn’t invalidate Rick’s points, and you should definitely go check it out.