Turbine Entertainment announced via a forum post that it has renewed the license for Lord of the Rings, allowing its long-running MMO Lord of the Rings Online to continue operations.
Community Manager Rick Heaton confirmed that his company had renewed the license for the game set in the universe created in Tolkien's popular books in a forum post.
In our very first episode of 2014, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest poll on GamePolitics (about finding porn on a freshly purchased 3DS), Braid creator Jonathan Blow's comments on Farmville and Plants v Zombies 2, various licensing deals gone wrong, and Sherlock Holmes finally making its way to the public domain. Download Episode 82 now: SuperPAC Episode 82 (1 hour, 9 minutes) 79.6 MB.
In mid-December GOG.com gave away Fallout games for free to kick off its massive Winter sale. If you wondered why that was happening, the answer is simple enough: both Interplay and GOG.com knew that they would soon lose the rights to sell these classic games as of January 1, 2014. So now if you want to buy any of those earlier Fallout games, you'll have to find them somewhere else because they are no longer on GOG.com. Of course if you purchased the games before Dec.
EA Mythic's Warhammer licensed MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was shut down last night after the license held by EA Mythic from Games Workshop expired. Former Warhammer Online producer Josh Drescher talked at length about the game on his personal blog, saying that most of the criticism towards the game was spot on, while some of it was just "uninformed BS."
While EA Sports has announced that it has broken its long-time relationship with golfing sensation Tiger Woods, it looks like Woods may already be talking to other game companies about putting his name and face on a whole new product. Tiger Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN that he is currently speaking with another unnamed video game company regarding video game rights.
Electronic Arts announced via its official blog this morning that it is ending its long-standing partnership with pro golfer Tiger Woods. The company said that the split was a mutual decision between both parties, and that the PGA Tour series of licensed golf games would continue on without the Tiger Woods name.
It looks like LEGO is going to get into the toy-game crossover business established by Activision's Skylanders and adapted by Disney's Disney Infinity game with a game of its own. Luckily for both those franchises, the game and the supporting mini-figures will be used for an online and iOS title being developed by Funcom - and not on consoles. The online game, LEGO Minifigures Online, is set to go live next summer and will use a new range of $2 toys that include an unlock code to add a virtual version of a playable character into the game.
Connecticut Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) has sent a letter to top executives at the ESA, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Valve urging them to end the practice of licensing and marketing products from gun manufacturers for video games. The letter was addressed to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick, Valve front man Gabe Newell, and Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher.
The Big Ten, Pacific-12, and Southeastern conferences will no longer allow EA Sports to use their respective league logos in the company's college football video games. The organizations join the NCAA, who announced last month that it would not renew a licensing agreement with EA - due to expire in June 2014. EA Sports can still pursue individual licenses for schools - they are not covered under the conference contracts - but will not be able to mention the actual conferences in its games.
Six current college football players have been added as plaintiffs to the anti-trust lawsuit that claims the NCAA owes billions of dollars to former players for allowing their likenesses to be used without compensation in games made by Electronic Arts. Former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which has been joined by 16 former college athletes. Basketball Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson previously joined the lawsuit.
Attorney Steve Berman has issued a brief statement on the NCAA's decision to let its licensing agreement with EA expire next year. Berman is the managing partner of law firm Hagens Berman and co-lead counsel in a class-action lawsuit filed by former college athletes against the NCAA and Electronic Arts. The lawsuit, detailed by the law firm here, alleges that EA's NCAA branded sports games used players' likenesses without permission and without providing compensation.
The Powell Group has inked a licensing partnership with IDW Publishing, America's fourth-largest comics publisher. The company will serve as the primary liaison between licensees in the video games industry and IDW's properties. The deal covers all platforms including current and next-generation console platforms and mobile devices.
Singer Beyonce Knowles has settled a lawsuit with videogame company Gate Five. The $100 million lawsuit alleged that the singer backed out of a deal to create a dance video game called Starpower: Beyonce. Attorneys for Beyonce and Gate Five filed an agreement in the New York Court asking for a dismissal of all claims and counter-claims related to the case.
Gate Five lawyer Peter Gallagher told the New York Post that both sides have "settled amicably" and that he couldn't "discuss the terms of the settlement, but it was resolved.''
A former EA Sports producer says that the NCAA games developed by EA Sports over the years were designed to replicate actual players without using their names. This is according to a deposition given by former EA Sports producer Jeremy Strauser, who testified in a deposition for the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing Company, and EA Sports. The deposition, along with other documents from the case are part of EA's filings with the court last week. Jeremy Strauser worked at EA from 1995 until 2011.
Electronic Arts had decided that it will no longer "officially" license specific models of guns from gun manufacturers, according to this Reuters report. EA will continue to use various gun designs from manufacturers, but it won't pay any money for them. The company claims that it has a constitutional right to free speech in using the various gun-related trademarks.
It looks like Netflix is about to take a chainsaw to its catalog of content, according to information collected by content cataloguing site InstantWatcher. With several licensees set to expire, Netflix will begin removing content from MGM, Universal, Warner Bros., and more. Instant Watcher puts the amount of content to be removed this month at around 1,794. Some of that content include 15 seasons of South Park, older horror movies and some early James Bond films.
Mojang has inked a deal with North American toy maker Jazwares to produce a line of action figures, plush, and papercraft items based on the ultra-popular Minecraft game franchise. The new deal covers the entire globe, with toys shipping by year's end if all goes well.
"We are excited by our new partnership with Jazwares," said Mojang CEO Carl Manneh. "This partnership will help give our community a new way to interact with the game they love."
Indie strategy developer and publisher Slitherine has signed a licensing deal with Games Workshop to develop a new strategy title set in the popular Warhammer 40,000 universe. While Slitherine says that details of the deal (including the content and features of the game) have not yet been announced, development is already underway on multiple platforms.
ESPN is reporting that Take-Two Interactive has signed an exclusive five-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment to create and publish WWE-based wrestling games. The new WWE-based games will fall under the name "WWE 2K," with the first game to be released this fall as WWE 2K14, reports ESPN. Take-Two and the WWE have not made an official announcement about this deal yet.
While THQ is going through an auction today to decide what happens with its various assets, one of those asset partners says that it is not part of the deal. Filing a formal complaint with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware, South Park Digital Studios said that South Park: The Stick of Truth cannot be sold off to a new owner without the studio's approval, because of stipulations in the contract it signed with THQ.
Microsoft has apparently filed for a patent that uses a camera device to determine how many people are watching a given piece of entertainment to make sure the consumer isn't abusing the license they purchased... The patent the company has filed for is titled "Content Distribution Regulation by Viewing User" and allows content providers to "regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis."
Here is a deeper, more alarming description of the patent:
In a shocking turn of events, Wargaming has purchased video game middleware company BigWorld for $45 Million, according to a GamesBeat report. Wargaming is best known for its wildly popular online game World of Tanks. That game has more than 35 million registered users who can play for free or buy virtual goods to enhance their game experience if they so choose.
Director Guillermo Del Toro's inSANE video game project has been canceled by THQ as the company announces financial results for its latest quarter. In a conference call with analysts and media to discuss its latest results, THQ president Jason Rubin said that the game had been canceled as part of the company's ongoing cost cutting, belt tightening and restructuring.
Bethesda has no comment on a rumor circulating this morning that it purchased the game rights to the popular action game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The rumor was started by Ukrainian blogger Sergey Galyonkin, who cited a "very reliable source" close to the situation. The reason that many media outlets have run with this particular rumor is because Galyonkin has proven to be a reliable source himself in the past when it comes to things GSC Gameworld-related. He predicted that trouble within the studio before it became public earlier in the year.
EA has decided to yank both Rock Band and Rock Band Reloaded from the Apple App Store next week, the company revealed. The games and the songs that users have downloaded for it will be unavailable after July 31, though local play will still be available. Electronic Arts said that it was pulling the apps because its licensing agreement with game developer Harmonix was coming to an end.
A case that was ultimately kicked into high gear over a licensing inquiry by THQ has put one songwriter on the warpath against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Michael Seitz (aka Michael 'P.S.' Hayes from the Fabulous Freebirds), and others. According to a lawsuit filed by songwriter James D. Papa the defendants in the case redirected royalty payments to several wrestling related songs he either wrote or co-wrote by securing the rights to music unlawfully.
Canadian studio Silicon Knights has been forced to cut its staff down to a "core group" that scaling back that will focus "all efforts on future opportunities," according to studio founder Denis Dyack. Dyack did not say how many employees were laid off.
The developer behind Too Human said that the layoffs are a direct result of losing its legal battle with Epic last month. The studio sued Epic for allegedly not supporting its Unreal Engine and for spending all of its time on developing Gears of War. The company was asking for $58 million in damages.