Obsidian's Project Eternity Hits $1.5 Million Milestone

September 17, 2012 -

Late last week Obsidian Entertainment announced a new RPG project and a Kickstarter campaign to fund its development. In only a few days the new RPG managed to rake in $1.5 million in funding from 37,482 backers with 29 more days to go. They have also passed one stretch goal ($1.4 million) that adds one new playable race, class and companion. Obsidian has a bunch of ideas for further stretch goals on the Kickstarter page.

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Black Isle Studios is Back... Sort Of

August 27, 2012 -

You may have heard the announcement that "Black Isle Studios is back," but is it really? The Interplay label responsible for such role-playing game hits as Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment, and many others may be back but it is in name only and the developers that once wandered its hallowed halls are somewhere else working on such games as the upcoming enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate and a South Park PRG.

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Square Enix President: Final Fantasy Versus XIII Still In Development

July 24, 2012 -

Last week it was reported that Square Enix had abandoned development on Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Final Fantasy fans put on sackcloth and ashes. Hands were wrung raw. Prayers were said. Incense were burned to dark gods and souls were offered up to creatures that slither in the underbelly of the universe. It is too bad that those reports weren't completely accurate.

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Shadowrun Returns Backers Reject Exclusive Content

April 14, 2012 -

I find this fascinating.  Having just crossed the million dollar mile marker, the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter was just updated to say that if it reaches $1.5 million, developer Harebrained Schemes will build a special mission exclusive to backers as a thank you.  A thoughtful gesture for sure but the comments show that backers are overwhelmingly against the idea.

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Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter Hits $898K

April 13, 2012 -

Hairbrained Schemes' Kickstarter for a 2-D turn-based RPG for tablet devices and the PC has managed to raise $897,767 of its original goal of $400,000 from 20,895 backers. The company that has worked on such franchises as Shadowrun, Mech Commandeer, Crimson Skies, and MechWarrior, hopes to hit a new milestone of $1 million. They say that if they meet this new funding goal they will add some new content. As of this writing the game, Shadowrun Returns, will be developed for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.

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Gay Marriage Gets a Thumbs Up in Skyrim

August 25, 2011 -

Bethesda's Peter Hines revealed on Twitter that same-sex marriage will be allowed in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Hines made the comment after a Twitter follower accused him of being "hush-hush about this aspect of the game. His reply:

"Not hush hush, just not making a huge deal out of it. You can marry anyone." In a subsequent tweet he clarified by adding: " ... not any NPC, [I] just mean any male or female. Doesn't matter what you're playing."

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Richard Garriott to Keynote GDC Europe

June 15, 2011 -

The man, the myth, the legend - Richard Garriott, will deliver the keynote to GDC Europe this year. The creator of the Ultima series and the popular and long-running MMO Ultima Online, will talk about his newfound love for social gaming.

Garriott’s keynote, "The Three Eras of Gaming and Why This One is a Game Changer," will explore the industry’s transformation powered by social and mobile games.

"There are few developers with Richard Garriott’s history, pedigree and vantage point," said GDC Europe president Frank Sliwka.

Indeed. His only real low points were Ultima IX and Tabula Rasa. Last year Garriott founded social game development company Portalarium, to create social games. Recently, the company secured $3.6 million in funding. Garriott plans on creating an "Ultima Online-like social game."

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Fallout Online, Earthworm Jim 4, in Jeopardy as Interplay Stumbles

May 30, 2011 -

Fallout Online and a number of other lesser titles may not see the light of day if Interplay doesn't get its financial act together. Or at least, that's what a recent SEC filing from the company indicates. A 76-page filing obtained by website Develop paints a grim picture for the company, who says that it has “substantial doubts" over its "ability to continue as a going concern," and has told investors that it has a cash balance below $3000 and a working capital deficit of $3 million.

“The lack of any credit agreement has resulted in a substantial reduction in the cash available to finance our operations,” the company said in a filing.

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Upcoming RPG Risen Smacked by Australian Banhammer

August 10, 2009 -

The upcoming role-playing game Risen has become the latest victim of Australia's flawed game content rating system.

Refused Classification reports that Australia's classification board has declined to assign a rating to the game, which is being developed by Piranha Bytes. The board's action makes Risen the third game of 2009 to be RC'd Down Under; the others are 1C's first-person shooter Necrovision and something called Sexy Poker.

In the U.S. market, Risen has been rated M (17+) by the ESRB. Australia, however, has no rating higher than MA15+, which means that any title judged not suitable for a 15-year-old is effectively banned. Australian gamers have been lobbying their government unsuccessfully for an R18+ rating for several years.

The classification refusal might not be the final word, however. Risen could be edited by its creators enough to slip by Australian censors. This approach has worked for other games, most recently Necrovision.

Risen is scheduled for October release on Xbox 360 and PC. The website R18+ is a useful source for information about the ongoing Australian content rating debate.

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BioWare Will Include Sex Scenes in Games If They Fit the Plot

July 9, 2009 -

Despite taking a bit of a thrashing in the mainstream media, BioWare remains unfazed by the 2008 controversy that Fox News ginned up over the well-known and tenderly played sex scene in best-selling RPG Mass Effect. The noted game developer's upcoming title Dragon Age: Origins is set to feature more of the same.
 
In an interview with CVG, co-founder of BioWare, Greg Zeschuk discusses the inclusion of sexual interactions in video games:

I don't think [games] need to have [sex scenes], I think that in certain types of games it makes sense to have them... That said, I think from our perspective we want to reflect real human relationships... And if that involves some sort of intimate scenes, we want to provide those for the player.
 
It's based on the fact that this is a sophisticated mature experience. The same way that a kid's anime or cartoon will have a different style of content in it than a really serious drama, this is like a serious drama. Really what we're going for in all cases is emotional engagement, some kind of impact.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen thinks Microsoft’s Project Natal could make for some interesting sexual interactions in video games...

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Fable II, LBP, GRID Receive Kudos in Parliament

March 29, 2009 -

As noted on the House of Commons website, Conservative MP Edward Vaizey (left) introduced an early day motion last week to recognize BAFTA nominees and winners, including Little Big Planet, Fable II and Race Driver: GRID.

A vocal backer of the UK video game industry, Vaizey also took the opportunity to criticize the Labour Government for not providing what he views as a sufficient level of support to the British game biz:

[Moved:] That this House notes the importance of the video games sector to the UK economy; congratulates the winners and nominees at this year's Bafta Video Games Awards; notes in particular the success of UK developed games, including Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet, Codemasters'  and Lionhead Studios' Fable II, all of which won awards...

 

applauds this recognition of the continued success and significance of video games despite the complete lack of support from Government; regrets the fact that this lack of support from Government has seen the UK fall from being the third largest producer of video games in the world to the fifth largest; and urges the Government to devise a clear and supportive strategy for the UK video games sector as part of the Digital Britain review.

GP: Vaizey's name is popping up on GamePolitics with enough regularity that we've added a tag for him in our category list.

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Children's Charity Turns its Back on Gygax Memorial Donation

November 4, 2008 -

As many gamers know, Gary Gygax (left), the famed creator of Dungeons & Dragons, passed away earlier this year.

By way of honoring the man and his achievement, the folks behind GenCon’s yearly charity auction decided to donate the proceeds to Gygax’s favorite charity, the Christian Children's Fund.  The auction, held at this year's GenCon, raised more than $17,000.
 
Unfortunately, according to a post on Live Game Auctions, the CCF refused the donation when it found out that the money would partially come from the sale of D&D merchandise.  GenCon instead donated the money to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that enables family members to live nearby their hospitalized loved ones.
 
A curious member of the Giant in the Playground forum e-mailed the CCF about its decision and received the following reply:

Christian Children’s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from GenCon, LLC as the request presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of a gaming convention, which CCF was not.

 

As [with] many non-profit organizations, CCF is selective in its endorsements or support in order to maintain the integrity of its name and logo. We cannot lend our name to an event for which we have no involvement. This decision should in no way be interpreted as CCF holding an opinion on Mr. Gygax, gaming enthusiasts or the game Dungeons and Dragons.

GU Comics offers an amusing take on the situation.
 
-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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Andrew EisenHuh?04/01/2015 - 2:42am
Matthew Wilson@AE I think the first dragon age did it the best. the person you played was treated differently based class,race, and gender. if the npc are going to act like 2015, you should just set the game in 2015 and add magic and dragons.04/01/2015 - 1:23am
E. Zachary KnightYeah, the PS3. My son paid for the Steampunk Texture Pack and it would not work at all. No matter what I did, it wouldn't allow us to save.03/31/2015 - 10:56pm
Sora-ChanConsole version?03/31/2015 - 10:40pm
E. Zachary KnightSo, Mojang has been selling a broken texture pack for Minecraft since at least Dec. 2014 and it hasn't been fixed yet.03/31/2015 - 10:30pm
Andrew EisenI think TT Games gets away with multiple LEGO games a year because they're all based on different franchises. If there were two or three LEGO Star Wars games every year, I think people would feel the same fatigue as they do with Assassin's Creed.03/31/2015 - 6:40pm
Andrew EisenIn other words, a hero is male because that's the default. A hero is female because of a gender-related reason. So, male heroes are for everyone. Female heroes are for women.03/31/2015 - 5:32pm
Andrew EisenHer point is that "When archetypal fantasy heroes in games are overwhelmingly portrayed as men, it reinforces the idea that... women should be able to empathize with male characters but that men needn’t be able to identify with women’s stories."03/31/2015 - 5:30pm
Andrew EisenDaniel - She doesn't say that in any of the TvW videos and I doubt she's said elsewhere that all games with male protagonists are male power fantasies. Anyway, you seem to be conflating two different ideas.03/31/2015 - 5:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/Yuriofwind/status/583028257890635776 Oh snap!03/31/2015 - 5:14pm
WymorenceFor me it just boils down to the fact that, even at a giant company, when a game comes out annually it just gives it a vibe of being rushed out the door. And god knows Unity sucked some major lemur with all its bugs...03/31/2015 - 4:22pm
PHX CorpI launched my spotify account today, and I kinda went a little overboard with adding music03/31/2015 - 3:59pm
Sora-ChanCon't. Games like AC are a pain to someone like me who likes to play games in order. So when a game gets too many releases too quickly, it puts me off. Only exceptions are games that have no interconnected underlying stories like the FF games.03/31/2015 - 2:53pm
Sora-ChanWikipedia has rarely let me down on matters like this. But yeah... AC needs a break.. like two.. or three... or eight years.03/31/2015 - 2:51pm
ConsterThere's 9 already?! I think I played 1, 2, and the ones inbetween 2 and 3.03/31/2015 - 2:23pm
Sora-ChanCon't There are now Nine... of just the main entries into the series. There are 13 more in the "other games" department.03/31/2015 - 2:15pm
Sora-ChanI tried to get into AC. Was having a decent time with the first one, at which point they had already released three titles. Then a fourth came out... then a fifth... the wall kept growing before I could finish the first.03/31/2015 - 2:14pm
Daniel LewisI think ubisoft should give AC a break before it's milked to death,and i'm a big fan of the games03/31/2015 - 1:15pm
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2015/3/31/8320017/assassins-creed-chronicles-china-india-russia Assassin's Creed Chronicles is now a trilogy, goes to China, India and Russia03/31/2015 - 1:11pm
Daniel LewisThe only thing said i disagree with is the final quote on Men's experiences are seen to be universal but women are gendered,though doesn't anita say that games with male protagonists are male power fantasies,so in turn both are gendered03/31/2015 - 1:08pm
 

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