By Dale Weir on January 7, 2009 - 3:11pm.
What a way to start the new year.
1UP.com was a very popular gaming website, full of veteran and new gaming journalists and home to my favorite audio podcasts and video podcasts. It was one of the few online gaming sites that managed to flourish after the dot com debacle of the 1990s—some will remember that it was born from much of the remains of Gamers.com. It was under the umbrella of magazine publisher Ziff-Davis, a publisher that at one time published almost every magazine that I bothered to read.
But 1UP.com wasn't making money. Or least it wasn't making the kind of money that Ziff-Davis needed to keep the network and all of its sister websites up and running. Rumors had been swirling for years that Ziff-Davis was in financial trouble, but nothing ever came of them. In fact, many just believed it was the print magazines that would take the fall. And they did, but as we now know, the online outlets would not be spared.
Word dropped yesterday, but the aftershocks are still resonating in game journalism circles. And it is interesting to watch because though from competing outlets, many of the 1UP Network staff had close relationships, both working and personal, with other writers. While reading the coverage from these writers, you can't help but feel their pain and anger while writing about their peers and friends who are now out of work.
By Mike Bracken on January 4, 2009 - 7:04am.
Electronic Arts just keeps on trucking in its blitzkrieg-like attempt to make Dead Space into a multi-media franchise. First there was the game, then the animated film Dead Space: Downfall, then talks about a live-action feature length film, and now a comic book. I’m guessing Dead Space lunch boxes are right around the corner…
Anyway, if you’re at all curious as to what the first issue of the six part series looks like, head over to Newsarama.
By Mike Bracken on January 3, 2009 - 6:22am.
There are two things I wish I covered more of here at the site: videogames and comic books. I try to cover games as much as I can, but comics are just stretching myself too thin (despite the fact that I love comics enough to have actually spent a good chunk of 2007 working in a comic shop…)
Despite that, occasionally something comic-related comes along and I’ve got to post about it despite my lack of comic coverage. This news from Wildstorm about a Resident Evil 5 prequel falls squarely into that category.
The guys over at STYD uncovered news that Wildstorm will be releasing a six issue Resident Evil 5 prequel that looks at what brings lead character Chris Redfield to Africa and what “dark burden” haunts him. Rick Sanchez will handle the writing duties with Kevin Sharpe and Jim Clark providing the artwork.
You’ll find Resident Evil 5 at your local comic shop come March 11th. The game hits stores on March 13th.
By David Stone on January 1, 2009 - 3:10pm.
Every so often, you hear the word "credibility" come up on a website. For whatever reason, people seem to forget what it means, and when it's called into question, people get awfully uppity about it. The problem is, credibility is subjective. And how to defend credibility is up to the speaker.
By Mike Bracken on December 16, 2008 - 7:00am.
Videogame to film adaptations rarely turn out well, but I’m still crossing my fingers that Clock Tower may buck the trend. I know—I like setting myself up for disappointment.
Anyway, the above image is but one of eight pieces of promo art that turned up on a Russian website (filmz.ru). I like what I see.
Brittany Murphy is already onboard to star in the adaptation. The Hills Have Eyes 2 helmer Martin Weisz will direct.
By Mike Bracken on November 11, 2008 - 12:00am.
According to Kotaku, EA has announced that its popular survival horror game Dead Space is getting some premium upgrade packs. Like all things EA, expect these new "enhancements" to cost you (to the tune of nearly $30 if you wanted them all--which is half the retail price of the entire goddamn game...) and that some of them will be useless "graphical upgrades" as opposed to things that would actually warrant shelling out cold hard cash. In their defense, there are some upgrades that change the game experience--upgrading weapon power, mostly--and no one's holding a gun to your head to force you into shelling out cash for these things. Your copy of Dead Space will still work just fine without them.
By Brad Gallaway on October 28, 2008 - 2:01am.
Tonight, the evening of October 27, gamers and journalists from across the country gathered at the Experience Music Project in the heart of Seattle to celebrate the release of PopCap Games' newest offering: Bejweled Twist.
By Mike Bracken on October 26, 2008 - 11:00pm.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I still don't own a PlayStation 3. I'm one of those guys who picks up every console in every generation--then when something exclusive releases, I don't have to give a crap. The PS3, though, has remained a bit out of my price range and didn't have anything I was dying to play for quite awhile. That's changing now (well, not the price part, but the games I want to play half) with MGS4, Disgaea 3, and now, Burn, Zombie Burn!
Looking at the screenshots for this title, the first thing that pops into my head is "damn, this looks like a next-gen version of Zombies Ate My Neighbors"--which was a great 16-bit era game that appeared on the SNES and Genesis.
By Mike Bracken on October 24, 2008 - 11:00pm.
Although the game's only been out a little over a week, EA's Dead Space is already generating a lot of "potential franchise" buzz. Variety's Ben Fritz posted some tantalizing morsels in his blog, The Cut Scene, earlier this week.
Speaking to EA Games label President Frank Gibeau and Dead Space executive producer Glenn Schoefield, here are the highlights:
Schoefield confirmed that EA is "talking to movie studios right now" about the prospects of the game becoming a feature film. It should be noted that there's an animated film, Dead Space: Downfall, already slated for release.
The producer added that EA and a publishing partner are "talking about Dead Space novels as well as a line of toys".
Finally, he also mentioned that a Dead Space sequel was already in the works. Judging by the early fan response to the game, this is good news.
To read more of the blog (including news about sequels to Army of Two and Battlefield: Bad Company), head on over here.
By Mike Doolittle on October 12, 2008 - 2:52pm.
Last year, hype over the impact of piracy and the supposedly shrinking PC games market reached a head when the NPD reported that Crysis, in its first two weeks of sales, moved only around 86,000 copies. Unreal Tournament 3 reportedly fared even worse, tallying just shy of 34,000 copies. Both of these games received enormous hype, and these seemed like pretty dismal numbers.
Then came the piracy talk. Developers including id, Epic, Crytek, Ubisoft, and Infinity Ward suggested that piracy was so rampant on the PC that it was fueling their decision to focus more centrally on console development. Was CryEngine2 the last great PC gaming engine? Would PC gamers become increasingly subject to "dumbed-down" multiplatform games and belated ports like Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect, while PC exclusives that didn't fall into strategy or MMORPG categories faded into obscurity?
I'm relatively new to the PC gaming landscape. I played some PC games here and there over the years and once lost a whole summer to Quake 3, but until a couple of years ago I had always been a console gamer. But I had always looked at the PC with envious eyes, and had always wanted a really nice, high-end gaming rig. Of course, I realized that an uber-rig was not necessary to enjoy PC gaming. But I figured that since I was going to get a new PC and I could afford to treat myself, why not get something really great? In early 2006 (back when AMD processors still ruled the performance charts) I built my first PC. My first game was F.E.A.R., which at the time was still a PC exclusive. I haven't looked back since. As both a gamer and a hardware enthusiast, I can honestly say that I enjoy PC gaming far more than I ever enjoyed console gaming. But to listen to some people, I got into the game at a pretty dismal time. However, I think that a closer look at the facts tells a different story.
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