A few days ago we relayed word the Ritual Entertainment, developers of the original SiN and SiN Episode(s), had been acquired by Mumbo Jumbo, a developer and publisher of casual games. Well, it looks like fans hopeful for another Alexis masturbation sequence can douse their optimism. Word has come from Mumbo Jumbo’s CEO, Mark Cottam, that the goal for their new acquisition is to "strengthen our development in the casual genre and not to have them involved at all in the action style games." But I like action style games; they’re kinda like dragon style, or mantis style.
eBay has taken a bold step in dealing with the economies of MMO worlds by beginning to delist any auction containing virtual property, such as items, in-game currency, characters, et cetera. The auctioneers have a good, legal reason for doing so, namely that their own policies state that digitally delivered goods may only be sold by the person who owns the underlying intellectual property, or be authorized by the intellectual property holder. Obviously, there’s some gray area that MMO currencies and items (or other virtual goods, for that matter) exist, being created by an entertainment company, but having been gifted to players for entertainment purposes. eBay is trying to avoid complications, which is understandable, but it makes me wonder if the MMO developers will take steps emulating what Linden Labs has done with its Second Life virtual world, namely building a company-sanctioned trading house into the game’s structure with real-world crossover of currency.
You ever feel that you’re being led by blind men? GamePolitics has a fun little snippet of a transcript from the recent Utah legislative committee meeting regarding the "anti-video games" bill HB50. In it, you can witness the powers-that-be-misinformed refer to Rockstar’s Bully as "the Columbine game." Afterward, you may feel your tongue begin to vibrate. That will be normal, and is your instinctive reaction to the ill effects of propaganda. Let it out somewhere where Jack Thompson can’t hear you. The article is here.
The 2006 awards season is still underway, but there’s some controversy surrounding this year’s Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences nominations. Developer and publisher Capcom is raising a big stink because, as they say in their substantive claim, the AIAS requires developers buy their way into the academy before their games can be considered for awards. It’s not worth losing much sleep over, since the AIAS awards are largely as important as any other video game awards ceremony (i.e., not very), but it’s interesting to note how the laurels get distributed from time to time. Hang on for the Game Developer’s Conference; they’ve always got some trustworthy laud.
Sony’s GPS add-on for their PSP handheld has been released in Japan. Gamebrink has a review of it right here. It’s an odd little extension that currently doesn’t have much use… in officially sanctioned software circles, that is. Hardware is great and all, Sony, but software is what your customers want. There are some homebrew GPS applications out there already, and you can expect to see more unless Sony actually releases some worthwhile GPS software outside of Japan. Or until Kojima Productions scatter a bunch of new recruits across the nation for MGS: Portable Ops.
Have you been frustrated beyond belief by the Lode Runner-esque N? It’s available for download from here if you haven’t. Or, apparently, you could just wait until the title s on the Xbox Live Arcade. The simple graphics, physics-driven gameplay, and challenging level design promise to make a successful transition to N+, their title for the XBLA version. The developers, Metanet Software, have also hinted that there will be a level editor available, and the ability to trade levels with friends over the Live service.
Weekly releases! They want your money plus $10:
Blitzkrieg 2: Fall of the Reich
City Life: World Edition
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
Monopoly Here and Now
Sonic the Hedgehog (optimized? Hell naw!)
Fuzion Frenzy 2
Wii Virtual Console
Mario Kart 64