Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.


It’s a quiet news day, so I’ll make this brief.

One of the most annoying things about posting trailers for M-rated games (and viewing them, for that matter) are age gates. It’s so easy to circumvent them that they can’t be considered a legitimate measure to prevent under-age viewers from gaining access. This week, the ESRB has given publishers their permission to create general audience trailers for adult-oriented titles. The concept is similar to green-band movie trailers that have been a staple of the film industry for years.

Additionally, the ESRB loosened rules on cross-promoting mature titles with those that have received ratings for broader audiences. This practice dates back to at least the PlayStation 2 era, when Konami bundled a playable demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 with Zone of the EndersTraditionally, the ESRB has allowed demos for M-rated games (or those likely to receive that rating) to be included only with other mature audience products. Under the new guidelines, the ratings board has given itself the authority to allow more diverse pairings, on a case-by-case basis. Don’t worry, though. It’s unlikely that Skylanders Swap Force will include a sample of the latest Call of Duty.

CD Projekt Red has told Eurogamer that the studio’s next title, Cyberpunk 2077, will include “multiplayer features.” Before you start having SimCity nightmares, the specific nature of how you’ll play with friends (or foes) has yet to be detailed. The developer also hasn’t ruled out multiplayer for The Witcher 3.

Nintendo is finally ready to talk about their plans for the Wii U Gamepad’s near-field communication capabilities. The latest installment in the Pokémon Rumble series will be a downloadable title, with seven toys available for purchase at launch. According to the latest issue of CoroCoro magazine (translation available at Serebii.net), the figures will store battle data. I await the inevitable Skylanders X Pokémon title.


The island of Yamatai is haunted, and Lara Croft is up against her most terrifying foe: floating flashlights. This happened to me today, and I thought I was losing my mind. Thankfully, an intrepid YouTuber caught it on film (and in the process confirmed my sanity… at least in this regard). All this needs is a monochrome filter and those wonderful actors from Syfy’s Ghost Hunters.


Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.

Where have I been? Tomb Raider’s island of Yamatai and the SimCity of Neo Futteria. I’m back though, and I’m rarin’ to go.


Ron Gilbert, the genius behind the Monkey Island series and, most recently, The Cavehas parted ways with Tim Schafer’s Double Fine. The complete post (along with a neat map of the titular cave is available on Gilbert’s blog). Fear not, though. He’s currently working on an iOS game entitled Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty: A Musical Match-3 Pirate RPG. He’ll also be the keynote speaker at the inaugural PAX Australia.

Once upon a time, gamers were excited about a film based on Irrational GamesBioshock. It was canceled two years ago, but now (thanks to Edge), we finally know why. The short version is that the budget for the R-rated, blood-soaked film was scaled back because of tepid response to The Watchmen. Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean), who was slated to direct wasn’t thrilled about the reduction in resources, and the new director wasn’t a great fit. Rather than face a flop, Ken Levine (creative director and co-founder of Irrational) wisely decided to pull the plug.  

Speaking with The Verge at SXSW, Ouya founder Julie Uhrman has shared that the Android-based console will not support the promised social features when it launches in June. Chat, friends lists and achievements will not be operational when the tiny box arrives at retail. Ouya will be ready support online multiplayer, though.

Rock Paper Shotgun is reporting that, according to their Maxis insider, SimCity doesn’t require the servers to compute anything. This is in stark contrast to what we’ve been hearing from EA and Maxis about the Glassbox engine since E3 of last year (and even as recently as this past week). I would expect EA to comment quickly on this rumor, as even right now their new server status page is unreliable and features (like Cheetah Speed and leaderboards) have yet to be reactivated.

You might think that disabling the fastest speed at which the game can move wouldn’t make an enormous difference in game play, but in the five or six hours I’ve managed to put in, I sorely felt its absence. There are many times, especially early on, where funds are required in order to progress. Staring at a city that doesn’t require much attention isn’t terribly interesting. There’s been no word from Maxis as to when the excised elements might make a return.


I don’t know you, DarthDaddy42, but in a period that has seen the cancellation (rumored or otherwise) of Star Wars properties (Star Wars 1313the animated Clone Wars series and an Xbox Live Arcade title called Star Wars First Assault), you are a reminder that these things can live on in our dreams. Check out this Father of Year’s handiwork (entire gallery here). Yes, the S-Foils do lock into attack position.



Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Monday, March 4, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.


Kotaku is reporting that Jason West, co-creator of Call of Duty, co-founder of Infinity Ward and, most recently, co-founder of Respawn Entertainment, has not been with the studio since last May. Respawn isn’t talking, and declined Kotaku’s request for comment. Interestingly, Game Informer conducted an interview last May with West and his partner at Respawn, Vince Zampella. At that time, there was no mention of West’s departure.  Respawn popped back into the news recently, as Zampella tweeted that the studio would finally be at E3 to show off what they’ve been working on.

On the PlayStation Europe blog, Sony has indicated that PlayStation Plus will have a prominent role on the PlayStation 4. Sounds like there’s reason to rejoice… right? Before you uncork the champagne, let’s examine exactly what was said.

How do you see the PlayStation Plus service evolving over the next couple of years as PlayStation 4 enters the ecosystem?

Jim Ryan [Sony Computer Entertainment Europe President and CEO]: We’re very happy with the service that we’ve been able to offer with PS Plus. It’s been really well received – the value is quite extraordinary and the take-up has trebled over the course of the past year. We definitely see that as a core part of the way forward. We’re not yet in a position to disclose our plans for the future of PlayStation Plus, but there will definitely be a prominent role to play for it in the PlayStation 4 landscape.

It is entirely possible that Sony will stay the course with the service and continue the Instant Game Collection program on PS4. I think it’s more likely that PlayStation Plus was a trojan horse to build a base of paying customers. Microsoft approached this by telling customers to open their wallets in order to play online. Sony needed to take a different approach since they promised free online play. Instead of putting social features behind a paywall mid-generation, they slowly ramped up the level of incentives. Discounts, cloud saves and free games lured in many. Sony even managed to capitalize on one of the platform’s greatest weaknesses, obtrusively long patch times, giving Plus members the option of automatically checking for updates during off hours.

The hardest part is getting customers to open their wallets for a subscription that first time. That is doubly true with PlayStation Plus, because free games downloaded using the service cease to work if a user’s subscription lapses (making renewals and easier selling proposition). Using this approach, Sony has created and reinforced a consumer habit of paying for a PlayStation service. It would be very easy for them to keep the Plus name (especially now that it has an attached perception of being a good value) and alter the service greatly on the PlayStation 4. Online play behind the Plus paywall? Sure. Access to Gaikai streaming when (if?) that ever becomes a reality? Definitely. Streaming and sharing? It wouldn’t surprise me. Continued early access to demos and betas? Absolutely. Instant game collection? Maybe… but with the service so tightly integrated into the PS4’s bullet point selling features (especially if streaming and sharing are premium offerings), I wouldn’t count on it.

According to a report on Polygon, TimeGate Studios, one piece of the infamous development quartet responsible for Aliens: Colonial Marines has laid off approximately 25 employees. You might recall that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford attributed approximately half the work on the critically-annihilated Aliens game to TimeGate, in a conversation with IGN. According to TimeGate’s president, Adel Chaveleh, ongoing projects at the studio have not been impacted by the staffing cuts. My thoughts are with those affected by the layoffs.

inXile Entertainment is returning to Kickstarter with a pitch for a new game in the Planescape universe entitled Torment: Tides of NumeneraRight off the bat, CEO Brian Fargo and company are working to allay any fears, stating that the artists and writers have completed work on Wasteland 2, the studio’s $2.9 million Kickstarter success. They are ready for their next project. By the time art and story are finished, developers will have wrapped up their piece of Wasteland 2, leaving them able to jump right into the TormentWasteland 2 is on track for an October 2013 release. If funded at the $1 million goal level or greater, Torment: Tides of Numenera will be targeted for a 2014 launch.

The Kickstarter campaign for Torment: Tides of Numenera will kick off on March 6, 2013, at 6 AM PST.


I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple of days. I am a big fan of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block, and I have a particular fondness for The Venture Brothers. Check out one of my favorite scenes recreated in Source Filmmaker. Henchmen gonna hench.

Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.


Square Enix registered a trademark for a new Deus Ex property entitled Human Defiance. We do know there is a Deus Ex movie in the works, but the use of the word “human” in the title could hint at a sequel. Human Revolution, Human Defiance, Human Boogaloo. That would make a pretty cohesive set of names for a trilogy. I should probably go trademark that last one.

At a Morgan Stanley technology and telecom conference, EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen had this to say about the publisher’s future titles,

“We’re building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”

There are a couple of things that are important to point out. First, EA games already have micro-transactions. You’ll find them in Madden (Madden Ultimate Team card packs), FIFA (FIFA Ultimate Team), Mass Effect 3 and most recently in Dead Space 3. I spoke with a number of gamers that played the latter, and the general sentiment is that the ability to purchase game-boosting items did not negatively impact the experience. One person even told me that he made a couple of purchases and felt he had too much ammunition and an excess of health packs, diminishing the tension of the experience.

Second, it’s critical to recognize that the speaker and the setting absolutely matter. These presentations are designed to provide compelling information and make the company look as investor-friendly as possible. So, when EA’s CFO presents and talks about all the wonderful things gamers are going to buy with incremental purchases (and therefore make a healthy return on investment), it’s probably nothing gamers should take at face value. It doesn’t mean that micro-transactions are going to become intrusive. It doesn’t mean that the core retail-priced experience will suffer. All it means is that the things you already see in Madden, FIFA, Mass Effect and Dead Space are going to pop up in other games. Use them or don’t. It’s your choice. If you really despise the practice, don’t purchase the game. Just make an informed choice once all of the information is available.

Persona 2 is out on the PlayStation Store as a PSOne Classic (yay!). It’s not working on PSP or Vita yet (boo!). But Atlus is working on it, because it’s supposed to (yay!). More Persona is a good thing (super yay!).

THQ’s remaining back catalog is going up for sale. Initial bids are due on April 1, 2013, with final bids in on April 15, 2013. At that point, a top bidder and back-up will be announced. Sales will be presented to the court to be finalized in May. THQ has stated that they’ve had over 100 inquiries about properties. The sales will be handled in lots, so some winners are likely going to end up with property that won’t see any movement. Here are the groupings:


  • Red Faction
  • Red Faction Armageddon
  • Red Faction 2
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla


  • Homeworld
  • Homeworld 2


  • MX Alive
  • MX vs ATV Untamed
  • MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael
  • MX vs. ATV Alive Tournament
  • MX Unleashed
  • MX vs. ATV Unleashed
  • MX vs ATV Reflex
  • MX vs. ATV: On The Edge


  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders 2


  • All Star Cheer Squad
  • Elements of Destruction
  • All Star Cheer Squad 2
  • Fantastic Pets
  • All Star Karate
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War
  • Baja: Edge of Control
  • Full Spectrum Warrior 1
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Full Spectrum Warrior 2: Ten Hammers
  • Beat City
  • Juiced
  • Big Beach Sports
  • Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
  • Big Beach Sports 2
  • Lock’s Quest: Construction Combat
  • Big Family Games
  • Neighborhood Games
  • Crawler
  • Pax Imperia
  • de Blob
  • Stuntman: Ignition
  • de Blob 2
  • Summoner
  • Deadly Creatures
  • Summoner 2
  • Deep Six
  • Terranium
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • The Outfit
  • Destroy All Humans! 2
  • Titan Quest
  • Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed
  • Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
  • Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon
  • uDraw
  • Dood’s Big Adventure
  • World of Zoo
  • Drawn to Life
  • Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter

Lot 6 – LICENSED SOFTWARE (buyer to pay any cure costs)

  • Costume Quest
  • Scripps Spelling Bee (Scripps)
  • Daniel X (SueJack)
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House
  • Deepak Chopra’s Leela (Curious Holdings)
  • Stacking
  • Fancy Nancy: Tea Party Time! (Harper Collins)
  • Supreme Commander
  • Jeopardy
  • Supreme Commander Forged Alliance
  • Jeopardy 2
  • The Biggest Loser
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Truth or Lies
  • Let’s Ride Best of Breed
  • Vampire Legends: Power of Three (dtp)
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet
  • Wheel of Fortune 2
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet 2
  • World of Zoo
  • Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase
  • Worms 2
  • Nexuiz
  • Worms Battle Islands
  • Paws & Claws Marine Rescue
  • Worms Open Warfare
  • Paws & Claws Pampered Pets Resort 3D
  • Worms: A Space Oddity
  • PurrPals 2
  • Worms: Open Warfare 2 (Team 17)
  • Rio
  • You Don’t Know Jack (Jellyvision)
  • Rocket Riot
  • Screwjumper (Frozen Codebase)

Lot 6 could be challenging depending on the cure amounts (funds paid to settle any amounts owed to license holders), but it includes You Don’t Know Jack and Costume Quest. I expect that whomever wins will be making arrangements to part with the items they don’t want. I would be surprised if the Homeworld, Darksiders and Red Faction lots don’t attract serious interest.



Assassin’s Creed takes the spotlight today in the big Xbox Games on Demand sale. In honor of the discounts, I thought you might want to see how the pros play the multiplayer portion of that series. This stars my good friend Andie Gbingie, a fan turned Ubisoft employee and a master of the stun move.

Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Tuesday, February 26, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.


In an interview with Dutch outlet InsideGamer (translation), Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot opened up about Watch Dogsthe future of the Rainbow Six series and his thoughts on the future of the Vita. One of the most interesting statements made during the conversations is that current-gen work on Watch Dogs has not yet begun. Understandably, the focus is on the PlayStation 4, next Xbox and PC, but it seems that there will be significant porting considerations given the drastic differences in architecture between the PS3 and the PS4. We already know that backwards compatibility is out (even, it seems, for digital-only titles available on the PSN). This is due to the change in processors from Cell to a more common X86 (which will make programming on Sony’s new hardware significantly easier). Those planning to play Watch Dogs on current hardware would do well to keep an eye on development and the studio responsible for getting the title to work on PS3 and Xbox 360. Don’t assume that the only difference will be in the graphics department.

Given the focus on Vita at the PS4 preview, the topic turned to the handheld’s longterm viability. Guillemot indicated that the publisher currently does have Vita games in the works, but unique titles for the system down the road will be largely dependent on hardware sales. On the surface, this seems obvious. However, just underneath the skin is something Sony should be concerned about. This is a major third-party publisher openly equivocating about the stability of the platform. It makes me wonder what’s being said behind closed doors.

Finally, Guillemot was asked about the progress on the next Rainbow Six game (which was first revealed in late 2011). The game is still in the works, which is more news than we’ve had about it in a while, but there is nothing concrete to show off yet. At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the next game in the series appear on the next generation of hardware.

Do you remember when Irrational’s Ken Levine walked out on stage during the E3 2011 with a Vita in his back pocket and talked about a portable Bioshock game? Let me refresh your memory…

Apparently that’s not happening yet, but before you start tweeting angrily at Levine, you should check out the entire interview over at IGN. Irrational works for Take-Two, and they aren’t willing at this point to greenlight the Vita Bioshock. That’s two stories in the past 24 hours with news of publishers expressing significant concern over Sony’s portable. With Irrational at the helm, I would feel comfortable assuring that Bioshock would sell well for a Vita game. The problem is that the install base simply isn’t large enough for publishers to want to take the chance. The worst part is that it isn’t because the hardware is unlikeable. It’s a failure to motivate potential buyers through communication and marketing. Heck, Sony has stooped to practically begging people to purchase one.


I have one, and I love it. I cannot though, in good conscience, recommend that you go out and buy one. If the price drops and the library improves, I’ll be the first person imploring you to add one to your hardware collection. Until then, save your money (and tell your friend that you’ll give him $20 to stop asking).

There’s a big Xbox Live Games on Demand sale going on right now. Each day will see big discounts (today is pretty much everything Halo on the 360), and there are titles that will have their prices slashed until the event ends on March 4, 2013. I picked up El Shaddai for $2.99 and The Darkness for $4.99 today. One thing you should be aware of is that Microsoft hasn’t quite managed to align their point prices with the cash ones. I accidentally overpaid for El Shaddai by double when using points (the difference was refunded thanks to a call to support) and willingly paid an extra 40msp ($.50) when I purchased The Darkness. Unless this gets sorted, plan to pay in cash. Update: Apparently, that whole point thing got sorted out. Visit Major Nelson’s blog each day to find out what’s on offer.

ShackNews noticed today that Blizzard Community Manger “Vaeflare” commented on some of the questions surrounding the upcoming PlayStation release of Diablo III. In short. No, there will be no cross-platform play. There will be no Battle.net access (so characters will remain sequestered, limited to the platform on which they were created and, because of UI and control changes, keyboard and mouse will not be supported. None of this is really surprising, but it does quash my faint hope that keyboard and mouse support might become more prevalent on consoles next generation as an option.

Kotaku received some promotional material from a tipster for what seems to be the next Assassin’s Creed game. If authentic, the next game will be a fully numbered sequel (unlike the second and third parts of Ezio Auditore’s adventure), and will take place prior to Assassin’s Creed III and star Connor Kenway’s grandfather. Again, if this is true, the game will be entitled Assassin’s Creed IV: Black FlagThis could be a clever attempt to punk Kotaku (and the rest of us), an real leak or a savvy PR trickle to gauge interest. Oh, did I mention that it’s pirate-themed? Head on over to Kotaku to check out the goods for yourself.


Included in the big Games on Demand sale is the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. This is available digitally as two different components. The first is Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3. The other is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD (a port of the second PSP entry). In honor of that, I present to you an OC ReMix version of the best James Bond theme ever written and performed (trust me on this), Innocent Deception (otherwise known as the theme to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater). This was remixed by Claire Yaxley and DJ Mystix.

Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Monday, February 25, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.


Respawn Entertainment is finally coming out of its development cocoon this June at the 2013 E3. This was confirmed today by Vince Zampella (formerly of Infinity Ward) via his Twitter account:

After its founding in 2010, it’s been (mostly) quiet on the Respawn front. After Zampella and his partner Jason West departed Activision with a security escort, and the subsequent lawsuits, gamers are no doubt anxious to see what the studios has been working on.

According to Joystiq, Zynga is closing its Baltimore office, consolidating two Austin, Texas offices, relocating a studio from McKinney, Texas to Dallas and consolidating two New York City offices. The job losses amount to 30 individuals and, in the process, should save the publisher a bit on real estate. My thoughts are with those affected by the layoffs, which come as another blow in a tumultuous time that includes the departure of key staff and the closure of games including Petville and Mafia Wars 2.

South Korean developer Nexon, known for a variety of free-to-play games including Maple Story, has made a “strategic investment” in Robotoki, the studio founded by Robert Bowling. Prior to striking out on his own, Bowling was creative strategist on the Call of Duty series at Infinity Ward. Robotoki is currently working on a game entitled Human Element that takes place after the zombie apocalypse and is focused on the interactions of survivors in a post-catastrophic world.

In an interview with Geoff Keighley of GameTrailers, Blizzard’s Chris Metzen indicated that the PlayStation 4 version of Diablo III will feature four-player same-screen play. Additionally, he mentions that the game will be playable offline and that the UI and gameplay have been tweaked to include, among other things, an evasion move for every character. As someone who played a Demon Hunter, I’m a bit surprised at the news of evasion moves for each class, as it may very well require significant rebalancing. I know that the Barbarian and Wizard also have movement-based abilities.

So, there you have it. If you want to play Diablo III offline, you need to repurchase the game on a console. In other words, you will still be unable to get your Diablo III on at 30,000 feet.


The struggle between Mario and Bowser is one of gaming’s oldest rivalries. We’ve seen it played out in a variety of perspectives, but never before in first-person view. This is some solid work that I’m sure is much more fun to watch than it would be to play.

Welcome to “All the news that’s Futt to print” for Friday, February 22, 2013. Can’t spend your entire day on Twitter or bouncing from news outlet to news outlet? Fine, I suppose you’re entitled to your “real life” and your “job.” Here’s what you missed today.


In a conversation with VG 24/7, Hideo Kojima expressed concern over the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground ZeroesKojima cites taboos and mature content as the reason the game might not be released in its current form. Is this a creator second-guessing his work, or are we getting played like we did with the “Phantom Pain trailer at the 2012 VGAs?

Kojima also indicated that he’d like to see more Metal Gear spinoffs, and would be glad to see Metal Gear Rising 2... but only if Platinum Games develops it.

Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, told CNBC today that games for the PlayStation 4 will be priced from $.99 to the “more traditional $60 range” (emphasis mine). While it’s great to hear that pricing won’t likely change much, the word “range” in his statement provides just enough wiggle room for a small software price increase next generation.

Last night, IGN reported that President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, stated definitively that Dual Shock 3 controllers used with the PlayStation 3 will not be compatible with the PlayStation 4. Given the Move-like light bar used for depth sensing found on the Dual Shock 4 displayed at Tuesday’s presentation, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

In a follow up to yesterday’s story about EA layoffs at Visceral Montreal, an employee has told Game Informer that the entire studio has, in fact, been let go. Regardless of EA’s positioning, this is tantamount to a complete shuttering of the developer. On a personal note, it pains me to see employers being coy about firings. We can’t expect full transparency from corporations all the time, but this is a matter of dignity. My thoughts are with those employees who were terminated before their final game, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel even shipped.

There will be a big Xbox Live Games on Demand sale next week. There’s a full list on Major Nelson’s blog, but buyer beware. There is no guarantee that your digital purchases will be usable on the next Xbox console.


Every once in a while, a game comes along that is so addictive that setting a timer to auto-shutdown your computer is the only way to stop playing. Enter FTL. Now, this indie darling has inspired a poem from famous curmudgeon Yahtzee Croshaw. Clearly, he’s enamored of the game, and I am pleased to share that he and I approach the experience the exact. same. way.