The Week in Review and Rumor Round-Up: Kojima Teases Changes, Fallout 3 Level Cap Raised, BioShock going for Six?, and more!

The Week in Review and Rumor Round-Up: Kojima Teases Changes, Fallout 3 Level Cap Raised, BioShock going for Six?, and more!


The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news and rumors over the past week. This weekly article will keep you plugged in and in-tune.

Thankfully, CES 2009 seems to have awaken the slumbering video game industry. This week we got a lot of interesting news and rumors to get us revved up for 2009!

Hideo Kojima kicked us off with a message of change. According to a Famitsu article picked up by Develop, Kojima sees Western developers as winning the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere. As such, he’s looking to make sweeping changes companywide at Kojima Productions in order to remain competitive globally.

The folks at Microsoft flaunted their 2008 sales figures this week for the 360. According to their numbers, they have an 8 million unit installed based lead over the PS3 and saw online sales increase 84%.

On a bad note, Japan’s video gaming market slid in 2008 some 15.3% compared to 2007 figures according to Enterbrain. The industry brought in a bit more than $6.25 billion dollars. The decline in the market is most likely attributed to a lack of new console launches as opposed to the waning global economy. In 2007, the market was greatly bolstered by the late Q4 2006 launch of the PS3 and Nintendo Wii; the effect of which was felt throughout 2007. However, this theory fails to accurately explain the 7.9% drop in software sales.

Ubisoft and Square Enix have partnered up to bring Ubisoft titles to the Japanese market with greater fanfare. That’s right; Square Enix will take over the publishing duties in order to better market the Western company’s games in the Far East. There are no details as to whether a similar brand leveraging technique would be used in Europe and North America (it’s hard to believe Ubisoft would be any better at marketing Square Enix games than Square Enix itself), but expanded relationships between such powerhouses may lead to great hybrid titles in the future.

According to a Eurogamer interview with Bethesda’s Jeff Gardiner, the current level cap of 20 for Fallout 3 will be lifted by the third DLC installment, Broken Steel. Fallout 3’s ending will be removed by the add-on, and players will be able to keep playing the main game with all the new goodies they acquire with the extra content. The new level cap will be set at 30.

On the rumor front, according to Variety’s Wall Street reporter Jill Goldsmith, Disney may be in the hunt for EA. The journalist was only speculating about the possibility when she stated, “Disney is seen as a buyer, with market speculation centering on videogame company Electronic Arts as a possible target.” The reasoning behind the theory is that EA is trading about 67% lower than its 52-week high. Picking up the video game giant at such a price would not only be quite a bargain, but it would also springboard Disney into an incredibly strong position in the relatively fledgling gaming market.

2K president Christoph Hartmann hinted that the BioShock gaming franchise could be turned into a six-part series. That is, as long as the story elements can be nicely fleshed out and the execution be done correctly. Looking at Mr. Hartmann’s words, it seems as if 2K is acutely aware that do so would be playing with fire, and that great care must be taken in the handling of the franchise.

Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!

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