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.
Capcom announced that it’s going to bring Resident Evil 5: Alternative Edition content to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in spring 2010 to North America, Europe, and Australia. However, the powerhouse developer has decided to bring the game to these territories via digital delivery rather than in a full-fledged retail package (as they are in Japan). According to Capcom, this decision was made because previous online inquests revealed that the majority of players in these regions wanted the additional content delivered over the Internet. Capcom PR Chris Kramer did admit, however, that they were surprised just how many people wanted a retail version – maybe will see it in stores yet.
EA has been hit hard by the economic climate. As such, the mega-publisher made a key acquisition as well as implement sweeping restructuring – i.e. layoffs – in order to become more competitive in the online space and to cut costs. For starters, EA picked up social games network, Playfish, for $300 to $400 million to “capture the exciting opportunities for social gaming and networking across a mass-market audience”. Very unfortunately, approximately 1,500 employees will be getting laid off by March 31, 2010. While the restructuring will cost EA around $150 million in short-term costs, the company feels it will save them around $100 million every year thereafter.
Of course, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 released this week. This highly-anticipated shooter ended smashing all previous single-day entertainment launch records. Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 million copies in just 24 hours – breaking the previous record held by GTA IV (3.6 million) by over one million copies. These sales numbers are especially convincing when you take into account the global economic climate and that the game has only released in the U.K. and North America. Activision plans on selling 11 million copies of the game before the end of the year.
In the wake of this windfall, Activision has set up The Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) by donating over a $1 million (USD). This charity was established in order to help integrate U.S. military veterans seamlessly back into the workforce after they’ve completed their public service. We loved Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s following comments: “How do you expect people to actually join the military if when they leave the military they can’t integrate back into the free market they’re supposed to be protecting? The joblessness rate that [veterans] should have should be far less than the national average, not more.” Thank you Activision for supporting our troops!
Activision wasn’t the only newsmaker this week; Microsoft also got in the act. They finally confirmed that the wireless N adapter will cost interested consumers a cool c-note plus tax in the U.S. Of course, it may be worth it if you are a serious online multiplayer gamer.
Also, the modded Xbox 360 bans that went into effect last week are now reported to number anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million users – that’s a hefty chunk o’ pirates without service. Additionally, reports coming out of a UK developers’ tour of Project Natal reveals that the camera/motion controller peripheral will be ready for worldwide release in November 2010. Natal will likely cost around $100 at launch. Five million units will be made available at launch via console bundles and stand-alone packages.
On the software side of Microsoft, the Xbox 360 dashboard update which will include Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, and Zune video support is set for launch on November 17 th – that’s next Tuesday.
Interestingly enough, screenshots of the next PS3 firmware update were “accidentally” posted to the UK side of the PlayStation Blog. Conspicuously, those screens clearly revealed a Facebook icon. Though these screens were soon taken down, the damage was already done. Expect Facebook support on PS3 in the near future.
Sony did make official the release of adhocParty to the PSP. Previously available only in Japan, PSP owners who also own a PS3 will now be able to play games such as Gran Turismo for PSP and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite with friends around North America, as the functionality will treat the Ad Hoc mode as if it were Infrastructure.
Rockstar Games released a PC patch GTA IV on November 10 th that not only fixes a number of issues, but it was widely reported that the DLC offerings, specifically The Lost and Damned, will be supported by the Games for Windows LIVE version.
It was also unofficially confirmed that Rockstar’s Bully franchise is in store for a sequel. The news dropped when the game’s theme composer, Shawn Lee, let slip that he was currently working on music for the project.
Finally, Final Fantasy XIII was confirmed for release in North America on March 9, 2010.
Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!