Week in Review: Tons of MMO News, BioShock Movie, Madden ’09 Dated, and More!

Week in Review: Tons of MMO News, BioShock Movie, Madden ’09 Dated, and More!


This week started off with a bang of a drum! Electronic Arts announced the expansion of their marquis music franchise, Rock Band, to the Nintendo Wii. The limited edition peripheral pack will be released in North America on June 22, 2008 and will cost $169.99.

We also found out that WiiWare will be used by developers much like XBLA and PSN. Not only will original games be released to the service, but also additional downloadable content will be made available over time to expand the products in a piecemeal fashion.

There was a lot of news from the MMO front. NCsoft has leased the Unreal 3 engine again for two new MMOs. There are no hard details yet other than the comment that they will be “top-tier massively multiplayer online games.”

Additionally, Blizzard has taken Michael Donnelly, the creator of the Glider “Bot” program for World of Warcraft to court. The lawsuit claims that he has infringed upon copyrighted materials and calls for the immediate cessation of the product and the forfeit of all proceeds begot by the program. The suit was brought forth in the Circuit Court in Arizona and both parties are awaiting the court’s decision.

Fanatics of the Warhammer minis and RTS videogames will have to wait even longer for their beloved IP to go MMO. EA has had to delay Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning until later this fall. This is not the first delay of the title which seems to be having technical issues that have slowed its progress through development.

Finally, according to Take-Two Interactive, BioShock and Civilization may get their own MMO treatment. The company sees the MMO market as a vibrant sector of the industry and that these two games have enough of an installed base and overall quality to capture a large portion of market share from Blizzard’s MMO juggernaut.

In related news, BioShock may also be slated for a feature-length movie. Whether it will receive a full theatrical release or direct-to-DVD is still unknown, but according to Take-Two the future looks quite rosy for both the franchise and the publisher.

Ubisoft has made a rather large purchase of the rights to the Tom Clancy brand. The company has been creating games based on the world of Tom Clancy for years. Traditionally they have paid him massive royalty checks for the conditional rights to the intellectual property. Now Ubisoft will pay Clancy Inc. €60 million over the next three years with a possibility of shelling out an additional €15 million should everything go as planned. It’s a lot of money to pay, but Ubisoft feels it will actually save the company close to €5 million per year. If that’s the case, why did Clancy sell?

GTA IV fans got another sweet taste of their favorite franchise. The folks at Rockstar have released the fourth official trailer of the game on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. The title of the trailer is “Good Lord, What are You Doing?” also known as “Everyone’s a Rat.”

Paramount Pictures has decided to begin publishing videogames. They will release titles that utilize their current properties and that have low initial development costs. Therefore, Paramount will concentrate on developing titles for casual gamers, handhelds, and mobile phones.

Lastly, Madden NFL ’09 has gotten an official release date of August 12 th , 2008. The game can also be purchased in a special collector’s edition pack that bundles Madden ’09 with NFL Head Coach ’09 for $89.99.

See you all next week!

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