Final Fantasy XIV Version 2.0 renamed “A Realm Reborn”

For anyone not in the know about Final Fantasy XIV’s history, it’s seriously been a very rocky road. Square-Enix’s second MMO had done much to damage the brand, much more than any other Final Fantasy might have and because of this, Square-Enix decided to get back on their feet and hammer out a fix to fill the crater left behind. As revealed, the game has been rebuilt completely from the ground up and includes much more than it’s predecessor ever had.

Square-Enix is doing it’s best to pull out all the stops and is actively inviting fans and gamers alike to visit the Facebook page, check out the forums, and watch some videos on FINAL FANTASY XIV’s YouTube channel.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be released on both PC and PS3 exclusively.

Via: Joystiq

Valve’s Gabe Newell talks on worthwhile topics, trashes Windows 8

There isn’t a name in gaming as known right now as Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation. And if you’re a gamer and own a PC, Mac, or as of recently, Linux, you know there’s no better way of getting games cheap and quickly than the online distributor Steam. So when Gabe Newell says something, people listen.

On July 24th, Gabe Newell attended a dinner hosted by Covert & Co., Google Ventures and Perkins Coie, interviewed onstage by Ed Fries, former VP of game publishing at Microsoft. There was much discussion about what he knew about best, online distribution. He talked about how “value” is created from “people’s actions” and that they are trying to create a “platform for productivity”. The example he gave for this was “a kid from Kansas making $150,000 dollars a year making virtual hats”. He even mentioned how he was in talks with Adobe about getting them to adopt an approach much like a free-to-play game, which garnered a less than positive response from Adobe, basically saying that it was a terrible idea. But could you imagine how much it’d help so many people to have a ‘free-to-play’ version of Adobe Photoshop? Then buy DLC for much more advanced or simply premium content. That’d be something to talk about.

Another couple things Newell discussed was open versus closed platforms and Linux. His talk about open versus closed platforms consisted of him basically saying that companies such as Epic and Zynga and Valve made it through on the waves of open platforms and now that they know of what can be done with that platform, they want to close it and keep it to themselves. Well, not Valve. As he mentioned, he wants to figure how they can continue riding those open platforms for a bright future of growth. And as for Linux, he points out a very strong point, that being that the biggest issue with Linux is games. Or rather the lack of, really. As he states,”People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior.” Which, if you think about it, is completely true. To keep it more open, people want entertainment of some kind. Games are one thing. If people see that entertainment can also be experienced through Linux’s open source fields, maybe it’d open up a whole new thing to work with. That and well..

He also talked about Windows 8. Not so kindly.

“I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.” He went on to talk about how it’s entirely possible that someday, there will be top-tier PC companies and manufacturers that will end up leaving the market, thinning out choice and cornering the consumer. If Linux can rise to be a worthy alternative as a solid platform, then people will at least have that.

Honestly, as he mentioned, Valve isn’t a public company so he isn’t up to snuff on public speaking and presentations, but whenever he does say something, Gabe Newell is certainly someone to look out for and listen to.

Source: AllThingsD


Mojang releases Snapshot 12w30e of Minecraft

Just yesterday, Mojang, makers of world-famous Minecraft, released a Snapshot version of Minecraft titled “12w30e” that adds the game changing feature of… log rotation. No but seriously, it does make a good deal of a difference for those crafters out there making things like scale models in creative mode or adventure maps. It does extend the possibility for things that can be imagined and that can be created.

Along with this change, they fixed other problems such as “Ender Dragon Egg Teleportation” and strongly reduced the amount of experience orbs you get from furnaces, which I guess means you get XP orbs from furnaces. That’s interesting.

But the most interesting fact that I was able to extract from this update was that it states they needed to release “one more snapshot before the release of 1.3”. The date for the long-awaited and jam-packed update draws much nearer! Upon knowing a closer date for 1.3, we’ll put up a feature list that comes along with 1.3. Keep fingers crossed that it’s soon!

Source: Mojang

The little-known world of In-Game Photography

You see that piece of art up there? That’s from Red Orchestra 2. But how? Ask Iain Andrews. The guy’s tumblr page is chock full of gorgeous ‘postcards’, as he calls them. Beautiful shots taken in-game from scenes and backgrounds that most gamers might overlook entirely, in an effort to progress in the game. With this kind of response to gaming, all those who work on the concept art for these games must surely beam at the thought that someone stopped to ‘smell the roses’. And Iain isn’t alone.

There’s a whole world of In-Game Photography still growing, developing, and innovating the field of Photography itself. With the rise of much more intense focus on the visual and graphical aspect of video games, it almost seems laughably obvious that someone would discover the possibility, but folks doing this have a very keen eye and tons of skill that is definitely involved.

Honestly, this is only a tidbit of what has to be said for In-Game Photography. But if you’re interested and have some time to spare, hit up the link for a bigger look and dive into this awesome foray into a new direction.

Source: VideoGameTourism

Capcom and iam8bit host art show “Combo Attack: 25 Years of Street Fighter”

Let’s face it, everyone has a little Street Fighter in their lives, whether it’s a Hadouken or a Shoryureppa. 25 years worth of video game history lives on to this very day and to celebrate, heavy-hitter Capcom and the show-stopper iam8bit group is teaming up for an art show filled with tributes to the legendary fighting series.

For two weeks in Los Angeles, anyone can show up to take a gander at over 50 pieces from several artists showcasing their versions of characters, scenery, and history from Street Fighter. On Friday August 3rd at 7pm, anyone and everyone of any age is invited with free admission to come in and check out the exhibition and have some drinks while they’re at it. They will also have special one-night events through the exhibit days, such as a ‘Bonus Round’ night, probably recreating the destruction of a car or something along those lines.

Feel free to check out the official page for more details and RSVP on Facebook for updates!

Via: Joystiq
Source: iam8bit

Indie game “Spelltower” released for Mac OS X

Back in April this year, Zach Gage announced via Twitter that his iOS title “Spelltower” was extremely close to overtaking both Rovio and Zynga in the number one spot on the Top Paid Apps section of Apple’s App Store. He also stated that with it being so close to said place, he was placing Spelltower on a 1/2 off 24 hour sale to rush to the top. Seeing this happen myself, I went ahead an contributed to this noble cause and with sources going crazy about an indie dev taking the Rovio-Zynga throne, Spelltower was able to take the number one spot.

Spelltower is played in several different modes but basically uses the same block-destroying mechanic that Tetris does. Form a word, destroy some blocks. Make longer words, destroy way more blocks. In Tower Mode, it’s no pressure. Just try to get as much done as you can. In Puzzle Mode, every word you destroy adds a row, so it’s Survival. Ex Puzzle Mode is just a death sentence, but some of you wordsmiths could probably best me in that (aka. all of you). Rush Mode is basically a race against time, so keep it going!

But anyway, that wasn’t enough for Zach Gage. Fast forward to now. The iOS title has made the jump to Mac OS X on the App Store for $3.99. It comes Retina Display-ready so it’s beautifully rendered, it’s Mountain Lion-ready as well so no need to worry about that, and it’s got Game Center leader boards and achievements. To top it all off, Gage says he plans to add multiplayer and iCloud support to allow you to continue your iOS version games. What up, time? You mad bro?

Source: Destructoid

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria opens Sept 25

Blizzard Entertainment has just today announced the final release date for the newest expansion to their world-acclaimed MMORPG title, World of Warcraft! Mists of Pandaria will be released not only through online distribution but also in-stores beginning September 25th, 2012, compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS X at $39.99 USD. For the avid, diehard fans, there will be a special Collector’s Edition available only in-stores packed with bonus, exclusive content for $79.99. There will, however, be a Digital Deluxe edition available online, containing all the in-game bonus items from the Collector’s Edition, so no one gets left out! And if you choose not to jump in right away on the Digital Deluxe, you can always get the regular version and upgrade later for an additional $20.

Presales are available for the standard and Digital Deluxe version right now and anyone wanting the Collector’s Edition can visit and check with their local retailer.

The Digital Deluxe version includes bonus items, such as:
The Imperial Quilen flying mount, the Lucky Quilen Cub pet, StarCraft II Portraits, and the Diablo III Banner Sigil and Accent.

On the other hand, the special Collector’s Edition contains all the Digital Deluxe items plus:
A Behind-The-Scenes DVD and Bluray, the Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD, the Art of Mists of Pandaria Book, and a Chen Stormstout Mouse Pad.

It should be interesting seeing how well Mists of Pandaria is received, seeing the upcoming release of Guild Wars 2, which also has a huge fanbase. From what I’ve seen regarding the gameplay and art as shown in several videos of the beta, Mists of Pandaria shows a ton of promise in giving World of Warcraft and its devoted players exactly the kind of refresher the series needs. Those who’ve long since left the subscription-based World of Warcraft will definitely want to check out this expansion for a totally new experience to immerse themselves in and once again thank Blizzard Entertainment for being so good at MMORPGs.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment Press Release

Episode One of The Walking Dead comes to iOS

According to the Telltale Games blog, work on the iOS version of The Walking Dead video game has finally reached completion and will be released this coming Thursday, July 26th!  You’ll be able to purchase the title on Apple’s App Store on any iOS device for $4.99 and it will be a universal app, so whether you have an iPad or an iPhone or an iPod touch, you’re covered! Unfortunately, the hardware restrictions land on only being compatible with the iPad 2, the new iPad, the iPhone 4s, the iPhone 4S, and the 4th gen iPod Touch (and above).

After you’re done with the first episode of the series, you can purchase episodes individually for $4.99 as in-app transactions within the first or pre-purchase the rest of the series as a “Multi-Pack” or $14.99.

Telltale also states that the second episode is slated for release rather soon as well, only needing a few more development final touches.

Source: The Telltale Blog

Cancellation of Final Fantasy Versus XIII NOT true

After being in production for almost 6+ years, rumors had arisen about the cancellation and development hell status of Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy Versus XIII. After the unveiling at E3 2006, fan speculation had led to more and more rumors regarding its release, ultimately arriving at thoughts that it had become cancelled, seeing as there were no reports or releases of news regarding the title.

As of July 24th, Yoichi Wada, president of Square-Enix, had reported via Twitter that the title is still around. According to the translation as provided on the NeoGAF forums, Wada stated: “It seems someone is spreading a false rumor about Versus being canceled. Heh, just a few moments ago a regularly scheduled meeting for Versus ended. If you were to see the city etc. presented today, you wouldn’t be able to stand from surprise, lol.”

Via: Joystiq
Translation: NeoGAF Forums
Source: @YoichiW
Video: IGN Entertainment

UK Advertising Standards Authority says NO to Activision’s Modern Warfare 3 Ad

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) is formally known as the UK’s independent regulator of advertising and recently had complaints brought forth regarding ads for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

According to the ASA, the ads contained “computer-generated scenes of New York under military assault, with buildings exploding and catching fire, soldiers loading gun and a submarine firing rockets”, all things that would be expected from such a video game title.

The complaints came about because they aired on Sky Sports 1 at 2:30pm on November 6th during the broadcast of a Premier League football match. This should not have been an issue, Activision stating it had complied with the rules that they were given, even making a special edited cut for the time slot, which had been given a PG rating by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification).

Despite the facts given, the ASA have maintained their position, stating that the advertisements may still be inappropriate and might cause distress to children possibly watching the broadcast of the football match.

As a result, Activision’s ad will not be shown any time earlier than 7:30pm. This should be no issue, seeing that they might possibly have their attention focused on marketing their newer title, Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Source: MCV