While Square Enix is reaffirming its commitment to "increasing its profits" by using DRM, CD Projekt Red is reaffirming its commitment to gamers by having absolutely no DRM at all in The Witcher 3.
"I’d like to say it loud and clear: The PC version of The Witcher 3 will have absolutely no DRM from day 0," said CD Projekt cofounder and CEO Marcin Iwinski. "Zero. Zip. Nada. It doesn’t matter if you choose to buy it on GOG.com and support us directly or buy the game in box format, you’ll still get the 100% DRM-free experience. And this goes for the whole world."
The game will be available through Steam also. However, that version will be protected by Steam's standard copy protection system. "Gamers have a choice in where they buy their games, but where CDPR does have control — like GOG.com — there will be absolutely no DRM," explained Iwinski.
Even though PC gaming seems to be getting a real resurgence as of late, long-standing matchmaking service GameSpy is set to close in a few weeks time. That unfortunately means that a lot of the PC's most standout titles from the past couple of decades are going to cease multiplayer functionality in the near future. However, 2K Games has announced that in order to maintain some of its more popular titles, it'll be porting them over to Steamworks.
The list of games set to be saved is relatively short, but it represents the three most popular titles (and their expansions) affected by the shutdown in 2K's back catalog. They are:
Civilization III: Conquests
Civilization III: Play the World
Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
Civilization IV: Colonization
Civilization IV: Warlords
However great this is for Civ and Borderlands fans though, it does mean the list of games 2K won't be updating will be much longer, though admittedly a lot of the games you likely haven't even heard of.
Close Combat First to Fight (PC / Mac)
Jetfighter V: Homeland Protector (PC)
Stronghold 2 (PC)
Stronghold Legends (PC)
Top Spin (PC)
Top Spin 2 (PC)
Vietcong 2 (PC)
Are any of these long time favourites of yours? If so, better get your multiplayer gaming done before the 31st May.
The original Alien movie might have looked futuristic back when it was released in 1979, but today its glut of CRT monitors and monochromatic screens look ancient. However, it's a very stylised world that really lends itself to the franchise, because unlike modern movies where technology seems to do half the job of the lead character, in Alien, technology can't really help you and that's something the creators of Alien: Isolation, really wanted to focus on.
Take the motion tracker, it's big and heavy, meaning you can't hold a weapon at the same time as it. It also only shows you a 2D map in-front of you and then only movement. There's no motion trackers or infrared cameras throughout the ship to help you, there's no combat support robots or weapon caches on every corner. No turrets that pop down from the ceiling - just the potential for a cargo loading exo-skeleton. Please let there be an exoskeleton.
To make sure that they stayed faithful to this ideal, Creative Assembly, the guys behind the Total War series and now this new Alien property, made a house-rule that the game could feature nothing that couldn't have been built on the original set. And it shows.
Everything in the trailers and screenshots showed so far has been chunky, not-particularly user friendly and far from effective against stopping an alien menace.
What do you guys think of how the game is shaping up? We have to admit,We are getting very excited for its release.
Alien Isolation is set for release on October 7th, on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
A few years ago, companies such as Ubisoft forced extreme DRM systems such as Starforce unto their customers before discovering the hard way around that that did them more harm than good.
Today, nearly two years after Ubisoft listened to its customers and dialed down its DRM intensity, Square Enix America’s Senior Manager of Business and Legal Affairs Adam Sullivan put it bluntly: the company's games will always be protected by DRM for one simple goal: to maximize profit.
“The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit,” he explained candidly.
“We have a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs, which does deter many would-be pirates,” he claimed. “However, effectiveness is notoriously difficult to measure — in short, we rely on the data available to us through our sales team and various vendors, along with consumer feedback.”
Needless to say, consumer feedback regarding DRM is usually negative and Sullivan knows it. “The key to DRM is that it can’t interfere with the customer’s ability to play the game,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for people to get a new computer every few years, or to have multiple computers. Sometimes they don’t have reliable internet connections. There’s no perfect solution yet.”
Nonetheless, DRM is here to stay as far as Square Enix is concerned. “So long as we’re concerned about things like data privacy, accounting sharing and hacking, we’ll need some form of DRM,” the company's head of Legal Affairs asserted.
Sony Computer Entertainment has sold all of its 9.52 million shares in Square Enix.
Sony refused to reveal the reasons behind the sale nor its monetary value. The company however promised to disclose the stock selling price in an official announcement tomorrow.
The stock was sold to SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. with an expected gain of around ¥4.8 billion ($47 million). Sony will record this money as "other income" in its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of the current fiscal year (ending March 31, 2015).
Square Enix has been in the red for several years before the last two quarters when it started posting profits again. The company's stock price reached its peak of ¥2895 in January 2014 but it continued to fluctuate and now it sits at around ¥1685.
Gearbox has decided to stick with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for it upcoming multiplayer shooter, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
For Gearbox cofounder and CEO Randy Pitchford , the decision was not that hard to make. In fact it all boils down to simple math: "Currently there is - between PS3 and Xbox 360 - over 150m installed units worldwide - probably 170m is more realistic," he explained.
"There are fewer Xbox Ones and PS4s than we sold copies of Borderlands 2."
Randy then reasoned that nearly all Xbox One and PS4 players already have an old-gen console but the opposite is not true. "If you try to imagine the set of Borderlands players who have already upgraded, that's not 100 percent," he argued. "But if you try to imagine the set of Xbox One or PS4 owners who do not have an Xbox 360 or a PS3, the difference there is so close to nil you can't make a business rationalization around that."
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is being developed by 2K Australia, the studio known for its helping hand in the BioShock franchise. The game is set for release on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in fall 2014.
If you haven't heard the news, Gamespy, one of the world's longest running game matchhmaking services, is shutting down shortly and unfortunately, it's taking the multiplayer functionality of a lot of older games with it.
If you play multiplayer in any of the following, chances are you won't be able to after the shutdown:
Halo: Combat Evolved
Saints Row 2
Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront 2
Take on Helicopters
And these are just the confirmed ones. In this Reddit thread, they've put together a long list of other potentially effected titles and it's very long indeed. It includes games liike Quake 3, Battlefield 2, Medal of Honour: Allied Assault, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Shogun Total War, Civilisation III and IV and many more.
It has been confirmed however that ARMA 3, ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead, Company of Heroes, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Stronghold HD and Stronghold Crusader HD will not be effected.
April Fools jokes are widely accepted in gaming industry, but the official Frostbite Twitter account has taken it too far and forced EA COO Peter Moore to apologize.
Early on Tuesday, the official Frostbite Twitter account posted a series of tweets making fun of Nintendo's Wii U.
"Frostbite will power #HalfLife3, coming out summer 2014! #WiiU exclusive," read one Tweet.
"Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda," the account added, making fun of the power difference between Wii U and its contenders: Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The tweets were removed shortly after and Peter Moore tweeted an apology to Nintendo and fans. "Our apologies to partners @NintendoAmerica & fan," he said. "@FrostbiteEngine's poor attempt at April Fools not condoned by EA: unacceptable/stupid."
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Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda admitted that they have hurt their recent lineup by trying to appeal to global audience instead of focusing on core fans as they used to do.
"If you focus too much on the global aspect, you might lose sight of who you're actually making the game for," he explained.
"The development team for Hitman: Absolution really struggled in this regard," he elaborated with an example. "They implemented a vast amount of 'elements for the mass' instead of for the core fans, as a way to try getting as many new players possible. It was a strategy to gain mass appeal."
"However, what makes the Hitman series good is its appeal to core gamers, and many fans felt the lack of focus in that regard, which ended up making it struggle in sales."
While Hitman: Absolution was underselling, Square Enix's JRPG "Bravely Default" was doing much better than expected. The game was designed specifically for hardcore Japanese RPG players and it became a hit there but it also met unexpected success in the west. Earlier in March, Nintendo announced that the 3DS version of Bravely Default has sold more than 200,000 units in its first 3 weeks in North America.
For Matsuda, that was proof enough that trying to globalize their games was a mistake. "For the new games we'll be developing from this point on, while this may sound a bit extreme, we've been talking about making them as heavy JRPGs," he promised. "I believe that way, we can better focus on our target, which will also bring better results."