Electronic Arts said Monday that its Battlefield 3 game has sold five million units on a worldwide basis within its first week, the fastest-selling game in EA's history.
The company admitted to some server instability, however, but claimed it was minor: the average service uptime remained at 98.9 percent throughout the weekend, with only some "intermittent disruption of online services due to high volume," according to the developer.
Battlefield 3, the latest wartime first-person shooter title from DICE and Electronic Arts, arrived in stores on October 25th, launching the opening salvo in this fall's FPS conflict. Available for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, Battlefield 3 arrives days before Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which is slated for release on November 8th.
Details are leaking out for the contents of the ultra-deluxe Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 "Hardened Edition," the fancy name for what amounts to the collector's version of the game, which you can pre-order now on Amazon. And the news doesn't come a moment too soon for rabid Call of Duty fans: According to new predictions from publisher Activision-Blizzard, the latest title in the series is expected to sell even more pre-sale copies than its previous versions.
It's not as if Activision-Blizzard has remained blind to the popularity of its first-person-shooter franchise, however. A brand-new subscription service is expected to be released alongside the November launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Dubbed, "Call of Duty: Elite," the service will give gamers the option for signing up for a free account or "premium" access to the service for the cost of $50 a year, or nearly the cash equivalent of one brand-new Call of Duty title.
So what's the point? According to Activision-Blizzard's official announcement for Elite, the online network will contain, "a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market."
Developer Kuma Games has released an update to its first-person-shooter Kuma War 2 that allows gamers to protect—or kill—Osama Bin Laden. And this isn't just some Unreal Tournament-style skin job: No, Kuma Games has faithfully recreated a map based on the assault on Bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan compound.
The mission, "Osama 2011," comes as the 107th and likely final update to the company's free squad-based first-person shooter. When joining the game, Kuma War players are automatically assigned to one of two teams for the final Bin Laden mission: U.S. Navy SEALS, tasked with killing Bin Laden and recovering the body, or Bin Laden defenders, who have to save Bin Laden from harm by eliminating all opposing players.
"At Kuma, we are very sensitive and respectful of American and coalition soldiers and the sacrifices they are making every day," said Kuma Games CEO Keith Halper in an interview with Forbes. "We hope that by telling their stories with such a powerful medium that we enable the American public to gain a better appreciation of the conflicts and the dangers they face."
Demiurge Studios released the first in-game trailer for their upcoming title, Shoot Many Robots, which is slated for a downloadble release in 2011. This might be Demiurge Studios first original title, but they are no rookies to the business of making fun and addictive games. The company stands as one of the largest independent game developers in the Boston area, and has been lending its expertise for years to AAA franchises like Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, Mass Effect and Rock Band.
“After nine years of working on truly awesome IPs with our favorite developers and publishers, we’re thrilled to be stepping out of the shadows with an original property of our own,” said Albert Reed, co-founder and studio director at Demiurge Studios. “Shoot Many Robots is the dream game we’ve always wanted to make: a 4-player co-op action-RPG with tons of loot and great innovation on beloved run-and-gun game play. Our team created a vibrant, unique style for the game that’s beautifully rendered by Demiurge’s new game engine. Building a 'Robot Murder Simulator' has been a blast for us, and we can't wait to get it into gamers' hands.”
Shoot Many Robots look like an old school gamer's or arcade junkies dream. With a side-scroller feel, item looting, co-op, and shoot 'em up mechanics, we can assume it will be a huge success on the PSN and Xbox LIVE Arcade platforms.
With the release of Dead Space 2 across platforms, EA Mobile released an iOS version of the game. Coming in at $6.99 for the iPhone and $9.99 for the iPad version, this is more than just a companion app, it's a fairly extensive, full featured game, with multiple weapons, sceneries, moving vehicles, story and so on. The whole plot and setting feeds into the Dead Space universe to create a full mobile experience.
After a high hype and anticipation level, iD Software's Rage game called Mutant Bash TV finally hit the App Store this week. The creators of the original Doom and Quake games showcased the full Rage for consoles many times in the past, and promised to provide a graphically rich companion for the iPhone. Now that the game is out, is it worthy of all that wait?
First, the game is available in two different versions. Yet, unlike most apps, they aren't limited to iPhone and iPad. Both apps are universal, with the difference being the quality of textures. Rage, at $0.99, has regular graphics, while Rage HD, at $1.99, has high definition graphics, and is aimed at iPhone 4 and the iPad. This is a fairly large app, weighing in at over 700 MB, so it may take a while to download.
Want to pick up a great game for 99 cents that’s universal (meaning, for one price you get an iPhone version and iPad version!)? For a limited time, Geometry Wars Touch is availble for a penny shy of a buck on the App Store. If you’ve played this one on the Xbox 360, then you know how great Geometry Wars is. For a dollar, you can’t really go wrong here.
Read More | Geometry Wars Touch
This morning Resident Evil: Degeneration hit the App Store, officially bringing the Resident Evil game series to the iPhone and iPod touch. The game is based on the Resident Evil: Degeneration movie from Sony Picture Home Entertainment, and puts you in control of CLaire Redfield and Leon Kennedy, our Resident Evil mainstays.
The game hits you with 3D graphics, multi-touch controls, and even takes advantage of the accelerometer. Resident Evil: Degeneration sells for $6.99, and is available for purchase immediately.
Read More | Resident Evil: Degeneration
Next time your significant other complains that you are spending too much time with your video games, tell him/her that you are trying to improve your eyesight. Nature Nueroscience researchers found that playing improves contrast sensitivity, the ability to notice small differences in shades of gray used in night driving or poor visibility conditions. The study, which involved gamers aiming and shooting at virtual targets, also says that gaming may improve amblyopia, “lazy eye,” by making both eyes work together.
Read More | BBC
It was just announced this morning by Microsoft during their GDC keynote - Gears of War 2 will be hitting Xbox 360 consoles this November. That’s right kids - November 2008. You ready for this? Here is the word from Microsoft:
Providing a dramatic close to Microsoft’s GDC keynote address, Epic Games Inc.’s lead designer Cliff Bleszinski announced that the epic saga of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad continues exclusively on the Xbox 360 this fall with “Gears of War 2.” This highly anticipated sequel to the 4.5 million-selling blockbuster “Gears of War” delves deeper into humanity’s struggle for survival against the nightmarish Locust Horde, and promises to take high-definition visuals to a whole new level.
Check out the trailer, at the top of this post.
Read More | Gears of War product page