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Bungie Signs 10-Year Deal With Activision 85

An anonymous reader writes "Infinity Ward may be suing Activision under allegations of low payment and no royalties, but it seems some developers are still happy to work with the publisher — it has just signed a 10-year deal with Bungie, the studio behind the popular Halo series of FPS games. Activision will publish all of Bungie's games in the next decade — although Bungie will own the IP. The terms of the deal are similar to those brokered by former Infinity Ward chiefs Jason West and Vince Zampella when they signed with EA after being fired in March."
XBox (Games)

Devs Finally Finding Success With Xbox Indie Games 65

McBacon writes with this excerpt from "Often dismissed as a failed venture, the Xbox Indie Games programme has earned successful man-and-his-dog developers tens of thousands of pounds from sales of their homebrew games. Wired explores the success stories of this hidden marketplace. ... now, more than a year since its launch, the Xbox Indie Games are seeing something of a revival. Microsoft has made huge strides to improve the service, games are beginning to be taken more seriously and success stories are becoming more and more common. Especially for [James] Silva, a New York-based developer, who became an impromptu Indie celebrity after his game The Dishwasher won Microsoft's Dream-Build-Play competition. He says he's 'absolutely thrilled' to have seen I Maed a Gam3 w1th Zomb1es!!!1 — his latest game — become a cult hit, for gamers to flock to it in record numbers and to have sold over 200,000 copies."
It's funny.  Laugh.

April Fools Sees Fake Extra Millions For Users of Brokerage Site 280

Upstart online brokerage site Zecco had an unfortunate April Fool's day snafu that they are claiming was an honest mistake. Users logged on to find larger balances than they should have, sometimes millions of dollars extra, and many of those users started trading with the nonexistent money. Happy April Fool's Day. "... when Zecco realized it, the company apparently started to force sell, even at a loss, charging the losses to the customers along with a '$19.99 broker-assisted trading fee.' Oops."

Comment Re:HAHAHA yeah right (Score 5, Interesting) 177

Having played both... Halo is the superior game. Yes, blasphemy, I know, but really, is there a story to Half-Life? No. I was amazed when playing HL2 that people make it out to be such a big deal. Most of it was listen to a couple minutes of conversation that suggests that there may be a story somewhere, OMG, something happened, you're separated from Alyx, now go through 2 hours of story-less FPS gaming to meet her somewhere else. Then it happens again. Oh, and occasionally there are massively long and boring vehicle sections.

About 25% of HL2 was actually interesting and fun.

Halo, on the other hand, has solid story throughout. Sure, there's nothing as cool as the gravity gun in the play, but the tank-driving sections are far more fun than anything in HL2.

In fact, the section of Halo 3 where you destroy the scarab with the tank was more fun than the entirety of HL2.

Comment Re:Fair is fair (Score 1) 1182

Let me get this straight.

Because one title with proper ratings has a small portion of the game, something that's completely optional for end users to participate in, that's related to sexuality, then there can't be the policy decision to decide that topic's not allowable in a console feature that's in no way related to the game in question?

The fact that the majority of the use of terms related to sexual orientation of XBL are meant as pejoratives can't be allowed into policy decisions? So because Fable 2 has sexuality in it, XBL must allow sexual orientation and related terms in profiles, even if that means for every single GLBT person that puts it in their profile, 10-20 kids make gamertags like "FAGKILLER" and "STUPIDGAYS"?

Sure, you can just say that offensive ones are not allowed. But then what happens when someone's tag is "RichardIsGay" - is that offensive or not? Then the judgement calls get difficult, and eventually one is made incorrectly, then Consumerist gets more articles about how the people making the decisions at XBL aren't all perfect and therefore they're all a bunch of gay haters.


Submission + - Good advice from Microsoft? (

Sproing is a verb writes: "Microsoft is preparing a series of guides detailing what IT Pros must do to create well-designed, stable information technology infrastructures that use Microsoft technology.

The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) series provides guidance for Microsoft infrastructure products, including Windows Server 2008 and SoftGrid. The series is a collection of documents that will lead the reader through a sequence of core decision points to design an infrastructure for Microsoft products. It also provides a means to validate design decisions with the business to ensure that the solution meets the requirements of both business and infrastructure stakeholders."

Comment Gamer demographics (Score 1) 17

Um, dude, who do you think plays them?

Right, kids at high schools and universities.
And this is why you are out of the loop! :)

Sorry dude, the market has changed. The demographic used to be only kids in high schools and universities, but it's gotten a lot broader. Geez, even you should realize this, as a Wii fanboy.

As us gamers have gotten older, so has the demographic. There are plenty of adults playing games. The Wii has also been appealing to much older gamers as well, since it's so much more accessible.

If anything, kids in school still gravitate very much to the traditional "hardcore console". Who do you think it gobbling up millions of copies of Halo 3? Or who has the time to play it for hours at a time, every day of the week? It's those high school and university kids, playing on the 360, the PS2, and to a much lesser extent, the PS3. The Wii is great for social environments, party games, and for families, but actually not so much for the traditional game-playing crowd (kids in school). Spend some time in various video game forums, and you'll quickly realize this too.

I'm hoping you're just out of the loop when it comes to tracking video game markets, since your "knowledge" has been off. If you'd like to catch up, here are some excellent business-oriented sites that track the games industry:
United States

Submission + - TX Science Educator Fired - Was Non-Neutral re: ID ( 1

jeffporcaro writes: "Texas' Director of Science Curriculum was "forced to step down" for favoring evolution over intelligent design (ID). She apparently circulated an e-mail that was critical of ID — although state regulations require her not to have any opinion "on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral." I hope they don't enforce the same kind of neutrality regarding heliocentricity or other scientific "debates.""
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Xbox 360 Fall Dashboard Update Details Released

Nick Breen writes: The Xbox 360 firmware sees two major updates a year — in the Spring and the Fall. This year's Fall update is just about upon us. On Tuesday December 4th, Microsoft will unleash a flurry of new features and small tweaks to the way the Xbox 360 operates. Here are the highlights.
  • AVI Support — The max bitrate for these files is 5 Mbps with resolutions up to 1280x720 up to 30fps.
  • Parental Timer — Limit play time
  • Xbox Originals — Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Halo, Fable, Fuzion Frenzy, and Psychonauts for 1,200 MS Points.
  • XBLA Greatest Hits — Best-selling Xbox Live Arcade games for 800 Points.
  • Enhanced Online Profiles — You'll be able to look up friends of friends now, in sort of a social-networking-way.
  • Inside Xbox — RSS news feed from Xbox Central Headquarters on your Xbox 360 dashboard.
  • New Dashboard Layout

Submission + - A U.S. pandemic would kill 1.7m, hospitalize 9m (

Lucas123 writes: "A U.S. pandemic would exhaust antiviral medications, reduce basic food supplies, put ATMs out of service, shut down call centers, increase gas prices and up health insurance claims by 20%, according a test project developed by financial service firms. The pandemic paper planning scenario is used by 3,000 banks, insurance companies and security firms in preparing for disasters. The financial services groups are now sharing the pandemic flu exercise information, and all the scenarios are available for download."

Submission + - New Theory Explains Periodic Mass Extinctions

i_like_spam writes: The theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid impact, the K-T extinction, is well known and supported by fossil and geological evidence. Asteroid impact theory does not apply to the other fluctuations in biodiversity, however, which follow an approximate 62 million-year cycle. As reported in Science news, a new theory seems to explain periodic mass extinctions. The new theory found that oscillations in the Sun relative to the plane of the Milky Way correlate with changes in biodiversity on Earth. The researchers suggest that an increase in the exposure of Earth to extragalatic cosmic rays causes mass extinctions. Here is the original paper describing the finding.

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