Saturday, 13 August 2011

Friday, 5 August 2011

Minecraft Being Sued By Bethesda For Use Of Word "Scrolls"

According to Notch, the creator of Minecraft, Bethesda is suing Mojang over the use of the word "Scrolls" in their expansion. The reasoning is that it's too similar to their use of the word in "The Elder Scrolls". 

This isn't really unexpected. When Mojang's lawyers told them to register the name "Minecraft", they also told them to register "Scrolls" as well to avoid any trouble that might cause in the future. After applying for it, they were contacted by Bethesda's lawyers as to the intention of their use of the word "Scrolls" in their product. Notch told Bethesda's lawyers that their intention was to use it as a precursor to the name of expanions i.e Scrolls - The Banana Edition. To Notch's knowledge, he doesn't know if Bethesda had agreed to the terms. 

Today, Mojang recieved a 15 page cease-and-desist letter from Bethesda's layers saying that if he does not stop using the word "Scrolls" in this work, that they are threatening to sue them should the need arise. Notch doesn't seem too concerned, noting that "I love Bethesda. I assume this nonsense is partly just their lawyers being lawyers, and a result of trademark law being the way it is."

Myself, I'm hoping that this is just something of a misunderstanding. "Scrolls" is such a general term. The patent system is a joke in its current state. The two games aren't similar in any ways, and don't share any of the same appeal to people. It's not like using the word "Scrolls" will somehow hurt Bethesda's business. I know product awareness and saturation is one thing, but this is just a ridiculous situation. Also, I don't think Bethesda wants to be know as the people who sued beloved "Minecraft". 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Borderlands 2 OFFICIALLY Confirmed

Gearbox Software and 2K Games have OFFICIALLY announced the sequal to the Xbox 360 hit Borderlands. While the news broke early yesterday that the game is being worked on (which, I think we all kind of expected considering it's 3 million sales), Gearbox's boss was quick to point out that it was not official, and accused the people who leaked the news to the world of "shoddy journalism". So, not wanting to be the last to the party, Gearbox and 2K Games officially announced the game via their websites.

I'm excited as hell to play this. Having played well over 100 hours with my friends on this game, I'm anxious to see what improvements can and will be made. The promise of new characters, weapons, enemies, missions, and story line are more than welcome.

Below is the announcement from Gearbox website:

2K Games and Gearbox Software Announce Borderlands™ 2 in Development

Fans can get their first glimpse of the bold evolution of the Role-Playing Shooter at Gamescom and PAX Prime 2011 this month

New York, NY – August 3, 2011 – 2K Games and Gearbox Software announced today that the sequel to the extravasplosive breakout hit, Borderlands™, is currently in development at world-renowned developer Gearbox Software. Coming to the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC during Take-Two's fiscal year 2013 beginning on April 1, 2012, Borderlands 2 is the epic sequel to the ultimate four-player Role-Playing Shooter loot fest. Combining invention and evolution, Borderlands 2 features all new characters, skills, environments, enemies, weapons and equipment, which come together in an ambitiously crafted story. Players will reveal secrets, and escalate mysteries of the Borderlands universe as they adventure across the unexplored new areas of Pandora.

2K Games and Gearbox Software are taking this show on the road, and fans and media will be able to get their first look at the game at Gamescom 2011 from August 17 – August 21, and at PAX Prime (Booth #3417) from August 26 – August 28. Eager gamers can learn more about Borderlands 2 right now by picking up the latest issue of Game Informer Magazine, which has the worldwide exclusive cover story on the title. Readers will find many game details inside the issue, including the first reveal of one of the several new character classes being introduced in Borderlands 2.

About Borderlands

Taking the gaming world by storm, Borderlands delivered its unique flavor of humorous and lovable characters and addictive non-stop collaborative loot-hunting gameplay on an unsuspecting populace. The critically acclaimed and best-selling Role-Playing-Shooter, as well as its four downloadable expansion packs, captured the imagination and attention of single-player and cooperative gamers around the world.

Borderlands 2 is not yet rated by the ESRB.

Microsoft Plans To Release Monthly Kinect Titles

With Fruit Ninja: Kinect releasing in just a week, Microsoft has announced that they aim to release new Kinect exclusives on a monthly basis, according to an interview between Robin Burrowes and CVG. With a few great titles out already such as Kinect Sports and Child of Eden, plus some amazing games coming out such as (of course) Fruit Ninja: Kinect, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the reboot of the Steel Battalion franchise titled "Heavy Armor", The Gun Stringer, Minecraft and even Mass Effect 3 there seems to be good reason for 10 million Kinect owners, such as myself, to be excited.

"Obviously we have Xbox Live Arcade exclusives running through the Summer of Arcade programme, but yes, you can expect far more exclusives coming to the platform in future," Robin Burrowes, Xbox Live product marketing manager for EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa], told CVG."

Though he couldn't divulge the name of the titles he is refering to, he did  mention that we should "trust the legacy of titles in the past". He also mentioned that they are working on games that will be released on Xbox Live Arcade Game downloads, as well traditional, core games which include sequels to successful titles already on the platform.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Blizzard Implementing "Cash-For-Items" Scheme In Diablo III

Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date  
To Be Announced

Blizzard has recently announced a new type of Auction House for its newest iteration of the Diablo franchise. This new AH will feature weapons and armor available for purchase using cold, hard cash. They will run along side (though separately) from the traditional auction houses like World of Warcraft's that use in-game currency. 

Like the World of Warcraft auction houses, Diablo's cash-only AH will require the user to pay a fee to put it up for sale, then they will be required to pay a transaction fee when the item is sold. The seller then may keep the money on his (or her) account to use for in-game or other Blizzard products, or cash out for yet another fee. The fees are at this moment still being negotiated, though I'm sure on such a grand scale and with such a dedicated fan base that it won't matter. At all. 

This poses a scary situation. I can see many people, especially a few friends I know, making this a full time job. I'm already picturing my friends trying to make a living off of playing and selling items in-game. I suppose it remains to be seen on how much in-game items will cost. Blizzard has a tendancy of pumping out some really expensive, rare or even one-off items that may end up costing hundreds or thousands on the new marketplace. After all, Blizzard will profit off of every item sold. 

I'm not liking what this game is implying for the future of games. Micro-purchasing seems to be the way of the future. Look at games like Farmville (or any Zynga, or even any facebook game), any iOS game, and many Xbox or PS3 games like Record of Agarest War where in-game purchases will give you an edge over the average Joe pinch-penny. The era fair, balanced gaming is over. Hail your new King, Disposable-Income Man.

Happy Heritage Day, Alberta

August 1st, 2011 - Happy Heritage Day, Alberta!