Friday, November 9, 2012

Free Battlefield, THQ troubles, Blizzard in the bux

The midagedgamer report for 11-9-2012

This week...Battlefield is Free and it's not that goofy Flash game either, Game publishers make too much money for crappy games, THQ delays 3 games in hopes of stopping their circle around the drain and more!

Free Battlefield!  1942 that is,

On Tuesday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Battlefield series of games EA began offering the original Battlefield that started them all for free on Origin.   Battlefield 1942 will take 1.6 gigabytes of space and includes the most recent updates.  A word of warning.  The game is 10 years old and  was originally designed for Windows XP and a Pentium 3 CPU.  Also know that the game doesn't appear to support widescreen resolutions natively but will run on Windows 7.  Not a bad deal for a free game and there are plenty of multiplayer servers available.  Enjoy a little nostalgia and see where it all started.

Are you the type that just likes to watch? Well Origin might just be able to satisfy your voyeuristic tendencies.  EA has partnered with online game streamer TWITCH to allow live viewing of your gaming from  EA's Origin service.  You can bet there's going to be a spike in YouTube game videos from EA titles.  Guess the publisher better loosen up its copyright!

World of Warcraft claims its subscriber base has grown to 10 million after it's Mist of Pandaria release.  Guess the fantasy RPG world has fallen in love with furry samurai pandas..

Diablo 3 has passed 10 million sales and an expansion is coming.  In related news Activision/Blizzard says it made 100 million more than its third quarter revenue forecast of 740 million coming in at 841 million.  They also report that they have 3.4 billion in cash and investments and no debt.  Unlike their customers who continue to get fleeced. 

Halo 4 came out on Election day (November 6th) and so far it's getting good reviews.  The XBOX360 exclusive taken over by new developer 343 Industries appears to be carrying on the tradition started by Bungie.  $59.99 gets you back on board with Master Chief.

THQ publisher of the upcoming Company of Heroes 2 and Metro :Last Light as well as South Park: The Stick of Truth has decided to delay release of the titles till spring of 2013.  THQ is betting the farm on these releases and needs a hit if it wants to stay in business.  Jason Rubin, President of THQ says the reason for the delay is,

"without extra time for polish in the current environment, would lead to underperformance that could in turn lead to future additional capital shortfalls".

THQ has had some serious financial issues lately that began with a reverse stock split a few months ago.  THQ was forced into the move to avoid getting delisted on the NASDAQ for falling below $1 a share in value.  So far THQ's financial woes continue and  most recently have culminated in a 50% loss in share value on November 6th.  Hope it works out for them but of the 3 titles Metro: Last Light is the only prospect that has mass market appeal.

Oh yay, more SkyRim DLC from Bethesda.  When is this game going to go away already.  Anyway the new "DragonBorn" DLC is set for release on the XBOX360 on December 4th.  PS3 and PC release dates are unknown.  Why don't they just start a subscription model already.  It takes Bethesda years to make Elder Scrolls sequels so they might as well milk the franchise like everyone else.

In a statement obvious to any PC gamer Chris Roberts was quoted this week in an interview with ARS Technica as saying,

"You can do most of it on a next generation console, but I can promise you a top-end PC now is already more powerful than what a next generation console is going to be."

In response to whether  his new release Star Citizen would be available on a console..
I certainly hope so, Chris.  I'm tired of games being dumbed down for console compatibility..

Fall has come to Caledonia and the lush green hills have been replaced with golden landscapes.  Ok, for the uninitiated Caledonia is the setting for Lord of Ultima and they've deployed seasonal textures to the maps.  Nice look and a break from all that green!

If you're a fan of Star Wars and MMO's you may want to listen up.  Bioware has announced that Star Wars: The old Republic will go to a Free to Play model on November 15th.  Not quite a giveaway, however, as they're only unlocking 50 levels and will keep a paid subscription model in place.  Pay to play gets more options, features and game content.  If they follow the Star Trek online model it would be a welcome addition to current Free MMO's.  If pay for play lets you mop the floor with the free to play players it'll fail.  The nice thing about a good F2P MMO like Star Trek Online is that you can enjoy the game without having to buy upgrades just to survive.  In the end most people pony up the cash, willingly.  We'll see if EA (Bioware's parent) can stifle their greed.

Yay! more Grand Theft Auto 5 details released....I've posted a link because I don't really care...

Getting a little tired of the scenery of Skyrim?  Well Bethesda is working on a new MMO called Elder Scrolls Online.  It's due out in 2013 on both the PC and the Mac.  This explains why they didn't bother to do a co-op or multiplayer option in Skyrim.  Just what we need another overpriced subscription based MMO.

Finally a suggestion.

This may seem obvious but to older gamers there may be some resistance to what I'm about to propose.  I know I was resistant to the idea at first.  Should you find yourself frequenting a particular podcast or forum and there's any chance of joining an online multiplayer game with like minded fans, just do it.  Older gamers may not be into the whole "social" thing so spending time with strange people even online may be uncomfortable.  Get over it.  Multiplayer gaming is exponentially more satisfying when you're playing with people you share a common interest with outside of the game.  It's one of the reasons I enjoy co-op games with my friends and why I don't pay much attention to online FPS games unless I can play with someone I know.

That's it for this week and don't forget to check out the links below.  Click the "Show More" below the video to see them...

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