Sunday, October 28, 2012

Special! Favorite games with a Halloween twist




Special Halloween versions of your favorite games!

Steam seems to embrace the holiday more than any other and this year they're at it again!

It's finally here, the holiday that seems to inspire the most gaming mods of any other, Halloween.

True to form This year Team Fortress 2 leads the pack with "Scream Fortress" which this year includes
a haunted kill of the hill map, a co-op MVM game called wave 66 with zombies not to mention special items and achievements available only during the event.   The event is going until Nov. 6th.

Speaking of Zombies..

Killing Floor is fast becoming known for its seasonal events as well.  This year's no different with the new HillbillyHorrors event which of course includes a new map with requisite hill folk to battle.  There are special weapons, achievements and DLC packs available as well.  The event also runs through Nov. 6th.
Shooters not you're thing?
Check out Lord of Ultima's Halloween inCaledonia event going on now through  November 2nd where spooky themes can be applied to your castles.  Themes are paid DLC content but are 50% off during the event.

 If you're a guild wars 2 player then you should make sure you don't miss the special Shadow of the MadKing Halloween event continuing till November 5th.
Of course there are the year round scarefest embodied by Silent Hill, Dead Space, Resident Evil and other horror themed games if you find the above offerings a bit too tame.

That's it, I have to go turn some more lights on now...

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Midagedgamer Report 10-26-2012




This week...

Borderlands on an Ipad? I'm vindicated, Medal of honor sucks! New hotrod Beta drivers from AMD and Star Citizen looks like it's going to be a reality...

Well tis the season for all things scary and the zombie co-op favorite Killing floor has offered up another seasonal special event.  From now till November 6th you can take out your Redneck rampage on a new map set in hillbilly country.  There you'll find the requisite mountain folk afflicted with toxic waste induced bad attitudes and weapons to match.  Speaking of weapons there are new guns and a scythe to play with as well as a new unlockable character, Death (as in grim reaper) and a DLC pack that allows you to play as the Chickenator which looks familiar to anyone who's watched Adult Swim's Robot Chicken.  It's available through Steam.  Valve's also offering discounts on Killing Floor and DLC packs during the event.


Can't get enough Borderlands and wish you could play it on your IPAD?  Well Gearbox has your back with the upcoming release on October 31st of Borderlands Legends.  Yes it's borderlands on a tablet.  Available from the app store for $4.99 for the Iphone and $6.99 for the IPAD.  Of course being a touch interface means this trip through Pandora will be a little different.  All four playable characters from the original game are onscreen at the same time.   The challenge being using their abilities rather than relying on some lame auto aiming routine.  Could be fun, but $6.99 is pretty steep for an IPad  app .  Forget about the Iphone.  With a 4 inch screen you're going to miss a lot.


I am vindicated...

In a story on Kotaku, apparently the upcoming Medal of Honor Warfighter is going to fall flat on its face.  In their review they found the game unpolished with "stupid" AI that seems to function more as placeholders than teammates.  In fact Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku probably summed it up best when he wrote...

"The game so epitomizes the thoughtless, drab military shooter that it frequently lapses into inadvertent self-parody. It is lackluster in almost every way. But hey, at least the flashlights look pretty good."

Yeah, gotta love pre-orders.  Midagedgamer 2, hype 0!


Windows 8 is out and so far your games will work on it.  We've known that for months so no news here. Just the same I don't see the need to upgrade although the $40 digital download price is pretty reasonable..


AMD will be releasing a new Beta driver next week in 12.11 Beta.   Known as the "Never Settle" driver.  Reportedly improvements in gaming performance in popular games like Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor is in the neighborhood of 15% if AMD's claims are to be believed.  PCPer did some testing and did see a marked improvement over the current 12.9 stable drivers.  The improvements are supposedly leveraging the Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU series (7xxx) Southern Islands  hardware.  It doesn't appear to do much for the older cards like the Northern Islands (6xxx) cards  so I wouldn't suggest messing with the Beta on those platforms at this point.  Remember it's an ATI driver so use at your own risk and maybe back up your system before giving it a whirl.  


Previously I reported about Chris Roberts new epic Sci-Fi MMO-like space combat game Star Citizen was being funded by crowd sourcing with a goal of 2 million dollars to bring it to life.  By the way, Roberts is quick to dismiss the MMO label saying it "will take the best of all worlds." It appears the 2 million dollar mark was met this week with help from additional funding from kickstarter.  Also of note is that the game will not use the subscription model but rather ask only an initial purchase with additional upgrades available later on.  Roberts is adamant that any upgrades available for purchase can also be earned.  This could be a WoW killer for space fantasy fans if Robert's gets his wish and so far it looks like he will.


Finally,

All is not well in the Shire...

Turbine, developer of the Lord of the rings online MMO has apparently laid off some of its staff due to "market conditions" In a statement to IGN the developer said,

"As part of the continual review of our business operations and fluctuating market conditions, we have had to make reductions in our Turbine workforce. The group continues to remain an integral part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.”

I'm sure this will come as a blow to the 3 remaining players of the game. There's been no statement as to the future of the MMO to date.


That's it for this week.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Online gaming, it's more about the players than the game


I've been doing a lot of online gaming lately.  Definitely more than I used to.  My reason being that as little as a year ago I couldn't stand playing games with other people online.  I called them the great unwashed masses.  

Not because I have an inflated ego but rather because it was always a free for all that had less to do with playing the game than suffering the people playing it.

If you've spent any time playing games online you know what I mean.  You have the Rambo types who spend so much time with the game that it's doubtful they do anything else.  They tend to get irritated when you do anything to screw up "their" game.  It doesn't have to be an FPS game either, I've seen it in driving games and RPG's as well.

Then you have the new players who seem to spend all their time getting in the way  (Noob is such a nasty word)  Hey we were all new once so cut them some slack but I would suggest that new players find an unranked server.  Somewhere along the line players who frequent a game regularly become more concerned with their stats than their teammates so best learn your way around the game before joining them.

Finally, you have the cheaters of which you can be assured make up at least 10% of the players on any popular server.  So far Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 seem to be the most popular with the cheats so be warned.

There's a video series on YouTube called Battlefield Friends that hilariously recounts experiences with each of these characters.

There's a process I went through to finally start enjoying online gaming.  The first part is to remember that it's not all about you.  You're playing a team sport and you have to accept that not everyone has the same goal or ability.  I like to spend a few minutes watching the action and even spectating other players  if I can before getting into a game.  It's the best way to get the lay of the land and figure out if you want to stick around.

After awhile you begin to recognize certain indicators of whether or not a particular server is worth your time.  Probably the most obvious (and common) is a server being dominated by cheaters.  If the game is relatively new and the scoreboard shows a ridiculously wide point spread that's your first hint.
In a fair game no one player is going to completely dominate another team especially if you have more than 10 people on your side.  If your game allows it, check the real-time stats of the players.  In an FPS, for example, a player who has 30 kills and no deaths in 5 minutes is likely a cheat.  If the admin of the server allows it there's nothing you can do but find another server. 

Another trick is to look at the level of the players on the server.  Every game has its bonuses and perks for leveling up which grants a slight advantage to the recipient.  If all the players on the server are 20 levels above you then find another server that's a bit more balanced.  If you want to try to compete anyway, feel free, just don't take it too seriously when you end up being everyone else's target dummy.  This is the reason why games like Team Fortress 2 have defaulted to player matching instead of letting you easily just join a server.  Modern Warfare 2 and 3 take this route as well with admittedly less than ideal results.

Once you start getting some experience and earn a few perks you'll find that your tolerance for other players will increase dramatically.  After all, it's addictive to level up which makes it all the more worthwhile to invest the effort.  That and the fact that you're not losing as often.  There's nothing like a victory or two to make up for a being a practice dummy.


I've been involved in both incredible and equally awful online game experiences.  Just like real life you make the most of what you have and if it's too awful you learn to cut your losses and move on.

In time you'll start finding like minded players and if you're lucky you can join up with them which increases the chance for having more good than bad games.  Some players even go as far as to rent their own game servers exclusively for use by their membership.  Yes I said membership which means throwing a few bucks in the pot.  If you really enjoy a game and intend to play it on a regular basis this isn't a bad idea but you'd have to be pretty serious about the game.  Casual players won't get much out of it.

I've been playing Battlefield 3 and Team Fortress 2 quite a bit as of late.  It seems cheating has been running rampant on many of my favorite BF3 servers.  In some cases so much so that I've dropped them from my favorites list.  That doesn't mean I'll never go back but I know that at this point in time it's not worth my effort. 

Team Fortress 2 has so many mods and perks that it's hard to tell a cheat from someone who's just an advanced player.  This is where the matchmaking fails in TF2 as you can be dropped into a server with players that you couldn't hope to even scratch let alone defeat.  TF2 is almost a cult following and the community and server admins do their best to keep the cheats out.  It may take a bit more patience to find a good server but when you do it's worth all the "pownage" you suffered before.

Again, it's about the players not the server.  What generally happens when cheats dominate a server is that the serious players will start dropping off of it in mass.  In the span of a few days a popular server can be consistently empty.  Even the cheats will leave if they don't have anyone to abuse.   There's no point in being a predator if there's no prey and cheating another cheat is like Superman fighting his own clone.  Powerful but unproductive...

That happened on a BF3 server called ATF Killer B recently.  It was consistently one of the most popular North American servers but was invaded by cheats.   Every game was dominated by the same few players causing everyone else to give up.  For weeks the server never had more than a few players on their 64 player maps even during prime gaming hours.  Only recently has it begun to come back and it appears the cheats are being kept at bay from all the players I've seen kicked off the server. 

In the end the key to enjoying online gaming is to learn to read the players.  You can tell a lot from a scoreboard before ever setting foot on the map.  It's also helpful to know what is and isn't possible in the game to identify when you're being cheated.  Spend some time on unranked servers to learn the ins and outs of what's possible. 

Just remember, there are no rocket packs, jump boots or light sabers in Battlefield 3...

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Midaged Gamer Report for 10-19-2012




This week...

Money from EA!, Release information for BF3 Aftermath DLC, ID shoots squarely at its own foot, again Valve's privates are showing and more!

I got an interesting email the other day...

Apparently I've got a whole $1.95 coming to me.  Why?  Because EA's trying to pull a Microsoft in sports games...

From the notice...

The lawsuit claims that Electronic Arts violated federal and California antitrust laws, as well as California consumer protection laws, by signing exclusive licensing agreements with the Arena Football League (“AFL”), the Collegiate Licensing Company (“CLC”) (on behalf of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”)), the National Football League (“NFL”), the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) and ESPN. The lawsuit claims that these agreements gave Electronic Arts a monopoly over an alleged market for league-branded, simulation football videogames, and allowed it to charge higher prices than it would have in a competitive environment
MADDEN NFL, NCAA FOOTBALL, OR ARENA FOOTBALL VIDEOGAME FOR XBOX, XBOX 360, PLAYSTATION 2, PLAYSTATION 3, GAMECUBE, PC, OR WII, WITH A RELEASE DATE OF JANUARY 1, 2005 TO JUNE 21, 2012

Get your dime store satisfaction now!


Nvidia released a new notebook video driver for their discrete GPU's.
A new laptop video driver update from Nvidia version 306.97 for notebook pc's came out this week.  This driver is said to be the best option for Windows 8 compatibility and offers updated Profiles for 3D Vision but no major enhancements over the previous notebook driver release.  AKA, not critical unless your 3D specs are getting dusty...


Battlefield 3 Aftermath release announced.

The newest expansion pack set in a post earthquake Iran appears to be set in the same post-Earthquake Iran seen in the cooperative missions.  The DLC pack introduces a new play mode called Scavenger that starts the player out with just a knife, sidearm and grenade.  All other equipment has to be found on the map. 
Aftermath is due out November 27th  for PS3 (premium subscription) and December 4th for PC and XBOX360 (Premium)  Everyone else has to wait till December 4th (PS3 ) and December 18th (XBOX360, PC).   Just in time for Christmas at only $14.99.  Now the question is whether or not non-premium customers with the new DLC will be able to find a server.


If you're an Xbox360 gamer and were looking forward to scratching your Space Marine itch with Doom 3 BFG until Doom 4 comes out don't expect much.  In fact, expect less.  In a release Thursday Bethesda, Id's parent, said that there was no performance advantage to installing BFG to the XBOX360 hard drive and in fact would disable play for the classic Doom and Doom 2. 

When is ID going to stop shooting itself in the foot?


And in the dumbest move of the week department...

 Team Fortress 2 will now punish you for abandoning a game in the cooperative Mann Vs. Machine mode.  Players who repeatedly rage quit risk being put in a low priority queue.  Considering the average 10 minute wait for a game and poor matchmaking  on what seems to be scores of empty servers this is a dumb move.  Let alone the regular game crashes and lockups that effectively knock you out of the game.  Does a crash count as a quit? 

Way to overreact Valve, you're making Team Fortress 2 and it's players write the proverbial check they can't cash.


Like Burnout Paradise and the latest Need For Speed racers?   Well Criterion has said that another Burnout game is in the offing  "at a later date".  Criterion has done a good job capturing the gameplay and spirit of the classic NFS titles Hot Pursuit, and Most Wanted in their remakes but there's a reason Burnout has  always come up a bit short.  One word or rather acronym, DLC...

Burnout Paradise was a great game that got ruined with endless DLC.  It wasn't enough to pay triple A prices only to find out that half the game assets were only available via DLC.  Burnout was one of the few arcade drivers that could have given NFS a run for its money or at the least been another NFS for EA.   if only it wasn't so hobbled by an overly aggressive profit motive. 

With DLC and subscriptions the norm these days expect the next Burnout to follow suit.  Gaming pay per view has come to pass and Burnout was made for it.


Steams's got leaks!

A security research firm has found vulnerabilities in the Steam browser protocol used in the Steam Client that could allow "3rd party silent Steam browser protocol calls."  They've also found vulnerabilities in the Unreal and Source engines but have not yet documented any known exploits.

Ok, whatever.


  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A crisis of YouTube monetization




I'm having a crisis of cognitive dissonance...

I both hate and love YouTube.

Why?

Because I love the ease of use in submitting my content to the world but hate the horrific processes in place to deal with an issue.  That goes double for their arbitrary selection of problem content.

I'll get specific...

I've been having issues with monetization recently.  You see, I do a weekly podcast of sorts that goes up on YouTube and I occasionally throw in some game footage I've personally captured for use as bumper material between stories.  It's never more than 10 seconds.

I follow the model of TWIT and specifically their TNT podcast but then they don't try to monetize on YouTube as they have their own commercial spots.   All they have to do is click the "This video contains paid content" box when they upload and YouTube could care less.

I, on the other hand, rely on the AdSense revenue (not really, I think I've made $9 on 90 videos in 6 months)
My weekly news reports have been getting denied AdSense revenue (all 26 cents of it) for the past two weeks with nothing more than the default "we need proof of commercial use rights" email. 
I have no idea what they need proof of since they don't specify and there's usually at least 2 different bumper videos and a pic or two in the video.  Now if they let me know what was in question I'd gladly remove or correct the situation. 

But they don't.  So I'm left in a state of near rage because I've been passively accused of something and not told what sin I committed.

I had an issue with copyright over some music in a video once.  I beat two of the claims but the third was upheld....in Europe that is.  The U.S. didn't care so that video is blocked in Europe but not the U.S. but still isn't monetized.

You'd think that if commercial use rights were in question so too would be copyright but that's never been the case with my channel.

I also don't understand the double standard.  I've been doing weekly midagedgamer reports since mid April all of them formatted the same way.  Most are monetized but a few are denied. 
Since I'm not told the specifics of my alleged infraction I can only guess why some are fine while others are troublesome.

The only common thread I've found is that usually the offending videos have content from EA.  I have 5 videos denied monetization, for example, all of which contained my personal captured gameplay footage from Battlefield 3 (BF3). 

Now I do a news podcast so it's not like I'm just putting up my Lan party videos. 
Funny thing is, one of my most popular videos was a how-to video about using the BF3 shortcut kits has no problem with the monetization process.  Nor does another BF3 video covering flight control. 

In the weeks ahead I'm going to change the format of the midagedgamer report and see if that fixes anything.  In the meantime all I can do is assume that anything that isn't explicitly a how-to video concerning an EA product will get denied monetization.

Is it because YouTube is afraid of EA?  Who knows.  All I know is that while I appreciate the change in the way YouTube deals with copyright recently, it appears they've made up for it by being overly sensitive to perceived commercial use rights.  

Personally, I'd rather hear from EA than YouTube about any perceived infraction.

Generally news programming can use commercial content in its stories without fear of infringement.  Most news organizations have commercials.  So I don't see the distinction between what I do and what CNN does.  If there's no issue with fair use there should be no issue with monetizing the newscast as a whole. 

It's fairly simple to tell the difference between news and casual screen captures. 
All this supposition is YouTube's fault because they don't bother to specify what their issue is.  I suppose they just hope I won't try anymore.  It's strange how the denial process works.  They make it very hard to back out.  You have to provide some degree of proof, submit it, then clear the monetization checkbox to cancel the attempt. 

Looks like bad/lazy programming to me.  That's the problem when you apply a perfect algorithm to the  mess of contradictions that is the human condition.

At this point YouTube has taken the role of that annoying soccer mom who comes along praising the cop who stopped you in the speed trap. 

You know, the one you'd like to forget your manners with if you weren't such a gentleman...
By the way, I'm going to monetize the video version of this too...

  

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Midaged Gamer Report 10-12-2012




The Midaged Gamer Report for 10-12-2012

This Week...

The Father of Wing Commander has a new MMO, AMD gives away RAMDISKs, YourGTX690 will work in Windows 8 and The most boring release of Kepler ever is here!

Wing Commander is trying to make a comeback! Well not exactly but father of the franchise Chris Roberts is pitching a new MMO called Star Citizen based on the Crytek 3 engine which promises to be one of the best looking game experiences on the PC in a long time.  In a video Roberts pitched the idea Kickstarter style to drum up the 2 Million needed to bring the Space Combat simulator to life.  Along with the MMO gameplay is a single player mode as well which is a departure from the competitors like Star Trek Online and Diablo 3.  If you've got a spare 100K or so you may want to visit the game's site.


In a move that's raised the ire of Battlefield 3 fans especially those who shelled out the extra $50 for premium membership; it's been revealed that the final two DLC packs (Aftermath and End Game) has removed content originally promised.  Apparently new weapons have been removed and the premium content store page updated to reflect the change.  Just like the promised 5 vehicle unlocks that never happened with Armored kill it seems more and more that what EA and Dice giveth, they can taketh away regardless of whether you paid for the game twice. 


In a related story there's been some rumbling in the BF3 forums over Armored Kill Servers.  It appears that players who purchased the DLC pack separately are finding it hard to find servers to play on since many are premium only which effectively blocks access to all others.  Apparently membership has its privileges.  I'll exercise my privilege to not spend any more money on BF3...

A link to one of the posts..


Nothing's worse than paying the better part of a grand on a vdeo card and finding out it doesn't work with your shiny new OS.  Amidst fearful rumors that the Top end Nvidia GTX 690 wouldn't work on Windows 8 Nvidia released a Windows Hardware certified driver (305.97) that puts them to rest. 


Like the Thermaltake Level 10 case but wish it was a little less flashy...and green?  Saying Level 10 and less flashy is an oxymoron.  At launch these cases were touted as being designed by BMW with a $1000 price tag to match.  Succeeding versions have been in the $250 to $300 range and the newest arrival is sporting USB 3.0 ports, hot swap drive bays and an olive drab paint scheme to match your FPS fatigues and a $300 price tag. 


Want to use the new Windows Store to pick up a copy of Mass Effect 3 or Modern Warfare 3?  If you happen to live in a country that uses the PEGI 18 rating system (ESRB=Mature) look elsewhere for your purchase because it's not going to happen.  So far the U.S. is unaffected by the restriction although games produced in countries (mostly Europe) that use the rating may not be available to anyone using the Windows Store.


Ever wish you could run Battlefield 3 4000 times faster? Ok, not really, everything would be a blur...AMD has made a free version of their RAMDISK software that can create a 6GB ramdisk on AMD certified memory everyone else only gets 4GB.  There's also an unlocked paid version for 18.99 that allows you to create a ramdisk of any size on any platform.  In case you're too young to remember, ramdisks enjoyed some popularity n the DOS days when most people used them to load resident programs and games they wanted to speed up. 

Ramdisks use your system memory as a virtual hard disk and offer read and write speeds up to 4000 times that of even the fastest SSD's.  The downside is that since they live in RAM they have to have their contents loaded at every boot which increases startup times.  Check it out if you're interested.



Borderlands 2 gets its first expansion DLC October 16th.  Called Captain Scarlet the DLC is a pirate themed affair with appropriately styled NPC's, Bosses and perks.  So far availability appears limited to the $29.99 season pass. 


Looking for the entry level Nvidia Kepler GPU, wait no more.  The $150 GTX 650 TI is available now and comes with a free copy of Assassins Creed 3.  This is definitely the low end of Kepler with 1GB of VRAM, 128Bit memory interface, 925Mhz clock, 768 CUDA cores, 64 texture units and 16ROP's.  Don't expect CPU boost or SLI either, it's not there.  It's likely it will go below $100 in a few months.


The release of Grand Theft Auto 5 is reportedly going to launch in March of 2013 according to a listing on Gamestop's website recently.  Checks of both the UK and US retailer sites currently show a status of TBC, however.


  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Logitech G110 and M570 review

I just picked up this keyboard and mouse to replace my aging Logitech marble mouse and Saitek Cyborg Keyboard.  Thought I'd share my impressions of it with you.

Enjoy!





The Midagedgamer Report for 10-5-2012





This week, Valve starts to sell boring stuff, PhsX works better on Nvidia, A video game luminary walks and more!

Well, it's been another slow week for gaming news.  So I can take a little time and report on a little project I did this week on my ASUS G72GX gaming laptop.  Yes, I know it's ancient but it handles BF3 and Torchlight 2 just fine thank you.  Anyway anyone who owns a G71 through early G73 ASUS laptop eventually has a problem with their LCD backlight flickering.  It finally happened to me so I went in search of an answer.
 
It seemed strange that I'd start having trouble considering the relatively light use this laptop gets but it turns out the problem stems from video connection leads that are just a tad too short.  That means they get loose over time.  I'm told the backlight is LED so I knew that wasn't going to burn out anytime soon.  Anyway the fix is to pop off the hinge covers to expose the two connectors and just reseat the plugs.  Mine were indeed loose and so far the problem hasn't returned.  ASUS has a $100 cable set that's supposed to fix this but I'm ok with popping the covers off once in awhile.  It's cheaper and a lot less work!  Here's the link to the process...


Valve has begun selling non-game software on Steam.  Among the titles available are Microsoft Word, Corel Wordperfect, Adobe Photoshop and....not really.   They're offering mostly independent titles with names like 3D-coat, Source Filmmaker and Futuremark's 3DMark vantage and 3DMark 11.  With 10% off all titles till Tuesday October 9th.  Valve says the non-game software will enjoy many of the same benefits as the usual offerings including automatic updating and portability between computers.  It's definitely more accessible than Microsoft or Apple's offerings being an independent platform but so far the apps look to be one step removed from the bargain bin.  Ah, but everyone has to start somewhere.


PCPER's been playing around with PhysX at Nvidia's suggestion again.  Apparently they got a special game demo that will be showing up in a future Bordlerlands 2 patch.  It enabled them to compare performance of PhysX between Nvidia and AMD! cards. 

So much for exclusive hardware!  Anyway, PhysX is just a bit of software these days.  Apparently, however, it's a piece of software written to take advantage of Nvidia's hardware because when it runs on AMD platforms, performance on higher quality settings goes downhill fast.  That's due to the PhysX portion of the drivers going to the serial processing CPU instead of the parallel processing GPU for its enhancements on non-Nvidia hardware.  That means no matter how many CPU cores running at breakneck speeds you have, the threads will still have to wait in line to be processed.

Remember that in the driver setup on most Nvidia cards you can choose either the CPU, GPU or another dedicated GPU for PhysX's processing tasks.  Of course all this just proves that PhysX is still an artificially gimped  proprietary enhancement that would be better off in a game engine or DirectX than a video driver.  False proprietary platforms are just bad faith marketing in my view.


Now for a quick rundown of this week's DLC releases.

Next week Mass Effect 3 gets a new DLC pack that includes new play modes, weapon mods and unlocks and a new Challenge feature for Multiplayer that acts as a public scoreboard.  Of course new enemies and class kits are also included.



In our, "should I really care about this?" department...

Cliff Bierszinski has left Epic games after a two decade stint that produced Unreal and Gears of War.  Described as a game design "luminary" his departure has apparently caused a stir in the industry.  Official word was that he is just "looking for a break."  Too bad he took his break before releasing another Unreal Title.  Sad to have an engine but no game bearing its name to go with it.


Finally,

Take a guess at what game holds the biggest videogame launch record for 2012 in the UK, I'll Wait...

Borderlands 2? Close but nope...
Fl 2012?
Mists of Pandaria? 
Nope.

It's FiFA 13.  Yes, apparently Europe is as still as in love with FIFA Soccer as the US is with Madden Football.  Just another example that humans would rather play games on their TV than go outside and do it for real.  Doesn't matter what continent you're on either.