If you've been following the news recently you've heard a lot about the decline on Wall Street. Turns out letting the rich draw us all in to the market and investing our retirements may be just as bad of an idea as trusting those same rich people with our pensions. It's depressing. Which is why today's first news bit will be at least tangentially related. Might as well start off on a down note and see if we can't get some better news by the end. Right?
Sales for Square Enix decreased 25% in the last quarter, with overall profit declining 62%. Yoichi Wada attributed this to not having a major title release in the time frame. Which is true, though his assessment of its impact may be overstated. His predictions for full recovery by the end of the next fiscal year (March 2013) are very possible. A quick look at their stable of upcoming games should be reassuring: Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Hitman: Absolution, and Tomb Raider are all expected to make a strong showing.
If you're looking for a chance to play the new Twisted Metal I hope you plan to hit Gamescom or PAX. A new level "Thrills & Spills Amsement Park" will be available at both venues. Why hit the shows? The game comes out in October. Doesn't it? No. It's actually been pushed back into early 2012? Does this mean the game sucks? Good question. Not according to David Jaffe:
Now, if we shipped Twisted Metal tomorrow – going off the response from folks who have played it – I assure you, it would never be a bad game. Not even close. But we’re aiming for a heck of a lot more than that! With Twisted Metal we plan to ship a multiplayer classic. We plan to ship the best Twisted Metal ever made. We plan to convert a lot of folks who think vehicle combat is a relic best left to 90′s nostalgia."
Sony is striking back at XBLA's Summer of Arcade with PSN Play. The program kicks off today with preorders available for four upcoming summer games: Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition (August 23); the third DeathSpank title, The Baconing (August 30); Bloodrayne: Betrayal (September 6); and Renegade Ops (September 13). Preorders are available up to five days before each release (8/18, 8/25, 9/1, and 9/8, respectively) and will include a free theme and free DLC or Home item. Each game is set for $14.99 (less 20% for PS+ subscribers). Pre-order all four games by September 19 and you'll get a free voucher (must be 18 or older) to download Payday: The Heist (a $20 value and also available for separate pre-order starting September 20, set to release in October). This is clearly inspired by XBLA's Summer of Arcade, and the games aren't necessarily top shelf, but this does look to be a good deal for fans of downloadable games and a great way to introduce the PSN's new pre-order feature.
While we're talking about pre-orders, how about an announcement of the Collector's Edition of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, available for preorder now. The formerly announced pre-order incentive, a very cool map of Skyrim is being packaged into this edition, along with a making-of DVD, art book, and a DRAGON! Unfortunately PETA got upset about including a live dragon in such a small box so it will come with a 12" PVC model (based on the games 3D files) of Alduin, the World Eater. Seriously, at $150 this is probably priced way too high for anyone who doesn't collect dragon statues anyway. But if you do, that's a really cool dragon.
You may recall the announcement of Freddy Krueger as playable DLC in Mortal Kombat. It should go without saying by now that a free compatibility pack will also be available to keep multiplayer available for those who don't make the purchase. This compatibility pack has an added bonus, two additional Sub-Zero skins. You'll get the maskless Sub-Zero from the third game, and a Retro-Cyber Sub-Zero (whatever the hell that means).
And that concludes a pretty lackluster edition of VGQH. The lack of major content sort of goes hand in hand with the lack of any games released at retail today as well. Will Friday or next Tuesday be any better? I certainly hope so. Hopefully by then I'll have figured out what I just did to my internet browser that made it start behaving strangely, making this article about four times more difficult than it needed to be. Guess I should count myself lucky it's a slow news week.