Longtime VGQH readers know that I occasionally include stories about well-known gaming personalities when they move about in the industry. I get the stories all the time, but it’s rare that I think one really qualifies as newsworthy. We have one this week that definitely needs to be known. Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka of Bioware have retired. The two founded the company together back in 1995. Both plan for this to be a permanent exit from the gaming world. The retirement plans have been in place internally for at least six months and the studio feels they are still strong and very capable of progressing without the two founders. Muzyka and Zeschuk’s parting words, as well as comments from Aaryn Flynn (General Manager in Edmonton and Montreal), are available at the Bioware Blog. Best of luck to Greg and Ray, may your retirement (or next line of work) be just as successful.
The next projects slated from Bioware are Dragon Age III: Inquisition and the “Omega” DLC for Mass Effect 3. Part of Aaryn Flynn’s comments brought a little more attention to that upcoming DLC chapter and the further future of the franchise.
“Executive Producer Casey Hudson and his team are coming off an amazing eight-year run with the Mass Effect trilogy. But they’re not done yet. We are releasing more multiplayer content and we have more single-player stories coming throughout the next six months, including Omega which is coming in the Fall. But the Mass Effect universe is vast, and Casey and our teams have plans for another full game. “Where to go next?” with such a project has been a question a lot of us have been asking, and we’d all love to hear your ideas.”
He went on to mention that Hudson’s team is “putting together their vision for an all new game set in a fictional universe, built from the bottom-up with all new gaming technology.” That’s pretty vague, but it also sounds like the minds behind Mass Effect are building a new IP for next-gen systems.
When it comes to the Venn diagram of comics geeks and game geeks, no upcoming game sits right in the middle of that overlapping circle quite like Injustice: Gods Among Us. Which is why the release date being announced at TGS is so great. I was half expecting this to be Summer title, but Warner Bros. Interactive has earlier plans. You’ll be getting your own shot at Superman vs. Batman as early as April 2013. Zombietron’s got some screen shots and the TGS trailer here.
Speaking of Warner Bros. Interactive, they’re getting set to release Midway Arcade Origins for PS3 and XBox 360. The single disc will retail for $29.99 (about $10 too much methinks) and include “more than 30 classic, genre-defining Midway titles from the golden age of arcades.” Of the 30+ titles, only Gauntlet, Rampage, Joust, Spy Hunter, Defender, and Marble Madness have been confirmed. No date was announced, but full trophy/achievement support will be included along with four player, local co-op. I’d like to see the full list of games, and I’d definitely like to see the price drop, but this should be a good collection for retro-arcade enthusiasts.
Sony announced that PS+ was coming to Vita at Gamescom, but it’s been a waiting game ever since to learn more. We now know that this addition will come in November (just after the PSN Store remodel) and will include games for the instant game collection, discounts, online backups (up to 1GB), and automatic downloads, updates, and trophy sync. The biggest questions is still unanswered: will we have two separate subscriptions for the two devices, or does membership to PS+ Vita automatically include PS3+? Conflicting hints have been dropped that could go either way. Hopefully we’ll get a definitive answer from Sony on that one soon.
If you’d hears about Inafune’s secret “Yaiba” project and been wanting to know what he’s doing, look no further. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is apparently dumping long-time protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, for Yaiba, a ninja with a cybernetic arm. We’re promised “ninjas, zombies, and robots,” the golden trifecta of video game greatness. Oddly, the new protagonist seems to be a zombie, and coming after Ryu. Should be an interesting twist for fans. No word on a release date or platforms, though PS3 and XBox 360 should be expected.
On a related note, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will be coming to PS Vita early next year. Hopefully that’s enough, because there were no other details.
I hate to even comment on such an unfounded rumor, but I can’t ignore anything about Half-Life 3. It’s just too much in demand. A source “close to Valve” has reportedly outed the game as being open world and containing RPG elements. We apparently won’t see the game until after 2013, sparking the question of whether it will even hit this console generation. Then again, with Valve’s recent moves in the gaming world, assuming it will even hit consoles may be folly. Frankly, the whole thing seems like a strange move for Valve. On the other hand, Valve has had a lot of success over the years making very strange moves. Read this as the rumor it is. If you like it, keep your fingers crossed. If you hate it, just assume it’s false until we see something official.
Have you ben enjoying Borderlands 2 this week? In addition to the comments about Star Wars-type vehicles possibly coming as DLC (that was in Tuesday’s VGQH), Randy Pitchford seemingly can’t stop talking about their future DLC plans. He’s clearly as excited for the game as the people playing it. There’s the four planned DLC add-ons that you get with the Season Pass, but that might not be all:
“We created the ability in Borderlands 2 to add additional characters because we want to use that ability.
“The Mechromancer is the first one. I hope to do more. The success of the Mechromancer will help to define this. Our ambition and passion and our fans requests will also contribute to decision making about what we do.
“The stuff we’re planning and working on for the Campaign DLC Season Pass is big DLC stuff – more like Knoxx. [Referring to "The Secret Armory of General Knoxx," the biggest add-on for the original Borderlands.]
“We’re extremely far along with the first campaign DLC. The second DLC is also in amazing shape. The third DLC is a little farther out and the fourth DLC is just in the pre-concept stages.
“We will have other, non-season pass related DLC. The additional character (Mechromancer) is one kind of example. The Borderlands 2 team is fired up at the moment. Customer love for the game is driving us wild – making us want to do more and more stuff.
“So, expect that there will be even more beyond the big Campaign DLC in the Season Pass and the additional character. We’ll announce more stuff as soon as we are able to be confident in the commitment of the details we share.”
Details were just released today about a new mode in Halo 4, “Dominion.” This mode is similar to Battlefield‘s “Conquest” mode with a few changes. Each map will include three strategic points that your team will need to claim. The longer you hold a territory, the better the perks you gain (vehicle stations, turrets, shield doors, etc.). Of course, if you lose the territory, all those perks you gained fall immediately into enemy hands. Once a single team controls all three territories a countdown will begin. If that clock hits zero before the other team can claim one piece of strategic territory the game is over. This looks like a pretty robust mode, especially with two solid teams. It should be a solid addition to the multiplayer library, but will probably be instantly spoiled racist teenagers that only know four letter words. 343 Industries’ newest take on the franchise is coming November 6, 2012.
That’s all for this week. suprisingly slow considering Tokyo Game Show. Then again, TGS is so late in the season, there really isn’t much new and noteworthy by the time it rolls around. Check back Tuesday for next week’s early edeition.