Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard’

Starcraft II get’s ‘Adults Only’ stamp

Monday, April 19th, 2010

(Korea Times) – The news just keeps getting worse for computer games giant Blizzard Entertainment, which is reeling after Korea’s Games Rating Board moved to ban youngsters from playing its upcoming title, “StarCraft II.”

StarCraft II was obviously the most anticipated launch of 2010, being the sequel to the original game that has sold more than 5 million copies since its 1998 release, while singlehandedly spawning a whole new industry of ‘PC bangs’ (commercial gaming lounges), and professional gaming leagues within a movement dubbed as e-sports.

The decision by the Games Rating Board, a unit of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is certainly a letdown, although Blizzard can file an objection within the next 30 days.

A Blizzard Korea spokeswoman said the company has yet to decide whether to challenge the decision by Korean game censors. Should Blizzard opt to adjust the disputed parts of the content and retry the whole reviewing process, as it did with the first game, the release of StarCraft II would likely be delayed until next year.

“We have nothing to say at this point. We are discussing our official position on the matter as well as what would be the right reaction,” she said.

The Games Rating Board’s decision to designate StarCraft II for gamers 18 years and older came as a surprise, as it was the same panel that gave an over 15 rating for previous test versions of the game last year.

Blizzard, however, was seeking something similar to the over-12-rating it got from North America, and requested a re-evaluation in April with a release candidate (RC) version of the game.

At least for now, the move seems to have blown up in Blizzard’s face, with the Games Rating Board insisting on getting stricter on the game’s level of violence, foul language and depiction of drug use.

“Considering that the RC version of the game is closer to what will be sold on the shelves compared to the beta versions, we looked more carefully at the content,” said an official from the Games Rating Board.

“However, this rating is not final, as Blizzard will get the chance to object to it.”

[Full article at Korea Times]

WoW gets BG friendy with Dungeon Finder queue!

Friday, December 18th, 2009
WoW Random Dungeon Queue gives badges!

WoW Random Dungeon Queue gives badges!

World of Warcraft just got more Busy Gamer friendly. Now that the new dungeon finder has been in use for a little while, I think it’s safe to say that it has made playing WoW with a busy schedule much more productive.

Basically, the Dungeon Finder puts players together in automatic groups across server lines. This means, of course, that there are now exponentially more players looking for the dungeon you are looking for. Unlike the previous incarnation of the automatic group maker, the Dungeon Finder has you select the role you will fill and it only forms groups with all roles filled. You can also select the random dungeon option, (which most of the time means you will be in a group nearly instantaneously) and gain bonus perks such as Emblems of Frost, gold, and a chance at getting a special non-combat pet. And forget about flying to dungeons or summoning. When you use the Dungeon Finder, you will be ported there automatically once your group is ready.

The full details of the Dungeon Finder can be found here, but the highlights of the new system for those of us playing on a time crunch are as follows:

º Less time spent trying to put together a group because there is a greater pool of potential players, and no need to spend a lot of time pst-ing back and forth with would be group members.

º No travel time to dungeons.

º The added bonus of being able to run a dungeon and make some money at the same time instead of having to chose one or the other.

º You and a friend can join as a group if you choose- you get to run with your buddy without having to spend a lot of time putting together the rest of the group.

º In my experience, most of the time you are in a group within three minutes of getting in the Dungeon Finder queue.

º My unscientific estimate is that I can now run three PUG dungeons in the time it took me to put together and complete one. (This is assuming no use of guildies or friends in my group assembly.) This makes my time far more productive which in turn makes my gear far more respectable.

Author Rika Stead by Jim Brown

Author Rika Stead by Jim Brown

One thing that has been getting some complaints in the forums is that you don’t get to check gear on your group members. Personally, this doesn’t concern me much. To be a truly good player you need to have some experience making up for weaker players. And a lot of the time, people checking gear for dungeons seem to be inordinately fixated on that. I can heal heroics with Shard of the Virtuous on (and thats experience talking, sadly, not hypothetical) but a player who no one will give a chance to can’t run anything. If you are a “non-hardcore” player with not as good gear this is advantageous to you because you won’t be turned down to take someone with better gear. I have seen some horror stories about parties heavy on grossly undergeared players, but personally I haven’t yet encountered a situation that the other players were unable to compensate for.

The only major concern I have is that dungeoning across servers may effect how players find and form guilds in the long term. Meeting other players by running pug dungeons has always been the basic way to meet other people you enjoy playing with. Now we are running most of the time with people who we can’t stay in contact with and what that means remains to be seen.

No Doubt gets hot over Band Hero

Friday, November 6th, 2009
No holla back girl!

No holla back girl!

Activision draws some aggro from Rock band No Doubt this week. The group is suing video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc over the use of their likeness on its new “Band Hero” product, accusing the company of turning the rockers into a virtual karaoke act.

No Doubt claims that Activision had agreed on a contract allowing the company to use the band members in the game, but Activision, which is based in Santa Monica, California, went beyond the agreement by allowing gamers to use avatars of the band performing songs from other rock groups, the lawsuit states (no Gwen Stefani action for you!).

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, a day after “Band Hero” hit stores, and it accuses Activision of fraudulent inducement and breach of contract.

In one instance of how “Band Hero” allows for unauthorized use of No Doubt’s likeness, a feature on the game has the band’s Gwen Stefani singing Rolling Stones song “Honky Tonk Women,” the band’s lawsuit states.

The feature “results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes,” the lawsuit states.

In a statement the company said: “Activision believes it is within its legal rights with respect to the use and portrayal of the band members in the game and that this lawsuit is without merit.”

With its lawsuit, No Doubt is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction preventing Activision from distributing the game. No Doubt wants Activision to recall existing copies.

[Source]

-BG Crew

WoW Movie: The Rise of the Lich King

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
We vote Kristen Bell should be cast as the Blood Elf...WoW!

We vote Kristen Bell should cast as the Blood Elf...WoW!

Sam Raimi’s project Warcraft that’s making recent headlines and due for release in 2011, has now been subtitled “The Rise of the Lich King.” The title somewhat indicates that the film would chronicle the Lord of the Rings-ish story of Arthas Menethil, a benevolent paladin prince corrupted by the runeblade Frostmourne and turned into an undead lord.

Blizzard Entertainment had not commented on the Warcraft movie’s storyline. However, Raimi was all too happy to talk to MTV News about his vision for the film’s plot, which he says will be true to the game franchise’s spirit.

Raimi says:
“We want to be really faithful to the game…to the Horde and the Alliance and the mythology that takes place in the game, and the archetypes that the game presents,” Raimi said. “I think we would try and find touchstones within the game to make it accurate and true and choose one or some of the lands that are portrayed in the game with as much accuracy and authenticity as possible.”

Raimi also revealed that the Warcraft movie will have the same screenwriter who won an Oscar nomination for 1997′s Saving Private Ryan. “We would have our writer, Robert Rodat, really craft an original story within that world that feels like a World of Warcraft adventure,” said Raimi. “Only obviously it’s very different ’cause it’s expanded and translated into the world of a motion picture.” Rodat also penned the screenplays for Fly Away Home (1996) and The Patriot (2000).

We still have no casting clues leads, were hoping for hot blood elves that look like Kristen Bell and please stay away from anything that acts like Dolph Lundgren.

[Source]

-BG Crew

New World of Warcraft Expansion “Cataclysm”

Monday, August 24th, 2009
We're ready to goblin dance all over your dead gnome.

We're ready to goblin dance all over your dead gnome.

Blizzard Entertainment’s annual “BlizzCon” event was in full swing this past weekend, and the first major announcement is the revelation of a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft called “Cataclysm”.

“Soon, Deathwing the Destroyer will return to Azeroth, and his eruption from Deepholm will sunder the world, leaving a festering wound across the continents,” reads the press release. Deathwing is a mighty dragon hidden in a secluded sanctuary.

The expansion is to feature two new races: the werewolf-like worgen, a new race aligned with the Alliance, and the goblins, playing with the Horde. The level cap has been raised to 85 and the “classic zones” have been altered and updated with new content. More raid content will be added, along with new race and class combinations, such as gnome priests, blood elf warriors and more. Guilds can also progress to earn advancements, levels and achievements. New Player vs Player (PvP) objectives and new rated Battleground areas are also on the roster along with a new secondary profession “archeology” that lets you unearth artifacts and earn unique rewards.

We’ll also see the the ability to explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms using flying mounts.

Blizzard notes that there will be “incremental tweaks and updates” to the graphics engine in Cataclysm that will require some increases to the game’s minimum system requirements, but it refrained from identifying what those requirements will be.

No release date has been noted yet for the new expansion.

-BG Crew

Check out more about Cataclysm at World of Warcraft’s Web site.

Warcraft, yeah we read the articles

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

500x_magazine_logo

Publisher Future has teamed up with WoW developer Blizzard Entertainment for quarterly title World of Warcraft: The Magazine.

Available in English, French, German and Spanish, the publication is sold via subscription only through World of Warcraft Account Management or from the mag’s official site.

The magazine is available as a one or two-year subscription, pricing for one year is US$39.95, 34.95 EUR or 29.95 GBP depending on your region — two year subscription packages cost $69.95 in the US, 61.25 EUR or 52.50 GBP.

“Future produces some of the most respected gaming magazines in the industry, and we’re pleased to be working closely with them to make World of Warcraft: The Magazine a true standout product,” says Blizzard COO Paul Sams. “Together, we look forward to offering World of Warcraft players a great mix of entertaining and insightful content in every issue.”

The 148-page first issue will cover the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft.

Ozzy to headline Blizzcon!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Blizzcon is getting on the Crazy Train!

Blizzcon is getting on the Crazy Train!

(Kotaku.com) – The Prince of Darkness, and World of Warcraft spokesman, Ozzy Osbourne will be headlining the closing concert at this year’s BlizzCon, Activision announced today.

“Our goal with BlizzCon is to deliver an unforgettable weekend of entertainment, and we can’t think of a better way to close out this year’s show than having Ozzy rock the house,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Many of us at Blizzard are lifelong fans of Ozzy’s music, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be performing for all of our BlizzCon attendees as well as those joining us via DIRECTV and the live Internet stream.”

The performance will kick off on Aug. 22, the last of the two day convention about all things Blizzard, but most things World of Warcraft.

Tickets to the event sold out in minutes, but if you’re hard pressed to catch some live coverage of the event and see Ozzy’s performance, it will be streamed both on DIRECTV and online for a price.

[Full article at Kotaku.com]

Warcraft new add-on, ‘In Game Therapy’

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Warcraft addict as depicted by South Park (lols)

Warcraft addict as depicted by South Park (lols)

London based psychiatrist Dr. Richard Graham is so concerned about MMO addiction that he plans to provide some “in-game therapy” for those who spend a large portion of their lives “lost in the virtual world of World of Warcraft”. And by “lost” we mean suffering from what he believes is ‘excessive online gaming’. Plus he’d like Blizzard to give up some free logins.

London’s ‘The Telegraph’ talked to Dr. Graham, who is planning by the end of the year to linger around Azeroth and provide counseling to at-risk distraught elves, orcs, and taurens (oh my). “I think it’s already clear that psychiatrists will have to stay within the parameters of the game. They certainly wouldn’t be wandering around the game in white coats and would have to use the same characters available to other players,” the Doc says.

Graham also quotes, “One problem we’re going to have to overcome is that while a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they’re probably not going to be very good at playing World of Warcraft. We may have to work at that if we are going to get through to those who play this game for hours at end.”

How effective could this be? I dunno, if the docs are gamers they will probably love immersing themselves in Azeroth. If not they will not really understand, nor be able to make connections to gamers that are highly active. WoW players are on because they want to be, not because they are chained to their computers. Whether this is healthy or not, I think their are bigger therapy sessions to propagate.

I’d like to see em survive ‘Barrens Chat’. That’s a good place to start.

[Source]

-BG Crew

SAM RAIMI TO DIRECT UPCOMING WARCRAFT MOVIE

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

belf

Raimi, acclaimed director of the blockbuster Spider-Man series, will bring the forces of the Horde and the Alliance to life in epic live-action film. Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment will produce alongside Raimi’s Stars Road Entertainment.

(Press Release) – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and Legendary Pictures announced today that Sam Raimi has signed on to direct the eagerly-anticipated major motion picture based on Blizzard Entertainment®’s award-winning Warcraft® universe. Raimi has, in the course of his career, clearly demonstrated a genius for developing and adapting existing fictional universes for mainstream audiences while staying true to the spirit of the original content.

Raimi directed the Spider-Man trilogy, which has broken box-office records around the world and garnered five Academy Award® nominations. Known for his imaginative filmmaking style, richly drawn characters and offbeat humor, Raimi wrote and directed the cult classic, The Evil Dead and produced 30 Days Of Night. He most recently wrote and directed the supernatural thriller, Drag Me To Hell.

“At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story,” said Raimi. “I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen.”

Charles Roven’s producing talents were recently seen with last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight, which grossed in excess of $1 billion, was nominated for eight Academy Awards® and won two. His body of work also includes the widely acclaimed Batman Begins and the sci-fi classic 12 Monkeys. Roven, with Atlas producing partner Alex Gartner, will be producing with Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, Legendary’s Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni, Raimi and Raimi’s producing partner Joshua Donen. Raimi’s partner, Robert Tapert, will be an Executive Producer and Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development, Chris Metzen, a Co-Producer.

“Partnering with Sam Raimi exemplifies Legendary’s mandate of marrying the highest quality intellectual property to world-class filmmakers” said Legendary’s Tull. “Sam’s passion for ‘Warcraft’ is undeniable and we know that he will create an incredible film worthy of Blizzard’s phenomenal franchise. We look forward to collaborating with our partners at Warner Bros. and continuing our successful relationship with Chuck in bringing this rich new world to the screen.”

“Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have a shared vision for this film and we searched at length to find the very best director to bring that vision to life,” said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice. Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time. We’re looking forward to working with him to achieve that here.”

“Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft has become a second home for millions of players and Sam’s experience and talent make him the perfect director for this remarkable and action-packed world,” said Atlas’ Roven. “Alex and I are proud to be working with Sam and re-teaming with our friends at Legendary and Warner Bros.”

The film will fall under Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. “Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known. We have enjoyed great success with our partners at Legendary, and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Sam on a project that is so eagerly anticipated by so many,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft universe is a rich fantasy setting that revolves around the epic conflict between the opposing forces of the Horde and the Alliance. Since its debut in 1994, Warcraft has developed a loyal following across the globe, with several bestselling, award-winning PC games and a range of popular licensed products including novels, action figures, apparel, comic books, board games, and more. World of Warcraft®, Blizzard Entertainment’s subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Warcraft universe, is the most popular game of its kind in the world. Its most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™, is the fastest-selling PC game of all time, with more than 2.8 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of availability and more than 4 million in its first month.

Further details about the upcoming Warcraft movie, including cast and targeted release date, will be revealed as development progresses.

A note for all you Bi-Factionals

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
Never to late to swtich teams now!

Never to late to swtich teams now!

Soon all of you World of Warcraft players will be able to choose to play for the ‘other side’ if you get tired of looking at orcs, trolls and undead (oh my). Today Blizzard Entertainment announced that they will be offering a faction swtich (for a fee of course) in your account section of your WoW account. Considering that this will give you more room to try out more areas of the game, or possibly your guild just hates you, or maybe your girlfriend ran off with your main tank…I’m sure it will be a tool that will be well utilized.

From Blizzard’ page:

“We wanted to give everyone a very early heads-up that, in response to player requests, we’re developing a new service for World of Warcraft that will allow players to change their faction from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance. There’s still much work to do and many details to iron out, but the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm. Players who ended up creating and leveling up characters on the opposite factions from their friends have been asking for this type of functionality for some time, and we’re pleased to be getting closer to being able to deliver it.

As with all of the features and services we offer, we intend to incorporate the faction-change service in a way that won’t disrupt the gameplay experience on the realms, and there will be some rules involved with when and how the service can be used.”

[Source]

-Crutchboy Out










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