It’s been a relatively slow week again.  A major game finally got a release date, E3 got significantly less exciting, and two of the best Internet gaming websites are now under the same roof (literally).  Other than those three stories, however, there wasn’t too much going on this week.

Diablo III may finally be coming out on May 15!
  • Diablo III may come out on May 15:  This one’s pretty self-explanatory–Diablo III finally has an official release date!  No more Best Buy guesses or speculation, this one comes straight from Blizzard itself.  Gamers can prepurchase Diablo III on Battle.net right now or preorder the game at retailers such as GameStop, but won’t be able to play it until May 15…that is, assuming the game actually makes its release date.

-Nick’s take:  Diablo III is sure to be one of the biggest games of the year.  May 15 puts the game up against Max Payne 3, but Diablo III will undoubtedly sell millions despite being a PC-only title.  Maybe Rockstar will reconsider Max Payne 3‘s release date?

Giant Bomb is joining CBS Interactive, the parent company of GameSpot.
  • Website Giant Bomb becomes part of CBS Interactive:  A few years ago, GameSpot editor Jeff Gerstmann was fired for posting a couple of negative reviews that got himself and GameSpot into trouble with the game’s publishers.  Mr. Gerstmann went on to form Giant Bomb, a gaming website that featured a few ex-GameSpot editors and quickly gained a cult following on the Internet.  Now, in a strange twist of fate, Giant Bomb–along with former Whiskey Media site Comic Vine–have been bought out by CBS Interactive, the parent company of GameSpotGameSpot and Giant Bomb will remain separate entities, but will both share office space in the same building.

-Nick’s take:  This bit of news has been causing quite the stir, as there was a lot of controversy surrounding Mr. Gerstmann’s departure from GameSpot.  In a video posted on GameSpot, Mr. Gerstmann and GameSpot‘s John Davison explained what really happened and why the two sites can now peacefully coexist under one roof.  It’s a fascinating story that brings to life the possible  dangers of honest and subjective gaming journalism.

XBLA games will soon have 30 Achievements and 400 gamerscore.
  • Xbox Live Arcade games to get double gamerscore cap starting in April; change mandatory in June:  Those hoping for more rewards for playing XBLA games as opposed to disc-based retail games are finally getting their wish.  Microsoft has announced that–starting in April–the total gamerscore for any XBLA game can now reach 400, which is double the old cap of 200.  What’s more, XBLA games can now have up to 30 Achievements (up from the old cap of 20).  These changes will be mandatory for all XBLA games starting in June.

-Nick’s take:  Gamers have been calling for a higher gamerscore cap for XBLA games for a long time.  I don’t really like that the change is mandatory, though, starting in June.  Some games don’t need more Achievements.

I hope you like the Xbox 360, because it's the only Microsoft console you'll be seeing at this year's E3.
  • Microsoft not showing new Xbox at E3:  Gamer anticipation for this year’s E3 expo has certainly decreased.  Microsoft has said that–just like Sony–they will not be showing off their new console at E3 this year.

-Nick’s take:  I thought for sure that Microsoft would be showing their new Xbox console at E3 this year.  Oh well, I guess we’ll be getting a lot more awkward Kinect game demos and talk of new media partnerships.  This leaves Nintendo’s Wii U as the only next-gen console to be shown this year, meaning that Nintendo has a big shot at sucking all of the attention away from Microsoft and Sony.

This is the first Wasteland game, the inspiration for the Fallout series.
  • Double Fine adventure game Kickstarter campaign ends with $3.3 million; Wasteland 2 campaign started, already successful:  Tim Schafer may have started a new development trend with his uber-successful Kickstarter campaign.  Double Fine’s adventure game now has $3.3 million raised from fan support, inspiring other developers to start their own Kickstarter campaigns.  One such developer is InXile Entertainment, who had hoped to raise $900,000 for a sequel to Wasteland, the 1988 RPG that was the inspiration for the Fallout series.  The Wasteland 2 campaign has now reached over $1.3 million, with InXile announcing that Wasteland 2 will hit the PC in October 2013.

-Nick’s take:  Congratulations to Mr. Schafer and Double Fine for a very successful and innovative way of funding game development.  I suspect that Double Fine’ and InXile’s Kickstarter campaigns are just the beginning of a new wave of similar campaigns.

 

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