Remember when those Achievements for Mass Effect showed up online — you know, these ones that mention Pinnacle Station? Well, the Swiss Xbox.com has offered up new details, pricing the DLC at 400 ($5) and billing it as a series of battle scenarios lasting around “2-3 hours.” The Swiss Xbox.com listing says the DLC has been available since June 16, an obvious error.
So, Bioware, EA, would you just officially announce Pinnacle Station already?
EA just sent word out by news ticker that SimCity is now available for iPhone (and iPod touch). The game appears to be in the vein of SimCity 3000 and is listed for $10 on the App Store.
We’re curious to hear how it plays, so let us know in the comments. If it’s a solid SimCity experience (and fat fingers friendly), $10 doesn’t seem like a bad price.
EA confirmed that they’re working on two different expansions for Will Wright’s universe-in-a-hard-drive Spore this morning, both the previously revealed Spore: Creepy and Cute Parts pack and a new expansion for the game’s “Space” phase, which is already exponentially larger than its co-levels.
Expect Cute and Creepy to add around 100 new parts — some cute and cartoonish, some monster-like. “Cute” and “creepy” is fine as a title, but at a price of $19.95 those parts had better be nauseatingly adorable and perversely horrifying. It’s due on Nov. 18 and will also work for those who only own the Spore Creature Creator.
The untitled Space expansion won’t arrive until spring of 2009, but it sounds substantially meatier than the parts pack. According to EA, “players’ space faring creatures will be able to beam down from their spaceships to explore new planets and earn rewards for completing challenging missions” and “a new Adventure Creator will allow players to build and share online their own custom missions.”
So, yeah, EA is flogging Will Wright’s new creation. If this comes as a surprise, we’d kindly direct you to the Sims aisles of your local game store.
If you’ve been paying attention to any of the internets lately, you’ve probably heard about the recent (belated) controversy surrounding the sex scene in BioWare’s Mass Effect. It was first lambasted by a little known writer for its “virtual orgasmic rape” among other things that aren’t actually in the game. Said columnist later apologized for his errors (and he made more than a few) but the train kept a-rollin’ and the next to attack was none other than Fox News. Fox aired a segment about the game, also making false claims about its actual contents, even running a headline that claimed “New videogame shows full digital nudity and sex.” As the hordes of gamers who’ve actually watched the scene (NSFW) can tell you, Mass Effect does no such thing. Far be it from journalists (or psychologists) to actually play the game they’re defaming.
All of this has now led to EA — BioWare’s new parent company — sending Fox a letter regarding the false claims about their new property. The letter comes from EA’s VP of communications Jeff Brown and asks that Fox correct the claims made in its report. Brown takes particular exception to the claims that the game shows full nudity and sex, noting that the game shows no “explicit or frontal nudity” and that what is on display is no worse than what’s seen on Fox’s own programs like The OC. He further take exception to Fox’s assertion that Mass Effect is “marketed to kids and teenagers,” by noting that the game is rated M and that ESRB ratings “work as well or better” than ratings placed on television content.
Brown then takes the four person “panel” that discussed the game during the segment, saying “They have had zero experience with Mass Effect and are largely ignorant about videogames, the people who play them, and the ESRB system that governs their ratings and sales.” He concludes the letter civilly, “This isn’t a legal threat; it’s an appeal to your sense of fairness. We’re asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect.”
So basically, Brown has said what we were all thinking. The difference is that this message comes from EA, one of the most powerful and most recognized faces of the video game industry. Here’s hoping someone at Fox takes notice.
Today, Electronic Arts and Valve released more information on their upcoming Half-Life compilations, The Black Box, which will only be available for the PC, and The Orange Box, which will be available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Both sets include roughly the same content, though The Orange Box does have a few extras (including the original game), which are detailed in the full press release included below:
Chertsey, UK. – February 7, 2007– Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s leading interactive entertainment company, and Valve®, the award-winning studio behind the blockbuster franchises Half-Life® and Counter-Strike®, today announced the naming and product configurations The Black Box and The Orange Box, two of the most anticipated action game offerings shipping worldwide this Winter 2007.
The Black Box will ship for the PC, and includes Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2. The Orange Box will ship for the PC, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, and includes all the content of The Black Box, plus the original Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One.
Innovative games included in The Black Box and The Orange Box include:
• Half-Life 2: Episode Two — the second installment in Valve’s episodic trilogy advances the award-winning story, leading the player to new locations outside of City 17.
• Portal — a pioneering type of single player action game that rewrites the rules for how players approach and manipulate their environment – much like how Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun reinvented the way gamers interact with objects in the game.
• Team Fortress 2 — an all-new version of the legendary title that spawned team based multiplayer action games. The game’s daring new art style features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date.
“In less than 18 months, we’ve shipped 10 new products to retail outlets with EA Partners,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve. “The Black Box and The Orange Box represent a new approach to publishing multiple products, on multiple platforms and we know through our experience that no organization in the industry is better equipped to successfully launch new product types on multiple platforms than EA Partners.”
“Valve is one of the world’s premiere independent developers and EA Partners is thrilled to help them bring the groundbreaking action games in The Orange Box and The Black Box to market as their publishing partner,” said David DeMartini, vice president and general manager of EA Partners.
The Black Box and The Orange Box are targeted for release this winter 2007.