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Study finds that Red beats Blue in online games

According to a study recently published in the journal Cyberpsychology & Behavior, the eternal battle of Red vs Blue just got a little more interesting. According to the study, which analyzed matches of Unreal Tournament 2004, the red team is more likely to win than the blue team in online games. In fact, the red team won 55% of the time in the 1347 matches that were studied. We'd like to think it's because the Red team has Sarge leading them to victory, but according to Mihai Moldovan, a neuroscientist who worked on the study, the real reason is "most likely that the color red may act as a psychological distractor for men, possibly because men flush and turn red when they're angry."

When reached for comment, Epic VP Mark Rein stated that red and blue are an entrenched part of the Unreal Tournament series saying, "We don't anticipate any immediate changes to team colors."

[Thanks, Bowie. Via 7th Columnist]

UT3 360 will have mods in some form

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Mark Rein dropping more details of Unreal Tournament 3? First was the Gears 2 content tease, now the assumption that the 360 version wouldn't see mods whatsoever seems to be a thing of the past. In the same interview with OXM UK, Mark Rein said "We know some of these great mods are going to play a role on Xbox 360, even if we have to get some people and bring them over ourselves." "We'll figure it out."

Now while this is good news in that any form of mod on 360 now is good news, but it's nothing to get too excited about just yet. See, Mark Rein notes that the game will probably not ship with any sort of ability to exchange user created mods, but that Epic would have a solution at some point in the game's future. From the sound of things, and taking into account Microsoft's digital distribution system, UT3 360 will probably have some free (we would hope) DLC at some point in it's life that adds the best of the community-created content.

UT3 will have "Gears 2 related surprise on the disc"

When we got word of the contents of the 360 version of Unreal Tournament 3 we weren't exactly knocked off our feet. Without confirmed mod support, and with so many other shooters to choose from, could UT3 hang with only 5 extra maps? While that question still remains to be answered, the nature of it has shifted a little. In an interview with OXM UK, Mark Rein revealed that "you know, there might be a little Gears Of War 2 related surprise on the disc of Unreal Tournament 3. That's all I'm saying about that."

With news like this it almost makes the UT3 sales guaranteed to jump, even if we don't yet know what the "surprise" will be. Really, it could be anything. A trailer, theme, or stupid picture pack seems likeliest, but if Epic REALLY wants to spike the sales of UT3 we might see something more along the lines of of a playable demo. Hell, why not just take the Crackdown route! Hey everyone listen up! Buy your Gears 2 beta and receive a free copy of UT3!

We wouldn't put it past them.

Rein: GoW2 Game Informer details just a 'tidbit'

According to Epic's Mark Rein, the juicy Gears of War 2 details that came straight from the pages of May's Game Informer are only the tip of the GoW2 iceberg and only a "tidbit" of what the Gears sequel has to offer.

Commenting on the Game Informer article, Rein told videogaming247 that Epic "told the Game Informer guys just a tidbit about the game. We showed them some stuff, obviously, but we're keeping a lot of information back that will make people go, 'It's even better than this.' As good as they say it is, and they really, really like it, there's still a lot of story to open up between now and when the game ships in November... I think people will really enjoy this game."

So ... can we officially start the GoW2 hype machine yet? Mr. Rein says there's more juicy bits to come and our excitement level heading into E3 is at full alert. Ah heck with getting permission, the GoW2 hype machine is GO, GO, GO!

Rein shoots down our GoW2 Comic Con hopes

Gears fans, we hope you didn't book a flight to the New York Comic Con just yet, because all that talk about Gears of War 2 being shown there ... well, it doesn't look to be happening.

If you recall, earlier this week a press release was sent out on behalf of Comic Con that mentioned Epic's Michael Capps and Joshua Ortega would be in attendance talking Gears and giving a first glimpse of GoW2. But now, according to Videogaming247 who contacted Epic about the Comic Con news, Mark Rein is denying that GoW2 will be shown at the event saying that "I'm not aware that we're showing anything there." Sounds like a big ball of confusion to us. Since the whole GoW2 Comic Con unveiling isn't going down, maybe we can strike a deal with team Epic and allow them to unveil GoW2 right here on X3F. It's the least we can offer as hardcore Gears fanboys.

Epic's Rein makes light of MS buyout rumors

Last night the rumor mill was given a rather hefty spin when speculation hit the internets that Microsoft will be buying Epic Games (the fellas behind Gears of War and Unreal Tournament) for a cool $1 billion by Summer's end. And even though Epic Games hasn't officially responded to the rumor, Epic VP Mark Rein has never been one to back down from discussing rumors.

In an email response to Develop Mag, Mark Rein addresses and actually makes light of the buyout rumor, saying "I have not seen the actual GamePro article but if they're going to make predictions about us selling Epic we would prefer if they started at $2 billion." Hmm, $2 billion. Why $2 billion Mr. Rein? "Because we don't want anyone thinking that we're cheap. :)" Ahh, we get it. Har, har! And nice use of an emoticon. Classic stuff.

So, even though Mr. Rein responded to the MS buyout rumor, we don't really get any new insight to whether it's legit or total bologna. Because Rein cranked up the charm and joked around. Darnit Mark, this is serious stuff and all you do is laugh it off. We need answers and all give us is the fact that you think your company is worth $2 billion and inject smiley emoticons all over the place. The nerve of it all!

Rumor: MS to buy Epic Games?

According to news posts on dbtechno.com and WRAL the latest issue of GamePro states that Microsoft is closing in on a deal to acquire developer Epic Games. The report states that Epic, known primarily as the developer behind Unreal Engine 3, would cost Microsoft upwards of $1 billion dollars. If true the acquisition would mean Microsoft would own Unreal Engine 3, the engine that powers most next current generation titles on the Xbox 360, PC and rival PS3 which would see Microsoft profiting from any title that makes use of the technology.

We don't want to call out shenanigans immediately but this is hard to believe for a few reasons. One billion dollars to purchase Epic Games, who also own the rights to the Gears of War universe (Microsoft owns the current characters and title) and the Unreal franchise, seems like a bargain considering the value of the Unreal Engine licenses alone. This move would also put Microsoft at the forefront of current legal problems Epic is having with Silicon Knights, who has a publishing partnership with Microsoft. Also, Epic management don't seem like the kind of folks to let this thing slide considering how well they do financially on their own. We might be wrong on this one, but until we see the GamePro issue in question, talk to Epic's Mark Rein or hear about it from Xbox boss Don Mattrick we're not willing to call this one based on the fact that Epic has a booth next to Microsoft at GDC '08. But hey, crazier things have happened right and it really could happen couldn't it?

[Thanks, Deus Legend]

2K jumps on Unreal Engine 3 train for unnamed titles

Today Epic announced that Take Two Interactive's publishing label 2K Games will be using Unreal Engine 3 to power upcoming and unannounced titles currently in development. Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games, told Gamesindustry.biz, "We are excited about continuing our relationship with 2K based on our past success with the company." Rein, who was referring to the success of the Unreal powered BioShock, wasn't the only happy camper in this tale of adoption. "2K had a very positive experience working with Epic's Unreal Engine 3 since it enables games to perform exceptionally well on both console and the PC," said 2K president Christoph Hartmann. Look at that, Unreal adopted by another company. Love the engine, but at this rate General Electric is going to buy a license to start making home appliances. Unreal is taking over the world and when used properly the results are outstanding.

GamePro's GoW2 article isn't an announcement

Over the weekend, we told you about GamePro's mysterious Gears of War 2 mention on its upcoming March cover and how mysterious the whole thing is. You'll also recall that we were a bit skeptical to how newsy GamePro's GoW2 mention really is, seeing that any huge announcement like GoW2 becoming official would, at the very least, garner a huge cover spread. And now we find out that we were right to be pessimistic.

Epic's Mark Rein hopped on the Gears of War forums to tell everyone that Epic has "not announced a sequel to Gears of War to Gamepro or anyone else for that matter" and that the whole thing "is complete nonsense". So, we're guessing that the GoW2 mention on GamePro's cover is nothing more than a speculative article, maybe what they want or expect GoW2 to include "if" it were made. Back to waiting for our official GoW2 confirmation ... GDC anyone?

[Thanks, Hooligunn]

Rein still hoping MS will allow UT3 user content

In an interview with Guardian Unlimited, Epic's head honcho Mark Rein talks everything and anything Unreal Tournament 3, specifically development on the 360 version.

What we learn is that team Epic has had UT3 up and running buttery smooth on the 360 for a while now and that the only development left is Xbox Live implementation. And speaking of Xbox Live, Rein is still pressing Microsoft about UT3's user generated content and how best to serve it up. It's no secret that Rein and Epic want Microsoft to allow free, open access to map mods a la the PS3 version and it's no secret Microsoft has been reluctant. According to Rein, "Microsoft hasn't said "no" yet, but then they haven't said "yes" either", but development is wrapping up and Rein needs answers soon. It'll be interesting to see where these discussions end up, but our money is on Microsoft standing firm and only allowing DLC through the XBLM. We'll see free community generated UT3 content, but only stuff that has been hand seleceted, certified and placed on the Marketplace.

[Via TeamXbox]

UT3's 360 development just postponed, will resume in '08

Epic's Mark Rein sometimes says one thing, then says another in a different way, then says he said what he said in the first place to be true, but just mistaken. And that's exactly what happened when Rein talked about development on the 360 version of Unreal Tournament 3 only starting in 2008.

The merciless folks at Joystiq shot off an email to Mr. Rein to get more inside into the UT3 development drama after finding out that OXM already played the game on the 360 in light of the fact that Rein said the game was only starting development in 2008. Rein clarified his remarks and responded:

"What I probably should have said was 'start working on it again.' We had the game up and running on all three platforms up until last spring. In fact Official Xbox Magazine came out and played the game for a great cover story they did on it. We stopped working on the 360 version so we could concentrate our efforts on shipping the various PC and PS3 versions. Once we get those out of the way, and take some time to enjoy the holidays with our friends and families, we'll start working on the 360 version again."

There you have it. Xbox 360 UT3 has been in development, but is now in standby mode and will be picked up after the holidays. Clarification is a good thing.

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