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Posts with tag BioWare

BioWare to discuss "Future of MMOs" at GDC


With GDC coming sooner and sooner, the news about exactly what will happen there is beginning to flood out, and this tidbit of news was released without much fanfare. At GDC there is to be a session that is titled: "The Future of MMOs" with speakers ranging from Blizzard's VP of Game Design to one of the founders and General Manager of BioWare. Wait ... Founder of Bioware? Huh?

First and foremost, BioWare has never released an MMO, and this session is described as: "Several experienced MMO developers will discuss their respective visions for the future." Experienced, hmm, that's got to refer to that MMO that the "new studio", BioWare Austin, have been working on. If so, could that long-under-wraps MMO actually be the long rumored KOTOR MMO? The Lucasarts collaboration has been announced for a while now, could GDC be the time when these two pieces of information and one piece of speculation are finally put to rest in the form of a single game? We'll have to wait and see just what materializes out of this, but GDC is looking more and more interesting all the time.

Mass Effect gets Bring Down the Sky DLC in March

Literally moments ago, BioWare announced that brand spanking new and flashy Mass Effect downloadable content will be headed to the XBLM on March 10th and boy oh boy is it juicy good.

The Mass Effect Bring Down the Sky DLC pack will cost 400 Microsoft points and expand upon the Mass Effect story by introducing a new world featuring the Batarian race. According to the description, Bring Down the Sky will feature over 90 minutes of additional gameplay where a "Batarian extremist group has hijacked a mobile asteroid station in the Asgard system, setting it on a collision course with the nearby colony world of Terra Nova" and (of course) "only Commander Shepard can save the millions of innocent civilians before the asteroid completes its deadly descent." Intense stuff.

The new DLC will also pack one new achievement worth 50 Gamerscore and is confirmed to be the first of many planned Mass Effect expansion packs. We guess Surfer Girl was right about this one.

[Thanks, teknomusik]

Rumor: Xbox Originals to get Conker & Jade Empire

The crew over at 360sync discovered that Microsoft's press materials for Conker: Live & Reloaded and Jade Empire have been recently updated. Now, that wouldn't be all that newsworthy if it weren't for the fact that both games are backwards compatible and Microsoft's press materials usually only get touched when there is news about the product being announced. So, so our speculative thoughts lead us in the direction of the Xbox Originals program.

It isn't entirely crazy to think that Conker and Jade Empire could be making the Xbox Originals jump seeing that both studios (Rare and BioWare) have tight connections with Microsoft, but it's far from being set in stone. And to be fair, while confirming Conker and Jade Empire's updated materials, we noticed that the press materials for Rare's Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero were also updated the same day. Take the rumor for what it's worth.

Mass Effect Shepard statue nears completion

Not to be out done by the Halo 3 and Gears of War action figures of the world, the sculpting crew over at Hyperchild have just released a teaser shot (seen above) of their near complete Mass Effect Commander Shepard statue. If you recall, this is the same $89 statue we mentioned back in November, but now fully painted and finalized for production. And even though Hyperchild has yet to do a big unveil, you can check out pictures of the final sculpt (minus the pretty paint job) in their fourth figure update right here. All in all, we'll admit the figure looks sexy enough, but the high price tag will probably prevent us from owning one. How we see it, we could totally purchase six Halo 3 or Gears action figures for the price of one Shepard and that's kind of tough to accept.

Fox: EA invited to talk Mass Effect 'SE'XBOX


The hullabaloo surrounding an inaccurate Fox News report on Mass Effect continues today. Joystiq readers will recall that Fox News recently ran a story claiming that Mass Effect contains "full digital nudity and sex," a charge that is simply untrue. Electronic Arts, who now owns the Mass Effect property, later contacted Fox via a letter from EA VP of communications Jeff Brown. The letter asked Fox to correct the errors in the segment and also cited more than a bit of hypocrisy by pointing out that many of Fox's own programs, such as Family Guy and The OC, show sexual situations that are just as graphic (and are rated for ages under 17 by the way, unlike Mass Effect).

MTV did a little digging and got their own response from Fox on the matter. A Fox spokesperson, who would not be named, said, "Fox News Channel has extended several invitations to EA through a company representative to appear on 'Live Desk With Martha MacCallum' to discuss 'Mass Effect' and the segment which aired on Monday. We have received no response." So, in other words, Fox can apparently report as much erroneous information as they want, because the party they were defaming wasn't present to defend itself. We'll have to wait and see if EA takes the bait.

Editor's rant: Fox's stance on this matter is complete bunk. The fact remains that they misrepresented Mass Effect, and having EA on to "discuss" the game isn't going to change that. What's called for is a correction of inaccurate reporting. Sorry folks, but as a member of the Joystiq network, it's disgusting. We do our absolute best here to report the facts as they are. Should we find out that we published something that was inaccurate, we fix it and post a correction. That's the way it should be. If we tried to get away with the same things that Fox is trying, our commenting public would skewer us. It's as simple as that. If Fox really wants EA to go on the air, it should be for an apology. Will that happen? We don't think so, but it should.

EA calls for Fox News to correct Mass Effect story


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.

[Via Joystiq]

Takahashi apologizes for his Mass Effect bashing

Last week Dean Takahashi of The Mercury News gave Mass Effect a written review lashing, going as far as to call it "Mass Defect". Takahashi was steadfast in claiming that his Mass Effect experience was lackluster, the game's mechanics were weak and that there really wasn't all that much to enjoy. Overhyped to no end, get the picture? But after a quick replay over the holiday break (and with the help of a few tips), Takahashi retracted his review apologizing to BioWare saying that they made "a better game than I thought" and that it isn't "as flawed as I thought". Interesting stuff.

So why a change of heart so quickly after the replay? Well, Mr. Takahashi admitted that he only put in eight hours for his review and seemingly forgot to upgrade his character along the way. But after giving the upgrading system a chance he soon experienced RPG bliss and everything came full circle. It was like a re-birth of Mass Effect.

Lesson learned kids. Always navigate a games' menus and be sure to upgrade your character whenever possible. Also, it's okay to admit you're wrong. We all make mistakes. Now group hug.

Rumor: BioWare working on Jade Empire 2

Dean Takahashi over at The Mercury News is reporting that he spoke with someone who saw actual development code and that BioWare is indeed working on Jade Empire 2. Shock, gasp and awe! Takahashi is nearly positive that a sequel to the 2005 release of Jade Empire is in the works and is currently set to be released as an Xbox 360 exclusive. Though, he mentions that it is entirely possible that the Empire will make its way to the PS3 seeing that EA has complete control of the BioWare reins now.

Here's to hoping this rumor turns out materializing as we (and nearly everyone else) wouldn't mind seeing a Jade Empire sequel. Keep bringing the RPG goods BioWare.

Mass Effect (not BioShock) earns NY Times' GOTY

In video game award news that doesn't involve BioShock taking home every trophy, the NY Times revealed that BioWare's RPG-o-fun Mass Effect earned its Game of the Year vote. Let us repeat that. Mass Effect received GOTY honors from the NY Times and not BioShock. Sounds good, doesn't it? We only tease BioShock, because it has been winning big lately and we wouldn't want to force Mr. Levine to learn carpentry for the sole reason of needing to build a bigger trophy case. Congrats Mass Effect and everyone else (Halo 3 and yes, BioShock) who received shiny awards from the NY Times.

[Via Joystiq]

Mass Effect book sequel announced


Publisher Del-Rey Books has announced that a sequel to the novel Mass Effect: Revelation is in the works. Entitled Mass Effect: Ascension, the novel is set to span the time between the first game and the second (Mass Effect is a trilogy remember). Drew Karpyshyn, writer of both the first Mass Effect novel and game, is also authoring Ascension. At the moment, that's about all we know. No release date or price have been set. If we had to hazard a guess, we'd say it's probably a safe bet that the book will be roughly $10 and release in time for the Mass Effect 2 marketing blitzkrieg.

[Via Joystiq. Thanks to everyone that sent this in]

Zero Punctuation sets its sights on Mass Effect


It's frequently fitting that we begin Zero Punctuation related stories with a disclaimer, so here we go. If you a) love Mass Effect or b) have no sense of humor, you'd best turn around right now. This week, as you may have guessed, Yahtzee takes on BioWare's latest opus, Mass Effect. To put it succinctly, Mass Effect joins the likes of Guitar Hero III and Jericho. In other words, he's not a fan. His major beefs are the game's heavy amount of text and some less than great combat. You can find the video embedded after the break. It is, as usual, not safe for work.

Continue reading Zero Punctuation sets its sights on Mass Effect

Pachter: Mass Effect could hit PS3

Appearing on the latest episode of Bonus Round, games industry analyst Michael Pachter stated that BioWare would likely be porting Mass Effect to PS3 now that the company is under the dominion of Electronic Arts. Pachter's comments came in response to whether or not many recent changes of ownership for 360 friendly developers -- like the independence of Bungie, the Activision's acquisition of Bizarre Creations, etc -- would result in said developers moving to cross-platform development. Pachter stated that EA would definitely be leveraging BioWare on multiple platforms, saying that Mass Effect 2 is a PS3 shoo-in, further elaborating, "I wouldn't be shocked if Mass Effect 1 came to PS3." According to Pachter, cross-platform development will be a must for former 360 developers from an economic standpoint. Of course, this is obvious when considering future releases, but with Mass Effect already released -- and published by Microsoft, no less -- we're anxious to see if Pachter is right.

Mass Effect sells 1 million, Halo 3 moves 5 million

It's time to shoot off the confetti cannons and drop the balloons, BioWare's Mass Effect has sold over 1 million copies and Halo 3 is at the 5 million mark!

Corporate Vice President of Xbox 360 Global Marketing and oh so likable Jeff Bell confirmed with GameDaily that Mass Effect's sales have officially eclipsed the 1 million sales mark worldwide after being on the market for only three weeks. And that's good news, seeing that estimates initially slated Mass Effect to move around the 300,000 unit mark. Bell also confirmed that a little game called Halo 3 has sold an amazing 5 million copies worldwide since its release in September. Congrats to both BioWare for delivering a solid RPG and Bungie for making Halo 3 what it is. We love you both so much ... we promised we wouldn't cry. Sniffle.

[Thanks, Charles]

Video: Jeff Bell likes us! (vicariously)

There's a decent chance you've already seen the latest video from Gamerscore Blog (and hopefully the Portal video too). If you haven't, allow us to sum up: the Gamerscore crew has fun with the awesome Mass Effect dialogue system. Imagine what it would be like to use the dialogue system in real life and you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect. What you might not be expecting is that the video features Jeff Bell, everyone's favorite plot spoiling, trash talking, car selling Microsoft executive. Once you've absorbed the reality of this fact, you should also take note of what he has on his computer monitor. That's right, it's Joystiq, our beloved, check signing overlords! This can mean only one thing: Jeff Bell loves Joystiq and, vicariously, Xbox 360 Fanboy. It's okay, Jeff. We know you can't be too overt in your affection, so we'll take this veiled (but fairly obvious) token of appreciation with open arms.

[Via Joystiq]

Mass Effect reviews have landed ...

Yesterday, the reviewing gaming media published their reviews for BioWare's RPG adventure of awesomeness Mass Effect and, truth be told, the game is getting a positive reception.

Mass Effect is currently averaging a 92 93 on metacritic with reviews ranging from an 80 low to a perfect 100. Criticisms generally point towards minor glitches and bugs that found their way into the game and a few awkward gameplay sequences too. But most agree that Mass Effect shines at presentation, storytelling and its overall epic scale that'll leave you awestruck. And from reading through a few of the reviews we think hardcore RPG fans will be able to look over its minor issues and find a robust and satisfying RPG experience. Mass Effect seems to be a winner, because a 92 93 just doesn't lie.

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