Candy Crush Saga studio this week removed all in-app advertising from its mobile games as it looks to provide users with “an uninterrupted entertainment experience,” according to media reports. …
Microsoft launches the Xbox One November 21. We have word on what’s included in the launch day package. In addition to the hardware, early adopters will receive an Xbox Live Gold trial and an exclusive, time-sensitive achievement.
This report of what comes with the Xbox One’s $ 499.99 launch day bundle comes from Siliconera:
- Xbox One system (500GB hard drive)
- Blu-ray drive
- In-unit wireless
- Kinect peripheral
- Free 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial
- Xbox One Wireless Controller
Players that reserve the Xbox One for purchase on launch day will receive a commemorative bundle with some digital incentives and special black packaging.
- Exclusive “Day One” achievement for bragging rights
- Ryse: Son of Rome: Special multiplayer map, weapon, and stat boosts
- Forza Motorsport 5: Four cars tuned for high performance
- Dead Rising 3: Exclusive Frank West and Chuck Greene Tribute Packs with enhanced attributes
Best Buy is the next big retailer sending back its Wii U Basic units to Nintendo. Nintendo World Report has an image pulled from Best Buy’s internal system stating “stores should pull all new in box [Wii U Basic] units and send them back” starting tomorrow. It also notes that stores should see more Wii U Deluxe units arrive in the coming weeks.
GameStop is also currently going through a similar send-back of the Wii U Basic.
Nintendo previously stated any notion of a recall of the Wii U Basic is a “misperception” and that the company is “working with its retail partners to simply rebalance the stock of the White 8GB and the Black 32GB Wii U models in the market.” The House of Mario claims consumers will be able to continue purchasing both models. The Wii U has struggled since launch, with the regular Wii outperforming its progeny.
Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed 2 creative director Patrice Desilets, formerly of Ubisoft, THQ and then Ubisoft again, has filed suit against Ubisoft seeking back pay, damages and the opportunity to buy the rights to 1666, according to a report by Canadian outlet La Presse.
Desilets is looking for a grand total of $ 400,000 from Ubisoft, which breaks down into $ 250,000 worth of salary, $ 100,000 worth of damages, $ 35,000 in expense reimbursement and $ 25,000 in severance. Desilets is also attempting to make use of a clause in his contract with THQ (which Ubisoft subsumed upon their purchase of its assets) that allows him the option of acquiring the rights to 1666, as well as the materials and assets created during development.
Desilets’ termination from Ubisoft last May was reportedly the result of Ubisoft enacting a non-compliance clause in his contract, which mandated that Desilets deliver an “acceptable prototype” before July 30, 2012. Desilets maintains that, not only was the prototype delivered on time, but that continued development on the project leading up to his departure is evidence enough of its acceptableness, according to La Presse.
A new Dragon’s Dogma game is reportedly coming to Japan, but it sounds a fair bit different to its predecessor. According to Game Jouhou (via Gematsu and Siliconera), this week’s Famitsu magazine announces Dragon’s Dogma Quest, a 2D free-to-play, online-only RPG for the Vita, due in Japan this fall.
Going by Game Jouhou’s report, Quest once more pits players as Arisen, and the Arisen commands a party of pawns who go into battle. Parties can comprise a maximum of eight pawns, including four of the player’s, and four from friends. Just imagine all those repeated phrases – “This looks interesting!” – but in stereo (hopefully not).
Quest again sees players explore a world of towns, dungeons, enemies, and side-quests. On the vocations-side, Quest features a far greater selection, with over 150 jobs included. It’s unclear what exactly’s tied to microtransactions, but they’re apparently for assisting players who don’t have lots of time to play the game.
We’ve reached out to Capcom for confirmation and to find out if it’s headed west.
Market analyst group Newzoo projects games to reach a $ 70.4 billion global industry in 2013, with significant growth in Latin American and Asian-Pacific markets. …
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is planning major changes within company management, AllThingsD reports. The changes would focus on making Microsoft a “devices and services” company, a focus Ballmer outlined in his shareholder letter in October.
“This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves – as a devices and services company,” Ballmer wrote. “It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses.”
This restructuring could impact Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment (Xbox) division, giving President Don Mattrick a larger role, the report says. Other top executives may see expanded responsibilities, including Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s Servers and Tools division, and Tony Bates, president of the Skype communications division.
Last week, Nomura Equity Research analyst Rich Sherlund suggested Microsoft sell off its Xbox and Bing divisions, noting that shareholders may demand more influence in the company as they seek larger returns on their investments.
Sony, Microsoft’s major console competitor, is currently considering an IPO of its entertainment division, following a proposition from Third Point LLC’s Daniel Loeb.
Microsoft, by way of private domain registrar service MarkMonitor, has registered a handful of domains related to the Halo universe, Fusible reports. The addresses, HaloSpartanAssault.com, Halo-SpartanAssault.net and similar other variants were all registered within the last few days, and while Microsoft’s name is not explicitly attached to any of the related whois reports, the behemoth company has historically used MarkMonitor to claim sensitive URLs in the past.
As of press time, the newly-registered domains do not resolve or redirect to any websites, Halo-themed or otherwise. If we had to guess, which we absolutely do not, we’d wager that Halo: Spartan Assault is the name of an Xbox One football game set in the Halo universe, running on the NFL Blitz 2000 Gold Edition engine.