Lucia Looks at the Industry: March 19

BAFTA awards announced

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts also hands out video game awards. The list of the winners, as posted by IGN, is as follows:

Story: “Portal 2” 

Original Music: “L.A. Noire” 

Audio Achievement: “Battlefield 3” (skipping) 

Design: “Portal 2”

Game Innovation: “LittleBigPlanet 2” 

Strategy: Total War: “SHOGUN 2” 

Mobile & Handheld: “Peggle HD” 

Game Award of 2011: “Battlefield 3”

Action: “Batman: Arkham City”

BAFTA Ones to Watch: “Tick Tock Toys” - Swallowtail 

Online - Browser: “Monstermind”

Artistic Acievement: “Rayman Origins”

Special Award: Markus 'Notch' Persson 

Sports/Fitness: “Kinect Sports 2”

Online – Multiplayer: “Battlefield 3”

Debut Game: “Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet”

Family: “LittleBigPlanet 2” 

Performer: Mark Hamill as the Joker, “Batman: Arkham City” 

Best Game: “Portal 2”

Bioware, fans talk “Mass Effect 3” troubles

“Mass Effect 3” producer Casey Hudson issued a (spoiler free) statement on “Mass Effect 3”’s ending drama this past weekend. You can view the full statement here, but I thought I’d pull out a few key points.

“We always intended that the scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending—to do otherwise would betray the agonizing decisions Shepard had to make along the way.”

“But we also recognize that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories—and these comments are equally valid. Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series.”

“Throughout the next year, we will support “Mass Effect 3” by working on new content. And we’ll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you’ll hear of Commander Shepard.”

However, as of today, another statement was issued to clarify confusion about a changed ending. Again, you can view the full response here, but below is my summary:

“We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.”

A fan has gone on to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (an agency designed to protect consumers). His complaint, according to Game Informer, is that the Bioware did not live up to its promises, saying, "after reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims."


EA shutting down game servers

Beginning on March 31, 14 titles will lose their online servers.

March 31 marks the end of (release dates in parentheses):

  • “Battlefield 3: Aftershock” for iOS (February 2012)

  • “Fantasy Safari” for iOS (November 2011)

  • “Ghost Harvest” for iOS (June 2011)

April 13 marks the end of (release dates in parentheses):

  • “Boom Blox Bash Party” for Wii (May 2009)

  • “Burnout Revenge” for Xbox 360 (March 2006) 

  • “EA Create” for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 (November 2010) 

  • “EA Sports Active 2.0” for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 (November 2010) 

  • “EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp” for Wii (November 2010) 

  • “FIFA 10” for PlayStation Portable and Wii (October 2009) 

  • “The Godfather II” for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 (April 2009) 

  • “EA Sports MMA” for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (October 2010) 

  • “Need for Speed ProStreet” for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (November 2007)

  • “The Saboteur” (loss of The Midnight Club access) for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (December 2009) 

  • “Spare Parts” for PlayStation 3 Xbox 360 (January 2011)

EA had this to say about the decision:

“...As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level -- fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles -- where it’s no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running. We would rather our hard-working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive experience for the other 99% of customers playing our more popular games.”

Sources: GameSpot, Game Informer and EA.

Review of previews

“Dishonored”: Remember hearing about Bethesda’s supernatural assassination game that also emphasizes player choice and consequence? Yeah, that was a while ago. Today, Game Informer posted an article featuring over a dozen new screenshots of both concept art and gameplay. Check it out.

“Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City”: Game Informer compiled a list of 10 things you should know about “Operation Raccoon City,” including plot details, gameplay mechanics, new features and online multiplayer. This complete list should get you all geared up for tomorrow’s release.

Fun video

“The Simpsons” featured a reference to the game “Portal” in one of their episodes. It’s not the most detailed clip, but it got the job done to show that “The Simpsons” is at least trying to be relevant. See the clip on Kotaku.

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