All's fair in love and war…and marketing.
Gamers raise a stink against the inclusion of exclusive weapons and accessories for those who pre-order Battlefield 3. A Reddit thread calling for the mass cancellations of pre-orders ballooned in size after publisher EA revealed the incentives of its Physical Warfare pack a few weeks ago: the Type-88 light machine gun, the DAO-12 automatic shotgun, a sniper rifle flash suppressor, and armor-piercing flechette ammo. A thread on the official forums whipped up similar fervor, reaching 64 pages long as of this writing. So far, the pack has only shown up in the U.K. market, but the crux of the protesters' arguments lies in the unfair advantage players receive by plunking down their money early. Battlefield 3 has a planned October 25 release date for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. I'm not fazed in the slightest; I was already planning on senselessly charging at everyone with my knife out. Who needs guns?
Financial analyst firm Cowen and Company claims Star Wars: The Old Republic is "highly derivative" of World of WarCraft. In the company's E3 report, Senior Research Analyst Doug Creutz said he was "largely unimpressed" with BioWare's massively multiplayer depiction of a galaxy far, far away. "Despite promises from EA/BioWare that the title represents a major step forward in MMO design, what we saw was essentially a World of WarCraft clone with Star Wars character skins and the BioWare RPG nice/nasty dialogue tree mechanism bolted on for non-player character conversations," he said. Creutz also called the game's graphics "competent but hardly breathtaking," an unsurprising comment given that the featured planet at E3 was dusty ol' Tatooine. At least role-playing as a Jedi beats role-playing as a long-eared, moon-worshipping elf any way you swing it. [GamesIndustry.biz]
Nintendo's Wii U console appeared "two years late," according to analyst firm Wedbush Morgan. A note to investors authored by Wedbush wizards Michael Pachter, Edward Woo, and Nick McKay stated that the Wii U "is arriving two years late, given that the other HD consoles already have peripherals for movement." The trio went on to say that "as Nintendo did not provide any specifics around the new console's power or pricing — Nintendo used PS3 and Xbox 360 game footage in the Wii U presentation — we are assuming that the Wii U is unlikely to provide greater power than the current HD consoles. If that is the case, we believe Nintendo has conceded a tremendous first mover advantage to Microsoft and Sony, which launched Kinect and Move control schemes, respectively, in late 2010." First things first: Before I can agonize over whether Nintendo botched their latest baby, I must learn how to pick up the nearly light-as-air thing without breaking it in half. [GamesIndustry.biz]
Homefront developer Kaos Studios closes its doors as part of a "realignment strategy" by publisher THQ. "We're continuing our strategy of aligning the best industry talent with the company’s marquee franchises," the company told Gamasutra in a statement. "The Montreal studio will take over product development and overall creative management for the Homefront franchise. The Montreal studio actively collaborated with Kaos on Homefront." Kaos' first-person shooter — which detailed a Korean invasion and occupation of a besieged U.S. — garnered middling review scores but sold surprisingly well with around 1 million copies purchased during the first week of release.
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