I can not believe this crazy news about one of the biggest FPS franchises ever getting a sequel this year. What next, a new Madden in 2011?

News Blips:

Call of Duty: Black OpsCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is apparently coming later this year. The Los Angeles Times reports that "people close to the matter" have hinted at Infinity Ward's collaboration with Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software for the game's single-player and multiplayer modes, respectively. Although not officially announced by Activision yet, the game is "well into production" with an expected November release. I'm fine with another entry in the series…as long as I'm not stuck with a belligerent squad leader who somehow considers the recapture of Burger Town a higher priorty than the defense of Washington D.C.

I hope your tie-dye shirts have finished drying, because a Grateful Dead game is in the works. Developer Curious Sense told USA Today that the game isn't a traditional rhythm title like Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but a virtual world populated by minigames thematically centered around the band's work. "It could be, for example, [Grateful Dead album] Terrapin Station or it could be Dark Star and they will be taken into a game that is specific to a certain song," said Curious Sense founder Adam Blumenthal. "Even Angry Birds, this new blockbuster game, that model could maybe be adapted for a game based on the song Samson and Delilah in which the chorus is 'If I had my way, I would tear this old building down.'" The game is expected to release this August, giving one plenty of time to save up for the launch day incentive bag of narcotics. Hey, it's a good idea in theory!

The brain behind Starcraft 2's World of Starcraft mod has earned a job offer from Riot Games. "Ryan" received flak from Activision when his homebrewed massively multiplayer project apparently brushed a little too close to Blizzard's naming conventions. Although the mod continues to exist, Ryan's progress videos were yanked off YouTube following a copyright infringement notice. That must've been an impressive résumé to Riot Games Design Director Tom Cadwell, who reached out to Ryan about a possible job offer. "When I see a modder with a lot of drive that has done something cool, I tend to contact them," Cadwell wrote on Riot's forums. "I shot him an email recently asking if he was interested in exploring an opportunity here. As to what comes of that, who knows — that depends on the mutual fit and his own goals." [GamesIndustry.biz]

Nintendo shares details of the 3DS's eShop digital store. Joystiq revealed that the eShop will feature DSiWare support along with demos, videos, and game ratings for the upcoming handheld, but didn't explore the possibility of the store harboring a three-dimensional shopkeeper shouting slogans. Gone are Nintendo Points as currency, replaced by actual money. But the eShop isn't intended as a total replacement for traditional retail purchases. "I think, right now for us, the digital shop content is focusing on growing the digital…distinguishing from the retail content in terms of what it offers," said Nintendo Product Manager Bill Trinen. You gotta grow the digital, fo' sho'.

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