BioWare Gets Qube
BioWare has announced that it has added PipelineFX’s Qube as the latest piece of technology to be added to its stable of development tools. It is described as a “distributed processing and render farm management system” that enhances “productivity through pipeline acceleration”, whatever that means.
Halo 3 Sells 5 Million, Mass Effect 1 Million
While talking to GameDaily BIZ, Microsoft corporate VP of marketing Jeff Bell revealed that Halo 3 has sold more than 5 million copies since the game’s release in September. The game totaled over 3 million copies in its first month according to sales figures from September.
Bell also noted that Mass Effect, BioWare’s Xbox 360-exclusive action-RPG, has also seen mass sales, shifting over 1 million copies within its first three weeks on the market.
BioWare Working on Star Wars MMO?
Primotech has a story up where they carry word from a “source close to BioWare” that the studio’s next game will be a MMORPG based on the Star Wars: KOTOR universe. The game was originally released back in 2003 and has become a seminal hit.
Their source states that the game is being developed by the company’s Austin studio, which was formed in 2006 and is headed by James Ohlen, whose past credits include the first KOTOR, Neverwinter Nights and the Baldur’s Gate series, all legendary RPGs.
As expected, no other details are currently known about the game.
Mass Effect Gold, Collector's Edition Detailed
Bringing good news to gamers (and to Ethan, in particular), Microsoft and BioWare today announced that Mass Effect has gone gold; they also offered details on the limited collector’s edition. Available through participating retailers, the collector’s edition will offer the following bonus materials:
- A “Mass Effect” fiction book titled “Galactic Codex: Essentials”
- A 36-page guide to the “Mass Effect” universe, including a Citadel timeline and a guide to all non-human races, biotics and the key locations in the Perseus arm of the galaxy
- An additional “Mass Effect” art book titled “A Future Imagined”
- A 36-page collection of BioWare’s concept art for the game
- A bonus DVD of exclusive “Mass Effect” background material and additional content including:
- “The Vision of “Mass Effect” documentary
- “The Making of “Mass Effect” documentary
- “Interactive Storytelling” documentary
- “Inside BioWare” documentary
- 18 “Mass Effect” themed gamer pics (three unique sets of six)
- 16 dashboard themes (four unique sets of four)
- Ten songs from the “Mass Effect” soundtrack
- Five historical “Mass Effect” trailers from X05 through E3 2007 and the official TV trailer
- A demo for “Blue Dragon” and videos for “Lost Odyssey,” “Halo 3” and “Halo Wars”
- Design galleries featuring 600 concept images fully commented by the Art Directors
The highly anticipated Xbox 360-exclusive RPG is now slated for release in November. As expected, the collector’s edition will charge a $10 premium over the standard version.
EA Buys BioWare and Pandemic; Gamers Mourn Death of Industry
In a deathblow to the gaming industry, EA announced that it will acquire both BioWare and Pandemic Studios, two of the finest game developers in the world. The former is well-known for its action role-playing games, including upcoming Mass Effect which is being published by Microsoft, though the property is now owned by EA. Pandemic is popular for creating the Mercenaries series, one of the best open-world games out there. Both studios employ roughly 800 people spread across four locations: Edmonton, Canada; Los Angeles; Austin; and Brisbane, Australia.
“These are two of the most respected studios in the industry and I’m glad to be working with them again. They’ll make a strong contribution to our strategic growth initiatives on quality, online gaming and developing new intellectual properties,” said John Riccitiello, EA’s Chief Executive Officer. “We also expect this will drive long-term value for our shareholders.”
“Pandemic Studios remains focused on attracting the best talent and creating blockbuster action games,” said Josh Resnick, president and cofounder of Pandemic Studios. “As a worldwide publishing leader, EA represents the ideal partner to bring our titles to market as global entertainment events.”
“We are truly excited by John Riccitiello’s new vision for EA,” said Ray Muzyka, co-founder and CEO of BioWare. “This vision is consistent with BioWare’s focus on crafting the highest quality story-driven games in the world. It will enable us to further the careers of the passionate, creative and hard working teams at BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Austin.”
Mass Effect Collector's Edition Detailed
Details of the collector’s edition for Mass Effect were revealed by Microsoft. The limited edition will include a tie-in novel called “Galactic Codex: Essentials,” an art book and a bonus DVD with videos about the art and interactive storytelling.
No pricing details were revealed, though it can be assumed that it’ll be a $10 premium over the standard version. The highly anticipated BioWare RPG is scheduled for release on November 20.
BioWare RPG Dated
Mass Effect, the highly anticipated RPG from BioWare, has finally been dated. The game is set for release on November 20 for the Xbox 360 across North America.
Fallout 3 Screenshots
BioWare Goes Perpetual
In more BioWare news, the company has licensed Perpetual Entertainment‘s online technology platform for an upcoming unannounced MMO title.
“We evaluated numerous technology solutions to serve as the service backbone of our first MMO title and feel Perpetual’s online platform is the best fit,” said Gordon Walton, Co-Studio Director of BioWare Austin. “The Perpetual team has years of experience building infrastructure and tools for online games and we are thrilled to be working with them.”
The Pepertual online platform offers modules necessary to deploy and operate any modern online game, as well as a collection of in-game features and services, including player management, billing, load-balancing, community management and more.
Jade Empire PC Delayed
2K Games sent out word that Jade Empire: Special Edition for the PC will ship on February 26, 2007. It is a delay from the title’s original release period of January 2007.