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Today Ubisoft announced that, in an effort to promote environmental awareness, the company will no longer feature printed manuals in boxed copies of its games. Instead there will be digital in-game manuals for its Xbox 360 and PS3 releases.

The first console game to get the new digital manual treatment will be Shaun White Skateboarding, due out this fall.  Read more… »

There has been a lot of buzz going around about what the recently fired Infinity Ward co-founders (Jason West and Vince Zampella) are going to do now that they are sans employment. This morning the speculation has come to an end.

Today West and Zampella announced that they have formed a new studio, dubbed Respawn Entertainment, and have signed an exclusive publishing agreement with EA. Read more… »

Today PC gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment announced that its annual convention BlizzCon will return to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, October 22 and October 23 of this year.

According to the press release, “BlizzCon offers us a great opportunity to meet with our players and share our enthusiasm for gaming with one of the most passionate communities in the world.” Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime added “We’re looking forward to providing another great show filled with entertainment, competition, and the latest information about Blizzard Entertainment games.” Read more… »

Last night publisher Warner Bros. Interactive announced that it is opening a new studio in Montreal that will focus on comic book based intellectual properties.

The new studio, dubbed WB Games Montreal, will be lead by Martin Tremblay (Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and will utilize DC Comics properties. These include Superman, Batman, The Justice League, etc. Read more… »

The most anticipated gaming milestone in Australian history has come one step closer over the weekend with Michael Atkinson, the chief opposition to introducing an R+ rating, resigning from his post.

Read more… »

Gamespot, after many years of wrangling with IGN has finally taken a lengthy lead in traffic rankings. Gamespot has now held onto the number 1 Alexa (non-poker) gaming site traffic position for a solid month.

Could this be a sign of quality returning to Gamespot, or just a blackhole of a site consuming everything in its path?

Read more… »

Today Shinji Mikami, the man behind the Resident Evil series, announced that he is forming a new studio after he finishes he latest project for PlatinumGames and SEGA. The new studio, dubbed Tango, isn’t concerned with profits or investors, but rather the next generation of Japanese game makers.

According to Mikami: “One of the reasons I’m building a company is to raise the game makers of the future, people who haven’t gone pro yet. Game development is often overseen from a pure business perspective here, which is unique to Japan, and I have the impression that environment tends to prune away young talent. I really want to make Tango a company run from a creator’s perspective, one that expands upon new talent.” Read more… »

Today Epic Games announced that it has teamed up with Valve Software to help integrate Valve’s free Steamworks tools into all Unreal Engine 3 licensees.

This means that in the future games that use the Unreal Engine 3, like Batman: Arkham Asylum and BioShock, will be able to utilize some of the features that make Steam so great. These include auto-updating, social networking, matchmaking and a non intrusive DRM (and we all know how important that is). Read more… »

Today game streaming company OnLine announced that their service will be ready to roll out on June 17 for American PC and Mac owners. The company also announced that OnLive will require a $14.95 a month subscription fee.

For those of you who don’t know, OnLive is a new service (currently in beta) that allows users to play games remotely though their web browser. OnLive doesn’t require subscribers to download or install games. Instead, all the processing is handled by the OnLive servers, with the visuals being streamed to gamers. Read more… »

It seems that laying people off is in vogue this week. First Activision fires the heads of Infinity Ward. Now today EA announced that it has laid off the team behind Steven Spielberg’s Boom Blox series.

Word got out about the lay offs when, now-former, Electronic Arts Los Angeles senior software engineer Jeff Dixon posted “The Boom Blox team was laid off today,” on Linkedln. According to Dixon, fourteen people lost their jobs. Read more… »

Today Sony announced that they have acquired LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule and will be integrating it into the Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios family.

While the specific terms of this acquisition are unknown, Sony did state that it was, “a strategic move to continue to secure excellence in game development for current and future PlayStation platforms.” Read more… »

We’ve been reporting about the R18+ rating debacle for the last year or so, where adult gaming in Australia has become hampered by an outdated, complicated and generally ridiculous scheme that bans any title that doesn’t fit the requirements of your standard 15 yr old.

In December last year, the federal government of Oz released a discussion paper on the subject and invited the public to make submissions for or against the introduction of an R18+ rating for gamers. 3 months on, and there has been a resounding response from the gaming community, local industry and general concerned public in support of the rating.

How successful has it been? Most public submission calls usually rope in a few thousand responses at the most. This one has brought in a whopping 22,000+ submissions. These aren’t just signatures folks, since they can range from a simple template based response, to full blown 17 page researched and referenced essays. In any case, every single one is obligated to be published and submitted to the Attorney General.

Read more… »