Boy, is the office empty today.
My Inbox, however... that's another story. It's packed with hundreds of messages, a mix of Season's Greetings, now out of date press releases and the usual spam. But there were a few interesting bits and pieces that it's worth recapping here. We certainly missed them, so it's possible you guys did too, and at the very least some of this is definitely worth chatting about via comments.
No Syndicate for us
Probably the biggest piece of news to drop while we were out of the office (and pretty much out of the loop in general) is the news that much looked-forward to reboot, Syndicate, will not be getting an Australian release. It's just too damn violent and impactful for Australian audiences. Which is, well, a great load of bollocks. But here's what EA had to say officially on the matter:
"It’s regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate. The game will be not be available in Australia despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government’s recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games – cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies. We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today’s market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices."
EA will not be appealing, and we're simply going to be stuck without this title. We checked back with EA about this today to make sure, but they're sticking to their guns, which we kinda appreciate. It's a ridiculous situation and it's nice to see a publisher not simply roll over to our stupid game ratings system.
The Old Republic is BIG NEWS
EA has had better luck with Star Wars: The Old Republic however. The local release still isn't until March, but it's already the fastest growing MMO of all time with a million subs already. We're waiting for the official release, but we know a mess of people who've gotten it via Amazon and that are loving it.
Hackers gonna hack
It seems a few more game publishers got their accounts hacked, too. Though nothing on the scale of Sony's disastrous data breach, but it goes to show that their are some persistent folks out their.
The victims this time where both Trion Worlds (who do RIFT) and Turbine (and Lord of the Rings Online). We received emails from both companies warning us that our accounts had possibly been accessed, but that no financial details had been recovered. Both companies reported that our passwords had been changed to a random strings.
AMD released a whole new video card
Yeah, we thought it was an odd time to launch a new product as well, but there you have it - we actually have two 7970s sitting in the labs as we speak. In fact, the XFX offering is just about the prettiest VGA we've ever seen - pics coming soon.
These cards are the first to be made using a 28nm process, support the contentious PCIe 3.0, and 3GB of GDDR5 memory. In the words of NAME, TITLE at EA/DICE (we shit you not, that's what the AMD release says) “The AMD Radeon HD 7970 is the must have tool in any gamers arsenal. EA has worked closely with AMD to take full advantage of AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology and DirectX 11 for a more realistic, entertaining and thrilling gaming experience in Battlefield 3.”
Old NAME never lies.
People are still buying Sniper: Ghost Warrior
Yep, it just exceeded two million sales. Go figure.
More in big numbers: World of Tanks
Man, poor World of Tanks. Time was, we were all, like, OVER this game. Like a damn rash, in fact. But it's now sadly fallen by the wayside; BF3 is our new gaming mistress, and a jealous tyrant she is, too.
That's just us, though, as over the break Wargaming.net announced that the game had passed the 18 million subscriber landmark. With new updates coming, on top of World of Warplanes and the insanely cool-lloking World of Battleships after that, this is a franchise that's going from strength to strength.
Razer got rich
Maker of mostly fine PC gaming (and the odd console controller) accessories Razer scored big over the break, with a hefty injection of $50 million in investor capital.
The windfall is courtesy of the IDG-Accel China Capital Fund. This round of venture capital, in the words of Razer, will go toward investing in technology, innovation and the company's video gaming habits.
And the Japanese did this