Today is Oblivion’s anniversary gold date on PC and Xbox 360. What does going gold mean? When a game is ready to finally go to the replicators and get printed onto millions of disks — that is when the game has gone gold. That is, we have gold master disks ready to send off to replication. For consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3, going gold means we’ve passed certification and Microsoft/Sony has sent the gold master disk to the replicators.
Fun fact: the number of people playing Oblivion has gone up since this past December. While I can’t give the actual numbers, the number of folks playing Oblivion while logged onto Xbox Live has increased back to late 2006 levels (roughly 8 months after Oblivion shipped). There are lots of reasons why this may be – 360 user base is larger now, Fallout 3 fans going back to Oblivion or trying out Oblivion, Oblivion is cheaper/on sale, etc…
Anyhoo, thanks to everyone who bought Oblivion and keep playing it to date. Check out the downloadable content or the expansion pack, Shivering Isles, if you are one of the folks still playing it. Be sure to try my personal favorite, Wizard’s Tower.
There’s plenty of great new games being played these days — Dawn of War 2, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, Street Fighter IV or more — but after seeing the above photo at 1Up — I figured we had to feature Killzone 2. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the game, and I look forward to sitting down with it.
Here’s the rest of the games we’re playing this weekend…
Craig Lafferty, Senior Producer: Killzone 2, Zen Bound, World of Warcraft.
Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: GTA IV: The Lost and Damned, iDracula, and more of the Battlestar Galactica boardgame.
Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, Rock Band 2, trying to resist buying a new computer to play Dawn of War II.
Our sister studio, Vir2L Studios, have released Scram Sam, their first game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Reminiscent of classic arcade games, your character needs to make a mad dash to the gas pump – racing through rush hour traffic for the gas pump — in order to gas up his/her vehicle. The game utilizing the touchscreen controls of the iPhone/iPod touch and features 50 different levels.
This week we’ve got a modding interview with LizTail — a programmer from North Carolina. LizTail is an active modder of Morrowind and his hobbies include gaming, programming, anime, movies, 2D and 3D art, reading, and writing.
There’s plenty of great new games to be played this week (Dawn of War II, Halo Wars, GTA IV: The Lost and Damned), but the office was certainly a buzz over the release of Street Fighter IV. Talking with others at the office, it definitely feels like an arcade experience when you’re playing against other guys online. As I type, I’m nursing some pretty severe thumb blisters.Here’s hoping we can generate some interest for an office tournament played within our theater. That would be amazing.
We hope you’re all having a great weekend. Let us know what games you’ve been playing…
Dan Lee, Artist: Retro Game Challenge (DS), Street Fighter IV (360), Rockband 2 (360), Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Joel Burgess: GTAIV, Gears of War 2, Morrowind.
Liz Beetem: Dawn of War 2 and House of the Dead: Overkill, which is awesome and anyone who likes horror anything should buy it! It is the Dead Alive of videogames.
The 2009 D.I.C.E Summit wrapped up on Friday and there’s a few more interviews and Pitt previews that you might want to check out.
We start at Gamespot, where Richardo Torres interviewed Pete to find out more details on The Pitt (slated for release next month on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE). To check it out, just hit play on the video above.
Last night at the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences handed out their awards for the top games of 2008. Fallout 3 received awards in two categories — winning Best Role Playing Game and Outstanding Achievement in Story — Original. On hand to accept the awards were Todd, Istvan, and Emil. If you’d like to watch a replay of the show, IGN has a stream of it, and IFC will be airing it later this year.
In other D.I.C.E news, Todd lectured today at the event. His talk, titled “Great Games are Played, Not Made” finished earlier today and you can find recaps at several sites — including IGN, MTV Multiplayer, and Gamasutra. Wish I could have seen it — I hear the LOLcats were legendary.
“Your goal in The Pitt is to infiltrate the slave camp, find Ashur, and get a cure he holds that can cure the mutations afflicting everyone in the local populace. Getting into The Pitt slave camp is easier said than done and you won’t find it as easy to access as Paradise Falls. In fact, to get in you’ll have to submit to slavery yourself and temporarily give up all of the great items and weapons you’ve been collecting.”
“Unsurprisingly the Pitt has a pretty bleak and oppressive feel to it, which comes through clearly from a visual perspective. The slaves look pretty messed up, the raiders are spooky, and the environment has got that very special “exploded yet lived-in” you’ve probably come to expect from Fallout. Overall the Pitt’s looking cool, and we’re really anxious to download it when it gets released this March; so we probably won’t feel too bad about forking over the 800 points for the Xbox 360 version. There’s a fair chunk of content such as new weapons, plus achievements and perks, so there’s a lot to like.”
Update: Over at MTV Multiplayer, Pete answered questions from Stephen Totilo, as well as some community questions. Here’s a sample:
Is it as combat focused as Anchorage? Because that’s not what I want.
Hines: No. It is much more in line with some of the other stuff in “Fallout.” There are these two factions. There’s a story: the slavers vs. the slaves. And you have to figure out who you want to believe and who you want to help. Clearly, there’s combat involved, but there are multiple ways to go about doing things. You have to decide ultimately what you think is right, because there is no real right or wrong.
As more details/news emerge on The Pitt, we’ll keep you posted.