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Kotaku

A Virtual Season Ends with Plenty of Unfinished BusinessLooking back on the list of video games I finished in 2011, it's an embarrassingly thin roster. It may be my least productive year ever, in terms of what I finished, what I was expected to play, and what I spent most of my time doing. It's not a resume that really speaks of a professional video game writer.



Sports video games don't come in under the "finished" category because they aren't narratives—though I guess you could count Fight Night Champion as such. Its "Champion Mode," took you through the life of ficitious boxer André Bishop, and many of the bouts unfold like traditional boss battles.



Finished? Let's see: Bulletstorm. L.A. Noire. DC Universe Online. Sonic Generations. Super Mario 3D Land. Basically, the games I reviewed, plus L.A. Noire.



Started but unfinished? Portal 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2; Killzone 3, Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars; Deus Ex: Human Revolution (barely); Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (although, really, who plays that for the campaign?).



Not a minute of Batman: Arkham City. Nor Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, Dead Island, Bastion, Homefront or Saints Row The Third—and I have a copy of that, still in its shrinkwrap, on my coffee table.



What the hell did I play? Well, a lot of sports. A lot. It's funny that in a year in which I suggested we're starting to see the point of diminishing returns with simulation sports games in this console generation, I probably played them more than ever.



In 2011, I took my pitcher through two minor league seasons and a rookie-of-the-year performance, and that is a hell of a lot of games in MLB The Show, even when you're pitching every fifth day. I won a "Tiger Slam" in the new career mode of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, becoming the reigning champion of all four major tournaments (and then some), just not in the same season.



I quarterbacked Tennessee to two straight SEC title game appearances in NCAA Football 12's revamped "Road to Glory," re-created and once again led the University of Denver (which last fielded a football team in 1960) to consecutive national championships. And that's not counting the numerous one-off grudge matches I played—N.C. State destroying Maryland and North Carolina, and blitzing Russell Wilson and Wisconsin into Lake Mendota. I played a ton of Madden, losing a Super Bowl in one season, winning it in another, and winning silly online games such as Battle of the Backup Quarterbacks with Billy Volek against Caleb Hanie—before Hanie became a starter and made Bears fans a danger to themselves and others.



But in worlds saved, aliens killed, bad guys defeated, treasures found and truth and justice defended, I came up woefully short. And it's not because my role as the site's sports columnist takes me away from other things I could or should play. It's because, at heart, I am a sports video gamer, and there are reasons that demographic has, in the past decade, become more isolated from those who spend as much, maybe even less, on games in a year, yet seem to enjoy a broader variety of them more.



• A Lack of Crossover: It's a big aesthetic argument, but I think everyone can agree that the major genres of video gaming have some compelling overlap with their peers—except for sports. Science fiction, comic books, and movie licensing also help stir this melting pot. But on the face of it, a real-time strategy game has, in interface, story and presentation, plenty in common with a role-playing game. A role-playing game has plenty in common with action-adventure tales (Red Dead Redemption was, to my mind, the RPG of 2010; you just played a single pre-rolled character). An action-adventure tale has a lot in common with a shooter.



Sports fans don't benefit from the kind of cross-pollination that drives other video game genres.

In sports video games, the ligatures are not as strong, if they are even there, to any other genres except, maybe, racing and even slighter still with fighting games. Career modes contain role-playing game elements, but none of the core structure of main story quests and side quests and quest givers. There's also no real narrative conclusion to your exploits, with the exception—very loosely speaking—of something like NCAA Football's "Road to Glory," which is capped at four years and ostensibly has a Heisman Trophy or National Championship as its goal.



In other words, there's not much of the cross-pollination that comes from "If you liked this, you should try this." If you liked Bioshock for example, you might also enjoy Resistance and Fallout. Although all three are totally different things, they are all set in alternate realities whose style is very evocative of past times in Western cultural history. And if you liked the deep experience of a role-playing game like Fallout 3 or New Vegas with its anachronistic technology, why not go poke around in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, set in a more orthodox future? If Dragon Age II disappointed you (and it did for many), maybe Skyrim can scratch that itch. But if Madden NFL 12 disappointed you (and it did for many), your alternative is waiting for Madden NFL 13.



In sports, not only are there loose, if not nonexistent, ties to other gaming genres, there are few ties even to other games. As I've noted, this sector has shrunk considerably, to the point there is effectively only one game per sport. Did you like NBA 2K12? Well ... maybe you'll like ... NBA Jam? Enjoy Madden?. OK, how about ... NFL Blitz? The lack of options only increases the sports gamer's isolation, not only from the rest of mainstream gaming but, frankly, from the remainder of the sports gaming sector.



• Cost commitment: Not only are hardcore sports video gamers passionate about their favorite sport, they're interested in others, too. Every spring I am a baseball fan. Every fall I am a college football fan. I'm bad at it, but basketball is such a passionate, action-packed theatrical production, I can't help but get caught up in its stories. If I decided those three were my must-have games, that's an outlay of $180 every year.



While military shooters (and Assassin's Creed ) are now annualized, there still is, comparatively, less of an urgency to buy the latest edition of them than there is in a sports video game, which derives its relevance from rosters, uniforms and schedules accurate to the current year. Call of Duty: Black Ops is still an extremely popular game, by Xbox Live metrics. So is Modern Warfare 2. So is Halo 3, released in 2007. If you haven't played it yet, you can romp through Renaissance Italy in Assassin's Creed II tomorrow and it'll feel fresh. But play NCAA Basketball 10—the last edition of a discontinued series, even—and you'll definitely feel like you're playing ancient history.



A video gamer who's a fan of three sports is looking at a $180 outlay every year.

I returned to console video gaming for one reason: sports. I pawned my Genesis in 1997 and did not pick up a console controller until 2003. Really. I missed out on, basically, everything between the Genesis and the PS2. I was heavily invested in my newspaper career, not making a lot of money, not having a lot of time, and then I went to graduate school.



But eight years ago yesterday—and Brian Crecente himself remembers this, because we were working together on the night shift at the Rocky Mountain News at the time—I drove 30 minutes and back to a Best Buy in Golden, Colo., for in-store pickup of an Xbox, and NCAA Football 2004. It took forever to get the goddamn thing. Our colleague Hector never took dinners that long, even when he was walking across the street for ceviche. Brian covered for me. "You're gonna love it," he said, "you connect that to the Internet, it will give your football game the exact weather that's happening on the day you are playing." I miss the days when that was a profound new feature.



I then bought Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic—largely by mistake, but I loved it and I really wish it would show up on the Xbox Classics marketplace today. And from that I got Jedi Academy, and then LucasArts' Gladius. The following spring I went to Minnesota to write a news feature about Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets, and picked up NBA Ballers. I had a great time with it, but wanted something a little more mature. I grabbed Hitman: Contracts, reaching back later for Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and that took me into Max Payne and, hell, even Driv3r. And then I discovered Grand Theft Auto.



It's ironic that, as someone who bought a games console specifically to play sports video games, it gave me maybe my most diverse year of video gaming. Yet today, when I am paid to play video games of all types, I've retreated further into a single genre.



It's also a little unfortunate.





Stick Jockey is Kotaku's column on sports video games. It appears Saturdays.




Kotaku

This Is the Last Time You Will Talk Amongst Yourselves in 2011Today's the last day of 2011, which means it's the last day of the month and the last day you will see that goddamn righteous chicken in our TAYpic. I'll be sad to see him go.



Many thanks to SkyWizard: The True Creator for the final TAYpic of 2011.



As the evening winds down, feel free to unload your thoughts here on video gaming in 2011 or what you expect in 2012. This could even be a "What are you playing this year?" since we didn't drop that feature on you yesterday. You know the story with TAY, it's your discussion, just keep it on video games.



But feel free to wish everyone a Happy New Year as it counts down. I know that we have readers from all over the world, (it is already morning in Australia and the Far East), so please, tell us what the future is like. Do we have a flying car yet?



The gang will be back on Monday and we should have a new TAYpic base image for you by Tuesday or so. And there are some more posts coming tonight and tomorrow, so please do check back in. Until then, talk—amongst yourselves!


Kotaku

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingWelcome to your Sunday read of the week's best in web comics. Make sure to click on the expand button in the bottom right to enlarge each comic.



Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingAwkward Zombie by Katie Tiedrich published Dec. 26.—Read more of Awkward Zombie

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingNerf NOW!! by Josué Pereira published Dec. 29.—Read more of Nerf NOW!!

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingPenny Arcade by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik published Dec. 30.—Read more of Penny Arcade

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingManly Guys Doing Manly Things by Kelly Turnbull published Dec. 26.—Read more of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingVirtual Shackles by Jeremy Vinar and Mike Fahmie published Dec. 30.—Read more of Virtual Shackles

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingAnother Videogame Webcomic by Phil Chan and Joe Dunn published Dec. 30.—Read more of Another Videogame Webcomic

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingActionTrip by Borislav Grabovic and Ure Paul published Dec. 26.—Read more of ActionTrip

Sunday Comics: Friendship is ModdingLegacy Control by Javis Ray published Dec. 28.—Read more of Legacy Control


Kotaku

Epic Mickey 2 Rumors Now Peg It for Fall 2012 ReleaseAn online newsletter from Disney has again confirmed long-circulating rumors about Epic Mickey 2, and says the game will release on PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii in Fall 2012, reports the site StitchKingdom.com.



The original Epic Mickey, released in 2010, was a Wii-only title. Epic Mickey 2 will feature cooperative multiplayer play, according to the newsletter. Destructoid reported the same rumor, also coming from a marketing survey, back in August, though at the time no launch window was given.



The co-op play will apparently be a two-player split-screen mode, in which one player plays as Mickey and the other as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was Walt Disney's first cartoon star.



The Wii U is to launch sometime in the last half of 2012. It'll be backward compatible with original Wii titles and peripherals.



Rumor: Co-op Multi-console Epic Mickey 2 To Release Next Year [Game Informer. h/t Paradox me]


Kotaku

Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaSmash Mountain. Ricky Lee Kalichun. Mr. Shady Shades. A power adapter that looks like Mr. T. And so many more.



It was an epic year for the Kotaku 'Shop Contest, thanks to your creativity and drive. Our 50 contests this year featured tons of callbacks to earlier hits, and so now we're going to bring 10 of them together in one great big year-end blowout. And we're going to find out who the real stars are.



No, I'm not asking you guys to go back and re-do what would be 200 finalists from across 10 of our most memorable contests. I'm asking you guys to use your creativity and bring them together in an entirely new 'Shop.



So while I've never been keen on rules around here, I am laying down one because this is an all-star contest, and also to discourage people from plagiarizing former entries (or, worse, simply resubmitting their own). Your new 'Shop must feature at least two different subjects from the above gallery. And yes, I will give a higher grade to 'Shops that have more than two subjects—hell, I know someone will try for all 10, like it's Presto Magix.



Clarification: You're not limited to just these images, if you've got a good idea that needs a completely separate base or background. I am not holding you to, say, taking Mr. Shady Shades out of one image and sticking him on the Smash Mountain Boat. You can combine these with an entirely new image (and other exploitables tossed in) if you like. You could even go way off message and use something from a 'Shop Contest not featured here. Just use something from at least two of the exploitables.



All of the exploitables are in this Drop Box file here, or can be pulled from that gallery above (which contains links to the original roundups, plus the winners' names) if you don't want the full 7.3 MB file. Note that there are about 20 images from our 3DS Warnings edition back in February (they are at the end of the gallery. The rest are in chronological order.)




Source Images: The 2011 'Shop Contest All-Star Finale [.zip; 7.3 MB]




You know the rules: The 20 best will get rounded up and published at the end of next Saturday. Meantime, I and the rest of the starred commentariat will approve and promote as many as we can so folks can see them and pass judgment.



This is your no-frills step-by-step procedure to participation in the Kotaku 'Shop Contest.




1. Create your 'Shop.

2. Upload it to a free image hosting service. I suggest imgur. It's stupid simple. No account is necessary.

3. This is very important: You must use the URL of the image itself. In imgur, this is the second URL it gives you after you upload the image. It's under "Direct Link (email & IM)"

4. At the beginning of the comments roll, click "Start a New Thread"

5. To the right of your name, select "Image."

6. Paste the imgur URL in the image URL field. It's the field that says "Image URL."

7. You can add editorial commentary if you want, but then just hit submit and your image will load. If it doesn't, paste the image URL as a comment.

8. This is important: Keep your image size under 1 MB. It will not upload to comments if it is over that size. What's more, we're getting reports that if your 'Shop is more than 1000px tall (vertical), it won't upload. If you're getting the broken-image icon, try resizing to a smaller dimension.




Thank you again to all who have made the Kotaku 'Shop Contest such a fun and popular feature.



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaRicky Lee Kalichun (Give This Guy His Game, Feb. 19. Winners: m3rcer and JPS)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaAssassin's Creed cosplayer at PAX East (PAX's Creed, April 2. Winner: obeyyurmaster)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaTriforce Johnson gets the first 3DS. (First in Line, April 9. Winner: Laodicea-Dude)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaTriforce Johnson and Reggie Fils-Aime. (First in Line, April 9.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaWrestling fan takes a 3D picture (SmackDown vs. 3DS, June 11 Winner: LameThrower)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaGabe Newell and pro-Half-Life 3 demonstrators (The Summer of Valve, Aug. 20. Winner: Snufkin)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA boatload of fun on Splash Mountain (Smash Mountain, Sept. 10. Winner: meelooteen)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaGuy cosplaying as Call of Duty: Black Ops (Boxplay, Sept. 17. Winner: Gyaruson 2.0)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaThe Sonic and Friends Car (Donks, Hoopties and Shitmobiles, Oct. 1. Winner: SalamanderJuice)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaMike Fahey Wields the Doomhammer (Wild Card Weekend, Oct. 29. Winner: PoopMcGreeley)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaMister Shady Shades (Wild Card Weekend, Oct. 29.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaHappy Owen and Wheelbarrow (Wild Card Weekend, Oct. 29.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5. Winner: Bastard11)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)



Year-End All-Star ExtravaganzaA warning from the 3DS instruction manual. (3DS Warnings, March 5.)


Kotaku

The Most Pirated PC, Xbox 360 and Wii Games of 2011This week, TorrentFreak reported on the 50 most searched terms on torrent sites, giving indications as to what may have been the most pirated things of 2011. Not a single video game title was among them.



Well, now TorrentFreak has listed its top 5 most pirated games of the year, across three platforms. PC, Wii and Xbox 360? Why no PS3? "The platforms that are not mentioned, such as the PS3, get considerably less downloads and are excluded for that reason." I'm sure someone will take that as a challenge, but a) Sony's been very aggressive, to the point of cutting off some of the PS3's functionality, to combat piracy. And b) those are damn large games on that Blu-Ray disc.



Anyway, here are the top 5 for each, per TorrentFreak. While trailing in whole numbers in both the PC and the Xbox 360 list, the fact it came in No. 2 with the latest release date of any of these, and did so on two different platforms, qualifies Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as the most pirated video game of 2011, in my book anyway.



Top 5 Pirated PC Games


1. Crysis 2 (3,920,000) (March 2011)

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (3,650,000) (Nov. 2011)

3. Battlefield 3 (3,510,000) (Oct. 2011)

4. FIFA 12 (3,390,000) (Sept. 2011)

5. Portal 2 (3,240,000) (April 2011)



Top 5 Pirated Wii Games


1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (1,280,000) (May 2010)

2. Mario Sports Mix (1,090,000) (Feb. 2011)

3. Xenoblade Chronicles (950,000) (Aug. 2011 EU)

4. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (870,000) (May 2011)

5. FIFA 12 (860,000) (Sept. 2011)



Top 5 Pirated Xbox 360 Games


1. Gears of War 3 (890,000) (Sept. 2011)

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (830,000) (Nov. 2011)

3. Battlefield 3 (760,000) (Oct. 2011)

4. Forza Motorsport 4 (720,000) (Oct. 2011)

5. Kinect Sports: Season Two (690,000) (Oct. 2011)



Top 10 Most Pirated Games of 2011 [TorrentFreak. h/t LulzJager]


Kotaku

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersAs we mentioned earlier, some things are getting moved around and pushed up to today because of the holiday weekend. So let's go ahead and get in the last 'Shop Contest roundup of 2011. It's the story of President Obama and a man he met recently at the Best Buy. A man who looks like Heavy Weapons Guy. A man who looks like Robert Bowling. And a man who looks like Barack Obama. We've got all of those, plus MrEcko, inside!



Getting started schnide (16) wants to be sure everyone knows he's not calling him "Asshole Obama," merely supplying our obligatory Asshole Dog 'shop. Duly noted, schnide. NerdAlert1984 (11) couldn't bring himself to diss The Old Republic so he gave Darth Malgus an Origin card. Kanojo No Carrera (6) provides Obama's birth certificate BUT SORRY IS NOT TEH NOTARIZED says the Birther trolls.



Breytont (1) has quite the trophy kill; as commenter Tuco_Benedicto says, "Hillary really makes this one!" Indeed. J7( (5) gave us the Blob; StuartC (18) gives us porn. Zigzagoon (20) does a great swap 'Shop and gives us a callback to the Call of Duty cosplayer.



Many folks went the Pokémon route; Reactant (14) and GiantBoyDetective (3) had the best showing; GanymedeJupiter gave us Digimon (2) because he's just being a contrarian. Paradox me (13) says "For some reason I thought of a Goron when I saw the Best Buy employee." Funny enough to me, get on board.



Overall winners? We had some great submissions this week. richardharo says he totally did not spend three hours doing his (15) which is great. It's the best 20-minute 'Shop job I've ever seen, then. Is that Gingrich as the ewok? Good Lord, did you really get Bill Bennett as Han Solo? Or is that Biden? I can't recognize him with a shirt on.



But my favorite is MrEcko (10), who had the most prolific performance last week, and he was determined to make it in the roundup. For some reason, Obama's pensive stare communicates a longing for the guy he met at Best Buy, and that makes me laugh every time I see it. Great job.



Congratulations to all finalists, and thanks to all who participated. We will have another 'Shop Contest challenge at the end of the day.



The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersBreytont

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersGanymedeJupiter

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersGiantBoyDetective

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersHylianHeroBigBoss

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersJ7

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersKanojo No Carrera

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersKellen

The Politics of Just Dance: Winnerslilgamerman

The Politics of Just Dance: Winnersmadmangohan

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersMrEcko

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersNerdAlert1984

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersOmegaArchetype

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersParadox me

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersReactant

The Politics of Just Dance: Winnersrichardharo

The Politics of Just Dance: Winnersschnide

The Politics of Just Dance: Winnersstamp.your.foot

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersStuartC

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersTylor Perry

The Politics of Just Dance: WinnersZigzagoon


Kotaku

Endurance Run Fails a Third Time in Q*Bert Record BidIf George Leutz hasn't gone completely Ahab already, I'd advise him to let go of the Q*Bert world record. His latest assault on the mark, whose 33 million score is believed to require more than 70 hours of nonstop gameplay, ended in exhaustion after 57 hours, 40 minutes on a single quarter at the joystick. His final score was 26,721,915.



It was Leutz's third attempt to overtake the mark of 33,273,520 set in 1983 by Canadian Rob Gerhardt. The first, in April, ended when someone kicked a power cable to a machine elsewhere in the arcade where Leutz had been playing, creating a surge that reset the machine after 30 hours of work. Leutz's second bid, in May, ended when he was overcome by fatigue at the 54-hour mark.



The 28-year-old record survived another serious challenge when marathon gamer Rick Carter, noted for scoring a billion points in Nibbler fell apart at 59 hours, with a score of 28 million.



Scott Patterson, who carried a live stream of Leutz's attempt at Richie Knucklez arcade in Flemington, N.J., suggested that this could be Leutz' last try at the mark. While I sympathize with Leutz considerably, I also think it's time for Dr. Henry Jones to gently tell Junior to let go of the Grail.



Fatigue brings New Year's Q*bert record attempt to early end [Arcade Game Examiner]


Kotaku

Big Game Makers Take Names Off SOPA SupportThe Stop Online Piracy Act, currently a bill before the Congress, is utterly detested by the Internet, in case you don't read the Internet. Gamers don't think much of it either, as it would have some rather stupid ramifications for how they enjoy that lifestyle and consume its products. So it's of note that Nintendo, Sony and Electronic Arts have taken their names off the latest list of supporters of the bill.



Business Insider points us to the official Senate Judiciary committee roundup of supporters and notes that, last time, Sony, Nintendo and EA were on this list. This time they aren't. It's not hard to guess why, given what happened to GoDaddy; it's terrible PR in the sector that is most opposed to the bill and requires the most management, even on a good day.



Now, Sony still has three music divisions listed in support, and as Voodoo Extreme notes, it, Nintendo and EA are members of the Entertainment Software Association, and that organization is still listed in support. So there's still lobbying in support of this bill done on behalf of all three, and you better believe they are very influential members of that organization. My opinion is that one of the three, maybe, and two of them definitely, could get the ESA to drop its name. That is my opinion, though.



To make a record of it, yes, we're aware that Anonymous has allegedly threatened Sony over this. Again, this is by definition a leaderless organization, so anyone can make and upload a video threat in its name. Similar calls to action have been shot down by others within Anonymous in the past. So whether this comes to pass, no one can say, and no one can say if this is even a legitimate threat.



But it does speak, generally, for the anger against SOPA, and it's not hard to see why Sony would pull its name—well, the names over its video game unit, anyway—from the bill in light of that. That's not to say it, Nintendo of America and EA no longer support it, not with the ESA still aboard.



Now The Largest Game Companies In The World Have Dropped Support For A Bill The Internet Hates [Business Insider]


Dec 31, 2011
Kotaku

Ring in the NewTomorrow brings the new year, in all of its promise. One of those promises is new games. The final Moneysaver of 2011 has more than 60 deals on this year's crop of games, and a couple for next year's. too. Check them out!



Software


• Jan. 31 release Final Fantasy XIII-2 (360, PS3) is $44.99, free shipping from ToysRus. Next best is $57. [Dealzon]



• Jan. 31 release Soul Calibur V (360, PS3) is $47.99, free shipping from NewEgg today and Sunday. Amazon is $59.99 plus $10 credit. [Dealzon]





• Amazon offers Buy One Game, Get Another 40% Off. Choose from 574 titles for 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS, PSP. A solid Nintendo 3DS combo would be Mario Kart 7 plus Spider Man: Edge of Time for $62.54, that's $14.46 less than buying separately for $77. [Dealzon]



Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (360, PS3) is $34.99 from Best Buy. Next best is $40. [Dealzon]



Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) is $39.99, free shipping from Amazon, matching Best Buy's price this week. New low by $5 and has been selling at $50. [Dealzon]



Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3) is still $39.99, free shipping from Amazon, matching Best Buy's sale this week. Has been $50 and up the past couple weeks. [Dealzon]



Cabela's Big Game Hunter 2012 with Top Shot Elite Gun (Wii) is $34.99 from Best Buy. Next best is $59. [Dealzon]



Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3) is $29.99, free shipping from Best Buy. Next best is $40. [Dealzon]



UFC Personal Trainer (Xbox 360) is $29.99, free shipping from GameStop. Next best is $47. [Dealzon]



Warhammer 40K: Space Marine (360, PS3) is $29.99, free shipping from Best Buy. Next best is $40. [Dealzon]



Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (360, PS3) is $8.74 from Amazon. Next best is $19. [Dealzon]



Sims Medieval (PC Download) is $14.99 from Amazon. Next best is $30. [Dealzon]



Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition (PC Download) is $8.99 from Amazon. Next best is $30. [Dealzon]



Dragon Age 2 (PC Download) is $5.99 from Amazon. Next best is $20. [Dealzon]



Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC Download) is $5.99 from Amazon. Next best is $20. [Dealzon]



Medal of Honor (PC Download) is $5.99 from Amazon. Next best is $20. [Dealzon]



Dead Space 2 (PC Download) is $4.99 from Amazon. Next best is $20. [Dealzon]



Crysis 2 (PC Download) plus $5 Download Credit is $9.99 from Amazon. Usually $30. [Dealzon]



Hardware


• Xbox 360 Live 12-Month Gold Subscription Card is $38.99, free shipping from NewEgg. Amazon dropped the instant online code to $39.99. [Dealzon]



• Xbox 360 320GB Console Gears of War 3 Limited Edition Bundle is $299.99, free shipping from NewEgg. Best Buy offers $350 plus $75 Gift Card. Elsewhere $370+. [Dealzon]



• Xbox 360 320GB Console Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Limited Edition Bundle plus $75 Gift Card is $399.99, free shipping from Best Buy. Both Amazon and NewEgg dropped to $380 but no bonus. [Dealzon]



• Xbox 360 4GB Slim Console plus $75 Credit is $199.99, free shipping from Microsoft. [Dealzon]



• PlayStation Move LittleBigPlanet 2 Special Edition Bundle is $84.99, free shipping from Amazon. Next best is $100. [Dealzon]



• Dell S2330MX 23-inch 1080p 2ms LED Monitor is $149.99, free shipping from Staples. Next best is $190. [Dealzon]



HP Envy 17-2290NR 17.3-inch 3D 1080p laptop with Quad Core i7-2670QM, 8GB RAM, Radeon HD 6850M, Blu-ray, and 3D Glasses is $1,299.99, free shipping from Amazon. That's cheapest ever by $100 and $171 off the next best price of $1,471. [Dealzon]



HP dv6tqe Quad Edition 15.6-inch laptop with Core i7-2670QM, discrete AMD Radeon 1GB, 8GB RAM, Blu-ray is $724.99. That's $50 less than Cyber Monday. [Dealzon]



Digital Distribution


The following listing of digital download bargains are grouped by distributor. For more, see Deals4Downloads' roundup.



Adventure Shop

Ankh Trilogy is $12.49, save 50 percent.

Black Mirror III is $9.99, save 50 percent.



Amazon

The Saboteur is $4.99, save 75 percent.

Dead Space 2 is $4.99, save 75 percent.

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight is $4.99, save 75 percent.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 is $5.99, save 70 percent.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam - Expansion is $4.49, save 70 percent.

Darkspore is $6.99, save 65 percent.

Emergency 3 is $3.98, save 60 percent.

Borderlands Game of the Year Edition is $14.99, save 50 percent.

Bulletstorm is $9.99, save 50 percent.

Duke Nukem Forever is $9.99, save 50 percent.



BigFish Games

Letters from Nowhere is $2.99, save 57 percent.



Direct2Drive

The Saboteur is $4.95, save 75 percent.

Ship Simulator Extremes is $10.50, save 65 percent.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution is $14.95, save 50 percent.



GamersGate

Medieval 2 Total War Gold Edition is $2.48, save 92 percent.

Total War: Shogun 2 is €7.48, save 75 percent.

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is $3.73, save 75 percent.

The Oddboxx is $3.74, save 75 percent.

Sid Meier's Civilization V - Game of the Year Edition is $16.98, save 66 percent.

Cities in Motion Collection is $13.58, save 66 percent.

Hearts of Iron 3 Collection is $10.18, save 66 percent.



Get Games

RUSE is $9.99, save 80 percent.

UFO Trilogy is $6.39, save 80 percent.



GMG

Penumbra Collection is $5.99, save 75 percent.

Darkness Within 2 The Dark Lineage is $5.99, save 70 percent.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder is $2.99, save 70 percent.

Star Ruler is $7.48, save 70 percent.



Impulse

Homefront is $7.49, save 75 percent.

The Haunted: Hells Reach is $4.99, save 75 percent.



Mac App Store

Monster Truck Hero HD (Mac) is $1.99, save 60 percent.

CoreBreach (Mac) is $2.99, save 57 percent.

Ninja USA (Mac) is $1.99, save 50 percent.



Steam

Huge Holiday Sale up to 75% off on hundreds of downloads



Kotaku thanks our coupon partners for providing these and other great deals. Be sure to bookmark and search their Kotaku hashtags (#dealzon, #deals4downloads and #dealtaku) for updates throughout the week. Further, to our friends across the pond and north of the border, check the #ukdeals, #europedeals and #canadadeals hashtags and be sure to flag any deals you might have with that.



As always, smart gamers can find values any day of the week, so if you've run across a deal, share it with us in the comments.





For more savings, follow Dealzon and Deals4Downloads on Twitter.
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