Shacknews - Xav de Matos
Put away those history books because EA is recapping all of your favorite tales in video form. The latest trailer for Dead Space 2 revisits the events that have occurred to bring mankind face-to-face with the murderous necromorphs and the original game's quiet hero, Isaac Clarke.

Clarke returns in Dead Space 2; however, he's got a little more attitude and a lot more internal conflict, this time around. We're not sure how far the game's dev team, Visceral Games, is going with the personal drama theme but we sincerely hope one of Isaac's special moves isn't cowering in a corner and listening to Alexisonfire.

Watch the video on Shackvideo.

Dead Space 2 arrives for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on January 25, 2011. As of yesterday, a demo for the single-player section of the game is available on both the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace.

Read More

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
Considering that Call of Duty: Black Ops raked in $360 million on launch day and $650 million within five, publisher Activision's proud boast today that sales of the shooter have now passed $1 billion is perhaps no surprise but that still certainly is a big number.

That's $1,000,000,000 sold-through, according to Activision's internal estimates, for the Cold War-era shooter which launched on November 9. Fancy some more numbers? Over 600 million hours of Cod Blops playtime have been clocked up. On Xbox 360, Microsoft says that the average user logs on over once per day for over an hour, playing with friends over half the time. Numbers!

"In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and 'Avatar' have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly," commented Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in the announcement, going on to say:

This is a tribute to the global appeal of the Call of Duty franchise, the exceptional talent at Treyarch and the hundreds of extraordinary people across our many Call of Duty studios including Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer that work tirelessly on the franchise. Our ability to provide the most compelling, immersive entertainment experience, and enhance it with regular, recurring content that delivers hundreds of hours of audience value, has allowed Call of Duty to continue to set sales and usage

Read More

Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Square Enix has released Secret of Mana on iOS, with an iPhone and iPod Touch optimized version now available for $8.99. The classic action-RPG was originally released in 1993 on the SNES.

In celebration of the release, Square Enix has discounted a bunch of its previously released iOS games, though the discounts haven't reached EA's 99 cents level of craziness. The deals are listed below:

Apps for the iPhone/iPod touch

  • CHAOS RINGS: $12.99 -> $5.99
  • CRYSTAL DEFENDERS: $7.99 -> $3.99

    Read More

Shacknews - Brian Leahy
A demo for Blizzard's StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is now available for download on PC and Mac and is a bit different from the guest passes that have been circulating through friend referrals.

The free demo includes the first three missions of the campaign as well as a Terran vs. Terran skirmish mode versus the AI. The demo is playable offline and does not require a Battle.net account to try. It is currently limited to the US English version of the game, but additional languages are coming.

The guest pass access includes the full game, but is limited to 7 hours of gameplay or 14 days since activation, whichever comes first. The demo is unlimited, but features a small subset of the content in the game.

Read More

Shacknews - Xav de Matos
Indie developer Unknown Worlds has been inspired by the flurry of sales around the internet and has decided to get in on the action themselves.

"In light of all the awesome sales happening for games all over the net, we thought we should spread some holiday cheer too," the dev's official site says. From now until an undisclosed time, anyone who purchases a copy of the team's upcoming (and anticipated) first-person shooter Natural Selection 2 will receive a second copy for free.

Although there is no set date for the promotion, the Natural Selection 2 purchase site notes that there are only 10,000 holiday special packages available. If Natural Selection 2 is on your radar, this might be a good opportunity for you and a friend to split the cost.

Read More

Shacknews - Brian Leahy
If you were curious what the Blood Ravens have been up to since Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, simply watch this trailer for Dawn of War II: Retribution.

Watch the video on Shackvideo.

The standalone expansion, due out in March, will utilize Steamworks and will eventually get a beta test for owners of the original game and Chaos Rising. It will also include campaigns for the Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids.

Read More

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
A new round of downloadable content for Activision's rhythm games Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and DJ Hero 2 is out today on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

The mix 'em up scores three remixes of tunes from Linkin Park, while the strum 'em up gets three tunes from grizzled shock-rockers KISS--including what is boldly described as "possibly one of the greatest rock songs of all time," 'Rock And Roll All Nite.'

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock - KISS-mas Track Pack

  • Rock And Roll All Nite
  • Detroid Rock City
  • Calling Dr. Love
DJ Hero 2 - Linkin Park Mix Pack
  • The Catalyst (Does It Offend You, Yeah? Remix)
  • When They Come For Me mashup by Diplo
  • Pts.OF.Athrty
The Kiss GH tracks will cost you $2 (160 Microsoft Points; 200 Wii Points) a pop, or can be had slightly discounted in the $5.49 (440 MS Points; 550 Wii Points) KISS-mas Track Pack. The Linkin Park Mix Pack for DJ Hero 2, meanwhile, is priced at $8 (640 MS Points), with individual tracks available on Wii alone for $3 (300 Wii Points).

Read More

Shacknews - Xav de Matos
After suffering at the hands of the nefarious industry villain, Doctor Delay, Sony Online Entertainment revealed a new release date for its superhero-fueled MMO.

DC Universe Online is now set to arrive for the PC and PlayStation 3 on January 11 in North America and on January 14 in Europe, SOE confirmed to IGN in an interview. Sony Online Entertainment also revealed a lifetime subscription option for the game, priced at $199 (about the price of just over a year of service).

DC Universe Online

While the prospect of purchasing a single subscription to your favorite MMO sounds like a grand idea, the fear is that the game may not live long enough to make it worth the investment. According to Chris Cao, DC Universe Online's future is about as strong as Superman with a tan. "We're going to be here for far more than a single year. We've got a lot of universe to build, and we're not going to stop anytime soon," he told IGN.

As a "thank you" to beta testers, Cao detailed a plan for an upcoming "end-of-beta" event that will occur prior to the game's launch

Read More

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
If you've been waiting for Nintendo to release more sports game starring Mario and his chums, you'll be pleased to hear your wait is almost at an end, as it was announced today that Mario Sports Mix's launch on Wii is scheduled for February 7, 2011.

Mario Sports Mix packs hockey, basketball, volleyball and dodgeball games in a variety of exotic environments, some of which will affect the game. As ever, there are power-ups such as green shells, banana peels and all that gubbins to mess with opponents.

Shacknews sent a roving reporter to play a little at E3 this year, who found it enjoyable but was uncertain whether it'd have the depth of Mario's standalone sports outings.

Read More

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
A group of ex-shareholders in Rock Band developer Harmonix, including several studio founders, are suing its parent company Viacom, Gamasutra reports, over allegedly attempting to avoid paying out performance-based bonuses for the rhythm game series.

When Viacom bought Harmonix back in 2006 for $175 million, it was agreed that Harmonix shareholders would be paid bonuses if the developer exceeded performance targets in 2007 and 2008. The ex-shareholders claim that they were never paid the 2008 bonus, which would have been based on any profit over $42 million. As the Rock Band franchise's retail sales were over $1 billion in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, the profits and payouts were probably substantial. The plaintiffs are still calculating a figure.

The group, which includes Harmonix co-founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, further claims that Viacom worked against Harmonix to reduce the amount it would potentially owe. The suit alleges that during distribution agreement negotiations with EA in 2008, Viacom sought benefits directly for itself, rather than a reduction in fees that would increase Harmonix's profits--and therefore those of the shareholders too.

Furthermore, there's the issue of $13 million supposedly held in an account, which was due to be released to the shareholders but held by Viacom following a variety of rhythm game patent lawsuits. The shareholders claim they are still owed this.

Viacom will surely fire back soon enough and it'll all get awfully messy. The company revealed last month, before this news broke, that it was seeking to sell off Harmonix.

Read More

...