Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

As with every online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic must constantly offer something new for subscribers to come back to. While the 1.2 update ("Legacy") launched only a month ago, Electronic Arts and BioWare have announced plans for the next content update, titled "Allies."

Little else is known about the update, other than it will be available in EA's fiscal "Q1" time frame--or before the end of June.

Shacker limpossible notes that the 1.3 update (which "Allies" likely is) will include "a dungeon finder, expand the legacy, and include a new raid."

EA's recent financial report notes the overall health of the SWTOR community. EA says the community now has 1.3 million subscribers, a significant drop from 1.7 million in February. EA previously said that subscriptions were stable, but active logins were in decline. Could "Allies" possibly stop the downward momentum?

Shacknews - Steve Watts

After years of attempting to recapture the brand with offshoots and plastic peripherals, Tony Hawk is getting a downloadable retro revamp this year. And while Activision hasn't given an official release yet, the game's namesake has shot out a release window anyway. According to Hawk himself, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD will hit in June.

A tweet from Hawk (via Push Square) mentions the release. After name-dropping the upcoming game, he mentions: "(out in June... yeah I said it)." Tony, you rebel, you. Assuming this casual mention wasn't a part of the marketing roll-out plan, he might have spilled the beans early. Even so, we doubt Activision minds all that much.

Hawk recently took to a Q&A about the upcoming game, confirming returning secret characters like Officer Dick and Ollie the Magic Bum, five online modes, and a soundtrack half-composed of older songs from the series.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Let's face it: The new Avengers movie is one of the best comic-book-to-film adaptation to come out in a long time (thanks, Joss Whedon). Given its big-budget status and plethora of superheroes, it only stands to reason that the next step is a film-to-video game adaptation, and that apparently has already begun.

Marvel, through brand protection firm MarkMonitor, has registered the domain for Avengers: Battle for Earth and it is currently sitting on Ubisoft servers.

The fact that Ubisoft is involved is puzzling, since Marvel's VP of games production TQ Jefferson told Forbes that the new movie game would be coming from Disney, which purchased the comics giant in 2009. Jefferson also said that Sega would no longer be involved with the games and Disney Interactive would take over. Marvel: Avengers Alliance is already a Facebook game through Disney's Playdom brand.

In late 2011, videos surfaced on YouTube showing an Avengers game being developed by THQ's Studio Australia before it was closed down. The videos were removed soon after the story broke.

Ubisoft refused to comment, but we've also reached out to Marvel and Disney to see what gamers can expect in the way of an Avengers game. Whether it comes from Ubisoft or Disney, something is brewing.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The Binding of Isaac downloadable content "Wrath of the Lamb" finally has a release date. The "mega expansion" will hit on May 28 for $3, indie developer Edmund McMillen announced today. Accompanying the announcement are more details on the expansion's features, as well as a new trailer.

All told, the expansion includes more than 100 items, 5 chapters, 20 enemies, 15 bosses, 6 room types, 6 mysterious item drops, 5 new music tracks, an unlockable character, a new final chapter, and various other secrets. McMillen points out that this will be the final expansion for The Binding of Isaac, so hopefully it keeps the game's fans sated for a good long while.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Sony's San Diego studio is known for their quality work on the MLB The Show series. Year after year, critics have called it the best baseball game in the biz, beating Take-Two's MLB 2K series. However, that wasn't the only sports franchise that called San Diego its home. The studio also worked on NBA The Inside, a series that disappeared after its 2008 release.

So what happened?

Christian Phillips, San Diego Studio senior director talked about the commitment Sony has to its baseball game in the latest issue of GameQ (now available on iPad, free). He said that the team could no longer work on other sports games, as their focus is to "ensure that we never take away from or dilute the excellent experience delivered each year in MLB The Show."

Delivering a "best-in-class" game offers a reason "why sports fans need to own a PlayStation console," Phillips added.

Consolidating the studio's focus to just one sports game appears to have yielded significant critical returns. Whereas the final installment of NBA The Inside floundered with a 63 Metacritic score, MLB The Show has seen remarkable improvement, going from a 77 score in 2007 to entirely positive reviews from 09 to now.


For more behind-the-scenes on MLB 12: The Show, read issue one of GameQ, now available on the App Store.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The hit TV show Family Guy is getting another video game, Activision confirmed today. The rumored Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is official, though details like its developer, release target, and even game type are still wrapped up in mystery.

What we do know is that the game is coming to consoles (likely PS3/360 as leaked), and will feature the voice cast and writers behind the TV show. This is not to be confused with Family Guy Online, which recently began opening the beta in waves.

"Fans of Family Guy will love that we've taken some of the series' most iconic and memorable moments and built them into an impressive and uncensored video game," said Activision executive VP David Oxford, in the announcement. "Anyone who watches the show will appreciate how much we have adhered to its rich and twisted universe and characters."

You can watch the episode that inspired the video game on Hulu (US viewers only).

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

The rumor has become real. You can now get a brand new 4GB Xbox 360 console with Kinect for $99. Of course, there's a catch--you'll have to agree to a two-year Xbox Live subscription agreement, charged at $15 a month.

The offer is being made at Microsoft Store locations nationwide. Unfortunately for many, there are only 21 locations across the US. Also, do note that taking advantage of this deal will have you spending more than buying an Xbox 360 with Kinect and two years of Xbox Live at its regular rate.

As we noted earlier, the subsidized bundle would cost $459 versus $419 buying it upfront. In addition, taking advantage of this offer may trigger a credit check, according to the terms and conditions of the promotion.

Whereas the earlier rumor suggested additional services would be added to make the $15 monthly fee more palpable (Xbox Live normally goes for about $5 a month), that does not appear to be the case. If this package included some sort of extra premium service, it certainly would be a deal. However, without one, it definitely seems less enticing.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

GameFly Media, parent company of Shacknews, has launched a brand new digital magazine. Called GameQ, it is the "official magazine of GameFly"--and best of all, it's free.

Available now on the iPad, the interactive digital magazine combines exclusive articles with screenshots and videos, all in a sleek, easy-to-understand interface. Issue one covers Halo 4, Max Payne 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and much more.

Initial reviews have been positive from iTunes users, with Philly RPG calling it "literally the best digital magazine I have ever seen!" However, some users point out the lack of Retina support for the new iPad, and the large issue file size (around 400MB).

While iPad owners are getting a first jump at the magazine, Android users need not feel left out. A version for Android tablets is also on the way.

GameQ

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Nintendo debuted the Wii U with a teaser reel of hardcore, third-party franchises at E3 last year. Now that we're ramping up for another E3, with expectations of specific launch line-up details from the Wii U, we've started to see reports trickle in regarding third-parties. Those plans may have been blown wide open today, with a rumor of several game names spotted at a UK retailer.

Go Nintendo reports on a series of purported photos from Blockbuster UK. The list includes many games currently slated for PS3 and Xbox 360, like Metro: Last Light and Aliens: Colonial Marines. More interesting are the unannounced titles like Just Dance 4, Marvel Super Heroes, and Rabbids Party Land. Some, like "Shield Pose" and "Zombie" are a total mystery.

The list looks legitimate enough, but it's unconfirmed at this point. Shacknews has contacted Nintendo of America, but the real word probably won't come until E3.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Adventure game fans have answered the call of Jane Jensen's Pinkerton Road Studios, pledging more than the company's required $300,000 Kickstarter goal to ensure the creation of its first game Moebius.

But Jensen and business partner/husband Robert Holmes revealed that the company has a team ready to go to make a second adventure game.

Instead of repeating another round of Kickstarter funding, the title will be funded and released through the traditional publisher route. They didn't reveal too much about "Mystery Game X," other than to say it will be a dark mystery third-person adventure.

Jensen said more won't be revealed until the Kickstarter campaign ends on May 18. Those who pledge $50 or more will get both Moebius and Mystery Game X, while those at the two lowers tiers would have their choice of either game, but not both.

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