Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Goichi 'Suda51' Suda's studio Grasshopper Manufacture, maker of No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw, has been snapped up by Japanese publisher GungHo Online Entertainment. Suda51 says that joining forces "will support our vision to further create inspired new games that appeal players across the world" while GungHo hints that its own online expertise may help Grasshopper.

Grasshopper will continue work on its current projects, the only one of which we know is Killer Is Dead, as before the acquisition. What exactly GungHo has in mind for Grasshopper is under wraps for now but it's unlikely to interfere too much because, well, why buy Grasshopper if you don't want it to do its own wacky thing?

"We believe the strength of a publisher lies in its creative talent so with the addition of Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda1 we are adding some of the most innovative talent in today's gaming world to our stellar family of independently-operated studios," GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita said in today's announcement. "Suda51 projects are known to put a unique spin on every game so coupled with our proven ability to support development with AAA resources including a tailored online experience, we believe gamers will benefit from this collaboration."

Grasshopper has tended to skip online multiplayer, so perhaps change is afoot.

GungHo also owns Way of the Samurai developer Acquire, Ragnarok Odyssey maker and Grandia creator Game Arts, and Ragnarok Online dev Gravity.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Disney announced yesterday that it had closed down its Epic Mickey development house Junction Point Studios. Studio chief Warren Spector had been silent to that point other than a vague post on LinkedIn that he was unemployed. But Spector has finally spoken up via Facebook, saying that he still has plans for the future.

"Whatever you think of me, or Junction Point, or Disney or the Disney Epic Mickey games - yes, I know we polarized people! - I'll always look back on the last eight years with nothing but pride," he said in his post. "Rarely have I worked with a team more dedicated or harder working. Never have I been part of a game - of anything, really - that touched people at as deep or personal a level as the Epic Mickey games. That's priceless.

I said to myself as Junction Point embarked on the Epic Mickey journey that, worst case, we'd be 'a footnote in Disney history,'" he continued. "Looking back on it, I think we did far better than that. With Mickey Mouse as our hero, we introduced a mainstream audience to some cool 'core game' concepts... and, most especially, we restored Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to a place of prominence."

The post thanks Disney and his hardworking team, and mentions that he's still not sure what he will do next, but says he is "excited for the future." When Spector left Ion Storm in 2004, he founded Junction Point the following year, so it it is unlikely that he will stay idle for too long.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

"What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat?" That is the tagline that sells Injustice: Gods Among Us, NetherRealm Studios' DC Universe brawler. For months, we've seen Superman duke it out with Batman--but why? What could possibly cause all these heroes (and villains) to go all Mortal Kombat on each other?

Spoiler Alert!

A new trailer reveals a threat by the Joker to detonate a nuclear bomb at the heart of Metropolis. However, it's not just a threat. In the very opening moments of the game, you see that he's made good on his word.

The story of Injustice will be told achronologically, jumping between the future and the past. In the game's intro cinematic, you'll see a distraught Joker at the mercy of Superman. The clown revels in his success, killing not only Lois Lane, but Superman's unborn son. Batman attempts to calm the superhero, but it fails--Superman kills the Joker by punching through his chest.

After that introduction, the story jumps to before Joker could detonate the bomb. Batman is the focus of the game's first chapter, which has him starting his investigation of Joker's escape. After a fight with Deathstroke, the story continues into space, where Batman must fight Lex Luthor. Taking a page from Mortal Kombat, once Batman's chapter ends, the story will go on to another character, revealing more on why these characters are duking it out.

It's not surprising that Superman has gone evil. What is more surprising, however, is the characters that appear to have turned "good" in an effort to take down Superman and his Superfriends' totalitarian regime. While ultimately, the story of Injustice merely serves as an excuse to have these heroes brawl, this unique twist on the DC Universe should entice any comic book fan.

Injustice: Gods Among Us will be available on Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360 on April 16.

Shacknews - Tyler J. Smith

January 29, 2013, and this is your Late Night Computing for Tuesday.

One week until Dead Space 3 launches. As much as I'm anticipating this game, the marketing has really left a bitter taste in my mouth. Dead Space and Dead Space 2 have some particularly great music, with the credits song in the second sticking in my head for quite some time. Will Dead Space 3 continue the trend? I'll let you know next week!

News bits:

  • CCP Manifest, the EVE Online Public Relations and Social Media Fleet Commander, takes to EVE Insider to discuss the massive fleet battles from last weekend. [via Den of Geek]

  • Will men 'fall apart' if a female compatriot is killed in combat? Seems there is no scientific evidence that says yes. [via Popular Science]

  • Youtube is set to roll out paid subscriptions coming Spring 2013, with initial fees between $1.00 and $5.00. [via AdAge]

  • The Accessibility Project aims to help web developers make their content more accessible for all users. [via A11Project]

  • Google and Microsoft argue in-favor of immigration reform as President Obama and a cadre of politicians being to make a political push. [via TheNextWeb]

Chatty posts of the moment:

Make sure you log-in and check your filters if you can't see the following:

  • "How would LAN parties work back in the day? I never went to one. From what I understand, your mom drops you off at around 6 PM, there is a lot of pizza and soda, you play games until 4 AM until you crash and then your mom picks you up in the morning. No girls allowed. If this is how it went down I am insanely jealous (not kidding)." [by The Grolar Bear]

  • "Update to my Ubisoft Support problems from yesterday. They blocked my ability to post on their Facebook page. Please note, I only posted my problem once on FB and once on Twitter. I did call twice." [by amrbean]

Nightly file:

    Synergies mod version 1.46 for Torchlight 2. "SynergiesMOD is a complete conversion for Torchlight 2! Adding 108 Elite monsters, 6 Rare dragons, 28 Raid dungeons, 11 unique World Bosses, 4 Sets of Legendary Armor, 16 new Tier-1 Legendary Weapons, brand new Quest lines, a new World hub for ACT5, and a whole new class: The Necromancer. Future plans include 24 planned Classes, 3 more Raid Dungeon chains, 2 Quest hubs, 2 more ACTS of overworld play, 3 more Legendary Armor sets, a second tier of legendary weapons, as well as fleshing out the tier1 weapons with more options! The mod is aggressively developed and the community is being built around inclusion and discussion on our Website, Steam group and Facebook pages." Download the mod here.

Media:

Dungeonland launch trailer:

Paradox Interactive and Critical Studio release Dungeonland into the wild, allowing players to create their very own ghastly medieval theme park.

Gazillion Entertainment ends the day with a Marvel Heroes developer diary, a character exploration trailer for Omerta - City of Gangsters, automated soldiers come to Battlefield Heroes, celebrate the All Points Bulletin: Reloaded one year anniversary with two trailers, DC Universe Online launches the Home Turf expansion, Serious Sam Double D XXL examines its numerous weapons, and Crysis 3 opens its multiplayer beta with a new gameplay trailer.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Hey, remember Prince of Persia? So does Ubisoft. But that doesn't mean you can expect a new game in that franchise any time soon.

Ubisoft Montreal is the team responsible for both the 2008 reboot and the 2010 movie tie-in The Forgotten Sands. However, CEO Yannis Mallat confirmed that the series is currently taking a break. "I think it is fair to say that, right now, Prince of Persia is being paused."

Speaking to IGN, Mallat said that fans shouldn't be concerned by the franchise's status. "I'm not scared at all for Prince of Persia fans," he said. "We'll find something to entertain them with in the future. Prince of Persia is part of Ubisoft's portfolio. As a matter of fact, we sometimes iterate on franchises and sometimes we give them time to breathe and time to grow, or time to rest. Prince of Persia is as important as any other franchise for Ubisoft. As soon as we have something to show, we will."

He added that "we said the same thing for some other brands that suddenly popped up because a team is willing to do it." Let's not forget the 26 year gap between Zombi and ZombiU, folks.

Shacknews - Nikole Zivalich

Disney has confirmed today that it has closed Austin-based developer Junction Point Studios, the brainchild of Warren Spector and creator of the Epic Mickey series. Then, Crytek is opening a new studio in Austin, Texas. It will be the first US development studio for the company best known for Crysis. David Adams, former co-owner of Vigil, will head the team. Finally, Epic has decided to show off its Unreal Engine 3 tech on Android, with the release of Epic Citadel for Android devices. The free app offers plenty of pretty visuals, and houses a few new features to boot.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube. And, don't forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes as they go up.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

EA and Maxis have already announced the digital deluxe edition of SimCity. But since showing is more effective than telling, they've produced a snazzy new trailer to display the features that come in the set for 20 extra bucks.

The $80 digital deluxe edition includes landmarks and city sets for Great Britain, France, and Germany, along with more buildings, vehicles, and an influx of tourists to your bustling little burg. You'll also get extra missions and achievements. The game is due on March 5. Check out the new trailer below.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Another classic board game is getting pushed into the digital realm today, with the launch of Stratego on iPad and Facebook. The online title from developer Keesing Games lets you play cross-platform and features various customization options in your effort to capture the flag from the clutches of the largely mustachioed opposing force.

The game is $6.99 on the App Store or free-to-play on Facebook. You can play the full 40-piece game, or a quick 10-piece game when time is precious. You can customize game pieces and maps as well, though we expect they'll all be pretty similar. You need to cut through enemy pieces to make your way to the enemy flag, hidden behind soldiers, spies, and mines.

"Stratego transports the classic strategy game into the digital era with enriched web and mobile versions," said Keesing's Dennis Maas, in the announcement. "Fans of the original board game will experience the same great game they love, but now with modern-day features that they can play anywhere."

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The quirky, creepy Little Inferno is getting littler this week, with an iPad port. It's coming on January 31, and developer Tomorrow Corporation promises it hasn't been retrofitted with in-app purchases and ads -- just the sweet smokey burn of the game itself.

The announcement (via Eurogamer) also says it will sport GameCenter achievements. This version will ship with the same language options as the PC and Wii U versions (English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and German), with an update for Brazilian Portuguese and Italian coming for all platforms soon. Pricing was not detailed.

Our own review found the game morbid fun with a surprisingly sentimental punch. If you want that in a size you can take on the bus, the iPad version might be worth checking out.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Adding online co-op in paid DLC for a $10 downloadable game over two years after it launched is a curious move, but who can grumble when we'll get to beat up baddies with our chums in the charming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World? The multiplayer DLC is now slated to launch next week, on Xbox 360 at least, priced at $2 (160 MS Points).

The revelation comes from Xbox Live's Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb. Yes, the same chap who previously pegged it for an August 2012 launch at $5. What fantastic twisting story must lie behind the development and release of this strange and wondrous DLC?

It's not just online multiplayer coming, oh no, as the DLC also adds Scott's roomie Wallace Wells as a playable character. The pack hits Xbox 360 on February 6. One imagines it'll launch on PlayStation 3 the day before, but publisher Ubisoft hasn't confirmed this.

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