Daily Gaming News – 24/01/13

January 24, 2013

  • NEWS: Results from yesterday’s auctioning of troubled publisher THQ’s assets have been made public. At the top of the list, SEGA has acquired Relic for $26.6 million, putting Company of Heroes 2 under their banner. German based company Koch Media has acquired Volition under their Deep Silver label for $22.3 million, and is assumed to continue development on Saint’s Row 3. In addition to this, Koch Media has also picked up publishing rights to 4A Games ‘ Metro: Last Light for $5.9 million. Paying $544,218, Crytek has acquired full rights to the Homefront brand, ensuring continued development of Homefront 2. Take-Two has nabbed the rights to Turtle Rock Studios’ project titled Evolve for $10.9 million, and are rumoured to have picked up licensing rights for future WWE games. Lastly, Ubisoft threw $3.26 million towards South Park: The Stick of Truth to ensure it gets finished, and have curiously nabbed THQ Montreal for $10.9 million. THQ Montreal was working on two titles, including a project titled 1666, which was spearheaded by Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets, who ironically left Ubisoft for THQ many moons ago.
  • NEWS: Sadly, Darksiders series developer Vigil Games did not make the cut in above biddings, forcing the studio today to close its doors. Over twitter, Japanese developer Platinum Games has expressed interest in Vigil personnel, suggesting those interested in heading over to Japan forward their resumes to their hiring department. Rocket Chainsaw would like to wish the best of luck to ex-Vigil personnel in finding work elsewhere.
  • NEWS: Next to THQ news, Nintendo has rolled out big announcements regarding the Wii U. Headlining their Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata detailed the future of Nintendo’s Miiverse service along with the system firmware. Miiverse access will extend to mobile devices sometime in the near future via firmware updates that also aim to speed up application switching and loading, a common complaint directed towards the Wii U’s operating system. Iwata also announced celebrations of the Famicon’s (or as we know it, Nintendo Entertainment System) 30th Anniversary. Each month Nintendo will be offering one classic NES/SNES game for the low price of AU$0.30. The first is Balloon Fight, and it is available now.
  • NEWS: The Wii U’s virtual console service was also detailed. Similar to the Wii, the virtual console will offer classic Nintendo titles from the Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and GameBoy Advance (among others) for purchase and play on the Wii U. Each title will be enhanced with save state emulation, along with off-screen GamePad play. Region pricing for NES sit at AU$6.50 / NZ$8.50, meanwhile  SNES games will be available for AU$10.40 / NZ$13.60. In addition to this, Nintendo will allow owners of Wii NES virtual console titles to upgrade to the enhanced Wii U version for AU$1.30 / NZ$1.70, and upgrade their SNES games for AU$1.95 / NZ$2.55.
  • VIDEO: And to prove the Wii U does indeed have games worth looking forward to, Nintendo released a whole bunch of trailers and teases to get people talking. First up, spearheading their collaboration with Platinum Games, the publisher provided a new trailer for Hideki Kamiya’s The Wonderful 101, as well as a developer diary on Bayonetta 2.

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  • VIDEO: Monolith Soft, the minds behind Xenoblade and Baten Kaitos, also got around to announcing their first Wii U title. Tentatively titled X, you can check out the trailer below.

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  • VIDEO: Iwata spoke about Nintendo’s direction with the Wii U, emphasising the importance of collaborations with developers. As an example of this, Nintendo announced a partnership with Atlus, aiming to provide a title called Shin-Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. Here’s a teaser.

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  • VIDEO: Showing renewed interest in the Yoshi brand, Nintendo announced a new Yoshi title for Wii U. Built in collaboration with Good Feel, the guys behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi Wii U features a similar focus on yarn and twine, blending 2D and 2.5D environments.

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  • VIDEO: Touching on Nintendo’s more iconic properties, The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma took a moment to discuss the franchise’ direction for the Wii U. Firstly, Zelda Wii U is in early pre-production stages, and being designed under the philosophy of “Rethink the conventions of Zelda”. Aonuma noted single player and linearity as too components taken for granted, and the necessity for change, mentioning Skyward Sword as an attempt to uproot linearity though not to the extent they hoped for. Secondly, Aonuma announced The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, a remake of the classic Nintendo Gamecube title. To be released later this year, Wind Waker HD will utilise a new rendering engine, have off-screen GamePad play and Miiverse support, along with various polishes to the gameplay formula. Eiji Aonuma’s talk on The Legend of Zelda for Wii U can be watched below.

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  • NEWS: Finally, covering those other big Nintendo properties, Iwata announced that the core team behind Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D Land would be revealing a playable build of their Super Mario title for Wii U at E3 2013, along with the Mario Kart team doing the same for their franchise. Masahiro Sakurai’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has also been confirmed for an appearance at E3 2013.