Games publisher EA believes things will turn around for the company next year. This year has been pretty unpleasant for the company after its trusted DRM sunk its flagship SimCity release.
But Electronic Arts seems to think that is all behind it and has forecast fiscal 2014 earnings above Wall Street’s expectations. EA has been cutting staff and reorganizing studios in recent months to embrace new game platforms. It is preparing a new batch of games including the latest installment of its “Battlefield” shooter game franchise.
Digital revenue, from mobile games, online offerings and other newer sales channels, rose 45 percent year-over-year to $618 million, larger than EA’s packaged goods business in the fourth quarter ended on March 31. It thinks that consumers have held back from buying hardware and software as they await new versions of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox expected later this year.
The video game maker forecast revenue of $4 billion, in line with Wall Street’s expectations. Weakness in the packaged games market dented revenue, but EA recognized $120 million of deferred payments from its “Battlefield Premium” service in the fourth quarter.
For the latest quarter, total revenue declined to $1.2 billion from $1.37 billion a year ago. Adjusted revenue rose 6.4 percent to $1.04 billion over the same period, barely beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.03 billion.
Net income fell to $323 million from $400 million last year.
As anyone who has accidentally walked into a room full of children can tell you, they’re good at asking the kinds of questions that just keep drilling down. “Why is the sky blue? So why does blue light get scattered more? Then why is the sky red at sunset? Where are you going?”
And although I don’t recommend it, if you were to sit one of these little buggers down with a quarterly earnings reports from EA or Activision, they might soon start asking “Why are violent video games so much more popular than other games?” It’s a tricky question to answer without falling down the why hole. Because shooting stuff is fun. Why is it fun? Because people like military themes where they can be the hero. Okay, but why is that? Because players like feeling ridiculously powerful and enormous guns let them do that. But why is that appealing? Why, why, why?
Well, some psychologists are trying to tease apart the reasons why violence sells without throwing their hands up and shouting “Just because! And I’m not even your real dad!” Researchers Scott Rigby and Richard Ryan describe how they think that the design of violent games – especially shooters – naturally does a pretty good job of satisfying some very basic psychological needs. But not in the way you may be thinking.
In their book, Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound, Rigby and Ryan describe “self-determination theory,” a fairly well established framework that aims to describe why people pursue certain voluntary activities. In part, self-determination theory says that people are motivated to engage in activities to the extent that they satisfy three psychological needs:
- 1. Competence – progressing in skill and power.
- 2. Autonomy – being able to choose from multiple, meaningful options.
- 3. Relatedness – feeling important to others.
What does this have to do with violent shooters? Rigby, Ryan, and their colleagues argue that many of the design principles of good shooters also happen to follow well worn paths to satisfying these three psychological needs. Let’s take a closer look.
Competence is communicated by immediate and unambiguous positive feedback in response to your actions – you see opponents stagger, see blood fly off them, and ultimately see them collapse. The beloved headshot is particularly effective in this regard. Scott Rigby notes, “I’ll often put up a slide with a great screenshot of a headshot, and it always elicits smiles. The smiles here aren’t because everyone is sadistic – they are because this is a moment of mastery satisfaction that all gamers can relate to. The blood may not be the value component, but really is just a traditional way dense informational feedback on mastery is provided.” Information about competence in shooters is also thrown at you in the form of scoreboards, rankings, weapon unlocks, and eventually the outcome of every (relatively short) match.
Autonomy, the second motivator in self-determination theory, is also well served by the design of most popular shooters. Having the option to choose many different paths through a level satisfies autonomy, as does choosing between different classes, different loadouts, or different tactics. In a lot of games you can even choose between different modes, modifiers, or maps, allowing you to satisfy the need to play a game how you please. And if that’s not enough, custom character or weapon skins or models also fit in here.
Finally, relatedness is most obviously important in multiplayer games where you can feel like part of a successful (or, perhaps more likely of pickup games, incompetent) team bound together by opposition to a common foe. To the extent that shooters communicate your contributions in the forms of scores, points, server-wide notifications, or MVP awards, relatedness will be satisfied – to say nothing of what you can get out of text and voice chat. But even most modern shooters have single player campaigns that somewhat mimic this and put you in the role of someone important to those around you.
Of course, none of these motivators is unique to shooters. They show up in good game design across all genres and themes. But violent shooters usually hit on all three, and Rigby and Ryan believe that’s there’s a big overlap between what makes an effective shooter and what satisfies multiple facets of all three of these psychological needs. So while RPGs might nail autonomy, platformers may demand competence, and MMOs may allow the most relatedness, violent shooters fire on all three cylinders.
“[Violent games] are fun not because of the blood and gore,” write Rigby and Ryan, “but because games of war and combat offer so many opportunities to feel autonomy, competence, and the relatedness of camaraderie rolled up into an epic heroic experience.” But, that all said, do shooters satisfy all these motivators so well because they’re violent?
It’s an important question, and Ryan, Rigby, and their colleague Andrew Przybylski published a 2009 study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that addresses it. Part of their research involved a clever experiment where they modified Half-Life 2 to create a high-violence version of the game’s multiplayer and a low-violence version. The high violence version is pretty much what you’d expect. The low violence one, though, was created by changing the bullet-spewing guns into “tag” tools that players would use to zap opponents. Once tagged, foes would freeze and float up into the air for a second before being harmlessly teleported to a “penalty box” where they would wait to respawn into the game. So the main difference – arguably the only difference – between the two groups was how much violence there was in the game. Everything else was the same: the level layouts, the controls, and all the other stuff that satisfied competence and autonomy (unfortunately they didn’t examine relatedness). Only the violence was teased out of the equation
What did they find? Well, a lot of things. But one interesting finding was that the games in either condition were found enjoyable and both games satisfied the basic psychological needs of competence and autonomy. Even whether or not a person was naturally aggressive and normally enjoyed violent games didn’t matter once you accounted for competence and autonomy.
To me, this is vastly interesting and argues for alternatives to the go-to trope of violence and gore if you’re looking to draw people to games. It’s not the bloodshed as much as it is feeling like you’re able to make what you want happen on-screen. It’s not fetishising guns and explosions as much as it is the ability to use tactics and choose among meaningful options on the road to victory. It’s not the military themes as much as it is feeling like you’re an important part of a team.
Sure, war and military heroism are themes and experiences worthy of exploration, but there are other options that can be just as effective. Gamers may be happy to just keep buying the same game over and over again without understanding a thing about self determination theory, and publishers may only want to greenlight games that look like smash hits from the past without caring about mechanisms for satisfying psychological needs, but developers who think about these things and play around with them can definitely do something both great and different.
I haven’t played any of the Dead Space games, so I can’t comment on the criticisms that Dead Space 3 sold poorly because of game content or the way in which it dumbed down the gameplay experience to appeal to a broader audience. I can talk about how I see the microtransaction and other changes that vocal fans derided fit in with Electronic Arts’ broader strategy.
The games market is polarizing. The big are getting bigger (see Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty beating first week sales records year after year) while the niche is becoming more viable (see every indie game on Steam) while the middle is getting squeezed (see THQ, Eurocom and dozens of other midsize developers). The emergence of digital distribution has brought along a bigger change than many people realized, driven by two different properties:
- It is cheaper than ever before to distribute content
- It is possible to have unique, personal, one-to-one relationships with every customer
The strategies that EA are putting in place reflect this reality.
The variable demand curve
The past 30 years were about putting games in boxes, shoving them in shops and trying to sell as many as possible. The price was basically fixed at around £30-40, so the only way you could make more money was to do more volume, i.e. sell more copies. You could also try to maintain the price for as long as possible by restricting price reductions and limiting trade-ins. What you couldn’t do was to connect with your fans in any meaningful way.
We no longer live in that world, except perhaps for the very biggest blockbusters. We live in the world where there is a bewildering choice and variety of games available to us. At the same time, development costs for AAA games are enormous and rising, while the market is not getting bigger. In fact, that subset of the market is shrinking as players are distracted by the many different ways, times and devices they can play games on.
There is only one solution. It is to find a way to use the initial launch of AAA game as a starting point in your relationship with fans. It is to start the long process of turning games from one-off purchases to long-term relationships. It is about using games to engage with and retain players, to convert some of those players into fans and to convert some of those fans into superfans. In the process, niche AAA games that are not viable using the blockbuster, fixed-price-massive-volume model can become successful long-term businesses.
Viewed through that lens, everything that EA is doing makes sense. It is trying to use its games as the starting point of the relationship. Sometimes those games are free (as in most of its mobile, tablet and online strategy). Sometimes they are paid (as in its console strategy). What they are trying to achieve is a revenue model which means that those people who love their games, who keep playing, who are vocal and demanding, are given an opportunity to spend lots of money on the products that they love. It is the only way for niche AAA games to survive.
I don’t know why Dead Space 3 didn’t do well. I don’t know if it was about poor design decisions, a change of focus or gamers voting with their wallets and not supporting a game with microtransactions on principle (EA will have data on how many users engaged with microtransactions. Answering the other questions will be harder).
But I don’t think gamers should view any rumored cancellations of blockbuster projects as a victory against microtransactions. Finding a way for the biggest fans to pay lots of money to get things they truly value is the only way to support niche AAA games (and by niche, I mean anything outside the top 4 or 5 games released every year). EA may not have got the exact model right yet, but they are experimenting. The failure of the experiment does not mean that EA will abandon microtransactions: it means that it will abandon anything other than blockbuster games and tablet games.
Is that what you really want?
Nicholas Lovell is director at GAMESbrief, a blog about the business of games. He provides business advice on free-to-play and paymium design. He will be giving a masterclass on how to make money from free-to-play games in San Francisco on Sunday March 24, just before GDC. You can also book one-to-one surgeries.
Electronic Arts is consolidating some of its online gaming efforts. The publisher is taking its free-to-play gaming hub, Play4Free, and folding it into its online storefront, Origin.
EA already has a free gaming section set up on Origin, with links to all of the Play4Free titles. The same section also plays host to additional EA efforts like Crossfire and more casual games from the publisher’s Pogo casual gaming brand, including Word Whomp and Monopoly: The World Edition.
The Play4Free brand has been home to seven of EA’s free-to-play online games, including Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, and Need for Speed World. Even with the additions, the Origin label doesn’t extend across all of EA’s PC microtransaction titles; Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online continues to operate apart from the Play4Free brand, and the game’s official site gives no indication that it will be moving to Origin. Additionally, EA runs a number of games on Facebook, including The Sims Social and Outernauts.
Play4Free was announced in 2008, and officially went live with the 2009 launch of Battlefield Heroes. Origin is a comparatively younger endeavor, having been unveiled and rolled out in June of 2011.
Crysis 3 is one of the most anticipated game titles and it appears that the PC version will feature high-res texture pack from day one.
According to a post over at PCGamer.com, Crysis 3 will feature high-res texture pack as well as some advanced graphics options that will put that console version to shame. As you remember, Crysis 2 only featured v-sync, resolution, HUD bobbing and general quality settings before the famous patch. Crytek and EA are not going to make the same mistake and will include a great deal of settings that will make the PC version much better than the console version.
The list includes game effects, objects, particles, post processing, shading, shadows, water, anisotropic filtering, texture resolution, motion blur amount and lens flares.
In any case it sounds like really good news for PC gamers.
EA has finally revealed minimum, recommended and high performance system requirements for the upcoming Crysis 3 first-person shooter and, unsurprisingly, if you want to play it at high performance settings you’ll need AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 or Nvidia GTX 680 graphics cards paired up with a decent CPU.
Posted over at Crysis.com, the system requirements are pretty much in line with what expectations, and Crysis 3 will run on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS. The minimum requirements include at least a dual core CPU, DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB of VRAM and 2GB of memory (3GB on Vista OS). As an example, EA offered Intel’s Core 2 Duo E6600 paired up with GTS 450 graphics card or AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 5200+ paired up with Radeon HD 5770.
The recommended specs take these specs a notch higher to quad-core CPU and 4GB of system memory with examples like GTX 560 paired up with Core i3-530 or Radeon HD 5870 paired up with Phenom II X2 565. The high performance requirements include “latest DirectX 11 GPU” and “latest quad-core CPU” paired up with 8GB of system memory. The examples are Intel’s Core i7-2600k paired up with the GTX 680 or AMD FX-4150 paired up with Radeon HD 7970.
Crysis 3 is scheduled for February 2013 release and will be available for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
News of yet another PlayStation 3 hack is unlikely to be greeted with too much surprise, but the damage wrought by the release of the LV0 bootloader keys last week could have serious repercussions – not just in terms of PS3 piracy but also for the long-term security of the PlayStation Network.
Up until now, Sony has coped relatively well with the multiple breaches of its security that have occurred over the last couple of years. The original PSJailbreak was built around an exploit in the USB interface present up until firmware 3.41, and that hole was plugged by Sony within weeks. Hackers managed to run a small amount of games built for later system software revisions but through mandatory software upgrades, access to the PlayStation Network was off-limits for those who remained on the hacked firmware.
Then, disaster. Inherent weaknesses in Sony’s encryption algorithms were unveiled by hacker group fail0verflow, swiftly followed by the publication of the metldr “master key” from the infamous Geohot. PlayStation 3 was blown wide open – seemingly irrevocably – from two fronts. Not only could all aspects of the system be decrypted with the master key and then reverse-engineered, but thanks to fail0verflow’s signing tools, the code could be repackaged into a form that the PS3 was happy to process. The era of the “custom firmware” was upon us and there was a point where every console on the market could be compromised simply through running a CFW update from a memory stick.
System software 3.60 saw Sony fight back valiantly. New encryption protocols were put in place which effectively mothballed metldr, while the specific signing algorithms used for fail0verflow’s tools were blacklisted. Encryption keys were changed so new software would not run on older firmware, and Sony even released a revised console with changes to the Cell architecture that addressed some of the exploits hackers were using to gain access to the PS3 hardware – even the metldr key was changed on this new hardware. Access to the PlayStation Network was completely locked out on hacked consoles.
There’s little evidence that the hack which saw PSN’s servers compromised in one of the biggest security fails in internet history had much to do with the breaches that preceded it. The hack was server-side and there Sony was running traditional hardware with open source software, which had vulnerabilities of its own. It’s telling that even after PSN was restored to service, the underlying protocols by which PS3 “spoke” to the servers hadn’t changed so much at all.
However, the hackers were not done with PS3. A new “jailbreak” based on another USB dongle appeared last year, dubbed “TrueBlue”. This allowed newer games to run on older, compromised firmware 3.55 PlayStation 3s. It worked through the hackers decrypting newer games and then re-signing them with a variant of fail0verflow’s tools. This time there was no exploit in Sony’s USB code: instead the hackers released their own firmware which would not function without the dongle attached. In short, it was a crude way to monetise the fact that someone, somewhere had somehow managed to retrieve decryption codes from Sony’s latest OS updates. At the same time, the unique “pass phrase” buried within the firmware that allows PS3s to connect with the PlayStation Network was also leaked – and then leaked again after Sony changed it.
If there’s any silver lining to the new PlayStation 3 hack, it’s down to the fact that only decryption has been hacked, not encryption. This means that only older consoles running 3.55 firmware or lower can be used with the latest piracy-enabling firmwares. Consoles running 3.56 or later can’t run any kind of unofficial code.
So how was it done? Despite locking down metldr, there remained one further vulnerability – one that Sony simply cannot revoke: the bootloader key. If you still have an untouched PS3 from the 2006 launch, you can power it up and update it to the latest 4.30 firmware. Every PS3 requires the means by which to decrypt any firmware update – past, present or future. That’s what the so-called “lv0″ bootloader key does, and that’s the final element of PlayStation 3 security that is now out there in the public domain.
How did it get out there? All the indications are that the hackers who made the discovery – who have dubbed themselves “the three muskateers” had no intention of ever making it out into the public domain. However, one of their associates with access to their work appears to have sold it on, and the release of the bootloader keys was made in response to Far Eastern hackers looking to profit from a new wave of “custom firmware”. Rather than allow others to profit from their work, the “muskateers” went nuclear, and released the master key so any one with PS3 hacking experience could roll their own firmware. Since then, in just the space of a few days, at least two piracy enabling system updates have been released.
There’s a little good news and somewhat more bad news for Sony here. The good news is that while decryption has now been fully blown open, there is no firmware 4.30 equivalent to fail0verflow’s encryption tools – only Sony has the means to produce code that runs on any console running on firmware 3.56 or higher. The hackers meanwhile, have to rely upon the 3.55 fail0verflow tools, which can only run on un-updated consoles. Many firmware revisions have been released since then and we’d tentatively suggest that the vast majority of active consoles out there will be running on the newer firmware. At the time of writing, any new hacked code cannot be run on these machines.
So while the overall damage is most likely limited for now in terms of revenue lost due to piracy, there are still many fundamental issues Sony has to address. Firstly there’s the integrity of the PlayStation Network. Genuine, legitimate players will be playing online not only with people who’ve pirated PS3 software, but have the means to adjust any game data they want. Pirate games run from read/write PC hard drives rather than read-only optical media making customisation much simpler – maps could be altered for example to give hackers an unfair advantage in a first-person shooter. Sony can address this by changing the “pass phrase” which allows PS3s to connect to PSN, but this brings us nicely to the second major problem: how to tackle the leak of the lv0 bootloader keys.
The problem here is that any change Sony makes to the PS3 software has to be read by the PS3 – and that’s what the bootloader does. The PSN pass phrase can be changed, but that change needs to be integrated into data that lv0 decrypts – and thus it can be read by hackers. Similarly, new games coming out can be re-encrypted with keys not present in current firmwares – but they need to be delivered to the console via an update that (you guessed it), lv0 – and thus, the hackers – will be able to read. Now Sony can make it harder for those keys to be revealed, they can encrypt to many hundreds of layers if they need to – but at the end of the day, the beginning of the process always begins with the bootloader, which has been irrevocably compromised.
In terms of guaranteeing the validity of the console attached to the network, Microsoft has been far more aggressive than Sony thus far, and has faced attacks from a number of different sources. Consoles running custom firmware are quickly identified and banned from Xbox Live, while users flashing the DVD drive in order to run burned games have also found themselves barred from the service. But it seems that the hackers are always one step ahead, and in the here and now, pirates are still able to access Xbox Live relatively easily using copied games. Only those foolish enough to run leaked code days or even weeks before the game is released are identified as hackers and face the uncompromising wrath of the banhammer.
So where does this all leave game developers? At the most basic level, when it comes to multiplayer gameplay, the bottom line is that the system-level methods of weeding out cheats probably aren’t enough on their own: it’s going to be down to developers to add further levels of security to ensure that integrity of online gameplay. In short, exactly the sort of thing that’s been a required standard for PC gaming for a long, long time now.
Sony is facing new PlayStation 3 security headaches today, as Eurogamer reports that hackers have released custom firmware that allows for compromised consoles to go on the PlayStation Network, and LV0 decryption keys that will facilitate circumvention of future security updates.
PlayStation 3 security was largely undermined in early 2011 after hacking team Fail0verflow detailed a technique to get unauthorized code running on Sony’s console. At the time, the group said they attacked the console’s security as a response to Sony removing the OtherOS feature that allowed installation of the Linux operating system on the PS3. Eurogamer notes that Sony’s 3.60 firmware actually managed to plug many of the security holes from that event, but piracy has persisted for those willing to run older firmware and not take their systems onto PSN.
However, the newly released custom firmware contains the current PSN passphrase security protocol. And even if Sony changes that with new firmware, the release of the LV0 decryption keys means that hackers should be able to easily lay bare future security measures in system updates.
According to Eurogamer, Chinese hacking group BlueDiskCFW had planned to sell the custom firmware circumvention’s, which prompted another group called The Three Tuskateers to release the LV0 keys. They also released a statement claiming to have discovered the keys some time ago, adding, “only the fear of our work being used by others to make money out of it has forced us to release this now.”
Deadline is reporting that Fox has picked up the rights to create a Battlefield: Bad Company television show based on the Electronic Arts title. Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company, Sony TV, and writer John Eisendrath are working together to adapt the game.
Battlefield: Bad Company was a single-player spin-off for the multiplayer-centric Battlefield series. The game was released in 2008 and featured four former soldiers against a group of mercenaries called the Legionnaires. The DICE-developed game skipped the gritty-realism featured in most military shooters to go with a more humorous, over-the-top tale. The game was followed with a sequel in 2010, Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
This is the second EA property to go transmedia. The first is Need for Speed, which is being developed as film by Dreamworks.
While Blizzard has been busy answering questions about whether World of Warcraft would be going fully free-to-play in the future, the company could also switch StarCraft II to run on the business model. As reported by PC Games N, Blizzard designer Dustin Browder directly addressed the possibility in a panel discussion at the Valencia eSports Congress last week.
“That’s definitely an option for us at some point down the road,” Browder said, adding, “I don’t think there’s any reason why we wouldn’t, except to make sure we do it properly, that we don’t make any mistakes, and that we are supporting the fans the way we’re supposed to.”
Browder did note that some common free-to-play treatments could be problematic for the game, creating circumstances where balance would be thrown off because players who haven’t bought everything in the game don’t have access to the same assortment of units. He mentioned selling entire races separately as one possible solution to that problem.
Blizzard already uses a variety of business models with StarCraft II internationally. For example, South American players can purchase the game at retail, but must pay for subscriptions if they wish to keep playing beyond the six-month mark. A similar model was used in China, where players were able to enjoy the beta for free, then asked to pay a monthly fee for access to both the single- and multiplayer modes.
A new and updated Spy Hunter is coming from Warner Bros Interactive. Warner acquired the rights to Spy Hunter, as well as other Midway titles, with the asset purchase from Midway when the company closed some time ago.
While the new trailer that Warner has released does not tell a lot about the new Spy Hunter, what we can tell you is that so far it is only planned for the portable platforms. Both the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita will get the new Spy Hunter when it arrives in October 2012.
No word yet if Warner is looking at additional Platforms for the title, but if it does generate enough interest, we could see it coming to other platforms, as well. TT Fusion is said to be leading the development effort for Warner Bros on this title.
GameStop has posted its second quarter 2012 financials, revealing a shrinkage of both sales and profits – despite an increase in digital business and second hand mobile sales.
Total revenues for the thirteen week period, ending July 28, 2012, were $1.55 billion – down from $1.74 billion in the same quarter the year prior. In-store sales were down 9.3 per cent and pre-owned dropped by 11.2 per cent.
Other areas of sales rose sharply, but still represent a minority slice of revenues. The 40.6 per cent increase in sales of other products was largely driven by a 27 per cent growth in digital, bringing that market value to $134 million, and sales of second hand mobile and tablet devices – up to $29 million.
Despite this promising growth in other sectors, GameStop’s profits suffered considerably compared to the same period last year, dropping from $30.9 million for the second quarter last year to just $21 million this year. Half year profits were also down, from $111.3 million to $93.5 million.
“We continue to see solid sales growth as well as strong margins in our new retail offerings and digital channels,” said CEO Paul Raines.
“We are focused on staying ahead of the curve as the competitive landscape evolves and we manage through the trough of the console cycle. Finally, the ongoing share buyback and increase in dividend demonstrate our confidence in the future of GameStop and our commitment to improving total shareholder returns.”
The company’s share buy-back program continues apace, gathering $134 million worth of stock back to the fold, with a further $301 million purchase authorized.
Electronic Arts is mulling over selling itself as it finds itself in trouble trying to grow its business amid competition from free online gaming sites.
EA has been approached by private-equity giants KKR and Providence Equity Partners about a potential deal and no one is talking about it, which is probably a sign that it is being taken seriously. While EA is the maker of popular games as “SimCity” and “Madden NFL” and has a market value of $4.17 billion things are not going that well.
EA has had mixed results in recent periods as interest in consoles has dried up and free-access online games have taken their toll. Last month, EA reported fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 9 per cent. EA executives are thought to be considering selling the company for a $20 a share so that it can move into the free games market.
Diablo III was an instant smash when it was released, and if there is anyone left that wants to play it but hasn’t yet, then this is for them.
The Diablo III Starter Edition gives you limited access to the game, but it is free. If you want to play it you have three options: one, you can log in to the Battle.net with an existing account; two, you can borrow the game disc off a friend and install it using what is called a Guest Pass; or three, you can create a new Battle.net account.
Do any of those things and you have access to a version of the game that is missing some features and only carries you through to level 13, but what do you want for free?
As a player you can fight your way up to the Skeleton King boss in Act I, and advance all the way to level 13, according to Blizzard. There are no auction facilities, and players can only indulge in multiplayer sessions with other Starter Edition players.
If you like what you see and want to upgrade, that’s easy, and Blizzard said that the Starter Edition restrictions will be removed within 72 hours of full game payment.
Diablo III is the fastest selling PC game title to date.
A new Army of Two reboot is headed to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in March 2013. The new title that is in development at Visceral Games will be called “Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel.” The game will be a total reboot of the franchise, taking it in a new direction, and it will be powered by the DICE-developed Frostbite 2 engine.
The game is said to feature a far grittier tone that is more mature. It will be an intense title that will feature new characters Alpha and Bravo, who will find themselves on the streets of Mexico in the middle of a drug war. The game will offer two-player split screen co-op game play that will be available over Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, as well.
Despite rumors of a four player co-op mode that was considered for an Army of Four, sources tell us that it is not part of the title. The focus will be on two player co-op, which is what it should be. The news from EA confirms multiple rumors that the studio has been working on a new Army of Two title for quite some time in between being focused on the Dead Space franchise.