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GamesFirst! Magazine

Weekly Gaming News

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced today that it is working on its next massively multiplayer game, a first-person shooter called PlanetSide. The company hopes this will capture as much attention and audience as its EverQuest online fantasy role-player, which recently announced the signing of its 300,000 subscriber.

PlanetSide, which is slated for a third-quarter 2001 release for Windows-based PCs, will concentrate on action in an outer-space setting, but also enable players to amass land and bases. Of course, not without conflict, other players and their teammates can raid enemy bases, in hopes of increasing the strength of their holdings and boost wealth of the corporation for which they fight. Four corporations are at the center of the persistent world, offering “professional growth opportunities and steady income: the mining industry, the technological industry, the science and research industry and the military industry.”

Epic Games announced today that it has joined up with Microsoft to become a licensed tool provider for its Xbox game console. With that announcement, Epic is making its Unreal Engine available to Xbox developers.

The vice president of Epic Games, Mark Rein, said, “The Unreal Engine is the ultimate market-proven, cross-platform engine for Xbox game developers. We’ve already completed, and more importantly we’ve shipped, the first console version of our engine and now we’re aiming our best technological guns squarely at the powerful Xbox.”

Electronic Arts announced today that it has begun to ship to retailers around the country WCW Backstage Assault for the PlayStation. What makes this wrestling game unique is that all of the action takes place outside the ring like a parking garage or locker room. In addition, the game features 62 WCW wrestlers including the likes of Goldberg, Booker T and Sting. There is even a Create-A-Wrestler mode.
WCW Backstage Assault
is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB and retails for $49.95.

Sony Computer Entertainment America brings one of the most popular videogame characters back to the PlayStation for the fifth time with the release of Crash Bash. With this title, players will control Crash and his buddies and battle in 28 3-D arena based games. The game features four-player gameplay via the multitap, as well as a two-player Cooperative mode.
Crash Bash
is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

Fox Interactive has made available to consumers around the country the PC title No One Lives Forever. This first-person shooter is set in the '60s, where players assume the role of a female agent named Cate Archer. Being part of UNITY, an international anti-terrorist organization, players must travel around the world and complete various missions.
No One Lives Forever retails for $39.95.

Loki Software, Inc. has announced that it has signed a deal with Sierra Studios to bring the forthcoming Tribes 2 to the Linux operating system. Plans call for the Linux version to be ready around the same time as the Windows version, which is expected to be shipped next month.
Loki has also announced that it’s currently signing up beta testers to run Tribes 2 through its paces when its in working form. Signups are being taken on Loki’s beta-tester page.

The NPD Group has reported that the PlayStation 2 generated estimated retail sales of $165 million in its first three days on the market, with most of that being garnered on October 26, PS2’s launch day. Those figures include sales of hardware, software and accessories.
PS2 software also sold well enough for three titles to be included in NPD’s top-ten list for the week: Electronic ArtsMadden NFL 2001 was the highest at #4, with Namco’s Tekken Tag Tournament and EA’s SSX hitting #5 and #7, respectively.
As expected, the PS2’s launch drew a lot of attention away from other consoles; indeed, PlayStation, N64 and Dreamcast all took market share hits when the PS2 was released. However, it also appeared that overall sales of hardware increased, with Dreamcast, N64 and PS having respective sales increases of 25%, 7% and 1% over the previous week.

Disney Interactive has announced that it has shipped Disney’s Donald Duck Goin’ Quackers, an edutainment game for Windows-based computers. The title offers kids aged eight and above such 3-D games as taking Donald through time to gather pieces of a teleporter he needs to get back to Daisy; finding the toys of Donald’s nephew; and beating record times on certain tasks. There are 20 levels in four different worlds.
Disney’s Donald Duck Goin’ Quackers
has a suggested retail price of $19.99, and carries an ESRB rating of E (Everyone).

The Indrema Corporation has teamed up with CollabNet to create the Indrema Developer Network (IDN). This website acts as a “service station” for developers working on products for the Linux-based Indrema Entertainment System. The website is comprised of four sections: Under the hood, GameXchange, IESDKS and Certification.
“Working with CollabNet, we have built the most comprehensive support network for developers with all the tools they need to build new, cool and fast games for the Indrema system,” stated John Gildred, founder and CEO of Indrema. “Indrema is changing the rules of console game development, by removing the barriers to entry that prevent new developers from building the next big game. With the IDN, game development for the IES is faster, easier and less expensive than for any other platform.

The 3DO Company has begun to ship to stores around the country Army Men—Air Attack 2 for the PlayStation. In this latest edition of the popular game series, General Plastro has teamed up with Baron von Beige to put an end to Captain Blade and the Alpha Wolf battalion. Most of the gameplay involves players operating a helicopter.
Army Men—Air Attack 2
is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB and retails for $39.99.

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