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GamesFirst! Magazine

Weekly Gaming News

U.S. Representative Edward Markey (D–Mass.) and the Violence Policy Center (VPC) released a study last week entitled, “From Gun Games to Gun Stores: Why the Firearms Industry Wants Their Video Games on Your Child’s Wish List.” The report—19 pages long and in “full color”—claims to reveal that the gun industry is marketing firearms to children and teens through videogames. The study targets such games as Remington Top Shot and Guns & Ammo: The Ultimate Target Challenge as introducing “‘virtual’ versions of their deadly products to children,” and calls on the government to investigate the situation.
Markey also noted that he hopes to introduce legislation in 2001 that would enable the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sue gamemakers over such marketing practices and making such software illegal for children to purchase.

Check out this X-Box promotional card that Microsoft is supplying to its retailers (and expect the 733 mhz chip to be at least a 1GHz chip by release date.)

GameSpy Industries, one of the leaders in interactive online entertainment catering to gamers, announced today that it has acquired the assets of MPlayer from its parent corporation HearMe. The deal consists of cash, a promissory note and stock, from which HearMe will acquire a 10 percent stake in GameSpy.
"GameSpy's technologies have become the industry standard in multi-player client software, multi-platform developer tools and back end systems for the $8 billion interactive entertainment industry," said Mark Surfas, CEO/Founder of GameSpy. "We chose to acquire Mplayer, because since its launch in 1996, the company has been a clear leader in online entertainment with top-notch content, a dynamic community of Web users and strong business partnerships.
As part of the agreement, GameSpy will acquire, MPlayer's recently launched GlobalRankings system and MPlayer's matchmaking and latency technology. The MPlayer management team will continue with GameSpy in the same role.

The Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) has announced that the 2001 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 16–19, 2001, with the conference portion being May 16–18 and the exhibit portion being May 17–19.
IDSA also announced that registration for the seventh annually held trade-only event is also open, with forms available for online, by fax or by mail. For more information, call 877.216.6263.  Yippee!

Dreamworks SKG has signed a pact that will enable TDK Mediactive to create games based around Dreamworks’ forthcoming 3-D, computer-animated movie, Shrek. The film revolves around “an ornery ogre named Shrek,” who suddenly finds himself crossing paths with myriad traditional fairy-tale characters.
The five-year deal enables TDK Mediactive to develop Shrek-centered games, with the first being a Game Boy Color title that will ship simultaneous with the film’s May 2001 theatrical release. That will be followed by a release for a “next-generation console platform in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The Video Software Dealers Association has announced its VidTrac results for the week that ended December 17, 2000. The top five videogames rented were:

1. Driver 2—PlayStation
2. WWF No Mercy—Nintendo 64
3. The World is Not Enough—Nintendo 64
4. WWF Smackdown! 2—Know Your Role—PlayStation
5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2—PlayStation

LucasArts has posted some new screenshots for the PlayStation 2 game Star Wars Episode I: StarFighter. This title was originally scheduled to hit the market by the end of 2000, but now it has been pushed back to release in the first quarter of 2001. By the looks of these screenshots, it could very well be worth the wait.

989 Sports, a software label from Sony Computer Entertainment America, has announced a pair of new PlayStation 2 games with NCAA branding:

    • NCAA Final Four 2001 offers college basketball with over 300 Division 1-A teams, each with its own realistic playbook and play styles matching its school’s history. The title also provides a “Bubble Watch” feature to enable status updates on the way to the NCAA Final Four tourney. Over 1,000 motion-captured moves were grabbed to make gameplay that much more accurate, and the action is backed by Quinn Buckner’s playcalling.

    • On the football side, NCAA GameBreaker 2001 enables combat between the 115 Division 1-A teams in any game—regular season or bowl contest—and has their players all competing for All-American status and the Heisman Trophy. Play-by-play comes from ABC’s Keith Jackson, and the game development was assisted by University of Wisconsin and Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne and University of Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel.

Dreamcatcher Interactive has announced plans to release PC and PlayStation 2 games based on Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi book Dune. The company expects to ship the title—which is billed as a 3-D, real-time game that’s two-thirds action and one-third adventure—in September 2001. Frank Herbert’s Dune is being developed by French developers Cryo and Widescreen Games.

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