Two mystery Tom Clancy titles in development

Ubisoft's brand manager for games inspired by the techno-thriller author says a pair of unnamed projects are in the works.
Since the turn of the century, Ubisoft has enjoyed great success with Tom Clancy games. So much success, in fact, that in March 2008, the French publisher bought the rights to use the American techno-thriller author's name in future books, films, and games.

The move came days after the release of the critically acclaimed first-person shooter Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Since then, Ubisoft has released three Tom Clancy-branded games: the real-time strategy game EndWar, the air combat sim HAWX, and the just-released--and decently reviewed--Splinter Cell: Conviction. A fourth, the third-person shooter Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, is due out this holiday season.
Now, it appears two more Tom Clancy-branded titles are in the works. Speaking to Dutch gaming site Control-Online.nl, Tom Clancy brand manager Michael Verheijdt revealed that he is working on a pair of untitled games that bear the author's name. "At the moment I'm working on two Tom Clancy games that are in development," he said. "[But] if I say anything about that, I'll have to send Sam Fisher after you."
Verheijdt's duties include writing a style guide for all Tom Clancy games for developers to use as a reference. He is also in charge of keeping the canon's timeline straight, and making sure that events in one game don't contradict those in another.

"I have a notion to update Wikipedia to index everything," he told the site. "It is crucial that we have everything clear and orderly, because in the future, we want the various game series to overlap each other. 'Convergence' is the magic word here."
That convergence may include a Tom Clancy massively multiplayer online game of some sort. When the name buyout was announced, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that no longer having to pay royalties for the license would allow his company to expand the Tom Clancy brand in many new genres.
"We will be able to adapt the brand to new formats, in particular the MMO format, where the royalties were a big thing holding us back," he explained.



Ten Reasons Why You Should Date a Female Gamer

  Published in Angel Life

0. Date Nights Made Simple. Every so often it’s nice to be treated to a night out on the town, however that doesn’t mean we’re not up for a night in. Order some tasty Chinese, have some beer and drinks in the fridge, and we’re all for gaming and movie all-nighters. You can make it fun by coming up with drinking games (Please drink responsibly!!) or making the loser do the dishes. Just have fun with it and make it an evening about spending time together.
9. Technically Capable. Female gamers know their way around the tech. We can set up a sound system, set schedules on the DVR, we know the difference between RCA, Component and HDMI cables. And if we don’t know, we sure aren’t afraid to learn how.
8. Tour Guide. It’s not easy juggling a strategy guide or running to the laptop/computer to look at a guide while you are being scorched by an evil mage in a dungeon or trying to figure out your next move when the path you came down is suddenly blocked off. Helping you out by looking up hints and reading parts of walkthroughs out for you is fine with us. We just ask that you do the same if we ever need a hand.
7. Puzzle Solvers. You’ve got the lights down low, you’re playing an action-adventure or survival horror game and – WHAM! – you’ve run into a puzzle that you just can’t solve. Luckily, your significant other has been paying attention and is able to figure it out for you. It’s always good to have a second and fresh set of eyes around when you get stumped. We feel exactly the same.
The BioShock inspired "Moral Choices" tee from SplitReason
6. Awesome Presents. You want a game or an accessory for your birthday/anniversary/Valentine’s Day? You got it. We love finding cool t-shirts, hoodies and belt buckles to add to your wardrobe. And if we pick you up an XBL or PSN card, we know you’ll quickly find something to spend it on.
5. No Midnight Launches Alone. Don’t want to stand alone outside GameStop for hours waiting for the next Halo or Modern Warfare title to come out? We’ll be there to keep you company, hold our place in the line if you have to make a bathroom or food run (or vice versa) and convince you that yes, you do want to buy the strategy guide because you’ll be waiting a week for GameFAQs to have a complete walkthrough when one of us inevitably gets stuck.
4. The Cake is Not a Lie. Time and time again, we have proven that we love our significant others through cake. More often than not, gamer couples enjoy gaming related or geek themed baked goods. Just Google “gaming wedding cakes” or “gamer wedding” and you’ll see some awesome cakes, Halo inspired weddings and unique gaming proposals.
3. The Zombie Apocalypse. If movies such as Zombieland and games like Left 4 Dead have taught us anything, its that you can try to survive on your own, but when the zombies start heading for the mall, you want someone by your side to help kill them. It’s just a matter of time, so don’t fight the zombies alone! Begin training for the future now.
2. We understand you. Only a gamer can truly understand the needs of another of our kind. We won’t walk in front of the screen during a boss battle or kick you off the TV to watch a show (every gaming couple knows the importance of the second TV and a DVR). And we will grab a beer for each of us in between rounds of Horde mode. Taking on waves of giant aliens or zombies is a team effort.
It's a Katamari themed wedding!
1. Co-op Partner for Life. Sure, you won’t always want to play co-op, and neither will we. But for the times when your friends have moved onto another game and you want someone to team up with you, we will be there. Just want a sparring partner? We’ve got that covered too. Just keep in mind relationships are give and take, so you’d better be able to take it as well as you can dish it out.


Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Date a Girl Gamer

by Garrett Grothe

There was recently an article written about why it's a good thing to date or marry a girl who plays video games, being the chauvinistic pig that I am I thought it only fair to write an article listing the top 10 reasons it would be a negative thing to date a girl gamer (this is a parody). These choices are purely for entertainment purposes and have no bearing on the actual way I (or the staff at PlanetXbox360.com) feel about women in general (our editor-in-chief is married for example). For one thing it's really unique when a girl is actually passionate about video games, so I won't take any credit away from those females; however dating/marrying one is a different story completely. This is also a semi-response to an article posted by some fellow gaming journalists of mine, that just happen to be females, over at GamingAngels.com - Ten Reasons Why you Should Date a Girl Gamer. Below are the top 10 reasons why just such a decision could end up being a nightmare and/or the biggest mistake you have ever made: 10. Sharing is Caring (and Annoying): Guys, dating a gamer girl means that waiting your turn to play something is going to happen and since you are so kind and compassionate, your wait could last a few hours if your girl really gets into something that she is playing. Sure, sharing is part of life and its childish not to share but when it means you have to wait to finish the last 20 minutes of Mass Effect 2 or miss out Call of Duty night with the guys because it was her turn, it’s tough to find this an appealing situation. I’ve even met a few gamer girls who like the idea of sharing a gamertag with their significant other, this friends, is a terrible idea especially when you are proud of your 2.0 kill/death ratio.
9. Split-Screen Life: Does anyone really enjoy split-screen anymore? No offense to those who do, but having your first playthrough of an awesome new game cut through the middle is not really an enjoyable experience. In a relationship with both of you being gamers, there will inevitably be a game that releases that your girl really wants to play through and oh, what luck, the game has a split-screen co-op option for the campaign. I can’t even begin to express my feelings about playing multiplayer over live, with the screen split in half. Good luck with that scenario.
8. You’ll Have Plenty of Alone Time in Your Mancave (NOT): Whenever I have been in a relationship, video games were always my getaway or chance to escape to the mancave, which is always healthy for a relationship especially when you live together. But when you’re dating a gamer girl, she wants to play through games with you and most often enjoys watching you play games. So you can’t really call your gaming room a mancave if your girl is spending plenty of time in there with you, it loses its “sacred” status. So you’ll have boatloads of fun as you try to find a hobby outside of gaming that lets you have some alone time, because she’ll most likely want to be in the room when you finish the new Call of Duty.
7. You’ll Spend Plenty of Rupees: I swear dating a gamer girl is more expensive than dating a girl who doesn’t play video games. Most seem to want the same stuff other girls like such as, expensive clothes, MAC makeup, Coach purses and now the cost of a $60 game is added from time to time. All of a sudden, you’ll find yourself buying games you want and games that would have never played that your girlfriend wants to play, and we all know how expensive of a habit gaming can be, it’s a whole lot worse when you times it by 2.
6. Enjoy Your Backseat Gamer: When a gamer girl isn’t playing a game with you, she is probably watching you play and odds are she wants to “help.” Now, we have all done our fair share of backseat gaming, but you are going to be with this woman a lot and she will most likely point out stuff as you play a game. This can be helpful, but it’s not usually fun when all you games are played with someone over your shoulder.
5. Trading in/Selling Games is a Negotiation: Trading in games from time to time can definitely help take the load off a purchase of a new game, but when you are sharing a library of titles it becomes a 2-man/woman job to decide what can be traded in and what can’t. “I haven’t finished that one yet” or “I love that game, we have to keep it” becomes common conversation lines when trying to offload some titles you don’t play anymore. This often ends in not having anything to trade in and you must pay for everything out of pocket.
4. Are You Sure You Want to Restore Hard Drive?: Bad breakups with a gamer girl will not end well, especially when they know their way around all of your consoles menus. We have definitely heard of girls cleaning everything off a guy’s hard drive in an act of revenge. Sure, non gamer girls might commit acts such as smashing a console, but at least the hard drive usually stays intact without losing all your hard work.
3. Gamer Weddings are Tacky: Don’t get me wrong, originally video game weddings were extremely uncommon and very unique, but good luck not hearing about them constantly nowadays. Girls love weddings and some, not all gamer girls love gamer weddings but they are just so over done now that they have lost their original appeal.
2. Game Arguments, You Will Have Them: I’m not sure that there is a more terrible argument in the world, than an argument over how good/bad a game is, what game to play together, or even whose turn it is to play. They are obnoxious arguments that probably would never happen if dating a girl who didn’t play games. It’s good to take video games seriously from time to time, but it’s kind of silly if they can cause a rift in your relationship. Nobody wants to say that they broke up over a disagreement about a video game; that would be laughable.
1. A Self-Proclaimed Girl Gamer is Probably a Controller Hog: Oh man, this argument is always a popular staple in the industry, so we won’t go too deep into it, but the girls who play video games and don’t flaunt it are usually the most respectable. Unfortunately, the girls who run around in video game shirts trying to strike up a conversation about how awesome they are at video games tend to be the ones to stay far away from. These attributes are usually huge cries for attention that is never enjoyable in a relationship, especially when they continue to act this way after they are dating a guy. Guys, dating one of these girls is a nightmare, don’t waste your attention on them because they are most likely getting it from plenty others.


Microsoft to Update Xbox with Natal Ahead of Windows Phone 7 Release?

File under: News
By: Chuong Nguyen | Date: 26-Apr-10 | 3 Comments
With all the Xbox integration that will be bundled with Windows Phone 7 when those devices get released this holiday season, Microsoft is rumored to be updating its Xbox gaming console and even releasing Project Natal, the company's controller-free solution to interact with the Xbox, at the E3 gaming conference this June. According to the prediction, a slimmer, black colored Xbox will be debuting in June.

With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is making it easier for users to target three screens when it comes to games with Silverlight and XNA Studio development tools. Developers can now write and easily translate code for Windows Phone 7 (mobile), the PC (desktop), and the Xbox (TV) to quickly monetize and release their games to various different audiences. You can learn more about Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and Xbox coverage through our sessions at GDC. Additionally, Xbox Live services will be integrated with Windows Phone 7 as well.

(via: Engadget)

The RZA to be in DJ Hero 2?

Two tweets from Wu-Tang Clan member indicate he is engaged in motion capture for an unnamed Activision game involving hip-hop.

Source: The Twitter feed of Wu-Tang Clan member the RZA.
What we heard: Following the Great Rhythm Game Flood of 2009, Activision decided to trim back its music-game offerings to just two in the back half of 2010. One is DJ Hero 2, the sequel to the critically acclaimed original, which Activision claimed was the highest-grossing new property in the US and Europe last year. The milestone was set in no small part due to Hero's premium price point: The standard turntable-peripheral edition sold for $120, while a Renegade edition bundled with a DJ stand went for $200.

With those kinds of margins, it's little wonder Activision is giving the series a second chance. So far, though, only two artists have indicated that they'll be in the game: French house DJ and producer David Guetta and San Francisco Bay Area downtempo turntablist DJ Shadow. Now, clues are surfacing that a third artist may be on board: Wu-Tang Clan founding member and hip-hop producer the RZA.
In a pair of tweets over the weekend, the RZA, born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, expressed his enthusiasm with a new video game project. "Just finished mocap work at Activision--great team of guys who really appreciate hip-hop. Genuinely effected by the loss of Guru," he twittered early Saturday morning, referring to last week's death of the pioneering Gang Starr frontman.
Shortly thereafter, the RZA twittered the following: "I'm delighted to see that some people in Corp America who are benefittin [sic] $$ from hip-hop are really fans of our work. Big ups Activision!"
The official story: "Activision does not comment on rumor and speculation." - Activision representative.
Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus. Though the RZA has some acting credits (Repo Men, American Gangster ), it's unlikely that the references to "hip-hop" and "mocap"--that is, motion capture--are for any game other than DJ Hero 2. He'd also be following in the footsteps of many other respected rappers who lent their likenesses to the first DJ Hero, including Grandmaster Flash and DJ Jazzy Jeff.


Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 How Dark Will It Get?

We hypothesize what horrors are in store for the Dark Knight's next adventure.

 April 26, 2010 - The story of Batman has rarely been an uplifting one – Bruce Wayne's alter ego is born from of witnessing his parents' murder. From there, he leads a life plagued my physical injuries, guilt, death, brooding and the inability to ever truly be happy. He's fighting a war on crime that will never end.

Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 is apparently going to reflect some of that.

The voice of the Dark Knight, Kevin Conroy, went on the record last week and said that the sequel will be "really, really dark" in the same vein as Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker. If you missed that movie, it's a bit messed up – there's a whole lot of torture, attacks on loved ones, and so on. Plus, the Beyond reference gives new life to our argument of the story being set in the far-flung future.

Watch the trailer to get a feel for the darkness.
Watch the trailer to get a feel for the darkness.
The original Batman: Arkham Asylum was lauded by IGN and gamers in general for not being afraid to show the world of Batman through a gritty, dark filter. There were vicious attacks, people died and you never really knew what was around the next corner. Rather than wait here like dopes to see just what Rocksteady has up its sleeve, we've assembled themes and plot hooks we're expecting to see in this dark future.

If Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 uses these in its story, you're going to need to go to your happy place when the credits roll.

While awesome, Batman: Arkham Asylum was a pretty local experience. You got on the island known as Arkham and then ran around it for as long as it took you to beat the game. Sure, at the start, the Joker was threatening to attack Gotham, but you never really worried about the citizens onshore.

If Arkham Asylum 2 is going to get dark, it needs to make Batman vulnerable. If Robin's really in this game, he needs to be captured and tortured. Imagine having a conversation with Oracle only to hear her door get kicked down, a struggle ensue, and a gunshot ring out before the feed is cut. The next game needs to hit Batman hard where he's the weakest – hit him where he's not in control. Running through Arkham and seeing dead security guards is one thing but racing through the streets trying to get to Robin who is slowly bleeding out is another.

The most heart-wrenching moments of the original game were when Batman's worst fears came true thanks to the Scarecrow toxin – Gordon, his parents, etc. – and if this sequel is filled with stuff like that, good God.

Sure, the Joker was a bad dude, but he never really went CRAZY on anyone in Arkham Asylum. Bane was tough, but he never crushed anyone in the game. Zsasz threatened to kill people in the game, but he never knifed anyone in the story. If we're getting a darker sequel, let's have some villains establish why they belong in Gotham's home for the criminally insane. Talia al Ghul is a member of an assassination order. Let's have her take three cops out in her first appearance. Two Face is off the deep end crazy, let's have him flip his coin and shoot a nun or something. Rather than let the audio diaries and in-game bios tell players why these people are bad, show us so we know who we're up against.

The last Arkham Asylum showed us a Batman who is accepted and appreciated by the cops and the people of Gotham City. Want to make Arkham Asylum 2 dark? Get rid of that goodwill. Make the whole world go crazy and hate Batman. Pin a murder on him. Get Nightwing and Bruce's former allies to come after him. Have him have to fight the police and have to pull punches so that he doesn't hurt them. Framing Batman is an old story, but it's usually a good one and nothing's darker than being so hated that it seems like you'll never clear your name.

Batman: Arkham Asylum doesn't end with everything being grand – Batman's exhausted, Two Face is robbing a bank, and the Dark Knight is heading out to save the day – but the bad guys have been beaten and you're the big hero. However, that's not always how a Batman story ends. Look at the end of The Dark Knight: Batman's love is dead, Harvey Dent has been corrupted, and Gotham thinks that Bats is the villain. If we had to bet, look for Arkham Asylum 2 to end this way as well. Remember all the horrible stuff we listed in the "Everything to Lose" section above? Imagine if Batman didn't get to Robin's aid in time. Imagine Bats getting there just in time to hear Tim Drake's last words and face the fact that his friend is dead and the bad guy got away.

That would make for an angry, dangerous Batman.

What do you think this "darker" Arkham Asylum will be about? Don't keep your good ideas to yourself – post them in the comment section below.MovieMiguel.com

Slim Xbox 360 and Natal bundle to debut at E3?

It's always good to see rumors coalescing into neat little bundles, which in Microsoft's case means that its expected 360 hardware refresh and Natal re-introduction will coincide at E3 this year. Surfer Girl, one of the gaming industry's more notorious rumor hounds, is telling us that Microsoft is about to unveil a slimmer Xbox 360 at the upcoming E3 in June, together with Natal hardware bundles. She describes the new system design as "pretty neat" and suggests there'll be a shift to black as the console's primary color, to go along with Natal's darker hue, which in turn was dictated by the fact it'd have to sit alongside dark and moody HDTV sets. Very feng shui of Microsoft indeed. For the final, and most unbelievable of her predictions, she tells us -- while highlighting the initials M.G.S. -- that we'll be "very surprised and very pleased" by one of the Natal games revealed at the show. Seriously, Metal Gear Natal?


Halo 3 On Demand 'May' Have Longer Load Times

Microsoft confirms players could be waiting just a bit longer.

April 21, 2010 - If you're a fan of Halo 3, you may want to reconsider trading in your game disc for a digital copy.

Back when Microsoft first introduced the "game install" feature on the revamped Xbox 360 dashboard in 2008, it was concluded that Halo 3, when installed on your harddrive, actually performs worse that when streaming from the disc. Instead of decreasing load time, as is the case with many titles, Halo 3 actually increases them.

This issue was apparently never addressed when Microsoft announced Halo 3 would be available for download through its Games on Demand service earlier this month. Microsoft acknowledged players "may" experience longer load times while playing the downloaded version, but said gameplay will not be affected.

"Halo 3" has undergone extensive testing to ensure that players will have a positive experience, whether the game is played from a DVD, hard disk drive or USB drive," the company said in a statement given to IGN. "When installed to the Xbox 360 hard disk drive, players may experience longer than average mission and map load times, but regardless of where the game is installed, gameplay performance is not affected."

Halo 3 was made available for download on Xbox Live yesterday. The digital version costs $29.99. 


Cary Elwes Returns for Saw VII 3D

Source: Lionsgate
April 25, 2010

Lionsgate has announced that Cary Elwes will reprise his role of Dr. Lawrence Gordon from the first Saw movie in Saw VII 3D, coming to theaters on October 22. The full cast includes Tobin Bell, Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Gina Holden, Chad Donella, Laurence Anthony, Dean Armstrong and Naomi Snieckus.

In the seventh installment, as a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen (Flanery), a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror...

Directed by Kevin Greutert from a script by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, it is the first theatrical feature to be shot on the SI-3D digital camera system.

Oren Koules, Mark Burg and Gregg Hoffman are producing.


Sony May Make Ghost Rider 2 Without Cage?

Source: Vulture
April 24, 2010

Vulture reports that Columbia Pictures may have to go with a new actor for Ghost Rider 2 if they want to keep the rights to the character. Here's a clip:

How badly does Columbia need to get the motor running on its Ghost Rider sequel? So badly that if Nicolas Cage can't commit to making it this year, they may have to make it without him. Insiders confirm to Vulture that Columbia is facing a ticking clock on the rights to the BBQ-skulled Marvel Comics character: Legally, if the studio isn't in production on a sequel by November 14, 2010, the franchise automatically reverts to Marvel — which means the comic company's new owner, Disney.

Cage may be shooting the third "National Treasure" movie later this year which would keep him from being able to participate. The site posted a bit more on which writers have been working on the script:

We hear that FlashForward writers Scott Gimple and Seth Hoffman, overseen by their show's creator (and Batman Begins scribe), David S. Goyer, have just turned in a draft of a GR2 script, which Columbia will bring to a still-evolving list of potential directors.


Sirius XM app for Android 'coming soon'

iPhone and iPod touch users may have had a Sirius XM app for close to a year now, but it looks like Android users will soon finally be able to get in on some mobile streaming as well. While there's still no specific launch date, the app is apparently "coming soon," and looks to be mostly identical to its iPhone OS counterpart, complete with support for streaming over both WiFi and 3G. Somewhat curiously, however, Sirius XM seems to be saying that the app will only be available for the Droid and Nexus One, although that's a bit puzzling considering they're not the only Android 2.1-ready phones with fast processors (if those are indeed the only requirements). Full press release is after the break, and you can sign up to be notified of the app at the link below.


Ubisoft Titles New Assassin's Creed Game?

New domain names for Assassin's Creed and Driver series registered.

 April 23, 2010 - Ubisoft has registered two new domain names for its Assassin's Creed and Driver games, possibly revealing the names of the new titles in the series.

Spotted by superannuation, Ubisoft registered a domain for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Driver: San Francisco. The publisher revealed plans to release a new Assassin's Creed and Drive title during its 2011 fiscal year, which begins this month.

Details about each title are slim right now, but Ubisoft stated the next Assassin's Creed would be a full retail game and not a downloadable expansion. We should hopefully get to know more at E3 this coming June