Beyond Co-Op is where we talk about other news around the industry that isn’t necessarily tied to co-operative gaming. Each week will see the subjects of the column listed on the front page with more in-depth discussion after the break. If you have any suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject related to “Beyond Co-Op”.
The stories for this week:
- Midway Borrows $40 Million for Q4 Games
- More Ensemble Closure News, Including Canceled Halo Project
- Scheduled Xbox Live Outage on Monday, Sept. 29th
- Superintendent ARG Culminates in Halo 3 Related Tease
- New Xbox Experience Week 3: Themes 2.0/Friends Channel
Midway Borrows $40 Million for Q4 Games
This is pretty amazing and actually comes from a Hollywood trade magazine. It seems Midway has borrowed $40 million from another Summer Redstone owned company, National Amusements which actually oversees a number of movie theaters. It also seems that Midway borrowed $90 million more earlier this year.
The money will be used for manufacturing costs for Midway’s 4th Quarter lineup which includes the recently released TNA Wrestling game and the upcoming Blitz II: The League and the highly anticipated Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe game. To me this means Midway is putting a lot of hope and pressure onto that last game to sell really well or there may not be a Midway for much longer. They just delayed This is Vegas and The Wheelman until next year, if MK vs. DC doesn’t hit it big this could be it for Midway.
More Ensemble News, Including Canceled Halo Project
The closing of Ensemble Studios is still a hot topic this week as co-founder Bruce Shelley explains in a blog about the closure, the plan moving forward after Halo Wars is completed and that he wouldn’t be joining the group of people that are moving to an as yet unnamed development company.
Not a day later, online magazine Gamasutra came out with the exclusive info that one of the canceled Ensemble projects was a Halo MMO. This of course continues the path of destruction Microsoft Games Studio has wrought in regards to MMOs. Before this the biggest cancelation was the Marvel MMO, I believe that has now been trumped by this news. Check out the Gamasutra link below to see the pictures they procured for this now canceled project.
Source: Bruce Shelley Blog, Gamasutra (Halo MMO)
Scheduled Xbox Live Outage on Monday, Sept. 29th, New Experience Nov.?
Nothing too exciting here if any of you have been on your Xbox 360 this week since there have been ads strewn about related to the Xbox Live outage happening for about 24 hours in two days. Initial excitement was that this would be the New Xbox Experience unveiling, but no luck. Instead it is one of those outages that gets things in place for the NXE.
Other news is that an ad for an upcoming event related to Rock Band 2 on Xbox Live accidently let slip that the NXE was coming in November at some time. For trying to keep the info under wraps, I don’t know how Microsoft let this one slip through…oops!
Source: Major Nelson Blog (Outage) Joystiq (for pic)
Superintendent ARG Culminates in Halo 3 Related Tease
Well, we talked about this last week with the Superintendent’s first message. After that there was a second message and a countdown to Friday for 7:07am PT. At that point a video went up teasing Bungie’s next project which seems to be related to Halo 3Halo 3 expansion or a new squad-based shooter revolving around the time between Master Chief leaving Earth in Halo 2 and the events of Halo 3
New Xbox Experience Week 3: Themes 2.0/Friends Channel
The Gamerscore Blog shows up talking about the New Xbox Experience once again this week, concentrating on what themes will look like and a little showing of the Friends Channel.
First off they say that the new themes will be dynamic in their presentation with objects subtly moving around in them and they also answer the question of whether old themes can be used (answer is yes).
They also talk about the Friends Channel and how you friends avatars will be seen in the background of the theme doing stuff, making the whole thing fully interactive. Feel free to read the rest of the story since Gamerscore does such a nice job on these.
Source: Gamerscore Blog