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Beyond Co-Op: January 1st through January 7th, 2012
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Beyond Co-Op: January 1st through January 7th, 2012

Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.  We like to take a look around the industry and see what news and links may interest you in the world fo gaming.

The stories for this week:

- Gaming Journalists to from super site at VoxMedia
- Firaxis Creating new Turn-Based XCom Game 
Microsoft's Next Flight Simulator is Free
Steam Sales More than Double this Holiday


Gaming Journalists to from super site at VoxMedia

While gaming news on gaming news outlets isn't exactly that interesting, something of this magnitude is.  VoxMedia has announced it's launching a gaming website this year and they've gone on a talent hiring spree to support it.  Running the show will be Chris Grant, formerly EIC of Joystiq.  Following him are the McElroy brothers, Justin and Griffin - also of Joystiq fame.  Brian Crecente is joining the team as well, who's name was synonymous with Kotaku for 7 years.  Rounding out the announced team are Russ Frushtick (MTV Multiplayer), Arthur Gies (IGN, Joystiq), Chris Plante (UGO, The Escapist), and Russ Pitts (The Escapist).  They are promising something completely fresh and new with the new site which will launch later this year.

Source:  Business Insider


Firaxis Creating new Turn-Based XCom Game 

Great news for fans of the classic PC strategy franchise X-Com.  Despite a new game, a first person shooter, coming sometime this year to the 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 - another XCom game is in development that's faithful to its source material.  It's a new turn-based game in development at Civlization V developer Firaxis Software.   The game is called XCom: Enemy Unknown and will once again have you assembling a group of UFO hunters tasked with saving the planet.  The new XCom game is set to come out this fall on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.  More details will be in the February issue of GameInformer.

Source: Game Informer


Microsoft's Next Flight Simulator is Free

Microsoft has announced the next game in their flight simulator series, and to the surprise of most, a good part of it is going to be free to play.  Microsoft Flight allows players to fly around the Island of Hawaii in numerous plans all for free.   Also included is the ICON A5 plan, a hybrid watercraft/aircraft for players to use in the oceans surrounding Hawaii.  Presumably the premium version of the game will allow you to check out the rest of the planet as you simulate flying everything from a Cessna to a 747.  

Source:  Microsoft


Steam Sales More than Double this Holiday

It should be obvious, but when you put out many of the top tier games for less than $10, and a lot of downloadable games as cheap as $4, you're going to sell a lot of copies of something.  This holiday Steam doubled the revenue for sales over last holiday as well as reached 5 million simultaneous users on the service.  With over 1800 games available now and 40 million registered users, it's the biggest online service in the industry.

Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve via an official announcement. "Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for Free to Play (FTP) games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 FTP titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house.

Source:  Kotaku