It seems even the video game industry is feeling the tough economic squeeze these days. Just the other day we reported that Free Radical has indeed entered into administration and cut many of their employees loose. Well not it seems its EA’s turn to cut back.
With the biggest category in the AppStore being gaming, thanks to over 1,500 titles, Apple is planning to show off the iPhone and iPod touch's gaming prowess with a number of "Sneak Peek" events co-run with EA Games. The events, which will run throughout December in Apple stores in New York, LA, San Francisco and Chicago, will be an opportunity to play currently-unreleased "Need for Speed Undercover" and "SimCity".
In case you're interested in massively-multiplayer online games, then you'll definitely want to know that EA Games announced Dungeon Keeper Online today. The game will act as a continuation of the strategy game of the same name, though this time in the MMO format.
The game will be developed by NetDragon Websoft, a Chinese studio. This studio will gain access to all of the Dungeon Keeper content to develop the new game. Then, EA will be compensated once (or if) the title makes money.
However, that's pretty much all we know at this point. It will definitely be a 3D MMORPG, and China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong will be the only places this game will be available. This is rather unfortunate for the Western fans of the Dungeon Keeper franchise. No release date is yet known.
If you're big into skating games, then you'll be pleased to know that EA Games has just announced their Skate It! game for the Wii and Nintendo DS is now available to buy at a store near you.
The game lets you perform all sorts of skateboard moves just by flicking around the Wii Remote or by using the stylus on the DS. One particularly cool thing about the Wii version, however, is that you can use the Wii Balance Board to control the skateboard within the game. That definitely brings an element of realism to it.
The object of the game is to become Thrasher Magazine's Skater of the Year. Sounds funny, but might also actually be kind of fun. At the very least, this skate-focused game further brings in a sporty feel to Nintendo consoles.
While we've known about the upcoming game EA Sports Active for the Wii for quite some time, we're just now getting more information on the to-be-competitor to the Wii Fit game. In fact, it's meant for the whole family and was developed by fitness experts with women in mind.
This game will feature all sorts of activities for users to perform in conjunction. The movements target both the upper and lower body. Cardiovascular exercises are included as well and two players can play at the same time.
With on-screen feedback, you can see how many calories you've burned and adjust the intensity levels on the fly. The game will come with leg straps that hold the Wii Nunchuk controllers, and a resistance band for upper body work. You will be able to get the EA SPORTS Active game for the Wii in the Spring of next year for $59.99.
The poor economy is showing itself all over the place these days and it seems even the gaming industry is affected. EA Games is set to lay off about 600 employees to save money, cut costs and reduce their losses.
After experiencing losses of $310 million, which is up 63% from last year, EA has decided to lay off 6% of their employees in what they're calling a "global reduction." The main purpose of the lay-off is to incur a savings of $50 million. Hiring will also reduce drastically and open positions will be closed.
There was a listing on an online retailer recently that showed a Spore expansion pack, then was quickly removed. This set off a bunch of rumors about what this expansion could possibly be, but now EA is confirming it: two new expansion packs for Spore are to be released in the semi-near future.
Of the new games demonstrated at Apple's event this morning, the most impressive had to be Need For Speed: Undercover, the latest title in the popular Electronic Arts series. Intended for the iPod touch and iPhone, it's controlled both by the touchscreen - which let you select your 3D car and tweak its setup - and by the accelerometer, it features graphics the equal of other portable gaming systems.
Video demo of Need For Speed: Undercover after the cut
Logitech has announced the new Logitech Speed Force Wireless racing wheel for the Wii. The wheel will be the first force feedback wheel for the Wii and is designed to work with EA Games Need for Speed Undercover.
The Speed Force Wireless racing wheel has a once-piece design with built-in gas and brake controls located on the wheel itself. The wheel has an expandable lap rest so you can adjust the wheel for how you like to play your games. The wheel uses 2.4 GHz wireless technology to allow to gaming up to 30 feet away from the actual Wii console.