gamescom 2009: Cologne eagerly awaits the gamescom premiere, with more than 420 exhibitors from 30 countries expected

Fans of interactive entertainment can look forward to world and European premieres of games, action, events and entertainment in Cologne at gamescom, already the international meeting place of the industry at its very first staging

Gamescom is under starter’s orders and the stands are already being set up in Cologne. Organiser Koelnmesse and its ideal partner the German Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware – BIU) are eagerly waiting to greet more than 420 exhibitors from 30 countries from 19-23 August. With foreign participation at 45 per cent, gamescom has become the industry’s international meeting point at a stroke. Over a total of 120,000 square metres of exhibition space, the industry community, from developers to publishers and trading partners all the way to the large group of gamers, will meet in halls 4 to 9 of Koelnmesse.

Fans and friends of interactive entertainment can look forward to a grand show of game premieres, a spectacular event and entertainment programme on the entire trade show grounds – indoors and outdoors – and in the city itself at the gamescom Festival. Already well over 100 world, European and German premieres of games in all genres are on the bill. With more than 30 exhibitors from the areas of media learning and expertise, and the gamescom congress organised by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Europe’s largest event for interactive entertainment and games is also giving a huge boost to child welfare. Koelnmesse, the German Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU), the City of Cologne and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia are ready to launch the premiere of gamescom. “The games can begin,” say Oliver P. Kuhrt, Managing Director of Koelnmesse, and Olaf Wolters, head of the BIU, in unison.

Industry meeting place
With foreign companies making up 45 per cent of exhibitors – including firms from the UK, France, the US and Canada – gamescom is already the new international industry meeting place right from the start. Games producers from France, Italy, the UK, Scandinavia, Taiwan and Thailand will present their products on six shared stands. The business area (halls 4 and 5) will see the European games industry do business with their trading partners, while the entertainment area (halls 6 to 9) is devoted to companies presenting their new products to private visitors. For example in hall 6 of gamescom, companies including Activision Blizzard, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Square Enix and Take Two will showcase their latest titles. In hall 7, Konami, Sony and Ubisoft, Bigben Interactive, Hama, Koch Media and others will cater to fans of interactive entertainment. In hall 8, next to the north entrance, firms including Nintendo, Namco Bandai, Sega, Warner Brothers, dtp and Tivola will present their innovations. Hall 9 puts e-sports, core gaming and the dynamic online gaming segment centre stage. Here, Turtle Entertainment, GOA, NcSoft, Funcom and others will show their products in the best light. To ensure that visitors to gamescom have as much active gaming time as possible, themed game zones (lifestyle, sport, action & adventure, e-sports) will complement the exhibitor stands. This is where the virtual world of games meets its real-world counterpart.

World premieres and interactive supporting programme
In the entertainment area, visitors to gamescom will experience a festival of new computer and video games. It will feature new products in just about every genre, from infotainment and edutainment games, to casual, sports and music games, all the way to action and adventure. In short, video and PC, online and browser games producers and hardware providers, too, will be presenting their latest developments, with exhibitors presenting more than one hundred world, European and German premieres. Sports fans, for example, can look forward to the premieres of Pro Evolution Soccer 10, FIFA 10, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Tony Hawk Ride, while racing aficionados will be treated to Need for Speed Nitro and Forza Motorsport 3. The pulses of music-lovers will also be quickened by titles such as Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero 5, The Beatles Rock Band, Band Hero, LIPS – No. 1 Hits and Just sing.

The line-up of global players from around the world is already being hotly awaited by the European gaming community in the focus area of online, browser and mobile games. Besides browser game market leaders gameforge and Bigpoint, more than 20 companies from Germany, Europe and South Korea will present the entire gamut of games and latest blockbusters, among them World of Warcraft and “Celebrities”.

Away from the screens and monitors, the interactive supporting programme at gamescom will provide the best in entertainment. Creative costumed action fans and friends of relaxing entertainment at gamescom will certainly get their money’s worth in the real world too. For example, from Thursday the best case modders will battle it out in the German case-modding championships, which will award prizes to the most inventive homemade PC housings. People looking to enter the games industry or move within it will want to head straight to the job and career centre in hall 8. There visitors will also find the “Retro Gaming 1972-2009” exhibition, showcasing almost four decades of gaming history. Outside, cosplayers – costumed players – will be awaiting their turn. On Saturday, the south entrance will be the setting for a cosplay world record attempt, which has been officially registered with Guinness World of Records. Another outdoor event will see the most daring motorcyclists take their racers through the freestyle course. In hall 8, the German Motorcycle Trade Association (Industrie-Verband Motorrad Deutschland – IVM) will showcase the fascinating world of motorbikes and scooters. Participation is the order of the day in other supporting events too. The outdoor course will test entrants’ mettle in overcoming obstacles and becoming the fastest and most effective in getting from A to B, a skill that comes first and foremost in many games, after all. Trade show visitors can also attend small workshops to learn the basics of this trend discipline straight from the pros. From Thursday to Sunday, the other outdoor exhibitor events will provide perfect entertainment for fans and families alike. Those in need of a break from the hubbub in the halls and the grounds can escape to the gamescom beach, where they can relax and recharge before the next round of show highlights.

“gamesCompetence” unites teaching content and expertise
Youth protection, media learning and instruction in media skills come under the “gamesCompetence” heading at gamescom. This event throws the spotlight on offers from young people for their age group, associations, clubs and institutions, as well as the gamescom congress organised by the state government. Almost 40 exhibitors, among them associations, clubs, and educational facilities, will actively participate in the “gamesCompetence” event highlight. The NRW 2009 Youth Forum in hall 8 hosted in collaboration with Cologne Youth Welfare Office will centre on offers from young people for young people. Also taking part in the “gamesCompetence” programme: the Federal Centre for Political Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung – BpB), the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz – KJM), the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien – BPjM) and educational facilities including the University of Cologne. The main highlight of the gamescom days under the sign of youth protection, media learning and expertise is the gamescom congress to be staged under the state government’s auspices on 20 August in the Congress Centre North. The congress, which is free to all, is devoted to the latest debates revolving around the world of computer gaming. The topic of age-appropriate use of interactive media does not only play a role in the specialist part of gamescom – the right way to deal with games will also be demonstrated live in the trade show grounds. To ensure young people are protected at gamescom itself, visitors will be given coloured armbands according to their age. This follows the guidelines of self-regulating software body the USK and enables exhibitors to ensure that games are only played by the age groups they are intended for. Games for players aged 16 and over will be demonstrated in a closed-off area of exhibitor stands. All in all, the offers for parents and teachers, educators, politicians, media and other interested parties at “gamescompetence” range from practical applications and tools all the way to top political discussions.

The gamescom Festival takes the games into the city
The supporting gamescom Festival takes the games into the city where it will address the target group of casual gamers, leisure and occasional players after the trade show closes with lots of fun. The city centre around Rudolfplatz, Friesenplatz and Neumarkt will feature two stages with an entertaining line-up of live acts, while the area between Rudolfplatz and Friesenplatz will be given over to interactive gaming with show trucks and game modules. The festival will open its doors on 19 August with top European music act Die Toten Hosen who will appear with Gentlemen and other top names to rock the audience in the dancing zone adjoining the trade show grounds. Following the opening ceremony on Wednesday, the city festival in downtown Cologne will provide spectacular entertainment from Friday to Sunday. National and international music acts, interactive gaming and the BÄM Awards will showcase fun from its best angle over three days true to the gamescom motto, “Celebrate the games”.

Closed Beta For Highly Anticipated Fighting Online Game Mini Fighter

July 24, 2009 · Filed Under Beta, Fighting, MMO, News, Online · Comment 

Thousands of Pre-Registered Players Rush in to Join the Exclusive Beta Test

CJ Internet announced the launch of the Mini Fighter closed beta test and released a new gameplay trailer showcasing in-game battles. In the short week leading up to the launch of the beta, thousands of players pre-registered for beta keys and downloaded the Mini Fighter client. Eager players will now have the opportunity to explore various battle zones – including tag match, free battle and gem catch – and battle opponents in 14 different modes, as well as participate in a variety of community events throughout the closed beta phase.

“Players will have a lot to experience in the first beta test of Mini Fighter,” said Youngjong Jung, President and CEO of CJ Internet. “We’ve been hard at work developing these rich new zones and inaugural events in the game, and it’s exciting to see players enter into the game for the first time and truly engage with the world and its inhabitants.”

During the closed beta phase, players can explore the following new areas in Mini Fighter: battle room, coliseum and single play mode. In addition, players have several play modes to choose from including Survival and Tag Team, and can engage in Village Grapple and Siege Warfare battles with over 200 players at a time.
Additionally, CJ Internet will host two special events during the closed beta. In the first event, called “Achieve Level 25,” players who reach level 25 will receive a colorful character name upgrade that carries over to the full version of the game. In the second event, called “Phoenix Pet Griffith,” players who collect 20 gold carp and visit the Jiang Taigong NPC can exchange the carp for a special addition pet.

To view the new gameplay trailer for Mini Fighter, please click on the following link: http://global.netmarble.com/minifighter/Download/videos.asp

For more information about Mini Fighter and to register for entry into the closed beta, please visit the official Netmarble website at: http://global.netmarble.com/minifighter/

Mini Fighter

Mini Fighter is a frenetic, side-scrolling fighting game that features massively multiplayer online battles of up to 210 combatants. Players can level-up their fighters and compete in a wide variety of modes, from Survival and Tag Team matches to Boss fights and daily Siege Warfare. Take a break from the fisticuffs to compete in a variety of minigames, including the brain-busting Quiz Village. Combining a simple user interface with action-packed gameplay, Mini Fighter is sure to be a blast no matter what kind of MMO player you are!

Street Fighter II Champion Edition: the come-back

July 13, 2009 · Filed Under Fighting, News · Comment 

Metaboli, the European leader in the digital distribution of PC games, its subsidiary in North America, GameTap LLC and Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, announce the launch of a new way of promotion for digital distribution of PC Games.

To support the release of the PC version of Street Fighter® IV on the 7th of July, Metaboli has set up an innovative campaign around a free Flash version of the original Street Fighter® II’ Champion Edition which will be playable directly in web-browsers.

For the first time, players can discover again the most popular fighting game from the 90’s directly in their web-browsers, and are invited to get Street Fighter IV for PC available via download-to-own.

Originally released for coin-op in 1992, Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition includes 12 characters: Ryu, Ken, Honda, Chun-li, Blanka, Guile, Zangief, Dhalsim, Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M.Bison. After every third match players can participate in a “bonus game” including car-breaking, barrel breaking and drum-breaking for additional points. Players could finish the game by defeating all 12 challengers within the single player mode.

To support the release of the PC version of Street Fighter® IV on the 7th of July, Metaboli has set up an innovative campaign around a free Flash version of the original Street Fighter® II’ Champion Edition which will be playable directly in web-browsers.

For the first time, players can discover again the most popular fighting game from the 90’s directly in their web-browsers, and are invited to get Street Fighter IV for PC available via download-to-own.

Originally released for coin-op in 1992, Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition includes 12 characters: Ryu, Ken, Honda, Chun-li, Blanka, Guile, Zangief, Dhalsim, Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M.Bison. After every third match players can participate in a “bonus game” including car-breaking, barrel breaking and drum-breaking for additional points. Players could finish the game by defeating all 12 challengers within the single player mode.

Street Fighter 4
Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition will be available on most Flash portals and players will have the opportunity to embed the game on their blog/website and to share it with friends.

This Flash version has been converted by DotEmu, the leading technology provider for emulation and fast porting solutions.

After having played the Flash version, gamers are invited to discover the new Street Fighter IV PC version or to discover the GameTap Classic Pack which grants access to over 500 classic hits for only $4.95 per month.

Street Fighter IV can be digitally purchased here: http://streetfighter.gamesplanet.com/street-fighter-4-game-gametap.html

The Flash version of Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition can be played for free here: http://www.kongregate.com

GameTap Classic Pack is available here: http://www.gametap.com/

Street Fighter IV

July 8, 2009 · Filed Under Fighting, News · Comment 

Highly Acclaimed Fighter Heads To PC With A Level Of Graphical Detail Not Seen Before

Street Fighter IV

Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, announced that Street Fighter® IV has shipped to retail for PC and is available through online distribution platforms. Street Fighter IV, which has racked up awards and critical praise since its release on consoles in February, has redefined the fighting game genre with a return to the classic 2D Street Fighter fighting action mixed with new characters, high definition 3D visuals, and next-generation fluid gameplay.

Street Fighter IV is rated by the ESRB as Teen and is available now on store shelves in North America for $39.99 or through various online distribution platforms, including the Capcom e-Store, Steam, Direct2Drive, Metaboli, GamersGate, Impulse and others to be named later. Also, look for the Mad Catz Fight Pad bundle for a suggested retail price of $59.99, which includes the highly sought-after Ryu Fight Pad and game, available at Amazon.com, the Capcom e-Store and selected retailers.

Street Fighter IV features a mix of returning favorites such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Guile along with new characters created exclusively for this game such as Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuerte, and Rufus. Characters and environments are rendered in high definition 3D, while the game is played in the classic Street Fighter 2D perspective with additional 3D camera flourishes. Six-button controls for the game return, with a host of new special moves and features integrated into the input system. Street Fighter IV also incorporates state of the art online match making and worldwide online gameplay. Mixing classic genre-defining game mechanics the franchise is known and loved for with all-new, never-before-seen gameplay systems, Street Fighter IV brings a brand new fighting game to fans the world over. With the inclusion of Capcom’s latest advancements in new generation technology, Street Fighter IV promises to deliver an extraordinary experience that has been re-introducing the world to the time-honored art of virtual martial arts.

Features:

• New for PC – Three visual shaders based on the “artistic” trailers give a new look to the gameplay: Watercolor, Poster, and Sumi-E ink styles.
• Online gameplay features, including instantaneous online challenges, versus mode, tournament mode, and world wide online gameplay through Games for Windows® – LIVE.
• New special moves that go beyond any Street Fighter fan’s wildest imagination, including Focus attacks, Super Combos, and the revenged-fueled Ultra Combo system.
• Classic Street Fighter characters recreated for a new generation of gamers, including the original cast of Street Fighter® II.
• New brawlers: female super-spy Crimson Viper, lucha libre wrestler El Fuerte, portly kung-fu master Rufus, mixed martial artist Abel and more!
• New gameplay elements provide new challenges for both newcomers and the most seasoned Street Fighter pro.
• Classic 2D Street Fighter gameplay with stunning high definition 3D characters and environments.
• Supports higher screen resolutions than console versions.

For more information, visit http://www.streetfighter.com.

Gametrailers.Com Announces Winners Of Distinguished Game Of The Year Awards 2008

Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV Takes Home Coveted “Game of the Year” Award, Along with “Best Action Adventure Game,” “Best Story,” “Best PlayStation3 Game” and “Best Xbox 360 Game”

GameTrailers (GT) – the premier provider of video for gamers – announced the winners of the “GameTrailers Game Of The Year Awards 2008,” crowning Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV as “Game of the Year.”  Other notable winners include Bethesda Software’s Fallout 3 and SCEA’s LittleBigPlanet.

Celebrating the outstanding caliber of games in 2008, GameTrailers revealed the nominees and winners of 28 game award categories during a ten-day series, culminating on New Years Eve.   The GT editorial staff selected the nominees and winners after spending countless hours reviewing hundreds of games for their gameplay, design, artistry and innovation.  In honoring the five nominees and ultimate winner in each category, GT produced informative video packages that showcase gameplay highlights and editorial comments on the merits of each nominee.

“This was yet another epic year for the gaming industry, and choosing a winner for each category proved to be very difficult,” said Shane Satterfield, Editor in Chief, GameTrailers.  “It was a lengthy, yet fulfilling task to sit with our experienced editorial staff and pick the winners.  We want to congratulate the many developers and publishers for their exceptional games and hope their great results carry on into the New Year.”

Log on to GameTrailers to watch all of the “Game of the Year Awards 2008” at www.gametrailers.com

Winners of the “GameTrailers Game Of The Year Awards 2008” are as follows:

Best Puzzle/Parlor Game
Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Nintendo

Best Strategy Game
Sins of A Solar Empire – Stardock

Best New Franchise
LittleBigPlanet – SCEA

Best PlayStation 2 Game
Rock Band 2 – MTV Games/Electronic Arts

Best Racing Game
Burnout Paradise – Electronic Arts

Best PSP Game
God of War: Chains of Olympus – SCEA

Best Nintendo DS Game
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia – Konami

Best Action Adventure Game
Grand Theft Auto IV – Rockstar Games

Best Sports Game
NHL 09 – Electronic Arts

Best Role-Playing Game
Fallout 3 – Bethesda Softworks

Most Innovative Game
LittleBigPlanet – SCEA

Best Story
Grand Theft Auto IV – Rockstar Games

Best Third-Person Shooter
Gears of War 2 – Microsoft Game Studios

Biggest News Story
Final Fantasy XIII for Xbox 360

Best Downloadable Game
Braid – Number None Inc.

Best Music and Rhythm Game
Rock Band 2 – MTV Games

Most Disappointing Game
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – LucasArts

Best Graphics
Gears of War 2 – Microsoft Game Studios

Best First-Person Shooter
Resistance 2 – SCEA

Best Trailer
Resident Evil 5 Tokyo Game Show Trailer – Capcom

Best Software Lineup
PlayStation 3

Best Multiplayer Game
Rock Band 2 – Electronic Arts

Biggest Surprise
Final Fantasy XIII for the Xbox 360

Best PC Game
Fallout 3 – Bethesda Softworks

Best Wii Game
Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Nintendo

Best PlayStation 3 Game
Grand Theft Auto IV – Rockstar Games

Best Xbox 360 Game
Grand Theft Auto IV – Rockstar Games

Game of the Year
Grand Theft Auto IV – Rockstar Games

Wii sold over 4.02 million consoles worldwide

January 30, 2007 · Filed Under Action, Adventure, Business, Competitions, Fighting, MMO, News, Online, Racing, RPG, Shooter, Sim, Sport, Strategy · Comment 

WiiAfter shipping 3.19 million units by the end of 2006, Nintendo have sold through a further 830,000 Wii consoles around the world to pass the 4 million mark just before the end of January 2007.

Nintendo aim to ship 6 million by March.

Xbox 8.66 mil units
0.34 m Japan
5.26 m Americas
3.06 m Others

Nintendo Wii 4.02 mil units

1.45 m Japan
1.53 m Americas
1.04 m Others

PlayStation 3 1.63 mil units

0.63 m Japan
1.00 m Americas
source: vgcharts.org

Wii