Thursday, October 21, 2004

Deja vu all over again (and other news)

Okay boys and girls, it's time for another round of the latest videogame news.

  • Coming as no surprise to anyone (especially those of you who beat the game), Activision and Raven Software have announced today that they are developing a sequel to their hit game X-Men Legends (sorry Shane).

    According to Ron Doornink, CEO of Activision Publishing:
    "For 40 years Marvel's X-Men have captivated consumers worldwide and today the brand is stronger than ever," "X-Men Legends is already on track to be the best selling game in the franchise's history."
    And from Ames Kirshen, director of video game development at Marvel:
    "We are thrilled with the critical and consumer response to X-Men Legends. Marvel and Activision are committed to ensuring that the X-Men Legends series will continue to be a top notch game franchise for years to come."

  • In an unusual twist of irony, the latest video game to find itself stolen and pirated online is none other than Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Apparently, there are illegal copies of the game, as well as images from the manual, popping up all around the net. Rockstar has released a statement similar to Bungie's statement after the leak of Halo 2, explaining that investigations are ongoing and asking the gaming community to report any information on websites with links to unauthorized downloads, scans, or video to

  • The WWE has decided to lay the Smackdown onto Jakks Pacific and THQ. On Tuesday, the WWE filed a fourteen count lawsuit against Jakks, THQ, Stanley Shenker & Associates, Inc., and Bell Licensing, LLC. The lawsuit claims that when James Bell was the WWE’s Senior Vice President of Licensing and Merchandising, he arranged for Jakks to receive the WWE videogame license, ignoring better offers from both Activision and THQ. In return, Bell allegedly received over $100,000 in bribes. Now before anyone thinks I made a typo by saying a deal from THQ was overlooked, it should be noted that THQ did not partner up with Jakks until AFTER Jakks was awarded the license. In the WWE's lawsuit, there are no claims of direct wrongdoing by THQ, however the WWE is looking to terminate their existing license agreement.

    According to Linda McMahon, CEO of the WWE:
    “We very much regret having to take this action today, but regret even more the facts and circumstances which have compelled us to do so. WWE’s intellectual property is a valuable asset of the Company, and we believe the actions taken today are necessary to preserve the integrity of our licensing process and essential to ensure that WWE receives appropriate and fair compensation for the grant of a license to use our intellectual property.”
    For its part, THQ released a statement saying in part:
    THQ is committed to preserving its rights under the videogame license with the WWE. THQ believes the WWE is pleased with the manner in which THQ has managed their brand in the video game category. As THQ is not directly accused of any wrongdoing in the complaint -- rather the complaint alleges wrongdoing on the part of JAKKS Pacific and others of which THQ was and is unaware -- THQ is not in a position to comment on these allegations. In any event, either there is no basis for terminating the video game license, or THQ expects to be made whole by those whose conduct is eventually found to be unlawful. THQ intends to vigorously protect and pursue its rights, if necessary.

    The lawsuit has no effect on games currently scheduled for release, including WWE SmackDown!(TM) vs. Raw(TM), which is scheduled to ship on November 2.
    You can check out the full 73-page court filing here.

  • Following in the footsteps of Halo 2's marketing, Nintendo has launched 2 fake websites, Channel 51 and Orbis Labs, to promote its upcoming Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The sites will be updated regularly, leading up to the ultimate release of the game on November 15th. The sites are actually pretty cool. Check 'em out.

As always, keep checking back for more news.

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