GRAW Scores Top Honors at BAFTA[ps2] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [ds] [psp] [gba]
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts held its annual video game award ceremony this week, awarding honors to seventeen games in categories such as Innovation, Artistic Achievement, Character, and others, as well as an additional "Gamers' Award" selected by readers of publication The Sun. This year, Ubisoft Paris' Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (PS2, Xbox, X360, PC) took the highest prize of Best Game, as well as another win for Technical Achievement. It was nominated in a total of eight categories including, somewhat surprisingly, Strategy. Ubisoft celebrated the win with a press release headlined, "Ghost Recon is Officially the Best Game."
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe was the strongest publisher represented at the show, picking up a total of five wins from 19 nominations for games such as LocoRoco (PSP), Shadow of the Colossus (PS2), SingStar Rocks! (PS2), and Buzz!: The BIG Quiz (PS2). Notably, SCEI's Shadow of the Colossus won both Artistic Achievement and Action & Adventure. Nintendo grabbed 10 nominations; of those, it scored two awards, Innovation for Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain? (NDS). Ubisoft was next with eight nomations, every single one for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Electronic Arts tied with eight nods, winning Sports with EA Chicago's Fight Night Round 3 (PS2, Xbox, X360, PSP).
Other notable wins included a deserving Screenplay award for Double Fine's Psychonauts (PS2, Xbox, PC) and a perhaps unexpected Gameplay award for Traveller's Tales' LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC).
The full list of nominees and winners is available here.
Ubisoft's Detoc: "Our goal is...to beat EA"[ps2] [ps3] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [nintendo] [ds] [psp] [gba]
Speaking to Reuters yesterday, Ubisoft's North American head Laurent Detoc expressed his company's desire to climb to the top of the video game publishing heap. "Our goal is not to sell to EA but to beat EA," said Detoc. Electronic Arts is currently the world's most successful video game publisher; Ubisoft holds the #4 slot worldwide and #5 in North America. In 2004, EA purchased a 19.9% stake in Ubisoft, an action Ubisoft considered hostile. Detoc's statement this week is more confident than statements made last year by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who admitted that "it would be difficult to block" a full scale hostile takeover attempt by EA.
Part of Detoc's enthusiasm comes from Ubisoft's early investment in Wii development, which is seeing the company release more launch titles for the system than even Nintendo's own first party development, and puts it leagues ahead other third party publishers which have only more recently begun stepping up Wii support. Speaking on the controller, Detoc explained, "You get it right away" when picking it up for the first time. "The Wii is unlikely not to succeed," he continued. "The curiosity factor is going to help [Nintendo] and it's an impulse buy for most people." Detoc hopes that Ubisoft Paris' upcoming launch title Red Steel (Wii) can achieve a similar reception to Rare's bestselling GoldenEye 007 (N64).
No PSP Price Cut This Year, In Case You Were Wondering[psp]
One of the most common rumors about any video game console is that a price cut is coming any day now, and PSP has been getting its own share of such rumors recently. However, according to a Reuters report sourced from Sony representatives, Sony's portable system won't be getting one this year. Sony is currently selling the machine in its standard $250 package, as well as at a $200 price point which does not include pack-in items. Sony is banking on the system's library of games, which will have grown to about 230 by year end, to move units.
Groove Games Causes Bedlam[ps3] [xbox360] [nintendo]
Publisher Groove Games, which has released titles such as Digital Extremes' Pariah (PS2, Xbox, PC) and Cyberlore's Playboy: The Mansion (PS2, Xbox, PC), has announced the formation of its new fully-owned flagship development studio. Bedlam, based out of Toronto, will develop games for next-generation consoles that are based on original intellectual property. Bedlam's in-house talent hails from studios such as EA Canada, Ubisoft, and Rockstar, with credits on games such as Silent Hill, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Manhunt, The Warriors, and others. "At Bedlam, we promote creativity and empower our employees to take daring new strides when designing games," said director of game development Zandro Chan. "The growing team brings triple-A development experience to the table, and we look forward to releasing details about our first project shortly." No information regarding any of the team's projects has yet been announced.
Movies: NFL Street 3 (PS2, also PSP).
Box art: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Wii, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PS3, X360, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC).
Movies: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (all) (movies: Scorpion, Mandarin, Galactus, Shocker, Spider-Man). Call of Duty 3 (PS2, Xbox, PS3, X360, Wii). Arthur and the Minimoys (aka Arthur and the Invisibles) (PS2, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Impossible Mission for the Commodore 64. "One of the best puzzle games I have played. When you hack a computer and freez the robots the tension begins while youre searching around the room and then jump away in the last split-second before a robot zaps you...or not! played on Commodore 64" (submitted by jazz_uc)