Clover Studio Not So Lucky[ps2] [gamecube] [ds]
Capcom announced today via a fairly straightforward press release that its fully owned but largely autonomous development house Clover Studio will be dissolved as of March 2007 in the interest of "concentrating management resources." Clover's current fifteen staff members will be offered relocation to Capcom's in-house development studios. The full reason given for the dissolution is as follows:
Clover Studio Co., Ltd. has met the goal of developing unique and creative original home video game software, however, in view of promoting a business strategy that concentrates management resources on a selected business to enhance the efficiency of the development power of the entire Capcom group, the dissolution of Clover Studio Co., Ltd. has been raised and passed at a Board of Directors' meeting.
Formed in on July 1, 2004, Clover Studio quickly established a strong identity for itself. The studio was established to create new and unique games. It developed every title in Capcom's Viewtiful Joe series other than the original GameCube title, and this year released both the gorgeous and stylized adventure Okami (PS2) and the over the top brawler God Hand (PS2).
Clover Studio employed some of Capcom's most talented producers and directors, responsible for some of the most critically well received games in recent memory. According to a blog post by Wired's Chris Kohler, key Clover team members intend to split completely from Capcom to found an independent studio. Later statements from Capcom indicate that these members include company president and CEO Atsushi Inaba, involved in all of Clover's games and recently a producer on Okami, as well as legendary director Hideki Kamiya, who helmed Okami, Resident Evil 2, Viewtiful Joe, and Devil May Cry. Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, who recently directed Resident Evil 4 and God Hand, had already left Capcom late last year and was working on a special contract. He has currently been contracted to another Capcom project of some kind, but it is not Resident Evil 5.
Despite reports of their plans to start a new studio, Kamiya and Inaba have not yet announced their immediate plans.
Wii Preorder Information Revealed[nintendo]
Following EB/GameSpot's PlayStation 3 preorder day earlier this week, the company has announced that tomorrow it will be accepting preorders for Wii in North America. As with PS3, Wii preorders will be on a first come, first served basis. "We expect to reach our limit very quickly, most likely in minutes," said the company in a statement, undoubtedly based in part on the high demand seen on Tuesday for PS3 preorders. Reservations will be limited to one per household and will require a $50 deposit. Online preorders will be announced at a later date, but are expected to be extremely limited.
Canadian gamers looking forward to either Wii or PS3 will have the opportunity to reserve systems this coming Monday, October 16. Those preorders will be conducted similarly to this week's North American preorders, and will require deposits of either CA$200 in cash or credit, or CA$50 in total trade-ins.
Wii Comes Alive[nintendo]
When asked to name any particular difficulties in developing for Nintendo's upcoming Wii console, some developers have cited the complex calculations involved in interpreting data from the system's motion-sensing controller. Today, Nintendo and middleware provider AiLive announced LiveMove, a Wii software development kit that automates gesture programming for the system. Developers will be able to include recognition of particular movements in games by merely performing the movements in conjunction with AiLive's software. More details are available at AiLive's official site, and the company plans to run a series of tutorial sessions for developers in Palo Alto, California.
Xbox Live to be Dead for a Day[xbox] [xbox360]
According to a Q&A on Microsoft's official Xbox site, the Xbox Live gaming service as well as Xbox.com will be offline for up to 24 hours starting at midnight Pacific time on Tuesday, October 17, 2006. Apparently, the downtime is "because we're adding some cool stuff," though this cool stuff does not include a new Dashboard update. Microsoft notes that you will be unable to "pwn [your] rivals." Later on, the Q&A refers to the original Xbox as "your big black buddy."
Gears of War Re-Webbed[xbox360]
Microsoft sent word today that the official Gears of War (X360) website has been revamped, and now contains a variety of contextual flashback movies that allow players to become familiar with the world and backstory behind Epic's upcoming shooter. The game is set to ship in North America on November 7, 2006.
Trick or Treat, it's Darkwatch[ps2] [xbox]
Carlsbad, California-based Darkwatch (PS2, Xbox) developer High Moon Studios announced today that it will be making available Halloween costumes based on the protagonist from its debut Western/vampire shooter title. California Costume Creations will be releasing a line of costume packages consisting of clothing and accessories worn by vampire hunter Jericho Cross. Components such as Cross' hat, eye patch, duster, cowl hood, vest, badge, belt, boot tops, Redeemer revolver, armored gloves, and armored knee pads will be available in packages spanning three adult and two child sizes. For a chance to win a costume set, check out High Moon's official site.
1UP takes a look at Rockstar Vancouver's Bully (PS2).
Eurogamer has a preview of Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 2 (X360).
GameSpot previews Tecmo's Super Swing Golf (Wii).
GameSpot checks out Ubisoft Quebec City's PSP version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (PSP, also PS2, Xbox, PS3, X360, PC).
1UP checks out Starbreeze's The Darkness (PS3, X360).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Rambo for the NES. "I remember playing this game as a young lad along side my father. Normally he is a calm and collected man, but when I mention that final boss encounter to him he gets a vacant look in his eyes and mutters softly to himself: 'fuck that helicopter'" (submitted by liqker)