Nintendo acquires Monolith Soft (the other Monolith)[ps2] [gamecube] [wii] [ds] [gba]
Namco Bandai Games' Japanese division announced this week that Nintendo has acquired controlling interest the formerly Namco Bandai-owned development studio Monolith Soft. With 80% Nintendo ownership, Monolith Soft will essentially become a first party Nintendo development studio; Namco Bandai will retain a 16% stake in the company.
Nintendo's acquisition of Monolith Soft is likely in large part intended to address the overall low number of roleplaying games on Nintendo home systems. Monolith Soft is responsible for the PlayStation 2 series Xenosaga, a followup to Square's PlayStation RPG Xenogears, as well as the Baten Kaitos RPG series on GameCube. At one point, Namco announced a Nintendo DS version of Baten Kaitos, but it is currently thought to have been cancelled. Monolith Soft is the developer of the upcoming Wii exclusive armageddon-tinged action game Disaster: Day of Crisis.
Gears of War film treatment leaked[xbox360]
Movie news site LatinoReview.com further cemented its odd reputation as the most prolific video game movie script-leaking organization around with its preview of Stuart Beattie's treatment for the upcoming Gears of War film. Reader "Gearhead" contributed the report detailing approximately the first third of the treatment, which apparently begins prior to the events of Epic's Gears of War (X360) game. No director has yet been attached to the Gears of War movie project.
In addition to acting as a screenwriter on Michael Mann's Collateral and the upcoming The Punisher 2, Beattie is also a writer on two in-development video game films: Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run and Splinter Cell: The Movie.
Nintendo developing 45 for Wii, 79 for DS; Kojima likes Smash[wii] [ds]
BOOM widget 113673Speaking at a Japanese press conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that his company is currently developing 45 games for Wii as well as 79 games for Nintendo DS, reports financial publication Bloomberg. Those figures almost certainly refer both to internally developed games as well as Nintendo-published titles developed by second- or third-party studios.
Both systems have been light on Nintendo-developed games in recent months, with highly anticipated titles on both systems--such as The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on DS and Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Retro's Metroid Prime 3: Corruption--having been delayed past their original projected release periods. According to Iwata, the company's next round of first-party releases will ship towards the end of this summer.
Allaying fears that Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy have been pushed out of 2007, Iwata confirmed that both games are set for release this summer or fall. He also claimed that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption's pointer-based control is being "rated close to the keyboard and mouse control that's the standard for PC games" by its testers.
On the topic of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the game is apparently reaching a fairly complete stage of production. During the recent Snake vs. Zombie event hosted by Killer7 developer Grasshopper Manufacture, Smash Bros. series designer Masahiro Sakurai made an appearance to discuss with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima the appearance of Solid Snake as a playable character in Brawl. According to Kojima Productions' Ryan Payton on a recent episode of the Kojima Productions Report, Kojima played the game and stated that it "already feels very complete, it's already a lot of fun." Kojima apparently claimed that Nintendo "could put it out now, and it would sell millions of copies."
Calling All Cars! steals the gold[ps3]
According to a blog post by designer David Jaffe--entitled "GOLD BITCHES!"--Incognito Entertainment's cops'n'robbers-themed PlayStation Network game Calling All Cars! has been completed. Jaffe gave a final release date for the PlayStation 3 game: May 3, 2007. It will be available for $9.99.
Update: Jaffe's blog post appears to have been removed.
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence for the PlayStation 2. "It wasn't like Symphony of the Night, but it was a solid entry into the Castlevania series. And where else can we see the first Belmont beat his demon-wife with the Vampire Killer?" (submitted by volitionism)