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Shack PSA: Weekend eSports Line-Up

This weekend, MLG will be broadcasting its 2010 Pro Circuit finals from Dallas, Texas. The events will be streamed for free at MLGPro.com, though an enhanced HD stream is available for $10.

The games being played at MLG are Halo 3, StarCraft II, Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Tekken 6. A full schedule of events is available here. Read more »

"Watch the schedule. There was a lot of Starcraft yesterday and today. Halo will pick up today ..."
- Brian Leahy    See all 13 comments


Major League Gaming Strikes Content Deal with ESPN

Related Topics – MLG

ESPN.com announced today that it has entered a content agreement with Major League Gaming to bring competitive professional gaming to the ESPN network.

As part of the agreement, ESPN will serve as an outlet for MLG news and provide coverage of the league's 2008 Pro Circuit Competitions with streaming matches, scores and professional player interviews. The network plans to provide coverage to a variety of its programs and platforms. MLG will host ESPN co-branded online gaming tournaments. Read more »

"I don't know why but there is something hilarious about the idea of ESPN and video games.."
- poopster17    See all 10 comments


Ringling College Licenses CryENGINE 2

Related Topics – Crytek, MMO, CryENGINE 2, MLG

In the pursuit of higher education, Florida's Ringling College of Art and Design has licensed Crytek's CryENGINE 2 middleware. The initial participant in Crytek's educational licensing program, Ringling is the first academic institution to implement CryENGINE 2 into its curriculum. "We are thrilled Crytek has chosen Ringling College as its inaugural partner for educational licensing," said Ringling president Dr. Larry Thompson. "We view this CryENGINE 2 agreement as a validation of the exceptional and innovative academic program we have created here and feel privileged to have Crytek as one of our newest business partners." "The ranks of the Ringling alumni reads like a who's who of the computer graphics world, as do the companies they work for," noted Crytek director Faruk Yerli. "Our own director of animation is an alumnus, which shows you how highly we regard their graduates." "Now that Ringling will be training their students using our engine and tools," he continued, "we look forward in the coming years to welcoming even more future graduate game designers and animators to our employ, as will the ever growing list of companies who have chosen to license the CryENGINE 2 for their own productions.” CryENGINE 2 is utilized in Crytek's upcoming PC shooter Crysis and Paleo Entertainment's futuristic mob shooter Merchants of Brooklyn as well as MMOs from Reloaded Studios, MindArk, XMLGames and Avatar Reality.

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"I actually dropped out. Been working in the industry for 4 years now though. Doing very well ..."
- timaste    See all 14 comments


Lineage Creator Using CryEngine 2 for Next MMO

Related Topics – Crytek, MMO, NCSoft, CryENGINE 2, MLG

XMLGames, the company founded by former NCSoft executive and Lineage designer Jake Song, has licensed Crytek's CryEngine 2 for use in its new MMORPG. Song sung the engine's praises in a release today, highlighting the reasons behind the choice. "We previously had a lot of success using their ground breaking CryENGINE 1 technology while at NCSoft for AION," explained Song. "After seeing what it could do in the early previews of Crysis, we just knew we wanted to continue to work with their great new tools and engine. "Not only are the graphics unquestionably the best available," he continued, "but the unprecedented ability it offers to physically interact with the environment will allow us to create entirely new modes of gameplay which up to now we could only dream of implementing." An MMORPG with advanced physics? Griefers take note.

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"I took that into consideration - and wrote my reply anyway ;) however, I don't think they can ..."
- yuried    See all 9 comments


Frag Dolls Frag Guys

Related Topics – Ubisoft, Games: PC, CPL, MLG

In what appears to be the first major pro gaming victory for an all-female team, the Ubisoft-sponsored Frag Dolls won the CPL's Rainbow Six Vegas finals in Dallas this week. The team took down previously undefeated clan The Unknown in what was according to Nelly "Psyche" Morel a six-hour tournament. "There were a few good teams that we were worried about especially with the team compete team but we were confident about our team work," said Morel. "I kept counting down the clock, we were up by a good amount of kills and after we won it was such a relief--it was an amazing feeling." "We have been getting more experience with competition and playing under pressure by playing in pro-circuit tournaments like MLG and WSVG over the past year," said team captain Morgan "Rhoulette" Romine. "Being able to come here to play Rainbow, always our favorite multiplayer series, and bring our experience with both online and live event competition made for an ideal combination. We played as a team, communicated well, stuck to our strategies and won."

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"Lets win a game which has real competition in it, like quake, cs or wc3."
- xfoo    See all 59 comments


Pro Gaming Goes on TV, Gets Drug Tests

Related Topics – Games: PC, CPL, MLG

Earlier this year, Major League Gaming announced that it would be airing its competitive gaming tournaments on national television; currently, its Halo 2 2006 season is currently being run weekly on the USA Network. Now, another competitive gaming organization has announced it is joining the televised fray. The World Series of Video Games, which describes itself as "the first international video game competition circuit for multiple game platforms," has announced a deal with network and digital television channels to broadcast tournaments and other content. On December 30 at 3:00pm, CBS will air a one-hour special entitled They Got Game, focusing on various prominent figures of the competitive gaming world, including well known gamer Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel. CBS subsidiary channel College Sports Television plans to run a five-week series covering the first World Series of Video Games Finals, to be aired at 9:00pm ET on Sundays starting January 21, 2007. It will include games such as Counter Strike 1.6, Quake 4, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Halo 2, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Finally, in December and February, the DISH Network-hosted GamePlay HD channel will run various World Series of Video Games tournaments. With a somewhat more accessible broadcast schedule than the Saturday morning MLG series, as well as its presence across multiple channels, it seems that CBS has greater confidence in the potential mainstream appeal of competitive gaming than USA has with MLG, relegated to Saturday morning broadcasts. Still, as coverage of competitive gaming even among the established gaming community has waned in recent years, it remains to be seen if that confidence is well placed. In other pro gaming news, TwitchGuru reports that in 2007 the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), a major player in competitive gaming, will potentially begin conducting drug use tests among its players. "The potential for [drugs] being an issue absolutely concerns me," said CPL founder Angel Munoz. "It should concern anybody in eSports, because as the stakes get larger, as in any sport, people will look for an edge." Substances such as crystal methamphetamine and Ritalin are among those said to have been used to give participants a physical advantage in CPL events. The CPL has banned specific substances among its players in the past, but has never before conducted mandatory drug tests. Both illegal and certain prescription drugs will be prohibited. Caffeine-based products such as coffee and energy drinks will not be restricted.

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"It was only 5v5, but it was a lot more exciting than I expected it to be. Though the game still ..."
- Speedy8    See all 43 comments


Late Night Consoling

I'm finally playing through God of War (PS2), and I just have to ask who ever thought it was fun to have to smash the same button as quickly as possible continuously for several seconds? I didn't enjoy it in Resident Evil 4 (PS2, GCN), I didn't enjoy it in Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit (PS2, Xbox, PC), and though I don't have very clear memories of it I probably didn't enjoy it in Track & Field. There must be people who find it hilariously entertaining to contort their hands and accelerate the onset of RSI, otherwise designers wouldn't keep sticking it in there, but I'm not one of them. Stop with the button mashing already!

  • Initial Wii Launch Titles Confirmed

    [nintendo]
    Earlier this year, Nintendo of America VP George Harrison stated that Wii will likely launch with about twenty games, a third or so of which will be first party offerings. The latest issue of Nintendo Power has confirmation of six of the system's launch titles, and in line with Harrison's estimated proportions, a third of them are Nintendo-published. There are also two games from Ubisoft, one from Sega, and one from Square Enix: - Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (Square Enix, Square Enix) - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo EAD, Nintendo) - Metroid Prime 3 (Retro Studios, Nintendo) - Rayman Raving Rabbids (Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft) - Red Steel (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft) - Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Sega, Sega) Various other publishers have also stated that they expect to ship Wii launch titles, though only these six were confirmed by Nintendo Power.
  • Chopin Plays the Xbox 360

    [xbox360]
    Namco Bandai has unveiled the first details of an upcoming Xbox 360 RPG entitled Trusty Bell: Chopin's Dream. The game features, of all people, timeless Romantic composer Frederic Chopin. Like all the best composers of the Romantic era, Chopin died fairly young, at the age of 39, in fact. In the world of Trusty Bell, Chopin had a dream in the last hours of his life, about a world where people with terminal illnesses--such as he--have special powers. That dream world is the setting of the RPG, which follows a girl named Polka, a young thief named Alegretto, as well as Chopin himself. The game has a colorful cell-shaded, heavily anime-oriented, visual style that seems to come closer to replicating the look of 2D animation more convincingly than most prior attempts. The game's Chopin piano music will be performed by noted Russian pianist Stanislav Bunin. Development is being handled by tri-Crescendo, a studio that split off from Star Ocean developer tri-Ace. Note to developers: somebody please, please, please take this graphical approach and make a game that looks like classical Western animation. PLEASE.
  • Contact 2 Confirmed

    [nintendo] [ds]
    Grasshopper Manufacture's RPG Contact (NDS) was recently shipped in Japan, but is still some months away from Atlus' September release of the game in North America. Still, that hasn't stopped notorious studio head Goichi Suda from commenting that a sequel is already been planned. Speaking to Nintendo Power, Suda stated, "We'll be making a Contact 2 for...um, a Nintendo platform to be announced." Realistically, the game is likely in development for either Nintendo DS or Wii, seeing as GameCube is on the way out and Grasshopper noted one reason for developing Contact on DS over GBA as the increased exposure the game would receive. The odd wording of Suda's response also seems to imply that the sequel may not be on DS, which would otherwise have been the obvious choice. So is Contact 2 coming to Wii? Wii'll have to wait and see.
  • No Prey Demo on Xbox Live Tonight

    [xbox360]
    At time of posting, there's less than an hour left until the PC demo of Human Head's Prey (X360, PC) is released, but a news item on the 3D Realms website reveals that the Xbox 360 version of the demo won't be available via Xbox Live tonight. "We do not want 360 people waiting up for the demo or having false expectations. The 360 demo will not appear on Marketplace tonight," explained company president George Broussard. "I'm still waiting for specifcs, but I'm being told that it's still in testing at Microsoft." 3D Realms is hopeful that the demo will surface on Xbox Live within the next few days.
  • MLG Pays Out Big Bucks to Halo 2 Team

    [xbox]
    Major League Gaming (MLG) today announced that it has finalized two lucrative exclusivity contracts, one with a four-man Halo 2 (Xbox) team and one with an individual Halo 2 player, stipulating that the players in question will compete only in MLG events. Player Tsquared will receive $250,000 and team Final Boss will receive $1M as per the agreement. The announcement did not specify a duration for the multi-year contracts, which it claims are the largest exclusive signings to date for professional gamers. "Having a true professional league requires that you be able to identify, scout and sign the best players in the world," said MLG co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni. "We're constantly on the lookout for the next big stars. Our Pro Circuit competitions give millions of gamers a chance to qualify to compete for their opportunity to make big money and gain recognition on the world stage as a pro gamer." This fall, MLG will televise its upcoming season of Halo 2 and Super Smash Bros. (GCN) on USA Network.
  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    LucasArts sends over a vehicles and creatures preview on Traveller's Tales' upcoming LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC) - Screenshots. GameSpot has a translated summary of an ID Media +D Games interview with Konami's Elebits (Wii) producer Shingo Mukaitouge, speaking on the planned launch title. GameSpot also has a translated summary of a Sega internal interview with Toshifumi Nabeshima, a From Softawre producer on Chromehounds (X360). Pro-G chats with Pandemic about the upcoming Destroy All Humans! 2 (PS2, Xbox).

Misc. Media/Previews

XBOX/X360
IGN previews Digital Eclipse's Frogger (X360). 1UP takes a look at Fluent Entertainment's Crusty Demons Freestyle Moto-X (Xbox). GameSpy checks out Taito's Over G Fighters (X360).
PORTABLE
IGN checks out Nintendo's Touch Panic (NDS). GameSpy previews SCEJ's Loco Roco (PSP). Screenshots: Panzer Tactics DS (NDS).
MULTI
Screenshots: LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, NDS, PSP, GBA, PC). Madden NFL 07 (PS3, X360, PC, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, Wii, NDS, PSP, GBA). Virtua Tennis 3 (PS3, X360).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Bubsy for the Super Nintendo. "Take a mario game, replace mario with a cat. Throw in some yarn balls and trampolines and you get a decent platformer." (submitted by fadetofunk)

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"OK. In case anybody comes across this, I think I had Wand save my username/pass and in doing so ..."
- smegmar    See all 88 comments


Major League Gaming to be Televised

Related Topics – Blizzard, Valve, Bungie, Games: PC, MLG

You may recall that, last year, competitive gaming organization Major League Gaming was shopping around its television broadcast rights. According to an Associated Press report, the MLG has found a willing partner. Later this year, NBC Universal subsidiary USA Network will be carrying seven hour-long episodes covering MLG video game tournaments and giving play by play commentary along with player profiles. Presumably, if the run is successful, the series will be extended to further MLG seasons.

Though video gaming fans have been able to follow competitions on game Web sites for years already, MLG's television deal marks the first time regular TV viewers would be able track the ups and downs of a pro tournament, watching video gaming as a new kind of extreme sport.

"This is the sign that pro gaming has finally arrived to the mass market," said Matthew Bromberg, MLG's president and chief operating officer. "It's like poker was two years ago, or NASCAR 15 years ago."

The series will follow MLG's two main competitive titles: Bungie's blockbuster shooter Halo 2 (Xbox) and Nintendo's fast-paced brawler Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN). While this is a far cry from ubiquitous competitive PC games such as Valve's Counter-Strike and Blizzard's StarCraft, console titles such as Halo 2 and Smash Bros. may provide the mass appeal necessary to draw in viewers not already familiar with video games as a spectator activity. "After three years of grassroots initiatives to build a credible, authentic professional video game league, MLG is now on the threshold of truly breaking through to the mass market," said MLG CEO and co-founder Mike Sepso. Sponsors such as Sprint Nextel brand Boost Mobile and Toyoto brand Scion will be contributing prizes and marketing tie-ins. This could be a good thing. As somebody who enjoys both Halo and Smash Bros., I wouldn't mind watching exceptionally skilled players compete in those games. On the other hand, the particular sponsors involved and the historical precedent of gaming-related content on national television (Spike TV Video Game Awards, anyone?) make me very, very apprehensive of what the final result is going to look like.

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"Regarding players being nerded up: Most of you have no idea what you are talking about, nor do ..."
- Alpha Zealot    See all 96 comments


Major League Gaming on TV?

Related Topics – Games: PC, MLG

Televised professional gaming is a mundane facet of everyday life in Korea, but in the Western world it is almost unheard of, even on channels dedicated to gaming. That may soon change, however. Next Generation reports that former CBS Sports head Neal Pilson, who also does consulting for the Olympics, NASCAR, and the Arena Football League, is currently shopping around the MLG television rights to various networks.

Prize money for the competition is said to be $1 million. The 2005 championships for the league will be held this January in New York but the rights being sold seek to start with the 2006-2007 season that will start shortly afterward. According to MLG CEO, Michael Sepso, the league has relationships with ESPN and MTV but only for one-off deals, not on-going programming.
Unlike most professional gaming, the MLG fosuses on console games such as Tekken 5, Halo 2, and Super Smash Bros. rather than PC games, but if this venture proves successful it may lead to more widespread coverage of competitive gaming. What do you think, would that be a positive step? I sure wouldn't mind being able to turn on the TV and catch the Starcraft finals.

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"This is going to happen and will work, whether now or a few years from now. It'll take a while ..."
- Do_Or_Die    See all 50 comments



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