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Friday, January 25, 2002

Bioware & Interplay Make Nice on NWN
8:36 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In what could be described as a curt press release, BioWare announced they have settled their legal dispute with Interplay over the publishing of their upcoming 3D role-playing game Neverwinter Nights.

In an interesting turn of events, Infogrames (owner of MacSoft) will now get the publishing rights to the game. While this may lead to the Mac version eventually being published by MacSoft, there's no information yet on how the final decisions might pan out.

Here's the press release:

BioWare and Interplay have reached a settlement ending the dispute between the companies. Per the agreement, Neverwinter Nights, developed by BioWare, will be published by Infogrames worldwide subject to certain pre-existing Interplay licenses. In addition other matters have been resolved to both parties’ mutual satisfaction.

Ray Muzyka, joint CEO of BioWare Corp. said, "We’re delighted that we have reached an amicable settlement agreement in our dispute with Interplay, and we look forward to completing the development work on Neverwinter Nights and having Infogrames publish this product."

Added Herve Caen, President of Interplay: "We are very pleased with the outcome of this situation and we are looking forward to a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with Infogrames and BioWare on this and other titles."

We're glad to see at least that there shouldn't be any more legal wranglings between the two companies over unpaid dues. Neverwinter Nights is expected out later this year for Mac, PC, and Linux.

IMG Preview: Neverwinter Nights
Interplay and BioWare reach settlement
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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IMG Reviews Sacrifice
3:00 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Michael Eilers of Sacrifice, the recently released 3D real-time strategy game from MacPlay:

Sacrifice is yet another Mac port with a tortured and twisted path to the Mac OS. Originally announced in November of 2000 as one of the "launch" titles celebrating the return of MacPlay, it promptly vanished for over nine months, finally reappearing at Macworld Expo NY in 2001. Due to ship at the end of the summer, the game finally made it at the end of December, a few days short of a 2002 release.

Unfortunately, it is an arguable point as to whether the game was actually completed before it shipped. Plagued by poor performance and a lack of multiplayer support (the patch is due in March 2002) the game has a rough, unfinished feel and a lack of polish that may very well condemn it to the same place the PC version of this game can be found these days: the bargain bin.

Follow the link below for the rest of our review.

IMG Review: Sacrifice
Pre-Order Sacrifice

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Gaming Groove Interviews Jake Simpson
2:26 PM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Gaming news site Gaming Groove has posted an interview with Jake Simpson, a long-time veteran of the gaming industry.

Simpson previously worked at Raven Software on first- and third-person 3D games such as Heretic II, coming soon to the Mac from MacPlay, and Star Trek: Voyager — Elite Force, published by Aspyr Media, before moving on to Maxis.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

GG: What were some of the things you did at Raven?

Simpson: Well, lets see. I wrote the software renderer for Heretic II, plus lots of other smaller systems, EAX and A3D support, some AI stuff, worked on the Client Effects systems, the networking for the multiplayer game and so on. Between Pat Lipo and myself, we handled the Enhancement pack ourselves. I worked on SOF doing multiplayer games, for both the release game as well as the Gold version. I also masterminded the EAX sound system support. On Elite force I did research and created the speech animation synch system. Nothing huge, but there you go. I did a little bit of work on the weapons too....

Head over to Gaming Groove for the rest.

Gaming Groove: Jake Simpson Interview
Heretic II
Raven Software
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

Beta 5 of NeoCairo Mod for UT Released
1:59 PM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

The talented Team Orbit have released beta five of the NeoCairo mod for MacSoft's first-person shooter, Unreal Tournament. This exceptional mod allows players to take control of ten attack mechs and aircraft, and offers the following additional features:

  • Nine weapons
  • 20 Maps
  • Multiple HUDs
  • 12 Pieces of Music
  • Ground AND Air Combat
  • New "Alien Attack" game mode
  • More...
There are some impressive-looking screen shots at PlanetUnreal, and further information is available at the Team Orbit web site, where you can also download the 92.2 MB mod. Don't miss it.

Team Orbit:NeoCairo
Planet Unreal
Unreal Tournament

Interplay Founder and CEO Brian Fargo Steps Down
1:36 PM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

Citing Interplay's poor financial performance, founder and CEO Brian Fargo resigned. The latest development in the disagreements between Interplay and its French parent company, Titus Games, Fargo's resignation underscores Interplay's shift in focus from PC-only games to publishing games for video consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox.

Interplay went public in 1998 and has steadily lost money over the past three years. After several failed attempts to sell the company, a controlling stake was purchased by Paris-based Titus, providing a much-needed influx of cash to stave off creditors and fund new projects. Titus also hired Europlay 1 to assist in restructuring Interplay as it changed direction.

Founded in 1983 by Fargo, Interplay has produced scores of popular games over the past two decades. In 1993, the MacPlay division was formed and went on to become the dominant Mac game publisher of its time, releasing numerous popular titles, including Wolfenstein 3D, Descent and Descent II, and Castles: Siege and Conquest. After releasing Fallout and Starfleet Academy in the late '90s, however, MacPlay fell dormant, angering customers whom it strung along with promises of continued support that it ultimately failed to deliver (e.g. the long-promised patch for Starfleet Academy).

Interplay did not wholly abandoned the Mac market, however, and over the next few years it licensed a number of its games to such Mac publishers as Logicware. In October of 2000 the MacPlay brand itself was licensed to United Developers along with the Mac publishing rights to five Interplay titles, including Baldur's Gate II and the upcoming Icewind Dale.

Despite his personal setback, Fargo remains upbeat about Interplay and its products:

We can certainly be criticized for financial performance, but I don't think anyone can criticize our games. We continued to put out quality games, games of the year, even with all this going on.
Although Interplay president Herve Caen declined comment on Fargo's resignation, he did state that a new CEO would be appointed shortly.

[Sean Smith contributed to this story.]

Orange County Register: Game Over for Interplay CEO
IMG News: United Developers Acquires MacPlay Brand

Aspyr Newsletter: RtCW, 4x4 Evo 2 System Reqs
8:36 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Yet another month is quickly passing by, which means it's time for the next exciting edition of the Aspyr newsletter. While IMG reported yesterday most of the news that would be in it, here's a quick recap: Spider-Man is now shipping, 4x4 Evolution 2 is in duplication and set to ship very soon, and both Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Harry Potter are now final candidates. If that impressive lineup doesn't heat up your winter, nothing will. A number of their other excellent titles have received a price cut, so you surely want to head over to their site and take a look.

The newsletter also reveals some of the system requirements for upcoming titles. Those looking to take the roll of B. J. Blazkowicz once again will want to know the requirements for Return to Castle Wolfenstein:

  • Mac OS 9.1 or later
  • Mac OS X compatible
  • Power Mac G3 or G4 processor at 450 MHz or faster
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 660 MB of Hard Drive space
  • (Please note that these may change before the product ships)
Remember that Return to Castle Wolfenstein is now available for pre-order at the IMG Store to MacGames CD subscribers for only $45.

The final requirements for 4x4 Evolution 2 have also been unveiled for the first time, so driving fans buckle up:

  • Mac OS 9.1 or higher
  • Mac OS X compatible
  • 450 MHz or faster
  • Power Mac G3, G4 or iMac
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • Hardware 3D Acceleration required (Rage 128 or higher, Radeon or GeForce recommended)
  • 8x CD-ROM
If you're not already a subscriber to the Aspyr newsletter, you can sign up at their web site.

Aspyr Media
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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WarBirds III for OS X in March; Retail Version Planned
8:36 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story

iEntertainment Network recently announced that the Mac OS X version of WarBirds III is on track for a March 1st release and that they are finalizing plans to distribute boxed versions of the game in retail outlets.

WarBirds, a subscription-based massively multiplayer World War II flight simulator, has been a bastion of online gaming since the early days of the genre, and it continues to evolve. Over the past year, iEN has worked hard to polish the stunning visuals and extra features of WarBirds III, incorporating new planes, ground vehicles, and terrains in addition to the hardware-accelerated eye candy.

News of the boxed version of the game will be a welcome relief to those who find the large download (90+ MB, not counting extra art packs and terrains) a bit daunting (and who don't subscribe to our MacGames CD, which includes it).

WarBirds III is available as a free download, and there is no charge for offline practice. Users pay $9.95 per month for a basic account (which includes unlimited time in the WarBirds III arenas) and $24.95 per month for an account that allows unlimited access to all arenas.

For more information, check out IMG's full review of WarBirds III by following the link below.

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III

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Elite Force Testers Needed for SMP Patch
8:36 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive's Brad Oliver recently made a quick post to the IMG Forums asking for testers for a new Star Trek: Voyager — Elite Force patch.

Since Elite Force is based on the Quake 3 engine, it will take advantage of two CPUs under Mac OS X. Unfortunately, a number of users with dual-processor machines have noted instability when trying to run the game in SMP mode. Oliver now has a patch he wants them to try, since he was never able to reproduce it on his end:

OK, I _think_ I've fixed the SMP bug with Elite Force causing crashes and lockups for some people with DP Macs. Since I was never able to reproduce it, I'd like someone who had big trouble with r_smp enabled to let me know if I've finally nailed this. Please e-mail me at if you suffered and have a DP box running OS X.
If you're a gamer having this problem, be sure to drop him a note to get the latest beta patch and let Oliver know whether it helps.

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Westlake Interactive
IMG Forum: Elite Force 1.2 and SMP fix - testers wanted

Mac Games News for Thursday, January 24, 2002

Black & White Update 1.1.1 Released11:59 AM
Civ 3 Editor Coming to OS X11:54 AM
Rune: Halls of Valhalla Publication Details11:37 AM
IMG Previews Spider-Man10:36 AM
Harry Potter and RtCW Reach Final Candidate10:18 AM
4x4 Evolution 2 Is Gold6:00 AM
Andrew Welch Interviewed on MacSlash6:00 AM
Aspyr Ships Spider-Man for the Mac6:00 AM
Fruitz of Dojo Cuckoo for Cocoa Quake6:00 AM
Galactica: anno Dominari Updated6:00 AM
Myth III GameSpy Fix for OS X6:00 AM
Unreal Tournament 2 Q&A6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 24, 2002 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

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