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Friday, January 31, 2003

Destineer Acquires MacSoft
8:31 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Destineer Studios late yesterday announced that it has acquired MacSoft, a former business unit of Infogrames, Inc. Under the terms of the deal, Destineer has acquired from Infogrames all rights to the MacSoft brand and all MacSoft-branded existing products and products under development, as well as first rights to publish Macintosh versions of future Infogrames' products.

Here's more from the official press release:

The majority of Infogrames' MacSoft employees will join Destineer immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"We are investing very aggressively in the Macintosh market right now because we believe Mac OS X, iLife(TM) and other new Apple products are energizing the Mac community," according to Destineer President Peter Tamte. "In fact, MacSoft's titles from Infogrames and Microsoft this year will give MacSoft the strongest one-year lineup of games in the history of the Macintosh industry. 2003 is going to be a great year for Mac game players."

Destineer plans to publish at least 10 major Macintosh games under its MacSoft label during 2003, including Master of Orion® III, Neverwinter Nights(TM), Dungeon Siege(TM), Halo(TM), and at least six other games that have not yet been announced publicly.

Destineer currently publishes Macintosh versions of Microsoft's most popular Windows games under the "Bold, by Destineer" label. Destineer plans to begin marketing all of its future Macintosh products under the MacSoft brand immediately.

The impact of this deal is no doubt significant and far-reaching and should be great news for Macintosh gamers. With a renewed focus under new owernship, look for MacSoft to restore itself to its former glory in 2003.

What do you think of this deal? Stop by our forum and let us know.

Destineer Studios
IMG Forum: Destineer Acquires MacSoft

Rolling Marbles Released
9:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Red Marble Games has added a second shareware title to their lineup in the form of a slick puzzler called Rolling Marbles. The game contains 75 levels of logic or action puzzles, as well as an editor to make new levels of your own, for a price of $15. Rolling Marbles also has a demo available for free with 10 levels to try out yourself. Here's a description of the title's gameplay from the Red Marble Games web site:

Rolling Marbles brings an unusual combination of logic and action in a simple but compelling new game. In each level, you burst marbles by grouping them in fours and sixes of the same color. In puzzle levels, you start with a board full of marbles and must get rid of them all. In action levels, the marbles balloon out of ports in the board and fall toward the bottom.
Download the 4MB demo from Macgamefiles now or have a look at the Red Marble site for more information.

Rolling Marbles
Download Rolling Marbles

Red Line NASCAR Racing League Starts Up
9:03 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG received word on a new season of racing for owners of Aspyr Media's NASCAR Racing Season 2002, organized by the Red Line Racing League. Using the game along with the GameRanger multiplayer finding service, players can participate in a full NASCAR 2003 schedule. is the site hosting the league, and they have signups going on now. There are also instructions on how to tweak the game, such as adding custom decals, as well as taking an in-game "speedshot" to be posted on their front page. Check out the site for more information or to start in on the racing yourself.

Red Line Racing League
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Nascar Racing 2002
Buy Nascar Racing 2002

Custer's Off to the Races
8:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Brad Custer, IMG's in-house desktop artist, has taken home the checkered flag this week with a new piece for fans of NASCAR Racing Season 2002. This new racing game from Aspyr Media was just released this month and features realistic NASCAR gameplay as well as full force feedback in OS X. Here's more from Custer:

Well, this week one of my loyal viewers asked me very nicely for a desktop from NASCAR Racing 2002 Season. I was now in my own race against time to secure the artwork to honor this request. After using my endless supply of auto stock art and the fan site kit for NASCAR Racing 2002 Season I was able to create this week's wallpaper. I simply entitled it "Horsepower" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
Head over to Custer's Desktops to grab this latest desktop in your preferred resolution.

Custer's Desktops
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Nascar Racing 2002
Buy Nascar Racing 2002

Click to enlarge
Apolyton's Master of Orion III Preview, Part 4
8:31 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Apolyton, a fan site for turn-based strategy games recently posted the fourth part in their series of previews of Master Of Orion III. For those unfamiliar with MOO3, it is the latest in a series of space strategy games, where players vie for control of the universe. The latest preview of the game covers diplomacy in the game, along with some of the finer gameplay elements.

Here's a snippet:

This leads us to the nucleus of conducting your race's foreign affairs. On the first pass, though, it lets you know if you have any incoming messages from those whom you have made contact with ('View Incoming Messages'). If you are a member of the Orion Senate you need not have to cross paths in order to be able to talk to other civilizations: you have their communications frequency as supplied by Senate officials. There is a similar function to this in Civilization III, but you generally have to either trade for or successfully demand for it. This is definite timesaver but it is also an advantage of being apart of a greater community with the technological capabilities required to transverse outer space.

The Silent and The Not-So-Silent
For the most part, my galactic neighbors were interested in talking to me only if I initiated contact first. At the time I suspected that they did not want to go out on a limb and risk my ignoring them. In hindsight, however, they were obviously devoting more attention and effort on building and strengthening their internal affairs than establishing outside communication. This is a pattern that I should have paid more credence to, but such are the paths ? good and bad ? that one can take in MoO3. As the game progressed, I made an effort to contact all of my neighbors individually every few turns with the exception of the New Orions. What a crew.

Master of Orion 3 recently went gold for the pc, and as the Mac version is very close to the PC version. We should be hearing some news on it soon. To read the full preview, follow the link below.

Apolyton MOO3 Preview, Part 4
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

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Freeverse Software Ships Payback in North America
8:31 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software has announced that they are now shipping Payback for the Mac. Developed by Apex Designs, Payback put players in the persona of a criminal with a penchant for stealing cars, shooting weapons, and general mayhem:

Blow through the city at your own pace. You can do what the local kingpin tells you, uncover secret missions or just go on a mad killing spree. In Payback, You don't need to accomplish every mission; simply earn enough points to make it to the next city. Hidden secrets will keep you coming back to cities you've already mastered.
Other features include an explicit soundtrack, a variety of vehicles, and a multiplayer mode. Those interested in more info as well as a downloadable demo can find all at Freeverse's Payback page.

Freeverse - Payback
Virtual Programming
Apex Designs

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Apple Takes a Look at Sheep
8:31 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Though Sheep has been out for a while, its fun factor has apparently made an impression on Apple, who has published an overview of the game. A unique puzzle/action game involving the herding of masses of sheep, Sheep features four different herders and a variety of peril-filled levels:

Despite what you might have read or seen about shepherding in the past, be warned that it?s not an idyllic occupation in Sheep. Every level is fraught with danger, from a sheep-eating shark that cruises through cornfields to electric fences which will turn your sheep into little piles of ash. You must herd a minimum number of sheep to the end of the level within a certain amount of time to advance to the next one, and you get a bonus if all the sheep make it there safely.
The rest of the overview contains a link to the OS X patch and a rundown of various tips and tricks. Those interested can find the whole read at Apple's Games site.

Apple - Sheep
Feral Interactive

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Warcraft III Updates Available
8:31 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard recently released two small patches to their hit 3D real-time strategy game, Warcraft III. The updates fix a number of small issues with the game and can be downloaded by connecting to

Here's a list of changes in both versions 1.04C and 1.05:

  • Dates now use the system date format.
  • Fixed some issues related to IME text input.
  • Fixed some minor text wrapping issues that were occurring with Asian languages.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to keep Castles and Keeps alive for abnormal lengths of time while those buildings were under attack.
  • Fixed a problem with viewing certain replays.
  • Also look for the patches to be available from Blizzard's FTP servers in the coming days.

    IMG Review: WarCraft III
    Warcraft III Updates
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III

    Click to enlarge
    Aspyr January Newsletter Released
    8:31 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Yesterday afternoon Aspyr Media sent out their January company newsletter, giving a rundown of all their goings-on for the month. Included is the news of pre-orders now available for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as well as Medal of Honor: Spearhead. Harry Potter is in Final Candidate stage and should be out sometime in February. Spearhead is earlier in development but should be available in May.

    This month was a busy one for Aspyr, with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 now shipping along with NASCAR 2002 and The Sims: Unleashed. For those fans of The Sims, they have also made some special extras available on their website:

    We have posted the two Pet Skin Packs from Maxis, adding several more dogs and cats for your adoption. We have also posted two new skin packs, featuring the people in the TV commercials for Hot Date and Vacation. We've even given you the buyable versions of the bathing suit skins! In the object category, we've delivered the dart board for Hot Date, and the Shrimp Cart for Unleashed. Check 'em out.
    For the latest scoop on everything happening with the company, be sure to subscribe to the Aspyr newsletter. Also be sure to read IMG's preview of Tony Hawk 3 and review of The Sims: Unleashed.

    IMG Preview: Tony Hawk 3
    IMG Review: The Sims: Unleashed
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims: Unleashed
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
    Buy The Sims: Unleashed

    Lucas Consolidates
    8:31 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story, a San Francisco news site recently reported that George Lucas would be merging his 4 media companies into one. These companies include LucasFilm, Lucas Digital, Lucas Licensing, and game company LucasArts. Lucas' main reason for doing so is to help the four companies work together as a team.

    Here's a snippet from the article:

    Lucas, whose first five "Star Wars" movies grossed a reported $2.1 billion, currently scatters 2,000 special-effects specialists, video game designers and other workers at four companies around Marin County: special-effects shop Lucas Digital, gamemaker LucasArts Entertainment, the lucrative Lucas Licensing and Lucasfilm. Most of those employees will relocate to a planned Digital Arts Center in San Francisco's Presidio in late 2005, according to Lucasfilm spokeswoman Lynn Hale.

    In a statement on Tuesday, Lucas, who raced to fortune and fame with "American Graffiti" in 1973, laid out his company's plans to integrate operations.

    "During the past 10 years, my companies have functioned relatively independent of each other. We have decided to bring these entities together. . . . This new structure will make it easier for our diverse talents to work as a team."

    To read the full article, follow the link provided below.

    Lucas Consolidates

    Mac Games News for Thursday, January 30, 2003

    Progress Update on Descent: Freespace 1 and 2 Port1:34 PM
    IMG Reviews The Sims Unleashed12:48 PM
    Mac Radeon 9700 Pro to Have Limited OS 9 Support11:55 AM
    Richard Harvey Bids Final Farewell10:05 AM
    ATI Announces Radeon 9700 BTO Option on New Macs9:30 AM
    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 1.4 Patch Released8:56 AM
    AlephModular Brings Marathon 2 to OS X8:54 AM
    iff Taxi Updated for Sims: Unleashed8:53 AM
    Shadowbane Beta Widens8:52 AM
    Crystal Space Updated8:52 AM
    High Voltage 2 Update Available8:52 AM
    John Carmack on Radeon 9700 Pro, GeForce FX8:52 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 30, 2003 on one page

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