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Tuesday, July 1, 2003

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Frozen Throne Ships; Roper Leaves Blizzard
9:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a tragic mix of good and bad news for Blizzard Entertainment today, it has been announced that Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is now available for purchase, and also that four "key" employees have decided to make their departure from the famous game company.

As announced earlier by the company, today marks the release of Frozen Throne, which retails for $35 and is a simultaneous Mac/PC release. Many new singleplayer campaigns, race-specific heroes, and other units have been added to enhance the award-winning 3D strategy game. It's available for order from the IMG store now as well.

In another press release put on the wire late yesterday, Blizzard let it be known that co-founders Erich Schaefer, Max Schaefer and David Brevik had left the company, along with well-known PR-man Bill Roper. Roper talked quickly with GameSpot after the announcement, and made it clear the decision was due at least in some part to Vivendi, the entertainment conglomorate owner of Blizzard:

Asked what role Vivendi Universal's corporate management had to play in the decision, Roper admitted that was a big part of it: "We wanted to have a level of involvement [in deciding the studio's direction] that was not going to be made available. For the interests of the people that we work with, we should have been able to talk to the people that make the decisions and that knew what was going on."
For a bit more from Roper's perspective, be sure to check out the rest of the interview. IMG will also be sure to bring you any new updates on the plans of the four employees and of Blizzard as well.

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Now Available
Bill Roper Interview at GameSpot
Vivendi Says Key Employees Leave Game Unit
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

GarageGames Interview
1:46 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Jeff Tunnell of GarageGames fame recently sat down with the folks at The Armchair Empire in an interview of past, present, and future. In it, Tunnel discusses his past projects at former game developer Dynamix, tells readers of GarageGames current state of affairs, and even offers a glimpse into the future of independant game developing. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Does GarageGames have plans to produce games for the console world?

Were committed to building games as an independent developer and wed love to see our own game designs and those of our partner studios be built for consoles. It is very difficult for indies to break into the console world. Our answer for the time being is to concentrate on PC games. Keep checking back though.

For more, be sure to read the full interview.

Jeff Tunnell (GarageGames) Interview

Burning Monkey Solitaire III Goes Gold
1:37 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software today released their latest newsletter and in it announced that the company's latest title, Burning Monkey Salitaire III has gone gold and will be shipping soon.

Here's the official announcement:

Burning Monkey Solitaire III, the monkiest, funkiest version of solitaire ever for Windows and Macintosh, has reached Golden Master status, meaning we're ready to start shipping it as soon as the replicators are done making the Compact Discs.

If you've played any of the games in the Burning Monkey Solitaire series, Burning Monkey Solitaire III belongs on your computer. Whether you're looking for a quick game of Solitaire, or you'd like to learn 52 put-down, this is the best solitaire game in the universe!

We'll post a demo online as soon as one is ready. Until then, exercise that mousing wrist. You're going to be playing a lot more solitaire this summer.

In their newsletter, Freeverse also mentions that they have more titles in development including Burning Monkey Maj Jong, Active Lancer, and Burning Monkey Word Factory. We'll be sure to keep you posted on these games as more news becomes available.

And finally, Freeverse also announced that they will be attending the MacWorld CreativePro Conference & Expo starting on July 16th. The company will be showing off its new games at the show. So if you plan on being in New York around that time, be sure to visit Freeverse's booth.


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Halo PC Q&A
1:29 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford recently sat down with the crew at gaming publication Telfragged to conduct an exclusive interview concerning the upcoming PC release of Halo. The three page long interview covers a wide-array topics, including multiplayer, graphics, system requirements, a game ranking system, and much, much more. Below is a snippit from the article:

Redwood: Since the Banshee will be available in multiplayer. Does this mean that you will now be able to easily fly to the tops of levels such as Sidewinder and Blood Gulch?

Randy Pitchford: Yes -- in addition to putting the Banshee and other new vehicles (like a Warthog variant with a three barreled rocket launcher mounted onto it) into the new maps weve made, we also went into the older maps and re-populated them with all of the new stuff. If you dont want the new stuff, you can select a "classic" mode that leaves things exactly like they were on the Xbox.

While the interview covers only topics concerning the PC version of the game, Bungie assures Mac gamers that their version will be virtually unchanged. Halo for PC is slated for release late this summer, but a Mac release date is yet to be announced. Until then, check out the interview for more information.

HALO PC Interview
Halo: Combat Evolved

Ambrosia Releases Deimos Rising, Uplink Updates
1:25 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has released updates to two of their games. Deimos Rising 1.0.4 incluldes a host of bug fixes and updates including improved window handling and fixes for control devices. Our sister site, is hosting three updates for Deimos Rising including a new full version, an update for the Apple-bundled version, and an update for the shareware version.

Uplink 1.3.2 includes a number of bug fixes and optimizations. The update is also being hosted at

To download the updates, head over to MGF.

Ambrosia Software
MGF: Deimos Rising 1.0.4

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Happy Canada Day from IMG
12:53 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The IMG News department wishes all our readers north of the border a happy Canada Day.

Whether you live in warm southern Ontario or the frozen tundra of the North West Terrirtories, the rain-drenched British Columbia coast or the singular island of Newfoundland, we hope that you all have a chance to put down your gamepads for one day, enjoy this fine summer weather, and take part in some of the events planned in your area.

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New Q3 Maps from id
12:39 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

id Software animator Fred Nilsson recently updated his .plan with a note of the release of two new maps for Quake 3. The first is a pro map, apparently cut from the original game, and the second is a huge new Team Arena map. Here's a snippet from the update:

First off, a new pro- map. pro-q3tourney7.

It was a map I found in our old Quake3 archives, but was cut for one reason or another. It had been started it long ago, but never finished it.. So I thought I'd give it a shot. I believe it was being made as an homage to the Edge from Q2.. So it does have a
few similarities to that masterpiece which was q2dm1...

I loved the layout, and it seemed like it would play really well with some item tweaks, and a few map adjustments.. Please excuse my non level designing skills, as it's not the prettiest map.

To check out the full update, along with download links to the new maps, head on over Nilsson's .plan, linked below.

New Q3 Maps from ID
id Software
Quake III Arena

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Aspyr: Zoo Tycoon in Duplication
10:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media's monthly newsletter for June has been making its way into inboxes recently, giving a hefty update on the latest happenings of the company. Foremost among these is the news that Zoo Tycoon, the zoo simulator with hundreds of animals and zoo elements for you to control, is now in duplication. This means you should be seeing it on store shelves very soon, thanks to the efforts of Aspyr and Westlake Interactive's Mark Krenek.

Here are the game's final system requirements:

  • Mac OS 9.2, Mac OS X 10.1 or later
  • 233 MHz or faster PowerPC G3 or G4
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 600 MB free disk space
  • 16 MB video card

Other good news includes the fact that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 is in the Final Candidate stage for both Mac and PC. While PC gamers already have their demo, Aspyr also promises the Mac demo should be "right around the corner." In the same X-games vein, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer is also considered Final Candidate for Mac and PC. A demo is expected soon for this title, also being ported by Beenox.

Finally, remember the company has just shipped huge titles SimCity 4 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2003, and has announced Elite Force II and James Bond 007: Nightfire for later this year. For more of the news from Aspyr, be sure to sign up for their monthly newsletter from their website.

Zoo Tycoon
Aspyr Newsletter Page
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Buy Zoo Tycoon

XBox HID Driver 1.2 Released
9:43 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Darrell Walisser recently dropped us a line to let us know that version 1.2 of the XBox HID Driver for Mac has been released. Accompanying this latest version are the following features:

  • Added preference pane to configure joystick behavior.
  • Added support for multiple devices (each may have its own preferences)
  • Added background application to load saved preferences when plugging in a device.
The Xbox HID Driver allows Mac users to use XBox devices such as the controllers and the DVD remote. In order to hook up the devices, interested players will have to obtain a USB adapter, available from various third parties.

Walisser has also updated his XBox HID webpage, which now includes easy to access information as well as an online FAQ. Those interested in downloading the latest driver can find links there as well.

Xbox HID Driver for Mac OS X

Mac Games News for Monday, June 30, 2003

IMG Reviews MacAlly Noise Reduction Headphones12:36 PM
New Max Payne 2 Screenshots11:45 AM
Duke Nukem Forever FAQ Updated11:42 AM
PlayMyth Mac Client News11:41 AM
Blizzard's Bill Roper Interview11:11 AM
Beenox Secret Project 'Twister' Announced11:06 AM
New Redline Progress10:46 AM
Warcraft III 1.10 Update Coming Soon9:19 AM
The Sims: Vacation, Unleashed Updates Released9:11 AM
MacSoft Debuts Neverwinter Nights Page9:00 AM
New OS X Aleph One Build Available9:00 AM
New Video Games Ratings on the Way9:00 AM
The Gamesome Mac Talks with Glenda Adams9:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 30, 2003 on one page

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