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Thursday, December 2, 2004

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World of Warcraft Shatters Sales Records
8:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment today announced that World of Warcraft has broken day-one sales records in North America, making it the most successful PC game launch ever. According to Blizzard the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) sold a whopping 240,000 copies on Tuesday, November 23 alone.

Here's a bit more from the press release:

In addition to shattering sales records, World of Warcraft also broke peak concurrency and account creation records for a MMORPG. Within the first day, over 200,000 players created World of Warcraft accounts. By 5:00 p.m. PST, over 100,000 were playing the game concurrently. These two record-breaking numbers made World of Warcraft the fastest-growing MMORPG in history. Within a single day, all original 40+ World of Warcraft servers were filled to capacity, and by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, more than 40 additional servers were deployed to meet the rapidly growing player base, as the number of new accounts and concurrent users continued to grow.

"We were all extremely pleased with the success of World of Warcraft on its first day of launch," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "Once we saw the numbers for the first day, we knew that we had to immediately increase capacity to accommodate the huge numbers of players joining our game. We're glad so many people are enjoying World of Warcraft, and we are dedicated to supporting a fun and smooth game experience for everyone."

Retailers across North America reported that the World of Warcraft launch was unequivocally their biggest day-one sales in PC gaming history. Leading industry retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, EB, and GameStop, all reported that hundreds of their stores sold out of World of Warcraft within the first day.

Blizzard also announced that over the Thanksgiving weekend, a total of 350,000 had been sold and that it expects the remaining supplies of World of Warcraft to sell out soon.

Blizzard continues to increase server capacity to accommodate the growing number of players connecting to the game. As the additional servers are brought online and proven stable, additional copies of World of Warcraft will be made available at retail.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

IMG Posts Star Wars Games For Mac Feature
11:44 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Star Wars games have had a long and storied history on the Mac. In the 90's LucasArts produced some stunning games for the Mac including X-Wing and Tie Fighter. Although popular, LucasArts eventually abandoned porting more games to the Mac when Apple's future was in doubt. But a few years ago Aspyr was able to license a number of Star Wars titles for the Mac and since then we've seen a number of these great titles make it to the Mac.

IMG's Marcus Albers, Joel Davies, and Stu Willis have written a feature on the past and present Star Wars games for the Mac. You'll find old classics as well as new favorites in the feature. Be sure to check it out by following the link below.

Be sure to also vote for your favorite Star Wars game for the Mac in our IMG poll, also linked below.

Star Wars Games For The Macintosh
IMG Poll: What is your favorite Star Wars game?

ATI Unleashes New Radeon X Series Additions
10:14 AM | Christopher Martinez | Comment on this story

ATI announced today the release of a whole new generation of gaming graphic cards under the RADEON X series moniker for the PC. The company today introduced the RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition, the RADEON X850 XT, and RADEON X850 Pro.

From the press release:

For the gamer who is looking for the ultimate in performance, the new RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition, RADEON X850 XT and RADEON X850 PRO products are a dream come true.

With an astounding 16 and 12 pixel pipe configurations with a 256-bit memory interface, the X850 XT PE is clocked at 540MHz and the other two cards come in at 520MHz. This card is sure to be on every hardcore gamers Christmas wish list, the only question that remains, is will this card be available before Christmas? As this is only a paper release and no actual shipments have been delivered, but if ATI is capable of hitting the shelves before the holiday season, expect a nice jump in their stock.

Other technologies and capabilities on this card include:

• 3Dc™ technology for increased performance and improved image detail;

• GDDR3 memory for lightning fast memory speeds;

• VIDEOSHADER™ HD with programmable video performance;

• Flexible multi-display options, including dual-DVI for customers using multiple flat panel displays; and

• VIVO (video-in, video-out) options for customers wanting to take advantage of the amazing multimedia and video-capture capabilities of the VPUs.

The RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition for the PC will begin shipping immediately and the full family of RADEON X800-series products will be available by the end of the year.

ATI recently unveiled the Mac version of the X800 at the Digital Life Expo in New York City. No release date for the X800 Mac Edition has been announced yet.

ATI X series
Anandtech Review of the X850 and X800
Neoseeker review
Beyond3D review
Tech Report review
Hot Hardware review

GameRanger Updated
10:06 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Scott Kevill has updated GameRanger, the popular Macintosh-only online game-matching and chat service. The new version is listed as 4.0.6, and boasts the following improvements:

  • Added Athena Sword
  • MTX: Mototrax now ignores the demo
  • Fixed an occasional crashing bug from corrupted preferences
  • Fixed default server filters that were not downloading
  • Miscellaneous minor changes
GameRanger supports over 140 games, and currently has over 160,000 subscribers to compete against.

Basic membership is free. Premium membership is $49.95, and includes features like ladders, ratings, rankings, in-game voice chat, and iChat support.

Download GameRanger 4.0.6

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F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom Patch
8:54 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

GraphSim has posted a small patch for F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom. This update brings the current version to 1.02 beta 2 and fixes issues with joystick compatibility.

From the update:

This small patch fixes issues with joystick compatibility. A newer patch coming soon will fix some video problems and add some more obscure joysticks.
To pick up the 312k update head over to the file link below. Stay tuned to IMG for news on more patches for F/A-18 OIF.

F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom 1.02b2
F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom
Buy F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom

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New Diary, Video for Close Combat: First to Fight
8:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot has another installation of Destineer's Peter Tamte's dev diary for Close Combat: First to Fight, discussing the reasons and difficulties in creating their own modern 3D engine for the game. Additionally, a new video trailer of the game's strategic movement has been released.

In the update on the game's engine, Tamte notes that they haven't just focused on graphics but also the game's AI:

While our investment in our graphics is substantial, we're coming close to equaling this investment with our A.I. and physics. Implementing the Marine Corps' Ready-Team-Fire-Assist fire-team tactics in First to Fight, as well as clever enemy A.I., are absolutely central to what this game is all about. So, we've spent a lot of time, money, and CPU cycles to get this right. This has caused a ping-pong back-and-forth between the engine being CPU limited or GPU limited -- and, it has required lots of work balancing and optimizing not just our rendering pipeline, but also our A.I. and physics performance.
Check out the diary update for the rest of his information on the game. Also be sure to check out a new video which highlights the tactical movements of your Marine team. The game is set to be released for Mac, PC and Xbox.

Close Combat: First to Fight Dev Diary #4
Close Combat: First to Fight Movies
Atomic Games
Close Combat: First to Fight
Buy Close Combat: First to Fight

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WarAtlas Flash-based WoW Map Available
8:28 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Players of Blizzard's recently released MMORPG World of Warcraft may be interested in a utility recently brought to our attention. Called the WarAtlas, this currently-in-development map allows users to easily locate areas in the game.

The WarAtlas has been developped to easily find any location in World of Warcraft very fast.
It has a detailed image map wich is used for the minimap in the game. A realtime filtering engine allows for a fast search for any location in the huge list.
The WarAtlas is a free download for those who wish to use it. Planned future additions include material resources, a monster listing, quest listings, and separate maps for areas such as dungeons.

LostLegion - WarAtlas
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Blizzard Extends WoW Free Trial Period
8:28 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Following up on the news of its record-breaking sales, Blizzard has noted that the overwhelming response to World of Warcraft has overrun their servers, causing lag problems and making it difficult for players to log in. To address this, they will be extending the one-month trial period for players who registered before or during the downtime.

The extensions will vary depending on the date registered:

  • Accounts created on November 23 will receive a 4-day extension
  • Accounts created on November 24 will receive a 3-day extension
  • Accounts created on November 25 will receive a 2-day extension
  • Accounts created on November 26 will receive a 1-day extension
Blizzard notes that they actually had to double the total number of their servers following the launch, which contributed to the lag problems.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Epic Announces UT2004 Mod Contest Winners
8:16 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Epic has recently released the results of the Make Something Unreal Contest - Phase IV. An event to test the skills of mod and map makers using Unreal Tournament 2004, winners were selected from a variety of categories, with the top 5 being listed for each category.

As for the winners, Best FPS Mod honors went to Red Orchestra, while best Non-FPS Mod was taken by Alien Swarm. Best Assault and Onslaught levels went to Thrust and Dinora, respectively, and Best Movie went to a title simply named bot.

All of the placers for each category are available for download. Those interested in checking out the rest of the winners can find listings at Epic's UT site.

Epic - Phase IV Winners
Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 2004
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

Mac Games News for Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Stronghold 2 Previewed for PC12:39 PM
Deep Trouble Sequel in Developement12:32 PM
AANetTools for America's Army12:13 PM
Lux Creator Interviewed12:13 PM
The Incredibles: When Danger Calls Demo7:13 AM
Apple Features World of Warcraft6:00 AM
Apple Offers Call of Duty: United Offensive Trailer6:00 AM
Aspyr Releases Raven Shield Patch6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, December 1, 2004 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Monday, November 29, 2004
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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