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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Activision Acquires Beenox, Mac Impact?
7:43 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Activision today announced it has acquired Beenox Studios. Under the terms of the agreement, Beenox has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision and Beenox's management team and key employees have signed long-term employment contracts with Activision. The 32 person team will continue to be based in Quebec City, Canada.

In the past, Beenox has ported a number of titles to the Macintosh including recent ports of Railroad Tycoon 3 for MacSoft, and MTX: Mototrax for Aspyr. The company is currently working on Star Wars Battlefront for Aspyr and Myst V: End of Ages for Ubisoft.

How will this acquisition impact their Mac porting business? We asked Beenox President Dee Brown who said that all current ports will be completed but that future Mac ports will likely be of Activision products only.

Here's what he had to say:

Beenox has indeed a great track record on the Mac and the Activision acquisition will not make all the experienced Mac staff and equipment go away all of a sudden.

We are committed to finish all products in development (including Mac games) and we'll work solely on Activision properties after that. As for future Mac projects (of Activision products), it's too early to say but it's definitely something we'll look into.

Beenox's acquisition will no doubt have an impact on Aspyr and MacSoft's ability to port some non-Activision games to the Mac. Only time will tell if these companies will be able to look elsewhere for ports.


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IMG Reviews Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005
12:57 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Freeverse's latest solitaire game, Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005. The game features over 26 games of solitaire including favorites like Klondike, Freecell, Pyramid, and 52 Pickup.

To check out the review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005
Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005
Buy Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005

Aspyr Posts May Newsletter
10:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr has posted their May newsletter that includes a number of important updates on their upcoming products. The newsletter also includes a trivia contest, and a small Q&A with JoAnne McElyea, Senior Accountant at Aspyr. Here's some of the highlights from the newsletter:

The Sims 2:

The Sims 2, Electronic Arts' sequel to the Sims, is coming to the Mac! Working in cooperation with Apple, The Sims 2, developed for Mac by Aspyr Studios, has been designed to take advantage of several new features included in the Mac OS X version 10.4 'Tiger', to deliver an improved gaming experience.

The Sims 2, which is set for release in June, will make extensive use of the OpenGL technology to bring vivid, lifelike animations to the Sims. The title will also stand to benefit from the new .Mac services, which will allow players to share their own Sims families with friends via their .Mac iDisk.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005:
In other news, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is rapidly approaching beta, and is looking beautiful. This will without a doubt be one of the best golf games ever to come out on the Mac. The gameplay and graphics engine are very refined and show an incredible amount of polish.
Stubbs the Zombie:
Finally, Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel without a Pulse for Mac & PC is also picking up steam. We've been busy preparing versions to possibly demo at upcoming trade shows, and the state of the Mac & PC version is following very closely to the Xbox version. The development is still well on track for a simultaneous ship of all three platforms.
If you aren't subscribed to the Aspyr newsletter, follow the link below to check out the html version on Aspyr's web site.

Aspyr Media
Aspyr May Newsletter

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DOOM 3 Patch Released, Mac Version News
10:36 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

id Software has released the latest patch for the PC version of DOOM 3, bringing it up to version 1.3. In addition to a number of bug fixes, the patch ads PunkBuster support, an anti-cheating utility. IMG contacted Aspyr's Glenda Adams to get an update on the Mac patch:

We have a 1.3 Mac patch in QA, we're just finishing up testing before we run it by id for approval to release.
As soon as the Mac version is released, we'll be sure to post it on Stay tuned.

id Software
Aspyr Media
Buy DOOM 3

Spore Web Site Goes Live
10:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Electronic Arts has launched a web site dedicated to Spore, the upcoming open-ended evolution game by legendary game creator, Will Wright. The web site is a little on the thin side but does include 3 screenshots from the game.

To date, Electronic Arts hasn't announced a release date for Spore.


E3 Trailers Round-Up: Quake IV, Hellgate, Myst V, & More
10:09 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo saw the announcement of three new gaming consoles including the PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, and the Nintendo Revolution. But while the show was mainly geared towards the new gaming machines, there were plenty of hot new games at the show. We've rounded up a half-dozen trailers and game play movies of some of the games that, well, have a probability of making it to the Mac (Myst V has been confirmed for the Mac).

Quake IV Trailer

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat Gameplay

Call of Duty E3 Trailer

Myst V: End of Ages E3 Trailer

Age of Empires III Gameplay (No Sound)

Rise of Nations E3 Trailer

Hellgate: London

Be sure to check out the movies by clicking on their links above.

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World of Warcraft Test Realm Patch 1.5 Released
8:20 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

The Blizzard team has released a patch for the World of Warcraft test server that addresses problems with battlegrounds and a few other issues. These changes are being tested and if approved will go live. A few of the changes you may see in the future include:

Alterac Valley has been re-enabled.
Enemy NPC lieutenants and commanders now have a team bonus honor value.
Enemy NPC lieutenants and commanders no longer respawn.
Enemy towers are now destroyed rather than captured (a one-time event per tower). The mechanics for destroying a tower are very similar to their previous capture mechanic.
The enemy NPC mine layer no longer respawns when killed.
The respawn time for laying mines has been slowed.
To view the full list of changes, visit the links section.

Test Realm Patch Notes
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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MacRadio Launches Web Page
8:05 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacRadio has launched a new web page for MacGamers Radio, the upcoming replacement for the Gamesome Mac. MacRadio also announced that Digital Droo (a.k.a. Andrew Tokuda), the Mac gaming music composer, will be composing the theme song for MacGamers Radio.

Here's more from the press release:

MacGamers Radio, the code-name for the new Mac gaming radio program that will begin broadcasting on June 6, 2005, has a new webpage. The page has information about the host, Omaha Sternberg, the contest to name the show with a prize package worth over $200, the logo, and will soon broadcast variations of the new theme song composed by Andrew Tokuda. Over the next twelve days, fans are encouraged to visit the page for special extras, like news about upcoming shows and sample audio of the new show.

The new theme song will be composed by Digital Droo, who many also know as Andrew Tokuda. "When I first thought about a theme song for this radio program, I immediately thought of Andrew," said Omaha Sternberg. "His work on games such as Freeverse's Active Lancer and Burning Monkey series shows his excellent skills."

Digital Droo has composed music for many of Freeverse
Software's games, including Active Lancer (for which there is a full-length
soundtrack available), WingNuts, Solace, Kill Monty, and several of the
Burning Monkey series of casual games. His music has also been heard on
several Cable channels, including VH1, The Discovery Channel, The History
Channel, Sci Fi and HBO.

Ms. Sternberg is also continuing to seek staff, including on-air radio personalities, for the show.

For more information about becoming a part of MacRadio or this radio program, go to the MacRadio web site and click on the "I want to host" button.


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New World of Warcraft Mac Support Forum
7:43 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

Blizzard has created a new Mac forum for World of Warcraft. This new forum deals with support problems that are specific to the Macintosh platform.

A new Mac Tech Support forum is now live! This new forum will allow us to provide increased support and communication to all World of Warcraft's Mac players.
To visit the forum, just visit the links section.

WoW Mac Support Forum
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Aspyr Launches CSI: Dark Motives Site, Pre-Orders12:17 PM
Shadowbane Consolidates More Servers9:12 AM
Dingo Games Releases Laser Dolphin8:30 AM
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Announced for PC8:10 AM
Steve Polge on Unreal Tournament 20078:10 AM
Tamte Talks Destineer8:10 AM Looking For Software Librarian6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 24, 2005 on one page

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