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E3 NEWS ANALYSIS In Brief


THQ: The publisher has given up the rights to release games under the UFC licence. Video games based on the Ultimate Fighting Championship will now be published by EA.


DEEP SILVER: Developer Techland is working on a follow-up to last year’s smash hit, Dead Island. The new game, Dead Island Riptide, will not be a full sequel but will be a standalone product.


LUCASARTS: The firm has unveiled a ‘dark and mature’ sci-fi title in Star Wars 1313. Players take on the role of a bounty hunter investigating a criminal conspiracy in Coruscant’s underworld.


WARNER BROS: LEGO Lord of the Ringswill be released for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS, Vita and PC this autumn. It will feature dialogue and major events from the three films.


NAMCO BANDAI: Hollywood actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will reprise their roles as Kirk and Spock respectively in Namco’s upcoming Star Trekgame. The title pits the Starfleet icons against the Gorn.


Sony goes Beyond to wow LA crowd Fresh IPs receive rapturous response  New Harry Potter book launches exclusively for PS3


by Christopher Dring


IF YOU think new IP can’t work this late in a console lifecycle, try telling that to Sony, which stunned E3 with two original projects. As other corners of the industry focused on big brands, the PlayStation company decided to open and close its pre-E3 press ceremony with new IP from renowned developers. Quantic Dream – the team behind Heavy Rain– kicked things off with a new project called Beyond: Two Souls. Once again the game is a story-driven tale that deals with life, death and emotional intrigue. It stars Academy Award nominee Ellen Page in the lead role. Meanwhile, the show ended with The Last of Us, the latest game from Uncharted developers Naughty Dog. This title was revealed late last year, and


its latest trailer was greeted by thunderous applause and cheering from the audience at the conference. However, release dates were not given for either of these big games.


Conventional wisdom says you can only innovate in the first two years of a console cycle. We take a





different view. Andrew House, Sony


Sony is a company that places an emphasis on talent and original content, and the most potentially exciting project was a new interactive book service from Sony’s London Studio called Wonderbook. What


by Michael French


ELECTRONIC ARTS wants the world to think it is a pure-play digital company. Yet its E3 press


CHECK OUT THE MUST- WATCH VIDEOS FROM E3:


Beyond: Two Souls Final Fantasy tech demo LEGO City Undercover South Park: The Stick of Truth Star Wars 1313 Watch Dogs Wii U


Wonderbook Xbox SmartGlass


Videos are available within the free iPad Edition of MCVon iTunes and the free browser-based Digital Edition, which can be accessed at MCVUK.com


conference proved some habits die hard, with all but one of the games shown requiring retail support. FIFA, Medal of Honor, SimCity, Madden, Need For Speed– the line-up was thoroughbred EA brands, but you’d be forgiven for thinking EA was just treading old territory. Indeed, EA chief John Riccitiello used the same opening script as the firm’s 2011 showcase, championing “ten great games from ten


www.mcvuk.com


great developers” and that EA’s diverse line-up was “less like Hollywood, and more like Sundance”.


Opening with Dead Space and giving lengthy slots to things like Battlefield 3’s premium service put the company in step with the


SCE boss Andrew House championed new IP such as Beyond (inset) and revealed PlayStation Mobile


made this project stand out was its launch ‘book’, a Harry Potter spin-off named Book of Spells, which will feature work from Potter’s creator J.K Rowling herself. “I have heard conventional wisdom in the industry that says – and it is kind of like an American presidency – the first two years in a lifecycle is the only chance you have got to innovate with a new audience,” SCE President and CEO Andrew House told MCV.


“We take a different view. It is part of the role of a platform holder to have the confidence and to make the investment in new IP, because six years into a platform lifecycle, there is an


opportunity and a significant audience that is going to pursue new franchises. And the onus on that is to deliver on those expectations. The way we’ve managed relationships with Naughty Dog and Quantum Dream is one of Sony’s core strengths.”


EA eyes digital, but discs still ruling force Digital services were central to EA’s E3 2012 press conference


trade’s week-long focus on big-budget, action-heavy core gamer titles. Showy demos of Crysis 3and Need for Speedjust rammed the point home further.


There were clear signs of the digital business EA wants to become. SimCitySocial


launches on Facebook this summer.Star Wars: The Old Republicwill dabble with free levels to break through the barriers arounds subscription MMOs. More online services are being bolted onto FIFA. Riccitiello spoke about the fact the business model has evolved from selling a package to selling a service, echoing EA corporate directive that it wants to be compared to the likes of Google and Zynga, not Activision and Ubisoft. But it still has more in common with the latter than the former. And with more than ten great games coming, retailers wouldn’t have it any other way.


June 8th 2012 7


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