That Was The News 2007 • Page 2

Part 1: January to June.


The world - all right, the Daily Mail - was thrown into uproar after a headless goat appeared at a God of War II event. Future Publishing removed images of said goat from 80,000 copies of Official PlayStation Magazine after the newspaper branded them "depraved". Sony promised to look into the incident, which made for arguably the best headline of 2007.

In probably unrelated news Ken Kutaragi, otherwise known as the Father of PlayStation, announced his retirement. Time for a look back at all the marvellous fruits of his loins.


Bye bye!

In yet more Sony news, Phil Harrison assured everyone PlayStation Home isn't just Second Life with better furniture honest, while the price of PSP fell to GBP 129.99.

Clearly impressed by his work with les chiens, the French awarded Peter Molyneux (or Pierre Molynoire, as he's known over there) with a knighthood. If Fable 2 is any good they will make him king.

Atari announced the departure of CEO Bruno Bonnell, who founded parent company Infogrames more than two decades ago. His replacement, Patrick Leleu, immediately began pursuing an aggressive strategy of financial recovery through horse games.

Pokemon Ranger went straight to number one in the UK charts, becoming the sixth game in the series to do so. Other April releases included the rather good S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the first Guitar Hero game for Xbox 360 and the first PS3 titles. Motorstorm and Resistance: Fall of Man proved most popular with early adopters, while many of the other launch games ended up at Dr Barnardo's.


It was Microsoft's turn to take centre stage as the Halo 3 beta began. Despite a few teething troubles everyone went bananas for it, with 820,000 players taking part during the month the beta ran for. They racked up 12 million hours of game time - equivalent to one person playing for 1400 years. Yeah, well, I could have done that, said Mario's Dad, possibly the victim of an over-excited translator.


The beta in action.

Speaking of Dads, he'd barely been in slippers a month but Ken Kutaragi was banging on about PlayStation 4. And 5. And 6. It's time for a rest now, Ken. Make yourself a cup of tea, Doctors is on in a minute.

(Only) In America, police in Fort Bend, Texas arrested a student for making a Counter-Strike map based on his high school. He was later sent to an "Alternative Education Center". Goodness knows what they'd have done to the boys in Weird Science.

Not much else happened in May. Valve announced the number of people using Steam had topped 13 million. In a shocking turn of events the new Spider-Man game turned out to be rubbish. The new Pokemon game sold billions. "You're never too old to enjoy Pokemon," said our reviewer. He's eight. Tomb Raider turned out nice again with the Anniversary edition, and Eurogamer enjoyed success with an article about Hentai. Tits mean hits, readers.


You'd think June would be a quiet month, what with everyone saving their bestest work for show and tell at July's E3. But no. It all kicked off when the Church of England had a right go at Sony over the depiction of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance: Fall of Man. Sony said it took the Church's concerns seriously, but declined to withdraw the game at their request. Even the Prime Minister waded in, offering his views on the two sides' arguments like a less hateful Jeremy Kyle.


Hi, it's me. Yeah, I'm afraid I'm going to be a bit late.

Leading games industry clairvoyant Michael Pachter predicted a delay for Grand Theft Auto IV. No no no, said Take-Two, it's definitely coming in October. Just like in February when they said Manhunt 2 would definitely get an age rating.

Also in June, Manhunt 2 was refused an age rating. This demonstrated "that we have a games ratings system in the UK that is effective", according to ELSPA. It demonstrated that games are not treated the same as films and it's not fair SAW AND HOSTEL, according to everyone else.

As if the Resistance and Manhunt controversies weren't enough, games got another kicking after an image of murdered toddler James Bulger was spotted in a Law and Order tie-in. Then Electronic Arts was branded "irresponsible" over a Burnout advert which allegedly encouraged violence and dangerous driving. Then Ubisoft pulled DS title Mind Quiz from sale after it was found to include an offensive term used to describe disabled people. Who knows what'll happen the day the Daily Mail gets wind of Battle Raper.

Highlights on the June release schedule included the superb Pac-Man Championship Edition, the slightly less good Puzzle League DS and the not all that actually PC version of Halo 2.

So that was the first half of 2007, but what about the next six months? Tune in soon to find out. Except you lived through the last six months, so it's not so much finding out as going "Oh, yeah." But tune in anyway. It's not as if you're doing any work in the last week of Christmas and UK Resistance only does one update a day.

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