As bona fide stop-the-press moments go, the events of 1st March 2010 stack up impressively. With Modern Warfare 2 smashing sales records across the globe and cementing the Call of Duty brand's claim to 'biggest gaming franchise ever' status, Activision announced out of the blue that its creators, Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, had been relieved of their posts with immediate effect.
If you're a paid Elite subscriber and an Xbox 360 owner, you'll be getting Content Pack 3 on March 13th. If you're an Xbox 360 owner but you're not a paid Elite subscriber, you'll have the opportunity to pick it up - bundled with Content Packs 1 and 2 - as traditional paid DLC on March 20th. If you're on PS3 or PC, regardless of what you're paying for, you're going to have to wait for the time being. Thank heavens Elite came along and made everything so much simpler, eh? Thank heavens for timed platform exclusives, too.
Confusion aside, I got the chance to take a pretty good look at the three new maps that make up Content Pack 3 at an Activision event last week, and the good news is that they're all worth the wait - no matter how long your personal situation means you'll actually be left hanging on for. Weighing in at three maps in total, what's on offer here is as big as the first two content packs combined, and you're in for lots of hectic, death-defying fun, moving along at 60 fps.
Let's start with Black Box, as it's the only standard multiplayer map in the selection and probably the one that you're going to spend most time on overall. Black Box is a fairly large chunk of territory, and it's set around a crashed airplane. A crashed airplane? If you're picturing the buckled body of a Cessna sticking out of a turnip field somewhere, you're probably thinking COD's lost its flair for drama. Maybe your next Spec Ops assignment will involve queuing to buy donuts with exactly the right loose change, eh? Don't worry: the plane in question is actually Air Force One, and the surrounding landscape is the Hollywood hills.
Yes! Welcome to episode 94 of the Eurogamer.net Podcast! As the year grinds to a halt, it's time to reflect on the games that have made suffering the internet bearable. But it's not all about working out which game is better than that other game and putting it into a list. Sometimes, it's about the NEWS.
Some might say that the war was over before it truly began. The extraordinary sparring between Electronic Arts and Activision, encompassing developers and executives alike, may well have made for good copy for us journalist types, but where it matters - with the gamers - the results look rather one-sided. Preliminary sales data points to just one winner in the great Battlefield 3/Modern Warfare 3 kerfuffle: Activision has clearly emerged triumphant with what it is describing as the biggest launch in the history of the entire entertainment business.
This week marked the fifth anniversary of the release of one of my favourite Xbox 360 games ever made.
Viva Pinata was a cute and cuddly game where you planted seeds in a garden and then looked after the friendly animals who popped in to investigate the trees and plants that grew from them. There were 60 varieties to attract, each more delightful than the last, and as their ranks swelled you could sacrifice some to attract other, more exotic species in their place.
Of course, this week also marked the fifth anniversary of the emergence of another famous Xbox 360 series.
Eurogamer is delighted to announce the 10 nominees for its Game of the Show, Eurogamer Expo 2011.
Every Sunday we dig an interesting article out of our massive archive for you to enjoy again or perhaps read for the first time. With a new Call of Duty out on Tuesday, this week we thought we'd take you back to Call of Duty XP, the 2011 event Activision put on in Los Angeles to celebrate the series. This article was originally published on 14th September 2011.
Iterating on the most successful multiplayer video game in the world today would be hard enough in solitude. But doing so in the centre of an online amphitheatre with 20 million voices screaming conflicting views of what to change and what to leave well alone must be nothing short of paralysing.
It started with a nuke.
Last week, John decried the rise of the free-to-play game and, by extension, its cousins in the murky world of digital business models: micro-transactions and downloadable content.
It may have been nearly two years since the last Modern Warfare game, but Infinity Ward can't seem to get out of the headlines. First there was the infamous sacking of studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, then earlier this year Kotaku released a huge stack of leaked campaign materials for Modern Warfare 3, and more recently some wag started redirecting modernwarfare3.com to the website of EA's competing Battlefield 3. It must be something of a relief for Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling that he gets to talk about the game nowadays rather than hijinx.
Do you need a new social network in your life? Activision thinks you do. It's betting so hard on it, in fact, that it's set up an entire developer, Beachhead Studios, just to create and maintain one – or something that certainly looks like one, anyway. It's aimed at the millions of people out there who play Call of Duty multiplayer.
So, where were we?