Rockstar Games has acquired Empire Earth developer Mad Doc Software.
So, say you're the Empire Earth franchise. You started out as a bit of a nerd; you had a fascination with history and got a little bit too excited about statistics sometimes, but a lot of people seemed to like you anyway. They appreciated your geeky side, and you got along just fine even if you were never going to be the most popular kid in class (not with the flashier Rise of Nations and Age of Empires around, both of whom were bought convertibles by their parents for their 17th birthdays).
Then it all went a little bit wrong - you got even nerdier, even more obsessed with statistics, and people were put off a little bit. Yes, Empire Earth 2 was the American High School Drama equivalent of the likeable, slightly geeky guy in the class suddenly revealing that he also writes Spock / Kirk slash fanfiction in his spare time. It just went a little too far for many people's tastes; it wasn't a bad game, but it took some critical bodyslamming for just being unnecessarily impenetrable (unlike Kirk in that fanfiction, presumably).
Those of you eagerly awaiting Empire Earth III will be able to taste a mouthful of gameplay in a new demo today.
Ironically, perhaps, for games sporting such an ambitious title - roll "Empire Earth" around on your tongue a bit, and then come and tell me it doesn't simply drip with grandeur - this is a series that's always been overshadowed somewhat by its rivals.
Thanks to Vivendi we'll be able to rule the world again, as the company has announced the next instalment in the PC RTS series Empire Earth, due for release this autumn.