AllofMP3.com taken down, springs back up

AllofMP3.com, a popular haven for buggers who prefer to download instead of buy music has been taken down by the Russian Government. The move came as a result of plenty of international pressure, and more importantly, it was a condition laid before Russia for WTO membership. Is this a sad day for pirates worldwide? It isn’t. Keep reading to know why.

Even though AllofMP3 has diappeared, an almost identical site has popped up under the name MP3Sparks.com. This new site claims to be completely legal and paying royalties to the Russian royalty collection agencies, like its predecessor AllofMP3. Plus, if you had an account with AllofMP3, you can seemingly use it with MP3Sparks as well. Talk about coincidence.

So this means that even though AllofMP3.com has been destroyed and the WTO’s condition met, the site hasn’t really disappeared. This poses the questions: Is the WTO going to force Russia to shut down MP3Sparks for the much-coveted entry? Is MP3Sparks really legal under Russia’s new AllofMP3-busting laws? Tune into the next episode to find out.

[Via ars technica]

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CryENGINE 2 Licenced by Indie Developer

Mobster

The guys from Paleo Entertainment, based in San Diego have announced that their new, shiny FPS, Merchants of Brooklyn will be using the CryENGINE 2. Never heard of it? Remember the upcoming game with awesome tropical graphics that made you cream your pants, called Crysis? Yep, it uses CryENGINE 2.

The game in question, Merchants of Brooklyn, is set in 3100 A.D. where you see the main character, Matteo Savio make his way from a young boy to “Dr. Savio, PHD – Director of Genetics on Planet Paleo”, through an adventure featuring “MOB life, Scientific Education and Galactic adventures.” Definitely original stuff there. Especially considering that most of the characters are going to be Neanderthals. In a mob. How cool is that?

To quote Troy Latimer, president of Paleo (heh, alliteration):

Before licensing the CryENGINE 2 for our new project we looked carefully at all our options, and concluded no other engine could produce the kind of AAA quality game we were aiming to develop, nor were any other toolsets as advanced or user friendly as the ones delivered with the CryENGINE 2.

Sounds as good a reason as any. A second worthy reason being that this makes the upstart developer very famous indeed.

Paleo Entertainment was born out of a modding group that created Paleolithic Revolution, a Half-Life 2 mod based on Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon domination of caves and stacked rocks. Personally, I like the originality of these buggers.

Right now, we know nothing more than what I have presented already, though there is a bunch of concept art (more like doodles) out there.

[Via Gamasutra, Kotaku]

New ‘groundbreaking’ PS3 Exclusive to be made by Indigo Prophecy devs

Indigo Prophecy

You might have heard of a game developer called Quantic Dream, if you’ve ever heard of a highly-acclaimed game known as Indigo Prophecy (or Fahrenheit). If you haven’t, Indigo Prophecy is a fairly recent adventure game that won accolades for its breathtaking storyline, freshness and the semi-cinematic experience it delivered. You can tell just by looking at those adjectives that this was one hell of a game.

Quantic Dream has signed a deal with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios to make a PS3 exclusive title, which will “set a new benchmark in delivering emotionally compelling experiences to gamers.” Considering Quantic Dream’s record, they may not be bluffing. The game will reportedly be using the Cell Broadband Engine™, but no other important details have been announced.

You can find the whole press release at the source, but the interesting parts of the same are as follows:

Michael Denny, Vice President, SCE Worldwide Studios, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Quantic Dream for the first time and to have this opportunity to once again push the gaming experience to realise a new level of interactivity and, in particular, to engage players at an emotional level never experienced before. We’re looking forward to revealing more news on this special title later this year.”

I’d be really glad if I get to play a game that actually touches me. No game has come close to doing that since LucasArts’ masterpiece Grim Fandango.

David Cage, Founder, President and CEO of Quantic Dream, said, “We always believed that “next generation” meant more meaningful content based on players’ emotional involvement. To us, PS3 is the only platform that can truly deliver on this promise, and SCE WWS is a group that is both inspiring and pleasant to work with.”

Finally, somebody realizes that next-gen doesn’t necessarily mean bigger and better graphics and sound.

This is one project I am really looking forward to. More details are expected to be released “soon”. Hit the source for the full press release.

[Via Kotaku]

Japan to build Huge Gigantor statue

Gigantor!

Kobe in Japan is going to be the home of a massive Gigantor statue! The hulking figure will be 18 feet tall and 70 tons heavy to boot. Estimated cost: ¥135 million, which makes about $1.09 million. Those Japs sure have lots of money!

Kobe will also simultaneously commemorate the life of Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the creator of the original Gigantor manga series. Gigantor then appeared in a 1963 anime series and in 2005, in live-action! The movie was made in Japan, which is probably why I’ve never heard of it.

Regardless, the might of Gigantor shall finally manifest itself as a great statue!

[Via Engadget]

Big-time Iraqi cleric loves video games!

Muqdata al-Sadr is a famous Iraqi Shi’ite cleric and has a rather radical personality to boot. He’s well known for criticizing the American presence in Iraq, but apparently he has another passion. Playing video games.

In the July 9 issue of Time, Joe Klein writes One Last Chance, a report on U.S. General David Petraeus and the situation of the “surge” by American forces. Here, writes:

But the most important man in Iraq is the other Shi’ite prince, Muqtada al Sadr, who is 33 and the nominal leader of the most powerful militia in the country, the Mahdi Army. Al-Sadr is often called mercurial – he’s supposedly a fervent video game player – …

I wonder what side he picks in Counter-Strike…

[Via GamePolitics]

More info on Fallout 3!

Fallout 3

Ever since Bethesda acquired Fallout 3, it has remained more or less in mystery. Cut to last month – a new trailer and some magazine scans reveal the successor to the famous Fallout line of video games.

For the uninitiated, Fallout is a post-apocalyptic RPG that achieved immense fame because of its innovations and its excellent and open-ended gameplay. Fallout 2 was even more popular and spin-offs followed it but Black Isle didn’t look at Fallout 3. The rights were sold to Bethesda, makers of the massively famous Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

To summarize a few facts, Fallout 3 will be set in post-apocalyptic United States and as the teaser proved, the atmosphere is in tune with previous Fallout games. You once again don the uniform of a vault-dweller, who has lived all his (or her) life in an underground ‘vault’ and then undertakes a major quest. The game will use a unique combat system, which can be described as a cross between first-person shooting and turn-based action (like in previous Fallout games).

Continue reading below for plenty of details.

Continue reading “More info on Fallout 3!”