The Update for the week ending 11th January 2015

 

Hello Fellow Cravers. GD here to bring you this weeks top 3 gaming news stories and the top 5 games of the week with the Update!

NEWS
3) Blacklight: Retribution and Spec Ops series developer Zombie Studios shuts down

Seattle-based developer Zombie Studios, the team behind Blacklight: Retribution and creators of the Spec Ops series, announced this week that it has closed its doors after more than 20 years of game development.

The owners of Zombie Studios say they’re retiring and handing off remaining work, including ongoing development and ownership of Blacklight: Retribution, to new studio Builder Box Games. The new studio is comprised of ex-Zombie employees and is lead by the former director of production and the former technical director of Zombie Studios, Andy Kipling and Russell Nelson.

“What does this mean for you the fan? While ownership of the game has changed, the people behind the scenes who have been constantly contributing to the Blacklight universe for the last four years remains intact,” Kipling and Nelson, co-CEOs of Builder Box, wrote on their Facebook page. “Builder Box will be working with Perfect World so that, as a fan, you can look forward to more updates and exciting changes in the coming year.

“Thank you for all the support that you have given Zombie and Blacklight over the years, and we look forward to your ongoing support as we transition to Builder Box.”

In a goodbye letter posted to the Zombie Studios website, the studio thanked its fans and employees for their support, dedication and passion.

Zombie Studios was founded in 1994 by Mark Long and Joanna Alexander, who both served as CEO of the independent developer. Long left the company in 2011 to join Hawken studio Meteor Entertainment. Zombie developed more than 30 titles, including Blacklight: Tango Down, the Saw games for Konami and a number of Spec Ops games and expansions. The studio released Blacklight: Retribution through Perfect World Entertainment in 2012 for PC, and later brought the game to PlayStation 4. Zombie released horror game Daylight last year.

2) A sealed copy of the rarest licensed NES game shows up on eBay

Released in 1987 as a limited run, Stadium Events for the Nintendo Entertainment System was pulled from shelves in 1988 so Nintendo could rerelease the “family fun fitness” mat technology and game under new branding.

It’s estimated that only 2,000 of the North American version were ever produced and of those only 200 hit stores before being recalled, according to retro gaming site Racketboy. Some believe only 20 now exist. Of those, two are factory sealed. And one of those two just went up for sale on eBay.

The game, which has been rated by VGGrader.Com as near mint, went on sale on eBay on Monday for $5,000. It has since had 81 bids, bumping the price, as of putting up the Update, up to $99,850.

The bidding ends on Friday, Jan. 16 at 3 am GMT.

Unfortunately the seller has not specified if they will ship the game to anywhere but the US so, unless you contact the seller, I would not advise bidding on it if you are outside the US.

The person who listed the game writes that he has had the copy since the early 90s and that he used to work at Nintendo.

1) Awesome Games Done Quick raises over $1.5 million in annual speed run marathon

This week was the annual charity speed-running marathon, Games Done Quick, who once again raised more than $1 million from donors who tuned in over Twitch this past week to see bizarre and exciting feats of video gaming. The money will be given to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

As of this writing, the total amount raised from donors is $1,545,919.58, from 38,984 donors. Contributions still are being accepted so that figure may rise. Awesome Games Done Quick added another $400,000 or so in sales of merchandise (and a themed Humble Bundle of games) that also are ongoing. Those proceeds also will benefit The Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Last year’s Awesome Games Done Quick set a goal of $500,000 and easily doubled that by the end of the weeklong session. A companion event, Summer Games Done Quick, also raised more than $700,000 for Doctors Without Borders.

This winter, organizers set a goal of $1 million. The final amount contributed will be announced sometime in the next week.

For the uninitiated, Awesome Games Done Quick is one of the best examples of why watching people play video games can be so entertaining. This week, dozens of competitors took a shot at finishing classic and modern video games in record times, or by completing them under certain conditions (such as blindfolded).

For a full list of the results, with links to videos of each run, see this thread on Reddit’s speedrunning subreddit. The videos will later be uploaded to Games Done Quick’s YouTube channel for archival purposes.

UK GAME CHARTS

Week 2 of 2015 sees a return to No1 for Rockstar/Take 2 and Grand Theft Auto V.  This is actually only the fifth No1 for GTA V, which some people may find surprising given its status as fastest-selling game within a 7 day period  and also the fact that this game has sold more units than any other in the UK (achieved after the launch of the xbox one/PS4 versions).  Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare drops to No2 having held on to No1 for a total of 6 weeks since launch.  EA’s FIFA 15 remains No3 with an 8 week run at No1 since launch.  There are no new releases and the only other notable change is the rise of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag from No27 to No11 thanks to a spike in sales of the official Assassin’s Creed Kinect Unity/Black Flag Xbox One hardware bundle.


Up 1 to No.5:           THE CREW
Still at  No.4:            FAR CRY 4
Still at No.3:             FIFA 15
Down 1 to No.2:    CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE
Up 1 to No.1:          GRAND THEFT AUTO V

NEW RELEASES

As of last week, there is no new game releases. So we thought it would be a good moment to explain what we are doing on this weeks podcast. This week we are going to name our nominations for the CTG awards. The catergories will be as followed:

  • GAME OF THE YEAR
  • REMAKE/REMASTER OF THE YEAR
  • DIGITAL GAME OF THE YEAR
  • COMMUNITY GAME OF THE YEAR
  • MOST ANTICIPATED OF 2015
  • INDIE TITLE OF THE YEAR
  • WORSE GAME OF THE YEAR
  • MOST DISSAPOINTING GAME OF THE YEAR
  • VILLAIN OF GAMING 2014

Once we have gathered our nominations voting will be open for you the Cravers starting Saturday 17th January on Cravethegame.net. Voting will then close on Wednesday 28th January at 8pm GMT, the results will be announced on the CTG podcast being released on Friday 30th January.

We are back with the CTG podcast this Friday and another Update on Monday with the news and UK chart of the week.

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