Unsurprisingly, the game adaptation of James Cameron's Avatar is -- let me not sugarcoat this -- a piece of crap. Despite that, Ubisoft thinks the game's utter failure in terms of sales was a result of poor timing on their part. According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, it was actually the movie's fault (it came out at the wrong time) and the game's release window's fault (the game couldn't hold on during the post-holiday drop off). It wasn't because the game sucked, of course not.
iPhone's App Store is great for indie developers because it makes it so much easier for them to get their games in the hands of consumers, but it's also causing a problem. Many iPhone developers are cutting the prices on their games lower and lower. Sure, cheap games are great for us, but it's making it difficult for other studios to turn a profit. Capybara co-founder Nathan Vella spoke about this problem in a recent Gamasutra interview.
Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and his studio Mistwalker has been pretty quiet since their release of Lost Odyssey two years ago. The team says they're working on a new "blockbuster" game, but we also recently learned that they're creating a new game for the iPhone.
"2010 is the year of my long-awaited new blockbuster project," writes Sakaguchi on his studio's website. "I'm putting my heart and soul into this production. I'm taking a full swing and making this the best project. Oh, by the way, We are also working on a project for iPhone. This should be released soon as well. We will put our efforts together and do our best! I'm sure you'll Love it."
David Jaffe (of Twisted Metal and God of War fame) recently returned from a hiatus from the interwebs, and he's back to his old Twitter-fiend days. Earlier today, Jaffe was asked by a follower if he and his studio, Eat Sleep Play, will ever develop for the iPhone. His answer? Yes, they will.
"We have and we prob. [sic] will but we got all guns blazing on our PS3 masterpiece!" he wrote on his Twitter.
Jaffe hasn't revealed what Eat Sleep Play's big "PS3 masterpiece" is, but it's very likely a Twisted Metal title.
PopCap Games' zombie-defense hit Plants vs. Zombies has been confirmed for iPhone. What's even better is that it's coming in late January, so it's not too far off. The developer made a posting on its Facebook page, stating, "Look out for PvZ iPhone late 01/10."
A simple $20 iPhone app is being used by U.S. snipers in Afghanistan to hunt down Taliban fighters. "BulletFlight" helps sharpshooters take into account the current wind speed and rotation of the Earth and how it will affect their bullet. Not only that, it predicts the wounds targets will suffer if it strikes.
This isn't the first time consumer technology has come into play in the war on terror. Coalition forces are also using modified Xbox 360 controllers to pilot unmanned robotic vehicles, and the U.S. Air Force is using PS3 clusters to develop new types of radar.
So today we saw the Unreal Engine 3 running on the iPhone, we saw a NES emulator, and now we have yet another cool iPhone emulator, this time an N64 one. This one's of course a jailbreak emulator, and while it has horrible framerate (as shown in the video below), it's still pretty awesome seening Mario 64 on the little device. At least it supports the Wii Remote.
Yesterday Apple approved a NES emulator for the iPhone called "Nescaline." Costing $5, it could play any valid .NES image file, which encompassed homebrew games. The app itself came with five homebrews. It featured intuitive controls, allowing gamers to tap on objects to simulate firing upon them with the Light Gun. You could even enter Game Genie cheats.
But while Nintendo gamers rejoiced, lawyers got upset, as they usually do. The next day, today, Nescaline was pulled from the App Store. Apple didn't explain why, other than telling the developer it was removed "because it was an emulator," but there are numerous emulators on the App Store. It's unclear if Apple will issue a more substantial reason for pulling the app or if they'll possibly repeal the decision to remove it.
Some crafty fellows got Epic's latest Unreal Engine 3 running on an iPod Touch. It will only run on third-generation iPod Touches and the iPhone 3GS. The video shows a writer from AnandTech playing Unreal Tournament, but the game is not fully operable. The writer met with Epic VP Mark Rein. Here's what he found out:
Epic isn't announcing any sort of iPhone engine licenses nor are they entering the iPhone game market. Porting UE3 to the iPhone is simply one of many projects being worked on inside a newer, more svelte and innovative Epic Games (wait till you see what's next...)... Mark said they planned to make this available to licensees at some point in the near future.
And here's his take on it:
...eventually it wouldn't be too far fetched to see a full port of Gears of War to something as small as an iPhone. NAND Flash capacities to support multiple 9GB games will be there in another few years, as will GPU horsepower.
At next month's CES, Epic will be showing Unreal Engine support for another mobile platform, according to Rein.
Guess what pushed out Call of Duty: World at War Zombies from the top spot on iPhone? Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey did, that's who! According to Fingergaming's top 10 iPhone game chart, Where's Waldo has become this week's highest-grossing game on the device. Here's the complete list:
1. Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey ($2.99)
2. Call of Duty: World at War Zombies ($9.99)
3. Dragon's Lair ($4.99)
4. Labyrinth 2 ($4.99)
5. Bejeweled 2 ($2.99)
6. Super Monkey Ball 2 ($4.99)
7. Tetris ($4.99)
8. The Sims 3 ($6.99)
9. Need for Speed Undercover ($4.99)
10. Monopoly ($4.99)