Welcome everyone to the New Gamer Nation Weekly News. This week we cover financial trouble concerning THQ and Sony, the Mass Effect 3 demo for X-Box Live Silver Subscribers, the censorship of the European Twisted Metal, details of The Last Of Us, and Wii-U features.
THQ’s Financial Trouble Continues
It seems THQ has more financial trouble. Last week we mentioned the Saint’s Row publisher is both shifting it’s focus on “core” gamers, and releasing some employees. THQ has received a delisting notice from the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, because they have been trading below the minimum of US$1 for the last 30 days. THQ now has 180 calendar days (until July 23, 2012) to make its stock regain compliance for 10 consecutive business days.
This isn’t unprecedented, for a company. In 2008 Atari was delisted by the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, and Majesco (publishers of Cooking Mama) has fought off delisting twice, once in 2008, and again in 2010.
To help remedy THQ’s most recent financial problems, THQ’s President and Chief Executive Officer Brian J. Farrell’s salary has been cut to $359,250 for a one-year period beginning February 13, 2012. The THQ president won’t be the only one taking the 50% pay cut. The company’s board of directors have “elected” to receive 50% less cash compensation for a year too.
Sony Reporting Losses
Last week we reported that Nintendo has reported a $630 million loss, this week Sony has reported another loss for the fourth year in a row. Sony has reported a $2.1 billion loss, close to double than expected. Flooding in Thailand that ruptured supply chains, and a weak economy are factors in the loss. Kazuo Harai, who will replace Howard Stringer as CEO in April, has stated he would not hesitate to scale back or withdraw from businesses if they were not competitive.
“I have a very strong sense of crisis about the environment surrounding us,” Hirai told a news conference. “We cannot be afraid to make painful choices for the future of Sony. Our rivals and the operating environment won’t wait for us.”
Syndicate Will NOT Have An Online Pass
Let’s switch to some good news. Electronic Arts has confirmed Syndicate will not have EA’s Online Pass. One reason for this is EA’s policy is to include Online Pass in all its games, but this does not apply to EA Partners games, which is what Syndicate falls under. EA Partners executive producer Jeff Gamon told Eurogamer the decision was made in an effort to encourage all players to play the shooter, which includes a co-op component.
“We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible,” Gamon said. “The co-op is equal billing in this. We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product.”
Mass Effect 3 Demo To Include Temporary X-Box Live Gold Membership
In a post from Bioware on it’s official forum, Microsoft confirmed the Mass Effect 3 demo will include a temporary gold membership to X-Box Live for silver membership subscribers. The Mass Effect 3 demo will include a multiplayer demo, and a single player mission. However, those that activated an online pass from Battlefield 3, will receive access to the multiplayer demo right away, on February 14. Those that haven’t will have to wait until the 17th. What is unclear however, is if Silver members will only be allowed to play the multiplayer demo only. Also unclear is when exactly the Mass Effect 3 demo will be available to silver members, since gold members usually get access earlier.
Twisted Metal Delayed, Censored in Europe
The latest edition of Twisted Metal is set to release on Valentine’s Day this year, except in Europe. According to David Jaffe himself, due to localization issues. All of Europe will be given a censored version of Twisted Metal, and will have to wait until March to receive their copy.
“99% of the cuts were in the movies and the movies are still intact and I sat with the editor- who was the same editor of the American movies- and we went thru and addressed the notes from Europe and made sure the stories still worked.” One of the possible 1% of gameplay changes comes in the form of the Meat Wagon vehicle, where instead of blowing up a screaming man strapped with dynamite, you’re blowing up a corpse instead.
The Last Of Us Details Emerge
Details have started to emerge regarding Naughty Dog’s next big title The Last Of Us. Boasting a more colorful game than traditional survival horror games, Naughty dog seeks to utilize natural growth to spice up the color palette and add a sense of the abnormal. Pittsburgh is confirmed to be in the game, however not much is known on how much of the game will take place in the steel city. Gameplay consists of combat including both gun play and melee attacks. Weapons will break after repeated use, so you’ll have to scavenge around for new items frequently. Also confirmed is that Joel will be the protagonist in the game and Ellie will be played by the A.I. The developers stress that The Last of Us is not one long escort mission. Keep an eye on Game Informer as their next issue will have screenshots and more on the game all month long.
Source: Game Informer
Wii-U Announces New Features
Finally, late last week, during a investor presentation held last night, Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata announced the Nintendo Network. The Nintendo Network is Nintendo’s will feature “competitions and communication among users, as well as the sales of digital content.” Users will create their own personal accounts, the Wii-U is shaping up to have an online experience comparable to X-Box Live and Sony’s Playstation Network.
Also while playing the Wii-U will also feature “Near Field Communication”. Near Field Communication will make use of the camera on the Wii-U controller by scanning real world objects, and allowing the player to use them in the game world. That isn’t all, according to Nintendo if you install this feature, you will be able to make micro-payments using a credit card.
That’s all we have for this week, so tell us what you think. Do you think THQ can turn things around? Do you think Kazuo Harai can help Sony? What would you do for either THQ or Sony? Are you excited for the Mass Effect 3 demo or even Mass Effect 3 itself? How do you feel about Europe’s censored version of Twisted Metal? Are you looking forward to The Last Of Us? Are the new Wii-U features enough to get you excited about the system or do you want to see more? What would you want to see in the Wii-U?