Weekly News Roundup: July 17, 2011

Another week, another roundup. We have some big stories for you, including the fate of PopCap Games, the new release date for Deadly Premonition publisher Ignitions El Shaddai, as well as some words, straight from the mouth of Hideo Kojima, on the possibility of a new Snatcher game. Brace, gird and ready your loins…. here we go:

So we reported a while back that casual gaming giant PopCap games was in the process of being sold to an unnamed party for an obscene amount of cash. Well, looks like those rumors were spot on. This week, PopCap announced that it would be acquired by EA for $750 million dollars. This purchase includes $100 million in stock, and will close by August, assuming all the details get worked out. Early word on the street is that this purchase is part of a larger push by EA to dominate the casual gaming market. So, look forward to Plants vs. Zombies 2, only available on Origin!

By the by, EA was not the only one interested in buying out PopCap. Forbes reported this week that the kings of the free-to-play mobile market, Zynga, offered PopCap $1 billion in cash. Apparently, even another $250 million wasn’t enough to overcome the stigma of being owned by the company that makes Farmville.

Not enough coffee or pie.

The enigmatic Japanese biblical action game El Shaddai has been pushed back to August 16, 2011, from its original release date of July 26, 2011. For the five of you who are eagerly awaiting this game’s release, I’m sure a couple more weeks won’t kill you. In the mean time, may I suggest playing another Ignition Games title that is out, is cheap, and is likely far more fun than endlessly beating up angels with bowstaffs? You know what I am talking about, right Zack?

This man would like you to please stop asking him about Snatcher.

So, for about as long as I can remember, people have been whining to Hideo Kojima to make a new Snatcher game. The game was a legitimate cult hit, and gave people something legitimate to play on their Sega CDs. The game was fun and interesting, but I never really understood the appeal of a sequel or reboot. Apparently Kojima is sick of the constant pleas himself, as he recently stated that he would be happy for a new Snatcher game to come out, so long as someone else made it. The moral of the story? Give up on this dream, Snatcher fans, at least for now, or start making your shoddy second rate indie version, and we will be sure to review it.

These guys think they can make $1.5 billion by competing with Steam.

According to some smart guy over at Baird Equity Research, Gamestop, the largest pawnbroker in the world, is set to earn as much as $1.5 billion by 2014, chiefly due to its digital distribution strategy. In case you were not aware, and I am betting you weren’t, Gamestop acquired the digital distribution service Impulse this year, and it is now possible to download games directly from Gamestop’s web site. Further, Gamestop’s Impulse is going to be one of the obedient little services that plays nice by EA’s rules and will be allowed to sell Battlefield 3, unlike Steam. So, it looks like it’s all out war on Valve. My advice? Stick to selling used games for a 5% markdown Gamestop, this is not a battle you will likely win.

It will be like this, but more Ultimate.

For those of you who love to hit random buttons and see pretty colors flash on television screens, this news should excite you: it is rumored that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be announced at this year’s Comic-Con. Exactly what will be changed in this new version of MvC3, when it will be released, and how much it will cost are unconfirmed at this time, but considering Comic-Con, like winter, is coming quickly, we should know everything soon enough. Personally, this makes sense, as it seemed Capcom would be getting itchy to release a new iteration of something, and another fucking Street Fighter 4 would but un-fucking-acceptable.

Buy my game. Buy my game. Buy my game.

Finally, some sad news, NPD confirmed that Shadows of the Damned sold a staggeringly miniscule 24,000 copies in June. Admittedly, it was released at the end of June, but game sales tend to go down, not up, from release windows. As such, it appears that Shadows will be a financial failure, which really is a damned shame. Before this game is gone forever, I advise you, our faithful readers, go out and get a copy. You will not regret it.

About Mike Cantor

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