The reason viral gaming campaigns bug us is 'cause the hype never matches the delivery. Last Monday Epic's Mark Rein declared, with a theatrical wave of a rather ham-shaped hand, that there would in fact be a "BIG announcement coming next week." At the same time, in another corner of the gamerverse, XBL gamertags using the fictitious names of fictitious characters pleaded with eager (or disinterested) gamers, "We need your help. Can't talk now. Don't know who to trust. Will send more tomorrow."
Codes were delivered, codes were broken, retail sites were apparently updated a little too early and now, on Thursday of the foretold "next week," we know the truth: Gears of War is coming out this fall ... specifically, November 12th! And gone is the Microsoft-published pricepoint of $49.99. This fall, $59.99 (with $69.99 special edition, natch) is the new $49.99. Yay?
You see? It's just not that exciting. We already knew it was coming out this fall and educated guesses would have pegged November, just prior to the Nov. 17th PS3 launch, as a likely candidate. And announcing a higher than expected price isn't usually received very well (just ask Sony). Then again, maybe this isn't the BIG announcement. Maybe this is all part of a cleverly orchestrated plot by this guy to get our hopes up, dash them against the rocks like so many brains, and then, when we've hit bottom, throw a face melting Gears of War demo in our very melt-able, exceedingly cynical faces. Your move, Epic.
Emergence Day Revealed: Critically Acclaimed Xbox 360 Title "Gears of War" to Surface Nov. 12, 2006
Countdown begins for the most anticipated game of 2006 as gamers eagerly await the flagship title from Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games.
REDMOND, Wash. - Aug. 3, 2006 - Since the first frightening images appeared a little over a year ago, gamers worldwide have felt the ominous rumblings of something approaching that defies all convention. Sightings as recent as at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2006 have confirmed its existence, leaving gamers breathless. Microsoft Corp. today announced what anxious players have been eagerly awaiting: Emergence Day 2006. Available exclusively for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the highly anticipated title "Gears of War" will be available in North America on Nov. 12, 2006.
Developed by Epic Games Inc. and published by Microsoft Game Studios, "Gears of War" tells the harrowing story of mankind's struggle against the monstrous Locust Horde through stunning high-definition graphics and an intense storyline on the scale of a blockbuster movie.
One of the most anticipated next-generation console titles of 2006 and the critic's choice winner for the E3 2006 Best Console Game, "Gears of War" will explode onto store shelves with a standard edition available for $59.99* and a limited collector's edition available for $69.99. The limited edition will offer an even deeper look into the graphically stunning and frightening world of "Gears of War," providing an official "Destroyed Beauty" art book and a bonus DVD featuring an inside look at the making of the game - all enclosed in a highly collectible metal box.
"'Gears of War' represents the emergence of a thrilling new franchise for Xbox 360 and is the must-have game of 2006," said Shane Kim, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios. "Combining the best in innovative gameplay, next-generation graphics and interactive storytelling, Epic has harnessed the extraordinary power of Xbox 360 to create an extremely powerful and immersive entertainment experience."
"Our vision is to deliver a one-two punch of cinematic action paired with a thrilling and compelling interactive experience," said Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer at Epic. "With 'Gears of War' we've created a title that will place gamers directly in the shadows of a ravaged world, surrounded by the beautiful remnants of a destroyed city and the horrific dangers that hide in the rubble."
"Gears of War" thrusts gamers into humankind's epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet. Blending the best of tactical action games with the best of survival horror titles, "Gears of War" features cinematic, beautifully rendered interactive environments with high-definition visuals.
Demand for the game is high as retailers anticipate the one-two punch of "Gears of War" and Xbox 360 appearing in quantity on store shelves this holiday season. "The interest and buzz on this game has been intense," said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop Corp. "Certainly gamers are counting the days until Emergence Day arrives, as pre-orders have been very strong."f
* Prices herein are estimated retail prices. Actual retail prices may vary.