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Battlefield 4 class action lawsuit dismissed on 'puffery'

42-15392482| RF| ¿ Royalty-Free/CorbisAtlantic Puffins, One Gaping, Newfoundland, CanadaAtlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica)
No, not puffinry. Puffery.

A class action lawsuit levied against Electronic Arts for allegedly misleading investors over the performance of Battlefield 4 was dismissed this week, with U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Susan Illston labeling the publisher's promises as pre-release "puffery," rather than intentionally misleading hype.

The lawsuit was filed late last year, accusing Electronic Arts of misrepresenting "the development and sales of the Company's Battlefield 4 video game and the game's impact on EA's revenue and projects moving forward." Battlefield 4 suffered numerous issues upon its launch in November, leaving many players unable to access its online multiplayer component. Fixes arrived months after the game's initial release, leading EA CEO Andrew Wilson to later describe the debacle as "unacceptable."

EA argued that its pre-release statements had no direct bearing on the plaintiffs' decisions to purchase company stock. In addition, the publisher noted that five of the eight company-issued statements labeled as misleading in the suit were made after plaintiffs had already purchased EA stock.

"Defendant [CFO Blake] Jorgensen's Oct. 29, 2013 statement comparing 'BF4' to a World Series ace pitcher is puffery," Judge Illston wrote. "Defendant Wilson's Oct. 29, 2013 statement explaining that EA 'worked more closely with Microsoft and Sony throughout the entire process' resulting in a 'launch slate of games that are the best transition games that I've ever seen come out of this company' is an inactionable opinion, as well as a vague statement of corporate optimism."

Illston's response does not represent a total dismissal of the case. Lead plaintiffs Ryan Kelly and Louis Mastro must revise their statements by November 3 to continue the suit.

[Image: Getty]

Melodrama strikes Japan in Samurai Warriors 4 launch trailer

Image To celebrate the PlayStation 4, PS3 and Vita debut of Sengoku-era musou brawler Samurai Warriors 4, publisher Koei Tecmo has issued a launch trailer that is equal parts histrionic rock music and androgynously sexy Japanese historical figures - exactly what series fans would hope for. [Image:... Continue Reading

PSN Sale of the Dead is 2 weeks of spooky game discounts

PSN is a scary place right now. The Sale of the Dead starts today, offering discounts of up to 65 percent – and 80 percent for Plus members – on a lineup of games over two weeks. On sale in the first week's round is Dante's Inferno ($6.50, $3.90 for Plus), Dead Space 2 ($6.50, $3.90 for Plus), Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition ($7.50, $6 for Plus), Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare on PS4 ($26.50, $19.90 for Plus) and Tiny Brains on PS4 ($5, $4 for Plus), among others.

Week two begins on October 28 and includes Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($5, $4 for Plus), Catherine ($10, $7 for Plus), Corpse Party: Book of Shadows ($10, $9 for Plus), Guacamelee: Super Turbo Charged Edition ($10.50, $7.35), Manhunt ($5, $4 for Plus), Outlast ($10, $5 for Plus) and Silent Hill Book of Memories ($15, $12 for Plus).

Week one of the sale concludes on October 27, and week two ends on November 3. There's also a lineup of horror movies and television shows on sale during both weeks.
[Image: Sony]

The Walking Dead stumbles to PS4, Xbox One

Both seasons of Telltale Games' episodic adventure The Walking Dead are now available digitally and at retail on Xbox One and PS4. Retail versions of the two seasons are also out now for Xbox 360 and PS3. At least, this is the case for North America; European players will have to wait until October 31 for the Xbox One and PS4 versions.

The European release date always differed from that of North America, as the adventure game's two seasons were previously expected to reach the next-gen platforms on October 24. Telltale's ten episodes generally impressed players, though the final episode's conclusion left a lot to be desired according to our review in August. The developer added that The Walking Dead series has sold "more than 39 million episodes worldwide" to date.

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PSN Tuesday: Shadow Warrior, The Legend of Korra

Though the PlayStation gets the bulk of new additions in today's PlayStation Network Store update, most of the biggest releases are available on multiple Sony devices.

Koei Tecmo's musou brawler Samurai Warriors 4 and arcade flyer Race The Sun are now available on the PlayStation 4, PS3 and Vita. Battlefield 4 Premium Edition and Platinum Games' Legend of Korra game adaptation are now available on both PlayStation 4 and PS3. Just Dance 2015 likewise graces both the PlayStation 4 and PS3.

Devolver's Shadow Warrior and Season Two of Telltale's The Walking Dead adventure game are now available on PS4 as well. For a full rundown of the new games, DLC and pre-orders available via the PlayStation Network, visit the PlayStation Blog.
[Image: Koei Tecmo]

Alien: Isolation goes into Corporate Lockdown next week

Corporate Lockdown, the first of five planned DLC additions to Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode, arrives on October 28.

Corporate Lockdown focuses on a Seegson executive named Ransome as he attempts to swipe classified data from the company and make his getaway aboard the Torrens. As with all things in Alien: Isolation, that plans goes awry when a horrible space monster appears, and Ransome's corporate espionage attempt quickly becomes a fight for survival.

Come October 28, Alien: Isolation owners will be able to purchase Corporate Lockdown on their platform of choice for $8. Alternately, the $30 season pass offers access to Corporate Lockdown as well the four DLC episodes to follow, all of which publisher Sega claims will be available by March 2015.
[Image: Sega]

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Far Cry 4 season pass offers yetis, drugs and prison breaks

For those who want to spend a bit more time in Kyrat than Far Cry 4 offers on its own comes the $30 season pass, which offers a handful of new missions and an additional player vs player gameplay mode.

At launch, those who've purchased the season pass will receive exclusive access to The Syringe, a mission in which players must keep a potent drug from falling into the hands of warlord Pagan Min. Escape From Durgesh Prison, as its name suggests, sees players attempting to escape from one of Min's prisons, either solo or with a friend playing as series mainstay Hurk. Speaking of Hurk, the lovable explosives expert brings with him an five additional missions that introduce a number of new weapons, including a harpoon gun.

On the more supernatural side of things, we have Valley of the Yetis, a mission that drops our hero onto a frozen mountaintop populated both by a mysterious cult and the mysterious, hairy creatures of its title. The Overrun multiplayer game type likewise dips into the arcane as players assume the role of either Rakshasa or a member of the Golden Path in a battle to wrest control of map locations from your opponents.

Unfortunately lacking from Ubisoft's announcement is word on when these downloadable additions will become available to season pass holders. The Syringe is slated to debut alongside Far Cry 4 on November 18, but otherwise Ubisoft has yet to reveal when the $30 season pass will pay off.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Ubisoft Toronto founder Jade Raymond departs to pursue 'new opportunities'

Longtime Ubisoft producer and collaborator Jade Raymond has left the company, citing a need to "pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities."

Raymond joined Ubisoft as a producer of the Assassin's Creed series in 2004, and went on to found subsidiary Ubisoft Toronto. Raymond's recent credits include Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Fellow Ubisoft Toronto founding member Alexandre Parizeau will fill Raymond's vacated position as managing director.

"I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games," Raymond said. "This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I'm confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what's next for me, but for now, I'd like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavors."

[Image: Jade Raymond / Wikipedia]

Editor's Note: We Are Always Fighting

We are always fighting.

The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.

My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.

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The Borderlands timeline unfurled

With the recent release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Gearbox knows it may have some fans with questions on how the series' timeline is organized. That's understandable when your latest game is sub-titled "The Pre-Sequel." To bring order to the chaos, the series developer offered an "ultimate Borderlands timeline" on its blog late last week.

The comic-style timeline divulges major plot points from before the original Borderlands through its direct sequel, Borderlands 2. Viewers beware: Gearbox didn't shy away from spoiling those major events in the timeline, including that of The Pre-Sequel. Our review of the latest game noted that the game is "missing just a bit of soul," but still "has the makings of a pretty great Borderlands game." The series' overarching story will continue with The Walking Dead developer Telltale's adventure game, Tales From the Borderlands, which is expected to launch this year.

Destiny's next patch to address Vault of Glass' buggy boss

If you've been running and re-running Destiny's Vault of Glass raid in hopes of obtaining exotic gear, you may have already learned about various tricks and exploits people are using to speed up their adventures. One of the most popular involves knocking the raid's final boss, Atheon, off a ledge, letting gravity do the dirty work of killing him.

It's quick, efficient and relatively easy, but not exactly what Bungie had in mind for an epic final showdown. To that end, they're patching the Atheon battle so that he can't be knocked off, while simultaneously changing how he targets players. Currently, Atheon will send the three players furthest from him through space and time to an alternate battlefield, where they'll stay until their teammates open a portal for them so they can return. Once the fix goes live, he'll target three players at random.

Enjoy knocking a titan of terror off into the dark depths of the Vault of Glass while you can, Guardians; Atheon's fixes go live next week.
[Image: Activision]

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launch trailer has guns, Kevin Spacey, double XP

Image Sure there's guns galore in this Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launch trailer, but virtual Kevin Spacey overshadows all of them. Pre-ordering will get you 24 hour early access (along with double XP and a bunch of guns) but really, we just want more of that handsome man. Mmm. [Image:... Continue Reading

Mighty No. 9 will feature English voice acting thanks to vote

Mighty No. 9, Comcept's spirtual successor to the Mega Man series, will feature English voice acting according to an update on the game's Kickstarter page. A vote which drew more than 20,000 participants was the deciding factor, and according to the update, the vote was never more than 1,000 votes from going in favor of English or Japanese.

Back in July, Comcept updated their crowdfunding efforts and asked for $200,000 to add both English and Japanese voices. However, at the beginning of October, a Kickstarter update explained that funding was insufficient for supporting both languages.

"Rather than stick to the revised target of $200K for both English and Japanese voice acting and close it down short of the goal, we've decided to lower the goal back to the original $100K for one language," the update reads. "And, rather than dictate which one voiced language we offer in the game, we want to put it to a vote and let you, our loyal backers decide: English or Japanese!" Now that the votes have been tallied, it appears the former is the winner.

Mighty No. 9 is due to release in spring of 2015 for ten mighty systems: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U and 3DS.
[Image: Comcept]

Dark Souls 'Crown of the Ivory King' review: Burning bright

PC, Xbox 360, PS3
It sounds strange, but one of the best environments in the latest downloadable chapter of Dark Souls 2 DLC is hardly an environment at all. It's called the Frigid Outskirts, and it's a vast, nearly empty expanse – a long, curving valley only occasionally dotted with small, dilapidated stone structures. Like much of Dark Souls 2, however, this area of "The Crown of the Ivory King" DLC differentiates itself from the rest of the game with a few outstanding features.

Specifically: a constant, unrelenting blizzard. What should be a simple jaunt from one end to the other becomes considerably more difficult, as near whiteout conditions make it impossible to see more than a few feet in front of you, only clearing once every thirty seconds or so. It's a smart mechanic that not only imparts a sense of fear, but also elevates what would otherwise be a boring, linear quest.

And then there are the lightning-spewing horse bastards that accost you at regular intervals, but we'll get to those later.

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PSN Flash Sale highlights heroines across games and movies

Sony is discounting 20 games and 30 movies as part of this weekend's PSN Flash Sale – and it's not hard to figure out the theme. The deals include PS3 games like Bayonetta ($7.99), BloodRayne: Betrayal ($2.49), Portal 2 ($4.99), Remember Me ($11.99), Mirror's Edge ($2.25) and Beyond Good and Evil ($3.49). The sale also features a few games for both PS3 and Vita, such as Hatsune Miku: Project Diva ($11.99 for Vita, $19.99 for PS3), Knytt Underground ($2.49) and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis ($1.49).

PSN's discounted movies vary in price based on whether viewers pick up the standard or high-definition versions. Kill Bill Volume 1 and Volume 2 are $6.99 each ($9.99 HD), as is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its follow-up, Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life ($10.99 HD each). Plus, Five Resident Evil films as well as four Underworld movies are discounted this weekend to $8.99 each ($9.99 HD). The sale ends at 3:00 p.m. EST (12:00 p.m. PST) on Monday, October 20.
[Image: Majesco]

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