Several major video games hit store shelves and download services this past week as we approach the beginnings of the exciting fall video game release season and along with a listing of these reviews, we have a pile of important news you may have missed.
In this week’s weekly wrap-up, we talk about Madden NFL 12’s success and season prediction, Star Trek Online becoming free-to-play, the potential for Steam on the Xbox 360, the next Legend of Zelda game and the franchise’s 25th anniversary, a few more PS Vita games leaking, release dates for From Dust on PS3 and DLC for Fruit Ninja Kinect and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.
1. Madden NFL 12 open week sales and season simulation.
In its first week since release (Aug. 30 – Sept. 5), EA Sports saw success with their latest Madden NFL installment, managing to sell over 1.4 million copies in the opening week along, a pleasant 10% increase over last year. Users have taken advantage of the Madden Ultimate Team mode, purchasing over 200,000 in-game cards and tokens, helping the game bring in a 78% increase in digital content as well. Read our Madden NFL 12 review here.
As per tradition of EA Sports titles, a full season was simulated prior to this weekend’s start of the regular season, and it predicted the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers continuing to dominate after their Super Bowl XLV match-up. For the full simulated season breakdown, click here.
2. Star Trek Online goes Free-to-Play
Cryptic Studios, now part of Perfect World, is following in the footsteps of Lord of the Rings Online, Champions Online and Age of Conan by dropping subscription fees Star Trek Online and going free-to-play later this year. Anyone will be able to download and play for as long as they want without any commitment or subscriptions, partaking in weekly episodes and controlling their own ship, crew and more as they explore the Star Trek universe. Jack Emmert, CEO, Cryptic Studios:
“In addition to seeking out new life and exploring strange new civilizations, part of our continuing mission for Star Trek Online is to expand and improve. Transitioning to a free-to-play model is a natural way to share all we’ve built with a broader community of players and we couldn’t be more excited.”
For more on Star Trek Online going free, click here.
3. Rumor Patrol: Steam coming to Xbox 360
Valve’s Steam Support mentions “XBOX Support” which sparked rumors earlier this week that perhaps Valve and Microsoft had worked out a compromise for both sides that would see Steam finally make its way to Xbox 360, since it’s already supported with multiplatform play on the PlayStation 3. It’s more likely this is just to support Valve products that are available on the Xbox 360 and we don’t expect Steam on the Xbox console anytime soon.
4. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Cover Issue
Game Informer hinted that they’d be featuring another big name game on their October cover issue and it wasn’t long before they confirmed it as The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This is fitting, considering we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise (can you believe it?) and the Game Informer issue is going all out for the special occasion with 24 pages dedicated to the series, 14 of which run down all of The Legend of Zelda games leading us up to Skyward Sword.
Source: Game Informer
5. More PlayStation Vita Games
The Nintendo 3DS suffered (and still suffers) from a small and weak games library so what is Sony going to do in order to avoid a similar issue? They’ll start by bringing forty (40!) games to the Tokyo Games Show before the device even releases. Some of the unannounced gamers showed up in a recent issue of Famitsu: Lumines: Electronic Symphony, Rayman Origins, Michael Jackson The Experience HD, Dark Quest, Sumioni, Dream Club Zero Portable, Moe Moe Daisensou and Ragnarok Odyssey.
6. From Dust on PlayStation 3
From Dust was a game that impressed us at E3, so much so that Game Rant nominated it for multiple awards, and crowing it the winner for Best Original Game of E3 2011. The God game from creator Eric Chahi released on XBLA back in July, on PC in August, and now it’s official that it’ll release on PSN on September 27, 2011.
7. Downloadable DLC for Downloadable Games
Two neat downloadable games we enjoy at Game Rant are getting more content! Fruit Ninja Kinect is getting spaced-themed DLC, titled ‘Space Capsule’ for 160 Microsoft Points ($2) which brings players 50 achievements points to acquire, along with a new background, a new blade and a new silhouette.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is also getting DLC, titled ‘Shadow Hunters’ from FuelCell Games on Tuesday, September 13th, which takes place after the main campaign is complete and sees the player and alien allies (co-op!) take the fight to their rather dark invaders. Maps will seemingly be randomly generated on each playthrough.
Be sure to check out all of our reviews for the week of September 5-11, 2011:
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.