Gears of War 3 Delayed until Fall 2011

Originally slated for an April release, Microsoft announced last Friday that it planned to push Gears of War 3 to Fall of 2011.  Well, that just sucks.  Although I’m not trying to wait 10 years for a game like this, one does have to keep in mind that the “It’ll be ready when it’s ready” philosophy of say, Blizzard, certainly results in quality products.  Lead Gears Designer Cliffy B reminded us all via Twitter what happens if you take the bun out of the oven before it’s fully cooked.

That’s good advice, and Peter Moore of EA Sports definitely smells what you’re cooking.  Hopefully they just need 5 extra months to figure out an absurdly elaborate death for Clayton Carmine.

Except Microsoft basically said the delay has nothing to do with the game’s development, and everything to do with their sales strategy.

“Gears of War 3 promises to be the biggest entertainment launch of 2011,” the Microsoft statement reads. “The teams at Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games have done great work thus far readying the title for release in the Spring of 2011. However, we’ve elected to move the launch of Gears of War 3 until Fall 2011 to make it the marquee title for the holiday season.”

If it is indeed purely about marketing, there are a couple of things that could be at play here. Epic’s other big game, Bulletstorm, is set to knock us off our feet on Feb. 22, 2011. Maybe they wanted to give that a bit more breathing room.

Kotaku

Definitely possible, especially when you consider what was in the next tweet after Cliff broke the news and promised a “silver lining”: Bulletstorm’s box art.

Follow Cliff Bleszinski, Design Director at Epic Games, on Twitter @therealcliffyb.

Airball: EA Sports Decides to Spin-off NBA Jam After NBA Elite Demo Makes Gamers Physically Ill

So Peter Moore must read WG (not surprising).  It seems EA Sports has miraculously realized the idiocy of their plan to release NBA Jam, the game you are currently imagining being HELLA FUN as a one-time download with a fresh purchase of NBA Elite ’11, the “new” iteration of the basketball-simulation  schlock that’s been the cause of countless controller smashings over the last decade.  In case you missed it, you can read all about me bashing that “strategy” last month right here.  Anyway, It seems the Elite demo was so buggy and universally criticized [YOUTUBE] that EA head Peter Moore announced that the game would be indefinitely delayed.  Since NBA Jam is basically good-to-go (it has been around for 20 years), it will be released separately.

“Unfortunately, NBA Elite 11 is not yet ready and we have made a decision to delay next month’s launch,” Moore said, without specifying a new release date. “The decision to delay NBA ELITE was hard because the game has great promise. But ultimately we feel this is the right thing to do. We’ve been making steady progress on basketball for the past few years and it’s going to take extra time to make the game.”

NBA Jam, the arcade-style two-on-two game also due on Oct. 5, will still ship on that date for the Wii. The PS3 and Xbox 360 version was to have been included with a free download code in NBA Elite 11. Moore said that game will now be a standalone product that will arrive “in time for the holidays.” He did not indicate a price point or if this will be a physical retail release or digital download.

Kotaku

Let me humbly point out that the important thing in all of this isn’t that I said that bundling the two games together was a crappy ploy, doomed to fail because it hinges on the assumption that people will actually willfully spend $60 on the crap that NBA Elite ’11 would surely be.  And it’s not that I predicted that NBA Jam would be spun off and available as an XBLA/PSN download within 3 months of launch.  No, it’s not all about being right here at WG, folks.  Sometimes, it’s about being SO RIGHT that the head of EA Sports had to publicly acknowledge the shittiness of his product, and announce on his official blog that he’s going to switch on over to the WG strategy, a week before the damn thing was set to launch.  MUAAHAHAHA! Dude ought to be thankful that he’s got the luxury of living in the world of demos, Internet message boards, and wannabe savvy bloggers like yours truly, or he might have released this thing and forced virtual-LeBron James to take his talents down to a landfill in New Mexico.

Well, it’s a glorious day in for wannabe geniuses everywhere.  Just goes to show you: if you go around blowharding a couple of times a day and you cover enough topics, eventually you’ll be right about something.  It’s all a numbers game.

Can’t wait to be the first person to fork over $10 for NBA Jam this holiday season.  I deserve it.

Peter Moore’s Blog via Kotaku

BOOMSHAKALAKA! NBA Jam HD Looks Like The Most Fun Nobody Will Have

In an effort to show you how out of touch they are with their consumers, EA Sports decided to bundle the heretofore Wii “exclusive” NBA Jam remake as a free download for Xbox 360 and PS3 users who purchase their pro ball simulation title, NBA Elite 11.

The game will be downloadable with a free one-use code included in new copies of NBA Elite. The 360 and PS3 version get three modes – Play Now, Classic Campaign and Online Play. It doesn’t have the Boss Battles under the Wii’s Remix mode, but it does have online multiplayer, which the Wii doesn’t.

Kotaku

Well that’s great, but there’s one little problem.  There’s not a single person out there on this blue marble who actually wants NBA fucking Elite 11.  The biggest basketball fans I know don’t even play that garbage.  They’re too busy with Madden.  The basketball game most dear to everyone’s heart?  Of course, it’s 1995 Midway classic NBA Jam.  But don’t insult the gamers, EA.  We may be emotionally stunted and immature, but we’re not retarded.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is ponying up $60 for the pile of shit that is EA’s basketball simulation just to get at the free arcade bonus you decided to throw in there.  ESPECIALLY since the lesser of 2 evils that is NBA 2k11 is getting a unique game mode dedicated to His Airness.  One of two things will happen:

1. Gamers will rush to buy NBA Elite 11 for the download code and return it before major retailers start paying attention.  It’s hard to believe the world’s second biggest games publisher could overlook this scenario (but who knows).  More likely is

2. No one will buy NBA Elite 11 and within 3 months, EA will release NBA Jam on the XBLA Marketplace and PSN as a $10 download.  Personally, I can’t wait.

Madden 11 Kicks Off Tomorrow

How could I have forgotten this is last night’s post about the glorious baby steps towards football season taking place this week?  EA Sports will bring out their annual offering of digital football on the second Tuesday in August, as they always do, and promises to present a simpler rendition than we’ve seen in years.

I’m guessing if you’re the kind of person that ponies up the $60 for Madden every year, that might sound pretty awful to you.  But as the gaming industry continues to grow, we’re seeing a lot of developers focusing on mainstream appeal.  It’s just the sad fate of entertainment, much like the music industry has congealed into a homogenous lump of mainstream shit.

Madden NFL 11 arrives tomorrow to the marketing drumbeat of simpler, quicker and deeper. Laudable design goals, but for a game that’s been a living room ritual for a quarter of a century, let’s also ask, is it more fun?

Yes. Though we’ve heard all spring and summer about Madden’s new play-calling, faster game times and richer, more exciting presentation, this year’s show-stealer comes from an unexpected place – a true fundamental. You know, the kind of thing everyone always says a sports game should get right before worrying about anything else? Well this time, Madden did.

Kotaku Review

As much as I love football and video games, I fell off the Madden wagon back in 07 and haven’t bought another version of the game in this console generation.  If stripping away the hit-sticks, QB cones, and even turbo (*gasp*) will make the game more fun, I’m all for it.

IGN Review