Currents Top Ten I SAG to Vote Again I Uwe Boll Working on Dungeon Siege Film I Playstation 3 Gets Possible Pricing but No Hard Drive I FBI Cracks Down on Piracy I Gust Breaks into North American Market I Stock Ticker I Back Page
Issue #13 ¿Donde están mis pantalones? July 02, 2005

Front Page

I'm just going to step in here for a brief moment to pass the torch to your substitute host for the next couple of weeks, Billy Young. If you're not familiar with his name, then you've never visited this site before. He's been rocking the house delivering you blood hounds the juicy news you thirst for since long before I came around, so be nice. I trust he'll do this column good for the next few issues.

One more thing: you may have noticed an extreme lack of featureness with this issue. I apologize for this, but due to my time crunch, I wasn't able to deliver your expected feature. All I can do is say that I'll do my darndest to get back on track after I get back home. So bear with me until then. For the time being, though, here's Billy.

Welcome to your first issue of madhtr's Currents. Today we'll be discussing the Screen Actor's Guild, Uwe Boll, the Playstation 3, piracy, and Gust Co. In my opinion, It's such a pity that Uwe Boll is allowed to dash the hopes of videogame fans everywhere by continuing his work on movies based on the movies of the same name. One can only imagine how his latest creation, Blood Rayne will fare when it is finally released. Anyway, that's enough of my ramblings, onward to the news.

 Currents Top Ten

My first top ten list and yet.... no RPGs to bring you. There is a new number one in Conker who make's his Microsoft debut, Live and Reloaded. It seems gamers have decided to Kill All Humans! this week as the PS2 version enters the chart and the Xbox version moves up. San Andreas for the Xbox dropped this week to the fourth spot. The bottom of the chart has super heroes, racing, war simulation, and two different views on the Star Wars galaxy.

It appears there just aren't enough big-name RPGs available right now as the recently released titles from NIS of America and Namco went unnoticed by many people. With very few top quality RPGs on the near horizon, it looks like a tough march of non-rpg top ten charts.

Position Title Publisher Platform
1 Conker: Live and Reloaded Microsoft Game Studios
2 Destroy All Humans! THQ
3 Destroy All Humans! THQ
4 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Rockstar Games
5 Batman Begins EA Games
6 Juiced THQ
7 Medal of Honor: European Assault Electronic Arts
8 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith LucasArts
9 Lego Star Wars Eidos Interactive
10 Juiced THQ

Source: GameSpot

 SAG to Vote Again

While the Screen Actors Guild originally refused the new contract for videogame performances, a new referendum was handed down which has given them another month to vote again. This expires on July 31 and the voting is scheduled to end on the 28.

Currently minimum wage for a four hour voice recording session is $556 . The contract in question would immediately raise this to $695 with it going up to $795 in 2008. Royalties for actors based on game sales are currently what some SAG members are holding out for.

Source: GamesIndustry

 Uwe Boll Working on Dungeon Siege Film

Dungeon Siege

Based on the 2002 PC title of the same name, Dungeon Siege is to be directed by the infamous Uwe Boll. The story follows that of Farmer on a quest to save his wife and child from an evil army that is destroying everything in their path. The screenplay was written by Doug Taylor, David S. Freeman, and Glenn Benest and is scheduled to begin filming tomorrow, Sunday July 3. Boll is hoping to have the film finished and in theatres in 2006.

The roll of Farmer is being filled by Jason Statham, who starred in movies such as the Transporter and Snatch. Farmer's faithful friend, Norich, is being played by Ron Perlman, whose recent work was in the lead roll of Hellboy. Both of the above actors have also had voice acting roles in a few games over the years. Other actors set to play parts in the film include: Kristanna Loken, Burt Reynolds, Matthew Lillard, John Rhys-Davies, and Leelee Sobieksi.

Source: Gamespot

 Playstation 3 Gets Possible Pricing but No Hard Drive

Playstation 3

According to the recent issue of Famitsu, Sony's Playstation 3 console will ship with a 2.5-inch slot for a hard drive but will not ship with the hardware. It is expected to be sold separately as an add-on like the original hard drive available for the Playstation 2. This means that the Xbox 360 will be the only console available with a hard drive right out of the box. Microsoft is packaging a 20GB HDD with their console, and the Revolution isn't expected to have one due to the included 512 MB of flash memory for saving data.

Merrill Lynch Japan Securities recently announced a report showing that they expect the Playstation 3 to retail for 44,800 yen which is approximately $410 US. Not including a hard drive would allow Sony to gain some of the reported $150 US per system loss they're expected to incur. Ken Kutaragi said he expects the inital capacity of the Playstation 3 HDDs to be 80GB which currently, 2.5-inch 80GB HDDs retail in Japan for around 20,000 yen or approximately $180 US.

Source: GameSpot

 FBI Cracks Down on Piracy

The FBI has announced that authorities of eleven different countries started to strike back at peddlars of illegally obtained copyrighted software, movies, music, and games in what is being called a "culmination" of an ongoing operation called "Site Down." Agents in California, North Carolina, and Illinois made a total of four arrests. They concentrated on who they felt were the providing these illegal materials to the "warez" underground.

One such arrest in California was that of Chirayu Patel of Fremont, who was arrested on charges of copyright infrigement. He was running servers that were being used to upload and distribute games, movies, and architectural software internationally. Other countries where searches and arrests were made include: Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, and Australia. Overall, eight major servers were announced as shut down during these busts.

"By dismantling these networks, the Department is striking at the top of the copyright piracy supply chain--a distribution chain that provides the vast majority of the illegal digitial content now available online. By penetrating this illegal world of high-technology and intellectual property theft, we have shown that law enforcement can and will find--and we will prosecute--those who try to use the Internet to create piracy networks beyond the reach of law enforcement." Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a statement today.

Source: GameSpot

 Gust Breaks into North American Market

This past week, NIS of America, with the help of Atlus, distributed Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana which was developed by Gust Co. This marks the first title developed by the company to be localized for the North American market.

Atelier Iris is available now at an MSRP of $49.99 and should be found in many game retailers. Aterlier Iris: Eternal Mana 2, which is a direct sequel to the original, was released in Japan during the month of May. Currently no other plans for Gust releases have been announced, though good sales of Atelier Iris could very well be a deciding factor.

 Stock Ticker

Midway and Konami were the biggest gainers this week with Sony having a small 0.25% increase. The biggest loser this week was Activision with a 0.73% decrease which is a $0.12 drop.

This week appears to have shown us that the market isn't really a stable place right now with even Electronic Arts dropping in price. There are still a few good signs but the negatives just outweigh the positives in the market this week.

Parentheses denote negative numbers. Prices as of market closing 07.01.2005

Symbol Company Market Standing Change
SNE Sony NYSE 34.53 0.09
MSFT Microsoft Nasdaq 24.71 (0.13)
NTDOY Nintendo PNK 13.10 (0.02)
ERTS Electronic Arts Nasdaq 56.21 (0.40)
ENIXF Square Enix PNK 30.36 (0.14)
KNM Konami NYSE 21.45 0.30
ATVI Activision Nasdaq 16.40 (0.12)
MWY Midway NYSE 11.19 0.23
SGAMY Sega PNK 15.40 0.00
UBSFF Ubi Soft PNK 49.71 (0.27)

Source: CNN Money

 Back Page

Well, guys, this first issue of madhtr's Currents has come to an end. It was sort of slim pickings this week. I hope to have a better assortment of stories for you next week. Not sure exactly how long I'll be at this keyboard for you guys, but I hope you enjoy what I bring forth.

I hope to have next week's issue of Currents posted earlier in the week, possibly Thursday or Friday. Please discuss anything within this update in the forums and I hope to see you all around.

Billy "Insert Witty Title Here" Young

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