Star Wars : The Old Republic Free to Play Option Dated

Today EA announced that the global launch date of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Free-to-Play option will be November 15, 2012. This release will be simultaneous across all of the territories and countries where The Old Republic™ is available. The new Free-to-Play option allows gamers to experience all of the class storylines through to Level 50, the current level cap, at no charge and introduces the new Cartel Market!

Any paying subscribers at the launch of the Free-to-Play option on November 15th will be granted all of the Complimentary Cartel Coins currently listed on the Cartel Coin Ledger page, plus a one-time grant of 250 Complimentary Cartel Coins!

Additionally, the Rewards Program has been extended! All former subscribers who reactivate their subscription by the new date of December 20, 2012 at 11:59am CDT will be granted Complimentary Cartel Coins for their prior paid months up to November 15, 2012.

 

Creating Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Andy Owen, the lead producer at Activision, posted the following about the making of the Family Guy game "Back to the Multiverse". It was so good that we thought we should share it:

Making a licensed game is hard. Making a good licensed game is hard.

As huge Family Guy fans, when the opportunity came to make a game based on the hilarious TV show, with Heavy Iron Studios at the helm, it was impossible to pass up. But there was one giant hurdle we had to get over in order to make a good Family Guy game – we don’t work at Fuzzy Door, Seth MacFarlane’s production company, and we aren’t involved in any way with the Family Guy TV show. And it wouldn’t matter how much effort we put into the graphics, or the level design, or the action. If it didn’t feel like Family Guy — if it wasn’t funny, or if Stewie shouted “Blast!” and it was clear we’d just hired some actor to do a mediocre Stewie impression – fans would hate it. WE would hate it.

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We knew that if we were going to do this, we had to do it right. Everything from the script to the presentation to the way it will make you feel playing on your couch at home had to feel like Seth MacFarlane took a coding class and made it himself. If we wanted to create a genuine Family Guy experience, we needed to be faithful to the show’s spirit, and we needed the people who make Family Guy to be involved from the ground up.

So that’s what we did. Building the story that would become Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse was a tremendous challenge. The show has done so much already — where do you even start trying to translate that into a game? Then the writers started talking about the Season 8 premiere episode, “Road to the Multiverse,” in which Brian and Stewie get lost travelling to parallel universes. It was perfect. Of course, in one episode they could only do so much; but the possibilities were endless, and we could explore them even further. Our imaginations just started running wild.

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The game is littered with countless references, in-jokes, and tributes to the show’s great moments. We knew we were on the right track when Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man became an in-game item.

We’ve had an incredible amount of access to the Family Guy production crew throughout the entire development process, and that collaboration has made all the difference in giving the game its authentic feel. Writers Mike Desilets and Anthony Blasucci have penned a hilarious script for us, and more than just creating dialogue, they’ve been instrumental in helping us shape the game around the story. And having Seth MacFarlane and the Family Guy show talent in the recording booth to bring those characters to life brought it all together. This is unmistakably Family Guy, from top to bottom.

Family Guy has always been such a communal experience. After all, it was fans buying the original DVD sets and sharing them with friends and family in their living rooms and dorms that helped put the show back on the air. For that reason, offering a local co-operative play option in Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, where you can drop in or out at any time, was a big deal for us. Local co-op has sort of fallen to the wayside nowadays, but both comedy and games are more fun when other people are around. We wanted this to be an experience you can share.

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And when you get down to it, Brian and Stewie are the ultimate co-op team. Their adventures make up some of my all-time favorite Family Guy episodes, and their relationship is arguably the strongest on the show (actually, Mayor West and taffy might have the strongest relationship on the show….but Brian and Stewie are definitely second!). So being able to give players the chance to finally team up as this great duo is a nice bit of wish fulfillment for us.

We’re very proud of the game we’ve put together — not just as its creators, but as gamers and fans of the show. We’ve put so much energy into crafting an experience that looks and feels like Family Guy. The result is something both fun and funny. We hope you join us when Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse hits the PS3 on November 20.

Borderlands hits iOS

An advertisement for a Borderlands iOS game has been released on their website. According to a page from the Borderlands 2 digital strategy guide, Borderlands Legends has been “specifically designed for mobile and tablet” and will be released this month for iPhone and iPad.

According to the advertisement, players will be able to take the role of Roland, Lilith, Mordecai or Brick (the main characters of the original Borderlands) and take out waves of enemies in randomized missions. The app promises thousands of weapons, 36 powers and abilities, a “strategic cover system” and includes Fight for Your Life mode.

The ad also reveals that players will be able to collect in-game cash to purchase new weapons and that experience can be earned to level up characters and earn new abilities. “Each character has their own set of unique skills and abilities,” it promises. “Use them wisely to survive!"

Popcap Teams Up With ADA to stop Zombie Mouth


PopCap has teamed up with the ADA this Halloween to redefine what makes a Halloween treat. Instead of giving away candy, EA are giving our employees and fans the chance to give away free Plants vs. Zombies downloads as a sugar free alternative.

Local dentists, EA and PopCap employees will be armed with collectable Plants vs Zombies trading cards with download codes. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood - over 16 million US children have untreated tooth decay. The average American consumes about 24 lbs of candy per year and for kids, the largest amount is on Halloween.

It might be too late for the Zombies to fix their teeth - but it's not too late for you to join the ADA and PopCap! You can download and print your own trading cards to hand out this Halloween instead of sugary candy. 

Check out www.stopzombiemouth.com for trading cards, to find a local dentist, get tips for a healthy mouth and even take the Zombie Mouth Quiz to find out how much you know about candy and zombies.