Courtesy Mike Bal, http://www.business2community.com
The tradition of hiding little secrets for gamers to find is as old as the medium itself. Sometimes, an Easter Egg is just a funny character moment or a memorable bit of absurdity; other times, you’ll get a few mind-bending plot secrets for your troubles. But all these Easter Eggs have something in common: they’re really hard to find. Unless, of course, you have the Internet pointing them out for you. *ahem*
We collected 100 of the greatest Easter Eggs that were ever secreted away in gaming history, and compiled them here for your easy browsing. Some are timeless classics; others were just discovered in the most recent games. We dug deep to unearth these gems, so we bet at least a few will be new to you. Such as…
Courtesy Philippa Warr, ArsTechnica.com
Permission has been granted for a film crew to excavate a landfill suspected of containing millions of unsold Atari game cartridges.
It was initially blocked as the New Mexico Environment Department requires digs of this nature to have an approved waste excavation plan. The original WEP was rejected in February for being too vague but the Alamogodo News reports that a new submission has been approved with the addition of some terms and conditions.
The approval letter asks that the Environmental Department be notified five working days prior to the start of the dig and that the waste hauling companies hired for the excavation be registered with the NMED.
The documentary is part of a series led by award-winning producers Jonathan and Simon Chinn. According to Xbox Entertainment Studios president Nancy Tellem: "These stories will expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment, and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day."
Courtesy Colleen Taylor, TechCrunch.com
Courtesy NICK WINGFIELD, New York Times
On Friday, Walmart and Best Buy began offering a bundle of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Titanfall, a high-profile science fiction shooter game, for $450, a $50 cut from the combined price of the separate items. The new price becomes visible online only after you place the bundle in your online shopping cart and log in to the sites. The price cut also applies to the bundle in Walmart and Best Buy’s physical stores.
When Microsoft first began offering the bundle earlier this month for $500, it amounted to a price drop on the console, since Titanfall sells on its own for $60. Now, if you consider the fact that the $450 Xbox One bundle includes a $60 game, the price of Microsoft’s console is actually $10 lower than that of the $400 PlayStation 4 from Sony, which does not include a game.
David Dennis, a spokesman for Microsoft, said the price drops were the decision of its retail partners. “This is a special promotion offered by Walmart and Best Buy stores in the U.S.,” Mr. Dennis said in a statement. “Microsoft sets a suggested retail price, but specific pricing and offers vary by retailer.”
Even if retailers are in control of price, manufacturers like Microsoft set wholesale prices that can influence how much a retailer charges for a product. In this case, though, Mr. Dennis said Microsoft did not drop the wholesale price of its product.
It is clear one of Sony’s biggest advantages over the Xbox One, its price, is diminishing. The original $100 difference in price between the systems helped the PlayStation 4 outsell Xbox One during the consoles’ first few months on the market.
The release earlier this month of Titanfall, which is exclusively for Microsoft game systems, could help shift some momentum in Microsoft’s favor (in fact, it looks like anticipation for Titanfallhelped boost Xbox One sales even before the game came out).
Microsoft may also have benefited recently from the scarcity of PlayStation 4s on store shelves. Any advantage it has gotten from that could be fleeting, though. Jeff Shelman, a spokesman for Best Buy, said in an email that Best Buy’s inventory of PlayStation 4s will improve in the coming weeks, with the retailer receiving “tens of thousands” of the consoles from Sony.
Sony has its own big exclusive offering for the PlayStation 4, Infamous Second Son, an action adventure game that is set in a dystopian Seattle. That game went on sale Friday.
Courtesy Kyle Orland, Ars Technica
Solid information about the next game in the storied Doom franchise remains scarce, even though we’re now nearing ten years since the release of Doom 3 and approaching six years since the official announcement of Doom 4. (We’ve also passed 20 years since the original Doom was released). That lack of information isn’t stopping publisher Bethesda Softworks from using the game as a sales booster, though; it’s tying access to an upcoming Doom beta test to pre-orders of another id franchise reboot, Wolfenstein: The New Order.
The company has posted an FAQ regarding the surprise pre-order beta bonus, but it doesn’t provide answers to any actually relevant questions. Missing in action are details like when the beta will take place, what platforms it will be on, or, um, any details about what the game will look or play like (I’m guessing casual cooking simulation, personally). The FAQ can’t even tell us whether or not there will be a separate, open beta for the game outside of the pre-order access, though it does warn that “the only current way to ensure access is through pre-ordering Wolfenstein: The New Order.”
Still, the pre-order bonus is a sign that development on a new Doom game is still going forward inside Bethesda, and that the project is close enough to done to start promising a beta test in the nebulous future. But it’s not a forgone conclusion given the troubled development history of Doom 4 thus far. One more semi-interesting tidbit: all the promotional materials for this pre-order bonus refer to the game simply as “the Doom beta” and not specifically as Doom 4, suggesting a renumbering/re-branding may be in the works.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is set to release May 20 in North America and May 23 in Europe for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
Courtesy Nathan Olivarez-Giles, theVerge
The Warcraft movie now has a release date — December 18th, 2015. The feature film based on Blizzard’s hugely popular World of Warcraft series of video games will be directed by Duncan Jones, the filmmaker behind the critically acclaimed sci-fi thrillersMoon and Source Code. Charles Leavitt, who penned the Leonardo DiCaprio political drama Blood Diamond, is writing the movie; Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures are handling financing and distribution. Warcraft‘s December release puts it at the end of a year that will be packed with tentpole flicks including Star Wars: Episode VII, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Ant-Man, Jurassic World, and the Ben Affleck-as-Batman sequel to Man of Steel.
Unlike Jones’ previous films, which had smaller budgets in the $35 million range, Warcraftis set to be a big, CGI-filled, blockbuster with a reported budget of more than $100 million. So far, Legendary has largely succeeded at bringing fantasy and spectacle to the big screen with hits such as 300, Inception, Man of Steel, and the Dark Knight Trilogy. Shooting is set to start early next year, but there’s no official word on who’ll inhabit the world of Azeroth on the big screen just yet.