The Week in Review
This week we learn that British courts aren't the biggest fans of torrenting, Germany bans the Xbox 360 for some patent issue and I think we'll all sleep a little better knowing that Black Ops II is performing as expected.
Court Orders UK ISPs to Block Pirate Bay
Last November, the British Phonographic Industry (or BPI) asked a number of UK-based ISPs - Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media - to voluntarily restrict access to the Sweden-based Pirate Bay. The ISPs in question refused to do so unless there was a court order mandating the action; the BPI then sought (and obtained) said order in a ruling handed down today. "Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists," said a BPI statement. (Link)
Crytek Dev Backpedals on Used Games Hate
Crytek's director of creative development, Rasmus Hojengaard, seems to have had a change of heart regarding the current industry whipping boy, used games. Last week, he told CVG that if the rumor that next-gen consoles are to prevent players from playing used games is true, then it would be "awesome" from a business perspective. He went on to add that it's "weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn't work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well." (Link)
Germany Bans the Xbox 360
A "shock ruling" in a patent dispute between Microsoft and Motorola involving the H.264 video codec means the company will no longer be allowed to distribute its Xbox 360 console to retailers in Germany and might even have to recall systems currently in stock and destroy them. The injunction against the distribution of "key Microsoft products" in the country also encompasses Windows 7 discs and the digital distribution of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. (Link)
Black Ops II Day 1 Preorders Already Beating MW3's
Every year, the annual Call of Duty outperforms its predecessors and every year, gamers, journalists and analysts alike wonder if the franchise's success has peaked. When will the yearly Call of Duty sell fewer games than the one that came a year before? If we're going by preorders, it won't be this year. When the recently-revealed Call of Duty: Black Ops II went up for order on Amazon.com, it chalked up a whopping ten times more preorders in a single day than the first-day preorders of 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops. (Link)
LucasArts Run By "Psychopaths"
Back in the heyday of the 1990s, LucasArts was one of the good guys. Titles like X-Wing, Jedi Knight and Monkey Island were pillars of PC gaming, but then something happened. Star Wars Battlefront, an FPS with third person elements released in 2004, was an extremely successful game for LucasArts and the 2005 sequel performed equally well. But after Jim Ward left the company, the plans for a technically ambitious Battlefront 3 from the British studio Free Radical went sour. Free Radical bosses David Doak and Steve Ellis say every effort was made to sabotage development by the people running LucasArts in 2008. (Link)