Edmonton – Forty perfect scores. Two million units. One pop culture phenomenon. BioWare™ announced today that Mass Effect™ 2, according to internal EA data, has sold over two million units worldwide in its first week of release. Lauded for its intense shooter gameplay and deep, hand-crafted story, Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360 has earned an average review score of 96 according to Metacritic.com — making it the second highest rated game of all time on Metacritic for the Xbox 360 platform. Mass Effect 2 has earned 40 perfect scores, amassed over 30 editor’s choice awards and is donning the front cover of 20 magazines worldwide. On launch day, the term “Mass Effect” was in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter and most searched on Google News. MSNBC.com said, “Mass Effect will go down as one of the most influential video game series of all-time.”
Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder, BioWare and Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group of EA said, “Mass Effect 2 is poised to be one of the biggest games of 2010. We could not be more proud of the game’s universal acclaim and early commercial success.”
Mass Effect 2 launched this week hot on the heels of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Origins, the studio’s dark fantasy RPG which shipped in fall 2009. Dragon Age: Origins has earned an average review score of 91 on Metacritc, making it the highest rated original intellectual property from EA in the last year. Mass Effect 2 follows in BioWare’s tradition of delivering excellence on every front: gameplay, story, character development and visuals. Mass Effect 2 is an epic shooter/RPG set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, leading a crew of some of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense action, a rich storyline, space exploration and engaging character interaction, Mass Effect 2 delivers an unparalleled gaming experience.
In other Bioware news, Return to Ostagar, the highly anticipated and oft-delayed DLC for Dragon Age: Origins, is available on the Xbox 360 Marketplace as of today. Here is the full lot of information from Bioware’s Community Announcement:
If you were able to download Return to Ostagar during its previous release, you will not need to download it a second time. However, you will need to download the new version of the title update.
The PC and PlayStation 3 versions are still in testing. We expect the PC to complete testing in time for release early next week. We will update you with PlayStation 3 status when we have more information.
Title Update Release Notes:
Some players were unable to unlock the four achievements from Warden’s Keep and the Stone Prisoner during the first four days of launch. These achievements will unlock properly once you sign in to your Xbox Live and EA accounts.
The previous Xbox 360 update introduced an issue that relocked class specializations. This title update will resolve that issue.
* After loading a previously saved game, specializations that have been unlocked through gameplay will be available again.
* All book-based specializations will now automatically unlock once the Warden reaches level 14. Books will still be available from vendors so you can unlock these specializations before level 14.
The Hopeless Romantic, Perfectionist and Recruiter achievements were not unlocking for some players. This issue has been resolved. To update and unlock these achievements automatically, load a saved game where the Warden has completed the requirements for these achievements.
* The Recruiter achievement will still require a recruitment to occur after the save is loaded. If you have completed all the requirements for Recruiter, and the achievement is still locked, load an earlier saved game where you are still able to recruit any party member. Once you have recruited a party member, the achievement should unlock. This should work even if your current saved game still has unrecruited characters, but you have recruited all of them in previous play.
Burnaby – Electronic Arts also announced today development of a free-to-play, downloadable game called EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online. This new title, being developed in partnership by EA Canada and EA Singapore, will make EA’s most popular and highest rated (according to Metacritic) videogame franchise available to soccer fans with a broadband internet connection and an average spec laptop computer or desk-top personal computer. The free-to-play EA SPORTS FIFA videogame will call on soccer fans and gamers to help shape features during closed beta testing prior to its English language European open beta release in June 2010.
“Listening to and engaging soccer fans has been one of the driving forces behind the success of our FIFA franchise and now we are inviting European soccer fans–in mass numbers and earlier than we ever have before–to help us develop a new soccer game,” said Executive Producer Kaz Makita. “Fans will determine the features that matter most, and at the end of this process, our goal is to deliver a game for fans looking for a quick soccer fix at home or at work.”
“There are a large number of soccer fans who do not want a console gaming experience due to time and other priorities in their personal lives but they still want to be able to play a top-quality soccer videogame,” explained Makita. “FIFA Online will be designed specifically for them.”
Beginning February 3, soccer fans across Europe are invited to register to participate in the closed beta development and testing of FIFA Online. More than 20,000 fans will be involved in the first phase of closed beta testing and then, during open beta in June, hundreds of thousands of fans will test the game, providing feedback directly to the game’s developers through exclusive discussion forums.
EA SPORTS FIFA Online will be released around the world in stages. The English language version will be available to all soccer fans in June, 2010. Over the next 12 to 24 months FIFA Online will launch in other languages across Europe and then in North America. Non-English speaking soccer fans will also be able to participate in the development process of these games.
EA SPORTS FIFA Online will offer an authentic soccer experience with 30 licensed leagues, 500 clubs and more than 15,000 players. During the first closed beta stage beginning February 3, the game will feature a 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa tournament mode and a control system that uses the mouse only. At the second stage of closed beta, the game will feature a League Mode that enables fans to manage and compete as their favorite soccer club, and the ability to play online matches. FIFA Online will enable soccer fans and gamers to build their favorite club into their dream team by developing or acquiring players, upgrading skills, and getting unique apparel by earning in-game currency to acquire items or through micro-transactions. Additional content will be designed for the game based on feedback by fans.
Vancouver – Mingleverse announced today that it will be supporting its live web communication platform on Apple’s latest mobile device, the iPad.
The highly interactive Mingleverse platform for real-time, 3D voice, video and multimedia communication will be enabled on Apple’s breakthrough device with the upcoming release of the Mingleverse App for the iPhone and iPad.
“We are excited about the iPad and the entirely new ways of how to communicate on the web,” said Ron Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Mingleverse Laboratories. “The Mingleverse generation of online meetings and virtual events deliver a stunning life-like communication experience wherever you are; and the iPad is a fantastic new device to take advantage of our technology.”
The Mingleverse iPhone and iPad App is scheduled to released in Q1 2010.