We welcome guest-writer and MTV News intern Billie Edington to Multiplayer today and hope that you, dear readers, can help her with the kind of problem that occurs only when somebody loves video games ... too... much.
With Halloween fast approaching, college women my age across the country will anxiously begin asking themselves the same questions: Bunny, Devil, or Nurse? In an effort to break away from this stereotype of dressing up by dressing down, I’ve decided to try something new this year but very close to my heart.
I want to be "Halo"'s Master Chief for Halloween.
Given that "Halo 3," released just a few weeks ago, was renowned as one of the most anticipated video games of all time, I assumed this would be an easy task.
Right after today publicly became Bungie Independence Day, I quickly dashed off a few questions to those "Halo"-makers.
And wouldn't you know, they answered them!
Are they working on any other systems? When will we hear about their first original projects? Will they make any more "Halo" games? And has Reggie given them a call yet?
(Did they just give me a scoop about their first project post-independence?)
[UPDATE -- Friday, October 5, 6:20 PM EST -- Bungie has replied to a few questions we sent them. Check our interview with Bungie about life post-Microsoft-ownership]
A week of rumors, started by a blogger Jacob Metcalf, have been proven true. Bungie Studios, creators of Microsoft's blockbuster "Halo" franchise, are going independent.
The studio had been owned by Microsoft since 2000.
According to the official statement:
Microsoft will retain an equity interest in Bungie, at the same time continuing its long-standing publishing agreement between Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie for the Microsoft-owned “Halo” intellectual property as well as other future properties developed by Bungie.
Note that Microsoft will retain all rights to "Halo," which perhaps legitimizes this blog's early handicapping of which other developers Microsoft might tap if it wants to continue to expand the franchise.
But Bungie is now free to make what it wants for whoever it wants. At this time, Bungie suggests that they may stick to some familiar things. Here's Harold Ryan, studio head of Bungie, in today's statement:
Gilbert Arenas wasn't just nice enough to pass judgment on our Multiplayer blog when I sat down with him last Thursday. He was also kind enough to talk about some video game-themed sneakers he's backing, why "NBA Live 08" is worth buying this year, why "Halo 2" might be better than "Halo 3," and a whole lot more.
Think celebrities don't know their games? Watch the two videos in this post (one is after the jump!) or just check Arenas' "Halo 3" stats.
We are occasionally insecure here at the Multiplayer blog.
And so we seek affirmation. Who do we consult? Our mothers? Our favorite motivational speakers? No sir!
We ask NBA Star -- and blogger -- Gilbert Arenas, who was recently in New York to promote "NBA Live 08." So, how are we doing. Gilbert?
Notes about this video:
- Gilbert and I describe his upcoming "Halo" Adidas as being black and blue, because, well that's what he told me. I'll have something more on his "Halo" shoe later this week (sorry to those who are sick of "Halo).
- Gilbert did indeed post a comment on our Bomberman entry during our interview.
With rumors swirling that Bungie and Microsoft could be on the verge of some sort of split or set of departures -- and with no one saying anything official just yet -- it got me wondering:
If there was a split ... if Microsoft kept the rights to "Halo"... then who would make "Halo 4"?
Could they, should they, would they?
Let's look at 11 contenders:
Someone just shot you in "Halo 3." What was he just thinking?
You got yourself hypnotized staring at the monitor playing "Unreal Tournament." What kept you going for hours on end?
Paul Wedgwood of Splash Damage has been a top player -- and now maker -- of online PC shooters for almost a decade. I spoke to him recently for an MTVNews.com piece we ran this morning about his team's new PC class-based multiplayer online first-person shooter, "Enemy Territory: Quake Wars."
Turns out he is full of insights about what makes online players tick. He and I talked about the selfishness of online players and the shame of getting killed in a game like "Quake," among other things.
I found the conversation fascinating and wanted to share some of his insights, many of which don't appear in the News article. It really got me thinking about what makes players of online shooters -- myself included -- tick:
The quest to 10,000 continues, and as I press on I am learning not only about the games, but about myself as well. As much as I love getting achievement points, there are some that just aren’t going to happen. I don’t have the time, energy, and in some cases mental capacity to handle getting some of these points. It’s just not going to happen.
Overall, this has been my best week so far, finally scoring 1,000 points in seven days, over the course of just two games, bringing my total since the challenge began to 2,250. “Halo 3” was completed (on normal mode for minimal points) and “DiRT” was pushed to 97% for a whole mess of points. The thing is, neither game (much like last week’s focus “BioShock”) will ever reach the full 1,000, it’s just impossible for the type of player I am. With the majority of my missing points in “Halo 3” falling into the multiplayer category, and one of “DiRT”’s achievements being “Drive 1,000 miles” it’s just impossible for me to complete them.
Earlier today, I started seeing comments online about a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reader blog that predicted an impending split between Microsoft and Bungie.
These predictions seemed far-fetched. After all, Microsoft owns Bungie. So how could the team behind "Halo" really leave, without leaving Bungie all together?
I reached out to MS for comment. Is there a split or bunch of Bungie departures coming? A Microsoft spokesperson replied: "There’s been no such announcement. We continue to celebrate the tremendous success of the global phenomenon that is 'Halo 3.'"
Uh, so are we all clear now?