Female Avatars Slowly Gain Ground in Videogame Worlds

The lara_croftmost formidable protagonist in video­games is a 21-year-old woman who must protect her friends and fight off well-armed enemies hell-bent on dispatching her.

The game is “Tomb Raider,” launched March 5, and critics are already singing its praises as a masterful reboot of the 17-year-old franchise. In the relatively short history of videogames, that series, perhaps more than any other, has shown that players are more than willing to accept a female lead character in a fantasy action game.

But when it comes to games that are set in more realistic scenarios, women are rare — and they’re never cast as the primary hero.

Read more at Weekly Variety

EA removes links to weapon makers from Medal of Honor site

In moh-warfighter-websitethe aftermath of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Electronic Arts has removed links to a collection of weapons manufacturers from the official website of Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

The links, which were pointed out in a New York Times story that ran on Christmas Eve, appeared on a “Partners” page for the game and showcased many of the real-world weapons featured in Warfighter.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

New Medal of Honor shot down by critics

Electronic Arts has been building up this year’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter as not only a game that would finally unseat Call of Duty from its king-of-the-hill position, but as one that would strike an emotional chord with players.

Judging by the critical reception the game is getting, however, Call of Duty has nothing to worry about — and the only emotion players are feeling is a sense of disappointment.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Outcry prompts EA to retreat from real-world Medal of Honor weapon sales

Electronic Arts takes pride in the realism of the Medal of Honor series. It appears, though, that the publisher might have made things a bit too real this time.

In response to negative feedback from press and consumers, EA has quit promoting sales of several real-world weapons that carried Medal of Honor branding and has removed a series of blog posts touting the products, which included a tomahawk and sniper rifle.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Next Medal of Honor game revealed

EA’s re-launch of its Medal of Honor series in 2010 didn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire, but that’s not stopping the company from moving forward with a new installment.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter will make its debut this October, using the same graphics engine that powered last year’s more successful Battlefield 3. The name’s kind of a head scratcher, though, since, well, the entire series has been about fighting in wars, but we’ll let that slide.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

NBA, Fallout rule the roost in October

While no one will mistake October as a joyous month for video game sales, there were a few nuggets of good news from NPD this month.

Retail software sales were up 6 percent – the first time the industry has seen growth since May. And the Xbox 360 saw hardware sales increase – the only console to do so. Otherwise… well, things weren’t so good.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Focus Is on EA, Sony as Oct. Video Game Sales Loom

After being severely disappointed in September, the video game industry is warily eyeing October’s retail sales numbers.

Analysts are calling for yet another decline compared to the 2009 numbers when the data is released Tuesday afternoon, roughly two hours after the market closes. Michael Pachter, managing director of Wedbush Securities, predicts software sales will drop 3 percent compared to last year, coming in at $555 million.

Read more at CNBC.com

What controversy? Medal of Honor pockets $100 million

Critics have been lukewarm over “Medal of Honor” and Electronic Arts is still taking heat for the early (and since-reversed) decision to make the Taliban playable in the multiplayer mode, but the game is still selling strong.

EA has announced the game sold 1.5 million units in its first five days on store shelves. CEO John Riccitiello added in an interview on Fox Business that the game has already surpassed $100 million at retail.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog


Will EA’s Medal of Honor Score Big Again?

When Electronic Arts announced its reboot of its “Medal of Honor” franchise would be set in modern-day Afghanistan, it probably didn’t expect to come under this much fire.

Game industry detractors have skewered the company for its initial decision to make the Taliban playable in the game’s multiplayer portion. And analysts (along with investors) worried that the game’s release date put it squarely between two of the year’s biggest titles, which could have a dramatically negative impact on sales. Now, the game’s fate is in the hands of gamers.

Read more at CNBC.com