Battlestar Galactica – the game – goes live

Battlestar Galactica was one of the more popular television programs to ever hit the airwaves with the video game culture. The show’s intelligent balance of sci-fi action with a deep storyline struck a chord with players, who discussed it endlessly in message boards and chat rooms.

So it might make sense that a massively multiplayer game based on the show would be a natural hit. But as Bigpoint’s new game goes live today, there’s a distinct lack of chatter amongst the inhabitants of the gaming boards.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Interview: Blizzard Co-Founder Pearce On World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm’s Reboot

[As Cataclysm reboots many areas in World Of Warcraft‘s universe, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris talks to Blizzard co-founder and EVP Frank Pearce about why the early grind in WoW “doesn’t have the best content”, and how the expansion is fixing that.]

Blizzard has always been a collection of perfectionists. But it wasn’t until the impending release of its MMO expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm that we saw just how exacting they can be when it come to quality.

The rise of Deathwing the Destroyer in Azeroth, as you surely know by now, isn’t confined to the expansion pack. His eruption from Deepholm has ripped the entire game world asunder – even impacting what new players of the game see and experience.

Read more at Gamasutra

Activision Rolling the Dice With New ‘World of Warcraft’

It takes guts to radically alter a game that has 12 million paying subscribers—but when the company doing the tinkering is Blizzard Entertainment, you generally won’t hear a lot of complaints.

“World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” hits store shelves Tuesday and, as you might guess by the name, it will turn the world of Azeroth on its ear. At the same time, it could make the most popular online game in the industry’s history even bigger—and prove to be a significant revenue boost for Activision-Blizzard.

Read more at CNBC.com

Retail purchases make up just 60 percent of game industry’s total

September’s retail sales numbers for the video game industry might have stunk up the joint something terrible, but there’s one bright spot to be found.

The NPD Group, for the first time, has released a new spending report that incorporates not only retail sales, but used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile game apps.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

In-Depth: The Fragile Existence Of Online Worlds

[Gamasutra’s new editor-at-large Chris Morris examines the curiously abrupt end of Acclaim’s 9Dragons, which stranded 1.5 million U.S. players — when a game struggles in the high-risk MMO market, the players end up losing out, too.]

Nobody saw the end coming for 9Dragons – especially the players.

A post in the game’s Acclaim-operated forums, which went up just hours before the U.S. servers shut down, was the only official notification.

Read more at Gamasutra