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Microsoft Clears MechWarrior4 Free Launch

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the done-and-done dept.

Microsoft 131

Vamman writes "If you've been following the drama surrounding the free release of MechWarrior4, then you're probably aware that the initial announcement, made last summer, was a bit premature. Now, nearly a year since that announcement was made, MekTek Studios has announced that Microsoft Legal has given clearance for the free release of Mechwarrior4. This move by Microsoft Games couldn't come at a better time for the community, as the owners of MechWarrior are attempting a reboot of the franchise."

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131 comments

Can't be... (5, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936370)

Microsoft is evil...but mechs are soooooo cool(and impractical).

Yet Microsoft is evil...

But mechs are really, really cool.

*head explodes*

Well... (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936476)

How's it feel to be strapped into a 45 ton walking nuke reactor at 6am?

Damn fine, that's what. Damn fiiine.

Re:Well... (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936486)

Damn, now you got me pondering who said that. Was it Deadeye in MW 2: Mercenaries?

Re:Well... (0)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936584)

It surely sounds like that, but then again, you start in a Jenner in this mission and a Jenner weighs only 35 tonnes.

Re:Well... (3, Informative)

ScaledLizard (1430209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936662)

You can use MechVM to set up MW2 and find out:
http://www.mechvm.org/ [mechvm.org]

More info and discussions:
http://www.mech2.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=24&sid=e01242e30227541e3a1fa45f9fc5d72a [mech2.org]

Re:Well... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31941154)

Sweet jesus! I was just going through my piles of old software, ripping ISOs to the NAS and tossing the discs and boxes in the trash, and when I came across MW2 and GBL, the very first thought was "Man, I wanna play these again for the eleventeenth time", shortly followed by "FML, I tossed out that old DOS machine".

And then the ministry of TLA taxation came and took my baby away.

Re:Well... (0)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936848)

a Jenner weighs only 35 tonnes.

Which doesn't matter when you literally kick the 90t beast's head off.

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937184)

I love the smell of neutrons in the morning.

Re:Well... (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937342)

Reactor...online...
Sensors...online...
Weapons...online...
All systems...nominal..

Oh hell yes. I own the entire MW4 series, but it'll still be awesome to see MW4 get released like this. MekTek has been fantastic with keeping the community going and with MW4 being green lighted for a free release, I know I'll be eager to introduce a few friends of mine to the game and getting into some heated mech battles.

Re:Can't be... (1, Informative)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936514)

Alright, double six.

Re:Can't be... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940274)

You have absolutely NO idea how much this made my day. You think your head exploded? I gibbed every single one of my limbs in the process!

Microsoft !=evil? (0, Redundant)

Bull_UK (944763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936374)

So is Microsoft no longer evil? I'm sure some slashdotters will find a way of turning this nice move by Microsoft into something sinister.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936386)

No, Microsoft is still evil, but this certainly helped their karma

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936458)

Not many publishers do so, and Sierra and LucasArts still after ~20 years send cease & desist letters to abandonware sites if they distribute their old games.

I think Microsoft Games was the most sensible part of the company anyway. Age of Empires, Midtown Madness, Motocross Madness, Flight Simulator.. I have great memories of those. It's a shame that division isn't what it used to be, but are only working 360 and such now.

(posting as anon as someone used their 15 modpoints to burn my karma and posting ability for the day. when will slashdot fix that?)

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (2, Informative)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937470)

Probably because Sierra and LucasArts are still exploiting their back catalog via rereleases on Steam and elsewhere.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (2, Insightful)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937880)

And they're both members of that very rare and elite group, 'companies that have been around that long.'

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938452)

Yes, because Microsoft hasn't been around that long...

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937518)

(posting as anon as someone used their 15 modpoints to burn my karma and posting ability for the day. when will slashdot fix that?)

And posting ability? Can bad karma take away your ability to post?

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937566)

(posting as anon as someone used their 15 modpoints to burn my karma and posting ability for the day. when will slashdot fix that?)

And posting ability? Can bad karma take away your ability to post?

Yep, on the lower levels you get either 2, 5 or 10 posts a day. As I discussed a lot yesterday, it's basically 24h ban because someone modded all your posts down.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (4, Funny)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937786)

Are you guys *still* doing the "Microsoft is Evil" bit? Man, get with the times. Microsoft is harmlessly wandering in the desert. Now, Apple is evil. Facebook is evil. And Google is under evaluation...

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (2, Interesting)

d'fim (132296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937878)

No, Microsoft is still evil. But they've been evil so long that it got boring. Now they have company.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938588)

Apple has always been evil. It's just that they were incompetent for so long that everyone forgot.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31940078)

Carrying this a little further... Microsoft is evil like Charles Manson is evil. He's old.. he's BS crazy but he's not in a position to hurt people like he use to.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31940674)

^this

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (5, Funny)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936420)

"So is Microsoft no longer evil? I'm sure some slashdotters will find a way of turning this nice move by Microsoft into something sinister."

We all know this is part of the Microsoft agenda to convert human souls into Mechwarriors.

That little prick Gates is behind it all. His smug smile and endless charity all a guise to cover his plan for world domination.

Open your eyes people

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936870)

Seldom will you find a word in the English language more powerful than the word FREE. It brings them, it keeps them coming back, and sometimes you can use it to leverage PR, or sell companion products. The important thing is....it draws them into the web so they can get wrapped up.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937018)

Free, the one word that makes every word immediately after it more valuable.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937288)

Time to walk around with a sign saying "Free Sex."

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937334)

Free, the one word that makes every word immediately after it more valuable.

Two words: Free Willy.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937520)

Where may one obtain this free willy?

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31941424)

Free as in Free Market take that you communists and conservative idiots.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (2, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937022)

You know how good people have mistakes and accidentally do something evil?

This is the same thing only reversed.

Oops! my bad!

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

liamoshan (1283930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938478)

We all know this is part of the Microsoft agenda to convert human souls into Mechwarriors.

I would gladly sell my soul to the MS Borganism if it meant I could be a Mech pilot

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31941374)

I would gladly sell my soul to M$ if I could just have my consciousness inserted into a mech.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936470)

You are forgetting, microsoft bought out FASA which made the actual good mechwarrior games.. mechwarrior 4 was a piece of crap compared to 3. (yes 3 has the microsoft logo on it, however microsoft only bought it just before it was published so had no actual development on the game.)

In this sense they are only evil in the ' awesome game company x gets bought out by EA, loses all credibility' sense

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937248)

MW3 was horrid, MW4 was quite a bit better than 3. The good games were made by activision though, that's where the huge community sprang from, and it was a glorious time.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937358)

MW3 was horrid, MW4 was quite a bit better than 3.

Depends on perspective I guess, I found mech warrior 4 to be a lot more arcade like lessening but of course not removing the strategy aspect. Also, to me the mechs felt like tonka toys in 4, instead of a lumbering 50 something tonne machine with a nuclear reactor at it's core.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937510)

i loved MW3 and MW4 disappointed me constantly. it's a matter of personal preference, icebalm.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938722)

You haven't got a clue.

FASA never developed any of the MechWarrior video games, they only licensed the universe and likenesses to the companies that did. MechWarrior was developed by Dynamix, MechWarrior 2 by Activision, MechWarrior 3 by Zipper Interactive and MechWarrior 4 by Microsoft.

MechWarrior 3 is generally viewed by Mech fans as the worst of the series. It was created by Zipper Interactive and published by Microprose. Microsoft had absolutely nothing to do with developing or buying the game or the companies behind it.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940688)

I never played the original, but I enjoyed MW2, Mercs, and MW3. The gameplay in MW3 felt just like the first two, but with better graphics and - finally - lasers that looked and behaved like lasers. Being able to see laser shots coming and move out of the way in MW2 and Mercs was ludicrous.

I missed MW4 when it came out, and by the time I noticed it I'd started using a Mac as my main machine so didn't feel like buying a Windows game. Given its age and system requirements, I'd expect it to run well in WINE now, so when it's released I'll try it (apparently the copy protection on the original prevents it working now, but I don't imagine that they'd bother with copy protection on a free version).

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (4, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936640)

It makes little sense to classify a company as evil or !evil over an extended period of time. They are a company, run by an often-changing group of people. They have no sentimental ties to their previous behaviour, and as such, they can turn on a dime. Microsoft releasing mw4 today doesn't mean they won't sue Linux contributors for patent infringement the next (I know, bad example).

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937154)

It makes little sense to classify a company as evil or !evil over an extended period of time. They are a company, run by an often-changing group of people. They have no sentimental ties to their previous behaviour, and as such, they can turn on a dime.

While there may be a board of directors, it's clear that Bill and Steve are or have been running the company for a very long time.

Also, almost a year from announcement to "legal" sign-off? You call that turning on a dime?

No sentimental ties to their past behaviour? Really? There are only two instances where a company would have no sentimental ties to past behaviour: If they are caught doing something illegal, or if they are losing* money. That's it.

*Includes the "business" definition of losing - i.e. making slightly less than last year, but still making a shit-load of money.

Picture the scene:
Barf: I know we need the money, but...
Lone Starr: Listen! We're not just doing this for money!
Barf: [Barf looks at him, raises his ears]
Lone Starr: We're doing it for a SHIT LOAD of money!

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938620)

You are right. They must be insane! :0

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31939108)

All public corporations are evil. There's no need to rationalize.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31940164)

It makes little sense to classify a company as evil or !evil over an extended period of time. They are a company, run by an often-changing group of people. They have no sentimental ties to their previous behaviour, and as such, they can turn on a dime. Microsoft releasing mw4 today doesn't mean they won't sue Linux contributors for patent infringement the next (I know, bad example).

Maybe you're right. How about psychotic? Does that word cover your description better?

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

SparkleMotion88 (1013083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940814)

It makes little sense to classify anything as evil or not evil. Morality is complicated, and people have vastly different and often conflicting motivations.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936706)

You have to put things into perspective. These days Google and Apple are the big bad guys and Microsoft doesn't seem that evil in comparison.

Re:Microsoft !=evil? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940706)

Microsoft is still evil, it's just that they're now ineffectual so no one cares so much.

Get the MW mod for crysis instead (5, Interesting)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936390)

You need to check out this mod, it probably better than anything MS will ever kick out the door. http://www.mechlivinglegends.net/ [mechlivinglegends.net]

Re:Get the MW mod for crysis instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936556)

Well, unlike this mod, Mech games realeased by MS used to work out of the box and did not produce nice little black screen..

Re:Get the MW mod for crysis instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937502)

But they'll certainly produce a nice little blue one :D

Re:Get the MW mod for crysis instead (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940658)

As much as I would have loved to hear about this mod like a year ago, I see the words Beta and I see that Mektek is releasing 4 for free.

'Tis a shame.

Re:Get the MW mod for crysis instead (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31941318)

For all that it broke with the traditional model of mech design as presented in previous titles, Mechwarrior IV is one of the best-loved PC games of all time, which is to say that there is a rabid continuing fanbase. Since they've recently got 16x9 and 16x10 resolutions working, including support for 1080p, this is an especially epic moment for Mechwarrior fans. I may have to buy some rudder pedals...

Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (5, Interesting)

cheesethegreat (132893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936404)

Releasing the one-before-last as freeware seems a pretty sensible move for anyone marketing a franchise (yes, I know that MS aren't the ones pushing the new MW to market, but this is still relevant).

Releasing Bioshock 3? Put Bioshock 1 out as freeware. You're not going to lose any money, the people who were going to buy it won't wait 3 years just to get it free (especially when you've already released 2). All you do is potentially pull more people into the game who will take a look at it and think "hmm, if I like this one that's 3 years old, maybe I'll like the one they're about to release".

Developers are starting to talk about not wanting to release demos, and instead going with payware. This would allow multiple tiers of demo-type experience for the consumer. For example, with Mass Effect 3, it could work like this:

Tier 1: Freeware of ME1, released onto BitTorrent or equivalent to minimize distribution cost
Tier 2: Payware demo from the current release (perhaps including a full-access version of ME 2)
Tier 3: Full-cost version of ME3

This may be the way forward. I might be okay with losing demos, if I'm going to be able to see previous versions of the game in freeware form.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936448)

"hmm, if I like this one that's 3 years old, maybe I'll like the one they're about to release".

You may sell a bit more on the first week but it your sequel is significantly worse than the first game, you'll receive a much larger impact.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936460)

I really would have liked to see an updated Mechwarrior 2 + Ghost bears legacy, the ones after those kinds sucked, I didn't like MW3 and MW4 didn't quite make it back to the greatness of the MW2.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936710)

MW2: Mercenaries still has, by far, the best intro sequence of any game ever released. Closely followed by the original Dawn of War.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937978)

Complete agreement from me. MechCommander's intro is right up there, too.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

TXG1112 (456055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938128)

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31939944)

That one's sweet, no doubt - but better than the intro to Quake II [youtube.com] ?
That's a tough one.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

twokay (979515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936468)

It's an interesting move for sure, and may well make sense for Mechwarrior. But i think the amount of people that have bought classics like Doom or Fallout on Steam -- for example -- are enough to show publishers they can make some money off old games.

I hear Nintendo sell quite a lot of old games on the Wii Virtual Console too.

Once you release something as freeware its going to be tough selling it again, when that cult following finally builds up.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936630)

I'm not sure that's necessarily true - I've been able to easily find Doom and Monkey Island "free" for many years, and even downloaded and played the first Monkey Island through again about five years ago, but that hasn't stopped me playing these again on the 360 (admittedly ME has updated graphics, but it's essentially the same game). The key thing is pricing, people don't want to pay a fortune for such old games, but offer them at a pocket money price and plenty of people will re-buy them. Of course if they do polish the original a little they give an added reason to buy.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (5, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936864)

Well I would say it depends on whether they give you good value for the money or whether they just stick the old game on a server and expect to rake in more cash. Because funny that you should mention it but I just bought the original Fallout [gog.com] from GOG when they had it on sale for $3. Why did I buy it when there are still sites that offer the old free version they released a few years ago?

Because GOG goes out of their way to make sure the games play nicely on today's hardware without hassle. Thanks to their customized DOSBox install I have Fallout, Redneck Rampage, Beneath a Steel Sky, and all work perfectly on Windows 7 x64. No tweaking, or dealing with sound issues, or fiddling with DOSBox, it all just works without having to do anything more than install and click on the desktop link. And if that alone wasn't worth $3, they give you soundtracks, strategy guides, wallpapers, etc, and all with NO DRM and easy to backup installers along with unlimited downloads and installs.

So I'd say it all comes down to giving the customer the extra value to make buying an older game worth it. Would I buy Mech 4 off of GOG? If they did it like many of the others, with the expansion pack, mech packs, soundtracks, and all the extras already installed and ready to go, yeah I'd consider shelling out another $5-$10 just to not have the hassle of digging out my old Mech 4 discs and getting them set up for x64. If you want customers to buy older games, especially those for dead OSes, you really need to go the extra mile to make it worth buying. Oh and for those that haven't checked out GOG yet, set you up an account and you can get 3 free games [gog.com] including Beneath a Steel Sky to get you started. But I have a feeling once you see how easy shopping at GOG is, and how nicely they treat you, you'll end up hooked like me.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (3, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936958)

Yup, Gog is awesome & they just re-released Master of Orion 1 & 2 earlier this week.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937128)

And thusly have they earned my $5.99. Thanks for the heads-up.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937330)

...including Beneath a Steel Sky...

I should mention that Beneath a Steel Sky has been released as freeware and ported (on top of the ScummVM) to Linux. I downloaded and played it a few months ago. Installation was a single command: "sudo apt-get install beneath-a-steel-sky". GOG look good, but they're not that good.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938096)

Yeah, all the games GOG has available for free have been released as freeware elsewhere too. As far as I'm concerned, the freebies function as demos of how GOG's purchasing and packaging systems work. Still, even that's good to have around, because people can clearly see how the whole thing works without having to shell out anything.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940840)

I wish GoG would be a bit more open about exactly what their games need. I don't have a Windows install anywhere anymore, but a lot of the games they sell run very nicely inside DOSBox or WINE. It's difficult to tell this from their site, however, when they say things like BattleChess (which I ran on an 8086 with 640KB of RAM and an EGA display) require:

Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.

Why on earth would a DOS game and wrote direct directly to the framebuffer benefit from a DirectX 9 GPU over a DirectX 7 one? It works fine in DOSBox on a PowerPC Mac, where it's emulating the entire system. Even their minimum system requirements are ludicrous overkill; the recommended ones are just funny.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936482)

No thanks to payware.

All in all your payware aspect of the free release of older games seems pretty irrelevant to me, and it isn't even new. You've gotten old Command&Conquer free with the new ones for who knows how long.

The only thing new is paying for demos which makes absolutely no sense to anyone. If it's advertisement, you want it to reach to widest audience possible. If it's the product, why would I pay to see that the pig in your sack is actually a pig?

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936602)

Developers are starting to talk about not wanting to release demos, and instead going with payware.

Ugh, really? I hadn't heard about this - it's like they want to encourage piracy. It's already hard enough to choose the good games from the masses that get released every month, and I don't have time to waste on rubbish games, I have so little gaming time now I want it to be quality time. Demos are the best way to judge this (too many reviewers have seemingly ulterior motives for awarding unduly high scores, even if I could find a reviewer who had exactly my tastes) and now they want to charge people for the privilege of finding out if the game's worth buying? The only reasoning I can see behind this is that so many games are not worth buying and they want to claw back money any way they can, now they'll force legitimate customers down the piracy route just to see if a game's any good, and I'd imagine even if those customers would have bought the original, a fair number will end up not bothering once they've gone to the trouble of downloading it (the convenience of just buying a game that works is one of the few reasons people still buy games).

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936990)

Not a bad idea, though there is one flaw that immediately springs to mind that might put off the publishers: if they are officially releasing the earlier version then people will expect support. OK, so they should support the old version anyway as it is no doubt on sale still somewhere but they probably don't. And you might argue that people shouldn't expect the same support for an old freebie that hey get if they purchase a new title, but if the old game fails to work on some combinations of new hardware and a support structure is not there it may leave a bad taste in the mouth of the affected users (and result in bad online reviews), potentially reducing sales of the new game rather than improving them.

FWIW I think you are right, the benefits would outway that problem, but you'd have to convince the publisher's management not me!

Of course they'll also need to factor in the possible problem of people being entertained enough with the old version that they obtained legally for free, to the point where they don't need to bother buying the new one at all...

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937286)

Actually Amazon did this with Bioshock 2. I still haven't had the chance to play either but I picked up both for $50 from Amazon right after release. That was for the 360.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31939008)

Very few games are 100% internally developed code these days.

If the engines and other libraries used are not free, the game will not be either.

Re:Possible Future of Marketing Franchises? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940180)

Or use Steam to bundle ME1 with pre-orders of ME3

getwiththetimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936406)

It's 2010 - people should have learned by now boycotts are useless. The gaming community as a whole don't care about politics and only want to play the coolest games. How did that boycott of Madden work out? What about Left 4 Dead 2?

Too bad... (1)

chammy (1096007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936410)

they didn't release the source code too! My head would explode if somebody rigged up the engine to play turn based Battletech rules.

Re:Too bad... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936506)

But they did release the source code [microsoft.com] to MechCommander [wikipedia.org] some years ago. What with that being a "real-time tactics" game, that's probably a much better place to start if you wanted to do a turn-based MechWarrior.

Re:Too bad... (2, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936600)

That's the source code for mechcommander 2 not mechcommander, still very neat but if it was the first game I imagine it would already be ported to linux.

Re:Too bad... (3, Interesting)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936532)

For now, there's Megamek. [sourceforge.net]

Re:Too bad... (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940194)

I spent many hours, and many dollars on Battletech, during my HS years. The only way I could describe it to an outsider was to say "it's like chess, but 100x better." The problem was knowing all the rules, because a single turn could take 15 minutes, easily. Depending on how many mechs, vehicles, and troops were in play, a single turn could take well over an hour. Now, if all that could be streamlined into a turn-based computer version, then I would be in nerdvana. Or an MMO version of MechWarrior... [drool]. I remember beta testing one some time ago, where you had to engage in 15 minute FPS mech battles to earn credits and rating. When you earned enough of both, you could purchase newer, heavier mechs, and better weapon tech. Too bad the game folded before leaving beta. 8^(

YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!! (1)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936452)

*ahem*

Download? (1)

thorne51 (1414331) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936500)

Ok, so where do we download it then?

Re:Download? (1)

Discopete (316823) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937004)

Re:Download? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31941198)

Will the announcement be in the same dark-grey-on-black colour scheme? If so, how will anyone know?

Meanwhile, in tabletop land... (1)

oboreruhito (925965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936534)

The current licensee is trying to renegotiate their terms with Topps after plunging into debt [catalystgamelabs.com] via some astonishingly poor management [catalystgamelabs.com] .

Catalyst has been in negotiations with some additional parties for weeks concerning how to pay down debts, including making partial payments, turning over stock and so on, as they’ve requested. We’ve been notified that some of these parties are pursuing additional legal means to secure the monies owed despite the negotiations. Our legal counsel has advised that the lawsuit is baseless. As such, Catalyst will defend against it and expect it to be dismissed in the near future. Regardless, we’re continuing our negotiations and will continue to move, as we’ve been doing, to pay debts down as quickly as possible.

Finally, as some of you may have noticed, we’ve just changed the legal text and logos on all our appropriate sites that reference Shadowrun and BattleTech from WizKids to The Topps Company, Inc., per their direction. We’ve been in contact with Topps for weeks regarding these situations. We are currently in negotiations to re-secure the Shadowrun and BattleTech licenses.

No such thing (2, Funny)

swotl (24969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936742)

There's no such thing as a free launch.

Did anybody ask the franchise? (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936856)

Microsoft's intention to "reboot" the MechWarrior franchise would be a good sign of future computer gaming to come, but there are two other issues: copyright and the intentions of the current owners.

The issue is that while the computer gaming rights were being traded around, the MechWarrior name itself was being traded around too. It is currently held by a company called WizKids [wizkidsgames.com] which has granted full publication rights to Catalyst Game Labs [catalystgamelabs.com] , and is being rather proactive with it [classicbattletech.com] .

WizKids was nice enough with Catalyst and the printed game, but I have no idea how they negotiate the licensing of computer games, or how much creative control they're going to exercise over the finished product. Can anyone confirm if this is really a problem?

Re:Did anybody ask the franchise? (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936862)

Wow, I have got to read /. at a lower karma level.

Re:Did anybody ask the franchise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937376)

Microsoft's intention to "reboot" the MechWarrior franchise would be a good sign of future computer gaming to come, but there are two other issues: copyright and the intentions of the current owners.

The issue is that while the computer gaming rights were being traded around, the MechWarrior name itself was being traded around too. It is currently held by a company called WizKids [wizkidsgames.com] which has granted full publication rights to Catalyst Game Labs [catalystgamelabs.com] , and is being rather proactive with it [classicbattletech.com] .

WizKids was nice enough with Catalyst and the printed game, but I have no idea how they negotiate the licensing of computer games, or how much creative control they're going to exercise over the finished product. Can anyone confirm if this is really a problem?

Wizkids own the board game (and I believe novel rights) but they do not own the rights for Battletech video games. That was owned by Microsoft and purchased by Smith & Tinker (founded by some guys from Fasa the original creators of the universe and the ones doing the reboot, not MS).

Though I know the game hit a snag for an entirely different legal reason. They used a Warhammer in that intro video last year and it is a design from Macross that they agreed to stop using many years ago. But that should be worked out sooner or later.

Re:Did anybody ask the franchise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937394)

Why, exactly, would anyone need to ask permission for this from anyone but Microsoft? They hold all the rights that FASA Interactive held.

By the way, it's not Microsoft doing the reboot themselves, they licensed those rights back to FASA founder Jordan Weisman, and all of this has been widely-disseminated public knowledge for over a year.

You're mistaken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938054)

Microsoft owns the IP for BattleTech-related computer games outright.

They initially licensed it to Activision, who either developed in-house or doled it out to third-party companies (Like Zipper Interactive for MW3, and FASA Interactive for the MechCommander series).

Eventually Microsoft bought/absorbed FASA Studios and MW4 was brought in-house.

What is MW4 was initially supposed to be MW3. It's actually a back-port of the Virtual World BattleTech simulator's "Tesla" system. Unfortunately for Activision, FASA Studios (which at that time had never released a game) was behind schedule on both MW3 and MechCommander. Since MechCommander was closer to being finished, Activision jerked MW3 and handed the project to Zipper.

Eventually the Tesla back-port was completed and Microsoft released MW4. What's more, it was actually ported BACK to the Virtual World cockpits as well and become the current "Firestorm" series.

This, actually, is why MekTek has enough experience with the engine (they've been doing development for Virtual World for a couple years now) to re-release MW4.

There's no free launch (1, Redundant)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937108)

I was always told, there's no free launch.

All of you ..... (1)

zerospeaks (1467571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938248)

All of you are forgetting that MW 3 was the pinnacle of the series. And MW 4 was horrible.

Re:All of you ..... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938578)

yes because Bushwhackers with absolutely no armor loaded down with nothing but medium pulse lasers should be able to cripple Atlases and other Assault Mechs with ease.

(Fun bug in MW3: Put "zero" for tonnage for each part of your mech, and you get free armor. No one at MW3 LAN parties i went to figured it out until I told them about it)

Re:All of you ..... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31941276)

yes because Bushwhackers with absolutely no armor loaded down with nothing but medium pulse lasers should be able to cripple Atlases and other Assault Mechs with ease.

According to the board game descriptions. The cockpits were always exposed and barely armoured. A single lucky strike there can kill the pilot, crippling the mech. I never understood why they didn't put the pilot in the torso.

Re:All of you ..... (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31941488)

yes because Bushwhackers with absolutely no armor loaded down with nothing but medium pulse lasers should be able to cripple Atlases and other Assault Mechs with ease.

Speaking as someone who's been at the top of the attrition and team attrition rankings at the ends of months and not just at the beginnings, once you get good with lasers, this is totally reasonable. That's why energy weapons are so very desirable, and why Battletech probably ought to have had even higher heat penalties, or lower damage, for all energy weapons save possibly PPCs, which are at least slightly challenging when you consider the long recycle time. I guess that's another option that could have been explored.

The way to defend against 'mechs like that is to have a good assortment of long-range heavy weapons. My favorite tank is the dieshit with the 6 ER LL; if you fire them one at a time, and you are good, and the lag is low, then you can watch to see when the opponent's torso has swung in your direction, and you can ding them on the arm on the side that they're turning towards, which causes them to be facing way past you. With 6 of them your recycle rate is such that you can do this more or less continuously. Another option is to stack 5 LRM15s onto something that can actually mount that many missiles; if you are a good enough gunner you can stay to long ranges and keep their cockpit full of fire nonstop to where they can barely see you.

I really loved playing Mechwarrior, as compared to playing Battletech with miniatures (I think I still have some minis here somewhere) because it's about skill, not rolling dice. You're as successful as you are good. There's a real sense of achievement when you climb to the top of a stat ladder of thousands or even tens of thousands. Even if it was on the points-for-damage and not the kill board, I don't think I ever topped destruction but I acquitted myself well enough there. And CtF was also great fun in Mech IV, the Shadow Cat is your friend. Put one AC10 or a couple AC5s on it, make it go fast, max the armor, give it jump. I am so eager for this release I can almost feel the joystick. Er, wait...

Re:All of you ..... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940714)

For online battles, MW4 beat out MW3.

As for compelling story and gameplay, yeah, 3 had it going on.

DRM = Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31938782)

This is a good thing. I have a legal copy of MW4:Vengeance, and trying to run it in Vista or Win7 is a nightmare. Because of the SafeDisc protection embedded with the game, my newer gaming rig REFUSES to read the older discs. Checked all of the SafeDisc drivers, and looked the issue up in all of the communities. Sure enough, it's a genuine issue. So - the ulterior motive for Microsoft here could be that they just don't want to waste time/money/resources to fix their failed DRM. Let the community do what they will, it's obviously a strong enough one. I'm just waiting for them to do the same with the Flight Simulator franchise. (The entire Flight Sim team was laid off after FSX. Incredibly sad. Flight Sim, despite being a M$ product, was/is absolutely INCREDIBLE.)

Why this is a good idea (3, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#31940870)

More companies really need to do this to older games! Starcraft sort of did it by including a no CD "crack" in one of their updates a few years back. Dungeons and Dragons Online went free to play after several years of falling $15/month subscriptions. Now I think they have more players than they did at the peak of their subscriptions! Newegg included a free copy of Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 in one of my orders just labeled "free gift" and I totally love it! It made me seriously consider playing other versions (until the reviews said they sucked). There's no better way to get someone involved in a series of games than giving them an older version of it for free. It reeeeeally makes them wonder how awesome newer versions of the game are.

Mech.chair ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31941370)

F.Feedback

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