arkane-studios posts

Bethesda Softworks developers to lecture at USC's game school

How would you like to go to a school where, say, the developers of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim came by to talk about making the upcoming fantasy RPG? Or perhaps team members from id Software showed up to speak about making its upcoming shooter Rage? If you attend the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, that's exactly what will happen.

Bethesda Softworks announced this week that it has an agreement with USC to have team members from their internal development studios like Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, and Arkane Studios show up to speak to the students who have enrolled at the school's Interactive Media Division. There's no word yet if John Carmack or Todd Howard will be making appearances.

ZeniMax Media open to buying more developers

Bethesda Softworks and its parent company ZeniMax Media have been on a buying spree for the past 18 months or so. In mid 2009 the privately owned company purchased id Software and in 2010 it went ahead and bought three more game studios, including Arkane Studios and Machinegames.

In a new interview at VG247.com, Bethesda's PR head Pete Hines indicated that ZeniMax Media is open to making even more acquisitions. He states, " ... we continue to talk to lots of developers and lots of folks about what they're up to and what they're doing, studios who we respect or who we really want to work with. We want to work with them in whatever shape or form. And if that evolves into something else, then hey, great. If that means we simply publish their next game and work with them that way, that's also great."

Arx Fatalis source code released; new patch improves performance

Not too many PC games get official patches over eight years after the game is released. Today that is happening with Arx Fatalis, the 2002 released fantasy first person action-RPG that was also the first game from developer Arkane Studios. Today its new owner Bethesda Softworks announced via its Bethblog that the developer has released a new official patch for the game (1.21) that's designed to improve performance on some Nvidia-based graphics cards, improve stability while playing on Windows Vista and Windows 7 and fix a few bugs. You can check out the change log right here.

In addition to this patch, Arkane Studios has also released the full source code for Arx Fatalis for mod users to alter as they wish. Arkane is currently working on an unannounced game for Bethesda Softworks.

Download the Arx Fatalis 1.21 patch at Big Download
Download the Arx Falalis source code at Big Download

Feature: The Code Black PC Games For 2011- Part 2

On Monday Big Download posted up the first part of our two part look at upcoming games that are so secret you aren't supposed to know about them yet. These were the titles we are labeling as "Code Black" games (formerly as Black Ops games). These are the titles have have been mentioned only in passing or as a listing on an online job description but have yet to be formally announced to the public.

But there are still a ton of such games that we have yet to talk about, including some that have more recently come to light. What are these games and what do we really know about them? In the second part of our Code Black games feature we will once again try to open the doors and slide the windows out so we can see a little more about what these games are about.

Rumor: ZeniMax Media has bought yet another developer?

ZeniMax Media, the parent company of game publisher Bethesda Softworks, has been on a spending spree lately. The company announced its acquisition of Arkane Studios last August and in October it announced it acquired the Japan-based Tango Gameworks. Now there's word that ZeniMax has bought yet another developer.

While the company has yet to reveal it officially, Develop has posted up word that business documents seem to confirm that Zenimax has bought Machinegames, a new developer formed last year by former members of Starbreeze Studios, the makers of the acclaimed first person action game The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. If this is indeed true the privately owned ZemiMax now owns six game development studios (Bethesda Game Studios, ZeniMax Online Studios, and id Software are the other three dev studios).

Arkane Studios acquired by Zenimax Media

The privately owned Zenimax Media, home to Bethesda Softworks, has just acquired another game developer. VG247.com reports that during the QuakeCon 2010 keynote it was revealed that Zenimax has bought Arkane Studios, the developer behind the first person action-RPG titles Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Arkane, which has offices in France and in Austin, Texas, is working on a currently unannounced game for Zenimax. In 2006 the company revealed plans for a title called The Crossing, a first person shooter that mixed single and multiplayer elements. However that title was later put "on hold". It's also the current home of Harvey Smith who was the design director of the first two Deus Ex game titles.

GameTap adds Arx Fatalis to line-up; Deus Ex free for a week


GameTap's regular Thursday update is now live and today they have added the fantasy RPG Arx Fatalis to its paid premimum subscription line-up. The game was the first title from Arkane Studios who went on to make Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. They are currently helping out 2K Games in the development of the upcoming BioShock 2.

Also this week, GameTap is letting its free users play Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition for a week. The sci-fi action-RPG title, from the now defunct Ion Storm, got a sequel before it shut its doors. The game's publisher Eidos/Square Enix is now working on the third game in the series.

The Crossing officially on hold


We had a feeling about this since there's been little to no info on this game since it was revealed a couple of years ago but this week our sister site Joystiq has reported that The Crossing, the unusual FPS from developer Arkane Studios, has indeed been put on indefinate hold.

First revealed in late 2006, the Source Engine based game was supposed to mix single player and multiplayer in a way that had never been done before. However due to certain financial issues, Arkane's CEO Raphael Colantonio stated, "...we had to put The Crossing on hold." They are reportedly working on two other projects; a first person RPG and a iPhone game title. Hopefully being put "on hold" isn't the same this as "being canceled" for The Crossing.

GoG.com adds new games to DRM-free lineup


The folks at CD Projekt continue their quest to make PC gaming DRM free with the additions of three new titles to their GoG.com downloadable game line-up. The biggest new addition is Arx Fatalis, the acclaimed first person fantasy action-RPG from developer Arkane Studios. You can download the game now for $9.99. That price includes some extras like a soundtrack, wallpaper and art.

Two more games were added this week; the turn-based strategy games Disciples Gold and Jagged Alliance 2, both from Strategy First. The games are both available for $9.99 each at GoG.com; the Disciples Gold release includes some free artwork.

Arkane Studios hit hard by EA financial problems


Last week Electronic Arts announced that six percent of its workforce would be laid off as a cost-cutting measure. However that decision has had a ripple effect on at least one outside company. Our sister site Game Daily reports that Arkane Studios, best known for their work on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, now has a full 30 person team that no longer has work due to EA's decision to lay off team members at their Los Angeles studio.

Arkane was working with EALA on a still unnamed project and Arkane's founder Raphael Colantonio is quoted as saying, "I need to find a deal as soon as possible to reassign the team affected by this event." Arkane's only announced game at this point is The Crossing, a FPS that is attempting to mix single and multiplayer elements together. After a announcement in late 2006 there's been no further word on the project.
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