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Friday PC game sales are all over the place

No time to waste; there's a lot of PC game sales to report on today:

Need For Speed The Run to use Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine

After a trailer for the game made its way to the internet on Thursday, Electronic Arts has officially announced its plans for Need For Speed The Run, the next game in the long running driving game series. The game is being developed by EA's Black Box studio and will use the Frostbite 2 engine for its graphical basis. That's the same graphics engine that's being used for Battlefield 3.

The game's premise keeps the racers vs cops theme that Criterion broke back for Need For Speed Hot Pursuit. However this time the game centers on The Run, a highly illegal cross-country race from San Francisco to New York City. Players will have to "weave through dense urban centers, rocket down icy mountain passes and navigate narrow canyons at breakneck speeds" while also evading the cops. The game is due out on November 15.

Need For Speed The Run revealed

A UK-based online retailer has leaked out the title and apparent premise for the next game in the Need For Speed driving game series. Shopto.net hads posted up a pre-order listing and a pre-rendered trailer for Need For Speed: The Run from publisher Electronic Arts.

The trailer, which you can check out after the jump, seems to show that the premise is a cross-country race from Los Angeles to New York City with some police and other resistance during the trip. The trailer claims the game is due out on November 18. So far EA has yet to officially announced the game.

[Via VG247.com]

Dragon Age 2's first DLC item packs released

Dragon Age 2 came out nearly two months ago but the fantasy RPG from developer BioWare is finally offering its gamers its first post-release downloadable content. This release is an item pack (the first of a series apparently) that gives your characters some extra stuff to use.

In fact there are three items packs to download and install for the Mage, Rogue and Warrior characters to use. Each pack has new weapons, amour and other in-game items for your RPG pleasure. You can download each of the character packs for 240 BioWare points (about $3) or get all three character DLC packs in a bundle for 400 BioWare points (about $5).

Download: Crysis 2 v1.4 Patch

The newest patch for Crysis 2 updates the game to v1.4. This update includes a number of gameplay fixes and enhancements such as multiplayer vote kicking, removing a number of exploits, and improving SSAO graphics performance with some video cards. The complete list of changes can be found after the jump.

Download Crysis 2 v1.4 Patch (50 MB)
Check out all Crysis 2 downloads

Darkspore trailer reveals all the praise

Darkspore is finally out, and it's getting a decent amount of praise. After all, the action RPG market has been a little barren of good releases since Torchlight, and Darkspore isn't bad. As with all launch trailers, this trailer doesn't show anything of real substance, just snippets from reviews intermingled with random in-game footage. Showy and flashy. You shouldn't need much convincing at this point, though. After all, the open beta ran for quite a while!

Download the Darkspore Launch Trailer
Check out all Darkspore downloads

Report: EA's chief operating officer departs for Zynga

Electronic Arts has suffered from a major defection in its executive ranks for Facebook gaming juggernaunt Zynga. Reuters reports that according to a filing from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, EA's chief operating officer John Schappert has left the company to join Zynga.

While as of the time of this post Zynga has yet to officially confirm
Schappert's new gig, the story claims via unnamed sources that he will head up the company's game division. Zynga has been gaining lots of major designers and executives from more traditional game publishers in the past couple of years including Brian Reynolds of Big Huge Games and more recently Ensemble Studios co-founder Bruce Shelley (as a consultant).

Analyst: Star Wars The Old Republic could bring in 1 million subscribers in first year

Without a doubt the most anticipated MMO game launch in several years is Star Wars The Old Republic. BioWare's upcoming game has a lot to live up to and today a financial analyst says that the game could generate over 1 million subscribers in its first 12 months.

Gamasutra reports that Janco analyst Mike Hickey predicts that the game's sales will "far exceed" the 500,000 to 1 million sales mark but that the game's continued development "must be perfectly orchestrated" to keep its subscriber base from going down. Hickey predicts that at the 1 million subscriber level, Star Wars The Old Republic will bring in $161.9 million in revenues and $35 million in profits during its first year. The game is currently scheduled to be released during the second half of 2011.

Battlefield 3 Fault Line producer commentary trailer released

A week ago the big 12 minute Battlefield 3 gameplay trailer was released. We were promised a version of the trailer with producer's commentary if the first person shooter got 1 million "Likes" on its Facebook page. However it looks like the trailer was released ahead of time for some reason.

The game's executive producer Patrick Bach takes us through the trailer again giving up some secrets and info about the trailer's contents, the features of the game's new Frostbite 2 graphics engine and more. We will certainly learn a lot more about Battlefield 3 in the months ahead of the game's release this fall.

Battlefield 3 pre-orders get exclusive Battlefield Play4Free items

It's a long time until Battlefield 3 is released later this fall but Electronic Arts is already putting a lot of marketing and promotion into getting people to pre-order the game (there's even been TV commercials released). Now EA is giving players of its recently launched free-to-play shooter Battlefield Play4Free another incentive to buy Battlefield 3.

According to EA's Gun Club web site, folks who pre-order Battlefield 3 via EA's online store will be able to access two exclusive items when they play Battlefield Play4Free with the same EA account. One is a special beret for your avatar to wear and the other is the Battlefield 3 Edition 870 combat shotgun. We suspect this will be just the start of pre-order activities for Battlefield 3.
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