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Direct2Drive introduces PC digital download game rentals

The PC game download service Direct2Drive is doing something a little different than other download sites; it's beginning to offer PC games as rentals. For $5 you can play a few games for a total of five hours. And when we say, "a few games" we mean only three at the moment (Silent Hill Homecoming, Grid and Divinity 2) If you decided you want the full version the $5 will be added to the price of the entire game purchase.

This concept isn't entirely new; Steam has offered free play weekends on a number of its titles and the OnLive service allows its users to play full games for free for a limited time before asking for money.

More PC game sales today on Steam and Direct2Drive

Monday is usually a slow day to find PC game sales but that's not the case today. We've already told you about sales on Steam for the Red Faction games as well as Dogfighter but that's not all that can be found today. Steam also has cut the price of the cool puzzle title Puzzle Dimension. From now until November 10 you can get the game for just $4.99. Also, the sci-fi first person shooter Global Agenda is on sale on Steam for 30 percent off to $20.99 as part of its Halloween promotion.

And if that wasn't enough, Direct2Drive is doing a Halloween sales promotion with a new game on sale every day. Today it's Silent Hill Homecoming which gets a 50 percent price cut to $24.95.

Silent Hill movie sequel coming


It looks like we could be getting a sequel to the 2006 movie adaptation of Konami's Silent Hill game franchise. The Hollywood Reporter has word that Davis Films plans to start filming the sequel to the movie sometime in 2010. Scriptwriter Roger Avary and producer Samuel Hadida will return to their roles for the sequel but there's no word if the movie's original director Christophe Gans will return.

The original movie got mixed reactions from critics but did solid business in both theaters and later on DVD. Avary was also supposed to both write and direct a movie based on id Software's Wolfenstein franchise but there's been no movement on that project since it was announced in 2007. Avary has also been dealing with the repercussions of driving a car that was involved in a crash in 2008 that killed a passenger. Last month Avary pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Foundation 9 admits to cut backs


Perhaps the single biggest independent game developer in North America is Foundation 9 Entertainment but like everywhere else the poor economy is hitting the multi-studio company. VentureBeat is now reporting (which Foundation 9 has confirmed) that the company will be merging two of their studios, Amaze and Griptonite, both of which are based in Kirkland, Washington. It will close down yet another dev studio, Fizz Factor, in Austin, Texas.

VentureBeat is also reporting that Foundation 9 will be cutting back on yet another of its studios, Double Helix Games. That studio completed work last year on Konami's Silent Hill Homecoming (released for the PC via Steam last fall) and is currently working on Square Enix's action game Front Mission Evolved, which is due out for the PC and other platforms in 2010. VentureBeat did not go into details on how many people will be affected by these cutbacks.

Australia lifts ban on Silent Hill Homecoming


Australia has been known for some time as one of the hardest countries to get an adult-oriented game approved by the local ratings board. The lack of an adult rating for games (unlike their movie industry) is the main cuprit. Now a title that was once banned for sale in the country, Silent Hill: Homecoming, has had that decision overturned.

According to a Gamespot AU story, Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification has now given Konami's survival horror game a MA15+ rating, the highest a game can get without being banned for sale. It's currently unknown if the publisher made a push to release the game as is or if any edits to the game's violent content were made. Last month a simiar ban on Monolith's upcoming horror shooter F.E.A.R 2 was also overturned.

Update: Games On Net confirms that the game was in fact edited for contest in order to receive the MA15+ rating

Watchdog group releases list of games for kids to avoid

The National Institute on Media and the Family has attacked the game industry for years and has also issued their annual "report card" on both the industry and specific games. In the past they have generated a lot of publicity for their report card by holding press conferences in Washington DC with various national lawmakers also taking part.

However, the game industry has taken huge steps in the last few years to police itself through both its ESRB ratings system and enforcement of those ratings in retail stores. So this year's report card by the NIMF is very low key with just a media announcement and no press conference or senators around. Indeed, the actual report card on the industry has the industry getting almost straight "A"s (they got a B+ for ratings enforcement). So the organization is now focusing on getting parents involved in making sure they know what games their kids are playing.

The NIMF has also issued a list of games children should avoid playing. All of these games are rated "M" for Mature so the industry has already done its job in labeling them as not appropriate for kids. They include games released for the PC platform like Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Dead Space, Far Cry 2, Silent Hill Homecoming and Legendary (another game, Saints Row 2, is due for release on the PC this January).

Silent Hill: Homecoming for PC finally shows up on Steam


If you have been waiting for Konami to fullfill its promise earlier this year to release Silent Hill: Homecoming on the PC, your wait is finally over. The latest game in their survival-horror series is now available to purchase and download via Valve's Steam service.

Konami announced last August that there would be a PC port of the game but that it was going to take a risk and sell the title only via Valve's Steam service. There are no plans at this point for a retail release of the PC version. Originally announced as coming out alongside the console versions, the PC port got delayed until after the console ports were released in late September. On the plus side, people who purchase Silent Hill: Homecoming via Steam will get 10 percent off its normal $49.99 price until Nov. 10.

Silent Hill Homecoming PC delayed on Steam


Konami gave some gamers a bit of a surprise earlier this year when it announced that its survival horror title Silent Hill Homecoming would appear on the PC but would be distributed only as a downloadable title via Valve's Steam service. Originally the plan was for the PC port to be made available at the same time as the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions ship to stores.

However both the console versions have now shipped to stores. So where is the PC/Steam version? According to a post on the Steam message board, Valve's Mike Dunkle has stated, "Silent Hill Homecoming for PC will not become available until later this month. Please stay tuned for more information." There's no other word on why this delay has happened,

[Via Blue's News]

Silent Hill: Homecoming banned in Australia


Australia continues to deal with the fact that their video game ratings system only allows for games to be rated as 15+, unlike their movies and magazines. Today Gamasutra reports that Konami's survival horror game Silent Hill: Homecoming has become the fourth such title in 2008 to be refused classification by the country's Office of Film and Literature Classification.

As one might expect the game got cited for its violent content including ""finishers involving ramming pipes through enemies' heads and stomping on their faces to pull them out, tearing their entrails loose with an axe, or simply some good old-fashioned bludgeoning." The three previous games that were banned in Australia (Shellshock 2, Dark Sector and Fallout 3) were later edited and given a 15+ rating. Silent Hill Homecoming will only be released on the PC platform via Valve's Steam service.

Big Download's most anticipated Fall 2008 PC games


While the game industry is beginning to understand that they can sell high profile games any time of the year the truth is that the time period between the first of September and the first week of December remains the biggest time of the year for new games to be released. 2008 seems to be no exception to this rule as PC gamers have a ton of new and promising titles to choose from this year.

So which games are we most looking forward to playing this fall? Well it so happens that we have created a feature gallery that has our picks for the PC game titles we most want to play in the next few months. That list include a long awaited MMO, a new expansion pack to the biggest MMO, an alternate history RTS game, a number of great looking first person shooters, a post-apocalyse RPG and a title that some are already declaring "the greatest game ever made." (in fact you can get a clue as to one of the games on our list from this custom case mode we saw at QuakeCon).

Our list of games is ordered by their scheduled release dates. Keep in mind while checking our picks that release dates can and do change at the last minute. Our picks represent the best info on these dates at the time of the posting of this article but if any changes are announced afterward we will report on them on the news site.

Click on the image above to continue reading "Most Anticipated Fall 2008 PC Games"
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