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Manhunt News | Times Online Talk to Rockstar North President
<p> <a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article3821838.ece" target="_blank">Times
Online</a> has posted a pretty interesting interview with the president of Rockstar
North, Leslie Benzies. It is very rare for anyone from Rockstar North to do
an interview, least of all the studios president. As well as being the producer
on every Grand Theft Auto since the series leap to 3D he also served as the
development director on the original Manhunt and was a producer on Manhunt 2.</p>
<p>In the interview Mr. Benzies said the following of Manhunt:</p>

<blockquote>
<p>We wanted to make a horror game that would scare you in the same way that
a film would. It doesn't seem to me to be any worse than a film. If it's a
film or a book, you can do what you want. We seem to be in a different category.
Most of the people who have issues with us haven't ever played the game.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>I encourage everyone to take a few moments out from playing Grand Theft Auto
IV to give it a read; there is some pretty good stuff in there.</p>
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Posted on: Apr 30 08:30 pm 2008 by: pogo


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Posted on: Jan 01 01:00 am 1970 by:


Rockstar News | Midnight Club: Los Angeles Coming September
<p> <a href="http://ir.take2games.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=305565" target="_blank">Rockstar
Games</a> have issued a press release regarding the launch of Midnight Club:
Los Angeles for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as well as announcing Midnight
Club: LA Remix for the PSP. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is being developed by
series creator Rockstar San Diego while Midnight Club: LA Remix is developed
by Rockstar London. Both titles will see release in North America on September
the 9th and in Europe just three days later on September the 12th. Midnight
Club: Los Angeles will also be the second game to make use of the <a href="http://www.rockstargames.com/socialclub/" target="_blank">Rockstar
Social Club</a>, I imagine it will have extensive use of leader boards and online
tournaments.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Rockstar Games is proud to announce the fourth installment of its critically-acclaimed
and genre-defining Midnight Club franchise, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, is
set for release on September 9th in North America and September 12th in Europe.
Developed by series creator Rockstar San Diego, Midnight Club: Los Angeles
will give gamers the unprecedented freedom to race through a hyper-realistic
LA.</p>
<p>"From the beginning, Midnight Club has been about street racing in a
open-world," said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "With our
team at Rockstar San Diego we have developed a game that we feel once again
pushes the boundaries and expectations of what a racing game can be."</p>
<p>Whether driving by the beach or beating the competition by cutting through
a parking garage at 200 mph, Midnight Club: Los Angeles provides a seamless,
breathtaking environment for everyone who loves to compete. With no load times,
no tracks, and no rules, the game allows players to race who they want, when
they want, and where they want in an unbelievable recreation of Los Angeles.</p>

<p>"People are going to be blown away when they see how true-to-life Los
Angeles looks in this game," said Jay Panek, Midnight Club Producer Rockstar
San Diego. "We've added some great twists and turns that let players
experience the authentic vibe and feel of the city at blistering speeds that
you simply couldn't get away with in real life."</p>
<p>A racing game is nothing without the great cars and Midnight Club: Los Angeles
allows extensive customization of vehicles for both performance and appearance.
Players can now fully personalize their officially licensed imports, tuners,
classic muscle cars and motorcycles both inside and out with a dizzying array
of licensed rims, spoilers, interior gauges, tires and more.</p>
<p>Also scheduled for release on September 9th, Midnight Club: LA Remix for
the PSP&reg; system will provide another incredible portable racing experience.
Developed by Rockstar London, the game will take full advantage of the hardware
to deliver the unrivaled sense of speed and style that the best-selling Midnight
Club series is known for.</p>
<p>For more information about Midnight Club, please visit our website at <a href="http://www.rockstargames.com/midnightclubla" target="_blank">http://www.rockstargames.com/midnightclubla</a>.</p>

</blockquote>
<p>I find it odd that it is coming to the PSP and not the Nintendo Wii, I imagine
we could see a forthcoming announcement about such a title. I have enjoyed past
entries in the series but I do find that it goes a little over my head, not
being much of a car enthusiast and the rather intimidating control scheme is
a little bewildering, hopefully this new entry in the franchise will be a little
more accessible. </p>
<p>As a side observation, with September now being the set release date for Midnight
Club: Los Angeles I have got to believe this rules out September for the release
of Manhunt 2 in the UK. I am thinking June or July myself, they may try and
get the first week of July to mirror the games original proposed date.</p>
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Posted on: Apr 21 07:46 pm 2008 by: pogo


Manhunt 2 News | Another Interview with David Cooke
<p> If you have been reading over at <a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/techradarthe-bbfc-interview-contd-323784" target="_blank">Techradar</a>
you will already know that they featured the first part of an interview with
the BBFC director David Cooke. In the second part posted today a few Manhunt
2 questions were posed at Mr Cooke who had some rather interesting comments
to make on the situation:</p>

<blockquote>
<p><strong>TechRadar: The power to ban of course is still very much an issue
in the games industry, following the case of Manhunt 2 last year and early
this year.</strong></p>
<p>David Cooke: Let me tell you how I think about Manhunt 2. I think it was&#8230;
well, it was bloody hard work! It was not a decision to be taken lightly.
It was a decision that we arrived at absolutely on the merits. There was no
political pressure, despite what many accused us of. Our initial decision
was the same as the ESRB in the US, so there was some changes made to the
game by Rockstar, which the ESRB accepted but we still thought the changes
hadn&#8217;t gone quite far enough. So that was the version that then went
to appeal at our independent judicial appeals tribunal where there was a 4:3 decision in Rockstar&#8217;s favour.</p>
<p>The main reason we then questioned this decision and took the case to appeal
at the High Court was that we had very strong legal advice that the VAC had
applied the wrong interpretation of &#8216;the harm test&#8217; and in particular
they had accepted an argument that the BBFC had to prove &#8216;devastating
effect&#8217; and we said this was wrong in law. So we needed to challenge
their decision, not just because of the Manhunt 2 case, but because it would
have been relevant to absolutely everything we do &#8211; games, films, DVDs,
the lot. The VAC had also said that we had to show &#8216;actual harm&#8217;
and the judge corrected this and said that the correct test is to show &#8216;any
hard which may be caused&#8217; &#8211; so we are talking about the possibility
of harm (rather than some kind of probability) and we are talking about &#8216;potential
harm&#8217; and not &#8216;actual harm&#8217;. He did also say that it had
to be &#8216;real harm&#8217; and not &#8216;fanciful harm&#8217; so we have
now got a very clear definition of the harm test which we are completely happy
with.</p>

<p>So we won in the High Court and the judge said the VAC had applied the wrong
harm test and that they must apply the correct one. So they did it again and
it came out 4:3 again, so we lost. And at that point our lawyers were telling
us we had no basis for challenging it any further.</p>
<p>So, we&#8217;re disappointed because we had spent ages examining Manhunt
2 and we felt that we had a greater familiarity with the game than the Video
Appeals Committee.</p>
<p>I have to be very clear that we absolutely do not like anything that interferes
with an adult&#8217;s ability to choose what films they see or what games
and DVDs they buy. We only apply this power on the very rare occasions where
we feel that the harm risk means that we have to do it.</p>
<p>So that was the saga! At the end of the day you have to do what you think
is the right thing to do on the merits and you have to accept the decision
that an independent judicial tribunal produces.</p>
<p>Some talk about it as a debacle or catastrophe for the BBFC, which is absolute
rubbish. We often have cases that go to the VAC, as we occasionally reject
DVDs as well &#8211; so maybe once every two or three years a case will go
to the VAC. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose, but that&#8217;s what
it means to have an independent judicial appeals system. It doesn&#8217;t
mean that every time you lose it&#8217;s a catastrophe!.</p>

</blockquote>
<p> Other questions posed to Mr Cooke included the feeling that games were not
being treated by the BBFC in the same way as movies and DVDs and did he think
that Rockstar milked the controversy a little, for those answers and the rest
of the interview check out <a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/techradar-the-bbfc-interview--322584" target="_blank">Part
1</a> and <a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/techradarthe-bbfc-interview-contd-323784" target="_blank">Part
2</a>.</p>
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Posted on: Apr 19 06:08 am 2008 by: lazlow


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Posted on: Jan 01 01:00 am 1970 by:


Manhunt 2 News | MCV Interview with David Cooke
<p> <a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/interviews/232/BBFC-on-Manhunt-2" target="_blank">
MCV</a> have an exclusive interview with BBFC director David Cooke, the interview
focused on Manhunt 2. Mr Cooke said that the BBFC had benefited from the Manhunt
2 case although they were still disappointed at Manhunt 2 being allowed a release
in the UK. Here is some quotes from the interview:</p>
<blockquote>
<p><strong>MCV: Has the whole Manhunt 2 experience changed the way the BBFC
works &#8211; in terms of culture or processes?</strong></p>

<p>Cooke: Not fundamentally. The reason for that is obviously we thought it
was the right decision, or we won&#8217;t have reached it. It hasn&#8217;t
affected the fact that we still base our decisions on thorough gameplay. In
the case of Manhunt 2, by the end of it all, we probably spent over 100 examiner
hours on the game - including more than a few hours of mine.</p>
<p>We actually got a fairly substantial benefit from the Manhunt episode, We
went to the High Court, and it clarified the harm test &#8211; actually a
benefit that flies across a whole range of games and film.</p>
<p>It all gets quite technical, but for instance, it showed it was not necessary
for us to show devastating effect, which was what the arguments had said previously.</p>
<p><strong>MCV: Are you still disappointed with the decision?</strong></p>
<p>Cooke: We absolutely accept that if you have an independent judicial tribunal,
like we do with the Video Appeals Committee, you have to abide by its findings
and there&#8217;s no point showing sour grapes. I guess we&#8217;re still
disappointed because we put quantifiably more examining hours into getting
familiar with the game than the VAC was able to do, so in effect, they were
substituting their judgement for ours on the basis of familiarity of the game.</p>

</blockquote>
<p> You can check out the rest of the interview over at <a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/interviews/232/BBFC-on-Manhunt-2" target="_blank">MCV</a>.</p>
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Posted on: Apr 16 07:20 pm 2008 by: lazlow


Rockstar News | Rockstar Acquires Mad Doc Software
<p> <a href="http://ir.take2games.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=303322" target="_blank">Rockstar
Games</a> has announced that it has acquired Mad Doc Software, the studio which
recently ported Bully over to the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 will now be renamed
to Rockstar New England.</p>

<blockquote>
<p><strong>Rockstar Games Acquires Mad Doc Software</strong></p>
<p>New York, NY - April 4, 2008 - Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two
Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today the formation of
Rockstar New England through the acquisition of substantially all of the assets
of Andover, MA-based Mad Doc Software, one of the premier independent development
studios in North America.</p>
<p>&quot;The team at Mad Doc Software is extremely talented,&quot; said Sam
Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. &quot;Bringing them within the Rockstar
Games family will enhance our core technology and further support our commitment
to creating progressive and innovative gaming experiences.&quot;</p>
<p>Established in 1999 by Dr. Ian Lane Davis, Mad Doc Software has led development
on and provided contracting services for triple-A titles, with a particular
focus on artificial intelligence and networking. The studio most recently
worked with Rockstar Games on the Xbox 360 version of the critically acclaimed
Bully: Scholarship Edition.</p>
<p>&quot;To be a part of Rockstar Games is an amazing opportunity for everyone
here,&quot; said Dr. Davis, Studio Head of the new Rockstar New England. &quot;We're
eager to bring our expertise to bear in the character-driven, open-world stories
that make Rockstar Games titles so uniquely compelling.&quot;</p>

</blockquote>
<p>It should be interesting to see what comes from Rockstar New England considering
the studios background, will they be developing new original IP, porting existing
Rockstar titles (Manhunt 2?) over to the more powerful systems or will they
be putting most of their effort into beefing up Rockstars internal game engine
(R.A.G.E.), it would make sense considering the studios past focus.</p>
<p>Congratulations to the guys and gals at Rockstar New England.</p>
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Posted on: Apr 05 09:03 pm 2008 by: pogo


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