Forgot password?  |  Register  |    
User Name:     Password:    

NewsBit: Week of October 22

Sony announces new details about the God of War: Ascension multiplayer beta, retailers offer a pre-order bonus for BioShock Infinite, a new Disgaea game is announced, and more.

Click through for the biggest gaming news stories for the week of October 22:

God of War: Ascension multiplayer beta coming to PlayStation Plus, social game announced

PlayStation Plus members will be the first to experience the multiplayer component of God of War: Ascension with a beta scheduled for this winter, the PlayStation Blog reveals.

Ascension multiplayer aligns player characters with one of four gods, each of which grants access to different abilities and equipment. The beta will begin with characters aligned to Zeus. According to Game Director Todd Papy, who posted the blog, the multiplayer component has "come a long way" since it was first demonstrated to attendees of E3, Gamescom, and PAX.

The Blog also details a new God of War social game, Rise of the Warrior, which features an interactive graphic-novel style story. By playing the game, players may unlock early access to the beta and special in-game rewards. The game is accessible, along with a new trailer focused on Zeus and other content enhancements, at

God of War: Ascension is scheduled for a March 12, 2013, release for PlayStation 3.

BioShock Infinite pre-order game unlocks in-game rewards

Pre-ordering BioShock Infinite from select retailers will earn customers a code to play a tie-in Flash-based puzzle game which unlocks rewards for the main game.

According to BioShock Infinite's official website, the Industrial Revolution spin-off game allows players to assume the role of a Columbia factory worker and support one of two rival factions by solving more than 50 puzzles.

Industrial Revolution was developed by Lazy 8 Studios in collaboration with BioShock Infinite developer Irrational Games. An FAQ at the Irrational Games Forums goes into more detail about how the spin-off works.

BioShock Infinite is due to release February 26, 2013, for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

New Disgaea sequel to follow original game

Nippon Ichi Software will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Disgaea strategy RPG series with a new sequel which brings the story back to where it started.

Originally revealed to Famitsu, an English translation at Anime News Network says Disgaea D2 will follow the events of the original Disgaea rather than the most recent entry of the series, Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Laharl will return to be the main character, with Etna and Flonne supporting.

Disgaea D2 is a PlayStation 3 exclusive and is slated for release in Japan March 20, 2013. NIS is offering a pre-order bonus which gives the three main characters their costumes from the original game. A limited edition release will include Etna and Flonne figures, a hardcover art book, and a two-disc soundtrack.

No news of a western release yet, but every other major games of the series was localized for North America, so it's a relatively safe bet.

ESRB announces new rating system for downloadable games

The Entertainment Software Rating Board is offering a new rating service designed for digital game releases, the non-profit organization announced via press release this week.

By completing an online questionnaire, developers for digital platforms such as the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade may receive a familiar ESRB rating with content descriptors, plus new labels about the game's interactive elements, immediately. The service is free to use.

The new interactive elements descriptors include labels such as  "Shares Info," "Shares Location," and "Users Interact."

"With the explosion of devices from which consumers can access games today, our goal is to ensure that those same tools are available everywhere games can be found," ESRB President Patricia Vance said. "More recently, parents' concerns have begun to extend beyond just content to include the sharing of their kids' personal information or location and interactions with other players. "

Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect films moving forward

Ubisoft is partnering with New Regency to produce an Assassin's Creed feature film, the companies announced this week.

According to a press release, development of a screenplay is expected to begin "immediately," with Ubisoft maintaining control of the film's creative direction.

“Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise,” Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet said.

The last major update to the project was the attachment of actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, X-Men: First Class) to the project, which Variety reported in July.

Meanwhile, Variety also reports Legendary Entertainment is enlisting Morgan Davis Foehl to write a new script for a Mass Effect film.

Foehl's treatment would be the second script for the project after Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) wrote the first. Foehl, said to be a fan of the series, was an assistant editor for FX series Rescue Me and is also a writer, although none of his scripts are yet to be produced.

Press Release


New Digital Rating Service Enables ESRB Ratings to Become Consistent Standard Across All Game Platforms; Includes Guidance on Interactive Elements

NEW YORK – The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the non-profit self-regulatory body for the video game industry, today announced a streamlined, no-cost service for assigning ratings to all digitally delivered games. ESRB’s new “Digital Rating Service” utilizes a brief but detailed online questionnaire to assess not only a product’s content and age-appropriateness, but also interactive elements, including the sharing of personal information or physical location and exposure to unfiltered user-generated content.

This newly streamlined service will first be put into use for downloadable games available from a number of computer and video game platforms including Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation® Network, PlayStation® Vita, PlayStation™ Certified devices, Nintendo® eShop, Wii Shop Channel™ and Windows 8, with other digital content aggregators, online game networks, streaming and download services to follow.

“Consumers have grown accustomed to using ESRB ratings when making decisions about the appropriateness of the games their families play. With the explosion of devices from which consumers can access games today, our goal is to ensure that those same tools are available everywhere games can be found,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “More recently, parents’ concerns have begun to extend beyond just content to include the sharing of their kids’ personal information or location and interactions with other players. ESRB’s Digital Rating Service now offers all digital platforms, storefronts and networks the opportunity to empower their customers with consistent, credible, familiar and useful upfront guidance no matter where their family chooses to play games.”

The streamlined rating process makes obtaining an ESRB rating fast and easy by assigning a rating immediately. By simplifying the process and eliminating the cost to developers, the ESRB expects to broaden adoption of its ratings among game providers of all types. The resulting ubiquity of ESRB ratings will ease a parent's job by presenting a single ratings standard across the many platforms on which their children access games. Increased adoption of ESRB ratings also means that developers will no longer be subject to differing and oftentimes conflicting rating systems and standards for their digitally delivered games. ESRB’s Digital Rating Service complements the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB, a program launched last year through which ESRB assigns ratings to mobile apps using a similar process.

“The ESRB’s Digital Rating Service is the most sensible way to implement ratings across the many platforms on which we now publish games,” said John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts.
“A consistent standard is in the best interest of publishers and consumers alike, empowering parents with the information they need to make informed choices for their families.”

“Today our customers expect to be able to play their favorite games across a wide range of different devices, in home and on the go,” added Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). “We believe our developers will greatly appreciate how easy this new streamlined system is to use and our customers are certain to benefit from having broader access to ESRB ratings across all of their game devices.”

Ratings Go Beyond Content

Consumer research shows that at least two thirds of parents consider it essential that a rating system provide disclosure about the collection and/or sharing of personal information with third parties, the sharing of a user’s location, and the ability to track a user’s location, and consider it just as important as being informed about content and age-appropriateness.* As a result, ESRB’s Digital Rating Service not only assigns the familiar ESRB Rating Category and Content Descriptors that consumers already know and trust, but also generates standardized notices, called “Interactive Elements,” which include:

? “Shares Info” indicates that user-provided personal information (e.g., e-mail address, phone number, credit card info, etc.) is shared with third parties;
? “Shares Location” indicates the ability to display the user’s location to other users; and
? “Users Interact” indicates possible exposure to unfiltered/uncensored user-generated content, including user-to-user communications and media sharing via social media and networks.

In addition to providing critical guidance to consumers in advance of playing a game, all three parts of a game’s rating information (Rating Category, Content Descriptors and Interactive Elements) can also be mapped to parental controls to restrict access by these criteria. While adopters of ESRB ratings may choose to not display all three parts, complete rating information is always available by searching the ESRB website at

“ESRB’s rating system has always been an effective means for parents to gauge content, and its latest evolution addresses the emerging concerns of parents whose children increasingly access and play games in a digital marketplace,” concluded Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). “Information is a critical weapon in the online safety arsenal, and giving parents tools like the ESRB’s new Interactive Elements notices empowers them to take appropriate action to protect their children in an online environment.”

The ESRB Rating System
Established in 1994, the ESRB has become among the most highly recognized and respected rating systems in the world. The FTC has commended ESRB for having “the strongest self-regulatory code” and applauded tools like Rating Summaries that offer consumers even greater information by which to choose games for their families. According to the latest research, 85% of parents with children who play video games are aware of the ESRB ratings and 70% use the
ratings on a regular basis (either “every time” or “most of the time”) when deciding about a game for their child. Nearly nine in ten (88%) find the ESRB ratings to be either “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful” in choosing games for their children.*
* Online survey of 509 parents with children who play video games. Conducted May/June 2012 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates and commissioned by ESRB.

About ESRB
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a non-profit, self-regulatory body that assigns age and content ratings for video games and apps so parents can make informed choices. As part of its regulatory role for the video game industry the ESRB also enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices under its Privacy Online program. ESRB was established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).



Deal Builds on Attachment of Michael Fassbender

SAN FRANCISCO — October 22, 2012 —Today, Ubisoft® and New Regency announced that they are partnering on the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed® film.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures, the film and television division of Ubisoft, will develop the Assassin’s Creed film in close collaboration with New Regency. The development of a screenplay is beginning immediately and the project is being fast tracked as the creative pieces come together, while allowing Ubisoft to maintain control of key elements of the movie’s creative direction. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

“Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent- and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”

The partnership with New Regency comes hot on the heels of Ubisoft Motion Pictures attaching distinguished actor Michael Fassbender to the Assassin’s Creed film.

“We wanted to do everything we could to secure the rights to Assassin's Creed, which Ubisoft has maintained with such care and quality over the years,” said Brad Weston, president and chief executive officer, New Regency. "Having just finished working with Michael on Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (with Plan B) made the partnership even more irresistible."

About Ubisoft Motion Pictures
Ubisoft Motion Pictures was created in January 2011 to expand the audience of Ubisoft’s successful video game brands by bringing them to film, television and Web series. In addition to the Assassin’s Creed movie, the studio also is in production on the Rabbids TV series, a collection of 78 seven-minute CGI episodes based on the insane, hilarious and silly stars of the video game franchise of the same name, in partnership with France Televisions and Nickelodeon. Ubisoft Motion Pictures also has two additional feature-length films in development based on the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon video game franchises.

About New Regency
Founded in 1991 by renowned producer Arnon Milchan, New Regency Productions is actively engaged in entertaining the world via the production and distribution of motion pictures, television and sports through strategic alliances with media companies. Distributing its films through Twentieth Century Fox, Regency has produced many high-profile films over the years, including: Fight Club, Heat, JFK, Alvin and the Chipmunks, LA Confidential, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Under Siege, Free Willy, A Time To Kill, Devil’s Advocate, Tin Cup, City of Angels, The Negotiator, Entrapment, Don’t Say a Word, Unfaithful, Man on Fire, Jumper and Love & Other Drugs. Upcoming films include Broken City, The Internship, 12 Years A Slave, and Runner, Runner with Fox and Noah with Paramount. The distribution partnership with Fox extends to all media worldwide except international pay and free television. Regency self-distributes international television rights to multiple licensees. For more information, log onto

About Ubisoft
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 26 countries and has sales in more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2011-12 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of € 1.061 billion. To learn more, please visit

About Assassin’s Creed:
Initially launched in 2007, the first four Assassin’s Creed games have sold more than 38 million units worldwide, and the franchise is now established as one of the best-selling series ever. Recognized for having some of the richest, most engrossing storytelling in the industry, Assassin’s Creed transcends video games, branching out into other entertainment experiences including comic books, Facebook games, novels, short films and more.

©2001-2012 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries.




Log in to your PixlBit account in the bar above or join the site to leave a comment.

Press Release


New Digital Rating Service Enables ESRB Ratings to Become Consistent Standard Across All Game Platforms; Includes Guidan...


Hot Story

Final Fantasy VII Review Rewind

And now, the most anticipated epic adventure of the year will never come to a theater near you. Final Fantasy VII.” And so began my interest in RPGs. That commercial blew my 12-year-old mind back in 1997. Besides the impressive animations shown (which we would later learn were only cut-scenes), I was intrigued at seeing that we somehow jumped from Final Fantasy III on the Super NES to now VII on the PlayStation. “What manner of sorcery is this?”, I wondered.