This Week’s Top Stories: November 7 – 12, 2011

Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure.

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Werewolves to return in Skyrim

Werewolves have remained one of the most requested features for an Elder Scrolls title ever since our fury, fang-tastic fiends showed up in Morrowind back in 2002. Many were understandably miffed that they weren’t included in Oblivion, though it now appears Bethesda has finally heard our cries and signed them up for Skyrim. Well, at least, that’s according to a video leaked online which clearly depicts a quest line allowing the player character to contract Lycanthropy. Bethesda is keen to keep things hush-hush, however, and quickly removed the content – but not before some cheeky chap was able to create a few screen grabs, all but confirming the existence of Werewolves in the game. With Vampires already confirmed, it looks like Skyrim has just ticked another box on the proverbial Elder Scrolls checklist. Of course, by the time you read this, chances are you’re already have discovered the Werewolf curse for yourself.

U.K. Charts: Battlefield 3 denies Uncharted 3

I can’t say I’m surprised to see that Battlefield 3 is still sitting pretty at the top of the U.K. All Format Charts for a second week running despite Uncharted 3’s release. After all, for all its sheer brilliance, Drake’s latest outing is still a PS3-exclusive, while Battlefield 3 is a multiplatform title and received quite the meaty marketing push to boot. Nonetheless, Uncharted 3 didn’t slack in this respect either, considering Sony splashed out a whopping £5 million on marketing the Naughty Dog adventurer. Living in the U.K. it was pretty obvious to me how much effort the company had put into this, with ubiquitous TV ads and posters helping to cement the treasure-hunting sequel upon the public consciousness. Still, second place is nothing to turn your nose at in the midst of an increasingly competitive market, and neither is the fact Uncharted 3’s sales were up 37 percent over its predecessor. Congrats, Drake.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to receive day one patch

Massive games such as RPGs are susceptible to glaring bugs on launch day, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is unlikely to be an exception to this trend. Fortunately, developer Bethesda has thought ahead and has prepped a patch for its hotly-anticipated fantasy romp, which will be live and kicking in time for the game’s launch this Friday. Of course, by the time you read this the game will likely already be in your hands, but with any luck we won’t be spending this weekend getting all hot and bothered about some pesky niggles that should have been ironed out prior to release. After all, Bethesda attracted a lot of flak from gamers over Fallout: New Vegas, which was plagued by numerous issues upon its release in late 2010. Let’s hope Skyrim doesn’t suffer the same fate, eh?

Ubisoft confirms new Assassin’s Creed for next year

In news that is likely to take nobody by surprise, publishing behemoth Ubisoft announced this week that a new instalment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise will be released in 2012. Aside from the fact the company has been churning out new entries in the stealth-based historical adventure series annually since Brotherhood, it had previously been all but confirmed that a new game would turn up next year following comments from a member of the development team regarding the intention to wrap up the existing storyline before December 2012. While the Call of Duty-style conveyer belt of annual Assassin’s Creed games may be starting to grate with some gamers, you can’t blame Ubisoft for keeping a good thing going; and to be fair, Ezio’s last few adventures have proved to be some of the most compelling offerings this generation, particularly with the introduction of multiplayer in Brotherhood. However, I sincerely hope that Ubisoft opts to put the series on ice for a year (or two) after next year’s entry and come back totally refreshed for what will inevitably be the long-awaited Assassin’s Creed III. 

Day-one shipments for Modern Warfare 3 are ‘largest in history’

Expect a lot of these articles in the coming weeks and months, as Modern Warfare 3 continues to fuel the commercial juggernaut that is Call of Duty train along the tracks for another year. Earlier this week we had analysts spouting off about how Activision’s finest could flog as many as six million copies in 24 hours, and it has now emerged that Captain Price and chums have managed to smash day-one shipments records. And for the record, that’s not just shipments for Activision-published properties, but overall. As in, Modern Warfare 3 has shipped more units in its first 24 hours on sale than any other videogame, period. Year after year we continue see the series rifle—butt its way through yet another industry record, and at this point I’m starting to wonder what game will be the one to fail at maintaining this tread. For now however, Modern Warfare 3 is perpetuating the series’ mainstream pulling power and I think it’s pretty much a given Activision has yet another Christmas no.1 in the bag. All eyes now fall on the House of Bobby Kotick to divulge exact sales figures… 

Jak & Daxter HD Collection confirmed

Sony’s onslaught of HD Collections shows no signing of letting up, with the hardware giant this week confirming that Jak & Daxter will be receiving a high definition makeover. Of course, those of you who have been keeping up with PSU over the past few months will know that the Jak & Daxter HD Collection has been rumored before, and reports cropped up fairly recently that developer Naughty Dog had in fact confirmed the bundle’s existence during a press event for Uncharted 3. Needless to say, all three games were among some of the PS2’s best platform titles available, and for those who haven’t played them will surely want to plonk down the cash for this at launch. Sony wouldn’t divulge any info on the collection at the time of writing, but did say more information would be unveiled soon. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates.


Uncharted 3 has sold 3.8 million units in one day

There’s still a shroud of ambiguity surrounding this story as to whether Sony meant units shipped to retailers or indeed sales to consumers as it seems to imply, but regardless, the press release certainly seems to indicate the latter. If that’s the case, then colour me blown away. I mean, Uncharted 3 was always going to pull in the punters, but 3.8 million in its first day at retail is a massive achievement, especially for a console-exclusive. For the record, Uncharted 2 sold that much by September 2010 – 11 months after it was originally released. That’s an incredible spike by anyone’s standards, and Naughty Dog deserves a hearty pat on the back. Congrats guys. Now let’s get cracking on Uncharted 4 while the iron’s hot, eh? 

Yamauchi: ‘Of course we’re working on GT6 already’

Sadly, Gran Turismo 5 is likely to be remembered for its unbearably long development cycle as much as its shiny motors, but with any luck, a sequel could arrive sooner than later. That’s according to Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi, who has this week been quoted saying “of course we’re working on GT6 already.” This isn’t the first time Yamauchi-san has hinted at a successor to GT5 either, having let slip as early as late 2010 that GT6 is on the horizon. However, with any luck this next entry in the venerable racing franchise will be pushed out of the garage a little sooner. We don’t want to be pre-ordering it alongside our shiny new PlayStation 4, do we? 

MW3 sells 6.5 million in 24 hours

Well, would you Adam and Eve it? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has smashed sales records once again, becoming the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Just like Black Ops did, just like Modern Warfare 2 did, and ditto to World at War. In 24 hours, the Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games commercial behemoth flogged a whopping 6.5 million copies, generating $400 million in revenue. That’s almost a million up on Black Op’ day-one sales, and significantly higher than 2009’s Modern Warfare 2. Bobby Kotick must be doing his best Scrooge McDuck impression right about now, diving head first into his gigantic money bin for a quick swim among some hundred dollar bills. Whether or not another CoD game will be able to top this remains to be seen, and there’s no denying the Modern Warfare brand carries considerable clout – though I have a feeling it’ll be a while before we see another entry in this particular series offshoot. Regardless, Black Ops has proven that punters don’t need MW in the title as a reason to flock to stores, so I imagine the series will continue to prosper annually. Now, who wants to take bets on Black Ops 2 turning up in 2012? 

And the rest…

EA says there will be a Battlefield 4

New Call of Duty confirmed for 2012

Call of Duty Black Ops sells 15 million units since launch