BizSpots: Valve, Square Enix, D3, CDV

Steam's community features updated; Square goes online; Vicious Cycle purchased; Slitherine deal struck.

Steam getting community-focused update
First hinted at in May, Valve today unveiled more details on the major update to Steam, its downloadable-game service, planned for this July. Aimed at appeasing its 13 million-strong user base, the update will add a bevy of new community features. Included will be personalized Steam pages and profiles, as well as the ability to create and join user groups, schedule games with friends, check out prior opponents, and see how well everyone played. Also included will be the ability to chat with groups via text or voice. Valve plans to make these features available for all of the games in its catalog.

Square Enix opening NA store
In the sci-fi spoof Spaceballs, Yoda parody Yogurt said the immortal words "Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made." With Square Enix's game sales hitting record numbers yet the company still coming up short on profits, the company today unveiled its new online store dedicated to the North American crowd. Though details about the new store were sparse--its placeholder Web site currently only displays a Judge action figure--it will likely feature game-centric jewelry and action figures much like Square Enix currently offers online in Japan.

D3 makes not-so-Vicious acquistion
D3Publisher today announced it had acquired North Carolina-based Vicious Cycle Software. The two companies have had a working relationship in the past, as D3 has previously published Vicious Cycle's critically acclaimed Puzzle Quest for the PlayStation Portable. The two currently stand to collaborate again on Vicious Cycle's upcoming Dead Head Fred, which was announced at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. As part of the deal, Eric Peterson and Wayne Harvey, president and vice president of Vicious Cycle, respectively, will remain onboard, and the studio's 50-person development team will not be relocated.

CDV rushes retailers with Slitherine games
CDV Software, which specializes primarily in wartime strategy games, today announced it had signed a copublishing deal with Slitherine Software, which specializes primarily in wartime strategy games, to bring the developer's games to the North American market. The first game to be released under the deal will be The History Channel Great Battles of Rome for the PC in September.

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Discussion

29 comments
finaleve
finaleve

I wonder where the store will open up (somewhere in NY perhaps?). ANd now Steam is a gamers Myspace.

V-Nine
V-Nine

Now if all that fancy Final Fantasy stuff is made availible (I'm holding out for a full sized First Tsurugi) without the US populace getting shafted as usual would be nice.

moocow21
moocow21

New Steam features sound really cool.

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

@ DonutTrooper: lol, I get the parody: Spaceballs: The Flamethrower; kids like this one a lot

lightningbugx
lightningbugx

Maybe Square should revive the Chrono Break idea or make a Mana series game that plays more like Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3. Or are the games just too expensive to make to earn a profit?

curua02
curua02

Anyone who's a big enough Square fan to want a FF action figure or whatnot has already imported it, or got it off E-bay. That's what I did with my Red XIII figure. ^^ Unless they're adding new merchandise for the NA site, then I'll bite.

Raykuza
Raykuza

I'd buy a Squeenix shirt. That's about it though.

football_legend
football_legend

I use to buy some games. But I dont think I will use the community aspects too much.

bigmick07
bigmick07

i can't believe gamers buy that type of stuff. I don't see whats so appeling about an action figure when that figure or character can be told to do millions of cool things in a game. Just doesn't appeal to me. Updates are always good as well

hollin24
hollin24

Finally, Final Fantasy jewelry. I will cover myself in Final Fantasy jewelry

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of merchandise the SE store will have. It would be nice if they had some Artbooks from their earlier games (when Square and Enix were seperate entities).

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

I wan't "final fantasy 7: the flamethrower"

GilHerad
GilHerad

In other words: Steam is "games for windows", just free instead. Sounds good to me :)

gollum007
gollum007

great news, especially the steam news and CDV Software news.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

"Time to slash some stuff with my Cloud figurine." lol

smfes
smfes

Cant w8 for the new steam thing to launch it's gonna pwn so much!

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Time to slash some stuff with my Cloud figurine.

DrCLos
DrCLos

Definitely a good business decision for Square-Enix. They can make good money selling CDs, action firgures, posters and the like as well as the games they're based on.

ArchAngel2284
ArchAngel2284

i knew about it earlier, but thanks for posting i guess hehe i hope they have some really neat things on there.

Pete5506
Pete5506

ff stuff cool, but I will not get

snipergimp
snipergimp

FF Merchandise =) I must say I like this, as a hardcore FF fan, the stuff I have now is all imported. This is a welcome addition for this consumer!

YsfeX3
YsfeX3

yeaaaa, i want some ff merchandise--not kidding.

FrenziedRaldo24
FrenziedRaldo24

Vicious Cycle is here in NC? I have to go up to their studio and give them a Thank-You for Puzzle Quest & Dead Head Fred:)

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

in shocking news, we find out Bush was lying about weapons of mass-destruction!\ meaning: i am not surprised, in fact, i was expecting it.