Gaming News Round-Up: November 12th, 2004

Today's pre-weekend round-up includes news of impressive figures for the World Of Warcraft open beta, good financials for German publisher CDV, and a tree-mendousl...
Today's pre-weekend round-up includes news of impressive figures for the World Of Warcraft open beta, good financials for German publisher CDV, and a tree-mendously a-door-able charitable move by Nintendo. - With just over a week to go until its retail launch throughout North America, Blizzard has posted extremely positive open beta sign-up figures for its MMO title World Of Warcraft. According to Blizzard, this latest stress test saw over 500,000 players signing up during the first-day of availability. The test ranked as the most extensive beta ever done for a Blizzard game, with the game currently having over 40 servers active, each hosting thousands of concurrent users. World Of Warcraft is the long-running series' first incursion into the MMORPG genre, and will ship in both standard and limited edition versions. The limited edition version of the game will include an in-game pet, behind the scenes information, a soundtrack CD, artwork book, one-month subscription and cloth map of the game. World Of Warcraft makes its North American debut on November 23rd, followed by releases throughout Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Europe and other regions shortly thereafter. - German-based game developer and publisher CDV Software Entertainment AG, particularly known for PC war game releases such as Neocron and Blitzkrieg, has released its latest financial results, covering the third quarter and nine months ended September 30th, 2004. During the third quarter, CDV reported sales up 23% to EUR 4.7 million ($6.0 million USD), and and after-tax profit of EUR 0.5 million ($0.65 million USD). For the nine-month period, the company also reported improved sales, from EUR 12.4 million ($16.0 million USD) last year to EUR 13.2 million ($17.1 million USD) this year, on top of positive earnings before interest and tax of EUR 1.7 million ($2.2 million USD). For the 2005 fiscal year, the company points to the release of PC games Cossacks 2: Napoleonic Wars, Codename: Panzers - Phase Two and Blitzkrieg 2 as being particularly important to the firm's success, with the German 'erotic adventure game' Lula 3D another key, if risque 2005 release. - Nintendo of America has announced a donation of 1,000 doors to help the nonprofit homebuilding organization Habitat for Humanity. Nintendo made the donation in honor of Mario's new GameCube RPG, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Habitat for Humanity, an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing, will use the doors in home building projects across the state of Florida, working toward its goal to build a record 1,000 houses in the state this year. "Nintendo is proud to be a part of this great rebuilding effort," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "We trust this contribution will open the door for hundreds of families to enjoy a better life."

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