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Gaming News Round-Up: September 20th, 2004

Today's news round-up includes John Kerry's triumphant entry into the gaming scene, tornados rampaging through online worlds, more on BioWare's use of Unreal Engine 3, an...
Today's news round-up includes John Kerry's triumphant entry into the gaming scene, tornados rampaging through online worlds, more on BioWare's use of Unreal Engine 3, and, in case you missed it, the demo for a rather notable PC game. - Kuma Reality Games, developer of the episodic subscription-based PC action title Kuma\War, has announced a new mission recreating U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry's recently newsworthy swift-boat mission in Vietnam. According to Keith Halper, CEO of the company: "Kuma Games is in a unique position to bring clarity to ordinary people's understanding of Swift Boats... by letting you, as Lt. John Kerry, join Swift Boat PCF-94 during these important events." The company is also releasing a budget-priced Kuma\War: The War on Terror PC compilation, featuring battles against al Qaeda, Taliban fighters, and terrorists, into retail stores next month. - Blizzard's in-development PC MMO title, World Of Warcraft was forced to suspend its Beta test over the weekend, as the Virgina-based data center hosting the World of Warcraft servers was hit by a tornado, significantly damaging the structure. According to the official site, "some hardware took on water" as a result of the building damage. Blizzard has flown out network engineers to deal with the hardware damage, and they are currently testing the affected machines, while the Beta stays in a suspended state. Sony Online also had some machines hosted in the same building, and posted pictures of the damage on the official Star Wars Galaxies site, but managed to avoid any significant downtime for its titles. - Consumer website HomeLAN Fed caught up with BioWare co-CEOs Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka to talk further about the company's licensing of Unreal Engine 3 originally reported late last week, and the pair were more forthcoming about their plans, noting the company is building "an RPG layer for Unreal Engine 3", which Epic has even expressed interest in licensing. They also explain that the external Unreal engine deal was done to allow development of a title in a "relatively short amount of time", compared to the longer-term internal engine projects some of the five internal teams at BioWare are working on. - Following the recent release of the full retail game, a 461mb demo of id's much-hyped PC FPS DOOM 3 has been made available, and is currently downloadable from a large variety of locations. The demonstration offers three full levels from the full title, which was the top-selling PC game over multiple territories following its worldwide release in early August, and is still due to be converted to the Xbox, likely to debut in 2005.

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