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Newsbriefs: Civ IV Expands, Pixel Junk, Wii Cruises

[UPDATED: 3:17pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include the largest expansion in Civilization franchise history, a new PS3 downloadable casual game series from Q Games, and Norwegian Cruise Line adding Wiis to its onboard entertai
[UPDATED: 3:17pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include the largest expansion in Civilization franchise history, a new PS3 downloadable casual game series from Q Games, and Norwegian Cruise Line adding Wiis to its onboard entertainment roster. - Publisher 2K has announced that the latest in its long-standing Civilization franchise will see a new expansion in July of 2007. The company says that Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, developed by Firaxis games, will bring in the 'largest amount of expansion content' in the franchise's history. According to the company, the expansion will include features like an expanded epic game, new game scenarios, new civilizations, more civilization leaders, corporations, espionage, new wonders, enhanced AI, and 'advanced starts,' allowing players to 'buy' components of more advanced empires and begin campaigns in a later part of the game. - According to a new report in Japan's Famitsu magazine, Q Games, developers of the recent Nintendo DS StarFox Command as well as the import-only Digidrive volume of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance 'Bit Generations' series, are preparing a new PlayStation 3 downloadable casual game series currently known as Pixel Junk. Though little more information has yet been announced on the service, Q Games are no stranger to PlayStation 3 hardware, having worked on much of the system's core interface during the lead-up to the console's launch. Based on the developer's work on Digidrive as well as early thumbnail shots of prototype Pixel Junk games, expect easily understandable but delightfully obscured goals from games in the new series. - Similar to last year's partnership that saw Nintendo providing DSs and Touch Generation titles to overseas passengers on JAL flights, Nintendo and the Norwegian Cruise Line have announced that NCL will be the first cruise line to offer on-board Wii systems on the NCL's Norwegian Pearl and all of its NCL America ships. According to the two, Wii systems will be located in the atrium and other public rooms, as well as each 'Kid's Crew' facilities, for guests to play against each other at Wii Sports, Wii Play, WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Excite Truck, and have expressed interest at designing ship-wide tournaments and events around the system. "With its active, engaging and inviting game experiences appealing to every age from kids to parents to grandparents, the Wii from Nintendo is a natural fit for Freestyle Cruising," said NCL president and CEO Colin Veitch. "With the addition of Wii to our on-board activities, we can now offer bowling, boxing, golf, tennis and baseball across the entire fleet. Cheering, yelling and high-fives will be highly encouraged." - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at collecting all things Shadowrun, a profile of Sega game designer Hiroshi Uemura, and a comparison of sounds made by different Game Boy models. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister site Game Career Guide include a student postmortem on the University of Bremen's citizenMOB, described as a combination of Pokémon, Tamagotchi, and location based gaming. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Big Huge Games, Crystal Dynamics, Disney Interactive Studios, Edge of Reality, Helixe Studios, Iron Lore Entertainment, K2 Network, Powerhead Games, Scholastic, Smashing Ideas, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Volition.

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