Newsbriefs: Test Drive/Lexus, FreeStyleGames, Senko no Ronde 2

[UPDATED: 3:20pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of a partnership between Atari and Lexus for Test Drive Unlimited, new hires at British developer FreeStyleGames, and Ubisoft bringing WarTech Senko no Ronde for
[UPDATED: 3:20pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of a partnership between Atari and Lexus for Test Drive Unlimited, new hires at British developer FreeStyleGames, and Ubisoft bringing WarTech Senko no Ronde for the Xbox 360 to North America and Europe this May. - Officials from Atari have announced a new partnership with luxury automobile manufacturer Lexus to offer a collection of Lexus cars for download and use within the Xbox 360 version of Test Drive Unlimited. The free "Lexus Car Pack" includes the Lexus GS 450h hybrid-powered luxury sport sedan and Lexus LS 460 premium luxury sedan. In addition, the partnership between the two companies promise additional Lexus vehicles to be offered soon, including the SC 430 hard-top convertible and the upcoming 2008 LS 600h L, described as “world's first full hybrid V8 luxury sedan.” In addition to Lexus, the game, which also recently shipped for the PlayStation 2 and PSP, features vehicles from other major automobile manufacturers, such as Chrysler, Lamborghini, Ford, Chevy, and Ferrari. "Atari is committed to providing consumers with a top-notch automotive experience and this free, downloadable Lexus Car Pack for Test Drive Unlimited is another example of that commitment." - Representatives for British developer FreeStyleGames have announced that the company has hired four new recruits, including programmer Neil Campbell, who has seven years of experience working with Deep Red Games and Blitz. Also added to the studio is project manager David Costello, who has worked alongside Kevin Wallace, managing international development and production of The Lord of the Rings in Canada, as well as in previous production management and development roles at several commercial & independent theatrical companies. The studio has also hired junior programmer Ian Norris, a graduate from Warwick University, as well as junior animator James Onslow-Major, a recent graduate from Glamorgan University. FreeStyleGames notes that its is currently focused on developing games that are “heavily influenced by music and sport.” Its first title, B-Boy, was released by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for the PS2 and PSP in October 2006. - Ubisoft has announced that company will publish G.rev Ltd's WarTech Senko no Ronde, an arcade style shooter/fighter for the Xbox 360, in North American and European territories in May. The game represents an interesting blend of traditional fighting and space shooting, and was first released in Japanese arcades in 2004 and brought to the Xbox 360 in Japan last August. In the game, players fight each other using upgradeable spaceships, each firing streams of bullets in traditional shooter style. The game will feature Xbox Live multiplayer support, and eight different “Rounder Mech” characters, each with 2 different variations, as well as an unlockable in-game B.O.S.S. Mode. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include an interesting interview with NIS America, an analysis of Gamasutra's recent CRPG historical feature, and an insightful look at opinion's place in video game news. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include a new feature offering basic career advice about for working in the video game industry. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Big Huge Games, Cranky Pants Games, Crystal Dynamics, Disney Interactive Studios, Edge of Reality, FarSight Studios, Hudson, Intel Corporation, International Game Technology, Iron Lore Entertainment, Mantech IS&T, Massive Entertainment, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Perpetual Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, Rocksteady Studios, Snowblind Studios, THQ, Volition, and WildTangent.

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