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Newsbriefs: X-Com Steamed, Wii VC Adds, Left Behind In Asia

[UPDATED: 3:30pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Take-Two Interactive releasing several classic PC titles over Steam (including X-COM: Terror From The Deep), the latest classic titles to be released over the Wii's Virtual
[UPDATED: 3:30pm PST] Today's regularly updated newsbriefs include news of Take-Two Interactive releasing several classic PC titles over Steam (including X-COM: Terror From The Deep), the latest classic titles to be released over the Wii's Virtual Console, and Left Behind Games bringing Left Behind: Eternal Forces to the Asian market. - Nintendo has released three “new” games for download over the Wii's Virtual Console. Purchasable from the Wii's online Wii Shop Channel, the games released today include Tecmo's 1987 NES classic Mighty Bomb Jack for 500 Wii Points ($5), as well as the SNES port of Capcom's arcade side scroller Final Fight for 800 Wii Points ($8). Ordyne, the Turbografx-16 port of the classic two-player arcade horizontal shooter from 1988, is also now available over the service for 600 Wii Points ($6). Also worth noting is that Nintendo has launched an online web portal to help track Wii Virtual Console releases, including the available games, their genre, price, and online release date. - Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two Interactive released a handful of new classic PC titles over Valve's Steam digital download service. Among those titles now available are the critically acclaimed turn-based strategy game X-COM: Terror From The Deep, the 1995 follow up to MicroProse Software's X-COM: UFO Defense. Other new additions to Steam from Take Two include Sid Meiers Railroads!, Railroad Tycoon 3, and Railroad Tycoon II Platinum, as well as ALTAR Interactive's recently released strategic RPG UFO: Afterlight. - Nexon America, the U.S. publishing arm of South Korean MMO developer and publisher Nexon Corporation, has announced plans to celebrate MapleStory's two year anniversary in North America with five special events, new in-game items, And user generated contests. The online casual RPG, which is aimed primarily at teens, was first released in South Korea in 2002, and is currently distributed worldwide. The game has an estimated 50 million users, including 14 million in South Korea alone, and another three million registered users in North America. According to Xstatics, compiled by online gaming community service Xfire for the month of April, MapleStory is fourth among the top ten MMOs currently being played online, and 15th among the top 20 PC games currently being played online. The game is free to download and subscription free, and generates revenue through microtransactions for items like clothing and weaponry. Among the scheduled anniversary events are a monster hunt, birthday-themed quests, and special GameMaster events each day during the week of May 9-16. Finally, the game will offer players double experience points and item drops will be doubled from May 11-31. - Controversial Christian game developer Left Behind Games has announced plans to bring its religious-themed PC strategy game Left Behind: Eternal Forces to the Asian market through a partnership with Dr. Gordon Chiu and major Hong Kong distribution company Serendipity House. Serendipity House will hire staff to support the game in that market through “branding to adjust for the cultural differences.” During this branding period, which officials note could take between 6-8 months, the game will be sold through non-profit channels, such as via churches And other Christian organizations. In addition, according to Dr. Chiu, expectations are such that Serendipity House and Left behind Games will seek funds to “create a special Chinese language version of the game for the Chinese market to be released in 2008.” Left Behind: Eternal Forces was criticized by Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups because of its relatively violent RTS theming, with calls on major chains such as Wal-Mart not to carry the title. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at the the recent animated Guitar Hero II Xbox 360 ad, a discussion on ownership rights for student games, a play centering on the ups and downs of a first-person shooter. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister site Game Career Guide include news that Electronic Arts talent development executive Tom Frisina has joined Vancouver's Masters of Digital Media graduate degree program as a faculty member. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Cranky Pants Games, Double Fusion, Iron Lore Entertainment, JOGO Media, Nihilistic Software, Petroglyph Games, Rainbow Studios, Secret Level, Sony Online Entertainment, Vicious Cycle Software, and Vivendi Games Mobile.

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