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Round-Up: Advent Children Delayed, Dynamic Balancing Patent, More Death Jr. Comics

Today's round-up includes news of the schedule for the U.S. release of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children on DVD, info on automatic game-balancing patents for MMOs,...
Today's round-up includes news of the schedule for the U.S. release of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children on DVD, info on automatic game-balancing patents for MMOs, and the announcement of a new series of Death Jr. comics, as well as today's GameSetWatch articles, product news and Gamasutra job postings. - The release of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, a DVD/UMD movie sequel to the events of the blockbuster console RPG, seems to have been moved back yet again based on comments on DVD website The Digital Bits. "Sony's working hard to get the film released on DVD here in the States by the end of 2006. Apparently, it's taking a little extra time to work with the director to get all the supplemental elements finished, but the title is on track for release sometime later this year," reads the report. The film came out in Japan on September 14, 2005, and was originally meant for a late 2005 U.S. release as well before being moved back to its last known date of March 2006. - +7 Systems, a middleware developer, has applied for a patent on its +7 Balance Engine for automating game balance in MMORPGs. "We are very excited about the potential for dynamic game-balancing," said +7 Systems co-founder Nathaniel Bogan. "Our methodology improves the players' experience while at the same time reducing development costs. Games that adopt this methodology will enjoy a significant competitive advantage in an increasingly dense market space." Dynamic game balance has long been present in single-player games such as Devil May Cry and the Jak series, and software method patents continue to be controversial in the game community, but it's possible that the application refers to a specific variety of the method as applied to online games, rather than single-player gameplay. - Backbone Entertainment, developers of PSP adventure game Death Jr., has announced that a second series of comic books based on the title will begin later in the year. The second miniseries will run to three full-color issues, with the creative team of artist Ted Naifeh and writer Gary Whitta returning. "The first series of the DJ comic received an unbelievable amount of attention from critics and comic book fans," says Backbone Entertainment's Emeryville studio head Mike Mika. "We’re thrilled to have Ted and Gary back on board to further the world of Death Jr." - The latest posts on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include a look at Sinclair Spectrum video walkthroughs(!), an interview with Square-Enix's localization team, a few extra details on the Game 2.0 museum exhibition in Chicago, and an advertisement for adult-oriented content on the PSP. - Also posted today, the latest product news on Chattering Pixel's new middleware components, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring positions from High Moon Studios, Day 1 Studios, Page 44 Studios, NCsoft, 2K Sports, High Moon Studios, NickJr.com, and The Art Institute of California - San Francisco.

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