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Acclaim reaching the final Chapter – game equipment

Reports suggest that hard-up publishers Acclaim are nearing the end, and will file for Chapter 7 liquidation this week.


It seems things are going from bad to worse for Acclaim. After losing major franchises like Burnout and Turok and failing to reach an agreement with their primary lender GMAC, reports now suggest that the firm are ready to throw in the towel and file for Chapter 7 liquidation this week, not Chapter 11 bankruptcy as was previously thought. If Acclaim had filed for Chapter 11, they would still have been able to continue trading while they made an effort to repay their debts. Chapter 7, however, is a lot more drastic – it would mean Acclaim would have to stop trading altogether, liquidising all remaining assets in order to pay off their debts.


Acclaim still haven’t made an official comment regarding their financial difficulties, but reports of unpaid staff being locked out of their offices doesn’t paint a favourable picture. It’s thought that of the 600 staff directly employed by Acclaim, not one has actually been made redundant yet, although filing for Chapter 7 liquidation would certainly guarantee their fate.


How does this affect you and I? Well, if Acclaim truly are on the way out, then they’ll be gutted that some of the games on their books never saw release. Juiced in particular was generating plenty of positive attention and the game was in a near-finished state, so much so that Acclaim even sent out review copies to industry magazines, most of which saw fit to reward the game with high marks. Should Acclaim go under, Juiced will likely be picked up and released by another publisher, although the fate of Acclaim’s other works-in-progress might suffer a more unglamorous demise.


For the moment, Acclaim continue to battle on, and until they make an official statement or filing, then we’ll have to assume that matters are being resolved behind closed doors. More soon.


Champ Manager goes online – game equipment

Say goodbye to your friends, family and job – Championship Manager Online is coming in January, and it’ll consume your life.


Eidos Interactive have this morning announced Championship Manager Online, a brand new subscription-only title that’ll let you take your team online and pit your managerial wits against other sheepskin-clad individuals. The game, which is a separate title from Championship Manager 5, will be released in January next year and will be handled by Swedish developers Jadestone, in conjunction with CM5 developers Beautiful Games Studios. It’s long been the dream of the ChampMan faithful to take their lovingly-crafted team onto the world wide web, and Championship Manager Online will mark the series’ first tentative steps onto the internet. Expect it to be bigger than an online Jesus.


While the game will share much of the architecture of Championship Manager 5, it looks like its online compadré will be a slightly pared down version in order for it to work over the web. To begin with, you’ll be able to choose clubs from six national leagues (English, Scottish, German, Italian, Spanish and French) and once you’re on board, you’re entered into a world in which there’s one of every club, presumably all belonging to other human players. It’s a neat way of skirting round availability issues – it’d be a bit naff if you spend your hard earned dollars on a copy only to find out somebody’s already picked Spurs. You’ll still be able to dabble in transfers, training, tactics and the like, refining every aspect of your team. The sheer number of stats required for such an online operation boggles the mind, let’s hope Eidos are in possession of some seriously big servers.


If six leagues doesn’t sound like much to you, then worry not, because Eidos will update the game with new leagues, teams and players over time and will stay on top of all the latest transfer dealings, no matter how over-priced (Rooney) or under-priced (Owen) they are. During those crippling moments when you’re not able to log on to a PC, Eidos are even offering an SMS update system to keep you informed of proceedings, a feature we’re sure your spouse will appreciate during your ‘quality time’.


Check out more at the game’s official website here and get some practice in on Championship Manager 5 before you embarrass yourself online – your kind of sub-Jossy’s Giants antics won’t go down well there.

Half-Life 2: the golden hoax – game equipment

Cruel prankster raises hope of PC gamers worldwide, Valve MD forced into embarrassing password change.


For at least a few hours at the weekend, Half-Life 2 was finished. A post on the Half-Life 2 Fallout forums pertaining to be from Valve’s MD Gabe Newell read simply: “We’re going gold Monday…” Naturally this was enough to send pulses of spasmodic energy across the interweb, with sites reporting the story as fact within mere hours of the original post. Unfortunately, it’s all a big fat hoax, and the joke’s on you.


Turns out it was simply a mischievous forum user having a good old chuckle at our expense, courtesy of Gabe’s user account which was duly compromised thanks to the incredibly lame password of ‘gaben’. If Mr. Newell will insist on frequenting such fan forums (instead of getting the damn game finished), then sooner or later, some young tyke was going to have a pop at his account and try to guess his password. E-mails from the man himself confirmed that his account had indeed been hacked, and the forum moderators had to admit the gold announcement was all just a big comedy guff up.


September, October, we don’t know. This end paragraph is getting harder and harder to write each week because there’s only so many times we can hazard a guess at a release date and persuade you to pre-order Half-Life 2. One thing we do know is that the Half-Life 2 pre-load via Steam has begun, which at least indicates that a fair portion of the game is in its final stage.


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