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Weird Monday: Portal - Infinity Ward - Apocaylps3 Ian's avatar
 
Oh weird!
Someone once told me that good things happen in threes, dunno who. Weird things also happen in threes apparently, as they did yesterday. For those of you not paying attention to games blogs every single waking moment of your life, I’ll do a quick roundup of the events of Weird Monday, the weirdest Monday since last Monday.

Weird 1 – Portal Got Patched

Yes, those of you who still have portal installed may of noticed it received a small update. "What on earth are they patching this two and a half year old game for?" asked the internet. Checking the update news revealed the following piece of information:

Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations

There was also a new steamchievement called'‘Transmission Received'. Internet detectives quickly arrived at the scene to work out what this could possibly mean. It seems that it’s basically the kickoff for an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) presumably leading to announcement hopefully of either Portal 2, or long absent Half Life 2: Episode 3. There are now 26 radios throughout Portal that need to be manipulated in order to get mysterious audio. There’s all kinds hopelessly mysterious videos, ascii art, and all sorts, it would probably be best to head over to this neogaf thread where everyone is dissecting it, or just wait for a real announcement in the next few weeks.

Weird 2 – Security Show Up At Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward’s employees suddenly started to wonder where their studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West were when a bunch of 'Bouncer-like' security guards showed up at their offices for some unknown purpose. Vince and Jason had met with Activision HR earlier in the day and had not been seen since. Internet detectives took time out from their Portal investigation to notice that Jason West had changed his linkedin profile to show that he was no longer in fact employed. Vince later followed suit, so it’s safe to assume that while missing they were probably in the process of getting really drunk in a bar somewhere.

Further developments included the revelation that Activision had submitted a SEC filling which stated they were conduction an investigation into 'beaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward.’, presumably referring to Vince and Jason. The rumours started to spiral out of control, and some wo'ld have you believe that Infinity Ward have not been paid any royalties from the $1 billion that was generated from Modern Warfare 2, Treyarch have been working on Modern Warfare 3 for release this year, and the Vince and Jason had planned to end their studio’s contract with Activision in October and sign on with Ubisoft! Whether or not these are true remains to be seen, but something is definitely going on over at Actibliz. I am trying to start a rumour that Activison is starting funding it's own PMC using the billions of dollars made from World of Warcraft. Pass it on.

Weird 3 – Everyone’s PS3 stopped working for a day and a night

Yesterday, owners of older fatter PS3 units were greeted with an array of weird problems when they tried to do basically anything on them. Some experienced games refusing to play, some had their date reset, some lost trophy, save games, and DLC wouldn’t activate. This was apparently all caused by the system’s internal clock thinking it was a leap year, and conflicting with the OS which was pretty darned sure it wasn’t a leap year. This apparently affected developers as their debug PS3 units vital for the development process got stuck in reboot loops. Fortunately, they all fixed themselves when the clock stuck midnight in England, as the date is stored in GMT then translated to local time.

In my capacity as a coder I have occasionally written programs that might not work quite right on leap years, so am all too familiar with this particular issue. That said, I am not a vast multinational corporation I am just writing dumb things in perl so I reckon I have more of an excuse for this sort of thing. I wonder if any of the consoles have any other date specific errors waiting for us. I heard a rumour that on the day of the next solar eclipse visible from Greenwich, all Wiis will glow green instead of blue, and everyone’s phone will ring simultaneously.

Picture is from this thread, and is old as the internet itself. Well 2004 anyway.
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