Websites form erroneous assumptions, imply Rockstar involvement with Take-Two-owned domain [Update: It’s XCOM]
CVG: “Rockstar’s mysterious ‘Citizen Skywatch’ site suggests reveal”, August 15th, 2011
However, the whois log for CitizenSkywatch.com also drags Rockstar into the mix with the GTA developer cropping up in a server name … Of course, just because Rockstar’s name pops up on a server title doesn’t mean that Citizen Skywatch is anything to do with, oh we don’t know, GTA V but we’ve certainly got our fingers crossed for a gob-smacking Rockstar surprise this week.
Joystiq: “What is Citizen Skywatch?”, August 15th, 2011
A whois search reveals that the domain is registered to Take-Two Interactive, and that its listed physical address is the same address listed for Rockstar’s official site, so we can safely infer that it will at least be tangentially related to games.
G4TV: “Citizen Skywatch’ Placeholder Has Connections To Take-Two, Rockstar”, AUgust 15th, 2011
There’s no way of knowing what game this might relate to, though the timing of the website’s discovery in relation to the start of Gamescom this week suggests we’ll be hearing more very soon. The Rockstar connection means it probably has nothing to do with BioShock: Infinite or XCOM, two games in which the term “Skywatch” would seem to be relevant. Maybe GTA V…?
The website’s address information matches that of Rockstar. Now, what well known series is Rockstar very strongly believed to be working on right now, which is notorious for its AR marketing including websites for fictitious organisations?
NowGamer: “GTA Studio Launches Citizen Skywatch, But What Is It?”, August 15th, 2011
The domain was registered by Take-Two Games, and is reportedly hosted on the same servers as existing Rockstar websites - while not proof of Rockstar’s involvement, the project could be some sort of ARG for another game title, or something else altogether. … We can’t see any direct link to any existing GTA 5 rumours, but could it tie-up with other Rockstar properties such as Max Payne 3? Or is it something entirely different altogether? A Gamescom reveal perhaps?
Back in April, Take-Two Interactive scooped up the domain for a mysterious new something, called “Citizen Skywatch”. Is it an unannounced new IP? A viral campaign for the XCOM reboot? No one knows for certain, so we must speculate!
Curiously, blogs covering the domain’s story — which just surfaced over the weekend, along with accompanying Twitter/YouTube profile — have taken it upon themselves to somehow gather that this is definitely-maybe-possibly a new thing from Rockstar Games, of all studios. Why’s that? Because Rockstar are noted in the filing, listed amongst the various servers:
Administrator, System ContactMiddleName
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
New York, NY 10012
Domain Name: CITIZENSKYWATCH.COM
Record expires on 26-Apr-2016.
Record created on 26-Apr-2011.
Domain servers in listed order:
Name Server: NS.TAKE2GAMES.COM
Name Server: NS5.TAKE2GAMES.COM
Name Server: NS6.ROCKSTARGAMES.COM
Clearly this means that the GTA creator is keeping secrets. But wait! As it so happens, the company is also listed in the domain servers of other, not-related-to-Rockstar titles from Take-Two, such as:
Gearbox’s BorderlandsDomain servers in listed order:
2K’s XCOMDomain servers in listed order:
Irrational’s BioShock InfiniteDomain servers in listed order:
Firaxis’ CivilizationDomain servers in listed order:
Digital Extreme’s The Darkness IIDomain servers in listed order:
Even Yager’s Spec Ops: The LineDomain servers in listed order:
…And I could keep going, because this happens to be the case for a great number, if not most of the sites for Take-Two-published/owned games. [Edit: As Wardrox points out below, it’s more than likely that Rockstar’s server is the next reliable option to T2’s own, and it serves as a backup]
To throw you for an even crazier loop, the domain for 2K Sports? It’s registered to, not Take-Two, but Rockstar Games. ZOMGbwah.
I’m not stating that Citizen Skywatch isn’t a product from Rockstar Games — I have no idea, it very well could be, even if the signs do not point in that direction; seems to fit XCOM themes nicely. But to automatically infer and imply they’re linked to something new from Take-Two because of this is really sloppy journalism. Especially when the assumptions can be so easily debunked with a few quick checks to WhoIs.
[Update]: Just as I said, it’s an ARG for next March’s XCOM reboot. T2’s rolling it out at PAX where you “will be able to step into Citizen One’s Seattle bunker as he recruits new agents into Citizen SkyWatch to expose the government’s attempts to cover up the unknown threat invading our skies.”
It’s a sad day indeed when large sites like this are simply unable to do basic research rather than just vomiting up a story for public digestion. Only joking! It’s the status fucking quo.
Debunking the GT5 “tiered damage” theories
A number of people have been in touch with me to let me know that, actually, Gran Turismo 5 doesn’t have a tiered car-damage system and nobody pulled the wool over anybody’s eyes. In fact GT5 director Kazunori Yamauchi recently tweeted that improved car damage will be patched into the game at a later date, something confirmed by a rep from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
As well as undoing the “tiered damage” rumours of last week this also raises a couple of important questions. Namely: Why the fuck did Sony and Polyphony allow an unfinished, unpolished, fundamentally broken experience to be released? I’m talking specifically about the fudged online features as well as the dodgy car damage. It took Polyphony DIgital five years to make GT5 - you’d think they’d have spent some of that time refining the experience rather than using their customers as beta testers.
Thanks to the people who sent this information in to me.
Play: Top 5 main characters Darksiders 2 could use [November 9th, 2010]
“But Ben!” I imagine I’m able to hear you say. “This is a perfectly harmless subject for an article!”
Well, no. This is absolute bollocks. The writer has picked a bunch of primary/secondary characters from other games that he thinks would make Darksiders 2 a good game. Bit of a waste of time, really, but then no one’s going to any of the sites on the NowGamer network for anything worthwhile.
Anonymous asked: Everywhere from Gamasutra to Joystiq are touting that god damned PSP Phone mock up like they held it in their hands. The fucking thing says A and B on its enter and back buttons for fuck’s sake. (Photo 8 of 10 in the Playstation Phone section) And don’t get me started on the specs. Even if it turns out to be true, the fact they all tripped over each other trying to post about it without doing any more fact checking than leaving a message for Sony is a fucking disgrace.
NowGamer are reporting that a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe spokesperson has told them that the thing’s a fake, and it wouldn’t surprise me. This whole story has had a bit of a whiff about it since I first saw it popping up.
A conversation from the comments page on that Play/NowGamer article...
- Beer Baron: Good article. Now I would like Top 10 immodestly covered boobs in gaming :D
- Gavin Mackenzie: Done that at least twice already Beer Baron. Have a browse.
Not a question, but you really should mention Now Gamer and their affiliates as being some of the shittiest web sites on the Internet. I swear to God, this is all they publish [link removed, replaced with Google Cache link in body]
Now Gamer pops up every now and then - Play’s last boob-related article found itself being mentioned here not long ago.
They really are an absolute shitfest. I don’t know why anyone would go to any Now Gamer sites for their news. Gavin Mackenzie is an embarrassment.