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Arcania: Gothic 4 - All News

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Friday - April 29, 2011
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Box Art

Friday - April 29, 2011

Arcania - Patch Removes DRM

by Dhruin, 22:52

This was discussed on our forums a few days back and Alrik sent in the news in German that an Arcania patch has removed the DRM. For those of us stuck with English, Blue's provides some links:

A fourth ArcaniA: Gothic 4 patch is available to update the role-playing sequel with texture and animation fixes and remove the game's online activation requirement. The download is available automatically from within the game, and there's a manual patch on German site World of Gothic and mirrored on Gamer's Hell, GamePron, and WorthPlaying.

Monday - April 04, 2011

Arcania - Review @ GBase.ch

by Dhruin, 22:59

Swiss swite GBase.ch sent in their (German) review of Arcania, which carries a score of 6/10.

Thursday - March 10, 2011

Arcania - Available in UK

by Dhruin, 20:44

I'd forgotten Arcania hadn't yet been released in the UK but it's hard to understand why they'd wait so long only to release it on the same day as Dragon Age 2. Anyway, Blue's has the official press release and here's the opening paragraph:

ArcaniA – Gothic 4 finally available in the UK

At last RPG fans can get their hands on the UK version of ArcaniA: Gothic 4, the official successor of the famous, multimillion selling Gothic series. As of now you can get your copy in all the leading UK retailers – high street and online. After the long wait, fans of the Gothic series can experience the rich world of Gothic on PC and for the first time on Xbox 360.

Tuesday - February 01, 2011

Arcania - Mini-Patch

by Dhruin, 22:25

PC Games.de has news of a small, third patch for Arcania.  You can read the Google translation here, although I assume non-German readers will have to wait for an appropriate version.

Tuesday - January 04, 2011

Arcania - Better Mod Tools Planned

by Dhruin, 22:58

Omega writes that better mod tools are planned for Arcania.  The story comes from PC Games.de but we'll use the Google translation:

This message should inspire modding friends and critics give some hope Arcania: The user was in ChessDragon136 Jowood Forum announced that it Arcania-Mod-Team "was established" now. Special feature: The team will receive the support and cooperation of JoWooD. Currently the team consists of three members, but still looking for a C + + scripts to program the appropriate tools. First there are tools of this team already, such as the inventory editor or text editor.

Thursday - December 09, 2010

Arcania - Review @ PC Format

by Dhruin, 22:46

PC Format has a review of Arcania, resulting in the harsh score of 51%.  Describing the game as "ludicrously easy" and lacking depth, the summary tells it all:

Like an MMO, there's an undefinable something that keeps you playing, probably far beyond what your sanity can properly stand. But it's not an MMO, far from it (obviously), so any slack you can cut games from that genre can't be granted to Gothic 4. It's got none of the depth of the previous Gothic games and is effectively just a relatively compelling hack-and-slash game. Hardcore fans will be disgusted, while casual slasher players probably won't even know it exists. Even if they did, it won't be offering them much they haven't seen before.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - December 02, 2010

Arcania - Best Console Game @ German Developer Awards

by Dhruin, 19:50

Alrik points out Arcania won Best Console Game (and Best Community Management) at the German Developer AwardsDrakensang : Am Fluß Der Zeit won best RPG.  Link is German, of course.

Wednesday - November 24, 2010

Arcania - Patch Available

by Myrthos, 13:18

Jowood aanounced the availability of a new patch for Arcania that should install via the auto-updater automatically or you can manually download it. The following is what the patch does:

  • Slightly alters specific gameplay dynamics
  • Increases the overall performance
  • Gets rid of rare crashes

Saturday - November 06, 2010

Arcania - Review @ Gear Diary

by Dhruin, 22:24

Right, server move out of the way - time to catch up on some stuff.  Mike Anderson sent in his review of Arcania at Gear Diary.  It's a lengthy article with a mixed result and here's a snip on the story:

One of the most important things in a role-playing game is to make you care about the plight of your hero. ArcaniA sets up a revenge motive at the end of the first area, on the island of Feshyr just past where the demo ended (though some stuff in that area is handled differently now and it lasts longer as a result), but even then I don’t think that you are naturally invested enough to care about the plight of anyone you have met. The game simply asks you to go along with the supposition that you DO care and are willing to sacrifice everything to seek revenge since you have lost all that mattered.

OK, I will pause for a moment to address the potential outrage at the fact that I just revealed a serious ‘spoiler’: if you are playing an epic fantasy RPG where you meet an existing love interest 30 seconds into the game and find out within a few minutes that your early tasks are around becoming engaged and a bit later discover that she is pregnant … do you honestly think this situation can be allowed to persist? Sorry, she was doomed … and as such you never invest in the relationship.

Thursday - November 04, 2010

Arcania - Review Flood #7

by Gorath, 18:38

Here's the last batch of Arcania reviews. As always the scores vary quite a bit.

  • The guys at TheFinalDungeon are only semi-impressed: "ArcaniA: Gothic 4 is a technically impressive, bug-free game, with above-average graphics and a fun action RPG combat system, but its shallow game world, reliance on fetch quests, and simplified game mechanics make it difficult to recommend.  Do yourself a favor and fetch a better game instead." - 6/10
  • GamersHell says "Gothic games have been bemoaned for their graphical bugs and sloppy code but things are a lot cleaner and tighter this time around. Gone is the open-world of previous titles, replaced by mundane, rote, disappointingly shallow RPG that lives and breathes in an engaging, beautiful, and invitingly realized world. But for an RPG—as in life—just being pretty isn't enough. " - 7.5/10
  • RoboAwesome - 7/10 (Xbox)
  • EverythingForGamers recommends Arcania for gamers who liked Fable. -  8.3/10 (probably XBox)
  • CheatCodeCentral : "Fair" - 3.1/5
  • FrontTowardsGamer sees some positive stuff and concludes: "I am really torn with my final thoughts about this game. [...] RPG fans may not find this to be the deepest game on the market, but it still has more RPG in it than Mass Effect 2. It might always look the prettiest, but it still looks nicer than the latest Halo game on the Xbox. It’s not the best, but there is far worse games on the market. I have to recommend this game to RPG fans; it’s delightful despite its blemishes." - 7.5/10 The last sentence is a real shocker though: "I will add that I played the game on PC. The Xbox version of this game is utter crap from what I hear." How about confirming this first ?!
  • Gameroni thinks Arcania is fun and pretty, but quite shallow. - "B"
  • GameArena rates Arcania for both Gothic fans and western RPG fans. Their verdict is the same: "[...] call it Arcania, call it Gothic 4, it still won’t be worth picking up even when it hits the bargain bin." - 3.5/10
  • EvilAvatar says the game is pretty good. "So that’s Arcania: Gothic 4. It’s not the best ARPG I’ve played, but it’s probably the best looking, particularly the outside environments. Seeing as Diablo III isn’t going to be released until at least next year, Gothic 4 is a good tide-you-over title for fans of the genre. And honestly, if you’re at the school dance and can’t hook up with the prom queen, there’s no harm in settling for some other good-looking girl who's available, even if she's not too deep or smart or much of a conversationalist. Just hold a hushed finger up to her lips, get comfortable, and enjoy the view." - 3.5/5
  • SpazioGames.it - 7.0/10
  • GameCaptain.de - 74%
  • XBoxDynasty.de - 6.9/10 (Xbox)
  • GamezCheck.de - 54%
  • Mega-Gaming.de - 80%
  • GamesTrust.de - 63%
  • GameZGeneration.de - 6.5/10
  • Game-Newz.de - 49% (XBox)
  • DerStandard.at - "The result can be called a slightly deeper hack & slash game [...]" (transl.)
  • GameRadio.de - 79%
  • SpieleTipps.de - 57%

Thursday - October 28, 2010

Arcania - Review Flood #6

by Gorath, 00:51

Things are slowing down. Looks like this will be the last review collection for Arcania.

  • ComputerGames.ro sends word an English translation of their review is online. "ArcaniA is functional, it looks good, but it offers nothing special in its 20 or so hours. And if this is the bright future of the series, I can already say “May it rest in peace”." - 57%
  • ZeitgeistGameReview posted their video review.
  • MSXBoxWorld concludes: "For a company to follow the typical medieval fantasy fiction in an RPG the title needs to offer features that stand-out; unfortunately, Arcania barely offers a game that is respectfully presentable never mind unique. Arcania Gothic 4 may contain homage content for the authentic RPG player - and a substantial amount of that content to play with - but holding traditional value in a lot of character grinding and looting is not enough for the needed refurbishment of the Gothic series." 6/10 (XBox)
  • DigitalChumps like Arcania for what it is: "Which is why when I fired up Arcania: Gothic 4 which I have been playing this week, I was pleasantly surprised and nearly instantly hooked on a very satisfying and addictive RPG in the vein of an Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age. Perhaps it's no surprise, but I haven't played any of the previous Gothic titles before (although I've read that they are well received). While not as polished, deep, or epic (for lack of a better word) as some of its counterparts, Arcania: Gothic 4 is a solid open world RPG experience that embraces newcomers and veterans of the genre alike." They say "It's been thoroughly enjoyable overall." - 7.6/10 (XBox), Fun Factor 9, Tilt 8
  • JeuxVideoNetwork - 12/20
  • AbsoluteGames.ru - Supposedly that's a major site in Russia. Their reviewer thinks Arcania sucks. - 35%
  • GamesWorld.gr - An average 6.9/10
  • Game20.gr - 7/10
  • Konsolenfieber - 78° - Good game for newbies.
  • GameVista.de - 75%

Monday - October 25, 2010

Arcania - Review Flood #5

by Gorath, 16:57

More Arcania reviews from the US or the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

  • RPG Codex - see other newsbit
  • TQCast says: "Gothic 4 is NOT a bad game, but it’s also not a great game. It’s most certainly not the first three games in the series, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. This new direction could be good for the series, as long as they take some constructive criticism for Gothic 5. [...]" - 3.5/5 (XBox)
  • bit-tech concludes: "A sad day for the Gothic series then. In attempting to appeal to the mass market, JoWood has alienated its core fan base while not doing anywhere near enough to get the casual crowd on board. It's difficult to see who'll end up playing this, other than the developers, JoWood executives and us poor games reviewers." - 5/10, which according to their scale means Arcania is mediocre.
  • DemoNews.de - Two reviewers with contradicting opinions, final score 74%, "good".
  • iamgamer.de - 51% (XBox)
  • bignside.de - 3/5 (XBox) - Good as an action-RPG with Gothic scenario. As a game not interesting for Gothic fans.
  • Xboxdome.de - 5/10 (Xbox)
  • Tweakers.net - 7/10 - Superb "playability" (10/10), very good graphics. The only real weakness is the lack of "Gothic feel" (3/10). The author as a Gothic fan knows Gothic is unique and can't be compared to other RPGs like Risen.
  • GameKult - 5/10
  • 3DJuegos - 7/10
  • VandalOnline - 7.5/10
  • EveryEye.it - 6/10
  • Multiplayer.it - 5.5/10

A few links were found at World of Gothic.

Arcania - RPG Codex Hates Arcania

by Gorath, 14:50

RPG Codex found out how enjoyable Arcania is for the classic RPGer.

While playing Arcania, I was wondering if I could find a single word that would describe this game fully, and with which I could open this very review. In the end, I was stuck between three words and couldn't pick the one that would feel the most spot on.
 
These words were 'obnoxious', 'shameless' and 'insulting'.

... and more ...

                  The great brain robbery.

Even barely after launching the game and accessing the options menu, we suddenly realise that something seems very, very wrong. Thanks to the 'interface elements', you can make this game 100% idiot-friendly. [...]

... and more ...

That's right. The whole game is, basically, a linear progression through a handful of extremely small and hideously closed areas. Each time you want to advance from one section to another, you have to do all main quest-related tasks to remove the obstacles that block your path. These obstacles often feel half-arsed and could have been easily omitted, but alas. [...]

... and more ...

Let's just skip the introductions and say the important thing right away: the combat sucks. It sucks a lot. It's a travesty that someone gave the green light to something this horrible. Everything about the combat just boils down to clicking the enemy to death. No precise timing needed, nothing. Just click the left mouse button to win. [...]

... and finally, much later ...

               I just couldn't make this stuff up.

This game is just insanely bad. Really. I know it often seems far-fetched to call something 'worse than Oblivion', but I think this game has done it. It managed to set a new low. There is nothing good about it. Absolutely nothing.  Non-existent exploration, mindless combat and dumb story and quests are nothing that anyone in his right mind would ever consider 'good'. At least Oblivion had some pretty sightseeing, some sort of non-combat gameplay and character customization and you couldn't just steal everything in sight without repercussions. And this? This game wouldn't be worth your money even if it shipped with booze and hookers. Yes, it's that bad.

Worse than Oblivion? Okay, maybe. But the last part sounds slightly exaggerated.

Friday - October 22, 2010

Arcania - Review Flood #4

by Gorath, 22:50

This time with a small bonus: Two sites benchmarked Arcania on several graphics cards, including the brand new ATI 6850 & 6870.

  • GameShard says Arcania deserves 7/10, and their conclusion sounds like that: "If you're a fan of the series, there's every chance Arcania: Gothic 4 is not for you. It's simple, streamlined, and linear to a fault, and the later parts of the game degenerate to a bit of a grind with little payoff. But the combat is fun, the visuals are stunning, and exploring the landscape is a compelling draw. There's certainly enjoyment to be had here, but Arcania won't satisfy those craving a more open RPG experience."
  • OXM Online has a quite positive review: "Easily the largest part of the game, combat initially seems to be a typical hack-and-slash borefest. However, it quickly evolves into one of the smoothest balances of magic, archery, and melee fighting that we’ve seen." They also see a couple of issues. - 7.5/10 (XBox 360)
  • GameFocus thinks the game is quite okay: "Arcania isn’t a bad game. [...] Fortunately, the combat is solid and in games like this, that’s usually not the case. Overall, Gothic 4 won’t stand out on any scale, but it does hold it’s own int he [sic!] middle of the pack. You won’t pick this up before grabbing Dragon Age, but if you’ve already moved past the RPGs released over the last few years, Gothic 4 is an easy going and serviceable runner up." - 7.0/10
  • CVG posted a slightly edited GamesRadar/XBoxWorld 360 review. The new score is a little higher - 6.7 instead of 6.0. New conclusion: "Decent but hackneyed hack-and-slashery, and still a way off feeling comfortable on Xbox."
  • ingame.de - "average" (transl.) - 6.5/10
  • huscarl.at, an Austrian site for everything medieval, posted a rather delicate review. The article was written by JoWooD's former all-purpose weapon Johann Ertl. He was their long-time community manipulator and the producer for Arcania for a ca. 6 months. His work for JoWooD ended in September 2009. It's an interesting piece. The verdict is that Arcania is a fun game but "no RPG per se and unfortunately no top class game". He's also not very fond of the ending. My dictionary says he calls it an "unbounded cheek".
  • Eurogamer - 4/10
  • ByteMe.gr - No idea what the rating means, but I like their name.
  • Polish site nvision.pl benchmarked Arcania on 22 graphics cards.
  • Techgage.com tested the new AMD Radeon HD 6870 & HD 6850 cards against many games, including Arcania and Fallout: New Vegas.

Tuesday - October 19, 2010

Arcania - German Charts: #1 & #2

by Gorath, 21:19

JoWooD sent out a PR praising Arcania's early sales success on German market. Their RPG climbed to the #1 spot in the official PC full price charts and reached #2 in the XBox charts.

The PC version sold 27.000+ units within the first week while the XBox 360 game was sold through 3.600 times.

Arcania - Review Flood #3

by Gorath, 21:10

Arcania reviews are still coming in rather slowly.

  • The Gamespot and
  • Rock, Paper, Shotgun articles have already been dealt with in another newsbit.
  • The GameInformer reviewer writes: "Arcania isn't what anyone thought Gothic 4 would be. It's a marginally competent action/RPG with all the depth of a kiddie pool, not the huge open-world role-playing epics the series was previously known for. At least it isn't afflicted by the plague of bugs that crippled Gothic 3 at release. I didn't hate my time with it, and it's by no means impossible to find some value here. Just know what you're getting into before taking the plunge." - 6.75/10
  • CNet - 2.5/5 (XBox). Same article as Gamespot.
  • GamesRadar - 6/10 (XBox)
  • OnlineWelten.de - 60% (PC), 55% (XBox)
  • Computerspiele - 7.6/10
  • GamersGlobal.de - 6.0/10
  • The most interesting German article today is no review. NinjaLooter.de has an opinion piece titled (transl.) Rating Wrangling: Arcania is junk, no great, damn it!. It deals with inconsistencies in Arcania reviews, including many examples from bigger sites.

Arcania - Reviews @ RPS, GameSpot

by Dhruin, 19:54

Let me be clear, this first Arcania article at Rock, Paper Shotgun is an impressions piece, not a review; I only have so much space in the heading.  Alec Meer writes he has given up half way through and isn't impressed.  A lengthy quote:

7.5 hours: halfway through the 15-hour campaign. I stopped there not because I’m lazy, not because I’m mendacious, not because I felt I’d seen it all – but because I couldn’t stand any more. I thought about playing for the same amount again, and I felt incredibly tired. I thought of all the other things I could do instead (most of which, admittedly, involve staring at the internet), and I felt deeply sad. Games shouldn’t do that.

That didn’t happen because the game is awful (it’s not; if you want so absolute a qualifier, tell me a suitable term that lies perfectly between ‘awful’ and ‘ tolerable,’ and that’ll do the trick nicely), but because I felt like I was wasting my time. To be mediocre, to inspire no emotion – that’s the worst crime of all, most especially for a roleplaying game, something that’s supposed to inspire a feeling of adventure in an unknown land, a sense of otherness, place and purpose. I felt nothing. No care for anyone or anything – even the salt-tingle compulsion of levelling up and looting barely activated the hungry lizard-portion of my brain. I didn’t feel hate, anger or even contempt. I felt nothing.

Here’s what Gothic 4 is: it’s an MMORPG without the MMO. It’s mindless, time-consuming fetch quests, running along roads and skipping past characterless dialogue from characterless characters until they give you your next, fetch-based objective. Without a sense of being in a living world, the emptiness of such pursuits is inescapable.

...and a negative full review at GameSpot, with a score of 5/10.  Describing it as "dull" and "generic", author Brett Todd presumably didn't finish either:

Unlike its more interesting predecessors, Arcania: Gothic 4 is a commonplace action-RPG with boring quests, rudimentary controls, and dreary character development. All of these flaws make the game difficult to get emotionally involved in, which is the kiss of death for an epic RPG like this one that demands dozens of hours of commitment.

Saturday - October 16, 2010

Arcania - Review Flood #2

by Gorath, 18:09

This time also with English, French and Spanish test.

  • NowGamer surprisingly writes: "One of Gothic 4’s major problems is its adherence to the old-school setup – stats, quests, swords, magic and loads of exploring. [...] If old-school RPGs are your thing, Gothic 4 should be right up your street, but for everyone else there are infinitely better games out there that are far more worthy of your time." - 4.9/10 (XBox360)
    But Arcania got bashed in a dozen reviews because most of the old-school stuff was removed !? So how is it possible this reviewer still finds it?
  • HookedGamers condludes: "Maybe drudgery is too harsh. What Spellbound did, it did with polish. It executed the RPG genre's most basic mechanics well. Every object in the game is meticulously detailed and all the interfaces are easy to use. Not once did the game crash, and I never encountered a broken quest or even an errant pixel.
    But I also never encountered a memorable moment. I never experienced an epic battle or even felt challenged.[...]
    Sadly, the most interesting thing about ArcaniA: Gothic 4 is its tone maps." - 6.9/10
  • MeriStation says it's "Bueno" and gives 7/10.
  • JeuxVideo gives Arcania 11 out of 20.
  • GamesWelt.de - 55% (PC -> the article advises to add up to 10% for the release patch), 60% (XBox360)
  • Eurogamer.de - 6/10 (PC), 4/10 (Xbox360)
  • Technic3D - 86,50%
  • 360 Live! print mag - 8.1/10 (XBox360). For comparison: Fallout: New Vegas received 8.5/10.
  • Arcor - licensed from GameStar.de
  • GameplayGamers - No rating. The most beautiful RPG ever, quite fun to play, but still a disappointment due to many gameplay weaknesses. But: "I couldn't recommend a better RPG to inexperienced RPGers at the moment." (This sounds very positive in German. ; Ed.)
  • Golem.de - No rating. Good RPG-light, but those seeking a real challenge should look elsewhere.

Arcania - Steam Unlocked For US? [Update]

by Dhruin, 02:06

According to Alistair, Steam seems to have unlocked Arcania for the US, which is much earlier than expected - according to their newsbit, it's now available "worldwide".

Update: Arcania is now available at retail in the US, and maybe in Canada too.

Thursday - October 14, 2010

Arcania - Review Flood #1

by Gorath, 19:48

Our own Arcania review should give you a good idea whether or not it's the right game for you. Below are links to all published reviews we are aware of since the last similar newsbit.

  • PC Gamer only posted a very short review. "A shallow but entertaining adventure. The world is wonderful to explore, but a lack of depth keeps this from achieving greatness." - 76%
  • Holdstartselect concludes: "Although fundamentally being a decent RPG Gothic 4 just isn’t with the times. Nothing in this game from go to woe seems original. The lack of any depth for the game just isn’t on par with what is out now or even what came out a few years ago. I did enjoy the game but it certainly will not be one that is remembered in a few years to come." - 6.5 stars (out of 10 ?)
  • Eurogamer Italy - 5/10
  • All articles in German from now on. The GamerPlus review is identical to the Gamers.at article we mentioned a few days ago.
  • Krawall - 80%
  • 4Players - 40% (PC), 30% (XBox360)
  • PlayNation - 73%
  • GameZoom - 8/10
  • MTV GameOne - 20 minute review video. No score.
  • ComputerBildSpiele - Review video in addition to the already posted article.
  • GamePro - Sister mag to GameStar. - 71% (XBox360)

Wednesday - October 13, 2010

RPGWatch Feature: Arcania Review

by Dhruin, 22:32

Whether or not you planned to buy Arcania, there's a good chance that visitors to this site will have at least a passing interest in a new Gothic title.  It's finally here for some territories and we geto assess the new developer and a new direction for the Gothic series - will JoWood bring the fans down this new path?  Here's a sample:

"In the struggle to make games more accessible to larger audiences, it becomes a question of how much is too much to tone down and sometimes that can be too much".

That comment, also by ArcaniA's producer, Kamaal Anwar, sums up the issue that has been so hot on the RPGWatch forums.  When does the compromise of making a game more accessible turn into "dumbing down"?  We can look at any of the recent RPGs to make this point, including Dragon Age to Mass Effect 2, not just ArcaniA.  Where ArcaniA stands out is that it is the first I can recall that openly set a design goal to attract the new and casual RPGers.  Other than the name (which is a BIG marketing mistake in using the term "Gothic 4") ArcaniA never pretended to be a Classic RPG of the type most of us on RPGWatch seek and prefer.  I would not be surprised, given our very high percentage of classic RPGers compared to most sites, if the reaction in the RPGWatch forums to ArcaniA was mostly negative.

Read it all here.

Arcania - Patch Performance Measurement

by Gorath, 19:46

GameStar updated their Arcania Technik-Check with the results after yesterday's hotfix, while PC Games Hardware devoted a new article to a before & after comparison. Both conclude that the patch delivers a massive performance boost.

Arcania - Interview with JoWooD CEO Franz Rossler @Boerse-Express

by Gorath, 19:37

Austrian investment site Boerse-Express sat down for a short interview with JoWooD CEO Franz Rossler. Of course the just released Arcania: Gothic 4 was one of the main topics.

Here are a couple of translated excerpts from Mr Rossler's answers:

On the Arcania release:

[...] We had 28.000 [Arcania] activations yesterday - I consider this a success.

JoWooD put 200.000 units on the shelf in Europe.

On the criticism in games forums:

The classic Gothic fan might be disappointed because the game no longer follows the classic Gothic approach. But we did this intentionally. We wanted to reach a broader audience, to make the game more marketable internationally. It's the old problem: I can't please everybody. It is clear, Arcania comes at the expense of Gothic's long time community [the German "Urgemeinde" is untranslatable; Ed.]. But the sales success seems to prove us right.

Arcania's budget is a "high one digit sum in millions". The PS3 conversion will come out next year, and a couple of add-ons too.

 

So it was no accident - Arcania was meant to be so casual.

200k sell-in for release on two platforms in Europe, for a game which cost ca. 8-9M EUR (ca. 11-12.5M $US) to make? Interesting concept.

Tuesday - October 12, 2010

Arcania - Now Available in Europe

by Dhruin, 20:20

Pretty obvious with all the reviews starting to hit but Arcania should now be available in Europe and other areas - except, or course, the US.  Steam has unlocked for Europe and the "rest of the world", as has GamersgateHest59 writes that Game's digital service (run by Metaboli) has Arcania on special for 18.49 pounds for those in the UK.

Arcania - Release Patch Available [Update]

by Gorath, 16:12

JoWooD announced in the World of Gothic forum that the release patch for Arcania should be available before 20.00 CET. That's ca. within the next 90 minutes.

Update: The hotfix is available through the auto-updater. It only a performance update. Bugs will be fixed in another patch in a week or two.

Arcania - Reviews: IGN & German Sites

by Gorath, 16:06

It's kind of strange to watch the typical home advantage almost every RPG has turn into the opposite. Many German sites and mags give Arcania clearly lower ratings than the flawed Gothic 3 and even lower scores than the G3: Forsaken Gods add-on, a game so broken and terrible that most Gothic fans pretend it doesn't exist. It seems the reviewers punish Arcania for the bonus its predecessors received. Something similar happened to Dungeon Siege 2 a couple of years ago. The original Dungeon Siege was a flashy but boring game which collected one award after the other. Then the much better sequel had to pay the price.

So take the German reviews with a grain of salt. They seem a bit low for a technically intact, nearly bug-free game.

IGN tested both the PC (7.5) and XBox 360 (7.0) version and thinks Arcania is quite okay. "While the PC version is certainly superior to the console port, Arcania: Gothic IV does very little to progress the genre – particularly in mission structure and storytelling areas – but what it ultimately does deliver is a loot-heavy dungeon crawling experience that doesn't tax your skills, but instead lets you leisurely enjoy the world and kill a lot of goblins and swamp flies along the way. [...] as a middle ground between deeper entries and linear adventures, Arcania: Gothic IV hits its stride."

The biggest German core gamer print mag GameStar says "No Gothic and no good game". The main reviewer concludes "[...] The game looks nice, has fast fights and few bugs, in short: it works. But at no point of time is it able to really shine. Arcania has no charm. Therefore I cannot recommend it to anyone." The second reviewer adds (paraphrased): "[...] [A score in the 60s means] >>Still okay for fans of the genre.<< And it's exactly that. Somebody who doesn't play every single RPG on the market can leave out Arcania without missing anything whatsoever. What a sad verdict." - 69%
The article is well worth a read. GameStar analyses razor sharp, one can clearly see where the rating is coming from. They include a video with a summary.

AreaGames.de gives 4/10 for both versions. The XBox 360 version is "a stuttering horror show, [...] an insult for the paying customer."

GamingXP.de says Arcania is "not bad at all". It's "a solid piece of work with strength and weaknesses". - 76%

The gamona.de test is quite a shocker. gamona hosts an Arcania fan site made in close cooperation with the publisher. And suddenly they write a very detailed review talking about a "deadly blow" for the Gothic franchise. "What comes out at the end is a huge disappointment". The reviewer closes: "No tension, no suspense, no adventure." - 46%

Monday - October 11, 2010

Arcania - More Reviews

by Gorath, 16:34

The Computec Media sites and mags posted their reviews.

Cynamite tested the XBox version. They think Arcania is "a good action-RPG for roleplaying newbies. But the graphics in the XBox version are so horrible that even the good content [...] can hardly compensate [quick & dirty translation; Ed.] for the technological weaknesses." Their fun was worth 7.5/10.
VideoGamesZone posted an abridged version of the same article. Less article, less fun. So this time Arcania (XBox 360) only deserved 73%.
PC Games gives 79% and thinks it's no real Gothic but quite okay for people only looking for a solid RPG. "A lot was promised, not much delivered." The story is weak, the quests boring and the game short.
Buffed on the other thinks Arcania has a compelling story without fantasy cliches, there's some real roleplaying and enough "Gothic" left. Therefore the game receives good 80%.

Austrian mag Gamers.at writes "Arcania is [...] a good but not very good RPG" if you can ignore its Gothic roots. They speculate that a lot of content has been cut in the second half - a whole city is unused - and a quick add-on might be on the way. - 79%

Source: World of Gothic

Arcania - Technik-Check @ GameStar

by Gorath, 15:51

GameStar.de posted a detailed article on Arcania's effective system requirements and the differences between the available graphics options. Many before & after comparisons are included. Limited German should be enough to understand what's going on.

The release patch JoWooD announced (see other newsbit nearby) sounds like a good idea. GameStar thinks Arcania stutters even on high-end PCs.

Arcania - Release Patch Announced

by Gorath, 15:43

JoWooD CM Megalomaniac announced at WoG that a release patch is in the pipeline. It will bring further technical optimizations which couldn't be included in the retail version.

Saturday - October 09, 2010

Arcania - One Week Delay for US?

by Dhruin, 10:05

According to Blue's, Arcania has been delayed in the US for one week to October 19th, although we haven't seen the original source for this at this point.  That would make the release the same date as Fallout: New Vegas, which is an interesting move.  Apparently other territories are unaffected.

Source: Blues News

Friday - October 08, 2010

Arcania - Activation Servers Online Sooner!

by Gorath, 18:46

As World of Gothic reports, JoWooD decided to put the activation servers online a couple of days earlier because several retailers are already selling the game. Activation will be possible Saturday at noon, CET. The originally planned date was Tuesday at midnight.

Arcania - 30 Minute Gameplay Videos @ GameStar

by Gorath, 18:39

GameStar.de posted two gameplay videos (first video, second video)  of their Public Viewing series, showing and explaining just about every aspect of JoWooD's and Spellbound's upcoming hack&slash RPG Arcania: Gothic 4. The vids are full of new infos. Highly recommended if you can understand German.

Wednesday - October 06, 2010

Arcania - Contest

by Dhruin, 19:42

JoWood has an Arcania contest with the offer of merchandise for guessing how many babies were born to JoWood and Spellbound staffers during the development:

ARCANIA – GOTHIC 4 CONTEST STARTED

How many ArcaniA Babies were born during the development of the game?

Vienna, Austria, 6th of October 2010: This question starts the official ArcaniA competetion at www.arcania-game.com/win/

“Born to play” – many cute Babies have been born to JoWooD and Spellbound employees during the development time of the roleplaying-blockbuster ArcaniA (August 2007 to October 2010), and we want you to guess how many.

Vote now at the official website and win a cool game, T-Shirts and ArcaniA Flip Flops.

Arcania - First Print Reviews

by Gorath, 18:36

The first two print reviews appeared. Neither is enthusiastic.

ComputerBild Spiele, a German mag for a non-hardcore readership, gives Arcania: Gothic 4 a rating of 2.49. That's approximately a B-.

CBS likes the beautiful visuals, the lack of bugs and the newbie-friendly learning curve. On the negative they see a general lack of originality, a lukewarm story, boring quests and the too easy difficulty.

The old charm is gone, but maybe the time was ripe for new virtues.

 

Belgian mag PC Gameplay uses quite colorful language in their roasting. The article also mentions a couple of positive points, so 60% seems a bit harsh.

Here are a couple of random excerpts. The whole article is 3 pages long. All translations provided by Erik.

Ceci n’est pas un RPG [This is not an RPG]

To our surprise Arcania has turned out to be a fairly linear experience. The game only offers a relatively small area where you’ll find a few hours of quests. Once completed you’ll travel to a next area. [...] The island Argaan feels more like a collection of levels than an open, vibrant world.

We got used to the often caricature performances of the voice actors in Gothic 3, this time however the content of the ‘conversations’ reaches such a literary depth even the dialogs of the first ‘Two World’ seem of Shakespearian quality.

The system feels like a combination of Fable and The Witcher and requires some practice and skill to really master. The dangerous monstrosities you’ll be up against are quite evenly matched and you’ll enjoy bashing their brains in. If mindless whacking is your thing, you might want to give Arcania a chance.

Painful verdict

It is remarkable that if you try to forget the fact it’s a Gothic game [...] you might like to play it. Although the game experience is far from phenomenal, it would be unfair to claim the game was really boring.
[...] As latest Gothic game Arcania: Gothic 4 is worthless, as RPG insignificant and as Hack & Slash game slightly entertaining.
[...] Playing the demo might be a good test, but know only the first few hours are really enjoyable. Once you get to the main island, the experience collapses.

Pro:
- decent combat system
- very atmospheric graphics [The reviewer says the weather effects are top notch.; Ed.]

Cons:
- below average quests and dialogs
- very heavy system requirements
- linear, short and unfinished [They mean cut content, not bugs.; Ed.]

Final verdict: Arcania is a slap in the face of Gothic- and RPG fans, but does offer an enjoyable Hack&Slash experience in a good looking world.

The review is based on one month old review code.

Thanks, Erik. :)

 

Thursday - September 23, 2010

Arcania - Demo Released

by Dhruin, 12:06

Worthplaying has the Arcania demo, which weighs in at a hefty 1.8Gb.  No doubt other sites will have it but it's late here, so I'll let you hit up your favourite sites and I'll update later with more mirrors.

Monday - September 20, 2010

Arcania - "User Friendly" Sony DRM

by Dhruin, 20:41

We received the following PR outlining the DRM scheme for Arcania.  JoWood has chosen a relatively low-profile SecuROM setup, with one-time activation and unlimited installs:

ARCANIA – GOTHIC 4 WILL BE PROVIDED WITH USER-FRIENDLY DIGITAL SERVICES BY JOWOOD ENTERTAINMENT AND SONY DADC


Vienna, Austria, September 20 2010; JoWooD Entertainment, the BVT Group and DreamCatcher Interactive announce details of the planned digital services for ArcaniA – Gothic 4 and therefore react to the needs of the gaming community.

“Digital Rights Management as a module of the digital services has always been a tightrope walk between user friendliness and security of the product. ArcaniA – Gothic 4 is different here” explains Clemens Schneidhofer, JoWooD Entertainment. “With Arcania – Gothic 4 we deliver a high-quality product gamers will enjoy playing for hours. This joy and fun should not be disturbed by intrusive copy protection measures. So SecuROM is the perfect solution for us because it offers the necessary security and at the same time it fulfills our high expectations concerning costumer-friendliness.”

ArcaniA – Gothic 4 can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs and only needs to be activated once via the Internet. To play, which can be done at up to three PCs at a time, neither the original disc nor a constant internet connection is needed. The possibility of an uncomplicated transfer of license between the used PC offers a maximum of flexibility to the customer.

“The implemented digital services will be perfected by a user-friendly Auto Update Feature that informs the gamer pro-actively – without an annoying search – about the availability of a new Update and installs with the permission of the gamer right away” says Sascha Geschwendtner, Product Manager Games Services Sony DADC. “In addition other innovative solutions to increase the usability and the comfort of the game were implemented one of them being the verification of the release date. This feature allows the user to install the game in advance and to start it directly on the release date and therefore helps to avoid unnecessary waiting time to access the game-world.”

Thursday - September 09, 2010

Arcania - Official Sys Reqs Updated

by Dhruin, 21:25

New Arcania system requirements are up at the official site, so we can forget all the previous controversy and focus on this:

PC Minimum Requirements

    * OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / Windows 7
    * Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon II x2 @ 2.8 GHz
    * Memory: 2 GB RAM
    * Graphics:GeForce 8800 GTX
    * DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c or higher
    * Hard Drive: 9 GB HDD Space
    * Sound: DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card


PC Recommended Requirements

    * OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / Windows 7
    * Processor: Intel Core I7 @ 3 GHz / AMD Phenom II x4 @ 3 GHz
    * Memory: 4 GB RAM
    * Graphics: GeForce GTX 295
    * DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c or higher
    * Hard Drive: 9 GB HDD Space
    * Sound: DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card

Thanks, DPB on our forums!

Friday - September 03, 2010

Arcania - Sys Reqs Update

by Dhruin, 23:32

We're getting some clarity on the situation with Arcania's system requirements and Desslock's information posted a couple of days ago.

First, a Dreamcatcher rep posted on our forums:

We have to thank Desslock for bringing the issue of that particular Core 2 Duo CPU model to our attention. Do note that the requirements are in flux until we are happy with our final product, and only then would reliable requirements be available from us.

The issue Desslock encountered was touched upon during our compatibility tests and was not so much an issue of CPU performance but more an issue with that line of CPU’s and a jittering caused in game regardless of other game settings. To clarify, the game does in fact run well on lower end systems than the requirements described to Desslock via e-mail, cpu included. However, to provide the best max settings experience with absolutely no issues we had provided those specs as a recommendation in hopes of improving his experience.

In the mean time we’ve been looking at the cause of the processor issue and any other fairly unreasonable hardware requirements while we near our final version of ArcaniA.

Thanks to Dreamcatcher for taking the time to post.  Some further comments from Desslock at Qt3 cast additional light: seems like it's a handful of specific Core 2 Duo models that cause the problem.

Short story - it seems they currently believe the performance issues encountered were due to specific issues with just the Core 2 Duo 6400-6850 models and that the final system requirements are still in flux.

Emphasis mine.  As noted earlier today, a demo will be released on Sept 24, so you'll be able to judge for yourself.

Arcania - Demo Confirmed For September 24

by Dhruin, 23:01

The furore over system reqs will be resolved one way or the other when the demo for Arcania is released on September 24th, according a JoWood press release (German).  The PR isn't available in their English PR area, so I'm unclear what languages will be offered in the demo.

Wednesday - September 01, 2010

Arcania - Updated System Requirements?

by Dhruin, 23:22

It looks like the PC version of Arcania: Gothic 4 might have some hefty requirements - particularly for the CPU. 

Alistair wrote in pointing out some comments by Desslock over at the Qt3 forums about revised, rather beefy system requirements.  I asked Desslock about the new specs he posted - apparently these were supplied by NA publisher Dreamcatcher (which is owned by JoWood, anyway) after they agreed the existing ones floating around the 'net weren't accurate.  Here we go:

Here are the revised system specs (note that a Core2Duo CPU isn't sufficient, and 3 GB RAM is also required to "comfortably play the game." The video card requirements are more modest and should raise less issues:

Processor Min: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4Ghz, AMD Phenom X4 2.2Ghz (or Tri-core like AMD Phenom X3)
Ram Min: 3GB
Video Card for minimum playability: Geforce 8800 GTX / ATI HD 2600 Pro
Video Card for best results: Geforce 280 GTX / ATI HD 4800 or higher

Monday - August 30, 2010

Arcania - Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Aries100, 17:35

A preview for this game can be found at Hooked Gamers. It is based on the presentation given at GamesCom. As usual, an excerpt:

The Gothic games have always targeted a hardcore RPG audience, mostly due to the lack of aides such as mini maps and directional arrows pointing towards your currently selected quest. ArcaniA will ship with a number of aides, including said mini map, but leaves it up to the player which of them he switches on. An overall map shows your location on the large island that makes up most of the game world. Jowood describes the game world as a 'natural barrier open world' which translates into large, isolated areas that can be accessed only when you are ready for them. Readying yourself means taking quests, gaining experience and leveling up your character. One example given of such a barrier was a bridge guarded by a bunch of thugs not willing to let you pass unless you carry out some jobs for them.

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - August 28, 2010

Arcania - Videos @ VG247

by Dhruin, 21:56

Four short, 30-second clips from Arcania can be found at VG247, originally from IGN.  The first shows a quick battle with some exclamation marks (well, molerats but the exclamation mark is far clearer at this res), a winged demon thing that seems to clip straight through the wall, a cinematic and a video with a troll.

Thanks, Omega.

Friday - August 27, 2010

Arcania - Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:26

There's a preview of Arcania at IGN, though the author starts with that dreaded "I don't normally like...".  The article is based on some short play time and seems positive, although framerate concerns and some dodgy animations are noted.  On combat:

The first battles in Arcania are very basic, button-mashing affairs because the semi-harmless molerats the hero fights aren't exactly the most cunning of warriors. But once you progress into the game, golems, trolls and other beasties will put up way more of a fight, demanding plenty of dodges, well-timed potions and powerful spells in order to best them.

Using ranged weapons also seemed fun, as the player needs to hold down a button to draw back the arrow and increase the force of the attack. Small indicators light up underneath the attack cursor to show how far back the arrow has been pulled, and players even score extra damage for hitting an enemy's head. This mechanic contributes to the excitement of battle and even makes Arcania feel more like a third-person shooter.

Tuesday - August 24, 2010

Arcania - Demo & Release Dates

by Gorath, 20:04

WoG published an interview with JoWooD's Community Manager Reinhard Pollice, who also happens to be the producer for Arcania: Gothic 4. An English translation should come within the next few days.

A demo will be made available at the end of September on both PC and XBox 360.

Release dates:

  • Central Europe, North America, Australia: Oct. 12th
  • Russia, Poland, Eastern Europe: Q4
  • China: probably this year
  • Japan: tba

Thanks, turian!

Arcania - Screens @ Worthhplaying

Friday - August 20, 2010

Arcania - Preorders on Steam [Updated]

by Dhruin, 10:49

Arcania is now available on Steam for those that want to take a chance on Spellbound's upcoming Gothic entry.

Thanks Chekote!

Update: Forum posters note that preorders are also available at Impulse and Gamersgate.  The deals vary, so check out your favourite providers.

Wednesday - August 18, 2010

Arcania - Preview and Media

by Dhruin, 22:54

Omega sends in a handful of European links for Arcania.  There's a Dutch preview at PC GamesSpecial (or you can muddle through an English translation), PC Games Hardware has some hopefully new screens (we've already covered the trailer) and World of Gothic has screens of the Options Menu.

Tuesday - August 17, 2010

Arcania - GamesCom Trailer

by Dhruin, 20:57

IGN has a GamesCom Arcania trailer, with two minutes showing a mix of CGI storytelling and in-game footage.  It certainly looks more advanced than older videos, which is good news.

Thanks, Omega!

Saturday - August 07, 2010

Arcania - PS3 Version Delayed

by Dhruin, 05:26

The French PR we posted recently from Focus was obviously just a bit fast out of the gate, with JoWood announcing the PS3 version of Arcania for all territories will be delayed until 2011, though other platforms are locked in for October:

Vienna, Austria, August 5th 2010; JoWooD Entertainment and the BVT Group announce that the release of the ArcaniA: Gothic 4 Playstation 3 version is set for the first half-year of 2011. The successor of the internationally successful Gothic series will be released on current-gen consoles for the first time, additional to PC systems. Xbox 360 and PC versions will hit the stores on Oct. 12th 2010.

The focus during development of ArcaniA: Gothic 4 laid on a well-founded quality assurance. Playstation 3 gamers will experience the same, high quality product as Xbox 360 and PC customers. This causes the adjustment of the release date and sets the course for an outstanding gameplay experience on all platforms.

Thursday - August 05, 2010

Arcania - Writing Contest @ JoWood

by Myrthos, 21:44

Do you have some writing skills? If so, you could head over to the JoWood forums where they are running a contest to write a short story about what happened to Rhobar III. It is unclear at the moment what you can win, but here is the info:

  • Guide
Write a short story of about 100-150 words, in which you will express your opinion about what happened with the king, why he became evil and corrupted.
Participants also have the option to elaborate a whole new story, with Rhobar III as the main character.
  • Rules
Every participant can post only one story

Avoid surpassing the limit of 150 words (+30 maximum accepted)
  • Contest Information
The contest starts in August 5, 2010 and ends in September 15, 2010.

After the closure, the community will get the chance to vote for their favourite story, and, after that, the final votes will come from JoWooD.

The winners will be announced on October 1, 2010.

A German version of this contest can be found here.

Thanks Skazzy!

Arcania - French Version PR

by Dhruin, 21:08

We received this PR, which I think says the French version of Arcania will arrive October 12 for PC and X360, with the PS3 version in 2011:

La version PS3® de ArcaniA – Gothic 4 sera disponible en 2011


La date de sortie pour les versions Xbox 360® et PC reste inchangée.

Paris – Le 5 août 2010 – JoWooD Entertainment et BVT Group annoncent que la date de sortie d’ « ArcaniA – Gothic 4 » sur Playstation®3 est fixée pour la première moitié de 2011. Le successeur de la série au succès international sera disponible sur PC et pour la première fois également sur les consoles next-gen. Les versions Xbox 360® et PC sortiront quant à elles le 12 Octobre 2010.

La volonté de développement pour ArcaniA – Gothic 4 est de s’assurer d’obtenir un jeu de qualité quelle que soit la plateforme. Les joueurs PlayStation®3 pourront le vérifier lors de sa disponibilité avec un titre optimisé, à la hauteur des versions Xbox 360® et PC. C’est dans cette optique que la date de sortie se voit réajustée sur la console de Sony® et pose ses jalons afin d’offrir une expérience de jeu incroyable sur tous les supports.

Tuesday - August 03, 2010

Arcania - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:30

Another handful of hopefully new screens for Arcania is up at Worthplaying.

Friday - July 30, 2010

Arcania - Interview @ RPG Italia

by Dhruin, 21:13

RPG Italia let us know they have an interview with ArcaniA community manager, Reinhard 'Megalomaniac' Pollice - scroll down a little for the English version:

RPG Italia: Can you tell us about alchemy in ArcaniA? Will it be similar to what we’ve seen in the prior episodes (hp/mp recovery, small stats augmentation…) or some novelty have been introduced, like temporary ability boosting with other malus (like The Witcher)? Will we have to look for special ingredients and learn how to obtain them?

Reinhard Pollice: Alchemy will also give some temporary ability boosting like increased melee damage etc. You will have to look for special ingredients plus a crafting receipe.

Thursday - July 22, 2010

Arcania - Facebook Page Launched

Wednesday - July 21, 2010

Arcania - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:41

Worthplaying has eight (hopefully new) screens for Arcania.

Monday - July 12, 2010

Arcania - Disappearing Grass Feature and More

by Dhruin, 23:01

PC Games.de has a short (German - Google English translation here) followup to the E3 presentation of Arcania, with JoWood's Sefan Berger explaining the "disappearing grass" noted by some fans is actually a feature to make it easier to see small animals.  Berger also reconfirmed a demo and Collector's Edition.

While we're talking about Stefan Berger, World of Gothic has an interview that primarily covers his background but touches on some similar Arcania topics (Google translation here).

Oh - hopefully new screens at Hooked Gamers.

Tuesday - July 06, 2010

Arcania - Screens @ PS3-talk

by Dhruin, 22:52

Omega points out seven hopefully new Arcania screens at German site PS3-talk, although they need to update their release date.

Tuesday - June 29, 2010

Arcania - German Release Date, Production Costs

by Dhruin, 22:59

I'm recovering from food poisoning - which is a wretched thing - so my apologies for any news items sent to me personally that haven't been actioned.  I'll be trying to catch up over the next couple of days but I doubt I can sustain much at this point.

Anyway, Jadabu spotted this interesting item at PC Games.de.  According to the (German) article, JoWood CEO Franz Rossler in an interview nominated October 12th as their target release date for Arcania (presumably for German versions).  He also revealed the production cost of six million Euro.

Arcania - Screenshots for Gothic 4 @ Worthplaying

by Aries100, 15:51

22 new screenshots for this game can be found at Worthplaying. You'll see mostly outdoor areas, even though a few interior areas (dungeons) are in this batch as well. 

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - June 26, 2010

Arcania - E3 Hands-On @ GameStar

by Gorath, 00:31

GameStar had the opportunity to play Arcania: Gothic 4 at the E3. They made a 7.40 minute long video showing dungeon exploration. Older vids didn't show dungeons.

Tuesday - June 22, 2010

Arcania - E3 Hands-on @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 22:31

GameBanshee was able to attend E3, which hopefully means we'll get some good coverage of RPGs.  Here's a snip from their Arcania article, after 15 minutes of hands-on time:

Combat has been "streamlined" (an RPG enthusiast's favorite buzzword), with the game's combos being pulled off with various combinations of three buttons and abilities being triggered with up to eight player-selected quickslots. More powerful attacks can be performed by holding down the necessary button and watching as a number of red dots begin to glow in succession. When all of the dots are lit up, your charged melee/ranged/spell attack is at maximum power. Bow/crossbow and spell attacks have to be aimed at an opponent with a thumbstick or mouselook, though you can lock onto an enemy with the press of another button (a trigger on the Xbox 360, for example) to make precise aiming much easier. Each attack drains a certain amount of your character's stamina, though stamina regenerates by default, and you can increase its regeneration rate by allocating points to certain skill trees or by wearing certain equipment. Health does not regenerate by default, though I'm told that some items are imbued with health regeneration properties. Eating food, using bandages, or quaffing a healing potion will also restore lost health.

Thursday - June 17, 2010

Arcania - E3 Trailer, Video Interview

by Dhruin, 20:09

RPG Italia sends word of the official E3 trailer for Arcania, which offers around 1.5 minutes of footage and exposition and you can watch it here at Youtube.  They also point out a GameSpot video interview from E3 with Dreamcatcher Producer Bryan Cook.  The 3 minute or so video shows some footage and quite a bit of the character screens, though the quality of the image isn't great from the handheld cam.  October 2010 is the release date for all systems.

Friday - May 21, 2010

Arcania - Interview @ Critical Gamer

by Dhruin, 21:20

Omega points out UK site Critical Gamer has an interview with Spellbound Lead Designer, Andre Beccu.  It's a decent article and here's a sample:

CG: How big is the world map? What options will be open to the player to cross it quickly?

Andre Beccu: The game world of ArcaniA consists of two islands. The main island is huge, about two thirds of the size of the main landmass in Gothic 3. We decided to focus on a more compact and action-oriented world, with intricate details and loving design.

Now some RPG series like to present a mind-bogglingly huge world … only soon you notice that much of it is empty, and the rest is basically all the same, with a small random factor to make each settlement, shop and randomly generated quest almost, but not quite entirely, identical to every other village, shop and “fetch the item” quest in the game.

Gothic veterans know that this kind of size isn’t what Gothic is all about – each quest, each NPC, each settlement is hand-crafted, so we may not have the sprawling world size of many other games, but every area in ArcaniA is relevant or interesting in some way. We want quality, not quantity: Rather than adding vast empty deserts (like Gothic 3 had) or duplicating islands and villages, we decided to focus on a compelling story, action-laden combat and fast-paced excitement, and having to travel a dozen miles to the next relevant location would be detrimental to these goals. We’ve even added a way to travel much more quickly: The character can learn to sprint, and to use teleport stones in key locations which, once activated, offer the chance to jump from one stone to another.

CG: Does Gothic 4 focus on combat, or non-violent activities and quests?

Andre Beccu: Both are true – even if the answer sounds strange! The story is a key element, but so is fighting! Some quests can be solved without fighting, but some cannot. Like in real life, players will have to stand their ground in some situations, even if their hero is more the bookish type and doesn’t even own a sword. We love to put players in unexpected situations and we make sure that players, no matter how combat-oriented their playstyle, have a way to survive these little surprises.

Thursday - May 20, 2010

Arcania - Interview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 21:04

GameSpot has a combination of short impressions of Arcania and then a conversation with Producer Kamal Anwar.  They discuss the revised combat system, different interfaces for console and PC and, apparently, the game is in the final stages:

GameSpot: Give us an update on the game's development. What aspects is the team currently working on?

Kamaal Anwar: We're getting close to finalizing the game, actually. We've kept things a bit open to allow us to revise things over this last period if necessary. Most of that is lurking around forums and paying careful attention to the discussions in response to what's being featured by press. In addition, there is a large focus on quality assurance (QA) right now. Every remaining issue is being identified and addressed to ensure that this game runs as intended on all platforms.

They also have a new Creatures video, showing some combat sequences with a handful of monsters.

Thanks, Omega!

Wednesday - May 19, 2010

Arcania - Impressions @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:41

Some hands-on impressions of Arcania are up at IGN, although they describe their time with the game as "brief".  Here's a snip on combat:

Should you decide to head into battle with a mammoth two-handed sword, the difference won't just be a damage total. Instead, you'll see your character grasp the weapon differently, holding it out and behind as if it were heavy. Swings are slower, and by turning on a combo assist the sword will glow briefly while being swung to indicate when another attack command can be inputted to keep a combo going. To avoid attacks you can roll away from enemies, and potions are swiftly quaffed, meaning you don't have to go hide behind a rock if you want to regain some health in order to let an animation play out without interruption.

At any moment you can quickly switch between modes of combat, so if you'd rather put some distance between you and your target after a few sword slashes, you can break out a bow and start charging a shot. Once a bow shot is fully charged you can hold it and move your character around, meaning you're not rooted to a spot and vulnerable to enemy fire while trying to aim. The game does feature an auto-target assist, but if you choose to take advantage of it you'll lose some of the weapon's power that would have been available had the shots been manually lined up.

Sunday - May 16, 2010

Arcania - Interview @ Hooked Gamers

by Dhruin, 00:26

Hooked Gamers has an interview with Arcania: Gothic 4 Producer Kamaal Anwar.  It's a general piece and doesn't reveal anything new for us but might be worth a look for fans.  Apparently, they're holding back for E3.  Here's a snip:

HookedGamers: How do North American and European gamers differ in their RPG preferences, and how are these differences reflected in Gothic 4?

Kamaal Anwar: We could go on for quite a while on this topic, but when we break it down everyone has their own preferences. It's pretty transparent that cultures as a whole tend to have more common preferences. North American gamers (and not specifically RPG gamers) would tend to look for the short term reward to spark engagement. European gamers are more methodical in how they appreciate a new experience. At the end of the day though, everyone wants a quality game. Regardless of where they're from, their personal preferences can be influenced if a game can establish its own unique and compelling experience.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - May 13, 2010

Arcania - Gaming Correspondent Contest

by Dhruin, 21:04

We received this PR a day or two back but it fell behind the sofa...JoWood is running an interesting competition to find an ArcaniA gaming correspondent to blog about various gaming events:

ArcaniA Ultimate Gaming Gig Contest


You Could Win the Ultimate Summer Gig

London, 12th May 2010: JoWooD Entertainment is officially on the hunt for a European ArcaniA Gaming Correspondent - the ultimate summer gig for any gamer.

The winner: armed with your very own Flip Video Camera and Dell Notebook, you’ll be capturing interviews with game developers, gaming media, industry insiders, in addition to behind-the-scenes footage at premiere events such as GamesCom!

“The ideal candidate will be fun, outgoing and won’t be afraid of a little travelling, but more importantly have a passion for video games,” says Stefan Berger, Head of Publishing JoWooD. “The winner of the contest will be responsible for an ArcaniA blog where they will report on GamesCom, any interesting interviews and everything to do with ArcaniA.”

To qualify, submit a video up to one minute in length via The Ultimate Gaming Gig Group Page on Veoh.com describing why you would be the ultimate ArcaniA gaming correspondent. Videos will be spotlighted on the ArcaniA website, and the best will win!

The contest runs from now until 30th June. After that, the winner will be announced!

http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/technology_and_gaming/watch/v20084034ABmXxbhN

The winner will receive:

• Free Roundtrip Airfare and Accommodations to GamesCom 2010 in Cologne, Germany
• Exclusive Interviews with ArcaniA Producers
• Creative Control over the ArcaniA Blog
• An ArcaniA branded Flip Video Cam
• An ArcaniA branded Dell Notebook

Friday - May 07, 2010

Arcania - New Box Shot

by Dhruin, 21:19

Omega points out new box art for Arcania: Gothic 4 at Level Up News. The news is datelined Canada, so I'm not clear what territories this might represent.

Tuesday - April 27, 2010

Arcania - New Screens, Gameplay Video

by Dhruin, 22:28

Only a week after the last batch, Omega points out a handful of new Arcania screens.  Are we starting to see the PR mill stir for Spellbound's Gothic entry?

While we're on Arcania, check out this GameStar video if you missed it in the comments of our last newsbit (thanks Gorath). This gameplay video actually shows a populated gameworld, rather than the landscape flyovers that have been officially released of late.

Monday - April 26, 2010

Arcania - Demo, Release Window & Other Tidbits

by Dhruin, 21:00

Omega writes in with this article from German site Xboxdome.de, which summarises some information from a Polygamia.pl interview.  According to the piece, Arcania should have a demo, is targeted for a Q3 2010 release and, since the X360 is the lead platform, the controls have been carefully designed for console use.  If I understand correctly, the final decision on the demo will be made around E3.

Tuesday - April 20, 2010

Arcania - Screens @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:34

Hopefully, some of these Arcania screens at IGN are new.

Wednesday - March 31, 2010

Arcania - Menu Shots, Difficulty Levels

by Gorath, 14:20

World of Gothic found a couple of interesting Arcania: Gothic 4 (or whatever JoWooD calls it this week) tidbits in Polish site Gothic Up's report on CD Projekt's Spring Conference.

It seems the hero is now a shepherd, not a fisherman. The number of difficulty levels is now four: easy, normal, hard and "Gothic". It's unclear what exactly that means.

Interface shots, probably from the XBox version, can be found at the Polish site.

Tuesday - March 30, 2010

Arcania - Name Change

by Dhruin, 21:56

Apparently Arcania: A Gothic Tale has been changed to ArcaniA: Gothic 4, acknowledging a more formal link with the Gothic series.  This came out of CD Projekt's Spring Conference and has been confirmed by the JoWood community manager, according to Polish source Gothic Site and the JoWood forums.

Saturday - March 27, 2010

Arcania - New Trailers

by Dhruin, 21:07

Two new Arcania videos are up on Youtube.  Both are obviously designed to show off the scenery, lighting and weather effects as the hero runs through a number of (mostly empty) landscapes in one and then the second focuses on rain and lightning.  No combat or other gameplay.

Thanks, Arty!

Wednesday - March 03, 2010

Arcania - GDC Presentation

by Dhruin, 21:02

Trinity, the makers of the Vision 8 engine underneath Arcania, sent us a PR saying Spellbound will be showing off Arcania at GDC - should be interesting:

Spellbound Presentations – Germany’s veteran studio Spellbound Entertainment will also reveal how the flexibility of the Vision Engine produced superb visuals in the seamless streaming open world environment of their Fantasy RPG title Arcania – A Gothic Tale. The title, which is set to release on PC and Xbox360, is the seventh Spellbound title to use Vision Engine. This is the first time Spellbound has shown this title publicly.

Saturday - February 20, 2010

Arcania - Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Magerette, 17:21

Hooked Gamers posts a preview of JoWood's Arcania: A Gothic Tale going over some of what's known about the title so far.

Here's a snip from the beginning of the article:

In May of 2008, publisher JoWood Entertainment decided to rebrand the fourth entry in the Gothic series as Arcania: A Gothic Tale. This name change served two purposes: to represent the increased role of magic in the game's world and to give the Gothic franchise a fresh start in North America.

In terms of the second purpose, the Gothic series is known for its wandering open-world role-playing experiences, comprehensive stories, and stunning environments. As such, it has a very passionate following in Europe, akin to Bioware's fan-base in North America. But the series is also known for being inaccessible and very buggy, which is perhaps why it has yet to breach the mainstream North American market....

...Unfortunately, Spellbound and JoWood have revealed very little about the game since its 2008 name change. Information on the game has been so scarce that the Gothic community wrote an open letter to JoWood in September 2009 expressing their concern about outdated screenshots, low quality videos, and general lack of information. Since that letter, more Arcania screenshots have trickled out from Spellbound and JoWood, but information remains scarce - not something to boost confidence.

 

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - February 01, 2010

Arcania - Simul Weather Effects

by Dhruin, 19:53

Simul Software sent us this PR, announcing their middleware will drive the weather effects in Arcania:

SPELLBOUND CHOOSES SIMUL WEATHER FOR ARCANIA – A GOTHIC TALE


REAL-TIME VOLUMETRIC WEATHER EFFECTS

Simul Software Ltd has announced that Spellbound Entertainment AG, a leading independent studio based in Kehl, Germany, has chosen the Simul Weather SDK to generate real-time weather effects for the forthcoming multi-platform fantasy action RPG ArcaniA – A Gothic Tale, to be published by JoWooD Productions Software AG.

The award-winning Simul Weather SDK allows developers to generate volumetric weather systems with clouds that grow and change in real time. The SDK works within a developer’s chosen rendering framework, offering full control of all aspects of weather rendering.

“Our Artists love the Simul Weather SDK because they have full control about the results while still having unique and non-repetitive clouds. Our programmers appreciate the low memory consumption as well as the performance.” said Andreas Speer, Studio Manager of Spellbound, “All that made the Simul Weather SDK the tool of our choice.”

“We are delighted to be working with Spellbound,” said Dr Roderick Kennedy, Chief Executive of Simul, “and have been very impressed with the results they’ve achieved with the SDK. Simul’s aim is for middleware that’s completely painless to add to a new or existing project, and Spellbound have been instrumental in helping us achieve this.”

"ArcaniA –A Gothic Tale will be a new milestone in the history of interactive role playing games. For this reason, we dedicated ourselves to only use high-quality middleware and cutting edge techniques for ArcaniA. Our commitment to make ArcaniA an AAA game is still upright and is reflected in choosing only state-of-the-art technologies. ", says Clemens Schneidhofer, PR Coordinator at JoWooD.

Worthplaying has some screens to go with the announcement.

Arcania - Single Screen

by Dhruin, 09:23

POD writes in to point out a single new Arcania screen at World of Gothic, showing a typical mage.

Thursday - January 21, 2010

Arcania - Short Technical Q&A @ PCGH

by Skavenhorde, 12:42

PCGamesHardware asked Andreas Speer, the CEO of Spellbound, a few technical questions about the Trinigy Engine running Arcania. The engine is capable of running DirectX 11, but for Arcania it will not intergrate this feature:

PCGH: We were informed by AMD and Trinigy that Vision Engine 7 will be enhanced with a support for the new Windows 7 API Direct X 11. Will you take part in this development step and integrate DX11 support in the Renderer of ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale too?

Andreas Speer, Spellbound: We will not integrate DX11 support into ArcaniA for a number of reasons.
Firstly, and most importantly, our product will release too early. the number of players who have DX11 systems today is too small. Releasing ArcaniA as a DX11 game would prevent too many players from playing.

Secondly, our rendering technology has been designed to perform well on DX9 systems. The gains that we would get from re-implementing this technology using DX11 features would be insignificant.

For the future DX11 will allow us to develop new rendering technologies that would not be so well adapted to DX9 so we will be happy to embrace it when that time comes.

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - December 26, 2009

Arcania - New Screenshots @ VideoGamesZone.de

by Skavenhorde, 13:08

Gamebanshee reports that there are three new screenshots up at VideoGamesZone.de. You can use this google translated link to read the article in English. The screenshots are of a dialogue screen with some blur effects in the background, the inside of an inn and a small village.

Monday - September 07, 2009

Arcania - Interview @ XboxMessiah

by Dhruin, 22:39

XboxMessiah has an interview with JoWood on Arcania.  Much of the conversation is general scene-setting for those unfamiliar with the game but here's more on the chapters:

Q: From what we’ve read, ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale is an open world game. Is there a definite ending to the game or is it one of those games that you can play, and I quote, “for the rest of your natural born life”?

ArcaniA is an epic tale. We have a big opening and a terrific ending. Everything in between will be as open as we can, without putting too many restrictions to the gameplay.

ArcaniA is cut into five regions. Each region is completely open in the way that you can do what you want in the way you want, but you have to go from one region to another and you will not be able to come back either. As we want the game to always be interesting, it makes no sense to leave the first region open when you’ve completed everything and you’re too powerful for the region enemies (we are not going to pop up 35lvl boar just to keep some players active). We don’t think this is really interesting and it might destroy the authentic world which we want to create for ArcaniA. We might reopen regions with some serious story develpment in addons.

The artists have created the world entirely by hand. They have placed each tree and each rock themselves. Nothing is random. The designers have also placed every NPC or monster themselves. They programmed their daily routines and the way they react to the hero. Because of that, we are able to create a very dense atmosphere which leads to a believable, realistic world.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - August 31, 2009

RPGWatch Feature: Arcania Impressions

by Dhruin, 13:07

Myrthos brings us his second preview from GamesCom 2009 with an overview of Spellbound's Arcania: A Gothic Tale.  Here's a sample:

The game that was shown to us lacked a lot of things that apparently are in the development version but not in what was shown to us. The weather system was one of them, which they claim is a dynamic system that is completely controllable by the designer to allow changing the weather based on the situation and emotions they want to player to undergo. Other things that were not in were NPCs, monsters, a range of weapons, spells and a working combat system. All of these things will be in the first chapter, though.  What was already in was that there is no loading time in a chapter; the only loading time you will have in Arcania is when you start the game and when you go to a new chapter. Inside the chapter there are absolutely no loading times, not even when entering buildings or dungeons.

Read it all here.

Thursday - August 20, 2009

Arcania - Producer Q&A

by Dhruin, 23:11

A canned Arcania interview from JoWood has been released, with Producer Philippe Louvet responding.  World of Gothic has posted the piece and here's a sample:

 
I. ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale is the 4th iteration of the Gothic series, we’ve seen some videos and images at E3, could you please tell us at which stage is the game?

 

 
Since E3 we took some higher ground to maximize the great game we have in our hands . We refocused the entire production on the core elements of the game and we will have a beta version of the first fifth of the game in september. We are in the process of finishing this first 'chapter', we're working on the combat and magic system. We're polishing the quests and translating the texts to work simultaneuously on English and German versions We will use this first version to test the game play with different user groups all over the world. We aim the game play to be enjoyable on consoles and are working in this direction, but don’t worry we’ll have many surprises on PC too...

 

Wednesday - August 19, 2009

Arcania - Pushed into 2010

by Woges, 17:26

Robert Purchese reports that Arcania has been delayed.

JoWooD has pushed the release of ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale to 2010 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

This, claims the publisher, has afforded extra time and "substantial" extra budget, which will ensure the new Gothic game is "one of the best releases of 2010".

That could also mean, however, that ArcaniA was well below par and JoWooD was forced to inject funds to see the project through.

Monday - August 03, 2009

Arcania - Preview Extract

by Dhruin, 22:31

World of Gothic has an extract of a recent Arcania preview in PC Games.de.  The extract is long enough to qualify as a full preview article and here's a sample:

The biggest part of the Arcania game is set on a completely new island, where a fresh Nameless Hero steps into the spotlight. The young adventurer discovers that his village is destroyed by the troops of King Rhobar the third. He vows to take revenge and sets out to become strong and able to push King Rhobar from his throne.  The new hero will meet several known game characters from the previous games. Among them are Diego and the wizard Xardas. In Arcania one will find its way on two islands, of which one constitutes about 90% of the game world. The game world isn’t bordered by any invisible barriers except that the NH cannot swim and will not go beyond a certain depth in the water.

Thursday - July 30, 2009

Arcania - at Gamescom 2009

by Dhruin, 22:39

JoWood has announced their lineup for Gamescon 2009 (the replacement for the Leipzig convention) and, not surprisingly, Arcania will be on show:

Vienna, Austria, 30. Juli 2009; JoWooD Productions presents the line-up for the coming gamescom 2009 in Cologne. With highlights like „Yoga“ for Wii™, ArcaniA – A Gothic Tale, Painkiller: Resurrection, “Safecracker“ for DS™ and „Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders“ for DS JoWooD is looking forward to a great show at the industry's biggest trade exhibition world-wide.

Arcania - Video, Screens @ PC Games.de

by Dhruin, 00:27

PC Games.de has released another Arcania clip previously exclusive to those who had bought the magazine.  The three minutes of footage shows the hero running through long tracts of mostly unpopulated landscape, although there are a couple of short and hack'n'slashy combat sequences.

They also have some new screens.

Source: World of Gothic

Monday - July 20, 2009

Arcania - Interview @ Arcania Center

by Dhruin, 22:50

Polish fansite Arcania Center has an interview in English with Spellbound community rep EDL:

Arcania.gram.pl: It will be available software to edit the game?
EDL: Later on? We will see. Too early to talk about that.

Arcania.gram.pl:It will be able to buy their own home or farm?
EDL: No.

Arcania.gram.pl: Will it be something like the example: We shoot someone in the leg and he limp, or in his hand, and he can't move it?
EDL: Do you mean if the opponents have hit zones? Yes that should be the case. But the question of detail is not finally answered.

Arcania.gram.pl: Does on every level of our characters will add life like in G1 and G2. In G3 we had to learn it?
EDL: Hmm, do you mean Hitpoints? Yes, they will increase with your level.

Source: World of Gothic

Monday - June 22, 2009

Arcania - Preview @ PSX Extreme

by Dhruin, 23:14

Playstation site PSX Extreme has a preview of Arcania.  The article appears to be cribbed from other sources, even quoting an IGN preview at one point.  Here's a bit on the background story:

As most of you know, action/RPGs don’t often place a heavy emphasis on storyline, plot or character development. This is the format used for many open-world RPGs where freedom and customization reign supreme, but Spellbound is tossing a wrench into the works this time around: that faceless, nameless hero of past Gothic installments is now the villain; he’s responsible for torching the main character’s hometown at the start of the game. Obviously, this is catalyst enough to get your blood pumping and you apparently embark on a mission of vengeance and retribution. Now, the good stuff: not only is the game estimated to be over 70 hours in length (talk about bang for your buck!), but you will also discover and equip plenty of various weapons and pieces of equipment. Although you only start with access to a small portion of the map, you will soon expand outward and eventually come into contact with the seven different cultures that inhabit this intimidating world. As is typically the case with most action/RPGs, your choice of weapons ranges from clubs and maces to swords and axes, and let’s not forget the ranged bows and, we assume, magic-oriented staffs.

Thursday - June 18, 2009

Arcania - 21 Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:12

Worthplayinng has 21 screens from Spellbound's Arcania.

Tuesday - June 09, 2009

Arcania - Preview @ Gaming Nexus

by Dhruin, 22:38

Another (short) Arcania preview, this time at Gaming Nexus:

The two features they are incorporating is a new quest tracking window and a mini-map. Hard core fans can turn these things off if they want to but you’re going to have to be super hard core to not want these in the game. The other significant is the combat system as JoWood is adding a lock on system to the game. Again this is something you don’t have to use and you actually get a damage bonus for not using the system which should help wean people off the system as they learn the game mechanics.

Another big change is that the game is being developed for the PC as well as for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. During our demo the presenter used an Xbox 360 controller hooked to a PC to show the game so I don’t expect there to be much of an issue with the controls if you decide to go that route. Hardcore gamers will stick with the standard keyboard and mouse but the game is very playable with the controller.

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - June 07, 2009

Arcania - Impressions @ GameSpot, IGN

by Dhruin, 01:20

GameSpot had some hands-on time with Arcania at E3:

The island of Argaan--one of three on which the game is set--is divided up into six regions that will become accessible for you to explore as you progress through the game and unlock them. The coastal region that we were walking around in had some interesting spots to explore, including marshlands with a green mist hanging over them and lots of huge trees, one of which was hollow and had been turned into a neat-looking building of some kind. We also found our way down into a maze of underground tunnels, but we backed out of them before we got lost because they hadn't been textured yet and there really wasn't much to see.

...and there is a gallery of screens here.

And over to IGN:

Magic will also be at your disposal, so you can do things like wing fireballs at foes instead of trying to slice them with your sword. To go about powering up, you'll have a skill tree that follows a few branches and allows for differing play styles, which is meant to be more convenient than the trainer system found in something like Gothic 3. There will be guilds you can join up with though, some related to combat and some to non-combat disciplines, that'll give you access to more abilities and options for play.

Saturday - June 06, 2009

Arcania - Walkthrough Videos @ Gametrailers

by Dhruin, 00:26

Over at Gametrailers there are two Arcania developer walkthrough videos on offer.  The two clips show the mages' guild and a swamp area and some combat.  The seamless indoor-outdoor areas are clearly in, although the dev voiceover mentions seven "unlockable" areas "GTA" style, so it sounds like gameplay area is broken down more than previous entries.  Combat and the general presentation looks more hack'n'slash to my eye and although the Gothics' famous NPC reactivity is mentioned, there is no sign of it - obviously, this is an early build but it doesn't look much like Gothic at this stage.

Thanks, Kostaz!

Thursday - June 04, 2009

Arcania - E3 Previews @ RPGamer, GamingExcellence

by Dhruin, 23:15

Nice to see games like Arcania getting a little bit of E3 coverage, even though the articles are short.  Here's a snip from RPGamer, who apparently hadn't encounted the Gothic series previously:

I entered into the game and was quickly run through the differences between old hardcore Gothic and new, more approachable Arcania. Quest logs which can be activated or turned off to increase or decrease difficulty are one of the most thought-out quest systems I've seen, catering to both casual and dedicated gamers. There are approximately 300 total quests, of which about 200 are part of the main storyline (including a branching ending about 75% of the way through play), and the rest are optional quests with the three factions the game holds as well as the five guilds.

...and GamingExcellence:

Ya know, I really have to wonder about the mental state of people who are big fans of the Gothic series? Not that it’s a bad series, not by any stretch, but the mental fortitude that’s required to play through one of these games to completion is staggering. Only having clocked around seven hours of gameplay between the second and third game the sheer beating you receive from even the first enemies can be a life altering experience. These are truly games for the hardcore gamer and if you don’t have the stones for it then too bad for you.

Luckily for the rest of us humans the developers are going for a slightly different approach with Arcania. Rather than focusing exclusively on the hardcore crowd they’ve expanded their approach to make the game more accessible to the rest of humanity. A good example of the starting point of this is the fact that you can now turn on a quest tracker. This will give you a quick way of traveling to the waypoints that will help you actually find your goal.

Finally, IGN has some screens.

Source: World of Gothic

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

Arcania - Interview Snippet

by Dhruin, 00:54

World of Gothic has a translated snippet from a German interview at Be24.at with JoWood CEO, Albert Seidl.  It's a small grab but reveals Arcania/Gothic 4 for all consoles and, apparently, a unqiue marketing concept:

We have a strategic plan. The next two big projects are two games. One is the Project Gothic 4 Arcania. This game will be released on all consoles and by the looks of things, it has the chance to become an AAA game. It is based on a completely new technology and there will be a marketing concept, that the industry has never seen before. [..]

Source: World of Gothic

Monday - May 18, 2009

Arcania - Uses Vision Engine 7

by Gorath, 16:52

JoWooD and middleware developer Trinigy confirmed in a PR what has been known for years. Spellbound Entertainment is using Trinigy's multi-platform technology Vision Engine 7 for ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale, the game formerly known as Gothic 4.

ArcaniA developed based on Trinigy’s latest Vision Engine 7™ technology – release for PC and current generation console systems

Eningen, Germany / Liezen, Austria, May 18th, 2009: JoWooD Productions and Spellbound Entertainment today announced the successful cooperation with Trinigy, a leading provider of 3D game engine technology. In the scope of a multi-platform license agreement, Spellbound is developing “ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale” utilizing Trinigy’s latest Vision Game Engine 7™.

As the publisher announced, the highly anticipated role-playing blockbuster „ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale“ will be released for both PC and current-generation console systems. ArcaniA will feature an enthralling storyline in a dense atmosphere providing a unique and easily accessible game play experience. Thanks to Trinigy’s Vision Engine 7™ ArcaniA will also set new visual standards in the genre of action role-playing games.

„By licensing Trinigy’s Vision Engine 7, Spellbound is ideally equipped to head for a great gaming experience with “ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale”, explains Michael Kairat, Producer at JoWooD Productions. “The Vision Engine ensures a high level of game quality and first-class adaptions for current-generation console systems.”

Dag Frommhold, Managing Partner at Trinigy, points out: „With ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale, another ambitious AAA title is being created with the Vision Engine. That fills us with pride and we’re delighted to support the team at Spellbound with our technology.”

„ArcaniA: A Gothic Tale is a fantastic and truly sophisticated production”, comments Armin Gessert, CEO Spellbound Entertainment. “Trinigy’s latest Vision Engine and the excellent cooperation with them provide an ideal technological foundation for a new cornerstone in the history of action role-playing games.”

Spellbound's Desperados 2 and Helldorado were also based upon the Vision Engine.

On a sidenote, it seems the number of capital As in ArcaniA is growing quickly. ;)

Friday - April 24, 2009

Arcania - Official Site Launched

by Dhruin, 00:12

I'm sure you figured it out from the countdown but JoWood and Spellbound have launched the official website for Arcania: A Gothic Tale.  Screens, art, some background lore and minimum system reqs are all on offfer:

PC Minimum Requirements

    * Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista
    * Direct X Version: DirectX 9.0c or higher
    * Hard Disk Space: 10 GB + 600 MB virtual memory
    * DVD Drive: 6x DVD ROM Drive
    * Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHZ, AMD Athlon 3500+
    * RAM: 1 GB (Windows® XP), 1,5 GB (Windows® Vista)
    * Graphics Accelerator: ATI 1800XT, Shader Model 3, 256 MB
      Nvidia 6800, Shader Model 3, 256 MB
    * Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card

The release date is shown as Winter 2009/2010.

Thursday - April 23, 2009

Arcania - Official Site Countdown

by Dhruin, 13:47

Thanks to Kostaz for noticing a countdown at the official Arcania / Gothic 4 site.  Not long to go...

Wednesday - April 01, 2009

Arcania - Two New Screens

by Dhruin, 21:23

Kostaz writes in about two new Arcania / Gothic 4 screens over at JoWood's forums.

Monday - March 02, 2009

Arcania - Desktop Wallpaper

by Dhruin, 21:20

World of Gothic has a desktop wallpaper in various resolutions showing The Cleaved Maiden Inn artwork from Arcania/Gothic 4.

Wednesday - February 11, 2009

Arcania - Naming Contest @ WoG

by Dhruin, 22:22

World of Gothic has a contest to name a camp in Arcania/Gothic 4, apparently following some controversy over the names chosen by Spellbound:

Spellbound, JowooD and WoG are looking for a name for a camp in Gothic 4. Lately the names that Spellbound have chosen for the game caused quite a stir and much readers of the Cleaved Maiden stories repeatedly pointed out that some of the names did were not fitting for the Gothic universe. Now it is up to you to come up with a name that is worthy of being used in the Gothic universe.

All details about the camp to be named and the contest you can find at the links below.

The contest runs till February 20th. The evaluation of the results will take place by the community itself and not by an external jury.

Related Links:

  • Cleaved Maiden
  • Source: World of Gothic

    Saturday - November 22, 2008

    Arcania - Teaser Site

    by Dhruin, 23:23

    JoWood has kicked up a teaser site for Arcania: A Gothic Tale / Gothic 4.  It has a single, short logo animation and the message "A Gothic Tale Continues", so not much to see at this stage.

    Friday - November 14, 2008

    Arcania - Q4 2009 @ Eurogamer

    by Dhruin, 21:22

    Can't get shorter than this: Eurogamer says Gothic 4 will hit in late 2009, according to JoWood:

    JoWooD has told Eurogamer we're not likely to see Gothic 4 on shelves until late 2009.

    Friday - October 10, 2008

    Arcania - Cam Footage @ Tiscali

    by Dhruin, 13:19

    Tiscali has just under three minutes of Arcania (Gothic 4) footage taken from a GC presentation with a cam.  The quality is low as you'd expect, although the camera is steady and they've added the occasional text comment.  The video shows the hero running around one-shotting a bunch of victims with a bow - presumably the AI is yet to be added, or these guys are particularly slow to react.

    Source: Blues News

    Sunday - September 28, 2008

    Arcania - Interview @ Gry.o2.pl

    by Dhruin, 02:27

    Gry speaks to Spellbound's community manager EDL about Arcania: A Gothic Tale, strangely suggesting they haven't chosen an engine yet.  I suspect they really mean they are holding back the announcement but here's the text:

    Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): What sort of game engine features will Gothic 4: Arcania support?

    Dietrich Limper (Spellbound): Whatever game engine we finally announce to use for Gothic 4 - we have created most of the really outstanding effects internally and they do work on top of any engine we could use. (Spellbound is choosing from: Vision-Engine, Unreal Engine and Gamebryo Engine) In a Gothic like game, you need to have very convincing lighting and shadowing techniques and you can probably see it from some of the shots released that they are in place already. More stuff will be revealed in the next months to come.

     

    Source: Blues News

    Tuesday - September 09, 2008

    Arcania - Interview @ Gothic 4 Center

    by Dhruin, 22:29

    Spellbound's EDL (creative writer and community manager) has been interviewed at Polish fan site Gothic 4 Center.  The article is a translated and a little difficult to read but offers some background on EDL and asks questions about bizarre minutiae:

    Gothic4.com.pl : Will scabbards of swords come in and the like? Farther to us will the weapon be sticking ?

    EDL : If you find a sword, most likely there will be a scabbard around. But the relevance of scabbards to the gameplay will not be a major one. As for the sticking aspect, we plan to have some items getting stuck withon others is but we don't know yet is how far we will go.


    Gothic4.com.pl : Will the dress have the influence on our locomotions? e.g. we will not be able to swim in the full plate armour or quickly to run.

    EDL : Actually we are playing around with some ideas related to running speed in full armour or if the weather has any effect on your movements. It is too early to come up with a final answer.


    Gothic4.com.pl : Whether if the sword long is in water, he/she will rust up ?

    EDL : Yes, we have some ideas how swords and armor could be affected by different things. Must not only be water. There might be other ways to turn a great weapon into a useless piece of metal.

    Monday - September 08, 2008

    Arcania - Teaser Footage @ Gamers Hell

    by Dhruin, 23:13

    The first footage I'm aware of for Arcania: A Gothic Tale is up at Gamers Hell.  Here's their blurb (53Mb, 1:16:):

    We have a new trailer from Arcania: A Gothic Tale, showcasing the next installment in the Gothic series in the works at Spellbound Entertainment for PC and Xbox 360. Arcania: A Gothic Tale will take place 10 years after Gothic 3 and the player will explore various southern islands, each having different climate zones and its own flora and fauna. The player will have again the ability to climb as well as to ride beasts.

    Thursday - September 04, 2008

    Arcania - Preview @ WoG

    by Dhruin, 23:03

    World of Gothic has a sneak peak at Spellbound's Arcania: A Gothic Tale (Gothic 4).  The development is too early to tell much but here's a sample:

    We don't deny that Arcania is still in the middle of development, so everything we got to see is Pre Alpha. Furthermore JoWood and Spellbound didn't lose a word about the story or some general informations about the game. Their focus is on developing the engine to get a Gothic-flair in the game. So Jochen Hamma from Spellbound and Michael Kairat from JoWood showed us the newest version of Arcania. Unlike to Gothic 3, JoWood is showing only stuff that is really finished and will be in the final game. This is at the moment the graphic design of the game, the weather-system and Ranged Combat Fight System. We also got a Peak at the Interface, but this one is still in development and is changing from build to build, but it is already looking very gothic-ish.

    Wednesday - August 27, 2008

    Gothic 4 - Screens @ Worthplaying

    by Dhruin, 23:51

    Hopefully these five Gothic 4 / Arcania: A Gothic Tale landscape screens at Worthplaying are new.

    Thursday - August 21, 2008

    Gothic 4 - GC Previews @ PC Games, GameStar

    by Gorath, 22:10

    PC Games and GameStar had a look Spellbound's Gothic 4: Arcania aka Arcania: A Gothic Tale. Short summary:

    • The new graphics engine looks great and is lightning-fast. 
    • Detailed weather simulation, for example: rain -> wet or dry areas -> puddles -> sun dries them up slowly
    • "light exposure control" (basically HDR)
    • Much more graphical details on characters. Example: Lester -> tattoos, skin details, skin folds
    • Ranged combat (bow): Zoom over the shoulder, up & down movement (-> breathing), different target zones, aiming costs stamina
    • experience with a weapon category increases its precision and hit percentage; only as a small modifier on top of standard Gothic character development though

    Gothic 4: Arcania - Now Arcania: A Gothic Tale

    by Gorath, 21:35

    JoWooD announced at the GC that Gothic 4: Arcania will receive a spectacular new name: Arcania: A Gothic Tale.

    Maybe JoWooD prepares to leave the Gothic brand behind after the 4th game ?!

    Source: PC Games

    Sunday - June 01, 2008

    Gothic 4 - Interview @ Gothicz.net

    by Dhruin, 00:34

    Gaspy's Gothicz.net site has an interview with Spellbound community manager Dietrich "EDL" Limper about Gothic 4.  It's too early for EDL to say much that's revealing but fans should take a look:

    6. Where do you get the main inspiration, do you study this historical age? What countries did influence you in world modeling?
    Yes - you are right. We have studied social and cultural development during historical ages which can be compared with the point in time to be represented in Gothic 4. The results from these studies do have influences on architectural styles, colors used for Gothic 4... And as we do have an international team, the various cultural backgrounds have influenced the look of the game. German, French and Russian are the nationalities with the biggest percentages in the team and thus their influences are probably the largest. And as the Gothic 3 world is also very much alike certain areas of Germany, Russia, Czech (and some regions of France as well) in terms of the colors - you can expect to see some continuity in regard to the colors in the game.

    Source: World of Gothic

    Thursday - May 22, 2008

    Gothic 4 - Jowood Forum Tidbits

    by Magerette, 16:49

    Gamebanshee posts a link to the Jowood forums, where community manager Dietrich "EDL" Limper attempts to sort out some of the rumors on Spellbound's upcoming sequel in the Gothic series, Arcania:A Gothic Tale:

      There are lots of rumors out there right now and I will try to clarify a few things.

    Combat System
    What the guys in the US saw has nothing to do with the final system. They were running the test level and there you can hit one human without any AI with your sword. That's about it. That has nothing to do with the stuff we are working on right now. So, just forget about it.

    The "witches"
    Well, we will not use old ladies, put them on broomsticks and send them through the air to save the world. The traditional term "witches" has nothing to do with the ladies you might encounter during the game. They run a different show and have other goals ... forget about the "witches".

    The interface
    You can customize your interface to your liking and leave out all the windows and bars that you don't like to see. You could even use the old Gothic Interface and don't use any of the new stuff we'll offer. Purists can use the life bar from Gothic 1 only if they are happy with it. Other players might want to use the mini map for example. It is up to you.

    Two versions
    There will not be two versions of the game. Period. The only choice you can make is about a different set of colors. That is a decision you can make once in the game and then forget about it. It is just a feature. It will in no way influence the story or anything else.

    The nameless hero
    Well, when the US-Publisher gives away the news as they did, who am I to say "veto".
    Let's clarify what was written there:
    10 years have passed since the Nameless Hero (NH) declared himself king and now he wages war throughout the country. He even wants to conquer the Southern Isles. His friends and close advisors are wondering about his strange behaviour and get the feeling that the king might not act by his free will. Strange things are going on.
    During these dark and doomed days a new hero emerges in the south. A guy who will not take it anymore and he will do ... well whatever you want him to do. During his travels he might find new allies, even the old buddies of the king, who do not understand the rulings of their former friend. And he will meet new NPC and enemies, each with his/her own agenda. Whom can you trust now? The adventure goes on ...

    That is all speculation, OK? That's a summary of the information that was out there.

    The Gothic feeling is not gone. Right now you know about 5 % of the whole story and we will stick to the world, language, monsters, gods and so on. We will not turn the world upside down, but some new stuff has to happen, don't you think so? The story needs to go on and people might change over the course of 10 years.

    Source: GameBanshee

    Monday - May 19, 2008

    Gothic 4 - Concept Art @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 23:13

    IGN has a nice collection of Gothic 4 / Arcania: A Gothic Tale concept art that I haven't seen before.

    Saturday - May 17, 2008

    Gothic 4 - Preview @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 13:54

    IGN also has a preview of Gothic 4, covering similar ground to the GameSpot article although with better depth.  The game is confusingly referred to as Arcania: A Gothic Tale and then Arcanium in various places, but I assume the latter is shoddy editing at the IGN end.  Either way, the schizophrenic feature divide to suit both European and NA audiences is the central message:

    Brian Gladman, Dreamcatcher's global product marketing manager, filled us on some of the challenges of making a game for two markets, as well as switching developers. "You could take a blank disc and put it in a paper bag and put Gothic 4 on the bag and you'd sell half a million units in Germany," he said. "The passion for the Gothic universe is at that level…The attachment to Piranha Bytes in German-speaking countries would be akin to the attachment to a BioWare in North America. Anything that Piranha Bytes does is gold in Germany, whereas here it's irrelevant. The decision to go with a new developer for this one was not taken lightly but taken with an eye to really reaching out."

    Gothic 4 - First Look @ Gamespot

    by Woges, 03:24

    Gamespot had had a look at an early build of Gothic 4 giving a little more info on the game.

    Arcania picks up ten years after the events of Gothic 3. The Nameless Hero from the original games has vanquished the orcs from the land and has ascended to the throne. But as the king, our former hero has become consumed with power and is no longer held in favor by much of the population, including the Witches of Fate that started him on his noble journey in the first place. Betrayed, the witches find a new Nameless Hero, most likely a humble fisherman, and charge him with righting the wrongs of the new king. Of course, being a Gothic game, you can do pretty much whatever you want, be it join the king, overthrow him, convince him to change his evil ways, or set up shop as a mercenary and mind your own business.

    Sunday - May 11, 2008

    Gothic 4 - First Screens Redux

    by Dhruin, 13:41

    Ionstormsucks on our forums points out PC Games.de has the recently linked first Gothic 4: Arcania screens in higher quality as well as a couple of new ones.  Looks like another barrier, to me. 

    Wednesday - May 07, 2008

    Gothic 4 - First Screens

    by Dhruin, 00:19

    CRPG.ru let us know they have five scanned shots of Gothic 4: Arcania from a Russian mag called Igromania.  It seems an odd place for the first ever screens to pop up but they look convincing, despite the poor quality.

    Saturday - April 26, 2008

    Gothic 4 - Arcania

    by Woges, 22:39

    News from Tiscali Games on Gothic 4. Full quote:

    Few lucky subscribers have received the June issue of German PC Games magazine in advance and thanks to that, we've got the first details on Spellbound's upcoming RPG:

    • Fully titled Gothic 4: Arcania (as opposed to the previous subtitle Genesis).
    • Story set 10 years after the third title and located on various southern islands, each having different climate zones and its own flora & fauna.
    • Same as in previous titles, there'll be a hidden place (temporarily blocked by a magical shield/barrier).
    • Weather changes, full day and night cycle plus the ability to temporarily cast a spell and change the time of day (e.g. from day to night when you need to slip past guards unnoticed).

    • Aside few NPCs from the previous title, some monsters will have a fresh look (however, trolls look the same as in Gothic III).
    • With the ability to climb and ride on beasts.
    • Aiming for continuity, developers have gone through fan wishes on the forums and are planning on integrating some of them.
    • Fully DirectX 10 compatible with advanced shader technology: standing under a tree, not only light will be realistically dimmed, but looking up into the sky, you'll see the sun behind partially transparent leaves.
    Gothic 4: Arcania for PC, X360 and PS3 hasn't got a release date yet, it'll be done "when it's done" and won't miss out on this year's Game Convention.

    Wednesday - December 19, 2007

    Gothic 4 - Not Our Screens

    by Dhruin, 21:28

    Rounding the flurry of Gothic 4 news is this press release they sent us, denying "any connection" with the screens we linked yesterday:

    JoWooD Productions Denies Release of Gothic 4 Screenshots

    Liezen, Austria, December 19th 2007; JoWooD Productions would like to issue a statement regarding screenshots recently appearing in press that have been attributed to the company’s highly anticipated RPG title, Gothic 4. The Austrian Publisher denies any connection between the screenshots and the upcoming successor of its famous brand Gothic.

    “Screenshots of Gothic 4 have not been released by the developer Spellbound nor Publisher JoWooD Productions. The recently released screenshots did not originate from our new RPG game and do not come close in comparing to the graphical level that Gothic 4 will reach”, explains Johannes Natterer, Head of Marketing at JoWooD Productions. “Gothic 4 will far exceed the aesthetics shown in the mentioned screenshots. At this stage of development we feel that it is too early to release screenshots of the game”.

    BVT Games Fund III Invests in Gothic 4

    by Gorath, 17:14

    The BVT Games Fund III Dynamic has secured the rights to the Gothic 4 license. They will fund the development and contract JoWooD to develop and publish the game. Detailed infos about their quite complex deal can be found in the other newsbit nearby.

    Other notable games made with budget provided by one of BVT´s Game Funds are Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 & add-on, NWN 2 & add-on, and Desperados 2 by Gothic 4 developer Spellbound.
    The BVT Games Fund III is open for investors until the end of the year.

    Gothic 4 - BVT Games Fund III & JoWooD Gothic 4 Deal Details

    by Gorath, 17:10

    A lot of interesting infos about the Gothic 4 deal can be found in a document on BVT´s homepage. Addendum No.2 to the BVT Games Fund III Dynamic brochure explains the contract between the BVT Games Fund III Dynamic and JoWooD.

    Please note that the excerpts and summaries below are taken out of context and are only meant to illustrate the deal. Several expressions have been replaced with similar but not identical English terms, which makes different legal meanings and lack of precision inevitable.
    The German source on the other hand is the official document for investors, and as such subject to legal restraints. We can safely assume that both the BVT Games Fund III and JoWooD had the German text checked by their lawyers and that everything in it was correct as of 11/22/2007, the date of the addendum.

    • BVT Games Fund III participates in the project Gothic 4 as a producer by closing a "Development Agreement" and a "Publishing / Distribution Agreement".
    • The project shall be produced for the platforms PC and XBox 360.

    "Development Agreement" (10/15/2007)
    • Per the "Development Agreement" JoWooD is assigned the development and creation of Gothic 4 in form of true contract work.
    • JoWooD committed to finishing the programming and development work on the XBox 360 version until 12/16/2009 and on the PC version on 02/01/2010 at at the latest.
    • JoWooD has [...] to deliver a master copy including source code and standard documentation.
    • Owner of all rights to Gothic 4 shall be the BVT Games Fund III.
    • The sum raised in return shall be a total of 3.485.900,00 EUR.
    • The budget will be paid in milestones.

    "Publishing / Distribution Agreement" (10/15/2007)
    • In the "Publishing / Distribution Agreement" for Gothic 4 JoWooD has been assigned the worldwide distribution and marketing.
    • JoWooD is obliged to release Gothic 4 at least in Europe, the US and Canada.
    • The BVT Games Fund III receives royalties on the revenue. The royalty rate is 80% until the BVT Games Fund III has collected 120% of the game´s budget. Then it is reduced, depending on time, until it reaches 32%.
    • Furthermore JoWooD will pay the BVT Games Fund III a fixed advance against royalties in the amount of 70% of the game´s budget. The advance payment is due 120 days after the contractually agreed Gothic 4 release on 02/25/2010, but at the latest on 06/15/2010.
    • Moreover JoWooD has been granted a purchase option for all rights to the project. JoWooD can draw this option for 6 months after BVT Games Fund III has collected 120% of the game´s budget. This has no influence on the agreed royalties.

    Monday - December 17, 2007

    Gothic 4 - Proof-of-Concept Screens @ Worthplaying

    by Dhruin, 22:30

    Worthplaying has four screens they think are from Spellbound's development of Gothic 4, although they don't sound confident. I'm pretty sure we've seen these screens (or similar) months ago, so they are certainly proof of concept Gothic 4 screens but I can't find it in our database - no doubt you'll remind me in the comments.

    Edit: JDR13 points out a post at the JoWood forums that explains these were used by Spellbound to demonstrate what a Gothic 4 might look like in their Vision engine.

    Edit 2: Unfortunately Worthplaying, among others, seems to have forgotten to mention the original source. Middleware developer Trinigy posted the pictures and the following description in the  list of references for their Vision 6 engine:
    "Screenshots of a Fantasy RPG study of one of our clients planned for release for PC & Next-Gen consoles and based on Vision Engine 6."
    A scanned Vision engine flyer posted in the JoWooD forum includes very similar screenshots and mentions Spellbound as developer and the target platforms PC, XBox360 and PS3. The same German language thread from October includes a clarification by a mod that the game shown is definitely not Gothic 4. His statement was based on conversations he had with officials from JoWooD and Spellbound at the Games Convention back in August.
    So the pics are most certainly not showing Gothic 4. It´s quite possible they were used in the early planning stages of the Gothic 4 project though.

    Thursday - December 13, 2007

    Gothic 4 - Planned for Early 2010 ?

    by Gorath, 20:08

    We´ve heard a couple of rumors about JoWooD´s / Spellbound´s upcoming fourth installment of the Gothic franchise:

    • Platforms: XBox360, PC
    • Release date: Q1/2010
    • Release secured in: Europe, North America
    • ... and more juicy stuff we want to check first. ;)

    Sunday - September 16, 2007

    Gothic 4 - Interview @ Gothicz

    by Dhruin, 01:04

    Gaspy let us know about a new interview on his site Gothicz.net with Jochen Hamma, a producer with Spellbound on Gothic 4.  Given the very early state of the project, this is an informative read and well worth a look for Gothic fans.  Let's take a quote on Spellbound's background to set the scene:

    2. Tell me something about the beginnings of Spellbound and your past projects...
    Spellbound was established in 1994 by Armin Gessert - a few months later, Jean-Marc Haessig joined the company. Both are still here and serve as CEO and Creative Director of Spellbound. In 1995 the company has started to cooperate with another developer (attic Entertainment Software GmbH) - working on an RPG game called Realms of Arkania - Shadows over Riva. At that time, I had been producer of the title at attic and that's how Armin and I met the first time. After Shadows over Riva, Spellbound has been involved in the creation of around 20 titles in a variety of different genres (RPG, Action, Strategy, Tactics, and Simulation). The most well known probably are Airline Tycoon, Robin Hood and their old western games like the Desperados series or it's most recent project Helldorado.

    Saturday - September 15, 2007

    Gothic 4 - GC Presentation Summary

    by Dhruin, 01:47

    This goes back a few weeks now but German readers might be interested in the Gothic 4 GC presentation summary at PC Games.de pointed out by richard.

    Thursday - August 23, 2007

    Spellbound to Develop Gothic 4: Genesis!

    by Gorath, 17:51

    Today JoWooD let the cat out of the bag: The next Gothic game will be named Gothic 4: Genesis. Responsible for the development will be experienced German studio Spellbound Entertainment (Desperados, Robin Hood, Airline Tycoon).
    Here is the press release minus the corporate stuff:

    Liezen, Austria 23rd of August: JoWooD Productions Software AG is proud to present Spellbound Entertainment AG as the official developing team for Gothic 4.

    One of the most convincing and central arguments for choosing Spellbound was the scope of RPG experience brought in by Spellbound team member Jochen Hamma, who was involved in creating the legendary "Nordlang [sic!] Trilogy" based upon the Pen&Paper RPG "Das Schwarze Auge". [Released in English as Realms of Arkania series; ed.]

    Furthermore, Spellbound has created own tools for archieving exceptional standards in quality and quality assurance. Both parties are confident to produce a game of highest quality and Spellbound intnds [sic!] to focus on the traditional strenghts [sic!] of the brand, setting new standards in the original, authentic Gothic essentials.

    At the Gamces [sic!] Convention 2007 in Leipzig, Mr. Jochen Hamma, Spellbounds [sic!] Executive Producer, is showing the first facts and plans to curious fans and special interest media, outlining which stenghts [sic!] are essnetially [sic!] to be intensified and which weaknesses are tagged for elemination [sic!].

    Gothic 4 is being developed for PC and Current Gen console systems, a release date will be announced in the comming weeks.

    Gothic 4 - Developer Rumor [updated]

    by Gorath, 11:55

    4Players.de posted a newsbit a few minutes ago disclosing the rumors they have picked up at the Games Convention.

    The newsbit says the rumors lead to Funatics as the developer of JoWooD´s upcoming Gothic 4. Furthermore 4Players believes the Austrian publisher will announce this today.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Funatics´ track record includes Zanzarah, The Cultures series, Settlers 2: The Next Generation and additional development on Paraworld. The Funatics founders also worked in lead positions on many games by Blue Byte.

    Update: The rumor was wrong. The developer is another experienced German studio. See news nearby.

    Thursday - May 24, 2007

    Gothic 4 - JoWooD is Seeking Development Studio!

    by Gorath, 01:41

    JoWooD published an advertisement on their homepage. They are accepting applications of development studios interested in working with them on Gothic 4.

    JoWooD Productions officially advertises for development of Gothic 4

    Liezen, Österreich, May, 23 2007; JoWooD Productions has already been working on the sequel for its most successful and well known RPG brand. After positive planning and concept phase and first promising negotiations with developers,  JoWooD Productions officially advertises the development, to give all teams the chance to work on the project. JoWooD is looking for development studios to work on PC and current gen console.  To ensure the high performance of this role-playing-game, JoWooD is focusing on the quality of the product as well as the typical and well known gaming style.

    If you are interested in development of Gothic 4 please fill out the following documents and return them to
    [Email adress and links to Developer Information & NDA removed; Ed.]

    (invitation valid until: June, 22 2007)

    Yesterday´s Gothic 4 announcement started with:

    Liezen, Austria, May 22nd 2007; JoWooD confirms having been in promising negotiatons for the development of Gothic 4 on PC and console with various prospective development studios. [...]

    I wonder how these studios feel now. ;) 

    Sticking to  the "well known gaming style" sounds good though.

    Wednesday - May 23, 2007

    Gothic 4 - Official Announcement by JoWooD [update]

    by Gorath, 11:15

    As promised, here is the content parts of JoWooDs´ official press releases, followed by a short comparison:

    (emphasis mine; see updates)

    JoWooD Productions is currently working on Gothic 4

    Liezen, Austria, May 22nd 2007; JoWooD confirms having been in promising negotiatons for the development of Gothic 4 on PC and console with various prospective development studios. Releasing Gothic 4 on current-gen console is the next logical step for the Publisher's strategy. JoWooD puts most of its focus on high quality standards as well as reacting to the communities [sic!] comments and requests for the sequel to its flag-ship [sic!] title.

    Since Pluto 13 and JoWooD have not come to terms regarding the development of Gothic 4, the collaboration has come to an end.

    Update 1: The underlined part  does not exist in the German PR, the rest of the sentence is different.

    And the German PR again:

    JoWooD Productions arbeitet an Gothic 4

    Liezen, Österreich, 22. Mai 2007; JoWooD Productions befindet sich bereits seit mehreren Wochen in positiven Gesprächen mit potenziellen Entwicklerstudios für Gothic 4 auf PC und Konsole. Bei der Auswahl des Entwicklers wird insbesondere auf sehr hohen Qualitätsstandard sowie eine abschließend fehlerfreie Programmierung des Spieles fokussiert. Mit der Veröffentlichung des vierten Teils des erfolgreichen Rollenspiels auf Current Gen Konsolen verfolgt JoWooD zielstrebig die neue Unternehmensstrategie in Richtung Konsolenmarkt.

    Die Gespräche mit dem bisherigen Entwickler Pluto 13 führten zu keinem akzeptablen Ergebnis, weshalb die Zusammenarbeit beendet wurde.

    Update 2: The underlined part translates to "The focus during the developer selection process will be especially on very high quality standards as well as a concluding bug-free programming of the game."

    Tuesday - May 22, 2007

    Gothic 4 - JoWood working on Gothic 4

    by Garrett, 20:45

    With all the turmoil about the G3 patch and today's news about the divorce of PG & JoWood, JoWood has just announced, that they are working on Gothic 4:

    JoWooD Productions arbeitet an Gothic 4

    Liezen, Österreich, 22. Mai 2007; JoWooD Productions befindet sich bereits seit mehreren Wochen in positiven Gesprächen mit potenziellen Entwicklerstudios für Gothic 4 auf PC und Konsole. Bei der Auswahl des Entwicklers wird insbesondere auf sehr hohen Qualitätsstandard sowie eine abschließend fehlerfreie Programmierung des Spieles fokussiert. Mit der Veröffentlichung des vierten Teils des erfolgreichen Rollenspiels auf Current Gen Konsolen verfolgt JoWooD zielstrebig die neue Unternehmensstrategie in Richtung Konsolenmarkt.

    Die Gespräche mit dem bisherigen Entwickler Pluto 13 führten zu keinem akzeptablen Ergebnis, weshalb die Zusammenarbeit beendet wurde.

    Which roughly translates to:

    JoWooD Productions has talked to possible developing studios for Gothic 4 on PC & conloses for many weeks now. The focus on picking a developing studio is high quality standard and bugfree coding...JoWood ist focussing on the console market...

    First of all, it's interesting, JoWood has talked to other studios than PB also for many weeks and then, they are blaming PB for the bugfeast G3 indirectly. The war of the roses has begun ;-)

    Source: JoWooD

    Information about

    Arcania: Gothic 4

    Developer: Spellbound Entertainment

    SP/MP: Single-player
    Setting: Fantasy
    Genre: Action-RPG
    Combat: Real-time
    Play-time: 20-40 hours
    Voice-acting: Full

    Regions & platforms
    Europe
    · Homepage
    · Platform: PC
    · Released at 2010-10-12
    · Publisher: JoWooD

    North America
    · Arcania: A Gothic Tale
    · Platform: PC
    · Released at 2010-10-19
    · Publisher: Dreamcatcher

    Europe
    · Arcania: A Gothic Tale
    · Platform: Xbox 360
    · Released at 2010-10-01
    · Publisher: JoWooD