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Round Up:  Oblivion  Downloadable Content, ESRB Ratings Issues, Ubisoft COO Resigns
Round Up: Oblivion Downloadable Content, ESRB Ratings Issues, Ubisoft COO Resigns
April 3, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

April 3, 2006 | By Jason Dobson
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More: Console/PC



Today's round-up includes news of the first downloadable content for Oblivion over the Xbox Live marketplace, ESRB ratings being unbalanced, and Tremblay leaving Ubisoft, as well as the latest posts from GameSetWatch, product news and Gamasutra job postings.

- Even before the much anticipated release of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion by 2K Games, the developer said that they planned to support the title with downloadable content over Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace. Today the first such download was released in the form of horse armor. The download costs 200 Microsoft Points, or roughly $2.50, which is already drawing outrage from the player community after paying the already premium price of $59.99, or in the case of the collector's edition, $69.99.

- A study led by Associate Professor Kimberly Thompson of the Kids Risk Project at Harvard School of Public Health found that 81 percent of a random sample of M-rated (Mature) video games included content that was not listed on the game box. The study also found that the ESRB inconsistently assigned content descriptors to some games but not to others with the same content. "Parents and physicians need to recognize that M-rated video games popular with children and adolescents contain a wide range of often unlabeled content, exposing young people to messages that may negatively influence their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors," said Thompson, Associate Professor of Risk Analysis and Decision Science at HSPH. More information can be found at the HSPH.

- In a statement earlier today, Ubisoft announced that Martin Tremblay, the Montreal studio's chief operations officer, has left the company for unspecified reasons, only that he was leaving to “take up new challenges.” Tremblay had served as the studio's COO since 2000 after first joining the company in 1999 as its executive vice president. "I'd really like to thank Martin Tremblay for his commitment and crucial contribution to Ubisoft Montreal and wish him all the best for the future" said Yves Guillemot, President & CEO of Ubisoft Entertainment. During his six years with the company, Tremblay expanded the staff from 450 people to 1,400, and turn the Montreal studio into one of the key development cornerstones of the company.

- The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include a look back at April Fool's Day, girls being investigated for a Mario-related bomb threat, the demo for Oasis' Stomping Grounds, what could be one of the worst games for the 3DO console, if not ever, and the latest installment of the GameSetWatch original comic strip, 'The Multicart Project,', featuring love lost due to bad programming.

- Also updated today: product news, featuring a new deal between DemonWare and Ubisoft, as well as the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from Activision, Airtight Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Cybervision Corporation, DeVry University, Electronic Arts Tiburon, Factor 5, LucasArts, Massive Incorporated, Volition, and WMS Gaming Inc.


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