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Japan quake: Sony delays Motorstorm Apocalypse in UK

Sony's confirmed it's to delay the UK release of Evolution racer Motorstorm Apocalypse following last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The game, which sees you race in a city destroyed by earthquakes, was due to release this Friday. It was already delayed in Japan by SCEJ in the wake of Friday's events.

"Although we have shipped the game into the channel last week, given that we are able to do so, we have chosen to postpone the launch in the UK," a SCE UK spokesperson told VG247 in an email this afternoon.

"In the meantime we will continue to monitor the situation very closely."

A SCEE statement added: "We are shocked and saddened to see the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and our thoughts are with all those affected, including our colleagues within the Sony family, living and working throughout Japan.

"We are very conscious of the parallels between these events and the underlying theme in Motorstorm and are doing everything we can to be as sensitive as possible to the situation. Although the game itself is already in distribution, we are ceasing any further shipments and removing as much of the marketing materials as possible."

Global games industry launches charity drive

The news is merely the latest set-back for the games trade caused by last week's Japanese earthquake.

The industry has responded to the disaster with a string of charity measures.

Following news yesterday that platform holders Nintendo and Sony have both contributed ¥300 million (£2.3 million) to relief efforts, EVE Online developer CCP said today it's to offer PLEX donations from the game as charitable incentives from its MMO.

Simply known as PLEX for Good, the program launched yesterday and will continue to run until March 31. More info on the drive can be found through here.

CCP said that PLEX donations made from EVE will be converted into real currency and donated to the Red Cross for its relief operations in the country.

Sony Corporation has also donated 30,000 radios to aid efforts.

On the publisher side, 5pb and Namco Bandai have also contributed.

Capcom has also confirmed that it's to donate all revenue from Street Fighter IV sales into relief activities for one week beginning today.

It's also confirmed a donation of ¥100 million, as well as compensate users of MMO Monster Hunter Frontier on 360 and PC by letting users play at "at no cost."

Japanese news-based site Siliconera is also holding its own fundraiser here.

In addition, Game Informer writer Meagan Marie is auctioning off a rare one-of-a-kind Nintendo DS unit to promote Mario Kart DS.

It's been signed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario and Zelda composer Koji Kondo, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, Mario voice-actor Charles Martinet and Martin Leung, a pianist who famously played the Mario theme blindfolded.

The auction's here.

In the west, Zynga has teamed up with Save the Children to raise relief money for aid operations from micro-transactions bought in-game from its games such as CityVille, Farmville and Frontierville.

Sports Interactive had also announced a charity initiative to help victims of the earthquake. The studio has promised to donate all of its revenue from the iOS version of Football Manager Handheld 2011 to a disaster relief fund in Japan for seven days, beginning last Friday.

Local activity hit

Help from the games trade comes after Square Enix and Konami confirmed said yesterday that they were shutting down servers for Final Fantasy XI, XIV and Metal Gear Online to conserve energy, following two explosions at one of the country's nuclear power plants.

The situation at the Fukushima plant has now worsened, as is being widely reported.

A series of promotional events for games in Japan had also been cancelled, including Yakuza of the End, BlazBlue Continuum Shift II, Dead or Alive Dimensions and the Monster Hunter Festa.

As well as Motorstorm, other delays have also been been announced, with Yakuza of the End also pushed back, with PS3 survival title Disaster Report 4 canned outright.

Microsoft's held back Xbox Live-related products as well as announcing a delay to the Japanese release of Dragon Age: Origins expansion Awakening. It's also cancelled a national tour for Kinect.

Sony has put on hold its PlayStation information and repair centers, a report from Andriasang claims.

Sony will keep PlayStation Network open in Japan, but insists that connectivity to the service will be difficult to access in some cases. The report also says that some content updates will most likely be delayed.

Other game delays include Haruhi Suzumiya's Majhong and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, both for PSP although the former is thought to already have been delayed per Kotaku.

Nintendo's Steel Diver for 3DS will also be delayed with the company stating the titles will miss its March 17 release for "various reasons". No word on whether the western release for March 27 has been cancelled as well or not.

Major League Baseball 2K11 and Top Spin 4, which were both slated for April in Japan are delayed as well.

Marvel vs Capcom 3 DLC featuring Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath will miss its scheduled release in Japan tomorrow. Capcom confirmed the delay, without providing a new release date; however, it stated it would post news on the matter via its official website soon. No word on whether it will miss its US and UK launch was provided at posting.

If you're looking to personally donate outside of games, you can do so at the British Red Cross website here.

Those in the US can also text through various outlets such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. You can find out how to do this thorough here. If your mobile carrier is Sprint, the firm has waived text-fees pertaining to the relief efforts.

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