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398w ago - What we heard: Ever since it was first announced, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames has been the subject of many gamers' interest. The attention increased after Electronic Arts agreed to publish the title, which sees a trio of guns-for-hire renting themselves out during a Venezuelan civil war. Anticipation for the game skyrocketed in May, when developers showed off what looked like a near-final build of the game.

Today, though, comes word that Mercenaries 2 might be missing its previously announced holiday 2007 release date. Citing unnamed sources, C&VG is claiming that the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC shooter has been pushed back to 2008. While the move pushes the Pandemic title's free-roaming, over-the-top destruction further down the space-time continuum, it will free up funds for cash-strapped gamers to buy other titles. It also isn't unprecedented, since other AAA titles such as Splinter Cell: Conviction and the big kahuna itself, Grand Theft Auto IV, have been pushed back to next year.

The official story: "We've made no announcements at this time regarding a final release date for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames."--A recalcitrant Pandemic rep.

Bogus or not bogus?: Leaning not bogus. As promising as Mercenaries 2 looks, it's not as high profile as many other titles fighting for consumers' limited dollars this year. Factor that a holiday release would pit it against another EA-published title, Crysis (due November 16), and a delay seems even more likely.

Mercenaries 2 reporting for duty in '08?

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