“Oh, it’s you. It’s been a long time.”

Between my own vacation and our site’s migration to new servers, it’s been quite some time since last we checked the pulse of the gaming industry (see what I did there?). Those days are over, friends! As always, the gaming industry has been bubbling with news as it prepares for the arrival of the Fall/Winter product line. Let’s see what’s happened in the past few weeks.

- The most important news item to report is the latest victory regarding video game regulation in the United States. As our own Nick Cavicchio reported, the Supreme Court of the United States deemed that video games were protected under First Amendment rights. Nick went above-and-beyond the call of duty in his coverage of the landmark decision: you can check out his summary of the opinion and read up on the history of the case prior to SCOTUS’ decision.

- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D released a few weeks ago to lukewarm critical reception; however, despite its underwhelming performance with the critics, the game still managed to draw a lot of attention. During the development of the shooter, Capcom chose to allow players to have only one, non-deletable save file. Not long after, a host of retailers, led by GameStop’s example, began refusing to accept the 3DS title for trade-in. Looks like this title’s been…merc’d.

- Remember L.A. Noire? Rockstar’s latest blockbuster, which we covered ad nauseam, continues to make headlines. After reports of abysmal working conditions began surfacing, news broke that Rockstar would be dissolving their relationship with the game’s developer, Australian studio Team Bondi. This forces us to question the future of the franchise, which, at one point, looked to be incredibly bright. Stay tuned to ComicBooked for more developments.

- The road to Battlefield 3 has been laden with controversy. In the wake of select EA titles mysteriously disappearing (and subsequently reappearing) on Valve’s digital software distribution service, Steam, speculation has begun circulating that the service will not be an online distributor of the upcoming FPS title. EA does not list Steam as an official distributor for the title; additionally, the title is, as of reporting, not available for pre-order on the platform. Valve and EA, who have a long history together, seem to be taking very hostile postures against each other. More on this as it develops.

- Speaking of EA, the publisher recently acquired PopCap Games, who are probably most famous for their tower defense title Plants vs. Zombies. EA reportedly spent $750 million in their acquisition of the studio. PopCap joins a host of other, smaller, noteworthy studios to have come under EA’s umbrella in the last few years. Eager to know more about the acquisition? Robb Orr gave the story a full write-up.

- Here’s a double dose of Mass Effect 3 news for you: Legendary Pictures will be releasing information about an upcoming movie adaptation at San Diego Comic Con and rumors of a multi player mode resurface. Regarding the first item, Legendary Pictures will Bioware employee Casey Hudson and writer Mark Protosevich on-hand to tease some information about their recently-announced movie adaptation of the insanely popular and critically adored franchise. Regarding the second item, Bioware has teased that a demo for the game will be arriving sometime in the next few months and refuses to comment, positively or negatively, about the presence of multi player in the upcoming installment.

- Eagerly awaiting the upcoming fall releases for the 3DS? (And who isn’t, really?) Netflix has offered to help make the wait a bit less painful: a free Instant Queue steaming app has been released for the 3DS. Netflix subscribers can simply log into their account and instantly access any title available for streaming. Many reports indicate that 3D movies may be on their way to the device as well, but Nintendo has been trying to control those before they spiral out of control.

That’ll do for the return of Gamer Pulse. As you can see, ComicBooked has been ablaze with new articles in the last few days.