Welcome to the Rumour mill, VideoGamer.com's run-down of the big rumours currently doing the rounds in the video game industry. Every week we'll hunt down the juiciest stories and give our opinion on how legit they are. So, whether you want the ridiculous or the plausible, read on.

The Sims 3 early in 2009

The Rumour: EA has pencilled in a February 2009 release date for a true The Sims sequel, the first since The Sims 2 launched in September 2004.

Verdict: EA has certainly been milking The Sims 2, with a string of expansion packs and 'Stuff" packs steadily released to keep players hooked. It already seems about time for a series overhaul so come early 2009 players we'll certainly be wanting more. What's more, February 2009 will mark the ninth anniversary of the The Sims.

Plausibility rating: 3/5

Gauntlet coming to Wii and Nintendo DS

The Rumour: Backbone Entertainment is working on a new game in the Gauntlet franchise for Nintendo DS - Wi-Fi Connection multiplayer for up to four-players included. A version is also coming to Wii.

Verdict: Gauntlet hasn't seen a new release since the rather poor Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows (published and developed by Midway) and it's fair to say interest in the franchise isn't all that high. That said the game's multiplayer element could suit the Wii and DS.

Plausibility rating: 2/5

Eidos working on new Fear Effect game

The Rumour: The recently opened Eidos Montreal is working on more than Deus Ex 3. The studio is said to be breathing new life into the Mass Effect series, last seen in 2001 with the PSone release Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix.

Verdict: A third game in the series, Fear Effect: Inferno, was in development back in 2002 but was put on hold. Since then a film, directed by Uwe Boll, was announced then cancelled and there's been persistent rumours that a new game is in development. It's certainly a franchise that could benefit from a next-gen upgrade.

Plausibility rating: 2/5

Call of Duty 4 dev working on new IP

The Rumour: With work finished on Call of Duty 4, Infinity Ward is hard at work on an all-new IP for release in 2009.

Verdict: Infinity Ward has already taken the Call of Duty series into a modern era, so perhaps it's time to move on. There will no doubt be more games in the Call of Duty series, with CoD3 developer Treyarch likely to continue work on the series.

Plausibility rating: 3/5

That's all until next week, but be sure to let us know if you've heard a juicy rumour.