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Interview: Phil Harrison on Alone in the Dark and life after Sony

Tuesday, 27 May 2008 07:34 GMT By Patrick Garratt

philharrison8.jpg

Atari rolled out the red carpet in London last week for its pre-launch showing of Alone in the Dark, flying in a tired-looking Phil Harrison from New York to intro the game and give a few interviews. Talking to the big man is always a pleasure, and this time especially so, given his recent move from SCEE where he’d been ensconced for the past 15 years.

Harrison was in the UK to talk about the Eden action-adventure, but did answer a few questions on what it’s been like to join ex-EA boss David Gardner at Atari, the future of the firm in general, affirmation of his belief that unconnected single-players games are tomorrow’s dodos, and how he’s been busy making a bunch of new friends.

After the link.

Phil Harrison: Excuse me if I rub my face. I got off a plane from New York this morning, so I’m a little jetlagged.

VG247: No problem. A general question to start: how are you finding life at Atari?

I’m loving it. It’s great.

How different is it to SCEE?

It’s completely different in many ways and it’s the same in other ways. I’ve been here two months now and I’m making a whole new group of friends. It’s like changing schools when you’re a kid.

To talk about the game, then. You showed it off in America earlier this week, and I noticed you kept saying how impressed you were with it. Are you surprised by the quality?

Not surprised. I’ve known and have respected Eden for many years as a high quality developer, so I had high expectations. I think the reason I was surprised was that I hadn’t seen anything about the game before I joined the company, so it was on my first day in March that [the developers] took me through the presentation, and I was just like, “Wow, this is great. This is like a proper, triple A product.”

And I also really admired their passion and their dedication to the cause. You know, they really believe that what they’re doing is special and different. That’s so nice to see in a developer.

You’ve been constantly using the phrase “triple A product” in relation to the game. Do you think that’s something that needs messaging?

It’s not for me to dictate it as a triple A product. It’s up to the users, the reviewers and the players to form that opinion, but I think it has all the hallmarks of a very well executed, widescreen triple A product. I think it’s right to use that phrase.

One of the concerns a lot of people have about Alone in the Dark is that there’s an awful lot of stuff going on in that game. There are an lot of new ideas in there. Do you think there’s going to be an issue with the cohesiveness of the story?

There’s no issue with the cohesiveness of the story, because the story’s incredibly compelling and will drive you through, will pull you through. The narrative structure works, the character development works and the ending is cracking. There are a lot of things that I think the player who is excited by strong narrative structure will find compelling.

At its heart, though, it is not an interactive movie: it’s a game. So you have to play it, and it’s a challenge to play. It’s not a game that plays itself. It’s not on rails. It’s not Dragon’s Lair, where you press buttons at the right time and progress through one big cut-scene from start to finish. It will challenge some players, and there are some players that will find he variety of gameplay mechanics to be challenging, but that’s one of the benefits of the episodic chapter-select structure. If you find one aspect of the game to be over-taxing, you can go and play another bit and come back to it at another time.

Online is the future, so we’re told. There doesn’t seem to be any online functionality in this game. Does that disappoint you?

It doesn’t disappoint me. Actually, I think Eden was hinting at something quite strongly in the episodic structure of the game, and their original intention was to deliver the game episodically. For some creative and technical and commercial reasons, that was not realised in the final product, and won’t be: it’ll only be available as a disc-based product at retail. But, by the way they’ve structured the episodes, and the way each episode has chapters and scenes, you can tell they were thinking about that potential future. So, I think they should be given credit for being quite visionary about that four years ago.

You’ve been very vocal in saying that the future of Atari is going to be quite different to that of the other publishers, and the impression seems to be that the plan is to expand into the casual space. This is very much a core product. Is this style of game the dinosaur of tomorrow? Do you see this continuing?

I think I’ve been picked up on saying this [Here – Ed]. I think the single-player, disconnected console game is probably in its dotage. Now, that doesn’t mean that those games aren’t relevant going forwards, but they will be enhanced by community features being embedded in them, or downloadable content becoming an inherent part of the experience, or some kind of user-generated content will be part of the experience. All of the things we see in other games, the things that we can point to in compelling games.

A relatively linear single-player game without online connectivity is going to be a challenge to green-light going forward.

So, you don’t anticipate making many more of these games at all, certainly not past this financial year. Is that correct?

Me personally? No. And I don’t think the industry will for much longer either.

What about in terms of general platform support? You were very careful in your intro today to specify that this was the 360 version. You’ve got the PS3 version coming out towards the end of the year: how important is it for you at this point to differentiate between the two products?

Well, we have to differentiate between the two products, but having the PS3 [game] come later gives us a second bite of the cherry, so to speak. But today’s all about the 360 game.

Right. Can you tell us anything about the PS3 version at all? Will there be any differences?

Today we’re here talking about the 360 game.

It looks very different to the majority of action games on the market. What is it specifically about Alone in the Dark that you think makes its viable?

Execution of the idea is very high throughout. The characterisation of the game is great, both visually and in terms of the story. We talked in the presentation about fire as an enemy or a friend, and the way that works procedurally inside the environment is really clever. The sophistication of the inventory system is very clever. The variety of gameplay, as we were touching upon, gives great value, and the fact is that you can finish the game. We want everyone to finish the game. It says something about Eden’s confidence in the story, that, for your money which you’ve saved and dedicated to this game, we want you to get all of that value back through the experience.

They did research about the number of people who actually finish games, and it’s really small. There’s a kind of economic insanity about this, both from the development perspective and from the consumer perspective. You’re paying £50 or £40, and you’re not getting all of the content back out. You don’t get to see it, or experience it all. And on the developer side, there’s the passion and creativity and time and effort in crafting an experience that only 10 or 15 percent of players will ever get to see. That sounds like a mismatch to me. So I really like Eden’s approach. What they’ve done is say, “Finishing a game s OK. It’s good to see the end of the game. That’s not a bad thing.” Of course it’s OK. But very few developers actually say that.

Did you find the attitudes at Sony not quite as forward-thinking as the developers you’re working with now?

No, I wouldn’t say that at all. It’s not in any way a criticism of the talents that I’ve worked with in my previous career. It was very pleasant experience to spend some time with David and Tim at Eden and get a sense of their vision, which is as good as any I’ve come across in the industry.

One last question about Atari in general. Do you think the model you’re pursuing has more in line with the route’s Nintendo’s taken, which is basically not “the games industry” as such, but a different strand, if you like? If the more traditional games trade is Sony and Microsoft, do you see Atari following Nintendo into that broader sphere?

I think we can be influenced by and learn from a lot of the things that each of the console companies are doing. We can also be inspired by and learn from a lot of things that happen on the web. Some of the business models that happen on the web, and in the PC and mobile spaces we can bring back into the games space, but with a twist. One of the great benefits of my role is that we can experiment, and we can try things that are harder to do if you’re a platform holder, or are harder to do if you’re only a certain group of consoles. That’s what I’m finding very exciting.

Many thanks for your time.

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25 Comments

  1. morriss

    It’s not up to me to dictate if it’s triple A or not, but it is one! :D

    #1 7 years ago
  2. morriss

    I’d like to know what game these days doesn’t have some kind of on-line functionality/DLC etc. Even strictly single player experiences have Achievements. So what he’s saying there has already happened.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. patlike

    I’m trying to think of an example, but you’re right. All of the big stuff has “something else” now.

    #3 7 years ago
  4. patlike

    What about things like Silent Hill V, etc? I don’t think that’s got any DLC, etc, and it’s single-player.

    #4 7 years ago
  5. morriss

    It isn’t out yet is it. It may well have learderboards etc? Something to utilise the fact that the console’s online.

    #5 7 years ago
  6. patlike

    Yeah, it may well do. What about Bourne? Not sure that’s got anything. I think he meant more than just Achievements. He meant having connected “stuff” actually built into the game, I reckon.

    #6 7 years ago
  7. morriss

    Yeah, he was pretty vague. Tbh., stuff like NG2, SHV etc need to sell or he may well be right.

    Anyway, I’m more worried about him not being drawn at all on the PS3 version. Wtf is that? A simple it’s doing fine, but slightly late etc. would’ve done, but a flat refusal to even comment on it doesn’t go down too well.

    #7 7 years ago
  8. patlike

    Yep, not sure what that was about. He wouldn’t talk about it at all. Maybe they just want the 360 version out of the way before they even mention it. I dunno. The only thing he said about it was that it’s coming out “later this year” in the intro on stage.

    #8 7 years ago
  9. Blerk

    Probably means they haven’t even started it yet. :-D

    And morriss…. “online leaderboards” for Silent Hill V? Did you ever play a Silent Hill game? :-D

    #9 7 years ago
  10. morriss

    I’m just pulling stuff out my backside, Blerk. You know how it is! :)

    #10 7 years ago
  11. patlike

    Didn’t they say it was coming out on PS3 then say it was delayed? Maybe they just wanted to focus on actually launching it before committing to another platform. I’d be surprised if it didn’t make it out this Christmas: they’re going to need it, frankly.

    #11 7 years ago
  12. Blerk

    I wonder if the real answer to the PS3 question is a lot more straight-forward – Microsoft could well have bunged them a bit of money towards the show. It is ‘kind of’ an exclusive for now, given that the other versions are being created by another developer.

    #12 7 years ago
  13. patlike

    Yep, that could be the case. Like I said, he wasn’t having any of it, so I really don’t know. They’ve never said why they split them out like that.

    Do you want my “full and frank” take on what I saw of the game, then? :D

    #13 7 years ago
  14. morriss

    Of course.

    #14 7 years ago
  15. Blerk

    I wouldn’t expect anything less. :-)

    #15 7 years ago
  16. patlike

    OK.

    I honestly think it looks good. My main concern is how the various gameplay elements “hang together”, but only play will sort that out. It’s got first-person, third-person, melee combat, ranged combat, indoor, outdoor, driving, action, horror, etc, etc, etc. I think it’s going to be a case of “if it works it’ll be brilliant”, but there’s a definite danger of it being too fiddly, I reckon.

    Graphically, it looks fantastic. No doubt. The horror bits were horrible and the action bits were properly “blockbuster”. The parts we saw certainly weren’t boring by any chalk. The large environments had huge scope, there was mist in the park, lights flared, etc. Very atmospheric.

    Story: hmm. Lots of shouting and swearing. “Magic” and conspiracy. Dunno. Seemed a bit “teenage”, but there we are.

    I’ve thought about the DVD chapter thing a lot, and I reckon it’s one of the things that will really make me want to play it. I know I’ll finish it, and the “previously” movies mean you’re always up to date with the plot. I like the concept a lot.

    I think that’s it. Like I said, my main concerns are that it’s sort of doing stuff for the sake of it, and some of the gameplay elements may just be too much to be bothered with, but I’d be very surprised if it reviewed “badly” as such.

    #16 7 years ago
  17. Killerbee

    Good interview and nice to hear your impressions of the game, Pat.

    I really can’t work out the reasons behind his refusal to talk about the PS3 version. Maybe it’s having problems; maybe they’re going to do something extra for it and don’t want to annoy the 360 fanboys by announcing it now…

    Was there anything said in the presentation about the PC version? That’s the one I’m actually most likely to get and I’ve really no idea whether all the different elements of the game are going to be set up for a mouse and keyboard (best for the first-person sections) or a pad (better for driving). The Wii version is also making me wonder what might be in store if I were to overlook the graphical niceties of playing it on my PC…

    Come on Atari – many people these days have more than one games console. Help us make a decision by giving us a bit more info!!!

    #17 7 years ago
  18. patlike

    Nope, they didn’t mention the PC version at all. Everything we saw was from the 360 version. They didn’t talk about anything else.

    #18 7 years ago
  19. Blerk

    I’d expect the Wii/PS2 versions to be the ‘poor relations’ of the proper versions, given that they’ve been farmed out to a completely different team. I seem to remember reading that they were hoping to get ‘most’ of the features in, but you’re still basically looking at a watered-down interpretation of what they tried to do.

    The ‘previously on’ thing is a good idea – more games should do that. Although it’s a bit cheeky for Atari to imply that they’ve invented it – I’ve played at least three games in the last few years which do the exact same thing. :-)

    And yes, my main concern is the game itself – namely that it’s trying to do too much and will end up being too disjointed. Jack of all trades, etc.

    #19 7 years ago
  20. Killerbee

    Thanks Pat. I’m expecting the PC version to be pretty much the same as the 360 from a technical point of view. It’d be nice to know how it controls though.

    Maybe I’ll have to finally give in and buy myself a 360 pad for my PC…

    #20 7 years ago
  21. patlike

    Blerk: They’ve gone to great pains to make sure everyone knows the PS2 and Wii versions have a completely different control method. It’s all been built from the ground up, apparently.

    KB: Yeah, I’d be surprised if there was much difference. Get a 360 pad! best pad ever :)

    #21 7 years ago
  22. Blerk

    Sounds pretty much like it’ll be a totally different game, then.

    #22 7 years ago
  23. patlike

    It’ll have to be, I reckon. I don’t see how PS2 or Wii would be able to do half the stuff going on the 360 version.

    #23 7 years ago
  24. Tonka

    morris : I’m just pulling stuff out my backside, Blerk. You know how it is! :)

    Please tell me that was intentional.

    #24 7 years ago
  25. Blerk

    Seems you were asking the wrong person about AitD PS3, Pat!

    http://tinyurl.com/4ymuvc

    #25 7 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]

  • Dragon Age lead creative moves onto mysterious new BioWare project

    Dragon Age creator David Gaider is leaving his baby behind. Dragon Age is a team effort, but Gaider was one of the key creatives behind the franchise, creating the setting of Thedas (which, I was recently amused to learn, is an acronym: “THE Dragon Age Setting”). He was lead writer on all three games and […]

  • Unity 5 available for free with “no fucking around”

    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]