Sections

Interview: Bizarre Creations’ Gareth Wilson on Blur

Thursday, 6 May 2010 15:52 GMT By Adam Hartley

blur1b

With the multiplayer Beta for Blur ending next week and the game itself releasing at the end of the month, we put Adam Hartley to task on forcing information out of lead designer Gareth Wilson and getting some cool gameplay details for you.

Bizarre Creations’ Blur has been in development for a little over two years now, and focuses on full damage modeling, loads of special effects, and 50 licensed cars.

The game also includes five different power ups: Barge, Mines, Nitro, Shunt, and Shock, that you collect throughout each course, allowing you to blast other cars out of the way. It includes a single-player campaign as well as competitive and team-based multiplayer races with up to 20 players online, or on a single console via 4 player split-screen.

The game mixes Mario Kart-style power-ups with the racing action of Bizarre’s Project Gotham, which leader designer Gareth Wilson said is good assessment.

So just a bit of background, before we start getting into it. How long has Blur been in development now?

Gareth Wilson: We started it when we were finishing PGR4 for Microsoft in 2007. We got bought out by Activision around that time. And we were finishing off some DLC for PGR4 for Microsoft, which we were contractually obliged to do. So just over two years ago. It all blurs into one, to be honest!

So how has being owned by Activision changed the culture of development at Bizarre?

Gareth Wilson: Not at all. I’d love to dish you some juicy gossip, but it really has not been that different at all. If anything, Activision has left us a little bit more to our own devices. Basically, they acquired Bizarre because they wanted some extra expertise in the racing field which was one area where they didn’t have any experience. They literally said to us: “We want you to make a broadly appealing racing game. We don’t have any plans. That’s why we’ve acquired you. You go for your life and come up with something that is appropriate.”

They operate this thing called the independent studio model at Activision, where they basically just leave you to it. As long as you are making decent games, then they don’t really interfere too much.

So what have they brought to the party?

Gareth Wilson: Well they are the biggest and best publisher on the planet in terms of selling videogames! So their expertise in PR and marketing has been outstanding.  The PR event that we had for Blur a couple of months ago was just awesome, publicizing the multiplayer beta really well. So they have this very focused product marketing approach. Whereas Microsoft – still a completely awesome company to work for – is a technology company, Activision is an entertainment product company. Which is a big difference.

So it’s kind of different to the situation when you were an independent studio and Microsoft was the publisher?

Gareth Wilson: It’s not that different to be honest. It certainly wasn’t as different as I was expecting, because they operate that independent studio model – and we very much feel like we are an independent studio, even though we are owned by them.

The good thing, from our perspective, is when the game is finished we don’t have to go through all of that stress and worry of trying to find another publisher to work with, or renew a contract with a company or whatever. We know Activision wants to make racing games for the foreseeable future and we are kind of secure in our funding. Whereas as an independent studio you are always looking to your next project, so you know that you have something to come on-stream when your next game finishes. We don’t have to worry about that anymore. Which is great!

I remember Peter Molyneux telling me exactly the same thing when Lionhead was bought out by Microsoft.

Gareth Wilson: Well it is true. It is pretty stressful, to run a studio and have hundreds of people relying on their jobs to pay their mortgages and that. You can’t just make a prototype of a game and then take it to a publisher and say, “isn’t this game awesome?” You need to have five or ten million in the bank to actually go and create a videogame these days.

But what about stuff like Microsoft’s XNA and that? There’s a lot of talk about that ‘bedroom coding scene’ being resurrected by that type of thing.

Gareth Wilson: Yeah, it is happening, definitely. But it is a difference in attitude. We are geared towards making AAA racing games and AAA videogames. But the XNA stuff is happening. And broader than that, if you look at stuff like Flash-based games, Facebook-based games, the explosion of games on the iPhone – all that stuff is very much on the increase, but if you want to make a forty or fifty dollar videogame for a console, then that is still going to cost you millions and millions of pounds. There is really no way around that.

So to talk a bit more about Blur. The general consensus so far seems to be that it is a Mario Kart-style power-up focused game crossed with what you guys are good at – a Project Gotham style racer.

Gareth Wilson: Yeah, it’s a pretty fair comment really. I mean, we’ve got power-ups and it’s a racing game! But beyond that, when we set out to develop this we didn’t go out to create a grown-up version of Mario Kart. That was probably furthest from our minds when we started looking at the concept itself. What we wanted to do was just to bring the fun back to racing games, really. To make a game where there is constant battling, constant chaos, constant overtaking, constant jostling for position. And when we were working out how to achieve that in a modern racing game, putting a load more cars on the track was an obvious one. So we said we wanted twenty cars on the track, which is way more than our other competitors.

And then we wanted a mechanic that allowed you to move race positions in the game very quickly. And we tried a few things out and we found that the most interesting and exciting option was to use power-ups. So we kind of stumbled across it. We wanted you to be able to move positions quickly, and power-ups just became the best way to facilitate that.

So what non-Bizarre games are played most by the guys in the studio?

Gareth Wilson: Wow. Lots and lots of action-based games. Left 4 Dead is huge in the office at the minute. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, remember that? That gets played heavily. We do play a lot of racing games as well, but what we’ve found on this project is that we have been playing a lot of our own game at lunchtimes. Which is when you know you are onto a winner, when you have people working 12-hour days, six days a week and at lunchtime they still want to play their own game. It’s normally the last thing you want to do!

So yeah, we did a lot of multiplayer testing, internally – and we’ve really sort of drove the way the game works from all of those internal playtests, intensively testing out how power-ups work and all of that sort of stuff.

Going back a few years to when you were working with Sega. What ever happened with The Club? What was the fallout from that? Any plans to make further versions of that?

Gareth Wilson: Sega owns the rights to The Club, so we won’t be able to make another version of it. But as a game, we were really pleased with it, from a design perspective, because fundamentally we were trying to make a race-and-retry kudos-based shooter where you had high-scores and you had to repeatedly try to better your score as you ran around each level, with each level being kind of like a track. So basically like Gotham does shooting, which was the high level goal of it.

Sales-wise, it did okay. It’s not become the biggest-selling game of all time, or anything, but it still has a cult following. There is a Facebook group that still gets together every week to play the game. It wasn’t as successful as we would have liked it to have been, but at the time there were loads of massive games coming out around the same time, so it just got a bit lost in the release schedule.

It’s a shame, it really was a cracking game.

Gareth Wilson: Yeah, I really enjoyed the online side of it. Did you play the online much?

Oh no. I was rubbish at it.

Gareth Wilson: [Laugh] There was a great online mode called hunter-hunted where one of you was being hunted and all the others were hunters. And you had some very cool extra weapons and stuff. But you know, it was a tough one to market, because at the time everyone was into World War 2-based shooters and realistic-based shooters and this one was a bit left-field.

So talking about platforms – Blur is coming out on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. No plans for handheld versions?

Gareth Wilson: Not right now. But maybe in the future. And to be honest, handheld is not something that we would do anyway. It is something that we would get someone else to do. Just license out the rights to the game. We’re not really set up for handheld development here.

Music seems to be a really vital component to all of your racing games. How important is that in this game and who have your worked with on Blur?

Gareth Wilson: [Asks PR guy: “has that been announced?” PR guy says: “No, not yet.”] Well we have been working with a band but we are not allowed to say yet! But of course we’ll make that announcement before launch. But it is interesting that you talk about music, because on PGR2 we had that really cool radio station thing, where if you were in Russia you would hear Russian radio announcers and bands playing while you were driving around Moscow. Which was cool.

Then in PGR4 we tried to go for a broader, more diverse selection of music. So we had a mix of different stuff  – house music, acid jazz, indie stuff and rock stuff – but we found that people either loved your music or they hated it. Reviewers were even marking the game down because it featured a particular song that they didn’t like!

So for Blur we have gone for a completely composed soundtrack which has come from this band. So it is a uniquely composed soundtrack for the game, which we use to let you know when you are in first place, or at a particular event and so on. So certain events will have a specially-crafted music track.

Is it Blur?

Gareth Wilson: [Laughs] No. The reason we called the game that – and we had so many iterations of different stuff when we were trying to come up with a name – and we came down to about four or five favorites. And this one came back as the most popular. And we thought, from a UK-perspective, immediately of Blur the band, which we initially thought was a bit strange. But in the US it really sort of resonated with the overall style of the game, the neon-based power-ups, the speed, the carnage and all that sort of stuff. So the guys in marketing really thought the name conveyed all of that action in the game. And then, as luck would have it, Blur announced they were officially reforming. Which was brilliant!

Talking about the environments in the game – which are sort of loosely-based on areas of LA, London and various other cities. How did you go about creating those? Did you visit the areas that the tracks are based on?

Gareth Wilson: Yes, we went out to all of those areas and took reference shots, as we’ve done for normal racing games in the past. But what we made sure of on Blur, is that we weren’t as slavish to the real world as we were in Gotham. So if we were building a track based on Tokyo, say, and a corner was particularly tight and it wasn’t really suitable for twenty cars then we would just make it wider and move the street furniture to make the game feel better. With Blur we just want to give you a feeling about being in a place. We’re not that bothered about it being photo-realistic, so you can drive around and say “oh look, there’s my flat!” which is what you could do in PGR. Blur is more about the essence of the place itself. And also, we went for a much broader list of locations and environments in this game, so you have beach races, desert races, we have you driving around the Hollywood hills, with a massive Hollywood sign that you can smash into and stuff like that.

This was because we wanted people to have a real choice about which car they were picking – so if you go to an off-road track you should choose an off-road car because it will perform better, if you are on a street track you should pick a street car and so on. It also adds more strategy into the game, when the player decides to keep which vehicles they want.

So more generally, talking about this tendency towards ultra high-realism in the games industry, do you think this is perhaps taking away from what is really important? Which is gameplay. And fun.

Gareth Wilson: Absolutely. And that was the key driver for Blur, really. PGR3 was an absolute joy to work on – because whenever you work on new tech, the first thing you want to do is to make the most visually stunning videogame that you’ve ever done. So you go, “wow, look, we’ve put 140,000 polygons into a car and we’ve got a physics engine that we couldn’t have even dreamt of a few years ago.”

But then once you get this far into the console cycle, then everybody has got a sim. Everybody has got a Forza or a Gran Turismo or Gotham or a whatever. So trying to convince people to buy yet another sim is just difficult, really. And generally I think you are right – it is very natural for us as developers to try to recreate reality with our new toys. But at this stage of the console cycle I think it’s important to focus on fun and new experiences. And different types of gameplay. Which is really where Blur has come from.

Looking at the future of console tech. Is Bizarre working with any 3D tech or Project Natal or PlayStation Move?

Gareth Wilson: We have seen pretty much all of that stuff. And it is all awesome. But I can’t really talk much more about it, beyond saying that we have got it all and we’ve had people to come and see us and we have all sorts of interesting ideas about how all that sort of stuff could work. But nothing concrete yet.  We’ve only just finished Blur. I’m going on holiday for a couple of weeks! But it’s all good stuff and as developers we love mucking around with new stuff.

Natal looks great, from what we’ve seen of it. And the Move stuff. But it’s still difficult to see how you can apply all of that to a racing game, because with a racing game you need to have precision in the controls. So you would probably want to create a very different type of racing game to work with that kind of control tech.

Well I’m just really keen to see Geometry Wars 3D working on Natal or Move.

Gareth Wilson: [Laughs with no further comment]

Back to Blur, one aspect of the game that is interesting is that you have parodied various popular social networks – with things like ‘Racebook’ and ‘InnerTube’.

Gareth Wilson: Yeah, this is something which – when the game was delayed last year and we had a bit of a re-set – we realized, to be straight with you, that we just hadn’t had enough time to come up with enough good new ideas… what with the PGR4 stuff dragging out and other things. 18 or 20 months just wasn’t long enough to make a new IP.

So when we had that re-set this idea of putting social networking into the game… well, technology just caught up with us really. And towards the end of the game’s development we were talking with all the social networking vendors, really, who wanted us to put Twitter and all of that sort of stuff in there. So now it’s much more about you being able to send challenges and progress updates and how well you are doing in the game through social networks to your real friends – because sending challenges and racing against your real friends is just more fun that doing the same thing with ‘AI friends’.

There are a few bespoke cars in the game designed by Bizarre – can you tell us more about those?

Gareth Wilson: Well there are only a couple of those bespoke ones based on 1950’s car culture and the like. But generally, with the car selection in general, because this is a more aggressive battling game we didn’t want ‘pretty’ cars – so Ferraris, for example, probably wouldn’t be appropriate for this game. Plus we also had to convince the manufacturers that it was okay to blow their cars up into little bits. Which took a lot of work.

I mean, we did consider just not using real cars in the game, but we quickly decided that we had to have real cars in there, otherwise people just thing it is a ‘toy’ or a kid’s game. Just by having those real cars in there, the game instantly has that AAA layer of quality. But it is not a car porn game, so to speak. The gameplay is the star, not the cars.

Forza and Gran Turismo are just car encyclopaedias. They serve a great purpose. They are for petrol-heads. But I think a lot of people are just not that interested in the cars. They are more interested in what they can do with the cars, the action and all that sort of stuff. Which is why we think that Blur is a broader game that is going to appeal to everybody.

We’ve done tons of work on the physics in this game to make the car feel like it is a real car. But a car that is easy to drive. The design goal was to make you feel like you were the best racing driver on the planet. So the cars break very heavily, way more than they do in reality. Just so you can feel like some kind of Hollywood film star driving around in a movie – that’s the kind of feeling we are aiming for.

What about post-release plans? Any DLC plans?

Gareth Wilson: Yeah, definitely, we’ll definitely be releasing some DLC stuff. One of the cool techie things that we have in this game is that we have a content server that you connect to when you boot up the game. So we can change playlists and game modes and add and remove stuff without actually doing an official DLC type downloadable pack over PSN or Xbox Live.

So we can give the community what it wants – adding things to the game on the fly at any time we want. And we can rebalance the game at any time. So we almost have this World of Warcraft-style ability to tune the game once it’s been launched. There is also a whole custom race section of the game where we give the players all of the controls that we have to the player.

Latest

  • PS4 firmware update version 2.50 adds suspend/resume feature – report

    According to screenshots leaked from the PlayStation MVP Program, Sony is beta testing a PlayStation 4 firmware update which contains the long-awaited suspend/resume feature. Per Gematsu, firmware update version 2.50 contains the following: The system can now enter rest mode without closing any applications. You can adjust this setting in [Power Save Settings] > [Set […]

  • 30 minutes worth of Xenoblade Chronicles X combat footage released

    A new Xenoblade Chronicles X video has been released giving the viewer a look at combat. The 30 minutes worth of footage shown is a Nintendo of Japan livestream from earlier this morning. Gematsu has a written summary of the combat if you’d rather a read instead, as the video is in Japanese. The Monolith […]

  • Rockstar offers tips on setting up for GTA Online Heists

    With Heists launching next week for GTA Online, Rockstar has posted some tips to help you get started. The small tutorial goes over Leaders getting a Crew together, how headsets will be an important peripheral to have in order to communicate, assigning roles, and how Special Heist Completion bonuses will work. Here’s more information on […]

  • Here’s some Wolfenstein: The Old Blood gameplay footage out of PAX East

    If you missed the Wolfenstein: The Old Blood livestream from PAX East, Eurogamer has pulled the gameplay portions from it. Enjoy. It’s out May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

  • Overwatch beta kicks off this fall, new characters announced

    Blizzard is on a roll today at PAX East, and the latest announcement from the developer pertains to Overwatch, the first-person team-based multiplayer shooter announced at BlizzCon 2014. According to Blizzard the beta will start in the fall. You can sign up for the beta here. The two characters announced were Zarya and Jesse McCree […]

  • Lady Sylvanas, new Battlegrounds announced for Heroes of the Storm

    Blizzard announced during its PAX East panel today that Warcraft’s Sylvanas will be the next playable hero in its Heroes of the Storm MOBA. A new Battleground, Tomb of the Spider Queen, was also announced a small map with a dark and moody interior. Players will earn gems when killing off the minions which can […]

  • Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain Adventure pack launches in April

    The Blackrock Mountain Adventure pack was announced for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard at PAX East today. The content includes the Dark Iron dwarves, fire elementals, and dragons, as well as Ragnaros the Firelord. Those who manage to bring an end to the villains will be rewarded with 31 new cards inspired by the […]

  • New GTA 5 music, radio station coming in April from The Alchemist and Oh No

    A brand new radio station and soundtrack album are on the way from GTA 5 score composers The Alchemist & Oh No. The Alchemist and Oh No Present: Welcome to Los Santos, is described as a “genre-spanning collection” of new music for Grand Theft Auto 5, which will debut debuting with the PC version of […]

  • Wayward Wonders sounds like a fun CTM map for Minecraft

    Wayward Wonders is a rather lovely CTM map for Minecraft which tasks the player with building monuments. Players will need to find special blocks scattered across the map which will need to be placed on the Wonders of the World monuments. It’s a mixture of survival and adventure elements, as players will encounter enemies which […]

  • Wil Wheaton is Abraham Lincoln in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

    Nintendo of America has announced Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Wil Wheaton will provide the voice of Abraham Lincoln in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace) is a 3DS exclusive turn-based strategy title which takes place in an alternate, steampunk history. “After waiting almost a year to be […]

  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Justice and Champions systems arrive with Update 6

    Update 6 for The Elder Scrolls Online went live yesterday, which added the new Justice and Champions systems. The update also overhauled provisioning, which resulted in new recipes and more inventory space being added. There’s also a new way to keep track of your mounts, pets, and costumes through the Collections Window, which allows the […]

  • Turbine’s Infinite Crisis MOBA will see a full release later this month

    Turbine and Warner Bros. have finally given the Infinite Crisis MOBA a release date. The game has been in development since 2011 and a beta kicked off in 2013. “Infinite Crisis™ has massively evolved over the past year with the help of the millions of players who participated in our open beta,” said executive producer […]

  • PAX East kicks off today – here’s the Twitch livestream schedule for March 6

    Today is the first day of PAX East, and Twitch has posted its livestream schedule which kicks off with gameplay of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Highlights today include the live premiere of Gameplay: Story of the Videogame Revolution, a look at the Heart of Thorns Guild Wars 2 expansion, Blizzard shows off Sylvanas and Tomb […]

  • Watch the Wolfenstein: The Old Blood livestream from PAX East here

    A livestream of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the standalone prequel to The New Order, will take place at PAX East today, and you can watch it right here on the site at 10.30am EST/3.30pm GMT. The stream will be hosted on the main Twitch channel, with gameplay from The Old Blood kicking the first day […]

  • Rock Band 4 and Justin Bieber: “if people ask for it, then why not?”

    We ask the Rock Band 4 team why there’s no PC or keyboard support, what happened to The Beatles, and most importantly, can we sing Boyfriend? “I would say around 95 per cent of content has survived – there are a few bits that, even on last-gen platforms, are no longer available. Our intention is […]

  • Magic the Gathering’s next game is going free-to-play

    Magic Duels: Origins, the upcoming game in the Magic the Gathering series, will be free-to-play. Magic the Gathering developer Steel Games has announced that the next game in the series, Magic Duels: Origins will adopt a free-to-play model. It will be based on the Summer set of the physical game. The developer announced the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X dev confirms Johnny Cage and Kenshi ahead of official reveal

    Mortal Kombat X will indeed have Johnny Cage and Kenshi as playable characters. It looks like someone spoke about Johnny Cage and Kenshi a little bit earlier they they should’ve. Mortal Kombat X senior producer Adam Urbano spoke to Game Crate in a video interview and confirmed the addition of both fighters. The video has […]

  • You won’t need Xbox Live Gold to play online on Windows 10

    Microsoft has confirmed that playing online games on Windows 10, including cross-play titles, won’t require Xbox Live Gold. Integrating the Xbox platform into Windows 10 will not result in users needing to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Online gameplay on Windows have traditionally been free, but some users were sceptical, thinking back to […]

  • “Zero percent of people get motion sick,” says Gabe Newell about Vive

    Valve has apparently broke through and found a solution to the VR motion sickness issue with its headset Vive. According to Gabe Newell, Valve has solved the issue of nausea associated usually with virtual reality headsets. Speaking to the New York Times, Gabe Newell said that “zero percent of people get motion sick.” The reason, […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain development update from Kojima

    Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has revealed many details during last night’s Kojima Station live-stream. Yesterday, Kojima hosted another episode of Kojima Station, the show that reveals a few MGS5: The Phantom Pain details every time it airs. It’s always in Japanese though, which makes it hard for those of us who don’t speak […]

  • Steam Machine prices: from $480 all the way up to $5,000

    The prices of Steam Machines vary wildly. You could pay less than $500, or ten times more. Since Steam now has hardware pages for each manufacturer’s Steam Machine, it makes sense to go through them and see what the average price is. The full list of manufacturers includes names like Alienware, Digital Storm, Asus, Gigabyte, […]

  • Dreadnought screens are filled with lasers and explosions

    Dreadnought just keeps looking better and better every time we see it. Spaceship fighting simulator Dreadnought has produced a new set of screens to help you parse all the action. If you like what you see, you can check out ten minutes of equally-explosive gameplay. The screens are captured from a pre-alpha build and were […]

  • Bloodborne: tons of new PvP, co-op, and item details

    The Japanese site of Bloodborne has been updated with tons of new info pertaining to PvP, summoning, co-op, and much more. Bloodborne’s Japanese site was recently updated to bring into light many of the game’s features, and how some of them differ from earlier Souls games. According to translation by DualShockers the game supports up […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 6, 7 – Ice Breaker edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has brought a new set of Exotic wares to Destiny’s Tower. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back again to the Tower for another weekend of Exotic adventure. Xur will sell you Exotic weapons and armour in exchange for your Strange Coins and Motes of Light. Exotic Shards and upgraded […]

  • 30 new GTA Online screens show two Heists

    We’ve got a batch of hot new Heist screens from GTA Online that you wouldn’t want to miss. There are quite a lot of screens here showing all sorts of activities, pre-heist, during, and the getaway. Most of them are from the Humane heist, but others show one taking place at Fleeca Bank. Many details […]

  • BoingBoing’s Offworld resurrected as new, diverse gaming blog

    Offworld is back, but not as you know it. Offworld was Boing Boing’s gaming blog, helmed by Brandon Boyer from 2008. By 2010 it had been rolled into Boing Boing itself, eventually falling mostly silent and in 2011 Boyer founded a new site, Venus Patrol. The brand has languished unused ever since, but Boing Boing’s […]

  • SimCity developer: “EA is actually a great place to work these days”

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis may have been shuttered, but at least one former employee doesn’t have beef with EA and its decision. Although The Sims 4 and SimCity will continue along with the studio’s brand, the flagship Maxis studios has been closed. The closure prompted a resurgence of interest in EA’s acquisitions; there was […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes monochromatic

    The theme of the latest Humble Weekly Bundle is “monochrome” – every game features a black and white aesthetic. Pay what you want for The Bridge (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM-free), Closure (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM-free) and Dominique Pamplemousse (Mac, PC; Steam or DRM-free). Cough up more than the average – $4.09 […]

  • Final Fantasy 7′s nine-disc, open-world fan sequel was too beautiful to live

    This Final Fantasy 7 sequel put together by fans shows off just how flexible Squaresoft’s tech was. Final Fantasy 7: Time Guardian was a fan-made sequel to the classic RPG, developed by Japanese indie Rodensoft. What makes it different from other FF7 fan projects is that it was being developed in the same engine as […]

  • Half-life 3 in VR: “We’re not saying no,” says Valve

    Half-life might work in virtual reality, or it might not. That’s Valve’s stance on the matter. Half-life 3 in VR makes perfect sense and should definitely happen, but Valve says it hasn’t made any decisions yet. “We’re not saying, ‘no’ but we don’t know what the right thing is [yet],” Valve programmer Jeep Barnett told […]

1 Comments

  1. tenthousandgothsonacid

    “otherwise people just thing it is”

    think ?

    #1 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Pokemon developer, Sega collaboration teased

    Pokemon developer Game Freak is apparently working on something with Sega. The Sega Twitter published the following teaser image this week: pic.twitter.com/12XtR6f9LM — SEGA (@SEGA) March 5, 2015 Game Freak is, of course, the team behind the Pokemon games, and we often forget that it’s independent rather than a Nintendo studio. As such, whatever the […]

  • Rock Band 4 “feels almost like coming home”, says Harmonix

    Rock Band 4 has been a long time coming, and Harmonix is as excited as we are. Or it would be, if that were possible. Harmonix announced Rock Band 4 overnight to massive excitement, especially in the vicinity of me. It’s something we’ve all been waiting for, but no less has Harmonix been waiting for […]

  • Destiny Weekly Update – what’s coming in the pre-House of Wolves patch?

    Destiny guru Arekkz Gaming runs down what Bungie’s mysterious update means – and could mean. This week’s Destiny Weekly Update was kind of light on information, but sometimes even saying nothing is really saying something. What are your theories for what’s coming soon to Destiny?

  • Ashes of the Singularity is “the most advanced RTS ever”, says Stardock

    Stardock has revealed Ashes of the Singularity, a new take on sci-fi RTS. Ashes of the Singularity is described as “not an RTS battle, an RTS war” which sounds pretty exciting. Built on Oxide Games’ Nitrous Engine, Ashes of the Singularity boasts of thousands of units on screen at a time, each with multiple targeted […]

  • Disgaea 5: meet Zeroken and Christo

    Disgaea 5 developer Nippon Ichi has dropped a ton of new information regarding its next RPG. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is coming to PS4 in Japan this month ahead of its western launch in northern autumn. Gematsu has gathered all the latest intel on the RPG from a recent Nippon Ichi press release. Head […]

  • Skyworld VR strategy game looks kind of like playing with toys

    Skyworld is a new turn based strategy designed for use with VR headsets. Skyworld comes to us from Vertigo Games, and will be compatible with Valve’s Vive headset. IGN reports Vertigo has worked in close collaboration with the SteamVR project, so Skyworld will support both seated VR and full-room features. Think about that while you […]

  • Link and Ganon battle in new Legend of Zelda fan film

    The Legend of Zelda fans are clearly a very clever bunch. The production values on this Legend of Zelda fan film are through the roof. This is only the teaser, with the full movie from PlayerPiano to follow, and we’re pretty excited. By the way, Netflix is said to be working up a Live action […]

  • Underworld Ascendent backers unlock Lizardmen, more stretch goals available in final hours

    Underworld Ascendent’s Kickstarter has just 15 hours left on the clock, but backers have already unlocked some great stretch goals. One of the latest Underworld Ascendent stretch goal milestones was $750,000. By passing this post, backers have ensured the inclusion of Lizardmen in the final game. Developer Otherside will now add the Dire Grove environment […]

  • Early Access version of MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore lands on Steam

    MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore has landed on Steam Early Access. The game popped up on Amazon last month for PlayStation 4 before Nordic Games had the chance to announce it was reviving the former-THQ property for current-gen. It still hasn’t by the way, to our knowledge. According to information sent over today, the initial […]

  • Avalanche is making sure Mad Max stays “true to the collective body of work”

    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    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 […]