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Activision financials: Revenue at $4.8 billion, major franchise cuts include Guitar Hero and True Crime

Wednesday, 9 February 2011 21:33 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Activision has posted its annual earnings and earnings forQ4 2010, while confirming earlier reports it has canceled the Guitar Hero series and True Crime: Hong Kong.

What happened?

The Guitar Hero business disbanded and 2011′s game canned.

True Crime canned.

Around 500 staff laid off.

First Strike Black Ops DLC hitting PS3 on March 3.

No Blizzard release this year, but two coming in 2012.

No Acti music or skateboarding games in 2011.

Beachhead studio formed to work on CoD digital content.

According to CEO Bobby Kotick: “Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011. The company also will stop development on True Crime: Hong Kong. These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.”

Year end and Q4 financials

Activision Blizzard reported results well above Wall Street’s expectations. Net revenues came in at $4.80 billion, compared with $4.78 billion in 2009. Revenues from digital channels for the calendar year were more than $1.5 billion, an increase of more than 20 percent year-over-year.

For the fourth quarter ending December 31, net revenue came in at $2.55 billion, compared to the same period in 2009, when it reported revenues of $2.50 billion. Revenues from digital channels for the quarter were more than $470 million, an increase of 40 percent year-over-year.

Analysts expected revenue of $2.2 billion, and given Activision’s conservative nature, its 2011 guidance may be “slightly below” investors’ current expectations.

Such a boon in revenue and earnings can attributed to strong sales for Call of Duty: Black Ops, a game which sold over $1 billion in its first six weeks at retail. Analysts expected 20 million copies of Black Ops to be moved during the quarter, but it looks like that figure may be a lot higher.

“Because of focus and disciplined execution, 2010 was another extraordinary year for Activision Blizzard,” he said. “We made some of the best games we have ever made in over 30 years of being in the interactive entertainment business. We benefited from new content releases for two of the world’s most successful online entertainment franchises: Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty: Black Ops and Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, a new installment in the world’s largest subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

“During the year, we grew our net revenues, delivered record earnings, achieved record GAAP and non-GAAP operating margins of 11 percent and 29 percent, respectively, and generated $1.4 billion in operating cash flow.

“The amount of players online with Black Ops is equal to the number of Netflix subs.” – Kotick.

“Activision Blizzard’s key franchises have larger audience bases than ever before and we continue to see significantly enhanced user activity and engagement for our expanding online communities. Our revenues from digital channels, which now account for over 30 percent of our overall revenues, were driven by increased sales of Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty map packs and value-added services for Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft.

“Notably, since Call of Duty: Black Ops was launched in November players have spent an average of 52 minutes per day playing online, roughly equivalent to the 55 minutes that the average user spends each day on Facebook. As of February 2, 2011, more than 27 million gamers have played Call of Duty games online, logging more than 2 billion hours, or the equivalent of more than 229,000 years of gameplay.”

The company plans to buy back stock as well, which will see it repurchase up to $1.5 billion in outstanding common stock.

No new releases for Blizzard in 2011

CFO Thomas Tippl said during the financial call to investors, that the company’s outlook of 2011 does not include a new Blizzard game, but instead expects the developer to release two titles in 2012 – possibly the new MMO and Diablo III – but no one would confirm which titles when asked by numerous analysts on the call. Blizzard is good for one major release a year, it was explained, and the firm wanted to wait on a Diablo III release this year, because quality matters to Blizzard above anything else. If the game happened to release this year, it would be because Blizzard believed it to be ready, but don’t expect it.

Development on Diablo III is going well, but until it goes into beta, a release date will not be locked in. No date is set, because there isn’t one.

Mike Morhaime, president and a co-founder of Blizzard, said net income was $850 million for the developer this year. While he would not go into detail on the difference between digital and retail sales of Cataclysm, retail carried “the lion’s share,” of sales.

“Our outlook for 2011 does not include a new Blizzard game, but two titles are expected in 2012.” – Tippl.

StarCraft II is approaching 4.5 million units sold worldwide, and over 150, 000 maps have been uploaded onto Battle.net. Information on Heart of the Swarm, the first of three planned expansions for the game, is coming in the next few months, and information on the beta will appear in the next financial call.

“Blizzard significantly evolved its direct digital distribution capabilities with the launch of its new Battle.net service and saw players embrace its service offerings in record numbers,” said CEO Bobby Kotick.

The cancellation of the Guitar Hero series and True Crime

CFO Thomas Tippl said the firm does not plan to release any new music or skateboarding games in 2011, and due to the cancellation of True Crime: Hong Kong, along with the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero series, it would result in the loss of about 500 out of 7000 positions at Activision Publishing which is roughly 4 percent of sector’s total workforce. However, Tippl said due to the firm heavily investing in Blizzard and Call of Duty, “net head count at end of year is probably not going to be materially different.”

Business Highlights

Blizzard just turned 20 years old. A lot of same employees still work there.

Cataclysm has sold through more than 4.7 million copies in its first month and has more than 12 millions subs.

Black Ops was the first game to surpass $650 million in sales during its first five days. To date, the game has achieved more than $1 billion in retail sales worldwide.

Total unique Black Ops players increased by more than 49 percent over the number of players of Modern Warfare for the first three months after each game’s release.

Black Ops: First Strike set XBL records with more than 1.4 million downloads in first 24 hours, an increase of more than 25% over Modern Warfare 2′s Stimulus Package.

First Strike will be released on PC “later in the quarter”, out March 3 on PS3.

Strong double digital growth worldwide in Black Ops popularity.

Eric Hirshberg, COO of Activision Publishing, said the firm did not feel True Crime: Hong Kong would compete in the open world genre, and it wasn’t going to be “good enough.” So, it was canceled for quality purposes and was “the right decision for the right reasons.”

Demand for the music game genre declined at a “considerable pace,” despite the favorable reception of Activision’s particular offerings and those of its competitors.

“We simply cannot make these games profitable based on current market and demands,” said Hirshberg.

The COO also said without saying which studio was developing the newest title in the series, that the Call of Duty franchise was at “the epicenter of online gaming,” and a new FPS was in the works.

Hirshberg also said the firm expects the installed base of online-enabled consoles to increase 24 percent to 92 million this year.

More DLC is planned for Black Ops, First Strike will land on PS3 March 3 with PC getting it later in the quarter.

Other titles in the works include Spider-Man, Transformers and X-Men, along with a “broad entertainment franchise which brings together toys, games and online in an unprecedented way,” which will be announced at the Toyfair next week on February 23.

Also, a new Family Guy game is in the works. Giggity.

Beachhead Studios to create online content for Call of Duty

It was announced during the financial call to investors, that Activision had formed a new studio called Beachhead, which will create new digital content for the Call of Duty series. The studio will lead the creation of an all-new digital platform for the CoD franchise, complete with a suite of online services to “super charge the online experience,” while “integrating online and console together for the first time.”

The Beachhead project has been in development for over a year, and more information on the studio along with content and services plans will be announced at a later date.

“Beachhead will create the best-in-class online community, exclusive content, and a suite of services to supercharge the online gaming experience like never before,” explained CFO Thomas Tippl. “The platform will support in-game integration and bring online experiences and console play together for the first time. The platform has been in development for over a year and we’re very excited about the increased value we can bring to the community.

“We look forward to sharing more specifics on this exciting new endeavor with you in the near future.”

Eric Hirshberg added during this segment of the call, that a new standalone Call of Duty title was in development for the Chinese market. It is to be a free-to-play, micro-transaction based game, and while he didn’t say if Beachhead had any input in it, Hirshberg did mention that it would not be released this year.

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32 Comments

  1. Razor

    27 million

    Holy Jesus Christ.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. OlderGamer

    Does BO have 27M or does he mean that 27M have played a cod online?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. LePlatypus

    @2 The latter.

    Could we see a CoD 2011 announcement soon?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Johnny Cullen

    Tippl said in the last call we’d hear more on this year’s iteration of CoD in this call, if I remember correctly.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    ^^Oh goodie nothing like reinventing the wheel each and every year. Acti does that so well, I mean just look at GH and TH ….oh, wait.

    Personialy, I can not wait till the FPS bubble pops.

    Not sure it will, lest not soon, but I would get out of my chair and dance in the damn living room.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    I still think they should not cancel True Crime game.
    Activision had an opportunity to have it’s own GTA franchise. Whats the problem?

    #6 4 years ago
  7. LePlatypus

    The games market is over saturating too quickly now. FPS’ will soon be gone.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. LePlatypus

    @6 The fact that it doesn’t have the same marketing appeal as GTA?

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Blerk

    It’d be fucking AMAZING if the COD bubble suddenly burst. It won’t happen, of course, but just imagine! :-D

    #9 4 years ago
  10. DSB

    @7 That would make sense if FPSes suddenly became popular out of nowhere, instead of being an exponential progression over two decades.

    The actio FPS has been a staple since the mid 90′s, they’re not going away simply because less talented studios get to make some token shooters.

    The only thing that could do is eliminate those less talented studios at the expense of a temporary marginal loss for the more talented ones, which is hardly going to destroy any of them, any time soon.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. M2Kx

    Why not Blerk? To be honest, I don’t expect anything good from the “new” Call of Duty, and I think, that I’m not alone at the moment.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Hunam

    Seems more and more like Acti are just going to bottle down and focus on the games they can sell. Although it’s concerning if they are trying to get more hands on with Blizzard. Although I can see Blizzard doing a management buyout once the CoD goose stops laying golden eggs and seeing Acti crash and burn. I mean EA struggled but they always had their Sports division to keep them going.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. The_Red

    Let’s how they will milk Call of Duty franchise now that there is no more Guitar Hero games. How long before the COD is whored like GH (With 3-4 different games a year)?

    #13 4 years ago
  14. NeoSquall

    This bars Activision Blizzard from my white list of developers/publishers.

    I’d gladly scrape my balls with a rusty shaver rather than buying a game from them.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Callum

    Guys…the FIFA franchise has been milked for decades…trust me…COD is here to stay. It’s the same people buying both games, and it’s probably the only two games they buy per year.

    Thanks god for indie developers! All hail Team Meat!

    #15 4 years ago
  16. DSB

    Fair point Callum, but I think it’s easier to buy the exclusive rights to the worlds biggest leagues and keep everybody else out of the race than it is to create the pan-ultimate shooter and keep it that way.

    CoD is facing some serious challenges to renew itself. It does have an old engine, it does have a new team leading the main contender, and it does have three developers grinding away at the current one on top of that. The odds are really stacked.

    That being said, I think EA have fucked over their buyers just as blatantly with their sportsgames from time to time. A Madden game only selling 5 million copies in six months is a disgrace, and should be a wake-up call, but I think the idea is that as long as you can sell 5 million copies on a mediocre effort, then good enough is good enough.

    They’re filling their games with commercials and completely disregarding the people who like myself were once very likely to pick up a new iteration on release day. NHL used to be one of my favourite sports games, now it’s just incredible to see the same flaws making it into every new version.

    They almost lost Fifa to PES a few years ago, in spite of sitting on all the valuable licences. Something is just very wrong, and people don’t seem to care very much.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. AHA-Lambda

    HOLY SHIT!!!!

    This is a freaking GIGATON!
    Guitar hero? DEAD
    DJ hero and tony hawk? might aswell be dead, they’ll be next
    true crime (and potentially the hope of new ip outside of the bungie deal?) DEAD
    A 5th CoD studio dedicated to digital services? I do NOT like the sound of that AAAAHH!!!

    So to sum up activision we have:
    CoD
    blizzard
    licenced crap
    and prototype 2?

    unbelieveable bloody unbelievable for a company this size to be so fucking closed minded. I hope CoD dies soon and it changes their fucking business model.

    A company is supposed to diversify their portfolio of products and make improvements to them when quality and/or sales fall. But no activision has always been the milk it till its dry and then cut their losses type. I cant believe they would cancel whole IPs and fire a significant percentage of their workforce after posting a record breaking revenue such as that.

    I fucking hate this company so damned much >:(

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Anders

    So Diablo 3 and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm in 2012, then. Sweet.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Hunam

    I hope they don’t cancel prototype 2. Really looking forward to that.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Crysis

    Aww, C’mon! I was really interested in True Crime, fuck you ActiVision, I hope CoD flops!

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Erthazus

    @AHA-Lambda, you forgot to mention new Bungie crappy game that is also included.

    I wish for one thing, i don’t care much, but Activision need a lesson. I hope that Respawn entertainment will create something that will finish Call Of duty.
    I probably will not care about that casual crap they always create (but damn, they made Medal Of Honor in the past that was freakin awesome.)

    #21 4 years ago
  22. DSB

    @18 Just want to go on record saying I called it on Diablo 3 :p 2011 would’ve been way too early for a Blizzard game.

    @AHA-Lambda Companies are supposed to make money. Nothing else.

    Cutting staff while posting profits is extremely attractive to investors, and certainly much more so than a bloated company full of excess paid for by the shareholders.

    And they aren’t supposed to do anything except to keep making money.

    This is universal to any business, and you probably wouldn’t like very many of them.

    Although I agree that their line-up is looking very conservative, it’s still highly profitable. With all the capital they have compared to everybody else, it’s a shame that Activision doesn’t try to expand more on talent than they do.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. drewbles82

    Glad i chose rock band over guitar hero since their library of tracks wont be getting any bigger.Yes rock band 3 cud have done better but they did the dumbest thing and released it a wk b4 blackops and same day as fable 3, plus they werent shipping with the keyboard or the pro guitars, dont understand why they thought it was a good time.
    anyway call of duty is getting boring, i prefer mw2 style to black ops but releasing one every yr is 2 much. I liked the first true crime so id have liked 2 see a new one.
    all we eva hear lately is ppl being laid off etc, not gonna be much left.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    TWENTY SEVEN MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILION!

    That’s some serious business.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. back_up

    they will earn more if they cancel games for PC

    #25 4 years ago
  26. orakaa

    DAMN !!! I was so expecting True Crime Hong Kong, and the game seemed on its way for its final polish (saw some previews which were quite good)…. but no “let’s stick to WOW and COD”.

    Great… -____-

    #26 4 years ago
  27. dtyk

    Ok, True crime Hong Kong is literally 2 months away from shipping and I know that for a fact. I can’t fathom why they would ever cut a game at that stage when its got the polish and the substance.

    Most likely just wanna not spend any advertising money and MILK THE SHIT out of WoW and CoD

    #27 4 years ago
  28. OlderGamer

    After playing Rift, WoW can shows its self to door.

    I just got my preorder and 6 months of founders subscription(that 9.99/month). I am ready to roll w/last beta on the 15th, and with Headstart on the 24th.

    So I leave wow to chinnese gold farmers and account thieves. Good ridence.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. hitnrun

    Wow, unbelievable. Not this announcement, per se, but sort of the slow motion car wreck that is <a href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/12/05/"Activision's business plan.

    Guitar Hero could have been a franchise with near-eternal enthusiasm, like Mario party-games and Halo. Instead Kotick and friends moved the production schedule to annual, and then, incredibly, bi-annual, and then, farcically, bi-annual with a concurrent spin-off.

    Now the series is not even worth the trouble of a desultory release. Three years ago it was the most powerful name in the industry. That has to be some kind of record.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. hitnrun

    D’oh, linkfail.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. OlderGamer

    The power of Acti I guess.

    One of those things where they ride the horse as fast for as far as they can get. then the horse dies and they get on a new horse. They could careless about the games, the franchises, the gamers, or sadly, the people that work hard to make those games.

    But hey everybody, its ok, there is a new CoD being made right now! So buy those BO map packs now, and we can do it all over again in just a few months!

    #31 4 years ago
  32. shaneob

    Does anyone know how to get hold of the financials of just the Tony Hawks games (from the first to the latest)??

    Just doing some research on it, and can only find sales figures or financials on Activision.

    Thanks in advance

    #32 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    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 […]

  • 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 […]