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Broom slick – Witcher 2′s Tomasz Gop gears for launch

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 10:48 GMT By Patrick Garratt

With The Witcher 2′s May release fast approaching, producer Tomasz Gop speaks to VG247 on BioWare, a commitment to discs, recommended specs and not making a “crap” console version.

What is The Witcher 2?

Super-core dark fantasy RPG sequel.

Out May 17 for PC.

Developed by Polish firm CD Projekt RED.

Original released in 2007.

Official site.

The world of triple-A fantasy RPG development is a dangerous place. Gaining a foothold in a space so completely dominated by BioWare is as difficult aesthetically as it is financially; despite the popularity of the genre, startlingly few companies are prepared to even try.

Luckily for fans, Polish developer CD Projekt Red has balls as big as its ambitions. The Witcher, originally released in 2007, is universally applauded by the RPG core for its dark take on straight genre fantasy and epic plotline, which follows the silver-haired Geralt of Rivia.

An “Enhanced Edition” released a year later. A full sequel was announced last April, to run on new tech.

The original was built on a modified version of BioWare’s Aurora Engine, ironically so, as the big budget RPG genre is often seen as a straight-up shoot-out between CDPR and the EA super-studio. It’s an uncomfortable comparison for Witcher 2 producer Tomasz Gop.

“All be honest with you; it is a difficult question,” he says when asked how he feels the Witcher stands up against Dragon Age.

The dev diaries

Namco’s released four video diaries for The Witcher 2 so far. The first focuses on plot; the second on tech; and third sticks to the game’s characters; and the fourth details locations.

“I don’t even know what the answer is. We don’t compare ourselves. If anyone ever says that we’re better than Dragon Age in any aspect, then we’re happy. It’s impressive.”

Impressive it certainly is, and despite the fact many of the genre’s staunchest fans openly prefer the Witcher to Dragon Age, Gop is modest about the company’s achievements.

“I think Dragon Age is a really good game,” he adds, saying there are probably as many people that prefer Dragon Age over the Witcher.

“Comparing these two things is one of the most difficult parts of my job.”

Growing apart

While the first Dragon Age and Witcher games were closely aligned in terms of content, it seems the sequels will be more identifiable.

BioWare has unveiled a new, apparently less gritty look for Dragon Age II – which releases on March 8 in the US and March 11 in the EU – while the second Witcher title remained as hard as it is heavy.

Gop acknowledges there may be more distance between the newborns than with their parents, but is reserving final judgement for now.

“Before I play Dragon Age II for myself, I won’t be able to say for sure that they actually did it,” he says on the subject of Dragon Age II’s “cartoonification.”

“But for the Witcher, the story has always been the top feature, and the most distinctive feature about this feature is actually being dark and morally ambiguous. It wasn’t possible at all to change that aspect of the game: that’s what makes the Witcher the Witcher.

“That’s why I’m curious as to why BioWare changed that, if they did. Maybe it wasn’t the main feature of the game. In this case the games might get more disctinct than they were previously.”

Comparisons with DAII aside, The Witcher 2 will be considerably bigger than the original, thanks to a giant amount of fan feedback and new technical capabilities.

The Witcher 2′s new engine is a hodgepodge of bespoke code and middleware, which Gop says is necessary to fulfill the game’s meaty requirements. An off-the-shelf package, such as Unreal Engine, couldn’t do the job.

“Unreal engine is probably one of the safest engines on earth at this time, but it doesn’t have enough RPG features for us,” the developer says.

“I mean, we would have to write quite a lot of code ourselves anyway. That’s why it would be a tricky idea. On the other hand, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel; we wanted a good start with physics and animations, interface and everything. We have a lot of features to write RPG-wise.

Witcher 2 3D will be “fully capable and working on day one”.

“I’m not saying anything wrong about Unreal, because it is a great engine, seriously, but it wouldn’t be enough for us.”

“Less linearity”

With bespoke tech and four years over the original Witcher release, Gop and his team are able to go bigger both in terms of footprint and narrative. Little is known of the plot as yet – although it does start directly after the first game and the strapline “Assassins of Kings” is a bit of a giveaway to anyone familiar with the story – but you can rest assured there’s going to be more grit.

Gop says the game will “definitely” be darker, and will benefit from “less linearity.”

He adds: “There are more aspects of how the game branches, and, actually, the decisions get more difficult, because the burden is on you this time, and it makes you think, ‘Oh gosh, if I make this choice many more things might change than in the Witcher 1.’”

While the Witcher 2 will pack a more involved plot, PC gaming is never just about the game itself. CD Projekt is beloved by the PC faithful for its commitment to the format. Bonus round: you’re getting 3D support out of the box.

“We’re implementing some features that make it sure that it’s going to be fully capable and working on day one,” says Gop.

With smart features come smarting price tags, though, and the developer is yet to go public with a recommended spec.

The minimum requirements were outed in a dev diary last December and have now been published on Steam: you’ll need at least a dual core 2.2 GHz CPU, 1Gb of RAM for Windows XP and 2Gb of RAM for Vista and Windows 7, and a GeForce 8800 512 MB or similar.

“These are not too high,” says Gop. “They’re OK. I think most people have at least computers like this.”

The video CDPR used to shop The Witcher 2 to
publishers was leaked in September 2009.

The producer wouldn’t confirm a recommended spec, however.

“With high-end machines? I don’t want to name detailed specs, but if you consider a high-end machine with at least one of the best, if not the best, graphics card or processor on the market, you will be able to play the game with full detail and full HD and is going to be smooth. At least, like, I don’t know that, 30fps.”

The console question

The conversation naturally leads onto unified tech and the ever-present question of a Witcher 2 console version.

CDPR said publicly in March 2010 that the game would release on consoles, before downgrading certainty to “potential” in October.

The subject never leaves the game’s side. The company added in the back half of last year that a console version is “doable” and that the entire project is being developed with “console in mind”.

A console version of the first game, White Wolf, was previously planned, with Widescreen doing the conversion work. The arrangement unraveled bitterly and publicly, with accusations of missed payments. Gop, understandably, is wary this time out.

“I definitely want to make sure that is doable and that it’s bound to happen, and then I will say that you can expect the game,” he says.

“Until we have anything solid to show or to say, I’d rather keep my mouth shut. But we’re doing everything we can, I can promise that.”

A console version will probably happen. Namco’s handling the PC version and is currently resurgent. The fact 360 and PS3 gamers are likely to be able to test-drive one of the most involved RPGs in existence is good news enough: better is the fact that, according to Gop, the game won’t take any kind of graphics hit.

Any Witcher 2 console version will contain no “visually noticeable” difference over the PC SKU.

“I wouldn’t say is going to be visually noticeable,” he says. “Of course, what I say can’t be too official, but from the tests that we’ve done so far it’s possible to do a game that looks as good as what you’ve seen on trailers, and it works on consoles smoothly.

“It’s doable to make a game that won’t be crap.”

Legal letter

While Gop and his team stick their toes into the world of console developer, however, the Witcher 2′s PC release is nearly upon us, as is the inevitable Torrent leak. In a November 2010 interview, CDPR said it was prepared to take pirates to court over illegal downloads, and there’s been no change in position.

“We’re working with legal companies that have capability, that have the legal means, to check if somebody downloads a game illegally from the internet, that he is doing it himself that is not as neighbour or anyone else,” says Gop.

The question over the validity of being able to specifically pinpoint a user for downloading a title has previously been raised, and Gop sounded unsure as to whether or not it’s going to be possible: note the “if”.

The three editions

The Witcher 2 will have three editions, none of which its developer describes as “standard”. The Premium Edition will cost £34.99, while the Collector’s Edition will set you back £79.99. The Digital Premium Edition costs £29.99.

“If it’s possible to prove that somebody did something that might be offensive – especially as by releasing the game without DRM, at least on GoG – it’s fair play for us. In that case, I think a lot of people could be aware of the possibility of a legal letter is quite real.”

You shouldn’t steal this game. Treat yourself and buy one of the pretty editions; there are three of them. In fact, there isn’t a standard edition. CD Projekt Red is a huge believer in discs.

“We come from a part of the world that is always believed in physical content,” says Gop. “Part of CD Project group is the CD project publishing company. We’ve been publishing games in Eastern Europe for 15 years now, and we have done a lot of editions of games. We know what makes players excited.

“These days, a lot of people prefer to have games not only on the shelves but on hard disks, so we wanted to allow them to choose a digital version of the game. We have that as well, but even more important is that there are still at least as many people that believe in buying the game in a box, and having a lot of cool, exclusive digital content. And that’s why we don’t have anything that you could call a standard edition.”

And for this company, at least, physical media isn’t something that’s going away any time soon.

“Almost all of us prefer buying games in a box.”

“As long as people like me and 90 percent of the people the work of CD Project Red believe in physical content, it’s going to happen. Almost all of us prefer buying games in a box.”

While Gop prefers his games on DVDs, though, he can’t ignore DLC. DLC comes down a pipe. People buy DLC. There’s an obvious question.

“I can’t say anything specific, I can’t promise anything for sure, but what I can say is that if at any point in the future we will be announcing and then releasing DLC for the Witcher 2, it’s definitely not going to be a sword pack or anything,” says Gop.

“If we’re ever going to do this it’s going to be something bigger, and if we want people to pay for this is going to be definitely worth the money. So, if it does happen in the future, it’s going to be more of a campaign.”

And when the extra content’s done, there’ll be the third game. Right? Gop laughs here.

“The outro from the Witcher 1 already showed you that there would be a Witcher 2,” he says. “Anybody that played the Witcher already knew what we had in mind from the very beginning. Wait and see the Witcher 2 at the very end. You will know whether or not the Witcher 3 might or might not happen, but I promise you that obviously we know that already.

“And if we’re going to do it, were already gathering ideas.”

The Witcher 2 releases for PC on May 17.

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16 Comments

  1. thesamy

    im a pc gamer and i think is take a huge balls to bring a game like that to the pc only market.

    i hope it will sell a lot and thay will be rich but i still think what can happend… and i hope it wont.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Kalain

    I am looking forward to this game. The first one was epic in every aspect. I hope this does really well for them.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Zurtech

    “Impressive it certainly is, and despite the fact many of the genre’s staunchest fans openly prefer the Witcher to Dragon Age”

    I must be one of the odd ones out then, would go as far to say RPGs are easily my fave genre, but wasn’t keen on Witcher. CDP did a great job, but felt VERY much like it was aimed solely at a male target audience, hate the whole female conquest thing, didn’t like the lead character and felt far too restrictive to be classed as an RPG for me.

    Like I said tho won’t take away from their accomplishments it was a very good game for a smaller dev studio. Just felt more like an adventure game than an RPG for me.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Shubb9

    Very excited for this, The larger and more varied environments they promise will remedy my main complaint about the first game. Just hope they ditch the card conquest thing. Don’t have have to leave out sexual content, just don’t handle it like someone who reads the Daily Star.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. bobiroka

    I bought the first game day of release and loved every minute of it – even the questionable voice-acting didn’t bother me too much, I thought it gave the game an immense amount of character.

    I’m wary about getting the 2nd game on day 1 though. Not only is it just a week behind Rockstar’s LA Noire (which is sure to suck all the air out of the room around that time of year like Red Dead Redemption did last year), but I’m quite reluctant to upgrade my PC to play it.

    I think I meet the recommended spec cited above and my GFX card isn’t too old, but I like to play games like this in all their grandeur and it really kills me when I have to turn detail settings down.

    So please please please make a 360/PS3 version, because as soon as I hear it’s confirmed I’ll be pre-ordering it for sure!

    #5 4 years ago
  6. freedoms_stain

    Is that Geralt banging Triss in those shots? Ever the Cocksman that Geralt :p

    #6 4 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    @5, waitwaitwaitwaitwait

    “I think I meet the recommended spec cited above and my GFX card isn’t too old, but I like to play games like this in all their grandeur and it really kills me when I have to turn detail settings down.”

    How the hell does that gel with

    “So please please please make a 360/PS3 version, because as soon as I hear it’s confirmed I’ll be pre-ordering it for sure!”

    Even medium detail PC version would probably own the shit out of a console version. Not to mention be 25% cheaper.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. UuBuU

    Not bad, but this is still very much a story driven action game, and even if they don’t release it on console straight away it still strikes me as being more in the style of a console action game than a PC RPG. And I very much doubt it’ll come close to TES:V as far as RPGs are concerned this year.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Overdos3

    @1 i dont worry about what you’re talking about. Pc gamers support good developpers and it’s been proven that piracy doesnt really affect tje industry.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Gekidami

    ^ So i guess the first game wasnt great then? Because according to a hidden message in the first trailer for this. The devs say that they sold only 1.5 million copies of the first one. That trailer came out in 2010 and the first Witcher end 2007 so it sold that much in just over 2 years… Unimpressive to say the least, so where was the “support”?

    #10 4 years ago
  11. YoungZer0

    What are you talking about? 1.5 million is an impressive # for a completely new game that was released on one platform. Not a sequel. No hype. Totally new and different.

    The game received a shitload of new maps and quests from the community. Because the developers released some fantastic tools, which – as it seems – is getting pretty rare now.

    You should see them talk in the forums, millions of threads with no end in sight.

    The developer loved the support so much that they decided to give their fans something back. They released a gigantic patch, which killed nearly every bug, added new quests, reduced the loading times to nothing, hired new voiceactors, rewrote dialogs, rebuild the dialogsystem. And so on. That is a developer you can count on. Not like the guys from Bioware that weren’t even able to fix the ugly small-res face from Garrus in Mass Effect 1 on PC.

    And just look at the amazing jump they made from Witcher 1 to Witcher 2. They re-did everything. The absolutely started from Scratch. You could see how Bioware reused some of the animation from ME in ME2. You can see how some of the models from DA:O are being reused in DA2. You won’t see that in Witcher 2.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Dralen

    He considers 30 FPS as smooth!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. KrazyKraut

    Witcher 1 was for me like MGS on the PSX: a known genre, but totally different from the other games that you had to invent a new genre to even describe this game.
    MGS 1 was not a action-adventure, and Witcher 1 not only a simple RPG. Just awesome.
    I am a console gamer but already pre-ordered TW2 CE. And Homefront VoF Ed. This year is crazy. and it has just begun.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. KrazyKraut

    btw…nice article. Hope to see more pre-launch stuff on any other titles.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. ThulsaDoom

    1.5+ million copies, which probably doesn’t include the Steam version sales figures, is a success for a small Eastern European studio making their first game. Not every game needs to sell 10 million to be considered a success.

    Looking at all the previews, this looks to be the fantasy rpg of the year. DA2 has gone the Mass Effect route of streamlining for casual players, Skyrim will be great but I’ve read restaurant reviews more compelling than any Bethesda plot. Despite my criticisms of those games, I’ll still play them. It’s a great year for rpgs.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. bpcgos

    Nice to read your features, Pat! Salute to CD projekt for their PC support! Keep it On both of you!

    #16 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    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: […]