Sections

Japan’s games and the quake – the then, now, future

Thursday, 31 March 2011 08:10 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The March 11 Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami has caused devastation to Japan’s manufacturing and business. With the local games trade fighting disarray, we look at what happened, what is happening, and what comes next.

2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami

9.0 magnitude undersea quake on March 11, 2011.

Followed by devastating 30m tsunami.

27,500 people dead or missing.

Up to 300,000 evacuated.

125,000 buildings damaged.

Estimated damages at $300 billion.

Serious damage to nuclear power facilities.

Looking at how the Japanese games industry has been affected by the earthquake seems a trivial task in the face of broader facts. Japan has been devastated by the events of early March. As Reuters reports, the earthquake and resulting tsunami caused major disruptions to transport and production, bringing manufacturing in general to a halt.

The sudden decrease in overall manufacturing output for March has a new record low for the nation. The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 46.4 in March, the lowest since April 2009 and down from February’s 52.9.

It’s the steepest decline on record and a two-year low.

Two-year low

Even estimating the effects of the disaster has proven difficult, as normally reliable market research and reporting tools failed to illicit responses from companies caught up in damage assessment or repair – or worse.

Japan’s economy is taking a major hit as production schedules are of necessity abandoned and supply chains re-established. Investors are dumping Japanese stock, and the government has had to bail out power companies to the tune of $24 billion. The financial fallout is likely to effect all Japanese industries, and disruptions to the games industry, both in terms of development and marketing, are only to be expected.

Even should no further damage occur – and given the state of affairs at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, this seems unlikely – the destruction of infrastructure and interruption of tight itineraries will likely cause further delays to games, or even the abandonment of current projects.

TGS ’11 still on

TGS is confirmed as going ahead this year, although CESA has admitted the event could be downsized thanks to the earthquake. The show takes place from September 15-18.

Organisers are determined that Tokyo Game Show, which takes place in September, will go ahead if at all possible. The event may be downsized, and it is expected that lingering radiation concerns will diminish international attendance.

Sensitivity has caused delays to some Japan-only releases featuring natural disasters, and an unconfirmed report has claimed production on current and back-catalogue Disaster Report titles has been shut down.

Namco has taken a more extreme route, ordering the destruction of One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP DVDs, as a game trailer included in the package featured earthquake- and tsunami-like special attacks.

And Motorstorm: Apocalypse was delayed by Sony in all territories thanks to its earthquake-based setting – the Evolution racer finally gets out in the UK today.

Charitable measures

Given Japan’s standing in gaming’s history, a response from both gamers and the trade was inevitable.

While Japanese games firms have now pledged in the region of ¥1.5 billion in aid donations, gamers worldwide have already achieved some amazing fundraising results on Japan’s behalf, with a number of charitable events still ongoing.

Newly-born charitable organisation Play for Japan has been instrumental in organising a number of industry-fostered auctions, with rare and valuable prizes offered by developers, publishers, media, and even private individuals.

Available items include autographed games, statues, posters, and concept art; high end peripherals; and even a very, very special guitar. See the full list here.

$40,716 had been raised at time of writing.

This weekend’s Fight For Relief tournament will showcase some of the world’s best Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Street Fighter II players and will be broadcast live, for free – but all donations and proceeds will sop straight into Global Giving’s Japanese relief coffers.

L+R+A+Start is holding a double-weekend “Japanathon” with funds donated to AmeriCare.

Industry donations to aid funds

NCsoft: ¥500 million

Nintendo: ¥300 million

Sega: ¥200 million

Namco Bandai: ¥100 million

Tecmo Koei: ¥100 million

Capcom: ¥100 million

Square-Enix: ¥100 million

Level-5: ¥10 million

Western games firms have also been highly active in terms of charity. Hi Rez is also donating Global Agenda sales proceeds to the Red Cross, while Sony Online Entertainment launched a number of initiatives, allowing players of Everquest, Free Realms, Star Wars: Galaxies and others a chance to donate via micro-transaction by purchasing special in-game items.

Sony Computer Entertainment America has opened the PlayStation Network wallet system for donations, adding an Aid Japan category to the European and American PS Store fronts.

Elsewhere, Grasshopper Manufacture has been quick to respond to the crisis, releasing free music tracks to honour those lost, holding a gala charity event, and releasing the iPhone game Frog Minutes with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 hat sale has so far raised over $300,000, while Zynga’s fundraising activities saw a significant boost from Lady Gaga, who chose this avenue to donate $1.5 million.

The future

While money pours in from games firms, though, getting a grip on how the Japanese trade will be affected by the country’s current situation is difficult. There have already been cancellations and delays, but the long-term effects of the ongoing saga at Fukushima have yet to be felt, and we have yet to see how quickly Japan will be able to restore manufacturing and distribution channels.

Larger game projects slated for reveals at E3 and TGS this year, and triple-A Japanese games heading for launches in the next 12 months, could easily be affected by the social situation in Japan, but major cancellations and “never-never” slips seem unlikely at this point. Tokyo is still working, and will keep working barring some kind of nightmare nuclear scenario from the north.

We’ll get a better idea of long-term affects at TGS in September. Until then, though, keep donating. Life’s not all fun and games, you know.

Latest

  • Oculus Rift consumer model to skip 2015, now expected Q1 2016

    Oculus VR has announced that its Rift headset will be in the hands of consumers in the first quarter of 2016. The Oculus Rift VR headset will not ship in 2015 as previously expected, Oculus VR has announced. The announcement is referring to the consumer version and not the next development kit. This consumer model […]

  • Rogue Legacy comes to Xbox One this month

    Rogue Legacy will release on Xbox One at the end of the month. Rogue Legacy has been missing from the Xbox One library. That will soon change when the celebrated indie rogue-lite gets released on May 27. Developer Cellar Door Games announced the news today, confirming that the port will be handled by Abstraction Games. […]

  • Project Cars – the review round-up

    Project Cars has been tested and the critics are giving it positive reviews all over the internet. Slightly Mad Studios’ Project Cars spent plenty of time in the hands of racing fans for years throughout its development. As we approach the game’s release, plenty of pundits have gone hands-on and they have a lot to […]

  • Get The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight free with purchase of new Nvidia GPUs

    Nvidia is offering two of this year’s most anticipated games for free, when you buy its new GPUs. Those thinking about getting a GTX 980, or its more affordable brother the GTX 970, will be very happy to know that Nvidia will throw in free copies of both The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: 80% of copies were sold on PS4 and Xbox One

    Despite being a cross-gen game, Battlefield Hardline made the majority of its sales on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. During EA’s earnings call last night, the publisher relayed expectations of the PS4 and Xbox One install base growing to reach 50 million. Part of that optimism is due to how well newer titles did on […]

  • Steam’s latest client update fixes years-old bug

    Steam’s infamous screenshot bug has been fixed in the latest beta release. The Steam client has been suffering from a small, but very annoying bug for over four years now. The bug would cause Steam to take two screenshots every time you press the screenshot key once. Anyone who tried to capture beautiful in-game scenes […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront will not have aiming-down-ironsights

    Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE has confirmed what many suspected would be the case for the upcoming shooter. Not counting scopes, the weapons in Star Wars Battlefront will not have iron sights. Patrick Bach, executive producer at developer DICE confirmed the news in an interview with OXM – as reported by GamesRadar. “There are no […]

  • Myst TV series now with Hulu – rumour

    Myst is still in line to spawn a TV drama. A Myst TV series was announced in October, but there was no talk of a network picking it up. Now whisperers have it that Hulu has signed the Legendary Television project. The rumour comes via Deadspin, which does not name its sources, but describes a […]

  • Silent Hills demo P.T. erased so thoroughly you can’t even re-download it now

    Why do you make it so hard to love you, Konami? P.T., the thoroughly excellent, genuinely terrifying, magnificently layered playable teaser for the cancelled Silent Hills, has now been removed from the PlayStation Store. According to both Kotaku and Polygon, the demo has been so thoroughly erased, in fact, that even if you downloaded it […]

  • Killzone 1080p false advertising lawsuit dismissed

    The Killzone: Shadow Fall Resolutiongate lawsuit has ended with a whimper rather than a bang. Last year, a class action lawsuit was brought against Sony over Killzone: Shadow Fall. The suit alleged Sony was guilty of negligent misrepresentation, false advertisement, unfair competition and fraud in the inducement for claiming that Shadow Fall had 1080p graphics, […]

  • Don’t trust marketing – trust this unscripted Magicka 2 gameplay capture

    The latest Magicka 2 trailer pokes gentle fun at gameplay trailers that present as unscripted capture of players who definitely aren’t paid voice actors. The trailer below advertises Magicka 2′s features ahead of its May 26 PC and PS4 launch (although the Challenge Mode is available right now with pre-orders). Behold: If you’re not familiar […]

  • Pedestrians turn dangerous in this GTA 5 mod

    GTA 5 mods just keep giving. GTA 5 doesn’t have the suite of cheats progenitor GTA: San Andreas did, but you can recreate at least one of them using a new mod by Trumple. The mod, which can be toggled in-game with F5 once installed, gives pedestrians weapons and makes them hyper aggressive. The streets […]

  • Mega Man Legends prequel rated for re-release

    Mega Man Legends still isn’t available on console networks, but it looks like its prequel is on the way. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is a 1999 PSone title which served as a prequel to Mega Man Legends. The ESRB has rated it for PlayStation 3, PSP and Vita, suggesting it’s soon to be re-released […]

  • Tales of Zestiria PS4 rumours to be cleared up soon

    Tales of Zestiria will exit rumour limbo quite soon. Tales of Zestiria is rumoured for PS4 release, but Bandai Namco has so far refused to comment on the matter. In a Facebook post inaccessible in many territories but screengrabbed by Gematsu, the publisher’s Asian branch said it would be able to comment on rumours related […]

  • Sega is skipping E3 for the first time ever

    Sega won’t even have a booth at E3 2015. The end times approach, hey. Sega games will be on show at partner’s booths, but the publisher itself is missing from the attendees list. Ars Technica reports Sega hasn’t missed an E3 since the show launched in 1995, but will break tradition this year. Sega doesn’t […]

  • GTA 5 car gun mod is ridiculous, awesome

    Today, the Internet is in love with a particularly ridiculous GTA 5 mod. GTA 5 has a lot of cool weapons and mods have added even more. Topping yesterday’s excellent gravity gun is the vehicle cannon, which fires cars instead of bullets. Cars. Instead of bullets. Here’s a video of the mod in action courtesy […]

  • Mortal Kombat X PC patch pulled after erasing save files

    Mortal Kombat X was updated on PC overnight, but it wasn’t exactly what fans were hoping for. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under criticism for a number of reasons, but NetherRealm said recently that a major patch would make it just as good as the console version. It’s not clear whether […]

  • PS4 and Xbox One to hit 50 million sales within a year – EA

    EA is absolutely positive on the future of the current generation of consoles, as well as the the digital sphere. During a conference call following a financial release earlier today, EA executives made several interesting comments and predictions on the state of the industry. The publisher expects an install base of close to 50 million […]

  • EA making “incubation efforts” in virtual reality space

    EA isn’t ready to make a massive commitment to virtual reality, but when the time comes it intends to be a market leader. During a post-earnings release conference call today, one caller asked if EA had any plans for VR. CEO Andrew Wilson said EA intends to “lead from the front” when VR comes into […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront expected to shift 9-10 million units in FY 2016

    Star Wars: Battlefront will sell strongly, but not make a lot of money for EA this financial year, the publisher has warned. Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a license to print money, EA emphasised in a post-earnings release conference call this morning. Judging by the series’s historical sales, and by sales of Battlefield 4, EA […]

  • Don’t expect Titanfall 2 for at least nine months

    Titanfall 2 is still quite a long way out. Titanfall 2 wasn’t listed in EA’s upcoming release slate in its financials release this morning. Answering a query in a conference call following the release, EA said we can safely assume the Respawn sequel won’t release in fiscal 2016. “You assumption should be 17,” an executive […]

  • Mirror’s Edge 2 due early 2016, new Need for Speed in Q4 2015

    EA has indicated general release windows for a number of anticipated new titles. Mirror’s Edge 2 has an early 2016 release date. EA confirmed the release plan in today’s financials release, also noting that a new Need for Speed and a new Plants vs Zombies are coming in the same window. Mirror’s Edge 2 is […]

  • EA financials highlight millions of hours played in Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition

    Electronic Arts reported its Q4 and year end FY15 financial results today, highlighting the amount of hours played in Battlefield Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics: For fiscal year 2015 EA was the #1 publisher on PlayStation4 and Xbox One consoles in the world, driven by the success of Battlefield Hardline, […]

  • Black Mesa can now be acquired through Steam Early Access

    Black Mesa, the re-imagining of Half-Life 1 from Crowbar Collective, has entered Steam Early Access. At present, 85% of the campaign is complete with around 10 hours worth of gameplay. Early Access users will be helping test the multiplayer deatmatch and team deathmatch modes via six maps as well as the single-player portion. As will […]

  • Three Easter Eggs spotted in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – video

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has been released in North America, as you know, and it contains some fun Easter Eggs which you can take a look at in the video below. Don’t watch or read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled. Eurogamer’s Ian Higton spotted three Easter Eggs so far, and there […]

  • Destiny: Prison of Elders – here’s what to expect from tomorrow’s livestream

    Bungie today released its Destiny teaser for tomorrow’s livestream, which focuses on Prison of Elders. Below is a breakdown of the teaser and what to expect tomorrow. Arekkz Gaming gives you the lowdown above. You can watch the full stream tomorrow here on the site. House of Wolves is out on May 19.

  • The 3D Realms Anthology is now available on Steam for PC and Mac

    The 3D Realms Anthology, announced back in October, is now available on Steam for PC and Mac for a limited-time price of $29.99. After the introductory period has ended, it will run you $39.99. The collection contains 32 games, which if purchased individually would you run more than $120. Here’s the list in case you […]

  • A Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball later this month

    Valve and Zen Studios have announced a Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball. The table will be made available on all pinball platforms, including Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2, from May 25. Called the “Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device”, it contains the characters Chell, Wheatley and of course GLaDOS. Portal Pinball […]

  • Star Wars characters coming with release of Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits

    Star Wars characters are coming to Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits. Disney says it will contain “many favorite characters and include more gameplay content and variety than ever before.” There will be three Star Wars Play sets: Twilight of the Republic set in the Episodes 1-3 timeline, Rise Against the Empire set during the […]

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

3 Comments

  1. xino

    you know the funny thing is.
    with all the donations and charitys shouting, Japan probably have more funds from donated/charity than other countries affected by similar crisis.

    And another shocking fact is that there are third world countries that truly need help, no one makes any fuss about this but when crisis disaster happens to a well known country, you’ll hear the fuss and pushing of donating.

    So people want bad thing to happen to you before they donate to help you:/

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Schindet Nemo

    You realise that the donations to Japan are made IN ADDITION to the regular third world relief funds and development aid right?

    It’s not like people suddenly forgot about Afrika.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    @1: No, just do some research. Even if Japan got more money, having a Nuclear Crisis on its way, which could effect more than just Japan. They need it.

    #3 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]