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Where There’s Smoke: Team Bondi’s Sydney “sweat shop”

Wednesday, 6 July 2011 07:22 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Everyone’s talking about Team Bondi, but is the Sydney studio just one of a growing number of developers bedevilled by harsh working conditions?

The industry is abuzz after a pair of recent features blew whistles on what it was like to work at Team Bondi during the development of L.A. Noire.

The picture the sources paint, of a “sweat shop” graduate mill burning through cheap new talent for meagre and decreasing rewards, is grim indeed. So grim, the IGDA has launched an investigation into the claims.

But Team Bondi founder and lead Brendan McNamara seems to feel these specific grousings are rooted in local ideas of what is and isn’t acceptable working conditions.

“The expectation is slightly weird here, that you can do this stuff without killing yourself; well, you can’t, whether it’s in London or New York or wherever,” he told IGN.

“You’re competing against the best people in the world at what they do, and you just have to be prepared to do what you have to do to compete against those people. The expectation is slightly different.”

We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto

By basing his new studio in Australia, McNamara is certainly guilty of poor timing.

When Team Bondi opened in Sydney in 2003, the world was a very different place. Asked what he’d do differently if he could start all over again, McNamara answered:

“I think we’d think twice about Sydney, wouldn’t we?”

Until very recently, Australia gave little or no support to the games industry, but it’s not just the lack of tax breaks, although McNamara makes specific mention of that. Rockstar took over L.A. Noire’s funding after Sony bowed out in 2007; one year later, the world was suffering the throes of one of the worst recessions of the modern era.

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, the Australian Government, banking on continued economic growth fuelled by the mining industry, guaranteed its dollar. The resulting investor behaviour has driven the Aussie dollar to record highs and held it there, making it one of the strongest major currencies in the world.

This is very bad news for international and multinational companies funding salaries in Australia, because the cost of paying those employees has skyrocketed. And as Australia is rapidly becoming one of the most expensive nations in the world in terms of cost of living, local developers find themselves unable to swallow reduced salaries.

Given how much more cheaply development can funded in other countries, the Australian games industry halved in size in just a few years.

Following the introduction of an incentives scheme, this situation may reverse, and it’d be nice to think the staff who served at Team Bondi may soon find themselves comfortably employed elsewhere.

Elsewhere

Unfortunately, developers are unlikely to escape unpleasant strictures any time soon. This certainly isn’t the first time claims of unfair industry conditions have been raised; in 2004, a similar story broke over conditions at EA-owned studios, headed by an anonymous blogger known as EA Spouse.

There have been a number of responses to the insider grumblings, but McNamara, among others, seem to suggest that the conditions at Team Bondi are largely par for the course. This school of thought is typified by comments from Michael Pachter. Apparently, the developers involved need to take a shot of cement and harden up.

“Disagree on Team Bondi work issue,” the analyst noted on Twitter.

“Devs know what they are getting into.”

“Devs know what they are getting into, it’s a creative job, not an assembly line; overtime inappropriate.”

But Development staff certainly seem to have some cause for complaint if and when their working conditions have negative impact on their lives and health, and fobbing it off as part and parcel of a “creative” industry seems unfair.

Beyond the celebrities of our industry, the Cliff Bleszinskis and Ken Levines, are thousand of other staff who receive no more attention than a name in a credits roll – if that.

These unnumbered, faceless masses of artists, programmers, managers et al rarely have the chance to dictate what they do with their working life. High profile designers and their core teams of leading staff – who no doubt work as hard as anybody – act creatively to craft unique experiences; for everyone else, there’s the slog to shade in the detail of somebody else’s vision.

Is the programmer working twelve hours days non-stop for weeks on end trying to solve a physics issue in an engine he or she has no say in the overarching structure of really pursuing a “creative” industry? Is a working artist piecing together asset models to someone else’s schematic really being “creative”? And if the answer is yes, is there enough satisfaction and glory in that to make up for working conditions meaner that those of a minimum wage earner?

By suggesting it is, Pachter – and many other voices raised in similar vein – is excusing some of the harsher realities common to the games industry: the long hours and demanding workloads studios suffer during “crunch time”, attempting to meet deadlines and milestones set by funding bodies.

Why would you even

Knowing that harsh conditions grind staff down, wasting veteran talent, why would any company choose to implement them? The usual reason: business.

Most of the companies funding games – publishers, mainly – are beholden to investors, and these investors demand profits. Big profits; breaking even is not enough, and nor is a small return on investment.

When a game sells five million units, it’s easy to look at the price tag on the front of the box, do some napkin math, and conclude that everybody’s getting extremely rich, and regular celebratory sessions on the growth of a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry do little to dispel this illusion.

But even a cursory familiarity with the industry quickly reveals the truth. Earlier this year Eurogamer ran an excellent breakdown of where the average UK gamer’s money goes, concluding that only 30 percent makes it as far as the publisher.

Even in some jet-pack clad future vision where games are piped directly to your home via entirely free services, eliminating that 70 percent currently spread over retailers, distributors, and taxes, that amount isn’t pure profit.

It’s easy to do some napkin math, and conclude that everybody’s getting extremely rich

To make any game, let alone a triple A with a chance to go blockbuster, publishers have to fork out salaries for an entire development team, not just while the game is actually being worked on, but right through the conceptualising process and post-release support.

Obviously, some games cost more than others – Dead Space 2, a massive, courageous investment in new IP, had up to 150 people on board, which is a very large team, for at least two years of development. With the average UK developer earning around £32,000, that’s a lot of money.

Then there’s licensing and platform holder fees, the numerous enormous incidental costs of running a large company, keeping everyone in reasonable workspaces. Add on to that the poor performance of failed games – which cost as much to make and produce no profit at all – and making a game becomes an incredibly expensive and risky proposition for the funding body. Is it any wonder companies try to cut corners wherever they can?

No wonder, but perhaps no excuse either. As far as Team Bondi goes, we should wait for the IGDA’s report, although it’s hard to resist the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” argument. But in the wider industry, it seems clear some serious questions need to be asked about the sustainability – and humanity – of current business models.

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23 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    Everyone should just get a job at Insomniac Games. That place is awesome.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. osric90

    @1 Or Naughty Dog, they are located in the best place of the whole world. I hate them so much.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. humanfish

    Another quality read, well done Brenna. Your an asset to VG247 producing some interesting work, would be nice to read some ‘proper’ indepth articles from the others too.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. aleph31

    I regret having bought LA Noire. I’ll never buy something from Team Bondi again until McNamara leaves. This guy should receive public contempt and find no place again on the industry.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. BraveArse

    Another good read Brenna.

    It’s not just the games industry that does this, sad to say. I’m sure plenty of the VG247 journalistic crew will have experienced the “work for free or don’t work at all” phenomenon in their first few months to a year. Pat, you’d better be paying Johnny ;)

    I graduated in photography and came out of Uni to find getting paying work as a photographer’s assistant near impossible. The expectation was that your love for the medium and desire to get on was enough to make you work for free, regardless of the logistics of feeding yourself during that period.

    I’ve moved over to the tech industry over the last few years via graphic design ( long story ), and have had the pleasure of getting to know a number of ex-games devs who had had enough of those expectations. From the stories I’ve heard, while they may not have had quite such a brutal time of it as the Team Bondi lot, they certainly weren’t rewarded by the experience in any way. A job which I consider to be pretty humdrum by comparison, to them seems like a utopian dream. To my surprise, none of them say they would ever go back to it, quite the opposite in fact.

    So yeah, I reckon it’s endemic in the industry, it pretty much is in any creative industry with young grads trying to break in. But that doesn’t excuse it in the slightest. It’s no surprise that Pachter, who in this instance represents a body of people who profit from the status quo, would play it down either.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Brenna Hillier

    Thanks guys. I’d also like to read more features from the other core news guys – I do a lot of them because I work the quietest shift, is all.

    I’ve heard Media Molecule is a pretty great team to work for, too.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Johnny Cullen

    @5 – He still pays me 500 a month. When I say he pays me 500, I mean pennies, not pounds. I should quit.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Christopher Jack

    Nice read Brenna.
    It’s not really fair for the people working at Team Bondi to be forced to work crunch time just because other developers are forced to. It’s likely to do with the lack of efficiency, maybe they should cut back in certain areas in order to hire more workers or smarter management could fix it.
    @7, No! We love you ;)

    #8 4 years ago
  9. viralshag

    Really glad I managed to drag myself into work early (as on time is even a struggle) and caught this article. Really good read. It’s interesting to think that there can’t be some way to better the conditions if they really do get that bad during crunch time.

    Maybe simply offering a few little luxuries when you’re doing a 12 hour day or something, anything. Just something to help ease the no doubt ridiculous pressure these guys are under.

    It would have only been made better with a cup of tea. Made by someone else.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. endgame

    “you just have to be prepared to do what you have to do to compete” what a f**king prick. should be hanged just because thinking like that. just like kotick. ppl like these r destroying the games industry. bobby already did that to the incredible IW team and now this guy is doing it to team bondi. sad. just sad.

    p.s. oh and, yeah. good article Brenna. :)

    #10 4 years ago
  11. GamezIdiot

    There’s a big difference between volunteering to work your ass off for personal reward and being forced to work your ass off for someone elses benefit. The games industry is full of the latter. Crunch time never benefits devs and is simply money for publishers because devs almost never see the gains. Good number of Team Bondi staff’s reward for working their arse off was to be burnt out, unable to work, jobless and struck from the credits of what they made.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. mathare92

    The sad part is everyone will have forgotten this in a few weeks, work conditions won’t change, McNamara and his ilk will keep heading up projects, and the games industry will keep chugging along. :(

    Great use of the top screenshot there by the way. Quite appropriate.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. aleph31

    @12: I just hope that young gamers willing to become developers in the future learn from these articles (as they will be much more receptive to this type of info than the average gamer), so the industry start lacking the batches of newcomers that know little about abusive practices and become easily exploited with the lure that you’re working in something “cool”. If your job target market is overcrowded, just move to some other place where your skills are better valued and remunerated.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Brenna Hillier

    @12 when I found that screenshot the top of my head nearly fell off from grinning

    #14 4 years ago
  15. GamezIdiot

    @13 it’s staggering how many times the argument “just move” has been used. Most people can’t up and away, devs have families too you know?

    #15 4 years ago
  16. aleph31

    @15: yep I know, I had the same problem in my case. I meant “move to a different company or sector”, not a different city / state / country, sorry for the lack of accuracy.

    In any case, being exploited should be an immediate cause to fight to fix the situation or quit the job. I know it sounds easy and it’s way hard to implement -I have faced the situation, I fought and finally I quit. A generation of people hanging their heads in shame all the time has no future. People in power will lower and lower the wages and general conditions until people scream in fury.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. humanfish

    The problem is it happens in all kinds of jobs, the games industry certainly isn’t unique. My mate works for a large accountancy firm in London and often puts in weeks of 9am until 10/11/12pm. It is kind of expected of him- a) because he is paid pretty well; and b) if he wants to move up the ladder he needs to show he is an asset.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. LOLshock94

    where there is smoke there is fire

    #18 4 years ago
  19. loki

    Angry guy on the picture: “We don’t want PC port. We don’t want support torrent users. We want normal console support and respect. You greedy bastards!”

    #19 4 years ago
  20. KrazyKraut

    “Devs know what they are getting into, it’s a creative job, not an assembly line; overtime inappropriate.”

    Ofc they dont. when someone is saying:
    “Folks, sit down and make a demo we can show the press in some weeks..”
    And the devs designers and what ever work like shit and at the end the management says:
    “Ehm…no we will not showing it/we dont need it anymore” its fucking ugly. for everyone.

    Or when the management says at a job interview:
    “Okay, 14 months to go…give everything you have”
    and the dev/designer signs the contract…and then after 16 months the staff hears again:”okay….12 months to go”

    you get fucked up by a choleric bastard and want to quit and then they say:
    “okay, you only will get paid your overtimes when you stay till the end of the project”

    How could you expect it?

    Awesome article Brenna…Andrew McMillen would be proud…or he is maybe.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. frostquake

    Good Job Brenna!

    Typical 1% (1-20) while the staff 99% (90-300) make very little.

    Their pay may Look great, but that is only working a normal 8 hour shift, when you start putting in 12-14 hour days, then your pay might even drop below minimum wage, especially if your putting in over time with no over time pay!

    How many times has a programmer, headed out the door, be stopped and asked a question that is only supposed to take 15 minutes and turns into 4 hour grind either at his station or someone Else’s.

    1% see money and get the staff pregnant, all the while going to parties, living it up, while 99% see a baby they want to birth, go through all the suffering and problems of developing a healthy baby, then birthing that baby, many times suffering from mental, physical, financial, marriage after effects! And once the baby is born, The Father or 1% divorce themselves from the Mother or 99% of the staff and leave the mother out in a dark alley to fend for herself, which many times she can’t!

    #21 4 years ago
  22. xino

    well written article

    #22 4 years ago
  23. DSB

    Work without pay really shouldn’t be possible.

    There’s a lot to be said for creative and high pressure jobs like that though. Working in a music studio for example, you’re 100% expected to stay 72 hours straight, and often more if you have to. It’s an industry for people who want it, not the people who just happen to like it.

    You might be working, eating or sleeping in the studio until you get to where you need to be, but it’s 100% understood by all involved. That’s the game. You’re spending peoples money, including your own by being there, and you need to earn it, and you need to show that you belong there. Otherwise there are another 50 hopefuls who’ll gladly outperform you.

    I don’t know how the games industry works in comparison, but I imagine that it’s like any other big league, talent and ambition is welcome, and everybody offering less than that is expendable.

    Obviously it’s important that you tell people what the job is going to be like, otherwise you end up with a clusterfuck, and every games developer should either consult his union or let a lawyer look over his contract before signing it. I would imagine most of them have had educations that prepared them for that sort of thing.

    #23 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Ubisoft plans to focus more on modern timelines in future Assassin’s Creed games, the company suggested during its latest community livestream. During the Twitch stream, one of the lead writers for the Assassin’s Creed series, Darby McDevitt, said the modern timeline for Brotherhood’s town of Monteriggioni could inspire future development. “That only came about because […]

  • Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming to Xbox One next month

    Halfbrick has announced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One will release next month. The mobile title made its way onto Xbox 360 garnering 1 million downloads as of March 2012. It has a new multiplayer mode for up to four players with Battle and Party modes along with a new progression system. An announcement […]

  • New GTA 5 PC screens – shit the bed!

    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: lowdown on Inferno Crucible, Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]