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.


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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  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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  • Destiny: how does the road ahead look?

    The future of Destiny looks very bright with House of Wolves and Comet releasing this year. But what about next year, and the one after that? Alex has a new video for you that tries to paint a picture of the future of Destiny. He goes over the timeline as we know it based on […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.09 improves Heists matchmaking

    GTA 5 received a patch towards the end of last week. The patch, version 1.09, brought with it a few improvements to Heists and plenty of other fixes. Rockstar has released patch 1.09 (1.23 PS3 and Xbox 360) for all versions of GTA 5 to help make the Heisting experience better for all. The ‘auto-invite’ […]

  • Diablo 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more make up this week’s Deals with Gold

    Deals with Gold is back for the week of March 30 with discounts on Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Lego Movie Videogame, and others. Xbox Live Gold members get a few good deals this week to spend money on. A large assortment of The Lego games is on […]

  • GTA 5: parallax occlusion mapping is gone, but framerate is better

    Patch 1.09 for GTA 5 has indeed removed the parallax occlusion mapping effect, but has in turn improved the game’s overall framerate – at least on PlayStation 4. Earlier last week a YouTube video came to light and showed what appeared to be the removal of effects from GTA 5 after applying patch 1.09. The […]

  • The Witcher 3 dev: DirectX 12 may not have impact on Xbox One games resolution

    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

    Motivational Growth will soon be Steam’s first foray into selling movies that are not based around video games Steam will release its first, non-documentary film later today in the form of Motivational Growth. The film is a sci-fi comedy distributed by Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, who has itself produced other game-centred documentaries before, and […]

  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]

  • What to expect from the Call of Duty Championship this weekend

    Just settling down to the Call of Duty Championship this weekend? Here’s a rundown of today’s matches and what else to expect over the next three days. The Call of Duty Championship is taking place in LA this weekend until Sunday, with 32 four-player teams battling it out for a prize pot of $1 million. […]

  • MLB 15 The Show video highlights improved graphics, updated grass patterns

    Sony has released a video for MLB 15 The Show which provides a look at graphical improvements made to the game. Along with the visual upgrade over MLB 14 The Show, the game contains new minor league stadiums, dynamic sun generated in real-time, and upgraded grass patterns which reflect each stadium’s unique look. MLB 15 […]

  • Valve to offer HTC Vive Developer Edition free to qualified developers

    Valve has said it will offer the HTC Vive Developer Edition for free to qualified developers in an effort to buoy projects before the tech launches commercially. Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios and The Room studio Fireproof Games are just some of the developers which already have a free Vive in-hand. According to Valve’s Doug […]

  • DriveClub gameplay video features MotorStorm’s off-road buggies

    Some gameplay footage of MotorStorm’s off-road buggies in DriveClub has surfaced. Pictures of the buggies were shown on the Japanese PlayStation Blog earlier this month, which considering the game was developed by Evolution Studios – which developed MotorStorm – this isn’t too much of a surprise. The buggies were first spotted by Videogamer, which pulled […]

  • Mortal Kombat X live-action TV spot features the track Chop Suey

    The TV sport for Mortal Kombat X has been released, and not only does it contain a “spontaneous fight circle” taking over an entire city, but it features the System of a Down track Chop Suey. Mortal Kombat X will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One April 14. The […]