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Indie kings – The Pickfords win with Magnetic Billiards

Monday, 15 August 2011 08:01 GMT By Stace Harman

Following the release of their first iOS game, we sat down with John and Ste Pickford to pick their brains on 28 years in the business and how to outwit expensive lawyers.

Pickford Bros.

Between them, John and Ste have worked on 85 unique titles over 28 years, including the much loved Wetrix and Plok!.

They once created a prototype of the ultimate videogame match-up: Worms Vs Lemmings.

The brothers’ latest release, Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, is their first iOS game and available now via the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

A PC version of Magnetic Billiards, subtitled Seriously Casual is also in development.

The pair revealed to VG247 that an iPad version of Naked War is on its way, launch date unconfirmed.

The origin of the John and Ste Pickford’s first iOS game, Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, is steeped in lore 123 years in the making. An aged, barely legible blueprint – the forgotten legacy of a long-dead ancestor – depicts the physical specifications of a wondrous machine with the potential to entertain patrons, but that was so volatile it might just have been the death of its creator.

There’s an alternate history, of course. One that speaks of an experiment begun some ten years ago with a Verlet particle system and the desire to teach a little girl to use a computer mouse by way pinging inanimate objects around a play area, but that’s nowhere near as romantic.

Whichever history you subscribe to, the result is a game with a simple premise: fire balls of various colours around a table with no pockets. Hitting balls of the same colour sees them cling together resulting in clusters and creating a big enough cluster will remove it from the table, awarding you points which contribute to you overall graded score for each table. Bonuses and multipliers are awarded for trick shots, as well as for the number of cushions hit prior to connecting with the target ball and for creating aesthetically pleasing cluster patterns.

It’s fun and maddening, as time and again you foil your own perfect run with a botched shot caused by a rush of blood to the head. Each improbably strung together cluster and shot of multiple bounces elicits a hand-drawn depiction of one of the bearded Pickford brothers giving you a thumbs-up. It’s a neat triumph of sound mechanics layered in charming, indie stylings.

Magnetic Billiards. Quirky and fun. Why would you not
want this?

Since releasing last month, the game has topped several iOS charts, including the UK sports league, placing above Football Manager. An accomplished first Mac outing for the Pickford brothers, then, but one that they were warned against making.

“We talked to a lot of developers to pick up tips for how to reach the biggest audience on the App Store,” Ste, the younger of the brothers, recounts. “And the majority of people we spoke to told us to make a different game: one with cute animals or without so much depth, and to knock it out in three months as that’s the only way to make any money.

“We’re driven to make the games that we want to make and I don’t think we’ve ever felt like those games are part of any current fashion. To be honest, we generally lose out a bit [commercially] because we’re slightly out of step with what other people are doing.”

Looking at the brothers’ development history through the all-seeing eye of retrospect it’s apparent that being “out of step” has at times equated to being quirky and at others, innovative. Wetrix, Plok and Naked War, none of which set the charts alight in their day, were all well received critically and will be remembered fondly by those that experienced them.

A question of convenience

Some 28 years of developing games gives the brothers a point of authority from which to discuss gaming trends. John believes the reason for the explosion of quality mobile gaming in recent years and subsequent creep into core-gamers’ consciousness can be succinctly summed up.

“It’s all about the convenience,” he says. “The fact that you don’t have to go to it, it’s just right there – especially where the device is a phone so is something that you carry around with you all the time. That, plus a very simple purchase process coupled with relatively low prices make it just all very tempting. The convenience trumps everything, really.

“That said, there’s a lot of games that just don’t work on a touch screen – anything in which you control an avatar is generally disappointing with a virtual stick, so there’s a huge swathe of traditional games that aren’t really suitable.

“Personally, I love the challenge – which perhaps sounds really pretentious – but I love the challenge of designing a game that will work without those conventional controls. It’s fascinating to do that: to make a game that feels right and doesn’t make you think ‘I wish I had a joypad’.”

“Loads of devs bemoan the fact that certain types of games don’t fit these devices,” adds Ste. “Sure, [touch screen devices] exclude certain types of games, but they also open up new types of games too.

Livin’ in a box

A deformable mud system that John created at Zed Two back in 2000 – a similar system later appeared in an iteration of Sega Rally. Unfortunately, publishers of the time wouldn’t commission the brothers to create a driving game due to their lack of experience in the genre – “There’s a tendency for the industry to box you in and label you as a particular type of company,” muses Ste.

“It seems odd to be in the games industry and be a bit of a Luddite who doesn’t want to try new things. Most of us got into the games industry in the first place because games were fresh and new and different.”

Of course, the opportunity to be fresh, new and different along with the low barrier for entry has attracted a great many new developers to the mobile development scene. The challenge has shifted from simply making a good game to actually getting noticed amongst the cacophony of worthless tat and hidden gems that flood the App Store each and every week.

So, what master plan do the Pickford brothers have for combating the threat of obscurity? How do experienced veterans of the industry make their game stand out in the cornucopia of apps and rise serenely to sit far above the madding crowd?

“I was going to ask you that question!” responds Ste.

“This is our first iOS game so we’re still learning. It’s interesting because when you get noticed by appearing on a website or in a magazine you’ll see these spikes in downloads, but then it fades away over a couple of days so you’re constantly scratching your head thinking, ‘Bloody hell, we know that if we put this game in front of people there’s a good chance they’ll like it,’ but it’s possible to not get it in front of anybody if we don’t shout about it.”

“It’s the challenge at the moment,” adds John. “We’re no longer coding all day, now we’re trying to get people to pick up the game.”

Can’t buy me love

The lightening remains unbottled for now, then, but in searching for the magic formula the brother’s turned up some dubious practices by those claiming to have the answer.

“What came as a bit of a shock to me was people or companies offering varying bundles of five star App Store ratings for a few hundred dollars,” Ste reveals. “We spoke to some other developers and they acknowledged that it does go on, along with the practice of paying for negative reviews for your competitors – it’s not a common thing, but it does go on.”

“One thing that’s worried me,” interjects John, “is that we’ve had really positive reviews on the App Store: we’ve got over a hundred five star ratings in a relatively short space of time and I was thinking that that’s our biggest asset, something that we can talk about – that people like the game – but after hearing about this I was concerned that people might think that the reviews are fake.”

“What was actually worse, though,” Ste continues, “is the responses we got from a number of websites that review iPhone games. The majority of responses that we received came with a price list for the different types of review that the site offered. So, maybe $30 for the small review, $50 for a video review etc. On most of these sites there was nothing to tell readers that the reviews are paid for. I was pretty shocked by that, shocked and depressed”.

Abhorrent as these practices are, they’re indicative of the well-publicised problems of a bloated mobile market and are just one of many challenges that indie developers face. John is quick to dismiss the notion, however, that the bulk of a major publisher standing behind you guarantees higher market visibility, regardless of the market.

“A few years ago, we worked on a game called Wetrix and right at the end of development the publisher decided that they weren’t going to promote it very much,” he remembers.

“As a developer beholden to a publisher, there’s nothing you can do about that. I mean, the game did OK and lots of people seem to remember it, but none of that was because of the publisher’s marketing budget. The game had a publisher and still didn’t get promoted.

“So, working without a publisher can be a challenge for indies, but it’s also an opportunity.”

“Working without a publisher is how we make good games,” declares Ste. “I don’t mean that to sound self-indulgent but when you work with a publisher you can run the risk of having the marketing budget but being constricted in what you make.

“Now, whether that’s because you have to include certain fashionable features or you have non-designer interference or whatever – you can find that you end up with the marketing budget but you’ve had to create a ‘me too’ game to get it.”

“Indie development lacks the committee-led design, I think,” ponders John. “With Magnetic Billiards we made all the decisions and every single thing that you see in the game is there because we’ve made a decision to put it there. So, good or terrible, it’s all our work.”

Stop, collaborate, listen

Something in the brothers’ approach is definitely working for them, and it seems their creative vision is now inspiring others. The brothers have begun receiving offers from developers looking to work with them, have them consult on projects or develop games based on their back catalogue.

“Something that I’m not sure we’ve mentioned to anyone yet is that Naked War is coming to iPad,” reveals Ste. “That’s as a result of working with another company who are coding it right now.”

“I think we made Naked War just a bit too soon,” John says of the turn-based game’s original 2004 release. “If we’d made it for Facebook I think it would have done well, it needed a friends list to add that social element. Naively, we thought it would work because there was an email side to it that would give it a chance of spreading virally but it didn’t work out so well because a lot of people thought they were receiving spam!”

Lest they forget:

The Pickford brothers’ excellent website stands as testament to their contributions to the industry and contains some fascinating insights and honest appraisals of their past, present and future work. It’s a pleasant place to spend an afternoon and highlights the importance and need for the wider industry to better archive its past.

“It’s not an unusual story for us: the people that played it, loved it – but we just had to find a way of reaching an audience … With iOS 5 we’ll have a turn based mechanism built into Game Center and we can package the whole map, including the damage, into each iOS turn file which means we don’t need a server to run it.”

As we wrap up our discussion I ask in passing about the company name, Zee-3, and their previous studio Zed Two, commenting that one sounds UK-centric whilst the other could be construed as an effort to reach across the pond.

“The name is actually the result of a joke!” Ste laughs.

“We knew we’d be working with Americans so the spelling out of the word Zed was perhaps the first part of the joke,” John clarifies, before Ste resumes.

“We sold [Zed Two] to another company and they made us redundant. As part of the redundancy package they had legal documents drawn up by these expensive £250 per hour lawyers and, because at that point we had no money, we had no choice but to sign them.

“There was a clause that stipulated that we couldn’t set up another company called Zed-2 or that contained the word Zed or the number 2. It took the sharpest legal minds to come up with that clause and we duly abided by it: we set up a company called Zee-3.”

It’s this offbeat humour that makes indie development and Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint a refreshing place to be.

Magnetic Billiards is out now for iOS devices. It’s available for 69p with 20 standard play tables, £1.49 for an additional 20 more challenging tables or £2.49 offering all 40 tables plus 3 additional play modes and free access to all future content.

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3 Comments

  1. GamezIdiot

    Great read, magnetic billiards is brilliant. More articles like this please as long as it’s not angry birds!

    #1 4 years ago
  2. JPickford

    It’s Angry Beards!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Jimaroid

    Now there’s an idea! You fire facial hair at walls of people and see which ones stick. It’d be like a cross between Guess Who and Tanks. Neckbeards act like smartbombs, obviously.

    Solid. Gold.

    #3 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Borderlands 3 may not have been announced at PAX this weekend, but studio boss Randy Pitchford is currently recruiting for the next game in the series. We are recruiting for next Borderlands. This is the big one. Industry badass? E-mail me: heyrandy@gearboxsoftware.com pic.twitter.com/ZG9dLytX1B — Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 26, 2015 A recruitment push would suggest […]

  • Destiny: less grind, fairer economy in House of Wolves DLC

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it aims to lessen the grind in House of Wolves, and it won’t repeat mistakes it made with rewards in The Dark Below. Gear rewards will be fairer, according to lead designer Luke Smith in a Neogaf thread. For example, buying from a vendor should not invalidate gear rewarded for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Disaster

    Over two months since release and Xbox One’s big Christmas game is still a turkey, says Rich Stanton. “The game has now been available for two-and-a-half months, including the blockbuster Christmas season, and by any reasonable standard it doesn’t work.” Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched worldwide on November 11, 2014. Intended as something of […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection dated, first gameplay footage released

    Homeworld Remastered Collection has a release date, and as promised, the gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake has been released along with the news that Homeworld Shipbreaker development continues. The video was shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel earlier this morning at PAX South. Last year, Gearbox had said hoped to release the title […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry has landed on Kickstarter

    The Kickstarter for Clock Tower spiritual successor, Project Scissors, recently announced as Night Cry, has launched. A teaser directed by The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu was released for the game earlier this month, and the full short film can be viewed below. Shimizu is also creative director on the project and Silent Hill creative and environment […]

  • Toukiden Kiwami mission trailer released, pre-order bonuses detailed

    Pre-order bonuses for Toukiden Kiwami have been announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Here’s the pre-order bonus list for each participating retailer: North America GameStop – Armor inspired by new slayers Reki and Soma’s costumes and classic armor from Toukiden‘s six original NPC slayers. Amazon – 2 exclusive pieces of armor: a set of Tenko […]

  • More Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy 15 info doled out by Tabata

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD director Hajime Tabata took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday, and answered a variety of questions pertaining to the game and Final Fantasy 15. According to Tabata, the first playthrough of the game will last around 40 hours, but “the real fun” starts from the second playthrough which contains new events. […]

  • This video gives you an idea of what Borderlands Online is like

    A video for Borderlands Online, the China-exclusive title from 2K, Shanda Games and Gearbox, has been released. Posted on MMO Culture, the video was released to announce the “technical test” which started today. Borderlands Online is an instance-based online shooter, and will probably never reach western shores. Still, you can have a look anyway.

  • Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the MMO’s first expansion

    The first expansion for Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, was announced today during PAX South, and ArenNet has posted a few content details for it on the official webiste. Heart of Thorns contains a reimagined progression with the new Mastery system, which provides new training opportunities for characters beyond level 80. Players will be […]

  • Turn-based action platformer Ronin has been polished up, nets a publisher

    Tomasz Waclawek has polished up his freeware title Ronin and will be releasing it through publisher Devolver Digital later this year. The turn-based action platformer stars a vengeful ninja who is determined to kill important memebers of a powerful corporation. Weapons at your disposal include razor wire and a katana, or you avoid combat by […]

  • Footage of cancelled Justice League brawler surfaces

    Footage of the cancelled Double Helix-developed Justice League brawler has surfaced online. The game was supposed to be a tie-in title for the also cancelled Justice League film directed by George Miller, according to leaked images and information from 2012. Jon Gwyn, the game’s artist and now Rockstar San Diego staffer, said at the time […]

  • Free Icona Vulcano DLC for DriveClub releases next week

    Sony has posted a video of the Icona Vulcano, which will be released as DLC next week for DriveClub. The video was posted on Facebook and we’ve embedded the video below courtesy of GamesHQMeida. It was announced earlier this week the Icona Vulcano would be released on the PS Store as a free download.

  • The Bard’s Tale 4 announced by inXile Entertainment at PAX South

    The Bard’s Tale 4 was announced today by inXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo during a panel at PAX South. inXile hinted around back in December that a sequel was in the works. Granted, The Bard’s Tale wasn’t mentioned. Still, everyone figured this was the game when Wasteland 2 project lead Chris Keenan stated the team […]

  • Here’s another Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video

    Last week, YouTube user Master0fHyrule uploaded a Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video, and we’ve embedded it for you below. The video shows 4.5 minutes of footage which appears before hitting the start button and the first meeting between Link and the Skull Kid. Another comparison video was released by another user back in […]

  • The Game Awards 2015 already in the planning stages

    The Game Awards 2015 are already in the planning stages, according to Geoff Keighley. The inaugural show took place on December 6, 2014. Keighley announced the 2015 show during his Storytime with Geoff Keighley panel at PAX South this weekend and through Twitter. He said more details will be announced in the spring. You can […]

  • Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered listed for January release

    It looks like Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy is returning in remastered form next week, if an Amazon listing is any indication. According to the listing posted on NeoGAF, the uncut version of the game contains Steam DRM and will release January 29 at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Linux, Mac and PC download. Titled Fahrenheit: […]

  • Indie Flash Sale kicks off on North American PS Store

    The North American end of the PlayStation Store is hosting a Flash Sale a beefy list of indie games and some films. The sales includes titles such as Resogun, Shadow Warrior, The Unfinished Swan, FEZ, Costume Quest 2, Joe Danger, Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, and more for up to 80% off. The full […]

  • The Witcher 3 Twitch stream to show 15 minutes of new gameplay footage

    New The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay footage will be shown Monday, January 26 on GOG.com’s Twitch channel. Along with the footage, the developers will be answering questions from the community as well as providing commentary on the gameplay being shown. Live questions posted via Twitter chat will be answered by senior gameplay designer Damien […]

  • Borderlands 3 information teased for tomorrow’s Gearbox PAX South panel

    During PAX South this weekend, Gearbox Software is hosting a panel titled Inside Gearbox Software which will provide “the latest news and updates on Borderlands and upcoming Gearbox titles.” Yesterday during Gearbox’s panel called Question and Answer Time, CEO Rady Pitchford was asked “when or if” fans can expect Borderlands 3. “I’ll tell you what,” […]

  • Best Buy cancels multiple pre-order units of Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL

    Multiple sources reported overnight Best Buy has cancelled some pre-orders for the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL. As of press time, it appears to only affect those who pre-ordered more than one system. Only one system was allotted per order, so the cancellation notices were sent out to comply with the restriction. Those […]

  • Rob Huebel is your KillCameraman in this CoD: Advanced Warfare video

    A live-action video for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Havoc has been released by Activision. Subtitled: Randall Higgins: KillCameraman gives you a look at the action from a different perspective. In the video, Higgins is played by comedic actor and writer Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital, Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project). The first DLC […]

  • Xbox App features included with Windows 10 January build outlined

    The January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview includes a basic version of the Xbox App announced earlier this week. With the initial preview release, the team at Microsoft wanted to only include the basics such as high resolution monitor support along with keyboard and mouse input. Additional functionality will be released with each […]

  • Standalone version of DayZ has sold 3 million units

    The standalone version of DayZ sold 3 million units, Bohemia Interactive has announced. Release Just over a year ago on Steam Early Access, the milestone was hit yesterday. The standalone version was created by Dean Hall as a Arma 2 modification which has been updated 24 times since its initial release. In 2014, the development […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video shows gameplay clips, global hands-on events

    CD Projekt has released a video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, giving a glimpse of gameplay and noting that hands-on impressions of the game will be bombarding the Internet next week. We’ll have extensive coverage of The Witcher 3 on Monday Jan 26 at 3pm GMT. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to […]

  • Microsoft looking into possible HoloLens support for PC, Xbox One

    Microsoft’s HoloLens may be a dedicated device, but the company is obviously looking into how it could be used with PC and Xbox One. Speaking with Polygon, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said should the stand-alone product become a success, “specific scenarios” on how it could be used with Xbox One are already being brainstormed. “We […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video compares PSP graphics to PS4, Xbox One

    A video for Final Fantasy Type-0 comparing the upcoming console version of the game to the original PSP version has been released by Square Enix. While comparing PSP graphics to those of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One seems rather unfair, it’s worth a watch anyway. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD releases March 17 in North America […]

  • Payday 2′s The Bomb Heists and Dragan Character Pack released

    In case you forgot, The Bomb Heists and Dragan Character content packs for Payday 2 were released yesterday. The new heist pack is available for $6.99/€6.99/£4.99 and the Dragan character will run you $4.99/€4.99/£3.99 through Steam and other digital distribution sites. Here’s the details: The Bomb Heists A new contact, called the Butcher, brought to […]

  • Rockstar offers tips on scaling GTA Online creations to support 30 players

    Rockstar has posted a tutorial of sorts on how to edit your GTA Online’s creations to support up to 30 players. According to the developer, when selecting Load Creation, users will be able to access any previously published Jobs and edit them in any way they wish. Users can also increase the Maximum Players races […]

  • Video for Life is Strange shows you how to rewind time

    If you could rewind time, would you change the events of your day or leave things be? In Life is Strange, you will make this choice. In the developer diary below, Dontnot Entertainment touches upon the main character’s ability to rewind time. How Max’s ability works and originated is also discussed. The first episode of […]

  • Take a look at one of the historical battles in Total War: Attila

    The Creative Assembly has revealed historical battles for Total War: Attila and shown off one of them. In the latest episode of Rally Point, developer Creative Assembly takes a look at one of the nine historical battles that will be included in Total War: Attila when it launches next month. But before you see the […]

  • ARMA 3 video lists 33 of its features, teases upcoming expansion

    ARMA 3 is an impressive military simulator, but that’s not the only thing impressive about it. In fact, this video lists 33 of the game’s most notable features. ARMA 3′s latest video gives you a tour of many of its strengths. It goes over the number of vehicles, weapons and playable area. But that’s not […]

  • No Man’s Sky dev explains what you actually do in the game

    No Man’s Sky is simultaneously the most intriguing mystery and the most scary. Developer Hello Games is asked some questions and gives some solid answers. Eurogamer asked Hello Games’ Sean Murray a number of questions that are on everyone’s mind when they think about No Man’s Sky. The biggest one being, what do you actually […]

  • Dying Light physical release set for February 27, Be The Zombie mode goes free

    The release date for the physical version of Dying Light has been confirmed for Europe, along with the release dates for all regions. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the PC version of the game will release digitally, worldwide, on January 27. The physical version and the digital PS4 and Xbox One versions will […]

  • Guild Wars 2 is $10 this weekend

    ArenaNet is offering Guild Wars 2 for $10 this weekend only, and hosting a double XP event during the same period. The regular and Digital Deluxe editions of Guild Wars 2 are both offered at 75% off this weekend. The regular edition can be yours for just $10 while the Deluxe is $15. The offer […]

  • Cyberpunk 2077 development still going, but the focus is on The Witcher 3, says dev

    If you’re dying to hear anything about CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll be waiting a while still. The focus is on The Witcher 3 right now. Ever since Cyberpunk 2077′s announcement all the way back in 2012 developer CD Projekt Red has been really quiet about the sci-fi RPG. We’ve not seen any gameplay […]

  • Digital pet Animin gamecards get May release

    With AR being all the go, it might be worth checking out virtual pet Animin for iOS and Android. Game-cards for Animin, the virtual pet for iOS and Android, are set to appear at UK retail this May, the developers have announced. Animin sits on your touch device and does cute stuff. The little dude […]

  • You won’t need a new GPU for DirectX 12, except for some features

    Microsoft has clarified that while you’ll need a new GPU to get the full potential of DirectX 12, existing hardware will support it just fine. Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra said in a press meeting following the Windows 10 event that you will need a new graphics card to get “the full benefits” of DirectX 12. “There […]

  • Assassin’s Creed Victory: fans speculate over characters and locations

    Ubisoft has not yet started talking about Assassin’s Creed: Victory, so some eager fans are speculating about everything they can just from those leaked screens. A very popular thread right now on the Ubisoft forums attempts to gather fans’ specualtion about characters, events and story of Assassin’s Creed: Victory. What followed was quite a lot […]

  • This is what co-op looks like in Dying Light

    Dying Light’s cop-op mode has been given a short demo by developer Techland. Dying Light supports drop-in/ drop-out co-op for up to four players. The entire campaign is playable in co-op, and there are special co-op challenges. Watch as four members of developer Techland take on the game’s zombie apocalypse. Dying Light is out January […]

  • Get Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third and all DLC for $5

    Bundle Stars’ latest bundle packs Saints Row 2 and the complete Saints Row: The Third for $5. The Saints Row bundle is priced $5. It is live now and for another 14 days. It comes with Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package, which is basically the game plus all the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for January 23, 24

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has made the trek to Destiny’s Tower for another week of business. Destiny’s Exotics vendor, Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at the Tower as per the weekly schedule. Xur will sell you Exotic weapons and armour pieces if you have the Strange Coins to afford it. He also […]

  • Bloodborne is getting two special edition PS4s in Japan

    Sony will launch two limited-edition, Bloodborne-themed PlayStation 4 bundles in Japan. Two bundles are available, one in black and another in white, complete with a controller and a headset. The hard disk cover is engraved with the title and the cover shot. Both bundles come with the collector’s edition release of the game, which was […]

  • Best Destiny videos of the week – Xur vs Cryptarch rap battle

    Destiny has once more produced a slew of entertaining, educational and occasionally baffling videos. Destiny players have repeatedly sparked crazes by exploiting the game’s little foibles – Sparrow surfing is one example. This latest one is kind of mysterious; I don’t know how it’s done, or why you would want to, but Hidden Reach has […]