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Up, up, and away: Bungie’s Yee on embracing indies

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 06:53 GMT By Nathan Grayson

From Halo developer to indie publisher. What’s that all about? Nathan Grayson talks to Bungie’s Bernie Yee about Bungie Aerospace.

Bungie Aerospace

Halo developer Bungie acting as publish mobile and social games.

First revealed at the end of June.

The first title released under the scheme was the iOS title Crimson: Steam Pirates, in September. The first two chapters are free.

No further titles have been announced yet.

When you hear “Bungie,” what do you think of? Gaming’s favorite green-armored giant? The most potent pistol ever to prompt a kicking, screaming, cat-flinging rage quit? That plastic replica plasma rifle that no one can ever know you own?

Regardless, for most people, even “an elastic cord” springs to mind before “the next great bastion for interesting indies.” And yet, with its Aerospace program, Bungie has a very real chance of becoming an incredibly large fish in that ever-expanding pond. Already, the first fruit of its labors, the Jordan-Weisman-fronted Crimson: Steam Pirates, has taken iTunes by storm with a mix of excellent writing and, well, pirates – which have been known to take things by storm.

But Bungie can’t afford to rest on its laurels. Aerospace may have gotten it in on the indie scene’s ground floor, but staying there requires both an open mind and the ability to stick to your guns. For a developer that – in the past – has gained a reputation for simply sticking to guns, that’s a bit of a tough sell. After all, household name shooter to no-name indies? That’s a pretty big leap.

That in mind, I sat down with Bungie Aerospace portfolio producer Bernie Yee to discuss Aerospace’s driving philosophies, plans for the future, creativity’s place in both indie and big-budget gaming, game-specific social networks, and tons more.

VG247: When you’re picking out a game to highlight for Aerospace, what specific qualities – beyond, well, quality – do you look for?

Bernie Yee: I think there are a couple things we think about. One, we have a very loyal fan following. We want to bring games to them we think they’re gonna like. Bungie’s mantra is that we make games we want to play, and Aerospace is gonna publish games we want to play. We don’t all sit around and play sci-fi FPSes all day. There’s a variety of experiences we like.

“Something we really want our Aerospace games to have is a unique point-of-view.”

But I think something we really want our Aerospace games to have is a unique point-of-view that tries to do something differently and/or in a polished fashion. So when people see a Bungie game, I think they expect a requisite level of polish – a thinking behind what the last ten percent of the game is gonna be.

I could look at games that I think are really great now. Like, Bastion is great. Spy Party’s going to be great. And those are games that are driven by a very clear point-of-view. They’re not just trying to do, like, a physics sandbox. And they’re also really driven to refine the main mechanics so they’re polished. Bastion did it. Chris Hecker from Spy Party’s doing it.

Yeah, he’s really doing it. I’m not even sure I remember when that game was announced – possibly because I wasn’t born yet.

And I wish he’d just ship the game already! [Laughs.] But I think those are the kinds of teams we want to work with: people who really believe in the vision and will do what it takes to get it to the point where it becomes a game that everybody at Bungie really wants to play. So that’s our goal.

So how’d the collaboration on Crimson: Steam Pirates come about? Who approached who? And were the words “Pimps at Sea” ever thrown around?

What is Crimson: Steam Pirates?

We’re big Jordan Weisman fans, and the studio’s known Jordan for a while because he was head creative director at Microsoft Game Studios. I myself am a huge Battletech fan, and a lot of people at the studio are huge steampunk fans.

Jordan’s been interested in this space for a while. He put together a small team in Seattle. We wanted to do something with Aerospace quickly, and we knew – again – that Jordan has a unique point-of-view. The narrative, the tongue-in-cheek humor, the steampunk theme. And we decided to just do it, right? We thought it was a good game to play, and we thought it’d be a great collaboration for us.

What sort of influence does Bungie end up having over the direction of the indies it decides to bring aboard for Aerospace?

Well, those three games I mentioned [as examples of excellent indies] – Braid, Bastion, and Spy Party – were all done by very small groups. But they all had a high-degree of triple-A experience. They know what it’s like to ship a game under high pressure and scrutiny. They know that the first draft is never good enough.

So one of the things I think we’re gonna bring – even to teams that have never done this before – [is triple-A experience]. I recently looked at a project I thought was very interesting, but some of the team had never done a game before. So what we’d like to bring is that experience – the audio, the visuals, the art design, game design, writing, technology, backend innovation. All the things that our team has experience in, we’d like to bring to an Aerospace external partner and help them polish and finish their game that last ten percent.

Look at Plants vs Zombies, right? It’s super polished. PopCap is so good that there are plenty of little companies that try to copy their games, and they still can’t do it. The reason is that polish. You don’t get it just from looking and copying it. You play it, you think about it, and you refine it. That’s the polish we want to bring – in addition to funding, of course, which is its own way of giving them more room to polish.

Do you ever dive in the trenches and take the wheel on the development process, though? Like, “This mechanic could be boring/frustrating/a-handful-of-live-scorpions to your target audience – here’s how you should change it”?

One of the things Bungie has that’s really unique is our user research group. Our test group isn’t just the QA teams that most people have. They’re test engineers. They go and really work on a build; they look at requirements. They’re engineers by trade, so we help with things like stability and application efficiency. Things like that.

“One of our mottos is ‘We treat developers the way we want to be treated.’”

And user research spends a lot of time putting games through usability testing. Like, “Is the UI right? Are people confused?” And that’s something we do less on a day-to-day basis, but on a milestone basis. So we’ll define a milestone and say, “We want missions two and three stable and ready to play.” And when we have that build, we put it through the test and usability research cycles.

We definitely don’t want to be [too heavy handed]. One of our mottos is “We treat developers the way we want to be treated.” So we’d like to give them room to really work without us there every day. At the right milestones, we’ll look at it and build it into the schedule. One of the things we bring is production discipline. We want to give you feedback, and then you can go fix it.

What’s next for Bungie Aerospace? Larger-scale games? Mountains of smaller games? A real spaceship?

So we’re looking at a couple projects. The next project that’s likely to see the light of day is a small passion project from a few developers. It’s a very casual, highly visually stylized game experience. And it’s really designed to show the scope of projects we can do. So we were looking at something a small team of three people did part time. It’s not designed to be some big monetization ploy. It’s just the sort of game we’d love to whip out on our iPhones and play a bit.

The project after that may be a more ambitious project. And ultimately, we’d like to do even more ambitious things. Maybe not Infinity Blade-sized, but certainly [in the range] of the sort of production values and design. And when we see production values, we don’t mean visual presentation – but of that scale. So we’ll look at everything from very small projects to big projects.

“Ultimately, we’d like to do even more ambitious things.”

We do think that one of the things we’re most interested in is not just standalone projects. We want games to be repeat-played. We want to create communities out of our games. Halo has a great community around it, and that’s one of the things we want to bring. I’d like it to be a social experience – a social game, if you will.

Are you sticking with iOS games only right now?

Not necessarily. I think we’re really happy with the hardware capabilities of the iOS platform – although I heard their iOS 5 update today was a disaster.

But we’re not gonna stick with iOS only. You’ll see us on the PC. You’ll see us on other handheld devices. We obviously like Android quite a bit. We have a lot of people in the office with Android phones. Certainly different means of digital distribution are really interesting to us. I wouldn’t even rule out XBLA or PSN.

Do you think larger developers and publishers are unfairly ignoring the indie scene? Like, Bungie Aerospace is a fairly unique entity. But is that a good thing – especially as far as the industry as a whole is concerned?

I think Bungie is an unusual company in that we were an independent studio. We had developer-publisher relationships. We got bought by Microsoft, created some great games, and then we spun back out again. That gives us perspective. We really value our freedom now. We really took on what it meant to be an independent developer again. And in that way, we really are interested in what other teams are doing. The three [indies I cited earlier] were part of some pretty big teams before going indie. So our peers are going into that space.

“We got bought by Microsoft, created some great games, and then we spun back out again. That gives us perspective. We really value our freedom now.”

And we look at the hardware platforms, and they’re becoming more powerful and relevant. So I can’t speak for other studios, but for us, the values Bungie brings to game development are applicable to iOS. So remember five years ago when it was the original iPhone. The mobile scene was very different. The palette was so limited. What would our guys do to a mobile game dev back then? We’d have nothing to contribute.

But now the things we have are really useful. I was talking to a developer, and they’re looking at Facebook games. One of his concerns was “What happens when – through Flash or some other technological adoption – 3D [graphics] become relevant in social games?” I mean, Zynga already spends billions of dollars and dozens of people. They’re worried about that transition. That’s a time when we can really help developers manage that.

So I think it’s a space no one should really ignore.

What about the big-budget space? Do you think the amount of space for this kind of Wild West experimental spirit is dwindling?

Well, that’s an old discussion, right?

But it’s one that’s become more relevant lately. It used to be a big doomsday scenario talking point. Now, though, the stakes are higher than ever, and everyone’s feeling it. Even games like Homefront – which still managed to keep afloat in a retail sea of same-y competitors – don’t exactly live happily ever after. I mean, look at Kaos.

I think, certainly, the return on investment becomes a big issue when these games cost nearly $100 million or more. I don’t know what Homefront’s budget was, but I’m guessing it was $60-$70 million, easily. So there’s a lot of pressure there.

But I also think there’s a lot of pressure to innovate. You want to do something different. What are you going to do to stand out against Modern Warfare? Battlefield 3? The next Metal Gear Solid? Those are all big titles. And I think those games themselves also have a lot of pressure to innovate. The consumer only has $60 to spend on a bunch of titles. What are they going to choose? If your game is a rehash of the old game, they’re not going to be happy.

“All we have at Bungie is our reputation.”

All we have at Bungie is our reputation. We have to be creative. We’ve got to make smart choices. We’ve got to be smart where we innovate. I think that the high cost can in some sense strain innovation. But a game that doesn’t innovate is also a hard sell. So I can understand the popular argument that we worry about innovation [and money], and Homefront is a victim of that.

More interesting, I think, was THQ’s Company of Heroes, which was a spectacular game that didn’t get enough traction. But then, as those opportunities dry up, League of Legends and DoTA pop up, right? So that whole genre has pivoted. Maybe big-budget crowded out innovation in the RTS space, but it popped up somewhere else.

I knew a bunch of the Kaos guys, and I was really sad to see that studio shut down. But I think that – as there’s pressure somewhere else – what did Princess Leia say? “The more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers.” You tighten the grip there, and interesting stuff happens here. And DoTA and LoL are really innovative.

How does IP ownership work with Aerospace? After you’ve helped a game get off the ground, do you keep the license?

It depends. It’s a pretty rational process. If we fund everything, we keep more. If we take on all the risk, we keep more. But if the team has come with a prototype or gotten to alpha, then we discuss it. You know, maybe we have sequel rights. Maybe we get license to the code. Maybe we keep the code and license it back to them. We want to do a rational deal.

“We’re not here to own everything. I think that goes back to our idea of treating developers the way we want to be treated.”

We’re not here to own everything. I think that goes back to our idea of treating developers the way we want to be treated. You know, the people on these games are developers, and Bungie does have a publisher in Activision. We know what it’s like. Our studio’s philosophy is also to be very transparent, and we expect that with our developers.

When you’re a developer and you show something that’s not finished, you always worry that the publisher doesn’t understand “Oh, this thing isn’t final” or “That thing’s not final.” Since we’re in that position of understanding that core development process, I’d like to think we’re gonna be able to see what the core game values are about before presentation.

You’ve got this community that would probably take a bullet for every individual blade of grass you’ve walked on, and platforms like Origin, Call of Duty Elite, Battlelog, and Battle.net are all the rage right now. Is that your grand world domination plot for Aerospace? To expand into a unique social platform that flows through each of your games?

That’s a good question. I think Bungie.net already is that. We have lots of community, lots of users, lots of data. That’s the beginnings of what you’d consider a social network for players. Obviously, we are going to use existing systems. If we’re publishing on XBLA, we’re gonna use Xbox Live. If we’re on Facebook, we’re gonna use Facebook logins. You’ll see us integrating those features and more.

“I don’t want devs to think ‘We can only pitch them a Halo-quality game!’ That would be a boring world to live in.”

But Bungie.net is already that platform for us. We’re gonna start that and expand on that. It’s not going to be just a stats and leaderboard service. We have a lot of ideas of how to make it into a social network. And I think it’s really important that Bungie fans and players are able to find each other and play with each other – bring their friends into it.

And again, I don’t want devs to think “We can only pitch them a Halo-quality game!” That would be a boring world to live in. But I think all our games should work together and communicate with each other. An achievement in Crimson should unlock an achievement in another game or content. You want to create that community and give rewards to people. I think Steam does a good job of that. Even with all the titles they publish, they seed extra content into the ones their interested in. I think that’s great.

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    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 […]

  • The Sims 4 free for 48 hours with Origin Game Time

    The Sims 4 is the latest game to be offered free through Origin’s Game Time promotion. The Sims 4 is now free to download from Origin, granting you a 48 hour window to try it out and see if you want to pay for the full game. The free time starts counting as soon as […]

  • Check out Destiny’s new PvP mode, Doubles

    Destiny Crucible players can enjoy a new kind of PvP action with Doubles. Destiny may not be as PvP focused as some Halo fans were hoping, but Bungie is slowly ramping up Crucible support, starting with better Iron Banner events. Some time ago the developer promised to introduce experimental game modes, and the latest Bungie […]

  • Halo: New Blood novel launching digitally in March

    A new Halo novel will explore the backstory of Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck. Halo: New Blood is a digital-first short novel launching on March 2. The 60,000 word novel was penned by Matt Forbeck, an award-winning author of many licensed fantasy and sci-fi publications. It’s an all-new story, but fans of Halo 3: ODST will […]

  • Destiny players purchased 1.1 million Ice Breakers last week

    Destiny players know what’s hot, and Exotic sniper rifle Ice Breaker is definitely warm. Destiny vendor Xur offered Ice Breaker for sale last weekend, much to the delight of everyone yet to find this terrific bit of gear. According to the latest Bungle Weekly Update, Xur sold 1,143,320 Ice Breakers. He left the tower with […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition nets GLAAD special recognition award

    Dragon Age: Inquisition has been honoured for its diverse representation by LGBT advocacy body GLAAD. Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a special recognition award for “the many complex and unique LGBT characters prominently integrated throughout the game”. GLAAD doesn’t normally honour video games (maybe one day, if we ever have enough that deserve it), but […]

  • The Order: 1886 AR game is full of puzzles

    The Order: 1886 has spawned a new promotional website with lots of info to ferret out. Called The Order Exposed, the new site pertains to be the blog of a missing researcher, who had been hoping to uncover the secrets of the alternate history. This on its own is quite interesting but it’s also full […]

  • Grow Home is the next game to follow Child of Light, Valiant Hearts

    Ubisoft has announced another small passion project in the wake of the success of recent releases. Child of Light, Valiant Hearts: The Great War and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon are all the products of a new initiative at Ubisoft where the publisher lets key developers rest after big triple-A projects by working on something […]

  • What mysterious reveal is Xbox teasing for May 4?

    Xbox is teasing something we’ll be waiting quite a while to learn more about. Xbox community manager Raj Patel tweeted the following earlier today: Hmm… pic.twitter.com/4wBGu6xsDc — Raj Patel (@Rajio) January 22, 2015 NeoGAF users spotted the morse code in the background of the image, which translates as follows: “Presented by Xbox, 10am PDT, 1pm […]

  • 2011 PSN hack class action settlement claim forms available

    PlayStation Network members affected by the 2011 hack and downtime can now claim part of a $15 million settlement. The PSN was down for months on end in 2011 following a major hack, which resulted in user details being compromised. Sony apologised and provided free games as compensation, but unhappy gamers banded together in a […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 has a true open world

    Final Fantasy 15 doesn’t just have “open world gameplay”, it has a true open world – one continuous stretch of environment. “The world is connected by continuous land,” director Hajime Tabata told Gamespot. “If those areas were disconnected, it would feel distant from reality. You’ll find that you’ll be able to walk or drive or […]

  • Suikoden, Suikoden 2 EU PSN release date locked down

    Suikoden and its first sequel will be available via the European PlayStation Network soon. Suikoden publisher Konami has confirmed a February 4 release date for the two RPG classics. CONFIRMED! #Suikoden I & II EU #PSN release date is FEB 4TH! http://t.co/ObOIvZDJAK pic.twitter.com/aM760R2Gez — Konami UK (@KonamiUK) January 22, 2015 It’s been a long wait […]

  • Dying Light physical release set for February 20, says Gamestop Italy

    Dying Light’s physical release has been delayed, but at least one European retailer thinks it knows what’s going on. Dying Light’s physical release date is February 20, according to Gamestop Italy. According to Tmag (Italian, via Google Translate), there’s been no response from local representatives of publisher Warner Bros. Although the digital release will take […]

  • Free online multiplayer update now available for Trials Fusion

    Online multiplayer is now available as a free update to Trials Fusion. The online component includes three new four to eight player multiplayer modes on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and up to four players on Xbox 360. These are the three new gameplay modes included with the update can be found through a previous […]

  • This video for indie survival horror Monstrum features all in-game footage

    Monstrum launches on Steam Early Access January 29 and today, you can have a look at a video for it featuring all in-game footage. Developed by Team Junkfish the survival horror game set on a derelict cargo ship which combines roguelike elements, such as procedurally generated levels and permadeath thanks to AI driven predators. Monstrum […]

  • Here’s quick look at Dead Rising: Watchtower starring Rob Riggle

    A short look at the film adaptation of Dead Rising has surfaced. Transformers director Lorenzo di Bonaventura headed the project and it was directed by Zach Lipovsky. It stars comedy actor Rob Riggle as Frank West, along with Academy Awards nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Sideways), Dennis Haysbert (24), Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time), and […]

  • A Kickstarter for Underworld Ascendant will launch next month

    OtherSide Entertainment, an independent games studio fronted by Paul Neurath, has announced it’s developing Underworld Ascendant. Neurath is the founder and CEO of the new studio ad his resume includes franchises such as Thief, System Shock and 1992′s Underworld Underworld. The studio hopes Underworld Ascendant will “innovate and revitalize” the fantasy genre. More details will […]

  • APB Reloaded heading to PS4 and Xbox One during Q2 2015

    APB Reloaded will indeed be heading to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during late Q2 this year, which puts its release sometime around the end of June. Reloaded Productions announced in September 2014 it was working on bringing the free-to-play PC title to consoles during the Digital Media Wire event in New York City. The […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 2 -The Lost Lords arrives in February – video

    Release dates for Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series have been announced. A new video offering a “first look” has also appeared. Below is the story synopsis, which you may want to skip if you haven’t played Episode One. House Forrester is in disarray. Their liege lord and his heir are dead, and Ironrath […]

  • The open beta for Nosgoth has gone live

    Consider this a friendly reminder: the Nosgoth open beta has started. Announced last week, the open beta can be accessed through the official website. Once you link your Steam account, just log into the service and start downloading the client. Everyone that plays the tester will receive double XP through January 28. More information is […]

  • First gameplay footage of Homeworld Remastered Collection being shown this weekend

    Homeworld Remastered Collection news and the first gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake will be revealed at PAX South this weekend. The news and video will be shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel at 10.30am CST on Sunday. It will also be streamed on Twitch. Gearbox is hoping to have Homeworld Remastered released by […]

  • Latest Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video delves more into combat

    Square Enix has released its latest Orience News video for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and it provides insight into character combat styles and techniques. In the video you will see the elite combat force of Class Zero going deeper into battle to improve their skills. Combat is party-based and each of the three characters in […]

  • Something really cool happens when you finish Resident Evil HD *spoiler*

    Those who finish Resident Evil HD will be met with a really nice surprise at the end. If you wish to find out what it is on your own, DO NOT head below the break. You have been warned. According to images posted by Reddit user omeganemesis28, a thank you message from Resident Evil creator […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain release date “should be” announced soon

    A release date for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain “should be able” to be announced soon, according to the latest Kojima Station webcast. New information on the game will also be announced at the Taipei Game Show on January 31, per Game Spark (thanks, Gemtasu). “I know you’ve all been eagerly await for […]

  • Punch-Out!!, more Throwback offerings arrive on Nintendo US eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Punch-Out!!, Citizens of Earth and Part Two of the Throwback Sale. Here’s the entire update: Nintendo eShop releases Punch-Out!! (originally for Wii) – also 50% off until January 29 Citizens of Earth – introductory price of $11.99 until January 27 Breezeblox (Wii) Midnight (Wii […]

  • The Witcher Battle Arena has arrived on the App Store and Google Play

    The Witcher Battle Arena, CD Projekt RED and Fuero Games’ mobile MOBA, has been released. In Battle Arena, two three-hero teams fight it out as they try to capture and hold conquest points. The game features “no pay-to-win elements”, instead it contains a “player-friendly monetization system.” Every item and functionality can be unlocked entirely through […]

  • Second wave of Star Wars titles arrive on GOG, third wave next week

    The second wave of Star Wars titles will arrive on GOG.com today with more coming January 27. Today you can pick up the following: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D (digital distribution premiere) Star Wars Rebellion (digital distribution premiere) Star Wars Empire at War: Gold Pack On January 27, the final three games of this wave […]

  • If Microsoft is serious about PC games, Xbox One should be the real Steam Machine

    Forget the magic space goggles. Maybe Valve doesn’t have the wherewithal to realise PC gaming’s TV dream, but Microsoft holds all the keys. If Microsoft really wants to get into PC gaming full-time, it needs to get around the table with Mr Newell and its platinum chequebook. “It’s time for us to talk about gaming […]

  • Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 releases on Steam next week

    Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 will be released on Steam for PC next week. The PC version of the was announced earlier this month and contains upgraded graphics, runs in 1080p, and has both Japanese and English audio. It will release on January 28 for $14.99. Fairy Fencer F and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 also coming […]

  • Take a look at the controls and special abilities in The Order: 1886

    The Order: 1886 has a new trailer available that highlights the game’s controls and reveals the two special abilities the main protagonist has at his disposal. The game uses a similar control scheme to other shooters, but just in case you wanted to see more gameplay, we’ve got just the thing. The most interesting parts […]

  • These elderly people are better at GTA 5 than you’d expect

    Do old people get video games? Namely something known for its violence like GTA? Well, you’re about to find out. The latest REACT production sits a few elderly men and women in a room and lets them play GTA 5. The results are not what you’d expect, they start off getting a feel for the […]

  • More major Microsoft titles will be coming to PC

    Microsoft will bring more of its franchises to PC. Following on from yesterday’s big Windows stream, Microsoft has released a full recap on Xbox Wire. In the blog post, the firm hid a small bit of news revealing that Fable Legends will not be the only title to come to PC. “Today we announced that […]

  • Someone is attempting to recreate Dark Souls’ Lordran in Minecraft

    Lordran, the land of the ancient lords will soon be explorable in Minecraft thanks to a passionate modder. Davweed is a talented modder attempting to recreate the entire world of Lordran in Minecraft. Lordran is the land where the entire Dark Souls game is set. The goal is to make it a 1:1 scale of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous is getting Community Goals with update 1.1 – all the details

    Patch 1.1 is Elite: Dangerous’ first major update. Developer Frontier has detailed Community Goals, the big change coming with the patch, and more. We were told last week that big additions are coming with patch 1.1, due in February. Today, we learn in more detail what those features are. Namely, what the developer is calling […]

  • Sunset Overdrive, Skyrim and Dead Rising 3 highlight this week’s Deals with Gold

    A new week, a new set of deals for Xbox Live Gold subscribers and we’ve got the full list. Major Nelson posted the deals which are live now and run through Monday, January 26. Highlights include Sunset Overdrive, Dead Rising 3, Skyrim, Final Fantasy 13-2 and more. Check the full list below. Xbox One Dead […]

  • Survarium: 10,000 FREE Premium account keys to give away

    We have 10,000 codes to give away for MMOFPS Survarium, granting the player a Premium account for 24 hours along with 5,000 Silver coins. Each key gives the player a Premium account for 24 hours along with 5,000 Silver in-game currency. A Premium account gives you 50 percent more experience, income and reputation for 24 […]

  • “I don’t like people thinking we’re doing underhanded, dirty shit,” says Evolve dev

    Despite what it looks like, Evolve developers did not intend to give out the wrong signals when it comes to the game’s DLC plan. Evolve creative director Phil Robb spoke to Destructoid in an interview that was conducted late last year about the studio’s approach to DLC, map packs and more. Robb’s idea is that […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry gets first screens

    Night Cry is coming along nicely and today we get our first look at it. Ever since the announcement of Project Scissors (at the time) last September, and then the name change to Night Cry, we’ve been waiting to see what the game looks like, especially since it’s developed with mobile platforms in mind. Today, […]

  • Tekken X Street Fighter is still happening, 40 people working on it

    Tekken X Street Fighter is definitely not vaporware. A team of 40 developers is currently working on it, according to director Katushiro Harada. Harada was interviewed by Polygon. In the interview, he touched on many topics, one of which is the status of the seemingly-never-coming-out Tekken X Street Fighter. “It’s very difficult to talk about,” […]

  • From Game of Thrones to Borderlands: all of Telltale’s adventure games rated

    Telltale Games has an impressive back catalogue of licensed adventure games to its name, and we have opinions about all of them. Note that this rundown doesn’t include bundles, the non-adventure games or games published by Telltale but created by other developers. It’s also got a fair bit of speculation in it, since at least […]

  • There is probably a new Battletoads game coming

    If you’ve watched last night’s Windows presentation you knew you recognised that logo on Phil Spencer’s t-shirt. Wearing a t-shirt with a logo of an upcoming game is an antic we’ve come to expect from Xbox boss Phil Spencer now. Based on that, we wouldn’t be alone in predicting that a new Battletoads game is […]

  • Here’s a short, 60fps trailer for DmC: Definitive Edition

    DmC: Definitive Edition has a new video available that shows the game running at 60 frames-per-second. Capcom has put out a short new trailer for the Definitive Edition of DmC: Devil May Cry that takes a look at different stages and boss fights. The video begs to watched in 1080p60 quality, if your connection can […]

  • Xbox One to PC streaming targeting 1080p, 60fps

    Microsoft has revealed that it’s looking to achieve 1080p resolution at 60 frames-per-second when the Xbox One game streaming launches later this year. The question of what final resolution and framerate Xbox One game streaming will operate at was on a lot of people’s minds when the demo was shown. Thankfully, Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra has […]

  • Microsoft is looking at offering PC to Xbox streaming

    Having announced Xbox One to PC streaming as part of its Windows event last night, Microsoft said that making the process a two-way street is on the cards. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer sat down to do a group interview following the Windows event and talked a little bit about the firm’s plans for streaming, including a […]

  • Watch John Romero play Doom

    John Romero made DOOM, and now you can watch him play it, dropping many a delightful gem of insight regarding one of the most important shooters of all time. This video was organised by Double Fine as part of its Devs Play series, a thing I only just discovered and now want to marathon all […]

  • World of Speed has gotten fairly pretty over the past year

    World of Speed has produced a new trailer, showing off the racing MMO’s progress over the past year. Announced one year ago, World of Speed is looking pretty damn shiny now. Check it out in this trailer, which introduces the Mountain Spiral Road location and teases several yet to be revealed. World of Speed comes […]

  • Minecraft user data leaked in plain text – change your passwords

    Minecraft users should change their passwords and those of any accounts using the same log-in details. Minecraft’s user data servers have apparently been compromised, with user names and passwords leaked online in plain text. 1,800 Mojang accounts were affected. The news comes via German source Heise and The Guardian and has been treated quite seriously […]

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will commence filming in August

    The sixth Resident Evil movie is back on track. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will begin filming in August, having been delayed to accomodate star Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy. In a Facebook post, Jovovich said she’s currently being very mindful of gaining enough weight to ensure a healthy birth for her second child, without the risk […]

  • Nintendo bosses “do not really understand modern gaming”, says former executive

    Former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman has provided frank insight into the Japanese platform holder’s inner workings. Adelman, who was one of Nintendo’s most important developer liaisons, left in August 2014. One of the first things he did was say that Nintendo had issued a gag order on his social media use, and shortly thereafter called […]

  • Sony’s 10% apology discount doesn’t apply to pre-orders

    Sony has updated the terms and conditions of its apology discount to exclude pre-orders. PSN members have been offered a 10% discount voucher as an apology for downtime over the holidays due to DDoS attacks. In an update to the PlayStation Blog announcement post, Sony clarified that you can’t use this for pre-orders. So. That […]

  • 343 to beta test Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking fix

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection is still broken, believe it or not. The next Halo: The Master Chief Collection update is, like most of the others so far, designed to resolve the shooter collection’s ongoing matchmaking woes. 343 Industries is determined to get it right, apparently, as it’s gone so far as to elect to […]