Sections

Scandimania: Adventures in Finnish games, part one

Friday, 3 February 2012 08:44 GMT By Patrick Garratt

VG247 tours Finland’s games companies to find discs dead, investment capital flowing like champagne and mobile development everywhere. Patrick Garratt reports.

The Finnish games industry

Finland is home to more than 70 games developers and has a government which injects more cash into the industry than any other in Europe. It’s home to Angry Birds, Alan Wake, and probably the most active games start-up scene in the world. VG247 travelled to Helsinki and Tampere last December to find an industry at the cutting edge of gaming’s inexorable shift from disc to digital.

“Mobile phones are the new gold.”

Rovio’s North American general manager, Andrew Stalbow, is cod-advising us on investment through a cocktail grin. We all agree; earth’s social structure could collapse tomorrow and people would still want mobiles. These companies just have so much money, says Stalbow.

And he would know. Rovio’s Angry Birds is mobile gaming’s premiere success story. We’re at dinner in a concept restaurant in Finnish capital Helsinki, eating a meal so ludicrous it’s sublime. Between Finland’s most unhinged food team asking us to “open our hearts” to a repas designed to emulate a walk through the country’s beech woods, Stalbow and eccentric Rovio CMO Peter “Mighty Eagle” Vesterbacka are schooling us on gaming’s new frontier, a place of cookbooks and plushies, a world where units are not clocked in hundreds of thousands, but hundreds of millions. A world where you can create an international media event by wearing the right sort of dress.

We arrived to start our tour of the Finnish games industry the previous evening to find Helsinki black, freezing and bizarrely dead. December 6 is Finland’s independence day, a celebration of the country’s official split from Russia in 1917, and a night residents apparently sit at home in a grump over a grand party held at the presidential palace for Finland’s great and good. Vesterbacka’s wife, Teija, stole the show by wearing an Angry Birds dress, pictures of which flooded the internet overnight. Peter loved it; Finnish president Tarja Halonen less so.

“She didn’t say anything,” Vesterbacka tells me of Halonen’s reaction over a green cocktail representing beech leaves. “Actually, that was one comment I made, that she should smile a bit more. That made the news. She’s going to be out in January anyway.” He sniffs, noting upcoming elections.

Stalbow stops the the waiters giving him cocktails. He has work to do, he says. Vesterbacka, dressed in his trademark red bird hoodie, tells us he’s going after “Disney and TV” in 2012, that “next year will be much bigger” for Rovio. Someone asks jokingly if there’s anyone left in the world that hasn’t played Angry birds.

“Of course,” he snips, his smile failing to reach his eyes. “We were in Berlin recently, and we spoke to a taxi driver from Palestine. He hadn’t heard of Angry Birds. There’s a lot more we can do.”

Earlier that day, Eeva Haaramo, of national PR agency Finnfacts, explains to our group of British and American games journalists that people stay in on the country’s holiday because they’re “anti-party, not anti-independence”. We pass a “music house” on the drive to our first appointment which was “very controversial” among voters due to its expense, as was Helsinki’s opera house, thanks to its marble facade. Spending money, it seems, is not something to be happy about.

While the subject of public funds is a global unifier at the moment, Finland’s similarities to countries like Britain and America end quickly. Finland is backwards to us, a quirky land of opposites. We’re far north, even in Finland’s south, so the days are short; the sun rises at about 8.30am and sets at 3.30pm. We see an outdoor tropical garden; whereas summer is the main season in warmer climes and dictates a need of places to cool down, Finland’s weather means there are permanent fixtures in which you can heat up. Eeva describes last year’s winter, which came with record snow levels and crippled most of Europe over Christmas, as “good”.

She’s clearly disappointed there’s no snow. “It comes later and later every year,” she sighs.

As we arrive at the office of Finnish funding agency Tekes, talk switches to the previous evening. While I was eating in an empty restaurant with IGN’s Keza MacDonald and Pocket Gamer’s Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman on a night Helsinki should have been packed with people, the Register’s Caleb Cox and Wired UK’s Duncan Geere found one of the north’s smartest cities has a seedier side.

“Bar Chaplin,” says Cox. “There was an amputee wearing 3D glasses. He had a hook for a hand.”

Money, money, money

Tekes is the Finnish agency responsible for distributing government funds to the country’s tech industries, one of which is the games trade. It receives €550 million each year, of which €2-7 million is pushed into games firms, but the portion allocated to games is remaining static while the general spend declines under austerity measures. Relatively, government investment in Finnish games companies is rising. The Tekes investment in games is the largest of its kind in Europe.

The Finnish games industry is a collapsing nebula, a nursery, a section of European space clustered with embryonic stars. Finland has a population of 5.4 million people and over 70 games companies, largely built of start-ups birthed by the Finnish government’s benevolent gas cloud. Nearly 50 percent of Finnish games firms are less than two years old, and two-thirds of them have less than 10 employees. Revenue is slight; in 2008, only 42% of Finnish games companies beat €200,000 in annual turnover, although this rose to 54% by 2010, by which point 22% had made it over €1 million per year. It’s early days, but Tekes and friends hope that Finland’s stellar creche will one day form the central hub of a galaxy.

It’s unlikely there’s a national games trade more relevant to the fast-changing face of publishing on earth. This is not a industry making triple-A games, but rather seeking growth off the back of the rise of digital distribution and mobile. Whether or not digital is the way forward over brick and mortar retail isn’t a discussion in Finland. It happened: digital won.

It’s unlikely there’s a national games trade more relevant to the fast-changing face of publishing on earth. This is not a industry making triple-A games, but rather seeking growth off the back of the rise of digital distribution and mobile. Rovio’s success with Angry Birds is the prime example. KooPee Hiltunen, director of research monitor Neogames, tells us he “doubts” Finland will ever produce another disc-based big hitter, and cites Nokia’s recent misadventures as providing the talent needed for Finland’s swathe of tiny start-ups. Even Finland’s larger games companies have now dropped away from discs (assuming they ever needed them in the first place), the best known being Housemarque (Dead Nation), Frozenbyte (Trine) and Recoil (Rochard), none of which are involved with physical media at all. Remedy may yet produce a full Alan Wake sequel for disc, but caused a great furore recently by announcing Alan Wake’s American Nightmare as one of the first traditionally triple-A products to make the full switch to digital. Whether or not digital is the way forward over brick and mortar retail isn’t a discussion in Finland. It happened: digital won.

It’s not just the opportunities of the mobile and digital businesses changing the Finnish games industry; the traditional publishing model simply isn’t working in this part of the world any more.

“We are cold, we are distant, and we are expensive. Those are not very good starting points to get a publisher,” says Hiltunen.

We go on to hear from Samuli Syvähuoko, the founder of Recoil and one of the original founders of Remedy. He details a tale of woe about Recoil being created in 2007 as Finland’s next great triple-A developer, taking €4.5 million in investment and putting together a demo for Earth No More, a high-end, post-apocalyptic FPS. While the team was pitching, the world’s finances went pop.

“We’d already spent all of our money,” says Syvähuoko. “Nobody was looking for a new IP. Nobody was taking any risks.”

He says Finns were “still delusional” about the games publishing model in 2007. “Tough shit. But it was fun while it lasted. I have spent so much investor money,” he says.

Recoil went bust and half the company moved on, leaving 20 Finns and one “crazy” Frenchman to try to get something together before everyone starved. Recounting logic we’re to hear many times in the coming days, Syvähuoko ditched the idea of ever getting a publishing deal, put together a quick, cheap game and aimed at the digital space.

Rochard, a cartoon physics platformer, released in September for PC and PSN. It was supposed to come out earlier, but PSN exploded in April and everything got pushed back, forcing Rochard into the heavy Christmas season. Syvähuoko admits sales haven’t been high, saying Recoil was “extremely unlucky with the timing,” but he has more than enough content for “several sequels”. He’s looking at iOS and Android now. Again, this is a theme for the trip.

Before we leave the Tekes building, we see Trine 2. Developer Frozenbyte is a model for how to well handle core digital distribution. The Trine 2 team is only 25 people strong, but the product is perfect for PS3 and Xbox 360, and is a sweet-spot game for Steam. It’s simple, very attractive and is relatively cheap to make. DLC is planned for next year. Trine has succeeded by Frozenbyte staying nimble as the publishing world turns in on itself.

Outside it’s freezing, but the skies are snowless. We’re taken into central Helsinki. Pre-schoolers are ice-skating with padded parents on an open-air rink while older children speed along independently with stabilizing frames. Eeva buys us lunch at Finland’s national gallery. The cafe’s Finnish Plate boasts a selection of various types of reindeer meat.

“It’s got all 12 of them,” says Caleb.

Magic and lightbulbs

If two factors mark out the new Finnish games industry, they’re the arrival of iOS and a flood of start-up investment. Our next stop, Grey Area, is a perfect example of what’s currently happening in Finland. It’s small, it’s in an office full of bean bags in which you have to leave you shoes at the door, and it’s staffed by well-groomed young people with big smiles. Grey Area has published one game, Shadow Cities for iOS, and took €1.9 million VC from Index Ventures, London Venture Partners – of which ex-Sony figurehead Phil Harrison is one of four bosses – and Initial Capital in February 2011 to make it. The second round of money takes total investment to €2.5 million.

Grey Area, creator of iOS MMO Shadow Cities.

CEO Ville Vesterinen talks us through the company and its concept while a lady plays the game on a screen behind him on an iPad. Vesterinen has flicked hair, tortoise-shell glasses and a Marlboro voice. Grey Area was set up in 2009 by three ex-Ericsson staffers. Vesterinen describes iPhone as “magical,” a device which allowed them to action their location-based ideas. Shadow Cities released in Finland in 2010 and did well on the Finnish App Store. It launched in the US in mid-2011. The company’s now grown to 16 staff and a second game, the identity of which Vesterinen keeps to himself, will hit around April 2012.

The “grey area” is the place between reality and game. Shadow Cities is an iOS MMO in which you play in real cities according to physical location. You join one of two global teams, conquer areas, fight opponents and level up. It’s a magic-based affair, played on a map in real-time. Money, primarily, comes from selling mana for spells, although the app is free.

Vesterinen talks about emergent gameplay in which New York residents created pillar markers around Ground Zero during a 9/11 memorial, and the problems of grouping people together in location-based games (you can jump to any area of the world where you have a friend, skirting the need for physical movement). He describes “battle groups,” and talks mainly about New York and California in the US; unsurprising, given they’re typically populous regions.

It’s interesting. iOS has allowed small Finnish teams to take on investment and emerge as games firms without ever needing to look at consoles and PC. Vesterinen, however, won’t tell us how many people are playing Shadow Cities. The obvious question is whether or not it’s profitable.

“The monetization has worked really well for us,” he says. “If you look at the mobile space in general, one of the biggest challenges is discoverability. As a company, you want to have a portfolio of games, whatever you do. Having screen real estate this big,” he says, picking up his iPhone, “and having half a million applications is challenging, whether you’re Grey Area or EA. But yeah, it’s worked out really well for us.”

They’re now looking at Android, although spend on apps is apparently only 20% that seen on iOS.

With organic, visibility and fragmentation buzzwording in our ever-colder ears, we’re led back into our bus and off to Supercell, the biggest start-up we’ll see on the trip. When we arrive we’re greeted with champagne, then ushered into an immaculate boardroom beyond a giant logo dripping with Christmas lights.

Supercell, developer of browser action-RPG
Gunshine. The start-up’s grown from six to
46 employees in less than 18 months.

CEO Ilkka Paananen is an intense man in an ironed shirt. He kicks up PowerPoint and his staff, Supercell t-shirts and all, crowd at the door with their iPads to watch. Within a few minutes he’s on his feet, unflappable, waving a glass of bubbly and predicting the death of consoles.

“We very much believe that the consumption of games and entertainment is general is shifting to casual, connected platforms, away from games-specific targetted devices like consoles,” he says. He predicts tablets will become the de facto form of accessing all entertainment in “a few years”.

Supercell’s “dream” is to bridge the world of WoW and Zynga. Facebook and the general browser is the target for the developer’s first release, action-RPG Gunshine. It is, we’re assured one of the most expensive Flash productions ever completed. It’s free-to-play with micro-transactions and has an audience of 300,000 monthly active users. It launched on Facebook in November 2011 and was expanded with zombies in late December.

We go on to see upcoming Supercell games Pets vs Orcs and Battle Buddies, both for iOS and Android, phones and tablets. The former, a cute management sim, was retro-developed from a focus-tested concept. Battle Buddies is turn-based combat game using touch. It’s like top-down Worms, I guess. They’re both out in 2012.

Supercell is a revelation. I’ve visited many games developers, and this is not a small operation. It’s grown from six to 46 employees in less than 18 months, fuelled by €15 million in seed funding from Initial Capital, Lifeline Ventures (of which Paananen is a partner), Accel Partners, London Venture Partners and others. The lightbulb factor here is that Supercell, as with Grey Area, has absolutely nothing at all to do with consoles and PC executables. This is about connecting social networks to instantly accessible content on browsers, mobile and tablets. This company is not arguing the viability of non-traditional platforms: it’s betting the farm on it. For me, this is a first. Within these walls the entire notion of “triple-A,” walled tech coupled with a publisher model, is dead. Paananen has the glass of champagne to prove it.

Before we leave, boundlessly energetic and extraordinarily white-haired marketing manager Marika Appel has us decorate cookies to hang on Supercell’s Christmas tree. I write “boo” in white icing. Keza makes a carefully detailed IGN logo. The Americans, EGM’s Brady Fiechter and Eli Hodapp from Touch Arcade, look extremely fucked, both sighing heavily beneath sunken eyes. Eeva runs away to a party leaving us with some free time at the hotel before dinner with the husband of the owner of the most famous dress in Finland.

The real McCoy

The Helsinki World Trade Centre is lifted straight from the pages of a Tom Wolfe novel, all stained panelling and embossed leather, unused decanters and chandeliers. Morose suits squelch from the early morning rain under mechanical clocks which proudly display Tokyo and London time. Petteri Koponen, a partner of venture capitalist Lifeline Ventures, appears to be perpetually amused by his surroundings.

“Welcome to the 80s,” he giggles, injecting us with choke-strong coffee from dainty china cups.

Venture capital, Helsinki-style.

Lifeline, as with all else in the new Finnish games industry, is small and young. It has made six investments in games so far, and only 17 in total. Thanks to its age, it has a nonexistent failure rate. A typical investment would be in the region of €100-150,000, with a further €300,000 coming from Tekes, the government agency. Koponen describes Lifeline’s relationship to Tekes as “scarily close”.

These people are looking for companies that can lead categories and could potentially be worth €100 million. Supercell is a main investment. Lifeline “always communicates to the founders that we’re OK to lose our investment. It’s not very well protected. We don’t focus on protecting the downside. When a company is not getting traction or something’s really wrong and it can’t be protected, we usually just say to the entrepreneurs, ‘Just stop whatever you’re doing now and think about how much cash you have left.’”

Lifeline takes companies from zero, gives them money, combines investment with backing from the Finnish government and doesn’t appear to mind if nothing works. Lifeline’s stake in return for its help is normally less than 20%. Eli and I, especially, are struggling to grasp the realities of starting up in Finland; €450,000 for an idea that can go wrong with no consequence? Seriously?

Talk swings to the ever-present topic of ditching publishers in the move to mobile and social. “Publishers haven’t really found a space yet,” says Jussi Laakonen, founder of Facebook games marketing system Applifier and a “failed” triple-A developer from Bugbear.

“I think it’s coming, because the cost of investment’s going up and the market’s getting more specialised, but what does a publisher really add? Chillingo doesn’t give you funding; it just gives you distribution, and they don’t give you any upfront guarantee, just a spot in their roster. Why would I sign up with that?”

He adds: “We’ve seen a huge explosion in gaming and valuations. If you were to look 5-7 years back, no one in their right mind would invest in games, because the publisher reaped all the economics. Social and mobile really opened up the field for VC investing and the pay-out being there.”

We see presentations about uplause – a gamification idea for big screens at events – and a start-up developer called Grand Cru. The firm’s first game is a “”synchronous mmo” with “rich interaction,” a free-to-play effort with a virtual economy for phones, tablets and browsers. It’s inspired by LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft, with the player taking charge of a superhero. We see iPad gameplay, with the player digging a hole to uncover presents.

It’s clearly early, but CEO Markus Pasula is incredibly bullish. He’s passionate about free-to-play as the dominant model going forward, saying it will “completely transform gaming,” and that “it’s not a phenomenon that’s going away. There’s a lot of old guard that need to adapt.”

When I ask how many users Grand Cru needs to attract to cover company costs, Pasula says he hasn’t thought about it. When I ask him what sort of audience he’s aiming for, he says, “Tens of millions of users.” I nearly fall off my chair.

As Koponen shuts his PowerPoint down, I’m caught by the wallpaper on his MacBook. It’s the same as the background on the laptop of Ilkka Paananen, the head of Supercell. I have it on my own PC at home. It’s an HD shot of Andromeda, the closest major galaxy to our own Milky Way.

Hundreds of billions of stars burning bright; so near; so far.

Get part two here.

Latest

  • New Dirt game pops up on Steam Early Access for £25

    Codemasters Dirt series has moved to Steam’s Early Access and is available to buy today for £24.99. The last entries in the series were released on consoles but Dirt Rally is exclusive to PC at this stage. The game launches with 17 cars and 36 stages with more free content promised. Here’s some of the […]

  • Dying Light dev tools to add custom models, multiplayer support

    Techland will continue to add more support to Dying Light’s developer tools. A brief video highlights incoming updates including terrain creation and editing, importing custom models and multiplayer support. Dying Light developer tools were released at the start of the month and allow players to create their own maps and stories before sharing them via […]

  • How to improve Battlefield 4′s community jungle map

    There’s a lot of chatter about how to make BF4′s community jungle map better. Once suggestion is to make more of a feature out of the waterfall, according to Reddit user xpc_absol. Our man Westie considers that and runs with it, looking at how it would change objectives and interaction with the map itself – […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight lets you play as Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman – trailer

    Not long until now until the third part of the Arkham trilogy is released – here’s a new trailer showing some interesting team-ups. Update: According to publisher Warner, the game will feature a “dual-play” mechanic that allows players to switch between Batman and his allies – Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing – during combat. It’s not quite […]

  • GTA 5 PC mods: falling whales, North Yankton unlocked and a cat rampage

    So how are those GTA 5 PC mods coming along? Quite nicely if we take a look at a batch of new mods for the game. It seems the community is having a fair bit of fun accessing restricted content and messing around with the local wildlife. Let’s start with a look at what happens […]

  • Manhunt is the best GTA 5 movie you’ll see today

    Created using the Rockstar Editor from GTA 5 on PC, this movie by AbsolutePab is pretty effin’ delicious. The three minute Manhunt action movie was created by the same guy behind this short inspired by The Purge and The Graffiti of Los Santos documentary. You should subscribe to AbsolutePab on YouTube. You really should.

  • Halo 5 Guardians getting limited edition Xbox One console

    Thinking of buying a new Xbox One? You might want to wait until October 27. Because Microsoft is planning to release a limited edition console alongside the game, as confirmed by 343 Industries studio head Josh Holmes. @juliocurt There is a limited edition console coming, yes. It hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s pretty sweet. […]

  • Silent Hills reportedly cancelled, PT axed from PSN store

    Konami’s collaboration with Del Toro is over, playable demo to disappear on Wednesday Update: Konami has told Eurogamer that it will continue to work on the Silent Hill franchise and its contract with actor Norman Reedus has expired, although no other information specific to Silent Hills has been made clear. Original story: The Silent Hill […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies will be “totally unique, mind-blowing”

    Welcome back Treyarch’s “own unique brand of mind-fuckery” to Call of Duty. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 developer Treyarch has said Zombies mode in this year’s game will be completely different to the campaign and multiplayer games. Speaking at a briefing last week, studio head Mark Lamia said players should expect something entirely different. […]

  • Meet the specialist classes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 multiplayer

    Hands-on impressions of four new classes and their special abilities shaking up Call of Duty multiplayer. What’s exciting about this year’s Call of Duty is that we were able to get hands on with three different multiplayer maps and four of the new classes this early in development. Although the number of maps is still […]

  • Here’s the PC specs for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

    The PC specs for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 have been confirmed well ahead of the game’s November 6 release. Releasing the specs over six months before the game is due highlights how far along the game is in development. The specs are designed with low end and high end builds in mind. Get […]

  • Open beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 ahead of Nov 6 release date

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will offer an open beta to every player who pre-orders the game. The open beta is for the three supported formats – PC, Xbox One and PS4 – there is no version of Black Ops 3 for PS3 or Xbox 360. Solid details for the beta are yet to […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 brings back 4-player co-op campaign

    This year’s Call of Duty campaign is designed specifically for four players to experience together. Let’s get boots on the ground, soldier. Don’t call it an Exo skeleton. Call it the Direct Neural Interface. Okay, it’s a little less catchy, but the DNI biotechnology in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will feel familiar to […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – watch the first official trailer here

    Here’s the first full trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, due for release on November 6. Anyone who pre-orders the game will get access to the open beta. The game will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC. You can read hands-on impressions of the multiplayer here, check out early info on […]

  • Dota 2 International Compendium out next week, three annual championships added

    Valve has announced its adding three, yearly Dota 2 championships to its eSports roster along with the new that a new International Compendium will launch next week alongside a balance update for MOBA. The firm said it was adding three extra championships to the schedule as it recognized there was “room for improvement” on a […]

  • Dungeons 2 is now available on PC, Mac, Linux – watch the launch trailer

    Dungeons 2, the dungeon-crawling strategy sequel to Realmforge Studios’ Dungeons, has been released on Steam by publisher Kalypso. It can be yours for $39.99 on Steam and is available for Windows, Linux, Mac and SteamOS. The first game was released in 2011 and heavily influenced by Dungeon Keeper. A boxed version will arrive in North […]

  • This Mortal Kombat X “hidden character intros” video is rather humorous

    YouTuber Maximilian Dood mad has created a Mortal Kombat X video featuring “hidden” character intros centering around Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Some of the dialogue is rather funny, and we particularly liked the affectionate line uttered by Sub-Zero at one point. Just something fun for your Saturday. Enjoy.

  • Art of the Catch creator sheds more light on why he pulled the Skyrim mod off Steam

    The creator of Skyrim mod Art of the Catch has taken to Reddit to explain why he pulled the paid mod off Steam Workshop. Yesterday, it was revealed Chesko had pulled the fishing mod off Steam Workshop, after mod creator Fore stated he didn’t endorse Chesko charging for the mod because it used his his […]

  • Tripwire adds clause to Killing Floor 2 EULA banning paid mods

    Tripwire Interactive has updated its EULA for Killing Floor 2 stating that any mods players create for the game must be distributed free-of-charge. The end user agreement update, via PCgamesN, went live a couple of days after Valve announced it would allow mod creators to start charging for their creations. Bethesda is the first company […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 recreated in LittleBigPlanet 3 is rather eerie

    LittleBigPlanet 3 players have created some really interesting content with the game’s level builder, but sometimes, the creations go beyond cute and bright and venture into the realm of creepy, as is the case with this Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 build. Created by TheLittleBigPlanetShow, the rather ominous level can be played with up to […]

  • Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward benchmark trailer shows off flying mounts, more

    Square Enix has released a rather nice benchmark video for Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward showing a battle, flying mounts and some of the new environments. Heavensward is the first expansion for Final Fantasy 14 and is slated for release on June 23 for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4. The mac version is being handled by […]

  • Have a look at some Xenoblade Chronicles X gameplay

    During yesterday’s Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct showcase, many details pertaining to the Monolith Soft title were announced, and quite a bit of gameplay was shown. The Wii U-exclusive contains real-time menu-based combat and four-player online questing along with diverse environments and the ability to use Skells, which are transforming mechs. These mechs are called […]

  • Here’s a look at The Elder Scrolls Online running on Xbox One

    The Elder Scrolls Online has a limited public beta test running this weekend on PS4 and Xbox One, and Eurogamer has been playing around in it. Have a look at the Khajiit sorcerer below in the Xbox One version. There isn’t an NDA in place for the beta, so expect to see more videos as […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 leaks reveal Zombie progression system, four-player co-op, more

    More Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 details surfaced overnight thanks to a leaked pamphlet with information pertaining to Zombies XP progression, four-player co-op and more. Posted on NeoGAF, the pamphlet the shooter will contain a new movement system, a Specialist character system for multiplayer, tailored maps, “cinematic arena-style play,” and complete character customization. The […]

  • Gears of War Remaster in the works for Xbox One, according to testers – report

    Overnight, a rumor surfaced claiming a remastered version of the original Gears of War was coming to Xbox One. According to playtesters, it isn’t a rumor at all. Polygon first broke the story, citing a source who showed the site sreencaps of the Locust invasion with updated visuals. Screenshots of the multiplayer showing improved lighting […]

  • GameStop promo outs Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for November, pre-order for access to beta

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be released in November, according to what appears to be a leaked GameStop store promo posted on Kotaku. The exact date is November 6, which isn’t a surprise to anyone. On the promo, it notes that those who pre-order will be granted beta access for PC, PlayStation 4 […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Double XP and Elite Bonus weekend has kicked off

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players can earn Double XP along with Elite Bonus on all platforms. There is even Double XP and Double Weapon XP on offer for Black Ops 2. The dry run is over. Prep for the Sunday reveal of #BlackOps3 begins now. 2XP/2XweapXP is live. pic.twitter.com/rn6SVtVJbY — Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) April […]

  • Atlus makes “minor edits” to Dungeon Travelers 2 in order to avoid AO rating

    Atlus has announced it has made “minor edits” to four in-game images contained in Dungeon Travelers 2 to avoid an AO rating by the ESRB. According to a press release from the company, localization sometimes require changes to content in order for it to be “understood en masse,” which is why it worked closely with […]

  • Battlefield Hardline is 40% off through Origin this weekend

    The standard edition of Battlefield Hardline on PC is 40% off this weekend through EA’s Origin service. The Digital Deluxe Edition is also 40% off and includes various Battlepacks unavailable in the standard version. You can also pick up the Battlefield Hardline Ultimate edition for 23% off, which comes with all four planned expansions through […]

  • Submerged is an exploration-adventure game coming to multiple platforms

    Submerged is the latest title in development from Uppercut Games, and the exploration-adventure game is coming to PlayStation 4 and other platforms this year. The game takes place in a flooded city which Miku and her wounded brother Taku have reached by boat. Miku needs to find a safe place for her brother to rest […]

37 Comments

  1. Patrick Garratt

    Dunno why comments were closed on this. They are now not.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    To be honest, some feedback on this would be good. Is this the sort of thing you want to see on VG247? It takes a lot of work to do something like this, obviously.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. absolutezero

    The Rovio guys make me shiver. Cold dead eyes and ideas for above their one note rip-off Zynga-style clone. Depressing.

    I see alot of similarities with whats happening the UK development scene, the rise of billion selling apps just makes it too easy and alot less risky to produce a crappy app and make some money. There are undoubtedly talented people working in the mobile sector, so why are they still working in the mobile sector, why is’nt the larger developers and publishers snapping these people up to work on full large scale titles?

    Great article, very interesting read and coloured well. More.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    *thumbs*

    Glad you liked it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. ItsFade

    Great article, very interesting read.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. G1GAHURTZ

    Interesting…

    Yeah, do one with Respawn or something. I’d be interesting in reading about how a dev re-starts itself from scratch after making the number 1 selling game…

    I’d also be interested in reading about developers during quiet time, when the whole interview is more relaxed and open, and not just coming across like a big PR exercise for their upcoming game.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    Cool. I really enjoy doing this type of thing, so it’s good to know you like it.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    @6 – Noted. I’d love to do something on Respawn. Hopefully they’ll open up a bit soon.

    And yeah, I’m sure that’s something I can do, especially with indies. I’ll start thinking about that, actually.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Da Man

    #3 Because working on large scale titles might be less interesting and challenging to them than embedded platforms, unless you ‘re talking strictly game design. In the same way corporate businesses are compared to start-ups . Take Ideaworks, who’s been around since early Symbian, amazing guys. Not to mention there’s lots of dull, mundane work when making bigger things. Unfortunately, there exist as well the likes of Zynga and the such.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. lgrohn

    “The Tekes investment in games is the largest of its kind in Europe.”

    Hmm. Tekes investments ior Rovio:

    2005 only 93000 euros

    2006 only 108000 euros

    2007 only 175000 euros.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. NinjaMidget

    Great read! I’d personally love to see more as I’m interested in setting up an indie dev company back in N.I when I’m done with my MA over here!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @3 I think that’s a misunderstanding based on perhaps not being familiar with Scandinavian culture.

    The vast majority of Finnish people look and act like quiet murderers. And quite a few are!

    @6 Excellent choice. That would be the story of the year. You should really put your weight behind getting Respawn Pat.

    Even if they don’t want to talk about the game itself, you can still talk to them about building the studio.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Telepathic.Geometry

    I’m really bad for forgetting to pop into these articles and express my interest, but rest assured that forumites like myself are reading in the shadows and enjoying the bevy of entertaining and informative articles and opinion pieces on VG24/7. Ye’re doing a fine job, just too damned busy recently to say. Keep it up. :)

    #13 3 years ago
  14. PEYJ

    I must admidt I didn’t read it but I do believe such articles are both relevant for site and necessary in educating and/or challenging the readers.

    On a sidenote: Finland is not a part a Scandinavia as I believe the headline indicates. It is nordic country like Iceland and the Faroe Isles (part of Denmark, I know but I consider it to be a kind of independent nation), and not a Scandinavian one like Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    I would enjoy reading a lot more like this Pat. I like the stories underneath the headlines. People drive this industry but about all we ever get to read is release dates, fanboy snipets and hype or stuff that is aimed at creating sales.

    I want more like this. You have really up’d your game in the past few months. Well done. Really.

    I think the respawn bit would be interesting too.

    But I would also enjoy looking into where the industry sees itself in the next gen. Hardware expectations, costs. The changing dynamic of game distribution. DRM vs gamers rights(do we even have any?) Why is Gamestop getting into digital PC sales, do they expect a shift away from consoles? Is cloud honestly sustainable? What happens to all of the digital content I have purchased durring this gen when next gen gets here? I have hundreds of Rockband songs, for example, will I lose them all when MS moves forward, how about my Wii VC and PSN purchases?

    Lots of stuff really. I think the scope of things you could take on is vast. And I’d look forward to reading all of it.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DSB

    @14 The difference between Nordic and Scandinavian is imaginary.

    The term Scandinavia is a construct, that isn’t based on much more than the wave of European nationalism in the late 1800′s.

    Today Finland is recognized as an equal by Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.

    The distinction between Finland and the rest of the nordic countries in 2011 is largely based on geography and culture, but mostly their political decisions. Finland was part of Sweden for quite a few centuries, but they’ve paid a high price for being part of the axis powers during WW2.

    The notion that they aren’t one of us is mostly down to views like that of my Norwegian grandmother, because they helped the nazis.

    Considering that both Icelandics and the Faroese are Norwegian colonists, with a far more pristine nordic language and history than any of the “Scandinavian” countries speaks for their inclusion in the term, in my opinion.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Karooo

    Lovely article, Pat! Really appreciate the effort you put into this. :)

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Execta

    I had to register just so I could comment on DSB’s post. And oh, I’m from Finland. (yay)

    @16: “– Finland was part of Sweden for quite a few centuries, but they’ve paid a high price for being part of the axis powers during WW2. –”

    Correct. But we really had no choice. We have considered Russia as our enemy from as far ago as the start of 20th century. After we were part of Sweden, Finland belonged to Russia. Yabati-yabati-yab.. then the Soviet Union framed us for firing a cannon at their border (they did it theirselves) so they had a “reason” to attack Finland. Our ancestors fought for our independence and Finland just lost some ground. It was a hell of a fight if you think about the differences of both armies’ scale. The odds stood that way like 1:1000 but we defended our country and kept our independence. Obviously we were pissed too, who wouldn’t?

    Then during the WW2, two opposing sides had formed. Which side do you think we wanna join? Neither. The Allies led by Stalin of Soviet Union (in east and middle Europe), same bastards who invaded our country just a couple of years ago. Or the Axis lead by nazi-Germany and Hitler. We had to choose the less worse option. Even though we were technically a part of the Axis, we just fought our own war against the Russia and we invaded their country. We just had some German military equipment as a backup with some German soldiers. After the war, we actually fought the German off our land. I’d say we were on neither side during the WW2, on Axis just technically.

    You can tell your grandmother that. :)

    #18 3 years ago
  19. PEYJ

    @DSB

    I’m not sure who it is you mean that generally accepts Finland as Scandinavian. Geographical terms are not based on what we accept today, it is something that was decided back in the day (I believe the time between the two worldwars was latest large contribution to the change of national borders but I don’t think that relates to Scandinavia, not being a country) . Regardless of what colonist did years ago, Scandinavia is still Denmark, Norway and Sweden (and largely recognized to be that). I saw a part of news program once. It was about Estonia and they considered them selves to be Scandinavian. Just because they have that approach and perhaps look like us that does not make that un-Baltic. So I disagree with you in whether Finland is Scandinavian or not, however I do understand that there has been – and probably will be – several discussions about whether a certain country belongs to a certain region or not.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Anders

    Great article, would love more stuff like this.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DSB

    @19 You’re confusing the term Scandinavia (proper) with the Scandinavian Peninsula.

    Which was my point. Scandinavia isn’t an official region, it’s a percieved one, which means that while it’s percieved as being Denmark, Norway and Sweden, it doesn’t exclude Finland from being included.

    You may base your perception on the peninsula itself, others may base it on ethnology, others yet may base it on cultural parity. I think Denmark, Sweden and Norway each have considerable cultural differences – The basis for our close relationship lies in our common values, which is where I see little reason not to include Finland.

    They are a brother nation in the Nordic Council, which I feel is a much better way of defining what being scandinavian is or isn’t. If they didn’t have a considerable commonality with us, they shouldn’t be a member.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    This is amazing and very interesting. Good read, looking forward to part two.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. PEYJ

    About the peninsula confusion I guess you are right the confusion, especially since your first paragraph in your latest post doesn’t remove that confusion.

    We disagree on what is to be considered Scandinavian however. To me peoples and language means the most when connecting people. And Finnish is remarkably different to the other three languages and to my knowledge the Finns are a different peoples than the (real, …) Scandinavian countries.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. DSB

    @23 Their society is built on the very same principles, and they share a land border with two of the three percieved Scandinavian countries.

    Denmark only became connected by land to Sweden in 2000. There is no land connection to Norway, making Sweden the only country to have a land connected border to all three. In Denmarks case consisting only of a bridge.

    The fact that their DNA has less german in it, and that one of their two official languages has a different origin isn’t a very good reason to exclude them.

    There are lots of Swedes, Norwegians and Danes who don’t understand eachother, and who don’t share the same blood. Often it’s a far safer bet for us to just use English. The Norwegian language is quite diverse, and there are even Norwegians who don’t understand eachother.

    It doesn’t make those people lesser citizens, so making that distinction of language and race for Finland doesn’t make sense to me.

    Like I said before, I’m pretty sure most of the percieved Scandinavians would agree that we also have many differences amongst ourselves, but what binds us together are the similarities, which are indeed also shared by the Finns.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Da Man

    How do you say ‘Fa-a-ast interne-e-et’ in some scandinavian?

    #25 3 years ago
  26. absolutezero

    Dear Finland please explain this : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y142zKobfqg

    :–DDDDD

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Execta

    @ 26: A random video made by some Finnish punk ass kids where they have recorded those voices with those “talking head” thingys you can find online (you just enter some words and a computerized voice will pronounce them (in bad Finnish)). That video sucks. If you wanna see a cool Finnish video, watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ueu8CL4sEZE

    Always cracks me to pieces. Too bad it can’t be translated but this some guy is browsing an advertising catalog of this shop called “Tarjoustalo” (tarjous = an offer / sale, talo = a house). For some reason, he laughs at some really normal ads but I can’t help it but just laugh with him. His voice is hilarious too.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DSB

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJj6d5QSYaE

    Fatality!

    (I’m pretty sure that’s a video detailing exercises you can do to avoid committing suicide during the winter)

    #28 3 years ago
  29. PEYJ

    @ DSB

    It seems to me that you misunderstand my intentions, which I do not have any of in this connection. I have always understood(through what history and geography lessons have taught me, AND from what I understand others to perceive) Scandinavia to consist of the already mentioned countries and there by placing a known region on the map. And that is all I understand Scandinavia to be – a region on a map. I don’t believe it makes any difference to Finland whether they are a part of Scandinavia or “just” the nordic countries. I don’t follow your exlusion thoughts on this subject. Especially not when you talk about the various countries inside local differences. You can find them all over the world but that doesn’t change the map.

    Yes, Denmark was physically connected to Sweden until recently but we can look straight at them over our fence – I think we are neighbours.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. DSB

    @29 But Scandinavia isn’t defined by any line on the map. The Scandinavian Peninsula is. Scandinavia is in your head. I’m simply detailing the idiosyncrasy of excluding someone from a region that only exists in their imagination.

    Denmark is not part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, we have the most germanized language of any of the nordic countries, and we had no land borders with Sweden and Norway until 2000. Excluding us from the imaginary region of Scandinavia would make more actual sense than excluding Finland.

    I guess that’s why I was such a pain in the ass to my teachers way back when. I just don’t agree with perception being referred to as fact.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. PEYJ

    So you are looking at it from a historical genetic perspective. I think. From what I understand the “perception” of what Scandinavia is today (?) is in most peoples heads. We have (most of us, I think) been brought up with an untrue idea of Scandinavia consisting of Denmark, Norway and Sweden?

    Another thing. Most of the Norwegian language stems from Danish, that’s why we often see manuals with Danish/Norwegian and Swedish. So I do believe we have a lot in common with Norway at least, linguistically.

    You have the last the word on this one, I think we did our part in giving vg247 hits.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. DSB

    @31 Whether it’s true or untrue hasn’t been decided. Scandinavia is first and foremost a term created by Danish, Norwegian and Swedish nationalists dreaming of a union between their countries, in a time where most of Europe became very caught up in nationalism and national identity in the late 1800s.

    And of course, in our small countries, perhaps helped by a growing fear of the Germans. It was also a time where the sami people were subjected to racism, and Finland was Russian dominion, so not including them was the only option (although not neccesarily correct today).

    Since the definition is based on nothing but opinion and emotion, time and place, I think it’s quite open to be challenged, especially since there are few good reasons not to include a country like Finland.

    It doesn’t mean that we should, it just means it’s worth considering.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. mathare92

    I’m confused; who exactly organised the press trip? Or did you journos just group together and barge into every Finish studio there is :p.

    Either way, nice write-up Pat. And yes, more of these original investigative-journalism-like articles please. (I hope they’re getting the views they deserve.)

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Paavi

    Nice articles. A shame you didn’t seem to get to hang out with RedLynx. They’re a bit crazy, like Finnish crazy. Selling the studio to Ubisoft and the success of Trials has some interesting implications. Based on the trailers released, Trials Evolutions looks really good.

    DSB and PEYJ: The article itself doesn’t say Scandinaviahe headline says “Scandi-” so maybe it’s a reference to Fennoscandia that does include Finland! Okay, that’s kinda cheap.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. DSB

    @34 LOL :D

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Simula

    Great article.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. ImOnTheRadio

    @34 you’re working on KonwoliFIN, right? You seemed to be pretty good in Trials, atleast on the vid I’ve seen. I’m pretty bad myself, I have only barely finished all the original and dls extreme maps.
    Anyway, great article. Pretty surprised Max Payne wasn’t mentioned though.

    #37 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • First paid Skyrim Steam Workshop mod has been pulled

    Valve’s new incentive which allows modders to charge for their creations hasn’t been live for 24 hours yet, and already, one mod has been pulled. The mod in question was Chesko’s Fishing Mod for Skyrim, which the creator pulled after a community member questioned whether Chesko had permission from the creator of the character-idle animations […]

  • Resident Evil HD Remaster has sold over one million copies worldwide

    The HD remaster of Resident Evil has sold over one million copies worldwide since its January 20 release, Capcom has announced. The company attributed the sales milestone to producing a “great product” along with excellent word of mouth and praise from fans. In February, Capcom said Resident Evil HD Remaster was its fastest-selling digital title […]

  • The Crew: the Raid Car Pack and Raid Live Update now available for download

    The Crew players can now download the Raid Car Pack which is the last of four themes car packs. The Raid Live Update is also available, and it contains six new tuning specs. The car pack contains three new cars: the 2012 Cadillac Escalade, the off-road 2011 Volkswagen Touareg NF and the McLaren F1 supercar. […]

  • Geralt is very professional in the latest Witcher 3: Wild Hunt TV spot

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new TV spot that’s short and to the point. The latest Witcher 3 trailer comes in the form of TV spot. It’s all CGI, and it looks good. If you’re more into gameplay trailers, the latest one will serve you well. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out […]

  • Steam roguelike sale is live, offers deep discounts on a stellar collection of titles

    If you’re into challenging, procedurally-generated, and infinitely-replayable games, Steam’s current sale will hook you up. Steam is hosting a sale on roguelike games. Plenty of titles in the genre are on sale for upwards of 75% off. Highlights include Risk of Rain at 75% off, Don’t Starve at 66% off, Spelunky at 75% off, FTL: […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 finally gets online co-op in Raid Mode on Xbox One

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been patched to support online play in Raid Mode on Xbox One. The Xbox One version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 lacked online support in Raid Mode for a long time. Until today. A new patch has been released to bring that version in line with the rest of them. […]

  • A section in Killing Floor 2′s EULA about cyberbullying is riling up some fans

    Killing Floor 2 has recently got into a bit of trouble with some fans due to a clause in its EULA that gives the developer the right to revoke a user’s license without prior notice. The Killing Floor 2 EULA – just like many others found in modern games, has a section dedicated to cheating […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 free tanks and in-game cash to giveaway

    To celebrate the World of Tanks grand finals this weekend we’ve got some great freebies to give away to new players. We have 2,000 PC invite codes to giveaway, with each one offering new accounts a T2 Light Tank, 100 Gold and 1 Days Premium worth around €8.00. All you need to do is enter […]

  • Marvel announces partnership with Telltale, first game due in 2017

    Marvel and Telltale have entered into a partnership that will allow the developer to work on a new game series, due in 2017. Telltale has announced that it has partnered with Marvel Games, Marvel Entertainment’s video games division, for the development of a new game series. No indication was given as to what the new […]

  • Destiny: Bungie is not saying no to a player trading system

    Bungie has not completely ruled out the idea of bringing a trading system to Destiny. Destiny does not offer any way for players to trade items amongst themselves. But ever since the game’s release, players have never stopped asking Bungie to add one in. While the developer does not have a satisfying answer, it’s still […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 24, 25 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    The weekend Exotics market run by Xur: Agent of the Nine is now open for business. Destiny’s bizarre vendor, Xur, has arrived at the Tower. Xur is your man if you’re looking for Exotic armour or weapons. Not only that, but he will also let you exchange your old Exotic gear for new, upgraded versions. […]

  • Warcraft movie delayed yet again

    The Warcraft movie will no longer hit theatres in March 2016. The release date of the Warcraft movie has been pushed back by three months. The movie was expected in March 2016, but Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that it is now due on June 10, 2016. No reason was given for the delay. This is […]

  • Destiny: Iron Banner returns on April 28

    Destiny’s Iron Banner PvP event will return this Tuesday. Bungie has announced that the Iron Banner, it’s once-every-few-weeks PvP event, will make a return with next week’s weekly reset. It was initially due this week, but because of the recent Crucible changes that were implemented with patch 1.1.2, Bungie wanted to wait and see. That […]

  • Deus Ex devs take the piss out of Black Ops 3

    Deus Ex developers have been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of Call of Duty’s official Twitter account. You would be forgiven to think that yesterday’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 ‘Ember’ teaser was part of an ad campaign for a Deus Ex game, with all the biohacking, wearable tech, augmentation, […]

  • Bungie weekly update: Commendations begone

    Destiny’s weekly update is here to determine the fate of all those Commendations you’ve been earning in the past few months. Bungie started off this week’s update with a recap of the details revealed during the recent livestream. There wasn’t really anything on this front that they haven’t talked about already. With the exception of […]

  • This GTA 5 trainer lets you play as almost anything and it’s the best thing ever

    Want to play GTA 5 as a monkey, a cat, a fish, a deer or some other non-human thing that we eat or keep as a pet? ScriptHook has you covered. Not only can you play as critters, it change other game values, according to an explanation from PC Gamer. These values include making changes […]

  • EA Sports moves Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR release date to July

    EA Sports has announced Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR will be released in July. Originally announced for June, the golf game will now release the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews, on July 14. EA also provided some more color on gameplay features such as the ability to customize the game by borrowing […]

  • Jason Voorhees joins Mortal Kombat X in May, Kombat Pack owners get first dibs

    Jason Voorhees will arrive for Mortal Kombat X players in May, NetherRealm Studios announced today during the latest Kombat Kast. Jason will be shown for the first time on Monday, May 4 during a special Kombat Kast. According to EventHub which watched the livestream, the developer will also show off the character’s move and Variations. […]

  • The Witcher 3: Nvidia heads to Poland for a behind-the-scenes look – video

    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]