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Embracing change: EA’s Hilleman on the real next gen

Monday, 27 February 2012 07:40 GMT By Nathan Grayson

Nathan Grayson speaks to EA CCO Richard Hilleman on everything from social games to the PC revival, through SOPA to new portable hardware – and more.

Richard Hilleman

Joined EA in 1982 as one of its first 20 employees. Now chief creative officer.

Was instrumental in the development of the Madden franchise, and through it, EA Sports.

Member of the board of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

Seems to be completely awesome.

The phrase “videogame executive” doesn’t exactly conjure up a colorful image. You probably imagine a clean cut business type in a no-frills suit. When their mouth opens, out comes an immaculately harmonized chorus of a thousand PR reps. In all ways, they get the job done – and that’s it.

And then EA chief creative officer Richard Hilleman walks up and – with his mere existence – proves your imagination wrong. Clad in plain attire and sporting long, gray hair that’d look more at home on Gandalf if he were in a ’70s prog rock band, Hilleman immediately comes across as a man who marches to the beat of his own drum. He’s hardly the type you’d expect to emerge after nearly 30 years toiling away under EA’s roof – with credits including, among many other things, catapulting Madden Football to stratospheric levels of success.

And yet, even sitting near the top of one of gaming’s most established companies, Hilleman hasn’t grown complacent. He could easily keep milking the same cash cow, but he continues to search far and wide for greener pastures. For instance, he’s now dabbling in social gaming of all things – a field that only intersects with football when John Madden himself logs in to water his Farmville crops.

So, what do you discuss with someone who’s seen it all? Try everything. During the Games::Business::Law conference at SMU in Dallas, TX, I chatted with Hilleman about the gulf (or lack thereof) between hardcore and social gaming, EA’s renewed interest in PC gaming, the future of dedicated portable gaming, piracy, and much more.

VG247: Social gaming sort of cannon-balled into the center of the industry. Some members of the old guard tried to dive out of the way, others tried to catch it, and others got crushed. Which of those categories would you say EA fell into – at least, initially? Did social gaming’s popularity take you by surprise?

Richard Hilleman: I think we were more aware than almost anybody else. A lot of the early Zynga employees are actually ex-EA employees. In fact, it’s almost disproportionate. It looks like an EA satellite operation sometimes.

What I think we did is we were aware of what they were doing. We were aware of the numbers they were describing. But we, in most cases, could not independently verify any of the things they said. And so we were skeptical until we could independently approve what we saw. I think we were among the first to do that, though. We did some things that allowed us to better understand what their customers were doing. And that led us to understand the value early, which is one of the reasons we made the investment in Playfish that we did. It was a piece of strategic property we could not afford to ignore.

Speaking of, EA’s spent the past couple years putting together quite the dream team in both the social and casual spaces. Last year, of course, you scooped up PopCap, which is pretty much a cherry on top of a sundae that’s on top of an empire. So are you planning to acquire more developers this year, or do you feel like you’re finally in a good place in that respect?

Two years ago, mobile and social were new parts of EA that were doing new things. They operated outside the current console and property oriented teams. What’s changed is that those two platforms are now fundamentally integrated into the way we manage those properties.

So instead of seeing one big group in EA, what you’re seeing is, say, Battlefield has a mobile group and a social group, the BioWare guys have a mobile and a social group, and the sports guys have a mobile and a social group. And what they’re doing is pursuing the products that align with their customers and their product loads. So I’d say what you’ve seen happening in EA is the mainstreaming of social gaming.

“Some of our triple-A customers and some of our mobile customers and some of our social customers were the same person. Just because they have a particular predisposition to play a shooter doesn’t mean they’re not interested in Farmville or vice versa.”

So you have these wildly different versions of a game like Dragon Age – console, mobile, social, etc – and they appeal to different crowds…

I’m gonna question your supposition. One of the things that we discovered pretty early on in our experience in mobile is that some of our triple-A customers and some of our mobile customers and some of our social customers were the same person. Just because they have a particular predisposition to play a shooter doesn’t mean they’re not interested in Farmville or vice versa. Those take place at different places in their lives, different contexts, and with different expectations.

So I question the supposition that they’re different people. They might be the same people living different parts of their lives. We think that distinction is important, because if people are playing many of the same games, that means that it’s possible to better understand what gameplay is available to them next.

A lot of publishers, however, haven’t integrated things quite so well. For instance, THQ took a crack at the casual space with its uDraw tablet, and now there’s a frightening chance that the whole company could be drawn to un-life. Is it discouraging to see some of the industry’s best and brightest get so thoroughly flattened by the giant Indiana Jones boulder that is inevitable change?

Not for me. If anybody at EA should be institutionally oriented to the status quo, it should be someone who’s worked there for 28 years. But I am completely the opposite. The way I describe it is, I’m a mountain man. The minute it gets to civilized, I’m not interested. When something’s new or has the opportunity to produce new options or opportunities, that’s what I’m interested in.

We have an entire industry that was built by people who have remarkably short attention spans. And I’m as guilty as anybody else. If you look at my career, I run Madden for four years and then I get disinterested and do something else. That is the story of my personal career. I think the people who are most successful in this business have the same characteristic. So the fact that THQ isn’t doing well means they don’t have enough [of that]. I mean, it’s gotta be harder for us to change than THQ. It’s gotta be.

Look, I don’t like it when Zynga gets bad press, and I don’t like it when THQ gets bad press. There are folks at EA who think it’s a “they lose, I win” type of thing. I think that’s not true. We are not a business that’s big enough yet where we can afford for people to make our business look bad. Regardless of who they are or what their intentions are. So if somebody writes something about Zynga that’s wrong, I’m as likely to say it’s wrong as anyone else is because I think misconceptions and mis-attributions in our business are just negative. They hurt everybody. They help nobody.

So I don’t view it that way at all. I’m a fierce, fierce competitor, but I get the big picture.

You spent a large portion of your Game::Business::Law panel discussing social gaming’s business-first, game-second mentality.

Design the business first. You cannot retrofit the business in later. Social games are completely backward in almost every way.

Right. So do you think that’s where many of the cries of “exploitationware” come from?

So there are folks who are sensitive to the compulsion and addiction effects. I think the illusion is that videogames do that on accident, while social games do it on purpose. I think some of this, too, is that the core [audience of] 25 or 50 million has gotten used to having this as its exclusive domain and being the pace-makers. They did not participate in this conversation.

So the folks who grow Metacritic and the critical content of this business were not involved and missed the trend completely. By the way, they missed most of mobile too. So the net effect is that they’ve lost their voice of legitimacy for predicting the business. And there are only two answers to that: either you embrace it or you ridicule it. We see people playing both strategies.

“Our PC products of the past five years tended to be derivatives of our console titles. What I think you’re gonna see over the next few years is a change. Reason being, that decision limits you to too small a collection of PCs. So right now, if I try to reproduce my PS3-style gaming experiences, I shut out 95 percent of laptops on the planet. And that’s just unworkable.”

Between Origin, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Battlefield 3, EA’s suddenly re-embraced PC like some sort of long lost love. Other major publishers, though, are definitely inching in that direction – not moving in leaps and bounds. What, exactly, persuaded you to scoff at claims of piracy and give gaming’s favorite slow-mo Transformer of a platform another go?

I’m even gonna fight back and say we never really left it. The fact is, the biggest-selling product in the PC space for the last five years has been The Sims. We have been relentless in our faithfulness to that property, and we will continue to be in the future. The PC will, of course, be a big part of that future.

What we haven’t done is continue to push products that didn’t work. So we built sports games that didn’t necessarily sell on PC, because those customers preferred the console experience most of the time. There were a couple of exceptions. FIFA and Tiger Woods would do some business on PC. But the vast majority of the rest of the stuff didn’t really work, so we didn’t continue to push it.

There are cases now where our ability to integrate social, mobile, console, and PC experiences are bringing us back to the platform. Second of all, things like streaming games aren’t possible unless you have a PC version. So I think what we’ve done is return to the PC because it represents the dominant gaming console in the world, and we can’t ignore it. I think our back-off had more to do with short-term revenue than it did with anything strategic.

Our PC products of the past five years tended to be derivatives of our console titles. What I think you’re gonna see over the next few years is a change. Reason being, that decision limits you to too small a collection of PCs. So right now, if I try to reproduce my PS3-style gaming experiences, I shut out 95 percent of laptops on the planet. And that’s just unworkable. We kind of went too far [in that direction] on The Sims, but luckily, we’re growing back into the market.

But you’re gonna see us embrace machine specs that are further down. The good news is that Sandy Bridge-based Ultrabooks are really capable machines. You can’t run Battlefield 3 on them, but you can run almost everything else. I mean, the new Macbooks Air runs SWTOR like a champ if you put Windows on it. So the answer is, don’t run off to the future again. Don’t raise your specs so high that you’re disconnected from the majority of machines out there – especially laptops.

Which is interesting, because that means all that “PC gaming is dead” talk from back in the day…

…Was correct, but only because people had defined PC gaming so narrowly. PC is the biggest potential gaming platform. [In terms of] total number of people playing on it, it wins. It wins based on China alone. It wins based on one country alone.

Speaking of allegedly “dead” platforms, the vulture-and-hyena-packed peanut gallery was hungrily eying dedicated portables for the majority of last year. Then 3DS had a sales resurgence, and PS Vita started wowing crowds based on design alone – in spite of hilariously high memory card prices. So do you think people jumped the gun on that?

Look, they’re both really good pieces of hardware. They’re both good designs. The issues that are in front of Nintendo and Sony are not issues that they control. So here’s the problem today: the iPod Touch is approximately in the same price range. And if you do the aggregate math, it’s superior.

So I have an 11 year-old and a nine year-old in my house. Between the ages of zero and five, pretty much our entire relationship with those children was dominated by two devices: a DS and a portable DVD player. Our children did not travel anyplace longer than an hour without one or both of those products. Now, as a parent, the single most irritating aspect of both of those products was the amount of lost and damaged software. So I currently have a stack that tall [gestures] of DS cases my children have lost the cartridges to.

For me, that’s less of an issue than it is for some people on this planet, but it’s still fucking irritating. And many of them can’t be replaced – meaning that they lost stuff that isn’t made anymore, so I have to go dig up a used copy. Same thing with DVDs. The number of DVDs that survived more than a year without being scratched beyond the point of usefulness or lost was pretty small.

An iPod Touch gives you the ability to get one dollar games that can’t get lost and rip movies that can’t get lost, which means that this device has turned into all the things I needed to buy for my kid in one package with no incremental investment required afterward. And that’s the problem. That’s the destroyed market value that iOS has done to the handheld market. And I don’t know how to get it back. I don’t personally know how to get it back.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be a market for people who want the best immersive experience. I mean, I have a PSPgo in my bag, because I play driving games, and [iOS] blows for driving games. So I have optimized for the best experience I can get on a portable, but I’m going to be the minority. There’s gonna be five million of me and five hundred million of them.

“I’ve been doing copy protection for 30 years. Nobody hates it more than me. It can’t work, and let me explain why: no matter how much time I spend on it, the community of people who break it far exceeds the amount of time I can put into it. So, it’s one guy on one side of the door and 6,000 on the other. I’m just gonna lose. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.”

Meanwhile, a million miles away from that topic, SOPA/PIPA. The Internet rose up, those went down, and Civil War II: The Warcraft Wars didn’t occur. But piracy’s still alive and well, and – while it’s not sinking the industry – it is putting quite a bit of strain on it. So what’s the next step? And can it get any dumber than horrifically misinformed laws and DRM? Because I want to keep my faith in humanity, but it’s getting kind of hard.

I’ve been doing copy protection for 30 years. Nobody hates it more than me. It can’t work, and let me explain why: no matter how much time I spend on it, the community of people who break it far exceeds the amount of time I can put into it. So, it’s one guy on one side of the door and 6,000 on the other. I’m just gonna lose. It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.

What’s changed things – from my perspective – is the degree to which the user wants online play. The minute that the user wants online play, it means that he cares about who he is in that game and what his achievements stand for. Once that’s true, you become the primary defender for my intellectual property. When you have a status in my game, you don’t want someone else to abuse that status and break it. So suddenly, you’ve gone from being my opponent in the piracy contest to being one of my guards. That is the only solution. It’s to give you enough value on the other end of that wire that you want me to know who you are.

So the best answer is to change the piracy dynamic by changing the partnership. So it’s not us against the world; it’s us and our customers against piracy. Suddenly, we outnumber the pirates for a change.

So then, SOPA/PIPA also get a big thumbs down from you?

It gives us some judicial tools to prosecute pirates that we never had before. So just because a law overreached doesn’t mean it wasn’t trying to do something that needs to be done. I would hope that what comes out of this is a re-examination of it.

For instance, John Stewart took the Senate hearings for the bill and showed the parts where they were all saying, “You know what we need here? We need a nerd.” As John Stewart said, “I got a hint for you. They’re called experts.” You call them about everything else.

So the point here is that SOPA as a piece of legislation was incomplete and unfinished. I think it will get fixed. I don’t think that’s such a bad outcome.

[image]

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5 Comments

  1. Old MacDonald

    Funny to note how he looks like a healthy counterweight to the suits, but when he opens his mouth you realize the difference is only skin deep.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    I don’t think EA would keep a hippie locked away in the closet for 30 years. Of course he’s drunk the kool aid.

    I’m surprised by how close he gets to Gabe Newell when taking about DRM, but whatever capital that builds up is lost talking about SOPA and PIPA. You can’t form a relationship with people while trying to build legislation that will allow for even more ridiculous lawsuits.

    He says he’s a mountain man, but it seems like he’s only going to one mountain, all the time. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I see a future where people are eventually going to get wise to the fact that overreaching copyright laws are directly detrimental to progress.

    If Apple had had the powers they have today, 30 years ago, we would be so far behind the curve because people couldn’t innovate or iterate without either paying Apple or being sued.

    Today they can patent a fucking method of unlocking your smartphone by sliding your finger across the screen. It’s getting beyond ridiculous.

    In my opinion there’s no point in going to the mountain, if you’re only going to see what you want to see. Think outside the box, see where people are at. Don’t just talk the talk.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. chickenthr33

    What a load of crap. Madden 08 for PC had more features than the current version for PS3. EA cares more about making record profits than satisfying long time customers. They pretend to care, they tell us BF3 will be a “PC first” game, and then after releasing and taking our money, they say oh we had to abandon PC and focus on console for the last few weeks and therefor we get yet another beta version PC game @ full price. 4 months later we are still waiting for fixes for bugs that were in the public beta.

    Fight Night Champion is a buggy joke, killing people’s consoles, freezing during online matches, unbalanced gameplay, lots of things that will never be fixed and they’ve probably already moved on to making the next game to charge $60 for.

    Hilleman is a joke, EA is a joke. Origin is a buggy piece of spyware pretending to be Steam and they will forever be recycling the same crappy sports games for the same low-res consoles and neglecting PC users while raking in record profits.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. chickenthr33

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-10968998

    #4 3 years ago
  5. stealth

    so when he says 5 million

    What does he say to the 16 million+ that have 3ds’s?

    what does he say to the fact that the 3ds is the fastest selling system ever?

    #5 3 years ago

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    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 […]

  • These screenshots for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt show superb attention to detail

    Some gorgeous new screenshots for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced, and a couple are wallpaper worthy. Especially the one with the horse, but as you’re well aware, I’m horse crazed. The images below in the gallery have been scaled to fit properly, but if you head over to NeoGAF you can bask in […]

  • Namco kicks off Humble Store partnership with Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin

    Namco Bandai has started offering its PC titles on Humble Store, and this includes the recently released Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. Other titles include Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and Project Cars. “In Japan, the Bandai Namco Group companies are known for supporting different charity programs and we are very happy to be […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 Bonus codes to give away

    Already have a World of Tanks account? We’ve got 2,000 codes for players to top up their Gold and Premium days. This weekend sees the World of Tanks Grand Finals take place in Poland, and we’ve got a bunch of game codes to give away to celebrate. Each Bonus PC code offers 150 Gold and […]

  • Mad Max contains Top Dog camps with boss fights

    Mad Max will have bases which vary in difficulty, some of which are considered a “finale” for a particular region and feature a boss fight. Speaking in the latest issue of GamesMaster via GamesRadar, the game’s producer John Fuller said this allows players to tailor their experience by deciding how much of a challenge they […]

  • Just Cause 3 gameplay trailer reveal coming next week

    Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 28, because you won’t want to miss the gameplay reveal of Just Cause 3. Avalanche tweeted the date along with a teaser, as seen below. The box art has also made an appearance. Keep an eye on the game’s YouTube page, and we’ll be sure to post the video […]

  • 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 […]