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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.

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

  • Bloodborne is getting two special edition PS4s in Japan

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

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

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

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

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

  • Check out Destiny’s new PvP mode, Doubles

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

  • Halo: New Blood novel launching digitally in March

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

  • Destiny players purchased 1.1 million Ice Breakers last week

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

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition nets GLAAD special recognition award

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

  • The Order: 1886 AR game is full of puzzles

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

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

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

  • What mysterious reveal is Xbox teasing for May 4?

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

  • 2011 PSN hack class action settlement claim forms available

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

  • Final Fantasy 15 has a true open world

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

  • Suikoden, Suikoden 2 EU PSN release date locked down

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

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

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

  • Free online multiplayer update now available for Trials Fusion

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

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

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

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

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

  • A Kickstarter for Underworld Ascendant will launch next month

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

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

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

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

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

  • The open beta for Nosgoth has gone live

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • More major Microsoft titles will be coming to PC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry gets first screens

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

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

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

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

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

  • There is probably a new Battletoads game coming

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

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

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

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

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

  • Microsoft is looking at offering PC to Xbox streaming

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

  • Watch John Romero play Doom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Here’s the release schedule for Star Citizen’s story and first-person modules

    Star Citizen lead Chris Roberts has shared release windows for several modules of the space simulation sandbox. Star Citizen was the focus of a BAFTA Masterclass presentation yesterday, during which Roberts outlined the game’s current development milestone goals. Polygon captured the details. The first person shooter, planetside and social elements on the game are expected […]

  • Destiny: Crota’s End Hard Mode has already been beaten

    Destiny’s toughest challenge got extra tough today, but a troop of willing Guardians stepped up to the line of duty. Destiny developer Bungie has verified the identities of the first Guardians to beat hard mode for the Crota’s End raid, which launched earlier today. Bungie User Research has confirmed the World First finishers for the […]

  • All maps and modes for Battlefield Hardline detailed

    A third map and mode has been announced for Battlefield Hardline which means all modes and maps have been revealed. The new mode is Crosshair, a second competitive mode in which a former criminal “turned state’s witness” is on the run. His former buddies, who are criminals, are trying to kill him and the cops […]

  • Alien: Isolation has sold over 1 million copies

    Alien: Isolation has sold over 1 million copies, Creative Assembly and SEGA announced today, and probably in joyous fashion, although PR mails never denote the writer’s mood. The quote included from creative lead, Alistair Hope does sound as though he is super pleased with the milestone. “It has been fantastic to watch the reviews come […]

  • Fable Legends launching on PC alongside Xbox One with cross-platform play

    Fable Legends was announced for PC today during Microsoft’s Windows 10 event, along with the news it would contain cross-platform play with Xbox One. The game will allow you to play with up to four of your friends online across both platforms. A video from the team at Lionhead, which goes into more detail, was […]

  • Parkour pioneer David Belle acted as a consultant on Dying Light

    It has been announced that actor, stunt coordinator and leading pioneer of Parkour, David Belle, consulted on Dying Light in order to bring authentic parkour to the game. According to a press release sent over by Techland, the development team worked with Belle to “verify the depiction of parkour” in the game as well as […]