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VGAs 2012: a new hope (despite the Newell gaffe)

Saturday, 8 December 2012 13:29 GMT By Catherine Cai

Two steps forward, one step back. Last night’s VGAs showed reason to hope for a respectable awards event in the years to come. They might want to leave Garry out of it next time, though. Catherine Cai reports from LA.

Despite the GameStop-endorsed goody codes and Jessica Alba’s wince-worthy, half-heartedly delivered monologue about her alleged addiction to Super Mario, this year’s VGAs gained some credibility by recognizing the existence of indie games.

The criticisms hurled at the VGAs for their commerciality and superficiality have long been established. From the Hollywood-loaned stars wandering the red carpet to the Mountain Dew endorsements, the VGAs are the video games industry’s attempt at a legitimate awards show to match the likes of the Grammys or the Oscars. Fittingly, the entire event is hosted at Sony’s extravagant production studio in LA, sandwiched between movie sets and Wheel of Fortune.

This year, the VGAs reached pre-pubescence by turning ten. In doing so, they decided to grow up a little.

In years past, the VGAs have attempted to juggle the glitz and glam of other mainstream awards shows with puerile humor, and failed dismally at both. This year was no different. Movie, TV and music stars were still paraded as red carpet attractions in an effort to bring in mainstream attention (since the industry doesn’t have any A-list celebrities of its own), and immature jokes were still thrown in for cheap laughs.

Yet, despite the GameStop-endorsed goody codes and Jessica Alba’s wince-worthy, half-heartedly delivered monologue about her alleged addiction to Super Mario, this year’s VGAs gained some credibility by recognizing the existence of indie games. Not one, but two – thatgamecompany’s Journey and Telltale’s The Walking Dead – won big at the ceremony. Two indie titles being nominated for the Game of the Year Award and one of them actually winning – over the likes of Assassin’s Creed 3, Dishonored, and Mass Effect 3, no less – is an enormous step up from last year’s show, where indie games were quietly recognized in a giant list of awards barely given ten seconds of air time.

If the endorsements of The Walking Dead and Journey are an indication of anything, it’s the mainstream culture recognition and acceptance of indie games, and, almost certainly, of video games in general.

But, though this year’s awards get a gold star for being the best in recent memory, it doesn’t mean that the show’s producers ought to clap themselves on the backs, congratulate each other for a job well done, and stick to the same formula. Improvement doesn’t necessarily mean a job well done.

Slapping on the gloss

For one, a breather from the in-your-face endorsements and borrowed celebrities would be nice. Understandably, generating the required hype and views to keep something like the VGAs going requires a touch of Tenacious D and a smattering of bad “Sam” Jackson jokes. But while there was no complete rehash of the tactic of quickly skipping through numerous awards in an effort to make more time for the entertainment from 2011, plenty of awards were still glossed over in favor of the acts. How many more awards could have actually gotten screen time had Snoop Lion not been given his excessive entrance to the stage? One of the major things that hold the VGAs back from being recognized as a respected awards show is that its emphasis has never been on the awards.

Yep. It happened.

It also might be high time to do without the immature jokes. Sure, this year didn’t feature the tea-bagging Call of Duty soldier or the pointless pseudo-Japanese game show, but the incessant Samuel Jackson jokes, though somewhat chuckle-worthy at first, became agitating and pointless. We get it. Samuel Jackson likes video games and is a badass who can therefore be bad at kicking ass in video games. We get it. That’s not to say that the VGAs ought to do adopt a serious tone, but the puerile humor doesn’t reflect well on the image of the industry. At the ripe age of ten, it’s time to put on the big boy pants and grow up.

Finding a side-screen host who’s confident in their authority on games might also be a good move. One of the biggest facepalm moments of the show was when Alison Haislip of Attack of the Show! fame called Gabe Newell ‘Garry‘ and didn’t bother to correct herself until hours later via Twitter (to an account that isn’t actually Gabe Newell.) Though on-screen slip ups are understandable and do happen, one probably does not call one of the most recognizable people in games by the wrong name. The side-screen featured the likes of Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo and IGN’s Casey Lynch: why not have someone of the same caliber step in and host the show?

VGA 2012 was a step forward. Not a hugely progressive one, but the show’s producers should be lauded for taking criticisms of last year’s show to heart. The VGAs of 2011 left me unsure of whether or not I wanted to revisit this year. Fortunately, the minor improvements that have been made leave me optimistic of better changes come 2013. In a few years, the VGAs could be the awards show the industry actually wants and respects. There’s still hope.

VGAs 2012 took place last night in Los Angeles. Get full news coverage here.

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26 Comments

  1. Sal Romano

    Nicely written, Cat. Can’t say I disagree. In short, the show could do with more awards and less skits/celebrities. Remember, this is supposed to be a night for the developers who work so hard to create the games we play. I think we owe them a little more respect.

    I could also do without all the F-bombs. A games journalist hosting the show doesn’t sound like a bad idea, if they choose the right person.

    Oh, and just a correction: “One of the biggest facepalm moments of the show was when Alison Haislip of Attack of the Show! fame called Gabe Newell ‘Garry‘ and didn’t bother to correct herself until hours later via Twitter.”

    She actually corrected herself like a minute later. See here – http://www.spike.com/netstorage/events/video-game-awards/live/ – around 2:53:30.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Razor

    loooooooooooooool, Garry.

    Still glad I went to bed, though. Tho tbh I think I’m getting a little bit old to be staying awake all night just to watch some game awards.

    Oh, to be 18 again.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. KAP

    vg247 is complaining that Jessica Alba qoute on being a fan of Super Mario wasn’t convincing enough…?!

    smfh guys.

    Jessica Alba, where ever you are, thank you for turning up and making 99.9% of the women there look ugly (and they all knew it too) compared to you luv’

    Dudes, really! I found this years show a great surprise from previous years, shown new trailers and well deserved awards and have a generally laugh out loud moments that didn’t take it self too seriously.

    And Sam Jackson’s a legend.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. scott_wright

    so the British Academy Video Games Awards isnt a thing then? oh wait..it is. And its very much like the Oscars…or the BAFTAs.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Keivz

    I agree with KAP. Plenty of lol moments. And it was nice to see Jessica Alba again. Having said that, I think a more serious tone with more time dedicated to well produced/cinematic moments of games from the past year would go along way. And maybe through in a developer’s corner where backstories are provided on some of the development teams.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. RPRezo

    >>VGAs are the video games industry’s attempt at a legitimate awards show to match the likes of the Grammys or the Oscars.

    No it’s not. And the faster you guys will understand this, the faster this yearly nonsence-reviews will stop.

    VGA is MTV Movie Awards of Video Games. Both in style AND in substance. For example, awards in both are decided by viewers, not by some group of professionals (something you seem to miss completely). So no, VGAs didn’t “recognize the existence of indie games” – we did.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    Gary Newell… Okay.

    Maybe she thought about Garry’s mod? LOL Stupid bitch.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. roadkill

    What a bad joke! I can’t believe that some of you support this kind of events.

    edit: Then again most of you buy Call of Duty games so it kind of makes sense.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. PEYJ

    They’re somehow still trying to immitate the movie industry when they bring in film actors like Jack Black and Samuel Jackson and more, and it’s really not doing anything progressive for the industry. Instead it should find it’s own commercial voice so to speak and let gaming talent present the shows. Like if Nolan North and Jenniffer Hale hosted the show for instance. It seems as if they desperately want’s to look like the movie industrys cool (read: self indulgent) younger cousin.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. SlayerGT

    I voted for Borderlands in every possible category because I was bribed…by Shift Codes ;) Thanks Randy! Seriously though is that morally legit? I don’t feel dirty. Journey and BL2 were the only games I liked at the show anyhow. Aww who cares! You should see this E-tech Tediore I got! Its badass!

    #10 2 years ago
  11. catherinecai

    @1: You’re 100% right! I missed it the bustle! My bad!

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    When I look at something like the VGAs, I see people trying to sell me stuff, not people taking pride in, or celebrating anything.

    Instead of doing something to capture the imagination, they show you trailers for stuff that someone wants you to buy. It’s sad, and I really don’t see how that’s taking anything anywhere.

    Then again I guess it is a pretty decent reflection of the industry.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. GwynbleiddiuM

    ^ /respect

    #13 2 years ago
  14. SplatteredHouse

    I enjoyed the attempts to tie memorable video game soundtrack themes, with the live orchestra, into proceedings. The medley to acknowledge the GOTY nominees was impressive, and I liked the treatment (albeit in the pre-show) of the showing of the winning animation about the “life” of a Sentry turret in TF2. DO find and watch that.

    I thought the TWD “I’m Sam Jackson” skit was funny…After that, the ancillary stuff (and the rest of the pieces he starred in) fell back too much, and the show settled into a lull of ratio in too many breaks, to awards presented. That the show didn’t end with “and one more thing…!” instead another TD performance sort of left it lacking. I have no clue what Snoop was doing. My mind zoned out during his bit…Reggae or something, and he likes TTT.

    Most awkward-looking appearance by a celebrity award went to the cast of AMC’s TWD…Good grief! Again, the interview kept to the pre-show, but “Glenn” (Stephen Yeun) especially had a rabbit in the headlights look about him. Celeb appearance of the evening, goes to Marlon Wayans. He was featured a few times, and I found him entertaining, and acting as if he understood his audience when he spoke.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. The_Red

    @14
    Agreed about the music pieces. I specially enjoyed two of them (GOTY noms and Last of Us).

    Overall, the show was better than usual. There were some cringe worthy parts (Jessica Alba’s speech was horrible… Poor Dark Souls 2) but it was ages better than previous shows.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. An Aside

    If we’re talking indie games, you’ve forgotten Sound Shapes winning both best handheld title (which was interesting in itself, considering it’s also on the PS3) and best song in a game for “Cities.”

    Apart from that, I just really want to know if dear old Sam has played half of the games he was put in skits for.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. kupocake

    @6 That’s definitely true, and it serves its purpose… the real problem is, there is currently no alternative that holds the position of the Academy Awards or the Grammys to counter it (there are decent awards shows, but none of them have made the inroads into the public consciousness that prestigious awards shows in other media have, or the VGAs very nearly have).

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Ireland Michael

    In fairness to Alison Haislip, its safe to say she’s a genuine gamer and the name thing was obviously just a slip up.

    God knows it was a step up for everything they’ve ever done before, but it still has a long way to go. Here’s hoping next year with keep the quality going upwards, instead of downwards.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Shuklar

    Who the fuck expects quality and class from a SpikeTV production? They’re nothing but rednecks, just like their viewers. It’s ironic that they’re attempting to provide awards for quality when they have none of their own.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    @19 Tarring everyone with the same brush while claiming an imposed sense of superiority…

    …is that you, Da Man?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Shuklar

    @20 just pointing out how ridiculous it is to care about this. It’s like the City of Detroit attempting to hand out awards for literacy.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. mathare92

    @6 – VGA is MTV Movie Awards of Video Games.

    This. I’m quite sure there’ll never be a point where we actually compare this loud sideshow to things like the Grammys or Oscars.

    For people interested in actually legitimate, grown-up games awards shows, my first suggestions would be the GDC Choice Awards or the BAFTAs.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. roadkill

    @19 +1

    #23 2 years ago
  24. The Auracle

    Catherine, you make some valid points and I wish I could share your optimism where the VGAs are concerned. Sadly though, I can’t. Here’s why:

    Exhibit A: The celebrity obsession. There are plenty of actors, musicians, and otherwise popular figures that deserve to champion video games and gamers. Jessica Alba and [as much as I'm a fan of him] Samuel L. Jackson are not those people. Why not bring in some actors and musicians that have actually worked on a game and/or play themselves? Alba may love Mario but what does she have on Felicia Day? Jackson may be a bad ass but what has he got on Jack Black?

    Exhibit B: The VGAs have always had this incredibly patronising tone to their presentation. The way they focus on the glitz and glamour and parade it around in the face of gamers is revolting. It’s as if they play on the whole stereotype of gamers being socially inept and devoid of talent away from the keyboard & mouse/console-specific controller. This year was no different in that sense and I’m quite sick of being treated like that. Contrary to popular belief, most gamers are adults; not teenagers with raging hormones.

    Exhibit C: There are better award ceremonies. For me, the British Academy Video Game Awards will forever supercede anything that the VGAs honour. They pay attention to the craft of the developers and treat all involved with respect. They nominate the crème de la crème of the year’s gaming offerings and they let the games speak for themselves, rather than leaving it down to a pack of rabid fanboys fapping over the game they love the most. That’s the fundamental difference between the VGAs and everything else: it’s not some MTV/Teen Choice Awards-esque popularity contest.

    Spike TV are also notoriously sexist in their portrayal of female gamers and give little to no recognition to the females actually working within the industry itself. As someone above me said, most of the producers for that network still think it’s 1955 and would rather see tits and ass before they see a woman pwn someone in a couple of rounds of Mortal Kombat. It’s exhausting.

    Anyway… I’m out.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. ruckus

    Looks like people will be sycophantic cunts to the end I guess. Oh! Award ceremonies or something. Zz_zz

    #25 2 years ago
  26. EsmeraldaIP

    While I agree the VGAs this year were a step forward in terms of awards and entertainment, I wouldn’t exactly call The Walking Dead or Journey indie considering their publishers. Yes, TellTale is not as big as Sony, but they still have enough history behind them to classify both publishers, therefore games, above indie. But it’s great they got recognition, rightly deserved.

    That said, the VGAs doesn’t really need to “grow up.” This article is asking the VGAs to be something it’s not. It’s on Spike, it’s catering to the same demographic their entire show lineup caters to, it just happens to be giving out awards and is on TV, so more people know about it. Would I love it to be different and more respectable, with less marketing and celebrities who don’t care about our industry showing up (Sam cares, Jessica Alba does not)? Sure. But you have to accept the Spike VGAs for what it is, and realize we need to give more focus to award shows like the Interactive Achievement Award at DICE and the Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC.

    Extra Credits, a show now on Penny Arcade (formerly on Escapist), says it best, “Spike is not trying to be our Oscars.”

    Also, this may seem bias, but I also think we at Machinima did a good job with our awards show (Inside Gaming Awards) in terms of award categories, pandering, and hosts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UABxQM-IWI It’s no Oscars, but I’m happy we’re not VGA quality.

    #26 2 years ago

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    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]