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Xbox founder slams Microsoft’s last 5 years, have been “painful to watch”

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 11:46 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 360′s last five years have been “painful to watch”, due to Microsoft’s increased focus in turning its console into a multimedia hub at the behest of gaming. That’s the statement of Nat Brown, a Microsoft engineer who joined the company when it was conceptualising the original Xbox in 1999.

Brown has penned a personal blog post – entitled “Stupid, Stupid Xbox!!” – in which he voiced his concern over Microsoft’s direction as of late.

He begins, “I was a founder of the original Xbox project at Microsoft and gave it its name”, before recalling the gratification felt after the console enjoyed success after launch.

However, things haven’t been so good lately, as Brown continued, “But the past 5 years, and the last year in particular, have been simply painful to watch. Coasting on past momentum. Failing to innovate and failing to capitalize on innovations like Kinect.

“Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure (yes, Sony, Nintendo – you are, I’m afraid, stumbling failures). A complete lack of tactical versus strategic understanding of the long game of the living room.”

Brown’s beef with Microsoft is not that it views consoles as an integral part of the living room experience – in fact, he welcomes its inevitability in his post – but he also argues that Microsoft is going about it all wrong.

He continued, “No, more and better content was always the point and the plan. My gripe is that, as usual, Microsoft has jumped its own shark and is out stomping through the weeds planning and talking about far-flung future strategies in interactive television and original programming partnerships with big dying media companies when their core product, their home town is on fire, their soldiers, their developers, are tired and deserting, and their supply-lines are broken.”

The lack of indie support is also an issue, he suggested, “Xbox’s primary critical problem is the lack of a functional and growing platform ecosystem for small developers to sell digitally-/network-distributed (non-disc) content through to the installed base of xBox customers, period.

“Why can’t I write a game for Xbox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home Xbox or at my friends’ houses? Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30% cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad?”

Brown closes this section with a rather damning accusation, “Microsoft, you are idiotic to have ceded not just indie game developers but also a generation of loyal kids and teens to making games for other people’s mobile devices.”

On the issue of Microsoft’s so-called ‘success’ in the multi-media market, Brown added, “Microsoft is living in a naive dream-world. I have heard people still there arguing that the transition of the brand from hardcore gamers to casual users and tv-uses was an intentional and crafted success. It was not. It was an accident of circumstance that Microsoft is neither leveraging nor in control of.”

He then closes with, “So, because these two critical issues – user expereince and indie content – are not nearly in order and I see big investments in future interactive content happening, as well as idiotic moves to limit used games or put harder content protection into place than exists in mobile or tablets – i predict massive failure and losses here.

“And it makes me sad. Because it just doesn’t have to fail, even though it has been punted around poorly for 5 years. xBox just needs somebody with a brain and focus to get the product in order tactically before romping forward to continue the long-term strategic promise of an xBox in every living room, connected to every screen.”

It’s a damning post. What do you make of Brown’s testimony? Should Microsoft stop spreading its bases thin and focus on core games while giving indies a leg-up? Let us know below.

Thanks GI,biz.

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41 Comments

  1. manamana

    Oh boy and how right he is. Since Kinect it went downhill with Xbox.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Myth

    Almost hard to believe this guy isn’t currently employed in the industry with all that insight…

    Actually, he hasn’t worked in the industry since 2000 from what I can tell, and his title at Microsoft was never higher than Software Architect according to his LinkedIN.

    Are we really sure we want to credit this guy with creating the Xbox?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. RandomTiger

    I like this guy, I need to read his full post.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gheritt White

    OMG, I couldn’t agree more.

    Also, last five years = Don Mattrick. JUST SAYIN’

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Fin

    @1

    Yeah? Why do you think that?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    Even reading as much as I have so far of that article, I am confident I will find myself in at least 90% agreement – Microsoft are, and have increasingly been, rudderless and drifting.

    I stopped buying things from them for that very reason. That was why my 360 had to go, and did. Completely terrible platform direction, and alternating between jumping at shadows, and running around like headless chickens. This will be among the traits, that if present/maintained would destroy any likelihood that MS get ANOTHER chance with me. I enjoyed Xbox, I thought they had a great thing, but were victims of circumstance, but around the timeframe mentioned, they changed – things became increasingly noticeably ad/media driven, – and lately, they’ve just been flailing around.

    “No, more and better content was always the point and the plan. ”
    That’s the saddest thing in all of it, in my view. That they intended to offer a broader range of content, and instead they’re championing the few (the most “loyal” publishers), their community is nomadic, fickle and the strategies intended to give them an edge on Sony, didn’t gain them, as much as they just cost everybody else. As far as this idea of unifying services, transferring them between Microsoft platforms. GFWL.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Gadzooks!

    He’s not entirely wrong.

    Losing indies will be a huge mistake, Kinect is just not up to the job it is being handed, and the stubborn refusal to relinquish any small amount of control over the platform is turning devs and communities away.

    I don’t know many console owners that plan to stay with Xbox next-gen. I think MS are going to have a very very hard time. A serious kicking will probably be needed to get them on track again.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DarkElfa

    Nothing good will ever happen as long long as Bill Gates’ douche-bag drinking buddy remains in control of Microsoft.

    Balmer is a big, bald buttfuck and he never should have been left in charge of MS or even given the responsibility of tying his own shoes laces.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Psychotext

    Did he completely miss XBLIG or something? Half of his rant basically doesn’t apply because of it. Sure, the games on there might not sell particularly well… but that’s as much in the hands of the devs failing to market their titles as anything else.

    I could write a game tomorrow in XNA and as long as it passed peer certification it would find its way onto the platform. I don’t need a dev kit or anything more complicated than a copy of Visual Studio (even that isn’t completely required) and a 360.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 he mentions XBLIG in his post, saying that Microsoft has handled it improperly, or something to that effect. It’s in there though :)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Jeff Patarken

    @8 Thanks to you, I now have “Ballmer the Big Bald Buttfuck” playing in my head to the tune of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Psychotext

    @10: I see, I only read the text above. Cheers.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @12 no worries :) Read the full thing though, it’s insane.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Mike W

    Well MS became accustomed to announcing how much they a sell month instead of some annoucing some interesting titles.

    That’s my beef with them. They’re stroking their own ego and it’s going to come back and bite them ass, if they don’t get their shit together.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DrDamn

    Tend to agree with a lot of that to be honest – and on balance particularly this bit … “Touting strategic and market success when you’re just experiencing your competitor’s stumbling failure”. They have all been caught out by the emergence of mobile gaming and the development/distribution models they benefit from. Stuff like XBLIG, PS Minis, PS Mobile just demonstrate they don’t fully understand it too.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. SplatteredHouse

    @11: Do you suppose that can land under a defensible definition of parody. :p
    @14: They placed their priorities with publishers, to such an extent that they began to feel consumers concerns were secondary, is my suspicion. As long as the scores and buys come in, what does much else matter, right?

    #16 2 years ago
  17. G1GAHURTZ

    Microsoft is finished. Just like Sony and Nintendo…

    …oh, and PC gaming.

    Lets all buy Samsung instead.

    They’re the new Apple.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. BraveArse

    Nailed it IMO. I haven’t used either of my 360s much at all in the last year +, because of all the things mentioned. I’m due for live renewal soon and this will be the first time since Live started that I won’t be bothering to pay. MS need to start speaking to and exciting their customer base instead of their share holders, admittedly as do the other platform holders to a lesser extent.

    No one likes to feel like yet another cash berry to be popped.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. TheBlackHole

    Well, I can’t see anyone in the industry hiring him in future with that kind of attitude.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    This guy really sums it up nice.

    And like Gadz, I know next to no one that wants a next gen xbox. Most of my friends and family have gone/will go WiiU + PC. That is my plan as well.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. manamana

    @5 just to make one thing clear: I play all consoles and like them all. That being said, M$ has build-up very much momentum with the Kinect but didn’t delivered *anything* noteworthy inhouse wise. Still they pushed the hardware, sold a heck of them and let third party developers grab all the glory with titles like Dance Central to cater the “casuals”. Yet they had nothing but Rare’s awkward bundled titles.

    Also M$ had a chance to build upon their XBLA but couldn’t manage to come somewhat close to the simple Apple App-Store infrastructure. Don’t get me wrong, I played a lot of XBLA titles last year. But look how many titles are launched in the App-Store. Seems like Apple has titally taken over small to big developers on arcade like games. M$ was pretty close to that too but they totally forgot about that, putting it behind some three-click away, simple texted green buttons instead of pushing them into your face.

    I hope that with the next Xbox they continue to build upon XBLA and on a strong first party line-up.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. The Dude

    Yep, agree!

    #22 2 years ago
  23. stretch215

    I’ll most likely be grabbing both consoles again next gen. Though, if the rumored nextbox specs are true I’ll be going ps4 first.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. fearmonkey

    Im off to read the article, but I agree with what he has been quoted with here. Over the life of the 360, it seems MS forgot what made the Xbox brand cool in the first place.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. daytripper

    The current OS is awful imo, not surprised it was designed by someone who has very little interest in gaming, she is all about the apps yo!

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    I am not a big MS supporter, but one thing that strikes me is that Netflix is watched more then games are played on xb360(and PS3). So it is somewhat understandable that the companies will want to focus on apps and expand the things you can do with your systems.

    It is also understandable that a website full of dedicated gamers won’t feel the sameway.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. sh4dow

    I agree with basically everything he says.
    This generation has made me a “late adopter” and in the next one, console manufacturers may have to see how much cash they can rake in without my support.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. manamana

    Why I have to watch adverts in an already payed environment is also beyond me and a reason to hang out more on PS3.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Diingo

    The future of gaming rests in the hands of actual gamers, not the publishers. Valve is proving this to be true with their infrastructure of Steam – allowing gamers to build their own content then release it to the public however way they wish. With console makers, they put up walls restricting that innovation.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. DSB

    I think his post makes a lot of sense.

    Especially in terms of the design. I remember making an angry post that sounded eerily similar when I bought my second 360, and getting jumped by angry fanboys, but honestly I think the PS3 is every bit as bad.

    Managed to get a Sony DVD/online player that has the same interface, and it just makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

    You pretty much have the choice between navigating through a herp derp X/Y axis, or a bunch of useless fucking squares that have little to no functionality, beyond putting distance between you and what you’d like to (eventually) press.

    I can’t tell if it’s lazy or reactionary or what, but it makes those designers look fucking stupid. It pisses me off just thinking about it :P

    How can you live in a world with so many devices that do so many things right, and still do so many things wrong?

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Cobra951

    It’s funny how there are maybe 4 of those many square tiles on the Xbox interface that I actually care about. But at least they’re still there. I can still go (more or less) directly to my games and launch one. I have never used a console for anything else, and I probably never will. But if there’s big money to be made from the dumb casuals, I can’t blame Sony or MS for going after their pockets. They lose me only if they take away or dilute the functionality that matters to core gamers.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. SplatteredHouse

    I’d embrace the reinstatement of the shards in a heartbeat. Tiles, pah.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. DSB

    @31 But that’s the whole difference between good design or bad design. Good design is more direct, bad design is less so. (Well, part of good design at least).

    Sure, it’s not a huge hassle to start a game, unless it’s on the HDD. And really, who cares about digital, right? :P

    It’s not like Microsoft could be making a killing on letting people download all their games, they’re better off if they pick them up at Gamest… Oh, hey, wait a minute.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Da Man

    He’s right, alas you have to be thankful to Sony once again. The original Xbox was the epitome of a gaming machine, great visuals, exceptional library of games and a pioneer of online services, way before PC/Steam let alone other consoles.


    D-Sub learning math and UI design through internet games blogs. Amazing.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. DrDamn

    @33
    Pins are helpful on the 360 interface but essentially a big admission that the core interface sucks badly for finding things. There are too many ways to get to the same place and they are long winded too, with lengthy delays waiting for lists to populate. You’d hope with 3.5Gb reserved for the OS that would be significantly improved with Durango. Under the bonnet the 360 OS is light years ahead of the others too.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Cobra951

    @33: Actually it’s still plenty easy to navigate to your games. ‘Rb-Rb-A’ gets you there, ordered by most recently played. And of course, just pressing ‘A’ after booting up the system launches the disc game. But then it takes 6 ‘Rb’ presses and ‘A’ to get to the system menu from a boot-up. Haha! I just hold ‘Rb’ down to whiz by all the media fluff I never even look at. That and ‘Lb’ to go back to Home or Games from System is the sum total of what I do on the tiled nightmare.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. kezwar

    I agree 100% I’ve seen no innovation whatsoever from Microsoft in years. And I am no fanboy.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. kezwar

    from a gaming perspective I mean.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. DSB

    @36 And that actually makes sense to you?

    It’s a games console, no? Shouldn’t that functionality kinda be front and center, instead of RB+RB+RB+RB+RB+RB+A?

    And why on earth am I going through a social pane with an avatar store on my way there? Is the 360 somehow more of an instant messenger than a games console?

    Nevermind the superfluous login screen, or the fact that the biggest panes are the least used.

    Maybe Microsoft simply doesn’t know how people use their consoles, which is every bit as scary, as thinking that their designers have completely missed 10 full years of design innovation.

    It just fundamentally doesn’t make any sense. Most games have better interfaces than that today.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. fearmonkey

    @39 Don’t worry DSb, soon you will be able to talk to your console and wave your hands in the air to navigate its menus, no more LB – RB.
    excited yet? lol….

    This is what happens when you let alot of these big execs make decisions…
    An exec (who probably plays minimal amount of games) thinks something is a good idea, and the others all jump in because they dont want to risk their jobs by disagreeing.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. DreadSabot

    I agree with some of what he said. There has been a sent of drifting lately with no real push to innovate, but I am not sure if that has been for 5 years. i would say more like the last 2 years where they have let Sony steal the spotlight back a bit.

    On the same token the announcements they made for the X1 sold me on the tech side and I did like the games. I have always felt other than STEAM and maybe Stardock very few companies know how to promote indie games. I doubt Sony will be much better at it – especially based on the mess their current market place is.

    Android has a good market but its the sales and spotlights in STEAM which lead to impulse buys for me – I never feel the same way in Android market.

    The funny thing about Xbox is that they originated the whole self publish deal with XNA and that is in my opinion what led to the hacking of the 360, so it is no surprise they are shying away from it this time.

    The sad thing though in the last 3 gens it seems like the system that got hacked wound up be the winner of the race in the long run.

    #41 2 years ago

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    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 […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]