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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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    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]

  • Free Dragon Age short stories fill us in on Corypheus’s followers

    Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare invites you to learn more about the lore and characters that make up its beautiful role-playing setting. Dragon Age is set in Thedas, a world still only partially revealed by the three core games to date. BioWare puts a heck of a lot of work into its worldbuilding, employing a […]

  • Remember that gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo? It now utilizes DirectX 12

    Remember the gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo Square Enix showed off three years ago? The firm showed it again at Microsoft’s Build Conference, this time utilizing DirectX 12. The Witch Chapter 0 [cry] real-time tech demo was created from research Square conducted using real-time CG technology and DX12 in collaboration with Microsoft and Nvidia. The […]

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones sneaks onto GOG and Steam services

    Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones can now be purchased through GOG and Steam. On both services it will run you £12.99/€14.99/$14.99. Links here and here. The game features: Fully explorable ‘Metroidvania’ style overworld, laying siege to a diabolical cloning facility with varied and detailed environments. A variety of special equipment to unlock new […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]