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Lanning: Xbox One team should be fired over indie stance

Friday, 19 July 2013 11:45 GMT By Patrick Garratt

According to Oddworld Inhabitant’s boss, Microsoft should cull its Xbox One team and start again. Lorne Lanning speaks out on Redmond’s great next-gen indie disaster.

“Out of Washington, we see a pretty good understanding of who makes really expensive great games, but beyond that there’s not really any insight into how people get there from nothing… I’m not sure who they’re listening to. Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start.”

E3 left “Microsoft” and “indie” as immiscible as oil and vinegar. Phil Harrison did his best to make Minecraft look like the future of smalltime console games, but Sony presented something infinitely more sensible with its swathe of independent variety. Xbox One won’t allow self-published games and PlayStation 4 will. Microsoft’s backpedalling so fast it’s had to turn its handlebars ass-ways, but without another major policy u-turn it seems next-gen Xbox, baffingly, is refusing to acknowledge the importance of indie development to the future of video games consoles.

“I’ve watched them make this mistake before,” Oddworld boss Lorne Lanning told VG247 in LA last month. “I’ll give you a true story. When they were launching the first Xbox – and we were a launch title on that – it was an exciting time as well. We did a European tour before Xbox released, and I was with Peter Molyneux and other designers of note, and we met with the press in Germany and France. We could not talk about the games. The press were so irate about the price point, about the way they were handling the euro in different territories, and we couldn’t talk about the games. We couldn’t get in that discussion, and they wanted to hammer on Microsoft.

“We get back to the States and we were like, ‘You’ve got a big problem. You’re sinking, tanking in Europe.’ ‘No, no, no, no. You don’t understand. We’ve got our numbers covered.’ We could not get them to avoid the train wreck that was right in front of them. You know what this feels like? Déjà vu.”

Lanning was one of eight indie developers on stage at Sony’s E3 press conference with Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, and was “floored at how open Sony’s been, and, in my opinion, really smart and prophetic they’ve been. The indie aspect is going to be a big thing. But just being there was winning enough.”

A new generation of problems

While Lanning’s relationship with Sony means PlayStation owners will have easy access to Oddworld’s games in the future, Microsoft has proved to be a puzzle the creative, and his UK partner Just Add Water, couldn’t crack.

“At the business level, Microsoft isn’t acknowledging people like us,” said Lanning. “It’s as if we don’t matter.”

Microsoft’s stance towards indies with Xbox One is a continuation of problems encountered in the current generation: Lanning and JAW boss Stewart Gilray tried for over a year to get Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD released on Xbox Live before ultimately failing.

“The target kept on moving, and eventually we couldn’t get clear answers for 15 months. We don’t have five biz dev guys and two attorneys and some PR people to send up there to roll out whatever carpets you have to roll out to get attention.

“We were like, ‘Look. We’re on seven other networks. It’s been no-brainers on all of them. We’re not asking you for money. We’re not asking you for advertising.”

Lanning added: “We’re little guys, we have to release. We can’t get a straight answer. Then we release on PSN, and we get a mail the next day that says, ‘Oh, you released on PSN at a lower price point, you didn’t meet our margins, sorry you can’t be on the system.’ Boom. And that was it.

“We’re not on the radar. We’re little guys. It doesn’t seem like any of the little guys are on the radar. When we listen to them talk, we have to laugh. It’s pure rhetoric.”

Refusal to change

The problem Microsoft is presenting is this. For an indie to get published on XBLA, it needs a publishing partner as self-releasing on Live is prohibited. This partner may be Microsoft itself, the most prominent example of this type of deal being Minecraft. This means the indie has to give up a revenue share to get onto XBLA, whether it’s to Microsoft or a third-party like Warner, the publisher of Supergiant’s Bastion.

“We’re not on the radar. We’re little guys. It doesn’t seem like any of the little guys are on the radar. When we listen to them talk, we have to laugh. It’s pure rhetoric.”

In the last generation Microsoft held plenty of cards, but Xbox 360 released in 2005 and the world has changed. The truth Microsoft must now confront is that it is wrong to force publishing deals on independent developers when faced with enormously popular self-publishing platforms such as Steam and the App Store. Sony clearly understands it can never be prudish on the subject of self-publication again. This isn’t even an ethical issue: financially, larger indies like JAW and Supergiant simply don’t need Xbox any more. Millions of sales are possible through other platforms, and as a result Microsoft appears to be both draconian and out of touch. For a tech company, especially one in a market as fast-moving as video games, that’s unacceptable.

“In order for us to give up the revenues we depend on as a share, they have to be bringing something of value to our sales,” said Lanning. “We haven’t been doing badly ourselves. Maybe we’ll be able to say, ‘Hey, we’ll be on Xbox too,’ but right now people like us are clearly not in Xbox One’s business model. And there’s nothing we can do about that.”

It isn’t just the here-and-now in which Microsoft is making life difficult for itself. Lanning warned that by stifling indies and their innate creativity, Xbox’s policies show a gross lack of understanding about the formation of future hits.

“Ten years from now, the biggest banners out there, the hundred million dollar games, are going to be what happened in the indie community. That’s the only place we’re seeing real innovation because that’s the only place people can really afford to. You can’t do it on a hundred million dollar title because you have to be dialled into what that audience really knows and wants.

“Someone’s going to be burning the next hundred million dollar properties here, and it might be the least likely guy that was on that stage at the Sony conference. But that’s where it’s going to come from, and the smart people know that. I don’t see any indication of that foresight up in Redmond. They do not seem to be listening to their audience.”

Lanning was blunt about solutions.

“Quite frankly, out of Washington, we see a pretty good understanding of who makes really expensive great games, but beyond that there’s not really any insight into how people get there from nothing.

“It’s a bit puzzling. It’s clear they’re not listening. I’m not sure who they’re listening to. Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start. There should be a big, mass firing and they should publicise that. Then they’d get people saying, ‘Hey, maybe there’s going to be a good change.’ But if they keep the rhetoric flowing, obviously everyone’s looking at it saying, ‘This isn’t real.’ How are they going to keep what they’ve got today? That’s a big question.”

Microsoft is in the middle of one of the most difficult periods ever experienced on the Xbox project, and while Xbox One pre-orders are outpacing those seen for Xbox 360, there are great risks involved with shunning such a powerful market sector as that of the indie. Redmond needs to start making the right noises, and soon. Either way, it’s doubtful the likes of Lanning will hang around to listen.

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26 Comments

  1. Ge0force

    I’ll repeat my message for all Indies: just ignore the Xbox and focus on other platforms where your amazing games ARE welcome. It may take a while, but of indie-games will follow.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Ali

    I firmy believe the indies are going to be an important factor for consoles fierce war against the emerging mobiles. With technology providing enough power to be handled by the indies, I think more devs will be forming small studios and produce small budget hitters.

    It all follows the simple logic of ” more options, more interest”, I certainly loved some indie developed games more than triple A hitters that simply werent well thought off. Besides, some of the younger generations will have more opportunities getting into the business.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Legion

    I find this very valid for point on Indie development for XBLA titles. But just the opposite for the smaller actual Indie titles that can be released on XBL Indie titling.

    As Sony does not have a true avenue for such launching on it’s platform. I can’t develop for Sony without having money. I can develop for MS from my garage though.

    Though MS has recently stated they will announce their Indie support outlook in the near future.

    we will have to see hat they have to say. Because nothing official has been mentioned for XO yet.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. machy

    ^the system is lunching after 3 months their plan for the division isn’t clear they keep making u-turns and as far as I know a division such as Xbox plan must been in work for at less 2 years to 5

    M$ is in bad shap .. bad news since the beginning of this year bad PR, and those whom perordering x1 now r the halo and froza hardcore fan others r jumping ships, and with mainstreamers I think 500$ won’t help

    my opinion nothing more

    #4 2 years ago
  5. MCTJim

    Yes their PR team stinks..That I can agree on..time to re-organize that part of their team. Other than that, I am happy with what they are offering.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Erthabutt

    Yeah Ive never been strong on indie games on consoles, only on PC. So it totally doesnt matter to me when I’ll get an Xbox.

    HOWEVER, of course, Microsoft should get their head out of their asses. They have so many great offerings & smart peeps, but jesuschrist some of their execs are just so out of touch with everyting other than their office desk. I believe they live in somekind of Executive Wild Dream. I hope the restructuring helps over time, and that their indie strategy will be something solid. We can only hope.

    >:(

    #6 2 years ago
  7. VibraniumSpork

    “Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start. There should be a big, mass firing and they should publicise that.”

    Right on the money. With all the mixed messages and back-pedaling and ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, it’s felt like Microsoft have been experiencing a Marketing ‘Amateur Hour’ for the best part of 2013. The XB1 and the PS4 are, in large part, so similar that you could barely fit a Rizla between them – it’s the promo and marketing messages that have turned so many people off. They can backtrack all they want, but there’s only so many bridges that they’ll be able to unburn.

    That said, it’s only a matter of days/weeks before Microsoft announce that indies can also self-publish on their system. It’ll be interesting to see what the indies do then; to see if this really is about business ethics as much as it is about profit margins.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DarkElfa

    I’m sorry but “You should fire them all” is something I expect from an angry fan-boy, not some developer.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. noamlol2

    who cares really? cause they’ll make more sales on PS4 and steam

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    I would think that indies (for the most part) will do better on PC/Mobile then they can on any console. Esp traditional consoles. There are exceptions, there are hits, like Minecraft for XBLA, but that game didn’t start on XBLA as an unknown indie game. It already paved its way to success on PC. It was already a name brand. And it had MS promoting it. And it Still sold more on PC then on XBLA.

    And that is the biggest indie I can think of on a console as a poster child for success. But w/o PC, if the game had released straight to XBLA(or the true indie channel) I doubt it would have succeeded.

    I believe Indies are the spark and the nudge the dev sides needs. The games are fresh. They are affordable to make and purchase. I love indies. I don’t know yet what MS will do. Or how indies will do on either platform. If I had to guess, I would say that MS(prolly Sony too) will keep an eye out for indies on PC and then promote the ones that look like they could market and take off…ala Minecraft.

    But that isn’t the same thing as promoting indie selfpublishing, or reducing the dev costs, liscencing fees, etc. In short, time will tell.

    As for X1, I think it has been on the wrong path for awhile…in a lot of areas. Very misguided.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. bradk825

    This is costing them beyond just missing out on indie development. They have a lot of great things being offered that no one is paying attention to, they are focusing on one marketing gaff, and then the next, and then you get a little 2 or 3 small paragraph story about something cool, then onto the next marketing gaff.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Dirkster_Dude

    Microsoft’s attitude about Independent developers is similar to what happened when LINUX was becoming popular and Microsoft tried to make FREE and INDEPENDENT seem less appealing than PAY and CONTROLLED. While most of the old guard are computer users they are rarely going to be gamers and they are the ones that will be the hardest minds to change. The problem is they can’t quite let go and let a new generation run the company.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Matthew Doucette

    Sort of a sensationalized title, as it’s only the PR and marketing teams, basically the communications of Microsoft, he wants re-worked: “Whoever their PR people are, whoever their marketing agents are, they should fire them all. That’s where they should start.” I agree this is Microsoft’s weak point. Indies, like ourselves, need communication that Microsoft does not offer. The more rules and blockades you construct for the indies, the more you need to communicate with them.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. KAP

    Don’t you just love when people make excuses for Microsoft downfall..

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    Though I usually admire Lanning’s willingness to stick to his morals, wishing for the systematic firing of people with jobs and families is way beyond excessive, and reeks of self entitled ego. Reel it in a bit, mate.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Cobra951

    Microsoft’s in it for the money. They’ll do whatever they think will bring the most in for the least cost, and hang the rest. If they see Sony getting the upper hand–and the better money–they’ll do another 180, like the One’s DRM policies, and the game-patching fees. They don’t care about indies per se, or big publishers for that matter. They never will. It’s all about the bottom line. If Sony and others prove how much money Microsoft is leaving on the table, the changes will happen overnight. For now, my attitude remains wait and see. No way am I diving into those murky waters in November.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. zmotorola360

    “While Lanning’s relationship with Sony means PlayStation owners will have easy access to Oddworld’s games in the future,”

    >>> COULD SOMEONE inform M. Lanning that in Europe (excepted the UK) we have been waiting FOR A FUCKING YEAR a release of Munch oddyssee and that there is still no release date on euro PSN. We cant even get on US psn because of bank card security system (checking the address and comparing the one given at US psn account subscribtion) Thank you Lanning…

    #17 2 years ago
  18. lookingglass

    And I can’t believe we now have gaming hipsters who promote garbage indies in order to seem intellectual and cool. “So I played this awesome retro 2D game by this developer you’ve probably never heard of and you probably wouldn’t “get it” ya know, but its like my favorite game ever.”

    Not to mention these developers jumping on the PS4 freedom-penis bandwagon so that they look cool to these hipsters on the forums.

    “Yea man, like stuff should be free and open and like, totally about the consumer. I’ve got this cool side scroller game that’s like, WHOA man, and the corporations wouldn’t let me make it so I did it anyways! *sips a PBR dressed like an idiot while listening to a record no one cares about*”

    They aren’t changing the world. They’re making games that play like Super Nintendo games and getting excited about it. /facepalm

    P.S. of course there are some diamonds in the indie mountain of turds, but it’s still just a pile of shit with a couple rocks in it.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Nikaas

    @18 So you try to say that AAA titles are not few exceptions in a huge pile of shit?

    You must be clueless if you think that multi-million title can risk to experiment with unproven design choices.

    P.S Honestly i don’t want to insult you, but you still sound like angry fan-boy kid :P

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Lord Gremlin

    Microsoft really needs to die. As a company. They are cancer of PC market, tablet market, phone market and they harm game industry.
    They need to die. And they eventually will. Only they have so much money now that it will be slow, agonizing process.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Lengendaryboss

    @20
    No-one needs to go anywhere the big three are here to stay until they go irrelevant.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. bamn66

    Indie games are horrible . Stop making shitty articles just to get a hit . Indie devs need to stop crying and focus on what the can do , develop bad games for the ps3.5

    #22 2 years ago
  23. DSB

    I know some of the guys from JAW read VG247, so when are we getting the HD upgrade of Munch’s Oddysee on Steam?

    Lanning has every reason to hate Microsoft though. First there was the whole Stranger’s Wrath fiasco, and then when he actually brings it back, Microsoft cockblocks the rerelease with their utterly moronic publishing system.

    Beyond the incompetence, I just don’t think they really give a shit about gaming. They approach it in the same way they’d approach any other software production.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. ps3fanboy

    here’s a tip for the indie guys that are xbots… ignore the micro$hafts and go to sonys playstation where your amazing games ARE welcome… just saying.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. macdaddy42

    I’m so sick of Lorne Lanning trashing Ms for Indie games, 95% of them not worth spending any money on,..If he did not think Xbox1 would sell a lot of systems, He wouldn’t be trashing MS so much over this, He just wants his game on Xbox1 is all…Funny thing is he all bout the PS4 but he sure is doing a lot of PR work for MS for Free, cause that’s all he talks bout is Xbox1, So Lorne Lanning???? keep up the good work my Friend, We xbox1 gamers like to thank you

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Kreion

    @16
    Just to point out (as I always have to ) that every company ever made is in it for the money. That includes, but is not limited to: Sony, Valve, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Samsung…the list goes on. Even small ‘indie’ companies are only generally artistic because they aren’t large enough yet. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – but making a profit is always going to be the end goal.

    In terms of the indie argument: Microsoft do need to have a look at the gaming scene and see that some indie games are worth having. That’s not to say that all of them are, because many are pretty generic and rubbish (anyone want another pixel platformer?) but there are some genuinely good games among that. Honestly, I’d say they need some sort of vetting process ala Greenlight – but not even Valve likes greenlight.

    #26 2 years ago

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    GameStop Italy may have let the release date for Rainbow Six Siege slip if a recent listing is accurate. According to the listing, the game will release on October 16. While this could be a placeholder date, October 16 is a Friday in the UK, the usual day new releases land at retail. The release […]

  • Watch the $1 million Call of Duty Championship right here

    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]

  • PS Store Easter sale discounts MGS: Ground Zeroes, Far Cry 4, more

    The Easter Sale is live on the EU PS Store, with Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes for less than £10, FIFA 15 Deluxe Edition for £30 and other savings. Some of the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita discounts are valid through April 8, other through April 15. PlayStation Plus members can also take an […]

  • Bloodborne video: how to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam

    Here’s a video for Bloodborne players showing a quick way to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam. It also provides a look at things you may have missed in Central Yharnam and The Sewers, courtesy of VaatiVidya. Don’t forget, we have guides posted for the game with more updates coming soon. Bloodborne released in […]

  • Bloodborne issue prevents summons at Vicar Amelia fight

    A Bloodborne bug has prevented players calling on help to take on one of the nasty early bosses. Bloodborne bosses are significantly easier to take down in co-op. Unfortunately, at least one of them is proving difficult to find help for – and not just because not many players have obtained the Small Resonant Bell […]

  • Mass Effect 3 on sale on EU PSN, but not free

    Mass Effect 3 is discounted on the European PSN, but it’s not free. Update 2: The option to add to cart now lets you choose between the free trial or full version. The full version is on sale for £6.49 or £5.84 for PlayStation Plus members. The free trial is of course is still available, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Race to Elite winners announced, one player makes £10,000

    The winners of Elite: Dangerous’ Race To Elite competition have been announced, with one player receiving the grand prize of £10,000. Back when Elite: Dangerous launched, developer Frontier announced a competition that would award players to first reach Elite rank in trading, exploration, or combat, a prize of £1,000 each. The grand prize – £10,000 […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: How to make the most money with Special Bonuses and Elite Challenges

    You’re not hitting heists for the good of your health. Here’s how to max cash rewards. Money. GTA Online players love it. Greenbacks are the core of the entire experience, allowing you to buy the best weapons, vehicles and stupid haircuts. Heists, as promised, gives more opportunities than ever to earn serious cash, but once […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 coming tomorrow

    PlayStation 4 firmware 2.50, codenamed Yukimura, is due for release tomorrow, March 26. Firmware update 2.50 for PlayStation 4 will be launching tomorrow, March 26, Sony has announced. Codenamed Yukimura, the system update is promised to bring suspend/resume feature, trophy sync improvements, accessibility options, and much more. 2.50 has been in beta testing a while […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges and more

    Heists aren’t the only addition in GTA Online’s latest DLC – there’s a lot of content that can earn you big RP and cash payouts. GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges While heists are the talking point and big payoff after more than a year of waiting, there’s a […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]