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VG247 Scotland issue #1: Where’s the best place to sell games?

Friday, 17 January 2014 13:57 GMT By Dave Cook

VG247 Scotland continues with a look at where the nation’s developers weigh in on the changing tides of game distribution, the bursting Steam Greenlight bubble and how best to get Scottish games into the hands of players.

Missed VG247 Scotland issue #0: Why Scotland is more than GTA 5? Just hit the link to check it out.

Last month, I held a discussion panel focused on why Scotland is more than just Grand Theft Auto. Sure enough, our nation did spawn arguably the biggest gaming franchise to date, but it’s got much more to offer. The question raised by many readers was, ‘If that’s the case, then were are these games you speak of?’ That’s exactly what we’re attempting to cover in this issue’s panel session.

Of course, this is a prominent matter not just the Scottish industry, but the wider market. On one hand you have saturated mobile hubs like iTunes and Android, where visibility is hard-fought given the sheer influx of games releasing on both stores each day. Steam was once heralded as a champion of the people; a place for the uninitiated to make their bread with ease. Some would argue that Greenlight has back-fired, flooding Valve’s service with vast quantities of games that push many releases to the bottom and quashing their potential.

In something of a surprising twist, Sony and Microsoft each announced indie initiatives last year. Suddenly, the big, nasty corporate world of PS4 and Xbox One appeared a little big brighter, but we’re yet to see the true potential of both schemes. So while it’s clear that the sands are shifting right under developer’s feet, where can creators release their games with the highest hope of success? Find out what we thought about these and other issues in our panel session below.

But first…

News


Bodycheck coming to PS Vita later this year
Ludometrics has announced that it’s releasing Bodycheck on PS Vita later this year. In a post on PS Blog EU, director David Thomson explained that the game was based around the conception of football, back when there were 500 players using a pig’s head as a ball. It won’t be that brutal or vast, but the game will take a rough approach to the beautiful game, with plenty of punching and scratching.

There will be four-way matches, magical attacks, crushing body-blows and more. Here an early Bodycheck trailer for you to check out. We’ll have more on the game soon.


Lucky Frame brings Bad Hotel to Android today
Hot off the heels of its superb Tacos, Bluegrass and Videogames event last weekend, Gentlemen! developer Lucky Frame will roll out its mobile smash Bad Hotel on Google Play today, January 17. The game sees players defending their newly-acquired hotel against Tarnation Tadstock, the Texas Tyrant and his army of seagulls and other beasts. You can repel his forces by building your hotel wisely and by unloading a range of powerful weaponry.

There’s a musical twist however, as depending on your hotel’s set-up, you will also be composing the game’s soundtrack as you go. Check out the Bad Hotel homepage now and keep your eyes peeled for the Android release today.


Scottish parliament holds third meeting with Scotland’s game professionals
Back in December, the Scottish government held its third cross-party meeting with members of Scotland’s games industry. The minutes for the meeting have now been released, courtesy of the Computer Games Journal’s Dr Malcolm Sutherland. The meeting gave game-makers a chance to voice concerns and make suggestions directly to government, with a view to further improving parliament’s support of the sector. You can get a full overview of what was discussed through the link above.


TigerFace Games up for iKids Award
Edinburgh-based studio TigerFace Games has been short-listed for an iKids Award. The awards champion educational games and websites for children, and the panel has chosen the studio’s head-to-head mathematical game Cosmic Reactor as one of its top picks. The iKids award ceremony will take place in New York next month. Check out the game’s trailer, synopsis and screens here. Best of luck to TigerFace!

Via The Scotsman.


Eldevin and Power Up appear on Steam Greenlight
A pair of Scottish games have appeared on Steam Greenlight and are now accepting votes. Hunted Cow’s fantasy MMO Eldevin is first, and is poised to launch on PC, Mac and Linux. The RPG is available now in browser form, and has been in continuous development for the last eight years, bringing hundreds of quests and many new features into the mix. Browser update 1.03 recently launched, and you’ll find the patch notes through the link.

Next up is Psychotic Psoftware’s retro-styled shooter Power Up, which hurls your tiny space ship against gigantic robot behemoths and swarms of nasty aliens. It’s big, loud and full of bullet-hell action. You can check out a collection of Power Up trailers here.

You can vote for Eldevin and Power Up on Steam Greenlight through the relevant links, where you’ll also find their trailers, screens and details. Let us know what you think below.

Lub Vs Dub featured as Apple & Starbucks’ app of the week in America
Apple and Starbucks often give away iOS apps in-store to customers. Over the holidays, the coffee chain’s North American stores featured Jon McKellan’s endless runner project Lub Vs Dub. The game was created as part of the 2013 Scottish Game Jam and can be downloaded on iTunes for £0.69.

McKellan’s a member of indie outfit Futuro, and I’m guessing he and his team are pretty chuffed at the news right now. I checked the game out in Dundee before year’s end and it looked like a stupidly addictive and challenging take on the endless runner format, complete with a competitive multiplayer mode that sees you trying to ruin your friend’s run. Go check it out now.

Thanks to Scottish Games Network for the tip.


The retro-tastic Ducky Fuzz is out now on Android & iOS
Ducky Fuzz is the next game from Smiling Bag, otherwise known as solo coder Stew Hogarth. It’s a retro-themed arcade title on iOS and Android that sees you manipulating pixelated waves to steer a gang of rubber ducks past water mines and storms while trying to collect coins. If you’re not careful the cute little buggers will get maimed, which is just really sad to see. You can watch the Ducky Fuzz trailer here.

Panel Session: Where’s the best place to sell games?

This month I’m joined by Stewart Gilray, CEO of Oddworld developer Just Add Water, David Thomson, director of studio Ludometrics, and Yann Seznec, director of Gentlemen! and Bad Hotel developer Lucky Frame. During our chat we discuss the pros and cons of various markets including PSN, Xbox Live Arcade, the App Store, Google Play and Steam. We also talk about how easy it is to get on these stores and how likely it is for a project to remain visible once there.

If you’re a developer who has experience of these marketplaces, we’d love to hear your own personal stories below

The topic of next month’s VG247 Scotland panel session is ‘Educating Scotland,’ and will look at the range of educational courses offered to aspiring game makers, musicians, artists and more across the country. We’ll also touch on the state of Scottish game education as a whole, the potential for finding work after graduation, the viability of setting up as a new indie team or solo creator, and much, much more. Expect it in Issue #2, sometime in February.

Developer Interview: Pete Shea

(Note: since this interview was conducted, Pete has left Firebrand Games. Sometimes these things happen, but it’s still a cracking interview with many valid points about the global industry and Scotland at large. As such, I’ve left it in.)

Last, but my no means least, we have an interview with Pete Shea, former creative director at Glasgow-based studio Firebrand Games. They’re the team behind artful and incredibly addictive space puzzler Solar Flux. The game tasks players with re-igniting dead stars using solar energy, while conserving fuel by sling-shotting between the gravity wells of planets. It’s both charming and aesthetically pleasing, with a calming tone and wonderful art style.

You can download Solar Flux on Steam, iOS and Android through the relevant links. It’s been getting great reviews since it launched, so it’s certainly worth a look.

”Outside of Rockstar there are very few, if any, companies with more than 30 staff. Instead there are close to 100 micro developers that have sprung up around the country; all making indie games or creating unique games businesses in different areas.”

I recently spoke with former Firebrand Games creative director Pete Shea to get a handle on the team’s foundation and projects, as well as some feedback on the Scottish industry at large. The studio was formed following the collapse of Dundee’s DC Studios in 2006, which is not to be confused with the Batman lot. CEO Mark Greenshields and seven of his colleagues decided to take the plunge and set up a new company. Years later, the developer is still going strong, with its own proprietary ‘Octane Engine’ tech, several multi-platform releases under its belt and a second site in Florida.

Over time the team found its focus with racing games, and has worked alongside Codemasters to create Nintendo DS ports of TOCA and Colin McRae DiRT, as well as TrackMania and three Need for Speed titles. Firebrand is now working on its own IP, starting with Solar Flux. Shea told me that focusing on one genre had helped the studio make a name for itself and gave it scope to branch out into its own projects.

“We’re definitely taking a wider approach to development than we have in the past,” he explained. “A few years ago specialising in one genre was a real strength for a small developer- in our case handheld racing games- but now changes in the market have meant this is no longer desirable. There are far fewer racing games being made than there were seven years ago, and really only the huge franchises survive on the most powerful hardware.

“It’s very difficult for a small company like Firebrand to compete with the likes of Turn 10 or Polyphony Digital on next generation hardware so it seems inevitable we will probably make less racing games and turn our attention to other things. Fortunately, we have people in the studio with a broad range of game development experience – adventure games, character based games and puzzle games, and also a real love and passion for all types of gaming- from hardcore RPGs to obscure Indies to casual mobile puzzle games.

“While we are still always on the lookout for work for hire opportunities, in part our destiny is much more in our own hands now so we are looking for game ideas that can either offer something new and interesting or something with a big chance of commercial success. Or ideally both.”

It’s a big world out there, as we found in our panel session above. There are now so many options available to developers, regardless of team size, location or focus. It’s clear that many teams out there want to be the next Angry Birds, but many of them still try to emulate Rovio’s format and success, rather than attempting a new, refreshing concept. This is partly why mobile stores are awash with clones and over-familiar prospects. Firebrand was keen to avoid that pitfall when conceptualising it’s first new IP, Solar Flux.

Shea told me that the idea came two years ago, and was born during an internal incubation process designed to encourage new ideas. “We’d always wanted to develop our own games – our own IP,” he recalled, “but had been too busy up until this point to really focus on this. Three new ideas were developed to a proof of concept stage and of these, far and away the best idea was a game called Solar Flux. This combined classic 8 bit thrust game mechanics with cool puzzles and a unique ambient aesthetic.

“Over the following 18 months we continued to work on Solar Flux occasionally while working on larger paid projects and then finally released the game on iPad in August 2013. The older veterans in the studio fondly remembered classic titles like Lunar Lander, Asteroids, Zarch and Oids, while others loved more recent thrust games like Osmos. The appeal of making a science fiction game that wasn’t about blasting or trading or space opera appealed to everyone.”

”Unless you are brave enough to start up on your own, there just aren’t the opportunities for graduate developers in Scotland due to the small nature of the majority of companies. Apart from Rockstar, Scotland has none of the vast AAA studios found in Montreal, mainland Europe or the Far East.”

I first played Solar Flux last year, and found it to be a calming experience. It’s both slow and methodical, but also demands precise timing and close attention to resources. It’s one of those games that really gets the concept of one-touch control, as you boost your probe through the colourful tranquillity of space using just one finger. It certainly offers something that looks, sounds and feels different to the glut of match-three and familiar endless runner titles out there today.

The game went up against Forza Horizon at the 2013 TIGA awards, but ultimately lost out to the racer. Regardless, that’s still a grand feat for what some would readily dub a ‘small’ Scottish studio. Firebrand isn’t small by any means, but this is a negative attitude we spoke about at length in the first issue of this column. The problem is that Scotland is often dubbed a one-game nation thanks to the dominance of Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto franchise. Studios like Firebrand and the many talented and prosperous companies we’ll introduce you to throughout this series prove that theory wrong, no questions asked.

“Compared to how Scotland was ten years ago things are very different,” Shea said of the nation’s industry,”on the surface much weaker, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We still have the mighty Rockstar North in Edinburgh, of course, but there used to be a number of other big Scottish companies competing in the global AAA games field; the likes of Realtime Worlds, VIS entertainment, Visual Science, Red Lemon and DMA Design.

“Now outside of Rockstar there are very few, if any, companies with more than 30 staff. Instead there are close to 100 micro developers that have sprung up around the country; all making indie games or creating unique games businesses in different areas. Some of these like Firebrand, Tag Games and 4J Studios have made successful sustainable businesses that have survived for many years by staying small, finding business opportunities and managing risks, but the exact profitability of many of the others is unclear.

“Some of the Indies may be struggling to feed themselves, I honestly don’t know, and others who appear successful on the face of things may be heavily backed by external investment, which can be a risk. One of the difficulties I think is the lack of transparency in indie development. People look at the incredible success of games like Minecraft or Clash of Clans and believe they too can achieve that. But these are extreme outliers that hide just how difficult being an indie developer is in the modern market.”

This brings us neatly back to the topic of this month’s column. Shea cautioned that markets like the App Store may seem like easy money-makers, but the reality is less cheerful. Placing high in the iOS paid apps may sound like a dream come true, but how much money will you make at £0.69 per download, and what happens if you disappear off that chart as fast as you came? As I’ve said often on this site; after looking at the sales metrics of several mobile games, it’s often a case of modest launches followed by rapidly diminishing returns.

Shea remains optimistic however, and championed the Scottish games industry’s sense of community. “There’s a real sense now of companies helping each other out, collaborating, or just offering advice where they can,” he added. “The games industry is arguably a tougher business than it ever has been, so this type of help and support can be invaluable to smaller companies.” He also explained that while the solidarity among Scotland’s game professionals is at its strongest, we’re still losing graduates from our various educational establishments to overseas markets.

Shea continued, “Unless you are brave enough to start up on your own, there just aren’t the opportunities for graduate developers in Scotland due to the small nature of the majority of companies. Apart from Rockstar, Scotland has none of the vast AAA studios found in Montreal, mainland Europe or the Far East. If you want to learn your trade working in a big team in AAA development your opportunities in the UK, never mind Scotland, are pretty limited.

”Look at our heritage, look at DMA Design, not just Lemmings, but a company chosen to be in Nintendo’s Dream Team for the launch of N64. Then look at all the companies spawned from DMA and the range of games they produced.”

“Fixing this is far from easy, however, as companies will go where the cheapest, largest pool of skilled developers can be found and places like Montreal have become so established now as development mega-cities it’s hard to see a way back.”

This migration of home-grown talent is also something I’ll touch on in a future VG247 Scotland column, but despite all of the valid and pressing problems Shea has touched upon, he was keen to highlight the nation’s high academic standards, and the sheer range of smaller studios that are working hard to grow and prosper in what is undeniably a highly-competitive market. Things can only improve from here.

When I asked what he’d say to someone who feels Scotland is nothing more than GTA, Shea replied, “I’d say firstly; look at our heritage, look at DMA Design, not just Lemmings, but a company chosen to be in Nintendo’s Dream Team for the launch of N64. Then look at all the companies spawned from DMA and the range of games they produced; many huge hits like Crackdown. Then look at the hundred companies around today making games for many different platforms and audiences; from educational games to cool indie games to bringing Minecraft to consoles. Then there is the not-so-small matter of the biggest console game in the world being made in Edinburgh: GTA.

“On the Education side, Abertay University led the UK in introducing dedicated game development courses over a decade ago and then gave birth to the fantastic Dare to be Digital competition for student teams which has also created many great games and developers. They have been followed by equally good courses at University West of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University and many smaller colleges.”

I’ve often found it difficult to convince sceptics that Scotland has a valid and growing game industry, but the evidence is there to see if you care to look into the matter. I closed my interview with Shea on education, because this will be the key topic of February’s VG247 Scotland column, entitled ‘Educating Scotland.’ It promises to be an insightful look at the nation’s academic prowess within the field of game development.

For now though, share your feedback on this month’s news, panel and interview with us in the comments, and as always, we’re keen to hear from you on the Scottish industry at large. Thanks for reading.

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4 Comments

  1. absolutezero

    Perhaps the way forward is to just solely concentrate on mobile development and forget that we used to make full scale games. The market is there, the teams however small they might be are making money and the games they produce are of a half decent quality.

    Much like the brilliant interview this time I can’t see a way back from where we are. Scotland will never become akin to a Montreal at this stage despite its wealth of talent and history.

    Sucks.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Kemper Boyd

    Are the mobile games making any money though? Is anyone outside the Top 10 Apps really making any money on the App Store, or is the gold rush well and truly over?

    Given the install base of experienced devs in Scotland and the great courses churning out graduates there could be scope for a big player to set up a medium/large studio here but without tax breaks, or maybe independence (not that I want to start that debate here again…) I can’t see it happening.

    The failure of Realtime Worlds really damaged the Scottish games industry and we’re still feeling the effects now. Mind you the rest of the UK is not doing a whole lot better either…

    Yeah, sucks.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. flackboy

    The entire discussion on the Hang Outs in this edition was about the potential and opportunities in the mobile markets, what the new consoles bring to the table and where developers can go.

    The reality is that the industry is changing. There are fewer and fewer larger studios out there working specifically on console. Over 78% of UK developers are now ‘digital only’ i.e. mobile/indie/PC. That’s closer to 95% here in Scotland.

    But they are ALL still game developers. They’re all making games. The idea that some platforms support ‘real’ games and some don’t is just wrong. For most developers, the micro studios we have now, the barriers to entry on console are quite high in terms of costs and resources needed to make a full 3D game.

    So for most new start-ups, or people leaving larger studios, mobile is the simplest, cheapest way to bring their vision to gamers.

    There are major issues with mobile. As Kemper asked – who’s making money? It’s a tough market. There are over 1M apps out there and most developers are not giving their games the sort of support and marketing they need to get the discovered.

    The collapse of Realtime was damaging, but around EIGHT companies appeared out of the ashes. Scotland’s development sector is more diverse and productive than ever. We released well over 100 games in 2013, more than we did across most of the 1990s.(http://scottishgames.net/2013/12/23/2013-a-year-in-releases/)

    We need more innovation. We need more people taking risks. We need more commercial ‘hits’. But writing off the industry because it can’t become Montreal is wrong. We don’t want to be Montreal. We want to be something different, something pioneering and somewhere that innovation and experimentation creates new types of gaming each and every single year…

    #3 1 year ago
  4. WeeGoblin

    From my experience it’s not just the games industry that is facing this endemic opinion that we (Scotland) can’t do big companies. All creative industries seem to be suffering from either ‘brain drain’ or where we do retain the talent we’re seen as parochial and/or the cheaper option. By become a small company (or sole trader) is the only way to keep down the overheads, but I feel this is becoming self defeating. Big budget projects don’t often fall into the laps of sole traders as those who hold the purse strings are nervous of putting all their eggs in one basket.

    I apologise for the use of and mixing of metaphors at all times.

    #4 1 year ago

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    According to Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata, the main cast of the game is all-male because it makes the game “more approachable.” Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata spoke to Gamespot about the reason for his choice of making the core cast an all-male affair. “Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable […]

  • Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain is coming April 2

    Blizzard has given Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain a solid release date. Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure pack will be released April 2 in the Americas region, and April 3 in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Blackrock Depths is the first wing to be released, others will follow one week apart. Other than the 31 new cards, […]

  • Bloodborne: if you can’t load your save after installing firmware 2.50, this will help

    If you’re having issues loading your Bloodborne save after applying firmware update 2.50 to your PS4, this should help you out. Reddit user KBALLZZ encountered an issue after installing update 2.50 on his PlayStation 4. Bloodborne started reinstalling the day one patch again and when it was done he couldn’t continue his game or load […]

  • Use this code to get 10% off on PSN purchases

    Sony is offering a 10% discount coupon to anyone looking to buy games on PlayStation Store this weekend. Sony’s latest discount coupon code is here. You’ll receive 10% off your cart total when buying from the PSN Store. The offer is not valid on purchases made on PS Vita, PlayStation TV, PSP, or in-game stores. […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin upgrade path announced, system specs revealed

    Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin will offer returning customers a chance to upgrade at a discounted price. Those who already own Dark Souls 2 on Steam and are interested in picking up the Scholar of the First Sin edition will be happy to know that publisher Bandai Namco is offering them an […]

  • Bloodborne: this is what happens when you have 40 Insight

    Insight is one of the currencies in Bloodborne, but it’s also a mechanic that affects the gameplay. There are MASSIVE SPOILERS below, so turn back now or one of Bloodborne’s gameplay mechanics will be SPOILED for you. Just like Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, Insight is used to purchase certain items from vendors in the game. […]

  • Phase two of Xbox One April update brings voice messages, dedicated servers for party chat, more

    The second phase of the April update for Xbox One is now open to members of the Preview programme and and it looks like there are even more features in store. Phase one of Xbox One’s April firmware update started a few days ago with improvements to party chat and achievements notifications. Today, phase two […]

  • GTA 5′s graphical “downgrade” is a bug, will be fixed in upcoming patch

    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises can now be yours in Cities: Skylines. Die Hard fans will be familiar with Nakatomi Plaza. Those who have never watched the first film and live in Los Angeles know it by its real-life name, FOX Plaza. It was created by Enos Shenk and is available through Steamworks. Those who […]

  • Call of Duty franchise has sold 175M copies, players have thrown 300B grenades

    With the Call of Duty Championship kicking off tomorrow, Activision has sent over a series infographic full of interesting figures such as the number of copies sold over 10 years and how many grenades players have tossed. According to the stats below, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 175 million copies across all platforms […]

  • Save up to 75% on select SEGA games on Steam this weekend

    SEGA has put many of its games on sale through Steam this weekend and the firm has also announced Eastside Hockey Manager is now available through Early Access. The sale runs through March 30. The entire Total War, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War back catalogs are discounted 75% and all associated DLC is […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC confirmed as digital download-only in UK

    Batman: Arkham Knight will indeed be a download-only title on PC in the UK, Warner Bros. has confirmed to VG247. Batman: Arkham Knight will be available as both a physical and digital release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in North America and Europe. Again, in the UK, the PC version will be “available as […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege release date set for October per GameStop Italy – report

    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 […]