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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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  • Bungie weekly update: Commendations begone

    Destiny’s weekly update is here to determine the fate of all those Commendations you’ve been earning in the past few months. Bungie started off this week’s update with a recap of the details revealed during the recent livestream. There wasn’t really anything on this front that they haven’t talked about already. With the exception of […]

  • This GTA 5 trainer lets you play as almost anything and it’s the best thing ever

    Want to play GTA 5 as a monkey, a cat, a fish, a deer or some other non-human thing that we eat or keep as a pet? ScriptHook has you covered. Not only can you play as critters, it change other game values, according to an explanation from PC Gamer. These values include making changes […]

  • EA Sports moves Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR release date to July

    EA Sports has announced Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR will be released in July. Originally announced for June, the golf game will now release the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews, on July 14. EA also provided some more color on gameplay features such as the ability to customize the game by borrowing […]

  • Jason Voorhees joins Mortal Kombat X in May, Kombat Pack owners get first dibs

    Jason Voorhees will arrive for Mortal Kombat X players in May, NetherRealm Studios announced today during the latest Kombat Kast. Jason will be shown for the first time on Monday, May 4 during a special Kombat Kast. According to EventHub which watched the livestream, the developer will also show off the character’s move and Variations. […]

  • The Witcher 3: Nvidia heads to Poland for a behind-the-scenes look – video

    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]