Convention season is coming to a close, this last week we had PAX Prime in Seattle and Tokyo Game Show in… well... Tokyo. This means in a few weeks as the mad race dies down we’ll be able to breath for four or five days until the mad race of titles start hitting the streets. Here’s the last week of news in review.
DIAMOND PONIES FOR EVERYONE: In Borderlands news we already know that the Pre-Sequel will feature you working for Handsome Jack but it also appears you will be able to play the wise cracking bad guy in upcoming DLC, speaking of which 2K Australia and Gearbox also announced they will have the now standard season pass option that will come with four DLC packs. (Source Polygon, Business Wire)
This stinks about as much as cat litter: Super Meatboy developer Team Meat announced they will be stepping away from the highly anticipated Cat Lady/Eugenics simulator Mew-Genics first announced in 2012. Early development featured almost weekly if not daily updates from the team touting new features, videos and an immense amount of information. These features began to grow and mutate (much like their kitties in the game). The developer now admits they should have maybe held off on announcing details because as they worked on it the ideas just grew bolder and bolder and the scope far outstripped what they were originally hoping to do.
The thing is this isn’t the first time this happened; they’ve already held a similar announcement back in 2013 regarding further Super Meatboy development. They have since switched priorities putting Mew-Genics on the back burner and focusing on the newly announced Super Meat Boy Forever tablet title with a self-imposed publishing deadline for the end of 2015. Here’s hoping they have a smooth development cycle and can get cracking on Mew-Genics soon, I was looking forward to breeding a race of fire breathing super cats to take over the world. (Source Joystiq)
Rolling to save: Do you like Castle Defence games? Do you like Dungeons & Dragons? Backflip Studios is joining with WotC to build a new mobile title. There sounds like a LOT of promise in this title fingers crossed it’ll be a blast letting players play as DM or a player character in the mobile space. (Source Polygon)
And this is why hardware fracturing is bad: Apparently the new Xenoblade designed to work on the new 3ds will not be backwards compatible with older 3ds handheld consoles. Basically to take advantage of this new hardware developers have to cut out players. Nintendo have a history of creating numerous versions of their handheld devices but seldom do new versions not work with old especially when the new versions are coming out only a couple of years after the last version. Nintendo have an undeniable hold on the mobile space but with the growing mobile market at the phone and tablet level this kind of move may not be in their best interest. (Source Polygon)
Apparently you will be able to play your own Ellen Page simulator on Next Gen too: Psychic Psycho drama Beyond Two Souls appears to be coming to the PS4, you too will get to be a psychic FBI agent as played by Ellen Page with a creepy father figure as played by Willem Dafoe. At least we wont have to hear JAAAAAAAASSSSSAAWN for like 15 minutes with this one. (Source Joystiq)
In Sony Destiny news Bungie have announced Vita control customization so you can play from your bed or living room with your Vita if your partner needs the TV.
Microsoft hasn’t been silent with their own “exclusives” tied to the launch of Destiny. Anyone who pre-ordered a digital copy will get ten dollars gift certificate towards a purchase in the Xbox marketplace. Further they have announced the Destiny fragrance… sort of… not really, it would appear in Europe Sony have regional exclusivity for advertising Destiny. In an attempt to deal with that Microsoft made ads for a new Destiny Fragrance that if you follow through present you with the message: Destiny is actually an epic new first-person shooter, available on Xbox. Thing is, we didn't have permission to run adverts for the game. So we didn't. Thanks for smelling that something was up. Now get the game and become a legend.
Well played Microsoft, well played. In closing I leave you with this delicious piece of marketing, like a high octane version of the Halo live action ads.
Trackers and hunters sworn to Deepwood with clan names such as Forrester and woods, Branch and Bole: Taking a lesson from their Walking Dead games it would appear that Telltale will be featuring characters outside the main content of the program in this case the House Glover of Deepwood Motte. Now the question is, will anyone survive past the first episode? (Source Polygon)
You know, people wonder why people think gamers are creepy: Really Tokyo Gameshow… REALLY?! Seriously, Sony, your major partner developer presents you a game even a tech demo for Morpheus your new 3D rig where you play as a guy who’s a “tutor” for a Japanese School Girl where you come and hang out in her bedroom and it includes a “creeped out” mechanic for if you get to leery at her bits and lean in too much… I mean really, we’re trying to show that we’re not all sleaze bags. Sony, you are doing us NO favours here and Bandai Namco, seriously, have not forgiven you guys for the beach volleyball sex romp adaptation of your female fighting game characters. Having you guys around makes us non-sleazy gamers want to throw up our hands and weep. (Source Joystiq)
Xbox One keeps on rolling: Microsoft and Xbox One are spreading their legs this month with rolling releases in China, Russia, Japan, Chile, Columbia, and Argentina all getting releases. 28 countries in total will gain access to the platform with China being the biggest potential money winner, despite stated low interest on the part of Chinese consumers Microsoft has partnered with the national telecom provider to distribute the platform potentially creating a huge dedicated market for the console. (Source Joystiq)
Ouya, that didn’t work out so good: Remember Ouya the inexpensive next gen Android console? Despite a strong Kickstarter campaign, extensive media coverage and a fairly decent adoption rate by Android developers the console floundered in no small part due to issues with developers and controversies tied to projects designed to enhance the desirability of the platform the console is up for sale with a variety of suitors including Chinese internet providers, Google and Tencent. (Source re/code, Joystiq)
Get them when they’re young: In a brilliant marketing move masked as altruism the Unreal engine is being given to educational institutions for free. Already a very cheap subscription this is a smart move on Epic’s part to get people used to their Unreal Engine 4 tool set and ingrain themselves at top of mind for the next generation of developers. (Source Polygon)
Free games for everyone: If you live in the US and are picking up a Xbox One to play Destiny on you may want to wait until next week, starting next week any newly purchased Xbox One will come with a free game of your choice from the Microsoft Marketplace. This comes after the 75 dollar gift certificate given to upgrading Xbox owners recently ended in July. They may have fudged the launch, but Microsoft are desperately trying to put on a good song and dance to get you to come in and check out their product after the fact. (Source Microsoft)
Oh Pirates, you’re so silly: A trend that’s developed over the last few years in the game development community is to hide copy protection as bugs in games. Some of these have been quite fun like the Game Dev Tycoon sales report telling you how your company failed due to bankruptcy and Remedy’s Pirate Eyepatch and reminder in Alan Wake. EA Maxis has joined in the fun dousing the entirety of The Sims 4 game in a coat of pixels making it look like scrambled dirty movies from the days before the internet… or a retro indie title (or for us really old timers a game from when we were a kid). It’s kind of cute and funny and is always amusing when the pirates come to the forums to ask about this “bug” they are experiencing (Source Joystiq)
And let the finger pointing begin: Sega says Gearbox is to blame for the marketing mishaps tied to Aliens Colonial Marines and the associated law suit indicating Gearbox said things they were told not to (after instructing Gearbox to not say anything in the case and let Sega handle it), Gearbox say Sega handled marketing entirely and were doing as they were told. Honestly guys, you both look silly. Gearbox, you released a dog’s breakfast of a game, Sega, as a distinguished publisher with some miles under your belt you should have maintained better control of marketing and never let it to market in the state it was in. This is both of your faults. (Source Joystiq)
I’d buy that for a dollar: We finally start to get some pricing information on the Oculus Rift consumer model, still no solid numbers since hardware is still in flux Nate Mitchel cofounder of Oculus has indicated the window they would like to shoot for is between 200 to 400 dollars but there’s still an open window on WHEN this would be shipping not even being willing to commit to 2015. Better to not commit than to commit to something and then have it slide but that window appears reasonable for the class of hardware they are selling and given the frequency and quality of the dev kits being sent out they appear to be on a reasonable pace. I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out. (Source The Verge)
If you have the skills, it can pay the bills: Ryan Masterson a top rated Hearthstone and Magic The Gathering player was hired by Blizzard to work in the development team for Hearthstone. It just shows that when your parents busted your chops about wasting your time playing video games sometimes it DOES pay off! (Source Polygon)
Do not fail your Brothers. Though their bodies die, their spirit must return to the Chapter: Warhammer 40k: The Eternal Crusade continues to develop despite the demise of THQ, developers bE HAVIOUR and Turbulent had hands on gameplay for journalists at PAX Prime and discussed how they were looking to avoid the mass chaos of Planetside 2 and teach players to use skill, tactics and communication to work like a team. The Emperor would be displeased if we charged willy nilly in to a horde of Xenos! (Source Massively)
Seriously, this is getting out of hand: I helped Kickstart the Pathfinder tech demo, that led to the the Pathfinder MMO Kickstarter once it provided solid proof that the technology worked. Okay, second kick starter I’m game with. Paying to get in an alpha is not something new, lots of MMOs have done it but now Goblinworks is looking to take it one step further having people pay to be in the honour of being in an alpha INCLUDING backers of the Kickstarter. So despite the fact you may have paid for a Kickstarter campaign and the fact the game is in Alpha they are going are expecting you to pay premium MMO prices is pretty rich and the assertion that “MMO games are never finished and it’s not fair to compare to WoW” by the developer in the comments of the linked article is pretty rich since people obviously aren’t comparing to WoW now but the fact WoW when it launched was at least finished. I think people expect if they Kickstart a project and the project makes target at least vaguely realistic models were tied to the development and the developer to stick with them
Old Heroes never die, the just get retconned: The super hero game City of Heroes was a big hit and very popular for many years, it was closed down after a little over 8 years in 2012 it appears that Missing World Media is in negotiations to resuscitate the beloved property and bringing it back to the state at the time of its closure. (Source Joystiq)
The nature of the business doesn’t make it any more pleasant: Video game development is ever increasingly mirroring the film industry including offshoring components to foreign animators and effects teams, short term contract employment, and a lack of stability. This week ZeniMax announced layoffs but reiterated their continued dedication to The Elder Scrolls Online. The unfortunate reality is game development is a volatile community and working in the AAA space is very much a short term experience and in many ways programmers, developers and testers may want to investigate the same kinds of guilds and unions that have helped film industry professionals making a living wage. (Source Polygon)
I am Groot… and I’m made of money: GotG has recaptured the box office crown and shows no signs of letting up over taking The Lego Movie and Winter Soldier making 262.1 million domestic with signs pointing to clearing 300 and maybe making as much as 320 million before it closes at the box office. For the “risky gamble” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it really seems to be coming up aces for the house that Iron Man built! (Source io9)
Believe it or not, I’m floating on air: Word on the street is the team who brought us 22 Jump Street , The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street and Clone High Phil Lord and Chris Miller, will be bringing us a revitalized Greatest American Hero, for those of a certain age this is all sorts of awesome. For those of another age they’re who? Just a bit of a taste of the awesome that was 1980s TV and yes that’s the dude from House the movie (and those who said he wasn’t on that TV show I hate you all). (Source The Wrap)
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Marvel’s Agents of SQUEEEEEE: The series Marvel's Agents of Shield started slow with a few clunkers and a slow build but by mid-season it really started paying off and by the end of the season it was a study in pot boiler perfection. Take a gander at the first trailer for the new season. (Source ABC)
So long bub: Wolverine is being written out of the Marvel universe, having lost his healing factor he’s living on borrowed time caught between his enemies and his instincts. After 40 years and a successive climb from Hulk d-list opponent to one of the most recognizable faces in the Marvel stable they are looking to use his death as a catalyst to kick the Marvel universe in to its next phase. Given how they’ve used Professor X’s death as a polarizing figure among the Mutant community it may just work. That hasn’t stopped the usual tin foil hat crowd from saying this is Marvel trying to screw Fox but there’s no pleasing those people. (Source The Toronto Star)
A fitting tribute: Wowhead has found more evidence that the Blizzard tribute will be a character in Warlords of Draenor with items tied to Mork and Mindy, dialogue from Aladdin and a new title apparently in reference to the departed Williams. I suspect he would have appreciated this homage to his career. (Source Polygon)
In an attempt to leave on an up note I give you this have a great week: