Train2Game News Hearthstone available on iOS and Android

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Calling all mobile duelists, it’s time to take your decks on the go—Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now playable on iOS and Android mobile phones.

This version features an all-new interface specially crafted for smaller screens, making it easier than ever to keep the fun of Hearthstone at your fingertips.

“We’re excited to welcome mobile gamers to the Hearthstone community,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Hearthstone’ s quick, super-accessible gameplay is perfect for gaming on the go , and with the mobile versions it’s incredibly easy to jump into a match and have some fun.”

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn digital card game for players of every skill level. Hearthstone offers a wide variety of ways to play, whether you want to prove your prowess in ranked matches, test your chops as a deck-builder in the Arena, battle crafty A.I. opponents to win new cards in the Solo Adventures, or challenge your friends to a duel.

The mobile version of Hearthstone brings all of the exciting features and content available in the Windows, Mac, and tablet versions of the game, including Goblins vs Gnomes, Curse of Naxxramas, and the newly released Blackrock Mountain. As with the other versions of the game, players will have full access to their existing card collection when they log in to the game on their mobile phones.

In celebration of Hearthstone now being more portable than ever, anyone who completes one game in any mode on their mobile phone will receive one free Classic card pack from the original Hearthstone set. (Players who download Hearthstone on their iPad or Android tablet and finish a game for the first time also receive a free Classic card pack.) Win or lose, that free card pack is yours just by playing a game in Play, Arena, or Practice mode.

Visit playhearthstone.com to learn more about Hearthstone, then head to the Google Play store or Amazon Appstore for Android, or Apple App Store for iOS, to download the game for free and start dueling!

Train2Game News Guitar Hero Live

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Guitar Hero, the pop culture phenomenon that exploded onto the scene and brought a new way to interact with music, is back, with true, breakthrough innovation that will re-ignite your dreams of becoming a rock star.

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. announced Guitar Hero Live, introducing a brand new generation to Guitar Hero, which upon its release became the quickest console franchise in video game history to reach one billion dollars in sales in North America and Europe, and was played by over 40 million players. Developed by FreeStyleGames, the studio behind the critically-acclaimed DJ Hero and DJ Hero 2, Guitar Hero Live introduces two powerful ways to play, including GH Live, a first-person point of view where you are up on stage as the star of the show. A quantum leap forward in immersion and realism, GH Live is a live-action experience that delivers the full emotional roller coaster of being on stage and performing in a real band, in front of real crowds, who dynamically react in real-time to how well or poorly you play. As the lead guitarist, you play an array of songs that span the changing musical landscape, in a variety of venues, from the smallest club stage in front of a hundred people, to the massive main stage of an outdoor festival in front of a hundred thousand people.

Guitar Hero Live also introduces GHTV, the world’s first playable music video network. GHTV is a 24-hour mode that lets fans play along to a continually-updated collection of official music videos – across a wide variety of genres – from the newest releases to favourite hits. Fans can pick from multiple channels and themed shows, discovering new songs as they play, and can also choose songs to play on-demand. In GHTV, fans can also play with their friends in the same room and against players from around the world to see who has the highest score on a given song, while completing challenges along the way. GHTV is a living, breathing platform that serves as an ever-growing source for new music discovery while further bringing the party atmosphere back to the living room.

The breakthrough innovations in Guitar Hero Live also extend to mobile. Both GH Live and GHTV are fully playable both on consoles as well as tablets and mobile phones. More exciting details will be announced in the near future.

“Guitar Hero is a franchise that so many people love. Figuring out how to bring it back with true breakthrough innovation has been years in the making, and a labour of love,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Guitar Hero Live lets people rock real crowds with real reactions. Our goal was literally to give people stage fright. And with GHTV, we have created the world’s first live, playable music video network. All of it is playable on consoles, or mobile devices. Guitar Hero is back and better than ever.”

Guitar Hero Live enhances the gameplay experience by introducing a modern, redesigned guitar controller, featuring two rows of three buttons that better reflects the way people naturally play. The new format ensures fun for players of all abilities. For beginners, you can feel like a rock star by mastering play with just the bottom three buttons. Medium-level players don’t have to stretch their fingers down the neck of the guitar controller anymore and can instead skillfully play two-row combinations that mimic real chords. Experienced players have a new challenge in creating complex chord-like shapes and finger combinations that will bring new thrills to veterans. This simple innovation makes it easier for beginners to play and harder for veterans to master.

Music variety is at the heart of the game. Guitar Hero Live takes the approach of the modern music festival, with rock, folk, EDM, hip-hop, country and pop acts sharing the same stage. The game will feature hundreds of playable songs from a diverse array of artists, including The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Gary Clark, Jr., Green Day, Ed Sheeran, The War on Drugs, The Killers, Skrillex, The Rolling Stones, The Lumineers, Carrie Underwood, Pierce the Veil and Blitz Kids, with many more bands to be announced in the coming months.

“We are pleased to support the launch of  Guitar Hero Live, building on one of the most successful music video-game franchises of all time, and providing our artists with a fun and interactive experience for their fans,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President of Universal Music Enterprises.

Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance are joining Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg and Jamie Jackson, Creative Director and Co-Head of FreeStyleGames, on-stage at the Best Buy Theatre on 14th April to showcase their songs featured in Guitar Hero Live and celebrate the reveal of the game.

“There are few gaming franchises that have changed the way gamers play in such a dramatic way as Guitar Hero and we are very excited to see the return in such great style with Guitar Hero Live,” said Martyn Gibbs CEO GAME Digital Plc. “The GAME store teams can’t wait to invite audiences and participants -from first time strummer to rock-God – to try out Guitar Hero Live.”

Guitar Hero Live will be available Autumn 2015 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii U console and select mobile devices to be announced soon.

Starting today, fans can begin pre-ordering their copy of  Guitar Hero Live at select retailers worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.guitarhero.com

Train2Game News Blizzard announces Overwatch

OverwatchIn front of a live crowd of more than 25,000 BlizzCon attendees and an expected online audience numbering in the millions, Blizzard Entertainment announced Overwatch. A pick-up-and-play first-person shooter featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all-new Blizzard game universe.

The action of Overwatch takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

“Overwatch is our take on a vibrant, near-future universe with amped-up characters and action-packed team-based gameplay,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “With every new Blizzard game, we look at our favorite aspects of a genre and put our own spin on things. Our goal with Overwatch is to create an awesome FPS experience that’s more accessible to a much wider audience while delivering the action and depth that shooter fans love.”

The heroes of Overwatch each bring their own distinct weapons and superabilities to bear. Here’s just a glimpse of the numerous heroes that will ultimately fill Overwatch’s rosters:

  • Tracer, a former British test pilot who shrugs at danger, can execute impossible acrobatic assaults thanks to her ability to teleport, drop energy bombs, and even reverse time.
  • Reinhardt, a hulking German soldier in battle armor, can charge great distances and pin his enemies to a wall or slam the ground with his rocket hammer to knock them off their feet.
  • Hanzo, a bow-wielding Japanese mercenary, has the ability to scale walls with his bare hands, fire off a tracking device that illuminates nearby enemies for his team, and unleash a huge spirit dragon that does grievous damage to all enemies in its path.
  • Symmetra, an Indian architech, manipulates light and energy to shield her allies and damage her enemies—and she can turn the tide of any battle by building a device that instantly transports her teammates to the front lines.

While each hero represents a formidable force on their own, players can amplify their potential by assembling into a well-balanced team and creatively combining powers. No matter which hero or playstyle they prefer, players will be able to team up and accomplish the incredible in Overwatch.

At BlizzCon this past weekend, Overwatch was fully playable and running on 600 PCs, and attendees there were the first in the world to play it. Gamers at the show could select from a current roster of 12 playable heroes and go 6v6 against each other, capturing or defending points and attacking or delivering payloads across three wildly different maps. New heroes and maps will continually be added to the game as development progresses, and beta testing will begin in 2015.

Learn more about Overwatch, including all of the heroes and maps revealed at BlizzCon, and sign up to participate in the upcoming beta test at the official website, www.playoverwatch.com. Further details about the game will be announced there in the months ahead.

You can enjoy the entertaining Pixar-esque announcement trailer below

Train2Game News Hearthstone hits huge milestone

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Free-to-play card-combat phenomenon Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been downloaded upwards of 20 million times, Blizzard has announced.

Hearthstone launched on PC and Mac back in March then appeared on iPad in April and Windows 8 Touch devices in August. It’s slated for release later this year on iPhone and Android.

“Thank you all for joining us in Hearthstone! We’re going to need a bigger tavern!” the developer stated on Twitter noting the milestone.

Earlier this month Blizzard released its single-player expansion The Curse of Naxxramas.

Train2Game News Destiny sells huge amounts

DestinyActivision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc announced that the company sold more than $500 million of Destiny into retail stores and first parties worldwide as of day one, making the game the biggest new video game franchise launch in history.

“Based on extraordinary audience demand, retail and first party orders worldwide have exceeded $500 million for Destiny,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “This industry milestone marks another blockbuster success for our company and demonstrates our unique ability to create some of the most successful entertainment franchises in the world. The success of Destiny, along with the recent introduction of Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone, is further validation of our unique capabilities to create great entertainment franchises from the ground up.”

Destiny launched at over 11,000 midnight openings around the world, as fans in over 178 countries (Source: Radian6) shared their fervour on YouTube and in social media.

“Since the beginning, we’ve been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we’d be able to say it did so on day one,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Destiny is officially the biggest new franchise launch in our industry’s history. It’s also the highest-selling day one digital console release in history. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation and Activision’s next billion dollar brand. Most importantly, it’s just a great game which we can’t stop playing. A big thanks to our incredibly talented team and partners who helped make this happen; most importantly, our partners at Bungie.”

Train2Game News BlizzCon from home

BlizzconGrab your most comfortable chair and invite a few friends over to join Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo community celebration, taking place November 7 and 8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Available for £ 24.99, the Virtual Ticket grants access to two exclusive channels of BlizzCon content on both days of the show, making it the next best thing to being there live. The BlizzCon 2014 Virtual Ticket includes:

Developer Panels & Exclusive Interviews Get the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm news straight from the developers, and witness all of the epic moments as they happen live from the Main and Panel stages. In between, dig deeper into your favorite games in exclusive one-on-one interviews with Blizzard Entertainment designers, artists, and producers.

Community Contests—Hosted by Chris Hardwick Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and Talent Contest on Friday night. This year’s festivities will be emceed by stand-up comedian and podcaster Chris Hardwick, host of Comedy Central’s late night Internet-spelunking game show @midnight and creative head of geek-minded media network Nerdist Industries.

Closing Ceremony—Behold the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action—more details to be announced later.

On-Demand Replays—Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Epic Bonus Loot Unlock this year’s commemorative BlizzCon in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants early access to this year’s online BlizzCon merchandise sale, which will run from October 17 through November 11 and feature a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.

Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the opening ceremony and this year’s eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, World of Warcraft Arena World Championship, Hearthstone World Championship, and Heroes of the Storm exhibition matches—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com.

More information on BlizzCon 2014 and the Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com.

Train2Game News UKIE outlines new manifesto for games industry

UKIE LogoOn Tuesday, Ukie, in partnership with Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft, hosted its largest ever Westminster Political Reception to announce a range of policy recommendations and to celebrate the cultural and economic importance of the UK games sector.

The event, held at Millbank Tower, was attended by more than 200 members, MPs, Peers, policy makers and industry figures from a range of creative industry sectors.

The event saw the launch of the new Ukie Policy Manifesto for the next Parliament that outlines initial plans for how to further grow the UK games sector following the introduction of tax breaks earlier this year, and the introduction of the new Computing curriculum earlier this week.

Created with input from Ukie’s members, the Policy Manifesto calls for action on three headline areas of policy support:

· Support to help UK games companies grow across the UK – including regulatory stability, better infrastructure and a long term roadmap where games businesses can access public funding and support proportionate to the other screen industries

· Promotion of the UK games industry abroad – demonstrating that the UK is one of the leading videogame industries in the world, including a focus on funding, fully supporting and working with industry on trade and investment activity such as trade missions and helping UK businesses to reach overseas marketplaces

· Building a strong and diverse talent pipeline – including supporting the new Computing Curriculum, investing in careers guidance and extending and making permanent the Skills Investment Fund

The reception heard from Justin Tomlinson MP, PPS to Ed Vaizey, on the work that the coalition government has done to support the UK games sector.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: ““The UK games industry is going from strength to strength, recovering some of the ground lost to other countries over the last few years. This growth has been helped very much by the hard work put in by Ukie and the major policy initiatives introduced by this government, such as a new computing curriculum and the recent introduction of production tax relief. However, more can of course be done and in my new role working closely with Ed Vaizey I very much welcome Ukie’s new Policy Manifesto and look forward to discussing its recommendations with Jo and her team in more detail over the coming months.”

The guests also heard from Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, and Roy Stackhouse, General Manager for Activision Blizzard UK and Ireland, discussing Ukie’s manifesto proposals and the strength of the UK as a place to make games.

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said: “We were delighted by the introduction of games industry tax relief earlier this year but quickly realised that it is essential that we maximise the opportunities that the new scheme presents. We have therefore spent the last six months speaking to our members from across the breadth of our sector about the measures that they would like to see the UK government introduce to truly put the UK’s games industry on the global map. Our Policy Manifesto outlines our members priority asks and we will be following this up with more detailed papers and briefings to MPs to continue our push to make this the best country in the world to make and sell games.”

UK MD of Ubisoft, Rob Cooper commented on the importance of the Westminster Reception in maintaining a positive view of the UK games sector: “Events like these are vital in showing the significance of the UK games industry, both culturally and economically, to a high profile audience of policy makers and other VIPs. We are delighted to support this year’s event and Ukie’s work generally in giving a voice to UK games businesses of all sizes from multinationals like Ubisoft, to smaller developers, making and selling some of the most vibrantly creative interactive entertainment in the world.”

Guests at the reception had a chance to play some of Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard’s latest titles including Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Just Dance 2014, Diablo III and Skylanders: Trap Team. Charity Special Effect were also there demonstrating their latest innovations to help young people with different abilities enjoy games.

You can find Ukie’s Policy Manifesto for the New Parliament here: http://ukie.org.uk/news/2014/09/ukie-westminster-reception

Train2Game News 1000+ devs sign anti abuse letter

Peace GamingSeveral developers have signed a letter in an attempt to put an end to anti social behaviour on social media in gaming communities.

EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Guerrilla, Epic, Crystal Dynamics, Deep Silver, Double Fine, Lionhead, Bohemia, Blizzard, Infinity Ward, TellTale, Disney, PopCap, Harmonix, Traveller’s Tales, Sony, 2K, DICE, Google, Riot and Apple – as well as dozens of independent developers – are already signed up in an attempt to make the internet a place where your views can be heard without your personal character being attacked.

“We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish,” the letter reads.

“If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or Reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites. If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.”

You can read the full letter and all who have signed it here.

Train2Game News Blizzard hire Hearthstone player

HearthstoneA professional gamer has been hired by Blizzard to work on updates for the massively popular Hearthstone.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the card game based on the MMO World of Warcraft. Announced at the Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013, the game entered open beta in January 2014, and was released in March 2014. Hearthstone is available on the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems and on iPad and Windows 8 Touch devices. iPhone and Android tablet platform releases are planned for the second half of 2014. As of March 2014, Hearthstone has more than 10 million player accounts registered worldwide.

One of those players, Ryan Materson, has now been employed by Blizzard as an associate designer and is expected to help with balancing the game for the new updates.

Materson, who is known as Realz, was the team leader of professional Hearthstone team, Mana Grind, before they disbanded. He is one of the most respected and talented professional players and this is what caught the eye of Blizzard.

On Reddit Materson said “This is a truly exciting opportunity for me, and (to rephrase from the words of someone I have long admired, who once entered a similar position) I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors and players at large that ‘one of us’ is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of the play. I really can’t wait to get started”.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 01.09.14

Metro ReduxThis weeks charts sees a new number one. Metro Redux knocks Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil down to number two. There seems to be a trend of remastered collected editions of games rejoining the charts at the moment. Lower down the chart Madden NFL 15 enters the chart at number six with the new season starting in just under a weeks time.

All formats

Week ending 30 August 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 METRO REDUX DEEP SILVER
2 DIABLO III REAPER OF SOULS ULTIMATE EVIL BLIZZARD 1
3 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED SONY COMPUTER ENT. 2
4 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 3
5 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 5
6 MADDEN NFL 15 EA SPORTS
7 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 9
8 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 4
9 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 6
10 TITANFALL EA GAMES 11
11 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION 3 EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
12 THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 8
13 FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 MICROSOFT 17
14 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 15
15 SNIPER ELITE 3 505 GAMES 14
16 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 19
17 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 13
18 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 12
19 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 18
20 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 16
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.