Train2Game News: UKIE still campaigning for Games Tax Relief

UKIE LogoUkie has again called for the planned games production credits for UK games businesses to be introduced as soon as possible.

The games trade body has cited new UK production statistics released today by the BFI, that show the new High-end Television Tax Relief has delivered over £233 million for the UK economy in its first nine months, as evidence of the benefits that a similar relief system would bring to the UK’s games sector.

Board member of film and TV body, Film London, and Chair of Ukie, Andy Payne said:

“Seeing the hard financial evidence that the production tax credits have worked for high end TV, and in such a short space of time, proves that the digital creative industries can drive exports, deliver growth and high value jobs as well as attract considerable inward investment.

“This will play a significant part in increasing the UK’s productivity which is so badly needed. The games industry looks forward to the games production tax credits coming into force very soon and having a very positive effect for the UK games industry and the creative industries for UKPLC.”

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said: “These figures show the massive benefits that tax credits could bring to the UK games industry, opening the door for big inward investment and helping small businesses to scale up. They would help the creative talent in this country to produce more and compete in a global marketplace with uniquely British or European flavoured games. We know that the UK government continues to be behind the games tax relief and remain positive that they will be introduced. We urge UK government and the European Commission to make sure that the new system is introduced as soon as possible so that UK games business can benefit in the same way that TV sector is.”

View the full BFI figures here http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/bfi-film-production-in-the-uk-full-year-2013-2014-01-30.pdf

Ukie will be focussing on working with the government and other creative industry agencies to ensure the games sector benefits from other inward investment activities, trade support programmes and industry promotion as part of the government’s wider ambition to sell the opportunity that the UK’s creative industries offer.

Train2Game News: Razer developing Xbox One accessories

Razer_green_logoRazer, the world leader in entertainment devices and software, today announced its ongoing partnership with Microsoft will include development of new products for Microsoft´s record setting Xbox One console.

A suite of products for the Xbox One, including a controller, arcade stick and more, will be made by Razer, which also produced a popular line of premium accessories for the Xbox 360.

“Razer is dedicated to improving the overall experience from the games themselves to the player, be it console or PC,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. “By working with a company as prestigious as Microsoft on a system as sought-after as the Xbox One, we’ll be able to accomplish just that. This is an exciting time for the hundreds of millions of gamers all over the world, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

With this announcement and the previous announcement of Project Christine and the Razer Nabu, Razer are definitely on their way up in the development world.

Products, pricing and release dates will be unveiled in the coming weeks. For more information, visit www.razerzone.com.

Train2Game News: Elder Scrolls Online Cinematic Trailer and Collectors Edition

elder-scrolls-online-logoBethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced that it will release The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition – a premium collector’s edition for the highly-anticipated The Elder Scrolls Online. The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition will be made available in digital and limited physical formats. Both standard and collector’s editions are now available for pre-order through participating retailers and pre-purchase from the newly launched online store (www.store.elderscrollsonline.com).

In addition to the highly-anticipated game, The Elder Scrolls Online Physical Imperial Edition includes:

  • Molag Bal Statue. A 30.5 cm statue featuring Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement.
  • The Improved Emperor’s Guide to Tamriel. A 224-page illustrated guide annotated by the Imperial scholar, Flaccus Terentius.
  • Physical Map of Tamriel. A 53.3 cm x 66 cm printed map detailing Alliance-controlled zones and the ultimate conquest: Cyrodiil.
  • Steelbook Packaging. A limited edition steel case decorated in the color of the Imperials.
  • Exclusive Collection of Digital Content.

– Play as an Imperial: Become an Imperial and play in any Alliance. Gain unique bonuses, crafting styles, gear, and more.

-White Imperial Horse: Summon this Imperial mount and journey through Tamriel with speed.

-Mudcrab Vanity Pet: Explore Tamriel with a mudcrab pet scuttling along by your side.

-Rings of Mara: Complete the Ritual of Mara with a friend and receive an experience bonus when you play together.

The Physical Imperial Edition is extremely limited in quantity and available for pre-order through participating retailers for $99.99/€99.99/£89.99/AU$139.95.

The Elder Scrolls Online Digital Imperial Edition includes the base game and all digital content outlined for the Physical Imperial Edition above and retails for $79.99/€79.99/£69.99/AU$119.95.

All those who pre-order or pre-purchase either the Imperial Edition or the Standard Edition in physical or digital formats will also receive The Explorer’s Pack bonus at launch, which includes: Scuttler vanity pet, four bonus treasure maps, and the ability to play as any of the nine races in any Alliance.

Early Access bonuses will also be offered to those pre-ordering or pre-purchasing a PC/Mac version. A five (5) day early access bonus will be offered to those who pre-purchase the Digital Imperial Edition or the Digital Standard Edition through The Elder Scrolls Online Store. Additional early access programs are also available through participating retailers.

Enjoy the new Cinematic trailer below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlFMSyIOk0&feature=youtu.be

The Elder Scrolls Online will be available worldwide on April 4, 2014 for PC and Mac users. Versions for the PlayStation 4 system and the Xbox One will be arriving on retail shelves in June 2014.

Train2Game News: Intel CodeFest

Intel SoftwareOn 6 February 2014, Intel Developer Zone invites developers to come to its Intel CodeFest, taking place in London at Skills Matter.

At the event you’ll get the chance to network with fellow coders as well as hear some great talks from Intel’s engineers and experts on Android development.

The evening will kick off with an Intel dev expert giving you the low down on what Intel is doing in the Android ecosystem, an overview of Intel’s Android devices and an introduction to the range of development options. After that we will dive into the details of Dalvik development, followed by how to get the most out of WiDi and the APIs for a second screen experience.

Up next you’ll find out how to get the best out of Android’s Native Development Kit (NDK) and finally you’ll learn about how to effectively test your applications through both virtual device testing and real device testing – with lots of devices at the event for you to go hands on with.

If that’s not enough, we’ll also have some extra special guests in the form of Intel partner Marmalade, who will be at the CodeFest to reveal all you need to know about getting the best performance out of the Marmalade SDK for games development on Intel-based devices.

All of this and plenty of food and drink – there’ll even be a prize giveaway of a Lenovo K900 as well, so you might come away with more than just Android knowledge!

To guarantee your place, RSVP here!

Train2Game News: BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea Ep 2 teaser clip

bioshock_infinite_episode_two_burial_at_sea-wideIrrational Games have just released a new clip from Episode 2 of the Burial at Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite.

See the world through the eyes of Elizabeth after the dramatic events of Burial at Sea – Episode One as she continues her journey through Rapture in an effort to rescue Sally. Explore new areas of Rapture built almost entirely from scratch in the BioShock Infinite engine.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode Two can be purchased as part of the BioShock Infinite Season Pass, which contains both Burial at Sea episodes, the Clash in the Clouds add-on pack, and other free exclusives at a significant discount.

You can enjoy the new clip from the upcoming DLC below.

RATED 18 AND OVER ONLY

Some spoilers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZzDor89TTc&feature=youtu.be

Train2Game News: Microsoft buy Gears of War

Gears Of WarMicrosoft have announced that they have purchased the Gears of War intellectual property from Epic.

Microsoft purchased the Gears franchise from Epic to allow the unreal engine creators to concentrate on other projects that are already in the pipelines.

Microsoft have also announced that Canadian studio, Black Tusk will be in charge of creating the next game with Gears of War veteran Rod Fergusson in charge of overseeing the project. He was former director of production at Epic Games before leaving to help BioShock Infinite get out of the door. He said his new job “really feels like a homecoming”.

Clifford Bleszinski has confirmed that he will not be working on the next Gears game in any capacity.

“I’m not going to move to Vancouver and work on it,” Bleszinski said on his Clifford Unchained blog. “I’m not going to consult on it. 343 knocked it out of the park with Halo and I think Black Tusk will do a fantastic job with Gears”

Microsoft and Black Tusk will release more news on the next Gears of War game later on in the year.

Train2Game News: Borderlands 2 colour-blind mode

Borderlands 2 colourblind modeBorderlands 2 is set to receive a ‘colorblind mode’ in an upcoming patch, developer Gearbox has announced.

When enabled via the Video Options menu, the mode will display the name of the colour of each item via text on its stats card, programmer Jeffrey Broome said on the developer’s blog.

All items will have this line of text when colorblind mode is enabled, including items dropped in the world, items found in a chest or vending machine, and items in the player inventory.

Players will be able to select from the three types of colour vision deficiency (Deuteranopia, Protanopia, or Tritanopia) or select “Off” to turn colour-blind mode off.

“If you aren’t sure which type of colour vision deficiency you have, you can just try them out one by one until you find the one that works best for you,” wrote Broome.

The programmer noted that Protanopia mode will carry a small bug when the patch is released, which will cause red and green to show up as very similar for protanopes.

“This bug was detected too late to change it in the update so it will have to be fixed in a future update (it can’t be “hot fixed”). For now, people with protanomaly or protanopia should just use the ‘deuteranopia’ colour-blind setting instead.”

Source: CVG

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 27.01.14

FIFA 14FIFA 14 makes it four straight weeks in 2014 at number one and nine in total since launch. In yet another quiet week for new releases the top three are unchanged with a debut at number ten this week for Namco Bandai’s Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z. The title for Xbox 360, PS3 and Vita becomes the best selling week one for any multi format Dragon Ball title as far back as 2009.

All formats
Week ending 18 January 2014

POS.  TITLE 

PUBLISHER

 LAST
WEEK 

1

FIFA 14

EA SPORTS

1

2

CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS

ACTIVISION

2

3

BATTLEFIELD 4

EA GAMES

3

4

LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

5

5

ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG

UBISOFT

4

6

MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION

MICROSOFT

8

7

KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

6

8

GRAND THEFT AUTO V

ROCKSTAR

9

9

NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS

EA GAMES

7

10

DRAGONBALL Z: BATTLE OF Z

NAMCO BANDAI

11

NBA 2K14

2K SPORTS

16

12

FORZA MOTORSPORT 5

MICROSOFT

12

13

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014

SEGA

13

14

ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES

SEGA

10

15

WWE 2K14

2K SPORTS

14

16

JUST DANCE 2014

UBISOFT

11

17

MARIO PARTY: ISLAND TOUR

NINTENDO

18

18

GRAN TURISMO 6

SONY

19

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

20

BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

15

< 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.

Train2Game News: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn PS4 release date

PS2CoverSheet108Square Enix, Inc. have announced that FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn will be released on the Sony PlayStation 4 on April 14, 2014 with official service beginning on the same day.

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn on PlayStation 4 system will be available in either a Standard Edition or Collector’s Edition with pre-orders for both starting January 27. Pre-orders for either edition will include two in-game items (Mog Cap & Cait Sith Doll minion) and the ability to participate in Early Access starting on April 11. The limited Collector’s Edition comes packaged with an art book, music CD, art cards, a themed security token, and several special in-game bonus items.

Existing players who have registered a copy of the FINAL FANTASY XIV Collector’s Edition or FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition, or who utilized the digital Collector’s Edition upgrade service, will automatically receive the two new in-game items (Fat Chocobo Mount & Wind-up Moogle minion) that are making their debut in the new PlayStation 4 system Collector’s Edition for free.

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn PlayStation 4 system Collector’s Edition Includes:

  • Special box featuring artwork by Yoshitaka Amano
  • Art Book – The Art of Eorzea: A Realm Reimagined
  • Special Soundtrack -The Sounds of Eorzea-
  • Seventh Umbral Era Special Movie Content Disc – The Waning of the Sixth Sun
  • Art Card Set
  • Themed Security Token
  • In-Game Items – Coeurl Mount, Behemoth Barding, Baby Behemoth minion, Helm of Light, Fat Chocobo Mount and Wind-up Moogle minion

PlayStation 4 system owners will be able to join the FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Beta Test at no charge starting on February 22. Players who own the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system version of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn will be able to transfer their accounts to the PlayStation 4 system version for free starting April 11. Once transferred, PlayStation 4 system players will no longer be able to access the PlayStation 3 system version. To play both versions, a player must purchase the PlayStation 4 system version separately. Additional account transfer details will be announced at a later date.

FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Standard Edition for the PlayStation 4 system will be available for $39.99. FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition for the PlayStation 4 system will be available exclusively on the Square Enix Online Store for $79.99. A digital version of the FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn Collector’s Edition will be available for $59.99 through the PlayStation Network. PlayStation 3 system and PlayStation 4 system Standard Edition owners can also choose to upgrade to a digital Collector’s Edition to receive the in-game items through the FINAL FANTASY XIV Account Management System, Mog Station. A free 30-day trial is included for new accounts, with monthly subscriptions starting at $12.99.

Train2Game News: Microsoft post good sales results

image

Microsoft, the world’s largest software firm, has posted better-than-expected earnings for the October-to-December quarter.

The firm reported a net income of $6.56bn (£3.94bn) for the quarter, up from $6.38bn a year earlier.

Its earnings were boosted by strong sales of its new Xbox game console and its Surface tablets during the holiday season.

The company also saw strong demand from businesses for its cloud services.

Overall, the firm’s revenue rose 14% during the quarter to $24.5bn. Its shares rose close to 4% on the news in after-hours trading.

Microsoft’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, called it a great quarter and said that investments the firm was making in devices and services was driving the strong results.

The quarterly results showed a 13% increase in consumer sales. This was boosted by 7.4 million unit sales of Xbox consoles, up from 5.9 million a year earlier.

The new Xbox One, which was launched in November, contributed more than half of overall Xbox sales numbers in the quarter.

Sales of the firm’s cloud programs, such as Office 365 and Azure, more than doubled in the December quarter from a year earlier, while sales of its Surface tablets doubled from the previous quarter.