Train2Game News Life is Strange Before the Storm Episode 1


SQUARE ENIX®, publisher of award-winning and best-selling videogame franchises such as FINAL FANTASY® and TOMB RAIDER®, today released an emotive new video that features real people, with real, genuine stories of friendship and love to celebrate the launch of LIFE IS STRANGE™: BEFORE THE STORM, out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.

The three-minute video, entitled “An Open Letter”, was been created to reflect the strong themes of friendship, love and support in the game.

In LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM, Chloe and Rachel develop a special bond over the time they spend together. Almost everyone can name that one person who defined a very special time of their life. In some cases, these relationships can span a few short months and in other cases, decades. To celebrate the release of Episode One, we invited a small group of real people to write an open letter to that special person in their own life…

Square Enix Vice President for Brand Marketing Jon Brooke said: “I wanted to capture the emotion and spirit of Life is Strange in a way that you don’t usually see in video game advertising. As a game, it braves to be different, harnessing emotions rarely seen in video games and I wanted the advertising to match this. I am really pleased with how it turned out. It’s designed to remind us that life is all about our relationships and a strong friendship can change everything. I hope everyone can relate to that.”

Creative Agency, Ralph, spent many weeks reaching out to pairs of best friends, asking for stories and insights into how their friendship had lasted through even the toughest of times.

““We took a risk with this strategy and we wouldn’t have achieved the emotion within the video had we not chosen some extraordinary people willing to open their hearts on camera,” admitted Ralph’s Creative Director Gregor Stevenson. “The raw intensity of their reactions as they read their best friends’ innermost thoughts is what we wanted to capture from the start. And that’s what we got. Our goal was to portray each friendship in an engaging and empathetic way, whilst reflecting the authenticity and uniqueness of the characters in the game.”

LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM is the next game in Square Enix’s award-winning, multi-million copy selling, episodic franchise. Set in Arcadia Bay, three years before the events of the first game in the series. Players will take on the role of a rebellious 16 year-old Chloe Price who forms an unlikely friendship with Rachel Amber; a beautiful and popular girl destined for success. When Rachel’s world is turned upside down by a family secret, it takes this new-found alliance to give each other the strength to overcome their demons.

The new video entitled “An Open Letter” can be found here.

Released last week, the Gamescom Launch Trailer can be found here.

Train2Game News Return of the Secret of Mana

Square Enix Ltd., today announced that the classic action RPG adventure Secret of Mana® will return for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the PlayStation®Vita and STEAM on 15th February 2018.

In Secret of Mana, the memorable and fan-favourite adventure of Randi, Primm and Popoi is reborn with revamped 3D visuals and upgraded gameplay to bring new life to the much-loved volume in the Mana series for both returning and new players alike.

To watch the announcement trailer now, visit: https://youtu.be/kF44EpvFaoA

Originally released in 1993 and widely regarded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Secret of Mana invites players on an action-packed adventure taking on the role Randi, along with his two companions, Primm and Popoi, as they battle a perilous empire to reclaim the magical power of Mana and bring the world back to order.

Whilst faithfully retelling the beloved story of Randi, Primm and Popoi, Secret of Mana will also include a host of new features and exciting updates for players to enjoy, including:

    -Audio Updates – including a newly arranged musical score and voiced characters

    -3D Graphics – revamped visuals for the entire game; a vivid, Mana-filled world rebuilt in 3D for the first time

    -Upgraded Gameplay – the original system has been reworked in an effort to realise a modern action-RPG with improved gameplay

    -Dialog scenes added – several core scenes from the original story now newly visualized in-game

Secret of Mana will be available digitally for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the PlayStation®Vita and STEAM on 15th February 2018. Those who pre-order on the PlayStation® Store will receive special character costumes (Moogle Suit for Randi, Primm and Popoi, Tiger Two-Piece for Primm and Tiger Suit for Randi and Popoi) as well as a selection of character avatars.

Those who pre-purchase the game and purchase the Day 1 Edition, which will be available until 1 week after the launch on STEAM, will receive the three character costumes as well as a custom downloadable wallpaper.

Train2Game News Game moment GIFs on mobile

Megacool, a mobile game technology startup based in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway, has today announced that the company’s API, which allows mobile game developers to add a seamless way to share game moments through GIFs, is now available for iOS, Android and Unity developers. 

Addressing a need in the mobile game market for cost-effective marketing tools, the Megacool API has exited beta with nearly one million GIFs already shared and is now available for all developers at megacool.co.

Megacool’s technology lets players record a short clip of the gameplay, for instance a high scoring round or a winning move, in the form of a GIF without impacting game performance. With only a few quick taps, players can send that GIF as well as a download link for the game directly to a specific friend or contact via SMS text message and other social channels. This helps spread the game organically and virally through digital word-of-mouth between friends, which players trust more than traditional in-game advertising.

Similar to the way that Snapchat lets users capture 10-second clips of what is going on in their lives, Megacool lets users capture one to 10-second clips of what is going on in their mobile gaming life, and share it with friends just as easily. Developers who have participated in the Megacool beta with deep integration in their games have seen a 10% conversion rate of shares to installs, as well as a 10% rate of re-engaging lapsed users.

“Traditional user acquisition for mobile games, consisting of in-game advertisements in the form of disruptive video and static interstitials, is fundamentally broken,” said Nicolaj Broby Petersen, founder and CEO of Megacool. “In a system where the biggest publishers on the market can buy up advertising inventory and drive pricing up, only they can compete. Developers needs new and innovative ways to spread their games in a cost-effective way.”

Megacool’s API has been developed to address the specific needs of mobile game developers and marketers who have been squeezed out of the high-cost mobile game advertising market. Founded in June 2015 by the creators of Dirtybit, a leading Norwegian mobile game studio that launched and grew the Fun Run series of games to more than 100 million downloads, Megacool represents a new and unique option for developers to grow their player base and drive downloads. Megacool has grown directly out of the team’s experience and success in growing the Fun Run series without a single dollar spent on marketing or user acquisition.

“We found early on that the key to the success of Fun Run was how it was being shared virally between users, driving downloads without a single advertisement,” Petersen continued. “Our goal with Megacool is to give developers the tools to make the most valuable method of sharing, word-of-mouth between trusted friends, easier than ever inside of their games.”

“Megacool consistently drives new users for us that spend more and retain better than organic users at a fraction of the cost of traditional UA channels. We see double digit conversion from GIF referral to install,” said Kevin O’Neil, founder of Candywriter, a mobile game developer with nearly 30 games and apps in their portfolio that have been downloaded more than 60 million times.

In the months ahead, Megacool will continue to refine and add new features to its API, including further customization options for developers around what types of clips can be recorded and what can be included when a clip is shared. In a future update, Megacool will also add the ability for players to edit their GIF recordings by overlaying their own text, similar to pictures and video shared on Snapchat and Instagram.

To learn more about Megacool please visit www.megacool.co . 

Train2Game News 20 years of Goldeneye


​Friday marks 20 years since Goldeneye for N64 was released to the world. 

Keystone Games – a new AAA developer and publisher with the mission to give the majority of RRP to help terminally ill and disabled children – has a surprising link to the game, through its COO and CTO, Jane Whittaker.

In the same week Keystone Games has signed off the final release build for its new game, in collaboration with Big Fat Alien, Rogue Islands.

Keystone Games COO and CTO, Jane Whittaker – former Development Director, and later Executive Vice President in addition to becoming a director of the UK arm of United Artists – comments:

“ Its 20 years this week since the release of Goldeneye for Nintendo 64, a landmark game in the FPS genre. I am privileged and honored to have played a part in the evolution of the genre and Goldeneye itself during my career.

Before talking Goldeneye, I want to cast your minds back to its spiritual predecessor. My involvement with the FPS “corridor shooter” began with Purple Hampton, Mike Beaton and myself developing Alien Vs Predator for the Atari Jaguar.

Trailer for Alien Vs Predator on YouTube (the gameplay was done by Whittaker)

Hold your breath for this tidbit of information. AvP was actually the second proper 3D corridor shooter made after Wolfenstein! It is the first shooter to feature full 3D environments with floors and ceilings in the history of gaming and, as per this year’s Guinness Book of Records, the first ever game to allow you to play the monster! (Thank you Purple for that idea!) Mike and I put our heart and soul in to developing AvP as programmers and designers alongside the production genius of Purple.

Developed for the most part in Sunnyvale, we actually shared an office with the Id Software guys as they were developing Wolfenstein Jaguar version. To the cubicle to my left was Wolfenstein, to my right the icon who is Jeff Minter, developing Tempest 2000! What an incredible creative environment.

Fast forward further in my career and I find myself at Metro Goldwyn Mayer as Director of Development and this great idea that we could do a high-quality shooter with Nintendo for the N64 based around Goldeneye. Let’s think about that, the N64 was renowned for cutesy fun games like Mario.

Could the console demographic really support an audience of gamers eager to play James Bond? sniping and exploding their way through multiple game levels? At MGM, we owned the license and were very keen that we created a true James Bond game and not some watered-down parody or something like Mario Bond. It had to be James Bond, it had to be authentic, it had to be gritty. It also had to be fun!

The best development team in the world at that time, Rare, picked up the mantle to build something very special around a franchise we protected very carefully at MGM. I had done a massively successful FPS, could we put a team together with the Nintendo guys to create another watershed game?

For my part, I like to do my research. I spent hundreds of hours with Fox researching the Alien and Predator movies and now I am all ready to go researching James Bond.

The advantage of being Development Director at MGM is that you can actually go to the James Bond stage at Pinewood and see the real movies being filmed! I defy anyone not to be creatively enthused by watching Pierce Brosnan (or at least his double!) jump over obstacles amid all the noise and pyrotechnics of a Bond shoot at the massive Bond stage in Pinewood. I was a little kid in a candy shop. Well actually it was all serious research for Goldeneye honestly! (if you believe that you will believe anything as I literally had a blast and was allowed to trigger an explosion by the special effects team!)

I came back to the USA from Pinewood Studios refreshed, invigorated and with a mind whirling with ideas. Would the powers that be take the plunge and create something new and exciting for Goldeneye? Would Nintendo be happy with James Bond fighting his way across their new console in typical MI6 style.

Trailer on YouTube for Goldeneye N64
Well you all know the answer to that, as it sits in the annals of history thanks to the talents of Rare, some very forward-thinking executives and a willingness from everyone to make a game that stands the test of time. Me being me, couldn’t resist sticking my oar in to the game, with AI, gameplay and environment stuff and generally annoying comments at every turn.

Yet my association with FPS is far from over, 34 years after starting my career I have been involved in the development of Rogue Islands, a new procedurally generated FPS that is taking the gaming world by storm. Will Rogue Islands follow its illustrious predecessors such as AvP and Goldeneye? Will I be celebrating the 20th anniversary of an iconic game in 20 years ’ time from my retirement home? Only time will tell.

I have had such a privileged career with working on titles such as AvP and Goldeneye. Each has allowed me to grow as much as the gameplay has grown over the years. That Goldeneye has stood the test of time as one of the greats is indisputable.

Goldeneye N64, I wish you a very happy 20th Birthday this week. You set the standard in FPS gaming that others still strive to follow. More than that, you let us all be James Bond! Let me raise a glass of vodka martini in your honor. The games industry was, and continues to be shaken and stirred! ”

Train2Game News Xbox One X playable at EGX


​Gamer Network is thrilled to announce that Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, will make its full UK playable public debut exclusively at EGX 2017.
Set for release on the 7th November, the Xbox One X boasts 40% more power than any other console to offer an immersive 4K gaming experience.

Visitors to EGX will be able to get hands-on with a wide selection of games on the Xbox One family of devices including first party titles Forza Motorsport 7, Sea of Thieves and Super Lucky’s Tale as well as the eagerly anticipated Middle-earth: Shadow of War from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Origins.

“Xbox One was available to play first in the UK at EGX 2013 and we’re delighted that Microsoft has again chosen EGX to demonstrate its cutting-edge hardware first. It’s a further demonstration that EGX is the number one UK event for launching new product,” said David Lilley, MD of Gamer Events.

EGX 2017, powered by Virgin Media, takes place on the 21st-24th September at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event which will feature all aspects of gaming culture including big budget blockbuster games available to play before release, innovative titles from the thriving indie scene, thrilling esports action and much more.   

Tickets are selling fast with several ticket types now sold out and super passes running low. Tickets are available to buy here egx.net/egx/tickets

For further information on Xbox visit xbox.com/en-gb/  or follow twitter.com/xboxuk

Train2Game News LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released the latest trailer for The LEGO® NINJAGO™ Movie Video Game, based on the upcoming big-screen adventure.

The new trailer features the Ninjago™ heroes training in the art of Ninja-gility which allows them to traverse Ninjago™ Island by wall-running, high-jumping and battling the foes of Ninjago™ to master and upgrade their combat skills with epic kicks, swings and gravity defying runs. 

The trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oInXUJ4qdJQ&feature=youtu.be

The LEGO® NINJAGO™ Movie Video Game launches on 6th October 2017 for the Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation™ 4, Xbox One and PC, with the film launching in UK cinemas on 13th October 2017.

Train2Game Golden Joystick Awards 2017


The Golden Joystick Awards are back! Marking 35 years of celebrating everything we love about the world’s most dynamic creative industry. 

This year’s event will take place at a new venue, London’s Bloomsbury Big Top, on November 17 and will be hosted by comedian and former host, Danny Wallace. 

The Golden Joysticks will once again feature over 25 award categories voted for by the great global gaming public, including ‘Best Multiplayer Game’, ‘Game of the Year’ and ‘Most Wanted Game’ as well as new awards for 2017. Dubbed the ‘People’s Gaming Awards’, last year’s Golden Joystick Awards received a record 9 million global votes.

“I’m delighted to return to host the legendary Golden Joysticks, and to find out what the gamers themselves think are deserving of the industry’s most undeniably golden awards.” Danny Wallace returns to host the 2017 Golden Joystick Awards.

Key dates to watch out for:

    -The Golden Joystick Award Categories and Shortlist will be announced on September 21, with public voting commencing that night.

    -The public vote will close on November 3.

    -The Awards will take place on November 17, at the Bloomsbury Big Top, with the whole event being live streamed on Twitch.
“For 35 years the Golden Joystick Awards have been celebrating the very best of video games. Whether they’re highlighting the brilliance of the games themselves, the creatives who make them, or the communities and personalities who play them, the Golden Joysticks have always been a wonderful reminder of the passion and excellence inherent in our industry. Being the largest publicly voted gaming awards in the world, the Golden Joysticks enable the ever-increasing and diversifying communities of players to connect with and celebrate the games they truly love… and that’s why they’re stronger than ever after 35 years.” Dan Dawkins, Global Editor-In-Chief, GamesRadar+.

To stay up to date with news from the Golden Joysticks follow us on Twitter or Facebook

Train2Game Ariana Grande in Final Fantasy

Fans can take on a musical showdown with internationally renowned artist and actress, Ariana Grande, as SQUARE ENIX® announced a special in-game collaboration with FINAL FANTASY® BRAVE EXVIUS®. 

Starting August 18 through September 1, all players will be able to acquire “Chic Ariana,” the second Ariana Grande-inspired character exclusively designed for the game. In order to obtain her character, players must complete the first stage of the “Musical Showdown” event.

Players will also get a chance to battle an epic new boss, the “Bard Spirit” in order to obtain special rewards and event exclusive gear. Equipment specifically for Chic Ariana such as “Fashionable Dancewear,” “Microphone Stand” and “Magical Scrunchie” will all be available to equip for battles.

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is available now as a free-to-play app (with in-app purchases) through the App Store and on Google Play. 

This title is developed as a collaboration between SQUARE ENIX® and gumi Inc. (developer of the hit title Brave Frontier)

Train2Game News London Games Festival 2018


The London Games Festival will return in 2018, running from 5 April to 15 April, organiser Games London has announced.
The London Games Festival is delivered by Games London, the three-year initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).

Games London is backed by the Mayor of London with funding worth £1.2m from the London Enterprise Action Panel, and seeks to make London the games capital of the world.

Over 50,000 people attended 40 different events across 20 different venues during the 2017 festival. The Festival has also established itself as a platform for global business in games with the Games Finance Market delivering nearly £20m potential business in April.

Since its launch in January 2016 Games London has connected 145 games businesses in the UK with 109 global investors, driving over £30m potential business back into local companies.

The 2018 festival aims to go even further with a wider programme of outdoor events and an even bigger offering for the games developer community. 

Highlights for next year include:

   

–       The third Games Finance Market (Tuesday, 10 April to Thursday, 12 April) the only event of its kind in the UK, connecting 60 games studios with 60 global games investors

   

–       Now Play This, the three-day festival of playful work and experimental game design at Somerset House

   

–       London’s largest games event EGX Rezzed (Friday, 13 April to Sunday, 15 April), a showcase of PC and indie games, at Tobacco Dock

   

–       The BAFTA Games Awards on Thursday, 12 April at Troxy

   

LGF organisers are also curating the brand new HUB event (Monday, 9 April and Tuesday, 10 April). HUB is a new two-day B2B event housing the Festival’s summits, a demo zone for prototpyes and start-ups, a pop-up coworking space and gallery. More details will follow in September.

Also to be announced later is a fresh range of activities that bring games to life on the city streets covering esports and street art, plus an exhibition of BAME artists in games and the return of the Games Character Parade.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London leads the world in culture, creativity and technology and the city’s games industry plays a major part in that success. In just a couple of years, the London Games Festival has become a major attraction for consumers and professionals alike and Games London is delivering significant investment for our cutting-edge tech sector – showing that London is open to creativity and innovation and open for business.”   

Follow @londongamesfest on Twitter or head to www.games.london for more updates over the coming weeks and months.

Train2Game News Sociable Soccer Coming Summer 2017


Legendary football game designer Jon Hare’s Tower Studios in partnership with Finnish studio Combo Breaker, today announced that Sociable Soccer, Hare’s latest fast-paced, arcade take on the beautiful game, will launch in summer 2017 on Steam Early Access with Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and mobile platforms to follow. 

To celebrate the announcement Tower Studios have released a new Steam Early Access trailer that can be viewed on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DtNlaUEkm0&hd=1

“Sociable Soccer is a super quick, adrenaline soaked football action game, an unholy alliance of Guardiola’s tiki taka and Klopp’s gegenpressing, where ultra sharp passing and shooting can easily be thwarted by a well timed slide tackle.. something like Rocket League in boots”, said Jon Hare, Designer and Director of Sociable Soccer. 

“After nearly two years in development we are excited to be launching soon on Steam Early Access. The game has a whole world of soccer already in place and online and offline matches are playing like a dream. As we sprint towards full commercial launch in late 2017 we invite gamers and football lovers to become part of our game changing, new sports franchise as we add new features, game modes and updates every few weeks”.

‘Godfather of football games’ Jon Hare, designed two of the biggest football franchises of the 20th century in Microprose Soccer and the genre defining Sensible World of Soccer, one of the 10 most influential video games of all time according to Stanford University. Faithful to his sports game pedigree Sociable Soccer features over 1,000 club and national teams from around the world and over 30,000 players, with 67 international football trophies to compete for and lighter friendly game modes including trademark custom teams. Beneath its sleek visual presentation lies a game of significant complexity with pinpoint controls and tactical depth. Easy to play and hard to master with single player, classic local multiplayer, online multiplayer and manager modes all supported. Sociable Soccer is a perfect blend of the instant playability of yesteryear with the power of modern technology.

Steam Store Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/636690/Sociable_Soccer/