Train2Game News PLAY Expo Manchester 2019

PLAY Expo, the north’s biggest videogames event, is returning to Manchester for the seventh time on May 4th and 5th.

Taking place in a new, bigger venue, PLAY Expo will be held at the Manchester Central Exhibition Centre and will welcome over 25,000 videogames fans through the doors for two days of gaming brilliance.

The perfect day out for games enthusiasts of all ages, with everything from blockbuster game previews to indie games, retro classics, eSports, cosplay, escape rooms, education, live shows, industry panels and YouTuber meet and greets.

PLAY Expo Manchester boasts nearly one thousand gaming consoles, handhelds, PCs, arcade and pinball machines, all playing the very best in new and classic videogames – and all set to free to play! The event also features a huge Minecraft zone, a Fortnite zone, a dedicated VR area and a selection of the best and brightest indie games from recent years.

On the Expo stages, you will find talks from gaming celebrities, cosplay displays and tournaments for gamers of all skill levels. You will also find immersive live experiences, including John Robertson’s critically acclaimed ‘The Dark Room’ and ‘Knightmare Live’, the celebrated stage adaptation of the 80s-90s cult TV show Knightmare.

Twitch channel ‘Streamers Connected’ will be broadcasting live from the show across both days, bringing viewers at home the best content, interviews and action from the north’s biggest gaming event.

Andy Brown, Managing Director of Replay Events said: “We are super excited to be bringing PLAY Expo back to Manchester at an even bigger arena. The PLAY Expo community is incredible, we know that 80% of our visitors do not visit any other gaming event in the UK. Our attendees love the mix of new and old games, stage talks, special events, cosplay and competitions. If you love games, you can’t afford to miss PLAY Expo Manchester.”

Industry trade body UKIE will be hosting ’30 Years Of Play’ at this year’s show. Inviting visitors to remember the British games that have shaped the industry over the last 30 years, including a retro gaming championship featuring classic British games from years gone by.

George Osborn, Campaign Manager, 30 Years of Play said: “We’re excited to be partnering up with PLAY Expo for its retro gaming championship. The video games sector has always been defined by a close relationship between players and developers. The retro gaming championship offers a brilliant opportunity to do just that, while also celebrating some of the best of British videogames from the past 30 years.”

Publishers and developers who wish to exhibit their games at PLAY Expo should contact Andy Brown now on andy.brown@replayevents.com.

Tickets cost: Adults £20, Child £14, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £58 per day or Adults £34, Child £24, Family £96 for the Weekend ticket and can be bought from playexpomanchester.com.

Train2Game News IMGA 15 Winners

The International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) today announced the winners of their 15th edition.

In total, the jury selected 16 winners from a shortlist of 153 nominees that were previously hand-picked from nearly 800 submissions, with a 16th winner selected by the public.

The internationally acclaimed game Florence won the Grand Prix as well as the Best Meaningful Play and Excellence in Storytelling. The game Flippin Filip won the Jury’s Honorable Mention, while thousands of online voters chose Cooking Diary ®: Restaurant Game as the winner of the People’s Choice Award with more than 500 votes from all over the world.

The IMGA introduced a new category “Feel Good Games”, games that are intended to get you in a more relaxed mood. The game Valleys Between, made by Little Lost Fox, New Zealand.

“I’d like to thank our jury, for all their hard work: the 350 jury members who gave their scores online, working through the 800 submissions and the 15 jury members who gathered in Helsinki this February to judge the 153 preselected games,” says Maarten Noyons, Founder of the IMGA.

We want to thank all our sponsors: Rovio, Supercell, Resolution Games, Matchmade and Mobile Action and the City of Helsinki, host of the 15th IMGA judging session.

Winners of IMGA special category prizes include:

Excellence in Visual Art and Design: CHUCHEL, AMANITA DESIGN, CZECH REPUBLIC

Best Multiplayer Game: BRAWL STARS, SUPERCELL, FINLAND

Best Quickplay Game: ODDMAN, SET SNAIL, DENMARK

Guilty Pleasure: BACON – THE GAME, KAMIBOX, GERMANY

Best Meaningful Play: FLORENCE, MOUNTAINS, AUSTRALIA

Excellence in Gameplay: BRING YOU HOME, ALIKE STUDIO, SPAIN

Excellence in Storytelling: FLORENCE, MOUNTAINS, AUSTRALIA

Best Technical Achievement: ASPHALT 9: LEGENDS – 2019’s ACTION CAR RACING GAME, GAMELOFT, SPAIN

Best Upcoming Game: AGATHA KNIFE, MANGO PROTOCOL, SPAIN

Excellence in Innovation: GLADIABOTS, GFX47

Excellence in Audio: ELOH, BROKEN RULES INTERACTIVE MEDIA / JCSTRANGER / SALON ALPIN, AUSTRIA

Best Feel Good Game: VALLEYS BETWEEN, LITTLE LOST FOX, NEW ZEALAND

Best VR Game: NARROWS, RESOLUTION GAMES, SWEDEN

People’s Choice Award: COOKING DIARY ®: RESTAURANT GAME, MYTONA, RUSSIA

Jury’s Honorable Mention: FLIPPIN FILIP, DEEDEMA GAME STUDIO, IRAN

Grand Prix: FLORENCE, MOUNTAINS, AUSTRALIA

Held during gaming week in San Francisco, the 15th IMGA ceremony was presented by the Australian host Maude Garrett at the Minna Gallery, followed by an exclusive after-party hosted by Rovio who celebrated the 10 years of Angry Birds, the party had over 700 guests.

Train2Game News Batman The Animated Series Add On

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released Batman: The Animated Series Level Pack for LEGO® DC Super-Villains.

In celebration of Batman’s 80th Anniversary, the pack adds a new crime-fighting level inspired by Batman: The Animated Series, the ground-breaking, Emmy Award-winning series famous for its film noir aesthetics, intelligent and intricate stories, and stylized presentation.

Players can roam Gotham City with seven newly-added characters whose origins were famously modernized in the series including The Phantasm, Captain Clown, Man-Bat, Mad-Hatter, Batman, The Joker, and Harley Quinn.

The Phantasm is the secret villainous identity of Andrea Beaumont, a love interest of Bruce Wayne’s prior to him becoming Batman, she is set on avenging her father’s death at the hands of a mysterious mob member, who winds up becoming The Joker. She dons an outfit reminiscent of the Grim Reaper and wears a smoke-generating device and scythe-bladed gauntlet.

Captain Clown appeared in the series as an android programmed to be a loyal subject to The Joker and an enemy to Batman. As a villainous robot with unique artificial intelligence, its strength always presented a challenge for Batman to defeat.

Man-Bat was the first villain to appear in the pilot episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Afflicted with a disease that threatened to leave him deaf, Dr Kirk Langstrom devised an experimental cure that merged the DNA of humans and bats. After testing it on himself, however, the cure backfired and transformed him into a giant bat-like creature.

The Mad Hatter began as timid scientist Jervis Tetch who was experimenting with mind control technology for Wayne Enterprises. Attempting to impress a love interest, he dresses as the Mad Hatter character from his favourite storybook and uses his mind control technology to brainwash people to do his bidding.

Batman (Bruce Wayne) pledged his life to an endless crusade against all criminals when his parents were taken from him a kid so that what happened to him will never happen again to anyone else. A self-made Super Hero who has no Super Powers, Bruce travelled the world focused on training both his body and mind to near physical perfection and when the time was right, he returned to Gotham City donning the Cape and Cowl becoming Batman. Using his incredible skills and abilities coupled with an arsenal of gadgets and cutting-edge technology, Batman keeps a watchful, protective eye over the citizens of Gotham City, especially against costumed criminals like The Joker.

Known as Batman’s main arch-nemesis, The Joker is an unpredictably nefarious criminal who uses every evil trick his mind can muster to try to destroy Batman and take over Gotham City. In Batman: The Animated Series, The Joker starts out completing criminal jobs for the mob and is cornered by Batman during an attempted robbery at the Ace Chemical Plant. He falls into a vat of chemicals disfiguring him and further warping his mind, giving birth to The Joker.

The notorious and iconic Harley Quinn made her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series when she and Joker attempted to plot against Commissioner Gordon only to be stopped by Batman. Psychologist Dr Harlene Quinzel began her career at Arkham Asylum, and it was there she first met The Joker. While trying to psychoanalyze what made the clown tick, he turned the tables and toyed with her mind and she ultimately helped him escape becoming his criminal sidekick and love interest, Harley Quinn.

Batman: The Animated Series level pack is part of the Season Pass included in the LEGO DC Super-Villains Deluxe Edition available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

For more game information, visit chaos-is-coming.wbgames.com and follow the official LEGO® DC Super-Villains social channels on Facebook and YouTube, and @LEGODCGAME on Instagram and Twitter.

For 80 years, the Dark Knight has stood as a symbol of determination, bravery and justice to generations of fans. Since appearing in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS #27 on March 30, 1939, Batman continues to leave his mark in every form of entertainment imaginable. Appearing in countless comics, animation, television, films, video games, toys and other products, he remains the single most popular superhero. He would not be complete without the most iconic gadgets and of course, the Batmobile; not to mention, an unparalleled rogues gallery.

Batman is humanity’s timeless hero and he’s just getting started.

Fans can join in on social media using the hashtag #Batman80 and #LongLiveTheBat. Visit http://www.Batman80.com for the latest news and updates.

Train2Game News Play Xenoverse 2 FREE

Do you fear jumping into the deep end of the pool? Are you afraid of leaping head-over-heels in love? Is commitment difficult for you?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then there is a solution in the form of DRAGON BALL Xenoverse 2 “Lite”, a free version of the game that will be available for download starting Wednesday, March 20th for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One.

New players entering the Xenoverse 2 through the “Lite” version of the game will be able to experience the following:

  • Play five-story episodes, ‘Raditz’s Attack’, ‘The Saiyan Threat’, ‘Ruckus on Planet Namek’, ‘The Ginyu Force Strikes’ and ‘The Galactic Emperor’, from the main game.
  • Take part in Online Battles and Online Quests – with the option to play against those with the full version of the game (Online events and expert missions will remain exclusive to owners of the full game)
  • Compete in Hero Colosseum mode, with all content and online matches
  • Additionally, players will be able to transfer saved data from the “Lite” version to the full game if they choose to purchase the full version of DRAGON BALL Xenoverse 2

Enjoy saving the universe with Goku and friends!

Train2Game News London Games Festival Parade

The Guildhall Yard in the historic City of London will turn into a celebration of cosplay and games culture when the London Games Festival’s annual Games Character Parade and Family Day returns on Saturday 6 April.

The parade is part of the twelve-day Festival of video games and interactive entertainment across the capital and is back in 2019 for its third year. The family day boasts a range of free activities for the whole family throughout the day including game exhibits, costume making and a unique VR experience in a historic location.

Games fans will gather in Guildhall Yard for the annual Games Character Parade and an onstage fashion show hosted by Costume and Play, while retro games come to life with interactive exhibits by Actual Reality Arcade.

Meanwhile, in Guildhall Art Gallery, young people can create their own costumes for the Character Parade with Boxhead Craft and SamiArts, and use Minecraft game technology to understand traditional crafts in Minecraft Knit, with help from its creator Gemma May Latham.

Minecraft Knit will return to the Gallery the following weekend on Saturday, April 13 as part of the Family Day for Seen and Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame (23 November 2018 – 28 April 2019).

In the Gallery’s ancient Amphitheatre, an interactive virtual reality experience by Professor William Latham will introduce new audiences to the latest innovations in digital art in the historic home of games in London. Professor Latham will also lead a lunchtime symposium for game developers, digital artists and academics working at the cutting edge of digital art.

For more details and information on how to attend, head to www.games.london/parade2019

London Games Festival runs from 2 to 14 April and is organised by Games London, a partnership between the capital’s screen industries agency Film London and games trade body Ukie, supported by the Mayor of London’s London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).

The event is supported by the City of London Corporation and Arts Council of England. It is free to attend but those wishing to participate in the cosplay parade are required to register in advance at www.games.london/parade2019

The London Games Festival Character Parade and Family Day is just one of 40+ cultural or B2B events across 30 venues from 2 to 14 April.

London Games Festival is responsible for a series of thought-provoking summits and conferences, plus the Games Finance Market welcoming financiers with over £200m to spend on games investors. Other highlights include EGX Rezzed (4-6 April), Now Play This at Somerset House (6-14) and the BAFTA Games Awards (4 April).

More information and details on how to buy tickets can be found at www.games.london.

Train2Game News Age Ratings for Games and Netflix to be Improved

Today the BBFC has launched an innovative new industry collaboration with Netflix to move towards classifying all content on the service using BBFC age ratings.

Netflix will produce BBFC age ratings for content using a manual tagging system along with an automated rating algorithm, with the BBFC taking up an auditing role. Netflix and the BBFC will work together to make sure Netflix’s classification process produces ratings which are consistent with the BBFC’s Classification Guidelines for the UK.

It comes as new research by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the Video Standards Council Rating Board (VSC) has revealed that almost 80% of parents are concerned about children seeing inappropriate content on video on demand or online games platforms.

The BBFC and the VSC have joined forces to respond to calls from parents and are publishing a joint set of Best Practice Guidelines to help online services deliver what UK consumers want.

The Best Practice Guidelines will help online platforms work towards greater and more consistent use of trusted age ratings online. The move is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s strategy to make the UK the safest place to be online.

This includes recommending the use of consistent and more comprehensive use of BBFC age labelling symbols across all Video On Demand (VOD) services, and PEGI symbols across online games services, including additional ratings info and mapping parental controls to BBFC age ratings and PEGI ratings.

The voluntary Guidelines are aimed at VOD services offering video content to UK consumers via subscription, purchase and rental, but exclude pure catch-up TV services like iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My 5 and UKTV Player.

The research also shows that 90% of parents believe that it is important to display age ratings when downloading or streaming a film online, and 92% of parents think it’s important for video on demand platforms to show the same type of age ratings they would expect at the cinema or on DVD and Blu-ray – confirmed by 94% of parents saying it’s important to have consistent ratings across all video on demand platforms, rather than a variety of bespoke ratings systems.

With nine in 10 (94%) parents believing it is important to have consistent ratings across all online game platforms rather than a variety of bespoke systems, the VSC is encouraging services to join the likes of Microsoft, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo and Google in providing consumers with the nationally recognised PEGI ratings on games – bringing consistency between the offline and online worlds.

The Video Recordings Act requires that the majority of video works and video games released on physical media must be classified by the BBFC or the VSC prior to release. While there is no equivalent legal requirement that online releases must be classified, the BBFC has been working with VOD services since 2008, and the VSC has been working with online games platforms since 2003. The Best Practice Guidelines aim to build on the good work that is already happening, and both authorities are now calling for the online industry to work with them in 2019 and beyond to better protect children.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said: “Our research clearly shows a desire from the public to see the same trusted ratings they expect at the cinema, on DVD and on Blu-ray when they choose to watch material online. We know that it’s not just parents who want age ratings, teenagers want them too. We want to work with the industry to ensure that families are able to make the right decisions for them when watching content online.”

Ian Rice, Director General of the VSC, said: “We have always believed that consumers wanted a clear, consistent and readily recognisable rating system for online video games and this research has certainly confirmed that view. While the vast majority of online game providers are compliant and apply PEGI ratings to their product, it is clear that more can be done to help consumers make an informed purchasing decision. To this end, the best practice recommendations will certainly make a valuable contribution in achieving this aim.”

Digital Minister Margot James said: “Our ambition is for the UK to be the safest place to be online, which means having age ratings parents know and trust applied to all online films and video games. I welcome the innovative collaboration announced today by Netflix and the BBFC, but more needs to be done.

“It is important that more of the industry takes this opportunity for voluntary action, and I encourage all video on demand and games platforms to adopt the new best practice standards set out by the BBFC and Video Standards Council.”

The BBFC is looking at innovative ways to open up access to its classifications to ensure that more online video content goes live with a trusted age rating. Today the BBFC and Netflix announce a year-long self-ratings pilot which will see the online streaming service move towards in-house classification using BBFC age ratings, under licence.

Netflix will use an algorithm to apply BBFC Guideline standards to their own content, with the BBFC setting those standards and auditing ratings to ensure consistency. The goal is to work towards 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings across the platform.

Mike Hastings, Director of Editorial Creative at Netflix, said: “The BBFC is a trusted resource in the UK for providing classification information to parents and consumers and we are excited to expand our partnership with them. Our work with the BBFC allows us to ensure our members always press play on content that is right for them and their families.”

David Austin added: “We are fully committed to helping families chose content that is right for them, and this partnership with Netflix will help us in our goal to do just that. By partnering with the biggest streaming service, we hope that others will follow Netflix’s lead and provide comprehensive, trusted, well understood age ratings and ratings info, consistent with film and DVD, on their UK platforms. The partnership shows how the industry are working with us to find new and innovative ways to deliver 100% age ratings for families.”

Train2Game News Classic Final Fantasy Titles

SQUARE ENIX® showcased that the FINAL FANTASY series has a game for every individual— with mysterious tales to be told, memorable characters to love, distinct gameplay mechanics to master and so much more.

Upcoming releases in 2019 include FINAL FANTASY VII, FINAL FANTASY X / X-2 HD Remaster, FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE™, FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES® Remastered Edition and Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!™, all available for the first time on new platforms. Within each unique adventure in the series, players can discover for themselves why millions of players worldwide fondly revere each title.

To view the FINAL FANTASY ‘Something for Everyone’ trailer, go to https://youtu.be/tZtWm2Y0teE.

FINAL FANTASY VII
Platform: Nintendo Switch™, Xbox One
Release Date: March 26, 2019
FINAL FANTASY VII, the legendary RPG classic, tells the story of the powerful ex-SOLDIER Cloud as he joins a group of loyal companions in an attempt to save the world from destruction. Using innovative character customisation options to create fun and interesting combinations of their favourite party members, players can fight to save the planet and discover the truth about Cloud’s mysterious past.

FINAL FANTASY IX
Platform: Playstation®4 system, Nintendo Switch™, Xbox One, STEAM®, App Store®, Google Play™, Windows 10
Release Date: Available Now
FINAL FANTASY IX tells a grand story of love, war and betrayal in a world of incredible magic and larger-than-life characters. Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe have kidnapped Princess Garnet, the heir of Alexandria, but to their surprise, the princess herself yearned to escape the castle and see the world for herself. Together, they explore the world and encounter new friends and enemies to make an adventure unlike any other.

FINAL FANTASY X / X-2 HD Remaster
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Release Date: April 16
FINAL FANTASY X / X-2 HD Remaster contains FINAL FANTASY X and its sequel FINAL FANTASY X-2, renowned as some of the most popular titles in the whole FINAL FANTASY series for their emotional stories and stunning graphical quality. In FINAL FANTASY X, star athlete Tidus joins powerful summoner Yuna on her pilgrimage to save the world of Spira. In FINAL FANTASY X-2, Yuna and company travel the world once more and meet friends new and old, overcoming new challenges that threaten the world of Spira.

FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Release Date: April 30, 2019
FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE has re-worked the game’s design and re-mastered the FINAL FANTASY XII visuals in full-HD, making full use of current generation hardware capabilities to improve the graphical and audio quality for the ultimate play experience. Princess Ashe, the lone heir to the Dalmascan throne, has devoted herself to forming a resistance to liberate her homeland. The story begins when Ashe meets Vaan, a young thief who dreams of flying free in the skies, as their adventure changes the destiny of the world’s greatest nations.

FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4 system
Release Date: 2019
The classic co-op action RPG FINAL FANTASY Crystal Chronicles has been completely remastered, and now even includes a new online multiplayer mode so that you and up to three friends can adventure together! Playing with friends or solo, explore a stunning fantasy world and make new memories with fantastic characters with fun action-RPG gameplay.

Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4 system
Release Date: March 20, 2019
Take one step forward and change the world in this spectacular return to 2007’s FINAL FANTASY FABLES: Chocobo’s Dungeon, specially designed for new gaming systems. The rules to this mysterious dungeon are simple… every time you enter, the world around you changes shape, and enemies only move whenever Chocobo moves, whether Chocobo walks, kicks, or uses an item. The reworking of the 2007 game Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon is back and better than ever – to be enjoyed by both first-timers and fans of the series. With unique new dungeons, a new buddy system to recruit monsters and other characters as allies, and a local co-op system to play with your friends, you will explore the challenges of randomly generated dungeons as Chocobo.

Train2Game News Armistice raises HUGE money for war suffering children

The unique Armistice gaming fundraiser from War Child UK and its US partner Children in Conflict raised $380,000 in 2018 to support children whose lives have been torn apart by war, taking the total raised by Armistice since its inception in 2016 to $759,695.

In 2018 the charities for children affected by war worked with 20 heavyweight studios, in the month of November, giving the gaming community a chance to participate in peaceful gameplay through exclusive content, a Steam, Amazon App Store & Google Play sale and live streams to inspire the gaming community to raise vital funds.

Armistice serves to raise awareness of the realities of conflict for children around the world today by creating a conversation about the effects on war at the point of maximum contrast in conflict themed games. Highlights from this year included themed DLC content for World War I title, 11-11: Memories Retold through a series of letters, drawings, and photographs found throughout the narrative adventure inspired by real-life stories from the children supported by War Child, as well as a Peace Stand in Prison Architect, and for the first time a Virtual Reality collaboration with Dick Wilde.

Lionel Lovisa, Producer for 11-11: Memories Retold at Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe said “With 11-11: Memories Retold we wanted to make a game that goes beyond traditional entertainment. With that in mind, working together with War Child UK made a lot of sense.

Bringing more fun to everyone is the mission of Bandai Namco Entertainment but we know that “fun” can be a privilege that many can’t afford. We hope the 11-11: Memories Retold charity DLC will help War Child accomplish more today while it also reminds everyone about the human realities of drowning into conflict. For a better tomorrow, we need to remember the lessons of the past.”

Artiom Muraska, Regional Publishing Director, WoT Europe, which has supported Armistice from the beginning, commented; “We were thrilled and honored for the third consecutive year to once again be part of the Armistice Campaign supporting the incredible and invaluable work that War Child UK do. The response from our amazing World Of Tanks players was overwhelming and a resounding success beating all previous years.

So, from us all at Wargaming, we would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of our dedicated players for their participation and generosity without whom none of this would be possible.”

War Child has innovative fundraising partnerships across the PC, console and mobile industries, as well as through streaming and support from the gaming community and to date have brought in a massive $4.3million in fundraising through gaming. The money raised goes towards funding War Child programmes; from supporting Syrian children to access education, to reintegrating child soldiers in the Central African Republic and promoting justice for young people in detention in Afghanistan.

Wayne Emanuel, Head of Gaming Partnerships, War Child UK, “The gaming sector deserves huge recognition for the backing it has given and the funds it has raised so far on our journey. We intend to continue growing Armistice and working with as many conflict-themed games as possible to raise awareness and support children who have felt the effects of war. With such engagement and a strong sense of community from gamers and willingness to support from developers, publishers, and platforms, there is an enormous opportunity to make gaming a platform for positive change.”

As the global gaming industry goes from strength to strength, War Child hopes to find more innovative and creative ways to create change with support from the industry and community which has already helped children across the world.

In 2019 War Child’s work with gaming will continue with RE-PLAY in April, taking players back to their childhood favorites with downloadable retro-themed games and events all to raise money and awareness for children affected by conflict.

You can view the UK thank you video below

Train2Game News AR Harry Potter Revealed

WB Games and Niantic are excited to share the first gameplay details for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the new augmented reality (AR) mobile game that puts magic in the hands of aspiring wizards and witches worldwide.

Co-published and co-developed by WB Games San Francisco and Niantic, Inc., Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is part of Portkey Games, the games label dedicated to creating new Wizarding World mobile and video game experiences that place the player at the centre of their own adventure, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s original stories.

In Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the player’s journey begins as a new recruit for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, with the purpose of investigating and containing a Calamity that has befallen the wizarding world. Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to cast spells and return Foundables – artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories – trapped by Confoundable magic, to their proper place in an effort to keep magic hidden from Muggle eyes.

As players journey across the world, they’ll discover Inns that replenish their Spell Energy, magical ingredients for brewing special potions, Portkeys that unlock AR portals into iconic wizarding world locations and much more.

Combat skills will be tested when witches and wizards visit real-world locations called Fortresses, key areas that play host to Wizarding Challenges. These real-time multiplayer battles against dangerous foes encourage players to join forces with fellow witches and wizards to take on higher level threats and unlock rare magical rewards.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is coming to iOS and Android mobile devices in 2019. Pre-registration is now available on Google Play.

Train2Game News New UK Games Companies Opening

Games technology company Improbable today announces that it has commenced development of its own online multiplayer games, powered by SpatialOS, with game development in two studio locations.

These and future Improbable studios will create cutting-edge games for release, whilst spearheading major technological advancements that will be fundamental to improving the tools and techniques for our partner network.

Improbable’s game development will be initiated by its internal games studio based in Edmonton, fronted by Aaryn Flynn, former head of studio on BioWare’s Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect franchises. Improbable also announces the creation of a London-based games studio, which will be led by new hire John Wasilczyk, previously Executive Producer at Epic Games and EA DICE.

Herman Narula, co-founder and CEO at Improbable, says:

“As our network of partners has grown we’ve come to work with an incredible range of studios and projects. We see our internal studios as a way to further support these partners by pushing technical and creative boundaries and then sharing those learnings with our developer community.

“We look forward to seeing what our highly talented studios – in Edmonton, London and other locations in the future – will bring not only to players but also to the continued growth and development of SpatialOS.”

The SpatialOS platform allows for rapid iteration and the ability to develop beyond a single server to create highly innovative games. The first untitled project is in development at the Edmonton studio, which already has around 50 staff covering art, game design, programming and tool development and is continuing to grow. Meanwhile, Improbable’s London-based game studio is building a team from current Improbable employees and new hires.

Improbable is initially announcing these studios but is also interested in founding or growing other studios in additional locations and supporting remote teams.

Aaryn Flynn, Improbable’s General Manager of North America, comments:

“I was interested in making a game using SpatialOS from the very first time I spoke to Improbable. Building tools and content has been a great way for our Edmonton team to master SpatialOS, but a full game was always an opportunity myself and others had in mind as the Edmonton studio took shape. Now, after a lot of great hires and great progress, we’re going to focus on creating that game using Unreal Engine 4 and building on SpatialOS’ next-generation online games platform.

“We’ve grown fast but we’re still looking for additional team members in Engineering, Art, Design and QA to build out our team further. As things progress, we’re excited to show you more in the future.”

Improbable will be at GDC 2019 to discuss the company’s move into game development, as well as the evolution of SpatialOS and its applications for developers.

It is hosting two panels in which they’ll discuss how developers can leverage SpatialOS to create the next generation of multiplayer games.

How to Build a 200-Person FPS in 20 minutes and Building Unreal Worlds with SpatialOS, are hosted by games industry leaders such as Aaryn Flynn (Mass Effect, Dragon Age) and Josh Holmes (Halo franchise, Def Jam Vendetta) along with Improbable’s own Herman Narula (co-founder & CEO) and Rob Whitehead (co-founder & Chief Product Officer).