London Games Festival is proud to announce Now Play This at Home, a weekend of online gameplay, creativity and experimentation for all ages and abilities to enjoy for free from home.
Taking place at the same time as the postponed physical festival at Somerset House, which has been home to Now Play This since 2015, Now Play This at Home embraces the experimentation and community spirit of the festival, giving regular visitors the chance to come together online for the first time to enjoy an engaging new virtual programme.
Working closely with a creative community of makers, designers and artists, the festival presents a weekend of streamed talks, creative workshops, performances and interactive tours of popular game worlds, made available through its dedicated website nowplaythis.net and will be broadcast on Twitch.
Art critics The White Pube join independent video game developer House House for a soothing discussion and Q&A streamed live from Animal Crossing
Artists Bill Leslie and Lucy Cran (Leap Then Look) host a two-hour participatory art and game-making workshop, inviting families across the internet to work together to create sculpture, performance and film using materials found around their homes
Game developer and professor at NYU Game Center, Robert Yang, takes players on an exclusive interactive tour through the popular first-person shooter video game Half-Life (1998).
Writer, artist and games designer Gareth Damian Martin takes players on a photography walk through survival game No Man’s Sky (2016), encouraging players to capture and share snapshots of the surreal, out-of-this-world landscapes encountered along the way.
Across the weekend, audiences will also be able to take their pick from a curated selection of exclusive online games and films to watch and play at home, including works from Molleindustria and Ip Yuk-Yiu.
Esport event organizers 983 Media have announced a charity event to bring the Competitive Card Game community together and raise funds for the Covid-19 Response aid.
The event is appropriately named…Cards for Humanity.
It’s no secret that the world is in a bizarre place right now, and for all the chaos happening around us, there are also a lot of good deeds taking place. 983 Media is adding to that list of good deeds by organizing not one, not two, not even three but four competitive CCG tournaments in some of the genres biggest games.
Cards for Humanity will bring the communities from Magic: The Gathering Arena, Mythgard, Gwent, and Legends of Runeterra together to face off in their chosen game.
The top 8 for each of the four events will be aired on 983 Media’s Twitch channel on Saturday the 18th April in a monster 16-hour charity production.
Cards for Humanity has been fully backed by the developers and publishers involved, who have provided a variety of in-game goodies to not only compete for but to also giveaway to viewers of the event.
The fundraising target for the event is $1000, with every penny raised going to the Covid-19 Response Unit. Over the course of the 16-hour production, there will be an opportunity for the viewers to donate towards the funding goal.
To make Cards for Humanity are must-watch event on the CCG calendar 983 Media and reached into their contact pool and managed to bring some of the biggest names from the official games’ esports broadcasting teams to cast the events. The likes of Merchant and AliasV will be casting the Magic: The Gathering top 8, while the dynamic duo themselves WatchFlake and McBeard will be casting the Gwent section of the event.
BioShock will join a host of other games published by 2K – including XCOM 2 and Borderlands – all releasing on 29th May. This day will see the launch of:
The XCOM 2 Collection – containing XCOM 2, four DLC packs, the War of the Chosen expansion
The Borderlands Legendary Collection – containing Borderlands 1, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
The BioShock: The Collection – containing BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition, each also available separately
Other games coming to Nintendo Switch include Panzer Dragoon: Remake and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, both available today.
Bravely Default 2, meanwhile, also gets a demo today.
And further down the line, Nintendo firmed up release dates for Saints Row 4: Re-Elected (27th March), Trials of Mana (24th April), The Elder Scrolls: Blades (spring), Minecraft Dungeons (spring), Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus (May), Mr. Driller DrillLand (25th June), The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 (30th June), Catherine: Full Body (7th July) and Vigor (autumn).
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently held a media briefing on the best way to handle coronavirus.
They suggested a number of recommended actions individuals can take to get through this trying time.
One of the crucial things to remember is that we have to look after out mental health over the coming weeks.
WHO general director Tedros Adhanom said it’s perfectly normal to feel stressed, confused, and scared right now.
He advised that we talk to people we trust, and even help others in our community. Supporting those in need can help you as much it would them, he reasoned. So definitely be sure to check in with neighbours, family, and friends. While observing lockdown rules, of course.
Adhanom added that we should also “listen to music, read a book, or play a game,”
You can take that as doctors orders to chill out and play as many games as you want!
Microsoft and Mojang have released several free Minecraft Education lessons in an effort to entertain and educate some of the many school kids who are currently missing classes due to coronavirus lockdowns.
These lessons were pulled from or based on the Education Edition of Minecraft, which many schools use in traditional classes.
A collection of 10 lessons can now be downloaded from the Minecraft Marketplace for free via the new Education category.
These include a replica of the International Space Station, a robot-aided coding course, a tour of Washington D.C. landmarks, marine biology, greek history, and more. These lessons are now live, and will be free to download through June 30.
“The worlds include lesson plans like creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles,” Mojang said in a blog post.
Learning in Minecraft might sound a bit hokey, but if these lessons are anything like the Education Edition of the game, they’re sure to be no joke. Minecraft has helped countless kids learn everything from modern coding to ancient history in classroom settings. If nothing else, these lessons ought to help keep affected kids entertained while they’re stuck at home, but they’ll probably learn a thing or two (or 10) in the process.
SQUARE ENIX® announced two new books being published by the company’s Square Enix Manga & Books imprints, FINAL FANTASY® VII REMAKE: World Preview and FINAL FANTASY VII Poster Collection, which will celebrate the iconic characters, massive world and beautiful visuals of one of the most anticipated video games of the year, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE. The titles will be releasing this Fall through all major book sales channels as well as from the SQUARE ENIX Store for $24.99 each.
FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE: World Preview, releasing on September 8th, is a lavishly illustrated, full-color introduction to the world of the beloved game. The hardcover volume offers both new players and long-time fans essential information on characters, gameplay and more, in addition to exclusive commentary from Director Tetsuya Nomura and Producer Yoshinori Kitase.
FINAL FANTASY VII Poster Collection, shipping on November 17th, is a collection of 22 full-color, premium-quality removable posters celebrating the game’s rich legacy, with images depicted from the world of FINAL FANTASY VII, including FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT CHILDREN®, DIRGE OF CERBERUS®, CRISIS CORE®, FINAL FANTASY VII and FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE.
FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is rated T (Teen) and will be available first on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system on April 10, 2020. The FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Demo is available to download now for the PlayStation®4 system at: http://sqex.link/FF7RDemo. For more information, visit: www.ffvii-remake.com
E3 will not be going ahead in June this because of the Worldwide Coronavirus pandemic.
E3 is the biggest video games event in the year, attracting hundreds of millions of viewers over the course of the week.
In a statement, the ESA said: “After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.
“Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.
“Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.
“We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3expo.com.
“We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.”
At Final Kombat 2020, the championship finale of the Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition esports series, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and NetherRealm Studios revealed a new Mortal Kombat 11 gameplay trailer debuting Todd McFarlane’s world record-breaking comic book character, Spawn.
The new video shows off the latest playable fighter’s iconic look, including his signature cape, chains, battle axe and more, which can all be used against opponents. The trailer also features two unreleased music tracks from heavy metal band, Trivium, entitled “IX” and “Scattering the Ashes.”
Spawn was formerly Al Simmons, the U.S. government’s greatest soldier and most effective assassin, before being mercilessly executed by his own men. Resurrected from the ashes of his own grave in a flawed agreement with the powers of darkness, Simmons was reborn as a creature from the depths of Hell – a Hellspawn. Now, he is thrust into the world of Mortal Kombat 11, where he will fight for supremacy against all Kombatants.
Spawn is voiced by actor Keith David, the original voice actor from “Todd McFarlane’s Spawn,” the Emmy award-winning HBO animated series. The new guest character will join the Mortal Kombat 11 roster on March 17 as part of the early access period for Kombat Pack owners, followed by wide availability on March 24.
Kombat Pack owners will also have access to the new Spawn-inspired character skin, “Hellspawn” Jacqui Briggs, on March 17, alongside the Matinee Skin Pack featuring “Osh Tekk Vandal” Kotal Kahn, “Swashbuckler” Erron Black and “Space Marine” Jacqui Briggs.
To view and share the Mortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack – Official Spawn Gameplay Trailer, visit: LINKMcFarlane Toys will also be releasing a Spawn Mortal Kombat action figure today (March 8) at select retailers, emulating the character’s distinguished look from Mortal Kombat 11. The Spawn Mortal Kombat figure will join Raiden, Johnny Cage, Scorpion and Sub-Zero as part of a line of action figures based on Mortal Kombat 11 fighters.
The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to support grassroots esports in the UK, has extended its partnership with AoC Sport to host a special event focused on esports in the education space.
The Esports in Education Summit is designed to bring together teachers, lecturers, researchers and more across the UK, to help them better understand the benefits of esports and how their schools, colleges, universities and students can get involved.
There will be talks, panel discussions and more from teachers, students and industry experts, as well as members of both AoC Sport and the British Esports Association. The full content track and speaker line-up will be revealed in due course.
There will also be networking opportunities and lunch will be provided on the day.
It will take place on Thursday May 21st at Sixways Stadium, Warriors Way, WR3 8ZE, the home of the Worcester Warriors rugby team. Registration begins at 10am and the event will conclude from 3.30pm.
It follows on from an Esports in Further Education forum that also took place at Sixways Stadium last year, but promises to be bigger and better this year, with up to 150 delegates able to attend. In terms of spaces, teachers and lecturers will have priority and it will be first come, first served.
Last year, AoC Sport’s Managing Director kicked off proceedings with a welcome and introduction, before Darren Newnham, British Esports Association advisory board member and Nexus CEO gave an overview on esports.
British Esports content director Dominic Sacco then spoke about the British Esports Championships for schools and colleges and, after lunch, a college esports panel including lecturers, teachers and students spoke about the benefits of esports, taking part in the Championships and shared best practice with the audience including tips on setting up esports clubs, getting the right equipment and forming teams.
Delegates also learnt about career pathways, how esports can increase attendance levels, promote teamwork, leadership and communication skills and help students make new friends and more.
Kaussar Bashir of South & City College Birmingham said: “It was an amazing event to kick-start and welcome esports into the FE sector. It was very informative, engaging and offered a complete network of support for someone like ourselves who are at the start of our esports journey.”
Andy Payne OBE, British Esports Association chair, commented: “We’re excited to be bringing an esports education event back to Sixways Stadium after the success of last year.
“We’re looking forward to updating leaders in education about what’s happening in this space, what we’re doing and how they can get involved in esports.”
Dr Dean Hardman, AoC Director of Sport and Student Experience, said: “We’re delighted to be co-hosting the first Esports in Education Summit off the back of a successful FE forum last year.
“It’s a great opportunity for colleges to find out more about the growing esports sector and the wider benefits gaming can have on students’ personal development.”
The London Games Festival has unveiled its GAMES ARE GOOD FOR YOU theme, supported with a city-wide and social media ad campaign, as its full programme goes live for 2020.
LGF 2020 takes place from 26 March to 6 April with 100,000 expected. Yearly tentpole events like Now Play This, EGX Rezzed and the festival’s own Trafalgar Square takeover will have a variety of experiences to offer games fans while the B2B strand for professionals grows to include more international attendance than ever before.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The London Games Festival is a great showcase of our booming games industry and the significant investment and jobs it brings to our capital. Across 12 days, it brings together professionals, businesses and games fans from across the world to celebrate this thriving sector and provide opportunities for our creative talent. I’m delighted that this year’s event will be delivering a positive message to the industry, as we show the world that London is open to business and innovation.”
50 speakers from around the world will talk about the art, craft and business of making games at festival programming including summits on Games Impact, Interactive Narratives, and Games Culture. Dedicated Global Games and Hollywood XP events will delve into international business and connections between films and games respectively. Tickets are now on sale via www.games.london.
Entirely free to attend is the LGF Business HUB, which will not only provide a meeting place plus roundtables and one-to-one mentoring sessions, but also provides the first official showcase for Ensemble, the festivals’s annual exhibition showcasing BAME video games developers and creatives, plus a range of exhibitors from international games studios.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said:\u2028“Video games and interactive entertainment are a valuable part of the UK’s creative and digital industries. Games provide billions of people around the globe with entertainment, ways to connect with friends, and compelling stories, worlds, characters and themes. For 12 days across the city, the London Games Festival will showcase the creative excellence, the talent, the scaling innovative businesses and the positive impact games have in people’s lives.”
London Games Festival is backed by the Mayor of London with funding of £1.2m over three years and seeks to make London the games capital of the world. It is delivered by Games London,an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment).
Games London has become a key driver for global business in the capital’s games sector through its Festival plus trade missions – latest research proves that since 2016 it has created over 550 jobs for London through its work connecting games studios with funders and investors.
Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “London’s games sector is a billion-pound industry, generating £1.4bn for the economy and directly employing over 5,100 roles. It is fantastic to see the London Games Festival expanding its reach and ambition, building on the success of last year’s festival and doubling our presence in Trafalgar Square, bringing games to life in the centre of London and celebrating work from around the world, drawing on the creative clusters outside of the capital and reflecting the terrific success of the UK industry.
“Creative industries are the big success story of the UK and London economies and the games industry is a key, cutting-edge component of this success. As well as celebrating this achievement with such a strong programme of events and activities embracing the culture and creativity of games, I’m delighted that the festival will once again enable major new business opportunities through initiatives such as the Games Finance Market, which draws in up to 60 major investors to the UK for pitch meetings with games businesses.”
The full list of highlights for London Games Festival 2020: Ensemble – Thursday, 26 March onwards
Various locations across the city
The acclaimed exhibition focusing on BAME games professionals can be seen across London EGX Rezzed – Thursday, 26 March to Saturday, 28 March
Europe’s biggest showcase of indie PC and console games WIN – Friday, 27 March
Venue to be announced
Fifth edition of our event for women in games with added mentoring support for attendees LGF Business HUB – Monday, 30 March & Tuesday, 31 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
The B2B week of LGF starts with our all-in-one base of networking, conferences and learningGlobal Games Summit – Monday, 30 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
A new invite-only conference for our international guests to kickstart the B2B weekGames Impact Summit – Monday, 30 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
Dedicated to examining how games positively influence livesInteractive Narratives Summit – Tuesday, 31 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
The second year for our afternoon examining how games are written and tell storiesGames Culture Summit – Tuesday, 31 March
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
One of the longest running LGF events looks at the artistic practitioners shaping and reacting to gamesGames Finance Market – Wednesday, 1 April & Thursday, 2 April
Games London’s signature event connecting games studios to investors and publishers Games Finance Workshop- Wednesday, 1 April & Thursday, 2 April
Institute of Directors
A two-day course on learning the fundamentals of games financing and then how to perfect your pitchHollywood XP – Wednesday, 1 April
The Strand Palace Hotel
A brand new event examines the crossover and connections between video games and other screen industriesBAFTA Games Awards – Thursday, 2 April
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank
The world’s most iconic games ceremony honouring the past year of creative excellenceNow Play This – Friday, 3 April to Sunday, 5 April
A key part of LGF since it started, showcasing installations and interactive experiencesTrafalgar Square Games Festival – Friday, 3 April & Saturday, 4 April
A tentpole consumer moment in the festival bringing games to life in the centre of London Cosplay Parade – Saturday, 4 April
The fourth year for this family event, and this time integrated into the Trafalgar Square Games FestivalPower UP – Saturday, 4 April to Sunday, 19 April
The Science Museum’s retro games showcase starts during the final weekend of the games festival