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Train2Game News N64 Anthology Book

​The Nintendo 64 Anthology is the book made for a generation of 90’s gamers.
Written by Matt Manent, it provides the most comprehensive look at the much-loved Nintendo 64. Cramming in over 400 pages of facts, game reviews and interviews, it also tells the console’s story – chronicling it’s seven-year journey from development right through to it finally being retired.

What’s included:

    -All 388 games reviewed – including detailed information such as each title’s release date, developer, publisher, genre, rarity, and a rating out of five (includes full-page reviews of all the classics like GoldenEye, Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie!).

    -A huge array of content spanning cancelled games, accessories, collectors editions, and, of course, every Nintendo 64 version and bundle.

    -Interviews with the people involved at the time: Martin Hollis (Rare – GoldenEye) and Eric Caen (Titus – Superman; acknowledged as one of the machine’s worst games)

    -A collector’s guide section outlining all the games released in each territory (Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia) alongside checkboxes for collectors to mark the games they own and those they don’t.

General Manager of FunstockRetro.co.uk, Andy Pearson said:

“For those who grew up playing on the N64, this book is the ultimate gift. Covering every aspect of the console, from its games right through to its hardware, it has been assembled with all the care and attention you’d hope for as a fan. It’s the perfect addition to any N64 collection.”

The Nintendo 64 Anthology book is available to pre-order exclusively at Europe’s Number One Retro Gaming Destination, FunstockRetro.co.uk now at just £44.99 here!

Train2Game News TT Games joins forces with big mobile developer

TT Games, part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and the makers of best-selling LEGO® titles including “LEGO® Star Wars™” and “LEGO® Dimensions™,” has acquired the UK-based Playdemic, one of Europe’s highest-regarded mobile games companies. 
Playdemic alongside TT Games studios, Traveller’s Tales and TT Fusion are creating new kinds of LEGO games designed and built for the latest generation of players on mobile.

“We couldn’t be happier to bring on board such a talented and capable team,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “Playdemic brings a unique set of skills to complement our existing studios, and a tremendous track record on mobile. They’re a perfect fit – and will enable us to take advantage of exciting new opportunities to build new kinds of socially-connected LEGO games.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our company,” said Paul Gouge, Playdemic CEO. “We built Playdemic to create innovative, meaningful mobile games with high production values, which deliver a uniquely social, incredibly fun and shared experience for our players – and cannot imagine a better context in which to continue that work. We’re all huge fans of the LEGO Group and the LEGO games made over the years by TT Games, and we’re tremendously proud to be able to make a new contribution to that legacy.”

Based in Wilmslow, Playdemic employs 33 staff. Their existing portfolio of successful mobile titles, including “Golf Clash” and “Village Life,” have been downloaded more than 50M times, generating in excess of $50M of revenue and will remain live and supported by TT Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Playdemic’s latest release, “Golf Clash,” has achieved huge acclaim from players, making it a top grossing title in the US and Internationally.

Train2Game News GEEK Festival

Replay Events, the UK’s leading gaming entertainment company, announced today participation in the GEEK festival, a three-day celebration of all forms of gaming, taking place in UK half-term week from February 17th through February 19th 2017.
More than a mere video game show, GEEK features family entertainment on an epic scale, featuring a huge range of multi-player interactive games, board games, retro and current gen gaming, card games and real world games.

Leaders in consumer gaming events, Replay Events will be bringing a jaw-dropping selection of retro-gaming to GEEK, including the following attractions:

    -Multi-Player Lounge Play – Come chill out with a classic range of ‘couch-play’ four-player titles, from classic games like Micro Machines™ and Bomberman™ to brand new indie sensations like Ultimate Chicken Horse™ and Party Panic™!

    -Multi-Player Retro Gaming – Take a trip through time sampling forgotten classics from previous generations of consoles from the Atari® VCS and the Amiga™, to the PlayStation® 2, Gamecube™ and original Xbox™. See how the games of yesteryear compare to the modern classics on current generation consoles, also available to play at GEEK!

    -Minecraft™ Zone – Running continuously throughout the GEEK festival, the Minecraft Zone features three playable game modes including Survival Mode, Creative Mode and the ever-popular Hunger Games

    -16-Player Replay Ring – Experience local multi-player gaming on an impressively huge scale! The Replay Ring features 16 Xbox 360 consoles linked together, playing non-stop classics such as Halo™ 4, Blur™ and Blazing Angels™ 2

    -Tournament Zone – Replay Events brings the fun of competitive gaming to GEEK, running contests throughout the show on classics such as Halo 4, PES™ 2017, Street Fighter™ V and Minecraft. With prizes to be won, gamers can test their skills and win big!

   -Street Fighter ™ Celebration – Celebrate the most beloved fighting game of all time with a dedicated area re-living the classic series and featuring the following titles: Street Fighter™ II Turbo on the SNES, Street Fighter™ II: Championship Edition on the Megadrive, Street Fighter™ III: Third Strike on the Dreamcast, Street Fighter™ IV on the Xbox 360 and Street Fighter™ V on the PS4™

    -Rock Band™4 Stage Zone – Rock out with the legendary music game, featuring a full four-player band setup playable on the stage!

    -Iron-Geek Challenge – Not for the timid, show your skills on Pac-Man™, Sonic the Hedgehog™ and Super Mario Bros™ in the Iron-Geek challenge zone! Race through each of the games and win the coveted trophy!

“The GEEK festival is celebrating its fifth year in 2017 and Replay Events are proud to be partnering with the show,” said Andy Brown, Director for Replay Events. “GEEK is the perfect opportunity for gamers and families to come together and enjoy gaming on a massive scale. Replay Events are proud of our heritage in staging gaming events throughout the UK and a key part of our business lies with providing an unrivalled range of classic and retro-games for various partner events. With this in mind, we’re confident we’ll have something for everyone to enjoy and we look forward to welcoming guests to the show this February.”

Amongst the impressive roster of events taking place over the three days, GEEK is proudly teaming up with Nintendo® to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mario Kart™. Alongside offering visitors the opportunity to play every Mario Kart game through the ages, GEEK proudly plays host to the official Mario Kart tournament, taking place on Saturday 18th February. With a chance to win a brand-new Nintendo Switch™* home console, players will compete one-on-one in repurposed bumper cars from Dreamland’s historic amusement park as they tussle for first place across eight races from the best Mario Kart has to offer!

Tickets for GEEK are available now and start from as little as £7 per child and £12 per adult. For more info, please visit https://www.dreamland.co.uk/geek

For the purposes of this event, an adult is aged 15 and over. There will be some over 18s areas at the evening event.

Under 5s go free. Dreamland Members get 10% discount. For more info on Dreamland Membership, visit https://www.dreamland.co.uk/membership

*Nintendo Switch will be awarded to the winner post release

Train2Game News Scottish Games Company Receives Big Funding

Blazing Griffin, a digital entertainment group, today announced it has completed its Series ‘A’ round, raising £5 million led by private investors and matched by the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
The funds will be used to help support the group’s continued growth and to expand its game development portfolio, film output and post production services.

This latest round of funding builds on 5 years of substantial growth and an exciting year ahead for Blazing Griffin. From its current capacity of 30 staff, the group plans to use this investment to treble its headcount over the upcoming months.

Blazing Griffin is working on a number of on-going and unannounced game development projects. Following the launch of The Ship: Remasted and coupled with the investment, the games studio plans to build at least two new development teams.

The film department recently announced the start of principal photography for its first feature film project, Anna And The Apocalypse, starring Ella Hunt and Paul Kaye and backed by Creative Scotland. Blazing Griffin has many exciting licensed and original properties for film and TV in development with world-class talent and production partners, and is supported by slate development funding.

Building on their achievements and through the work on high profile shows, the post production team have created a new facility in Glasgow, with 4K delivery capabilities, to service UK-wide and international projects, specialising in remote workflows with international and UK partners – the first of its kind in Scotland.

“Having the hard work of all The Griffins be recognised in this way is an awesome feeling. I can’t wait for people to see everything we’re currently working on and very much looking forward to sharing all of our plans over the next couple of weeks and months.” said Managing Director, Peter van der Watt, “We all appreciate the continued support and confidence our investors and Scottish Enterprise have in our ambitious plan to become one of Scotland’s largest entertainment companies.”

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

“Scottish Enterprise has been working with Blazing Griffin for over three years during which we have seen the company go from a fledgling games development studio to a diversified digital entertainment group” said Kerry Sharp, head of SIB, “Following on from our initial investment in February 2015, we are delighted to again support the group’s growth plans and, capitalising on the talented team it continues to build in Scotland, look forward to seeing the company create brilliant content across its games, film and post production portfolio that will be enjoyed by a global audience”.

Train2Game News PC Gaming Hardware breaches $30 Billion

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the leading research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, today announced that the global PC Gaming Hardware market has breached the $30 billion mark for the first time.
Comprised of pre and DIY built gaming computers, upgrades, and accessories such as displays, input devices and audio systems, the market exceeded $30 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a 6% CAGR through 2019.

Due to an entrenched PC gaming culture, large population, and lack of significant console traction, the Asia Pacific Region leads the world in both growth and market size with a forecasted 7% CAGR to 2019 from a value of almost $11.3 billion in 2016. India claims the largest growth rate in Entry-Level (sub $1000) and is forecast for an eye watering 28% CAGR; breaking through the billion mark across all segments in the next few years.  North America and Western Europe both individually lead Asia Pacific for High-End gaming systems (over $1800). Germany is forecast to enjoy impressive growth in High-End, reaching $1.6 billion in sales in 2019 and Russian gamers are forecast to consume Mid-Range Hardware at an 8.65% CAGR through 2019.

Ted Pollak, Senior Game Industry Analyst for JPR said, “Consumers continue to embrace the PC for video games due to multiple factors. The desktop ergonomic is popular because of superior detail using most HD and UHD monitors, and unrivaled control with mouse and keyboard interface. This has been validated with eSports overwhelmingly being played on PCs. Additionally, product designers have created thousands of options for complete customization from a functionally and aesthetic perspective. Examples include dedicated driving and flight systems, multi-display setups, and a wide selection of notebooks ranging from desktop substitutes to innovative ‘thin and light’ offerings. Liquid cooling, advanced PSUs, SSDs, genre specific gaming mice, mechanical keyboards, notebook graphics amplifiers and Xbox accessory compatibility offer gamers more choices than they have ever had.”

Jon Peddie, President of JPR, said, “PC gaming is so successful because it allows all levels of customers to participate including those with lower budgets. Nvidia and AMD are not ignoring this opportunity, and offerings like the GTX 1050 bring powerful graphics processing for around $120. We are very excited about the prospects for the AMD Ryzen CPU platform and think it will be adopted at all three hardware tiers. Of course Intel CPUs currently offer amazing performance for gamers of every budget level and their integrated graphics can rival game consoles.”

Nevertheless, a key phenomena JPR observes is that the ranks of PC gamers are growing in the Mid and High-End where ASPs are high. Also the average PC sale is increasingly motivated by the video game use model, which is important to understand in a stagnant or declining overall PC market. As basic computing functions become more entrenched with mobile devices, the PC ultimately becomes a power user’s tool. Whether for gaming, photo and video editing, content creation, etc.

The Worldwide PC Gaming Hardware Market report series by Jon Peddie Research covers 33 countries, notebooks and desktops, DIY, and accessories. It is released twice a year in three segments: Entry-Level, Mid-Range, and High-End.

Train2Game News Games Report 2017

​Last year was a record breaker for games, with tech M&A advisor Digi-Capital’s new Games Report 2017 (www.digi-capital.com/reports/#global-games-investment-review ) recording $30.3 billion games deals in 2016. 
The $28.4 billion of games mergers and acquisitions (M&A) was 77% higher than 2014’s previous record, and $1.9 billion games investment was the second highest ever. With games revenue set to grow from $117 billion in 2017 to over $170 billion by 2021, games has turned into a two speed market driving massive consolidation around mobile games in particular.
So what’s behind the consolidation around mobile games? Mobile apps (not just games) revenue grew an unexpected 40% last year, with China a major driver. Taking over three-quarters of all mobile apps revenue globally, mobile games had an absolute flyer. Despite this outperformance, mobile games growth could slow to 14.5% annually long-term (CAGR) for over $80 billion revenue by 2021 (gross apps revenue across iOS, Google Play and all the Chinese app stores). That’s more revenue than the entire games market a few years ago.

At the other end of the spectrum is the land of the indies, where there isn’t enough money yet for the big boys. VR hardware, AR games and VR games have a lot of runway and look set to drive over $20 billion revenue combined by 2021. Together with the games tech/services and mobile games, these smaller, faster sectors are where billions of dollars from VCs and corporates were invested into games in the last 12 months. 

Train2Game News Performance Gaming Wear

KontrolFreek® today announced its Performance Gaming WearTM apparel line, the first to be specifically designed for gamers and eSports professionals.
Items in the collection include the Icon Performance Gaming Hoodie and Icon Performance Gaming Shorts and feature DRYV® Technology, a patented system that blends ultralight, high-performance moisture-wicking fabrics with an absorbent outer layer, allowing gamers to easily dry hands and stay cool.  

   -The Icon Performance Gaming Hoodie is designed with an oversized hood to accommodate headphones while still giving players a sense of enclosure, increasing their ability to focus.
    -The Icon Performance Gaming Shorts have extra-deep storage pockets and a low-waist design that falls just above the knee when sitting, maximizing player comfort.

    -Implemented DRYV® moisture-absorbent panels featuring patented technology provide multiple areas for gamers to easily dry their palms and fingers, mitigating thumb slippage to increase control and accuracy.

    -All pieces of Performance Gaming Wear apparel were developed with input from top eSports teams like The Rise Nation and Team Kaliber to ensure they met performance standards of the best professional gamers.

    -KontrolFreek unofficially debuted its line of Performance Gaming Wear apparel during the Major League Gaming (MLG) Vegas tournament in December 2016. Throughout the event, The Rise Nation and Team Kaliber wore KontrolFreek’s Performance Gaming Wear apparel while practicing and competing. The Rise Nation went on to win the event’s Call of Duty World League invitational. 

“Our extensive research indicated there was a need within the eSports community for performance garb tailored to the gaming lifestyle,” said Ashish Mistry, CEO of KontrolFreek. “When developing our Performance Gaming Wear apparel, we coordinated directly with top gaming professionals to ensure our apparel met the specific needs of the competitive gaming community. We strategically placed DRYV® Dry Hand Zones in our garments to provide multiple areas where gamers naturally reach to dry their palms and fingers. With DRYV®, we decrease thumb slippage and, therefore, increase accuracy and control. Grip and accuracy are hallmarks of the KontrolFreek brand.”

The leading developer of Performance Gaming Gear™, KontrolFreek’s mission is to create high-quality products that increase player comfort and performance to enhance the overall gaming experience. Its products range from Performance ThumbsticksTM and KontrolFreek GripsTM for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers to apparel and accessories like the recently announced  KontrolFreek 12FT Gaming CableTM.   

“Just like traditional athletes, eSports players want to maximize their competitive advantage with the gear they use; this includes what they’re wearing in practice or during competition,” said Rodger Saffold III, Co-Founder of The Rise Nation and offensive guard for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. “Success in eSports is driven by precision and speed. A fraction of a second can be the difference between winning a championship or going home empty handed. KontrolFreek knows that the details matter and it really shows with their new Performance Gaming Wear.”

KontrolFreek’s first line of Performance Gaming Wear is now available for sale online at KontrolFreek.com.

Train2Game News Pokémon Duel

​The Pokémon Company International announced today that Pokémon Duel is now available for download at no charge on the App Store and on Google Play.
Pokémon Duel is an exciting mobile strategy game in which fans deploy digital Pokémon figures and battle based on strategic moves to reach a goal in the opponent’s territory. Pokémon Duel gameplay details follow:

    -By strategically assembling their team of six Pokémon, each with its own strengths and a set number of steps it can take, players can take different routes to rush toward the goal or block the opponent’s Pokémon from advancing.

    -When two Pokémon from opposing teams meet, a battle commences, and the players spin each Pokémon’s Data Disk to see which Attack each Pokémon will use.

    -In addition to moving Pokémon and battling, players will also be able to use a plate at the start of their turn. These plates have various effects, including swapping positions of Pokémon in play and giving their Pokémon various battle enhancements for that turn.

    -The player who reaches their goal first wins the duel. Players can duel against real opponents at any time by tapping League Match on the Home screen. They will then be automatically matched, according to skill, with other players around the world.  A variety of items, including Pokémon figures, can be earned through Time Boosters that are unlocked with every League victory. Winning League matches also increases the player’s rating and provides a chance to get different Pokémon figures as they compete in higher-level leagues.

More plates and Boosters can be purchased at the Shop within the app. Materials collected from purchased Boosters can be traded for desired Pokémon. In-game currency known as Gems can be purchased at the Shop or earned in several ways, such as by playing Pokémon Duel daily and clearing missions.

For more information about Pokémon Duel, please visit: www.Pokemon.co.uk/Duel .

Train2Game News 17th GDC Awards

Organizers of the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer recognition celebrating the industry’s top games, studios and developers, will recognize Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and creator of ZZT, Unreal and Unreal Engine, with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 
Sweeney will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, taking place on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 6:30pm at the San Francisco Moscone Center during the 2017 Game Developers Conference, and in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival (IGF). The ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2017 pass-holders and will be livestreamed on the GDC’s official Twitch channel at www.twitch.tv/gdc

Sweeney founded seminal shareware game publisher Epic MegaGames in 1991, and the release of its first product, ZZT, led to an explosion of user-created worlds. ZZT has become so beloved as a game/application that it recently led to a full-length book dissection – in the Boss Fight Books series – of the games and culture it created. An expanded Epic MegaGames also released titles such as Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball and Tyrian in the ‘90s as a leader in the PC shareware space.

While serving as the founder and CEO of a renamed Epic, Sweeney was the main architect of the first-generation Unreal Engine. This game engine was originally created for the 1998 PC game Unreal. But it became the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games, initially in the Unreal franchise and increasingly licensed outside of Epic, including the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, and the Batman: Arkham series.

Sweeney also worked to make the Unreal Engine extensible via UnrealScript, a spiritual successor to his object-oriented scripting language for ZZT. This simple way for non-coders to get complex creations made easily led to extensive and creative player modding of games – one of the earliest blossoming of user-generated content. 

But it also led to easier adaptations of the engine – which has now had four major iterations – to other games. These include Epic’s own titles such as Gears of War, Paragon and Fortnite, as well as notable independently created games such as Rocket League, Abz û, Astroneer and ARK: Survival Evolved. The engine is now being adapted by non-game development teams across the automotive, aviation, architecture, VR/AR, complex data visualization and film sectors.

Sweeney joins the roster of previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients which includes Todd Howard, Shigeru Miyamoto, Warren Spector, John Carmack, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, Sid Meier, Ken Kutaragi, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Peter Molyneux, among others.

Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, which includes notable game industry leaders such as Mark Cerny (Cerny Games), Doug Lombardi (Valve), Angie Smets (Guerrilla Games), Amir Rao (Supergiant Games) and Jade Raymond (Electronic Arts).

For more information about the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit: http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/ 

Train2Game News Micro Machines returns to home consoles

Codemasters & Koch Media today announced that legendary gaming franchise, Micro Machines, will be racing its way on to PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC on 21st April 2017. 
Micro Machines World Series retains the manic social gameplay of the classic series, updated with stunning HD visuals that will see you return to the garden, kitchen, workshop and many more great locations in an array of amazing miniature vehicles.

In addition to classic game modes such as Race and Elimination, Micro Machines World Series introduces all new Battle Arenas which allow you to wreak mass destruction on a miniature scale against your friends or the AI.  Meanwhile, Team play lets you work together using your vehicles’ unique skills in modes such as “Capture the Flag” and “King of the Hill.”

Designed around fun gameplay at every turn, Micro Machines World Series is the ultimate pick up and play experience for players of all ages and abilities, offering intuitive, easy to learn controls that make the controller impossible to put down.

Codemasters’ VP Publishing, Jonathan Bunney, commented: “The original Micro Machines was a breakthrough multiplayer racing game and remains much loved in the gaming community.  We saw great success earlier this year with our free-to-play mobile game but this brand new console title takes the franchise to its greatest levels of multiplayer mayhem and enables you to play with your friends on the same sofa or across the world.”

Bunney continued: “Whether you’ve been playing Micro Machines since the early days or are new to the craziness of racing and battling vehicles across household environments, this incredibly fun experience is a welcome break from all the serious multiplayer alternatives. With the support of Hasbro and being able to feature some of their biggest brands, such as HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS, G.I. JOE, OUIJA and NERF, this represents the very best of social gaming.”

Releasing on 21st April 2017, Micro Machines World Series will support up to 12 players online and four players on the same screen across a variety of racing and battling environments.  Each of the 12 vehicles has its own unique load-out of weapons and abilities and the game will launch with a massive range of customization options.