Train2Game UK Games Industry Battles Corona

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with some of the UK’s leading games companies to feature the government’s clear  ‘Stay At Home, Save Lives’ instruction in some of their most popular games to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
 
Getting through the crisis will require a collective national effort and every generation has a role to play, everyone’s actions right now can have a direct impact upon the lives of others. Young people spend more time playing video games than the rest of the population (UKIE), which is why in-game messaging represents a creative, targeted, and immediate way to help reinforce the government’s Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives message, to gamers.
 
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
 
“It is absolutely vital that we all follow the simple government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. I’m delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.”
 
Support from UK video games companies to date include:
 
Activision Blizzard King are inserting “Stay At Home” messaging in their network of mobile games, most notably Candy Crush Saga. The firm has also donated more than 230 “digital poster” advertising spaces in London, where they would normally advertise their own products, to be used for crucial public health messaging.
 
‘Stay At Home’ posters are already being featured in Codemasters’ DiRT Rally 2.0, played by millions of unique users since its launch in February 2019, and the company is now looking at ways to roll out more essential health messages in games across Europe and the U.S. in the coming weeks.
 
Rebellion will be including “Stay At Home” messaging on their games landing page launch sites (the landing page when you load up a game) for their games, with the capacity for these messages to link to relevant gov.uk pages where appropriate.  As well as developing games, Rebellion also publish comic books and have also offered advertising in these.
 
Humam Sakhnini, President of King said:
 
“Everyone at Activision Blizzard, and the King team I lead, are delighted that we’re able to play a small part and help with the delivery of vital public health information. Through our millions of players we’re able to assist Public Health England and the NHS spread their life saving message: stay at home, protect our NHS, and save lives”.
 
Jason Kingsley OBE, Co-founder and CEO of Rebellion:
 
 “We’re delighted to be working with the DCMS on this excellent initiative. We know how fundamentally beneficial video games, like Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade, and comics, like 2000 AD, have been and will continue to be for many of us during this extraordinary time. It makes total sense for us to help promote important public health messaging while keeping those fans entertained in the safety of their homes.”
 
Toby Evan-Jones, VP Business Development at Codemasters:
“At Codemasters we came to realise that technology within our games, which enables the remote updating of banners within the virtual environment, could be repurposed to assist with the Coronavirus communication effort. This week, through collaboration with Bidstack Group PLC (providers of the ad-replacement infrastructure), we began delivering a version of Public Health England’s “Stay Home Save Lives” message into DiRT Rally 2.0. It’s fantastic to see conversations already being sparked amongst our community.”
 
Approximately 37 million people in the UK play games, and there are around 2,277 active video game companies in the UK.

Train2Game News FF7 Released In Europe & Asia

People in Europe and Asia have begun receiving their copy of the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake.

This was a conscious decision from Square Enix due to disruptions from the Corona Virus.

A statement on Twitter reads:

‘We had some hard decisions to make during the final weeks before launch due to disruption to distribution channels caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus,’

‘These unique circumstances have made it very difficult to align timing of our global shipping. Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch, so we made the decision to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia.’

For the rest of the world, with just one week  to go until the launch of Final Fantasy VII remake, SQUARE ENIX is making the digital pre-load available starting today on the PlayStation Store to ensure that players are ready to jump straight in to the streets of Midgar when the game releases worldwide on April 10.

In addition, SQUARE ENIX unveiled its Final Trailer from Japan, giving fans a glimpse into memorable narrative moments revealing familiar faces, new characters and epic scenes from late in the game.

To view the Final Trailer, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Y7DplcyR8.

Train2Game News Relive The Dragon Ball Z Saga

DRAGON BALL fans from all over the world have watched the DRAGON BALL saga unfold… now, fans can relive the saga in DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT!

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT has been referred to as one of the most accurate retellings of the DRAGON BALL story and enables fans to experience the heartwarming moments and fierce battles of the DRAGON BALL story as their favorite characters.

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT is out now and currently available for PlayStation4, XBOX One, and PC!

A Season Pass is also available for DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT,  with “A New Power Awakens – Part 1” DLC coming this Spring 2020!

Check out what fans and outlets have been saying in the newest accolades trailer for DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT:

https://youtu.be/-DR1LHhcs2w

Train2Game News British eSports Ramps Up The Content

The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support grassroots esports, is ramping up its livestreaming content.

British Esports will be running a host of streaming activities and shows on its Twitch channel, with three shows planned every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The activities will be kicked off with a special launch stream on Friday April 3rd from 4-6pm, hosted by British Esports school and college liaison officer Elliot Bond. This broadcast will run through the association’s streaming plans, give a taste of the content series it will be producing and get some guests on to talk, including a member of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF).

British Esports recently partnered with NASEF and, as part of this, NASEF has helped to shape and influence British Esports’ streaming content.

British Esports has also strengthened its existing partnership with the Twitch Student program around these activities. The livestreaming platform has granted British Esports Partner status, giving the channel plenty of tools to grow and promote its streams.

Going forwards, the British Esports Twitch channel will feature masterclass speakers, takeovers, guest panels, activities from British Esports game advisers, Women in Esports content, community challenges and more.

The British Esports Championships grand finals for schools and colleges are also set to be livestreamed on April 24th to 26th, in partnership with the NUEL (further details to follow).

When the British Esports Championships returns later this year for the 2020/21 seasons, British Esports will aim to host weekly shows looking at the latest matches and interviewing teams.

Some of the British Esports streaming content series will include:

  • Esports 101: Guests will teach the community in their expert fields in a series of virtual lectures. This could be to do with casting, pro gamer advice, the different types of esports careers and so on
     
  • Game Adviser Takeovers: A British Esports game adviser will have the opportunity to run a guest stream, either to host a Q&A session or to provide the community with their top advice in their specialist games
     
  • Women in Esports Wednesdays: a mixture of panels, interviews and more talking about the latest around British Esports’ Women in Esports campaign
     
  • Off the Record: British Esports head of content Dom Sacco will interview different personalities in the esports industry to provide insight into their careers in a series of real, raw interviews
     
  • Ask the Experts: Different members of the community join British Esports in a panel/podcast series. For example, Sheridans will be on stream to talk about the government support scheme specifically for esports freelancers
     
  • Fun Fridays: Community challenges, fun mini-tournaments and games (and possibly even a Sacco’s Snackos cookery class)

Game advisers that have expressed interest in running guest streams include Terry ‘Servitude’ May, Adam Fitch (journalism), Ryan ‘Wok’ Liu, Layla ‘TamashiiKanjou’ Abbott (a mix of streams including tips, advice and Animal Crossing), Su Collins (cookery), Nick Egan, Graham Day, Ben Rogers and more.

A full schedule including times will follow in the coming weeks.

Dominic Sacco, British Esports Association head of content, commented: “We’re so excited to be launching a host of streaming activity on Twitch – I think it’s fair to say it’s overdue! 

“Over the past year we have seen good growth and now have a great team in place that I’m certain will produce some brilliant content. Please bear with us as we get up and running and let us know your thoughts on our activities. 

“I want to emphasise this is all about the community, so if you would like to get involved with our streams, or have an idea, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to discuss. See you in the chat!”

“NASEF is honored to be partnering with British Esports to help make a difference for students, families and communities during these challenging times,” said Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Samueli Foundation and founder of NASEF. 

“It is rare to find someone with the same interests and values with whom a partnership is just so natural. Together, we are providing a free online ‘scholastic playground’ where kids can get together, play and learn at the same time, in a safe and monitored space. Thanks to the BEA-NASEF partnership, this is happening throughout the UK and North America.”  

Viewers can watch British Esports streaming activities and will soon be able see the latest content schedule at twitch.tv/britishesports

Train2Game News Now Play This at Home

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. 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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.

Train2Game News Cards For Humanity

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.

The donation page for the event is open now and can be found at https://tiltify.com/@983events/cards-for-humanity

The playing date of Cards for Humanity is the weekend of 11th/12th April, sign-ups are open now on the 983 Media website https://983media.com/upcoming-events/

Train2Game News Surprise Mini Nintendo Direct

Today’s surprise mini Nintendo Direct brought with it a small flurry of Nintendo game announcements – but also many release dates for games already released elsewhere and now coming to Nintendo Switch for the first time.

Most exciting among them – the classic racer Burnout Paradise in its recent Remastered form (though there’s no release date for that one yet) and the full BioShock trilogy.

Elite Dangerous’ long-delayed Fleet Carriers finally due in June, PC beta starts next month Read more

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).

Catch up with today’s full Nintendo Direct below:

Train2Game News WHO Orders Us To Play Games

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!

Train2Game News Minecraft Offering Educational Resources

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. 

Source: https://www.gamesradar.com/minecraft-education-lessons/

Train2Game News Final Fantasy VII Manga & Books

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