Train2Game News Dan Houser Resigns From Rockstar Games

Dan Houser has parted ways with Rockstar Games!

Mr Houser co-founded the studio behind GTA and Red Dead in 1998 with his brother and a couple of other games developers.

And now, Dan will be officially parting ways from the company at the beginning of March.

Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, said it was “extremely grateful for his contributions” but stressed in a statement that his brother Sam continues to work for the business.

The reason for Dan’s resignation has not been confirmed but reportedly, he has been taking an extended break since the beginning of Spring 2019.

What this means for the companies future, and games like GTA 6 remains to be seen.

Train2Game News Atari 2600/7800 A Visual Compendium

Atari® 2600/7800: a visual compendium aims to showcase the very best pixel art, cover art and product design on each system.

Spread over 528 pages, it features over 200 classic games, with articles on the leading third-party developers, interviews with key figures in the industry and features on subjects, such as cover art, prototypes and homebrew releases.

This book aims to cover the highs and lows of what was a truly tumultuous period in video game history; an era which laid down the foundations for what has today become one of the world’s most popular forms of entertainment.

Each version of the book comes with a free PDF.

There will be:

Hardback @ £29.99

Softcover @ £24.99

Collector’s Edition @ £49.99 which comes with a set of 5 postcards, bookmark and a pair of A2 blueprint posters (limited to 1,000 units)

Atari’s early tenure as the video game industry’s leading light oversaw seismic change in what was still a very young and evolving sector.

Not only was Atari’s Video Computer System/2600 system the first piece of gaming equipment to truly dominate the living room, it also played host to some of the most iconic titles of all time, including Asteroids®, Combat®, Air-Sea Battle, Yars’ Revenge®, Adventure, Missile Command® and many, many more.

At its height, Atari’s name became synonymous with video gaming in the same
way that Nintendo’s would a few years later, but the company – and the industry – fell just as swiftly thanks to the infamous North American video game crash of 1983.

Even when faced with this catastrophic event, Atari soldiered on and, the following year, produced the powerful 7800 console – a machine that could easily have returned the firm to its former glory, had its launch in 1984 gone to plan.

The book (all editions) is available to pre-order now here and all editions will ship in April 2020.

Train2Game News FF7 Remake Theme Song

SQUARE ENIX® today introduced the spectacular music for FINAL FANTASY® VII REMAKE, unveiling the theme song for the highly anticipated game with a brand new trailer, alongside behind-the-scenes interviews with the track’s creators.

The theme song, titled “Hollow”, is written by revered FINAL FANTASY series composer Nobuo Uematsu and features vocals from Singer-Songwriter, Yosh – from Japanese Rock band, Survive Said The Prophet.

To view the Theme Song Trailer, visit: https://youtu.be/3alSpW18SnE.

Alongside the theme song, the brand-new trailer gives a further glimpse at FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s epic boss battles and characters, taking viewers even deeper into the eclectic city of Midgar. For returning fans, the trailer also showcases some memorable moments reminiscent of the original game reimagined for the Remake.

To view the behind-the-scenes video featuring interviews with Yosh and Nobuo Uematsu, visit: https://youtu.be/2ZKR9slSECg.

Additionally, fans will get to experience the breath-taking music from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE live, including the game’s theme song, during the Orchestra World Tour in over 10 cities, in cooperation with AWR Music Productions. Starting in Los Angeles this June, the concerts will feature music from the game’s soundtrack performed by a majestic orchestra and full chorus, all conducted by GRAMMY®-Award winner Arnie Roth known for his work on Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY. For more concert and ticketing information, visit: http://ffvii-remakeconcerts.com/.

For those unable to attend, the full FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Original Soundtrack will also be available from early Summer 2020.

Finally, those who pre-order any version of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE from the SQUARE ENIX Store will receive an exclusive FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE lanyard and automatically be entered for a chance to win a stunning limited-edition Sephiroth or Cloud Strife Chronograph watch. More information on how to win these remarkable time pieces is available at: https://sqex.link/n2o.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is a reimagining of the iconic original game that re-defined the RPG genre, diving deeper into the world and its characters than ever before. The first game in the project will be set in the eclectic city of Midgar and presents a fully standalone gaming experience that provides a great starting point to the series. Along with unforgettable characters and a powerful story, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE features a hybrid battle system that merges real-time action with strategic, command-based combat.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be available for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system on April 10, 2020. For more information, visit: www.ffvii-remake.com

Train2Game News Magic ManaStrike Launched

Today, Netmarble Corp. is officially summoning Magic: ManaStrike worldwide, its first-ever game for the Wizards of the Coast franchise Magic: The Gathering.

Players can now bring Magic to life by downloading the game on the App Store and Google Play.

Magic: ManaStrike is an all-new game that takes the excitement of Magic: The Gathering’s vast lore in a whole new direction with a fast-paced PVP strategy game.

After losing a war with the Planeswalkers, Magic: The Gathering’s most powerful villain Nicol Bolas creates a parallel universe to find the Planeswalkers’ weaknesses. Players enter a contract with Nicol Bolas to provide combat data by controlling Planeswalkers and units in his universe.

“Netmarble and Wizards of the Coast worked closely for a long time to ensure Magic: ManaStrike is a new gameplay style that will be enjoyable for all players, but stays true to Magic: The Gathering’s roots and is authentic and enjoyable to fans,” said Joe Lee, Executive Producer at Netmarble. “Thanks to our partnership, we are excited to deliver a Magic: The Gathering experience that introduces real-time battles for mobile players, yet maintains core features from the original IP for fans.”

Fast-paced and easy to learn, fans can experience dynamic real-time battles with anyone from around the world in three-minute matches. During battle, players will be able to summon units, cast spells, and command powerful Planeswalkers with simple tap and drag gameplay and iconic Magic: The Gathering cards re-envisioned through high-quality 3D. By collecting new cards from Magic’s five unique Mana colors – White, Blue, Black, Red and Green, players will learn to understand each color’s traits, and create unique strategies that lead the way to victory.

“With Magic: ManaStrike, we were impressed with Netmarble’s ability to encapsulate Magic: The Gathering’s 25-year history into a mobile game that stays true to what Magic fans want in other mediums,” said Eugene Evans, VP of Business Development and Strategy at Wizards of the Coast. “Seeing our cards and Planeswalkers stepping into the 3D battlefield, along with our card effects translated from strategic turn-based gameplay into real-time combat, is a delight to see and we can’t wait to see how Magic: ManaStrike develops over time.”

At launch, players that pre-registered to download Magic: ManaStrike can look forward to receiving rewards like Gold (in-game currency), Gems (premium currency), one Player Icon, and ten emoji themed after Magic: The Gathering’s Planeswalkers. Other events and rewards awaiting players include:

Seven Days Check-In Event: Gold, Gems, and Card Packs will be given to players for seven days

New Planeswalkers

Ob Nixilis: Players can achieve this Planeswalker through Magic Pass upgrade

Calix: Available for purchase regardless of Magic Pass An all-new Gideon skin

Theros-Themed Map: In celebration of Magic: The Gathering’s new Theros Beyond Death expansion, an all-new Theros-themed map is available for players over Rank 5 to experience.

Magic: ManaStrike is available to download on the App Store and Google Play and is globally launched, and supports 13 languages including English, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai, Russian and Portuguese.

For more information, please visit Magic: ManaStrike’s official website and forum.

Train2Game News Pokémon Home Details

Today, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced more details for the new cloud service app Pokémon HOME.

The app enables Trainers to continue their Pokémon adventures beyond a single game system and manage their collection of Pokémon across many of their games. Pokémon HOME will launch in February 2020 for iOS and Android devices as well as Nintendo Switch.
 
Designed as a place where all Pokémon can gather, Pokémon HOME will enable Trainers to bring over Pokémon from linked Pokémon series games and deposit them in Pokémon Boxes in the cloud or move them around to linked compatible games.

Also, by linking the same Nintendo Account to both the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile device version, fans will be able to access the same Pokémon Boxes from both hardware platforms. The Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME supports connectivity with the Nintendo Switch games Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! Both the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME support connectivity with the Nintendo 3DS software Pokémon Bank.

Support for Pokémon GO is also in development.

Connecting Pokémon HOME to Pokémon Games
 
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield can link to the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME. Once the games are linked, users can deposit or retrieve Pokémon that can be obtained using those games.
 
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! can link to the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME. Users can move Pokémon back and forth between Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! or into Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Once a Pokémon from Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! is moved to Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield, it cannot be returned to its original game.
 
If a user is enrolled in a Premium Plan (paid), they will be able to move Pokémon from Nintendo 3DS Pokémon titles to Pokémon HOME using Pokémon Bank. Once a Pokémon from Pokémon Bank is moved into Pokémon HOME, it cannot be moved back to Pokémon Bank.
 
To celebrate the release of Pokémon HOME, Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will be available at no cost for a one-month period after Pokémon HOME is released. Trainers will be able to bring over Pokémon from various Pokémon series games using Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter. Once they have their Pokémon in Pokémon Bank, Trainers will then be able to move the Pokémon to Pokémon HOME.
 
Trade Pokémon


There are four ways to trade Pokémon using Pokémon HOME on a mobile device. This makes it possible to trade Pokémon anywhere and anytime.
 

  • Pokémon placed in the Wonder Box can be traded with people around the world. Pokémon placed in the Wonder Box will be traded even when Pokémon HOME is not being used.
  • With the Global Trade System (GTS), fans can specify which Pokémon they want to trade and which Pokémon they want to receive. They will then be matched with a Trainer if both meet each other’s criteria.
  • Room Trade lets Trainers create a room and trade Pokémon among the people who join. Each room can hold up to 20 people. Trading in rooms has no cost, but users will only be able to create rooms when enrolled in a Premium Plan (paid).
  • Friend Trade allows Trainers to trade their Pokémon with nearby users who they have become friends with in Pokémon HOME. Trainers can add friends using the Add Friend feature in Pokémon HOME.

More Features
Pokémon HOME has many features that Trainers can use to connect with games in the Pokémon series and more.

  • Pokémon will be registered to the National Pokédex when users deposit them in the Boxes in Pokémon HOME. If users deposit a Pokémon that can Mega Evolve or Gigantamax, then these forms will also be registered. In the National Pokédex, Trainers will be able to see Pokédex entries from various games in one place. With the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME, users will also be able to search by Pokémon Abilities or moves.
  • Trainers can receive Mystery Gifts in the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME. With this feature, they can receive Mystery Gifts for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield as well as gifts specifically for Pokémon HOME. Pokémon received in Pokémon HOME can be directly deposited in a Box in Pokémon HOME. Trainers can also receive some gifts, such as items for Pokémon, by receiving a code for a Mystery Gift in Pokémon HOME and then using that code in Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield.
  • If a Trainer has enrolled in a Premium Plan, they will have access to the Judge function, which allows them to check how strong their Pokémon are.
  • In the Your Room section, Trainers will be able to see all sorts of information about events or the games they’ve connected to Pokémon HOME. They’ll also be able to edit their profile using stickers. They can obtain stickers in Pokémon HOME when they meet certain conditions or perform certain tasks known as Challenges.
  • In the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME, users can check out how Ranked Battles and various Online Competitions in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are going, as well as the rankings of the Pokémon being used in them. By going to Battle Data, they’ll be able to see the battle records of each Trainer as well as information about what moves are popular among the Pokémon in the competitions.
  • In Pokémon HOME for mobile devices, Trainers will be able to receive news about Pokémon being distributed as gifts and information about Online Competitions for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
  • Pokémon HOME Points are points that accumulate in Pokémon HOME as Trainers deposit more Pokémon. When using the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME, Trainers will be able to exchange their Pokémon HOME Points for BP (Battle Points) to be used in core Pokémon series games.

There are some differences in what the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME can do.

Certain features can be expanded or added when Trainers enroll in a Premium Plan.

The Premium Plan has a few different subscription options.

Nintendo eShop pricing structure:

-1 month (30 days)£2.69

-3 months (90 days)£4.49

-12 months (365 days)£14.39 

iOS and Android device pricing structure:


-1 month (30 days)£2.99

-3 months (90 days)£4.99

-12 months (365 days)£15.99 

For more information about Pokémon HOME, please visit https://home.pokemon.com/en-gb/

Train2Game Tetris Now Available On Android & iOS

N3TWORK, a premier games, media, and technology company, and The Tetris Company, Inc., today announced that Tetris® is now available to download for FREE globally, outside of China and New Zealand, on mobile and tablet devices via the App Store and Google Play.

Tetris launches with the traditional gameplay experience beloved by fans around the world, and will be updated with new gameplay modes in the future.

“Tetris is one of the most recognizable games in the world and we’re delighted today to make that experience available for free to millions of people worldwide,” said Neil Young, founder and CEO of N3TWORK. “We’re launching Tetris with a traditional solo gameplay mode, but we want fans to know that we’ve got so much more in store for them, and this is just the foundation of an incredible Tetris app experience we’re building at N3TWORK.”

The new Tetris app features intuitive swipe controls with haptic feedback built specifically for mobile devices and includes both online and offline play, with local high score tables available now, and an online high score table coming soon. Players can personalize their experience with five different themes and 50 different avatars.

Developed by N3TWORK as part of its multi-year agreement with The Tetris Company, Inc., Tetris is available today for FREE on the App Store and on Google Play.

Train2Game News 8th Annual VFX Festival

The 8th annual VFX Festival, hosted by Escape Studios, returns to the Southbank Centre from 16 – 18 March 2020, with a focus on discovering and developing new and emerging talent, featuring sessions on Fortnite and Spider-Man.

The VFX Festival is an annual celebration of visual effects, animation, games and motion graphics. It’s an event for emerging talent to explore the creative industries; it’s also an opportunity for creative professionals to share their insights on award-winning productions.

The VFX Festival EDU will take place on Monday 16 March 2020 at the Southbank Centre. It’s an event for school and college students who want to learn about the world of VFX, Games, Animation and Motion Graphics through inspiring talks and meetings with industry professionals.

The VFX Festival Emerging Talent will take place from Tuesday 17 March – Wednesday 18 March 2020, also at the Southbank Centre. It’s an event for students currently studying within higher education and young professionals who are looking to kick start a career in the creative industries. The festival will be filled with inspiring talks, panel discussions and a recruitment exhibition zone.

The VFX Festival After Hours will take place on 16 – 18 March 2020 at Escape Studios in in centralLondon, within walking distance from numerous award winning studios. These late afternoon technical talks and advanced workshops are aimed at experienced industry professionals looking for knowledge-building opportunities and the chance to network. The sessions are also suitable for young professionals looking to progress their career in the creative industries.

Dr Ian Palmer, Director of Escape Studios, said: “We are thrilled to be going into our 8th year of the VFX Festival, which is testament to our commitment to the creative industries in the UK and our ongoing pledge to create studio-ready talent. 2020 sees another year attracting and showcasing the latest expertise that our fast-growing industry offers; whether it’s from VFX, animation, games or motion graphics. If you’re established in the industry, looking to network and raise your profile, or want to find out how to get your first break, we’ve something for everyone.”

Over the three days festival attendees will have a chance to participate in talks on award winning projects, includingHis Dark Materials: Animating the daemons - Marion Strunck, Lead Animator at Framestore Fortnite World Cup Tournament: Real Time in VFX - Eolan Power, AR Director at NVIZ Creating the dazzling ‘Illusion Battle’ sequence in Spider-Man: Far From Home - Alexis Wajsbrot, VFX Supervisor at Framestore Of Rats and Goop, Stranger Things Monsters by Rodeo FX - Yvon Jardel, Animation Supervisor at Rodeo FX

In addition,attendees will receive encouragement and advice from experts in careers and recruitment::

Panel Discussions:VFX, Animation, Games and Motion Graphics - Monday 16 March - Panel hosted by Access: VFX VFX and Animation - Tuesday 17 March Games - Wednesday 18 March

As part of the Recruitment Exhibition Zone, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from studios, to discover more about their available roles, career pathways and progression. Studios confirmed for the Exhibition include Bluezoo,The Focus, DNEG, RodeoFX and Framestore.

Train2Game News Socks For GAMEs

GAME, the leading high street video game retailer today announced that it will be re-homing unwanted Christmas socks in exchange for in-store credit, with its first ever New Year Sock Swap!

Following the Christmas period, unwanted socks get thrown to the back of the drawer and forgotten, or worse still – they go straight in the bin. Over 25% of Brits class socks as their least-desired Christmas present, with a combined £5B a year wasted on unwanted presents, whilst the number one requested item for the UK’s homeless shelter is….. socks!

To ensure the dreaded Christmas sock reaches people who actually want them and to kickstart 2020 positively, GAME will be offering customers extra credit for their trade-ins when they bring in their unwanted (new & unworn!) pairs.

An extra £2 will be given for games and an extra £15 when customers trade in tablets, phones or consoles. Every pair of socks collected will then be donated to various homeless charities to help communities up and down the country.

For more information please visit http://www.game.co.uk or hashtag #GAMESOCKS on twitter for pictures and news.

Train2Game News Holograms From Your Phone

IKIN, the leading provider of visual technology solutions for businesses, announced it is creating an SDK for iOS holographic rendering, with professional services support from Unity Technologies.

The SDK will facilitate the deployment of multi-dimensional, volumetric rendering for iOS devices.

These capabilities, when utilized with IKIN’s upcoming RYZ mobile device accessory, will allow every developer and user to experience interactive 3-D, holographic images projected in open space, with user capabilities including interactive motion between holographic and standard environments, while conducting gameplay in new ways.

In addition, the drag-and-drop simplicity of the SDK enables quick and easy implementation of these advanced services in new and existing games.

“IKIN has reimagined how people can enjoy mobile experiences through new user visual technologies, including volumetric and holographic media design and gameplay,” said Taylor Scott, founder and chief technology officer at IKIN.

“With the help of Unity’s professional services, our SDK empowers creators, developers, and designers to stretch the limits of visual technology by bringing to market new experiences never before thought possible. Everyone wants Princess Leia floating over their phone. We want to replace Leia with you, your family, your experiences, and everything else you can imagine.”

IKIN delivers state-of-the-art holographic technology for business and consumer use.

Its patented RYZ software and mobile accessories enable full solid-state optical 3-D holographic imagery in ambient light over a smartphone, enabling holographic content to be enjoyed in virtually any physical environment.

According to Scott, IKIN’s holographic rendering and display capabilities are optimized for use in 5G networks by leveraging discreet Artificial Intelligence layers to improve real-time data transmission capacities for volumetric holographic projections that enhance communication and interaction.

“Behind the scenes, IKIN’s technology manages bandwidth consumption to make things work smoothly across today’s 4G networks, but also the 5G infrastructure. As 5G networks come online, we anticipate that our technology will become a cornerstone of next generation gaming applications that will flourish in 5G environments,” Scott continued.

To find out more about what IKIN are doing you can go to https://ikininc.com/

Train2Game News Pokémon Go Buddy Adventure

Niantic and The Pokémon Company announced that the Buddy Adventure feature will soon arrive in Pokémon GO, adding all-new ways for Trainers to interact with their Pokémon.

Buddy Adventure leverages the cutting-edge augmented-reality technology of the Niantic Real World Platform to understand the world around Trainers and further blend the real and digital worlds together.

Buddy Adventure will give Trainers the ability to interact with their Buddy Pokémon like never before.

When AR+ mode is enabled, a Buddy Pokémon will react to its Trainer, who can directly play with and feed their buddy to earn new Perks.

Trainers can also look forward to a new shared AR mode which will launch for Pokémon GO after the initial launch of Buddy Adventure. Shared AR mode will allow up to three Trainers using AR+ to take a group photo of their buddies together—perfect for creating epic Pokémon moments and capturing new memories with friends.

For developer insights, check out the blog post here.

A brand-new trailer celebrating the upcoming launch of Buddy Adventure in Pokémon GO can be found below…

The video highlights the new ways players can interact with their Buddy Pokémon and features an acoustic version of Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend,” performed by Paul Canning, capturing the love and friendship people can experience with their buddies.