Train2Game News GAME supporting SpecialEffect 

GAME Digital Plc has today announced that SpecialEffect, the gamers’ charity, is its nominated charity for its UK subsidiaries for 2016/17. 
The announcement follows a UK company-wide survey, inviting staff to choose which charity they would most like to support which also had the best association with GAME. SpecialEffect’s work using technology and videos games to enhance the quality of life of people with physical disabilities struck a chord with employees across the business and all staff will now have the opportunity to get involved in raising money for the charity.

GAME aim to help raise awareness and funding for the charity through their unique multichannel offering across the gaming community including its stores, the GAME app, events, esports initiatives and social networks. GAME will be the lead retail partner in two national fundraising events: 

GameBlast17 (February 24-26) and One Special Day, which next year will fall on the exact date of the charity’s 10th anniversary (29th September 2017). 

Multiplay events, including the UK’s biggest gaming festival Insomnia, will host dedicated spaces and build more fundraising into events such as its popular Insomnia pub quiz. Staff will also have the opportunity to take part in races and team-building events such as the Spring Monster Race, British 10K and the Wembley Fives games industry football tournament, whilst raising vital funds.

SpecialEffect uses technology such as eye-control and modified joysticks to ensure that people gain access to hours of entertainment, irrespective of physical impairment. Since the charity was founded in 2007, the charity’s staff has built up a unique expertise in this area, as well as an extensive library of consoles, games and accessible controllers which it loans out to disabled gamers while they find the set-up that’s right for them. All of these services are provided free of charge, which is why fundraising partnerships such as this one are so important to the charity, as the numbers of people seeking their help continue to grow.

Fred Prego, GAME’s Group Insight Director said: “SpecialEffect represents a cause close to our hearts here and we’re proud to have been supporter of the charity for several years now along with the team at Multiplay. Employees across all areas of the UK business felt the charity fits perfectly with our position as an inclusive, valuable community of gamers and we will be putting together an extensive programme of activities to raise more money to help give more people the opportunity to experience the joy of gaming. We’re delighted to be working so closely with SpecialEffect, and hope to help make their tenth year next year their most successful yet.”

Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect CEO, added: “We’re absolutely honoured to be the nominated charity of GAME and incredibly grateful for the generosity of their staff and communities. The company, along with the staff at Multiplay, have provided invaluable support in the last few years and we’re looking forward to working even more closely together. The money raised will enable even more people with physical disabilities to enjoy the magic and inclusion of video games.”

Train2Game News PlayStation 4 Surpasses 50m sales

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) today announced that PlayStation®4 (PS4™) has cumulatively sold through more than 50 million units to consumers worldwide as of December 6, 2016, having enjoyed the best ever Black Friday week in the history of PlayStation®. 
This includes the sales of PlayStation®4 Pro (PS4™Pro), a high-end system that supports cutting-edge imaging technology, which launched last month.

With a vast array of exciting software titles from 3rd party developers and publishers as well as from SIE Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS), PS4 software sales also remain strong, with more than 369.6 million copies sold in retail stores globally and through digital downloads on PlayStation®Store as of December 4, 2016.

“We’re truly delighted that the PS4 community continues to flourish since launch three years ago.” said Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “With tremendous support from our fans and partners across the globe, this year we were able to deliver an unprecedented lineup of hardware, including the new slimmer PS4, PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR. We will continue to provide the best gaming experiences available through our ground-breaking software lineup and network services, as we focus on accelerating our business and expanding the PS4 ecosystem.”

PS4’s software portfolio will continue to grow this holiday season and beyond with highly anticipated games including Horizon Zero Dawn, Gran Turismo Sport, and MLB® The Show 17™ (all from SIE WWS), as well as PlayStation®VR games such as Farpoint (SIE WWS). Third-party publishers and the independent development community will also continue to deliver a variety of blockbuster franchises and innovative new titles for PS4.

SIE will continue to expand the world of PS4 to deliver entertainment experiences that are only possible on PlayStation.

The PS4 system is currently available in 122 countries and regions worldwide.

Train2Game News 12 Days of GamesAid Christmas

Today, UK games industry charity GamesAid is proud to launch its 12 Days of GamesAid Christmas store on eBay.
The UK games industry has to come together to offer Christmas shoppers the ultimate wish list of unique gaming gifts to help raise money for GamesAid, helping disadvantaged and disabled children.

From 5th – 18th December, the GamesAid eBay store will auction off an amazing array of items – the like money usually can’t buy!

Items include a Deluxe Edition of Final Fantasy XV and artbook signed by game director Hajime Tabata, a copy of Football Manager 2017 signed by the Sports Interactive team, a Limited Edition Shrine of Malacath statue from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and a copy of Star Wars Battlefront: Ultimate Edition with a poster signed by the DICE team.

All the items can be found on the GamesAid eBay store, with even more to be added soon, including a mint copy of Forest of Doom signed by Ian Livingstone and a signed copy of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare- Legacy Pro Edition.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/GAMESAID
“Last year, the UK games industry raised a whopping total of £954,000 for GamesAid. Thanks to some incredible donations from our partners, we’re making Christmas extra special with our 12 Days of GamesAid auction” said Ian Chambers, Chair of GamesAid. “Every penny from the auction on our eBay store will go directly into our funding pot, which makes a huge difference to the lives of the young people our charities support. Please show your support and get bidding!”

Huge thanks to: Activision, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, DICE, EA, Ian Livingstone, Media Molecule, Sega, SK, Sports Interactive, Square Enix, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Techland, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for donating some truly incredible items.

Train2Game News Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy 

Award-winning developer and publisher of digital entertainment, Telltale Games, along with Marvel Entertainment, today announced an interactive episodic game series based on Marvel’s iconic sci-fi franchise Guardians of the Galaxy. 
The first of five episodes in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series will premiere digitally in 2017 on consoles, PC, and mobile devices. 

“The energizing blend of humor, emotion, teamwork, and full-on sci-fi action-adventure of the Guardians provides an enormously satisfying space to explore through Telltale’s unique style of interactive storytelling,” said Kevin Bruner, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games. “In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, players will take on multiple roles within the ragtag band of heroes, and take the pilot’s seat in directing their escapades around the universe. We are always honored to be working with the best creative partners and storytellers in entertainment, and working with Marvel on this series leaves us excited to share what we’ve been developing when it premieres in 2017.” 

“With story at the core of everything that Marvel creates, who better to team with than master storytellers Telltale Games,” said Jay Ong, Senior Vice President, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series fully showcases Marvel and Telltale’s rich legacy of storytelling, and fans will find themselves immersed in an original, character-driven narrative. As part of our strategy to establish a new standard for Marvel games, this is certainly among the great titles to come.”

The series will also be coming to retail as a special season pass disc, which will include the first episode in the season, and will grant access to the subsequent four episodes as they become available for download via online updates. Specific platform details are yet to be announced.

Revealed today on stage at The Game Awards 2016 in Los Angeles, you can watch the announcement teaser trailer on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Koy_e_ipwng

Train2Game News Child’s Play Charity Holiday Event

Child’s Play, the videogame industry’s most giving charity, has officially begun its 2016 holiday fundraising drive.

Established in 2003, Child’s Play has distributed more than $40 million in donations from the staggering support of the video game community, bringing the universal joy of “play” to children staying at more than 200 hospitals and domestic violence shelters across the globe.

As part of this year’s drive, the 2016 Child’s Play Charity Auction will take place Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington. Participants will have the opportunity to bid on a life-sized Iron Battle Axe replica from Destiny and more than 100 other items. Tickets can be purchased for $145 a seat or $5000 for table of ten sponsorship. 

Amazon, Humble Bundle, Wizards of the Coast and the Bungie Foundation are devoting their time and money to assisting the charity as corporate sponsors. Desert Bus for Hope once again held their marathon gaming session, raising $694,810 from online viewers for Childs’s Play.

“The mission of Child’s Play is to create moments of happiness and connection for children and their families in tough circumstances, whether at one of our partner hospitals, or in the domestic violence shelters we support,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder, Child’s Play. “It’s a mission gamers worldwide have supported year after year and, with their support, we’ll continue to meet that need.”

Those wishing to contribute to Child’s Play can:

    Host a fundraising event

    Buy or donate an item on the Child’s Play eBay for Charity page

    Give directly via PayPal, the account is: donate @childsplaycharity.org

    Become a corporate sponsor, email Travis Eriksen.

    Mail a check to Child’s Play, 9040 NE 161st Ave, PMB #418, Redmond, WA 98052

Train2Game News Matchmade mobile marketing 

The Finnish game discovery company Shark Punch has announced a revolutionary mobile game influencer marketing platform called Matchmade.
The platform combines end-to-end data collection and analysis with sophisticated automation and matchmaking features to allow game publishers to reach the perfect audience for their games.

“We’ve always been passionate about helping publishers find customers who will fall in love with their games,” said Jiri Kupiainen, CEO. “Similarly, we’ve been keenly following the growth of let’s play culture and game streaming. Combining these two passions is the natural next step for the company, and with influencer marketing being the fastest growing marketing channel out there and with game discovery still being a massive pain point, we feel now is the right time to do it.”

Matchmade’s stated mission goal is to make influencer marketing intelligent. The platform automatically collects and analyzes data all the way from influencer audiences, content and engagement to installs and in-game actions. Sophisticated classification and matchmaking systems then help publishers reach influencers with relevant audiences at scale. For influencers, the platform offers a way to get a steady stream of sponsorships that are interesting and relevant to their fans.

Shark Punch has been building the platform in close collaboration with some of the best known game publishers in the world, ranging from the global publishers to quickly growing startups. “Our Matchmade campaign had the highest conversion and retention numbers we’ve ever seen, which is especially impressive considering it only took two minutes to set up,” said Camilo Fitzgerald from Futureplay, describing their pilot campaign with the platform. The platform is currently available on an invite-only basis.

Train2Game News UKIE on eSports

The trade body for games and interactive entertainment consulted with members of the UK esports community and today released the results in a whitepaper outlining eight recommendations for how the UK can become a global leader in esports.
The esports sector is set to be worth $1bn globally by 2019, and the UK’s ecosystem is young but growing. Highlighting the sector’s prospects in job creation, local economic growth, tourism, and new skills development, the report also indicates how the sector can be used as an example of the UK’s best technology, innovation and creativity.

As a trade body for interactive entertainment, Ukie now represents major UK stakeholders, including publishers, developers, platform holders, and key players in the esports ecosystem such as Hi-Rez, makers of Smite, ESL, Gfinity, FaceIT, Team Dignitas, Fnatic and Game/Multiplay amongst others.  They worked in consultation with Ukie via its largest member Sub Group to outline the measures.

The recommendations centre around:

    -The sector to work with key government departments to develop a unified strategic approach and appealing trade and investment offer to major international tournament holders, IP owners and brands;

    -The delivery of superfast broadband and 5G to provide the best infrastructure across the country;

    -The sector should coordinate itself as an industry group to share information and encourage and facilitate the sharing of best practice;

    -Industry and government to develop a methodology for more accurately measuring the UK esports sector;

    -Government to consider the needs of esports businesses and players in policy debates around skills and immigration and

    -The UK’s already world-leading games industry education courses to include esports modules;

    -Esports companies to actively support sustainable initiatives that promote and inspire diverse participation of esports;

    -Fifteen UK esports ambassadors to be created to promote esports in the UK and internationally, picked from a diverse mix of players, developers, publishers and event organisers, and to be added to the UK’s existing Video Games Ambassadors scheme.

Ukie also announced it would be supporting the Digital Schoolhouse powered by PlayStation to hold its first schools esports tournament in 2017.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said, “For some time, we have been proposing that esports in the UK could be a high value opportunity for the economy, provided the right infrastructure and support is in place so we can compete at a global level. Ukie stands for interactive entertainment, and esports is born out of the meeting of games, competition, fandom, live events, and digital innovation, and so in many ways is the epitome of interactive entertainment. Combining industry commitment with political and practical support both nationally and locally, collectively promoting the sector, and supporting the grassroots esports movement across the country, we can make the UK the leading global destination for esports.”

The whitepaper was launched at an event at Gfinity Arena, London’s home of esports, on Monday 28 November.

You can read the full report digitally here.

Train2Game News articy draft Unity Beta

​Bochum-based tool developer NEVIGO launched a closed beta for their under development articy:draft Unity Plugin and the articy:draft Macro Devkit.
NEVIGO invites all developers interested in testing its articy:draft Unity integration and the Macro Devkit to write to beta@nevigo.com to actively take part in the development of these tools.

All you have to do, as an interested developer, is to tell NEVIGO why you want to test the software and what you plan to do with it. If you qualify as a beta partner, they’ll contact you with further instructions on how you can participate in this closed beta to test the new features of the upcoming version 3 of articy:draft and give feedback.

In short the articy:draft Macro Devkit allows you to develop your own customized plug-ins and helps to integrate articy:draft in your individual workflow.

The Unity integration is a plug-in that allows you to import your articy:draft content hassle-free into Unity.

On NEVIGOs news blog you can find some quick information videos for both of the new upcoming features.

The Unity plugin: http://www.nevigo.com/en/fast-track-into-unity/

The Macro Devkit: http://www.nevigo.com/en/feature-in-development-articydraft-internal-api-video/

articy:draft is a visual environment for the creation and organization of game content. It unites specialized editors for many areas of content design in one coherent tool. All content can be exported into various formats, including XML and Microsoft Office. With the help of our integration components, you can even export into your game engine. Regardless of whether you are an individual user, an indie team, or a large studio, articy:draft adapts to your team size and ensures a smooth collaboration.

Train2Game News Insomnia59 Next Month

Multiplay, the organiser of the UK’s largest gaming festival, today reveals that global YouTube sensation Dan TDM will appear at Insomnia59, topping a stellar line-up of popular YouTube stars with a combined subscription base of 22 million people. 
Dan TDM, world-famous for his Minecraft vlogging and live stage touring, will be appearing on the Insomnia main stage once on the Saturday and again on the Sunday, with a new and exclusive 45 minute session produced especially for Insomnia by Endemol Shine UK, the producers and creators of Dan TDM On Tour.

Other confirmed YouTubers in attendance include @real8bitgaming, @marzbargaming, @Razzbowski and @ThePrenti, @yammy_xox, @gizzy14gazza, @samgladiator, @GameboyLuke, @OMGitsfirefoxx and @LDShadowLady. All will be available for meet and greets, with Dan TDM visiting on Saturday and Sunday to meet fans and perform on stage.

New to Insomnia59 will be the first ever Ultimate Gamer competition, which will seek to find the next big gaming YouTube star. The competition stands to propel budding YouTubers into the realms of YouTube stardom, with the winner taking home £5,000 worth of prizes. Applicants can apply through the Insomnia webpage and the heats will take place at i59, with a panel of experts judging and determining the best in show.

Andy Smith, Insomnia Events Director at Multiplay, commented: “Our Ultimate Gamer competition at Insomnia is an addition we’re really excited about, something that could give one lucky winner a potential platform to become the next Dan TDM! Along with Dan we’ve got some truly amazing YouTube talent coming to i59 and combined with the latest games titles, Virtual Reality demos, cosplay, retro games and competitive esports tournaments, Insomnia is the ultimate destination for families this Christmas.”

Continuing its rich tradition of bringing exciting first plays to the UK audience, i59 will be the first place British gamers can get their hands on Syren, a new VR title from Hammerhead, which will be playable from the dedicated VR and Technology section featuring Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and many more. This will be accompanied by three Hypixel games, which include Sky Wars, Walls and Parkour, not to mention all the biggest titles available this Christmas such as Call of Duty, FIFA 17, Gears of War 4 and Battlefield 1.

The ever popular BYOC tournaments featuring games such as Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Hearthstone will be open for entry for 2000 fans to compete in. Prize based BYOC tournaments will include Battlefield 1, Overwatch and Rocket league, with a total of £12,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. For more details on how to get involved head to https://insomniagamingfestival.com/whats-on?categories=tournaments

Insomnia59 will be taking place at The NEC, Birmingham, 9-11 December, 2016 and are available online from £20, with BYOC tickets costing £99. Tickets are available at: https://insomniagamingfestival.com/tickets/.

For more information please visit: https://insomniagamingfestival.com/

Train2Game News Walking Dead third Telltale game announced

​Fellow Survivors, the premiere date and new key art for The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier, the third season in the critically-acclaimed series was announced yesterday.
The first of five episodes in The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier will premiere digitally worldwide starting Tuesday December 20th on PC from the Telltale Online Store, Steam, and other digital distribution services, on the Xbox Games Store for Xbox One® and Xbox 360®, and on the PlayStation®Network for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The episode will be available the same day for compatible iOS devices via the App Store, and for compatible Android-based devices via Google Play. 

Beginning February 7th, the series will also be available for purchase on a special ‘Season Pass Disc’ for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, which will include the premiere episode for the third season, as well as access to all subsequent episodes in the five episode season for download as they become available. 

PlayStation 4 users can preorder the digital version by visiting the product page on the digital store. As a special bonus, PS4 digital preorders also receive a complementary copy of The Walking Dead: Season Two and The Walking Dead: Michonne.

Steam users can preorder the season by visiting the product page on Steam, with a savings of 10% for preordering.  

When family is all you have left… how far will you go to protect it? Four years after society was ripped apart by undead hands, pockets of civilization emerge from the chaos. But at what cost? Can the living be trusted on this new frontier? As Javier, a young man determined to find the family taken from him, you meet a young girl who has experienced her own unimaginable loss. Her name is Clementine, and your fates are bound together in a story where every choice you make could be your last. 

A special extended first look at the premiere episode will be revealed live on stage at The Game Awards on Thursday December 1st. 

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier is expected to receive a rating of ‘M’ (Mature) from the ESRB.