Train2Game News Funding for your game

Global Top Round’s 2018 accelerator program is now accepting applications from independent video game studios around the world, with successful parties potentially receiving up to $300,000 USD of funding.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, GTR is an interactive accelerator program dedicated to supporting small studios, comprised of around one to ten staff members, from all over the world with the development, publishing, and fundraising expertise they need to take their games global and make their businesses sustainable.

The application period for the 2018 program is open from July 1 until August 19, with submissions to be made via the Global Top Round website. All submitting studios must have a playable game/demo build developed, with intentions to launch by mid-2019, and relevant assets prepared. Games that are already fully launched are not eligible.

A total of 20 games, from 20 studios, will be selected from the applicants and invited to attend the GTR 2018 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 27-28 (for which travel and accommodation expenses of up to $2,000 USD will be covered). The event offers attendees two days of networking and showcasing, and it is held in conjunction with the Level Up KL Game Conference, the largest gaming conference in Southeast Asia.

At the GTR 2018 Conference, the 20 studios/games will be assessed by GTR’s core team and participants, with input from attending professionals including the event’s speakers, and a final 10 will move forward into the accelerator program. These 10 studios will be eligible to receive $40,000 USD in direct investments, guidance and exposure after a series of due diligence processes.

A few selected projects, deemed to be of considerable promise, will further benefit by receiving additional direct investments of up to $300,000 USD total from GTR. There is no set limit to the number of studios that could receive this investment, as GTR seeks projects of substantial potential, and talented teams and individuals to believe in. Initial investment and support of projects is provided in exchange for a percentage of studio equity not surpassing 5% and a small portion of the project revenue.

Games to have previously benefited from GTR’s program and its support since 2015 include Relic Hunters Legend by Brazilian studio Rogue Snail, Earth Atlantis by Thailand’s Pixel Perfex, UK team Dream Harvest’s Neuroslicers, and Woodpunk by Spain’s Meteorbyte Studios. These games, and many more to have been through GTR’s accelerator program, have enjoyed several award wins and nominations, and generous media attention.

“We put our greatest efforts into identifying talent and building trust with the studios,” says Global Top Round CEO, Danny Woo. “We’re prepared to go the extra mile once we’ve found the right team.”

“We have an impressive mix of both Western and Eastern publishers keen to review our games,” says Rick Nahm, GTR’s COO. “They take us seriously because we’ve proven of what we can offer, and we try to work very closely with them.”

For further information about Global Top Round, please visit the program’s official website.

Train2Game News A new market for you to sell your games

Two entrepreneurs who are creating a new marketplace for online gamers have secured a £200,000 investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

The funding will allow Alex Booth and Nick Gillett to bring their idea to market. Player Lands, which will be based in Nottingham, will allow gamers with no previous experience of e-commerce to open online stores and sell the content they create or find while playing.

The system will tap into the growing global market for in-game downloads and aims to become the leading e-commerce platform of its type.

Alex, a serial entrepreneur who also has a yacht and private jet hire business, came up with the idea after working as a consultant in the gaming industry. He joined forces with Nick, an angel investor and founder of London-based digital agency C360 which he sold in 2006. They set up Transaction Technologies in 2016 to pursue the idea.

Player Lands will offer customers a secure and straightforward way to buy content for their favourite games. It will give shopkeepers their own customisable store, together with tools to manage inventory, market their products and run promotions, while also providing detailed reporting to help them increase sales. The platform will be secure, easy-to-use and provide a safe environment for children as well as more seasoned players. It will use blockchain technology to create a completely transparent public ledger for each item traded.

Alex Booth, CEO of Transaction Technologies, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be involved with the games industry, which despite its enormous size is still growing fast. We want to give gamers the opportunity to capitalise on their hard work in-game, letting them trade the items they’ve found or won for real cash. The investment from Mercia is going to help us bring the idea to market quickly and with the technical excellence this market demands.”

Dr Sandy Reid, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said:
“The worldwide market for downloadable in-game content is growing rapidly and already dwarfs the income from pay-to-play games. However, it is served by mostly low-level e-commerce providers and content creators are struggling to find platforms that offer the professionalism and service that they need. The funding will enable Alex and Nick to put their idea into practice and fill this gap in the market. We feel there is a real opportunity for Player Lands to become the leading platform of its type in the coming years.”

Lewis Stringer, MEIF Senior Relationship Manager at the British Business Bank, commented:
“The innovative nature of Transaction Technologies is testament to the thriving creative and digital content sector across the Midlands. It’s great to see finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund being deployed in such exciting, early-stage technologies, and we look forward to Alex and Nick making a success of this forward-thinking concept.”

Lindsay Wetton, Senior Programme Manager for Business Engagement at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Creative and digital businesses, such as Transaction Technologies, form an integral part of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire economy. With help from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and its Growth Hub is working to ensure that businesses across its area are given the support that they need to grow, succeed and flourish.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Train2Game News Antstream streams retro games

Independent technology company, Antstream, announced their self-titled retro-games streaming service today and the first video games streaming service of its kind, Antstream.

Dubbed as gaming’s own version of Netflix, Antstream is a monthly subscription gaming service, offering players unlimited access to iconic games that can be streamed and played instantly via TV, PC, Tablet or Smartphone. Antstream is set to bring Classic PC, arcade and early generation console games to modern platforms, giving gamers instant access to their favourite retro games as well as the opportunity to discover even more.

“We see the future as bringing games to you on your device” says Antstream CEO, Steve Cottam. “Almost any book, music or movie is available to stream through services like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix, whereas most games have been lost as technology has moved on. Antstream enables decades of games to be brought back to life, with unique multiplayer challenges, achievements, leaderboards and modern control schemes.”

Antstream has already caught the attention of one of the UK Games industry’s most celebrated and successful entrepreneurs, Ian Livingstone CBE, now proudly serving as Chairman of Antstream.

“Antstream is an amazing concept – a Netflix of games, in which iconic games are streamed straight to any device…this is incredible and clearly is going to be the future. Antstream is a fantastic way for gamers of today to experience these classic games.”

The Antstream team have big plans for the streaming service, with a vision to offer users as many games as possible from retro classics to the latest day one releases. Retro is only the beginning!

For more information on Antstream, please visit the official website. You can also follow Antstream on Twitter and Like it on Facebook.

Train2Game News Kingdom Hearts III Best RPG

At this year’s Game Critics Awards, KINGDOM HEARTS III was awarded Best RPG title.

This continues the critical reception of the title most notably at the E3 convention where it received over 30 awards from North and South American media publications.

“The long-awaited third entry in the beloved KINGDOM HEARTS franchise brings together the magical worlds of Disney, Pixar and Square Enix,” said Ryan Lacina, Product Marketing Director at Square Enix. “Fans can expect an RPG adventure of a lifetime, with all new worlds and characters, epic battles and a storyline filled with Disney magic.”

KINGDOM HEARTS III will be available on January 29, 2019 for the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, and the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. KINGDOM HEARTS III is not yet rated. Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.

KINGDOM HEARTS III tells the story of the power of friendship as Sora and his friends embark on a perilous adventure and support each other through difficult times.

Set in a vast array of Disney worlds, KINGDOM HEARTS follows the journey of Sora, a young boy and unknowing heir to a spectacular power. Sora is joined by Donald Duck and Goofy, two emissaries sent by King Mickey from Disney Castle, to stop an evil force known as the Heartless from invading and overtaking the universe.

Through the power of positivity and friendship, Sora, Donald and Goofy unite with iconic Disney and Pixar characters old and new to prevail tremendous challenges and persevere against the darkness threatening their worlds.

Train2Game News Bleach joins Jump Force

Today, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe can reveal three new playable characters from classic manga series Bleach and one new stage for the upcoming title JUMP FORCE.

Bleach follows the exploits of fiery teenager Ichigo Kurosaki who inherits the powers of a Shinigami (soul reaper), which sees him take on the duty of defending humans from evil spirits and travel to ghostly realms to protect them. Joining the roster of JUMP FORCE, which sees the greatest heroes and villains from the 50-year history of Shueisha’s influential Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump manga do battle, are three iconic names from Bleach:

  • Ichigo Kurosaki – Once a simple high school student with the ability to see ghosts, Ichigo became one of the strongest ever Shinigami (soul reapers) after his encounter with a Hollow (a spectral being) that tried to kill him.
  • Rukia Kuchiki – Rukia is a soul reaper from a noble family who specialises in Kido (the magic of the soul reapers). Her ice-type blade is considered to be amongst the most beautiful swords of the Souls Society.
  • Sōsuke Aizen – A captain of the Gotei 13, Aizen is a mysterious man. While calm on the surface, behind this serene appearance is perhaps one of the most skilled members of the Soul Society.

Also revealed today is the new Hong Kong stage, one of Jump Force’s many real-world locations. Set at street-level, manga characters will be illuminated by neon lanterns and the dazzling lights of a rain-soaked city as they battle in the shadow of Blackbeard’s mysteriously crashed ship.

JUMP FORCE features the world’s most popular and classic manga/anime franchises including DRAGON BALL Z, ONE PIECE, NARUTO and many more. Players will be able to create their three-character manga/anime dream tag team and take them into battle in hyper-stylish arena brawls set against backdrops of famous landmarks around the world including New York City’s Times Square and the Matterhorn in the Alps. Utilising Unreal Engine 4, JUMP FORCE brings these titans of Japanese pop culture to life for the first time ever in stunning realistic detail.

For more information from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe please visit:

The BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Website

The BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Facebook

The BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Twitter

Train2Game News BAFTA Guru Live

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will bring together aspiring creatives and leading film, games and television professionals at its flagship careers festival, Guru Live, in London on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September 2018.

The annual event, which is now in its third year, will take place at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London, and follows successful editions in Glasgow and Cardiff in April.

Guru Live is an extension of BAFTA Guru Guru.bafta.org, BAFTA’s online resource that shares advice and inspiration from the best creative minds working in film, games and television. Professionals from across these industries, including BAFTA winners and nominees, will present industry-specific masterclasses, Q&As and panel discussions, as well as cross-sector skills-based sessions aimed at aspiring creatives taking their first steps in their careers.

Highlights of the programme, confirmed to date, include masterclasses with director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, A Bigger Splash) the production team behind the BAFTA-winning Love Island, BAFTA-winning This Country’s creative team and co-writer and star Charlie Cooper and the team behind multi BAFTA-winning game Hellblade. These and further sessions throughout the weekend will focus on the essential skills required for anyone interested in pursuing a career in film, games and television from pitching through to producing with invaluable advice for every stage.

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and New Talent at BAFTA, said: “Guru Live has become one of the highlights in the BAFTA calendar and an amazing opportunity for budding and established professionals to come together to network and share their experiences and advice. We’re looking forward to welcoming all the creatives so they can learn first-hand from the amazing talent we have lined up.”

Tickets for all individual sessions are priced at £6 (or 2 for £10). BAFTA is also offering the opportunity for individuals who have already started in the industry to apply for a Guru Live Access Pass and a bespoke programme of one-to-one meetings and career development sessions.

For details of confirmed sessions and to book tickets go to:Guru Live London. To apply for the Guru Live Access Pass go to: Guru Live London Access Pass.

Guru Live is funded by generous individuals and brand partners including: EE (official partner to Guru Live); Filmstro (session supporter); Harman (official craft partner); PlayFusion (official games partner); Sara Putt Associates (session supporter); Searchlight (session supporter); Shutterstock (co-host of opening party).

Follow Guru Live by using #GuruLive and following BAFTA Guru on Twitter and YouTube.

Train2Game News Steeler HyperX Ambassador

HyperX®, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and dedicated gamer JuJu Smith-Schuster will join HyperX as a brand ambassador for the gaming industry’s most popular headsets.

Smith-Schuster will exclusively use HyperX headsets during his gaming sessions for their superior audio quality and comfort.

“When I’m not training, studying, or at practice, I’m in my element playing video games; my HyperX headset offers the sound quality and comfort I need to stay focused and win,” said Smith-Schuster. “I wanted to work with HyperX because they have the best headsets, and I love how the brand is always looking for unique ways to work together with me. I’m so excited about this partnership.”

As an ambassador, Smith-Schuster will include HyperX branding on his live streams, participate in HyperX marketing campaigns and appear at HyperX fan events. Smith-Schuster recently gained notoriety in the gaming world when he and other notable gamers, including Ninja, Drake and Travis Scott, shattered Twitch viewing records together.

“HyperX is expanding into the console gaming market and is very happy to have JuJu Smith-Schuster join our brand ambassador team,” said Ben Malka, influencer marketing manager, HyperX. “His love for gaming is displayed all over his social media, YouTube, and even on the football field. JuJu has brought more sports fans to gaming.”

HyperX is an avid supporter of esports and the gaming community – developing products designed specifically for gamers.

HyperX recently expanded its award winning lineup with the Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset, offering up to 30 hours1 of battery life.

The new Alloy Elite RGB mechanical gaming keyboard offers per key lighting customization, macros and up to three light profiles, all customizable through NGenuity software. The new Pulsefire Surge RGB mouse offers pro-level performance. With up to 16,000 DPI accuracy, featuring dynamic 360o RGB light effects using NGenuity software.

For more information on HyperX products and availability, please check www.hyperxgaming.com.

Train2Game News Nintendo Europe announce management shift

Nintendo of Europe GmbH is pleased to announce the new senior management structure put in place as the company bids a fond farewell to Mr Satoru Shibata, who has returned to the company headquarters in Kyoto, Japan, after fulfilling the role of Nintendo of Europe President for 18 years.

Mr Shibata joined Nintendo of Europe as its president in 2000, after previous engagements at Nintendo Co., Ltd. in Japan, where he started his employment in 1985, Nintendo UK (1993) and Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd (1996). Mr Shibata returns to Kyoto in a new position within Nintendo Co., Ltd. as General Manager of the Marketing Division as well as of the Licensing Division, in addition to joining the Board of Directors, from 28th June, 2018.

As per 1st July, Mr Koji Miyake, former General Manager of the Human Resources Department at Nintendo Co., Ltd., joins Nintendo of Europe as CEO/Chairman within the new senior management structure. The mantle of Nintendo of Europe President will be taken up by Mr Stephan Bole as COO/President. Mr Bole will be supported by Mr Luciano Pereña as CFO and Mr Laurent Fischer as CMO.

“To say that Mr Shibata’s contributions have been instrumental to Nintendo’s European operations is an understatement,” said new Nintendo of Europe President Stephan Bole, “His efforts over the past 18 years have helped to bring Nintendo products to generations of players across Europe – and beyond. While he will be missed by many, I have full confidence that with our new structure we’ll be able to continue our mission of putting smiles on people’s faces through our unique gaming experiences.”

Mr Bole brings extensive experience to his new position, having served as Managing Director of Nintendo France from 2001-2015, as well as through his roles as Senior Managing Director Corporate Strategy (2009-2015) and Senior Managing Director European Subsidiaries & Affiliates (2015-2018) at Nintendo of Europe.

The new senior management structure at Nintendo of Europe comes on the heels of a change in management structure at the company’s headquarters, where Mr Tatsumi Kimishima recently retired as Representative Director and President at Nintendo Co., Ltd. Effective today, Mr Shuntaro Furukawa was appointed as Representative Director and President.

Train2Game News ToeJam & Earl are Back in the Groove

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove, the upcoming fourth entry of the beloved, funkadelic action roguelike series, releases later this year on consoles and PC.

Greg Johnson, founder, HumaNature Studios, has issued the following statement providing a more exact release window and an update on the developer’s relationship with Adult Swim Games.

“We ARE releasing this year!! Right now we have our sights set on a fall release. We will be making a specific release plan announcement in regards to dates as soon as we have that nailed down.

Going forward Adult Swim Games is no longer going to be our publisher. Instead we are going back to self-publishing! Adult Swim Games has some other big titles they plan to launch this summer so when Back in the Groove pushed back, we both agreed that it made sense for them to hand us the reigns, rather than taking a chance on this getting pushed back any more. Also I’d like to say how deeply grateful I and all of us here at HNS are to Adult Swim Games. We wouldn’t have gotten this game to this point without them…seriously. Thank You Adult Swim!!

We are also going to be opening a closed beta within the next couple weeks for our early-access backers, and we’ll be looking for your feedback! Also, the Nintendo Switch version of the game is just about ready to be submitted for certification by Nintendo, and the other console versions are not too far behind. I’ll give you more details about all of this before this update is done.”

Train2Game News Final Fantasy IV Guitar Collection

Scarlet Moon Records is pleased to present Guitar Collections FINAL FANTASY IV, the first in what is planned as a series of live classical guitar albums featuring performances from across the Final Fantasy series.

Guitarist William Carlos Reyes (of The OneUps) arranges and performs Nobuo Uematsu’s iconic themes from FINAL FANTASY IV to celebrate the game’s 27th anniversary. The album is licensed and now available for pre-order on Bandcamp ahead of the July 19, 2018 release date:

Guitar Collections FINAL FANTASY IV Preorders on Bandcamp

“I’ve always enjoyed Square Enix’s Piano Collections FINAL FANTASY series, but I have a personal preference for the sound of the guitar” explains Scarlet Moon Records producer Jayson Napolitano. “I wanted to produce a series of guitar albums starting with FINAL FANTASY IV, just as the Piano Collections series did. I also knew based on William Carlos Reyes’s past arrangements that he’d be perfect for this project with his ability to layer his performances in a very natural and pleasing way, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I want Guitar Collections FINAL FANTASY to become a series, so we hope everyone’s as eager as we are to hear more!”

Key themes such as “Theme of Love,” “Welcome to Our Town!,” and the final dungeon theme, “Within the Giant,” are featured alongside an original composition by Reyes inspired by FINAL FANTASY IV titled “The Crystals.” The full track list is as follows:

01. Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY IV
02. Theme of Love
03. Welcome to Our Town!
04. Fight 2
05. Rydia
06. Melody of Lute
07. Golbeza Clad in the Dark
08. Troian Beauty
09. Illusionary World
10. Another Moon
11. Within the Giant
12. The Crystals (Original)

For more information about the Guitar Collections FINAL FANTASY series, visit the official website: http://www.scarletmoonproductions.com/guitar/