Train2Game News UKIE outlines new manifesto for games industry

UKIE LogoOn Tuesday, Ukie, in partnership with Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft, hosted its largest ever Westminster Political Reception to announce a range of policy recommendations and to celebrate the cultural and economic importance of the UK games sector.

The event, held at Millbank Tower, was attended by more than 200 members, MPs, Peers, policy makers and industry figures from a range of creative industry sectors.

The event saw the launch of the new Ukie Policy Manifesto for the next Parliament that outlines initial plans for how to further grow the UK games sector following the introduction of tax breaks earlier this year, and the introduction of the new Computing curriculum earlier this week.

Created with input from Ukie’s members, the Policy Manifesto calls for action on three headline areas of policy support:

· Support to help UK games companies grow across the UK – including regulatory stability, better infrastructure and a long term roadmap where games businesses can access public funding and support proportionate to the other screen industries

· Promotion of the UK games industry abroad – demonstrating that the UK is one of the leading videogame industries in the world, including a focus on funding, fully supporting and working with industry on trade and investment activity such as trade missions and helping UK businesses to reach overseas marketplaces

· Building a strong and diverse talent pipeline – including supporting the new Computing Curriculum, investing in careers guidance and extending and making permanent the Skills Investment Fund

The reception heard from Justin Tomlinson MP, PPS to Ed Vaizey, on the work that the coalition government has done to support the UK games sector.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: ““The UK games industry is going from strength to strength, recovering some of the ground lost to other countries over the last few years. This growth has been helped very much by the hard work put in by Ukie and the major policy initiatives introduced by this government, such as a new computing curriculum and the recent introduction of production tax relief. However, more can of course be done and in my new role working closely with Ed Vaizey I very much welcome Ukie’s new Policy Manifesto and look forward to discussing its recommendations with Jo and her team in more detail over the coming months.”

The guests also heard from Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, and Roy Stackhouse, General Manager for Activision Blizzard UK and Ireland, discussing Ukie’s manifesto proposals and the strength of the UK as a place to make games.

Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said: “We were delighted by the introduction of games industry tax relief earlier this year but quickly realised that it is essential that we maximise the opportunities that the new scheme presents. We have therefore spent the last six months speaking to our members from across the breadth of our sector about the measures that they would like to see the UK government introduce to truly put the UK’s games industry on the global map. Our Policy Manifesto outlines our members priority asks and we will be following this up with more detailed papers and briefings to MPs to continue our push to make this the best country in the world to make and sell games.”

UK MD of Ubisoft, Rob Cooper commented on the importance of the Westminster Reception in maintaining a positive view of the UK games sector: “Events like these are vital in showing the significance of the UK games industry, both culturally and economically, to a high profile audience of policy makers and other VIPs. We are delighted to support this year’s event and Ukie’s work generally in giving a voice to UK games businesses of all sizes from multinationals like Ubisoft, to smaller developers, making and selling some of the most vibrantly creative interactive entertainment in the world.”

Guests at the reception had a chance to play some of Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard’s latest titles including Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Just Dance 2014, Diablo III and Skylanders: Trap Team. Charity Special Effect were also there demonstrating their latest innovations to help young people with different abilities enjoy games.

You can find Ukie’s Policy Manifesto for the New Parliament here: http://ukie.org.uk/news/2014/09/ukie-westminster-reception

Train2Game News Destiny Beta massive success

DestinyActivision Publishing, Inc. and Bungie, today confirmed millions of people have played their upcoming and award-winning game Destiny during their beta test to gather vital information in preparation for launch.

The Destiny Beta included a sampling of major activities featured in the full game. The beta began first on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 on July 17 and came to a close Sunday evening, with 4,638,937 unique players participating.

“This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we’re thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what’s to come. We’re counting down the days to our launch day, September 9th.”

“We were totally blown away by the number of people who played the beta,” said Pete Parsons, COO of Bungie. “We surpassed even our own goals and the feedback was invaluable. We cannot thank the community enough, the response was humbling and in the weeks ahead we’ll be working hard to ensure that Destiny lives up to the expectations at launch.”

I got the pleasure of trying the beta myself on the Xbox One and I was blown away by the game. It was much more than I was expecting and will hopefully be a day one purchase for myself.

Train2Game News Call of Duty Advanced Warfighter reveal

Kevin SpaceyA new trailer for the next Call of Duty has been revealed starring Hollywood A Lister, Kevin Spacey.

In the last 20 years, global combat has seen a steady shift towards the use of private military corporations, or PMCs. What happens when the highest bidder becomes the world’s next superpower?

This is the question that is faced in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare developed by Sledgehammer Games and Activions.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare envisions battlegrounds of the future, where both technology and tactic have evolved to usher in a new era of combat for the franchise. Power changes everything on 4th November, 2014.

You can enjoy the reveal trailer for the game below:

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 10.02.14

FIFA 14FIFA 14 returns to the top claiming its 10th number one crown since launch last year.  In doing so it also becomes the 11th title in an elite group to claim 10 weeks at the top on the All Formats Chart.  It’s the 3rd FIFA title to achieve the feat and also the 6th by publisher EA to feature in the list.  Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts returns to number two, ahead of the sole new entry in the Top 10 this week, Microsoft’s Fable: Anniversary at No3.  The title remastered in HD for Xbox 360 was first released almost 10 years ago on the original Xbox and includes The Lost Chapters content.  Its arrival also sees last week’s debutant and chart topper Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition pushed further down the chart to number four.

All formats

Week ending 8 February 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 2
2 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 3
3 FABLE: ANNIVERSARY MICROSOFT
4 TOMB RAIDER: DEFINITIVE EDITION SQUARE ENIX 1
5 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 5
6 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 8
7 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 4
8 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 7
9 KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL SONY COMPUTER ENT. 10
10 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 6
11 GRAN TURISMO 6 SONY COMPUTER ENT. 11
12 NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS EA GAMES 9
13 BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 19
14 MADDEN NFL 25 EA SPORTS
15 NBA 2K14 2K SPORTS 12
16 WWE 2K14 2K SPORTS 13
17 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA 16
18 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014 SEGA 14
19 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 17
20 FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 MICROSOFT 15
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught coming soon

Call of Duty GhostsGamers mark your calendars as the first of four massive Downloadable Content Pack offerings for Call of Duty: Ghosts, is on the way with Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught.

Onslaught debuts four unique multiplayer maps, each with their own distinct environments, small to medium scale and varied gameplay, as well as the all-new “Maverick” dual-purpose Assault Rifle/Sniper Rifle. Anchoring Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught is “Episode 1: Nightfall,” the first instalment in Extinction’s four-part episodic narrative that delves deeper into the storyline and features new characters, a new weapon and new alien species including a towering, three-story tall alien enemy.

Onslaught is also included as part of the Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC Season Pass, which gives fans access to four epic Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC Packs planned to release in 2014 – Onslaught, Devastation, Invasion and Nemesis. Additionally, Call of Duty Ghosts DLC Season Pass holders get instant access to the downloadable multiplayer map, “Free Fall,” as well as the Team Leader Digital Pack, which comes with a unique multiplayer character head, weapon camo, reticle, player patch, player card and player background.

“We know our fans have an appetite for new gameplay content all year long and the team here is committed to delivering a full season’s worth of amazing new maps, weapons and more, starting with Onslaught in January,” said Mark Rubin, Executive Producer at Infinity Ward. “This year will see an assortment of content for players to dig into, with new, uniquely themed maps, new multiplayer weapons and an episodic Extinction story arc that introduces new characters, new locations and new weapons as they try to uncover the genesis of the aliens’ existence.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts’ initial DLC Pack will include the first instalment in Extinction’s four-part episodic narrative, “Episode 1: Nightfall.” Introducing a narrative driven by two new characters and featuring two all-new alien species and an exclusive weapon, “Episode 1: Nightfall” is a fast and frenetic, action-packed continuation of the original Extinction experience in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Set in a remote facility hidden deep within the Alaskan wilderness, the shadowy Nightfall Program has been researching the origins of the newly revealed alien threat. A small recon team of elite soldiers must infiltrate the site to retrieve intel and exterminate the hordes of savage creatures and along the way uncover a three-story tall terror unlike anything they’ve faced before.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught is set to launch on 28th January first, exclusively on Xbox Live for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Train2Game News: Call of Duty: Ghosts for £9.99

Call of Duty GhostsIf you are a Call of Duty: Ghosts fan who is upgrading to one of the next gen consoles then good news! You don’t have to buy the game again at full price.

Activision have made it nice and simple for you to get your current generation copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts on the next generation console. For just £9.99 you can download the next generation version straight to your console. This offer obviously only applies to people who already own the game on Xbox360 or PS3.

You will even get to keep hold of your season pass and gamer profile so you won’t lose all the hard work you have put in to the game already and you will still be able to get all the future DLC that will come out for the game.

To upgrade your game from Xbox360 to Xbox One it can be done through Xbox Live. To upgrade from PS3 to PS4 there is a unique code with the game you will be able to use.

If you have held out on getting the game with your next generation console it will be available for £64.99 from selected retailers.

The Xbox One is out this Friday for £430 and the PlayStation 4 is out 29 November for £349.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 18.11.13

Call of Duty GhostsActivision Blizzards’ Call of Duty: Ghosts easily holds the crown for a second week at the top of the All Formats chart. The title adds Xbox One to its list of available formats and it sells strongly despite consumers having to wait another week until the next gen console arrives. Despite assembling an all-star cast Warner Bros. Interactive have to settle for second as Lego Marvel Superheroes makes its debut. However it does become the second biggest week one release for a Lego title bettered only by Lego Indiana Jones: Original Adventures all the way back in Week 23 2008. Nintendo’s Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy moves up to number ten, up three places from its debut last week. The title along with Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask which climbs to number twenty, both benefit from retailer bundling which contributes to 3DS XL hardware sales more than doubling last week’s total.

All formats

Week ending 16 November 2013

POS.  TITLE 

FORMAT

 LAST
WEEK 

1

– 

CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS

XB360

1

 

2

LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES

XB360

 

3

FIFA 14

XB360

4

 

4

ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG

XB360

3

 

5

BATTLEFIELD 4

XB360

2

 

6

GRAND THEFT AUTO V

XB360

5

 

7

MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION

XB360

8

 

8

SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE

XB360

10

 

9

BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS

XB360

6

 

10

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE AZRAN LEGACY

3DS

13

 

11

– 

JUST DANCE 2014

WII

11

 

12

WWE 2K14

XB360

7

 

13

DISNEY INFINITY

XB360

12

 

14

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014

PC

9

 

15

– 

POKEMON Y

3DS

15

 

16

POKEMON X

3DS

14

 

17

TOMB RAIDER

XB360

16

 

18

– 

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

XB360

18

 

19

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF

3DS

20

 

20

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE MIRACLE MASK

3DS

 

< previous week

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: Call of Duty: Ghosts day one sales

Call of Duty GhostsActivision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., announced that the company sold more than $1 billion of Call of Duty: Ghosts into shops worldwide as of day one.

“Call of Duty is by far the largest console franchise of this generation,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “More people have played Call of Duty this year than ever before, logging four billion hours of gameplay. And in the last 12 months, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, including its digital content, generated more revenues than any other console game ever has in a single year. Although it is too early to assess sell-through for Call of Duty: Ghosts, it’s launching at a time when the franchise has never been more popular.”

Millions of people are already playing Call of Duty: Ghosts online. Since its release yesterday, Call of Duty: Ghosts has moved to the number one spot as the most played game on Xbox Live, according to Microsoft. Additionally, Activision confirmed that on the Xbox 360 videogames and entertainment system from Microsoft, average player sessions for Ghosts have been longer than either Black Ops II or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, during the same time period.

Call of Duty: Ghosts launched at fifteen thousand midnight openings around the world. Fans around the world shared their excitement in social media, with Call of Duty-related terms trending an astounding 20 times globally on Twitter in the last 24 hours.

“Ghosts is an amazing game which ushers in the next generation of Call of Duty. The team at Infinity Ward has delivered yet another epic thrill ride in the campaign, and what I think is our best multiplayer game yet,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “This is the must have launch title for the next generation of consoles, and we expect Call of Duty: Ghosts to be the most successful launch title for the Xbox One and PS4 by a wide margin. In fact, according to GameStop, Call of Duty: Ghosts is their most pre-reserved next gen title.”

Train2Game News: Destiny Beta

DestinyYou can be among the first to blaze a trail through the wild frontiers of Destiny, the next evolution of entertainment from the creators of Halo.

Activision Publishing and Bungie today announced that fans who pre-order the game at participating retailers worldwide will get early access to the Destiny Beta, which will include a diverse sampling of major activities featured in the full game. The Beta will begin in early 2014 on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

To celebrate the announcement, Activision and Bungie have released a new trailer entitled “The Moon,” featuring a highlighted destination in the game and the Hive, one of the four enemy races featured in Destiny.

“We have no doubt Destiny is not only a great action game but also the next great entertainment property,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “That means we’re putting all our creative support and all our expertise in creating blockbuster franchises into a colossal Destiny Beta that we believe will set a new bar for the next generation of games. Fans have a lot to look forward to in 2014.”

“Destiny is the most ambitious game we have ever made and it’s our chance to transform the way you experience a new Bungie universe,” said Harold Ryan, Bungie president. “From day one Destiny has been an incredibly bold vision that Activision shares with Bungie. Destiny is a massive universe that is populated by the players and for that reason we need fans to get their hands on the game, fans all around the world. We can’t wait!”

Destiny Beta Redemption Codes are only available while supplies last. Upon pre-ordering the game at a participating retailer, fans can visit http://bungie.net/beta and follow the instructions on the page to secure their spot in the Beta.

You can view the new trailer below:

For more information visit www.DestinyTheGame.com

Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 30.08.13

unity-logoIt’s the end of the week so it’s time for the games industry news round up.

Unity Technologies unveiled new 2D tools and workflow for the Unity engine and editor to meet increased demand for features designed to address the specific challenges of creating 2D games. Now in beta, the first iteration of the 2D tools, many of which are included in the free version of Unity, will be released with the Unity 4.3 update this fall. The charge to improve workflow begins with the introduction of a dedicated scene view, which includes specialized 2D scene manipulation tools. Scene view can be toggled between the traditional view or set as the default when creating a project. Importing, manipulating, and working with 2D assets are made easier with the addition of a new sprite texture importer type, automated atlasing, and dedicated 2D renderer component. Adding 2D art to a scene is as easy as dragging a sprite from the asset library into the scene where Unity will then automatically create an object. If you are a fan of 2D games and work with Unity you now have no excuses to get a game out there!

Wizards of the Coast announced that the Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion will release on September 18, 2013. Adding depth to the latest installment of the wildly popular Duels of the Planeswalkers franchise, the Magic 2014 Expansion will give players the opportunity to explore new planes, fight new enemies and face new challenges. Just like the full game the expansion will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PC via Steam, PlayStation Network, iPad, and Android via Google Play and the Amazon App Store. The new expansions includes; five new decks, new campaign levels, five new challenges and more persona portraits.

Activision Publishing, Inc., in association with Nickelodeon and developer Red Fly Studio, announced, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – a new, team-based, third-person action-brawler debuting on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for Xbox 360 as a part of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade 2013, and on Windows PC via Steam. Starring Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows puts the focus on combat, characters, and co-op. Its swift and tactile fighting system affords players dynamic choices on the battlefield, rewarding successful combo flourishes, expert counterattacks, and brutal takedowns. The Turtles’ full range of personalities are on display throughout this original story in the TMNT universe, bringing humour and attitude to the unfolding narrative and influencing each character’s unique fighting style. The game will be released on September 25.

NEXON Europe had the pleasure to announce that global pop sensation, media personality and all-round gentleman, PSY, is appearing in the enormously successful online free-to-play games MapleStory and Combat Arms. PSY took the world by storm with his hit single Gangnam Style, inspiring everyone from news readers to the UN Secretary General to join in with his unique brand of K-pop humour. Over a billion YouTube views and global chart domination is not enough for the dance phenomenon however; starting this month and following another huge hit single, Gentleman, PSY will be bringing his outrageous personality to NEXON Europe’s most popular titles.

Steve Ballmer is to retire as Microsoft CEO within the next year, the company revealed, adding credence to the rumours of a management reshuffle which accompanied Don Mattrick’s departure earlier this year. Ballmer will oversee the choice of his successor before taking retirement and remain as CEO during that process. The Microsoft board has appointed a special committee chaired by lead independent director John Thompson and including chairman of the Board Bill Gates, chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. Microsoft has said that it will be looking both internally and externally for candidates.