Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 20.09.13

Andrew WilsonIt’s the end of the week so it is time for the industry news round up.

Electronic Arts’ exhaustive search for a new CEO led it to promote from within after all. The publisher today announced that executive VP of EA Sports Andrew Wilson is now the company’s CEO, replacing the seat left vacant by John Riccitiello’s resignation in March. EA executive chairman (and a former CEO of the company himself) Larry Probst will stay on as executive chairman for an undetermined length of time in order to assist Wilson with the transition to his new role.

Shinji Mikami, the father of survival horror, is back to direct The Evil Within, a game embodying the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story weave together to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC and is slated for release in 2014. A new trailer has been released for the game. If you are over eighteen and aren’t of a nervous disposition you can watch the trailer here, http://youtu.be/Z4WqOQTxisM

Blue Manchu is happy to announce that Card Hunter is finally available for all to play at www.cardhunter.com. Created in collaboration with legendary Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, Card Hunter is Irrational Games co-founder Jonathan Chey’s first game since BioShock. Its unique mix of card collecting, board gaming and fantasy role-playing is set to reinvigorate the collectible card gaming scene. Card Hunter is a free to play game.

Jasper Smith, CEO of PlayJam, the company behind the highly anticipated micro games console – GameStick, confirmed a Global on-sale release date for the device of Tuesday 29th October 2013. Retailers GameStop, GAME, and Amazon will partner for the launch with additional outlets in Canada, Europe and the Middle East receiving stock prior to the end of year Holiday season. The console, which broke onto the games scene in January of this year following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, has moved from paper to production in just 9 months.

Game Lab Social, a vibrant co-working space for creatives, is pleased to announce the opening of a new studio space in Leamington Spa designed to foster creativity, collaboration and knowledge sharing. As the vision of industry veterans Ollie Clarke and Steve Stopps and supported by Warwick District Council, Game Lab Social will open a space to work with local talent in specifically created workshops, on-site training and access to marketing, pitching and monetization expertise. Game Lab Social will also work to talent match, combining developer skills to create new development teams with the business infrastructure in place to support burgeoning talent, including graphic design, accounting and legal services.

Train2Game news: EA Sports – RPG elements have a place in sports games

Train2Game students may have noticed RPG elements appearing in shooters, in recent years, with id Software’s RAGE being a very recent example. (See the Train2Game blog interview with RAGE Creative Director  Tim Willits here)

And while traditional RPG’s used to be a niche market, elements of the genre are appearing all over the place. EA Sports Vice-President Andrew Wilson believes that RPG elements could even invade sport simulation titles such as FIFA.

“I think it’s a part of it, certainly.” he said when asked by The Guardian if RPG is the future of sports games.

“I think the future of the sports sim is the fact that you can choose how you want to play it. That we allow you to play on any platform, at any time, at any price, anyway you want”.

Wilson emphasised the importance of choice when playing games.

“Some players are all about the manager mode. Some players want the online head-to-head. The future for us lies in not compartmentalising any of the experiences, but to build a world where players can add value to their gaming experiences however they like.”

Of course, as reported by the Train2Game blog, even without RPG elements, the latest instalment of the FIFA franchise has been incredibly successful and currently sits at the top of the charts.

But Wilson believes that the market is still very much open, with consumers much more willing to play a variety of games than they used to.

“There was a time where gamers either played sports games or they played RPGs.” said the EA Sports Vice-President.

“Now there’s a lot more crossover in the industry; there are plenty of FiFA players who are playing games such as Dragon Age as well.”

We’ve been listening to the feedback from our audience and they say they want more compelling experiences in their sports games.” Wilson added.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Wilson’s comments? Are RPG elements beginning to feature in more games? Do they need to be in sports titles?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: The Guardian]