Train2Game News: Games Industry News- 05.07.13

Xbox360 DashboardIt’s Friday so it is time for the end of the week games industry news round up!

Microsoft has begun inviting Xbox Live members worldwide to participate in the public beta for its 2013 Xbox Live Update for Xbox 360. The update will include improvements to overall performance and the ability to conduct transactions with local currency, as Microsoft Points will be retired later this year. To join, interested 360 owners should look for the Xbox Beta Program tile on the home hub of the Xbox Dashboard and once the places are filled the beta will be closed to the public. You will be required to sign an NDA for security reasons.

In celebration of summer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces that all its mobile games in the App Store are priced at £0.69 this week including Man of Steel, LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, Batman Arkham City Lockdown, Scribblenauts Remix, LEGO Batman DC Superheroes, Midway Arcade and Bastion. Man of Steel, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix are also available on Google Play at the same low price.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition is available for PC from Steam and other digital download portals. Originally developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat co-creator and creative director Ed Boon it has been adapted for PC by High Voltage Software. If you have always wanted to try your hand in Mortal Kombat, now is the time.

2K unveiled the WWE 2K14 cover art featuring WWE Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The official reveal, which took place during an episode of Monday Night Raw, showcased cover artwork designed in partnership with “The People’s Champion.” The cover art reflects The Rock’s physicality and signature in-ring pose. To further celebrate, 2K recently launched a consumer contest for the opportunity to create alternate cover artwork to be included with WWE 2K14 retail copies. “I am exceptionally grateful to be chosen for the cover of WWE 2K14 and serve as the first cover Superstar under 2K’s leadership,” said The Rock.

Square Enix has released a new Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII trailer dubbed “The Divine Task”. The latest video reveals more about the game’s story, including the appearance of supporting character Hope. Lightning Returns was revealed at the Final Fantasy 25th anniversary event in 2012 and is billed as the last entry in the “Lightning saga”. The Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s release date has been confirmed as February 11, 2014 in North America and February 14 Europe on Xbox 360 and PS3. You can enjoy the trailer, here.

Train2Game News: Bastion creators new title

TransistorThe creators of the indie hit game Bastion, Supergiant Games, have announced their second title.

The new game from the developers is called Transistor and it’s set to be a science-fiction-themed action RPG played from an isometric view.

The game is currently scheduled for release in 2014 but Supergiant games have not yet decided which platform or platforms they want to release the title on.

The eponymous Transistor is apparently the name of a powerful weapon that falls into the hands of a young woman who was about to be killed with it. “Now she must fight from street to street against forces that will stop at nothing to recover the weapon. During the course of the adventure, players will piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as they pursue its former owners,” says the developer’s official site.

Transistor will “seamlessly integrate thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, complete with our studio’s signature melding of responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling.”

From watching the trailer below the developers seem to have ran with the working formula they had for Bastion, including a beautiful soundtrack.

As far as I am aware, there is no news yet of a narrator. Enjoy the trailer!

Train2Game news: Game Developers Choice Awards nominees revealed

Train2Game students can now see the finalists for the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the leading peer-based video game industry event celebrating the industry’s top games and developers.

Nominations this year are led by three studios and their games, each of which received five Choice Award nods, including Bethesda Game Studios’ long awaited open-world fantasy RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Valve’s cunning, charming sci-fi puzzle action title Portal 2.

Also nominated five times was newcomer Supergiant Games and its acclaimed downloadable action RPG Bastion, which saw nominations in four categories, plus one for the studio itself, for Best Debut.

Both Portal 2 and Skyrim were nominated for Game Of The Year as one of their nods. The other Game Of The Year nominees are Rocksteady Studios’s dark superhero game sequel Batman: Arkham City, From Software’s immersive hardcore RPG Dark Souls, and Eidos Montreal’s acclaimed franchise update Deus Ex: Human Revolution, also all multiple award-nominated.

Check out Train2Game’s huge interview with Deus Ex: Human Revolution writer Jim Swallow, here on the Train2Game blog.

Other titles with multiple nominations include Naughty Dog’s action adventure Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Team Bondi’s detective title L.A.Noire. A diverse set of overall nominees include titles with digital-physical crossover (Toys for Bob’s Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure – for Innovation), free-to-play elements to the fore (NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower – for Best Handheld/Mobile Game), and even no visual display at all (Die Gute Fabrik’s Johann Sebastian Joust – for Innovation).

Overall, the Game Developers Choice Awards are open to any video game, with no restrictions or payment for game submission, with open nominations from a plethora of game professionals helping to choose this year’s finalists. Winners will now be selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.

The complete list of nominees for the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are as follows:
Best Game Design
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

Innovation
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Toys For Bob)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)

Best Technology
Battlefield 3 (DICE)
L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)
Crysis 2 (Crytek Frankfurt/UK)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Tiny Tower (NimbleBit)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)
Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick)
Infinity Blade II (Chair Entertainment)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Capy Games/Superbrothers)

Best Audio
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (Media Molecule)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Dead Space 2 (Visceral Games)
Portal 2 (Valve)

Best Downloadable Game
Stacking (Double Fine)
From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Outland (Housemarque)
Frozen Synapse (Mode 7)

Best Narrative
Portal 2 (Valve)
The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)
Bastion (Supergiant Games)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)
Saints Row: The Third (Volition)

Best Debut 
Supergiant Games (Bastion)
Team Bondi (L.A. Noire)
Re-Logic (Terraria)
BioWare Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)

Best Visual Arts
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog)
Rayman Origins (Ubisoft Montpellier)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Ignition Japan)
Battlefield 3 (DICE)

Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)
Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

In addition to the awards for individual games, the Game Developers Choice Awards committee will be announcing its Special Award recipients in the near future, including honourees for the Pioneer, Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Special Awards – as well as revealing the identity of this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards host.

Winners in all major categories will be honoured at the Game Developers Choice Awards show, attended by more than 3,000 of the world’s leading video game developers, and taking place Wednesday, March 7th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

In 2010, the Game Developers Choice Awards added a sister ceremony, the Game Developers Choice Online Awards which honors online and connected games, held during Austin’s GDC Online . Highlights from the 2011 ceremony, which awarded Trion Worlds’ Rift as Best New Online Game and Mojang’s Minecraft as Best Live Game, will be shown during the main Choice Awards ceremony in March.

For more information about the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit http://www.gamechoiceawards.com.  For information about the 2012 Game Developers Conference visit http://www.gdconf.com.

So Train2Game, which games do you think deserves to win awards at the Game Developers Choice Awards?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.