Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 31.10.11

Possibly the biggest news this week is that Disney has purchased LucasArts for $4.05 billion. In doing so Disney now has the rights to everything in the Star Wars vaults. The plan is to release Star Wars episode VII in a couple of years time. LucasArts also makes some of the games in the Star Wars universe so this could mean changes in future games from the company. We will have to wait and see.

Grand Theft Auto V has finally had a release date confirmed. The highly anticipated fifth part of the saga will be coming to PS3 and Xbox360 in Spring 2013. There has been no mention of a PC release as of yet but it is common for Rockstar to release their PC versions several months later.

Another release date has been announced this time for Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity: What’s inside the cube. The release date has been given as November 7 for iOS and Android. The app will be free to download and play.

One of my most favourite games of this year is Borderlands 2 and it has just surpassed five million sales. The sales include retail and digital sales. Take-Two said it has become “one of the most successful releases in [subsidiary] 2K’s history”. In addition Borderlands Legends has been released for iOS today.

The Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 trailer hit the world on Monday. The trailer was directed by Guy Ritchie and has a cameo from Robert Downey Jr. You can watch the trailer here.

Kickstarter, the most popular vehicle for crowdfunding games development projects, is now available in the UK. Previously UK-based developers could only pledge, but not create projects, now they can seek funding on the platform.

A sequel to the terrifying Amnesia: Dark Descent has been announced with a creepy trailer to get you in the Halloween spirit. Frictional games have always asked for fans to record screams, whimpers and blood curdling shrieks to be put in to the game. You can email your screams to piggies@thechineseroom.co.uk. The trailer can be seen here.

Lastly in more worrying news the terrible storm, Hurricane Sandy, that has hit the US has knocked out Activisions data centers and shut down online play for a number of games including Call Of Duty and Guitar Hero. My best wishes go out to all those affected by the storm.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 24.10.12

Steams Workshop, which is used to create content for games such as Team Fortress 2 and Skyrim, has turned one. The user created content has subsequently earned “millions of dollars” for their creators and Steam themselves.

The Greatest Video Game Music 2, the follow-up to the best-selling video game album of all time, will be released worldwide on Nov 6 and has been performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra. The digital soundtrack album will include 17 new orchestral renditions of video game theme songs like Halo, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and the ever-so classic Final Fantasy VII.

Following the success of Borderlands 2, an iOS spin-off has been confirmed with a release date of October 31. The game sees you play as the original 4 vault hunters from the first Borderlands in a wave-based survival game. Additionally, in true Borderlands style you can earn experience and level up your characters, unlocking new skills and abilities with each character having their own set of unique skills and abilities.

The first reviews of Hitman: Absolution have surface in Official Playstation Magazine UK and Official Xbox Magazine. Both magazines gave the game 9 out of 10. OPM said “This is the peak of the series so far” and OXM said “it a triumph of stealth and sandbox design that retains everything that fans have ever loved about the series”.

Wish Studios, a newly formed studio in Brighton, is working with Sony to develop a new IP. While other details about the partnership remain shrouded in secrecy, the status of Wish’s new client will likely serve as a significant help to the recently founded start-up’s presence in the industry.

A report by Google has said that over 50% of people use their tablet for gaming. The only activity performed more than gaming on a tablet is checking emails. The study, which was commissioned and published by Google, found that 51.5 per cent of its participants used their tablet for gaming in a two-week period.

The new dashboard for the Xbox was launched yesterday. It includes an internet explorer app giving the console a browser and the newly launched Xbox music which is similar to that of Spotify. The update also saw the removal of the Twitter and Facebook apps.

In an interesting collaboration, a new mod was made for the MMO World of Warcraft which sees the newly introduced pet battles become Pokemon battles. The aptly name WOWkemon sees a short tutorial by Professor Birch describing the Pokémon-ified battle screens and ability menus with the familiar sounds, screen effects, and even the font closely resembling the style of the handheld game legend.