Train2Game News: Mid-week round up

Blizzard Entertainment released Mists Of Pandaria yesterday. The latest expansion for World Of Warcraft. Blizzard have also said that they have no fear of Windows 8 and will release games for any platform their players are on.

Avenged Sevenfold have released a new track that will feature on Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. The song, Carry On, is the second song the band have released for a Call Of Duty game. They previously released Not Ready To Die with one of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops DLC packs.

Telltale’s five Walking Dead episodic games will be put on disc in December for Xbox360 and PS3. The game is based on the graphic novel turned TV show and through playing them myself I can say, if you are a fan of the series, play this game. You won’t be disappointed.

Nvidia’s head of cloud gaming, Phil Eisler, believes that cloud gaming could take over from consoles. He believes that consoles have one final generation in them before they die out, leaving the world of gaming in the hands of the cloud.

Ubisoft have announced that Assassins Creed 3 will not play on Windows XP. The company has released the specifications needed to play the game. There is a version for Windows 8 in the pipeline though.

Bethesda have released an animated prequel to its upcoming Dishonored. The webseries is called Tales of Dunwall and the gorgeous animated shorts are being released in three parts. The videos can be found on YouTube and they show the downfall of the in game city.

Sony Xdev are giving a small studio the opportunity to win £25,000. This new initiative, called Playstation Pioneers, will reward developers for a PlayStation Mobile game concept and will also offer successful candidates the opportunity to work alongside XDev. Further details can be found here.

An extra four titles have been added to the Humble Bundle 6. The titles are: Bit.Trip Runner, Gratuitous Space Battles, Jamestown, and Wizorb. If you have already purchased the bundle, you will get the new games added at no extra cost.

If you are attending Eurogamer this weekend you can get a special surprise when you play Company Of Heroes 2. Everyone that plays the game or attends the developer session at the event will get a code to access a future beta for the game.

Finally Train2Game will be at Eurogamer this weekend. If you are attending go and say hello, it is always nice to meet these people. I will be attending on the Saturday so if you see me feel free to talk to me. I hope everyone that attends has a brilliant time.

Train2Game News: Call of Duty: Black Ops II will ‘rewrite the rulebook’ say Treyarch

Train2Game students who play Call of Duty: Black Ops II when it’s released later this year will be playing a game that’s rewritten the rulebook for the popular shooter series.

That’s according to game director David Antony while discussing Call of Duty: Black Ops II and its game design with CVG.

“One of the ways we have been most ambitious is in terms of story. I worked with Hollywood screenwriter David Goyer for about the last three months editing the story on the first Black Ops, and we had a really great time. He genuinely enjoyed it, describing the experience as the most fun he’d had since film school 20 years ago.” he said.

“So we got to the end of the first Black Ops and he’s like ‘Dave, I want to work on the next one from the start. We’ve taken some risks on the first Black Ops; now let’s rewrite the rules about storytelling in games.’ So right from the start it wasn’t a case of thinking how far do we needed to go to satisfy peoples’ expectations… we’re not even thinking about that. We just want to rewrite the rulebook.”

Antony explained how Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s branching story will work, revealing that there are different outcomes depending on your decisions.”

“So the sandbox levels, these are called Strike Force. Let me explain the overall branching story; you have characters – main characters – in the story who will live or die depending on what you do, and it’s not just what you do – it’s the choices you make and your skill in Strike Force. So depending on how skilful you are on those levels, it’ll actually have an influence on the overall Cold War that’s going on. So that’s one example.” he said.

“You play the game when it comes out in November, and you’re all likely to get different outcomes. So when you get to the end of the game we’re going to make it very clear to you the different things that could have happened.” he added.

Something that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 won’t be getting, as previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, is a new engine. A team of 300 people are working on the game.

Keep reading The Train2Game Blog for all the latest news on Call of Duty: Black Ops II?

What are your thoughts on what Antony says about Call of Duty: Black Ops II?

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

UK Charts: FIFA 11 stays top as Black Op slips

FIFA 11 remains top of the All-Formats chart, while Train2Game students may be surprised to see Call of Duty: Black Ops has slipped to third.

EA’s FIFA 11 is this years top selling game,  having taken first from Call of Duty: Black Ops last week. It’s the fourth week the football giant has held the top spot, having originally claimed Number One after its release at the very end of September.

Call of Duty: Black Ops once again slips down a position to third, after previously holding number one for a total of eight weeks including at Christmas. Could Train2Game students see Call of Duty: Black Ops slipping further down the charts in the coming weeks? FIFA 11 and Black Ops are separated by Just Dance 2 which climbs from fourth up to second.

The top five is rounded out by Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit which drops once place to fourth, while Wii Fit Plus re-enters the top ten and takes fifth after jumping eight spots up the charts.

The success of Wii Fit Plus causes Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – which the Train2Game blog reported as one of the biggest surprises of last year – to drop one place to sixth. Former Number One Gran Turismo 5 remains in seventh place.

Another former chart topper in the form of Fallout: New Vegas continues its steady climb up the chart moving up one position to eighth place. It takes the place of The Sims 3 which drops to ninth, while the top ten is completed by Kinect Sports.

Mass Effect 2 has re-entered the charts ahead of its PlayStation 3 release and takes 18th spot.

The UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending January 8th 2011 is as follows:

1. FIFA 11 (Electronic Arts)
2. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
3. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
4. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (Electronic Arts)
5. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)
6. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
7. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
8. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda)
9. The Sims 3 (Electronic Arts)
10. Kinect Sports (Microsoft)

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on this weeks chart? Do you think Call of Duty: Black Ops will continue to slip, or will it reclaim Number One in the future? Could Just Dance 2 take the top spot next week?

And with Square Enix releasing Kingdom Hearts: Re: coded for the Nintendo DS – which you can read about here on the Thoughts of Train2Game blog –  this week, do you think it’ll feature in the top ten come Monday?

As usual, Train2Game blog readers can leave their thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

UK Charts: FIFA 11 takes top spot from Black Ops

FIFA 11 logo

FIFA 11 is the first chart topper of 2011, knocking  Call of Duty: Black Ops from the top of the GFK Chart-Track All formats chart in the process.

Train2Game students may recall that it isn’t the first time Call of Duty: Black Ops has been dethroned since it was released in November. Gran Turismo 5 took Number 1 when it was released later that month, but Call of Duty: Black Ops was back on top the following week.

Activision’s behemoth was the biggest selling game in the UK every week all the way through to Christmas when it took the much sought after title of Christmas Number 1. However, FIFA 11 denies Black Ops a seventh Number 1 position thanks to strong post Christmas sales which could be in part due to heavy discounting at a number of retailers.

Whatever the reason may be, FIFA 11 now holds Number 1 position in the UK Charts for the third time since its record breaking release at the very start of October.

Elsewhere in the top ten not much has changed with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Just Dance 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood once again staying in third, fourth and fifth spots respectively.

Kinect Sports moves up two places to sixth in what is the second best ever week in the charts for Kinect Games. There are five Kinect titles in the Top 40, the highest amount since eight Kinect games charted in the week the hands free motion controller was launched.

Both Gran Turismo 5 and The Sims 3 drop once place each to occupy seventh and eigth spots while former Number 1 Fallout: New Vegas once again re-enters the top ten.  Dance central takes tenth spot having risen nine places from nineteenth.

Outside the top ten, both WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 and yet another former number one in the form of Fable III make significant moves, jumping from 27th to 14th and 32nd to 15th respectively.

You can check out the Train2Game review of WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 here on the Train2Game blog.

The UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending January 1st in full is as follows:

1. FIFA 11 (EA)
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
3. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
4. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
5. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
6. Kinect Sports (Microsoft)
7. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
8. The Sims 3 (EA)
9. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda)
10. Dance Central (Microsoft)

So Train2Game, are you surprised to see FIFA 11 back on top? Will Call of Duty: Black Ops just regain top spot next week? And what do you think will happen in the charts given that there aren’t any major releases until the middle of January?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Call of Duty: Black Ops takes Christmas Number 1

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops is this years’ Christmas Number 1, having held onto top spot in the GFK Chart-Track All-Formats Top 40.

Activision’s first person shooter has now sold over 3 million copies in the UK – with almost half of those sales coming on the first 24 hours on sale. The success of Call of Duty: Black Ops means that it’s now one of only three games to top £100 in revenue here in the UK. (The other games that have are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Wii Fit)

The Call of Duty Black Ops Christmas Number 1 means that the game once again holds off FIFA 11 which remains in second place.  Another EA published title in the form of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the third biggest seller this week, and has jumped up four places from seventh in last weeks charts.

Just Dance 2 moves up two places into fourth place, and it’s followed by another Ubisoft title, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood which drops one spot to fifth. Former chart topper Gran Turismo 5 has also dropped one place down to sixth.

Nintendo Wii exclusive Donkey Kong Country Returns rises one place to seventh, while Medal of Honor re-enters the top ten and takes 8th place. EA’s shooter achieved top spot back in October. Wii Fit Plus and Professor Layton and the Lost Future switch positions once again, taking ninth and tenth for Nintendo respectively.

The biggest loser this week is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm which despite debuting in third only last week, is no longer even in the top 40.

“With over 11 million videogames sold in the last four weeks in the UK, generating over £290 million, they are clearly the gift of choice this Christmas, showing once again that the interactive entertainment industry is the UK’s leading creative industry,” said UKIE Director General Michael Rawlinson .

“The Christmas chart also demonstrates the variety of choice on offer for consumers; there really is something for everyone.”

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending December 18th is as follows:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
4. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
5. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
6. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
7. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Nintendo)
8. Medal of Honor (EA)
9. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)
10. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)

So Train2Game, is it a well deserved Christmas Number 1 for Call of Duty: Black Ops? Do you think Activision’s behemoth will be unseated from its throne anytime soon? Are you surprised to see World of Warcraft: Cataclysm completely drop from the Top 40? And do you think the top ten does indeed show there is something for everyone?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Call of Duty: Black Ops holds off Cataclysm

Call of Duty: Black Ops Train2Game

Train2Game students probably aren’t surprised to see that Call of Duty: Black Ops remains at the top of the UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats chart this week, once again comfortably holding off its rivals.

Regular readers of the Train2Game blog will know that Call of Duty: Black Ops has topped the chart every week since it was released in early November. The only week Activision’s shooter hasn’t claimed Number 1 so far is the week Gran Turismo 5 was released.

FIFA 11 is also a non-mover, holding onto second place for the second week running. It’s an impressive feat when you consider the game was first released over two months ago. This weeks highest new entry is World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, with the PC exclusive expansion title taking third place after its worldwide launch last week. Train2Game students may be interested to here that Cataclysm’s achievement doesn’t include digital sales, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

The new entry of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm pushes Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Gran Turismo 5 down one place each to fourth and fifth respectively. Just Dance 2 also drops one place to sixth place in this weeks All-Formats chart, while Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a non-mover in seventh.

Donkey Kong Country returns for the Nintendo Wii enters the top ten in its second week on sale, bounding five places up the chart to eighth place. Professor Layton and the Lost Future for the Nintendo DS and Wii Fit Plus round out the top ten, having swapped positions since last week.

Michael Jackson: The Experience and Wii Party both drop out the top ten, falling to 11th and 12th respectively.  Former Number 1 Fallout: New Vegas doesn’t look like it’ll be reentering the top ten any time soon, dropping from 11th to 18th place.

Disney’s Epic Mickey enters the top 40 for the first time, but only manages to sneak up to 37th place.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending December 11th is as follows:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Blizzard)
4. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
5. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
6. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
8. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Nintendo)
9. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)
10. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)

So Train2Game, are you at all surprised that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm didn’t take Number 1? Or was it always going to be difficult for a PC exclusive to knock down Call of Duty: Black Ops? And with Christmas fast approaching, which game do you think will the all important title of Christmas Number 1?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Uk Charts: Call of Duty: Black Ops regains Number 1

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops has returned to the top of the UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40, knocking last weeks Number 1 Gran Turismo 5 down to fourth in the process.

It’s the Activision published shooters third week at Number 1 since it was released a month ago. Call of Duty: Black Ops is still being keenly played by Train2Game students now.

EA’s FIFA 11 is still selling strongly and moves up two places to second place, while Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood holds onto third spot. Gran Turismo 5 drops to fourth place after taking pole position after its long waited release on November 23rd.

With the top four titles likely to be on some Train2Game students Christmas wish lists, will one of them take the all important Christmas number one?

Just Dance 2 is a non mover in fifth place and is tailed by the biggest mover in this weeks chart. Michael Jackson: The Experience has jumped from 38th to 6th place. That’s a rise of 32 places for the dancing game.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit drops one place to seventh while Nintendo’s Wii Party and Wii Fit plus occupy eighth and ninth spots respectively.  Professor Layton and the Lost Future rounds out the top ten having moved up one place from 11th. The Nintendo DS title pushes former number one Fallout: New Vegas down to 11th spot.

Donkey Kong Country Returns enters the chart in thirteenth place, while Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary – sure to be a favourite amongst old school Train2Game students – takes 22nd place.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending December 4th is as follows:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
2. FIFA 11 (EA)
3. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
4. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
5. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
6. Michael Jackson: The Experience (Ubisoft)
7. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
8. Wii Party (Nintendo)
9. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)
10. Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo)

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts about Call of Duty: Black Ops being back on top? Are you still playing? Or perhaps you bought it this week? Do you think Gran Turismo 5 will slowly slip down the charts?  Has anyone played Michael Jackson: The Experience?

Finally, will World of Warcraft: Cataclysm be able to take number one next week? The expansion is launched tonight.

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

UK Charts: Gran Turismo 5 races past Call of Duty: Black Ops to take No. 1

Gran Turismo 5

It may have been years in the making, but Gran Turismo 5 has made an immediate impact on the UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 by taking top spot.

After a long wait, Gran Turismo 5 was finally released last Wednesday to generally positive reviews. The icing on the cake for Sony and Polyphony Digital is that the racer has reached number one in its debut week by knocking the mighty behemoth that is Call of Duty: Black Ops from the top spot.

Activision’s first person shooter was number one for two weeks following its record breaking release. The arrival of Gran Turismo 5 also pushes Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood down one spot to third place in this weeks chart.  FIFA 11 is still selling strongly almost two months after its chart topping debut, and holds onto fourth place. Just Dance 2 is also a non-mover and remains in fifth.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has moved down three places from third to sixth in its second week on sale, while Nintendo Wii Party has also moved down the top ten, dropping one place to seventh spot.  Art Academy for the Nintendo DS is the big winner in this weeks Top 40, jumping almost 20 places from 27th to eighth place. It overtakes another Nintendo Title, Wii Sports Resort which has dropped two to ninth.

Former number one Fallout: New Vegas, rounds out the top ten, having clawed its way back in after dropping to 13th place last week.

Elsewhere, Red Dead Redemption expansion pack Undead Nightmare enters the UK Chart in 14th place, while Ubisoft’s Michael Jackson: The Experience is a new entry in 32nd.

Disney’s brand new – and heavily advertised – Epic Mickey has failed to even reach the Top 40 and only managed to reach 11th in the Nintendo Wii chart.

The full UKIE GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top Ten for the week ending November 27th is as follows:

1. Gran Turismo 5 (Sony)
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
3. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Ubisoft)
4. FIFA 11 (EA)
5. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft)
6. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EA)
7. Wii Party (Nintendo)
8. Art Academy (Nintendo)
9. Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo)
10. Fallout: New Vegas (Bethesda)

So Train2Game, do you think Gran Turismo 5 deserves the honour of number 1? Can it go on to be ‘the biggest selling PS3 game of the year’ or will sales drop next week? And are you surprised to see Epic Mickey fail to even make the Top 40?

You can leave your thoughts about Gran Turismo 5, Epic Mickey or any other game in the UK Top 40 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Activision boss: “we will never, ever charge for Call of Duty multiplayer”

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Activision has once again moved to quell rumours that they’ll charge a fee for Call of Duty online multiplayer.

Industry analyst Michael Pachter recently stated that he believed that Activision was soon going to introduce a subscription charge for Call of Duty: Black Ops. However, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has told Industry Gamers they company will never charge for Call of Duty’s online multiplayer.

“Are we going to be charging for multiplayer? The answer is no. The experience you have out of the box, connecting with the online community to play Call of Duty is absolutely integral to the experience and we’ll never charge for that. It’s not going to be something we’ll attempt to monetize; it’s part of the package,”

Hirshberg then went onto directly discuss Pachter’s comments.

“Nothing we or anyone else tries is going to work if it doesn’t have tremendous value for people and add a tremendous value to the gaming experience. He’s [Pachter] probably looking at meta-trends in the world and in culture about online services and new ways things should be monetized from Netflix to cloud-based computing.”

“So there are certainly a lot of behavioural shifts towards long-standing online relationships… But at the end of the day, all I’m trying to get across is I can unequivocally say we will never, ever charge for the multiplayer.”

Activision has previously made strong hints that it’s looking to make more money from the online aspect of Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 2 saw the introduction of two online expansion packs  with extra maps– the Resurgence and Stimulus Packages – which both sold rather well at over £10 each. However, it could be argued that the publishers desire to make a profit, is starting to make them out of touch with gamers.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is currently sitting atop the UK Chart for the second week in a row.

So Train2Game, after there was so much outrage on the Facebook page yesterday are you reassured by the comments from Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg? And if Activision really want to make more money from the Call of Duty series, how do you think they should go about doing it?

As usual, you can leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Pachter predicts Call of Duty: Black Ops subscription charges

Call of Duty: Black Ops subscription charges

Online subscriptions for Call of Duty: Black Ops could be introduced in the near future, according to industry analyst Michael Pachter.  Speaking to Industry Gamers, he said:

“I think everyone will be offered the same multiplayer options for free that they have now.  In addition, I see premium items offered as virtual goods for a modest fee–let’s say $1.”

“There will be special weapons, armour, vehicles, etc. offered, and the quantity will keep growing, in the hopes that some meaningful percentage of gamers who play online multiplayer pony up $1 or $2 per month on virtual goods. “

“I think that the company will “tier” its offering by offering a $5 per month subscription to Black Ops that includes ALL virtual items for free, plus access to all map packs released as long as the player remains active.  There are probably going to be three $15 map packs, so that feature alone has a perceived $45 value, and I’m sure that there will be dozens of virtual items, so the $5 subscriber will perceive some value from subscribing.”

“In addition, the $5 subscriber may be offered exclusive tournaments, game play modes, ladders, achievements, and any other features that Activision can think up to induce them to pony up more money.”

Pachter then went on to say how he believes that in future, Activision will offer a $10 subscription for all Call of Duty games.

“Anyone paying $10 per month gets virtual items, ladders, tournaments, achievements, game play modes and map packs for CoD MW, CoD MW2, Black Ops and World at War, and as long as their subscription remains alive, they will get the next game and the one after that. There are a total of 7 map packs (I think) available now, and will be another 3 next year, so for $10 per month, a player will get all 10 map packs. Not a bad value.

“Next, I think Activision will offer a $15 monthly subscription that is an ‘all access pass’, allowing subscribers to play WoW, StarCraft II (look for monetization there), the new Bungie game (when it comes out), all COD games, and whatever they do with Guitar Hero (maybe free downloads of songs), on an unlimited basis.

“The trick is managing this without destroying sales of the game. They will tread very carefully, and will make sure that they let consumers know that they are NOT taking anything away, but are merely offering a LOT MORE VALUE for a little bit of money.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops made rather a lot of money when it launched last week, and Activision CEO Bobby Lotick has previously made no secret of his desire to make Call of Duty’s online multiplayer a subscription based service.

So Train2Game, do you believe that Activision could really introduce a subscription based service for Call of Duty: Black Ops? If so, would you be willing to pay for it? Or do you think Michael Pachter’s predictions are off the mark?

You can leave your thoughts about a subscription service for Call of Duty: Black Ops here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.