Train2Game News Argos let you step in to Pacific City

To celebrate the highly anticipated launch of Crackdown 3, leading video gaming retailer Argos created a piece of interactive art to transport fans into the game’s Pacific City.

The 3D artwork, by artists 3D Joe and Max, was displayed outside the Old Street Argos store in London on Friday, offering customers the chance to experience the game in the real world.

Commuters and gaming fans were invited to step into the Crackdown 3-inspired optical illusion and explore the game’s Pacific City.

Crackdown 3 fans posted pictures of themselves leaping into the artwork of Pacific City on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ArgosxCrackdown3 throughout the day and those who showed Argos staff the picture received a small discount on the game.

Peter Wray, Senior Buyer at Argos, said: “We wanted to celebrate the launch of Crackdown 3 in a way that would captivate our customers and allow them to visit the virtual world in real life. We are confident that this experience will transport them into the stunning virtual world and get them even more fired up about grabbing a copy of the game to take home”.

Mike Rapson, Xbox Senior Category Manager at Microsoft, said: “We are delighted that our fans can experience the game in such a creative and interactive way. Crackdown 3 encourages players to destroy parts of the city to boost their abilities, so the artwork, which shows a London street falling into Pacific City, really brings this world to life.

3D Joe and Max are known for their immersive artwork and seemed like the natural choice for such a collaboration. We hope the illusion will dazzle both gamers and commuters alike, as well as demonstrating the vibrant gaming culture that exists in the UK.’

The long-awaited game is available now as a standalone product or with Xbox Game Pass, which provides unlimited access to over 100 Xbox games for one monthly price.

Game Pass customers have access to exclusive discounts and the latest Xbox games on the day they’re released, with new ones added every month.

Train2Game News: Games with Gold offer extended

Xbox 360Microsoft have announced that the Games for Gold initiative on Xbox 360 has been extended past 2013.

It was announced at E3 in June this year as a limited-time promotion, Games with Gold gives Xbox Live subscribers two free games to keep each month, with new titles made available on the 1st and 16th.

Since then Microsoft says over 120 million hours have been played with Games with Gold titles. These have included Fable 3, Defense Grid: The Awakening, Assassin’s Creed 2, Crackdown, Dead Rising 2 and DR2 prologue Case Zero, Magic 2013, Rainbow Six Vegas, Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and most recently Halo 3.

Despite switching focus to Xbox One in the run-up to the console’s November 22 release, Xbox chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi said in September that the company will continue to support Xbox 360 for years to come.

“If you look at Xbox 360 that platform has lasted for seven to eight years and it’s going to go for another three years. It’s incredibly profitable now in the tail,” he said. “We are going to continue to invest in Xbox 360 and the two devices can work in concert. So it isn’t just like the day we ship Xbox One, Xbox 360 won’t work, we will continue to support it. In fact, we are going to ship over 100 new games on Xbox 360, so you will still be able to play your games, just not on the same exact box.”

So for all those not wanting to go next generation from release you should still have at least three years with your Xbox 360.

Train2Game News: Scottish Games Network launched

Brian BaglowScotland’s video games industry, was transformed yesterday, with the launch of the Scottish Games Network, as the official industry body for the entire sector in Scotland.

The Scottish Games Network now offers a single unified and strategic contact point for Scotland’s diverse games sector, as well as opening the sector up to the wider cultural and creative industries, both nationally and globally.

The Scottish Games Network is open to every company and organisation involved in the video games and interactive industries. Not simply developers, but technology companies, animation specialists, audio companies, publishers, retailers, media, freelance staff, contractors, academic institutions and the government.

The organisation pro-actively identifies new projects and opportunities to enable the games sector to grow, evolve and prosper, moving beyond advocacy and representation to pull together the individuals, companies and organisations across the country, providing strategic insight, research, create new opportunities and organise incredibly cool events…

The Scottish Games Network was established in 2005 as a grass roots sector-specific community. It has grown and evolved rapidly to become the recognised organisation and focal point for the country’s video games industry, with over 90 game development studios, more than 130 games-related companies and around 5,000 individual members across multiple channels.

Scotland has a unique infrastructure, differing from the rest of the UK. There are over 35 commercial, cultural, educational and academic organisations across the public and private sectors in this country, which are actively involved in the games and interactive sector.

The Scottish Games Network is keen to work with all of these organisations and companies, building greater collaboration, communication, understanding and opportunities for Scotland as a whole. The SGN will also work closely with the existing video games industry bodies, creating links, affiliations and memberships, sharing information and ensuring collaboration wherever possible.

Scotland’s games industry has been a pioneer since the late 1980s, when it boasted six studios producing titles including Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, Crackdown, HEDZ, Formula 1, Braveheart, Midnight Pool, Harry Potter Quidditch and many more.

Since then the industry has grown to nearly 100 independent studios, producing titles for every platform and device from smartphones and tablets to the next generation of games consoles. This includes, Rockstar North, the creator of GTA V, the largest entertainment product in the world, which generated over $1Bn in sales in its first three days on sale in September 2013. In 2012 there was at least one game released every week by development studios in Scotland – and that number is growing.

Founded by Brian Baglow, the network is now an officially incorporated organisation, with Brian as Director. Brian has worked in the games industry in Scotland since 1994, has been a constant advocate and media presence in the sector, and has worked with almost each and every company, organisation, educational institution and industry-relevant event in the country.

Baglow says, “The original Scottishgames.net was founded as a community to enable the growing games industry in Scotland to ask questions, discuss the industry and meet peers and colleagues. It has grown since then to become the focal point for the industry as a whole.”

We are now in the position where there are multiple organisations interacting with the games sector, from government, parliament and the public sector, to the wider digital, screen and creative industries. To enable and support this, the Scottish Games Network has become an official and committed full-time company.”

Our goal is, very simply, to help the country’s games industry grow and prosper. We will be working with government, the public sector and other trade bodies to provide data, expertise and insight into the games industry, as well as helping the industry open itself up to the wider creative world, fostering new partnerships, collaboration, diversity, funding; and encouraging entirely new experiences.”