Train2Game News Before It’s Too Late Saving Videogames

The National Videogame Museum is launching a new initiative today at BFI Southbank, leading a network of museums and independent collectors who are engaged in videogame preservation.

The Videogame Heritage Society (VHS) includes the Science and Media Museum, Bath Spa University, British Library and Museum of London as well as many independent collectors. It will develop best practice and share knowledge across the museum sector and beyond about preserving and exhibiting videogames.

Ian Livingstone, chair of the BGI (the charity which governs the NVM) commented, “This group is for anyone who cares about or works in videogame preservation. We recognise that in the UK and around the world, the expertise in this field isn’t just locked inside museums and heritage institutions, but also inside a wide range of dedicated and passionate private collectors. The VHS will bring everyone together to preserve the important heritage of videogames in our country.”

The event today will also mark the launch of a new White Paper: ‘Time Extend’, on video game history, heritage and preservation. There will also be a special address from legendary Nintendo console designer Masayuki Uemura. The National Videogame Museum has worked closely alongside Uemura, who is a professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and is giving a talk at the NVM on 26th February.

The NVM preserves the history of UK development through its UK Collection, a special collection within the Museum that focuses on the story of British videogames creation. This was recently launched with Rebellion, the first studio to formally collaborate with the NVM on the project.

Gina Jackson, Trustee for the BGI, said “In order to develop as an art form, to become more diverse and reflect all kinds of areas of our lives, and to build a cultural confidence that is sometimes absent, we need to be able to learn about videogames. In order to learn about them, we need to be able to access them and make sense of them. The work we’re doing at the NVM and BGI isn’t out of nostalgia. It’s out of a concern for the future. We want to be able to inspire and educate new kinds of game-makers to make new kinds of games.”
 

Train2Game News Are You Officially A Games Collector?

Ever wondered how many games you need in your library to call yourself a ‘Games Collector’?

Well, you may be closer to this exclusive group than you think!

Digital game distributer Fanatical surveyed over 6,000 people to understand the growing trend of ‘Games Collecting’ and to find out just how many games you need to own in order to join the club.

71% of the people asked considered themselves to be collectors, each owning a whopping 931 games on average. Considering that the average amount of games owned per person works out at 770 each, most gamers are only 161 games shy of earning the ‘Game Collector’ status.

Men are closer to earning the title than women, with men on average owning 179 more. However, that’s not to say that women aren’t serious about their gaming either, 70 of them said they own over 1,000 games with a few having up to 7,000 in their collection.

In fact, 23% of the overall audience claims to have more than 1,000 games, with some boasting an incredible 20,000 Steam and console games to choose from, which takes a portion of gamers past collector status and into the elite category!

Gaming is not just reserved for the young either. The age group which boasts some of the biggest collection sizes is the 35-44s who were kids when popular mainstream gaming found its way into many households in the 1970s and 1980s.

Teenagers own the least amount of games when compared with other age groups – under 18s have on average around 525 in their collection, compared with 907 in the 35-44 age group. Respondents were also asked for their views on the hobby and the industry itself.

When asked what they consider to be the best thing about the gaming industry, ‘choice’ came out on top.

“The best thing about the gaming industry is the variety of developers out there that pump out a multitude of games,” a survey respondent said. “Gamers in 2020 have more choice than ever before when it comes to games. 2D, 3D, VR, horror, sci-fi, racing, adventure – there’s a game out there for anyone and everyone.”

When asked about what the worst aspect of the industry was, ‘microtransactions’ was at the top of most gamers’ lists, with aspects such as publishers releasing unfinished games that require upgrades and creating games where they have to pay to do well. The majority of gamers stated that they preferred the ability to just buy a game and play it through to the end, without having to purchase items or upgrade their characters. 

With new technologies and social media channels now leveling the playing field for Indie developers to compete with the big AAA brands, and websites like Fanatical offering bundled game packs for a much lower cost than the RRP, it’s never been easier for a gamer to quickly amass a few thousand games into their collection. With games also being released at a rapid rate each year, the number of ‘Games Collectors’ is only set to increase.

The ‘Games Collector’ rankings are:
 

  • Game Saver – Less than 931 games
  • Games Collector – 931 games and above 
  • Super Games Collector – Over 5,000!
  • Elite Games Collector – Over 10,000!

Why not save a badge, show off your collection and join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter #Gamescollector 

Train2Game News GameBlast20 Sponsored By GAME

GAME are delighted to share, that for the sixth year running, they will be supporting GameBlast20 – https://www.gameblast20.org.uk.

GameBlast is an annual event run by GAME’s longstanding charity partner SpecialEffect, a UK based charity who use technology to help people with disabilities benefit from the fun and inclusion of video games.

Gamers everywhere are invited to join the many streamers, studios and student societies taking part in GameBlast20 from the 21st to 23rd February. Heralded as “the best excuse to game EVER!”, GameBlast sees SpecialEffect invite gamers to complete a challenge of their own design, whether it be a marathon livestream, speed run, esports tournament or games-themed office party!

In addition to the individual gamers and stream-teams who’ll be gaming hard over the weekend, GAME will add their customary fundraising activity which will take place across all GAME stores and BELONG arenas nationwide. GAME and BELONG HQ will also be burning the midnight gaming oil with 24hours of continuous gaming as part of the UK’s largest charity video gaming weekend!

GameBlast will be live streamed via Twitch to raise money and help people like Aaron, (http://bit.ly/308JG4Q) who never thought he’d be able to play video games again because his muscular dystrophy stopped him using a controller.

GameBlast truly is the perfect opportunity to do what you love, whilst helping people with disabilities enjoy the fun, inclusion and community of video games! Please join in or donate to – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gameblast20

Train2Game News Atari Cross Platform Gaming

Atari® — one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment producers — today announced that it has acquired an exclusive license for all assets of Wonder, the innovative gaming company behind WonderOS, an Android-based hybrid mobile gaming and entertainment platform. 

Wonder was founded in 2016 by CEO Andy Kleinman, an entrepreneur and former executive of Disney and mobile game companies Scopely and Zynga. Wonder has a diverse roster of media and entertainment industry investors. The pioneering WonderOS technology was designed to unify mobile, console, and PC gaming experiences, offering an ecosystem that gives access to multi-platform games, entertainment apps, and streaming services — locally or through the cloud.

Atari anticipates incorporating WonderOS into the development roadmap of the Atari Video Computer System (Atari VCS™) and making it available across mobile devices, which will further expand the capabilities and reach of the home gaming and entertainment system.

As Atari continues to grow its mobile game business, and re-enter the home hardware market with the new Atari VCS, the WonderOS and mobile IP will make an important contribution in the coming years as the company drives to make mobile gaming and content streaming persistent and pervasive for consumers. 

“As a life-long gamer and fan of the brand, I can’t imagine a better company than Atari to be moving forward with,” said Kleinman. “I am confident that Atari is the right partner to bring Wonder’s promising technology to market.”

“Atari has strong mobile gaming business and deep experience as a publisher,” said Atari CEO Frédéric Chesnais. “Incorporating Wonder’s exciting technology will accelerate mobile integration within the Atari VCS platform, while better positioning Atari to capitalize on the promise offered by 5G digital cellular networks.”

Fans can follow Atari VCS on Facebook, Twitter @TheAtari_VCS, and on Instagram.

Train2Game News EVE Pilots Raise Money For Australian Bushfires

CCP Games, creators of the in-depth and uniquely player-driven spaceship MMO game EVE Online, are proud to announce that over $100,000 has been raised by the pilots of EVE Online for the Red Cross and their relief work on the Australian Bushfires.

Raising $107,454 (£83,299.95) in just 11 days, PLEX for GOOD is a charitable program operated by CCP Games on behalf of EVE Online players.

It provides a way for EVE players to donate to a charitable cause through the use of the in-game digital currency PLEX – allowing for charitable donations by those who otherwise might not have the means to donate real money.

This equates to 2,687,693 PLEX, which is equivalent to:

448 years of game time

9.14 Trillion ISK at current market prices

CCP Games and the Icelandic Red Cross came together at CCP’s headquarters in Reykjavik to officially hand over the cheque for the money raised on behalf of the capsuleers of New Eden.

The money will be delivered to their Australian Red Cross counterparts where it will in turn find its way to the relief services that are being provided on the ground to those affected.

Starting in 2005 to raise funds for the South East Asian Tsunami, PLEX for GOOD has now raised a total of $578,000 (£448,033.81) for charitable causes over the years, an incredible feat for which all EVE Online players can be proud.

Players who donated a minimum of 100 PLEX will receive a piece of in-game apparel in March as a ‘thank you’ for their generosity. This will consist of two t-shirts (one men’s and one women’s) featuring the logo of the Reserve Frontier Safeguard (RFS) for pilots to wear proudly.

EVE Online can be downloaded for free by visiting www.eveonline.com.

Train2Game News British eSports Finals

The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support grassroots esports, has announced the dates for its student grand finals.

The 2019/20 British Esports Championships will once again conclude at the Birmingham NEC’s Insomnia Gaming Festival, which runs from April 10th to 13th. The tournament is for students aged 12 and above in secondary schools, alternative provision schools and further education colleges across the UK.

The specific dates for each of the three finals are as follows:

Overwatch: Friday April 10th, 10am

Rocket League: Friday April 10th, 12pm

League of Legends: Saturday April 11th, 10am

The finals will see the winners of our winter championship face off against the winners of the spring championship, which has just got underway.

Team BTC (Bridgwater & Taunton College), Clyde Hot Shots (Glasgow Clyde College) and Sunderland Seers (Sunderland College) have already qualified for the League of Legends, Rocket League and Overwatch finals respectively, with the slots for their opponents currently up for grabs.

The news comes as the British Esports Championships continue to draw growing numbers of participants, following record sign-ups last October.
For the 2019/20 season, 72 individual schools and colleges are taking part, representing a 94.59% increase over the 2018/19 season.

In terms of the number of teams, 259 signed up for 2019/20, a year-on-year rise of 93.28%.

Mary Antieul, head of esports at Insomnia and BELONG, commented: “We are delighted to be hosting the 2020 Championship finals at Insomnia 66, the UK’s largest gaming festival. We look forward to watching the school and college teams compete alongside the best of our Insomnia BYOC teams and BELONG Arena Clash teams.”

Elliot Bond and Alice Leaman, British Esports school and college liaison officers, said in a joint statement: “We’re delighted to bring the finals of the British Esports Championships back to Insomnia for another two days of epic grassroots esports action. Some fierce rivalries have formed between the different teams over the past few months and we look forward to watching them culminate on the big stage come April.”

Elsewhere, a separate tournament for alternative provision schools will take place again this year, following a competition in 2019. Further details about this will be announced in due course.

If you would like to watch the finals live, you can purchase tickets to Insomnia here: https://www.seetickets.com/tour/insomnia

Train2Game News Dan Houser Resigns From Rockstar Games

Dan Houser has parted ways with Rockstar Games!

Mr Houser co-founded the studio behind GTA and Red Dead in 1998 with his brother and a couple of other games developers.

And now, Dan will be officially parting ways from the company at the beginning of March.

Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, said it was “extremely grateful for his contributions” but stressed in a statement that his brother Sam continues to work for the business.

The reason for Dan’s resignation has not been confirmed but reportedly, he has been taking an extended break since the beginning of Spring 2019.

What this means for the companies future, and games like GTA 6 remains to be seen.

Train2Game News Magic ManaStrike Launched

Today, Netmarble Corp. is officially summoning Magic: ManaStrike worldwide, its first-ever game for the Wizards of the Coast franchise Magic: The Gathering.

Players can now bring Magic to life by downloading the game on the App Store and Google Play.

Magic: ManaStrike is an all-new game that takes the excitement of Magic: The Gathering’s vast lore in a whole new direction with a fast-paced PVP strategy game.

After losing a war with the Planeswalkers, Magic: The Gathering’s most powerful villain Nicol Bolas creates a parallel universe to find the Planeswalkers’ weaknesses. Players enter a contract with Nicol Bolas to provide combat data by controlling Planeswalkers and units in his universe.

“Netmarble and Wizards of the Coast worked closely for a long time to ensure Magic: ManaStrike is a new gameplay style that will be enjoyable for all players, but stays true to Magic: The Gathering’s roots and is authentic and enjoyable to fans,” said Joe Lee, Executive Producer at Netmarble. “Thanks to our partnership, we are excited to deliver a Magic: The Gathering experience that introduces real-time battles for mobile players, yet maintains core features from the original IP for fans.”

Fast-paced and easy to learn, fans can experience dynamic real-time battles with anyone from around the world in three-minute matches. During battle, players will be able to summon units, cast spells, and command powerful Planeswalkers with simple tap and drag gameplay and iconic Magic: The Gathering cards re-envisioned through high-quality 3D. By collecting new cards from Magic’s five unique Mana colors – White, Blue, Black, Red and Green, players will learn to understand each color’s traits, and create unique strategies that lead the way to victory.

“With Magic: ManaStrike, we were impressed with Netmarble’s ability to encapsulate Magic: The Gathering’s 25-year history into a mobile game that stays true to what Magic fans want in other mediums,” said Eugene Evans, VP of Business Development and Strategy at Wizards of the Coast. “Seeing our cards and Planeswalkers stepping into the 3D battlefield, along with our card effects translated from strategic turn-based gameplay into real-time combat, is a delight to see and we can’t wait to see how Magic: ManaStrike develops over time.”

At launch, players that pre-registered to download Magic: ManaStrike can look forward to receiving rewards like Gold (in-game currency), Gems (premium currency), one Player Icon, and ten emoji themed after Magic: The Gathering’s Planeswalkers. Other events and rewards awaiting players include:

Seven Days Check-In Event: Gold, Gems, and Card Packs will be given to players for seven days

New Planeswalkers

Ob Nixilis: Players can achieve this Planeswalker through Magic Pass upgrade

Calix: Available for purchase regardless of Magic Pass An all-new Gideon skin

Theros-Themed Map: In celebration of Magic: The Gathering’s new Theros Beyond Death expansion, an all-new Theros-themed map is available for players over Rank 5 to experience.

Magic: ManaStrike is available to download on the App Store and Google Play and is globally launched, and supports 13 languages including English, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai, Russian and Portuguese.

For more information, please visit Magic: ManaStrike’s official website and forum.

Train2Game News Pokémon Home Details

Today, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced more details for the new cloud service app Pokémon HOME.

The app enables Trainers to continue their Pokémon adventures beyond a single game system and manage their collection of Pokémon across many of their games. Pokémon HOME will launch in February 2020 for iOS and Android devices as well as Nintendo Switch.
 
Designed as a place where all Pokémon can gather, Pokémon HOME will enable Trainers to bring over Pokémon from linked Pokémon series games and deposit them in Pokémon Boxes in the cloud or move them around to linked compatible games.

Also, by linking the same Nintendo Account to both the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile device version, fans will be able to access the same Pokémon Boxes from both hardware platforms. The Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME supports connectivity with the Nintendo Switch games Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! Both the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME support connectivity with the Nintendo 3DS software Pokémon Bank.

Support for Pokémon GO is also in development.

Connecting Pokémon HOME to Pokémon Games
 
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield can link to the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME. Once the games are linked, users can deposit or retrieve Pokémon that can be obtained using those games.
 
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! can link to the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME. Users can move Pokémon back and forth between Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! or into Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. Once a Pokémon from Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! is moved to Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield, it cannot be returned to its original game.
 
If a user is enrolled in a Premium Plan (paid), they will be able to move Pokémon from Nintendo 3DS Pokémon titles to Pokémon HOME using Pokémon Bank. Once a Pokémon from Pokémon Bank is moved into Pokémon HOME, it cannot be moved back to Pokémon Bank.
 
To celebrate the release of Pokémon HOME, Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter will be available at no cost for a one-month period after Pokémon HOME is released. Trainers will be able to bring over Pokémon from various Pokémon series games using Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter. Once they have their Pokémon in Pokémon Bank, Trainers will then be able to move the Pokémon to Pokémon HOME.
 
Trade Pokémon


There are four ways to trade Pokémon using Pokémon HOME on a mobile device. This makes it possible to trade Pokémon anywhere and anytime.
 

  • Pokémon placed in the Wonder Box can be traded with people around the world. Pokémon placed in the Wonder Box will be traded even when Pokémon HOME is not being used.
  • With the Global Trade System (GTS), fans can specify which Pokémon they want to trade and which Pokémon they want to receive. They will then be matched with a Trainer if both meet each other’s criteria.
  • Room Trade lets Trainers create a room and trade Pokémon among the people who join. Each room can hold up to 20 people. Trading in rooms has no cost, but users will only be able to create rooms when enrolled in a Premium Plan (paid).
  • Friend Trade allows Trainers to trade their Pokémon with nearby users who they have become friends with in Pokémon HOME. Trainers can add friends using the Add Friend feature in Pokémon HOME.

More Features
Pokémon HOME has many features that Trainers can use to connect with games in the Pokémon series and more.

  • Pokémon will be registered to the National Pokédex when users deposit them in the Boxes in Pokémon HOME. If users deposit a Pokémon that can Mega Evolve or Gigantamax, then these forms will also be registered. In the National Pokédex, Trainers will be able to see Pokédex entries from various games in one place. With the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME, users will also be able to search by Pokémon Abilities or moves.
  • Trainers can receive Mystery Gifts in the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME. With this feature, they can receive Mystery Gifts for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield as well as gifts specifically for Pokémon HOME. Pokémon received in Pokémon HOME can be directly deposited in a Box in Pokémon HOME. Trainers can also receive some gifts, such as items for Pokémon, by receiving a code for a Mystery Gift in Pokémon HOME and then using that code in Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield.
  • If a Trainer has enrolled in a Premium Plan, they will have access to the Judge function, which allows them to check how strong their Pokémon are.
  • In the Your Room section, Trainers will be able to see all sorts of information about events or the games they’ve connected to Pokémon HOME. They’ll also be able to edit their profile using stickers. They can obtain stickers in Pokémon HOME when they meet certain conditions or perform certain tasks known as Challenges.
  • In the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME, users can check out how Ranked Battles and various Online Competitions in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are going, as well as the rankings of the Pokémon being used in them. By going to Battle Data, they’ll be able to see the battle records of each Trainer as well as information about what moves are popular among the Pokémon in the competitions.
  • In Pokémon HOME for mobile devices, Trainers will be able to receive news about Pokémon being distributed as gifts and information about Online Competitions for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
  • Pokémon HOME Points are points that accumulate in Pokémon HOME as Trainers deposit more Pokémon. When using the Nintendo Switch version of Pokémon HOME, Trainers will be able to exchange their Pokémon HOME Points for BP (Battle Points) to be used in core Pokémon series games.

There are some differences in what the Nintendo Switch version and the mobile device version of Pokémon HOME can do.

Certain features can be expanded or added when Trainers enroll in a Premium Plan.

The Premium Plan has a few different subscription options.

Nintendo eShop pricing structure:

-1 month (30 days)£2.69

-3 months (90 days)£4.49

-12 months (365 days)£14.39 

iOS and Android device pricing structure:


-1 month (30 days)£2.99

-3 months (90 days)£4.99

-12 months (365 days)£15.99 

For more information about Pokémon HOME, please visit https://home.pokemon.com/en-gb/

Train2Game News 8th Annual VFX Festival

The 8th annual VFX Festival, hosted by Escape Studios, returns to the Southbank Centre from 16 – 18 March 2020, with a focus on discovering and developing new and emerging talent, featuring sessions on Fortnite and Spider-Man.

The VFX Festival is an annual celebration of visual effects, animation, games and motion graphics. It’s an event for emerging talent to explore the creative industries; it’s also an opportunity for creative professionals to share their insights on award-winning productions.

The VFX Festival EDU will take place on Monday 16 March 2020 at the Southbank Centre. It’s an event for school and college students who want to learn about the world of VFX, Games, Animation and Motion Graphics through inspiring talks and meetings with industry professionals.

The VFX Festival Emerging Talent will take place from Tuesday 17 March – Wednesday 18 March 2020, also at the Southbank Centre. It’s an event for students currently studying within higher education and young professionals who are looking to kick start a career in the creative industries. The festival will be filled with inspiring talks, panel discussions and a recruitment exhibition zone.

The VFX Festival After Hours will take place on 16 – 18 March 2020 at Escape Studios in in centralLondon, within walking distance from numerous award winning studios. These late afternoon technical talks and advanced workshops are aimed at experienced industry professionals looking for knowledge-building opportunities and the chance to network. The sessions are also suitable for young professionals looking to progress their career in the creative industries.

Dr Ian Palmer, Director of Escape Studios, said: “We are thrilled to be going into our 8th year of the VFX Festival, which is testament to our commitment to the creative industries in the UK and our ongoing pledge to create studio-ready talent. 2020 sees another year attracting and showcasing the latest expertise that our fast-growing industry offers; whether it’s from VFX, animation, games or motion graphics. If you’re established in the industry, looking to network and raise your profile, or want to find out how to get your first break, we’ve something for everyone.”

Over the three days festival attendees will have a chance to participate in talks on award winning projects, includingHis Dark Materials: Animating the daemons - Marion Strunck, Lead Animator at Framestore Fortnite World Cup Tournament: Real Time in VFX - Eolan Power, AR Director at NVIZ Creating the dazzling ‘Illusion Battle’ sequence in Spider-Man: Far From Home - Alexis Wajsbrot, VFX Supervisor at Framestore Of Rats and Goop, Stranger Things Monsters by Rodeo FX - Yvon Jardel, Animation Supervisor at Rodeo FX

In addition,attendees will receive encouragement and advice from experts in careers and recruitment::

Panel Discussions:VFX, Animation, Games and Motion Graphics - Monday 16 March - Panel hosted by Access: VFX VFX and Animation - Tuesday 17 March Games - Wednesday 18 March

As part of the Recruitment Exhibition Zone, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from studios, to discover more about their available roles, career pathways and progression. Studios confirmed for the Exhibition include Bluezoo,The Focus, DNEG, RodeoFX and Framestore.