Train2Game News Star Wars Battlefront Beta

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“Impressive. Most Impressive.” The Star Wars™ Battlefront™ beta surpassed a major milestone: more than nine million players logged in and played.

That makes this the single largest beta in the history of EA and they could not be happier that so many of you wanted to come in to get a small taste of what their passionate team has been working on.

Ever since Star Wars Battlefront was revealed back in April, they knew the beta would be a huge test for the game. The beta has been one of the most talked about topics around the game over the last six months, and EA were excited to see how it would be received.

And like Han Solo at the end of A New Hope, they were glad you showed up. Even more importantly than just showing up, players have been spending a lot of time playing, having a great time and leaving some invaluable feedback, as the game continues to be tuned and balance until launch on November 17, 2015 in North America, and November 19, 2015 in Europe.

A spokes person for EA said “On behalf of the team at DICE, and everyone at EA, thank you for playing. We hope you enjoyed what you played in the beta, which is just a small part of the overall experience. There’s a lot more to the game, including all of our multiplayer modes and mission types.”

Train2Game News Star Wars Battlefront release date

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DICE, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) studio, and Lucasfilm announced today that Star Wars Battlefront will be released on November 20, 2015 in the United Kingdom (November 17 in North America and starting November 19 in Europe) as the first full-length trailer for this highly anticipated title premiered to thousands of fans at Star Wars Celebration.

Combining an unprecedented collaboration with Lucasfilm and the award-winning Frostbite game engine, Star Wars Battlefront will deliver an incredibly authentic and immersive interactive entertainment experience featuring photorealistic visuals and epic action in iconic Star Wars locations. See how this comes to life in-engine by experiencing the newest trailer for Star Wars Battlefront below.

“Like so many others around the world, everyone at DICE is a tremendous fan of the Star Wars universe,” said Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, Senior Producer of Star Wars Battlefront. “To be working on a Star Wars project and knowing we are helping to represent the universe we love to our generation and a legion of new Star Wars fans is truly an honor. Thanks to the access and knowledge shared with us by Lucasfilm, and the passion and talent of our team, we plan to deliver an amazing game that puts you right in the middle of the Star Wars battles you always imagined playing.”

Star Wars Battlefront will allow fans to live out a wide range of heroic moments and intense battle fantasies of their own – firing blasters, riding speeder bikes and snow speeders, commanding AT-ATs and piloting TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon. These battles will take place on some of the most iconic planets in the Star Wars universe, including Endor, Hoth, Tatooine and the previously unexplored planet, Sullust. Gamers will be able to play as some of the most memorable characters in the original trilogy such as Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Star Wars Battlefront will feature a wide range of modes tailored for different types of battles, from larger 40-person competitive multiplayer to crafted missions that are played solo, with a friend via split-screen offline or co-operatively online.

Fans who pre-order Star Wars Battlefront will be among the first players to experience the Battle of Jakku, the pivotal moment when the New Republic confronted key Imperial holdouts on a remote desert planet on the Outer Rim. Taking place in the aftermath of the Rebel victory in the Battle of Endor, players will experience the events that created the massive, battle-scarred landscape of Jakku shown in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Players who pre-order Star Wars Battlefront can fight the battle one-week early starting on December 1, 2015. All other players will get access to this free† content on December 8, 2015.

Star Wars Battlefront will be available in the United Kingdom on November 20 (North America on November 17 and starting November 19 in Europe) for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and on Origin for PC.

Train2Game News 1000+ devs sign anti abuse letter

Peace GamingSeveral developers have signed a letter in an attempt to put an end to anti social behaviour on social media in gaming communities.

EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Guerrilla, Epic, Crystal Dynamics, Deep Silver, Double Fine, Lionhead, Bohemia, Blizzard, Infinity Ward, TellTale, Disney, PopCap, Harmonix, Traveller’s Tales, Sony, 2K, DICE, Google, Riot and Apple – as well as dozens of independent developers – are already signed up in an attempt to make the internet a place where your views can be heard without your personal character being attacked.

“We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish,” the letter reads.

“If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or Reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites. If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.”

You can read the full letter and all who have signed it here.

Train2Game News: Video game pioneers book

BookCoverHewson Consultants Ltd has announced its upcoming Kickstarter campaign for a new book entitled Hints & Tips for Video game Pioneers.

The book’s author, Andrew Hewson, was the founder of Hewson Consultants (Uridium, Paradroid, Nebulus), 21st Century Entertainment (Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies) and the founding Chairman of United Kingdom trade body ELSPA (now known as UKIE).

The book will feature contributions from numerous industry icons, including Steve Turner, Nick Jones, Oliver Frey, Andreas Axelsson, Roger Kean, Stewart Gilray, and many more. What’s more, Kickstarter backers will have the opportunity to contribute to the book in a number of unique ways, including a backer’s interview section.

“When I started in the games industry with a ZX80 and a typewriter, it was an era of open platforms and cutting edge innovation,” Said Andrew Hewson, Founder of Hewson Consultants. He continued, “Today, thanks to digital distribution and the re-emergence of open platforms, we are returning to the kind of industry in which small creative teams can flourish. This book is an opportunity for me to share my experiences from two decades at the cutting edge of gaming with the industry pioneers of tomorrow.”

Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment forged reputations for releasing some of the most innovative and high quality titles of their era by discovering and fostering development legends like Raffaele Cecco (Exolon, Cybernoid), Andrew Braybrook (Uridium, Paradroid), John Phillips (Nebulus), Steve Turner (Avalon, Quazatron), Dominic Robinson (Zynaps) and the founders of DICE who launched their first games, Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies, through 21st Century Entertainment.

Hints and Tips for Video game Pioneers is about more than just the history of Hewson Consultants and 21st Century Entertainment, and it’s about more than just the games. It’s a book which digs beneath the surface to examine the forces which made those companies such prolific hit-producers, unearthing a rich tapestry of expertise for the new generation of bedroom coders. It’s a story of triumph and disaster, ecstasy and turmoil and perpetual market forces in an industry which is constantly reinventing itself.

This book would be a good read for any Train2Game students as it will be full of valuable information.

To make a donation visit the Kickstarter campaign.

Train2Game News: Battlefield 4 Beta

Battlefield 4Get ready to immerse yourself in the chaos of all-out-warfare with the exclusive Battlefield 4 beta available now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Developed by DICE and powered by the advanced technology of Frostbite 3, the exclusive Battlefield 4 beta will showcase best-in-class multiplayer, spectacular visuals and massive destruction that is hallmark to the Battlefield series.

The Battlefield 4 beta features the Siege of Shanghai map as well as two game modes including the signature large scale battles found in Conquest and the adrenaline-fueled mayhem of Domination. Fans will also witness the power of Levolution, a new design concept where the environment dynamically reacts to the players every move, both big and small, to ensure that no two games are ever the same.

The exclusive Battlefield 4 beta will also introduce fans to Battlepacks, random combinations of new camos, dog tags and more that gamers will earn by progressing through multiplayer and that add an all-new layer of persistence and chance to the multiplayer experience.

Fans looking to get into the exclusive Battlefield 4 beta before October 4 can do so in three ways:

  • Pre-order the Battlefield 4 PC Digital Deluxe edition
  • Be a Battlefield 3 premium member
  • Be a registered owner of Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition or Digital Deluxe Edition

In addition, Battlefield 4 will be hosting an open beta available to all Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC players starting on October 4. For complete details on the Battlefield 4 beta please visit http://www.battlefield.com/uk/battlefield-4/beta.

Battlefield 4 will be available November 1 for current generation consoles and available at launch for next generation consoles.

Train2Game News: Years of board game history available with DICE+

DICE+Game Technologies Brings the Social Back to Digital Gaming with Revolutionary Board Game Controller.

Developed in Poland by Game Technologies, DICE+, the universal board game controller that brings real-world social interaction back to digital gaming, launched at Gamescom 2013. DICE+ can be purchased for £34.99 via http://dicepl.us.

The revolutionary DICE+ controller interacts with Bluetooth-enabled smart devices and combines the physical touch and feel of a game die with the potential for unlimited digital game and toy ideas. DICE+ has the power to make board games appealing to a new generation of players: “Powered board games” will enable you to get together with friends around the same device and experience a wealth of new gaming opportunities that combine the power and visual excitement of tablet gaming with the joy of playing games in a group.

From digital renditions of classic board games to new gaming experiences that leverage the built-in gyroscopic motion control, DICE+ comes with a host of free games to show off its capabilities. Also coming 2013 and early 2014 are a wide range of titles based on popular franchises, including family-friendly fare, top-quality edutainment titles and intense classics that are sure to please even the most hardened board game aficionado. Developers can also unleash their creativity with the DICE+ development kit, dreaming up new ways to utilize this versatile controller for a wide range of games.

You can learn more about Game Technologies and its exceptional new product at http://www.game-technologies.com.

Train2Game News: Xbox One Launch Games

Xbox OneInstead of the normal news round up on a Friday I thought, with the announcement of the Xbox One I would do a round up of the games announced for the next generation machine.

First of is the one that everyone guessed, Call Of Duty: Ghosts. Published by Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, and developed by Infinity Ward, the studio that created the original Call of Duty and the seminal Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, Call of Duty: Ghosts ushers in the next generation of the franchise. The new title delivers a riveting all-new gameplay experience built on an entirely new story, setting and cast of characters, all powered by a new, next generation Call of Duty engine that redefines the series for the next generation. Call of Duty: Ghosts releases globally on November 5, 2013. You can enjoy the trailer for the game here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4pqW0Mtc9c

For the war game fans that don’t enjoy the Call Of Duty series, Battlefield 4 was also announced. Developed by DICE, an EA owned Studio, the game will be availble this holiday series for Xbox One and PS4. Powered by the advanced Frostbite 3 engine, Battlefield 4 delivers a genre-defining all-out war experience brought to life with unmatched visual and audio fidelity, superior character animations and dynamic destruction that ensures no two matches are alike. Players that pre-order Battlefield 4 will receive the Battlefield 4 China Rising premium digital expansion pack at no additional cost. In this sprawling expansion, players fight for dominance across the vast and majestic Chinese mainland in four massive multiplayer maps, using all-new vehicles and high-tech military equipment. Separately, players that pre-order the Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe exclusively on Origin will receive the base game, bonus in-game digital items, the Battlefield 4 China Rising digital expansion pack and access to the exclusive Battlefield 4 multiplayer beta. More information will be released on the game at E3 in June. You can view the trailer for the game here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y1PhCzUe2w

Electronic Arts Inc. announced that it has developed EA SPORTS IGNITE, a new game engine that will power EA SPORTS games on Xbox One and PS4. One of which being launched with the Xbox One is FIFA 14. Fuelled by EA SPORTS IGNITE, EA SPORTS games will be alive with players who think, move, and behave like real athletes and dynamic living worlds, transforming the way people play and experience games on next gen consoles. With the new engine players are alive with contextual awareness and instincts—thinking, anticipating, and reacting—just like real athletes, and players are conscious of their environment. In FIFA 14, a player’s sense of urgency increases as the match draws on and a goal is needed, rushing to take a free kick, corner, or goal-kick if time is running down. You can enjoy a trailer for the EA SPORTS IGNITE engine here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bexvqjJ9TD4

One of two new IP’s to launch with the Xbox One is the next project from Bungie, Destiny. In the game, you are a Guardian of the last safe city on Earth, able to wield incredible power and have to defend the City and the World. The game features an incredible story set within a newly-imagined, always-connected universe filled with action and adventure where you can create your character. You forge your legend by defeating powerful foes and earn unique, customizable weapons, gear, and vehicles. There is an unprecedented variety of FPS gameplay, including story, cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes combined with public and social activities. You can enjoy a sixty second trailer for the game here, http://www.youtube.com/embed/ChicpIzV5vM?rel=0

Finally, the second new IP to launch with the Xbox One is Quantum Break. Created by Remedy Entertainment, the game will feature live-action videos blended with regular gameplay. A Quantum Break television series is also in production, with Remedy stating that “how you play the game impacts the show, and the show informs how you play the game.” This is the same as how the Defiance game for PC is working. Remedy didn’t reveal more than this teaser trailer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYcHyOo6AWU&feature=player_embedded You can look forward to more information at E3 on this game and, hopefully, many more.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 14.11.12

Cliff Bleszinski, better known as CliffyB, has received a mysterious package in a hotel room he is currently staying at. The package contained a phone with a Ubisoft background and one phone number in it. CliffyB told his twitter fans that he would ring the number saying “I do have a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me an asset for people like you.”

What started off as a breeding ground for indie titles now seems to be the only form of submission to the digital distribution service, Steam. This is a bold move by Valve as it means not only the bedroom developers but also the big hitters will have to submit their game to Greenlight.

Halo 4 earned $220 million on the day it launched. This isn’t quite as much as Halo 3 or reach but it is still an impressive figure. Microsoft reckons its juggernaut franchise is on track to hit its $300 million global sales target within its first week, thrusting lifetime sales for the Halo franchise passed the $3.38 billion mark.

Of course the other big release lately is Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. The game is Amazon’s most preordered game ever beating last year’s Modern Warfare 3. Amazon said it “shattered” the previous record. The company wouldn’t reveal any further details on the launch or preorders of Black Ops 2.

Valve president Gabe Newell has has revealed Valve is working on a next generation successor to the Source Engine. Newell also confirmed the Source 2 engine would be completely new, instead of just another update for nearly ten year-old tech. Source made its debut in Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2 in 2004.

Mass Effect 4 will run on DICE’s Frostbite engine, the latest version of which was used in Battlefield 3. There also seems to be a lot of interest in being able to play as different alien races, similar to the style of Dragon Age:Origins.

Train2Game News: EA announce Battlefield 4 beta spots for Medal of Honor: Warfighter pre-orders

Battlefield 4 will enter beta in autumn 2013 with exclusive places for those who pre-order Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which is set for release in October this year.

The official announcement of Battlefield 4 comes from EA and DICE following news of the beta leaking on EA’s Origin store. Both games are powered by EA’s Frostbite 2 engine.

“Though Battlefield and Medal of Honor Warfighter each offer players a completely unique experience, they are united by their underlying technology base – Frostbite.” said EA Labels president Frank Gibeau 

“These are two of the hottest shooters, coming together to deliver a one-two punch of action, intensity and shooter entertainment.”

Battlefield 3 went through open beta ahead of its release last year, with DICE making changes to the shooter as a result of testing.

There’s more about Battlefield here on The Train2Game Blog, while there’s plenty of information about the importance of beta testing, and opportunities to get involved, here.

What are your thoughts on EA’s decision to announce a the Battlefield 4 beta over a year before it begins?

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

Train2Game news: UK Charts – Battlefield 3 shoots to No.1

Train2Game students will have seen the Battlefield 3 hype machine in action for most of this year, and all that work from EA seems to have paid off because the FPS from DICE takes No.1 in its first week on sale with the second biggest launch of the year so far.

Not only does Battlefield 3 claim the 10th highest week one sales in the process, but it also beats the combined first week sales of all the previous Battlefield titles put together.  The success of Battlefield 3 means previous No.1 Batman: Arkham City, slips to No.2, with EA Sports FIFA 12 dropping one to No.3

PC title Football Manager 2012 is down one at No.4, with Just Dance 3 holding on to No.5 for the second week in a row.

Former No.1 Forza Motorspot 4 slips to No.6 in its third week on sale, while The Sims 3: Pets drops one to No.7.  Zumba Fitness continues to feature in the top ten, this week moving up one to No.8, while Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure from Activision reaching top ten at No.9 in its third week.

RAGE from id Software completes the top ten.  (Train2Game students can see our in-depth interview with RAGE Creative Director Tim Willits here on the Train2Game blog)

PES 2012 and Gears of War 3 both drop out the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 29th October 2011 is therefore as follows:

1. Battlefield 3 (EA)
2. Batman: Arkham City (Warner)
3. FIFA 12 (EA)
4. Football Manager 2012 (Sega)
5. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
6. Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft)
7. The Sims 3: Pets (EA)
8. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
9. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Activision)
10. Rage (Bethesda)

Releases this week include Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

So Train2Game, what do you make of Battlefield 3’s success? Have you played it? If so what do you think? And for how long can it hold onto No.1?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.