Train2Game News Hiro Capital II Announced

Hiro Capital – the leading specialist European VC focused on Videogames, Metaverse Technologies, Creator Platforms and Gamified Fitness – today announces the launch of HIRO CAPITAL II, a €300m ($340m) fund focused on backing the world’s emerging Gaming and Metaverse innovators.

Hiro II will be announcing its first investments in April.
 
Hiro’s new fund invests in entrepreneurial teams at Seed, A and B across the UK, Europe and North America (and selectively ROW), building innovative and disruptive leaders in Games, Esports, Creator Platforms and Gamified Fitness.
 
Founded in 2018, Hiro’s name was inspired by Hiro Protagonist, the sword-wielding, Metaverse-hacking samurai hero of Neil Stephenson’s seminal Snowcrash, a novel about video games, VR, digital assets and the neocortex.

Since launch, Hiro has been investing in sci-fi, story-telling IPs and the deep future of games and metaverse technology. Hiro believes strongly in Games as a force for good.
 
Building on the momentum of Fund I
 
Between 2019 and 2022, Hiro has made 21 Series A and B Games and Metaverse investments across the UK, EU and USA. The Hiro 1 portfolio is now c.80% invested and is performing strongly, across fast-growing investments such as Polyarc (Seattle) , FitXR (London), FRVR (Lisbon), Keen Games (Frankfurt), Snowprint (Stockholm), LOCO (India) and LIV (Prague). Hiro Capital also co-led a $22m investor consortium alongside Blackrock and Westerly Winds, as part of a Series C round in London-based gamified femtech star Elvie. Hiro’s investors included some of the world’s largest games and technology companies.
 
“We have been believers in the Metaverse since we created the fund in 2018. Our goal with Hiro is to bring founder-focused venture funding to Games studios and Metaverse technology creators. In 2022 we are at a pivotal moment in the very early phases of the Metaverse, VR, AR and Web3 — these revolutions will take at least a decade and much of the creativity and technology innovation will start in Games. As a team, we have the experience and networks to support the incredible talent that we find across Europe, the UK and beyond. Our new fund gives us more firepower to find and develop emerging stars and level them up to global scale.” Luke Alvarez
 
Hiro Metaverse Acquisitions 1
 
In Jan 2022, Hiro Capital 1 became the lead sponsor in a new acquisition vehicle focused on the Videogaming and Metaverse sectors. Hiro Metaverse Acquisitions 1 began trading on the LSE on Feb 7th, only the second ever SPAC to list in London. Hiro MA1 raised £115m (c.$150m) to target Games and Metaverse acquisitions in the $600m-$2.25bn range.

Investing in Games and the Metaverse
 
With Hiro Capital 1, Hiro Capital II and Hiro MA1, Hiro’s AUM total c.$650m, entirely focused on Games and Metaverse innovators in the UK, Europe and beyond.
 
Partners with deep knowledge of gaming
 
The three Hiro founding partners have co-founded startups generating billions of value in exits, have completed five public IPO’s and have scaled six >$500m-sized games companies.
 
Hiro Managing General Partner, Luke Alvarez, founded Inspired Entertainment, a >$600m EV Nasdaq-listed Virtual Sports games technology leader. Luke is also co-founder of Sknups — a Web3 games skin platform — and was a founding director of The Cloud Network, an early public access cloud platform backed by Accel and acquired by Sky.
 
Hiro General Partner, Cherry Freeman, co-founded the global community and e-commerce brand LoveCrafts and has spent 10 years working and angel investing in venture-backed tech companies including Elvie, New Voice Media and Mimecast (currently being acquired for $5.8bn) .
 
Hiro General Partner Sir Ian Livingstone is the co-founder and former chairman of Eidos plc (Lara Croft:Tomb Raider), co-founder of Games Workshop (Warhammer) and co-author of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Sir Ian was also an early investor and chairman of Playdemic (sold to EA for $1.4bn in 2021), Tonic Games (sold to Epic in 2021) and Sumo plc (sold to Tencent for $1.3bn in 2022). Ian is also the founder of the Livingstone Academy, a creative, games and compsci focused UK Academy school. Sir Ian is passionate about games and technology playing a key role in educating the next generations of kids.
 
In addition to the success of Hiro Capital I, on Jan 1 2022 Ian Livingstone CBE became Sir Ian Livingstone CBE as he was formally knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the videogames industry.

For more information on Hiro Capital go to https://hiro.capital/

Train2Game News Kingdom Hearts Comes To The Switch

As a part of the ongoing 20th anniversary of KINGDOM HEARTS celebration, SQUARE ENIX® and Disney today released four beloved KINGDOM HEARTS titles for the first time on Nintendo Switch™ via cloud.

Cloud versions include KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind (DLC) and the all-in-one KINGDOM HEARTS INTEGRUM MASTERPIECE for Cloud collection.

Players who purchase KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind (DLC), either as a standalone title or through the all-in-one collection, will receive the Advent Red Keyblade for use in that game.


Watch the KINGDOM HEARTS Series for Nintendo Switch Cloud Version launch trailer here: https://youtu.be/5T7Gp3s4liQ

For a full list of games included in each collection, visit: https://square-enix-games.com/en_GB/news/kingdom-hearts-switch
 
Players can test their internet connection prior to purchasing any of the title(s) with free playable demos, available to download now from Nintendo eShop for three of the beloved KINGDOM HEARTS titles, including KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind (DLC).
 
The first entry in the KINGDOM HEARTS franchise first released twenty years ago in 2002, thus launching the longstanding collaboration between SQUARE ENIX and Disney. Since then, over 35 million copies have shipped worldwide.

Nintendo Switch players, who have eagerly awaited the arrival of the series’ back catalogue on the platform, will soon be able to join Sora, Donald, Goofy, and many other Disney and Pixar characters on adventures through the “Dark Seeker Saga,” spanning from the original KINGDOM HEARTS to the critically acclaimed KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind (DLC).
 
To order these titles, please visit the page here: www.kingdomhearts.com/switch

Train2Game News Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster

SQUARE ENIX Ltd. today announced FINAL FANTASY I, II and III are coming to Steam® and mobile platforms on July 28.

The pixel remaster series brings all the magic of the originals combined with quality-of-life upgrades while staying faithful to the retro design of these masterpieces. Fans can look forward to enjoying a host of updates including:
 

  • Redrawn 2D pixel character and background graphics, featuring iconic FINAL FANTASY character pixel designs created by Kazuko Shibuya, the original artist and current collaborator.
  • Beautifully rearranged soundtracks, overseen by original composer Nobuo Uematsu.
  • Improved gameplay, including controller and touch controls, modernized UI, auto-battle options, and more.
  • Dive into the world of the game with supplemental extras like the bestiary, illustration gallery, music player, and the ability to save at any time

Looking back at the long history of the beloved series, the “Father of FINAL FANTASY” Hironobu Sakaguchi states,

“When working on the originals, I didn’t think that the FINAL FANTASY series would be remastered almost 35 years later. The video game industry had only just been established. So, with nobody else leading the way, we had to keep moving forward at the front line. I remember how we went through a lot of trial and error at that time. I’m very happy and grateful that Final Fantasy has continued for such a long period of time.”

FINAL FANTASY Brand Manager and FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Producer Yoshinori Kitase adds,

“Every time a new Final Fantasy title is released, I think there are those who want to return to the origin of the series. This project began because we wanted to create a convenient way for fans and new players to enjoy these original classics, with consistent graphics and a unified user interface.”

Further, in regard to the renowned soundtrack of the FINAL FANTASY series, series composer Nobuo Uematsu also confirmed,

“We are rearranging all the music tracks this time. One of the first ideas I had was to make sure to stay faithful to the originals, but of course I couldn’t just leave it in the original 3-tone sound, so they have been built up into full-scale tracks. I have made sure that the original atmosphere has been retained and each can be listened to as separate music pieces, so that fans can enjoy.”

  Those who pre-purchase the titles on Steam® will receive two exclusive wallpapers, three music tracks, and 20% discount per each respective title. All six titles are also available for pre-purchase as the FINAL FANTASY I-VI Bundle for a further discount. More information on the bundle is available on Steam at: https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/21478.

  *Games in bundle to be available upon respected release timings

View the FINAL FANTASY PIXEL REMASTER | Promotional Trailer at: https://youtu.be/XdLsIQEGj-E

Train2Game News Little Nightmares II Demo Available Now

Console players can now discover the spooky world of Little Nightmares II and get a glimpse of Mono’s journey discovering the Wilderness level on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

The demo is already available on PC on Steam and GOG.com.

Also starting today, the game is available for pre-order on the Nintendo Store.

Physical pre-orders for the Day One Edition and TV Edition (in Europe) are still available here.

The TV Edition will add, in addition to the Nomes’ Attic DLC and Mokujin mask, the complete soundtrack of the game as well as an exclusive diorama of Mono & Six, an artbook, a steelbook case, an Artbook and stickers for the game.

For players willing to immerse themselves in the Little Nightmares universe, the first game is now available to grab for free on PC from January 13 to 17 on the BNEE store.

The game is also part of Xbox Game with Gold in January, so players with a Xbox Live Gold subscription can jump in the shoes of Six and explore the Maw.

In an effort to continue telling the stories behind the lost children of the Little Nightmares world, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe has worked on a digital comic book, whose first two chapters are available now on Android and iOS. The comic book will go into the story between Little Nightmares and Little Nightmares II.

Train2Game News KOTOR II For Mobile

It’s the long-awaited return of the Jedi Exile.

Aspyr and Lucasfilm today announced the upcoming launch of the epic Star Wars™ single-player, RPG classic Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic ll™—The Sith Lords™ on iPhone, iPad and Android devices on December 18. Experience the fan-favorite optimized for mobile devices.

“Fans have been asking for a mobile version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II for so long, and we’re thrilled to finally bring it to them,” said Elizabeth Howard, vice president of publishing at Aspyr. “We’re proud to continue working with Lucasfilm to bring classic titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II to modern platforms.”

Nothing is impossible with the Force! Watch trailer here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSV7MWL7T88

Set five years after the events from the award-winning Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Sith Lords have hunted the Jedi to the edge of extinction and are on the verge of crushing the Old Republic. With the Jedi Order in ruin, the Republic’s only hope is a lone Jedi struggling to reconnect with the Force. As this Jedi, players will be faced with the galaxy’s most dire decision – follow the light side or succumb to the dark.

  Key Features: 

  • Choose the light or the dark side of the Force as you progress through the story.
  • The choices made will affect the player’s character, their party and those who may join the quest.
  • Add fan favorite characters to your party including HK-47, Canderous Ordo, and Kreia!
  • Optimized for mobile play with new touch screen controls

Availability:
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ll – The Sith Lords will be available for purchase in the AppStore and Google Play starting December 18 for $14.99 USD.

Train2Game News Little Nightmares 2 Pre-Orders

Players can now pre-order the Day One edition or the TV Edition of Little Nightmares II on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC Digital. Pre-orders of the Day One edition will receive the Mokujin Mask for Mono, inspired from the popular character from TEKKEN. Digital pre-orders will be available at a later date.
 
The Day One edition of the game will give players access to the Nomes’ Attic, an exclusive DLC for Little Nightmares II as well as a mini-soundtrack, composed by Tobias Lilja.
 
The TV Edition will add, in addition to the Nomes’ Attic DLC and Mokujin mask, the complete soundtrack of the game as well as an exclusive diorama of Mono & Six, an artbook, a steelbook case and stickers for the game. This edition is available for pre-order starting today in Europe.
 
Visit the BNEE E-Commerce Store to get the Mono keychain added to pre-orders of the Day One Edition, and a 3D lenticular art for the TV Edition. In addition to these, an exclusive limited edition figurine is available to be purchased now at this link.
 
Little Nightmares II will be available starting February 11, 2021 on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC Digital, and later in 2021 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with a free upgrade for owners of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version.

Train2Game News Suikoden II Orchestral CD Kickstarter goal reached

On Sep. 3, 2018, the re-launched Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for a new orchestral CD recording featuring music from “Suikoden II” had reached its funding goal.

The campaign, was hosted by VGM Classics (NM, USA), a classical record company specializing in video game music. The campaign now aims for stretch goals for more music by September 20, 2018.

Suikoden II
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vgmclassics/suikoden-ii-an-orchestral-cd-2cd-0

“Suikoden II” is a role-playing video published by Konami for the PlayStation system in 1998. The original music was based on orchestral and ethnic sounds that reflected the many cultures and feelings that permeated the story.

The funding goal of the campaign was US$15,000 in an all-or-nothing format, and the campaign sets two stretch goals at $27,500, and at $40,000 for more music by September 20, 2018.

VGM Classics has invited the award-wining composer/conductor Kentaro Sato to be its music director to oversee and direct the recording. Mr. Sato is the orchestral and choral mastermind behind such video game titles as the “DISSIDIA Final Fantasy” series. The prospective orchestra for the project is the Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Budapest, Hungary).

VGM Classics expects that its projects not only will fulfill the wishes of game music lovers, but also will contribute to the advancement of musical art and culture at large.

For two other current Kickstarter projects by VGM Classics, please visit at:

Star Fox 64 (aka, Lylat Wars)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vgmclassics/star-fox-64-lylat-wars-an-orchestral-cd-64cd

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentina https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vgmclassics/fire-emblem-echoes-an-orchestral-cd-cd

Train2Game News Suikoden II Orchestral CD

On Aug. 29, 2018, the re-launched Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for a new orchestral CD recording featuring music from “Suikoden II” had reached 2/3 of its funding goal.

The campaign, which started on August 14, was hosted by VGM Classics (NM, USA), a classical record company specializing in video game music.

Suikoden II
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vgmclassics/suikoden-ii-an-orchestral-cd-2cd-0

“Suikoden II” is a role-playing video published by Konami for the PlayStation system in 1998. The original music was based on orchestral and ethnic sounds that reflected the many cultures and feelings that permeated the story.

The campaign aims ultimately to raise US$15,000 in an all-or-nothing format by September 20, 2018.

VGM Classics has invited the award-wining composer/conductor Kentaro Sato to be its music director to oversee and direct the recording. Mr. Sato is the orchestral and choral mastermind behind such video game titles as the “DISSIDIA Final Fantasy” series. The prospective orchestra for the project is the Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Budapest, Hungary).

VGM Classics expects that its projects not only will fulfill the wishes of game music lovers, but also will contribute to the advancement of musical art and culture at large.

There are two additional crowd-funding campaigns.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vgmclassics/fire-emblem-echoes-an-orchestral-cd-cd

Suikoden II
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vgmclassics/suikoden-ii-an-orchestral-cd-2cd-0

Train2Game News Call of Duty World War II

Call of Duty® is making a dramatic return to the greatest military conflict in history and where the franchise first began, World War II.  
On Friday, November 3rd, Call of Duty®: WWII players will enlist in an unforgettable journey of brotherhood across the European theatre in a mission vital to the success of the Allied powers.  The all-new Call of Duty delivers gritty realism, authenticity and cinematic intensity on an epic scale.  In addition to the game’s boots-on-the-ground combat, Multiplayer offers a host of new mode, system and gameplay innovations across iconic map locations; while an all-new Nazi Zombies Cooperative mode unleashes a startling, new storyline and adrenaline filled experience.  Published by Activision and developed by Sledgehammer Games, Call of Duty: WWII defines the World War II game experience for a new generation of consoles.

“More than two and a-half years ago we made the decision to return this franchise to its roots, and Call of Duty: WWII does so in epic fashion,” said Eric Hirshberg, Activision CEO. “The team at Sledgehammer Games is delivering an authentic, gritty, cinematic experience that honours both the epic scale, and the human struggle of the greatest war the world has ever known.  This game will let longtime fans experience World War II like never before, and will introduce this historic conflict to a whole new generation of gamers in the process.”

“Call of Duty: WWII has been a journey of inspiration and passion for everyone at Sledgehammer Games. The team is dedicated to delivering on the intense nature of war that focuses on the heroism and sacrifice of soldiers in WWII. Our rich narrative driven, action-packed campaign, and engaging and innovative multiplayer experience immerse players into the boots of a soldier fighting for freedom in a world on the brink of tyranny.  And, our co-operative mode delivers a unique storyline that’s an all-new take on Nazi Zombies that we think fans are going to love,” said Michael Condrey, Studio Head and Co-Founder of Sledgehammer Games. 

Added Glen Schofield, Studio Head and Co-Founder of Sledgehammer Games, “the story we’re telling is unlike anything that we’ve tackled before.  It’s such an amazing journey of common everyday people who became heroes. We want to respect this great generation of soldiers, tell a realistic story set in a true inflection point in human history, and deliver the best experience of our careers.”

Call of Duty: WWII takes the franchise back to its roots in a bold cinematic experience that captures the unforgettable heroism of the soldiers who fought together in a war that changed the world forever.  Activision’s gripping new title is an honest portrayal of World War II from the perspective of the famed 1st Infantry Division, with an ensemble cast of global and diverse characters. Through stunning visuals and intense audio, players storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, march across France to liberate Paris and ultimately push forward into Germany in some of the most monumental battles of all-time.

Call of Duty: WWII Multiplayer combat immerses players in grounded, fast-paced action featuring an arsenal of authentic weapons and equipment, set in some of the most iconic locations in World War II’s European theatre.  Multiplayer also delivers a new approach to character and create-a-class through Divisions, War, an all-new narrative multiplayer mode of play, and Headquarters, a first of its kind for the Call of Duty social community, designed for players to interact and socialise with friends.  The definitive World War II next generation experience also introduces Nazi Zombies, an all-new cooperative mode featuring a unique standalone storyline set during World War II that’s full of unexpected, adrenaline-pumping action.  Look for more information about Multiplayer at E3 and the Nazi Zombies cooperative experience at a later date.

Call of Duty: WWII pre-orders at participating retailers includes access to the Private Beta, available first on PlayStation®4, scheduled for later this year.  Call of Duty: WWII is available for pre-order in the following editions:

    Base Edition and Digital Base Edition

    Digital Deluxe Edition – Season Pass and more

    Pro Edition – Season Pass, collectible SteelbookTM and more

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&noapp=1&v=uVcqKcaLO3A

Train2Game News Grandia 2 remastered

image

Classic Dreamcast game and personal favourite of mine, Grandia 2 is being remastered.

After an overwhelming response to an April survey asking players for future PC releases of Game Arts’ portfolio,  GungHo Online Entertainment America (GOEA) announced today that  Grandia II Anniversary Edition, theremastered version of the classic JRPG originally released for Dreamcast ,  is now availableon  Steam and  GOG.com for Windows PC. As part of this celebration,  Grandia II Anniversary Edition  is available for a limited sale price of $14.99, a 25 percent discount from the SRP of $19.99.

Developed by Game Arts, creators of the  Lunar and  Grandia  series, and published by GOEA,  Grandia  II is considered a high point for the developer with the game’s unique characters, mature storytelling, memorable music and fantastic battle system. In this classic tale of a band of adventurers destined to save the world, players take the role of Ryudo, a hardened mercenary, and go on an epic journey filled with magic, new friendships and surprises as the party seeks a legendary weapon once wielded by a deity.

Grandia II Anniversary Edition  features numerous technical improvements from the original, such as visual upgrades to textures, lightning, and shadows through anti-aliasing, as well as game controller support, Japanese voice acting, and a new difficulty level for a hardcore experience. Other features for the title include:

    Steam Trading Cards
    Steam Achievements
    Steam Cloud Save Support
    Selectable Video Options
    Remapable Keyboard and Gamepad Support
    PC Resolution and Aspect Ratio Support
    UI Updates to Reflect New Control Schemes
    Dreamcast VMS Save File Support

You can enjoy the trailer below

http://youtu.be/6JSxsv6kSV8