Train2Game News: Jonathan Ross joins Microsoft

'The Jonathan Ross ShowMicrosoft have announced that TV presenter Jonathan Ross has been brought in to the company to be a consultant.

The announcement was made last night at an Xbox One event held last night in London, Ross will function as a consultant, advising various Microsoft teams in the UK. What projects Ross will be helping with however is yet to be announced.

“We wanted to change our thinking,” said Microsoft corporate VP Phil Harrison following the announcement.

“We wanted to do was to bring in new talent that would challenge the way we build games and the way we think about what an audience is, to think about what is entertainment, and broaden the concept of gaming to maybe blur the distinctions about what is a traditional game is and what a traditional television programme or what is a traditional linear media.”

Jonathan Ross is no stranger to the video game world having previously released Catcha Catcha Aliens on mobile devices with his own gaming company, Hotsauce.

I look forward to what Jonathan Ross will be bringing to Microsoft in the near future.

Train2Game News: Jonathan Ross’s game coming to Android

Catcha Catcha AliensThe wait for the Android version of Jonathan Ross’s critically acclaimed “Catcha Catcha Aliens!” is over as it will be released on Google Play for Android on March 7. The game will be free to play and the iOS version will follow suit the same day.

Alien catchers who have already purchased the iOS App will be credited with 20,000 Zhillings, the virtual currency of the game, if they have the initial version installed on the device when they update their game.

“Catcha Catcha Aliens!” was originally released on December 3 for iOS and is the first title from Hotsauce interactive, a new development studio set up by TV personality, Jonathan Ross.

The game, which is a mission based catching game, has received plaudits for its high quality distinctive graphics, quirky humour, level based mini-challenges, original sound-track as well as its take on a popular genre. It has also been voiced by Stephen Fry and Jonathan himself.

Commenting on the Android launch and iOS update Jonathan Ross said “We’re quietly pleased with how our first game turned out. An Android version was always in the works but having made the decision to go free to play on iOS devices we decided to wait until we could launch both together.

To ensure that everyone who has already purchased the App won’t lose out, we are giving free in-game money to everyone who has already bought Catcha Catcha. Two new levels are nearly finished, and we are working on more characters as well as more games. Being involved in this process is even more exciting than I imagined it to be, and I hope that at least some of this excitement comes across in the finished game”.

For further information on “Catcha Catcha Aliens!” you can log on to http://hotsauceinteractive.co.uk/ follow on twitter @HotsauceTV or visit http://www.facebook.com/HotsauceInteractive

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 06.12.12

The Train2Game team has searched around and found some of the exciting news from this week.

343 Industries, who recently released Halo 4, have said that they are in early stages of developing a new Halo. Frank O’Connor, the franchise development director for Halo, said that “a lot of people at 343 are already prototyping ideas and software and art for future Halo products”. Many within the 343 Industries studio are still working on post launch content for Halo 4.

Sega has revealed a new partnership with Games Workshop which will see Total War developer Creative Assembly making multiple titles set in the Warhammer fantasy universe. Creative Assembly studio director Tim Heaton said: “With this year being our 25th anniversary, it seems fitting for us to embark on such a dream project with such a well-established partner. The incredibly rich and detailed Warhammer world is something we grew up with, and has left an indelible imprint on us as both designers and gamers.”

Sony Pictures Consumer Products has teamed up with Capcom-owned developer Beeline Interactive to produce an Android and iOS Ghostbusters game, targeting an ‘early 2013’ release. The new Ghostbusters will be a ‘freemium’ title based on the popular eighties movies. The players will play the role of “a fledgling Ghostbuster. Who ya gunna call?

UK celebrity, chat show host and film critic Jonathan Ross has opened a new game development studio named Hotsauce Interactive, based in Candem, North London. The outfit is part of Ross’ TV production company Hotsauce, and has already released its debut game, Cacha Cacha Aliens for iOS. It is understood that Hotsauce Interactive is staffed by a number of experienced developers and the studio may look into releasing games on hand-held and console in the future.

Customers of Valve’s Steam digital distribution service can now play their PC games on a TV. The much anticipated Big Picture mode has been in beta for some time, but has only now seen public release. Big Picture is designed to be compatible with gamepads, but also supports the use of a Mouse and Keyboard. To celebrate, Valve has placed over thirty “controller-friendly” games on sale.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 made $1 billion a day quicker than Modern Warfare 3, Activision has announced. That’s $1 billion in worldwide retail sales in 15 days since launch, based on Chart-Track and internal figures. Modern Warfare 3 took 16 days to cross the $1 billion mark. For comparison, James Cameron’s Avatar made $1 billion in 17 days. Since launch, more than 150 million hours have been logged online playing the game on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

Kickstarter’s United Kingdom operation has reached £2,069,164 in pledges since its launch late in October. 45,799 backers contributed to the £2 million, with 30 projects having successfully ended their funding drive out of 407 launched. Of those backers, 39 percent came from the UK.