Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 05.04.13

lucasartsIt is Friday so it is time for another Train2Game game industry news round up.

The saddest bit of news this week was that the new owners of LucasArts, Disney, has shut down the company. LucasArts were responsible for making many of the Star Wars licensed games as well as other games such as Monkey Island. A LucasFilm representative suggested that properties such as 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault could still find a home via a third party.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced that the Injustice: Gods Among Us game is now available on the App Store. Developed from the ground up by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, this free-to-play mobile game delivers stunning graphics and a completely unique fighting gameplay experience. The mobile game features a collectible card mechanic and engages players in 3-on-3 tag team combat that pits many of DC Comics most popular icons such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and more against one another. Fans who also own the forthcoming Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 versions will be able to unlock content in the console versions that will be available in the mobile game, and vice versa, by registering for a Warner Bros. ID (WBID) account and playing the game.

Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios are pleased to announce that on April 30, 2013, the free-to-play action MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter is heading into Open Beta, allowing millions of players unrestricted access to the game world. Neverwinter is Cryptic and Perfect World’s proof that Western free-to-play games, when built from the ground up, can compete with even the biggest boxed subscription titles. On April 30, the companies invite all gamers to put that claim to the test. There will be no character wipes or restricted access after the start of Open Beta. Players can still become Founders through Neverwinter’s Founder’s Pack Program. Benefits include exclusive access to Beta Weekend 4, permanent in-game items that are unique to Founders, early access to Open Beta, and VIP perks. To take advantage of these benefits and to gain exclusive access to Neverwinter’s Beta Weekend 4, players may visit: http://nw.perfectworld.com/founderspack/

The latest set of downloadable content for Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been confirmed for an April 16th launch on Xbox Live. The pack will include four new maps as well as a new zombie mode, available for 1200 Microsoft points or free to existing season pass holders. The four new maps are: Magma, a modern Japanese village featuring volcanic eruptions; Encore, taking place in the aftermath of a London music festival; Vertigo, a futuristic high rise building in India and Studio, a Hollywood movie back lot which describes itself as a “contemporary remake of Firing Range” which was found in the original Black Ops. By far the most intriguing addition to the newest DLC is the new Mob of the Dead mode, which sounds interesting enough to breathe life into the unspectacular collection of zombie content available currently. In it you play as a prohibition-era mobster locked up in Alcatraz whose attempts to escape are “foiled by the rise of the undead.”

Finally, creators of the hit game Castle Crashers, have released a new game. Blocks, Cats, Hats, Betrayal! This is how The Behemoth have described their new game, Battleblock Theatre. This newly released game, that is currently only for XBLA, is all about platforming, a “story of geometric proportions”, several modes of online gameplay and a massive amount of replayability. It has over 450 levels, hundreds of unlockables to find, over 300 prisoners to free and The Behemoth is calling it their largest game to date. The Behemoth said they are considering future ports, just like they did with Castle Crashers, but since they are a small studio it would take them quite some time to port if they do decide to bring the game to PC or PS3.

The iPhone 4G could provide a Train2Game student with their big break.

June 24th 2010 is a big day for mobile video games, phone applications and Apple fans in general. Why? Because on that day the iPhone 4G is released, and not only will it continue to revolutionise mobile communication, but it’ll also continue to expand the opportunity for playing quality, well developed, video games on the iPhone.

The iPhone 4G will introduce a number of enhancements over previous models, including “improved camera system and battery life, as well as an updated version of the iOS operating system, designed to provide more flexibility for developers.”

That last bit is likely to be most appealing to Train2Game students, be they a Games Designer, Games Developer or a Games Artist & Animator, as the continued advancement of the iPhone technology means it’s easier than ever to get a video game published. Apple themselves say they approve 95% of Applications within a week.

iPhone games are getting more and more popular, especially with old classics such as Final Fantasy and Monkey Island now available for the handset. Twenty years ago you would have needed a state of the art games system in your room in order to play these. Nowadays you can enjoy these almost legendary titles wherever you are, be you on the train, at the park or *ahem* in the bathroom.

The choice and quality of games available for the iPhone can only improve, as according to Apple, “4G’s gaming applications will be superior to previous models due to the addition of a three-axis gyro, which will allow for a wider array of motion control options.”

Many of the biggest gaming news websites have already taken note of the potential of iPhone games, including GamesRadar who run an ‘Iphone game of the day’ feature’ which showcases a variety of games that people can easily go onto download from the iTunes store at generally low prices.

The advantage for developers – like the Train2Game students – is  iPhone games can be developed for a relatively small amount – and bought for as little as 59p – but if the game proves popular it can really jumpstart a career in the games industry. There are a number of tales out there about iPhone game developers who have been very successful through this medium. Perhaps a Train2Game student will one day a make a name for themselves in this way.

So, who’s excited about the iPhone 4G? And who’s ready to attempt to developer a game for it?

As usual all comments are appreciated. Either leave them here or on the Train2Game Forum.