Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 21.06.13

PS4It’s Friday which, of course, means it is time for the games industry news round up.

Mark Cerny, the lead system architect on Sony’s PlayStation 4 console, will deliver the conference keynote at Develop in Brighton, which takes place at the city’s Hilton Metropole from 9-11 July 2013. Cerny’s keynote, Changing the Game: Developing into the Next Generation, will see the industry legend take delegates through the journey he has been on to bring the console to reality, looking at the lessons learnt from previous console generations, the future vision for PS4 and how embracing the Indie community will have a key role in fulfilling that vision. To find out more about the event, go to http://www.developconference.com/

Gamers competing via the Xbox Tournaments with Virgin Gaming app on Xbox 360, now have a new way to win cash and show off their gaming skills. With the new update, available today, players can now enter buy-in tournaments and head-to-head challenges using their own money. Since launching nearly two months ago, Virgin Gaming has awarded Xbox 360 gamers nearly $100,000 in cash prizes, while also allowing players to seamlessly browse, enter, challenge, play in and track tournaments for their favourite games directly from Xbox Live. Gamers that are not already using the app can register for an account at http://virgingaming.com/xbox and download the app from Xbox Live.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey will be available for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita handheld systems in Europe on 21st June. A Nintendo DS version will follow this Autumn, as will a free-to-play online world, LEGO Legends of Chima Online. The new games all complement a line of branded products and TV content based on the LEGO Legends of Chima action packed world ruled by eight animal tribes that tells the classic story of good and evil, friendship and family.

Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 will be releasing on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PC/Steam, PlayStation Network, iPad, and for the first time on Android tablets next week. As with previous years Wizards of the Coast are rolling out the release of the game over two days across the myriad of platforms. The game will be released on June 25 for iTunes, Google Play and Amazon App Store. The following day will see the release on PC, Xbox Live and PSN. Associate Community Manager Sean Gibbons gives the community a first look at the new Sealed Campaign and deck editor in the upcoming Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers, which you can enjoy here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEQVZf8qxYo

Finally, some good news for those of you who are looking forward to the new Thief game. You won’t have to buy a next generation console for the game. Eidios Montreal has confirmed that the game will also be coming to Xbox360 and PS3. No word yet on a WiiU release. Senior Producer Stephane Roy acknowledges that the developers “have to be smart” in transferring the demands of the software to consoles at the end of their life cycle – suggesting that the breadth of the world may be scaled down to accommodate present-day hardware.

Train2Game News: New Batman Arkham game announced

Batman Arkham OriginsGood news for Train2Game Bat-Fans! WB Games have announced the next game in the Batman Arkham Universe.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, the next instalments of the blockbuster Batman: Arkham videogame franchise. Batman: Arkham Origins will be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 system, the Wii U system, and Windows PC.  Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate will be available for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system, and PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system.  Both titles are scheduled to release worldwide 25 October, 2013.

Developed by WB Games Montréal, Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, the first two critically acclaimed games of the franchise.  Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, the game showcases a young and unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, players will meet many important characters for the first time and forge key relationships.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a 2.5-D game developed by Armature Studio that brings the Batman Arkham experience for the first time to Nintendo and Sony handheld systems.  A companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, players can continue the storyline of the console version and discover more details of the Dark Knight’s past.

“Batman: Arkham is a huge triple-A videogame franchise and we are delighted to expand the experience with Batman: Arkham Origins,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  “WB Games Montréal has an incredibly talented team building upon Rocksteady’s award-winning gameplay and technology to deliver a deep, immersive, quality experience fans will love.”

“WB Games Montréal is honoured to have the opportunity to create Batman: Arkham Origins, a new chapter in this amazing franchise” said Reid Schneider, Vice President and Executive Producer, WB Games Montréal.  “We are huge fans of the franchise and are committed to creating an experience that offers players more of what they love, as well as the chance to play as a younger Batman within a fresh storyline and expanded world.”

Fans can visit www.batmanarkhamorigins.com for more information about the game.

Train2Game News: Train2Game student releasing Boomba!

Boomba LogoTrain2Game Student, Fee Stewart, has been working with Radiation Burn LTD to create a new exciting game called, Boomba!

In the game you get to play as punks, rockers, emos, soldiers, cops and many more characters in an exciting and enjoyable turn based strategy game that is based described as Angry Birds meets Worms.

This turn based physics shooter is completely unique and plays like no other. There are over 50 different teams to choose from, with more to follow. Aimed at aged 7+ casual to medium game players, this title really is open to everyone. The accuracy of your shooting is combined with a range of exciting weaponry to be victorious; use chainsaw missiles, boxing glove bazookas and metal anvils to defeat your opponents.

Boomba

Boomba will be available on: Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Windows 8 and Windows Phone, Kindle, Blackberry, Andoid, PC and Mac next month.

RadiationBurn Ltd. strives to provide fun and original IP for your enjoyment. The studio, founded in Middlesbrough 2010, creates fun and original titles of all sizes. The company was founded through winning the Microsoft Dream.Build.Play Challenge, Old Spice competition. A worldwide competition in which RadiationBurn Ltd. were voted winners, by a panel of judges and the gaming public.

Fee joined the company in October 2011 after finishing a Train2Game student placement at the company.

When asked her opinion of the game she said “Boomba! is something I thought I would be doing only once. It soon became a daily habit to both create the game and play it!”

You can find out more about the game by going to www.boombagame.com

Train2Game News: Fiona Stewart radio transcript

Fiona Stewart spoke to BBC Radio Leeds recently. You can listen to the interview in the link below or read the following transcript.

http://audioboo.fm/boos/1049459-train2game-student-fee-stewart-on-bbc-radio-leeds-8-november

So what to do then if you are a talented budding artist but you hate the smell of paint? Well our next guest has just the answer you decide to start drawing art work for computer games and use a PC as your easel and brush. Fiona Stewart from Holmfirth has become so successful at this that the biggest company in the world has given her financial backing. Hi Fiona

Hello

What happened was it a sudden hatred of paint or had you always had it?

No, after I had the children it became more difficult obviously, with three kids running around the house and the paint drying and things like that, the smell and everything became more and more difficult as the kids were starting to grow up.

And it’s not a natural move then for someone who creates with a canvas say, to someone who designs games. How did that transition happen?

Well a friend of mine made 3D models and she asked if I could texture for her because that’s more sort of drawing and I started doing that then decided I actually wanted to make the 3D models as well and do the whole process.

How fascinating. What sort of things do you actually design now then, what do you work on?

Well I work on video games now, so we make apps, console games, games for 3DS and Android phones things like that.

So does it feel like art in the way it did perhaps pre-kids, when you were doing what most people listening to us would consider conventional art?

I actually think its more artistic. If you look at video games and things, the amount of art work thats in it is a good proportion of the actual game its self. I feel more that I’m contributing in an artistic way perhaps more than I did when I was doing it on canvas.

Of course, probably our best known Bradford artist, David Hockney he does so much of his work on the iPad now, doesn’t he?

Yes he does, yeah.

What about this backing from Microsoft then, how did that come about?

Well I met with Microsoft and showed them the game we have been making from the beginning of January. We did a Game Jam up in Scotland and won various awards and got BAFTA nominated for the New Challenge Award. So I showed him the game and he was very interested in it and it would make a very nice game on the Windows 8 mobile platform. He thought we would do very well, so he has been helping us

That’s rather nice and probably rather different from what most struggling artists experience in terms of funding supplies.

Yes, we have been very lucky really in so much that Microsoft have given us BitSpark programme, which is £30,000 worth of software that we can use and integrate throughout the whole of the team so that we are all using the same platform and various talks with other start ups which is very helpful as a start up.

Well good luck, it’s not the easiest of climates to be heading into any sort of start up business. Can I just ask you finally, do you miss the traditional art stuff or do you ever dabble occasionally?

It’s becoming more and more rare that I do because doing it digitally it’s there instantly, I don’t have to wait for any paints to dry. I am still being incredibly artistic but not having to wait around for things to dry.

Fascinating Fiona, really good to speak to you thanks for your time this afternoon. Fiona Stewart from Holmfirth on BBC Radio Leeds.

 

Fiona was also featured in develop magazine and you can read that in the link below.

Develop Magazine

Very well done Fiona! Good luck with everything.

Train2Game student industry experience diary: Fee Stewart at Radiation Burn – Week 11

Train2Game Art & Animation student Fee Stewart has been on a Train2Game work placement at Middlesbrough based game developer Radiation Burn. In her latest diary, Fee discusses working on a game for Nintendo 3DS and more.

Read it here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game Scribd page. You can read her previous diaries here, while there are also plenty of industry experience diaries from other students on the Train2Game Blog.

Train2Game news: Sony believe 3DS sales show market for handheld consoles

PlayStation VitaTrain2Game forum users are eagerly looking forward to the PlayStation Vita arriving in the UK next month, and Sony believe that despite it suffering a slow start to sales in Japan, there’s still a market for dedicated handhand consoles.

That’s despite others, such as EA’s Peter Moore, questioning their relevance due to the success of smartphones.

So why are SCEE so confident that the PlayStation Vita will be success? Because the Nintendo 3DS sold well over Christmas, despite a similar slow start at launch.

“One of the encouraging things about 3DS’ sales performance at Christmas is that it is confounding the naysayers who say that there is no room in the market for a dedicated handheld gaming device,” SCEE President and CEO Jim Ryan told MCV.

“And to that extent we were encouraged by how 3DS did over the last month.

However, Ryan doesn’t see the Nintendo 3DS, or the increasing rise of smartphones as competition for the PlayStation Vita.

“There are two distinct markets,” he said.

“The quality, the immersiveness, the richness of the experience that we believe we are going to offer on Vita, way exceeds anything that we believe to be available on any smartphone.” Ryan added.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Sony are marketing the PlayStation Vita towards hardcore gamers.  “I believe if you care about games you’re going to want a Vita.” Sony Worldwide Studios European senior VP Michael Denny has previously said.

The PlayStation Vita launches in the UK on 22nd February.

Upcoming PlayStation Vita titles include LittleBigPlanet, which as previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, is being developed by UK studio Double Eleven.  Train2Game student Darren Price started a Train2Game work placement with the studio towards the end of last year, you can read his diary here on The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Ryan’s comments? Is there still a big market for handheld consoles? Are you after a PlayStation Vita?

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

[Source: MCV]

Train2Game news: EA’s Peter Moore questions role of handheld consoles

Train2Game students will be aware the impact the iPhone has had on the games industry, with millions of people carry devices which allow them quick access to cheap games.

With the success of smartphones, EA COO Peter Moore believes there could be problems for dedicated portable gaming units like the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.

“I think Sony does brilliant hardware, as we all know. I think the broader question is what is the role of dedicated handheld gaming years from now?” Moore told The Sydney Morning Herald when asked about the PlayStation Vita.

“More and more we see the ubiquity of smart-phones and tablets, how does a dedicating gaming device fit in, add value, and still get the same volumes that it needs in terms of hardware that we were used to in the golden days of Game Boys and PSP?”

“So I think the broader question is what is the role of a dedicated device compared to these relatively cost-effective tablets and smart-phones that have great screens and plenty of buttons to control the game with?” he said.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Nintendo have stated that they don’t believe they’re competing with gaming on increasingly powerful smartphones. Capcom however, believe the rise of the iPhone is drawing users away from traditional handheld consoles.

Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation Vita will be able to play Android games. See the Train2Game blog for more.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts? Are mobiles a threat to the likes of the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS? Or will there always be a market for dedicated handheld consoles?

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

[Souce: Sydney Morning Herald via Industry Gamers]

Nintendo sold 15 million consoles in US during 2010

Train2Game blog image Nintendo Logo

Over 15 million Nintendo consoles were sold in the United States alone during 2010 the gaming giant has announced.

Their figures say the various Nintendo DS consoles sold a combined total of 8.5 million units during 2010 while the Nintendo Wii was the best selling home console with over 7 million of them sold.

Nintendo sold more than 2.5 million Nintendo DS systems and more than 2.3 million Wii systems in December alone, bringing their lifetime U.S. sales totals to more than 47 million and more than 34 million, respectively.

“Nintendo has sold more game systems than anyone else for five years running,” said Charlie Scibetta, Nintendo of America’s senior director of Corporate Communications.

“Of the quarter billion hardware systems sold in the United States during the past 10 years, Nintendo sold more than half. We look forward to bringing fun new experiences to consumers when Nintendo 3DS launches in March.”

The 3DS looks set to bring Nintendo even more success. The handheld console doesn’t yet have a European release date, but it’s likely to be revealed at an event in Amsterdam next week. The Nintendo 3DS already has a Japanese release date which is set for 26th February

While we have no official confirmation of what the European launch titles will be, though this is likely to change after the Nintendo event! You can check out the Thoughts of Train2Game blog to see which games Gabe believes will be available with the Nintendo 3DS at launch.

It’s not only the Nintendo consoles that had a successful 2010, with Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports resort both appearing the top selling UK games of the year.

What do you think about Nintendo’s success? Is it well deserved? Can they keep the momentum going? And how successful do you think the Nintendo 3DS will be this year?

You can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum.

Nintendo 3DS release set for early 2011

Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is set to be available in Japan from February 26th 2011, with an American and European launch reportedly following in March. The 3DS will cost ¥25000, the equivalent to £188, said Nintendo during a conference in Japan. The 3DS will be available in two colours, Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black.

The release date will surprise some; with sources previously suggesting the Nintendo 3DS would be available before Christmas. Despite the announcement of a launch date for Japan, there is not yet a solid release date for the 3DS in North America and Europe. However, it’s thought that Nintendo will shortly confirm that the 3DS will be available in these regions mere weeks after the handheld is released in Japan. The estimated price of a Nintendo 3DS in Europe is £199.

Nintendo also showed off a 3DS Software trailer, including games such as Super Street Fighter IV DS, Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater, Dead or Alive Dimensions, and of course Mario Kart 3DS. You can see the Nintendo 3DS software trailer below.


In addition to brand new 3DS games, the Nintendo 3DS will also be able to play Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles thanks to a retro download service. Classic Nintendo games available to play on the 3DS will include Super Mario Land 1 & 2, Super Mario World, Zelda: Link’s Awakening, a large selection of Pokémon titles and many others.

So Train2Game, will you be getting yourself a Nintendo 3DS in March next year? Does £200 seem reasonable? What do you think of the 3DS games line up? And are there any retro titles you’d like to download?

You can leave your thoughts on the Nintendo 3DS here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Nintendo President – ‘Slow sales due to lack of great software’

The lack of quality games – not the global recession – is the main reason behind slow software sales. That’s according to Nintendo President Saturo Iwata who was speaking in an interview with Venture Beat.

“I cannot say that the recession has no effect on the sales of video games. My belief is we should not blame the bad economy for the cause of slow sales of video games. The slow sales must be due to the lack of great software that everyone wants to buy. We have not shown off the great attractions of whatever we are selling. This is not the problem of Nintendo alone, but the entire video game industry”

There are some in the games industry, Activision with their 20 million Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sales, who may not necessarily agree with the Nintendo President that the Market is slowing. Nevertheless, Mr Saturo believes the games industry – which includes Games Designers, Games Developers and Games Artists & Animators – needs to innovate in order to keep us, the consumers, interested.

“Something that is really fresh can make our industry grow. The important thing we have to tackle is making attractive games and marketing them well toward the end of this year. I think the whole industry should be more cautious about how we act and how the general public perceives us.”

Basically, Mr Saturo is warning that the games industry shouldn’t become boring and repetitive. Producing video games is a creative industry after all and the Train2Game students have already demonstrated that they’re full of ideas, and are even working on their own games.

However, there does appear to be a prevalent theme within the industry where some developers do make very creative and interesting games, but then churn out numerous –perhaps better looking – sequels. This may be repetitive, but developers with a successful product are seemingly less likely to take risks with new ones. The Nintendo President also touches upon this during the interview with Venture Beat:

“I think the whole industry should be more cautious about how we act and how the general public perceives us. In the past, the formula was to make the computer graphics more gorgeous. It used to fit the taste of the majority of the gaming audience, but it doesn’t work so well in this day and age. It’s more difficult for us to come up with something new and different and show people how different we are. The whole industry has to recognize that.”

“Looking at the product line-ups this year, these titles might have been big hits three years ago. But now this year, they are not selling that much. In other words, people get tired of games more quickly than they did before.”

Naturally, with the upcoming release of the Nintendo 3DS, Mr Saturo believes that it’ll be the introduction of 3D games that will galvanise the industry.

“When you look at our 3D games concept, we recognize it will not be eternally appealing. However, it’s not a shallow concept that can be forgotten as a momentary fad.”

The Nintendo 3DS will be available in all “Major Markets” by April 2011.

So what do you think of the Nintendo President’s comments? As usual leave your views here or on the Train2Game forum.