Train2Game News Mass Effect Andromeda

Today the Andromeda Initiative calls on brave explorers to take their first steps on a 600-year journey to find a new home. 
A new welcome and orientation video gives recruits a briefing on the Arks which will transport the races of the Milky Way to the new galaxy, as well as details on the Nexus and the Pathfinders who will be leading the mission. 

The opening of the Andromeda Initiative also coincides with the release of the official cinematic reveal trailer for Mass Effect™: Andromeda. In it, fans will discover the first story details, as well as glimpses of the game’s protagonists and some crew members. Those eager for more information can look forward to the world gameplay reveal coming in December.

Additional Andromeda Initiative briefings will be made available in the coming months covering topics like planetary exploration and settlement, weapons and biotics training, first contact protocol and more. Those who complete all trainings and briefings will be automatically rewarded with an in-game item when Mass Effect: Andromeda launches in Spring 2017.

Mass Effect: Andromeda gives players the chance to be the Pathfinder, charting a course in a dangerous new galaxy in search of a new home. Meet and recruit all-new and interesting characters in an epic space saga, and pit your team against terrifying enemies and creatures singularly-focused on your destruction. Utilize verticality and boosted jumps to even the playing field, as well as destructible cover and brand-new weapons and Biotics to make combat more thrilling than ever. Utilize the most flexible progression system ever in the Mass Effect franchise to build the Pathfinder exactly how you want, focused on the abilities and skills that will make you virtually unstoppable.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is developed by BioWare™ and will be available in Spring 2017 on Origin™ for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Train2Game News New BioWare Game

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BioWare, have announced Shadow Realms, a new 4v1 story-driven online action RPG, set in a constantly evolving BioWare world where modern meets fantasy.

Four heroes adventure against another player-controlled enemy, a malevolent force called The Shadowlord, in dynamic 4v1 co-op missions, ensuring that no two battles are ever the same. Players will have the choice to play either as – or against – The Shadowlord, building experience and progression whether they have chosen good or evil. The over-arching narrative will be released episodically, playing out over time like a great TV series, providing players the ability to experience story-driven adventures as a community.

“This game brings us back to our roots in the realm of classic Pen and Paper RPG, but also delivers something that’s completely new and innovative for our fans,” said Jeff Hickman, General Manager and Vice President at BioWare Austin. “Shadow Realms is a new BioWare RPG that has the hallmarks of all BioWare games with a rich story, a unique world setting and deep combat progression, but built as an interactive experience that evolves the genre and broadens the appeal to online gamers all over the world.”

In Shadow Realms, Modern Heroes on Earth are being awakened and recruited, because of magical powers they never knew they had, to fight in a new and dangerous war against the Shadow Legions of Embra. The Shadow Legions, who have been battling on Embra for years against the members of the Radiant Empires, have gained new strength with the coming of a powerful, unknown force that we call the Shadowlords. And, they have just figured out how to leave Embra and invade Earth.

Join the battle with three other modern-day Heroes to fight the demonic Shadow Legions and a player-controlled Shadowlord to save all of humanity. Build both a Hero and Shadowlord that are deeply customized to the way players want to play.

Visit www.ShadowRealms.com/play to sign up for a chance to get into the closed alpha. Become a fan of Shadow Realms on Facebook and follow them on Twitter via @shadowrealms.

Shadow Realms is in development at BioWare Austin and will be available for the PC from Origin.

Train2Game News: SimCity apology games announced

SimCityLast week on the Train2Game blog I announced that due to the problems that SimCity have had since launch, EA will be giving away a free game. The company have now announced those games in the following press release:

Our SimCity Mayors are incredibly important to the team at Maxis. We sincerely apologize for the difficulties at launch and hope to make it up to you with a free PC game download from Origin.

Starting today, every player that has activated their copy of SimCity will receive an email that will give directions on how to redeem this offer, and you can also find more information on our FAQ. We’ll be opening up the redemption portal country-by-country so some of you may see it a little sooner than others. The portal will be live worldwide for everyone to select their game by March 22. We don’t want any of you to miss out on your free game, so please note that you must register your copy of SimCity before March 26, 2013 at 06:59 AM GMT and you must claim your free game by March 31, 2013 at 06.59 GMT.

At Maxis, our studio values dictate that we innovate and create something that is quirky, complex and challenging. Sometimes this bites us in the butt, but our servers are green and we’re seeing record numbers of players all online and having a great time.
Here is the list of games that you will be able to choose from once you are able to redeem. It’s a great list of games across the whole EA portfolio, so pick one and add it to your Origin library on us!

Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
Bejeweled 3
Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
Plants vs. Zombies
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

We’re getting great feedback from our fans and know that many of you are having fun and exploring this whole new expression of SimCity. We’re humbled by your patience and passion for the game. Thanks for building something very special with us, together.
And now please enjoy a disclaimer from our head legal Llama…

*THIS OFFER DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CREDIT, CHARGE, DEBIT OR GIFT CARD. OFFER EXPIRES MARCH 25, 2013 AT 11:59PM PST. VALID FOR NEW PURCHASES OF SIMCITY (“PRODUCT”) THAT ARE REGISTERED TO YOUR ORIGIN ACCOUNT BY MARCH 25, 2013 AT 11:59PM PST.  FREE PC DIGITAL DOWNLOAD GAMES NOT DOWNLOADED FROM ORIGIN.COM BY MARCH 30, 2013 AT 11:59PM PST ARE FORFEIT.  ELIGIBLE GAMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  VALID WHEREVER PRODUCT IS SOLD. LIMIT ONE OFFER PER PERSON. CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER, GIFT CARD, REBATE OR OTHER DISCOUNT COUPONS. OFFER MAY NOT BE SUBSTITUTED, EXCHANGED, SOLD OR REDEEMED FOR CASH OR OTHER GOODS OR SERVICES. RETAILERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND EMPLOYEES OF ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND THEIR AGENCIES/AFFILIATES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, TAXED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW.  SEE APPLICABLE END USER LICENSE AGREEMENTS AND DISCLOSURES ON WWW.EA.COM.

*Users who are beneath the minimum age required to access interactive online services will automatically be granted a copy of SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition and Bejeweled 3 instead. These games will be added directly to your My Games library over the coming days.

Train2Game news: EA’s Origin has 9.3 million registered users

Train2Game students might be among those using Origin, EA’s digital distribution service, which the publisher claims now has 9.3 million users.

The number would make EA’s Origin about a quarter of the size of rival digital distribution service Steam which has more than 40 million users.  EA also claim that the service has generated $100 million in sales in its first 12 months of operation.

EA are using Origin to generate sales for popular titles such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic which aren’t available to purchase or play through rival service Steam. Mass Effect 3 will be an Origin exclusive for those looking to purchase it digitally, unlike the previous two games in the series which were available to buy through Steam.

Capcom, Warner Bros and THQ are among publishers that are backing EA’s Origin, allowing their games to be purchased through the service, while Trion Worlds, CD Projekt RED and Paradox Interactive are also among its supporters.

The Train2Game Blog has previously reported that EA are committed to increasing output for digitally distributed games, and these stats seems to suggest the publisher is moving in the right direction.

For news on digital distribution and downloads, see The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Origin’s stats after a year? Do you use the service?

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

[Source: Develop]

Train2Game news: Battlefield 3 open beta begins this month

Train2Game students will no doubt find Beta testing certain games fun, but they’ll also be aware that it’s an important stage of game development.

It’s therefore possible that many Train2Game students are excited that the Battlefield 3 beta will be available later this month on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Those in the PC beta will need to use EA’s Origin digital distribution system.

Those who’ve pre-ordered Battlefield 3 on Origin or bought the Medal of Honor limited edition will gain access to the beta from September 27th. The Battlefield 3 beta will open up to everyone else from 29th September  through to 10th October

The official Battlefield 3 website prominently states that the beta is “Your chance to give feedback.” Train2Game students, especially those on the Games QA Tester course, will know that feedback is an integral part of game development.

Train2Game students who get involved in the Battlefield 3 beta will be set on the Parised ‘Operation Metro’ map while the game mode available is rush.

EA believe that Battlefield is ‘superior’ to Call of Duty, as reported by the Train2Game blog earlier this year.

So Train2Game, will you get involved with the Battlefield 3 Beta? Do you believe it could even help your ability to be an eagle eyed game developer?

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