Train2Game News: Games Industry News – 03.05.13

GameStickIt’s the end of the week and it is time for the Train2Game news round up!

Playjam, the team behind the much anticipated GameStick have released a new product ´explainer´ video. The product came under attack when people felt it didn’t live up to expectations. The console is not yet released however and only developers have had hands on. You can see their explainer video here: http://youtu.be/QlNjIzNZh4o

Gazillion Entertainment will be kicking off a Marvel Heroes “Iron Man 3” Open Beta Weekend beginning on Saturday, May 4 through to Monday May 6. This is to coincide with the release of the film. As part of the “Iron Man 3” Open Beta Weekend, new players who participate will be able to select an Avenger as their starting hero – including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow. In order access the Marvel Heroes “Iron Man 3” Open Beta Weekend, players should register now at www.MarvelHeroes.com. As the weekend approaches, an email will be sent with download instructions.

In further Marvel news prepare to Hero Up this autumn, when LEGO Marvel Super Heroes puts players in control of their favourite Super Heroes from the Marvel Universe. With more than one hundred memorable characters to choose from, each with their own unique powers and abilities, players are in for a brick-smashing adventure. In a new video released today, you’ll get a sneak peek at a few members of the Amazing, Mighty and Uncanny (hint) team who join forces to stop an array of Marvel villains. You can enjoy the trailer, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYAXHqCM-b4

Now for further LEGO news, The LEGO Group proudly announce that their latest, action-packed free mobile game LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles will be available to play on iOS devices as well as on the official LEGO website from May the Fourth 2013. This is of course, unofficially, Star Wars Day. Questing with Yoda or Count Dooku, players can choose to join the Light Side or the Dark Side in this new game. The LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles story and game intertwines with the 2013 LEGO Star Wars novelty products in a mix of real time laser battles, intricate dungeon crawling, lightsaber duels and tense space combat high above Coruscant.

Finally, Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios are proud to announce that one of the most anticipated free MMORPG’s of 2013, Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter, is officially in Open Beta. Free to download and play, Neverwinter is built for gamers who crave more action combat, adventure and glory out of MMOs. The major milestone of Open Beta marks the beginning of unrestricted access to Neverwinter and its content creation system, the Foundry, along with no further character wipes. For more information about Neverwinter and to begin playing the Open Beta now, please visit the official website: www.playneverwinter.com/

Train2Game News: J.J Abrams and Gabe Newell could collaborate

Valve logoValve CEO, Gabe Newell and top film director, J.J Abrams hit the stage at the DICE summit in Las Vegas and announced they had been talking about working together.

After a back-and-forth about player agency and storytelling, Newell revealed that the duo had been “recapitulating a series of conversations going on,” and that they’re now ready to “do more than talk”: Newell suggested “either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie,” and Abrams said he’d like to make a game with Valve.

Valve are one of the top games developers with games such as Half Life and Portal under their belts which have incredible game play mechanics that make them fan favourites.

J.J Abrams on the other hand is one of the best directors at the moment, responsible for the reboot of the Star Trek films and is taking the helm on the new Star Wars films. Abrams has also worked on TV Series such as Lost and Fringe.

The two men working together could bring forth incredible games with the mechanics of Valve and storytelling of Abrams. In addition, in my opinion, there would be no man better to direct a Portal or Half Life movie than Mr Abrams.

In 2010, Newell said that if Valve were to make a Half-Life movie, it wouldn’t hand over control to any Hollywood studio, saying:

“There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they’d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of.

“That’s when we started saying ‘Wow, the best thing we could ever do is to just not do this as a movie, or we’d have to make it ourselves.’”

There are no details on Newell and Abrams’ project—be it game, film, or both—outside of the tease that they’re talking. They are talking and I am sure that can only mean good things.

Train2Game News: Disney’s outside the box idea

Roger A. Iger has said that Disney may be going in to developing their own console. Disney has had trouble utilising the internet to date and this could be the next step.

Their new product is an ambitious and unannounced gaming initiative that is code-named Toy Box which has been described as a game console with extensive mobile and other online applications in which various Pixar and Disney characters will interact with each other for the first time.

Recently detailed was The Walt Disney Company’s struggles as it pertains to mastering the internet. The company’s online components, as well as their gaming and mobile divisions, have posted 15 consecutive quarters of losses.

The company as a whole is doing very well with ventures such as earlier this summer with the big screen phenomena that was The Avengers, which earned over 1.5 billion dollars for Marvel Studios, which is now owned by Walt Disney Pictures.

Its inability to make much headway on the internet and with games however is becoming hard to ignore and given how the importance of such outlets will only increase as time goes on, now might be time for Disney to do something particularly drastic or bold.

There are several other initiatives now under-way, to help turn the online tide. One idea includes another massive redesign of Disney.com, their third in five years.

Given Disney’s long time ties with Pixar, which is also connected to Apple who certainly have aspirations of their own, we could see the rise of an under dog in the next generation.