Train2Game News Casual Connect 2019

After a successful event in 2018, Casual Connect is coming back to The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London, UK on May 28-30, 2019.

At Casual Connect Europe 2019, all attendees get access to three days of lectures, official networking parties, and 90 of the world’s best indie games with developers.

Organized in part by CGA and Greenlit Content, the venue will also feature a large expo area where you can talk one-on-one with industry-leading companies.

Casual Connect brings together the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the gaming field to further the industry with the best learning and networking opportunities for gaming professionals since 2005 four times every year in USA, Asia, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.

Additionally, all attendees have unlimited access to our meeting and scheduling app to network with games industry professionals like yourself.

INDIE PRIZE SUBMISSION DEADLINE

More than 1,500 developers apply to Indie Prize during the year and judges from throughout the games industry select the most promising games to participate at international Indie Prize showcases during Casual Connect conferences. Submit your game for the international Indie Prize London 2019 scholarship program before March 20 with more details can be found in the submission form.

You can also join industry leaders as an established developer with the Developer showcase.

For more information visit Casual Connect.

Train2Game News Box Joining GameBlast19

Committed video gamers from Birmingham technology giant Box are gearing up to burn the midnight gaming oil to raise money for people with disabilities.

Around 20 staff at the Minworth-based business will be playing video games continuously for 24 hours as part of GameBlast19, the UK’s largest gaming marathon weekend.

This will be the fourth year Box has taken part in the event, having previously raised more than £2,000 for the charity SpecialEffect, which uses technology to help people with disabilities enjoy video games.

Box is asking people to help them reach their £1,000 target by donating money via www.justgiving.com/boxgameblast19

The game-a-thon takes place February 23-24.

Rodney Critchlow, store manager at Box, said: “We’re really excited to be taking part in GameBlast19. A lot of us are keen gamers, but playing for 24 hours is still a big challenge.

“We’ll have a schedule of games to play throughout the event, and people will be able to watch via our Twitch channel, www.twitch.tv/boxuk

“SpecialEffect is a fantastic charity which uses things like modified joypads and eye-control technology to enable disabled people to play games. It means they don’t have to just sit there and watch their friend or sibling having fun.

“We’re hoping to raise at least £1,000.”

Box.co.uk sells an extensive range of technology and computing products through its specialist website and retail shop, including laptops, desktop PCs, phones and tablets, components, monitors and printers.

The business was founded by Mark Jordan in 1996 and today is the UK’s leading technology e-commerce business, employing over 100 people and turning over £42 million.

Train2Game News LEGO Marvel Collection

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment today announced the LEGO® Marvel Collection, bringing the top-selling videogames LEGO® Marvel™ Super Heroes, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 and LEGO® Marvel’s Avengers together in one package.

This colossal Marvel adventure also includes previously released DLC packs for the games, including Black Panther and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War character and level packs for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 inspired by Marvel Studios’ hit films.

In LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, players take on the role of their favorite Marvel characters Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wolverine, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk, as they assemble in a completely original story. Players will battle against some of the most menacing Marvel Super Villains, including dastardly Doctor Octopus, the ghastly Green Goblin, the ruthless Red Skull, the vicious Venom, Thor’s vexing brother, Loki, as well as the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 picks up directly where LEGO Marvel Super Heroes left off featuring a completely original branching storyline co-written by award-winning comic writer Kurt Busiek. This story brings together a diverse roster of iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains from different time periods and realities including Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Cosmo the Spacedog, Cowboy Captain America, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Green Goblin, Groot, Gwenpool, Hawkeye, Howard the Duck, Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, She-Hulk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Thor, and many more. Players can roam and explore 18 different Marvel locations within the incredible Open Hub World of Chronopolis, from the vibrant jungle of Wakanda to the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, along with Asgard, Attilan, Knowhere, the Coliseum, Hala, Hydra Empire, Kang’s Citadel, K’un-Lun, Lemuria, Manhattan, Medieval England, Noir New York, 2099 Nueva York, Old West, The Swamp, and Xandar.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers features storylines from the critically-acclaimed film Marvel’s The Avengers and its sequel Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and players can unlock more than 200 characters, including Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man. The game features a unique take on open world gameplay, with eight different environments to explore within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the expansive streets of Marvel’s New York, as well as Asgard, Barton’s Farm, Malibu, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Exterior, Sokovia, South Africa and Washington, D.C. Players can freely roam around these open world locations in any way they’d like, such as super jumping off skyscrapers with Hulk, speed running over water with Quicksilver or even play as giant characters, like the menacing Fing Fang Foom, who can grow to the size of tall buildings.

The three-game compilation will be available March 12, 2019 for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One family of devices.

Train2Game News Valentines Razer Line

RazerTM, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today unveiled the latest high-performance gaming gear and accessories to be given the popular Quartz Pink treatment.

This includes:
• Razer Basilisk mouse
• Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma mouse mat
• Razer Huntsman keyboard
• Razer Kraken headset
• Razer Raiju Tournament Edition controller for PS4
• Razer Seiren X microphone
• Razer Base Station Chroma headset stand
• Quartz case for Razer Phone 2

Razer’s Quartz Pink colorway was first launched in 2018 to the delight of gamers, streamers and influencers worldwide.

With a humble lineup of 4 peripherals to choose from, it was the beginning of a ‘pink phenomenon’.

Fans on the quest for Quartz began to refresh their setups with bold color themes – balancing power in pink. We’ve paid attention. With more than double the gear available this year, one can enjoy a new series that lets you stand out even further from the crowd…in style.

“Our fans told us they could not get enough of our Quartz Pink editions,” said Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “We listened and we have given the stunning pink treatment to our latest gaming gear, giving you the unfair advantage in both performance and looks.”

Discover the entire Quartz family here: https://www.razer.com/quartz.

Train2Game News Now Play This

Ukie has become a major funder of this year’s Now Play This, part of the London Games Festival, to support more experimental game commissions and to help extend the exhibition’s run.

It comes as part of a new three-way partnership with Games London and Now Play This CIC.

This year, Now Play This will extend from four days to nine, bringing the latest in experimental game design from around the world to Somerset House for its biggest edition ever. Ukie’s funding will enable more commissions and content to exist for practitioners to showcase their work to the public. It will also fund more workshops and key industry talks on skills development as well as networking opportunities.

The commitment from Ukie reflects the significance of Now Play This and its role as part of the London Games Festival, which is a joint project between Film London and Ukie, supported by the Mayor of London. The exhibition is a popular, family friendly part of the Festival programme and extending the run will enable more people to get hands on with the games on display.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) said: “Now Play This is a true celebration of the culture, curiosity and creative breadth of games. We are delighted that this contribution from the sector means more creativity and artistry from the community. We’re also pleased that the funding will help Now Play This to have more original commissioned work and more opportunities for anyone interested in our powerful form of art.”

Jonathan Reekie CBE, Director of Somerset House Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to Ukie for their enhanced support of this year’s Now Play This at Somerset House. This has enabled us to double the length of the festival to nine days, with more games, talks and workshops for visitors of all ages. With Ukie’s support, Now Play This continues to offer a vital platform for talented artists and game developers and ensure that experimental game design often engaging in unexpected subjects is thriving.”

Now Play This is a festival of experimental game design which runs at Somerset House in London as part of London Games Festival. This year Now Play This will run over nine days from 6-14 April, featuring exciting hands-on gameplay for all ages to enjoy, from solo games to multiplayer collaborative experiences, from a host of multidisciplinary artists and creators. Visitors can also enjoy a range of free outdoor gaming installations, as well as a series of insightful talks, workshops and activities from the designers and makers taking part in the festival.

Train2Game News 2018 Game Investment Doubles

Digi-Capital’s Games Report Q1 2019 tracked games companies raising $5.7 billion in 2018, which was over twice the previous record investment from 2017.

Tim Sweeney’s Epic Games’ $1.25 billion was not only the largest round raised last year, it was the largest non-IPO games investment of all time. The only larger single amount raised by a games company was when Netmarble Games held its IPO in 2017. Even that record might not survive given Fortnite’s extraordinary performance.

As a sign of both financial muscle and the need to expand beyond core markets, Tencent was either a major shareholder in or investor in four of the top five deals last year. As we’ve discussed before, this is becoming a familiar pattern. Tencent was behind investments in Douyu ($630 million raised), Shanda Games ($474 million) and Huya ($462 million raised). France’s Voodoo raised $200 million from Goldman Sachs to round out the top five.

11 other companies also raised $100 million plus rounds last year, with more in the single millions to tens of millions range. By far the largest categories for investors were mobile and games tech/other (particularly streaming), each of which took around one third of investment dollars last year. MMO/MOBA games, eSports, console/PC games and AR/VR games companies also raised significant amounts.

The games acquisitions market was also on fire in 2018, with over $22 billion games M&A making it the second highest year on record. Games M&A dollars are always dominated by mega-deals, which last year included Naspers selling 2% of Tencent for over $10 billion dollars for a 60,000% return, and Tencent and others acquiring Vivendi’s $2 billion plus stake in Ubisoft.

Zhejiang Century Huatong acquired Shenyue Network (the online games affiliate of Shanda Games) for $4.4 billion, PAI Partners picked up Asmodee Digital for $1.4 billion, and Aristocrat closed its Big Fish Games deal for nearly $1 billion. There were another eight acquisitions in the $100 million plus range, and more in the single millions to tens of millions range.

Unsurprisingly, mobile dominated acquisition activity last year as it did the year before. MMO/MOBA and console/PC made up most of the rest of the acquisitions market. The games market as a whole is incredibly consolidated, with the top 10 public (i.e. stock market listed) games companies taking over three quarters of public games company revenue and around four fifths of public game company valuations worldwide (note: this is not all market revenue/valuation, as privately held companies are also significant). The big keep getting bigger.

Over the last decade, games IPOs have gone through three year repeating cycles where one huge year is followed by two quiet ones. The last high came in the record year for games IPOs in 2017, with games IPOs in 2018 raising around 90% less than that high point (as Digi-Capital anticipated at the start of last year). While it’s too early to tell, if the 3 year cycle repeats in the same way 2019 could also see muted games IPO activity.

In such a highly consolidated, hit driven market, the level of games deal activity last year was extraordinary. Again it is too early to tell whether this year will continue in a similar vein, or if the cyclical nature of deal-making might see the market pull back. One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be dull.

(Full details and all transactions in Digi-Capital’s new 258 page Games Report Q1 2019)

Train2Game News Project Z

Leading anime video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today announced DRAGON BALL GAME – PROJECT Z (working title) for the Americas on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and PCs via STEAM®.

This new Action RPG (role-playing-game) is slated for a 2019 launch and will take players on the most dramatic and epic telling of the DRAGON BALL Z story, experienced through the eyes of Kakarot, the Saiyan better known as Goku.

Currently in development at Tokyo, Japan based video game developer, CyberConnect2; the game will tell the legendary story of DRAGON BALL Z, taking players on an unforgettable adventure to experience over-the-top battles and challenging quests, create life-long friendships, and crusade to protect Earth from fearsome villains.

“Combining the fabled story of DRAGON BALL Z with a proven video game development studio is a surefire way to create an awesome DRAGON BALL adventure,” said Eric Hartness, Vice President of Marketing at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “We can’t wait to unveil the official name for the game and share more gameplay details with players!”

DRAGON BALL GAME – PROJECT Z (working title) is scheduled to launch in the Americas in 2019 for the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One, and PCs via STEAM. For more information regarding DRAGON BALL GAME – PROJECT Z (working title) or other products from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., please visit: https://www.bandainamcoent.com, or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoUS, or join the conversation on Twitter at: https://www.twitter.com/BandaiNamcoUS.

Train2Game News Celeste Piano Collections

Materia Collective is thrilled to announce the latest installment of their Piano Collections album and sheet music series with Celeste Piano Collections.

Lena Raine’s award-winning soundtrack is transformed into a classical masterpiece by arranger and performer Trevor Alan Gomes across 13 tracks and accompanying sheet music book engraved by David Peacock. Celeste Piano Collections is now available in digital format with limited edition purple marbled vinyl, CD, and physical sheet music books planned for release soon:

Celeste Piano Collections on Bandcamp
Celeste Piano Collections on iTunes
Celeste Piano Collections on Spotify

“Lena has a way of brilliantly hyper-saturating the music with rhythmic ideas, counterpoint and even multiple lead lines, so taking those full-to-the-brim tracks and transforming them into equally complete piano solos was my greatest challenge to date,” notes arranger/performer Trevor Alan Gomes. “My favorite track on the album, ‘Confronting Myself,’ was a puzzle to arrange for solo piano. I wanted to somehow capture the ‘glitched’ sound, so I translated that sensation to time signature and harmonic changes. ‘Exhale’ was also a joy to arrange for the super talented violinist Michaela Nachtigall, aka ‘Otama-Mama.’ Having just one track with an additional instrument feels like the strawberry on top that completes the album and gives it a lovely roundness.”

Limited Edition Vinyl on Bandcamp
The album features mastering by Jett Galindo (Sony/The Bakery), layout and design by Rozen, and illustrations and art by David René Christensen. The album features 13 key themes from the game and will include a digital booklet on iTunes and Bandcamp. The full track list is as follows:

01. Prologue
02. First Steps
03. Resurrections
04. Awake
05. Scattered and Last
06. Madeline and Theo
07. Quiet and Falling
08. In the Mirror
09. Little Goth
10. Confronting Myself
11. Reach for the Summit
12. My Dearest Friend
13. Exhale

Learn more about the Celeste Piano Collections:
https://www.materiacollective.com/music/celeste-piano-collections

Train2Game News Nintendo Switch Indie Games

Embark on a mythical adventure in Unruly Heroes, unleash your inner goat in Goat Simulator, and put your puzzle-solving skills to the test in When Ski Lifts Go Wrong, all available now on Nintendo Switch

The new year is the time for new things and, in a new Indie Highlights video, Nintendo of Europe showcased a selection of exciting independent games coming to Nintendo Switch this year. The video included the first look at SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, a beautifully hand-drawn roleplaying card game from Image & Form Games, the creators of critically-acclaimed titles such as SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Dig 2. SteamWorld Quest is set for release first on Nintendo Switch in 2019.

You can watch the Indie Highlights – 23.01.2019 (Nintendo Switch) video and get further information via the Indie Highlights Hub on the official Nintendo website.

Here’s a rundown of the games featured in today’s Indie Highlights video:

Use the hand you’ve been dealt to triumph over evil, in SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech from Image & Form Games and Thunderful Publishing. In this innovative roleplaying card game, you’ll lead a party of heroes through a beautifully hand-drawn world, building your own deck of cards along the way and using them to defeat an array of enemies in intense turn-based battles. The game mixes traditional fantasy elements with steampunk robots for an unforgettable experience filled with fun and humour. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is coming first to Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Magic, mythology and madcap kung fu action combine in Unruly Heroes from Magic Design Studios, available now on Nintendo Switch. This action-packed adventure game is inspired by the Chinese story “A Journey to the West”, better known as the Monkey King Legend. Terrible creatures are sowing chaos throughout the land and it’s up to the Monkey King and his three colourful companions to turn back the tide of evil. Tackle the adventure solo, or with friends in up to 4-player local co-op. You can even test your kung fu skills against other players in local or online* P-v-P mode.

Have you ever dreamed of being a goat? Well, look no further than Goat Simulator: The GOATY from Coffee Stain Publishing. The wildly successful indie phenomenon is available now on Nintendo Switch. This is the cutting edge of goat simulation technology, and the Goat Simulator: The GOATY package includes Goat Simulator plus Goat MMO Simulator, Goat Simulator: GoatZ, Goat Simulator: Payday and Goat Simulator: Waste of Space.

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong from Curve Digital is a deliriously fun physics-based construction puzzler, packed full of creative challenges, sports and disasters! Start in the rolling foothills and journey up to the jagged peaks. Puzzle over carefully designed scenarios to help every passenger reach their destination. With more than 100 challenging, pre-constructed levels and a sandbox builder mode for players to create their own, there are hours and hours of fun to be had on the slopes. When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is available now on Nintendo Switch.
Take to the battlefield in Wargroove, a turn-based strategy game from Chucklefish. Choose from a large cast of different commanders, each with their own special “groove” attack that can be used to sway the battle in your favour. The game features a full story campaign as well as online* and local multiplayer for up to four players. The war doesn’t end there though, as easy-to-use editors and customisation tools allow you to create and share your own maps and campaigns. Wargroove marches on to Nintendo Switch on 1st February, and is available to pre-order on Nintendo eShop now.

HEAVY METAL! ZOMBIES! BIG GUNS! Double Kick Heroes by Headbang Club and Plug In Digital mixes the shoot ‘em up and rhythm game genres for a high-octane experience unlike anything you’ve played before. Speed through a post-apocalyptic wasteland on the highway to hell, with the power of bone-crushing heavy metal rhythms as your only weapon against the zombie hordes. Featuring more than 30 original metal songs, plus tracks from guest bands such as GOJIRA, Double Kick Heroes will be coming first to Nintendo Switch in summer 2019.

Inmost is a ghoulishly atmospheric puzzle-platformer from Chucklefish in which you follow three different playable characters across one dark, interconnected story. In an old, abandoned castle, rendered in beautiful pixel-art style, you’ll need brains and bravery in equal measure to escape from the shadowy evil lurking in the depths. Inmost comes first to Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Dive into a massive sci-fi adventure in CrossCode, the retro-inspired 2D action RPG from Deck 13 Interactive and Radical Fish Games. Combining 16 bit-style graphics with smooth physics, a fast-paced combat system and engaging puzzle mechanics, CrossCode launches on Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Forager from Humble Bundle is a 2D open-world game in which you can build your future as you see fit. Combining exploration, combat, farming and crafting, Forager allows you to try out a variety of different playstyles as you start small then gradually expand your territory, your skillset and your network of friends – and enemies. Forager is coming soon to Nintendo Switch.

The presentation also includes a highlights reel recapping some of the numerous great indie titles already available on Nintendo Switch. So whether you’re discovering this extensive catalogue of games for the first time, or you’re an experienced gamer just wondering what to play next, be sure to check out both the presentation and the Indie Highlights Hub.

With Unruly Heroes, Goat Simulator: The GOATY and When Ski Lifts Go Wrong all available from today, SteamWorld Quest in the pipeline and a diverse range of other exciting titles arriving throughout the year, 2019 looks set to be another action-packed year for indie gaming fans on Nintendo Switch.

For further updates visit the Indie Highlights Hub at http://www.nintendo.co.uk/indiehighlights

Train2Game News 2018 Mobile Game Awards

The Tabby Awards has announced the winners of the 2018 Mobile Game Awards competition.

Winning games included Fortnite, MARVEL Contest of Champions, PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, REAL Racing 3, and My Talking Tom 2.

Game publishers with multiple award winners included Lion Studios, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Netmarble, and Square Enix.

“With over 1.1 mobile games available today on Android and iOS combined, our mobile gaming award winners represent the top 0.005% games. These are the ‘best of the best of the best’,” commented Paola Schaw, Executive Producer of the Tabby Awards.

The analytical evaluation component of the award focused on app store user review scores submitted over the course of 2018 to measure user engagement. The qualitative component – benefiting from the Tabby Awards expertise in judging app and game awards since 2012 – focused on user interface, design, and innovation. The degree of tablet-optimization was also a key factor in the assessment of iPad and Android tablet games.

The 2018 Mobile Game Award winners are presented below by device type and operating system category:

MOBILE GAME AWARDS – ANDROID PHONE:

Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Game
Badland Brawl
Battleheart 2
Big Big Baller
Billiards Master 2018
Cash Inc
Command & Conquer: Rivals PVP
Commando Sniper Game: Cover Fire Gun Shooting 2018
Dream Walker
Fantastic Chefs
Garena Free Fire
Gunner’s Battlefield World War 2018
Happy Glass
Hero Hunters
Love Balls
MARVEL Spider-Man Unlimited
Popular Wars
Sago Mini Space Explorer
Shadowgun Legends
Snake Dot
Star Trek Fleet Command
Turn Undead 2: Monster
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realm War

MOBILE GAME AWARDS – ANDROID TABLET:

Assassin’s Creed Rebellion
Faraway 3: Arctic Escape
Life is Strange
N.O.V.A. Legacy
PUBG Mobile
Real Car Parking 2: Driving School 2018

MOBILE GAME AWARDS – IPHONE:

Asphalt 9: Legends
Brawl Stars
Candy Crush Friends Saga
Cube Escape: Paradox
Donut County
DRAGON BALL LEGENDS
Draw In
Flip Trickster
Hooked Inc.
Into the Dead 2
Lara Croft Go
MARVEL Contest of Champions
My Talking Tom 2
Noblemen: 1896
Playdead’s INSIDE
Real Racing 3
The Sims Mobile
Ultra Sharp

MOBILE GAME AWARDS – IPAD:

Battlelands Royale
Lineage 2: Revolution
MARVEL Future Fight
Offroad Bus Simulator: Real Coach Bus Driving
Riptide GP: Renegade
ROME: Total War

This list is also published on the Tabby Awards website (http://tabbyawards.com/winners/mobile-app-game-awards-2018) where these category-leading games can also be downloaded.