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The Quebec government continues to support local developers.
As reported by CTV, the government has announced an investment of $1.5 million into Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal to expand the studio in terms of headcount and technology.
The initial $1.5 million grant is part of a larger $63 million initiative promised to WB Games Montreal for the company to add 100 jobs and buy new equipment by 2018.
The jobs at WB Games Montreal will pay a yearly salary of about $70,000 to employees who are around 30 years old. WB Games Montreal currently employs 325 full-time staff.
"By the end of five years, it'll be 2018, there should be 500 people here and I think we'll be one of the best-known studios in the world," Warner Brothers Interactive president Martin Tremblay said.
Quebec premier Pauline Marois said the video game industry in Montreal is one of the most important markets in the world for production, and the most acclaimed in Canada.
Last week, Ubisoft
The DualShock 4 controller will work on PCs at launch, Sony has said.
Speaking on Twitter, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said the new controller will be able to perform "basic functions" on Windows PCs, adding that "the analog sticks and buttons will work just fine".
Some of the more advanced features of the DualShock 4 controller, and perhaps unlikely to function via the PC, include a light bar, a capacitive touch pad, and motion sensing capabilities. The pad will be available at launch in
It is unclear if the controller will support PC out of the box, or will require additional drivers in order to function. The PlayStation 3's DualShock 3 controller did not include driver support for PC, though a few third-party workarounds are available.
Microsoft will also
The PlayStation 4 will
Rockstar's latest open-world title
Chart-Track adds that Grand Theft Auto V is now the UK's 12th best-selling game of all time, and has raked in the fifth largest revenue in gaming records. Grand Theft Auto V has now almost equaled the money made by Call of Duty: Black Ops, the company adds.
This week also saw the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online, with the latest patch for the game--which has been suffering connectivity problems since launch--
The massive sales milestone was not enough for Grand Theft Auto V to reclaim the top spot in the UK charts this week from football sim FIFA 14, however. Sales of the annual football franchise have dropped 68 percent in its second week, which is a better result than the 72 percent drop for FIFA 13 this time last year.
Codemasters' F1 2013 entered the charts in third, followed by The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Just Dance 4 launched in ninth place, with NBA 2K14 landing in seventh.
[UPDATE 3] The GTA Online patch is now available on Xbox 360.
[UPDATE 2] Rockstar Games said this evening that it now expects the GTA Online title update to hit Xbox 360 "sometime overnight." The update aims to address a number of issues, which are listed on the Rockstar Newswire.
[UPDATE] Rockstar Games this morning released the GTA Online patch for the PlayStation 3. The developer is currently working to get it up for the Xbox 360 "as soon as possible."
The original story is below.
Some of Grand Theft Auto Online's numerous bugs and issues could be patched out as early as tomorrow, October 4, Rockstar Games said today.
"We're currently working on a title update for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to address commonly reported issues with GTA Online," the developer said in an update on its website. "We hope to have it out for download as soon as tomorrow."
GTA Online--the multiplayer mode for Grand Theft Auto V--has been beset with numerous issues since launch on Tuesday. In some cases, players have not been able to access the mode at all.
The launch issues for GTA Online
These issues are "inevitable," Rockstar said at the time, due to the "massive" nature of the open-world game.
For more on GTA Online, check out GameSpot's "
Development on the upcoming Wii U Legend of Zelda game is "going well," series producer Eiji Aonuma told 4Gamer in a new interview translated by Siliconera.
"Its going well!, Aonuma said, explaining that the new game will use the Wii U GamePad in "various ways." None of these were specified.
Also in the interview, Aonuma was asked about his recent comment that he is "tired" of making Zelda games. This quote was misinterpreted, he said, because he really meant he is tired of making games based on the same formula.
When I say Im tired, Im not talking about making Zelda, but rather, the same constituent that has been used to make Zelda up until now," Aonuma said. "While on the subject, in regard to how weve always done things the traditional way until now: Why does it have to be traditional? Thats the question Ive been asking myself.
If we dont change that, we cant make something new. Were slightly approaching The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with that mindset, and also the next Zelda title, which we intend to continue changing," he added. "However, this brings us to the topic, Exactly what is The Legend of Zelda about?
Aonuma said something that is "traditional" is something that, in a sense, copies from the work that came before it. By continuing to do this, a franchise's uniqueness can fade away, he said.
"So, by no means, am I tired of it, Aonuma said. Rather, the more we change it, the more I get fired up. Having someone think Huh? Is this Zelda?! at first, then Oh, it is Zelda, is what were going for. Something that wouldn't make it matter whether Link or Princess Zelda appear in it or not. Something where it wouldn't even matter if Zelda is actually a princess, or not.
Aonuma will discuss the Legend of Zelda series during a
Valve today announced system specifications for its Steam Machine prototype, which the company will
In a statement on the Steam Community website, Valve described its prototype as "something special." It is built from off-the-shelf PC parts and is fully upgradable, meaning users can swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, or the motherboard if they want to.
"To be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users," Valve said about its prototype. "It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase--those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.
Valve said it is not ready to share a picture of its prototype because "they're not finished enough." However, the company said it will post images of the device before units ship to testers this year. Valve also expects users to redesign the machine from a technical perspective and from an industrial design angle, changing the enclosure in new ways.
"So high-powered SteamOS living room machines are nice, and fun to play with, and will make many Steam customers happy. But there are a lot of other Steam customers who already have perfectly great gaming hardware at home in the form of a powerful PC," Valve said.
"The prototype we're talking about here is not meant to replace that. Many of those users would like to have a way to bridge the gap into the living room without giving up their existing hardware and without spending lots of money," Valve added. "We think that's a great goal, and we're working on ways to use our in-home streaming technology to accomplish it--we'll talk more about that in the future."
Valve's Steam Machine, as well as units made by a variety of companies, will be available beginning in 2014. Hardware specifications for those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from Valve's system, the company said.
Pricing has not been announced.
Valve ended its announcement today by telling fans to stay tuned for a "closer look" at the
Riot Games has announced an all-new challenger competition for League of Legends. Through a partnership with Coke Zero, the event will run in tandem with the League Championship Series when it begins again in 2014.
"It's definitely important to foster competitive play at all levels. The Challenger league is a big step in the right direction," Riot Games head of eSports Dustin Beck said.
"It'll provide exposure to the next generation of pro-level teams and players, and give them crucial event experience and stability," he added. "Coke's sponsorship is unique--they recognized the importance of this aspirational level, they're as excited about it as we are."
According to the official announcement, the new challenger series will support rising teams that are hoping to gain entry into the LCS in North America or Europe. Weekly matchups will be broadcast live on lolesports.com.
Top-ranked teams from the Ranked 5s Challenger Tier will play against each other in the challenger series. When the series comes to a close, the highest placed teams will play in a championship tournament for a chance to go to the LCS.
Third-person zombie game State of Decay has now sold more than 1 million copies,
"We are humbled by your continuing support and enthusiasm for the ideas in State of Decay," Undead Labs said in a statement. "Your encouragement drives us to keep working and keep improving. You got us here with your energy, your feedback, and your telling your friends about us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and brains."
Undead Labs also said it is "so close" to having news to share about the first downloadable content pack for State of Decay. No further information about the expansion was announced.
2K Games announced today the Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt, an upcoming event that offers in-game and real-world prizes for players. The event kicks off on October 11 at 10 a.m. EDT and concludes on November 7 at 5 a.m. EDT.
Every day during the event, a special daily target will be displayed in-game. Players can take down the daily targets once a day for a total of 28 entries. On top of weekly sponsored prizes (listed below), one player will win $50,000 and four others will win varying amounts of cash totaling another $50,000.
More than a year after release, Borderlands 2 has "hundreds of thousands" of players, 2K said.
Those interested in participating in the $100,000 Borderlands 2 Loot Hunt event can log in to a special website using their SHiFT account information. Community goals will also be offered as part of the promotion, rewarding users with a "uniquely super-awesome gun" if players cumulatively kill enough enemies singled out in the daily community goals.
In addition to the cash prizes mentioned above, 2K will offer the following throughout the duration of the Borderlands 2 Loot Hunt.
Only United States players are eligible for the cash and sponsored prizes, though all players worldwide can participate in the community-based goals, 2K said.
Borderlands 2 was originally released in September 2012. It has since shipped
Xbox One maker Microsoft has brushed aside the notion that the mobile market of smartphones and tablets is eating away at the traditional console business.
"I think mobile is great for home consoles," Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer told GameSpot in a new interview. "It creates more gamers. I think playing on televisions is a special experience and I love playing on my phone as well."
Spencer pointed to Skulls of the Shogun--which was released simultaneously across the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows--as an example of how mobile can work successfully in tandem with consoles.
"I can play Skulls of the Shogun across any screen and my save game is in the cloud and transfers to any device. So I can actually progress through that experience whether I'm sitting there playing on my phone, on my tablet, or on my Xbox 360," Spencer said. "And I feel like I'm playing one instance of the game across all those screens."
Spencer said these kinds of cross-platform experiences are something Microsoft is going to invest in more heavily going forward.
"I think you're going to see more and more of that out of games that we've announced and things that we haven't announced yet," Spencer said, pointing out that next-generation games Fable Legends and The Division will allow for play on consoles as well as mobiles.
Microsoft brought one of its tentpole franchises--Halo--to mobile earlier this year through the top-down third-person shooter Halo: Spartan Assault. Spencer said this game--the first entry in the series designed for touch controls--has been received well, but made clear that Microsoft isn't gearing up to release a Halo first-person shooter on mobiles anytime soon.
"I want it to be native to the control that works. So we obviously did Halo: Spartan Assault on Windows and it's doing really well. That first-person shooter control that I love with a controller in my hand on my console...I've yet to see a perfect adaptation in a touch experience. And I don't want to create Halo FPS on touch just to say I did it, to check a box. I want to make sure it's great."
Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee forced Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios into bankruptcy, according to the former head of Rhode Island's Economic Development Corporation.
In court filings obtained by the Boston Globe, Keith Stokes claimed that Chafee impeded 38 Studios' efforts to restructure its debt or raise additional capital to keep the company afloat in late 2011 and early 2012.
The filing also claims that Chafee refused to meet with 38 Studios executives in 2011 to discuss the issues the Kingdoms of Amalur studio was facing. 38 Studios went bankrupt last year, leaving Rhode Island on the hook for an estimated $90 million related to a
A spokesperson for Chafee's office had no comment when approached by the Boston Globe. The paper points out that Chafee, who was opposed to the deal, insists that he did everything in his power to help 38 Studios remain financially solvent.
Last November, the state of Rhode Island
Stokes and Schilling deny the allegations, saying 38 Studios did in fact disclose its financial situation to the necessary parties. Schilling has been particularly outspoken about Chafee, calling the governor a "dunce of epic proportions" last summer.
A 38 Studios
Also featured in the auction are intellectual property rights for Big Huge Games franchises, including Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends, and Catan.
After saying in March that
"Right now we have a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode," Maxis general manager Patrick Buechner said on the SimCity forums. "I cant make any promises on when we will have more information, but we know this is something that many of our players have been asking for."
"While the server connectivity issues are behind us, we would like to give our players the ability to play even if they choose not to connect," he added. "An offline mode would have the additional benefit of providing room to the modding community to experiment without interfering or breaking the multiplayer experience."
It was first
The announcement came as part of a wider blog post regarding the state of the game seven months after launch. Buechner recalled the game's rocky release, saying, "Our launch wasn't what anyone on the team hoped for," noting that "we think about this every single day."
Still, Buechner said Maxis is "proud of how far we've come over the past few months." SimCity has sold
"I want you to know that we are listening to your feedback. We dig deep into the forums, Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds every day to see what players are talking about," he said. "There is a lot of feedback and there is a clear passion for SimCity. That's great to see. And while we appreciate positive feedback, we take very seriously the players who have criticisms. Players have high expectations of what goes into our games and we have an obligation to deliver."
Buechner said Maxis "continuously" reviews this feedback in tandem with its own in-game telemetry to help the developer decide where to focus its efforts going forward. As an example of this, Buechner pointed out that Maxis has released seven major updates for SimCity since launch, addressing issues with traffic within the Glassbox Engine, among other things.
"Maxis has a long tradition of supporting User Generated Content (UGC) and the UGC community. We have begun a discussion with our players with the ultimate goal of giving you space to mod while assuring all our players that the multiplayer gameplay experience is safe and has integrity," he said. "It's difficult to determine what makes a 'good' or safe mod and what mods cross the line. Clarifying guidelines for UGC will help players understand where that line is. We want to have an open discussion with our community about what you want out of SimCity and hear your thoughts about UGC guidelines. To join the discussion go here."
Lastly, Buechner revealed that Maxis will not introduce bigger city sizes to SimCity, despite exploring the technical possibilities of this for "months."
"I confirm that we will not be providing bigger city sizes," he said. "The system performance challenges we encountered would mean that the vast majority of our players wouldn't be able to load, much less play with bigger cities. We've tried a number of different approaches to bring performance into an acceptable range, but we just couldn't achieve it within the confines of the engine."
"We've chosen to cease work on bigger city sizes and put that effort into continuing to evolve the core game and explore an offline mode," he added. "Some of the experiments we conducted to improve performance on bigger cities will be rolled into future updates to improve overall game performance."
BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode One will be released this holiday, Irrational Games has confirmed with Joystiq. It is the first of two new expansions for the game set in the original BioShock's Rapture.
Irrational Games studio head Ken Levine said the first episode will be released "before the holiday," while part two's release date is not set yet. Irrational Games director of marketing Leonie Manshanden said, "It's not done yet; we don't have a date yet."
Both expansions are described as narrative-driven and meant to tie the story of Elizabeth and Booker together.
Gameplay has been modified to give players an "original BioShock combat experience" that aims to meld the best parts of BioShock and BioShock Infinite. It will also include new weapons, new Plasmids/Vigors, Tears, Sky-Lines, and Big Daddies.
Burial at Sea - Episode Two will have gamers playing as Elizabeth "as she seeks to bring closure to her story" and the overall BioShock Infinite narrative. This content is also set in Rapture.
Episode One and Episode Two will sell for $15 each when they launch and are included with the
The creative director for
Speaking at a keynote address for IGDA Toronto 2013, Druckmann explained the history behind the formation of the team behind The Last of Us, and explained the process behind the creation of the title.
"Back in 2009, our presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, we had just shipped Uncharted 2 and it was pretty successful for us," said Druckmann. "And they decided there's a lot of people in the team that were very talented but eager to do other stuff, maybe above the role they were at. They were like, let's start branching out. Let's create this second team."
"Our task was to reboot Jack and Daxter," said Druckmann. "We spent a long time exploring the world of Jak and Daxter, and how would we reboot it, what would it mean to bring these characters back, what were some story ideas that we were getting excited by."
"We found the ideas we were passionate about were kind of getting away from what Jak and Daxter was. We were questioning, 'Are we doing this for marketing reasons? Naming something Jak and Daxter, when it's not really Jak and Daxter? Or are we really passionate about it?'
"And the answer is we felt like it was more for marketing... We felt like we weren't doing service to what the fans of this franchise really liked, even if the reinvented Daxter was pretty damn good looking."
"So we went to our boss and said, 'Do we have to do this?' And he said 'No. I thought it would just be easier for you guys if you started with something. But if you want to do something else, come up with something else.'"
Druckmann went on to explain that the core idea behind The Last of Us came in 2004 when he was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon and had to pitch the idea of a zombie game to Night of the Living Dead director George Romero.
The pitch, which Romero turned down, combined the mechanics of Ico with the world of Night of the Living Dead, with a central character modeled on Hartigan from Sin City. The player would take the role of an old police officer with a heart condition who had to protect a young girl, with the player switching to her perspective when the man ran into medical issues. The game would end with the police officer getting bitten and infected.
Years later, when Druckmann was working at Naughty Dog, he pitched the idea as a story called The Turning, turning the male lead into a former convict who had lost his daughter and was protecting the girl to redeem himself.
When Naughty Dog formed its second studio, Druckmann and game director Bruce Straley kicked around the idea of a game called Mankind, which would feature the protagonist guiding the first immune girl around a world where the cordyceps virus had infected all of the planet's women.
Druckmann said Mankind never came to light because it was a "misogynistic idea." Female co-workers at Naughty Dog would say to Druckmann that, while they understood the idea, "the way it's coming off is you're having a bunch of women turning into monsters and you're shooting them in the face."
The full keynote, which runs for an hour and 20 minutes, is now available to watch online.
Grand Theft Auto V was developed by more than 1,000 people across multiple Rockstar Games studios, Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies told Develop in a new interview.
Benzies said production on "giant" Rockstar titles--like GTAV or Red Dead Redemption--is no longer handled by one studio alone, but rather multiple internal studios working in tandem.
"That's the way we work now--everyone works on GTA, or Red Dead, and so on, then we move on to the next thing," Benzies said. "Now that it takes 1,000 people to make a game; that's a requirement. But we don't want 1,000 in one place."
Asked if it took 1,000 people to develop GTAV, Benzies said, "It's probably more. Much more." Rockstar North's headcount alone is 365 people.
The reason the number of developers has risen is because of the size of the project, Benzies said. The GTAV gameworld is
"And that's because of the size of the thing, we are modelling at such a minute detail," Benzies said. "Once upon a time the car models have four moving parts. Now there are 15 alone in a cars retractable roof. The detail is 10, 20 times greater than GTAIV, so it takes 10, 20 times more people."
GTAV launched last month for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, generating a
The game's multiplayer mode--Grand Theft Auto Online--arrived on Tuesday and has
Those concerned about the potential for the Xbox One's Kinect camera to scan their face and upload that data to the cloud can breathe a sigh of relief. Microsoft director of product planning Albert Penello said in a NeoGAF post that this won't happen for privacy reasons.
The confirmation came as part of a post from Penello addressing questions about the Kinect as it relates to NuAds--interactive advertising--on the Xbox platform. He said the next-generation Kinect was not designed with ad functionality in mind.
In a previous interview, Penello suggested that because the Xbox One's Kinect can read facial expressions and determine levels of engagement, Microsoft could provide this data to advertisers.
"This is the point that seems to draw some controversy," Penello said.
However, "nobody is working on that" kind of technology at the moment, Penello said. "We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware (emphasis original) of any active work in this space."
If such an advertising initiative were to come to fruition, Penello said users can be sure that it would not happen without people having full control over it. "Period," he said.
At present, Penello explained that the Xbox One's Kinect can recognize a user's face and log them in directly. He said there could be some "cool features" Microsoft could enable if it stored this data in the cloud, such as being able to be auto-recognized at a friend's house. However, "for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console," he said.
"I'll say this--we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it," Penello said. "Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously."
Germany's federal data protection commissioner Peter Schaar
The Xbox One launches on
The main voice actors behind Grand Theft Auto V have spoken out to say the recently released open-world game does not glamorize violence. In an interview with PCAdvisor, the three actors said Rockstar North's production is about more than violence.
"Anyone who has any conception at all about the games and hasn't played them should go play the games before they open their mouths," said Ned Luke, who plays Michael de Santa.
"The biggest misconception is that it glamorizes violence. It really doesn't," he added. "If you look at my character, Michael, he's rich, but he's a miserable man. Even in the commercials you see that. This is a guy who's struggling with his life's decisions."
What players can take from GTAV, Luke said, is that Michael is a man who loves his family, but is lost along the way.
"He's trying to become a good guy, but he can't. He just has all these demons that he's battling. It's the struggle. Take that and look at how he loves his family even though he wants to kill them and that's what it is," Luke said. "Look for the relationships. Look for the humor. Look for the irony and the satire in the game. That's another big misconception, 'What, do they think we're serious?'"
Steven Ogg, who plays the superviolent Trevor Philips in GTAV, said he believes video games are simply an "easy scapegoat" when real-world violence erupts.
"There's a lot of intense stuff out there. Video games are just an easy scapegoat" --Trevor voice actor Steven Ogg.
"The hypocrisy drives me crazy," Ogg said. "It just sets the wrong focus. Why not talk about gun control? Why not talk about parenting? Why not talk of lack of family values? There are so many other things to talk about. Look at what's on TV. Breaking Bad had that episode where ********** got his face blown off. There's a lot of intense stuff out there. Video games are just an easy scapegoat. My nephew plays this game. I asked my sister if she was worried because there's some pretty nasty stuff in there, and she said, 'I know he's not going to go to school tomorrow with a gun. He's not like that.'"
Shawn Fonteno--a former gang member--brought the character of Franklin Clinton to life in GTAV. He said a misconception exists that games are "just for kids," making it easier for some to criticize the game as marketing violence to children, even though it is labeled M for Mature.
"People already have it in their mind that GTA is for kids because it's a game," Fonteno said. "Then they hear about the violence and they're instantly going to attack because it's a game. Now, if it was a movie it would be a different story and these same people would be out there supporting it. GTAV is like a movie. Once they get the game in their hands, they'll see. It says it big as day--Mature. It's not for the kids to go get. It's for Mature audiences only. If kids get it, then that's on their parents."
Ultimately, Luke said a game like GTAV--just like a gangster film like Goodfellas--is alluring because it allows players to experience a fantasy scenario of power. He said even though the game is violent (he does not allow his 11-year-old son to play it) people should not take a game like GTAV so seriously because it's just meant to be fun.
"GTA allows you to tap into everything that you can't do in real life," Luke said. "In real life, you don't get to go out and rampage and do all these bad things. Gangster movies have been huge forever--Godfather, Casino, Goodfellas, all the way back to Jimmy Cagney. People lose themselves in the bad boy. And there isn't anybody badder than the dudes in GTA. That's why they're so popular. You get to actually go out and do all these horrible things."
"As an actor, I got to go out and do all these crazy things and then go back home to my wife and my son and go out in the backyard and throw a baseball around like a normal all-American dad," he added. "I think that's what these games are. People who take them too seriously and go, 'Oh, this is life.' No, this isn't life. This is imagination. It's just fun. You definitely don't want GTA raising your children. But it's not a bad release from them, when you need to get away."
GTAV launched last month for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, generating a
Development on upcoming military shooter Homefront 2 is progressing positively, Crytek general manager Nick Button-Brown said in the latest issue of Develop (via Videogamer).
"The team in Nottingham--Crytek UK--is making great progress on our reinvention of Homefront," Button-Brown said.
He added that Crytek UK "has a number of projects we haven't talked about yet," though no further details were provided.
The 2011 original Crytek was developed by the
Story details for Homefront 2 have not been divulged, though Crytek said previously that it intends to create a game that "takes the series to new heights."
The Battlefield 4 beta is now open to all players across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Players will need 1.56GB of free hard drive space to download the beta.
The beta originally launched on Tuesday for those who preordered the Battlefield 4 PC Digital Deluxe Edition, Battlefield 3 Premium members, and owners of Medal of Honor: Warfighter Limited or Digital Deluxe Edition.
The Battlefield 4 beta features the Siege of Shanghai map in Conquest or Domination mode. New features, and elements like Levolution and Amphibious Assault, will be featured in the beta.
The beta ends on October 15.
Battlefield 4 launches on October 29 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The PlayStation 4 version arrives on November 12, while the Xbox One iteration hits November 19.
Players can begin their progress on current-generation versions and have that experience carry over to the next-generation version for a $10 upgrade fee.