Former Rovio head of games launches Futureplay Games

May 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Rovio head of games Jami Laes has revealed the "other opportunities" he decided to pursue after he left the Angry Birds maker in January. Laes has launched a new mobile gaming company called Futureplay Games, with plans to develop games that focus on the "view-to-play" model for monetization. "View-to-play" gives players access to gameplay after watching monetized video ads.

Laes thinks this approach to monetization will be easier for players to accept.

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Techland shelves 'Hellraid'

May 21, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Eurogamer reports that Dead Island and Dying Light developer Techland has officially abandoned development on Hellraid, a first-person fantasy-themed game tentatively scheduled for release in 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In a statement released this morning on its web site Techland said that the game's development progress was not meeting internal expectations.

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'The Witcher 3' pre-orders reach 1.5 million

May 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt RED revealed that the action-RPG had around 1 million pre-orders on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Today it revealed that those number increased by 500,000 units, topping out at around 1.5 million pre-orders.

Those numbers were revealed by CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kicinski in an interview with Money.pl.

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Konami rolling the dice on gambling

May 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The future of Konami - as you may have read here or elsewhere - is mobile, but it turns out that the company is keen on games that allow for real-world gambling too, according to Game Informer. Nevada lawmakers this week passed Senate Bill 9, which allows for new types of technologies - including video game technologies - to be incorporated into slot machines.

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BioWare Veteran joins Microsoft to work on HoloLens

May 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

BioWare veteran and Mass Effect trilogy project director Casey Hudson has joined Microsoft Studios as its new creative director, PC Gamer reports. Hudson will puts fair amount of his attention on Microsoft's answer to virtual reality on Xbox and Windows platforms - the augmented reality headset code named HoloLens.

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inXile plans 'Bard's Tale IV' Kickstarter campaign launch for June 2

May 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Getting out in front of it by a couple of weeks developer inXile announced this morning its tentative plans to launch a crowd-funding campaign for The Bard’s Tale IV on Monday June 2nd at 6 AM PST via Kickstarter.

The crowdfunding campaign lines up with the 30th anniversary of the classic, comedic computer role-playing game series originally created by Interplay and developer Brian Fargo (who just happens to be the founder of inXile, in case you didn't know).

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Square Enix moves E3 press conference

May 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this week Nintendo "officially" confirmed that it would host an E3 Expo digital presentation on June 16 at 9 a.m. Pacific time. For some reason publisher Square Enix announced that exact same time and date, causing a bit of a scheduling conflict to journalists and fans who might want to see both events but would have to choose one over the other. Knowing that a lot of people might pick Nintendo over its press conference, Square Enix announced via Twitter and Facebook this afternoon that it would be shifting its press event to one hour later on the same date.

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'Pac-Man' creator to be honored with 'Legend Award' at Gamelab

May 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Organizers of Gamelab, the "games and interactive entertainment conference" taking place in Barcelona, Spain June 24th-26th announced today that they will honor Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani with a Legend Award. Iwatani, who is now teaching in Japan, will also discuss the state of video games training programs in that region during the event.

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Report: layoffs hit Zynga's NaturalMotion studio

May 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week Zynga announced that, despite decent profits, it would be laying off 18 percent of its workforce. It looks like the first studio to feel the results of that plan is developer NaturalMotion. According to sources close to the situation who spoke to Eurogamer today, 20 people have been laid off at NaturalMotion's QA department. According to those sources, that leaves around five employees in the department. Zynga bought the UK-based studio in 2014.

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GREE closes Vancouver studio

May 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Mobile games publisher GREE has shut down its Vancouver studio, according to a tweet from GREE Vancouver's studio head, Steve Lin highlighted in this Gamasutra report - as well as a blog post from GREE International COO Andrew Sheppard.

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EA lays off a 'small number' of employees at Visceral Games

May 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts has laid off a small and undisclosed number of staff from its wholly owned Visceral Games studio. EA confirmed the news with Game Informer today. The company noted that the layoffs were staffers who were developing content for Battlefield Hardline Premium and an announced Star Was project.

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'The Black Glove' officially canceled

May 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite getting a lot of positive press and a very public endorsement from BioShock creator Ken Levine (and plenty of other high profile developers) Day for Night's The Black Glove failed to raise the money needed to get successfully funded on Kickstarter last year. Now the developers behind the game say that they are officially canceling it to focus on making a living working on other games for other studios. The Black Glove only managed to raise $216,517 of its $550,000 goal when the campaign ended on November 7 of last year.

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CD Projekt RED chases down early leaked footage from 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt'

May 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Witcher 3: Wild hunt isn't set for release until May 19, but that hasn't stopped some retailers from handing the game over to customers early and breaking CD Projekt RED's hard release date.

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Space Ape releases 'Rival Kingdoms'

May 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

MCV reports that UK-based mobile game developer Space Ape has released its second title, a strategy game called Rival Kingdoms. The most interesting aspect of the game is that game scribe Rhianna Pratchett lent her pen to the work. You may know her better for her writing in such high profile game titles as Tomb Raider (2013), Mirror’s Edge, Thief, Heavenly Sword, Prince of Persia and the Overlord series.

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Zynga reveals improved Q1 2015 results, announces 18 percent reduction in staff

May 7, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

In the midst of celebrating the fact that it beat first quarter 2015 estimates, social game maker Zynga announced that it would lay off 18 percent of its workforce.

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First batch of GX3:Everyone Games 'Bosses of Honor' revealed

May 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

GaymerX and MidBoss revealed the first five of fourteen "Bosses of Honor" (special high profile guests from the games industry) selected for their 2015 video game convention, GX3:Everyone Games.  The first five Bosses Of Honor Include Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale, Adventure Time’s Natasha Allegri, Portal’s Ellen McLain, Cogs’ co-creator Dr. Rob Jagnow, and Team Fortress 2’s John Patrick Lowrie.

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MomoCon Indie Game Awards finalists announced

May 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The twenty indie games chosen as finalists for the first annual MomoCon Indie Game Awards have been announced. The awards are part of MomoCon 2015, which takes place Thursday - Sunday, May 28 - 31, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The twenty finalist were chosen from a pool of 120 entries. From this pool of twenty, five winners will be chosen.

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Homophobic game gets pulled from Steam Greenlight, developer issues statement

May 5, 2015 - James Fudge

Yesterday we reported on a game called "Kill the Faggot," which appeared on Steam Greenlight. Shortly after our story was published Valve pulled the game from Greenlight. Developed by Randall Herman, Skaldic Games' sole developer and owner, the game urged players to "Murder gays and transgenders, while avoiding killing straight people," with the end goal being getting "as many points before time runs out."

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Interzone CEO faces 120 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering

May 5, 2015 - James Fudge

A recently unsealed federal indictment reveals that Marty Brickey was charged with three counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering related to fundraising activities that generated an estimated $14.5 million for Brickey's numerous game development companies.

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Spark Unlimited closes its doors, lays off all employees

May 5, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Lost Planet 3 and Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z developer Spark Unlimited has closed its doors and is auctioning off assets, according to Polygon. The news of the studio's closure and layoffs first broke on  NeoGAF.

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Wargaming celebrates Military Appreciation Month

May 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Wargaming America dropped us a note today to let us know that it is celebrating Military Appreciation Month by donating 25% of in-game proceeds from dedicated NMAM bundles throughout the month of May.

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Kickstarter campaign for 'Yooka-Laylee' nearing $1 million on first day

May 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Forty minutes after launching its Kickstarter campaign for a new platformer called Yooka-Laylee, developer Playtonic Games blew past its initial goal of $270,000. As of this writing, the crowd-funding campaign for the game is well over $920,000 and climbing.

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Bungie sells 'Destiny' t-shirts to benefit Nepal earthquake relief efforts

May 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Bungie has created a Destiny-themed t-shirt specifically to raise funds for Nepal earthquake victims.  The t-shirt, available exclusively on the Bungie Store, comes in three types (and varying sizes): men's, women's, and children's.  The shirts are available for purchase between now and May 24, with orders shipping in "early June." Also included in the purchase price are some digital goodies - a Destiny in-game shader and emblem.

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'Far Cry 4' dev team will match donations to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund

April 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Ubisoft and the Far Cry 4 development team said today that they will match the first $100,000 in donations given to the Canadian Red Cross for the Nepal Region Earthquake Fund, Polygon reports. The company wrote on the Canadian Red Cross web site that it decided to help out victims of the recent earthquake there because it spent a lot of time in the country taking in its scenery and culture for research related to the development of Far Cry 4.

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Valve gives Steam developers control of the banhammer

April 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has made it easier for developers with games on Steam to ban players. Under a newly deployed system, developers have the full authority to ban players, ultimately taking the burden off Steam. The new system gives developers oversight and responsibility to ban cheating or disruptive players as they see fit.

This also means that any player appeals of bans will have to be directed at the people who make the game and not Steam/Valve.

Here's more from the Steam community announcement:

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Spiderweb Software is done with iOS

April 29, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Jeff Vogel, the owner of Spiderweb Software, has pulled his latest RPG from the Apple Store and won't be bringing it back anytime soon. Spiderweb Software is best known for its old-school RPGs including the Nethergate, Geneforge, Avernum, and Avadon series of games for PC and Mac. In recent years he started bringing his games to mobile devices like Android and iOS, but frustration with the way Apple handles updates has caused him to walk away.

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More details emerge in Rachel Bryk's death

April 29, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

On Monday we reported the tragic death of Rachel Bryk, a transgender programmer who contributed extensively to an open sourced GameCube and Wii emulation program called Dolphin. On April 23 Rachel jumped from the George Washington Bridge (the bridge that connects New York City to New Jersey) to the icy water below.

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'Kitty Powers' Matchmaker' developer warns YouTubers about licensed music

April 27, 2015 - James Fudge

Kitty Powers' Matchmaker is proving to be a popular hit, but the dating simulation starring the larger-than-life personality may cause some trouble for YouTubers. Developer Magic Notion gave a warning to anyone thinking of making Let's Play videos and posting them on YouTube that they might find themselves the target of a copyright claim.

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'Video game developer' the top career choice for children in Hasbro survey for 'Game of Life'

April 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A recent national survey by Hasbro has resulted in children choosing a whole new set of career paths for the company's popular family-friendly board game, The Game of Life. But the most interesting thing to come out of the survey? The most popular profession choice was "video game developer."

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'Postal 2' DLC includes Breitbart.com columnist Milo Yiannopoulos

April 21, 2015 - James Fudge

On April 14, developer Running With Scissors released "Paradise Lost," a downloadable content pack for its controversial action game Postal 2. Hidden within is a surprise that will either delight or agitate Postal fans: Breitbart.com columnist Milo Yiannopoulos is a non-playable (and highly killable) character that you can unlock by punching in a cheat code.

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Andrew EisenWe're planning on doing the podcast Saturday evening, as usual.05/23/2015 - 12:32am
Matthew Wilsonmy bad was doing it from my phone.05/22/2015 - 11:34pm
Goth_SkunkMatthew, that's a PDF. Looks like a lobbying report. What's that got to do with The Witcher 3? EDIT: Thanks Mecha.05/22/2015 - 11:33pm
MechaCrashI think this is the link you meant to post: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-the-witcher-3-a-new-benchmark-in-player-/2300-6424964/05/22/2015 - 11:31pm
Matthew WilsonThe Point - The Witcher 3: A New Benchmark in Player Choice http://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-the-witcher-3-a-new-benchmark-in-player-/2300-6424964/ fixed05/22/2015 - 10:37pm
Matthew WilsonI assume no show this weekend?05/22/2015 - 10:27pm
TechnogeekKaylaKaze: I fail to see how "that key was obtained via theft by deception" isn't fradulent.05/22/2015 - 8:46pm
Wonderkarp*Sippin on Long Island Iced Tea*05/22/2015 - 8:24pm
james_fudgeIT was all me. I broke the site. Send your hatemail!05/22/2015 - 8:15pm
KaylaKazeESO banning people for buying thier game when it was cheap, claiming fraud. http://www.reddit.com/r/elderscrollsonline/comments/36womu/deactivation_of_fraudulently_obtained_esotu_game/05/22/2015 - 5:29pm
Matthew Wilsonwtf? wounder if its time for a site redo with modern tech. somthing cheap like the latest version of word press.05/22/2015 - 5:27pm
Andrew EisenJames pasted my copy into a new story for me and the crappy Word formatting it inherited broke the site.05/22/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenHere's what happened: some weird bug is preventing me from uploading an article pic. Stories can't be saved with out pics so I couldn't write a story. So, I wrote it in Word and pasted the text into an email and forwarded it to James.05/22/2015 - 5:21pm
Goth_SkunkThanks E-Zeek.05/22/2015 - 5:09pm
E. Zachary KnightI fixed the shoutbox. Everyone thank me now. Or not. I don't care either way.05/22/2015 - 5:07pm
ZippyDSMleeShout box sttasahhppppp!!05/22/2015 - 10:47am
Andrew EisenOh, here it is. I thought it was gone. Yeah, I'm experiencing the same issue. Sent a note to tech.05/22/2015 - 10:43am
E. Zachary KnightAnyone else have the shout box pushed down to the bottom of the site?05/22/2015 - 10:38am
MattsworknameAndrew and EZK help me pull back a bit , still working on it05/22/2015 - 7:06am
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