Former Bandai Namco employee sues over discrimination, wrongful termination

June 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A former Bandai Namco employee is suing the company for discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination, according to this My News LA report (by way of Kotaku).  Tony Le, a Vietnamese-American is suing the American arm of the company, the parent company ad several of his old bosses in a lawsuit filed in California.

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Avalanche Studios finally appoints a CEO

June 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Avalanche Studio has never had a chief executive officer by its own accounting, since it was founded in 2003.  The duties of such a position were always shared by its founders - Christofer Sundberg and Linus Blomberg. But today that changes, according to an announcement made by company this morning. As the company moves towards its new goal of developing games and getting into self-publishing, it decided it was time someone officially steered the ship.

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Chris Avellone leaves Obsidian Entertainment

June 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Obsidian Entertainment co-founder Chris Avellone announced via Twitter that the has left the studio. Avellone confirmed the news with Eurogamer in addition to announcing it on Twitter noting:

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Ready at Dawn hires former Blizzard exec as its new CEO

June 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Blizzard Entertainment executive Paul Sams has joined game developer Ready at Dawn as its new chief executive officer. Sams, who served for a very long time as Blizzard's COO, will lead the studios' new office in Austin Texas. That office will focus on business development and publishing. Ready At Dawn co-founder and now former CEO Ru Weerasuriya has moved into the position of president and chief creative officer.

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Call for speakers, award nominees for Unite 2015 now open

June 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Submissions for the Unity Awards 2015 and a call for Unite 2015 speakers have gone live today. The award winners will be revealed at Unite 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts September 21-23 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

The call for speakers is officially open as well for those who are knowledgeable about developing games using the game development engine - you have until June 12 to submit your talk proposal.

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Epic Games and Ronen Bekerman team up for '2015 Vineyard Challenge'

June 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Epic Games has teamed up with architectural site Ronen Bekerman for a competition to bring realistic architecture into gaming via assets for Unreal Engine 4. That competition is called the "2015 Vineyard Challenge," and challenges competitors to "interpret a modern winery setting" in Unreal Engine 4. Competitors' entries will be judged on lighting, design, and interactivity.

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'Rock Band 4' not planned for PC, because piracy

June 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

It should come as no shock that Rock Band 4 isn't initially planned for a release on the PC platform - the series has never appeared on the platform before - but Harmonix takes some time to explain the particulars to Eurogamer in this report.

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'Gears of War' developer Black Tusk Studios changes name

June 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Vancouver-based Gears of War developer Black Tusk Studios (the people who took it over after Epic Games sold the franchise to Microsoft) has rebranded itself as The Coalition. Studio head Rod Fergusson explained the name change in a YouTube video today:

"The Coalition speaks to who we are as a team, and what it is we're working on," said studio head Rod Fergusson. "A coalition is a team of diverse individuals working together for a common purpose, a concept that we feel describes our studio quite well."

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Long-time Remedy executive joins Wargaming.net

June 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Remedy Entertainment's long-time executive chairman Matias Myllyrinne has left the company and has joined World of Tanks maker Wargaming.net.  The man who's been in charge of the Max Pane, Alan Wake and now Quantum Break developer for 15 years - is leaving Remedy Entertainment. He's going to Wargaming.

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IndieCade Showcase @ E3 line-up revealed

June 2, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

IndieCade (the international festival of independent games) announced the line-up of games that will be highlighted at its annual IndieCade Showcase @ E3 during E3 2015 in Los Angeles. More than 30 games across multiple platforms (virtual reality, tabletop games, performance and physical games, and traditional formats) will be highlighted in the South Hall at Booth #601. The booth is in collaboration with hosting partner the Entertainment Software Association (ESA - the organizers of E3).

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Help fund 'The Bard's Tale IV' on day one, get free stuff

June 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Developer inXile announced today that those who back its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for the latest title in the RPG series The Bard's Tale within the first 24 hours can score some free games. Earlier this month the company announced that it would launch the crowd-funding campaign for The Bard’s Tale IV on June 2. Those willing to take the plunge within the first 24 hours will be able to get a free copy of inXile’s Wasteland 2, CD Projekt’s The Witcher, or The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

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Konami: we are still developing games for consoles

May 29, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Game Informer report, Konami's future still includes console games, and notes that a recent comment from Konami Digital Entertainment president Hideki Hayakawa that was published by Japanese outlet Nikkei may have been taken slightly out of context.

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Rep. Katherine Clark gets House backing on forcing DOJ to investigate online threats

May 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) once again called on the Department of Justice to investigate cyber crimes (online threats, swatting, etc.) aimed at women, and to announce that the House of Representatives has formally supported her request to "intensify investigation and prosecution of severe online threats against women."

'Project Cars' on Wii U stalled, says developer

May 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based game developer Slightly Mad Studios seems to have given up on bringing its online-focused racing game Project Cars to the Wii U. In an official forum post, a company rep. said that the game was struggling on Nintendo's latest home console (running at 23fps) and may never be released on the platform.

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Ex-Irrational developers launch crowd-funding campaign for 'Perception'

May 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Veteran game developer Bill Gardner has launched a new studio called The Deep End Games, and has taken to Kickstarter in an attempt to fund the company's first game - a horror adventure game called "Perception."

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The peaks and valleys of 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt'

May 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

There's plenty of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt news this morning and some of it isn't all good. First, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the fastest selling game and biggest release to-date in the United Kingdom, according to the latest weekly numbers from retail tracking firm, Chart-Track.  The numbers go hand-in-hand with news last week that the game enjoyed 1.5 million pre-orders prior to its launch.

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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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Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
MechaCrashUnexpected? Seriously?07/07/2015 - 10:55am
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
Infophile(cont'd) discriminatory. This can only be done for protected classes which are outlined in law (race, sex, religion, ethnicity everywhere, sexual orientation in some states). So, a gay person could be fired because they're gay and have no recourse there.07/07/2015 - 7:27am
Infophile@Goth: See here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/firedforbeinggay.asp for a good discussion on it. Basically, the problem is that in the US, most states allow at will firing, and it's the burden of the fired person to prove the firing was ...07/07/2015 - 7:25am
Goth_SkunkAssuming that's true, then that is a fight worth fighting for.07/07/2015 - 6:58am
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
 

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