According to this Nikkei report (by way of Eurogamer) Sony will not renew its sponsorship deal with FIFA over concerns of corruption in the international soccer governing body. Sony has sponsored a number of major events for FIFA through the years including the World Cup, but the company has decided to bow out when its contract expires on December 31 of this year.
Microsoft says that it has sold more than 60 million Halo titles worldwide since the franchise debuted on the original Xbox thirteen years ago - Halo: Combat Evolved. This number is up substantially from the 50 million sold milestone announced in December of 2012.
That massive figure includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo Wars, Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Microsoft also claims that gamers have played various Halo titles for more than 6 billion hours on Xbox Live over the years.
Microsoft claims that over a million people have signed up for the Windows Insider program. The Windows Insider program gives those who sign up for access to the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore made the announcement in a blog post today, saying, "That equates to a lot of people using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and sending us feedback. How much feedback? Over 200,000 pieces of user-initiated feedback have been submitted to us via the Windows Feedback app from Windows Insiders like you."
In an interview with Polygon, Visceral Games' Ian Milham, the creative director of the upcoming cops v. robbers first-person shooter Battlefield Hardlines, tackles the thorny subject of the militarization of police departments in America. The subject came to the forefront of conversation after the police force in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri rolled out armored vehicles and military gear in response to large scale protests over the shooting of Michael Brown.
An interesting reprint of a blog post by Zachary Strebeck over at Gamasutra attempts to explain whether someone can get away with using someone else's trademark in marketing their own games. For example, would it be legal to say that your game is "like DOOM with a bit of Oblivion and Borderlands mixed in?"
Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired Minecraft and Scrolls maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. The deal was rumored to be in the works last week. While Microsoft will acquire the Swedish company and all of its IP including Minecraft on multiple mobile, PC, and console platforms, it will not get access to one important commodity: Notch.
Here's some Ray Rice backlash that affects your video games. According to The Washington Post, EA Sports will remove the now-former Baltimore Ravens player from the Madden NFL 15 roster - across all platforms the game is available on.
If you know what an NES is then you are probably pretty old. The 31-year-old system was the subject of the latest episode of The Fine Bros' popular YouTube series, "Teens React." The new video, "Teens React to NES," features Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams and other teens trying to figure out what the little gray box was. Some thought it was a VCR, despite the actual name of the product prominently written in red on the front of the system.
Net Neutrality gets some much needed love in the September 2014 issue of Game Informer. Game Informer is the number one gaming magazine in the United States, so it's good to see it taking a closer look at how fast lanes, data caps, and general discrimination of traffic by ISPs can affect everyday consumers.
Who needs a demo when you can allow consumers to play a game for an extended amount of time and turn that experience into an actual purchase? According to this Reddit screen grab after the latest Xbox One system update, Microsoft is trying out 24-hour trials with a select few game titles.
Max The Curse of Brotherhood was one of the titles available to download under the label entitled Free Play Day with Gold.
If you were wondering why the releases of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U are staggered, the answer is the debugging process. According to series creator Masahiro Sakurai, who recently wrote about the games in his Famitsu Weekly column (as translated by Kotaku East), the debugging process for both games is very time consuming. Sakurai is currently debugging the 3DS version of the game, which is set to be released first.
GamesBeat is reporting that Google has reached a deal to buy game-focused streaming service Twitch for $1 billion, according to "sources familiar with the matter." Rumors first surfaced about a possible all cash deal between Google and Twitch worth $1 billion back in May.
The European Union announced today that it is working with member states to create guidelines that ensure that games and apps with in-app purchases are marketed to consumers in an "appropriate manner." These rules come after an investigation into App store marketing practices aimed at children.
The EU said that, going forward, the following guidelines will be applied to Apple, Google, and other app store owners:
- Games advertised as "free" should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved
Android-based micro console maker Ouya has launched an All Access Pass scheme this week, offering those who signed up access to 800+ games for a 12 month period. The "one-time buy" plan costs $59.99. The offer is apparently a big success because it was limited in nature and has already sold out. According to Cnet, the Ouya All-Access Pass only applies to single transactions under $30, including most complete games and DLC, but excludes micro-transactions and similar revenue streams.
Tablets have overtaken Nintendo's 3DS as the most popular personal gaming device owned by UK children, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting - as reported on by MCV.
Xbox head Phil Spencer says Microsoft will continue to create and release more games for the last-generation Xbox 360 because it is "obligated to support Xbox 360" for the remainder of its life cycle.
In an E3 interview with UK publication Metro, Spencer attempted to explain why the company isn't dropping all of its efforts to focus exclusively on boosting Xbox One's first-party lineup of games.
A game like Legend of Grimrock 2, the old-school first-person dungeon crawler RPG sequel from Almost Human, would have no problem garnering support as an early access title on Steam, but the developer says it is not interested in releasing the game in that space.
Speaking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the studio says that it is "old fashioned" and wants to release a final polished game when the development cycle is over.
Microsoft will offer refunds to Xbox Live Gold subscribers who want to cancel their membership when new service policies go into effect in June. The company said yesterday that Xbox Live users will no longer require a Gold subscription to access Netflix and other entertainment apps beginning next month. Gold will still be needed for online gaming and to benefit from promotions like Games with Gold on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Following a June system update for Xbox One and Xbox 360, users will be able to request a refund on their Gold subscription, according to Microsoft:
Microsoft doesn't plan on providing any compensation to those who have already bought an Xbox One, according to Eurogamer, though one has to ask the question - why would they? After yesterday's announcement that it would start offering the Xbox One without a Kinect for $399, GameSpot decided to ask Microsoft if it planned to offer any freebies to early adopters of the system.
Naturally the answer is an emphatic "no."
Bulldog Licensing has inked a sub-agency deal with Game of 2 Halves for Deep Silver's Saints Row and Dead Island. The deal, which covers Canada and the United States, allows the company to further license the properties for toys, action figures, collectables, posters, electronics and accessories deals.
According to this PCR report Nokia will not exist as a brand after Microsoft wraps up its acquisition of the company. According to the report, the Nokia brand name will be dropped by Microsoft once it officially acquires the mobile manufacturer. This is based on a leaked letter sent by Microsoft to suppliers. In it, Microsoft tells suppliers that the Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj (Ltd) name will be replaced with Microsoft Mobile Oy.
Posted by Nokiapoweruser.com, the letter reads:
GOG.com has added language support for a number of titles in its catalog, along with support for Mac OS X on select titles. For starters all of the classic Infinity Engine role-playing games from Hasbro are available for Mac OS X.
Now Mac owners can play such games as Baldur's Gate: The Original Saga, Baldur's Gate 2 Complete, Icewind Dale Complete, Icewind Dale 2 Complete, and Planescape: Torment. Mac users can also run and the cool D&D classic, Temple of Elemental Evil.
Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft has now sold 12 million copies to-date at retail and online through Xbox Live Marketplace. Along with the announcement of the milestone, Microsoft also revealed that a new mod pack for the game called the Candy Texture Pack will be released on April 18.
According to a research note from Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter to investors, game sales dipped 20 percent on the weakness of current generation sales in the month of January. Pachter is making his predictions ahead of the NPD Groups' retail report for the month of January. When those numbers are released on Thursday, Pachter says that they will show that retail software sales fell 20 percent in January to around $300 million - down 20 percent from the $373 million generated in the same period a year ago.
Wargaming has jumped into the digital media publishing biz, with the launch of a new interactive publication that highlights its line-up of games and related topics like military history. The magazine is called "Let's Battle" and is available for free on Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App store for iOS devices.
Microsoft issued a brief statement today to Polygon offering assurances to players concerned about Killer Instinct being abandoned after news surfaced that Amazon had acquired the game's developer Double Helix.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that Microsoft Studios will be working with a "new development partner" on Killer Instinct for Xbox One going forward.