UK-based magazine and website publisher Future Publishing will lay off 170 employees as part of a new restructuring plan, the company announced today. Over 170 employees in the UK will be laid off as the company slims down costs and streamlines its operations. The company made the announcement as it published its half-year financial results for the six month period that ended on March 31.
UK retailer John Lewis basically said "woops" today when it revealed to Eurogamer that it couldn't fulfill the £112 Wii U console bundle orders that lead a lot of traffic to its online site last week. A spokesperson for the retailer said that the listing for the ultra cheap Wii U bundle was a mistake, and apparently one it would not honor for those who locked down an order before the bundle was unceremoniously yanked from public view.
According to UK publication The Sunday Times, Grand Theft Auto creators and Rockstar co-founders Sam and Dan Houser have made the paper's "1,000 wealthiest people in Britain" list, alongside the creator of RuneScape, the owner of a video game retailer, and a man associated with King.com.
The Houser brothers barely made the list at the 947 spot with a joint fortune of $151 million.
London Mayor Boris Johnson could bring back the London Games Festival according to a research proposal from the Mayor's Office obtained by GamesIndustry International.
Playing computer games such as Angry Birds and Lemmings teaches children some pretty important life skills including concentration, resilience and problem solving. Professor Angela Mcfarlane, an education expert in the United Kingdom who has advised the government there on educational technology (she is also currently writing a book called "Authentic Learning for the Digital Generation") and will soon become the head of the College of Teachers.
Ukie, the trade group representing the games and interactive entertainment industry in the United Kingdom, announced that it has teamed up with Staffordshire University for a one day student and indie developer conference at the university's campus in Staffordshire, UK (College Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE, United Kingdom).
UK video games industry trade group TIGA has written an open letter to European game content rating system PEGI calling for a review and adjustment of its pricing policy, which the groups claims is charging indie developers in the UK "unreasonably high and repetitious fees." TIGA wrote the letter in response to complaints from its members about PEGI’s pricing policy.
A 15-year-old teen from the UK accused of stabbing his Spanish tutor is being pegged as a "loner" and a "gamer" who enjoyed "achievement hunting" and playing games like "Dark Souls" and other PS3 games by UK paper The Daily Mail. The Daily Mail calls the unnamed teen a "depressed recluse" obsessed with a "video game [Dark Souls] where [a] lone cursed character travels through fantasy world killing others."
The 15-year-old is currently being held on suspicion of stabbing his Spanish tutor Ann Maguire.
TIGA, the trade group that represents the video games industry in the UK, announced that it will facilitate a series of events around the country to help developers understand the importance of the new Games Tax Relief recently approved by the government. The tour will start in Oxford, England sometime in May, and all of the events will be free for developers to attend. These events will feature input from UK industry veterans as well.
British gaming charity Get-Well Gamers UK announced that it has received a large donation (pictured) of video games and video game consoles from UK games developer Mediatonic. The charity said that it was surprised and stunned (in a good way) by the generosity of Mediatonic - and obviously they were grateful for it.
Sony PlayStation and Bossa Studios have announced their support for the Stand Up for GamesAid comedy event on April 14. The proceeds of the comedy event will go directly to UK-based gaming charity, GamesAid. PlayStation has signed up to the role of Premium Event and Exclusive Bar Partner while Bossa Studios is an Event Partner.
Late last year Activision announced a licensing deal with LEGO competitor and toy maker Mega Brands to make building toy sets based on its popular mature-rated action game series, Call of Duty. The toy sets, which were launched in January, are finally getting the attention of children's advocacy groups and one outspoken UK MP - UK Labour MP Keith Vaz, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee.
UK indie developer NotGames has launched a new game called NotGTAV, an extremely low-budget PC parody of Rockstar's popular open-world action adventure, set in the UK. The game lets you: harass sheep in rural Wales, raid a LIDL in Swindon and play as David Cameron in London running over liberals and public sector workers," according to Eurogamer.
The UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries said that, now that the UK video games industry is confirmed to get tax relief, he wants the sector to focus on bringing more youngsters into the business, as opposed to spending that money on hiring from outside the region. Last week the European Parliament gave the greenlight to the scheme, much to the delight of the industry in the UK and the members of parliament that have long supported giving tax incentives to the sector.
It will soon be legal to rips CDs, DVDs, and other media in the United Kingdom, according to this TorrentFreak report. The UK government has released a guide informing its citizenry that an upcoming revision of copyright laws in the country which will make it perfectly legal to make backup copies of CD and DVDs for personal use. Those changes will be in effect this summer.
Sony has confirmed that several studios in its UK studio system have been affected by a round of layoffs. The studios affected by layoffs include its London Studio, Guerrilla Cambridge Studio, and Evolution Studio. While the company confirmed the layoffs it would not say just how many employees were let go in this latest round of layoffs that are part of a restructuring plan.
UK-based games charity GamesAid has announced the line-up of comedians that will be taking part in its annual comedy-charity event Stand Up for GamesAid. The annual comedy show takes place this year on April 14 at the Comedy Store in London and will be hosted by Imran Yusuf, and Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson.
They will be joined by comedians Paul Tonkinson, Ola, Holly Walsh, Paul Thorne, Jarred Christmas, Susan Calman, and Kev Orkian.
Money raised from the event through ticket sales will go directly into the coffers of GamesAid.
The 2014 budget has been passed in the United Kingdom, but once again this year tax relief for the video games industry in the region were not included. UKIE CEO Jo Twist described the ongoing struggle to get tax relief included in the budget "frustrating." The campaign for tax relief similar to what is enjoyed by the film and TV industries has been going on for years, but there were high hopes from the sector and the trade groups representing it in the UK that it would happen this year.
Naughty Dog's The Last of Us was the biggest winner at the 2014 Video Game BAFTA awards in London last night, garnering five awards for Action & Adventure, Audio Achievement, Best Game, Performer, and Story. Grand Theft Auto V and Tearaway won three awards each, while Rockstar Games was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship award.
The most interesting winner was the popular indie game Papers, Please, which won Strategy & Simulation. Not too many indie games are even nominated for a BAFTA, let alone make it far enough to win an award.
Game Art Connect Ltd. announced that Game Music Connect, a one day event dedicated to all things related to music in video games, will return to Southbank Centre in London, England on September 24.
Game Music Connect is aimed at aspiring and professional composers of all backgrounds and those interested in learning about the process of creating video game soundtracks. The event features interviews, practical demonstrations and roundtable discussions with leading composers and audio directors working in the space.
According to this Eurogamer report UK retailer HMV is getting out of the used games business to make room for other merchandise. A "UK industry source" told the publication this morning that HMV is no longer buying used games or game systems.
New documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden cited in a new Guardian report indicate that UK spy agency GCHQ evaluated the potential of using the Xbox 360 (and now Xbox One) Kinect peripheral as a means to spy on people. The report also indicates that the agency also considered the usefulness of the PlayStation Eye as well.
Just for fun, check out this audio interview from the BBC featuring a mother who claims that her 13-year-old son racked up a £4,000 bill on FIFA 14 by buying "Player Packs." He apparently spent £1,000 of that on DLC in 24 hours, according what his mom tells the BBC.
You can check it out here.
EA declined to comment on the story.
Microsoft's chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi announced that a limited edition Titanfall Xbox One bundle will be released on March 11 in the United States. The bundle offers the standard edition Xbox One console, Kinect peripheral, wireless controller and headset, a download code for Titanfall and a voucher for one month of Xbox Live Gold. The bundle is available to pre-order at participating retailers and will cost $499.99.
UK video game retailer GAME has been ordered by the Court of Appeals to pay missed rent payments of around £3 million amassed during its period of administration back in 2012, according to MCV. The retailer said that it had put aside £3 million in the event that it lost its case.
A new teaching lab has opened at Abertay University in Dundee (Scotland). The new lab represents the largest in Europe and offers 30 new PlayStation Vita development kits, and stock of PS3 and PS4 dev kits. Students attending the lab have access to all of the hardware. The University has dubbed it the "Playstation lab." The development kits were given to the university as part of a partnership with PlayStation First, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Academic Development Program.
Worms developer Team17 has won the British Game Jam, beating out fellow UK developers Future Studios and Bossa Studios with a game it developed in 48 hours called [R]evolve. As is usually the case with game jams, teams had 48 hours to develop a game based around a theme - in this case "resilience." Team17's game beat out Future Studios' submission Fearless Finn, and two titles from Bossa - I HATE YOU and Space Radish. Indie developer Luke Whiston tweeted his own entry to the competition on Twitter called Gobulus Rift.