Ubisoft announces the release of
financial results (Adobe Acrobat format) for their fiscal year 2013, saying their
numbers for the year are "at the upper end of the recently-raised target
ranges." They report annual sales are up 18% to €1,256 million and non-IFRS
operating income is up 79% to €100 million. The results include perspective from
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot:
"In 2012-13 our financial performance
outstripped the targets that we had announced a year ago, notably with non-IFRS
operating income up 79% and higher-than-expected cash generation. The expertise
and talent of our teams enabled Ubisoft to manage the year’s difficult market
conditions and the drop in the casual segment remarkably well. In addition, the
success of Far Cry 3 confirmed our strong comeback in the major segment of
shooter games.” Guillemot continued "We began fiscal 2012-13 with two major
franchises: Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance. Twelve months later, we have
substantially extended our reach by establishing Far Cry as another major
franchise, building upon the great potential for our newest brand, Watch Dogs,
and making our online/digital segment an increasingly significant part of our
business. The steady rise in our operating and financial performance during the
last three years is the direct result of the longterm investments we have made,
with the continued development of our creative capacity and the bolstering of
our expertise in online activities.”
has word from Ubisoft's post-earnings conference call that the game codenamed
1666, which Ubi
acquired as part of the breakup of THQ, is no longer in development. Last
week Ubisoft fired Patrice Désilets, who
was thought to be the designer on the unannounced game, and today CEO Yves
Guillemot dropped the other shoe on the project, revealing development has entered
the sort of limbo that can be very difficult to escape, saying: "we have
suspended project 1666 for an undisclosed period of time."
Coffee Stain Studios announces the release of Sanctum 2 for Windows PC
and Xbox 360, offering a sequel to their tower-defense/first-person shooter
hybrid (the game is coming to the PlayStation Network "in the coming weeks." The
launch trailer shows
off a little over a minute of gameplay. "We built Sanctum 2 from the ground up,
creating stunning visuals while keeping everything that players loved from the
original," said Anton Westberg, CEO of Coffee Stain Studios. "We then added more
characters, more enemies, more bosses, more levels, more weapons and more towers
to make Sanctum 2 bigger, better and badder than we ever imagined." Here's a
description of the game:
In Sanctum 2 players take on the role of an
elite soldier whose mission is to protect the oxygen-producing Cores from hordes
of deadly aliens who are threatened by their existence. Utilizing key elements
of both tower-defense and first-person shooter genres, players set up defensive
towers to take out the waves of attacking enemies and then jump head-on into the
fray, either alone or as part of a squad in four-player co-op
11 bit studios announces the release of Anomaly 2, saying the tower
offense vs. tower defense sequel is now available for Windows, OS X, and Linux
on anomaly2game.com and
Steam, with each site
offering a 10% launch discount, while the former also providing a free copy of
Anomaly Korea for Windows (for the first time on the platform) as an additional
bonus with each purchase. Here's
a new launch trailer
and here's word:
From Warsaw, Poland-based 11 bit studios, Anomaly 2
features an exciting single-player campaign that transports you to a bleak,
frozen Earth, overrun by the alien anomalies. Humanity has been nearly wiped
out, and you'll need to use all the tools at your disposal -- tactical planning,
a wide range of units featuring brand new morph modes, the commander's support
abilities and quick thinking -- to take back our planet from the alien scum.
Anomaly 2 also introduces the unique tower offense vs. tower defense multiplayer
mode, testing your wits and skill in intense one-on-one battles.
The Diablo III website
announces that to celebrate today's first anniversary of Diablo III
they are rewarding all players by allowing them to play the game less:
year ago today, the gates of the Burning Hells opened and Diablo III was
unleashed onto the world. Since then, millions of heroes have been created,
billions of hours have been spent in games, and trillions of demons have been
slaughtered without mercy. We've grown and improved a lot since release, both as
a game team and as a community, and thanks to your feedback, passion, and
unquenchable bloodlust, we expect the next year to be even more epic.
To celebrate this milestone and the community that made it possible, we're
giving away free buffs! (Who doesn't like free buffs?) Players who log in to
defend Sanctuary between May 15 and May 21 will receive a 25% boost to their
Magic Find and +EXP stats. The buff is only available while logged in to the
game, but it will apply to all characters as well as stack with other similar
bonuses -- the +EXP bonus will stack multiplicatively and the Magic Find bonus
will stack above the 300% cap!
article on GamesIndustry International written by Jason Rubin has the
outlook on development of the just-released Metro: Last Light from the
man saddled with the (ultimately futile) chore of trying to rescue THQ, the
now-defunct company that was to publish the game. He talks about the obstacles
that the project was forced to overcome, including a meager budget, a workspace
smaller than EA's gym, and a need to smuggle equipment into the Ukraine. Here's
his explanation of his motives for his missive: "It is a true testament to the
raw skill and potential of the team. Ultimately, it is a desire for the
recognition of 4A's talent that drove me to write this. You may know that I have
a history of talking about developer recognition. These guys need recognition."
Cliffhanger Productions sends along an explanation of how Jagged Alliance
Online is being changed for its release on Steam, saying the focus of the
game is being changed compared with the browser-based version of the game. They
say their goal is to make microtransactions entirely optional:
15, 2013 – Jagged Alliance Online brings PvP-centric gameplay to the classic
strategy series when it launches on Steam this spring. Featuring modern
firepower, squad combat, and turn-based gameplay, Jagged Alliance Online for
Steam will be the first in the series to focus on the competitive experience,
with optional content for single-player.
Disregarding typical free-to-play tactics, Jagged Alliance Online will offer all
PvP content, including 40+ mercenaries and 500+ items, free of charge.
Cliffhanger Productions assures players that everything can be purchased through
regular play, with cash purchases offered only as secondary alternatives.
Optionally, a single-player content pack containing 100+ hours of gameplay will
be available for purchase.
“Jagged Alliance is all about superior tactics (and big guns, of course), so
that means providing every player with a chance of winning based on tactical
choices, and not any outside factors such as paid items,” says Cliffhanger
Productions Founder and Creative Director, Jan Wagner, and continues, “The PvP
part is also what makes us stand out from all the Jagged Alliance games, I
believe, since no matter how good an AI is, in the end, the true challenge is
another player. I am glad we could finally do the game the way we
Here's a new trailer
from DARK, showing off gameplay from the upcoming vampire-themed
stealth/action game. The clip shows off vampire powers such as hypnosis, as well
as console powers like health regeneration. Here's word: "In the new trailer,
you'll get a close-up look at several of the vampire powers available to you, as
the newly turned vampire, Eric Bane. Watch as Eric hypnotizes unsuspecting
guards to slip past them or deliver a deadly strike. Or, use Regeneration to
convert the blood of your enemies to health points! Watch the new video to learn
more about these and other stealth-focused powers featured in DARK, which
Kalypso Media will release this summer on Xbox 360 and PC." Continue here to read the full story.
Valve announces that Steam
Trading Cards are now in beta, offering virtual cards that can be redeemed
for game badges and other virtual commodities:
May 15, 2013 -- Valve,
creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life,
Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam
and Source), today announced Steam Trading Cards, a new service that rewards
gamers for gaming on Steam.
Released in beta today, Steam Trading Cards allows customers to earn Steam
rewards for playing the games they love. Those who participate will receive
game-specific trading cards that can be collected to earn rewards such as game
badges, profile backgrounds, emoticons, coupons, and more.
The group of titles participating in the Steam Trading Cards beta includes Don't
Starve, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, Portal 2 and
Half-Life 2. The service will expand over the coming months to include many more
titles on Steam.
GamesIndustry International has details on EA's new DICE studio in Los
Angeles that will be focuses on creating games to capitalize on
EA's new exclusive Star Wars
games deal. They have liberated this information from the tyranny of the
WSJ.com paywall, where they say the new studio will have a headcount of 60
by the end of this year. Apparently part of the appeal of that area is to be
able to poach talent from Southern California studios like Treyarch and Infinity
Ward: "There is an extreme talent pool over that we want a part of," says DICE
general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson. "It's no secret that our main competitor
Steam Forums have an update from Professor Pew, spokesperson for 4A Games,
and esteemed doctor of pew-pew, who explains the situation regarding
locked field of view in Metro: Last Light, their new shooter sequel
Strategy Informer). It turns out the problem is that allowing adjustable FOV
would conflict with their 3D HUD (which arguably means the HUD should have been
reworked, rather than FOV locked). They are contemplating their options for a
long term fix, and in the meantime are planning a game update "in the next few
days" to allow players to adjust the FOV by directly editing CFG files, though
this will indeed mess with the HUD. Here's word:
We're aware the community
have been asking for a 'Field of View' slider for Metro: Last Light.
Unfortunately, this was not as simple a thing to implement as it might appear!
The main reason for maintaining a fixed FOV is because we have 3D elements like
the watch and weapon ammo that need to remain visible.
In addition, all the game's first-person cut scenes and cinematics and each and
every animation involving Artyom's hands - idle weapon animations, reloads,
ladder climbing, melee attacks etc, - were created assuming the same, fixed
field of view.
Changing the FOV would break all the cut-scenes and animations - you would be
able to see inside Artyom's arms, or they would appear to float in the air in
front of you. Or worse.
We had considered offering three FOV pre-sets, but this would still require
significant work to re-do every animation, adjust the HUD and UI and other
seemingly small but incredibly time consuming tasks.
Even with a wider but still fixed field of view, Artyom's hands would look too
far away. We know - we tried.
Game performance is also tied to FOV - the amount of geometric detail we put in
each scene has been partly determined by this set FOV, and setting a wider FOV
would have a performance impact.
We understand this issue is important to many people, and we have been looking
at possible solutions.
In the immediate term - the next title update, due in the next few days will
allow you to directly change the FOV in the .cfg files.
This may well trigger a number of issues listed above - you have been
Candella Software has launched
for Waveryder, a boat stunt-racing game they plan to bring to Windows,
Linux, and OS X if their fundraising campaign can generate the £6,600 they seek
for its development. Here's what they have in mind:
Harking back to the
classic boat racing games of the 1980’s and 1990’s, Waveryder combines stunning
cutting-edge visuals and exciting arcade-style gameplay. Set in exceptionally
detailed photorealistic real-world locations such as Venice, Lake Zurich,
Niagara Falls, Egypt, Paris, London, Goa, and Prague, Waveryder pushes modern PC
hardware to its limits.
In addition to arcade racing, the game also features a dedicated Stunt Mode.
Available in both singleplayer and multiplayer, Waveryder’s unique stunt mode
allows players to engage turbo and leap over some of the most stunning bridges
in the world. These iconic bridges include the Calatrava Bridge (Venice), Tower
Bridge (London), Charles Bridge (Prague) and Pont Neuf (Paris).
As the boats leap over the bridges, time slows down, allowing players to execute
multiple acrobatic stunts. Based on the quality of their stunts, players receive
achievement points and unlock trophies. All achievement points can be uploaded
to a global leaderboard.
VG247 has a track list for GRID 2, a surprisingly large list of 82
tracks (counting preorder bonus tracks) in the game. Also,
this trailer from
Codemasters Racing shows off Asian cars and locations in the upcoming racing
sequel, along with some Asian-style racing competition, if you catch our drift.
Racers earn points for style and form in Drift events on
steep and aggressive mountain roads filled with hairpins inspired by Okutama in
Japan. Open Road racing is represented with Touge events in Hong Kong, where
players must close the gap and take their chance to pass in one-on-one,
The Street Racing category is showcased in Dubai, as cars power down highways
and speed past stunning skyscrapers in this distinctive city fuelled by
petrol-powered wealth. Track Racing is shown at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, one of
the most advanced and thrilling dedicated racing circuits in the world which has
played host to a wide range of motorsport up to the very highest
Warren Spector - Why Metacritic Should Be Irrelevant. The fact is, few of us will ever approach that Platonic ideal of art,
commerce and critical acclaim achieved in equal measures. And that means
each of us must decide for ourselves how to define success. For me, that
means achieving a kind of self-satisfaction - knowing my team accomplished
the goals we set as effectively as we could, given circumstances. For me,
that means living up to the priorities captured in a personal mission
statement. For me, that means doing well enough, commercially, that someone
will step up and fund my next game.
Gamer Horizon - Star Wars and EA is a Good Thing. When I think of EA I don’t see “the worst company in America.” I see the
publisher that gave me some of my favorite experiences this generation like
Skate, Mass Effect 2 and to a lesser extent, Mass Effect 3, Dead Space, and
Mirror’s Edge. I see them in the business of entertainment, and like all in
the business, they have some misses minor and major. If Kathleen Kennedy is
okay with the Star Wars brand in their hands, then so am I. I haven’t been
this excited about the future of Star Wars in over a decade.
The only thing harder than watching the Knicks get manhandled by the Pacers is
having to listen to Reggie Miller doing the announcing. You are cruel TNT, just
cruel. The frustration of a Knicks fan is now perfectly portrayed in the social
media: Did JR Smith Miss-
(DidJRSmithMiss) on Twitter. Spoiler alert: Lots of yeses.