Archived News:

Monday, Aug 10, 2015

Blizzard Diablo Job Posting

Though it has a headline saying "Art Director, Unannounced Project," this Blizzard job posting also has a sub-heading that flat out says "Diablo," which seems like a pretty strong hint about what game series this is for. They also list the following as one of the pluses for the position: "A passion for games with a deep understanding of the Diablo franchise." The overview of the listing says: "Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of the most epic games in the world, is seeking an exceptionally skilled and passionate art director to help develop Blizzard’s next hit game!" Thanks GameInformer.com.

Funcom Seeking Help

GamesIndustry.biz says Norwegian developer Funcom is "actively seeking interested parties for discussions surrounding a possible investment, acquisition, merger, or any other available options." They say the company has debt to resolve by next June, but the recent relaunch of LEGO Minifigures Online has fallen short of expectations. "The game is currently not meeting internal revenue forecasts," Funcom said several weeks after the re-launch. "This is mostly due to low sales on the PC platform. Sales on the iOS platform have performed better, mainly due to the featuring in the Apple Store during the launch week, but as the price point of the game on this platform is lower, these additional sales are not enough to compensate for the low sales on PC for the time being."

Take-Two Financials

Take-Two Interactive Software Fiscal First Quarter 2016 results are now public, showing what they call "strong" performance as non-GAAP net revenue grew 142% in the period to $366.4 Million. The highlights include word that "Grand Theft Auto V has now sold-in over 54 million units across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC." Here's a summary of the financial data:
GAAP Financial Results
For fiscal first quarter 2016, GAAP net revenue grew 119% to $275.3 million, as compared to $125.4 million for fiscal first quarter 2015. GAAP net loss was $67.0 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, as compared to $35.4 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, for the year-ago period. GAAP results for fiscal first quarter 2016 reflect the deferral of net revenue and cost of goods sold related to sell-in of certain titles during the quarter.

During fiscal first quarter 2016, the Company’s cash and short-term investments balance increased to $1.191 billion as of June 30, 2015, up from $1.098 billion as of March 31, 2015.

Non-GAAP Financial Results
For fiscal first quarter 2016, Non-GAAP net revenue grew 142% to $366.4 million, as compared to $151.6 million for the year-ago period. Non-GAAP net income increased to $34.2 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, as compared to Non-GAAP net loss of $11.2 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the year-ago period.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch Notes

The BioWare blog has the notes for patch nine for Dragon Age: Inquisition, though they don't specify when this next update will come to BioWare's RPG sequel, and this page offers the notes in languages other than English. In addition to the changes listed, they also note the patch will introduce Pala the Silent Sister, a new playable multiplayer character. Here are the notes:
Fixed an issue where resetting options of any category could also reset the game difficulty.
Fixed an issue which could cause Multiplayer potions to be consumed if target mode was entered and cancelled.
Fixed an issue which could cause the Yavanalis staff headpiece to not display in Multiplayer.
Added a hot key for Salvage in Multiplayer.
Fixed some issues that caused some localized text to not fit in their proper display areas.
Fixed an issue that could cause XP and other stats to double in Multiplayer.
[PC] Fixed an issue which could cause on-screen flickering when using AMD Crossfire dual GPU and Mantle.
[Xbox One] Fixed unnecessary “online connection” popup at game launch
[PS4] Fixed an issue which could cause the game to become unresponsive when losing connection while joining a full Multiplayer session.

Square Enix Open to Anachronox Pitches Now; Tomb Raider Eventually

The Square Enix Collective program to support indie developer pitches for older Square Enix IPs should grow over time, company president and CEO Phil Rogers told GameInformer at Gamescom. They note that Gex, Fear Effect, and Anachronox are among the franchises currently open to this process, though there's no indication that development is underway for any of them. At the show Rogers told them they plan on accepting treatments on other IPs eventually. "Getting treatments? This is what I’d love to see more of," he says. "In 20 years or 10 years, to have a team say, ‘I’ve got a great idea for Legacy of Kain or Final Fantasy or Tomb Raider.’ We’re being very careful. We’re very clear about the IPs that we would like to give to people."

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Previews

  • Earthlock: Festival of Magic on MyGamer.

Guild Wars 2 Adding PvP Leagues

ArenaNet congratulates The Abjured, winners of the Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series in Cologne. They also take the opportunity to announce new PvP leagues as the culmination of their plans to revamp PvP play in the MMORPG sequel they will launch later this year. Here's an intro to how this will work:
The launch of PvP Leagues in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns sets the stage for the future of top competition in the game. PvP Leagues will introduce six divisions, from division one, Amber, where every player will start out, all the way to the top Legendary division. Divisions will be broken up into tiers, and each tier has several pips. To earn a bump in tier players must earn pips that they can acquire by winning matches outright or putting in impressive performances, depending on the skill level of their opponents. In divisions two and three, players can lose pips they’ve earned but they will not lose tiers. Once players reach division four and five, where competition is expected to really heat up, both pips and tiers will be at stake based on performance.

PvP Leagues will incentivise competition with unique rewards including a new legendary back item, the legendary backpack. Along the way, participants can also earn badges for their character nameplates that change as they move into higher divisions. There is also the opportunity to work towards the Wings of Glory by earning league tokens that can be exchanged for different levels of wings to display. ArenaNet plans on adding new items in the future, and new items will always be offered for league tokens at a discount to encourage continuous practice and play. Guilds are also getting a boost with the introduction of Guild Teams in PvP Leagues. Guilds who form PvP teams will be able to track their progress on Guild Team Leaderboards, which will be based on the Elo system as skill-based comparisons between teams. Ratings will decay over time, meaning Guild Teams will need to stay active in PvP League play to maintain their ranks.

Rainbow Six: Siege Beta Keys?

This website is offering closed beta keys for Rainbow Six: Siege, the next installment in the tactical shooter series. DSOGaming says this is offering keys for all, though the presentation suggests this is related to RTX 2015, which was held over the weekend. We cannot test this right now, as using the form return an error saying the site is "broken," so we cannot say if this will eventually work or not.

Energy Hook Early Access This Week

This trailer shows off the latest progress on Energy Hook, celebrating plans on releasing this though Steam Early Access on Thursday. This game from Spider-Man 2 developer Jamie Fristrom of Happion Labs beat its one dollar Kickstarter goal by $41K, and now this will be released on August 13th at 7:30 pm EDT. They plan to kick off a live launch party 30 minutes before the release on Twitch. Here's part of the game's Steam description:
Energy Hook athletes use their jury-rigged gravity beams to perform death-defying stunts. Fall great distances and use your momentum to launch yourself to dizzying heights! Run on walls, and perform loops, spins, and aerial tricks!

You play Delilah, Energy Hook athlete who is making a name for herself in a future transformed by gravity tech, teleportation, and climate problems. By proving yourself on the obstacle courses set up by the Energy Hook underground you'll gain street cred, giving you access to better gear and new levels.

Energy Hook challenges you to chain together sequence of tricks, wall-runs, and stylish moves for massive scores; hurtle through time challenges by using tricks to gain speed; and seek out collectibles hidden throughout the levels.
Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

The Sims 4 returns to the top spot on the GFK Chart-Track chart of the 30 bestselling games in the U.K. for the week ending August 8th, bumping Football Manager 2015 to second place. On the all platforms chart Rare Replay debuts at number one, dropping LEGO Jurassic World to number two. Here's their write-up:
Released on Tuesday ‘Rare Replay’ enters the chart at No1 - the first Xbox One exclusive title ever to achieve this feat (as Titanfall was also available on PC at launch).

It is also the first Rare developed title to reach No1 since Banjo-Kazooie on N64 back in 1998 and is the first entirely budget priced All Formats No1 since Wii Fit Plus back in W45 2009. It does not have much competition this week with no other new releases of note to give it a run for its money. Sales of ‘Lego Jurassic World’ drop by 21% as it falls to No2 with ‘Batman Arkham Knight’ (-22%) also down by a similar margin, slipping one place to No3. ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ (-8%) climbs two places to No4 on the tail end of last week’s promotion, pushing it ahead of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (-22%) which slides two places to No5. EA titles ‘FIFA 15’ and ‘Battlefield Hardline’ both see sales drops of 25% at No’s 6 and 7 respectively. No1 two weeks ago, ‘Rory McIlroy PGA Tour’ (-42%) drops another four places, down to No8, ahead of another sports title ‘F1 2015’ (-40%) at No9. The Top 10 is rounded off by the evergreen ‘Minecraft: Xbox Edition’ (-7%) which bounces back into the Top 10 again, up two places to No10.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I think I'm in a significant minority here, but I liked the second season of True Detective better than the first one. Both seasons had significant issues, and there are lots of things I'd change about the second one, but in the end I found the characters strong, the show was compelling and interesting throughout, and I thought it made a better payoff on all that it set up than season one did.

R.I.P.: Frank Gifford, husband of Kathie Lee Gifford, dies at 84 at Connecticut home.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: X-Men- Mutant Apocalypse.
Sneaky Stanley.
Link: 6 Dumb Aspects Of The Original Star Wars Trilogy You Forgot.
Story: Bill Murray to Appear in 'Ghostbusters.'
Images: 3D printed Mario Bros warp pipes for Venus Fly Traps.
Cannot Unsee — Things That Look Like Donald Trump.
Media: German Cranes Just Showing Off.
Structure Fire from Firefighter's helmet cam.
Wood burning with electricity.
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