Category: News

Gayming at the Powerhouse!

Hey friends! Crinj here with your gaming news roundup ahead of the show this week.

Borderlands 3 Announced

Gearbox Software has announced Borderlands 3 at PAX East in Boston. The announcement trailer showed off four new playable Vault Hunters, cell-shaded visuals, wide open loot ’n’ shoot areas, and over one billion guns. The original Borderlands is also being re-released as Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition with new features including 4K resolution, HDR lighting and a Borderlands 2-esque minimap. This remaster, and more details about Borderlands 3 are to be released on April 4th.

GOG and CD Projekt Red Expand

The owner of Good Old Games, and developer of The Witcher, CD Projekt has revealed plans to create around 250 new jobs, despite a fall in profits. The company’s revenue dropped over 20 percent from 2017 to 2018. However, CD Projekt’s president, Adam Kicinski said that last year represented the “most intensive period in the group’s history,” regarding its focus on creative capabilities. CD Projekt has teams currently developing Cyberpunk 2077, as well as a yet to be announced project targeting mobile devices.

Queerly Represent Me to bring Gayming to MELT

Non-profit organisation, Queerly Represent Me have announced plans to work with the Brisbane Powerhouse to present a Gayming event as part of the Festival of Queer Arts and Culture, MELT. The event will feature panels about queer experiences, and a curated collection of games. More information about Gayming will be released on the Brisbane Powerhouse website on April 12th, and expressions of Interest are open to queer individuals wanting to contribute until May 17th here.

Another Mini Console?

SEGA is throwing their hat into the mini-retro console ring with the SEGA Mega Drive Mini. Including 2 controllers and HD video output, this mini system is set to contain 40 games, with Ecco the Dolphin, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Sonic the Hedgehog already confirmed. The console is available to preorder now, and will release on September 19th.

That’s all for now! For more gaming updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @ZedGamesAU, and subscribe to the podcast!

Zed Games Weekly News Update 20 – 27 March

Hey all! Adrian here with your weekly Zed Games news update.

EA Layoffs

EA has laid-off around 350 of its 9000 employees due to organisational changes. CEO Andrew Wilson stated that these layoffs will allow EA to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs of our players.”

He went on to say that, “as part of this, we have made changes to our marketing and publishing organization, our operations teams, and we are ramping down our current presence in Japan and Russia as we focus on different ways to serve our players in those markets.”

EA says it will look after affected staff and help them transition to new roles, but they haven’t detailed how. This news comes just over a month after EA laid-off up to 50 staff members at the Australian FireMonkeys studio.

Apple Arcade

Apple is launching a subscription-based game service called Apple Arcade. The service will provide unlimited access to curated titles from the App Store from partners like Sega, Konami, Disney, Sumo Digital, and Cartoon Network. Apple says it’ll deliver over 100 exclusive titles for Apple Arcade’s launch by “contributing to the development costs and working closely with creators to bring the games to life.”

Games included in the service will be playable across iOS, MacOS and Apple TV, with the option to also play offline. Apple Arcade will launch in over 150 countries this Spring, but pricing details are yet to be confirmed.

State of Play

PlayStation delivered its first-ever State of Play livestream, featuring a slew of upcoming game announcements. Sony doubled-down on support for PlayStation VR, announcing Marvel’s Iron Man VR – and in perhaps the best-ever redemption arc for a game, No Man’s Sky Beyond is receiving a super slick-looking VR mode.

A first-person shooter follow-up to London Heist, Blood & Truth is releasing on the 28th of May,. We also scored a new look at the narratives of Mortal Kombat 11, Days Gone and Concrete Genie.

New Nindies!

Nintendo’s announced a swathe of indie games coming to the Nintendo Switch in a recent Nintendo Direct livestream. Hard-as-nails platformer Cuphead, Zelda rhythm-based spinoff Cadence of Hyrule, and my personal favourite shown at PAX AUS 2018, Neo Cab, are all coming to the platform.

Other titles include Overland, My Friend Pedro, The Red Lantern, Dark Wood, Stranger Things 3, and more. Don’t forget to hit up the Nintendo eShop and support your indie faves!

That’s all for now! For more gaming updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @ZedGamesAU!

The week in news: 21/2/2013

 

Sony has officially announced the PS4 in a press conference held this morning in New York City. The system will be launching in the US and Japan at the end of 2013.  Release date information for other territories, including Australia was not given. While the final form of the console itself was not revealed,  we did get a glimpse at the specs and functionality of the new console.

The PS4 has a “supercharged PC architecture”, which will make developing games more straightforward.   The console will feature a sleep mode, similar to those seen on portable devices like the 3DS and PSVita.   This will allow games to be resumed within seconds of booting up the console, at the exact point you left off.   Sharing gameplay footage will be a big focus of the console, an always on recording function and a dedicated “Share” button will allow players to upload and stream video of their games with ease.   The controller will be the Dual Shock 4, the dimensions of which are similar to the existing PS3 controllers.  Notable changes include a trackpad on the face of the controller and a headphone jack, as well as the “Share” button.    The console will also feature a built-in motion sensor that resembles the Move and Kinect.    Games from previous generations will be playable via cloud streaming, and full cross-play functionality was announced for the PS Vita.   The price of the console was not given.

 

Additionally, a number of next gen titles were announced or demonstrated at the conference. inFAMOUS 3, Killzone: Shadowfall and Drive club were the first party titles announced.  Activision announced Destiny will be a PS4 title, and will receive exclusive content.  Braid creator Jonathan Blow was in attendance to show some footage of his new game, The Witness, which will be a PS4 exclusive for the launch period.  Ubisoft confirmed Watch Dogs will be a PS4 title, and showed more footage.  Blizzard announced Diablo 3 would be making the transition to the PS4.     A sizzle reel demonstrated that 70 third party developers are currently creating games for the PS4.

 

Sony has announced that the PS Vita will be receiving a price cut in Japan from the 28th of February. The price will drop from the equivalent of $329 to $213 for both the Wi-fi and 3G models.  No announcement has been made yet for a price cut in Europe, America or Australia, but this is a good indicator that it could be coming.

 

Bungie, the acclaimed developers of the original HALO trilogy, have made an official announcement about their next game. Destiny will be a first person shooter set in an expansive, persistent world for 360, PS3 and PS4.   Co-operative multiplayer will be a key focus in the game, which will be set in a brand-new, sci fi inspired universe.  Though the world is persistent, Bungie have clarified that it is not an MMO and will not require an ongoing subscription fee.

 

A lawsuit between EA and Zynga has been dismissed. EA originally filed charges against Zynga, claiming that The Ville was so similar to The Sims Social that it was a copyright infringement.  Zynga countersued, calling the claim “baseless”.  At the time, EA released a statement saying that the lawsuit was filed in order to set a precedent that would prevent blatant rip-offs in the game industry.   While the details of the settlement are undisclosed, Zynga issued a statement saying “EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California.”.

 

Watch Dogs, Ubisoft’s impressive hi-tech open world game that arguably stole the show at last years e3, could arrive for the current generation of consoles at the end of the year. The game featured such striking visuals that many were led to believe it was a next gen title.   Leaked marketing material has revealed that the title is currently scheduled for a release at the end of this year for the PS3, PS4, 360 and Wii U.

Triva Night @ SLQ

This Wednesday the 20th of February, the Zed Games crew will be hosting an awesome Trivia Night at the State Library of QLD!   It’s gonna be a fun night and we’d love to meet some of our listeners as well!  Here’s the official blurb:

 

Sure, you may have completed Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, but how well do you know gaming? Flex your games brain at Garage Game’s trivia night. Bring along a crack team or join one on the night. Prizes and a cash bar will be available.

Maximum of 8 people per team.

 

It starts at 6PM and should run until around 9.  As well as prizes, the winners will get a huge shout out on our show next week.  Bathe in the glory!

 

Book here:

http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/calevents/general/learning/garage-gamer/trivia-night

Friday news

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Queensland Government has passed complimentary legislation allowing R18+ rated games to be legally sold in Queensland. The changes to the legislation were enacted at a federal level in January and were passed by all other states and territories at the same time.     The delay means that Queensland was officially the last western territory to create an adult rating for video games.   The first R18+ rated game expected to hit the shelves will be God of War: Ascension for the PS3.

 

A lawsuit filed against Activision by Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose has been thrown out of court. Rose filed the claim in 2010, stating that he licensed the song “Welcome To The Jungle” to Activision for use in the game Guitar Hero 3 on the condition that the game did not feature former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, or his new band Velvet Revolver.  When Guitar Hero 3 was released, not only was Slash in the game, he also appeared on the cover, and the soundtrack contained three Velvet Revolver songs.   The judge dismissed the lawsuit because it was filed too late, almost three years after the release of the game.

 

Rayman Legends has been delayed for a second time. Originally slated to be a launch title for Nintendo’s Wii U late last year, the game was previously delayed until April but has now been pushed back again and is set for  release in September this year.   First announced as a Wii U exclusive, it’s been revealed that the cause for the delay is so that the game can be simultaneously released for the Wii U,  the XBox 360 and the PS3.

 

Ron Gilbert, the creator of Monkey Island, will open the first ever Australian Penny Arcade Expo in July this year. Gilbert will deliver a keynote address on the first morning of the expo, which is commonly known as PAX and is being held in Melbourne.  This year will mark the first time that PAX has been held outside of the United States.

 

Journey, the acclaimed PS3 exclusive, missed out on a Grammy award. It was nominated in the category of Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media but lost out to the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Journey is the only game to have ever received a Grammy nomination.

 

Candi’s Quickies:

Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour films and X-Men 3, has signed on to produce a television series based on Farmville.

 

Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, founders of  Bioware (responsible for Dragon Age and Mass Effect) are set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers awards next month.

 

A Youtube app for the PS3 has been released in Europe and Australia.  The app will allow users to view their subscriptions and control the app using a smartphone or tablet.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Announced!

CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has officially been confirmed and is already slated as a “must see next generation RPG”.

The game is said to cover three different plot levels:

  • Lowest Level: Free-form activities such as crafting, monster slaying (which seems to be more extensive in the third iteration), and going on quests. (There are over 100 hours of hand-scripted quests. These include helping villages and engineering the succession of the Skellige kings. Though, I think the latter would apply to the Next Level.)
  • Next Level: The political situation of the Nilfgaardian invasion is resolved through a core plot line for each area, including Skellige, Novigrad, and No Man’s Land.
  • Final Level: Geralt’s main storyline, his search for his loved ones, and the chase of the Wild Hunt.

Outside of completing missions or mini-games, there will be no chapters or acts to slow you down. It’s set in a world that is said to be a whopping 20% bigger than Skyrim and will take 30-40 minutes to completely cross on horseback without a single loading screen. There are hugely significant weather effects that could influence your travel, too – clouds are fully modded as real and volumetric instead of being paint on a skybox.

On the ground, monsters and bandits alike will savagely attack anyone they deem hostile. If you go to a town and choose not to save them from attacking from bandits, the village might end up abandoned when you next return.

Along with an enormous world that Geralt seems to have significant influence over, crafting, combat and inventory systems have all been completely re-worked. It is set to release in 2014 and will be the conclusion to the trilogy. Pick up this months Game Informer magazine for more information!

Friday News

A video released by Sony on their blog today has hinted that the PS4 may be unveiled as early as the 20th of February. The date has been set aside for a Playstation conference event to be held in New York City.   While the video only mentions a date and not much else, text attached to the video reads “see the future” and “be the first to know”, so we can be forgiven for jumping to conclusions here!

 

 

The World of Warcraft film adaptation now has a director attached to it.  Duncan Jones, director of Source Code and the son of David Bowie, will direct the film which has been scripted by Blood Diamond writer Charles Leavitt.   The film has a budget of $100 million.

 

 

Blizzard has released a video demonstrating the social features of the upcoming Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm.   The game has a release date of the 12th of March 2013.

 

 

Rockstar has today announced the official release date for Grand Theft Auto V.  Originally expected in April 2013, the revised date is the 17th of September 2013. GTA V will be available for the PS3 and 360, PC and Wii U versions are yet to be announced. Below is the official statement from Rockstar’s website: 

 

Dear all

Today, we have an official release date to share with you: Grand Theft Auto V will arrive in stores on September 17, 2013.

We know this is about four months later than originally planned and we know that this short delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but, trust us, it will be worth the extra time. GTAV is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require.

To all Grand Theft Auto fans, please accept our apologies for the delay, and our promise that the entire team here is working very hard to make the game all it can be. We are doing all we can to help ensure it will meet if not exceed your expectations come September – we thank you for your support and patience.

Yours,
The GTA Team

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nintendo Direct Announces New Zelda Games

Nintendo Direct has officially announced a few things that might make us all rethink our doubts about the Wii U – for starters, they’ll be releasing two Zelda games in the upcoming years.

One of these new games will be a remake of the GameCube original, Wind Waker, in high definition for the Wii U. A series of bright screenshots have been released and the game is set to come out in the middle of the year. Nintendo announced that the reason for the remake is an estimated long development time for an entirely new Zelda game.

While details on the new game are quite sparse, Eiji Aonuma, the director of Legend of Zelda, announced that they have a focus of re-thinking the conventions of Zelda games. He specifically mentioned that they would like to reconsider the need to do dungeons in a specific order, and the need to play alone.

The Wii U console will also see many worthwhile updates this year, such as cutting down load times and the time it takes to get back to the menu. An update in Spring will also bring in the Wii U Virtual Console service.

THQ closes, IP’s sold off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, THQ auctioned off most of it’s IP’s to several other developers and announced that they will be closing the company for good.  Here’s the full text of the memo that was sent to THQ employees, via Kotaku:

 

 

To All THQ Employees:

We now have the answers we’ve been seeking through our financial restructuring and Chapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auction that occurred t:

  • Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business, along with Clearlake’s offer, and numerous offers for separate assets.
  • During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority of the company.
  • Shortly, we will, present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which must concur with our assessment.
  • The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :
  • Sega agreed to purchase Relic
  • Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro
  • Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront
  • Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve and
  • Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

We expect these sales to close this week.

Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.

What this means for employees

We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered employment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners may intend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the new ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the new owners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your new employment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms of your employment with THQ.

If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that your position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to be employed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficient resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next steps in their careers.

We know you will have many questions about this news. We’ll be meeting tomorrow when we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions you have. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questions that may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.

A personal note

The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative, artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we have accomplished despite today’s outcome.

It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. While the company will cease to exist, we are heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. We were hoping that the entire company would remain intact, but we expect to hear good news from each of the separate entities that will be operating as part of new organizations.

For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, we are confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as you take the next steps in your career.

Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Brian Farrell Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin President