5:00 PM, Monday, September 22nd, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Developer and publisher Electronic Arts is one of many corporate partners supporting the "It's On Us" initiative, a public campaign launched this week by President Obama that aims to raise awareness about -- and hopefully curtail -- sexual assault on academic campuses.
Campaign organizers are asking supporters to take a pledge that entails watching for and intervening against potential instances of sexual assault, and the BBC reports that EA intends to advertise the pledge to its customers across the company's online game platforms.
This partnership is in line with EA's growing track record of supporting initiatives that raise awareness about social issues -- last year the company spearheaded a small summit to discuss LGBT issues in the game industry and threw its support behind the inaugural GaymerX conference.
2:00 PM, Friday, September 19th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Slightly weak review scores didn't stop Destiny from becoming a sales juggernaut.
According to the game's publisher Activision, Bungie's new sci-fi shooter sold through, that is to consumers, an estimated $325 million in its first five days. The estimate is derived from "Chart-Track, first parties, retail customer sell-through information and Activision Blizzard internal estimates." The publisher shipped $500 million worth of Destiny product to stores.
People are playing in massive numbers, too, Activision says.
"Destiny fans played more than 100 million hours of the game in the first week. That's on par with the engagement levels of our most popular Call of Duty games, which obviously is an industry leader," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO, Activision Publishing, in a press release. "Millions of gamers are having a great time playing Destiny and can't put down their controllers. And this is just the beginning. Destiny is a platform that will grow and evolve and we will continue to work closely with our partners at Bungie to bring a long line of new experiences and content to life in the game."
Destiny has already added its first major new content, the high-level Vault of Glass raid that is reportedly taking some teams up to 10 hours to complete.
9:00 AM, Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
After making the dates on most of its long-planned rollout of the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast has announced that the last of the first range of releases will be delayed. Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Master's Guide, originally planned for November release, will now ship in December.
The delay is blamed on "an entire additional cycle of design and editing to ensure that the books were as close to perfect as humanly possible" introduced with this new edition of the game. While this effort is touted as a boon for the quality of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual, which are releasing on schedule, it has pushed the production schedule back on the Dungeon Master's Guide. For stores participating in WotC's early release program, the book with have an on sale date of November 28th, with general release following on December 9th.
3:00 PM, Saturday, September 13th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Some Destiny players have been taking advantage of an exploit which allows them infinite ammo.
The glitch allows users to fire continuously without ever reloading.
Bungie has yet to announce how it will deal with the exploit.
The developer previously announced that Destiny will roll out two new events in the first week of release, starting with a new Crucible playlist from today through the weekend.
On September 16, a Level 26 raid named 'Vault of Glass' will be available on Venus. In addition, two more events are coming later in the month.
Destiny is a persistent world shooter on consoles
Activision claims the online game is the biggest new gaming franchise in history, selling a combined $500m through retailers and digital stores. It has helped push PS4 sales past the one million mark in the UK.
Destiny was released on PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on September 9 worldwide.
6:00 PM, Friday, September 12th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Batman: Arkham Knight will be exclusive on PlayStation 4 in Japan, it has been announced.
Warner Bros Home Entertainment Japan (via DualShockers) revealed that the Rocksteady Studios sequel to Arkham City will launch solely on the Sony platform on July 2, 2015.
Batman Arkham Knight sees the Dark Knight return to next-gen consoles and PC
However, it did not specify if it would be a timed or permanent exclusive.
The Japanese version of the game will be fully localised and include Japanese voice acting.
The news follows the announcement that Batman: Arkham Knight will launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC on June 2, 2015 in Europe and North America.
Rocksteady Studios' final game in the Batman Arkham series will be set a year after Arkham City. It centres around the evacuation of Gotham after the Scarecrow seeds the city with bombs containing a new strain of his fear gas.
The game will feature expanded combat with in-air attacks, throw counters and fear takedowns, but multiplayer support has been omitted.
A retailer recently teased the existence of Red Hood story downloadable content.
4:00 PM, Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Building on last year's DC HeroClix: Superman Quick-Start Kit, WizKids will release a similar Marvel-based kit, which will debut on Free Comic Book Day, May 2, 2015.
The Marvel HeroClix: The Avengers Quick-Start Kit is a non-collectible two-figure pack designed as an easy and fast introduction for store owners to sell to potential players. The package contains specially designed Captain America and Iron Man figures, with character cards, a Quick-Start rules document, and a map game board.
The Marvel HeroClix: The Avengers Quick Start Kit will be released as two SKUs, one as WizKids' Free Comic Book Day product, and another "regular" release. Both products will be identical, and the sell-through version will carry a $4.99 MSRP.
The Quick Start rules focus on the core concepts of the game: how to read the combat dial, basic movement and attacking, and how damage is dealt to other figures in the game. The game cards include descriptions of how the powers work for quick reference during initial play.
If WizKids follows the pattern from last year's DC HeroClix: Superman Quick-Start Kit, the two figures will be valued at 100 points each, in order for two new players to use a single set during a match. Both figures will also have a purple ring on the Combat Dial, meaning they are not legal for tournament play, since the product is intended as an inexpensive entry point for new players.
Much like the DC HeroClix: Superman set, which was released last September, the set is intended as an evergreen, non-collectible product.
3:00 PM, Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have announced that the upcoming LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released later this year on November 11 in America and November 14 globally. In addition, the cover art for the game has been released and can be viewed below!
In LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the Caped Crusader joins forces with the super heroes of the DC Comics Universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Using the power of the Lantern Rings, Brainiac shrinks worlds to add to his twisted collection of miniature cities from across the universe. Now the greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains must unite and journey to different Lantern Worlds to collect the Lantern Rings and stop Brainiac before it's too late.
Players will unlock more than 150 unique characters from the DC Comics universe, including members of the Justice League and LEGO big figures such as Killer Croc, Solomon Grundy and many more. Fans of all ages will be able to control their favorite heroes and villains with new gadgets and abilities. Brainiac's mind controlling abilities and the power of the Lantern rings bring unexpected twists to the classic characters' personalities.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo WiiU, Nintendo 3DS, and PC.
5:00 PM, Monday, August 25th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Activision says this will be the final gameplay trailer for Bungie's new shooter Destiny before it launches, so they've pulled out all the stops and created a longish trailer that works to build hype by showing off a variety of Destiny's enemies, locations, and gameplay styles, as well as hitting you with some text about its awards and such.
Sure, a lot of the footage is recycled from previous trailers, but the hype machine for this game is already running on all cylinders and this can only add fuel.
Destiny will be out Sept. 9 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
12:00 PM, Sunday, August 24th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson
Award-winning game designer Donald X. Vaccarino (Kingdom Builder, Dominion)'s card-drafting game Greed was on display at the Queen Games booth at last week's Gen Con. Another Kickstarter-funded project for Queen, it is expected to ship into the trade channels soon.
Queen Games USA's Executive Director Keith Blume described the game. "You take the role of a late-60's crime boss, and basically try to acquire the most wealth and become the crime boss of the city. That's one that's a little bit darker theme for us, relative to the usual family fair. It's been getting a lot of play here."
Players can invest in various legal business "holdings", hire "thugs" to collect revenue, and engage in criminal activities against other players. Game play is simultaneous, with players drafting and playing cards each round at the same time. Greed can be played by two to five players and plays in about 45 minutes.
Queen's Kickstarter drive for Greed gathered $26,208 in pledges from 822 backers ($31.88/backer average), well over the modest $5,000 goal. MSRP was not announced.