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Why Square Enix uses DRM

Square Enix uses digital rights management to earn profits and protect its intellectual property, Square Enix America's senior manager of business and legal affairs Adam Sullivan told TorrentFreak. Square Enix has "a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs," Sullivan said, and it employs DRM to further that goal. "The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit," he said. Though he acknowledged that some players have problems and there is "no perfect solution yet," DRM also has other benefits that help developers. "When F2P began trending, lots of people thought it would be the death of DRM. I remember talking with one F2P developer who couldn't imagine why hackers would want to attack his game, since it was free and all. Two months later they...
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Alien: Isolation video explores its 'low-fi sci-fi' design, straight out of 1979

Alien: Isolation is designed to look like the "low-fi sci-fi" universe in Ridley Scott's Alien film, and a video released today on the game's official YouTube channel shows how the developers are recreating that aesthetic. Press play above to see how The Creative Assembly is recreating the world of the 1979 movie for the upcoming first-person survival horror game, in which period-limited technology will affect gameplay. "This is a a game set in the future but based on the past," creative lead Al Hope said. "It's a place which we can really relate to. It's also a world where technology won't save you." Alien: Isolation is headed to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC on Oct. 7. For more on the game and its developers, be sure to read our interview with...
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Toys for Bob and the story behind Skylanders

Beasts are peeking out of every nook and cranny in the office, a crazy infestation of plastic chaos.The figurines sit on shelves, hang on walls, tumble on desks in states of unpainted nakedness, dismantled and incoherent. They gurn, snarl and claw in an infinity of static poses. This is the place where the little plastic creatures of Activision's breakout monster hit Skylanders are conceived and birthed, the headquarters of Toys for Bob, a tiki-pirate-ship-themed ex-aircraft hanger in Marin County, California. Since its introduction back in 2011, the Skylanders video game and toy series has generated upwards of $2 billion in lifetime sales. It is one of the top 20 game franchises of all time, with 175 million toy sales. The Skylanders monsters have captured the imaginations of...
Review
77 Comments
6.5

Trials Fusion review: back to the future

The first words you hear in Trials Fusion are "Welcome to the future! Man! Machine! The future!" You hear these words in the game's main menu, within a theme song on constantly loop. They're "sung" over a sci-fi, synthy backing track as a way to introduce you to this new, futuristic setting. It's hammy and over the top, but it also feels equally lazy, like it's the easiest way to convey this setting in the fewest amount of words. This is fitting, since in so many words, this is Trials Fusion. It cruises on the legacy of its impressive predecessor, offering up mostly the same motorcycle platforming gameplay in a dull package. Fusion cruises on the legacy of its impressive predecessor Despite appearances, Trials Fusion is a platforming game. If you've never played a Trials game...
News
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Bungie fires Halo composer Martin O'Donnell  (update)

Halo series and Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell was fired by Bungie's board of directors last week, the composer revealed via his personal Twitter account tonight. I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014. — Marty O'Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014 O'Donnell composed music for Oni, as well as the Myth and Halo series. He joined Bungie in 2000 as audio director after working on Myth 2, Oni and Halo: Combat Evolved's scores on a contract basis with his company TotalAudio. During his time at Bungie, O'Donnell directed voice talent and sound design for the Halo trilogy, Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST. He often collaborated with TotalAudio partner and now in-house audio design lead at Bungie, Mike Salvatori. ...
News
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Titanfall getting namable loadouts, filterable challenges and more

Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment categorizes free game updates into three categories, and game director Steve Fukuda took to the game's official website to tell players what features to expect in each — including loadouts you can name and filters to search through Challenges. The first-person shooter's first type of update is designed to "tend the garden and keep the weeds out," Fukuda wrote, and they take the form of "minor tweaks and fixes" like weapon balance and matchmaking changes. He refers to the second group as "convenience features," like the recent Party Colors feature that lets players identify others in the game and its lobby. "The next update will bring more convenience features such as: the ability to rename your custom loadouts and to make custom...
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Culture
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Snoop Dogg voice pack coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts April 22

A Call of Duty: Ghosts Snoop Dogg Voice Pack will be available on Xbox Live on April 22, according to a video developer Infinity Ward released. The video shows snippets of voice-over work the rapper provided, including lines like "Rack up points by reaching the enemy portal, you dig," "Squad member active — my brother from another mother," and "Homies out the joint, it's party time." "What interested me most about the project is my voice can be connected with a game that's so hip and so hood," Snoop Dogg said. "It says a lot. It's associated with greatness." The voice pack will be released for other platforms at a later date.
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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets free 'Zomboss Down' expansion today

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare's latest expansion, Zomboss Down, is now available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, developer PopCap Games announced today. Zomboss Down is the second free expansion for Garden Warfare, following March's Garden Variety add-on. The western-themed DLC includes eight new characters, such as the Law Pea and Sun Pharaoh, as well as a new multiplayer map for the Gardens and Graveyards mode called Cactus Canyon. The expansion also bumps up the level cap from 20 to 30. You can check out a trailer for Zomboss Down above, and read our full review of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for more on the multiplayer shooter.
News
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There Came an Echo's voice controls may be the best way to play

Using voice commands in games isn't something that gamers generally get excited about, usually because the commands fail too often or because speaking at a screen makes players feel silly. Yet Los Angeles-based Iridium Studios decided to design an entire game to be played with voice commands, and it's a real-time strategy title to boot — a genre known for control schemes that tend to be complex and work best with a keyboard and mouse. Some might think that full voice navigation would force developers to keep their game simple, but we didn't find that to be the case in a demo of Iridium's There Came an Echo during PAX East 2014. Iridium raised more than $115,000 on Kickstarter for There Came an Echo in early 2013, and from the start, the studio pitched it as a title built from the...
Video
6 Comments

Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut - Overview video

Space: The abandoned frontier.Few genres have fallen off the face of the Earth harder than space combat games. For better and worse, Strike Suit Zero is a revival of the form, bringing the omnidirectional dogfighting (cool!) and repetitive mission structure (less cool!) that the genre was occasionally known for into the modern age. Of course, it's not without innovation; the addition of winged mechs and frequent Itano Circuses are both very, very welcome here. In today's Overview, Arthur and I try out the game's recently released Director's Cut, which hit Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last week. We also discuss our hopes that space games will soon have their Renaissance, and briefly ponder the career trajectory of one Freddie Prinze Jr.
News
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The Division dev on Watch Dogs: it's 'tremendously important' knowing when to delay

Delaying a game may incur additional costs and fan ire, but in the end it's important for a developer to recognize when a game needs additional incubation time for quality purposes, Tom Clancy's The Division managing director David Polfeldt told The Examiner. According to Polfeldt, it is "tremendously important" that developers and publishers know when to take a hit and delay a game. He said that Ubisoft's stock shares fell 25 percent the day the company announced its highly-anticipated open-world hacking game Watch Dogs had been delayed from October 2013 into 2014. "It takes so much courage to live through that day and still think that was a good decision," he said. "So for us in the development [side], that's an important message that ultimately the management will back up the goals...
News
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Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade MMO pre-order packs detailed

Players eager to get their hands on upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade will have the option to pre-order founder packs stuffed with in-game goodies sometime in the next few months, reports Massively. In an email sent out to the game's followers, developer Behaviour Interactive detailed what players can expect in these founders packs. All packs will include full access to Eternal Crusade when it launches as well as access to all four playable races. Founders packs will be available in tiers, with each containing varying versions of the following: squad emblems, titles and other cosmetic customization options; weapon and armor skins; decorations for space ships; vehicles exclusive to founders pack pre-orders; unique accessories and...
Report
7 Comments

From gatekeepers to guns for hire: The new role of indie game publishers

The role of a publisher used to be simple, although the business itself is complex. They would fund your game, they would make sure it was released on consoles or the PC and in exchange they would often own the intellectual property behind the game and take a cut of profits. You needed a publisher to get on consoles and to make sure your game found an audience. They held the keys to the kingdom. This is no longer the case, and the idea of what a publisher does or doesn't do, or whether they're ever needed for smaller developers, is rapidly evolving. "We are a publisher for developers that don’t need one, and I think that’s the first thing everyone needs to know: You don’t need one," Nigel Lowrie, of Devolver Digital, told Polygon. "Once you’ve established that, I think...
Culture
30 Comments

Can you play Pong with Titanfall's vortex shield? Yes, say mythbusters

One month after its launch, and after thousands of hours spent playing the game, certain "myths" have emerged about Titanfall. This video busts a couple of them, but it confirms that the vortex shield can be used to "play" a kind of Pong between two titans. If two titans have the shield equipped and charged, they may use it to infinitely pass a rocket back and forth, as YouTube's DefendTheHouse demonstrates. But a titan cannot melee a flyer. And it cannot destroy a dropship when falling from orbit - unless the dropship is close enough to take splash damage from its impact. DefendTheHouse does mythbusting episodes for other popular series, including Grand Theft Auto 5, Halo 4, and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
News
32 Comments

Xbox One update rolls out tonight with friends notifications, Kinect refinements, headset adapter improvements

The Xbox One April update will begin rolling out to systems tonight and over the next few days, according to an announcement on the Major Nelson blog. The latest update initially rolled out last month to users in Microsoft's beta program, an initiative that lets console owners test system updates prior to their official launch, and includes friend notifications, Blu-ray 50 Hz support, Kinect voice and motion improvements and more. The friends notifications will allow users to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live. According to Microsoft, friends notifications were made a priority in the April update as it was one of the most frequently requested features.The upcoming roll out will also identify friends in multiplayer games in the friends list and the ability to view...
Video
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Child of Light's latest trailer walks viewers through the world of Lemuria

The latest trailer for Ubisoft's fairy tale-inspired Japanese-style role-playing game Child of Light introduces players to Lemuria, the world in which young pink-haired heroine Aurora sets off on her journey. The video above briefly flies through a handful of environments Aurora will travel through — villages, forests filled with insect-like enemies, damp caves, rocky cliffs and ancient ruins. The little girl will run, float and fly through this world, collecting treasures, fighting off beasts and looking for a way to return home to her father. Child of Light will launch on April 3 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Check out previous videos detailing the game's artwork and soundtrack, as well as our interview from PAX East with Child of...
News
66 Comments

Trials Fusion getting day-one patch on Xbox One to raise resolution

Trials Fusion developer RedLynx will release a launch-day patch for the Xbox One version of the game in order to bump up its resolution, reports Eurogamer. Ubisoft, Trials Fusion's publisher, told Eurogamer that the racing title currently runs at 60 frames per second in 800p on Xbox One, and the patch will bring it to 900p. On the other hand, the PlayStation 4 version of the game runs in 60 fps at 1080p. RedLynx had previously indicated that it was aiming for that frame rate and resolution on both new consoles. Trials Fusion launches April 16 on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, while the Windows PC version will be available April 24. Check out our recent preview for more details.
News
16 Comments

Indie survival horror game Grave is coming to Xbox One

The first-person, survival horror game Grave is headed to Xbox One through its ID@Xbox program for indie games development, the game's developer, Broken Windows Studios, announced. The news comes as Grave is amidst a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000; with 13 days left, it is about $9,500 of the way there. Set in a desert, Grave's gameplay follows a day-night cycle, with terrifying enemies appearing at night and, when the sun rises, new environmental features such as houses are procedurally generated. During the day cycle, the player collects items useful to survival; as light repels the monsters, it means finding things such as gasoline and matches to create fire. "The world of Grave is a surrealist dreamscape inspired by the work of Salvador Dali. The world features an...
News
12 Comments

How you craft Child of Light's story as you play

Ubisoft Montreal's Child of Light looks like a 2D side-scrolling platformer, and most of those games are all about mechanics; if there's a story, it's usually a static tale that doesn't have much to do with playing the game. But Child of Light lead writer told Polygon at PAX East 2014 that when he and creative director Patrick Plourde were designing the title's concept, they wanted story and gameplay to be deeply intertwined. "I believe that gameplay is central to an interactive experience; otherwise, it should be a movie," said Yohalem. He explained that when Ubisoft greenlit the platformer, which is inspired by elements such as eastern European fairy tales and Japanese role-playing games, the publisher allowed him and Plourde full creative freedom. The duo decided to shy away from a...
News
23 Comments

The continuing evolution of Evolve

Evolve continues to evolve.The latest game from Turtle Rock Studios, the developer behind Left 4 Dead, features four players controlling four hunters against a player-controlled monstrosity. The tactically rich first-person shooter came to PAX East this weekend with a substantial change to the way the monster evolves over the course of a match. When an early build of the game was shown off in February to the press, the sole playable monster at the time, the Goliath, started out by choosing a single one of its three abilities. As it leveled up over the course of the game, the player would be given new abilities. But Denby Grace, executive producer on the title at 2K Games, said that players found the process of controlling the creature and adding in new abilities a little confusing,...
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