Week In Game News, May 16th 2014

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Week In Game News,
May 16th 2014

“Far Cry 4” is Announced:
Ubisoft has announced its sequel to the hugely popular “Far Cry 3”, ‘uniquely’ called “Far Cry 4”.  The series will be moving to the Himalayas to the fictional province Kyrat, a “breathtaking, perilous and wild region of the Himalayas struggling under the regime of a despotic self-appointed king“.You can pre-order the game now and get an upgrade to the ‘Limited Edition’ game which has 3 extra missions in the “Hurk’s Redemption” pack. Not much else is known about the game but it is assured that there will be more information released at E3.  The game is set to be released on November 18th in the US and November 21st everywhere else for all major consoles.

Metro” Studio Opening Malta Office:
The studio behind the “Metro” series of games is expanding by opening a studio in Malta. 4A Games said in a statement;

By basing our new headquarters in Malta, a member state of the EU, 4A Games will be able to better compete on the international stage

Malta offers fantastic incentives for game development, and we are confident 4A Games will be able to attract the very best talent from Ukraine, Malta and beyond.”

The studio will be keeping its headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine which is facing political instability in the light of events in Crimea and Russia. Industry blogs, like red-buzz.com, have been saying that many companies in the Ukraine have been leaving the country to escape the instability. 4A Games has said that it will keep its current studio in the Ukraine but this could be a sign of preparation of moving in in the future. Creative Director and Co-Founder Andrew Prokhorov, and Chief Technical Officer Oles Shishkovstov will be moving to the new Malta office.


‘Duke Nukem’ Studio Releasing a New Title:
3D Realms, in early February, released information on a new website, AllOutOfGum.Com, that it will be developing a new Duke Nukem game called “Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction” with Interceptor Entertainment. But after the information release, Gearbox Entertainment filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against both 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment. The Lawsuit said that they Gearbox own the rights to Duke Nukem because they brought the rights in 2010 and released the failure that was “Duke Nukem Forever”. AllOutOfGum.Com was swiftly closed and a new website was released called NoGumNeeded.Com where they released a reveal trailer for a new game called “Bombshell”. With the lead characters biography saying her dislikes are “Bubble gum, sunglasses, blonde hair” and with the game being extremely similar to what ‘Mass Destruction’ was going to be, there may be some pent up bitterness between the studios.

Ubisoft Delays Another Game:
Tom Clancy’s The Division” has been delayed by Ubisoft until 2015. The ‘New Gen’ game that is set to be released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, was scheduled to be released in the later end of 2014. Ubisoft’s other major title, “Watchdogs” was delayed from a scheduled release last year to May 27th.


Halo 5: Guardians” Announced:
Information about the next instalment of the Halo franchise has been released. Bonnie Ross, the General Manager of 343 Industries, said that the next instalment will be called “Halo 5: Guardians” and it will be released next year for the Xbox One. Not much was said about the title except that it will be on a new game engine and it will “…take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.” More information will be released at the Xbox 2014 Media Briefing at E3.


Insomniac Games Say’s Why It Moved To Xbox:
Insomniac Games have said why their new game “Sunset Overdrive” will be an Xbox exclusive.  In a statement, they said that they desired to own the IP to the new series. Microsoft fulfilled that desire while other publishers didn’t. Insomniac’s previous games, the “Ratchet and Clank” series and the “Resistance” series, where Sony exclusives for the PlayStation 2 and 3 but the IP to the series’ are owned by Sony Entertainment.


Microsoft Changes The Xbox One And Xbox Live Gold:
The final story is the big story of the week. Early in the week, Microsoft released a statement that it will be selling a Kinect-less Xbox One for $399 in June. Previously, the Kinect was always bundled with the console, leading to an increased price-point when compared to its competitor, the PlayStation 4. This led Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for devices and studios, to say that the Xbox One will be more powerful without the Kinect. This is because the console will have more processing power dedicated to the game being played without any power being taken for the Kinect.


This lead too many people who bought the original Xbox One/Kinect bundle to say if there were going too rewarded as early adopters. Microsoft said no, again reiterating;


As with many first generation products, the offerings can be expected to change and evolve over time. Kinect remains an integral part of our vision. Xbox One is better with Kinect, making games, TV and entertainment come alive with premium experiences.”


Microsoft also said that there will be an update to Xbox Live and the Xbox Live Gold service. Some apps for the 360 and One console are going to be taken out of the Xbox Live Gold subscription model.


Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more. Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers.”


This lead to another statement that they will be offering refunds to people who bought an Xbox Live Gold subscription before the dropping of the apps. Microsoft said;


Once the Xbox One and Xbox 360 system updates become available in June, Xbox Live Gold members who purchased a paid membership before that day can cancel and receive a pro-rata refund of any unused remaining days between the date of cancellation and the date their paid Gold membership ends,” as long as the request is made before August 31st.


But as some apps are taken out of Live Gold, some apps will remain behind the pay barrier. Free-to-Play titles, like “World of Tanks” and online games like “Elder Scrolls Online” will remain inside the Live Gold pay model.  “Right now we haven’t changed the policy on MMOs and free-to-play games,” Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President said.


Spencer also said that they will begin their ‘Games with Gold’ service in June, a service that lets Live Gold subscribers play games for free as long as they are subscribed. While originally saying that the service will be different to Sony’s ‘PlayStation Plus’ service that lets subscribers play games for free as long as they are subscribed, it seems now that the services is very akin to each other.

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