Author Archives: 1080Partners

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Rebelllion is always looking forward

Rebellion is a company full of unique characters that has spent the last 25 years pushing technological boundaries. Jason Kingsley, CEO and creative director of Rebellion says that the company was born out of freelance game work that he and his brother Chris, a co-founder and the company’s CTO, were doing alongside their PhDs.

“We were doing more and more computer game stuff,” says Jason Kingsley. “But we also ended up doing quite a lot of management, because nobody else in the team was doing it. So we ended up managing projects, and trying to coordinate things a little bit, as well as our freelance tasks and we weren’t getting paid for it. “

So the brothers decided to found Rebellion together and go into business for themselves.

We’ve always wanted to make games that we want to play. One of the problems we’ve always had at Rebellion is that we’re always too ambitious in how we create our environments,” Kingsley says with a smile that indicates he’s not too upset.

Take Sniper Elite, an FPS game about taking out soldiers of the Third Reich at long range, perhaps Rebellion’s best-known franchise in recent years.

“A sniping game means you need to be able to zoom into the distance,” Kingsley continues. “For a lot of people that don’t have sniping in their games, they don’t have to worry about distance and the number of polygons.

“We often feel that we’ve made a rod for our own backs with some of our creative decisions, but our technical team is so good that they can make the best of it and make it really work. And that’s why our games are successful, and why, I think, games like the Sniper Elite series are right up there with the best games in the world from the very expensive and very well funded big studios.”

Kingsley says that the firm is “absolutely” drawn to technical and gameplay challenges that they can try to conquer. It’s something shared by the entire company.

Everything Rebellion creates is built on its own technology, so the studio uses its own engine, and tries to avoid middleware where possible so that everything is tooled towards the game it’s been created for.

“If there’s something we need it to do, we can make the engine do that,” says Kingsley. “We don’t have to worry that ‘Oh, the engine can’t do that so we have to compromise our creative visions’.”

This focus on bettering themselves led to the art team pulling out and reworking the rendering system between Sniper Elite 3 and its sequel, the well-received Sniper Elite 4 but it also means that, of all the projects Payton is most excited about at Rebellion, he’s hoping he’ll get another chance to go back to World War II, as he’s got unfinished business with the Nazi-killing sniper Karl Fairburne.

“I would love to make another Sniper Elite game,” he enthuses. “I think it’s an artistic thing, when you’ve been making something for a while, I think the last third of it, you’re already thinking: ‘Shit, if I do this again, I’d be doing that or I’d be doing this.”

Making games for themselves

Jason Kingsley suggests that the reason Rebellion throws itself so entirely into every technological challenge is that, fundamentally, they’re making games for themselves:

“We’ve always wanted to make computer games that we want to play. That’s the truth of it. We don’t do much in the way of analytics or analysis of what’s the next big thing in computer games, because we just like making the games we like to play.”

Rebellion’s stability, Kingsley opines, is down to its portfolio approach to games so that there’s a mix of projects of different sizes landing at different times with manageable budgets. There’s plenty of room for experiments, but the team doesn’t gamble everything on
a single game.

The company has experimented with VR with Battlezone – “a huge financial success for Rebellion,” Kingsley says, adding that Rebellion is “going to stay in VR.” The studio is also experimenting with remasters of earlier games, with a recent Rogue Trooper release doing good numbers for the company, although Kingsley says the team isn’t keen to just continue retreading old ground when there are new games to release.

New games in this case takes the form of Strange Brigade, a four player co-op shooter that channels something distinctly British in its story of four pulp-era adventures battling mythological creatures for ancient relics and profit. If it works out, it’ll be another successful IP for Rebellion. If not, the studio has several more ideas for what might come next.

Kingsley describes the portfolio approach as a desire to avoid gambling everything on one project. But, as it turns the page on its second quarter-century, the company feels like a sure bet.

Read more at mcvuk.com


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All games will be digital in 2027: Take-Two

Don’t expect NBA 2K38 to come on a disc. Speaking at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, Take-Two Interactive president Karl Slatoff said he ultimately sees the mix of physical/digital sales tipping entirely to one side.

“I think over the long-term, it will be 100% [digital],” Slatoff said. “I just can’t predict whether that’s five years, 10 years, or 20 years. It’s probably less than 20 and maybe more than five, but I think it ultimately gets there. That’s the zeitgeist. Things are moving in that direction.

“Why I think it’s a little quicker than people imagined is honestly, Sony and Microsoft have done a really nice job with their services. You’ve got more people on Xbox Live, more people on PSN, and it helps. The friction is going away at a quicker rate because these platforms have been really well developed, and the consumers love it.”

Even if the brick and mortar retailers of the world won’t be playing a large role in Take-Two’s future, Slatoff acknowledged the company still relies heavily on them in the present.

“The truth is physical retail is still the majority of our business, and very important partners of ours,” he said. “And we want to do everything we can to support that environment. And we do. They’re very strong marketing and distribution partners for us. But again, it’s out of our control. Whether we want it or not, it looks like it’s going to happen eventually.”

The shift to digital has also enabled publishers to pursue business models including loot box-driven microtransactions. But as EA recently discovered with Star Wars Battlefront II, players aren’t always enthusiastic about how they’re incorporated. Slatoff acknowledged recent consumer uproar over the practice, but suggested their objections were not with microtransactions themselves, but the game around them.

“The whole gambling regulator thing, we don’t view that sort of thing as gambling. Our view of it is the same as the ESA statement for the most part,” Slatoff said. “That’s going to play its course, but in terms of the consumer and the noise you hear in the market right now, it’s all about content. It’s about overdelivering on content and making sure you’re focused on engagement. That has been our strategy and where we’re focused, and as long as you keep your eye on that ball, you’re going to be OK. The consumer’s going to be really happy with what they get.”

He added, “You can’t force the consumer to do anything. You try to do your best to create the best experience you possibly can to drive engagement. And driving engagement creates value in entertainment. That’s just how it’s always been and always will be.”

Via gamesindustry.biz


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Armored Ogres invade in new Extinction trailer

Cut Down Giants Equipped with Armor Made of Bone, Thorn, Spikes and More

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2017) — Avil is the last-remaining Sentinel and only he has the power to save humankind. Iron Galaxy presents a brand-new gameplay trailer for their upcoming action-adventure game – Extinction.

Extinction places emphasis on high-speed traversal around an interactive environment. Avil must move quickly – traversing across rooftops, alongside buildings, and more – to save humanity from the encroaching horde, and take down the seemingly endless waves of Ravenii using his powers as a trained Sentinel. And while the swarm of smaller minions may seem like the crisis at hand, there’s always a larger problem on the horizon.

Armies of ogres are equipped with their own weapons and armor, requiring Avil to use tactical thinking, the structure of the environment, and even the enemies themselves in order to quickly eliminate the giants before they destroy all that’s left of the world and drive it to extinction.

It will take more than raw power to defeat these monstrous foes. Avil needs to use strategy, cunning and quick thinking to permanently take down ogres covered in layers of bone, iron, spikes, thorns, and dark steel.

Avil fights these giants in real-time combat, but there’s only one way to stop them permanently – decapitation. However, a Ravenii decked out in spiked armor isn’t going to be easy to take-down: his armor will injure Avil if he comes in contact with it. Therefore, he must lure a spiked Ravenii into smashing the ground, cracking his own armor until it breaks away. Only then can Avil sever a limb, vertically run up the monster’s torso, and make the finishing blow using a Sentinel’s most valuable skill: a powerful rune strike.

Extinction will be available on PlayStation®4, the family of Xbox One Devices and PC in Q1 2018.

For more information:


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Gamers moving fast towards digital games

The move from physical to digital is happening faster than most analysts had predicted. A report from Games Industry shows that in some instances, triple-A console titles are seeing as much as 45 per cent of their sales being claimed by digital.

Indeed, Activision just yesterday revealed that digital sales of Destiny 2 on consoles accounted for over 50 per cent of its total, setting a new record for the company.

EA CFO Blake Jorgensen also this week told investors that the company was “very pleased and a bit surprised” at the strength of digital downloads for both this year’s FIFA and Madden, adding that “it’s great to see the movement towards digital”.

Digital is appealing to publishers – not only is a digital unit cheaper to produce than a physical one, but it cannot be traded in to potentially claim an otherwise new sale further down the line, for which the publisher would receive no money.

Games Industry adds that while a number of big 2017 releases (such as FIFA 18, Forza Motorsport 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins and, indeed, Destiny 2) have reported annual unit sales drops in the physical-only UK charts, once the missing digital sales are factored in, many of these titles are actually up compared to their predecessors.

Sources tell the site that retail’s insistence on selling games at or close to RRP is a crucial factor in the rapid change.

With digital games now typically costing around the same as their boxed counterparts, consumers are starting to value the convenience they offer, even at the cost of lost trade-in potential.

Via MCVUk.com


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Path for Fire new goodies for Holidays

ArenaNet is prepping some nifty goodies for the holidays, all themed around the Guild Wars 2 expansion, Path of Fire.

You’ll be able to get hold of a Quaggan mug (currently available for preorder), a Choya plushie (currently available for preorder), the Path of Fire soundtrack in both digital and vinyl editions and other items to be announced soon.

You can check out some of the items…that Choya plushie though ^^ … by visiting the Guild Wars 2 shop site.

Via mmorpg.com


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Giant Ogres invade in new Extinction trailer

Avil is the last-remaining Sentinel and only he has the power to save humankind. Iron Galaxy presents a brand-new gameplay trailer for their upcoming action-adventure game – Extinction.

Extinction places emphasis on high-speed traversal around an interactive environment. Avil must move quickly – traversing across rooftops, alongside buildings, and more – to save humanity from the encroaching horde, and take down the seemingly endless waves of Ravenii using his powers as a trained Sentinel. And while the swarm of smaller minions may seem like the crisis at hand, there’s always a larger problem on the horizon.

Armies of ogres are equipped with their own weapons and armor, requiring Avil to use tactical thinking, the structure of the environment, and even the enemies themselves in order to quickly eliminate the giants before they destroy all that’s left of the world and drive it to extinction.

It will take more than raw power to defeat these monstrous foes. Avil needs to use strategy, cunning and quick thinking to permanently take down ogres covered in layers of bone, iron, spikes, thorns, and dark steel.

Avil fights these giants in real-time combat, but there’s only one way to stop them permanently – decapitation. However, a Ravenii decked out in spiked armor isn’t going to be easy to take-down: his armor will injure Avil if he comes in contact with it. Therefore, he must lure a spiked Ravenii into smashing the ground, cracking his own armor until it breaks away. Only then can Avil sever a limb, vertically run up the monster’s torso, and make the finishing blow using a Sentinel’s most valuable skill: a powerful rune strike.

Extinction will be available on PlayStation®4, the family of Xbox One Devices and PC in Q1 2018.

For more information:


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What’s next for Telltale Games?

Telltale may have transformed the way episodic games are delivered on digital platforms, but the studio's subsequent season pass discs that arrive at retail have also been a huge hit for the company, MCV can reveal.

 It's been wildly successful," head of creative communications Job Stauffer (pictured right) told MCV at Gamescom. 

"We pioneered the sort of  digital-to-retail model early on with The Walking Dead in 2012, and now that every console's connected online, the season pass disc structure means we're able to premiere in stores the same day we premiere digitally." 

He's not worried about gamers potentially trading in those season pass discs, either: "The disc itself will access the content as it becomes available, which is a little different from buying a code or purchasing the rights digitally, as the discs are tradable, exchangeable and sellable. So it becomes this nice in-between where consumers are happy, we're happy, retailers are super happy, and we've been finding a great amount of success with the model."

Indeed, Stauffer said Telltale has "big expectations" for the forthcoming season pass discs of Batman: The Enemy Within and Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two, and that the company's also looking into shipping more games on disc in full once they're completed, such as the recent physical edition of Minecraft Story Mode: The Complete Adventure for the Nintendo Switch.

"We're really happy about [The Complete Adventure on Switch], and we expect to see more of our games heading to Switch very soon, too," Stauffer added. "The next game you'll see [on Switch] after Minecraft may very well be the first season of Batman, as it's still fresh in the studio right now, and we expect to follow it up soon with other titles like Guardians of the Galaxy and Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two."

Those might sound like rather 'safe' and family-friendly choices compared to the rest of Telltale's slate, but Stauffer assured us that nothing was outside the realms of possibility for Switch.

"We're looking backwards and forwards [in our portfolio] and we're really excited about the Switch. To say we're steering away from other content because the audience isn't there isn't true. Looking at The Walking Dead, for instance, I don't think we're in as much of a rush right now, because looking into earlier seasons might require some additional effort to bring our content up to speed and up to Nintendo's standards.

"No series is out of the question for us to bring to Switch. We'll be examining everything and hopefully making a lot of fans happy. Plain and simple, the Nintendo Switch is a perfect match for Telltale. [Development has been] seamless and perfectly suited to everything that we do."

Going forward, Telltale has its sights set on an almost TV-like production structure, with yearly instalments of its games.

"Right now, our work is about elevating the Telltale brand, in and of itself, and how we've come into our own as more of a kind of interactive TV network and a studio that's really doing something different where we're writing and designing and releasing content on a regular basis across multiple different genres, whether that's an apocalyptic undead drama like The Walking Dead, or a family-driven comedy adventure like Minecraft, or sci-fi action like Guardians of the Galaxy. To have this footprint now that sits firmly between video games and premiere narrative entertainment – something between video games and HBO and Netflix – that's what we're really proud of and how we've grown out right across everything.

"I think you're going to start seeing our format design start to change and evolve over the next 18 months, just as well as you're going to see maybe our episodic release structure change and evolve. Right now, you're used to seeing five episodes come out per series, and even something as simple as that could change very soon. The cadence at which you're getting those episodes is going to change very soon. So, as we move into 2018, players can expect an evolution of Telltale both in design and release structure happening incrementally and hopefully with the games you've been wanting to see from us the most."

Via McvUk.com


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Let your Road Rage out this fall!

Leading video game publisher Maximum Games has announced it will publish independent developer Team6 Game Studios’ motorcycle brawler Road Rage as a physical retail and digital release on Oct. 24 for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC.

Road Rage is an over-the-top motorcycle action game in which players race, battle and hustle their way up the ranks of an outlaw motorcycle gang. Joyride around an open-world city torn apart by underground crime, earning money and building a reputation for taking no prisoners in knock-down, drag-out, high-speed combat.

Ride in style on a variety of customizable bikes, then push them to the limit in all-out gang warfare with an arsenal of hard-hitting weapons and slick maneuvers through over 90 story-driven and side missions.

Road Rage is available to preorder now and is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB. For the latest updates as release approaches, visit www.roadrage-the-game.com, and follow MaximumGames on Facebook and @MaximumGames Twitter.

About Maximum Games

Maximum Games ranks as a top 15 global video game publisher of interactive digital entertainment spanning all genres and supporting multi-platforms. The company’s mission is to provide a proven and strong hands-on approach to publishing, marketing and distribution. Established in 2009, the company is led by female entrepreneur Christina Seelye, a seasoned executive of digital consumer products and channel marketing. Under Seelye’s leadership, the company has been recognized with numerous awards such as “Fastest Growing Tech Company” by American Business Awards, and has made the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies for the past three years. Maximum Games has offices in both the US and UK, and continues to expand its scope of global publishing and distribution via direct reach and strategic partnerships. For more information on Maximum Games, visit the company’s website at www.MaximumGames.com.


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Dead Alliance is out in stores now!

Dead Alliance is now available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC from Maximum Games. Dead Alliance is the fast paced shooter that lets players unleash flesh-hungry zombies against one another in battle. The game is available at major retailers throughout Latam. The “Rapid Dominance” Day One Edition contains three bonus loadouts featuring unique multiplayer weapons and perks.

Developed by Psyop Games and IllFonic, Dead Alliance raises the stakes of competitive shooters with zMods, zombie-controlling tech that turns the undead into powerful weapons. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where warring military factions fight for control of humanity’s last resources, zombies can swarm, flank, block, distract and surprise opponents, swinging a fight in the blink of an eye. The game includes a variety of single-player and 4v4 multiplayer modes, including Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture and Hold, Free for All, the MOBA-inspired Attrition mode, and Solo Survival.

 


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Path of Fire is coming!

The fires of war are burning in the South as the rogue god Balthazar wages a scorchedearth campaign against the Elder Dragons. Follow his path to the Crystal Desert and Elona. Tyria’s fate hangs in the balance. Join thousands of other players in a persistent online world in Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, the second expansion to the award-winning Guild Wars 2. You’ll experience a new chapter in Tyria’s story, explore vast new maps astride your very own mounts, and unlock nine new elite specializations to customize your playstyle.

Pre-Purchase Bonuses

• The Spearmarshal’s Gift. A special gift from an anonymous friend in Elona. Use this to choose one weapon skin from the Sunspear Weapon Set.
• “Elonian Envoy” Title. Whether you’re a new arrival to Elona or coming home, build bridges by displaying this symbol of respect and friendship.
• Miniature Balthazar. This exclusive miniature replica of the god of War and Fire is on the warpath…as long as he’s following you.

Deluxe Edition Bonuses

• Additional character slot. Unlock an additional slot to create a new character on your game account.
• Identity Repair Kit. Give an existing character a brand new look and name with a Total Makeover Kit and Name Change Contract.
• Sunspear Outfit. An heirloom passed down by Elona’s greatest heroes. Unlock the Sunspear Outfit for use by every character on your account.
• Lily of the Elon permanent pass. Rub elbows with Amnoon’s nobility—and its criminal underground—on a luxury riverboat casino outfitted with vendors and other convenient amenities.

Max-Level Boost

When you purchase Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, you’ll receive a Max-Level Boost to instantly raise one character’s level to 80. You’ll gain immediate access to Guild Wars 2’s max-level content, along with gear and gold to help you begin your journey.

Key Features

• Mounts. Mounts are far more than a speed boost—they’re a whole new way to explore the world of Tyria. Unlock and train them using the max-level Mastery progression system, and explore freely by leaping across canyons, bounding up high cliffs, and skimming over quicksand.
• Elite specializations. Evolve and customize your level 80 characters with new elite specializations for every profession. With a variety of  laystyles, weapon choices, and traits to choose from, there are more options than ever to play your way.
• New rewards. Collect and upgrade armor sets and weapon skins that reflect the beauty, magic, and culture of the desert.
• Bounties. Kick off challenging boss events whenever you’re ready to take them on. Everyone can join the hunt!
• No Subscription. Get the game and play. It’s that simple. No further purchases required. You don’t need to purchase the previous expansion, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, to play. In addition, when you make a Guild Wars 2 account, the entire core game is yours to explore free.


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