Author Archives: 1080Partners

  • -

Ubisoft outsells competition in key territories

Category:Latest News

French publisher Ubisoft has outsold all of its competitors across a number of key territories so far in 2016.

It says that NPD data shows that is has for six months been the top publisher by sales year-to-date in 2016. This applies to Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. In Europe and Australia it has a 14.9 per cent market share, while in the US and Canada it stands at 13 per cent.

It also says The Division is the year’s best-selling title and Far Cry Primal resides in the Top Ten. In addition, Rainbow Six Siege has seen a 40 per cent boost in active players since its last update.

The Division has certainly smashed some records since its release earlier this year, becoming Ubisoft’s biggest day one seller, setting a new Q1 sales benchmark and claiming the new IP sales record.


  • -

Xbox One outsells Playstation 4 again

Category:Latest News

Launch of Xbox One S helps push platform’s unit sales above PS4 again; gaming hours on Xbox Live up 42% year-over-year

The PlayStation 4 has consistently led console sales this generation, but the Xbox One may be gaining traction. Last night, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Xbox marketing Mike Nichols cited the industry-tracking NPD Group with the news that the Xbox One was the best-selling console in the US for August, making it two straight months atop the chart.

In July, Xbox One sales were bolstered by a price cut to the machine. Last month, the system’s numbers were helped by the launch of the Xbox One S, which adds 4K Blu-ray and video streaming, as well as HDR support for games.

Microsoft touting Xbox One’s sales performance relative to the competition is a reversal of the company’s position in recent years, as it has steadily downplayed the significance of unit sales and instead pushed Xbox Live engagement as a better metric of the business’ health.

Nichols did offer an update on the engagement front as well, saying that total global gaming hours on Xbox One increased 42% year-over-year in August.


  • -

Homido arrives in Latin America this fall!


Virtual Reality is here to stay, and in the competitive world of gadgets for this new technology, Homido stands out as one of the best alternatives thanks to experience, quality and global presence. After conquering more than 50 countries in the world, the prestigious French brand will come to Latin America starting September 15, with a vast array of products for the Virtual Reality enthusiast.

Homido Headset

Leader in the creation of passive VR sets, the Homido Headset has all the advantages of Google Cardboard with top quality manufacturing at a great price. Looking to provide the best experience possible, the headset is ergonomic, has IPD adjustment, adjustment for eye distance and three options for people who wear glasses. Homido is part of an ecosystem that includes more than 300 virtual reality apps available on Google Store and app Store. It also allows viewing movies and photos in 2D, 3D and 360 degrees from platforms like Youtube or from your own phone.

Mini Homido

Virtual Reality glasses for a portable VR experience on your phone, and the possibilities are endless, as museums, fairs, airplanes and stores can use them to enhance their customers’ experience with 3D displays and virtual displays. Thanks to its durable construction, users can experience hundreds of hours of VR on their own phones, with more than 1,000 applications available for iOS and Android. Enough, at the end of your session, Homido Mini can be folded for storage in your pocket.

Homido 360 Camera

Create your own videos in 360 degrees with this portable camera. Fully compatible with iOS and Android phone, takes pictures and video. With Two CMOS 4, it promises to put your videos right in the middle of the action. It has an image resolution of 1920 x 960 px and 3008 x 1504 px with 30FPS video. Supports Micro SD (SD/SDHC up to 32GB) memory and can be connected by WiFi and Micro USB.

  • -

7 new trends for videogames

Category:Latest News

The focus of this year’s Develop, the annual game developer conference held in Brighton, was unmistakable: virtual reality. The aim of conference is to highlight and discuss current trends. This year, however, VR dominated the schedule to the extent that sometimes it was difficult to find a non-VR talk to attend, but with so many developers and other industry members in one place there were plenty of other discussions on the fringes. At least until Pokémon Go came out.

In a Q&A session, Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail said: “The industry moves so fast that I think a lot of advice from two years ago, unless it’s very generic advice, does not really apply in the same way anymore.”

Here, then, is what we heard the games industry talking about this year, and what could change the way games are made in the near future.

1. VR with friends rather than alone

Proponents of virtual reality are eager to fight back against one of the platform’s key criticisms: that it’s isolating. Dave Ranyard, previously studio head of Sony London and now an independent VR developer, made clear at a panel discussion that he believes the future of VR is a social one, and that it will be about being transported to another place and doing something cool with your friends.

In the opening keynote, Oculus’s head of developer strategy, Anna Sweet, said: “When you get two people together in a virtual space, and you actually get to see how they move and how they talk, and how they interact with the world, it lets you connect as if you were really actually in that room with them. And it’s pretty powerful.” She recounted a story where two people who had never met, but had spent 10 minutes in a VR space together, were able to recognise each other by the way they moved. Solomon Rogers, co-founder of a VR creative agency called Rewind, told a very similar story in his talk “Consumer Virtual Reality – Hope or Hype?”, describing his ability to recognise another VR player as his wife from her gestures alone.

2. Physically collaborative games

VR and its experimental tech contemporaries are exploring new ways to incorporate the body as more than just an anchor to the physical world. As Ghislaine Boddington, creative director of body>data>space, noted in her talk on virtual reality and the “internet of bodies”, the hope for the future is in recognising and augmenting physical bodies in games and play. She offers technologies like programmable gels used with the body in more intimate ways, such as rubbing “gels on to erogenous zones”, allowing partners to “connect together at a distance”.

Boddington also noted the future of physically collaborative and increasingly social spaces in AR, as seen in the very popular Pokémon Go: “Pokémon Go is definitely a collaborative share space. The Pokémon Go site, along with many others, allow the individual to join with the group into the middle, both in a physical and a virtual way.”

3. The future of augmented reality

Pokémon Go came to the UK on the third and last day of the conference, and it felt like everyone in Brighton was catching Magikarp and Shellder and Seel and all the other water Pokémon the seaside town had to offer. Had this international hit been available a little earlier, the conference schedule would surely have contained a few more panels about augmented reality. Whether we can expect to see an AR-heavy Develop 2017 will depend on whether Pokémon Go represents the start of a new trend, or if it’s simply a one-off success carried by an already successful brand.

Hunicke might not be looking to make the next Pokémon Go, but she’s still interested in the potential of augmented-reality games that “make the world more silly and joyful, and less logical”.

4. The next step for mobile: TV

As consoles evolve into something more resembling multimedia entertainment devices than dedicated gaming machines, it seems that everyone wants in on the widespread accessibility of the dominating mobile market model. Ismail thinks this points the next stop for tablets and smartphones: “If mobile really wants to make the next step, what it’s going to do is connect to TVs.”

Mediatonic’s Jo Haslam reports that the number of UK households with only one television set has increased, from 35% a decade ago to 41% now, and she says mobile screens are the reason. With 70% of smartphone owners in the US playing mobile games monthly, the need for separate television sets in homes to play games has become unnecessary. While mobile devices might have their technical limitations, Haslam says the aim of successful mobile, and social, game design is to “never let tech get in the way of a good idea”. The overwhelming success of Pokémon Go, despite the app’s many failings, should settle the console/mobile war solidly in favour of the handheld.

5. The rise of specialised stores

The number of games on Steam is on the rise, and with it, the number of games that go unplayed or unnoticed. Nearly 37% of all registered Steam games go unplayed , and it’s no secret that many indie games – even good, critically acclaimed games – get lost amid a sea of other green lit games. In light of this, smaller more specialised distribution services are becoming more important.

6. Design that puts feelings first

The design practice underlying Hunicke’s studio Funomena, and the focus of her keynote, is one she calls “feel engineering”. As Hunicke describes it: “Feel engineering is the process by which you create a game backwards from the feeling you want to create in a person forward towards the mechanics and the dynamics of the game itself.” She notes that while feel engineering isn’t easy, due to its time commitment, high cost, and level of emotional investment asked from development teams, it’s worth it. Hunicke speaks to the positive studio culture of feeling-focused engineering, and its contrast to the toxicity of crunch is evident. “The process of making it is so delightful,” she adds. “It’s so much better than anything I’ve ever done.”

We’ve already seen aspects of feel engineering in the mobile market, with games looking to reverse-engineer social situations people already find fun. Haslam outlines how the design of “co-operative shouting game”.

7. Feeling twitchy about YouTube and Twitch

Youtube and Twitch have been key players in the games industry for a few years now, but recently the kinds of celebrity YouTubers that Ian Baverstock, cofounder of publisher Chilled Mouse, said last year were “parasitically living off the games industry” have come under scrutiny.

When asked whether he would distance himself from YouTubers who were found to accept undisclosed payment in exchange for positive reviews, Ismail said, “There’s no value in a review like that anymore, right? If somebody is known to take money for a review, then that review is immediately worthless to everybody, so it’s a waste of time and actually kind of reflects poorly on my business when that goes up.”

Via The Guardian

  • -

e-Olympics, the new money maker

Category:Latest News

A gaming tournament that is aiming to be the “Olympics of e-sports” was showcased at the Rio Games on Monday 15th, with participants able to win medals instead of prize money, reported CNBC.

E-sports refers to competitive gaming where teams or individual gamers play each other while other people watch in stadiums or online.

The International eGames Group, a company backed by the U.K. government, is hosting the games which will debut in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, where the Winter Olympics takes place.

It will be a medals-only competition with players having the chance to take home gold for their country. Each country will have a national squad playing in teams or as individuals for different games. National qualifiers will be held in different countries in 2017 with the finalists meeting in South Korea for the inaugural eGames tournament.

In Rio where the Olympics are being held, the International eGames Group organized a two-day competition as a showcase for the games. The games will be streamed globally on Twitch, a company Amazon bought in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.

E-sports is a big business with the market set to be worth around $1.23 billion by 2019, according to SuperData Research. There are large tournaments around the world offering big prize money. A tournament called Dota 2 International this weekend had a prize pool of $20 million.

But Chester King, the chief executive of the International eGames Group, said the company wanted to start their own Olympics-style tournament, because e-sports was becoming too focused on money.

“The reason why we have established what we are doing on the eGames is the fact that we were concerned that e-sports was going too much down the poker route, it was all about money rather than national pride,” King told CNBC in an interview on Monday.

The International eGames Group was set up to manage the commercial and sponsorship rights on behalf of the International eGames Committee (IEGC), which is organizing the tournament in South Korea.

E-sports has been able to draw a millennial audience, a potentially lucrative audience for advertisers. King said he is looking for sponsors for the South Korea tournament and e-sports could attract big names.

“The growth is amazing at the moment and what’s interesting is there are a lot of brands getting into e-sports particularly because it’s the hard to reach demographic of children or people aged between 12 to 24 that aren’t actually watching TV anymore,” King said.

Big businesses are betting in e-sports being a huge area of growth. Last week, Microsoft bought a video game streaming service called Beam and companies such as Intel are sponsors of major global e-sports tournaments.


  • -

Mexico and Brazil lead Video Games sales

Category:Latest News

Video Games total sales in Latin America were of US$1.86 billion in 2014 and are expected to reach, US$2.7 billion in 2019, with a 8.4% CAGR according to findings of the global study “Perspectivas del sector de Entretenimiento y Medios 2015-2019” conducted by PwC.

The research study analyzed the various segments and concluded that the “traditional games” had revenues of US $1.21 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach US$ 1.79 billion by 2019.

In addition, PC gaming total revenues will increase at a 10% CAGR and reach US $920 million in 2019. This will be backed by a decline in physical PC games sales, offset by an increase in sales of digital format games.

The region share is largely dominated by two markets, which together will account for 72% of total revenue in 2019, Brazil (39%) and Mexico (33%).

The report reveals that the video game market sales globally were of US$70.78 billion dollars in 2014.

The industry growth in Argentina, in the last four years, has been remarkable: in 2010, annual sales were of only US $66 million and last year the figure reached US $124 million. The increase represents a total growth of 87% in just four years.

The report forecasts that the market will continue growing at 10.3% CAGR to reach US $201 million in 2019. Thus, Argentina will be one of the few countries in the world with a double-digit growth during the 2015-2019 period.

Via Portada-online

  • -

Telltale Games teases new adaptation project

Category:Latest News

The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Minecraft: Story Mode developer Telltale Games has teased a new project surrounding hit TV show Mr. Robot.

The popular NBC series centres around the hacking skills of lead character Elliot, played by Until Dawn’s Rami Malek.

Mr. Robot also features a Microsoft-style company named E Corp, nicknamed Evil Corp by hackers – and it is this fictional organisation that Telltale has begun spoofing.

Telltale has an incredibly busy slate right now, so the addition of yet another series would be a little surprising. Still, the developer has been known to announce projects long in advance, and Mr. Robot would fit with the studio’s focus on narrative storytelling.

Other games currently in production at Telltale include its new Batman series, an untitled Marvel game, a third season of The Walking Dead and a second season for Game of Thrones.

Beyond these, the studio has also said it is developing “supershow” projects based on a game and TV hybrid model.

Via Eurogamer

  • -

Bethesda to venture into the VR realm

Category:Latest News

The wasteland is about to become a lot more immersive, as massive post-apocalyptic hit Fallout 4 is coming to VR, alongside the recent reboot of the fast-paced first-person shooter, Doom, both from game publisher Bethesda.

Despite massive hype over virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, there’s been a distinct lack of recognizable brand-name games for virtual reality to date. Most of the games currently available are indie projects, from adventurous small teams of programmers experimenting with this new form of interactive entertainment.

This makes Bethesda’s VR games some of the first “big-name” games to come to PC-based virtual reality. (Sony has a large catalog coming to PlayStation VR later in 2016.) But the choice of Fallout 4 and Doom is a potential litmus test for traditional gaming experiences in VR. That’s because both of these games are first-person experiences involving a lot of walking and running. That kind of locomotion is standard for PC and console games, but less common in VR, where the past several years of hardware and software development have been built around divining the types of VR games that won’t cause feelings of motion sickness in players.

That means just about any VR game you play today involves standing in one spot (or physically moving within the HTC Vive’s roomspace boundaries), and teleporting around a virtual environment with a point-and-click system, rather than using a gamepad or directional controller to move in real-time. How do you make a game like Fallout 4 (or Doom) work in VR? Would the open-world experience be too jarring to enjoy for more than a few minutes? These are important questions as bigger brand-name games take the first tentative steps towards virtual reality.

Wandering the wasteland in VR

For Fallout 4, the solution chosen by the game’s developers is the same as used by most VR games — a teleport system that can instantly blink you anywhere within a few yards. The left Vive controller represents the game’s Pip-Boy wearable computer (essentially a menu system) and the right Vive controller acts as a gun. At least in this demo, the game’s pause-and-attack tactical VATS system was not available.

Strapping into Fallout 4 in VR for the first time was like taking a new look at a very familiar world, and the basic look and feel of the game’s ruined landscapes gave us a well-known baseline to judge against.

In fact, you’re actually transported to the familiar Red Rocket Truck Stop, located just a short walk from the town of Sanctuary. You’ve even got the game’s second best companion along with you: Dogmeat. As a VR experience, it was a little light on interactivity. You’re either looking at your Pip-Boy or firing your gun, which — rather conveniently — comes with unlimited ammo. Both of those were floating in mid-air, with no arms or hands rendered in. It meant while you could teleport yourself around the Red Rocket, you weren’t able to grab any of the stuff lying around, which is really almost the main point of Fallout 4 these days.

It’s also not clear how the hopping style of moving around will gel with a game world as massive as the Commonwealth, even with the existing fast travel system via Pip-Boy.

It was a quick, scripted experience, with a small group of raiders arriving in time to meet some of your bullets. The combat felt a little weak, to be honest. Limbs shot off in classic Fallout style. While the look was unmistakably Fallout, the feel was a little generic and it will be interesting to see how they address that before the final product. In all, I think the demo raised more questions than it answered.

Visiting hell in VR

Doom was a somewhat different experience. Fast paced and best played on a traditional desktop with a keyboard and mouse, the VR version feels very different. After a quick tour (via a similar teleport system) of a control room with holographic representations of the game’s guns and monsters, the actual gameplay was very simple: stand in one spot, while shooting and lobbing grenades at an oncoming horde. It’s a short-form game idea at best right now, so it will be interesting to see how this develops, or even if Bethesda takes it any further.

The choice of Doom is especially apt, as the very first games CNET’s Dan Ackerman ever tried in VR was Doom 3. This was back in 2012, on a very early Oculus Rift prototype, literally a pair of ski goggles covered with black tape, with a low-res 1,280×800 display shoved inside. Jumping into Doom 3 back then was shockingly immersive, even at that prototype’s very low resolutions and without the advanced motion tracking the current retail versions of VR headsets use. But that first-person experience was also like being on an out-of-control roller coaster, and since then much of the development work in VR has been around solving the motion problem, through position-sensing cameras and advanced motion tracking.

The VR version of Fallout 4 is coming to HTC Vive in early 2017. VR Doom may follow later, but Bethesda provided no further details on a release date.


  • -

Consumers want to purchase a VR set

Category:Latest News

This has been a big year for virtual reality, with two major devices having already launched and one more still to come. We’re months away from the first holiday shopping season with all of these devices on the market, and intent to purchase a VR device of some kind is high, according to a new survey shared with GameSpot.

The survey was conducted by marketing group B/HI and research supplier Listen Research. Among the 300 respondents, all of whom play console or PC games for at least five hours a week, 74 percent said they intend to purchase a VR device, while 60 percent hope to get one as a gift.

Console players are slightly more likely to purchase a VR device (75 percent) than those on PC (73 percent). Two out of three respondents plan to buy one in the next three months.

As for VR content, RPGs were the most-anticipated genre, with 40 percent showing interest in them, followed by sports games and shooters at 39 and 38 percent, respectively. Non-gaming uses were also of interest to a significant portion of respondents; 55 percent are intrigued by movie content, with 49 percent showing interest in VR sports.

Maybe most interestingly, 42 percent were “very or somewhat concerned” about motion sickness stemming from the use of a VR device. Despite this, 71 percent said that would have little or no impact on their decision to buy one.

41 percent said they were worried about spreading germs by sharing a VR device, but slightly more–42 percent–were worried about how they’d look while wearing a headset. Appearing cool is more important than contracting pink eye, in other words.

61 percent also expressed concern over the price of VR. On average, respondents said they anticipate paying $499 for a VR device, while only 42 percent expected to pay more. PlayStation VR is priced at $400, but it requires a PlayStation camera (a bundle with this and other accessories will be available for $500). The primary VR headsets for PC, Oculus Rift and Vive, cost $600 and $800, respectively.

Both Rift and Vive are already available, while PS VR launches in October. Meanwhile, Nintendo is researching the tech and Microsoft has confirmed next year’s iteration of the Xbox, Project Scorpio, will support VR, though it has not announced specifics plans for how that will work.

Source: Gamespot

  • -

Styx: Shards of Darkness – Interview by Gamingbolt

Category:Latest News

Styx: Shards of Darkness is the latest sequel from Cyanide Studio and it looks as though the team have set out to improve upon every aspect from the original. From better jumping mechanics to actual fights, Cyanide have really wanted to improve every inch of this sequel compared to the first.

GamingBolt recently had a sit down with Julien Desourteaux, Cyanide Studio Game Director and Lead Level Designer to answer some important questions we’ve been hoping to clear up.

“We have multiplayer – it’s all about improving the mechanics that we had in the first one. For example the movements are much more smoother and we added some ropes and pipes to get more ways to interact with the environment, and showcase more versatility and the feel of more danger.”

What is Styx’s story this time around? Is it a simple matter of retrieving a scepter or does he set in motion events that he’ll probably regret?

No. It’s funny because we have the trailer about the scepter – the scepter is just the call of adventure. When the heroes join the circle it’s just the call of adventure. The player will be caught by the adventurers of the special contract. You will encounter new characters; you will see a lot of different places like in Master of Shadows. In Shadows of Darkness there is more diversity within the environment; for example we have some aircraft, and then you would go to a dark elves city. It’s just a call of adventure.

What new features and mechanics does the sequel bring, especially with the larger production values to do more?

We have multiplayer – it’s all about improving the mechanics that we had in the first one. For example the movements are much more smoother and we added some ropes and pipes to get more ways to interact with the environment, and showcase more versatility and the feel of more danger. We have some boss fights – you can see one of the huge monsters which is 100 times the size of the goblin; and it’s all about playing with the gameplay mechanics we have and pushing them to the limit.

How does Styx: Shards of Darkness improve on the original game, especially in terms of the sequences that players will engage in?

In the level of the signed the major improvements are diversity in the missions. There you have some investigation to do, listen to some dialogue to learn something; sometimes we have missions where you have to be undetected. It’s all about diversity to have a better player experiences during the game.

What can you tell us about the RPG elements in this iteration?

With the RPG mechanics, we still have the skill tree. We have cloning, crafting, assassination, detection, and five or six branches. It’s up to the player to choose what play style you want to have. So by choosing a branch you set up the character. And as well we have some new powers you will have later in the game, because you will have a new material that can give you special abilities.

Is combat still heavily quick time oriented? What changes have been made to its since the base game?

We have a introduced big improvement in the combat system. In the first game when you enter combat mode, it wasn’t the players that chose to do that it was automatic. Right now it’s up to the player to choose, “I want to fight this guy – I will wait for him to try and hit me, and then I will have a small move to do to parry him. But I will not kill him, I just will stay on him a little bit so I can finish him or I can dodge him.” But you can do that with only one character. “We are not like the others because you are not a badass guy who shoots everybody when he’s detected. ”

Level design is one of the most praised aspects of Master of Shadows. Will we see the same huge levels in Shards of Darkness and how does Unreal Engine 4 help bring them to life?

Totally. I have the same team for the level design. I have the same team as the one on Master of Shadows. We know what is good in our game. We saw a few [things] that were not very good in the first one, we improved them. For example it’s much more smoother now to jump from ledge to ledge, it’s quite easy to achieve. We still kept the verticality and multiple passes.

Just everything is so much better?

Yes. It’s because of Unreal Engine 4: The shaders, technically it’s much more beautiful, and it’s better as well. We have some cut scenes in the game. It’s good for the story because we can have realization. Because in the first one the story was told through a 2-D drawing. Now it’s 3-D cut scenes because of the engine.

What is being done to fix the edge detection issues that plagued the launch of the original game?

It’s much more better right now. It will be very technical, more things that say, “can I do that? Ccan I grab that?” Now you can turn on a corner, you can jump from a ledge, it’s easier to grab an anchor. It’s much more better. It’s much more fluid. But you still need to be a little bit skilled to travel the distance. It’s not like in real life but it’s much more comfortable for the player to have this.

Medieval fantasy stealth is still pretty unrepresented despite some very good games in the genre. What are your thoughts on the same and how will Styx stand out among other stealth games?

First, you are a goblin. I haven’t seen any goblins in this area except ours. Second, we are not like the others because you are not a badass guy who shoots everybody when he’s detected. You have to flee, you are small, you have to use your special abilities. He’s fragile. So direct confrontation is not a good option in our game. It’s all about skills, it’s about not being detected to achieve that special trick. To know the mechanics, exploit them, and be creative with that.

When can we expect Styx: Shards of Darkness to release? Is it still on track for this year?

It will be released in the third quarter of this year.

Via Gamingbolt