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Uncharted 4 wins “Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing” from WGA

The Writers Guild of America continued their love affair with Naughty Dog last night, picking the developer as the recipient of a Writers Guild Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing” for their work on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

The credited writers on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End are Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr, Tom Bissell, and Ryan James, and each can stake a claim on the treasure that is this Writers Guild Award.

This is the fourth Writers Guild Award for the narrative team at Naughty Dog. The developer also came out on top of the “Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing” category in 2015 (The Last of Us: Left Behind), 2014 (2014 The Last of Us), and 2012 (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception).

Naughty Dog triumphed over three other highly-qualified nominees this year including Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Ubisoft’s Far Cry: Primal, and Night School Studio’s Mr. Robot: 1.51exfiltratiOn.

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Activision Blizzard to help veterans with Brass Personalization Pack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

Activision Blizzard has made a lot of money from its highly successful Call of Duty series, but behind the dramatic stories and Hollywood villains, a lot of real men and women have lived through what players only see.

That is why it is nice to see the company launch the Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Brass Personalization Pack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Priced at $4.99, the pack contains in-game items such as a Player Card, Universal Weapon Camo, Universal Reticle, and Emblem. Activision will donate 100% of the profits from the sale of this pack to the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit set up by the game company to help veterans find high quality jobs after their military service has ended.

The Endowment’s Executive Direct, Dan Goldenberg, revealed the impact that previous packs have made on veteran’s lives and livelihoods:

Through our previous Personalization Pack and Calling Card programs, the Call of Duty community contributed over $2.1 million to help 3,400 veterans secure good jobs. Employment is vital to providing stability when transitioning from military to civilian life. Raven, Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, Sony, and Microsoft continue to be indispensable partners in this effort, as the in-game program would not be possible without their generosity and commitment. We are grateful for their continued support.

To date, the Call of Duty Endowment has managed to find full time jobs for over 31,000 veterans, and aims to raise this number to 50,000 by 2019.

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Telltale Games is hiring for at least one unannounced project

Have you been looking to break into the video game industry? And do you love Telltale Games and their unique catalog of story driven titles? Then this news is for you.

Telltale Games recently updated their Jobs page and added a number of new open positions for some of the company’s future projects.

Want to make great games with fun people? Telltale is redefining the way the games industry works, and we’re looking for some new team members to help us forge the way. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, creative environment where the work you do will make a difference, we’d like to talk to you. Here are the positions we’re hiring for right now.

Telltale’s Eric Stirpe offered some advice for applicants on Twitter, but the developer is also searching for new Animators, Character Modelers, Front-End Developers, Voice Directors, Brand Managers, Programmers, and much more. But with so many new job openings, it’s very likely that Telltale is working on several new games. The question is, what?

Guardians of the Galaxy is expected to arrive “soon,” but so far, no release date has been announced. They are also working on Game of Thrones: Season 2, though we haven’t heard a peep about it since the first season ended. So it’s possible they could be hiring for work on either of the aforementioned games.

So it looks like Telltale has another huge batch of unannounced titles in the works. But right now, there’s only two ways to find out what they’re up to. You can try your hand at getting in on the ground floor by applying to one of their open positions. Or, you can wait for their next big announcement, whenever that may be.

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Weekly Warp-Up: T-Minus 12 Days from the Launch of the Nintendo Switch

No, that’s not a typo. Welcome to the Weekly Warp-Up, your weekly wrap-up of the biggest and the best articles posted at Warp Zoned this week…

We are T-Minus 12 days from the launch of the Nintendo Switch, so now is a good time as any to ask Is Nintendo Marketing the Switch to the Wrong Audience? For a company so closely liked with the childlike wonder that video games can create, we’ve noticed there’s been a distinct lack of kids in the Switch’s marketing materials.

But, of course, video games aren’t just for kids. And no where is there more evident than in latest Kickstart This! selection, a game adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

Finally this week, our Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time series looked at the simplicity of Space Invaders. Drop down, increase speed, and reverse direction!

You can find more news from this past week, including a recap of NIS America’s 2017 Press Event and a lost “Pac-Man” parody from Weird Al Yankovic, after the break. (more…)

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New Retail Releases: Halo Wars 2, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

It’s the calm before the (Switch) storm in the latest New Retail Releases report…

If you opted to skip last week’s release of the Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition (which includes access to the Season Pass and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition), Microsoft is giving you another chance this week with the Standard Edition launch of Halo Wars 2 for the Xbox One and Windows 10 (which also includes an Xbox One download thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere program). The real-time strategy game picks up 28 years after its predecessor and introduces players to a new enemy, Atriox, and his loyal army, The Banished. Players will be able to fight it out in the single-player Campaign, several different online multiplayer modes, and the card-based Blitz Mode.

Also available this week is Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, the latest Warriors game from Koei Tecmo and Omega Force. Available for the PS4, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is based on the Berserk manga series by Kentarou Miura and follows Guts, Griffith, Casca, and the Band of the Hawk as they battle demons.

We’ll be back later this week with a look at all the latest digital titles that’ll soon be available to download through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, and Nintendo eShop.

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Nihon Falcom and NIS America will release Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana this Fall

Publisher NIS America will team up with Nihon Falcom to release Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, the latest entry in the long-running action RPG franchise, this Fall for the PC, PS4, and Vita.

NIS’s Chris King confirmed (to the PlayStation Blog) the game will feature dual English and Japanese audio. He also revealed a few details about the game’s plot:

This will be the first brand-new Ys adventure in eight years! The story begins with Adol, shipwrecked and stranded on a cursed island. There, he and the other castaways establish a village to challenge fearsome beasts and explore mysterious ruins on the island. Amidst this, Adol begins to dream of a mysterious blue-haired maiden named Dana living in an unknown world. Join Adol as he unravels the riddle of the cursed isle and the blue-haired maiden in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana!

And over on Ys VIII’s Steam page, Nihon Falcom President Toshihiro Kondo delivered a message to fans and teased about a minute of gameplay footage.

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NIS America will release RPG Maker Fes for the 3DS this Summer

3DS owners will get the chance to create their own RPGs when NIS America brings RPG Maker Fes to the handheld this Summer.

RPG Maker Fes doesn’t require any programming skills, and players will be able to create a unique game with an original plot and characters, a cutomized battle system, and much more.

Dedicated RPG makers will also be able to share their creations through the RPG Maker Player app, which will be available to download through the 3DS eShop. Best of all, according to a post on the NIS America Blog, “The RPG Maker Player app allows anybody who has downloaded the app to play other player’s RPGs, absolutely free.”

A short teaser trailer for RPG Maker Fes has been embedded above.

Posted in 3DS, News | Tagged

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is finished; Coming to Switch in March and other platforms in April

Yacht Club Games has announced (via Twitter) that they’ve completed development on Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, the latest expansion to their NES-inspired platformer, Shovel Knight. The developer expects to launch Specter of Torment first for the Nintendo Switch in March. It’ll later be available as a free update on all other platforms (3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One) in April.

The Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove compilation (as well as the Shovel of Hope and Plague of Shadows standalone campaigns) should also be available for the Switch in March, with additional platforms to follow a month later.

Specter Knight’s campaign will actually take place before the events of Shovel Knight, and will depict how The Enchantress was able to recruit the evil Order of No Quarter. If you’re interested in learning how it all went down, Yacht Club Games will be attending this year’s PAX East expo to give fans a taste of Specter of Torment before it launches. The Boston-based convention kicks off on March 10.

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