The Games of September 2015
Kickstart This! Anniversary Interview: Bendik Stang of Snowcastle Games Takes A Turn to Talk About Earthlock: Festival of Magic
Hype Fatigue: Why I'm Exhausted With Viral Marketing, Elaborate Advertising Campaigns, and Countdowns
Shigeru Miyamoto confirms that Pikmin 4 is in development
Nintendo plans to reissue rare Amiibo figures (Little Mac, Villager, Marth, more) this Fall
CoD: Advanced Warfare’s Reckoning Pack is now available on the PC, PS3, PS4
Xbox Store Today: Evolve Free Weekend, Rugby World Cup 2015, Super Toy Cars, more
Daily Scoop: September 4, 2015 – New PSN Plus games are great!
“Interim” patch for PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight is now available
Here’s the first trailer for The Gamechangers, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of GTA
Most Recent: Etcetera
As expected, Comcept’s Kickstarter campaign for Red Ash: The Indelible Legend has failed to reach its goal. The project’s $519,999 total fell quite short of the developer’s $800,000 target. The campaign was poorly run from the start, banking on nostalgia for Mega Man Legends, Kenji Inafune’s name recognition, and the success of Mighty No. 9‘s campaign. That’s game recent which was stealth delay probably didn’t help.
However, Comcept also had a second Kickstarter campaign related to Red Ash in the works at the same time. Red Ash: Magicicada is an anime short film produced by Studio 4°C, and unlike the game’s campaign, the anime has been fully funded, surpassing its $150,000 goal. The production company is proud of Magicicada and call it “a fast-paced, entertaining film in which unique characters explore various stages.” The anime won’t be released until 2017, to coincide with the release of the Red Ash video game.
Red Ash, the game, will continue development with Chinese publisher Fuze holding the purse strings. However, coupled with the announcement of the Might No. 9 delay days before the end of Red Ash’s Kickstarter deadline, and Comcept announcing they secured a publisher well into funding, they’re going to have to do a lot to win back consumer trust.
Have you ever noticed all the ads for companies that offer a monthly (or weekly) subscription for a box of random goodies? If you watch TV regularly, you must have seen at least one of these commercials. They have them for makeup and beauty care products, dog treats/items, snacks, video games, razors, tea, candy, toys/collectibles, books, baby samples, and even multiple places that will send you recipes plus all the ingredients you need to cook that meal. There’s probably even a bunch that I don’t know about. Or don’t want to know about. It’s possibly a little out of control, but people love getting packages and random surprises, so I can see the appeal.
Now Nintendo UK is throwing its hat into the monthly subscription box ring. As an alternative to the popular Loot Crate, which sends out nerdy toys, collectibles, and clothes, Nintendo is set to launch their own box — the “N-Box” (which should really look into maybe having a different name) — which will offer Nintendo items and merchandise featuring iconic characters.
MCV is reporting that the N-Box “will feature toys, clothes and other merchandise inspired by and branded with Nintendo icons such as Mario, Zelda and Pokemon” and that the boxes “are expected to be available individually, with gamers also able to subscribe to a three-, six- or 12-month plan.”
The N-Box is expected to debut pretty soon, and for now will only be available for UK consumers. Yet another reason to be jealous of the UK.
Have you heard? Word on the Internet is that there’s going to be a Minecraft movie coming out… sometime. There’s really no information on it just yet. But here’s one thing we do know, the director of the film has been announced to be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney.
McElhenney has mad credits on Sunny for creating, writing, producing, directing, and starring as Ronald “Mac” McDonald… not to mention snagging colleague and funny lady Kaitlin Olson. The announcement was made in a succinct blog post from Mojang, which offered no other information about the project. While McElhenney’s ascension to the position remains a temporarily confusing but delightful mystery, we have noticed some fun similarities between Minecraft and several recurring Sunny characters.
Minecraft aficionados will certainly remember the Creepers, which are very reminiscent of the infamous Green Man (Charlie Day’s Charlie, high out of his mind, in a full-body green spandex suit), who first debuted in the season three episode “The Gang Gets Invincible.” And who can forget Day Man and the creepily suggestive Night Man, which viewers may recall from Charlie’s weird musical, “The Nightman Cometh,” from the end of season four. Both characters seem to parallel the protagonist “Steve” and the mysterious Enderman.
With these concurrent elements in mind, McElhenney now seems like a natural fit for the film. It almost begs the question, was Notch just a huge Sunny fan all along?
The NBA 2K franchise is well known for its expansive soundtracks, and this Fall’s NBA 2K16 will be no exception. Sporting the largest soundtrack ever included in the series, 2K Games has recruited famed producers DJ Khaled, DJ Premier, and DJ Mustard to curate a 50-song soundtrack for the game. Split into five distinct playlists, each artist also created two tracks that’ll be available only in the game.
You can listen to the entire playlist (minus the exclusive tracks) on Spotify right now, or you can find all 50 songs after the break.
NBA 2K16 will be released for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 29 (more…)
In early 2012, Double Fine nearly broke the game industry when they introduced the words “Crowdfunding” and “Kickstarter” to many gamers for the first time. The crowdfunding model has become a fixture of the gaming landscape in the years since, and while Double Fine’s campaign may not have been the first, they certainly made it a viable option that developers such as Brian Fargo and Keiji Inafune would eventually use.
Along with the game that would eventually become Broken Age, Double Fine also produced a behind-the-scenes documentary series with 2 Player Productions known as Double Fine Adventure. In Schafer’s words, he wanted to “show us how the sausage was made.”
After more than three years of filming, and twenty main episodes (along with countless extra “Sidequest” episodes), the documentary reached it’s grand conclusion over the weekend. Originally, the series was an exclusive for Kickstarter backers, but as the game neared completion, Schafer decided to unleash the series to the public early.
Regardless of what you thought of the game, the documentary series has made the whole ordeal more than worth it. As someone who backed the Kickstarter campaign all those years ago, I can’t tell you how inspiring and informative these episodes are. Before this, the world of game development always happened behind closed doors, but no longer.
This series has been different. It’s showcased game development from the very start of the creative process to the release of the game, and it’s aftermath, and it did it with a relatively large studio as well. We like to think game development is all sunshine and lollipops and that everything is all fun all the time, but this series goes to show that isn’t the case. I heartily recommend it, even if you’re not interested in game development because it’s so much more than a behind the scenes, how-to documentary, it’s a captivating look into the creative process.
2 Player Productions recently began work on a Blu-ray release for Double Fine Adventure and you can pre-order it at adventure.DoubleFine.com.
Over a year after it was first confirmed, Legendary Digital Media, Contradiction Films, and video game developer Comcept announced today that Kickstarter success Mighty No. 9 will be getting its own live-action adaptation. The feature-kength film will be released on “digital platforms,” with no word on a theatrical or physical release.
The Keiji Inafune-developed vehicle already has a cartoon series in the works slated for 2016. In the past, Inafune has spoken at length about how he wants the game to be turned into a multimedia mega-franchise with “comic book, manga, anime, movie, TV drama series” and more.
This is the second time Inafune has worked with Legendary Digital and Contradiction, the first coming in the form of Dead Rising: Watchtower, a mediocre film based on Inafune’s Dead Rising series.
For a game that hasn’t been released yet, the creators and investors of Mighty No. 9 seem to have high expectations for it. Inafune recently launched a pair of Kickstarter campaigns for Red Ash, a Mighty No. 9 spinoff franchise that will include a third-person action game and a companion anime short.
Inafune is certainly promising a lot before he’s delivered anything. Mighty No. 9 will be released on September 15 (and it’ll be playable at this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con), but his creator has already seemingly moved on to a feature film, a cartoon series, and two other crowdfunding campaigns. That’s a lot for any developer.
After teasing it a few days ago, Keiji Inafune and his team at Comcept officially announced a spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends at the Anime Expo today.
Unlike a traditional Mega Man game, Mega Man Legends melded third-person shooting with RPG conventions while still referencing Mega Man’s rich history. The third-person shooter/RPG hybrid Red Ash: The Indelible Legend will do something similar by serving as a spiritual cousin to Inafune’s upcoming Mighty No. 9. Like Mighty No. 9, Red Ash will also star two teenagers named Beck and Call with a penchant for robotics and adventure. But that’s where the similarities end…
Danger looms over hundreds of thousands who make the city of Great Slope their home. The Mobile Citadel “KalKanon” is currently on a crash course with this city. At this rate, a major disaster is all but unavoidable.
Gecko Company, one of the organizations central to Great Slope, has prepared a massive electromagnetic cannon christened “The Peacemaker” to combat this catastrophe. They announced their plan to destroy the massive Fortress-City before it reaches the settlement. Great Slope quickly switches from a city enveloped in panic, to one ready to sit back and enjoy the fireworks of the special, once-in-a-lifetime Burning Cannon Festival. However, not everyone welcomes this announcement; particularly the young owner of the Bones Company, Call C. Bones. All Delvers have heard the famous folktale… that inside the belly of KalKanon rests the Legendary Legacy…
Of course, she sends the request for this crazy job to her favorite stooges: partners Beck and Tyger.
Comcept also launched a Kickstarter campaign today to help fund the development of Red Ash. The developer is seeking $800,000 and hopes to have the completed game ready for release on the PC by July 2017. However, a series of stretch goals would expand the size and scope of the game considerably (the first, at $1.3 million, will nearly double it). There’s no gameplay footage yet, but a wide variety of great-looking concept art is available on the campaign page.
A separate Kickstarter campaign has also been launched for a companion anime film, Red Ash: Magicicada, to be produced by Studio 4°C. This campaign is seeking a more modest $150,000, of which $13,000 has already been pledged. The anime won’t be a direct adaptation of the game and will instead explore “unique worlds and stories” with the same characters.
A console release for Red Ash: The Indelible Legend is a possibility, but it may not happen for a while. Writing in the campaign’s FAQ, Inafune and Comcept wrote they “want to first focus on making as good of [a] game as we can.”
New Dark Horse Comics… a CoD Black Ops III prequel, Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, and the return of “classic” Lara Croft
Dark Horse Comics just announced a trio of new game-related projects ahead of next weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con.
The one that will surely get a lot of people talking is a prequel series to Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Set for release on November 4, the series will be written by Larry Hama, with art by Marcelo Ferreira. An exclusive minicomic promoting the series will be available Dark Horse’s booth during Comic-Con.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops III comic book series follows an elite group of cybernetically enhanced soldiers as they wage a secret war across a futuristic, war-torn world transformed by technology. In the first issue, the elite squad infiltrates Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to take down a double agent… but as they close in, the operatives uncover something much more sinister at hand.
Not so surprising is the expansion of the company’s line of Plants vs Zombies comics, which will continue to bloom with the launch of a Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare series on October 28. Serving as a prequel to this Fall’s Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, it’ll feature a story by Paul Tobin and art from Jacob Chabot:
In the recently announced Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, zombies have taken over, and now, for the first time in franchise history, the plants are on the attack. Delivering a story taking place between Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare and Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, the Garden Warfare comic has the exclusive reveal of how Dr. Zomboss conquered Suburbia. The evil-genius leader is up to a whole new set of tricks—and this time, he’s succeeding, thanks to his mighty Imp and Z-Mech! But hope remains, as our zombie-battling champs Nate and Patrice discover horticultural help from the future and the past, and Crazy Dave misses out on an ice-cream cruise!
Finally, Dark Horse will bring back the “classic” Lara Croft from 1996’s Tomb Raider in Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen. Written by Corinna Beckho, with art by Randy Green, the first issue will go on sale on October 7:
In this all-new adventure, Lara must stop a group of cultists from causing world-wide cataclysmic devastation, and ancient ivory artifacts hold the key to both salvation and destruction! It’s a race against time in Lara’s new quest, filled with incredible action, dual pistols, and non-stop adventure.
You can take a look at the cover art of each #1 after the break. (more…)