Most Recent: PC

Hype Fatigue: Why I’m Exhausted With Viral Marketing, Elaborate Advertising Campaigns, and Countdowns

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The machinations of video game marketers absolutely baffle me. Obviously, “video game marketing” is an incredibly broad term that encompasses hundreds of different campaigns a year, all run by different people, and all carried out with different expectations. Whipsawing between a seemingly neverending series of hype events and viral campaigns has started to make my head spin. Following hashtags and decoding secret messages has become de rigueur if you want to come up with all the latest game news. Last week, three publishers launched three very different viral campaigns that made me long for the days of the simple press release/trailer combo platter. But maybe they aren’t to blame, as video game marketing has been growing increasingly insane for years now. (more…)

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EA has unveiled first Star Wars: Battlefront trailer and details

Are you still reeling from yesterday’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer? Prepare yourself for even more tears of nerdy joy as Electronic Arts and DICE pulled back the curtain on the first Star Wars: Battlefront trailer today.

Taking place on Endor, gamers were greeted to an exciting mix of ground and vehicle combat as speederbikes buzzed between trees, Rebel troops did battle with Stormtroopers, and a squadron of Y-Wings performed a bombing run on a massive AT-AT. It’s an amazing display of “Game Engine Footage” (no gameplay just yet), which segues into a quick spin around the galaxy for visits to Hoth, Tatooine, and the never-before-seen Sullust. The trailer also gave us fleeting glimpses of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the Millennium Falcon… all three of which will be playable in the game.

Star Wars: Battlefront won’t feature a campaign mode, but will instead focus on a variety of 40-person multiplayer battles set during the Original Trilogy. However, a single-player Mission Mode will be included that will also offer the opportunity for local or online co-op play with a second player. Whichever way you play, gamers will be able to seamlessly switch between first-person and third-person views as they fight on the ground or in the air.

“Like so many others around the world, everyone at DICE is a tremendous fan of the Star Wars universe,” said Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, the Senior Producer of Star Wars: Battlefront. “To be working on a Star Wars project and knowing we are helping to represent the universe we love to our generation and a legion of new Star Wars fans is truly an honor. Thanks to the access and knowledge shared with us by Lucasfilm, and the passion and talent of our team, we plan to deliver an amazing game that puts you right in the middle of the Star Wars battles you always imagined playing.”

As expected, Star Wars: Battlefront will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 17. Players who pre-order the game will receive early access to the Battle of Jakku expansion, which takes place after Return of the Jedi. “The pivotal moment when the New Republic confronted key Imperial holdouts on a remote desert planet in the Outer Rim” will be available to all as a free download on December 8. But players who pre-order the game will get it a week earlier on December 1.

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Halo: Spartan Strike was quietly released today for Windows 8, iOS devices

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After discovering a variety of major bugs in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Microsoft and 343 Industries pushed the release of Halo: Spartan Strike, a twin-stick spinoff, from December 2014 to “early 2015.” Today, the game was quietly released for the PC (via Steam), Windows 8 tablets and PCs, iOS devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad), and Windows Phone 8. Halo: Saprtan Assault, which was originally released in 2013, also makes its iOS debut today as part of the Halo: Spartan Bundle.

Developed by Vanguard Games, Xbox Wire says Spartan Strike takes place during Halo 2 and serves as a training ground for Spartan soldiers:

Halo: Spartan Strike tells a compelling new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. As a Spartan supersoldier in a classified ONI simulation, delve into 30 challenging missions while leading UNSC troops through cities and jungles with an all new arsenal of weapons, abilities and vehicles.

Players who advance through Halo: Spartan Strike’s Achievements will be able to unlock an exclusive Emblem, Nameplate, and Avatar in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. So I guess it’s got that going for it.

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Battlefield Hardline pulls off a heist to become best-selling game of March 2015

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Hey, have you heard of this Bloodborne game? I hear its pretty popular and that Sony’s got a bonafide hit on their hands. It even sold more than a million copies. For all the acclaim Bloodborne has received and all the copies it surely has sold, the game was topped in last month’s NPD rankings by Battlefield Hardline. Developed by Visceral Games, Battlefield Hardline is a cops-and-robbers spin on the Battlefield series and it, not Bloodborne, managed to become the best-selling game of March 2015.

That said, nearly every game of note managed to crash the top ten last month including Mario Party 10 (#4), MLB 15: The Show (#6), Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (#9), and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (#10). Nintendo’s Code Name: STEAM was the only other March release that seemed like it might have enough juice to reach the top ten, but it was pushed out by Grand Theft Auto V (#3), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (#5), and other returning heavy hitters.

The NPD Group (via Game Informer) used this new release drought to explain why March 2015’s game sales were down 6% from the same month a year ago. NPD’s Liam Callahan was also quick to point out that March 2014 saw the release of two very well-received games in TitanFall and InFamous: Second Son. Callahan also confirmed that the PS4 outsold the Xbox One for another month.

March 2015’s top ten best-selling titles can be found after the break. (more…)

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Star Wars: Battlefront Stormtrooper teaser art points towards November 17 launch too

starwarsbattlefront-stormtrooperIf Electronic Arts hadn’t already leaked the November 17 release date of Star Wars: Battlefront with their source code snafu, this might have been quite the scoop. Still, it’s pretty interesting that the Stormtrooper featured in the publisher’s recent teaser image is absolutely covered in 11s and 17s.

The most obvious “11” is the lighting shadow on the Stormtrooper’s shoulder pad. But there’s another “11” at the very top of his helmet and quite a number of other paired slashes that could be 11s if you stare at them long enough.

As for 17s, I found three, and there might be more. The most obvious is the pair of 17s found on the helmet, which I’ve circled in red. But there’s also a very well hidden “17” scored into his shoulder pad right next to the “11.”

Is it possible I’m seeing things? Absolutely. But DICE Community Manager Vincent Vukovic told fans on Twitter to “dig deeper” as the image was specifically created for this reveal. If you’re going to go to all that trouble, why not hide some cool stuff in there? You can find the unaltered image after the break. (more…)

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Star Wars: Battlefront will launch on November 17 as new images tease tomorrow’s trailer

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EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront reveal will begin tomorrow at 1:30 PM (Eastern Time), but a sneak preview of the game’s official website has confirmed its November 17 release date. It’s since been deleted, but earlier today the site’s source code included a hidden bit of text that read: “The latest news and updates for Star Wars Battlefront. Available November 17, 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.”

The site also includes a nice look at the Stormtrooper teaser image the publisher was slowly revealing through their Instagram account earlier this week.

Finally, a short teaser video for Star Wars: Battlefront was appended to the end of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer (pay attention to the leftmost box). It’s small and short, but it’s our first glimpse of the game in action.

If for some reason you have yet to watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer (you’re being held captive by a pasty dictator aboard his space station, for example), I’ve helpfully embedded it after the break. (more…)

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Project CARS will launch on May 6 with support for 12K monitors

After several delays, Slightly Mad Studios and Bandai Namco have announced Project CARS will definitely be released this May. PC gamers will be able to download it through Steam on May 6. If you plan on picking it up for a console, be advised that PS4 and Xbox One owners will have to wait until May 12. Finally, Project CARS will be released (for all platforms) in European countries on May 7 and a day later, May 8, throughout the UK.

To celebrate the good news, Slightly Mad has put the pedal to the metal on a brand new trailer, which has been embedded above. They’ve also updated the game’s Official FAQ with confirmation that the PC release will support 12K monitor (a 11520×2160 resolution).

How ridiculous is that? Very, actually, because 12K display technology don’t yet exist. The resolution is currently only available by jury-rigging three 4K monitors together and powering it with a PC that has four GeForce Titan graphics cards stuffed into it. The future is now and Slightly Mad is in the driver’s seat.

On a lower resolution note, a Wii U edition of Project CARS remains in development and Slightly Mad still plans to release it sometime before the end of the year.

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Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will be available through Steam Early Access on April 21

Frozenbyte announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power just six weeks ago, but they assured fans they’ve been for “a long time.” Clearly, they were telling the truth as the developer just revealed that Trine 3 will be available through Steam Early Access on April 21.

Priced at $19.99, the full version should be released sometime this Summer:

Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief have slowly come to the conclusion that having their lives commandeered by a powerful magical artifact is not a desirable state of existence on a permanent basis.

The heroes try to return their extraordinary gifts to the Artifact called Trine, and so they meddle with powers beyond their understanding. Trine shatters. With a literally heartless ancient sorcerer on the loose, and only a broken artifact to guide them, the heroes must try and repair the damage they’ve caused… or the damage that might yet be done.

Frozenbyte plans to host a Trine 3 livestream on April 20 to get fans ready for the Early Access launch. Tune in to their Twitch Channel at Twitch.tv/FrozenbyteGames at 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) for an extended look at the newest game in the pioneering puzzle-platformer series.

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