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Star Wars: Battlefront has captured the most nominations at 2015 Gamescom Awards

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Germany’s Digital Gaming Culture Foundation (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) has announced the nominees for this year’s Gamescom Awards… and Star Wars: Battlefront has Force Pushed its way to the top of the pack. DICE’s shooter sequel was able to collection four nominations including “Best Console Game – PlayStation 4,” “Best PC Game,” “Best Action Game,” and “Best Online Multiplayer Game.”

Battlefront was able to move slightly ahead of the pack, as a small handful of games received three nominations apiece. Final Fantasy XV, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Super Mario Maker, Skylanders SuperChargers, and Guitar Hero Live are all up for three awards.

Even if you’re not one of the jury members for the Gamescom Awards, you can have an influence on the results. The general public can vote for any game on display at the expo for a Most Wanted Consumer Award using the Gamescom app.

The winners of this year’s Gamescom Awards will be announced on August 7. The full list of nominees can be found after the break. (more…)

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Behind-the-scenes article paints Konami executives as Orwellian dictators

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Nikkei, a Japanese financial newspaper, recently published an article that delves into the struggles and horrible working conditions of employees at Konami. Basically, it is not pretty, and if anything, Hideo Kojima’s rumored departure can only be seen as a good thing.

The article is entirely in Japanese, and the website requires a subscription to fully access it, but volunteer translators have been working on the article and released some highlights this morning through NeoGAF. Additional translations are available at GamesIndustry.biz and Kotaku.

A number of anonymous employees spoke to Nikkei about life at Konami, describing a prison-like environment. Employees who are deemed “useless” are either sent to the assembly line to work on pachinko machines, or are reassigned to become security officers. Some are even forced to clean up the gym located in Konami’s headquarters. And this punishment isn’t just limited to low-level workers, producers and other prominent creators have also had this type of grunt work hoisted on them.

Lunch breaks are said to be regulated via time cards, and any employee who runs late is “outed” from the company. Konami’s employees are also said to be under heavy surveillance at all times. Even Solid Snake himself couldn’t dodge all the security cameras and punch clocks that line the company’s halls.

All these measures allegedly stem from the success Konami had with a mobile game known as Dragon Collection, which has made far more money and was much cheaper to develop than any console game the company produced in years. This news is certainly in line with Konami’s recent attitude, which has led to the cancellation of the majority of their console projects, including Silent Hills.

Nikkei’s report also states that, as of April 2015, Konami had spent $80 million on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Coupled with the publisher’s desire to move towards mobile games, this astronomical budget likely had something to do with Konami’s rift with Kojima.

Konami has already stated they plan on continuing with the Metal Gear series, as well as Pro Evolution Soccer, but beyond that, much of the company’s plans remain a mystery.

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If you buy Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you’ll get Gears 1-3 + Judgment on Xbox 360 for free

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Before Microsoft officially revealed Gears of War: Ultimate Edition at this year’s E3 Expo, there was a rumor floating around that the publisher was actually working on a multi-game Marcus Fenix Collection. That rumor was quickly shot down by The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson, but today’s announcement might be the next best thing.

Writing on the Xbox Wire, Microsoft has announced that everyone who purchases Gears of War: Ultimate Edition before December 31, 2015 will receive Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War: Judgment for the Xbox 360 for free. And with the Xbox One’s upcoming backwards compatibility update, all four games will be playable on the publisher’s newest console this Fall:

All Gears of War titles will be supported on Backward Compatibility when it launches publicly this fall. This means if you own Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 or Gears of War: Judgment on Xbox 360, you’ll be able to play them on your Xbox One and utilize some of your favorite next-gen features like Game DVR, Snap, screenshots and more. You can even keep all your previously-saved files, game add-ons, Achievements and play with friends on Xbox Live no matter which Xbox console they’re on. For those of you in the Xbox One preview program who just can’t wait, the original Gears of War is available today in Backward Compatibility.

This is just the first of many Gamescom announcements Microsoft has on tap for this week, so stay tuned for more.

Posted in News, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , , ,


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GameStop: Comcept or Deep Silver told us Mighty No. 9 will not be released in 2015

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Last week, we told you that most retailers had removed Mighty No. 9‘s previously-announced release date of September 15, 2015 from their online storefronts. Today, GameStop revealed to Game Informer that their corporate policy states this type of release date change is only made at the request of the developer or publisher. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that Mighty No. 9 will be released for any of its planned platforms (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One) by the end of the year. Mighty No. 9 is also in development for the 3DS and Vita, but its tentative “late 2015″ release date has probably been erased as well.

Game Informer attempted to contact both Deep Silver and Comcept for comment, but the publication was unsuccessful. Publisher Deep Silver refused to comment, while developer Comcept didn’t reply to the request at all.

While it’s just speculation on my part (and Game Informer’s, for that matter), I believe Comcept is staying quiet about Mighty No. 9’s delay because the crowdfunding campaign for their next game, Red Ash: The Indelible Legend, is currently in its final hours. With just under three days to go, the game has only secured funding for 60% of its $800,000 target, and a delay to their high profile spiritual successor to the Mega Man franchise can only hurt the public’s confidence in the developer.

At this pace, it probably won’t reach its goal, but Comcept recently signed a publishing agreement with Fuze and will complete the game regardless.

Posted in 3DS, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

The “Official Story Trailer” for Lego Dimensions is absolutely bonkers

  • The Riddler riding a Balrog!
  • Gandalf riding a hoverboard!
  • Marty McFly fighting evil with “The Power of Love”!
  • The Batman from the Lego Batman games arguing with the Batman from The Lego Movie!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Lego Dimensions “Official Story Trailer” has it all! This absolutely ridiculous look at WB Games’s massive crossover project seems to includes everything that made TT Games’s previous Lego projects great. But if the official plot description is anything to go by, there’s a lot more insanity to come:

In the game, there is an ancient planet at the center of the Lego Multiverse inhabited by an evil mastermind, Lord Vortech. It is said that he who controls the Foundational Elements that this planet is built upon, controls all of the Multiverse. Lord Vortech has vowed to be that ruler, summoning characters from a variety of Lego worlds to help him find these building bricks of Lego civilization. Some have agreed, others have rebelled, and only the combined powers of the greatest Lego heroes can stop him.

Lego Dimensions will mix together 14 Lego worlds including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Back to the Future, Scooby-Doo, Doctor Who, Jurassic World, Ghostbusters, The Simpsons, Portal, Lego Ninjago, Lego Chima, and The Lego Movie. WB Games will also add characters from Midway Arcade to the action, and if that means that I get to play as Lego Sub-Zero I will lose my freakin’ mind.

Lego Dimensions will be released for the PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 27.

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Xbox Store Today: King’s Quest Chapter 1, Life Is Strange Episode 4, more

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Four new games were added to the Xbox Games Store today. Without further adieu, here we go…

  • King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember (Xbox 360, Xbox One) kicks off The Odd Gentlemen’s reboot of the classic adventure game. Return to the middle ages as King Graham reminisces on his journey from a young teen to the most powerful man in all the land.
  • Meanwhile, Life Is Strange: Dark Room (Xbox 360, Xbox One) is nearing its end as Chloe finds out exactly why time travel is a bad idea. And not just because of all the runaway open-air manure trucks.
  • World of Tanks: Xbox One Edition will, not surprisingly, bring the World of Tanks franchise to the Xbox One for the first time. Players will be able to pilot a wide variety of mid-century tanks and battle both Xbox One and Xbox 360 players in this free-to-play game.
  • Finally, Squid Hero For Kinect (Xbox One) asks players to smash ice with motion controls.

More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in News, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged , ,


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It’s Always Blocky in Minecraft… because Rob McElhenney is directing the movie

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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?

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Players will be able to unlock Premium Show DLC in Guitar Hero Live by completing songs

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Like Street Fighter V and it’s two-tiered “Fight Money/Zenny” system, Activision is also planning to give players the opportunity to unlock paid DLC in Guitar Hero Live with in-game currency.

If you’d prefer to skip all that and just buy the DLC content with cold hard cash, that’s an option too. Players will be able to purchase Hero Cash, which can be exchanged for “Premium Shows” in Guitar Hero Live’s GHTV mode. Activision’s Matt Clark drummed up a rundown of the system at the Activision Games Blog:

When a new Premium Show launches on the GHTV service, players will have the ability to unlock it by completing a set challenge. To gain access, you’ll have to complete songs and hit a certain star level—Guitar Hero’s system for measuring your performance. So, if you do a great job playing a particular song, you’ll gain admission to new Premium Content, such as live concert videos and more. But if you want to save time and get instantaneous access, you can also unlock Premium Content immediately with a simple purchase via Hero Cash. Premium Content also offers unique prizes, like Note Highways, player cards, and more.

Guitar Hero Live will be available for the PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and mobile devices on October 20.

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