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Rovio, the creator behind the hit series Angry Birds, has announced that they will be expanding into the realm of game publishing. No longer will Angry Birds and its spinoffs be the sole source of revenue for the company. Now, Rovio will provide resources and exposure to third-party games they feel worthy of their attention.
One of the first games benefiting from Rovio's new publishing arm is Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage. You can see a trailer for the game embedded above. 5 Ant's Tony Thief will also be aided by Rovio Stars. We'll have to wait for a while to see how well Rovio Stars works. I'm sure plenty of people are hoping it doesn't become the next EA.
Welcome to Rovio Stars, the new mobile game publishing program from Rovio Entertainment! With more than 1.7 billion downloads and hundreds of millions of monthly active users, Rovio can introduce your game to a massive audience while supporting you with world-class marketing and PR. Our post-production services and extensive know-how take your game to all the relevant app stores, while our expert game teams can mentor you on fine-tuning your game and turning it into a blockbuster.
Google I/O is only days away, and the stream of teases isn't stopping anytime soon. Today, brings the news of Google Play Games, which has been seen in the just-updated Google Play Services that is being distributed around the place.
There's been teases of a game-related unveiling at Google I/O, but Android Police have done the detective work for us, showing off some game-related goodness. There are things such as leader boards and matchmaking services are activities that a future application can trigger, as well as achievements and invitations.
Google Play Games will intertwine with Google+, which will give it a nice social aspect, but is it enough? Can Google do it better than Apple's Game Center? Time will tell, and that time is getting shorter and shorter with Google I/O fast approaching.
As I sit here waiting for my Limited Edition Ouya console, a shipping update has hit my inbox. The shipping update reports that 65% of all Ouya units have left the Ouya warehouses, hitting planes, trains and automobiles on their way to early backers.
More than 60% were international orders, which is their most significant activity for international orders to-date. Limited Edition units continue to be pumped out, with Ouya "remaining confident that 100 percent of these orders will be en route to doorsteps two weeks from today".
I have a Limited Edition unit on back order, so here's hoping that I get mine before I board my plane to Taipei for Computex in three weeks time!
Oculus have just had quite the announcement for gamers, stating that they have shipped a beta for Half-Life 2 that now includes Oculus Rift support. In order to get it working, check out the post on Oculus' forum.
This is some incredible development for Oculus, who have seen support for Team Fortress 2, another Valve title, and now the inclusion of Half-Life 2 is forming an interesting relationship between the VR headset company and Valve. Do I smell a buyout by Valve? You heard it here first, folks!
Eager gamers will have to wait a few extra weeks to get their hands on the $99 Android-powered gaming console. The Ouya has been officially delayed until June 25 so that a controller defect can be fixed and so they can meet a "greater than expected demand."
We've had incredibly positive reactions from our retail partners, and so in order to meet their greater than expected demand, we decided to shift the launch date by a couple of weeks - three weeks - which will allow us to create more units and, basically, have more units on store shelves in June.
As far as the controller issue goes, a slight change is being made to the size of the button holes to prevent the buttons from getting stuck behind the faceplate. And early backers fear not, Ouya will be sending out the updated controller to backers as well.
In other news, the Ouya was recently torn down by iFixIt, who revealed that the console is easily repairable.
Assassin's Creed 4 developers talk about PlayStation 4 development and what it's allowing them to do
Ubisoft developers are excited about the upcoming PlayStation 4 and what it's capable of doing. People seem to be the most excited about the 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, but there are a lot of other benefits introduced with the PlayStation 4. The developers discussed the upcoming Assassin's Creed 4 game on video:
While we still have doubts that the PlayStation 4 will be able to compete with what is possible with a PC, it certainly ups the game for consoles. The new Assassin's Creed 4 looks like quite the game and some of the features discussed in the video, like seamless at-sea boarding, will really help with game immersion.
Battlefield 3 players will be saddened by the news that Battlefield 3 servers continue to be hit by a distributed-denial-of-service attack, rendering multiplayer basically unplayable. DICE has announced that, despite their security measures, the attack is continuing. They note that they are working around the clock to mitigate the impact.
Despite our security measures, we have been working around the clock to mitigate the impact of an ongoing denial-of-service attack on our Battlefield 3 game infrastructure over the last several days. While the motives are unclear, the focus of the attack has been interference with network communications preventing access to multiplayer gameplay. At this point, no user data is involved. We share your frustration about the impact this has had to our service and the ability for many of you to play Battlefield 3. We are working tirelessly to mitigate the problem.
As a part of our efforts to resolve these issues, we've conducted rolling restarts of Battlefield infrastructure servers to apply some updates. Thank you for your patience and support while we work to get everyone back and playing Battlefield 3 as soon as possible. More updates to come.
EA hates on the Wii U, says next-gen games won't arrive on the Nintendo Wii U due to performance issues with the Frostbite engine
EA and DICE have both worked hard on the Frostbite 3 engine, which will be the engine of choice to power many of their next-generation games. But, it looks like EA won't be putting any Frostbite 3-powered games on Nintendo's Wii U console.
Technical Director of the Frostbite project at EA DICE, Johan Andersson, has said that they've tested Frostbite 2 on the Wii U and found the results to be "not too promising", going as far as they "chose not to go down [the] path" of porting over the next-gen engine. EA have around 15 games under development on the Frostbite 3 engine, which means Wii U owners are going to miss out on some seriously huge games.
Games such as Battlefield 4, the next-gen Mass Effect, Star Wars and many, many more. Not only are Wii U owners going to miss out, but this means Nintendo's sales are going to continue to dwindle, even more so when Microsoft and Sony unleash their consoles into gamers' hands.
According to Shuhei Yoshida, Sony's Worldwide Studios president, Sony never even considered putting always-on DRM in the upcoming PlayStation 4. "Did we consider it? No, we didn't consider it," Yoshida said.
His reasoning makes sense, but unfortunately doesn't preclude Sony from adding always-on DRM on a future console. "The main reason being that many countries don't have robust Internet connections. It makes sense for people to have Internet connections to play online games, but for offline games there are many countries that we saw [that] do not really have robust Internet."
While this is good news, some are still worried that the upcoming Xbox will feature always-on DRM. However, a leaked memo suggests otherwise. Microsoft would have issues if Sony's PlayStation didn't feature always-on DRM and theirs did. It seems as though these companies have learned their lessons from others that always-on DRM is not a good choice.
While most of us are still waiting for the Ouya console to hit store shelves, iFixIt is busy tearing the console down to see just how repairable it is. Fortunately for us, the Ouya console is easily fixable. It's easy to open and isn't stuck together with any sort of adhesive.
iFixIt found some interesting things about the construction. For instance, the creators of Ouya put in five weights into the bottom of the console, likely to make it more stable. Without the extra two ounces of weight, the console would likely be tipped over by the weight of the cables plugged in the back.
iFixIt found that the Ouya console was hiding two 4 Gigabit DDR3 SDRAM modules made by Samsung, resulting in 1GB of RAM total. It runs an NVIDIA T33-P-A3 Tegra 3 multi-core CPU. iFixIt awarded the Ouya Console a repairability score of 9 out 10 meaning the console is easily repairable.