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A new report from Bloomberg this morning is shedding some light on the state of Zynga, the once king of social gaming. According to the report, three of the company's top executives have left the company including: John Osvald, SVP of games; Jesse Janosov, a Zynga VP who ran Zynga's casino department; and Nathan Etter, Vice President of games.
These departures come hot on the heels of Zynga switching out CEO Mark Pincus with former president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick, at the beginning of July. It is still unclear if these departures are a direct result of the new CEO or if they decided to leave the sinking ship before anyone else did.
Intelligent Decisions is a company that creates virtual training simulations for the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, and they've just acquired a license to use Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3.
VP of Simulation and Training, Clarence Pape, said that the company will use the graphics engine to improve the movements of autonomous avatars in its Dismounted Soldier Training System, as well as adding haptic feedback for incoming fire, full skeletal controls and environmental variation.
Intelligent Decisions secured the license for Unreal Engine 3 from Applied Research Associates, Virtual Heroes and Epic through the Unreal Government Network. The Unreal Government Network, whilst sounding like a joke, is very real, and is a program that handles government contracts for the Unreal engine.
The world's largest DotA 2 championship tournament, The International, kicks off on Friday with group stage play and has quite the prize pool: over $2.7 million.
An extra $1 million has been added thanks to the sales of virtual items within DotA 2 by fellow gamers, so the prize pool could increase in the coming days. The DotA 2 Interaction Compendium has been on sale for nearly three months now, and allows gamers to make predictions for the tournament, as well as create fantasy teams within DotA 2.
Each sale is worth $10, with $2.50 of each sale going toward the tournament's prize pool, which has now passed $2.7 million. Valve have helped out here, with stretch-goal incentives that have seen six of the seven teams claiming thus far. The latest provides Compendium owners a new immortal item, as well as the other five perks unlocked up until now.
Australia has only just adopted a new R18+ classification for games, and at the first strike, they slam the ban hammer down on one game already: Saints Row IV.
The Classification Board "unanimously determined that Saints Row IV is classified Refused Classification." In the full words of the Classification Board: "In the Review Board's opinion, Saints Row IV could not be accommodated within the R 18+ classification as drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted."
The original case saw Saints Row IV being put under the microscope because of its "alien anal probe" weapon, which the Board considered too close to sexual assault. Deep Silver are submitting a "safe" version of Saints Row IV, with Deep Silver stating they were "reworking some of the code to create a version of the game for this territory by removing the content which could cause offence."
At the moment, it appears that the entire gaming world is waiting on Grand Theft Auto V to release, and if everything stays on schedule, the game will be in consumer's hands just 50 days from now on September 17. We have seen the action from the trailer, we have seen the official screenshots, and today we are getting a glimpse at 15 more official gameplay images.
Interestingly enough, we see that the game is still promoting its fictional 80's band Love Fist which we first saw make an appearance in GTA Vice City and then in San Andreas. We also see that the main characters are still able to base jump from tall structures and that running from the cops on ATVs looks to still be as fun as it ever was. We also get a glimpse at some new military style helicopters that are most likely user controllable as well! RockStar, if you are listening, please port this game to PC, I do not want to have to buy a console just to play one game.
I seriously hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears that there will not be a movie made around the vastly popular game Super Meat Boy... at least not from one
director scammer. Last week, Team Meat, the guys behind Super Meat Boy, published an hour long conference call in which a "director" was wanting to discuss working up a script for Super Meat Boy the movie. The guys caught on pretty quick that the guy was a scammer and they played along over the course the next hour and hilarity ensued.
During the conversation, Team Meat noticed that the so-called director had not even played the game as he had no clue on any aspect of Super Meat Boy. He asked them to hire him for 2 months so he could generate a "Blueprint" for the storyline at the cost of just $4,000. He then said that if everything went well, they would have to front $12k in "buddy money" for script production and if everyone was in agreement, then he would refund the $16k total that Team Meat had invested. The catch was, however, that if the director was not happy at any point, he could just take the $12k and call the whole project quits.
The video, embedded above and hosted on YouTube, is definitely worth a listen, if not for the lulz, then for the insight into how some of the true con artists in America attempt to scam possible victims. At one point, the scammer asks for sales figures and the guys reply that they are waiting on Microsoft to pay them $7 million in owed sales, and that Super Meat Boy's sales on a "small-time platform known as Steam" were eclipsed by sales on Direct to Drive. Team Meat held it together for the entire trolling session, and I must bow down to their expertise as trolling masters.
It was just over a month ago that Phil Fish announced Fez 2 at E3, but this morning it appears that the sequel to the popular indie game Fez will never be. This morning, Fish announced that Fez 2 has been canceled and he is leaving the industry for good. In a statement, Phil Fish wrote: "Fez II is cancelled, I take the money and I run. This is as much as I can stomach. This isn't the result of one thing, but the end of a long bloody campaign. You win."
Fish was quite the outspoken indie developer and stirred the pot quite a bit on occasion. He was featured in the popular documentary Indie Game: The Movie in which the cameras followed his triumphs and struggles with delays, massive bugs, and legal battles over Fez. Fish took massive criticism over Fez throughout the development process and the remarks continued even after the game was released and had become a huge hit. Apparently these comments, the pressure of topping Fez 1, and the stress that comes with being the sole developer on a massive game were just too much for Fish to take.
Valve took some time on Friday to squash a rumor from gaming blog NSS that Half-Life 3 was going to be shown at E3 2014. The report said that they had an e-mail from Valve developer John Guthrie, who said that the first-ever Half-Life 3 trailer, as well as a playable demo would be available at next year's E3.
He supposedly wrote: "I can't confirm all too much since the development is still in early stages, but for now I can confirm that we are going to release on both current and next generation consoles, and we will also release the game on our own platform exclusively for PC and Mac. We hope to have the first trailer ready for E3 2014, which we (after several times not attending) will finally come back to."
The creator of Half-Life has come out and said the report is "bogus", with the only reason they decided to step out of the shadows is because of how quickly the story had spread. I think we'll see it toward E3 2014, but I think we're going to see it released closer to the time that Oculus Rift hits the market.
Before next-gen consoles are here, and they usher in a kind-of-1080p gaming experience for us, 4K (or Ultra HD) was announced. We've seen a few sites play around with 4K gaming, but how do three 4K displays handle a game? What kind of insane rig do you need for this?
Well, Microsoft have done it, where they've slapped three Ultra HD-capable Sharp PN-K321 displays with the help of AMD and ASUS with three ASUS DirectCU II 7970s to show off some insane Ultra HD gaming. Dirt 3 was chosen as the game for its wide panoramic effect, with a single ASUS DirectCU II 7970 capable of pushing out 35 FPS, oh, at 11520x2160.
Yes, 11520x2160... I'll let that sink in for a minute.
Gearbox Software did kind of screw us on Aliens: Colonial Marines, and now one of the major voice actors from the game has stepped forward mirroring our opinion on the game.
Michael Biehn played Corporal Hicks in the James Cameron-directed "Aliens", and came back to voice his character for Gearbox Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines and when speaking to Game Informer, he said that the game was "kind of passionless". He compared his role with Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, where he plays Sergeant Rex Colt.
He described working with Blood Dragon's Creator Director, Dead Evans, as a positive experience, thanks to Evans' "interesting and creative presence" and passion. But during his time with Aliens: Colonial Marines, Biehn said he "didn't really have any fun". He added "It seemed kind of passionless. I think in movies, television and the gaming world, you get some people that are really, really passionate, and some people that are just going through the paces. They think that because they have a brand name they're going to get a hit game or hit movie out of it. That certainly was the situation on [Aliens: Colonial Marines]."