If you are a fan of music games, you probably played Rock Band at one time or another. This game was a competitor to Guitar Hero and added in drums and vocals on top of the guitar rhythm play. Rock Band isn't particularly popular any more.
Way back in 2010 Viacom sold off Harmonix and we haven't heard much form them in a while. Harmonix has now announced that it is working on a new video game. Like the other games that the company is known for, it will be music based.
The new game won't have instruments that let you play as Rock Band did. Oddly, the new game is described as a musical FPS title. The game is called Chroma and it is being produced in cooperation with Hidden Path. If you are familiar with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you are familiar with Hidden Path's work.
When it came to sales numbers for the last generation of consoles, the PS3 was typically outsold by the Xbox 360. Things are looking much different for the latest generation of game consoles with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One. Not all has been perfect in the PS4 launch story though.
Some users had issues with their PS4 hardware early on and supply was so limited, they had to wait until 2014 to get replacement hardware. Sony PS4 developers are also having success with games for the PS4 console flying off the shelves with over 9.7 million games sold as of January.
Sony is taking the time to officially brag about the sales of the PS4. Sony has now sold over 5.3 million units globally. That number came in early February even though the console is not available in Japan yet. Japanese gamers have been waiting to get their hands on the console and that launch will certainly help sales.
One of the most anticipated games of 2014 is Titanfall . We mentioned late last month that the demo for the game was coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC gamers giving us all a chance to check to the game before the official launch.
The game beta is available now and some gamer geeks have already set about data mining the demo code looking for hints at what goodies we can expect in the final production version of the game. Among the details that data miner dug up are the names of all 13 maps the game will offer and a bunch of power ups.
The new maps include Boneyard, Smugglers Cove, Airbase, Colony, Corporate, Lagoon, Nexus, O2, Outpost 207, Overlook, Relic, Rise, and Training Ground. We also know a few of the game modes that will come in the full version, or at least we think we know. The game modes were in the form of abbreviations in the beta code and some educated guesses were made on what those abbreviations mean.
The next generation console wars are raging with the PS4 and Xbox One gathering diehard fans to each side. If you are a fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise that likes high-resolution graphics, you probably want to get the coming title Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on the PS4. Ground Zeroes is the prologue to the game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is said to be much larger than Ground Zeroes.
Konami recently offered up some details on the Ground Zeroes games that will be available on game consoles. The publisher confirmed that Ground Zeroes would run natively at 1080p and 60 frames per second on the PS4.
Xbox One gamers on the other hand will be limited to a native resolution of 720p at 60 fps. Ground Zeroes will be offered on the Xbox 360 and PS3 as well with each of those versions running at 720p using internal scaling. However, the older consoles will only support 30 fps frame rates.
Many people will only know the infamous Kim Dotcom for his trouble with law enforcement over the file sharing website, MegaUpload, but Dotcom is actually most famous for being the best Call of Duty player in the world. For the past few years, Dotcom has dominated the world leader boards in several CoD games including Black Ops II as well as the recent title; Call of Duty: Ghosts, but all good things must come to an end.
Today Dotcom announced that he would be retiring from the Call of Duty franchise after becoming the first person in the world to reach 100,000 kills in Free-For-All mode in Call of Duty Ghost. A score of 5,000,000 accompany's that achievement, and to really put things into perspective, Dotcom managed to kill 100,000 players with only dying about 31,000 times himself, meaning for every time he died, he killed almost 3.5 people.
Dotcom's next goal is to become the best Titanfall player in the world, and with the game being developed by two past COD developers, there are a lot of similarities, making this the perfect game for Dotcom to dominate. With Betas active now, and the game officially releasing in March, we wont have very long to wait until we find out just how good Dotcom is at Titanfall either!
Another patch for Battlefield 4 on the PC is being pushed out from EA DICE, which should improve general stability, Mantle performance, and the usual bug fixes.
The latest patch for the game will fix a few problems gamers were having with gunner seat changes in an IFV/MBT that would cause the game to crash, a bomb carrier would be permanently spotted in Defuse mode, missing grass physics and an incorrectly placed invisible wall on the map Zavod 311. The PC version is being patched up first, with console versions receiving the update in the near future.
The Titanfall beta is now live for some, where I've been lucky enough to receive an invite to Titanfall's next-generation first-person shooter. The beta can be downloaded through EA's digital distribution service, Origin.
For those wondering about just how big Titanfall will be, the beta weighs in at 12.3GB - which is quite hefty for something that won't be anywhere near the full product. I have a slow Internet connection here Down Under, so expect my first impressions of the first-person shooter over the weekend.
The week just gone in the gaming world was quite hot for news, with some big stories breaking over the past week - something we cover in Podcast #12.
Lots happened in the gaming world over the past week, with EA coming out and calling Battlefield 4 an "exceedingly successful product", Flappy Bird coming in and out of our lives, over 15 million copies of Diablo 3 have now been sold, Titanfall beta registrations opening up, and a new police-themed Battlefield title is reportedly in development with Visceral Games.
EA Sports has teased a possible sequel to NBA Jam, a long-running fan favorite basketball title. NBA Jam made a return back in 2010, where it landed on the Nintendo Wii, and later on it jumped over to the Xbox 360 and PS3.
In 2011, an enhanced downloadable version was released called NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, which offered gamers gameplay improvements and new features. EA hasn't announced an NBA Jam sequel yet, but it is teasing it through Twitter, which is an interesting way of doing things, especially for Electronic Arts.
Total consumer spending in the gaming market reached $15.39 billion in 2013, signaling a 1 percent improvement over 2012, according to The NPD Group. Full-game downloads and downloadable content saw especially strong growth, in addition to more people embracing mobile gaming.
Both gaming hardware and software, in addition to downloadable content, should increase as cost-effective next-generation hardware becomes available.
"The bottom line is that the overall games market is growing," said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a press statement. "NPD reported declines in content and hardware spending in both 2011 and 2012, so the growth in 2013 is a positive indicator for future market growth as we enter the first full year with all three new consoles on the market."
The gaming industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry and is an indicator on the health of the overall consumer technology market.
If you want to signup for the Titanfall beta, your time has come: Respawn Entertainment and EA have just opened up registrations for the beta - on both the PC and Xbox One.
Registering for the beta doesn't guarantee you a spot, but it gets you in the running. EA will e-mail those who made it into the beta "no later than 11:59 PM PST on Feb 17th". We don't know what to expect from the beta, but we should see a couple of maps and game modes to play with. You can sign up right here.
I didn't think I'd ever be typing these words, but you can now pre-order Goat Simulator for $9.99 - yes, Goat Simulator. Coffee Stain Studios is behind the game.
The developer says that Goat Simulator is "a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don't expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you're better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you'd spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat".
Goat Simulator is coming out in Sprint 2014 for Windows, with "no plans for Mac/Linux support at this time". The power of the Internet, eh? You can now pre-order a goat simulation game, what is next?
EA has had two big launches in recent months, with SimCity and Battlefield 4 taking quite a lot of flak in regards to being complete, working products when they launched.
But during an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, EA's Chief Creative Officer, Rich Hilleman, talked about the launches of Battlefield 4 and SimCity, where RPS asked if EA was "overhauling how you approach launches internally from now on" to which Hilleman responded with: "I'm not sure I accept your premise. Battlefield 4 has been an exceedingly successful product on both consoles and PC. From a sales perspective, from a gameplay perspective".
Considering Battlefield 4 was, and is still broken for most people - the developer still says it was a successful product, both financially, and from a gameplay perspective. What do you think about that?
Batman: Arkham Origins has been plagued with issues since launch, and it appears that its developer, Warner Bros Montreal, has no plan on any further patches to fix the games remaining bugs. In a support post on the game's official forums, a developer revealed that the development studio is not planning any future patches to fix issues with the game. Instead, Warner Bros Montreal will focus on bringing new DLC to the game.
"Hi all, the team is currently working hard on the upcoming story DLC and there currently are no plans for releasing another patch to address the issues that have been reported on the forums," said the forum post. "If we do move forward with creating a new patch, it will try to address the progression blocking bugs for players, not the minor glitches that do not prevent one from continuing to play. The issues that are not progression blockers will unfortunately no longer be addressed. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused for some of you, and want to thank you for having been patient."
The thread was quickly inundated with post from angry gamers, and rightfully so. When you spend upwards of $60 on a game and commit to different DLC packs at additional cost, you expect that the game will work out of the box, and expect any issues that may arise to be taken care of swiftly. This is just a small segment in a long list of games that have been released with lots of bugs in recent years which have either taken quite a while to address of even be addressed at all.
Blizzard has just pledged support for college gaming groups that are part of The eSports Association (TeSPA). Blizzard will begin offering cash, in-game bonuses, and promo material as groups continue to grow in size, too.
The help is coming as some gaming groups cannot get access to resources to host larger tournaments, which is why the World of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft developer is jumping on-board. Groups with over 200 members will even be greeted with special guests, which is a nice touch. This will only help the eSports community, and gamers as a whole.
Irrational Games has announced that BioShock Infinite Season Pass holders on Steam will soon enjoy some BioShock-themed items in the immensely popular Team Fortress 2.
What should we expect? Well, a Benjamin Franklin mask, a George Washington mask, and the Team Fortress 2 version of the Little Sister's Big Daddy Pocket Doll. These items will be very exclusive, being made only for BioShock Infinite Season Pass owners, and will come free in addition to all of the other content that pass holders receive.
The pass itself costs $19.99 and includes the Clash in the Clouds add-on, Burial at Sea - Episode One, Burial at Sea - Episode Two, and the Early Bird Special Pack.
Flappy Bird burst onto the scene, addicted thousands, and is now disappearing behind the shadows once again. Creator of the game, Dong Nguyen, has tweeted that he plans to "take Flappy Bird down".
He said he would take it down 22 hours after posting the tweet, which went live at 2:02pm EST. Nguyen clarified: "it's not anything related to legal issues," adding "I just can't keep it anymore". There's no exact reason behind Nguyen's reasoning for taking it down, as he also dismissed the idea of selling Flappy Bird, too.
Activision Blizzard has announced that over 15 million copies of Diablo 3 have been sold. The news comes thanks to the company's latest financial report.
The report also stated that World of Warcraft ended 2013 with 7.8 million subscribers, where it continues to be one of the world's most popular subscription-based MMORPG's. Shifting back to Diablo, Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick says that the high Diablo 3 sale numbers is great as we head closer to Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls, which gets released next month.
Destiny was one of the most talked about next-gen games of 2013 and as the games launch draws closer, Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, is speaking out about how successful he feels the franchise will be. Bungie, the company actually developing Destiny is working hard behind the scenes fine tuning Destiny to be this years best MMORPG/FPS on the next-gen consoles, and if the company can mold it into anything like it did with Halo, then Destiny's destiny may very well be a billion dollar franchise.
"We expect Bungie's Destiny, an innovative shared-world, first-person action game to be Activision Publishing's next billion dollar franchise," said Kotick. "As we look to 2014 and beyond, we have the strongest and most diverse pipeline of games in our history." From the trailers, screen shots, and information I have seen on Destiny, I have to agree with Kotick. With Halo stalling out there is a huge gap to fill for the sci-fi shooter genera and I think Destiny can do it.
Until now, Activision had Infinity Ward and Treyarch releasing Call of Duty games every year, but now the studio has asked for another studio to come in and help, with Sledgehammer Games joining in on the COD fun.
The company has said that the three studios will be involved within the Call of Duty franchise, on a three-year schedule, in order to maintain quality while pumping that many differing Call of Duty games out. With Call of Duty: Ghosts coming nowhere near Battlefield 4 in terms of a leap to next-gen gaming, it'll be interesting to see what is in store for Call of Duty this year, and going into the future.
The World Cyber Games professional gaming league will close up shop after being founded in 2000, despite being the largest global electronic sport tournament. WCG officials sent an e-mail that said no tournaments will be hosted in 2014, as the group declined in quality and frequency over the past few years.
"There are many great moments based on your dedication," said Brad Lee, WCG CEO, in a statement to partners. "Although the brand has disappeared but WCG spirit will remain forever in the hearts of each player and fans. This moment is very difficult and painful for me. However, I must say good bye to the WCG."
Both PC and console gaming remain popular, but the lure for companies to jump into professional gaming, especially if trying to broadcast it, is difficult because they likely don't anticipate immediate return-on-investment. Instead, the WCG continued to host appealing events that largely flew under the radar to casual gamers and even most of the hardcore gaming community.