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Digital game developers are being enticed to head across the pond and set up shop in the UK, with millions of dollars in possible tax breaks. Up to an estimated £115 million ($171 million) could be at stake over the next four years, though the government hasn't set a tax break cap yet.
To qualify for the tax break, however, developers will be required to take a "cultural test," in an effort to verify they are creating games directed to Europe. Games in the English language, made by European developers, in-game locations in Europe, or with characters with European influence, will earn more points of the test.
"I remember when people were first talking to me about this," said Jason Kingsley, chairman of the London-based game industry group Tiga, in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal. "They were saying, 'Are we going to have tons of games based on double-decker buses and people with bowler hats?" The answer is no. But you could have games like that, and they would probably qualify very easily."
Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning wonders how capitalism is impacting the current state of video game development. Many independent or smaller game studios have a tough time fighting off larger game studios, able to dump millions of dollars into each title - even so, it's not uncommon to see game studios close, with mass layoffs or terminations.
"As craftsmen, our opportunity lies in finding the niches where we know our audience, we focus on it, we listen to it, we respect it, we treat it with some grace." said... So the budget's going up, and now [publishers are] saying, 'Now we're spending $20 million on a title and not $5 million, and at $20 million, we need better terms."
Lanning thinks studios should focus more on shifting development focus towards titles for niche audiences - which would give gamers more entertaining titles, while also providing developers the chance to show their creative side more.
Team Ninja has just released Dead or Alive 5: Last Round for the PC, but it is missing some of the key components of the game. For example, it doesn't have online play right now, and won't for another three months. But there's more:
- It's not getting online play for another three months. THREE MONTHS.
- There are no achievements.
- Steam Cloud is not supported.
- There's no rumble support for gamepads.
- The in-game visual effects are equivalent to the PS3 version, not the PS4 version.
- Two stages - The Danger Zone, The Crimson - are not included.
Team Ninja hasn't hidden the fact, but it does make you question why they released it onto the PC in this state. I'm sure that PC gamers would rather wait a few more months to get a better version, something that has better graphics than the PS4 version - as the PC version currently looks like the PS3 version. Not to mention the lack of online play.
Heroes of the Storm is the hot new game right now, with World of Warcraft and Diablo developer Blizzard behind it. We are working directly with Mionix on this competition, giving away a huge 200 keys to the game!
In order to enter, we'll be taking the first 200 comments from this post on our Facebook page. The first 200 comments win themselves a HOTS key, but remember - they are for EU gamers only. If you don't secure a key through there, you can register with Mionix directly, here.
Wondering if eSports is growing? The answer is yes! ESL recently released an info-graphic showing that they played host to 8.78 million unique viewers on Twitch TV alone throughout their Katowice ESL One CS:GO event - meaning this does not include any other streaming service or live audience members.
Other than this 198% rise in unique viewership, they also broke the 1 million concurrent viewer milestone - seeing 1,012,745 tune in at one time.
As for the tournament itself Fnatic took the crown, seeing their player Olofmeister rated as the highest-point fantasy league player alongside his team conceding the quickest round loss of 13 seconds.
Click on the image for a closer look.
We've just learned that the Nantwich Education Partnership, a group of head teachers from 16 different English schools, will be reporting parents to the police if they allow their children to play 18+ games such as GTA V.
A letter has been sent home to parents explaining that these types of games may leave their precious children "vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence" while further resulting in "early sexualised behavior."
The letter went on to state that "if your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game, or associated product, that is designated 18+ we are advised to contact the police and children's social care as this is deemed neglectful." Alongside GTA 5, Call of Duty, Dogs of War has been pointed out as a highly influential title.
During The Walking Dead's season finale, Microsoft aired a new advertisement for Halo 5: Guardians, teasing its release date on the Xbox One for October 27, 2015.
In the trailer above, you see Agent Locke walking through a city that has been reduced to almost nothing, where he walks toward a statue of Master Chief. As he gets closer to the statue, Master Chief is laying down pretty wounded and looking down for the count. The ad ends with Agent Locke pulling a pistol on Master Chief, before it goes to black and displays the Halo 5 logo, and 10.27.15.
Halo 5: Guardians is the next big thing for Microsoft this year, so expect a better unveiling at E3 2015 in June before its October 27, 2015 release on the Xbox One.
Nintendo and Sony are extremely popular in their native country of Japan, but Japanese game studios have to make changes on story lines of games - especially role-playing games - in an effort to cater to audiences in both countries. A well known Japanese game director recently spoke about what he believes are the differences between RPGs in the United States and JRPGs available in Japan.
"One difference is that [Xenoblade Chronicles] did a good job of incorporating the innate heroism of JRPGs... allowing the user to become the hero, to become the protagonist," said Tetsuya Takahashi, director at Monolith Software, speaking in the newest Iwata Asks interview series. "On the other hand, games made in the west - and this is only my personal opinion - they are very well made, down to the last detail, but there's something stoic about them, and often the heroism aspect seems to take a bit of a back seat."
It's hard enough to make a hit video game in one region of the world, but trying to get it to translate elsewhere can sometimes seem like an impossible task.
It's hard to believe, but it was almost 20 years ago that Nintendo ushered in 3D console gaming with 'Super Mario 64' - even if it's blocky polygons have aged about as well as Keith Richards. But now, one enterprising devotee has remade the entire first level of the game, and it's even playable in a web browser for you right now!
Unity developer Roystan Ross says that "Everything is just as you remember" with the exception of some minor changes, including "some really minor stuff that nobody cared about like red coins or the Wing Cap or the Big Bob-omb. Replacing them are crowd pleasers like giant springs and coin blocks."
'Super Mario 64 HD' is available here, or at least until Ninty's legal eagles swoop down like Koopa Troopers: https://roystanross.wordpress.com/super-mario-64-hd/
Warner Bros. has announced that it has no plans to release a retail version of Batman: Arkham Knight in the UK, where it will be going online only in the country.
The company talked with MCV UK where it said that every other country would receive a boxed copy of the game for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The UK will be greeted with boxed copies of the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Batman: Arkham Knight, just not the PC. This could be WB's move into a digital-only world, testing the consumers with one of its biggest releases of the year.