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Dead Space 2 dev recounts harsh reality of game budgets

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 14 hours, 46 mins ago

On the eve of Visceral Games' death at the hands of EA--sadly studios closures happen all the time in this industry--a bunch of current and ex developers shared their thoughts about working at the studio and gave brief looks through these unique windows of time. Zach Wilson, who worked on Dead Space 2, was one such developer, and his particular window peeled back the layers of the games industry to give us a look at its inner workings.

 

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Video games are very expensive, and there's so, so much that goes into making them that the average gamer doesn't realize. As ex-Bungie dev Jaime Griesemer rightly said, the fact that any game ever ships is a miracle. There's often a big disconnect between developers, who make the games, and publishers, who pay for the games: publishers typically set the budgets with marketing, development, distribution, etc, as well as the deals with platform holders like Microsoft and Sony. These budgets are often predatory in the sense that every last cent is pinched, and the sales expectations are firmly set in stone. Sometimes these targets are conservative, sometimes they're outlandish--but regardless of all the planning and exhaustive data sifting, there's no guarantee that a game will sell X units and make Y dollars.

 

As so many gamers wonder why EA closed down Visceral Games, ex-Visceral dev Zach Wilson gave an example how numbers are pretty much the backbone to a studio's success, and determine whether or not they stick around. Wilson notes that Dead Space 2's budget was about $60 million, and that EA was "merciless" with its budgeting. For reference, EA expects to make upwards of $5 billion in net revenue this fiscal year, and is one of the "big three" in gaming. To say EA wants to invest in guaranteed projects is an understatement.

 

Wilson goes on by saying that Dead Space 2 sold about 4 million copies on all systems, but it was still "not enough" to meet the internal sales targets.

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Analysts forecast Capcom will miss net sales target

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 16 hours, 49 mins ago

Capcom might miss its internal net sales target for the fiscal year ending March 2018, analysts predict.

 

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Japanese video games publisher Capcom has a section on its Investor Relations page devoted to consensus from a sampling of major industry analysts. These analysts typically weigh in and give their predictions on whether or not Capcom will meet, exceed, or miss internal financial targets for the fiscal year. Capcom just updated this section, showing some interesting results. Remember these predictions fluctuate based on the performance and reception of key games, as well as other things such as market trends, exchange rates, etc.

 

Since predictions are not an exact science, analysts separate their consensuses into three likelihood categories: average, low, and high. Analysts agree that on the average Capcom may miss its net sales target of 93 billion yen earned from total game sales and content by about 4%, or 3.701 billion yen. This may reflect the current reception of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, which reportedly had a meager budget. It's worth noting, however, the "high" prediction for net sales sits at 98.272 billion yen, or about 5.6% above Capcom's estimates.

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Capcom ships 4 million copies of Resident Evil 7

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 19 hours, 52 mins ago

In an advertisement for the new Resident Evil 7 Gold Edition, Capcom reveals the haunting game has sold-in (shipped) more than 4 million copies worldwide...but don't get this confused with actual digital and retail sales.

 

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This new milestone might sound impressive, but a closer glance gives true meaning. Remember that this is shipments to retailers, also called sell-in, not actual games sales made to consumers (which is called sell-through). At the time of writing Capcom still has Resident Evil 7 pinned at 3.7 million units sold globally, matching the figures it gave out during its fiscal Q1'18 earnings report.

 

Capcom's recent financials reveal that Resident Evil 7, which was released in January, missed the lofty sales target set by the publisher: the company expected the game to hit 4 million units sold by the end of the fiscal year in March. Capcom later adjusted its financials and removed exact sales projections on a per-game basis.

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Petroglyph Games announce new RTS- Forged Battalion

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Gaming | Posted: 21 hours, 41 mins ago

True RTS fans will remember the Command & Conquer series with fond memories... until EA purchased the series and tarnished its legacy. Developer Petroglyph Games have announced that in partnership with Team 17, a new RTS called Forged Battalion. Petroglyph Games have built an impressive RTS resume including Grey-Goo and Star Wars: Empire at War, the company was also founded by core members of the original Command & Conquer. Petroglyph Games have released a teaser trailer showcasing what we can expect from Forged Battalion and I think I can speak for every Command & Conquer fan when I say it looks absolutely brilliant.

 

 

Petroglyph Games also release some information along with their trailer, most interesting is that Forged Battalion allows players to forge their own faction from the ground up, no more NOD or GDI. Forged Battalion is set to include a 'Persistent Tech Tree' that advances with every battle won, allowing your faction to upgrade its technology with different science paths. As expected, Forged Battalion will also include a 'dynamic story campaign' and online multiplayer.

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Seagate announce its new Enterprise Datasphere Fleet

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Storage | Posted: 22 hours, 43 mins ago

Seagate has introduced their newly branded Enterprise Datasphere Fleet, precision-engineered enterprise storage solutions aimed to provide the highest levels of security technology. The Datasphere Fleet includes the cornerstone of Seagate's hard drive lineup, the Exos family, and the world's fastest and highest capacity hard drive, the Nytro SSD range.

 

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Seagate's Enterprise Datasphere Fleet includes the recently announced Seagate Secure, ironclad security features that are integrated into the hard drive to provide un-paralleled levels of protection of your data.

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Warhammer: Vermintide 2 gameplay trailer released

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Gaming | Posted: 23 hours, 20 mins ago

Back in August I posted that Warhammer: Vermintide 2 was announced, with a full reveal in October... Well, Fatshark delivered on their promise and today released a trailer that includes two minutes of pre-alpha gameplay footage, that looks BRUTAL. Check it out below.

 

 

As expected, the Skaven hordes are back and have introduced some new friends with them, Choas. The two forces have "formed a pact to plunge the world into death and decay". Fatshark included some more information in the trailer with 15 careers/5 heroes, visceral melee combat, improved loot system, talent trees, new enemies and weapons and more.

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NZXT introduce the GRID+ V3 fan controller

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: 1 day ago

NZXT have added the latest addition to their GRID+ family, the GRID+ V3 is the perfect balance between technology and cooling that provides a smart solution for advanced digital fan control.

 

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"Finding the right mix between cooling and noise reduction can be complex and time-consuming, even for experienced builders. GRID+ V3 provides a smart solution for advanced digital fan control using our intuitive CAM dashboard. We're also introducing Adaptive Noise Reduction, allowing you to reduce fan noise up to 40%. With GRID+ V3, you won't have to choose between silence and cooling-you'll get the perfect balance of both." says Johnny Hou, NZXT's founder, and CEO.

 

The GRID+ V3 monitors fan noise levels, CPU and GPU load, and system temperature that is utilized by CAM. CAM software is them able provide the optimal thermal profile with the lowest possible fan noise to provide cooling efficiency without excessive noise. Supporting up to 6 separate channels, GRID+ V3 will automatically detect 3-pin and 4-pin connected fans, allowing for effortless installation. Physically, the GRID+ V3 features a slim profile, measuring only 15mm in height and includes a magnetic backing for easy installation, even behind most motherboard trays.

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Seagate introduce Seagate Secure security features

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Storage | Posted: 1 day ago

Seagate have announced Seagate Secure, a collection of security features that have been integrated with the entirety of Seagate's Enterprise Datasphere Fleet, including Exos hard drives and Nytro SSDs. Seagate Secure ensures ironclad security without comprising performance in a time where cyber-vulnerabilities are rapidly increasing.

 

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Seagate Secure includes premium feature such as instant secure erase, self-encryption technology and tamper-resistant protection, providing ultimate protection for your valuable data .Seagate Secure ensures every drive is compliant with top industry standards for security- Essential and Certified.

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NZXT announce their all-new H Series cases

By: Shaun Grimley | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: 1 day, 2 hours ago

NZXT have announced their all-new H Series PC cases, available in three variants- H700i, H400i and H200i, the H Series allows NZXT to showcase their new approach to modern PC building that incorporates NZXT latest technology and quality.

 

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"We designed the H Series as a new approach to PC building. We want to make creating extraordinary PCs achievable and fun for everyone. PC builders should be able to benefit from the same features and design across different form factors. That's why all three cases in the H Series share the core smart features, modern design, and beautiful craftsmanship that are our vision for modern PC building," says Johnny Hou, NZXT's founder, and CEO.

 

The H700i a mid-tower ATX case, the H400i is a mATX case and the H200i is a compact ITX case. All models include an elegant tempered glass panel, Premium all-steel construction and available in four color combinations- Matte Black/Black, Matte While/Black, Matte Black/Red and Matte Black/Blue. The PSU shroud hides a quick-release 2.5" SSD while The H Series also supports additional 2.5" behind the motherboard tray and mounting for traditional 3.5" drives.

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Why EA closed Visceral and recycled its Star Wars game

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 5 hours ago

EA has officially closed Visceral Games, the studio responsible for Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline, and the developer's ambitious new Star Wars project (codenamed "Ragtag") has been handed off to another internal EA studio.

 

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Visceral Games is no more, and one of the big reasons EA likely canned the studio was because of their upcoming Star Wars game led by Amy Hennig. EA is embracing the games-as-a-service business model that essentially sees games lasting much longer and making more long-term money via microtransactions and lootboxes. I've reported on this in the past, and predicted that pretty much every new EA game--or AAA game from a big publisher--will have microtransactions and embrace this model. Sadly, Visceral's new Star Wars project just didn't fit this model, and EA has decided to dismantle the studio entirely and hand the project off to EA Vancouver, who will make a game from the assets and bones of Project Ragtag while incorporating that critical GaaS hook. This marks the second time EA has shut down a studio recently, the first being BioWare Montreal, who was shut down after the humiliating reception around Mass Effect: Andromeda.

 

In a recent blog post, EA exec Patrick Soderlund announced Visceral Games' closure and explained what the future holds for Project Ragtag. "Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game," Soderlund said. The exec went on to say that this linear story model just didn't mesh with player testing--and, more importantly, EA's all-in monetization business model. "Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design."

 

"A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project," Soderlund said, then explaining that Visceral Games will die off, despite being a wholly-owned studio. The Star Wars project was essentially strike three for Visceral, with the first two being Dead Space 3 and Battlefield Hardline. "Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we're in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA."

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