News Archive

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Neverwinter coming to Xbox One

Neverwinter image

Perfect World Entertainment announced recently that Cryptic Studios is bringing the free to play MMORPG Neverwinter is coming from the PC to Xbox One. The game is set in the Forgotten Realms setting from Dungeons and Dragons, the same setting as the Baldur’s Gate game series and countless fantasy books by the likes of RA Salvatore and Ed Greenwood. Fans of the books will recognize certain elements, such as events surrounding the restoration of the Dread Ring by Szass Tam and Valindra Shadowmantle in Salvatore’s “Gauntylgrym.”

Everyone can look forward to adventuring into the Forgotten Realms on console once more in the first half of 2015.  Due to the multiplayer-only nature of the MMORPG, Xbox players will have to have an Xbox Live Gold account to play.

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Happion Labs: Releasing an ID@Xbox game costs around $5,000

Sixty Second Shooter Prime

It’s possible for a budget-conscious independent game developer to get its game on Xbox One for a bit more than $5,000 if the developer is willing to stick to the budget laid out by Happion Labs, whose founder described himself in a blog post as “one of the cheapest developers I know.”

In the post, Happion founder Jamie Fristrom said that releasing his first ID@Xbox game, Sixty Second Shooter Prime, set the studio back a grand total of $5,143. The most expensive two line items were ratings board certifications and Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance.

“Microsoft requires this; it’s in the contract,” Fristrom wrote. “And it’s not just any E&O Insurance – it has to cover IP and copyright violations, so the cheap E&O Insurance you can easily find online doesn’t qualify. I went through an insurance broker (Parker, Smith, and Feek) and found the cheapest insurance that would qualify.”

Ratings boards submissions are also required by all console holders, including Microsoft. In addition to $700 in localization costs, Fristrom dropped almost $2,000 getting his game rated by PEGI and USK. He elected not to release his game in Autralia and New Zealand because each country’s ratings board wanted approximately another $2,000 from him to rate Sixty Second Shooter Prime. In fact, Fristrom suggested that releasing in even fewer territories could potentially cut the full cost of landing on ID@Xbox back to $3,000 or less.

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Minecraft Cartoon Texture Pack available now

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What do you get when you cross Minecraft with childhood memories of Saturday morning? A brand new texture pack! The Cartoon Texture Pack makes every block in the world colorful and silly, just like the cartoons of yesteryear. If you’ve ever wanted  to trick your friends with a fake tunnel or drop a piano on the head of an unsuspecting roadrunner creeper, these are the textures you’ve been waiting for. Check out the screenshots after the jump to see all the potential hijinks this pack has to offer. The Cartoon Texture Pack is available now for $1.

Source: PlayXBLA

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The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 available now

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Episode Four of Clementine’s continuing journey in the video game adaptation of The Walking Dead is now available. While the second season hasn’t been quite as impactful as the first — in many ways because this time around players know more of what to expect — there continues to be a lot to say about Telltale’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s franchise. XBLAFans recently ran a featured opinion about the second season compared to the first, and readers can check previous episode reviews as well. Check out the (spoiler filled, so beware) trailer for “Amid the Ruins” below. As usual, the new episode costs $4.99, and the entire season pass is $14.99 for players who are yet to jump into Clementine’s latest adventures.

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XBLA games now support 1000 Gamerscore

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It seems like only yesterday the Gamerscore limit on XBLA received a much-welcomed raised from 200G to 400G. Actually, it was two years ago, but you get the point. Arcade games were finally allowed to have more achievements, but still didn’t have as much as a full retail release. A recent change has increased the XBLA Gamerscore cap yet again, but somehow it flew completely under the radar. A tweet from Phantom Breaker BattleGrounds producer Masaki Sakari pointed out the surprise increase:

“It’s not so well known but achievements for XBLA games on 360 now support 1000 gamerscores too, same as Xbox One games.”

Xbox 360 arcade games are now allowed to have a full 1000 Gamerscore, equal to that found in any retail title. As highlighted by the Xbox Achievements website, Guacamelee! STCE became the first game to support the upgrade when it released earlier this month. The marketplace is still transitioning to the recent increase, so expect some new releases to still be sporting the classic 400G.

Source: Twitter

(Thanks, @lifelower)

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Former Xbox Live Portfolio Manager says some developers failing on XBLA was ‘unavoidable’

David Edery and Daniel Cook

There was nothing else quite like Xbox Live Arcade when the digital distribution service came into its own in the early days of the Xbox 360. With much of the gaming public then familiarizing itself with the concept of the “indie game developer” for the first time, said developers needed a way to bring the masses their low-cost titles. Microsoft gave them just that in the form of XBLA, but not every indie studio was able to use the service to smoothly propel their game releases towards success. According to the man who at the time oversaw those releases, that’s just the nature of the entertainment business.

Speaking with GamesBeat, Spry Fox cofounder David Edery stated that it was unfortunate to see certain developers fail to get their games released on XBLA and others fail to find success once they did. However, the former worldwide games portfolio manager for Xbox Live posited that that scenario was inevitable.

“I saw people throwing themselves at [Xbox Live Arcade’s] gates and failing to get in, and failing,” Edery recounted. “I saw people who got into the program but then didn’t handle themselves correctly, and fail. I mean, it sucks. It sucks to watch people try so hard and not get anywhere. The thing is, to some extent, in any entertainment business, that’s unavoidable. There will always be more people trying to come in than the industry can support. [Former Microsoft Studios game designer Daniel Cook] and I both feel really strongly about doing whatever we can to help as many people as we can, knowing there’s obviously no way we’re going to help the majority.”

Though he stopped short of naming specific developers, Edery also noted that there exists no shortage of talented independent game designers who are out of their element when it come to business matters. He was saddened to see many of them put everything they had into a game’s development only to “get slaughtered” upon release because of their lack of business acumen.

Regular XBLA Fans readers will recall a multitude of stories centering around disgruntled independent Xbox Live Arcade game developers. Uber Entertainment, Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow are perhaps the most-well-known examples, but they are far from the only ones.

Still, Edery explained that while supply eventually outstripped demand to the point at which business knowledge and development skill were crucial for success, it wasn’t always that way. Things were different in the beginning of his 2006-2009 reign at Xbox Live.

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State of Decay Xbox One remaster ‘under discussion’

State of Decay

According to Undead Labs’ Twitter feed, a remaster of the original State of Decay for Xbox One is certainly a possibility. The tweet came Tuesday in response to Twitter user @ZEDDRadio expressing a desire for both a State of Decay TV show and a remastered version of the game for the Xbox One earlier this week. In response to this Undead Labs tweeted “@ZEDDRadio Can’t control the former, but we’ll do our best on the latter. ;)” According to a later tweet from the studio, the port for Xbox One is “under discussion.”

Source: Twitter

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Camouflage Xbox One controller and headset available for pre-order

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Fans of custom painted controllers and headsets will rejoice at the announcement of a “modern camouflage pattern and military look” Xbox One controller and headset.  This paint job will certainly fit in well for gamers who enjoy military shooters like Call of Duty, military buffs, as well those who are or have been in active service.  However, this design may not be for those of us who, upon starting the Xbox One with voice commands, cannot find the controller in its current non-camouflaged state and often must dig through socks and the like to locate its hiding place. 
 
Priced at $64.99 for the Xbox One controller and $89.99 for the headset, the two items are available for pre-order with a release date in the month of October.
 
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Mighty No. 9 new footage and crowdfunding campaign

Any fan of Mega Man has been keeping a close eye on Comcept’s “re-invention” of the Mega Man franchise, Mighty No. 9, with series creator Keiji Inafune behind the wheel. We’ve received some new gameplay footage, which shows off a few of the transformations and bosses we’ll encounter in the game. After a highly successful Kickstarter, Comcept is going back to crowdfunding to hopefully score some English and Japanese voice acting for the title. You can contribute here if you’d like.

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World of Tanks “Rapid Fire” content now available

World of Tanks has been updated with the new content “Rapid Fire” that introduces 13 new tanks to the mix, and also adds two new maps to the rotation. The new tanks added include American autoloaders and a second line of German tank destroyers. If you haven’t had a chance to try the free to play game, you can add it to your download queue here, and start blowing up some tanks on your own!

Source: PlayXBLA

 

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