News Archive


The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 available now


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.


XBLA games now support 1000 Gamerscore


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)


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


Camouflage Xbox One controller and headset available for pre-order

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.

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.


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



Xbox One August system update bringing social features, remote downloads

Xbox One’s August system update will bring with it changes inspired by user demand, Microsoft announced today. Several social elements aimed at making it easier for players to share their gaming experiences with their friends headline the list of revealed changes.

Microsoft’s focus for the update is apparently providing users with new ways to interact with friends within each others’ Xbox One activity feeds. Once they receive the update, users will see a single scrolling column that goes on for longer than the current interface. A Facebook-like ability to post comments and “like” items in friends’ feeds will be implemented alongside the ability to share game clips and other content either publicly or with friends only. Much like Mark Zuckerberg’s blue and white brainchild, the system will notify users when others like, share or comment on their content. SmartGlass compatibility is also planned.

The system update will also cater to those gamers looking for more immediate social updates by enlarging the Friends area on the console’s home screen, giving users access to friends’ current activities and most-played games. Users might see their friends engaging in a new activity when they view the larger Friends area: 3D Blu-ray viewing, which will also be included with the update.

Another feature, one that Microsoft says has been frequently requested, won’t require you to directly interact with your Xbox One at all. Users will finally be able to purchase games and add-on content on or via SmartGlass and download them without ever touching their consoles. Xbox One owners will need to have automatic updates set to on in order to take advantage of the feature.

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Pinball FX2 headed to Xbox One


Thanks to ID@Xbox, Xbox One will now have Pinball FX2 gracing its digital shelves come July 31st. The game will remain free for players to download and will even include Sorcerer’s Lair for free. The game will also launch with most of its tables available among them are the Star Wars, Marvel, and Plants vs Zombies sets. More tables are on the horizon with the developer, Zen Studios, planning on supporting the Xbox One version. The only table mentioned so far in terms of the future is for the The Walking Dead but the sheer amount of tables already launching with the base should keep fans satisfied for some time.


Microsoft layoffs likely cause for cancellation of Xbox Originals


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote a company wide e-mail entitled “Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture” today in which he describes a forthcoming reduction of the Microsoft workforce by as many as 18,000 jobs in the coming year. This is part of a larger effort by the company to focus their efforts more narrowly around cloud-based services and their recent acquisition of Nokia. Xbox is not specifically mentioned in this e-mail, and it remains to be seen how the Xbox division will fit into Microsoft’s new corporate focus moving forward.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer helped to clarify this somewhat in an internal memo, where he writes that Microsoft “is the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first and cloud-first world, and games are the single biggest digital life category in a mobile-first world.  Success in this category, by growing a robust Xbox business, brings additional value to Microsoft.” As part of the company’s narrowing scope, Xbox Entertainment Studios, responsible for the Xbox Originals series of television shows, will be closed.  A portion of the announced projects will still be happening — namely, the ones focused on games such as Signal to Noise (which will present the rise and fall of Atari) and both of the Halo projects — but the content not focused directly around video games has been cut. Spencer also notes that current media partnerships with organizations such as the NFL, ESPN, and Twitch will remain unaffected, and that the Xbox team remains committed to defining “what the next generation of gaming looks like for the growing Xbox community.”

Source: The Verge

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