News Archive


Minecraft turns quick profit; Polytron questions MS policies [Updated]

Update: Polytron, following up on Mojang’s reporting of Minecraft figures based off of Xbox Live leaderboards, tapped Microsoft on the shoulder and questioned them as to whether or not the leaderboards are a legitimate gauge for sales numbers. As it turns out, just as the Fez developer had earlier alleged, they are not. “Hey so, Microsoft got back to us about sale[s] figures,” the studio tweeted. “Turns out the leaderboards ARE inaccurate!”

Quickly following that news was another statement by the dev elucidating that Microsoft showed no favoritism towards Mojang in terms of handing out sales data. But that doesn’t mean the studio believes the entire playing field is even. Earlier, Polytron expressed its discontent over Minecraft being granted the ability to receive free post-release content. Sticking to its guns, Polytron stated that favoritism was shown by the publisher in the way of “the free updates.”

Still, Poly, in a tweet directed at the media, called upon caps lock to underscore its belief that Microsoft’s actions were “NOT A SCANDAL.” It should also be noted that Polytron extended public congratulations to Markus Persson for having a successful launch on XBLA. Further details can be found in the primary story below.

Original Story: An hour was all it took. Within 60 minutes of Swedish developer Mojang’s XBLA port of its mega-popular PC world-building title Minecraft releasing yesterday, a profit had been turned. Studio owner Markus “Notch” Persson relayed the news over Twitter earlier today: “Well then. Saw the official sales numbers for the first 24 hours of Minecraft Xbox 360, and it’s very, very good. Profitable in an hour.”

After selling in excess of five million copies to date over on the PC, according to IGN, Minecraft managed to smash “all previous digital sales records” on the Xbox 360, Microsoft revealed in a statement that surfaced shortly after Persson’s tweet. Microsoft, who published the Arcade version of the game, said that no other release in the history of the platform had garnered as many sales as Mojang’s debut effort did in its first 24 hours of availability. The publisher declined, however, to identify just how many individual sales that record equated to.

Yet not everyone was silent on that matter. After having some public discussion over Microsoft’s policies regarding the divulging of precise sales numbers with Fez developer Polytron, Persson gave a ballpark figure. “It seems it sold over 400k copies in 24 [hours],” he tweeted. The creative brain behind Minecraft apparently had to rely on leaderboard participation in order to extrapolate that number, a method which he admitted “might be off.” If his calculations are correct, that would mean the port, developed in part by 4J Studios, has already brought in more than $8 million USD in revenue.

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Carmegeddon: Reincarnation is now a Kickstarter project

Nearly one year ago Stainless Games announced that it was reviving the vehicular-combat Carmageddon franchise it created back in the late 1990s with the Square Enix-published Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Then nothing happened for a while. Well, not publicly it didn’t, at least.

In reality, a lot was happening behind the scenes at the Isle of Wight-based developer. After dropping “well over a third of a million dollars getting the rights back,” Stainless began prototype and design work on the revival. The hundreds of thousands the dev spent on the investment reportedly “rerepresents all of [its] profits from our other work,” but the team thinks it’s “worth it.” Yet it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t nearly enough, actually. And so the studio has announced its intentions to have the public fund the remaining $400,000 USD or more through Kickstarter. As of this writing, over $135,000 USD has already been funneled into Stainless’ coffers by nearly 4,000 individuals who want to see the Reincarnation completed and released.

“We want to spend the money doing what we do best: making video games,” says Stainless Executive Director Neil Barnden in a new promotional video that could pass as a low-budget version of a late ’90s video-game commercial.

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No splitscreen mining for SDTV owners

Folks who can’t pony up the dough for an HDTV are up in arms over the lack of splitscreen  gameplay in Minecraft. It’s not broken or anything–at least that’s what they say. But SDTV players are entirely locked out of any splitscreen games, the option only available if your console is hooked up to some sort of HD output, Kotaku reports. It’s left some players on the forums completely clueless as to the problem, while others up in arms. It’s something that most reviews, including our own, didn’t catch–so yes, SDTV gamers are few and far between.

We’ve spoken our distaste about this recently, but this goes far beyond not being able to read text. This is locking players out of major features, players who spent money with no warning they’d be locked out. Players who are confused and mad. Take a look at just a few of the complaints below.

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Microsoft cancels Inside Xbox in U.S. and now Europe

Last week Microsoft announced that it would be discontinuing production of Inside Xbox in the U.S. and as a result this content would also no longer be available in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The announcement effectively puts an end to shows like Major’s Minute, Featured Videos and Insider Moves packaged under the Inside Xbox brand. Following on from that news, Microsoft has today revealed that this decision has now been extended to Inside Xbox content produced in Europe which produce shows such as Sent U A Message:

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to all of our viewers and fans of Inside Xbox, and remain committed to providing our members with access to high-quality news and information via the console, social media channels and We will be leveraging third-party news and video content available through a variety of existing and future partners, and supplementing this content with select first-party offerings.”

Disappointed fans of the shows have started a petition to halt the termination, but the move is likely to be too late with European Inside Xbox‘s Dan Maher aka MrPointyHead tweeting:

“So, to be clear and succinct: Inside Xbox is no more, as are our jobs. Your support during the last four years has meant the world to us.”

What do readers here think about the move? Which shows will you miss or be glad to see the back of? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Major Nelson via Eurogamer


Minecraft on sale for $15 USD today at Best Buy *EDIT* Expired

Minecraft 360

Is 1600 MSP too much for you? Residents of the United States can pick up Minecraft today for $15, the equivalent of 1200 MSP. Head on over to to procure a copy. Still unsure? Check out our review to see what we thought. Thanks to Paul for the tip.


Looks like either 1) Best Buy caught on to their mispricing of the game or 2) they are done with the sale. Hope you all got lucky enough to grab it on the cheap!


XBLA Wednesday: May 9

The day has finally arrived this XBLA Wednesday for all your building and recipe-making craft hands. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition finally hits XBLA today at 1600 MSP. You can build houses, avoid creepers, make food, and build swords to defend your house in this blocky world. You can check out our review here and we got some video content in the works that should be up sometime soon. If you’re a fan of crafting, XBLA Wednesday has got something for you today.


Retro City Rampage to feature XBLA character cameos

Retro City Rampage looks to be fighting for the title of Most Pop Culture References in a Video Game. While we already knew about cameos like Mr. Destructoid and nods like the Ninja Turtle van and Back to the Future DeLorean, we’ve recently learned that some Xbox Live Arcade characters will be getting some love, too. ‘Splosion Man and his blushing bride will grace the screen and will playable during specific portions of the game. CommanderVideo and Super Meat Boy will also be making appearances. The best part of these recent announcements is that once you beat a given character’s minigame they’ll be unlockable for free roam play.


Combat Wings flying over to XBLA

A marketplace listing has been spotted for an arcade version of wartime flying series Combat Wings. However it’s unclear whether the game will be a spin-off to the initially planned retail game Combat Wings: The Great Battles of World War II, or a downloadable replacement. Though both marketplace listing remain despite Combat Wings: GBWWII missing it’s scheduled release date of March. Both games are being developed and published by City Interactive who recently posted on their Facebook wall that Combat Wings has not been cancelled and will be going digital, but it remains to be seen how many games fans can expect.

From the game’s description players can expect to be piloting a wide range of aircraft and engaging in aerial dog fights and dangerous fighter missions across the major theaters of war during WWII. The game is said to feature realistic aircraft and cutting-edge flight dynamics with but with arcade accessibility and offline multiplayer action for up to 2 people. The marketplace listing also shows the game’s release date as June 15 but don’t put it in your diary just yet, it’s likely to just be a placeholder at this time. Many thanks to @lifelower for this tip.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD out in June

We have confirmation that the classic skate boarding game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD will be releasing this June. Fans have been clamoring for a remake of this title for some time and so have we. It looks like the wait is almost over. For those who can’t wait take a look at coverage of the new game contrasted with the old.

Source: Twitter @Tonyhawk


Tim Schafer hints at more new Iron Brigade content

The folks over at FrontTowardsGamer.Com recently spoke with Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions and published the conversation as part of their podcast. In the interview around the 1 hour and 18 minute mark, Tim mentions that more Iron Brigade content is on the way and that listeners should “stay tuned”. What could this new content be? Could it be something as major as new campaign content, or new survival mode maps? Could it possibly even be snazzy new salutes? We’re not sure what Tim and the gang are working on, but we’re excited that more Iron Brigade may be on the way.

Originally released under the name Trenched last summer, a lawsuit forced Microsoft and Double Fine to change the name of their action packed, mech centric, tower defense title to Iron Brigade. Since the name change, an expansion, Rise of the Martian Bear was released, adding several more hours of single-player campaign content as well as an all new survival mode. If you haven’t yet added the game to your collection, maybe you should take note that Iron Brigade was the recipient of our very own Game of the Year award in 2011.

Source: Front Towards Gamer

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