- Fez had an outstanding soundtrack, and we were all spoiled last month with the release of the remix album. Well, it looks like we’ve been given another gift, as a second remix album for Fez has popped up seemingly out of nowhere. It has already been released, and you can give it a listen or download here.
- For any fan of Bastion, you’ll be well aware of Supergiant Games new title, Transistor (re-watch the awesome reveal trailer here!). While it will be taking a lot of influence from Bastion, it looks like Transistor will enjoy quite a different approach with the inclusion of multiplayer. Before you get angry, let us clarify that it won’t be a traditional multiplayer mode, but something more subtle. You can read more about it over at Rock Paper Shotgun.
- Have you been following Ascend: New Gods? Well, if you’d like to continue to do so, you’ll have to search for it by its new name Ascend: Hand of Kul.
- Darkstalkers Resurrection hasn’t exactly been lighting up the sales charts, and Capcom U.S. senior vice president Christian Svensson took to the Capcom Unity forums to express his disappointment. He also brought up the possibility that the lack of success could potentially mean an end of Capcom bringing out new digital releases of their fighting franchises.
- Microsoft recently sold its Mediaroom and the IPTV service to Ericsson. According the the press release the sale “allows Microsoft to commit 100 percent of its focus on consumer TV strategy with Xbox.” Sounds like the Xbox will be even more of a multimedia platform in the future.
- Flixster and Virgin Gaming apps have launched for Xbox LIVE Gold users. The former allows for rental of movies while the latter serves as an opportunity for players to not only view live professional tournaments, but also register and compete in smaller scale tourneys.
- The first annual Xbox LIVE Video Awards are underway. Voting takes place via the Xbox LIVE dashboard and Facebook. See Major Nelson’s blog post for more details.
- A retail version of The Walking Dead will be released May 10 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It is currently available for purchase in North America.
- More XBLA games have been delisted in the past few months: Nexuiz (for real this time), MLB Bobblehead Pros and its DLC, Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball and 3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures 2 (incidentally, 3D Ultra Minigolf is still available)
- IGN recorded a full nine full minutes of Super T.I.M.E. Force during PAX East. You can view a mirror of the footage over at PlayXBLA right now.
- A remixed version of the Fez soundtrack will be available April 20. You can preorder a copy here.
Polytron Corporation updated their blog over the weekend, detailing the adventure that the critically acclaimed Fez took over its first year on XBLA. While it had its fair share of ups and downs, the positives prevailed and Fez sold over 200,000 copies. Phil Fish, the creator of Fez, hasn’t exactly made himself the most likable of figures in the game industry, but it is hard to deny the effort and energy he put into the project. A viewing of Indie Game: The Movie showcases that fact, and highlights how great of an accomplishment this really is.
In recent interviews with Edge and Eurogamer, the makers of Braid and Super Meat Boy expressed their frustration with developing for Xbox Live Arcade. As independent developers, taking on the heated business of console development on top of development costs is more stress than its worth, say the developers.
“The overhead cost of just developing for those consoles is insane,” explained Tommy Refenes from Team Meat. “It costs zero dollars to develop on Steam if you already have a computer. When you look at PlayStation and Xbox and Nintendo, you have to buy thousand dollar dev kits and pay for certification and pay for testing and pay for localisation – you have to do all these things and at the end of the day it’s like, ‘I could have developed for other platforms and it would’ve been easier.’”
On top of development costs, there are lawyers, fees and ambiguity to sort through that cause an equally overwhelming headache. Ed McMillen from Team Meat said that to bring his studio’s games to consoles, his team would need “some magical middleman who would just appear and do all of our business for us… We went in and found out what it was like to develop for a console and the reality is there’s no loyalty on either side and it’s a business. And when you step in to that business arena it goes from us making art and it turns into business.”
This past Tuesday saw the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) spotlight the third pillar of the moving image medium at its annual Games Awards ceremony in London. Though noticeably absent from the academy’s already lengthy title, video games held a role in the organization as early as 1998, flirting with varying levels of legitimacy before BAFTA announced in 2006 that it was giving video games equal status with the established arts of film and television.
Though this year marked an unprecedented level of independent nominees across the many categories BAFTA honored, the notable favorites were quick to stand out, having already performed handsomely throughout the awards season. Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, was nominated for Best Story in a category comprised of Mass Effect 3, Far Cry 3, Dishonored, Thomas Was Alone and thatgamecompany’s award-magnet, Journey. Despite the stiff competition, The Walking Dead ultimately took home the prize no doubt thanks to its emotive and powerful storytelling, which we celebrated with our own Game of the Year Award.
While The Walking Dead was nominated for a slew of awards and ended up taking home at least one piece of hardware, Telltale’s entry didn’t solely represent the Xbox Live Arcade banner. Honorable mentions go to Polytron’s Fez and its nomination for Game Innovation. Also receiving a nod was Tequila Works’ Deadlight, nominated for Debut Game. Though neither title walked away with an award, in what was arguably the best year of gaming to date, there might be some truth to the saying that it’s an honor just to be nominated.
You can find all of the categories, nominees and winners by visiting the official British Academy Games Awards recap.
Update: At some point after this story was published, Illfonic’s Nexuiz was re-listed on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Thanks to reader SteVic82 for bringing this to our attention. Original story below.
- Skype announced back in November that they were merging with Microsoft’s Messenger allowing users to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. However, a recent tweet from @Skype advises Messenger users to upgrade by April 8 if they want to continue chatting with their contacts.
- Illfonic’s arena shooter Nexuiz has now been delisted following its publisher, THQ Partners, filing for bankruptcy. In recent email correspondence with Polygon, Illfonic co-founder Charles Brungardt wrote, “Our deal with THQ was basically a licensing deal through THQ Partners, so we do have a period of time [in which] THQ has the rights to be the exclusive publisher. Now with them folding we are still trying to figure out what this means and [are] awaiting details from our contacts handling the transitions at THQ.” The Nexiuz news comes on the heels of XBLAFans discovering four other THQ game delistings earlier this month.
- The Walking Dead, Deadlight, Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition, Fez and Trials Evolution are all up for nominations at this years BAFTAs. The ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 5 and fans can watch the event as it unfolds over at YouTube.
- The Trials Evolution General Washington Build Off winners have now been revealed. Each winning track can be downloaded from Redlynx Picks from within the game, but for now you can check out the award winners in the video below.
Now that the year 2012 has been set firmly in the books, the boys back at the lab have poured over the raw data to bring you the top arcade titles of the year. The figures, based on full versions sold, were tallied from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, and made public thanks to Xbox Live’s Larry Hyrb.
No surprise to anyone was Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition topping the list this year. Having launched in May, the massive Minecraft community helped propel the title to well over 5 million downloads by year’s end. More impressively, the arcade adaptation outsold its robust PC cousin by nearly a million copies, securing Xbox Live Arcade as the fastest (legally) growing Minecraft community of 2012.
Trials Evolution rode into the second spot of the year’s most-purchased title on XBLA, and despite the staggering difference between first and second place, did very well for itself. Our Game of the Year, The Walking Dead wrapped up the third spot thanks to critical acclaim and its infectious word-of-mouth campaign. Pinball FX2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rounded out the top five, in that order.
Amazingly, the never-say-die mantra of Castle Crashers has proven itself again; moving the sixth most number of copies nearly half a decade after its initial release. Filling out the top 10, in order, are: Gotham City Impostors, I Am Alive, Fruit Ninja Kinect, and finally, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD.
You can check out these titles in list form, along with the rest of the top 20, after the jump.
Another year is in the books, and, as expected, XBLA has continued to grow and reach milestones that one would not have imagined possible seven years ago when the first few XBLA games released. In 2012, XBLA games set many records only to break those same records again and again in the ensuing weeks. From Fez to Trials Evolution to Minecraft, the downloads just kept queuing up all over the world. The success of XBLA in 2012 was impressive to say the least.
That meant that we had quite the task in front of us when coming together as a staff to try to decide which game to pick for each Game of the Year category below. The nominee list for each category offered so many great choices, but at the end of the day, only one game could win each award and as a staff of passionate XBLA gamers, we think we did a pretty good job of presenting the highlights of Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. Hope you like what we picked, but if not, let us know in the comments what you would have voted for. Without further delay, here are the 2012 XBLA Fans Game of the Year awards as chosen by the XBLA Fans staff.
As the holiday shopping season winds to a close, take a second from dropping wads of cash on your friends, family and other loved ones and get a little something for yourself – and XBLA is making it crazy easy, because through today a number of platformers are on deep discount: More than a 50 percent slash in some cases. Hit the jump for a list of games you can nab for a steal today only: