Microsoft Game Studios Archive


State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition hitting Xbox One April 28


Microsoft and Undead Labs are bringing the popular open-world zombie survival game State of Decay to Xbox One. The game will arrive in the form of the Year-One Survival Edition which includes the original base game and both add-ons, Breakdown and Lifeline. Players will also be able to play with some of the Lifeline characters within the Breakdown expansion sections. State of Decay was one of the fastest selling XBLA games on Xbox 360 and for its Xbox One upgrade the game will include new textures, improved lighting and increased draw distance. State of Decay will also now run at 1080p on Xbox One.

The new version will set you back $29.99 but for the loyal fans, Microsoft and Undead Labs have promised everyone who already owns the Xbox 360 version a 33% discount on the Year-One Survival Edition when it hits Xbox One this April 28. On top of that, returning players will also receive a new exclusive character, the sword-wielding Indian-American badass, Gurubani.

Source: Xbox Wire


Ori and the Blind Forest to release on March 11

Ori and the Blind Forest Gets a Release Date

Ori and the Blind Forest will release March 11 on Xbox One for $19.99, developer Moon Studios announced today. The side-scroller will also be made available on PC the same day.

Following its announcement at E3 last year, Ori and the Blind Forest was said to be coming in late in 2014. That didn't happen, however, as Moon Studios in November announced a delay that it said would afford the development team the time it needed to "add a final layer of polish" to what it hopes "will be an unforgettable gaming experience."

In conjunction with today's release date reveal, Moon also gave those looking forward to its game more than five minutes of new footage to watch. Set in the game's Forlorn Ruins section, the video demonstrates what appear to be two of Ori's main hooks: defying gravity while platforming and shooting weaponized bursts of light from a floating orb.

Source: Moon Studios


Pinball FX2: Venom review (Xbox One DLC)

Pinball FX2 was developed by Zen Studios and published on the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 by Microsoft Game Studios. The Venom DLC released on December 12, 2014 for $2.99. A code was provided by Zen Studios for review purposes


The newest Marvel villain to have their own table in Pinball FX2 is Spider-man's arch-enemy, Venom. With previous Marvel-themed tables, Zen Studios has gone one of two ways: they either incorporate the theme of a recent Marvel movie or they follow a theme from the comics. Released on December 12, 2014 for both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, Marvel's Venom table for Pinball FX2 goes the latter route and incorporates a theme straight from the comic books.

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July Games with Gold titles announced


Just in from Major Nelson today is the list of games that Xbox Live Gold members can download for free during the month of July. For the Xbox One, these include Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (which was also available this month). For Xbox 360, games will be able to download Gotham City Impostors the first half of July, and Battleblock Theater toward the end of the month.

Guacamelee is an excellent platformer that is welcome on the Xbox platform — Playstation and PC gamers have already had it for some time — readers will be able to check out the XBLAFans review shortly after it goes live. XBLAFans thought Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was "one of the best XBLA-styled Xbox One games to date" when the review originally went live in December, so platforming fans are in for a treat next week when July rolls around. For 360 players, the focus is towards multiplayer action instead. When it released in 2012, the XBLAFans review of Gotham City Impostors is "one of the most downright fun shooters available today." Similarly, BattleBlock Theater, with its focus on multiplayer, "is the one of the best multiplayer games to hit XBLA" according to the XBLAFans review.

One last reminder: if you've not yet downloaded Halo: Spartan Assault, you have only another four days to do it before that rotates off of the free list, so make sure you get it soon!


Max: The Curse of Brotherhood heading to 360 this April


Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, the 2.5D puzzle platformer from Press Play, is going to be gracing the Xbox 360 on April 9, 2014. This announcement comes via Phil Spencer's Twitter account and is great news for those holding out for the Xbox 360 version. It will cost $14.99 and we highly suggest picking it up and giving it a go, especially if you missed it on Xbox One. We loved the game when it originally came out and we can't wait to see more people get their hands on it.

Source: Major Nelson


The Xbox games of 2014: Part III


We're late, and it seems that's become somewhat of a trend for us lately. Our Game of the Year awards weren't doled out until January, and now our look forward at the XBLA and Xbox One XBLA-type games of 2014 is just making its way to you in February. You were on your own when it came to planning out January's releases, but now it's time for our annual look ahead at the top downloadable games likely to arrive on an Xbox platform during the (remainder of) the year ahead. Read on to find out what you can expect out of Xbox over the next (not quite) 365.

Minecraft: Xbox One Edition

Developer: 4J Studios, Mojang and Microsoft Studios

As was announced at Microsoft's E3 2013 presentation, 4J Studios will be bringing its open-world block-building game to the Xbox One. The 360 edition of Minecraft was a huge success and 4J is looking to build off of that success by bringing a "bigger" world to players. The Xbox One edition promises to deliver on the power of next-gen gaming by giving players more of what they want. Maps, Adventures, multiplayer features and console specific enhancements will all be improved and larger in scale on the Xbox One than they were on the Xbox 360. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will be released sometime in the month of March of 2014.

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1 vs. 100-style experience coming to Xbox One

1 vs. 100 Question

Polygon's Brian Crecente writes that Microsoft is interested in bringing something similar 1 vs. 100 to the Xbox One. Dave McCarthy, general manager for Lifestyle Entertainment at Microsoft Studios, revealed in an interview that Microsoft “will do something in the future for Xbox One that is like that [1 vs. 100], because spiritually we thought it was a pretty cool experience ourselves.”

McCarthy goes on to say that “bringing a large number of people together in both a social and let's say a more casual gaming format is something we believe in a lot.”

XBLA Fans wrote last year that 1 vs. 100 was in many ways ahead of its time, one of the only experiences on the previous console generation that truly fulfilled the promise of integrated and accessible massively multiplayer gaming. This type of game — with its live programming joining the 1 vs. 100 game to create an emerging form of entertainment — speaks directly to the interconnectivity promised by the Xbox One.

1 vs. 100 is one of the few "casual" games that is remembered fondly by all types of players and was a critical success despite its inability to become profitable for Microsoft. It's no surprise that Microsoft is looking to replicate the unique community experience that it briefly achieved with the game. A lack of advertising revenue sealed its fate in 2010, and there exists a much more stable infrastructure by which to attempt to fund such a venture in this next generation.

Source: Polygon


Skulls of the Shogun originally had a more serious tone

Skulls of the Shogun General Akamoto

When developer 17-Bit's Skulls of the Shogun released in early 2013, it did so with a light, humorous script that mixed pop culture references with a near-constant string of jokes of the developer's own creation. According to a recent interview of studio CEO Jake Kazdal by Pocket Gamer, however, the original plan was for the game to have a very different tone. The plan called for more austerity and less clowning.

That all changed when original scribe Ben Vance — who also served as the game's programmer and designer — penned a joke-filled draft that clashed with 17-Bit's more restrained vision of the game. Vance's approach resonated with other members of the team, and everyone began slipping even more humor into his script during the game's protracted development cycle.

"Since the game was in development for so long, everyone involved kept throwing in jokes and massaging the script," Kazdal told Pocket Gamer. "And then we got a complete editing pass from localisation company, 8-4, where script doctors Mark MacDonald and Alan Averill just nailed it.

"We originally were going to have a much more stoic, serious script, but people responded so well to the goofy offbeat humor we had stubbed in we just decided to run with it. We wanted to entertain players, while reinforcing our stereotypes, and just rolled with it."

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Max: The Curse of Brotherhood review (Xbox One)

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was developed by Press Play and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released on December 20, 2013 for $14.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.


Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a 2.5D puzzle platformer in which players take on the role of Max, a young boy who uses a curse on his annoying brother, Felix, and then has to rescue him when the curse turns out to be real. Players are equipped with a handy marker that can alter the environment, helping them to solve interesting puzzles in their quest to save Felix from the evil Mustachio.

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Undead Labs sign multi-year, multi-title agreement with Microsoft Studios

State of Decay

Undead Labs, the Seattle based development studio behind last year's XBLA hit State of Decay, have announced that they've just signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement with Microsoft Studios. Founder Jeff Strain was light on the specifics but hinted, "suffice to say there are big things going on with State of Decay." More details are expected to be shared later in the year but gamers who have been following the developer may like to take a guess that this involves the MMO followup to State of Decay codenamed Class4.

Last year proved to be a huge success for the indie studio with State of Decay becoming the fastest-selling original XBLA game in history and not only that, but State of Decay was also just awarded XBLA Fans' coveted Game of the Year for 2013. Check out our full review here.

Source: Undead Labs

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