Microsoft Studios Archive

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MINECON returns this July with two-day London event

Minecon 2015, the Minecraft Convention

Minecrafters, get ready to build your best Big Ben, because you’re headed to London. Mojang announced earlier this week that its Minecraft convention, MINECON will be held July 4-5 at the London Exhibition and Conference Centre in London, England.

After taking a year off in 2014, MINECON is back, and it sounds like it will be bigger than ever. With 10,000 tickets up for grabs, the convention will feature panels, contests, tournaments and other events including a yet-to-be-announced performance at a July 5 show.

Tickets will go on sale sometime in the month of February and will be released in two batches of 5,000 each. The exact date of ticket sales will be announced within the next two weeks. Upon purchasing tickets, you will also get access to discounted hotel rooms in the London area.

Mojang will begin taking submissions for “MINECON Agent” volunteers next week. Selected agents will be given notice before tickets go on sale.

Source: Mojang

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The Simpsons coming to Minecraft in February

simpsons

The residents of Springfield will come to Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition and Minecraft: Xbox One Edition next month. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, as well as 19 other fan-favorite characters, will spring to life in the game (albeit in a bit more blocky form than before). Bringing together these two gigantic properties felt like a natural fit to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer as well as Twentieth Century Fox executive Roz Nowicki, who explained that the partnership combines the best of both worlds and how, “like The Simpsons, Minecraft is a true cultural phenomenon embraced by people of all ages, from every corner of the globe.”

The Simpsons pack will release for Xbox 360 and Xbox One in late February of this year for $1.99.

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XBLA Marketplace sees multiple game delistings before year end

XBLA Fans Newsbits

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Unfortunately, it also comes that time when games may disappear from the marketplace for any number of reasons and is usually assumed as licenses expiring.

On December 30, 2014, Eastern Standard Time, the following games were removed from the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace:

1. WRC Powerslide. Original release date: March 8, 2013.
This game wasn’t out for very long and never saw a XBLA sale. It was also a member of the games in that event in September of 2013 involving foreign countries.

2. Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. Original release date: September 26, 2012.
This game was announced for removal at the end of the year by Capcom ahead of time. While it is sad to see it go, at least it wasn’t a surprise.

3. Battle: Los Angeles. Original release date: March 11, 2011.
This game was a movie tie-in released around the same time the movie was released with very little fanfare. It has been around for some time and has gone away as quietly as its arrival.

There are more delisted games from December 30, 2014 below. Continue to find out.

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Mojang officially part of Microsoft family

Mojang-Logo
It’s official: Mojang is now a part of Microsoft. The news was tweeted by Xbox head Phil Spencer, who welcomed the developer as the newest member of Microsoft Studios. Back in September rumors of the acquisition starting making the rounds, and were later proven true when Microsoft announced they were purchasing the Swedish indie studio for $2.5 billion. Now that the acquisition is complete, Microsoft officially owns Mojang and their hit game Minecraft. In a recent interview Phil Spencer talked with IGN about the future of Minecraft, stating he wanted to “meet the needs and the desires” of the community.

Source: Twitter

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Project Spark exits beta

project spark launch

After almost a year in Beta on PC and an Xbox One Beta stretching from March through October, Project Spark has finally hit the big time. The game-maker provides a framework to customize experiences down to the smallest details and to share the resulting games with the world. In addition to using a controller, players also have the ability to interact with the game via Smartglass and Kinect. Not interested in being a creator? You can still check out the hard work that everyone else is putting in.

The base game is available as a free download, with plenty more content packs available for various prices. Microsoft even announced at E3 2014 that they’d be bringing back Rare’s Conker character in a future pack. Even with the barebones kit, people have been replicating things like Limbo and building Fable-esque adventures.

If you’d like to know more but aren’t interested in actually downloading the game yet, check back soon for an XBLA Fans Twitch stream.

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Killer Instinct coming to retail

Killer_Instinct_Boxshot_Front_ESRB_RGB

Get ready to break some combos: the Xbox One exclusive fighting game Killer Instinct is getting a retail release. Killer Instinct: Combo Breaker Pack comes loaded with content from Season One, including all eight fighters. Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Spinal, Sadira, Orchid, and Fulgore will be ready to fight right off the disk. Getting the game will also prepare you for Killer Instinct Season 2, as it includes a bonus code for the upcoming fighter TJ ComboCombo Breaker Pack hits store shelves September 23 for $19.99, and KI Season 2 will begin later this year.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Maya revealed for Killer Instinct Season 2

killer instinct maya

During an Evo panel on Friday, Iron Galaxy revealed the latest addition to the Season 2 Killer Instinct cast: Maya. IGN has rounded up the details shared during the panel, including some information about Maya’s twin dagger playstyle. Apparently, the daggers will be used in punch-based attacks and can be thrown, but if the throw is missed, the dagger (and its associated moves) will be lost until Maya is able to retrieve it. However, if you’re skillful enough to successfully make a number of throws in a row, the daggers will gain new properties and skills.

Season 2 will be hitting Xbox One this fall, and there’s likely to be plenty more announcements between now and then. In the meantime, take a peek after the break for a full look at Maya’s stage.

Source: IGN, Facebook

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Project Spark receives October 7 release date

project-spark-1

Project Spark has finally received an official release date of October 7th, while in the midst of its open beta on Xbox One. There have been over one million creators during the beta so far and all of their work will still playable upon the official release of the game, however; for those that don’t want to wait should get into the open beta.

In addition to a release date, it was also revealed that there will be a physical copy of the game shipping for $39.99 with a ton of extra content including sounds, effects, animations, props, advanced creator features, offline content, and experience boosts. The base game will still be available for free to download upon release and all content included in the physical copy will also be available to purchase digitally.

Source: Major Nelson

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State of Decay: Lifeline Review (XBLA DLC)

State of Decay: Lifeline was developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released May 30, 2014 on Xbox 360 for $6.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

Lifeline 1

Over the past two or three years, the popularity of zombies in video games has grown to the point where it is now almost impossible for many gamers to differentiate what makes any given option stand out amongst the ever-growing pack of average also-rans. Thankfully, last year’s State of Decay was certainly one of the better zombie titles and was especially impressive as (initially) a fairly modest XBLA exclusive. Undead Labs followed up its initial success with the Breakdown DLC, which, although still very good, left most fans of the series wanting more – in particular a new and expanded location. And that, in a protracted kind of way, is exactly what the Lifeline DLC is all about.

This time, the action takes place in the fictional city of Danforth and centers around a military squad known as Greyhound One, with players exploring a storyline dealing with the activities of the soldiers during the initial days of the outbreak. The structure is similar to the base game, but the fairly large home base is fixed, the missions generally feature a tighter timeline and players will need to contend with periodic zombie sieges that present a stiffer threat to NPCs (and overall success) than anything seen in previous outings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the military setting adds a tremendous amount of firepower to the player’s arsenal, including more weapons and ammo; plus a raft of new traps, supply drops and assistance resources. Lifeline also features a number of new tweaks — like the ability to place rucksacks in trucks, effectively enabling more comprehensive supply runs — that occasionally have a material impact on the game.

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State of Decay: Lifeline DLC gets release date, pricing and launch trailer

The Lifeline DLC pack for State of Decay will release for XBLA on Friday, May 30 for $6.99, Undead Labs announced in a Memorial Day blog post. The DLC is currently undergoing final Microsoft certification and will release alongside the free Title Update 5 “if all goes well.”

Undead Community Director Sanya Weathers believes that May 30 may mark the first time ever that a game released ahead of a publicly announced target date, noting that the developer worked overtime alongside Microsoft Studios staffers to accomplish the feat. While that claim might be slightly dubious, such an occurrence is certainly outside of the norm.

The above launch trailer promises a new mission with a new story that requires a new strategy. Lifeline abandons the more rural settings of the original game in favor of the city of Danforth. The DLC puts players in control of the leader of a military unit called Greyhound One. Stationed at the Black Friday Mall, players will be tasked with protecting civilians from zombie aggressors. Black Friday must be protected from zombie attacks while Greyhound does its best to save and evacuate as many survivors as possible.

Title Update 5, meanwhile, will bring with it a feature called “Rucks in Trucks” that Weathers says has been one of the most-requested additions from the game’s fanbase. Rucks in Trucks is an option that allows players to stow bags “full of stuff” into their vehicles before making their getaway.

Source: Undead Labs

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