Category Archives: Xbox

Black Tusk’s Gears of War to return to darker roots

Microsoft vice president Phil Spencer hopes the next Gears of War returns to the franchises’ darker, more destructive roots.

Spencer loved the “epic scale, the settings that I was in, the massive destruction moments. It was more what I would call soulful and maybe even a little dark.” When talking to IGN, in discussions with Black Tusk Studios’ Rod Fergusson, who’s in charge of developing the next installment, Spencer talked about Gears of War becoming “a parody of itself” over time.

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“Not for any horrible reasons,” but because managing success over time is challenging.

Both Spencer and Fergusson talked about “getting back to something.” “I think [about] the story and the setting and what they’re going through as a band. Gears of War, the name really meant something to what that game was about. We need to get back to that.” Spencer also reiterated that the next Gears of War is not a reboot.

Spencer is aware that “Judgment didn’t hit everybody’s needs and desires,” but said “I think we can continue, but we also have a new team. Rod’s there to really help with the continuity. We can really invest in this thing for the next decade, which is how I want to think about it.”

Halo franchise surpasses 60 million units sold

In celebration of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection being available for preload, Microsoft revealed that the Halo franchise has surpassed more than 60 million units sold worldwide.

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“To date, more than 60 million copies of Halo games have been sold worldwide, driving over 6 billion hours of gameplay by fans connected to Xbox Live,” said Microsoft on its official blog.

“As one of the most innovative and beloved names in multiplayer gaming, Halo is enjoyed by millions of players around the globe. Since its launch in 2001, it has been synonymous with the Xbox brand,” the company added.

E3 2014: Titanfall sequel coming to both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

According to sources close to the sequels development, Respawn Entertainment plans to develop the upcoming Titanfall sequel on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The source claims that the sequel is still in the “early stages” of it’s development and won’t be out for awhile; calling it the “planing stage” of it’s development.

Recently, reports surfaced that Respawn Entertainment regretted not developing the original for both next generation platforms–calling it a missed opportunity to strengthen it’s overall community.

Activision places $500 million bet on Destiny

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Activision Blizzard Inc plans to invest $500 million in the development and advertisement of Destiny, the latest project from Halo franchise creators Bungie.

When speaking at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles last week, CEO Bobby Kotick told those on hand that his company is spending $500 million on Bungie’s next franchise. “If you’re making a $500 million bet you can’t take that chance with someone else’s IP,” said Kotick. “The stakes for us are getting bigger.”

Destiny, scheduled for release in September, will have a budget that dwarfs those of Hollywood blockbusters such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Titanfall gets first patch

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Respawn Entertainment have detailed the first patch for Titanfall. The patch is currently active.

Balancing adjustments and general changes

- The damage indicator from Electric Smoke is now much more noticeable
- Search Drones will now show up in Classic Modes of Angel City
- Arc grenade/mine effects no longer draw on friendly Pilots and Titans
- Lowered the point value of defensive actions in Hardpoint mode and CTF.
- Increased the score limit in Attrition
- Flag Return points reduced
- Flag Carrier killed points reduced
- Explosives detonated by Dead Man’s Trigger are now slightly delayed
- Explosives detonated by Dead Man’s Trigger now play a warning sound before exploding
- Slightly decreased the damage of the Smart Pistol when not locked onto a Pilot
- Slightly decreased the hip-fire accuracy of the Smart Pistol
- Certain Burn Cards could be exploited to give multiple uses
- Evac Dropships are now more responsive to Pilots entering them
- Hacking a Mega Turret will now restore it’s health to full
- Cluster Missiles damage reduced against Evac Dropships

Bug Fixes

- Titan could become stuck in the position he lands in
- Auto-Titan wouldn’t stand up until you embarked into it
- Several rare server issues restarting the game in to the lobby
- Pilot could end up out of bounds while rodeoing a Titan as it is destroyed
- Pilot could warp through certain locations when jumping off a Titan
- Rodeoing a Titan that has been doomed by your SMR could kill you
- Players being able to enter some geometry in Smuggler’s Cove
- Titanfall will now give proper kill credit when it kills a Pilot embarking into their Titan
- Minions in Attrition now continue to spawn until the Epilogue begins
- Player couldn’t hack a Mega Turret console
- Server would sometimes error when leeching a Spectre
- Hardpoints sometimes awarded defense score to players not near the hardpoint
- Rare issue when ejecting from a Titan
- Server would sometimes error after a match while returning to the lobby
- Double XP burn card sometimes not being applied properly

Microsoft: Games With Gold will become “more true” to what gamers expect

Games With Gold will become “more true” to what gamers expect from the program, says Microsoft vice president Phil Spencer.

In a Q&A session at the SXSW Gaming panel, Spencer addressed questions surrounding Microsoft’s Games With Gold program, which distributes free games monthy, in comparison to Sony’s PlayStation Plus program, which distributes games also but with more current, up-to-date titles.

“One of our issues with Games with Gold — not ‘issues,’ but differences between the other system we get compared to, is the fact that with Games with Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe,” Spencer said. “And the business around Games with Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a — you’re gonna go buy a game that’s brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it.”

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But, even though Spencer isn’t in charge of the Games With Gold team, he states that he’s been working with the team on a more active basis following the program’s launch.

“That said, I have been sitting down, monthly now, with that team — some of the earlier months were already programmed — and playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you’ll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there,” Spencer said.

“For us, in the long run, as an industry, giving away content like that is just … I think there’s some steps and some evolution of what Games with Gold or any of the other systems will go through to their full potential. You have things out there that are kind of bigger subscription services, where I get access to a lot of content. Games with Gold is kind of this step in the middle of, ‘I get games, and how do I feel about those games.’”

But, sadly, Spencer didn’t comment on when the program would be headed to Xbox One, however he did tweet last month that details would be coming fairly soon.

pixy Microsoft: Games With Gold will become more true to what gamers expect

Tomb Raider Closing in on Six Million Copies

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Tomb Raider will surpass over 6 million copies worldwide, revealed Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher in a recent blog post. “The team at Crystal has been overwhelmed with the way it was so warmly received by both critics and gamers,” wrote Gallagher.

Tomb Raider–which released last March–became profitable late 2013 after it failed to meet Square Enix’s aggressive sale projection earlier in the year.

“At launch we set franchise records for the fastest selling day one and month one in Tomb Raider history,” wrote Gallagher. “With the positive word of mouth and continued commercial momentum it’s great to see Tomb Raider on course to become the best-selling game in the history of the franchise! This would be a crowning achievement for the teams around the world, and one that we have our sights firmly set on!”

Microsoft Studios acquires rights to Gears of War franchise

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Microsoft has acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from franchise creator Epic Games, handing over the developmental duties to Black Tusk Studios.

In addition to acquiring the rights, Microsoft also announced that Epic Games director of production Rod Ferguson will be joining Microsoft to help Black Tusk Studios to develop the future of the franchise. However, most importantly, this means that Gears of War will stay an Xbox exclusive.

“Epic Games has reached an agreement to sell the Gears of War intellectual property rights to Microsoft,” said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. “We’re very proud of the franchise we built in close partnership with Microsoft over the past decade and are happy that this agreement enables Microsoft to forge ahead with the Gears universe on their industry-leading platforms as Epic concentrates its efforts on new projects. Epic remains totally dedicated to supporting Xbox One and is licensing the Unreal Engine 4 technology to Microsoft in support of their future projects.”

pixy Microsoft Studios acquires rights to Gears of War franchise