Tag Archives: Video games

Star Wars video game maker apologizes after uproar from fans

The company behind the new Star Wars video game has turned off a money-spinning part of it after an outcry from angry fans and scrutiny from regulators.

Gamers had complained in recent days that it takes huge amounts of time — or money — to unlock features in Star Wars Battlefront II. Regulators in Belgium, meanwhile, are looking at whether the game constitutes a form of gambling.

Some Star Wars fans who paid roughly $60 to buy Battlefront II were upset to find that optional charges built into the game can cost them hundreds more.

“We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases,” said Oskar Gabrielson, the general manager of the unit of gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA, Tech30) that developed Battlefront II. “We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning.”

Fans were angry because Battlefront II essentially gave players a choice. They could spend a huge number of hours collecting in-game credits to unlock new features and cooler characters, or pay real money to get them instantly.

In the gaming world, this is called “pay to win.” It’s not unusual, but the format has typically been used in mobile games that are free to download.

Some gamers calculated that it would take six years of playing two hours a day to unlock all the features in Battlefront II without handing over any real money. Paying for everything, meanwhile, would cost over $2,000.

“It’s a complete ripoff and the multiplayer is rigged for whoever is willing to spend more money,” one gamer said on Twitter last week. “It is designed to make you spend more money after buying.”

“We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages,” Gabrielson said. “And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.”

Previously, the game developers had tried to placate fans by reducing the cost of unlocking “hero” characters by 75%.

The in-game purchases aren’t gone forever, though.

Gabrielson said they would return “at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game.”

His statement didn’t directly address the concerns of the Belgian Gaming Commission, which is investigating how players in Battlefront II and similar games are rewarded by unlocking “loot boxes.”

The idea is that players pay real money to unlock a virtual “loot box” without knowing what kind of reward is inside. They also don’t know how many boxes they might need to unlock in order to finish the game.

Peter Naessens, general director of the Belgian Gaming Commission, said the regulator is examining whether the rewards are allocated by chance, and whether this might constitute a form of gambling.

In Belgium, companies involved in gambling are required to have a license. Minors and people with gambling addiction problems are not allowed to play.

 

Electronic Arts has dismissed the idea that its game falls into that category, saying that the “mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling.”

“A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing [loot boxes],” it said in a statement. “Players can also earn [loot boxes] through playing the game and not spending any money at all.”

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Pokémon Go update brings a little Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon into the game

Pokémon Go players can dress their avatars up like the trainers from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, thanks to a giveaway that’s now live in the mobile game.

Ahead of this Friday’s release of the Nintendo 3DS titles, Pokémon Go players can pick up free outfits that are directly inspired by the stars of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. For girls, there’s a sun hat, sandals, shorts and a nice, flowery tank top to pick up; guys have new sneakers, shorts, a bucket hat, a tank and, for some reason, leggings to throw on.
pokemon go outfits Niantic/The Pokémon Company

This is the first time that Niantic and The Pokémon Company have used Pokémon Go to promote an upcoming Pokémon game. Even when Pokémon’s popularity was at a fever pitch last fall between Pokémon Go’s release and the launch of Pokémon Sun and Moon, the companies kept the games separate. But ever since a Mimikyu-styled hat appeared in Pokémon Go over Halloween, it’s clear that Niantic is willing to reference the current generation of games — even if we can’t catch any of the Alola region’s monsters yet.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are out Nov. 17.

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Robot Chicken awesome retro video games, videos



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This might be the most heartwarming video game commercial ever


Dragon Quest has never been as popular in North America as it is in Japan. In Japan, the release of a new Dragon Quest game is a massive, world-consuming event. It’s so big that (possibly apocryphal) stories have popped up about the government forcing publisher Square Enix to only release new games in the series on Saturdays, to avoid obsessed gamers skipping out on school and work to stand in line at a store.

While the veracity of that urban legend is debatable, the spirit of it — and recognition of the impact Dragon Quest has had on so many lives — is captured perfectly in the video above. This is a Japanese commercial for the upcoming release of Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age. It was released a few months ago, but we saw it floating around on Twitter yesterday, as the game nears release in Japan.

Don’t worry if you’re not a Dragon Quest fan; you’re still likely to get this commercial if you’ve been playing games your whole life. After a cute montage of opening screens from all the past Dragon Quest games, we see the faces of different people scrunched up, staring at the screen, playing — people across a variety of ages, genders and appearances.

We see a student daydreaming about the game at school, doodling a slime in his notebook. We see an office worker absentmindedly watching a trailer for it on his computer. We see a convenience store employee nearly falling asleep, presumably because he was up all night grinding out another few levels.

And most importantly, we see them playing. Covered up under a blanket. Ignoring dinner. Even crying at a powerful plot twist.

In one of the commercial’s best moments, a young man is leaning forward playing what appears to be Dragon Quest 8 on PlayStation 2. A woman sitting next to him is looking to plug in a hair curler and accidentally unplugs … the television? Or is it the PlayStation itself? Has he lost his progress? No! This is a heartbreaking scenario we’ve probably all been through at one moment or another.

Whether you care about Dragon Quest or not, there’s something wonderful and moving about seeing these shared experiences. The investment on display here transcends any specific game, just like it transcends the country of Japan. Virtually everyone who plays video games has felt this stuff before, has found themselves so totally transported to another place that they’re thinking about it all through class or work the next day.

There’s something magical about that.

Dragon Quest 11 launches today, July 29, for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 in Japan. A Switch version of the game is also planned, and Square Enix announced today that Dragon Quest 11 will make its way to North America and other Western regions in 2018.

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Nintendo surprised fans with the SNES Classic

snes-classic
Yesterday, Nintendo surprised fans with the SNES Classic, a mini console that bundles together 21 of the best classic games from the company’s 16-bit console in one tiny package. But perhaps no one was more surprised than veteran game creator Dylan Cuthbert, who learned the gadget would include one additional surprise: his long-canceled game, Star Fox 2. Yesterday evening, Cuthbert and several members of the original Star Fox 2 team went out to have a much-belated launch party for a game they’d made two decades earlier.

Star Fox 2 was a sequel the 1993 original, which saw Nintendo branch out in a new direction with a sci-fi-themed rail shooter on the SNES. In the game, Fox McCloud and a team of anthropomorphic animals / pilots defend their home planet from powerful alien invaders. The game let players pilot an angular craft called the Arwing, as they battled robots, alien creatures, and spaceships through expansive levels.

Star Fox was also one of the most technically impressive SNES games. By utilizing a new graphics processor called the Super FX, the team behind the original Star Fox were able to squeeze 3D graphics onto a console built for 2D games. Star Fox was the first Nintendo game to use polygonal graphics, setting in motion the company’s trend from 2D to 3D gaming. A big reason for that accomplishment was the technical wizardry of Cuthbert and his team at British developer Argonaut Software, who worked with Nintendo on the game.
Star Fox 2

When it came time to create a sequel, the team similarly wanted to make something that would wow players on a technical level. They set to work on not only designing a new game, but also developing a new version of the Super FX chip that would offer twice the memory and significantly faster processing. They experimented with all kinds of ideas, including the ability to pilot your ship using a full 360-degree range of motion. Cuthbert says that he rebuilt the original Star Fox engine “considerably” to fit all of these new ideas and gameplay features.

The game wasn’t merely a prototype; it was completed. The press was even shown demos at CES in 1995. But Star Fox 2 took a long time to develop — so long that the final product showed its age as new, more powerful platforms like the original Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn were released.

“The release [of Star Fox 2] got set back about a year or so, and half a year later, the Nintendo 64 system was due to come out, so we thought, ‘Is it too late to ask people to shell out for this?’” Nintendo design luminary Shigeru Miyamoto explained in an interview with the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “And other companies’ game consoles were using polygons all over the place, so we didn’t think we could catch up even if we stuck this expensive chip in the cartridge, so we rethought it.”

The decision was made to cancel Star Fox 2, though many of its ideas — like 360-degree flying and the introduction of a tank vehicle — made their way into Star Fox 64, which was released in 1997. “We wanted to use that structure from Star Fox 2 to make scenes with a stronger sci-fi bent, and we wanted to make the Arwing feel more comfortable to fly,” Miyamoto explained. When former Nintendo programmer Kazuaki Morita started experimenting with the N64, Miyamoto realized it was the right platform for these ideas. “When I saw those, I thought, ‘Ah, now we can make it like a science fiction film!’” he explained.

Cuthbert, meanwhile, went on to found Kyoto-based studio Q-Games, best known for the “Pixeljunk” series of experimental games. Years later, Cuthbert would return to Star Fox when Q partnered with Nintendo to create a remake of Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo 3DS. “The idea was to faithfully recreate the contents of Star Fox 64,” Cuthbert, who served as director on the project, explained during the same interview with Iwata. He described the 3DS version as “a rebirth.”

Having moved on to new companies and projects, Cuthbert and the original Star Fox 2 development team aren’t directly involved with the release on the SNES Classic — which explains his surprise at yesterday’s announcement. “I wonder if this is a first?” Cuthbert wrote on Twitter. “We mastered Star Fox 2 [22] years ago and it’s finally getting a release. Guinness World record?”


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Gaming nostalgia Time!!!!





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Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios, so start saving up those gold coins

You’ve probably had dreams of racing against Yoshi and Wario on Rainbow Road to win a medal in Mario Kart, and now your dream is about to become a reality. Universal Studios Japan will soon add Super Nintendo World — a theme park based on your favorite Nintendo games.In a recent press event, executives from Universal and Nintendo announced new details about the upcoming theme park based on Nintendo characters.

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Apocalypse Now : The Game (Videos)

The largely awaited and largely troubled Apocalypse Now : The Game is still in the planning stages and they are still trying to raise enough money for it to be made. This is the write up for the game :  

Apocalypse Now is going to be a video game.

You are an assassin. You’ve been given the most dangerous, most secret and most controversial special forces mission in U.S. History.

But this game is not Call of Duty: Vietnam. You will sneak. You will hide. You will gather resources. You will build your character. You will kill when necessary.

To maintain creative freedom and produce a daring and intense game about the horrors of war, the project is being financed outside the traditional system. We want your support, please back this game

To follow the game’s creation click here :  ApocalypseNowGame

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