Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Fire(proof) Sales: The Room games surpass 11.5M copies sold

British studio Fireproof Games, reports today (via infographic) that it’s sold over 11.5 million copies of its three The Room puzzle games since launching the first in December of 2012. …

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What To Watch This Weekend: Wizard World, Super Smash Bros., And Counter-Strike

This weekend is full of exciting tournaments, but it's really just a precursor for next weekend, when a number of huge tournaments will kick off and conclude at the same time. But why worry about the future when there's plenty to watch this weekend?

If you're looking for a number of different games to watch today and tomorrow, make sure to tune into Wizard World Tulsa's gaming stream, which will have exhibitions and tournaments in Street Fighter, Naruto, and more. (Stream, schedule on Twitch page) 

For a more dedicated fighting game event, check out the Red Bull Battlegrounds, which will finally choose its finalist for the Red Bull Battle Grounds from a 16-player bracket from across the United States and Canada. (Stream / Schedule)

You can also catch some major Super Smash Bros. action at the Eclipse 2 tournament in Norway, which will feature some of the world's strongest European talent, including Adam "Armada" Lindgren and William "Leffen" Hjelte. (Stream / Schedule)

The Counter-Strike:Global Offensive E-League kicks off this weekend on both Twitch and TV network TBS. Several of the game's top teams will compete for an enormous $ 400,000 first-place prize as a TV audience judges them harshly. (Stream / Schedule) For a more online-oriented affair, you can watch the ever-popular Epicenter tournament, which has a $ 250,000 prize for first place. (Stream)

You can also catch the tail end of this week's Hearthstone Celestial Invitational, which has some of the world's best players battling it out for a $ 60,000 prize pool. (Stream / Schedule)

Finally, this the last week of the League of Legends Worlds tournament before the grand finals, so make sure to catch all the matches leading up to what should be the most-viewed esports match of the year. (Stream / Schedule)

That's it for this weekend! Make sure to let us know about any tournaments we may have missed in the comments. Happy Watching! – The Feed

One-Person Project Lost Soul Aside Is A Timed PlayStation 4 Exclusive

Lost Soul Aside is an impressive one-person project from developer Bing Yang. Created in Unreal Engine 4, it takes some visual cues from the Final Fantasy series, though it looks to play more like Devil May Cry. It's gorgeous and looks like a game from a much larger team.

After speaking with a number of developers about turning his passion project commercial, Yang has announced via Twitter the game will be a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive.

As per the tweet, Yang also mentioned the game will include "multi weapons," (whether that means multiple weapons or weapons that can transform into others like in Bloodborne is unclear), and that he will try to finish the game in 2018. You can watch a trailer for the game below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Bing Yang on Twitter]

Our Take
Lost Soul Aside is an impressive piece of work, and I'm glad Yang has to opportunity to release it on consoles. Xbox fans will likely not appreciate the news, but securing short-term exclusivity is a sign Sony likes what they've seen of the game, which bodes well for the final project.  Lastly, I would take that 2018 time frame with a huge grain of salt. – The Feed

Deadpool Director Not Working On Sequel Due To ‘Creative Differences’ With Ryan Reynolds

Of all the superhero action movies this year, Deadpool might be the most surprising. It managed to deftly translate the source comics' style to film effortlessly, becoming a financial and critical success.

Unfortunately, one of the people behind the film's success, director Tim Miller, will not be around for the sequel. According to a report from Deadline, Miller will not direct the film after "creative differences" between him and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds emerged. Miller will be working on the film adaptation of Influx, a film adaption of a David Suarez novel.

We don't know what the creative differences could have been over, so it's hard to know if this will benefit or hurt the film in the long run. All we can hope for is that this doesn't lead to another X-Men Origins: Wolverine situation. – The Feed

Gwent Closed Beta Begins October 25

CD Projekt Red has announced the starting date for the closed beta for Gwent, the full-fledged card game based on the minigame in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The beta, playable on PC and Xbox One begins next Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm CEST (which translates to 12pm Central time). Interested users can sign up via the official Gwent website. Invites to the beta will roll out in waves, so users who do not receive an invite on the first go may be able to get in at a later date. Registration will remain open after the beta begins.

No word was given on when the beta will end. If you're looking to get a feel for how the beta plays, you can read Matt Bertz' preview. – The Feed

The game they play together: Two game devs get engaged in Destiny

Here’s a nice bit of news to cap off your week: Game dev Adriel Wallick proposed to longtime partner (and fellow dev) Rami Ismail today while they were playing Destiny together. He said yes. …

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Video: Sid Meier’s psychology of game design

“Everything you know is wrong.” …

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Unreal Engine 4 Support Confirmed For Nintendo Switch

Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 will be partnering with Nintendo to help developers bring games using the engine to the Switch, the company announced today on Twitter.

Epic was among the slate of third-party publishers announced as Switch partners earlier today. The Unreal Engine 4 is the current version of the engine, which powers games such as Street Fighter V and Gears of War 4. Back in 2014, Epic launched a subscription program for Unreal 4, allowing independent developers and hobbyists to use the powerful engine for $ 19 a month, plus a five percent revenue cut if they wound up selling a game they made using it.

[Source: Unreal Engine on Twitter]


Our Take
The Unreal Engine is a versatile platform and its affordability makes it accessible to indie studios, which is great news for the Switch's eventual software lineup. This announcement doesn't really offer much insight into how powerful the console will be, however. – The Feed

Voice Actors Strike After Negotiations Fail With Game Publishers

Days after a final set of negotiations failed, the SAG-AFTRA union has officially called for a voice-actor strike against gaming companies including Activision, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two. The decision will affect games that went into production after February 17, 2015.

As we explained in our report earlier this week, points of contention included working environments, the ability for companies to hire non-union actors, and bonus structures. The two parties met earlier in the week in one last effort to settle contract terms, but the discussions didn't resolve the core issues.

“Through many months of bargaining with interactive employers, we have not reached a fair agreement covering SAG-AFTRA performers working in video games – often the most popular games in the world. Our members have been clear, now is the time for employers to negotiate a modern contract that covers this highly profitable industry,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris in a statement released to Deadline on Sunday night. “A strike is not to be entered into lightly, but when the employers leave us with no recourse, we must stand firm for our members. It is imperative that we secure for them the protections, compensation and benefits they deserve.”

Scott J. Witlin of the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg LLP that represents the game publishers issued the following statement:

We have negotiated in good faith for the past 18 months with SAG-AFTRA union leaders, and are making progress toward a new contract,” said . “We are deeply disappointed to learn today of the union’s threatened strike and its unilateral violation of the mutually agreed upon ‘news black-out’ on negotiation discussions.”

We consider the Union’s threatened labor action to call a strike precipitous, unnecessary and an action that will only harm their membership. SAG-AFTRA represents performers in less than 25% of the video games on the market. Any strike would not only deny SAG-AFTRA’s membership work, but this would also give their competitors, who do not engage union talent, a leg up while any strike would be in place.

The Video Game Companies had already scheduled bargaining sessions this week with SAG-AFTRA union leaders to attempt to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. We expect these negotiations to remain in place, and will continue to attempt to reach a fair and equitable contract despite the Union leadership’s most recent threatened labor action.

The existing contract between Video Game Companies and SAG-AFTRA pays all performers more than $ 100 an hour plus benefits and most performers many times that. The Companies’ current proposals on the negotiation table includes wage increases for most performers and additional avenues for compensation that could yield many hundreds of dollars more in payments for limited integration and ratification bonuses. Although the Companies have had only one report of workplace injury due to vocal stress, the Companies have continued to look to ways to reduce the burdens on performers in this area through the more flexible work scheduling and other innovative work arrangements.

We want to draw attention to the increased economic benefits and working condition improvements being offered because SAG-AFTRA’s website is inaccurate and out of date and does not reflect offers some of which have been on the table for more than a year.

It is important to note that the Video Game Companies’ upcoming games are already in production and the majority will be unaffected by any SAG-AFTRA strike due to the nature of the ‘no strike provisions’ of the collective bargaining agreement. We anticipate minimal impact on current and near-future game releases.

We produce Interactive Video Games for the enjoyment of people around the world and as a result we provide excellent jobs for many SAG-AFTRA members. Reaching a reasonable agreement is in the best interest of all parties, as well as the many fans of our games.

The union says it will be picketing EA's offices in Playa Vista, Calif., at 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

For additional background information on the strike, take a look at our earlier feature, which breaks down the major points.


Our Take
Strikes can resolve themselves quickly or drag on for months or longer. Now we just wait to see who blinks first. – The Feed

Nostalgic Fan Makes Endearing Commercial For Pokémon

The Pokémon series is continuing a landmark 20-year anniversary. Pokémon Go become a global phenomenon, events have been held throughout the year, and the start of the next generation of the franchise is less than a month away. It's a great time to be a fan of the little pocket monsters, with one going so far as to make this professional-looking advertisement.

John Wikstrom's video starts with a childhood memory of collecting every Pokémon
thing possible, then jumps forward to an adult trying to find that magic again. The video is heartfelt, and probably how many people will feel about the series when they get their hands on Sun and Moon.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: John Wikstrom via Youtube] – The Feed