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New GDC Next talks: Star Citizen crowdfunding, Kongregate analytics

New GDC Next talks include Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts on building community and crowdfunding Star Citizen, and Kongregate COO Emily Greer on better tracking player analytics. …


Gamasutra News

Eidos President Leaving Company To Pursue Other Projects

Today, Square Enix announced Ian Livingstone, president of Eidos, is stepping away from the company.

The news surfaced on the Square Enix blog. Square Enix reminisced about Livingstone's time with Eidos, where he helped launch Tomb Raider, Hitman, Thief, Deus Ex, and Legacy of Kain.

Livingstone wants to focus on The Livingstone Foundation to open free schools and academies that encourage creativity and use games as learning tools. He also plans to continue his Next Gen Skills campaign, which he has already seen success with having computing being introduced into the national UK curriculum in 2014. 

Livingstone also plans to continue being an advisor and entrepreneur in social and mobile games. 

Square Enix wished him well on his new journey, but didn't rule out working with him in the future. The blog states, "We’re not saying a full goodbye as we’re hopeful we will get to work with Ian on some future projects."

You can wish Livingstone well on his Twitter account

 

Our Take
While change is unavoidable, it's nice to see someone leave a company on their own terms and be held in such high regard. Livingstone made a mark on the industry, and his activism to bring games and computer science into the UK curriculum is admirable. Seeing what he does next will be interesting, as he's been a positive influence in the industry.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Ubisoft invests $362M in Quebec over 7 years, plans to add 500 jobs

Ubisoft

Ubisoft is concentrating its American operations for online games in Montreal, Quebec, expecting to add 500 new jobs to the region by 2020. This investment over the next seven years focuses on online infrastructures and the expansion of Ubisoft’s motion capture technologies, and it will bring Ubisoft’s employee total in Quebec to 3,500.

The 500 new jobs include standard video game production roles, along with “community and network management specialists, business intelligence analysts, mathematicians, telemetry experts, systems operators, and monetization and interactive marketing specialists,” Ubisoft explains. It’s a $ 373 million CAD ($ 362 million USD) investment overall.

Tax breaks in Quebec make it sensible for Ubisoft to operate its American services from Canada.

“We firmly believe in the importance of creative industries for our economy and are pleased to have been supporting Ubisoft since their arrival in Quebec, in 1997,” Quebec Premier Pauline Marois said. “Their growth and concrete economic benefits for the Quebec nation are true sources of pride. The project announced today, bringing about important job creation, allows us to foresee success in the future.”

JoystiqUbisoft invests $ 362M in Quebec over 7 years, plans to add 500 jobs originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 18:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Anticlimactic trademark dispute shows wisdom of picking your battles

Vlambeer has announced it is changing the name of its upcoming mobile title Wasteland Kings to Nuclear Throne, following concerns over trademark confusion from Wasteland 2 developer inXile. …


Gamasutra News

Editorial: Reign Of The Antiheroes

A few days ago, I wrote a blog highlighting the television shows I enjoy watching. As I dissected my fascination with Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,
and a handful of other dramas, I realized most of my television viewing
is about horrible people who do horrible things; the antiheroes of
primetime.

I was a little alarmed by my discovery, and
decided to hold off on publishing the blog until I explored the
television landscape more. That examination evolved into an
all-encompassing look at all of the entertainment I digest and crave. As
I discovered, much of it centers on the antihero.

I’m not alone
in my appreciation of entertainment starring corrupt politicians, bank
robbers, spray paint-huffing sickos, and gods who want to de-limb other
gods.

Grand Theft Auto V, a game that focuses on three different
murderous antiheroes, raked in $ 1 billion in sales in just three days. Breaking Bad
won this year’s Emmy for “Outstanding Drama” for its bleak tale of an
ordinary man who turns into a meth-cooking monster. Even the children’s
film Despicable Me 2, which pulled in over $ 850 million in the
worldwide box office, places a prototypical villain in the spotlight,
creating humor based off of his nefarious actions.

The breed of
antihero I’m the most captivated by is a surprisingly common mold: dark
in concept, but relatable on an every day level.

The scribes
behind Dexter Morgan know his show wouldn’t be engaging if he were just a
cold-blooded serial killer. They go well out of their way to humanize
him. He has a wife, children, a loving sister, coworkers that seem like
great people. Outside of the “Dark Passenger” in his mind, he’s painted
as an ordinary antisocial. For me, the most tension this show delivers
is the fear of the people close to him finding out who he really is.

Another
carrot that writers dangle in front of their respective audiences is
the belief that many of these characters may see the error of their ways
and redeem themselves in some capacity. Part of me watches Breaking Bad
wanting Walter White to become the kingpin of crime. The other part of
me wants him to get out of the business and return to a normal life with
his family. From the moment that show turned ugly, I hoped for a happy
ending for Walt and all involved. That dynamic kept me on the edge of my
seat.

Grand
Theft Auto V’s protagonist Michael De Santa explains the emotional
conflict antiheroes face in a conversation with his therapist. “I want
to be a good dad, love my family, and live the dream. But at the same
time, I really want the other stuff too." It’s a nice thought, but in
Michael’s story, the criminal element dominates the human one. He’s
abusive to his family, and their thoughts of him throughout the game
echo mine. The persona he projects is more that of criminal than a
father, and I think he’s a less interesting character because of it. His
fantastical criminal repertoire is the only aspect of his character
that I like.

Michael’s cohort, Trevor Phillips, steals the
spotlight. He’s abrasive, profane, Joker-esque in how he handles his
business, and always seems seconds away from ending a conversation with a
bullet in someone’s head.

He’s the main player in the
contentious torture scene, not balking at the chance to inflict pain on
someone else. I felt uncomfortable controlling Trevor’s hands in this
moment, but didn’t question his involvement in it. Up to this point, his
entire story focuses on hurting others for his own sick gain. Torture
fits his persona. If you haven’t played through Grand Theft Auto V yet,
you may want to skip ahead to the next paragraph for the sake of
spoilers. After Trevor extracts the needed information from the suspect,
the FIB washes their hands of the deed, suggesting Trevor dispose of
his body however he see fit. What does Trevor do? He lets him go. This
little act of kindness, which is still handled in an unsettling and
maniacal way, gives Trevor a different pulse than most leads. He becomes
even more of a wild card than he already is. Not knowing exactly what
you’re going to get from a character is great drama, and reason to stay
invested in his or her arc.

Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead
knocked this concept out of the park with protagonist Lee Everett. When
players first meet Lee, he’s chained up in the back of a police car. He
clearly did something wrong, but thanks to the untimely arrival of the
zombie apocalypse, we don’t find out what it is. The question of “is he
dangerous?” hangs over him like a storm cloud.

This narrative
hook can grow in intensity if the player ties his or her beliefs to
Lee’s actions. The Walking Dead, like many video games, gives the player
a degree of ownership over the protagonist through the choices that are
made for him. Mass Effect's Commander Shepard is another great example
of a character whose morality is sculpted by the player. My Shepard
often did the right thing, but occasionally got blood on her hands for
what I believed to be the greater good of the universe.

Not too long ago, Batman was viewed as a poster boy for antiheroes. Frank Miller’s depiction of this character in The Dark Knight Returns
changed Batman’s image, giving him a much darker edge than we've seen
before. This vision of the caped crusader is still used today, but when
you hold up up to the new crop of antiheroes that have emerged in all
forms of entertainment, he almost looks as virtuous and squeaky clean as
Superman.

Entertainment providers are using shock factor to lead
us into the worlds of antiheroes. I don't go into many of these stories
expecting to be greeted by a goodhearted character. The allure is to
follow a disturbed, controversial, and/or outlandish character through a
life I know I will never lead. All of the humanizing elements usually
come well after the first introduction.

Companies are taking more
chances, and that's a big reason why entertainment is better today than
it has ever been. That’s not to discredit the leaps we’ve seen in each
respective entertainment field. Across the board, writing and technology
are much improved – opening the door for experiences we couldn’t even
fathom a decade ago. The antihero isn’t a new archetype, but we are
seeing a much broader range from it, and that's mostly due to the
audience being hungry for it.

Depending on the content you
absorb, the antihero may not even be on your radar. I enjoy plenty of
entertainment that places the hero or good people in the spotlight. For
the time being, they aren't in the mainstream spotlight. The world's
current obsession is with the bad boys of entertainment.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Neverending Nightmares heading to PC and Ouya thanks to funding drive

Neverending NightmaresKickstarter project concluded with $ 106,722 in funding yesterday. The horror game is both inspired by games like Silent Hill 2 and Amnesia: The Dark Descent as well as developer Matt Gilgenbach’s personal struggles with mental illness. It achieved its funding goals, but not without a last-minute financial mishap that momentarily put the project’s success in question.

The game is also the second project to achieve funding as part of Ouya’s Free the Games Fund. The first, Gridiron Thunder, pulled itself from eligibility following criticism over discrepancies in its funding. Gilgenbach offered his thoughts on the program in mid-September, worrying that the controversy within the program might cause backers to lose “confidence in our project and what we are trying to do.” Given the developer’s crowdfunding success, they apparently did not. Neverending Nightmares is expected to launch in August 2014 on PC, Mac, Linux and Ouya.

JoystiqNeverending Nightmares heading to PC and Ouya thanks to funding drive originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zynga settles in lawsuit over casual sex app

Zynga has settled in a lawsuit against TheNextBang over the latter’s Bang With Friends, a casual sex app that Zynga contends infringes on its popular With Friends social game franchise. …


Gamasutra News

Halo 3 Joins Clash Of Heroes For October’s Xbox Live Games With Gold

Last week, we shared news that Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is the first of October's free Games with Gold. Today we know that Halo 3 is rounding out the month.

From October 1 through 15, you can download Clash of Heroes at no cost if you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. From October 16 through 31, it's Halo 3. If you happened to miss 2007's Halo 3 (or the three main series titles since then), this seems like a good time to put on the Mjolnir armor.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

Our Take
If it weren't for PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection, Microsoft's two games per month would be unequivocally heralded as a great offer. Unfortunately, when one of those titles is six years old, the inevitable comparisons to Sony's five games per month and titles that are far more recent (Battlefield 3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Saints Row: The Third) aren't flattering. 

People are going to take that opportunity to complain about getting something for free. That isn't good for gamers or Microsoft.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Destiny box art revealed!

Destiny (Mel Gibson Braveheart voice)! The official box art is here, check it.

Destiny‘s release date is TBA however one would have to assume that it will be released around November or March of next year during the prime video game release dates.


That VideoGame Blog

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag Video Preview

With Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Ubisoft Montreal steers its historical action-adventure franchise into the calming blue seas of an 18th century Caribbean. The tranquility lasts until new protagonist Edward Kenway spies a ship in his telescopic glass – prompting a new piratical opportunity to shoot it, sink it or swing onto its deck and run those fretting sailors through.

We discuss the successes of sailing in our video recap above, along with Kenway’s on-foot encounters with assassination and shrub-based stealth. There’s also a strong implication of which aquatic animals are best suited to crafting holsters. Okay, it’s the sharks. We just don’t like the sharks.

JoystiqAssassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag Video Preview originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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