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Starbreeze’s latest acquisition is a VR/AR toys-to-life company

Swedish game company Starbreeze is adding another acquisition to its books with the purchase of ePawn, a French firm that takes virtual reality, augmented reality and toys-to-life tech as its remit. …

Gamasutra News

Starbreeze’s latest acquisition is a VR/AR toys-to-life company

Swedish game company Starbreeze is adding another acquisition to its books with the purchase of ePawn, a French firm that takes virtual reality, augmented reality and toys-to-life tech as its remit. …

Gamasutra News

[Update] Developer Admits Game Removed From Steam Included Stolen Call Of Duty Assets

Update: Trek Industries, the developer behind The Orion Project, has admitted that his game includes assets lifted from two Call of Duty games. A new update from David Prassel went live yesterday admitting and explaining what happened.

"Last night I received evidence directly from Activision regarding assets not even mentioned in public yet," he writes. "Upon receiving this it became immediately apparent that blatant rips were made. While the artist offered to remake any assets at no cost, he has now been fired immediately upon learning this. This will slightly affect production and I will get into that later."

The extensive post also discusses past content theft. Prassel puts the blame almost entirely on freelancers, save for the achievement images mentioned in the original story (below). He says that the company is taking a number of steps moving forward, including shutting down its social media presence.

1. We are removing ANY content that Activision finds offensive, immediately.

2. I am removing ALL DevHelmets from the game. This includes Fettuccine which we gave away to all users for free. 

3. Other artists within the team have volunteered to remedy any assets required to restore the game to its quickest state as fast as possible.

4. We are shutting down social media. I don't find the results from when it's positive large enough, and when it gets bad it's just horrible. We really need to bunker down to catch up on what was removed and we just want to focus on the game and will continue to do so and post updates/interactions to OR are YouTube which will remain operational.

You can read the entire post on Steam.

Original Story (June 28, 2016 @ 6:12 a.m. Central):

Developer Trek Industries woke up yesterday to some bad news from Steam. The developer says that one of its games, Orion, has been removed from the storefront following a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint from Call of Duty publisher Activision.

A post by Trek’s David Prassel details how the situation unfurled from the developer’s perspective. Following Activision’s DMCA complaint, Steam opted to remove the game from sale, which is one of the options available to the storefront.

The specific complaint focuses on weapon art and assets that Activision alleges was taken from Black Ops 3 and Advanced Warfare. Images provided by Trek make it hard to draw a comparison, but thankfully users on NeoGAF have matched angles so people can get a better look.

Activision was unable to be reached for formal comment, however Game Informer can confirm that the publisher did issue the DMCA complaint. According to James, Activision has 10 days to provide Valve with a copy of a legal complaint. If the publisher fails to produce one, Orion will be re-listed on Steam.

Trek Industries denies it has used art from the two Call of Duty games. “Regardless, an invalid and malicious act from Activision on wrong or non-existant (sic) evidence,” Prassel says. “They are are multi-billion dollar company coming over what is currently a 50 cent game, without contacting us or requesting anything of us NOR providing any specific assets or images of the offensive content to begin with.”

Trek Industries, which used to be called Spiral Games, has been embroiled in controversy before. The company used lifted art for an older, since replaced set of achievement icons. It was also accused of using art assets from Tribes Ascend, Natural Selection 2, and Primal Carnage (via Gather Your Party).

We’ll update should Activision provide comment.

[Source: Steam (1), (2)]


Our Take
Activision is a sleeping giant that is only rarely roused to make a move like this. You rarely hear the company mention other companies by name, preferring to run its own race. The fact that the publisher is taking action here shouldn’t be taken lightly.

I’m interested to see if Activision follows through with a formal complaint or simply chose this moment to send a message. Having a game delisted during a Steam sale is a particularly crafty way to make your point. – The Feed

PSA: It’s The Last Day For Your June Xbox Live Games With Gold

If you’ve ever wanted to fight an alien horde or strap a jetpack to a goat, make sure you grab June’s expiring Games with Gold. Today is your last day for two games before a new month begins tomorrow.

Leaving the service tomorrow on Xbox 360 is XCOM: Enemy Unknown. On Xbox One, it’s the amusing and absurd Goat Simulator.

Tomorrow brings a new slate of games. You can check out what’s on the horizon in our previous coverage. – The Feed

Four More Join Xbox One Backward Compatibility Roster

Microsoft is adding backward compatibility support for an additional four games. All four come from the Xbox Live Arcade catalog.

Joining today are the following:

  • Bloodforge
  • Mars: War Logs
  • Go! Go! Break Steady
  • Gripshift

It's worth noting that this week's new release, The Technomancer, is related to Mars: War Logs. It's not a direct sequel, but the games are connected. You can check out the full list of backward compatible games on Major Nelson’s website. – The Feed

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (June 30, 2016)

What a crazy eclectic mix of blogs this week!
From Call of Duty to Super Princess Peach (remember that one!?), we've got it
all. Time to don your reading glasses, Blog Herding fans.

Community Blogs For
June 23 – June 29:

Girls of Summer: Super Princess Peach

Haley Shipley continues her new series of blogs, this time focusing on a game
that…wait a minute. Peach uses here emotions as powers to traverse this
side-scrolling game? Oh, boy. Wait. Shipley says it's not what you think at
first glance. Find out why this game is more than Mario's bae crying.

Revisiting Dishonored Gave Me An Even Greater Appreciation Of It

Refle takes us back in time to Dishonored, which is fitting after E3 exposed
more of the sequel to us. It's a piece of reflection on not only the game, but
how our blogger handled his sneaking and completion of goals. I'm sure everyone
has their own unique story on how they completed the game, which makes it all the more exciting.

Exciting Things About Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Blogger airbornebovine is not done thinking about the awesome Zelda trailer from
E3, so this blog is a way to express excitement at what we're getting. I really
appreciate the reference to Wind Waker. Sure, it was divisive, but that scale
and wonder afforded by the ocean was second to none at the time.

of Duty and the Importance of an Animation

Thomas Loughney continues his blogging spree by weaving us a tale about Call of Duty 2, otherwise known as one of "the craziest emotional roller
coasters" our blogger has ever rode in. While that may be true if you've never
visited Wisconsin Dells or Shakopee, Minn., what Thomas writes next totally
convinces me that this marquee game really did change him. Don't let me spoil
it, though. Give it a read.

Revival! Don't Let Me Down!

Brendon Curzio is ready for the marsupial who was once Sony's unofficial
mascot (remember when that was a thing?) to return to gaming. Nostalgia is a
tricky mistress, and our blogger knows this, but he's remaining positive that
this revival will be a win. And really, how fun was (SPOILER) Crash in the
recent Uncharted? Just give me that with a fresh coat of paint and some new

Games are Great Games Too

I'm not sure that Thomas Loughney's assertion that bad games are great games is
technically true, but they certainly can be enjoyable. Some of the games he
lists as underrated might seem like duds, but plenty of games that are reviewed
as average or worse can be fun. I've certainly found my fair share of them. Enjoy you're five out of 10, playa. But
seriously, Thomas – stay the hell away from Sonic Boom.

Call of Duty Doesn't Deserve the Hate

Drmuffin1080 does not understand the Call of Duty hate. Neither do I. Is it the
next coming of Halo or Half-Life? No. Is it super-rewarding and bombastic in
both single-player and online multiplayer mode? Absolutely. Read the blog.
Absorb it. Let go of your hate and stay away from the dark side of the force.
Call of Duty games are good and fun.

Community Reviews:

Edge: Catalyst Critique

Everyone wanted a Mirror's Edge sequel, but General Mills44 is convinced that
this is not the droid we are looking for. Or runner, or whatever. One of the
biggest complaints is how the game isn't actually very open. What do you all

Community Writing

It's summer time, which means it's a time of going outside
and exploring. What gaming experiences have made you
think of the outdoors, or even connected it to you in some way? As you'll read
in the community playdate section, I had a Don't Starve moment with nature. On
another note, the game Flower pushed me to grow a bunch of flowers in my

Community Playdate:

None this week! I'll be in the great Northwoods of Wisconsin with my
fiancé's family – a no-gaming time. Side note: I had a Don't Starve moment
while camping. Instead of a catcoon wandering around, a raccoon did its best to
steal from our ice chest (also known as a cooler) and get in our tent three
nights in a row. It certainly ruined my sleep and may have drained my sanity
meter a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot, considering I made loud noises with a
pudgy-pie maker as I ran after him along the river. Just to scare him, of

I hope you enjoy the blogs! Please
contact me via my Game
Informer page
 or on Twitter at @LouisGarcia12 with
any blog news or playdate suggestions. – The Feed

Summer Games Done Quick Charity Speedrun Kicks Off This Weekend

The annual charity event Summer Games Done Quick includes over a hundred speedrunners livestreaming games all weekend. This year's event starts on July 3 and runs though July 10.

All proceeds raised by this 160 hour continuous livestream will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. Awesome Games Done Quick was hosted earlier this year and raised over $ 1,200,000 for the Cancer Prevention Society. The full schedule for the Summer event includes a  wide variety of action, indie, and puzzle games, even a run of Fallout 4 in just over one hour.

You can tune in to the marathon all week at the official Twitch channel. Last year, some members of Games Done Quick showed some of the Game Informer staff their tips for speedrunning a game.

[Source: Games Done Quick]

Our Take
These events are always great for everyone involved. The money goes to a good cause and some really unique skills are highlighted during the marathon. Games Done Quick is a great reminder of the good that the gaming community is possible of accomplishing. – The Feed

Square Enix and CNN Team Up To Host Human Augmentation Conference

Square Enix, the publisher behind the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is teaming up with CNN's new branded-content branch, Courageous, to host a conference on human augmentation. The conference, called Human By Design and presented by the upcoming game, is taking place at The Paley Center for Media in New York City on August 3.

The one day event takes influence from the themes of Mankind Divided, with experts in the field of Christian ethics, science, non-profits, and mechanical engineering speaking on topics such as the ethics of human augmentation and how it can be made accessible to everyone and what advancements made in the medical field now may yield in 10 years. The entire event will be streamed on Twitch.

More on the conference can be found at Human By Design's website.

In similar news, Konami recently selected a participant for The Phantom Limb Project, to give a young man a prosthetic arm based on the art style of Metal Gear Solid: V The Phantom Pain.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is expected to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 23. For more on the game, check out our cover features at the hub below. – The Feed

Disney Announces Wreck-It Ralph 2 For 2018

Released in 2012, Wreck-It Ralph featured plenty of video game related easter eggs and references, as well as a heartwarming story. Disney announced this morning that a sequel is officially in development.

John C. Reilly, who voices the titular villain/hero, hinted at the sequel earlier this year, but this is the first announcement from the production team at Disney. Rich Moore will return to direct the sequel, with co-director Phil Johnston who helped to write the original film. You can read our interview with Moore from 2013 about where the sequel might go. Judging by the first piece of concept art, seen below, the sequel will be taking on the internet. 

The first movie scored a modest global box office total of nearly $ 500 million, but wasn't nearly as successful as other Disney films like Frozen and Zootopia, so a sequel was not a guarantee. Wreck-It Ralph 2 is slated to release on March 9, 2018.

[Source: Entertainment Weekly] – The Feed

Story Mode For Street Fighter V Available Tomorrow As Free DLC

A July 1 update for Street Fighter V includes a cinematic story mode, two new fighters, stages, costumes and other features. The update is free to download, with the additional content included available to purchase in-game with either the game's currency Fight Money or real currency.  

The story mode, entitled A Shadow Falls, will be divided into five acts and takes place between the events of Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV. In the battle between the
evil Shadaloo organization and the heroic World Warriors, players enter battles using each of the original Street Fighter V characters as well as the 6 additional DLC characters both released and unreleased. A Shadow Falls is free to download. You can check out the cinematic trailer for A Shadow Falls below. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The two new challengers joining the roster are Balrog and Ibuki. Balrog is a familiar face to the Street Fighter franchise, first appearing as a boss in Street Fighter II and a master in the art of boxing. It was announced earlier this week that he would making his way to Street Fighter V, and he got his own reveal trailer too. 

Ibuki first appeared in Street Fighter III: New Generation, and a combination of her tactical martial arts and ninja bombs makes her a deadly foe. At the start of June it was announced that she would be joining Street Fighter V alongside the anticipated story mode when she got her own reveal trailer as well showing off her battle mechanics. 

In addition to the new characters and story mode, the update will also include Balrog’s
Las Vegas stage and Karin Kanzuki's family private beach stage and three new alternate stages. Premium battle costumes are obtainable for all 20 characters along with a
 premium summer costume for Karin and story costumes for both Balrog and Ibuki. 

The in-game currency store will be updated with the PlayStation 4 and Steam real currency options, and the update includes better matchmaking systems to improve online play. 

[Source: Capcom] – The Feed