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Games as a service company PlayFab raises $7.4 million

Playfab, a cross-platform tool provider to enable games to better operate as service, has secured further funding. …


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Test Chamber – Offworld Trading Company

Mohawk Games' fast-paced real-time strategy title Offworld Trading Company is currently in early access on Steam, shooting for an official launch sometime next year. We couldn't wait that long, so we've taken a quick dive into the economic RTS to see what it's like playing Wall Street on Mars!

Players scramble to collect, sell, and refine materials as they move toward the end goal of buying out the opposition, battling for choice resource nodes and messing with each other via pirates, EMP, and bidding wars. While you won't be creating units and laying siege like many other titles in the genre, there's definitely plenty of conflict as players jockey for power and position in this giant offworld auction.

Join Daniel Tack and Jeff Cork as they survey the surface of Mars for opportunity in this episode of Test Chamber!

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Microsoft’s Boyd Multerer, Former Xbox Live Lead, Departs Company

Another key employee has departed Microsoft’s Xbox team. Boyd Multerer, who lead development of Xbox Live, has left the company.

Multerer shared the news via Twitter today. “Goodbye Microsoft. It was a good run,” he writes. “Xbox was Great! Time to do something new.”

In a recent internal profile featured on Microsoft’s website, Multerer is described as “the man responsible for Xbox Live” and “the father of the popular XNA video game programming language.”

Most recently before departing the company, Multerer served as director of development on the Xbox One. He joined the company in 1994 as a contract employee while running his own software company. He was brought on full-time three years later to work on the original Xbox and became the first person on the Live team.

In the interview conducted following the release of the Xbox One, Multerer says he was taking sabbatical and would be working on undisclosed projects upon his return. Microsoft has not responded to our request for comment as of the time of publication. For more, you can read an interview with Multerer from the Xbox One reveal.

Update: Microsoft has responded to our request for comment. “We are grateful for Boyd’s considerable contributions over 18 years, including the vital roles he played in engineering and launching Xbox Live and Xbox One, and creating the XNA game-development language,” a representative told us via email.

[Source: Boyd Multerer on Twitter, Microsoft via VentureBeat, Image: Microsoft]

 

Our Take
Microsoft has slowly been bidding farewell to many responsible for the development of the Xbox One. We’re eager to hear about how Multerer’s role changed following the launch of the console and under new leadership after Don Mattrick and Marc Whitten’s departures.

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Company of Heroes 2 Live Action Trailer Honors The Battle Of The Bulge

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the historic World War II battle often seen as the turning point in the war. To honor the occasion, Sega has released a live action trailer for Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault, depicting the bravery the U.S. troops exhibited that December day.

Ardennes Assault is a standalone expansion for Company of Heroes 2 (our review) that places players in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge. The expansion introduces new strategic layers to its core gameplay with a new meta-map system and four US Force companies to play as: airborne, support, mechanized, and fox. 

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Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is available now on PC for $ 29.99. If you’re curious about how developer Relic achieved Company of Heroes 2’s gritty atmosphere, check out this developer diary detailing how the single-player campaign was made.

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Gree and LINE team up to launch a new LINE-only games company

Epic Voyage Inc. is a new company that will be staffed with Gree veterans and develop games specifically for the LINE social games platform, as LINE continues to dominate the Asian mobile game market. …


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Shinra Technologies Is A New Cloud Gaming Company (Not Final Fantasy VII HD)

This morning in Japan, Square Enix announced a new subsidiary specializing in cloud gaming. The business is named Shinra Technologies, after the antagonistic corporation from Final Fantasy VII, and will be headed by former Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada.

Shinra is in conversations with developers to make use of its services, no specifics have yet been offered. It’s unclear so far what sets Shinra apart from other cloud gaming options like OnLive and PlayStation Now.

The service is scheduled to go into technical beta in early 2015 in Japan. North America will get its turn later in the year.

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Konami veteran Dave Cox leaves company after 17 years

Dave Cox, a Konami veteran of 17 years, has decided to leave the company to “explore new opportunities.” …


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When Company of Heroes vets build the next Age of Empires…

When Smoking Gun Interactive was offered the chance to pitch a mobile Age of Empires to Microsoft, the studio didn’t need to be asked twice. …


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Crytek CEO: company is ‘absolutely’ safe, bankruptcy ‘never the case’

If Crytek’s “transitional phase” remains sustainable, it will become a go-to example among industry insiders of how not to handle such a difficult time. Speaking with Eurogamer, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli opens up about how the company has shifted its…
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Nintendo’s indie spokesman leaves company

Nintendo’s digital distribution business development manager Dan Adelman, who was the indie outreach specialist for the company, has left the company. Adelman was banned from Twitter by Nintendo last year for showing sympathy for gamers frustrated by…
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