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Velvet Sundown studio snapped up by British chat app company

Velvet Sundown maker Tribe Studios has been acquired by British mobile messaging app company Palringo for an undisclosed sum, with the stated goal of porting Tribe’s Dramagame engine tech to mobile. …


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The future of Konami is ‘mobile first’, says company chief

In a new interview, Konami chief Hideki Hayawaka explains that he’s planning to “clearly divide management and creative roles” as he transitions the company to focus on mobile. …


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President Of Daybreak Game Company Announces H1Z1 Has Sold 1 Million Copies On Steam

President of Daybreak Game Company John Smedley has been very active on Twitter in order to keep H1Z1 players in the know about various things happening with the game and its servers. Today, Smedley took to the social media site to share news that the zombie MMO has sold 1 million digital copies on Steam since launching on January 15.

Smedley was also active in commenting on the status of the Australian servers, which went live today. In addition, the president of the studio announced that Daybreak banned over 5,000 cheaters from the game.

H1Z1 currently sits in the top 20 of Steam's top sellers, sandwiched between the BioShock Triple Pack and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel + Season Pass. Despite Sony selling Sony Online Entertainment in February of this year, prompting the name change to Daybreak Game Company, H1Z1 is still scheduled to release on PlayStation 4 at some point this year.

[Source: Twitter]

 

Our Take
That's a big milestone for the zombie survival MMO. If the success of H1Z1 on Steam is any indication, it could prove to be a big hit on PlayStation 4 when it launches later this year. 

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Weta Workshop Special Effects Company Helps Craft Augmented Reality Concept Video

Weta Workshop, the special effects studio behind a number of films most notably Lord of the Rings, partnered recently with a company called Magic Leap to put together an imaginative augmented reality video.

The video is a showcase of the potential of augmented reality for both practical and entertainment purposes. Weta's work is familiar to most, but Magic Leap (not to be confused with Leap Motion) is a new company that thinks of itself as an idea. Google invested $ 542 million dollars in the company late last year, but it's still a very mysterious company. On it's website, this is how it describes itself:

Magic Leap is an idea. An idea that computing should be shaped and forged to work for us: our life, our physiology, our connected relationships. That exploring human creativity is as great an adventure as exploring space. It's an idea based in the belief that people should not have to choose between technology or safety, technology or privacy, the virtual world or the real world.

You can check out the interesting video below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
I'm far from being sold on augmented reality, especially considering Google, a company arguable in the best position to create a practical augmented reality device, has already all but abandoned Google Glass. It must have seen something special in Magic Leap, though, as $ 542 million is nothing to sneeze at. It obviously still believes in the technology on some level. We were all so infatuated with the idea of controlling our computers like Minority Report, but in practice (with Kinect and Leap Motion controls) it's just impractical. Why make a wide sweeping motion with your arm when a small, accurate wrist movement with a mouse does the job even better. This video is cool, but it just doesn't sell me on the idea.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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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Check out more Test Chambers by clicking the banner below or by visiting our hub.

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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.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed