Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

DICE Details Star Wars Battlefront’s Free Companion App And Mobile Base Command Game

In what is very nearly a requirement for all modern AAA games, Star Wars Battlefront is getting a free companion app.

The app is coming to iOS and Android platforms before the game launches on November 17, and a version of it will be available at during the beta. The app will let you look closer at your assorted stats, customize your loadout, connect with your team, and get news – pretty much the standard companion app.

Alongside it, also comes Base Command. It's a tactical turn-based card game that lets you earn credits for Star Wars Battlefront. Base Command will not have microtransactions, DICE is quick to point out, and you will never lose any of your cards.

For more on Star Wars Battlefront, specifically its upcoming beta, head here.

[Source:, (1)] – The Feed

Harmonix Details $15 Million Equity Investment Revealed In September

With Rock Band 4 just days away from launch, Harmonix is already looking toward the future. The company detailed the $ 15 million in equity funding revealed in September today and another new project.

The funding comes in the form of equity investment, which means that those putting up the capital have an ownership claim in Harmonix. The group is led by venture capital firms Foundry Group, which has previously invested in Zynga, Fitbit, Makerbot, and Ello, and Spark Capital, which has stakes in Coin, Oculus, Tumblr, and Upworthy.

Harmonix also says that it is developing an unannounced game for the Oculus Rift. The company already has a VR project in development for Gear VR and PlayStation VR called Harmonix Music VR. The company will also be returning to crowdfunding this fall, before the wide release of its first Kickstarted game, Amplitude.

Rock Band 4 is out on October 6 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. 


Our Take
Harmonix has had its ups and downs since the launch of Rock Band 3 in 2010. Dance Central bridged the gap, but didn’t have nearly as strong a DLC profile as the Rock Band franchise. 

Rock Band 4 is important because of its long-term potential for returning to the profitable DLC model that fueled the company for years. The VR endeavors are a gamble that the company will be able to take as long as revenues flow long-term from Rock Band fans.

Note: The Our Take original stated that Rock Band 3 launched in 2007, which is when the first title in the franchise was released. This has been corrected, and we regret the error. – The Feed

Bungie Details Returning Destiny PVP Events

Bungie finally shares its plans for PVP events in its latest weekly update. Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris are both returning and receiving notable adjustments in year two.

The Iron Banner makes its return on October 13 with new weapons and armor. It's also receiving some changes. You no longer need to purchase the tempered buff; as you get the buff for simply participating in the event. Bungie also promises higher drop rates, new emblems, and new bounties. You'll also use legendary marks instead of glimmer to purchase gear from Lord Saladin. Only level 40 Guardians can lead a team and the recommended minimum Light for Iron Banner entry is 230.

Trials of Osiris also has its share of changes. The elimination style PVP mode now has a better drop rate, granting you Trials gear for wins. The more you win, the better the drops. In addition, if you lose, you'll continue to gain more passage coins. Also new is that you must buy all your buffs at the beginning of a Trials passage, rather than being able to purchase certain buffs partway through your passage. New Trials bounties are  now available to obtain Trials gear for those who don't reach the Lighthouse. One of the biggest and most welcome change is matchmaking that will try to pair you with people that currently have the same amount of wins, which should lead to fairer matches overall (and very hard matches when you're at 8-0). The recommended Light is 290 and only Guardians with 251 Light can lead a Fireteam.

For the complete details, you can check out Bungie's blog.

[Source: Bungie's Weekly Update]


Our Take
It's great to hear about some of Bungie's PVP event plans for year two. The Trials of Osiris changes are especially noteworthy; being able to obtain new gear even if you don't make it to the Lighthouse via bounties is great. Also, questionable Trials matchmaking was a big issue during House of Wolves, and knowing you'll be more appropriately squared off against an enemy team is encouraging, and a smart change. – The Feed

New Details On What’s Returning for Dark Souls III

From a gameplay perspective, Dark Souls III seems much like the merging of several of From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki’s design philosophies, almost a mixing bowl of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. While this might indicate certain features that will make it to the third installment of the franchise, Miyazaki has chosen specific elements to return from the series, and others to return to the catacombs. Here’s a rundown of some key aspects that players can expect – or not expect – to see in Dark Souls III.

Fast Travel

Players can expect to use fast travel from the very beginning of the game, much like Dark Souls II. Miyazaki wants to keep the convenience aspects from previous titles, unless they interfere with game design.


While Miyazaki is unsure if the “Soul Vessel” item will be available in Dark Souls III, he says there will be a method for players to reallocate stat points so that they can change builds around without having to create a completely new character. “I’m not sure if the same sort of item will be implemented, but there will be a method for players to re-assign souls,” Miyazaki says.

New Game+

New Game+ will look more like Dark Souls II than other games, with new weapons, items, and reconfigured enemy locations and placements to keep the surprises and exploration elements fresh in Dark Souls III. Of particular note is that bonfire ascetics will not be returning, so players will be unable to artificially + zones.


Miyazaki’s take on durability is that Dark Souls III will find a happy medium between the two extremes of Dark Souls and Dark Souls II. “Still tuning the balance, but I personally think that the weapons in Dark Souls II break a little too easily. This was implemented intending for the players to try out many types of weapons, but even so, I felt they broke too quickly. However, in Dark Souls I, they didn’t break enough, and so I’m hoping to find a good balance for Dark Souls III. “

Summoning And Invasion

If you were worried that Dark Souls III would be shifting toward Bloodborne’s bell summons, not to worry; it will have the standard summoning system found in Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, and will use soul level for matching, not soul memory. Here’s something interesting – Miyazaki states that players won’t be locked behind consumable items for invasion; they’ll be able to do so as they wish without having to worry about keeping stocked up on cracked red orbs.

Hidden Walls

Hidden walls will still be there for players to find in Dark Souls III, but forget walking to each section of a zone and tapping the interact button – they’ll be tied to attacking again, like the first Dark Souls. “This is due to my thinking behind this type of feature,” Miyazaki says. “I like to have coincidences happen during battles, or accidental reveals due to swinging weapons around, randomly shooting arrows. I want to implement this sort of surprise discovery in a natural way when playing the game.”


Tim Turi runs down some of the magic changes here!

Looking for more? Check out our Dark Souls III cover story, going live today with the digital edition, and check out the Dark Souls III hub for a month-long of Dark Souls coverage! – The Feed

Destiny 2.0 Update Details Revealed, Including PvP Trial And Exotic Bounty Auto-Completion

The launch of Destiny's The Taken King expansion is just around the corner, but you don't have to wait long to experience all the benefits and changes of the big update Bungie is releasing in preparation for the game. Next Tuesday, September 8, Destiny's 2.0 update will go live, implementing a wealth of changes that will affect how everyone plays. Today we have all the info on what will be affected, from a playable trial of the new Crucible content to news that players' bounties that earn exotic weapons will complete automatically.

Here are the big changes we pulled out from Bungie's update that will kick in with the update:


  • The Taken King's new PvP Crucible content will be available for trial from September 8-14, including a look at the 8 new maps along with Rift and Mayhem modes
  • All players can now progress up to level 34, enabling all The Taken King players to level to 40
  • The Quest Screen will become active, which tracks all active quests
  • Exotic bounties in players' inventories will auto-complete when the update goes live. All lesser bounties will be automatically discarded
  • Collections will now be available at the Tower, allowing players to access their emblems, shaders, and ships anytime
  • Exotic blueprints will be available at the tower, letting players dismantle and rebuild their best equipment at their whim
  • Widespread weapon rebalancing will go in effect, which just might finally make the auto-rifle worth a damn
  • The deadline to complete the Moments of Triumph meta-achievement has been extended


Head over to for the full rundown on next week's Destiny 2.0 update. The Taken King hits PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and 360 on September 15. For more info on the upcoming expansion, check out our huge hub of exclusive cover story content below. – The Feed

New Destiny: The Taken King Details Emerge In Latest Bungie Video

We’ve been posting new details about Destiny: The Taken King all month in support of our blowout cover story on Bungie’s next big step for their sci-fi/fantasy franchise. Today, Bungie released a teaser to announce a live stream tomorrow. However, even in this brief video, some important new details are apparent.

The live stream is set for tomorrow, August 19, at 11 a.m. Pacific time, and it’s meant to address investment and leveling in The Taken King, including more specifics regarding light, the improved Tower, and additional gear details. Tune in to Twitch for the full feed. Bungie community manager Deej, executive producer Mark Noseworthy, and senior design lead Tyson Green will all participate. It’s worth noting that despite Tyson Green’s title, he is the person at Bungie most responsible for investment design. 

During our visit for our recent cover story, some of the investment systems were still being finalized, and we were unable to share all the details regarding how they work. It appears that at least some of those mechanics have now been set in stone, and the team is ready to share them with the world. 

Even in the brief trailer below, there’s a good bit of info to take away. One of the coolest is the brief flash of Exotic Weapon blueprints, which seems to indicate a way for players to recraft existing exotic weapons, though it’s unclear exactly how the process might work – perhaps you’re able to recraft any exotic you’ve already obtained on your account? 

In another moment of the video, we also get confirmation of exactly how light works in The Taken King. According to the pop-up tip when hovering over a character’s gear number: “Your light score is an average of the Attack and Defense values across all of your currently equipped gear. A higher light score improves both your damage output and your defense." On the same screen, we can see that there are now 10 gear slots – 4 armor pieces, 1 class item, a ghost shell, and what appears to be the artifact slot, which is mentioned later in the teaser video.

We also got some new details about Faction Badges, which allow you to pledge allegiance to one of the game’s factions, and thus acquire that faction’s reputation instead of vanguard or crucible reputation. You can only purchase a new allegiance once a week, and it costs 2,500 glimmer.

Another pop-up offers details about how legendary marks are earned, which are the new replacement for Crucible and Vanguard marks. Legendary marks are obtained from completing daily heroic and daily crucible playlists, and you can also dismantle legendary gear to get these marks. In turn, these new legendary marks are used to purchase new legendary gear from vendors.

We also see mention of nameplate collections (perhaps this is the new term for emblems?), and what seems to be confirmation that the previously announced character boost will allow players to jump a single character to level 25. Finally, we also see mention of the infusion mechanic, which is likely the same as the mechanic described in our cover story, in which players are able to infuse the power of one piece of legendary or exotic gear into another. 

Check out the trailer, and tune in tomorrow at 11 a.m. PST to get the full scoop from Bungie. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)


Our Take
I'm pleased to finally see Bungie shedding some more light on questions of investment and leveling. It has to be one of the most challenging aspects of developing a game like Destiny, so I can understand why it's taken the team a long time to finalize all these features. Some of the above-mentioned mechanics were in-progress during our recent visit to Bungie, and it's good that the developer is offering details to its players about how these important game systems work prior to launch. – The Feed

Comcept Details Red Ash Kickstarter ‘Stretch’ Goals

After yesterday’s announcement that Fuze stepped in to fund all of Red Ash, Comcept has detailed what backer funds will support. This is, of course, predicated on the campaign recovering its losses from yesterday and raising an additional $ 300,000 in the next three days.

The good news is that with Fuze backing the project, Red Ash will be a full game (instead of only a few of the chapters guaranteed). The stretch goals, funded at the $ 800,000 level, include one post-game dungeon, one additional playable character, and a loosely detailed post-game “village reconstruction” mode.

Comcept is also remaining silent on retailers listing a delay for Mighty No. 9. We’ve reached out to the company and have not yet heard back on the matter.

[Source: Kickstarter]


Our Take
These stretch goals are very loosely defined, and it took Comcept 25 percent of the remaining campaign time to update with this information. At this point, it doesn’t look like it matters much. Unless an angel backer swoops in, this campaign has little chance of success. – The Feed

Rocket League DLC Details Scream Onto The Scene

Psyonix provided a few teases about its upcoming Rocket League DLC last week, but now the studio behind the surprise hit is going into greater detail. August's Supersonic Fury DLC adds a pair of new cars and a variety of new decals and visual effects, and it's being accompanied with some free add-on goodies, too.

The Supersonic Fury download is priced at $ 3.99, and it includes the Dominus muscle car and Japanese street racer-styled Takumi cars, pictured above. You can also spot a pair of new boost effects in the image, nitrous and burnout. Cars can be covered with five new paint types, including brushed metal, carbon fiber, metallic pearl, pearlescent, and wood (!). You can also roll around on new wheels, the ball-themed Cristiano and spinners. The download is due out early August.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

In addition to the paid DLC, Rocket League players will also get a free update that includes a new arena, Utopia Coliseum, and 70 new country flags. Players will also be able to tune into other matches in the new spectator mode, which lets viewers soak in the action from anywhere in the arena. Finally, players will see some new explosive effects to accompany their goals, and the soundtrack is getting beefed up with a new song from Hollywood Principle, "Firework." Whew.

[Source: PlayStation Blog] – The Feed

[Update] Razer Details How Developers Can Get Owed Ouya Funds

Update – 8:26 p.m. Central on July 28: Razer has provided information to Game Informer detailing how it will handle the outstading $ 620,000 of Free the Games funds owed to developers. While there are stipulations, Razer is working to find a solution that is both equitable to developers and the company, which has no obligation to fulfill Ouya's outstanding commitments.

Developers will need to sign a publishing agreement with Razer's new Ouya platform. There is no exclusivity required, and developers will be able to distribute their game to all Android platforms, including Google Play.

However, developers will be required to provide an equitable value of games for free on the Cortex TV platform. The example provided suggests that if a developer receives $ 10,000 for a game ultimately sold for $ 1 on the store, 10,000 copies will need to be available for giveaway.

Razer is careful to reiterate that it only acquired certain assets previously owned by Ouya, a now defunct corporation. Just as Ouya's obligations did not transfer to the company, neither did legal arrangements. This explains why developers will need to sign new agreements. 


Our Take (Updated)
This is a smart move by Razer as it should earn the company good will in the development community. The revised arrangements also favor developers, who would only be hurt by exclusivity on the nascent platform.

This also gives Razer a way to start building a usership for Cortex with $ 620,000 worth of games to give away (assuming all developers sign new agreements). There aren't many ways this could have ended better, as Razer was under no obligation to pay out anything. 

Update – 4:30 p.m. Central on July 28: Razer has decided to quieted the storm surrounding Ouya's failed Free the Games program. The company has made a good will gesture toward affected developers and, in the process, cleared the Ouya brand which it purchased of some recent bad press.

As we recently reported (see below), Ouya's closure meant that developers were losing any outstanding funds owed from the incentive program. Razer has decided to fulfill the remaining obligations from the $ 1 million program.

According to a report on Polygon, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan has decided to close the approximately $ 600,000 gap left by Ouya's demise. The company has no financial or legal obligations to do so, as it only purchased select assets and did not assume any outstanding Ouya liabilities, including those tied to the Free the Games program. We've reached out to Razer for more information and will update should we receive a response.

Original Report – 3:45 p.m. Central on July 28:

The writing was on the wall for Ouya for a number of months leading up to yesterday’s announcement of a partial asset buyout by Razer. While the Ouya name will live on, only its technical and developer relations staff remain onboard. Hardware and outstanding company commitments have ceased to exist.

One such commitment was the troubled Free the Games program that was designed to lock up timed exclusivity in exchange for cash incentives. According to a report by Motherboard, a number of developers are out thousands of dollars.

Because of a clause in the contract, there’s nothing they can do about it either. Ouya included a section that gives the company an out from its obligations in the case of bankruptcy or insolvency. 

Motherboard reports that Ouya informed developers via Skype rather than put notification in writing. The report also alleges that Ouya implored developers not to speak with press.

Razer has no commitments to those developers, as it did not acquire the Ouya corporation, just some assets (its Android storefront) and the brand name. Razer intends to integrate its new acquisition with the Forge TV Android microconsole.

For more on the acquisition and Razer’s plans for its new assets, please read our previous coverage.

[Source: Motherboard]


Our Take
This is an unfortunate situation for the developers who put their trust in Julie Uhrman and Ouya. The contract (as reported) seems to cover the exact contingency that Ouya went through as it scrambled to find a buyer, which means there is little recourse for those anticipating funds. 

Razer carries no obligation to those developers, but should it choose, it could earn some good will. That is something entirely optional though, and no one impacted should have any expectations. – The Feed

Our Lengthy Look At A New Fallout 4 Demo Is Packed With New Details

On July 17, 2014, QuakeCon attendees were treated to an exclusive look at id Software's Doom reboot. The demo ran longer than expected, giving the people in the auditorium (many of the screaming variety) a hell of a look at this bloody shooter. Heads were severed. Bodies were chainsawed. The legacy of Doom was alive and well. Showgoers raved about the carnage, but publisher Bethesda Softworks never released the footage shown at the con. In fact, Bethesda didn't show or talk about the game again until this year's E3.

This year, Bethesda gave the people of QuakeCon another exciting exclusive: a unique and lengthy look at Fallout 4. No video recording or cameras were allowed. Security guards walked the aisles constantly, eying everyone to ensure none of this new Fallout 4 content made it any further than the auditoriums screens.

The show began with a greeting by Bethesda Game Studios' director, Todd Howard. He broke Bethesda's rule of no photography and snapped a panoramic shot of the crowd with his iPhone. Seeing most people were wearing masks of Vault Boy, which were provided by Bethesda at the door, Howard took a step back and said, "Those masks are creepy as s–t. That picture is going to replace my recurring nightmare of the Poltergeist clown."

Howard began his talk by saying he wanted to give the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the development of Fallout 4. "Our game starts in the past," he says, as different pieces of concept art flash onto screen, showing how the world was before the apocalypse. One image in particular gives us a look at the interior of a "house of tomorrow" with a mother and father living life in each room. "This art dates way back," Howard says. "I really like this piece because it was done by Adam Adamowicz, who was a concept artist of ours who passed away in 2012. It's really special for me to show some of his work today. We have a wonderful group of artists who have done incredible work on this game."

Howard says that the team obsessed over the little details in this house. We then see another piece of art that highlights this home's bathroom, which looks as sci-fi as it does retro. It's clean, and loaded with color, and features an oddly shaped toilet. "I just realized Elder Scrolls starts you in a prison and this game starts you in a bathroom," Howard jokes.

Next up is art of Mr. Handy. We see concept art of Mr. Handy floating around the family home as a door-to-door salesman talks to the wife and a high-res model of the robotic helper. "We don't just build the outside of the robots," Howard points out. "We build the insides so you can blow all of their pieces off. Mr. Handy is voiced by the great Stephen Russell who we use in a lot of our games. He's a Boston native, and is very well known for doing the voice of Garrett in Thief. He's an amazing voice actor. And he'll say your name [in the game]. We had Stephen record like a thousand of the most popular names and other things we find people like to name their characters."

We're then treated to a brief gameplay clip showing Mr. Handy rattling off a variety of names, including Mr.Matthews, Mr. McFly, Mr. Boobies, and Mr. F—face. The last one brought a lengthy roar of laughter from the crowd. Howard smiles and says, "Now I wish I had shown the longer version of that video."

The next image that appears on the screen is 10 to 12 illustrations of the Vault Suit, showing the different ideas Bethesda's artists had for revamping this classic blue and yellow look. Some were radically different, almost looking like something Isaac Clarke would wear in Dead Space. The final design, which we see as an in-game model and you've seen in the trailers and screenshots, is heavy on little details, like the intricate stitching on the shoulder seams. "We want back to more of a sci-fi flight suit look," Howard says. "It's a tighter look like they had in the earlier Fallouts."

We then see an image of a handful of Bethesda Game Works employees. On the floor is a German Shepherd named River, a female dog who was used for the motion capture and audio recording of Dogmeat. A video montage shows the various techniques the team used to capture River's likeness, including frisbee throwing in the motion capture studio, stick fetching, and holding a mic in front of River to capture her sounds. "If we're going to do the dog, we're going to do this right," Howard says.

Dogmeat is one of a dozen companions in the game. Only one can travel with you at any given time. Another companion is Preston Garvey, the leader of the Commonwealth Minutemen, who was shown in the previous trailers. He has a signature laser musket. "When it comes to doing humans in the game, it's much trickier than doing a robot or a dog," Howard says.

Howard then plays a video that gives us a look at the acting and motion capture process used to bring Garvey to life. "Man, I don't know who you are, but your timing is impeccable," Garvey says to an actor standing in as the player character. "Preston Garvey, Commonwealth Minutemen. A month ago there were 20 of us. The other day there were eight. Now we're five. First it was the ghouls. Now this mess." We then see this same recording in-game. The camerawork switches frequently as Garvey speaks, much like we've seen in Mass Effect to bring a little cinematic flair to an ordinary conversation between two people.

"In the in-game one, we're not scanning the actor," Howard adds. "The character faces and their bodies are procedurally done, and then we take those movements and map them onto any character. We build an archetype, a suite of animations because we have so much dialogue we can't capture all of it this way. The game uses a mix of stuff actors recorded and procedural facial animations, and a suite of prerecorded body animations that can go with various lines that you are saying. All of that comes together to create pretty much any scene we want to put together in the game."

The next companion we are introduced to is named Piper, a sharply dressed female character in a red jacket and grey cap, who resides in Diamond City. This locale is built in the ruins of Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. This little detail brought a cheer from the crowd, which confuses Howard. "Does that mean you like the Red Sox, or do you want [Fenway] to be blown up?" – The Feed