Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Ubisoft opens book publishing house to ‘propel’ brands forward

Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs creator Ubisoft is looking to boost its cross-media brand power with the opening of its very own publishing house, Ubisoft Publishing.   …

Gamasutra News

EA forms new division to house Bioware, Maxis, and more

Update In a bit of corporate shuffling, Bioware, EA Mobile and Maxis will now operate under a new organization called EA Worldwide Studios. …

Gamasutra News

Andrew House: PS4′s main competitor isn’t the Xbox, it’s the PC

“I saw some data that really influenced me. It suggested that there’s a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC.” …

Gamasutra News

New Jersey Man Sues Niantic Because Kids Are Asking To Catch Pokémon Near His House

For those of us playing Pokémon Go, living right next to a Pokéstop or gym might be a dream come true. But for those untouched by the craze who find themselves in that situation, it may be less appealing.

Jeffrey Marder of West Orange, New Jersey, is pursuing a class action lawsuit against Niantic Labs. His complaint doesn't specifically state that his house is labeled in the game as either, though. Regardless, should the class action be certified, it would include any property owner whose land is listed as Pokéstop or gym. It would also cover those whose property abuts land listed as one of those.

In his filing, Marder says that multiple people have knocked on his door asking to catch Pokémon in his back yard. "Plaintiff discovered as much when, during the week of Pokémon Go’s release, strangers began lingering outside of his home with their phones in hand," the complaint reads. "At least five individuals knocked on Plaintiff’s door and asked for access to Plaintiff’s backyard in order to “catch” Pokémon that the game had placed at Plaintiff’s residence in West Orange, New Jersey—without Plaintiff’s permission."

What's unclear is why anyone would need to enter a specific area to catch a Pokémon that already appeared on the map. Once the icon is visible, users need only tap on it to enter the Pokéball minigame to collect the creature.

The complaint also attempts to leverage tweets from a homeowner named Boon Sheridan, who tweeted about his house (a former church) being listed as a gym. When contacted by ABC News, Sheridan said that it was "barely a nuisance" and that he was "shocked by being named in someone's lawsuit, because I had no problem with it." 

Marder's court filing also points out that sensitive locations, like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, included in-game locations. Niantic has taken steps to remove those Pokéstops and Gyms. It also has been handling requests for removal, like one filed by Sheridan, quickly. He told ABC that it took only 48 hours to have the gym removed from his house.

We've reached out to Niantic for comment. We'll update should we receive a response.

[Source: United States District Court, Northern California]


Our Take
I find it suspicious that the filing doesn't specifically state that Marder's home is located within the activation radius of a gym or Pokéstop. The facts also don't seem to quite line up, though while Pokévision was operational, it's possible that users knew there was a Pokémon, but couldn't get close enough to activate it. This complaint could just be poorly worded by someone with no understanding of the game, but as it stands, it seems suspicious.

Pokemon Go Class Action Privacy Suit by Michael Futter on Scribd – The Feed

Growing up with game devs for parents: Life at the Romero house

“There’s nothing as good as being able to share your deepest love with somebody and have them look into the same little obscure glass with 35 years of games industry experience and say ‘I get it.’ ” …

Gamasutra News

EA Origin Offers Up Nox ‘On The House’

EA is offering up a new On the House game. You can download it entirely free via the Origin app on PC.

The latest giveaway is Westwood Studios’ Nox. Released in 2000, Nox is an action-RPG in which the protagonist is sucked through his television into the eponymous land.

It features three classes, each with their own storyline. You can download it via Origin here. – The Feed

We Played Betrayal At House On The Hill’s Huge (But Affordable) Widow’s Walk Expansion

If you’ve ever seen pictures of my board game closet, it’s filled with complex games with fiddly rules and attractive miniatures. There was a time I didn’t know about this vast world of board games, though. I owe my passion for them to one game: Betrayal at House on the Hill.

After playing it for the first time with wide eyes at what a tabletop game could be, I immediately purchased it for myself. That game has been the one I use to ease friends into the board gaming scene.

Its cooperative playstyle, horror atmosphere, and accessible rules make it easy to grasp. The sudden and inevitable betrayal of one or more of your comrades makes it thrilling.

For those who haven’t played Betrayal, the concept is simple. You explore rooms by walking through doors, drawing tiles, placing them, and then following the instructions on them. Certain tiles have an “omen” icon, and each time one of those cards is drawn, you are more likely to trigger the second phase of the game, the Haunt.

At this point, the betrayer is identified and must read privately from a book containing one-half of a number of scenarios. The heroes then huddle, reading their half. Both sides keep their win conditions secret, though as play unfolds you can start to uncover how the other side operates.

The haunts come with unique rules and challenges, drastically changing the experience from game to game. The result is something with extensive (though not infinite) replay value. There are 50 haunts in the main game, and the fun is not knowing how they work.

A new expansion, titled Widow’s Walk, will be out on October 14. It brings 20 new rooms, 30 new cards, a variety of tokens, and 50 more haunts written in part by celebrity contributors. These include Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins, Borderlands writer Mikey Neumann, and Max Temkin and Eli Halpern of Cards Against Humanity.

Widow's Walk adds new ways to move about the mansion, rooms that offer one-time benefits, and haunts that refresh the game for the first time in 12 years. It will be priced at $ 25, though you need the core game in order to make use of it.

The new haunt we played (which I won’t spoil), split the party in two. The betrayer and one other person drafted teams of three, making the fight more than the typical one-versus-many.

With a release due this October (just in time for Halloween), there’s good reason to return to Betrayal at House on the Hill or visit for the first time. It isn’t a perfect game, but regardless of its stumbles, its accessibility and straightforward rules make it a great one to have on hand for parties that might not include those familiar with tabletop. – The Feed

Rocket League Slams It Down Next Month In Free Dunk House Update

Earlier this month, Rocket League developer Psyonix teased a new basketball mode or map for its car-soccer game. While not many details were made available from the tease, Psyonix has pulled the curtains back on a few new pieces of information regarding the addition.

The mode (or at least the map housed in the mode) is called Dunk House, and it is currently set to launch this April according to a tweet sent by the official Rocket League Twitter account. In a response to a question from a Twitter user, the Rocket League account also confirmed that the map/mode will be a free update. You can view the tweet, as well as a GIF of Dunk House in action below.

Rocket League released on PlayStation 4 and PC last year to widespread critical acclaim. The game launched on Xbox One earlier this year and featured cross-platform play.

[Source: Rocket League on Twitter] – The Feed

Sony Creates New Company To House Computer Entertainment And Network Entertainment

Sony has announced the creation of a new limited liability corporation that brings together the operations responsible for gaming hardware, software, content, and network services. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC will be officially incorporated on Friday, April 1, 2016.

Andrew House (pictured above), who is currently CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, will lead the new business. Shawn Layden, who is currently head of Sony Computer Entertainment America will handle Worldwide Studios.

This leaves us to ask where this leaves current president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida. We’ve inquired about his role in the new corporate structure and will update should we receive a response.

In addition to hardware, game software, and PlayStation Network operations, Sony Interactive will also handle PlayStation Vue, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Music, and original content like the show Powers.

We’ve also asked Sony to clarify if this impacts the current regional structure upon which the PlayStation unit operates. Again, we’ll update once we understand how the new LLC impacts global operations.

The new business is targeting an increase in operating income of five to six percent by the close of fiscal year 2018. The company anticipates sales ranging from ¥1.4 trillion ($ 11.8 billion) to ¥1.6 trillion ($ 13.5 billion) for that same 12-month period.

Sony Interactive Entertainment will be based in San Mateo, California. 

Update: Shuhei Yoshida has shared via Twitter that his title, president of worldwide studios, will not be changed. He will now report to Shawn Layden, who appears on the organizational chart above as lead for that area. 


Our Take
This is a significant shake-up for Sony, but one that evidences the power of the company’s gaming operations. Putting everything under one roof will facilitate strategic decisions that consider the wider PlayStation ecosystem. The only questions that remain are about staffing, as there are clearly some adjustments being made at the start of Sony’s next fiscal year on April 1. – The Feed

Jade Empire Free (Again) Via EA’s Origin On The House Program

Last month, BioWare’s martial arts RPG Jade Empire briefly popped up as a free title on EA’s Origin platform. It disappeared quickly, leaving only a small slice of fans with a shiny new (old) action RPG.

It turns out the trigger was likely just pulled early. The game has cycled into EA’s On the House program, a section of the Origin storefront that features a free game for a limited time.

You can nab it free right now, and there isn't an expiration date yet. It could disappear at any time. Don’t sleep on it, especially if you haven’t played it yet. 

Fans have been clamoring for a sequel for ages (you can read our rundown of what we've seen and would like to experience). Give it a go and let us know what you think.

[Source: EA Origin] – The Feed