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Fig kicks off $500k funding initiative aimed at late-stage game dev woes

The crowdfunding company Fig has announced a new initiative focused on offering additional support to games successfully funded on the platform. …

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Andromeda Initiative Orientation Video Invites Players To Join Mass Effect Mission

It’s been a big day for fans of the Mass Effect franchise. In addition to a new trailer and Game Informer’s own cover story on Mass Effect: Andromeda, we also learned details about loyalty missions in the new game, and new details about the voice cast. Electronic Arts isn’t quite ready to close out its N7 Day, as we also got new details about the Andromeda Initiative, which was first teased a few days ago

A new embedded video on the official site  (also viewable below) welcomes players to the Andromeda Initiative, and details what players can expect to learn about in the coming months. We're given some in-game fiction about what the Andromeda Initiative is, the name of its founder, and exactly what it means to join up. Outside of the fiction, by signing in to their EA accounts, players can complete “training” and eventually be rewarded with an in-game reward in the form of an exclusive helmet. 

For fans of the Mass Effect storyline, the site also includes a handy timeline detailing the Mass Effect version of the history of space travel. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)


Our Take
While the Andromeda Initiative is a pretty clear marketing effort, I appreciate the attempt to wrap players up in the fiction of the game as the team rolls out more info in the coming months. It will be interesting to see if the Mass Effect community is willing to go along for the ride with this effort, which only a few years ago might have taken the form of a simple mailing list. – The Feed

Google Play Early Access initiative now open to all

Google has opened up its fledgling Early Access initiative to all developers after its current roster of 29 titles passed the 1 million download mark.  …

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Xbox Game Preview initiative heading to Windows 10 PCs

The first game to make use of Game Preview on PC will be Rockfish Games’ space shooter, Everspace — though there’s no word on when the game will actually enter the program. …

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Microsoft quietly trims the scope of its ‘Play Anywhere’ Xbox initiative

A subtle change means Microsoft now says all Microsoft Studios games shown at E3 2016 will be playable on both Windows 10 & Xbox One, rather than every new game published by Microsoft Studios. …

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Nintendo’s ‘Quality of Life’ product initiative put on ice

“… we do not have the conviction that the sleep-and-fatigue-themed [device] can enter the phase of actually becoming a product,” says Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima. …

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Rovio Spins Off Research-Based Education Initiative Into New Startup

Rovio has announced that it is letting its educational programming take wing as a new startup company. Fun Academy, which will license the Angry Birds brand, has detailed how it has and will continue to work in the classroom with Angry Birds Playground.

The initiative launched alongside a website detailing the program’s connections to Finnish kindergarten standards and developed by education experts. Fun Academy is partnered with the University of Helsinki, which hosts a research lab and Angry Birds Playground used for academic research that was opened in January 2014. Fun Academy is also partnered with Beijing Normal University in China for additional research.

Schools that opt to participate with Fun Academy receive teacher training, instruction materials with lesson plans, guidelines, examples, and cultural content. Students receive grade-appropriate activity materials for three- to six-year-old students.

So far, Fun Learning has partnered with NASA in the United States, nuclear research organization CERN in Switzerland, and the National Geographic Society. Angry Birds Playground is largely focused on science learning, with reading and social components for kindergarteners.

[Source: Fun Learning]


Our Take
While the comparison between products is not perfect, I found more substantial information and support in Fun Learning’s background information than I did in Microsoft’s debut of Minecraft: Education Edition. Fun Learning’s curriculum was designed with specific learning outcomes prescribed by well-regarded Finnish kindergarten standards. An academic research component has been in place for two years.

I suspect that Microsoft will eventually get there with Minecraft: Education Edition. But Fun Academy’s debut provides an example of what the pitch should have looked like from day one. – The Feed

Games London initiative to make the city ‘the games capital of the world’

London’s video game industry is about to receive a £1.2 million boost following the launch of Games London, a new program designed to make the city “the games capital of the world.”  …

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New initiative gifts 1 million BBC Micro successors to UK kids

As part of the Make It Digital initiative the BBC is giving away a million BBC Micro Bit coding devices — much like it did with the BBC Micro in the ’80s, inspiring a generation of British game devs. …

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Joystiq Weekly: Intel’s diversity initiative, IGF awards, GOTY roundtable and more

Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a “too long; didn’t read” of each week’s biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category’s top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren’t just for The Daily Prophet.

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