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Heroes Of The Storm Open Beta Welcomes All Comers Today

Sure, there are a number of games releasing this week. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out, Destiny’s House of Wolves expansion goes live, and you can even live the agrarian life with Farming Simulator 15. But maybe you just want to do some beta testing, instead.

Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm moves from closed beta to open beta today, meaning that anyone can start playing. The game is slated for full release on June 2.

If you want to get a feel for what sets Heroes of the Storm apart from other MOBAs, you can watch an episode of Chronicles featuring the title. Exact launch time isn’t known yet, so keep an eye on your Battle.net launcher. When open beta arrives, you’ll be able to install the client.

 

Our Take
Heroes of the Storm was certainly one of the more accessible MOBAs I’ve played, and the familiar faces of Blizzard stalwarts didn’t hurt. If you’re looking for an entry point into the genre, this is a great place to start.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Infinity Ward Welcomes Back Former Lead Designer Todd Alderman

After departing Infinity Ward in 2010, Call of Duty lead designer Todd Alderman is returning to the studio behind Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, the Modern Warfare trilogy, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Alderman left Infinity Ward under less than amicable circumstances following controversy surrounding development work on Modern Warfare 2, but is returning as Infinity Ward's new multiplayer project director.

Alderman, who was the lead designer of games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, was in the group of employees that sued Activision for between $ 75 million and $ 125 million for unpaid work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2010. Alderman joined fellow Infinity Ward alumni Jason West and Vince Zampella at Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment as lead game designer before departing the team in 2012. Alderman also spent time at League of Legends studio Riot Games as a game designer.

Activision confirmed to us that Alderman has returned, and provided us the following prepared statement from Infinity Ward studio head, Dave Stohl:

“This is about hiring the best talent for the right position. Todd’s accomplishments speak for themselves. We’re happy to have him lead multiplayer development here at Infinity Ward as well as provide a level of leadership across the entire studio team. Following last year’s combination with Neversoft, we’ve continued to add some great talent throughout the studio. As we focus on the future, there’s a real sense of energy that has us all excited about what’s to come.”

Activision has also confirmed to us that executive producer Mark Rubin left Infinity Ward late last year to pursue other interests outside of the game industry. Rubin worked on several Call of Duty titles during his time with Infinity Ward, including entries in the Modern Warfare trilogy. Most recently, Rubin worked on Call of Duty: Ghosts, which we spoke to him about during the lead-up to that game. You can check out that conversation, which touches on the industry's drive to create triple-A entertainment, below.

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The Alderman hire and Rubin departure are the latest in a flurry of moves happening at the studio, which includes adding narrative design lead Taylor Kurosaki and lead game designer Jason Minkoff, both formerly of Naughty Dog, and principal rendering engineer Michal Drobot, who worked as 3D programmer on Far Cry 4. Infinity Ward also added the team at Neversoft following the merging of the two studios.

[Source: Polygon]

 

Our Take
Alderman certainly has a track record of producing quality products. After Call of Duty: Ghosts left a lot of fans feeling less than enthused about Infinity Ward's future with the franchise, it's good to see the studio making strides to get the right team working on its next title. Combine that with the fact that the Call of Duty franchise has moved from two-year development cycles to a three-year cycles with the inclusion of Sledgehammer Games, and this could lead to great results. While losing Rubin from the team is unfortunate, it sounds like he is ready to take on new challenges away from video games.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

PlayStation Now Welcomes Five New Games In March

Sony has announced a handful of titles that will be added to the PlayStation Now streaming subscription service in March.

The games are:

For more on PlayStation Now, check out the subscription and rental details, as well as the games added in February.

[Source: Official PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
Not some of PS3's finest, but at least Infamous 2 and Twisted Metal are solid titles. Announcing the titles per month makes for a nice PR event, but the service is going to have to add more than five a month to make a bigger splash.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Crystal Dynamics Formally Welcomes Nate Wells And Tore Blystad

In early December 2014, we reported that former Naughty Dog employee Nate Wells had joined Crystal Dynamics as an art director. Today, the studio has posted an official welcome to Wells and another new staff member, Tore Blystad.

In addition to serving as lead artist on The Last of Us, Wells is credited on BioShock and BioShock Infinite. He’s also the person you can thank for the original concept art of the lumbering Big Daddy. He's signed on as environmental art director.

Tore Blystad has changed studios, but he isn’t a stranger to Square Enix. Prior to joining Crystal Dynamics as performance director, Blystad spent 10 years at Hitman developer IO Interactive.

Square Enix says that both are working currently on Rise of the Tomb Raider. You can read more about that in our coverage hub for the current issue.

[Source: Square Enix]

 

Our Take
These are two great hires for Crystal Dynamics. Both will be putting their marks on Rise of the Tomb Raider, and given the success of previous titles, that's quite a good thing.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Long Dark welcomes 250K survivors, January update to nearly double size of wilderness

The Long Dark, Hinterland Studios’ Northern woods survival simulator that’s currently in Early Access, has surpassed 250,000 sales since launching on Steam’s service on September 22. Unfortunately, the life expectancy for its inhabitants isn’t very l…
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Tomodachi Life welcomes 1 million Miis in Europe

One million Miis in Europe have found a new, bizarre home in Tomodachi Life, Nintendo’s quirky apartment complex simulator that hosts strange social interactions with relish. Nintendo of Europe celebrated the sales milestone earlier this week by twee…
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Titanfall Deluxe Edition welcomes new pilots to the fight

Publisher EA has announced that giant robot-pocked shooter Titanfall is being re-released alongside all of its DLC map packs in a bundle dubbed the Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

Exclusive to the PC and Xbox One, the $ 40 Titanfall Deluxe Edition includes…
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Eerie trailer welcomes Crawl to Steam Early Access

Having survived a brief delay, Powerhoof’s Crawl arrives on Steam Early Access alongside the most melodramatic trailer you’ll see today.

In keeping with its title, Crawl is a multiplayer dungeon crawl that casts one player as the heroic human and…
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Microsoft welcomes Madden 15 with dedicated Xbox One bundle

Just in time for the debut of Madden 15, Microsoft has unveiled an Xbox One bundle focused on the latest edition of EA’s annual football sim.

Slated to debut alongside Madden 15 on August 26, the Xbox One Madden NFL 15 bundle includes a console, a…
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New Pokemon trailer welcomes you back to the Hoenn Region

It’s been over a decade since players first set foot into the long grass of the Hoenn Region, but Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon Omega Ruby promise to offer a wholly new adventure, full of novel Pokemon, Mega Evolutions and excuses to catch ‘em…
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