Industry News

  • Konami Issues an Apology and Explains their Statement ‘Mobile First’ Future

    Konami has made a lot of decisions recently which left the gaming world wondering about their future and of those games that they publish, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill being the more pressing ones.

    Recently the issued a statement saying that they will target mobile gaming more which put many people questioning exactly what they were planning. With the split between Konami and Kojima, also cancellation of Silent Hills, Konami’s future didn’t seem to certain.

    However it seems that the situation might have been a bit misleading. In a statement to IGN, a Konami representative said,

    “We are aware that the conjecture surrounding our recent changes has prompted a great deal of anxiety, for which we apologise. The Metal Gear and Silent Hill series, both beloved by countless fans around the globe, are also extremely important to Konami.”

    “We have nurtured them with care over many years since their inception, and will continue to produce products for both franchises, but we are not currently at a stage where we can announce the path these future titles will take.”

    As for what they plan in the near future, Konami President and Representative Director Hideki Hayakawa said to Nikkei,

    “Konami’s idea of Mobile First is not at all to focus purely on mobile games.”

    “Our aim is to continue to build up a comprehensive portfolio of console, arcade, and card game titles for each IP while also making the best possible use of the mobile devices that accompany our customers in their daily life, thus expanding the limits of entertainment and appealing to more and more customers,” Hayakawa said.

     “Japan is our primary market for mobile content, [as] the Japanese market is populated with consumers who are extremely particular and discerning, and it is this environment that has helped us polish game design quality to such a high level.”

    Explaining the situation regarding MGS V and Hideo Kojima, Hayakawa said,

    “Until now, in addition to game development duties, our creators were handling a wide range of responsibilities including managerial roles; we have changed our approach to instead have managerial staff thoroughly focus on strategy and how their individual skills can be best applied, with that strategy then being executed together with the creative staff.”

    Guess this is what it meant when rumors suggested Hideo Kojima was “fired”. Guess the extent of his role in Konami was reduced due to their new “unification” plan. Wonder what it means for Hideo Kojima going in the future, as well as the MGS series.

  • Uncharted 4: Insane Facial Animation System

    Every Uncharted game seems to push the boundaries and it’s not doubt that Uncharted 4 is going to be the one that shows off the PS4’s capabilities.

    Uncharted 4 writer Josh Scherr talked about the technical efforts being put behind Drake’s facial system,

    “We’ve completely revamped our facial animation systems. The previous Uncharted games, and in The Last Of Us, the characters all had about 90 to 100 ‘bones’ in their faces which we used to move the meshes around.

    Think about that, about how detailed Joel and Ellie’s pained facial expressions were, how well the game captured the respective actors’ – Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson – seminal roles. All that was achieved on the old tech. Now, the faces have anywhere between 300 and 500 bones.”

    [This] lets us emote more, with all the 'bones' we can put onto [faces] - you pan round the camera to look at Nate's face when he's climbing and you see him grimacing and all this kind of stuff ... we're pushing detail on a macro and micro level that I think people are really going to respond to."

    Uncharted 4 however has been delayed till 2016 unfortunately. However, there is news that an Uncharted Trilogy is in the works. Players who got the PlayStation 4 but missed out on the PlayStation 3 have a great opportunity to experience all these masterpieces in that case and prepare for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

  • Silent Hill: Guillermo del Toro’s Regrets

    The more I hear about how much Guillermo del Toro is devastated by the cancellation of Silent Hills, the worse I feel about the entire event.

    Only last month Konami cancelled the potential masterpiece being worked on by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. The main reason being the unanticipated and confusing separation of Konami and Kojima.

    Del Toro opened up about his feeling regarding the game’s cancellation, "The collaboration between Kojima and myself, the meetings, and the friendship that was developing was beautiful. We had an agreement on where to go. We had an agreement on how we were going to push the new platforms. We were having a blast.”

    Del Toro said to IGN, “What we wanted to do with the game – and we were very much in agreement on this – was to take the technology and make it as cutting-edge as we could in creating terror in the house. The idea was very, very atmosphere-drenched.

    But what made Silent Hill so great was that you had the atmosphere but then you a pay-off with a very active, very intense series of moments. We wanted to do some stuff that I’m pretty sure – just in case it ever comes back, which honestly I would love for somebody to change their mind and we can do it – but in case it comes back there was some stuff that was very new, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

    Norman [Reedus, the Walking Dead actor who was attached to play the lead role] was super happy, Hideo was super happy, and so was I. I know there’s a petition going on the internet and it’s gathering signatures. I would add my signature to it, and hope that someone pays attention.”

    The cancellation was a big surprise to his especially because it was a great hit. Del Toro continued,

    “P.T. was downloaded enormously, which shows that people have a passion [for the series]. [Silent Hill] hit me at the right time when I played the first one and the second. It’s a truly great mythology and too great a storytelling arena to let die. It’s too good.”

    From speaking to him, it's clear Del Toro isn’t a Hollywood director wanting to play in the world of video games; he has a passion for the series, and truly believes in the form, but after two failed projects – the first being Insane, which was cancelled in 2012 following the demise of its publisher THQ – he’s unsure if he’ll ever make a game.

    Considering this is the second time he was involved in the creation of a game, and the second time it failed to even complete, he might not be making any further attempts in this field.

    “Well, you know, I’ve tried twice and I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to the form. In one instance, the company went down, and in the second, the completely unexpected happened, which was Kojima and Konami separating. It’s kind of left me reeling.”

    Based on what he concluded the interview with, despite the setbacks, he wishes something can be done. To create a game, even if not in the name of Silent Hills, a brand new horror game, with the atmosphere these two had created.

    “Hideo and I have been in touch. And he knows he would be the only guy I would follow to the ends of the earth on anything. I think if anything can be rescued, I will be more than happy.” 

  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate Details

    This year’s Assassin’s Creed has been revealed and is called Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (not previously rumored Assassin’s Creed Victory).

    This is the first game in the franchise to be set in a post-industrial era. The setting is London, in the year 1868. The new assassin is named Jacob Frye, and he will be armed with brass knuckles, throwing knives, the assassin gauntlet which comes with a new rope dart, the classic hidden blade, and also hallucinogenic darts.

    So he is packing in short. This time around instead of one we will be getting two protagonists to play as. The story will mainly revolve around Jacob Fry, but about 30% of it we will be playing as his sister, Evie Frye. This came along with the confirmation that there will be no sort of multiplayer or co-op mode in the game.

    There have been changes made to several features of gameplay. Ubisoft has actually changed up the combat system in the game, making it more fast-paced. I guess they took inspiration from the Arkham series.

    They have also reworked the platforming and stealth mechanics. Again, making them more intuitive. They put emphasis on utilizing the environment, in some cases using it to take down enemies. One big change was the addition of vehicles. For the first you can have vehicle chases in Assassin’s Creed, and using stage coaches no less.

    Other information includes the fact that the map of London is now going to be 30% bigger than that of Paris in AC Unity. Ubisoft also admitted that AC as a series will make its return towards more focus on the modern day storylines with future installments.

    Lastly, this marks the first official current gen only AC game till now. Ubisoft confirmed they will no longer be making AC games for the PS3 and Xbox One. AC Syndicate is set to launch 23rd October 2015 for the PS4 and Xbox One. As will all iterations of the AC, there will be several editions of the game, 4 to be exact.

  • Batman: Arkham Knight’s M Rating Explained

    The scenes that have earned Batman: Arkham Knight its Mature rating has finally been revealed. Last month it was revealed that Rocksteady’s final game in its Arkham trilogy, is the first game to get a rating other than a Teen rating by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

    The ESRB’s centers their explanation on a scene where someone is tortured on "a bloody operating table", they also mention that there are moments where you can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage, this raises a question if you play as a character other than the dark knight at some point, for batman is known for his refusal to kill, the statement follows -

    "This is an action-adventure game in which players primarily assume the role of Batman as he battles several villains spreading chaos across Gotham City. Players traverse a variety of locations around Gotham while battling thugs, examining crime scenes, and occasionally rescuing hostages. Players engage in melee-style combat using punches, kicks, and gadgets (e.g., batarangs, explosives). Enemies cry out in pain when struck, and some takedowns are highlighted by brief slow-motion effects and loud impact sounds.”

    “Some sequences allow players to use tank-like vehicles with machine gun turrets and rockets to shoot enemies; a vehicle's wheels are also used to torture an enemy in one sequence. Cutscenes depict characters getting shot (on and off camera) while restrained or unarmed. Large bloodstains/pools of blood appear in crime scenes and in the aftermath of violent acts; one room depicts a person torturing a character on a bloody operating table. During the course of the game, players can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage. Neon signs in a red-light district read “live nude girls” and “XXX.” The words “b*tch,” “gobsh*te,” and “a*s” appear in the dialogue."

  • MGS 5: The Phantom Pain Release Date

    The release date for MGS: The Phantom Pain has been revealed, for the players who prefer to play on their consoles both old and current gen, can get their hands on the game as of September 1st whereas PC gamers will be getting it a few weeks later on the 15th of September. Metal Gear Online, will also go live on launch date as well.

    And for the hardcore collectors and fans the MGSV collector’s edition will come with a lot of content both physical and digital. These include:-

    • Half-scale Replica of Snake's Bionic Arm
    • Collectible Steel Book
    • Behind-the-Scenes Documentary and Trailers Blu-Ray Disc
    • A Map
    • Exclusive Packaging

    And for the digital goods are as follows:-

    • Weapon and Shield Pack (Windurger S333 Comba Special Weapon, Adam-ska Special Weapon, Maschinen aktische Pistole 5 Weiss Special Weapon, Rasp Short-Barreled Shotgun Gold Special Weapon, and a Personal Ballistic Shield in Olive Drab, Silver, White, and Gold)
    • Cardboard Box (Rocky Terrain, All-Purpose Dryland, and Wetland)
    • Snake Costume (Fatigues in Black Ocelot, Gray Urban, Blue Urban, and All-Purpose Dryland)
    • "Venom Snake" Emblem
    • Metal Gear Online XP Boost
    • MGO Items (Metal Gear Rex Helmet, Golden AM MRS-4, and Golden WU S.PISTOL).

    For the players who didn’t pick up the collector’s edition, can still grab the “Day one Edition”, which includes a physical map, as well as some digital goods such as:-

    • Adam-Ska Special Weapon
    • Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
    • Cardboard Box (Wetland)
    • Fatigues (Blue Urban Snake Costume)
    • Metal Gear Online XP Boost

    The Steam edition will include these above mentioned content at launch.

     

  • FFXV Director Says They Wanted A "Boys Will Be Boys" Attitude

    For some reason people are taking a lot of interest in the fact that there are no girls in Final Fantasy XV. I guess people want to figure out whether this is a sexist move on Square Enix’s part.

    In an interview with Gamespot, FFXV director Hajime Tahata explained that they wanted to represent the "boys will be boys" attitude and it's "the story we wanted to tell",

    "Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behavior, so that they'll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way."

    As for how far they are in the developmental phase, they said they were approximately 80 percent complete done. A few weeks back in February he said it was only 60 percent finished, but he clarified that it was an estimate related to the demo. Tabata continued,

    "To clarify on that 60 percent figure, it's the playable demo that represents the 60 percent, which is what [I] was referring to in February. The main challenge right now is taking all the lessons we learned from making the demo and turning them into something positive to bring to the full game."

  • Metal Gear Online Maps and Balancing Detailed

    Metal Gear Online is making a comeback with the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Till now only a short gameplay video of Metal Gear Online existed. Recently a lot details were revealed at Metal Gear Informer. Here is what we know now:

    The studio is working on ways to counter cheating

    No three team modes are planned

    They can’t say much about Ga-Ko and Kerotan, but added that they aren't the only mascots of the series, there will be new ones in the game

    When a player leaves, the match will continue

    The studio is exploring a weapon switch option outside of the d-pad

    Maps are designed to be used across multiple modes

    The kind of info you get during a CQC interrogation depends on the mode

    The team is still having discussions about aiming, and is considering all factors (specifically talking about aim angles)

    They can’t confirm right now whether there will be a beta for the game, but did note that it would ‘definitely help with feedback’ [Seems like there is a pretty good possibility there will be a beta at some point]

    At launch the game won’t have more clothing options than MGO2 had when it closed, but ‘the customization is quite varied and will grow’. [That last part makes it sound like they plan to add more though DLC]

    Some people seem to be concerned the game will be more like Call of Duty, but the studio assures there is no risk of that. The game was never designed to be like that

    Dedicated designers and fans of previous MGO titles are working in it (among which key individuals who also worked on MGO2), and they’re listening to feedback from fans

    Another things that worries some people is the leveling system, but the studio said it wouldn’t use the phrase ‘linear’ to describe progression in the game

    ‘Balance and sense of fun throughout are paramount to a good multiplayer experience regardless of intent’

    As for the unpredictability of players, the studio said that’s a given for every multiplayer, and they try to design for both intent and contingencies

  • Dragon's Dogma Online: Cross-Platform Support, Native 1080p

    There is much debate regarding whether players care about the technical prowess of the games i.e. FPS and resolution, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

    As such Capcom has come forth and confirmed, to DualSchockers, that the upcoming PlayStation 4 version of Dragon's Dogma Online will run in 1080p and 60 FPS. Kent Kinoshita recently revealed in an in event in Tokyo, that the PS3 version will run at 720p at 30 FPS.

    Although they are aiming for 60FPS for the PS4 version, it is expected to have some dips in FPS as up to 100 players may be on screen at same time during the game. Despite that they mentioned they are aiming to lock it down at 60 FPS.

    They further confirmed that Dragon’s Dogma Online will be supporting cross-platform play across the PC, PS3 and PS4. The exact release date has yet to be revealed but it is believed that it will be launching in Japan sometime in 2015 and soon after in other regions.

     

  • Deus EX: Mankind Divided Announced

    So Square Enix has now official revealed Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

    The story will take place in 2020, exactly 2 years after the Aug Incident that occurred in Panchea in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. After millions died, a massive divide has occurred between people with augments and those without.

    David Anfossi, Head of Studio, Eidos-Montréal said, “For 15 years, Deus Ex has been a point of conversation across the games industry and beyond, whether the topic is the franchise’s unique gameplay or topical narrative focused on advanced biotechnology and human augmentation. What began with Deus Ex: Human Revolution goes to a whole new level in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, diving even deeper into this discussion and, in turn, offering fans an all-encompassing experience, one which will challenge their skills as players and emphasize decision-making based on real world topics.”

    Adam Jensen will return in the midst of this social and political chaos with new and improved augmentations. According to the press conference, this time around there will be greater player choice which would affect the outcome of the game.

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