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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Sony Giveaway, Games With Gold, Rayman Legends, Twitch, WarCraft Movie, Ashes Cricket 2013, Battlefield 4 – Second Assault DLC, Open-World Star Wars, “Greed Never Works”, Arc The Lad.
December 1st – December 7th
Wednesday, December 4th
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Cruse will be available for the PC, MAC, iPhone.
Darkout will be available for the PC.
Thursday, December 5th
Bravely Default will be available for the 3DS.
Assassin’s Creed: Pirates will be available for the iPhone and Android.
Gaist Crusher will be available for the 3DS.
Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe will be available for the PC.
Speedball 2 HD will be available for the PC.
Pac-Man Museum will be available for Xbox LIVE, and PlayStation Network.
Friday, December 6th
Grand Turismo 6 will be available for the PC.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeons Because I Don’t Know will be available (in UK) for the Wii U.
Bravely Default will be available (in UK) for the 3DS.
Scribblenauts Unlimited will be available (in UK) for the 3DS and Wii U.
Zumba Kids will be available (in UK) for the Wii.
Quake Collection will be available (in UK) for the PC.
Timepiece Ensemble will be available for the PC.
Free games to mobile
If you have a PlayStation certified smartphone, tablet, or the PS Vita, you are in luck. Sony is planning on giving away two free games a week for the next five weeks.
The first two games they are giving away for free are Passing Time, which is a soccer game, and Rymdkapsel, which is a strategy game. In order to get the games you need to go to the dedicated mobile games section of the PlayStation Store.
So far Sony hasn’t shared the names of the other free games they will make available but we believe they will be small titles like those mentioned above.
Xbox Live free games
Onto more free games, this time from Microsoft. On December first the new Xbox Live Games with Gold title will be out and available to those who have Gold memberships. This means you have about a day left, at the time of this posting, to get Double Fine’s Iron Brigade, the second Gold free game for the month of November.
December brings about some nice free games for Live Gold members. From December 1st through the 15th you can download the classic original Gears of War by Epic Games. On December 16th you can download Demiurge’s Shoot Many Robots. It’s a side scrolling adventure that is full of entertaining costumes and loot. You and up to three friends will be able to co-op and take on the robotic menace, or you can play alone.
Sometime next year the Games with Gold program will be available for the Xbox One as well.
Lost Vita levels
Twenty-eight levels went missing for the PlayStation Vita version of Rayman Legends when it was released, however, Ubisoft assures us that those missing levels are now available.
Gary Steinman, Ubisoft’s communications manager, stated that the added levels were cut from the PS Vita version of the game because of “longer development time than expected.” You will now be able to download those levels free.
Removed PS4 Playroom
Sadly, some users have been abusing the PS4′s Twitch streaming capabilities, which caused Twitch to remove streams using Playroom. A Twitch representative explained, “We removed Playroom content from the directory because a majority of it was non-gaming related. We will look into adding it back as PS4 owners become more familiar with the games-only focus of Twitch content. In the meantime, you can view all of the amazing gameplay from PS4 broadcasters in this directory page on Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/directory/all/ps4.”
A lot of good stuff has come out of making streaming more open. However, because some folks simply insist upon pushing the boundaries of good taste, service providers will have to step up monitoring. So thanks once again to those who feel the need to be ding-bats, the rest of us lose. Like SwapNote on Nintendo, these services are privileges and not guaranteed rights. Suspensions and bans early on should hopefully set a tone by Twitch and platform holders. But if that doesn’t work, we will likely see these kinds of services go away completely. We value the technology and your ability to share your play with the world, but please, don’t mess it up and ruin things for yourself and everyone else.
Blizzard had announced at Blizzcon that a movie based on WarCraft would be out around December 18th, 2015. If you pay attention at all to pop culture news, you would know that this is the same date as the new Star Wars: Episode VII is expected to release. Going up against one of the biggest nerd culture properties is just simply a bad idea. So thankfully, Blizzard has come to realize this and has revised the release date of the film to March 11th, 2016.
Seems a long way off, but at least World of Warcraft fans will have the Warlords of Draenor expansion to hold them over, for a while.
Cancelled with refund on its way
Recently 505 Games announced that they have cancelled Ashes Cricket 2013 just shortly after the game appeared for sale on Steam. The publisher apologized to the game’s customers, stating that they “failed to deliver” on the title and will offer full refunds to anyone that purchased the game.
Due to the game’s poor quality, fans had grown critical of how visibly buggy it was. Criticism was also heard toward 505 Games for failing to communicate the status of the game after having delayed it back in July.
In a public statement 505 Games said, “As most people who have followed the project closely can affirm, the development of Ashes Cricket 2013 has been fraught with challenges almost from the outset. The chosen developer, even with their many years of cricket game development experience, was unable to overcome the unexpected challenges that the chosen game engine threw up, even with multiple extensions to the development schedule. At the start of the project, 505 Games received all assurances from the developer that the engine was up to the task of creating a dynamic, cutting-edge cricket game for the modern age across multiple platforms, and unfortunately those assurances were found to be misplaced.”
The publisher went on to say, “As the licensee and publisher of name for Ashes Cricket 2013, 505 Games would like to apologize publicly and sincerely to our licensors, the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] and Cricket Australia, and their respective partners/sponsors, who have been nothing but patient and supportive of us throughout the challenges this project has presented, and who, ultimately, we have let down.”
Following their apology 505 Games assured fans who purchased the game that they would be refunded, “The people who purchased the game will be contacted very shortly with details of a full refund.”
Investigation on missing content
Apparently if you purchased Battlefield Premium on Xbox One, you are missing the Second Assault DLC. EA has stated that they are investigating why the DLC is missing. Second Assault is a timed exclusive on Xbox One that features four Battlefield 3 maps and is free for paid-up members of the Premium service.
However, Premium users have been reporting that the entry in the Battlefield store is listing NULL DATA where the Second Assault DLC would normally be listed. There is no description and no way to download the content.
On the game’s forum, a staffer with user name EA_Rick wrote, “I know some of you have said already that it is being looked into, I wanted to just confirm that for you so you guys have a [staff] post to refer to. Right now all I can say is that we are aware of this issue and are currently investigating this with Microsoft. Once we have some more details I’ll be sure to let you know.”
We hope the issue gets fixed soon so Premium Battlefield fans can enjoy all of the content they are due.
Currently in development
According to several job listings, EA Canada is developing a new open-world Star Wars game. The job listings include an animation director. Additionally, a former recruiter for EA Canada, Zeba Manki, tweeted “Best job title EVER! Lead Combat Designer for Star Wars @EA! http://bit.ly/14CEg2Y #job #starwars #Vancouver #ea #gaming”
EA Canada is the third EA studio that is working on a Star Wars game as a result of a ten-year deal with Disney. So far Star Wars games have crossed several genres, yet an open-world space game hasn’t been one of them, other than the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Avalanche Studios on microtransactions
Christofer Sundberg, founder of Avalanche Studios, spoke out on Twitter recently regarding game subscriptions and microstransactions. “Greed never works. We’ll never compromise on quality or sell our souls for a quick buck. Things are changing and we need to adapt.”
He believes that subscriptions, microtransactions, and new business models will define the next generation, adding that during this period of change, “There will be some really bad examples for sure and some really good ones. I don’t have a perfect solution… yet. ”
Sundberg sees the microtransaction model as ok for free-to-play games, yet when you pay $60+ for a game, you should have the full game at your disposal. Avalanche co-developed a free-to-play hunting game titled The Hunter that lets you hunt one species of animal for free, yet to hunt other animals you had to pay for a license. The studio is currently working on Mad Max, a single-player-only game for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
New trademark filed
If you are a fan of old PlayStation JRPGs you will likely remember Arc The Lad. It was a series of games released for the PlayStation and the PS2 which was originally developed by G-Craft and later by ARC Entertainment and then Cattle Call.
Arc The Lad hit the original PlayStation back in 1995 in Japan. The second in the series was launched in 1996, and the third in 1999. None of these games came to the west until cult favorite publisher Working Designs brought them over in a collection in 2002. There have been many spin-offs since then but the last game in the main series, titled Arc The Lad: End of Darkness, hit the PS2 in 2004.
Sony recently submitted a new trademark filing which suggests that they plan to bring the franchise back. The filing is for “Computer game software, video game software, video game machine for use with televisions for personal use, computer and video games on CD ROMs; and video game cartridges.” It is also listed under “Printed publications, namely, books and magazines featuring instructions and information on playing computer and video games; stationery; mounted and unmounted photographs and playing cards.”
We hope this is about a new Arc The Lad game, but the truth be told, it could just be a trademark filing for renewal of any old Sony property as they prepare for future releases of old games on PlayStation Network for the PS4.