Category: Mobile devices

Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (July 2015)

July 2015 Edition

Please note with Microsoft’s Gamescom conference in early August (likely Tuesday 4th, but don’t hold me to that), I will be holding off on the August Edition until after that show

First-party studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection updates (Xbox One)
  • Big Park – Entertainment and sports apps (Xbox One)
  • Decisive Games – Unannounced strategy game
  • [Fun]ction Studios – Hololens development
  • Good Science Studio – Hololens development
  • Lift London – Touch Devices Project / 3 unknown projects
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Legends (Xbox One/PC) / New IP
  • LXP – Hololens development
  • Mojang – Minecraft (PC/Mobile/Hololens)
  • Press Play – Unannounced new project
  • Rare –  Sea of Thieves (Xbox One/PC) / RareReplay (Xbox One)
  • Team Dakota – Project Spark (Xbox One/PC)
  • The Coalition – Gears of War 4 (Xbox One) / Gears of War Ultimate Edition (Xbox One/PC)
  • Twisted Pixel – “AAA” game
  • Turn10 – Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)

Second party studios (publishing relationships or contract work): (more…)

Bethesda E3 Conference review

bethesda_softworks_logo_02

Bethesda’s first E3 conference to me was an interesting test for them to see what worked and what didn’t, it wasn’t full of new announcements but it was a very solid show that didn’t hide too much behind curtains, there were five pillars to the show:

  • Doom
  • Battlecry
  • Elder Scrolls (Online/Legends)
  • Dishonored (II and Definitive Edition)
  • Fallout (4/Shelter)

They showed a ton of Doom like they need to, id have a lot to prove after various cancelled versions and reboots before finally coming to this idea and they made sure to let everyone know about all of it, two decent sized campaign demos, multiplayer trailer, SnapMap which looked cool then there was another trailer in the post show with Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb, its due for release in Spring 2016. (more…)

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 17.15.55

Vector Unit recently released Riptide GP2 for Xbox One, a game which I quite enjoyed and reviewed at release, now they are back on Xbox One and Playstation 4 this time with Beach Buggy Racing!

Originally a free-to-play game on mobile by the name of Beach Buggy Blitz it has undergone some big changes to make it fit the console audience as a premium $10/£8 game by removing all of the features that come with a free launch on mobile: No timers, ads or in-app purchases as well as a completely retuned game economy so the player can unlock upgrades quicker and easier. (more…)

Riptide GP2 review

Originally announced for spring last year Riptide GP2 made its long-awaited début on Xbox One last week from Vector Unit developer of the XBLA hit Hydro Thunder Hurricane and mobile racers Shine Runner and Beach Buggy Blitz.

RulezPlay Screenshot 2015-01-25 01-24-02

Riptide GP2 is a sequel (obviously!) to Riptide GP which is a mobile game available on Android, iOS and Windows 8.1 with some nice upgrades to justify its console release, it runs at 1080p/60fps, with extra details and improved environments, a unique 6 split-screen local multiplayer, a deep career mode and VR challenges there are enough upgrades to make it worth buying on console even if you’ve played it on another device.

The gameplay is fast, fluid and fun as you’d expect from this sort of game racing against other jets is fun and represents a reasonable challenge in the multiple events: races, elimination, freestyle and hot lap, the first two and hot lap are fairly self-explanatory, freestyle is where you need to get a certain amount of points from doing stunts on the jet as you go up ramps such as back-flips and the like, there are lots of stunts to choose from and the more difficult ones are worth more points and successfully landing a stunt will gain you boost to help you speed around the track. (more…)

Next week is a big week for Windows 10 and supposedly Microsoft Studios as well, with the live stream event due to receive an appearance from Head of Xbox Phil Spencer I’ve been thinking about what Microsoft need to do and what they should do in the PC space to earn their stripes and even potentially compete in the arena.

The most obvious thing to do is cross-buy! Its possible, we know that from Halo Spartan Assault discounts, Call of Duty and Destiny currently have the “buy on last-gen get on next-gen too!” offer going on and whilst it may need some work its possible and long overdue because Sony have done it for a while. But my stance on Microsoft’s plans for PC gaming centres around them having a store and not just using Steam, whilst its good they support it and continue to do so I largely believe that for them owning the platform in the first place gives them access to consumers much like the App Store which should give them the chance to make their own store and be successful if they offer things people actually want with it not to mention they would get a bigger slice of the pie when it comes to sales. (more…)

Snap! Threes review (Xbox One)

Threes on Xbox One takes the mobile hit indie puzzle game and moves it to the big screen in what is a great version of the the title, a simple yet incredibly fun and addictive game its very easy to get into and also has a strategic element to it which adds a lot to the gameplay.

RulezPlay Screenshot 2014-12-12 19-34-14Threes is played on a four-by-four grid where the player slides numbered tiles to combine addends and multiples of three together, the tiles come several forms: 2’s and 1’s which can be added together to make 3, as well as 3 tiles and other multiples of 3 (6, 12, 24 etc) for special tiles and combine multiples of three, such as two 3s make 6, two 6s make 12 etc, the highest tile I’ve managed to get up to is 384 with a high score of 7,695. The depth comes when you’re moving the tiles you’re not taking one tile and putting it where you like, you move the entire grid which will then combine compatible tiles together, as the grid fills up you have to be careful when planning your next move to make sure you can make another move after that or its game over, it does tell you what the next tile to be entered into your grid will be which is put in the next empty space to the opposite of where you have moved. To succeed at Threes you need to pay attention to the grid and plan your movements around that to keep the game going and increase your score. Once you can no longer make anymore moves the game ends and you high score is calculated using what’s on the grid.

RulezPlay Screenshot 2014-12-12 19-34-55

Threes itself is easy to understand and play but also incredibly fun and rewarding when you’re adding tiles together, getting bigger scores and working towards getting a new personal best, whether it’s the mobile or Xbox version at its core Threes is a great game which anyone can enjoy (as long as they know their 3 times table!)

With the latest release on Xbox One, how does the game play and what perks come with launching on the next-generation hardware?

The Xbox One version runs as an app not a game, this benefits Threes  is several ways without any major setbacks (GameDVR is disabled for apps) and helps offer Xbox One owners a nice extra feature which hasn’t been fully exploited. It’s not an intensive game for the system to run so it can probably work easily within the smaller RAM allocation given to apps, it can be opened as with other apps when another game is open too so you can keep your game going if you decide to do something else halfway through like play Sunset Overdrive or go to a different app without losing your progress but the main advantage is being able to run Threes in snap mode.

RulezPlay Screenshot 2014-12-12 19-33-25RulezPlay Screenshot 2014-12-12 19-33-13

Snap mode is being where you can add the bar to the right hand side of the screen and run apps within that window such as TV, achievements, party, GameDVR and so on but its been severely under utilised and only one other game (Nutjitsu) currently supports running in snap mode. The benefit to many people will be that they can play the game, get new high scores, earn achievements etc whilst they are doing something else and Threes really is the perfect game for doing this. According to the Xbox Smartglass app ive played Threes for many hours which I can completely believe because its now a permanent fixture in snap when I’ve been watching TV such as football (soccer!) or The Apprentice, it’s a great feature to use on the console that’s very easy to relax too and play and doesn’t need constant attention to play it.

RulezPlay Screenshot 2014-12-12 19-34-51

Other features include a handy dark/light option (as seen in snap above and fully below) which easily lets you choose the colour scheme to match your preferences or current situation on the rest of the screen, a toggle for the music/sound effects, achievements and online leaderboards which are global and for friends which show your position for each with your total high score and highest tile. It also keeps your previous high scores in the game so you can view them if you wish and see the board as it finished to get your score.For achievements it has the full 1000 gamerscore spread across 16 achievements which are split up as multiples of three as well. I currently have 439/1000 from 9 achievements, it’s going to take a bit of luck to get them all but with luck and some good movements of tiles you will probably get quite close eventually!

RulezPlay Screenshot 2014-12-12 19-37-12Threes is a great game that has been adapted very well to Xbox One and gives owners of the console a reason to get it should they choose on the TV screen. It has some nice little bits like the light/dark and sound options which are handy and go well with the snap mode which really shows how useful it can be when paired with the right game. I would highly recommend Threes on Xbox One especially if you do a lot of watching of TV or Apps as a nice time waster but it’s certainly good enough to buy on its own even if you don’t much of that.

Video below of me playing Threes in snap mode, I had to use a video of Geometry Wars because I couldn’t capture with anything else

Price: £5.59/$6.99
Formats: Xbox One (played), iOS, Android
Developer: Hidden Variable Studios
Publisher: Sirvo
Official website

 

Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (October 2014 Edition)

October 2014 Edition

I skipped the September one and Microsoft didn’t announce anything at TGS so I skipped that in favour of an October one

First party studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One) / Halo Channel [app] (Xbox One)
  • Big Park – Entertainment and sports apps (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Black Tusk Studios – Gears of War (Xbox One)
  • Good Science Studio – Unknown
  • Kids and Lifestyle Entertainment – “1 vs 100 style download game” (Xbox One)
  • Lift London – Touch Devices Project / 3 unknown projects
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Anniversary (Steam) / Fable Legends (Xbox One) / New IP
  • Mojang – Minecraft (PC/Mobile) / Scrolls (PC)
  • Press Play – Totem (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Rare – Unannounced game
  • Soho Productions – Upload Studio (Xbox One)
  • Team Dakota – Project Spark updates (Xbox One/PC)
  • Twisted Pixel – New IP
  • Turn10 – Forza Motorsport 5 DLC (Xbox One) / Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One/Xbox 360)

Second party studios (publishing relationships):

  • 4J Studios – Minecraft: Xbox Edition DLC (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Access Games – D4 (Xbox One)
  • Certain Affinity – Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary / Halo 2 Anniversary (Xbox One)
  • Cloudgine – Crackdown (Xbox One)
  • Grounding Inc – Phantom Dust (Xbox One)
  • Frontier Developments – Screamride (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Harmonix – Dance Central: Spotlight DLC (Xbox One)
  • Insomniac Games – Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)
  • Iron Galaxy – Killer Instinct: Season Two (Xbox One)
  • Moon Studios – Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One/PC/Xbox 360)
  • Platinum Games – Scalebound (Xbox One)
  • Playground Games – Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)
  • Remedy Entertainment – Quantum Break (Xbox One)
  • Ruffian Games – Halo The Master Chief Collection: Halo 3 / Halo 4 (Xbox One)
  • Saber Interactive – Halo The Master Chief Collection: Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary / Halo 2 Anniversary (Xbox One)
  • Sumo Digital – Xbox Fitness (Xbox One) / Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Toylogic – Happy Wars (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Undead Labs – State of Decay Year One Survival Edition (Xbox One/PC) / Unannounced project (Xbox One/PC)
  • Wargaming.net – World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
  • Zoe Mode – Powerstar Golf DLC (Xbox One)

Third-party relationships (exclusives games that are third-party published titles):

  • Bluepoint Games [Electronic Arts]  – Titanfall DLC (Xbox 360)
  • Crystal Dynamics [Square Enix] – Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Respawn Entertainment [Electronic Arts] – Titanfall DLC (Xbox One/PC)

Recent publishing partnerships with no announced active project:

  • Capcom Vancouver – Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)
  • Crytek – Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One) / Warface: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
  • Hidden Path Entertainment – Age of Empires II HD Edition (Steam)
  • Signal Studios – Ascend Hand of Kul updates (Xbox 360)
  • SkyBox Labs – Age of Mythology Extended Edition (Steam) / Rise of Nations: Extended Edition (Steam)
  • Vanguard Games – Halo Spartan Assault (Xbox One/Xbox 360/PC)

Other information:

Speculation:

Rumours:

October 2014 edition change list & other notes:

  • Added the new MS studios to other information
  • Added the State of Decay Xbox One port to Undead Labs
  • Removed Ascend as MS have taken it down from the marketplace
  • Added the Mojang to first party studios after the recent acquisition

Previous lists:

Creepers: Microsoft (Studios) buying Mojang and Minecraft?

I would not be surprised. It makes sense in many ways, a big IP, perhaps needs someone to put more money behind it and give it the chance to get even bigger, there are very few companies that could leverage the management properly across the “transmedia” thing, especially at $2bn+ but I ask myself as an Xbox One owner, am I really getting anything out of this?

Microsoft have partnered with Mojang before, when they got what was their Rare porting house 4J Studios (who had ported Banjo-Kazooie, Tooie and Perfect Dark to XBLA) to work on a Minecraft port for XBLA and it stayed exclusive for a while, making everyone bucket loads in the progress and Sony were clearly chomping at the bit to get it on Playstation after its Xbox success which finally happened on PS3 last December. The PS4/Vita versions which were due out at the time of PS4 launch were delayed a whole 9 months or so to ship around the same time as the Xbox One version (well, the PSVita version isn’t quite out yet but still).

2 billion dollars plus. Say it out loud, that is a shed load of money for anything, especially a games company with 40 employees who have only made 1 successful title, but that title has sold over 50 million units across PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and mobile, which is a phenomenal amount.

Is this even an “Xbox” transaction? I think that realistically it’s not, Microsoft’s plan is to milk it dry across merchandising, TV/film(?) as well as games which will then be exclusive to PC, Xbox One and any successor and mobile devices, I’m extremely confident that iOS and Android will continue to get new releases as well as PC, it doesn’t make sense not to. I think however the relationship between Microsoft Studios and Mojang that developed to see Minecraft on Xbox Live Arcade is extremely important in this deal and likely the only reason it’s probably happening – if Microsoft and Mojang weren’t close I wouldn’t think that Notch would have accepted the deal personally unless he was angling for it, possibly because he wanted to step away, who knows. Chris Charla (now head of ID@Xbox) was in charge of XBLA Productions at that time but I think that Phil Spencer was likely a key part of the team that made it happen, after all when it was released on Xbox 360 it was a first party published title.

I wonder what will become of the Playstation versions of Minecraft? What about 4J Studios involvement in the series, they’re pretty key to the operation with the console ports and keeping them up to date, so could any deal actually be a double deal including bringing 4J Studios in-house at Microsoft? I would think that it would make sense to bring the two together, 4J Studios who are based in Scotland with Microsoft partners Ruffian Games (current working on the Halo 3/4 Xbox One ports) and Cloudgine (Crackdown Xbox One developer) could get a nice rebrand to Mojang Scotland? (Don’t hate me for that) 4J Studios are only a small developer, but I suspect that the cost would be low and getting in talent that as I said knows everything inside out already might well be considered by Microsoft.

The game is very popular among kids as well, a market that the Xbox 360 took over from the Wii with when that began to tail off and Kinect came out, it’s clearly a market with the power to generate a lot of money, I think when I was in college it was referred to as “pester power” or something.

Bloomberg had an article with admittedly anonymous sources but suggested that the relationship between Microsoft Studios, namely Phil Spencer and Notch was a key reason. It’s also worth noting that Phil Spencer said on the IGN Xbox Podcast Unlocked when he was on it last year that he had a “blank cheque” for acquiring studios, but wanted to foster relationships with developers and presumably not attempt to buy out partners who were happy with being independent.

“The deal came together after Mojang founder Markus Persson reached out to Microsoft a few months ago, based on a positive working relationship on Minecraft for Xbox, said the person familiar with Microsoft.

The two companies quickly agreed on a framework and approximate price and have been working out the details since, the person said. Persson will help out with the transition, though he is unlikely to remain beyond that, according to the person.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer has a close relationship with Persson, and has flown out to have dinners with the Mojang founder, another person familiar with Microsoft said.” (Via Bloomberg)

Perhaps we’re seeing Phil Spencer’s words about relationships come to help this time, it’s certainly interesting that Microsoft were the ones that were approached – if true, I think they probably bit his hand off when the opportunity arose to buy them even for as much money as that.

I’m actually quite glad in some ways that Microsoft are not letting someone who is a key partner for them escape them yet again over concerns for buying the company, it’s happened too often over the last decade or so and I think its time Microsoft Studios bulked up their internal studios, assuming all this is true of course.

For the long-term I think even if as the Bloomberg said that Microsoft do keep Minecraft on Playstation up-to-date with the Xbox versions they will obviously not be releasing new products on those platforms. Considering the situation the Xbox One finds itself in with sales compared to the Playstation 4 with this possible acquisition Microsoft should be using this to try to spur on sales of their console, “the best place to play Minecraft” plastered all over TV and as time goes on “the only console to play Minecraft” for any possible spin-offs, sequels and the like that will almost certainly spawn. If they aren’t playing the long game with the potential influx of sales it could get for their console by giving it the edge over other versions then I’m not sure I really see the point from that side. Perhaps it will also cause them to drop the price quicker to get it into the impulse buy territory quicker for parents.

It’s certainly a huge deal and it will be interesting to see what results it yields if it does happen. I would expect they will make some announcement(s) of their intentions if/when they announce the deal as well, more specifically, any plans to bring Minecraft to Windows 8 app store, tablets and Minecraft Pocket Edition to Windows Phone 8. Outside of that I suspect they will do what they did with the announcements of the new multi-year multi-title deal with Undead Labs and when they announced the Gears of War IP acquisition and say that we’ll hear more next year when they’ve had time to complete the transition and work on any new projects that are in the pipeline.

Two billion dollars… it’s a lot of money, but when you consider that Microsoft have $84bn~ in reserves, I can see why they wouldn’t hesitate with this deal, it’s partly why they bought Skype and part of Nokia because as according to Bloomberg “the vast majority of their cash and short-term investments are held outside of the US”, I doubt its earning much interest for them, anyway.

I felt differently about the deal until I saw the Bloomberg article. I did think as an Xbox One owner I’m not really gaining anything by the amount of money being spent by Microsoft on things like the Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity deal and this but if Notch, as he goes by, is really going to walk away and sought out the deal then it makes a lot of sense, as i’ve given in the last 1200~ words or so.

We’ll see what comes to pass over the next few weeks, I suspect that very soon after (read: hours) the ink is dry on the deal, Microsoft will be announcing it.

Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (Gamescom 2014 Edition)

Gamescom 2014 Edition

First party studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One) / Halo Channel [app] (Xbox One)
  • Big Park – Entertainment and sports apps (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Black Tusk Studios – Gears of War (Xbox One)
  • Good Science Studio – Unknown
  • Kids and Lifestyle Entertainment – 1 vs 100 style download game (Xbox One)
  • Lift London – Touch Devices Project / 3 unknown projects
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Anniversary (Steam) / Fable Legends (Xbox One) / New IP
  • Press Play – Totem (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Rare – Unannounced game
  • Soho Productions – Upload Studio (Xbox One)
  • Team Dakota – Project Spark updates (Xbox One/PC)
  • Twisted Pixel – New IP
  • Turn10 – Forza Motorsport 5 DLC (Xbox One) / Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One/Xbox 360)

Second party studios (publishing relationships):

  • 4J Studios – Minecraft: Xbox One Edition (Xbox One)
  • Access Games – D4 (Xbox One)
  • Certain Affinity – Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary / Halo 2 Anniversary (Xbox One)
  • Cloudgine – Crackdown (Xbox One)
  • Crystal Dynamics – Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One)
  • Grounding Inc – Phantom Dust (Xbox One)
  • Frontier Developments – Screamride (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Harmonix – Dance Central: Spotlight (Xbox One)
  • Insomniac Games – Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)
  • Iron Galaxy – Killer Instinct: Season Two (Xbox One)
  • Moon Studios – Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One/PC/Xbox 360)
  • Platinum Games – Scalebound (Xbox One)
  • Playground Games – Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)
  • Remedy Entertainment – Quantum Break (Xbox One)
  • Ruffian Games – Halo The Master Chief Collection: Halo 3 / Halo 4 (Xbox One)
  • Saber Interactive – Halo The Master Chief Collection: Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary / Halo 2 Anniversary (Xbox One)
  • Signal Studios – Ascend Hand of Kul updates (Xbox 360)
  • Sumo Digital – Xbox Fitness (Xbox One) / Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Toylogic – Happy Wars (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Undead Labs – State of Decay updates (Xbox 360/PC) / Unannounced project (Xbox One/PC)
  • Wargaming.net – World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
  • Zoe Mode – Powerstar Golf DLC (Xbox One)

Third-party relationships (exclusives games that are third-party published titles):

  • Bluepoint Games [Electronic Arts]  – Titanfall DLC (Xbox 360)
  • Crystal Dynamics [Square Enix] – Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Respawn Entertainment [Electronic Arts] – Titanfall DLC (Xbox One/PC)

Recent publishing partnerships with no announced active project:

  • Capcom Vancouver – Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)
  • Crytek – Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One) / Warface: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
  • Hidden Path Entertainment – Age of Empires II HD Edition (Steam)
  • SkyBox Labs – Age of Mythology Extended Edition (Steam) / Rise of Nations: Extended Edition (Steam)
  • Vanguard Games – Halo Spartan Assault (Xbox One/Xbox 360/PC)

Other information:

Speculation:

Rumours:

Gamescom 2014 edition change list & other notes:

  • Moved Capcom Vancouver and Skybox Labs to recent publishing partnerships
  • Adjustments to Rare and a few others
  • Added Screamride
  • Re-added Forza Motorsport 5 to Turn10 because they announced more DLC
  • Added third party exclusives list

Previous lists:

Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (August 2014)

August 2014 Edition

Note: I will do an additional post based any games/projects announced at GamesCom

First party studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)
  • Big Park – Entertainment and sports apps (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Black Tusk Studios – Gears of War (Xbox One)
  • Good Science Studio – Unknown
  • Kids and Lifestyle Entertainment – 1 vs 100 style download game (Xbox One)
  • Lift London – Touch Devices Project / 3 unknown projects
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Anniversary (Steam) / Fable Legends (Xbox One) / New IP
  • Press Play – Totem (Xbox One/Xbox 360)
  • Rare – Kinect Sports Rivals DLC (Xbox One)
  • Soho Productions – Upload Studio (Xbox One)
  • Team Dakota – Project Spark updates (Xbox One/PC)
  • Twisted Pixel – New IP (Xbox One)
  • Turn10 – Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One/Xbox 360)

Second party (publishing relationships):

  • 4J Studios – Minecraft: Xbox One Edition (Xbox One)
  • Access Games – D4 (Xbox One)
  • Capcom Vancouver – Dead Rising 3 DLC (Xbox One)
  • Certain Affinity – Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary / Halo 2 Anniversary (Xbox One)
  • Cloudgine – Crackdown (Xbox One)
  • Grounding Inc – Phantom Dust (Xbox One)
  • Harmonix – Dance Central: Spotlight (Xbox One)
  • Insomniac Games – Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)
  • Iron Galaxy – Killer Instinct: Season Two (Xbox One)
  • Moon Studios – Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One/PC/Xbox 360)
  • Platinum Games – Scalebound (Xbox One)
  • Playground Games – Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)
  • Remedy Entertainment – Quantum Break (Xbox One)
  • Ruffian Games – Halo The Master Chief Collection: Halo 3 / Halo 4 (Xbox One)
  • Saber Interactive – Halo The Master Chief Collection: Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary / Halo 2 Anniversary (Xbox One)
  • Signal Studios – Ascend Hand of Kul updates (Xbox 360)
  • SkyBox Labs – Age of Mythology Extended Edition (Steam) / Rise of Nations: Extended Edition (Steam)
  • Sumo Digital – Xbox Fitness (Xbox One) / Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Toylogic – Happy Wars (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Undead Labs – State of Decay updates (Xbox 360/PC) / Unannounced project (Xbox One/PC)
  • Wargaming.net – World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
  • Zoe Mode – Powerstar Golf DLC (Xbox One)

Recent publishing partnerships with no announced active project:

  • Crytek – Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One) / Warface: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox 360)
  • Frontier Developments – Zoo Tycoon (Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Hidden Path Entertainment – Age of Empires II HD Edition (PC)
  • Vanguard Games – Halo Spartan Assault DLC? (Xbox One/Xbox 360/PC)

Other information:

Speculation:

Rumours:

August 2014 change list & other notes:

  • Took off Xbox Entertainment Studios because they are being shut down
  • Removed Connected Experiences because whilst they still exist they are not making anything specifically, seemed pointless having them there with just “various projects” on it

Previous lists:

Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition impressions

Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition takes a classic game and gives it a lovely new coat of paint over the old one whilst keeping the gameplay in tact and touching up the sound as well with a remastered track. It reminds me of Prince of Persia Classic and Halo CE Anniversary with the re-done graphics but also the ability to change between the two styles at the press of the Y button.

hello

I thought the new graphics looked really nice, it kept the original style in-tact perfectly whilst giving it a modern look and I liked to compare some of the areas with the old style too, it’s a very nice way of doing it.

Another World is about a young physicist called Lester who goes to work late at night and long story short when trying to recreate what happened when the universe was born, he sent himself to an alien planet instead, as you do and the game is about him trying to escape off the planet.

Its style being 20 years old shows through in that its an action-adventure platformer that’s quite difficult, you have to hit jumps perfectly, shoot multiple enemies and run away from things and this must be executed perfectly or you’ll die, there are three difficulty modes (easy/medium/hard) which adjust things a bit if you find the game too difficult. I did it on medium in my play through but I did use the Xbox One d-pad after a while because it was easier to control the character with.

Garnison

In this version there are a many checkpoints, presumably so that people don’t give up as I found if I failed something once then I would do so multiple times and if it put me back a long way I think that would have been very frustrating, but thankfully they’re regular and loading is pretty much instantaneous.

The game itself I enjoyed a lot, it’s not a long game specifically but finding everything, the trial and error and completing the game in your first go should still take a while (or it did for me anyway) as you work out where everything is and how you do it. I had a look on Youtube and saw a few speed run videos so if you’re into that sort of thing it’s definitely one to keep coming back to (the quickest one I found was just over 8 minutes I think).

I thought the gameplay had aged really well over time even though the character and controls were a little stiff but it is 20 years old and I didn’t find that off-putting at all, I found I got used to it very quickly and the controls were simple.

Friend

As someone playing through Another World for the first time I enjoyed my experience, it looks really nice and modern in this edition which shows the effort put in to updating the game but not changed the experience and all the old graphics and sound are still there if you want to use that instead. Its aged well and plays nicely which is the most important thing and tells a nice tale too which I won’t spoil.Bridge

For the price of $7.99/£6.39 I think Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition is good value especially if you like older titles and haven’t played it before, my advice is not to give up if you get stuck as I did though, it has a very rewarding feeling when you move forwards in the game. As a side note the achievements are pretty easy on Xbox One as well.

Thanks to Abrial at The Digital Lounge for providing me with a review code

Xbox.com store link – £6.39/$7.99
Formats: Xbox One (played), PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Martial Hesse-Dreville (20th Anniversary Edition), Eric Chahi (Original)
Publisher: The Digital Lounge
Official website