Category: Slider

Xbox Scorpio Rumours and Pre-Conference Thoughts

In 4 hours Microsoft are set to finally unveil the last remaining details of Project Scorpio – we know the specs, we have seen the dev kit, but what does the box itself look like? Whats the final name? What will games look like on it? And finally, how much is it going to cost?

Rumours led by Geoff Keighley have been swirling in the last hour or so that is is going to cost $499 – other rumours along suggest it is going to be called “Xbox One <Something” I think both of these if true could prove to be mistakes.

Lets start with the name:

Xbox One was a stupid name in 2013, it was also stupid in 2014, 2015, 2016 and still is in 2017. “The all in one entertainment system” it sounded horrible when it was announced and it still does, it represented a supreme lack of judgment on what gamers wanted from a new console, a very flawed direction that proceeded to be like Theresa May calling a snap election when she didn’t need to: willingly shooting yourself in the foot and then not understanding you did it to yourself. (more…)

Microsoft Studios – Current Projects and Studios list (April 2017)

April 2017 Edition

Last one was July 2016 so this is a big update, i’ve changed how their second-party projects have been laid out per project as well, its a rather pitiful list admittedly. Next one will probably be E3

First-Party Studios:

  • 343 Industries
    • Halo 5: Guardians Updates – Xbox One
    • Next Halo
  • Microsoft Casual Games
    • Microsoft Ultimate Word Games for Windows 10
  • Mojang
    • Minecraft updates – PC/Mobile/Hololens/Oculus Rift
  • Rare
    • Sea of Thieves
  • The Coalition
    • Gears of War 4 Updates
    • Next Gears of War
  • Turn10
    • Next Forza Motorsport

Second-Party Projects (publishing relationships or contract work): (more…)

Microsoft Studios – Current Projects and Studios list (July 2016)

E3 2016 Edition

After E3 Microsoft confirmed all games going forwards are releasing on Xbox One and Windows 10 so I have taken off the platforms listed for those titles because its completely pointless really.

First-Party Studios:

  • 343 Industries
    • Halo 5: Guardians Updates – Xbox One
    • Forge: Halo 5 Guardians Edition – Windows 10
    • Halo Wars 2 – 21st February 2017
  • Microsoft Casual Games
    • Microsoft Ultimate Word Games for Windows 10
  • Mojang
    • Minecraft updates – PC/Mobile/Hololens/Oculus Rift [OR Spring 2016]
  • Rare
    • Sea of Thieves – 2017
  • The Coalition
    • Gears of War 4 – 11th October 2016
    • Gears of War Ultimate Edition Updates
  • Turn10
    • Forza Motorsport 6 DLC (Xbox One)
    • Forza Motorsport 6: Apex (Windows 10)
    • Forza Horizon 3 – 27th September 2016

Second-Party Studios (publishing relationships or contract work): (more…)

Microsoft Studios – Current Projects and Studios list (December 2015)

December 2015 Edition

First-Party Studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians DLC (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection updates (Xbox One) / Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One/PC)
  • Decisive Games – Unannounced strategy game
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Legends (Xbox One/PC) / New IP
  • Microsoft Casual Games – Casual Games for Windows 10
  • Mojang – Minecraft (PC/Mobile/Hololens) / Cobalt (Xbox One/Xbox 360/PC)
  • Press Play – Project Knoxville
  • Rare –  Sea of Thieves (Xbox One/PC)
  • Team Dakota – Project Spark (Xbox One/PC)
  • The Coalition – Gears of War 4 (Xbox One) / Gears of War Ultimate Edition (Xbox One/PC)
  • Turn10 – Forza Motorsport 6 DLC (Xbox One)

Second-Party Studios (publishing relationships or contract work): (more…)

Job Listing: Ruffian Games new IP and more Halo work, PC related?

 

RuffLogoWhiteOnBlack

Ruffian Games are the creators of Crackdown 2 which released in 2010 along many contract workings for Microsoft and are known to be developing Hollowpoint for PS4 and PC with Paradox Interactive as well as new things based a new job listing and blog post on their website.

The blog post [from September 2015] is very clear on their future, they want to make games that they own and have control over and as part of that are working on a new prototype with a team they are assembling and recruiting for! The game is using with Unreal Engine 4, it also seems like we might find out what exactly this game is in the not to distant future. There is also an image attached to the post which looks like the guy from Team Fortress 2 in an alternate universe:

Ruffian

Tease

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Twisted Pixel Goes Independent

twisted-pixel

A couple of week ago [September 30th] news broke that Microsoft first-party studio Twisted Pixel were returning to their roots as an independent developer and leaving the ownership of Microsoft.

Twisted Pixel are based in Austin, Texas and were formed in 2006, since then they have had all 6 of their games published by Microsoft across Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox One and PC starting with The Maw then moving to the Splosion Man franchise, Comic Jumper, The Gunstringer for Kinect and finally their last release in November 2013 (February 2014 on XBLA and PC) Lococycle, they were purchased in October 2011 after the release of Gunstringer.

Here is the full press release they issues to announce the split, there are a few interesting things about this that have sparked my curiosity.

“The companies formalized their relationship in 2011 when Microsoft acquired the studio in a “minimally integrated” arrangement, a feature that kept the door cracked open for the development announced today.”

(more…)

Xbox One Bundlemania is running wild

Microsoft have announced their holiday bundles this week, a big range featuring a bunch of different titles at different price points, here’s a rundown of my thoughts on each:

Tomb Raider Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Black 1tb hard drive console
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition digital codes
  • Releasing November 3rd for $399
  • Microsoft Store and Best Buy exclusive in USA, sold in all other markets where Xbox One is sold except for UK and China

This is an expected bundle given the timed-exclusivity on the game however I was surprised by a few things: the first one being it was the 1tb bundle at $399 as opposed to a $349 bundle, I really thought this would be their big holiday bundle, not being sold in the UK – a region that loves the franchise and finally it’s a Best Buy/Microsoft Store exclusive in the US which seems strangely limiting to me.

XboxOne_1TBConsole_RiseOfTheTombRaider_US_CAN_Groupshot_RGB

I like the inclusion of both Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition though, thats a good move as its out a week before the game and people can play Definitive Edition whilst they wait for the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider. (more…)

Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (September 2015)

Gamescom 2015 Edition

First-party studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection updates (Xbox One) / Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One/PC)
  • 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 – Hololens development
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Legends (Xbox One/PC) / New IP
  • LXP – Hololens development
  • Mojang – Minecraft (PC/Mobile/Hololens) / Cobalt (Xbox One/Xbox 360/PC)
  • Press Play – New project choices
  • 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…)

Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (August 2015 – Gamescom)

Gamescom 2015 Edition

First-party studios:

  • 343 Industries – Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) / Halo: The Master Chief Collection updates (Xbox One) / Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One/PC)
  • 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 – Hololens development
  • Lionhead Studios – Fable Legends (Xbox One/PC) / New IP
  • LXP – Hololens development
  • Mojang – Minecraft (PC/Mobile/Hololens) / Cobalt (Xbox One/Xbox 360/PC)
  • 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…)

Lift London: Now working on Hololens

Lift_Brand_Logo

Lift London have been a bit of a mystery since they were first opened back in 2012, originally making games for touch devices and had another “interesting” idea planned if they could land it (Per Phil Spencer’s twitter), then they listed consoles on their twitter feed and website before a merger and some layoffs with another London-based Microsoft Studio Soho Productions [Upload Studio]. 3 years since their inception and we still don’t appear to be officially any closer to finding out what they’ve been up to.

Still got this note on their website

Still got this note on their website

Their website which changed its domain to Lift.London doesn’t appear to have been updated recently, since the last facelift anyway. There are some characters kicking around their website which fall in-line with the pictures of achievements for “Eden Falls” which they were developing for Windows Phone 8 at one point, they might still be but to be honest we have no idea at this point.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 17.50.05

Floating around on their website

These are the achievements that surfaced on the very good XboxAchievements.com website a while ago, as you can see the art/characters are the same, so either someone is great at photoshop or they’re real.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 18.01.32

Its also worth noting the website hasn’t been updated in a while seeing as on the “About Us” page it still like Mike Rouse who left the studio in March 2015 to form his own independent studio RedSix Interactive.

Lift London been radio silent for a long while and it seems we may now have somewhat of an answer as to why.

I was alerted to the possibility of Lift London working on Hololens after a more recent event where one of their (now ex-)staffers tweeted out this: (more…)

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…)

Twisted Pixel working on a “AAA game”

TwistedPixel_logo

Some pre-E3 info I’ve noticed from a relatively new employee on Linkedin is that their next game, by one person at least, is being referred to as a “AAA” game.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 23.08.51

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 23.08.57

(Via Linkedin)

This is quite interesting, especially given the studio is only at 26 people according to Linkedin and even if that number was slightly wrong I doubt they are very far north of 30-35, I also like the enthusiasm of “amazing up coming AAA title” and “some super duper cool AAA game”, at least he is positive about the project being worked on!

So what does AAA mean? Well, AAA is often a budget/scope/resources indicator I’ve always thought, how much is the publisher spending on the game? Is it a big budget game for the studio? And this is where I think I understand what is meant in context here. (more…)

Microsoft trademarked “Xbox Sports” in late 2012, Joe Montana NFL 16 link/rumours and E3 unveil

See the update at the bottom for more information

There have been some rumours recently that Microsoft creating an NFL game under the name of “Joe Montana NFL Football 16” with the following details making up the rumour, I’ve cut the details down a lot and there is much more definitely worth reading at the link itself (skip over it if you have seen the details before)

  • Xbox One and PC only with Microsoft Studios as the publisher. They’re taking early advantage of the Windows 10 cross-plat tech and the game will be out as part of 10’s 3-month launch cycle in the middle of this year, releasing in mid-late July
  • The game is called Joe Montana NFL Football 16. First-party stipulations that the NFL has always left open & the NFL’s exclusive relationship with Microsoft allows for Microsoft to have an NFL game.
  • The game was demoed and it went well. Actually, “well” is an understatement. People went crazy. NDA’s were and still are in place for them. That’s why you haven’t heard anyone saying anything, but a lot of people are having a very hard time because what they seen was unbelievable and it’s been impossible to go back to Madden or even take Madden seriously after that. It’s like, how you felt when you had an NES and you saw Sega Genesis for the first time. The step up in quality is THAT big.
  • 2K is involved. Should be obvious from some tweets/re-tweets and comments both Joe Montana and Damon Grow have made. Some tech and manpower was purchased from 2K and is deeply incorporated into this game.
  • The franchise mode will be able to be managed on mobile devices and it’s really deep.
  • The iMFL app was never meant to be released. Its entire production was a prototyping run for its franchise mode and management system with the intent of using it in Joe Montana NFL Football 16. Even the TechCrunch interview was part of the staging.
  • There are a few important modes. One is a story mode and it’s pretty cool. Think NBA 2K My Player. That’s what you’re getting.
  • The graphics, animations and AI are all obscenely good and modern. It looks like a game that was built for this new generation, not just a port over from last generation with a ton of sloppy tweaks. The animations are easily the most crisp of any sports game ever made. Comparing the animations to Madden, it’s going make Madden look like a PS1 game by comparison. (Via Operation Sports.com)

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Microsoft Studios – Current projects list (Pre-E3 June 2015)

Pre-E3 June 2015 Edition

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)
  • Black Tusk Studios – Gears of War (Xbox One)
  • Decisive Games – Unannounced project
  • [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) / Scrolls (PC/Mobile)
  • Press Play – Kalimba (Xbox One/PC)
  • Rare – Unannounced game(s?)
  • Team Dakota – Project Spark (Xbox One/PC)
  • Twisted Pixel – “AAA game”
  • Turn10 – Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)

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

E3 2015 Predictions!

E3-2013

Cross-referenced and updated with my 2015 overall predictions, 5 months in things change so if there are any anomalies put it down to time changing my thought process.

These announcements might not necessarily be directly in the conference, there could be pre/post-show stuff too but this stuff will be announced for E3 time if not at the event, the number in square brackets is for me to score each bullet points once the show is over to see how many I got right:

Microsoft:

  • Fable Legends = Summer release for open beta [1]
  • No Xbox One Slim but new platform branding (logo, marketing guff) [2]
  • New controller with share button, built-in microphone for voice commands, headset port announced for summer release [2]
  • Rare announce 30th Anniversary celebration collection and Battletoads (2015, cross-play/buy with PC) [3]
  • New Banjo-Kazooie announced [1]
  • Quantum Break gameplay demo “early 2016”, Scalebound gameplay = Spring 2016 [2]
  • Alan Wake Remastered announced [2]
  • Halo 5 Guardians gets a second BTB beta and Halo Reach port for MCC, Limited Edition console announced [3]
  • Gears of War Remastered announced for Xbox One/PC for November with cross-play and Gears of War 4 teaser with small gameplay demo (for Xbox One only) [4]
  • Joe Montana NFL Football 16 announced for late July release date with console bundle, does have the NFL license [3]
  • New IPs announced from Press Play and Twisted Pixel [2]
  • Decisive Games announce their strategy game for PC/Xbox One, cross-play/buy for 2016 release [2]
  • Short Hololens section teasing a game in development [1]
  • OS/platform section showing Windows 10 on Xbox One with new platform features and unified store [1]
  • Games with gold announced for July as Tomb Raider Definitive Edition or Ryse, two games a month moving forwards [2]
  • Big indie section featuring Below and other new titles, Summer of Arcade style promotion announced [2]
  • Gigantic = August (open beta launch), Forza Motorsport 6 and Rise of the Tomb Raider = September [3]
  • Minecraft cross-play between Xbox and PC versions, cross-buy on Windows 10 store, Xbox exclusive dedicated servers using azure, other exclusive content, Telltale’s Minecraft Story Mode revealed [4]
  • Two more IP revivals from the OG Xbox catalogue [1]
  • Killer instinct Season 3, State of Decay Year 2 (sequel with co-op) announced [1]
  • More digital only first-party download games announced [1]
  • First-party MOBA announced [1]
  • New AAA IP announced for 2016 from a new development partner [2]
  • Popular/upcoming free-to-play MOBA and FPS announced for Xbox One from new partners with Windows 10 cross-play [2]
  • Third-party exclusive announced for 2016 [1]
  • New smaller and thinner set-top box style Xbox 360 announced, $99 [1]

(more…)