February 2017

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SteamWorld Dig 2 Will Be Much, Much More of the Same

The SteamWorld series has never returned to an idea it’s had previously. The universally excellent SteamWorld Tower Defense, SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Heist have each cast off the last game’s genre like newly obsolete limbs, as developer Image & Form seemingly gets bored and embarks on something new within its pleasantly hokey steampunk robot universe.

Enter SteamWorld Dig 2, announced as a Nintendo Switch exclusive – for now – and coming this summer (honestly – Image & Form CEO, Brjann Sigurgeirsson insists that Heist’s multiple release estimates have taught the studio to be more conservative with time-keeping). Why come back at all?

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The Label is A Premium Gaming Publisher Backed by FunPlus, Will Feature New Edmund McMillen Game

There’s an intriguing new mobile games inititative that wants to be the “HBO of mobile games” called The Label, and it’s got some intriguing names behind the scenes, not to mention with content being created for the service. Robert Bowling, formerly of Infinity Ward, is behind The Label, with publisher FunPlus helping to back the initative. The Label will publish Bumbo by Binding of Isaac [$14.99] creator Edmund McMillen. As well, Guildlings by Threes [$2.99] developer Sirvo will be part of The Label, along with some interesting other titles from games industry veterans.

What many people will be happy to know is that the idea is that these will be premium games introduced through The Label. How well these will work out is obviously an open question, but if a publisher wants to try something dedicated from day one with premium mobile games, I’m intrigued to see how it plays out.


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Battlefield 1 Expansion Pack Details Revealed

EA outlined Battlefield 1’s Premium Pass DLC contents, and also reveled subscribers to the Premium Pass qualify for two-week early access to the individual DLC packs.

The DLC included in the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass are titled They Shall Not Pass, In the Name of the Tsar, Turning Tides and Apocalypse.

In addition to early access, EA offers “14 Superior Battlepacks, 16 new multiplayer maps, 20 new weapons,” along with “new elite classes, priority server access,” and other unnamed bonuses designed to make the packaged deal more alluring to consumers.

They Shall Not Pass puts players in control of the French army in battles around Verdun, one of history’s bloodiest battlefields, as well taking part in the “largest tank assault of the war.”

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Ubisoft Announces Avatar Game from The Division Dev

Ubisoft has announced that The Division developer Massive Entertainment is currently working on a game based on the world of James Cameron’s Avatar.

Massive is working alongside Fox Interactive and James Cameron’s studio Lightstorm Entertainment, and the game will be built in the Snowdrop engine that powered The Division. Ubisoft said the game will be headed to PC and consoles, but didn’t name any specific platforms yet.

No plot details were revealed, but Ubisoft said in a statement that the game “will continue to expand and deepen in the Avatar universe in exciting and innovative ways along with the films.”

“With the power of Massive’s Snowdrop game engine and the team’s passion and obsessive focus on detail, we know they’re the right group to bring the beauty and danger of Pandora to life,” Cameron said in a video accompanying the announcement.

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‘Journey to Un’Goro’, Arena Changes, and More ‘Hearthstone’ Weekly News in ‘Touchstone’ #86

Hello everyone and apologies for coming one day late; we didn’t want to ignore the big Monday news. So, what a week this past one has been, especially given what happened yesterday, Monday. Blizzard finally announced Journey to Un’Goro, the next Hearthstone [Free] expansion that we all knew was on the way. The announcement got generally positive responses, as is usually the case, but what matters is the impact the expansion will have on the meta and whether it will make the game more fun. In addition to the expansion news, we also heard about the upcoming changes to the Arena, which should make the mode feel fresher and – hopefully – more fun. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve never had so many changes announced as we’ve had in the last couple of weeks, which I hope is part of the developers’ attempts to solve the game’s problems and improve the experience for everyone involved. So far, so good, I think. Let us begin.

The Next Expansion is Called Journey to Un’Goro

As most of you know by now, the next expansion is called Journey to Un’Goro and is coming at some point in April …read more

Celebrating Innovation & Art With The International Mobile Gaming Awards

The International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) looks for the best and brightest mobile games from around the world, seeking new, innovative experiences and unique games that show the strength and flexibility of the mobile platform. With the announcement of their 13th annual winner, as well as the winners in several other categories, coming this evening, they continue to celebrate the innovations in mobile, doing so to help these games get the recognition they deserve in markets that are beyond flooded.

“Discovery of games is completely broken. The IMGA is trying to highlight the best among these games and help promote these games with a quality guarantee.”

Many striking, thoughtful, and wonderful games come out on mobile each year, and Maarten Noyons, founder of the IMGA, wants to see them shine despite the hundreds of thousands of games that release on mobile platforms. Many might otherwise fall through the cracks, and Noyons doesn’t want to see these special games fade away.

Mobile Beginnings

Noyons is no stranger to the interesting work done on mobile, having been keeping an eye on it for over a decade. Over this long period, he’s watched the platform’s growth, both …read more

The Xbox Game Pass is a $9.99 Spotify-like game subscription

Having free games with Xbox Live Gold was one thing, but Microsoft wants to go one step further. The company is launching a new service called the Xbox Game Pass. It’s a library of more than 100 games that you can download and play for a monthly subscription of $9.99. The feature isn’t live yet, but the company already announced some names so that the company can start beta… Read More …read more

Dubuc Motors gets SEC approval for equity crowdfunding

Dubuc Motors, makers of the Tomahawk all-electric supercar prototype, recently announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved its filing for equity crowdfunding under the US JOBS Act Regulation A+. The company began a Testing the Waters campaign in 2016, when it revealed the Tomahawk prototype, and raised $6.1 million in initial funding reservations. Now that the… Read More …read more

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Ubisoft Details Compensation for Last Week’s For Honor Outage

Following last week’s server outage, Ubisoft has detailed what they’ll be doing to make it up to players.

With an undisclosed number of players unable to access For Honor’s online mode between February 13 to February 26, Ubisoft is offering Champion Status to all to make up for the hiccup. The peace offering will be available from March 3 to March 5 on all platforms.

To claim Champion Status, all you need to do is log in on the above-mentioned dates. For those unfamiliar with what Champion Status is, Ubisoft explains it as so:

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In numbers: How India is killing it in the global mobile gaming market

Photo credit: 123rf.

Jumping two spots up from 2015, India became the fifth biggest gaming market globally in 2016, thanks to a surge in sales of low-cost but powerful smartphones. According to App Annie, an analytics firm that tracks data on mobile apps, the total game revenue in India – from local and foreign publishers – is estimated to reach as high as US$1.1 billion by 2020.

Globally in 2016, games accounted for over 80 percent of total amount spent by users on apps worldwide – on the iOS App Store and Google Play.

The share of downloads for gaming apps was roughly 35 percent of total worldwide downloads. Mobile gaming has become so popular that it has dismantled PCs and Macs as preferred gaming tools. Spending on mobile games is almost 25 percent higher than that on computers.

Of the total spending on gaming apps, 60 percent came from the Asia-Pacific region. Its share of game spending on iOS App Store and Google Play increased mostly due to growth in China on iOS, and in Japan on both app stores.

The Indian gaming market is also rapidly growing. …read more