Monday, January 27, 2014

Microsoft purchases rights to "Gears of War" franchise

Announced today, Epic Games, former owner of the Gears of War franchise, has revealed that Microsoft studios has purchased the rights to the series, including former and future titles. Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, BC will now be heading up the development of future Gears games, and Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on Gears of War, will join Microsoft and play a key role in the future of this series.

Why did Microsoft purchase the “Gears of War” franchise?
Phil Spencer: It all comes back to our commitment to Xbox fans. The “Gears of War” franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox. Over twenty-two million units have been sold across all “Gears of War” titles worldwide, grossing over $1B dollars (US). This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox. By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favorite games and entertainment experiences from the “Gears of War” universe. 
Why did Epic Games agree to this acquisition?
Hanno Lemke: Epic has been a tremendous partner to work with, and it has been a privilege for Microsoft to be Epic’s publishing partner and work together to achieve the phenomenal success of the “Gears of War” games.  Epic remains great partners and good friends of Microsoft Studios.  In fact we will collaborate closely with Epic to ensure the inclusion of the Unreal Engine technology into the “Gears of War” franchise going forward remains consistent with the high quality fans have come to expect from the franchise.
When can we expect to hear more about the plans for the “Gears of War” franchise?
Hanno Lemke: We hope to be able to share more news about “Gears of War” later this year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Casualized use of "Rape" as slang: Why it needs to stop (Community Editiorial)

There's not a single night of gaming, or day on twitter, or hour of online browsing where I do not come across the casualized use of the term "rape." I'm not sure when or where this horrid trend started, but it has been going on for years. This habitual use is concentrated very highly in the online gaming world, especially in shooter genres, and this is especially troubling for the future of gaming community.

Saying "get raped" at the end of a match does not make you sound cool. Laughing about saying it does not make you look badass. However, it's become such an accepted phrase by so many people, that no one is willing to speak up and shut that person down. The online world is filled with so much anonymity that people feel no remorse for what they say or how they act. 99% of these people would not use this term around a woman standing right next to them, and nearly the same number would not use it next to a male friend either. The fact that they are not held accountable for their actions makes them feel untouchable, and the worst of a person's character bubbles to the surface. Which begs the question, how depraved has our community become that they can use this term as casually as talking about the weather?

Rape is not a laughing matter. It's not a term that should be tossed around lightly. Rape is an act that transcends what people know about being a victim. To fully understand rape would require you to be put in that same position which the vast majority of the world would never wish you to be in. It's an act that brutalizes the victim, causing years of mental anguish and possibly physical distress as well. Many victims come away with permanent scarring, bruising, damage to tendons or bone, and some victims never come away from the emotional trauma. Victims commit suicide everyday after suffering through the pain and trauma for years. This is not limited to women. Both sexes experience these violations, with a large amount of cases never getting reported due to feelings of shame and guilt. Some never walk away from the experience at all. Murders are a common aftereffect as the rapists don't wish to be caught. In some countries, the victims themselves are the ones who are punished through torture and public executions for bringing "shame" to the families. Lives are forcefully violated and destroyed, before they are ended in one of the worst ways to ever leave this world.

To hear the term said with conviction degrades everything a community should stand for. Wishing harm and horror to be forced upon someone is despicable. The casualized use of this term extends beyond gaming to even a regular conversation, with the entire meaning being perverted to suit the user's need at the time. Please, save our community and save our society from going down this path. Stop using this word.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Titanfall" gets customized Xbox One controller

What's better than controlling gigantic mechs while simultaneously slaughtering your enemies using it's massive arsenal? Doing it in style. Titanfall is already being hailed as one of the greatest titles to be released in 2014, now Respawn, the game's creator, has upped the ante. Joel Emslie, Lead Artist at Respawn Entertainment, stated the goal was “to create a controller that feels as if it is a piece of military spec hardware transported from the universe of Titanfall and into players hands.”

Modeled after one of the mech's in-game weapons, this beauty just shouts "Badassery", and with the same cost of a standard Xbox One controller, it's a very easy choice to make for your second (or third) controller.

The controller will launch alongside Titanfall, March 11th, 2014.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sega attempts to redeem "Aliens" franchise with new Survival-horror game

With the internet still debating about whether Aliens: Colonial Marines was a hit or flop, it's very surprising that Sega, publisher of Aliens: CM, would attempt another Aliens game so soon. Taken on by a new developer, Creative Assembly, this newest addition to the franchise seems geared towards the original James Cameron view of the Aliens storyline, focusing more on the horror rather than the action.
"Fifteen years after the events of Alien, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda enters a desperate battle for survival, on a mission to unravel the truth behind her mother's disappearance. As Amanda, you will navigate through an increasingly volatile world as you find yourself confronted on all sides by a panicked, desperate population and an unpredictable, ruthless Alien."
Where a lot of previous Alien games have gone wrong is in the adrenaline-pumped action sequences. The atmosphere of the films are not a result of bulky space marines suiting up and hunting Xenos. It's about surviving against all odds and praying to whatever god you believe in that you don't wake up with a larva trying to burst out of your chest.

Hopefully Sega can redeem their last flop in regards to this franchise. Many gamers would be thrilled to have a decent Aliens game for once.