Minecraft Movie Release Date Announced

Minecraft Movie Release Date AnnouncedFor many, Minecraft is essentially the video game equivalent of Lego. And while the latter has already had a successful box office debut, the former has now made its intentions clear in that regard. The company behind the game, Mojang has announced when you can watch it.

“The Minecraft movie will be released on May 24, 2019! The film will also be released in 3D & IMAX,”wrote Mojang’s COO Vu Bui on the developer’s website. He went on to explain why you’ll have to wait almost three years to watch it.

“Yes, that might seem like a long time away, but it just so happens to be the right amount of time to make it completely awesome,” Bui claims.

The movie will be released by Warner Bros and will be directed by by It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney.

Nonetheless, May 2019 seems to have several large studio releases. These include the second part of Marvel’s Infinity Wars and Disney’s Star Wars: Episode IX.

As for Minecraft itself, it remains popular seven years after its initial release, especially with children as is well known, and the sales numbers were revealed in an article in The New York Time Magazine. Surprisingly though, it seems Minecraft is as popular with adults as well. The average Minecraft player is between the ages of 28 and 29, according to Microsoft, and women constitute 40 percent of the playing demographic.

It has sold 73 million units in total, and stands third behind Tetris and Wii Sports in the all-time list for best-selling video games. Microsoft bought the game’s intellectual property and the studio behind it – Mojang – in 2014 for $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 15,375 crores). Part of the game’s appeal has been the use of extensive third-party mods which allow players to customise it as they wish, or build anything from their dreams.

Microsoft Ends Xbox Fitness for the Xbox One, User Backlash Results

Microsoft Ends Xbox Fitness for the Xbox One, User Backlash ResultsOne of the last few remnants of Microsoft’s approach to the Xbox One beyond gaming, Xbox Fitness has been shuttered. The fitness app utilised the Xbox One’s Kinect camera to track heart rate and calories among other things. Now Microsoft has deemed that updating service has become unsustainable.

“Given the service relies on providing you with new and exciting content regularly, Microsoft has given much consideration to the reality updating the service regularly in order to sustain it,” posted Erica Bell, Community Manager for Xbox Fitness. “Therefore, the decision has been made to scale back our support for Xbox Fitness over the next year, and we want to provide our users with a timeline of the changes you will see.”

As of now, you will not be able to buy Xbox Fitness content. If you already purchased it, you will be able to play until June 30, 2017. On December 15, 2016, the app’s promotion with Xbox Live Gold subscriptions wherein it is free will end.

Finally on July 1, 2017, Xbox Fitness and its related content will not be available. This includes content you’ve purchased. At that time, Xbox Fitness will no longer be available for download from Xbox Marketplace and content will not be available for play from the Xbox Marketplace nor within the app either. Xbox Fitness users will no longer be able access Xbox Fitness and the associated workouts.

Longtime users though, are livid if the comments on Microsoft’s announcement are anything to go by.

“Are you serious? Xbox Fitness has a[n] amazing community with a lot of passionated people, why would you destroy this? And what about the workouts I paid for? The workouts were pretty expensive and now you´re saying that you´re shutting it down and I won´t be able to use it anymore? Who makes decisions like that?,”opined one user.

Others called Microsoft out on its lack of clarity for refunds if any.

“I understand no longer updating it. But why on earth would you stop supporting what already exists? People have already paid money for these fitness programs and now they are just going to disappear? That seems insane to me. Will there be refunds? At least allow people to download the routines and continue to use them on their machine even if it no longer tracks progress etc?,” wrote another.

But perhaps the biggest sting for Xbox Fitness’ users is the fact that all digital content eventually has an expiry date.

“My worst fears about buying into digital or cloud-dependent content are realized. Basically the message is: if you buy something on the cloud, plan on having it taken away from you before you’re done with it, and don’t expect a refund. I hope Microsoft is saving enough money to make up for the lost future revenue due to this message,” said one irate Xbox user

Sony Lifts Revenue Target for Games, but Cuts Outlook for Image Sensors

Sony Lifts Revenue Target for Games, but Cuts Outlook for Image SensorsJapan’s Sony Corp lifted its sales target for its games division in the next financial year on high hopes for its new virtual reality headset, but cut its outlook for image sensors on weakening demand for smartphones.

The diverging fortunes for the two businesses resulted in the electronics giant maintaining its operating profit target of JPY 500 billion ($4.9 billion) for the year beginning next April.

The games business is set to be Sony’s biggest growth driver, driven by strong console sales, a rise in subscribers to its gaming network as well as the new headset, which will be sold for $399, far less than the $599 price tag set by Facebook-owned Oculus Rift.

The revenue target was lifted to JPY 1.8 trillion to JPY 1.9 trillion ($17.6 billion to $18.6 billion) from 1.4 trillion to JPY 1.6 trillion.

But the sales outlook for Sony’s devices division which includes image sensors – a key product range for the company – was cut sharply on weaker demand for smartphones and on the cancellation of the development of high-end camera modules.

System Shock Remake Revealed for Windows PC and Xbox One, Demo Available Now

System Shock Remake Revealed for Windows PC and Xbox One, Demo Available NowCult-classic System Shock has been in the news for the announcement of its latest entry, System Shock 3. This was followed up by legendary designer Warren Spector joining the project.

A remaster of the first game is in the works and is now up for crowdfunding. Simply called System Shock, it’s on Kickstarter.

Helmed by Night Dive Studios, the company behind re-release of the original System Shock and System Shock 2, it plans to modernise the former with a minimum goal of $900,000 (around Rs. 60,935,805).

Updated visuals aside, this would also allow for modern inventory management, new controls and puzzles, updated levels, and game difficulty modes.

There’s even a $1.7 million stretch goal that could see enemy limb dismemberment, more puzzles, ammo types and weapon settings, vending machines, basic crafting and research, RPG levelling with perks and skills, weapon upgrades, a hardcore mode (no respawning), and Ironman mode (only one save file, if you die, the save is deleted).

To prove it’s serious about bringing a remake of System Shock to current gaming systems its Kickstarter page has a rather self-absorbed but insightful video and there’s a pre-alpha demo that’s available onSteam, GOG, and the Humble Store.

Backing the project nets you an assortment of rewards depending on what tier you choose. These range from concept art wallpapers to multiple copies of the game or even a fully tricked out Razer Blade laptop with a laser printed artwork. Interestingly, there’s no mention of a PS4 release for the game which is due in December 2017.

“The full release of System Shock will be initially available for Windows and Xbox One. The Windows version will be available on Steam, Humble, and GOG (DRM-free). OSX and Linux versions will be unlocked when our first stretch goal is reached. We’re open to other platforms in the future,” the page reads.

Nonetheless, don’t expect it to simply be a remake of System Shock. If the Kickstarter page is to be believed, Night Dive may take a few creative liberties.

“To help shape and direct the existing narrative of System Shock, we’ve enlisted the help of Chris Avellone, who is best known for his work on a number of role-playing games, including; Fallout: New Vegas, Wasteland 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Planescape: Torment, and Fallout 2. Chris will be working closely with Stephen Kick (our Creative Director) and Jason Fader (our Project Director and Senior Producer from Fallout: New Vegas) as well as several other key developers from Fallout: New Vegas to bring modern AAA quality into the world of System Shock,” the page reads.

With a team comprising of developers who have worked on the likes of Skyrim, Fallout 4, and PlanetSide 2, hopefully this beloved classic is in the right hands. Even more so considering how one time crowdfunding posterchild Mighty No.9 eventually released to a dismal response.

Indie Game Orion Removed from Steam for Allegedly Stealing Call of Duty Guns

Indie Game Orion Removed from Steam for Allegedly Stealing Call of Duty GunsAmidst the Steam Sales and Steam’s creator- Valve sued for promoting illegal gambling in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, comes another controversy to the platform.

Indie shooter Orion has been pulled from Steam following a DMCA takedown request. It allegedly uses gun assets from the Call of Duty games – Black Ops 3 and Advanced Warfare.

“[O]n behalf of Activision, who alleges that the game Orion uses weapon art content from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The weapon art in question includes the M8A7 rifle, the Haymaker rifle, and the Bal-27 rifle,” reads a part of the DMCA takedown posted by David Prassel of Trek Industries – the developer of Orion.

“This is extremely serious that a DCMA request has removed our entire game from sale, during the biggest sale event of the year. Apparently no cross-checking was done by our Partner, who we’ve been with for over 5 years and I have seen better and would expect better from them. At minimum, to contact us regarding our assets/defense before taking any action,” Prassel’s post continues. He further states that Orion being pulled without warning or verification has had a chilling effect on the team and does little to inspire confidence in Steam going forward.

Meanwhile, a post on Reddit compares guns from the Call of Duty games and Orion, resulting in a striking similarity. In an email to Polygon, Prassel claims it is “not enough for a design infraction, even by legal standards and by a significant amount.”

Regardless of the outcome, the entire state of affairs highlights how fragile Steam really is when it comes to allowing developers to protect their work in the event of a takedown notice.

Batman: Return to Arkham Delayed Indefinitely

Batman: Return to Arkham Delayed IndefinitelyEarlier we reported that last year’s Batman: Arkham Knight would get a game of the year edition. While the box art and listing on Australian retailer Ozgameshop.com seemed legitimate, the date did not. Reason being, it was a mere three days before Batman: Return to Arkham – a remaster of the first two Batman Arkham games slated for June 26.

Now it seems that Warner Bros has delayed the release of Batman: Return to Arkham indefinitely.

“After reviewing the progress of the project, the team at WB Games has decided to delay the release of Batman: Return to Arkham to give the team at Virtuous Games additional time to deliver a polished Batman Arkham game experience. We do not have a release date yet and will be sure to communicate that once we are sure the game will be ready. We know this is disappointing news, but we feel the extra time will allow the team to create the best gaming experience for our fans,” posted Steve Grayson, a moderator on Warner Bros’ official forums. He is labelled as an employee of the company.

While it’s admirable for Warner Bros to allow developer Virtuous more time, we wish it extended the same courtesy towards the PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight. Speaking of which, we won’t be surprised if Warner Bros announces a date for Batman: Arkham Knight Game of The Year Edition soon enough.

Nonetheless, Batman: Return to Arkham is being remastered by Virtuos, the same studio behind Final Fantasy X and X-2 remakes. It will include all bonuses from Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City’s Game of the Year editions and all downloadable content from both games. It will be available from July 29 for $49.99 in the US and £39.99 in the UK. In India it’s priced at Rs. 2,499

Special Edition Game of Thrones Xbox One Revealed

Special Edition Game of Thrones Xbox One RevealedWith Game of Thrones’ latest season ending today, Microsoft has created six special edition Xbox Ones to mark the occasion. It sports a custom paint job and detailing including a generous amount of metal sticking out from the top. Quite frankly, it won’t look out of place in the world of Game of Thrones. Oddly, the console’s top vents are amiss, making us wonder how ventilation would be managed in these variants. The controller hasn’t been spared either sporting a rather sparkly look to it.

This appears to be exclusive to France and doesn’t seem to be for sale. Rather it’s available as a prize along with the Blu-ray box set of the show for participating on Xbox France’s social media pages.

It’s an interesting way to keep the console relevant. Even more so considering that Microsoft’s E3 2016showcase resulted in mixed signals about the company’s confidence in the console space.

It announced a slimmer, newer, somewhat better performing console in the Xbox One S at the beginning of a conference only to stick an expiry date onto it at the end with Project Scorpio – an even newer, even better performing console that will be out in December 2017.

To make matters worse, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confused everyone with statements on how powerful the Xbox One S is, when compared to the Xbox One. This is contrary to what its own developers claim, and multiple sources close to the company speaking to Gadgets 360 also disagreed with him.

Furthermore, he went on to state that Project Scorpio won’t do anything if you don’t have a 4K TV and that the Xbox One S is what you need if you’re at full HD or 1080p. He then backflipped on this by saying that games like Halo 5 and Gears of War 4 will have a stable 1080p resolution on the Scorpio and not the Xbox One S. It gets worse. Rather than assure gamers that the Scorpio won’t get exclusive games or features – something that was stated at Microsoft’s E3 2016 briefing – he went on to later say that developers can use its power any way they please, implying the opposite.

Sony Santa Monica Explains Combat in PS4-Exclusive God of War

Sony Santa Monica Explains Combat in PS4-Exclusive God of WarGod of War was undoubtedly the biggest reveal of Sony’s E3 2016 conference. Now developer Sony Santa Monica has released some details of the game’s combat.

In a video published by Sony (which is embedded below), Combat Designer Mihir Sheth and Gameplay Engineering Lead Jeet Shroff, there are two kinds of combat. The first is the use of the axe in battle. It can obviously be used as a melee weapon as well as casting spells such as the area of effect frost attack that was seen in the demo. Kratos can throw the axe at foes and recall it too. Furthermore, the axe can be used to gather loot and obtain items that would otherwise be unattainble. The second is hand-to-hand combat that allows for some of the game’s more visceral moments.

And yes, the game has a rage meter. It ties in with the plot tries to humanise Kratos in the presence of his son, so as to channelise his rage where its needed – against the Norse world’s many monsters. This was showcased in the demo with Kratos squaring off against a troll.

The duo also mentioned that Kratos’ son gains experience and levels up as well, and that one of God of War’s key themes is the survival of a father and son through the Norse landscape.

Much like Uncharted 4, don’t expect any cut-scenes, what with gameplay and cinematics merging seamlessly with no camera cuts in between.

20 Years Later, Quake Gets a New Free Episode

20 Years Later, Quake Gets a New Free EpisodeIn celebration of classic first-person shooter Quake turning 20 last week, Machinegames – developers of the superb Wolfenstein: The New Order and its expansion, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, comes a new episode for the game. And it’s free.

“Happy 20th to Quake @idsoftware! As a gift to the fans, we created a new episode of the gamehttps://cdn.bethsoft.com/quake/dopa.rar,” tweeted the developer.

As for installing the episode, simply extract the archive in its own subdirectory within the Quake directory on your PC. After this, run the file labelled Dopa. This works on both GOG and Steam versions of the game.

The seminal shooter has been in the news of late due to the announcement of its the next entry in the series, Quake Champions. At E3 2016, publisher Bethesda revealed that Quake Champions would be a multiplayer-only affair exclusively for PCs. Though we suspect it will make its way to consoles soon enough.

Along with Doom, Quake pioneered the first-person shooter genre and multiplayer gaming as we know it. Prior to E3, a slew of job listings for id’s Texas and Frankfurt offices discovered by Tweaktown indicate the possibility of a new Quake game.

“id Software is looking for a Senior Physics & Simulation Programmer to work as part of a development team on legendary id game properties like DOOM and QUAKE,” reads one of the listings at the time. It could mean nothing. But when combined with the sheer number of open positions and the fact that Doom has just been released, could mean that id is working on a new Quake title in addition to Quake Champions or perhaps an entry into its other franchises.

Valve Sued for Promoting ‘Illegal Gambling’ in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Valve Sued for Promoting 'Illegal Gambling' in Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveValve isn’t just the company behind Steam – the world’s most biggest PC game digital distribution service. It’s also the maker of hits such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). And it seems that the latter has got the company in a spot of bother.

The popular competitive multiplayer shooter is central to Valve being sued. Reason being, playing CS:GO nets you skins – cosmetic items for the game’s many guns. These can be traded outside the game for cash. Something a few Indian sites have been doing to their advantage what with a mushrooming cottage industry focused around using sales of CS:GO items to fuel cheaper game prices.

However it appears that the value of these digital goods haven’t been restricted to this according to areport by Polygon. A lawsuit filed on behalf of Connecticut resident Michael John McLeod alleges that Valve and third-party sites (CSGO Diamonds, CSGO Lounge and OPSkins) which allow “knowingly allowed, supported, and/or sponsored illegal gambling by allowing millions of Americans to link their individual Steam accounts to third- party websites.” The aforementioned websites, the suit says, skins for CS:GO, which can be purchased from Valve, “can … easily be traded and used as collateral for bets.”

“Valve owns the league, sells the casino chips, and receives a piece of the casino’s income stream through foreign websites in order to maintain the charade that Valve is not promoting and profiting from online gambling, like a modern-day Captain Renault from Casablanca,” the suit alleges.

McLeod says he purchased CS:GO skins to gamble, both as a minor and an adult, and lost money. He’s seeking unspecified damages, and his lawyers are gearing up for a class-action lawsuit, which could be extremely expensive for Valve.

We won’t be surprised if the outcome could see Valve limit trading of CS:GO items within the game itself.