Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One via the Definitive Edition, launching January 28, 2014. That’s according to an advertisement for the game found on the 2013 VGX awards website spotted by Game Informer. The ad has since been removed.
Square Enix has yet to formally announce the new version of Tomb Raider, though the publisher is expected to do so tonight during the awards show, which starts at 3 p.m. PDT/ 6 p.m. EDT. Check out our roundup for everything you need to know about the event.
Players eager to see where the story of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag heads next will be able to do just that on December 17 when the game’s single-player Freedom Cry DLC is released.
The release date was featured in an advertisement for the game in the latest issue of the Game Informer magazine (via Videogamer). The Freedom Cry expansion puts players into the boots of Edward Kenway’s first mate Adéwalé. The expansion, set fifteen years after the events of the main campaign, spans nine missions totaling more than 4 hours of content.
The advertisement features logos for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, but no mention of Wii U or PC. Also, no price for the content was mentioned, though it is included with the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag season pass. A Ubisoft representative was not immediately available to comment.
Asked by Game Informer what the project means to Monolith Productions as a studio, Stephens said, “Everything. This is our future. There’s nothing more important than this project.”
Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic work may also be happy to know Monolith is working with Lord of the Rings licensing company Middle-earth Enterprises, as well as Academy Award-winning film director Peter Jackson, and effects studio Weta for Shadow of Mordor. Last week, lead writer Christian Cantamessa said Shadow of Mordor will be “very respectful” of Tolkien’s source material, while at the same time offering a new take on the series.
If Shadow of Mordor turns out to be a success, more games could be in store, but Stephens isn’t ready to commit to anything just yet.
“Our ambition is to make the best possible game experience we can. And obviously, we have lots of ideas, and we love the IP, but it’s pure conjecture about a franchise or the future,” he said. “We always set out to make something that could be the next best franchise. That’s always our goal.”
Shadow of Mordor tells an original story set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The game’s protagonist is a conflicted Ranger named Talion, who has Wraith-like abilities. The game is coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, but not Wii U. No release date has been announced.
Though Warner Bros. has yet to announce a release date for Shadow of Mordor, the publisher yesterday announced Lego: The Hobbit for a spring 2014 release on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, 3DS, PC, and Mac.
The Crash Bandicoot series is not dead, just resting, Activision has said.
A representative with the company told Game Informer that Activision continues to own the Crash IP and is currently considering potential avenues to resurrect the franchise.
“Activision owns Crash Bandicoot and we continue to explore ways in which we could bring the beloved series back to life,” a representative said.
It was suggested last week that the Crash IP may have switched hands and gone to Sony after all mention of Crash was removed from Activision’s website.
The Crash Bandicoot platformer series was created at Naughty Dog and has sold millions of copies across dozens of games released to date. The latest entry in the series was 2010′s iPhone racing game Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in an interview with Game Informer has stated that sales for Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon have shot past one million units. The publisher will continue to release downloadable only titles with the success of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.
The game is currently available as a download for the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and the PC. However, Guillemot hinted that the game might see a retail release sometime in the future.
SCEA VP Adam Boyes says Bethesda’s upcoming MMO was not originally conceived for release on consoles.
Upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game The Elder Scrolls Online was not originally conceived for consoles, according to Sony.
Adam Boyes, VP of publisher and developer relations at SCEA, told Game Informer that a console version of the online game was born after Sony and Bethesda met on numerous occasions to discuss the idea.
“That game was never planned to come to consoles,” Boyes said. “And we just kind of kept sitting with [Bethesda] and being like, ‘Why not?’”
“They’re like, ‘We’re not planning it,’” he added. “And I’m like, ‘Well, what if we built a plan that we could do that?’”
If it was Sony that originally sparked Bethesda’s interest in bringing The Elder Scrolls Online to consoles, that enthusiasm also spread to Microsoft, as the game will be released the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014.
However the console version came to be, Boyes said it is exciting all the same to see Bethesda adjust its mindset regarding release plans for the game.
“Knowing that a game’s coming to console that was never going to come to console, that’s the kind of stuff that is, like, ‘Yes!’ You know, hugely awesome,” Boyes said.
The Elder Scrolls Online launches in 2014 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game will carry a $15/month subscription fee. Xbox One and PS4 players will also need to pay for Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus to access the game. Bethesda previously said it is “pushing” Microsoft to drop this requirement on Xbox One.
Worldwide retailer to release Android-powered home console; device to take advantage of Amazon content and include own controller.
Worldwide online retailer Amazon is reportedly working on an Android-based home console to take on the Ouya, according to a report by Game Informer.
Unnamed sources approached the website, revealing that Amazon already has a product in active development, and is believed to be aiming to release it before the end of 2013, possibly in time to reap the benefits of Black Friday sales.
According to the tip, the device will take full advantage of Android content already on the Amazon marketplace and available for the company’s existing Kindle Fire tablet. The upcoming home console will reportedly also include its own controller, though no details were provided.
You really couldn’t make this stuff up. I’ll try and summarise the key timeline of events as best I can. Here goes:
On the latest episode of GameTrailers’ show Invisible Walls, Marcus Beer (of Annoyed Gamer fame) called out the indie developers of Braid (Jonathan Blow) and Fez (Phil Fish) for rudely refusing to supply Game Informer with their opinions on Microsoft’s recent indie policy reversal for Xbox One.
Blow’s response to the Game Informer request was as follows:
Microsoft removed the Xbox One’s controversial online and used game policies last month, but the company has been catching a lot of flak for its dismissive approach to independent developers. With Sony and Nintendo allowing indie developers to self-publish their titles, the pressure was on Microsoft to reverse their stance. They have done just that today, according to a report from Game Informer.
The change in policy allows independent developers access to the Xbox Live marketplace without needing a publisher and also allows them to set their own release dates. Microsoft also plans to downsize their approval process to remove extensive code checking and focus only on significant bugs and terms of service violations. Their goal is for a 14-day approval period.
The article also mentions an unconfirmed report that Xbox One units can be converted to play pre-release code, as authorized by Microsoft. This could make beta testing simpler for developers.
UPDATE: These reports have been confirmed by Microsoft. Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten issued the following statement:
“Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Microsoft removed the Xbox One’s controversial online and used game policies last month, but the company has been catching a lot of flak for its dismissive approach to independent developers. With Sony and Nintendo allowing indie developers to self-publish their titles, the pressure was on Microsoft to reverse their stance. They have done just that today, according to a report from Game Informer.