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Dead Island 2 is still in development, honest, say developers

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Dead Island 2 is still in development, honest, say developers

Dead Island 2 is still in development, honest, say developers

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Deep Silver
Sumo Digital

July 6th, 2018 – 10:48am
By Alex Calvin, Editor – PC Games Insider

It’s been a while since we’ve seen, well, anything about Dead Island 2 but apparently the game is still on the way.

That’s according to the official Twitter account (below) which responded to a fan question about the game and whether the newly-released Dead Island: Survivors mobile game had impacted development at all.

Dead Island 2 was announced on Sony’s stage at E3 2014. with Spec Ops: The Line studio Yager handling development duties. In 2015, that company was dropped and in 2016, a handsome and talented journalist revealed that Sheffield’s Sumo Digital would be making the game.

Since then we’ve heard nothing about the game and seen even less, leading many to suspect that the title might have quietly been canned.

Dead Island 2 isn’t the only long-awaited project that Sumo is working on. The game maker is also working on Crackdown 3, apparently on its own after two other parties were dropped, a title that was also announced at E3 2014.

It’s still on the way. Dead Island: Survivors was created by a different developer, so there was no impact on Dead Island 2 development.

— Dead Island (@deadislandgame) July 5, 2018

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Microsoft: Making games more accessible is both the right thing to do and good f

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Microsoft: Making games more accessible is both the right thing to do and good for business

Microsoft: Making games more accessible is both the right thing to do and good f

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Microsoft

July 11th, 2018 – 08:37am
By Alex Calvin, Editor – PC Games Insider

Microsoft’s focus on accessibility is a call to the industry to help get more differently-abled people into video games.

That’s according to Mixer program manager and gaming and disability community lead Tara Voelker, who told PCGamesInsider.biz that the big M’s focus on helping differently-abled people getting into games is the right thing to do but also a sound business decision.

Microsoft revealed the Adaptive Controller ahead of E3 this year and has also recently rolled out more diverse avatars for Xbox Live, featuring people in wheelchairs for example.

“We’re saying that all gamers are important and if the industry is going to keep saying it’s about all gamers and wanting everyone to play their games,” she said.

“Your target audience is everyone, so you then you should mean it. Everyone includes gamers with disabilities who are actually more dedicated customers; they play your titles for more hours more frequently than their non-disabled counterparts and they’re more likely to buy more of your products. It’s not just: ‘You should do it because it’s the right thing to do, don’t be a shitty person, but also because it’s a really good financial business investment to make products for gamers with disabilities’. If you’re not going to be a good person, we have to tell you another reason, that you can make money doing it.”

Asked what more needs to be done to help make video games more accessible to differently-abled people, Voelker says that we need certain standards across the market as well as better representation.

“The games industry needs to step up and do two separate things. The first is that we need to standardise as an industry some basic accessibility features,” she said.

“Having remappable controls be a standard thing you accept in a video game. Having video game subtitles be big enough to read and in a sans serif font. There are some really basic things that not all games have that are easy wins that we need to get better at doing.

“Secondly, we need better representation of people with disabilities in video games. We’ve been seeing more representation lately but it’s not always the best representation. You’ll see a character in a wheelchair and my first reaction is excitement but then you look closer and think: ‘That person would never actually use that type of wheelchair’. It’s a step in the right direction but if they had just spoken to a wheelchair user, they would have been able to give them that feedback. We have to have an actual dialogue with people to make sure that when we do have representation it’s the right representation.”

You can read more from Voelkler in our full interviews about both Mixer and Microsoft’s accessibility focus 

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Good Shepherd is hoping new investment will help it expand into triple-A Indie g

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Good Shepherd is hoping new investment will help it expand into ‘triple-A indie’ games

Good Shepherd is hoping new investment will help it expand into triple-A Indie g

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Good Shepherd

July 12th, 2018 – 12:30pm
By Natalie Clayton, Staff Writer

Indie publisher Good Shepherd says it is expanding its games’ budget levels into ‘triple-A indie’ territory.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, director of corporate development Paul Hanraets spoke of how recent investment is helping the publisher work with bigger-budget indie titles. He views this as an additive measure – with new, big projects running alongside the smaller-scale titles Good Shepherd currently works with.

“At the moment, we’re funding titles from the corporation, the investment we make as Good Shepherd. Then we’ve got our group of individual investors – that hasn’t changed,” Hanraets said.

“But we’ve also got more institutional investors now, bigger investors that invest in our slate… So it’s a mix with those new investors that allows us to make bigger investments with bigger titles.”

“Our sweet spot is $600k funding per title, but now we’re moving up to above $1 million, and we’ve signed a title that’s close to $3 million… So we’re definitely moving up.”

Hanraets also believes the publisher’s growth will help it expand into work with movie IP projects. The publisher currently has access to several properties, with plans to pair them with experienced indie developers. The first of these is a project in development with Subsurface and Quarantine Circular developer Mike Bithell.

“First we have to prove that the [movie IP] model works with Mike Bithell,” Hanraets explained, “but I’m so confident after seeing what he’s doing with it.”

Good Shepherd was formerly Gambitious, but rebranded ahead of Gamescom 2017 with a bevvy of big appointments. We caught up with the company shortly after to see how Good Shepherd was making games fun for both developers and investors.

This ‘triple-A indie’ sector [Ed – …or mid-tier, indie-A, triple-I… pick your preferred buzzword] has started to see more traction, largely thanks to the massive success of Ninja Theory’s Hellblade. That’s not to say this level of development works for everyone – LawBreakers from Boss Key is a mid-level title that failed to take off with some pretty disastrous consequences. 

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Epic is increasing its revenue split for Marketplace creators up to 88 per cent

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Epic is increasing its revenue split for Marketplace creators up to 88%

Epic is increasing its revenue split for Marketplace creators up to 88 per cent

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Epic Games

July 13th, 2018 – 12:00pm
By Natalie Clayton, Staff Writer

88 per cent of revenue made on the Unreal Marketplace will now go to the creators in an updated revenue-share policy.

Moving away from the more traditional 70/30 split adopted by other digital stores, Unreal Marketplace creators will now receive 88 per cent of revenue from their products. The store serves assets for Unreal Engine development, akin to the Unity Asset Store.

In some big news for creators, Epic Games also announced that the new revenue split will apply retroactively.

Developers can expect a payday to make up that 18 per cent difference on all items sold since the Marketplace launched back in 2014.

Read the full story on our sister-site PocketGamer.biz

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Klang has raised $8.95m in Series A investment to fund MMO Seed

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Klang has raised $8.95m in Series A investment to fund MMO Seed

Date Type Companies involved Size
July 17th, 2018 investment $0m

9m

Klang has raised $8.95m in Series A investment to fund MMO Seed

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July 17th, 2018 – 12:26pm
By Alex Calvin, Editor – PC Games Insider

Berlin-based developer Klang has announced that it has secured $8.95m in Series A funding.

The investment round was led by early stage VC firm Northzone, whose previous ventures include Spotify. The cash will be going towards development of Klang’s ambitious MMO Seed.

In total, Klang has raised $13.95m to date following a second round of equity funding that ended in March of this year.

“We’re truly humbled to have secured the Series A for the development of Seed, a project that we believe will play an integral role in the next generation of social simulations,” Klang co-founder and CEO Mundi Vondi said.

“We’re honored to share our vision with Northzone, and are more excited than ever to tackle this very ambitious project.”

Northzone partner Paul Murphy added: “Klang has everything you’d want as an early stage investor – massive vision, experienced team, and an incredible early version of the product. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the team to help bring Seed to market.”

Klang is a new studio formed by veterans of CCP’s Eve Online and Dust 514 games.

Its debut project, Seed, is being made using Improbable’s SpatialOS tech.

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Join us for The Big Indie Pitch & Big Indie Drinks @ Develop:Brighton 2018

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Join us for The Big Indie Pitch & Big Indie Drinks @ Develop:Brighton 2018

Join us for The Big Indie Pitch & Big Indie Drinks @ Develop:Brighton 2018

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Steel Media

Event

The Big Indie Pitch & Drinks at Develop:Brighton 2018

July 9th, 2018 – 11:50am
By Joao Diniz Sanches

Summer time means beach time. So we’ll be heading down to Brighton’s seaside in July for a special Big Indie Pitch and Drinks to coincide with Develop being in town.

We’ll be serving up our ever-popular indie competition from 6pm on July 10 at ‘The Greene Room at The Cricketers’ for your enjoyment, all made possible by our lovely friends at Space Ape Games, Jagex, and The Games Hub – along with season sponsor, G-STAR.

We’re inviting indie developers of all shapes and sizes along to pitch their games to our teams of tame journalists and industry judges. Up to 20 teams will run the gauntlet, giving their all in quickfire five-minute pitches to demonstrate that their title is worthy of the Big Indie Pitch crown and coverage in the mobile games media.

If you fancy the chance of winning the Big Indie Pitch (or coming along to spectate and offer your support), signing up couldn’t be easier.

Space Ape’s Feedback Corner

Space Ape Games’s Feedback Corner will be on hand to indie devs to get advice on tooling, art, engineering, discoverability, and investment, or general feedback on their games. Space Ape will bring Tom Mejias (Client Developer), Nick Mansdorf (Senior Product Manager), and Stoyan Dimitrov (Senior Technical Artist) to offer advice and feedback.

Special Space Ape Prize

Incredibly, in addition to the standard BIP prizes, the overall winner gets a tailored workshop at their studio (whether it’s UA, monetisation, art, design, tech or funding advice, Space Ape can tailor the workshop to your needs).

Submissions

So why not pack your bucket and spade and come join us at the Big Indie Pitch in Brighton? We’d love to see you there. Submit your game for consideration here.

Not pitching? Come along and cheer on your champions: register for a spectator ticket.

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Dutch Dota 2 players can see what it's in a loot box before purchase

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Dutch Dota 2 players can see what it’s in a loot box before purchase

Dutch Dota 2 players can see what it's in a loot box before purchase

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Valve

July 26th, 2018 – 11:07am
By Alex Calvin, Editor – PC Games Insider

Valve’s battle to appease Holland’s Gambling Authority continues with the PC giant letting Dota 2 players see the contents of a loot box before they buy it.

That’s according to a screenshot from Reddit user Larhf, which shows this change in action. Users are no longer able to buy multiple boxers simultaneously. Additionally, what you see is what you get for the next crate opened always, presumably so users can’t game the system to get specific items.

Larhf also speculates that being able to only buy one box at a time and see the contents is a means of stopping users mass-buying crates.

This follows the Netherlands having objections with loot crates in video games, like many countries. The Dutch concern was that items in loot crates in certain have real-world value due to third-party trading, leading Valve to block item trading for its games in the region.

Item trading was eventually allowed again in the region, but loot boxes weren’t. Keeping up?

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Games industry round-up: The hottest stories across the mobile, blockchain and i

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Games industry round-up: The hottest stories across the mobile, blockchain and influencer sectors

July 9th 2018, 12:18 BST

By Craig Chapple, Senior Editor

Games industry round-up: The hottest stories across the mobile, blockchain and i

Here on PCGamesInsider.biz we focus on the glorious and ultimately supreme world of PC, but we feel it’s important to share what is happening in the wider world of video games.

To that end, each week we round up the hottest stories as selected by our expert editorial team across our network of sites that includes PocketGamer.biz, InfluencerUpdate.biz and BlockchainGamer.biz.

This week’s hot mobile stories include Supercell’s Clash of Clans breaking $4bn in its lifetime, PUBG Corp dropping its lawsuit against Epic Games and indie being affected by Google Play download woes 

Meanwhile in the influencer space, Caffeine CEO Ben Keighran discusses the platform’s USPs, a Twitch streamer is suspended for homophobic and/or racist language, and the BBC hires popular YouTubers.

Over in the blockchain gaming sector, there’s a look at how RPG Cryptic Conjure aims to shake up the blockchain games space, Alto.io drops details on its big Cryptogame Challenge, and there’s an analysis of how the top blockchain game tokens are performing.

Click here to view the list »

  • 1

    Mobile games news and insight

    Here are the top stories from the world of mobile games, courtesy of PocketGamer.biz

    Drastic drop in Google Play downloads rocks indie devs after discovery algorithm fiasco

    Google Play has made some changes to its search algorithm, resulting in a huge drop in downloads for indie developers.

    Which marketplace has been better for indie developers: The App Store or Google Play?

    Indies discuss their prefered mobile marketplace and what improvements they’d like to see.

    App Store users have spent over $4 billion on Supercell’s Clash of Clans

    Supercell’s hit mobile game has made some sweet bucks, but it’s not the only one.

    How DomiNations kept going for three years and made $150 million in the process

    It’s three years old yet DomiNations still made an impressive $50 million in the last year. PocketGamer.biz speaks to Big Huges Games CEO Tim Train on building success for the long-term.

    How a brush with closure led to Broken Rules’ hit Old Man’s Journey

    Development comes with its ups and downs, and the story to Old Man’s Journey was anything but smooth for developer Broken Rules.

  • 2

    Influencer news and insight

    Here are the five hottest stories from our sister-site InfluencerUpdate.biz for the last week.

    Caffeine CEO Ben Keighran on what sets the platform apart from other streaming services

    InfluencerUpdate.biz speaks to Caffeine CEO Ben Keighran six months after the platform’s launch on opening an EU office and setting itself apart from other broadcasting services.

    Second streamer suspended for use of homophobic and/or racist language

    Two prominent Twitch streamers have been banned for using homophobic and racial slurs during broadcasts.

    BBC turns to YouTubers to boost teen appeal

    A pair of popular YouTubers have been hired by the BBC to front a string of new shows aimed at the young teens audience.

    Captiv8’s influencer index is now free for everyone

    Data and insights outfit Captiv8 has made its influencer database available at no cost.

    What can IGTV learn from failed online video platforms?

    MobCrush’s Phil Ranta shares his thoughts on Instagram’s new video service IGTV, alongside some advice on what the platform can do to succeed.

  • 3

    Blockchain games news and insight

    Here are the five hottest stories from our sister-site BlockchainGamer.biz for the last week.

    How new RPG Cryptic Conjure is looking to shake up blockchain gaming

    “We’re impressed with designer, Jason Wishnov’s creative vision for Cryptic Conjure” – Fazri Zubair, CTO of Lucid Sight.

    Alto.Io on building the blockchain game ecosystem with its Cryptogame Challenge

    In March 2018, Altitude Games announced it would introduce a new company to help developers to build items and games in the realm of blockchain.

    Value of blockchain game tokens declined 27% in Q2 2018

    While the average performance across the 20 tokens is poor, down 27 per cent on average, four of them have demonstrated growth, albeit from a low base in most cases.

    BitGuild’s Jared Psigoda on making a blockchain game platform for everyone

    BitGuild is a decentralised gaming platform for blockchain based games, allowing users to play different games.

    Zombie Battleground breaks $250,000 Kickstarter target in two weeks

    In mid-June, its game Zombie Battleground was added to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter with the goal of raising $250,000 by its deadline in August.

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Dutch and Belgian CS:GO players can trade again but loot boxes are off-limits

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Dutch and Belgian CS:GO players can trade again but loot boxes are off-limits

Dutch and Belgian CS:GO players can trade again but loot boxes are off-limits

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Valve

July 13th, 2018 – 12:22pm
By Natalie Clayton, Staff Writer

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive item trading has returned in the Netherlands and Belgium at the expense of loot boxes.

Valve placed a barrier in the online shooter in June that barred Dutch players from trading items, whether between friends or on the marketplace. This was part of attempts to meet gambling restrictions placed on the game by the Netherlands’ gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit.

At the time, Valve stated it attempt would “find a solution that is less inconvenient”. The latest update to CS:GO has tried to find a solution by reenabling trading and marketplace purchases, but blocking players in the Netherlands and Belgium from buying cases and containers.

These loot boxes contain weapon skins and cosmetic stickers that are popular for resale on the marketplace.

Rather than cutting off item sharing entirely for Dutch and Belgian players, Valve appears to have solved the problem of loot box items being transferable by removing the source of those items – the boxes themselves.

The regulator had threatened to prosecute developers that did not implement changes before a June 20th deadline.

“Loot boxes contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are transferable,” it said. “Loot boxes do not contravene the law if the in-game goods from the loot boxes are not transferable.”

In neighboring France, a regulator recently ruled that loot boxes do not constitute gambling, though it will continue to monitor the situation.

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GOG.com in hot water over seemingly pro-GamerGate tweet Updated: GOG.com ap

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Updated: GOG.com apologises for accidental GamerGate tweet

GOG.com in hot water over seemingly pro-GamerGate tweet Updated: GOG.com ap

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GOG.com

July 19th, 2018 – 10:26am
By Alex Calvin, Editor – PC Games Insider

Update: GOG has responded to the criticism of its tweet. 

In a thread on Twitter, the company apologised, saying that it did not realise “the association between the image, the date, and an abusive movement.”

The firm has also said that its aim wasn’t to hate. 

We’d like to follow up on our recent tweet about Postal 2 to share our apology and a few thoughts:

— GOG.COM (@GOGcom) July 19, 2018

.

Original story: DRM-free PC games storefront GOG.com has found itself under fire after putting out a tweet that appears in favour of GamerGate.

The post- which has now been deleted – was meant to be promoting Postal 2: Paradise Lost, and depicted someone urinating on a tombstone with ‘Games Journalism’ on. So far, just crass, right?

The headstone continues ‘Committed Suicide, August 28, 2014’.

For those not in the know, this was the date that Leigh Alexander published the now-infamous ‘Gamers are Dead’ article that was seen to fan the fire of the then-burgeoning GamerGate movement… despite none of those involved seemingly having actually read the piece and thus missing… well, all of the nuance of Alexander’s well-designed argument. We deeply suspect that many just took the headline and decided to use that as a reason for their outrage – but that’s just us!

The tweet has resulted in media outlets such as Gamer Network’s VG247 pulling all coverage of the storefront. GOG.com had garnered a positive reputation for being the best alternative to Steam in the PC games space, something that it has – for lack of a better term – possibly pissed away.

While the tweet seems incredibly ill-advised regardless of the GamerGate connotations – especially in these times where the media is massively under fire – it is possible that whoever is manning the social media account simply didn’t notice the date and GamerGate references. That said, someone handling such community management work should definitely know better in 2018.

We’ve reached out to GOG.com for comment.

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