Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

Sony cashes in its FF chips

Posted by Peter Nickless On Monday 21 April 2014No Comments

Goodbyes are always hard.

It is well known that Sony runs its own game studios, funding and producing some of the biggest franchises (God of War, Uncharted, Gran Turismo) for its console brand, the PlayStation. But Sony has also had shares in other companies, including the Final Fantasy factory, Square Enix.

Although the PS4 has successfully launched, selling about seven million units so far, Sony itself has been struggling to show a profit for a few years now and its own shares have been relegated to junk status by ratings agency Moody’s as a result. Sony has had to cut costs by letting go of staff and selling off assets to concentrate on its core electronics and gaming business.

Siliconera has now reported that Sony has sold its 8.25% stake in Square Enix, worth around US $150 million. This should not only help the bottom line in the short term, but also provide Lightning with some cash to splash on chocobos and costume DLC. Square Enix has finally shown some promise in recent times with the relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV and the rerelease of last year’s successful Tomb Raider on PS4 and XBO.

It will be curious indeed to see how Sony, as well as emerging companies like Ouya, Amazon and Oculus, cope over the next few years, particularly if profits become hard to come by.

Ninty wants you to eat donuts and fall in love

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 20 April 2014No Comments

Nintendo may have churned out a dizzying array of new and original franchises during the 80s, but these days it is better known for relying on well established properties. It could even be argued that the Big N hasn’t launched a significant new brand since Wii Sports arrived alongside the Wii back in 2006. Naturally enough, Nintendo will be hoping to reverse the trend when it brings Tamodachi Life to the 3DS in June.

Already available in Japan, this slice of life simulator will be populated by the various Mii characters already living on your 3DS. According to Nintendo’s pre-release hype, you should expect to “Build a bustling fantasy population of friends, family and your favourite personalities from TV, movies and sports, as Mii characters come to life with their own voice and personality, all on one wild and hilarious island where there is something new to discover every time you check in.”

According to this early trailer for the game, it will also allow you to “eat donuts and fall in love”.

The Black List 241

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 19 April 2014No Comments

Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY JUST ANNOUNCED H1N1 > Why should Day Z have all the fun, or for that matter, make all the money? These could very well be the questions that led to the creation and subsequent announcement of H1Z1. Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) this week announced its own entry in the booming (seriously, there is still no end in sight) zombie subgenre, and its latest offering is certain to draw comparisons with the industry’s favourite mod. READ MORE

MONDAY NEWS First wave of Titanfall DLC incoming > Since the release of Titanfall in March, Repawn Entertainment has been quietly tinkering with its multiplayer show pony in an attempt to create a better experience for its fan base. While the current focus behind the scenes appears to be on improving matchmaking, the developer this week revealed the first significant wave of contents updates for its futuristic shooter. READ MORE

TUESDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Civilization: Beyond Earth > A new Civilization game has been announced. Civilization: Beyond Earth will challenge you to create a new society after the collapse of the old one. According to the Civilization website, you will “colonise an alien planet, research new technologies, amass mighty armies, build incredible Wonders and shape the face of your new world”. (That’s a lot of responsibility). READ MORE

WEDNESDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Severed > The team responsible for diabolically challenging action platformer Guacamelee is working on a new fantasy action project. While the developer’s previous releases have been more traditional in nature, Drink Box Studios is focusing its attention on the mobile arena this time around. READ MORE

THURSDAY NEWS Bungie sacks Halo composer > There are few sounds more closely associated with the original Xbox than the ethereal soundtrack of Halo. The man responsible for this iconic soundscape, Martin O’Donnell, went on to score several further instalments in this bestselling series for Bungie. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS TimeGate’s final game is still alive > When Gearbox Software quite justly received an avalanche of criticism for the embarrassingly amateurish Aliens: Colonial Marines, another company, TimeGate Studios, also found its good name being dragged through the mud. READ MORE

Atari and Human Head step in to save Minimum

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Friday 18 April 2014No Comments

When Gearbox Software quite justly received an avalanche of criticism for the embarrassingly amateurish Aliens: Colonial Marines, another company, TimeGate Studios, also found its good name being dragged through the mud.

Shortly after completing its contract work on the much-maligned shooter, the company laid off 25 employees (as reported by Bit-Tech).  TimeGate then announced an intriguing new shooter called Minimum.

For the cynically minded, it felt like the kind of announcement that generally bobs up just before a studio goes out of business. Sure enough, it was only another month before Polygon  reported that TimeGate had filed for bankruptcy protection. The story doesn’t end there, though, as Minimum is apparently still a going concern.

As reported by Polygon, the property is being revived and shepherded to market by Atari and Human Head Studios. Look for Minimum to begin its campaign via the Steam Early Access program.

This must qualify as a genuine ‘good news story’ for anyone who has been hoping against hope that the game would ever come out.