Publisher Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Publisher RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Former PS4 exclusive Rime resurfaces with new publisher Sat, 13 Aug 2016 05:37:37 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

Grey Box and Six Foot have announced they will partner with developer Tequila Works to publish the studio's long-awaited title Rime.

Unveiled at Sony's Gamescom press conference, the game stars a young boy shipwrecked on an island after a storm. However, it seems development since it's announcement back in 2013, has been less than smooth sailing.

Sony was originally on board to publish the title, but Tequila Works reacquired the rights to the IP earlier this year. It's unclear whether creative differences between the companies was to blame or whether the developer wanted the freedom to bring Rime to other platforms.

With its young male protagonist and vibrant cel-shaded world, Rime has drawn considerable comparisons to PlayStation exclusive ICO. Despite the lengthy development period, details on Rime are still pretty scarce, but Tequila Works has promised players "a meaningful journey filled with discovery".

Rime is slated for a release sometime in 2017. The change in publisher means it's unlikely to remain a PS4 exclusive. However, further details on platform availability won't be announced until the beginning of next year.

EA Publisher Sale Underway for Xbox Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:49:26 -0500 Eric Adams

Attention Xbox and EA fans! The EA Publisher Sale has officially hit the Xbox marketplace, and it includes deals on a select number of EA gaming titles. The sale includes discounts up to 60% off certain games, including Battlefield and Need for Speed. The sale is currently underway and will continue to run through February 8th.

The one-week sale includes deals for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. There are lots of new new titles, bestsellers, and even seven backwards compatible games. Xbox Live Gold members will also save up to an additional 10% along with the original game discounts. So now would be a wise time to snag a Gold membership.

You can visit the EA Publisher Sale on the official Xbox website, as well as starting today. As mentioned above, the sale runs from February 2nd to February 8th

What games will you be picking up during the Publisher Sale? Let me know down in the comments!

USC is breaking into game publishing Sat, 30 Jan 2016 03:37:22 -0500 Jessa Rittenhouse

The University of Southern California has one of the best programs in the world for game design -- and now they'll be publishing games, too. 

In a feature on Wired, USC games director Tracy Fullerton announced the university's intention to publish its students' works -- and eventually games from the wider development community. Students at the school have been creating games for a while now and many of us have played them -- games like Fl0w, The Unfinished Swan, and The Misadventures of P. B. Winterbottom. Unfortunately, many of those games haven't received the widespread attention that they may have deserved -- a fate suffered by a lot of small indie developers. It is the the intention of USC Games to change that, as Fullerton explains: 

“Curation is one of the most important things that players deserve these days. There’s a tremendous amount of content available for people to find, and yet it’s very difficult to find. One of the ways that … this label that we’re establishing can participate is by curating important voices, really innovative work, and putting it out there under our publishing label.”

USC already has a reputation for a design program that produces developers who like to break the mold with games like The Misadventures of P. B. Winterbottom. Now they'll be publishing these games, too.

 It's Not About the Money

With a highly successful design program bringing the university worldwide recognition, it's tempting to believe that such a move is about profit. According to Fullerton, this couldn't be further from the truth.

"We are not expecting to make a profit. We hope that what we reap from this is cultural recognition of this form. When people look to academic publishers in the print area, you look at someone like an MIT Press. These are not books that are going to necessarily be on The New York Times best-seller list, but these are books that are important, that need to be out there in the zeitgeist. I feel like we can do something similar here with games.”

The games that USC Games will publish, Fullerton insists, are each "pieces of art in their own right," and the intention is to treat them that way -- creative control will always be in the hands of the developers.

The games the publishing company will launch with are certainly not the recycled concepts often churned out by the AAA companies. Chambara, for instance, is a multiplayer fighting game that takes place entirely in a world of black and white. The combatants can blend into the environment and only be seen by the opposing player if they change their camera angle. This undergraduate student project has already won a BAFTA Award - an honor it shares with such big name titles like Far Cry 4 and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

A Space for Creative Voices

With student projects that have gained worldwide recognition, it's not difficult to believe in Fullerton's seemingly earnest declaration that this company isn't about profit, but instead about demonstrating the possibilities open to young people who are willing to use their creativity to challenge the standards of the gaming industry and try new and daring things. The real question is whether or not such a practice will be sustainable in an industry unaccustomed to giving such unrestrained freedom to the developers whose creativity help to shape it.

What do you think? Can USC Games bring to the table that other big companies lack? Will it stay small and be relatively obscure, or do you think it has the potential to become an industry game-changer? Share your thoughts in the comments.

How Video Game Industry Money Could Change Let's Play Videos Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:14:19 -0400 Chris_Lemus

YouTube has a community of video gamers that is growing due to the popularity of “Let’s Play” videos. This community of YouTube channels help promote creative and innovative content from the games that personalities choose to play. The social media site is a medium with organic roots not attached to any influence other than the viewers.

But the video game industry is noticing the popularity of gaming videos on YouTube as a money-making opportunity.

“I’m not really aware of any games site for whom coverage of your game will result in an immediately noticeable sales spike,” Postitech Games developer Cliff Harris told Forbes. “But I have seen that with a YouTube Let’s Play.” In response, the industry is cashing in by offering chances for YouTube channels to make more money than what a YouTube Partner Program could offer.

According to Reelseo, channels that qualify for the YouTube Partner Program may earn on average between $0.30 and $2.50 per every thousand views before Youtube takes a 45 percent cut of the earnings.

Unless a channel is one of the 1,000 most popular on the website, it is hard to make a comfortable living from only YouTube. This is why the idea of taking money from developers is attractive.

Instead of making a video of a game chosen by the channel that will earn anywhere between $45 to $375 for having 150,000 views according to Reelseo’s average, the YouTube page could instead receive a lump sum anywhere in excess of $2,000 for playing a game the way it’s developer or publisher wants the personality to.

The thought that video game companies would consider paying YouTube channels regardless of their opinion is generous. It’s basic business: paying for a negative or fake Let’s Play experience only results in a loss of profits, compared to paying for a positive review which leads to video game sales.

In regards to Let’s Play videos, where gamers provide commentary of capture footage they took from playing the game, there are not many ethical questions that may be asked when YouTubers accept industry money. While the exchange of money for these videos is not problematic, viewers should be critical about how money could influence the clips they watch.

When a company pays for a Let’s Play, they not only creating a form of advertising, they buy the rights to creative licensing. The industry influences the content to raise the potential profit of video game sales from the clip. In essence, the money developers and publishers give to the channel comes with a gate, and the companies are the gatekeepers. 

This situation was a scenario Daniel Hardcastle lived. Known as NerdCubed on YouTube, he admitted to taking money only once for a Need for Speed video. His concern throughout the making of his video was not about his opinion, but whether the style of content in the video would be accepted by the company so that he would be paid.  This worry over content no longer supplies the demand for what viewers want to see. Instead, it caters to what the industry wants viewers to see, whether the content is natural to the channel or not.  According to a Gamasutra survey of 141 video game YouTube channels, publishers are going after channels with more than 5,000 subscribers. Amongst these channels, 26 percent admitted to taking money to record videos. This population could be more, as five percent of those surveyed chose not to answer.

While the survey does not say if these YouTube channels took money for a review or a Let’s Play video, 26 percent of channels with a notable following were influenced to act in some way other than their own like NerdCubed. Theoretically, if one third of the most popular video game channels on YouTube had their content influenced by video game companies, then viewers are essentially just seeing more trailers governed and controlled by the industry.

YouTube is freedom of expression by gamers for gamers. The viewers of video game channels are entertained by not only the style of commentary from the personality, but also enjoy a small taste of the game being played. If channels want to make money while creating content, then both creators and viewers should be critical about a YouTube page’s intentions and influences when making videos.

Demon Gaze Receives Release Date for the PS Vita Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:33:47 -0500 Courtney Gamache

The upcoming PS Vita dungeon-crawling RPG game Demon Gaze has been given a release date by publisher NIS. Playing this highly animated RPG game, you'll find that not even Runescape will stand a chance.

When's the release date?

It may seem a bit far away, but Demon Gaze will hit retailers and the PlayStation store April 22nd in North America and April 25th in Europe. Many people have looked forward to this release since the announcement last summer, and the release in Japan during January 2013. Many screenshots of Demon Gaze have been put up, and you can check on them here.

This animated game may look a bit familiar since the developer is Kadokawa Games, whom are working on another PS3 and PS4 RPG game called Natural Doctrine. The title might look a bit tempting, but the west will have to wait for the release date announcement.

Will you be picking up the RPG game Demon Gaze when you have the chance? How do you feel about Sony RPG games? Comment below!

PS4: Sony Rakes In The Dev Support! Mon, 17 Jun 2013 11:32:26 -0400 Corey Kirk

Going into last week’s E3 conference, many analysts were wondering if Sony would go the same road as Microsoft with their latest console, especially in the area of independent developer support. Would we, as gamers, be doomed to have a console that rejects smaller studios, and shuns all but those with names like Infinity Ward or TreArch? Would we continue to see the same cycle of sequel after sequel, or could we look forward to fresh new IPs made by passionate devs working out of an office in their house? Well the numbers are in and it looks like Sony has gained the support of independent developers.

In a press release, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has announced that the number of development studios joining the PlayStation 4 family has increased from 126 to 505 since February 2013, with the biggest increase coming from independent studios excited for the PS4. 

While we will have to wait and see if this translates into several new, innovative games over the next year, the support for the PS4 by indie devs is undeniable and Sony’s commitment to smaller studios is clearly being seen.  On the PS4, indie devs will be able to self-publish which will provide those who do not have a formal publisher a road to success.  On the Xbox One, a formal publisher is required.  With the PS4, indie devs will be able to set their own pricing. With the Xbox One, they are bound by Microsoft’s pricing guidelines.

With many months to go before the release of any new console, Sony continues to ride its momentum with the PS4. If Microsoft wants to keep up, it needs to start listening to its fans, consumers, and indie developers alike, or be left behind in the console race.

Are you a supporter of independent developers? What do you think about Sony’s apparent lead over Microsoft?  Comment Below!