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    Square Enix talks 1080p for Murdered on Xbox One/PS4 and why there's no Wii U version

    By GameSpot,




    During a recent interview with GameSpot, representatives for Square Enix and Airtight Games explained why Murdered: Soul Suspect is 1080p on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and discussed the reasoning behind not releasing the upcoming action game for Nintendo's Wii U.


    Explaining the decision to make both the Xbox One and PS4 versions output in 1080p, Airtight Games chief creative officer Matt Brunner said, "We're trying to keep a consistency across all the platforms." Square Enix producer Naoto Sugiyama confirmed that both versions output in native 1080p and are not upscaled to the higher resolution. Presumably, however, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game will output in something less than 1080p.


    We also quizzed Brunner about why Murdered: Soul Suspect is not coming to Wii U. According to Brunner, the best Wii U games are the ones designed from the ground up for the system.


    "In all honesty, all the Wii U games I've ever played, the only good ones are the ones that are made specifically for [the Wii U]. And this just doesn't fit," Brunner said.


    The Wii U also has a small install base, relative to consoles and PC. The Xbox 360 and PS3 have combined for more than 160 million sales to date, while the Xbox One and PS4 together total more than 8.3 million systems sold worldwide so far. As for the Wii U, that system has sold only 5.86 million units as of December 31.


    Murdered: Soul Suspect launches this June for consoles and PC. The game is set in Salem, Massachusetts, the location of the Salem witch trials in 1692, which saw public executions of those convicted of witchcraft. The story begins with protagonist Ronan O'Connor's death at the hands of an unknown assailant. He must then interrogate the ghosts of Salem to learn more about his killer.


    For more on the game, be sure to read GameSpot's just-published hands-on preview.


    Source: GameSpot

    Wolfenstein: The New Order is 1080p/60fps on Xbox One and PS4

    By GameSpot,




    Wolfenstein: The New Order, the upcoming installment in the iconic shooter series, will run in 1080p on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Bethesda has confirmed.


    Bethesda marketing executive Pete Hines told GameSpot today that the 1080p resolution for both platforms is its native resolution. It's not upscaled from a lower resolution, as is the case with the Xbox One version of Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Ghosts.


    In addition, Hines confirmed that Wolfenstein: The New Order runs at 60 frames-per-second on both the Xbox One and PS4. As such, both versions should have visual parity, but we won't know for certain until the game launches on May 20.


    Wolfenstein: The New Order is currently in development at Swedish studio Machine Games and is coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. Preordering the game guarantees you a place in the upcoming beta for Doom 4, which is now known simply as Doom.


    For more on Wolfenstein: The New Order, be sure to check out GameSpot's hands-on preview of the game from editor Maxwell McGee.


    Source: GameSpot

    Xbox One indie program adds 65 new developers to its ranks

    By GameSpot,




    Microsoft's Xbox One self-publishing indie program ID&Xbox continues to grow. The company today named 65 new members to group, including the likes of Tony Hawk developer Robomodo, Castle Crashers creator The Behemoth, and Limbo developer Playdead.


    Writing on the Xbox Wire, [email protected] program director Chris Charla said with the addition of today's 65 new members, total enrollment in the program stands at more than 200 developers. Previously confirmed members include Crysis developer Crytek and Naughty Bear creator Behaviour Interactive, among many others.


    "Honestly, when I look at this list, all I can say is 'wow.' It's incredibly humbling to see so many fantastic studios there supporting Xbox One," Charla said.


    No [email protected] games have been released yet for Xbox One, but Charla said the first titles to launch through the program are currently going through certification. Charla also teased that Microsoft continues to look for new ways to "improve the creation process" for [email protected] members with new processes and tools. Updates on both fronts will come soon.


    Microsoft's long-term goal is enable every Xbox One console to be used as a development kit, the company has said previously. Charla's comments today certainly sound like he's teasing news about when this functionality might become available.


    Below is a list of the 65 developers joining the [email protected] program today.


    • 4gency
    • A Crowd of Monster
    • Alientrap Games
    • The Behemoth
    • BetaDwarf
    • Big Ant Studios
    • Bloober Team
    • Blowfish Studios
    • Brain in a Jar
    • Brushfire Games
    • Cherry Pop Games Ltd
    • Codeglue
    • Code-Monkeys
    • Compulsion Games
    • Crunching Koalas
    • Deco Digital
    • Empty Clip Studios
    • Escalation Studios
    • EXOR Studios
    • FarSight Studios
    • Fatshark
    • Flix Interactive
    • Four Door Lemon Ltd
    • Frambosa
    • Frima
    • Glass Bottom Games
    • HB Studios
    • Headup Games
    • Heart Machine
    • Holmade Games
    • Humble Hearts LLC
    • I Fight Bears
    • Implausible Industries
    • Iridium Studios
    • iSquared Games Ltd
    • Larian Studios
    • Mediatonic
    • MeinMein
    • Mighty Rabbit Studios
    • Mimimi Productions
    • nDreams Ltd
    • NeocoreGames
    • No Goblin
    • n-Space
    • Piwot
    • Pixel Balloon
    • Playdead
    • Rebellion
    • Relentless Software
    • RetroCoders
    • Ripstone
    • Robomodo
    • Ska Studios
    • Smudged Cat Games Ltd
    • Snowrunner
    • Spry Fox
    • Tiny Castle Studios
    • Toxic Games
    • Vector Unit
    • Vertigo Games BV
    • VooFoo Studios
    • Warhorse Studios
    • WaterMelon
    • Xona Games
    • Zoë Mode


    Source: GameSpot

    Violent game makers would be denied tax credit under new reform blueprint

    By GameSpot,




    The United States Congress this week released a blueprint for a top-to-bottom overhaul of the American tax system, offering up a variety of tax benefits for businesses. That's the good news. But the document, released by the House Ways and Means Committee, also calls out one major potential problem area for video game developers like Activision and Electronic Arts.


    The Tax Reform Act of 2014 includes an "improved, permanent R&D tax credit," which architects of the blueprint like Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan) say will give American companies the "certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives."


    However, on page 24 of the Tax Reform Act of 2014, the document plainly states that this R&D tax credit will not be available for companies that make "violent" video games. The blueprint includes a provision for "preventing makers of violent video games from qualifying for the R&D tax credit." It's unclear what parameters would be used to decide what is "violent" and what is not or why video games were specifically called out.


    The very next page of the document states that the Tax Reform Act of 2014 will close loopholes and stop the practice of using the tax code to "pick winners and losers based on political power rather than economic merit." But, as The Washington Examiner points out, if every industry gets to keep the R&D tax credit except the video game business, how is that not picking winners and losers?


    In a landmark 2011 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that video games--violent or not--are a form of art and are entitled to freedom of speech protections. The removal of the R&D tax credit for violent game developers would no doubt face an uphill battle given this precedent.


    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that he would welcome the beginning of a discussion concerning tax reform, but made clear that Congress isn't likely to make any real moves on the subject this year.


    Video games have been a topic of discussion in Washington for a long time, but the debate has risen to the fore following the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut. US president Barack Obama has even ordered research be conducted into the connection between gaming and violent behavior.


    Source: GameSpot

    New Tony Hawk game is coming to mobile, not console

    By GameSpot,




    If you were hoping the newly announced Tony Hawk game would be coming to consoles like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, sorry, you're out of luck. The legendary skateboarder himself has confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that the new project is coming exclusively to mobiles.


    "We're working on a mobile game now," Hawk said about his partnership with Activision for the new project. "We're working on a game for mobile devices this year."


    Hawk reiterated that he's enthusiastic about bringing the new Tony Hawk game to mobile because that's where people today are spending so much of their time.


    "We've never gone exclusively that direction yet so I'm excited because, with the amount of time people are spending on their phones and their tablets playing games, we've never had our own game in that space so I'm excited to provide one finally," he said.


    The new Tony Hawk game for mobiles won't be the first game in the series for smartphones and tablets, as a port of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is available right now on iTunes for $2. But from the way Hawk described the new game, it sounds like it's an original title, not a port of a previous game.


    Activision has yet to formally announce the new Tony Hawk game, but the publisher told GameSpot earlier this month that it will have more to share on the subject soon.


    The most recent game in the series was 2012's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, which was developed by Robomodo and launched for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. It's unclear which developer is behind the upcoming Tony Hawk game for mobiles.


    Source: GameSpot

    Ubisoft removes swastikas from German version of South Park RPG

    By GameSpot,




    The German version of South Park: The Stick of Truth, the upcoming role-playing game from Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment, will not feature any swastikas, Ubisoft has confirmed. The Nazi symbols were discovered by VG247 during a recent play-through.


    "With regards to the German version, all Nazi symbols have been removed from the game in accordance with German law," an Ubisoft representative told the site.


    South Park: The Stick of Truth is not only censored in Germany, but also many other regions worldwide. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that various anal probing and abortion scenes had been censored for the United Kingdom, European, and Middle Eastern versions of the game.


    The South Park franchise, created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is known for pushing the envelope, so it comes as little surprise that their original vision for the game would have to be pared back somewhat to meet specific regional guidelines.


    In the United States, South Park: The Stick of Truth is rated M-for-Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Below is a selection of the ESRB's content description for the game.


    Cutscenes occasionally depict “cartoony” characters dismembered or decapitated. The game includes several instances of mature humor and sexual material: one extended sequence depicts characters getting anally probed by alien creatures; another sequence (in an abortion clinic) depicts doctors using a vacuum to perform procedures on male characters; one level takes place inside the rectum/colon of a character (sex toys, random objects and fecal matter appear in the level)—all sequences are depicted in a cartoony and over-the-top manner. Characters are occasionally depicted nude (e.g., breasts, buttocks, male genitalia); one extended sequence depicts an out-of-focus couple having sex in the background; as players engage in turn-based battle in the foreground, sexual moaning sounds/dialogue is heard. During the course of the game, drug paraphernalia can be seen strewn around a methamphetamine lab. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” “a*shole,” and “f*ggot” can be heard in the dialogue.


    South Park: The Stick of Truth launches March 4 for PC and consoles. Be sure to check out our newly published preview of The Stick of Truth, written by GameSpot editor Mark Walton. He says, "South Park: The Stick of Truth is shaping up to be every bit as crude, offensive, and poorly animated as the legendary TV show."


    Source: GameSpot

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