Jagex Adds Another Studio

Jagex has opened a new studio and is working on a brand new game. The free-to-play publisher recently celebrated Runescape reaching the 200 million players milestone.

“We actually do already have a small studio outside of Cambridge, and that’s working on a very experimental game,” said Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard. “We have the resources to add another studio, and we very much want to make more games than what we’ve committed to so far. But the quality mark is how many great games can we make a year, rather than how many we can make a year.”

Source: Develop

Indie Developers Vocalize Complaints Over Console Certification

Indie developers have often had a bumpy relationship with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Some prominent indie developers made their frustrations very specific in a recent article titled “How certification requirements are holding back console gaming.”

“The edge that both Apple and Valve have going into the future is that they both genuinely care about the end-user experience and want to make it as good as possible,” said Braid creator Jonathan Blow. “Which coincidentally seems to be the place that these consoles are handicapped due to their corporate culture. Can anyone look at the current 360 or PS3 dashboards and legitimately say that those are products of an entity that deeply cares about user experience ”

Blow contrasted the experience with the console manufacturers to Apple, saying, “There is almost no certification process for iOS, so by the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo theory, the apps should be crashing all the time, everyone should think of iOS as sucky, etc. But in fact this is not what is happening. There is no public outcry for more testing and robustness of iOS software.”

World Of Goo designer Ron Carmel was very negative describing working with Microsoft Studios on XBLA. “Contract negotiations [with Microsoft Studios] are drawn out and adversarial,” said Carmel. “I’ve heard many complaints about having to work with a producer, and their terms are the worst among all modern digital distribution channels.”

Derek Yu, creator of Spelunky, issued a warning about the expense in both time and money bringing his game to XBLA. “In my opinion, the entire process of console development is prohibitive-not just the expenses but also the selection process and the time invested into understanding the platform,” said Yu. “You should only do it if you have the resources and really want to be on a console.”

Source: Ars Technica

Google Launches This Exquisite Forest

This Exquisite Forest is an online collaborative art experiment presented by Google and Tate Modern; one person creates the “seed” animation and others build off of it. Find out more in this introduction and “making of” video.

Darksiders II: Behind The Mask – Your Death

Check out the final installment of the Darksiders II “Behind the Mask” series. Vigil discusses skill trees, magic, and nearly limitless loot, mixed with fast-paced combat allowing you to create and play “Your Death” this August.

Dive Into The World Of Beyond: Two Souls

PlayStation always strives to deliver engaging performances for its titles by utilizing incredible talent. Beyond: Two Souls pushes immersion to the next level by pairing top Hollywood talent with the latest in full performance capture technology.

At last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, Jeff Rubenstein sat down with Ellen Page, who’s playing the lead role of Jodie Holmes, and Quantic Dream writer/director David Cage. Click the video below to find out how this project came together.

To see more from Beyond: Two Souls, and meet some of the game’s other talent (including Kadeem Hardison), catch highlights from the Comic-Con panel here.

Beyond: Two Souls is a unique, psychological action thriller from the makers of the award-winning Heavy Rain. Featuring a brand-new game engine, a compelling, original story, and a top-notch Hollywood cast; Beyond: Two Souls promises to be one of the most immersive experiences on the PlayStation3.

Live the remarkable life of Jodie Holmes, a young woman who possesses supernatural powers through a psychic link to an invisible entity. Experience the most striking moments of Jodie’s life as your actions and decisions determine her fate. As she traverses the globe, Jodie will face incredible challenges against a backdrop of emotionally-charged events never before seen in a video game.

Star Trek Online Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of The Next Generation

As part of the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cryptic is offering some free, limited-time rewards to all players. Players can unlock a TNG Season 1 Uniform, Worf’s short hair and warrior goatee from TNG Season 1 options and Worf’s TNG Season 1 style Uniform Sash.

“From now until around 10am PDT on Tuesday, July 24, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, we’re running an in-game promotion where you can unlock free, special costume options for your characters,” says Matt Highison, Lead Character Artist for Star Trek Online. “Open your Mission Journal to accept a mini-mission that will ask you to go to speak with Worf in the Holodeck of either Starfleet or Klingon Academy.”

Source: sto.perfectworld.com

Sony’s Purchase Of Gaikai ‘Opens Doors’ Says Perry

You don’t have to look any further for how seriously the AAA game industry is taking cloud gaming in than the fact that Sony purchased Gaikai. Gaikai creator David Perry believes that the new Sony-owned Gaikai will be good for the industry and open a lot of doors.

“It’s going to make the publishers very happy, because the publishers like PC, but they love console. The message I kept getting back was, PC is cool, but I wish you could do this with console. That’s the real meat in our business. That would be really good,” says Perry. “Of course, we had to go, look at this new PC stuff we have. We had to keep avoiding the console question. It’s a very difficult question. If you look at the P&Ls of the publishers, that’s such an important piece of their business. We were like, don’t look over there. Focus on the PC. But the console question never went away. I had a major publisher recently say to me: ‘David, just to be clear, the iPhone is interesting to us. Not as interesting as console. PC Not as interesting as console. Just to be clear.'”

“The second thing they said was, if we’re going to put our biggest games on your service, I’ve got to know you’re going to have the financial muscle to support it,” he noted. “When you’re a start-up, it’s harder to answer that question. But when you’ve got Sony behind you, it’s very easy to answer that question. There are multiple things that have been solved in a single deal. It’s quite surprising.”

Now that Gaikai is aligned with Sony, it solves problems related to the console and also having and controller on hand. It means that Perry will have to think about a new set of problems.

“We were doing it the way you do it if you’re a VC. I have to start thinking differently now because I have one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world in our corner. So you have to think differently,” said Perry. “It’s going to open a lot of doors that just weren’t open before.”

Source: Eurogamer

Gree Opens Vancouver Studio

Gree announced that they are planning to open a new studio in Vancouver, complementing their push into North America which includes a new studio in San Francisco. This will be Gree’s seventh studio, and the company hopes it will release its first game in the next six to eight months.

“The goal for the Canadian studio is to merge the knowledge we gained from our recent successes with more experimental approaches,”  said Steve Lin, who will head up the studio. “We want to take some risks and come up with new games and ideas that will contribute to the ongoing evolution of the mobile game space.”

“The creative community in Vancouver has made tremendous contributions to the mobile and video game industry and we are looking forward to tapping into that talent pool and building a team of passionate innovators,” added Lin.

Find out more about Gree expanding into North America in this [a]list interview.

Source: Develop

Mojang Sued Over Patent Infringement

Uniloc is suing Mojang for patent infringement for a “System And Method For Preventing Unauthorized Access To Electronic Data”. Allegations include, but aren’t limited to, Minecraft incorrectly identified as “Mindcraft” — for his part, Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson is approaching the issue with his usual outspoken nature.

“Step 1: Wake up. Step 2: Check email. Step 3: See we’re being sued for patent infringement. Step 4: Smile,” Persson tweeted. “If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don’t get a cent,” he continued. “Software patents are just plain evil. Innovation within software is basically free, and it’s growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down.”

“I am fine with the concept of ‘owning stuff’, so I’m against theft . . . I am mostly fine with the concept of ‘selling stuff you made’, so I’m also against copyright infringement . . . But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas,” Persson wrote later. “Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.”

Persson said that patents make sense in areas of science and medicine, but he called patents for software “counterproductive” among other descriptors.

“A common argument for patents is that inventors won’t invent unless they can protect their ideas. The problem with this argument is that patents apply even if the infringer came up with the idea independently,” said Persson. “If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first ”

“If you own a software patent, you should feel bad,” he added.

Source: Notch.Tumblr.com