Halloween, Scream Movie Studio Getting into Games

Halloween

The film studio behind Halloween, Grindhouse, and Scary Movie is getting into the games business, opening the door for new videogames based on its properties.

The Weinstein Company announced today the creation of TWC Games, a label formed with the help of videogame consultancy firm Beefy Media. The deal will help TWC Games to find developers and publishers to produce its new games which, from the sound of it, might have a focus on the digital side of the industry.

“The video game marketplace is changing at such a rapid rate,” said Weinstein co-chairman Bob Weinstein. “With all of the digital platforms, there are so many opportunities to broaden our audience with compelling, high quality, cost-efficient, video game entertainment.”

The Weinstein brothers co-founded Miramax Films in 1979, which would go on to distribute Clerks and Pulp Fiction before being sold to Disney. The duo then formed TWC in 2005. Some of TWC’s properties are specifically mentioned in the announcement, including Scream, Hellraiser, Halloween, Scary Movie, and Children of the Corn. With the exception of Scary Movie, the company clearly has a sizable stable of horror films to based its videogames on. Given the success of Dead Space and Resident Evil, that could be a genre that TWC Games chooses to focus on. It’s also possible the fact that primarily horror films were highlighted is simply a coincidence.

Were a Halloween game made, it wouldn’t be the first. There was an Atari 2600 game released in 1983 based on the original movie. And although its box art featured the same images as the movie’s posters, the game itself was devoid of any further connection to the big-screen version, including character names. Some imagination was required to connect the game’s knife-wielding antagonist to Michael Myers, who went unnamed in the manual.

Halloween Atari 2600 game

“Mobile, social, and console platforms” are noted as the potential platforms for TWC Games, so it’s at least claiming it won’t exclusively focus on retail console releases or Facebook games. Beefy Media will “oversee all production aspects of the games.” A post on Beefy’s blog notes, “[W]e have a bunch of products in development,” although you probably shouldn’t count on hearing about the particulars anytime soon.

By Chris Pereira

Halo 4 downloadable content schedule outlined for January, February in Halo Waypoint bulletin

Halo 4 on Xbox 360 Image / Screenshot

Halo 4 Image

As if 2012 wasn’t filled to the brim with Halo 4, in just two short months I mind you, it looks like 2013 is going to get a lot, well, fuller. Today, 343 Industries outlined its January and February plans for their blockbuster, including a map pack, title update, and more Spartan Ops episodes.

Below is an excerpt from the Halo Waypoint blog update that outlines the upcoming Halo 4 updates:

Week of 1/21

Spartan Ops Episode 6: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.

"Forge Test" playlist (name not final): A rotational hopper featuring small Forge maps such as Relay. Help us test these maps by providing feedback and reporting bugs that will assist us in getting them ready for Matchmaking!

Specializations: Pioneer and Pathfinder Specializations unlocked for all players.

Week of 1/28

Spartan Ops Episode 7: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.

Grifball playlist: A rotational hopper featuring everybody’s favorite virtual sport. Catch the disease!

Specializations: Engineer and Stalker Specializations unlocked for all players.

Week of 2/4

Spartan Ops Episode 8: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.

Team Doubles playlist: A rotational hopper for those of you that like action of the 2 vs 2 variety.

Specializations: Rogue and Tracker Specializations unlocked for all players.

The bulletin also confirmed the “Majestic Map Pack,” which will contain “two small maps and a medium-sized one,” that will likely be released to the public on February 25, though 343 did not confirm anything. There will also be updates to playlists that contain new modes for players to chew on, including FFA and a "new and improved version of Team Snipers."

So there you have it; it looks like there will be no shortage to Halo 4 action in the opening months of 2013. The only question is: do you have time for all this Halo?

Source: [Halo Waypoint]

Tags: Halo 4, Xbox 360, gaming, 343 Industries, Microsoft

By Tate Steinlage

Treyarch working on Black Ops 2 leaderboard issues

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC Image / Screenshot

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Image

Upon logging intoCall of Duty: Black Ops 2,you may have noticed an issue with the leaderboard statsbeing reset in the multiplayer and Zombies modes. Treyarch is reportedly "aware" of the issues and working to fix them.

While players' combat records still show the total time played, as well as their kill/death ratio and win/loss ratios, these aren't reflected in the leaderboard stats. Given the competitive nature of manyCall of Duty players, it's easy to understand their frustrations. Treyarch hasn't ignored their complaints.

"Since this morning's backend update, we've been made aware of leaderboard issues that some are having," Treyarch said. "Currently working through server side issues re leaderboards."

"They'll be re-enabled as soon as we've fixed the issue," Treyarch concluded. Unfortunately, the studio could offer no timetable for when the leaderboard issue would be fixed. We hope it's soon, but we'll be sure to keep you updated.

Tags: Call of Duty, Black Ops 2

By Matt Liebl

Double Fine’s The Cave lands next week

The Cave on PS3, Wii U, PC, and Xbox 360 Image / Screenshot

The Cave

Game director Ron Gilbert tweeted today that Double Fine's platform-adventure game The Cave will be available starting January 22.

It's releasing first for PlayStation Network and Wii U and will follow on January 23 for Xbox Live Arcade and Steam for PC, plus Mac and Linux on Steam Play. It costs $14.99.

The Cave borrows concepts from Gilbert's early graphic adventure game, Maniac Mansion.

Follow @wita on Twitter.

Tags: Double Fine, The Cave

By Stephanie Carmichael

PAX to Highlight These Ten Indie Games in August

Atom Zombie Smasher

In an effort to get some additional exposure for certain indie games (rather than focus only on the huge, triple-A games you’ll be exposed to advertisements for online, on TV, etc.), the Penny Arcade Expo highlights ten indie games at PAX Prime. This year’s lineup, selected by industry experts from a list of more than 100 choices, has been announced today and includes some really good titles.

“Every year the showcase of new indie gems are one of the highlights of the show,” said Penny Arcade’s Robert Khoo in today’s announcement. “In always chasing the next big blockbuster, too much of our industry is dedicated to making the same game over and over again. The PAX 10 is one way that indies with innovative game concepts can get in front of the community.”

Each of the ten games will get free booth space at PAX Prime. Last year’s event saw more than 67,000 people attend; that’s a tremendous amount of attention these indie games are being offered that they otherwise might not have the capability of garnering. That’s not for lack of deserving it, though — Jamestown is a really fun, cool-looking shooter and I’ve played hours of Atom Zombie Smasher since picking it up on Steam earlier this week. Both of those are currently on sale on Steam, as is Solar 2.

Jamestown

The complete list of the PAX 10 follows below. You can find out more at the official PAX Prime website here. This year’s show takes place from August 26 through August 28 in Seattle, Washington.

  • A Flipping Good Time – PC

  • Antichamber – PC
  • Atom Zombie Smasher – PC
  • Fez – Xbox Live Arcade
  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony – PC
  • Snapshot – PC
  • Solar 2 – PC
  • Splatters – PC
  • Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare – PC
  • Word Fighter – iOS/Android

By Chris Pereira

Electronic Arts laying off about 5% – 11% of its staff

Mass Effect 3 on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U Image / Screenshot

Mass Effect 3 Image

Things just aren't going that well for EA. From being nominated as the worst company in America, to one of the worst fan backlashes in history thanks to Mass Effect 3's ending, things just don't seem to be looking up. It also seems that the publisher is planning to lay off 500 – 1000 employees, and this might come as early as next week. Ouch.

This all seems to be stemming from the massive amounts of money EA seems to have lost. During the quarter that ended on December 31st, one of the most crucial periods due to the holiday shopping, it was reported that they have lost $205 million, and the previous quarter had losses all the way up to $340 million.

To top it all off, the company's shares are down 21.5 percent to $16.18, and the stock lost 70 percent of its value over the last five years.

I'm assuming a lot of gamers everywhere are rejoicing to see that the publisher of all publishers aren't having the biggest of successes, but at the same time, it's important to note a lot of good people will lose their jobs, and in this job market, that's a terrifying notion.

[CNET]

Tags: Electronic Arts, Mass Effect 3

By Mike Splechta

UCube exclusive interview

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 Image / Screenshot

GameZone was able to check out the awesome mobile media center, U Cube. This mobile station includes five 50' high definition TV's, leather seating, theater lights and surround sound for each of the stations. The trailer also has the ability to plus in two additional stations outside of it.

They're also able to supply any gaming needs you might require. Want it to be an all Xbox 360 party? You got it. Want to diversify? That's fine too, as you can have 360's, PS3 and Wii's available. They even cater to motion gaming crowd with Kinect and PS Move as well. Since they're partnering with GameStop, they're also never short of popular games that you might want to have at your event.

UCube is based in South Florida and specializes in any kind of event, be it from a birthday party, a bachelor party, to a business party. They're able to cater to whatever you require.

By Mike Splechta

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