Shawn Layden, in the foreground, at The Game Awards last year | The Game Awards/Twitch
SIE Worldwide Studios head was with Sony for three decades
PlayStation worldwide studios head Shawn Layden is “departing,” according to a company tweet.
The tweet reads: “It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!”
A graduate of Notre Dame, Layden, 58, has been with Sony for more than three decades. Beginning in public relations in 1987, he worked as an assistant to Sony founder Akio Morita. Then he worked as a Tokyo-based producer, subsequently rising through the ranks to hold senior positions such as chief operating officer and then president of PlayStation in the United States.
He has become a regular fixture at public-facing events such as E3 and The Game Awards, especially as Sony ramps up toward the launch of PlayStation 5.
Layden began his tenure as head of worldwide studios in 2016. His most recent achievement was the purchase of developer Insomniac, which was brought into the company’s first-party studio system.
Neither Layden’s Twitter account nor his LinkedIn page makes any mention of his departure.
A spokesperson for Sony told Polygon that there is “no other information at this moment,” apart from the original tweet. But questions are bound to be raised by the suddenness of this announcement, the lack of context in Sony’s statement, and the lack of a stated plan for a replacement. We’ll have more on this as it emerges.
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford previously said the voice actor turned the role down
Tales from the Borderlands actor Troy Baker, who played Rhys Strongfork in Telltale Games’ adventure game, “turned down” the role in Borderlands 3, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said earlier this year. But what he left out was that it was because Gearbox reportedly refused a union agreement that would allow Baker to work on the game.
Baker told VG247 that he turned down the role because Gearbox “wouldn’t go union.”
The voice actor is a member of American labor union SAG-AFTRA, which fights for fair treatment of workers in the industry — in 2017, the union reached a deal that ended an 11-month strike against video game companies.
“I can’t do a non-union gig,” Baker said. Union members can only accept union work.
And without getting too deep into the weeds of that, we had long conversations about this. We always knew going into it, that this was going to be the thing. They were going to take these characters, and put them from the Tales from the Borderlands series from Telltale, into Borderlands proper. I’ve been waiting for this call. They were like, “Do you want to do this?” And I said, “Yes” They never, because they would never move from that position. I’m not mad. It’s invariably a completely different character, but it still stings.
SAG-AFTRA released a statement confirming Gearbox “refused and disengaged” from union talks.
“The misguided decision by Gearbox to deny their performers the opportunity to have fair union wages, a safe workplace and the possibility of health care coverage for their families, is unfortunate,” a SAG-AFTRA representation said in a statement to Polygon.
We’ve reached out to Gearbox for comment regarding the union agreement and will update when the company responds.
Baker voiced Joel in The Last of Us and will reprise his role in The Last of Us Part 2, due out in 2020. He’s also known for his roles in Uncharted, Mortal Kombat 11, and BioShock Infinite.
Gearbox didn’t purchase the game’s music when it acquired Duke Nukem 3D, according to the suit
Composer Bobby Prince is suing Gearbox and its CEO, Randy Pitchford, for using the Duke Nukem 3D music without proper acquisition. Valve Corporation is also being sued for distributing Duke Nukem 3D World Tour on Steam and allegedly ignoring a takedown notice from Prince. The composer is asking for “maximum statutory damages per infringement.”
Prince composed the music for Duke Nukem 3D, which was released in 1996, and its sound effects and “dialog recordings,” according to the lawsuit filed in Tennessee court over the weekend. The suit was first reported by PC Gamer. Music was licensed through Duke Nukem’s original developer, Apogee, Prince alleges in the lawsuit. The agreement gave the developer “limited right” to using Prince’s copyrighted music “in exchange for a royalty equal to $1 per unit sold.”
Developer Apogee never owned Duke Nukem 3D’s music, so when Gearbox acquired rights to the Duke Nukem games in 2010, the music didn’t go with it, Prince alleges. When Prince learned that Gearbox would publish Duke Nukem 3D World Tour, the 20th anniversary edition of the game, he contacted Pitchford “and informed him that Gearbox would need to send him royalties” should it use the Duke Nukem 3D music Prince composed. Pitchford reportedly responded that it would be “taken care of,” according to the filing.
Duke Nukem 3D World Tour was released on Oct. 11, 2016. Prince alleges he’s not received royalties for use of the music in the released game, despite Gearbox apparently knowing about the music’s ownership. Prince says a takedown notice was issued to Valve on Feb. 8, 2018 and was subsequently ignored. Prince is looking for “maximum statutory damages per infringement,” or “actual damages” and Gearbox’s profits, as well as attorney’s fees and “an injunction prohibiting [Gearbox and Valve] from infringing his copyrights.”
Neither Gearbox nor Valve have responded to Polygon’s inquiry before publication time.
Pokemon Eggs are not something new to the community and as we all know they are very important and we all give our best to hatch as many 2KM, 5KM, 7KM and 10 KM Eggs as we can and eventually hatch the Pokemon we need. There are two Egg Pools in the game, the 2km, …
The post Pokemon Go Players “Eggs have Become More Like Loot Boxes” appeared first on Future Game Releases.
Bethesda Softworks / Zenimax via Brent “CJ Martin” Fairchild
CJ Martin will see you now
A man robed in full protective gear raises his gamma gun and takes aim at a woman’s butt. As his finger pulls the trigger, green shockwaves pass through the target and bounce around the walls of the clinic. The patient wants to change her character’s genome, in the hopes it’ll give her an advantage in Fallout 76 — and the doctor is more than happy to oblige. He’s not even going to charge her for the consultation. It’s just another day in the world of CJ Martin, Fallout 76’s most dedicated role-player.
Brent “CJ Martin” Fairchild has been playing Fallout 76 since launch day, but he hasn’t finished the game’s tutorial. Instead, since day one, CJ Martin has donned medical scrubs and lab coats, dedicating himself to be the closest thing that Fallout 76 has to a non-playable character. He dispenses lore, quests, and restorative items for those anyone in need. He plays the part well, partially because the wasteland is already familiar to him.
“I have a lot of first-hand knowledge of Appalachia since I grew up twenty miles from [West Virginia’s] Berkeley Springs in real life,” Martin told Polygon over email. “So the mountains, fields and ‘cricks’ are just like the ones I explored as a kid.”
Initially, Martin’s scheme was a humble affair. He’d build little gift bags filled with healing items that he’d drop on the map for other people to find. He would also move his camp near nuclear warhead blast zones, where high-level enemies and radiation propagate, so that he could aid players taking on the toughest content in the game. After a little while, wasteland denizens started to take notice. The doctor started getting donations ranging from crafting recipes to items, and even started courting investors who wanted to see their caps put to good use.
The one-man act started to grow into an empire. It helped that, after being plagued with cheaters who could materialize any item or weapon, Fallout 76 players started to expect easily obtainable healing salves. Earlier this year, Bethesda got a little better about handling “dupers,” and that’s where the doctor saw a huge opportunity. For him, playing Fallout 76 isn’t about profit — it’s about community. So, he dedicated himself to farming items en-masse so that he could sell them in bulk. Everything would be at a loss, but it didn’t matter. He wanted the clientele.
At current, the doctor estimates that he sells around 20,000 items a week, in addition to having around 20 vending machines and a handful of hospital franchises. When he logs into the game, his server almost immediately fills up with patients who want items, to be cured of diseases, or to build stronger characters.
“The clinic is the noisiest place I’ve ever been on area chat!” says Fallout 76 player Stacey Ambeau. “I went to sell some stuff to the clinic for super cheap and I couldn’t believe all the people there. The good doc was doing 18 different things at once.”
To deal with the demand, the doctor has started paying a salary to staff that is divided among departments including supply chain, marketing, and even security to keep these more peaceful players safe from harm. There are day shifts and night shifts. Actually, he has enough people farming for him to collect enough tick blood to craft around 2,000 Stimpaks a day — though the doctor still spends an average of three daily hours collecting materials for the cause as well.
Posted by Dr. CJ Martin’s Health Clinic and Pharmacy on Thursday, January 31, 2019
To facilitate all of this, Martin also pays a chef to make food items for his workers as they farm, because Fallout 76 requires players to eat and drink to stay alive. And, to get the word out, Martin also pays clients to put up billboards advertising his clinics and services.
“I try to give our employees a real job feeling, offering paid vacation, commission, bonuses,” Martin said. “We have been studying sales trends, and analyzing our growth so we can start offering an in-game 401k plan, allowing our employees caps for when they choose to move one from our company as the game continues to grow.”
It’s a lot to keep track of, and the doctor says that he relies on apps, Google Docs, and ledgers to make sure everything is kept in order. But, the CJ Martin experience isn’t just about selling items. Players looking to put together optimal builds can come into the clinic to test out perks on dummy characters provided by the doctor, or they can calculate out their damage output. Newbie players can also get crash courses on the best perks and SPECIAL stats, as well as the effects of mutations, how item effects stack, and how the latest bugs and glitches affect their characters. Martin will even make house calls to follow up with his patients to make sure services or products worked as advertised.
“Our testing area contains a pool for aquatic tests, fall damage testing set-ups, energy resistance, rad resistance, speed testing, as well as many other types of testing setups,” Martin says, noting that all of these services are crucial in an ever-changing game where mechanics are not always fully explained.
Martin will also devise fetch quests for intrepid players, and he’ll sometimes put himself in the line of fire for the benefit of others.
“I will purposely become over encumbered so that players have to escort me back to the Clinic,” Martin says. “And since I am pretty defenseless — I have no combat perks and never wear Power Armor — it usually requires the players have to protect me from monsters.”
Here, the doctor’s intimate knowledge with West Virginia becomes a small headache for participating players. He’ll take the long way home, sometimes stopping at workshops or locking himself up in places where strong enemies, like Scorchbeasts, roam the land. The harder the mission, the better the rewards at the end — good sports end up with a number of caps and legendary items if they succeed.
Players can also take the doctor along as a sidekick who can buff, craft, and farm as needed.
“When I become your companion for an adventure, you don’t have to eat, drink, heal, cure diseases, or recover from rads,” Martin said.
The doctor has become a pillar of the community — in my reporting of various groups, such as cannibals and mercenaries, everyone urged me to speak to the doctor. When players hold meetings for fight clubs, the doctor is invited to keep everyone in top shape. When factions are warring with one another, the doctor is sometimes called as a mediator that helps broker peace talks.
Morgan Brown, a devoted Fallout 76 fan, recalls that one time, an agent of chaos tried putting a bounty on the doctor to see what would happen. “But [we] put a ‘blind eye’ on the Doc to make sure no one would mess with him,” Brown recalls. Martin says that, at the time, multiple mercenaries told him that they refused to take the hit despite the number of caps on the line. It had such damning repercussions that Fallout 76 player that Chris Grote, a leader of an in-game faction, turned him away when he tried to apply as a recruit to his group.
“It was nice to see that with everything we do for the community, [everyone] stood up for me,” Martin says.
Even groups dedicated to terrorizing the wasteland know to steer clear of Martin.
“There are many raider factions in the game that are also familiar with the Doc, and consider him off-limits, as he supplies raiders with chems for cheap too,” says Marcus Jaurigue, another Fallout 76 aficionado. “And these same organizations have kicked out members because they were harassing the doc.
“There isn’t a more selfless person I know in the wasteland,” Jaurigue continued.
Unsurprisingly, one of the people that Martin looks up to is Mr. Rogers. “I’ve always believed that love and kindness are contagious,” he says. His theory was proven right when, one day, his Fallout 76 disk broke by accident. The community immediately rallied around him.
“By the next morning my Facebook and PS4 Messenger [were] filled with codes for PSN gift cards,” he recalls. “In the end It was the very community I work to strengthen that really saved the clinic.”
Nowadays, the doctor will still sometimes station himself near blast zones. Every so often, someone will look at this guy decked out in nothing but medical scrubs and wonder, what in the world is he doing out here without power armor? And the players picking up rations in between waves of enemies will laugh and say, “That’s the doc. He’s a badass.”
You may now check off ‘HoloLens’ on your Microsoft buzzword bingo card
The last version of Microsoft Flight Simulator came out in 2006. Many, myself included, had written the franchise off for dead. Now it’s back, due out for PC and Xbox One in 2020, with a sophisticated set of assets pulled directly from satellite imagery on Bing. Earlier this month I traveled to Seattle for a hands-on demonstration of the new MicrosoftFlight Simulator. Later, I sat down with Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, to answer the question: Why now?
“I think there’s probably two answers to the question,” Neumann told me. “One is more of a corporate answer; Phil got promoted.”
Phil refers to Phil Spencer, who has been head of Xbox at Microsoft since 2014. But, in 2018, there was a bit of restructuring inside Microsoft. Now Spencer reports directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. That means gaming is more important to the software giant than ever before. As a result, Microsoft decided to plant its flag once again inside the world of PC gaming.
“With that [promotion] comes a a totally different view on gaming at Microsoft,” Neumann said. “We had Xbox. It’s successful. But […] we wanted to bring back the PC games that we had for the millions of people who loved them. So, we restarted Age [of Empires] and we restarted Flight. Those were the two big pillars to go back into true PC gaming.”
The only question for Harrison and his new peers at Microsoft was if the technology was there to support the investment. Thankfully, while HoloLens didn’t end up being a viable consumer product, it did get the wheels turning.
Neumann points to one demo in particular, called HoloTour, as directly inspiring the approach his team is taking with Flight Simulator.
HoloTour allows users to experience places like Rome and Machu Picchu from the comfort of their own homes. The experience was so impactful for Neumann that he was certain the same sort of approach could be applied to Microsoft Flight Simulator. More importantly, it helped his team re-imagine a hardcore simulation experience into something that even the general public could get excited about.
“It makes Flight Sim purposeful for people who are not into just the tech,” Neumann said. “All of a sudden you want to go to places, and the places look real. And that’s now possible, and it’s awesome.”
To hear Neumann tell it, Microsoft Flight Simulator is as much about learning to fly as it is about being able to travel the world without ever leaving home.
“This is the planet we live on,” he continued. “You end up really loving it, and I think seeing it through the eyes from the plane is an amazing view. And I think that’s why, that’s why I think [our demo at E3] resonated so much, and that’s why we’re doing this.”
‘I wanted people to understand how difficult it was for these men and the nature of that is behind everything’
James Bond director Sam Mendes wants to put audiences right in the center of World War I with his new war movie 1917. To do that, he shot the movie in one long, perfectly choreographed shot. In a behind-the-scenes featurette released on Monday morning, Mendes and some of the cast and crew go into detail on the challenge of shooting a movie this way, and why it was worth it.
1917 follows two soldiers in WWI on a mission to deliver a message that could save thousands of lives. However, to do so, they have to carry that message across some of the war’s most harrowing battlefields. And Mendes wanted to make sure that the audience got to see every single step of that journey.
“From the very beginning I felt this movie should be told in real time,” Mendes says in the featurette. “Every step of the journey, breathing every breath with these men, felt integral. And there’s no better way of telling this story than with one continuous shot.”
While filming in one long shot can make the horrors of war more real for viewers, it presents some challenges to the people making the movie. Cutting is often a way of holding the audience’s attention — for instance, editing out things like walking from one place to another that some might not think is particularly exciting.
An even bigger issue is that cutting and more traditional editing make the job of the actors a little less complicated. When two actors are doing a scene, their performances can be edited together from different takes, but when everything is filmed in one shot everyone only gets once chance at the scene.
“There’s always that sort of get out of jail card in a movie, ‘well we might be able to cut around this, or we might take that scene out,’ that’s not possible on this film,” says Mendes. “The dance of the camera and the mechanics all have to be in sync with what the actor’s doing. When you achieve that it’s really beautiful and exhilarating.”
To help sync up the actors and the camera, a variety of special rigs were created to help move the camera from one place or another. In the featurette, we see everything from the camera carried by two operators running across a field with explosions behind them, to specially made wires that can make the camera float over a battlefield, even cameras placed on cars, trucks, jeeps, and motorcycles, all designed to make sure that the audience never misses a moment of the characters’ journey across the battlefield.
Perhaps the most jarring detail of the filmmaking process behind 1917 comes from the film’s legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins. Deakins, who’s worked on films like No Country for Old Men and Blade Runner 2049, explains that every day of shooting on the film was unpredictable because it was at the mercy of not just weather but things like cloud coverage, which could determine lighting.
“We realized for a start you can’t really light it,” Deakins says. “If you’re down a trench and turning 360 degrees there’s no where to put a light anywhere. Some mornings the sun would be out and we couldn’t shoot.”
1917 isn’t the first movie filmed in just one shot. Movies like Birdman: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance simulated a single shot with a bit of creative editing, while 2015’s fantastic crime-thriller Victoria follows a character through a few hours in Berlin’s seedy nightlife.
1917 will enter limited release on Dec. 25 and wide release in Jan. 10, 2020.
Welp, it seems we have been tricked. Professor Willow’s corrupted folder was not possessed by Rotom, but rather corrupted by Team GO Rocket, if the official Pokemon GO Twitter account is to be believed.
A series of tweets has moved the story along, with Professor Willow now slowly recovering files from the corrupted folder. Three images were unearthed in his initial attempt, all of them featuring a silhouette of an unknown person, composed with a distinct letter R to the right. All of the images follow a visual style that’s similar to the previous Team GO Rocket media.
Professor Willow has started to recover files from the corrupted folder, and he’s uncovered these images. One of the photos is still being restored… pic.twitter.com/JErFS24HZu
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 30, 2019
Who are these people?! pic.twitter.com/3bjK8EVAaA
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 30, 2019
The characters featured in the new tweets don’t follow any existing or known Team Rocket Grunt 3D models. The first tweet shows a female character striking a casual, but threatening pose. The second tweet shows a soldier looking character with a particularly muscular body type, which is very unusual for Pokémon GO. Character models with this level of fidelity are rarely introduced, unless they’re a part of a larger story line. The last tweet features a character wearing glasses, again, using a completely new model.
Although this is definitely a “No Rotom” revelation, what is it? Our guess is on new Team GO Rocket bosses or grunts, but bosses seems more likely. These characters look too distinct for the generic Grunt image, plus they follow a similar visual style to the one used to hint Giovanni.
Updates from our Community and staff:
Mfitzmaurice and Yaaya are theorizing the idea of three new teams – “Maybe there will now be 6 teams. 3 good ones and 3 bad ones”. That would truly be something special!
The post New Team GO Rocket Characters Discovered in Professor Willow’s Corrupted Files appeared first on Pokemon GO Hub.
Following the announcement of the upcoming anime-tie-in last week, My Hero One’s Justice 2 has received a brand-new teaser courtesy of Bandai Namco’s YouTube channel. The video game adaptation of the popular anime phenomenon My Hero Academia has received a tentative release window as well as a few small hints at the game’s main conflict.
Clocking in at only 25 seconds, the trailer shows off some artwork of series’ protagonist Izuku Midoriya facing off against brand new antagonist Kai Chisaki, the two exchanging heated words in a voice-over as My Hero Academia’s iconictheme plays in the background. Text crosses the screen stating “two sides of justice clash again” before the title card appears teasing a vague release window of 2020.
RELATED: Jump Force Adding Bakugo from My Hero Academia
There’s not much to pull from the brief teaser, but the dialogue shared between Midoriya and Chisaki does hint towards the narrative that My Hero One’s Justice 2 might follow. Through their short exchange, it becomes clear that Midoriya is fighting to redeem Kai Chisaki from the side of villainy, claiming, “I’ll do whatever it takes to save you,” before the trailer ends with Chisaki coldly remarking, “they’re all cretins infected with hero syndrome.” This appears to be our first hint towards a story mode for My Hero One’s Justice 2 that will likely center around the plot of the unaired fourth season.
The franchise’s first entry hit shelves just over a year ago, with My Hero One’s Justice releasing on consoles and PC. It was met with mixed reviews, with most critics citing its small roster and lack of depth in combat as major issues. These complaints are what Bandai Namco is looking to rectify in its newest take on the series, claiming in Weekly Jump that the roster will feature a number of new heroes and villains as well as the character’s quirk abilities receiving a significant upgrade.
It seems as though the game will have a lot of new material to pull from when it does debut next year, with the sequel supposedly featuring characters and content from the currently unaired fourth season of the show. The antagonist in the trailer, Kai Chisaki (or as he’s known under his villainous alias, Overhaul), is merely the first look at the updated season four roster that will feature in the game. Seeing how the first My Hero One’s Justice pulled content from the first and second seasons of the widely-acclaimed anime, My Hero One’s Justice 2 will have vastly more characters to bolster its previously modest roster with after season 4 premieres in Japan in a few weeks time.
My Hero One’s Justice 2 is in development for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.