Gigamax Games

Video Gaming Is What We Do! Let's Plays, Streaming, Podcast and Industry News

Tag: gigamax gaming news

Indie Developers Feeling The Pressure

Indie Developers Feeling The Pressure

Indie games are rising in popularity but the market is becoming saturated with AAA titles, other indie games, and now even video games in-between these two categories. These indie developers are left scratching their heads, wondering how they can make any kind of impact in an industry that’s overwhelmed by all these games releasing at such an impressive pace.

Indie developers. independent developer, independent games, indie games, indie game marketing, independent marketing

In the wake of Cliff Bleszinski’s studio, Boss Key Productions closing their doors after three years, the video game industry is paying close attention to this massive misstep. Boss Key Productions’ independently released, “Radical Heights”, failed to make up for the financial void their previous release, Lawbreakers left behind. When a studio led by such a prominent name in the video game industry can close after three short years because of one major failure, indie developers worry if there is any room left in the market for them.

Both a Blessing and a Curse

Indie developers may face shoestring budgets but this is both a blessing and a curse. Development might take longer and the resources they have are limited but one failed game might not sink an indie studio. Boss Key Productions had 65 employees as of September 2017, whereas Studio MDHR, the developers of the indie hit, Cuphead has 15. These smaller developers have much more room to experiment with ideas, fail and bounce back, and remain agile when compared to larger studios.

boss key productions, video game industry, video game news, opinion article, gaming news, gaming media, gigamax, gigamax games

Even with the benefits of being an indie studio, the indie market isn’t immune to over saturation. A recent report from SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin showed there were an incredible 7,696 games released on Steam in 2017, up from 4,207 in 2016. This is making it challenging for indie developers to find a spot for their games and get the recognition some of them deserve. Still, time and time again, an indie game will pop up and make waves worldwide just like Cuphead mentioned above or even Illfonic’s Friday The 13th: The Game. Yet, as the video game industry continues to mature, the fear remains that these independent developers might be pushed out of the market by not only AAA developers, but the massive increase of indie games making their way to both consoles and PC.

The Double-Edged Sword

In a previous article on Gigamax Games titled, “The Best Time For Indie Developers” it took a different view on the current state of the industry. Focused on the technologies available and range of marketing methods at indie developers disposal, on one hand, things are looking up for these creators. Now with a studio like Boss Key Production closing their doors, it’s a stark reminder that even having the resources, technologies, big names, and capabilities to create a game like Lawbreakers or their independently publish Radical Heights at the height of Battle Royales popularity isn’t enough to turn a small studio into a major player within the video game industry.

boss key productions, lawbreakers, video game industry, video game news, opinion article, gaming news, gaming media, gigamax, gigamax games

One thing is certain, the video game industry in its current form is still relatively new and figuring itself out. The popularity of indie games is growing exponentially but all this uncertainty surrounding the market may steer would-be amazing indie creators away from releasing their games to the world. However, when quality content is released to the world, people will notice. Indie games aren’t going anywhere any time soon as they continue to find their place, but Gigamax Games will be keeping a close eye on the market to see how this sector continues to progress.

Are You an Indie Developer?

Are you an indie developer? Let us know your impression of the current indie game scene and if you have a game, post it in the comments below so the Gigamax Games crew can give it a try!

If you’re an indie developer struggling to break into the market, Woodstock Productions might be able to help!

Home
Articles
Videos
Streaming

EA Reacts to European Regulators Classifying Loot Boxes as Gambling

EA Reacts to European Regulators Classifying Loot Boxes as Gambling

Electronic Arts’ responded to select regulatory bodies in Europe now classifying loot boxes as gambling. The discussion took place during the conference call where EA released Q4 and fiscal year 2018 results. EA is notorious for including, sometimes seemingly malicious, loot boxes in their games. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was the most recent loot box controversy that the gigantic game company stirred up and the latest announcement by countries like Belgium could put this relatively new revenue stream for video game developers in jeopardy.

EA, Loot boxes, lootboxes, loot box, loot box gambling, loot boxes gambling, video game news, global gaming news, gigamax gaming news, EA news, electronic arts news, electronic arts, video game companies, video game industry, gigamax media

Belgium had a complete ban on “games of chance” since 1999 until 2010 when illegal games of chance began getting out of control. The Gaming Commission was instituted to regulate any games they considered to be gambling. The Belgian Gaming Commission reviewed a total of four games, Star Wars Battlefront 2, FIFA 18, Overwatch, and CS:GO and found all but Star Wars Battlefront 2 were classified as “games of chance”.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 removed their loot boxes during the investigation, which avoided any backlash over the game that brought about so much hate from the entire gaming community.

The Double-Edged Sword

EA’s products weren’t the only games mentioned in the investigation but EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson still felt compelled to make a statement during the call. He stated, “We strongly believe that our games are developed and implemented ethically and lawfully around the world, and take these responsibilities very seriously. We care deeply that our players are having a fun and fair experience in all of our games, and take great care to ensure each game is marketed responsibly, including in compliance with regional ratings standards. We welcome the dialogue with Minister Geens on these topics, as we do not agree that our games can be considered as any form of gambling.” https://bit.ly/2rt7dwg

EA, Loot boxes, lootboxes, loot box, loot box gambling, loot boxes gambling, video game news, global gaming news, gigamax gaming news, EA news, electronic arts news, electronic arts, video game companies, video game industry, gigamax media

The company is putting on a strong face for investors as FIFA Ultimate Team is still incredibly profitable. However, losing out to a market like Belgium could have a bit of an impact on their earnings. With a population of a little over 11 million, it can be compared to losing out on a market with the same population as the state of Pensylvania. 

The Battle Isn’t Over

EA has a global reach and isn’t expected to give up without a fight. Gamers and governments all around the world have recently been contemplating if loot boxes are a form of gambling. Before more European countries follow suit and classify loot boxes as gambling, EA will need to aggressively campaign in order to convince global policymakers that what they’re doing is different than a trip to a casino.

Microtransactions and loot boxes are a double-edged sword. On one hand, there are companies like Blizzard that use loot boxes for their massively popular first-person shooter, Overwatch. Blizzard is able to release free DLC’s and consistently support their creation because of the steady revenue generated by their loot boxes. On the other hand, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and their original loot box system that was essentially “Pay to Win” for multiplayer. This blatant money grab threw the gaming community into an uproar, and for a good reason. Gamers don’t want to put their time into a game, only to be trampled online because a person dumped extra money on loot boxes. 

There’s no telling what the future will hold for loot boxes but this is a monumental development for the gaming community around the world. Gigamax Games will keep an eye out for any more news on this battle against loot boxes and what this means for the video game industry as a whole.

Home
Articles
Videos
Streaming

The Invisible Hours Review: Movies and Gaming Collide

Game: The Invisible Hours
Developer:
Tequila Works
Publisher: GameTrust/Tequila Works
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
Genre: Spherical Narrative
Players: Single-player

The Invisible Hours, Tequila Works, indie games, indie developer, indie dev, VR games, non vr games, ps4, review code, reviews, review, gigamax review, gigamax review, gigamax games, gigamax gaming news, gaming news, video game news, early access

Background

Tequila Works was absolutely successful in delivering a unique experience with The Invisible Hours. Now available for non-VR, the flat-screen version of the game is still able to remain immersive and unbelievably exciting. The second Tesla’s body was discovered, the intricate story begins to unfold in a spectacular way. This noir is truly an experience to remember.

Watch the Review Preview on YouTube!

Following this game since its release on VR, the only thing to hold me back from actually picking up The Invisible Hours was the thought of getting sucked into a game and needing to play it on PlayStation VR all the way through. This piece of tech is awesome but it can get a bit cumbersome when gaming for hours with this hunk of plastic on your head.

Now that Tequila Works was releasing their flat-screen version, I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy. I’m not a big noir fan, and honestly, a conversation heavy game with little to no action or incredible cinematics doesn’t often catch my attention. However, there was something a bit different about The Invisible Hours.

The Cinematic Experience Begins

Following the footsteps of Nikola Tesla and getting to the bottom of his gruesome murder felt like the right combination to catch my interest. Tequila Works sent over a review copy and I couldn’t wait to get started. They marketed The Invisible Hours as a “Spherical Narrative” something that just seemed to be clever marketing language to catch gamers attention. But it actually turned out to be so much more than that.

The spherical nature became clear in the first hour of the game. It is built, unlike anything I’ve ever played before. A story unfolding and the player doesn’t have any direct impact on the events taking place. Instead, the main character isn’t really the main character. Gamers control what seems to be a “fly on the wall” kind of entity that has the ability to fast-forward, rewind, and stop time. This primary mechanic is the gem that truly makes this game shine, taking the gamer on a circular journey back and forth to get to the bottom of this mystery. 

It All Starts Coming Together

Taking place on Nikola Tesla’s private island, the playable character appears without much backstory. The only option is to start walking up the winding steps in front of you. With a large body of water behind you and a sheer cliff face to your right, the steps guide you up to a large gate bearing the letters, “NT”.

The Invisible Hours, Tequila Works, indie games, indie developer, indie dev, VR games, non vr games, ps4, review code, reviews, review, gigamax review, gigamax review, gigamax games, gigamax gaming news, gaming news, video game news, early access

A crying woman that pays no attention to your presence and a gigantic mansion are the only things of immediate interest after reaching the top of the steps. Leaving the crying woman alone, feeling slightly offended she didn’t pay any attention to me, it was time to explore the mansion. This is when the body of the famous inventor is first discovered and things start to heat up.

As the drama unfolds, tensions flare and conversations start breaking out. From the moment Tesla’s body is discovered, the game truly comes alive. What seemed like an empty mansion soon started filling with characters from all walks of life. Famous historical inventors, actors, along with people that history would have never mentioned all begin to appear from seemingly nowhere. Each of the characters plays a vital role in the stories development. All have a unique perspective on the situation that’s unfolding all around them as well as develop intricate back stories that only become clear as time goes on.

The Invisible Hours Stands Out

The feature that makes The Invisible Hours stand out and what created such a unique experience is the time control feature. Being able to rewind, fast-forward, and stop time along with the fact that your playable character is completely invisible allows Tequila Works to create that cinematic feel while still allowing gamers to have some kind of control.

As characters appear, you can follow them with the rewind function to see where they came from in the mansion and what they were up to. You can even rewind to the point before everyone was notified of the murder and fast forward to after the large group breaks up and see what they are doing in their room when they think they’re alone. It gets a bit creepy, but all throughout the game, it feels like a playable movie so it’s really not as weird as it sounds.

The Invisible Hours, Tequila Works, indie games, indie developer, indie dev, VR games, non vr games, ps4, review code, reviews, review, gigamax review, gigamax review, gigamax games, gigamax gaming news, gaming news, video game news, early access

Each character had an unbelievably in-depth backstory, their complex emotions that The Invisible Hours is able to portray while they were alone with their thoughts is enthralling. Hanging on every word while also anxiously waiting for their monologues to end so I could go back and follow someone else around.

Less than 30 minutes in game time went by and I already put hours into the game. Every minute that passed in game felt like it caused a chain reaction, sending me off on a wild hunt for clues, collectibles, bits of conversation, and story. It is strangely exhilarating, especially being someone who usually finds themselves losing interest in dialog heavy games.

Overview and Wrapup 

The only real complaint about the game is the fact that you had to wait for the rewind and fast-forward mechanic to wind up in order for it to go faster. It would start off slow and gradually increase in speed. This is a bit annoying since it played such an important role throughout the game. It would have been nice to have the option to have control of how fast time rewound or moved forward, instantly.

Overall the game is an interesting introduction to the Spherical Narrative genre. Tequila Works did a great job bringing this VR game to flat-screen as well. The story is fascinating and kept my attention every second I was playing. I didn’t want to miss a word and at one point I advanced to chapter 2 but didn’t want to move forward because I didn’t have a chance to follow someone back to their room and see what they were up to. It was nice that Tequila Works included a quicker way to time travel through the start menu so I was able to jump right back to the beginning of the game. 

There are a lot of secrets hiding in Nikola Tesla’s mysterious mansion and the journey to uncover the truth about his death is filled with mind-blowing realizations and tense interactions. Tequila Works did a fantastic job putting this story together. I’m excited to go back and see what other secrets The Invisible Hours has in store.

Home
Articles
Videos
Streaming

PAX EAST: It’s That Time of Year Again!

PAX EAST: It’s That Time of Year Again!

The video game conference season is here and gamers all around the world are starting to get excited. PAX EAST begins on April 5 and runs until April 8th and there is a lot in store for attendees. Taking place at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center, those lucky enough to have scored a ticket will be showered in gaming glory. Those that couldn’t make it won’t be left out of the fun because PAX EAST has some special streams lined up, too. Don’t miss a thing happening this year. Use this as a guide to follow along with the event and see what PAX EAST 2018 has to offer.

Features

pax east exhibit hall, pax east crowd, pax east 2018, gigamax games, gigamax,

[Source: http://east.paxsite.com/features]

Attendees will be able to wander around the gigantic Exhibit Hall of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. AAA publishers, developers, and incredible indie teams will all be packed into this incredible space. Gamers and fans will be able to lift the veil behind the gaming industry and find out more about their favorite (or least favorite) game companies.

Panels

pax east panels and discussion, 2018 pax east, gigamax, gigamax games, gigamax video game news, gigamax pax east coverage

[Source: http://east.paxsite.com/features]

No game conference is complete without incredible panels. Some of these incredible discussions include, “The Truth About Streaming, From the Streamers Themselves” with panelists Susan Arendt [Editor in Chief, GeniiOnline], Graham Start [Partner, Twitch], Sinfullyriddling [Partner, Twitch]; “So You Want to Market an Indie Game” with panelists ranging from gaming industry executives to producers; and even hear from the developers of Cuphead, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes in “The Ultimate Game Career Guide Panel”. For a full look at the panels taking place at PAX EAST, check out their full schedule

Tournaments

All kinds of tournaments are taking place over the course of the entire PAX EAST event. All genres, platforms, and skill levels meet, facing off head-on at one of the largest video game conferences on the planet. The Omegathon, a three-day elimination tournament with attendees that were chosen from those who pre-ordered PAX passes is only one of the competitions people can expect to experience. Players will compete in games from every category, tabletop, console, PC which will all come down to a live championship match on the big stage during PAX closing ceremonies.  Check out the complete PAX EAST Tournament Schedule for even more information on how to get involved.

Diversity

pax east diversity feature, gaming industry diversity, gigamax games, gigamax pax east coverage, video game conference

[Source: http://east.paxsite.com/features]

PAX EAST is doing its part to celebrate the diversity found in all aspects of gaming. Often under-represented, PAX EAST wants to shine a light on the incredible mix of people, backgrounds, and cultures that makes up this impressive industry. Gamers are invited to visit, grab a table, and start communicating with the diverse gaming community to meet new friends and even find some new collaborators!

Indie Developers & Games

pax east tournament, pax east tabletop tournament, gigamax, gigamax games, gigamax pax east coverage

[Source: http://east.paxsite.com/features]

The event will also include the PAX EAST Indie Showcase, showing off the very best indie games around. PAX EAST provides a free booth to the indie games and developers they deem the most worthy of the video game industries attention. Indie developers can have a difficult journey ahead of them but a spot at the PAX EAST Indie Showcase might be the break some of these amazing creators need.

Along with the PAX EAST Indie Showcase, they will also be hosting PAX RISING. Hand picked indie developers will be displaying some of the greatest indie titles the world has ever seen. Exhibitors here are selected by PAX EAST because they were seen to have something special to offer the gaming community.

So Much More!

Musical performances, Pin Trading, PAX XP,  the Handheld Lounge, Tabletop freeplay, the PC Area, Console freeplay, VR freeplay are all included as well! There is so much to this incredible event it’ll be a challenge to try and see it all in just four days.

Follow Along at Home

PAX EAST will be hosting streams throughout the entire event. Follow along at home as the incredible conference unfolds in Boston, MA. Don’t get left in the dark and stay on top of all the action taking place at PAX EAST 2018. The stream is below or just jump over and find all the PAX EAST 2018 streams and schedules, here

Watch live video from PAX on www.twitch.tv

Keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com as Gamescom 2018 and E3 approach. Even more insights into these impressive video game conventions await! Are you attending PAX EAST or any upcoming gaming convention? Let the Gigamax crew know in the comments below! 

Home
Articles
Videos
Streaming

Fortnite’s Latest Update Expands Map

Fortnite’s Latest Update Expands Map

Epic Games finally dropped the latest 2.2.0 update for Fortnite on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. As the studio detailed previously on their blog, it deals mostly with their very popular Battle Royale mode, adding a newly updated version of the map, pre-game voice chat, and more.

The Largest Expansion Yet

The map updates are the biggest expansion to the free-to-play game. A few new areas have been added to the map, mostly to the west side of the island, which before the update had been somewhat lacking in terms of locations. These areas include a new city section and underground mines. Some existing areas have also received an update, with Epic creating more distinct differences between the various biomes. As lead systems designer Eric Williamson said recently, “The swamp feels swampier, the mountains feel more mountain-y. Really, the different areas of the map feel more unique.” (http://bit.ly/2mE33z8)

Epic also added their new level-streaming system. Although it doesn’t directly have an effect on gameplay, Epic says it “enables a richer map and improved performance.” Console load times have been “greatly reduced” according to the studio and there should be less hitching issues in general. Visual improvements were also been made, with new water, grass, and foliage effects now in place.

Fortnite, Battle Royale, Fortnite Battle Royale, map update, gigamax games, gigamax gaming news, video game news

Image Source: http://bit.ly/2DOJFrB

Even More New Stuff!

Some other new features include the ability to voice chat in the lobby before you start the game, a neat little update to the killfeed to show how far a sniper rifle kill was, and a reworked version of the Scoped rifle sight. Recently Epic Games took out friendly fire, although this may be a temporary measure as they evaluate what impact it has on the game.

This update is big news for fans of Fortnite. With all of these substantial additions and changes, it seems that Epic Games is focused on quality of life fixes for their Battle Royale experience. The full patch notes for version 2.2.0 are available on the studio’s website and don’t forget to check back with GigamaxGames.com for all the latest information on Fortnite!

Home
Articles
Videos
Streaming

© 2018 Gigamax Games

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑