Monthly Archives: June 2011 - Page 2

IGDA investigating Team Bondi workers’ rights complaints

Industry representative body says that hostile working conditions at L.A. Noire developer are “absolutely unacceptable” if true.

 

Rockstar Games has come to dominate the month of May, having scored back-to-back hits with the release of Red Dead Redemption in 2010 and L.A. Noire in 2011. However, chart-topper status isn’t the only point of commonality between the studios, as both Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar San Diego and now L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi have had employees cry foul over abusive working conditions.


Team Bondi is under investigation.

In response to the recent allegations against Team Bondi, the International Game Developers Association issued a statement to GameSpot today indicating that it will be conducting an investigation into Team Bondi’s working conditions.

“At the current time, we do not know all the facts about the situation at Team Bondi and do not want to misrepresent any parties involved,” the IGDA said in a statement. “Certainly reports of 12-hour a day, lengthy crunch time, if true, are absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the individuals involved, the final product, and the industry as a whole.”

“We are reaching out to the employees and former employees of Team Bondi to come to the IGDA Quality of Life SIG with their concerns to help us create a more accurate and detailed response,” it continued. “We encourage any Team Bondi employee and/or family member to e-mail qol@igda.org with their comments about the recent past and current situation–positive or negative.”

The IGDA’s comment follows on from a host of allegations leveled at Team Bondi in recent weeks. On Friday, an IGN report quoted a number of past and present Team Bondi employees who detailed oppressive working conditions at the studio. Further, in early June, more than 100 one-time Team Bondi employees claimed they had been left out of L.A. Noire’s credits.

Rockstar Games had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

[UPDATE] Responding to a request for comment, an IGDA representative said that should the allegations against Team Bondi prove true, its best form of action is to raise awareness about the situation.

“The IGDA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers,” the representative said. “A big part of that has always been through our advocacy for and on behalf of developers. On a general level for an issue like this we would certainly do our best to raise awareness of the situation, and will continue to educate people about the incredibly harmful effects extended crunch has.”

“For Team Bondi specifically we would seek to help affected developers understand what their rights are, and what type of recourse, if any, is available to them,” the representative said. “The sad reality is that the ‘death march’ crunch alleged to have occurred at Team Bondi is still far too common in the industry. While we find the practice to be deceptive, exploitative, and ultimately harmful not only to developers but their final product, and the industry as a whole, in many cases it is not illegal and as such employees have little ability to effect change other than raising awareness of studio practices, and looking to work for studios that operate differently.”

“The most disappointing aspect of this is that many people believe that incredible games can only be made through abusive practices like this,” the representative continued. “The fact is, games can be built without having to exploit developers through forced extended crunch, and the results can be better for the game they are working on, and for the long-term sustainability of the studio and its team.”

The IGDA rep concluded by noting that the organization has as a long-term objective to establish employment contract guidelines for studios that address such issues as crediting, quality of life, and overtime pay.

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IGDA investigating Team Bondi workers’ rights complaints” was posted by Tom Magrino on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 12:46:00 -0700

Driver: San Francisco – Developer Diary #1 Video

The dev team discusses the storyline for Driver: San Francisco in this first of a series of developer diary videos.

 

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Driver: San Francisco – Developer Diary #1 Video” was posted by MikeTao on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:29:18 -0700

Back to the Future: The Game – Episode V: OUTATIME – Story So Far Trailer

Check out one last trailer for Back to the Future: The Game to accompany the release of the series finale.

 

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Back to the Future: The Game – Episode V: OUTATIME – Story So Far Trailer” was posted by MikeTao on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:15:59 -0700

Orcs Must Die! – Spring Trap Spotlight Trailer

Send orcs flying with the steam trap.

 

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Orcs Must Die! – Spring Trap Spotlight Trailer” was posted by MikeTao on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:05:32 -0700

Warlords (2011) – Character Trailer

This trailer for provides a quick look at the sinister nature of each of the warlords you’ll face in the game.

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Warlords (2011) – Character Trailer” was posted by MikeTao on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:47:20 -0700

NCAA Football 12 Screens

17 new shots posted.

     

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NCAA Football 12 Screens” was posted on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:24:01 -0700

GameSpot UK Podcast

We’re joined by Square Enix’s Roxana Etemad to discuss her newfound E3 fame, the latest news, and your feedback.

 

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GameSpot UK Podcast” was posted on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:16:24 -0700

E3 2011: BioShock Infinite scores at Game Critics Awards

Irrational’s action adventure lands four trophies, including Best of Show; Battlefield 3, Sound Shapes, Elder Scrolls V nab two each; Bastion, Forza 4, PS Vita also honored.

 

The votes are in for the Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2011 honors, and BioShock Infinite has won big. Irrational Games’ agoraphobic-terrifying action adventure racked up an award for every category it was nominated in, including Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best PC Game, and Best Action/Adventure Game.


BioShock Infinite flew away with top honors at the Game Critics Awards’ Best of E3 2011.

The 2K Games title’s haul bested that of fellow quadruple nominee Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, which was shut out completely. Coming in at two wins each were Battlefield 3 (Best Action Game, Best Online Multiplayer), Sound Shapes (Best Handheld Game, Best Social/Casual Game), and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Best Console Game, Best Role-Playing Game).

Over a half-dozen games grabbed one trophy a pop. Bastion earned Best Downloadable Game, while FIFA Soccer 12 scored Best Sports Game. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword whirled its way to the Best Motion Simulation Game title as Forza Motorsport 4 took a victory lap for Best Racing Game. Street Fighter X Tekken socked it to the Best Fighting Game category, while the PlayStation Vita won plaudits for in the Best Hardware category. From Dust came in first amongst the Best Strategy Game nominees.

The Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2011 nominees are determined by a panel of judges from 35 different publications. These include GameSpot, the Associated Press, Game Informer, the Hollywood Reporter, Joystiq, and USA Today. A full list of the winners and nominees is below.

Best of Show

– Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

WINNER: BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Original Game

– Bastion (Supergiant Games/WB Games for PC, Xbox 360)

WINNER: BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Journey (Thatgamecompany/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

– Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PS Vita)

Best Console Game

– Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

– Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/EA Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

WINNER: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PS3, Xbox 360)

– Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PS3, Xbox 360)

– Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

– Contre Jour (Mokus/Chillingo/EA for iPad, iPhone)

– Mario Kart (Nintendo/Nintendo for 3DS)

WINNER: Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PS Vita)

– Super Mario (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo for 3DS)

– Uncharted: Golden Abyss (SCE Bend Studio/Naughty Dog/SCEA for PS Vita)

Best PC Game

– Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA Games for PC)

WINNER: BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC)

– End of Nations (Petroglyph Games/Trion Worlds for PC)

– Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/EA Games for PC)

– Torchlight 2 (Runic Games/Perfect World for PC)

Best Hardware

WINNER: PlayStation Vita (Sony Computer Entertainment)

– Rocksmith (Ubisoft San Francisco/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Sony 3D Display (Sony Computer Entertainment)

– Wii U (Nintendo)

– Zoom for Kinect (Nyko)

Best Action Game

WINNER: Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer/ATVI for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Gears of War 3 (Epic Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Prey 2 (Human Head Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)

– Rage (id Software/Bethesda for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360)

Best Action/Adventure Game

– Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)

– Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

WINNER: BioShock infinite (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Role-Playing Game

– Dark Souls (From Software/Namco Bandai Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

– Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Big Huge Games/38 Studios/EAP for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360)

– Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/EA for PC)

WINNER: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Racing Game

– Driver: San Francisco (Ubisoft Reflections/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

WINNER: Forza 4 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Mario Kart (Nintendo/Nintendo for 3DS)

– Need for Speed: The Run (EA Black Box/EA Games for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)

– Wipeout 2048 (Studio Liverpool/SCEE for PS Vita)

Best Fighting Game

– Skullgirls (Reverge Labs/Autumn Games for PS3, Xbox 360)

– Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition (Iron Galaxy Studios/Capcom for PS3, Xbox 360)

WINNER: Street Fighter X Tekken (Capcom/Capcom for PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita)

– Soul Calibur V (Namco/Namco Bandai for PS3, Xbox 360)

– Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Namco Bandai Games for Arcade)

– WWE 12 (Yuke’s/THQ for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)

Best Sports Game

WINNER: FIFA Soccer 12 (EA Canada/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Madden NFL 12 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

– NBA 2K12 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

– SSX (EA Canada/EA Sports for PS3, Xbox 360)

– UFC Undisputed 3 (Yuke’s/THQ for PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Strategy Game

– Age of Empires Online (Gas Powered Games/Microsoft Studios for PC)

– End of Nations (Petroglyph/Trion Worlds for PC)

WINNER: From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Skulls of the Shogun (Haunted Temple Studios for PC, Xbox 360)

– Trenched (Double Fine/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

Best Social/Casual Game

– Dance Central 2 (Harmonix/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Disneyland Adventures (Frontier Developments/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Rocksmith (Ubisoft San Francisco/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Rhythm Heaven (TNX/Nintendo for Wii)

WINNER: Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/SCEA for PS Vita)

Best Motion Simulation Game

– Dance Central 2 (Harmonix/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Fruit Ninja Kinect (Halfbrick/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster (Double Fine Productions/WB Games for Xbox 360)

– The Gunstringer (Twisted Pixel Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

WINNER: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game

WINNER: Battlefield 3 (DICE/EA for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer/ATVI for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Gears of War 3 (Epic Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare Austin/EA for PC)

– Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Downloadable Game

WINNER: Bastion (Supergiant Games/WB Games for PC, Xbox 360)

– From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

– Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Fuelcell Games/Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360)

– Journey (Thatgamecompany/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

– Papo & Yo (Minority/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

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E3 2011: BioShock Infinite scores at Game Critics Awards” was posted by Tor Thorsen on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:13:07 -0700

Activision teases fourth Black Ops add-on – Report

Call of Duty design director David Vonderhaar says “keep your eyes peeled” for follow-up to Annihilation add-on, which was eleased today on Xbox Live.

 

Today, Activision released the Annihilation map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Xbox Live. The add-on is the shooter’s third batch of post-release content, following predecessors Modern Warfare 2 and World at War, which also welcomed three add-ons. Though the last two Call of Duty games received just three add-ons, it appears the to-date biggest series entry–Black Ops–might be going even bigger.


Annihilation features a golf course. Where might Treyarch take gamers next?

When pressed in an interview with Digital Spy about the possibility of a fourth add-on for Call of Duty: Black Ops, design director David Vonderhaar offered a teasing answer.

“I can’t talk to anything beyond Annihilation,” he said. “But keep your eyes peeled.”

The Annihilation map pack is available today exclusively on Xbox Live for 1,200 Microsoft points, or $15. The content brings four new multiplayer maps and one fresh zombie level to the Cold War-era shooter. The content is expected to arrive on the PC and PlayStation 3 at a later date.

For more on Treyarch’s shooter, check out GameSpot’s review of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

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Activision teases fourth Black Ops add-on – Report” was posted by Eddie Makuch on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 09:25:39 -0700

Storm – Spring Trailer

Here’s the first of four seasonal trailers for Storm.

 

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Storm – Spring Trailer” was posted by MikeTao on Tue, 28 Jun 2011 09:00:00 -0700