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Guess what? Ubisoft’s highly-anticipated Rainbow Six | Siege Closed Beta opens this week and you’re holding the keys for you and all of your friends to get hands-on with the game more than two months before it’s released. Everyone that donates at least $6 to your personal fundraising page will receive guaranteed access courtesy of our friends at Ubisoft!
The Closed Beta starts on September 24th and Guaranteed Access keys will get you in on day one. Make sure you let everyone you know that you’ve got the goods and let’s round up some more life-saving donations for your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Don’t forget that in order to get your code you also need to make a donation of $6 or more to your fundraising efforts.
The Closed Beta starts THURSDAY so time is of the essence! Even if you’ve shared this opportunity before, now that it’s right around the corner you may find more success by sharing it again!

Jack Gardner
In a report from French site Gameblog that was subsequently supported by Eurogamer, Konami has no plans in the works for any future console or PC titles beyond the upcoming Pro Evolution Soccer 2016. This comes on the heels of the departure of Konami's worldwide head of technology Julien Merceron. Merceron reportedly left because Konami is not planning to utilize the Fox Engine, a truly impressive piece of technology that powers Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The report also states that the Metal Gear title confirmed by Konami earlier this year is not in any phase of development. The only other game in production at this time appears to be Metal Gear Online. 
This seems to be part of Konami's shift toward mobile and pachinko gambling machines. Many point toward the success of mobile titles like Dragon Collection for the shift, which saw a bigger return on investment than previous AAA games. 
Keep in mind that this is not publicly confirmed by Konami and isn't likely to be any time soon. However, if accurate, it is a colossal shame to see the Fox Engine languish unused. Given the recent fallout between Hideo Kojima and Konami, and the reports of harsh working conditions for the development branch of Konami, it wouldn't be surprising if the rumor was true.

Jack Gardner
In a message delivered via Nintendo's Facebook page, famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto announced that perhaps the projected release date for holiday 2015 for Star Fox Zero was a bit too rosy. Apologizing to fans excited for a winter release, Miyamoto stated that more time would be needed to properly polish what work remains to be done on the title. Specifically he lists level designs and cutscenes as areas that need the extra time. The Wii U title could be released this year, but it isn't quite up to his exacting standards. 
Star Fox Zero has been officially delayed until spring 2016. Below you can read his announcement and apology in full.

It took me a long time to get involved in the wider gaming community.
My brother and I both gamed while I was growing up of course, as did many of our friends. When I was a kid that was all that mattered since the internet wasn't yet a part of everyday life. Later though, when others were excited to play the new online games and join online communities, I tended to avoid MMO's and forums. It wasn’t so much that I was inherently asocial, it just felt safer and more comfortable keeping to myself and playing single player games. Besides, I didn't feel I had anything worth saying to anyone outside my own circles.
These days, I write a blog, contribute to a website, am on a weekly podcast, try to be active on game forums, and was excited to write this piece for the Extra Life community. I have a voice and try to share my thoughts in both writing and speech. I enjoy connecting with other gamers, and this very community is one reason I can say that now.
2013 was the first year I heard about Extra Life. A friend of mine mentioned on his livestream that he would be participating and told stories about the previous year. The idea of gamers getting together for an amazing cause like Children's Miracle Network Hospitals sounded like something I'd love to do. There was only one problem: I'd never streamed, and wanted to do more than just hang out during his stream.
With plenty of trepidation, I started learning the basics of streaming and was soon practicing for the main event. Streaming had always sounded like fun, which was why I tended to guest on other streams. But running a stream myself? So many things could go wrong, and I could end up looking foolish. I made myself push through my nervousness, knowing this was for something bigger than me. In doing so, I realized the community was clearly willing to help.
I wasn't the only one focused on the larger goal. As the day approached, I received advice and good wishes from gamers I'd never met before. “For the kids,” bridged the gap to make an instant connection. I noticed we weren't just supporting a charity, we were supporting each other. To my surprise, I started to see a side of gaming I'd been missing out on.
My stream, incidentally, went just fine. I had to close it off a couple hours early due to my laptop wanting to overheat, but the rest of it was perfectly enjoyable. My only regret is forgetting to save it before it was auto-deleted by Twitch. I felt good about what I'd done, not just in collecting donations, but in becoming a part of such a supportive community.

In 2014, I didn't quite trust my laptop to hold up for a 24 hour stream. I planned to spend the day doing a group run of DC Universe Online with some friends instead. While that worked fine for hours, we had to end early due to the streamer's health. I was at a complete loss for what to do. I couldn't stream, didn't have anything planned, but didn't want to stop the marathon.
Instead of heading to bed, I logged into my favorite MMO, The Secret World. At the time I didn't know many people there, but I knew a number of players were participating in Extra Life. I thought I'd tag along with them, if I could find them and they let me. If not, at least I knew I could play the game for hours.
When I asked in chat if anyone was still running, the response was immediate warmth and welcome. Once again, players I didn't even know were jumping over themselves to include me and congratulate me for participating. The beginning of my connections in this game wound up being incredibly important, as those connections are one reason I later auditioned for, and became a part of, the Beyond the Veil podcast!

This year, I have a new computer for marathon day. I'll be running with my friends over in The Secret World and co-streaming on my own channel. I am comfortable in belonging and excited for another chance to support the cause. I know I can reach out to other runners for support and friendship, and when I do stream I know I can ask and receive helpful advice.
Extra Life is always primarily about the kids. It's an amazing thing we do each year, and it's important to keep the real goals in mind. What we do during these gaming marathons makes a very real difference to very real people. Many children of my friends and family have been helped greatly by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I can't say enough about how valuable supporting them is.
Still, the way the community members open up and support each other is also a beautiful thing to see and an important aspect to recognize. While we're doing something great for the kids, we can do something great for each other, too. As I get ready for Extra Life 2015, I'll be taking some time to welcome new participants and appreciate the old. I hope we not only break our high score for donations this year, but also bring a record number of new gamers into a supportive and friendly community.

Jack Gardner
Awesome. Awesome! AWESOME! After almost seven years in development, The Witness finally has a release date. Originally announced back in 2009 with a projected release date for 2011, The Witness has since gone dark with only brief updates on its progress from indie dev Jonathan Blow. Blow is best known for his work on Braid, one of the games credited for sparking the indie studio revolution. The Witness was also slated to be a launch title for the PlayStation 4, but slowly slipped out of that time window. 
However, now it appears that the game is more beautiful than ever and has been firmly attached to January 26, 2016. 

Jack Gardner
What do we have when all that remains is the pain of loss? Metal Gear Solid V explores the depths of rage and sadness that people will sink to in order to try to fill the gaping hole of absence in their lives. Every character is broken and left seething for revenge, but not even revenge can satisfy the void that has been forced on them. The cycle perpetuates itself and the phantom pain never stops. Metal Gear Solid as a series speaks to that unending series of cause and effect and V exists as the chain that ties three decades of games together into a single whole.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain represents a new standard in stealth-action gameplay. Taking place in a relatively open world, players often have dozens of options when it comes to which route they’d like to take to infiltrate an enemy stronghold. Even better, players can choose how to develop their arsenals by using the resources they procure while on missions. These choices hold profound impact when it comes to how players want to tackle their time in The Phantom Pain. Do you invest in ever more deadly weaponry? Or do you trick out your non-lethal options? Maybe you eschew both of those options and focus on upgrading the gear for your support buddies. Every time you go into the field, you can choose to take a buddy with you. These range from a horse to a ridable death-robot. Depending on what they have equipped they provide different tactical options that can come in incredibly useful.

All of that probably sounds like a really big departure for the series, and it is, but while introducing so many new elements the core gameplay of sneaking remains intact and familiar. Across the board, the gameplay has been improved to such an extent that I am shocked at how close I am to calling it perfect. Perhaps the biggest contributor to this is the new Reflex Mode which slows down time when you are noticed in order to give you a chance to take out the person who saw you before they can raise the alarm. This alleviates a huge amount of frustration from the gameplay loop that could be irrevocably shattered at a moment’s notice in previous titles. It is amazing amounts of fun to stealth around guard encampments and pull off an unseen prisoner extraction or sabotage communications equipment. Even if you’ve reached the end of your rope during a frustrating mission and decide to go in guns blazing, the actual action feels great, too.
Beyond that, there are just so many fun, cool things that you can do. Scattered over the world are cassette tapes for your trusty Sony Walkman that play classic hits from the 80s (or timeline breaking remasters from the late 90s) that you can play while infiltrating and neutralizing targets or even set your helicopter to play when it comes in to pick you up. Few things are as sweet as listening to an assault chopper blast “Maneater” while coming in for a hot extraction. You could spend ten to twenty minutes to traverse the huge game world to get to your next objective or you could call in an expensive helicopter to bring you to a different drop point or you could hop in a box and ship yourself to your objective point. Or what about an option that makes your horse poop on command? Heck, there is even an animal collecting subgame that can unlock a peaceful nature preserve area to visit.

The only areas of gameplay that I found particularly underwhelming were the base-building elements which connects to the asynchronous multiplayer. After players progress a bit into The Phantom Pain, they’ll unlock the ability to upgrade Mother Base, a sprawling structure in the middle of the ocean.  Building up Mother Base and recruiting personnel is an important way of unlocking new gear to design, providing new support functions like area bombardments, or getting accurate intel on enemy installations. It is a cool concept that works for the most part. Unfortunately, Mother Base as a place to visit is large and vapid. It doesn’t feel like a place you want to spend much time in and you are never shown Big Boss just hanging out with his comrades and friends. There was an opportunity here to really connect with the people players recruit in the field, but that doesn’t really come together as much as it could have.
About halfway through the game, players unlock the ability to both raid other player’s Mother Bases and construct additional bases elsewhere around the globe. You get one forward operating base (FOB) for free, but any more cost real money, which feels like the specter of microtransactions looming over a game where they feel grossly out of place. To top it off, infiltrating other players bases doesn’t feel very fun or important. There is the shadow of what could have been a cool idea there, but it doesn’t feel fully fleshed out at all. The rewards are nice, but rarely feel worth the enormous hassle it can be to successfully infiltrate an enemy base, especially when it feels like the gameplay is slightly tweaked against you after having been accustomed to how the rest of the game plays. You are often better off tackling one of the 157 side-ops missions to earn some additional resources.
Aside from the underwhelming aspects of Mother Base, I would recommend Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to most people (along with the rest of the franchise as it is a fascinating look into the history of game design) on the strength of the core gameplay experience alone. However, the same openness that ushers in a new era of stealth gameplay for the Metal Gear franchise is saddled with a narrative still stuck in more constrained terms. The structure of the game and the structure of the narrative just don’t seem to meld together very well. Dramatic tension can be completely slack one minute and pulled taut the next, leading to the storytelling equivalent of whiplash. Each scene taken by itself is usually very well done when taken on its own terms, creating some really compelling and memorable moments. However, large segments of Metal Gear Solid V’s runtime that feel like treading water, and it absolutely kills whatever forward momentum the story has managed to build up. This leads to some reveals and confrontations that feel very sudden and unearned. The Phantom Pain would have been less fun if it had been more confined, but the story would have benefited from the more restrictive design. It's a strange catch-22.

This brings me to one of the problems with The Phantom Pain: If you didn’t read an encyclopedia on the history of Metal Gear and can’t rattle off how The Boss is different from Big Boss you are going to be in for a world of confusion. Stepping into the series for the first time with Metal Gear Solid V will be doing both yourself and the franchise a huge disservice. The gameplay will still be excellent, but you will be hard-pressed to understand anything that goes on. Heck, even I had trouble wrapping my brain around all the dramatic monologues to puzzle together the overarching plot and I love the Metal Gear Solid games.
One of the oddest parts of the narrative is the almost shocking lack of dialogue from Big Boss as voiced by Kiefer Sutherland. There are many parts of the game where you expect some kind of vocal response from the legendary Big Boss, but all you get is a grunt or silence. This is made all the more irritating because when Big Boss does take an opportunity to talk, Sutherland performs admirably with a lot of depth and nuance. There are just a number of pivotal moments where there is no dialogue to be had and it comes across as incredibly strange.
That the narrative can’t seem to embrace the open design is a shame, because the theming and presentation of The Phantom Pain is some of the best video games can offer. A grand tragedy plays out as we participate, a cog in a grander plan. We see men and women broken by the machine of modern war. It is a terrible thing, and yet we find joy and wonder and beauty in all of it.   

One of the unavoidable topics when discussing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has become the controversial character Quiet. I held off making judgement calls until I saw the final credits roll. Perhaps Kojima was simply biding his time for a full revelation of her character? Having completed the game, I can now state for certain that Quiet's design never adequately pays off. I thought there would be some last minute shenanigans that might justify the skimpy character design, but she seems to exist to contort herself for the benefit of players who want to stare at her lady bits. That is a terrible shame because Quiet is an interesting side character with depth, but she gets boiled down to her body as her most important attribute - both explicitly in the story and implicitly by the way she is framed.
We need to talk about the concept of male gaze because that idea can be seen in full effect in almost every scene involving Quiet. In the most basic terms, male gaze is the structuring of a visual medium around the assumption that it is for men. In cutscenes involving Quiet or even her idle animations that are sometimes placed in front of the player, the camera is always strategically placed to ogle her. Sometimes it focuses on her butt, other times her breasts, but she seems to be constantly framed by the game in weirdly sexual ways for no reason beyond pure titillation. If you want some clear examples of what I mean by this, I suggest checking out Tactical Modding’s brilliant character model swap of Quiet and Revolver Ocelot. The videos demonstrate the importance of framing; could we really take Revolver Ocelot as seriously if the camera was constantly zooming in on his buttocks or chest?
Now, I’m not going to say that video games as a medium are free from that kind of framing. With the success of games like Honeypop, there is clearly a demand for games that aim directly for players who want to ogle and that’s fine. But when we hold up a game/series as one of the best the medium has to offer, we really need to give that attitude serious consideration. What this sort of framing does is send a very clear message to people that says, “This is a guy game. For guys. About guy things. Like war and violence and sometimes crying (but only when people die).”

That’s a really alienating message and a really disappointing one when Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4 had some of the best female characters the medium can offer in the form of The Boss and Meryl Silverburgh. There is nothing wrong with making a game about issues that deal specifically with the male experience, but you can do that without demeaning and overly sexualizing female characters. Heck, you can even make such a game that also invites women into the experience! Now, maybe there are some people who have no issue with how Quiet was designed. That’s cool. However, I’ve had several people (both men and women) approach me while I was reviewing Metal Gear Solid V who were thoroughly put off by her design alone and had no desire to engage with it. That’s a problem that could have been solved by showing a little more respect to the character.  
On top of that, representation seems to be a bit lacking. For a game that largely takes place in Afghanistan and South Africa, there is a surprising absence of notable Middle Eastern or South African characters. This could have been a really interesting plot point as The Phantom Pain takes place during a period when Apartheid was still in full effect, so it feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. Beyond that, Quiet represents as the only female character in the game aside from two others, one of whom is a literal woman in a refrigerator trope and the other who doesn’t really count because spoilers.
All of the things I mention here about narrative structure, male gaze, and representation matter. They’re the things that really hold The Phantom Pain back from being a video game masterpiece, despite nearly perfect gameplay. Those issues matter when you begin talking about what makes a modern video game a timeless classic. That doesn’t mean I don’t think that Metal Gear Solid V isn’t worth playing. On the contrary, I still thoroughly recommend it as a great game that falls short of being what it could otherwise have been.  
The feat of long-term game design that Hideo Kojima pulled off in the Metal Gear franchise is nothing short of spectacular. Metal Gear Solid V fits like a puzzle piece into a space we didn’t know existed, tying in Peace Walker, Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid, and even the original Metal Gear. It truly feels like a farewell to the franchise from Kojima. The series is so unabashedly him, full of strange quirks, attention to detail, and oddly placed homages. He managed to be an auteur in the AAA game design space during a period that often leaves large developers faceless and corporate. Kojima’s unique place in the industry and the overwhelming likelihood that The Phantom Pain will be his last work on Metal Gear Solid renders the triumph of his swan song bittersweet. There might still be a future for the franchise, but that future probably won’t include Hideo Kojima.
In a way, the evolution of the Metal Gear series up to this point has been the evolution of games as a whole. The final entry demonstrates how far we have come, while also showing that we still have a number of things that could be miles better.  
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was reviewed on PC and is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Jack Gardner
We know that not everyone who loves games has enough time to seek out and watch nearly two hours of video game announcements made from the other side of the planet, so we went and did it for you! The Sony event included a wide variety of announcements ranging from developers taking the stage to briefly talk about their upcoming games to new accessories and system price drops. 
Keep very much in mind that many of these announcements are oriented around the Japanese market and may or may not be coming to North America. The release dates are all for Japan unless otherwise stated. However, the chances for some of these titles making their way the North American stores is pretty high, so with that in mind, let's get on with the run down. 
Sony kicked things off by announcing a new array of PS Vitas that offer a variety of different colors. These systems will be available in Japan September 17. New colors will also be available for the PlayStation 4 in the form of nine colored plates for the detachable portion of the PS4 case. These new colors also come with a price drop for the console to 34,980 yen, which is roughly $290. Perhaps we will also be seeing a holiday price drop in the near future? Later in the conference, Sony announced that a limited run of gold, silver, steel black, and crystal controllers would become available in retailers shortly. One can only hope that these color options can find their way across the ocean. 
Following that, the first details on Bloodborne's expansion dlc dropped, including a new trailer. Titled The Old Hunters, the DLC pits the protagonist of the core game against the legendary hunters of the past who have become insane and twisted by the powers of the blood. The DLC will hit the digital market worldwide on November 24, followed by a physical release packaged with Bloodborne on releasing December 3 in North America. 
The highly praised Gravity Rush (known as Gravity Daze in Japan), previously only available on PS Vita, will be receiving an HD remake for PS4. This remake will be making its way to North America on February 9 in North America under the title Gravity Rush Remastered. A sequel was also announced that will release in Japan sometime next year. No word on whether that will be coming to the NA region. It could depend on how well the remaster sells. 
Ubisoft took the stage next to talk about their upcoming titles. The first title they talked about, For Honor, throws knights (the Legions), vikings (Warborn), and samurai (Chosen) into all out war against each other. At the conference, Ubisoft revealed a gameplay montage for the Chosen faction’s Oni warrior, who can perform brutal katana attacks, call in archer volleys, and use a variety of clever tactical weapons to win the day. For Honor is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. No release date was been announced. Ubisoft also unveiled the trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate's first DLC pack which centers around Jack the Ripper. shown for the first time. It appears to involve tracking down the deranged killer who may or may not hold some affiliation to the Assassins. 
Following Ubisoft, Sega announced a remake of the game that kickstarted the Yakuza franchise. The remake of the PS2 classic drastically overhauls the graphics, improves overall playablity, and adds new missions that expand the story. The Yakuza remaster will be available on January 21. Sega followed this up with an almost casual mention that Yakuza 6 will release in fall 2016 exclusively for PS4. No word on whether either of those will come to North America any time soon, though given that Yakuza has developed a bit of a cult following, chances are fairly good that we will eventually see both. Additionally, a few seconds of The King of Fighters XIV was shown. The fighting genre staple releases this coming January for Japanese audiences.
Bandai Namco took the stage to talk about two of its most lucrative Japanese franchises: One Piece and Gundam VS. New titles are on their way, pretty standard. However, the larger bombshells dropped afterward. Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to PS4. Given that Phantasy Star Online just released for North American audiences, chances are pretty good that we might see the same treatment in the near future. More amazing is a PS4 exclusive named Nioh debuted gameplay footage. Nioh was originally announced over a decade ago and was long thought to have been cancelled. The title appears to be a cool mix of Dark Souls and The Witcher 3 in which players hunt a wide variety of demons in a mystical, feudal Japan. Nioh releases in Japan sometime next year. 
RPG juggernaut Square Enix took over to flex its JRPG muscles. World of Final Fantasy trailer looks absolutely adorable and the game itself seems to be Final Fantasy meets Pokemon with some chibi character models thrown in for good measure. The title will release in Japan sometime during 2016 for PS4 and Vita. Square Enix and tri-Ace project Star Ocean V: Integrity and Faithlessness will hit Japan on February 25, 2016. No word on a US release yet, but if one is happening it should be a month or two after that date. The trailer has some really inviting and promising scenes that get my hopes up. Square Enix announced a new entry in the long dormant Saga series titled Saga: Scarlet Grace. Not many details are available on the game, but it is cool to see Square Enix delve into its lesser used IPs. Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a large HD package of games that includes Dream Drop Distance HD, Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-. I have no idea what these names mean any more, but, hey, more Kingdom Hearts (even HD re-releases) isn't ever bad news.
For the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil series (known as Biohazard in Japan), Capcom is releasing a competitive third-person shooter titled Biohazard Umbrella Corps to bring the franchise into a new decade. It appears to be players fighting one another with guns and brutal weaponry while in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The downloadable title will be available worldwide for PS4 and PC next year. 
Spike Chunsoft, the devs behind Daganronpa, are teaming up with RPG legends tri-Ace for a new title called Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky for PS4 and Vita that will launch on December 17.
Square Enix took the stage again to show off Dragon Quest: Builders on January 28, 2016 looks like an adorable combination of Minecraft's blocky world and the traditional RPG nature of Dragon Quest. The game appears to involve restoring a monster-riddled land to safety by helping to construct towns. 
Project Morpheus is now somewhat more mundanely named PlayStation VR. 
That about covers the majority of the big and small announcements of the press event. You can watch the full thing for yourself here.

Jack Gardner
The Humble Bundle featuring a vast array of Ubisoft Tom Clancy titles only has three days left before it is gone forever. This bundle includes a total of thirteen games (plus access to the Rainbow Six Siege Multiplayer Beta). As with every Humble Bundle, you can choose how your money will be distributed among the publisher, Humble Bundle, and the charity organizations. This bundle supports both Extra Life and Operation Supply Drop with adjustable distribution between the two charities. The offer is only available for the next three days or so, so get on it if you want a slew of new games, really love Tom Clancy, or just want to support Extra Life. 
Below you can find a full list of the included titles and goodies under their price tier. 
For $1 or more 
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 Gold
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege - Multiplayer Beta
Pay more than the average price (currently $8.54)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Deluxe Edition
Tom Clancy's EndWar
Pay $10 or more 
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Pay $75
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege when it's released on October 13
An exclusive Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege t-shirt
A coupon for 66% off up to any three Ubisoft titles in the Humble Store (excludes pre-orders)

Jack Gardner
Developer Squishy Games has released a new trailer for their rogue-like, isometric sidescroller Rogue Invader. Based on a game made for fun nearly 20 years ago, Rogue Invader places players in the role of an invading force of soldiers trying to conquer the homeworld of the aliens who have brought unimaginable war and devastation upon the human race. To do this, soldiers with various different types of customizable weapons and armor will have to make their way across the planet's surface, through the alien defenses, and defeat the vile King Zenos. Each playthrough is randomized and many secrets lurk for those who explore enough to find them.  

While the title is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, it has been green lit on Steam and will be released whether or not the Kickstarter succeeds (which currently looks doubtful). The Kickstarter, as stated up front by Squishy Games, is mostly for bumping up the quality of the soundtrack and the art assets. However, the game itself has been largely finished, though additional areas and items will be added in patches. 
Rogue Invader will be coming to PC, Mac, and Linux later this fall.

Since the beginning of the Extra Life movement, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the ESA Foundation have been prolific partners.
I’m thrilled to announce the kickoff of the 2015 ESA Foundation Extra Life Challenge.  This is a chance for you to unlock a huge donation for your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital by doing what you do best; Playing Games to Heal Kids.
This year, The ESA Foundation is offering up two $30,000 grants, for a total of $60,000 in life-saving funds!
The Internet simply does not have enough bandwidth for us to fully transmit our gratitude.  THANK YOU, ESA FOUNDATION!
Two Winning Hospitals
A donation of $30,000 is up for grabs for the hospital whose Extra Life gamers raise the most money overall by 9am CDT on Sunday, November 8th.  Last year, that went to UCSF Beniof Children’s Hospital in the San Francisco/Oakland area.  This particular “prize” favors bigger cities.
Which is why…
A second donation of $30,000 will be unlocked for the hospital whose gamers raise the most money per capita by 9am on Sunday, November 8th.  For this we simply divide the number of dollars raised by the population of that market.  Last year, the mighty Extra Lifers of Austin, Texas brought home this prize for local kids at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Nitty Gritty
A hospital can only receive one of the two donations amounts. All funds submitted through our website prior to the deadline will be counted instantly towards the 2015 ESA Foundation-Extra Life Challenge. If you are submitting offline funds (Checks) they must be received no later than Monday, November 2nd in order to be processed and credited to your hospital before the deadline. Funds can be received after the deadline, they just won’t count towards this challenge.    
Make the biggest difference
Obviously the more you can raise for sick and injured local kids in your area, the better your hospital’s chances of getting these critical funds. An even better way to skew the odds in your favor is to simply recruit more people in your community to join Extra Life.  Did you know that the average donation is $35, but the average amount raised by someone you recruit is $100?  If you can get a friend to join Extra Life, you’ll be making triple the impact for this challenge and For The Kids.
About ESA Foundation
Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth. ESA Foundation creates educational opportunities by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting organizations that leverage entertainment software and technology. The proceeds from a signature annual fundraiser, Nite to Unite – for Kids and other charitable initiatives support this mission. For more information, visit the ESA Foundation’s website or follow them on Twitter: @ESA Foundation.

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