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Found 8 results

  1. The co-founders and heads of Sledgehammer Games, the developer behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII as well as some key elements of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield got their start at EA Redwood Shores and made a name for themselves by creating the legendary survival horror title Dead Space. The success of Dead Space spurred EA to spin Redwood Shores off into Visceral Games, a more independent subsidiary of EA's stable of studios (which has since been closed down by EA). While that change went down, Condrey and Schofield left and founded Sledgehammer Games, which became one of three studios working under Activision to churn out yearly Call of Duty releases. The news of their departure comes as a bit of a shock considering that Call of Duty: WWII was the best selling game of 2017. However, it doesn't appear that the duo has left on bad terms. In fact, it seems that they left to pursue bigger opportunities at Activision itself. In statements Activision provided to Kotaku, Schofield wrote, "Activision has offered me the opportunity to focus my energy on something I’m very passionate about, exploring new game ideas for the company. It’s something I just couldn’t pass up." Condrey expressed his gratitude to the men and women working at Sledgehammer Games and explained that he would also be making the leap to his former publisher, "I am looking forward to starting a new chapter of my career with Activision. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Sledgehammer Games and look forward to seeing Aaron lead the studio to new heights." This move doesn't seem like it will affect the release of future Call of Duty titles. Condrey and Schofield have left Aaron Halon, the former senior development director at Sledgehammer, in charge of the studio. The 2018 Call of Duty title is being developed by Treyarch.
  2. The co-founders and heads of Sledgehammer Games, the developer behind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: WWII as well as some key elements of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield got their start at EA Redwood Shores and made a name for themselves by creating the legendary survival horror title Dead Space. The success of Dead Space spurred EA to spin Redwood Shores off into Visceral Games, a more independent subsidiary of EA's stable of studios (which has since been closed down by EA). While that change went down, Condrey and Schofield left and founded Sledgehammer Games, which became one of three studios working under Activision to churn out yearly Call of Duty releases. The news of their departure comes as a bit of a shock considering that Call of Duty: WWII was the best selling game of 2017. However, it doesn't appear that the duo has left on bad terms. In fact, it seems that they left to pursue bigger opportunities at Activision itself. In statements Activision provided to Kotaku, Schofield wrote, "Activision has offered me the opportunity to focus my energy on something I’m very passionate about, exploring new game ideas for the company. It’s something I just couldn’t pass up." Condrey expressed his gratitude to the men and women working at Sledgehammer Games and explained that he would also be making the leap to his former publisher, "I am looking forward to starting a new chapter of my career with Activision. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Sledgehammer Games and look forward to seeing Aaron lead the studio to new heights." This move doesn't seem like it will affect the release of future Call of Duty titles. Condrey and Schofield have left Aaron Halon, the former senior development director at Sledgehammer, in charge of the studio. The 2018 Call of Duty title is being developed by Treyarch. View full article
  3. Earlier today, EA sent out an update regarding the development of the unnamed Star Wars title. The title, codenamed Ragtag, has long been rumored to have internal development troubles, and the announcement all but confirms those rumors. Patrick Söderlund, EA Worldwide's executive vice president, penned the public message that attempted to clarify the company's decision to close Visceral Games, one of their most well-known subsidiary studios: Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore. This move leads to a few other changes: A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA. Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future. This move seems to be coming from EA in an attempt to move the game away from being a linear, story-focused experience and toward a more long-term investment. Essentially, this is EA stepping in to make sure that project Ragtag can continue generating money post-launch, probably through microtransactions and/or DLC, both of which have become core parts of their business strategy in recent years. I suspect that it will also be shifting focus of the title from a linear, single-player story toward a multiplayer competitive title that can be milked for money via DLC and microtransactions for years after release. Kotaku was able to get some further clarification on Visceral's closure. Söderlund responded to their questions by saying that the EA Vancouver team that was already attached to the project would take the lead along with a team taken from across EA Worldwide Studios. EA executive producer Steve Anthony will lead the entire effort and much of the work done by Visceral will be used in the final game such as assets that have already been built. Amy Hennig, known for her work directing Uncharted 1-4, had been helming Visceral's Ragtag project. Her fate seems to be uncertain, although an EA spokesperson stated that, "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move." EA has said that they are trying to move as many devs as possible to other parts of EA, but many will be finding themselves without a job. Other studios across the industry, such as God of War developer Sony Santa Monica and 2K Games, have expressed their sympathy for the people affected and opened their doors to applicants who might not make it through the dissolution of Visceral.
  4. Earlier today, EA sent out an update regarding the development of the unnamed Star Wars title. The title, codenamed Ragtag, has long been rumored to have internal development troubles, and the announcement all but confirms those rumors. Patrick Söderlund, EA Worldwide's executive vice president, penned the public message that attempted to clarify the company's decision to close Visceral Games, one of their most well-known subsidiary studios: Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore. This move leads to a few other changes: A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA. Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future. This move seems to be coming from EA in an attempt to move the game away from being a linear, story-focused experience and toward a more long-term investment. Essentially, this is EA stepping in to make sure that project Ragtag can continue generating money post-launch, probably through microtransactions and/or DLC, both of which have become core parts of their business strategy in recent years. I suspect that it will also be shifting focus of the title from a linear, single-player story toward a multiplayer competitive title that can be milked for money via DLC and microtransactions for years after release. Kotaku was able to get some further clarification on Visceral's closure. Söderlund responded to their questions by saying that the EA Vancouver team that was already attached to the project would take the lead along with a team taken from across EA Worldwide Studios. EA executive producer Steve Anthony will lead the entire effort and much of the work done by Visceral will be used in the final game such as assets that have already been built. Amy Hennig, known for her work directing Uncharted 1-4, had been helming Visceral's Ragtag project. Her fate seems to be uncertain, although an EA spokesperson stated that, "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move." EA has said that they are trying to move as many devs as possible to other parts of EA, but many will be finding themselves without a job. Other studios across the industry, such as God of War developer Sony Santa Monica and 2K Games, have expressed their sympathy for the people affected and opened their doors to applicants who might not make it through the dissolution of Visceral. View full article
  5. In honor of the day of all things spooky-scary we're turning to the game that took up Resident Evil 4's third-person horror mantle and mixed it with Alien and Event Horizon. Dead Space released in 2008 and garnered numerous accolades for its tense sound, tight level design, and its unique focus on dismembering monsters. Some reviewers and fans at the time crowned Dead Space as the scariest game of all time. Though that title might have since been given to other games, Dead Space still holds its share of horror. but is that enough for it to be a best game period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Uninvited 'The Old Mansion by the Road' by Sir_NutS, Stephen Kelly, and WillRock (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03443) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  6. In honor of the day of all things spooky-scary we're turning to the game that took up Resident Evil 4's third-person horror mantle and mixed it with Alien and Event Horizon. Dead Space released in 2008 and garnered numerous accolades for its tense sound, tight level design, and its unique focus on dismembering monsters. Some reviewers and fans at the time crowned Dead Space as the scariest game of all time. Though that title might have since been given to other games, Dead Space still holds its share of horror. but is that enough for it to be a best game period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Uninvited 'The Old Mansion by the Road' by Sir_NutS, Stephen Kelly, and WillRock (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03443) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  7. A few weeks ago, the industry was flabbergasted when Amy Hennig, long-time creative director of the Uncharted series, unexpectedly left Naughty Dog. She has since been picked up by Visceral Games, the developer behind Dead Space and Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. It would appear that Amy Hennig was attracted to the idea of being the creative director of a new Star Wars game. For those that don't know, Visceral Games is owned by EA which has a contract with Disney to make games based on the Star Wars IP. The prospect of having creative control over a Star Wars property is certainly a mouth-watering prospect for any creative individual, especially a person of Hennig's creative caliber. Steve Papoutsis, the vice president and general manager at Visceral Games, expressed his excitement at what Hennig would be bringing to their Star Wars project: Over the last few weeks, Amy and I have spent a lot of time talking about what her first project would be. There are a lot of different directions we could have gone, but I could sense that what really excited her about this opportunity (because let’s face it, we weren’t the only ones knocking at her door) was Star Wars. Amy’s a huge fan. We happen to be making a Star Wars game. Just thinking about the possibilities made both of us even more excited about having her join the team. We're all pretty dang excited, too, Steve. As for what exactly that Star Wars game will focus on or be about, no one outside of Visceral knows. There has been some speculation that the remnants of Star Wars 1313 may have been picked up by EA following the closure of Lucas Arts. While there is no reason to believe those rumors, I can't help thinking how awesome playing a game that was described as "Uncharted + Star Wars" helmed by the actual creative director of Uncharted. This isn't likely, but a guy can dream, right? View full article
  8. A few weeks ago, the industry was flabbergasted when Amy Hennig, long-time creative director of the Uncharted series, unexpectedly left Naughty Dog. She has since been picked up by Visceral Games, the developer behind Dead Space and Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. It would appear that Amy Hennig was attracted to the idea of being the creative director of a new Star Wars game. For those that don't know, Visceral Games is owned by EA which has a contract with Disney to make games based on the Star Wars IP. The prospect of having creative control over a Star Wars property is certainly a mouth-watering prospect for any creative individual, especially a person of Hennig's creative caliber. Steve Papoutsis, the vice president and general manager at Visceral Games, expressed his excitement at what Hennig would be bringing to their Star Wars project: Over the last few weeks, Amy and I have spent a lot of time talking about what her first project would be. There are a lot of different directions we could have gone, but I could sense that what really excited her about this opportunity (because let’s face it, we weren’t the only ones knocking at her door) was Star Wars. Amy’s a huge fan. We happen to be making a Star Wars game. Just thinking about the possibilities made both of us even more excited about having her join the team. We're all pretty dang excited, too, Steve. As for what exactly that Star Wars game will focus on or be about, no one outside of Visceral knows. There has been some speculation that the remnants of Star Wars 1313 may have been picked up by EA following the closure of Lucas Arts. While there is no reason to believe those rumors, I can't help thinking how awesome playing a game that was described as "Uncharted + Star Wars" helmed by the actual creative director of Uncharted. This isn't likely, but a guy can dream, right?
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