The Call of Duty franchise has traditionally been a subject of debate due to, in part, it's annual release schedule. With studios Treyarch and Infinity Ward helming the development of all games, adding a third studio to the production team comes as a bit of a surprise. Activision revealed that with this new studio, Sledgehammer Games, comes a three year development schedule for each game. What this increased development time will be actually focused on is up for debate, but according to Activision it will "give [their] designers more time to envision and to innovate."
Despite the ill-rumblings of web commenters the world over, "Star Wars: The Old Republic" is still going strong. With two expansions out of the gate, two new packs have been announced for 2014. Reportedly, they will be about the same size as "Galactic Starfighter" and "Rise of the Hutt Cartel" respectively. No details have been divulged, but Bioware did promise "new PVP Seasons, Flashpoints, Operations, gear, performance improves, and Class changes," for the new year.
Big-name companies aren't the only ones attempting to develop new control schemes for video games. "Nevermind" is a game funded by Kickstarter which will attempt to use biofeedback as a control mechanism for difficulty. Simply put, the more scared you are, the harder the game becomes. From the game's description on Kickstarter, it seems like the developers are far from nefarious villains attempting to rub salt in quivering gamer's wounds. "If you can learn to control your anxiety within the disturbing realm of Nevermind," the description reads, "just imagine what you can do when it comes to those inevitable stressful moments in the real world…" For seasoned gamers and horror aficionados, "Nevermind" will have to pull out some seriously creative methods of delivering scares to make good on anxiety-driven difficulty
While many a fan of the Halo franchise wonders whether or not "Destiny" will further Bungie's legacy, Activision has absolutely no doubt. According to CEO Bobby Kotick, "Desinty will become the best-selling new video game IP in history." That's a very tall order. But, if there's a team to pull that off, the industry could do worse than Activision and Bungie. Activision has a strong history of publishing highly polished and highly lucrative franchises, while Bungie's old franchise is one of the heaviest contenders on the FPS market. The idea of blending pulse-pounding FPS gameplay with the emergence and interaction of an MMO is not new, but "Destiny" seems to be side-stepping convention to create something that's exciting and innovative.
Music can elevate a cutscene or gameplay segment to something that's powerful, emotional, and engaging. Considering the investment many fans put into game soundtracks, it comes as somewhat of a shock that a luminary in video game music composition is actually a fraud, and has been for quite a while. Samuragochi has been praised for his work on "Onimusha: Warlords," "Resident Evil: The Director's Cut," and more. As it turns out, he paid a music teacher, Takashi Niigaki, $77,000 over 20 years to compose every piece. Furthermore, Samuragochi may have faked being deaf as well. While personal fans of Samuragochi may be crestfallen, at least gamers the world over can now adulate the proper individual.