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Call of Duty: Ghosts Accidentally Revealed?

A British retailer has provided more evidence that the next Call of Duty game is titled Ghosts.

A product listing on Tesco Direct (the object has now been pulled down) seems to corroborate recent reports about Ghosts, which came from a YouTube user back in March.

ghosts-pagejpg

Screen grab of Tesco's product listing for Call of Duty: Ghosts (now removed).

The listing also features credible box art bearing the Infinity Ward logo. Infinity Ward previously worked on the tremendously popular Modern Warfare entries in the long-running franchise. This would make sense since last year’s Black Ops II was made by Treyarch. Has the Modern Warfare title been dropped following the high-profile departure and out-of-court settlement with Jason West and Vince Zampella? West and Zampella left after disputing royalties.

There were no details about the game coming to next-gen platforms, but we did manage to see box art for PS3 and Xbox 360 before they were pulled.

But looking more closely at box art it might still be connected with the Modern Warfare titles. It depicts a character donning a mask resembling that worn by Simon ‘Ghost’ Reilly. Combined with the title, can we reasonably speculate that this could be a prequel centred on the popular character from Modern Warfare 2?

Adding to the rumor is a reportedly leaked Target ad that also prominently features Call of Duty: Ghosts as well as a November 5, 2013 release date.

IGN contacted Activision about this story, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

Daniel is IGN’s UK Staff Writer. You can be part of the world’s most embarrassing cult by following him on IGN and Twitter.

By Daniel Krupa

TimeGate Studios Files for Bankruptcy

Section 8 image

TimeGate Studios has filed for bankruptcy, revealing millions owed to various creditors. According to Polygon, a petition for chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed in Texas Southern Bankruptcy Court yesterday, listing dozens of creditors owed money by the developer.

TimeGate owes between $10 and $50 million in liabilities, with listed creditors including Epic Games, Agora Games, DJ2 Entertainment and even “a local pizzeria, to whom TimeGate owes $34.80.” TimeGate also owes an “unknown” amount to Southpeak Interactive, who recently sued the developer, resulting in TimeGate’s loss of the Section 8 license and up to $7 million in owed damages.

In addition to Section 8 and Section 8 and Section 8: Prejudice, TimeGate co-developed Aliens: Colonial Marines, with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford telling IGN in February that TimeGate worked on “probably about 20 or 25 percent of the total time” on the game and “if you take preproduction out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours.”

TimeGate last announced Minimum, a free-to-play PC shooter originally due to be released this year.

We’ve reached out to TimeGate for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

Andrew Goldfarb is IGN’s news editor. Keep up with pictures of the latest food he’s been eating by following @garfep on Twitter or garfep on IGN.

By Andrew Goldfarb

Defiance achieves milestone of over one million accounts created since launch

Defiance Image

If you've been enjoying your time destroying Hellbugs and raiding Arks, you can consider yourself among the million of players that have created a Defiance account since launch. The game has only been out for one month, making that million account milestone definitely impressive.

Trion has shared a few statistics from the game:

  • The not so cute or cuddly hellbugs have put up a good fight, but gamers are showing an incredible love for dropkicking, exploding and decimating them by annihilating more than 500,000,000 hellbugs to date.
  • Jumping on their ATV and cruising around the Badlands has led to gamers driving 50,000,000 miles around the terra formed Bay Area.
  • Banding together, Ark Hunters have engaged in triggering and battling back an incredible 1,000,000 Arkfalls.

However, one of the more exciting announcements, that tie the show and game together, is that the show will feature a players character in the show, thanks to the Defiance Most Wanted contest. Up until now, many of the ties between the show and game have been rather weak, but this seems to give incentive for players to truly gun for being number one.

For information on the contest and to register, make sure to visit the Defiance Most Wanted page.

Oh and of course, congratulations Trion!

By Mike Splechta

Teaser suggests a reveal for 2K's XCOM shooter, possibly The Bureau, could come this week

XCOM teaser

Come this Thursday, April 26, we should have a better idea about 2K'sXCOM shooter and its possible rebranding asThe Bureau. There's a lot of mystery surrounding the game which was first revealed at E3 2010 and then delayed after a mixed response. Over the past few weeks, rumors and speculation surrounding the shooter possibly being rebranded have surfaced.

Whatever the situation now, it appears 2K Games is ready to finally unveil it. A new teaser has emerged from Veritas MCMLXII titled "What Happened in 62," which just so happens to be the year the originalXCOMshooter was set. The video doesn't show much, but it's what it doesn't show that is so intriguing.

The description reads: "When we covered things up, no one knew what happened. But that's not right. People need to know the truth. The truth cannot be contained much longer."

XCOM The Bureau reveal

Viewing the video frame-by-frame, we can see the date April 26 along with the 2K brand, indicating a lengthier reveal is imminent. What are you hoping to see?

By Matt Liebl

SkyFar developer harassed for allegedly ripping off Vlambeer

SkyFar

SkyFar, a dog-fighting warplane game released recently on the App Store, has caused some problems for two studios. But this isn't the first time that indie developer Vlambeer has dealt with the issue of cloning.

A couple years ago, Gamenauts launched Ninja Fishing — a clone of Vlambeer's Ridiculous Fishing, which was released in an earlier form as Radical Fishing — on the App Store before Vlambeer had a chance to enter the market.

Understandably, Vlambeer is taking this suspected attack even more seriously, and so is Twitter, whose members have defended Vlambeer and criticized opposing developer Rubiq Lab in tweets. The team says it's being harassed by the community.

Vlambeer's Rami Ismail told Polygon that Rubiq denies that its game is a clone of Vlambeer's Luftrausers, which is coming to PlayStation 3, PS Vita, PC, Linux, and Mac this spring. Rubiq said "we really dont think it links your game at all [sic]."

Ismail said, "This time, however, it's not 'just' the idea of the game that has been cloned, but also the visual style. This gives us much more room to fight the whole thing, and we fully intend to."

He continued, "We're more than happy to see games inspired by our works, and we encourage anyone to practice game design and development by recreating personal favorites — but the clones of both Ridiculous Fishing and Luftrausers take 'inspiration' a step too far [into] the marketplace.

"We're extremely exhausted from dealing with cloning, and even though this is an important issue to stand up against, we had hoped that we could just release a game without the cloning debate happening for once."

Ismail has contacted both Apple and Google to work out a solution and avoid "yet another clone war."

Follow @wita on Twitter.

By Stephanie Carmichael

Batgirl may be the second DLC character for Injustice: Gods Among Us

Batgirl, Injustice: Gods Among Us DLC

"Suit me up Uncle Alfred."

According to screenshots and a YouTube video obtained by GameInformer, evidence is mounting up that suggests Batgirl will be the second of four downloadable characters coming toInjustice: Gods Among Us.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the NetherRealm Studios DC Comics fighting game would have Lobo as its first DLC character. The alien bounty hunter is arriving on May 7. Even though the individual price of the characters is not known, you can purchase a DLC season pass for $14.99 on PSN and 1200 MSPon Xbox LIVE.

The video below is by YouTube user SFilp, and it shows Batgirl as an option to buy/download.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter@Lance_GZ.He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email atLLiebl@GameZone.com

[GameInformer, YouTube user SFilp]

By Lance Liebl

Beyond: Two Souls Woos Movie-Goers at Tribeca Film Festival

Beyond image

At this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, David Cage’s newest game, Beyond: Two Souls, was shown in a special event honoring the common bonds of storytelling shared between cinema and videogames. The event featured a 35 minute demo of the game followed by the reveal of a new trailer, and a Q&A session with Cage and a trio of the game’s digital actors: Ellen Page, Kaddeem Hardison, and Eric Winter. “It’s really the story of a life,” Cage told the audience. “It’s a journey in someone’s life, and we’ll see [Jodie Holmes, Ellen Page's character] in different moments — when she’s happy and sad — in her life and just be with her and share a life.”

The demo is taken from one stretch of the game where Holmes, a woman psychically bound to a mysterious spirit called Aiden, has run away from her CIA mentors, winds up alone on the harsh winter streets and is taken in by a group of homeless people living in an abandoned building. As with Heavy Rain, the demo was filled with small personal moments, like when one of her newfound friends takes her out on the streets to try and raise money to buy food for one of the other homeless people who’s pregnant.

The game gives players control of Jodie on the street, which has a number of interactive action points that only become apparent as you freely wander around. Walking toward a bar will trigger an offer from an untrustworthy-looking man who solicits Jodie to go into the back with him for money, very probably for something sexual. The person playing the demo declined this suggestive offer and instead wandered to the end of the street, found a guitar, and began playing a song, Beck’s “Lost Cause.”

These moments of inspired improvisation are part of the common myth of filmmaking…


The scene as originally planned by Cage had no option for players to try and sing, but during the 12 months of motion capture required for the game he noticed Page playing a guitar he’d brought to the studio and decided to record her. The one song she knew off-hand was the Beck ballad and Cage was so moved by her voice and performance that he decided to write it in as one of the choices players could make for the sequence. These moments of inspired improvisation are part of the common myth of filmmaking, where filmmaker and actor feed off of one another, but it’s rarer in game design, where most of the inventions in the moment come from a clever designer responding to the limits of the computer rather than the creative abilities of a performer.

At first, Page had been unsure about what it would mean to star in a videogame. “I didn’t know how to wrap my head around it,” she said. “What does it mean to be in a videogame? I had no concept. I hadn’t really even played videogames in 10 years, I sort of stopped at Crash Bandicoot. It completely intrigued me.”

Jodie Holmes goes through very rough patches in her life.

“I got Heavy Rain and was completely blown away. I had such a limited gaming experience in that time and technology had moved away and then to see what was happening — this combination of interactive gameplay with cinematic scope of narrative. It was fascinating. Then to sit down with David and have him explain to me this female protagonist and this journey she goes on — I was just completely blown away.”

The year-long process of shooting was done in a motion capture studio…


The year-long process of shooting was done in a motion capture studio with limited props and with the actors in body suits covered with 90 metallic beads while going through every possible variation written into the gameplay. “We were not shooting a film, we were shooting a game,” Cage told the audience. “It’s very different in essence, especially because you need to break down every single scene and every single moment into different possibilities and different branches, different possible actions.”

“So for example, when you shoot the dialogue in a film you have the dialogue and you record it and that’s it. But here we needed to record the fact that Jodie Holmes can say, ‘Yeah, of course I want to do this!’ And “No way!’ And “Maybe, I don’t know’ And all the possibilities that the player will have, we needed to record them.”

For those skeptical of Cage’s work melding cinematic praxis with interactive design, the demo offered a number of uneven moments. After an impressive few sequences moving around in Jodie’s new squatter confines, a group of yuppie hoodlums with baseball bats are introduced trying to mug one of her squat-mates, triggering an extended fist fight where she performs some high-level kung-fu that at times seems almost like Hong Kong wire work. The transition from reflective melancholy in a homeless encampment to trading solar plexus blows in bullet time is just the kind of jarring inconsistencies in tone and intensity that many complained about in Heavy Rain.

…the demo offered a number of uneven moments.


There also seems to be some inconsistency in what is and isn’t interactive. In one later sequence when Jodie is coming through a window frame, players will have to hit the L1 button and then the R1 button to simulate swinging her leg over the ledge one by one, a strangely literal attempt to transpose physical movement to button presses (an approach I’ve always loved, for the record). But in another scene, Jodie finds herself having to help one of her squat-mates, a pregnant woman, which is a mostly passive gameplay experience. Admittedly, graphic depictions of birth would probably be uncomfortable for many in the audience, but there are many outstanding examples of birth scenes in film, from the sweetness of the live-birth at the end of Robert Altman’s Dr. T and the Women, to the wild shockers in Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom or Takeshi Miike’s Gozu. It would be a risk to transpose a similar moment into a game, but one with appreciable artistic precedence.

Real actors play Beyond: Two Souls' characters.

“I guess there’s always a limit to tastefulness,” Guillaume de Fondaumière, Cage’s producing partner and co-founder of Quantic Dream, told me after the event when I asked him about the scene. “It’s very subjective. We never wanted to be shocking or gratuitously provocative. Provocative is good to a certain extent sometimes because you want to provoke a reaction from the audience, but just gratuitously pushing the boundaries just to try something out, that’s not interesting. For the birth scene what was important for us was the emotional moment. We didn’t want to capture the technicality of it but the emotional aspect of it. It’s a point of view, but it’s a point of view of the maker.”

Storytelling has become part of the never-ending debate about what videogames are, a nonsensical fretting over whether the pristine values of competition will be sullied by the inclusion of plots and characters. It’s often forgotten that story has never had a native medium. Storytelling is a technologically migratory phenomenon that’s only temporarily at home in one form or another, from sung poetry to spectacle-driven cinema.

Storytelling has become part of the never-ending debate about what videogames are…


Cage’s games have made good ammunition for both sides of the storytelling debate in videogames, with opponents citing them as barely interactive cutscenes, while opponents cite the subtle absorption that comes from being able to choose whether to turn on light switches and drink orange juice from the refrigerator with strokes of the analog stick. Cage’s games are filled with purposefully empty gestures, designed around a belief in the player’s willingness to use that emptiness as a space for reflection, to not necessarily merge with the characters on-screen but to consider where one’s life overlaps with the story and where it doesn’t.

Two Souls isn't without action.

Watching him on stage, it seemed like the divisions we build up between media are mostly unnatural. We create definitions for what should be played on a console and what should be shown in a cinemahouse. Almost as soon as we’ve said it there is someone off in the margins doing exactly what was thought unacceptable, someone who feels the walls built up between categories obstruct something essential in their personal point of view. So they set about trying to tear the walls down again, to reclaim as much technical space as possible for the imagination, to make something with all the tools we have brought with us to this point in history.

In that way, Beyond: Two Souls seems to be in every way the work of its creator, sometimes loathed and sometimes loved, but listening to him talk before a full theater, it was hard not to feel glad that he has more space to do what he does than ever before. I, for one, am glad he’s made it this far.

Beyond: Two Souls will be released for the PlayStation 3 this October.

Michael Thomsen is a former IGN editor who now lives a life of freelance in New York City. Follow him on Twitter and visit his blog.

By Michael Thomsen

GTA V: Everything You Missed in the New Trailers

GTA 5 image

Today, Rockstar Games unleashed three trailers for Grand Theft Auto V. Each of these teasers revolves around one of the game’s playable protagonists, and each video is full of references and Easter Eggs. Don’t believe us? Well, then check out our three Rewind Theaters below and be amazed by the drugs, butts, and dog.

 

Greg is an executive editor at IGN, cohost of Podcast Beyond and host of Up at Noon. Follow IGN on Twitter, and keep track of Greg’s shenanigans on IGN and Twitter. Beyond!

By Greg Miller

You Know You’re Playing An ’80s Game When…

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon image

The release of Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has given us cause to revisit the 1980s, a decade in which childhood summers seemed to last for months, SodaStream tasted better than Coca-Cola because you put the bubbles in it yourself and completing your Panini sticker album required endless rounds of swapsies with your friends. There were also a host of telltale video game conventions to be observed – some we miss, others not so much.

…You Can Save The World With Just A Couple Of Buttons

Game controllers were once exemplary pieces of minimalist design. You could save a princess, master a sport, defend the Earth and help a frog to cross the road with no more than a button or two. The skill was in how you played the game not whether you could contort your fingers and your mind around an assortment of bumpers, knobs and gyroscopic nonsense. Individually, the buttons did something cool, while pressing them both at the same time was guaranteed awesome.

Ahh, a simpler time.

…You’re Spending Your Time Playing, Not Watching Cutscenes

Once upon a time you could learn everything you needed to know about your character’s background and motivations by reading the back of the game box. Developers didn’t feel the need to prefix their game with 10+ minutes of poorly scripted, non-interactive exposition. You jumped right-in and got on with the serious business of delivering those papers, killing those aliens and Shinobi-ing-up the place.

…The Box Art Is Terrible

’80s video games had a lot going for them but the packaging was not was not one of their strong points. Haughty exclamations of “State-of-the-Art High Resolution Graphics” and hopeful tag-lines promising “All the Arcade Action” were accompanied by bandana-wearing macho men or a picture of a lone plane or helicopter. Arguably the worst offender was SEGA, with its blue and white graph-paper-style Master System boxes that looked as though a school child had become bored and doodled in their exercise book.

Anyone fancy a round? Anyone… (Credit: The Old Computer)

…Part Of The Fun Is Whether The Game Will Load

A legitimate part of the fun of the cassette tape games of the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 was A) betting Pick ‘n’ Mix sweets with your friends over how high the tape-counter would get before the game loaded and B) deciding how long to leave it before acknowledging that the game had crashed. It was a popular parental axiom of the era that if you wanted to teach your child the value of anticipation over instant gratification you buy them a cassette tape personal computer. True story.

…You Pay One Price and Get A Whole Game

The internet has brought us many wonderful innovations and means we now seldom have to venture outside for entertainment, gratification or information unless we really want to. Unfortunately, it has also opened the door to the nefarious notion of selling our games to us piecemeal in the form of shoddily packaged downloadable content. There was a time when all the horse armour, pretty outfits and playable characters you could ever want came included on the cartridge to be unlocked via dedicated play or quick-fix cheat codes.

…The Amusement Arcade Is THE FUTURE

The best thing about family holidays was wandering into an amusement arcade with pockets full of change and eyes full of wonder. Arcades offered a shady retreat from the midday sun filled with a cacophony of electronic noise and myriad brightly lit screens, all vying for your attention. Some let you pilot an X-wing and take down the Death Star while the likes of Gauntlet allowed a staggering total of four players to team-up to raid dungeons – “Wizard shot the food!” Stupid wizard.

…You Win Or You Lose, There Is No Save

Quick Save, Auto Save, Save and Quit: it’s little wonder that kids’ attention spans are getting shorter. Arranging falling blocks and gobbling-up dots was once considered serious enough business that it couldn’t be postponed just because you had to visit the grandparents or go to bed. You sat and played for hours-on-end until you either saved the world or you didn’t. Now, games bleat at us every 15 minutes to “take a break and go outside” but in the 1980s you had to pry a kid’s Power Glove out of their sweaty little hands to get them to stop.

…It Makes Sense That Your Character Doesn’t Speak

When games were the size of modern-day email attachments it made sense that none of the characters spoke actual audible words. Truth be told we didn’t need them to; we read the back of the box, we read the manual and we read the words on the screen. Now we have a strange mismatch of Hollywood stars rattling through pages of dialogue while your character remains mute throughout. Link must’ve really seen some terrible things to still be struck dumb after all these years.

…The Game Goes On Forever (Kind Of)

If you measure value for money in terms of hours of gameplay then the games of the ’80s could be considered the cream of the crop. Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, Centipede, Donkey Kong, Tetris: all were games that could theoretically last forever as they had no programmed end and, mercifully, no final boss. Unfortunately, a range of issues that often involved internal counters and messy 8-bit integer overflows frequently meant that the game came crashing to an end anyway, unceremoniously ending that hard-fought high-score run.

…The Tutorial Consists Of Reading The Manual

Want to know how to play the game you just spent all your pocket money on? Read The Flippin’ Manual! Unsure how to use that cool new power-up? Read The Frakking Manual! Can’t work out why Little Mac keeps getting knocked on his ass by Mike Tyson? READ THE F****** MANUAL! This method worked just fine for all of us until someone decided that we were all too stupid to read the manual and that the start of every game should be given over to a lengthy tutorial. It was probably the same person who thought cut scenes were a good idea.

If that’s got you feeling nostalgic for a bygone, neon-tinged time, check out our feature You Know You’re Watching an ’80s Movie When.

Stace Harman is a freelance contributor to IGN and is convinced that zombies will one day inherent the Earth. You can follow him on Twitter.

By Stace Harman

NCAA Football 14 replaces Big East with American Athletic Conference

Big East conference logo

For better or for worse, there were plenty of changes in the college football landscape this year. The dreaded BCS was finally done away with (starting in 2014); teams moved conferences in attempt to earn themselves a better shot at the championship (or for money); and in some cases entire conferences were disbanded. UCF, my alma mater finally got into the Big East, just as the Big East collapsed. Needless to say, it's been quite frustrating for college football fans, and even more difficult to keep track of all the changes. Imagine how the developers ofNCAA Football 14 feel…

I recently caught up with an EA representative who set the record straight with all of the conference changes that will go into effect in this year'sNCAA Football game. The most notable being the removal of the Big East, as it is now basketball only. Well, technically the Big East is still in the game as the remaining members — USF, UCONN, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and Louisville — are joined by newcomers Temple, Houston, SMU, Memphis and UCF. Things will change for the conference, once again, next year, but for now this is the make-up. However, the conference will now be known as the American Athletic Conference, and its new name will be represented inNCAA Football 14.

NCAA Football 14producerBen Haumillerconfirmed to me that the Big East name has been replaced with American, "their preferred shorthand name rather than AAC." Since the conference has yet to finalize their logo, EA is using the NCAA pennant as a placeholder; it will be updated once the official American conference logo is decided.

NCAA Football 14 will also be up-to-date with the latest conference realignments. Get ready because there's quite a few changes. Pitt and Syracuse will be moved to the ACC, while UCF, Houston, SMU, and Memphis are added to the American. Again, the American conference will be changed in next year's version as Rutgers and Louisville are set to leave the conference while it addsEast Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa in 2014.

Meanwhile, FAU, FIU, MTSU La Tech, North Texas, and UTSAare now in Conference USA. Replacing those teams in the Sun Belt will be South Alabaman, Georgia State, and Texas State. Utah State and San Jose opted to join the Mountain West. Idaho New Mexico State and Old Dominion are now Independents. Lastly, the WAC has been removed entirely as that conference no longer plays football.

Got all that? Although not confirmed, I'm assumingNCAA Football 14 will allow you to rearrange the conferences to your liking (it did last year), so if you really want to keep the Big East together, I'm guessing you'll be able to do so. Elsewhere in the game, EA has worked to improve NCAA Football 14's presentation. This means the inclusion of several licensed songs includingKerncraft 400 andSeven Nation Army,as well as doing away with the ESPN background menus for more of a "whiteboard style font."

NCAA Football 14is set to release on Tuesday, July 9 for Xbox 360 and PS3. No next-gen platforms have been announced.

By Matt Liebl