Yooka-Laylee; New Screenshots and Info!

Well, okay. It’s not really new, since Playtonic posted the update earlier today and just about the entire internet has already posted about it. News travels quick in the gaming world after all!

But with that said, what’s interesting in the update? What interesting new information has Playtonic revealed about their game?

Well for starters, there’s some information about when future news related to the game will be revealed. Part will be in May 26th’s issue of Edge magazine, and yet more of the game will be revealed at E3 this year. So that’s good news there and then, we might be seeing some more of the actual worlds and missions soon.

There’s also now some interesting information about the main antagonist and storyline. Apparently, it involves an evil publishing company called Hivory Towers (led by evil executive ‘Capital B’) and a devious plan to absorb all the world’s literature and convert it into pure profit. If that sounds a little familiar… well, it seems like Playtonic are making a few playful jabs at the video game industry here. Indeed, given the history of the company and this game, it could be taken as an amusing comment about Rare and its buyout by Microsoft in the Gamecube era.


Above: A picture of main villain Capital B

Either way, the page also gives information about some extra characters. Namely the multi limbed scientist Dr. Puzz and her ‘traitorous former colleague’ Dr Quack. The latter has turned evil after his company was bought out by Hivory Towers, the latter is involved with the transformations that Yooka and Laylee can use in the game. Presumably these are a bit like the ones in Banjo-Kazooie (and the Animal Buddies in Donkey Kong Country 2/3/64), but the official site only says there’ll be more information on them in the future.

There’s talk about the ‘Toybox’ part of the game, which lets Kickstarter backers test out some of the mechanics and gameplay features. It’s not your usual demo, since the content there isn’t actually from the finished game. It’s basically explained as a sort of test area for the game’s backers to see how everything works while the game is still in development.

Finally, they posted some new pictures of the game. And to be honest? If these are actual in game shots, then damn Yooka-Laylee is looking absolutely incredible:

Yooka-Laylee Glacier

Yooka-Laylee Underwater

Seriously, it’d be like playing the official artwork for the Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie franchises. Except because it’s 2016, we’re actually playing them rather than some best approximation.

Either way, if you’re interested in the game (and to be honest, you really should be, it looks amazing), then go and read their latest update now. Seems like something interesting will be at E3 this year!


Raising The Curtain – Playtonic Games

Lynn and the Spirits of Inao Has Been Cancelled

Lynn and the Spirits of Inao was an adventure game where players would apparently explore a world inspired by Japanese mythology. Developed by a company called Bloomylight Studio and intended for release on various platforms (Wii U included), the game had apparently been in development for five years and was raising more money as part of a Kickstarter campaign. There’s a pretty nice trailer you can see for it here:

As of today though, it’s no more. The developer has shut down the Kickstarter campaign with a cancellation message, which is as follows:

First of all, thank you to all of the backers who supported Lynn and the Spirits of Inao.

After being deeply affected by the various stories from the past few days, and conscious of the mistakes from the past which are now harming the game, we have taken the difficult decision to end the adventure here. In the face of the violent declarations made to us and the threats uttered against members of the team, we now have to end this project that was born in 2011. It is regrettable that a handful of individuals were able to destroy the work of so many people and that they spent so much energy to cause a relentlessness of incredible violence against our team.

We would like to thank all the people who contributed to the game and got involved in the project. These last five years spent working hard on Lynn and the Spirits of Inao were an unforgettable experience motivated by the passion to create a game of quality and to offer a new experience.

Thank you for your understanding.

Bloomylight Studio.”

But what was the deeper story here? What were the mistakes from the past that got it shut down?

Well, it’s a long story. Basically, the company is said to have a history of hiring interns to work on the game and not paying them for their contributions. This is illegal in France (where the company is based), and apparently it’s even more so if they don’t have any regular employees. As a result, there was a lot of controversy round the game. Facebook pages and Tumblr posts appeared talking about how the game was a scam and how the developer was supposedly mistreating its employees. There was a really interesting Reddit topic about the allegations, which can be viewed here:

French Kickstarter game Lynn and the Spirits of Inao accused of having been developed illegally by unpaid interns – Reddit

And either way, the company (quite rightfully) got hell for this from the gaming community. After all, what did you expect would happen? The the industry’s already got a lot of issues in regards to companies pushing an endless cycle of ‘crunch’, where employees work insanely long hours for fairly little pay and poor working conditions. And what Bloomylight Studio did here seemingly goes a lot further. Indeed, there’s talk in that topic of people at the company being made to sign a document that (wrongfully) said they were being paid for their work when they really weren’t. That’s a pretty sleazy move from anyone if true.

But yeah, as a result the game is cancelled. It’s bad news for adventure game fans (because damn, the game did look really nice in the trailer above), but given the talk of working conditions and pay at the studio, it was inevitable from the start.


Miyazaki-Inspired Lynn and the Spirits of Inao Canceled After Accusations of Not Paying Interns – DualSHOCKERS

Disney Infinity is Now Over

Huh, guess its lifespan certainly wasn’t infinite, was it?

Either way, Disney has now confirmed that Disney Infinity will not be continuing as a concept. This is because while Disney Infinity outperformed their other video game efforts (that division lost 53 million dollars in three months in 2013), it still hasn’t done well enough. And so with the game not bringing Disney Interactive back in profitability, Disney Infinity is now being discontinued. Once the Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory packs are out, that’s it; Disney is out of the toys to life game.

Above: A promising start, but it ended just three years later.

In fact, that’s not the only thing they’re discontinuing. Oh no, Disney is also getting out of the games market in general. They’ll be quitting the self-published console games business, and shutting down Disney Infinity makers Avalanche Software. That last move will cost 300 people their jobs.

So it’s curtains for Disney Infinity. But does this have any ever effects?

Well, possibly. You see, the toys to life market in general is not doing so hot at the moment. In fact, it only grew 7% in the US last year, and might be on course to decline in this one. As a result, sales for series like Skylanders are also down, and LEGO Dimensions has significantly underperformed compared to both Skylanders and Amiibo. As a result, it seems like Disney Infinity might not be the only casualty in this market’s impending bubble burst, and the end might be drawing near for both Skylanders and LEGO Dimensions too. And how about Amiibo? Well, it’s one of the only things making Nintendo any real money at the moment, but I can see a day when that might stop too. Maybe the Nintendo NX might mark the end of the Amiibo line?

Either way, things are bleak for toys to life, and Disney Infinity has already gone under. But what do you think? Could this be the end of other toys to life franchises as well? Could Nintendo’s Amiibo ever be discontinued too?


Disney Infinity is Dead as Disney Exits Game Publishing – GamesIndustry.biz

Battlefield 1 Announced, Set in World War 1

The newest installment in EA’s Battlefield series has been announced. Officially called ‘Battlefield 1’, the game departs from the standard FPS cliches by being set during World War 1 rather than World War 2 or the present day. Here’s a trailer for the game:

Above: Not quite your usual FPS game setup…

As you can see, the setting has done wonders for the game’s originality. You got the brutal trench warfare that characterised this conflict. You’ve got horseback combat, since this was the last major war where mounted calvalry played an important role. The planes are all styled after the old school biplanes of the era. Either way, it seems a bit more interesting than the usual FPS game, and EA says it will feature some of the ‘largest and most dynamic battles in FPS history’.

There will also apparently be a heavy focus on melee combat, since weapons like bayonets, batons and rapiers were used more often in this conflict.

Battlefield 1 will be released on October 21st for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and will be available early through EA Access.

But what do you think about the game? Are you interested in the idea of an FPS game set during World War 1? Could this time period and setting make a nice change from the endless glut of modern day and futuristic shooters on the market?


Battlefield 1 Officially Confirmed – IGN

Mighty No 9 Now Has a Release Date

It’s been delayed three times. Problems with ‘network functionality’ have caused issues for months, and many people have already given up on the game. Indeed, Mighty No 9 was quickly taking up Duke Nukem Forever’s mantle of ‘game that never gets released’ due to all the delays and development problems it’s been having.

But now it seems the Mighty No 9 debacle might finally be coming to a close. The game has now gone gold, and will now be released on June 21st (in America and Asia) and June 24th (everywhere else). What’s more, unlike the previous release dates, the team even outright states that ‘there will be no further delays’. Here’s the announcement post about it on the official Mighty No 9 website:

Mighty No 9 – Goes Gold (official site)

It’s still not everything (apparently the 3DS and Vita ports are coming at a later date), but now it seems the wait for this Mega Man successor is finally over. But will people still care about Keiji Inafune’s project when June rolls around? Will it live up to the hype its generated in the last few months? Will the Wii U version even sell now that the console is being discontinued within a year or two? We’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think about Mighty No 9’s new release date?