Tag Archives: Amy Hennig

DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT 31st MARCH – 6th APRIL 2014

id-05-visceral

Following our previous report about Amy Hennig leaving her position of Creative Director at Naughty Dog, Visceral games have just announced that they have have hired her to work on an upcoming Star Wars project.

Steve Papoutsis announced the hiring on EA’s official News Blog. Hennig and Papoutsis have experience working with one another at Crystal Dynamics and went on to say that he “always admired her approach to creative development – focusing on nailing down the soul of a game first, and then making sure the writing, the gameplay, the design and the art comes together to form a unified, interactive experience for the player.”

Dead Space

We are very excited that the Executive Producer of Dead Space is teaming up with the Game Director of Uncharted as both Papoutsis and Hennig have a fantastic history in helping to create immersive, atmospheric thrill rides. With both of their skills we are sure the Star Wars license is in safe hands and we cannot wait to see what they create.

This wasn’t the only announcement made by EA this week. As it was the first of April the official twitter feed for the DICE engine featured a tweet regarding the Wii U that read “Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda.”

Wii U

This dig at Nintendo prompted EA COO Peter Moore to issue an apology over the April Fools prank, condoning the joke and apologising to Nintendo and their fans.

Fans of micro consoles rejoiced in America as Amazon finally launched the Amazon Fire TV earlier this week and it is now available to buy. Amazon do not see the Fire TV as a contender in the battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Instead Amazon have marketed the system as an alternative to Apple TV.

Fire TV

The Fire TV specs are reasonable and Amazon have provided a more powerful system than the competition. Powering the Fire TV is a Qualcomm Quad core 1.7ghz processor and Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU as opposed to the single cored A5 CPU in the in the Apple TV. The Fire TV also has 2gb of RAM which is four times the amount found in the Apple TV.

The Apple TV has been designed as a dedicated streaming device so although the extra power of the Fire TV looks great for marketing the Apple TV doesn’t require the additional processing power because it’s not intended for gaming. The Fire TV has just under 100 games available at the moment with a few exclusives and more on the way from developers such as EA, Sega and Amazon even bought the studio Double Helix which developed Killer Instinct recently for Microsoft.

Fire TV

Amazon does seem to be trying to plug a niche in-between the Apple TV and the Ouya by providing a system for gamers that streams tv titles. Even though the Fire TV does come in at the budget price of $99, PS3’s and Xbox 360’s have dropped significantly in price thanks to the arrival of the latest generation of consoles and we cannot help but feel like the Fire TV is trying to plug a gap that doesn’t quite exist. Yes the Amazon TV is very sleek, tiny and won’t take up much space, but a PS3 or an Xbox 360 would give players access to the same amount of content online, plus exclusive games have an even higher level of polish and also work as a dvd/blu ray player.

Whilst we are on the subject of exclusive titles, there was a string of Halo news this past week. Ridley Scott has been named as the Executive Producer on an upcoming digital feature to be directed by Battlestar Galactica director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan. This new series is to follow the format of Forward Unto Dawn, but will not feature the Master Chief as the lead character and is also completely unrelated to Steven Spielberg’s Halo project that is being Directed by Neil Blomkamp and was announced at E3 2013.

Cortana

Microsoft will also be using Cortana as a rival to Apple’s Siri. Although Cortana will appear on Windows 8.1 phones as just a circle, she will still be voiced by  voice actor Jen Taylor who lends her voice to Cortana’s character in the games.

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DIGESTIVE GAMING BISCUIT: 3rd MARCH – 9th MARCH

playstationThe gaming news this week saw two industry giants step down from their position’s.  As of the 31st of March Jack Tretton will be relinquishing his position as Sony Computer Entertainment’s CEO to Shawn Layden. Tretton and Sony both have stated that this is a mutual decision.

Tretton was one of the founding execs of Sony’s Playstation division having worked for SCEA for the past 19 years. He led the American division of Sony Computer Entertainments through the hardware launches of PSone, PS2, PSP, PS3, Vita and most recently the PS4.

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House made the following statement. “I’ve worked with Jack for nearly two decades and I want to personally thank him for his leadership and the considerable contributions he’s made to the SCEA business and PlayStation brand over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

Jack Tretton

Shawn Leyden, Tretton’s replacement has been with Playstation for 15 years spending a short stint as president of Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan, so he is clearly more than experienced enough to take on the new role.

The second high profile industry member to leave her position was Amy Hennig. Hennig was game director for Naughty Dog, and it was reported initially that she had been forced to by the company’s co-presidents. Naughty Dog have been quick to respond to these accusations and posted a statement on their website that reads; “Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann were NOT involved in what transpired.”

Uncharted Amy Hennig

In the first reports claiming Hennig was forced out, there were no precise sources or evidence quoted. It would seem that these early articles were therefore a bit speculative. After all, Hennig had done some incredible work at Naughty Dog for the Uncharted series and prior to that the Jak and Daxter title’s. So, it would seem strange for the studio to push her out . However, not wanting to fall foul on this subject like the earlier reports I will end all speculation here.

Nintendo’s Iwata seemed to be the only major player making a statement regarding his intent to keep ploughing on. After making a statement to reduce his wages until Nintendo’s financial reports stop causing the printers from running the red ink cartridge dry, Iwata made a post on Nintendo’s website stating his commitments to continue to develop new Nintendo hardware, and research into providing a “quality of life,” platform.

It was a good job Iwata posted the report early in the week as Nintendo fan’s were exploding with excitement later when Mario Kart 8’s  limited edition was unveiled. The limited edition of the game comes with a plastic statue of the infamous Blue Shell, which has stolen more victories than Russia has stolen in land mass.

If you pre-order the title from Nintendo’s online store, you will also get a t-shirt and key chain included as part of your package.

Mario Kart 8

For the indie hipsters with wispy moustaches that deem Mario Kart 8 too mainstream, have no fear. There’s actually some Nintendo related news you might enjoy. Cebit Games officially became a Nintendo approved developer. If you aren’t aware of the studio they are currently developing a game called Insanity’s Blade: The Chronicles of Thurstan which they will be porting over to the Wii U. This title is the first in a proposed series that charts the journey of a sword possessed by a father’s powerful grief and hatred.

The gameplay combines Action-RPG elements with platforming and tries to wrap it up in a classic arcade style. As regulars to the site might realise I am a sucker for an overarching storyline so I definitely have my eyes on this beautifully rendered 8-bit game. If it sounds like your cup of tea but don’t have a Wii U, you can also support the studio here on Steam Greenlight.

And the most exciting news we have saved until last. Which is probably a bit stupid because 99% of you will have stopped reading by now anyway but who cares. Because that %1 will be part of a special elite who will get to join us for the opening of our new video channel. Click here to see our Metroid Fusion video and don’t forget to subscribe and check back for regular updates while we try and provide you with the finest in videogaming entertainment.

Metroid Fusion