Tag Archives: developers

Aaron Greenberg Confirms DirectX 12 Increases Xbox One’s Power

Fable Legends

On January 22nd Aaron Greenberg (Microsoft Marketing Team Lead *across 1st & 3rd Party Game Studios) confirmed that DirectX 12 will be coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One and will have an effect on both systems. This will only be seen if developers make use of it. This is optimizing the power of the Xbox One with power that it already has, opening up more possibilities with games to come in the future.

The first game to see this performance enhancement that has been brought up is Fable Legends since this game will be merging players who are playing on Xbox One and Windows 10. In Fable Legends, players will be brought into the fantasy world of Albion for some of the best exploration and adventure found in the series, the adventure doesn’t have to be played alone it can be played with up to four friends who can be playing on either Windows 10 or Xbox One. Players can play as a hero with four separate hero’s and a fifth player can play as the villain where they control from a top down view and plays more like a strategy game.

Personally, I’m hoping that more games with take use of DirectX 12 and can’t wait to see what the future has to bring with the gamer experiences crossing Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm Adds Armored Assault 2 DLC

Demyansk

Today  Tripwire Interactive and Anti-Matter Game developers of  Red Orchestra 2 and Rising Storm are getting a new content update for free. Its called the Armored Assault 2 content pack. It includes a new map called Demyansk is this map the Germans are defending the pocket of Demyansk against the soviet. Two other maps have also been updated with this pack as well both Gumrak and Barashka have been updated so they can make use of the recently released German Pz III Light tank and the Soviet T-70. Other updates to the game have been made as well as several other game exploits.

RGN Analysis: New Report Surfaces Proving Female Game Devs Still Get Paid Less

RGN Analysis

Today’s newest report on the salary gap between male and female game developers has shed light on just how serious the problem of gender equality in the workplace is, and it isn’t getting any better. From 2012 to today 2% less equality can be seen across the board (and that’s just when we talk about the video games industry, the rest of the world’s salary gap is a lot worse). In 2012 programming and engineering though we were seeing hope, as women made more on average in this field than men. But in 2013 males made above $90,000 where females were making above $70,000. That’s quite a difference.

During 2013 women only made more than men in one field, Quality Assurance, which saw the average woman making just a couple of grand more than the average male doing the same job. However, every other sector of the game industry sees males doing the arguably the same role making more cash.

Now, let me get one thing straight before I continue reporting on this report. We aren’t trying to say that women need to be making more than men, of course that would not be equality now would it? But instead, what we are saying is that a balance needs to be struck where you see females making the same or more than men just about as often as you see males making the same or more than women.

Every company values their employees differently. The paychecks they give out are an expression of what these companies believe your work is worth. That being said, it doesn’t have to be a situation where women and men are always making the same rate. This isn’t a communist country. But it’s unacceptable to have trends like this where women are pretty much always losing out. It’s simply unfair. We think it’s just as important to remember the notions of this paragraph as it is to remember the stats that follow it, so please take a moment to think before demanding a fascist solution. Humans simply need to be valued more based on their work, not their gender. We know damn well there are a lot of talented females who deserve more, but that doesn’t mean talented men should be punished for their gender either.

Here are the hard numbers for 2013’s salary gap:

  • Programmers / Engineers: $93,977 (male) versus $79,318 (female)
  • Artists / Animators: $76,054 (male) versus $55,909 (female)
  • Game Designers: $74,448 (male) versus $70,000 (female)
  • Producers: $85,151 (male) versus $75,726 (female)
  • Sound Engineers: $98,500 (male) versus $67,500 (female)
  • Quality Assurance: $54,576 (male) versus $56,786 (female)
  • Management: $104,513 (male) versus $90,250 (female)
  • Overall Average: $85,074 (male) versus $72,882 (female)

[Data Source: Gamasutra Salary Survey 2014] [PDF]

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC / PS4 / XO / PS3 / 360) – ‘Nowhere to Run’ Gameplay Trailer [HD 1080P]

wolfenstein_the_new_order_wallpaper-HD

Pre-Order Wolfenstein: The New Order today using the link below to gain early access to the DOOM Beta. This game will become available from publisher Bethesda Softworks on May 20, 2014 for Windows PC, Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox ONE, PS3, and X360. In today’s ‘Nowhere to Run’ Gameplay Trailer, released by Bethesda this morning, General Deathshead and a quite spooky Nazi affiliated army is after B.J. Blazkowicz. Wolfenstein: The New Order is developed by MachineGames and takes place during an alternative reality in which Nazi rule has spread across the globe and in the 1960’s this superpower is advancing technology and doing human experiments to stay on the bleeding edge of battle performance – literally.

Available For Pre-Order Now

See Also:

 – Wolfenstein: The New Order Announcement Trailer Released by MachineGames + Bethesda

 – Developers Behind Wolfenstein The New Order

 – Wolfenstein: The New Order E3 2013 Trailer

 – RGN Daily News #17 – Wolfenstein The New Order + More PS4 News

Former AAA Developers Moving To Indie Development

Tangentlemen

The recently made studio Tangentlemen is at GDC 2014 with a new project to talk about as well as some new talented employees. These developers come from different companies as well as different types of genres:

  • Richard Smith: A previous senior art designer of Infinity Ward. Smith also contributed art work towards Respawn’s Titanfall.
  • Cory Davis: The lead designer and creative force of Spec Ops: The Line.
  • Toby Gard: A game director who helped launch Tomb Raider as well as create Lara Croft in 1995.
  • Five additional members of their team come from the development team of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z with Davis and Gard.

The first game the company is working on is titled Daedalus which they have described as “an existential horror trip into a surreal, half-forgotten dream.” Davis expects the game to be revealed in the upcoming weeks. The team is currently actually working out of the producer John Shelton-Garcia’s garage. So, the question beckons: Why move from AAA to this? Davis goes on to explain this  by saying “I was finding the structure of making big games to be too rigid and restrictive,” he also goes on to say “There seems to be a problem with chasing after photorealism–it makes everything else about the game very myopic. By moving into an illustrative space, the look of the game can become a voice in its overall intent, rather than a limitation to that intent. It’s indie games that understand this, and because of that, it’s indie games that are really progressing the art form of game making.” With indie games becoming more and more popular it seems to be a great idea overall.

Davis also commented on their current working conditions by saying “It’s an awesome experience to be in our own new space, even if that space has heating, electricity, and claustrophobia issues,”  Davis seems to reinforce his decision by saying “It’s a reminder that we’re not only free to make great games, but that it’s our responsibility at this point. Every aspect of the game will be hand-crafted, just like a piece of furniture, in our development garage.”

Davis’ choice doesn’t seem to be influenced by money or any other type of motivation that is depicted negatively. Davis’ seems to be chasing one of the most important things in the gaming world which is his freedom of expression. Davis seems very excited about his decision and I hope his enthusiasm is shown in his games as well. When asked about funding Davis stated “We’re looking for publishers who would be interested in smaller, more daring projects, but I’m personally really interested in seeing if we can Kickstart our first game,” and that “Being able to engage directly with game players right from the start of development sounds like an incredibly liberating way to do things.”

Davis ends his interview with the following: “Starting a video game company has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, but this opportunity is more than that,” Davis stated. “Tangentlemen is a studio made up of the developers that I respect the most in the entire industry. ” and goes on with “I feel extremely lucky to have had the chance to join up with individuals that are at least as passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced as I am to create the games that we all were born to create, in an environment where we have the freedom to do something truly unique, potent, and if we so desire, even risky.” We here at RealGamerNewz look forward to their first project’s reveal as well as their funding choice.

Tangentlemen

Leaked: Dead Nation Getting New PlayStation 4 Version Called Apocalypse Edition

Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition

Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition is a newly revamped version of the PS3 title Dead Nation by Housemarque (the devs behind Resogun) and will hit the Sony PS4 exclusively in March 2014 (if all goes according to plans) according to a recent leak which surfaced on an overseas PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment Asia is said to have confirmed this blog posting as well which was apparently not scheduled to be announced to the world just yet, but went live ahead of time anyway. Gamers are likely to be hearing more development details and perhaps even a video glimpse into Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition for PS4 soon – so stay ready!

The Free Games on PlayStation Plus Are Being Paid For By SONY

PlayStation Plus Free Games Paid For Buy SONY

We all know that PlayStation Plus has increasingly offered some of the most high profile games around for Free. It seems the PS Plus deal keeps on sweetening, and why wouldn’t it? As far as gamers can see things, it just seems to make sense for gamers to get games for free. Over here at the RGN HQ, we’ve often wondered though. Just exactly why are some of these games being given away for free when some of them haven’t even hit their profitability marks nor become old yet? Today we’ve found out thanks to a news posting by ShackNews made on the third.

It turns out that in addition to the obvious promotional value that some developers will factor in when releasing a sequel for something, Sony has also been paying off developers to offset the cost of lost sales that occur from putting up a game on PS+ for free to the members of Sony’s paid subscription network which will be required for online multiplayer on their next-gen PlayStation 4 console when it drops next month (November 2013).

Now before anybody jumps off the bandwagon, I mean deep end, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing nor do we see this as a huge scandal. Rather this announcement is simply a revelation as to the inner-workings of the PS+ business behind-the-scenes, and most of us aren’t business men of the game industry. We are gamers. So try not to use this as ammo in one of your silly fanboy wars people, seriously.

[Source: ShackNews]

The problem with the gaming industry is that developers make too much

Feelings

The girlfriend of a fairly prominent game developer (who shall both remain nameless for the sake of privacy) recently tweeted that she was having a bad day because she ran over the curb while driving his $70,000 sports car around the city. The tweet has since been deleted but statements like this make one start to wonder if game developers and consequently publishers really should be making enough money to afford $70,000 sports cars to begin with.

Your first reaction might be something along the lines of “well if the game is really good, they deserve to be paid well for working on it,” and that is a valid line of thought until you consider that these costs are then unnecessarily passed onto the consumer. It has become commonplace to see publishers try to nickel-and-dime gamers through downloadable content that should have been included on the disc, micro-transactions, forcing us to pay extra for online passes just to access multiplayer, and even trying to abolish the entire used game market in the next generation because it is “hurting the industry.”

Former Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski (perhaps known best for working on Gears of War) even supported Microsoft’s previous Xbox One policy of restricting used games when he tweeted, “You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing.”

Perhaps not, but why are game budgets so high anyway? Publishers have routinely complained about the cost of creating blockbuster titles getting more and more expensive in recent years. In the past, a game selling just one million copies was considered to be a success but nowadays they are disappointed when games sell 3.4 million copies in just one month because the costs are so much higher now.

When you juxtapose the idea of publishers and developers complaining about the cost of making a game with the fact that they are driving around in $70,000 sports cars, it gets to be pretty absurd. Have publishers ever thought that perhaps games are getting too expensive to make is because they paying people such huge salaries? According to Game Developer magazine, the average salary for U.S. developers in 2011 was $81,192 a year. It’s probably gone up since then due to inflation. Compare that to the current average salary of a police officer which is $50,745 a year (www.salary.com) or a teacher which can be as low as $39,850 a year depending on the state (www.teacherportal.com). Being a game developer is apparently an even better paying job than working at the CIA which according to www.simplyhired.com comes with an average salary of $70,000 a year.

In addition to a high salary, the majority of game developers also receive a myriad of fringe benefits including stock options, annual bonuses, project bonuses, royalties for games they have worked on, medical benefits, dental coverage, and even pension plans. Those who received financial benefits made an average of $17,689 above and beyond their salary (source). In other words, the average yearly earnings of a video game developer is about six figures!

Why are developers making so much money? Their job isn’t life threatening like a police officer’s is and it’s not important to the future of the nation like a teacher’s job is. It might be tedious or even grueling at times and require long hours and lots of commitment, but working in the video game industry is generally fun. People should be working in the gaming industry because they want to create awesome games. Not because they want to become rich. When did the gaming industry become so corporate?

The developer whose girlfriend made the tweet mentioned at the top of this article is non-essential to his particular game’s success as well. He works on the player behavior team helping to discipline players on a free-to-play game which utilizes micro-transactions to earn revenue. Considering it is free-to-play, you might think that having an exorbitant salary doesn’t hurt gamers since the game is free after all, but that’s not exactly the case.

Unless you want to log literally hundreds upon hundreds of hours to unlock new characters and in-game items, you do still have to pay for them. Using micro-transactions can be a very profitable model. Valve recently announced they have sold over $10 million worth of hats on Team Fortress 2. The game this guy works on is much, much larger than TF2 (it sees a daily player base 71 times larger than Team Fortress 2 does) and also earns money from many more things than purely cosmetic enhancements – but stuff that actually gives people an edge in the game. One can only imagine how many sales they make daily. Revenues must surely eclipse numbers in the hundreds of millions each year!

And yet, the publisher has been raising the prices on their in-game items lately. Why? So people working there can afford more $70,000 sports cars?

When gamers buy something, they expect that money to go into maintaining the game or making it better. They don’t expect their money to be put towards people living in luxury. Surely the prices of the in-game items could be a lot lower than they are now if the salaries of employees working there weren’t so hefty.

If developers weren’t making as much, perhaps games wouldn’t need to sell as many copies to be successful either. Keep in mind that many game studios employ literally thousands of people. If the average salary is $81,000, then a studio with 2,000 employees is paying out roughly $162 million in salaries alone. And that’s not even including any of the bonuses of benefits which if the average is $17,000 yearly would be another $34 million. No wonder games are so expensive to make! What if these numbers were cut in half? This would only benefit gamers. Maybe games could go back to being $50 each. Maybe DLC and in-game items would be free to download. Are we to believe there isn’t an equally qualified person out there willing to do this guy’s job for less pay?

It’s no wonder games like Call of Duty (which is not the franchise the dev highlighted in this article works on) can sell tens of millions of copies earning billions of dollars each year and yet the game still does not use dedicate servers and runs horribly online. Where does all this money go?! If Activision is anything like Riot Games, then according to the tweets of at least one very happy girlfriend, it goes towards buying sports cars, fine dining, and expensive jewelry.

***Editor’s NOTE: Alex’s views are his own and may or may not represent those of RealGamerNewz and the rest of their staff. This article will not be taken down for any reason(s) citing the 1st Amendment of the United States of America. Thanks, -RGN Staff