Is Angry Birds 2 Really a Shameless Freemium Cash Grab?

Angry Birds was the mobile app sensation back in 2009. It exploded onto the app scene and captured the imaginations and free time of gamers forever, spawning many spin off games (including Star Wars, Rio, and Transformers versions), a merchandising empire, and even a theme park. There was a time in the early 2010’s where you couldn’t move for seeing a disgruntled bird.

It seems that developer Rovio have finally got around to releasing the sequel, Angry Birds 2 (although it really is the 13th installment in the series). With so much time having passed since the original’s release, could it compete in today’s market?

Anyone who played the original will be familiar with the gameplay of Angry Birds 2. You progress through the levels, flinging birds with various abilities at rickety pig structures in order to knock them down and get your eggs back. New features include a card system that lets you swap the order of your birds, to maximise piggy damage, and a treasure trail style level progression, which will be familiar to anyone who’s played Candy Crush Saga or similar games.

However, what has also changed is the payment method for the game. Angry Birds was $0.99 on iPhone and free on Android, but the sequel has adopted the freemium model that many popular apps have adopted. The game gives you five lives, and when you run out you can wait half an hour for them to replenish, or pay money to play on instantly.

Many players have taken umbrage at the system, seeing it as money grubbing from a company that has made millions of pounds from their game. Erik Kain has complained that the freemium model has been implemented poorly, making the game grind to an absolute halt unless you pay up to continue. He posits that Rovio have shot themselves in the foot, as most people would rather just wait than pay out to carry on playing. Jumping on the freemium model can seem like Rovio have been running to catch up with current mobile app trends, and haven’t really understood them properly.

However, others don’t see it that way. Ree Hines points out that waiting for your lives to replenish can actually avoid player burnout. Whether that was intended is unclear, but in what is really a pick up and play game, that can be invaluable. She also says that a lot of the time, the option is given to watch an ad rather than pay out real cash, which is often much more palatable.

One iTunes reviewer has accused Rovio of being ‘like drug dealers’, making players pay for more one more hit. In today’s app market, however, it’s hard to imagine what else they could have done. Many app users won’t download an app if it costs them money before they’ve evehn tried it, so charging even a small amount for it probably wouldn’t work. For most people, the adverts and waits for lives won’t cause an awful amount of problems. As Candy Crush Saga and their ilk have taught us, players will put up with an awful lot to play a game for free, and many more will happily hand over money to continue playing a game they’re enjoying. With 30 million downloads so far, it certainly hasn’t hurt Rovio at all.

Hunting the Hoots: Testing The Big Hoot App

If you live in Birmingham, you’ve probably spotted the giant, colourful owls that have descended upon the city. They’re everywhere, from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, to Cadbury World, and the Custard Factory, just to name a few.

The parliament of owls have been designed for The Big Hoot, a city wide art trail by Wild in Art with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The owls have been placed to show off the very best of the city, including areas that may be overlooked by seasoned Brummies. All in all there are 89 owls gracing the city, along with 120 ‘owl-lets’ that have been designed by local schools, and will return to the schools at the end of the event.

The trail started on the 20th of July and will end at the end of September. In October, the owls will be auctioned off to raise money for the Children’s Hospital by Fielding’s Auctioneers. Ever wanted a brightly coloured owl to stand guard in your back garden? Here’s your chance!

In the meantime though, the trail is ready to be explored, and The Big Hoot have made it easier by bringing out The Big Hoot app, available on iPhone and Android.

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If you’re the kind of person who loves Pokemon and needs to collect them all, this is perfect for you. The app lets you ‘collect’ the owls, by scanning a QR code on the base of every owl. The corresponding owl then pops up in your list of ‘found’ owls, and you can see exactly which owls you’ve found and which ones you still need.

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The app also includes a handy map, that tracks your location and tells you if any owls are nearby, as well of a list of the owls in order of which ones are closer to you. If you find certain owls, you can even unlock special offers with companies such as Pertemps, Forest Holidays and The Fragrance Shop, and competition entries for places such as Cadbury’s and the Sea Life Centre.

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We took the app out for a spin last Saturday in Birmingham City Centre, to see how it held up. Firstly, we saw just how popular the owls were, with many developing queues of people waiting to photograph them. We couldn’t even get near the Bullring owls, they were that popular!

When we could get near one, we saw first of all the QR codes were located on the plinth the owl was resting on. Confusingly, there are several on there, but the one you want is the one under the owl’s description, on the front. Secondly, to scan you’ll need to get right down on the floor to do so. Don’t wear your favourite trousers, is what we’re saying.

Sadly, we couldn’t get a great result with the QR scanner. We could only get it to recognise a code about half of the time, even though we rested the phone on the ground, as had been suggested to us. However, this may be the fault of the phone’s camera, as it’s not exactly the best quality. When it did work, the owl popped up in our list and was instantly ticked off, as promised.

Despite our problems, there were plenty of people out and about scanning owls that we could see, and reports from other app users say that they’ve been using it with no problems. The app is a neat little idea, and great for those who want to follow the trail without flapping a large trail map about with you! If you’re using the app, please do let us know how you’ve been getting on with it!

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Indie Classic or Cash Grab?

Horror fans were surprised a couple of weeks ago when Scott Cawthorn released the latest iteration of of his famous Five Nights at Freddy’s series, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4. All teasers before the game was released were indicating a Halloween release for the game, and a later announcement stated that the release date was to be moved up to the 8th August, the one year anniversary of the original game’s release.

The games have been a huge smash fit in the indie gaming scene. All four games centre around characters from the fictional Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, where the animatronic characters roam the building at night. The player often plays as a security guard, who has to watch out for the characters as they may mistake them for a robot without their suit, making them susceptible to attack. The game uses a very simple point and click style interface, letting the player control the security cameras and the doors to the office, but little else. The games have become famous for their ‘jumpscares’, where the characters sneak up on the player and jump them, ending the game.

Critics hailed the games for their unique take on the horror genre, noting that while the gameplay and scares were simple, they required the player’s mind to fill in the rest, making for more effective frights. The games also became a hit on Youtube, where many players found popularity in filming themselves playing the game and jumping out of their skins. The games became so popular, in fact, that in April Warners Bros. Studios bought the rights to the series in the hopes of making a movie adaptation.

Predictably though, there has been some backlash against the series. Many have pointed out that Cawthorn has brought out no less than four games within the space of a year. While technically speaking, the games are very simple and can well be made quickly, some have felt that this was an obvious cash grab designed to keep the games in the public eye. PewDiePie, one of the Youtubers who made Five Nights at Freddy’s famous in the first place, has criticized the latest installment for being too samey, and commented that anyone who’s played the first three titles is ‘immune to the jumpscares by now.’

Cawthorn has reacted to the criticism on the game’s Steam page. In his post, he addresses the concerns people have had about his games, and is emphatic that they are not a cash grab. He points out that he’s faced a lot of hate simply because he was successful, and that while his games will never be perfect, he hopes they’ll inspire other people to make their own games.

Possibly this is what we should take away from Cawthorn’s success. He created something new and different in a rather worn out genre, and in doing so has convinced others to make their own games. In an industry that’s full of titles that took millions of dollars and teams of hundreds to produce, shouldn’t we be impressed at what he’s achieved? What will be really interesting is seeing what he does next. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 was originally meant to be the final chapter, but apparently we may not have seen the end of it…

Is The Ouya Dead?

This week Julie Uhrman, CEO of embittered games console company Ouya, has resigned from her post. In a series of tweets, she thanked the people she had worked with, and revealed that Razer have bought out the company. ‘Can’t wait to see what you do ‘ she said to them, ‘Take care of my incredible team and community… I know you will.’

This won’t be shock to anyone who has followed the Ouya’s progress as of late. The machine started out well in 2012, when the Kickstarter to fund it was fully backed within eight hours, and attracted new backers at a rate of one every 5.59 seconds.The machine promised to run Android games on your TV, and the company declared they would have an Ouya run store, where indie developers could publish their games.

At first, reception seemed positive, especially with the enthusiasm of the Kickstarter backers. However, some people weren’t so sure. PC Magazine ran a piece entitled ‘Why Kickstarter’s Ouya Looks Like A Scam’, pointing out that the machine hadn’t even been built yet, and that Kickstarter had a poor track record with tech products. After release, many reviewers criticized the poor controller design, which suffered from lagging and connectivity issues. Many games were also found to run poorly on the Ouya, despite working perfectly on smartphone devices. All in all, initial sales were rather low.

It wasn’t a great start, but Ouya seemed determined to pull back. A new iteration of the device was announced, which would have better wifi, improved connectivity and increased storage space. In an effort to increase the amount of new games created for the Ouya, the company created the Free The Games Campaign. The terms stated that any game on Kickstarter that reached a $50,000 target would have its funds matched by Ouya, as long as the game remained exclusive to the machine for at least six months.

The campaign was great in theory, but in practice it was seriously open to abuse. Two games, Elementary, My Dear Holmes, and Gridiron Thunder, came under suspicion for artificially inflating their goals and using suspicious backers pledging high amounts in order to get the extra money from Ouya. Eventually, the company amended the campaign’s terms in order to end any suspicious activity.

All in all, it seems as though there was a great deal of confusion in how the product should be handled. There were several ill conceived attempts at marketing the console, and there certainly wasn’t any long term planning involved. What seemed like a neat little idea for a console that could sidestep the all consuming Console Wars has fallen by the wayside, due to poor management.

The question has to be asked, did anybody want the Ouya? After the initial Kickstarter rush, there seemed to be little interest in it or the games made for it. When nearly everybody owns a smartphone, capable of playing mobile games, why would anyone want to play them while tethered to their TV at home?

Now that Razer owns the company, they already have plans in place. Notably, they don’t own the rights to the hardware, so they are looking at keeping the Ouya brand on as a standalone gaming publisher for Android. It seems it’s the end for the plucky little console, but the Ouya name may not die out yet.

Can Medical Apps Replace Doctors?

Technology has revolutionised the way we access healthcare globally. If we want to book an appointment with our GP, we can simply do so online. We can buy fitness and health tracking apps and hardware that help us keep tabs on our health goals. The NHS has got involved with their NHS Choices site, which allows users to pinpoint their own symptoms and get advice on what care they require. We can, if we’re feeling dangerous, even Google our healthcare questions. Now though, there’s a new wave of technology that aims to make getting medical advice even easier.

A raft of medical apps such as DrDoctor and Doctor On Demand are now making it possible to connect to a medically trained professional in real time, to get answers on the care the user might need. To some, this may sound like a lifesaver. With many of us working long hours and unable to visit their GP without taking time off work, wouldn’t it just be easier to spend a couple of minutes on your phone and get the same result?

The apps work by connecting the user to a professional via the app. With some apps, you can speak to them via a video call, or by live messaging. The idea behind many of the apps, such as First Opinion, is to bridge the gap between online self diagnosis and a full medical appointment, eliminating the errors that can arise from the former.

It certainly seems like these apps could be the answer to many health care provision problems. A review on the Doctor On Demand site notes that using the app meant that she could avoid taking her child to the urgent care centre for what turned out to be a simple problem that could be cared for at home. Apps also mean house bound patients could access care much more easily, and that consultants could attend patients while they’re on call through their phones, meaning that theoretically, a large strain could be lifted from the medical service (and could, in part, be an answer to the #ImInWorkJeremy campaign).

When put like that, it all seems too good to be true, right? There are some flaws in how these apps work. With some health issues, doctors really need to see a patient physically in order to diagnose them effectively. The doctors employing the app also, presumably, have no access to their patient’s medical records. The main issue, though, seems to be the terms and conditions of certain apps. The First Opinion T&Cs state that the user cannot treat the advice given as actual medical advice or diagnoses. Legally, this means they’re covered, but it does undermine the app itself.

Despite these problems, though, the apps could be the answer to stopping people playing ‘Dr. Google’ and causing themselves unnecessary stress. It’s also maybe good for patients in countries such as the US, where it could be cheaper to consult a doctor via the app rather than pay the full rate for a physical appointment. An app can’t help you in an emergency, or give you a prescription, but they’re possibly great for advice on caring for minor ailments. Here in the UK, a similar app could be a good add on to the NHS 111 advisory service, as it could allow NHS workers to see ailments, rather than having them described over the phone.

Apps can do an awful lot of things, but this may be the case where the technology can’t provide everything that a physical service can. However, that’s not to say that medical apps can provide a service to those who need it.

PewDiePie: Overpaid Ranter Or The New Face of Entertainment?

Recently there has been a lot of talk about PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellburg. Once a humble college student, he discovered he had a knack for entertaining people by playing video games and providing his own brand of colourful commentary online, and now he’s worth roughly £4.8 million.

When the sum was revealed, there was an almost instant backlash. Many blasted Kjellburg for making so much money simply for being a Youtube personality. One person commented ‘if only I could paid that much for being a complete ****** in front of a webcam and generate a few million views…’ Another complained ‘I find it funny how someone who yells and plays videogames makes this much money… When there are people out there who risk there [sic] lives, fighting for this country! And they get paid hardly anything.’

Kjellburg isn’t the only one who’s found fortune playing games online. Bristol based team Yogcast make up to $2 million a year with their various videos and streams, and Gavin Free of Rooster Teeth and the Slow Mo Guys fame has a net worth of $5 million. Clearly if you can get the formula right, there’s money to be made in producing gaming content online.

So, how did they all become so popular? Media Post suggested that it’s because they all appeal to the younger generation, who are bored with traditional TV, which struggles to appeal to them. With the advent of online services, TV shows and other content can be tailored to fit even the most niche interests, meaning services like Youtube and Netflix can capture their attention. With a new study suggesting that many parents now punish their children by taking away their online devices and making them watch TV, this theory does have a lot of merit.

Also, watching a Youtube personality or a Twitch streamer play a game online is a much more intimate and personal experience than watching TV is. With both mediums, viewers can interact with the creators directly, with Twitch they can even do so in real time, in some cases giving advice and affecting the direction of game play. Younger viewers are no longer content to passively view content, they want to be involved.

The backlash may have come about as many people aren’t used to the idea that celebrities can be brought to fame by the internet. Famous faces that came about before the internet make huge sums of money for doing seemingly meaningless jobs, and many don’t bat an eyelid. After all, TV presenter Jonathan Ross is currently worth around $35 million. Suddenly PewDiePie’s £4.8 million doesn’t seem so ridiculous, does it?

The news of PewDiePie’s earnings illustrate just how the gaming and entertainment industries are shifting. With many gaming websites facing layoffs or shutting down altogether, we can see how these personalities have given viewers a new way to take in the latest gaming news and entertainment. The question is now where will they go from here?

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Is Modding It’s Own Reward?

The Steam ‘paid mods’ controversy a few weeks ago, to the untrained eye, was unexpected. Steam quite reasonable expected players to pay for mods that had been made by the service’s talented and enthusiastic mod community. However, when the service was rolled out, The community that was used to mods being freely available complained, loudly. Also, there were valid concerns regarding the ownership of certain mods. Steam decided to scrap the idea for now, until a better way of utilising it can be found.

Despite the controversy, valid points were raised about the worth of mods. Should modders be paid for their work, even though they’re often using other developer’s assets? The answer really depends on the kind of mods that are being made.

Game modifications have been around since the 1980’s, but with the increased use of the internet, they have exploded in the gaming scene. Many famous and popular mods have been created, such as Garry’s Mod that was originally a mod for Valve’s Half Life 2 and DOTA, a mod for Warcraft 3.

In fact, some mods have become so popular that they have become games in their own right. Day Z, which started out as an ArmA 2 mod, has been since released as a stand alone title, and has been said to create an entirely new gaming experience from it’s source material. Recent mod Portal Stories: Mel, takes some of the assets and settings from the Portal series and weaves an entirely new story around them.

With such detailed and well crafted mods out there, it’s easy to wonder why these modders aren’t making their own games. Why make something for free when you make your own creation and make cash from it? With all art forms, it’s not quite as easy as that. Budding game developers can use existing assets to hone their skills, creating something new and interesting and learning as they go. It’s a space free of deadlines or outside input, where modders can practice to their heart’s content.

However, the problems seem to arise when modders go above creating fun aesthetic changes to games, and start making substantial modifications to gameplay, or essentially creating new games altogether. When modders put in so much time and effort into their creations, do they deserve to be paid or should they create their own games if they want money? It’s a tricky subject and one that wasn’t really considered when Steam put forward their paid mods service. Even if game developers give modders the go ahead to sell their mods, do modders have the right?

Steam, to their credit, did realise that modders deserve to be recognised for their work.Budding developers can use modding as a way of standing out from the crowd. Cliff Bleszinski, from Epic Games, has been known to hire people from the modding scene, a move Sumo Digital has always adopted. Many developers do recognise what the modding community does for them, as mods often increase replay value.

So, is there a point to rewarding modders? The short answer is yes. As in any art form, a lot of money, love and time goes into the mods, so modders deserve to be shown some recognition for it. Whether that’s a monetary reward, job offers, or something else is yet to be seen. Until then, we can still enjoy the work they put out.

Are Youtube Set To Beat Twitch At Their Own Game?

With all the fanfare and hype coming from E3 two weeks ago, it would have been easy to miss what actually be one of the most important news stories in gaming this year. Video service giant Youtube is looking, sources say, to create it’s own games streaming service to rival gamers’ favourite Twitch.tv.

Twitch has become wildly popular in recent years, becoming the number one place to catch your favourite gamers streaming games. It’s become a cultural phenomenon with it’s hosting of live e-sports events, and user generated events such as Twitch Plays Pokemon. It gets roughly 100 million viewers per month, who watch over 1.5 million broadcasters. With those kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder that Youtube want a slice of the action.

In fact, this isn’t the first time Youtube have tried to capture Twitch’s audience. Last year, they were set to buy out the streaming service for $1 billion. However, Twitch went with Amazon, who offered them $970 million, as the owners felt they would retain more creative control under them.

Youtube are already popular with it’s v-logging user base, many of which focus on gaming. Pre-recorded gaming sessions of popular Youtube personalities gain millions of hits per month. With their current business model so successful, is this something that Youtube need to get involved with?

In fact, this isn’t the first time that Youtube have attempted to launch a streaming channel. In 2010, they tested out the service by live streaming a U2 concert and an Indian Premier League cricket match. However, the service failed to take off and was sidelined by the company.

So, if it wasn’t successful then, why would it be successful now? In 2010, Youtube seemed to be focusing on large live events, which didn’t take off. It could be argued that a live event such as a concert loses something when the viewer isn’t there in the venue to see it, even if they are watching it live. A gaming session from a well known personality, however, is different. It’s a more intimate event, and a more personal one. Viewers can get involved by talking to each other or to the player themselves via the chat option. The player can talk back to viewers individually too, making it a much more involved stream.

If this is to take off this time, however, Youtube will need to have an edge over Twitch. So far, it’s been reported that 50 engineers have been deployed to create the service, and that Youtube streams will be available at 60fps, making the viewing experience smoother.

So far there’s not an awful lot of information on Youtube’s streaming service, and it doesn’t seem that Twitch are overly worried. They’ll have to pull out the big guns if they’re looking to topple Twitch from the live streaming top spot.

Where Were The Original Mobile Games At E3?

Anyone who was following this year’s E3 news would have noticed that a handful of mobile game apps were announced alongside the console and PC titles. Exciting news for mobile gaming fans, but the eagle eyed would have noticed that nearly every game announced was based on a previous, successful gaming franchise. In fact, the only ‘original’ title seemed to be Minions Paradise, a game based on the wildly successful Despicable Me movie franchise.

This begs the question, are ‘regular’ mobile apps not seen as important or exciting enough to be shown at E3? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that mobile games can be hugely profitable. With Candy Crush developer King floating their company on the stock market, to Angry Birds becoming a huge franchise with it’s own land in Thorpe Park, there’s no arguing that when a mobile app gains popularity, they become global names.

Is it possible that mobile games are still not seen as ‘real’ games? Despite their popularity, they are a wildly different beast to their console and PC counterparts. The latter are designed to draw the player in and keep them involved for hours, whereas mobile games are designed for a few minutes of play, perfect for playing at the bus stop. They also suffer the stereotype of being ‘girls’ games, with a glut of candy coloured cooking simulators and colour matching games in the app stores. It can be difficult for the player to take these games seriously.

The indie nature of many developers, while being great for creativity in mobile gaming, can also be a hinderance. When developers put the work into an original game, the result can be fantastic, as seen in Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower and Spry Fox’s Triple Town, to name but two. However, the common result is a game that essentially clones other successful games. With this process being so popular, it’s hard to find quality titles from the deluge of clone titles in the app store.

With all these problems though, it’s not reasonable to think that mobile games aren’t legitimate enough to be shown at exhibitions such as E3. After all, traditional gaming is rife with it’s own problems. With the piracy, lack of originality, and endless sequels that plague the industry, mobile gaming can sometimes be a breath of fresh air. Everyone expects the traditional Microsoft vs. Sony battles, the endless Nintendo retreads of their famous franchises, and the sequels and remakes (even the long awaited ones, such as the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake). Why not show the best of what the mobile market has to offer?

The problem is, the mobile market may not want, or be able, to show at E3 at all. The best ideas at the moment are coming from indie developers, and to take your product to E3 would take an awful lot of money and manpower, both of which may be better utilised by actually working on the game. E3 better serves established developers who have years of experience and very healthy bank balances behind them. It maybe just isn’t the the place for mobile apps at the moment.

This could, of course, change in the near future. As mentioned earlier, mobile games are incredibly popular and profitable. The market is still in it’s infancy, essentially. Within a few years, we could see Triple A mobile app developers, and who knows? They could very well start showing their work at shows like E3. Until then, though, we’ll have to watch the market to see what happens next.

E3 2015 News Roundup

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo has been a highly exciting affair, with the two main players, Sony and Microsoft, looking to one-up each other as per usual. This year they’ve really upped their game and have announced some highly exciting and long awaited news. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about what came out of the Expo this year.

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

Possibly Microsoft’s biggest news, it was announced that the Xbox One would become backwards compatible. As a sorely missed feature from two generations ago, it seems that Microsoft are listening to fans and are finally implementing features that gamers want into their console. The system will essentially work as emulation software, meaning that gamers can use their original Xbox 360 discs, but will need to partially download their game onto their Xbox One in order for it to work. Players will also be able to play multiplayer 360 titles on their One with friends playing on 360 consoles. Publishers will need to grant permission for their games to work with this system, but Microsoft are expecting 100 titles to be available on it come the holiday season.

New Sequels

Plenty of sequels to successful franchises were announced. Some were already announced before E3, such as Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, but lots more were revealed during the expo. EA revealed the latest title in the Mass Effect series, Mass Effect: Andromeda. This will be the first title not to feature the protagonist Commander Shepherd. Gears of War 4 was also announced, which seems to feature two player co-op, rather than the 4 player that was seen in previous games.

As well as these, a Nier sequel, Dishonored 2, Dark Souls 3, Forza 6, and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst were announced. Some commenters have noted that developers have been focusing too heavily on sequels, although developers argue that they’re creating new worlds and mechanics within the confines of their franchises.

Long Awaited Sequels

Two sequels that gamers had long given up on were announced this year, too. The Last Guardian, the successor to cult hit Shadow of the Colossus. Originally announced as a PS3 title in 2009, it was assumed that the game was trapped in development hell and would never get made, but now fans have been promised that it will be out next year.

Also announced was Shenmue 3, the latest Shenmue title that was originally designed for the ill fated Dreamcast. What was interesting about this announcement was that the game, while backed by Sony, was going to be Kickstarted. After Sony announced the project, it raised $1 million in one hour and 42 minutes, breaking the Guinness World Record. There have been questions as to why there is a Kickstarter campaign when Sony are providing the bulk of funding, but it seems as though the crowd funding system has been used to check whether was demand for the game, and to serve as a sort of pre order system.

(Still no word of Half Life 3).

Mobile Games

Many mobile titles were also announced, mostly featuring as companion apps to existing or upcoming titles. Fallout Shelter is already available, and is already making more money than Candy Crush Saga, according to some reports. Hearthstone style games The Elder Scrolls: Legends, and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes are coming out soon. Square Enix have announced Lara Croft Go, a puzzle adventure similar to their existing Hitman Go, but there have been no details announced as yet about the game. Finally, Square Enix also announced a full iOS port of Final Fantasy VII.

THAT Remake

It would be remiss of us to mention this particular news. Sony triumphantly announced that they were bringing a full HD remake of Final Fantasy VII to the PS4. This news was a complete shock to Final Fantasy fans, who have been clamouring for a remake for years, but had almost lost hope that it would ever happen. Let’s hope the finished product lives up to expectations…