GameSentral Rewind #011: May 8, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily look at the top gaming headlines.

#GamerGate: Bomb threat clears out D.C. gathering

Washington GamerGate gathering

Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department cleared out the city’s Local 16 restaurant following a Twitter bomb threat made against a GamerGate supporter gathering with two prominent figures associated with the movement there to speak.

Officers evacuated the restaurant in response to information received from the FBI, according to the department.

Police arrived at 9:30PM, searched the area, found nothing and left at 11:50 PM.

An investigation into the threat is ongoing.

Spark Unlimited no longer making games, lays off employees

Los Angeles-based Spark Unlimited, the developer of Lost Planet 3, Legendary and Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, is no longer making games and has laid off all of its employees.

“It’s the end of Spark as a game developer.”

-John Butrovich, Spark Unlimited chief technical officer

Spark’s in-development free to play game was canceled, along with other projects, leading to this development, according to Butrovich.

International Dota 2 Championship prize pool reaches $5.5 million

Dota 2

Valve’s prize pool for the fifth International Dota 2 Championship has skyrocketed past its initial $1.6 million purse. Sales of the TI5 Compendium, a virtual “program” that offers in-game challenges, fantasy league-style predictions, and in-game cosmetic rewards have added an additional $3.9 million to the tournament’s prize pool.

Competing activities in the Compendium increases its level and the speed at which rewards are unlocked. However, the points earned through these activities can also be purchased and applied to further speed up the leveling process. While the Compendium’s base price is $9.99, Valve is selling an additional version for $27.99 that begins at level 50. Reaching new levels in the Compendium. Reaching new levels in the Compendium provides additional rewards, and Valve has included a number of stretch goals for higher feuding levels of TI5’s prize pool, incentivizing additional point purchases.

While Compendium and point sales contribute to TI5’s prize pool, only 25 percent of its proceeds go directly to The Internationals purse – suggesting Valve has made over $10 million from Compendium sales in its first few days. Valve’s stated goal for the TI5 prize pool stands at $15 million.

Disney Infinity 3.0 brings Star Wars to the game

Disney has announced the latest iteration of toys to life game Disney Infinity featuring Star Wars.

Disney Infinity 3.0 brings familiar faces from the world of Star Wars to the platform, joining characters from the Disney, Pixar and Marvel universes.

Star Wars Battlefront will have 12 multiplayer maps

Star-Wars-Battlefront.jpg

Star Wars Battlefront will launch with 12 multiplayer maps, with at least one of which on Iceland-inspired volcanic planet Sullust, according to publisher Electronic Arts.

Battlefront developer EA DICE came up with a look for Sullust, led by concept artist Anton Grandert, who designed it to have “black sharp rocks, huge land shifts, red lava, turquoise lakes, and white smoke.”

“We used the source material that we gathered from Iceland to shift and bend to the design gathered in our concepts.”

-Peter Skold, DICE senior level artist

This is a different process from the way the studio built maps for Endor, Hoth, and Tatooine. DICE’s Sullust themes include lava, sulfur and mining, with Death Star-inspired structures.

EA noted that the game will offer other locations in its “Battlefront Missions,” the challenges can be played solo or cooperatively, with offline or online bots.

Star Wars Battlefront will launch November 17th on PlayStation 4, Windows and Xbox One.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 official, coming later this year

Tony Hawk’s latest collaboration with Activision is officially Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, which is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One later this year.

Chicago-based studio Robomodo, who is behind Tony Hawk: Ride, Shred and Pro Skater HD, is developing the game.

GoatZ is coming with crafting and bugs

Goat Simulator’s latest content pack adds zombies, crafting, and all the bugs and glitches you’d expect, according to Coffee Stain Studios.

GoatZ will be released on May 7th on Steam as a DLC for Windows, Mac and Linux and will cost $4.99. It’ll also be released the same day as a separate app on iOS and Android for the same price.”

-Coffee Stain Studios, in their official release notes

Consumer Oculus Rift headset coming in Q1 2016

Oculus Rift

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift hardware will be released in the first quarter of 2016.

“The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as updated ergonomics for a more natural fit, and a highly refined industrial design.

“In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications … on the Oculus blog.”

-Oculus

Mirror’s Edge 2 coming in early 2016

Mirror’s Edge 2 will be released in early 2016, according to publisher Electronic Arts.

EA lists the DICE-developed game to release during the first three months of 2016 in a financial earnings presentation, saying that the game is coming to consoles and PC.

New Need for Speed coming this fall, new Plants vs. Zombies in early 2016

Plants vs Zombies

Electronic Arts will publish a new Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies game within the next 11 months, according to the company.

EA’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for its 2015 fiscal year, according to a slide presentation detailing EA’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, the next Need for Speed game will be released during EA’s fiscal Q3 2016, while a new Plants vs. Zombies title will launch in the fourth quarter. EA’s third quarter runs between October-December 2015, and the fourth quarter goes from January-March 2016.

EA’s Need for Speed 2015 plans include “a new console experience, and a new mobile game,” according to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, during their investor call. The slide presentation mentioned the Need for Speed: No Limits mobile game made by Real Racing developer Firemonkeys, which is currently being tested in Taiwan and the Netherlands before being released later this year.

The upcoming Plants vs. Zombies game will be a “biggest and bolder new console experience,” according to Wilson.

Konami pulls P.T. from PlayStation Store, no longer available for re-download

Silent Hills

Kojima Productions’ playable Silent Hills teaser P.T. has been pulled completely from the PlayStation Store and is no longer available for re-download, even if you’ve downloaded the game previously.

After deleting P.T., the game still appears in the PS4’s library.

However, attempts to re-download P.T. results in an error.

This inability to download is currently affecting U.S. players with European PS4 owners reporting that they still can re-download the title.

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