GameSentral Rewind #016: May 24, 2015

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

Civilization: Beyond Earth’s Rising Tide expansion is coming this fall

Civilization Beyond Earth

Firaxis and 2K Games have announced an expansion for its science-fiction turn-based strategy game Civilization: Beyond Earth.

Rising Tide will allow players to build floating settlements while accessing submerged natural resources. New aquatic creatures are also coming.

A new diplomacy system will offer upgrade traits which can activate new ways of interacting with AI rivals. Four extra factions are being introduced, including one descending from wealthy Middle Eastern states.

Two biomes are also being introduced along with new upgrades and units based on hybrid affinities.

“Rising Tide builds upon the lore of Beyond Earth, breaking away the historical boundaries of the original franchise and furthering mankind’s search for a new home in outer space. Whether colonizing the planet’s oceans, acquiring new Affinities or meeting exotic new leaders, aliens and units for the first time, Rising Tide offers more ways for players to write their own stories on a new world.”

-Sid Meier, Firaxis Games director of creative development

Rising Tide will be available for Windows this fall for $29.99.

Sega pulls over a dozen games from iTunes, Google Play

Sega_Of_America_by_SonicShadowHedgehog3

Sega has pulled over a dozen games from the iTunes App Store and Google Play because they no longer met its quality standards.

Here are the affected games:

  • After Burner Climax (Android, iOS)
  • Jet Set Radio (Android,
  • Super Monkey Ball 2 (Android, iOS)
  • Altered Beast (iOS)
  • Ecco the Dolphin (iOS)
  • Golden Axe (iOS)
  • Golden Axe 3 (iOS)
  • Streets of Rage 2 (iOS)
  • Phantasy Star 2 (iOS)
  • Sega Columns Deluxe (iOS)
  • Space Harrier 2 (iOS)
  • Streets of Rage 3 (iOS)
  • Super Monkey Ball (iOS)
  • Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition (iOS)
  • Virtua Fighter 2 (iOS)
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown Guide (iOS)

Some of these games may return “in an updated form,” according to Sega.

Grand Theft Auto 5 shipments approach 52 million units

Grand-Theft-Auto-Online-3

Grand Theft Auto 5 has now shipped nearly 52 million units, according to publisher Take-Two Interactive.

That figure is the total number of shipments to retailers across all five of the game’s platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

Sony’s newest studio is focusing on virtual reality with Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus

North West Studio is a new Sony game development studio based in the UK that is dedicated to virtual reality development for the company’s Project Morpheus headset, according to job listings.

Jobs listed at the studio reference an “exciting and rare opportunity to join an ambitious new studio to create original games exclusively for Project Morpheus, PlayStation’s VR platform.”

The studio is located in northwestern England, hence the name, where Sony wants to assemble a “small but highly experienced team who wants to build great games to showcase this exciting new immersive technology.” Open positions include those for game designers, character animators and level designers.

Nintendo World Championships coming to eight Best Buys

Nintendo World Championships

The road to the 2015 Nintendo World Championships will begin with qualifiers on May 30 at eight Best Buy locations across the U.S., according to the company.

Qualifiers will run from 10AM-7PM local time, however you should get there early as registration begins at 9AM local time, and the entrant field is capped at 750 players per store on a first-come, first-served basis. Here are the locations, from east to west:

  • 5001 Northern Blvd., Long Island City, NY
  • 10760 NW 17th Street, Miami, FL
  • 900 East Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL
  • 12905 Elm Creek Blvd. N, Maple Grove, MN
  • 9378 N Central Epressway, Dallas, TX
  • 3675 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA
  • 1717 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA
  • 2214 S 48th Street, Tacoma, WA

Players will be competing in the Championship mode of Ultimate NES Remix for Nintendo 3DS, vying for high scores in challenges in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dr. Mario.

The winner of each qualifier will move on to the final event, which will take place on June 14 at the Nokia Theatre (L.A. Live) in Los Angeles. There, they’ll be joined by another eight Nintendo-selected competitors. The finals will take place over multiple rounds with “a variety of Nintendo games,” according to the company.

EA’s former games head Frank Gibeau leaves after over 20 years

Frank Gibeau

Longtime Electronic Arts executive Frank Gibeau has left the company after over 20 years at the company, according to a report EA filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gibeau was the executive vice president of EA Mobile before his departure. Prior to that, he served as president of EA Games and EA Labels, where he oversaw development of the company’s franchises, including Battlefield, FIFA, Madden, Need for Speed and The Sims. Gibeau joined the company in 1991, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Today, we are announcing that Frank Gibeau has chosen to transition on from Electronic Arts. Throughout a more than 20-year career, Frank’s made many significant contributions to the company, our people and our games. Most recently, he’s worked to strengthen EA Mobile by building a great team. We’d like to thank Frank for his achievements at EA, and we wish him all the best in his next chapter.

“Mobile games continue to be a core focus for EA, and thanks to our incredibly talented mobile teams, our position has never been stronger. With a foundation of key titles, core strength in live services that provide years of entertainment, and new games that are bringing in more players, engagement across the EA Mobile portfolio continues to grow. Our studio teams have new experiences in development for some of EA’s biggest franchises, powerful new IP like The Minions and Star Wars, and more creative concepts at early stages in the testing process. As the mobile gaming audience continues its rapid expansion, EA has a tremendous opportunity to deliver amazing entertainment to more players around the world.

“We have strong leadership across EA Mobile today, and the team will report to me directly as we work though our long-term organizational plans. I look forward to working closely with our teams throughout EA Mobile and continuing our momentum.”

-Andrew Wilson, EA CEO

Dimension Drive returns to Kickstarter after being trolled

Dimension Drive

A few days after Dutch game developer 2Awesome Studio had its Kickstarter campaign crushed by a fraudulent pledge – causing them to lose $10,843 in funding in the campaign’s final hours – the studio has relaunched its Kickstarter campaign for shoot ‘em up Dimension Drive.

As of this writing, the campaign has raised well over half of its $46,470 goal with 24 days left.

“To be honest with you guys, our first reaction was ‘no way, we can’t go through this process again. Not after what happened [in] the last hours of our campaign. The confidence was gone, we were exhausted after those 24 [hours], mentally broken, … I can’t find the right words to describe it, but I think you can have an idea.

“But as the hours were passing by, your support started to change our minds. You guys and your kind and warm words encouraging us to do this one more time. We couldn’t let this ‘troll’ destroy our dream, the project we have been working so hard to make real. We couldn’t let he/she/them win, not only for us, for any indie [developer] that could face something similar in the future.”

-2Awesome Studio, in an update on its failed Kickstarter campaign

Dimension Drive is a dual-screen vertical shoot ‘em up that takes place in a “comic book styled sci-fi space opera set in a multidimensional universe.” The game is expected to come to Linux, Mac and Windows this year.

New Xbox One bundles

Xbox One Halo Master Chief Collection

Xbox One with Halo the Master Chief Collection Bundle

Microsoft will release a limited edition Xbox One bundle for $349 this month that includes Halo: The Master Chief Collection, according to a blog post on Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb’s site.

The U.S.-only bundle ships with a download code for a 59.11GB download of The Master Chief Collection, which includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. The console does not include a Kinect. The same bundle is available with a black Xbox One for $349.99.

The Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle “will be available in limited quantities for a limited time at participating U.S. retailers while supplies last,” according to Major Nelson’s post.

Over-the-air Tuner

Xbox One owners in the U.S. and Canada can now watch over-the-air TV on their consoles, according to an Xbox Wire post.

To watch broadcast TV, you’ll need the $59.99 Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One, which is available from both Amazon and the Microsoft Store. You’ll also need an antenna, which isn’t included with the tuner. The Microsoft Store is also offering an $99.99 bundle that includes an antenna to connect to the included tuner, saving buyers $30, according to Microsoft. You can also buy a separate antenna or use one you already have.

The tuner allows users to watch their local stations (CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, etc) live. On the software side, the Xbox One’s OneGuide will include your TV listings. Users will be able to pause live TV for up to 30 minutes and stream it over the air to the SmartGlass apps available for Android, iOS, and Windows.

“Support for over-the-air TV on Xbox One means you can access broadcast networks available in your area, subscription free, and, in true Xbox One fashion, without having to worry about switching inputs between your games and TV.”

-Microsoft, in a Xbox Wire post

Nintendo hires Bowser

Doug Bowser

Nintendo has hired Doug Bowser as its executive vice president of sales.

Bowser previously spent seven years at Electronic Arts.

“[Bowser] is an outstanding addition to our Nintendo team, as he brings a deep blend of both consumer package goods and video games sales experience. I know he will work tirelessly with our internal and external partners to ensure the broad Nintendo product lineup of hardware, software and accessories are strongly represented throughout U.S. retail points of distribution.”

-Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America executive vice president of sales & marketing

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