Brendan Iribe, co-founder of Oculus, has left the company after the company’s owners at Facebook have reportedly cancelled a next-generation Oculus Rift. Iribe confirmed his departure today.

According to TechCrunch, Iribe had been heading development of what was internally called the Rift 2, a PC-powered (and thus PC-tethered) headset that iterates on the company’s original headset, the Oculus Rift. Oculus’ parent company Facebook has seemingly ended development on the new headset, indicating a focus change on Oculus headsets that don’t require a powerful personal computer to use.

Last month, Facebook and Oculus announced a standalone VR headset called the Oculus Quest, which seems to be the direction the company wants to move rather than the Rift.

Iribe co-founded Oculus as part of a Kickstarter with seemingly ousted former-chief Palmer Luckey in 2012. The company was sold to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, moving Iribe from the company’s CEO to the head of the PC VR division.

[Source: TechCrunch]

The weirdly-named My Hero One’s Justice, which is releasing this week, has gotten its DLC plans announced by developer Bandai Namco. Players who pre-order the game ahead of its release this Friday get the fire-based superhero Endeavor to their roster. Those who don’t preorder will get him as paid DLC after launch.

A day-one update will also add Shoot Style Deku, which is a different fighting style for protagonist Deku and allows him to use his powers for more projectile-based attacks. Both Endeavor and Shoot Style Deku will get their own missions purchasable through in-game unlocks in the game’s store.

The update will also add arcade mode to the game, a standard ladder of opponents that most fighting games have. Bandai Namco mentioned that completing the arcade mode with every character will unlock an exclusive item, but did not detail what that item might be.

My Hero One’s Justice releases on PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC on October 26.

Madden 19’s launch in August didn’t go as smoothly as developer EA Tiburon hoped. A host of bugs surfaced, and the game’s new RPM motion system wasn’t an unqualified leap forward for the series, among other criticisms.

The game has been improved across the board since launch, including addressing some specific problems I asked the development team about when I initially submitted my questions. I’ve nevertheless included those questions (the responses come from Mike Young (creative director), JP Kellams (development director), and Clint Oldenburg (lead gameplay designer)) since they show the game’s progress.

So read on to find out the team’s answers regarding what’s been going on with Madden 19 and what may be addressed in the future.

In fans’ feedback, what has been the most well-received aspect of the game as well as something that they haven’t been as enamored with?
We’ve heard a lot of good feedback around RPM Tech, the updates to Ultimate team, and the return to PC. It feels really good, as those are some key things we focused on this year and we worked really hard to implement correctly.

On the other end of the spectrum, we’re looking at how to make Schemes more meaningful and cleaning up some of our gameplay bugs. Schemes seemed to be a bit polarizing, and while they’ve helped newer and more casual players build their teams in Franchise, there’s more we can do there to make them meaningful and fun for everyone.

Some of the game’s issues and bugs at launch have been addressed via updates, but why were these not identified and addressed during development (such as defenders not being able to play the ball in mid-air, players not being able to pick up fumbles, scores not tabulating from quarter to quarter properly, and more) before launch?
We’ve got a great QA team who works really hard to squash bugs and make sure the game is at the best possible quality by launch, but unfortunately some things slip through, or sometimes something fixed in a title update causes a bug to appear in another part of the game. The number of interconnected systems in a game like Madden make it very challenging to achieve perfection for launch, but the team works tirelessly to fix every single issue they can, and they continue working post-launch to keep improving the game.

In addition to that, we also make sure to listen to the feedback from our players that will drive us to make creative pivots after launch, and a great example of this is the defender catching you mentioned. That was a gameplay design decision to use ratings more to determine which players could make more difficult catches and which could not. Once our players started playing the game, they made it clear to us that they wanted something different in that space, so we changed the design to deliver on that request.

Does the A.I. defense automatically call its play based on which play you select – something that fans have theorized happens. Or does the A.I. follow its own, separate playcalling logic?
A.I. playcalling is fairly complex, but it accounts for things like game situation (down, distance, score, time remaining), tendencies, and personnel. We try and make sure teams play close to their real-life counterparts, so certain teams will blitz more often than others, some will tend to play more zone coverage, things like that.

The A.I. doesn’t “see” your play and then call a counter, but rather tries to guess what type of play you’re going to run in a given situation and then make a call on what it thinks would stop you. For instance, if it’s third and long you’ll often see a blitz because the A.I. knows you’re going to try and make a long pass and it wants to disrupt your timing and force you throw quickly and either get an incompletion or end up short of a first down.

Why does Solo Battles have its own gameplay feel/rules/execution that’s different from regular play or regular MUT even, such as impeded acceleration during kick offs (which were addressed in updates)?
While our scoring system in Solo Battles is unique, we don’t do anything fundamentally different with gameplay in the mode. In fact, players have the option to choose their difficulty, suiting their style. One thing that is important to note is that in MUT [Madden Ultimate Team], there are very few places where someone will play the CPU on All-Madden difficulty. This difference might be what you are pointing out. But with this choice, we also provide great rewards that benefit our players, and we continue to provide different ways to interact with the mode, including our recent Solo Battles Blitz promotion. The kickoff issue specifically was a bug and was resolved.
 
Has any hiring been done to fill Carlos Guerrero’s position or other senior leadership positions?
We don’t have anything to announce related to new hires, but Mike Young is continuing in his role as creative director for the franchise, and Seann Graddy has returned to serve as executive producer for now.

Do you have any plans to introduce any new offensive or defensive schemes or player archetypes for CFM, or in any way widen which/how players earn skill points or earn XP?
We’re looking into opportunities to expand and update this system in the next Madden, we’re listening to community feedback on what people like and dislike and working on some new ideas.

What has been fans’ reaction to CFM’s new Scheme Fits progression system and have you learned from it?
Overall they’ve gone over pretty well, and a lot of the feedback is that players like the simplified player progression because it provides clear paths and removes guesswork. Some of our more core players want to see more nuance in the system though, so we’re looking at that. They key is striking the balance between making schemes and progression feel valuable while also not making them overly-complicated.

Fans have been excited about how well MUT has been supported so far. Has the release of content for the mode gone according to plan or have you had to adjust? Do you expect to keep up this pace through Christmas and/or afterwards?
Our MUT developers have spent the last few years honing their skills and getting the systems in place to consistently deliver high-quality, new content. We’re very pleased with the pace and amount of content going into the game, and want to keep it going as long as possible.

We’ve got some big events planned for Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and the NFL Playoffs, as well as smaller content drops in between the major moments. Our overall goal is to keep MUT feeling fresh and new, so that you’ve always got opportunities to add new players to your team or chase new goals.

Is the team trying to implement this season’s QB roughing the passer penalties in the NFL for players driving their weight (90% of their weight? The majority?) onto the QB during sacks?
If we do anything with the new roughing the passer penalty it would have to come in a future edition of the game. We don’t currently have animations or penalty logic to account for defenders driving their weight on the QB. Also, it’s probably more fun for our players to be able to celebrate a great sack without having to worry about if they’ll also be penalized.

Where is the team in the development of Madden 20?
Believe it or not we’re already hard at work on implementing the new features and doing a lot of the heavy lifting around getting new features in and getting the game stood up. Because our development cycle moves so quickly we have to clearly prioritize our goals and don’t have any time to waste getting there.

Fortunately we’ve got a great, experienced team who understands our cycle and is doing a tremendous job in keeping us on-track. It’s pretty heads-down right now, but we’re making great progress and we’re looking forward to sharing some of our big ideas for the next Madden as soon as we can.

Warner Bros. Media

The latest Wonder Woman movie, the sequel to DC’s most highly-acclaimed superhero film so far, has been pushed seven months from its November 2019 date into June 2020, occupying a similar summer space to the previous film.

The news was tweeted this morning by Wonder Woman star Gal Godot.

Warner Bros. said in a statement that the move works better for Wonder Woman, as it puts it back into the timeframe that made the first movie so successful. The movie has been heavily anticipated as Warner Bros. seeks to refocus its DC superhero slate from its morose and sober reputation to something more lighthearted, as evidenced by trailers for Shazam, Aquaman, and the decision to bring in Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for the next Suicide Squad movie.

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

Intellivision Entertainment unveiled its plans this morning to re-enter the console market with the Amico home video game console. The company has some experience in this field, having released a console almost 40 years ago, but with its new system, Intellivision hopes to create a product for more casual gamers and families. Towards this end, Intellivision will reportedly only release games rated E for Everyone or E10+ on the Amico. 

Tommy Tallarico, Intellivision’s President, had this to say:

 “Most every game being made for the home consoles these days is created with only the hardcore gamer in mind.  We see a world where everyone is interested in playing at home and with friends, but this isn’t currently possible because the barrier to entry is nearly impossible for a non-gamer due to the complexity of the controllers, intricacy of gameplay, expense of the hardware and software and steep learning curve with an unbalanced fun factor for the beginner.  Our goal was to create a console that both gamers and non-gamers are able to have fun with and play together.  The Intellivision Amico is our answer to this gaping hole we see within the current video game industry.”

The Amico will reportedly offer an exclusive selection of remastered Intellivision classics like Astrosmash, Star Strike, and B-17 Bomber alongside select favorites from the Atari and Imagic. According to the press release, you can expect these titles to include modernized graphics, updated audio, additional levels, and local and online multi-player modes. However, Intellivision also plans on bringing brand-new games to the new console, which are currently being developed. 

The Amico launches in North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe on October 10, 2020 with an expected price point between $149 – $179.

[Source: Intellivision Entertainment]

The time has come and so has Devil May Cry 5, which is releasing in the relatively short future of March. If you’re a big fan of the series, you’re probably anticipating buying the game and maybe also whatever special edition Capcom inevitably puts up with the game. Well, you might not want to commit to that last part quite yet, at least if you’re not independently wealthy and fairly cold.

Capcom has revealed three new special edition bundles for Devil May Cry 5 for sale via Capcom Japan’s store. The three versions are basically extremely expensive jackets you can buy for each of the main characters: Dante’s red duster, Nero’s dark-blue coat, and V’s sleeveless goth dream.

The Dante variation is of course the most expensive, running ¥900,000 or roughly $8000 U.S. No one ever said being stylish is easy or cheap, though you’d think Dante would take better care of his jacket considering how often it gets chopped up or sliced or he himself gets impaled.

For people who don’t have $8000 to spend on a jacket, but do have $6500 (¥750,000), Nero’s new jacket is also an option. Sadly, this does not come with a bunch of replaceable arms, but one of the sleeves is cut off, so if you do have replaceable arms you’re good to go.

Finally, we have V’s vest-jacket. Now you can tell the world “I am probably related to Lady but that’s not confirmed so in the meantime let’s just make Kylo Ren jokes” in one quick ¥600,000 (or roughly $5000) fashion statement.

The jackets are all replicas of the ones Capcom used to scan in to the game using the same technology they used for Resident Evil 7’s photorealistic clothing. That means the Dante coat you buy is identical to what he wears in the game.

This is also not a new thing in general for Capcom, who has become somewhat taken by the idea of the massively expensive special editions. These Devil May Cry 5 bundles come after Capcom’s already announced $700 Resident Evil 2 keyboard, which is still for sale. Maybe you can haggle them down to a price break for all three jackets and the keyboard.

Devil May Cry 5 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 8.

All month long we’ve been rolling out exclusive information on Dreams from Media Molecule. Now’s your chance to ask the game’s developers anything you want about the upcoming PS4 game!

In an upcoming episode of The Game Informer Show podcast (which you can subscribe to here) we’ll be speaking with Dreams’ creative director Mark Healey and Media Molecule’s studio director Siobhan Reddy, in an interview fueled entirely by the questions you submit in the comments section below.

Click on the banner below to visit our constantly-updating hub full of exclusive features on Dreams.

Over the past two decades, Rockstar Games has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the games industry. Rising up from quirky Scotland-based developers with a taste for pulp and crime fiction, Rockstar evolved radically, shifting into innovators and provocateurs, creating some of the industry’s most influential and blockbuster titles. In the lead up to the eagerly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, we came together as a staff to rank every single game that Rockstar developed (this means we excluded published titles like L.A. Noire and Smuggler’s Run). From the humble top-down beginnings of Grand Theft Auto to the blood-soaked streets of Manhunt and the beautiful jaw-dropping vistas of Red Dead Redemption, you’ll find every single title put in its proper place in terms of influence, importance of innovation, and just plain fun.

With all that in mind, let’s steal a ride and roar down this road to hell. Read more…

 

All month long with out latest cover story on Dreams, we’re highlighting the creative potential behind the next game from the creators of LittleBigPlanet. With the video above, we spoke with creative director Mark Healey and Media Molecule’s studio director Siobhan Reddy about what propelled them into making the game in the first place and how the game takes Healey back to his earliest days of creating games for the Commodore 64.

Click on the banner below to visit our constantly-updating hub full of exclusive features on Dreams.

EA announced some big organizational changes today. Jade Raymond, the head of EA Motive, the studio focused on Star War properties, is leaving her position. During Raymond’s time, Battlefront II was released, but we knew the studio was also working on multiple projects, including an open-world Star Wars game, a new action-adventure IP, and a mysterious project. Raymond joined back in 2015 to head a multi-purpose studio, which would create its own IP and provide support for other EA projects. Raymond previously worked at Ubisoft as producer on the Assassin’s Creed series and executive producer on both Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. We do not know Raymond’s plans at this time for her next venture.

We do, however, know Samantha Ryan will be taking Raymond’s place. Ryan has an impressive resume, previously working as president of Monolith and as SVP of product and development at Warner Bros. Ryan has been helping lead other teams at EA, from BioWare to Maxis. 

EA issued the following statement to Game Informer

EA Studios is focused on bringing more creative new games and content to players. Laura Miele and her team have taken several steps internally to better support our game makers in this pursuit, such as expanding Samantha Ryan’s portfolio to lead additional studios, including Motive. Samantha is known for driving creative design and supporting game teams so they can bring their visions to life. She is a deeply experienced game-maker with a gameography that spans from The Sims to Batman: Arkham City to No One Lives Forever to the highly-anticipated Anthem. With this change, Jade Raymond has decided to leave Electronic Arts. In her time with us, Jade helped to build great teams, and our projects underway at Motive and other studios continue unchanged. We’re appreciative of all of her efforts, and we wish Jade all the best as she moves on to her next adventure. We are driving greater creativity into everything we do across EA Studios, and we’ll look forward to sharing more in the months to come.