Mojang is officially done with Scrolls, the company's only game since releasing Minecraft. The company said in an official post on the Scrolls web site that Echoes will be the last major content patch for Scrolls. And while the developers will continue to keep a close eye on game balance issues, no more development will take place moving forward. Further, the game's servers will be running until July 1, 2016 - after which it will be shut down for good.
This morning Microsoft launched a new web portal aimed at teachers who want to learn how to utilize Mojang's popular open-world building game Minecraft in the classroom. The full blown site hasn't been launched yet, but Microsoft has put up a place holder site at education.minecraft.net and a video explaining what both Mojang and Microsoft want to do to help teachers fully utilize the game in the upcoming school year's curriculum.
If you missed Friday's live broadcast of Super Podcast Action Committee (Episode 148), you can watch the video replay on YouTube, to your left, or download it below. On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are once again joined by super cool dude Justin Leeper to talk about all the games they loved and hated from last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo) in Los Angeles. Who won the E3? Who had the best games? Who failed miserably?
Despite the lack of news related to it this week during E3, Microsoft says that it has not given up on its Kinect motion sensing camera for Xbox One. Xbox executive Aaron Greenberg told GameSpot this week at E3 that Kinect is still important to the company, though he didn't identify any games that are being developed to use it anymore.
"We are absolutely continuing to support Kinect," Greenberg told GameSpot this week at E3.
Well, all the votes are in on which Xbox 360 games should get backwards compatibility and Red Dead Redemption is the top pick. Earlier in the week Microsoft asked fans to vote on the Xbox 360 games they would like to play on Xbox One on Xbox.com. Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, BioShock Infinite, Mass Effect 2, and six different Call of Duty games also make the cut.
A list of the top twenty most requested titles can be found below. We are assuming this list is for more than just North America.
Halo 5 will have in-game currency that can be used to buy in-game enhancements. According to this post on Halo Waypoint, the game will feature REQ Points, which players can earn after competing in Warzone or Arena multiplayer. Players can also earn these points by leveling up their Spartan Rank and completing Commendations in multiplayer. These points can be used to purchase unlockable weapons, armor, skins, assassination animations, etc.
Earlier this week Microsoft announced at its Xbox E3 media briefing that it would support backwards compatibility of a hundred or so Xbox 360 titles starting during the holiday season. The news was very well received by Xbox fans and by the gaming community in general.
At its annual E3 media briefing today, Microsoft highlighted first- and third-party games, HoloLens, its partnerships with VR companies, a newly designed Xbox One and Windows 10 compatible controller, and Xbox One's (limited) ability to provide Xbox 360 game compatibility.
The event opened with a video montage showing Halo 5, Gears of War, and Rise of the Tomb Raider to drive home the point that first - and third-party games are what the company is all about in 2015 and 2016.
At 9:30 am PT (12:30 pm on the east coast) this morning Microsoft will host its annual Xbox media presentation live from Los Angeles. You can watch the event in its entirety right here - we'll have a full report later today.
Xbox executive Phil Spencer admits in a conversation with PC Gamer that Microsoft hasn't done the best job in promoting and supporting PC gaming in the past and that the company made some pretty terrible decisions related to its much maligned Games For Windows and its multiplayer service Games For Windows Live, but promises that that they are fully committed to improving gaming in Windows.
You may have noticed an odd little icon in your system tray this morning - an icon that represents Windows 10. That coincides with an announcement on the Windows Blog revealing that the new and free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be available on July 29.
Microsoft says that the digital store it is deploying with Windows 10, Window 10 phones and devices, and Xbox platforms isn't trying to cut into Steam's business - even though it's kind of trying to cut into Steam's business. Ahem. GamesBeat, who was in attendance at the recent Casual Connect Asia in Singapore, has the dirty little details on Microsoft's digital storefront plans.
BioWare veteran and Mass Effect trilogy project director Casey Hudson has joined Microsoft Studios as its new creative director, PC Gamer reports. Hudson will puts fair amount of his attention on Microsoft's answer to virtual reality on Xbox and Windows platforms - the augmented reality headset code named HoloLens.
Update: In a statement released to Polygon, Microsoft has clarified that users who have been banned from Xbox Live can still use their Xbox One consoles offline.
Microsoft will host its E3 Expo press conference on, June 15 starting at 9:30am PT (12.30pm ET, 5.30pm GMT). The news comes from various outlets who received press invites this morning - including IGN. The details on what Microsoft plans to show during its press conference are being kept under wraps for now, but Microsoft's Phil Spencer teased that the company will debut a "new exclusive IP" at E3 2015.
Former Lionhead Studios head John Needham has been promoted to a new position within Microsoft that will oversee internal development for several (but not all) games on Xbox platforms and the company's augmented reality technology HoloLens. A Microsoft spokesperson tells Engadget that he will report to Microsoft corporate VP Kudo Tsunoda. He will not be in charge of some of Microsoft's biggest franchises, though.
In March rumors circulated that Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe Phil Harrison had left Microsoft. Today Head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed with GamesIndustry.biz in a statement that Harrison was no longer with Microsoft.
"Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside of Microsoft," Spencer's statement reads.
Back in February Microsoft cut its ties with Phantom Dust remake developer Dark Side Games, a devastating blow to the developer, according to a new report citing five former employees from the Florida-based studio.
Announced at E3 last year, the HD remake of the 2004 Xbox game was to an Xbox One exclusive, but sometime in early February Microsoft decided to back out of the deal. At the time the company said very little about why it did so, other than confirming that the relationship between the two companies had ended.
Microsoft has hit modders using leaked files from its recently announced Halo Online game with a DMCA takedown notice, TorrentFreak reports. Last week Microsoft announced the free-to-play online PC game for Russia only, and didn't promise that the game would be released outside that territory. This made some Halo fans a bit upset.
GamesIndustry International has an interesting and mildly nostalgic interview with Oddworld Inhabitants' Lorne Lanning, who shares some wild secrets on the early days of the Xbox console and Microsoft's ideas on how to get ahead during that time period.
The most interesting tidbit of information shared by Lanning is that - prior to its launch - Microsoft was seriously considering give away its first console system free of charge. Lanning said it was one of the key reasons that he decided to make his game, Munch's Oddysee, a launch title.
Microsoft really wants Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 when it is released to the masses this summer. The company's desire for wide proliferation of Windows 10 runs so deep that it has said publicly that it does not care how anyone in China obtained the operating system.
Speaking to Reuters, Microsoft's operating system chief Terry Myerson said that the company will be "upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10."
An Xbox Live Gold subscription will not be needed to play multiplayer on Windows 10 when it is released, despite it supporting cross play on some games (Xbox One and Windows 10) and the integration of the Xbox Live system into the operating system.
This is according to what Microsoft's Larry Hryb said recently on Twitter. The integration into Windows 10 will "provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One," including instant messaging and friends chat.
GII reports that Phil Harrison has quietly left Microsoft, though executives within the company attending the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week have refrained from providing confirmation or commenting on it. When asked by Eurogamer about rumors that Harrison had left Microsoft, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that "he couldn't say anything about that."
Yesterday we reported that the version of the popular indie game Darkest Dungeon being sold on the Windows Game Store was a fake and was not put there by developer Red Hook or its founder Chris Bourassa. Bourassa tweeted a warning yesterday that the Windows Game Store version was not from his company and that he was reaching out to Microsoft to get the game removed.
According to The Verge, Microsoft will finally make good on its promise (long before the Xbox One was released) to make every Xbox One system capable of becoming a development kit. In the old days if you wanted to develop on the Xbox platform you either had to buy an expensive development kit unit or use the XNA framework on the PC.
Microsoft sold 6.6 million Xbox systems in the final three months of 2014, the company revealed this week as part of its FY15 Q2 earnings report, which covers the quarter ended December 31, 2014. We say "Xbox systems" because Microsoft combined sales of both Xbox 360 and Xbox One during that time period in its financials.
Microsoft also said its Xbox business enjoyed a "strong holiday season", while the Devices and Consumer division saw year-over-year revenue growth of 8 percent to $12.9 billion.