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What it cost one developer to port a game through ID@Xbox

Jamie Fristrom launched Sixty Second Shooter Prime on Xbox One last month, selling it for $5 a pop. Prime is the latest version of Sixty Second Shooter, his game that first launched on the Chrome Web Store and later on PS4 and Vita. To bring Sixty Second Shooter Prime to Xbox One, Fristrom had to spend $5,143 on equipment, permissions and insurance.

Fristrom breaks down the costs in a blog post: Microsoft provides Xbox One dev kits to early adopters of the ID@Xbox program, so those were free, but Fristrom spent $63 shipping one to his partner. Hardware and video capture device costs hit $253, localization (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) cost $729, and maintaining the game's URL cost $19. And then the big-ticket items – errors and omissions insurance cost Fristrom $2,037, and securing ratings on foreign boards (PEGI, USK) cost $2,042.

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Watch Dogs DLC tease rats out Camden, New Jersey

According to a new tweet from the official Watch Dogs Twitter account, Camden, New Jersey was the most crime-ridden US city in 2012. That's not at all true, but it's apparently a solid enough fiction for a DLC tease.

"Our data indicates surveillance has become more prominent in high-crime areas," the account states before linking to the above infographic. First, let's debunk that core claim. Depending on how you categorize crime, the dubious honor of highest US crime rates in 2012 would go to either Detroit or St. Louis. Camden doesn't even make the top-10 lists (though Newark, New Jersey ranked among the highest crime rates per capita in 2011). Despite this, the Twitter account claims that "a surveillance program is now in effect."

Shortly after the tweet was issued, a fan did the sensible thing and plainly asked if this cryptic message was related to upcoming DLC. Watch Dogs fans have long been waiting for the first installments of the singeplayer campaign promised by the game's Season Pass, and based on the Twitter account's brief reply - "Coming this fall" - it's probably safe to assume Camden, New Jersey plays some part in the additional content. How exactly is anyone's guess, so please deposit those guesses in the comments below.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Blizzard investigating Hearthstone payment woes

Those who have been erroneously charged for Hearthstone's new Curse of Naxxramas singleplayer campaign can rest assured that developer Blizzard is looking into the problem.

Following yesterday's debut of the Plague Wing area, reports came rolling in of players unable to purchase the additional content or being double-charged by the game's in-app purchase system. "We are currently investigating the following issues affecting the new Hearthstone wing, the Plague Quarter," Blizzard wrote in a statement to Eurogamer. "Some players are unable to access the new wing after purchase. Some players have been charged twice in order to access the new wing. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve them."

Since issuing that statement, Blizzard has created a notice in the Hearthstone forums that offers guidelines for those affected. If your purchase failed, securing a refund should be a simple process, though Blizzard continues to look into those cases where payment was successfully made but players were not granted access to the game's new features.

Sony evaluated EA Access, but felt it wasn't 'good value'

Wondering why EA Access - the subscription service that offers buffet-style access to Electronic Arts titles, 10 percent discounts on all of EA's digital Xbox One content and five days' worth of early access to major EA releases - isn't coming to PlayStation systems? According to a Sony statement to Game Informer, the answer is simple: It's not good value.

"We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect," a Sony rep told Game Informer. "PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200 percent since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price. We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."

At times like this, we can't help but be reminded of that American cinema classic, Billy Madison. Sorry EA, but the price is wrong for Sony.
[Image: EA]

Breath of Fire 6 delayed to spring 2015 in Japan


Breath of Fire 6: Guardians of the White Dragons's release in Japan has been pushed back to spring 2015 for PC, iOS and Android. Capcom tweeted the decision to postpone the game's full launch earlier today, and according to Siliconera, the publisher is in the process of determining whether the game will launch in other regions. It will be the first main entry in the long-running RPG series since 2003.

Breath of Fire 6 was previously expected to launch this summer, as reported in Capcom's earnings statements in May. The RPG was first revealed in August among a handful of other online games. It will feature a town-building system and the ability for AI partners to join in players' time-based battles. Capcom offered two new screens and a promotional anime trailer for Breath of Fire 6 as well, the former found in the gallery below.

PlayStation Plus nabs Road Not Taken, Dragon's Crown in August


Sony has unveiled next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Road Not Taken, Crysis 3, and other featured games across its platforms in August.

PlayStation 4 owners will receive Polytron's brain-bending puzzle-platformer Fez and Spry Fox's stylish roguelike Road Not Taken. PlayStation 3 subscribers get Crytek's futuristic FPS Crysis 3 and Ed Key's first-person exploration game Proteus, while PS Vita owners can look forward to Vanillaware's fantasy-themed beat-'em-up Dragon's Crown and Digital Dreams' "infographics action game" Metrico.

Fez, Proteus, and Dragon's Crown are also available as Cross-Buy titles for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. All featured games will be freely downloadable for PlayStation Plus members in North America when the PlayStation Store updates next Tuesday.

[Video: Sony]

Homefront acquired by Deep Silver, production of sequel to continue at fresh studio

Clearly tired of Crytek's "transitional phase," publisher Deep Silver's parent company has acquired the Homefront intellectual property and related assets from Crytek. Homefront: The Revolution was under production at Crytek UK, with recent reports declaring production had halted and the game's director resigned.

"We strongly believe in the potential of Homefront: The Revolution and trust in the new team to continue the path they have been walking in the last years," said Deep Silver CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz.

The game will now be completed by the newly founded Nottingham-based Deep Silver Dambuster Studio. We've followed up with Deep Silver about whether staff from Crytek UK is transitioning over and will update with any further details.

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Indie Megabooth reveals Gamescom lineup

The Indie Megabooth announced its lineup for Gamescom this morning, featuring 34 teams showing off their babies at the world's largest video game convention. The Megabooth has become a staple of PAX conventions over the past couple of years, but a PAX is nothing compared to the crushing flow of over 300,000 attendees that come to Gamescom.

For Gamescom attendees, the Megabooth will be located in Hall 10.1. We've posted the full lineup with links to games after the break.

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Xbox One launches in China on September 23

Microsoft is set to be the first company to launch a foreign console in China since the country lifted its 14-year ban on them back in January. Microsoft and BesTV announced a September 23 launch for the Xbox One today, with the system available at a starting price of ¥3,699 RMB, converting to just under $600.

There's no clear-cut list of launch games as yet, but Microsoft said it expects the day one offering to include Forza 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood "among others." Perfect World's Neverwinter Online is also due to be available at launch, and it will stay exclusive to Xbox One for its first six months. The MMO publisher is also developing Celestial Sword and Project X for Microsoft's system.

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Destiny beta: 4.6 million players guided by their Dinklage

The Destiny beta was a beast, with Activision announcing today that 4,638,937 players participated in the early access stress test of the game launching September 9.

"Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date."

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Neverwinter coming to Xbox One in 2015

Perfect World is porting Neverwinter to the Xbox One in China this year followed by a worldwide release in "the first half of 2015," according to IGN.

The site interviewed lead producer Andy Velasquez who says that a consolized Neverwinter will boast "all the same races, all the same classes, [and] all the same maps. The content will be there with some minor exceptions."

The Xbox One version of Neverwinter will not feature cross-play with the PC version, and Perfect World offered no comment on plans for other platforms.

Europe gets long-detained Shin Megami Tensei 4 at cut price

Shin Megami Tensei 4 is priced just £18 or 20 euros in Europe, around half the region's typical asking price for 3DS games. The Atlus RPG cost $50 when it launched stateside last year, so it seems the lower price is a proverbial olive branch to fans frustrated by the wait.

Atlus also revealed that all the DLC - minus the pre-order bonus armors offered by various North American retailers - will be available when the game hit Europe this September.

At the reduced price and going by our four-star review, Shin Megami Tensei 4 looks a steal for European JRPG fans. As Joystiq's Susan Arendt put it, "It eases you into the gameplay without babying you, giving you the tools you need to succeed and enjoy your adventure while still providing a hefty challenge. It's not the prettiest thing you'll ever pop into your 3DS, and the story isn't the series' strongest, but Shin Megami Tensei 4 will demand your full attention every step of the way."

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Europe says 'be our guest' to Disney Magical World


It's the circle of life; first a game hits Japan, then North America and then Europe. Heigh-ho, Europe, maybe you should let it go and be happy 3DS game Disney Magical World will be a part of your world on October 24. So, Euro-friends, can you feel the love tonight?

Moving on... Disney Magical World, if you're not familiar, combines the light-hearted fun of things like Animal Crossing and Tomodachi Life with a host of Disney-fied mini-games. You can go fishing, do some gardening, manage a cafe, hunt ghosts and - most importantly of all - show off your ballroom moves on the dance floor. The game arrived in North America back in April after proving a hit in Japan, where it shipped 500,000 units.

Nintendo also revealed the Pirates of the Caribbean DLC - again already out stateside - is coming to Europe in November, bringing more Captain Jack to the land of Captain Jack.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition combat trailer burninates the countryside


A new trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't offer new info on the game's combat, but it's encouraging to see BioWare focus on the level of strategy offered by its real-time-with-pausing system. To see more combat in action, watch our new video preview which comes with even more dragon - that's really what it's all about, right? No?

As you probably already know, BioWare's upcoming RPG is now due on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18. What you may not know is there's also a delay to Dragon Age Keep, the tool that will let you set up story choices from previous Dragon Ages to carry over in Inquisition. As explained on the BioWare blog, the delay is in keeping with the one for Inquisition, and it'll result in an extended beta program that'll drag on for testers.

Captain Toad's European adventure pushed back to Jan. 2015

It seems Captain Toad isn't quite ready for adventure in Europe, as his upcoming Treasure Tracker game won't hit the region until January 2015. Nintendo said it made the delay to "optimize" the launch timing in the region, which tallies with the Wii U puzzle-platformer remaining on course to hit Japan and North America this year.

A Nintendo of Europe spokesperson confirmed the delay to Joystiq this morning: "In order to optimize the best possible launch timing for Europe, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, originally announced as coming to Wii U in Winter 2014, is now confirmed to launch in the European market in January 2015."

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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