The Average Gamer

News Roundup 21st March

GAME_LogoToday marks a sad day in the British gaming industry. It has been coming for a while, but today GAME has filed for administration. While this is tough news for everyone who loves games, don’t be too disheartened, there’s good news for UK videogame developers.

GAME files for administration

The biggest news today is that the GAME Group, owner of both the GAME and GameStation chains of high-street retailers, has officially filed for administration. Within mere hours of being delisted from the London Stock Exchange, a statement was issued announcing the Group’s plans to enter administration.

In an official press release, GAME Group states:

“Further to this morning’s announcement of the suspension of trading in shares of GAME Group plc, the board has concluded that its discussions with all stakeholders and other parties have not made sufficient progress in the time available to offer a realistic prospect for a solvent solution for the business. The board has therefore today filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.

In the short term the Board’s intention is that the business will continue to trade and discussions with lenders and third parties will continue under the protection of the interim moratorium.”

GAME needed to raise £180 million by the end of this week to avoid administration, but the news today shows how dire the situation truly is. After the news that OpCapita had tabled an offer to buy the company, it seemed there was some light at the end of the tunnel. But this offer was quickly rebuffed and OpCapita has since stated that it appears unlikely that they will be able to come to any sort of agreement for a buy-out. Failing to find a buyer could see the UK’s only dedicated videogame retailer shut down.

George Osborne Announces Tax Breaks for UK Game Developers

During his speech for the 2012 budget, Conservative MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced his plans to “support our brilliant video games and animations industries” by offering tax breaks. As reported by IGN, these tax breaks could be similar to those enjoyed by the UK film industry.

The breaks are scheduled to be introduced by April 2013 for “videogames, animation, and high-end television industries, subject to state aid approval”.

BioWare responds to Mass Effect 3 Ending Controversy

After lots of fans vented their rage online about Mass Effect 3’s “controversial” ending, Bioware co-founder Ray Muzyka today confirmed that additional content is in the works to provide players with more closure for the game’s narrative.

In an official blog post, Muzyka writes:

“’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations…I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team.”

“Since the game launched, the team has been poring over everything they can find about reactions to the game – industry press, forums, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few…”

“Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. You’ll hear more on this in April.”

These are select quotes from a full blog entry, which is worth a read in its entirety. What do you think? Should Bioware have given in to the fan’s reactions? Or stuck by their artistic integrity?

New Far Cry 3 Trailer

Ubisoft have launched a stunning new trailer for Far Cry 3. The trailer features brutal melee takedowns, helicopter hijacks, and mushroom trips (yes, you can get stoned in Far Cry 3!). The landscapes are gorgeous, rivalling those seen in Crytek’s stunner Crysis.

The mushroom trips were particularly surprising. It seems a portion of the game will see the main character stoned out of his mind, imagining houses disappearing into caves and watching the cave transform into a world of colours.

Still not impressed? How about a creepy old guy and some paragliding? From what I can make out, the old man who narrates the trailer acts as the main character’s chemist/dealer, his hut hosting a myriad of mushrooms of varying colours.

The trailer ends with the game’s 7th September release date and a “Lost Expeditions” edition of the game, including 2 additional missions which could add up to 40 minutes of gameplay.