GAME has a different vision. It plans to use its physical locations and customer base to create experience hubs – places where gamers can play as well as buy. This is not a new strategy and has sat at the heart of what CEO Martyn Gibbs has wanted to do since he took control in 2012. In 2013, the firm hired Dominic Mulroy to help develop GAME’s in-store offering. Mulroy had operated Gamerbase, which was a business owned by entertainment retailer HMV and charged gamers to play on their high spec PCs (but was closed down after HMV’s own administration woes). Mulroy’s appointment ultimately didn’t amount to anything, but it has remained something that Gibbs is eager to explore.

Then last year GAME acquired events business Multiplay for £20m, and in June this year it used that company’s know-how to develop a gaming ‘arena’ in its Manchester store. This was an area within GAME that is dedicated to consumers playing together, throwing parties and even trialling new products like VR. It is also a place for grassroots eSports tournaments, which the company is eager to move into in a significant way.

Today, GAME has announced it is opening more arenas under the new heading of ‘Belong’… which sounds, frankly, a bit odd.

“We spent an immense amount of time, and I am talking months and months and months, researching what the best names would be to put behind what we want to achieve, which is grassroots right through to professional eSports,” Gibbs tells GamesIndustry.biz.

“From all the research that we were doing, and after we had launched one or two of our arenas, it was really the element of ‘belonging’ that those communities were responding to.

“We didn’t want to be specific around a GAME title or something that could be that easily associated with it.”

I decided to visit GAME’s latest ‘Belong’ outlet in Wardour Street – the firm’s first central London location since it was forced to close its Oxford Street store four years ago. The upstairs looks like your typical GAME shop, albeit a little more spacious than we’re used to. But the significant change is downstairs in the basement, where you’ll find an area for Xbox One consoles, another section for PlayStation 4 gaming, two zones for VR demos (one for HTC Vive, the other for PlayStation VR) and 12 gaming PCs running various titles including Rocket League.



The NFL has announced that teams will be hosting Madden Tournaments for up to $50,000 in cash prizes! Top performers will also have a chance to compete for the final cup to get into the $1 million dollar cash prize pool!

 

The NFL season ends in early February, but that doesn’t mean the competition will stop.

The league announced Friday that eight NFL teams will hold Madden NFL 17 video game competitions in their respective cities this February and March. Fans can start qualifying on Jan. 9 via online ladder tournaments to determine the top eight players that will compete in each city.

The club tournaments will be played in front of live audiences and stream on NFL team websites and apps, along with the Madden NFL Twitch channel. Gamers will have a chance to win $10,000 in total prizes at each city.

Winners from each market will compete at the Madden 17 Club Series Championship in early April, which has a $50,000 prize pool and provides an opportunity to qualify for the more lucrative 2017 EA SPORTS Madden Championship in May.

The Madden NFL 17 Championship Series, which encompasses all of the qualifying tournaments as well as the final competition, will offer a total prize pool of $1 million. It’s part of EA Sports’ push into eSports.

Here are the dates and locations for the eight club tournaments:

February 18: Minnesota Vikings – To Be Announced

February 25: New England Patriots – Gillette Stadium

February 26: Buffalo Bills – (716) Food and Sport

March 2: Seattle Seahawks – Museum of Pop Culture

March 4: Jacksonville Jaguars – EverBank Field

March 11: Pittsburgh Steelers – Heinz Field

March 19: San Francisco 49ers – Levi’s Stadium

March 22: Kansas City Chiefs – Arrowhead Stadium


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The Last Guardian has been in development for years, and many fans of Team Ico’s previous works, ICO (PS2, 2001) and Shadow of The Colossus (PS2, 2005), have been anticipating the best game from the studio yet. The goal of the creators is clearly to tell a story through interactivity instead of directly through writing or speech. The goal is to tell the story visually and through the input of the player, an interesting idea that is usually omitted from other works in the video game industry. However to accomplish this, the gameplay would have to contain a minimal quality so to keep the player engrossed in the mechanics and immersed in the world. Let us break down the game and why this adventure either succeeds or fails in its intended goal

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Final Fantasy XV has a very interesting history behind it, an it may be one of the most important games Square Enix will release given what this game may or may not do for their biggest franchise and the company as as whole on the Japanese side of its production studios. To explain this I’ll go briefly over a bit of history to make sure the readers understand why this is by.

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Update: This title has a Nintendo Switch release, outside weaker graphics due to weaker hardware, the review for the most part applies to this version as well.

Update: This titles release list includes: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii U, and Nintendo Switch.

Skylanders has been around for quite a few entries now, bringing with it dashing colorful worlds with characters filled with personality, and a controversial figure-dlc system that encourages teens and parents to grab as many toys as possible to experience all the variety in gameplay the series has to offer. It’s also one of Activision’s defining franchises, with a run time toward 5 years, and one of the most consistent franchises out in gaming today.

Skylanders Imaginators, the latest in the franchise, brings familiarity mixed in with new tricks, and a very special guest character who’ve no one has seen playable in a video game since 2010 (2011 internationally outside the U.S.) and that character is Crash Bandicoot. A franchise many have been asking to return to the video game scene. Which is why I parodied the title of this review to be similar to the first Skylanders entry: “Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure”

 

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