BioWare Montreal Merging With Motive Studios

Following the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda in March, Kotaku reported that staffers from developer BioWare Montreal were being reassigned to EA’s Motive Studios, which is also based in Montreal. Now, EA has officially confirmed the merger.

“The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we’re driving collaboration between studios on key projects. With multiple major projects in development in Montreal, we are merging BioWare Montreal with Motive Studios,” an EA spokesperson told “This is an ongoing process, but there are many exciting roles and opportunities for everyone on the team.”

BioWare’s other studios, including those in Edmonton and Austin, are still operating as normal. Recently, BioWare announced that veteran Casey Hudson returned to BioWare to become the general manager of the Edmonton team, which is making Anthem.

The BioWare Montreal developers who moved to Motive Studios are reportedly working on Star Wars: Battlefront II. The studio, which is headed up by Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond, is also working on a “gigantic,” Assassin’s Creed-style action game.

from GameSpot

Obituary: Game designer and writer Paul Robinson

Gamasutra has learned that Robinson, a game designer and writer credited with working on games like Full Spectrum Warrior and Command & Conquer: Renegade, passed away yesterday in Warsaw, Poland. …

from Gamasutra News

Unlike Recent Years, GameStop Will Be Open On Thanksgiving This Year

In recent years, GameStop bucked the common retail trend and stayed closed all day on Thanksgiving Day. That’s changing this year, as the store will be open on November 23, though only for a “shortened and limited” time instead of regular hours.

“To better serve our guests with their evolving holiday shopping needs, this year GameStop will open its stores for a shortened and limited time on Thanksgiving Day,” a representative for GameStop told Kotaku, which broke the news today. “Many of our store associates and guests have asked for this. We have heard their requests and are making an adjustment to our previous position on this topic.”

In 2014, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said the move to keep its stores closed on Thanksgiving was “out of respect for our associates and their families.” He added at the time: “Sometimes, we have to not let the pressure from other retailers distract us from our values.”

In recent years, GameStop was closed on Thanksgiving Day but opened at midnight for the Black Friday shopping bonanza. GameStop will presumably compensate Thanksgiving Day employees with an increased holiday pay rate, though this is not confirmed.

GameStop’s specific hours for Thanksgiving Day 2017 have not yet been announced. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

from GameSpot

Released after 6+ years, Epic’s Fortnite surpasses 500k sales in first day

Since Epic intends to make it free-to-play next year, the various tiers of Fortnite being sold right now are pitched as grab bags of F2P game “boosts” like weapon packs and inventory space. …

from Gamasutra News

Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 Delayed

Star Citizen‘s much-anticipated Alpha 3.0 update isn’t coming out on time. Developer Cloud Imperium Games announced recently that it discovered some “stability issues” in the latest build, and thus the team needs more time to get it ready “for prime time.”

“This week, we entered the optimisation, polish, and bug fixing phase for the 3.0 feature set. As there have been so many features and content implemented, we’ve encountered some stability issues that we want to address before going to a wider test audience,” the developer said in a post on its website (via Eurogamer).”

“The ongoing work on the new Patcher system (that will save you from having to completely re-download each build) and some new bugs with CopyBuild3 (our internal version of the patcher) have also slowed us down. Because of this we have pushed back the Evocati and subsequent date ranges to reflect the additional time needed to get Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 ready for prime time.”

According to Eurogamer, the Alpha 3.0 update was originally scheduled to come out at the end of August and now it’s due at the start of September, so it’s a small delay.

Will “Soulcrusher” Leverett, Star Citizen’s director of player relations, said in a follow-up post. “Working on 3.0 has certainly introduced variables and challenges that we could never have anticipated, and these just do not always cater to a tidy date on a calendar,” Leverett said.

Leverett added: “There’s certainly no malice behind it, and anyone who makes that claim is providing an uninformed opinion. Ask any project manager or developer who worked on sophisticated software or has been involved on a complex project with lots of dependencies and moving parts. They’ll gladly share how challenging a task of estimates can be.”

The developer added that all of Cloud Imperium Games is “working feverishly” to finish the Alpha 3.0 update, adding that this version of 3.0 will be “something bigger, something pretty groundbreaking, something magnificent.”

Star Citizen’s Alpha 3.0 update adds an “entirely explorable solar system” and adds the first tools and systems that players can use to create outpost and communities. Those are just a few of the new features–you can read this blog post to learn more.

Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project of any kind in history. By the latest count, the game has raised more than $155.6 million in funding.

from GameSpot

You’re Now Less Likely To Play With Jerks When Starting Out In Dota 2

Dota 2 is notorious for having a steep learning curve and a community that’s not always welcoming to newcomers. Recently, however, developer Valve released an update that is designed to help beginners have a better and more encouraging experience learning the game.

The update’s biggest change is to the matchmaking system. The previous system didn’t attempt to avoid certain discouraging situations, such as those where beginners would be matched with players who don’t react well to playing with newcomers. In the update, Valve tweaked the system to make sure that it matches newcomers with players that have consistently high behavior scores.

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“It is especially important for a new player to have a good social experience while they are first trying to learn the game,” Valve explained in a blog post. “The matchmaking system will now ensure that new players will play with and against appropriately skilled players that also have a track record of good behavior.”

The second change Valve made was to character selection. Now, beginners will be restricted to just 20 heroes until they’ve completed 25 games. Valve has curated the group of heroes to include only those characters who “are very successful in helping new players learn and enjoy the game,” the studio stated.

In other Dota 2 news, The International is coming up next week and features a massive prize pool. If you’re not familiar with Dota 2, or even just starting out playing, Valve holds a Newcomer Stream of the tournament that is hosted by commentators who explain the way the game works.

from GameSpot