Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Sims 4 Gets Adults Only Rating In Russia

The upcoming Life Simulation game from Electronic Arts, The Sims 4 has just received an 18+ rating in Russia.

The news comes directly from The Sims Russia Twitter and Facebook which clearly indicate that the game is indeed not meant for children.

Callum9432 of The Sims 3 Forums has provided a translation of a tweet from The Sims 4 Russia Twitter which somehow indicates that this rating is due to Russia’s anti-gay laws.

According to the Tweet, the rating ‘was granted in accordance with the law number 436-FZ on the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development’.

The law number 436-FZ mentioned above includes the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships as harmful. Whether this will actually be implemented or not remains to be seen, but if a Russian weblog is to believed, the rating will change eventually just like it did with The Sims 3.

As for the United States, the rating by the ESRB is still pending, but since there are two separate organizations – in Russia and US – for the game, it is not necessary that US will also receive an 18+ rating. Besides, every other Sims game out there – both on Mobile and PC – has always received Teen rating.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Last of Us: Beautiful Grown Up Ellie

Earlier this week, there was an image from a Naughty Dog artist, who teased about the concept art that he was supposedly working on for The Last of Us. This concept art was based on a much older looking Ellie and shows her holding a Guitar. He has shared the full concept image along with a message which again puts emphasis on the fact that this image has nothing to do with The Last of Us sequel.

Marek Okon is an artist who has worked on some promotional art for The Last of Us on the PS3. While he has clearly denied working on any sequel to The Last of Us, and calls this concept art his homage to The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s Bruce Straley behavior seemed to indicate the opposite.

You can check out the full image below, along with the personal comments of Marek Okbon.

Click to enlarge
“We all heard the stories over the years. Tales of a girl being out there, immune to all this madness. And we knew that those stories were nothing but wishfull thinking, fairytales passed along by the campfire.
Believing those stories was a good measure of my desperation. I needed to find that girl.
You, who followed me on this hopeless journey choose to do so. Some of you paid the ultimate price for that. For my belief… But here we are, we found the girl. We found the hope.
Be careful and don’t let her bite you.”
"There’s got to be some sort of medical condition for when you paint fanarts of the projects you actually worked on. Well I guess its not as much a fanart as a homage to one of the best games I’ve ever played. I tried to imagine what future holds for Ellie and Joel and came up with this image – Ellie few years older, practicing her tunes, being chased by a woman who will hesitate at nothing to find the cure and save her loved ones.
Again, its only my own imagination at works here so please don’t board the “TLOU2 confirmed” hype train ;] Its a (deeply) personal image."

Monday, May 5, 2014

Slew of Xbox Announcements

With just one month to go before the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed a slew of new details about what you can expect from Microsoft's presentation at the event.
Asked if gamers will see new IP announcements at the show from first-party Microsoft studios, Spencer replied: "Yes, we'll announce both new IP and new sequels at E3." That's just one interesting piece of information that Spencer revealed last night during his tweeting spree.
We've rounded up what you need to know below, based on his Twitter comments from overnight.
  • Microsoft is focusing on hardcore gamers for the show.
  • Some announcements will be made in May, ahead of E3. "Yea, you'll get a couple of things before. May should be a good month for news. Took me a month to get plans set," Spencer said.
  • Microsoft will announce new studios it's working with.
  • Spencer is not allowed to talk about anything related to what Halo studio 343 Industries is working on.
  • Microsoft's overall goal for 2014: "I feel like what we will show this year is stuff we are committed to, from top studios, for this year and future."
  • Don't expect a Microsoft-made gaming handheld anytime soon. "I don't think we'll do a dedicated handheld gaming device, rather just focus on [Windows Phone], tablets, maybe with controller support someday," Spencer said.
  • Spencer wants Microsoft's E3 2014 showing to be more "fan focused."
  • Microsoft thought about using the voice of Cortana for their E3 show, but Spencer did not like this. Asked if the Cortana voice search functionality could come to Xbox One someday, Spencer said, "I like [Windows Phone] feature but don't want to overdo it."
  • Gamers won't need to wait until the Tokyo Game Show (September) to learn about new Japanese Xbox One games.
  • Microsoft is close to finalizing a release date for the Xbox One version of Minecraft.
  • The Lost Odyssey rights are "a bit complicated," but Spencer would like to see the 2008 role-playing game come to Games on Demand some day.
  • Details about external storage support for Xbox One are coming later.
  • Why there hasn't been a Battletoads sequel: "Just time, lot's of things we want to build, all the teams are full right now and a long list of what they'd want to do next. You want to spend time because you want things to be as good as they can be, I don't want to do cheap ports," Spencer said.
E3 2014 runs June 10-12 in Los Angeles, California. Microsoft's media briefing is often held on the Monday before the show kicks off, which would be June 9.