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Blackrock Mountain Coming to Hearthstone

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BOSTON, MA.—March 6, 2015Blizzard Entertainment revealed today what’s in the cards for Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft —an all-new Adventure that will challenge brave duelists to venture forth from the comfort of the tavern and plunge into the depths of Blackrock Mountain! The newest addition to Hearthstone’s Adventure Mode will introduce a slew of new hot-headed bosses to put players’ dueling skills to the test.

The Blackrock Mountain Adventure thrusts Hearthstone players into the middle of a war between powerful forces battling for control of the mountain. There, duelists will encounter fierce minions, including Dark Iron dwarves, fire elementals, and dragons, before facing off against iconic menaces from theWarcraft® universe, such as Ragnaros, the Firelord. Card-slingers who take down these villains will reap a mighty reward—31 scorching new cards inspired by the legendary mountain and its denizens, bringing a wealth of new tactical options to the ever-evolving Hearthstone metagame.

Coming this April to PC, Windows and Android tablets, and iPad®, Blackrock Mountain will open up one wing per week over the course of a month. As with the game’s first Adventure, Curse of Naxxramas, it will be accessible for either 700 in-game gold per wing or $6.99 per wing, with the entire Adventure purchasable for $24.99. Further details, including specific launch timing, will be announced in the weeks ahead. Preorders (real money only) for Blackrock Mountain will be available starting March 19, and will include an exclusive card back to those duelists ready to take on what lies within the mountain when it opens.

To read up on all things Blackrock Mountain, visit www.playhearthstone.com.

Star Hammer Now in Beta Testing

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Epsom, UK – March 04, 2015 — 22nd Century – Exiled on Novus – a distant exoplanet – as Earth was not able to shelter humanity anymore, a few courageous settlers struggle to survive in one of the most dangerous places in the universe. Their First Contact War with the nautilid species is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Communicating with such aggressive aliens has never been an option. And the new furtive offensive they are preparing is another step towards bloody war!

Today we are excited to announce the development of a new 3D tactical space battles game called Star Hammer : The Vanguard Prophecy. Developer Black Lab Games is focused on designing a fascinating sci-fi game in which players will not only step into the shoes of a fleet commander – carefully selecting their spaceships and crew members – but also be at the spearhead of their squadron, maneuvering their capital ships like a hard-boiled captain!

The nautilid threat is as varied as it is innumerable and the game offers plenty of tactical situations in which players will have to take painful decisions. To succeed, players will need to be quick-learners to identify the weaknesses of the enemy and adopt an offensive behavior only when a clear breach appears. We have lost count of all the daredevil commanders who have already sacrificed all in the service of Humanity

This approachable tactical game is now ready to enter the beta phase on PC! And we invite players to help us test it! By signing up for the beta, players will have a chance to be selected to be one of the lucky few who will be able experience Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy before release and help us with the final touches, ensuring a smooth release in a few months.

Players can sign up for the beta by clicking here.

Get more information on Star Hammer : The Vanguard Prophecy from its official product page.

Warhammer: End Times Vermintide Gameplay Trailer

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March 4, 2015 — Independent developer, Fatshark, released a new gameplay trailer today, showcasing some of the co-operative action and first person shooter/melee combat in Warhammer: End Times Vermintide.

The footage shows one of the earlier missions in the game, where the heroes weave their way through the streets of Ubersreik in an attempt to reach the city garrison to warn them of the Skaven invasion.

Vermintide is scheduled for release in the second half of 2015, for Windows PC, the Xbox One, and PS4.

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Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – Official Gameplay Trailer

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March 4, 2015 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced Wolfenstein®: The Old Blood™, the standalone prequel to the critically-acclaimed first-person action-adventure shooter, Wolfenstein®: The New Order™. In development at MachineGames, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood will be available digitally for $19.99 on May 5, 2015 for Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 system, and PC.

The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the Allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria. Part one ofWolfenstein: The Old BloodRudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves – pits BJ Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs – our hero’s search for the coordinates leads him to the city of Wulfburg where an obsessed Nazi archaeologist is exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to unleash a dark and ancient power.

“Diving back into the world of Wolfenstein has really been fun for us,” said Jerk Gustafsson, executive producer at MachineGames. “We’ve enjoyed exploring the events leading up to The New Order. We think fans will really enjoy the story, all the action and, of course, jumping back into the combat with new weapons.”

Wolfenstein: The New Order, released in May 2014, enjoyed worldwide critical and commercial success with over 75 Game of the Year awards, and was hailed by The New York Times as “one of the very best releases of the year.”

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is rated M for mature by the ESRB. For more information on Wolfenstein: The Old Blood visit: www.wolfenstein.com.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Release Date

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March 4, 2015 – El Segundo, Calif. – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced today that the highly anticipated conclusion to the METAL GEAR SOLID V Experience, METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, will be released worldwide starting September 1, 2015.

METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN is the series’ largest and most ambitious edition to date, expanding upon themes and content seen in the METAL GEAR SOLID V Experience prologue:METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES. Set within huge open-world environments, METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN is brought to vivid life with realistic weather patterns and day/night cycles. Thus, players can adapt their tactics to match the changing environment, creating an intuitive and non-linear gameplay experience. Similarly, a host of acclaimed METAL GEAR SOLID troops return in hugely advanced forms, including expanded CQC (Close-Quarter Combat) skills, vastly improved enemy AI, online elements that complement the single player campaign, and an all-new version of METAL GEAR ONLINE, a competitive multiplayer mode, included within the main game.

Hideo Kojima’s groundbreaking title sets a new standard in stealth-action, with the series’ famed sneaking elements greatly expanded within the sprawling play area. A host of new characters – both allies and enemies – tell a story driven by revenge, as franchise protagonist Big Boss enters a series of battlefields following the deaths of his colleagues. Central to the game is a hideously disfigured adversary known as Skull Face, while the ongoing conflict also introduces the new, iconic characters, such as the mysterious Quiet – a mute female warrior with incredible abilities.

Tactical elements are also added to the game via METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN’snew Mother Base system. Players begin with a small-scale off-shore rig, which can be customized and expanded using liberated items and personnel. Players use an enhanced version of the innovative Fulton system pioneered in METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER to airlift guards, vehicles, weapons, raw materials and kit to their base, where the staff will use these resources to develop the base to the user’s specifications. An accompanying iDROID app will allow players to manage their Mother Base and its development, using staff to develop new weapons, carry out missions and implement defense systems. The latter becomes vital as the Mother Base is central to the multiplayer online elements of the game’s campaign, where players can raid other players’ Mother Bases to wreak havoc and steal essential items.

Additionally, METAL GEAR ONLINE – the game’s dedicated competitive multiplayer mode – will go live at the launch of METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN. The online element represents the third iteration of the popular multiplayer game, newly redesigned with the familiar gameplay and aesthetic styling of its companion single-player campaign. METAL GEAR ONLINE features a “class system” that more uniquely defines the strengths and abilities of player characters on the battlefield. Key characters from the series including Venom Snake and Ocelot will also make appearances in the anticipated multiplayer feature.

The September window will see a number of product options available to passionate fans of the series, with METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN releasing both a special “Day 1 Edition” and a limited “Collector’s Edition”.

“Day 1 Edition” Content (Physical Version*)

  • MAP

DLC items

  • Adam-ska Special Handgun
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
  • Cardboard Box (Wetland)
  • Fatigues (Blue Urban Snake Costume)
  • METAL GEAR ONLINE XP BOOST

*Digital Version contents to be announced at a future time

**Steam version will include the above DLC content at launch

Collector’s Edition Content (Physical Version Only):

  • Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm
  • Collectible SteelBook
  • Behind the Scenes Documentary & Trailers Blu-ray Disc
  • MAP
  • Exclusive Packaging

DLC items

WEAPON & SHIELD PACK

  • Windurger S333 Combat Special Revolver
  • Adam-ska Special Handgun
  • Maschinen Taktische Pistole 5 Weiss Special Handgun
  • Rasp Short-Barreled Shotgun Gold
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Olive Drab)
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (White)
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Gold)

CARDBOARD BOXES

  • Cardboard Box (Rocky Terrain)
  • Cardboard Box (All-Purpose Dryland)
  • Cardboard Box (Wetland)

SNAKE COSTUMES

  • Fatigues (Black Ocelot)
  • Fatigues (Gray Urban)
  • Fatigues (Blue Urban)
  • Fatigues (All-Purpose Dryland)

Other

  • “VENOM SNAKE” Emblem

MGO BOOST

  • METAL GEAR ONLINE XP BOOST

MGO Items

  • Metal Gear Rex Helmet
  • AM MRS-4 GOLD Assault Rifle
  • WU S. PISTOL GOLD

METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN including METAL GEAR ONLINE, will retail with an SRP of $59.99 for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system; the Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft; and Steam, and $49.99 for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Xbox 360. “Collector’s Edition” SRP will be $99.99 for the PlayStation®4 and the Xbox One. The Steam version of METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN will be released on September 15, 2015.

To pre-order METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, please visit: https://www.konami.com/mgs5/

AMD Unveils LiquidVR Initiative at GDC 2015

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San Francisco, Calif. – 3/3/2015Today, at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) announced an initiative to deliver the best possible VR experience for developers and users through new AMD technologies and partnerships. The first output of AMD’s initiative is LiquidVR™, a set of innovative technologies focused on enabling exceptional VR content development for AMD hardware, improved comfort in VR applications by facilitating performance, and plug-and-play compatibility with VR headsets. The upcoming LiquidVR SDK makes a number of technologies available which help address obstacles in content, comfort and compatibility that together take the industry a major step closer to true, life-like presence across all VR games, applications, and experiences.

In virtual reality, the concept of ‘presence’ is described as the perception of being physically present in a simulated, nonphysical world in a way that fully immerses the user. A key obstacle to achieving presence is addressing motion-to-photon latency, the time between when a user moves their head and when his or her eye sees an updated image reflecting that new position. Minimizing motion-to-photon latency is critical to achieving both presence and comfort, two key elements of great VR.

Reducing latency involves the entire processing pipeline, from the GPU, to the application, to the display technology in the headset. AMD GPU software and hardware subsystems are a major part of improving that latency equation, and with LiquidVR™, AMD is helping to solve the challenge by bringing smooth, liquid-like motion and responsiveness to developers and content creators for life-like presence in VR environments powered by AMD hardware.

“Achieving presence in a virtual world continues to be one of the most important elements to delivering amazing VR,” said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus. “We’re excited to have AMD working with us on their part of the latency equation, introducing support for new features like asynchronous timewarp and late latching, and compatibility improvements that ensure that Oculus’ users have a great experience on AMD hardware.”

“Content, comfort, and compatibility are the cornerstones of our focus on VR at AMD and we’re taking a big step in all three areas with the introduction of LiquidVR™ today. With LiquidVR we’re collaborating with the ecosystem to unlock solutions to some of the toughest challenges in VR and giving the keys to developers of VR content so that they can bring exceptional new experiences to life,” said Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, Visual Computing, AMD. “AMD will continue to collaborate closely with the VR ecosystem to deliver new LiquidVR technologies that aim to make the virtual world every bit as accurate as the real world.”

Significant features of version 1.0 of the LiquidVR SDK include:

  • Async Shaders for smooth head-tracking enabling Hardware-Accelerated Time Warp, a technology that uses updated information on a user’s head position after a frame has been rendered and then warps the image to reflect the new viewpoint just before sending it to a VR headset, effectively minimizing latency between when a user turns their head and what appears on screen.
  • Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, a technology that allows multiple GPUs to work together to improve frame rates in VR applications by allowing them to assign work to run on specific GPUs. Each GPU renders the viewpoint from one eye, and then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image. With this technology, multi-GPU configurations become ideal for high performance VR rendering, delivering high frame rates for a smoother experience.
  • Latest data latch for smooth head-tracking, a programming mechanism that helps get head tracking data from the head-mounted display to the GPU as quickly as possible by binding data as close to real-time as possible, practically eliminating any API overhead and removing latency.
  • Direct-to-display for intuitively attaching VR headsets, to deliver a seamless plug-and-play virtual reality experience from an AMD Radeon™ graphics card to a connected VR headset, while enabling features such as booting directly to the display or using extended display features within Windows.

AMD released the alpha version of LiquidVR SDK 1.0 to registered developers today.

Supporting Resources

Knott’s Berry Farm Unveils 2015 Boysenberry Festival Details

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BUENA PARK, CA (February 2015) – This spring, celebrate Knott’s delicious roots during its Boysenberry Festival harvested in the theme park’s historic Ghost Town. The 16-day festival returns with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite Boysenberry Bites, dazzling entertainment, gourmet food and the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, plus the limited time return of the classic Bear-y Tales characters in a pie making kitchen, and more!

In the 1930s Walter Knott harvested the boysenberry, a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry, and named the new berry after its originator Rudolph Boysen.  Today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm. The Park will once again make delicious history with the debut of its very own farm-made Berry Market™ Boysenberry BBQ Sauce during the widely acclaimed Boysenberry Festival. During the food fest, the tangy, finger lickin’ good sauce will add the perfect flavor to ribs, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, and more. Other must try Boysenberry Bites include fried cheese curds paired with a spicy boysenberry dipping sauce, fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce, Boysenberry ICEE Floats, Boysenberry Frappuccino and Latte (served at the new Gourmet Coffee Hut which proudly serves Starbucks drinks), and more charbroiled treats cooked on open-air barbeques throughout the streets of the festival. Additional fee for tastings. Guests who want to take home the exquisite sauce can do so by stopping by the Berry Market, General Store in Ghost Town or by visiting knotts.com.

In honor of the delectable berry, guests can wine, dine, dance, and buy boysenberry inspired products throughout the winding streets of the Old West.  Festival entrances will feature rustic banners and oversized boysenberries, just ripe for taking that special photo. Walter & Cordelia Knott’s Original Roadside Boysenberry Stand will be recreated for the special event, from which guests can purchase authentic boysenberry plants. The Knott family sold freshly picked boysenberries from the original stand, and the rest, as they say, is history!

As part of the festival, the Wine and Craft Brew Garden, located inside of Ghost Town’s Wilderness Dance Hall, will feature an assortment of wine and craft brew labels, in addition to a variety of boysenberry inspired gourmet food that’s just bursting with flavor.   Just outside of the Dance Hall, towering sculpted topiaries provide shade during warm spring days and twinkle brighter than stars at night.

The Boysenberry Festival also features an extensive line up of live entertainment from sun up to sun down. At the heart of all of the excitement is Birdcage Square, located in front of the famous Birdcage Theatre. Here, a stage will be set for daily contests like pie eating, a pie walk, and Grandpa’s Boysenberry PJs Contest, where guests will race to stuff the oversized long johns with balloons. In the evening, the Square will have guests kicking up their heels with vine dancing, a down home jug band and dueling fiddlers and banjos!  At night, just inside of the Birdcage Theatre, things getkrazy when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies mount their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, gut-bustin’ country comedy show that will have audiences clamoring for more!

New for 2015, right up the road from Birdcage Square, kids can join the classic Bear-y Tales characters in their very own pie making kitchen inside of Ghost Town’s Craft Barn. With the help of Razz Bear-y, Boysen Bear-y and the other Bear-y family members, each beautifully painted scene will follow the world famous boysenberry from field to blue ribbon winning pie! The pint sized chefs can also make their very own delightfully sweet boysenberry tarts complete with a crumble topping.Additional cost applies for tart making.

The iconic Charleston Circle fountain transforms into a beautiful floral fountain, adorned with colorful flowers and boysenberries creating an iconic centerpiece for the celebration.  Located in the Boardwalk area, the stunning monument will serve as a dramatic backdrop for two spectacular interactive shows.  Peanuts Party in the Park celebrates spring in a big way with infectious music, vibrant set design, and an invitation for the audience to be a part of the show! After sundown,Jammin’ in the Dark will transform the blooming circle into an immersive dance party complete with illuminated boysenberries, vines and LED lighting effects affixed to the Charleston fountain; DJ HowLy will spin the hottest dance music for all ages. The boysenberry celebration is almost too much fun to stomach!

While strolling the bustling streets of Ghost Town, guests can capture the moment and the memories at boysenberry themed stand-in cutouts, like wanted posters, a boysenberry farming family and more.  Festival goers can also watch special demonstrations including a chainsaw wood sculpting, glass blowing and blacksmithing.  While enjoying the festival, guests may meet Ghost Town’s mayor, Mayor Desmond Ryder and his lovely wife, Josephine.  From day to night, Ghost Town has never looked so lively.

Springtime fun has also taken root in Camp Snoopy, Fiesta Village and Boardwalk. During the limited-time event, the whole family can meet the Easter Beagle in his new home, blooming with colorful springtime décor, nestled inside of the recently rejuvenated Camp Snoopy area. The meet and greet location is the perfect place for shareable moments with the boisterous beagle and his friends – Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally and Linus. In Camp Snoopy Theatre, Lucy’s Really BIG Spring Show will showcase the Peanuts pals singing, dancing, and celebrating springtime. The theater will be filled with the sweet sound of little ones as they singing-along to the to the show’s cheerful tunes! Guests don’t have to be experts at the cha-cha-cha to enjoy Salsa Dancing in Fiesta Village, where everyone can to take to the floor to the rhythmic beat of popular Latin dance music.

The Boysenberry Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, additional cost for food tasting experiences within the event, which also offers a full day of thrilling coasters and family fun rides, like the beautifully restored Calico Mine ride and the rejuvenated six-acre Camp Snoopy featuring three new rides.  Knott’s has extended hours from 10am to 10pm during the Festival March 28 – April 12, 2015 allowing guests extra time to take advantage of all of the limited-time offerings. For affordable year-round fun for everyone and to explore the all the Festival fun, Season Passes can be purchased online at knotts.com starting at $84 or with six easy installment payments of $14 now until April 12, 2015.

Join the conversation and share your day of boysenberry fun by using #KnottsSpring on Twitter and Instagram. For information about the day you plan to visit and available discounts, visit www.knotts.com, call (714) 220-5200, or download the Knott’s Berry Farm mobile app for your smartphone.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster Release Date

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LOS ANGELES (Mar. 2, 2015) – Two of the most beloved FINAL FANTASY® titles will be returning soon with today’s announcement by SQUARE ENIX® that it will be releasing FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster for the Playstation®4 computer entertainment system on May 12, 2015. This new North American version will include system-exclusive features and a special pre-order bonus item: an exclusive calendar featuring artwork by the acclaimed artist, Yoshitaka Amano, available at participating retailers and the Square Enix Online Store.

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster brings together FINAL FANTASY X and FINAL FANTASY X-2, along with FINAL FANTASY X: Eternal Calm and FINAL FANTASY X-2: LAST MISSION, each originally exclusive to the Japanese market.

Key Features

  • Cross-Save Functionality – Players can transfer their save and continue their progress across the PlayStation®4 system, PlayStation®3 system, and the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. (PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita versions sold separately.)
  • Ability to Switch Between Original and Remastered Soundtrack – Play FINAL FANTASY Xwith the beautifully remastered soundtrack or, new to the PlayStation®4 system version, switch back to the original classic tracks.
  • Remote play – Supported for the Playstation®Vita handheld entertainment system.

Mortal Kombat X Official Story Trailer

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Netherrealm Studios have released the official story trailer for their upcoming Mortal Kombat X. The story, set 25 years after the events of the 2011 game Mortal Kombat. The game features characters directly descended from those of earlier titles. Characters like Cassie Cage (Daughter of Johnny Cage), Jacqueline Briggs (Daughter of Jax), and Takashi Takeda (son of Kenshi).

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