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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

02/17/2016 - Shahid Ahmad Joins Double Eleven Advisory Board
Shahid Ahmad Joins Double Eleven Advisory Board

Middlesbrough, England – February 17, 2016 – Video game development house and publisher Double Eleven announced today that former Sony executive, Shahid Ahmad, has joined the company's advisory board. He will be counseling the company as it continues its strategic growth path as a full-service publishing house in addition to being a fully-fledged development studio. Double Eleven, most recently known for bringing Goat Simulator to consoles as well as Limbo (PS4/Xbox One), PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate (PS4/PS Vita) and Nom Nom Galaxy (PS4). The company is currently engaged in recreating the multi-million selling PC title Prison Architect for launch this spring on the Xbox One and PlayStation4 platforms in addition to working on unannounced projects.

Shahid Ahmad brings a lifetime of experience in digital entertainment to his new role at Double Eleven. Best known for his role at Sony Computer Entertainment where he spent the last decade, Ahmad most recently achieved widespread success as Sony's director of strategic content, and is responsible for bringing numerous indie successes to the mainstream console audience. He is the winner of several industry accolades for publishing and creative excellence, including the prestigious 2014 "Publishing Hero" award from Develop's Industry Excellence Awards, and listed as GamesIndustry's "Top 10 Persons of the Year" in 2013.
"Shahid's incredible insight and background in the arena of independent development and publishing is overwhelmingly beneficial to Double Eleven; we're so pleased to welcome him to our advisory board," said Mark South, Chief Operating Officer. "Shahid's role in elevating independent games as a whole to the mainstream audience is remarkable, so it's a great honor to have his guidance as Double Eleven continues to grow in the games space. Equally, and more personally, he is one of the hardest working people I know and his character has shown integrity and honesty throughout. I’m both proud and honoured that we’re able to work together.”

“I’m honoured to be invited to Double 11’s Advisory Board. Having worked with the Double 11 team on numerous projects while at PlayStation, I was struck by their technical excellence, their commitment to quality and their devotion to delivering great experiences to video games players. Double 11 are relentlessly driven and their many excellent qualities will I’m sure propel them to greater success as they expand their publishing ambitions," said Ahmad.

For more information about Double Eleven, please visit
www.double11.com .

Submitted by: E. Thomas

4:35 pm pst          Comments

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

U.S. Video Game Industry Generates $23.5 Billion in Revenue for 2015

U.S. Sales Increase with Strong Software Offerings to Consumers

Washington, DC – February 16, 2016 – The U.S. computer and video game industry generated $23.5 billion in revenue in 2015, according to new data released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the NPD Group. This is an increase in total consumer spend from reported 2014 sales, which were at $22.4 billion. Sales of software content alone, which include physical packaged goods, mobile games, downloadable content, subscriptions, and other revenue streams, exceeded $16.5 billion—a seven percent increase from 2014, which saw software sales at $15.4 billion.

“The video game industry excels because it anticipates demand – giving people what they want before they realize that they want it – and drives trends in entertainment and across countless other sectors. Our products are revolutionizing how we consume and interact with media,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “We know that hardware and software innovations have established this industry as a leader in high-tech development.”

“The ubiquitous nature of playing and purchasing video games makes it more important than ever to track these activities accurately,” said Joanne Hageman, president at the NPD Group. “The industry’s sales performance helped to make 2015 a banner year for video games; and we anticipate continued growth in multiple industry sectors for 2016.”

The U.S. video game industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors, providing tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to Americans and generating millions of dollars in revenue for communities across the nation.

According to ESA, which provided the most recent data available on the industry’s economic impact, the video game industry added over $6.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012. In addition, as other industries contracted, game developers and publishers expanded. Employment in video games grew at an annual rate of 9 percent from 2009 to 2012 – more than 13 times the growth of the U.S. labor market.

Employees in the entertainment software industry earned an average compensation of nearly $95,000 in 2012, up from $90,000 in 2010. In fact, the average employee in the video game industry earned nearly double the average U.S. household income.

ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property, and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global content protection program, owning and operating E3 and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit ESA’s website or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs

Submitted by: E. Thomas

7:00 pm pst          Comments

Monday, February 15, 2016

02/15/2016 - American Truck Simulator Update Gives Free Kenworth DLC
American Truck Simulator update: Kenworth W900 free DLC

We are happy to announce that the legendary Kenworth W900 truck is now a part of American Truck Simulator. The truck is a free DLC - the game will be updated automatically through Steam. Please check out the little movie that we have made to celebrate this event:


There are also several notable changes coming with this game update, let us preview them for you:

Since ATS release, we have heard plenty of complaints regarding relative large fines in the game. Perhaps our tester group is so much experienced already; playing our games for years, that they did not bring it to our attention that this would be a problem especially for new players. We erred here on the side of trying to make this element of the game too close to reality, catering to the veteran fans who want it tough.

On second thought, it's not really a good idea to intimidate people coming fresh to the game with crippling fines. Fines are now considerably lower in the early stages of the game, they grow larger only as the player's skill/level grows.

We have also made the detection code for speeding more forgiving, giving the player more time to adjust to a new speed limit. We definitely do not want to make players feel like the game is unfair!

More changes in this area are in the pipeline, our map team is hard at work adding more speed limit signs to proper places to explicitly zone the limits. There are also changes to the AI code that are tied to yet more map tweaks, which should further limit the problems with being rammed by overly stupid AI cars and on top of it getting penalized for it. But we will only be able to push out the changes in the map alongside the next major game update, so please have patience with us.

Finally, we have also improved the detection of 'turn on red' feature in the game. For drivers in Europe, it may be a surprise that in the US it's legally allowed to turn right at red traffic light, unless explicitly prohibited. So in the game, if you properly use your indicator to signal that you are turning right, no red light penalty is applied just as expected.

Submitted by: E. Thomas

3:48 pm pst          Comments

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