Headline Of The Week
Martin O’ Donnell, the man behind the music of the Halo series and the upcoming Destiny, has been terminated from his contract by Bungie; taking to Twitter to reveal the news.
Bungie have claimed that O’Donnell left on amicable terms, and that his departure from the company has not affected the progress of Destiny, set for release on multiple platforms on September 9th 2014.
O’Donnell has yet to comment again on the situation, but one would assume that multiple game studios will be chasing after his considerable composing talent – the opening theme to Halo still sends shivers down my spine to this day.
In Other News…
A Wii U bundle including Mario Kart 8 may well be heading to European shores in the not too distant future. A leaked screenshot (which seems to be quite authentic) suggests that the bundle will include a black 32GB Wii U, a physical copy of Mario Kart 8 and a trial for Wii U Karaoke.
Nintendo are hoping that the latest version of Mario Kart will be a system shifter given the franchise’s profitable history (Mario Kart Wii sold over 30 million copies worldwide), and it would not be the first time they have included a AAA title with a console to try and boost sales – both The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World received the same treatment.
Should Mario Kart 8 perform poorly, the Big N may further regret their initial decision to pass over the Skylanders franchise, a business move discussed in a recent informative Polygon article.
Sony have sold off $47 million worth of shares in Square Enix.
The 9.5 million shares put up for grabs had made Sony the third biggest shareholder in the creators of Final Fantasy for over a decade, and early exclusive titles for Sony consoles including Final Fantasy VII-XII and Kingdom Hearts formed a strong bond between the two companies. However, the quick sale (the shares should have been valued at three times the price) was made to SMBC Nikko as Sony prepare to announce a net loss for the past financial year of over $1 billion
In related news, Square Enix have hinted that they are working on new games in both the Mana and SaGa franchises as they celebrate their 25th anniversaries:
“It has been decided that the second mobile division will be helping out with [the SaGa and Mana series]…we will be doing our best to stay true to all your memories from the Super Famicom and PlayStation era, for those of you who are saying ‘I want to play Romancing SaGa 4’ or ‘I want to play Seiken Densetsu 5!’…with that said, we’d like to support the teams so we can release something just as beautiful as what you guys remember from the memories of your experiences in the Super Famicom and PlayStation days.” – Takehiro Ando, producer of mobile games at Square Enix speaking to Siliconera
Sony have also announced the first Bravia TV’s which will feature Playstation Now support, allowing users to experience PlayStation games via Gaikai streaming.
Ranging in size from 49 to 85 inches, the ‘4K Ultra HD’ models will be released in June and will cost anywhere between $2,000 and an eye-watering $25,000. You’ll also need to add the cost of a DualShock 3 controller to that tab.
The release of Titanfall on Xbox 360 has helped to push the futuristic
mech TITAN shooter back to the top spot in the UK Game Sales Charts.
Lego: The Hobbit continued Traveller’s Tales recent record of high selling games based on the bricks by coming in at No.2, while Kinect Sports Rivals could only manage a relatively dismal 14th spot.
Top Ten For Week Ending 12th April 2014 (from GFK/Chart-Track)
1 – Titanfall (Respawn Entertainment/Bluepoint Games)
2 – Lego: The Hobbit (Traveller’s Tales)*
3 – FIFA 14 (EA Canada)
4 – South Park: The Stick Of Truth (Obsidian Entertainment)
5 – Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)
6 – Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (4J Studios)
7 – The Lego Movie Videogame (Traveller’s Tales)
8 – Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (PopCap Games)
9 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal)
10 – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Kojima Productions)
(* signifies a new chart entry)
Now that Easter has rolled around again, Classic FM are airing their annual Hall Of Fame, a selection of 300 tracks voted for by the general public. And this means that the campaign to get classical video game music recognized is reigniting once again!
Last year was a tremendous success for the campaign, with ‘Aerith’s Theme’ from Final Fantasy VII and ‘Dragonborn’ from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim placing in 3rd and 5th place respectively- success which has helped the station play more game music since, including a special two hour show broadcast in March this year.
I’ll likely be writing a special article on Monday to highlight which, if any, bits of game music hit the list, but at the time of writing both the soundtracks for Journey and Kingdom Hearts have made their debuts on the chart. While you wait for that article to arrive, I would recommend following Classic VG Music on Twitter, who is regularly tweeting updates when game soundtracks pop up.