Viewing Company : Microsoft Studios

Microsoft Studios is the video game production wing for Microsoft, responsible for the development and publishing of games for the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Games for Windows, Steam, Windows Store, and Windows Phone platforms. They were established in 2002 as Microsoft Game Studios to coincide with the already released Xbox, before being re-branded in 2011. The subsidiary had also been known as Microsoft Game Division and simply Microsoft Games before 2002. Microsoft Studios develops and publishes games in conjunction with first and third party development studios under their publishing label.”

Happy Wars on Xbox 360 and PC shutdown announced

Toylogic announced on March 8th that the Xbox 360 and Windows versions of their free-to-play action title, Happy Wars, will be shut down on December 16th, 2018. The game will then exist solely on Xbox One. While both older versions will remain available to download until June 13th, there is a shorter deadline of March 15th in which to transfer your for-pay Happy Tickets to the Xbox One. Toylogic has posted an FAQ with steps to make the transfer and other support related answers.

On June 14th both the Xbox 360 and Windows versions of the game will be removed from their respective stores and finally, on December 16th, the game will become unplayable, even in its existing “Offline Mode”. Updated In-Game Events will also end in the older versions of the game on June 13th. Happy Wars had also been available on Steam since May of 2014 but was retired just over a year ago on February 16th, 2017.

The decision comes after what sounds like years of frustration in keeping all three versions of Happy Wars up to date. The announcement offers the following explanation.

“The Development and Management Teams for Happy Wars have determined that due to production of Xbox 360 units and related services and support coming to an end, continuing development and operations for Happy Wars on Xbox 360 will be difficult.

Regarding the Windows 10 version of Happy Wars, every effort has been made to improve the cross-play functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One versions. However, we have been unable to reach the desired results. As we do not expect any dramatic improvements in the reasonably near future, we will be closing down the Windows 10 version of Happy Wars as well.

“We are deeply grateful for your support of Happy Wars over the years. It has been 5 years since Happy Wars first released on the Xbox 360 in October of 2012. It’s been a wonderful run, and we would like to thank all of our fans, supporters and players who have been with us through it all.”

I’ve added the dates to the Watch List calendar and posted a page for the Xbox 360, PC, and Steam versions of the game.

Microsoft removes Suicide Forest game based on Logan Paul controversy

The Suicide Forest, a free game released through the Xbox Live Creators Collection on Xbox One, will be removed after its content was brought to light on January 30th. Polygon reported on one of the earlier tweets about the game from TT Games’ global community manager, Bear Parker, embedded below.

The game is based on Logan Paul’s recent YouTube video (and ensuing controversy) in which he filmed a man who had hanged himself in Japan’s Aokigahara forest. The area is known as “The Suicide Forest” for the increased number of suicides and attempted suicides reported within its boundaries. In the game players are instructed to enter the forest and find a corpse to film at which point a counter displays a skyrocketing number of subscribers on Logan Paul’s YouTube channel.

Polygon received word from a Microsoft representative that stated “this content violates our Store policies and we’re in the process of removing it,” and went on to dig up the exact wording in those policy documents: “app and associated metadata must not contain potentially sensitive or offensive content.”

Few Creators Collection titles have a web page to link to and The Suicide Forest appears to be one of them; it may still be searchable from an Xbox One console. Creator Felipe Orion is also offering the game on PC through Gamejolt and (according to the trailer) on Android, though it was not listed on the Play Store search results at the time of this writing.

Alan Wake disappears from Steam and Xbox on May 16th

“The music licenses for Alan Wake are expiring. As a result, the game is going to be taken out of physical and digital retail. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare will stay in retail. We’re having a 90% off “Sunset Sale” for Alan Wake on Steam May 13th through the 15th, 2017.”

The unfortunate but appreciably straight-to-the-point post appeared today on Remedy’s Alan Wake forum. The music licensing for the original Alan Wake is expiring and since Remedy didn’t negotiate the original license they have no immediate way to renew. As a result, the original Alan Wake and its DLC will be removed from sale on Steam and Xbox platforms on Tuesday, May 16th. Though not clarified by Remedy this will presumably see the game delisted from as well.

In a post by Polygon, Remedy’s head of communications, Thomas Puha, added that “Microsoft and Remedy are looking into renegotiating the music licenses, but there’s nothing more to comment on that for now. Obviously having to remove the game from stores is rather unfortunate. So, we figured, let’s discount the game heavily and those who have not bought Alan Wake yet, here’s your chance to grab it on Steam.”

The original forum post lays out a few more details on the sale and confirms that the digital-only pseudo-sequel, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, isn’t going away… yet. The original Alan Wake is also available on disc for Xbox 360 and download codes continue to be sold on Amazon.