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Seven venues now open across the UK, with further roll-out planned in 2017
15 December 2016: GAME today unveiled BELONG™ – a celebration of gaming experiences where competition reigns, friendships are born, deep gaming rivalries are forged and communities of gamers built. Through BELONG a collective love for gaming isn’t simply embraced, it is enhanced in physical zones and across the digital universe.
BELONG™ is a new leisure experience bringing video-gaming to high streets, shopping centres and communities nationwide. It will provide dedicated space for the nation’s 19 million gamers to play with friends, compete in tournaments, enjoy gaming nights, celebrate new games and technology launches and share video-game themed events and experiences.
GAME has announced seven BELONG zones today, headlined by a brand new experience in London’s Soho at GAME Wardour Street. BELONG zones can also be found at the Intu shopping centre, Milton Keynes and at existing GAME stores in Bristol Cribb’s Causeway, Hull Prospect Centre, Portsmouth, Gateshead Metrocentre and Manchester’s Trafford Centre. More BELONG venues will open within GAME stores over the coming months with the locations to be revealed in 2017.
Whether it is the most played esport games or the most loved creative gaming experiences, every type of game for every type of gamer will be made available through BELONG. Alongside GAME’s extensive videogames retail offering, BELONG provides a physical location to enhance gaming experiences playing with friends, anywhere, anytime.
Martyn Gibbs, CEO of GAME Digital plc said:
“Gaming is more fun with friends, whether that is face to face or online and that is what BELONG is all about. Almost half the population plays video games and three million of us compete online, and a key part of our strategy is to expand into this fast-growing world of esports. Our ambition has been to bring some of the best elements of Multiplay’s Insomnia festival, where competition reigns across multiple games into our stores and from the four Belong zones that have launched since July we have amassed thousands of hours of gameplay with 20% of players being new to GAME. Our GAME community and BELONG is now at the heart of this strategy as we seek to combine multichannel retail, events and esports.”
Alongside casual gaming and virtual reality booths, BELONG provides professional quality gaming facilities for the UK’s three million esports enthusiasts to gather and play competitively. The move aims to tap into the growing esports scene which is worth nearly £1 billion globally and is predicted to swell to 8 million regular participants in the UK by 2019.
Each store features a dedicated area with up to 25 high specification PC gaming rigs, plus a host of consoles installed with some of the most popular game titles which will be constantly reviewed based on the local community engagement. Space in the gaming zones is available to book in advance, as well as allowing gamers to drop in and play instantly. The stores will also feature GAME’s extensive videogames retail offering and an enhanced PC retail experience to ensure all gaming tastes are catered for
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For more information, please contact the GAME press office team on: GAMEPR@goodrelations.co.uk or on 020 3814 4757.
About GAME Digital PLC
GAME Digital plc is a leading gaming company, providing an authoritative range of gaming and gaming lifestyle products and services to customers. GAME’s UK and Spanish retail businesses are the market leaders in those geographical areas, operating a total of 580 stores, a fully integrated omni-channel offer, and reaching more than 18 million consumers across its reward programmes. Through its esports and events activities the Group is delivering unparalleled consumer gaming experiences directly, and on behalf of third parties, including its flagship event, Insomnia, the UK’s largest gaming festival. Across its digital businesses the Group is pioneering the use of new technologies to reach gamers and business partners outside its main markets. This is effected through Ads Reality Limited, the Group’s visual recognition and augmented reality business and Multiplay, its specialist game server hosting business. For more information please visit www.gamedigitalplc.com, www.multiplay.com or www.adsreality.com
After the release of Farming Simulator 17, we got a chance to sit down with the team at Giants Software! We got an inside look at the latest features and modifications that are driving the success of the game. Can we just say some of the tractors are badass!
What factors have driven Farming Simulator’s success to date?
We’ve certainly hit a sweet spot of many people by creating a farming game which does take the agriculture industry and real life processes seriously. There is a big market of people who are familiar with the machines or just want to play a non-competitive game where they can freely choose what they want to do next. Another big factor was also the ability to create mods for the game very easily. There is a huge modding community that creates nearly infinite user-created content for the game.
What are the key reasons people play Farming Simulator?
Whenever we announced a new tractor or tool the weeks before the launch of FS17 you could see in the comments how much people are looking forward to playing with their favorite tractors or use the amazing and sometimes huge farming equipment. It’s fascinating and rewarding when you obtain a new machine in the game, grow your vehicle fleet and finally are able to buy that one tractor you’ve read about in all the news or know from your childhood when you grew up on or near a farm. Many people also say that they play the game to relax. You usually can take as much time as you want for your tasks (unless you speed up the time a lot and have plant withering activated). There is no urgent stress factor, you can play online with your friends and chat with them without having to focus on how to beat them.
What makes Farming Simulator stand out from the likes of Battlefield, COD and Titanfall?
Farming Simulator is not a shooter game and you don’t need good reflexes to defeat your opponents. Instead, you take control of authentic farming vehicles with a lot of options which crops to plant, machines to buy or animals to take care of. You compare prices of goods and not kill counts, you build something up instead of destroying it. Overall it’s got a positive vibe and atmosphere and you are not part of a big war.
What sort of multiplayer experience can clans expect from Farming Simulator 17?
Working together. Some of the tasks in Farming Simulator are way more fun when doing them together with a friend in multiplayer. Chaff maize for example. An interesting factor when playing FS online is that you work together on a virtual farm. It’s not like you are competing for fields and resources on the map. You share a common budget and decide together how to spend it. Hopefully, you all agree on which machine you should spend your money next. You coordinate work and plan together. The whole experience can also be asynchronous since you don’t have to be online together all the time. Someone can work on the farm in the afternoon and someone else logs in late at night continuing the job or start the next job in the process queue.
Over the years, what has surprised you the most about the game and the way it’s been played online?
We knew that mods can be a popular feature but the size of the modding community and dedication they show when creating tons of new mods is astonishing. The extreme attention to detail of our players is also fascinating. Just this afternoon someone mentioned that the ignition key is missing in the cockpit view of one of our tractors. There are groups of players who offer their workforce to help you out on your farm online. Like clans for hire.
Can you tell us about any particular group or gamer that is totally Farming Simulator obsessed? What have they achieved from the game?
Real life farmers, of course, often are big fans of the game. A lot of modders really love our game because of all the possibilities they have there. As a side effect of their modding work for Farming Simulator they get a lot of programming experience and if they ever want to get into the games industry they have some project to show already.
The detail of the equipment is absolutely extraordinary, how do you go about emulating the meticulous detail of the tractors?
We maintain good relationships with the manufacturers and for many of the tractors we get CAD data which we then modify for use in our GIANTS Engine. Additionally, we get to take a look at the real tractors at conventions and at the manufacturers themselves. Photos help our artists to create the textures for the models or design the cockpit of the tractor. We also should not forget about the sound design. A lot of work also goes into recording the various sounds a tractor makes. Accelerating, braking, turning, engine start and so on.
What are the key differences between Farming Simulator 17 and 15?
For Farming Simulator 17 we’ve added even more vehicles and tools to the game and you can now play with over 250 machines from over 75 licensed brands. The graphics have been improved by using more detailed textures and effects. Playing at night time is now a huge difference thanks to our new lighting technique which allows us to place a nearly infinite number of dynamic lights. There are also a lot of new features which deepen the gameplay and deliver a more realistic scenario. Sunflowers and soybeans are now available as new crops. More fertilizing states to improve your yield. Oil radishes can be used for that. You can play with a female farmer. Goods can be tipped anywhere you want letting you e.g. realistically pile up your sugar beets at the fields and then later pick them up with a sugar beet loader and even transport them with conveyor belts. For the first time in the series, there are also pigs available as livestock now. Feed them and take care of them to make them reproduce and then sell them for a profit.
Will Farming Simulator ever have VR compatibility?
“Ever“ or “never“ are pretty strong words. VR is currently not supported but we are curious developers and keep an eye on new tech so you’ll never know. It’s an interesting feature but if you add it, you need to make sure that it’s not just a gimmick and that it makes fun and people don’t get motion sick for example. With Farming Simulator 17 we’ve added native support for head and eye tracking though and initial feedback from the players is pretty good.
What sort of challenges & obstacles can the player expect from the game?
There is actually a lot to think about when playing Farming Simulator. How do you optimize your yield? Which vehicle or equipment to buy next with your profit? Do you buy bigger machines for your current career path or maybe try to dip your toes into something else and maybe expand into forestry or larger livestock? Deciding how you invest your time and money is a large factor in Farming Simulator which can influence your efficiency big time.
Is there a competitive side to the game?
There is no real competition in the game. We do have multiplayer for up to 16 people on one server but you all work together. You play with your friends and have a good time without getting stressed out and having to think about how to beat them.
Please tell us about the Mods that will be available to download?
For the launch of the game, some mods from Farming Simulator 15 will get converted for FS17 and be available as a free download in the mods section within the game itself. We’ll continue doing this but also add new mods on a regular basis. As a modder, all you have to do to get a mod into the game is submit it to our ModHub. There are some limitations for mods on consoles like no user generated scripts or unlicensed brands but we’ll make sure that as many people as possible will be able to play with your mods.
We understand that an app is available. Please tell us more.
Yes, we’ve released a dedicated server app for iOS and Android which you can use to stay in touch with other players of your favorite servers without sharing private information like phone numbers or email addresses. You can chat with them within the app, create events in a shared calendar and get push notifications to not miss anything. Very useful is also the map view in the app which lets you keep track of where the machines are and what good they carry. Last but not least there are also a lot of server stats, like HDD space, CPU activity or RAM available so that you can keep an eye on all the technical things.
How do you recommend our server customers approach the game?
Invite some friends to play with you on the farm together or ask around in forums if anyone wants to join. You should be able to trust these people to work towards a common goal in the game. While there are some admin options in the game where you can e.g. disable selling vehicles for other players ideally you can trust all of them and give them as many rights as possible. While it’s a collaborative game and not a competitive one it’s even more important – just like in real life – to play with people who don’t want to destroy what you’ve been working on so hard. Once you found your group you can have lots of fun playing the game together though and even after hours playing together none of your friends will be frustrated because he lost against you the whole evening. You achieve something together and build your farm.
At Multiplay Gameservers, we’re proud to be hosting hundreds of Farming Simulator servers and communities. If you would like to set up your own community, try renting one of our game servers here.
7th November 2016 – GAME Digital Plc today announced Multiplay has secured the license to run the biggest LEGO® fan event in the UK: BRICKLIVE. BRICKLIVE successfully hosted its fourth annual event last weekend (27-30 October) at the Birmingham NEC, with record attendance of LEGO fans of all ages.
The new partnership signals an ambition to expand BRICKLIVE into a series of events for 2017 and beyond. Instead of one, there will be four BRICKLIVE events hosted in 2017 in London, Birmingham, Scotland and N.Ireland, all delivered by Multiplay.
Multiplay has been delivering world class events for two decades with its Insomnia Gaming Festival now the biggest in the UK. It has also been producing MineCon, the world’s biggest Minecraft video game convention, for hosts Mojang since 2012, with 12,000 fans attending the latest event in California in September 2016.
Andy Smith, Director of Events at Multiplay, commented: “We’re hugely excited to be partnering with BRICKLIVE from next year to build on the success of the events so far. We’ve demonstrated our expertise in running large-scale events around the world and we understand what is needed to engage a huge community of fans, because we are part of that community. The team continues to increase engagement and interaction at our events, employ the latest technologies and create unforgettable experiences. With many synergies between LEGO and video gaming, there are exciting things to come.”
Clive Nørgaard Morton, Founder of BRICKLIVE, said: “We want to take BRICKLIVE to the next level and Multiplay is the right partner to help us do that. The team has not only run events at the biggest venues in the UK, but also globally. We want to focus on creating the best event for LEGO fans and continue to celebrate building with our favourite bricks! We’ll be announcing more details soon.”
BRICKLIVE – Built for LEGO Fans offers fans a range of interactive creative entertainment including a live stage show with special guests, massive Brick Pits with over 3million LEGO bricks, live build demonstrations, LEGO fan content huge installations and LEGO video games with Warner Bros
Enjoying playing Sniper Elite 3? We’re offering 25% off game servers throughout October! Round up your mates and compete in the battle!
Sniper Elite 3 takes players to the unforgiving yet exotic terrain of North Africa in a savage conflict against Germany’s infamous Afrika Korps.
Stalk your targets through the twisting canyons, lush oases and ancient cities of the Western Desert in the deadly rush to sabotage a Nazi super-weapons programme that could end Allied resistance for good.
Back of the net! Insomnia58 first place UK gamers can play EA SPORTS FIFA 17
Leading football franchise FIFA brings latest installment to Insomnia58 for ‘first play’
London, United Kingdom – July 29, 2016 – Multiplay, the company behind Insomnia58, the UK’s largest gaming festival, reveals today that the festival will be the first place for UK football fans to play EA’s annual iteration of the award winning FIFA series.
FIFA 17 this year introduces some truly game changing features to the beloved football series, with an all-new single-player campaign called The Journey, offering the players the chance to step into the boots of Alex Hunter, a rising star in the Premier League. The brand new mode will feature RPG elements complete with dialogue wheels and branching storylines, with the player controlling Alex’s life both on and off the pitch.
Due for release 29 September, for the first time the series will be powered by Frostbite, one of the industries’ leading game engines. With Frostbite, FIFA 17 will deliver authentic, true-to-life action, taking players to new football worlds while introducing fans to characters, players and managers full of depth and emotion.
Alongside this year’s new mode The Journey, FIFA 17 will return with the fan favorite Ultimate Team mode alongside with a full expansion of career and online modes. There has been a complete overhaul in the way players think and move on the pitch, physically interacting with opponents and executing attacks, while set pieces have also been revamped giving the player even more control.
Craig Fletcher, CEO and Founder of Multiplay said: “The FIFA franchise is one of the biggest annual releases in gaming, so we’re really excited to partner up with EA SPORTS to bring the latest iteration to Insomnia58. This year we’re looking to bring the latest triple-A titles to our fans at the festival and with the likes of FIFA 17, we are fully delivering on that goal.”
James Salmon, Senior Product Marketing Manager for EA SPORTS FIFA in the UK said: “FIFA 17 will truly revamp the series with the introduction of the Frostbite Engine, the same engine behind the likes of the Battlefield series and the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda, so we’re really looking forward to fans from all over the world getting their hands on this year’s edition. The UK is obviously a huge market for the FIFA series and so we are delighted, through Insomnia58, to be able to offer UK players the first chance to come and try out the latest installment.”
Revolutionary multi-Cloud platform to enrich multiplayer experience as Titanfall 2 goes cross platform.
London, United Kingdom – July 26th, 2016: GAME Digital plc today announce that Respawn Entertainment has partnered with Multiplay to host Titanfall 2.
The business partnership is a significant win for Multiplay, a wholly owned subsidiary of GAME Digital, which impressed Respawn with both their deep understanding of game server hosting plus their auto-scaling hybrid-cloud technology. The Multiplay Game Services platform is integrated with a global network of dedicated server providers as well as major Cloud providers such as Google Compute Platform, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
This flexible platform will enable Titanfall 2 to utilise a far-reaching array of hosting technologies across the globe. Players will be well served with a powerful base-layer of dedicated servers, minimal latency and maximum capacity through Multiplay’s cloud-bursting tech.
Paul Manuel, Director Digital Business for Multiplay commented:
“Titanfall 2 is a significant win for our enterprise hosting division, and we are delighted to be working with the talented team at Respawn. We share their passion for innovation and our team at Multiplay are constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved within game server hosting. Our platform combines high-power dedicated servers across the globe with the additional capability of automatically bursting into the leading cloud providers. This provides un-paralleled flexibility and fault tolerance that’s simply not achievable through a single Cloud provider.”
Jon Shiring, Lead Programmer for Respawn Entertainment commented:
“The Titanfall 2 launch is going to be bigger and better than the last game and what’s really important to me is that the game just works. We wanted to make sure we had an insane amount of scalability and reliability, so we partnered with Multiplay because they have a great deal of expertise in game server hosting and a very clever auto-scaling product that can abstract away different cloud environments that lets us focus on making games. We have been working closely with Multiplay to ensure we utilize multiple clouds as well as bare metal servers in every region our game will be on sale. Giving us more flexibility, more local datacenters, endless scalability, and the highest reliability will result in the best service we can offer to millions of players.”
Multiplay Digital Services will deploy multiple Cloud providers and Bare Metal Server data centre locations in each region, designed to protect gamers from gameplay interruptions and to get them back online within minutes if an outage were to occur.
Titanfall 2 is a highly-anticipated first person shooter and is set to build on the foundation Respawn established with the first Titanfall – fast, fluid, and fun gameplay between pilots and titans, to once again innovate and elevate the shooter genre.
Players will be able to experience Multiplay Digital Services’ revolutionary multi-cloud platform when Titanfall 2 releases on October 28th this year.
The first of its kind retail experience launches in partnership with Multiplay and Overclockers
6th July, 2016: Tomorrow GAME, the UK’s leading videogames retailer will open its first ever esports and competitive gaming zone, in the Manchester Trafford Centre.
With a space that boasts 10 Overclockers gaming PCs plus a Virtual Reality (VR) pod for the latest, cutting-edge play, GAME will bring a brand new esports and competitive gaming experience to the Northwest.
The launch demonstrates the potential of the partnership between GAME and Multiplay, bringing together the worlds of esports, competitive gaming and retail to add an entirely new dimension to the line-up of products and services on offer to the gaming community.
GAME will be inviting publisher partners to use the zone to put on community events and promote the latest releases, cementing the retailer’s commitment to its community of gamers.
To celebrate the launch, there will be a host of in-store activities with epic prizes up for grabs, including Insomnia 58 tickets. Gamers can compete in a Rocket League tournament, or take part in ‘retro arcade’ high score challenge to put old school skill to the test.
Fred Prego, Marketing & Insight Director at GAME, said: “We are enormously excited to be launching our first dedicated, permanent in-store esports and competitive gaming zone, providing a new destination for gamers to come together to watch, play, socialise, discover and shop their favourite games.”
“For years, we’ve been dedicated to providing competitive gaming events for local gamers in our stores. Now, with this first of its kind space, we can take this to the next level – allowing us to deliver a regular programme of bespoke local esports competitions and social gaming events across a wide range of esports and other gaming titles, including Hearthstone, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Minecraft.”
Craig Fletcher, Founder and CEO at Multiplay said:“The new space supports the Group’s ambition to become a leading provider of esports in the UK, and we’re excited to announce this first step in a wider strategy to add value to the retail experience at GAME.”
“Overclockers, a leader in specialist PC hardware, has been a long-time partner of Multiplay. Together we’re aiming to create the most welcoming and social esports zone around.”
Phil Whitnall, GAME Trafford Store Manager said:“Manchester has a strong community of gamers so this is a great place to open our first permanent esports and competitive gaming zone.” “There’s nothing like it in the area so we’re excited to become the esports destination for gamers.”
Another ‘fest’ will take place at August’s Insomnia58 event, organiser Multiplay has announced.
League Fest will take over a 6,500 square metre hall at Birmingham’s NEC and run from August 26th to 29th.
The festival will feature live tournaments featuring former pro players, merchandise, cosplay and ‘special guests’. Tickets will start from £30.
It is the second ‘Fest’ to be bolted onto the side of Insomnia, the other being consumer expo GAMEFest.
“I’m expecting more than ten thousand champions to beat a path to Insomnia this August, swelling our overall attendance to more than 100,000 at the NEC,” said Multiplay CEO Craig Fletcher.
“League fans have always been a huge part of Insomnia, from the prize tournament to the evening events. This year we’re raising the bar to stage one of Europe’s largest celebrations of the world’s most played game.”