Harmonix Owns Up To Employee-Posted Amazon Rock Band 4 Reviews

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Harmonix Owns Up To Employee-Posted Amazon Rock Band 4 Reviews

Yesterday, a Reddit post surfaced a rumor that Harmonix employees were papering Amazon product listing for Rock Band 4 with positive reviews. Today, the developer has owned up, admitting that its employees are behind the ratings.

Redditors linked reviewers to real names, which appear to include one employee stating that she is a “new fan.” Destructoid further matches additional reviews to people with names matching Harmonix employees.

When approached for comment, Harmonix admitted that its staff is behind some of the glowing reviews. “Harmonix has clarified its internal policy about posting reviews of our own products on retail sites, and we've asked that existing reviews be edited to identify Harmonix employees or be removed entirely,” a representative told us. “While we believe the reviews posted by a few employees were sincere and without ill intentions, as a studio we don’t believe these are appropriate actions. We appreciate the feedback from the community, and take our relationship with our fans seriously."

Real World Pokémon Gym Opening In Japan Next Month

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Real World Pokémon Gym Opening In Japan Next Month

Part Pokémon-focused arcade, part augmented reality Pokémon experience, Japan is getting a Pokémon Gym, and it's opening next month.

The facility is being called a "hands-on edutainment facility" according to a translation from Siliconera and is being billed as a social space for children where they can learn tips for playing Pokémon. As the photos on the website show, it also appears it will have assorted Pokémon arcade games, augmented reality interactions with the pocket monsters themselves, and of course bowling. An affiliated smartphone app will also be released alongside the Gym, but it's unclear if we will be able to interact with it at all in North America.

The Pokémon Gym will be open to the public November 19, 2015 in Osaka, Japan.

Harmonix Provides Update On Rock Band 3 Soundtrack Export For Rock Band 4

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Perhaps the biggest selling point of Rock Band 4 is that it allows you to carry forward the vast majority of your music library from previous entries through backward compatible DLC. Sadly, none of the on-disc soundtracks from previous games were exportable to Rock Band 4 at launch. Harmonix has continually said that it is working on the exports for all games prior to Rock Band 3, and that it was looking into the possibility of exporting Rock Band 3's soundtrack to Rock Band 4. Today, Harmonix provided a big update for fans of the series.

According to a blog post by Rock Band 4 product manager Daniel Sussman, Harmonix is shooting to have Rock Band 3's soundtrack exportable to Rock Band 4 on December 8 alongside the feature update scheduled for that time. Unfortunately, Sussman says that Harmonix's ability to sell Rock Band 3 is coming to an end soon, so in order to qualify for the export, you'll need to buy Rock Band 3 digitally before it's removed on October 30, or physically from a retailer before their stock runs out for good. Though Harmonix's ability to sell Rock Band 3 is coming to an end, Sussman says the Rock Band 3 export offer will be available for the "foreseeable future" and that Harmonix will let players know well in advance of its expiration.

Plaster Your Black Ops III Guns With Hamburger Toppings From Two Fast Food Joints

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Plaster Your Black Ops III Guns With Hamburger Toppings From Two Fast Food Joints

One of the biggest additions to the multiplayer of Black Ops III is the new Gunsmith mode that allows you to customize your weapons like never before. Hardee's and Carl's Jr., two affiliated fast food chains, are giving you more options through their new Call of Duty: Black Ops III instant win game and sweepstakes.

By purchasing a large drink or the Call of Duty-branded "Ultimate Care Package" meal at one of the two chains, you'll receive a code that you can enter online. Prizes up for grabs include a trip to Los Angeles to tour Treyarch's studio, physical copies of Black Ops III, and the "Take Out" personalization pack, which includes camos, reticles, and a calling card. Other prizes include gaming headsets from Astro, gear and apparel from 5.11 Tactical, and free food from Hardee's or Carl's Jr.

In conjunction with this promotion, Hardee's and Carl's Jr. will also be donating all proceeds from sales of the "Ultimate Care Package" meal on Veterans Day (November 11) to the Call of Duty Endowment, an Activision Blizzard-created non-profit organization that helps place veterans in jobs. 

Say Goodbye To The Borderlands 2 Loot The World App

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Say Goodbye To The Borderlands 2 Loot The World App

Way back in December 2013, Gearbox introduced an app that converts QR codes into Borderlands 2 loot. It’s time to say goodbye to Loot the World. You have succeeded. The world has been looted.

The app will rotate out of service tomorrow, October 22. This coincides with extended service on Gearbox’s Shift system in preparation for the Battleborn closed technical test coming up on October 29. 

Maintenance will begin on or around 9:30 a.m. Pacific / 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Expect it to last about 12 hours.

2015 Video Game Release Schedule

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2015 Video Game Release Schedule

It wasn’t even September when readers started asking when we’d publish the initial list of 2015 release dates. Our ever-popular and regularly updated roster of launch dates for the new year is here.

If you see anything we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments. Please note that games will not get assigned to a month until they have confirmed release dates. Prior to that, they will appear in the bottom grouping.

Paranormal Activity VR Demo Heading To Select Theaters

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Paranormal Activity VR Demo Heading To Select Theaters

A virtual reality game based on the Paranormal Activity movies is coming to theaters as a free HTC Vive demo. Paramount Pictures, HTC, Valve, Epic Games, and Nvidia will sponsor the demo at select AMC Theatres locations from October 22-24.

Moviegoers will be able to play the first-person survival horror title just as the latest film in the franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension opens October 22. The demo will debut at the theaters listed below.

Coming out in 2016, the virtual reality Paranormal Activity game will run on the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus Rift head-mounted displays. Developer Beast Media Group also plans to release non-VR versions on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Nintendo Celebrates Back To The Future Day By Bringing Wild Gunman To Virtual Console

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Back to the Future fans likely remember Wild Gunman as the game Marty McFly plays while visiting the '80s café in Back to the Future Part II. The kids of 2015 weren’t particularly thrilled with his display, but maybe you’ll have better luck impressing today's youth when Wild Gunman arrives on Virtual Console this week.

Wild Gunman launched alongside the NES on October 18, 1985 and hasn’t been re-released in any form until now. The light-gun shooter originally used the NES Zapper, which the Wii remote will emulate in the Virtual Console release. If you're a Smash fan, you may recognize the gunslingers from Duck Hunt dog's attacks in Super Smash Bros. 

The game arrives to the European Wii U Virtual Console Thursday, October 22 with news of a U.S. release possibly hitting around the same time (Thursday mornings are typically when Nintendo shares downloadable release news). 

Ubisoft Calls Vivendi Investment ‘Unsolicited,’ Will Remain Independent

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Ubisoft Calls Vivendi Investment ‘Unsolicited,’ Will Remain Independent

Earlier this month, former Activision owner Vivendi returned to the gaming sector with two investments. The company purchased 6.6 percent of Ubisoft and 6.2 percent of Gameloft, amounting to a total spend of €160 million ($183 million).

In a reported Ubisoft internal memo obtained by GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot states that the investment was both “unsolicited and unwelcome.” A separate email also obtained by the publication also suggests that Guillemot is concerned that a takeover would bring with it risk of leadership from those that don’t understand Ubisoft or the industry.

When reached for comment, Ubisoft confirmed that Vivendi’s €140 million ($159.2 million) investment wasn’t sought after. “We take note of the unsolicited action on the part of Vivendi,” a company representative told us via email. “We reiterate our intention to remain independent, an approach that, since the company’s founding 30 years ago, enabled it to become the third-largest video game developer in the world.”

Rovio Announces Layoffs Of 213 Employees

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Rovio Announces Layoffs Of 213 Employees

Angry Birds developer Rovio has confirmed plans to lay off 213 employees. This is fewer than the 260 that were announced when the cuts were revealed in August.

The job cuts come with a plan to restructure the company to focus on three key areas: games, media, and consumer products. Angry Birds has exploded into a variety of related merchandising, and there is a film planned for release in May 2016.

With these 213 cuts following a first round of 110 employees in December 2014, Rovio is now operating at an approximate staff reduction of 36 percent from its earlier staff count of more than 850.