Snapchat might be trying to bring video games to your Story

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If a flurry of 3D-centric job postings is any indication, your Snap Stories will probably be getting a lot more animated and interactive in the not-so-distant future. 

Business Insider noticed the influx of newly opened roles, which are mostly classified as being “Research” positions at Snap’s HQ in Los Angeles. The listings call for candidates with 3D design, animation, modeling, rigging and skinning experience.

While many of these positions point to the further development of the ways that we already use Snapchat’s augmented reality features (like its filters and World Lenses), others look to be branching out in a new direction, particularly in character design and gaming. Read more…

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The film production company behind ‘Her’ is getting into video games

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The endless dance between video games and movies continues. 

Annapurna Pictures, founded by Megan Ellison in 2011, is the latest Hollywood player to line up. The film production company behind Her, Zero Dark Thirty, and Sausage Party (among others) will start publishing games in 2017 under the banner of Annapurna Interactive.

The first two releases are expected to arrive in spring 2017: What Remains of Edith Finch? and Gorogoa.

Edith Finch comes from the team at Giant Sparrow, the studio behind the 2014 indie gem The Unfinished Swan. The upcoming game — which was first revealed in late 2014 — is a collection of interactive short stories that all relate to a cursed family in the state of Washington. Read more…

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You can now play ‘Pac-Man’ and ‘Space Invaders’ in Facebook Messenger

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Games are officially becoming part of Messenger.

Facebook is adding a suite of new “Instant Games” to its messaging app, the company announced Tuesday. The games include well-known titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Words With Friends as well as games from indie developers.

Rolling out now in 30 countries, you can find the games under the game controller icon. Once you start a game in a chat, others in the conversation will see that you played and can try to beat your score.

Facebook has dubbed them “Instant Games” because they load almost instantaneously (you don’t need to download a separate app or complete any other steps before you start playing.)  Read more…

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A little team from Illinois crushed the first big ‘Gears of War 4’ tournament

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The first major Gears of War 4 tournament — held in Columbus, Ohio, less than two months after the game came out — carried a heavy purse, with 108 teams competing for a total of $300,000.

But it was a smaller-profile team that prevailed Sunday, as Ilinois-based Team OpTic Gaming took home $120,000 of the pool for first place prize at MLG Columbus Gears Open.

The event kicked off the first of six in a series of Gears of War 4 tournaments called Gears Pro Circuit. A total of $1,000,000 will be up for grabs over a span of six months, ending summer of 2017. Read more…

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‘Overwatch’ is incredibly cheap this Saturday

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If you’re a gamer who somehow managed to avoid the complete and utter annihilation of your bank account on Black Friday this year — congratulations! However, Amazon has a new offer Saturday that might break your resolve.

Overwatch: Origins Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is marked down to $32.99, a savings of 45 percent overall and ever so slightly cheaper than the $34.99 asking price you may have seen Friday. 

The game — one of the most highly reviewed of 2016 — is a team shooter populated by a growing cast of characters that look like they belong in the most violent Pixar movie ever. Players are placed on teams of six people according to their skill level and battle for control of various objectives. Read more…

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