shared horizons

Kerbal Space Program Update Celebrates the European Space Agency

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Private Division and Squad, the publisher and developer behind realistic space sim Kerbal Space Program, announced a partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) for an upcoming update. The free Kerbal Space Program update, Shared Horizons, will release on July 1 on PC (later on consoles), adding ESA-themed items and two new missions that celebrate the ESA’s accomplishments.

BepiColombo is the first new mission from Shared Horizons. It chronicles the ongoing mission between the ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to Mercury. Players are tasked with lauching a ship and landing on Moho, the Kerbal version of Mercury, using objectives pulled from the actual ESA mission.

The second new mission is Rosetta. Rosetta is based on the ESA’s successful mission of landing on a Jupiter-family comet in order to gather important research information. The update also adds the Ariane 5 rocket as well as ESA-themed space suits, parts, and new scientific experiments.

“We are excited to partner with the ESA to bring their actual missions and spacecraft to Kerbal Space Program for the first time,” said Michael Cook, Executive Producer, Private Division. “It is an honor to work hand-in-hand with such a world-class space organization, and we cannot wait for fans to experience these monumental missions with the Shared Horizons update.”

“Here at the European Space Agency, many of our engineers and scientists are very familiar with KSP,” said Günther Hasinger, Director of Science at ESA. “Both Rosetta and BepiColombo are highly complex missions that have specific challenges; however, each prove to be very rewarding for ESA and the global scientific community. Because of this, I am very happy that these ground-breaking science missions can be experienced on Kerbin as well as on Earth.”

Kerbal Space Program is available on PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The Shared Horizons update is coming to PC on July 1, and launching later on consoles. A sequel, Kerbal Space Program 2, was announced last year and scheduled for launch later this year.

E3 2020 Officially Canceled Over Health Concerns

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The growing fear over the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus, which has recently been labeled a Pandemic by the World Health Organization) has caused many conventions and other large gatherings to cancel. The gaming industry is no different, with GDC 2020 cancelling mere weeks before its scheduled date.

Now the biggest gaming trade show of the year is the latest to get the axe. For the first time in two and a half decades, E3 has been canceled. Here’s the official statement from the Entertainment Software Association:

After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.

Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.

Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.

We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.

We thank everyone who shared their views on re-imagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a re-imagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.

E3 is normally the main annual event for the gaming industry, with several days of game announcements, trailers, and information on upcoming releases and hardware. E3 has been on a steady decline in recent years, however, thanks in large part to the rise of streaming. Major publishers like Sony and Nintendo opt to provide their own E3-like presentations via digital streams.

That still leaves many publishers like Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts drift. So far Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, put out a statement on Twitter that Microsoft will host an “Xbox digital event” to “celebrate the next generation of gaming.” Both Microsoft and Sony are releasing new consoles this Holiday season.

Details of the Xbox event have not yet been announced.

LOFT Fellowships For Young Game Designers Open

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The LOFT (Leaders on the Fast Track) Video Game Innovation Fellowship is now accepting applications from young game designers. Created by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) and the HHF (Hispanic Heritage Foundation), the LOFT Fellowship is awarded to 20 young people from ages 15 to 25 for vision, creativity, and “their games’ potential to spur change in their communities.”
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