SASKATOON -- Justin Bender from Moose Jaw says he is working on adding more content for his first downloadable video game creation Xero Hour, which he says has received positive reviews.

“It got lots of really good feed back. Lots of really good reviews and five-star ratings.”

Bender developed Xero Hour, a mobile device game, based on a character trying to survive and thrive in the unfamiliar environment of a different planet - while finding materials to repair a spacecraft.

“He has just crash landed on a planet and has to find minerals and stuff. There are three different kind of minerals and then weapon upgrades so he can survive - and eventually rebuild his ship.”

Bender says he is impressed with how many have downloaded his game and says he’s now working on an add-on for the game, which will include a purple alien jungle.

“There is a unique twist or two in it, so it will be fun. I think people that are currently playing it will enjoy it.”

The add-on will be about 30 or 40 per cent the size of the current game.

Working from his home, Bender has also found a way to blend his passion for video games with his love for music. He also does music production as well as played in a band and has incorporated some of that experience into his video game.

“I’ve always been a gamer so some of the lyrics and some of the album cover stuff is all a character that we created as a homage to classic video games.”

Bender is hoping he can have the additional content for Xero Hour ready for release by late spring or early summer.

2K signs Tiger Woods in long-term exclusive licensing deal

Tiger Woods has signed a long-term deal with 2K to be part of the company’s golf franchise.

The deal includes rights to the name and likeness of Tiger Woods for the PGA Tour 2K franchise, in addition to other golf games produced by 2K over the length of the deal.

“Woos will play an active role in the video game landscape as an Executive Director and consultant with PGA TOUR 2K, while 2K will also partner with Woods’ TGR Foundation, which provides award-winning STEM curricula and college-access programs to offer underserved students the tools needed to thrive in school and beyond,” 2K said in a press release on its website.

Tiger woods last graced the cover of a video game in 2013 when Electronic Arts released Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14.

2K also announced an agreement to acquire HB Studios Multimedia Ltd., the developer of PGA Tour 2K21, which has sold nearly two million units to date, according to 2K.

HB Studios, which is based in Nova Scotia, will join Visual Concepts, Firaxis Games, Hangar 13, Cat Daddy Games, Cloud Chamber and 31st Union as a wholly-owned studio for 2K upon the closing of the deal.

“The developers’ Lunenburg studio location will be retained as part of the acquisition for use as the head office for Canadian affiliate, Take-Two Interactive Canada, Inc., with plans to grow the business,” 2K said.

Electronic Arts lawsuit could go to arbitration

A lawsuit filed in a United States court against Electronic Arts (EA) for $5 million is one step closer to arbitration.

The suit claims Ultimate Team modes in EA games such as Madden operate against state gambling legislation.

A judge in California has granted EA’s request to compel arbitration and is staying the case pending the outcome.

The order from the Judge says the arbitrator must decide whether the Arbitration Provision is enforceable against the plaintiff’s claims and the case could still return to court.

“The Court ruled the arbitrator must first decide whether the action should be arbitrated or litigated in court. We are confident the arbitrator will determine this matter belongs in court, but regardless of where the case goes, we intend to fully pursue it,” Tim Blood, an attorney for the plaintiff, said in an email.

Electronic Arts said it would not comment directly on ongoing litigation. But the company says it does not believe any EA games can be construed as gambling.

“The purchase of FUT Packs or content in other EA games is an option for players who want to customize their individual experiences. EA prohibits any transfer of these items outside of the game, including for real money. Attempts to compare these optional purchases to gambling are misguided and wrong. “ EA said in a statement.

“On consoles, players under 18 can only access online features, including purchase of content, if their parents allow it using parental controls. Our Origin platform for PC games, which is the only platform owned by EA, also includes dedicated Child and Teen accounts. Child Accounts are for players under 13 and have no access to online features, including spend, within the game.”