Join us Thursday, August 6 at 9 a.m. PDT for a special World of Warcraft event streamed live from gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany—where we’ll be unveiling the next chapter of the World of Warcraft saga. . . .
Despite the rough goings as of late, the reigning king of MMORPGs keeps trucking along.
1080p, 1440p, 4K. More pixels, but the same presentation. The new wave of 21:9 aspect ratio monitors promise something bigger, better and *wider*. But how is gaming transformed and what graphics hardware do you need for the best experience? Digital Foundry explains all.
Nintendo has reported an increase in sales and operating income for the three months between April and June 2015.
The company reported sales for the quarter were $730 million, which is an increase of 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Nintendo's operating income, meanwhile, was $9.2 million, which is also up on the $76.5 million for the same period last year.
According to Nintendo, Splatoon, which it says "contributed to vitalizing the Wii U platform," and "favourable sales" of its Amiibo figures contributed to the company's improved performance.
Looking ahead, Nintendo highlighted key releases such as Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes as key upcoming titles that will "further expand the Nintendo 3DS business."
I, too, rolled my eyes when I first heard about Total War: Arena. Did we really need a Total War flavoured MOBA? It turns out, we didn’t. Arena isn’t another MOBA. It’s closer to World of Tanks, but with legs.
It has more players for a start: battles are 10v10. It has more units, too: everyone is responsible for three little troupes of historical pikemen, archers or cavalry. It doesn’t do in-game levelling: all your units are upgraded between matches.
Games are fast paced: units sprint everywhere and the maps are small enough to encourage quick engagements. But that doesn’t make them any less tactical: it’s clear that even a simple plan, if players stick to it, will usually succeed. The skills you’ve built in Total War work: picking flanks, charging and retreating, and the rock/paper/scissors relationships between infantry, cavalry and archers are in place. The game’s bigger and more impressive somehow – with each unit being micromanaged there’s just way more going on.
Siege of Dragonspear is a stopgap RPG campaign designed to bridge the two genre-defining Baldur’s Gates we already have. It proved an excellent excuse to have our annual chat with BioWare co-founder and Neverwinter Nights director Trent Oster, who has led work on the enhanced Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale.
Dragonspear marks the first time Oster’s Beamdog have embarked on something wholly their own - and late in its development, they asked a friend to take a look at it. Chris Avellone gave them a couple of pages of feedback on the story - and here offers his thoughts on the campaign, as one of its very first playtesters.
“When I heard they were gonna do a brand new one, I just got excited about it, like, ‘There’s gonna be a new story in Baldur’s Gate? Alright, I’m there’,” Avellone told YouTuber Matt Barton. “I got a chance to see it before everyone else - that appealed to my selfish nature.”
Avellone spent 25 or 30 hours playing an unfinished version of the Siege campaign through.
“That was the first thing that surprised me - it’s actually bigger than either of the other Baldur’s Gate expansions,” he said. “I think it’s actually bigger than both of those expansions combined.”
Gamespot has another interview with lead producer Garth DeAngelis about the return of the chryssalid in XCOM 2:
GAMESPOT: So the chryssalid returns, but outside of multiplayer, there's no chance of somehow recruiting one to join the XCOM forces, I presume?
DEANGELIS: The chryssalid is very much still one of the alien occupiers of Earth. They are against XCOM. They will never become a part of your army.
We had to have them come back. They've been a staple of XCOM, harkening back to the original UFO defense. A couple of decades have taken place since you lost in Enemy Unknown. A lot of the enemies have evolved. Now, the chryssalid, they're a little bit too crazy of a species to integrate human DNA into them, but they have evolved. They've received some upgrades. What they did in Enemy Unknown, is they implanted XCOM with something that would then breed another chryssalid out of them, if you remember. It was a pretty terrifying sequence. Design said, "How can we make this crazier?"
Following Razer's purchase of Ouya's software assets on Monday, independent developers have now come forward to claim the deal has at least one major consequence. Multiple developers who asked not to be named told Vice and Kotaku their contracts with Ouya for thousands of dollars are not being honored.
This all comes back to Ouya's Free the Games Fund. Announced two years ago this month, this initiative saw Ouya create a $1 million developer fund that matched funds raised on Kickstarter if developers agreed to make their games exclusive to Ouya for a period of at least six months. Though there were some initial problems, the program appeared to work.
But when Razer completed its acquisition of Ouya in early June (it was only announced on Monday, however), some developers stopped receiving payments. The anonymous developers who spoke to Vice and Kotaku say they are owed as much as $30,000.
Under the terms of the original Free the Games Fund, developers would be paid 50 percent of the money when they had a playable beta running, 25 percent when the game was released, and the remaining 25 percent when the exclusivity period ended.
But earlier this year, the anonymous developers said, Ouya asked them to sign another contract with a new section that specifically mentioned "Termination Upon Bankruptcy or Insolvency." Knowing the company was in dire financial straights, Ouya representatives reached out to developers to inform them they would not be paid. They also apparently let them know that Razer might be able to pitch in, though nothing at the time was confirmed.
A Razer spokesperson told Vice that Ouya's Free the Games fund was not included with the company's acquisition. Specific terms for the deal have not been disclosed, though we do know that Razer only purchased Ouya's software assets, not the console or controller. The spokesperson went on to say that developers are encouraged to reach out so their games can be published on Razer's own Android platform, but the company did not say if it has any plans to fulfill the promised payments.
NHL 16 will be released on September 15th for PS4 and Xbox One.
Sharpen those skates and grab your buddies because the EA SPORTS Hockey League is back! This fan-favorite online team mode has been reimagined and lets you choose specialized player classes to deliver a balanced competitive experience on the ice. Player skill and your ability to play as a team will now be the determining factor in who wins and loses hockey games.
Available to NHL 15 owners only, EA SPORTS NHL will be releasing a limited access EA SPORTS Hockey League Beta starting July 30 until August 6 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more information about how you can join the EASHL beta, click here.
Major Nelson has released the Xbox Live Games with Gold list for August 2015.
For the month of August, Xbox Live Gold members will receive four new free games – two on Xbox One and two on Xbox 360 – as part of the Games with Gold program.
On Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold members can download Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ($19.99 ERP) for free during the month of August. How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition ($19.99 ERP) will be available as a free download from August 16th to September 15th.
On Xbox 360, starting Saturday, August 1st, Metro 2033 ($19.99 ERP) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through August 15th. Then on August 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Metro: Last Light ($19.99 ERP) for free through August 31st.
Wargaming has announced that World of Tanks has been released on Xbox One. The release includes cross-platform play between Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
July 28, 2015 — The wait is over and the battle lines are drawn as Wargaming announces World of Tanks is now available globally on Xbox One. Custom built for the platform, World of Tanks on Xbox One fully harnesses the power of the console and brings a world first to gamers with cross-platform play between the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of the game. With the addition of stunning enhanced graphics and a new Player versus Environment (PVE) mode, the new generation of tank warfare has at last arrived.
World of Tanks on Xbox One delivers an amazing first-to-market function for console tankers with never before seen cross-platform multiplayer tank battles on Xbox. Furthermore, with a single Xbox Live account sign-in between the two platforms all tech tree progress and in-game research is preserved, no matter which Xbox console a player is using to access the fight.
“Across all platforms, World of Tanks has one of the most dedicated online communities of players and we are expanding that community as we break new ground with this revolutionary cross-platform play functionality on consoles,” stated Denny Thorley, SVP of product development, Wargaming, “With this technological innovation we are able to bridge the battle between Xbox One and Xbox 360 tankers, and we’re excited to offer players their first-ever opportunity to play across the two, together and seamlessly.”
World of Tanks cross-platform gameplay delivers another innovation with voice chat between platforms and shared achievements through a single Xbox Live account. The game also ramps up the combat with enhanced graphics and lingering battle damage thanks to the heightened Havok damage physics.
The all-new “Proving Grounds” PVE mode debuts, providing the perfect entry point for new tankers and an excellent practice arena for existing tankers. Finally, players will be able to share every glorious victory via the full slate of social and streaming support offered on the Xbox One platform.
It’s your LAST DAY on Earth: What would make the Ultimate COMBO of Best Game, Best Album, Best Meal & favorite Beer? Metal Jesus & Drunken Master Paul imagine their last 24 hours and come up with their list.
Square Enix Japan has announced that Dragon Quest XI is coming to the PlayStation 4, 3DS and Nintendo's unrevealed NX console. (So Sorry Xbone.) RPGsite.net has the details:
Square Enix Japan has announced Dragon Quest XI - revealing that the eleventh entry in the main Dragon Quest series will launch on an unprecedented three platforms - the PlayStation 4, the Nintendo 3DS and also the 'NX', Nintendo's new and as-yet-unannounced console.
The different versions will offer two different games that follow the same story thread, similar to Ni No Kuni, which launched in Japan on both PS3 and the original Nintendo DS. Both the PS4 and 3DS versions will launch in 2016 to conincide with Dragon Quest's 30th anniversary.
Despite being different games from a gameplay perspective, the same core staff are working on both. The PS4 version is being co-developed by Orca, while the 3DS version is being built with the help of Toy Logic. It's currently unclear which version will make its way to the NX, but it is likely to be the PS4 version.
Gamespot has an interview with XCOM 2 lead producer Garth DeAngelis where they discuss one of the game's new classes, the Sharpshooter:
GAMESPOT: First, give me a rundown of the basics. What is a sharpshooter's role in battle?
DEANGELIS: The sharpshooter is an evolution of the sniper. The sniper was a very powerful unit in Enemy Unknown. As you know, it was the long-range, high damage dealing unit. They could become demigods by the end of the game, when you're flying all over the place, and using [skills like] In The Zone and Double Tap and all that good stuff, where you're chaining shots together. We said we still want the player to still be playing with a sniper rifle. They're great. There's a lot of fun there. You need that class there to balance across the different mechanics of each class. But now we have an appealing second perk tree that was not just purely, 'let's max out our sniper, and make them this long-range, high damage dealer.'
That's why they're not called a sniper. You can choose to specialize in the sniper rifle or you can actually specialize in pistols. Pistols now have become this very appealing weapon that the sharpshooter can use in new and interesting ways, unlike any ways that you used in Enemy Unknown. The perk tree is broken up in that way. There's some pretty interesting decisions early game where it's not a no-brainer to just go down the sniper path.
Ever since an animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke was announced by Warner Brothers and producer Bruce Timm at San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks back, fans have been fervently hoping that actor Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in the classic Batman: The Animated Series (as well as in a few other iterations over the years, most recently the Arkham Knight video game), would come out of “bad guy retirement” to play the Clown Prince of Crime one more time.
When a fan tweeted Mark Hamill that he had his fingers crossed he’d get to play the Joker in the new movie, Hamill responded “you’re not the only with fingers crossed!” suggesting that it wasn’t yet a done deal.
Well, it looks like Hamill was being maybe a little bit deceptive there, because according to a report on Collider, it looks like the actor already completed his voice acting work on the film, which is set to come out in 2016 (with a premiere supposedly set for next summer’s SDCC).
The Joker is arguably Hamill’s second most iconic role next to that of Luke Skywalker; it’s interesting that he is returning to both roles around the same time after a long absence. It’s unknown who is voicing Batman in The Killing Joke, but if Hamill is returning, one can only hope Kevin Conroy is coming back to play Batman one more time as well.
The original graphic novel, which presents a sort-of origin story for the Joker, was hugely influential on Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the character in The Dark Knight. In Killing Joke, the Joker remembers multiple backstories for himself, similarly to how Ledger’s Joker gives different backstories for his scars in his version.
The Joker’s idea that all one good man needs to become evil and insane is “one really bad day,” a ploy he uses on Harvey Dent in Dark Knight, also has its origins in The Killing Joke. The original graphic novel goes to even darker places than that, and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s handled in a PG-13 animated film. But at least with Hamill on board, we know that the greatest Joker story ever will have the greatest Joker ever bringing it to life.
HITMAN: AGENT 47 centers on an elite assassin who was genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, and is known only by the last two digits on the barcode tattooed on the back of his neck. He is the culmination of decades of research – and forty-six earlier Agent clones -- endowing him with unprecedented strength, speed, stamina and intelligence. His latest target is a mega-corporation that plans to unlock the secret of Agent 47’s past to create an army of killers whose powers surpass even his own. Teaming up with a young woman who may hold the secret to overcoming their powerful and clandestine enemies, 47 confronts stunning revelations about his own origins and squares off in an epic battle with his deadliest foe.
Get a preview of Reckoning, the final DLC pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Reckoning includes the culmination of the Exo Zombies saga with Descent, as our heroes unravel the true cause of the global pandemic and the terrible secret that Atlas has been hiding. Also included are four exo grapple-enabled Multiplayer maps: Fracture, Overload, Quarantine, and Swarm. Take down your enemies in this globe-spanning collection that's filled with all-new map interactions and scorestreaks.
Deep Silver has released a new trailer for Lost Horizon 2, a PC adventure game that is set for launch on the second of October.
In the shadow of the Cold War, Fenton Paddock is facing the hardest fight of his life. While the tensions between the superpowers threaten to tear the world apart, the British soldier has to save his family that has been caught by powerful enemies. His adventure leads Fenton far beyond the Iron Curtain and finally onwards to mysterious, uncharted territory. He has to finally face the dark powers of his past and learn what it means to take on responsibility.
Razer sends along a press release announcing that it has acquired OUYA's software assets, including its content catalog and online retail platform. "Razer is not retaining interest in OUYA hardware or related other assets."
CARLSBAD, Calif. - Razer(tm), a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today confirmed it acquired the software assets of OUYA, including its content catalog and online retail platform. The technical team and developer relations personnel behind OUYA, the leading Android game platform for the television, have joined the software team of Razer, the company additionally reported. Financial details of the transaction, which closed on June 12, 2015, were not disclosed.
"Razer has a long-term vision for Android TV and Android-based TV consoles, such as the Xiaomi Mi Box and Alibaba Tmall Box, to which OUYA already publishes," says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. "OUYA's work with game developers, both triple A and indies, went a long way in bringing Android games to the living room and Razer intends to further that work. This acquisition is envisaged to usher more developers and content to the Android TV platform."
In the near future, Razer will be providing existing OUYA users with a clear path of migration to the more advanced Forge TV micro-console and Serval controller bundle. Razer's intention is to allow OUYA users to bring their games, controllers, and accounts to the Cortex TV platform on the Forge micro-console, advancing the experience of Android gaming on TV that they have previously enjoyed. Additionally, Razer is planning deep product discounts for incoming OUYA users to purchase Razer hardware, and a spate of freebies, giveaways, and promotions to enjoy on their new Forge consoles.
Moving forward, Razer plans significant development of the Forge TV micro-console, controllers and software solutions to enhance the home entertainment experience. The company also intends to bring myriad additional games to the Android platform it purchased, through increased investment in developer and publisher programs, and with complementary technology partner initiatives.
The OUYA store acquired by Razer will in time be re-launched as Cortex for Android TV, a premier destination for Razer Forge TV games and other content.
While Razer is not retaining interest in OUYA hardware or related other assets, it does plan to publish Android TV content and Android-based TV console games under the OUYA moniker as a separate interest.
"When it comes to gamers, Min clearly knows what he is doing," says Brian Fargo, video game designer, producer, programmer and founder of Interplay Entertainment and inXile Entertainment. "I'm certain that he has clever ideas on how to make his many initiatives with Forge TV fit well with all the titles and hard work that OUYA put in."
WWE and 2K have announced that WWE Hall of Famer Arnold Schwarzenegger will be a playable character for all who pre-order WWE 2K16, currently scheduled for release on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on Oct. 27, 2015.
BEIJING—China will lift a ban on making and selling videogame consoles in the country, paving the way for foreign companies like Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. to expand in one of the world’s largest videogame markets.
New rules will apply to foreign and domestic console makers, enabling them to manufacture and sell anywhere in the country, according to a statement from the Ministry of Culture released earlier this week. Previously, regulators limited foreign console makers, such as Sony and Nintendo Co. , to operate only in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which stifled sales and potential growth.
The move opens the door to a valuable market of videogamers who have turned to computer and mobile videogames because of limited access to consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Wii...
Gaming companies have long had their eyes on the Chinese market but have faced restrictions since 2000, when Chinese regulators enacted a console ban to prevent what they said were potential adverse effects on China’s youth. Regulators eased restrictions in a pilot test last year, which the Ministry of Culture said was successful, according to its statement.
China’s gaming market, which includes sales of mobile video games and consoles, is estimated to be worth $22.2 billion this year, up 23% from a year earlier, according to gaming research firm Newzoo BV.
Since the time Valve began publicly tracking hours-played in July 2009, I’ve launched 341 different games from Steam. Today, Steam adds at least that many games each month and a half—55 each week, on average, or almost eight per day. There’s no question that Steam is saturated. Steam grew by 561 games in 2013, but added 1,814 in 2014. Seven months into 2015, there’s already 1,592 new games on Steam. But is that truly a problem?
Steam’s library is growing at the fastest rate in its 12-year history, and those of us who play and write about PC games full-time will never dig more than a spoon into Steam’s mountain range of more than 5,600 games. It’s certainly tempting, even natural, to label that as a problem. Last year, there was a wave of concern following a Gamasutra post that visualized the volume of new games hitting Steam. Kotaku wrote that the trend was hurting developers and gamers. Spiderweb Software’s Jeff Vogel told of the imminent burst of the indie bubble, and others jumped up from their chairs to agree: there are too many games on Steam.
Those who point at the perpetual logjam of new releases feel that Valve has abandoned any semblance of quality control. They fear that Steam will become like the App Store, known more for what it rejects than what it showcases. And they have a point: who wants lazy mobile game ports, halfheartedly erotic pinball, soccer-fighting games, something called SpaceCorn, or Gynophobia, “a horror shooter about abnormal fear of women,” on Steam? How can deserving, independent gems to stand out in an ecosystem filled with junk? And when games do break through, how can developers retain interest long enough to build a healthy community?
The most irrationally paranoid thought is that we’re inching toward the PC gaming equivalent of the video game crash of ‘83, when the level of saturation of games and platforms gutted the industry, forcing many hardware-makers and publishers to collapse or withdraw forever. Consider this prescient quote from 1986 by Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s president: “Atari collapsed because they gave too much freedom to third-party developers and the market was swamped with rubbish games.”
Do you think Gamasutra and Kotaku are looking out for gamers with their concerns about the number of games on Steam? Could it be they're more worried about their own status as gatekeepers? Maybe they're trying to hog virtual shelf space for their asshole buddies in the Indie game scene? What do you think?
Ars Technica has a write-up on the new Doom at Quakecon:
...the two Doom matches I tried quickly congealed into a slick six minutes of explosions and emancipated body parts. The only other negative bits were a few unfortunate solitary periods when my teammates resorted to asking, "Where is everybody?" over the headsets. I wondered the same thing as I found myself wandering for upwards of 20 whole seconds without even seeing them.
Perhaps Id Software has yet to find the proper blend of old school mechanical speed and new school engagement pacing to keep everyone bunched together. In any case, the lulls were rare and short-lived enough to not get in the way of the rest of the excitement. This is a very promising start for a very storied franchise. So far, Doom is fast, exciting, and, most importantly, fun.
Update: Bethesda's Head of Marketing, Pete Hines, clarified that you can only romance the human companions.
New Fallout 4 details were revealed at a Quakecon-exclusive demo today.
Up to 12 companions will be available to join players in the post-apocalyptic RPG.
Players will also be able romance those companions, regardless of gender.
Strangely, the dozen companions include Dogmeat and Codsworth, a canine and a Mr. Handy robot, respectively. Howard did not specify if players could actually romance the two non-human companions but it can be assumed that might not be the case.
Mitch here, with just enough bandwidth to pull my head out of polishing the game to let you know that Shadowrun: Hong Kong has an official release date! During the Kickstarter, we estimated that we would release the game in August… and that’s why we’re releasing the game in August!
August 20th, 2015 at 10am PST, to be specific. On Steam, GoG, & Humble.
Estimating, scheduling and delivering something as complex as SR:HK is tough and I’m extremely proud of the entire team for their focus, dedication, and hard work. I’d like to say a special thank you to our ace Producer, Chris Klimecky and my co-Director, Mike McCain for their work in getting the game to you on time. Mike joined me at the helm a ways back so I could dedicate more time to writing, and his work has been first rate - just like it was on Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut.
The game’s really coming together and it’s amazing to see the team’s hard work and creative collaboration on-screen. Making games is an incredible challenge but making games with these folks is an absolute pleasure.
We’ll be sending out another update in the next couple of weeks regarding how to get your keys from BackerKit and an update on all the remaining Kickstarter rewards.
In an interview with IGN Guillermo del Toro said he still plans to do a project with Hideo Kojima following the cancellation of Silent Hills by Konami.
Silent Hills is canceled, but project leads Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro still intend to work on a new project together.
In an interview with IGN, del Toro said, "I love working with Kojima-san. We are still in touch. We are still friends and working into doing something together, but that’s not going to be [Silent Hills]."
Guillermo del Toro also detailed a bit about what Silent Hills -- though still very early in the development process -- could have been.
"We were in the planning stages, and it’s a shame it’s not going to happen," del Toro said. "We were talking about really pushing the boundaries of the new consoles, and making the game really mess with your head. One of the great moments in Metal Gear [Solid] was Psycho Mantis. The idea that a game can actually interact with you, and stuff like that."
The new demon hunting action-RPG Victor Vran officially releases today. After just five months in Early Access, Victor Vran is released with amazing 94% user approval from the Steam Community. The game won the hearts of the players with its action packed combat dynamics, where dodging and jumping mean the difference between life and death.
Victor Vran features four player coop gameplay, a class-less gear-based character progression system, dozens of secrets, over 400 different challenges and dynamic difficulty personalization. The game was created with replayability in mind and promises many hours of pure fun on top of the 20-hour story campaign.
NHL 16 is coming to PS4 and Xbox One on September 15th.
The fate of your team is at your fingertips with all-new enhanced goalie controls. Precision Skating captures the authentic look and feel of a goaltender’s momentum and precise movement as you control them in the crease. When the shots start flying, decide whether to make controlled positional saves or commit to high risk athletic saves that may leave you vulnerable to secondary chances.
Blood Bowl 2 is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 22nd.
After revealing more details with its Overview Trailer, Blood Bowl 2, the sequel to the video game adaptation of Games Workshop’s famous board game that combines American football with the fantasy world of Warhammer, today exposes the match philosophy of the Dark Elves!
Evil beyond belief, skilled without doubt, the Dark Elves take to the pitch to show the world their superiority. Dark Elf teams prefer a malevolent and spiteful running game over the passing of their goodly cousins. Backed up by the ruthless Witch Elves and dangerous assassins, a Dark Elf team has all the tools to power through rather than around any opposition line. Dark Elves are very agile, and each of their players is a potential thrower, catcher and more importantly, scorer. However, while they like to get up-close and personal on the pitch, they are definitely not the most resilient Blood Bowl players, and replacing a player who suffered an "accidental death" will cost you…