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This week in the news; The Game Theorists' Matthew Patrick and other Youtubers meet with the Pope, Overwatch, reporting on well sourced No Man's Sky delay leads to threats towards author and when confirmed threats shift to developer, The Last Guardian is not dead (again), Mighty No. 9's terrible trailer upsets its developers, the story behind the cancelled Legacy of Kain game, GameSpot turns 20 and a look at where the former staff are now, BAFTA honors veteran game designer Amy Hennig, Starbreeze buys rights to Payday franchise and removes micro-transactions, why accessibility in gaming should be the rule not the exception, and more.

 

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Pope Francis explains to The Game Theorists YouTuber how to deal with haters

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Patrick, known as Mat Pat on his channel, has about 6.3 million subscribers on his channels which are dedicated to video games and critical theory.

“I think I speak for everyone when I say how exciting it is to see such a major world leader take interest in the power of new media to create positive social change," Patrick said in a prepared statement. "It's something we all believe in, so to have more traditional bodies take notice of the work we're doing and be interested to learn more is incredibly validating."

 

Xbox Exec Teases: "Doing Things We've Never Done"

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On Wednesday, "creative chatter" was the phrase Xbox boss Phil Spencer used in a tweet to respond to the new Xbox One hardware rumors. Just days later, it's now a t-shirt.

 

Data shows Miitomo is in decline, suggests downloads alone aren't enough

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Despite a strong start, which saw the app shoot to the top of the download charts in multiple countries on both iOS and Android, interest has soon petered off, and the game has struggled to keep users interested.

 

HANDS ON WITH CIVILIZATION 6 ... AS THE EMPEROR OF CHINA

The article is information about the game with its own video.

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Mechanical Apartheid Live-Action Trailer

Some good thoughts on the Deus Ex series, though some other smart critics disagree, look forward to seeing how the game turns out and seeing if they discuss the series themes further.

 

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse Story Trailer

 

First Person Survival Horror Game ‘Agony’ Announced, Coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC

A thread about this was created here.

 

Dragon Quest Builders comes stateside this fall, in time for series' 30th anniversary

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It's a story that follows Dragon Quest's "bad ending," and we enjoyed how Dragon Quest Builders plays off the series' familiar features when we tried it at Tokyo Game Show 2015. Read our preview for more on how the game works.

 

Mighty No. 9's new trailer is a 'masterclass' in Marketing 101 failures

 
Every time I see thing game I just think of all the money that could have gone to Wayforward and Shantae instead.
 
 
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Don’t treat your audience like prepubescent idiots from the 90s

 

 

7 Days to Die comes to consoles on June 28

 

A classic WayForward Technologies April Fools' joke is becoming an actual game

 

Witcher 3 1.2 Patch Notes Cover Enemy Upscaling, Making Gwent Cards Easier to Collect

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A new patch for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming out before the release of the RPG's Blood and Wine expansion, and now we know everything included with it. CD Projekt Red today published the patch notes for 1.20, which cover improvements, bug fixes, and more.

 

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Trailer Highlights Its Story, Dual Protagonists, And Gameplay

 

ENTERING BELOW’S DEADLY CAVES IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

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Below is about being small in a large, dangerous world. The game’s looming cave system dwarfs the player to little more than a speck on the screen, and its dark corners house hidden tripwires and pits that can lead to an early demise for those who are not careful. Characters only have a small pool of health which slowly bleeds out after being hit, and every enemy presents a threat.

 

Injustice: Gods Among Us 2 in Development

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NetherRealm Studios is working on a sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, its fighting game set in the DC comic book universe.

 

Mafia 3 trailer is a virtual tour of New Bordeaux

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Mafia 3 takes place in New Bordeaux, a fictional take on legendary New Orleans. There are clear benefits to creating fictional cities over real ones – real cities weren't designed for high speed car chases and shoot outs, after all – but it looks like 2K Czech has been careful to include all the bits of New Orleans you'd definitely want to explore in a game.

 

Sources: No Man's Sky Delayed

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The ambitious space game No Man’s Sky has been delayed, two sources tell Kotaku. We don’t know exactly what the new release date is—and it may not be finalized yet—but we’re hearing it’s been bumped until at least July or August.

Reporting on possible delays apparently gets the author of the article threatened and apparently upset a lot of Reddit users on the games forum

It was confirmed that the game will now be released August 9th.

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Threats seemed to have shifted to the developer after the delay was confirmed.

Jason later wrote an article about it

I Got Death Threats For Reporting On A Video Game Delay

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As soon as I broke news of the game’s delay on Wednesday night, I watched the No Man’s Sky subreddit explode, filling up with messages about how it couldn’t be true, how Kotaku must be trying to troll them, how we’re always wrong. The subreddit’s overworked moderators were quick to clean up many of these threads, but for the next two days it was bedlam. People tried to dig up reasons the delay couldn’t have been real—“Kotaku’s sources are anonymous, so it can’t be true”-and even came up with elaborate schemes to harass GameStop employees across the country.

Again they started flooding my inbox and twitter with angry messages.

By Friday night I was nervous that the developers might wait until Monday or Tuesday to confirm the delay and that I’d have to deal with an entire weekend of these messages, but I soon found out that they’d be announcing the news on the PlayStation Blog that night. No Man’s Sky was pushed to August. I’ve never been so relieved to see a video game get delayed.

 

New Ghost Recon Wildlands Trailer, Special Editions Revealed

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The running theme of the trailer is the sacrifice, responsibility, and dedication placed on a black-ops squad, with a US marine voice-over stating, "We are strangers, far away from home," and later, "We are judges, deciding who will live, and who will die."

 

Zero Time Dilemma for PC launches June 30

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The PC version of Zero Time Dilemma, the third entry in the Zero Escape series, is currently planned for release via Steam on June 30

 

Two minutes of Final Fantasy XV chocobo gameplay

 

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos coming to PC via Steam on June 1

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D3 Publisher will release Onechanbara Z2: Chaos for PC via Steam on June 1, a Steam product page has revealed. A price has not been announced.

 

Sci-fi colony sim RimWorld hits Early Access this Summer

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RimWorld is an ambitious sci-fi colony sim inspired by Dwarf Fortress, Dune and Firefly, and if you like all those things you're probably at least aware of it, as it's been around—in alpha form—since 2013.

 

Outcast is being remade as Outcast - Second Contact

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Big Ben (that's the video game publisher and not the grand London timepiece) has announced its intention to publish a remake of Outcast—and it's being developed by Appeal, the studio behind the original. The remake will be released "at the start of 2017 under the name Outcast - Second Contact", with a remastered soundtrack and voice acting, and with new character models, animation and environments. Oh, and we might have to hold a memorial service for the original's striking voxel-based 3D art assets, as they're being swapped for the more widely used polygons.

 

THE LAST GUARDIAN: THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT TRICO

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Trust is one of the key themes of The Last Guardian, and this intimate sequence is centred firmly on the beginnings of the relationship between the boy and the beast. Trico will never be entirely tamed, but in these moments he’s as wild to the boy as he ever will be, and it’s up to you to work out how to help him.

 

Rocket League's New Experimental Map Adds Walls and Lanes

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Rocket League developer Psyonix has revealed a new map it will be introducing to the Rocket Labs playlist. The map, called "Pillars." will arrive in June and continues the virtual reality theme.

 

Fallout 4 Xbox One Mods Limited to 2GB, Bethesda Reveals in Livestream Happening Now

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During today's livestream, Bethesda revealed that there is a size limit for the mods you can download on Xbox One. That limit is 2 GB. Mod sizes vary, of course. You can delete them whenever you want as well to free up space. Bethesda talked more about how Fallout 4 mods work on Xbox One. You will find "Mods" from the menu, and can then--after you've linked your Bethesda.net account--browse for and install the mods you want.

 

Minecraft: Story Mode's sixth episode arrives next week

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Minecraft: Story Mode's sixth episode, "A Portal to Mystery," will be available starting June 7, publisher Telltale Games announced today.

 

Mech Land Assault comes to Just Cause 3 early June

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Where do you go if your opening DLC featured an airborne nuclear battleship? Just Cause 3 has the answer: gravity-manipulating mechs will arrive June 3.

 

GTA Online: Further Adventures in Finance and Felony Coming June 7th

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A giant leap up the corporate ladder following the VIP experience of Executives and Other Criminals, the Finance and Felony update gives players the opportunity to expand their organization and become CEO of their own Criminal Enterprise.

 

Total War: Warhammer Breaks Franchise Sales Records

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Total War: Warhammer is off to a fast start. Sega announced today that the PC strategy game has passed 500,000 sales since launch on Tuesday, helping the game to become the "fastest-selling Total War title on Steam" ever.

 

How Overwatch Picks Play of the Game Moments

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Blizzard's multiplayer shooter Overwatch launched last week, and since then players have been going wild with memes featuring the post-match Play of the Game mechanic. We recently spoke to the game's lead software engineer, Rowan Hamilton, who discussed how it originated and how the mechanic is being tweaked.

 

Blizzard are taking down Overwatch porn

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The thing is, a bunch of this porn is being made in Valve's Source Filmmaker kit. The porn creators are ripping the assets straight out of a game, modeling genitals onto them and bashing them together really fast. So these aren't even artistic impressions - they're essentially stolen character models being used for something they shouldn't be.

 

Starbreeze buys rights to Payday franchise, discusses future support and sequel

 

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Swedish game developer and publisher Starbreeze Studios today announced an agreement to purchase the full rights to the Payday franchise from publisher 505 Games for about $30 million in the company's stock.

Developers Overkill, which are owned by Starbreeze, also announced that they would be giving away a community grenade, the skills tree and making the black market free for everyone going forward, effectively doing away with Payday 2 microtransactions.

 

BAFTA honors veteran game designer Amy Hennig with a Special Award

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While Hennig is best known for her work at Naughty Dog on the first three Uncharted games, her career extends back through stints at Crystal Dynamics and Electronic Arts, and now finds her working as a senior creative director at EA's Visceral Games.

 

Report: Vivendi moving ahead with 'hostile takeover' of Gameloft

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Bloomberg reports that Vivendi has won the support of mobile game developer Gameloft's majority shareholders, enabling the company to move forward with a takeover. Following last week's news that another of Gameloft's biggest funders offered to back the French entertainment company, Vivendi has reportedly received further stock offers and will proceed with its "hostile bid" of Gameloft, according to Bloomberg.

 

Oculus is picking a fight with developers and fans it has no chance of winning

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The very small, and often very excitable, world of virtual reality was in an uproar last week when Oculus VR released a software update that broke a third-party program that allowed Rift games to be played on the HTC Vive.

 

China's Tencent just bought a piece of Paradox

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Developer and publisher Paradox Interactive, makers of series such as Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings, announced that they plan to sell stock to Chinese publisher Tencent Holdings as part of their initial public offering on the Nasdaq First North Premier exchange.

Tencent will purchase a five percent share in Paradox, while chief executive officer Fredrik Wester will retain 33.3 percent. Swedish investment house Spiltan will retain 30 percent.

 

In esports news

 

Potential Tencent-Supercell deal would take mobile esports to the next level

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The Chinese investment company Tencent, better known as the owners of Riot Games and others, is in discussion to buy a majority stake in Supercell Oy, the Finland-based developer of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, according to The Wall Street Journal.

 

Pro Counter-Strike: GO team Faze leaves World Esports Association

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After rumors began circulating last week, pro Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Faze Clan, have confirmed they've severed ties with the World Esports Association (WESA).

In a statement picked up by ESPN, Faze said it chose to leave WESA as a result of communication and transparency issues which became increasingly concerning.

 

REUNITED wants to become the Astralis of Overwatch esports

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“Although we got approached by other esports organizations, we are very happy that we managed to convince investors to support our vision to build this organization. Overwatch has the potential to become huge and amaze the esports crowd,” says Frederik Kragh Christensen, Managing Director.

 

Pac-12 Esports problems: pre-existing collegiate competitions, student-athlete regulation, and Title IX compliance

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Earlier this week, a Pac-12 statement included a section on the organization approving initiating an esports competition of its own. As the Pac-12 is one of the most notable collegiate leagues in North America, this is an incredibly big step for the industry.

But what would an officially sanctioned collegiate esports tournament actually look like? There’s lots of complications that come with being official.

 

In crowdfunding news

 

GREEDY GUNS - a metroidvania inspired by Metal Slug

 

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Greedy Guns is a greed-fueled metroivania shooter! Inspired by games like Metal Slug, Castlevania, and Gunstar Heroes!

Found thanks to

 

A CYBERPUNK RPG THAT DREAMS OF RUST AND COPPER

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“How would syndicates abuse their power without the oversight of a government?” asks Hannah Williams, one half of Seattle-based Whalenought Studios. That’s one of the many questions that Copper Dreams, the studio’s second RPG, looks to answer.

The game's Kickstarter can be found here.

 

Other content I found interesting this week

 

GameSpot Turns 20 - Where Are They Now?

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Over the past twenty years GameSpot has had dozens of hosts, reviewers and video producers. But where are they now? Danny investigates as part of our 20th Anniversary celebrations.

A look at their past employees and what they are doing now includes working for Twitch, Blizzard, Ubisoft, Riot, starting very successful Youtube channels, creative director of Supergiant Games (see man writing about Doom below), creating Giant Bomb, writing for Divinity Original Sin 2, etc. I was a very active member of the community at Gamespot for 12 years (which kind of fell apart after Jody left and some poor site updates) and interacted with Danny and Carolyn often through posts and blogs. I think Danny and Chris Watters are the only two still working there that I remember, good to hear that everyone is doing well.

Celebrating GameSpot's 20th Anniversary - The Lobby

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Gamespot.com turns 20! Peter Brown and Kevin VanOrd join Danny to reflect on their Gamespot journeys.

 

Doom is asking important questions that other FPSes aren't

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Bastion and Transistor's Greg Kasavin on how id Software did the reboot right.

It's interesting to look at how shooters evolved in response to Doom. At first, most shooters were like Doom. Then, shooters started asking questions. They weren't always deep questions, but still, what if you had to stop and reload your weapons from time to time? Then you couldn't keep firing nonstop and would have to choose your moments to engage. What if you had to take advantage of cover? Then there'd be more to combat than just running and dodging. What if you had very limited health? Combat could feel more dangerous as well it ought. What if there was a story? And so on. Some very good shooters were born of these questions. And now, it's taken more than 20 years for those re-examined assumptions to become the cookie-cutter standard of today, so now it's Doom presenting the alternative to the trend.

 

[SSFF] How Doom '16 Redefines the "Retro Throwback"

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Not just a masterpiece, the effortless way Doom implements modern game design without compromising its old school personality has redefined the idea of the "retro throwback".

 

DOOM Behind The Music Part 2

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Interview with Mick Gordon, composer of DOOM 2016.

 

‘Homefront: The Revolution’ Takes the American Myth Too Far

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Dambuster Studios’ Homefront: The Revolution isn’t a great video game. It’s meant to be a thrilling look at a near future America rebelling against foreign occupation, something like an interactive version of John Milius’s 1984 Cold War paranoia flick Red Dawn. Instead it’s bad oatmeal: a bland and lumpy rehashing of classic American invasion fears. The neighborhoods of its North Korean-controlled Philadelphia are filled with enemies who endlessly jog into walls, hundreds of repetitive objectives to complete, and underground resistance members who talk about revolution with the naïve passion of a 14-year-old who just heard their first Rage Against the Machine album.

But even a bad video game can still have a lot to say about the culture in which it was developed and released. The Revolution, despite its weak storyline and lukewarm gameplay, manages to sum up quite a bit about the nation it portrays. And its depiction of America is, consciously or not, pretty frightening.

 

'SUPERHOT' is an Anti-Cinematic Action Game

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There’s a pretty strong critical consensus about how to best portray an action scene in an action movie. Presentation is the key to it all. It seems that action should be presented in a way that’s comprehensible. We should be able to follow how one shot leads into the next shot, how the characters move in relation to one another, how the environment impacts the action, etc. The action doesn’t necessarily have to be clear, blurring the screen and shaking the camera are perfectly acceptable, but only as long as they reinforce certain moments of action, rather than obscure them. In short, we should be able to tell what the heck is going on.

 

History Respawned: Uncharted 4

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Bob and historian Christopher Heaney discuss Uncharted 4. Topics include archeology versus grave robbing, the real Nathan Drake/Indiana Jones, the meaning of treasure, and traps in tombs.

 

The Legacy of Kain game that was cancelled three years in

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In 2009 the developers who made the well received Wii game Silent Hill: Shattered Memories moved onto what promised to be a much larger, much more ambitious game for multiple platforms. That game was a brand new, single-player, story-driven Legacy of Kain, the kind of project fans of the vampire action series have clamoured for ever since its glory days on the PSone.

In 2012, publisher Square Enix cancelled the unannounced project, leaving a three-year black hole on the CVs of hundreds of developers who worked on it. These people are not - officially at least - allowed to say they worked on Legacy of Kain because of strict non-disclosure agreements. But, as is always the way, you can't keep a good vampire story down.

 

Designing the World of ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

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Ahead of the forthcoming game expansion Blood and Wine, one of the dev team, environment artist Kacper Niepokólczycki, spoke to us about how CDPR brought this most alluring, yet incredibly dangerous, of video gaming open worlds into existence.

 

JRPGs, We're Close To A Reconciliation

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In the last couple of years, I’ve developed a strange relationship with JRPGs. I found myself tiring of their beautiful exteriors that lacked heart. Since writing that article about my growing frustrations, I took a break—distancing myself from the genre that dragged me into gaming. It was a necessary betrayal.

 

Legacy Play - Thoughts on the Vanilla WoW Server - Extra Credits

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When Activision-Blizzard took down a pirated server that had 150,000 active members (and 800,000 registered members) on the original or "vanilla" version of World of Warcraft, it sparked an outcry. The company had many valid legal reasons to do so, among them the fact that they have to protect their IP (intellectual property) or risk losing it in future court cases. But what about the players, who wanted to keep playing the same version of World of Warcraft that they bought and fell in love with years ago? Auto-patching has become more and more common, even for single-player games, meaning that players have no choice but to play the version put out by the developers. Patches tend to make the game more stable and add new features, but they also fundamentally alter the game that players bought and over time those additions can change the gameplay completely. But for developers, keeping people on the same patch keeps the community together and allows them to do effective product support - maintaining active support for every possible version of a game quickly becomes a logistical nightmare. But is there a middle ground? For large games that can afford it, there may be. Everquest and Magic: the Gathering are two examples of games that run official legacy versions, allowing players to indulge in theri nostalgia while still keeping them under the company's official umbrella. It does still mean at least two distinct versions of the game that developer has to support, which increases their workload tremendously, but may in cases like World of Warcraft be worthwhile for the revenue and player loyalty it generates.

 

Mario Galaxy - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Egoraptor of Game Grumps

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In this episode we take a look at some facts, secrets, and history of Super Mario Galaxy. Both Super Mario Galaxy games were developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii. Released worldwide in November 2007 and May 2010 respectively, the series has seen overwhelming critical and commercial success. The games have been hailed as some of the best of all time, with the first game winning a BAFTA. The games combined have sold around 20 million copies to date.

 

Errant Signal - Dark Souls III Pt 2 (Boss/Story Spoilers)

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This time I wrap up my look at Dark Souls with a variety of small-ish rants about the game.

 

The Art Of Offworld Trading Company

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I quite liked Offworld Trading Company, and part of that was down to how good the game looked. For what could have been a very dry game (it’s basically a stock market simulator), it looks great, almost cute, with a wonderful, toy-like quality to the units and landscape.

 

Learn about Overwatch's quirks in this myth-busting video

 Reinhardt being able to sacrifice himself for his team is pretty cool.

 

Overwatch and the death of the midnight launch

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"It's become more about when do the servers come on," says GameStop CEO as Overwatch ships two days ahead of midnight launch

 

Overwatch fan with cerebral palsy thanks Blizzard for custom controls

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"I just wanted to thank you, Blizzard, for having near endless control customisation in Overwatch," Zak said. "I don't know if this was your goal, but because of your extensive options I am able to play every character in the roster and it feels great. Because of you I made my first snipe in a video game today.

"I really hope someone at Blizzard sees this," he concluded. "I want to make [the company] aware that this kinda game design matters."

 

Accessibility in gaming should be the rule, not the exception

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Naughty Dog's exemplar treatment of Uncharted 4 shouldn't be so unusual

Hats off to Uncharted 4: A Thief's End developer Naughty Dog. Not only have they created a critical and commercial smash hit, that is widely being referred to as one of the finest games ever made, but they have taken pro-active steps to ensure that their farewell to Nathan Drake can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Specifically, we're talking accessibility features.

In a rather sweet and honest video released by Sony last week, a number of the Naughty Dog development team recount the story of how they brought accessibility features - that were partially implemented for The Last Of Us - to Uncharted 4, following a fan's revelation that he simply could not complete Uncharted 2 without the assistance of an able-bodied person, to help him get past a series of button-mashing door openings in the final chapters.

That fan, incidentally, is Josh Straub. Josh is the editor-in-chief of the incredibly informative website DAGER System, that not only reviews games on whether they're any good, but also whether they present any specific challenges for players with disabilities.

 

Seattle, Recreated Almost Perfectly In Cities: Skylines

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It’s not perfect perfect, because Skylines has a stupid limit on the number of buildings you can drop on a map (so outer suburbs are missing or unfinished here), but for the heart of the city itself it’s still incredible work.

 

Guest Column: A History of War(hammer)

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A curious thing has happened over the past year and a half, however. The floodgates have broken when it comes to Games Workshop licensed video games. In all, nineteen video games based on Warhammer and 40K have either come out since 2014 or are due for release in the next year.

Why this rush of games? Any answer would be speculative, but there’s been enough turmoil at Games Workshop over the past decade to make some educated assumptions. Games Workshop is publicly traded and has come close to crashing on more than one occasion; it’s not at all stretching credulity to imagine that the last cratering of their stock finally made them realize that their best product wasn’t really their ever more expensive miniatures, but their rich fantasy worlds. Their stores are less visible after several rounds of closings over the years, meaning their mission of having their stores as the vanguard of their sales operations is less effective, especially in an era when brick and mortar sales are contracting everywhere. There have also long been murmurings of a sale, with video game licenses serving as a quick way to increase the company’s portfolio before the cash-out, a scenario which never quite seems to materialize.

 

Gorgeous, Creepy And Brutal. Severed Has It All

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The quiet, deliberate piano notes drifting eerily. The desert colorful under the setting sun, with a crescent moon on the rise. The walk to a home in ruins. A girl’s intent gaze at her bloodied reflection in a mirror, and the nightmare that follows. All within the first few minutes. Damn. Nicely done, Severed.

 

Things I found funny or entertaining throughout the week relating to video games

 

Overwatch Is Blatantly Better With A Controller

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However, we must ask a pertinent question when faced with such unblemished transcendence. Can Overwatch be improved upon? Can you, in fact, enhance perfection itself?

Joke article in response to people upset over his use of a controller in a video. He has upset many GameFAQ forum users again, which seems to be a trend when he jokes about anything.

Joining the GameFAQ users who don't read the articles they talk about is apparently Youtube channel The Know (a reason why I would always be against someone choosing a name in the that vein).

 

A list of scenarios Overwatch would consider 'Plays of the Game'

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IN THE GAME: Lucio ults, allowing the team to survive a very serious attack. He finishes it off by right-clicking Genji off a cliffIN

THE PLAY OF THE GAME: My terrible brother, Brian, ults as D-va and kills three, in similar fashion to all the other times he has done this in other nearly-identical games

This article was pretty funny.

 

Things to Do In Overwatch – Deflect Duel

 

Diva Ults

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