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Steam to add sales tax to at least 10 different countries, Noclip rediscovering mystery, Stop Skeletons From Fighting looks at the history of Keiji Inafune, developers discuss the Switch, Maker Studios drops more than 55,000 Youtubers, previews of Mass Effect Andromeda, DICE 2017 Awards, the future of Final Fantasy XV, Shadow of Mordor 2 revealed, Ashly Burch interviewed about Horizon Zero Dawn, Twitch to sell games, rise of Rainbow Six Siege, Steven Lumpkin and Liz England livetweet GDC talks, the morality of Shadow of the Colossus, GameStop changes Circle of Life program, how Vagrant Story changed game localization, the Dead Space 3 the developers wanted to make, Xbox Game Pass, why Stellaris’ New Horizons mod is the best Star Trek game, interviewing John Romero about classic game making tools, Gaming Historian looks at the Panasonic Q, and more.




Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods)


Overwatch takes the title of Game of the Year at the 2017 DICE Awards



It was a big night for Blizzard yesterday, as Overwatch took a grand total of four trophies at the 20th annual DICE Awards. Alongside the main gong for Game of the Year, Overwatch also won awards for Action Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Game Design and Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay.





For the past few years, at the end of the year we’ve awarded the “Blogger of the Year” title to a writer who has inspired and impressed us. This year, we decided to do things a little differently.

Instead of nestling the award at the end of the very long year-end roundup, we’re giving dedicated space to honoring our award winners. As a result, we’re skipping Blogger of the Year 2016, and moving straight onto the Critical Distance Awards 2017 – and we’re recognizing achievements in three categories, instead of just one.


Watch Nina Freeman & Tim Schafer host the IGF & GDC Awards next week!



As everyone is getting ready for GDC 2017 next week, organizers want to quickly remind you that next Wednesday, March 1st, both the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival awards will be streamed online so everybody can take part.


Steam Prices May Increase in Australia And New Zealand Due To New Tax Jurisdictions



On the plus side, you've probably been getting tax-free games up to this point.

Valve is helping developers make their games sound more realistic


The free Steam Audio SDK seeks to better simulate how sound travels through space.


Microsoft Unveils $10 Monthly Gaming Subscription Service For Xbox One



Coming this spring to the Xbox One, the Xbox Game Pass will give console owners access to over 100 Xbox One and backwards compatible games for $9.99 a month.


What the game industry thinks of Nintendo’s Switch



In an attempt to wrap our heads around it, we recently reached out to a group of developers and industry veterans to get a sense of where those in the game business see it going.

Nintendo Switch Will Not Have Virtual Console At Launch


We all thought this might be coming, and now it’s official: the Virtual Console will not be live when the Switch launches next week, Nintendo said today.

Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons seem to be having issues on pre-release hardware


This is going to be something to watch for on launch day

A complete history of Nintendo console launches


And what they can tell us about Switch.

Not All Switch Games Will Support TV Mode


Not all Nintendo Switch games are going to take advantage of the console’s dual TV/portable nature. Released last year for iOS and Android, rhythm game Voez is now a Japanese Switch launch title, and it requires a touch screen to play. Does this mean we’re in for a flood of tablet ports?

Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con wrist straps have an annoying issue, but you can fix it


With the Nintendo Switch just days away, we thought it might be good to release this public service announcement about the way its Joy-Con controllers and wrist straps work.

Nintendo Switch Is Getting A Ton Of Cool Indie Games


Nintendo says more than 60 indie games will be out for their new console by year’s end. Today, they blasted out a list of 17 of them and showed a lot more logos. Some were already announced. Regardless, some cool stuff here. Like what you see?


Wargroove will give Nintendo Switch owners their Advance Wars fix


With a dash of Fire Emblem, too


Runner3 coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch


CommanderVideo is back


Shakedown Hawaii is coming to Nintendo Switch first


Sequel to Retro city Rampage





The SteamWorld series has never returned to an idea it’s had previously. The universally excellent SteamWorld Tower Defense, SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Heist have each cast off the last game’s genre like newly obsolete limbs, as developer Image & Form seemingly gets bored and embarks on something new within its pleasantly hokey steampunk robot universe.


The new Blaster Master looks very good


Coming very soon to Nintendo Switch and 3DS


Strategy sim Kingdoms will get local co-op play with Two Crowns DLC


We don't yet know the release date on PC, other than "later this year."


Why It Took Subset Games So Long to Make a Game After 'FTL'



How the developer dealt with a "sophomore slump" after their first game's unexpected success.


Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Backer Update 16 - Ships


Yes, we can finally confirm what we've been keeping secret this whole time: a new and exciting feature that takes the Pillars of Eternity experience to a completely new stage, which adds open-world exploration and discovery to the gameplay on both land and at sea! As many of you guessed correctly, in Deadfire you can be the captain of your own ship. With ships, you have the power to play the game differently; now, you can freely explore the islands of the Deadfire using the new world map.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Interview


While Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is now successfully funded and moving on toward more stretch goals following the Fig campaign, I was able to sit down with Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart earlier this month - before the past week's events had transpired as this interview had to go through a transcription and review process - and talk to him about the business side of crowdfunding, the RPG sequel's design goals, their forthcoming Pillars of Eternity tabletop RPG, and much more.

Beyond that, Feargus also answers a handful of questions about sales figures on their past games, the "super secret" project being worked on by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, their latest game pitches, and a variety of other topics. Oh, and he essentially announces that Pillars of Eternity III will be a reality:

Pillars of Eternity 2 is the biggest crowdfunding success since 2015


Obsidian raises 400 percent of its goal


MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA | Characters | Official Gameplay Series - Part 2


Welcome to the Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay series. In this video, learn all about how to customize your character, progress your skills, and command your squad. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, you are on a mission to find a new home for humanity. How far will you go?

Mass Effect: Andromeda hands-on: bigger, flashier, and very familiar


Three hours with Andromeda's combat, new crew, and open world exploration.

Five Things We Loved About Our Hands-On Time With BioWare's Space Epic


I admit that I sat down to play Andromeda with much trepidation. Mass Effect 2 is, after all, my favorite game of all time. Seeing BioWare in the unenviable position of having to carry the series in a new direction while also upholding the legacy of the series had me wondering if the developer could pull it off. Now, with three hours of the game under my belt, I feel pretty excited about Andromeda for a number of reasons.

Mass Effect: Andromeda has no level cap, allows you to completely respec Ryder


The class-free combat system encourages experimentation.

You can choose Shepard's - yes, Shepard's - gender in Mass Effect: Andromeda


When you start a new game of Mass Effect: Andromeda in about a month’s time, the character creator will let you choose the gender of original protagonist Commander Shepard, suggesting he or she (as you like) will at least be referenced by the story. We also learned how exactly your character - one of the Ryder twins - will be affected by the training options you can choose.

Mass Effect: Andromeda will star Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer


You may recognise Natalie Dormer as Game of Thrones' Margaery Tyrell, The Tudors' Anne Boleyn, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay's Cressida, or any other of the English actor's long list of film, TV, or music video roles. If you're interested in Mass Effect: Andromeda, you'll soon know her as the voice of Lexi T’Perro—the doctor on board the game's Normandy-like ship The Tempest.

How Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Characters Deal With Science, God (And Why That’s So Exciting)


My fondest memory of the Mass Effect series is a conversation I had with Thane Krios. In a quiet corner of the Normandy's Crew Quarters he explained that his species, the Drell, believe their souls exist as separate entities from their physical bodies. For Thane, this belief allowed him to reconcile his nature as a virtuous figure with his profession as an assassin for hire; the deplorable actions of his body could not tarnish the purity of his soul. The Mass Effect series is about intergalactic politicking, mediating interspecies relationships, navigating moral dilemmas, and--of course--engaging in warfare. But it's the moments in which characters reveal something deeply personal about themselves that are the most profound.

Mass Effect: Andromeda lead designer Ian Frazier on 'fulfilling the promise of Mass Effect 1'


More on combat, the new planetary exploration, and how Andromeda compares to Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3.

How Bioware's replacement for Paragon/Renegade affects your Mass Effect: Andromeda character


Building a more nuanced personality.

Mass Effect: Andromeda producer walks back 'softcore space porn' remark


You might think that all this "totally softcore space porn" business was just a bit of harmless fun, but Flynn's comment is apparently being taken seriously enough that he returned to Twitter to clarify the situation.

Mass Effect: Andromeda to get day one patch, may not be ready for Origin Access launch


The extent to which Mass Effect: Andromeda will include "softcore space porn" remains to be seen following Aaryn Flynn's statement and subsequent backpedaling, however the incoming space-set action RPG will have a day one patch.

17 Minutes of Mass Effect Andromeda: Peebee's Loyalty Mission Gameplay (4K 60fps) - IGN First


Join us as we accompany Peebee on her loyalty mission in Mass Effect Andromeda. This footage has been edited to avoid spoilers.


Where the Water Tastes Like Wine writer lineup revealed


Writers on WTWTLW include our S.EXE columnist and general troublemaker Cara Ellison, IF Only columnist Emily Short, and Lo-Fi Let’s Player Leigh Alexander. They all write fiction beyond their RPS words, obviously. I’ll also mention Duncan Fyfe, the chief of Campo Santo’s Quarterly Review, for writing the best thing I’ve read about dog suicide. These, and others I’m familiar with, are a good range of voices.


‘Breath of the Wild’ Is Shaping Up To Be a Beautiful Zelda Adventure


Several hours in and this might be love—not least of all because it brilliantly reconnects the series with its inspirational roots of exploration and discovery.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild Gets Pirated Days Before Launch, Causing Major Leaks


For the last week, the Zelda fandom has become a minefield of spoilers, as various Breath of the Wild related images, screenshots, and videos have leaked ahead of the official release. It’s only gotten worse today. (Some spoilers ahead.)


Target Leaks Shadow of Mordor Sequel, Shadow of War


The sequel to Shadow of Mordor is called Shadow of War. Warner Bros. hasn’t quite announced this yet, but Target spilled the news early (lol) along with the box art and some info (via NeoGAF).


In Genesis Noir, Earth is shrapnel aimed at a god’s heart


Genesis Noir looks weird and wonderful, and oh so stylish.


New Avatar game coming from The Division studio


Any time I read that there are four more Avatar movies on the way, I involuntarily ask the air “FOUR?” You can add another video game to the list of things starring James Cameron’s spacesmurfs, as Ubisoft have announced one coming from their Massive studio – the mob behind Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment’s Tom Clancy’s The Division. Ubisoft already released a mediocre Avatar game alongside the first movie so hey, maybe they’ll make a good one this time.


80 Days developers Inkle announce Heaven’s Vault, an open-world adventure game



We’ve got boots on the ground at GDC, and PCGamesN’s editorial director, Joel, got his hands on Heaven’s Vault, the latest game from 80 Days developers Inkle. He says it’s probably not what you’re expecting from the studio.


Arktika.1 is a bit like Time Crisis in VR



4A Games, the developers known for the Metro series of post-apocalyptic shooters, brought their latest project to this year’s Game Developers Conference. Called Arktika.1, it’s an exclusive for the Oculus Touch. Polygon had a chance to try it out.

Video available on article, couldn't find one to add directly to this post.


Tokyo 42 trailer showcases fast and frantic Cop Drop minigame


Since first teasing its gorgeously minimalistic crimeworld in March last year, I've had my eye on Mode 7 and SMAC Games' Syndicate-meet-Grand Theft Auto Tokyo 42. I was particularly impressed by last month's Combat Styles trailer which demoed various stealth, chaos and hybrid approaches to a specific mission—and the latest video showcases how you'll deal with cops. Hint: it gets messy quickly.


Check Out This Delightful 'Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap' Remake


There are remakes, and then there are remakes with secret retro features


Old Time Hockey brings blood to the ice next month


Of all the sports simulations, hockey is the one that makes me think, “god, remember when hockey games used to be fun?” I haven’t played one for ages, so for all I know EA’s NHL series has more excitement than you can shake a not-so-jolly stick at, but it’s the speedy, punchy games of old that my mind conjures up when I think about hockey.


Graveyard Keeper is a blend of fantasy and capitalism that looks like Stardew Cemetery


The Punch Club studio's new game promises to be "the most inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim of the year."


Spike Chunsoft launches ‘Pro Wrestling’ teaser website


Spike Chunsoft has launched a “mysterious website” featuring a short YouTube video and link to a @sc_prowrestling Twitter account.


Rumor: Shenmue I and II HD remasters due out in 2017



Yet another hint at Shenmue re-releases.


Rebellion Is Remastering Rogue Trooper


In 2006, developer Rebellion released a third-person shooter featuring a genetically engineered super-soldier outfitted with a sentient helmet, rifle and backpack. Now they’re cleaning it up and releasing it again with Rogue Trooper: Redux for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Switch.


Stardew Valley is coming to the Switch, multiplayer mode to debut on console



The game will be available this summer


Distraint 2 bringing more businessman horror this year


Towerfall developer’s next game, Celeste, heading to the Nintendo Switch


The game still doesn’t have a release date though


Stranger of Sword City Revisited second English trailer


Experience has released the second English trailer for Stranger of Sword City Revisited.


Mads Mikkelsen had no idea what Death Stranding was about after Kojima described it


To be honest, does anyone?


Epic Games unveils new cross-platform mobile, PC game Battle Breakers


Epic Games today announced Battle Breakers, a new Unreal Engine 4-powered role-playing game that features cross-platform play on Android, iOS and PC.


Epic Games’ new worldwide creative director discusses company’s upcoming six titles



Yes, six


XC’mon: Xenonauts 2 releasing free dev builds



When X-COM cast off its hyphen and complexity to become XCOM, Xenonauts was handily here with old-school alien-busting. Now you can see how its sequel is shaping up, as developers Goldhawk Interactive are releasing development builds of Xenonauts 2 [official site] for free. You can play one single mission right now, then Goldhawk plan to expand this pre-alpha demo fortnightly. They’ll start charging money once the game’s in good enough shape but paying with feedback is peachy-dory for now.


Twirlbound announce Pine, a whimsical action adventure about human survival


In most action games, humans are still very much at the top of the food chain. While monsters or beasts certainly seem more vicious and larger than your average person, human ingenuity and skill means that man is still the apex predator. Twirlbound are trying to change that in Pine, a charming action adventure game where humans never reached the top of the food chain.


Beat zombies to death with their own limbs in Killing Floor's VR spinoff



I'm a man of simple pleasures—like cutting off a zombie's arm with an axe and then beating it to death with its own bloody appendage. Killing Floor: Incursion, a separate VR spinoff of the popular horde mode zombie shooters, is full of simple pleasures. The unique experience of shooting guns using Oculus Touch controllers is as exciting as it first was, but there's something pretty special about slicing a zed's head off with an axe and then batting it with that same axe into another shambling assailant. Incursion struggles with the same problems most room-space VR shooters contend with, but I left my demo at San Francisco's Game Developers Conference elated and sweaty—flailing an axe at virtual zombies will do that to you.


Beartopia trailer will make your Tuesday a little cuter


Spry Fox’s latest game is a VR title, but will also come to PC


Yooka-Laylee plays like a 3D platformer born in the N64 era


The early hours of Yooka-Laylee are a throwback to a simpler time, and don't do much to push 3D platformers forward.

How Yooka-Laylee Aims To Revive The Platforming Genre


With any crowdfunded project, there is a certain degree of skepticism. Will the developer deliver on their promises? Will the final product be any good? Will there even be a final product?


The followup to Layers of Fear casts you as a mind-invading supercop



Observer has you jack into the minds of a sci-fi dystopia's worst to solve cyber crimes.


Troll and I trailer showcases asymmetrical gameplay in the Scandanavian countryside


The new take on an old tale is set to come out in March.


The Last Night


Anything you’ve seen about The Last Night over the years looks like it could be its own piece of art, each scene handcrafted with such care and minute detail that the city in which it takes place appears to be a character in of itself. It is nothing short of jaw dropping in its beauty and since the winning prototype debuted at the #cyberpunkjam, almost three years ago, fans have clamored for any inkling on what Odd Tales has been up to since. The team, led by the creative director Tim Soret, have only given scant glimpses here and there, but today, we can pull aside a piece of the curtain.


GDC 2017: Brass Tactics Combines Real-Time Strategy With Oculus Touch


The studio behind popular strategy games Age of Empires II and Defense Grid 2 VR (Review: 8/10) have found success in the genre before, but now Hidden Path Entertainment is developing a brand new title for VR headsets. We went hands-on with the new game, Brass Tactics, at GDC 2017 and found a fun new approach to a classic genre in VR.


Halo games 'will always have split screen going forward,' says 343 Industries founder


In light of removing split-screen from Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries' founder and head Bonnie Ross has acknowledged the decision was "incredibly painful for the community" as well as for her and her team. As such, all Halo games moving forward will support split-screen.


Nier: Automata PC release date may have been leaked by a new trailer


It looks like the PC version may be out just a few days after the PS4 release.


The Turok 2 Remaster Hits PC Soon, Watch New Trailer Now


A new multiplayer mode is included in the remaster.


'Ghost Recon Wildlands' Draws from the Real-Life Cartel War



Ubisoft's new game may seem ridiculous, but the over-the-top tactics are—unfortunately—more realistic that you might think.


Genesis Alpha One is an ambitious sci-fi survival game with base-building and crew cloning


Radiation Blue's combined experience includes Hitman: Blood Money, Spec Ops: The Line and The Settlers series.


Gunpoint meets Mavis Beacon in Rogue Process


Lop the typing gland off Mavis Beacon, cut a graft slit into Gunpoint, then insert the typing into the window-smashing platform-o-hacking stem and seal the graft with wax, and- dear god, what have you done? Did you think that would work? How do you even think games are made? You big silly. You leave the work to Cut Garnet Games, who are making the interesting-looking Rogue Process [official site]. It’s a stealth-o-action platformer about infiltrating buildings to hack systems, right, but hacking is down by typing the names of systems and abilities in a slow-mo word mode. Here, watch:


Uurnog is a musical platformer from Knytt creator


I know an ‘Uurnog’ sounds like some gargantuan beast from Norse legend, but it’s not. Uurnog [official site] is really a newly announced, synthy, block-grabbing platformer from yer man Nifflas, aka Niklas Nygren, the creator of the Knytt series and NightSky among others. The aim in this one is to explore the world and “steal all the animals and keep them in the save room – the only place that doesn’t reset when you die.”


Dead Rising 4 shuffles onto Steam in March


Dead Rising 4 comes out on Steam on 14th March, Capcom has announced.


Ooblets, the Stardew Valley meets Pokemon mash-up, gets a Double Fine publishing deal


And here's a debut trailer to see what the fuss is all about.


Dragon Quest Heroes 2 is coming to Steam in April


The new trailer tells the tale.


Resident Evil 7’s next DLC stars Chris Redfield


Free “Not A Hero” add-on arrives this spring


'Hearthstone' Lead Producer on 'Journey to Un'goro' and Competitive Changes



Blizzard takes a radical new approach to balancing 'Hearthstone' in advance of the new season


Total War: WARHAMMER - Bretonnia - Campaign Let's Play


Join us as we take you through the knights of Bretonnia on the battlefields of the Old World on the Grand Campaign in this Let's Play. Discover 3 new Legendary Lords as they fight for their honour...

Total War: WARHAMMER - Bretonnia - Battle Let's Play - Sword Of Couronne


Join us as we delve deep into battle with the Old World knights of Bretonnia; kick up your feet and rest your legs on a peasant as Darren takes control of the armies of Legendary Lord Louen Leoncoeur.
Battle played on Hard Difficulty.

Rally Point - Laying Down the Lore: Bretonnia


Joey and Pete return to lay down the lore once again with the Knights of Bretonnia!

Total War: WARHAMMER - Introducing... The Green Knight


A fabled figure of folklore, The Green Knight is the sacred protector of Bretonnia and the traditional nemesis of Questing Knights, challenging them to duels so that they may prove their worth to The Lady of The Lake. Bedecked in ivy-covered armour and brandishing The Dolorous Blade, he issues his challenge with the immortal words “None shall pass!”

A suitably chivalrous Legendary Lord may call upon the aid of The Green Knight temporarily, and only a limited number of times during a campaign. He appears as a Legendary Hero character with preset skills and abilities, and is always mounted on his spirit-charger Shadowsteed.

Total Warhammer DLC ended with Bretonnia as devs switch to sequel


As the fantasy Frenchman of Bretonnia arrive in Total War: Warhammer [official site] today with a free update, The Creative Assembly have announced they’re done with this instalment of the Twarhammer trilogy. The plan all along has been for one core game followed by two stacking standalone expansions, and the devs say they’re stuck well into the second part. While they don’t say quite where or who this will add, it will be leaving the Old World.


Stellaris: Utopia expansion blasting off on April 6th


The first proper expansion for Stellaris [official site] will launch on April 6th, Paradox announced today.


Cities: Skylines - "Mass Transit" Announcement Trailer


The expansion, titled “Mass Transit,” will bring new forms of transportation to the game, allowing mayor-players to offer in-game citizens new ways to get across town by land, sea, and air. With new transit service buildings, mass transit hubs where lines can exchange passengers, new scenarios, new landmarks, and new road types, Mass Transit will provide veteran players of Cities: Skylines with more choices and options to personalize their cities than ever before.


The future of Final Fantasy 15



How FF15 director Hajime Tabata is making his game a living platform for embracing the next steps of game design and technology.


CKII’s Monks & Mystics (& Satanists) arrive in March


Firstly, here’s developer man Henrik Fåhraeus talking us through some of the bigger elements of the DLC, such as collecting religious relics for prestige, holding a hidden faith in your heart, and recruiting craven killers to your bloody cult of Satan-lovers.


Battlefield 1 expansions’ first details revealed: Russia, Belgium and more



Battlefield 1 publisher Electronic Arts offered a few tidbits of information about the game’s four upcoming expansion packs today, giving players an idea of what they can expect over the coming months.


Shovel Knight rethinks gender in retro games with Body Swap Mode



Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games offered a “gender swap” stretch goal to its Kickstarter, promising to offer both male and female versions of the game’s main cast. The developer has written this blog post to discuss the design challenges of delivering on that promise.


Deus Ex: Criminal Past DLC sends Jensen to jail


But if you prefer Adam’s version of the story, with its guns, electric fences, tough-looking inmates and guard brutality, then you can check this trailer for a vision of how he remembers the traumatic “mission”.


New Ark patch adds electric eels, force fields, and tree-climbing lions


Ark's v255 update also includes new hairstyles, of course, and promises improved server performance.

Ark: Survival Evolved Devs Offering $4,000 A Month To Some Modders


Next week, Studio Wildcard will officially launch a new program for modders. Every month, 15 modders will receive a $4,000 stipend for their work.


Hi-Rez responds to Paladins complaints, lowers Essence costs and increases rewards



In response to loud and long complaints about the new Essence currency in its free-to-play hero shooter Paladins, Hi-Rez Studios said today that it will modify the system by reducing the cost of Legendary cards from 18,000 to 12,000 Essence, increasing the amount of Essence granted by duplicate Common cards from 60 to 250, and upping the amount of Essence given to players for performing tasks in the game.


'Overwatch' Boss Explains That Inclusivity and Hope are its Secret Sauce



During a talk at games summit DICE, Overwatch's game director Jeff Kaplan expounded on some of the ideas that drive his team's super hit, the team shooter Overwatch. Kaplan didn't focus on the game's novel mechanics, though. His talk was all about Overwatch's inclusivity and its generally cheery outlook on the world.

New Overwatch hero under construction in latest teaser


Robotics prodigy says "Time to get to work!"

Overwatch update: Roadhog hook nerf, Bastion changes, and custom game browser are live


Overwatch update 1.8 is now live, bringing with it changes to the lovable but long-neglected turret hero Bastion. The slate of changes, which aims to increase Bastion's viability in its mobile Recon mode, while making its Sentry (turret) mode into more of a tank-buster, are the first updates the Omnic robot has received since Overwatch's beta.


Marvel Games declares war on homogeneity



Like Jeff Kaplan's Overwatch keynote yesterday, Rosemann chose to use the DICE 2017 theme of "world building" as an opportunity to celebrate inclusivity. Taking Marvel's history of creating great superheroes as his central narrative, he called on developers to step up.

Marvel Games Won't Be Tied to MCU, Which Is the Best Decision They Could Make


Marvel Games isn’t forcing its developers to tie their video games into existing Marvel Cinematic Universe storylines. This might sound weird, given how interconnected the MCU has been over the past decade, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise.


Irrational is now called Ghost Story Games



The house that Ken built now fits around a single campfire


Twitch Plans to Sell Games, a Natural Next Step to Keep Growing its Community Focused Ecosystem


Yesterday the premier live streaming platform Twitch announced it will soon be the best place to buy games. This move marks another step of Twitch integrating more services for its users, continuing their focus on building a community-based ecosystem.


Banned from traveling to the US, one developer will still get his game shown at GDC


Devolver says it received multiple inquiries from indie devs who were interested in their offer to show games from teams that were not able to attend because of the Trump administration’s policies. Nearly all of them backed out, however, saying that “they did not want to draw unwanted or additional attention to themselves from the U.S. government.” Instead, they simply chose not to submit.


Report: Disney’s Maker Studios cutting support for more than 55,000 YouTubers


The move was in development prior to the PewDiePie controversy


Sources: GameStop Changes Controversial Circle of Life Program



GameStop’s controversial Circle of Life program is changing next week, according to several store managers. Though the retail chain will continue to use and monitor Circle of Life scores, GameStop plans to enact several changes that will make the program more amenable to their employees.


Zenimax files to halt sales of Oculus tech containing stolen code



An earlier courtroom battle between Zenimax and Facebook-owned Oculus might have ended, but a recent injunction stands as a reminder that the war over the code powering Oculus' virtual reality technology still rages on.


Peter Moore is leaving Electronic Arts to become the CEO of Liverpool FC


The former EA Sports boss makes a move into IRL soccer.

Obituary: Alan Stone, Nintendo of America cofounder, onetime Sega Enterprises CEO



Stone was a game industry veteran, best known as one of the cofounders of Nintendo of America in 1981. He was an integral part of Nintendo's early efforts to distribute its coin-op games in America, among them Radar Scope and Donkey Kong.


IO Interactive studio head leaves Hitman dev after seven years



Hannes Seifert, studio head of Hitman developer IO Interactive, has left the company after seven years.


Stellaris’ New Horizons mod is the best Star Trek game



Everything was in place for the Romulan invasion of the United Federation of Planets. Warbirds screeched out of the shipyards of Romulus and Remus on a direct course for the closest Federation worlds, those belonging to the chilly Andorians. The real goal, of course, was neighbouring Vulcan. This was a symbolic war.

As my jade vessels bombarded the frozen Andorian homeworld, the Tal Shiar informed me that yet another Federation ship had been successfully sabotaged. When my Reman shock troops’ boots hit the icy ground, I realised that Star Trek: New Horizons, a Stellaris [official site] mod, was my favourite ever Roddenbery-flavoured game.


The 'Witcher 3' Modder Who Gave Geralt a 'Shredded Steel Body'



And here's the kicker: it wasn't about making him sexier.


Esports News


The Weekend In Esports: Upsets Rock StarLadder While Mexico Hosts Halo 5 Qualifiers



With DreamHack Las Vegas and the Dota 2 Asia Championship qualifiers behind us, all eyes are on the start of 2017's Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland and the conclusion of Dota 2's StarLadder Season 3.

Below you’ll find where and when you can catch all the weekend’s biggest events in competitive gaming. Let us know what you’ll be watching in the comments or if you think there’s something we might have missed.


Surprise Marine Flank Secures Win In Global StarCraft II League Quarterfinals



Siege tanks can’t hit flying units, a fact Cho “Maru” Seong Ju was reminded of in last night’s Global StarCraft II League Code S match against Kim “Ryung” Dong Won.


Team Liquid Likely Secures Kiev Major Invite With StarLadder Victory



After missing December’s Boston Major and struggling the past few months to stay abreast of a tough European Dota 2 scene, it looked like Team Liquid might have to go through the gauntlet of European qualifying for the upcoming Kiev Major. Performing well at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season Three finals was their best hope at avoiding such a fate.


Nobody Expected A Shiny Hunter To Beat Pokémon Champs At Weekend's Big Tournament



Against all odds and expectations, a “shiny hunter” who had just started learning to play competitive Pokémon doubles defeated the reigning world champion as well as a two-time US National champion during this weekend’s tournament.


Dota 2 Team Accused Of Peeking At Match Stream, Which May Or May Not Be Cheating



An amateur Dota 2 team lost during the StarLadder FastCup this weekend when their wards—temporary items that provide crucial vision of the map—were picked off one-by-one, with alarming accuracy. The other team was not clairvoyant, but rather appeared to be getting outside information.


Unknown Kirby Player Upsets Top Smash 4 Pro At Frostbite 2017



This weekend’s Frostbite 2017 is a tournament solely devoted to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In the pools, anyone is fair game, as Elliot “Ally” Bastien Carroza-Oyarce learned after getting upset by a relatively unknown Kirby player.


Overwatch Pros Sniped Off A Ledge After Ambush Goes Wrong



The Immortals Overwatch team has an impressive damage-dealing duo in GrimReality and Agilities, but every now and then, it’s nice to see a couple of greats get cut down. The internet enjoyed schadenfreude at Immortals’ expense during yesterday’s Overwatch “Monthly Melee” semi-finals, where our two anti-heroes got way too cocky about sneaking out onto a ledge. You can check out the full match here.


Dota 2 Pro's Best Just Isn't Good Enough



Team Secret’s Clement “Puppey” Ivanov made a great play call only to have the enemy team do him one better.


Get ready for the new, streamlined Capcom Pro Tour



Pro Street Fighter returns in a new format that promises a lot of hype.


Meet The Woman Raising Japan’s Next Generation Of Street Fighter Champions



When I called Street Fighter pro Yuko “Chocoblanka” Momochi at 11 a.m. Japan time, her husband, the legendary Street Fighter champion Yusuke Momochi, was asleep. The husband-wife team, both Street Fighter players, had recently launched a school to train promising Japanese competitors. They’ve rented out a studio to use as a DIY classroom. They’re running streams to rekindle interest among Japanese competitors. Yuko handles the logistics and business strategy, explaining that Momochi’s schedule was now a cycle of sleep and Street Fighter. Right then, he was in the former portion of his day.


Echo Fox Will Be Featured in Five Part Docuseries Ending in a $300k H1Z1 Tournament Broadcast on The CW TV Network



North America is about to get another dose of esports on network television—in the form of a $300,000 H1Z1 tournament and Echo Fox-focused “docuseries” leading up to it, all broadcast on the CW and on the network’s digital platform, CW Seed.


The Average Age of Esports Viewers is Higher than You May Think, says GameScape from Interpret, LLC



Interpret, LLC—a consumer market research company—has released a new report, GameScape. Inside, Interpret has examined the esports market from a bottom up perspective, starting with the viewer. Many who aren’t in direct contact with esports on a regular basis may well be surprised at the conclusions drawn.


Esports Audience and Revenue Set to Continue Rising, According to SuperData



SuperData is well known for providing market reports on the video game industry and esports specifically. It’s latest report comes in the wake of many non-endemic brands entering the market through sponsorship and partner agreements.


Crowdfunding News


Narita Boy -The retro futuristic pixel game


Explore and fight in a retro futuristic world. Swim deep into an oneiric, poetic and unique experience across dimensional planes

Narita Boy invokes the retro art of Superbrothers


It’s described as “classic 2D scroller action” with inspirations like Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery and 80s movies like The Last Starfighter. The Spain-based Studio Koba has brought its pixelly promise to Kickstarter asking for €120,000. If you’ve noticed the Japanese aura surrounding it (how could you not?) it might have something to do with lead designer and artist Eduardo Fornieles living in Japan for two years.




Heartbound is a role-playing game about a boy, his dog, secrets, and sanity.

[Interview] Pirate Software Talks about Heartbound's Journey of Emotion


Pirate Software's Jason Hall talks to GameSkinny's Angelina Bonilla about his upcoming emotional roller coaster of a game.




Solstice Chronicles: MIA is a twin-stick shooter with a tactical edge. Battle for survival against waves of Martian mutants while using the skills of your drone companion to drastically alter the threats you face.


Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc)


The Video Game Industry Is Afraid of Unions


Voice actors on strike and the future of the gaming industry.

According to the game developers, voice actors, and labor scholars who study the game industry, it's not the 450 people picketing outside Insomniac that game companies are worried about. It's the developers inside the building, and the lessons they might be learning from the organized workers outside.


The CRPG Book Project Sharing the History of Computer Role-Playing Games

I shared the history of CRPG preview Felipe is working on before, probably about a year ago, it's a great look at a very large number of classic and obscure RPGs and I linked to it above. I assume when it comes to PCgamer he is talking about the The Ultimate RPG Handbook.





MANY AMERICANS have replaced work hours with game play — and ENDED UP HAPPIER. Which wouldn’t surprise most gamers.


Dying to stream.



Some days I wake up and everything feels just O.K. By the time I get down to my office I have some water and take 12 of my 19 daily medications. Check my blood sugar and check my email. My wife and 2 kids are upstairs still sleeping. I don’t sleep so well anymore. Then most other days I get up and I can feel strange pains along my sternum. The pain is bearable but sometimes I wonder, is this it? Should I go to the ER?


Importance of Stories

Video game and tabletop designer/writer on staying in the industry because, "stories are one of the most important things we do as a society."


Flashback: How Nintendo Perfected the 'Zelda' Formula With 'A Link to the Past'



As the release of 'Breath of the Wild' nears, we take a deep dive into the making of the third – and some say best – 'Zelda'


State of Play: How 'Rainbow Six Siege' Became Such a Big Deal



After a tepid start in 2015, Ubisoft's tactical shooter found its feet last year and is now one of its most important games, with an audience of 15 million


Here's Why City 17 and Dunwall Feel Like Real Cities



Victor Antonov talks about architecture, creating worlds, and exploring abandoned buildings.


New Non-Profit Has Plans To Save Gaming's Past


The Video Game History Foundation officially launched today. A non-profit dedicated to the preservation of video games and video game materials, the foundation is already working on special projects to help keep gaming history alive.


"Make it Biblical:" How Vagrant Story Changed Game Localization



Just three short years earlier, the developer had finally broken American audiences of their widespread RPG ambivalence with the release of Final Fantasy VII. An unqualified smash, it's practically useless to go over the details yet again of a game that's so widely remembered and endearingly adored all these years later. But for everything that made Final Fantasy VII forward thinking, it would also put a period at the end of a long-standing problem with not only Square, but most other Japanese developers and publishers: its translation.


One Player's Three-Year Quest To Beat Every NES Game Is About To End



It took Piotr Delgado “The Mexican Runner” Kusielczuk 91 hours to beat Miracle Piano Teaching System, an NES game created to teach kids how to play the piano. (To pull it off, he had to teach himself how to play piano.) That was the longest. He’s also spent 39 hours with the billiards game Championship Pool, 37 and a half hours with the shoot’em-up Ikari Warriors, and more than 16 hours playing Q*Bert.


Broadway Actors Love 'Rocket League,' 'Ori And The Blind Forest,' Escapism



Jessica Jones and theatrical actor Alex Boniello on modern actors' obsession with gaming.


Tales of Berseria Is A Brilliant, Dark Departure For The Series



The newest Tales game goes for vengeance over cutesy tropes.


An Abridged History of Sega’s Awesome Arcade Racers



We speak to ‘Sega Rally’ maker Tetsuya Mizuguchi as we break down the racing titles that helped Sega dominate the arcades.


Classic Tools Retrospective: John Romero talks about creating TEd, the tile editor that shipped over 30 games



In recent years, retrospectives of classic games have been well received at GDC, but there have been very few stories about classic game tools. This series of articles will attempt to fill that gap, by interviewing key people who were instrumental in the development of those classic game tools.

For the first article of this series, I have the great pleasure of speaking with John Romero about TEd, the tile editor that he created at id Software, which went on to ship 33 games.


Five Years of Grand Dynasties and Sneaky Coups In 'Crusader Kings II'



Paradox’s kingdom simulator came out in a very crowded year for great games. It still stands out.



Everything's on fire and nobody knows what to do

A Thousand Tiny Details: Emergent Storytelling in Slime Rancher

The Internal Design Process: Maintaining Good Conflict

Building Non-Linear Narratives in Horizon: Zero Dawn

Procedural Narrative Generation

Steven Lumpkin shares GDC talks.


Unpopular Opinion: All Narrative Is Linear


Narrative Innovation Showcase

PCG Shotgun: 6 Techniques for Leveraging AI in Content Generation

Liz England shares GDC talks.


A Game Developer's Digital Fight Against Fascism



“It’s something that has come up with me and my friends,” Nasser, who’s created two games about the subject, Handväska and Dialogue 3D, told me over the phone. “It’s like, ‘What the fuck are we doing with our lives? This country’s democratic institutions are openly under attack, and we’re tuning a jump mechanic on our latest game.’ Even outside of games, in software engineering and computer science, the research I do is pretty esoteric. I do compiler theory stuff and programming languages. Even that is far out there. But if we can’t be frivolous, if we can’t be esoteric, if we can’t be ourselves anymore because we’re so worried about the situation, that is its own defeat and oppression.”


The Witcher 3's animators created 7,000 new animations in one year for the DLC



CD Projekt's animation director explains how they cranked out thousands of animations to send Geralt out in style.


Text adventures are back from the dead



IIt’s easy to dismiss text adventures as the relics of a bygone age. They served a purpose when art and animation were too memory-intensive for the computers of the day. They were popular with a generation of players who thought choose-your-own adventure novels were neat.


Road to the IGF: ConcernedApe's Stardew Valley



Barone first started working on Stardew Valley as a solo development effort over four years ago and spent an average of ten hours a day acting as a designer, programmer, artist, writer, and composer to bring the game to life.

Road to the IGF: Love Conquers All Games' Ladykiller in a Bind


Here, Gamasutra chats with Love Conquers All Games' founder and namesake Christine Love about how she crafted Ladykiller, and why we don't see more erotic rom-com games.


Thoughts on Assassin’s Creed: Liberation



There are many different moments of reflection that the game invites the player to make about Aveline and her place in this society as a liminal figure: a biracial woman with access to being a lady but being able to pass as a slave caught in a city being fought over by the Spanish and French.


Talking To The Composer Behind Night In The Woods



I asked Holowka what his work space was like and he offered the above picture of his apartment in Winnipeg, Canada. On top of the L-shaped desk sits his 2013 MacBook Pro along with a Retina + Thunderbolt display. Next to both sits a MIDI keyboard wired to a pedal that sits under the desk so he can switch between coding and composing on the fly. It’s the kind of clean and unassuming setup you might expect given some of the music it’s produced.


The Bleak Lessons of 'Heavy Rain'



The 2008 murder mystery had a lot of goofiness, but some great ideas shined through.

But mostly it was really funny


Identity Crisis - Playing a mixed heritage character in a modern day video game



On the one hand, I believe you can’t blame the people of Britain today for the atrocities that have been committed in India in the past. At the same time, I feel saddened at the state of some parts of India and wonder if it would be this way had India not been subject to British rule. The British brought infrastructure to India, but equally death, destruction, and the looting of a nation’s wealth and dignity. These were the kind of thoughts I was having whilst delivering Devan’s lines, and I think this only helped with the delivery.


The Transformative Violence of Yakuza 0



That’s the thing with fictional violence—it’s never actually representative of real violence, but instead serves as a dramatic and thematic tool to convey a feeling or idea. This plays a large part into what makes the recent video game Yakuza 0 so compelling—it takes the traditional violence of crime fiction and repurposes that into this wider idea of constructive resistance.


'We Know the Devil' Taught Me to Be Proud



Transphobic media made coming out a terrifying proposition. 'We Know the Devil' slyly points at a better way forward.


How fantastical Atari box art taught the world what makes video games special



Atari 2600 box art is well loved and rightly revered. Some of that can be chalked up to nostalgia for a system that was released in the first years of the Carter administration, but there’s no shortage of collectors who appreciate the amount of thought and technical accomplishment that went into crafting the identity of an emerging entertainment form. A frequent angle in discussing these old covers is that Atari was embarrassed about their creations, that the crude graphics and gameplay of this nascent medium had to be draped in elaborate finery to distract the consumer from what was a malformed homunculus struggling to mimic entertainment.


How Devs and Fans Are Making It Easier Than Ever to Get Into Fighting Games



Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and other fighting franchises are incredibly rewarding—but also very hard to learn.


'Owlboy' Took 10 Years to Make, But What Happened Next?



When Owlboy hit Steam last November, it wasn't just a game being uploaded, it was 10 years of work by developers who'd refused to give up, despite the long journey. When I interviewed them, the exhaustion was palpable; releasing Owlboy was desperately needed catharsis. But hard work doesn't guarantee success; lots of great games don't achieve financial success. So, what happened?


I put my car into space sandbox Planetoid Pioneers so I could drive it on the moon



After a few catastrophic experiments, the Mazda 323 Moon Rover is born.


The GameCube Is Genderfluid



I grew up in the suburbs of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada—a very francophone place. And while my passion for video games (and after-school American cartoons) encouraged me to learn English quite early, my group of friends and I still talked about them in French. And in French, everything has a gender. Everything.


Catherine is unflinching, messy and uplifting — just like real life



And I love it, because it’s a game about making mistakes and becoming a better person. Or not. The choice is up to you.


Guest Column: Why Are We So Nostalgic About Games?



Guest contributor Mike Drucker ponders why games of old still resonate with him today.


The George Ziets Interview Part 1: Writing For Video Games, The Writer's Job



George Ziets is the lead area designer for InXile's  RPG Torment:Tides of Numenera. He graciously consented to devote a good deal of his time to this four-part interview about the video game writer's job and the special challenges and opportunities of writing Torment. The interview took place through email and has been edited for comprehension.


Why 'Mad Max: Black & Chrome' is 'Metal Gear' Creator Hideo Kojima's Latest Crush



In his second short essay for Glixel, Kojima once again speaks to his love of film – and director George Miller


Suda51 on The Silver Case and his Return to Subdued Visual Novels



The Silver Case is a game of two halves. There’s the slightly pragmatic side, one written by Masahi Ooka, where the player is a journalist. And there’s the frenetic side by Goichi Suda (also known as the ever-recognizable Suda51), where the player controls a hard-boiled detective. These two halves make a whole, despite how disorienting that whole may be. The Silver Case’s split reflects its director's own sensibilities that have made him one of gaming’s renown auteurs—the Suda51 that’s not afraid to get dark, and the Suda51 that doesn’t shy from getting a little weird and silly too.


Horizon Zero Dawn's Ashly Burch Wants to Be Dogg The Bounty Hunter Next


Horizon Zero Dawn's Aloy a.k.a Ashly Burch sits down to talk about robot dinosaurs, her upcoming projects, and Dogg The Bounty Hunter?

Be Sure to Find Some Quiet Time in ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’


The action-RPG is heavy on serious conversations and desperate combat. But sometimes a snowflake or a sunrise can be just as powerful.


The Secret of Mario's Jump (and other Versatile Verbs) | Game Maker's Toolkit


In this video, I look at "versatile verbs" - player actions that can have multiple uses, depending on how you perform them - in a number of excellent games.


The Morality of Shadow of the Colossus


Clickbait title: This video will restore your faith in the entombed god Dormin

Shadow of the Colossus is a rare masterpiece of a game. The occasional janky controls and wonky physics aside, every element of this game holds up incredibly well. More than that, it's about the overall package just coming together in a cohesive and synergistic way, the mechanics of the game complimenting and reenforcing the themes and story. Probably the biggest reason we haven't seen a repeat is because it's less about a boss rush where you climb all over big monsters and more about the total package, and getting it right. Though it is also about the boss rush. The technological side of SotC is still daunting, and I'm sure plenty of game developers out there re-play it and go "wait, how did they do that?" Last word: the begging of the fight with Avion, when Wander transfers from the ground to Avion's wing, is one of the purest moments in video game history.


Hyper Light Drifter: The Best Game Ever


How For Honor Incentivises Nobility (Review/Analysis) - Writing on Games


(PC review code provided by publisher)

For Honor does not give off the best first impression. It's a mess of menus, systems and modes that don't necessarily gel with the game's deliberate, weighty melee combat.

When the game strips this nonsense away, however, and focuses on its clear strength (one-on-one combat), it makes for not only a deeply tense experience, but a refreshingly chivalrous approach to fracases. In this episode of Writing on Games, I want to focus on how the game upholds its namesake—encouraging you to fight with honour.


The Dead Space 3 the developers wanted to make - Here's A Thing


It turns out the original pitch for Dead Space 3 was quite different to the game we ended up with. Eurogamer's Chris Bratt investigates the story behind its development and what changed along the way.


Panasonic Q (GameCube / DVD Player) - Gaming Historian


Gaming Historian reviews the Panasonic Q system. During the sixth generation of consoles, Nintendo's GameCube was criticized for it's lack of DVD playback. But in Japan, Panasonic had a solution: A DVD player that can play GameCube games! But was it worth the hefty price tag?


VA-11 Hall-A is Not About Bartending, it's About Your Life | Field Notes For Play


Thusly, I enjoy VA-11 Hall-A for the thing it is - a story about living well in modern society. I also mention the woeful lackof analysis about the story.


Non-Professional Game Dev - The Joy of Making - Extra Credits


Why are hobby and personal games important? Even though they rarely make waves in the mainstream game industry, they are a fantastic outlet for expressing a wide range of creative possibilities.


[SSFF] Past Mortem: How The Mighty Have Fallen, Inafune Explained


Father? Businessman? Hack? Conman? Now that we've broken down the Mighty No 9 kickstarter campaign, it's time take a closer look at the man at the center of it all, Keiji Inafune.

Narrated by Grace Kramer
Written by Grace Kramer & Derek Alexander
Edited by Derek Alexander


Nioh - Commanding Attention


Like much of Team Ninja's catalogue, Nioh has garnered a reputation for being tough as nails, however, you don't simply spend your time waiting for enemy attacks to rip you to pieces. While frequent comparisons to Dark Souls have been made, certain elements of Nioh's combat make it a lot more fast-paced and active. Today we dive into how these very overt mechanics encourage attentive play.


The Benefits and Detriments of Wish Fulfillment - Video Games


In this episode, I talk about how video games provide amazing wish fulfillment and escapism, followed by the risk of addiction.


Rediscovering Mystery - Noclip Documentary Trailer


Remember those schoolyard rumors about a secret Mario level? Or that time your cousin told you they knew how to unlock Goro in MK1? Remember what it was like to play a game you didn't know everything about before it was released? In this multi-game documentary we talk to Jonathan Blow, Derek Yu and Jim Crawford about the challenge of retaining mystery & player discovery in the age of the internet. Plus we announce full Noclip documentaries for The Witness, Frog Fraction & Spelunky too. Buckle up friends, March is going to be busy!

Rediscovering Mystery - Noclip Documentary (feat. Jonathan Blow / Derek Yu / Jim Crawford)


In this special feature about video game mysteries, we talk to Jonathan Blow (The Witness / Braid), Derek Yu (Spelunky) and Jim Crawford (Frog Fractions) about the games that inspired wonder in us as children, and the fight to keep player discovery alive.


Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games


2K Commentary


How To Throw Your Video Game Controller



Video games are a lot of fun, but they can also be frustrating. From time to time, you may even get frustrated enough that you want to throw something. Good news! Your controller is right there in your hand.


Things I Missed From Previous Weeks


What It Takes To Run A Fighting Game Tournament



In this month’s issue of Game Informer we dove into the world of eSports, detailing how players, teams, and sponsors work with each other to ensure people who excel at games like Street Fighter, Halo, and more can make a living off their skills. Here at Gameinformer.com, we’re also looking at some of the periphery aspects of eSports vital to understanding the world of competitive gaming.


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