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1 post in this topic

The history of Relic Entertainment, webseries Checkpoint raising money to raise awareness about mental health issues and to help people effected through video games, gameplay of the HD re-release of Phantom Dust, the man with over 1200 platinum trophies, exploring mental illness in Night in the Woods and Papo and Yo, Divinity OS2's D&D mode, the Prey 2 we won't get, African game developer stories, how Bethesda's review policy hurts Prey, the only Valve stories you ever read, the portrayal of motherhood in games, the marketing of Final Fantasy 7, the limits of Link and the promise of Aloy, what games can learn from Yooka-Laylee, how the 2008 CGS DoA4 tournament lead to some of the highest paid women in esports, Jim Sterling continues coverage on Brash Games, and more.

 

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

 

Steam Users Are Concerned About Valve's New Gift Policy

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As part of a recent round of tweaks to Steam, Valve made some subtle quality-of-life changes to Steam’s gifting system. Users, however, pointed out that the consequences are farther-reaching than they initially seem.

Valve Discusses The Past And Future Of The Steam Store

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Valve’s Robin Walker took to Steam’s blog today to discuss the ongoing evolution of the Steam store, and what gamers can expect out of it moving into the future. The post includes a look at the successes and problems that Valve has encountered in the past with the Steam store, with a particular focus on the goals that Valve has set for itself, and how those goals are accomplished. Subsequent posts will address the issue of ways that people exploit the store and how those problems can be addressed, and additional info on the Steam Direct publishing fee, along with additional features coming to Steam in the coming weeks.

 

Sony’s E3 2017 press conference dated

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Sony will hold its E3 2017 press briefing in its usual timeslot: The PlayStation E3 Media Showcase is set for 6 p.m. PT on Monday, June 12, according to an invite the company sent to members of the press today.

 

Exclusive: 19 Minutes of PHANTOM DUST HD Re-Release Gameplay

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“The biggest challenge that we faced in bringing Phantom Dust back was when we recovered the archives from Japan for the original project, there was no final source code,” Isgreen said. “So everything that we’ve been able to do in this version of Phantom Dust has been through reverse-engineering the binaries, and actually hacking and cracking the code back open again in order to make the improvements and changes that we have.


Prey for the Gods changes name to Praey for the Gods over Bethesda/Zenimax copyright

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Oh yea that...so we didn’t want to do this but we had to change our game name from Prey for the Gods to Praey for the Gods. Thankfully we get to keep the logo but we will spell it “Praey for the Gods”. Honestly, we could make this entire newsletter about our thoughts on this. Trademark law is what we were dealing with and we aren’t under any NDA so we can state the opposition in this situation, Bethesda/Zenimax.

We could’ve fought this and we did think about it for quite a while. Something like a trademark opposition can be long and depending on how far someone wants to fight it can be very expensive. We didn’t want to spend our precious Kickstarter funds, nor did we want to have to ask for additional funds to fight this in court. Using backer money towards something that doesn’t go towards the development or backer rewards felt horrible to us. Even if we did win we’d have to spend a solid chunk of our funds and in our opinion it wasn’t worth it.

Bethesda executive responds to 'Prey for the Gods' trademark dispute

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"We really didn't have much of a choice," Hines responded. "If we don't oppose the mark, we risk losing our Prey trademark. We don't really have a choice."

 

A game about hatred, children and war

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My Child Lebensborn is a forthcoming mobile game that seeks to tell the dark story of children born of occupying soldiers and occupied mothers, and what happens to those kids after the peace treaties have been signed and the soldiers have gone home. Specifically, it follows the life of a child born of a German soldier and Norwegian mother during the Nazi occupation of Norway in World War 2.

 

ELEX Official Gameplay Trailer: Berserker Faction

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Meet the brotherhood of warriors and magic, who decline to use technology.

 

Zero Escape trilogy to be complete on PS4 with Zero Time Dilemma port

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The final Zero Escape launches on console this fall

 

Oxygen Not Included is coming to Steam Early Access later this month

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More than 150,000 people took part in the alpha.

 

Inside Marvel vs Capcom Infinite: an in-depth interview about accessibility, combos, ditching cross-platform play and sweat equity

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Capcom talk balance, DLC, esports, strategy, combos and the evolution of competitive fighting.

 

“If it were up to us, we’d port all of our games to PC,” say Bayonetta developers Platinum Games

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Dust off the ARS, as Sega have just released a teaser image on their Twitter which all but confirms that Vanquish will be getting a PC re-release this year.

 

Watch 12 minutes of Darksiders 3 'pre-alpha' gameplay

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Darksiders 3 was first rumored, and then very quickly confirmed by THQ Nordic, earlier this week. It's a "hack-n-slash adventure" starring a whip-wielding mage named Fury, who's been charged by the Charred Council with hunting down the Seven Deadly Sins, who have taken up residence on an apocalypto'ed planet Earth. It's not expected to be ready for release until sometime in 2018, but thanks to the magic of "pre-alpha" gameplay footage on IGN, we can get a look at what's in store right now.

How Darksiders 3 Survived the Death of THQ - IGN First

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You'd think that making a successful, well reviewed game like Darksiders II would put your studio in the clear. You'd be wrong.

The goal of Darksiders 3 is potentially “setting up the next one”, say Gunfire Games

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Following its grand reveal earlier this month, Darksiders 3 has become the focus of this month’s IGN First initiative. Starting off the series with a brief history of Darksiders 3, developer Gunfire Games have discussed their desire to give the franchise the finale it truly deserves.

 

Agents of Mayhem Official Franchise Force Trailer

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Persephone Brimstone sums up the squad of Hollywood, Fortune and Hardtack.

 

The First 35 Minutes of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

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Take a look at some of the crafting, fishing and farming to be found in this relaxing adventure game.

 

Destiny 2 On PC Will Have "Meaningful Features," Activision Says

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During a post-earnings conference call, Activision reiterated that it's emphasizing a steady stream of content for Destiny 2, which was a source of complaints with its predecessor.

 

Total War: Warhammer 2 Kroq-Gar Confirmed and Campaign Mechanic News

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A quick look at news coming out of CA social media and the PC Gamer Article that gives us news on how the campaigns might work. Concept art can be found on Total War: Warhammer Facebook page. Links to referenced videos below.

 

Titanfall: Assault turns the shooter into a real-time strategy game

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Respawn, Nexon and Particle City take another stab at Titanfall mobile

 

Why This Very Queer Strategy Game Downplayed Its Queerness While Crowdfunding

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The creators of 'All Walls Must Fall' pitched their project very differently to different audiences.

 

Ready Or Not - Official Reveal Trailer

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Ready or Not is a tactical first person shooter which places you in the boots of an elite SWAT team, tasked with defusing hostile situations in intense, claustrophobic environments.

 

Endless Space 2 trailer showcases the perils and prizes of exploration

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It's first of four planned videos, each touting one of the game's 4X aspects.

Endless Space 2 reveals its spacetreants

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As for what they do, developers Amplitude Studios explained in today’s announcement

 

Call of Duty Black Ops 3: Zombies Chronicles gets an official story trailer

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Focusing on the eight remastered maps coming in Zombies Chronicles, this trailer has players flying through all of the old locales and recapping the overarching story of Treyarch’s Zombies campaign.

 

Squad-based RTS Ancestors promises medieval carnage for both keyboard and gamepad users

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Following its first teaser back in March, notable strategy publisher 1C Company has announced their latest title, the medieval RTS Ancestors. Designed for both gamepad and keyboard and mouse users, this RTS should be accessible to any strategy fan.

 

Phil Plays Lovecraftian Horror Game Conarium

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Phil Kollar is playing Conarium, a Lovecraftian game based on At the Mountains of Madness. Join him before he goes insane.

 

Degica Games localizing original Castle of Shikigami

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2001-released shmup finally getting proper localization.

 

Akiba’s Beat ‘Maids’ trailer

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XSEED Games has released a new trailer introducing the maids of Akiba’s Beat.

 

Knack 2 is an atonement

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Knack 2 director Mark Cerny is one of the most accomplished game developers of the last three decades, most especially in platform adventures featuring likable characters. From Marble Madness to Sonic the Hedgehog 2, from Crash Bandicoot to Ratchet & Clank, he's made his mark on a multitude of verdant, primary-hued worlds, where colorful critters boing and bounce.

 

Ever Oasis is both town sim and RPG from the man behind The Secret of Mana

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Ever Oasis is an upcoming action-RPG whose adventurous spirit is bedecked in unabashed whimsy. Part town management, part wide-world adventure, its bright and breezy aesthetic looks to frame a comprehensive set of RPG systems.

 

BioWare’s new game delayed past March 2018

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BioWare fans will have to wait longer to play the studio’s next new game: It will now be released during publisher Electronic Arts’ 2019 fiscal year, which runs from April 2018 through March 2019.

 

Brian Blessed plays a mad scientist in Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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The eccentric 80-year old actor discusses his role as Lord Konrad Kyeser.

 

Rime Hands-On Preview

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We spent an hour of hands-on time with the new puzzle-adventure from Tequila Works.

 

Here's A Big Sign That Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Is Coming To 3DS

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Last week, a dataminer who goes by the handle SciresM reported that he’d discovered an apparent port or remake of the GBA game Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga in a 3DS file database. Although we can’t confirm this rumor, we did discover a new bit of evidence this week that makes it seem very likely.

 

Running A Campaign In Divinity: Original Sin 2's D&D Mode

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We take a look at Divinity: Original Sin 2's Game Master Mode, an upcoming feature that lets players create tabletop RPG campaigns. ***Apologies for the heavy laptop fan audio. Lessons were learned.

 

Röki, An Adventure Game About The Deep Dark Woods

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Röki is an upcoming adventure game about a girl who heads out into the wild and runs into a lot more than just some deer and snow.

 

Life, and how to live it, explored in a new game

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Walden follows in the footsteps of a great American thinker

 

EA Sports UFC 3 coming in early 2018

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EA Sports UFC 3, the third entry in Electronic Arts’ series of simulation mixed martial arts games, is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of EA’s 2018 fiscal year, the company announced today.

 

Old Man's Journey looks fantastic, release date set for next week

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An endearing puzzle sidescroller from the Secrets of Raetikon devs.

 

Sources: leaked Assassin's Creed: Origins image is real

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An off-screen image of the next Assassin's Creed game has popped up on the internet - and three separate Eurogamer sources have confirmed it is indeed legit.

 

Quake’s hero comes to Quake Champions

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Ranger is here to turn you into gibs

 

Risk of Rain 2 will abandon side-scrolling in favour of third-person shooting

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Risk of Rain was a very good and extremely addictive side-scrolling shooter rogue-like, released back in 2013 when people weren't yet fed up with the genre. It's not the kind of game that screams out for a sequel, but Hopoo Games is making one anyway – only this time, the game will be entirely different.

 

The Occupation and the perils of politics in games

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What happens when games take on the real world?

 

New clips of Mark Hamill in Star Citizen

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CIG has released some clips of Mark Hamill's charater from Star Citizen's Squadron 42 campaign. Check 'em out!SHOW MORE

 

Overkill’s The Walking Dead game delayed to second half of 2018

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Starbreeze has announced another delay for its co-op first person shooter based on The Walking Dead.

 

Rogue Trooper: Redux teaser introduces the updated GI

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Rogue Trooper: Redux, "an HD remaster of the cult shooter game based on the 2000 AD comic series," was revealed to the world back in March. But while he's kind of a big deal on the UK side of the ocean, over here, well, let's just say he's about as much of a household name as Strontium Dog. Luckily, for those you wondering why Doctor Manhattan needs a gun now, this new video from publisher Rebellion will give you a helpful primer to what's going on.

 

King of Fighters 15 Steam Release

 

505 Games will publish Remedy Entertainment's new game

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Deal includes €7.75 million in additional development funds for "Project 7," but Remedy will keep hold of the IP rights

 

Emily Is Away Too logging on May 26th

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The notsequel to neat-o instant messenger drama Emily Is Away will pop up on May 26th, developer Kyle Seeley has announced.

 

Dead Island 2 is still alive, Deep Silver insists

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Dead Island 2 is still alive, despite no news emerging on the game in over a year.

 

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia announces $44.99 season pass

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The pass is $44.99 and covers five DLC packs, which Nintendo says comprises 22 pieces of content. The game itself is $39.99.

Echoes Is Last 3DS Fire Emblem Game As Focus Turns to Switch

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Even though Nintendo is about to refresh the hardware for the sixth time, it looks as though developers are moving to Switch.

 

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero DLC

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You asked for it, and oh yeah, you’re going to GET it. Nasty villainous DLC, that is! We’ve got some updates for you, so pardon our candor – it’s what happens when you work side by side with Risky Boots and her horrible hench-monsters the Tinkerbats for any length of time! This is a hefty update because we’ve been up to NO GOOD in our studio of skullduggery! First, it’s time to take a peek at the upcoming Risky Boots DLC, a huge add-on that is a literal game-changer. Next, we have an update on BACKER REWARDS, including the Tinkerbat Dance, Blue Shantae, and Classic Risky. So be sure to read the entire update – Risky Boots commands it!

 

Injustice 2 - Sub-Zero, Red Hood & Starfire DLC Trailer

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Red Hood, Sub-Zero, and Starfire join the roster as the first three DLC fighters for Injustice 2 Fighter Pack 1.

 

For Honor - The Shinobi Samurai Gameplay Trailer

For Honor - The Centurion Knight Gameplay Trailer

 

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide | Stromdorf DLC Trailer

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Something is not right in the town of Stromdorf, the new DLC for Vermintide. A courier carrying important news has disappeared, and the Skaven seem once again to be plotting something sinister. Explore 2 stunning new levels and stop the rat-men before it's too late.

 

Street Fighter 5’s next character is Ed

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The next character in Street Fighter 5's downloadable content plans is Ed, confirming a couple of inadvertent leaks of Balrog's protégé over the past week.

 

Battlefield 1 reveals second night map that's due in the coming months

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Last month, EA revealed Nivelle Nights as the next map heading to Battlefield 1—a nighttime-set arena that'll be made available to Premium Pass holders in June. The publisher has now unveiled a second map, named Prise de Tahure, that's set to enter the game's Community Test Environment "shortly".

 

Horizon Zero Dawn patch will give you more options in photo mode

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Horizon Zero Dawn’s next update will expand the already robust suite of features available in the game’s beloved photo mode, developer Guerrilla Games announced today.

 

DOTA 2 Is Getting A Co-op Campaign With A Story

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DOTA 2, usually a video game about saying mean things to other humans over the internet, is embracing the spirit of togetherness later this year with the release of a series of co-op story missions, part of a campaign called Siltbreaker.

 

Civilization VI Offers Free Stuff Because Of Currency Rip-Offs

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I have seen many reasons given by major publishers for the distribution of free content, but international currency discrepancies is a new one. Yet that’s what is happening with Civilization VI, with 2K announcing a whole range of new stuff that’s going to be given away free to owners of the game’s Digital Deluxe edition.

 

Stellaris launches Update 1.6, hands out birthday DLC

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Happy birthday, Stellaris [official site]! To celebrate the first birthday of their space strategy game, Paradox have released a new update and are giving all spaceguests party favours in the form of free cosmetic DLC. The pack of species portraits offered as a pre-order bonus are now free to all players, and Paradox have thrown in some colourful new ones too – like that ↑ spacepeacock. As for Update 1.6, nicknamed ‘Adams’ after the interactive fiction writer, that’s smaller than many updates but still brings some good changes. The game has come a fair way over the past year.

 

Blizzard is testing nerfs to Reinhardt and Soldier: 76 on the Overwatch PTR

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Also includes a change to Genji and Hanzo's wall climbing ability.

Overwatch updates - everything Blizzard have planned for the months ahead

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The Overwatch development team has been extremely open about what’s happening with the game going forward and what Overwatch updates will happen in the future. As a partner to keeping you updated on what's happening in the game right now, we’ve gathered everything Blizzard have said about what happens next.

Overwatch is already a billion-dollar game

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Overwatch, the multiplayer first-person shooter from Blizzard Entertainment, has now made more than $1 billion, parent company Activision Blizzard announced today.

 

D.Va Spotlight – Heroes of the Storm

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Hana Song, also known as “D.Va,” is both a world champion professional gamer and a burgeoning global icon. As a member of South Korea’s elite MEKA unit, she fights to protect her homeland from the colossal omnic threat lurking within the East China Sea. Now making her debut in the Nexus, enemies will soon find that this superstar and her MEKA together make one powerful combo. Nerf this!

 

Outlast 2 update dials back the difficulty

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The game will now provide a "more appropriately balanced experience" at Normal difficulty.

 

Battlegrounds Will Add Loot Crates And Skins, But Not Until After Early Access

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With over two million copies sold, I think it’s fair to say that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is doing alright, money-wise. The developers hopefully will not starve. They do, however, have plans to make more money off the game in the future. But not until it’s “done.”

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Charity Invitational raises over $100,000

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And Bluehole is throwing in $100,000 to match it. Money was raised in support of Gamers Outreach.

 

China game revenues expected to hit $35 billion in 2021

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Game revenues in China are expected to surpass $35 billion in 2021 with mobile games making up 58% of the overall market.

 

61 percent of EA's game sales last year were digital

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Electronic Arts today announced its most recent financial figures and the end-results of the last fiscal year -- and it seems the tide of digital sales is rising ever higher.

 

YouTubers Say They Can't Make Money Covering Call of Duty: WWII

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Since March, YouTubers have watched their revenue plummet as advertisers bleed out of the platform. Some videos containing violence, real or fictional, are considered “inappropriate for advertising.” First-person shooter Call of Duty, a massively popular game on YouTube, is no walk in the park. So, the huge community that’s formed around it is getting hit by widespread demonetization.

Bad time for channels based around content no one is going to want to pay for.

 

Longtime Persona director hands off series after more than a decade

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Katsura Hashino, producer and director of several Persona titles, has moved away from the series. After the international success of Persona 5, Hashino wrote in a letter to fans that he’s giving other designers a chance to helm the franchise.

 

Prey Launch

 

Guy Finds StarCraft Source Code And Returns It To Blizzard, Gets Free Trip To BlizzCon

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Last month, Reddit user Khemist49 made a truly unlikely find: a gold master source code disc of the original StarCraft. From 1998. At first, he didn’t know what to do with it. Ultimately, he sent it to Blizzard, who was very grateful to have it back.

 

War Child launches GameOn, a fundraising hub for game devs

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UK charity War Child has launched the GameOn hub to get more game companies involved in the fundraising process.

 

The Modder Who Spends Hundreds of Hours Building Trees for 'Cities: Skylines'

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The influence of Bob Ross knows no bounds.

 

Meet the Hackers That Made a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Game for the NES

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How a team of dedicated game fans turned the 8-Bit 'Bucky O'Hare' into a bootleg vehicle for Marvel's latest heroes

 

Esports News

 

The Weekend In Esports: Rocket League Finals, IEM Sydney, And More

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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.

 

Professional Smite Player and Caster Dies of Cancer at Age 25

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David “Allied” Hance, professional Smite player and caster, passed away this afternoon at 25 years old after a year-long battle with cancer, according to a post by LeafreTV, a colleague and friend.

 

These Trans Women Were Asked To Show Their Passports To Enter A Female Gaming Tournament

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A group of transgender women were barred from taking part in a female online gaming tournament after being told by an organiser they could be penalised for faking their gender.

League Revising Rules After Trans Players Rejected From Women's CSGO Tournament

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“We believe that esports and gaming should and can be an inclusive, and I have taken steps internally to revisit the tournament rules and to align them with AnyKey’s recommendations,” she told Kotaku. “We definitely want to make sure that this will not happen again, so I’m working with admins and AnyKey to investigate this case and advise on a policy change.”

 

DreamHack Hosts 'Seniors' Competition For Counter-Strike Players Over 30

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If you’re over 30, DreamHack considers you to be a senior, at least in the world of competitive Counter-Strike.

 

As Esports Thrive, Corporations Dive In

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The lights and cameras illuminate the panel of commentators sitting behind a table with an Xfinity logo on the side. The audience cheers as the cameras pan toward the Xfinity post-match show. While the stream and the fans watch the analysis and highlights, the true star is the collaboration between mainstream media and esports.

 

Brazilians Prove Unstoppable At Australian Counter-Strike Tournament

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The hierarchy of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets a shakeup at the IEM XII Championship in Sydney, Australia as the European powerhouses make room for the resurgence of South America’s SK Gaming. Even Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač, bought earlier this year for $500,000, couldn’t save FaZe Clan.

 

Dota 2’s Kiev Major ended with a bizarre video of women, and nobody is happy about it

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It’s hard to judge the clip because there was no indication of why it was there, nor what it was trying to achieve. The general consensus across Twitter and Reddit seemed to be that even basic context would have improved the situation. Without knowing the intentions behind the clip, watching a series of women flash across the screen makes little sense, while also encouraging arguments over what the event’s organizers were trying to communicate to the audience. “Look at women, do you see they are women?” is a strange thesis statement to close a show.

In response to PGL's "Girls of Kiev" video

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The bottom line is that literally every single woman I've talked to in the Dota community deals with some kind of discrimination and just wants to be treated like a normal fan. We don't expect trolls or simple-minded dota players to change, but at the very least we do expect and hope that major organizations (hello, PGL handles some of the biggest Valve events) to not encourage or condone this kind of treatment. It's in your best interests for this community to grow and not chase off potential new fans, so next time please think this through more. I do not speak for women as a whole, but I can certainly tell you that this video made me feel very, very frustrated as I am working very hard to try to get more women into this game and be treated fairly. My heart is heavy to see women like myself put on display as a side-show or special feature, it really makes you feel like a second class citizen.

Public apology to the DOTA 2 community

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As producer and showrunner, I want to apologize on behalf of PGL for airing the clip that closed the broadcast of the Kiev Major.

 

Smash Pro Wins Japan Major By Going Back To His Roots

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At the Umebura Japan Major, Kengo “Ken” Suzuki was on a tear through the winner’s bracket. MkLeo, his opponent, was down one elimination and needed a new plan to take the grand finals, and he found a winning strategy in the strangest of places: his old main.

 

Tekken 7 Pros Booted From UK Championship On Suspicion Of Collusion

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Justin “King Jae” Nelson’s third place finish in Sunday’s UK Tekken 7 Championship Birmingham Qualifier won him a spot in the upcoming finals at MCM London Comic Con. But because of alleged collusion between him and Charmel “C-Krizzle” Miedji Koloko during their match in the third round of the loser’s bracket, both players were banned from the UK Championships.

 

Ten Years Ago, Dead Or Alive Launched The Careers Of The Highest-Paid Women Pro Gamers

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Vanessa Arteaga had been playing fighting games since she was a child, long before she became one of the highest-paid women in competitive gaming history—but her tens of thousands in winnings still pale in comparison to the millions that her male peers have made in competitive gaming in the years since.

 

Mount and Blade’s first esports event, the Battle of Bucharest, rides out on May 20

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Not wanting to miss out on the meteoric rise of esports, TaleWorlds Entertainment have announced the very first esports event for the Mount and Blade series. Named “The Battle of Bucharest”, this tournament will see Europe’s best thanes battling it out for share of a $10,000 prize pool.

 

Warner Bros. Announce Massive Series of Tournaments for Injustice 2, $600k in Prizes

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Warner Bros.—in partnership with Sony, ESL, Gamestop, and Mexican esports organization Gamelta—have announced a stunning new series of tournaments aimed at promoting and fostering a professional esports scene for its upcoming fighting game, Injustice 2. With over $600,000 in prizes and over a 5 month stretch, the series expands on earlier fighting game tournaments like the Capcom Pro Tour, complete with a special nod towards the EVO championships.

 

Three CS:GO Tournaments Announced for DreamHack Summer 2017 for Junior, Senior, and Female Attendees

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DreamHack is one of the largest LAN event organizers in the world, running high level tournaments in a number of games. The firm has announced that there will be four open CS:GO tournaments for BYOC attendees at DreamHack Summer 2017 with one for anyone while the other three are junior only, senior only, and female only events.

 

Dota 2 International Prize Pool Already Over $6 Million, Thanks to Battle Pass Revenue

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It looks like Valve is well on the way to crowdfunding another record level prize-pool for its seventh Dota 2 world championship. The Battle Pass, a tie-in content package for The International 2017, has raised over $6 million in just two days, which is only 25% of the DLC’s total sales.

 

Four Pro Gaming Teams Drop Overwatch In One Week

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It’s been a gnarly handful of days for the professional Overwatch scene. Since last Tuesday, four organizations have dropped their Overwatch teams, citing a lack of certainty about Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch League and potentially prohibitive costs they’ll have to pay in order to join it.

 

Crowdfunding News

 

The CHECKPOINT Series

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CHECKPOINT is a webseries: Raising awareness about mental health issues and helping those affected, using the power of video games.

 

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

 

How Final Fantasy 7 Revolutionized Videogame Marketing and Helped Sony Tackle Nintendo

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“How do you get a game to sell through a million units at the time we were trying to do it?” he asked me. “A lot of that is, you build your case slowly over time, like a drumbeat.”

 

How ‘Papo & Yo’ Shined a Light on Alcoholism and Mental Health

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Developer Vander Caballero on real-life inspiration, and using games to overcome personal trauma.

 

Children of the Earth: The Limits of Link and the Promise of Aloy

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if Breath of the Wild fills me with hope and excitement for the worlds that action-adventure games may create in years to come, then Horizon Zero Dawn makes me a little more optimistic about who might populate those worlds, and the heroes who may rise to save them.

 

Why is motherhood so poorly portrayed in video games?

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I’ve never had a baby. I once had one of those dolls that you could feed and it periodically pissed itself, but I gather this only represents a fraction of the experience. I’ll tell you what I have done, though: I have played a lot of video games.

 

Prey Shows That Bethesda's Review Policy Is Even Bad For Bethesda

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With Prey, as with the last two Bethesda games, the landscape is different. Nobody received the game until May 4, the day before Prey launched. IGN and GameSnacksWeekly would again be on the same page, but here there was no embargo; whoever blazed through the game and wrote his or her review first would get all of that sweet, sweet traffic from algorithm-heavy websites like Google and Facebook that reward speed over quality.

 

Postmortem: Thomas Brush's Pinstripe

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I was 5 years younger, passionately pounding away on my brand new MacBook purchased with cash earned from my glorious Flash game years. I was in the basement of Clemson University’s library in South Carolina, building a game that was going to shake the world. Thanks to the Indie Game documentary, I was positive I was going to be the next Edmund McMillen. I was going to be an indie legend.

 

Meet the man with 1200 Platinum trophies

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On April 9th 2017, Hakam Karim - moderately better known to the world as Hakoom - heard a 'ping' that shook his world to its core.

 

‘Skyrim’ is a Great Survival Game, Actually

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We live in the era of the survival game. While the Steam tags might paint a confusing portrait of what that genre looks like, any dip into Twitch during a given weeknight gives us a pretty good idea of what the contemporary survival game looks like. The ARK: Survival Evolveds and Rusts have players enacting their wildest survivalist fantasies, and those players can create whatever they want out of the raw labor power that they put into those games.

 

How the Creators of Harvest Moon Are Keeping Up with 'Stardew Valley'

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Can 'Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns,' the latest game from the original Harvest Moon creators, keep up with the indie farming sensation?

 

Thoughts on first-person-narrative game trailers

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I could play What Remains of Edith Finch a third time right now (I loved it so much that I make all my friends play when they come in my door), but I think the game’s trailers struggled — as first person narrative trailers do — to show what makes the game great.

 

'DC Universe Online' Chief Jack Emmert on Why Superheroes Matter

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The creator of some of the most popular superhero games ever chats about his long road to 'DC Universe Online'

 

Persona 5 Put Me Back in the Closet

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Prior to the game’s launch, I was hopeful that Atlus would include gay romantic options this time around, a feature that has been absent from the series since Persona 2. However, when the closest the developer got to allowing me to tell Ryuji that my version of Joker loved him was with the repeated implication that I wasn’t interested in women, I felt I didn’t fit into the narrative that Persona 5 spins. It wants me out by any means necessary. It’s one of the few times a game not only went out of its way to not include me, but actively tried to push me out.

'Persona 5' Creators Talk Series' Legacy, Character Design and J-Pop

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Audio director Shoji Meguro and character designer Shigenori Soejima open up about the obscure, but beloved, Japanese RPG series

 

African video game makers are breaking into the global industry with their own stories

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As a teenager, Madiba Guillaume Olivier dreamt of moving from Cameroon to Europe or the United States to pursue his passion for video games. The son of a video store owner, Olivier grew up fixated on playing games—and hoped to study the profession and join the industry.

 

'Civilization' Creator Sid Meier: "I Didn't Really Expect to be a Game Designer"

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With 35 years of game development behind him, Meier opens up about his inspirations, burnout and why his name is on the box

 

The Secret Ending That Helped Redeem Tactics Ogre: The Knights of Lodis

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Not many games get a stinger this good, so it’s a shame so few people remember it.

 

Why I'm glad Dark Souls is dead

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Dear god I hope it’s true. I hope every news story about every questionably translated interview is a golden signal light, because Dark Souls needs to die.

 

Overwatch YouTuber Gets Harassed After Redditor Makes False Accusations

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Redditor Turikk, a moderator on /r/Overwatch, told me that the subreddit had never experienced such an explosive post before. “I can’t recall a situation in which a story appeared to have been fabricated from scratch, with no apparent intent other than to stir drama or defame,” he said. “This original poster made a very deliberate attempt to get as much visibility as possible, whereas most users are looking for a genuine resolution to their problem.” He added that Reddit can “tend to ‘upvote first, ask questions later’ when it comes to consumer issues.”

 

The end of Steam: imagining the future of how we buy games

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Over the past few years, Steam has added refunds, tried paid mods (and failed), integrated virtual reality tracking technology, and soon will let anyone publish games for a fee. Meanwhile, GOG shed the original meaning of its name, Good Old Games, and built a client while staying DRM-free. Itch.io appeared on the scene and let anyone sell games for free, only taking a cut if the seller offers one. If you’d told me all this ten years ago I’d have laughed, just as I probably wouldn’t have believed you in the late 90s if you told me I had already purchased more boxed games than I was ever going to buy for the rest of my life.

 

Nintendo's Line Of Wario Platformers Ended Far Too Long Ago

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There’s a certain strain of Nintendo fan that’s probably wondering, these days: What’s up with Wario platformers? Once a staple of the company’s lineup, action games starring Mario’s bizarro-world clone have been MIA for nearly a decade. By reviewing the history of Wario, we might understand why. So let’s do it.

 

Tom Hall: 5 key design lessons I learned directing Wolfenstein 3D

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Wolfenstein 3D came out exactly 25 years ago, on May 5th, 1992. Nothing was the same after that day. “We knew it was new and special, but we were pretty blown away by the reception,” says Tom Hall, the director and co-designer of the game.

 

Lifestyle Games - The Play's the Thing - Extra Credits

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Sometimes a game is more than just a game: it's a lifestyle. You play it enough for it to become a part of your life. Often these games have different playstyle genres, but when the way we play them makes them "lifestyle games."

 

What Modern Games Can Learn From Yooka-Laylee

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A short exploration of the mechanics of Yooka-Laylee that have been abandoned in the time since its formula was popular, and how they still have some value.

 

The History of Relic Entertainment

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We explore the 20 year legacy of Relic Entertainment studios. Through the lows of the THQ bankruptcy to the highs of Homeworld, Dawn of War and Company of Heroes. Sharing the stories of the people behind these classic games.

 

Legendary Mario 64 Record For Collecting All The Stars Finally Broken

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For years, speedrunners have been trying to collect 120 Mario 64 stars in under 1:40:00. People have come close, but nobody was able to break the barrier—until now.

 

Sam Lake INTERVIEW: The Intersection of Narrative in Games, Films, and Literature

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FaceApp photos of Sam Lake? We got 'em. Vague acknowledgement of two upcoming Remedy games? Got that, too. Sam's thoughts on the state of the industry and the future of narrative games in a landscape that's becoming increasingly focused on and driven by technological innovation?

 

What Happened to Fighting Force 3? | Unseen64 Ft. That Video Games Show

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What happened to Fighting Force 3? The first Fighting Force was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive for PlayStation and PC in 1997, the same year in which they released Tomb Raider 2. Core Design was at the vertex of their popularity, becoming one of the most recognized teams in the gaming market. Fighting Force 3 was in development by Core Design between 2002 and 2003, to be released for PlayStation 2, the original Xbox and maybe even on GameCube. This time the team went back to their roots with classic beat ‘em up gameplay, fully playable coop mode and 4 different characters to choose from.

 

The Design of Dead Space - Part 3 | Game Maker's Toolkit

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In the final part of this series, we look at the final game in the Dead Space saga, and look at the reasons why this series shifted so far towards being an action-heavy shooter.

 

Matt Chat 375: Tim Lang on Might and Magic IX

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Tim is back to chat about how a punk rocker with a mohawk got a sweet gig at one of the more conservative gaming studios, New World Computing. We also talk about his game Might and Magic IX and lots of other stuff.

 

Hacker Makes the 'Nintendo PlayStation' Fully Operational

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An original prototype of Sony’s PlayStation, dating back to the company’s short-lived partnership with Nintendo, has now been completely restored to life by popular console modder Ben Heckendorn.

 

Paul Ryan: Not That One (The Jimquisition)

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I'm sorry if you're tired of hearing about Brash Games or its owner, Paul Ryan (Not That One).

Unfortunately, those who were recently part of his libelous, treacherous, potentially illegal manifesto don't have a choice.

And now the Cleaner Is Come.

 

Exploring Mental Illness in Night in the Woods (SPOILERS)

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This video focuses on how behavior and mental illness is portrayed in the characters in the narrative driven indie game "Night in the Woods." Game theories and major plot spoilers ahead! No end game spoilers.

 

The Prey We'll Never Play - Investigating Prey 2

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In the early 2000s, the first-person shooter landscape was a crowded one. An overabundance of Halo rip-offs and World War 2 shooters had flooded the market, and it seemed like every other week a new generic shooter was hitting consoles or the PC platform. While there were many great action games that came out of this era, there were a dozen mediocre, forgettable first-person shooters for every great one that stood the test of time.

Enter Prey, an innovative first-person shooter released in 2006 that took spectacular risks with its unique gameplay and setting. The game kicks off by dropping the player into the shoes of a Cherokee named Tommy who’s abducted off a reservation into an alien spaceship—and it only gets crazier from there. The detailed, highly interactive opening sequences of the game gave way to inventive level designs that most other shooters of the day could only dream of achieving.

Letting the player use a host of bizarre weapons and powerful Spirit abilities, the game eschewed traditional shooter mechanics throughout the single-player campaign, and further let players fool around with its wild ideas in multiplayer matches. Featuring tons of unique ideas like walking on walls and ceilings, letting players warp through portals sprinkled throughout the levels, and dropping players in levels that break the laws of gravity, the game was a truly memorable experience from start to finish.

While the game didn’t achieve a blockbuster level of success, sales were healthy for a brand-new IP, especially one as off-the-wall as Prey, with over one million copies sold. With positive critical reception and a solid start to the franchise, Prey went down in the history books as a standout from the usual shooter fare.

 

Japan's Valkyria Chronicles 3 by SEGA - Region Locked Feat. Dazz (Gameplay & Analysis)

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In this episode, Region Locked takes a look at Japan's Valkyria Chronicles 3. The series started on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) but ultimately moved to the PlayStation Portable (PSP), which led to this third game staying in Japan. Through our analysis of the game and its gameplay, we hope you learn some fun facts about the series and have everything about it explained.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies

 

Prey Review

 

The Only Five Valve News Stories That You Ever Read

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A wise person once defined insanity as “watching Valve do the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”

 

Bethesda Pressuring Employee Named ‘Beth’ To Change Her Name

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Bethesda Softworks has rejected accusations that it ‘crossed a line’ after allegations surfaced that it was pressuring one of its own employees named ‘Beth’ to change her name.

 

Korean Politician Using Overwatch Video On The Campaign Trail

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Sim Sang-jung is a politician currently running for President in the wake of South Korea’s disastrous corruption scandal. She (or at least someone on her campaign team) knows that a good way to reach out to the kids is with Overwatch Play of the Game videos, in which her kills are political owns.

 

Multiple Choice

 

STRAFE® | Official Movie Trailer #1

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The megahit video game of 1996 is now the motion picture event of a lifetime.

 

Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

 

The Doubled Meanings of Gaming's Great Towers

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The menace and aspiration that a lifelong flatlander sees on gaming's far horizons.

Video games let us inhabit impossible places. Cities can float above the clouds or resist the impossible pressure of hundreds of billions of gallons of seawater, inhabited by creatures spun out of imagination and narrative convenience. What's the traffic like on the moon in 2205? We can see at least some people's vision of that, too.

 

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