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How Dishonored saved Arkane Studios, Switch's online service, where to learn about animation, Valve reveals Steam Direct fee, Total War Warhammer 2 info and High Elf roster, the story of Runic Games, how the meaning of Vanquish and Spec Ops The Line changed, Noah Caldwell-Gervais looks at the Prey and the Outlast series, Shadow of War delayed, the future of PlatinumGames, Mass Effect Andromeda patch adds new content, Sony on the future of Playstation, voice actor strike progress, ESA lawsuit against Chicago, Pathfinder Kingmaker launches Kickstarter, E3 conference news, Mega Man Legacy 2 Collection announced, the sound design of Horizon Zero Dawn, and more.


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


Valve reveals Steam Direct fee, upcoming changes to the store



"There were rational and convincing arguments made for both ends of the $100-$5000 spectrum we mentioned," Valve explains in the blog post. "Our internal thinking beforehand had us hovering around the $500 mark, but the community conversation really challenged us to justify why the fee wasn't as low as possible, and to think about what we could do to make a low fee work.

Steam Greenlight is closed, Steam Direct goes live next week


Valve said earlier this year that the curtain was coming down on Steam Greenlight, and that a new service called Steam Direct, which will enable developers to put their games on the platform directly for $100, will take its place. Today, that transition began in earnest, as Valve has announced that Greenlight is now closed, and that Direct is set to go live on June 13.


Nintendo Switch's Online Service Will Be $20/Year, Include Free Classic Games



Nintendo Switch’s online service will cost $20/year and will launch at some point in 2018, the publisher said today. Playing Switch games online will be free until the service launches.


Videogame voice actors strike is still ongoing, but progress is being made



The SAG-AFTRA union has been signing deals for individual projects rather than taking on the industry as a whole.


Aisha Tyler to be replaced by a wall of beards at this year's Ubisoft E3 conference


My favourite part of the trailer is when Yves Guillemot sends out a social media post calling the show “iconic,” before deleting the word and tapping send. Ubisoft love an iconic hat or two.


Devolver Digital cancels its E3 'Indie Picnic' event


The publisher was denied the permits required to open its parking lot to the public.


Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite full roster leaked, confirms no returning X-Men characters



Today, thanks to a new leak, we now know (almost) the entirety of the game’s roster. The information comes from NeoGAF member Ryce, who has a proven track record when it comes to character leaks for the game. Another poster on the same forum revealed that Infinite’s roster will be 28-characters strong at launch.


Battle Chasers: Nightwar will release this October



An RPG from former Darksiders devs.


Amazon leak points to Modern Warfare Remastered standalone release this summer



The Modern Warfare update is currently only available as part of CoD: Infinite Warfare.


Indivisible Nintendo Switch Announcement Trailer


Lab Zero's upcoming RPG Indivisible will be available on an additional platform next year: Nintendo Switch.


Total War: Warhammer 2 - News / Early Impressions (Interview, Campaigns, Battles & Multiplayer)


Some brand new information about Total War: Warhammer 2 from a recent trip down to Santa Monica where I got to play the Kroq Gar quest battle, see the campaign map, and have a long chat with the developers (Andy and Sam)!

Brand new faction mechanics, new battle mechanics, and tonnes more to talk about!


01:00 - Free For All Battles
02:40 - Multiplayer Campaign
03:00 - Vortex Campaign
04:00 - Old Factions in the New World
06:00 - Rogue Armies
07:45 - Campaign Map + Ruins
08:40 - Encounters at Sea
09:10 - Campaign Mechanics, influence, astromancy, sacred spawning, Lileath's Blessing, Geomantic Web, Dark Elf Mechanics
12:50 - Corruption
13:30 - Fortress Gate Battles
13:40 - Powerful Casters, Rites, Lord Tiers
14:50 - Battlefield Mechanics, rage, rampage, army abilities, martial prowess
16:50 - Units we saw
18:00 - Beyond 8th edition Warhammer
18:30 - DLC

Total War: Warhammer 2 combines with the original to create a campaign twice as big


Part two in a trilogy, it dramatically expands the game via a Combined Campaign option

The High Elf Army Roster


There are few sights more glorious than an army of High elves. Serried ranks of white-garbed soldiers take to the field alongside proud knights, mighty mages and ancient creatures of legend. The High Elves are an elite force who, warrior-for-warrior, can outmatch almost any other race in the WARHAMMER World. Over the long millennia of their existence, they have mastered every style of fighting – whether you seek phalanxes of spears, unstoppable cavalrymen, dead-eyed archers or peerless charioteers, you will find them here.


Obsidian are bringing the Pathfinder Adventure card game to PC in June


Those lovely RPG developers, Obsidian, are bringing a digital adaptation of a popular card game called Pathfinder Adventure to PC. Obsidian have weaved their storytelling expertise through the game’s solid mechanical foundations.


Consortium: The Tower reveals new gameplay and Commander Shepard


Interdimensional Games have released a development update for Consortium: The Tower, an upcoming immersive sim that aims to deliver on Deus Ex creator Warren Spector’s dream of the ‘one city block RPG’. It’s still over a year away, but it’s looking super impressive, like some sci-fi Die Hard infused with moral quandaries.


Payday designer announces GTFO, a "4-player hardcore co-op action horror FPS"


Andersson's new development team 10 Chambers Collective is behind the game, which is described as a "4-player hardcore co-op action horror FPS" .


Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Global Announcement Teaser


Are you ready for the fight? Follow us for our global announcement on Friday, June 9th!


Dungeon Defenders 2 to leave early access next month


It'll have been there for two-and-a-half years.


Minecraft: Story Mode might be getting a second season



The first episode titled Hero in Residence.


There's something strange about Kickstarter's most successful MMO



After this report was published last week, we received conflicting accounts regarding Ashes of Creation’s referral program and whether or not it included donations received through Kickstarter. As the original story states, a Kickstarter spokesperson told us that this was against their rules and that Kickstarter had informed Intrepid Studios, who had complied by removing Kickstarter pledges from the referral program.


Devolver announce action-RPG The Swords Of Ditto


Devolver Digital today announced The Swords Of Ditto, a cute-lookin’ action-RPG adventuring across cartoon lands fighting silly monsters.


Tropico 6 teased in 'Rule Again' trailer


El Presidente will return in 2018.


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice sets release date and price


DmC: Devil May Cry and Enslaved developer Ninja Theory's upcoming psychological horror viking epic Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is coming to PS4 and PC on 8th August.


Richard Garriott Reassures Shroud Of The Avatar Backers About Their $11 Million



Today, Portalarium, the company headed up by Ultima creator Richard Garriott, announced a new equity crowdfunding campaign for its Kickstarted MMO, Shroud of the Avatar. In doing so, it disclosed financials and future plans that caught fans and backers off guard, leaving them feeling uneasy about the game’s future. But Garriott says there’s no reason to worry.


XSEED Games announces E3 2017 lineup



XSEED Games has announced the lineup of games it is presenting at E3 2017, which runs from June 13 to 15 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Zwei II Plus for PC coming west as Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection this summer


Falcom's 2009-released 3D action RPG playable at E3 2017.


Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Backer Update 34 - From the Feed of the Director


Join Katrina Garsten, Producer on Deadfire, as she walks us through video footage that Josh Sawyer has been putting up on his social media feeds along with some news on Backer Surveys going out!


Grow your own bridge in gorgeous puzzler Aporia: Beyond the Valley


Aporia: Beyond the Valley is a puzzle game that tells the story of a beautiful fantasy world without resorting to the vulgarity of speech. Last month's announcement trailer was thick with atmosphere but light on gameplay, raising questions that its latest trailer aims to answer.


Going pottery? Total Annihilation's Chris Taylor is back and making a new RTS



"It was completely divine inspiration I swear to God."

Chris Taylor - creator of Total Annihilation, Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander - had found himself in an art shop. He had decided to pursue a hobby in oil painting and needed some equipment, but two bags of discounted clay caught his eye instead. Impulsively, he bought them, then about a year later took a bag to work.


Arms' Creators On Twintelle's Popularity And The Strange Lore Of The Game's World



Arms is the next big title for the Nintendo Switch, and it's right around the corner. Ahead of the game's release on June 16, we spoke with Arms producer Kosuke Yabuki and art director Masaaki Ishikawa about the game. We discussed a number of topics, like what it means to wake up with extendable arms one morning, why everyone is already obsessed with Twintelle before the game even is even out, and whether or not we can ever expect to see a cameo by Luffy of One Piece fame (we won't).


FIFA 18 ditches Xbox-exclusive Legends for multiplatform Icons


Big news in the world of FIFA: EA Sports has ditched Legends - aka retired footballers for FIFA Ultimate Team - in favour of multiplatform Icons.

FIFA 18 For Nintendo Switch Doesn't Run On Frostbite Or Have The Journey Mode


It sounds like FIFA 18's Switch edition could be more in line with the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.


Bethesda Game Studios is hiring for a "AAA freemium game"



Bethesda Game Studios Montreal is working on a "bleeding-edge AAA freemium game", according to a new job listing on the Zenimax website. The studio is hoping to recruit a Game Performance Manager who will "envision, evolve, and operate monetization strategies" – which basically means Bethesda is working on a new free-to-play with some form of microtransaction model.


White Day: A Labyrinth Named School for PS4 launches August 1 in North America, August 4 in Europe


Korean horror game dated in the west.


N++ is leaping onto Xbox One this summer



Minimalist platformer N++ is getting ported to Xbox One this summer.


Need for Speed Payback Official Reveal Trailer


Set in the underworld of Fortune Valley, you and your crew are reunited by a search for vengeance against The House, a nefarious cartel that rules the city’s casinos, criminals, and cops.

The stunts in the Need for Speed Payback trailer look right at home recreated in GTA 5


Everyone loves seeing their favourite trailers created in GTA 5 because it shows off how far creators are willing to go for authenticity. This latest one recreates the Need for Speed Payback announcement trailer.


Stealth-action game No Trace gets new gameplay trailer, and it looks great


No Trace is a top-down, stealth-action game that looks like it has a great atmosphere. Developer Square Mountain released a new gameplay trailer (above), which shows more relaxed areas in addition to the typical, tense areas of covert decision-making and assassination.


New Dauntless trailer gives a first look at its hub city, armor sets, and chain blades


An exclusive look at turning a fire behemoth into a fancy sword.


Middle-earth: Shadow of War delayed into October



Monolith said it will have more to show at E3.

The star of 'The Last of Us' and 'BioShock Infinite' reprises his Middle-earth role and takes on directorial duties


Within the past decade, we've all listened to Troy Baker bring some of gaming's most memorable new characters to life – Joel in The Last of Us, Samuel Drake in Uncharted 4, and Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, just to name a few. At the same time, he's voiced enough pop-culture mainstays to fill his own Gotham City – who else can say they've played Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Two-Face, and the Joker?


Fable Card Game Entering Early Access In July



Last year, to the surprise of many, Microsoft closed down renowned British studio Lionhead. Fable Legends, a multiplayer entry in the fantasy RPG series, went down with the ship. Fable is not, however, entirely done. Fable Fortune, a card game spin-off developed by ex-Lionhead employees, is coming out next month.


Lords of Xulima dev reveals steampunk strategy game They Are Billions


Steampunk meets the zombie apocalypse.


Wrecking mechs on BattleTech's tactical battlefields



"We’ve never been able to have a mech throw a punch before. Now we can."

'BattleTech' Brings 'MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries' into a Post-'XCOM' World


Reinventing an Ameritrash board gaming classic, sans all the trash.


We discuss Far Cry 5's new setting, the reaction to it, and the fidelity of its fly-fishing



James: First off, what do you all think of the setting? I’m already sick of saying I grew up in Montana, but I’m still excited to see a bigtime videogame set there. Some parts are as wild as any other Far Cry setting, replete with trees for miles, snowcapped mountains, bears, mountain lions, and plenty of strange people. And with all the tools of rural life to play with, it could be one of the deeper stealth and combat sandboxes out of Ubisoft so far. You bet I’m going to roll into an enemy outpost with a co-op buddy and a dangerous dog friend with a tractor as our only armor. You bet I’m going to chase down bears by taking my semi-truck off road. You bet I’m going to fly-fish and drink beer (please add beer, Ubisoft). And if fly-fishing is just a ‘press A to get fish’ kind of thing, I’m telling my dad.

'Far Cry 5' can’t ignore the real darkness lurking in rural America


Far Cry games usually take place in far-flung, exotic locales (the series has faced criticism for perceived insensitivity toward the local citizens) into which a hero swoops to save the day. But a more realistic protagonist in a rural American setting would be a conflicted local — someone who loves many aspects of their life but who's disturbed by the shifts toward insanity he or she sees in the surrounding people. Someone who'd potentially find themselves fighting against family if circumstances got bad enough. Someone, well, a little like me.

Far Cry 5's violent civil unrest is a much-needed reality check for games


Video games have been clawing at the door of mainstream culture for decades, looking for affirmation and acceptance, celebrating every accession, from Moma’s games collection to the Bafta video game awards. But in order for games to take part in the wider cultural landscape – alongside films, books and the visual arts – their creators must be willing to interact with and portray the world we live in. It is not possible for a valid artform to constantly absent itself from the meaning, consequence and influence of what it portrays. All games, no matter how escapist in design or intent, are byproducts of the political, social and cultural frameworks from which they emerge; there is no such thing as apolitical art, or apolitical entertainment, because everything produced by a culture tells us something about its beliefs and assumptions.


Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon Only Announced For 3DS Later This Year



Despite rumors that a Pokémon game would appear on the Nintendo Switch, developers Game Freak only announced that souped-up versions of the latest games will be releasing on 3DS hardware. For many, this news will be disappointing, but it’s not without precedent.

Pokémon Gold and Silver are coming to 3DS


The second-gen is heading to Virtual Console


InXile reveals The Mage's Tale release date with a new trailer


The VR dungeon crawler is set between the events of The Bard's Tale 3 and 4.


SpellForce 3 mashes up two genres into one beautiful package



Hybrid RTS/RPG coming this year to PC


Extinction is a game about chopping the heads off of 150-foot-tall ogres


The giant-slaying action game is the new project from Killer Instinct dev Iron Galaxy.


Fire Emblem Warriors first details, screenshots



Save the world from the almighty darkness.


Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 announced for PS4, Xbox One, and PC



Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10.


Crytek’s co-op Hunt: Horrors Of The Gilded Age reborn PvP as Hunt: Showdown


Given Crytek’s years of terrible financial trouble and their focus on virtual reality games, I’m surprised by news that they are still working on Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age. Well. They sort of are.


Master X Master gets a June launch date and a really good cinematic trailer


Master X Master, the game lots probably stopped reading about the moment they saw the word "MOBA" even though Tom did his best to explain that it's actually an interesting and unique take on the genre, will leave closed beta and go into full, free-to-play release on June 21, developer Ncsoft announced today. To mark the reveal of the launch date, the publisher also released a new trailer called "Shadows of Rentu," and even if you don't care about MXM, you should probably take a minute (six of them, actually) to watch it.


Life is Strange might be getting a prequel



A Life is Strange prequel might be in the works. That’s a separate game from Life is Strange 2, to clarify, which was announced by developers Dontnod a couple weeks ago.


Gothic dev's Elex will be with us in October


The latest RPG from the developer of the Risen series.

ELEX - Gameplay Trailer


Argo, Bohemia Interactive's free online shooter, will be out in June



The 5v5 shooter debuted as 'Project Argo' last year.


Overwatch update: PTR patch nerfs Roadhog's hook combo and gives Reaper lifesteal


McCree also got a buff and the new moon map was added.

Overwatch - Horizon Lunar Colony Map Trailer


Horizon Lunar Colony is an Assault map set in a scientific base on the moon. Built as a first step towards humanity's renewed exploration of space, the colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation—on human and ape alike. The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising...until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.

Blizzard avoids China's loot laws by selling Overwatch in-game currency


Blizzard will start selling Overwatch's in-game currency to its Chinese players, in an apparent response to new laws around the transparency of microtransactions.


Blizzard reveals the Necromancer's opening cinematic


The Rise of the Necromancer pack "draws ever closer".


Rocket League Anniversary update adds new arena, cars, and goal explosions


Get ready to change the way your engine sounds, too.


DLC double bill for Europa Universalis 4 & Hearts of Iron 4 on June 14th


Paradox have announced a historical grand strategy expansion blowout-o-rama for June 14th, when they’ll launch the Third Rome ‘immersion pack’ for Europa Universalis IV and the Death or Dishonor ‘country pack’ for Hearts of Iron IV.

Hearts of Iron 4 celebrates first birthday with free DLC


“We also got a cool surprise when a member of the community contacted us about helping out with Polish troop voice overs (our resident team pole is on parental leave which was our original plan!). They sound super nice and its always cool to have members of community to come buy the office for stuff like this :) On release we also gave out the free DLC ‘United and Ready’ that was focused on Poland to everyone, so we felt this was a fitting followup.”


Darkest Dungeon's new hero revealed as The Flagellant


'There is power in the blood.'


Brigador gets new campaign, music, and discounts with the free Up-Armored Edition


Brigador now features new default control schemes to make the game more accessible to newcomers.


The Next Mass Effect Andromeda Patch Will Let Male Characters Romance Jaal



Mass Effect Andromeda’s next patch has the sort of improvements you might expect, like expanded character creation options. It also has something very unusual for a video game patch: it adds another gay romance route for lovesick space adventurers.


Final Fantasy 14: Stormblood's latest trailer takes you on a tour of the East


FF14 fans: here's where you'll be living this Summer.


Battleborn's Competitive Multiplayer Is Now Free-To-Play



Last fall we reported that Battleborn would be going partially free-to-play, with unlimited multiplayer with the co-op story content locked behind a paywall. Sources tell us the launch was delayed several times, but the Battleborn free trial is exactly what we expected it to be.


Astroneer devs prioritising dedicated servers



Astroneer‘s devs have published their game development roadmap. To be clear, there is no road and no map. It’s actually a Trello board which explains they are prioritising things like dedicated servers for multiplayer and a new pass of the terrain in general. Fun fact: There is also no map and no road in Astroneer itself. Instead you drive your little rover over whatever terrain you’re surrounded by and hope like heck you’re heading towards the marker you think you’re heading towards.


A new Rust update promises to make the gunplay feel more like a 'traditional' FPS


Guns now kick less, cost less, and shoot a little straighter.


Gears of War 4's "biggest ever" update arrives next week, adds new Loot drops and difficulties



Players will be able to try new difficulty levels in both the campaign and Horde mode.


Here's what's in Rainbow Six Siege's new loot boxes, and how to get them



Rainbow Six Siege is about to get its own loot boxes, called alpha packs. Here’s how they’ll work, and what they’ll contain.

Say goodbye to Rainbow Six Siege's earmuff hitboxes


That, in turn, led to inconsistency and confusion about which parts of newer operators would register damage, leading to Ubi's idea to make only the body vulnerable. The next phase of changes will add feedback of a different kind if you hit parts of the operator that aren't receiving damage: "so if you hit a metallic accessory (like IQ's headset), you'll see a spark visual effect and hear a ricochet sound."


Here's what's coming to Hitman this month



Two new Escalation Contracts, the penultimate Elusive Target and more.


Prey’s latest patches cause issues on both PS4 and Xbox One


Prey’s latest patch may have finally introduced support for the PlayStation 4 Pro, but the update is a double-edged sword — especially for PS4 owners, according to a re-examination of the game by Digital Foundry.


Tequila Works’ RiME has been cracked in just five days, slowdown/stuttering issues were due to Denuvo



A few days ago, Tequila Works stated that it would remove the Denuvo anti-tamper tech once its title has been cracked. Obviously Tequila Works wanted to protect its title from pirates but after only five days, RiME has been cracked.


Hearthstone streamer Kripparrian will dust all his extra cards tonight, tune in to see if it breaks the game


Well, Kripp finally pressed the button, and 660,620 dust later with over 60k viewers watching...nothing happened. I wasn't even sure he had pressed it at all, as his game froze up and became unresponsive. After a minute or so, the game crashed and Kripp restarted it. It seems the servers themselves stayed standing (even if his client didn't) and when he restarted the game, all the promised dust had been successfully delivered—just with none of the theatrics that usually come with mass disenchants. An anti-climactic moment, but that's live TV, I suppose! You can watch the moment of truth in the clip above.


TEKKEN 7 has been cracked in just four days, making this the fastest Denuvo-powered cracked game



There is no doubt that the PC version of TEKKEN 7 is a polished product. In fact, the game itself is simply amazing and has been the second top seller on Steam this past week. However, and as with a lot of triple-A titles, this game was also protected by the Denuvo anti-tamper tech. And as you may have expected, the game has already been cracked.


Mobile revenue gravity pulls Square Enix inwards


As cash flows in from Final Fantasy titles in the Japanese mobile market, is Square Enix losing its drive to build new IP and conquer overseas markets?


YouTube specifies what type of gaming content could face demonetization



Last week, YouTube unveiled a set of new guidelines for creators who wanted to monetize their videos and some of those changes affect channels dedicated to gaming.


ESA launches lawsuit against Chicago for its tax on online games



The Entertainment Software Association is taking legal aim against an amusement tax put in place by the city of Chicago that levies a tax on, among other things, streaming and subscription services that target online entertainment.


Gearbox writer Mikey Neumann, facing health issues, leaves studio


Mikey Neumann, one of the more visible writers in the games industry, is leaving his position at Gearbox Software to focus on his health and his YouTube show, Movies with Mikey.


What You Need To Know About Games Vanishing From the iOS App Store



Apple is ending support for 32-bit games with its upcoming iOS 11, launching this Fall. That means developers are rushing to update their games with 64-bit infrastructure and, sadly, several unlucky games will vanish from the iOS App Store.


Google makes games to help teach internet sense, safety and positivity to kids


Google has announced Be Internet Awesome; a collaborative project focused around teaching children how to be safe online.


PlayStation to sponsor London Pride 2017


PlayStation has announced it will sponsor this year's London Pride, with the hashtag #forALLthegamers.

Everything Sony Told Us About the Future of PlayStation


Pull your gaze from Nintendo's bedazzling Switch for a moment and consider Sony's now widespread PlayStation 4. Console sales have in general outperformed the most buoyant analyst and pundit prognostications. Not merely because of Nintendo's overnight dark horse, or its scarce as hen's teeth NES Classic. Sony's PlayStation 4 is having some belt-notching moments of its own.

Sony Exec's Slam On Old Games Misses The Appeal Of The Classics


How much effort should today’s console makers put into keeping the classics in print and playable on modern hardware? There’s a lot of room for debate, but one PlayStation exec just weighed in with what has to be the Worst Possible Take.

PlayStation is Winning – But What Next?


PlayStation bosses from U.S. and Europe on the success of the Pro and PSVR, and why 'Singstar' is as important as 'God of War'

Europe gets slick silver PS4, US only gets gold


Sony announced yesterday that it is releasing a limited-edition gold PlayStation 4 in North America this month. But what the company didn’t say until today is that European PlayStation fans are getting a second, much more attractive option: silver.





This month's IGN First is a bit different than usual. Rather than highlighting a single game -- we'll get back to that next month -- we're highlighting the Japanese game industry as a whole. We visited some of the biggest studios in Japan to focus on their games and creative processes. Check back all month for interviews, gameplay reveals, and more!





The new swirl is an evolution of our existing logo that marks a new era for Ubisoft, one with an increased focus on live and digital games as well as a player-centric approach to creating immersive worlds.


Esports News


ASUS Republic of Gamers Readies Its Own $500,000 International Competition



Republic of Gamers has unveiled its own cross-continent tournaments for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, boasting a final prize-pool of $250,000 apiece. The PC gaming brand, a side-arm of computer hardware company ASUS, announced The ROG Masters at the Computex expo in Taiwan.


Riot Games Is Franchising Its North American League At $10 Million A Spot



The North American League Championship Series is restructuring to become more like the NFL or NBA with 10 established teams locked into place rather than an ever-shifting lineup of teams each season.


NA LCS Details Its Franchising Model, Will Introduce Revenue Sharing in 2018



Riot Games has gone public with its franchising plans for the North American League of Legends Championship Series. Beginning with the 2018 pro season, promotion and relegation will be axed for permanent league slots, teams will enter revenue sharing and the Challenger Series will evolve into an Academy League.


Tencent to Host 2017 LoL International College Cup, with EU Qualifiers Starting June 3



Tencent is looking to capitalize on its rapidly growing esports collegiate scene by hosting the 2017 League of Legends International College Cup. Europe is the next region to choose which of its two schools will travel to China for the finals, in a qualifier event hosted by University Esports Masters; the continent’s largest collegiate esports coalition.


DreamHack Summer 2017 to Feature Esports Up-And-Comer PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS



PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS—a “Battle Royale-style” multiplayer survival genre mashup—has been making some serious esports waves lately. The latest news, announced this week, is the inclusion of the game at DreamHack Summer 2017. The BYOC LAN event will feature hourly matches and a final match featuring the day’s top 100 players, taking place in DreamHack’s 1100-seat “Hammarsköldssalen,” a.k.a. The BATTLEGROUNDS Arena.


H1Z1 is taking the show on the road with $1 million tournament


The Elite Series will include solo and 5-player squad brackets


Esports Integrity Coalition Adds UK Gambling Commission: “A Significant Step for ESIC and the Esports Community”



The Esports Integrity Coalition has been slowly building up partners around the world—including groups in the Middle East, India, South Africa, and Nevada. Now, the ESIC has announced an MOU between itself and the UK Gambling Commission, one of the most active regulating bodies affecting esports in the world.


Overwatch Still Isn't Ready To Be A Top Esport



Over the weekend, Blizzard hosted the first round of qualifiers for Overwatch’s Contenders series, aka the minor league to the upcoming Overwatch League’s majors. There was some solid action, a couple surprising upsets, and a lot of Winston dancing. I don’t think Overwatch is ready to be a top esport yet, though.

Overwatch Stream Shows Tournament Through Eyes Of A Pro


There are plenty of esports tournaments on this weekend, but one Overwatch pro is taking his viewers on a trip through a tournament from his perspective—a rare insight into the thoughts and play of competitive Overwatch players.


Spectator Crashes Key Street Fighter V Tournament Match



Christopher “NYChrisG” Gonzalez was in a tricky spot during the tail end of Combo Breaker’s Street Fighter V tournament in St. Charles, Illinois this past weekend. His opponent, Japanese fighting game god Naoto Sako, had him on the ropes in their losers bracket match. Down two games and on the brink of elimination, Chris took a deep breath and waited for what could be his last round to begin. And that’s when he was tapped on the shoulder.


A Pro Counter-Strike Match Suspended 30 Feet In The Air By A Crane



Typically, esports stages don’t get much more elaborate than a big screen, some colorful lights, and maybe a smoke machine for effect. Over the weekend, Republic Of Gamers decided to one-up everybody with a “stage” suspended from vertigo-inducing heights.


Smash Pro's Tournament Victory Speech Calls Out Nintendo



Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma had just come off a long tournament run of beating some of the best in Super Smash Bros. Melee when he took to the stage for a winner’s interview. Debiedma used the opportunity to hold an impassioned rally for the grassroots that makes Smash happen, with choice words for a “certain company.”


Survey: Americans under 35 like eSports as much as actual sports



The folks at U.S. venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins (which has invested in game tech companies like Magic Leap and Mobcrush) released their annual Internet Trends Report today, and, for the first time ever, the 355-slide presentation includes a big section dedicated specifically to games.


Opinion: Esports Belongs in the Olympics, But Right Now It Is Far from Ready



Esports at the Olympics: even the truest believers saw it as a pipe-dream. Yet here we are, five years away from watching MOBA competitions broadcast back to back with athletics at the 2022 Asian games. If you can’t wait that long, the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will again include competitive gaming as a demonstration sport this September.


Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that have interest/known talent behind them and a chance to succeed)


Pathfinder: Kingmaker


Pathfinder: Kingmaker is an isometric single-player RPG based on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Kingmaker Adventure Path.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker Kickstarter Video

Interview with Narrative Designer Chris Avellone


Chris is a senior narrative designer on Pathfinder: Kingmaker. As a veteran of the industry he has worked on titles by Black Isle Studios, including Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2 and the Icewind Dale series. He has also worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. Recently, he has completed work on Beamdog Studios’ Planescape: Torment – Enhanced Edition and Arkane Studios’ Prey.

Chris Avellone's Pathfinder: Kingmaker RPG is now on Kickstarter


The campaign is meant to help fund an expansion of the game's 'Kingdom' mechanic.


XCOM Creator's Phoenix Point: 8 Minute Boss Battle Gameplay


Join the original creator of XCOM, Julian Gollop, as he walks us through a battle against a horrifying alien boss in Phoenix Point.




RetroEpic has teamed up with Indie Boards and Cards to bring the critically acclaimed board game, Flash Point: Fire Rescue to PC and mobile platforms.


Let's bring Visual Novel Hoshizora No Memoria to the West!



'Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-' is the story of Kogasaka You, his hometown and a promise he made.

Sekai Project and Favorite are looking to bring this fantastic love story to fans around the world!


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


How Warren Spector Created a Genre, and Set Games Free



The Godfather of the immersive sim genre explains how he helped create a world where players can author their own experiences


Talking About The Anxiety of Playing Games In Public



Compete Staff Writer Maddy Myers and I both feel nervous about playing games in front of other people. We sat down to talk about why.


Kotori Yoshimura and Star Cruiser: How Twitter Revived a Piece of Japanese Gaming History



In September 2015, Japanese video game developer Kotori Yoshimura asked for a 1000 retweets so that she could start working on a follow-up to Star Cruiser, a cult first-person action RPG shooter released for the PC-88. The 1000 retweets came two years later, driven by a global network of video game lovers on Twitter. It's a feel-good story sure, but it was a long journey for Star Cruiser and Yoshimura to get there.


Videogame Dialogues: Writing Tools And Design Ideas



In this post we discuss two themes:

How to facilitate writing for games?

Given that writing say partially generative in-game dialogue is a specific process, how can one minimize the impact on writing of values from state and output variations technicalities?


How to design an in-game dialogue user interface?

Designing in-game dialogues doesn’t seem to generally get much attention with respect to other kinds of game assets. We look at existing usages and we point out features to be considered when designing dialogues’ user interface.


'We're all talking about Zelda: Breath of the Wild': Developers explain how it's shaping the future of games



You know how you can always tell a game that came out after Dark Souls? Yeah, it's going to be like that.


Fostering VR teamwork in 4-player Star Trek Bridge Crew



Star Trek Bridge Crew works to envelope players in the unique, specific Star Trek setting as officers with distinct specialties working at various stations on the ship's bridge. Players can choose to be the helm officer who pilots the ship, or they can scan and target other spacecraft and anomalies at the tactical station, or monitor ship systems at engineering; or coordinate them all as the captain.


Does The Designer Behind ‘Nier: Automata’ Believe in God?



The unconventional mind behind one of this year’s most surprising games answers our questions.


The Virtual Life – Why Breath Of The Wild Is My Most Important Game Of 2017



And I think that need for faith is why Breath of the Wild speaks to me. It’s the right game at the right time. There’s a level of spirituality in its focus on the perseverance of the individual trying their best to make things better. And again, it’s pure fantasy. Link is a knight in the most Arthurian sense possible. And Breath of the Wild is most certainly an escapist fantasy that has nothing explicit to say about providing healthcare for everyone, educational reform, or the war on terror. However, hope is eternal and universal, and the game is 100 percent about finding hope in bleak circumstances.

Breath of the Wild's Weird Moments Are Some Of The Game's Finest


Traversing Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule unveils somber narratives inferred through its ruins and decimated villages. But it’s not all sorrowful. Some of the game’s most bizarre tales are told through its strange NPCs and locales, and they’re amazing.





Defcon is a pretty bleak game. Perhaps I’m just getting to a particular stage in gaming where I have to play with friends or not at all, but playing Introversion's End-of-the-World sim is hard enough with a group, but playing it alone only makes it worse - seriously, don't do it. Although, any game dealing with nuclear combat that isn’t bleak is probably a game that shouldn’t be dealing with nuclear warfare in the first place. With the terrifying reality of nuclear annihilation only a few buttons (or rays of sunlight!) away at any time, it is a subject that should be treated with respect.


Does Mass Effect: Andromeda get past old colonial ideas? Not quite



The conquering of virgin territory is quite an old fantasy given new life by countless installments of genre fiction. Our very language locks us into a certain mindset when we talk about “colonizing” other planets, an apt word that nevertheless cannot shake off the associations with what it has meant on our own world. Militaristic dominion; slavery; genocide; cultural dissolution. How can sci-fi shed that baggage? Is it even possible to tell a story about brave explorers colonizing new worlds without evoking the conquistador and his terrors?


“Breaking Out of Prey’s Glass Box,” by Chris Priestman



Break through the glass—this is Prey’s first lesson. To escape the counterfeit reproduction of Morgan Yu’s apartment you must introduce a wrench to the windows. The glass shatters on impact to leave an irregular shape, cut in jagged lines, tearing a hole into the otherwise convincing simulation of a city held within the windows. The artifice of the false 3D space projected inside the glass—a technology called “Looking Glass”—is revealed in this sudden moment. Instead of breaching an apartment in the middle of a metropolis, we instead see that we are in a laboratory, the steel viewing platforms and false walls coming out from hiding; on the other side of the glass, we are led to believe, is reality.


The Tyranny of Kawaii | Tokyo 42



Every cyberpunk story, great or otherwise, is defined through the language of urban spaces. Were we to draft a composite sketch of the genre’s ethos; that image would inevitably be of a metropolis.

Building replayability into the intricate architecture of Tokyo 42


Whether that's in providing a choice of weapons, architecture that asks to be traversed in unconventional ways, or AI crowds that fluctuate between predictability and surprise. It's a game that invites replays simply to toy with its systems, for new combinations of its systems often reveal new ways to beat each goal, some of them not even anticipated by its creators. Their journey to get the game to this state has been a lesson in how to find balance amid disorder.


On the Terrific Power of Video Games as Time Capsules



Want to see Edinburgh around 2003? Fire up ‘Project Gotham Racing 2’, and drink in the low-poly memories.


Scorpia's Magic Scroll of Games - CGW, Oct 1993


PlayStation U.S. boss reflects on birth and rebirth of PlayStation



Soylent Green, ghostwriting and the Buddha Lounge


How Mad Catz used up its last life



The company, founded in 1989, was one of the go-to brands for third party controllers and other accessories. They weren't always the best; but they were cheap and generally offered value for money. They were also behind some top quality fighting game sticks, as well as some popular PC accessories like the RAT range of mice.

Yet on March 30th 2017, after a few wobbly years, the peripherals and hardware firm bit the dust and filed for bankruptcy. And while It's very easy to blame the poor performance of Rock Band 4 for the demise of the company, that was merely the latest in a string of bad decisions going back nearly six years.


Game Freak Is More Than Just A Pokémon Developer



Game Freak is best known for one thing: Pokémon. But while they created the iconic franchise, Game Freak isn’t afraid to let its developers get their sea legs making non-Pocket Monster games on non-Nintendo hardware. That’s why, in the past few years, Game Freak has released a number of totally original titles on platforms you might not expect.


Hotline Miami Cover Artist On His Distinct Visual Style, Music, And Beard



Beneath the Hotline Miami series’ savagely violent mind-trip lies an acutely intelligent narrative—one that questions players’ moralities. But what I really wanted to know was whether the games’ cover artist would also give free pizza and snacks as his in-game character Beard does. So, I asked him.


Failure to Fame: How Dishonored Saved Arkane Studios


In part 1 of a 3-part series, Arkane discusses their struggles to find success for 12 years, how Dishonored propelled them into the limelight, and helped revive immersive sim RPGs.

Failure to Fame: The Secret Origins of Arkane Studios


In part 2 of a 3-part series, GameSpot tracks down Richard Garriott and Warren Spector, two legendary developers who helped pioneer immersive sim RPGs in the 90s, to discuss how they mentored the members of Arkane Studios.

Failure to Fame: How Arkane Studios Mastered a Genre


In the last episode of a three-part series, we talk to Arkane about the challenges that came with the success of Dishonored, the problems with making a sequel, how Prey develops the studio's identity, and where the team wants to go in the future.


The Story of Runic Games | A Gameumentary Short Doc


Gameumentary presents our debut short documentary, The Story of Runic Games.

For the past few months, we've been working hard on this video, from our initial pre-production meetings last year, to our principal photography out in Seattle this past March, to the editing and tweaking that we've done just this past week--we've put everything we have into this short-doc.

Our goal is to continue doing these docs with different developers around the globe, showcasing their stories and their passions for making the video games that you play. Hopefully, with your help, we'll be able to do that.


Prey vs. Prey [Total Spoilers]


This is a video critique and retrospective looking at Human Head's 2006 'Prey' and Arkane's 2017 'Prey'. It looks at how the game share some commonalities and tracks how it came to be that two such structurally divergent games ended up sharing the same name and franchise. SPOILERS FOR BOTH GAMES, INCLUDING THE ENDING.


Outlast 1 & 2: Gamifying Found Footage Horror


This is a retrospective video essay looking at Red Barell's Outlast franchise of first-person horror games. It's focus is on how Outlast takes cinematic conventions and makes them interactive, while at the same time removing or simplifying features you might expect in a horror games. It's a FULL SPOILERS video, covering the endings of both games and the Whistleblower DLC.


Why Did Hitman Fail?


"I've made a huge mistake" - Basically Everyone, 2016.


How the Meaning of Vanquish (and Spec Ops: The Line) Changed


Vanquish was recently re-released on PC to the delight of the cult following it has developed since 2010. Whilst the experience has remained largely unchanged, however, as a whole it meant something very different to me now than it did back then; all because of the new context under which I was playing it.

This also got me thinking about games whose themes rely on context to convey meaning. Spec Ops: The Line turns five in June, and yet the industry it was furiously reacting against has changed dramatically since then. In this episode of Writing on Games then, I want to explore just how much a shift in context can have on the meaning of a game, and what this means for the future of our medium.


Little Nightmares, and The Importance of the Experience


This was the first video I made with Adobe Premiere. I'd like to say a big thank you to Turbo Button and Rufert for helping me figure out some of the settings and some features. There were a few things they showed me that I would have never learned myself.


From Mario to Banjo to Yooka | A Brief History of Collect-A-Thons [SSFF]


Did Yooka-Laylee really revive the collect-a-thon? Did the collect-a-thon even really die? Turns out the answers are a wild romp through gaming history!


Gameology Conversations - Erik Kraber


Conversation with Erik Kraber. Audio Director at EA Games with amazing games like Titanfall, Medal of Honor. Battlefield, etc.

Check out the transcripted from this link: https://goo.gl/qXgdoK


What Makes Good AI? | Game Maker's Toolkit


When we talk about good AI, we often think about highly efficient and aggressive enemies in shooters like FEAR and Halo. But surely there's more to good artificial intelligence than this?


Resident Evil 1 Design | Road to the Rocket Launcher Episode 1


An in-depth look at the design of the first Resident Evil.


Mass Effect 1 Character Analysis: Liara, Kaiden and Ashley (ME in Retrospect PART 2)


In which I take an in depth look at Kaiden, Liara and Ashley, and determine how well written they are as characters.


The sound design secrets of Horizon Zero Dawn


This video is all about the incredible work put into the sounds of Horizon Zero Dawn. We talk to Anton and Pinar from the audio team at Guerilla Games to find out more!!

All clips in this video are protected from copyright law under fair use for educational purposes.

Clips from:
Horizon Zero Dawn
Halo 4


Learn More about Game Animation - Extra Frames


Learn more about game animation with some of our favorite online resources! Dan recommends a few websites, channels, and experts so you can study up on game animation on your own!


Gaming for Everyone at GDC 2017


Xbox Gaming for Everyone at the 2017 Game Developer's Conference.


Matt Chat 378: Tim Lang on New World Computing and M&M Legacy


In the final segment of interview with the great Tim Lang, we chat about the importance of game controls, JVC's off-and-on again involvement towards the end of NWC, M&M 10: Legacy, and the "fun instinct."


The Rise and Fall of Command & Conquer [REDUX]


What is this Redux and why did we make it?

First off, I'd like to thank Plokite_Wolf and Cypher for helping us revise and rectify some of the errors and expanding on the information of our first script. After having published our first 'version' of the video, it was brought to our attention that some of the information provided was either incorrect or needed to be elaborated on. I regret the fact that this has happened, as fans of the series we wanted to make a franchise analysis that takes the viewer through the highs and lows of the series as well as tell the stories of the developers at EALA and Westwood in detail. Making a documentary-style video about Command & Conquer has, personally, been one of my long-time goals but I didn't feel that it was fully achieved in our first video. The story of Command & Conquer is very nuanced and the Redux, or Revision or V2 (whatever you like to call it) seeks to tell this more accurately, with 10+ minutes of additional information I feel like this is a much more interesting video for fans of the series.


FINAL FANTASY XIV Online - Noclip Documentary Teaser


A three-part documentary series on the incredible death and rebirth of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online. Coming soon. Subscribe to watch more video game documentaries.


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


That Time Miyamoto Played Mario On My Hacked PSP



While we’re prepping for E3 this week and reminiscing about the great moments from expos past, let me regale you of a tale of the weirdest thing that ever happened to me there.


The Best E3 Moments



Before E3, everyone gets excited for the big new announcements. But after E3, all anyone remembers—and cherishes—are the kind of screw-ups, misfires and awkward heroism you can only get when corporate executives and video game developers have to get on stage and be salesmen in front of millions.

This post originally appeared 6/11/15.


Things I Missed From Previous Weeks





What I’m trying to say is that my tattoos are as intertwined with my being as anything could be and I can’t imagine my life without them. Because my tattoos are so important to me, and so are video games, I am constantly baffled by how poorly tattooing is represented in my favorite medium.


Sketches of Greatness: why do esports excite us so much?



Esports fan love recalling great plays by their favorite pro gamers, but what's the science behind it?


The Salt and Sanctuary Postmortem


In this 2017 GDC postmortem, Ska Studios' James and Michelle Silva discuss the origins and early development days of Salt and Sanctuary. Along the way, they go through the insane development cycle that yielded an unbelievable amount of content for a two person studio, the experiences and challenges of moving to a new platform, and what the road to release was like.


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