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This Week In Gaming 8-8-17

1 post in this topic



How a board game company defined video game ads, the hackers and modders behind the next Sonic game, oral history of Tales From the Borderlands, Spelunky creator's next project, Horizon Zero Dawn DLC dated, three new Persona spin offs announced, Gamespot interviews Fullbright Company on Gone Home's success and environmental storytelling, Final Fantasy VII retrospective, Total War Warhammer update balances units and old campaign factions, Tacoma as a critique of capitalism and crunch time, Hironobu Sakaguchi's six year eight game plan, Devolver publishing a Call of Duty documentary, Shadow of War online mode and game currency explained, Ni No Kuni 2 special edition and season pass, Overwatch players mourn Roadhog as Summer event starts, and more.


Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC, game updates, company and developer news, country news, mods)


Three More Persona Spin-off Titles Have Just Been Announced



The Persona Super Live P-Sound Bomb concert dropped some serious bombs on Persona fans. Persona Q2, Persona 3 Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5 Dancing Star Night were announced at the Japan-exclusive concert.


Take-Two labels PC market 'very important' but won't commit to Red Dead Redemption 2



"The great news is that the PC market is vibrant for us. It’s a great market for us."


What's it like when your video game leaks? We ask the Mario Rabbids team.


We talk to the Mario Rabbids team about what happened when their game leaked, three weeks ahead of its official reveal at E3.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ‘Mario’ character trailer


A mid-to-close range fighter with excellent mobility.

Mario's Delightful Latest Features Gunplay, Tactics, an Infusion of Raving Rabbids


Nintendo/Ubisoft mashup 'Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle' is as fun to play as it is to look at


Spelunky creator Derek Yu reveals his next project, and the secret of UFO50


Yu and four other indie developers are working on something big.


Yomawari: Midnight Shadows system overview trailer


Latest look at Nippon Ichi Software's horror sequel.


Alexis Kennedy's part in next Dragon Age will 'immediately look familiar to anyone who's played Fallen London, Sunless Sea'



"There will definitely be that oddness visible there."


XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - Inside Look: New Enemies


Get an in-depth look at the new enemies you will encounter in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen.


The Switch Is Getting A Fighting Game With The Hyper Light Drifter Dude


Brawlout is a fighting game in the vein of Super Smash Bros. that’s full of uppercuts and special attacks. The upcoming Switch port will let players bring their fighting game on the go while adding a surprising fighter to the roster: the sword-slinging hero from Hyper Light Drifter.


There are three versions of FUT Icons in FIFA 18


Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogle+Reddit By Wesley Yin-Poole Published 02/08/2017 There are big changes coming to FIFA Ultimate Team for FIFA 18. Chief among them: three versions Icon players, each with its own unique ratings.


Assassin's Creed Origins won't have insta-fail stealth or eavesdrop missions


Assassin’s Creed Origins won’t have you instantly fail missions if you’re detected or if you leave a particular zone.


Shadow of War has a ranked online mode


You can take over other player's fortresses in Shadow of War's new Social Conquests - and Vendetta missions are back too. Here's how Shadow of War's online mode works.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will feature Loot Chests which can be bought using in-game currency or real money


Monolith was quick to point out that no content in Middle-earth: Shadow of War is behind a gate, as it can all be acquired through normal gameplay.

Don’t Fully Trust The Blade of Galadriel in Shadow of War Gameplay


Tension mounts as Talion works with an assassin whose motives are unknown in Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.

The Ring-Maker's Memories in Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gameplay


Shadow of War has players diving into Celebrimbor's memories to slay orcs in a time before Talion.

Something Violent Is Killing Orcs In The Woods In Middle-earth: Shadow of War


Talion investigates orc disappearances and finds a balrog sized mystery brewing.

Summoning Huge Monsters at Will in Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gameplay


Talion's new skill tree brings Grougs, Caragores, and Drakes to the siege.


Don't Knock Twice portrays a 'psychologically terrifying' urban legend this September


Designed for virtual reality, it can be played with or without a VR headset.


The Evil Within 2 pushes psychological horror 'much harder' than original


While telling a much more personal side of Sebastian's story.

The Evil Within 2 Offers More Freedom, A Crafting System, And More Focus On Its Story


The Evil Within 2 producer Shinji Mikami and director John Johanas of Tango Gameworks shared the latest bits of information and more on what fans can expect to see in the upcoming survival horror sequel.


The choices in Batman: The Enemy Within will culminate in you creating your very own Joker


The choices you make in Telltale’s games can often be the deciding factor for how good they are - when implemented well, they’re impressive examples of flexible storytelling. If done badly, it all feels a bit pointless. For Batman: The Enemy Within, it looks like Telltale have listened to criticisms, and are trying to improve things by using your decisions to influence one of the characters on the sidelines: the Joker.

YouTube To Voice Acting - The Origins Of Telltale Batman's Joker


We sit down with Anthony Ingruber -- the voice of The Joker in Batman: The Telltale Series -- to talk about his YouTube beginnings, the challenges of playing the character, and some of his favorite celebrity impressions.


Ni No Kuni 2 special editions revealed, season pass confirmed



The season pass includes two pieces of additional content.


AM2R creator is now working on Ori and the Will of the Wisps



Milton ‘DoctorM64’ Guasti announced his new gig over the weekend.


'Destiny 2' on PC Won't Play Nice With Discord, OBS, Other Third-Party Programs



'Destiny 2' restricts some modes of OBS, Xsplit and other software


Yes, ‘Wolfenstein 2’ is about Trump and the alt-right — even if it was never supposed to be



“Any story you tell is intrinsically a commentary on life,” he said. “With Nazis, it’s obvious. There are real-world Nazis today. There might be occasional jokes, but we want the game to stand as a creative piece on its own that’s timeless.”


Blue Reflection’s New English Trailer Puts The Spotlight On Its Protagonist, Hinako Shirai


Koei Tecmo has released a new trailer for their upcoming magical-girl JRPG, Blue Reflection.


Dynasty Warriors 9 to be released for PS4, Xbox One, and PC in the west



A multiplatform release for the open-world Dynasty Warriors.

Dynasty Warriors 9 details Xu Zhu, Dian Wei, Ling Tong, Gan Ning, Guan Ping, and Dong Zhuo


Six more returning officers introduced.


Nintendo Just Made The ‘Metroid’ Hard Mode Controversy Way More Confusing


It turns out there are two hard modes: one unlocked by amiibo, one that's not. What?


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Launch Trailer


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is available on August 8 for PlayStation 4 and PC.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Releases Tomorrow, Read Ninja Theory’s Note to Fans


Ninja Theory’s latest title, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is releasing tomorrow on the PlayStation Store. Since it’s only a matter of hours until players have their hands on the action game, Ninja Theory has released a note to their fans. Check out what they had to say below:

'Hellblade' Might Delete Your Save, But Being Stressed Out Is the Point


Few games have made me sweat the way 'Hellblade' has the last few days, knowing a mistake may be my ultimate downfall.


Gearbox is testing a 1v1 shooter-meets-card game



Borderlands developer trying its hand at something new called Project 1v1


Make fake news in Orwell: Ignorance is strength


The episodic political game Orwell is getting a second season. It'll tackle the rise of alternative facts and the so-called post-truth society.


Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds for PC launches August 24



"Winds Treasure Box" downloadable content available at launch.


Check out new Hunt: Showdown gameplay in the debut dev diary


Crytek explains why the monster-hunting FPS has changed so dramatically.


Morph Girl is an FMV game inspired by '90s Japanese horror movies


In the wake of Sam Barlow's wonderful and masterfully executed Her Story—PC Gamer's Most Original Game of 2015—I expected the FMV genre of games to undergo a renaissance of sorts. To my surprise it hasn't, however indie developer Jaydeb's Morph Girl is an FMV game inspired by Japanese horror flicks.


PS Vita classic Trails of Cold Steel out now on PC with "5000 additional voiced lines"


Japanese role-playing game Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is out now on PC.


Hironobu Sakaguchi’s six-year, eight-game plan



We dig into what’s coming next from the creator of Final Fantasy.

In a world where many say predicting a trilogy is bad luck, Hironobu Sakaguchi just announced his team’s next eight games.


Sonic Mania brings back Sonic 2’s competitive multiplayer


Check out first footage of Competition Mode


All Walls Must Fall's speedy hybrid turn-based firefights show promise in Early Access



Inbetweengames' moody, futuristic Cold War shooter is one to watch.


Get bloody and brawlin' with Bloody Zombies in VR


Virtual-reality co-op brawler Bloody Zombies will released on September 12, 2017.


Nights of Azure 2 details battle party and level up system


Combine the abilities of Aluche and her companions for a Lily Burst.


Catch your first glimpse of Ben Mendelsohn’s Star Citizen character in this new video


The last time you saw Ben Mendelsohn may well have been in Rogue One, where he was playing Orson Krennic - the bad guy who was pivotal in the creation of the Death Star. He’s going to be in a different sci-fi story now, and we’ve just got our first glimpse at his character for Star Citizen’s single player campaign.


Sinister text-based hack-o-story Code 7 out soon


Floppy drives ready. The first episode of creepy hacking-based interactive fiction Code 7 is due out on Friday. It’s that game about a suspicious AI and the collapse of a space station, you know the one.


Etrian Odyssey V ‘Warlock’ class trailer


Atlus has released a new trailer for Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth introducing the Warlock class.


The WNBA comes to video games in NBA Live 18


All players and teams available; EA Sports hints at more possibilities


Fulham FC Will Be in PES 2018



Konami has entered into an exclusive global partnership with London’s Fulham FC. The football club will now appear in Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, as all of the players have been body scanned in order to be faithfully recreated, but it’s not all about the game. PES 2018 will also appear on the back of the team’s kits, and will be the main sponsor for their youth team.

Konami Has Secured Partnerships In Argentina And Chile For PES 2018


This week Konami made a couple announcements around exclusive partnerships and license agreements in Latin America for its much-anticipated title, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.


NHL 18 - NHL Threes Official Gameplay Trailer


Take a look at this official trailer for NHL 18 which showcases NHL Threes, an all-new 3-on-3 hockey experience with bigger hits, faster action and more goals.


Running from rhinos (and the police) in The Journey Down Chapter 3 trailer


The Journey Down [official site] is a rather excellent series of point-and-click adventure games with smart puzzles, a twisting plot and heavy Afro-Carribean influences.


Depression-Inspired Shooter Promethium Heading to Switch This Year


Depression can be exceedingly hard to manage, bombarding those affected with a barrage of challenges that – left unchecked – can tear them apart. That's the core concept behind UK indie developer Byron Atkinson-Jones' upcoming shooter Promethium, which aims to mimic the oppressive weight of dealing with depression using the mechanics and stylings of a retro blaster.


Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin Comiket 92 trailer


Defeat demons and prove yourself worthy of a goddess.


Door Kickers getting a side-scrolling spin-off


KillHouse Games has teased a side-scrolling, retro spin-off to Door Kickers, officially the best top-down tactics game of 2014.


Former Hitman devs' debut turns grapes into a deadly weapon



I’m in the grand hall of an ornate, white marble palace, 100 years of cryosleep from Earth. Decorative pillars jut upwards, golden candelabras sit on inlaid tables, white lilies poke out of hanging baskets, and jewelled chandeliers hang from the ceiling. The lights are on and I’m eating grapes like my life depends on it. That’s because it does.


Square Enix Announces Dragon Quest Builders 2, Shows Off Hang Gliding


The company revealed the game at the Dragon Quest Summer Festival 2017 going on in Japan this weekend and even teased some early gameplay footage.


Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar is now live on Steam after 20 years of development



I thought this would never happen—I fully believed that it couldn't happen—but here we are, on August 4, 2017, and it has happened: Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar, an RPG that's been in development since the mid-'90s (1994, I think, but it might have been '97) is now available for purchase on Steam.


9 Minutes of Life is Strange: Before the Storm Gameplay


Chloe wakes up hungover and talks to David in this gameplay video of Life is Strange: Before the Storm. The rebellious teenager thinks a few violent things about her soon-to-be stepfather.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a prequel series for the punks


It might not be a necessary story, but it could be the one some people wanted from the start.

'How Many Hellas?' And Other Vital 'Life Is Strange' Questions, Answered


Don't worry, we asked if you'll be watering another plant in the new series, too.


Strange Brigade


Abaddon Books, Rebellion Publishing’s cutting-edge imprint for smart and subversive fiction, is excited to announce The True History of the Strange Brigade – an anthology fiction based on the highly anticipated pre-war adventure video game.


Chinese side-scroller Icey for PS4 launches August 8


Disobey the narrator and see the world through your own eyes.


Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana ‘The Explorers of Seiren’ trailer


Plus, a look at the PlayStation 4 Day One Edition.


Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker has a character creation system



Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker will have a character creation system, the latest issue of Weekly Jump reveals.


Everything you need to know about Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire



We've played the second expansion.


Creative Assembly celebrates 30th birthday by giving away 30 Regiments of Renown units.


To celebrate CA's 30th birthday, we're giving out 30 new Regiments of Renown for free!

All you need to do is sign into Total War Access on August 10th or after and you can fortify the regiments of the races that haven't yet received Regiments of Renown - that's the Beastmen, Wood Elves, Chaos Warriors, Bretonnia and the new DLC race Norsca.

Total War: WARHAMMER - Wulfrik Monster Hunt Let's Play


Wulfrik has been conquering lands in the north and now moves on to much greater foes, Monsters. Join us as we hunt down Frigustrex, the murderous Frost-Wyrm.

Total War: WARHAMMER - Introducing... Norsca Monsters


While the bitter climate may never be tamed, the Norscans have brought many of the peninsula's most ferocious monsters to heel.

Total War: Warhammer refreshes launch races to address power creep of DLC


Power creep has been a concern among the Total War: Warhammer community, as developers Creative Assembly get ever bolder and more imaginative in the design of new races added as DLC. They've now recognised this, having announced a balancing patch that tunes and expands some of the original game's earlier races.


Rocket League gets a 20-word Language Ban system



This week Rocket League gets a new "Language Ban" system that automatically bans players from online matches after they're reported for using certain words in chat.


'Player-curated' Featured Contracts are coming to Hitman this month



A new Challenge Pack is on the way, too.


Horizon DLC The Frozen Wilds gets a release date


The Frozen Wilds brings a whole new story set in a whole new zone in the frozen and mountainous north. There will be new machines to fight and new mysteries to uncover.


Final Fantasy XV Goes Online in The Comrades Multiplayer Closed Beta


Final Fantasy XV gets a beta for its new multiplayer mod and while getting to play it right now has been tricky we happened to play a few missions.

Final Fantasy XV's Multiplayer Has A Ridiculously Detailed Character Creator


Final Fantasy XV’s multiplayer beta went live today, and in it, you can hack-and-slash through a few short quests. You can also spend hours creating your very own avatar, adjusting everything from facial tattoos to, uh, lower jaw width.


'For Honor's' Third Season Dated, Detailed


For Honor's third season kicks off on August 15th, Ubisoft announced today. The new season will bring new heroes, maps, ranked play and gear.


The new PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds patch makes scopes usable for colourblind people



In PUBG, I’m always searching for an ACOG scope. The 4X sight comes with a yellow or lime green (I’m not sure which) crosshair, which is a better contrast against the brown and dark green scenery than a tiny red dot.


One of our favorite cult games from last year just got a big update


Death Road to Canada anniversary update adds 40 new weapons, more characters and locations, and "spooky ghosts that you can kiss."


Sine Mora EX is a free update to Grasshopper’s shmup



Grasshopper Manufacture’s side-scrolling shoot ’em up Sine Mora is back, though it never left. The 2012 game has been expanded and fancied up for the new generation of consoles with new modes and local cooperative play, and those have come our way too.


Specialisations come to Battlefield 1 and can drop smoke grenades when you get shot



Battlefield developers DICE have announced that specialisations - a hallmark of their leading shooter franchise for years - are coming soon to its latest entry, Battlefield 1.


Here's why Rainbow Six: Siege's upcoming patch is 42GB



Ubisoft have answered some questions about the patching process for the forthcoming Year Two Season Three patch for Rainbow Six: Siege. There are no details yet as to the content we’ll see when the update eventually drops, but today’s blog post provides some information about patch sizes and an update to texture quality.


League of Legends' new champion is Ornn, the Fire Below the Mountain, here's his abilities


Ornn's abilities and website are up! He's a tanky toplaner who looks to provide a whole lot of utility for his team.


Heroes of the Storm's controversial Hanamura map is being removed and reworked



Even after a round of fixes, HotS players weren't happy with the Overwatch-themed payload-pushing map.


Overwatch Players Are Mourning Roadhog


Roadhog was a lot of things to a lot of people. A friend, a brother, perhaps even a lover. Also, a one-man apocalypse. He really doesn’t want you to forget that. We can all agree, though, that he was taken before his time.

Overwatch’s Summer Games event returns Aug. 8


Now with even more Lúcioball

Overwatch Summer Games skins revealed


The Overwatch Summer Games seasonal event is live. The now-annual event launched today, bringing with it a pile of new Olympic and summer skins, unlocking last year's Summer Games loot, and bringing back the Rocket League-like game mode Lúcioball.


Psychic Readers Network sues Rockstar over Grand Theft Auto: Vice City



Harris, who died of cancer last year, talked about her time with the Psychic Readers Network with Vice in 2014. She claims, among other things, that the network ripped her off almost as badly as it did the people she helped victimize.


Hitman now has over five million players and counting


Io Interactive have announced that Hitman now has over five million players in total. That number is still going up too, apparently.


Rainbow Six Siege has 20 million players


People love shooting through walls, rappelling through windows, and driving around tiny cameras - Rainbow Six Siege has surpassed 20 million registered players. It’s coming up to the game’s second anniversary, but its unique take on the online shooter has proven it has legs.


Over 50,000 cheaters have now been banned from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds


The banhammer swings quickly and without remorse. Those that come under its gaze are met with swift justice. And, it turns out, it’s been doing some serious work for PUBG - over 50,000 players have been banned by BattlEye.


33m of us play via Steam every single day, says Valve - and that number's still growing



Steam has pulled in 27 million new users since January 2016, reaching 67m active monthly players.

Steam has launched over 1,000 games in 7 weeks following Direct introduction


In June, Valve shuttered its community vote-driven Greenlight initiative after five years of service. In its place came Direct—a system that allows developers the chance to get their games on Steam for a $100 fee.


Nintendo Announces Metroid-Themed New Nintendo 3DS XL



To mark the release of Metroid: Samus Returns, Nintendo is releasing a special “Samus Edition” New Nintendo 3DS XL.


Bungie's 13-year battle with crunch culture



At Casual Connect USA, Bungie's Luke Timmins detailed how Halo 2's "brutal" crunch led to a new way of thinking about people management


Introducing Our New News Editor, Laura Kate Dale



Good morning, readers! I bring great news. After a long search it is a pleasure to introduce Kotaku UK's new News Editor, Laura Kate Dale, who joins us after several years as a freelancer and running her own site, Let's Play Video Games.


"I have no idea why they did it," says former Hitman dev on Square's split with Io



"They seemed to deliver on stuff that was promised since the first game really, but never materialised, and it jived super well with the format that they went with. So you really got this modern Hitman game they had promised before, and after that, the split? No fucking way."


Respawn boss says it's 'heavily invested in the Titanfall universe,' whatever that means



Vince Zampella calls the game successful, but remains cagey about its future.


Friday the 13th "stumbles" to 1.8m sold



Despite massive technical hurdles and poor reviews, the game has been profitable, Gun Media's Wes Keltner explains


Ubisoft taps Patrick Bach to lead new Stockholm studio



French publisher expands in Nordic region and looks to former EA DICE head Patrick Bach to lead the way


Sega Europe unveils new president and COO



Industry veteran Chris Bergstresser to lead studios and publishing office


Devolver are publishing a documentary about Call of Duty


Famed indie publishers Devolver Digital have been putting out arty films for a while now - you can even find some of them on Steam - but they’ve just announced they’re publishing CODumentary (actual name), which is a documentary… about COD.


Daniel Licht, the Dexter and Dishonored composer, dies at 60


Licht scored both Dishonored and its sequel last year.


Trump’s policies are hurting the US game industry, say EA and Take-Two



During a panel at the 2017 Games for Change Festival yesterday, representatives for Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive discussed the Trump administration as it relates to their companies’ interests. Focusing their complaints on three significant issues across domestic and foreign policy — immigration, education and trade — they argued that the White House isn’t doing what’s best for the U.S. game industry.

The most ambitious Quake map ever built has just been released in 2017C5NS4fE.jpg


The Forgotten Sepulcher is about *60 times* more intricate than classic Quake maps.


Turn Geralt into an extreme sports nut with Pro Witcher 3 mod


We've heard of fast travel, but this is ridiculous.


Esports News


The Weekend In Esports: Dota 2 Bloodbath



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.


Evo Ruleset Now Allows Coaching, With A Catch



Before yesterday, players at the world’s largest fighting game tournament were unable to receive advice from their coach, if they had one, once they reached the semifinals. Now, thanks to a rule change, if they need help during a match of Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., or any other game contested at the Evolution Championship Series, their coach can assist them—as long as they remain off the stage and take only 30 seconds.


Community Outcry Scuttles The International's Custom 'Dota 2' Map Skin



A special underwater map for an aquatic-themed International looked a little too different for some 'Dota 2' fans.


Seven Months After Smash Bros. Tournament, Organizers Say They Can't Pay The Winners



Some of the world’s best Smash Bros. players say they are owed thousands of dollars for their performances in a tournament called BEAST 7 held in Sweden last February.

GameCube-Only Controller Rule In Smash Melee Competition Raises Eyebrows


Five prominent Super Smash Brothers: Melee tournament organizers and players have formed a competition committee and released a recommended ruleset for tournament play, including a lengthy section imposing a “tentative ban” on the use of non-Gamecube controllers. The ruleset writers explained that the 16-year-old classic Gamecube controller is “somewhat intrinsic to what we consider ‘playing Melee’ and the skills involved in doing so,” despite the growing concerns in the Melee community about the controller’s poor ergonomic design.


All These Ultimates Aren't Enough To Stop South Korea's Overwatch Team



An onslaught of ultimates, rebuffed by a lineup featuring some of South Korea’s best.


Smash Pro Dances His Way To Doubles Victory



Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth is usually known for his dancing outside of Super Smash Bros. For The Wii U, but in today’s doubles finals at Low Tier City 5, he ended a match with a little in-game flair too.


A Tekken 7 Round So Close, It Needs Two Slow-Mo Cams



Slow-mo is one of Tekken 7's most hype features, slowing the critical moment of a fight down to mere frames. In last night’s Tekken World Tour Korea grand finals, the two fighters were so close that it came down to the slow-mo cam twice in a single round.


Number One Dad Subs In For Son's Rocket League Match


NBC is hosting a 2v2 Rocket League tournament this weekend, a big deal for 2v2 players like Josh “JumpOnStuff” Russo who could potentially make a national broadcast debut. But when Russo’s teammate couldn’t make it down to the open, one man was willing to take up the controller and fill in: his dad.


$20,000 Call of Duty Zombies Tournament Features Four Incredible Players



Hardcore Call of Duty Zombies players showed off impressive speed runs and even broke some records in their quest to compete in a $20,000 Zombies World Championship this month in Los Angeles.


Korean League Slaps League Player On Wrist For Bragging About Salary



The League Champions Korea Operations Committee has issued a ‘caution’ penalty to SK Telecom T1's Junsik “Bang” Bae for a reply to one of his viewers during a League of Legends stream in February 2017.


Activision-Blizzard Forecasts Overwatch League As “Long-Term Value Driver” in Earnings Call



While questions persist regarding the future of Overwatch League, the latest Activision-Blizzard quarterly earnings call made it clear that the league’s organizers are bullish on its future.

Team Liquid Are Reportedly the Lastest to Leave Competitive Overwatch


Amidst positive news for the expansion of Blizzard’s Overwatch League, another long-term endemic esports brand might be bowing out of the shooter’s competitive landscape.


Disney Looks to Bring Esports to Its Orlando Resort



Following the Walt Disney Company’s investments into esports companies and televised broadcasts of esports events, the international media giant may soon take the next step of hosting esports events.


Philippines government pledges support for esports



“It cannot be denied that esports requires tremendous amounts of skill and training”


Meet Eloise, the troll queen of Hearthstone



Tempo Storm's Chinese superstar on alien invasions, twitch culture, and the battle to be taken seriously.


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


Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Japanese Video Game Obscurities



101 rare, weird and important Japanese video games


Seduce & Deceive Your Way To Power In Ambition: A Minuet In Power



Players will seduce and deceive rivals, send enemies into social ruin, and carefully position themselves to come out on top in pre-revolutionary France in Ambition: A Minuet in Power.


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


Tales from the Borderlands: The Oral History



I like it a lot. I wanted to know how Tales from the Borderlands came to be, I wanted to know who made it, and I wanted most of all for my mind not to think of the game in the same breath as “plane racist”. So I did this. Here, for the first time, is the oral history of the development of Tales from the Borderlands, compiled from interviews with over a dozen members of the cast and crew from Telltale and Gearbox.

Like all good stories, this one begins at the Spike TV video game awards.


How a board game company defined video game ads for 20 years



How do you sell a game you don’t want to show?


The Hackers And Modders Behind The Next Official Sonic Game



For decades, Sonic the Hedgehog has inspired an obsessive fandom that’s been difficult to separate from the uneven quality of the games. Fans have created impressive art, music, and even games that pay tribute to the series and its characters. Some of these creations are so impressive, that SEGA brought on fans to create the much-hyped Sonic Mania.


An 8-Year Opiate Addiction Fueled His Love for Games. Now, He's Quitting.



Games have helped (and hindered) Larry's addiction for nearly a decade, but he wants to be a better father, a better partner. He's just not sure what it means for his favorite hobby.


Rich boys, GTA5 and the problem of privilege



An elite school uses the controversial game to teach life lessons


Final Fantasy VII Retrospective: Great Because It's Weird



Before I played Final Fantasy VII, I didn’t think it was going to be very good. I don’t remember how I was introduced to the game—maybe it was a store ad, or a magazine, or that wild 1997 TV commercial—but I do remember hating it.


'The Dream Machine' Was Supposed to Take One Year to Create. It Took Eight



An adventure game sculpted in clay, cardboard, and dreams has been the passion of two designers since 2010.


'What Remains of Edith Finch' Creator Talks Memory, Family, Death



Ian Dallas may be the most important, least-known designer in the video game movement we’re all trying very hard not to call the walking simulator. Steve Gaynor of Fullbright (Gone Home, Tacoma), Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin of Campo Santo (Firewatch), Dan Pinchbeck of The Chinese Room (Dear Esther, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture), and Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable, The Beginner’s Guide) have all taken a turn as the face of indie games. So has Thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen (Journey, Flower), whose success at Sony paved the way for Dallas to land a similar deal for his studio, Giant Sparrow, out of the University of Southern Califronia’s game school.


Space Engagement: Tacoma's Steve Gaynor on Designing for Curiosity



“The challenge with creating something where the point of it is supposed to be engaging with the stuff itself is if you give the player an additional reason, an extrinsic reason, to engage with the stuff, then it actually encourages them to disregard as much of it as possible because they’re only looking for the important thing.” That’s Steve Gaynor, project lead of the upcoming Tacoma, talking about the specific design challenges of the game. Over the course of my half-hour Skype call with Gaynor, we chatted about a lot of different topics, but we kept coming back to something close to this: How do you design a game where the reward is in the engagement itself? How do you ground an entire game experience in the exploration of a space and a story?

Why I'm Happy I Found A Sex Toy in Tacoma


Tacoma is a great game—innovative, intriguing and thoughtful all at once. I loved every heartbreaking minute. Among its more distinctive features is its diversity, offering up a cast of characters that are widely varied in their racial, religious and sexual identities.

You Can Complete Tacoma By Just Standing Around


Tacoma’s space station corridors, seemingly cold and barren, are alive with story. You can explore them to your heart’s content, piecing together a tale about the station’s crew—and much more. Or you can just stand around and do nothing, if you want.

Tacoma: In Capitalism, No One Can Hear You Scream


Fullbright likes misdirection. Like Gone Home, the developer’s new game Tacoma plays with our assumptions about a well-defined gaming genre. Instead of horror, though, Tacoma tackles sci-fi, with a familiar setup: a solitary figure approaching an abandoned space station to figure out what happened to the workers who used to live there. Instead of aliens what you find are the fragments of regular lives lived in an irregular environment, lives dictated and defined by the work and the employer that sustains them. What you find is a metaphor for how we let work isolate and suffocate us.

No games do dialogue like Tacoma, but they really should


There’s a reason the naturalistic dialogue in Tacoma isn’t common. Where Tacoma casts us as a voyeur, looking on as others drive its story forward, most games make the player the protagonist and focus on them.


How to design a great Metroidvania map



The creators of Hollow Knight describe how they built a complex, interconnected world, from sketches to final game.


Hitman: The Accidental Agatha Christie Game



It was while I was hurling yet another pipe wrench at the back of a security guard’s unsuspecting skull that I had the thought, “Why aren’t there any good detective games?”


'Fire Pro Wrestling World' Is Great For All the Reasons the WWE Games Suck



As fans increasingly turn toward indie and underground wrestling, a DIY wrestling game offers its own form of freedom from WWE.


The Long Dark Reminds Us That Existence Is An Accomplishment



The Long Dark is one of the most punishing games I’ve ever played. For a Pacific Northwest girl such as myself, it’s less of a game and more of an exercise in anxiety.


“Gears of War’s Vulnerable Supermen,” by Ed Smith



Call of Duty: Modern Warfare caused a splash of critical fervour because it killed one of its heroes. Spec Ops: The Line castigated its players and made war look ridiculous. The Last of Us was brutal, but also tragic. Wolfenstein: The New Order featured a lot of gore, but also a heartbroken and weary protagonist. Black Ops III was about soldiers losing their minds with every successive kill. Mafia 3 told a story of racism via bloodshed and shooting.


Earthworm Jim’s Mean-Spirited Satire Doesn’t Hold Up



Developed by Shiny Entertainment, Earthworm Jim positions itself largely as a work of satire seeking to upend various side scrolling tropes of the time. It follows the titular character on a quest to save Princess What’s-Her-Name. This calls attention to the tired damsel trope by explicitly positioning the princess as an afterthought. It’s smart. Earthworm Jim is by no means progressive, but it reshuffles genre conventions to point out their absurdity. This recontextualizing fails more often than it succeeds, particularly in the raw game design.


In lieu of full voiceover, Pyre devs created a language to give characters texture



One player’s question on the Steam forums about the in-game language spoken by the characters in Supergiant Games’ Pyre brought about a surprisingly in-depth answer from one of the game’s developers about how the fragmented language of Sahrian came to be.


Meet the teenager who started a charity to help those with disabilities using the magic of VR



With a VR headset and a lot of persistence, Dillon Hill is giving back.


What it's like creating one of Steam's most popular games at just 20 years old



Nelson Sexton has accomplished in his teens what many will never accomplish in their life.


7 twin-stick shooters that game developers should study



Twin-stick shooters are enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment, thanks to indie game developers. With that in mind, we reached out to several devs who've worked in the genre or been deeply influenced by it, and asked them to name some of their favorites exemplars of the form, and tell us what lessons they can teach designers today.


Peace Games - Gaming for a Better Future - Extra Credits


Since the founding of the Olympics, games have been a tool to bring people together, allowing us to compete but also to recognize the humanity in our opponents. Although online games have become a breeding ground for toxicity, they still have the potential to teach us about each other and find role models in professional players.


Analysis: Game Accessibility for the Non-Disabled


How accessible fighting games are preserving their depth and what it means.


Gone Home's Indie Rebellion


Developer The Fullbright Company looks back on the breakout success Gone Home, how it changed environmental storytelling, what it borrowed from Bioshock 2, and how Tacoma evolves the studio's style of game.


Game Boy Player | Gaming Historian


The Gaming Historian talks all about Nintendo's Game Boy Player. In 2003, Nintendo released the follow-up to the Super Game Boy, the Game Boy Player. A device for the Gamecube, the Game Boy Player could play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. Is it the best way to play Nintendo handheld games on your television? Find out!


Lessons Learned from Creating a Virtual Reality Engine


In this 2017 GDC talk, Unity's Liz Mercuri discusses The Horror Engine, and how developers new to programming can take advantage of third-party engines to bring their visions to life.


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


Destiny Pop-Tarts



Doomfist In-Depth Analysis & Review


Things I Missed From Previous Week


Specter Knight Mobility Design



From the outset of development on Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment we had a couple of concrete goals and ideas. We wanted to go bigger and better than our previous effort, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, and make Specter’s campaign even more unique and varied. We wanted to tell a more serious story with some creepier overtones. Most of all, we wanted to center the game around a truly cool character. Specter Knight was always supposed to be a “tragic but awesome” kind of guy, and we wanted to drive the point home every way we could. When crafting Specter Knight’s mobility, embodying these themes was most important.


Mafia III and the Soundtrack of History



The music of a time and place often becomes the defin­ing aspect of a cul­ture moment – even more so after that moment has passed. When you think of the 1950’s, chances are you hear Elvis or Buddy Holly; psy­che­del­ic rock is the ‘60s, disco is the ‘70s, and so on. When you hear that music, you aren’t just feel­ing what that par­tic­u­lar song makes you feel, you’re feel­ing what that whole aes­thet­ic and cul­tur­al era makes you feel.


The Evolution of Music in Mario Games


A look at how the soundtrack of Super Mario has evolved from its 8-bit origins to its more contemporary form.

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