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This Week In Gaming 10-24-17

1 post in this topic



Waypoint podcast has on former Bioware employee Manveer Heir to talk EA management and industry problems, new sexual assault allegations against NeoGAF admin and past activities cause exodus of mods and members, 13 original Xbox titles added to One backwards compatibility with improvements, dates of the next three Steam sales, The Escapist finally dying, how the System Shock reboot is changing the original, Leonardo Da Sidci on growing older with video games, Hitman Game of the Year editions adds new content, history of the first person shooter and of Wolfenstein, world's best Smash 4 player worn down by threats and harassment, Wolfenstein lead says adding MP would dilute the story, are indie games too cheap, snomaN Gaming asks if Cuphead is a good rage game while people keep trying to pretend journalists don't like Cuphead, Twitchcon 2017, and more.


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


The Story Behind TwitchCon's Giant Bob Ross



During this year’s TwitchCon, Twitch patron saint Bob Ross was watching over everyone, literally, in the form of a towering bead painting that took 24 people six months to assemble.

The Best of TwitchCon 2017


TwitchCon is a celebration of all things Twitch, video games, Twitch memes and streams, where attendees were able to meet their favorite streamers and check out everything the convention had to offer. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s TwitchCon.

At TwitchCon, IRL Streamers Cause Problems By Streaming IRL


On Friday, the first night of TwitchCon 2017 in Long Beach, California, I was standing on a street corner, waiting for a stoplight to change. A roving pack of streamers walked up behind me. “Are you streaming right now?” one asked another. “Of course!” an IRL streamer replied. “If you’re here and you’re not streaming, what the fuck are you even doing?” The moment would prove to be illustrative of a divisive trend at this year’s show that led to tension on show floor, trouble at parties, and even an arrest.

Video links

TwitchCon 2017 Keynote

TwitchCon 2017 - Twitch Yearly

The 2017 TwitchCon Talent Show

The 2017 TwitchCon Cosplay Contest


Here Are the Dates of the Next Three Steam Sales



Speaking to three developer sources today, Kotaku UK has learned the dates and times of the next three Steam Sales. According to images provided by these developers, the next three sale dates are as follows.


NeoGAF Goes Dark After Sexual Misconduct Allegation Against Owner


The influential gaming forum NeoGAF is imploding in the wake of an accusation of sexual misconduct against the long-running site’s owner. Yesterday, around a dozen of NeoGAF’s moderators—more than half, according to two sources—quit their posts there, and the website has been down for over half a day following a string of threads in which users requested bans, flooded the forums with angry posts, and declared that they were quitting.

Inside the Sexual Misconduct Allegations Rocking NeoGAF's Last 48 Hours

After speaking with Malka, the woman who made the original allegations, and a number of moderators who helped run NeoGAF, a messy and uncomfortable picture emerges.

More information in that one.

Ex-NeoGAF community and moderators come together to create ResetEra, launching today


The internet moves fast and its denizens move faster. The NeoGAF community, voluntarily ousted from their home via sexual misconduct allegations against the forum’s owner, has already begun work on a replacement. ResetEra is being created by the official Discord community, who have been working on it since NeoGAF collapsed over the weekend, with some of the old moderation staff on board. Web hosting has been finalised and it’s due to launch later today.

Inside former NeoGAF moderators’ mission to build a better alternative, ResetEra


Knowing that NeoGAF was mocked online for years by groups like KotakuInAction and 4Chan, Shinobi602 told Polygon that ResetEra staff was prepared for the new wave of attacks on the site (once it goes live) and their community. Part of the way ResetEra’s team is looking to combat any serious harm is by sending out invites to the site in waves, vetting newcomers before opening it up to the public.

NeoGAF Reopens, Users Revolt


Following a weekend of strife that led to mass mod resignations and the forums going offline for days, popular gaming community NeoGAF has reopened this evening. And it’s a mess.



As many of you may have noticed by now, there hasn't been much staff interaction over the last few months. It is with regret that, to our knowledge, that all paid staff have been relieved of their duties, with the apparent exception of Yahtzee, The Escapist's streaming staff, and Encaen for a few contracted hours a month. We won't beat around the bush, it is a serious situation. We can't promise that The Escapist will last forever; it may have years left in it, or it may disappear tomorrow. What we can say is we will do our utmost to keep this site running in an orderly fashion, for as long as it stays online. That said, nearly everything that it does is through volunteer efforts.


Vermintide 2 will not sell loot boxes, developer confirms



The finely named Swedish studio Fatshark officially unveiled Warhammer: Vermintide 2 yesterday with a gameplay trailer highlighting some of the new features—character careers, Heroic Deeds—and also a few fine members of the Chaos army that's joining the fight. One thing it didn't mention, however, is how it will handle loot—and, more to the point, loot boxes.


Sony: Planet of the Apes and PlayLink will help us reach non-gamers



Sony expects its new PlayLink range to broaden the PS4's appeal, and says blockbuster IP like Planet of the Apes will be key in driving this.


Double Kick Heroes is a stunning shoot-'em-up with a metal rhythm


Just cruisin' and shootin' in your Gundillac.


Banner Saga 3 Art Reveal


Check out the key artwork unveiling for the final game in the epic RPG series, Banner Saga 3.


Indies In Development: This week's most promising picks from #ScreenshotSaturday


This is a golden age of videogames. More than ever before, people from all backgrounds are making games using freely accessible tools that industry pioneers of the '80s and '90s could only dream of. The only problem now is information overload; with more games than anyone could ever process, what are you to do?


Adding multiplayer would "dilute" Wolfenstein's storytelling



MachineGames' Tommy Tordsson Björk on the benefits of single-player focus in "pushing the boundaries" of The New Colossus' subject matter

The voice of BJ Blazcowicz didn't know he was auditioning for Wolfenstein


Brian Bloom, the voice behind BJ Blazcowicz in Wolfenstein: The New Order and The New Colossus, says he didn’t know what he had been auditioning for. Even when he got the part, he says he didn’t know what it was.

Exclusive: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Environmental Concept Art


This gallery includes several pieces of concept art from The New Colossus, with notes from Art Director Axel Torvenius. They show how much effort went into designing this world and trying to make it cohere with not just the last game but the clashing cultures of Nazi Germany and mid-century America and the larger implications of the game’s story. Read on to learn more from Torvenius.

Bringing an Axe to a Knife Party: Inside Wolfenstein 2's Weapon Change and Why it Matters


Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is changing a fan favorite weapon, and MachineGames has enlightened us as to why.

Wolfenstein 3D returns with a twist in Wolfenstein 2


Game within a game lets players try a version of Wolfenstein that never was


God Eater 3 teases protagonist, new fields and Aragami



"Large number" of new fields and Aragami promised.


Rest comfortably with our Camp UI


How nice is it to get some rest after a long, hard day of adventuring, knowing that your companions will have a watchful eye on the camp? Why not catch up with them and have a bit of a chat before you turn in for the night? We feel that companion conversations while camping are something worth turning a simple “rest button" into a fully fleshed-out part of our game.


Shin Megami Tensei V Revealed With A Trailer


Today in a livestream, Atlus has announced Shin Megami Tensei V, the latest entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series. The game was teased this past January.

Shin Megami Tensei V will be a game that sympathizes with the times


Tidbits from a Weekly Famitsu interview.


Gran Turismo Sport Will Turn You Into A Ghost Car If You Aren't A Polite Driver


Gran Turismo has always skewed more towards the realistic simulation end of the spectrum in order to provide an accurate experience for virtual racers. This year’s version adds another layer to that, in the form of a certification and enforcement of proper “sportsmanship.”


Hyakki Castle is Japan’s answer to Legend Of Grimrock


It’s always nice to see a familiar concept filtered through another culture’s lens, and the recently announced Hyakki Castle seems just what the doctor ordered for Legend of Grimrock fans wanting another fix of dungeon exploration, party-building and monster-mashing, and it’s less than a month away.


Monument Valley lead’s next game, Florence, is like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind



Florence explores the ups and downs of young love


How the System Shock reboot is changing System Shock



New concept art and a chat with the game director about how Nightdive is adapting a classic into a modern game.


Lost Sphear story trailer showcases combat, memories, and the moon


The new game from the maker of I Am Setsuna will be out early next year.


Tartarus launch trailer showcases a retro-future sci-fi ship in trouble


It's not actually launched yet, but it's coming in November.


A big Metal Gear Survive announcement is incoming


Some kind of announcement is coming for Metal Gear Survive tomorrow, according to the official Metal Gear Twitter account.


Insomniac Games is looking for a publisher for Sunset Overdrive 2



Sunset Overdrive surprised everyone when it launched due to its thrilling gameplay, bright colors, and hilarious dialogues.


Consortium: The Tower's new playable demo offers freedom befitting an immersive sim


The original Consortium was a flawed gem. A Deus Ex-ish immersive sim with a Quantum Leap-meets-Star Trek setting. You were invited to inhabit the body of a Bishop - a power-armored man of action - and play out a tense siege scenario aboard a massive sci-fi aircraft time and time again, poking and prodding with dialogue choices and (entirely optional) violence to find your own personal solution.


Attack on Titan 2 coming March 2018



Koei Tecmo confirms release window, playable characters


Yakuza: Kiwami 2 details ‘New Nightlife Island’ and ‘New Clan Creator’ play spots



Compete in the Cabaret Club Grand Prix and protect Majima Construction.


Watch lots of people get slo-mo murdered in the Assassin's Creed: Origins launch trailer


Bayek's stab-tastic adventures in Egypt gets underway later this week.

The Wondrous Deserts of 'Assassin's Creed Origins'


Great shifting mountains of sand whipped into waves of featureless landscape: The desert goes on and on and on, blanched mounds spread across vast emptiness.


Extinction Is Coming - Fighting A Giant Gameplay


We got an early look at the upcoming game Extinction, and the dev's chose one of the later levels in the game to show off some of the combat, movement, and variety of Ravenii you'll see smashing your cities.


Dragon Ball FighterZ releases on January 26, with pre-orders available now



Dragon Ball FighterZ will release on January 26, and will offer three separate editions.


Hands-On With Star Wars Battlefront II's Single-Player Campaign


Few series have lineages as storied as Star Wars, which can be a burden for every new project that attempts to pull from its universe. For decades, Star Wars games have tried to retell the stories from the movies or diversify and explore the outside periphery of the galaxy far, far away. The story campaign of Star Wars Battlefront II charts a middle ground between the two, teetering on the edge of the movies we know and love without being directly involved.

How Battlefront 2's Campaign Aims to Be the Most Immersive Star Wars Game Story Yet


Motive Studios' lead gameplay developer on nailing the authenticity and gameplay variety in Battlefront 2's single player mode.

The Star of 'Star Wars: Battlefront II' on NeoGaf, Sobbing and Livestreaming


Janina Gavankar, the face, voice and movements of Star Wars: Battlefront II's anti-hero Iden Versio, wasn’t on stage during Star Wars: Celebration when the game's first trailer hit.

Star Wars Battlefront 2: We played the first three chapters


Video footage and impressions

Star Wars Battlefront 2 campaign is '5-7 hours' long


EA doesn't want to drag it out.


Catmaze’s Sorceror Heroine Fights With The Varied Powers Of Animal Familiars


With her mother taken to another world, Alesta sets out to find Cat Bayn, a feline with powerful connections between worlds, in Catmaze, a Metroidvania that draws from Slavic lore.


Wulverblade Is A Brutal But Irresistible Brawler On The Switch



The game is currently available on the Switch but will be headed to PS4, Xbox One, and PC in the future.


Double Fine bringing toy box puzzler Gnog to Steam next month



Gnog is a 3D puzzle game built around monster heads and tactile, toy-like doodads. It's coming to Steam next month courtesy of developer KO_OP and publisher Double Fine. Gnog does not yet have a price point on Steam, but judging from its earlier PlayStation 4 release, it will cost $14.99.


Steven Universe: Save the Light introduces a totally new character



Hessonite makes her series debut in the upcoming RPG


You're an acrobatic skeleton in colorful platformer Super Skelemania



Skeletons are time-honored videogame enemies. Countless games are filled with the things, from Diablo to Minecraft to Dark Souls to Divinity: Original Sin 2. So when you think of skeletons, you probably have a pretty concrete picture. You might think "spooky" or "dungeon" or "for god's sake just stay dead." You probably wouldn't think "acrobat," but thankfully developers like Ben Allen are here to push the envelope with games like Super Skelemania, a 2D platformer with a focus on exploration that happens to star an acrobatic skeleton.


Turn-based roguelike Deep Sky Derelicts channels Darkest Dungeon in space


I always struggle to come up with comparisons that don't overshadow new games and are also useful for readers. Thankfully, developer Snowhound games has done the legwork for me with Deep Sky Derelicts, which they describe as "a mix of Darkest Dungeon and XCOM with a pinch of Hearthstone and FTL: Faster Than Light added on top." It's coming to Steam Early Access next month, and it's definitely one to keep an eye on.


Try the demo for this 'indigenous cybernoir' mystery adventure


At first blush it's a faithful adventure game with some snappy dialogue to read and decisions to make, but its art and music are immediate standouts. Aesthetically it's sitting somewhere between classic black-and-white crime dramas and Picasso. Characters have exaggerated, sharply angled features, and subtly distorted environments echo the disturbing classism of its setting. It's all carried by a score of smooth jazz that I can only describe as audible chocolate.


Visual Novel Maker is coming to Steam on November 16



It's from the RPG Maker developers.


Police Stories is a neat combination of Hotline Miami and Door Kickers



Plan, shoot and interrogate your way through the criminal underworld in this tactical action game.


Injustice 2 confirmed for PC, beta kicks off tomorrow



Join the Bat and his pals this Autumn/Fall.


Star Ocean is coming to PC for the first time on November 28



With 4K support and Steam achievements.


Here’s a full view of Total War: Warhammer 2’s combined campaign map, out next week


Total War: Warhammer 2 is about to offer a significant bonus for players who’ve stuck with the series in the form of a massive campaign map combining the boards from the original and the sequel.

21 minutes of Total War: Warhammer Mortal Empires Gameplay


Chris goes hands-on with Total War: Warhammer's new combined campaign: Mortal Empires.

Creative Assembly on the daunting task of fusing its Total War: Warhammer trilogy in Mortal Empires


For most developers, releasing a sequel would usually mark the end of work on the original game as they move onto DLC, patching, and performing general maintenance for their new baby. But for Total War: Warhammer developers Creative Assembly, the work never stops, as they have set themselves the task of merging the campaign maps of all three games in this eventual trilogy.


Hollow Knight’s second free expansion out next week


One of my greatest gaming regrets of this year is getting about halfway through Team Cherry’s excellent metroidvania Hollow Knight, then getting sidetracked by a pile of work. In order to get properly back up to speed, I reckon that I’ll have to start fresh, although with the rate at which they’re pumping out free DLC I might just wait a little while longer.


Hitman Will Get New Campaign, Return Of Elusive Targets


Hitman will get a Game of the Year Edition on November 7, IO announced today. It will bring a new campaign, new escalations, and a chance to try Elusive Targets you might have missed. It’s not Season Two, but it’s a ton of exciting new stuff.


Card game Duelyst adding new Generals and 100+ other cards



Immortal Vanguard expansion due next month.


The Escapists 2 drops Wicked Ward DLC in time for Halloween


The latest themed prison from Mouldy Toof and Team17.


Larian tease “something wicked” coming to Divinity: Original Sin 2


You’ve probably heard us extol the quality of Divinity: Original Sin 2 by now. It’s very good, and every new story about its success is another chance to remind you all of how good it is - but judging by its sales success, most of you have already gotten the point. That’s why folks have gotten all fired up over a tweet Larian recently sent out that seems to be teasing something new.


World of Warcraft dataminers find evidence of new races in next expansion



You really can't hide anything anymore. Least of all when you're insistent on leaving tantalising stubs of data and mysterious models in your major patch releases.


Halo director spells out what went wrong in Master Chief Collection, why it can be fixed



Improvements to Xbox One’s network and OS will be a big help


Destiny 2 PC and console builds could diverge 'if we need to' says Bungie



Though 'one design build' is the goal.

Bungie Details Its Plans For "Seasons" in 'Destiny 2'


Destiny 2 will have what the developer calls "seasons," Bungie revealed recently during a panel at Twitchcon. We're currently in the first season of the game, with the second season planned for this winter.


PUBG will test a deadlier blue zone next week



Developer hopes it will encourage more focused firefights.


Huge Battle Chasers: Nightwar patch makes it less grindy and more difficult



More experience, more money, more fun.


Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades delayed to early November



A few more final adjustments are needed.


The Shieldbreaker joins Darkest Dungeon later this week



The new character is a fast-moving counterpuncher plagued, of course, by dark dreams.


Fire Emblem Warriors DLC characters announced



Azura, Navarre, Owain, and more.


Halo Wars 2 is getting crossplay between PC and Xbox soon



Functionality is due later this month.


The sad, slow death of Lego Dimensions



Toys-to-life franchise Lego Dimensions has drawn to a close, a year earlier than originally planned.


The games industry responds to #MeToo



As I remind people all the time in my lectures, the "industry" is not some distant, rumbling machine that we can conveniently blame for all our problems. The industry is US - we are the heart that beats within this creative endeavor. By acting now, we can save countless individuals from physical, mental, and emotional pain, suffering, and distress.

IGDA adopts zero tolerance policy on harassment


"We cannot succeed, as individuals, artists, or companies, if our industry tolerates harassment"


InXile Entertainment Switches Its Tune And Is Now Exploring Options On The Switch



If you were worried the Switch doesn't have enough role-playing games, Nintendo is looking out for you. inXile Entertainment, a developer known for its old-school approach to RPGs like Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, just got approved to develop for the Switch, according to a tweet from founder Brian Fargo.


Former Visceral designer says Dead Space 2 cost $60 million and 'underperformed'


The game sold four million copies, and that wasn't enough.


Resident Evil VII ships four million units but remains a long way from sales target



The game has proven a hit on VR, with just under 300,000 users on the platform


First 13 Xbox backward compatible games for Xbox One announced, available October 24



Microsoft has announced the first 13 backward compatible original Xbox games for Xbox One, which will be available tomorrow, October 24. All 13 titles are enhanced with 1080p resolution, higher and / or smoother frame rates, and faster loading times.


Sonic Mania to inspire future 3D games, was designed to help bring 'very divided fans together'



Sonic Team's Shun Nakamura looks to the future of the blue hedgehog.


Rockstar Discusses Past, Present, And Future Of Grand Theft Auto Online



When Rockstar first released Grand Theft Auto Online in October 2013, it was easy to see the potential. Throwing 16 players into the same shared space, the mode had a little something for everyone. At its heart, players could grind through multiplayer shoot-outs and races to raise cash for new weapons, vehicles, and real estate. But beyond that, players had a wealth of other activities as well. Maybe your friends gathered for a base jumping excursion, played a round of golf, or cruised the streets starting trouble with other players or robbing liquor stores. Early technical difficulties made getting to many of these activities a chore, but over time Rockstar stabilized the experience.

Rockstar Reveals Why GTA V Didn't Get A Story Expansion, Reaffirms Commitment To Single-Player


When I think of the qualities that define a Rockstar game, the first things that come to mind are open-world innovation, an unparalleled understanding of pop culture, and compelling storytelling. The latter is why I count myself among those disappointed that Rockstar never made a story expansion for Grand Theft Auto V.


Tomb Raider creative director steps down to join indie developer



Milham had been with Crystal Dynamics just over a year before joining Outpost Games


Harmonix lays off 14 in bid to 'reduce overhead'



In an unfortunate bit of news, Gamasutra has learned that Boston-based developer Harmonix Music Systems has laid off 14 employees from multiple departments today.


Board game company Fantasy Flight Games opens video game studio



The long-running board game company Fantasy Flight Games has opened a new studio to focus on developing games of a more digital nature.


What do you do when a hate group steals your logo?



How a Star Citizen player group responded to white nationalists adopting their branding, and what publishers could learn from Cloud Imperium's response


Denuvo DRM broken within 24 hours of South Park’s launch, say hackers



South Park fractured, but whole on pirate sites


Twitch is adding a clear roadmap to Partner status



Rituals, Raids, and Achievements are coming to Twitch. Here's what those things actually are...


Games for the Many: how Labour plans to win elections with video games



"Looking at how games can impact politics, that's quite a big question and I'm not sure anyone has all the answers, so we're trying to make this as grassroots as possible," says Carbó-Mascarell.


What the UK can learn from the Far East's battle with loot boxes



The debate surrounding loot boxes and in-game gambling has reached new levels, with the UK government now being called upon to change current legislation.

The Organizations That Could Do Something About Loot Boxes Don't Care


Pressure has resulted in formal responses from a bunch of organizations, but so far, no action.


When it comes to FIFA 18, you can most definitely cash out



In FIFA, as so many fans of EA's all-conquering football series know, you can buy FIFA Coins with real world money. And with those FIFA Coins you can buy packs of cards for use in FIFA Ultimate Team, the series' most popular mode and the one that makes EA so many millions of dollars each financial quarter. Pay your money, buy a pack and roll the dice. Will I pack Ronaldo? Or Messi? Or an in-form? There's only one way to find out.


Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven comes to GOG, years after vanishing from Steam



You can pick up the original crime classic DRM-free right now.


Obituary: Robert Guillaume, award-winning actor and Half-Life 2 voice actor



News is spreading today that Robert Guillaume, the Emmy Award-winning actor who spent 50+ years performing in films, television, plays, and the occasional video game, has passed away at the age of 89.


Ambitious Half-Life 2 mod Dark Interval rebuilds the classic from early concepts



Try as we might, it seems that we just can't escape City 17. With Half-Life 3 seemingly trapped in perpetual limbo, fans have been desperate to get their HEV suit fix somewhere, even if it means creating their own game from scratch. While some have turned to making their own sequel based on a leaked story outline, others have looked back to the original.


Esports News


The Weekend In Esports: The Halo Pro League And More Go Out West



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.


World's Best Smash 4 Player Is Worn Down By Haters And Harassment



For 13 minutes, Gonzalo “Zero” Barrios’ face barely moved. It was the Grand Finals match of a Super Smash Bros. Wii U tournament, and Barrios, the best Smash player in the world, was squaring off against a formidable opponent. A few feet away, Barrios’ bodyguard kept a lookout for a man who’d threatened to be there, in wait, with a gun aimed at the champion gamer.


Let's Run Down The Past 24 Hours Of Riot Games' Baffling Decisions



Immortals has been rejected from North America’s League of Legends Championship Series, which comes as a shock, given that the organization bought in back in 2015 and has since built one of the league’s largest support staffs for their LoL team. That still wasn’t quite enough of a commitment in League of Legends for Riot Games, though. According to ESPN, Riot Games rejected Immortals because of its recent investment in Overwatch League, and also because of broader concerns about the state of Immortals’ finances.


From taverns to tournaments: The rise of Gwent as an esport



CD Projekt Red's Rafał Jaki explains why the studio's competitive gaming ambitions are “not some calculated decision based on a spreadsheet”


12-Year-Old Magic Player Sets Sights On Hearthstone



During yesterday’s Hearthstone matches at DreamHack Denver, the commentators mentioned a player called “MTGKid” between matches. A young kid, MTGKid is actually Quinn Kiefer—a 12-year-old Magic: The Gathering player.


Luigi Taunt Catches Smash Player Off-Guard


In a match last night at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, one Luigi player pulled out a move that few would ever expect in a competitive setting: the taunt.


GG Expo wants to bring professional level esports to the masses



The first player-focused esports conference is coming to the US in 2018. GG Expo will run from May 26-28, 2018.


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


We Talk EA Woes, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Race, and Sexism with Manveer Heir


It's definitely a thing inside of EA, they are generally pushing for more open-world games," says Heir. "And the reason is you can monetise them better. The words in there that were used are 'have them come back again and again'. Why do you care about that at EA? The reason you care about that is because microtransactions: buying card packs in the Mass Effect games, the multiplayer. It's the same reason we added card packs to Mass Effect 3: how do you get people to keep coming back to a thing instead of 'just' playing for 60 to 100 hours?

You need to understand the amount of money that's at play with microtransactions. I'm not allowed to say the number but I can tell you that when Mass Effect 3 multiplayer came out, those card packs we were selling, the amount of money we made just off those card packs was so significant that's the reason Dragon Age has multiplayer, that's the reason other EA products started getting multiplayer that hadn't really had them before, because we nailed it and brought in a ton of money. It's repeatable income versus one-time income. I've seen people literally spend $15,000 on Mass Effect multiplayer cards.

Waypoint's Austin Walker and Danielle Riendeau and 12+ year developer and former Bioware employee (ME 3 and Andromeda), Manveer Heir, talks about problems with scaling budgets, EA studio management, middle management bloat, problems with homogeneous leadership, id software saying single player linear shooters were dead before CoD 4 came out, bringing multiplayer and micro-transactions to ME 3 and Andromeda to keep people coming back and how the money earned through them caused Dragon Age to have multiplayer, systemic industry problems and leadership blind spots, industry burnout, unions, what happens when you are a person that speaks up about industry and design problems, and how memes will kill you.


How videogame developers are helping us get to Mars



Baikonur, one of Kazakhstan’s most well-known cities, houses the only existing launch base for flight missions to the International Space Station. Three astronauts arrive and are packed onto Russia’s Soyuz capsule, hunched over like meaty cargo, and fired into the stratosphere for the six-hour journey. Now other countries want to regain a foothold on the stars - in August 2018, Boeing’s Starliner capsule will take an unmanned mission to dock with the station. If this automated test is successful, a manned flight is planned to go ahead in November 2018. Strangely, videogames will have a fingerprint on these advancements.


The Gollop Chamber: XCOM is now a genre



In his first column for PC Gamer Indie, creator of the original X-COM Julian Gollop argues his game has become a genre of its own.





Ubisoft San Francisco execs reflect on South Park, Rocksmith, and taking risks.


How video game difficulty became a cultural battleground



The range of difficulties was not principally included to flatter or shame players, but to give arcade operators options that could be tweaked in order to maximise their profits in the wild. With arcade games, as the novelist David Mitchell once wrote, you pay to delay the inevitable. In other words: failure is certain. But an arcade game that is too challenging produces players that feel short-changed and resentful. A spread of secret difficulty levels enables an arcade operator to calibrate a game's challenge behind the scenes, and, having monitored the effects on his public, maximise profits. For this reason every Neo Geo game comes with no fewer than eight difficulty levels.


The history of the first person shooter



From Maze Wars to Overwatch, the FPS has enjoyed decades of innovation.


How the Millennium Edition helped Strafe explode (in a good way)



After a rough launch Pixel Titans worked on their roguelike first-person shooter until it became the game it should have been.


What Happened After Three Developers Pirated Their Own Games



Game developers have been trying to figure out how to paddle their way through pirate-infested waters for decades. DRM, “glitches” designed to thwart pirates, and more DRM have done little to stem the tide. Seeing this, a handful of developers took less combative approaches, putting their games on sites like the Pirate’s Bay themselves. Months (or in some cases, years) later, they say it was a worthwhile experiment, even if it didn’t improve their sales all that much.


Are indie games too cheap?



The average indie game on Steam costs less than $9 and sells few copies. Are those prices sustainable?


The Physical Glass Ceiling: When The Git Gud Mentality Turns Ableist



I used to be a card carrying member of the Git Gud Club. I say “used to,” because I’ve had to rethink that lately. While in the past decade of gaming I’ve felt a lot of pressure to be an above average player, due to my visibility as a woman (a topic I covered in depth in the collaboration Shooter), it’s at odds with another aspect of my identity, that of a disabled person.


'Baldur's Gate II' Asked an Enduring, Troubling Question About Justice



The quest to capture the Planar Sphere in 'Baldur's Gate 2' makes even more sense in the shakier, murkier world of 2017.


Different as they are, Supergiant's games all explore tolerance and the ways we we deal with disaster



Supergiant's three games address the struggles of modern societies.


Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is at war with itself over slavery



This is compounded by the problem that I mentioned above: The end of every orc’s story is either slavery or death. Tork and I might go back and forth over and over again. He might kill me ten times in a row. I might defeat him once by stabbing him and lopping off his arms but, surprise, he’s back from the dead and ready to kick my ass. These engagements are what the game is selling. Exclaiming “not this asshole again!” under my breath as an orc started his monologue is, frankly, one of the best experiences that I have had in any game, ever. The Nemesis Layer develops a longform story about myself and this orc trapped in struggle.

But I can’t ever make peace with the orc. I can’t offer them artifacts to leave me alone. I can’t cede control of some territory to the orc in a bid for a temporary armistice. If I don’t want to kill the orc, I have to enslave them. The storytelling power of the Nemesis Layer is being critiqued by the Cutscene and Dialogue Layer, but the Cutscene and Dialogue Layer is fundamentally nullified by the interactions and mechanical ends that the Nemesis Layer demands.


How ARMS created a fighting game for everyone



Fighting games are hard. Ask anyone but the most jaded veterans and you’ll find this a common sentiment. This is something that I’ve found out myself, after I put in several months into learning them this year. Despite that, I can barely even consider myself a beginner.

So when I finally got my hands on ARMS, Nintendo’s newest fighting game for the Switch, I was surprised to learn that it almost effortlessly addressed so many barriers to the genre. In his review for Eurogamer, Martin Robinson called ARMS a game that “does for fighting games what Mario Kart did for driving games”. It’s an apt description. ARMS brings the excitement of fighting games’ 1 on 1 brawls, but builds it in a way that doesn’t require deep, methodical study to enjoy. Key to this are three things: simplicity of control, easing of penalties, and a continued effort to teach through play.


How Video Games Scare Us (And Why We Like It)



Be it Resident Evil, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Dead Space, or Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, horror games have long been a part of the gaming industry, offering up scares, zombies, chainsaws, and other such ilk for horror aficionados.


RPGs may never top Ultima 7, but Divinity: Original Sin 2 comes close



Ultima 7 bears a heavy crown as the king of computer RPGs. Original Sin 2 proves Larian may have what it takes to usurp the throne.

Also good response and thoughts in the thread above on Ultima compared to Divinity.


So, You’ve Officially Made Pharah A Native



I would have loved a real Native hero for Overwatch. And I know the indigenous Overwatch players who are fine with or like what you’ve done because we’re so starved for representation would have too. I wanted a Native hero that wasn’t born of “How much diversity can we shove into a character to cover our asses?” but created in consultation with indigenous peoples who understood what it is to be indigenous, with their cultural connections, who you hired to help bring real, meaningful diversity and representation to your first Native Overwatch character. I was rooting for you since day one, because I’ve lived through over a decade of Blizzard’s horrible racist depictions of Natives in the form of monstrous cow people who say “How!” when you click on them enough. I had hoped someday we’d see a Native hero that I could wreck shit with in Overwatch.


Mercy's Redesign Shows The Tug Of War Between Casual And Competitive Overwatch



In the past month, the healer Mercy in Overwatch has experienced an unprecedented boom in popularity across all competitive levels, especially in the highest tiers. The big spike in Mercy usage coincides with a massive overhaul of her abilities, courtesy of a patch implemented on September 19. These huge changes have sparked debate in the Overwatch community about how pro players influence the game, and whether Blizzard’s pivot into the esports business has changed the game.


FIFA 18's Worst-Rated Player Isn't Even A Pro Athlete



The lowest possible rating a FIFA 18 player can have is 46, and there are ten players plumbing these depths. Nine of them, like Grimsby Town’s Max Wright and Scunthorpe United’s Leslie Sackey, are professional athletes. The tenth is a former youth goalkeeper roped in to get around an administrative loophole.


A Massive Argument About Which Games Should Be on the N64 Mini



The thing about the N64 is that it’s quite easy to pick a handful of solid gold classics that anyone would agree should be included. We had a couple of self-imposed rules: firstly, we'd go with the magic number of 20 games; secondly, we weren't going to worry about publishing rights and plausibility; and thirdly, if we couldn't agree whether something should be included, we'd put it to the vote on Twitter. This right here is the result. I look forward to being told that we're totally wrong in the comments.

Ogre Battle Person of Lordly Caliber and Paper Mario are on the list, so it's correct.


Doki Doki Literature Club is an uncontrollably horrific visual novel



This game isn’t what it looks like — and that’s key to its frights


'Neopets': Inside Look at Early 2000s Internet Girl Culture



But like plenty of girls her age in the late Nineties and early 2000s, Garcia wasn't just caring for a digital pet or battling with it online – she was experimenting. Neopets, and other sites like it, was deemed acceptable as a safe place for girls to play in an often unfriendly Internet. Such a space allowed for girls to create a culture of play that supported a breadth of creative endeavors.





Everything from Metal Gear Solid to Donkey Kong has provided rich inspiration


A New World Record Means Super Mario Bros. Speedrunners Are Running Out Of Options



The game has a new world record of 4:56.528. Speedrunner Darbian reached it late last Friday night on his 27,474th attempt. It’s a big milestone in an important game, but it also signals the possible beginning of the end for the race to beat Super Mario Bros. as quickly as possible.


Online Nintendo Manuals

That's cool, never knew that.


Weird reactionaries trying to pretend journalists don't like Cuphead

Just kind of throwing this in here because it's kind of amusing but also embarrassing and leads to writers being harassed, the outrage and lie about/misrepresent everything Youtubers (PDP being the larger channel again) and social media troll crowd seem to have gone back to saying that game journalists hate and can't beat Cuphead. As someone who actually reads, looks into things, and knows people, that's clearly not true. Probably why most never source anything, the few in their audience that can read might notice that they are lying. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Growing Older With Video Games | Sidcourse


In this episode of the Sidcourse, we take a look at how players can still enjoy the incredible world of video games even when growing older.


How Cuphead's Bosses (Try to) Kill You | Game Maker's Toolkit


Cuphead is a master class in boss attacks. Let's look at the game’s patterns, phases, telegraphing, predictability, and more. This video shows off bosses from the game’s first three areas.


Cuphead & The Difficulty Dilemma


Cuphead has had a bit of controversy in regards to its difficulty, but today I'm going to focus on how it stacks up to other challenging platformers that are held in high regard. Does Cuphead offer a good "rage game" experience? Let's find out!


Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines | Troika Games Retrospective 3/3


In the third and final chapter of a 3-part Troika Games retrospective, I will take a look at Leonard Boyarsky, Jason Anderson and Tim Cain's RPG classic, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. This series will cover all three games they developed, how they innovated, what didn't succeed and and attempt at the age-old question: "What happened to Troika Games?"

In Vampire: Bloodlines, you play a fledgling vampire caught in a complex power play between the Camarilla, the rebellious Anarchs and the dangerous Sabbat; in a World of Darkness, filled with betrayal, ambition and politics of the night. Based on the beloved pen and paper game. Let's take an in-depth look at what made this game great but also what destroyed its chances of success in this Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines retrospective.

3:36 - Shining a Light Into the World of Darkness
7:50 - Sinking Your Teeth Into Vampire
11:09 - An RPG Masquerading as an Action Game
13:46 - Broken Masterpiece
16:26 - Postpartum, Postmortem


Danganronpa V3 Analysis - Learning to Lie | PostMesmeric


The newest entry in the Danganronpa series strives to outdo its already great predecessors by implementing perjury into its mechanics. But how does the ability to lie change how the game operates? Time to check out Danganronpa V3 and see what's new in hope and despair.


The History Of Wolfenstein


With the release of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, we take a look back at the 36 year history of shootin', stabbin', and killin' Nazis


Mega Man X | The Completionist


Welcome to the very first episode of The Completionist New Game Plus. This episode is my Mega Man X Review.


Failed Nintendo Pitches (Super Mario, Star Fox + More) - Unseen64


This Unseen64 video covers several ideas that were pitched to Nintendo, but ultimately rejected. Various studios have asked to make a game using a Nintendo IP, this includes everything from ports of Super Mario Bros. 3 to PC, to remakes of the original Star Fox on 3DS.

Liam Robertson is a video game researcher and archiver. In his spare time, Liam creates videos and articles for Unseen64, but will also be contributing to the DidYouKnowGaming channel.


Off Camera Secrets Explained by Developers | A Hat in Time - Boundary Break


Many worthwhile discoveries and real developer insight from the games creator Jonas Kærlev!


One More Level - The Arbitrary Endpoint Trap - Extra Credits


When we stay up later than we wanted just to hit a progress point in our games, we have fallen into the arbitrary endpoint trap. Some games deliberately manipulate us to do one more level, but many times we're doing it to ourselves and making playtime a chore.


Turning Players Into Payers (The Jimquisition)


Let's talk about Scientific Revenue, the service that demonstrates exactly what games want from you - they want to turn players into payers... and they proudly admit it.

The predatory side of gaming has only just begun to show its fangs.


The Complete Super Nintendo Mini Retrospective (1991 - 1996)


In this full-length essay, I take a look at the sequel to the ground-breaking NES and how it carved its own identity in the 16-bit era; Told through the medium of the SNES Classic Mini.


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


Our best stories from Divinity: Original Sin 2



Surprises, mishaps, and exploding pigs.

Divinity Original Sin 2 Player Collects Paintings Of Boss, Beats Him With Them


They say that pride goes before a fall. One Divinity: Original Sin 2 player decided to interpret the saying literally, killing jerk boss Bishop Alexander by having a plethora of paintings of himself—the surest sign of hubris—fall on his head until he died.


The Eleven Scariest Video Game Ghosts Of All-Time: Ranked


Boo! Did I scare you? Well, if the single word "Boo" typed out with an exclamation point after it wasn't enough to terrify you, maybe this video of the top 11 scariest video game ghosts of all-time will do the trick. Why did we rank the top 11 ghosts instead of the top 10? Well, 11 is greater than 10. That's more content! And technically, the top eleven contains the top ten, so hey!


Any Drooling Halfwit Can Pick Up A Controller Now (Commentocracy)


Videogames are hard work, and if you don't work hard to balance them alongside your wife, child, and job, you'll never git gud.

You'll NEVER take up miniature gaming, either.


Things I Missed From Previous Week


10 Classic Cartoons to Watch if You Loved Cuphead



As I recently wrote here at Paste, my favorite memories of childhood are of watching old cartoons from the golden era of animation. Imagine my delight, then, when I first laid eyes on Cuphead. This vintage-inspired darling, though difficult to complete, has won over fans and critics alike, showcasing the developer’s remarkable talent for reverse engineering the style of Fleischer Studios and Walt Disney’s earliest work. I caught up with brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, the duo behind Cuphead’s creation, to ask them about the cartoons that inspired the game, and find out what their favorites have been over the years. Here are ten films to watch if you want to relive the look and feel of Cuphead.


There's No Such Thing as a Hard Game (Or an Easy One)



I’ve dedicated the majority of my last decade to making hard, punishing games. I love making and playing games that are both a test of skill and a world players can immerse themselves into. Time and time again, difficulty comes up as a subject in the internet discourse, and time and time I see various misunderstandings about how our understanding of games and difficulty interrelate.

Also an older thread on the thought behind the design of one of his previous games

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