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This Week In Gaming 1-16-18

1 post in this topic



Allegations of hostile and unhealthy studio culture at Quantic Dream, the pitch that convinced Miyamoto to back Mario Rabbids, Awesome Games Done Quick charity sets new record, Total War Three Kingdoms announced, In Search of the First Video Game Commercial, Yume Nikki added to steam with date for potential follow up project, Breath of the Wild’s life lessons for kids, first footage of Yume Nikki follow up, the topic every game dev is talking about behind closed doors, mass Twitch spammer faces criminal charges, Examining the Spectacle of Video Games and Swatting, Sea of Thieves closed beta starting soon, game designers discuss the games of 2017 and talk about the ones that were overlooked, 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)


Horizon Zero Dawn leads with ten nominations for the 21st DICE Awards



The Legend of the Zelda: Breath of the Wild a distant second, appearing in six catagories


Nintendo Direct Mini 1.11.2018


Nintendo Direct mini featuring the latest Nintendo Switch games. Stay tuned for some exciting surprises and updates!

Nintendo Direct Mini January 2018: The 5 biggest announcements


From release dates to real surprises


Total War: Three Kingdoms heads to ancient China later this year


In November, Creative Assembly discussed the direction of its historical games—teasing scant information on what would become series spin-off Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, Rome 2's Empire divided DLC, and a then unnamed "brand new era" in the process.


Former Police frontman Sting will star in Where the Water Tastes Like Wine


Sting will provide the voice of the Wolf, who condemns you to wander the Depression-era US.


Dream Diary, 'the next Yume Nikki project,' gets a teaser trailer and countdown site


On the heels of Yume Nikki's recent Steam release, publisher AGM Playism is teasing Yume Nikki: Dream Diary, believed to be a follow-up game of some sort, with two strange trailers and a vague countdown site. You can find the latter here.

The Horror Game Developer Who Disappeared For A Decade


The developer for a cult classic, experimental horror game disappeared from the internet for a decade. Their sudden, unexplained resurfacing on Steam leads to more questions than answers. 00:00 00:00


With new enemies, new loot and mod support, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is your next big co-op game



The rats are back, and they brought some ugly new friends.


Consortium: The Tower's blend of Die Hard and Deus Ex lets you sweet talk terrorists



Consortium: The Tower has a hell of a pitch - ‘Die Hard via Deus Ex’. You are not J.C. Denton or John McClane here, however. Instead you, the player, sat in front of your PC, are the main character. Using some sci-fi puppeteering technology, you take over the body of a special forces operative tasked with resolving a terrorist situation on a mile-high tower block. It is up to you how to proceed from there.


Battalion 1944's lead explains why they're making a competitive FPS set in WW2


The old-school multiplayer shooter from the creators of The Turing Test hits Early Access on February 1.


The World Ends With You: Final Remix Coming To Switch This Year



During this morning's Nintendo Direct, the company announced a Switch port of the cult-classic DS/iOS RPG The World Ends With You


The Aserai clans rule Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's southern deserts



The latest Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord dev blog goes into the Aserai, the ruling tribe in the game’s southern deserts, based on the Arab tribes of the seventh century. While spoken of as one people, they’re made up of a many smaller tribes, each vying for power.


Seedy vampire RPG Vampyr is getting a deep-dive video series


Ahead of Vampyr's delayed release, Dontnod plans on exploring these and other themes in a video series appropriately titled "Dontnod presents Vampyr."


BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle launches May 31 in Japan and Asia, June 5 in North America; adds DLC character Blake Belladonna


20 characters in the base game, 20 characters are downloadable content.


Two Point Hospital is Theme Hospital's spiritual successor, and it's out this autumn


Sega will publish the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital. Two Point Hospital, which is being developed by two developers from the 1997 hospital management sim, will release later this year.


How Kratos' Axe Changes God Of War's Combat


In this exclusive Game Informer interview, God of War's lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald from Santa Monica Studio talks about designing the new game on the PlayStation 4 and how the team is hoping to make Kratos' axe Leviathan as satisfying as the Blades of Chaos.


Anamorphine is a heavy adventure game about mental illness


No dialogue and no combat, but plenty of questions.


Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor—Martyr adds new map, class, single player chapter


The first campaign segment also serves as a tutorial.


The Lord of the Rings card game will scratch your itch for more Dungeon Runs



Gimli and the gang return in this promising physical card game conversion.


Square Enix Announces Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition


On March 6, Square Enix is releasing Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition for Xbox One and PS4. It’s filled with new features, including a new dungeon, a first-person mode and the ability to control the game’s royal boat.


Dynasty Warriors 9 teases combat, horses, scroll system in new in-game footage


Plus five new character trailers.

Dynasty Warriors 9’s English Trailer Charges Through What’s New In This Open World Sequel


Koei Tecmo America recently released a press release and a new trailer for the upcoming open world Dynasty Warriors 9, showing how the combat system and gameplay flow has been revamped to fit the new nature of the world.


Scribblenauts Showdown - Announcement Trailer


Scribblenauts Showdown will be available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 6, 2018.


New Gundam Breaker Builds Its Way Westward In 2018 For PS4


Following the announcement of New Gundam Breaker for PlayStation 4 in Japan and Southeast Asia, Bandai Namco announced that the game is headed to the Americas and Europe in 2018.


New Trailer for Q.U.B.E. 2 Shows Off Some of The Game’s Environments and Puzzle Gameplay


Toxic Games have released a new gameplay trailer for Q.U.B.E. 2 today which gives us our first look at gameplay and some of the environments you’ll be exploring in the game.


Dark Souls: Remastered confirmed for PC, release date set


Return to Lordran this May.

"There is no discount" on Dark Souls Remastered for owners of the original game


orry, there's no loyalty discount for Dark Souls Remastered.

Dark Souls Remastered won’t have cross-play


Listen, internet. You know how people get about Dark Souls. It’s a game that often forces you to cling to desperate hopes in the face of overwhelming despair, and that perseverance often extends to their desires for the game itself. Like when hoping for cross-play in Dark Souls Remastered.


Take a hike through Monster Hunter: World’s gorgeous, alien Coral Highlands


Normally ‘coral’ and ‘highlands’ are mutually exclusive terms, but the lands of Monster Hunter: World have recently undergone a tectonic makeover, lifting sea-beds high up into the sky and forests down into the swampy mire.

Monster Hunter World - Rotten Vale Gameplay



This smelly place is full of carcasses and bony creatures that are alive.

Monster Hunter: World producer explains PC delay


Ryozo Tsujimoto hopes players don't mind waiting for a "great, optimised" game.


Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana will come to PC at the end of the month


It was originally slated for September of last year, but localization problems forced delays.


Being a nobody is better than saving the day in historical RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance



We're more excited than concerned with how all-in Deliverance goes on roleplaying a medieval loser.


Masters of Anima Will Be Fighting Evil on Switch This Spring


Focus Home Interactive has announced that it will be bringing Masters of Anima, an original adventure game from Passtech Games, to the Nintendo Switch this spring.


Death Trash is a post-apocalyptic RPG filled with profanity, gore, and puke



The pixel art is seriously impressive.


Mario Tennis Aces arrives on Switch this spring



Mario Tennis Aces is a brand new sports game for the Switch, arriving this Spring.


Sea of Thieves team talk improved skeleton AI in latest developer diary


Rare has made a lot of tweaks in the past six months.

Rare’s Sea Of Thieves’ Closed Beta Begins January 24, 2018


While Rare’s Sea of Thieves will not be launching until March, people have an opportunity to sample the pirate simulation much sooner.





14 years later, the mysterious cult hit is getting some kind of follow-up.


New SNK fighting game focuses just on the heroines



The queen of fighters


The Raven Remastered release date set for March


Less than five years since its first release.


Stellaris: Apocalypse - First Look


Stellaris: Apocalypse redefines stellar warfare for all players with a host of new offensive and defensive options. Destroy entire worlds with terrifying new planet-killer weapons, fight against (or alongside) ruthless space pirates, and maybe discover a few non-violent game features as well.


Endless Space 2 teases new content, and it looks like the return of the Vaulters faction


It looks like Endless Space 2 is getting a new content update, and we won’t be waiting very long to see it.


Assassin's Creed Origins patch lands tomorrow, adds new quest and map regions



Assassin's Creed Origins will get its big January patch tomorrow, which will pave the way for its upcoming expansion The Hidden Ones.


RimWorld’s next version will be 1.0, creator wants to close five years of development



Space pioneering sim RimWorld went into beta back in November, and nearly five years after its original Kickstarter it seems the game’s finally about to have its full release. The “next version will be 1.0,” says creator Tynan Sylvester on Reddit.


Firaxis detail Civilization 6: Rise and Fall’s ages, loyalty, governors, and more


Civilization VI’s first full-size expansion, Rise and Fall, will be out in just a few short weeks, and in case you’ve missed out on the trickle of reveals for all the new features, Firaxis have provided a fancy, trailer-based rundown for everything coming in the new add-on.


Battlefront 2 adds new Blast map and Hero ship in latest update



In the wake of its November launch, much of the conversation around Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been tied to loot boxes. With its controversial microtransaction system still frozen, EA breaks into 2018 with a new patch, number 1.1.

Battlefront II Patch Nerfs Overpowered Wookiee Warriors


Players who earn enough points during Star Wars: Battlefront II matches can play as a variety of special characters, from hi-tech Stormtroopers to the Emperor himself, but none are as deadly as the Wookiee Warrior. A new patch has nerfed these overpowered creatures and brought an end to their hairy reign of terror. 00:00 00:00


You can try Battlefield 1’s DLC free this week, and Prise de Tahure will be free for good



EA have detailed what to expect from the next few weeks of Battlefield 1 content, including new maps, a chance for base players to check out the DLC, and a certain premium map going free for everyone.


PUBG Devs Publish Drop Rates For New Loot Boxes



PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has outlined new additions to its loot box system to go live on the game’s test server. In addition to disclosing the odds of getting different cosmetics, the patch notes also point toward a new type of microtransaction that will be making its way into the game in the future.


Robot Cache wants to compete with Steam - using blockchains



Blockchains, perhaps the biggest buzzword of 2017. And, perhaps, 2018 too: Brian Fargo, CEO of InXile Entertainment, is one of the faces behind Robot Cache, an online game distribution platform that promises lower transaction fees, integration with its very own cryptocurrency, and the ability to resell games once you're finished with them.

What Is Blockchain?


All of a sudden, blockchain is everywhere. The technology, which was invented in 2008 to power Bitcoin when it launched a year later, is being used for everything from copyright protection to sexual consent (yes, really).

All this time I thought that this was the blockchain.


For The First Time In 11 Years, The Japanese Console Game Market Has Grown



Over the past few years, the console market in Japan—both hardware and software sales—has been sluggish in Japan. In 2017, however, that changed.


The "Don't Forgive Nintendo" Hashtag Has Turned Into Shitposting



Nintendo is suing Japanese mobile game company Colopl for $40 million dollars, alleging the game Shiro Neko Project infringes on its patents. Initially, a Twitter hashtag appeared to be supporting the mobile studio, but it’s now turned into Nintendo shitposting. 00:00 00:00


David Cage and Quantic Dream "shocked" by allegations of unhealthy studio culture


Three separate French reports published this afternoon level serious allegations of unhealthy studio culture at Quantic Dream, developer of Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and the upcoming PlayStation 4 game Detroit: Become Human.

Quantic Dream leaders David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière are accused of inappropriate behaviour, overworking staff and colluding in - or at least turning a blind eye to - a schoolboy culture involving sexist and racist jokes.

Having played all of his games to see his depictions of black people, Native Americans, women, and Chinese people in them and his interviews on his new game, Cage saying, "judge me by my work" is a really bad defense even without the rest of the quote.

Update: Journalist Reportedly Blacklisted Over Quantic Dream Story


Le Monde journalist William Audureau says he has been "blacklisted" by Sony for his piece on the studio's reportedly toxic studio environment. Audureau says that this notification has come from sources, and that this activity is common in the games industry in France.


Prince of Persia creator wants to bring the series back, but Ubisoft say it’s “on pause”


If you’ve been around videogame Twitter in the last few months, you’ve probably become aware that model Chrissy Teigen is a bit of a nerd. She’s documented her journey with Super Mario Odyssey, and recently delved into Stardew Valley - albeit the latter adventure had mixed results. Now, like many of us, she wants to know what’s happening with Prince of Persia.


Hideki Kamiya Imagines Devil May Cry 5 with a Full Style Change Like God of War


Original Devil May Cry Director Hideki Kamiya provided an interesting point of view on a new direction that Capcom could take with Devil May Cry 5.


Fortnite has over 40 million players, and has achieved 2 million concurrent users


In just over a month, Fortnite has picked up another 10 million players.

"We could be the biggest game in the western world"


Epic talks Fortnite Battle Royale map improvements and record player numbers.


Report: YouTube may introduce stricter vetting process for top-tier ad channels



YouTube’s parent company, Google, is looking into increasing the vetting process for which YouTube channels and videos receive top-tier ads through the company’s Google Preferred packaging, Bloomberg reports.


Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 finishes with more than $2.25 million raised for charity



All the money goes to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The Best Speedruns From AGDQ 2018


Last week was a seven-day bonanza full of exciting speedruns, as the Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 marathon raised over two million dollars for charity. Here are some of my favorite runs from the show.


Canadian Man Accused Of Mass Twitch Spamming Faces Criminal Charges



A Canadian man is facing federal charges after allegedly flooding over 1,000 Twitch channels with 150,000 spam messages early last year. The messages, which included racial and antisemitic slurs, spurred the British Columbian supreme court to issue a criminal charge for “mischief in relation to computer data” in early December, CBC reports. He could face up to ten years in prison. 00:00 00:00

The dinosaur that will save children from sexual abuse



Playtime with Pantosaurus is not the first time NSPCC has used video games to spread its message (it has worked on several different titles for Childline to enable various forms of self-help and therapy), but it's the first time the charity has used our medium to reach out to parents as well as their children. And it's unlikely to be the last.


Spanish government approves $7.8 million grant for indie devs


More than triple the size of a previously cancelled grant.





Sydney, Australia – 17 January 2018 – The Australian video game development industry continues to flourish, despite minimal recognition from the federal government, a survey of local game developers has shown.


Switch emulator announced, made by team behind Citra 3DS emulator


It's called Yuzu, and it has no release date yet.


Esports News


Over 400,000 viewers tuned into the Overwatch League on its first day


Last night saw the first round of the Overwatch League, Seoul Dynasty vs Dallas Fuel, and by all accounts it was a big success, drawing in hundreds of thousands of viewers. According to esports figure Ben Goldhaber, the first night of streams peaked at 415,000 viewers.

No Overwatch League Team Signed The Game's Most Notable Female Pro To Their Roster


I heard this line of reasoning a few times throughout the day: now isn’t the time to give women players a shot, but someday they’ll totally be part of the Overwatch League, somehow. One team will snap up a woman player, and then the floodgates will open. In the meantime, women will just have to work harder than everyone else and also only enter when the circumstances are exactly right.

'No Girls Allowed': Dissecting The Gender Divide in Overwatch League


Why are the top female Overwatch players being ignored in the new Overwatch League? That’s the question that Kotaku raises with a new report coming out of the Overwatch League media day in Los Angeles this week, noting the conspicuous absence of Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon. A female player from South Korea who is by all accounts at the top of her game, Se-yeon is notable both for being excellent at videogames, but also putting her money where her mouth is, demonstrating a high level of skill as well as a huge threshold for bullshit. So where was she on media day? Why did no major teams sign her to their roster?

Overwatch Player Uses Doomfist To Obliterate Pharah And Mercy From Orbit


Doomfist may not be able to fly, but he sure can fall with style.

My Hunt For The Mysterious Man Or Machine Controlling The Blizzard Arena's Light-Up Halo


The Blizzard Arena stage has a massive light-up halo on the ceiling that serves as a progress bar for Overwatch objectives. As a team captures a point, the halo fills up with that team’s colors. It’s an impressive illustration of who’s winning. And it’s all manual. Or so I’ve been told.

Last Night's Dallas-Seoul Game Showed How Fun Overwatch League Can Be


The Overwatch League’s first night of competition kicked off with hundreds of thousands tuning in on Twitch to watch a slightly tuned up broadcast, OWL’s experienced commentating crew, and two boring, lopsided opening games.


ESL announce $50,000 PUBG Invitational at IEM Katowice


PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will have another chance to show its esports readiness this February, as ESL have announced the PUBG Invitational at Intel Extreme Masters World Championship Katowice in Poland. 16 teams will compete for a share of a $50,000 prize pool.


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


Breath of the Wild’s fantastic life lessons for kids



Children can learn much from Nintendo’s masterpiece


We Should Take the World Health Organisation's Classification Of Gaming Disorder Seriously



For the majority of this article's readers, gaming disorder is something you’ll probably never experience.The WHO itself says "gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities." But it's worth remembering that, even if you're not touched by this, it's a very real problem and acknowledging it is, for some people, the first step.


Keiichi Tanaka explores the history behind Nintendo’s now-legendary “MOTHER”—a tapestry woven from the words of Shigesato Itoi and the ingenuity of Satoru Iwata.



In this column, author Keiichi Tanaka talks with game creators of the 80s and 90s whose excitement and occasional excess helped shape the industry in its adolescence.


Polygon’s 2017 Year in Review: video game essays from designers, authors and critics



A place for designers inside the gaming world and writers outside to reflect on 2017

Ken Levine on Zelda and the terrifying need to demolish the old to make way for the new


The director of BioShock and BioShock Infinite on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Playing BioShock Infinite in the age of Trump is unsettling, but not for the obvious reasons


The host of Crooked Media’s With Friends Like These on BioShock Infinite

Mario + Rabbids inspired the creative director of XCOM to reevaluate the genre


The creative director of XCOM on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

PUBG helped me learn to meditate


The co-writer of The Last of Us Part 2 on PUBG

Wolfenstein raises the question: When did punching Nazis become controversial?


The founder of Fullbright on Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

What big publishers can learn about representation from small games


The writer of 80 Days on Butterfly Soup and Dream Daddy

The minds behind Uncharted and Firewatch talk candidly about surviving in the games industry


Amy Hennig and Sean Vanaman discuss the challenges of development and aging in the industry


Devs answer: What were the overlooked gems of 2017?



It’s the best time ever to be playing video games.


Indie developers on the trials and triumphs of making Switch games



Development is smooth—as long as Nintendo is interested.


Walking Heavy is a stealth game about English gangsters that's flown under the radar



Gregory Oldham's first game on Steam is so sneaky hardly anybody seems to realize it's been released.


The alchemy of Remedy



Thomas Puha explains how the independent studio known for single-player AAA narratives is adapting to an industry that seems increasingly driven by other experiences


The topic every game dev is talking about behind closed doors : The cost of doing business



I’ve been thinking a lot about what it costs to be a developer these days. Not merely the cost of running a team (although I think about that a lot) but the cost of putting your work out in public, and what that means in the modern era.


The 10-year making of Iconoclasts



"I made the whole game just like I made games before: I make it as you play it. Which is not something you really should do if you want to have a view of your scope."


Shattered Realms Developers Talk About Bringing Fighting Game Complexity To Brawlers


Combos, move cancelling, super moves, and all manner of fighting game abilities are being brought to Shattered Realms, a beat ‘em up that draws from the fighting game genre to create some exciting play opportunities to the genre.


How InnerSpace's creators made their disorienting flying game playable


In an inverted world with alien physics, teaching people to fly isn't easy.


Are arcade shooters really dead?



Last year, Housemarque declared they were done with arcade games after lackluster sales of Nex Machina. Yet other indies are keeping the genre alive.


In Search of the First Video Game Commercial



Before Pong there was Odyssey, the first home video game console. When Magnavox released it in the fall of 1972, they encountered a number of obstacles in educating consumers about this brand new technology. Odyssey creator Ralph Baer recounted in his book, Videogames: In The Beginning:


Examining the Spectacle of Video Games and Swatting



"A lot of this swatting stuff happened when it became feasible for people to get paid playing video games."


Shadowhand's creators discuss their position at the crossroad of 'core' and 'casual' games



Helen Carmichael and Jake Birkett on their solitaire highway robbery RPG and how it's designed to split the difference between two kinds of player.


Classic Tools Retrospective: Tim Sweeney on the first version of the Unreal Editor



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


How well does Assassin's Creed Origins capture history? We asked an Egyptologist



“History is not made of events,” Galan says. “History is more than that - history is literature, history is daily life, history is the relations between father and son, or husband and wife. History is legal contracts. In that sense, the game brings great attention to these secondary details, like how bread was made, how beer was made, when you go into a house you see what an Ancient Egyptian house looks like.


Invisible limbs and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - the gruesome secrets of Dead Space



Dead Space released into a world of players trained to aim for the head. That tiny hitbox at the top of every character model is the sweet spot for causing critical damage in a shooter, but Visceral’s third-person horror game instead told us to go for the extremities, to lop off limbs, to tear its alien abominations to pieces and crush their corpses underfoot with magnetised boots.


'Suckin Dick While My Man Plays 2K': When Video Games Meet Sex



Back in September 2017, one Twitter user informed the world that she was “suckin dick while my man plays 2K.” At first glance, it seemed like she was boasting about some video game foreplay, but no. She later clarified, “LMAO y’all thought i meant my mans dick?😂 fohhh.” Months later, I can’t stop thinking about this silly Tweet, and what it says about the combination of video games and sex.


How One Of Horizon Zero Dawn’s Most Powerful Scenes Connects Aloy's Childhood With Her Future



In my closing article for today’s run as guest editor, I thought I’d get into why I’m loving my time with Horizon Zero Dawn and how I almost skipped over one of the most surprisingly touching moments in the game.


Ultima Underworld and the freedom to make bad choices



Why I Love: Quantum Soup's Chris Payne gets lost in the many innovations of The Stygian Abyss


Floor Kids - Rhythm and Creativity | PostMesmeric


Floor Kids might look like just another rhythm game at first glance, but it manages to mix things up in ways other games in the genre don't. See how this humble indie title changes up expectations of what rhythm games are capable of, while giving the player a stunning amount of creativity in how they play.


Super Mario Odyssey - It's No Masterpiece



The pitch that convinced Miyamoto to back Mario Rabbids - Here's A Thing


In this week's episode, we're taking a look back at Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Hey, I hear they just revealed some new DLC!


John Gonzalez on Writing Horizon Zero Dawn - Extended Interview


In this extended cut of our interview with Guerrilla Games' Narrative Director John Gonzalez we talk about his work on Fallout: New Vegas, the challenge of creating an empathetic character, how the writing team created a believable universe around her, and the unique culture of this Dutch studio. [WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS] Our work is crowdfunded.

Consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/noclip

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