The economics of the indie gaming world are intriguing. Far from the multimillion dollar turnover of so-called "AAA" developers, most amateur writers and programmers are flat broke - mostly because many of their games simply aren't very good. Many of the loudest voices seem to exist on handouts from the public. Even some mainstream gaming journalists can be seen begging for money online, which may explain their sympathy for women like Quinn, who regularly put out pleas for cash, alongside dubious claims about "muggings."
Writers such as Nathan Grayson – with whom, along with at least four other men, Zoe Quinn cheated on her boyfriend for calculated professional advancement – know that they will be rewarded with sexual favours for promoting substandard work by some female developers. Grayson wrote about Quinn a few days before he admitted to starting a sexual relationship with her. His editor, on learning this, said no disciplinary action was necessary or would be forthcoming.
And it's not just allegations of sex-for-coverage that's dogging video games: many of the same journalists who write about sexually liberated gals like Quinn even pay her money, publicly donating cash to keep her afloat while turning a blind eye to her vindictiveness and mendacity. Not for any specific purpose, you understand: just to exist. The chutzpah it takes for them to ignore each other's, and their own, conflicts of interest is astonishing. It has not gone unnoticed by their readers, who have been publishing exposés of their own in the last two weeks, demonstrating more investigative flair than any supposed reporter I have encountered in the video game industry.
I hope someone will forward this article to Kotaku, so they can see what actual journalism is like.
Inspired by the “Father of the Survival Horror Genre” classic from Atari and H.P. Lovecraft, Alone in the Dark™ reinvents the series’ game style into a terrifying, new survival-action horror experience.
Nintendo has prepared a massive lineup of new games and products for the 2014 holiday season. The lineup includes new entries from some of the biggest franchises in gaming, new hardware bundles for Wii U and Nintendo 2DS, and new amiibo interactive figures featuring some of the most iconic characters in the world of video games.
The holiday shopping season begins today for Nintendo fans, as the first 12 amiibo interactive figures become available for pre-order at a suggested retail price of just $12.99 each. The first dozen characters available for pre-order at select retailers are Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer, with more on the way in the future.
“Nintendo’s holiday offerings demonstrate a combination of fun franchises and great value,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “With Wii U and Nintendo 2DS hardware bundles, classic names like Super Smash Bros., Bayonetta and Pokémon, new IP like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and amiibo, everyone will find something to love about Nintendo this holiday season. Whether people are shopping for themselves or they’re prepping their gift lists, Nintendo has them covered.”
Happy Friday! We’re pushing a patch today (view full notes here) that addresses many of the matchmaking issues taking place in Factions mode for The Last of Us Remastered. You should see improved matchmaking all around. It will be rolling out over the next twenty-four hours globally. Look for the update when you turn on your system today.
With that patch, as promised, we’re giving away two, brand new multiplayer maps for FREE. The first map is the Beach, an excellent map for long-range experts. The second map is Financial Plaza, which is ideal for both sniping and close quarters combat. The maps will be free for both PS3 and PS4 players. Check out these maps in our latest trailer.
Once we’ve deployed the maps, upon signing into Factions multiplayer, the store will pop up and you’ll be asked to download them for free. Here are the screens you should see.
If you’re super excited and want to see how quickly you can get back to playing Factions, the Maps for PS4 are roughly 291MB and the patch is about 137MB. For PS3, patch 1.09 will be approximately 170MB and the same maps are about 143MB.
Also newly available is our Scoped Weapons Bundle which can be purchased on the PlayStation Store for $2.99 right now. The four new weapons in the bundle are sold individually for $0.99 if you’re more selective about your guns. All weapons are available for The Last of Us on BOTH the PS3 and PS4.
Enjoy the free maps and get geared up with some new weapons and any of our many other The Last of Us Add-Ons such as the Ultimate Head Item Pack - which includes every head item we’ve made to date! Be sure to give us your feedback about the patch and new Add-Ons. Thank you for all the information you’ve given us so far. See you online!
When State of Decay debuted on Xbox Live last June, it broke a number of genre gameplay conventions: characters die permanently, story progression isn't pre-scripted, and the world continues to change even when players are offline. Fans responded enthusiastically to this "zombie survival fantasy" spin on the genre, ensuring a bright future for the State of Decay franchise.
So what's next for State of Decay? In Spring 2015, Xbox One owners will have the opportunity to experience the definitive version of State of Decay with the Year-One Survival Edition. Earlier this week, we paid a visit to Undead Labs' studios to learn more:
The State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will include the original State of Decay, now running in glorious 1080p, previously released Add-on packs Breakdown and Lifeline, as well as some entirely new content. Undead Labs will reveal more on the new content closer to release, and you'll read about it here when they do.
Nintendo of Europe is cutting around 320 jobs, the company has confirmed. This includes the 130 full-time staff confirmed to be on the way out back in June, and an additional 190 people who worked out of the company's Germany-based localization office.
The cuts were confirmed to Kotaku today. The site points out that, though the 190 people in Germany were technically temporary staffers, they all worked only with Nintendo, and in some cases, for periods of multiple years. All 320 affected employees will be let go by August 31.
As a result of the job losses, Nintendo of Europe will outsource the localization and testing duties previously performed by the German office. Nintendo says in a statement that the cuts were needed to "increase flexibility and cost efficiency in the long-term."
Deep Silver has announced Gat Out of Hell, a standalone expansion for Volition's open-world action game, Saints Row IV.
August 29, 2014 - Seattle, Wa. – Johnny Gat is larger than life in Volition's Saints Row®: Gat Out of Hell standalone expansion, announced today at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). In Gat Out of Hell players take on the role of Johnny Gat as he is sent into hell via a nefarious spirit board incident and left to combat demons, the horrors of the underworld (including prominent historical figures) and, of course, the Devil himself.
About Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
After the space faring antics of Saints Row IV, many fans asked what we could do next... the answer? Shoot The Devil in the face. Play as either Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington as you tear apart Hell in a quest to save the leader of the Saints’ soul. Historical icons, old friends, older enemies, a talking gun, a full length musical number, and a whole lot of other shenanigans all await you in the open world standalone expansion playground that is Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell.
About Saints Row IV: Re-Elected
In Saints Row IV, the head honcho of the Saints has been elected to the Presidency of the United States. But the Saints are just getting started. Now the larger-than-life insanity of the Saints series gets a new twist with a catastrophic alien invasion, and the aliens have transported the Saints to a bizarre Steelport simulation. Wield gargantuan superpowers and fight to free humanity from alien granddaddy Zinyak’s mental grasp. Escape the simulation that’s trapped the Saints crew, or die trying.
With Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, players will now be able to enjoy all the antics of the blockbuster release on their new gen consoles. Re-Elected also launches on January 27, 2015 in the Americas and January 30, 2015 in international territories .
Click on the image for the screenshots and the headline for the trailer.
SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON – August 29, 2014 – SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe, Ltd. today announced Total War™: ROME II – Emperor Edition, the definitive edition of the best-selling game in the Total War™ series from Creative Assembly.
Emperor Edition collects together all free content to date, which includes wide-ranging revisions, additions to game features and adds a brand new Campaign Pack expansion, ‘Imperator Augustus’.
Most importantly, existing ROME II players will receive all of the above content via automatic update on the day of launch, upgrading them to Emperor Edition at no cost.
The new ‘Imperator Augustus’ Campaign Pack adds hundreds of hours of sandbox gameplay across a new campaign map reflecting the geopolitical boundaries of the Second Triumvirate War. Players will determine the outcome of a vast civil war, which saw Octavian, Marc Antony and Lepidus vying to become the very first Emperor of Rome.
Alongside all feature updates from launch (including Twitch.tv integration, touch controls, new factions, new units and now the Mac version), Emperor Edition also features an improved politics system, overhauled building chains, rebalanced battles, and improved visuals in both campaign and battle.
Mike Simpson, Creative Director of the Total War team, said: “ROME II was far and away our most ambitious game. We see more people playing, and playing for longer, than any other game in the Total War series. However, we take our players’ feedback very seriously. Through the multitude of improvements and free content updates we’ve brought to ROME II since its launch, we’ve worked hard to try and meet their expectations. We want Emperor Edition to be remembered as one of our finest games.”
The design of Emperor Edition was led by Jack Lusted, Development Lead of CA’s New Content Team. “With the Imperator Augustus Campaign Pack, we wanted to recreate the vast civil war which erupted after Julius Caesar’s murder,” said Lusted. “You can tackle the campaign as various Roman and non-Roman factions, including Armenia for the first time. Our aim was to represent the titanic power struggle that led to Octavian becoming the first Emperor of Rome. It’s a pretty epic campaign, and it’s great that we can offer this to existing ROME II players for free as a thanks for their support”.
Not content with merely examining crime scenes, Sherlock Holmes in Crimes & Punishments – your new investigation game for PS4®, PS3®, Xbox One®, Xbox 360® and PC from Frogwares coming on September 30th - showcases a unique set of skills aimed at cataloguing facts about a person by their appearance, which may raise doubts about their claims and stories.
Click on the headline for more info and the trailer.
This is alarming many Nintendo fans who currently own a 3DS, sending out a signal that perhaps most new games for the 3DS will indeed require this “New 3DS” CPU, or even the functionality of its additional controls. The idea is that with more power and more buttons to work with, why would developers not design games for the new system?
But it’s not as if players can even simply take the expensive step of buying a new New 3DS (can’t resist discussing this name much longer), because if they do, Nintendo lacks a unified account system that would allow them to say, transfer and download their old, purchased games to the new handheld.
PC Gamer has posted a hands-on preview of BioWare's role-playing game, Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Further up, I fight a Red Templar Behemoth, less a soldier and more a 15-foot-tall, faceless lump of bipedal lyrium. For the first time I have to toggle-on Dragon Age’s tactical camera, renovated for Inquisition, to kite the monster and deliberately spend my party’s abilities. It’s here that I realize how comfortable Inquisition feels when played as a real-time action-RPG; even more than it did in DA2. Broadly, the combat isn’t as demanding as a conventional action game—there’s auto-attack—but it also never drifts into, say, over-generous hit detection or the disconnected ‘combat dancing’ of some MMOs.
“We’re going for a hybrid of Origins and Dragon Age 2 stuff,” Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw says of the combat. “We want the responsiveness of DA2, that’s a biggie, but the influences of Origins are undeniable. We did want to find that balance.” Although I played Inquisition on PC, unfortunately I wasn’t able to do so on a mouse and keyboard. Still, it was strangely reassuring how well the tactical approach to combat handled on a controller, of all things. Plotting commands was simple, clean, and helped by an interface that mostly mirrors what we had in Origins. Unlike that game, though, Inquisition uses highlights and color to make that visual information more interesting and readable. The camera behaved well throughout. Automated AI settings are preserved, too, like how much mana a mage should keep in reserve, or at what HP threshold a character should down a potion.
Xbox’s Games with Gold for September are focused on teamwork. Whether you’re in the mood for an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist, an epic brothers-in-arms tale, or taking on baddies with past versions of yourself, you won’t be walking alone next month. As usual, all games are only available for a limited time, as part of the ongoing Games with Gold program, so find a buddy (or not), subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, and jump in!
• Halo: Reach ($24.99): Available from September 16-30 on Xbox 360
Super Time Force began with a simple concept: merge side-scrolling classic Contra with a “time-reversal” hook to create a unique action-shooting experience. Super Time Force throws a lot of enemies and projectiles at you at once, but don’t despair – if you mess up, you can press a button to rewind to a point where you can do it all over again, the right way. But that’s not all; your “ghost” (the replay of the playthrough where you just died) will continue to fight alongside you for the new try, turning even your screw-ups into helpful teamwork opportunities. You might say that’s mighty neighborly of... yourself.
On the Xbox 360, you get two titles. The first, Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine, is a team-based, top-down, stealth-puzzle game featuring retro-style graphics and a really interesting plot. You and up to four friends choose characters from among a motley crew of miscreants, and pull off a series of clever heists using each character’s special strengths. For example, the Locksmith can open locked doors and safes faster than the other characters, while the Cleaner has the ability to knock out unsuspecting guards. While you can play Monaco alone, teamwork makes the affair a whole lot easier – and a whole lot more fun.
Finally, in preparation for the ultimate Halo: The Master Chief Collection, set to release on Xbox One this holiday, Xbox 360 owners can experience the prequel to the Master Chief’s storyline in Halo: Reach. Relive the tragic and heroic story of Noble Team, a group of Spartans, who through great sacrifice and courage saved countless lives in the face of impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching alien alliance known as the Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be perched on the brink of destruction.
September is an amazing month to take advantage of the Games with Gold program. Make sure you get in on the action while you can!
Pilot Skirmish is the New Featured Game Mode - Pilot Skirmish is an 8v8 mode with no AI and no Titans. Due to the difference in player sizes with the rest of the game modes, Pilot Skirmish will not be among the game modes played when choosing Variety Pack playlist.
Marked For Death is Now its own Permanent Game Mode! - When we first introduced Marked For Death, we were planning to rotate it out for another mode after a couple of weeks, but the enduring popularity of the mode convinced us to bring it on full-time. There will now be a Marked For Death playlist to choose from, along with custom Marked For Death loadouts to unlock.
Put your skills to the test in the Dragonstar Arena, coming in Update 4! Gather your allies and try to survive brutal waves of enemies in ten unique arenas, each with its own challenges. Powerful rewards await those who can prove their worth.
London, UK — August 28, 2014 — Today, Ubisoft® announced that Assassin’s Creed® Unity will be released on November 11 in the US and on November 13 in EMEA. The two extra weeks will help ensure that the quality of the game meets fans’ -- and the team’s -- lofty expectations. This news has no impact on the company's full year financial targets, which Ubisoft also confirms today.
“As we got close to the finish, we realized we were near the target but still needed a bit more time to hone some of the details to make sure Assassin’s Creed Unity is exceptional,” says Vincent Pontbriand, senior producer at Ubisoft. “We sincerely appreciate players’ commitment to the game and their patience. It’s just a couple more weeks. And it’s going to be worth it.”
The US release date for Assassin’s Creed Rogue remains unchanged (November 11). In EMEA territories, Assassin’s Creed Rogue will now release November 13, alongside Assassin’s Creed Unity.