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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013

  

Valve Rumor Bonanza

ValveTime.net has details purportedly found during a security lapse in Jira, Valve's internal project tracking software, which shows discussion groups for about every project associated with Valve since its inception and more, but this is all courtesy of an anonymous source, so we shouldn't rule out an elaborate hoax. The site offers speculation about the significance of these entries and whether it means they are in active development or not, but the inclusion of groups for games from other developers makes it hard to draw such conclusions. They found one or more groups pertaining to wish list items like Half-Life 3, Return to Ravenholm, Episode 3/Episode 3 Movie, Left 4 Dead 3, and Source 2; unannounced projects like Cries Unheard, Microbe Wars, and The Grange; other developers' games like Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Company of Heroes; and even something called SteamMMO/SteamMMO Core. They have posted the data they received on this on Pastebin. Thanks PC Gamer.

Bethesda Breaks Silence on Prey 2

Bethesda addressed the situation with Prey 2 to IGN, after remaining silent about the status of the shooter sequel conspicuously amid comments from Human Head about how the game was basically done (missed this yesterday, thanks GameSpot). Bethesda's Pete Hines explains the game simply still isn't up to their standards. “We spent years and millions of dollars and a ton of effort trying to help Human Head make a great Prey 2 game. What we said the last time we said anything was that it’s not up to our quality standards," Hines told them. "It’s simply not good enough. We’re not going to just proceed blindly with something that isn’t good enough. We’ve been very specific about why, and we’ve been very specific about the whats. When that gets addressed and changed or whatever, at that point we can give an update. But nobody’s disappointment is greater than ours. We spent a lot of time and money and effort trying to make this thing happen and support folks, but at the same time, you just can’t keep throwing money at it and saying, ‘sure, it’ll eventually work.’ You have to have the discipline to say, ‘it’s not good enough. It’s not hitting the quality bar. Why isn’t it? We’ve been at this for a while, and what we have is not what we talked about.’ So that’s where we are."

War of the Roses Guns of Burgundy Update

Paradox Interactive announces the release of a new content update called Guns of Burgundy for War of the Roses, their melee combat game. Or partial melee combat game, as word is this update allows you to bring a gun to a knife-fight:

NEW YORK — June 19, 2013 — Paradox Interactive, a publisher of games and a ranged combatant, today fired the latest salvo in War of the Roses, the medieval squad combat title from Fatshark, with a new content update. The latest addition to War of the Roses is entitled “Guns of Burgundy,” and adds a new weapon type to turn the tide of the endless struggle between Lancaster and York: handgonnes, the world’s first portable firearm. Capable of cutting down fleeing foes and punching damaging holes in a knight’s shield, handgonnes come in four types and can be wielded by knights with a steady arm and reliable flint. A new map and new armor pieces are also included in this update, which is now available for download in War of the Roses.

In “Guns of Burgundy,” the new Ravenspurn map is ready for war in Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and Pitched Battle modes, where the sounds of explosive fire from new handgonne weapons will punctuate the ongoing chaos. Combatants will have to rely on their wits and their armor to stay alive, making use of new items such as Brigandine Armour, the Kettle Sallet Helmet, Hand Pavise Shield, and the Burgundian Side Sword.

New user interface (UI) features are also included in this update, including a popup system to alert players of in-game events and news – such as the new 500 coin bonus awarded when a round is successfully won.

It Came from E3 2013, Part Nine

On Sale

  • #NoDRM Summer day 2: The Witcher 2 70% off, Don't Starve 33% off on GOG.com.
  • The Secret World on Steam. Save 50%.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

MS Backtracks on Xbox One DRM & Region Locks

Your Feedback Matters – Update on Xbox One has word that Microsoft is pulling a 180 on the online requirement/DRM aspect of their upcoming Xbox One console system that alienated the core gaming community (thanks Giant Bomb and whathifi via Kotaku and nin). Give them credit for spin, as they focus on the love in the feedback they got on this, saying: "You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world." Here's word, where they also announce they no longer plan on having games region locked:

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

The War Z Name Change

What was formerly The War Z website now redirects to infestationmmo.com, indicating the name of this zombie game has been changed to Infestation: Survivor Stories (thanks IGN). The game has had controversy since launch, some of which is centered on the old name, which is easily confused with Day Z, Bohemia Interactive's Arma II zombie modification that's in development as a standalone game. The previous title is also quite similar to World War Z, the apocalyptic horror novel that's soon to be a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt, so there are two candidates for the root trademark issue mentioned in their explanation:

Effective today, The War Z has changed its name to Infestation: Survivor Stories. This change has come about primarily as a result of some confusion and trademark issues with a similarly titled property. While we were reluctant to rename the game so long after launch, especially with nearly 1 million registered players, it was ultimately decided to be in the best interest of our existing community as well as future players in order to eliminate confusion. Please rest assured that this will in NO WAY affect you as players. The only difference you will see is the change in logo and website. There will be no interruption of service or change in content.

Bethesda Denies Fallout 4 E3 Showings

Kotaku has an unequivocally worded denial from Bethesda saying they did not secretly show off Fallout 4 at last week's E3, contrary to a rumor that the game was demonstrated for some journalists behind closed doors. Here's the statement:

We showed three games at E3 - Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Elder Scrolls Online and The Evil Within. We did not show any of our games behind closed doors.

Steam Game Sharing Planned?

A thread on NeoGAF notes some code in the new Steam beta suggesting Valve is planning to allow Steam users to select games to share with a circle of friends. This is confirmed on Kotaku, where they say Valve has not yet responded to the report (not a shock since their story went up at 3:00 am on the west coast). Here is the code in question:

"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicense_Title" "Shared game library"
"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText" "Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit."
"SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText" "This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library."

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Revealed

A new teaser trailer is now available for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, confirming a sequel is coming to Dennaton Games' 1980s-inspired throwback action game. The clip features a glimpse of gory gameplay, creepy music, audio and video distortion, and a looped wrong number message, all designed to sooth the soul while promoting the game. The game was quietly shown off at E3 last week, and there are first-hand impressions on Eurogamer, Joystiq, Polygon, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and TIME's Techland Blog. Update: Here's the official announcement:

MIAMI – You’re a murderer. You murder people. Again. And again. How certain you are of your actions and what is, and what is not, real is what you must determine in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, due out later this year from developer Dennaton Games and publisher Devolver Digital. The epic finale to 2012’s blood-soaked hit follows an escalating level of violence through multiple factions born from the events of the original game -- all within the confines of blistering combat, the unmistakable visual style, and another powerful and intense soundtrack that pushes you to the limit and forces you to question your own thirst for blood.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number commands you to step into the murderous minds of several distinct characters - each with their own motivations and methods of execution – as storylines intersect and reality slips away into a haze of neon and carnage. Witness hundreds of new sprites and animations in lush new areas to clear floor-by-floor, and harness a variety of savage new weapons to satisfy your murder lust.

Due out in 2013 for PC, Mac, and Linux from Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital.

For more information, please visit www.devolverdigital.com or follow @HotlineMiami on Twitter.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified DLC & Preorder Bonus Plans

2K Games announces free content as a preorder bonus for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, as well as plans for the first DLC pack to support the XCOM shooter past its upcoming August 20th release. Word is everyone who preorders from participating retailer will receive a bonus campaign side-mission called "Codebreakers," and those who preorder through GameStop will also receive an exclusive in-game Light Plasma Pistol. As for the first DLC pack, the announcement doesn't offer details on it, but confusingly states it will be released for all platforms, following that saying it is an Xbox 360 exclusive (and not indicating this is a "timed exclusive" in any way), so expect a follow-up at some point to clear this up. To make up for that, here's a Battle Focus trailer showing off the game. Here's the contradictory word on the DLC:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--2K and 2K Marin, makers of BioShock® 2, announced post-launch downloadable content plans today for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified that will see the title supported with updates beyond its August 20, 2013 North American release date. The narrative-driven add-on content will expand the declassified origin story of the clandestine XCOM organization and will be available on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows® PC. The first DLC pack will be available exclusively to Xbox 360 players.

“We’re excited that our stories will provide a new perspective on the war effort, much like how our critically acclaimed Minvera’s Den DLC for BioShock 2 allowed us to present a unique perspective of Rapture.” “We take great pride in our track record of providing high-quality post-release content for our games,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “We will continue to expand the XCOM universe by telling original stories set in the paranoia-drenched Cold War era of The Bureau.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Ashes Cricket 2013 Delayed Until Next Month

505 Games announces that the release of Ashes Cricket 2013 is now scheduled for July after previously being scheduled for release this Friday. . The 2013 Ashes tournament will be the first of an unprecedented back-to-back tourneys, and this sticky wicket is partly to blame: "In conjunction with CA and the ECB, the decision has been taken to move the release date back in order to offer cricket fans the best possible gaming experience to compliment this historic back to back Ashes year." They also supply a quote that indicates new features are being added as well. "505 Games has made a commitment to creating a cricket game designed for cricket fans," commented Tim Woodley, Senior Vice President Global Brand & Marketing at 505 Games. "Developer, Trickstar Games has taken the time to overhaul and rebuild the game engine to offer brand new features in batting, bowling and fielding. By pushing back our release date, this gives us the opportunity to deliver a quality cricket title."

Transistor Trailer

This trailer offers a look at the Transistor presentation at E3 2013, including gameplay footage of the game running on a PlayStation 4. Developer Supergiant games recently announced their turn-based strategy game is coming to Steam and PS4 next year, and this clip offers an idea of what to expect. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Here's a thank you to Frans, who corrected the problem with our Twitter feed that I mentioned the other day, and we are now once again properly tweeting links to the stories here. An update to the new Twitter API was required, and a few other things got updated as well, so if you visited at some point and encountered last week's news, that would be the reason. There was also a flood of the older stories that were never tweeted during the problem, but I prevented a bunch of them from processing to avoid spamming everyone with a couple of hundred messages in a short time. Interestingly, a couple of the older posts that went through got re-tweeted, suggesting that preventing some of them from going through might mean some people weren't seeing them, but that horse is now out of the barn. Apologies for the inconvenience. #whoknewpeoplereadthosetweets

R.I.P.: Kenneth G. Wilson dies at 77; physicist won Nobel for work on phase transitions.

Tweety Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Ending.
Duty Hill 2.
Links: Snake of Nightmares Opens Door, Flops on Ground like Big Drunk Taffy.
Stories: TWA Flight 800 investigators break silence in new documentary. Thanks brother19.
Lego Minifigures' faces are becoming less cheerful and more grumpy.
Science: Two accelerators find signs of a particle that nobody can explain.
Blood Vessels in the Eye Linked With IQ, Cognitive Function.
What’s that thing in Uranus’s orbit. Circling for Klingons.
Media: John McAfee - How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus - wtf? NSFW.
The LEGO Movie - Official Teaser Trailer. Thanks reddit.
Follow-Up: Lucas Hasn't Talked To Abrams About SW7. Whew.
"Dumb and Dumber" Sequel Is Still Alive.



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