Updated: Mar 02, 2021 7:02 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2021

Epic Games Acquires Fall Guys Developer

Epic Games announces it has acquired Tonic Games Group, parent of developer Mediatonic, the creators of breakout hit Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Epic says this will not change the game or how the studio operates, pointing the way to this blog post for specifics on that aspect of this news. There's an interesting note in the brief FAQ that includes, as this is their answer to the question of whether the game will go free-to-play: "Nothing to announce right now!" Here's more:
This is a huge win for Fall Guys. Since Fall Guys broke out in August, we’ve put everything we have into the game, and the Fall Guys team has already grown massively from 35 to 150+. Yet, there is so much more we want to build for our players. With our publisher Devolver Digital supporting and championing us along the way with Fall Guys, Foul Play and Hatoful Boyfriend, we've been able to bring some truly unique experiences to players as an independent studio.

Joining forces with Epic will accelerate our plans to improve the game and bring Fall Guys to as many players as possible, while continuing to support the community.

Epic/Apple Trial Set for May

MacRumors has the news that the Apple v. Epic Games trial is set to begin on May 3rd. They say the judge wants this to be an in-person trial, but it is possible it will end up being virtual if the COVID situation warrants it. Word is the judge is pushing for a two to three week trial, while Epic feels it should run a couple of weeks longer than that:
Judge Gonzalez is planning to hold an in-person trial that will require all witnesses to travel to Northern California to answer questions before the court and the judge. She believes that the case is significant enough that the court should hear it in person, with witnesses in the case less likely to lie when sworn in in a physical courtroom.

Health considerations will be taken into account for witnesses that aren't able to travel to California, but the court will look into people who say they can't visit the court in person.

The judge said that the people involved and the companies involved have the available resources to quarantine for two weeks after the trial. The court plans to put measures in place to keep participants safe, including a limited number of people in the courtroom. Witnesses will be positioned far from the attorneys in the case, with distance between parties, and enough space will be given that witnesses can speak clearly without masks.

Based on the COVID numbers in May, the in-person trial could be set aside, but the case will go forward in May no matter what, even if it is held entirely over Zoom. The judge is pushing for a two to three week trial, while ‌Epic Games‌ wants it to last four to five weeks, with the exact length to be determined later when all of the case details are ironed out.

8 Ziggurat Rereleases

Ziggurat Interactive now offers more of their signature rereleases by offering eight arcade titles. These are Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja, Super BurgerTime, Heavy Barrel, SRD: Super Real Darwin, Express Raider, Two Crude, Bad Dudes, and Gate Of Doom. All of these are available from GOG.com, Humble Store, and Steam. Here are quick descriptions of all the games with links to all three stores: Continue here to read the full story.

Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 Released

Star your engines! Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 is now available for Windows and consoles, offering a sequel to the monster truck game. The PC edition is available on GOG.com and Steam. Here's a mean mother trucker Release Trailer and here are the details:
Monster Jam® Steel Titans 2 takes everything fans loved about the original and packs in more trucks, brand new worlds, updated physics for improved truck control, and online multiplayer! The expanded roster of trucks numbers 38 and includes fan favorites like Megalodon, Sparkle Smash, Higher Education, Avenger, and Backwards Bob! The five, brand new, in-game worlds expand on the Monster Jam® universe, providing endless exploration and discovery for players. Monster Jam® Steel Titans 2 also delivers on the competitive aspects that racing fans crave, such as head-to-head stadium racing, freestyle competitions, and waypoint challenges. Players can challenge friends all over the globe with new online multiplayer up to six players. Follow @monsterjamgames for latest news and special discounts!

Four additional trucks are also available for download on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation® 4, Xbox One, and PC now! The Inverse Truck Pack includes popular Spin Master Inverse Truck Series designs of Grave Digger, Northern Nightmare, Monster Mutt Dalmatian and Alien Invasion.
Continue here to read the full story.

Project CARS 3: Power Pack Released

New Power Pack DLC is now available on Steam and consoles, adding new cars and more to Project CARS 3, Slightly Mad Studios' racing game. This is part of the Season Pass or available separately. It also adds Utah's Lake Valley Speedway, a new free racetrack for all players. Here's more on how this helps fill your virtual garage:

The “Power Pack” cars:

  • 1985 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-Apex (AE86) + Race Conversion Kit
  • 2002 Nissan Silvia S15 Spec-R Aero + Race Conversion Kit
  • 2020 Nissan 370Z + Race Conversion Kit
  • 2021 Nissan Z Proto + Race Conversion Kit

Continue here to read the full story.

Crypto: Against All Odds - Tower Defense Released

Crypto: Against All Odds - Tower Defense is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a Windows and macOS tower defense game where you play as a cybersecurity expert fighting against "hackers and other blockchain threats." Presumably through the power of memes. Here's a trailer and here's the pitch:
In Crypto Against All Odds, you play as a blockchain security expert doing bounties jobs in the early days of Bitcoin. When hacking activities begin to surge, you sense a looming threat trying to bring down the entire crypto space. As you interact with other forum users, read terminal chats and message boards, you slowly piece together a big conspiracy. Meanwhile, the people behind it are also on to your true identity, something you have been trying to keep as a secret.
Continue here to read the full story.

Open Country Announced

Publisher 505 Games and developer FUN Labs announce Open County, an open-world action/adventure to help you stave off cabin fever with a virtual great outdoors. This is slated to come to the Epic Games Store and Steam on May 18th. The Announce Trailer provides a look at the hiking, camping, and hunting. Gather around the campfire for all the details:
Open Country places players in the hiking boots of an all-too-familiar corporate worker drone who yearns for a change from their restrictive city life. Eager to break away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, players and their trusty canine companion are faced with newfound freedom to explore and survive among the untamed wilds and relish in the open spaces of their new life.

Featuring a third-person open world that ranges from lush foliage to harsh landscapes, Open Country’s environment stands ready for players to explore while learning important survival and hunting skills along the way. Want to become a Master Outdoorsman? Players can visit Gary at the Snowridge Lodge and by the Park Ranger to complete more than 30 missions designed to put their newly learned skills to the test.

  • Explore – Roam free amongst the terrain and engage in missions throughout the area while sharpening survival skills
  • Hunt and Survive – Manage supplies carefully while trekking out to find both food and sport through hunting
  • Prove Your Skill – By completing tasks in town, players can level up to get better weapons and equipment, engage in tougher missions, and work towards becoming a Master Outdoorsman

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Aliens: Fireteam Announced

A new Aliens: Fireteam Website heralds the coming of a new co-op third-person shooter set in the Aliens universe, where no one can hear you scream. This is expected for PC and consoles this summer, with the PC edition coming to Steam. Developer Cold Iron offers an Announce Trailer and these details:
2202. A mysterious distress call reroutes your Marine Assault Unit to LV-895 in the outer colonies, where deadly Xenomorph legions, hidden corporate secrets, and ancient alien ruins await your arrival.

Set in the iconic Alien universe, Aliens: Fireteam is a cooperative third-person survival shooter that drops your fireteam of hardened marines into a desperate fight to contain the Xenomorph threat.

Face off against waves of terrifying Xenomorph and Weyland-Yutani Synthetic foes alongside two players or AI teammates, as you and your fireteam desperately fight your way through four unique campaigns that introduce new storylines to the Alien universe. Create and customize your own Colonial Marine, choosing from an extensive variety of classes, weapons, gear and perks, battling overwhelming odds in this heart-pounding survival shooter experience.
Continue here to read the full story.

Nacon's The Sinking City Rebuttal

A post on Steam from Nacon responds to accusations from developer Frogwares that the publisher has in effect pirated The Sinking City to list it on Steam. Heres' their rebuttal:
For the release of The Sinking City on Steam, published by Nacon, Frogwares posted on Twitter urging players not to buy it. We regret that Frogwares persists in disrupting the release of the Sinking City. It was Frogwares who came to Nacon to request financing for the development of the game, and to date, more than 10 million euros have been paid to Frogwares by Nacon. It was Frogwares that relied on our marketing and promotion teams, representing thousands of hours of work and several million euros worth of investment. Now that the game has been fully developed, and published, largely thanks to Nacon's money and work, Frogwares would like to revise the terms of the contract to their sole advantage. It's easy to play the victim, but all we seek is that Frogwares respect its commitments both in the contract and as demanded by the courts.

In regards to feedback on the release of the Sinking City on Steam, this is an official and complete version. However, due to a lack of cooperation with Frogwares, we are unable to integrate Steam-specific features (cloud saving/achievements). Despite this, we have organized the release so that fans on Steam can enjoy the game.

We sincerely would have preferred that our relationship with Frogwares remain cooperative and respectful, as is the case with all of the studios whose titles we publish. We hope that many of you will continue to play The Sinking City, and may your adventures in Oakmont be a lot of fun.

Unity of Command II - Barbarossa Announced

2x2 Games and Croteam announce Barbarossa, new DLC that will come to Steam on April 21st for Unity of Command II. As the title suggests, this is based on Operation Barbarossa, allowing owners of the World War II strategy sequel to recreate Germany's ill-fated invasion of Soviet Russia. The DLC includes 23 scenarios, new maps, new units, new vehicles, and alternative outcomes that make it possible, if difficult, for Germany's plan to succeed. Here's the battle plan:
On 22 June 1941, a Sunday, Nazi Germany set in motion the largest invasion in the history of warfare — the attack on the Soviet Union, codenamed “Barbarossa”. By the time the four-year conflict on the Eastern Front is over, the world will have witnessed a war that’s unfathomable in scale and unparalleled in brutality.

In this DLC, you command Axis forces during Operation Barbarossa, from their summer of roaring victories to the painful halt at the gates of Moscow in the winter of 1941/42.

Key Features of the Barbarossa DLC

  • 23-scenario historical campaign, with battles from the lakes of Karelia in the north to the Black Sea beaches in the south
  • Limited, but still difficult to achieve, alternative historical outcomes, such as capturing Moscow in late 1941
  • Detailed, zoomed-in maps for the hard-fought sieges of Odessa and Sevastopol
  • 20+ new unit types including those from Italy, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Finland, and Spain.
  • Beautiful new vehicle models including BT-7 and T-26 tanks, and the iconic ZIS-5 truck

Gears 5 Launches Operation 6

The Gears 5 Website announces Operation 6 is now live in the shooter sequel. Or at least partially, as there's a second part to this update that's expected in mid-April to add new characters and a new map. This page has details on what's new. Here's a new trailer and here's a summary:
Three new characters are joining the fight in this Operation: Victor Hoffman, Queen Reyna, and the Locust Zealot.

Honor the heroes of Gears in Operation 6 with three new characters, a fresh multiplayer map, renewed Tour of Duty, and more.

A revamped Speyer returns with signature close-quarters fights in the sanctuary. Just make sure to keep your head down.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Adds Free Friend's Pass and Curator's Cut

BANDAI NAMCO announces a Curator's Cut for The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, adding new content to the survival/horror game. This is a free update, and for more free fun, all owners of the game also now get on Free Friend's Pass. This will allow them to play through the game with one friend who doesn't have to own it. This is a limited-time offer good for one playthrough on the same platform. These additions are highlighted in a new Accolades Trailer. Here's more:
Starting today, all existing owners of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope will gain access to a free Friend’s Pass* – allowing players to experience one full playthrough of the game via Multiplayer Shared Story mode with a friend that does not own the game.

Along with this Friend’s Pass, the Curator’s Cut is making its way to everyone, allowing players to get a fresh perspective with new and exclusive scenes following their initial playthrough. On top of this in-game content, players can also access the game’s soundtrack, starting today, on all major streaming platforms.
Continue here to read the full story.

Singles' Generation Announced

Forever Young Games announces Singles' Generation, an episodic visual novel coming to Steam. This is described like so: "The game's genre is visual novel, but with a twist: the whole game was designed to give the player the feeling as he/she was watching (well, reading) a sitcom TV show." Word is this is not targeted at the younger generation as much as those who grew up watching Friends. That show is cited as an influence, a claim that's supported by this trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

The special logo now adorning the site is one of our rare non-game logos. It depicts Darph Bobo from Tripping the Rift, the sci-fi comedy television series that turns 17 years-old this week. Thank you to Walter "2" Costinak for the original, and thank you to Scott for updating it to work in our current format. I screwed up a little rotating the logo, so if you visited before and are seeing the Plants vs. Zombies logo, you need to do a hard refresh. Finally, thank you to Frans for patiently helping me fix things.

Screwed-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.



Thanks RedEye9.


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Monday, Mar 01, 2021

Need for Speed Delayed

During an interview with Polygon, Laura Miele, chief studios officer at Electronic Arts, reveals that EA is delaying the next Need for Speed game. This is because they have temporarily reassigned developer Criterion to work with DICE on the next Battlefield. She explains that EA's Codemasters acquisition means they will release a racing title this year, giving them leeway to push Need for Speed into 2022. Here's the explanation:
Rather than hustle to push the next Need for Speed out the door, when it might get lost or cannibalized by a Codemasters release around the same time, Criterion’s capabilities would be better spent on Battlefield, Miele said. But, she stressed, Criterion Games will return to work on Need for Speed — the series is not being shut down, taken from the Guildford, England studio, nor given over to Codemasters, which is two hours away in Southam. The next Need for Speed will also launch on current and previous generations of PlayStation and Xbox, Miele said.

“They own the Need for Speed franchise; that’s why they managed the remaster,” Miele said. “Anything that’s happening within the Need for Speed brand, they are responsible for, or things come through them to ensure that they’re on board with it.”

Frogwares Accuses Nacon of Pirating The Sinking City

An update from Frogwares follows up on their recent request that no one buy the version of The Sinking City that's relisted on Steam (thanks Kxmode). This includes a video titled "How Nacon Cracked and Pirated The Sinking City," something that's detailed in their article, which alleges that Nacon has attempted to pirate the game three times now. Here's a bit:
Since the release of The Sinking City was released on the 27th of June 2019, Frogwares has encountered continual problems with its licensee, Nacon. This post/video will look into a particular aspect of the game’s contract and the findings that we, Frogwares, have made.

Steam is one of the listed platforms of commercialization in the contract between Frogwares and Nacon. But since the release of the game, Nacon’s unlawful actions have forced Frogwares to defend its property and react in front of the French Justice for lack of payments, attempts to steal our IPs, etc which we made a public letter about back in August 2020.

Since then Nacon has tried to force Frogwares to deliver a new master version of the game through the use of their lawyers. The French Justice refused Nacon’s demands twice, first in July 2020 and then in October 2020 during an appeal. The final decision on whether Frogwares is obligated to deliver the Steam version that Nacon is demanding is still set to be judged in trial court in the next months or even years.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dota Plus Plans

The Dota 2Blog offers a spring 2021 update on what's going on with Dota Plus, the monthly subscription add-on for Dota 2, Valve's MOBA. They go into detail on what's covered in this concise overview:
With spring just around the corner, it’s time to help cast off the mantle of winter with a refreshing influx of new features and content for Dota Plus. Featuring updates to Hero Relics, added Turbo functionality, a seasonal treasure, and refreshed guild quests and rewards, there’s ample for Dota Plus members to explore.

1971: Indian Naval Front Announced

Indie developer Neosphere Interactive announces 1971: Indian Naval Front, a historical game coming to Steam in Q2. This is set during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, a 13-day war between India and Pakistan. Here's a trailer showing that the game features aerial and naval combat. The trailer concludes calling the game a tribute to the Indian navy, which, along with the title and the fact that the developer is based in Mumbai, gives a good sense of the side this game takes. Here's word:
In 1971: Indian Naval Front you can revive history and experience the clashes in the Indian Ocean between India and Pakistan during their war in the seventies.

“1971: Indian Naval Front will enable you to take part in pretty much all the Indian Navy operations executed during the 1971 War including transmission of intel through morse codes”, says Hitesh Ramchandani, co-founder at Neosphere Interactive.

The Campaign Mode (Single player) is played from the perspective of Indian Navy, where the player engages in different combat missions like Maritime Interdiction Operations, Naval Air Squadron Sorties, Search and Rescue and others. All the missions are based on actual incidents which took place during the war.
Continue here to read the full story.

Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit Announced

Publisher Super.com and developer BUSAN SANAI GAMES announce Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit, a stealthy action/adventure coming to Steam in Q2 of this year. There's a chance to play this right now, though, as a Wonhon: Prologue is now available, and this video shows a playthrough. Word is: "The Prologue is a prequel to the events in the game, where the player will be introduced to both the stealth and combat mechanics of Wonhon." Here are the details:
Wonhon: A Vengeful Spirit is a paranormal stealth-action and tactics game about revenge and its price in a 1920’s era Korea. The main character is a Korean girl who was killed along with her family during an attack on their village. Jeoseung Saja, the God of Death, gives the girl the paranormal ability to turn into a ghost and possess living creatures.

The core game mechanic of Wonhon is stealth. Since the girl is not protected by anything, and her only weapon is an ability to turn into a ghost, caution is key to survival. The protagonist can also possess living beings, which allows her to slip past enemies, or engage in combat with them when needed.
Continue here to read the full story.


Trademark247 shows that Bungie, Inc. has registered a trademark for BUNGIECON (thanks ResetEra). This seems like a strong suggestion that a Bungie-specific game show will follow, but as is the case with such filings, it's hard to get a sense from the goods and services this is said to cover:
jewelry Instruction guides and reference guides in the fields of video games, science fiction, fantasy and action-adventure stories; posters, calendars, trading cards other than for games, books, namely, novels, graphic novels and comic books in the fields of video games, science fiction, fantasy and action-adventure stories; stickers Halloween costumes and masks sold in connection therewith; costumes for use in role-playing; apparel, namely, shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, hats, baseball caps, jackets, footwear, shoes, boots, namely, boots featuring video game characters, scenes and symbols Toys, namely, action figures and related accessories; playing cards and card games; trading card games; board games; plush toys education and entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting fan conventions in the fields of video and computer games; entertainment services, namely, providing a website for news, reviews, previews and information, all related to video and computer games

M.U.L.E. Returns

GOG.com has revived M.U.L.E., offering a version of the multiplayer strategy game updated to work on modern Windows systems. Originally released for Atari 8-bit computers in 1983 and PC-DOS in 1985, M.U.L.E. is a true classic designed by late industry pioneer Danielle Bunten Berry. To celebrate the re-release, there's a strategy game sale on GOG.com with discounts up to 90%. Here's a refresher:
M.U.L.E. is about four hopeful explorers trying to make a fortune on a virgin planet. This is done by producing various goods (Food, Energy, Smithore, Crystite). Each of these goods have their uses: if you don't have enough food, you will have less time during your turn. If you don't have enough energy, your output will be lower. If enough smithore isn't produced, there will be a shortage of M.U.L.E.s. Crystite is the big earner that can make or break your game.

You start the game by selecting your species. Some are easier to play, some harder. There are three levels of difficulty, in the easiest the game only lasts 6 turns, but the real game is 12 turns. Crystite is not available at the easiest level.
Continue here to read the full story.

Surgeon Simulator 2 Bad Blood Update

Bossa Studios announces a new update is coming today for Surgeon Simulator 2. The "Bad Blood" update adds nine competitive levels, leaderboards, and more to the medical malpractice sequel. The game is available on the Epic Games Store where they inexplicably still don't have the capability of posting news about patches like this, so here's an outline of all that this brings:
With Bad Blood, Bossa Studios is looking to test every would-be doctor in the form of nine new competitive levels — all of which are coming today to Surgeon Simulator 2 owners completely free of charge! Jump in and go head to head in these awesome new challenges:

  • WASD Heroes: Keep-up with floor targets in a bombastic free-for-all homage to classic arcade dance machines!
  • Panel Smash: Channel that inner appetite for destruction in a mad dash to the finish line. Be advised: may involve ball pits.
  • Match 4: Supermarket Sweep has swept over the surgery with this organ-fuelled time-trial. It's the perfect speed-run candidate, brimming with challenges!
  • Anatomy Theft: The ultimate test of player’s surgery skills in an anatomy-orientated trial. Hopefully distinguishing between kidney and lungs isn’t too hard?
  • Limb-Ripper: Self-explanatory: rip and tear until the job’s done!
  • Surgical Mayhem: Fight over Bob’s very limited supply of body parts. Whoever secures enough limbs will be crowned victorious!
  • Heading Out: A classic, carnival-style coconut shy but with Bob’s heads. Dunk the most Bob heads to win in this fun-for-all-the-family rapid level.
  • Top Of The World: The sky may be the limit, but players have to get there first! It’s a race to the top in a series of challenges that must be toppled along the way.
  • Surgery Relay: Sports day is back, and this time, it’s surgical. Cooperate in this relay-style challenge, but keep an eye out for competitors, who will take any and all opportunities to sabotage any rivals…

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

So March is upon us, the month that's said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. As I look out on the frozen tundra I can only hope this is the case. As I often point out, this saying always reminds me of John Belushi's marvelous rant on SNL Weekend Update back in 1976. Here's the quote I first posted from this a couple of years ago: "There's a country where March hops in like a kangaroo, it stays a kangaroo for a while, and then it becomes a smaller kangaroo. Then for a couple of days it's sort of a cross between a frilled lizard and a common housecat. Then it changes back into a smaller kangaroo, and then it goes out like a wild dingo. And it's not Australia! Now you'd think it would be Australia, but it's not!"

Obituary: Legendary Artist Gary Meyer.

Marching Round-up
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Thanks Max.


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