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Monday, Jun 24, 2013


Two More Atari Properties Sold

GamesIndustry International has word that Nordic Games is now owner of two additional IPs formerly belonging to Atari. The publisher has added Silver action/RPG and the Desperados strategy series in addition to their previous Atari pick ups like Darksiders and Red Faction. There's no word on what was paid for either property. New Desperados forums and Silver forums are online.

Steamships Ahoy - Joe Danger & Joe Danger 2

Steam News announces the release of Joe Danger and Joe Danger 2: The Movie, which each are on sale for 20% off, or for 40% off on the pair in the Joe Danger Bundle. Here's word:

Joe Danger, the world’s most determined stuntman, returns to embark on a death-defying thrill-ride across the set of the greatest blockbuster movie ever made. Across 100 crazy levels he’ll chase crooks by police bike, destroy laser-firing robots with a stolen jetpack, escape giant boulders in a minecart, time-travel to punch dinosaurs from a quad bike and divert nuclear missiles on a unicycle. Strap on the helmet of Joe Danger, impress the director and make action movie history!

Company of Heroes 2 Global Launch Begins

Tomorrow is the global launch date for Company of Heroes 2, Relic's military real-time strategy game sequel. Since it's already tomorrow in some territories like Australia, the Company of Heroes 2 website is tracking the progress of the game's release. This is also reflected on Steam News and the Steam page for the game also reveals an eye-opening amount of DLC, 26 packs in all (thanks nin), offering the chance to buy up to $55.74 in add-on tactics and skins for the $59.99 game, though these are all available as a $40 upgrade.

Sword of the Stars: The Pit – MindGames Next Week

Kerberos Productions announces the MindGames add-on is coming to Sword of the Stars: The Pit on July 1st, expanding the rogueike-like RPG with new playable characters, new monsters, new levels, new weapons and items, psionic powers, but, in spite of the title, no John Lennon. Here are some new screenshots and here's the feature list:

  • 2 New playable characters; the Human Psion and the Tarka Ranger – the first playable alien character!
  • 10 New floors of ancient, evil science add to the challenge!
  • New room types, including wide, multi-level biospheres!
  • New traps, new weapons, new items, and new recipes!
  • New game mechanics, including 28 Psionic Powers!
  • New Psionic enemies to fight, drawn from the Sword of the Stars universe!
  • 2 New Play Modes; “Infinite Mode” as well as “Seriously? Mode”, for those players that find “Insane Mode” isn’t insane enough!
  • Expanded meta-game aspects, including the ability to “bank” XP and spare items from one session and start the next run of the game on a deeper level, using your “banked” equipment.

OZombie Kickstarter

A Kickstarter is now underway for OZombie, as American McGee and Spicy Horse make good on their plans to pursue funding for an "Oz + Steam Punk + Zombies" game. They are seeking $950,000 for a game described like so: "OZombie will be first and foremost a single player game. You'll play as Dorothy and be able to persuade many of the captivating fiction’s familiar characters to join your hunting party OZombie will also support a multiplayer mode, which you can unlock after finishing the single player experience. In multiplayer you'll be able to select from a range of player characters and enjoy competitive features like Raids and Tournaments."

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • 4 Elements on Steam. Save 70%.
  • Ankh 2: Heart of Osiris on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Ankh 3: Battle of the Gods on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten on Steam. Save 67%.
  • F.E.A.R. 3 on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Jack Keane on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Spirits on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Syberia II on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Turba on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Worms Reloaded on Steam. Save 66%.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Blues singer Bobby 'Blue' Bland dies at 83. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Heavy Gear Assault Kickstarter Canceled

The Kickstarter for Heavy Gear Assault now shows that the campaign to fund Stompy Bot Productions' upcoming mech game is canceled as of a couple of days ago, having raised a fraction of its $800K goal over most of a planned 40 day fundraiser. There is an update explaining the news, but that's for the eyes of their backers only, though with the campaign canceled they actually no longer have any backers. On Kickstarter, at least, as Joystiq notes there's a comment from the studio for public consumption saying they are continuing crowd-funding on, saying they "believe very strongly in resurrecting the Heavy Gear franchise and giving the fans what they want," though there's no word there about this yet. According to their statement: "We are currently evaluating other strategies to raise awareness regarding Heavy Gear." Thanks nin.

DayZ Release Plans

A Rezzed 2013 developer session features DayZ author Dean Hall discussing the release of the standalone version of DayZ, the game based on the Arma II zombie mod. Thanks Blend Games, where they interpret this as word to expect some sort of release within the next week, though reading it ourselves, we're more inclined to think he means they have pinned down the release to a specific one week window, but they are not saying just yet when it is. Here, try it on for yourself:

I guess the big question that a lot of people have is when we're actually going to get this out.

We've set a date now... like a window of about a week. And we're not going to say when that is because originally we were going to release [the keys] in 50,000 key increments, but we've kind of decided to do everything kind of all together.

We really want to focus on making sure the architecture is good, so that we can get feedback.

Baldur's Gate III Battling Through "Legal Hell"?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun hears from Trent Oster about the legal woes that caused the suspension of sale of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition. The Beamdog and Overhaul Games president tells them they still hope to develop Baldur’s Gate III despite the current "legal hell" embroiling the RPG series, but it's hard to say he sounds optimistic. Here's the deal:

“The prognosis [for resuming work on Baldur's Gate] is mixed,” he admitted to RPS. “Best case, we can sort this out soon. Worst case, this could be in legal hell for a while. I like making games, but this contractual dispute bullshit keeps me up at night.”

As a result, the team hasn’t given up on Baldur’s Gate III, but the road to the pie-in-the-sky sequel just got a whole, whole lot rockier.

“Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition is on indefinite hold, as is the current patch,” said Oster. “Baldur’s Gate III, we are still interested in the concept, but currently I’d say were very demoralized.”

Steam Cards Leave Beta - Summer Sale Hint?

A Steam community post announces that the Steam Trading Cards program will be leaving beta on Wednesday June 26th at 1:00 pm EDT. PCGamesN notes this includes a hint that Valve's annual summer sale may be nearing, as they cap the news with: "Making trading cards available to all Steam users is a step towards an event we think everyone can be excited about..." Thanks VG247.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track offers their new top 20 full-priced PC game chart, pretty much unchanged from last week, with Football Manager 2013 maintaining a leg up on the competition, while the new budget price PC chart shows what the bargain hunters are stalking. Meanwhile, the last shall be first on the all prices/all platforms top 40, where The Last of Us remains number one. Here's their write-up:

Sony and Naughty Dog’s PS3 exclusive ‘The Last Of Us’ (-48%) remains at No1 for a second week.

Nintendo’s big new 3DS release from last week ‘Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ remains at No2 (-55%) and EA climb 2 places to No3 with ‘FIFA 13’ (+62%) with an ASP average over all formats dropping to under £25 for the first time. Square Enix remain at No4 with ‘Tomb Raider’ ( -4%) and Rockstar/Take 2 re-enter at No5 with ‘Max Payne 3’ thanks to some massive price promotion on 360/PS3 (+602%).

Activision climb 8 places to No6 also thanks to price activity on 360/PS3 versions of ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II’ (+55%). This week’s highest new release is PQube’s ‘MotoGP 13’ at No15 – developed by Milestone, this is a return to a franchise last seen back in 2008 with ‘MotoGP 08’, published back then by Capcom.

Colonies Online Early Access; Trailer

Colonies Online is a sci-fi MMORPG about space colonization in the works at Russian developer Iron Bit company. A new trailer is available introducing the game, and they are accepting testers to help bring the project to life. There are two ways to be accepted as a tester, either randomly, or by purchasing an early access pack. Here's word:

Colonies Online is a game world consisting of a great number of planets each with an area of thousands square kilometers. Game objective is to gain a foothold in the developed areas, either making headway single-handedly or creating enclaves with other players. Players united in an enclave can build colonies. Colony is a place where researches are conducted, equipment and resources are stored. Therefore, it is likely to become subject to intense interest of competitors. Overtaking a colony is a great opportunity to weaken the enemy as well as loot trophies.

The game’s philosophy is expressed in this statement: “Everything in the game is created by players themselves”. All in-game items are made by players through crafting system. In Colonies Online characters do not advance in level but obtain professions as sets of certain skills. The tree of professions and skills is also determined by the player. The game becomes spicier in open PvP mode, with opportunity to arrange battles of up to a hundred players at a time.

Continue here to read the full story.

Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars Trailer

The Kickstarter Campaign for Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars now features a new trailer from Digital Eel's upcoming roguelike-like sci-fi sequel. Word is: "While a bunch of work is going on in the background and not quite ready to show, we couldn’t resist compiling a few choice bits of footage into a video clip. The new interfaces are really starting to make Sea of Stars feel like a game, and we continue to be excited about our artists’ efforts." They also say the funds they raised past their initial goal will go towards additional 3D ship models, which they will be showing off soon. Continue here to read the full story.

16 Bit Arena Free Copies; Custom Characters Coming

16 Bit Arena fans the flames of support for their multiplayer game by instituting a new program to allow players to give away free copies of the game, also adding incentive to add more players by offering the chance for players to create their own characters once a server fills up. Gamasutra has the full press release with all the details. Here's a bit:

The game is DRM-free, so it's technically possible to give out free copies either way. But when you sign on right now after purchasing, you're also provided with a special (periodically-changing) link to a direct download so you can share it with friends even more easily. In addition, once at least one server is completely full with 9v9 battles, you'll begin to be able to make your own characters there however you want, also able to give them out if desired. Although this will not be free, community feedback will be taken on the best method of getting one created for you, i.e. through a drawing, direct purchase, or any combination of methods.

On Sale

There are already enough sale stories this morning for a roundup!

It Came from E3 2013, Part Twelve

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I've been seeing less spam the last couple of weeks, it's funny how the volume of junk mail seems to ebb and flow these days after some sources of it go away or are filtered while others then pop up. A couple that slipped through today were the first time I can recall Steam-related scams, and that's a surprise, as I've seen scammers falsify official mail from much smaller organizations, including this site. This is something to be wary of, though it wasn't a very good effort, so a warning may not be necessary as it's pretty evidently a fake. They even cap it off with the obligatory typo in thanking me for the trust that I'm not actually showing them, saying: "Thank's [sic] for your Trust." I guess the only appropriate response is: "Your [sic] welcome."

Trusted Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Onomastica.
Stories: Teen hit by celebratory gunfire after NBA Finals.
Science: Fibromyalgia Mystery Finally Solved.
Images: If box art had not changed the last 30 years. Thanks nin.
LeBron's game 7 - the GIF.
Media: Top 10 Most Paused Movie Moments.
Back to the Future Prius.
FAIL Compilation FEBRUARY 2013 -- WTF.
Follow-Up: Hostess: Twinkies to return to shelves July 15. Thanks nin.

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