Archived News:

Friday, Sep 25, 2015 National Lobster Day (USA)

Serious Sam 4 Writers Named

Croteam announces writers for Serious Sam 4, a sign of progress on the first-person shooter sequel they first mentioned a couple of years ago (thanks Seriously!). Here's word:
We are proud to announce that Jonas and Verena Kyratzes will be writing screenplay for Serious Sam 4! As you know, we already worked with Jonas on our critically acclaimed title The Talos Principle, and now we decided to extend the scope of our relationship to our beloved Serious Sam franchise. But Jonas brought in his secret weapon in form of Verena Kyratzes, and they both started shaping the story into something really awesome (not to say “blockbuster-y”).

“I was a fan of Serious Sam before I got to work with Croteam, so I must admit I was sort of hoping I might be involved with the next one if The Talos Principle went well. But more than that, we immediately clicked with the team, were treated like family, and really wanted to keep working with them. Going to Croatia and working in the office just confirmed that.” – Jonas Kyratzes

“I didn’t really expect to be doing this. At first I was just suggesting some ideas, some bits of dialogue, but eventually I ended up writing an entire draft of the script and working full-time with the team in Croatia. It was a very pleasant surprise, because ever since Talos, we’ve been good friends with the people at Croteam.” – Verena Kyratzes

“Storyline is being shaped out at the moment, and we can only say – it will be worth the wait!” – Damjan Mravunac, CMO

Mighty No. 9 in February

Deep Silver and Comcept announce February 9, 2016 is the official release date for Mighty No. 9 in North America, and it will come to the rest of the world three days after that. This follows up on the news a few months ago that the Mega Man-inspired game was delayed until next year. Here's a refresher on the game:
Created by Keiji Inafune and an all-star team of veteran devs, Mighty No. 9 is a challenging side-scrolling action game that transforms the feel of 8 and 16-bit classics, as players remember them, into a fresh modern-day classic.

In the year 20XX, breakthroughs in robotic technology have ushered in a new era of peace & prosperity. Violence is confined to the Battle Coliseum, where robot combatants face off in spectacular duels. Dr. White created 9 robot siblings known as the "Mighty Numbers", who were the most popular and powerful team of robots in the Battle Coliseum and always in the top ranks. But, during one competition there was a cyber-attack, infecting them with a computer virus causing them to become crazed and rampant. You play as Beck, the 9th in a line of powerful robots, and the only one not infected by the mysterious computer virus that caused mechanized creatures the world over to go berserk.

Run, jump, blast and transform your way through 9 initial stages (plus 3 later stages) which you can tackle in any order you choose, using weapons and abilities stolen from your enemies, in order to take down your fellow Mighty Number robots and to confront the final evil that threatens the planet!

Cloud Imperium Games Layoff Report Follow-up

Polygon has a statement from Cloud Imperium Games following up on the report that they were laying off Star Citizen developers and facing financial trouble. They say that they are simply reorganizing things, and while some positions are being eliminated, they will end up adding developers to the crowd-funded space game before long. "Cloud Imperium Games continues to grow its development team across CIG's multiple studios," the company's statement reads. "Each of our four offices is being streamlined to focus on specific parts of Star Citizen which will allow for a more efficient and accelerated completion of the game." Here's more:
As we announced in June with the appointment of Erin Roberts as Global Production Head we have been reviewing how to optimize our development process," the statement continues. "As a result we are moving some jobs and eliminating some redundant positions between some of our offices, as well as increasing them in others. The net result over the next few months will actually be an increase in our global internal employee base.

Total War Arena Closed Beta

Creative Assembly announces that Total War: ARENA is now in closed beta testing, and signups are being accepted from those interested in participating. The Total War: ARENA Dev Blog has the patch notes for the accompanying new "Fury of the Animus" update, and this trailer offers a look. Here's a bit on the latest changes to the free-to-play multiplayer strategy game: "The new map, Rubicon, is the first river crossing map in Total War: ARENA, offering quick access to enemy camps at the threat of being caught out in the open. Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon River marked a pivotal point in ancient history, and this new map with its open terrain and treacherous crossing marks new tactical opportunities for all factions - Roman, Greek and Barbarian alike." Continue here to read the full story.

Gunnheim Early Access

Early Access to Gunnheim is now available on Steam, offering the chance to experience a top down shooter that uses this equation: "vikings + guns = mayhem." Here's more:
In Gunnheim, you’re bringing the term berserker to a whole new level, saving the day by dishing out carnage of hellish proportions. Armed to the teeth with all manner of modern weaponry, fight your way through hordes of hellspawn with your brothers and sisters at your side, survive epic boss fights against the biggest and baddest of the devil’s children, and watch with maniacal glee as your enemies are turned to bloody piles of pulp, fangs and horns. Put your goggles on, it’s about to get really, really messy.

Lost in Harmony Announced

This trailer helps introduce Lost in Harmony, a music game expected next year for Windows and mobiles involving a collaboration with Grammy Award-winning artist Wyclef Jean. Suiting the artistic theme, the description sounds a little abstract: "Lost in Harmony™ is a revolution in musical gaming, it is telling a moving story only by music. The player will embody Kaito, a young boy who travels the world on his tiny skateboard holding a girl called Aya. This heart breaking story is brought by a highly emotional soundtrack, mixed of different genres from all cultures. The innovative combination of rhythmic and choreographic gameplay makes you feel the music in a totally new way."

Heroes of the Storm PTR Notes now offers patch notes for a new version of Heroes of the Storm that's coming soon to the Play Test Realm for Blizzard's MOBA. This will offer the chance to play as Lt. Morales, the new StarCraft medic and check out various other changes to the game. The notes describes Lt. Morales' kit, new graphics settings, art changes, shop additions, and a number of design and gameplay changes intended to balance various heroes and maps. There is also a new "try" mode to allow more effective hero sampling and a bunch of bug fixes. There's no word at this time on when this will go live in the PTR or the game. Update: Blizzard now says the patch will launch on the PTR on Monday. Continue here to read the full story.

Romero's Aftermath Early Access

The open beta of Romero's Aftermath is now available on Steam, offering the latest in a seemingly endless stream of early access free-to-play zombie games. The hook here is this was developed in collaboration with George C. Romero, son of horror director George A. Romero, though his film resume is not as lengthy as his dad's. Speaking of resumes, this is the new game from the folks who developed The War Z, which was later renamed Infestation: Survival Stories. Here's word on the new game:
Set in an expansive open world filled with lush forests, deserts and fully explorable towns, Romero’s Aftermath has players battle zombies, compete against other survivalists, and use their survival skills such as trapping and cooking animals to stay alive. In Romero’s Aftermath, gameplay is strictly “Free to Win,” which means what happens to a player depends solely on their skills. Romero’s Aftermath costs nothing to download and play, and the only purchasable items are cosmetic skins, customizations and boosts that allow players to acquire certain in-game items more quickly (if they don’t have the time to put into exploring). However, every item can be acquired during play by exploring, looting, trading or defeating other survivalists.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • First Wonder by Rogue Rocket Games — Kickstarter. "Soar across the skies as the Cargonauts and storm across the islands as the giant, Monstro in this sci-fi 3rd person action-adventure!" Rogue Rocket co-founders Nick Bruty and Richard Sun "previously worked on MDK, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Earthworm Jim, and Star Wars: Republic Commando."

On Sale

Evening Previews

Chris Avellone Writing for Divinity: Original Sin II

Larian Studios announces that former Obsidian designer Chris Avellone is now a "contributor" to Divinity: Original Sin II. They note on Kickstarter he is now part of the writing team for the RPG sequel, offering this video to celebrate the news, and saying: "He’s a legend among RPG fans, with some of the most impressive credentials in the world of games writing… and now he’s agreed to help us bring the characters of D:OS2 to life!" Continue here to read the full story.

Europa Universalis IV Add-on Revealed

A new developer diary on the Paradox Interactive Forums has details on a new expansion coming to Europa Universalis IV, the grand strategy sequel. This has not been officially announced, and they have not yet given this a title, but the diary offers images and lots of details. They kick off things by describing the opportunity to play Khan to hordes of Steppe Nomads and say they are ready to share more soon, planning another diary next week to discuss the Estates feature. There are also details on changes coming in an upcoming version 1.14 patch, but neither the patch nor the expansion carry release dates at this time. Thanks Malaysian Gamer via Theshigen.

Grand Ages: Medieval Released

Nobody can deny living through medieval must have been grand, so Kalypso Media announces the release of Grand Ages: Medieval, a historical strategy game celebrating this grandeur. There is a boxed version of the Windows edition for sale in Europe, and the digitally distributed version on Steam includes the SteamOS edition as well. Here's the launch trailer, and here's word:
About Grand Ages: Medieval
It is the year 1050 AD. At the beginning of the High Middle Ages development in Europe has seen an unprecedented level of progress as a rapidly growing population spreads across the length and breadth of the continent. New frontiers are being explored, settlements founded and vast trading routes established. As the head of one of these small settlements, it falls upon you to lead your people towards greatness. Explore a vast world, gather resources, encounter other societies and use your trading expertise to expand and make your fortune. Found new cities, progress your nation with inventive technology and protect your trade routes against barbarian attacks until you are powerful enough to begin your conquest over Europe and forge a bold new empire.

Grand Ages: Medieval is a real-time, Grand Strategy game from Gaming Minds, a Kalypso Media studio. Lead your people and advance through the decades by utilising construction, research, expansion and conquest in an area extending from Scandinavia and North Africa; to Portugal, the Caucasus and the Middle East. Rise from the humble role of a simple mayor governing a small settlement to rule over all of Europe. Experience an exciting campaign with elaborately designed cut-scenes, play by your own rules in free play or test your skills in multiplayer against up to 8 players!
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Citizen Departures?

A TwitLonger post from Derek Smart (who cannot be confined to 140 characters) says he has heard reports of departures from Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games which may in part be caused by his publication of an internal email from the company. The developer turned crusader says a couple of employees quit and a couple were fired as the result of the leak, and while the details of his post are not officially confirmed, a tweet from James Pugh does confirm this Community Manager's departure from the company under "odd" circumstances (Derek's report says he was fired for suspicion of having leaked the mail). According to Derek's sources, the bad news is just beginning for the CIG, as he says a round of downsizing is in the works to reduce the company's burn rate, and that this is the reason for the recent launch of sales of Endeavor ships for $350-$450.

Last Crown: Blackenrock Teaser Trailer

Here's a teaser trailer for Last Crown: Blackenrock, the first in a trio of planned sequels for The Lost Crown, the ghost-hunting adventure game. "Darkling Room have been working on the trio of sequels simultaneously," explains Iceberg Interactive CEO Erik Schreuder. "The first instalment Blackenrock is promising to be one of the biggest adventure games ever created, having made huge strides over the course of 2015, we look forward to gamers encountering the ghostly hauntings over the coming months."

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