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Thursday, Feb 09, 2017


South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Steep DLC Delays

UbiBlog announces a delay to the release of South Park: The Fractured But Whole, saying this is now due in fiscal year 2018. They also announce the postponement of the delay of the free Alaska DLC for Steep, saying this is coming on February 24th. Here are both updates:

South Park: The Fractured But Whole will now launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in FY18. The teams at South Park and Ubisoft San Francisco are committed to pushing the envelope during development to deliver the best experience possible, and this additional time will allow them to do so.

Our teams are always committed to bringing the best experience possible to all players. With this in mind, we are postponing the launch of our Alaska free game update to Feb 24th on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Activision Blizzard Financials

Activision Blizzard announces their fourth quarter 2016 and full year financial results, saying these were better-than-expected. Here are some of the big numbers they are bandying about:

For the year ended December 31, 2016, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) were a record $6.61 billion, as compared with $4.66 billion for 2015, an increase of 42%. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were a record $4.87 billion, growing 94% year-over-year. GAAP operating margin was 21%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were a record $1.28, as compared with $1.19 for 2015, an increase of 8%. On a non-GAAP (redefined) basis, the company’s operating margin was a record 35% and earnings per diluted share were a record $2.18, as compared with $1.30 for 2015, an increase of 68%.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2016, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were an all-time record of $2.01 billion, as compared with $1.35 billion for the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 49%. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were an all-time record of $1.45 billion, growing 101% year-over-year. GAAP operating margin for the fourth quarter was 21%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.33, as compared with $0.21 for the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 57%. Non-GAAP (redefined) operating margin was a fourth-quarter record 34%. On a non-GAAP (redefined) basis, the company’s earnings per diluted share were an all-time record $0.65, as compared with $0.25 for the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 160%.

John Wick Chronicles Released

Steam News announces the release of John Wick Chronicles, a virtual reality first-person shooter based on the movie franchise. Here's word on the game, which requires an HTC Vive headset and space for room-scale movement:

John Wick Chronicles lets you play as the legendary assassin John Wick, allowing you to pick up his iconic weapons and head into the world of hired guns - all in virtual reality.

In John Wick Chronicles you’ll dive into a whole new way to experience the action, as you’ll be a part of it - and not just someone who holds the controller.

Enter the Continental Hotel, and pick up your first mission…

Afghanistan '11 Next Month

Slitherine announces Afghanistan '11 will be released on March 23rd, offering a modern wargame sequel to Vietnam '65. In the meantime there is still time to get into the beta if you sign up on this page. Here's word on what to expect:

Afghanistan ’11 builds upon the very successful Vietnam ’65 and brings its original formula to the desolate mountains of Afghanistan, where the US armed forces, assisted by the local Afghan National Army, fought for years against an invisible enemy.

Afghanistan ’11 isn’t your standard wargame: if you want to win it won’t just be about eliminating the enemy on the battlefield, but you will need to conquer the Hearts & Minds of the locals by ensuring safety to villages, isolating and eliminating Taliban units, training the Afghan army and building and protecting infrastructure.

Afghanistan ’11 brings back the extremely successful formula of Vietnam ’65 and expands on it. The gameplay is now richer than ever! Extend your supply lines with a whole new modular FOB system. It will be the player’s duty to fight the war on drug production – destroy opium crops and deprive the Taliban of their economic sustenance. Oversee dynamic national elections which could affect your whole strategy! React to many unique political events which will add further unpredictability to your game! And much more.

Offworld Trading Company Blue Chip Ventures DLC

Stardock announces the release of Blue Chip Ventures, new single-player DLC for Offworld Trading Company, the real-time strategy game from Mohawk Games. Here's a trailer and here's word on the DLC and its tastefully named creator:

Predict markets, effectively sabotage your opponents, and break monopolies in Blue Chip Ventures! This series of new single-player scenarios is designed by one of Offworld Trading Company’s top competitors - will your business come out on top, or will you be filing for bankruptcy?

Over a dozen scenarios will require you to play at your very best in order to beat difficult objectives. A handful of the scenarios marked as “challenges” will require nearly flawless execution of everything you’ve learned and will make even the most veteran of players work hard for their victories.

About the Designer: Known within the Offworld Trading Company community as “Blues,” his quest to become a top-tier player and interest in numbers led him on a search through the code for a better understanding of the game’s mechanics. Inspired by some of the more unique Daily Challenges, Blues set out to design several custom scenarios that will provide new and interesting single-player experiences.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Bomb Defense -- Steam Greenlight. "Bomb Defense is a unique tower defense/puzzle game featuring explosions, physics and rag doll effects. You get a limited amount of money to buy traps, bombs, turrets and walls and place them in clever positions to defend against enemies trying to harm your curious little kitten Mimi who, for some reason, keeps wandering into an array of sinister dungeons and graveyards."

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: DNA saves dog from death penalty. Thanks nin.

Ghost Recon Wildlands System Specs

The GeForce website announces the system requirements for Ghost Recon Wildlands, Ubisoft's upcoming open-world shooter. Since this is NVIDIA's site, they don't mention competing hardware, so AMD owners will have to do a little extrapolation here. Here's what they say:

Experience total freedom of choice in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® Wildlands™, the ultimate military shooter set in an open world. Releasing on March 7th, you and up to three friends can take down the Santa Blanca drug cartel, who have transformed the beautiful South American country of Bolivia into a perilous narco-state. You decide your plan of attack and play missions however you see fit. Utilize stealth, execute tactical plans or come out guns blazing. You decide where to explore through the diverse Bolivian weather and terrain. Customize and develop your Ghost and gain access to unique weapons and skills.

Today, Ubisoft announced their recommended Ghost Recon Wildlands system requirements, providing a glimpse into how you can enjoy the game at 1920x1080, the most popular gaming resolution.

Ghost Recon Wildlands Official Minimum System Requirements

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S @ 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-4320 @ 4 GHz
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 660
  • VRAM: 2GB
  • RAM: 6GB
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • HDD: 50GB free space

Ghost Recon Wildlands Official Recommended System Requirements

  • CPU: Intel Core i7- 3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4 GHz
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 or GeForce GTX 970
  • VRAM: 4GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • HDD: 50GB free space

If you wish to crank settings up further, or play smoothly at a higher resolution, you’ll want to gear up with more powerful components, such as the GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080.

Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition Announced

Focus Home Interactive announces Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition, an updated version of Cyanide Studios' Warhammer-themed simulation of tackle football. This is coming later this year to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 later this year as a standalone release for newcomers and as an expansion for those who already own the game. This will include the original game, all its expansions, and new content. Here's word:

Blood Bowl 2, the sequel to the video game adaptation of Games Workshop's classic tabletop game combining American football with the Warhammer fantasy world, has already gathered nearly half a million players on PC and consoles since it released over a year ago.

The Blood Bowl 2 community will be pleased to learn that Focus and Cyanide will release Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition later this year. This is the version highly anticipated by the fans, offering ALL the official races from the Blood Bowl board game, including the sly Goblins, as well as a brand new race, the Kislev Circus and their ferocious Tame Bears! These races are coming along with their Star Players and a new Khemri stadium, located at the feet of their imposing pyramids.

Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition also contains loads of new content: new races, new game modes as well as many new tools and options enriching an already deep multiplayer experience. Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition will be available as a stand-alone game for newcomers, and as an affordable expansion for all Blood Bowl 2 players.

Experience new game modes such as a brand new Solo Career mode, or the new Challenge mode, which will put your wits and skills to the test through crazy and challenging game situations. And for the first time in the history of Blood Bowl, spice-up your matches with teams made up from a combination of players from different races, or go wild and lead a team of All-Star Players! Last but not least, Cyanide is developing new features and options for multiplayer - these new options and tools, long-requested by a passionate community, will greatly expand the possibilities offered to players to communicate together, create, set up and customize their online leagues and competitions.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns Living World Season 3 Episode 4

ArenaNet announces the launch of The Head of the Snake, Season 3 Episode 4 of the Living World content for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Here's a trailer showing off what this offers, and here's the deal:

Episode 4 now live accompanied by new raid wing “Bastion of the Penitent”; 50% off sale lasts through today for Heart of Thorns

Treachery is afoot in the world of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns and now it’s time for the next chapter of Living World Season 3 to uncover the mysteries of The White Mantle’s betrayal.Living World continues today with Episode 4, “The Head of the Snake,” which is now live. Caudecus Beetlestone’s depraved White Mantle faction continues its efforts to bring Kryta to heel. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Jennah of Kryta, requests players’ presence in Divinity’s Reach — help her root out corruption in the Ministry before crisis strikes.

Along with “The Head of the Snake” will come the brand-new raid wing “Bastion of the Penitent”. The cataclysmic explosion at Bloodstone Fen has exposed a mysterious portal, and Priory Scholar Glenna has ventured inside to investigate. Players will be invited to join Glenna and journey with her to explore a forsaken place - and help uncover the mysteries that lie within.

In addition there are several other tweaks and improvements to Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns that will be bundled with today’s launch; a full list of these changes can be seen here:

ArenaNet is currently holding a 50% off sale for the Heart of Thorns expansion through today. The base game is free of charge, and a stream of new content is frequently added via the Living World seasons, so there’s always something new to uncover in keeping with our stated 2-3 month release cadence. To access new Living World episodes players must own Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns; by simply logging in they can unlock episodes for free to play later. They don’t need to have completed the main Heart of Thorns storyline in the expansion to enjoy Season 3.

Season 3 content is intended for level-80 characters. Every purchase of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns comes with a Level-80 Boost, which will boost one character to max level and get them equipped to enjoy all the content available in Guild Wars 2, including Season 3.

Continue here to read the full story.

GreedFall Announced

Publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Spiders announce GreedFall, an RPG in the works for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This teaser trailer introduces the concept with cinematics, and here's word on what to expect:

GreedFall is the latest RPG from Spiders, currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Revealed at "le What's Next de Focus" event last week, GreedFall today unveils a first teaser trailer, hinting at the 17th century setting of the game and a world coursing with magic. As showcased in this video, Greedfall aims for a very unique visual identity, inspired by Baroque art from 17th Century Europe, depicting grandiose sceneries in muted warm colours and dark undertones.

Explore a fresh new world as you set foot - alongside many other settlers, mercenaries and treasure hunters - on a remote island seeping with magic, rumoured to be filled with riches and lost secrets. A grand journey filled with mystery follows, as you find yourself in the middle of ever-increasing tensions between the invading settlers and the locals, protected by supernatural beings and manifestations of the island's earthly magic.

With a strong focus on its core RPG identity, GreedFall follows Spiders' experience in building intricate worlds filled with mysteries to discover, weaving deep character interactions, and offering players great freedom to complete quests and objectives in a multitude of different ways. Combat remains an option, but so too do diplomacy, deception or stealth. The island of GreedFall is a living, ever-evolving world. Your actions, from seemingly trivial choices to the most important political decisions, will influence and affect its course as well as the relationship between the different factions established on the island.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • HiFiMAN Edition S Open/Closed back Headphones on techPowerUp.
  • Intel Celeron-Pentium-Core i3-i5-i7 CPU on Phoronix. - NVIDIA vs. AMD Linux gaming performance.
  • Raijintek Metis Plus Mini ITX Case on Play3r.


Out of the Blue

It's pretty crazy outside right now, as we're in the middle of a blizzard. Old man winter has been acting like an old man lately, but today he definitely took his Geritol (is that still a thing?), as his energy level is off the charts. I'm always bad at estimating these things, but we have at least a few inches of snow already, and the forecast doesn't call for it to stop falling for another couple of hours. Oh well, as I say, the season has been fairly mild so far, so I don't have much cause to complain, but that's not going to be much consolation when I start shoveling later.

Snowy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Toy Defense - Play on Crazy Games
Stories: They told him, ‘You’re just fat.’ But it was actually a 130-pound abdominal tumor. Thanks ViperFour.
Aretha Franklin Announces Retirement, Final Album.
Media: The most secure coin in the world.
Hitting the Sun is HARD.

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