Archived News:

Friday, Mar 31, 2017 World Backup Day

Mad Catz Closed

This press release has the news that peripheral maker and momentary game publisher Mad Catz has filed for a voluntary assignment in bankruptcy in Canada and for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. The company has apparently gone through all nine of its lives, since Chapter 7 is to liquidate the company, rather than try and save it though debt restructuring. The announcement has details on the end of the company's 28 year run:
The Board of Directors made the decision to have the Company make a voluntary assignment in bankruptcy after considering various strategic alternatives, the interest of various stakeholders of the Company as well as a number of other factors. The Board of Directors has been advised by the Company’s financial advisor and management that no viable strategic alternative in respect of a sale of the Company or other corporate sale transaction is being made available to the Company by any third party. In addition, the Board of Directors has also been advised that the Company’s lenders will not increase the amount of its credit facilities beyond the current levels.

Karen McGinnis, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated that, “Regrettably and notwithstanding that for a significant amount of time the Company has been actively pursuing its strategic alternatives, including various near term financing alternatives such as bank financing and equity infusions, as well as potential sales of certain assets of the Company or a sale of the Company in its entirety, the Company has been unable to find a satisfactory solution to its cash liquidity problems. The Board of Directors and management would like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Company’s employees in support of its business, especially during the time that the Company faced financial difficulties. The Company would also like to thank the vendors and professional service providers who have supported the Company’s efforts during this time.”

Hearthstone Un'Goro Expansion Next Week

Hearthstone website announces the Un'Goro expansion will launch on April 6th for Blizzard's virtual card game. They offer the previously released cinematic trailer and the following intro:
The most momentous scientific expedition in Hearthstone history is about to commence: the Journey to Un’Goro begins on April 6! Un’Goro Crater is a wondrous—yet dangerous—locale brimming with voracious vegetation, powerful elementals, gigantic primordial dinosaurs, and ancient mysteries waiting to be unraveled. You’ve been selected to join the expedition, and there’s still a little time left to prepare for the trip!
Continue here to read the full story.

Crashlands Postmortem

This video offers a Crashlands postmortem is called "The Last Game I Make Before I Die" (thanks Ant). This title stems from the sad story behind the light-hearted RPG:
Crashlands was developed by a team of three brothers in response to one of them being diagnosed with late stage cancer. In this 2017 session, Butterscotch Shenanigans' Samuel Coster tells the parallel stories of one family's battle with cancer and the creation of a cross-platform crafting RPG, and find yourself inspired to continue your great work no matter what life throws at you.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • ARK: Survival Evolved on Steam. Save 67%.
  • Batman Arkham Origins Complete Pack on Bundle Stars. Save 90%.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year Edition on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Star Citizen Subscriber Flash Sale on Roberts Space Industries.
  • Weekly Sale on Save 75%.
  • Weird & Wonderful Bundle on Steam. Save 57%.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Idiot instantly regrets trying to kick a dog. And as they point out, it just gets better from there.

Total War: WARHAMMER II Announced

SEGA and Creative Assembly announce Total War: WARHAMMER II, new installment in their Total War series of strategy games that they say is the second installment in a Total War: WARHAMMER trilogy. They say this will come out this year, and the first look at what to expect comes in this CGI trailer. They promise more details to come, including the reveal of a fourth race. For now, here's what they have to say:
SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced the next game in the best-selling Total War: WARHAMMER trilogy. Total War: WARHAMMER II will be the second release in an ongoing partnership between globally-acclaimed developer Creative Assembly™ and Games Workshop®, creators of the world-renowned Warhammer® Fantasy Battles tabletop wargame and miniatures.

Total War: WARHAMMER II unveils the mystery-shrouded continents far to the west of The Old World. Featuring four iconic new races from the Warhammer Fantasy Battles world – the High Elves, Dark Elves, Lizardmen, and a fourth yet to be revealed – players will battle across enchanted isles, bleak hinterlands, treacherous swamps, and perilous jungles.

In a Total War campaign like no other, players will struggle for dominion over the ailing Great Vortex that has swirled for millennia above the elven homeland of Ulthuan. Performing a series of arcane rituals, each race must save or disrupt the Vortex according to their motivations – a struggle culminating in a cataclysmic endgame. Territorial conquest is no longer enough… this is a race for control that will define the fate of the world!

Total War: WARHAMMER II will offer hundreds of hours of immersive gameplay in this epic new campaign. Furthermore, a huge combined campaign map featuring the old and new world regions will be available for free shortly after release to players who own both Total War: WARHAMMER I & II.

“Total War: WARHAMMER II represents the next step in our trilogy, our vision for the most incredible fantasy strategy series ever made,” said Game Director, Ian Roxburgh. “The success of the first game has increased our ambition; we’re not only going to deliver a thrilling campaign in the sequel, but also an additional combined campaign, the biggest so far, for owners of both.”

“We're thrilled to see the sequel to last year’s smash hit Total War: Warhammer coming later this year.” Said Jon Gillard, Head of Licensing at Games Workshop. “Sega and The Creative Assembly continue to astound us with their ability in crafting the Warhammer Fantasy Battles world in further glorious pageantry, with races never realised on this scale before in a video game. We are proud to be in partnership with them on this next great step in the franchise.”

What’s in Total War: WARHAMMER II?

  • A new style of narrative campaign in which players race against the other factions to save or destroy the Great Vortex while thwarting competing Races
  • Players will build and expand empires, raise armies, develop cities and fight vivid grand-scale battles in the classic Total War style
  • This campaign is set across four mysterious new continents:
    • Ulthuan
    • Naggaroth
    • The Southlands
    • Lustria
  • Four new playable races, each with unique campaign mechanics and army rosters of Legendary Lords, Heroes, spellcasters, troops, monsters and siege weapons:
    • High Elves
    • Dark Elves
    • Lizardmen
    • And a fourth, yet to be revealed…
  • A suite of thrilling new campaign and battle features inspired by the Warhammer lore
  • Additionally, a vast combined campaign map covering the geographic areas of the first and second parts of the trilogy. Players will be able to embark on campaigns as any owned, playable race from both games. This will be available for free shortly after launch for owners of both games.

Continue here to read the full story.

Titanfall 2 Free Weekend

The promised free weekend is now underway for Titanfall 2. The Origin page for the mech shooter now has a link for a trial, which will put the game in your library for the duration. Here's a refresher of what to expect if you dive in:
Call down your Titan and get ready for an exhilarating first-person shooter experience in Titanfall® 2! The sequel introduces a new single player campaign that explores the bond between Pilot and Titan. Or blast your way through an even more innovative and intense multiplayer experience - featuring 6 new Titans, deadly new Pilot abilities, expanded customization, new maps, modes, and much more.

Cyberpunk 2077 in Full Development; More Witcher Games Likely

This video captures a 2016 financial results conference webcast from CD PROJEKT Group, discussing their financial results. The proceedings are in Polish, but overlaid with an English translation. DSOGaming notes that they reveal that Cyberpunk 2077 is in full development, and there are now over 300 people working on the upcoming RPG. They won't commit to a 2017 release, however, sticking to previous statement that this is the year of GWENT. They also say there will not be another game in The Witcher trilogy, while also making it pretty apparent that they still plan on making another game using that setting:
The Witcher was designed as a trilogy. Trilogy cannot have a fourth part, however we like that world very much. We have invested 15 years of our lives and loads of money into it and we will probably think about it at some point. But please consider us as rational people, we sometimes have weird ideas, but overall our thinking is very rational. We have full rights to The Witcher games. They are ours. We have invested enormous funds into promoting it, and it’s a very strong brand. Answer your own question :)
Continue here to read the full story.

For Honor Update Increases Rewards

UbiBlog has details on a new update that's live in For Honor with some changes for the melee combat game. There is an economy update here that increases Steel payouts for all matches. This trailer highlights changes and new content in the patch, and here's word:
A For Honor update has arrived, revealing new information on the changes coming to the game. Starting today, the For Honor team is increasing overall income of Steel on all matches and Orders across all platforms. By just how much, you ask? By this much:

  • All matches Steel income are increased by 25%
  • Daily Orders Steel income are increased by 33%
  • Side Orders Steel income are increased by 50%
  • Community Orders Steel rewards are increased from 500-1000 to 2000 Steel

This should result in a sizable boost to your in-game purchasing power (up to 45% more Steel in the first two hours), so that ride-the-pony Lawbringer emote you’ve had your eye on can finally be yours.

But income isn’t the only issue the team is addressing today. They are also prioritizing connectivity and matchmaking issues, and re-introducing maps that had been removed for stability’s sake. River Fort is back in action today, with High Fort scheduled to return to the rotation soon if all goes well.

Looking to the near future, there are more changes coming for Orders and gear balancing. Stay tuned for more details on that.

Players can log in today and start enjoying their higher Steel income, as well as 3-Day Champion Status granted to all players after the outage last Tuesday. And all those who did not receive the Faction War crates because of the outage, be reassured that the team is looking into that.

Continue here to read the full story.

HTC Adding Eye Tracking VIVE Ads

HTC is introducing "Innovative VR Ads" for the VIVE head-mounted display, saying these ads will feature eye-tracking technology. Gamasutra points the way to this page with details on what they say is an opt-in program for free-to-play titles. Here's word from the barebones page with some appropriate spaces added to correct what seems to be a text parsing issue:
Unprecedented user experience
Innovative VR ADs are similar to native ads 3.0, offering an unprecedented ad viewing experience, delivering immersive VR environment on cinema-scale screens, and offering interactive elements to further promote user engagement. Therefore, VR Advertising is not simply an interruption, but a synonym of exceptional experience!

Maximize your advertising revenue
Ads that appear in immersive VR environments can not only provide more effective impressions, they can also track whether the users have viewed them or have turned away their gaze. Accordingly, the multiplied effect of effective impressions and verified viewings will bring you higher advertising revenue!

Potent and effective ad impressions
Compared to ordinary Ad impressions, Ads that are seen by users in a immersive VR environment can not only meet the user’s needs by means of precise re-targeting, but can also be detected if they are viewed effectively by users. Therefore, promotion of your applications would have much more effective impression, which not only arouses the attention of potential users and enhance brand image, but further attracts interested users directly to download your apps in the VR environment!

VR Downward Spiral: Prologue

3rd Eye Studios announce the release of a Downward Spiral: Prologue is now available for Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE. They say this will offer a zero-G VR experience that will not make users upchuck, though they don't offer specifics on the virtual Dramamine this includes:
Independent virtual reality studio, 3rd Eye Studios today announced that its epic zero gravity thriller Downward Spiral: Prologue is now available on the Oculus store for Oculus Rift and Steam for HTC Vive. Inspired by cult 1970’s science-fiction and devoid from the motion sickness that has plagued other zero-G virtual reality games, Downward Spiral: Prologue is the prologue to the ambitious saga Downward Spiral.

“Structured as a modern TV series, Downward Spiral: Prologue is the beginning of a space thriller, whose mystery will unravel over time as we release future episodes”, said Kari Koivistoinen, CEO of 3rd Eye Studios. “Built from the ground-up by our team of award-winning industry veterans, Downward Spiral: Prologue offers a space Zero-G experience like no other by allowing players to move freely in a VR environment without motion sickness.”

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • BitFenix Shogun Dual Tempered Glass Case on Play3r.
  • Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 Keyboard on Vortez.
  • Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 6 Case on Modders-Inc.
  • Enermax Platimax D.F. 600W Netzteil on Overclocked Inside. German.
  • Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Ultra Gaming LGA1151 Motherboard on Mad Shrimps.
  • HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard on Play3r.
  • iStorage datAshur Pro 8GB Encrypted Flash Drive on TweakTown.
  • Kolink Continuum 1200 W PSU on techPowerUp.
  • Kolink Core Series 500W Power Supply on Play3r.
  • LG 38" ultrawide monitor on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
  • MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro 4K Gaming Laptop on Play3r.
  • MSI X370 XPower Titanium Motherboard on Neoseeker.
  • Samsung 960 PRO 1TB M.2 SSD on Play3r.
  • WD Black PCIe NVMe SSD on The SSD Review.

Out of the Blue

Well the year is already a quarter over, even though it still has that new year smell. Here's what I see as this year's take on the old saying: March comes in like a lion and goes out like soaking wet lion. Doesn't have the same poetic ring, but it does have a ring of truth to it. Anyway, I see a couple of April Fools' jokes trying to sneak out early, presumably because the occasion falls on a Saturday. Apologies in advance if I fall for any jokes in advance.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Honor & Duty.
Stories: Joss Whedon To Direct A "Batgirl" Film.
Science: Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched a reusable rocket, raising the stakes for Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin.
Anti-climate science think tank trying to get textbooks into US schools.
Media: StarCraft Remastered Teaser Cartoon.
Second Trailer: "War for the Planet of the Apes."
Classy Tourists Calmly React to a Stuck Elevator (NSFW).
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