they are closing down Orcs Must Die! Unchained
, Hero Academy
Hero Academy 2
as of April 8th, saying of the news "it's painful to even write
this" (thanks VMatrix). The post includes a FAQ that explains that none of these
games is any longer pulling its weight: "Orcs Must Die! Unchained and Hero
Academy 2 have been unable to maintain a sufficient player base to cover the
operational costs to keep the games running. The original Hero Academy has been
technically obsolete for a long time now. We could not maintain the pace of
operating system updates from Apple. It was actually removed from the App Store
in early 2018." Here's more from CEO Patrick Hudson:
It's painful to even
write this. We are sorry to say that we will be closing down Orcs Must Die!
Unchained, Hero Academy, and Hero Academy 2.
Making and supporting a game is a long and challenging journey. Along the way,
there are plenty of highs and plenty of lows. The communities who play our games
join us on these journeys. We know this decision affects our players as much as
it does us.
We've kept these games operating at a financial loss for many months.
Unfortunately, it's no longer sustainable for us to do so. We must shift our
focus to future games and make our investments there.
All three games will remain playable until Monday, April 8th, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Central Time (UTC-05:00). Commencing immediately, all players logging into Orcs
Must Die! Unchained and Hero Academy 2 will receive a substantial free grant of
hard and soft currencies to enjoy the remaining weeks of live play. You may have
to wait up to 24 hours for the currency grant to arrive in your account. We do
not have a way to immediately make the grants upon first login.
All of us at Robot would like to thank everyone who has played one of these
games. We've loved interacting with you in game, on our forums, and at places
like PAX. We hope you give us the opportunity to join you again in our future
notes that Valve served up a record 600+K VAC bans in the month of
December, saying this new record for bans comes right as Counter-Strike:
. This was sparked by
a tweet from
on the topic, and cross-referencing this with
indicates the December
ban total covered a half-million more accounts than were banned in November.
Here's a bit:
spotted by Nors3
on Twitter shows that Valve issued 609,373 VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) bans in
the month of December, a modest 500,000 increase from November’s numbers
(according to the third-party tracker SteamDB) and what looks to be new all-time
SteamDB’s count for the month is
a little bit higher at 611,497, but its week-by-week breakdown shows that the
bans hit in 5 waves throughout December, with each giving between 56,000 and
85,000 accounts the ax.
The good news about the tease
that surfaced over the weekend for
an Aliens project is that this indeed turns out to be for Alien Blackout
a title discovered late last year
through its trademark filing. The bad news, for PC gamers at least, is that this
will be a mobile offering. A new
Alien: Blackout website
) has the details, and here's a bit:
The terror of Alien is
brought to life in Alien: Blackout. Try to stay alive while trapped aboard a
crippled Weyland-Yutani space station carrying a deadly Xenomorph as it
tirelessly hunts you and the crew. Outsmart the perfect hunter by making
perilous choices. Players must rely on the damaged controls of the space station
or risk sacrificing crew members to avoid deadly contact, permanently altering
the outcome of the game.
Survive seven fear-inducing levels by remotely guiding Amanda Ripley’s crew
through increasingly challenging tasks using only the station’s emergency
systems. The uncertainty and unpredictability of both the alien and her crew can
impose total defeat for Amanda and the entire station.
Alien: Blackout is a unique fear-inducing horror premium mobile game experience
that will test the inner nerves of both Alien and horror fans alike, where life
can end in an instant.
EGOSOFT announces beta testing is now underway for X4: Foundations: Online
, a new update for X4: Foundations that adds multiplayer support, a
first for the space simulation. This is easy enough for owners of the game to
check out, because although the feature is still in beta, it is now present in
the normal edition of the game available through GOG.com and Steam following the
game's update to version 1.50. They offer
further explanation of how this works along with a look at gameplay. Here are
Continue here to read the full story
EGOSOFT announced today that the X franchise's first-ever
online mode is now in BETA. X4: Foundations: Online Ventures lets players send a
ship into other players' universes and allows visitors into their own. X4:
Foundations: Online Ventures is the centerpiece of the game's first update,
which also adds the ability to ask people for directions, reintroduces a more
talkative Betty shipboard computer and fixes a list of issues.
X4: Foundations: Online Ventures Key Features:
- Visitors to a universe can easily be identified in
HUD and on the map. Players can assign a ship to a venture dock before
sending it into a parallel universe. Additionally, after building a VENTURE
PLATFORM and a VENTURE DOCK, they can send any S or M ship on a selected
- Each different venture unlocks different rewards
and, FOR NOW, they are all safe! Ventures can take anywhere from one hour to
several (real-time) days and will, with a bit of luck, unlock some exclusive
rewards on success.
- Every player can get one venture platform and one
venture dock and build it on any station or on his or her player HQ.
While the online venture gameplay is now available to all with the normal
version of X4: Foundations on Steam and GOG, the online feature itself is still
in BETA. There is no risk to your saved games or to stability, but the ventures
themselves might go wrong.
Participation in this new online mode is entirely optional and only possible
with one unmodified saved game at a time!
has word that a new Viveport Infinity option is being added to the
mix which goes beyond previous limitations to allow unlimited access to the
entire Viveport catalog of virtual reality games. As for the Vive hardware these
has word on a pair of new VR headsets announced by HTC at CES.
These are the HTC Vive Pro Eye, a standalone virtual reality headset with eye-tracking for
PCs, and the HTC Cosmos, an untethered VR headset that will work with PCs and
smartphones. Release dates and specs for the new hardware are noticeably absent,
but they do have some details:
HTC kicked off its CES 2019 presence with
two significant product reveals: the HTC Vive Pro Eye, a new, standalone virtual
reality headset for PCs, and the HTC Cosmos, an untethered VR headset that will
work with smartphones or PCs.
While specs and price for the Vive Pro Eye headset are currently unknown, its
biggest upgrade is a rarity in the PC VR space: built-in eye tracking, so that a
users' eye direction and movement can be measured for the sake of better VR
performance. To that aim, HTC used its CES press conference on Monday to confirm
that the headset will ship with foveated rendering support. As in, a VR game or
app can render fewer pixels in the parts of the VR display that aren't being
looked at by a user. This implies, but doesn't confirm, that HTC will make tools
available for developers to marry the Vive Pro Eye's eye-tracking sensors with
3D rendering engines.
Scrolls Online Website
urges us to "get ready for ESO's next big
announcement," which is coming for Bethesda's MMORPG a week from tomorrow. Word
is: "The cat's out of bag! Ready yourself, adventurer. A massive announcement
for The Elder Scrolls Online is on the way! Find out how you can learn about the
upcoming ESO Chapter and what's coming to the game in 2019." In order to insure
this all goes off as bigly as planned, they are promising freebies, swag, and
punitive tattoos based on viewership. Here's more:
Tune in to
Twitch.tv/Bethesda on Tuesday,
January 15 at 5:00PM EST to be one of the first to learn about the next exciting
adventure in The Elder Scrolls Online. Join us as Creative Director Rich Lambert
announces what is coming to ESO in 2019 live to the world from the Twitch studio
in San Francisco.
Want to earn some amazing goodies? In addition to Twitch Drops (PC/Mac only),
you and your fellow viewers could unlock amazing rewards for all, simply by
watching the stream. As the show hits certain peak concurrent viewer count
milestones, the following rewards will be unlocked:
- 55k concurrent viewers: A unique Wallpaper based on the next
Chapter’s concept art
- 70k concurrent viewers: A Hot Pepper Bantam Guar pet for all ESO
players across all platforms
- 90k concurrent viewers: Rich will commit to getting an ESO tattoo
somewhere (SFW) on his body!
However, that’s not all! Drop in early to check out the ESO pre-stream show
(full details coming soon), and be sure to stick around after the show as
special community guests discuss the latest news with Rich and ESO Community
Managers Jessica Folsom and Gina Bruno!
NVIDIA offers the official
CES 2019 trailer
, BioWare's upcoming mechanized action/RPG.
Continue here to read the full story
Check out the latest exclusive 4K Anthem gameplay revealed at
our CES 2019 keynote! It features never-before seen Javelin, enemies, and
The team is happy to announce that DLSS is coming to Anthem thanks to the hard
work of Bioware and NVIDIA. Be ready for the PC launch on February 22nd, 2019!
launches on Thursday on
offering an action/adventure from 13AM Games that features what they call a
special sling mechanic that allows you to throw objects at your enemies. This
sounds a little futile in light of your opposition including robots and
dinosaurs, but we'll assume you throw like a baseball pitcher.
shows off the game's platforming action as well as some slinging in
action. Here's more:
Continue here to read the full story
Double Cross involves fireballs, karate chop master
combat, massive dinosaur enemies and a unique proton slinging mechanic that
allows you to grab objects and throw them, as well as get you past difficult
The game is Mega Man-like and features a depth of gameplay, including the
following. Codes are available.
- A unique sling fighting mechanic
- Brawling combat
- Interdimensional levels where a different gameplay
mechanic is used to complete each level
- Character customization (upgrade your character's
skills how you see fit)
- Nonlinear storytelling so you can pick what levels
you want to play and in which order
- A robust investigation system where you need to
find clues and take them to the correct characters
Link of the Day:
Best TV News Bloopers Fails #2
. Not new, but includes some amazing moments.
it is expanding the availability of G-SYNC to some monitors
not specifically designed for this frame-syncing technology. A new driver
release on January 15th will add GYSNC support to 10- and 20-series graphics
cards for a dozen monitors "capable of variable refresh rates (VRR) using the
VESA DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync protocol." They don't mention FreeSync at all,
but the "G-SYNC Compatible" monitors are listed
on this page
advertize native FreeSync support. FreeSync was developed by
AMD as a competitor to G-SYNC, and both are ways of providing high framerates
and tear-free graphics without requiring the use of Vsynch, and since it doesn't
carry the same licensing costs as GSYNC, supporting it is less expensive to
manufacturers and consumers. They say they tested 400 monitors to come up with
the 12 on their compatible list, so this is more on a case-by-case basis than is
universal support, but they do say they will continue to test monitors and
update the list. Along the way they also announce new Big Format screens for
living rooms with G-SYNC HDR support and a range of new G-SYNC monitors, but
there's no word on whether they are dropping G-SYNC licensing fees for
manufacturing partners. Here are more details:
G-SYNC Compatible tests
will identify monitors that deliver a baseline VRR experience on GeForce RTX
20-series and GeForce GTX 10-series graphics cards, and activate their VRR
Support for G-SYNC Compatible monitors will begin Jan. 15 with the launch of our
first 2019 Game Ready driver. Already, 12 monitors have been validated as G-SYNC
Compatible (from the 400 we have tested so far). We’ll continue to test monitors
and update our support list. For gamers who have monitors that we have not yet
tested, or that have failed validation, we’ll give you an option to manually
enable VRR, too.
For the most demanding gamers, G-SYNC and G-SYNC Ultimate HDR displays featuring
an NVIDIA G-SYNC processor will represent the very highest image quality,
performance and experience. These displays will benefit from an end-to-end
certification process that includes more than 300 tests for image quality.
They’ll feature a full refresh rate range from 1 Hz to the display panel’s
maximum rate, plus other advantages like variable overdrive, refresh rate
overclocking, ultra-low motion blur display modes and industry-leading HDR with
1,000 nits, full matrix backlight and DCI-P3 color.
the addition of DLSS to Battlefield V
saying each game will support their new
high-speed anti-aliasing scheme
. Word is: "With RTX ON in Battlefield V,
gamers will get the best of both worlds; beautiful real-time ray tracing and
smooth frame rates with DLSS. Get RTX ON with performance similar to RTX OFF."
They also announce new RTX benchmarks and demos as more ways to show off the
power of their newest hardware. And to fully get the chocolate and peanut butter
the GeForce RTX Game On Bundle offers a free copy of either
Anthem or Battlefield V with the purchase of an eligible RTX 2070 or (newly
announced) RTX 2060 graphics card or free copies of both games for those who buy
an eligible 2080 or 2080 Ti card.
has a list of cards and systems that carry these offers.
the first results of the new year in their accounting of weekly
game sales in the U.K. Word is: "2019 kicks off with ‘FIFA 19’ returning to No1
in the All Formats Chart, overturning ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’s grip on top spot
by only a small margin. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ has to settle for No2 and with
no new releases due until next week there is very little movement elsewhere."
all platforms chart
for the week ending January 5th, and
here is the PC top 30
. The following are the first 10 entries on the PC
||FOOTBALL MANAGER 2019
||THE SIMS 4: CATS & DOGS
||THE SIMS 4
||FARMING SIMULATOR 19
||FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE
||THE SIMS 4: GET FAMOUS
||THE SIMS 4: SEASONS
||FOOTBALL MANAGER 2018
||THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: SUMMERSET
MrsBlue and I are off to the doctor to give blood in advance of our annual
checkups. The timing of this helps illustrate how overworked the medical system
is, as we used to go in November and because of that burden, make our next
appointments a year in advance. Even with that, availability is so touchy our
visits progressed through December and are now into January. I wonder if we'll
be able to get new appointments before next February? Either way, all of this
became less of a hardship once my doctor told me the fasting they require before
these tests does not require that I skip my morning coffee, so I can roll with
about any other aspect of this that comes up.