Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019

Facebook Buys Beat Games

Facebook has acquired Beat Games, creator of Beat Saber, the slash-hit virtual reality game. There is a post about this on the Oculus Blog with a FAQ covering the news. Here is the overview they offer:
The shared experiences of games are profoundly memorable ones, and for millions of people, Beat Saber was their first encounter with immersive VR gaming. Today we’re announcing that Beat Games is joining us in our quest to bring VR to more people around the world. They will join Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio in Prague, continuing to create new ways for people to experience music and VR gaming. Most importantly, what the community has come to love about Beat Saber will remain intact. Beat Games will continue to ship content and updates for Beat Saber across all currently supported platforms, now with even more support from Facebook.

Beat Games’ accomplishments are already impressive, but Facebook and the Beat Games team know that there is so much more that can be done across VR, games, and music. They have only scratched the surface with Beat Saber in terms of social features, new modes, music, and more. We are thrilled to join forces to see where this talented team takes VR gaming in the future.

Dota 2 Outlanders Update Adds Two Heroes

The Dota 2 Blog announces the release of the Outlanders update for Dota 2. Word is this adds two new heroes to the MOBA, and this page has all the details. Here's the short form:
Today’s update unleashes two new heroes — Snapfire and Void Spirit — and unveils the 7.23 Gameplay Update, featuring a host of changes, all-new features, and multiple reworked items and abilities.

Head over to The Outlanders update page for a full list of all the changes now available.

R.I.P.: Steam Controller

Noticing the Steam Controller is on sale for just five bucks in the Steam Autumn Sale, The Verge got in touch with Valve to learn the once-hyped controllers are being discontinued. There is no further explanation other than their statement that "Valve confirms that this is the last batch of these gamepads that will ever be made." They also note that shipping on these to most places will cost more than the controller itself, saying shipping to the continental U.S. looks like it's $8.00, making the total delivered cost of one of these $13.00.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Roadmap

Activision Games Blog has a roadmap for upcoming content drops expected for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on all platforms over the coming weeks. They say Season One will kick off on December 3rd with the biggest free content drop in the history of the series, noting that all platforms will be updated at the same time, so this will not disrupt their crossplay support. They add: "Note that some of this content may drop later than the Season One start date of December 3, and additional content may be added to Season One." Here's more:
Here’s a look at the free Modern Warfare content all players will have access to that starts next week and will continue throughout the duration of Season One:

  • Crash (Multiplayer Map): The iconic Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare map has returned with all the flanking routes and action-packed rooftop encounters you remember.
  • Vacant (Multiplayer Map): An abandoned office, previously visited in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, leads to intense interior combat across the complex.
  • Shipment (Multiplayer and Gunfight Map): The classic Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare map where fast and frenetic action reigns supreme.
  • Port (Ground War Map): Battle across massive shipping crates, cranes, buildings and streets in this unique Ground War map experience.
  • Cargo (Gunfight Map): An open-roof storage vessel for shipping containers, on docks of London.
  • Atrium (Gunfight Map): The centerpiece of a Verdansk palace, still intact despite the conflict raging nearby.
  • Additional Maps: Look for additional multiplayer maps as Season 1 progresses.
  • Reinforce (Multiplayer Mode): A hybrid of Dom and S&D, a single-life mode with both teams competing for control of three flags.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Autumn Sale Underway and Steam Award Nominations Begin

The annual Autumn Sale is now underway to Steam, confirming a tweet from the Steam Database from last month, which turns out to be spot-on despite word from Paradox Interactive that this would start last week. Valve also kicks off this year's installment in The Steam Awards. We are all invited to be part of their selection committee, so you can feel free to head over and voice your opinion on the games that deserve nomination. This post has the details:
The 2019 Steam Autumn Sale is now live, with great deals across the Steam catalog through Black Friday and Cyber Monday*. Check in each day to see the new featured titles on the front page, plus personalized recommendations.

In addition to the thousands of great games that are on discount, join us in our fourth-annual Steam Awards and nominate your favorite games across all eight categories, and earn profile XP and badges for participating! Your nominations will help determine the finalists for each category. In December, you can vote on the winners for each category during the Steam Winter Sale. Learn more about the Steam Awards here.

*Offers end Tuesday December 3rd at 10am Pacific.

Fallen Order is EA's Best-Ever PC Star Wars Launch

EA announces that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is their fastest-selling digital launch ever for a Star Wars Game, and that it is their top-selling Star Wars game on PC during its initial two-week launch window. Here's what they have to say about this:
Today Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm announced that the critically acclaimed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order™ is the fastest-selling digital launch for a Star Wars game in its first two weeks. The game is also now EA’s top-selling Star Wars title on PC in its initial launch window.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a critical success as well as being the highest rated Star Wars game of this console generation. Business Insider exclaims that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is “the best Star Wars game ever made,” while GameSpot calls it “one of the most compelling game additions to the Star Wars franchise in years.” GQ notes that the game “lives up to the hype,” while IGN says it is, “an all-around amazing game” in their 9.0 out of 10 review.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Bans Almost 1000 Titles

PCGamesN reports, by way of Reddit user thomasthe1st, that Valve has banned almost 1000 titles from Steam, pointing the way to a Banned Apps Tracker on a Steam Tracking Website for details on the removals. PC Gamer has a follow up on this with more details on what happened:
Shortly after our story went up, developer Alexandra Frock noted on Twitter that "a good chunk" of the removed games were linked to a single Russian publisher, Dagestan Technology, that appeared to be operating under a large number of different names. Selecting "related apps" for individual listings of banned games reveals how they're connected: Sly Pigs, for instance, is five steps removed from Running Sausage, but only two from BattleStar Mazay.

It's a bit like a Steam version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Some of the connections in the "related games" lists aren't immediately obvious, but the steps do lead from one point to the next, and Frock appears to be onto something. A cached version of the Dagestan Technology Steam Curator page lists 48 games and 4 DLCs, but the live page is now empty.

Valve didn't reveal any specifics on involved companies or their transgressions, but it did indirectly confirm that Dagestan wasn't the only publisher involved, saying that the removals were the result of bad behavior on the part of multiple publishers. "We recently discovered a handful of partners that were abusing some Steamworks tools," a rep explained. "We emailed all the affected partners."

New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

NVIDIA announces the release of new GeForce version 441.41 WHQL drivers, saying these are game ready for the upcoming PC release of Halo: Reach. These also support a new version 1.2 update for Quake II RTX which can be downloaded here. Finally, they also announce that Image Sharpening is now available in Vulkan and OpenGL games.

Everreach: Project Eden Next Month

Publisher Headup and developer Elder Games announce a December 4th release date for Everreach: Project Eden, their sci-fi action/RPG which bears an unmistakable resemblance to Blizzard's cancelled StarCraft: Ghost. A new Technology & Advancements Trailer accompanying the news is described thusly: "To prepare you for your mission on the planet Eden, the team has released a new trailer, which showcases the futuristic gear available to you, along with giving you a first-hand look at the upgrade system. Eden is a dangerous place, so be sure to give yourself a head-start on your expedition by watching the video." Here's word on the game:
Everreach: Project Eden is a fast-paced, story-driven action-RPG set on the visually stunning planet Eden. In Everreach, you play as Nora Harwood, a member of the Everreach Corporation’s Security Division who is on a mission to clear the planet for colonization and investigate recent unusual happenings on the planet’s surface.

Explore a vast alien world and descend into its depths to discover the ancient secrets of a long-forgotten civilization. Packed with engaging ground combat, high-speed vehicular warfare, and a compelling level and skill system, Everreach immerses you in its intriguing story and diversified gameplay.

Be sure to check out the new trailer, and if you have any questions about Everreach: Project Eden, or would like to talk to the developer, just drop us a reply.

Features:
Continue here to read the full story.

Black Desert Online Spinoff Shadow Arena Plans

Shadow Arena is an upcoming battle royale fighting game from Pearl Abyss that will use the same setting as Black Desert Online, the developer's MMOG. This was unveiled a couple of weeks ago at G-STAR 2019 in Korea, but we missed it at the time. Here's the Official Reveal Trailer with a look at what to expect. The Shadow Arena Website is the home to the project where they are accepting closed beta applications, though the most recent test has already concluded. This note from the game's producer admits that the limited scope of the testing made the process "feel quite tiresome," and explains their plans for improving on the process by expanding what they will include to make future closed beta a better experience. There is also an interview with Lead Producer Hwang Sam Kim on Wccftech discussing the project. The website does not offer a description of the game, so this is taken from the trailer:

Watch the official game reveal trailer of Shadow Arena, an upcoming, all-new fantasy arena fighter brought to you by Pearl Abyss, the creators of the Black Desert franchise - complete with gameplay footage and intense arena action.

This trailer consists of actual in-game footage.

Survive the Arena Shrouded in Darkness:
Every fighter must fend for themselves as the darkness creeps in ever closer...
Countless will fall and only one will ultimately rise victorious on the fields of the Shadow Arena.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Surge 2 Free DLC

Publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Deck13 now offer a free JCPD Gear Pack DLC for The Surge 2, their Windows action/RPG on Steam. This post has images and details on the release:
The Surge 2 continues to expand its collection of futuristic loot with the release of its second free DLC - the JCPD Gear Pack - containing a whole new set of armor and four new implants!

Jericho City scientists have cooked up new toys for players to hunt down and acquire, such as the JCPD Team Zola armor set, which is all about generating stamina to keep those combos going. Combine it with the Omni-Cell Battery Converter Implant which converts batteries into drone ammunition, and you can keep slaying without pause.

In addition, we also rolled out a patch that brings some new features and bug fixes, such as Nvidia Ansel support, an option to remove multiplayer tags, and so on. You can find the patch notes below.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

With Thanksgiving nearing, we are experiencing the usual annual flood of tips on turkey preparation. But I'm looking past that towards this weekend when I may just fire up the first batch of chili for the season. This is inspired by the cold weather out there... and in here for that matter, as it's currently 61℉ in my office (brrr). Besides warming me up, this will give me the chance to mark our new territory with my scent, which is basically chili peppers and cumin.

Hot and Cold Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Bruce Lee's Never-Before-Seen Writings on Willpower and more. Thanks Cutter.
This film has it all: Outer space, Euro ennui, sex cults. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Stories: Germany jewelry heist surveillance video shows thieves break case with ax before swiping 'priceless' gems.
Science: Jupiter's Great Red Spot is not dying, scientist says.
Images: Paper craft Diablo III by DORENG4287. Thanks Reddit.
Media: Miriam Hamberg wins Norway's 2019 Death Diving Championship (NSFW).
The Secret Language of Elephants.
This stray dog looks so different now! I'm not crying, you're crying! Thanks Kxmode.
Follow-up: Elon Musk promises Cybertruck vs Ford F-150 tug-of-war rematch.
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