Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Patch Causing Problems

Following the release of a new patch for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward tweets a warning to users who get an error prompt about corrupt data (thanks Wccftech). They say not to select either option the message offers, saying you should hard close the application. They say they are still looking into the problem:
We're currently investigating an issue where players are getting an error prompt informing them their data is corrupt or did not download properly. Please do not select either option, but please hard close your application. Thank you for your patience while we work on this issue.

We're still looking into this issue and appreciate your patience. If you are presented with this prompt, please do NOT select any option and hard close your application. We'll provide another update when we have more information. Thank you again for your patience.

Catch Super Chicken Catchers Next Month

White Smoke Games announces that Super Chicken Catchers will be officially released on Steam February 18th following an Early Access run. This Windows game will give you a fighting chance against Apollo Creed, "because chicken-chasing is how we used to train back in the old days. If you can catch this thing, you can catch greased lighting." Here's a new Official Trailer, and here's word:
Super Chicken Catchers propels players into an alternative future where one sport has gripped the universe: Cluckball! With the entire galaxy watching, you'll compete in the ultimate 2v2 competitive sporting event to claim the grand prize.

Playable solo, local and online, Super Chicken Catchers is a frantic struggle for supremacy that takes the highly competitive and collaborative nature of games like Rocket League but swaps the ball for a chicken.

Currently available in Steam Early Access, Super Chicken Catchers aims to bring players a competitive 2v2 experience in which rider and mount have to act in unison against their opponents. Pushing friendships, new and old, to the limit, players will have to work together if they ever hope to conquer the Cluckball World Championships and stand atop the grand podium.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding

Tencent Makes Funcom Bid; Dune Scope May Expand

Chinese tech giant Tencent announces their intentions to take full ownership of Funcom, the Norwegian developer of Conan Exiles, Secret World Legends, Anarchy Online, and more. They are already part owner of Funcom, and are making an all-cash offer for the remainder, an offer that's been met with enthusiasm by Funcom's CEO and board. Word is that Tencent does not plan any changes to the studio's operations. In light of this news, Funcom announces plans to expand the scope of their upcoming Dune game. Here's the announcement:
Tencent has today announced a voluntary cash offer to acquire all shares in Norwegian game developer Funcom. Tencent, a leading Internet company with a strong online games operation, is a shareholder in many leading gaming developers, such as Riot Games, Epic, Supercell, Ubisoft, Paradox and Frontier. The company already owns close to 29% of the shares in Funcom and news of the intended takeover is greeted with enthusiasm from Funcom CEO Rui Casais.

“We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and we believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”

Funcom is a publicly traded company on the Oslo Stock Exchange and Tencent will seek to acquire shares directly from all the other shareholders. Tencent is offering all shareholders NOK 17.00 per share, which is 27.3% higher than the closing price of Funcom shares on January 21st, 2020. Shareholders are free to either accept or reject the offer during the offer period, which is expected to start early February. Funcom’s management board and supervisory board have unanimously decided to recommend shareholders to accept the offer.
Continue here to read the full story.

California Intervenes in Riot Games Gender Discrimination Suit

Two state agencies in California are intervening in the lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination at League of Legends developer Riot Games. A settlement was reached in the case last summer and it was announced late last year that Riot would pay out at least $10 million to current and former female employees. Now, in what the Los Angeles Times describes as an "unusual step," the state of California is stepping in, saying they believe this payment is inadequate, and that the proper payout should be closer to $400 million. Additionally, one of the agencies objected to the other terms of the deal, saying "no enforceable changes to employment policies, at a company alleged to be rife with sexism, are part of the settlement." Riot has filed rebuttals, and there will be hearings on January 31st and February 3rd to work through this. TheHill has a summary of the pay-walled LA Times article, as well a statement from Riot Games:
“We are particularly dismayed that the filing downplays and ignores the efforts we have made with respect to diversity, inclusion, and culture over the past 18 months. The Settlement Agreement includes a long list of the dozens of meaningful initiatives and changes we have made, including updates to our policies, in response to Kotaku’s reporting and the class action lawsuit. We believe that these initiatives demonstrate a real commitment to actual change that goes well above and beyond what most companies would have done in a similar situation.”

Google Stadia Exclusive Game Plans

Google Stadia has arguably over-promised and under-delivered to this point. Now in a post to the community, the team makes new promises for 2020 about making this streaming gaming service more appealing to gamers over the course of the year (thanks The Verge via Simon). In addition to new features to enhance Stadia, they say they expect to add more than 120 games this year, including 10 in the first half of the year that will be exclusive upon launch. They also say the next three months will see the addition of 4K streaming on the web, additional Android phone support, and more:
We have a lot more planned and will continue to work hard toward delighting gamers with our vision for Stadia. Looking at our upcoming lineup, we are tracking more than 120 games coming to Stadia in 2020, and are targeting more than ten games in the first half of this year alone that will be only available on Stadia when they launch. We’re working with our partners to share more on those games soon.

Gamers can expect more features coming to Stadia in Q1 and beyond. A key benefit of our platform is that we can add these features without any updates or downloads, and we’re starting to roll out the following over the next three months:

  • Support for 4k gaming on the Web
  • Add further Assistant functionality when playing on the Web
  • Support additional Android Phones
  • Wireless gameplay on the Web through the Stadia controller

There is a lot more in store for this year. In the meantime, we hope gamers are gearing up for some great new games and experiences. Toward the end of this month, we will share more about the games coming to Stadia Pro in February.

Paradox Testing Europa Universalis IV Subscriptions

A new patch rolled out yesterday for Europa Universalis IV, updating the grand strategy game to version 1.29.4. As noted on FRAGS OF WAR (thanks Thesh), Paradox confirms that this is to facilitate testing of a new subscription model for the series. At this point the game has no fewer than 31 bits of DLC, which would run players a total of $341.73 USD. So now they are experimenting with a new scheme that may make the cost of playing the whole series more palatable:
Hi everyone! Pontus, team lead for EU4 marketing supporting Björn real quick. Since “the cat is out of the bag” me and the team wanted to clarify a few things before speculations are running to rampant and are established as truths:

- Yes, we want to test a subscription model for EU4.

We have heard for years from existing and potential new players that the cost of getting the game and all expansions all at once is quite expensive (and might be discouraging for completely new EU4 fans), it's been supported for almost 7 years after all. A subscription model has been suggested to us on many occasions, so we thought we'd run a test to see how popular such a service would be.

- No, we are NOT replacing the current model or changing how anything works now. We are simply adding another option.
Continue here to read the full story.

New Blackbird Interactive Game Teased

Focus Home Interactive announces a partnership with Blackbird Interactive for a new project based on an original IP developed by the team behind Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and the upcoming Homeworld 3. They're playing this close to the vest for now, but promise a reveal at PAX East, which gets underway on February 27th in Boston. "We are truly excited to work with the Focus team," says Blackbird Interactive founder Rob Cunningham. "From our first meeting it was clear they are a perfect fit to help deliver BBI's innovative new game to a wide audience. Focus genuinely shares our vision to create high-quality original titles and have completely embraced the new world we are crafting. We feel extremely fortunate and grateful for this opportunity, and look forward to an exciting and productive partnership!" Here's word on the plan:
Focus Home Interactive, publishers of World War Z, Greedfall, A Plague Tale: Innocence, and many more, are delighted to announce their partnership with Blackbird Interactive, creators of Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and the upcoming Homeworld 3, on a new project. Set in an original IP and combining Focus Home’s love of innovative, new experiences with Blackbird’s deep knowledge and enjoyment of sci-fi settings, the upcoming game is sure to delight and intrigue audiences when it is unveiled at PAX East next month.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page Trailer

Publisher Modus Games and developer Sketchbook Games released a new gameplay trailer for Lost Words: Beyond the Page. This shows off this new adventure game written by Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of fantasy writer Terry Pratchett. Her previous credits include Heavenly Sword, Overlord, Mirror's Edge, Tomb Raider, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. For more on the game you can check out its Steam Listing and its official website. Here's more on the trailer:
Publisher Modus Games and developer Sketchbook Games have released a new gameplay trailer for Lost Words: Beyond the Page, revealed for the first time during last night’s New York Game Awards. Lost Words is an inventive and touching tale of a young girl’s personal growth and will be released this spring.

This new trailer, narrated by the game’s female protagonist, Izzy, provides a glimpse of the fantasy world of Estoria and the moving emotional journey of a young writer using creativity and her journal to deal with life’s adventures. Izzy’s recollections and imagination inspire breathtaking scenes of a vibrant, evocative world, unfolding new moments within an emotional story brimming with joyous, childlike zeal and mounting poignancy as that innocence adapts to life’s realities.
Continue here to read the full story.

Bartlow's Dread Machine Announced

Last night's New York Game Awards saw the announcement of Bartlow's Dread Machine, an upcoming twin-stick shooter from the creator of Voodoo Vince. This is due this summer Steam and Xbox One. Here's the Official Announce Trailer, and here's the announcement:
The Style
Preserving the original's turn-of-the-century innovation, Bartlow's Dread Machine plays like a mechanical game from the dawn of the electric age. On-screen action is visibly articulated and rigged, just like an arcade game of yesteryear, while the game's backdrops and visual effects draw heavily from stagecraft and vintage puppet theater. Characters and environments are rendered from tin -- a material that noticeably degrades when struck by bullets.

A lively soundtrack by Steve Kirk complements the antiquated aesthetic, incorporating era-appropriate instruments like hammer dulcimer and harmonium, early electronic gizmos, and live musicians playing a vast array of horns and strings.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Dang has it been cold around here lately. I mean yeah, it's winter and all, but when the thermometer hits single digits (it was 9℉ this morning) it gets pretty rough. I don't know how people who live in climates even colder than where we are in New York handle it. Hell, I don't even know how MrsBlue stands it here... I needed two extra blankets doubled over to sleep last night. So this was basically four more than she needed, and she slept like a baby. The time she spent living in Minneapolis clearly served her well in this regard.

Obituary: Terry Jones Dead: 'Monty Python' Founder, British Comedy Icon Was 77.

Cold Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Link: N. K. Jemisin’s Dream Worlds.
Stories: 'Falling iguana' alert issued in Florida due to cold weather.
Woman arrested in CIA trespass seeking ‘Agent Penis’ charged by Secret Service.
NH man strangles coyote to death after animal attacks his child.
Science: How Fast Can a Human Run? Thanks j.c.f.
California considers declaring common pain killer carcinogen.
Media: SpaceX Explodes A Rocket To Show That It's Safe.
Toilet Death Ejector - SNL. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Opened With a Notebook- ShotLock Handgun "Solo-Vault." Only figured out three ways to open it.
Follow-up: Washington man is 1st in US to catch new virus from China.
Boeing doesn't expect Max jet to be cleared until summer.
China’s post-Sars reporting system may explain long delays in announcing new cases of Wuhan virus. Thanks Max.
The Funnies: Ant Existentialism. Blue ant!
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