Archived News:

Friday, Feb 21, 2020

Activision Hits Reddit with DMCA Subpoena

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Activision Blizzard has filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act subpoena against Reddit to learn the identity of a user who revealed information about the next Call of Duty game. They say neither party has yet replied to a request for comment, offering the following explanation of what's going down from a court filing:
"Reddit is the service provider to which the subject of the subpoena-Reddit user 'Assyrian2410' – posted infringing Activision content," the filing, submitted Feb. 14 in California's Northern District Court, reads. "The Content infringes Activision's exclusive rights under copyright law. Specifically, it infringes Activision's rights in its popular video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare."

The filing includes a link to the offending post, made in the Modern Warfare subreddit, which had a title of "I found this image online, not sure what it is," that has since been taken down.

Crytek and Cloud Imperium Games Settling Lawsuit

In other legal doings, a new legal filing shows that Crytek and Cloud Imperium Games are planning to settle the lawsuit over CryENGINE licensing for Star Citizen and Squadron 42 (thanks Eurogamer). This began in late 2017 over whether Cloud Imperium Games was legally entitled to use the CryEngine for both Star Citizen and Squadron 42. Most recently a back and forth last month argued over whether the case should be dismissed. Terms are not being disclosed, but now word is both parties agree the matter should be settled. Here's a bit:
Pursuant to C.D. Cal. L.R. 40-2, Plaintiff CRYTEK GMBH and Defendants CLOUD IMPERIUM GAMES CORP. and ROBERTS SPACE INDUSTRIES CORP., by and through their counsel of record, hereby notify the Court that they have reached an agreement in principle of terms to settle this action in its entirety and are working to document the terms of their agreement. Following execution of the agreement, the parties will promptly file a joint stipulation of dismissal. The parties respectfully request that the Court allow the parties thirty (30) days to document and execute their agreement and to file the joint stipulation of dismissal.

1M Signup for GeForce NOW Trials; Service Losing Most Bethesda Titles

A post on the Official NVIDIA Blog shows that over one million gamers signed up to check out GeForce NOW (thanks Gamasutra). Word is: "Earlier this month, we passed a milestone on our cloud gaming journey by removing the waitlist and opening our doors to more gamers. Over 1 million new gamers have taken to the cloud by signing up for a free plan or upgrading to the Founders membership, which includes a 90-day free trial." The article also says the library of games on NVIDIA's cloud streaming service is now over 1,500 games. That's the good news. The bad news is that this post reveals that like the recent departure of Activision Blizzard games from the service, Bethesda Softworks titles will no longer be available there. The one exception, for some reason, is Wolfenstein Youngblood. Word is:
Please be advised most Bethesda Softworks titles will be removed from the GeForce NOW service today. Wolfenstein Youngblood will remain for all members. Founders members can continue to experience the game with RTX On.

January Digital Sales

Worldwide digital games market report from SuperData has their analysis of the Digital Games market for January 2020. Here's their super data:
Growing digital games revenue topped out at $9.4B in January 2020, up 3% year-over-year. Mobile earnings rose 13% compared to 2019 levels, offsetting lower PC and console revenue. Console spending was down a steep 42% in the free-to-play segment (due to lower Fortnite revenue) and down 19% in the premium space. January 2020 was a slow period for new console releases compared to January 2019, which saw the launches of Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Resident Evil 2 remake.

Top Grossing Titles by Category
Worldwide, ranked by January 2020 earnings
PC CONSOLE MOBILE
1 League of Legends FIFA 20 Honour of Kings
2 Dungeon Fighter Online Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Fate/Grand Order
3 Crossfire Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Candy Crush Saga
4 Fantasy Westward Online II Grand Theft Auto V Gardenscapes - New Acres
5 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot NBA 2K20 Clash of Clans
6 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Madden NFL 20 Last Shelter: Survival
7 World of Warcraft West Fortnite Homescapes
8 World of Tanks Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Roblox
9 Roblox Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Coin Master
10 Dota 2 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Mafia City
Source: SuperData Arcade. Please visit http://bit.ly/sdarcade for more info.
© 2020 SuperData. A Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved
SUPERDATA
A NIELSEN COMPANY

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Out of the Park Baseball 21 Announced

Out of the Park Developments officially announces Out of the Park Baseball 21, saying March 20th is opening day for the new installment in their officially licensed Major League Baseball simulator. Besides updated player rosters, new aspects of this include an all-new Ballpark Construction Kit, reworked scouting and drafting, the new 2020 rules, a refreshed Perfect Team mode, upgraded Live Services, and more. Here's a Reveal Trailer with a look. The game can be wishlisted on Steam and preorders are now underway on the Out of the Park Developments Website, and preorders entitle purchasers to a 10% Discount, early beta access, and a free Perfect Team mode Gold Pack. Here's a play-by-play on what to expect:
Out of the Park Baseball 21 includes:

  • All new Game Flow guides you through the unique OOTP experience in a smart, fully customizable way! Not sure what to do next? Game Flow gets you where you want to be, depending on what is happening right now. Whether it is Spring Training, the dog days of summer, or the off-season, it is easy to find what to do next. A fun way for newcomers and veterans alike to experience Out of the Park Baseball.
  • Upgraded Live Services! The smashing success of Live Starts expands this season, with additional information being used to make each Live Start even more authentic. Start your OOTP 21 experience from any date of the 2020 MLB season - from Day 1 through the end of the 2020 Postseason - with up-to-the-minute Rosters, Injuries, Trades, Standings, and more!
  • 3D Ballpark Construction Kit - At long last - build your franchise’s dream ballpark! The new 3D Ballpark Construction Kit allows you to configure a 3D stadium to your whims. Choose from many different field shapes and sizes, ballpark layouts and architectural elements and combine them with Ballpark Factors to emphasize the kind of organization you want to put together - defense, power, speed, gaps, you name it. This long-awaited feature, which will be improved via free updates throughout the year, lets you live a childhood dream - building your own ballpark.
  • New 2020 MLB rules, tactics, and player strategies! Baseball is changing in significant ways, and we have got everything in place. How will you use the all-new 26-man rosters to your advantage, as well as the new 28-man September configuration? How will you strategize around the new 3-batter-minimum for relief pitchers? What will your lineups and rotations look like with separate 10- and 15-day Injured Lists for pitchers and hitters? It is a whole new world!
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Lair of the Clockwork God Released

Lair of the Clockwork God is now available on Steam, offering a Windows game that combines a point-and-click adventure with a platformer. This is a standalone game in the Dan and Ben series from Size Five Games they say requires no prior experience with Ben There, Dan That! or Time Gentlemen, Please! Here's a trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's a description:
WHY PLAY ONLY ONE GENRE OF GAME when you could be playing two slightly different ones at the exact same time?

BEN is a die-hard, old-school LucasArts Adventure fan.
He has one foot stuck in the 90s, his feet never leave the floor, and he’s happiest collecting any old junk he can lay his hands on, in the hopes of combining it all together to solve a satisfying puzzle.

His cohort and sidekick DAN
...has aspirations to be the next big hit indie platform character. He's got everything he needs: he's hip, he's sensitive, and his nose is a different colour to the rest of his face.
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Rogue Lords Announced

Publisher NACON announce Rogue Lords, a new rogue-like game being developed by Cyanide and Leikir Studio. This puts the player in the role of the Devil, who is weakened because plot, and puts a team of famous villains at your disposal, including Bloody Mary, Dracula, the White Lady, and Baron Samedi. Word is the game will come to PC and consoles in autumn:
Rogue Lords takes place in a gloomy 17th Century New England where mortals and diabolical entities walk side by side.

The game inverses the usual tropes, with the player taking on the role of the Devil who, weakened following a terrible defeat, is seeking to regain his powers. His goal is to once again spread corruption throughout a world left destabilised by his absence. To achieve his dark designs, he directs a team comprised of illustrious Disciples of Evil, such as Bloody Mary, Dracula, the White Lady and Baron Samedi.
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Into the Black

Link of the Day: Wreckingball from helicopter.

Quantum League Open Beta

The promised open beta for Quantum League is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to test out this multiplayer shooter. The test will run until March 2nd, though given the game's time-looping mechanic, this may be open to interpretation. Have you ever wished that everyone in Overwatch was Tracer? Of course not, so hopefully this is not that. Here's a Cinematic Trailer and here's word on the game:
Quantum League is a revolutionary Time-Paradox Shooter: a competitive online FPS where players battle within a time loop, tactically teaming up with their past and future selves in mind-blowing 1v1 and 2v2 matches. Nimble Giants Innovative shooter is centred within an alternate universe where time travel has changed the face of professional sports as we know it.

Quantum League is an original I.P. from Nimble Giant Entertainment and will be the Argentine developer’s first major release since Master of Orion when it launches on Early Access later this year. “The level of innovation and the quality of the execution in Quantum League is one of the reasons that lured me into Nimble Giant” said Jeronimo Barrera, VP of Development at the studio. “The game is truly bringing something new, adding endless strategic depth and propelling the multiplayer FPS genre forward,” he added. Jeronimo most recently spent 20 years at Rockstar Games before joining Nimble Giant in 2019.

Set in a spectacular future where time travel sports are king, Quantum League, a heavily weaponized team-based shooting sport, dominates the globe. As a Quantum Athlete, participants compete in specially designed arenas where agility, speed and skill are not enough to rise to the top: the ability to tactically play with your past and future selves is a must.
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Drug Dealer Simulator Demo Next Week

This post reveals a playable demo for Drug Dealer Simulator will come to Steam on Thursday, February 27th. This will offer a taste of this simulation of the glamorous and wholesome life of a pusher, though keep in mind that they're just trying to get you hooked so you pay for more. In the meantime, a new Demo Date Reveal Trailer shows off some gameplay. Here's the word on the street about this game:
Have you ever thought about expanding your own crime empire, without the legal and moral consequences? SIMULATE IT!

Now you will finally be able to crawl into the dark alleys of the drug dealing business!

Start small, grow BIG!
Begin your story in a small dirty hideout and make your way up to controling the territory, hiring your own minions, and doing dangerous business. Become a street business mastermind, or a ruthless gangster - it's up to you!

But be carefull! Nothing is easy in the world of crime...
Continue here to read the full story.

Dota Underlords Launch Plans

With Dota Underlords set to leave beta on Tuesday, Valve offers this update on what to expect from the launch and Season One of their Auto Chess variant. They outline their launch party plans. This includes details on Season One and what this means for beta players, including a "soft reset" of ranks and some rewards for their efforts:
Launch Party
To celebrate the launch day and share what’s new with the community, join some of your favorite personalities for our Launch Party on Twitch. The day will be full of Underlords matches, City Crawling, and general shenanigans with guests and players from the community.

What’s staying from the Beta Season?
First off, thank you all for being part of the beta – we couldn’t have gotten here without you! Players who participated in the Beta Season will keep the following things:
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Othercide This Summer

Focus Home Interactive and Lightbulb Crew announce we will be able to break on through to the Othercide this summer with the release of their gothic tactical RPG for Windows and consoles. They also plan to show the game off at PAX East next week, and offer a new trailer for the occasion. Here's a recap of what to expect from this:
Othercide marries the dark art design and world-building of the horror genre with the deep systems and challenges of a strategy game for a truly gripping experience.

Combat in Othercide is a spectacular dance of actions and counters built around a dynamic turn system. Command an army of Daughters, haunting echoes of the greatest warrior to ever live, in deadly battles against horrific dread creatures and bosses birthed from the worst of humanity’s crimes. Interrupt enemy attacks while planning and setting up your own chain of actions later in the timeline to perform devastating assaults on your foes.

Othercide’s visually stunning universe is ruthless: you’ll face deadly missions, roguelite features like limited resources and permadeath, and the difficult decision to sacrifice one Daughter to make another stronger. Your prowess in combat will decide the fate of your Daughters, shaping their stats, abilities and personalities for better or worse, evolving over time into a reflection of your actions.
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Blaze Revolutions Announced

Publisher Kanolio Ventures and developer Little Chicken Game Company announce Blaze Revolutions, a joint effort to create a real-time strategy game set in a dystopian future where the player attempts to blaze a trail in the growing field of cannabis. This will enter Early Access on April 20th on Steam. There is an official website with more details and a previously released Teaser Trailer with a look. Here's more:
Developed by Little Chicken Game Company, Blaze Revolutions is an RTS set in a dystopian future, where the totalitarian SomaCorp surveys all, pollutes the environment and rules through misinformation campaigns. It’s up to you to cultivate your product, hack drones, evade SomaCorp surveillance and manage your resources as you turn this grassroots movement into an eco-friendly empire!

Aside from being an RTS with stealth and economic management mechanics, Blaze is a thriller with a deep narrative and strong character development about the effects big business and government corruption have on our planet. Our environment is suffering pollution, small businesses are going under as big corporations grow increasingly stronger, and governments are tightening their chokehold on the common man. The revolution is industrial, as well as social: Blaze Revolutions envisions a future where society rises up and creates idyllic enterprises using the natural resource of cannabis!
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Dungeons 3 Gets A Multitude of Maps

A Multitude of Maps is (are?) now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering what's said to be the final DLC for Dungeons 3, the strategic dungeon mastery sequel. Word is: "A Multitude of Maps closes off the Dungeons 3 saga with new missions and action-packed skirmish maps, while also giving the game's sardonic narrator, a proper send off." An Official Trailer features a look, and here are more details:
In Dungeons 3 DLC – A Multitude of Maps, players step into the oversized boots of the Absolute Evil one last time and take on the particularly dull forces of good across three unique skirmish maps and missions. Prove to opponents (and friends) that you can still set traps and smash skulls with the best of them.

Tear through an assortment of missions including a fierce battle for the Summoning Stones, the offering of sacrificial victims on the slopes of Mortuary Mountain, and assisting a Grave Golem in search of a new resting place.
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Farming Simulator 19 Bourgault DLC Next Month

Focus Home Interactive announces Farming Simulator 19 will grow on March 10th with the release of new Bourgault DLC for the agriculture sim. The Official Website has the details on this and offers the chance to preorder. As shown off in this trailer, the DLC will add the chance to buy some new name-brand equipment within the game:
The DLC will add new authentically modeled machines from Bourgault Industries, the world’s leading manufacturer of air seeder technology, including three top-class seeders, two air carts, a cultivator and a weeder. Players will also get a massive new John Deere 9RX Series tractor to haul it all, guaranteeing high performance even under the most tasking challenges.
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Morning Crowdfunding

  • ARCANIUM: Rise of Akhan- Open Access on Fig. "'ARCANIUM: Rise of Akhan' is an ambitious Single-player Strategy Card game of epic proportions, that merges both 'Roguelike" & "Deckbuilding' genres in many new ways. The game is a tale of fellowship and bravery, and is set in a fantasy World of anthropomorphic animals where good, evil, magic and technology collide. Form a party of three adventurers and embark on your dangerous journey in order to defeat Akhan the Calamity, and save the World of Arzu from destruction."

Out of the Blue

Well, I did say I was looking forward to a little additional outdoors time and exercise thanks to our visit from Jedi the Jindo. I guess this is one of those be careful what you ask for situations, as this is taking place during a bit of a cold spell. The weather here has been fairly mild for much of the winter, but it's been in the teens (Fahrenheit) the past few days, with the wind chill taking it into the single digits. And since we don't have a backyard and Jedi has a bladder the size of a grape, this means a lot of trips out for the both of us. And of course, at least one of these is in the middle of every night, which is pretty rough. But he's such a great pooch, and I love spending time with him, so it's a small, if frigid, price to pay.

Frigid Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Play: Touge Drift and Racing.
Story: A woman's Great Pyrenees helped track down a rare black coyote after they became backyard buds. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Physicists Take Their Closest Look Yet at an Antimatter Atom. Thanks Max.
Whisky Knows Her Toys. Thanks j.c.f.
Media: Phone Sucked Out of Photographer's Hand in Open-Top Aircraft.
Negative Ion Products Are Dangerously RADIOACTIVE.
Graphene Batteries Hit the Market.
Follow-up: MIT developed a simulation to determine the best way to deflect an asteroid.
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