Archived News:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

New Grand Theft Auto in 2023?

A new SEC Filing from Take-Two Interactive suggests we might be getting a new installment in the Grand Theft Auto series in 2023. As noted on VentureBeat, a research brief from investment firm Stephens Inc., this Form 10-K filing shows a spike in Take-Two's projected marketing budget has shifted to fiscal 2024, which concludes on March 31, 2024. This kind of spending proved to be a reliable indicator for the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, suggesting it may be the same for the eagerly awaited next installment in the open-world crime series. This is unconfirmed, and still far enough out that plans could certainly change again even if it's accurate, but it certainly does seem like a plausible theory. Here's word on why Blue Horseshoe loves Endicott Steel:
Each year TTWO's 10-K discloses minimum marketing commitments for the subsequent five fiscal years. In our bull / bear note in February we hypothesized that GTA VI was likely planned for F23 due to a spike in committed marketing spend for that year (see Figure 1). However, this year's 10-K seems to have shifted that spend from F23 to F24. We are not sure how much we should be reading into this shift, but we would note that this disclosure accurately predicted the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 prior to that game's announcement. Management has spoken very confidently about the pipeline over the next five years and existing live services execution has been excellent. However, the timing of the next Grand Theft Auto remains top-of-mind for investors, particularly with the stock near all-time-highs.

BlizzCon 2020 Cancelled; Online Replacement Possibly Next Year

Blizzard announces that the face-to-face portion of BlizzCon 2020 is cancelled. They say they are contemplating how to channel the spirit of their annual get-together into an online event. They want to do this as soon as they can, but they currently think this won't be until next year. Last month they stated they were unsure if BlizzCon would go off as planned given uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and as they put it: "Since then, a lot has changed . . . and a lot also hasn’t changed." Here's word from Saralyn Smith, the event's producer:
Several weeks ago, I shared an update about our uncertainty around holding BlizzCon this year. Since then, a lot has changed . . . and a lot also hasn’t changed. During this time, we’ve had many discussions about what holding a convention could look like in light of all the health and safety considerations we’d want to make. We’ve also talked about different paths we could take, and how each one could be complicated by fluctuations in national and local health guidelines in the months ahead. Ultimately, after considering our options, we’ve come to the very difficult decision to not have BlizzCon this year.

We’re feeling deeply disappointed about this decision, and imagine many of you will feel the same. I truly love BlizzCon, and I know that’s a sentiment shared by everyone at Blizzard. We will sorely miss connecting with so many of you at the convention and “recharging our geek batteries” this fall.

But we will meet again!
Continue here to read the full story.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Gets Invasions Expansion, Free Update, and macOS Support

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Invasions is now available on Steam, offering a new expansion for Age of Wonders: Planetfall accompanied by a free Diplodocus Update for all players. This comes along with the release of macOS support in Triumph Studios' space strategy game, and word is this includes cross-play multiplayer support between the Windows and macOS editions. A new post on Steam has details:
The time has finally come: the Invasions Expansion is here! The new player race, the Shakarn, and the new Voidbringer Invasions mechanic, among many other additions, await you! Alongside the expansion we also released a free update that is available for everyone; the Diplodocus Update! The name might already reveal some of the focus. Check below for all the details on expansion features and free updates.

To add to that: Age of Wonders: Planetfall has landed on Mac! Our team has been hard at work over the past few months getting this version up and running. Mac Commanders will be able to join up with PC Commanders to fight for planetary domination. Check the store page for more information and system requirements.

Predator: Hunting Grounds Dutch 2025 Pack

The new Dutch 2025 Pack is now available on the Epic Games Store allowing you to play as Arnold Schwarzenegger's iconic Alan "Dutch" Schaefer in Predator: Hunting Grounds. Here's word:
Hunt the Predator as Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer with this premium Fireteam skin. The Dutch 2025 skin features the legendary character, 38 years after his first encounter with the Predator, aged, battle-scarred and ready to hunt. Players who equip the skin can trigger VO voiced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Dutch is paired with early access* to the powerful QR5 "Hammerhead" assault rifle and Dutch’s deadly knife. Content comes complete with a selection of outfit and weapon skins to customize both Dutch and the QR5.

*Rifle, knife and customizations available to all from June 12.

Dead by Daylight Getting Silent Hill Content

A new chapter is coming to Dead by Daylight to bring Silent Hill content to the asymmetrical horror game. This adds Pyramid Head as a killer, a map based on Midwich Elementary School, and Cheryl Mason as a new survivor. This post on Steam has word on how you can log into a public test build of this and check it out in beta form. Here are the details:
Behaviour Interactive and Konami are proud to announce today the release of the newest Chapter of the iconic asymmetrical 4v1 game Dead by Daylight: Silent Hill. The emblematic video game franchise joins the Entity’s Realm and further pushes the boundaries of horror, featuring a new Silent Hill-inspired map, a terrifying monster and a mysterious survivor.

Midwich Elementary School is the scene of unspeakable horrors. Any sense of the innocence that once marked these halls is gone. In its place: stained walls, rusted chains, hanging cadavers and a sense that things have gone horribly wrong.
Continue here to read the full story.

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Released

WBIE announces the launch of the Aftermath expansion for Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. This is available for those who already own the game or as part of a new Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection that combines it with the original game. Here's word on now this adds to the character roster and story in the fighting game sequel and comes along with a free update for the base game:
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath also adds to the growing roster of playable fighters with the triumphant return of Fujin, the God of Wind who serves as Earthrealm’s protector alongside his brother Raiden, and Sheeva, the four-armed, half-human, half-dragon queen of the ancient Shokan race. RoboCop, the highly advanced cybernetic police officer, makes his first appearance in the franchise and features the voice and likeness of actor Peter Weller, who portrayed the popular character in both the “RoboCop” (1987) and “RoboCop 2” (1990) films. The expansion also includes three new character skin packs (incl. three skins each) to be released over time and the “Thanks a Million” Johnny Cage character skin, which is available today.

Additionally, all Mortal Kombat 11 owners have access to a free content update beginning today, including the new Dead Pool, Soul Chamber, RetroKade and Kronika’s Keep Stages, as well as Stage Fatalities, the fan-favorite finishing moves that use the environment to destroy opponents, and the popular ‘90’s Friendships feature, allowing players to take down their adversaries with a hint of kindness.
Continue here to read the full story.

Wildfire Breaks Out

Humble Games announces the release of Wildfire, a new 2D stealth game with throwback graphics from developer Sneaky Bastards that's now available for Windows and macOS on the Humble Store* and Steam. Word is: "Wildfire, developed by Dan Hindes and his team at Sneaky Bastards, has already garnered enthusiasm, especially from local press in Australia, where the team is based. From the Australian Game Developers to The PAVS, Wildfire has been recognized for its innovation and excellence." Here's a Launch Trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's more:
In a world where magic has all but died out, the protagonist has been branded a witch by villainous forces who fear elemental powers. Players must use their elemental magic to start fires, freeze water, and move earth to outsmart the superstitious armies of the Arch Duchess as they pursue through lush forests, deep caverns, and over frozen mountaintops. Find and free fellow villagers from captivity, then lead them to safety to reclaim their home.
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Anno History Collection Next Month

Ubisoft announces the Anno History Collection is coming to Windows on June 25th, offering four of the installments in the Anno city-building series along with their expansions. These have all been updated and optimized to work smoothly on current computers and include expansions, and they will be available individually or as part of an anthology. Here's an Announce Trailer and a rundown on the collection:
With the Anno History Collection, players will relive the captivating city-building gameplay of four Anno games and their expansions:

  • Anno 1602 History Edition and its expansion, New Islands, New Adventure
  • Anno 1503 History Edition and its expansion, Treasures, Monsters & Pirates
  • Anno 1701 History Edition and its expansion, The Sunken Dragon
  • Anno 1404 History Edition and its expansion, Venice

The updated and optimized versions offer different improvements:

Continue here to read the full story.

Cardnarok: Raid with Gods Early Access

Early Access to Cardnarok: Raid with Gods is now underway on Steam, offering a deck-building game from Greedy Wolf Studio. Here's the Early Access Trailer and here's word on the game and its designer's Blizzard pedigree:
Greedy Wolf Studio today launch card-battling mythical adventure Cardnarok: Raid With Gods into Early Access with a brand new trailer. Create a team of mythological legends, devise the perfect deck, and conquer an unforeseen evil in this epic Slay the Spire-like adventure.

With inspiration drawn from both physical tabletop games and card battlers, Cardnarok: Raid With Gods is a deckbuilding roguelite card game in which you discover, collect and harness the power of the Gods to battle your way to victory.

Designed by an ex-Blizzard employee of six years, Cardnarok pulls inspiration from legends of the genre including Slay the Spire, setting you off on procedurally generated encounters with not one, but three heroes of your choice at a time. Swap between them mid-battle to change the effects of your cards, and unleash devastating combinations on your foes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions Rises in August

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announce an August 28th release date for the Windows and console editions of Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions. A new Street Date Trailer shows off the game's anime take on association football/soccer, and here's an elevator pitch:
The worlds of soccer and anime converge in Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, based on the renowned Captain Tsubasa series. The game chronicles the athletic exploits of Tsubasa Ozora as he plays out his love for the game and advances through the ranks of multiple soccer leagues. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions immerses players in an action packed soccer game that features an exhilarating storyline, over-the-top signature shots, and exciting gameplay.
Continue here to read the full story.

Delores Source Code Released

Ron Gilbert announces the release of the source code for Delores, the recently released free "mini-adventure" based on Thimbleweed Park. He's offering this for hobbists, but not for commercial use, explaining it has not undergone enough testing for that. He offers some interesting thoughts on that topic, including a warning: "Don't believe the myth that programmers can test their own code. They can't." Here's what he says about the release:
I did publish all the source code to Delores on GitHub, but it wasn't an accident. It was a well planned endeavor to give you even more to do during pandemic lock-down. I'm sure everyone is getting tired of playing Animal Crossing, and what better way to exercise your grey-matter than modding your favorite game.

But wait... there's more...

(wait for oohs and ahhs)

Not only did I upload all the source, but I also uploaded all the art and the entire FMOD project (many thanks to FMOD).

But wait... don't hit the back button yet...

I also uploaded the dev build of the Delores engine (including the complete debugger) so you can run all your edits and changes. Also included is Wimpy, the executable that allows you to add and edit objects in Rooms.

On Sale

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Evening Crowdfunding

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Star Wars- The Rise of Skywalker - HISHE Dubs. Thanks Ant.

Obituary: R.I.P. Richard Herd. Thanks Ant.

Cancelled Half-Life 2 Ravenholm Footage and Details

The full version of The Untold History of Arkane is now available from Noclip with their promised documentary on the developer. This follows the glimpses revealed in their teaser from last week with a lot more footage of Ravenholm, the Half-Life 2 game we've seen referred to as Half-Life 2: Episode 4 - Return to Ravenholm. They say they considered it a spin-off, but don't know if Valve would have called it an episode since it was never completed, as it died on the vine at some point along with Half-Life 2: Episode 3. In the video we get to see gameplay in the creepy environment of Ravenholm and lots of conversation from Grigori, who we met in the Half-Life 2 Ravenholm chapter. This also includes a little local flavor from the developer, showing the French are indeed willing to cook just about anything. They show off some innovative electricity-based mechanics, and say much of this was in a playable alpha state when it was cancelled. They cannot offer insights into Valve's reasons for pulling the plug besides it being a business decision on how much time and money it would take to actually complete the project. Continue here to read the full story.

Quantum League Early Access

Quantum League has made the quantum leap into Early Access on Steam, offering a competitive first-person arena shooter for Windows with a time paradox mechanic. The Early Access Launch Trailer shows off gameplay and cinematics. This gives you the chance to go back in time and play with yourself, but hopefully you'll stop before you go blind. Here's word:
Quantum League is a revolutionary Time-Paradox Shooter where players battle within a time loop, tactically team up with their past and future selves in mind-blowing 1v1 and 2v2 matches. Thinking ahead in time is key to outsmarting your opponents and where strategic teamwork with yourself is essential in this arena shooter. Quantum League challenges players to take into consideration where they were and where they want to be to make that final winning shot.

Quantum League is an original IP from Nimble Giant Entertainment set within an alternate universe where time travel has changed the face of professional sports as we know it. After a widely popular Open Beta in late February, the game is now launching in Early Access with new features, content, and improvements, including the all new Quantum Academy, casual and ranked matches, new maps, night mode, and weapon feel improvements.
Watch Quantum League EA Launch Trailer here!
Continue here to read the full story.

Minecraft Dungeons Released

The Minecraft Website announces the release of Minecraft Dungeons, saying action/RPG based on the world of Minecraft is now available for Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation 4, and Switch. This can be picked up through the Minecraft Dungeons Website. You can see the game in action in the Official Launch Trailer and dig into the details below:
Bumped your head recently and can’t remember what the deal is with this game? Well, put down that iron pickaxe and grab a proper weapon, because the Arch-Illager is on the loose – and it’s up to you to save the world from his evil plan! Inspired by classic dungeon crawlers, Minecraft Dungeons allows up to four players to team up – online or in the living room. It retains the original game’s blocky charm, but instead of mining and crafting, you will be fighting and exploring through action-packed, treasure-stuffed, and wildly varied levels to defeat relentless swarms of new-and-nasty mobs.

Can't choose between playing as a sword-swinging fighter or spellcasting mage? Good news, my indecisive friend: you don’t have to! There are no classes in Minecraft Dungeons; you essentially are what you wear. This means that you can switch your specialty whenever you come across new, more powerful items as you adventure through the procedurally-generated canyons, swamps and – of course – mines! But why read about the game when there’s a shiny new launch trailer waiting for you? Take a look:
Continue here to read the full story.

Quantic Steam Next Month

Quantic Dream follows up on yesterday's news of the appearance of Steam Listings and demos for Beyond: Two Souls, Heavy Rain, and Detroit: Become Human with word that all three games will be released on Steam on June 18th. This is less than a year after the first of these launched on the Epic Games Store, contradicting assumptions that all EGS exclusivity deals covered a year. Word is:
Finally! Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human are coming to Steam on June 18! #QuanticStream

Download the free demos NOW:
Heavy Rain: https://bit.ly/2ZvnhQV
Detroit: https://bit.ly/2ziAPog
Beyond: https://bit.ly/3bZSgqP

Soldat Source Code

A new post on Steam announces the release of the source code for Soldat, the side-scrolling multiplayer shooter first released back in 2002. The game itself is free-to-play on Steam, where it's described like so: "Soldat is a unique 2D (side-view) multiplayer action game. It has been influenced by the best of games such as Liero, Worms, Quake, and Counter-Strike and provides a fast-paced gaming experience with tons of blood and flesh." The open source announcement reminisces about the game's history and goes into more detail about the release. Word is the source is actually for a more advanced version of the game than the one you can play right now:
Anyone interested in expanding, improving and fixing Soldat or simply interested in how it was made can now do so with the open source version. I hope this will spawn many amazing creations, mods and even full-conversions.

The current public version 1.7.1 (the one playable from the homepage and from Steam) is different from the open source version 1.8. The source code for 1.7.1 is available on request for anyone willing to join the official dev team (just email us at support@thd.vg or contact on Discord). 1.8 is available from gitHub here.
Continue here to read the full story.

Causa, Voices of the Dusk Dawns

Causa, Voices of the Dusk is now available on Steam as an Early Access release for Windows. This offers turn-based strategy and collectible cards. as shown off in the previously released Early Access Launch Trailer. Word is: "Causa, Voices of the Dusk is an intriguing collectible card game in which your decisions will change the course of the game. Sacrifice cards to raise your Cause, and bring them back later to achieve the most strategic plays. Prove your abilities battling other players, and draft your way to Victory in extremely challenging campaigns." Here are some specifics:
FEATURES

  • Unique tactical gameplay with complex strategic options:
    • Sacrifice cards from your hand or your board to build up your resources
    • Play up to two cards per turn
    • Bring sacrificed cards back to the game for the most unexpected critical plays
    • Full replenishment of your 4-card hand at the beginning of your turn
    • Take advantage of special effects that allow you to draw, sacrifice, play and bring additional cards back to the game
    • ‘Leader’s Decisions’: use each Leader’s unique set of powerful skill to change the course of the game
    • And more
  • Multiple paths to victory.
  • Choose between multiple powers, factions and Leaders.
  • Prove your abilities and win rewards in extremely challenging single-player draft campaigns.
  • Original and exotic fantasy world with rich narrative experience.
  • Cross-platform play (PC, Consoles, and Mobile).

Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

I'm feeling a lot better today after a stomach problem yesterday, a bout with what you'd basically call Montezuma's revenge. I have no idea what caused this. I grilled dinner for MrsBlue and me the day before, but she had no problems, which would seem to rule out food poisoning. But having basically no contact with the outside world also makes it hard to see how it would be a stomach flu of some sort. This lasted just about the entire day, but I feel much better now. Though when I awoke I suffered a brief cramp in my calf I assume was from dehydration. This was cripplingly painful, but very brief. With that behind me I'm petty much feeling like my old self again.

Recovering Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Stories
Thanks j.c.f.

Science

Media

The Funnies

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