Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020

More Misconduct Fallout

A tweet from Insomniac Games says the developer is taking "numerous steps" to address allegations of sexual harassment at the studio: "We were aware of the allegations made in a former employee's tweets today and had taken numerous steps to address them. For legal and privacy reasons we will not respond to individual allegations about specific former employees." There's also a report on Eurogamer.net saying Ashraf Ismail has stepped down from his position as Assassin's Creed creative director after serving in that role for Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed Origins, and the upcoming Assassin's Creed Valhalla. They note he "was accused of cheating on his wife and lying about his marital status," They quote a few tweets from him including an apology and word he was leaving "to properly deal with the personal issues in my life," but his Twitter account has since been deleted. They also have a statement about this from Ubisoft, who say: "Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence. The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin's Creed Valhalla." Ubisoft also says they are investigating allegations of sexual assault and harassment against other employees:
We are deeply concerned by these accusations. We take any allegations of abuse or harassment very seriously and we are looking very closely into the allegations to determine next steps.

VALORANT Ranked Play Beginning

A tweet from Riot has start times for ranked play in VALORANT. In a staggered start, this is now underway in North America and will begin in Europe and the other remaining territories in a few hours:
We know nobody's been asking for it, but ranked is finally coming in the next 24 hours. We're staggering our rollout per region and at off-peak times to monitor stability.

KR, OCE & APAC — 1:00PM PT 6/24
NA/BR/LATAM — 2:00PM PT 6/24
EU, RU, TR & CIS regions — 8:00PM PT 6/24

Dota 2 Battle Level Bundle

The Dota 2 Blog announces sales are underway of a new Battle Level Bundle for Dota 2, offering Battle Pass owners a discounted boost that will help further build the prize pool for The International 10:
Explore ever deeper into the reaches of the Battle Pass rewards line with the Battle Level Bundle, available for a limited time only. Battle Pass customers can purchase this discounted bundle from now until the morning of Monday, June 29 to unlock 120 Battle Levels, 9x Immortal Treasure I, 6x Immortal Treasure II, and 3x Immortal Treasure III for only $29.99.

This bundle offers 75% savings on the combined value of the levels and treasures, and will contribute 25% of each sale directly to The International 10 prize pool. Each customer can buy up to two bundles.

The International 10 Battle Pass is jam packed with amazing rewards: the Sanctums of the Divine Terrain at level 160, the Toy Butcher Pudge Persona at level 255, the Disciple’s Path Anti-Mage Persona at level 305, the One True King Wraith King Arcana at level 375, the Eminence of Ristul Queen of Pain Arcana at level 445, the Compass of the Rising Gale Windranger Arcana at level 575, and the Collector’s Aegis at level 1000 to name just a few. The Battle Level Bundle is just the tool needed to unearth the full potential of this year’s Battle Pass.

TANKNAROK Rolls Out

TANKNAROK is now available on Steam, offering a Windows online action game that will allow you to experience the tankapocalypse from the comfort of your couch. Here's a trailer with a look and here's word on the game's rise from humble beginnings:
Indie developer Polyblock Studio are thrilled to announce that after two years of development Tanknarok will release today.

Tanknarok is a high speed, couch/online action game where 2-4 tanks go head to head in a wide range of arenas; filled to the brim with huge guns, powerful explosions and dangerous hazards! Wholesome roughhousing with either your friends at home, or friendly strangers on the internet!

Tanknarok started as a student bachelor thesis in spring 2018 under the name Combat 2018, and received the award for Best Student Game at The Game Awards later the same year.
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Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion Announced

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is an action/adventure from publisher Graffiti Games and developer Snoozy Kazoo coming to Steam next year. Here's an Announcement Trailer with a look, and here's word on just how political a game about vegetables can get:
Take control of an adorable turnip who happens to be an absolute menace to society. After failing to pay taxes and getting evicted from your home, you must go on an epic quest to pay back your massive debt to Mayor Onion. Garden tools to solve plantastic puzzles, meet eccentric vegetables and fruits, and take on treacherous fights. Along the journey uncover what’s spoiling this garden community and rise to tear down the corrupt vegetable government!
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On Sale

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Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes Released

Blueside announce that Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam, offering a payoff for PC gamers who've waited 15 years for the game's Xbox exclusivity to end. Here's new PC trailer and word on this game that's both a sequel and a prequel to Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders:
Containing campaigns set both before and after the Crusader’s storyline, players control seven fresh leaders in Heroes; half-vampire Leinhart, massive ogre warlord Urukubarr, and the half-elf warrior Ellen among them. Players wade into battle, hacking and slashing while simultaneously commanding their forces, including four new and powerful elemental monster types.

Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes blends brutal melee combat action, deep real-time tactical planning, and RPG-style evolution for your hero and army. Heroes lead the charge, but not without help from the regiments of troops, swooping dragons, almighty airships, and powerful mages under their command.
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New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers Support DirectX 12 Ultimate

NVIDIA Announces the release of new GeForce Game Ready 451.48 WHQL-certified Windows drivers for NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. These include support for the newly launched DirectX 12 Ultimate API, hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling for GeForce RTX GPUs running under Windows 10 and Vulkan 1.2. They also add support for nine additional G-SYNC Compatible gaming monitors. Here's a DirectX 12 Ultimate on GeForce RTX trailer and here's a bit on the new DirectX:
DirectX 12 Ultimate gives developers a large, multi-platform install base of hardware to target, and ready-made tools and examples to work from -- all backed by time-saving middleware. This makes game development faster and easier, and enables more developers to add these innovative technologies to their games. Many developers have already crafted next-gen experiences featuring these technologies--there are over 30 DirectX Raytracing games shipping or announced--and now with the launch of DirectX 12 Ultimate, adoption of them is set to increase rapidly.
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GOG.com Offers Free Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies Collection and Preorder Incentives

GOG.com announces the Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies Collection is available for free between now and July 4th. This includes digital content including concept art, desktop wallpapers, printable posters, and more from CD PROJEKT RED's eagerly anticipated RPG. This limited-time offer is good between now and July 4th. They also announce that between now and that date you can purchase the Ultimate RED Collection, which includes a Cyberpunk 2077 preorder and the entire Witcher series at a discount. As an added incentive, anyone who purchases that bundle or pre-purchases Cyberpunk 2077 between now and July 4th will get a 35% discount off on select Cyberpunk 2077 merchandise. Here are details on this big marketing push:
The chance to get the Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies Collection on GOG.COM for free is here! This pack compiles the best of official digital content previously released by CD PROJEKT RED as well as some hefty new additions. It contains awesome concept arts, desktop wallpapers, printable posters, and much more. Be sure to grab them as fast as possible, because the giveaway is time-limited and lasts only until 4th July 2020, 5 PM UTC!

That’s not all. From today until the 4th of July 2020, 5 PM UTC, you can buy the Ultimate RED Collection in our store. This awesome game pack includes the Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order as well as all titles from The Witcher series with the highest discounts ever.

Last but not least, everyone who pre-orders Cyberpunk 2077 (standalone or as a part of the Ultimate RED Collection) on GOG.COM before July the 4th 2020, 5 PM UTC, will receive a special discount pack on the cool merch connected to the game. This discount pack includes deals reaching up to -35% on selected Cyberpunk 2077 merch available in CD PROJEKT RED STORE, J!NX online store, and Things From Another World store (for more details look here).

Project CARS 3 in August

Publisher BANDAI NAMCO and developer Slightly Mad Studios announce that Project CARS 3, will be available on August 28, 2020 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, offering the latest installment in the hard-driving series. Here's a refresher on what's coming:
The new racing game will feature all the authentic motorsport and racing content fans expect: the biggest car roster in the franchise’s history, new tracks (including venues such as the home of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, and the roads of Tuscany), plus an exciting, fully-fledged career mode that will entice players on a driver’s journey from weekend warrior to racing legend. Also new to the franchise are authentic car upgrades, customisation and personalisation options for both cars and drivers, and improved assists to welcome newcomers into the thrilling world of motor racing at its most intense.

Knight Squad 2 Announced

Chainsawesome Games announces they're working on some knight moves (in the sweet summertime) by announcing Knight Squad 2, a sequel to their arcade party game. This will come to Windows and consoles in Q4 of this year with support for cross-platform online multiplayer. Here's the Official Reveal Trailer and here's word on what to expect:
In the chivalric world of medieval nobility, knights are eager to win the favor of their feudal lords. Jousting has gone out of style, though, and warriors have found new ways to display their valor. To capture the court’s attention, armored champions stride into gladiatorial contests brandishing magical spell books, exotic weapons like boomerangs, and even… bazookas?

Join the fray with up to eight players and duke it out across more than 13 competitive modes. Fight to become the last one standing in free-for-all events such as Battle Royale or squad up to take on all comers in old favorites like Capture the Flag and new game types including Payload, which sees teams clash in an explosive tug of war to deliver powder kegs to the enemy base, and Minion Master, where rivals raise armies to besiege and topple opposing fortresses.
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Death end re;Quest 2 in August

August developer/publisher Idea Factory International announces an August release date for Death end re;Quest 2, the upcoming horror-themed action/RPG sequel. The Windows edition is coming to North America via Steam on August 25th and to Europe three days after that. Word is: "The Steam version will contain the original Glitch costumes for the first game's characters and will have English, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese subtitles." They also announce plans for a Limited Edition with some physical rewards and a Steam code as well as a Steam Deluxe Pack you can purchase upon the release with some digital extras. Here's a new Preview Trailer and here's more on the game:
Mai Toyama seeks an escape from her traumatic past. She enrolls at Wordsworth, an all-girl’s dormitory situated in the small, mountainous town known as Le Choara where it was rumored that her sister, Sanae, was last seen. Hopeful, Mai seeks to find her kin, but she soon finds terrifying inhabitants which lurk throughout the town after dark. At night, Le Choara’s streets are filled with Shadow Matter—a horrific group of menacing creatures. Around every cobblestone corner, Mai discovers that her hope of finding her sister lies beneath the long-buried secrets which haunt Le Choara.
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Tom Hall Makes Resolution

You say you want a resolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world. Resolution Games announces Tom Hall has joined them in the position of Senior Creative Director. Here's word on his new role and a reminder of his contribution to many classic games:
Resolution Games, the leading VR and AR game studio behind Angry Birds: Isle of Pigs, Bait!, Acron: Attack of the Squirrels and more, has today announced that industry legend Tom Hall has joined the Resolution family. Hall has assumed the role of senior creative director and will help lead design on future Resolution Games’ releases.

Hall’s career spans more than 30 years and includes fundamental work on a number of iconic franchises including DOOM, Duke Nukem, and Rise of the Triad. As director and co-designer of Wolfenstein 3-D, Hall has been credited with the co-creation of one of the most popular video game genres of all time, the first-person shooter (FPS). Hall was also the co-founder of two of the industries best-loved development studios, id Software and ION Storm.

Out of the Blue

Okay, so the reception to the Game Key Giveaway for Supporters has been lukewarm at best. I understand that arguing over free games is more engaging than receiving them, but here's a reminder that we have a whole bunch of game keys to hand out courtesy of Dark. So if you are interested, hop on over and add a comment with the games from the list that you'd be interested in winning.

Obituary: Li Zhensheng, photographer of China's Cultural Revolution, dies. Thanks Max.

Links Giveaway
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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