Archived News:

Thursday, Jul 30, 2020

EA Financials

Electronic Arts Reports Strong Q1 FY21 Financial Results. How strong? Glad you asked. They say their net bookings for the trailing 12 months was almost six billion dollars. "This was an extraordinary quarter, and we’re deeply proud of everything our teams at Electronic Arts are doing for our players and communities," said CEO Andrew Wilson. "We launched new games, deeply engaged players in our live services, and welcomed tens of millions of new players to our network. It was an unprecedented first quarter of growth in our business, and we will continue building on that strength with more innovative experiences, more groundbreaking content, and more ways to connect with friends and play great games throughout the year." Here are some numbers:
Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics

  • Net bookings* for the trailing twelve months was $5.980 billion, up 17% year-over-year.
  • Launched Command & ConquerTM Remastered and Burnout ParadiseTM Remastered during the quarter.
  • During the quarter, EA delivered over 30 new content updates, including two major game expansions, and more than 50 mobile updates.
  • Launched nearly 30 titles on the Steam platform during the quarter.
  • During the quarter, Apex LegendsTM launched Season 5 with engagement reaching its highest levels since Season 1.
  • During the quarter, player acquisition for FIFA was up more than 100% year-over-year and up nearly 140% year-over-year in Madden NFL.
  • Life to date, The Sims 4TM has more than 30 million players across all platforms; daily, weekly, and monthly active player totals reached record highs for a first quarter.

* Net bookings is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period. Net bookings is calculated by adding total net revenue to the change in deferred net revenue for online-enabled games.

Epic Games Store Freebies

This week's new free offerings are now available on the Epic Games Store. There are three of them this time around, so if you grab them over the coming week, you'll get to keep your copies of 20XX, Barony, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. After that the new giveaway comes, which will be Wilmot's Warehouse. Here's more on this weeks freebies:
20XX is a roguelike action platformer that you can play with a friend. Jump and shoot your way through ever-changing levels, collect awesome new powers, and battle mighty bosses in the name of saving the human race maybe!

Barony is the premier first-person roguelike with co-op. Cryptic items, brutal traps and devious monsters, like those found in classic roguelikes and CRPGs, await you. Conquer the dungeons alone, or gather a party in co-op with iconic and exotic RPG classes.

Help a wandering warrior monk complete her woeful errand in Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, the landmark action-adventure crafted by Superbrothers and the video game wizards at CAPY, featuring an award-winning original soundtrack by Jim Guthrie.

Epic Games Store Testing Mod Support

A tweet from the Epic Games Store reveals that another of their in-development features is in the first stages of rolling out. Word is they are testing preliminary modification support for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. This post on the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Website has all the details on mod support, an new update to the game, and the first mods which are now available:
We are extremely excited to announce that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is the first game to participate in the Beta launch of Epic Games Store Mods! With this release, discovering and installing MW5 Mods made by the amazing modding community will be easier than ever, integrated directly into the existing Epic Games Launcher.

Along with this, we have an MW5 Mercs Game Update to support these changes
Continue here to read the full story.

Iron Harvest 1920+ Open Beta

This post on Steam announces the promised open beta test is now underway for Iron Harvest 1920+, the alternate history RTS game featuring lumbering dieselpunk mechs. This includes plans for an ESL tournament and the news comes along with a new Cinematic Trailer. Here's a bit:
It’s the moment many of you have been waiting for. You can now play the current Beta for free on PC-Steam! Judging by the response we’ve had, we’re not sure who’s more excited, you or us?!

The Pre-Season Open Beta contains:

  • A sneak-peak at the thrilling first campaign missions & cinematics. Learn the game by starting your adventure with Anna and Wojtek.
  • Skirmish mode for players to take on the A.I. alone or in co-op with a friend.
  • Challenge maps for players who really want to test their skills.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: Players can challenge each other to thrilling toe to toe battles on 1vs.1, 2vs.2 or 3vs.3 maps!
  • Competitive, prize winning tournaments. See below for details.

Please remember the game is still in Beta and we are using it to test the game before full release. Most of the core game elements are there, but we’re still polishing. We are committed to developing Iron Harvest for a long time after release. We’re always collecting feedback, talking to players, and working to improve the game.

Continue here to read the full story.

Hyper Scape Next Month

Ubisoft announces August 11th is the official release date for Hyper Scape, their new vertically oriented battle royale shooter. As a result, the game's open PC beta test will draw to a conclusion on August 2nd. They will celebrate the news with an in-game currency reward event this weekend for those who play the beta or watch on Twitch. They also reveal plans for the Season One, their first Season Pass, and the game's console launch. Here's the Season 1 Announcement Trailer and here's more:
NEW CONTENT COMING WITH SEASON ONE
Hyper Scape’s first season introduces a brand new mid-range weapon, the Dragonfly, as well as a new hack, Magnet, which can be used to trap unsuspecting contenders. Season One will include a total of 11 guns and 11 hacks. In addition to Solo and Squad Crown Rush, additional limited time game modes are also planned for Season One.

HYPER SCAPE’S STORY STARTS IN SEASON ONE
Season One kick-starts the overarching Hyper Scape narrative: There is a mystery in the Hyper Scape created by Prisma Dimensions that players will have to solve. Season One introduces Memory Shards that players can collect to discover more about certain characters and events. Every week, a new Memory Shard will be hidden in the game world, for players to find and collect. In addition to Memory Shards, comics will be released during Season One and following Seasons, building Hyper Scape’s story.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hellpoint Released

Developer Cradle and publisher tinyBuild announce the release of Hellpoint, saying their crowdfunded action/RPG is now available for Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The PC edition can be found on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam. If you want a taste of what to expect, Hellpoint: The Thespian Feast was released earlier this year on Steam, offering a free standalone story in the Hellpoint universe. You can also get a look at the game in the Launch Trailer. Here's more:

About the game

  • Irid Novo is a massive interconnected world full of mysteries, hidden passages and secrets within secrets - all for you to explore in any order you like. More dread and shivers awaits you as you travel deeper into the darkest corner of this forsaken colony.
  • Dozens of melee and ranged weapons and armor pieces to suit your playstyle. Every weapon has unique special abilities that unlock the more you fight with them.
  • A fascinating new sci fi universe reminiscent of classic sci-fi movies, set in the aftermath of a massive quantum cataclysm and complete with a deep lore and goosebump inducing soundtrack.
  • The space station orbits in real time around an ominous black hole that triggers various dynamic events such as boss appearances, horde assaults as well as modified enemy stats and positions.
  • If you are struggling, ask a friend to press Start to join in a couch coop session, or call for assistance online. The entire game can be completed uninterrupted in coop. The loot is shared, and the experience of local player two is saved and not watered down.

Continue here to read the full story.

Fight Crab Scuttles Out

Fight Crab is now available for Windows on Steam. Of course the first rule of Fight Crab is you don't talk about Fight Crab, but some rules are made to be broken. Here's a Launch Trailer showing off gameplay, and here's a description of the game's crustacean combat:
Witness madness incarnate as crab warriors enter the arena wielding their choice of dozens of weapons, including sabers, hand fans, and revolvers. Find the perfect playstyle thanks to more than 20 species with an array of body types. Some scuttle around quickly in their smaller shells, others use long and gangly arms to keep opponents at a distance, and heavyweights advance slowly but boast greater resistance to make up for it.

Battle across more than 10 dynamic stages, including a downtown rush-hour intersection bustling with cars and the terrifying crab death-factory known as the supermarket. Pull down chandeliers hanging precariously above a banquet table or shove foes into the path of a moving train to soften them up. A weakened combatant is ripe for flipping, but the embarrassment of legs thrashing in the air is nothing compared to the loser’s lot of going into the dinner pot.
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Dauntless Updated

A new Clear Skies update is now available for Dauntless on all platforms adding new content and a new Hunt Pass. The Windows edition of this free-to-play action/RPG will update the next time it's launched through the Epic Games Store. The patch notes for the update can be found on the Dauntless Website. Here's a summary:
The Ramsgate redesign showcases a completely new layout for the hub city, and features numerous points of interest and new structures housing Ramsgate’s denizens. The city now offers unique soundscapes for a variety of areas and NPCs, creating a more immersive Ramsgate experience. Players can also populate their journals by interacting with characters and objects to unlock lore about the Shattered Isles and its inhabitants. The city also now includes a racing mini-game, so players can challenge their friends to a footrace across the city.

The Sword has received a full design overhaul, and players can experience the new kit starting today. In addition to new combos, the sword now utilizes a Valour system built around 3 main components: core combos (which generate Valour), Valour combos (which cost Valour), and special meter (which lets players execute the currently-equipped special move). Valour combos open up a number of new combat actions for the sword, including an “area of effect” attack, as well as mid- and long-ranged attacks.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 5 Next Week

Season 5 of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare gets underway on August 5th. Activision offers a new trailer introducing Shadow Company, a new group of tier one operators that will come to the military shooter at that time. All the details can be found in the Activision Blog. Here's a briefing:
As Season Five approaches, events have transpired and led to the formation of a new group aligned in name only with the Allegiance faction – Shadow Company. An elite PMC, Shadow Company operates outside the boundaries of the original Armistice. Forged from the fires of in-fighting between the Coalition and the Allegiance, Shadow Company has a framework and agenda all of their own.

All experts in their field with formal military experience, this trio of Operators is prepared to change the current experience of Verdansk. Highly skilled with a diverse range of expertise the Shadow Company consists of Rozlin “Roze” Helms (formerly Jackals), Velikan, and Marcus “Lerch” Ortega, the Company’s leader.
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TERA Battle Arena Announced

En Masse Entertainment announces TERA Battle Arena, a new team-based battle mode coming this year to TERA, Bluehole's MMORPG. The announcement trailer sets the stage and they offer the following preliminary details:
En Masse Entertainment, a player-focused publisher dedicated to delivering great games and great service, today announced TERA Battle Arena, an all-new team-based battle mode coming 2020 on PC. In TERA Battle Arena, players will control Heroes drawn from the TERA universe with each hero having their own unique skill sets and abilities. Additionally, players will also be able to customize their heroes with runes and cosmetic items. TERA Battle Arena will be available as a free download for PC players with the TERA client. Stay tuned for more information regarding Heroes, maps, abilities, and more.
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OkunoKA Madness Announced

Ignition Publishing and Italian developer Caracal Games announce OkunoKA Madness, a speedrunning platformer coming to Windows and consoles in September. This adds new levels, bosses, features, and challenges to OkunoKA, which is already available for Switch, and those who own the original edition will receive this as a free upgrade. Here's an Official Announcement Trailer showing off the game's hyperactive action, and here are the details:
With a distinct hand-drawn visual style, OkunoKA Madness evolves the original game’s blend of challenging platforming speedrunning and once again sees you play as KA, a diminutive blue creature who sets out on a journey to save the world of souls from evil, in as stylish and fast a fashion as possible.

Built from the ground up for speedrunners, OkunoKA Madness lets you play the way you want, as fast as you want. Offering three different speedrunning modes: across all worlds, single levels, or custom level selection, you’ll have complete freedom to challenge your reflexes and beat the clock. With fully customisable global and local leaderboards, challenge your friends to beat your best times across more than 100 levels, or even the world!
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Microsoft Flight Simulator Coming to Steam, Getting VR

In a post to Xbox Wire, Microsoft reveals the new edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on Steam on August 18th with TrackIR support. They also say they will be fulfilling the request for virtual reality support with a free update later this year to support the upcoming HP Reverb G2 headset. Here's the flight plan:
In addition to availability on Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass for PC (Xbox Game Pass for PC is currently in Beta), Microsoft Flight Simulator will also be coming to Steam on August 18. We are thrilled to announce that Steam pre-orders for the Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Deluxe editions of Microsoft Flight Simulator start today!

Listening to the community has been a priority for the development team since the announcement of Microsoft Flight Simulator in June 2019. Two of the most requested features we’ve been hearing about from the Community are TrackIR and VR support. Today we are excited to announce that Microsoft Flight Simulator will have TrackIR support available on day one, and VR support will be available later this year in time for the launch of the HP Reverb G2!

People Can Fly Announce AAA Title

Details are scant for now, but People Can Fly announces they are hiring for development of a new AAA game for PC and consoles (thanks ResetEra). Here's what the Bulletstorm developer has up their sleeves:
We are excited to announce the development of a new original AAA title planned for release on next-generation consoles, streaming platforms, and PCs.

The new project will be led by People Can Fly’s New York studio which plans to hire dozens of new staff over the next year.

Led by Studio Head, David Grijns, and Creative Director, Roland Lesterlin, People Can Fly New York will work hand-in-hand with its sister studios in Warsaw, Rzeszow, and Newcastle to build a highly ambitious, groundbreaking action-adventure title that takes PCF’s nearly two decades of development expertise in a new direction.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic Games Store Achievements First Look

A tweet from the Epic Games Store offers a first look at how achievements will work on Epic's marketplace. Here's word:
Certain games on the Epic Games Store may begin to display achievements as you unlock them.

This is an early version of the feature and you can expect to see changes & adjustments.

We'll have more info to share on achievements in the future, so stay tuned!

Path of Exile for macOS Announced

Grinding Gear Games announces that a macOS edition of Path of Exile will be released in September along with the latest content expansion for their free-to-play action/RPG. They haven't revealed any other details about the September update yet, but according to this post we should expect an announcement next month. If you're interested in the latest on the game, there's a version 3.11.1d Patch Notes Preview with details on an update that may arrive as early as today.

Cardaclysm Early Access

Cardaclysm is now available in Early Access for Windows on Steam, where you can now get started in this deckbuilder with action/RPG. This has a story of biblical proportions, as you do battle with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and here's what to expect if you play your cards right:
You are a dark wizard who shouldn't have tinkered with magic and spells way too powerful for you. But you did. And this time you messed up really bad: You've unleashed The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their minions upon the World! Well done... So hurry, grab your magical cards and send them all back to their hellish dimension before the Apocalypse destroys everyone and everything - and much more importantly, before the old wizard council discovers what you have done...
Continue here to read the full story.

Bartlow's Dread Machine Early Access

Tribetoy and Beep Games have launched Early Access to Bartlow's Dread Machine on Steam, offering the first chance to play this twin-stick arcade shooter set in a parlor cabinet from a bygone era. Here's the Early Access Trailer showing off your mission to save Teddy Roosevelt with tin soldiers and here's more on this imaginative concept:
Set entirely within the confines of this titular relic from the dawn of the Electric Age, Bartlow’s Dread Machine casts one to two players as government agents in a series of escapades through New York, San Francisco, and all across the continent as they seek to rescue the kidnapped President Roosevelt from the forces of evil. But beware, sinister forces are at work!

Bound to the clockwork gizmos running this contraption, agents are mere metal figurines roving around on rails. But these aren’t any ordinary tin toys as they have free rein on how to navigate these forking networks of tracks. Think Pac-Man if he were made of metal, wore a cool peacoat, and was packing some serious heat! Sets made of wood and tin unfold around you in real-time as you navigate this immersive puppet show. Encounter a cast of improbable monsters and historical characters as you traverse the high seas and beyond using trains, ships and even a newfangled automobile!
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VR Shooter Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds This Year

Thirdverse and inXile entertainment announce Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds, a virtual reality post-apocalyptic PvP shooter coming this year to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index headsets. The official website is where to turn for all you need to know here, and it offers an Announcement Trailer featuring combat in the game's frosty setting of Antarctica. Here's an overview:
Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds is a team-based multiplayer shooter that pits two sides against each other in high intensity PvP game modes. Set in a dilapidated military training base in Antarctica where strange biomechanical creatures now roam, each team will need to gear up and set out to dominate the opposing team. Over a dozen highly-detailed weapons can be brought into battle in a unique and beautiful sci-fi experience, where the other players aren’t the only enemies.

Brian Fargo, founder and Studio Head of inXile entertainment, said: “I’ve been enamored with VR since the early days, and have had some of my finest gaming memories with a VR headset on. We’ve created an immersive new world with Frostpoint VR, and dialed up the intensity with 20+ player matches. It will be a thrill for us to watch people step into the world and battle it out.”
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Peaky Blinders: Mastermind Next Month

Curve Digital announces Peaky Blinders: Mastermind will launch for Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch August 20th, a puzzle/adventure game prequel to the Peaky Blinders television series. The PC edition is now available for pre-purchase on Steam. Don't turn a blind eye to the new Release Date Trailer, narrated by actor Cillian Murphy, as it includes some gameplay along with footage from the show. And here's a peak at some more details:
In Peaky Blinders: Mastermind, players will be able to freely set and rewind each character's path in order to tune all of their actions for perfect coordination, tactically utilising characters and stealth to solve increasingly complex puzzles. It’s a bold take on the series that suitably impressed the show’s distributor Endemol Shine.

Anil Mistry, Director of Gaming & ECommerce, ESG said "We are thrilled to be partnering with Curve and FuturLab in making the first official Peaky Blinders game. Futurlab has faithfully re-created the Peaky Blinders’ universe and having Cillian provide the voiceover adds a real sense of authenticity to this game. Hopefully, fans of the show and gamers alike will be excited to get their thinking caps on and enjoy this compelling puzzle adventure like no other."
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Rise to Glory - Online Multiplayer Announced

Gavra Games announces Warriors: Rise to Glory - Online Multiplayer, a turn-based RPG that's coming to Steam. This is a multiplayer take on Warriors: Rise to Glory, which remains in Early access. The Announcement Trailer shows off the game's comedic touches, including face farts, toilet flinging, funeral dancing, nut kicking, and more. Here are some details:
Independent developer Gavra Games announced today its new comedic turn-based RPG combat game Warriors: Rise to Glory - Online Multiplayer is coming soon to Steam. Enter the arena and step up to be the ultimate gladiator as you honor the legacy of your ancestors in a world where blood and guts decide the fate of men in Warriors: Rise to Glory - Online Multiplayer. Decapitate your enemies, inflict an anime style death touch, or crush skulls as you rise to glory, but be warned – you could be the one begging for your miserable life and all of your riches as your enemy towers above you with a shiv.

Warriors: Rise to Glory Online Gameplay Features:

  • High Stakes, Over-the-Top Brutal Combat: Crush other players’ skulls with a mighty axe, pierce their armor with a deadly arrow or kick them onto deadly traps all in the name of glory! Raise the stakes and bet wisely to win great rewards – but if you fail, lose life, glory and all your items!
  • Settle Your Beef: Play online with and against your friends to prove once and for all which lineage’s brood really is peak of the pack.
  • Form Powerful Alliances: Keep your enemies close and your allies closer! Pick trustworthy and strong allies to execute winning strategy in battle… But trust no one – allies are fragile and can be easily replaced.
  • Level Up: Gain experience and level up your warriors with better weapons, armors, stats, and skills to get passed down for generations to come.
  • Battle Your Way: In Warriors: Rise to Glory, you can prove your strength in a 1 v 1 battle, team up in a 2 v 2 battle, or take on the world in "Free for All" combat.
  • Are You Not Entertained?: Boost your favorite warrior’s lineage, hype up the crowd and rally them to your advantage! Or even line your own pockets by betting on a game of chance at the local tavern.
  • Roguelike Gameplay: Enjoy the tile and turn-based graphics exhibited throughout Warriors: Rise to Glory. Once a warrior is dead he is dead, there’s no coming back, however, the house they built will remain solid and upright.
  • You Are Judge, Jury, and Executioner: As the all-powerful and superior warrior in a deathmatch, you decide the fate of your fallen foe – to kill or to humiliate? Each decision will have its own reward.
  • No Two Lineages Alike: Use Warriors: Rise to Glory’s creation features to make the warriors of your lineage as fearsome or goofy as you want. Prove to everyone that it’s not just being the best, but also the best looking.

Continue here to read the full story.

Shakes on a Plane Announced

Assemble Entertainment announces Shakes on a Plane is coming to Windows and Switch this November. This is a co-op time management game for one to four players, and they say it will be a comedic offering in the vein of Overcooked and Unrailed. Here's a Sam Jackson-free Announcement Trailer, and here's the itinerary:
Life as part of an airline cabin crew can be so tiresome...so repetitive...that is, unless it’s a crew of strangers who have been mysteriously abducted from all over the globe and forced to work together 30,000 feet above the ground! Even though it might look like total chaos, the daily grind of a cabin crew is really a fine-tuned and highly organized operation. Before the passengers arrive and screw everything up, that is. What could go wrong? Well, let’s start with para-dropping troublesome passengers out of the plane while cleaning knee-high piles of vomit to get this wacky adventure soaring.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

The main clutch of duckies on our pond looks like it's taking form. Last year there was a group of 21 of them that bonded into a group. This year it seems like there are 23, but it's early yet. As I previously mentioned, there's also now an extended family of six swans, three adults and three signets, which is heartwarming. What's sad is there's one lone goose who was left behind after this year's roundup of the geese (which is quite upsetting to me, as I wish they would be left alone). Someone told me they saw the goose hanging with some ducks, but so far I've only seen it alone, which is also upsetting. Hopefully he finds someone somewhere to hang out with.

Obituary: Herman Cain, former GOP presidential candidate, dies after battle with coronavirus.

Fowl Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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