Archived News:

Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Epic Sues Apple

Well that escalated quickly. Since Epic's effort to circumvent mobile platform fees reported this morning, Fortnite has been kicked off of both Apple's and Google's stores. As a result, Epic is suing Apple, accusing them of monopolistic practices. Epic has also released a new video called Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite, using the message from Apple's legendary 1984 commercial against them. The Washington Post has details on the legal action:
“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100 percent monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market,” the filing reads.

Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said the company removed Fortnite from the store after Epic violated its guidelines.

“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” he said in an emailed statement.

Google had removed Fortnite from its Play Store as of late Thursday. Android users can still download Fortnite directly from Epic’s website.

Update: Epic is also suing Google. Continue here to read the full story.

Get Remnant: From the Ashes and The Alto Collection for Free

The latest free games are now available on the Epic Games Store where you can leave your wallet where it is and still pick up copies of Remnant: From the Ashes and The Alto Collection. Provided you pick them up over the coming seven days, either or both of these are yours to keep. After that the new giveaways that will take their place are Enter the Gungeon and God's Trigger. Here's more on this week's freebies:
Remnant: From the Ashes
The world has been thrown into chaos by an ancient evil from another dimension. As one of the last remnants of humanity, you must set out alone or alongside up to two other survivors to face down hordes of deadly enemies to retake what was lost.

The Alto Collection
Across the endless desert and atop an alpine expanse two journeys full of wonder await. Choose your path and set off on a thrilling snowboarding or sandboarding adventure with Alto & friends.

Realms Deep Next Month

3D Realms is holding a livestream event called Realms Deep on September 5th and 6th to show off games from themselves as well as other developers and publishers. They announce the news in this tweet saying it will feature "premieres, special guests, a Child’s Play charity drive, and much more!" They also promise a Steam sale related to the event will kick off on September 3rd. This trailer celebrates the news, and the Realms Deep 2020 Website has more, including a rundown on some of the familiar names they are expecting:
Featuring

  • 3D Realms
  • New Blood
  • Running With Scissors
  • Destructive Creations
  • Slipgate Ironworks
  • Nightdive Studios
  • Apogee Software
  • 1C Entertainment

With Special Guests

  • Cliff Bleszinski
  • American McGee
  • Jon St. John
  • John Romero
  • Chuck Jones
  • Tim Willits

Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light - Hellraid Released

Dying Light - Hellraid is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam, offering new DLC for Dying Light based on Hellraid, a standalone game that's been in development limbo since 2015. This post features a Launch Trailer and more on the project, including word to expect new content for the DLC beginning next month: "There’s one more thing we need to share with you, and it’s an important one. Dying Light – Hellraid will be expanded with free content, including new ranks, weapons, collectible notes enriching the lore, and a bounty system. Expect the first update by the end of September." Here's part of the description:
From the creators of hit titles Dead Island and Call of Juarez. Winner of over 50 industry awards and nominations. The game whose uncompromising approach to gameplay set new standards for first-person zombie games. Still supported with new content and free community events years after the release.

Survive in a city beset by a zombie virus! Discover the hard choice you will have to make on your secret mission. Will loyalty to your superiors prove stronger than the will to save the survivors? The choice is yours…
Continue here to read the full story.

Kill It With Fire Breaks Out

Kill It With Fire is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store and Steam, allowing you to exercise bad judgment while you attempt to exorcize your arachnophobia. The two sample versions of this comedic spider-killing game are still available on Steam: Kill It With Fire: HEATWAVE and Kill It With Fire: Ignition. Word is: "The full game is finally out, and comes with a dozen weapons, brand new areas, and a story that finally uncovers the truth about spiders." Here's the Launch Trailer and here are more details:
Kill It With Fire is a first-person action game about hunting spiders and causing collateral damage. Assemble your arsenal of increasingly excessive weapons, track spiders across suburbia, and burn everything in your path!

To defeat spiders you must exploit their one weakness: FIRE. Or bullets. Or explosions, throwing stars, gettin’ smushed by stuff...pretty much anything, really. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy - first you’ve gotta find the spiders. Use state-of-the-art arachnid tracking technology to pinpoint your target's location among hundreds of potential hiding spots - then, torch everything and smash the spider with a frying pan after it runs out. It’s the only way to be sure.

Bite the Bullet Released

Developer Mega Cat Studios and publisher Graffiti Games bite the bullet and announce the release of Bite the Bullet, a roguelite RPG shooter they describe as "the world’s first Run & Gun & Eat title." The Windows, macOS, and Linux edition can be found on Steam and the Switch version is also now available, to be followed by tomorrow's release for Xbox One. Here is a Launch Trailer (not to be confused with a lunch trailer), and here are a bellyful of details:
In this roguelite RPG shooter players must eat enemies, bullets and more to powerup their character, weapons, and abilities. Gun down zombies, robots and giant mutant bosses with a barrage of bullets before chowing down on their corpses to craft new weapons, unlock new abilities and special attacks, and transform into a powerful Zombro form to smash foes. Explore four character classes and a skill tree based on specific diets – and remember, you are what you eat!

In the future players can enjoy a new Synthwave Mode that allows the game to be played in synthwave colors while listening to music from amazing artists, including Waveshaper, Night Runner, Retröxx and Magic Sword.

“In Bite the Bullet how much and what you eat controls everything from your waistline to branching skill trees and weapon crafting," says Nick Mann, Game Designer at Mega Cat Studios. "Shoot fast, eat big, and workout your abdominal muscles to satisfy your appetite for destruction."
Continue here to read the full story.

Dead by Daylight Crossplay Begins

Crossplay support is now underway for Dead by Daylight, optionally allowing players of the zombie game on Steam and consoles (but not mobiles) to play together. This FAQ has the scoop on how this works. Here's a bit:
Which platforms are included in cross-play?
You will be able to play between Steam, Microsoft Store, Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The Dead by Daylight Mobile game is not included in cross-play. Stadia will also join other platforms at launch

Since cross-play is happening, is mouse and keyboard support going to be added in?
There's no current plan at the moment.

Now that cross-play and cross-friends are available, how about cross-progression?
We will communicate more information about cross-progression when we are closer to the feature release.

If other platforms have content I cannot access on my platform, what will happen when I play with these players?
You will play against these players as you would any other, you will see the content as they play it. The only restriction is that you will not be able to access the content if it isn’t available on your platform.

For the People Released

Publisher 101XP and developer Brezg Studio inform the people of the release of For the People, their "acute social novel with strategic elements that puts the player in the shoes of a state official." This is available on the official website and Steam with support for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This post offers a launch trailer and celebrates the news, saying "We put a lot of hard work behind this project and hope our players will thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you all for your patience and support - we couldn’t have made it this far without your positive vibes!" Here's more on this power trip:
Congratulations, dear comrade! From now on, you are the head of a small but important industrial center bearing the proud name of Iron-1. Your task will be to manage and rebuild it amidst the formation of a new totalitarian regime, currently faced with the consequences of the recent revolution, such as a deepening social crisis and an utter economic deficit.
Yet we remain confident that it is young specialists such as yourself, who will lead this county to a stable and prosperous future.

Glory to the Union of People's Orange Communes! Glory to Comrade Steel!
Continue here to read the full story.

Battle Brothers Blazing Deserts Released

New DLC called Blazing Deserts is now available for Battle Brothers, the Windows turn-based strategy game. As we've previously noted, being big fans of Crêpes Suzette and Bananas Foster we're disappointed that this is not Blazing Desserts, but what can you do? This kicks off a sale: "To celebrate the release, Battle Brothers base game will get a 67% discount while the two prior DLCs (Beasts & Exploration and Warriors of the North) will get a 10% discount from August 13th to August 20th." The DLC can be found on both GOG.com and Steam. Here's a trailer and here's more:
Visit independent city-states, fight in the arena, face desert raiders and southern beasts in battle. Wear new gear inspired by Arabian and Persian cultures of the medieval ages, employ alchemical contraptions and primitive firearms, and forge your own path when the fires of religious turmoil threaten to engulf the world in a new late-game crisis. But the new content of Blazing Deserts does not limit to the south, as new features such as the new environments for fights will also be found in the north.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ever Forward Released

Ever Forward is now available on Steam, offering a Windows puzzle/adventure from Pathea Games, developer of My Time at Portia. For the first week in addition to a 10% launch discount, this comes along with its original soundtrack, bonus puzzles, and a digital art book. Here's an official trailer and for a more in-depth look at gameplay there's this this video of a playthrough by the game's director. If you want to try it firsthand, a playable demo is also available. Here's the description:
As Maya, players in Ever Forward will cross two vastly different realities: one filled with idyllic, pastel-colored fields and charming coastal retreats, the other home to all manner of formidable geometric traps and riddles. The secrets stored deep within Maya’s heart will gradually be revealed as fans collect memory fragments, unearth new puzzles, and conquer the girl’s fears.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Political Machine 2020 Gets Update and New DLC

New DLC called Founding Fathers is now available Stardock and Steam for The Political Machine 2020, the latest installment in their sausage making simulation. This comes alongside a free update for the base version of the game adding Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin to the game. Here's word on the new DLC which adds ancient candidates like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington to run against ancient candidates like Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders. Here's more:
The Founding Fathers DLC adds Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington as playable candidates. They join the game alongside real world candidates of today like Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and many more.

New Federalist and Democratic Republican ideology trees have been added to the DLC, as well as several new customization parts from hairstyles to clothing for players who like to create their own candidates.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Delayed

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos was planned for release in two weeks, but now developer Artefacts Studio and publisher Dear Villagers announce a setback of another couple of weeks, saying the tongue-twister tactical RPG will arrive on September 17th. They explain the delay is to add additional polish and jokes to the game, which features geek icon Felicia Day. This trailer introduces new characters, and here's an explanation:
Additionally a new trailer reveals three new playable characters. Players can choose between the Paladin, Minstrel, or Priestess to join their party of seven misfits.

  • The Paladin: Rude, strong and fair. Able to inflict and receive damage, she’s an excellent fighter.
  • The Minstrel: Precious, annoying and enthusiastic. He uses his music to offer support to the rest of the group.
  • The Priestess: Arrogant, venal and pragmatic. Her faith makes her an expert healer, ideal for the most reckless groups.

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos is a turn-based tactical RPG chock-full of charm, humor and chaos. Leading a ragtag company of unlikely heroes, players will embark on an epic adventure through the dreadful dungeon of Naheulbeuk, utilizing both “strength” and “smarts” to overcome the very worst that the evil lord Zangdar has to throw at them.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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A Total War Saga: TROY Released - Get it for Free

A Total War Saga: TROY is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, and as promised, the latest installment in Creative Assembly's strategy series is free to if you grab your copy within the first 24 hours of its release. For those still wary that such giveaways are a Trojan Horse for the Epic Games Store, you'll be able to pay for the game on Steam and other digital storefronts later this month. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's more on this odyssey to recreate the action from Homer's Iliad:
TROY marks the first game in the BAFTA award-winning Total War™ series to be released on the Epic Games Store, where it is free to keep for players who claim the offer within the first 24 hours of release. It is also the first to focus on the ancient Bronze Age and is the furthest back in history that the series has travelled in its tales of epic conquest.

Inspired by The Iliad – Homer's sweeping tale of romance and bloodshed – TROY focuses on the historical flashpoint of the Trojan War, bringing the conflict to life as never before. Amid the war, the player takes centre-stage as one the epic heroes of the age, tasked with defending the mighty city of Troy or razing it to the ground.

TROY offers players an authentic depiction of this fabled age, with a host of new innovations added to both campaign and battle gameplay. Featuring new methods of faction customisation such as the Divine Will mechanic, breath-taking Hellenic & real-world artistry, and an all new multiple resource economy – a Total War first.
Continue here to read the full story.

Embracer Group Acquires 4A Games Among Others

Embracer Group offers an Interim Report Q1, April-June 2020 for their latest financials. Also, a boatload of announcements on the Embracer Website reveal this subsidiary of THQ Nordic has embarked on a buying spree which includes the acquisition of Metro developer 4A Games. Word is they have picked up 4A Games, New World Interactive, Pow Wow Entertainment, Palindrome Interactive, Rare Earth Games, Vermila Studios, Deca Games, and Sola Media. The announcement of the 4A Games deal includes word from 4A CEO Dean Sharpe that: "We look forward to building a new and even more ambitious AAA IP in the near future." Here's more:
Embracer Group AB ("Embracer"), through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saber Interactive[1], has today entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Malta-based 4A Games Limited (“4A Games”). 4A Games is a top-tier independent AAA PC and Console developer behind the successful Metro franchise and a long-term development partner to the Embracer owned publisher Deep Silver. Through the acquisition, Saber Interactive onboards a reputable team of 150+ people across two studios in Malta and Ukraine as well as best-in-class internally developed and owned First-Person-Shooter (“FPS”) technology to the Group. The upfront purchase price amounts to approximately MUSD 36 on a cash and debt free basis and is paid in cash and in newly issued B shares, plus an earn-out consideration, subject to fulfilment of agreed milestones, of a maximum USD 35 million. 4A Games expects net sales of approximately MEUR 20 for the period Jan-Dec 2020, with an operational EBIT of approximately MEUR 12.

“With the acquisition of 4A Games, Saber Interactive is locking-up one of the best indie studios in the industry with the potential and capacity to take on another AAA project and are also internalizing the value of existing and future IPs into the Group. Saber solidifies its position as a leader in the CIS and Ukrainian game developer market. Combining our technology and capabilities with 4A Games presents tremendous opportunity for growth and expansion” says Matt Karch, CEO Saber Interactive Inc., Director of the Embracer Board.

G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout Announcement

We now have the official announcement for G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout, the third-person shooter tie-in mentioned yesterday. This is basically just for the record, as it includes the same Announce Trailer and mostly the same details:
G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout, a new team-based, third-person shooter based on Hasbro’s mega-popular franchise, has been revealed. Play as your favorite heroes and villains from Team Joe and Team Cobra in this action-packed adventure, coming to PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One on Oct. 13, 2020.

Travel to monumental locations like Cobra Headquarters and the U.S.S. Flagg through an original story inspired by 80s-style comics. Take on 18 campaign missions featuring iconic vehicles and boss battles in single-player or local split-screen co-op.

G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout features 12 playable characters, including Duke, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, Destro, Roadblock, Storm Shadow and more. Each soldier has their own unique powers and can be customized with a variety of weapons and skins. There’s also multiplayer with modes such as Capture the Flag, Assault and King of the Hill.

G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout is published by GameMill Entertainment. For more information, visit https://gijoeblackout.com.
Continue here to read the full story.

Popup Dungeon Pops Up

Popup Dungeon is now available on Steam, offering a tactical roguelike RPG for Windows that draws inspiration from tabletop gaming (thanks AvaCam). This outside the box thinking is quite evident in the Launch Trailer showing virtual papercraft environments. This has so far received "very positive" ratings, so it seems they have rolled 20 for a critical hit. Here are the details:
Popup Dungeon is a tactical roguelike RPG inspired by our favorite tabletop games. Make your own abilities, items, heroes, villains, and games easier than ever before. Create and share anything you can imagine.

Key Features

  • Out of the Box: 1500+ abilities, 420+ items, 200+ fully-voiced enemies, 36 playable characters
  • Games included: Branching story-driven campaigns, gameplay-focused runs, and the 25 campaigns of The Wizard's Tower
  • Endless Content: Lots of games have procedural content, but Popup’s easy-to-use creation systems allow for limitless handcrafted content. Just hit the download button!
    Game Creation: Tie nodes together to create your own games; from classic RPG adventures to grueling dungeon crawls and dating simulators, you can do it all, no programming knowledge necessary!
    Persistent Gains: Collect and combine charms to power up your party and climb higher than before.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Revenant Prince Released

The Revenant Prince is now available for Windows on Steam, offering an action adventure where you play as a prince who can control time (this somehow seemed familiar when Iran it through my mind). Here's a recent video featuring gameplay and developer commentary and there's a playable demo if you seek a sample. Here's the announcement:
The Revenant Prince casts players as Troy, a prince who awakens after a near death experience with the ability to control time. Guided by a mysterious voice that may or may not have his best interests at heart, Troy embarks on an epic quest to fulfil his uncertain destiny.

As Troy undertakes his sprawling adventure he will be met with difficult decisions which will have lasting consequences with the colourful range of characters he meets along the way. How you treat people and what actions you take on this quest will dictate how the story plays out. The Revenant Prince is an adventure RPG where outcomes from the choices you make are irreversible and everlasting.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dog Duty Next Month

Publisher SOEDESCO and developer Zanardi and Liza announce your chance to step into Dog Duty will arrive on September 17th when this action strategy game is released for Windows and macOS on Steam as well as for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. As can be seen in the previously released Announcement Trailer, this draws its inspirations from the Commandos series as well as G.I. Joe. Here's more on this throwback:
Players can soon fight the evil bigwig octopus commander and his army in Dog Duty. The octopus-infested Real Time Tactics game will get its full release on Nintendo Switch™, Playstation®4, Xbox One and Steam® on September 17, 2020. Control a squad of three characters and wreak havoc, destroy installations and fight the exotic and evil Octo-Army in an open world setting.

A nostalgic feel of the 80’s and 90’s
Dog Duty was inspired by classic games and TV series such as Commandos and G.I. Joe. Created based on the nostalgic memories from developer Zanardi & Liza, classic villains such as Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls and Dr. Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog played a big part in the development of the evil octopus army. It’s the way these villains think of themselves as the greatest beings alive. The same characteristics apply to the octo-bosses that players have to fight against in Dog Duty. The octopuses lend themselves well to powerful and unique creatures that bring a healthy dose of humor and chaos, much like the villains from classic 80s and 90’s series. The retro graphics, upbeat music and fast-paced Real Time Tactics style of the game provide a unique old school feel that appeal to young and old.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Midwest States Assess Damage After Derecho Strikes. Never heard of a "derecho" before. It's not as dramatic sounding as a "bomb cyclone," which I only first learned about in the last couple of years, but the effect sounds just as dramatic. According to Wikipedia: "Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods. In many cases, convection-induced winds take on a bow echo (backward "C") form of squall line, often forming beneath an area of diverging upper tropospheric winds, and in a region of both rich low-level moisture and warm-air advection. Derechos move rapidly in the direction of movement of their associated storms, similar to an outflow boundary (gust front), except that the wind remains sustained for a greater period of time (often increasing in strength after onset), and may exceed hurricane-force. A derecho-producing convective system may remain active for many hours and, occasionally, over multiple days." Damn!

Obituary: Russell Kirsch, inventor of the pixel, dies in Oregon at age 91.

Windy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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