Archived News:

Friday, Aug 14, 2020

EA Access and Origin Access Become EA Play

Electronic Arts announces they are combining their EA Access and Origin Access services under the title EA Play. This was the name of their annual games showcase, so this is being renamed too, and is now known as EA Play Live. Here's the news:
The EA Access and Origin Access subscription game services will be getting a fresh new name and look starting August 18. EA Access and Origin Access Basic will become EA Play*, and Origin Access Premier will change to EA Play Pro. All the great benefits you love (access to a library of top titles, early game trials, and your 10% membership discount) aren’t going anywhere. In fact, we’re adding even more in the coming months, starting with exclusive in-game challenges and monthly reward drops for members on select titles.

Why EA Play?
EA Play puts you at the center of the experience. Moving all the benefits to a single brand is an important step in streamlining our services to ensure that being an EA Play member is the best way to play.

What Do I Get with EA Play?
As we mentioned earlier, members will be able to access exclusive in-game challenges and rewards, unlock special member-only content, play early trials of brand-new titles, get instant access to a collection of our best-loved series and top titles, and save 10% on EA digital purchases, from full games to DLC. But what do we mean by exclusive challenges, rewards, and content?
Continue here to read the full story.

A Total War Saga: TROY Launch Tally

SEGA outlines how successful the A Total War Saga: TROY launch was on the Epic Games Store, which obviously got quite a boost from the 24-hour 100% launch discount. Word is more that 7.5 million players took advantage of the free offer:
A Total War Saga: TROY™ is an Epic success! More than 7.5 million players claimed the latest addition to the award-winning strategy franchise within the first 24 hours of its release. Driven by a time-limited free giveaway on the Epic Game Store, not even the great walls of Troy could keep fans from storming Creative Assembly's stunning recreation of the battlefields of the Bronze Age.

"We were optimistic but we couldn't have predicted this level of excitement," said Rob Bartholomew, Chief Product Officer. "It's been incredible to work with Epic on giving this brand new release away for free. Now we get to welcome so many strategy players – new and old – to experience this incredible Saga. We're very happy."

TROY is the first in our award-winning strategy series to recreate epic conflict in the Bronze Age and the legendary conflict known as the Trojan War. Combining a gripping turn-based campaign game of empire-building, statecraft and conquest with stunning real-time battles, TROY redefines the series in an age of heroes and legends.

Risk of Rain 2 Sells Over 3M

A tweet from Risk of Rain 2 announces the co-op shooter sequel now boasts over 3 million players on Steam just three days after it graduated from Early Access:
We are very excited to announce that Risk of Rain 2 now has more than 3 million players on Steam!

Thank you to everyone that supported us through Early Access and for helping us achieve this milestone as we launched into 1.0 this week! ♥

Call of Duty Tease

The promised Call of Duty tease is now live on the viral Pawn Takes Pawn Website. As previously noted, this is being milked for all it's worth. If you click on the VHS tape (kids, ask your parents), you will be treated to some Cold War footage from way before the adoption of the VCR. This heavily features President John F. Kennedy (kids, ask your parents), and strongly supports the understanding that the new installment in the military shooter sequel will center on the Cold War and how it heated up in Vietnam. This ARG goes deep, as Charlie INTEL notes that the numbers on the VCR correspond to coordinates on Call of Duty: Warzone's Verdansk map that leads to further clues. Feel free to brew some coffee and get started on some code breaking.

ExoCorps Early Access Next Month

Developer Gingerbred announces ExoCorps will come to Early Access on Steam on September 17th, offering a sci-fi multiplayer shooter they say is inspired by classics like Counter-Strike and Tribes. The latter influence can be seen in the Announcement Trailer, which shows combat heavily influenced by the use of jetpacks. They say the initial Early Access release will include five maps and will feature Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag modes. Here's more:
Independent developer Gingerbred today announced that their new sci-fi multiplayer shooter ExoCorps will be coming to Steam Early Access for PC on September 17th. Explore the vast alien landscapes on foot or go airborne with your built in full-flight jet-pack as you undertake stealth-based seek and destroy missions.

ExoCorps is the tactical combat platform of the future and an international initiative is testing new military technologies for use across the globe and into the solar system. ExoCorps units are armed with a formidable six in one multirifle, capable of delivering a range of lethal ordnance including auto-cannon fire, multi rockets, plasma bolts, and mingun onslaught. Players can also deliver long range lethality by seeking higher ground for sniper based kills with the deadly rail gun or laser.
Continue here to read the full story.

Total Arcade Racing Early Access

Total Arcade Racing is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering a top-down racing game for Windows. As seen in this previously released trailer the only way to make this more totally arcade would be to require a quarter for each play and to surround you with nerds. Here's a description:
Game Description
Total Arcade Racing is a fun 2D top-down arcade racing game where you zip around closed circuits. This game is a tribute to the old classical top-down arcade racing games like Super Sprint, Slicks 'n' Slide and Super Cars. ​Play with 8 friends on the same screen in various game modes.​
Continue here to read the full story.

The International 10 Collector’s Cache Volume II Released for Dota 2

The Dota 2 Blog announces The International 10 Collector’s Cache Volume II will be available for the next 30 days for Dota 2 players. Here's what this brings to Valve's MOBA:
The International 10 Collector’s Cache is back with a second helping of items from the Dota 2 workshop, featuring full sets for a wide variety of favorite heroes—including a Rare set for Templar Assassin, a Very Rare set for Faceless Void, and an Ultra Rare set for Legion Commander.

Available now for $2.49, unboxing 14 of these treasures will automatically grant you 34 Battle Levels, and the odds of receiving a bonus rare item increase with each one you open. You can also recycle any unwanted sets for two Battle Levels.

Volume II of the Collector’s Cache will only be available for the next thirty days and is the only way to receive these exclusive item sets, apart from the Ultra Rare Legion Commander set which will be marketable sometime after The International 11 concludes. As before, 25% of each sale contributes directly to The International 10 prize pool.

Once again, we’d like to thank all of the community artists who tendered submissions to the Dota 2 Workshop, as well as the entire Battle Pass community for your support.

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Factorio Officially Launches

Factorio has rolled out of the factory and is now officially out of Early Access on GOG.com and Steam. This is a simulation for Windows, macOS, and Linux where you build and maintain your own factories. This carries no release discount, as they reiterate their hard line on such things: "Discount Disclaimer: We don't have any plans to take part in a sale or to reduce the price for the foreseeable future." The Launch Trailer discusses the game's lengthy production cycle and shows off gameplay. This post on Steam discusses the release and what's changed in the full version. Here's the official description:
Factorio is a game in which you build and maintain factories. You will be mining resources, researching technologies, building infrastructure, automating production and fighting enemies. In the beginning you will find yourself chopping trees, mining ores and crafting mechanical arms and transport belts by hand, but in short time you can become an industrial powerhouse, with huge solar fields, oil refining and cracking, manufacture and deployment of construction and logistic robots, all for your resource needs. However this heavy exploitation of the planet's resources does not sit nicely with the locals, so you will have to be prepared to defend yourself and your machine empire.

Join forces with other players in cooperative Multiplayer, create huge factories, collaborate and delegate tasks between you and your friends. Add mods to increase your enjoyment, from small tweak and helper mods to complete game overhauls, Factorio's ground-up Modding support has allowed content creators from around the world to design interesting and innovative features. While the core gameplay is in the form of the freeplay scenario, there are a range of interesting challenges in the form of Scenarios. If you don't find any maps or scenarios you enjoy, you can create your own with the in-game Map Editor, place down entities, enemies, and terrain in any way you like, and even add your own custom script to make for interesting gameplay.
Continue here to read the full story.

Another Ubisoft Firing

Kotaku has word on the formal firing of Ashraf Ismail by Ubisoft, saying the staff at Ubisoft Montreal were informed of the decision yesterday. Ismail stepped down from his position as Assassin's Creed Valhalla creative director in June, but apparently remained with the company to this point. This is the latest fallout from the Ubisoft sexual misconduct scandal, and an article on Gamasutra has fresh allegations on the situation after speaking with dozens of current and former employees of the company. Here's more from Kotaku on Ismail's termination from an internal company communiqué:
Employees in the Ubisoft Montreal office where Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is being developed were notified of the decision yesterday. “Following an investigation by an external firm, it was determined that Ashraf’s employment with Ubisoft had to be terminated,” reads the subsequent company-wide message, a copy of which was obtained by Kotaku. “We cannot provide any details about this confidential investigation.” Ismail’s termination comes amid ongoing investigations into misconduct at Ubisoft following a wave of allegations of harassment and other abuses earlier this summer.

On June 21, Ismail was accused on Twitter of a pattern of trying to engage in affairs by leveraging his status and lying about being single. “This person is married. When he starts a relationship with you, know he’s married,” wrote a streamer named Dani who was one of the women Ismail lied to. “I don’t want other women to go through the same, and I’ve already had several tell me he did all the same stuff to them, and they’ve all been in the gaming community,” she wrote in a subsequent tweet. Part of the allegation was that Ismail was using his position of power at Ubisoft to pursue relationships with women new to the gaming industry.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League Reveal Next Week

This tweet reveals Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is the title of Rocksteady's upcoming DC Comics game (thanks PCGamesN). Word is this will be unveiled next week at the DC FanDome event: "Target locked - #DCFanDome - August 22. #suicidesquadgame"

Real Farm - Gold Edition Announced, Beta Available

SOEDESCO announces Real Farm - Gold Edition, an updated version of this agriculture simulation coming to Windows, Linux, and macOS via Steam as well as to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This includes the game's previously released DLC along with quality-of-life improvements and will come as a free upgrade to those who own the original version. This post has all the details, including how Real Farmers can grab the beta version right now:
It's been quite a while since there's been an update for Real Farm, but here I am with some great news! Introducing, Real Farm - Gold Edition.

This Gold Edition comes with all previously released DLCs (Potato Pack & Grünes Tal map), various quality of life improvements, optimized gameplay and polished game mechanics. Owners of the base game wil automatically get this Gold Edition, but the best thing is, you can already try out the beta version of the Gold Edition right now! This way we want to gather feedback from you guys to find overall improvement points.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dreamscaper Awakens Into Early Access

Publisher Freedom! Games and developer Afterburner Studios announce the launch of Dreamscaper into Early Access on Steam, offering what they describe as a "surreal, roguelite inspired ARPG with modernized hack'n'slash combat." Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and here's more on the game's lucid dream theme:
Journey through twisted dream realms conjured by the subconscious mind of Cassidy, a young woman wrestling with her inner demons. Trapped in a traumatic loop where restless slumber brings forth dungeons teeming with nightmares and challenges to overcome, her only defense against the darkness is the power of lucid dreaming. Fortify Cassidy’s psychic abilities in the waking world by forging friendships, then strike back against her nocturnal foes in intense hack-and-slash combat.

Master an expressive battle system to fend off Cassidy’s enemies and rescue her from a dark fate. Wield imaginative weapons ranging from ethereal yo-yos to blazing finger guns while manipulating the elements, warping space, and even controlling time. Weave together these fantastical powers while using careful positioning, precise timing, and quick reflexes to dodge, parry, and dispatch attackers.
Continue here to read the full story.

ZAAM Released

Steam now offers ZAAM, a first-person psychological/horror game for Windows that carries a 15% launch discount. This involves navigating creepy environments as you search for your missing child, as shown off in the Official Release Trailer. Here's more of what to expect:
ZAAM is a first-person psychological thriller horror game. Your Little girl Lucy has gone missing and no one seems to know where she is. As your memories unravel, a dark and ominous story will come forth; a story about an unsettling relationship between a father and his daughter.

Your decisions will irrevocably shape the course of Lucy’s life.
Explore the surreal and fully interactable environment of ZAAM's world.
From Alon Zubina, the creator of it's always monday.

  • Cinematic game that was inspired by John Carpenter and David Cronenberg Movies.
  • For fans of SOMA, Gone Home, and Layers of Fear.
  • A dreamlike, emotional and intimate story with an ending you won't forget.
  • Dark and eerie atmosphere complimenting the story.
  • Fully physical Interactive environments.
  • A short narrative-focused game (about hour and a half) including some light puzzle solving.

Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

I got the replacement battery for my dead UPS yesterday and it worked fine. In fact it arrived fully charged, despite my impression that batteries don't generally ship that way for safety reasons. I wondered if a surge from the recent storm/power outage killed it. But it seems more likely that the battery just died of natural causes, and I failed to notice it. The UPS with the new battery is now the one that's protecting my PC system with the old one in the secondary role of keeping the network equipment running, so I'll try to pay better attention to secondary unit's health going forward.

Uninterruptible Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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