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Thursday, Dec 23, 2021 Happy Festivus

Get Vampyr for Free

Vampyr is now available completely free on the Epic Games Store. This giveaway of DONTNOD's vampyric action/RPG is Epic's latest daily holiday giveaway in a long-running effort to suck users into its store's ecosystem. As always, this can be yours to keep if you claim it before the next giveaway takes its place, which will be at 11:00 am EST tomorrow. Here's a bit on the game:
London, 1918. You are newly-turned Vampyr Dr. Jonathan Reid. As a doctor, you must find a cure to save the city’s flu-ravaged citizens. As a Vampyr, you are cursed to feed on those you vowed to heal. Will you embrace the monster within? Your actions will save or doom London.

Sea of Thieves Milestone Giveaway

Sea of Thieves Website announces that Sea of Thieves has now sold over five million copies on Steam since launching there (thanks PCGamesN). To celebrate, Rare is handing out a free emote to every buccaneer who sets sail in the seafaring adventure over the next week:
As we’re never ones to shy away from a celebration, we’re marking this latest milestone of five million Steam sales with a special gift for the whole community over the next week. All you have to do is jump in and play Sea of Thieves at any time between December 22nd at 14:00 and December 29th at 23:59 (times in GMT), and you’ll receive the All Together Now! Emote for free. Great for keeping the band on beat when you’re out carolling!

Get I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream for Free

GOG.com has rolled out I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream as the second if its promised giveaways for the GOG Winter Sale. Originally released in 1995, this point-and-click adventure is based on a short story by Harlan Ellison, and the late sci-fi author was integral to the game's design. This older game is presented as part of a collaboration with The Video Game History Foundation. The site offers an Interview with Video Game History Foundation founder Frank Cifaldi as well as a TVGHF Support Pack where all proceeds will go to supporting the non-profit organization. While you're there, a bunch of new games have been added to the sale. Here's more on today's giveaway:
The last people on Earth are buried deep within the center of the earth, trapped in the bowels of an insane computer for the past hundred and nine years. Gorrister the suicidal loner. Benny the mutilated brute. Ellen the hysterical phobic. Nimdok the secretive sadist. Ted the cynical paranoid. It's time for them to play a little game...

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream plunges you into a harrowing adventure deep within the belly of an electronic beast. Uncover the last humans' deepest, darkest secrets. Defend yourself against AM's continuous psychological onslaught. Solve the riddles of the past and perhaps free yourself from AM's clutches once and for all in an adventure you'll never forget!

Ready or Not Publisher Split Caused By School Shooting Scenario?

A tweet from a couple of days ago from VOID Interactive announces that Team17 is no longer the publisher on Ready or Not, an upcoming tactics game that will put the player in charge of a SWAT team. This includes no explanation, saying: "VOID Interactive and Team17 have mutually agreed that Team17 will no longer publish Ready or Not. We are confident that this is the right path for the future of Ready or Not, and we thank Team17 for their partnership and wish them great success with their spectrum of games!" NME may have filled in that blank, noting the split was announced very shortly after a Reddit comment from the developer saying "You better believe it’s gonna" in response to a question about whether the game will "have a school shooting mission in the campaign" (thanks Kotaku). A number of comments in the thread suggest it may be risky to tackle such a sensitive topic, though it hasn't been directly confirmed that the comment directly caused the break with the publisher.

Treyarch Studio Culture Statement

Treyarch Studios has issued a statement on Twitter outlining the studio's outlook on its culture (thanks IGN). Parent company Activision Blizzard has been embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that's spawned a couple of lawsuits, and former Treyarch co-head Dan Bunting has been accused of an alleged harassment incident in 2017. Now the company is laying out its policy on how it intends treat its employees:
Our goal as a studio is to make awesome games for the world to enjoy. Having the privilege to pursue that endeavor is made possible because of Treyarch's people: We are a studio comprised of smart, talented, world class creative professionals who seek to perform at our best. Our culture has no room for sexism, harassment, racism, bigotry, discrimination, or bullying. As we move forward, providing a safe, diverse, inclusive working environment so that all may thrive will be our highest priority. Everyone at Treyarch is drawn to game development because we possess a deep love for the artistry of video games and the magic that can create moments that matter. This is a moment that matters and it starts by being better.

GTA Online Gift

The Rockstar Games Newswire announces a free holiday season gift in GTA Online, the multiplayer side of Grand Theft Auto V. Here's word on the festivities and the gift now available in the open-world action game:
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Los Santos — local hotspots are fully decorated for the holiday season, while weather reporters are stumped by a wave of sudden snowfall across the usually-temperate area. Meanwhile, all existing Christmas-themed clothing, accessories, masks, and other seasonal fittings are back on the shelves and racks at stores.

Players who jump into GTA Online anytime this week will receive the greatest gift of all — a free and as-yet unreleased Gallivanter Baller ST. This souped-up successor to the classic Baller is available to claim gratis from Legendary Motorsport from now through December 29. The Gallivanter Baller ST hits general sale in 2022.

Catizens Demo

Publisher HeroCraft PC and developer badopticsgames offer a playable Windows and macOS demo for Catizens on Steam. The game is an upcoming colony management game inspired by RimWorld and The Sims. The demo has a Christmas-theme, and will only be available for a limited time. Here's why this may be catnip for animal lovers:
The demo features a bite-sized campaign spread across several levels, occasional snowfall, plenty of Christmas trees, and unique quests. Players can explore most of the final game's mechanics, such as creating unique catizens, designing perfect homes, managing settlements, and exploring the wilderness while fighting off some of the terrible creatures.

Festivus Multiplex

Official trailer.

Out of the Blue

Frank: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born. A Festivus for the rest of us.
Kramer: That must have been some kind of doll.
Frank: She was.

Obituary: Steve Bronski Dies- Cofounder Of Gay Pop Pioneers Bronski Beat Was 61. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Round-up for the Rest of Us
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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