Archived News:

Thursday, Jan 06, 2022

Get Gods Will Fall for Free

Gods Will Fall is now available completely free on the Epic Games Store offering the chance to take on the deities for free in this action game from Clever Beans and Deep Silver. With the holidays in the rearview, this program has returned to its weekly schedule. So you have until next Thursday to collect this and its yours to keep. At that time Galactic Civilizations III will take its place as the new giveaway. Here's word on the rise of Gods Will Fall:
The gods’ torturous rule over humanity has lasted for millennia. Bent on cruelty and suffering, they demand to be served with blind worship through an oath of fealty pledged from every man, woman and child. To those who don't submit to the gods’ will; a slow and merciless death awaits.
Experience the brutal trials of a venturous band of warriors in their desperate plight to sever the gods’ callous grip on humanity. Every man and woman who can muster a blade, having suffered the brutality of the gods’ reign for too long, will be called upon to form your clan of 8 Celtic survivors and rise up to take on the legions of horrific beasts and minions that dwell in each of the gods’ hellish realms.
A personal tale emerges with every decision made. Succeed and see legends born. Fail, and watch lives turn to dust.

No In-Person E3 2022

VentureBeat reports E3 2022 will be an online-only event amid renewed concerns about holding in-person gatherings during the pandemic. "Due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19 and its potential impact on the safety of exhibitors and attendees, E3 will not be held in person in 2022," the ESA said in a statement. "We remain incredibly excited about the future of E3 and look forward to announcing more details soon." There's a follow-up on IGN casting doubts on whether there will even be a virtual version of the trade show:
Meanwhile, E3's future has been a question mark for some time now. Its 2022 show never had firm dates set and was never on the official LACC calendar, despite past shows’ physical and digital being scheduled over a year in advance. An in-person E3 2022 had been planned officially since the opening of last year's show, per a speech from LA mayor Eric Garcetii. But its official Twitter and website have been uncharacteristically silent since then, and multiple sources with ties to E3 speaking to IGN under conditions of anonymity suggested that the ESA had given up on trying to hold a physical show much earlier, possibly as far back as fall of last year. Other industry sources suggested that while they would typically have heard about formal plans for E3 by now — digital or physical — the ESA's silence on the matter had been deafening, and they are unsure what the plan is at all, if any.

State of BioWare Includes Mass Effect Teasing

An update on the BioWare Blog has a "State of BioWare" report from general manager Gary McKay. This includes a look back at last year, a discussion of lessons learned from working during a pandemic, and a glimpse at future plans. There's also an update on stated plans to restore faith in the company after the disappointment that was Anthem. Here's a bit including hints about some Mass Effect teases already in the wild:
And of course, we remain hard at work on the next iterations of Dragon Age and Mass Effect. I’m seeing some incredible work from both teams. If you’re curious about Mass Effect, I’d encourage you to take a look at the poster we released on N7 Day. If you look closely, there are a handful of hidden treats; by my count, there are at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe. As for Dragon Age, we have a veteran group of talented developers working on the next iteration of the franchise. We are focused on a single-player experience that is built on choices that matter.

When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority. We are laser-focused on building back the trust of our fans and community, and we plan to do that by delivering the types of games that we are best known for and ensuring they are of the highest quality. Our mission is to “Create worlds of adventure, conflict, and companionship that inspire you to become the hero of your story.” We want the launch of our games to be seminal moments in the industry. We want each game to earn the kind of reaction we’ve seen with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise.

Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea Released

The Queen and the Sea is now available for Dead Cells, adding new content to this roguelike action/platformer. The Windows, macOS, and Linux edition is available on GOG.com and Steam, and the base game is required. This carries a launch discount and the game and its other DLC are on sale too. This Animated Trailer offers a stylized look at the DLC, but no gameplay. Here's word on how this caps off the story from the two previous DLC releases:
The Queen and the Sea DLC finishes the path that started with The Bad Seed and Fatal Falls, in which after dying all over again trying to save the island from the Malaise, the Beheaded is now seeking for a way out of the island - a way out which he seems to have found in the last DLC, but it's heavily guarded. The Queen & The Sea DLC takes players through two brand new Biomes: The Infested Shipwreck and The Lighthouse.

The run is parallel to the High Peak Castle and Throne Room levels, introducing players to a variety of new challenges. The first Biome, The Infested Shipwreck, winds you through a rotten shipwreck where you will be hunted by unforgiving eldritch horrors lurking (like they do) in the spooky and haunted old vessel. The second Biome, The Lighthouse, showcases a brand new challenge of vertical exploration not yet seen in Dead Cells. Players will find themselves in a soaring tower in which players will scramble upward as fast as they can to outrun rising flames while simultaneously fending off highly skilled warriors who want nothing more than to end your run.
Continue here to read the full story.

Electrician Simulator - First Shock Released

Electrician Simulator - First Shock is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a free prologue for Electrician Simulator, an upcoming full game. As the name states, the premise of the prologue and the game is to test your skills at electrical repairs, without the risk of electrocutions or house fires. Wire you just sitting there? Here's an Official Trailer with a look, and here's more:
In Electrician Simulator - First Shock, learn the ropes from your Dad to become an electrician. Repair and assemble sockets, panels, strips, plugs, chandeliers and even change light bulbs and try to avoid getting electrocuted.

For passionate and aspiring electricians, the world of Electrician Simulator - First Shock allows you to test your skills or learn new ones from scratch. Train yourself in the prologue and start a professional career in the full game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Heaven Dust 2 Released

Steam now offers the release of Heaven Dust 2, a zombie survival sequel for Windows from two-person development team One Gruel Studio. This includes a number of improvements on the original. Word is that a positive reception will inspire further development of the series. The Launch Trailer shows off gameplay including some puzzles and lots of combat. Here's a briefing:
This is the stand-alone sequel to the survival horror thriller Heaven Dust (it is not mandatory to play the previous game to enjoy this one).

After a press conference, a virus outbreak happens in the mysterious First Research Center.
In the meantime, deep inside the institute, Steve wakes up from his cryogenic pod.
He finds himself trapped in a living hell, surrounded by zombies, again.
He must fight his way out even when the dreadful truth is also approaching...
Continue here to read the full story.

Team17 Buys Hell Let Loose and The Label

Team17 announces the acquisition of the Hell Let Loose IP as well as independent publisher The Label. Word is the two deals are worth between USD$66 million and $100 million:
Team17 Group PLC said Thursday that it has bought Hell Let Loose for up to 46 million pounds ($62.4 million) and The Label for up to $40 million.

The U.K. videogame developer said the deal for Hell Let Loose, an existing Team17 Games Label third-party title, is for an initial consideration of GBP31 million and an earn out consideration of up to GBP15 million. The initial consideration will be satisfied through GBP19.75 million in cash and the issue of 1.5 million shares.

The acquisition of U.S.-based independent games publisher The Label is for an initial consideration of $24.0 million, with additional earnout of up to $16.0 million over the next three years. The initial consideration will be satisfied through a combination of $18.0 million in cash and the issue of 604,543 shares.

Raven QA Strike Follow-up Follow-up

GamesIndustry.biz has a follow up to its story yesterday on the Raven Software QA strike. This highlighted a tweet from the ABK Workers Alliance saying it has not heard from leadership in the weeks since the strike began. Raven parent Activision Blizzard is not calling anyone liars, but its response says it has indeed engaged staff on this topic. Here's the statement:
"Activision is deeply committed to the wellbeing of all of our teams, including our QA workforce," the statement read. "Raven leadership has engaged in dialogue with its staff to hear concerns and explain the company's overall investment in development resources. As previously announced, we are growing our overall investment in development and operations resources and converting nearly 500 temporary workers to full-time employees across our studios, the largest conversion in Activision's history.

"For the 12 temporary workers at Raven whose agreements were not extended, we provided an extended notice period, included payment for the two-week holiday break, and will be working directly with those that need relocation assistance. Raven is full of people dedicated to improving the culture at Activision, and we look forward to partnering with employees to do that work together."

EA Exec Tweets and Deletes About "Brutal" BF2042 Expectations

A tweet from EA executive Andy McNamara announces he has deleted some tweets about Battlefield 2042, saying: "Deleted the tweets. Seems my message wasn’t clear. Apologies." As noted by Flakfire (thanks Tom Henderson), these tweets included criticism of gamer expectations, calling them "brutal," so it seems the message may have been more unwelcome than unclear. Here was what McNamara said about gamers expecting more than they've gotten from the military shooter sequel.
Back to work today, check Reddit and Twitter and battlefield fans are pissed we didn't do enough updates or communication during the holiday break. Guys, people gotta rest. We have things in motion but we have to figure out what is possible. We will address it when are 100%.

Let us get back from break and get back to work. Love you guys but these expectations are brutal. The things you want take time to scope, design, and execute.

Apex Legends Items Temporarily Disabled

Respawn tweets that Rampage and Sentinel weapons are temporarily disabled in all modes in Apex Legends to prevent an exploit. Additionally, the MIL-SPEC Bangalore skin can no longer be equipped, though it can still be purchased. It's been reported the skin was crashing the game, so it will return to active duty once this is addressed. Here's word:
We've just pushed out a @Playapex update temporarily disabling the Rampage and Sentinel weapons in all modes due to an exploit.

The update also disables the MIL-SPEC Bangalore skin. It is, however, still purchasable from the store and will be present once fixed and re-enabled.

Out of the Blue

I had an epiphany today, realizing that yesterday was the 12th day of Christmas, which is a pretty good way to mark the end of the holiday season. We will put away the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree and the Festivus Pole here at the BlueTower today. So it was also time to pack up the Blue's News holiday logo and haul it back up to the attic. It's replaced today by the return of the Freedom Force logo, which already reappeared last year. This is unrelated to Ken Levine's name just popping up in the news. This week is the 20th anniversary of the original release of the RPG on January 9, 2002, and there aren't that many January game releases to commemorate. So we've ducked into a phone booth (this is two decades ago, remember), and switched into our superhero costume. Thank you to Walter "2" Costinak for the original versions of both logos, and thank you to Steve for updating the Freedom Force logo to match the not massive changes to our design since it originally appeared.

Obituary: Tributes paid after Just Add Water founder Stewart Gilray dies aged 51.
Obituary: Kim Mi-soo Death- 'Kiss Sixth Sense' Disney Plus Show Paused.

Epiphany Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories

Science
Thanks Max.

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