Archived News:

Friday, Jan 21, 2022

Eville Open Beta Weekend

An open beta weekend is underway on Steam for Eville, a new upcoming installment in the burgeoning social deduction genre. The test will run through Sunday to help prepare the game for release later this year. According to this post you should join the game's Discord to get in on the action. Cast an Eville eye on the Announcement Trailer for a look and read on for more:
Eville’s Open Beta will give players a chance to try the game and its myriad of character roles and unique gameplay mechanics, one of which is the day/night cycle which allows Eville players to free roam the 3D environments to prepare for the sinister shenanigans that happen during nightfall.

This aspect of strategic planning to protect your humble abode from those with murderous intent adds something different to the mode of play which sets it apart from the other games in the social deduction genre.
Continue here to read the full story.

Syberia: The World Before in March

Microids announces March 18th is the new official release date for Syberia: The World Before. We were told to expect the new installment in the adventure series this quarter when a delay was announced last month. Here's a bit on the plan:
We wanted to offer the best possible experience and pay a massive tribute to Kate Walker’s epic adventures envisioned by Benoît Sokal. These extra weeks allowed the studio Koalabs and our team to be confident about delivering the game you deserve.

Additionally, we can also announce that the game’s original score, composed by Inon Zur and already available on streaming platforms, will release on vinyl alongside the game launch.

Battlefield 2042 Featured Experience Switched

A tweet from the Battlefield announces this week's featured Battlefield 2042 Portal experience has been changed from Zombie Survival to Gun Master 2042 (thanks MP1ST). This tweet from a player is one of many that alerted the developers to how the mode was just a zombie bot XP farm. Ripple Effect design director Justin Wiebe tweets an apology:
I’m not going to lie, this one shouldn’t have gotten through our review process. I think our desire to create a fun zombies mode clouded our ability to see such a simple thing like the impact it would have on progression. I’m very sorry for the hardship this has caused.

On Sale

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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: The Psychology Behind Why We Love Playing Wordle. Thanks RedEye9.

Raven QA Forms Union

A series of tweets from the Game Workers Alliance announces the, well, Game Workers Alliance. This is a union of Raven support staff, who have been on strike since last month, seeking permanent positions and other forms of job security. According to Jason Schreier this is the "first-ever union in the big-budget video game industry *in North America*." The eight tweets outline operating principles and ask that Raven parent Activision and Raven voluntarily recognize the union. Here is the content of the eight tweets freed from the tyranny of Twitter:
Our Principles:

  • Solidarity: The voices of workers should be heard by leadership. By uniting in solidarity, we can ensure our message is further reaching, and more effective.
  • Sustainability: Shortened development timelines sacrifice project quality and damage the mental and physical health of our team. “Crunch” is not healthy for any product, worker, or company.
    Realistic timelines and development plans are essential to achieving sustainability in the games industry.
  • Transparency: Leadership must communicate openly and frequently about any decisions that will affect the working life of their employees.
    Work and quality of life suffer when changes are unpredictable and explanations are withheld.
  • Equity: Quality Assurance Testers deserve respect, appropriate compensation, and career development opportunities.
    Quality Assurance is currently an undervalued discipline in the games and software industries. We strive to foster work environments where Quality Assurance Testers are respected and compensated for our essential role in the development process.
  • Diversity: All voices deserve to be heard. Empowering underrepresented voices is key to fostering a truly creative and successful work environment.

Continue here to read the full story.

F2P Battlefield 2042 Under Consideration?

Tom Henderson tweets that the poor performance of Battlefield 2042 is prompting Electronic Arts to reevaluate the situation. The prominent leaker who is noted for his accurate takes says that even making the military shooter free-to-play in some form is not off the table:
EA is reportedly very disappointed with how Battlefield 2042 has performed and is "looking at all the options" when it comes to the title, this is including looking at Free to Play in some capacity.

No Dragon Age 4 This Year

Another tweet from Tom Henderson says that Dragon Age 4 will not arrive this year. Games miss scheduled release dates all the time, but a new installment in the RPG series doesn't actually have one, so this is not really a delay:
A source with knowledge of EA's plans has said there's "no chance" that Dragon Age 4 will release in 2022.

HITMAN 3 Free Starter Pack Also on Steam

The new HITMAN 3 listing on Steam includes a link to download a demo (thanks Frans). To be clear, this is the HITMAN 3 Starter Pack first released last April. As noted in this forum post on Steam, in addition to a sample of HITMAN 3, this allows users to import content and saved games from HITMAN 1 and 2. This post has the details from developer IO Interactive:
The HITMAN 3 Free Starter Pack will always give you FREE access to the ICA Facility, where you can experience the start of the World of Assassination trilogy, meet your handler and start earning XP and unlocks that will be carried over to the full game when you purchase it.

On top of permanent access to the ICA Facility, the HITMAN 3 Free Starter Pack will also periodically grant free access to other locations. For example, when the HITMAN 3 Free Starter Pack launches on 30 March, players will also experience the opening mission of HITMAN 2. The ‘Nightcall’ mission brings you to a moonlit beach and the roaring waves of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Infiltrate a highly-secured luxury beach house in the dead of night and discover the secrets that lie within…

F-15 Strike Eagle and The Ancient Art of War in the Skies on Steam

Atari announces the re-launch of five classic flight simulators on Steam. The first two are now online as Windows editions of The Ancient Art of War in the Skies and Sid Meier's F-15 Strike Eagle. The other three games will come next week, so fans of classic aerial combat games can expect Solo Flight, Harrier Jump Jet, and Dog Fight: 80 Years of Aerial Warfare to pop up on the radar soon. Here's a refresher on the first two games:
In Meier’s F-15 Strike Eagle, players choose their desired mission and then find themselves inside of the sophisticated cockpit of an F-15 fighter jet, fully armed for combat and heading into enemy airspace. Named “Action Game of the Year” by Computer Gaming World in 1985, the game is based on real-life missions carried out by fighter pilots in the 1970s and ‘80s. Meier collaborated with Air Force Pilot Bill Stealy to ensure F-15 Strike Eagle’s accuracy, which includes missions in Libya, Egypt, Iran, and more.

The Ancient Art of War in the Skies was a unique pick in the genre, marrying map-based tactical war simulation with arcade-style aerial combat. The Ancient Art of War in the Skies delivers hours of compelling playtime with dozens of scenarios and missions.

ENDLESS Weekend

The Amplitude Studios Studio Hub announces today as Endless Day. This begins with a new ZED Hero Reveal Trailer for ENDLESS Dungeon. This is also kicks off the ENDLESS free weekend, which will indeed end after a couple of days. But between now and then you can try the RPG series and purchase the games you like with a big discount. Here's word:
ENDLESS™ Dungeon is the 5th entry into the sci-fantasy ENDLESS™ Universe in which many of our previous games have taken place. Stave off the long wait by trying out the others! ENDLESS™ Space 1 & 2, ENDLESS™ Legend, and Dungeon of the ENDLESS™ (spiritual predecessor to ENDLESS™ Dungeon) are all free to play on Steam from now through Monday!
Continue here to read the full story.

Startup Panic Starts Up

Don't panic! Startup Panic is now available on Steam, offering the chance for would-be entrepreneurs to start their own business without even requiring a bath in the Shark Tank. Here's a Steam Launch Trailer showing off this opportunity to give yourself the business. The game debuted on Itch, and here's word on the Steam version:
The Steam version brings with it a host of new and exciting features including defeated CEOs launching comebacks against you, long-term loyal employees gaining new traits with experience, and some in-office ghost-busting after the discovery of a workplace haunting!

Start-Up Panic is a wacky business sim that injects classic management gameplay with some sharp and absurd humour. Start off with a simple idea in your bedroom, and buckle in for a wild ride of hypnotising your customers, sabotaging competitors with elite global hackers - and even dealing with your staff being kidnapped by pirates!
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Thanks Neutronbeam.

Out of the Blue

No Time to Die coming back to theaters for James Bond's 60th birthday (thanks Neutronbeam). Dammit! I'm definitely still not ready to sit in a movie theater with people yet. And we've discussed the negative aspects of the experience. But I'm still old-school enough that I can't shake that feeling that some movies are meant to be seen on the big screen. The latest Bond movie doesn't even really fall into that category, but I'm still ticked I missed it in the theater. But way beyond that on the frustration scale is how a restored version of 'The Godfather' will hit theaters next month in celebration of the film's 50th anniversary. This is very close to the top of my list of favorite movies, and I've only seen it on a television. But even more frustrating, the fine folks at TCM continue the TCM Big Screen Classics program with short-run special revivals. Next week? They are showing Casablanca, in honor of its 80th anniversary. That is my favorite film of all time, and I feel cheated that I will not be able to sing along to La Marseillaise with a bunch of teary-eyed fellow film buffs. Oh well, maybe things will have changed by September, when they celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Wrath of Khan.

Obituary: Meat Loaf Dead: ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Singer, ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Actor.
Obituary: Louie Anderson, Stand-Up Legend and 'Baskets' Actor, Dead at 68. Thanks RedEye9.

Theatrical Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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