Archived News:

Friday, Jan 28, 2022

STAR WARS: Squadrons Free Weekend

A free weekend for STAR WARS: Squadrons is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to strap into a starfighter for some Star Wars space combat. Just beware it may not be as easy as bullseyeing womp rats in your T-16 back home. Here's word on the game:
Master the art of starfighter combat in the authentic piloting experience STAR WARS™: Squadrons. Buckle up and feel the adrenaline of first-person, multiplayer space dogfights alongside your squadron. Pilots who enlist will step into the cockpits of starfighters from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets and fight in strategic 5v5 space battles. Modify your starfighter, and adjust the composition of your squadron to suit varying playstyles and crush the opposition. Pilots will triumph as a team and complete tactical objectives across known and never-before-seen battlefields, including the gas giant of Yavin Prime and the shattered moon of Galitan. Take control of starfighters such as the X-wing and TIE fighter. Customize loadouts and cosmetics. Divert power between weapons, shields, and engines while immersing yourself in the cockpit. In addition, players will have the option to play the entirety of the game in virtual reality (VR)!

Evil Dead: The Game Delayed Again

A tweet from EvilDeadTheGame has the news that the release of Evil Dead: The Game will be delayed in order to fine-tune its grooviness. The game was announced for release last year before being delayed to next month. Now word is to expect it on May 13th. This tweet explains further:
This delay gives our team the time they need to get things just right, so your boomstick will be polished, fully loaded, and ready to blast Deadites on that Friday the 13th of May. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

On Sale

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Evening Multiplex

↑ Official trailers. ↓ Content creator videos.

etc., etc.

  • Ereis Overture is a new music release from Lee Jackson, composer of the Duke Nukem 3D soundtrack, among other things…

Epic Games Store Year in Review

A post on the Epic Games Website discusses how the Epic Games Store performed in 2021. Epic continued to give away free games throughout the year as a way of building an audience. The post puts that program into some very large numbers, even co-opting the term "snag" from our forums as the appropriate term to describe collecting a freebie:
Players bought more games and played them for longer in 2021. We now have 917 titles for sale on the Epic Games Store, nearly doubling what we had available to customers in 2020. About $840M was spent through the store in 2021, up 20% from 2020. Third-party games represented 36% of all sales with more than $300M in player spending, a 12% increase from 2020.

We continued to give away free games each week. Many developers and publishers collaborated with us over the year to give away 89 free games worth $2,120. Over 765 million free games were claimed by players, bringing those titles to a new audience. 76 free games broke their peak concurrent user records on PC, with an average of 13 times their all-time records! That’s incredible engagement.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic Gets State and Federal Support in Apple Appeal

FOSS Patents reports that 35 states as well as the Biden Administration are now supporting Epic Games in its antitrust appeal against Apple in Ninth Circuit Court. Here's an explanation of why this is significant:
Those filings are not just a "nice to have." This kind of support is mission-critical, as I explained a few days ago. And a few hours before those filings, I was already impressed with the fact that "the Dean of American Antitrust Law" (as the New York Times called him), Professor Herbert Hovenkamp, signed a world-class amicus brief submitted by Professor Michael Carrier.

The state attorneys-general ("state AGs") supporting Epic here are basically the ones suing Google alongside Epic in the Northern District of California. The states--led by the Beehive State--are (in alphabetical order): Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C. (I'm not taking a position on the controversial question of statehood here), Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah (submitter), Vermont, and Washington.

Sea of Thieves Arena Closing

A post on the Sea of Thieves Website recaps a preview event discussing what's in store for Rare's seafaring action/adventure in 2022. Included is the news that the "extremely difficult decision" has been made to shut down the game's PvP Arena as of March 10th. This post has more on the news. Word is The Arena never attracted the interest required to justify continuing its support:
Sadly, among this flurry of new features, we do have to say goodbye to an old stalwart. As we go full steam ahead with Adventure mode, the pirate sandbox that’s always been at the heart of Sea of Thieves, we’re making the extremely difficult decision to close down The Arena.

We launched The Arena with high hopes back in 2019 as part of the Anniversary Update, but as just 2% of our player base have regularly engaged with this dedicated competitive mode, it’s finally become untenable to keep providing technical updates and QA for both The Arena and Adventure modes. To build a future for Sea of Thieves, we have to dedicate our resources to the areas of the game in which most of our players are invested.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rugby 22 Released

Rugby 22 is out for PC and consoles, and the Windows is available on Steam, offering the chance to play the rugged sport without the risk of breaking anything more than your controller. But you indeed must put a controller at risk, as even the PC edition carries a clear warning that playing with a mouse and keyboard is not supported. Rugby 22 carries a 20% launch discount for those who pick up a copy before February 3rd. Here's a Launch Trailer and here's the pitch:
New major national teams are entering the RUGBY license for the first time, including the Wallabies, the official Australian team, and the New Zealand All Blacks, famous both for their competitive record and for the aura that accompanies them! The latter, in addition to the French team, have been selected by the studio for a first step towards photogrammetry technology, allowing the players' faces to be represented as faithfully as possible in the game.

A true simulation, Rugby 22 offers players all the elements that make up modern rugby: recognized official teams, tactical changes before and during the match, pod play options, post-contact passing and combinations. All rugby fans will find the fundamentals of the sport in the game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Prison Architect - Perfect Storm Released

Weather you're ready or not, Prison Architect - Perfect Storm is now available for Windows and macOS on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam. This adds new content to Prison Architect, the celebration of the aesthetics of penitentiaries (or something like that). The add-on comes along with an update for the base game (which is required). You can read all about that in this forum post which also has all the details on the new expansion. Here's a Release Trailer and here's a flood of details:
Calamities can strike at any moment, lowering happiness and increasing unrest among the inmates. Wardens can train staff, apply for grants, and fortify their compound to control a calamity's impact on their prison. Players are incentivized to create a clean and safe environment for their inmates through calamity preparation, rewarding Wardens who keep their inmates comfortable. Wardens need to think creatively about solving problems, preventing disaster, and overcoming unexpected challenges.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Well, we're in the path of another potential bomb cyclone here in the northeastern US this weekend. The forecast calls for lots of snow and not a lot of degrees, so it sounds like trouble. The good news is that we had an electrician in yesterday who replaced one of our electric baseboard heaters. I mentioned that the BlueTower has been surprisingly cold, and this is a factor. It's much better now, so we'll just have to see how it stands up to the predicted arctic blast we're expecting. The bad news is that the battery on MrsBlue's car died again, and we're going to have to be able to move it over the weekend when the time comes to plow out the parking lot. I'll have roadside assistance jump it today and hopefully letting it idle for a while will put enough of a charge into it that we can do our civic duty.

Charged-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link
Thanks Max.

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

Follow-up

The Funnies

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