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Tuesday, Mar 08, 2022 International Women's Day

Steam 2021 Year in Review

The Steam 2021 Year in Review takes a look back at last year from the perspective of Valve's online service. Be prepared to have your mind blown by the huge numbers Steam generated over the year, including a peak of 27.4 million concurrent players and 32.9 exabytes of data delivered. The introduction outlines the goals of this exercise:
At the end of every year, our team sets aside time to review and assess the past twelve months and recalibrate our priorities for the future.

This annual exercise gives us an opportunity to explain exactly what we spent our time on and why. It also lets us lay out a bunch of data and decisions in front of the broader PC industry, which we believe generate a useful feedback loop of questions, suggestions, and requests from game developers and publishers. Encouraged by those results, we’ve kept up the practice each year-- and now we have this 2021 Year In Review ready to share with you.

Jurassic World Evolution 2 Camp Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack Released

The Camp Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack is now available for Jurassic World Evolution 2, adding new species to the movie-inspired theme park game. This is available for PC and consoles, with the Windows edition on the Epic Games Store and Steam, depending on where you own the base game. Here's a Launch Trailer and here's more:
Players can now welcome two entirely new dinosaurs, two fascinating variants for existing species, and eight stunning skins, inspired by the popular Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, to their parks. Alongside the fearsome Scorpios rex and razor-toothed Monolophosaurus, two peaceful herbivore variants, the Ouranosaurus and Kentrosaurus, are sure to draw in the crowds.

In addition to these fascinating new prehistoric species, players can bring Bumpy the Ankylosaurus, Toro the Carnotaurus, Big Eatie the Tyrannosaurus rex, plus Baryonyx trio Grim, Limbo and Chaos, to life with eight new skins. Park guests will also marvel at two mesmerising glow-in-the-dark skins inspired by the Parasaurolophus Lux.
Continue here to read the full story.

Blizzard on Diversity Improvements

Blizzard News introduces Makaiya Brown, the company's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), and Development Lead since September 2021. Blizzard has famously fallen short in these areas, so she has her work cut out for her. Here's a bit on how things are progressing:
Progress is also taking place at multiple levels organically—you have seen many Blizzard development teams making great strides in representation, accessibility, and player behavior recently. And this year to date, 31.5% of our new hires self-identify as women–that’s just the beginning. We are grateful for the efforts of individuals and teams who have immediately embraced our goal of increasing diversity within Blizzard, and we are committed to a continuous focus on improvement in this area.

As a leader in DE&I, seeing this kind of action from individuals en masse in their areas of influence is incredibly moving. It is the kind of work that adds up to real change. Our work at Blizzard is not a matter of putting in a bunch of corporate training programs and calling it a day–this is a large-scale effort at the business, team, and individual levels, that will continue to be iterated upon and evolved to level up the core of who Blizzard is.

Lost Ark Passes 20M Players

Amazon Games announces that Lost Ark has surpassed 20 million players worldwide (give or take a million bots). All this success has come quickly, as it's still less than a month since the official launch of the MMORPG. Here's word:
Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG recently announced that Lost Ark, the free-to-play massively multiplayer online action role-playing game, has exceeded 20 million global users. In the first three days after launching in the West, more than 4.7 million new users joined the player community, and currently more than 10 million of Lost Ark’s come from North America, Europe, South America, and Australia.

“Overall, the excitement surrounding Lost Ark from around the world is quickly gaining steam, as evidenced by the growing number of global players,” said Christoph Hartmann, VP, Amazon Games. “Together with Smilegate, we are committed to supporting the growing community with a robust roadmap of updates in the years to come.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Core Keeper Early Access

Early Access to Core Keeper is now underway on Steam, allowing players a first crack at this sandbox mining adventure for Windows and macOS. The game includes support for up to eight player co-op, something that's shown off in the Early Access Launch Trailer. The game carries a 10% launch discount, and word is those who played the Steam Next Fest demo can continue their progress:
Following a successful showing at Steam Next Fest last month, which saw over 130,000 players downloading and playing the Core Keeper demo, the Early Access release introduces major new features, including fishing, railroads, automation, electricity, new enemies, items, weapons, a new nature biome, three new bosses and more.

Players who downloaded and played the Steam Next Fest demo can also continue their adventure seamlessly when they purchase the Early Access version, carrying over their world, character, items and progress directly into today’s release, while new players can experience it all for the very first time.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dolmen in May

Prime Matter and Massive Work Studio announce that Dolmen will be released on PC and consoles on May 20th, offering an action/RPG in a "cosmic horror" sci-fi setting. This is shown off in the new Release Date Reveal Trailer. Here's more on what to expect:
Set in a sci-fi universe where humanity has colonized several star systems using space travel, technology, and genetic manipulation to adapt to the conditions, Dolmen has players battling across a distant planet - Revion Prime - trying to unravel a mystery of alien species, corrupt corporations, and unknown dimensions.

Behind everything appears to be an alien species called Vahani that roams the universe altering the genetic makeup of other species. However, it remains to be seen if their motives are noble or more malevolent. It’s suspected that a crystal called Dolmen is the key to their work, and planet Revion Prime has an abundance of it that you’ll need to collect in order to unravel a web of secrets.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure Announced

Snowcastle Games announced Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure, a new spinoff of the EARTHLOCK series. This is in the works for PC and consoles, and the Steam Listing says the game is "coming soon." The Announcement Trailer "showcases a beautiful island setting where players will find adventure, mystery and fun." Here's the quick pitch:
Taking inspiration from titles like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure offers a unique take on the genre, adding to compelling resource gathering and crafting systems with perilous pirate camps, the ability to enlist the unique talents of the island’s wildlife to help you out and many more exciting additions to be announced as Snowcastle lays out the roadmap for Ikonei Island’s early access journey.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Happy International Women's Day. Some of my best friends are women, a few of them international, so I'm on board. Here's the message on the International Women's Day Website: "International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality."

Obituary: Laurel Goodwin Dead: Elvis Presley Co-Star, Actor In ‘Star Trek’ Pilot, Was 79.

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