Archived News:

Thursday, Apr 21, 2022

OUTRIDERS WORLDSLAYER Announced

SQUARE ENIX announces OUTRIDERS WORLDSLAYER, an upcoming action/RPG expansion (no, we don't know what random impulses are behind the company's inconsistent use of all caps). Word is this will arrive on PC and consoles on June 30th. There's an extensive preview of the game on Xbox Wire (using normal upper/lowercase) written by Community Lead Toby Palm. Here's a Reveal Broadcast Trailer and here are details on what is being called a "massive upgrade" for the original game:
OUTRIDERS WORLDSLAYER is a brutal 1-3 player co-op looter shooter set in an original, dark sci-fi universe, where you create will your own Outrider from one of four powerful classes. Begin with the original OUTRIDERS campaign or use the all-new Level 30 Boost to jump straight into the WORLDSLAYER content with a fully geared up Outrider and journey across the diverse and deadly planet of Enoch.

Face off against the most deadly Altered ever encountered, Ereshkigal, in humanity’s last fight for survival. Beyond her, even greater horrors exist in the ultimate endgame experience, taking place in the ancient ruins of Tarya Gratar.
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Tales from the Borderlands to Return

Gearbox tweets about plans to revive Tales from the Borderlands, the episodic Borderlands game originally developed by Telltale Games. Details are scant right now, as they tease plans for an actual announcement this summer:
There are more stories to explore in the #Borderlands universe. An all new Tales from the Borderlands adventure is coming in 2022 from @GearboxOfficial and @2K.

Stay tuned for a full announcement this summer!

F1 2022 Announced

EA officially announces F1 2022, the next installment in the Formula 1 racing series. This will launch on July 1st for PC on Origin, the Epic Games Store, and Steam as well as for consoles. There's also an edition to preorder that includes three days of Early Access. Besides an updated season and drivers, the new version will introduce virtual reality support to the series for the first time. Here's the Announce Trailer with a look. Here's more:
In the sport's biggest shake-up in over a decade, enter the future with new hybrid cars, overhauled rules, and a reimagined race weekend. Race the Miami International Autodrome, experience a redefined race day with Immersive and Broadcast options, the introduction of Sprint races, VR for PC players, and the glamourous world of Formula 1® with F1® Life.
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Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Coiled Captors Released

The Coiled Captors DLC is now available as promised for Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, the D&D-inspired Borderlands game. The Windows edition is available on the Epic Games Store, and it is also included in the game's Season Pass and a couple of special editions. The Coiled Captors Launch Trailer is ready to strike with a look. Here's word:
Steel yourself as you travel through Vesper's first Mirror of Mystery to bring a merciful end to an ancient god! Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: Coiled Captors is now available, so get ready for this first chapter of post-launch content!

Eons ago, the Coiled naga got the biggest catch of all: an old god! They trapped the being within the sharp-toothed, leathery-skinned body of a mighty seawarg, caging it deep within an icy mountain. Only you have the power to free the humiliatingly named "Chums" from his fleshy prison—but doing so means wading through wintery wastelands, arid ruins, and flooding caverns full of enemies.
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Path of Exile Sentinel Livestream Plans

Grinding Gear Games announces Sentinel is the official name of the next expansion for Path of Exile that's expected on May 13th. This add-on for the free-to-play action/RPG previously was known as version 3.18, which has considerably less pizzazz. A new teaser trailer that reveals the name also announces a livestream on May 5th at 4:00 pm EDT on Twitch to discuss details about Sentinel. Here's word:
In the livestream, you'll learn all about the Sentinels and other content of the expansion. It's followed by a live Q&A between ZiggyD and Chris Wilson.

You can catch everything you need to know at twitch.tv/pathofexile. Twitch Drops will be enabled for the livestream so make sure to encourage your favourite streamers to watch along with us! We'll announce the Twitch Drops reward next week.
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Stellaris Overlord Next Month

Paradox Interactive lords a release date over us for Stellaris Overlord. Word is the sixth expansion will arrive for the space empire management game on May 12th. At the same time a new patch will launch to update the base game to version 3.4. These releases come just in time to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the game's original launch in May 2016. Here's a Release Date Announcement Trailer and here's more on the patch and the add-on:
Overlord brings a host of new features to Stellaris centered around empire management and intergalactic ambition. From specialized vassals to powerful new megastructures, Overlord will offer fans multiple and exciting ways to control their galactic empires. Overlord will be available for a suggested retail price of $19.99/£15.49/€19.99.

Launching simultaneously with the expansion is the free 3.4 “Cepheus” update for Stellaris, which will add new content and adjustments created by the Stellaris Custodian Team for all players. Both will be released just in time for the community to celebrate the sixth anniversary of Stellaris, which originally launched in May 2016.
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Eyes in the Dark: The Curious Case of One Victoria Bloom Announced

Gearbox Publishing and developer Under the Stairs announce Eyes in the Dark: The Curious Case of One Victoria Bloom, a roguelight platformer coming to Steam and the Epic Games Store on July 14th. The Announce Trailer gives a taste of some stylish monochrome graphics and dynamic music. If this inspires you to head to the official website and preorder you'll get the soundtrack as a bonus. Here's a bit:
Use your flashlight and slingshot to clear the monsters overrunning Bloom Manor and save Victoria’s beloved Grandad, Victor.

Uncover new items that power up your fight and change the way you play, including new gadgets, weapon modules, and upgrades to grow your arsenal for future runs.
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Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Season 3 Next Week

The Activision Blog has details on Classified Arms, Season 3 for Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone, which will get underway on April 27th. This will include access to new powerful weapons, while paving the way for the introduction of Godzilla and King Kong during Operation Monarch. Here's the Operation Monarch Official Teaser and here's an overview:
A top-secret armory is open for all Operators during Classified Arms, the third season of Call of Duty: Warzone and Vanguard launching on April 27. And they will need all the power they can get their hands on to combat Godzilla and Kong, laying siege to Caldera later in the season with the limited-time event, Operation Monarch.

This new season of content will be available following updates to both games: one for Vanguard on April 26 at 9 AM PT, and one for Warzone on April 27 at 9 AM PT.
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Kao the Kangaroo Next Month

Tate Multimedia announces that Kao the Kangaroo will hop onto Steam and consoles on May 27th. A new Release Date Trailer takes the gloves off, puts them back on, and then uses them to punch everything in sight. Here's what to expect from the return of the pugilistic marsupial:
Kao - pronounced K-O - launched his first adventure on SEGA’s legendary Dreamcast back in the year 2000. Now, two decades on, Tate Multimedia has decided to give the platforming genre a bit of a kick and let Kao off the leash once more, releasing his biggest adventure yet.

Setting out to find his missing sister and solve the mystery of what happened to his long-lost father, players will join Kao as he picks up his magical boxing gloves and travels the world confronting famous fighting masters who are under the influence of disturbing, dark power, all while exploring a colourful and vibrant world alive with activity and visual flair.
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Terraformers Early Access

Terraformers is now available in Early Access on GOG.com* and Steam, with each store offering a 10% launch discount. The game requires you to get your ass to Mars and make it habitable for humanity, all without the aid of mysterious underground artifact machines (as far as we know at least). This trailer provides a look at the roguelike colony builder in action. Here's word:
Be one of the first curious adventurers to leave Earth and land on Mars. Explore the planet’s rich resource deposits and stunning natural wonders to transform the land into a habitable planet. Discover new resources to terraform the atmosphere, oceans, and oxygen levels to support a thriving community filled with composting facilities, laboratories, and entertainment centers led by a motivated figurehead.
*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item. Continue here to read the full story.

Gravitar: Recharged Announced

Revived publisher Atari announces Gravitar: Recharged is the next game being revived from its extensive back catalog. This is coming to PC, consoles, and Atari VCS, but it doesn't have a release date yet. Here's the Announcement Trailer along with the announcement, which calls the original a "hidden gem":
Gravitar: Recharged is a 21st-century reimagining of a hidden gem from 1982. The incredibly ambitious title took the “rotate, thrust, and fire” gameplay of Asteroids and Space Duel, combined them with the gravity mechanics of Lunar Lander, and added the intrigue of deep space exploration. The result was a notoriously challenging arcade game that captured the imagination of enthusiasts but failed to become a commercial success upon its release. Atari has teamed up with developers Sneakybox and Adamvision Studios to introduce the cult classic to a new generation of gamers.

Much like the original, Gravitar: Recharged is an ambitious project that takes the Recharged series in new directions. A shift from vector graphics to a more painterly style, with softer pastel hues, provides a backdrop for the deeper, more complex strategy-based gameplay. The visuals are complemented by award-winning composer Megan McDuffee’s atmospheric score that evokes a sense of wonder and perfectly balances moments of serenity and tension as you explore every new planet and solar system.
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Get Amnesia: Rebirth and Riverbond for Free

It's Thursday, so it's time to get your free game groove on at the Epic Games Store. This week we're looking at a pair of giveaways: Amnesia: Rebirth and Riverbond. Either or both will be permanently added to your game library as long as you stake your claim over the next seven days. After that they will be replaced by two new giveaways: Just Die Already and Paradigm. Here's word on this week's gratis games:
In Amnesia: Rebirth, you are Tasi Trianon, waking up deep in the desert of Algeria. Days have passed. Where have you been? What did you do? Where are the others? Retrace your journey, pull together the fragments of your shattered past; it is your only chance to survive the pitiless horror that threatens to devour you.

The Knight has imprisoned the leaders of the Eight Worlds, causing chaos, droughts and disarray! Adventure together to defeat evil and help the charming citizens of Riverbond in this action-packed journey through beautiful, hand-crafted worlds. Unlock a variety of weapons, equip new skins, and activate power-ups to hack and slash your way to glory!

ActiBlizz Lawsuit Dismissed; Meta Exec Accused of Interfering in Kotick Stories

Activision Blizzard announces new additions to its board of directors. In other company news, GamesIndustry.biz reports the class action suit filed against Activision Blizzard last year by investors has been dismissed. At issue was how the sexual harassment scandal that has embroiled the company wasn't revealed to investors. The U.S. district judge ruled that there was "a lack of particularity" in proving allegations that the defendants knew about the problem: "To the extent plaintiffs allege that defendants must have known sexual harassment and discrimination were endemic by virtue of their respective positions at the company," the judge wrote. "The [first amended complaint] does not establish the requisite facts to support such a conclusion." An interesting take on how the public could have been informed of alleged problems at Activision Blizzard comes in a report on WSJ.com (may require registration or subscription). This states that Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg is facing scrutiny over accusations that on two occasions she intervened to prevent the Daily Mail from publishing stories damaging to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. Sandberg and Kotick were reportedly in a romantic relationship at the time. Kotick denies saying that Sandberg used Facebook's considerable leverage to influence the coverage. The report also notes that sources at the Mail state they do not feel Sandberg was making any threats. The Verge has some quotes to rescue us from the WSJ's hard paywall:
The WSJ reports that, in 2016 and again in 2019, Sandberg contacted MailOnline, the online imprint of the U.K.’s Daily Mail tabloid, in an attempt to stop the outlet from reporting about a restraining order filed against Kotick by his ex-girlfriend. On both occasions, the story did not run. Now, Facebook is investigating the issue to see if Sandberg potentially violated company policy.

According to sources in the WSJ report, Kotick said that Sandberg threatened the Mail in 2016, stating that any article published about the restraining order could damage the publication’s relationship with Facebook. Kotick denied this, telling the Journal, “I never said anything like that.”
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In-Person PDXCON 2022 in September

Paradox Interactive announces PDXCON 2022 will be an in-person event, and it will be held in Stockholm on September 2-3. Tickets are now on sale on the PDXCON Website. Here's an Announcement Trailer along with an outline of the festivities:
This year’s PDXCON will include several exclusive experiences designed for Paradox fans, including hands-on gaming with Paradox developers, live musical performances of favorite Paradox soundtracks, a massive live-action “megagame” designed exclusively for PDXCON, and many more activities. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to be among the first players in the world of Victoria 3, with access to direct hands-on gameplay. A full list of convention activities can be found at the PDXCON website, along with ticket sales, at http://paradoxinteractive.com/pdxcon.
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Chernobylite DLC and Free Upgrade Released

Chernobylite is now available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. There is also now a free upgrade for the Windows edition to bring the enhancements made to the survival game for the latest consoles. The patch is available on the Epic Games Store and Steam, and the game is on sale for 25% off to celebrate the occasion. This page has all the details on what this changes, offering a new trailer with a look. Also, a new Blue Flames Pack is now available on Steam, offering cosmetics for anyone concerned with the aesthetics of the exclusion zone. Here's word:
Give your base a completely new, gloomy look with the Blue Flames content pack. Change the mood of your hideout with a wide range of skins and chill with your companions in blue, soothing light after a hard day in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. There's something extra too—discover the rest of the Blue Flames Pack’s features yourself.
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Teardown Released

Teardown us now officially available for Windows on Steam, following a very successful Early Access run. This heist game from Tuxedo Labs turns the Minecraft formula on its head, relishing in the ability to destroy structures in a voxel world, rather than creating them. Here's a new trailer showing off this extreme degree of interactivity. Here's a Teardown breakdown:
Teardown’s fully destructible and interactive environments allow players to destroy anything and everything that stands in their way, piece by piece. In the single player campaign mode, take on the role of the struggling owner of a demolition company, just looking to provide for his family. But good intentions soon lead to increasingly suspicious jobs from corrupt clients where the player needs to use strategy and creativity to succeed. Use various tools, vehicles, explosives, and more to finish the job. Each level has an unlimited number of solutions so sky’s the limit!
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Sword of the Necromancer: Revenant Announced

New life is coming to Sword of the Necromancer, as Grimorio of Games announces Sword of the Necromancer: Revenant. This action/RPG sequel is currently in development for PC and consoles. Word is this is aimed at both new and returning players: "The new game is being developed taking all the feedback from the original into account to create a refined and enjoyable Sword of the Necromancer experience, while keeping its trademark original mechanic and expanding upon it." The game doesn't yet have a release window, and more details are promised soon. In the meantime, the Grimorio of Games Website is where to sign-up for a newsletter to stay informed. Here's an overview:
Sword of the Necromancer: Revenant is a third-person 3D Action RPG with Dungeon Crawler sections. Revive your enemies once again and make them fight alongside you!

With a completely renewed battle and companion system, travel the continent, restore the Sacred City of Euda to its former glory and vanquish the ominous threat that looms over the world.

Gather the powers of the Revenants, forgotten heroes of old times and create a little army of dead to defeat the Necromancer once and for all.

SENTRY Announced

Fireblade Software unveils SENTRY, a first-person shooter/tower defense game coming to Early Access on Steam next year. The Announcement Trailer shows off a clean retro look, strategic gameplay options, and, of course, shooting. Here's more on what to expect:
The last remaining ships make their attempted escape. As a member of the SENTRY Defense Program, you have been woken from stasis to protect the precious human cargo as your vessel flees across space.

Your ship is under siege from a near-insurmountable alien foe. You must choose where to make a stand in a dynamic campaign with the enemy attacking in varying strengths across different ship subsystems. Will you decide to destroy a smaller force, preventing them from seizing a crucial subsystem? Or risk facing overwhelming odds thwarting a larger enemy thrust, blunting their main advance?
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Endzone - A World Apart: Distant Places Next Month

Publisher Assemble Entertainment and developer Gentlymad Studios announce a launch date for Distant Places, saying this DLC for Endzone - A World Apart will arrive in the survival/city-builder on May 17th. This will add new story missions, new buildings, and new food items. As the title suggest, it also adds some far-off locations, as well as new aerial travel to allow you to expand your horizons. Here's a travel brochure:
Distant Places takes place centuries after settlers managed to regain a foothold on the surface of Earth after having been in subterranean bunkers for over 150 years to escape a radioactive hellscape on the ground above. Featuring 12 narrative-driven expeditions, settlers of the “endzone” will fly to four unknown destinations—far beyond their usual borders—in search of other displaced survivors, new food items, and new building blueprints, perfect for expanding settlements into (primitive) metropolises.

World of Darkness Unbound

World of Darkness announces World of Darkness Unbound, a new initiative to support independent development of games based on Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. Perhaps jealous of Games Workshop's ability to flood the market with licensed games, this is a spinoff of the Vampire Jam, a game-jam that's already produced six new games that can be purchased on itch. Here's more:
All games launching under the Unbound label will have a streamlined launch process and may receive additional marketing support from World of Darkness. While Unbound titles are not canonically part of the World of Darkness, it allows developers to express their creative freedom using the brand’s storytelling engine. All Unbound games will be available exclusively on itch.io, a store platform that has a history of strong support for independent projects.

Way of the Hunter Announced

Publisher THQ Nordic and developer Nine Rocks Games announce Way of the Hunter, a return to the hunting game genre that dominated game sales back when places like Walmart used to sell PC games in these things called boxes. This will set you up in a hunting cabin in a quest for big bucks (and other game). The Announcement Trailer has a first look using in-game footage. Those feeling the thrill of the hunt can wishlist the game on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam. Read on for more:
Players will take on the role of a seasoned hunter who has just taken over his grandfather’s hunting cabin and the opportunity to proceed with the family tradition of selling high-quality game meat. A variety of biomes provide the player with a vast area of beautiful nature to explore. The hunter is challenged with observing animal tracks while carefully stalking and avoiding detection from the razor-sharp senses of his prey.
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Gearbox Finds Lost Boys

Gearbox Entertainment announces it is acquiring Lost Boys Interactive, an independent development studio with offices in Madison, WI and Austin, TX. Terms of the deal are not being revealed. The company's most recent project was co-developing Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Gearbox itself was recently acquired by Embracer, and Embracer tends to buy everything that isn't nailed down, so this tracks. Here's word on the deal and the studio's pedigree:
Founded in 2017 as a remote-first studio with offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Austin, Texas, Lost Boys is led by industry veterans Shaun Nivens, Mark Stefanowicz, Rod Runnheim, Chase Jones, and Tim Gerritsen. Since its founding, the studio has grown to more than 220 employees and has worked on marquee global franchises such as Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Call of Duty, and PlayerUnknown’s Battle Grounds.

Lost Boys currently is working through a period of rapid expansion, targeting 350 team members by 2024. Lost Boys will operate as a subsidiary to Gearbox, within the growing Embracer family, and will continue to operate independently under Gearbox Entertainment while working in tandem with Gearbox on full development projects. Shaun Nivens, the CEO of Lost Boys, will report to Steve Jones, president of Gearbox Software.

TERA Closing

Bluehole announces that MMORPG TERA is closing down at the end of June (thanks GamesIndustry.biz). The TERA Shutdown FAQ covers all the details, saying there is no migration plan, and that no reimbursements for previous purchases will be provided. Those with long-term TERA Club memberships will receive prorated refunds. Here's the news:
Unfortunately, we come bearing bad news: TERA’s developers, Bluehole, have decided to cease work on TERA. After much consideration, the team in South Korea have come to the conclusion that they are no longer able to offer you the exciting and satisfying content you deserve. As the last remaining publisher of TERA, it is with a heavy heart that we must respect Bluehole’s decision, and will also have to shut down the game. The TERA servers will be switched off at 10 AM CEST (4 AM EDT) on 30th June 2022. Until then, we’ll be running some permanent events, in the hope that you’ll at least be able to enjoy these final months in Arborea.

Out of the Blue

PAX East gets underway today and will run through the weekend. It looks like a lot of indie developers have placed eggs in this basket, as there are a lot of announcements today. I'm on record as saying it is probably not in anyone's best interests to overwhelm the news cycle like this, but nobody asked me, and nobody seems to be listening. Good luck to all of us sorting through it all!

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