Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2023 Yarr! Talk Like a Pirate Day

Microsoft on Leaks

Phil Spencer Xs about the leak of Microsoft's internal plans. The leaked mails were from 2020, and Phil says the information is out-of-date: "We've seen the conversation around old emails and documents. It is hard to see our team's work shared in this way because so much has changed and there's so much to be excited about right now, and in the future. We will share the real plans when we are ready." And to compound his disappointment about leaks, The Verge has an internal Microsoft memo on the topic that's more expansive:
Today, several documents submitted in the court proceedings related to our proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard were unintentionally disclosed. I know this is disappointing, even if many of the documents are well over a year old and our plans have evolved.

I also know we all take the confidentiality of our plans and our partners’ information very seriously. This leak obviously is not us living up to that expectation. We will learn from what happened and be better going forward. We all put incredible amounts of passion and energy into our work, and this is never how we want that hard work to be shared with the community. That said, there’s so much more to be excited about, and when we’re ready, we’ll share the real plans with our players.
Continue here to read the full story.

Beamdog Layoffs

Game Developer reports on layoffs at Beamdog, saying 26 members of the development team were let go today from the developer of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and Mythforce. This is the latest belt-tightening by Beamdog owner Embracer, which warned of closures and layoffs earlier this year following the collapse of an investment deal. Here's word:
Former Beamdog associate producer Misia Bloniarz noted that "on Friday, 26 people were laid off at Beamdog and I unfortunately am one of them." The news was corroborated by those affected including the studio's former QA manager Erin McIntyre and associate graphic artist Jill Hollet.

"Regrettably, as part of the Embracer Group's ongoing restructuring initiative, Beamdog made the difficult decision to release 26 employees, myself among them," wrote Hollet. "I am incredibly grateful to them for affording me the opportunity to embark upon my professional journey in the industry. It has been an honor to collaborate with such exceptional individuals during my time there."

Fortnite Refund Process Begins

The Federal Trade Commission announces details on how consumers can apply for refunds for unwanted purchases in Fortnite, Epic's battle royale shooter. This is the result of the decision last year to force refunds to customers potentially deceived by dark pattern abuse in the purchase process. Affected parties should receive a notice within the next month, and there are instructions on how to proceed if you believe you qualify but are not contacted. Claims must be filed by January 17, 2024. Here's word:
Were you or your kids one of the many millions of people charged in Fortnite for unwanted V-Bucks or in-game items (like gear, llamas, or battle passes)? Here’s how to know if you might be eligible to get a refund of some of the money you lost.

Starting today, and over the next month, the FTC will send emails to millions of Fortnite players who might be eligible to get some of their lost money back. The refunds come out of the FTC's settlement with Epic Games announced last year.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evil Dead: The Game Ends Development; Switch Version Cancelled

An X from Saber Interactive announces that the developer is no longer creating new content for Evil Dead: The Game. Word is plans for a Switch edition of the asymmetric survival/horror game are now dead as a Deadite, as well. But word is game servers will remain online for the foreseeable future:
Today, we have made the decision not to pursue the development of new content for Evil Dead: The Game. We also confirm that we will not be releasing a Nintendo Switch version of the game.

We will keep the servers up for the foreseeable future and address any major issues that arise.

On behalf of the entire team at thank you for all the groovy times and your continued support.

Overwatch 2 Anniversary Underway

Blizzard announces second anniversary celebrations for Overwatch 2, the free-to-play first-person shooter. Three weeks of festivities are planned, including returning events and the chance to pick up skins in a time-limited anniversary shop. The post concludes with a hint about the future:
Don’t delay—the Overwatch 2 Anniversary 2023 event is live now through October 9, and the Anniversary Shop will disappear on October 16.

Thank you for making the past year special! While there have been a lot of new experiences and seasonal events, we can’t wait to show you what’s to come. Be on the lookout for new experiences to the future, including an all-new crossover event starting in Season 7 and lots of exciting news coming this BlizzCon. The adventure is just beginning, and you are not going to want to miss it!

Assassin's Creed Mirage PC Specs and Features

With Assassin's Creed Mirage expected to launch on October 5th, Ubisoft offers details about the PC edition of the assassination sequel, along with system requirements. There's also a PC Features Trailer illustrating the news. Word is: "As you experience the journey of Basim to become a Hidden One and undertake elaborate investigations and assassinations, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in his world with an uncapped frame rate, even in 4K; simultaneously use a keyboard, mouse, and controller (or other inputs); and get a dazzling panoramic view with HDR as well as multi-monitor and widescreen support. You’ll also be able to leverage features like Intel’s AI-assisted XeSS Super Sampling, which upscales resolution while enabling hardware to pump out more frames per second; optimization for Intel Arc GPUs and 13th-generation CPUs; synchronize ambient lighting with the game’s action using MSI’s Mystic Light products; and even experience upper-body haptic feedback with the OWO Haptic Gaming System vest (which is also supported on consoles)." Here are four sets of system specifications:
PC Specifications (All require DirectX 12)
1080p, LOW PRESET, 30 FPS

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K (Intel Core i5-8400 for Intel Arc with ReBAR)/AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • GPU: Intel Arc A380 6GB/NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB
  • RAM: 8GB (dual-channel mode)
  • OS: Windows 10/11
  • SSD Storage: 40 GB

1080p, HIGH PRESET, 60 FPS

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K/AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • GPU: Intel Arc A750 8GB/NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB/AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB
  • RAM: 16GB (dual-channel mode)
  • OS: Windows 10/11
  • SSD Storage: 40 GB

Continue here to read the full story.

New Intel Graphics Drivers

New version Windows drivers are now available for Intel Iris and Arc graphics. Available on this page, the new drivers promise updated support for a half-dozen games:

Intel® Game On Driver support on Intel® Arc™ A-series Graphics for:

  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty*
  • Payday 3*
  • Lies of P*
  • Party Animals*

Game performance improvements versus Intel® software driver for:

  • Hitman Absolution* (DX11)
  • Up to 17% uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings
  • Bioshock Infinite* (DX11)
  • Up to 27% uplift at 1080p with Very High settings


BIT.TRIP RERUNNER is now available for Windows on Steam, offering the chance to return to this rhythmic running platformer with new art, a new soundtrack, and new game mechanics. The package also includes RUNNER MAKER, an editor for creating custom levels for the game. Here's a trailer with a look and here's more:
For the very first time, Choice Provisions is also including an official level editor with the game: RUNNER MAKER – which allows players to create and share ever more challenging custom levels with BIT.TRIP fans all over the world. RUNNER MAKER makes it dead easy to fine-tune obstacles and shape beat-driven gameplay to deliver countless, stunningly varied BIT.TRIP RERUNNER levels. In fact, almost every single level in the shipped game was built with RUNNER MAKER!

Whether players enjoy the pre-designed levels in BIT.TRIP RERUNNER or venture into user-generated content, the combination of rhythmic gameplay, retro-inspired visuals, and an infectious chiptune soundtrack result in a memorable, hard-to-put-down gaming experience. Developed with the help of Brazilian outfit Gamecraft Studios, BIT.TRIP RERUNNER skillfully tests players’ reflexes and rewards their creativity – including tasteful nods to BIT.TRIP greats.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Wes Anderson Talks About Roald Dahl’s ‘The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar’, Teases His Next Movie, And Claims: “I Don’t Have An Aesthetic.” Doesn't have an aesthetic? It seems what he doesn't have is a lot of self-awareness.

Microsoft Leak Shows Dishonored 3, Oblivion Remaster, and More

A mishap in the Federal Trade Commission's legal battle with Microsoft has revealed a trove of unredacted internal emails revealing all sorts of Microsoft's plans, both past and future. The FTC has denied it is responsible for the leak. Details revealed include plans for new Xbox hardware and previous discussions of possible acquisition targets, including Valve and Nintendo. The Verge has coverage of the leaks, digging into the specifics in several cases. In addition to plans for a new refreshed disc-less Xbox Series X|S, the mails also reveal a vision for a new Xbox in 2028 bringing "cloud hybrid games." For PC gamers, this article discusses the revelation of projects in the works at ZeniMax Media when Microsoft acquired the company in 2020. Here's word:
Before it was acquired by Microsoft, ZeniMax Media, the parent company of studios like Bethesda Game Studios and id Software, was working on remasters of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and a new entry in the Doom franchise, according to new documents revealed as part of FTC v. Microsoft. The games were included in a July 2020 Microsoft presentation about the then-potential ZeniMax acquisition.

Unannounced games in the presentation include:

  • The Oblivion remaster (originally set for fiscal year 2022)
  • Doom Year Zero and DLC (fiscal year 2023) and a second set of DLC (fiscal year 2024)
  • The Fallout 3 remaster (fiscal year 2024)
  • A sequel to Ghostwire: Tokyo (fiscal year 2024)
  • Dishonored 3 (fiscal year 2024)

Continue here to read the full story.

Lies of P Released

Lies of P is now available for PC and consoles, offering a soulslike action/RPG from NEOWIZ based on the story of Pinocchio. The version on Steam is for Windows only, as in an unusual twist, the macOS edition is sold separately on the Mac App Store. The Official Launch Trailer is here to show this is no children's fairy tale (not that those are any picnic). Here's some truth about this release:
Inspired by the familiar story of Pinocchio, Lies of P is an action Souls-like game set in the dark, Belle Époque-inspired city of Krat. Once a beautiful city, Krat has become a living nightmare as deadly puppets run amok and a plague sweeps the land. Play as P, a puppet who must fight his way through the city on his unrelenting journey to find Geppetto and finally become human. Lies of P presents an elegant world filled with tension, deep combat and character customization systems, and a gripping story with interesting narrative choices where the more lies told, the more human P becomes. Just remember: in a world filled with lies, no one can be trusted…
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NVIDIA Launches DLSS 3.5

NVIDIA announces the launch of DLSS 3.5, the latest version of its advanced rendering technology for RTX graphics cards. This article has the details, saying this will show up this (northern) autumn in Alan Wake 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Portal with RTX, Chaos Vantage, D5 Render, and NVIDIA Omniverse. DLSS 3.5 boasts a new AI model called Ray Reconstruction a that generates higher-quality pixels. It is also reportedly trained on far more data than its predecessor: "Trained with 5X more data than DLSS 3, DLSS 3.5 recognizes different ray-traced effects to make smarter decisions about using temporal and spatial data, and to retain high frequency information for superior-quality upscaling." This video has details on how this works, showing side-by-side comparisons of its impact on a variety of games. Here's more:
Creative platforms and applications have a wide variety of content that is difficult for traditional denoisers as they require hand-tuning per scene. As a result, when previewing content you get suboptimal image quality. With DLSS 3.5, the AI neural network is able to recognize a wide variety of scenes, producing high quality images during preview and before committing a long time for a final render.
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Jagged Alliance 3 Roadmap

This post on Steam lays out a roadmap for Jagged Alliance 3, revealing plans for the next four patches for the turn-based combat game. This shows improvements and changes planned for the coming months, culminating with the addition of quest and map modding tools. Here's word:
Jagged Alliance 3 dropped on PC like a bomb two months back, and is hitting consoles on November 16th, 2023. The battlefield's been packed with players, and developer Haemimont Games has been soaking the feedback like sponges.

Now, they're lockin' and loading with a truckload of fresh updates, including quality-of-life features for the combats. Also on the agenda is to introduce a fan-favorite from the old games: "Bobby Ray's Guns and Things" online store will offer its services in Grand Chien, soon. New options for modding and some new challenges await, we are sure these updates will make Jagged Alliance 3 shine brighter than a diamond from one of Grand Chien's mines.

TEKKEN 8 Closed Beta Next Month

Bandai Namco announces plans for closed beta testing of TEKKEN 8 next month on PC and consoles. Everyone has a few weeks to sign up on the TEKKEN Website, where registration closes on October 11th. Those who participated in the closed test in July are already signed up, but if you didn't get in you must register again. The test will run for the weekend of October 20th to pave the way for the game's launch in January. Here's a new trailer and more on the goals of testing:
The TEKKEN 8 CBT will let players test online head-to-head competitive play with cross-platform matching, raising the level of competition by letting them pair with others regardless of where they play. They will also be able to test the TEKKEN™ Fight Lounge, an immersive lobby where players can interact with one another and access new features and game modes. In the lounge, players can create custom Avatars, communicate with other players with chat and emotes, set up matchmaking, and experience the deep customization and variety of game modes via four distinct areas called Battle Area, Customization Shop, TEKKEN DOJO, and Beach Area. The lounge will also feature the return of Tekken Ball, the beloved mini game that first appeared in TEKKEN 3 where epic battles are “fought” on a beach volleyball court. The TEKKEN 8 CBT will let testers try out features in the Battle Area and Customization Shop. More features for the TEKKEN Fight Lounge will be announced soon.
Continue here to read the full story.

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