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Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Embracer Reportedly Selling Saber and Gearbox

A report on Bloomberg (may require registration or subscription) says that embattled Embracer Group is selling off developer Saber Interactive to a private investment group in a deal estimated to be worth a half-billion dollars. This is an unconfirmed report, attributed to "a person familiar with the transaction." Word is Saber, comprising approximately 3,500 employees, will continue to work on the remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic after it escapes in its life-raft. On a related note, Kotaku revisits rumors that Embracer may sell Gearbox Software that first surfaced last September. It reports that Gearbox is closer than ever to being sold based on comments from two sources who attended an internal meeting where this was discussed. Along with some razzle-dazzle from Randy Pitchford to deflect direct questioning, here's the rumor:
Gearbox CEO and co-founder Randy Pitchford held a town hall with staff earlier this week in which he told employees that a decision had been made regarding the studio’s future, with more information to be shared next month, according to two sources familiar with the meeting. For months now Pitchford has told developers at Gearbox that there were three possible scenarios: stay with Embracer, sell to someone else, or finance a buyout and go back to being independently run. Kotaku understands that the decision was made to sell, and a deal is in the late stages of being finalized.

Embracer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Pitchford sent Kotaku the following statement:
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Toys for Bob Splits from Microsoft/Activision

We're Going Indie is the announcement from developer Toys for Bob that it is splitting from Activision to once again become an independent game studio. The studio became the property of Microsoft after the completion of Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and now is returning to "being a small and nimble studio." The plot twist is the possibility of partnering with Microsoft for its next game. Here's word:
With the same enthusiasm and passion, we believe that now is the time to take the studio and our future games to the next level. This opportunity allows us to return to our roots of being a small and nimble studio.

To make this news even more exciting, we’re exploring a possible partnership between our new studio and Microsoft. And while we’re in the early days of developing our next new game and a ways away from making any announcements, our team is excited to develop new stories, new characters, and new gameplay experiences.

Our friends at Activision and Microsoft have been extremely supportive of our new direction and we’re confident that we will continue to work closely together as part of our future.
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Deceive Inc. Free Weekend

Honest! A free weekend is underway on Steam for Deceive Inc., a multiplayer espionage/extraction game from Tripwire Interactive. If you decide you want to keep living the lie after that, the game is on sale for 60% off. Here's the completely truthful description:
Welcome to DECEIVE INC. , a private corporation with complete monopoly over the international espionage market. You can disguise yourself as anyone you meet in an instant, have access to state-of-the-art gadgets the rest of the world can only dream of and possess skills that would make Hollywood super spies jealous.

But you are not alone. Rival spies are after the same objective and every single one of them is as skilled, cunning and well-equipped as you are.

Blend in, grab the objective and break out. In the end, only one spy can complete the mission and get the paycheck. Company policy.

Champion Shift Early Access

Early Access to Champion Shift is now underway on Steam, promising a "bullet heaven" action roguelike for Windows from SRG Studios. The twist here is the ability to transform shift between vehicle and human form for more chaos than Michael Bay can shake a stick at. You can see this in the Official Launch Trailer. Here's word:
Fight. Shift. Survive. Champion Shift is a unique action roguelike where our Champions fight endless hordes of enemies and traverse branching stages with the ultimate goal of defeating the Dominion and those who control it. In every run you will uncover endless combinations of abilities and skills, recapturing your mythical powers and earning your status as Champion.

Challenge yourself to a solo run, or join your friends in online co-op play! Up to 4 players can band together, leveraging each other’s strength and powers to go on a massively powered run.
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Reclaim The Sea Demo

Avast thar! A playable demo is now available on Steam for Reclaim The Sea, a roguelike strategy game featuring sailing ship naval combat, naturally following a pirate theme. The demo is a first chance to get your feet wet while 1 Last Game Studio works towards the game's release this year. Here's a demo trailer with a look, along with scurvy details:
The demo for Reclaim the Sea allows players to discover and enjoy the first few levels of the game with a detailed look at the different mechanics offered like the battle system, the ships, and the procedurally generated maps.

Reclaim the Sea encourages players to manage their resources tightly while trading with the game’s merchants using their gold in order to improve their own boats and crews, ensuring that they are prepared for any and all future encounters ahead. Speaking of encounters, players will meet many different factions and make important decisions that will have an impact on every part of their adventure.
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Get Aerial_Knight's Never Yield for Free; Sequel Announced

The Epic Games Store now features Aerial_Knight's Never Yield completely free as this week's promotional giveaway. This stylized endless runner for Windows is yours to keep if you snag it before the next freebie arrives. That will be Astro Duel 2, and it will land next Thursday at 11:00 am EST. Today's gratis game comes alongside the announcement of its sequel, Aerial_Knight's We Never Yield. This will bring more running and more parkour this summer, as seen in its listings on the Epic Games Store and Steam. Here's the Announcement Trailer for the sequel, and here's word:
Aerial Knight's We Never Yield is an electrifying, adrenaline-pumping game that thrusts players into heart-stopping action in both single-player and two-player cooperative modes. As players take control of heroic brothers, they must navigate treacherous obstacles and face off against enemies in a fallen kingdom filled with a variety of pulse-pounding challenges. In single-player mode, players can even control both characters simultaneously for an extra thrill! All of this is set to a backdrop of heart-racing beats that guide the brothers through the game's deadly and daunting environments, creating an immersive and exhilarating experience.
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Paranormal Activity: Found Footage Announced

DreadXP and Paramount Game Studios announce Paranormal Activity: Found Footage, an upcoming rush to cash in on Paranormal Activity, the 2007 horror film. This is in the works at DarkStone Digital (The Mortuary Assistant) for release in 2026. The Reveal Teaser is here, but there's no found footage to be found, just some logos, static, and background noise. Although it's not that unusual for there to be clues, or even an entire ARG, hidden in this kind of clip for this kind of game, so there may yet be more to the video. Here's more on the game:
DreadXP’s Paranormal Activity video game will bring the franchise's groundbreaking found-footage style to horror enthusiasts in surprising new ways, immersing them in a story that expands upon the lore and world of the films. DreadXP co-director and creative director Brian Clarke (AKA DarkStone Digital), the developer of the acclaimed The Mortuary Assistant, leads the development of Paranormal Activity. The game will feature an advanced “Haunt System,” which will dynamically alter the types and intensity of scares players will encounter based on their actions.
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Tamarak Trail Released

Tamarak Trail has hit the trail, as this deckbuilding roguelike is now available for Windows on* and Steam as well as for consoles. This is the chance to roll your own, as in addition to cards it features customizable dice to decide the outcomes of your encounters. The Launch Trailer takes a narrated look at gameplay, which you can experience firsthand thanks to the playable demo. Here's more:
In Tamarak Trail there are a multitude of modifiers in place to create your own combat dice. Status effects enhance your abilities, and bounce modifiers allow you to knock your dice together to amplify your powers. Be forewarned though, that bounces will also increase your resolve cost, so use them wisely. Dice can be further modified with flips, allowing you to spin a die in a specific direction to create combos. You can even customize your dice in the Dice Forge to craft your own “infinite combo”! That’s not all, as dice can be modified with Dice Cores, which add passive buffs like added defense. Find a play style that suits you!
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A Void Hope Released

One can no longer hope to avoid hope, as A Void Hope is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam. This is a throwback narrative adventure/platformer that is shown off in the previous Release Date Trailer. There's also a playable demo to experience firsthand. Here's the deal:
A Void Hope is a short and immersive experience best enjoyed in a single sitting on a rainy, dark night. The game follows a couple trying to find a cure for an unknown affliction that seems to affect people’s memories, forcing them to venture into dark and dangerous streets and explore abandoned buildings in a collapsing city filled with delightfully detailed degradation rendered in Elden Pixels’ gorgeous retro-inspired pixel art style.

A Void Hope’s compelling mystery and carefully-crafted ambience is supported by puzzle platforming mechanics that require you to solve puzzles and find items as you traverse the city. There are dangerous threats wandering the streets too, but your goal is to avoid conflict in this narrative-focused adventure where unwinding the threads of the unknown by exploring the secrets of the city’s physical space, along with the psychological space of your struggling protagonists, will be your primary focus.
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Wizdom Academy Announced

Swiss developer Kipwak Studio announces Wizdom Academy, which will task players with building a city as well as running a magic school, as Hogwarts may just be the new Vikings as the gaming inspiration of the moment. This will come to Windows and macOS via Steam, where it's listed as "coming soon." The Teaser Trailer is here to introduce things with a Scorsese-inspired tracking shot and a first look at the game. Here's more:
Today, independent Swiss developer Kipwak Studio is excited to share a new trailer for its magical management game, Wizdom Academy! In this wizarding city builder, you’ll build your school, recruit staff and students, and do everything in your power to satisfy the school board while attempting to uncover the mystery of the recent mana droughts.
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On Sale

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Virtual Reality Check

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Happy Leap Day, the quadrennial celebration of the quirks of the Gregorian Calendar. The easy way to remember if it's a leap year in the US is that it's always the year of the presidential election. Coincidentally, that's the one year out of every four most of us would prefer be shorter, rather than longer. And happy birthday to those born on February 29th, as I imagine that turns out to be pretty cool and weird.

Leaping Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link


Thanks Max.



Creature Features


The Funnies

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