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Up, up, and away: Bungie’s Yee on embracing indies

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 06:53 GMT By Nathan Grayson

From Halo developer to indie publisher. What’s that all about? Nathan Grayson talks to Bungie’s Bernie Yee about Bungie Aerospace.

Bungie Aerospace

Halo developer Bungie acting as publish mobile and social games.

First revealed at the end of June.

The first title released under the scheme was the iOS title Crimson: Steam Pirates, in September. The first two chapters are free.

No further titles have been announced yet.

When you hear “Bungie,” what do you think of? Gaming’s favorite green-armored giant? The most potent pistol ever to prompt a kicking, screaming, cat-flinging rage quit? That plastic replica plasma rifle that no one can ever know you own?

Regardless, for most people, even “an elastic cord” springs to mind before “the next great bastion for interesting indies.” And yet, with its Aerospace program, Bungie has a very real chance of becoming an incredibly large fish in that ever-expanding pond. Already, the first fruit of its labors, the Jordan-Weisman-fronted Crimson: Steam Pirates, has taken iTunes by storm with a mix of excellent writing and, well, pirates – which have been known to take things by storm.

But Bungie can’t afford to rest on its laurels. Aerospace may have gotten it in on the indie scene’s ground floor, but staying there requires both an open mind and the ability to stick to your guns. For a developer that – in the past – has gained a reputation for simply sticking to guns, that’s a bit of a tough sell. After all, household name shooter to no-name indies? That’s a pretty big leap.

That in mind, I sat down with Bungie Aerospace portfolio producer Bernie Yee to discuss Aerospace’s driving philosophies, plans for the future, creativity’s place in both indie and big-budget gaming, game-specific social networks, and tons more.

VG247: When you’re picking out a game to highlight for Aerospace, what specific qualities – beyond, well, quality – do you look for?

Bernie Yee: I think there are a couple things we think about. One, we have a very loyal fan following. We want to bring games to them we think they’re gonna like. Bungie’s mantra is that we make games we want to play, and Aerospace is gonna publish games we want to play. We don’t all sit around and play sci-fi FPSes all day. There’s a variety of experiences we like.

“Something we really want our Aerospace games to have is a unique point-of-view.”

But I think something we really want our Aerospace games to have is a unique point-of-view that tries to do something differently and/or in a polished fashion. So when people see a Bungie game, I think they expect a requisite level of polish – a thinking behind what the last ten percent of the game is gonna be.

I could look at games that I think are really great now. Like, Bastion is great. Spy Party’s going to be great. And those are games that are driven by a very clear point-of-view. They’re not just trying to do, like, a physics sandbox. And they’re also really driven to refine the main mechanics so they’re polished. Bastion did it. Chris Hecker from Spy Party’s doing it.

Yeah, he’s really doing it. I’m not even sure I remember when that game was announced – possibly because I wasn’t born yet.

And I wish he’d just ship the game already! [Laughs.] But I think those are the kinds of teams we want to work with: people who really believe in the vision and will do what it takes to get it to the point where it becomes a game that everybody at Bungie really wants to play. So that’s our goal.

So how’d the collaboration on Crimson: Steam Pirates come about? Who approached who? And were the words “Pimps at Sea” ever thrown around?

What is Crimson: Steam Pirates?

We’re big Jordan Weisman fans, and the studio’s known Jordan for a while because he was head creative director at Microsoft Game Studios. I myself am a huge Battletech fan, and a lot of people at the studio are huge steampunk fans.

Jordan’s been interested in this space for a while. He put together a small team in Seattle. We wanted to do something with Aerospace quickly, and we knew – again – that Jordan has a unique point-of-view. The narrative, the tongue-in-cheek humor, the steampunk theme. And we decided to just do it, right? We thought it was a good game to play, and we thought it’d be a great collaboration for us.

What sort of influence does Bungie end up having over the direction of the indies it decides to bring aboard for Aerospace?

Well, those three games I mentioned [as examples of excellent indies] – Braid, Bastion, and Spy Party – were all done by very small groups. But they all had a high-degree of triple-A experience. They know what it’s like to ship a game under high pressure and scrutiny. They know that the first draft is never good enough.

So one of the things I think we’re gonna bring – even to teams that have never done this before – [is triple-A experience]. I recently looked at a project I thought was very interesting, but some of the team had never done a game before. So what we’d like to bring is that experience – the audio, the visuals, the art design, game design, writing, technology, backend innovation. All the things that our team has experience in, we’d like to bring to an Aerospace external partner and help them polish and finish their game that last ten percent.

Look at Plants vs Zombies, right? It’s super polished. PopCap is so good that there are plenty of little companies that try to copy their games, and they still can’t do it. The reason is that polish. You don’t get it just from looking and copying it. You play it, you think about it, and you refine it. That’s the polish we want to bring – in addition to funding, of course, which is its own way of giving them more room to polish.

Do you ever dive in the trenches and take the wheel on the development process, though? Like, “This mechanic could be boring/frustrating/a-handful-of-live-scorpions to your target audience – here’s how you should change it”?

One of the things Bungie has that’s really unique is our user research group. Our test group isn’t just the QA teams that most people have. They’re test engineers. They go and really work on a build; they look at requirements. They’re engineers by trade, so we help with things like stability and application efficiency. Things like that.

“One of our mottos is ‘We treat developers the way we want to be treated.’”

And user research spends a lot of time putting games through usability testing. Like, “Is the UI right? Are people confused?” And that’s something we do less on a day-to-day basis, but on a milestone basis. So we’ll define a milestone and say, “We want missions two and three stable and ready to play.” And when we have that build, we put it through the test and usability research cycles.

We definitely don’t want to be [too heavy handed]. One of our mottos is “We treat developers the way we want to be treated.” So we’d like to give them room to really work without us there every day. At the right milestones, we’ll look at it and build it into the schedule. One of the things we bring is production discipline. We want to give you feedback, and then you can go fix it.

What’s next for Bungie Aerospace? Larger-scale games? Mountains of smaller games? A real spaceship?

So we’re looking at a couple projects. The next project that’s likely to see the light of day is a small passion project from a few developers. It’s a very casual, highly visually stylized game experience. And it’s really designed to show the scope of projects we can do. So we were looking at something a small team of three people did part time. It’s not designed to be some big monetization ploy. It’s just the sort of game we’d love to whip out on our iPhones and play a bit.

The project after that may be a more ambitious project. And ultimately, we’d like to do even more ambitious things. Maybe not Infinity Blade-sized, but certainly [in the range] of the sort of production values and design. And when we see production values, we don’t mean visual presentation – but of that scale. So we’ll look at everything from very small projects to big projects.

“Ultimately, we’d like to do even more ambitious things.”

We do think that one of the things we’re most interested in is not just standalone projects. We want games to be repeat-played. We want to create communities out of our games. Halo has a great community around it, and that’s one of the things we want to bring. I’d like it to be a social experience – a social game, if you will.

Are you sticking with iOS games only right now?

Not necessarily. I think we’re really happy with the hardware capabilities of the iOS platform – although I heard their iOS 5 update today was a disaster.

But we’re not gonna stick with iOS only. You’ll see us on the PC. You’ll see us on other handheld devices. We obviously like Android quite a bit. We have a lot of people in the office with Android phones. Certainly different means of digital distribution are really interesting to us. I wouldn’t even rule out XBLA or PSN.

Do you think larger developers and publishers are unfairly ignoring the indie scene? Like, Bungie Aerospace is a fairly unique entity. But is that a good thing – especially as far as the industry as a whole is concerned?

I think Bungie is an unusual company in that we were an independent studio. We had developer-publisher relationships. We got bought by Microsoft, created some great games, and then we spun back out again. That gives us perspective. We really value our freedom now. We really took on what it meant to be an independent developer again. And in that way, we really are interested in what other teams are doing. The three [indies I cited earlier] were part of some pretty big teams before going indie. So our peers are going into that space.

“We got bought by Microsoft, created some great games, and then we spun back out again. That gives us perspective. We really value our freedom now.”

And we look at the hardware platforms, and they’re becoming more powerful and relevant. So I can’t speak for other studios, but for us, the values Bungie brings to game development are applicable to iOS. So remember five years ago when it was the original iPhone. The mobile scene was very different. The palette was so limited. What would our guys do to a mobile game dev back then? We’d have nothing to contribute.

But now the things we have are really useful. I was talking to a developer, and they’re looking at Facebook games. One of his concerns was “What happens when – through Flash or some other technological adoption – 3D [graphics] become relevant in social games?” I mean, Zynga already spends billions of dollars and dozens of people. They’re worried about that transition. That’s a time when we can really help developers manage that.

So I think it’s a space no one should really ignore.

What about the big-budget space? Do you think the amount of space for this kind of Wild West experimental spirit is dwindling?

Well, that’s an old discussion, right?

But it’s one that’s become more relevant lately. It used to be a big doomsday scenario talking point. Now, though, the stakes are higher than ever, and everyone’s feeling it. Even games like Homefront – which still managed to keep afloat in a retail sea of same-y competitors – don’t exactly live happily ever after. I mean, look at Kaos.

I think, certainly, the return on investment becomes a big issue when these games cost nearly $100 million or more. I don’t know what Homefront’s budget was, but I’m guessing it was $60-$70 million, easily. So there’s a lot of pressure there.

But I also think there’s a lot of pressure to innovate. You want to do something different. What are you going to do to stand out against Modern Warfare? Battlefield 3? The next Metal Gear Solid? Those are all big titles. And I think those games themselves also have a lot of pressure to innovate. The consumer only has $60 to spend on a bunch of titles. What are they going to choose? If your game is a rehash of the old game, they’re not going to be happy.

“All we have at Bungie is our reputation.”

All we have at Bungie is our reputation. We have to be creative. We’ve got to make smart choices. We’ve got to be smart where we innovate. I think that the high cost can in some sense strain innovation. But a game that doesn’t innovate is also a hard sell. So I can understand the popular argument that we worry about innovation [and money], and Homefront is a victim of that.

More interesting, I think, was THQ’s Company of Heroes, which was a spectacular game that didn’t get enough traction. But then, as those opportunities dry up, League of Legends and DoTA pop up, right? So that whole genre has pivoted. Maybe big-budget crowded out innovation in the RTS space, but it popped up somewhere else.

I knew a bunch of the Kaos guys, and I was really sad to see that studio shut down. But I think that – as there’s pressure somewhere else – what did Princess Leia say? “The more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers.” You tighten the grip there, and interesting stuff happens here. And DoTA and LoL are really innovative.

How does IP ownership work with Aerospace? After you’ve helped a game get off the ground, do you keep the license?

It depends. It’s a pretty rational process. If we fund everything, we keep more. If we take on all the risk, we keep more. But if the team has come with a prototype or gotten to alpha, then we discuss it. You know, maybe we have sequel rights. Maybe we get license to the code. Maybe we keep the code and license it back to them. We want to do a rational deal.

“We’re not here to own everything. I think that goes back to our idea of treating developers the way we want to be treated.”

We’re not here to own everything. I think that goes back to our idea of treating developers the way we want to be treated. You know, the people on these games are developers, and Bungie does have a publisher in Activision. We know what it’s like. Our studio’s philosophy is also to be very transparent, and we expect that with our developers.

When you’re a developer and you show something that’s not finished, you always worry that the publisher doesn’t understand “Oh, this thing isn’t final” or “That thing’s not final.” Since we’re in that position of understanding that core development process, I’d like to think we’re gonna be able to see what the core game values are about before presentation.

You’ve got this community that would probably take a bullet for every individual blade of grass you’ve walked on, and platforms like Origin, Call of Duty Elite, Battlelog, and Battle.net are all the rage right now. Is that your grand world domination plot for Aerospace? To expand into a unique social platform that flows through each of your games?

That’s a good question. I think Bungie.net already is that. We have lots of community, lots of users, lots of data. That’s the beginnings of what you’d consider a social network for players. Obviously, we are going to use existing systems. If we’re publishing on XBLA, we’re gonna use Xbox Live. If we’re on Facebook, we’re gonna use Facebook logins. You’ll see us integrating those features and more.

“I don’t want devs to think ‘We can only pitch them a Halo-quality game!’ That would be a boring world to live in.”

But Bungie.net is already that platform for us. We’re gonna start that and expand on that. It’s not going to be just a stats and leaderboard service. We have a lot of ideas of how to make it into a social network. And I think it’s really important that Bungie fans and players are able to find each other and play with each other – bring their friends into it.

And again, I don’t want devs to think “We can only pitch them a Halo-quality game!” That would be a boring world to live in. But I think all our games should work together and communicate with each other. An achievement in Crimson should unlock an achievement in another game or content. You want to create that community and give rewards to people. I think Steam does a good job of that. Even with all the titles they publish, they seed extra content into the ones their interested in. I think that’s great.

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    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]