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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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    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]

  • Free Dragon Age short stories fill us in on Corypheus’s followers

    Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare invites you to learn more about the lore and characters that make up its beautiful role-playing setting. Dragon Age is set in Thedas, a world still only partially revealed by the three core games to date. BioWare puts a heck of a lot of work into its worldbuilding, employing a […]

  • Remember that gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo? It now utilizes DirectX 12

    Remember the gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo Square Enix showed off three years ago? The firm showed it again at Microsoft’s Build Conference, this time utilizing DirectX 12. The Witch Chapter 0 [cry] real-time tech demo was created from research Square conducted using real-time CG technology and DX12 in collaboration with Microsoft and Nvidia. The […]

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones sneaks onto GOG and Steam services

    Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones can now be purchased through GOG and Steam. On both services it will run you £12.99/€14.99/$14.99. Links here and here. The game features: Fully explorable ‘Metroidvania’ style overworld, laying siege to a diabolical cloning facility with varied and detailed environments. A variety of special equipment to unlock new […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]

  • Kickstarter for Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee launches tomorrow

    Playtonic Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for its spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee, will launch tomorrow. The title of the game was announced today along with the Kickstarter date. Formerly known as Project Ukulele, the 3D platformer is said to be “between the size of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie,” and stars Yooka […]

  • Console version of Mistwalker’s Terra Battle is in development

    Now that Mistwalker’s Terra Battle has surpassed 2 million downloads on mobile, the developer is now working on a console version of the tactical RPG. As part of the original Download Starter campaign, the 2 million milestone means the company will begin development on Terra Battle’s console version with details to be announced at a […]

  • Prison break game The Escapists is heading to PlayStation 4 from May 29

    The Escapists, Mouldy Toof’s prison break game originally released as a timed console exclusive Xbox One, has a release date for PlayStation 4. For those unfamiliar with the title, which is also a PC release, it tasks players’ time management skills as they do a bit of digging and crafting, and other prison-type stuff as […]

  • Dead Island 2 delayed into 2016 to ensure series is “taken to the next level”

    Dead Island 2 has been delayed into 2016 by Yager in order to ensure the sequel “takes Dead Island to the next level.” According to a tweet from the developer, it set “big goal” for the game, and in order to deliver what fans expect, the team needs more time to reach development goals. “We […]

  • Project Cars: here’s a list of all available cars at launch

    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]