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RIP, PC: How Ubisoft managed to be wrong and right

Sunday, 27 November 2011 11:23 GMT By Nathan Grayson

Ubisoft’s continuing struggles with the PC market still draw community ire, but Nathan Grayson believes the publisher may finally be on the right track, even if it isn’t moving quickly enough.

PC gaming’s transforming in a big way, but many hardcore PC gamers still pine for the past, back when big-budget retail games were made – nay, forged – with their beefy rigs in mind. So it’s time for big publishers to put up or shut up. Bring out the big guns. Give us something with the impact, scope, and craftsmanship of a Battlefield 3 and the business model of a Ghost Recon Online.

There are two topics you never bring up around anybody if you want to keep conversation free of colorful language and knife fights: politics and religion. With PC gamers, though, you’d do well to dive face-first into those landmines long before dropping a bomb of an entirely different sort: Ubisoft. And why not? The Assassin’s Creed publisher has assassinated any good will it might have accrued via DRM that essentially locked up paying customers and threw away the key while simultaneously justifying pirates’ unscrupulous actions.

And that’s just the beginning. Once considered legitimately shocking, last-second delays of Ubisoft PC games have now become par for the course. And let’s not forget the recent From Dust fiasco, which started as a white flag and ended as a kick in the teeth. It’s little wonder, then, that Ubisoft’s rapidly descended to the rank of public enemy number one.

This week, however, saw things reach a new fever pitch. First, some allegedly lost-in-translation comments from I Am Alive creative director Stanislas Mettra had PC gamers spitting flames over accusations of incessant “bitching” and – most alarmingly – claims that they wouldn’t even buy a PC version of I Am Alive anyway. Since then, Mettra’s re-opened the door he seemingly slammed shut, saying that Ubisoft is “still working to see the feasibility of” a PC version. Granted, that comment’s very much at odds with one I received a couple months ago, but that’s honestly neither here nor there at this point.

The most telling slight, however, was Ubisoft’s sudden about-face on Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s PC version. Initially, the port was like a ghost insofar as it constantly lurked in the background – known only to a select few. Now, though, it’s like a ghost in that it doesn’t fucking exist. But hey, there’s still Ghost Recon Online and, er, ManiaPlanet for PC gamers to look forward to, right? And that’s where Ubisoft’s diaboloical plan finally begins to makes sense – while also going horribly, horribly wrong.

PC gaming is dead, long live PC gaming

Big-budget PC games aren’t what they used to be. Where once games like Doom and Quake blew minds and broke banks on PC, the biggest hits now put their best feet forward on consoles – bleeding-edge PC tech be damned. Why? The short answer is, “Piracy, duh.” But the long answer is, er, a bit longer. And we’ll get to that in a second. First, though, I’m going to attempt to explain to you why Ubisoft has been – in a few key ways – absolutely correct in its recent treatment of the PC. Please save all questions and skull-splitting hatchets until after the presentation.

Triple-A PC gaming is dead. Done. Over. Six-feet under. Now, it’s important to understand that I’m referring to triple-A gaming in the traditional (perhaps even colloquial) sense. Specifically, I mean $50-$60 price tags, physical retail copies, glitzy hype-driven marketing campaigns, and one-time paid-in-full “finished” game releases. Piracy, of course, is holding the smoking gun, but perceived inaccessibility’s at least helping bury the body. As such, Ubisoft saw the writing on the wall and reacted accordingly. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s silent stroll into console-only territory, I believe, is the culmination of that.

Logically speaking, it all checks out. Here’s the problem, though: for far too long, Ubisoft misread the writing. It thought it saw a platform on its deathbed and chalked everything up to “piracy this, piracy that.” In reality, PC was (and is) experiencing some particularly excruciating growing pains. It’s evolving, and evolution – as humanity’s lack of super lungs that process all polution and Superman skin that deflects bullets will tell you – doesn’t happen overnight.

So Ubisoft – along with pretty much every other videogame publisher – moved its eggs to a more reliable basket. Then it made innumerable mistakes – both in terms of copy protection and miscommunication/outright lies – in its treatment of PC, and the rest is history. Believe it or not, though, Ubisoft’s finally kinda sorta taking steps in the right direction again.

Back… and better than ever?

If the 45-trillion MMO-makers singing its praises until they’re blue in the face and you’re deaf in the ears are any indication, free-to-play’s kind of a big deal. So far, it’s proven insanely profitable, which has to be kind of confusing for folks who swore up and down that there was no money to be made on PC. Between that, the indie market, cloud gaming, Steam’s constant pricing experimentation, and social gaming, we’re beginning to see the new face of PC gaming: business models that have arisen from old-school PC gaming’s ashes. In their own ways, they manage to mitigate piracy and largely avoid giving legitimate customers unnecessary grief. They’re not just ill-fitting console hand-me-downs.

Here, then, is the second place where Ubisoft has seemingly hit the nail on the head: it’s finally decided to stop treating PC like the scummy, thief-ridden back alley of console gaming. Half-assed console ports weren’t cutting it, so Ubisoft wised up and realized that PC should be handled with care. So long, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier’s assuredly sub-par port. Hello, free-to-play, PC-centric Ghost Recon Online. Other publishers, by comparison, are still living in the stone age.

Sadly, that’s where Ubisoft’s strategy swerves into a ditch and explodes into crying kittens. Yes, it’s seemingly recognized that PC is a unique platform, but it’s dipping its pinky toe into the water when it needs to be making a cannon-ball-sized splash. Unfortunately, Ghost Recon Online is a frankly stiff-looking series off-shoot, and ManiaPlanet – while ambitious – lacks real brand power. Neither seems horrible by any stretch of imagination, but they don’t exactly inspire frothy mouthed excitement either.

At this point, hardcore PC gamers need to be convinced that games releasing under these new business models are worthwhile just as much as publishers need to be convinced that PC’s worth developing for. But if publishers won’t give it their all, consumers won’t pay attention. Instead, PC gamers will continue to feel like they’re getting sloppy seconds while console players enjoy big-budget feasts served up on silver platters. And then we’ll be right back at square one, with companies like Ubisoft saying, “Well, clearly PC gamers don’t want to spend money on these games” when, in reality, the content they’ve been offered hasn’t been worth the asking price.

Obviously, Ubisoft’s hardly the only guilty party here. PC gaming’s transforming in a big way, but many hardcore PC gamers still pine for the past, back when big-budget retail games were made – nay, forged – with their beefy rigs in mind. So it’s time for big publishers to put up or shut up. Bring out the big guns. Give us something with the impact, scope, and craftsmanship of a Battlefield 3 and the business model of a Ghost Recon Online.

Efforts like Firefall and Tribes: Ascend in the F2P space, Unreal Engine 3 for Flash, and cloud gaming’s quiet growth are hopeful indicators that this is the beginning of a much larger movement in hardcore gaming. It may have taken a bit, but PC’s hitting its stride again. If the Ubisofts of the world don’t start trying to catch up soon, they’ll only be left behind.

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18 Comments

  1. Maximum Payne

    Nice reading.
    There were and always will be money to make on PC.
    Look at Stalker,Blizzard and Valve games,Total War series,Witcher…they all sold very well even if they are out yearly(total war) or not so much new(l4d 2) or hardcore rpg with high hardware demand(witcher 2)
    Even crysis 1 sell well considering is one of most hardware hungry games and released in on of busiest year of all time(bioshock,assassin creed,Halo 3,Gears 1 on PC,Unreal 3….)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. tdrules

    Ubisoft have never had that much of a presence on PC, so it’s no surprise that it has no idea what it’s doing.
    Personally I think there games can stay on console, they don’t fit the PC aesthetic I’d want in a game and aren’t really desirable to me.

    People shouting that F2P is the future are quite frankly a bit dim, it may work for very few multiplayer experiences, but it does not work outside of that. A F2P title never lives up to the sum of its parts because it will always be an incomplete experience except to the view who buy everything.
    A rebuttal to that would be “you don’t have to buy everything, most things that cost money aren’t necessary”, then don’t make them in the first place. Developers should continue to focus on complete experiences, not tacked on ones this isn’t Create Your Own Adventure

    #2 3 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    The bottom line is that Ubisoft have done themselves no favours at all – then blame everyone but themselves for being a complete tit.

    PC gaming will/is a better place without Ubi.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Maximum Payne

    @2 Ubisoft did have presence on PC.
    Silent Hunter series,Settlers,Anno,Ghost Recon,Rainbow six were all PC exclusives.
    Then they even made Chaos Theory primarily on PC then ported to xbox/ps2.
    They also bought Heroes of might and Magic.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. jack92

    Bullshit.
    I don’t agree with you.

    How ghost recon online can be good for the future pof PC gaming?
    It’s very bad.

    First, with ghost recon online, ubi consider that PC gamer only play at online game. It’s wrong, very WRONG.

    Lots of pc players play at offline game and with this type of games, ubi said fuck at these players. I play since the start of Pc gamin and I play at online and offline gaming. I can’t think that PC player = online gamer. It’s juste a complete bullshit

    The future of pc game must keep online and offline games. Only offline game or only online games is very bad.

    MMO or F2P is not the FUTURE of PC GAMING. You are crazy to said that.

    Why games must be online? It’s only the vision of stupid man.

    Triple AAA pc games must exist and musn’t dead. There is no reason (and I said no reason) to justify that AAA games like before must disappeared.

    The success of the witcher 2 sales show that PC gaming is excellent for offline games and that Pc platform is a good platform for AAA offline retail game like before.

    Piracy exist since the start of PC gaming and although , lots of developpers or editors have know success and earn lots of money with lots of piracy (ID ,remedy, epic, lucasarts, EA, ubisoft etc…)
    Moreover many examples show that giveup PC just for piracy is not the good method for themself (Lucasarts, GPG with supcom 2, Id with Rage, Crytek with crysis 2 etc…).

    The problem woth ubisoft sales on PC is that, all multisupport game are developped only in console market aim and not PC market aim. It’s normal that these games are more saled on console thant on PC. The opposite would be illogical. UBI think just that it’s the same market and it’s wrong.

    When ubisoft make AAA game with pc market aim like ANNO, sales are good on PC.

    If PC gaming = only online game. PC as game platform is dead for sure.

    I expect that ubi soft don’t think like you. I expect so much.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. fps_d0minat0r

    @ Maximum Payne
    anyone can sell as many games as valve if their as cheap.
    if XBL and PSN matched valve prices they would need to shut down because their servers would melt. valve are just cheap on pc so that people buy it out of convenience as opposed to pirating it.
    also a lot of people dont really want to buy a lot of the games valve sell buy they still sell because their bundled in a giant pack which costs slightly more than the newest game in a series. for example no-one would buy the old GTA’s but when they bundle it with GTAIV they make sales on it even though most the people who get it will most likely never play it.

    when people say pc gaming is dead its because you cant sell a game on PC for £40 like you can on console. valve selling a billion games for £5 hardly makes PC gaming feel ‘alive’. yes a handful of games are doing really well on PC but its still not good enough considering the whole industry.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. GrimRita

    Many publishers felt that MMO’s were the way to go and just at the amount of them going to the wall as a result.

    F2P can and does work, if done correctly – many publishers are reporting increased revenue by turning to F2P.

    However, Ubi are a different beast. They have lost the respect of the PC gaming community for their sheer lack of respect for the format, driven by their shocking comments and shoddy ports.

    PC games are close to £40 now – look at BF3, SWTWoW, Starcraft 2 to name a few but pricing does play a huge part on if a game will/wont sell and if you charge a triple A price for a Z product, no bugger will buy it on day 1.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Maximum Payne

    @6 how you can’t sell for $40 ? There were news how great Mass Effect 2 sold 3 times more then ME1 on PC,how Skyrim have 250.000 people on day on steam,how much L4d,Orange Box,Portal 2 sell well on PC…

    #8 3 years ago
  9. deadstoned

    Good article :) , personally I feel there’s still room for PC ports and for them to be pretty good. Most ports are absolutely fine, e.g. Borderlands who admitted their first game was a port and their putting in more effort on the PC side this time. But I think “how they sell” their games should change, e.g. Activation limits and Always online DRM should be completely removed. And more emphasis on selling games at better deals on online stores such as Steam should be done. Yes this will upset retail, but I struggle to find PC games in those shops now and 70% at Steam, is obviously better than 30% at retail.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. runbmp

    Its kind of funny that PC is considered a piracy haven. Most of the private trackers i’m on you see Xbox games get released first and usually carry the most leeches and seeds than their PC counterpart.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @10

    Doesn’t matter Developers and publishers put data hooks in their games and they can tell how many of their games are bought and pirated and one developer at GDC said it was 12:1 on the PC. The consoles were negligible and were even a threatening number.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Lounds

    Ubisoft are idiots, PC gaming sells very well, these big publishers just want Valves slice of pie. Ubisoft should do me a favour and make a decent PoP game that could be as good as the trilogy on PS2.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Big_Boss

    The reason developers shy away from the PC has little to do with piracy. The real reason is because it is much harder to sell a mediocre game on the PC than it is on consoles. A franchise like Call of Duty would not sell so much if it was primarily on PC. Why? Because it is outdated. It’s the same technology and gameplay regurgitated each year. PC gamers make a serious investment in their platform so they expect a fair return in the quality of the games they buy.

    Whether or not the market is the same size is hard to determine. Based on something like World of Warcraft the PC market can potentially be as large as any one of the console markets. But it requires a serious investment of money, time and effort to develop a game for the PC market that will be received favorably.

    Basically, developers that do not succeed on the PC can only blame themselves. They are happy to put the blame on piracy, even though both xbox and playstation has considerable amount of piracy, the truth is they choose the easy route and develop for the consoles because it requires less resources and a greater return.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. _LarZen_

    Take away Facebook and MMO’s from PC and there realy aint much left worth many developers attention.

    Gamers wallets over the world have spoken, there are more money to be made on console games.

    Heck…Modern Warefare 3 sold more on the X360 alone then Battlefield 3 sold on all plattforms combined.

    Im no console fanboy or anything…im a gamer and I can see clearly.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. DSB

    I don’t really get the underlying accusation Nathan.

    If PC gaming is a black hole for publishers, then how is Ubisoft one of very few businesses losing money on it? Activision have doubled their revenue on the PC, discounting MMOs and Freemium, while EA have stayed roughly level within the same time period that Ubisoft has managed to lose the vast majority of their business. And this is before BF3 came out.

    Sure, piracy studies blow the mind, but the fact that people help themselves, some number possibly for games that they weren’t likely to afford or buy to begin with (not that that helps a business) isn’t the real question for a business. Ultimately it’s a question of how many real customers there are.

    For that I’d recommend you study the publishers business a bit more closely, because the numbers themselves cannot possibly paint a miserable picture for anyone. Nobody needs to reinvent the wheel while they’re still making a comfortable pile of money, which is the inconvenient truth (especially) for publishers like Ubisoft when it comes to the PC.

    I’m a little disappointed that you leave out the obvious landgrabs that the PC has made, especially in the last decade. PC exclusives haven’t been the black hole that you’d expect them to if piracy-theory was to be taken seriously, and if anything, the huge successes all the way from Steam to Starcraft has shown that it isn’t a question of publishers not being allowed to protect their rights, it’s a question of also respecting their customers rights in doing so.

    The idea that there isn’t room for a compromise belongs solely to Ubisoft. PC gamers have been proving them wrong for the better part of 30 years.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. eyesbleed

    _LarZen_
    Heck…Modern Warefare 3 sold more on the X360 alone then Battlefield 3 sold on all plattforms combined.

    Im no console fanboy or anything…im a gamer and I can see clearly.

    Ehh, I’m not sure what you’re getting at there. BF3 sold a whole lot less than MW3 in console sales as well.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. hyperbaric

    The problem is Ubisoft doesn’t care about their PC ports. Plain and simple.
    This petition has been created for a while now, and Ubisoft just chose to ignore it: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1794844

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Virginityrocks

    @13 EXACTLY!

    #18 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    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 […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC port handed off to Nixxes

    The PC port of the new Deus Ex has been handed over to Netherlands based studio, Nixxes software. After the initial reveal trailer at the beginning of April, we’ve only had a few morsels in the way of additional news. The most intriguing tidbit to date has got to be the fact that you’ll be […]

  • First-ever PC Gaming Show to take place at E3 2015 in June

    PC gaming will finally have its very own E3 press conference this year, thanks to PC Gamer and AMD. The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and it will be livestreamed on Twitch. PC Gamer said speakers at the presentation will include representatives from Blizzard, […]

  • Majora’s Mask light available now on Club Nintendo for 6000 stars

    Club Nintendo shuts up shop on September 30 and members are being encouraged to spend accumulated stars before then. And what better to spend them on, than this adorable Majora’s Mask light? If you’re a member based in Europe you can nab it for 6000 stars. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, it’ll only […]

  • Unity support announced for HoloLens, will work with Windows universal apps

    Microsoft is partnering with game engine developers Unity in order to make HoloLens compatible with apps and games which use the cross-platform engine. The partnership was announced yesterday during its Build Developer Conference. Universal apps for Windows 10 systems will also be available on Xbox One later this year, suggesting possible HoloLens functionality with the […]

  • Splatoon Nintendo Direct airs Thursday, May 7

    A Nintendo Direct focused on Splatoon, the Wii U multiplayer title, on May 7. It will kick off at 7am PDT/10am EDT/3pm UK and it can be watched via the Nintendo Direct website. You can also have a look at the game through Nintendo’s Twitch channel. The last game-specific presentation took place last week and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: clean up the streets as a member of the San Andreas PD with this new mod

    Remember the awesome mods for GTA 4 and San Andreas that let you run amok online as a member of the po-po? Well, dust off your taser and load up your gun, because it’s coming to GTA 5. The new mod for GTA 5 is currently in alpha and can be downloaded at palmbeachgames.com. You […]

  • Indie shoot ‘em up Project Root comes to Xbox One, PS4 and PSVita

    Project Root is a self-proclaimed rejig of the shoot ‘em up genre that was released on PC last year, and it’s finally coming to consoles. Combining free-roaming elements with the usual business of shooting things, Project Root was released this week for Xbox One, PS4 and the PSVita.