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Sitting comfortably? Guild Wars 2′s lore boss on story

Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:00 GMT By Staff

Guild Wars 2 is attempting to revolutionise story in MMOs by offering non-cosmetic choices and a personal touch to a genre filled with cookie-cutter options. We speak with Ree Soesbee, ArenaNet’s lore and continuity designer, on how this new-found sense of freedom ties into the biggest MMO release of the year.

“I don’t think that story and gameplay are in any way harmful to one another; a player should expect – and receive – high quality in both aspects. That’s what makes a game exemplary, and that is exactly what we aspire to create with Guild Wars 2.”

Guild Wars 2 diverges from typical, monolithic story lines inherent in the majority of MMOs by using character-exclusive arcs. The intention is to provide the player with more of a sandbox environment, all based around a questionnaire filled out during character creation.

Player choices will matter during play, impacting the world around the character and allowing for a more personal, tailored experience. This was no easy task, as instanced and persistent areas had to not only adhere to player choice and biography, but remain connected to the core storyline without detrimental effects to gameplay.

How did the team manage it? Ree Soesbee, ArenaNet’s lore and continuity designer, explained.

VG247: What are the challenges of making the game inclusive to everyone while allowing it to feel like the player’s own personal RPG? Surely this is difficult to do in an MMO, given the amount of people involved.

Ree Soesbee: There’s no real way to allow a character the width of freedom available in RPG character creation, but we wanted to try to replicate that experience as much as possible. We wanted to allow players a great deal of latitude to define their characters. From that idea, we created the Biography system, which asks a player questions about their character’s history as they create the PC’s race, class, and appearance. We then use those answers in the game. Primarily, they give the player access to storylines that revolve around those background choices; secondarily, these answers change conversations and interactions with NPCs throughout the world.

One of the largest difficulties in this kind of story creation comes in trying to give the player the freedom to choose different outcomes, without overburdening the story team that has to design, spawn, and write each of those outcomes and how they interact continually from that point. Where a player might see three questions with three answers each, the story team is writing not nine but something closer to twenty-four (or more) results, based on the interaction of those answers. Add to that the fact that there are five races, each with that many questions; and that the races join together into a world-story with new questions, as well as more twists and options based on the original set. We try to bring out those choices as often as possible, in order to make a player’s experience unique and based on how they’ve designed the character – but that’s a lot of work!

Keeping those variables in mind when designing an overarching story is also difficult; we want the world story to make sense no matter what choices a player made for their character, but we also want it to follow a certain general path. Trying to remember how each branch arrived at the next story point requires a great deal of organization.

How will personal stories intertwine with the overall story while not succumbing to traditional MMO trapping of linearity?

All stories have an element of linear play; you begin at the beginning, and hopefully, there is a satisfying and climactic end. Our hope with Guild Wars 2 was to create that linear story more as a rope of intertwined threads, where many different smaller stories made up the larger, epic narrative of the world. As each player is one individual within the larger, constantly-evolving world, so too is their character’s story one aspect, or one viewpoint, within the grander whole.

Because no story should last forever, we gave the storylines in Guild Wars 2 breadth, rather than length. Once you’ve played through the overall story, you can go back and make a new character, with new background choices and in-game choices, and experience Tyria’s struggle against the dragon, Zhaitan, from an entirely different viewpoint. A player can also help others, and see portions of other stories by assisting with a friend’s storyline chains.

Will different personal stories and options come into play as the game advances, or are the story choices largely cosmetic?

ArenaNet’s Ree Soesbee.

The choices that a player makes for their character, especially at creation, are more than cosmetic. They define the character’s history and personality, and they outline the initial storylines that the player will experience with that character. After that, the choices made in-game by the player (such as joining one of the three Orders of Tyria – the Vigil, the Durmand Priory, and the Order of Whispers) change the ongoing experience. By choosing an order, the character chooses to experience that perspective in the world story, and so on, through myriad different variations.

Also, within each individual smaller story piece, a player has internal choices that affect the outcome of that smaller tale. For example, a norn player is character is asked at creation to decide if the most important virtue of a norn is cunning, instinct or strength. Each of those answers defines a storyline, and within that storyline are choices. A norn who chooses strength has the option in fighting their enemy; whether to assist in forging a powerful new weapon, or to summon the power of a Spirit of the Wild to increase their ability. Those two options give the player different objectives, different methods (and stories related to overcoming those objectives), as well as a different type of gameplay when they do face down their enemy in that storyline – with whichever advantage they chose to obtain.

Later in the character’s gameplay, NPCs in the storylines (or in the overall world) may refer back to the player’s experiences, congratulating them on their victory, or offering them information based entirely on the options they chose in a past storyline, Biography, or as part of their order.

Will NPCs react to the player differently based on personality choices made in the biography section?

Yes, although this will happen primarily within a character’s personal story or home instance. A player will also find NPCs in the main world (such as members of your chosen order) who references the player’s choices, both those made in the Biography and during the game.

How many story combinations are there?

From level 1-10, there are approximately 30 different storylines; those are based on character race, Biography and pre-game background choices. Continue that in tens through 80 levels; then add in the various different combinations based on internal story choices, choosing an order, and continued in-game Biography questions, and you can see that the aggregate numbers somewhere in the upper thousands.

What sort of impact has opening up story choices to the player had on lore in general?

None in particular; the lore of the game has remained constant. Both in storyline areas and in the overall world, players have many opportunities to interact with NPCs, learn about the history of Tyria, and discover what’s happening with the world story and the dragons.

Large events in the overall storyline, major battles and other significant twists in the fight against Zhaitan, are experienced by all combinations of a player’s possible story. We made this choice deliberately, ranking those story moments as separate from a player’s internal story; meaning, no matter whether a player has chosen to fight Zhaitan because the dragon’s minions killed your family, or destroyed a friendly village, or destroyed something important to your heritage, all player characters are present at a certain major battle within the storyline.

An individual character’s motivations and goals during that major battle may be different, according to their story choices, but the location and occurrence of that epic “world moment” happens for all characters in the game. In that way, the numerous ‘story threads’ conjoin, and then separate again, after that “moment” in the overall play of Guild Wars 2.

There seems to be a great push to imbue MMOs with story at the moment. You clearly think this really is the way forward for online RPGs, but isn’t there a risk of core gameplay principals being ignored in favour of plot? Doesn’t it ever concern you that the entire narrative angle may be a red herring for the progression of the genre?

Not at all. I don’t think that story and gameplay are in any way harmful to one another; a player should expect – and receive – high quality in both aspects. That’s what makes a game exemplary, and that is exactly what we aspire to create with Guild Wars 2.

People play games like Guild Wars 2 for many different reasons. Some want competitive PVP, while others want an immersive story. Some are interested in strategic combat, others want to explore and discover beautiful or hard-to-find places in a huge game world. With each generation of MMOs, all of these aspects are advanced, and the genre becomes more immersive and more fun. I think that if we concentrate on only one aspect, we do our games – and our players – a tremendous disservice. Gaming technology is progressing at a massive pace, and on the whole gaming audiences are more interested in complex, interesting storylines.

ArenaNet has a wonderful advantage in that both our writing team and our design teams are talented and inventive people. We work in an iterative process, so that our story and our skills interact to make Guild Wars 2 a tremendous game. We think our players deserve nothing less.

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20 Comments

  1. viralshag

    This would sound great and really original… If I hadn’t played it 3 months ago in SWTOR.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Laaveem

    The difference is that in SWTOR, the personal story is useless. You can choose any friggin’ answer and it won’t make a difference in the story itself. In GW2, choices you make affect your storyline. That’s the difference between a true RPG and a film where you just choose what the main character will say.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Viralblack

    Comparing SWTOR and GW2 is like comparing a Prius to Nascar. They may both have steering wheels but are completely in different leagues. (GW2 being the advanced of the two)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Calm down 2 and 3, I was just poking some fun at GW2.

    But in response to your comments, #2, what they describe above sounds almost IDENTICAL to how story progression is in TOR.

    #3, Unless you have played the full game I don’t even know how you can come to that conclusion.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Laaveem

    First of all, what makes you think i’m not calm? I didn’t use exlamation marks or caps lock, which means my statements were supposed to be read in a “normal” colloquial tone. Secondly, in the article is written:

    “Where a player might see three questions with three answers each, the story team is writing not nine but something closer to twenty-four (or more) results, based on the interaction of those answers.”

    And again:

    “From level 1-10, there are approximately 30 different storylines; those are based on character race, Biography and pre-game background choices. Continue that in tens through 80 levels; then add in the various different combinations based on internal story choices, choosing an order, and continued in-game Biography questions, and you can see that the aggregate numbers somewhere in the upper thousands.”

    What happens in SWTOR? You speak with a character, he speaks to you. Then you choose between 2 or 3 different answers. What changes between those? Just the way your character answers to them. Because when you kill an NPC or spare his life in SWTOR… nothing changes. Which makes this game more like an interactive film.

    In GW2, when you make decisions, it affects your story line massively. There’s not a single path, but -as stated in the interview- hundreds of them. Now, this is what I expect form an RPG.

    PS: I’d like to let everyone reading this comment, that i’m not angry or altered in any way. Read it with a normal voice tone. Thanks for your understanding.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GageCornelius

    I also want to add, that your story in SWTOR changes very little. There are times where you can gain an ally or an enemy, but outside of those moments, there is little change. Every Sith Initiate has the same storyline 1-10 and 11-20, whereas in GW2 the major stories are different based on race first, and then 1/3 questions. Your friend may be a human, but could’ve answered something differently and gotten a completely different storyline, or could have had the same answer and share the same storyline regardless of class. Do the research, it’s only all over the internet.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    I’m just going to add in that I’m a massive fan of Ree.

    One of the things that sold GW2 to me was her passion for it as a writer. I’m an artistic type, so that speaks to me. If you hadn’t noticed that about me yet, then you really haven’t been paying attention. I really enjoy art, philosophy, and good writing being rolled into games and I’m more than happy to see people take pride in what they do.

    Not only that, but Ree is a pretty great writer. She did the short stories for a number of the race week articles, the most seminal of which was… well, it was an absolutely beautiful piece about Charr lovers. And just how much they feel they have to sacrifice just to survive (survival is everything to the Charr – on the battlefield the soldier you can likely count on to remain standing at the end of it is a Charr, but this comes at a high price).

    Anyway, that mild segue aside, Ree is an impressive writer and visionary. I respect her. It’s always nice to read her opinions because, again, she really is clearly passionate about what she does.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. absolutezero

    Oh hay its Ree that female writer that has never been attacked by the internet despite being female and working in games.

    Wonders never cease.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    @8 Has Corinne Yu ever been attacked? Personally, that’s the only videogame honey I care to recognize.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheWulf

    @9

    So you have trouble recognising women in the field of videogames?

    Okay then.

    I don’t have that problem. Corinne Yu is also awesome.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Stephany Nunneley

    @7 Agreed. Ree is awesome.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @10 Yup, I have serious trouble recognizing women for being women. I really couldn’t care less whether a professional has tits or not.

    Women are common as dirt. I don’t see any need to roll out the pedestal whenever one of them lands a job.

    It’s a bit like metal, that way. There are lots of retarded bands out there who think hiring a female choir singer to do their vocals makes them awesome and unique, but really all it does is make them cheap and ordinary.

    I respect the women who have the balls to actually keep up. Actual merit, as opposed to simply owning a pussy.

    That’s also the reason why Stephany Nunneley rocks. And Girlschool, Acid, Holy Moses, Chastain and Hellion, for that matter.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Stephany Nunneley

    @12 I’m no Doro Pesch but thanks! You honestly, just made my day. :) xoxox

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    @13 Dammit, I forgot Warlock didn’t I?

    You’re welcome ma’am, keep bringing the funny!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @5, I was actually saying calm down because two people jumped straight on the defensive over a little comment.

    I still don’t think this interview really sets it that far apart from TOR, if I’m honest. And I will happily accept I’m wrong when I actually play the game and it hopefully get proven wrong. Until that time, I need more than just the devs word on how varied and unique it is, considering we hear the same stuff about almost every MMO.

    But to me, this sounds a lot like TOR, just with a larger quantity of lines. And I’m a believer that quantity doesn’t make up for quality. As I said though, I will happily accept I’m wrong once I play the game. (That is, if I’m wrong.)

    #15 3 years ago
  16. GageCornelius

    @15: Go look at videos on youtube. The Media Event about a month ago has plenty of gameplay on it. Go look at some of the different people playing the same race. It’ll help.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @15 I’m pretty sure expecting the second coming of the MMO is going to be just as disappointing with Guild Wars 2 as it may have been with SWTOR.

    It does seem like they’re going to do a lot to really tweak the formula though, especially in the areas where SWTOR was lacking.

    I haven’t played SWTOR, but based on the feedback, it sounds to me like a highly scripted MMO with loads more dialogue than WoW will ever have, but virtually the same on offer. In this case it looks to me like they’re looking at the gameplay, which is where you’re better off placing the attention in my opinion.

    http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2012/02/20/guild-wars-2-diving-in/

    That’s a pretty good series of articles based on the beta. I think it balances the high expectations with what’s actually on offer quite well.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. viralshag

    @16, Thanks. I’ll have a look for it. I haven’t had much time to check out all I wanted on it to be honest. I was hoping for a beta invite to get a taste of where it’s at.

    @DSB, Cheers, that was an interesting read. I really do hope the game is good. It should be on all accounts but I just feel MMOs are always going to be a short-lived flavour of the month type thing.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Lordnekroseth

    A lot of gamers try to compare SwTor-s story based gameplay to Gw2-s. But a lot of players dont know that SwTor didnt decide to go trough that part till Gw2 announced and introduced what they are up to. Since then mmos are ripping of the base idea with half sucsesses. Other companies dont understand the whole concept of this, only parts. No wonder they wont be sucsessfull

    Ree you also mention, that a new gen. has not only an improved and well made story line(s) (witch mmo-s lacked so faar) , but also a well made gameplay, system and mechanic. I agree on that, but i think you missed another REALLY important part ! It must also improve the part where you play with others. Since the whole point of playing mmo-s is supposed to be playing with others. Sadly i didnt feel playing with others any fun since Everquest 1. Trough i have no worries, Gw2 is showing a great deal of improvement on that side to. Good to see, you guys investigated, what is lacking in other games in the era. I see a miracle in progress.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Lordnekroseth

    I might also add, that a sucsess in beeing a good rpg dephends a lot on how the world is. A real good fantasy world is a half sucsess alredy.

    Actually i was missing a good rpg since Baldurs Gate, but Gw gave me hope. Nothing can bring back the good old paper and dice games, but atleast this can give back the feeling.

    #20 3 years ago

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  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]

  • Dragon Age lead creative moves onto mysterious new BioWare project

    Dragon Age creator David Gaider is leaving his baby behind. Dragon Age is a team effort, but Gaider was one of the key creatives behind the franchise, creating the setting of Thedas (which, I was recently amused to learn, is an acronym: “THE Dragon Age Setting”). He was lead writer on all three games and […]

  • Unity 5 available for free with “no fucking around”

    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]