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Rat in a cage: why your mind loves Steam sales

Monday, 20 August 2012 08:20 GMT By Julie Horup

You have a gigantic library of Steam games you buy in sales then never play. Why would you spend money on something you don’t use? Julie Horup searches for answers.

“It’s absolutely fundamental for the human being to react quickly when offered something, and we have very strong urge to gather and hoard. Sometimes this exceeds our abilities to reconsider whether or not we actually need a game that’s only available on sale for a certain period.”

In the 1950s, American psychologist BF Skinner coined the term ‘Operant Conditioning’. His theory attempted to explain how we learn through behaviour, and how we repeat actions if they’ve positive consequences, or how we refrain from doing something if it repeatedly turns out to have a negative effect.

To prove positive reinforcements can make us repeat certain behaviour, Skinner invented an operant conditioning chamber known as the Skinner Box, in which there was a rat, a lever and a food dispenser. At first the rat wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do in its new-found cage, but when it accidentally pressed the lever food would be dispensed. The rat’s behaviour was positively reinforced with a yummy reward. It didn’t take long before the rat would learn to constantly press the lever in order to get food.

Operant conditioning still stands as one of the most renowned behavioural theories; and it can help explain why we spend a lot of money during Steam’s sales even though we’ll probably never play most of the games we buy.

The Steam Box

Initially it might seem a bit strange to compare rats in a box to people buying games on Steam, but it actually makes a lot of sense, especially given Steam’s reputation as the most popular digital platform online.

“If it was some random online store that you never had visited before, then you’d be less inclined to buy from it, but because you’re so familiar with Steam it actually makes a difference,” explained Johan Eklund, psychologist and co-founder of Checkpoint Therapy, a company that offers consultation and counselling to people dealing with excessive video games use.

“It’s a very basic thing when we’re exposed to some sort of stimuli or perform an activity, like playing a game on Steam, and it turns out to be a positive experience. The whole experience becomes extremely positive, and the next time you see a game on sale on Steam, and you have to pay less for it than usual, you’re even more prone to buying the game, even if you have limited knowledge of it. Because of the positive, earlier experiences you’re more motivated to actually click ‘buy’.”

Valve’s extremely effective at creating positive experiences, and the company knows how to plan perfectly executed sales. This Summer we saw the introduction of community voting in polls to decide which games would go on sale next. While users might think of their involvement and voting as something to their benefit, this is just the employment of basic psychology that’ll most often lead to improved sale figures. You’re being treated like rats pressing a lever to receive a reward.

“If you vote on a game, then you’ve invested in something that didn’t even cost you anything. But you’ve also prepared your mind for the possibility of the game going on sale. If it does, it acts as positive reinforcement since your mind believes that you’ve made a difference.

“If you have to go through the process of responding to a poll, and it ends up being in your favour [your pick going on sale], then there are already a lot of positive feelings present, which makes it much more likely that you’ll buy the game,” said Eklund.

“It doesn’t cost Steam anything to make a poll, so it’s actually quite clever. They get to see which games people want to buy while also observing how motivated people are. If you look at it from Steam’s perspective, then it’d be rather sensible to believe that they’re maximising the amount of games being sold.”

Involving users in this way can be compared to companies asking their employees how they work best, what their interests are, and then delegate their assignments accordingly to their response. While the approach is somewhat different from the community-driven sales, the final result is the same: the persons feel more involved and thereby more motivated to show their support and perform at their best – in this case by preferring Steam as the place to buy games instead of visiting competitors like Origin.

Playing to the mind’s way of reacting to certain situations is also present in Steam’s time-limited offers.

“If you make something limited or make it seem like a sparse resource, it triggers a reaction in our mind and starts our need for hoarding, which then translates into trying to maximise the possible yield,” explained Eklund.

“It’s absolutely fundamental for the human being to react quickly when offered something, and we have very strong urge to gather and hoard. Sometimes this exceeds our abilities to reconsider whether or not we actually need a game that’s only available on sale for a certain period. When Steam succeeds in triggering this response, where reflection is tossed aside, then the consumers are much more likely to buy something.”

Easy access

According to Eklund, it’s obvious – besides the psychological aspects – why gamers choose Steam as their primary digital platform even when ignoring their famous sales, and it’s the same reason why Apple proved successful with iTunes as the go-to place for buying music online.

“Valve knows how to make [Steam] a pleasant experience, which can make a huge difference when buying a product.

“There’s always a barrier to overcome before getting what you want. The barrier at Steam is a lot smaller because you don’t have to type in thousands of passwords and click several times before the game you want is being downloading.

“I’m sure they’ve given it a lot of thought how to make the experience as easy and pleasant as possible.”

Pleasant it may be, but why does the human mind keep enjoying the stimuli from sales even though we tell ourselves it makes no sense to buy cheap games that’ll just gather dust in a dark, virtual corner?

These psychological mechanisms are exactly what drive you to advance in the very games Steam sells. The structure of Steam sales has a lot in common with game design, how it makes your mind seek rewards – whether we’re comfortable with it or not.

“It might be possible to be aware of the negative effects like buying a lot of games you’ll never play, but it’ll only happen momentarily. Unless it’s absolutely and constantly clear, then most people will forget about it,” said Eklund.

“If you go to the supermarket and buy a lot of toothpaste you might realise that you’ll never be able to use all of this toothpaste you’ve just bought, but you’ll have forgotten about it the next time you see toothpaste on sale. The mind’s ability to organise and plan long-term is overridden because we’re caught up in a moment where spontaneous urges take over, and it’s difficult to intervene when those urges block our otherwise logical way of thinking.

“If Steam made a status bar of how much money you spent last sale, and how many hours you’ve actually played the games you bought, then the users would be more aware of their consumption pattern. But obviously they won’t do that as they’re very selective in the information provided to the users.”

If you’re starting to feel like chopping off your head and removing your brain, you shouldn’t feel too bad. These psychological mechanisms are exactly what drive you to advance in the very games Steam sells. The structure of Steam sales has a lot in common with game design, how it makes your mind seek rewards – whether we’re comfortable with it or not.

“If someone points a light to a certain part of the ground, then you start digging and you end up finding gold. This would give a feeling of shrewdness and that you somehow figured out how the system works, which is kind of like what games do. You realise that your behaviour has positive consequences.

“It’s exactly what good games do: providing small challenges that you can handle well. When you finish a boss fight, you might get a positive reward, and then you feel like you’ll be able to handle a slightly more difficult challenge. It’s basically the same rules and mechanisms that apply every time people do something.”

At least there’s one good thing about how the mind works; you aren’t in danger of becoming addicted to Steam sales.

“Before we talk about addiction, we’d like to examine the specific case and see if there’s a reason why something has become such a rewarding behaviour that you’d spend all of your time on it, and because of this I’d go a long way before saying it’s an addiction.”

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15 Comments

  1. Talkar

    I’ve actually been less and less inclined to buy games on Steam over the years. I’ve gone from buying 10-30 games during the half year sales, to about 1-3 games. They do have amazing deals, absolutely, but they also have lousy customer support (they don’t even have a phone number o.O) and i’ve had more than a few problems with the DRM side of Steam (servers are too busy, even if it is just a SP game i’m trying to play). The store side of Steam is absolutely great! However the other aspects of Steam are still lacking…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I only buy when I really want something. I think I did Left 4 Dead 2 for €10 and I play it loads. I still haven’t bought Portal 2, even though I think it was €5 the other day. I clearly have a back-wired brain, but I have a big problem with buying anything unless I know I “need” it. I haven’t bought Portal because I know I won’t play it at the moment.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Giskard

    @2 While I won’t dispute your claims, you MUST play Portal 2. That’s all I’ve got.

    The Steam sales are also somewhat useful for an avid gamer. I usually don’t pick up all titles as they are released, but still want to play them. The Summer Sale in particular is good for this, as summer is the perfect time to squeeze in an extra game or two, as the weather in Sweden is 100% guaranteed rain whenever, wherever.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. alterecho

    Nice analysis. Eklund should have also considered adding the social aspects into this discussion. Like gifting/friend’s list/in-game chat/Achievements etc.
    People should start looking into options such as Raptr. It really is awesome.

    My urge to get those awesome offers hit a brick wall when Steam started splashing a certain dialogue box and wouldn’t allow me access to MY library unless i clicked I Agree.

    @2 Yeah you ABSOLUTELY need to play Portal 2. Some may not find it awesome though.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    @3 Yeah, I will play it eventually. I have zero time at the moment, so I just can’t justify buying it. I understand the logic in the article, but I do find the incessant impulse buying a little odd.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. schnide

    Did you speak to anyone apart from this one expert? Because I don’t think it’s anything to do with the Skinner box theory.

    Instead, it’s simply that Valve sell quality titles in their sale at greatly reduced prices. If you know that something usually costs X, and you have a time-limited chance to get it for X/5, that’s a positive outcome for your brain if you buy it because you feel like you’re getting something for less than it’s worth. So even if you don’t play it, it doesn’t matter, because you know you’ve got it there if you want to and you don’t feel like you’ve wasted much money if you don’t.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @Pat, Well a few of us have 75% off coupons for it…

    #7 3 years ago
  8. silkvg247

    I did impulse buy in the first couple of sales but it’s died down a lot now. Probably because I’m fully aware I have about 3 years worth of gaming stockpiled, so I’m being quite selective about what I pick up now.

    I do get around to trying games eventually, but the thing is unless they grip me in the first 30 minutes I put them back down and forget about them; mainly because I know I’ve a lot more games to try out. It’s a shame though because it means I’ll never understand the hype around Amnesia, amongst others.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. distraet

    @6 Since I wrote the piece: Yeah, I did talk to another psychologist about it (who agreed on Skinner’s theory), but obviously there are different approaches to this subject. The Skinner box is just one of many theories that can help explain the behaviour of the human mind during a Steam sale.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    You have a “gigantic pile of boxed games” you never play. You bought them from Shopto in a sale. You never play any of them. WHY

    WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS

    EXPOSE.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. schnide

    @9

    Would’ve been good to include the second expert in the article? ;)

    The Skinner box theory, to me, only seems to explain the benefit of buying from Steam in general – ie. because you had a good experience last time. In particular reference to the Steam sale, price is the key. I think two different principles are being confused here.

    It’s not much different to any sale, even in physical retail stores – the difference is that with Steam, as I mentioned, they’re quality products, easily accessible at the click of a button, and at great prices. You don’t need the Skinner box theory for that.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Psychotext

    Thankfully I’ve stopped buying any games now until I’ve made progress on my backlog. That said, I’ll never make any progress on my backlog so I suspect I’ve stopped buying games for life. =/

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @11 Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

    It’s easy enough to get a psychologist with a certain view and just let him talk based on his own ideas. As long as it isn’t challenged, it becomes dogma.

    I’d probably go for an advertising exec, it’s more their field.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. TheWulf

    I think the specific way my mind is broken makes me immune to operant conditioning, or perhaps it’s because games usually don’t have a whole lot of what I want, and it’s only the odd particularly exceptional game that does. And then I tend to buy that as soon as it becomes available.

    I have frequently gone through entire Steam sales without making a single purchase – and those where I do? I’ve never really bought anything for myself. I’ve used them to buy copies of games that I’ve found to be truly exceptional for friends. Steam sales really don’t do a lot for or to me. I’m incredibly glad that they’re there, because it gives people who’re on a lower monetary bracket a chance to snap up some titles.

    It also gives a developer/publisher a chance to recoup some sales, whereas they might have lost some due to an outlet doing them a massive disservice. Like Rock Paper Shotgun’s intentionally horrible and purposefully sensational review of New Vegas. That hurt it. And yet it got over ten thousand comments disagreeing, which just proves that they did that to garner advertisement clicks. And what’s funny is that people have said that they avoided New Vegas because of that fucking atrocious abuse of journalistic power (RPS has no integrity in my opinion, these days, and the only person I even think of trusting is John Walker). And now those people who avoided the game have been picking it up in sales and they’ve been saying how much they loved New Vegas and how much of a truly awesome game it is.

    So yeah, there are many reasons I love Steam sales. They just don’t do a lot for me because I don’t have as generic a palette as most. I’m looking for very specific things, and amidst this sea of super violent, hyper-realistic shooters and mundane settings, I’m not finding a lot of what I want.

    So maybe my desire to horde is killed by the simple fact that most of the things on offer to horde aren’t at all that shiny.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. fearmonkey

    I love steam, but I didn’t always love it….

    I preferred buying games on the 360 over Steam until this year. MS is so stingy with their sales, and when they do have big sales, it’s always disappointing and laughable if it wasn’t so sad :(
    MS has a huge batch of old Arcade and GOD titles and they rarely have anything on sale for a great price.

    I just bought Alan Wake on Steam with the expansions and the Arcade game for $9.99, MS never has anything remotely that awesome. During the summer sale, I bought Fallout:New Vegas with all expansions for $9.99, Fallout3 with all expansions for $4.99 and Oblivion with all expansions for $4.99.
    I just bought Lord of the rings:War in the north on Green Man gaming for $4.00 which was a steam code.

    It’s really hard to care about MS’s sales anymore when Steam and the other digital game sellers have such amazing deals, and even PS3 has those amazing play for free subscriber games plus better deals than Live. Gamefly has play for free games and great sales as well.

    #15 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]