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Double Fine: adventures into the unknown

Monday, 17 September 2012 10:08 GMT By Dave Cook

Double Fine has ditched the need for big publishers and the $60 boxed game model. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks to the team to learn more about its grandest adventure yet.

“Ah yes, the accidental launch. Well, the feedback has been mixed, as you can imagine from a premature release. I think some people were very confused and saw an unfinished product.”

From the outside looking in, Double Fine looks like a studio reborn, freed from the shackles that come with big name publishers and evil corporates that serve little purpose but to hoover up your money, stamp on creativity and slam doors in the faces of eager indie devs.

Except the San Francisco studio doesn’t view the industry that way. Sure Double Fine is making success for itself by favouring digital content streams and Kickstarter, but it is absolutely open to the idea of working with big publishers again.

Double Fine is quick to stress that these big corporate entities are not evil, they’re just larger and need more money to pay their staff. It’s plain, old fashioned economics.

VG247 caught up with Double Fine Adventure producer Greg Rice and Middle Manager of Justice project lead Kee Chi to discuss where a studio with near-limitless freedom goes next, and why its Kickstarter project is going to be epic.

VG247: Double Fine accidentally launched its latest game Middle Manager of Justice on iOS recently, and in turn you decided to make it a beta. As you’ve had a chance to get feedback before the proper launch, could you consider this a ‘happy accident’.

Kee Chi: Ah yes, the accidental launch. Well, the feedback has been mixed, as you can imagine from a premature release. I think some people were very confused and saw an unfinished product. Once we clarified that it’s not the final product, people started sending me very constructive feedback and suggestions.

We hope to keep doing this after the game is out there, and evolve the product with the community. Last Wednesday we couldn’t quite call it a happy accident, but it’s definitely been incredibly helpful getting the early feedback from players.

It’s a neat concept for a game. Where did it come from?

I’ve always loved superheroes and comic growing up. I still get really excited when any superhero games of movies come out. I also really enjoy playing simulation games, from the Kairosoft titles, to older stuff like The Movies, Theme Park, Harvest Moon and even Princess Maker.

In thinking of the title, I first thought of ‘Superhero Manager – ala Football Manager – but that didn’t have enough charm behind it, which eventually led to Middle Manager of Justice, and it was surprising how easily mundane office themes fit with classic superhero tropes.

It’s like controlling the justice League, but in an office, and instead of the Martian Manhunter sending heroes off on missions, it’s a balding middle-aged office manager.

It’s also free-to-play, which is a first for Double Fine. Can you give us a run down of the monetisation model, and is this something you might do more of at the studio?

Well, it’s definitely something we are trying out with the game. This doesn’t mean that every game that we make from now on will be F2P, but we like to try out a lot of different things here at Double Fine.

In Middle Manager of Justice, we’ve been especially careful in making sure that the game is fun for the free player as well as the player that pays for in-app purchases. You can pay to speed up training and research time, or pay to get stronger heroes at earlier points in the game.

We’re excited about reaching more players with the game being free, and being able to keep working on it by adding content and depth to the game.

The F2P model and the simulation genre are getting really big now, especially on PC. Why then did you decide to release Middle Manager solely on iOS?

We all play games on our iPhones and and iPads here at Double Fine. There are some incredibly fun games out there on mobile devices and we are excited to be developing games for them/ Personally, I think that a game like Middle Manager of Justice works great on a phone.

Having your superheroes training in your pocket as you wait for a bus is awesome. As you’ve seen, we’ve been expanding the platforms that we put our games on, and mobile is definitely one of the.

Thanks Kee. Can we have a chat about Double Fine Adventure Greg, as this is something that has also blown the studio’s scope wide open. The amount of money you raised was incredible, but at what point did you decide you wanted to crowd-fund the game?

Greg Rice: Well we were looking at Kickstarter for about a year before we launched the project. I had a bunch of friends who had launched on Kickstarter before, and they had a lot of success there. But at the time they were doing smaller numbers – around about the kind of video game budget we would have needed to make a game.

But it wasn’t until the 2 Player guys – that are doing the documentary for our Kickstarter – came to us after they had done their Minecraft documentary, and we saw that they had done over $300,000 for that, and that was something along the lines of the budget we were looking at.

So that was the catalyst that got us talking about it, and after we launched we started to see more money coming in – more than we needed to make something the scale of a Double Fine game.

What was the reaction around the office when you saw that the money was flooding in?

Yeah that was very surprising, I mean we had no idea that it would pick up that quickly. When we set up the project we looked at when it would finish – which would have been around the time of GDC – we thought we’d be using that time to really push towards our initial goal. But the fact that we had reached out target in the first day was very surprising and very exciting.

You had one target, but you ended up with so much more funding than you had anticipated. How has the extra budget changed your plans for the game’s development?

When we set our goal originally it was $400,000 and we ended up getting over $3.3 million, and that definitely changed what the project was, and we had to scramble as the project was being funded, to come up for a new plan of what we could do with that amount of money.

Just because, when we were choosing the budget of $400,000, we tried to find a number that seemed reasonable on Kickstarter, that we could make something with and be proud of. – something we could happily put the Double Fine name on.

I had a lot of friends come to me when we launched, saying that they thought it was a large number and that we were crazy for asking for that much. We definitely hoped we would get more, and when we did we were very excited, but it caused a total shift in our minds of what the project was.

It went from being a project that was a small team of around three people for six months, to now being a project that would span an entire year, and with 11 people on the team.

But it also meant adding a lot of new features like new platforms, adding actual recorded dialogue for the voice-over, so we were definitely able to use that money to expand the project into something even bigger and better.

How far has the project come long since that focus shifted?

We really hadn’t started before the Kickstarter launched, as we really wanted to save all that for the documentary crew, plus we didn’t know what size of a game we were making, and obviously it wouldn’t have done us any good to start planning up front, because our smaller game would have been a lot different to our $3 million game.

So we started in March, as soon as our Kickstarter ended, and we started brainstorming with four months of pre-production, which took us up to July.

We’ve been in full production now for only a few month, but we’re starting to see actual levels and characters from the game, and some puzzles that you can now solve in the game. We’re making progress but we’re still definitely a long way off.

Middle Manager of Justice. It looks suitably stupid.

Tim Schafer is currently writing the script. How is that coming along?

Yeah, that has been one of the most amazing parts so far. Tim is writing the script currently and he is a brilliant writer. The script is one of the least things I’m worried about as I’m sure it will be brilliant, and full of amazing characters.

But yes it has been an amazing process because we have been very open with it and we’ve shown concept art of the main characters, gotten feedback from our backers on Kickstarter and yeah, it’s been great.

Double Fine Adventure and your approach to Kickstarter really does underline the studio’s new direction. At what point did the team decide that it would focus predominantly on digital, and take the almost-indie approach that you’re taking now?

The first two games that Double Fine put out were large disc-based games for consoles, and the plan after Brutal Legend was to do Brutal Legend 2. When that got cancelled we had to shift and sort of figure out what we were going to do next.

So the decision was made to split the team down into smaller teams and work on these smaller games. We started what we call the ‘Amnesia Fortnight’, where we split the entire company up into four teams and have everybody who wanted to pitch a game, pitch a game to Tim – basically anything they wanted to work on.

This process ended up producing Costume quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade and Once Upon a Monster. So we spent two weeks thrashing those ideas out, and then pitched to publishers and all of them got signed. Ever since then we’ve been split into smaller teams that work on multiple projects at once, and that’s been a really exciting process for us.

Are you able to tell us more about what stage Brutal Legend 2 was at when it was canned?

It was just at the brainstorming phase. That happened shortly after Brutal Legend was launched, and we then split the team up and started the Amnesia Fortnight method.

Brutal Legend was the last Double Fine game that fit the big budget, ‘$60 boxed game’ stereotype. Is that a format you might return to in future?

Yeah, we definitely haven’t shunned the $60 boxed game, and it’s something that we could totally come back to in the future. But what I think is exciting with what we’ve been doing recently is that, we’ve been able to try a lot of different things.

We’ve done Kinect game, we’ve done mobile games, PC, and we’re now doing iOS. We’re looking at free-to-play stuff, so it’s been cool to experiment with our business models, just as much as we’ve experimented with our games. So yeah, we definitely could – one day – do a boxed game.

It’s neat that you guys are trying so many different things considering that many of the team have roots back in classic adventure games. We actually saw a recent quote from Ron Gilbert – who I know has worked with Tim a lot – saying that Doom is responsible for a dip in the adventure genre during the mid ’90s.

“The plan after Brutal Legend was to do Brutal Legend 2. When that got cancelled we had to shift and sort of figure out what we were going to do next.”

That was because it brought the notion of faster-paced action games to the table. Is that fair to say do you think?

I think that the console market has totally shifted towards larger, triple-a, polished experiences and definitely has more of an emphasis on action-based gameplay. But those games have started adopting things from the adventure genre over the last few years.

You see these big shooters that are relying a lot more on story, and action games that have more character-based stories. I think that the adventure genre has definitely primed the audience for narrative based games, and thanks to the variety of tablet and touch devices today, it makes sense to have new adventure games on those things.

But yeah I think that while action-based games have been more popular in recent years, the rise of the indie scene has shown that people are looking for new and unique experiences, and are willing to give anything a shot, even if it’s a unique idea they haven’t seen before.

Indies are a bigger part of the industry now than they were perhaps five or ten years ago, and there’s a very simple, obvious – but very applicable – quote on your Kickstarter page that states, “Big games cost big money.”

If the industry is trying to nurture indie talent, why are so many platforms essentially slamming doors in the faces of eager studios by making routes to market so expensive?

For any developers, things like Steam and iOS are much more open platforms, and they’re such a huge deal because they are places for indies to launch their games easily, and to give them a wide reach.

Platforms have – typically in the past – been difficult to get on, and have a lot of hoops to jump through in order to publish your game. That can be tough for indies for sure, but I think times are definitely changed and that I’d imagine that the industry is looking at iOS or Steam, and seeing the succes that people are having on there, then re-evaluating their practices.

What’s your opinion on OUYA and Android as easier routes to market for indies?

I think they definitely fall in line with the spirit of what we’ve done with Double Fine Adventure and we’re always looking to be very open and offering our product in a way that fans can can get better access.

But yeah, with Double Fine Adventure, our engine I called Moai, and it’s an open source engine that will allow us to launch on multiple platforms at the same time. The engine is available to anyone who wants to use it and ultimately we’re building a lot of tools for our game that will then be open sourced back into the Moai engine.

Should more developers consider removing the ‘red rope’ like that and give the public and other budding devs access to the studio – be it through tech or just a general insight into their inner workings?

Yeah I mean it’s different for everyone but we here at Double Fine like to be very open and to speak honestly and openly with our fans. It’s been good for us.

One thing that comes up a lot when people talk about Double Fine is sequels to games like Psychonauts, and it’s clear that people really want to see some of your old titles brought back. Is that demand from the gaming public validation that you’ve done something right?

Yeah that’s definitely flattering, and Tim has ideas for sequels to every game we’ve ever made. I think it always comes down to what kind of studio resources are available, and who’s available to make games.

But yes, Psychonauts 2 is something that comes up a lot and it’s something that we’d definitely be interested in doing. It’d just be a large game, and that’d mean pretty much the entire studio working on it for multiple years, so it’s just a matter of finding funding and finding out how to take it forward.

There is this weird view from many gamers that developers shouldn’t release games just to make money – and that the desire to make a profit is seen as greed – when in reality, making money is a necessity because, well, you are a business at the end of the day.

It’s not so much that we’d make games to make money, the real issue is having the money to make the game. It’s not like, ‘oh yeah, we want to make Psychonauts 2.

Well, someone has to pay us a ton of money to make us rich first’. We need that money to pay our employees so that we can have them around and have their salaries paid while we ake the game.

The same is true of sequels. Like, if a developer announces a sequel, some gamers approach that with caution and might say, ‘oh, this is a cash cow, they’re only doing this for money.’ At the end of the say it’s an entertainment business and you’re right, you do need to pay people’s wages.

I think there are definitely more Psychonauts stories to be told, and Tim has them in mind. Obviously fans like the game and we’d love to revisit the franchise too, and…we love it as well.

So in Double Fine Adventure, what does the word ‘Adventure’ mean to you? What defines a strong and memorable adventure game today?

We talked about this a lot, and a few of those discussions have been released in our Kickstarter documentary. But I think it’s different to everybody, but pretty much everyone we’ve talked with agrees that adventure games have a focus on narrative, story and character development.

One of the most important things in the game is that you’re telling a story and letting a player get absorbed into a world. We then have everything else like your inventory, puzzles, dialogue trees – but these aren’t necessarily what defines an adventure game.

Some adventure games have them, some don’t, but with Double Fine Adventure specifically, I think ‘Adventure’ references the adventure in the game itself, but also because it’s going to be an adventure for our fans in that we’re allowing our backers to take part in development of the game, and to give them access behind the scenes.

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1 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    That was some fine-ass interview, I’m glad i took the time to read it. Still Dave, in the future, i recommend that you split interviews like that in two parts. The size of that thing is intimidating.

    #1 2 years ago

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  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]

  • PS Store Easter sale discounts MGS: Ground Zeroes, Far Cry 4, more

    The Easter Sale is live on the EU PS Store, with Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes for less than £10, FIFA 15 Deluxe Edition for £30 and other savings. Some of the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita discounts are valid through April 8, other through April 15. PlayStation Plus members can also take an […]

  • Bloodborne video: how to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam

    Here’s a video for Bloodborne players showing a quick way to unlock the first shortcut in Old Yharnam. It also provides a look at things you may have missed in Central Yharnam and The Sewers, courtesy of VaatiVidya. Don’t forget, we have guides posted for the game with more updates coming soon. Bloodborne released in […]

  • Bloodborne issue prevents summons at Vicar Amelia fight

    A Bloodborne bug has prevented players calling on help to take on one of the nasty early bosses. Bloodborne bosses are significantly easier to take down in co-op. Unfortunately, at least one of them is proving difficult to find help for – and not just because not many players have obtained the Small Resonant Bell […]

  • Mass Effect 3 on sale on EU PSN, but not free

    Mass Effect 3 is discounted on the European PSN, but it’s not free. Update 2: The option to add to cart now lets you choose between the free trial or full version. The full version is on sale for £6.49 or £5.84 for PlayStation Plus members. The free trial is of course is still available, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Race to Elite winners announced, one player makes £10,000

    The winners of Elite: Dangerous’ Race To Elite competition have been announced, with one player receiving the grand prize of £10,000. Back when Elite: Dangerous launched, developer Frontier announced a competition that would award players to first reach Elite rank in trading, exploration, or combat, a prize of £1,000 each. The grand prize – £10,000 […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: How to make the most money with Special Bonuses and Elite Challenges

    You’re not hitting heists for the good of your health. Here’s how to max cash rewards. Money. GTA Online players love it. Greenbacks are the core of the entire experience, allowing you to buy the best weapons, vehicles and stupid haircuts. Heists, as promised, gives more opportunities than ever to earn serious cash, but once […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 coming tomorrow

    PlayStation 4 firmware 2.50, codenamed Yukimura, is due for release tomorrow, March 26. Firmware update 2.50 for PlayStation 4 will be launching tomorrow, March 26, Sony has announced. Codenamed Yukimura, the system update is promised to bring suspend/resume feature, trophy sync improvements, accessibility options, and much more. 2.50 has been in beta testing a while […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges and more

    Heists aren’t the only addition in GTA Online’s latest DLC – there’s a lot of content that can earn you big RP and cash payouts. GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges While heists are the talking point and big payoff after more than a year of waiting, there’s a […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]