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Oddworld Abe’s Oddysee interview: stick it to the man

Tuesday, 2 October 2012 16:59 GMT By Dave Cook

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is one of the most unique games of our time. VG247′s Dave Cook spoke with creator Lorne Lanning about its origins and future.

Lorne Lanning

Founded Oddworld Inhabitants in 1994 with Sherry McKenna. The studio was based in California.

Released Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee on PSone in 1997 to critical acclaim

Lanning is now working with Just Add Water on Oddworld: New N’ Tasty!

There are many truths of the game industry that ring true no matter what year, generation or country you look at, but few resonate quite so profoundly as new IP being a huge financial risk.

Money talks and bullshit walks, but unless you’re a million dollar entity, success in this market is never guaranteed. The Oddworld series goes against the grain so defiantly that it was always going to run into trouble at some point in its lifespan.

Initially planned by co-creators Lorne Lanning and his partner Sherry McKenna as a five-game series, the Oddworld Quintology only saw the release of three core games – not counting the originally unplanned sequel Abe’s Exoddus. The first title, Abe’s Oddysee launched on PSone in 1997.

The developer’s third game, the critically-acclaimed but criminally under-marketed Stranger’s Wrath would be the studio’s last release before receding to the sidelines in 2005. But now, in collaboration with British studio Just Add Water, the franchise is back in a big way.

Oddworld: New N’ Tasty! is an HD remake of the first game – as in, an actual remake from top to bottom – and it’s looking rather lovely indeed. The game will launch in due course, but what comes after that is anyone’s guess.

At Eurogamer Expo, VG247 caught up with Lanning to discuss the origins of the Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, and why the current climate of indies and digital distribution is perfect for a full-on Oddworld revival.

The million unit dream

We’re not even underway with our interview but we can already tell that Lanning feels like a man reborn, a person thankful to have a second chance to let his creations shine. His energy is heart-warming after everything he’s been through.

It’s a great thing to see in an industry riddle with lay-offs and closures, so we ask him just how thankful he feels for Abe’s success, and if he thought all of this would have been possible back at the launch of his studio in 1994.

“You know, the amount of money we borrowed to make Abe’s Oddysee – he had to succeed,” Lanning recalled, “He had to sell millions of units. He just had to man. I had to convince people that it would before I got the money, and then I actually had to deliver.”

“That impact was a little more than I’d kind of hoped for – the longevity of it. The number of people with Abe tattoos, and all that is pretty phenomenal. I didn’t really see that then.”

“But that said, what I never expected – I worked for it, I designed for it, but I never actually expected it – was that 15 years later, gamers would still have this passion, and that we would still be receiving emails about it.”

“I mean, we always designed Abe for the downtrodden, because that’s who I feel most of us are. Now it’s so much more clear, but we still get emails from people about how it really changed their lives at really critical times. Like, they decided not to jump off that cliff.”

“That impact was a little more than I’d kind of hoped for – the longevity of it, and the number of people with Abe tattoos, all that is pretty phenomenal. I didn’t really see that then.”

Lanning was lucky that his studio retained ownership over the Oddworld IP for so long. After all, this is a business teeming with big publishers vying for ownership over new franchises.

Calling it ‘splitting the baby’ – a legal term often used to explain part-ownership of a license or other asset, Lanning explained that he wasn’t too eager to hand over control of Oddworld to publishers readily, for fear of the quality suffering.

Lanning explained to us that digital distribution and a strong relationship with Just Add Water made Oddworld’s revival possible, but noted that any profit made strictly goes back into paying company wages and funding projects.

Rock n’ roll standards

The secret to making the Oddworld franchise reach new prominence today is reinvestment, and making sure that money is used wisely. That way Lanning and Just Add Water need never turn to a big publisher ever again.

“It started just by getting Abe’s Oddysee and Exoddus on Steam, that was the beginning of us self-publishing. It worked out phenomenally because then we had the Oddbox, Stranger’s Wrath HD and now Abe’s Oddysee New N’ Tasty.”

“Abe is something that resonated so well, and for so long that to-date, there may be about five-plus million units sold. That’s not phenomenal by today’s standards, but by rock n’ roll standards, that is huge.”

“That’s how we see it. We’re a rock band, not big business people with an exit strategy.”

“That’s how we see it. We’re a rock band, not big business people with an exit strategy. When I talked about babies split in half, if you look at the industry, there’s babies split in half everywhere – Halo, the BioWare games and others.”

“The initial passion is gone, but for us if the returns are bigger, we can start to take bigger and bigger bets. This allows us to do something that would be difficult for a publisher, which is to say, ‘hey, we’re going to love making these games as developers’, and put as much love into them as we’ve always done.”

“If I look at the landscape now it’s like, if I’m a big publisher and I don’t make a 5x return on my game in the first week, I’m dead. But now, at 50,000 units digitally, you have a business. It’s self-perpetuating.”

That freedom didn’t happen for Lanning overnight of course, so we get to the real meat of the conversation – the game that started it all – Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee.

Odd origins

We ask Lanning what he set out to achieve when conceptualising Abe’s first outing and its dark, wacky world. After all, it wasn’t exactly conforming to industry trends, so it posed a big risk for the studio.

“Oddworld itself was based on the idea that we’re living in an unsustainable world and we need to wake up. I’m an anti-capitalist and proud of it because capitalism is evil. the beautiful thing is that today, people are seeing that more clearly.”

“In reality, a lot of what drove the creation of the content is more clear to the audience today, that basically, we’re all getting screwed. What inspired the games was, I knew what was happening with fast food companies and the deforestation of South American rainforest.”

”The creation of Abe was driven by deforestation and what was happing with diamond miners, and how indigenous cultures were becoming mandated to become financially dependent on bigger cultures.”

“I knew it, and I knew most people at the time didn’t. I would talk to professors and people who were meant to be intelligent, but they were clueless. That need to say, ‘look, we need to pay attention to these things’ was there, but how could we do that with a twisted funnybone?’”

“How can that be inspiring to people who know they’re getting the shaft? So the creation of Abe was driven by deforestation and what was happing with diamond miners, and how indigenous cultures were becoming mandated to become financially dependent on bigger cultures.”

“When we got to Munch’s Oddysee, that was about what was happening in the pharmaceutical industry on the legal end, and with animal testing in multi-billion businesses.”

“Stranger’s Wrath was more about me thinking, ‘where’s the warrior in all of this? Where’s the rogue samurai? I mean, my dad was on nuclear submarines for 17 years, and through that I saw true patriots. But those same guys are only now realising just who they’re working for.”

Designing Abe

But what about Abe’s quirky design? He’s a Mudokon, forced into working at food processing plant Rupture Farms. After learning that his people are next on the menu, he decides to escape the rusting factory and liberate his people.

Lanning explained his collaboration with Oddworld artist Steven Olds, “He was an amazing guy. He was self-taught but you’ve never met a guy with more discipline, he’s the Lance Armstrong of production design. He was a master.”

“But what I was doing was trying to come up with in Abe was the embodiment of the absolute downtrodden. I wanted what I was seeing in the heartbreaking pictures of guys covered in mud, emerging from the diamond mines of Bolivia, with their managers carrying M16s.”

“I wanted that, so we went back and forth. There was another thing I wanted but we haven’t gone into too much detail with was Abe’s little ponytail. One of the things I noticed from fishing – which is my first love – is that I would see the same species of fish looking very different depending on the quality of the water it lived in.”

“I later learned that you could take that fish and put it in better water, then after an amount of time it would change back into that beautiful thing. Now we get to Abe, and the Mudokon. In Rupture farms they are grey, their ponytails have shrunken.”

“The key is actually in creating the really difficult challenge that must be solved, and that requires a grand solution. Once you solve it, you look really smart.”

“But as they start getting healthy, being around trees, eating organic food instead of processed, and just finding themselves again, the real colour starts to come back, and their hair grows long.

“We need more successes to make new games that show all of that, but there is a lot more inspiration and logic that drives those characters so far.”

While Lanning’s inspiration and design concept for Abe is admirable, we ask him if he ever felt worried that Abe, who is largely a pacifist wouldn’t be an attractive lead in 1997, in the same decade that produced Doom and Metal Gear Solid.

“Abe was never going to carry a gun, and some of our designers at the time were like, ‘you’re just nuts, he needs a gun’, so I said ‘no he doesn’t, he needs a solution’. I say this often: that the essence of what appear to be brilliant ideas, is not necessarily brilliance.”

“The key is actually in creating the really difficult challenge that must be solved, and that requires a grand solution. Once you solve it, you look really smart. In the case of Abe it was more than embodying what we knew the audience was looking for, it was that we wanted to take the opposite approach.”

“He can never carry a gun, ever, and that is what birthed his power of possession. If you look at it as a designer like, how do we give him a gun and then take it away, but that it still feels ok?”

“It doesn’t feel limiting, it just feels like a power-up in this instance, and that is what drove possession. It was a good answer to that problem because we were dealing with this spiritually indigenous people that had kind of lost their roots.”

“They’re like the Aborigines in that they know something we’ve forgotten, and we need that recaptured.”

Gamespeak

Oddworld games have always included a system called Gamespeak, which gives players the ability to have characters talk which in turn triggers a response from NPCs, such Abe asking Mudokons to follow him, or even scolding them if they get out of line.

Lanning explains why his team implemented the system in Abe’s Oddysee, “What I felt was that I had no emotional connections to games on-screen. The closest I came was Prince of Persia, and I realised the reason for that was Jordan Mechner’s wonderful rotoscoped character animations.”

“Because it felt more lifelike and that the prince dies so suddenly and horribly, I was like, ‘oh!’. I remember there was like a dozen of us playing it one night smoking bongs, and playing Prince of Persia.”

“They were all like, ‘jump, jump!’, so I did and I fell to my death, then everyone was like, ‘aaaah!’ We were like totally traumatised, and I thought it was great. It was valuable.”

“So in an effort to make Abe more emotionally engaging, we had to show more character. I was thinking like, ‘well, how can an action embody more emotion and intent than a punch?’”

“I remember there was like a dozen of us playing it one night smoking bongs, and playing Prince of Persia. They were all like, ‘jump, jump!’, so I did and I fell to my death, then everyone was like, ‘aaaah!’”

“If it can be a word that gets a cute little response like ‘Hello?’, ‘Hello!’, or ‘OK?’, ‘OK!’ [In Abe's voice], then you immediately have more of a feeling of a life form, and less of a piece of art that’s just engaged in a challenging experience.”

“That was a bit part of driving it, and in Stranger’s Wrath we made that process simpler with one button, but more complex on the AI end. That all came from lessons learned, because Abe was a complicated game at the time.”

“We wanted you to feel responsible for Abe, and we wanted you to feel bad if you did bad for him. Most importantly, we wanted you to feel bad for character, not for your score. There’s a huge difference.”

“Gamespeak – I think – was the real beginning to get that feeling of, instead of throwing punch, you’re throwing a helpful word, or humour. Then you have the idea of saving guys rather than killing them.”

“But we had to make sure that if you wanted to kill them, we’d facilitate that beautifully, so that we still have integrity rather than becoming hooligans.”

What comes next?

Lanning’s inspiration for the weird and wonderful inhabitants of Oddworld come from many places, but these creatures all exist for the same reason. They exist to induce empathy in players, to test their ability and perhaps most of all, to provide fun and warm memories.

“That was always my goal, to create that sense of empathetic emotion and connection so that you’d feel for them. But if you wanted to be cynical about it and kill everything, we had to facilitate that where Nintendo wouldn’t with Mario.”

“You could never do that in a Nintendo game, and that annoyed me because sometimes I’m a sick bastard and I should be allowed to exercise that. We wanted that in the gameplay to give Oddworld an ethical message”

That message hasn’t ended yet in Lanning’s eyes, and thanks to his collaboration with Just Add Water and renewed interest in the franchise, we could just see the release of brand new chapters in this stunted story.

“In my opinion, Oddworld hasn’t really gotten started yet,” Lanning stressed, “I’ve tried some other business ventures and I’ve failed because I’m trying to earn the 20-40 million dollars I need to put it back into the franchise.”

“I mean, I don’t have kids. But then again I do – they’re green, they’re in wheelchairs and they’ve got horns. Those characters are my kids – quite literally – because I’ll never have other children.”

“They’re the ones, and I feel like they’ve just gotten started.”

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11 Comments

  1. Dave Cook

    It’s probably stupid to comment on your own story, but I have to say that it makes me happy to see this franchise in good health again. Can’t wait to see where they take the franchise next :D

    #1 3 years ago
  2. OrbitMonkey

    ^ It was a fine read Dave… It’s a shame all the guys are in another thread arguing Harddrive size… Boys will be boys eh? :-)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 thanks man, appreciated :) Yeah, Abe deserves some love.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    #1 yes iam happy also, i did love the ones released on xbox , especially strangers warth, it is a very different series that oozes style on every aspect all around, yep i cannot wait either to see what they do have in store for us.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    I never really considered the political angle, but hearing about it just makes me glad that he didn’t end up doing something as nauseating and whiny as Avatar.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5 I had no idea about that either. Such an interesting guy.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Beta

    Really interesting interview, Oddworld was and is one of my favourite franchises and I’m so glad it’s back! :D

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    Thanks for the interview, #1, that was a joy to read. I wish more shared those attitudes. The industry is so driven by big, polished titles today that ambitious ones where you can see that the developer was really trying to do something truly stand out.

    And things are changing, now. What with distribution networks like Steam, and things like KickStarter on offer. One of the big KickStarter things I eagerly await the pay-off of is Lifeless Planet. The demo of that was just fantastic, but I digress.

    This is the mindset we need in the games industry, though. We need someone with this mindset in every developer, and in positions of leadership in the bigger ones. Then we might actually see some progress. Polish has brought about nothing but stagnation, after all.

    So… yeah. These are the words I want to hear. If gaming were politics, it’s those with words like these that I’d vote for.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    Support anti-capitalism ideals… by buying our games!

    Bleurgh!

    I never cared much for the original Abe games, though I could certainly appreciate their aesthetic and design – even now they hold up amazingly well in that regard. Stranger’s Wrath has a weird nostalgic place in my heart though, for reasons I don’t quite understanding.

    Modern gaming is great, but I do miss this kind of quirkiness.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 It’s a self perpetuating studio though man, they put the money back into the studio and not to a big publisher. Surely that’s better? :)

    Agreed though, the art behind it looks incredible.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. bpcgos

    Ah, gamespeak. I remember played it all night just to make a rhyme from Abe’s voice. Still, the story itself made my ‘teen heart’ feels very disturbed. Eating something that can actually think and have feelings are very cruel (I hate monkey eater too)

    #11 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    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 […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

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

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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