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

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  • 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 […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]

  • The Crew two-hour demo now available in US, tomorrow in the UK

    Ubisoft has announced a free trial of its driving MMO The Crew will be available tomorrow, March 25 in the UK. It’s live today in North America. For current players, the Vintage Car Pack and Vintage Live Update, including a new PvP mode, are now available. The Vintage Car Pack included the Chevrolet Corvette C2 […]

  • Minecraft Mass Effect Mash-Up and Pattern Texture Pack out from today

    A Mass Effect Mash-up pack and the Pattern Texture Pack will release on PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita today in North America and tomorrow in Europe. The Pattern Texture Pack is also available for Xbox consoles today. The Mass Effect Mash-Up pack contains the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 plus textures and craftable items […]

  • The Talos Principle expansion pack Road to Gehenna announced

    An expansion for The Talos Principle has been announced titled Road to Gehenna. The expansion follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim’s messenger, as he explores a “strange, hidden part of the simulation” on a mission of “mercy and redemption.” Uriel is attempting to free the souls of the damned “at all costs.” Road to Gehenna […]

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon finally catches ‘em all – even the rare Mewtwo

    Twitch Plays Pokemon players have captured all 151 original Pokemon which were included in a modified version of Pokemon Red, and this includes the rare Mewtwo. It took 39 days for Twitch players to catch ‘em all. Have a look at the impressive feat for yourself below. Thanks, Polygon.

  • GameStop will have limited units of Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL back in stock

    Those who missed out on the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL will have another opportunity to purchase it outside of eBay. Tomorrow only, GameStop stores in the United States will have four units in stock, according to and internal memo sent to Kotaku. This is every store in the country, and again, only […]

  • Second phase of Fortnite closed Alpha launches today

    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]

  • The Evil Within: The Consequence dated for April, teaser video released

    Part 2 of Juli Kidman’s adventure in The Evil Within will arrive next month with the release of The Consequence. Above is a brief teaser showing some of the “madness” Kidman will encounter. The Consequence will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. European PlayStation players will […]

  • Bloodborne sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate” per performance analysis

    Bloodborne has been analyzed by Digital Foundry and according to the report, even with a 30fps cap the game sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate.” The game’s day-one 2.69GB update 1.01 is “essential” as it contains improvements to game performance and stability and the frame-rate tests run by Digital Foundry were in single-player […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews round-up

    Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews are out in the wild so we decided to catch a few of them for you. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection packages Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with each game’s DLC content on one disc. Better graphics and […]

  • Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, WWE 2K15 are this week’s Deals with Gold

    Evolve, Forza 2 Horizon and WWE 2K15 are just some of the games which are part of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold. You can also pick up the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro Edition for 20% off as well as the standard edition for 33% off. For the Xbox 360 crowd, there’s also […]

  • Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles now available starting at $250

    Microsoft is offering a discount on three Xbox 360 bundles with prices starting at $250. The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles feature various content such as a Kinect, 500GB console bundle and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle: comes with Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare download and Fable […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege beta sign ups now open

    Ubisoft is letting everyone register for the upcoming Rainbow Six Siege closed beta. Rainbow Six Siege is due for a closed beta sometime this year. Ubisoft has opened registration to everyone. All you need to do is enter your preferred platform and log in using your Uplay account. You will be entered into a waiting […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Exo Zombies map Infection is creepy

    The upcoming chapter in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies mode is called ‘Infection’ and Activision has been slowly revealing bits and pieces about it. A few teasers have been dropping ahead of Ascendance launch this month. The teasers are about the second episode in the Exo Zombie story, Infection. First off, the map. […]

  • This is the Bloodborne press kit in all its glory

    Bloodborne is a gorgeous game so it’s only fitting that the press kit it came in is a reflection of that. The pictures capture the many amazing bits of the Bloodborne press kit. A press kit is what’s usually sent to the reviewers alongside the review copy. They’re usually very ornate and almost all of […]

  • This Hearthstone turn is taking over 40 hours and you can watch it happen

    A very smart Hearthstone player has rigged his game to make one turn take over 40 hours, and it has been going for over 22 already. Hearthstone player Mamytwink set up a game against his friend to try and achieve the record for the longest turn in Hearthstone ever. Basically, Mamytwink set the game up […]

  • The Witcher 3: Geralt’s beard grows over time, but not Gandalf-long

    The beard of The Witcher 3 protagonist Geralt will grow over time, but you can trim it if you choose to. As part of a recently published impressions piece by German magazine Gamestar (translated by NeoGAF), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developers revealed that Geralt’s beard will in fact grow over time. Not content with […]

  • Sony mistakenly abandons Bloodborne trademark in the US

    The administration side of Sony Computer Entertainment has not been in the best of shapes recently. Sony has abandoned four game trademarks yesterday, one of which is for Bloodborne. The trademarks were all registered with US Patent and Trademark Office. All of the games trademarks pertain to unreleased games and Sony would’ve had to either […]

  • Payday 2 will be supported until 2017

    Payday 2 developer has announced that it will continue to support the game for the next two years. Payday 2 developer Overkill has revealed today that it’s planning to support the game until 2017. What this means is that more free content as well as paid DLC are in the works for release later. Payday […]

  • These are the top Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare weapons, according to the developer

    Based on their overall kill-to-death ratio, what are the best guns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Developer Sledgehammer reveals the top 5. Sledgehammer’s Michael Condrey has revealed on Twitter the top 5 weapons in Advanced Warfare based on their overall kill-to-death ratio. Here’s the list: ARX-160 – Hole Puncher Ameli – Heavy HBRa3 – […]

  • H1Z1 has sold more than 1 million copies

    H1Z1 has already sold over 1 million copies on Steam. H1Z1 may still be in Early Access on Steam, but it has already sold more than 1 million copies. Daybreak president John Smedley announced on Twitter earlier. H1Z1 launched in January and instantly became a hit. The game has consistently been on Steam’s top 10 […]