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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 2 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 2 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

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

    #3 2 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 2 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 2 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

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

    #6 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Nintendo has issued a 3DS firmware update which fixes a web browser exploit that was being used to run pirated Game Boy Color ROMs since January as well as inject code within downloadable games. Another piece of code, per Eurogamer, changed the setting on the handheld to make it region-free. The exploit was only available […]

  • Unreal Tournament video shows updated textures on Outpost 23

    The latest footage from Epic’s new Unreal Tournament has surfaced, and it shows off the game’s first high-textured map which is called Outpost 23. As you can see from Zaccubus’ video, its the same are which Epic showed in the flythrough video from last year, only with updated textures and some new areas outside. The […]

  • Final add-on for Sunset Overdrive arrives in April

    The final add-on for Sunset Overdrive, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, will be released in April. On April 1 to be exact. No, that’s not an April Fool’s joke from Insomniac Games either. Below, you can watch a fist-look at the new story, area, and traversal mechanic.

  • Heroes of the Storm playable at EGX Rezzed

    Heroes of the Storm will be playable at EGX Rezzed. This will be the first UK public hands-on with the online team brawler. Blizzard will also host giveaways and friendly tournaments at its stand. Tickets for all three days of Rezzed are still available, and you can purchase a pass through the official website. EGX […]

  • PES 2015 Data Pack 4 coming next week with Winter Transfers, new faces

    Data Pack 4 for Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 has been dated, and it updates the game with Winter Transfers, new player faces, and additional stadiums. The latest free update contains real-time player transfers made within the January window, and player ratings have also been updated. Additionally, a number of improved likenesses to key players will […]

  • Here’s the changelog for Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch 5

    Notes for upcoming Patch 5 for Dragon Age: Inquisition have been posted, noting improvements to gameplay and stability, and the new features outlined back in early February. Along with the new party storage system added to the Undercroft at Skyhold, players also have the ability to adjust the size of subtitles. Below you will find […]

  • Game of Thrones, Mortal Kombat X, Batman mobile games on the way

    Warner Bros. has announced free-to-play mobile titles spanning its DC Comics, Mortal Kombat and Game of Thrones properties. The following five new games under development are: Mortal Kombat X from NetherRealm Studios: The game blends fighting and card collection with cinematic gameplay and Fatalities. Play as both classic and fighters, and if you own the […]

  • Win! Beta access to new MMORPG Skyforge and DLC worth $70

    We have ten Wrath of the Gods Founders Packs to giveaway for new RPG Skyforge, worth over $70. All you need to do to win a Wrath of the Gods pack is enter your details in the form below and we’ll pick 10 winners at random on Thursday, March 5, after 3pm GMT. Skyforge is […]

  • PC gaming expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018

    PC gaming is alive and well. In fact, it’s expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018. According to game-business group Open Gaming Alliance, the PC gaming industry is expected to grow beyond its current $26 billion worth and to a massive $35 billion by the year 2018. The information is based on data collected […]

  • Advanced Warfare: new patch adds new weapon, Master Prestige ranks, more

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has received a new patch that gives season pass holders early access to a new weapon and everyone else a myriad of fixes and additions. The patch went live today on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, without any official notes. CharlieIntel reports that among the new additions is the new […]

  • Destiny’s end game and raids explained

    Destiny’s end game can be a bit obtuse to those not used to MMO games. Fear not, we’ve got a few quick tips on how to crack it. Arekkz Gaming has a video for new players of Destiny or those who are looking to brush up on their knowledge of the game. Today’s theme is […]

  • Capcom adds local co-op to Resident Evil: Revelations 2 on PC

    Following fan outrage over lack of local co-op support for the PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Capcom has now added it. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 now officially supports split-screen local co-op in both campaign and raid mode. The update is currently in beta on Steam, but anyone can opt-in to try it. Capcom […]

  • New Destiny glitch spawns infinite Thralls on Earth

    Destiny’s latest glitch spawns infinite Thralls to help fuel your bounty hunting and loot lust. The glitch is simple to replicate. You’ll need to start The Dark Within mission on Earth, on any difficulty. Then follow the steps in the video below (Via DualShockers) to get to an area out of the map. You’ll then […]

  • Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is here with new game mode, netcode improvements and more

    DICE has released the Winter Patch for Battlefield 4. The patch brings an eSports focus with new game mode Squad Obliteration and plenty more. Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is now live on all platforms. It’s just over 400MB on PC and 1.34GB on consoles. The patch adds new game mode Squad Obliteration and more customisation […]

  • HTC hopes to see Half-Life on VR headset Vive

    Vive manufacturer HTC said that it hopes to see Valve games, including Half-Life, on the virtual reality headset. Speaking to the BBC, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang said that Valve is keen on having its games available on the VR headset. “I think Valve’s best game is Dota, right, and Portal and [Team Fortress] and I […]

  • Make money easily in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

    If you’re looking to buy a fell set of armour for your character in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate but keep falling short on Zenny, this video will show you an easy way to make lots of it. Arekkz Gaming has a very handy tip for all Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate players: how to make Zenny […]

  • This is how you claim free Xbox One games from your Xbox 360

    Microsoft is giving everyone the ability to claim their free Xbox One Games with Gold titles from their Xbox 360 console, even without owning an Xbox One. If you don’t yet own an Xbox One and want to make sure you don’t miss out on all those free Games with Gold games, you’ll be pleased […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 3: Heroic and Nightfall detailed

    Bungie has reset the weekly cap of Crucible and Vanguard marks and added new Heroic and Nightfall strikes, now with burn. From now until next Tuesday, the weekly Heroic strike will be The Devil’s Lair with Heroic and Lightswitch modifiers. As for the Nightfall, you’ll be fighting Sepiks Prime with the help of Arc burn. […]

  • Few Mass Effect FemShep cosplays are as elaborate as this one

    The internet is full of Female Commander Shepard cosplay from Mass Effect, but very few are as terrific as this one. Visual artist Freya Willia has spent over two years painstakingly creating the perfect suit of armour and the best weapons to make her cosplay of Female Shepard as authentic as possible, Omni tool and […]

  • Deals with Gold: Assassin’s Creed Unity, Red Dead Redemption and more discounted

    This week’s Deals with Gold titles for Xbox Live subscribers is a good mix of modern games and old favourites. The list of discounted games through this week’s Deals with Gold is live with discounts on Assassin’s Creed Unity, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and more. The deals are live now […]

  • Destiny guide: how to maximise your Grimoire Points

    Destiny players regularly compare the size of their Grimoire Points. Learn how to make yours the biggest. Destiny guide: how to earn Grimoire Points In Destiny, earning most Grimoire cards is just a matter of playing the game, maybe a little more attentively than usual. You’ll either need to complete a certain number of actions […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows will let you play as a baddie

    Shovel Knight owners will benefit from the generosity of Kickstarter backers quite soon. Because Shovel Knight was overfunded during its Kickstarter campaign, developer Yacht Club Games committed to releasing free content updates. The first of these, Plague of Shadows, has now been detailed. The expansion stars baddy Plague Knight, who turns on his former allies, […]

  • GTA controversies, from Hot Coffee to PR manipulation

    GTA has a long history of controversy. The latest Did You Know Gaming tells the full stories behind the sensational headlines. Grand Theft Auto is such a byword for controversy that it’s easy to forget the full context of what actually happened to bring mainstream press, politicians and interest group awareness to the Rockstar series. […]

  • Infamous 2 one of five new PlayStation Now additions for March

    PlayStation Now will expand to the tune of five new games this month. The March PS Now additions are Infamous 2, Twisted Metal, R-Type Dimensions, Alone in the Dark: Inferno and Operation Flashpoint: Red River. PS Now will set you back $20 per month or $45 for a three month subscription. It offers all you […]

  • Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster gets PS4 release date

    Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster hits PS4 in May. The PS4 release date for Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster is May 12 in North America and May 15 in Europe. Gematsu reports a special pre-order bonus calendar with art by Yoshitaka Amano is available through the Square Enix Store and participating retailers. In Europe, pre-ordering […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare getting 15 new Prestige levels

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players can now aspire to the ranks of Grand Master Prestige. Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games will add 15 more Prestige levels to the latest Call of Duty, giving players at max XP a chance to grow even further. According to the Sledgehammer Games blog, when you enter Master level […]

  • Destiny: Crota’s End recreated in Minecraft

    Destiny’s toughest challenge gets even nastier if you throw Creepers into the mix. The ultimate Destiny challenge – for now – is the Crota’s End raid. Taking place in an alternate dimension accessed through the Hellmouth on the Moon, the Raid takes Guardians through a pit of darkness to the resting place of Crota himself. […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer introduces the Heir to the Monado

    Xenoblade Chronicles 3D protagonist Shulk is the Heir to the Monado, his distinctive red sword. Let this trailer fill you in on what that means. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D releases for New 3DS on April 2 in Europe and April 10 in North America. As well as all the content of the Wii original, it has […]

  • The Elder Scrolls: Total War mod covers Morrowind, Oblivion and more

    The Elder Scrolls: Total War is a terrific mod allowing you get get intimately involved with the history of Bethesda’s detailed fantasy universe. The first release of The Elder Scrolls: Total War dropped on the weekend, giving players their first chance to try out LoRdNazgu1‘s creation. This version runs from 3E 427 to 4E 45, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 out now on Steam

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is out now. Yes, we’re surprised too. You can grab Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 on Steam for $8. Developer Scott Cawthon really doesn’t mess about; the game was only announced in early January. Here’s the blurb: Thirty years after Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza closed it’s doors, the events that took […]

  • EVE Online heister makes off with $13,000 worth of goods

    EVE Online is a hotbed of villainy, espionage and backstabbing, but one intrepid corporate thief has made waves even in this setting. The thing about EVE Online is that it’s a true sandbox: the game’s rules are very loose, and allow players to make careers out of theft, piracy, assassination and espionage in addition to […]

  • Marth Amiibo getting a stock refresh in North America

    Nintendo of America has announced a fresh supply of the difficult to find Marth Amiibo. The Marth Amiibo will be back in stock in the US in late April, the platform holder said on Twitter today. Planning to pick up Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and don’t have a Marth amiibo? More are headed to stores in […]

  • Skyrim beta update upgrades creation kit file size

    Skyrim has been granted a new beta update – more than three years after launch! – to improve the experience for modders and those who use them. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released in November 2011. I think that’s worth noting before we discuss the beta update that dropped today, even as Bethesda is working […]

  • Paradox’s next epic RPG is, uh, Knights of Pen & Paper 2

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is very serious business so please enjoy this very serious trailer. “Return to the dicey world of Knights of Pen & Paper for a new turn-based adventure, where players get to take on the role of players, and also of the game’s encounter-designing, rules-laywering GM in a fully customizable […]

  • Amplitude looks amazing in new gameplay trailer, has a team multiplayer mode

    Amplitude may have been delayed but we still get something this March: a fine new gameplay trailer. Amplitude is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 sometime in northern summer. It’s a reprisal of Harmonix’s classic rhythm action game, a forerunner to its later efforts with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and was crowdfunded. Update: Turns […]

  • DayZ creator’s “crazy”, “esoteric” next game developed with Improbable

    DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has dropped the first vague details of his new game project. “I do not want to make safe games. I do not want to make games the way we have been making them. What if the most experienced video game staff in the world collaborated on the most esoteric and […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]

  • Destiny: this is how one player predicted House of Wolves details and Xur’s inventory

    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]