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DayZ standalone interview: selfishness breeds success

Monday, 8 October 2012 17:11 GMT By Dave Cook

DayZ started life as an Arma 2 mod, but now it’s grown into something bigger. VG247′s Dave Cook spoke with creator Dean Hall about where the game goes from here.

DayZ

Created as an Arma 2 mod by Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall.

As of August 6th 2012, DayZ reached one million players.

Hall is now working on a standalone version of DayZ that is slated for a November-December 2012 release window.

You don’t have to look very far to see why right now, as you read these words, the games industry has never been in a healthier state if you’re an independent creator.

While the triple-a market may be awash with rote design, committee-led development and cookie-cutter experiences, the indie scene is gearing up for an explosion. It’s a genuinely thrilling playing field.

If you have an idea, you must act now, before the big corporations, publishers and studios muscle in on this flourishing market and wrench control away from those trying to make it big off their own back.

Someone who knows this first hand – both by working in the big business side of the industry, and through his own work – is DayZ creator Dean Hall. He’s gearing up to launch the standalone version of his survival horror mod, and he’s got much to say during these volatile times.

VG247: You’ve gone from a modder to an icon in the eyes of many gamers, thanks to the success of DayZ. How does it feel to have shot to fame and prominence so suddenly?

Dean Hall: You only really realise it when you look back, so when I think about it, and about how you’ve changed – how you think and react differently – some of it’s not positive.

I think sometimes I’m much less inclined to accept, say, a team member submitting poor quality work, I’m probably less patient and things like that. So some of it’s quite negative, and I think it’s because of all the pressure and things like that.

Because so many eyes are on you now and people want to hear what you have to say?

Yeah, and it’s really hard to keep a sense of perspective and the vision as well. That’s why it’s been really good to talk to people like Notch, Valve or the guys from CCP.

They helped me by saying, ‘nope, you’re on the right track, keep doing this or that.’ So it’s been really useful to have that, but I haven’t really reflected on the – as you say – fame side of it.

“I think we’ve got a winner here, but it’s been challenging. It’s a slower development than I’d like.”

It’s because I just haven’t had time. When there’s a lull – say when we’ve done the alpha standalone release of DayZ – then maybe it will sink in a little bit more, But at the moment it’s literally like I go somewhere, I do a talk, I leave, I go back to work.

It’s just planes, planes, getting grumpy, and you really don’t think of the awesomeness of it. I’m jet-lagged, on another plane, my hotel room’s not ready yet, and all of that other stuff.

You got advice from Notch though. What was that like? Was his input useful?

Well he’s pretty busy. Basically he had wanted to play DayZ, but he had great difficulty installing it, and also I think he was a bit worried that it would soak up a lot of his time. So I think he’s waiting for the standalone.

Can you give us a status update on the standalone version’s development?

Yeah sure. It’s been a real challenge to move all the data, because it’s a mixture of Arma 2, Take On Helicopters and bits of Arma 3, so it’s a real smorgasbord of Bohemia Interactive products lumped together.

That’s awesome but it also creates a real data challenge, as there’s just vast quantities of data that has to be moved. In many ways it’s a new product, because we’ve come up with a unique way of distributing it through DayZ, and a unique way of pushing out updates very quickly thanks to working with awesome people like Valve.

I think we’ve got a winner here, but it’s been challenging. It’s a slower development than I’d like, and while that’s not going to affect the release date, it is going to affect how ambitious we can be with the actual content.

So it will be chopped down a bit over the existing version?

Well you know, I guess I never really thought we’d get things like construction into the standalone at launch. I’d prefer things to go faster, but that’s just game development.

Tight development cycles and such?

Yeah, and I think the most important thing is we deal with hacking, bugs, duping, new content, tidy up some of the features and expand them a bit. I think if we can get that base – by the end of November or December – then that means January and February will be really happy, fun times.

Launch day will mark the start of an iterative development process for you and your team. How will you look to expand the game from that point, and how closely will fan feedback dictate where you go next?

We have to get that initial alpha out, and whenever we want to push out a build we can pretty much push that. We’ve been talking about having three builds. First is an internal build – one that is just available for the development team.

Then a recommended build – like a beta testing build that’s available for the community, where they can try new updates before they come out. Then the final build, so that’s how we’re going to be taking things forward.

”I think modding the DayZ standalone is something that would come much, much later. Bohemia Interactive loves to have its products modded, and it’s the first thing the studio wants people to do, as many of them come from a modding background.”

Code-wise, the updates will be quite well planned – like Minecraft updates ended up being with update Fridays and all that. I think with content, the content will come out as it’s done.

I think if it’s done and it’s tested, we’ll roll it out. We have an art cell as well, and we say to them, ‘we want this done’. So they go away and they are very agile, they decide how they’re going to do it. They manage themselves and produce the content.

DayZ was a mod of Arma 2, so in turn will people be able to mod DayZ standalone?

I think modding the DayZ standalone is something that would come much, much later. Bohemia Interactive loves to have its products modded, and it’s the first thing the studio wants people to do, as many of them come from a modding background.

But we’re realistic. If we don’t first control hacking, duping and bugs, than that’s a very serious issue.

So again, you have to have that solid base first?

Yes exactly. But we talk about things, like it would be lovely to have things like APIs and things like that. Arma already supports high command extensions and other things that have helped make DayZ possible.

There’s a lot of support already out there for how the engine works, but that would all be stuff that comes after we’ve got that solid base, and we can say, ‘yes we have dealt with the problems as much as we can – we will never remove it completely – but we’ve given it a killer blow.’

Let’s move to how you got to this point in the first place. I mean, when you were making the mod, did you ever envision a standalone DayZ game happening?

Well I want to see more games that I want to play. That was why I started making games, and I think that’s the case for many people. I think as people get older, and they have kids they have different desires.

The whole reason I make games is I want to play them, and that’s maybe why I don’t like single-player campaign console games, because if you make that, then you’re probably sick of it by the time it launches.

Whereas with an open world multiplayer game, well you know, I’m still exploring the world as much as the player is once it was made. Perhaps that’s selfish because there’s a selfish reason why I like that game.

It’s also probably – I think – one of the more challenging game styles to design, because if you miss, you miss big. Your success is based on the players and how they use it.

But when you have something like Mass Effect, where you have a good story, great graphics, good cinematics, you’re more likely to see that success come through. I’ve kind of gone off topic here a little.

No, that’s fine. I guess from our end looking in, we’ve seen many people playing DayZ and then writing journals as the character, telling these awesome stories of survival and betrayal. How did it feel to start seeing that?

It was fantastic. That made it in my mind. I mean just sign it, seal it and say ‘done’. I don’t think there’s any greater thing you can do than to make something that other people pick up and run with.

So yeah that’s really awesome, but it does present some problems like people making their own t-shirts, selling things and stuff like that. You almost don’t want to jump on them because it’s cool, but these days you have to protect trademark and more.

”I believe the next six months will decide whether we’ve screwed it up, and how good we make the product. That will dictate how far it goes. So really, it’s on us.”

In a way one of the annoying things that’s come out is that things start to get serious. It got big, people start seeing you as a target, and a whole lot of bullshit comes out.

I don’t like that, that’s why I think our next games after DayZ won’t be as widely successful. I look at projects like Kerbal Space Program which is still incredibly popular, and I think it’s hit a sweet spot of awesome community, great number of players, but it’s not swamped to the point of destruction.

When you say ‘next games’, I mean, would you ever want to run a massive triple-a studio, or do you still want to function as an indie?

I think that eventually I want to go back to New Zealand, as I think it’s a great place to start a studio. With DayZ, I think it would be awesome to see it go in the direction of something like EvE Online.

I believe the next six months will decide whether we’ve screwed it up, and how good we make the product. That will dictate how far it goes. So really, it’s on us. The games industry very supportive of DayZ, the community is very supportive of it, other developers are kind to it – with a few exceptions.

I think it’s such a cherished IP, basically because it’s a success story. Does that tell you that anyone can do this if they have the right idea?

I definitely think they should get into it. The most important thing – and this also applies to big projects – is that the biggest problem is a lack of single vision. You need someone like Apple.

As much as people like to rip on what Steve Jobs did, and how he could be a bit of a dick sometimes, he knew what was needed. Sometimes I’m like that. I’m sure if you talk to some of the team, they would say I’m not always a nice person to be around.

But I think that, with mods, the reason a lot of them don’t get released is because they were team efforts. I think one person has to sit down ant take the responsibility like I did. I did the art, the code, production, I paid for things, so at the end of the day the buck stopped with me.

Everybody knew that, so they would accept it if I said, ‘nope, we’re doing things that way’. I think that’s really important, and I think a lot of mods or even big games do that.

They are games by committee, and I think those games depend on marketing. You need one person going, ‘this is what we’re doing’.

I guess the worst example of that is when you can tell a game has been focus-tested, and pandering to current trends. We’re now looking at things like open platforms. Should triple-a studios be worried of that emergent space?

I think they should definitely be worried, particularly publishers. History does repeat itself, and if you look at the music industry – you know, the way publishers reacted to iTunes – there’s a different thing going on in games.

If you look at something like DayZ or Minecraft – the cost of them is tiny compared to the amount of money they make. Then you look at something big – pretty much anything out there – they are very expensive propositions.

”Big budgets and big teams breed games by committee. But I guess it’s too early to really say much about the impact open platforms will have.”

They’re very risky, and you can fail very easily. I think free-to-play could spell some very serious problems for the big developers.

So I like to think that it’s a sunrise on an era of gaming that goes back to the David Brabens, to the type of games that are the ideas of a couple of people who stuck to it, who did what was right, and were pushed out to be reached by a lot of people.

Because big budgets and big teams breed games by committee. But I guess it’s too early to really say much about the impact open platforms will have.

On top of that these developers also have the pressure of next-gen hardware being right around the corner.

Yes, and how they approach it. Because the next-gen – and I think it might – go and say, ‘we want in on this innovation market’, because innovation is all the rage at the moment.

That’s why DayZ is successful, that’s why Minecraft as successful. People pick it up, and they talk about it on Twitter, even if it’s a bit crappy. If I were Sony or Microsoft, I would be sitting there saying, ‘OK, we want this’, because we’ve got all these console players bleating on YouTube comment threads asking, ‘why aren’t these games on consoles?’

They’re going out and buying pretty reasonably priced PCs to play them, so I think there’s a good chance we could see consoles manufacturers getting in on that.

They’re going for innovation, and they’ll have to re-think the way publishers work, and they’ll have to re-think everything. I think if I was a publishers I’d be thinking, ‘well, where am I going to be?’

It feels like we’re truly on the cusp of a market that will allow new IP to thrive like never before. You can see it already starting to begin. Do you agree that this is a great time for new games to shine?

My only experience with that was, I was making the PS2 version of Speed Racer – you know the movie license game?

Yeah.

At the time Sony was saying, ‘right, we’re not going to do any more PS2 games, PS2 is gone.’ But then what happened was, there was a big resurgence in PS2 sales because there was all these emerging markets picking up the console -Latin America and stuff like that.

”We don’t see our product at retail. We don’t need money. So then we don’t need marketing. People don’t want to see ‘DayZ: brought to you by x-brand.’ These publishers are in danger of being irrelevant.”

It was still selling. I mean, it may have been selling out of a bargain bin, but it was still selling, and I guess that changes your direction. Massive gaming publishers like EA have to take the safe ground, because they’re investing tens – many more times – millions of dollars.

They have to take the safe ground, and that’s not what people want. They want innovation. They’re tired of FIFA 13, and they don’t care that there’s one or two new features because they want to see cool new stuff, because people have short attention spans as well.

You mentioned iTunes a few questions back. What’s interesting is this notion that after the next console cycle, physical hardware will cease and the consoles as we know them will be less about a box you buy, but a service that you subscribe to. What’s your take on that?

I don’t really know enough about the technology behind it, but I look at it occasionally. All I know is that there will be more rapid, huge change. I think that everyone – developers, publishers and manufacturers – need to take a good hard look and say, ‘we want that process’.

When we had a lot of publishers come to us with the DayZ project and say, ‘we want to be involved’, I had to say to them, ‘well, what will you provide?’ They said money, marketing, retail placement and all of that.

We don’t see our product at retail. We don’t need money. So then we don’t need marketing. People don’t want to see ‘DayZ: brought to you by x-brand.’ These publishers are in danger of being irrelevant, but at the same time they can provide a lot of specialist assistance, or technology assistance.

But I think everyone in the development side of it needs to take a good hard look, especially if Sony and Microsoft say, ‘we want to focus on innovation’. If I were them I’d be looking at Steam going, ‘woah’. Steam makes it oh-so-easy for developers.

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6 Comments

  1. GwynbleiddiuM

    Thank you Dave, a very nice interview.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    Not a problem, glad you liked it :)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    I’m more excited for ArMA 3 than dayz to be honest.

    Bohemia devs are excellent devs.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    When DayZ first released it had a strange community, those that saw the potential of the title and a chance to forge a new way of playing. Groups, pairs, random strangers suddenly meeting face to face and having to make the choice over killing or helping, sticking togethor or separating. So many emergent stories were forged within the first month of the mod being released. I remember myself and my friend forcing someone we came across to drop a can of beans, then rewarding his trust and co-operation with a new weapon and playing with him for a couple of hours.

    Then it exploded. Went all over youtube and the news sites, the user base kept of climbing higher and higher. That increase in numbers has had a direct effect on the quality of the experience. Now there are people waiting at the beach to kill new defenseless players because its “less competition” right? Even though they can just respawn randomly elsewhere so its not about that at all. Theres no trust what so ever, just alot of players with alot of supplies and next to no trust.

    I uninstalled DayZ last week and I have no intention of playing it ever again. It was a brave experiment but it was killed dead in the water by popularity and an awful user base.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. jacobvandy

    Yup, just take your ball and go home, baby… ;)

    Day Z is an amazing game, despite the masses of fucktards that have jumped on the bandwagon. Rocket is right about the main issues being the bugs and hacking; both have led to an over-abundance of high-level loot floating around, not to mention trolling and frustration caused by power-hungry dipshits or glitches in the game itself. I’ve not been playing near as much as I used to, but I know it’ll just take some time to iron things out and for the unsavory folks to get bored and leave (or be banned).

    I do believe the “kill everyone” mentality is partially due to boredom — once you spend some time gearing up and exploring the map, there gets to be a point where all you can do is try to survive as long as possible or go and find people to kill. Well, there’s really no challenge left from the environment or zombies once you know what you’re doing, so all that’s left is player interaction.

    I admit to doing my own share of indiscriminate killing, ’cause what else are you going to do with that shiny new AS50? Gotta use it before you lose it! Nowadays, though, we have a policy of not killing anybody who doesn’t have a weapon. Might let them slip if they have a hatchet out, but then there’s no way to know if they’re just messing around and have a rifle in their bag, so it’s usually better to be safe than sorry if they’ve seen you. The best is finding a server with global chat enabled, though, and hunting down the sniper(s) that everyone is complaining about. There’s always at least one around the coastal cities.

    However, there are still some nice guys out there who like to cooperate. My buddy likes to answer those rescue calls on Reddit, even though he always has to be wary of it being an ambush, and usually stashes his valuable stuff somewhere before going. And almost surprisingly, I’ve still seen plenty of newbies around very recently. Gotta help them out and get them to experience and like the game before they’re jaded and get trigger-happy or just plain quit!

    #5 3 years ago
  6. UuBuU

    @4 Agreed ~ I can’t recall any other game where my interest has turned so dramatically.

    There were a few weeks where it was hands down one of the best gaming experiences i’ve ever had. Then as the masses started swarming in [people without the capacity to even appreciate arma 2 by itself - as evidenced by constant whinings on the DayZ forums about some of the more hardcore elements]. The whole experience declined after that. It went from being an open-world zombie survival game with tense player encounters to an open-world PvP deathmatch experience with loot.

    Great concept ~ but a victim of it’s own success.

    #6 3 years ago

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    The TV sport for Mortal Kombat X has been released, and not only does it contain a “spontaneous fight circle” taking over an entire city, but it features the System of a Down track Chop Suey. Mortal Kombat X will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One April 14. The […]

  • Bloodborne Forbidden Woods progression bug caused by multiplayer summon

    A progression bug in Bloodborne is in the works, according to Sony and From Software. The issue occurs when players activate a multiplayer session in the Forbidden Woods using the Sinister Resonant Bell or Small Resonant Bell. It also appears the Lunarium Key won’t appear because of the multiplayer bug, and without the key you […]

  • Yo-Kai Watch game franchise has sold over 7 million copies

    The Yo-Kai Watch IP has sold over 7 million copies, according to developer Level-5. The figure included both physical and digital download sales. Yo-Kai Watch 3 will be unveiled during Level-5 Vision 2015 next month. The first title is in the works for the west but is still without a release window. Thanks, Gematsu.

  • Bloodborne trademark returned to Sony after accidentally losing it

    In case you were worried or anything, Sony has once again obtained the Bloodborne trademark. Earlier this week it was revealed that Sony mistakenly abandoned the Bloodborne trademark along with four others registered with US Patent and Trademark Office: Guns Up!, Kill Strain; How Games Were Made to Sound, and No Heroes Allows: No Puzzles […]

  • GTA 5 PC official trailer coming next week, 15 new screenshots released

    New PC screenshots of GTA 5 have been released along with word of a new trailer coming on Monday. The screens below are from the PC version and you can view them in 4K glory over on Rockstar Newswire. The PC version of GTA 5 releases on April 14.

  • PSN real-time server status page launching in Europe soon

    PlayStation users in Europe will soon have its own a PSN Service Status Indicator. It was released earlier this month in North America. The indicator makes it easier to check whether PlayStation services are down or running as planned. This includes account management, PlayStation Now, the store, social services, etc. Sony told Eurogamer the service […]

  • Exclusivity contract prevents Bioware from revealing Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC release on PS4

    Bioware is unable to discuss when the Jaws of Hakkon DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition will arrive on platforms other than PC and Xbox One. According to various tweets from executive producer Mark Darrah, due to the exclusivity contract between EA and Microsoft, the studio is unable to announce a release date for PlayStation 3 […]

  • LEGO Batman 3 demo, Namco Museum, more added to North American eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo for LEGO Batman 3, Namco Museum on Wii U Virtual Console, and various sales. Below is the full update. Nintendo eShop Dot Arcade – Wii U LEGO Ninjago – 3Ds LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Demo – Wii U Harvest Moon: The […]

  • Square Enix’s Easter Surprise bundle contains five mystery PC games

    Square Enix offering another mystery bundle to customers in the UK, which comes with five mystery PC games for £3.99. As before, customers will be unaware of the games they are purchasing in the mystery bundle, but the bundle contains triple-A titles worth £40 combined. One of Square’s previous mystery bundles contained Tomb Raider, Just […]

  • From Software’s PSone game Shadow Tower coming to PSN

    Shadow Tower, the first-person action-RPG developed for the original PlayStation by From Software, will be released on PlayStation Network. In the 1998 title, players took on the role of a mercenary who has returned home to the Holy Land of Zeptar to find the place has been sucked into the Underworld. He must use the […]

  • PlayStation TV gets price cut in the UK, now £44.99

    PlayStation TV has received a price cut in the UK. After several retailers started offering the console for less than the RRP of £84.99, users on DealSpwn began to wonder whether this is an official price cut, and not just regular deals or stock clearance. Sony later confirmed the new price of £44.99. “Starting from […]

  • Fast & Furious expansion for Forza Horizon 2 is now available, for free

    You can download Forza Horizon 2 expansion Fast & Furious starting right now. Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious is available to download now through Xbox Live for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The expansion is standalone, so you don’t need to own Forza Horizon 2 to play it. It’s also free from now […]

  • Fire-based weapons come to PayDay 2 with the Butcher’s BBQ Pack

    The 20th DLC for PayDay 2, the Butcher’s BBQ Pack, is now available on Steam. The DLC will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: Piglet Grenade Launcher, 12G Steakout Shotgun and Mk1 Flamethrower Molotov cocktails and incendiary ammo Four new masks, patterns, materials and achievements The Butcher’s BBQ Pack is another co-development between Overkill and Croatian […]

  • Lords of the Fallen developer offers Hideo Kojima a job

    Amid the current turmoil between Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami, one studio has offered the legendary designer a position. Lords of the Fallen developer Deck 13 took to Twitter to extend a job offer to Hideo Kojima. Dear Mr. @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN In case you are currently searching, we have an open position as Head of Game […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy MIDA Multi Tool?

    The question on every Destiny player’s lips today. And the answer, supplied by resident Destiny expert Paul Davies, is… Yes! We asked Paul whether or not he thought Xur’s Exotic weapon this week was worth the 23 Strange Coins. Here’s what he said: “It was already a great gun to own for PVP owing to […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 has an all-male cast to make it “more approachable”

    According to Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata, the main cast of the game is all-male because it makes the game “more approachable.” Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata spoke to Gamespot about the reason for his choice of making the core cast an all-male affair. “Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable […]

  • Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain is coming April 2

    Blizzard has given Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain a solid release date. Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure pack will be released April 2 in the Americas region, and April 3 in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Blackrock Depths is the first wing to be released, others will follow one week apart. Other than the 31 new cards, […]

  • Bloodborne: if you can’t load your save after installing firmware 2.50, this will help

    If you’re having issues loading your Bloodborne save after applying firmware update 2.50 to your PS4, this should help you out. Reddit user KBALLZZ encountered an issue after installing update 2.50 on his PlayStation 4. Bloodborne started reinstalling the day one patch again and when it was done he couldn’t continue his game or load […]

  • Use this code to get 10% off on PSN purchases

    Sony is offering a 10% discount coupon to anyone looking to buy games on PlayStation Store this weekend. Sony’s latest discount coupon code is here. You’ll receive 10% off your cart total when buying from the PSN Store. The offer is not valid on purchases made on PS Vita, PlayStation TV, PSP, or in-game stores. […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin upgrade path announced, system specs revealed

    Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin will offer returning customers a chance to upgrade at a discounted price. Those who already own Dark Souls 2 on Steam and are interested in picking up the Scholar of the First Sin edition will be happy to know that publisher Bandai Namco is offering them an […]

  • Bloodborne: this is what happens when you have 40 Insight

    Insight is one of the currencies in Bloodborne, but it’s also a mechanic that affects the gameplay. There are MASSIVE SPOILERS below, so turn back now or one of Bloodborne’s gameplay mechanics will be SPOILED for you. Just like Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, Insight is used to purchase certain items from vendors in the game. […]

  • Phase two of Xbox One April update brings voice messages, dedicated servers for party chat, more

    The second phase of the April update for Xbox One is now open to members of the Preview programme and and it looks like there are even more features in store. Phase one of Xbox One’s April firmware update started a few days ago with improvements to party chat and achievements notifications. Today, phase two […]

  • GTA 5′s graphical “downgrade” is a bug, will be fixed in upcoming patch

    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises can now be yours in Cities: Skylines. Die Hard fans will be familiar with Nakatomi Plaza. Those who have never watched the first film and live in Los Angeles know it by its real-life name, FOX Plaza. It was created by Enos Shenk and is available through Steamworks. Those who […]

  • Call of Duty franchise has sold 175M copies, players have thrown 300B grenades

    With the Call of Duty Championship kicking off tomorrow, Activision has sent over a series infographic full of interesting figures such as the number of copies sold over 10 years and how many grenades players have tossed. According to the stats below, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 175 million copies across all platforms […]

  • Save up to 75% on select SEGA games on Steam this weekend

    SEGA has put many of its games on sale through Steam this weekend and the firm has also announced Eastside Hockey Manager is now available through Early Access. The sale runs through March 30. The entire Total War, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War back catalogs are discounted 75% and all associated DLC is […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC confirmed as digital download-only in UK

    Batman: Arkham Knight will indeed be a download-only title on PC in the UK, Warner Bros. has confirmed to VG247. Batman: Arkham Knight will be available as both a physical and digital release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in North America and Europe. Again, in the UK, the PC version will be “available as […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege release date set for October per GameStop Italy – report

    GameStop Italy may have let the release date for Rainbow Six Siege slip if a recent listing is accurate. According to the listing, the game will release on October 16. While this could be a placeholder date, October 16 is a Friday in the UK, the usual day new releases land at retail. The release […]

  • Watch the $1 million Call of Duty Championship right here

    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

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

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

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

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

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

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

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

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

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