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Prison Architect interview: putting the triple-A market on trial

Monday, 29 October 2012 08:57 GMT By Dave Cook

Prison Architect is the grim new sim title from indie studio Introversion. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks with the dev about death row, shanking and the poor treatment of indies in the console market today.

Introversion Software

Founded in 2001, Introversion is based in England and is headed up by Chris Delay and Mark Morris.

Introversion is known for Uplink, Defcon, Darwinia and Multiwinia. Prison Architect is its most recent project.

The game is being funded by independent backers. It is in alpha state now and will grow from there – similar to Minecraft.

You can buy the game and become an official Prison Architect backer at the game’s official site.

Introversion is not a triple-a studio. It does not have the luxury of bottomless bank vaults set aside for marketing spend. There are no bleach-toothed, genetically perfect spokespeople peddling the game from a carefully-prepared PR script. They are just two guys making games in a maze of falsities and mirrors.

Their latest project is Prison Architect, a striking sim title that is being funded through an iterative alpha process, similar to Notch’s fund-raising efforts with Minecraft. For Introversion, the walled garden of console distribution leaves a sour taste in the mouth – the cost of entry too high, and the potential returns too low.

The developer is on to a winner, as Prison Architect is one of the most emotionally engaging titles you will play this year. The game is now in alpha, and although it may look like a simple sim title – closely akin to Theme Hospital – it delivers a soul-piercing stab that asks some taboo but powerful questions.

Your first story mission tasks you with building a small, but fully-functioning prison that will house some truly despicable people – the bottom rung of both society and morality. The process of actually fashioning the facility becomes slightly disturbing as that classic sim game mentality starts to kick in.

You start to stress over the size of holding cells, whether or not the prisoners have enough light, if you should grow grass everywhere to make their stay more bearable, forgetting that many these men have carried out heinous acts. It’s a lesson in morality.

Then of course you can choose to add an execution chamber, solitary wing and morgue to your prison, and then you really have to ask yourself questions about how the inmates should be treated. You are essentially playing with their lives and they are yours to take away as you see fit.

It’s a chilling experience, but this is why it’s also garnering a swelling fan base online. VG247 spoke with Introversion’s Mark Morris about the game’s conception, the alpha process and the sorry state of console distribution today.

Each prison starts as barren land. It’s yours to shape as you see fit.

VG247: It’s inspiring to see you taking an independent approach to funding. Was that something you deliberated on for a while before you decided to go ahead with it?

Mark Morris:We’ve basically been thinking about that for most of 2012, and how to do it. I mean, we saw the success of Minecraft alpha and others, so there’s a lot of good reasons to do a paid alpha, so that decision wasn’t hard, that was made quite quickly.

That was one fact. The other fact was – both Kickstarter and Humble Bundle kind of showed huge benevolence that exists within the gaming community. We were thinking that we wanted to try and get involved with that as well, so we were thinking – for a long time – about doing a ‘pay what you want’ for the alpha.

That was one option, and maybe doing that with Humble Bundle. We also considered Kickstarter, but that is more for getting projects off the ground, and we weren’t there, as we were about two-thirds of the way through Prison Architect.

We need funding to get us over the line, which is a kind of different thing, so I don’t expect the Kickstarer model would have worked. We just thought and thought, then came up with our own tiered alpha system, and then we spent a long time thinking about what the tiers and pricing were going to be.

”I think it’s a real golden age for indie development teams now. The routes to market are fully established via Steam, the app stores, so it’s easier for us to get games into the hands of players.”

When we eventually launched it, we kept it pretty quiet. We only told a few journalists – about two or three – because we didn’t know what was going to happen. We didn’t want to make a huge song and dance about it if it completely fell on its face. We launched it, and we’ve been completely blown away by its success.

It seems that – right now, today – people are happier to invest in projects that people or small teams are making by themselves. What does that tell you about the industry now?

I think it’s a real golden age for indie development teams now. The routes to market are fully established via Steam, the app stores, so it’s easier for us to get games into the hands of players. The press are fully on board for supporting indie titles, and there’s a whole indie genre now.

It appears that a lot of people who have bought into our alpha are developers themselves, just to see how we go about developing. So it’s there’s a big network of indie developers and gamers you can bounce ideas off.

I hope that this model – this model we’ve taken – does stick. I can’t think of a reason why it’d go away. I think the Kickstarter bubble will burst. I think there will be a few high-profile failures, and perhaps people will be a little bit less keen to throw huge amounts of money at certain types of projects.

I think you’re right on that. I can’t see every single Kickstarter working – I mean, it’s yet to actually produce a finished game – whereas you have two-thirds of your game completed already. That’s the gamble people buy into with Kickstarter isn’t it?

Yeah, exactly. We’re a little bit different in that when you join up, you immediately get access to what we’ve got. It’s not a finished game, and we don’t pretend that it is. But you can have a good experience of playing with that, and then come along with us as we update it and add new features in.

I think people will be happy with what they’re getting for the donations that they pay, and ultimately we’ll finish the game and put it out there. Everyone will then be able to say, ‘I helped in funding that.’

One of our fears with Kickstarter was that it might not take off at all. There’s another side to it, which is, you could come away with a million dollars, or two million, and what are we going to to with two million dollars?

It would completely change things – the way you set up and run your project – all sorts of things. That’s interesting, and things can go wrong. When you’ve got too much money, you can try and over-reach things. It’s an interesting space.


Cell size, showers, canteen, kitchen, common rooms. All must be considered.

Letting people see and experience what they’re investing in is powerful persuasion that their money is being well-spent. Prison Architect is now in the alpha 2 stage. Can you tell us more about what’s in this build?

The big changes stem from rioting. Rioting is something that happens in prisons and we need to be able to deal with it in Prison Architect. So getting the prisoners to riot is pretty easy, but finding a good way for the players to deal with that riot within a Prison Architect context is quite a difficult thing.

Because it is a building and management game, we experiment with a few different control mechanisms. The one that we thought was likely to be the best would be a mechanism that allows you to sector-ise your prisoners, and then assign guards to a particular sector, then draw out patrols for guards to walk within that sector.

That works nicely because when the rioting prisoners finally get round to rioting, they will take over and control that sector, and then none of your staff will be able to go in there. It’s quite an important, underlying feature that gives us a lot of interesting options for rioting.

“If you don’t meet their needs, over time the prisoners will get more and more angry, and then will be more likely to cause trouble – beat up guards, riot or anything like that.”

That’s the main change. The way the game worked originally was that there was a constant influx of prisoners that were coming to the jail every day, but not everyone enjoyed that, so you can turn that off now simply, so that you can have a bit more control over the volume of prisoners that you get.

We put in a bit of stuff to do with the canteen, but we’re keeping that a little bit quiet so our community can discover that for themselves.

One thing that really struck me the first time I saw Prison Architect was the art style. It reminds me of your game Defcon actually, because when you think about that game, it’s based on very grim subject matter but the art style made it look like a fun arcade title. Prison Architect also touches on difficult issues, but its colourful and almost cartoon-esque. Was that a deliberate design choice?

Not really actually. We didn’t want to make it abstract, we knew that from the start. We have an artist on board that we haven’t worked with before at Introversion. We found Ryan Sumo’s art was perfect for the right, very clean and obvious top-down look, so you can see at a glance what’s going on.

That kind of – by definition – is quite cartoony, but it wasn’t a specific decision to juxtaposition that against the serious issues within the game. it just kind of happened that way. But fairly early on we realised we wanted the tone of the game to be a bit darker and more serious.

I think Ryan – just on spec – sent us a couple of Polaroids of a fight going on or something, and those are a great way of illustrating things in a serious manner in-game, what the cartoony guys are doing to each other.

So they went in the game, and now – it often happens this way with indie development – you see that and you see it working well, and now the Polaroids have become an increasingly important part. The general look of the game as it evolves makes this – I think – makes this really great juxtaposition between its cartoony look and serious issues.

”Within the sandbox you get to choose whether or not you want to have a death row and an execution chamber in there. You’ll probably get paid more for doing it, but there will be expensive to run, and you’ll probably have campaigners outside your prison.”

It is a very serious subject and it comes with many personal and emotional conundrums. How far can you rule with an iron fist and punish inmates further, or perhaps even be more sympathetic towards them based on their crime?

Well we’re still only in alpha, we’ve still got a long way to go. But what we’re trying to do is, we’ve used the same AI model that they’ve used in The Sims – based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – which is a psychological model.

Basically, human beings at base level have a need to go to the toilet, and they can’t stop that. That overrides every other need, and then the next level – the second stage up – is the need to eat and drink. You have all these basic needs.

But then as you go up, you start hitting a need to socialise, or a need to feel respected – those kind of things. Within Prison Architect, the structure is in place to code all of these things, but they’ve not been written yet.

Ultimately, the goal is that – for instance – prisoners will have a need to spend time with their family, and if you put pay phones in, or a visitation centre, that need will be met and discharged.

If you don’t meet their needs, over time the prisoners will get more and more angry, and then will be more likely to cause trouble – beat up guards, riot or anything like that. One approach to playing Prison Architect would be to try and meet the needs of all of the prisoners.

This would take over the approach of ruling with an iron fist. However, the option to rule with an iron fist will definitely be in there as well, so if you wanted to take a more disciplinarian approach to your prison you will be able to.


You must manage power and water too, ensuring everything is connected correctly.

The most poignant element of that whole process is the death penalty. How do you treat something so controversial in the game? Will people really struggle with the choices laid before them?

I hope so yeah. There’s two modes in the game – a chapter story mode, and a kind of sandbox mode. The very first tutorial chapter is all about death row, so you can play that and kind of see how we’ve tackled that issue.

But then within the sandbox you get to choose whether or not you want to have a death row and an execution chamber in there. You’ll probably get paid more for doing it, but there will be expensive to run, and you’ll probably have campaigners outside your prison, so we try and make the choices have solid consequences within the game world.

It is a taboo subject for many people, and prison life is obviously not easy or safe. Were there any issues you thought about adding but then decided against for controversial reasons?

“There probably won’t be any sexual violence either, so prisons will beat each other up and shank each other. But any of the nastier aspects of what goes on in prisons we’re probably not going to include, because it doesn’t add a lot of benefit to the game.”

Everything’s on the cards at the moment as we decide what we’re going to include and not include. We’re probably not going to include rape – we’re probably not going to go down that route – but we’ll probably include gangs.

Certainly in the States, those two are pretty synonymous. Gangs tend to be racial – that’s how the alignments work, so we’re kind of dealing with race in a gang context, but we’re not doing that in an obvious way.

That’s an issue that is too thorny, and we don’t think we can really deal with appropriately. Also, there probably won’t be any sexual violence either, so prisoners will beat each other up and shank each other. But any of the nastier aspects of what goes on in prisons we’re probably not going to include, because it doesn’t add a lot of benefit to the game.

It wouldn’t make much sense to include those things just to have them.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to add things just because, but as we roll forward anything might change.

Given the controversy of the subject it’s not surprising that this game hasn’t been done before – Prison Tycoon aside. Was that game an inspiration for Prison Architect at all?

No not at all. We have played it when we became aware of it, just to see what it’s like, and there’s no depth to it really. The biggest inspiration here was War Fortress. It’s a game that has this huge systematic depth, and I think Chris and I are very attractive to that way of making games.

You write a system in the game, and then you layer a system on top of a system, on top of a system. You end up with a very complex world in which you can have an affect. You can tweak and do things.

One thing I want to ask you regarding the game’s systems, is that – because it’s a community led development process – was there anything in particular that the current players were desperate to see?

We’re not really that far into the alpha yet. We gave the guys a pretty small choice about which of the three systems they wanted us to work on next, and they opted for the guard mechanism.

Pretty soon, we’re internally going to draw up a list of broader things we’re going to consider, and then ask people to vote on which of those they think are interesting. We’ll just see whether or not we’re misaligned with the community.

Ultimately, we’re the game designers and we don’t want it to be designed by committee, but we do want people’s opinion, double check things and get ideas. Over time we’ll get a much better understanding of the best way to engage with the community.


You start with eight prisoners and two guards. Stopping them from rioting is key.

You’ve stated previously that the end goal of this alpha phase is to get Prison Architect up to a quality level that allows it to be published on Steam. What do you need to happen first before that can become a reality?

I don’t really know how to answers that. I mean, we’ve got aspirations for the game. At the moment there’s quite a strong early game in it, and it plays quite well. The mid-game plays well, but the end game is just completely not there.

When we’re at the point where we’re completely happy that we’ve made a whole prison game, we’ll go and see Valve, put it in front of them, and hopefully they’ll launch it on Steam.

You’re not going for PSN or Xbox Live with Prison Architect, and I’ve read comment from Introversion before about how high the barriers to entry are on those platforms. Does that high criteria need to change?

Yeah, I think the world has hugely moved on. The original idea behind game consoles were that the experienced player was going to be of a much higher quality than PC gaming was.

In the old days you had to set up your IRQs and do all sorts of crazy stuff to get your game to run, or something wouldn’t run because your graphics card was out of date. Somebody looked at that – probably Nintendo – and said, ‘no we’re going to put all of that in the bin and make a games console that is dedicated to gaming, putting it on the hands of the masses.’

”Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, ‘well we don’t want to have your game second, we want to be first.’ Well, they can’t be first. We’re on PC because they’ve made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off. ”

Then over time, they evolved the huge requirement sets – basically the quality assurance mechanisms – to ensure the game you play on your console plays well and doesn’t crash. Meanwhile, the PC market has just completely matured, so it’s not difficult any more. you don’t need to have a huge amount of technical knowledge to play games.

The technology games are written on – Unity, or in our case, our own game library – have now matured to the point where, there are still crashes and bugs, but on a significantly lower level that they used to.

If you look at our position: we’re two guys basically – although we’re a little big bigger than that – working on a game we’ve launched ourselves. We’re in alpha, we’re seeing money now, which is enabling us to carry on developing it.

Hopefully we’ll get a Steam deal – I’m pretty confident we will as we have a great relationship with Valve – and then we’re exposed to Valve’s market of 20 million people. Alternatively we could spin out a team of probably ten people, we need to pay Microsoft £10,000 a go for a development kit.

Bloody hell.

Yeah, it’s ridiculous, and it’s non-refundable once you’ve bought it. You’ve got to pay – I think our quality assurance bill was $30,000 for testing with Darwinia+, and it took four years to get the game certified to a standard that Microsoft wanted. It then sold rubbish. We hardly shipped any units on Xbox 360, compared to PC.

But do you reckon that this was because PC and consoles are two different markets, and that fans of both sides have different expectations and values?

I think so. There is a strong indie community now on PC that doesn’t exist within the console world, and they’ve tried various ways to tap into that with Live Arcade and Xbox Indie Games, and they just never managed it in the way Steam has.

We’ve got no interest in working with any of the big console owners now with Prison Architect. The only think we might do, once the game’s out there, is license it to another developer to do the port on our behalf.

But Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, ‘well we don’t want to have your game second, we want to be first.’ Well, they can’t be first. We’re on PC because they’ve made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off.

You’re not delivering the amount of sales, you’re making us work harder, and ultimately we’re getting paid less than what we do on PC. So I think they’re definitely – in the indie world – second class customers.

If they want to work with us – and if they want indie games on their systems – they’re going to have to change quite a lot to make it attractive.

You can check out more on Prison Architect, or download the alpha build over at the official Introversion site.

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3 Comments

  1. DSB

    Can’t believe you went for it Dave, thanks! As a huge Introversion fanboy, I definitely agree with the intro.

    They make games that aren’t much to look at, but they’re stuffed with so much passion that you just don’t care. And that’s why I always break my bank whenever there’s a chance to fund those guys.

    Prison Architect is shaping up nicely too.

    Still not true that Kickstarter hasn’t produced a succes though. FTL became one of the biggest indie hits in recent years.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Hey man, it was my pleasure. The game took my interest and I simply had to find out more :)

    Been playing it a lot over the weekend and all those screenshots are of my jail ‘Dave Penitentiary.’ Shit name I know.

    The game is tough though, no tutorial, but the linked Wiki guide work a treat.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Arkos

    Just read that article. And I laughed : “War fortress”. I doubt that any game has ever been named that, but anyway, the true reference is : “Dwarf fortress”, a game made by Tarn Adams. As the name say, you’re managing a fortress, with dwarves, and the depth of it is unparalleled (even Prison architect is far from it).

    Prison architect is interesting in its prison management, and I love it.But Dwarf fortress will remain the most complex and hardest game. PA still lacks a lot of sim and possibility.

    #3 2 years ago

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  • Star Trek Online players gather on Vulcan to pay respects to Leonard Nimoy

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  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video shows invasion of The Forlorn

    A new Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video has been released, and provides the viewer with a look at the NPC invader system. Watch below as The Forlorn hunts down the player through the game with “with deadly skill and tenacity.” He even teams up with other enemies, making your fight […]

  • Visual upgrade for Wasteland 2, improved modding tools in the works

    A visual upgrade and improved mod tools are in the works for Wasteland 2, according to a blog post from inXile Entertainment. The upgrades will come about as the game’s codebase is migrated from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5. “A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline brings “Hollywood crime drama” to single-player campaign

    In the fifth developer diary for Battlefield Hardline, the team discusses how it’s bringing “Hollywood crime drama” to the shooter’s single-player campaign. The video was released a couple of days ago, so apologies are in order if this has been posted already, but I promise I searched the site and never found it. Visceral Games […]

  • Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a pause for tactics isometric RPG coming in 2016

    Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a 2.5D isometric RPG, built in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age in the works at Withing Hour Studios. The game allows the player to pause combat to plan party tactics. “Set in the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre where rare masks are the key to casting magic, […]

  • Underworld Ascendant surpasses Kickstarter goal

    Underworld Ascendant which was launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, has met its  $600,000 funding goal. With six days left 10,786 backers pledged $610,541 In light of being funded, the team has also switched up the stretch goals as bit, as you can see in the image below. The studio, OtherSide Entertainment, is fronted by Paul Neurath, […]

  • Latest Evolve patch fixes progress and save game data loss on Xbox One

    A patch for Evolve has been released on Xbox One which fixes lost progress and save game data users had reported. The patch also fixes an issue with shadows and flashlight, makes incremental improvements to matchmaking, invites, and rejoining, and there were progressions balance changes. “The issue with lost progress and saved games was mostly […]

  • Online servers for Ridge Racer Unbounded shut down in Europe

    Online functionality for Ridge Racer Unbounded is no longer available, Namco Bandai Europe has announced. Solo mode and the track editor are still playable, minus the sharing options. Ridge Racer Unbounded was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2013. Thanks, MCV.

  • OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title on 3DS and Wii U

    Curve Digital has announced OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title when it releases on 3DS and Wii U. The Roll7 title will be the first third-party title to offer the functionality on the systems. OllliOlli will be released on the eShop March 5 The game launches on Nintendo’s eShop on March 5th, followed by Xbox […]

  • Darkbeast electrifies latest Bloodborne video

    The latest Bloodborne video shows off another monster in the game. This one is Darkbeast and he’s full of electricity. The video is the last of IGN’s month-long coverage of the title.

  • Future Assassin’s Creed games will have greater focus on modern timeline

    Ubisoft plans to focus more on modern timelines in future Assassin’s Creed games, the company suggested during its latest community livestream. During the Twitch stream, one of the lead writers for the Assassin’s Creed series, Darby McDevitt, said the modern timeline for Brotherhood’s town of Monteriggioni could inspire future development. “That only came about because […]

  • Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming to Xbox One next month

    Halfbrick has announced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One will release next month. The mobile title made its way onto Xbox 360 garnering 1 million downloads as of March 2012. It has a new multiplayer mode for up to four players with Battle and Party modes along with a new progression system. An announcement […]

  • New GTA 5 PC screens – shit the bed!

    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: lowdown on Inferno Crucible, Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]