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The story of NeoGAF part two: scandal and control

Thursday, 16 May 2013 13:18 GMT By Alex Donaldson

Alex Donaldson continues his discussion with NeoGAF owner Tyler Malka, where they discuss the site’s often volatile relationship with the industry. Oh, hello there Denis Dyack.

Missed part one of Alex and Tyler’s chat? Be sure to check it out here to learn more about the history of NeoGAF’s existence.

One of the key contributing factors to NeoGAF’s astonishing growth since 2006 has been due to the site becoming a hub for a wide range of activity. It’s a primary source of news and traffic for many gaming websites, and a site visited by famed developers or their representatives.

Combine that with 100,000 members and some 50,000 posts per day and you have a recipie for anarchy and scandal. As part of my ongoing discussion with NeoGAF’s lone owner, Tyler ‘EviLore’ Malka, we discussed how on earth managing such a vast number of people works, keeping the boards free and functional without hitting legal trouble or turning the them into landfill.

For Malka, finding the balance hasn’t always been easy – but the path to NeoGAF’s current moderation handbook is one decorated with well-publicised bumps in the road – the most famous of which are a collection of damaged industry figures – a stark warning to others wanting to get involved on the gaming world’s most notorious message board.

For or Against

Malka and NeoGAF’s most infamous public feud was with Denis Dyack, the founder and CEO of Too Human developer Silicon Knights. The clash between the membership and administration of the board, and Dyack himself made headlines in the gaming world. After tensions boiled over, Dyack and Malka both made public statements about the actions of the other.

“When [Denis] Dyack joined NeoGAF, he did it in a promotional capacity,” Malka told me. “He was going to – ‘oh, here, I’m the CEO of Silicon Knights, we’re making this game, I’ll answer people’s questions about the game,’ that sort of thing.

He interfaced with the community, answered questions. All of that is fine, because he’s doing so in threads about the game that already exist due to interest – ‘interest’ – in Too Human. There were no issues there.”

What Dyack encountered in those threads didn’t please him. Many on NeoGAF weren’t too complimentary to the game, and he, of course, didn’t like that. For some time he politely did battle with detractors in Too Human threads, and then, snapping, decided to create a thread asking users if they were ‘For or Against’ the game.

It was a bet. After the game released, the votes would be tallied; if the game’s critical reception was positive, those who had voted against would have their accounts branded ‘Owned by Denis Dyack,’ and the reverse for Dyack if GAF opinion more closely matched post-release impressions. It was a rather amusing, if slightly melodramatic call to arms from Dyack.

“I was basically calling out people who had no way of assessing the game,” Dyack told 1up at the time. “All I wanted to point out to people is that this is so ridiculous.” Dyack was trying to do the impossible; call out the more ludicrous aspects of message board rhetoric.


Remember this?

Malka said he still has little time for Dyack’s attitude. He describes the ‘For or against’ thread as “incredibly juvenile and, honestly, a little bit awkward. I kind of played it hands-off because it was hilarious.

“But the breaking point was when he went on to the 1up Yours podcast and had an hour-long prepared statement about why NeoGAF was the worst website on the internet, and why it should be shut down by the FBI because people on there have a negative reaction to the preview coverage for Too Human and think that it’s probably going to be a bad game.”

Malka could almost live with that, but was particularly irritated when Dyack returned to NeoGAF after the podcast containing his comments had been released and continued posting and promoting his game as normal.

“I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think you have the privilege of doing this anymore after spouting that level of vitriol’,” Malka recalled. He put out a cutting public statement, putting Dyack down and announcing he’d be banned from NeoGAF. “You are Baldur, Denis,” he wrote, referring to the lead of Dyack’s ill-fated game. “You’re the poorly animated bald Norse technogod.”

“There had been so much juvenile drama up to that point that I didn’t have any sorts of regrets about having a sort of public hanging and tearing into him,” Malka says when asked if he’d do it all again.

“Of course, history proved one side the victor,” he added of the ‘For or Against’ debate. Too Human sits with a middling MetaCritic score of 65, and the planned trilogy will now almost certainly never be made.

Even after his banning, Dyack maintained his point had been made. “NeoGAF is considered to be the worst, and I would say is probably the worst forum,” he told VG247 in 2008. “And so, you might as well pick the worst one. Why not?”

Contributing to Society

Dyack wasn’t the first or the last industry figure to fall foul of NeoGAF’s members. Around a year before the ‘Too Human’ incident, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Global Marketing, Jeff Bell, had been outed for going on the attack against a NeoGAF member in a private message.

Bell had put in a fairly awkward performance at Microsoft’s E3 2007 Press Conference a week before and had become a topic of ridicule on GAF, as so often happens after press conference performances.

Unlike Dyack, Bell had kept his presence and his GAF account secret. He didn’t really post. One user got his blood up, though, and he sent a simple private message: “And your contribution to society is… what?”

The user in question posted a thread about the strange message received from an inactive member with the username ‘Bell801.’ Bell’s Live gamertag was ‘BigDaddy801’ – the connection was made, and further NeoGAF ‘detective work’ only proved it further. It hit the news.

“The Jeff Bell incident was probably a turning point,” Malka revealed. “There at least appeared to be significant consequences for his employment. He did quietly resign after the incident played out, and it was a big scandal that hit all the gaming media and everything like that.”

“After that point, I definitely saw a shift on NeoGAF. Major industry figures were a lot more careful. They weren’t just interacting on a human level – they were sort of just sticking to very strict PR handler sort of promotional things. At a moment’s notice anything anybody can say on NeoGAF could instantly become a scandal, so … People were more careful.”

Finding the correct balance in this area is a major concern for Malka. He publicly referred to the Jeff Bell incident as “a mistake,” and said that user anonymity should be protected, even for public figures. Even so, he warned those wishing to remain anonymous should act with discretion so not to rouse suspicion from would-be ‘detectives.’

Because of that Malka doesn’t require or keep any sort of list of industry figures with accounts on GAF. “I let it be unless I have a reason to think otherwise,” he added. “For example, recently we had a Maxis employee who was running this incredible misinformation campaign… sort of trying to shape the discussion about SimCity by creating news threads where they’d damage control the SimCity problems – that would be the slant on things.

“This was actually figured out independently by the user-base. They were looking at his post history, and seeing a strange narrative, and we’re looking at your personal post history and seeing that you live where Maxis is located. They figured it out on their own, and at that point I have to take action.

“This is inappropriate behaviour, to try to anonymously try to influence the perception of these things. Information flow via the creation of new threads is an important aspect of NeoGAF. We want threads that are about news items to not have an editorial slant built into them if at all possible.

“Obviously, editorials of themselves are fine – but not when we’re just talking about news. Save that for the reactions. When that’s compromised, we take action. I don’t keep this master list of industry people or anything. That would be inappropriate.”

Net Neutrality

The rising importance of roles such as the community manager has of course had an impact on boards like GAF, and it’s something Malka notes he is acutely aware of. A need to not ‘owe’ anything to these people is why the site eschews all official publisher relationships, despite many wishing to get involved with the site.

“If you’re a community manager acting in an official capacity, you’re labelled as such, you’re not allowed to start new discussion threads about anything to do with what you’re representing, you’re not allowed to copy-and-paste PR material or anything like that. You’re not allowed to do any sort of direct promotional action. You’re allowed to interface with the community, answer questions, clarify things, help people out with any of their issues. Anything along those lines is fine.

“Beyond that, we simply don’t hesitate to remove them from the community entirely. It’s valuable to have a sort of official presence, but it’s more valuable to maintain the site’s integrity and neutrality. I’ve had to ban all sorts of people.” Malka laughed. “There was… well, I don’t need to get into specific names, I suppose.”

Offers do come. Malka detailed examples of the sorts of deals he’s offered to get involved with the usual video game promotion machine. “Publishers have come to me in the past wanting to – well – basically inviting me to different behind-closed-doors events, wanting to fly me out, or a representative out, pay for everything, you know, do the whole PR deal. I turn them down. That’s because I think it’s important that NeoGAF retains sort of… its neutrality.

“The point is we’re really minimalist. We don’t have any sort of publisher relationships. I think that’s important.” That’s true enough for Malka, but what about his moderation team, I ask? Some are game developers themselves, while others are particular pariahs of certain communities with close ties to the companies behind those games. He understands, he explains, but isn’t all that concerned.

“There’s always a potential for conflict of interests, right? It’s happened in the past. For instance, one of my admins works for a game studio, and it was standard practice for major gaming threads at the time to be stickied on the gaming side for clarity purposes. The Turok game official thread got stickied as well, and people were like ‘Er… we don’t really know if this is major enough’.

“So there was a potential conflict of interests there, so we decided to just do away with the concept entirely and set the line pretty clearly. We do have different backgrounds with the mod team; people from the videogame industry, people from the press, or people with very strong leanings in one direction or another.

“I think everyone does their best – and I’m overseeing everything as well. I talk to people if I ever see any problems, but there’s very little that I’m worried about on a day to day basis.”

Even with ties severed, some companies still try to exert pressure over NeoGAF when things they aren’t a fan of crop up on the site. It’s a song-and-dance any member of the gaming press is familiar with, but Malka refuses to join in with his site. His policy of neutrality, refusing to get involved with publishers, helps.

“We have been threatened with publisher blacklisting on many, many occasions. I don’t know if they’ve followed through with any of the threats, because I’m not actually on any of the PR lists to begin with; I wouldn’t know that I’ve been removed from any of them.” He chuckled at the concept.

“It was just things like news being leaked; the same sort of scenario where it’s on the entirety of the internet, and you still want to remove it. Things where they knew they had no legal basis with threatening the site, but decided to anyway, because that’s what they’re used to. Their normal interactions with video game websites – where they just threaten to blacklist them – that is their default avenue for these things.”

“That’s how ridiculous the whole scenario is. That happened more in the past – it hasn’t been as much of a threat lately. I think the publishers have a bit more awareness of what NeoGAF is, and perhaps have a little bit more sense about how to interface with communities than they did in the past, where they’d treat every website like the same sort of entity as they did in the past. NeoGAF is not a fan reviews website.”

The Long Arm of the Law

It was late 2011, several months before the final release of Mass Effect 3, when Microsoft made a cock-up of epic proportions – somewhere somebody’s finger slipped on a button, and a beta build of Mass Effect 3 intended for internal use was made available to thousands of users. The build happened to include a vast majority of the game’s near-final script, including the final decision and the controversial closing moments of the game.

Threats from publishers to blacklist NeoGAF from press lists it wasn’t even on are easy to brush aside, but not so easy to hand-wave away are threats of a more serious, legal nature. NeoGAF’s brush with Microsoft over the Mass Effect 3 leak – which was quickly dissected and posted onto GAF and many other websites – is the most recent and most public case of the board being legally threatened.

“It was already on the entirety of the internet at that point,” Malka recalls, clearly still fairly frustrated by the chain of events. “Microsoft attempted damage control and they sent their lawyers after me. They were some pretty significant threats.”

Malka believes Microsoft’s efforts to cover their mistake and most likely appease an angered EA was a mistake, as forcing GAF and other sites to remove the information just poured fuel on the fire.

“The damage had been done, the discussion had already gone its course,” he said. “Removing the leaked info after the discussion had already happened meant afterwards there was a lot of bad PR on Microsoft’s end. It’s entirely unrealistic to try to remove information from the internet after it’s already on there. It’s not going to happen. In attempting to do so, you look silly – it’s the Barbara Streisand effect, right?

“We don’t allow linking of or discussion of pirated content, pirate impressions of things or anything like that – but we did allow discussion of leaked information, which I think is perfectly reasonable. I think it’s pretty ridiculous to take legal action based on things like that – but these corporations have lawyers on staff that need to be suing someone or threatening to sue someone to keep their jobs. It is what it is.”

As bad a taste as removing the information left in Malka’s mouth, it is better than the alternative, which returns us to a running theme in my conversation with him – a clear desire to protect NeoGAF from harm and to ensure its long-term future.

“We’re a small, independent website – sometimes these sort of things need to be done to not get into a long and bloody legal battle where the site would be run into the ground. Even if we win a lawsuit, y’know, in some cases we’d still lose the website due to the financial pressures. Sometimes those things need to be done.”

With scandals, legal issues and moderation wrangles in its wake, NeoGAF appears to be at a point where its future is by and large stable. With success comes interest from larger companies, and bizarrely as he struggled for advertising deals on one hand, Malka was receiving multi-million dollar offers on the other.

More on that in our third and final part.

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8 Comments

  1. Gheritt White

    I <3 GAF.

    GAFfer 4 lyfe.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. NocturnalB

    Wow, I never knew half of these things. Good read, i reckon i’ll head over to GAF now actually lol. Nice article.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. RealName

    Completely ridiculous how bought off that place is by publishers and developers. Marketers, especially ones who work for Sony, are allowed to run wild on NEOGaf selling their trash. Just read some of the post by people who own the Vita over there. Complete PR garbage. I guess as long as the checks clear ever month he’ll allow the marketers to stay around. Or am I suppose to believe that when Sony announced the PS4 stage presentation a few weeks back most of GAF already had KAZ gifs ready to go at the drop of a hat. It was a well orchestrated campaign did by PR companies who own multiple accounts.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    Trying to remove information from the Internet is like trying to get rid of a splinter by sawing off your entire foot.

    Its already there. If you try to get rid of it like that, you’re just going to end up making an even bigger mess, and the blood will flow everywhere so fast you won’t be able to keep up.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. rbevanx

    @4 Yeah I joined not long ago after so many articles everywhere have linked to it.
    Also found it to be more of a PR machine filled with poor wannabe comedians.

    I’m more than happy for the likes of vg247 to go though the rubbish for me and link the good stuff saving my time.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    A superb follow-up. I knew about most of Dyack stuff but never knew he had the balls to return to GAF just after his 1UP talk. Can’t wait for part 3.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. GwynbleiddiuM

    @5 “Trying to remove information from the Internet is like trying to get rid of a splinter by sawing off your entire foot.”

    Come visit Iran sometime and live through a vivid and painfully realistic practice of your statement. :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. nerdstick

    @3: I love how Sony’s PR apparently built up hype with all those Kaz gifs..for Kaz to not even be in the presentation. Are you kidding or really that delusional?

    #8 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    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 […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]