Sections

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.

Latest

  • Destiny Weekly Update – what’s coming in the pre-House of Wolves patch?

    Destiny guru Arekkz Gaming runs down what Bungie’s mysterious update means – and could mean. This week’s Destiny Weekly Update was kind of light on information, but sometimes even saying nothing is really saying something. What are your theories for what’s coming soon to Destiny?

  • Ashes of the Singularity is “the most advanced RTS ever”, says Stardock

    Stardock has revealed Ashes of the Singularity, a new take on sci-fi RTS. Ashes of the Singularity is described as “not an RTS battle, an RTS war” which sounds pretty exciting. Built on Oxide Games’ Nitrous Engine, Ashes of the Singularity boasts of thousands of units on screen at a time, each with multiple targeted […]

  • Disgaea 5: meet Zeroken and Christo

    Disgaea 5 developer Nippon Ichi has dropped a ton of new information regarding its next RPG. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is coming to PS4 in Japan this month ahead of its western launch in northern autumn. Gematsu has gathered all the latest intel on the RPG from a recent Nippon Ichi press release. Head […]

  • Skyworld VR strategy game looks kind of like playing with toys

    Skyworld is a new turn based strategy designed for use with VR headsets. Skyworld comes to us from Vertigo Games, and will be compatible with Valve’s Vive headset. IGN reports Vertigo has worked in close collaboration with the SteamVR project, so Skyworld will support both seated VR and full-room features. Think about that while you […]

  • Link and Ganon battle in new Legend of Zelda fan film

    The Legend of Zelda fans are clearly a very clever bunch. The production values on this Legend of Zelda fan film are through the roof. This is only the teaser, with the full movie from PlayerPiano to follow, and we’re pretty excited. By the way, Netflix is said to be working up a Live action […]

  • Underworld Ascendent backers unlock Lizardmen, more stretch goals available in final hours

    Underworld Ascendent’s Kickstarter has just 15 hours left on the clock, but backers have already unlocked some great stretch goals. One of the latest Underworld Ascendent stretch goal milestones was $750,000. By passing this post, backers have ensured the inclusion of Lizardmen in the final game. Developer Otherside will now add the Dire Grove environment […]

  • Early Access version of MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore lands on Steam

    MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore has landed on Steam Early Access. The game popped up on Amazon last month for PlayStation 4 before Nordic Games had the chance to announce it was reviving the former-THQ property for current-gen. It still hasn’t by the way, to our knowledge. According to information sent over today, the initial […]

  • Avalanche is making sure Mad Max stays “true to the collective body of work”

    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

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.

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]