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Dungeon Keeper mobile: why ‘free-to-play’ is losing its meaning

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 11:40 GMT By Dave Cook

Dungeon Keeper shows that the term ‘free-to-play’ is losing its meaning. VG247′s Dave Cook is fed up of the fleecing, and suggests that you take a stand.

dungeonkeeper

“The rich just keep getting richer, don’t they Keeper?”

That’s a line from EA’s new Dungeon Keeper reboot, a title that proves once again that the term free-to-play is fast becoming a misnomer. It’s a term used to lure in consumers who have a warped sense of value thanks to the generous 69p entry point on iTunes. For years now, developers have sacrificed their own profitability by releasing games at under a dollar because it’s the only way they can compete with the free market and big-money clone production lines like King.com. It’s a sickening state of affairs.

There was a time where mobile gaming promised to bring democracy and prosperity back to independent game production. We’d see small teams make their bread from the comfort of their own bedrooms, becoming the next wave of big studio talent and introducing new, innovative ideas to the industry. For the majority this is now a pipe dream, unattainable in a market that currently places fleecing and monetisation at its fore. Mobile marketplaces have now become a lottery that few win, and where the price of admission is perilously high.

It is a tricky market to succeed in, given both the volume of new games releasing on iOS and Android each week, and the way that new releases quickly get buried in the store after just a few days. Unless you have the publishing might of Gameloft behind you, the chances of turning a solid profit become drastically reduced. I’ve seen iTunes metric sheets that represent a cliff edge after the first week of sale, never returning to that initial run of success.

So what’s the solution? In-app purchases are something of a ‘hot button’ in the free arena right now, and they have been worked into the mobile infrastructure as a way of producing long-tail sales. The mentality is that you get a lot of people spending a little as they play, and it soon mounts up. Developers need to make money to survive, this is true even if you’re a two-person team on a University campus or a juggernaut like EA, but this in-app purchasing lark has become a bitter pill to swallow.

In Dungeon Keeper it has become truly poisonous. Reviews of the game have been going live this week. Here’s a break-down of the numbers so far:

Destructoid – 4/10
Metro – 0/10
The Escapist – half a star out of five.
Eurogamer – 1/10
148 Apps – 4 stars out of 5.
PocketGamer – 7/10.

I’ve been playing around with the game for a short while this morning, and it truly is a bastardisation of the playful nature of Peter Molyneux’s original series. It is free-to-play yes, and while that is still a generous-enough prospect, the title has been specifically designed to make that gratis experience simply insufferable. It’s another game that features an entrenched resource – this time Gems – to fund your Dungeon’s creation, and naturally you can buy extra gems if you need them.

Dungeon_keeper

Here’s a copy-paste of Dungeon Keeper’s in-app purchasing menu from iTunes:

Bucket of Gems – $19.99
Pile of Gems – $9.99
Fistful of Gems – $4.99
Stack of Gem – s$7.99
Mountain of Gems – $99.99
Crate of Gems – $49.99

It’s at this point you may be thinking ‘but you don’t have to pay for these extra gems.’ You’d be correct, but know this; every time you command an imp to excavate part of your mine you must wait a full minute before it’s done, every new trap or structure takes times, every single thing you do in the building portion of this game takes an unfair amount of time – unless you pay gems to speed up the process.

You are hounded to spend gems on boosting your crafting speed constantly. As the review from Metro notes, “Dungeon Keeper barely waits until the tutorial is over before making it very clear it’s free-to-play in name only. The rooms you task the imps with building all take time to excavate and you’ll quickly find that even the smallest can take several hours unless you spend gems to speed things up.”

You are begged to spend money on more gems during the game’s tutorial, along with ‘witty’ jokes about not being stingy, and even a crack about how spending money on more gems is a ‘polarising solution.’ I’m not laughing, and neither should you. You cannot allow studios and publishers to keep treating you like dullards who will readily spend money like gullible idiots. You’re better than that. The industry is better than that.

This is an anorexic excuse for a game with no demeaning features beneath its childish veneer. The idea that you should pay to reduce waiting times instead of actually playing a game, is astonishing, and sets a bad precedent for games that continue to rely on energy systems and other notorious pay-wall tactics. EA should be ashamed of itself.

Does this sound like something you’d want to actually sit down and play while on a short bus journey? The lion’s share of mobile games have been designed for this very purpose, but you’d likely reach the end of your journey before your imps have finished making whatever it is you asked them to make. So I ask you; are you willing to play a game only to wait minute after minute before its core features and mechanics complete themselves?

I absolutely refuse to play this game any longer. It defies the term ‘free-to-play,’ by having the gall to enforce such restrictions on players. EA has no right to call this a free game when monetisation is essential to make it function as a normal game should. We are being suckered in by these tactics all too readily now, and I am frankly stunned by the number of glittering five-star Dungeon Keeper reviews on Google Play right now.

I feel that many gamers have been kind to this because of their nostalgia for the original. Nostalgia has also become a product, a way of using your fond memories against you, coercing you into investing more money to relive cherished moments from your childhood. Except Dungeon Keeper doesn’t deserve to stand beside its predecessor; it lacks the heart and soul of Molyneux’s creation, and furthers the worrying reality that developer can keep getting away with this.

You can see it all around you if you care to look hard enough. Purchasing Forza 5′s high-tier cars demanded constant grinding around a reduced track roster, Gran Turismo 6 included paid boosters and some developers of Steam Early Access titles are simply pushing their luck in monetising their barely complete products.

Unfortunately, these examples and Dungeon Keeper can only further stigmatise the free market, which actually plays home to several positive examples of monetisation done right. Team Fortress 2, World of Tanks, PlanetSide 2 and Dota 2 are just some examples of games offering real substance while staying free in the majority. EA’s example needn’t tarnish that space with a wide brush.

But the next time you see the term ‘free-to-play’ attached to a game; stop and refrain from instantly downloading it. Think about what that term actually means first.

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16 Comments

  1. macronia

    freemium should be eliminated

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Talkar

    It is really abysmal how customers are treated by publisheres these days..
    But to point to TF2 and Dota 2 as examples of how it should be done is a bit extreme, considering they have the full might of the income of steam behind them, so they can get away with selling nothing.
    And considering we don’t know if TF2 and Dota 2 are making a substantial profit, or even a profit at all, since Valve doesn’t talk to anyone about anything, well IMO it just seems odd to include those as examples :P

    #2 1 year ago
  3. mistermogul

    “We’d see small teams make their bread from the comfort of their own bedrooms”

    What they bake as well as code? Talented f*ckers these indies!

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Darkfield

    got 3 words for ya “Path of Exile” tell me now if that isn’t the best free 2 play game of all times.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. silkvg247

    It’s been going on a lot longer than dungeon keeper. It sickens me too. I feel more sorry for the current generation of gamers, growing up with this cesspit of “fremium” games and being used to it like it’s the norm.

    I am very picky about which free to play games I download. I usually stick with the ad supported ones.. a good one I just grabbed was “Hungry Cat Picross”; totally ad supported. Don’t get me wrong, the ads are annoying, especially when they pop up but that’s easily ignored. If it were EA, instead of ads you’d have to pay to fill your paint pot to actually be able to play.

    If/when I release a game, I’m just gonna charge what I think it’s worth. No ads. No fremium. It’ll either sell or not sell, in either case I don’t care because the fun is in making the game in the first place.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. mistermogul

    “But the next time you see the term ‘free-to-play’ attached to a game; stop and refrain from instantly downloading it.”

    Yeah it got to the point with me ages ago when I read “free to play”, it translated into “pay to win” and I now automatically ignore 99% of these games because of it.

    Gaming has certainly taken a few wrong turns over the last 5 or so years and this is another example.

    Also this seems to typify EA’s bastardization of many franchises in recent years. They’re the game company that is totally out of touch with gamers. They wonder why people don’t like them and then give us shit like this and Sim City! lol

    #6 1 year ago
  7. deathm00n

    Great article as always Dave. I hate so much this kind of game, I’ve downloaded it yesterday, when I found out it was the free-to-watch (as I call) kind of game I’ve lost my faith in EA for cellphones businness. The same thing for The Simpsons Tapped Out (altough it’s more balanced and bearable). I get so happy when I find a game that is not free-to-watch (this week I downloaded Dice Heroes, I recommend it). But I guess I’m just giving up on playing in a cellphone, it’s like digging through a mountain of shit to ocasionaly finding a golden turd.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. CyberMarco

    Nice read Dave, +1.

    It all boils down to profit and capitalism. The more popular and promising for profits the gaming industry becomes there more guys-in-suit we should expect, tearing a new one in another industry yet again.

    But consumers are responsible for this too, it seems ignorance is bliss.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    Drive-by IP assassination attempt by EA.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. karma

    Any game that mentions F2P or equivalent gets an automatic thumbs down from me. They just aren’t worth the dl bandwidth or initial playtime to find out that there is yet another pay hurdle to jump to keep the fun going.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. GrimRita

    I think you need to change the headline Dave to ‘why EA is destroying free to play’. I’ve seen the reviews, I have seen the endless player reviews ripping in to how EA has locked levels (even after a tutorial!) with purchased unlocks allowing earlier progression.

    I personally feel that yet again the big players have stepped into an arena that they haven’t a bloody clue about. Unfortunately, they are destroying F2P for the smaller indie developer who can and has made good Freemium games without eating into game play.

    Had EA released this on the PC with this free to play mode, I doubt very much if these review sites would have kicked off so much, given just how large a player EA are.

    Flappy Birds is another classic example of media snobbery. Most on sites like Pocket Gamer, IGN etc ignored it as they just couldn’t see the appeal, however over night, the most popular man on youtube plays it, and now its #1. That’s the problem. Media focus too much on the big players and have lost touch with what makes the mobile market great – Indies.

    I’m about to release an update for one of my games on Android with is currently free(no IAPS either) with a free version and a paid version offering much more and both staying IAP free. But companies like EA are making it harder and harder for the small player to exist when they fuck around with a free to play method that simply takes the piss.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. IntrovertedOne

    If they do this with the upcoming ‘Evil Genius’ reboot it will break my heart.

    ‘Free to play’ sucks, and I’d like to see it disappear but as long as there are 10 year olds with access to their parents credit cards it’s not going to stop.

    So if publishers want to create free to play IP’s that’s fine, but don’t destroy classic games we love by forcing us to pay for something we’ve always done for free.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. SplatteredHouse

    “Flappy Birds is another classic example of media snobbery”

    I don’t know about Flappy Bird (although, I do now know of it, and it frankly, looks hilarious – the person “playing” being the butt of the joke), but away from that, another example of media snobbery I’d also point to is regarding Loadout, which I don’t know why more places aren’t covering what looks like an eminently playable, and enjoyable game (as well as being another example belonging on Dave’s “Nice” list of F2P titles)

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Cobra951

    I’m going to quote a friend here.

    “Why are there so many 5 star reviews? Well, the game prompts you to rate it and says ‘Give us 5 stars to receive free gems!’ Interestingly, the developers can’t actually tell what rating you gave so you could give it a 1 star rating and still get the gems, but the in-game prompt of course doesn’t tell you that.”

    #14 1 year ago
  15. fearmonkey

    There is an EA exec out there somewhere that everyone yessed them to death when they came up with this idea for a new Dungeon Keeper game. EA really needs to look at what they release, and realize that if they want people to have better opinions of them, to not release garbage like this and milk IP with games that don’t live up to it’s legacy (Wing Commander anyone?)

    EA needs to realize that their old and beloved IP’s should be respected, because the cash grab games may make them money in the short run, but leave a sour taste in the mouth of those that loved the IP, and ruins any goodwill that was starting to happen.

    How can we take them seriously when they say they are trying to turn the gamer opinion around when they release vile garbage like this?

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Telepathic.Geometry

    Nice article Dave. I hate this so-called free-to-play shite. Kill it with fire fast.

    I’m playing Candy Crush a lot recently, and although I can feel the game trying to get its hooks into your wallet, and although the prices for boosters and lives etc. is fucking outrageous, and ALTHOUGH King are complete cunts, I would say that as a free to play title, it’s just about on the right side of the line.

    It is playable, and enjoyable for the most part. They do make you wait, but every day (or every few hours), I can get in about as much gameplay as I actually want. Dungeon Keeper sounds like an abomination though. I’m tempted to download it just to see how bad it is…

    #16 1 year ago

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    The future of Destiny looks very bright with House of Wolves and Comet releasing this year. But what about next year, and the one after that? Alex has a new video for you that tries to paint a picture of the future of Destiny. He goes over the timeline as we know it based on […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.09 improves Heists matchmaking

    GTA 5 received a patch towards the end of last week. The patch, version 1.09, brought with it a few improvements to Heists and plenty of other fixes. Rockstar has released patch 1.09 (1.23 PS3 and Xbox 360) for all versions of GTA 5 to help make the Heisting experience better for all. The ‘auto-invite’ […]

  • Diablo 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more make up this week’s Deals with Gold

    Deals with Gold is back for the week of March 30 with discounts on Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Lego Movie Videogame, and others. Xbox Live Gold members get a few good deals this week to spend money on. A large assortment of The Lego games is on […]

  • GTA 5: parallax occlusion mapping is gone, but framerate is better

    Patch 1.09 for GTA 5 has indeed removed the parallax occlusion mapping effect, but has in turn improved the game’s overall framerate – at least on PlayStation 4. Earlier last week a YouTube video came to light and showed what appeared to be the removal of effects from GTA 5 after applying patch 1.09. The […]

  • The Witcher 3 dev: DirectX 12 may not have impact on Xbox One games resolution

    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

    Motivational Growth will soon be Steam’s first foray into selling movies that are not based around video games Steam will release its first, non-documentary film later today in the form of Motivational Growth. The film is a sci-fi comedy distributed by Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, who has itself produced other game-centred documentaries before, and […]

  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]