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[UPDATE] Stardock Responds To Star Control Developers' Claims Over Ownership Of Series

Update 10:14pm: Stardock has sent statements to Game Informer responding to some of Ford and Reiche's claims. A Stardock representative states that, while Ford and Reiche claimed back in December that the company was attempting to prevent them from making the game, "Stardock not acquiescing to Fred and Paul being able to call their game 'a sequel to Star Control' is not tantamount to Stardock prevent them from making their game."

Regarding the pair's ownership of the series itself, Stardock claims that "since Ford and Reiche were contracted developers for the original Star Control, they ultimately never owned any rights to the Star Control trademark."

Additionally, regarding the two's claim that Wardell did not question their ownership of the series, the company states that "Stardock has consistently been clear that they own the Star Control trademark."

We have also updated the original story to clarify that Stardock owns the trademark to the Star Control series, and to reflect that Star Control: Origins is in fact available for purchase on Steam and GoG.

Original Story: In the next chapter of the fight for control of the Star Control series, original series creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche have started a Gofundme fundraiser for the estimated $2 million they need to defend themselves against Stardock, which is suing them for the rights to the franchise.

The short version of the backstory here is that Ford and Reiche developed the first two Star Control games, but, through a serious of closures and buyouts, Stardock currently owns the trademark to the Star Control series. Stardock is currently developing Star Control: Origins using the name of the series but none of the alien species in the original games, while Ford and Reiche's company, Dogar and Kazon, is creating Ghosts of the Precursors, which is billed as a "direct sequel" to Star Control II.

Ford and Reiche alleged in December that Stardock was suing them over Ghost of the Precursors. They also believe Stardock does not have the trademark to Star Control, and filed a counterclaim against the company back in February. Since then, the Star Control games (save for Origins) have disappeared from the likes of Steam and GoG, Ford and Reiche have posted timelines and legal settlements from their side of the story, claiming Stardock CEO Brad Wardell had at first not questioned Ford and Reiche's ownership of the series, then quickly (the next day) turned around and threatened litigation.

Now the two have launched the Gofundme to raise $2 Million, which the pair say will go towards defending themselves from Stardock's "lawsuit against us, seeking not just to prevent the creation of Ghosts of the Precursors and to take our past creative work, but also, bizarrely, to strip us of credit as creators of the original game."

In the meantime, Star Control: Origins is due to release on September 20. No release date for Ghosts of the Precursors has been set.


I again am and will likely never be a legal expert, so I can't say who's in the right here. That said, Ford and Reiche's claim that Wardell at first said the two owned the series then turned on them doesn't paint the latter in a good light. We'll have to see how this story develops.

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 3:14 pm

Figure Out What Waluigi's Whole Deal Is In This Did You Know Gaming Video

Hot on the heels of the character being featured in Mario Tennis Aces, Did You Know Gaming is spotlighting longtime Mario mischief maker and notable Super Smash Bros. Ultimate playable roster absentee Waluigi, giving is a quick look at his history.

The video details how Waluigi came to be created a doubles partner for Wario in the original Mario Tennis, the meaning of his name, some of his potential inspirations and references to the classic Nintendo game Wrecking Crew, and the various times Nintendo has (appropriately) dunked on this character.

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 11:30 am

Report: Microsoft May Be Collaborating With Razer On Bringing Mice And Keyboards To Xbox One

Microsoft may have been working with peripheral manufacturer Razer on bringing full mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One according to a recent report, though whether that is still the case is unclear.

The report comes from Windows Central, which claims to have received leaked documents regarding a presentation to developers earlier this year regarding its plans to add support for mouse and keyboards. The company seems to have been working with Razer on the endeavor, citing its Turret and BlackWidow devices as that could be directly compatible with Xbox One, through their Chroma light-up keys, which allows the keyboard to respond to cues from games. This would also include support for just about any USB mouse, including wireless mice with dongles.

The presentation also offered guidelines planning to implement mouse and keyboard in their games, including support for at least five buttons on a mouse, being able to properly pinpoint the cursor, and implementing new APIs for mouse data. Microsoft reportedly notes it would be up to developers how they want to implement mouse and keyboard, if that means separating controller and mouse-and-keyboard users into distinct multiplayer matchmaking queues.

Windows Central does state the information is from earlier this year, and the documents it received to not say whether the company is still planning to go ahead with this initiative. Though Minecraft's Bedrock Edition currently supports mouse and keyboard, most games do not. However, if this report proves true, Xbox One players may be able to enjoy PC-oriented controls on their console of of choice in the near future.


While the hassle of figuring out multiplayer balance with two separate control schemes might be a hassle for many developers, it'd be nice to be able to play something like Age of Empires on a Turret or something. Seems neat, if true.

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 10:21 am

Fighting EX Layer Creator Teasing New Character In Tweet

Arika vice president Ichiro Mihara has posted an image of character for Fighting EX Layer that hasn't been shown before, despite the game's roster being more or less final.

With Fighting EX Layer being out next Thursday, it's no surprise the game will appear at the week's major fighting game tournament, Community Effort Orlando (CEO). In a Tweet thank the tournament for their presence, Mihara also posted a strange screenshot.

We are honored to be able to participate in CEO 2018.
This sentence has nothing to do with the picture (w#FEXL@CEOGaming


— 三原さん。@ARIKA (@miharasan) June 20, 2018

The second screenshot also has the tweet text, "We are honored to be able to participate in CEO 2018. This sentence has nothing to do with the picture (w" in its image, as well as something fans hadn't seen before: A fully rendered version of the Street Fighter EX character Pullum Purna, who had been mentioned earlier as a potential DLC character should the game perform well, but hadn't been shown. While this doesn't necessarily confirm the character will release, it does bode well, since it shows the team is at least working on creating the character in-game.

Currently the cast includes only 12 confirmed characters in the final cast, as well as one DLC character available in the special edition of the game.

[Source: Ichiro Mahara on Twitter]


Pullum is one of my favorite character designs from the Street Fighter EX series, so I hope she makes it into the roster, whether it's through the game selling well enough or because the team has decided to release her despite the game's sales numbers.

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 8:15 am

Bungie Making Changes To Exotic Armor Pieces In Upcoming Patch

Bungie has detailed some of the changes it's planning to make some of the more underutilized Exotic armor pieces in Destiny 2's 1.2.3 update, boosting the strength and versatility of three armor pieces each for Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks.

For Hunters, Lucky Raspberry will have an increased chance to recharge your Arcbolt Grenade should you land a hit with it, and nailing four targets will automatically refill it. St0mp-EE5 now adds increased jump height to all of Hunters' jumps, not just the High Jump. Young Ahamkara's Spine no longer marks targets hit by Tripmine grenades, but now increases their throw speed, blast radius, and durability. Solar ability hits now also grant Tripmine Grenade energy.

For Titans, ACD/0 Feedback Fence now works as more of a defensive item by granting increased melee damage resistance instead of dealing damage after hit melee attacks (the armor piece now also grants charges based on melee hits and not kills). Doomfang Pauldrons have been spruced by replacing the melee-oriented ability with the ability to extend the Sentinel Shield super after landing Shield Throw hits. Dunemarchers have been buffed significantly, amount of sprint time necessary to activate a charge from five to one-and-a-half seconds, and increasing its damage across both PvP and PvE.

Warlocks can now cast it up as Stormcallers, since Crown of Tempests now has fewer, more potent charges of Conduction Tines, and each charge now extends the duration of Stormtrance while it lasts. Karnstein Armlets are now much simpler to use, swapping resistance, mobility, and target-marking for an instant heal after melee kill, followed by continuous healing for eight seconds. Starfire Protocol now have the added benefit of granting Empowering Rift weapon damage the ability to decrease the cooldown of Fusion Grenade.

These changes are set to go live during the 1.2.3 update, which hits on July 17 and also adds a number of other features, including the Solstice of Heroes event, six-on-six quickplay matches, a Rumble, and Triumphs for Year 1.

[Source: Bungie]


It's going to be hard to pull my Hunter away from her Wormhusk Crown (instant health regen has saved my hide way too many times), but the changes to Lucky Raspberry sound promising, at least in PvE (I'm not patient enough to land four-man Arcbolt grenade in Crucible unless it's during Iron Banner).

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 5:07 am

What To Watch This Weekend: SGDQ, Hearthstone, And BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle


As the groundhog heralds Spring, so does SGDQ herald the start of Summer. The speedrunning marathon may take up most of your time when it starts this Sunday, but there's also a handful of other cool events worth your time going on!

But yes, Summer Games Done Quick is back this Sunday, kicking off a whole week of non-stop speedrunning action. Recent games you can expect to see broken include Iconoclasts, Cuphead, and Celeste. (Stream / Schedule)

The League of Legends LCS is also in full swing, as teams continue jockeying for their spot in the playoffs in the second week. (Stream / Schedule)

We've got two big fighting game tournaments this week. First, Northwest Majors has all the regular fighting mainstays like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7, as well as newcomers and smaller fair like Skullgirls, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and Darkstalkers 3. (Streams and Schedules)

We also have 2GG: Hyrule Saga, which has Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, as well as Smash-like Rivals of Aether. It also includes Arms. (Streams and Schedule)

Anyone in a raiding mood but without the friends or guild to make them happen can tune into the World of WarCraft Mythic Dungeon Invitational, which pits top raiding teams against each other. (Streams and Schedule)

If Hearthstone is more your thing, you can catch the HCT Summer Championship this weekend In Burbank, California, and watch the playoffs as they unfold. (Stream and Schedule)

That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there's a scene you'd like us to cover, in the comments.

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 4:00 am

DC Comic To Launch New Imprint Dedicated To Edgy, Standalone Stories

Update: This story has been altered to reflect DC's new solicitations for September, which have Batman: Damned kicking off the label instead of Superman: Year One.

Today, DC Comics announced that its launching a new imprint geared toward "edgy, provocative" takes on some of everyone's favorite superheroes called DC Black Label.

In the early 90s, DC launched some of the most popular, enduring stories not just in comics but in all of fiction under its Vertigo label including Preacher, Y: The Last Man, Fables, A History Of Violence, and The Sandman. These titles were original properties geared towards courting an older audience, mimicking the content of R-rated films. It looks like DC now has plans to do another Veritgo label but this new one is focused on DC characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

DC Black Label will launch with Batman: Damned, penned by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Lee Bermejo on September 19. Batman: Damned is a bi-monthly series that unfolds in 48-page issues. The Black Label was originally going to start with Superman: Year One, but that title has been delayed until November. Here's DC's  entire lineup:

For more on DC Comics, check out our preview of TT Games' upcoming Lego DC Super-Villians.


Posted on 24 June 2018 | 2:53 am

Amy, Chao, And Most Importantly Big The Cat Announced For Team Sonic Racing

Today is the 27th anniversary livestream for Sonic the Hedgehog, which unfortunately did not have any loud buzzing sounds or people in Sonic costumes being awkwardly asked to stop dancing and exit the stage. It did, however, have an announcement of a few new characters for Team Sonic Racing.

Amy comes with a pink car that she is basically invisible standing against, the Chao which is actually four Chao driving together have a pod-like buggy, and Big the Cat has a big green car that looks like Froggy and has a fishing rod in the back. 

Team Sonic Racing later this year on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Switch.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 6:31 pm

Copyright-Assaulting Fangame Card Sagas Wars Getting Released

If you were on the internet circa 2011, you might remember the fan project Card Sagas Wars. The fighting game brought together 2D pixel art representations of Young Link, KOS-MOS, Mega Man X, Cloud, Lenneth, Master Chief, and more and then went quiet. You can find one of the last trailers for the game, released nine years ago, below.

The two developers of the game, Alberto Hernández and Dani Oliver, have announced that they plan to release a seven year-old build of the game on to the internet with four characters; Young Link, X, Cloud, and KOS-MOS. Hernández and Oliver will support the game with post-launch content, namely the eight other characters they finished, but this is not intended to be a resuscitation of the project.

Both developers have moved on from the game, but want to show what they have done while they work on new projects that they can actually make a living off of. As such, Card Sagas Wars is going to be buggy, but playable at the minimum.

Coming out of nowhere...Card Sagas Wars is going to be public THIS week!! It's going to be the latest build we worked on (7 years ago) so it's asured it will be a bit unstable and with some bugs, but playable. Please keep an eye for an update at the end of the week! #ItsHappening

— Dani Oliver (@ahruon) June 21, 2018

Oliver says there should be more news on the release later in the week.


It's a bit of a nostalgic trip for people who followed the project at the time, like me, but also fans of pixel art in general. I am excited to see Oliver's original project as a fan of the art they produced for Card Sagas Wars, but I won't lie that I enjoy seeing pixel art representations of a lot of these characters.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 12:27 pm

Second Season Of Castlevania Netflix Show Arriving Before End Of The Year

We recently got rumors about Castlevania's third season, despite the fact that the second season doesn't even have a date yet. Still, showrunner and writer Warren Ellis has at least narrowed down the date to the next six months.

FAQ: #CASTLEVANIA season 2 will be 8 episodes long, out sometime later this year. I don’t have the release date yet - these things are decided by people other than me. Lots and lots of great animators are working incredibly hard on it. You'll have plenty of warning of the date.

— Wᴀʀʀᴇɴ Eʟʟɪs (@warrenellis) June 19, 2018

Ellis says that the second season will be eight episodes long and, while he doesn't know the exact date quite yet, it should be sometime later this year. The second season seems to focus on the interplay between Alucard and Trevor Belmont while following a loose story structure of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 12:05 pm

Weekend Warrior - Post E3 Blues

This weekend, the Game Informer staff is finally getting a chance to kick back and relax after the E3 content rush. That means catching up on the old backlog, seeing some movies, and playing a whole lot of Overwatch and Destiny 2.

What are you doing this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

Kyle Hilliard (@kylemhilliard) – After a hectic two weeks and weekends all revolving around E3, this weekend is thankfully a little more laid back. I’ll probably go see Incredibles II again and play some Pokémon Go to dig into the new friend and trading stuff. Oh! And I will do some laundry, too. That part is going to be great.

Imran Khan (@imranzomg) – I’m starting Uncharted: That Chloe One this weekend! I also bought Hollow Knight on the Switch so I am eager to let that beat me down until I learn to love it.

Suriel Vazquez (@SurielVazquez) – I’m going to do daily Iron Banner challenges because I hate myself. I don’t even like this Season’s ornaments for the Iron Banner gear. I just want to collect them all because I’m a stupid idiot. Other than that and laundry, I’m really not sure. Do I replay Red Dead Redemption, start playing Hitman to prepare for the sequel, or make time for a few fighting games? We’ll see! 

Brain Shea (@BrianPShea) – This weekend, I’m still recovering from E3 and the work resulting from it, but I’m going to relax with a hearty dose of Overwatch. I’m also looking for a new single-player game to dig into, so who knows what I’ll land on.

Jeff Cork (@gijeff) – This weekend is all about primary colors. At least, that’s what I think the prevailing theme is? I’m going to play some Overwatch, and then I’ll shift over to Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix. Other than that, I’ll be plugging away at the Westworld mobile game because my life is hard. I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you’re considering playing the Westworld mobile game I would recommend reconsidering playing the Westworld mobile game. Stick to the show.

Camden Jones (@CCJ1997) – I'm going to spend all my free time playing Destiny 2. I put a good amount of time into the original Destiny, but I just picked up the sequel about a week and a half ago (thanks, Derek, for letting me borrow your PS4). So far, I'm really, really enjoying it.

Derek Swinhart (@Derek_Swinhart) – This weekend I will join the horde of other staff playing Destiny 2 and Overwatch. My plan is to keep playing Hunt: Showdown with my buddy, and getting some time into Hollow Knight on Switch. I played it on PC when it came out and it is an all time favorite of mine. Also, you are welcome Camden.  

Jacob Geller (@yacobg42) – I will spend his weekend sinking even deeper into Nioh, because I've devoted my life to samurai games at this point. Also maybe some mecha anime trash.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 12:00 pm

YouTube Introduces New Monetization Methods In Creator-Focused Initiative

It's no secret that YouTube really wants to get into the streaming game. It might be because parent company Google doesn't want Amazon, the parent company of Twitch, to exist mostly unopposed in this region. Or it's because it's a medium that can make a lot of money for the platform. The next step in YouTube's attempts to woo more creators to YouTube streaming is including a subscription plan and features that mirror Twitch's feature set while also leveraging YouTube's brand for pre-recorded videos.

Polygon reports that YouTube creators with over 100,000 subscribers and enrollment in the YouTube Partners Program can have subscribers enroll in a $4.99 recurring premium subscription. This enables access to special emojis, members-only streams, a community forum, and more. The model also takes some inspiration from Patreon by allowing creators to make videos for paid subscribers with a scheduled go-live date for public consumption.

The new monetization plan is a response to YouTube creators bemoaning the ad-dependent payment model that has been at its foundation since the inception of the video platform. With YouTube taking an aggressive stance on demonetizing videos by funneling their ad money to content holders based on copyright claims and a fuzzy Content ID algorithm, creators have seen the one fruitful platform descend into a struggle for every single video. Now, theoretically, even if Nintendo does demand all the ad money for a Let's Play of Donkey Kong Country 3, subscriber money goes to the creator regardless (though YouTube still does take 30 percent for themselves).

[Source: Polygon]


It's good to see YouTube figuring out how to handle the demonetization problem, though ideally they would have figured this out two years ago. Competition in the streaming and creator content market will probably help all parties in the end.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 10:23 am

Ni No Kuni II Adds Harder Difficulty Modes In New Patch

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has had a difficulty problem. Our own review talked about how the side quests only served to make an already easy game even easier. People use cheat-enabling software on the PC to make the enemies more difficult to wring out some challenge from the game. It turns out, Bandai Namco has heard you. 

In a patch that's out now, Ni no Kuni II has added two harder difficulties for new games, Hard and Expert. Obviously Expert is for the hardest challenge currently available. The patch also has some bug fixes and rare items.

Playing on harder difficulties also increases your drop rate for rare items, so it has benefits beyond fixing what is commonly called out as the game's biggest flaw. The patch is out now for PlayStation 4 and PC.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 9:45 am

Rico Rodriguez Joins Final Fantasy Brave Exvius In Just Cause 3-Themed Event

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is known for having a lot of guest crossovers, including singer Ariana Grande, so it only makes sense that Square Enix's own properties also make the leap at some point.

Just Cause hero Rico Rodriguez along with Just Cause 3 compatriots Mario Frigo, Teo, and Annika Svennson are being added to the mobile game with 2D SNES-style sprites. Rico, Mario, and Annika are being added through the featured summon function, while Teo will be a raid summon.

Just Cause 3 x Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius will be having an anniversary event starting next week that, among other things, halves the stamina cost for playing the game. 

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 8:04 am

Ninja Theory Celebrates Hellblade's One Million Sales

Ninja Theory took to twitter today to celebrate a huge milestone for Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, with their indie AAA title selling a million copies. 

#Hellblade has just hit 1 Million unit sales across #Xbox #PS4 #PC! 🎉

Thank you all for your support!

Save 40% #SteamSummerSale

— NinjaTheory (@NinjaTheory) June 22, 2018

Hellblade has won numerous awards and acclaim, as a game for change and for its mature depiction of mental illness, something rarely seen in the industry. Ninja Theory made Hellblade as a budget game with AAA production and set the title at a lower price point, hoping to show that there was space for a different tier of games. The bet definitely paid off for the team and they have even recently been picked up by Microsoft to become an exclusive studio. 

Hopefully they will continue to make forward thinking and creative games while under the Xbox banner, while also not having to worry about funding and budgetary issues. The game is available for 40% off as part of the Steam Summer Sale and you can also purchase it on PS4 and Xbox One. 

Check out our review and our interview where we talk to the game director on balancing story and combat as part of the cover story coverage.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 7:20 am

Bloodstained Backer Demo Delayed One Week On Day Of Release

Koji Igarashi's newest foray into the Metroidvania genre was crowdfunded in 2015, but has seen a few delays and bumps in the road along the way to release. The latest demo, the E3 build being sent to backers on PC, has also seen its own delay right at its release date. Thankfully, it's only for one week.

Historically, the Bloodstained developers have released E3 demos to backers and were planning to do the same with the E3 2018 demo, but had to delay it in a backer update last night. During E3, the developers found a number of bugs and glitches they want to smooth out the demo before releasing. The new plan is to release the demo on June 28.

The demo has been anticipated as it's the first chance for backers to get their hands on the game after the original developer Inti Creates was taken off the game last year and replaced with developers ArtPlay and DICO. ArtPlay is the mobile developer Igarashi took a job at before launching the Bloodstained Kickstarter, while DICO is not known for much in the way of game development, but specializes in QA and localization. Inti Creates did, however, make the prequel game Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is scheduled to release in 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and Vita.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 6:40 am

Summer Games Done Quick Starts This Sunday

Summer Games Done Quick, an annual charity event that raises money by soliciting donations while speed running through games, starts this Sunday.

The event is the Summer instance of the bi-annual Games Done Quick banner, with each event usually having different charities to support. SGDQ this year is raising money for Doctors Without Borders, one of the multiple charities that Games Done Quick has collectively raised $14 million for since they started streaming these events. All of the donations go straight to the charity.

You can find a schedule of the speed runs this year right here, which begins with Banjo-Tooie and includes speed runs of the newest Metroid game Samus Returns, Cuphead, a Tool-Assisted bot speed run of F-Zero GX, and way, way more. Make sure to check it out, spread the word, and donate for a good cause.

The stream will be on Twitch at the GamesDoneQuick Twitch channel.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 6:00 am

Sega Producing Dreamcast And Mega Drive-Themed Candles

Sega is producing scented candles that look like Dreamcast and Mega Drive consoles, and they want fans to tell them what the systems should smell like. The company didn't say if the fans' suggestions will actually determine the scent of the final products, but the person who makes Sega's favorite suggestion will receive both candles for free.


Sega announced the candles and the contest on the Sega Forever Facebook page. Commenters on the post have already come up with some fun suggestions, including hot plastic and chili dogs.

There's no word of a release date for these smelly systems, but the Sega Forever post says the candles are currently "in development."

[Source: Sega via Tiny Cartridge]

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 5:44 am

Bethesda Sues Warner Bros. Over Mobile Westworld Game

A few years ago, Bethesda worked with Behaviour Interactive to release a management sim based on the Fallout franchise. It was fine. Then earlier this week, Warner Bros. announced a mobile management sim based on the HBO TV series Westworld. We thought the game looked fairly similar to Fallout Shelter.

And so did Bethesda — a little too similar.

Bethesda filed a suit in a Maryland’s U.S. District Court stating, that the Westworld game features “the same copyrighted computer code created for Fallout Shelter.”

Bethesda goes on to say that a bug featured in an early version of Fallout Shelter even appears in this mobile version of Westworld on Android.

Fallout’s publisher is seeking a jury trial and damages for copyright infringement, breach of contract and misappropriating trade secrets.

[Via: Polygon]


This looks pretty bad for Behaviour and Warner Bros. Bethesda contracted with Behaviour under a work-for-hire agreement to develop Fallout Shelter, and these kind of publisher contracts generally limit developers from using the technology developed for one game on other projects. Bethesda likely has a pretty solid case here, so this suit could affect the official release of the Westworld game.

Bethesda Softworks LLC v. Behaviour Interactive, Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. by Polygondotcom on Scribd

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 5:30 am

Search For Mighty In Sonic Mania's Fourth Web Short

Today, Sega released the fourth episode in a five part web series about Sonic Mania. In this episode, we follow Ray the flying squirrel looking for Mighty the armadillo. While looking for his friend, Ray runs into some trouble and hijinks ensue.

The web series is written and directed by Tyson Hesse, who created the opening for Sonic Mania. The shorts will lead up to the release of Sonic Mania Plus, which features new playable characters, levels and more. 

Sonic Mania Plus will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch on July 17.  It will also be available for the first time in a physical edition for all you avid Sonic collectors out there. 

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 5:11 am

The First Episode Of Life Is Strange 2 Hits This September

It looks like The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit isn't the only taste of Life Is Strange's universe we're getting soon. The first episode in the numbered sequel to our Adventure Game Of The Year winner in 2015 has a release date: September 27.

Developer Dontnod revealed the news in a tweet with a short teaser that gave no plot details away:

Episode 1 of #LifeisStrange2 will release on September 27th 2018.

Further information about @DONTNOD_Ent's #LifeisStrange2 will be revealed this August.

— Life is Strange (@LifeIsStrange) June 22, 2018

For more on Life is Strange, be sure to check out our preview of The Amazing Adventures Of Captain Spirit, a upcoming (free) standalone game that bridges the gap between Life Is Strange and Life Is Strange 2.

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 3:08 am

World Of Warcraft Offering Free Weekend

Like all forces of nature, World of Warcraft continues to endure. The long-running MMORPG has had more hours played than most games have had hours thought about. As the Battle for Azeroth expansion nears, Blizzard is giving players a chance to return to the world (of warcraft) and play with their friends.

Until June 24, you can log back into WoW and play to your heart's content. You get full access to the game and all your characters completely subscription-free because Blizzard is betting you'll be back for the long haul.

You can check here for full details, but really all the details you need is that June 24 is your cutoff date, so you had best jump in while you can.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 1:00 pm

Life Is Strange Teaser Captain Spirit Saves The Day Earlier Than Expected

At E3 this year, Life is Strange creators Dontnod revealed a new story set in the Life is Strange universe, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. The episode will be free to download and the developers have confirmed it is launching one day earlier than its initially revealed date next Tuesday. The game is now launching on June 25.

Here are the release timings for when you will be able to download and play #CaptainSpirit entirely for free!

— DONTNOD_Ent (@DONTNOD_Ent) June 21, 2018

The game supposedly sets up the story of Life is Strange's sequel series, but it's currently unknown why or how. The episode will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 12:22 pm

First Ever Statue Of Female Dragonborn From Skyrim Introduced

If you're looking for more Dovahkiin merchandise but don't want to buy the same statue of the Dragonborn standing with one foot with no differences, the first ever official female version of the Dragonborn standing with one foot on a rock has been created.

The statues is part of the Modern Icons set, which includes the Fallout power armor, Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn, and more. Plus, if you're sad there were no visual  Skyrim ports announced at E3 this year, you can now make your own Skyrim on your bookcase while playing Skyrim on Alexa. You can throw Skyrim on Switch in there, too, but the contortions at that point sound dangerous.

The statue stands at 9" tall and was designed using the files from the game itself. It's available now or after fifty hours of sidequests.

[Disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of both ThinkGeek and Game Informer]

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 11:41 am

Pokémon Go Gifting And Trading Now Online

It has been over one thousand days since Niantic announced trading would be coming to Pokémon Go. We know. We kept count. That's more than the number of Pokémon out there. You are closer to the 2016 election than you are to that announcement.

But all that's in the past, because Pokémon Go's switch has been flipped and gifting and trading are now enabled in the app. There's a small caveat that you need to be level 33-40 right now. Any other number will get trading soon as they start expanding that range out.

Attention! Friends, gifting, and trading are now live for those level 33 to 40 Trainers! Stay tuned as we will be gradually rolling out these features to other levels soon.

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) June 21, 2018

You can go into the app now to get your friend code, which you can then tweet out to everyone on social media. It has not been said how long Niantic will take to expand the level range, but hopefully it won't be one thousand days.

Additionally, the legendary Pokémon Regice has started appearing as a Raid battle at gyms across the world. The remaining two legendaries of that set, Registeel and Regirock, will arrive in short order.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 10:52 am

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Gets Reversible Cover For Both Protagonists

Announced in a Reddit AMA today, Ubisoft confirmed that Assassin's Creed Odyssey will have a reversible cover, each side featuring a different playable character.

Q: Will Assassin's Creed Odyssey have a reversible cover? - Rubensaurus

— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) June 21, 2018

One side of the cover will represent Alexios, the male choice, while Kassandra, the female choice, is on the otherside. While it isn't said there which cover will be the default one, Ubisoft did confirm in a later answer that Kassandra is the canon story. They did emphasize, however, that there's no incorrect choice between the two.

Q: Will there be a definitive canon story? - TheOneAlistair

— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) June 21, 2018

If you want to learn more about Assassin's Creed Odyssey, check out New Gameplay Today playing through a good chunk of the new game, wrote down ten things to know about the game, and explain how the latest AC title is doubling down on Assassin's Creed Origins' RPG elements.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 9:38 am

Report: Lucasfilm Puts Standalone Star Wars Movies On Hold (Update: Lucasfilm Says Not So)

Update: According to ABCNews, Lucasfilm characterizes Collider's report as "inaccurate." The film producer says that there's still a number of Star Wars movies that have yet to be announced.

The original story is as follows:

Lucasfilm has halted production on future "A Star Wars Story" standalone movies, according to a report from Collider. This includes the rumored Obi-Wan and Boba Fett movies. According to Collider's sources, "the previously rumored Obi-Wan movie was in active development, but those who were working on the film are no longer involved."

Solo: A Star Wars Story received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, and though it was profitable, it performed poorly at the box office in comparison to other Star Wars movies. Many blame "Star Wars fatigue" for Solo's failure, as Solo came to theaters just five months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Rather than devoting time to the spinoffs, Lucasfilm will now focus on Episode IX and the Rian Johnson trilogy after that, according to Collider. The series of Star Wars movies written by Game of Thrones T.V. series writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is not part of the spinoff series that has been put on hold.

For more Star Wars, check out our spoiler-filled discussion of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

[Source: Collider]


Our Take
Man, this makes me sad. I really enjoyed Solo, and I was looking forward to a Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan movie. Here's hoping these movies get made eventually.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 9:30 am

The Coolest Collectibles Coming To San Diego Comic Con

For toy collector's, no show hurts the pocket book more than San Diego Comic Con. This year's show kicks off on July 19 and runs for four days. Most toy, apparel, and collectible manufacturers bring a handful of items that can only be obtained at the con. To make matters worse, many of these items are limited in supplies, which leads to long lines and exorbitant prices in second-hand markets.

This year's round up of items highlights odd game-inspired collectibles, and plenty that dip into the comic book and cartoon realms. We've heard people sometimes wait in line for hours just to get one thing. We're guessing a few of these collectibles will be highly coveted, including this first one...

Funko Pop! – Overwatch
Grillmaster Soldier 76

If you are a Soldier 76 main, odds are you have this goofy skin, and don't mind using it to add an extra splash of humiliation onto your killstreaks. No one enjoys getting knocked out by this hilarious variant, but it is one of the top skins in the game, and is a great pick for an exclusive Funko Pop variant.

Funko Pop! – Dragon Ball Z
Dead Yamcha

Nothing says Dragon Ball Z fun more than a dead hero, right? People sure got a kick out of watching Yamcha die in the show, and now you can be reminded of that moment whenever you look at your toy shelf. Thanks, Funko!

Funko Pop! – Dragon Ball Z
Gold Super Saiyan Vegeta

If you don't want to be reminded of cartoon death (which we kind of get), perhaps this shiny, gold Vegeta more suits your collectible needs. Look how pretty it is!

Funko Pop! – Destiny
Sweeper Bot

Destiny's fan-favorite robot, who doubles as one of the game's best jokes, is getting a Funko Pop! before a number of the game's key players. We love that. Who wouldn't want a robot with a broom?

Funko Pop! – Batman
8-Bit Version

Funko has probably created a Pop! out of every Batman variation from comics, movies, and animated series, so why not make one based on a game most people hated? Yes, this is a toy modeled after the Batman game on NES. You can only purchase it at Entertainment Earth's booth.

Hasbro – The Vintage Collection
Doctor Aphra Set

Seeing that no one likes Star Wars now (this is a joke and a painful one for me to tell), you should have no problem securing this Vintage Collection Doctor Aphra set at the show. Doctor Aphra is a significant player in several of Marvel's Star Wars comic book series.

Factory Entertainment – Game of Thrones
Stuffed Stark Family Direwolf Cubs

Each of the Stark children were gifted a direwolf, and now you can add Ghost, Grey Wind, Shaggydog, Summer, Lady, and Nymeria to your stuffed animal family.

FYE – XXRAY Rugrats

Some of you grew up watching Nickelodeon cartoons in the 1990s. One of your favorite shows may have been Rugrats. Remember Reptar? Ever want to see what he would look like if he were being dissected in a laboratory? Now's your chance! You can even have this terrifying collectible front and center for all of your friends and family to see. No, we don't think this collectible is "cool," but we had to show you because it's absolutely f---ed up.

Alex Ross – Superman
Origins Print

Alex Ross can tell a full origin story in a single print, and it's absolutely stunning. If you're a Superman fan, get in line for this piece early. Ross is only bringing 500 pieces of this 14 1/2 x 15 1/2 lithograph to the show.

Hallmark – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Lando and Lobot Ornaments

Nothing says holiday cheer more than a Lobot ornament that screams "I'm bored to death." The Lando ornament is actually quite nice, but we're more interested in putting terrible things on our tree, and hot damn, Lobot fits that need nicely.

Gentle Giant – Gwenpool
Marvel Animated Statue

Gentle Giant always has high-end collectibles at the show, and this year is no different. Along with a
Yoda bust inspired by Ralph McQuarrie's original design for the powerful jedi knight, Gentle Giant is selling a statue based on the first issue of The Unbelievable Gwenpool.

Monogram International – Street Fighter
3D Foam Magnets 4-Pack

Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile are ready to battle on your refrigerator. These magnets are one of the rarest items we've seen at the show with just 300 pieces for sale.

Storm Collectibles – Mortal Kombat
Ermac Statue

Performing a Fatality in a Mortal Kombat game is a satisfying conclusion to a match, but do you want to see one whenever you wake up? Why not, right? Storm Collectibles has created a 1:12-scale action figure diorama that highlights one of Ermac's Fatalities against Scorpion. It's incredibly violent, so we're not including the image in this article. Just click right here to see it.

NECA – Guardians of the Galaxy
Groot Chia Pet

Some things make way too much sense. Groot transforming into a Chia Pet is one of them. The only problem with this design, he ends up looking like Bob Ross. Groot Chia Pets are already for sale, but are oddly unpainted. This version at least has black eyes.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 8:36 am

Blizzard Teasing Something New For Overwatch

Over on the Overwatch Twitter, Blizzard has released a tease of what looks to be new content for the game. It is just not saying what kind of new content.

Calm before the storm.

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 21, 2018

The tweet is simply captioned "Calm before the storm" and is a short video shot of an alley with various posters. One poster shows a chimp in a space suit tagged with "NO BOTS." The area is not recognizable as any existing Overwatch map.

In the replies, tweets are speculating that the tease is referring to Hammond, also known as specimen 8. In some documents, Hammond is referred to as an escaped test subject from the Horizon Lunar Colony. Blizzard had said at the beginning of the year that they were already working on testing for the character following Brigitte.

What do you think the tease is for?

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 6:45 am

Captain Toad Demo Up On Switch Eshop, Full Game Loses 3D World Levels

The Switch version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, the puzzle/adventure game starring the galaxy-spanning explorer and his colleague Toadette, has a demo on the Switch eShop in all regions now.

You can go ahead and download the demo now and explore how the game plays on the Switch. Captain Toad made his introduction in Mario Galaxy as the leader of a brave though perpetually lost exploration force, then as a minigame in Super Mario 3D World. That minigame was spun off and fleshed out into Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which ended up featuring full levels from 3D World for Captain Toad to strut through.

According to a Nintendo World Report preview, however, the Switch version is losing those 3D World levels. It was revealed in its first Nintendo Direct that the game would be getting New Donk City-themed stages added to the Switch and 3DS versions, but it appears those are coming at the cost of the 3D World content. It sounds like the other stages are based on Odyssey's kingdoms, but are still replacing 3D World's levels with smaller puzzles.

You can find our review of the Wii U version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker right here.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 6:23 am

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Coming Soon To Xbox One, Open Beta Available Now

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 launches for Xbox One on July 11, and the Xbox One version's open beta is playable now. The game will be playable through the Xbox One Game Pass as soon as it launches. Developer Fatshark revealed the Xbox One version's release date Wednesday, along with the following trailer.

In a reply to a tweet, Fatshark senior programmer Patrik Wennersten said the Xbox One version does not feature cross-play with the game's PC version, which launched back in March.

Unfortunatly no, we use steam lobbies on pc and the xbox multiplayer architecture on xbox one so they're not compatible

— Patrik Wennersten (@fatshark_tazar) June 20, 2018

Fatshark first announced in December 2017 that the Left 4 Dead-inspired co-op action game would be coming to consoles, but this is the first we've heard of a set release date. Fatshark says the PlayStation 4 version is still on its way, but gave no specific dates yet.

Along with the announcement, Fatshark released details for a new "Premium Edition," which includes exclusive in-game content.

For our review of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 on PC, head here.

[Source: Fatshark, Twitter]

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 6:08 am

Shadowrun Returns Is Free For The Next Two Days

We recently called Shadowrun Returns the ninth best cyberpunk game you could get your hands on. Now you can experience the game in all its isometric glory for free, courtesy of the Humble store

The title, released in 2013 after a successful kickstarter, is available on PC, Mac, and Linux.  You can read our review here.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 5:06 am

Echo Combat's Open Beta Begins Soon

Echo Combat, the zero-gravity VR shooter from the creators of games like Lone Echo (which exists in the same universe) and The Order 1866, is entering open beta today. All you need to take part is own the Oculus Rift hardware and download the free-for-a-limited time beta version of the game when it becomes available.

The beta begins today at 10:30 a.m. PT and will go until 10:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, June 24. Along with being able to play matches, players will also be able to explore Echo VR – a zero-g social space where you can practice moving around and set up games.

I played Echo Combat last week at E3, and was impressed. Gunplay in well-executed zero-g virtual reality is quite the experience, and I recommend downloading it and checking it out if you have an Oculus Rift. I know I plan on making time for a few matches.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 4:00 am

Two New Titles Incoming From Burnout Creators

Three Fields Entertainment – an independent studio headed by creators of the Burnout series – have announced not one, but two games for 2018: Danger Zone 2 (July) and new title Dangerous Driving (winter). Both are coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Danger Zone 2 (shown) transports the player from the confines of the first game's test zone locations to the real world. The game continues the set-piece destruction over 26 single-player levels in 17 locations in the U.S., U.K., and Spain.

Fiona Sperry, founder and CEO of Three Fields Entertainment, says that Danger Zone 2 includes more driving, drifting, and boosting than the first title, among other additions.

Dangerous Driving, meanwhile, appears to take a cue from the Burnout series' racing gameplay rather the calculated destruction of that series' Crash mode. The winter title also features plenty collisions, but does so through races featuring boosts and takedowns on traditional closed tracks.


I'm definitely excited for more Danger Zone, but I'm also curious how different these games feel from each other since it appears on the surface that they take the overall Burnout concept and split them into two separate titles. Of course, that could be good news for anyone only interested in one particular flavor of that legacy.

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 3:18 am

State Of Decay 2 Leads NPD Software In May

NPD released its May retail sales analysis, and everything's looking good, with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all having something to cheer about.

Overall, hardware, software, accessories, and game cards sales grew to $685 million – a 13 percent increase from a year ago (software was down slightly but the other areas made up for it), and year-to-date spending is up 15 percent. "Growth has occurred across all categories of spending," says NPD video game analyst Mat Piscatella.

State of Decay 2 – which has already almost doubled sales of the first title – is a big win for Microsoft, and the NPD notes that the Xbox One along with the PS4, drove a 26 percent increase in hardware spending compared to a year ago.

Sony, with God of War and Detroit: Become Human, is May's top-selling software publisher, although Ubisoft holds that spot for the calendar year. The PS4 was the month's best-selling console and has carried the year so far.

As for Nintendo, not only do its titles pepper the top 20, but its software sales in May 2018* are the highest for the month in seven years.

The PS4, Xbox One, and Switch all garnered record sales highs for a May month.

May NPD 2018 Top 20 Ranked On Dollar Sales

1. State of Decay 2
2. God of War
3. Detroit: Become Human
4. Far Cry 5
5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze*
6. Grand Theft Auto V
7. Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition*
8. Rainbow Six: Siege
9. Mario Kart 8*
10. NBA 2K18
11. MLB 18: The Show
12. Call of Duty: WWII
13. Super Mario Odyssey*
14. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
15. FIFA 18
16. Overwatch
17. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
18. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds
19. Assassin's Creed: Origins
20. Monster Hunter: World

*Nintendo titles do not include digital sales


With sales for all the systems doing well, increasing 15 percent in 2018 to this point compared with last year according to the NPD, I wonder exactly when the platform manufacturers decide that this generation has peaked. Microsoft in particular is already talking about the next generation, and I believe Sony has also set the wheels in motion. Do the sales numbers indicate that the consoles are in a great state and that companies should ride the wave as long as they can, or that it's all downhill from here?

Posted on 22 June 2018 | 1:45 am

PUBG Mobile Adds First-Person Camera, Arcade Mode, And A Battle Pass

PUBG Corp. announced today that some new features are making their way to the mobile version of the popular battle royale game.

First off, the first-person mode from the bigger screen versions of the game is making its way to mobile. This allows players to get up close and personal with their gun. Much like the other versions, this is a separate mode that is balanced for the lack of peripheral vision in the more enclosed view.

The other big change is a MiniZone Arcade Mode, which drops the hundred players into a much smaller circle with three times the number of weapons for a faster experience.

PUBG is also introducing a battle pass on both PC and mobile. The two versions differ in that the PC battle pass is only for cosmetics, while the mobile battle pass gives subscribers loot crates and a weapon. The update for the mobile version is out now on iOS and Android.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 1:33 pm

Top NBA Prospect Deandre Ayton Is Also A Rookie To The Sponsored Call Of Duty Tweet Game

Deandre Ayton, commonly considered the number one NBA draft pick for this year, has a pretty active Twitter account. So of course he makes for a good sponsorship opportunity for things people might be interested in, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. But that assumes that his agent communicates exactly how this sort of thing works.

The mistaken tweet was caught by a number of people, including Devolver Digital's fictional CEO Fork Parker, screencapping the original tweet. 

The single greatest sponsored tweet of all time.

— Fork Parker (@ForkParker) June 20, 2018

It has since been deleted and fixed by Ayton.

Awesome time yesterday with the #BlackOps4 crew. Thanks for having me #CallOfDutyPartner

— Deandre Ayton (@DeandreAyton) June 20, 2018

It is important to note that neither Activision nor Ayton are trying to hide the fact that the tweet is an ad, as the #CallOfDutyPartner tag is used for promotional consideration being offered by the Call of Duty brand. Still, it's an important lesson in giving your sponsored tweet copy directly or it might not come out the way you want, whether intentionally or not.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 1:07 pm

P.K. Subban Brings His Swagger To NHL 19 Cover

Few players are as exciting to watch as Nashville Predators defensemen P.K. Subban. The former Norris Trophy winner and Olympic gold medalist plays with a passion that most fans can't help but admire. Today, he can add NHL cover athlete to his list of career accolades. 

“Growing up, and still to this day, my friends and I love seeing who is on the cover and ultimately getting to play the game,” said Subban via a press statement. “Being the cover athlete for NHL 19, for me, represents growth within our sport, embracing different personalities, and showing that anything is possible. I’m honored to be able to sport the Smashville colors on this year’s cover.”

Subban isn't the only athlete gracing the cover of NHL this year. If you buy the Legends or Ultimate editions, The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky, will grace your cover. EA Sports has not detailed what these special editions contain or how much they cost.

NHL 19 is scheduled to ship on September 14 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you pre-order the Legends or Ultimate editions, the game unlocks three days earlier. EA Access members can also get 10 hours of early gameplay starting September 6. 

To learn about all the exciting changes coming to the title this year, read our in-depth preview

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 12:55 pm

Take-Two CEO Scoffs At The Idea Of Single-Player Games Going Away

Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive, thinks that any doomsaying about single-player games is at best premature.

Speaking to VentureBeat, Zelnick was asked about the upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption 2 and if the perception of single-player, narrative games being less profitable overall was accurate.

"There are people saying that a game won't work if it's not a free-to-play battle royale," Zelnick explained. "People really are saying that, and not even tongue-in-cheek. I don't buy that. Single-player, in my opinion, is not dead, not even close. Companies that feel like they'll just avoid the hard work of building a story and characters and go right to where the money is in multiplayer, I don’t think that's going to work. I'd be surprised."

Zelnick points out that, while a big reason for Grand Theft Auto V's monstrous success is its multiplayer mode GTA Online, it points to players wanting single-player games because they want that single-player campaign alongside the multiplayer.

[Source: Variety]


Zelnick's right, but I would probably argue that the perception of single-players games being gone is itself outdated. It is hard for anyone to argue that when there have been multiple major single-player only titles to sell millions and millions of copies in the last few years. Anyone who is still doing that is assuming that, if a game does not sell fifty million copies and generate revenue for years, it's not worth selling.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 12:07 pm

PUBG Compensating Falsely Banned Players With 20,000 BP

In the past few weeks, a new and decidedly strict anti-cheat system was implemented for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to handle the game's notorious cheating problem. The system also managed to catch a number of players who aren't cheating, leading to people logging into the game after sometimes weeks or months of not playing and finding their account banned.

According to a Steam blog post, this was merely the result of an overzealous cheat detection program.

"As you know, one of our highest priorities is working towards eliminating hackers and cheaters from PUBG," the developer writes in the post. "We’ve made great strides in this area recently, but unfortunately sometimes we get it wrong, which was the case recently when a number of players were improperly banned and were unable to access the game for a period of time."

As compensation, these players are being given 20,000 BP to their accounts, the currency used to buy lootboxes within PUBG. The developer didn't promise the false bans would stop happening, but asked for patience in the cases that they do.

PUBG Corp. have their own methods for telling who was banned and when they were logged in, so if you were banned and never logged in to see that you were banned, you're not eligible for compensation. PUBG Corp. and Bluehole also announced this week that the game has sold 50 million copies across both PC and Xbox One.


There's probably no good solution to this besides incredibly accurate cheat detection software, but that seems unlikely. Hopefully they iron out at least most of the kinks.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 11:20 am

Twitter Lists The Most Talked About Games Of E3

In a Twitter blog post today, the company revealed its list of what games were most tweeted about during E3 and who dominated the social media conversation. The platform looked at use of various E3 hashtags, mentions to the company accounts, untagged mentions of games, etc. to get the data. It likely doesn't include shortened game names like "Smash" or "TLOU," though.

In terms of games, these were the most talked about on Twitter:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Kingdom Hearts 3
  3. Fallout 76
  4. The Last of Us 2
  5. Death Stranding

In more absolute terms, this list includes everything at E3 talked about and the tags used for them.

  1. Nintendo (@Nintendo)
  2. Xbox (@Xbox)
  3. Super Smash Bros. (#SuperSmashBros)
  4. Fallout (@Fallout)
  5. Playstation (@PlayStation)
  6. Kingdom Hearts (@KINGDOMHEARTS)
  7. Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)
  8. Elder Scrolls (@ElderScrolls)
  9. Death Stranding (#DEATHSTRANDING)
  10. Fortnite (@FortniteGame)

Certain moments and announcements generated more E3 discussion than others, as well. These were the moments that generated the most conversation on Twitter.

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate release date is announced
  2. Ridley announced as newest character added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  3. Elder Scrolls VI trailer is revealed at @Bethesda press conference

In terms of region, Twitter also tracked where the tweets were coming from.

  1. United States
  2. Japan
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Spain
  5. France

The most Twitter conversation happened during Nintendo's E3 Direct. All in all, there were fifteen million E3 tweets during last week, with the total number of video game-related tweets up 94% from the previous week.

[Source: Twitter]


Checking out social media data is always fascinating, because it tells a part of the story that you usually don't get. People's off the cuff reactions might have been displeasure at a lack of Waluigi or celebration of a game, but they were talking about games at a pace they otherwise might not have.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 9:34 am

Steam Can Now Tell You How Much You Have Spent

Steam sales have long been a contributing to growing backlogs and the ease of simply clicking on something under certain budget thresholds has long been the bane of anyone carefully managing their expenses, but could be carefully tucked away in your mind as an individual purchase. Now, Steam and Valve have introduced a tool to bring that aggregate number in your face.

If you so choose, Steam will show you how much money you've spent without the use of Steam credit – or, as Steam puts it, external funds used. That's how much money you've put into Steam over the lifetime of your account. In my case, it was a bit more than a month of rent, which is knowledge I probably could have done without.

You can find the page here, which prompts you to sign in to Steam and then presents you with external funds used as of the most recent cycle, which could be a few days in the past. So if you went on a spending spree last week, Steam isn't going to shame you for that quite yet.

[Source: Reddit]

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 9:04 am

Assassin's Creed Odyssey PS4 Theme Available Now

Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the newest AC game that takes place in Greece, is coming out in October, but Ubisoft wants you to start feeling the Grecian air in your hair today.

Whether it's a mistake or not, Ubisoft has put up a theme for the PlayStation 4 with no pre-order necessary. Just log into PSN, download it for free, and be on your merry spartan way.

If you're curious about the actual game of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which Ubisoft revealed officially at E3 and also accidentally a week before that, we have a New Gameplay Today playing through a good chunk of the upcoming Assassin's Creed title, outlined ten things to know about the game, and detail how the game is doubling down on Assassin's Creed Origins' RPG elements.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 5.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 8:35 am

Digital Card Game Scrolls Renamed To Caller's Bane, Made Free-To-Play

Scrolls, a digital card game released in 2014 by Minecraft creator Markus Persson and Jakob Porsér, has undergone a branding change to Caller's Bane and is going free-to-play.

The announcement was made on the official website today, which still refers to the game as Scrolls in various headers and images. 

"We've got a new name - 'Caller's Bane,'" the website reads. "I'm sure there's a good reason for it. Perhaps we just didn't like the sound of 'Scrolls'. Either way, it's still the same game you've known and loved."

The name Scrolls had been a point of contention, and eventually a lawsuit from Zenimax, owner of Bethesda. After Mojang trademarked the name Scrolls, Zenimax sued alleging that Mojang was infringing on their copyright for The Elder Scrolls. A Swedish court denied Zenimax's injunction to stop Scrolls from progressing further and releasing and the two parties settled out of court, with Mojang giving up their trademark on the name.

The lack of a trademark likely made the name harder to use, thus the change to Caller's Bane. With digital card games like Hearthstone making lots of money for Blizzard, Valve about to launch Artifact, and Bethesda relaunching The Elder Scrolls Legends, Mojang would have needed to change the name to really take advantage of a relaunch for itself.

In 2015, Microsoft announced that they would be sunsetting Scrolls and making the following update its last. The game has not really been talked about since. We have reached out to Microsoft to find out what their involvement is with Caller's Bane but did not receive a response immediately.

Caller's Bane can be downloaded now from the official website and has also opened up the ability for players to run their own custom servers for the game.


Our Take
The really quick and honestly kind of sloppy nature of the change makes me think this was not something long-planned that they used today to pull the trigger on it. The website still refers to Zenimax as the trademark holder and there's no mention of Microsoft anywhere.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 6:57 am

Nintendo Switch Getting Playdead's Limbo & Inside

Danish developer Playdead has announced that both of its creepy, enigmatic, and wonderful platformers Limbo and Inside are coming to the Nintendo Switch on June 28.

The games are available on numerous other platforms, although no official pricing has been announced at this time for the Switch versions. Limbo and Inside can currently be purchased as a bundle for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for between $26.99 and $29.99 at the platforms' digital stores.

INSIDE and LIMBO on Nintendo Switch - Worldwide June 28.

— Playdead (@Playdead) June 20, 2018

[Source: Playdead]

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 3:08 am

Street Fighter V Update Introduces Random Item System

Cammy's Cannon Spike Costume from Fighting Chance.

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is getting a random item system called Fighting Chance as part of a new update (out June 25) that also introduces helpful consumables called Battle Goods to Survival mode.

Fighting Chance is a system through Menat's Fantasy Fortune Readings (which cost 500 Fight Money) that give players random items, some of which are exclusive to Fighting Chance. Obtainable items include Battle Goods for Survival mode (more on this below), rare costumes exclusive to Fighting Chance (like Cammy's cannon spike costume above), and classic Street Fighter art.

Fight Money itself can be earned in the game and cannot be purchased with real money.

Battle Goods are being introduced for Survival mode, and like Battle Supplements, give you a boost. However, Battle Goods are consumables, and players can use up to five of them between rounds. The update gifts players some Battle Goods, and more can be obtained either by completing Survival mode or via Fighting Chance.

Elsewhere in Survival mode, the update also allows players to spend 1,000 Fight Money to continue if they lose, and you can save your progress between stages.

For more info on the June 25 update, click the source link below.

[Source: Capcom-Unity]


Our Take
Given how precious Fight Money is in the game, this could be a steep price to pay for some random items.

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 2:57 am

Psyonix Outlines Plans For Rocket League's Rocket Pass

Psyonix has provided details about its upcoming Rocket Pass progression system, which is coming to Rocket League later this summer. Players can unlock new cosmetics with Rocket Pass, which functions similar to Fortnite's Battle Pass.

When the program goes live, players will automatically begin unlocking rewards by playing, without spending any additional money on the game. For Rocket League players who want more, there's a $10 premium option, which grants access to more cosmetics, such as player banners, car bodies, and more. The majority of the items that you unlock – either in the free or premium pass – can be traded with other players. If you decide that you're into the new progression system, you can also upgrade to a premium pass and immediately unlock all of the rewards from your current tier.

Psyonix says that players should be able to unlock all of the available reward tiers in about 100 hours, though that can be reduced when playing during double XP weekends or other promotions.

[Source: Psyonix]

Posted on 21 June 2018 | 2:11 am

Japanese Mega Man 11 Limited Edition Shows First Look At Young Wily And Light

Mega Man 11 is out in a few months in both normal and limited edition flavors, but we got our first look at the Japanese version of the LE today via the series' Japanese Twitter account. In it, we get our first look at Dr. Wily and Dr. Light when they were young scientists with high ideals.

『ロックマン11 運命の歯車!!』コレクターズ・パッケージに入る描き下ろし布ポスターのラフ画が公開!ボックスアートもこちらになる予定!コレはや・・やばい!amiiboが同梱されるNintendo Switch版も要チェックです!

— ウッチー(ロックマン公式) (@ROCKMAN_UNITY) June 19, 2018

First of all, young Dr. Wily looks awesome. Secondly, it indicates the game's story might have more to do with the young scientists than originally thought. When we played Mega Man 11 a few weeks ago, it was explained that Mega Man's new Gear system is the result of an old breakthrough Light and Wily had together when they were still students, presumably at the age depicted in the art. Wily, recalling this technological marvel was never used, put it in his killer robot masters. Mega Man gets the upgrade from Dr. Light to fight Wily's new super-powered army off.

Perhaps this art is just a small part of the game's backstory, but it would be really interesting if there is time travel or flashbacks to the old days, as well.

Mega Man 11 is releasing on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch on October 2.

Posted on 20 June 2018 | 1:25 pm

American Girl Xbox Gamer Doll Set Now Exists

The American Girl Doll series, which takes dolls and puts them in various professions, hobbies, and backstories, has announced a new accessory set for the dolls centered around the Xbox One and the various accessories an Xbox gamer might use.

The Xbox Gaming Set, which retails for $50, includes an Xbox One S that projects ten gaming scenes using a built-in projector, an Xbox One controller that fits in tiny little doll hands, a gaming chair with speakers that can be plugged into an audio device to output the signal, a headset for the doll, and two discs with different projection scenes and game cases for the discs.

The American Girl store page goes hard in making sure potential buyer know all these things are pretend and you're not getting a tiny usable Xbox One S. The projection thing is kind of cool, though.

Posted on 20 June 2018 | 12:23 pm

Next Pokémon Go Community Day To Focus On Squirtle

Get your Squirtle Squad sunglasses ready or order some in time for July 8's Pokémon Go community day, which focuses on Kanto's water starter.

During the day, Squirtles will be a much more common encounter out in the wild, which also raises the rate of Shiny Squirtles found, too. In addition, if you're able to raise a Squirtle to Blastoise while the community day is still ongoing, your Blastoise will have an exclusive move that Niantic has yet to reveal.

Additionally, eggs will hatch at 25 percent of their usual distance, and time-based buffs will last three hours instead of thirty minutes.

This event will predate the Pokémon Go Festival and possibly the introduction of trading and friend lists by a few days, so this could be the last community day where you can't trade or level up your friendships. If Niantic flips the switch on those features early, it could be the first community day with them!

Pokémon Go is available for iOS and Android.


Posted on 20 June 2018 | 11:50 am