How a talented programmer practically bluffed his way into the games industry, and why Crytek has not yet fulfilled its potential.

The story of Crytek: From X-Isle through Redemption

Crytek thrives on hyperbole. It is a developer known for pulling game technology forward, for being one of a handful of companies that will push the most powerful gaming machine to its limits. That hyperbole has become a kind of joke, in fact. "Does it run Crysis?" points to the flaws in any given piece of gaming hardware. But it points back to Crytek at the same time, begging the question, "Does my machine need to run Crysis?" Crytek's founder, Cevat Yerli, has always had a way with machines. A way of forcing them to perform amazing things on the screen, something he says is part of his company's DNA. It comes easy for team members. But with their latest title, Crysis 3, he thinks they may have focused their efforts too much on that technical side. "People really branded...

A guided video tour of an Unreal Tournament map

  • Freedom Planet gameplay video

  • Adventure Time trailer

  • Hearthstone: Naxxramas Overview

  • Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty - Overview video


Twitch starts streaming live music today

Live streaming service Twitch is broadening its broadcast horizons today. Primarily the domain of live video game streams of titles like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone and Minecraft, the company is expanding its offerings with live music. Twitch will host a live streamed performance by DJ and producer Steve Aoki today at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. Streamed from Ibiza, Spain, it will be Aoki's inaugural broadcast on Twitch. In a release, Twitch said the company greenlighted the live concert in response to feedback from its users. In a survey, more than 80 percent of Twitch viewers expressed interest in watching live music on Twitch, the company said. "We pride ourselves on listening to both the wants and needs of our community and then working to implement...

Neverwinter MMO is coming to Xbox One next year

Perfect World Entertainment, in partnership with City of Heroes and Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios, is bringing its massively multiplayer online role-playing game Neverwinter to Xbox One next year, the company announced today. The game will launch in the first half of 2015 for North America and Europe and be free-to-play with an Xbox Live Gold membership. The game will also hit the Xbox One in China when it launches later this year under the title Neverwinter Online. Neverwinter is set in the world of Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons and Dragons franchise, where players will create a character and explore the Forgotten Realms. The game will get its fourth module, or expansion, on Aug. 14 — Tyranny of Dragons. Neverwinter will be Cryptic and Perfect World's first...

Ex-Silicon Knights dev sentenced in child pornography case, charged with sexual assault

Kenneth McCulloch, the former Silicon Knights director and Precursor Games founder who was arrested last year on child pornography charges, was sentenced this week in an Ontario Court of Justice. According to a report published by The Welland Tribune, Judge Joseph Nadel sentenced McCulloch to time served — 12 months — after the former game developer pleaded guilty to a charge of making child pornography available. McCulloch had been in jail since his arrest in June 2013. While incarcerated, Niagara Regional Police reportedly hit McCulloch with new charges: sexual assault, forcible confinement and sexual interference. McCulloch is still in police custody, and will return to court next month to face those charges. According to the report, McCulloch had "videos and images of young...

Why I'm in love with this sweet game about a little girl in Alaska

The Inupiat, like many indigenous tribal peoples, hold the belief that all things are inhabited by a spiritual essence that goes deeper than their outward expression.I think that Never Alone, a game based on the Inupiat's stories and culture, is an example of this animism. On the face of it, the game is a simple sideways scrolling puzzle game, in which a sweet little girl and her sidekick arctic fox negotiate tottering ice floes, polar bears and fierce storms. There are many games like this one. But there is a spirit that inhabits Never Alone, that speaks of depths way beyond its basic mechanics. It feels like a game that is not only different, but is also seeking to make a difference. Created by Upper One Games in association with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, it is inspired by...

Deadpool's Hollywood screen test begins with Gwen Stefani, ends with a decapitated head

Deadpool showed up in the final moments of the first stand-alone Wolverine movie, complete with a mouth that was sewn shut. It was an odd design choice for a character who is literally called "the merc with the mouth."Deadpool is known for understanding the fact that he's in a comic book, he's hyper-violent and seems to be invulnerable. In some ways, he's the Joker mixed with the Wolverine. The character is, to put it bluntly, frickin' awesome. Some leaked footage from what was meant to be a standalone Deadpool film has been released online, and it features everything fans love about the character. It's funny, people die and Ryan Reynolds does a pretty great job with the voice. It's a teaser that begins with Deadpool singing Gwen Stefani and ends with him playing with a decapitated...

The days of owning games are coming to an end

There's only so much you can do with a customer who buys a game. And I mean buying a game in the traditional sense, where you go to a store, pick up a physical product, and can play that product on your hardware forever and ever, amen. Sony has found success with "giving away" games every month for subscription of PlayStation Plus, and Microsoft is now catching up and starting to up the quality of the games being offered. But EA is taking things a step forward and launching a subscription-based service for the Xbox One. The price is relatively low. $30 a year gets you access to games, early access to content and a discount on new releases and DLC. If you're a fan of more than two or three EA franchises it's almost a no-brainer. You're going to save money, and EA likely has enough betas...

Here's Warner Bros.' plan to make a lot more Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Entertainment is ensuring we will see more of Harry Potter, according to Variety — a lot more. The studio has assembled a creative and business strike squad called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team. Based in London and Burbank, the group will control the vision for Harry Potter — "and its ancillary brands" —moving forward. The move to expand upon Harry Potter is part of Warner Bros.' creative partnership with author J.K. Rowling, the fruits of which were most recently seen in Diagon Alley, an expansion to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida. According to Variety, the team will oversee development for "new film series in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'; the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry...
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games

NIS America to make its GaymerX payment 'in full,' conference founder apologizes

NIS America will make the payment it pledged as a sponsor of the GaymerX2 conference, Matt Conn, CEO of MidBoss, the LGBTQ-focused event's organizing body, revealed in a statement provided to Polygon. In his statement, Conn explained his initial misunderstanding and the new developments. "We, GaymerX, received an email from NIS America in regards to the sponsorship, which read as though there was a budget misallocation and that they would not be able to complete the terms of the sponsorship," he wrote. "This has been explained that that was not the case, however, they agreed that it was worded poorly and could understand how I could misconstrue the intent of the letter." Conn also apologized to NIS America "for escalating it to the press in the manner I did" and said that the sponsor...

Homefront: The Revolution devs to move to Deep Silver as Crytek scales back two studios

Crytek's ongoing transition from a game developer to an online publisher is resulting in the effective shutdown of two internal studios, Crytek UK and Crytek USA, the company announced today. Earlier today, Deep Silver parent company Koch Media announced that it is acquiring the Homefront intellectual property from Crytek. The next game in the franchise, Homefront: The Revolution, was originally being developed by Nottingham, U.K.-based Crytek UK. Deep Silver is founding a new studio in Nottingham called Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, which will handle the development of the Homefront series going forward. Once the Homefront acquisition is complete, the members of the Homefront: The Revolution development team will "transfer their talents" to Dambuster Studios and continue working on...

What the world needs is not just a selfie phone, but more selfie video games

Microsoft's new phone, designed specifically for people who like to take photographs of themselves, is surely a gadget in dire need of a video gaming killer app.According to The Verge, Microsoft's selfie phone, previously revealed as codename Superman, is a handset with a 5-megapixel forward-facing camera and 4.7-inch display. This is serious innovation, of course. A camera on the front instead of on the back. Now you can celebrate your own wonderfulness without the inconvenience of turning the phone around. Unless you're a bathroom-mirror picture-taker. Then it all starts to get a bit complicated. But what kind of person would want to just take a bunch of selfies, without there being some way of keeping score, without some sort of fundamental point to the exercise? 21st century...

Hatoful Boyfriend will let you date pigeons on Aug. 21

Admit it: you've given serious thought at least once to what it would be like to date a pigeon. On Aug. 21 all your pigeon dating sim dreams will come true when Hatoful Boyfriend launches for Linux, Mac and Windows PC, publisher Devolver Digital announced today. As the last human woman in the world, in Hatoful Boyfriend, you have no choice but to enroll yourself in pigeon high school and throw your search for true love literally to the birds. In this revamped HD version of manga artist Hato Moa's 2011 original, developer Mediatonic — the folks behind Amateur Surgeon and Foul Play — sets players in a world overrun with pigeon hotties just waiting to be courted. The game is available to pre-order through Steam now at 10 percent off its $9.99 price tag. Mediatonic's version also...

Destiny beta: Over 4.6 million served

More than 4.6 million people played the beta for Bungie's Destiny, publisher Activision announced today. The beta began July 17 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, then kicked off July 22 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One before concluding on the night of July 27. Across those four platforms, a total of 4,638,937 unique players explored the beta. That player base makes the Destiny beta the biggest one in this console generation so far, as well as "the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in a press release today. As a comparison, Respawn Entertainment's beta for Titanfall in mid-February brought in approximately 2 million players, although it was available only on Windows PC and Xbox One. "We were totally blown away by the...

We knew Dark Souls 2 was missing something (it's Rocky)

Dark Souls 2 is about overcoming impossible odds, rolling with the punches, training towards perfection, until one day the underdog climbs the steps of Majula and raises his or her hands as the heavyweight champion of Drangleic. Dark Souls 2 isn't the obvious candidate to be a Rocky simulator, but watching this video by YouTube user SomaVlog, I see the similarities. The combat, in which the player learns and exploits enemies' attack patterns, has long drawn comparisons to arguably the best unofficial Rocky game of all time, Punch-Out!!. And the player undergoes the arc similar to the world's favorite tomato can, getting pulverized by life and a bevy of oddball antagonists. I don't know about you, but I'm inspired to return to Dark Souls 2 as a brawler. Then immediately quit after...

Bit Bash might be the next great indie game festival

Bit Bash is a free independent games festival being held in Chicago on September 6. It's the pet project of Jamie Sanchez, a creative professional who lives in the city, as well as other indie game developers and other members of of the Indie City Collective, a game development association and co-working space on Chicago's North Side. Sanchez says that the Chicago indie game scene is in need of better local as well as international promotion. With Bit Bash, she hopes to light a fire in the city and help promote the work of the growing enclave of developers there. "I had been hearing rumblings in Chicago for the need for more community gatherings," Sanchez told Polygon. "The need to get people, the public, interested. Involved. Educated on some level about indie games. "But we also...

Xbox One will launch in China on Sept. 23

The Xbox One will launch in China on Sept. 23, Microsoft announced today. The hardware — the first game console approved for sale within China's Free Trade Zone in Shanghai — will cost 3,699 Chinese yuan (approximately $599.35). Pre-orders in the territory are available now through Microsoft and regional partner BesTV. Games for the Xbox One in China will cost between 99 and 249 yuan. On day one, the console will launch in China with Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Powerstar Golf and Zoo Tycoon, among others. Games slated to launch in China later this year include Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Sunset Overdrive. Publishers including 2K, EA and Ubisoft have also pledged to bring their games to China in the future. China's ban on the sale...

Roguelike JRPG Dragon Fin Soup introduces another mode challenge and aggravate you

Roguelike Japanese role-playing game hybrid Dragon Fin Soup will include an Endless Labyrinth mode designed to push players' skills and patience to the limits, developer Grimm Bros. announced this morning. Endless Labyrinth mode features just that — an endless labyrinth packed with high-level bosses and traps that can take players out for the slightest misstep. Players can share how long they survive with their friends, competing for high scores in this arena designed to test their mettle. Additionally, Dragon Fin Soup will be featured in Cologne, Germany, next month at Gamescom's first-ever Indie Megabooth. The show runs from Aug. 13-17. Dragon Fin Soup, which was funded through Kickstarter earlier this year and approved through Steam Greenlight, tells the story of Red Robin — a...
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