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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor updates won't slow down the game, says Blizzard

Those planning on playing the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, shouldn't expect a drop in performance with the release of new upgraded character models to the game, Blizzard community manager Taepsilum said in a recent forum post. The new expansion will apply additional polygons and textures to character models and armor, as well as to the surrounding geometry of raids and bosses — all of which mean more processing power will be required; however, Blizzard plans to implement performance improvements for add-ons that process combat data and other stats. The development team will also reduce the amount of visual clutter that is visible during fights where groups of players are involved. "Client performance is something we care about a lot," reads the post....

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Fable Anniversary designer Ted Timmins leaves Lionhead Studios

Fable Anniversary lead designer Ted Timmins is no longer with Lionhead Studios after a decade of working for the developer, he confirmed in a series of tweets. "I've decided to leave Lionhead. This was a really tough decision, as I've had such an amazing time here," Timmins wrote. "Lionhead has been such an integral part of my life, more than 1/3rd of it infact! Which is why it's a good time for change." Timmins began his career at the studio working on the original Fable, working as a tester before eventually climbing through the ranks to a lead designer position. He has yet to announce his future plans. Fable Anniversary received a 5 out of 10 review when it launched earlier this year. "If you could wade through the sometimes crippling issues present in Fable Anniversary, there's...
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From gatekeepers to guns for hire: The new role of indie game publishers

The role of a publisher used to be simple, although the business itself is complex. They would fund your game, they would make sure it was released on consoles or the PC and in exchange they would often own the intellectual property behind the game and take a cut of profits. You needed a publisher to get on consoles and to make sure your game found an audience. They held the keys to the kingdom. This is no longer the case, and the idea of what a publisher does or doesn't do, or whether they're ever needed for smaller developers, is rapidly evolving. "We are a publisher for developers that don’t need one, and I think that’s the first thing everyone needs to know: You don’t need one," Nigel Lowrie, of Devolver Digital, told Polygon. "Once you’ve established that, I think...
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World of Darkness developer CCP sees $21 million loss in 2013 fiscal year

CCP, the developer best known for Space-faring Eve Online and the recently canceled massively multiplayer game World of Darkness, recorded a loss of over $21 million during the financial year 2013. The company's full financial presentation notes a drop in profit of $4.3 million from the year before, while revenues saw a rise of $76.7 million from $56.3 million. It is believed that the primary reason for a drop in profit is an increase in research and development costs which jumped from $16.5 million in 2012 to $56.5 million in the next financial year. This is likely to do with costs related to the development of Eve Valkyrie and Dust 514, as well as the now-canceled World of Darkness. "During the year the company assessed its capitalized development assets and determined that a...
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Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn registrations exceed 2 million worldwide

The total number of registered accounts for Square Enix's revamped massively multiplayer online game, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, now exceeds 2 million worldwide, the company announced today. Famitsu reported last October that the game reached more than 1.5 million registered users worldwide. However, Siliconera pointed out at the time it was not transparent how many of the figure were active users of the relaunched version. Final Fantasy 14 was originally released in September 2010 and was revamped to address its crippling issues. It relaunched with server congestion problems as A Realm Reborn last August on Windows PC and PS3. A Realm Reborn was released to PlayStation 4 on April 14 following a beta test phase and then a brief in Early Access period on the console. Users...
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Jane Jensen's Moebius: Empire Rising now available for Windows PC and Mac

The latest story trailer for Moebius: Empire Rising, third-person mystery adventure game from Gabriel Knight series designer Jane Jensen and her Pinkerton Road Studio, is available now for Windows PC and Mac for $29.99. The title can be purchased from online distributors such as Steam, GoG and GamersGate. Those who purchase the game through the Phoenix Online Studios Store are eligible for 20 percent off using a discount code. iPad and Android versions are due for release shortly. The game centers on protagonist Malachi Rector, an antiques specialist, genius and sleuth with a photographic memory. He gets caught up in a worldwide government conspiracy when he is sent to Venice to investigate the murder of a young woman. Running at 15-20 hours, gameplay in the puzzle-centric Moebius c...
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Swedish politicians compete in StarCraft 2 tournament ahead of election

A group of politicians in Sweden took part on a StarCraft 2 tournament this past weekend to "raise awareness about eSports in politics, and politics among gamers," The Daily Dot reports. The tournament, called Politikerstarcraft, was created by Jonathan Rider Lundkvist in 2010. Lundkvist was a member of the Swedish Pirate Party, which formed in 2006 to focus on issues like net neutrality, censorship, copyright and patent reform. Politikerstarcraft is held just for fun, but the 2010 winner Mathias Sundin coincidentally won the tournament for his party, which ended up winning the election that year. This year's tournament was the second Politikerstarcraft held, and featured commentary from Swedish StarCraft 2 casting duo Living on the Ladder. Participants included candidates for local...
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GaymerX may no longer hold annual conference, but it's far from over

GaymerX, the video game conference that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in games, will no longer be holding an annual event due to resource limitations, but this doesn't mean the organization itself is coming to an end, according to co-creator Matt Conn. Writing to the GaymerX website, Conn said that the recent announcement that the organization will no longer running the convention does not mean the end of GaymerX as a whole. "It just means that we're no longer going to be holding it as an annual event," he said. "This year, we went all out with the venue and going to three days, the costs skyrocketed. And although attendance has been doing well, corporate sponsorship was just not at a level to sustain going this huge. "We're taking on a huge...
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Humble Mobile Bundle 5 includes The Cave, The Room Two

The latest Humble Bundle, the Humble Mobile Bundle 5, is available now and includes six games at pay-what-you-want prices. Buyers who pay below the average will receive DRM-free copies of Aralon: Sword and Shadow, Bag It! and R-Type 2; those who pay more than the average (currently around $4.70) will also get Carcassonne, The Cave and The Room Two. More games are expected to unlock in the future, which will also be available for those that paid more than the average. Games are available for Android devices; check out the trailer above for a quick look at each game. Those who purchase bundles can choose to split their contribution between game developers, bundle organizers and charity organizations. The Humble Mobile Bundle 5 will be available until Tuesday, April 29.
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Titanfall getting namable loadouts, filterable challenges and more

Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment categorizes free game updates into three categories, and game director Steve Fukuda took to the game's official website to tell players what features to expect in each — including loadouts you can name and filters to search through Challenges. The first-person shooter's first type of update is designed to "tend the garden and keep the weeds out," Fukuda wrote, and they take the form of "minor tweaks and fixes" like weapon balance and matchmaking changes. He refers to the second group as "convenience features," like the recent Party Colors feature that lets players identify others in the game and its lobby. "The next update will bring more convenience features such as: the ability to rename your custom loadouts and to make custom...
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Snoop Dogg voice pack coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts April 22

A Call of Duty: Ghosts Snoop Dogg Voice Pack will be available on Xbox Live on April 22, according to a video developer Infinity Ward released. The video shows snippets of voice-over work the rapper provided, including lines like "Rack up points by reaching the enemy portal, you dig," "Squad member active — my brother from another mother," and "Homies out the joint, it's party time." "What interested me most about the project is my voice can be connected with a game that's so hip and so hood," Snoop Dogg said. "It says a lot. It's associated with greatness." The voice pack will be released for other platforms at a later date.
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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets free 'Zomboss Down' expansion today

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare's latest expansion, Zomboss Down, is now available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, developer PopCap Games announced today. Zomboss Down is the second free expansion for Garden Warfare, following March's Garden Variety add-on. The western-themed DLC includes eight new characters, such as the Law Pea and Sun Pharaoh, as well as a new multiplayer map for the Gardens and Graveyards mode called Cactus Canyon. The expansion also bumps up the level cap from 20 to 30. You can check out a trailer for Zomboss Down above, and read our full review of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for more on the multiplayer shooter.
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World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition 1.1 update adds crews and more

The latest addition to World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition, the 1.1 update, gives players access to new vehicles, maps and the game's crew options. Crews must be assigned every time players purchase a new tank. Each crew has different skills; players can choose whichever crew they desire, though the game's "best option" will be highlighted for easy selection. When a crew is reassigned to a tank or class, it must be retrained through schooling or battlefield experience. Crews can only be assigned to tanks from their own country. For more on crews, check out the tutorial video above. "Crews are essential to success in World of Tanks," the video's narrator said. "Every tank needs a crew to operate it, or it will not be able to roll out to battle." Update 1.1 also adds five new U.K.-themed...
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NHL 14 simulation picks Boston Bruins as 2014 Stanley Cup champions

This spring, the Boston Bruins will win their second Stanley Cup in four years, according to EA Sports' simulation of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs in NHL 14. The Bruins, the best team in hockey during the 2013-14 regular season, defeated the San Jose Sharks four games to two in EA's simulation. They eked by the New York Rangers with an overtime victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals after taking down the Detroit Red Wings in the first round and the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask led the way, posting a 1.56 goals-against average and a 16-6-2 record with four shutouts in 24 playoff games. Last year's real-life Western Conference champions, the Chicago Blackhaws, were sent home in the second round by the Colorado Avalanche, who fell to the...
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Upsilon Circuit is a game you can play only once, and when it ends, it's gone forever

The husband and wife development team at RobotLovesKitty that once lived in a treehouse has a wild idea for its next project.Imagine a game you can only play once, where, when you die, you can never play again. Imagine an eight-player game that exists on a single server for several months and then, by design, disappears forever. Imagine a role-playing game where you can't upgrade your character, where you can't customize your character, but the people watching you can. This is Upsilon Circuit. RobotLovesKitty told us all about their ideas for the new game and showed us an early version at PAX East 2014. Alix Stolzer and Calvin Goble were thinking about permadeath. The everlasting death mechanic is nothing new. You can find it transcending genres in Firaxis Games' turn-based strategy...
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Spring Fighter tournament returning to NYU Game Center June 7-8

The New York University Game Center will host its fifth annual Spring Fighter fighting games tournament June 7-8, organizers announced today. This year's tournament will feature free matches in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Marvel vs. Capcom, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros Melee, Super Street Fighter 4 and Project M, the fan-made Brawl mod that aims to make its combat more like Melee. Last year's tournament featured 64 slots each in three games, Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, Tekken X Street Fighter and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom. Street Fighter and Sony Santa Monica veteran Seth Killian will attend the tournament again this year. Last year Killian interviewed 2D arcade fighting games champion Daigo Umehara, and this year he will return to profile popular Street...
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There Came an Echo's voice controls may be the best way to play

Using voice commands in games isn't something that gamers generally get excited about, usually because the commands fail too often or because speaking at a screen makes players feel silly. Yet Los Angeles-based Iridium Studios decided to design an entire game to be played with voice commands, and it's a real-time strategy title to boot — a genre known for control schemes that tend to be complex and work best with a keyboard and mouse. Some might think that full voice navigation would force developers to keep their game simple, but we didn't find that to be the case in a demo of Iridium's There Came an Echo during PAX East 2014. Iridium raised more than $115,000 on Kickstarter for There Came an Echo in early 2013, and from the start, the studio pitched it as a title built from the...
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Indies don't know everything, and that's good for aspiring developers

Indie developers don't know everything about their own business, and that means that aspiring indies shouldn't talk themselves out of entering the industry, according to the "core team" behind the Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime 2014.Christopher Floyd, an indie developer who also serves as the Megabooth's operations manager, offered a unique brand of encouragement to those in the audience who want to make games. "My advice would be that, what I've learned over the last millennium (I don't know, however long I've been doing this), is that nobody knows what they're doing," Floyd said. "There is not a single person I've ever met in this industry who's like, 'Yes, I understand completely what is happening right now.' "If you want to get into the game industry and you're like, 'Maybe I don't...
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Dark Souls 2 speedrunner uses glitch to complete the game in just over an hour

Speedrunner and YouTube user Noobest completed a playthrough of From Software's punishing action role-playing game, Dark Souls 2, in about one hour and 15 minutes using the Shrine of Winter skip glitch. The Shrine of Winter skip, which must be done with the game's 1.00 version, allows players to skip gathering four Great Souls before venturing to Drangleic Castle, effectively cutting a large portion of the game. You can watch Noobest fly through the game's levels in the video above; more videos are available on the streamer's Twitch channel. Dark Souls 2 launched for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last month. The Windows PC version of the game is slated for launch April 25. For more on the game, read our review.
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