Is Activision pondering a Take-Two takeover?

Has Activision turned ts eyes on buying Take-Two? That's the Wall Street scuttlebutt today, fueled by a research note by Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey, subsequently reported by various investment sites. Hickey reckons Activision wants to get into the movie business, and would benefit greatly from some of Take-Two's franchises, most particularly Grand Theft Auto. "For Activision, acquiring Take-Two Interactive would be a no-brainer, in our view, circling some of the strongest development talent and owned IP in the world, within a company that has nearly $1 billion in cash and trades at a comparably lower multiple," Hickey said. Hickey argued that Los Angeles-based Activision, which has long enjoyed a close working relationship with Hollywood, might look like a good bet for Take-Two....

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft


More Dragon Quest games heading to mobile, including the original, very soon

The Dragon Quest series will continue to migrate to mobile with the release of the original game in September, executive producer Yuu Miyake and mobile producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto said during a translated interview at PAX Prime today. "We are planning to release in the first part of September the first Dragon Quest," Fujimoto said. "We're hoping to release [Dragon Quest] 2 and 3 in order in a period of two or three months, in a short span. We're planning to release subsequent numbered [games] — whatever is left — we hope to release that in order as well." The first Dragon Quest game, known as Dragon Warrior in the U.S., will be a "revamped version." Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King hit iOS in May, while Dragon Quest 4: Chapters of the Chosen was released earlier this month....

Themes are coming to Nintendo 3DS to make your old 3DS prettier

The New Nintendo 3DS is coming with customizable faceplates that will let players deck out their handheld with Peach, Mario, Isabelle and more, but you don't have to upgrade your hardware to get a little personalization on the 3DS. Nintendo is adding themes to 3DS systems new and old this October. 3DS themes will let owners of the handheld decorate the system's home screen with Nintendo-themed designs from Super Mario Bros., Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda. 3DS owners will be able to apply wallpapers — like the A Link Between Worlds wallpaper shown above — to both top and bottom screens. There will be themed folders as well: question blocks in the 8-bit Super Mario Bros.-style, treasure chests from Zelda and even Mario's overalls. Nintendo says music and sound effects will...

Super Meat Boy Forever is an endless platformer, not a little 'throwaway game'

Team Meat's mysterious new project, first revealed as A Voyeur for September, is actually an endless runner called Super Meat Boy Forever that follows in the steps of its classic Super Meat Boy series, co-founder Tommy Refenes told Polygon today at PAX. The game features a the titular meat man himself as he dashes through levels. Along the way, players avoid saws and hop over gaps by touching the game's screen. Precision control exists in the game through a new ducking mechanic; when you're in the air and you duck, you also fall more quickly to land on different platforms. "It's not a little iOS throwaway game," Refenes said. "We want to do a full-fledged game. "There's a certain flavor to iOS games where it's just enough and there's not a real complete, cohesive experience. [Super...

Ambitious, beautiful multiplayer space combat game GoD Factory: Wingmen launches today

GoD Factory: Wingman is a four vs. four mutiplayer shooter where you customize your ship and work with your team to take down the other team. It's had a storied path through development, with an unsuccessfull Kickstarter leading to a publishing deal with Bandai Namco, and the game has finally been released on Steam for $19.99. It also looks pretty great, and supports the Oculus Rift, if you're into that sort of thing. Nine Dots founder Guillaume Boucher-Vidal shared the cost, both financially and mentally, of starting your own independent studio in a recent story, and GoD Factory: Wingman is the end result of all that hard work. "Having your life in a purgatory state for three years is a very long time, especially considering all the hours put into such a project. I've been told...

Help Nipah build a PC

Greetings fellow readers, commenters, and overall friendly people of Polygon... I have a question (and some exposition, because I like to hear myself talk type): Odds are looking increasingly good that when I go to get a new laptop (in another year or so), I'll instead be putting together my own PC. Huzzah, right? Wrong. Shit be confusing, yo. I barely have a grasp of bits and pieces when it comes to laptops, and those things come with a very specific selection that you don't get much choice in. Building a PC from scratch involves ALL THE CHOICES, and it's got me on the ropes. So where do you come in, you ask with all the helpful innocence of my fellow Polynauts? I'm glad you asked! What are your PC bits and pieces preferences? Examples include: What the hell is a motherboard, AMD vs...

An awful week to care about video games

What an awful week for the culture that surrounds and influences video games. Last week, a game designer's personal life was exposed to the internet, and used to justify physical threats to both the developer and her colleagues. The designer was one of many people targeted in an orchestrated harassment effort directed at game developers. On Friday, harassers hacked game designer Phil Fish's Twitter account and website. Fish, at least briefly, contemplated selling his company and leaving the industry altogether. On Sunday, a fake bomb threat from a hacker group diverted the flight of Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley. That day, the same hacker group claimed responsibility for shutting down Sony's PlayStation Network. According to an official earnings forecast, an...

Sarkeesian driven out of home by online abuse and death threats

Since the launch of Feminist Frequency's Tropes vs Women in Games, creator Anita Sarkeesian has faced a wall of abuse and threats from enraged critics of her detailed research that highlights misogyny in game fiction. This week, the abusers drove her out of her own home. "Some very scary threats have just been made against me and my family. Contacting authorities now," she wrote on Twitter last night. She later tweeted, "I'm safe. Authorities have been notified. Staying with friends tonight. I'm not giving up. But this harassment of women in tech must stop!" Earlier today, Sarkeesian shared a particularly disturbing series of threats from one abuser, along with a trigger warning. "I usually don't share the really scary stuff. But it's important for folks to know how bad it gets." E...

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor trailer gets cozy with vile Orc

Ratbag is a sniveling, whining wretch, a scumbag, even by Orc standards. In this new trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor we get to meet Ratbag and learn about his relationship with heroic human protagonist Talion. In the Monolith game, due to be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on Sept. 30 for consoles and Oct. 2 for Windows PC, players create feuds with their enemies, even as they climb through the Orcish ranks. To find out more about the game, take a look at Polygon's new preview.
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

MMOs help kids learn English faster, says new study

Students of English learn the language faster when they play video games, especially MMOs, according to a new report. The study at the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad University, Sweden, looked at a group of sixth graders and how they interact with English in non-educational situations. Researchers found that those students who play a lot of English-language games gain a vocabulary advantage compared with those who do not play or only play a little. They found that people playing MMOs had the greatest advantage, for the obvious reason that multiplayer online games facilitate conversation, and English is the most widespread language online. "As a player you simply have to be able to understand what's being said, to read English and to interact yourself by both writing and...

Costume Quest 2's tricky twins are back on their beat

Double Fine released a PAX trailer for Costume Quest 2 today, and announced an exclusive costume offer for anyone who pre-orders the game on Steam. Coming to Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U this October, the creepy turn-based combat and exploration game puts players in control of twins Reynold and Wren as they set off on a trick or treating adventure. They'll fight evil characters in Halloween costumes that grant them superhuman powers. "It's probably our most requested sequel, besides Psychonauts," said Double Fine's Greg Rice in a recent Polygon interview. "People have been asking for it forever. I think it's that every Halloween you're reminded about the game. We have a lot of people who are coming back to us saying they replay it...

Learn to be a Dungeon Master from one of the best this Saturday

The hard working adventurers of Acquisitions Incorporated will be performing another Dungeons & Dragons play session live from PAX on Saturday. The long-running series of podcast and video adventures by Penny Arcade founders Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik will feature newer party members: webcomic Scott Kurtz and video presenter/producer Morgan Webb. The team will be led into the dark and merciless fantasy world by skilled dungeon master Chris Perkins. Say what you will about the bombastic play style of the Penny Arcade folks, the real education here comes from Perkins. He's a veteran of Wizards of The Coast and contributed to the Fourth Edition universe. If you're interested in learning some of the finer points of running a new Fifth Edition game, tune in. The new edition features a s...

Alone With You coming to PS4 and Vita, reveals its Hitchcockian twist

Among the games announced yesterday for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita is an interesting little title called Alone With You. Releasing in 2015 on both platforms, the game is developed by Benjamin Rivers, whose horror game Home received critical praise. Alone With You is a love story about an interstellar explorer trapped on a doomed colony. At this year's GDC Rivers talked with Polygon about the game, which was at that time very early in development. "I really wanted to make a romance-focused game — like a dating sim idea," Rivers said. "But dating sims are all kind of the same deal. They're all genre-specific, they're often culturally specific, and they don't vary a whole lot." Rivers had said he would play with existing romance game mechanics and tropes, but held back...

Saints Row 4: Re-Elected coming to PS4 and Xbox One, $30 this January

Last year's Saints Row 4 is being ported to current-gen systems by High Voltage Software and branded as Saints Row 4: Re-Elected, it was revealed at a PAX panel this afternoon. The project was announced alongside a new Saints Row expansion titled Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, which is being developed by series creator Volition alongside High Voltage. The port will be available for $29.99 including all Saints Row 4 DLC, or for $49.99 as a bundle with Gat out of Hell. Both will be available January 27, 2015. The developer teased new features like voice commands (examples given: "motherfucker" and "son of a bitch") along with modding so players can create their own weapons. We'll have more on Saints Row 4: Re-Elected, as well as Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, in the next couple days.

Top Hearthstone player joins Blizzard to help work on the game

Blizzard has hired a top competitive Hearthstone player as an associate designer on the game. Ryan 'Realz' Masterson announced on Twitter that he is joining the company. Masterson is a top competitive player of the virtual card game, as well as Magic The Gathering, and a noted Twitch streamer. Hot Off The Press - I have accepted a position as Associate Game Designer (Hearthstone) with Blizzard Entertainment. A new chapter begins... — Ryan Masterson (@Realz_HS) August 27, 2014 "This is a truly exciting opportunity for me," stated Masterson on a Reddit post. "I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors, and players at large that one of us is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of...

Eight GIFs that tell you everything about the New Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo announced a new 3DS this morning called, simply, the New Nintendo 3DS. Following in Nintendo's handheld tradition, the New Nintendo 3DS is an iterative improvement on the original 3DS with some notable, and not-so-notable, changes. Instead of just listing those changes, we thought we'd share them using the power of the animated GIF. Behold! TWO NEW SHOULDER BUTTONS The new ZL and ZR buttons provide closer parity to home console controllers. BUILT-IN NFC READER While an attachment is being made available in 2015 for existing 3DS handhelds, the New Nintendo 3DS has built-in NFC support for Nintendo's upcoming amiibo toys (which are available for pre-order now, priced at $12.99 each). BETTER 3D VIEWING ANGLES The New Nintendo 3DS promises an improved viewing...

He is Groot: cosplayer drops jaws with custom suit

Comedian Chris Gore bumped into Groot at Dragon Con, and the cosplay is absurdly well designed. Without getting into the habit of posting every cosplayer who does a reasonably good job of looking like certain characters, it's worth pointing out this Groot, who took everything to the next level. It's Friday and we're in the mood to enjoy some superior craftsmanship, and that clip delivers. If you'd like to see more images of the costume or the work that went into it, visit HurleyFX's Facebook page.

Watch 'Spider-Man 2' actor Alfred Molina discuss his role in Heavenly Sword movie

A new video from the upcoming film adaptation of Heavenly Sword features Spider-Man 2 actor Alfred Molina discussing his role and the challenges associated with voice acting. Heavenly Sword is a straight-to-video movie starring Molina, Fringe's Anna Torv, who voiced the heroine Nariko in the 2007 game of the same name, and The Punisher's Thomas Jane. Molina plays the part of King Bohan, portrayed by Andy Serkis in the game. According one of the film's creators, Molina was brought on to replace Serkis, who "was booked up pretty heavily" while the film was in progress. In the video above, Molina talks briefly about his experience in acting for animation and the challenges of acting only with your voice. "You've got all the skills you would associate with film making, gets really...

Nintendo lays off 320 workers in Europe, despite speaking against the practice last year

320 individuals, including 130 full-time Nintendo of Europe employees and 190 who worked for the localization department through a leasing agency, will be laid off effective August 31. "As previously communicated in June 2014, approximately 130 permanent employees will be released by Nintendo of Europe (Germany) at the end of August 2014 as part of a set of measures to better enable the European business to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment," Nintendo explained in a statement to Kotaku. "As a separate measure, Nintendo of Europe is reorganizing its European Localization Development (ELD) department, where it currently uses a number of temporary agency workers in translation and testing activities, in order to increase flexibility and cost-efficiency in the l...
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