Civilization 5 free on Steam this week, as Beyond Earth launch looms

If you have been thinking about playing Civilization 5, but never quite gotten around to it, now's your chance. Firaxis' strategy epic is available to play for free this week on Steam. The 2K Games offer is timed for the run-up to the launch of Civilization: Beyond Earth at the end of this week. While Civilization 5 is set on Earth and takes place during recorded human history, Beyond Earth is a speculative science fiction game set on an alien planet in the 27th century. Polygon will be running a review for Beyond Earth on Thursday. 2K says the game is now available for pre-load. Meantime, that free Civ 5 Steam offer is open from now until Thursday.

Get Payday The Heist for free on Steam

Today only, Overkill's co-op crime caper action game, Payday The Heist is free for download on Steam. The game riffs off of classic heist films, putting players in four person teams and tasking them with pulling off high-stakes crimes. Payday The Heist was originally released in Oct. 2011, to generally positive reviews. If you're planning on grabbing the game for free, you'll have to hurry — the deal is only good today. Steam is offering even more free games this weekend, check here for details.

10 games are going free this weekend on Steam

Starting Thursday, Oct. 16, Steam will host a free weekend that Valve says is the service's biggest yet; 10 PC games in all will be free during the weekend-long promotion, which would total about $240 if purchased at their regular price. Steam's free weekend kicks off at 10 a.m. PT tomorrow and includes the following titles, which Valve says will also be available for purchase "at tremendous savings." Awesomenauts Blade Symphony Company of Heroes 2 Must Read Blade Symphony: What sound does a successful Kickstarter make? Don't Starve Grid 2 Injustice: Gods Among Us Killing Floor Payday 2 Trine 2 XCOM: Enemy Unknown Details on Steam's "Free Weekend Weekend" are live, as are sales on the 10 games, right here.

EA is giving away Dragon Age: Origins for free right now

As part of its "On the House" program for Origin, Electronic Arts is giving away BioWare's 2009 role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins for free. The giveaway applies to the standard Windows PC version of the game only. To get a free copy of Dragon Age: Origins, players will need an Origin account. The promotion runs until Oct. 14. EA is also giving away a copy of PopCap's Bejeweled 3 for Mac and Windows PC until Oct. 28 through Origin. The next game in BioWare's Dragon Age franchise, Dragon Age: Inquisition, will be released on Nov. 18 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in North America.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now cross-buy on PS3 and PS4

Publisher Activision is making the decision about which version of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to buy easier on PlayStation fans. The Sledgehammer Games-developed shooter is now cross-buy compatible on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. That means that if you purchase the digital PS3 version of Advanced Warfare, you'll get the digital PS4 version for free, and vice versa. The cross-buy promotion also extends to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's downloadable content purchases. Buy it on one PlayStation platform, download it at no additional charge on the other. On the PlayStation Blog, Sony says the cross-buy offer is available for a limited (but pretty generous) time: until March 31, 2015. The promo also extends to PS3 and PS4 owners who have already pre-ordered the game. The only...

Now you can help Ms. Pac-Man fight breast cancer

Ms. Pac-Man is joining the fight against breast cancer. For the month of October, Bandai Namco mobile games will offer an extra pink maze to its Pac-Man mobile games, costing $0.99. All proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. "Awareness and early diagnosis are critical in the fight against breast cancer," said James Kucera, head of mobile at Bandai Namco. The Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign will include special themes and ribbons and the extra maze on the likes of Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and Pac-Man Lite on iOS and Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man + Tournaments on Android. "While video games often bring amusement and joy to our lives, this is a chance to bring hope as well," said senior producer Ben Acevedo. "Breast cancer has directly affected my immediate family and it's a...

Piracy themed deals set sail on Steam

International Talk Like a Pirate Day falls on Sept. 19. To celebrate, Steam is offering games with a Jolly Roger theme at a discount. (Can we begin this with more of an 'aaargh matey' theme please? - Ed) Games such as Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Age of Booty, Caribbean, Zombie Pirates and Pirates of Black Cove are being offered at discounts ranging from 33% to 85%. (Too dry. Come on. Where are the 'shiver me timbers,'?  Where are the salty puns - Ed) Also on offer is the classic Monkey Island Special Edition Bundle, down from $14.99 to $3.75. (This is where you make some amusing allusion to 'buried treasure', surely? - Ed.) International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a parody holiday, first introduced in 1995. It has spawned various cultural memes and commercial opportunities (Your...

Buy an Xbox One next week, get a free game

Microsoft is giving away a free game of your choice to anyone who buys a new Xbox One next week at participating retailers, the company announced today. The deal runs from Sept. 7 through Sept. 13 and includes any new Xbox One game and any new Xbox One console, including bundles, according to the post on Xbox Wire. The free game does have to be a new, disc-based game for Xbox One with a maximum retail value of $59.99, and the offer isn't valid for pre-orders. Microsoft officials tell Polygon that participating retailers include Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Toys R Us, Amazon and Walmart. This new deal was announced in North America the same day that Microsoft's new console went on sale for the first time in Japan. It also follows a slew of big announcements for the console made during...

Halo: Reach, Super Time Force and Monaco are September's Games with Gold perks

Microsoft's Games with Gold lineup of free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in September is strong: Bungie's Halo: Reach, Capy Games' Super Time Force and Pocketwatch Games' Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine. Xbox One owners get Super Time Force starting Sept. 1 via Games with Gold. Xbox 360 owners get Monaco on Sept. 1 followed by Halo: Reach on Sept. 16. Xbox Live Gold subscribers currently have access to download Crimson Dragon, Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut and Dishonored at no charge until Aug. 31. You can read Polygon's reviews of Super Time Force and Monaco for details on those upcoming freebies.

Razer's latest product is an app that hunts down video game bargains

Razer, the maker of mice, keyboards and computers aimed at gaming enthusiasts, is getting into a new game: finding bargains and price drops on PC games. The company's latest product, Razer Cortex, is part game management software, part deal hunter. Razer Cortex's deals app, the company says, scours retailers Amazon, GamersGate, GameStop,, Green Man Gaming, Origin and Steam to find the best price on PC titles. The app also lets users create wish lists that will then notify them when a title drops in price or is listed as part of a deal. Cortex deals are also predictive; the software will suggest other games based on a user's activity. The deals application is part of the larger Razer Cortex software suite, which also features the company's Game Booster software that aims to...

Real exoplanets inspire Civilization: Beyond Earth pre-order deal

A pre-purchase offer for Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is now available on Steam, offering early-bird buyers the Exoplanets Map Pack, which includes six custom maps, inspired by real exoplanets. The custom maps include the following exoplanets (list below), with added features from the imaginations of the development team at Firaxis. Publisher 2K Games is offering Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth for $49.99 and Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Classics Bundle, which includes three previous Civilization games, for $69.99. Civilization: Beyond Earth is a turn-based strategy game in which players settle an alien planet, while conquering or treating with neighbors and researching new technologies. It will be released on Oct. 24, 2014. ​Kepler 186f: One of the...

Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 packages seven games for cheap

The Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 is available now and includes seven PC games on a pay-what-you-want scale. Anyone who purchases the bundle at any price can pick up The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Complete Pack — which includes the Blue Blood, Thaumaturge and Arcane Mechanic packs — as well as Deadlight and Galactic Civilizations 2: Ultimate Edition. Those who pay more than the average price will get Terraria, The King of Fighters 13 Steam Edition and Crusader Kings 2, in addition to the aforementioned titles. Buyers who pay more than $15 also get Age of Empires Legacy Bundle; the bundle includes Age of Empires 2 HD, Age of Empires 3: Complete Collection and Age of Empires 2 HD: The Forgotten. The Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 will be on sale until Sept. 2. Buyers have the choice to split...

EA is giving you 168 hours to play Battlefield 4 for free

If you want to see how well Battlefield 4 is performing these days but don't want to drop a dime on the PC version, Electronic Arts is currently offering the first-person shooter for free through Origin for one week. One week is, of course, 168 hours, the total amount of time you can play Battlefield 4 on Origin for free. The free trial is part of Origin's Game Time program, which previously offered players free Titanfall time. EA promises the full Battlefield 4 experience — single-player campaign and 64-player online multiplayer. Battlefield 4 will be available to download and try for free until Aug. 14 at 10 am PT. Once you start playing, the 168-hour countdown begins in real time, so make the most of it. EA's Origin service is also currently offering a free copy of classic PC...

Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and other Xbox One launch titles get permanent price cut

Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals and Ryse: Son of Rome have been permanently discounted from $59.99 to $49.99, Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb announced via his blog. All four titles were released in the launch window of the new console last November. The discount applies to both the retail and digital copies of each game. This week, Xbox Live Gold subscribers can get discounts on Xbox One titles such as Angry Birds: Star Wars and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Capcom is also holding a sale for many of its games on Xbox 360, from DmC Devil May Cry to Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD. The full list of discounts is available on Hryb's blog. Earlier today, Deep Silver announced that Ryse would be released for PC as well.

Wing Commander 3 goes free on Origin

Origin, Electronic Arts' digital distribution service, is going back to an Origin Systems classic for this month's free game: Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, publisher Electronic Arts announced today. The space combat title, which usually costs $4.99 on Origin, is available free on Windows PC from now until Sept. 2. Wing Commander 3 debuted in 1994 on MS-DOS and Mac, and was designed by Chris Roberts at Origin Systems. Hollywood actors who starred in the game included Malcolm McDowell and Mark Hamill. Roberts is now working on a new space simulation game called Star Citizen at his own studio, Roberts Space Industries, with $49.1 million and counting in crowdsourced funding. EA kicked off Origin's "On the House" program in late March with a free copy of Dead Space. Other titles...

Eliss Infinity, Threes!, Duet and more kick off Humble Mobile Bundle 6

The latest Humble Mobile Bundle is a pay-what-you-want package offering acclaimed mobile games such as Little Eyes' Eliss Infinity, Sirvo's Threes! and Kumobius' Duet, the Humble Bundle organization announced today. A total of six DRM-free Android titles are included in the Humble Mobile Bundle 6. At the pay-anything level, customers will receive copies of Eliss Infinity (screenshot above), Duet Premium and The Game Breakers' Combo Crew. (This bundle represents the Android debut of Duet, which launched on iOS last October.) Buyers who pay more than the average price will also get Threes!, Crescent Moon Games' Mines of Mars and the full version of Forge Reply's Joe Dever's Lone Wolf. As usual, customers can allocate their funds between the developers, the Humble Bundle organization and...
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