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The 2014 Steam Holiday Sale begins now

Valve just kicked off its annual Steam Holiday Sale, with discounts galore on games across the Steam Store. The sale follows Valve's three-day Steam Holiday Auction, in which Steam users could bid on games with Steam Community items such as trading cards, backgrounds and emoticons. It will run until 10 a.m. PT on Jan. 2, 2015. New deals will appear every 12 hours. Valve ran the Steam Exploration Sale around Black Friday, and offered discounts earlier this month on titles nominated for The Game Awards. You can check out the holiday discounts on the Steam Store.
24 Comments

World of Warcraft's toughest boss took 18 minutes to die

Bringing down Imperator Mar'gok is the most difficult boss battle in Blizzard's latest expansion to World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor. Only four guilds have been able to do it on the hardest difficulty. The one who did it the fastest is called Paragon. Warlords of Draenor reviewed very well at Polygon, receiving a 9.5 on our 10-point scale. Blizzard says that the expansion has breathed new life into the franchise, with now more than 10 million subscribers. If you've been wondering, this video clearly shows what modern high-level WoW play is all about.
Cover Story
Issue 02

Dec. 9, 2014

The fall of THQ

Former employees explain what went wrong for the once-strong game publishing empire.

Read more
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Majesco, deeply troubled, infused with $6 million from investors

Majesco Entertainment, the financially troubled video game developer and publisher, secured $6 million in funding from "certain accredited investors," the company announced today. Of the total funds, "approximately" $1 million is available now. The balance will be placed in escrow and disbursed later, pending conditions like stockholder approval. The investors purchased Majesco sock shares at $0.68 per unit. As of this writing, Majesco's shares are trading at $0.59 per share on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Majesco, the publisher of games like Zumba Fitness series, has faced financial difficulties throughout the last few years. In March 2013, Nasdaq gave Majesco 180 calendar days to raise its stock price or face delisting if it remained below $1 per share. In August 2013, Majesco...
News
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Minecraft to get an episodic, story-based game from Telltale Games

Minecraft has always focused on the creative, open nature of the game's world rather than try to craft any kind of story-based single-player mode, but today Mojang has announced a deal with Telltale Games that will lead an episodic game called Minecraft: Story Mode. The content will launch next year on "Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android-based devices." You can also get this news in game form, if you'd like, and the dialog in this little widget actually explains why the new game is being made. "We've begun to realize that there's a massive demand for fiction set in the Minecraft universe. People love engaging the world, whether they're building, adventuring, or role-playing an awesome Creeper slayer," the game says. "The tricky bit is working out how to...
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3 Comments

The Sims 4's latest patch brings you holiday cheer and much-needed time off

The holidays have come to The Sims 4 with special items and additional updates that add new careers and paid time off for your exhausted Sim, Electronic Arts announced via its website. New content is available with the game's latest patch. The Holiday Celebration Pack adds a wreath, snowman, wall decorations and special sweaters; it's available to download for free through Origin. Other additions include the Business and Athletic careers, which add new outfits, rewards and more. Working Sims can also now take PTO to relieve stress, or family leave to prepare for a new baby. The patch also resolves several bugs and performance issues, and adds access to additional cheat codes. A list of detailed changes and updates is available on EA's website. For more on The Sims 4, check out our...
News
35 Comments

Shadowrun Returns developer teases more Shadowrun for 2015

The developer of cyberpunk fantasy role-playing game Shadowrun Returns, Harebrained Schemes, is hinting at a new Shadowrun project. On Kickstarter, the company teases, "Shadowrun returns to Kickstarter January 2015." Harebrained Schemes doesn't offer much beyond the promise of something new for the Shadowrun property, but a sequel or expansion seems likely. The developer's Shadowrun Returns, released in 2013, was well-received by critics and players. Shadowrun Returns was a standout Kickstarter success. Harebrained Schemes raised more than $1.8 million through a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, and released the game on a variety of PC and mobile platforms in 2013. The developer released an expansion, Dragonfall, and the stand-alone Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut in 2014. We've...
News
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Trine Enchanted Edition brings upgraded visuals to PS4 Dec. 23

Trine Enchanted Edition will arrive on PlayStation 4 Dec. 23 in North America for $14.99, developer Frozenbyte's Kai Tuovinen announced this morning on the PlayStation Blog. It will hit Europe Dec. 17 for €12.99. The remake of the original 2009 puzzle platformer Trine will make its PS4 debut with updated graphics as well as "a vast number of gameplay improvements and fixes," according to Tuovinen, as well as local and online co-op. Trine Enchanted Edition also supports stereoscopic 3D at 720p. "We're really excited to bring the origin story of the Trine series to PS4 in a remastered format with all the goodies of its sequel," Frozenbyte CEO Lauri Hyvärinen in a press release. "To celebrate this launch we've set special discounts and created a bundle of both Trine games on the PS4." T...
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All Games
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Stranded Deep blends Cast Away, Lost and Jaws

What do you get when you take parts of Cast Away, Lost and Jaws and blend them into a video game? Stranded Deep, an upcoming survival title from developer Beam Team Pty Ltd. that will pit players against a remote Pacific ocean environment that includes hungry sharks. Press play above to see the first teaser trailer for Stranded Deep, which has been in development for two years, according to Beam's official site. According to the video's YouTube description, Stranded Deep is headed to Steam Early Access in January. Its Steam Community listing shows that the game is in development for Linux, Mac and Windows PC.
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After having its Kickstarter canceled, STALKER sequel goes back to the well

After its crowdfunding campaign was canceled by Kickstarter for undisclosed violations, the team at West Games has embarked on a new one. The team has also changed the name of their game from Areal to STALKER Apocalypse. The cult classic STALKER franchise was the work of GSC Game World, a now-defunct Ukrainian developer owned by Sergei Grigorovich. Based loosely on the 1972 novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky, its open world and divergent, faction-based story is held up to this day as an example of successful storytelling and emergent gameplay. When the studio was unceremoniously shut down in 2011, all work on the franchise ended. That resulted in a diaspora of developers striking out on their own — including Vostok Games (Survarium) and 4A Games (Metro:...
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Borderlands Remastered Edition spotted on Australian ratings website

Borderlands might be getting a visual upgrade, according to a listing for an unannounced project called Borderlands Remastered Edition that appears on the Australian Classification Board website. Borderlands Remastered Edition received a rating of MA 15+ from the ratings board yesterday, Dec. 11, 2014, for strong violence and online interactivity. Specific systems aren't listed, but the product is designated as "multi platform." Like other remastered games, including publisher Take-Two Interactive's Grand Theft Auto 5, it could indicate ports to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If the listing proves accurate, it wouldn't the first time word of a product arrived through the Australian website. Early this year, it rated AirMech Arena and Fruit Ninja Kinect 2. We've contacted Gearbox for...
Video
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Pirates, recombobulators and other incredible new Hearthstone decks

We're back! Not content with our first two videos of the new Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion for Hearthstone, Griffin and I had to jump in one more time. This time, I'm showing off some decks I've been working on inspired by Twitch streamer Kripp's creations. I've got a warlock, priest, paladin and rogue deck ready to go, and we take each of them for a test drive. Check out the video for yourself above and share your current favorite Goblins vs. Gnomes decks in the comments!
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15 Comments

Did PayPal leak the start date for Steam's holiday sale?

Steam's next storewide sale may begin on Thursday, Dec. 18, according to a Reddit user who said that PayPal Japan leaked the date in an email. Redditor Quantumbinman also posted a screenshot from his email that appears to include the start date. We've contacted Steam and will update this article with more information as we receive it. If the information is accurate, it will be the second time in as many months that a Steam sale's date leaked. PayPal emailed customers in late November listing Nov. 26 as the date for the 2014 Exploration Sale ahead of its official announcement. Steam's last Holiday Sale began on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.
News
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Minecraft developer Mojang is finally releasing Scrolls

After more than 18 months in beta, Mojang's collectible card game Scrolls is finally getting an official release tomorrow, Dec. 11, the developer confirmed today. Mojang released a new trailer for Scrolls today and said that the strategy game, which is available for Mac and Windows PC platforms, is also coming to Android tablets and will have its price lowered to $5. An iPad version of Scrolls is on the way, but not until sometime in 2015, Mojang's Owen Hill said. A demo for Scrolls is available to download from the game's official website. Scrolls is a card-based strategy game that blends elements from both classic trading card games and board games, and features a story written by Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins. Developer Mojang was sold to Microsoft earlier this year in a $2.5...
12 Comments

Let's get silly with Hearthstone's new Mech cards!

The biggest addition to Hearthstone's huge Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion is the addition of a new card category: Mechs. Most of the new minions in the expansion — and a bunch of classic minions that have been grandfathered in — fall under the new category that, like Murlocs, Demons and Beasts before it, have some really interesting interplay between them. Toss in new mechanics like Spare Parts, which bestow basic buffs and debuffs for not much mana, and the metagame of Hearthstone's turned on its ear. Watch as Phil and I wade back into the Hearthstone breach to try and make sense of these new cards. In the video above, we crack open a few more packs, tune up a Priest Mech deck and wage war against the internet — and each other.
Opinion
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What I learned making, and spending, a fortune in Hearthstone

I have 125 "free" packs of Goblins vs. Gnomes Hearthstone cards.There wasn’t any weird trick to doing this. I’ve just been playing the game regularly for nearly a year. Hearthstone gives you a daily quest that rewards in-game currency, or gold, for accomplishing tasks like winning games with different classes, dealing damage to enemies or killing minions. You can also reroll a quest to try to get one that awards more gold, or one that requires a class you’d rather play, but you can only do so once a day. You can save up to three quests at a time and, if the objectives overlap — if you have a quest to cast 40 spells and a quest to win two games as a mage — you can complete both objectives simultaneously. I amassed over 12,500 gold between April and December You can use this gold to...
Video
78 Comments

Watch live-action heartbreak as Hearthstone streamers buy the wrong cards

Blizzard released the first expansion for its digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft this week, and some streamers were so excited to dive into Goblins vs. Gnomes that they dropped a bunch of cash and gold ... on the completely wrong cards. A few hasty purchases have resulted in some players dropping $70 or more on dozens of Hearthstone cards they don't really want. They just assume they're buying Goblins vs. Gnomes decks. While that sucks for them, we at least benefit from the hilarious, heart-wrenching videos of them being hit with a crashing wave of buyer's remorse. In the video above, Tim from YouTube channel AllGamesPlayed shows how he mistakenly spent a big chunk of gold he'd been saving up, then quickly realizes what he's done. Tim, at least, says he managed to get a...
News
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10K students belong to the largest collegiate eSports league

The largest collegiate eSports organization counts more than 10,000 students among its ranks, the New York Times reports. Collegiate StarLeague head Duran Parsi told the publication that the organization is active at 450 schools. Last year, that number was 260. "This is just how basketball was in the 1940s," said Christopher Wyatt, senior manager for North American publishing at League of Legends developer Riot Games. "A lot of the structure and organization you see in more formal athletics, that groundwork is still being laid down here." Must Read At Robert Morris University, athletes can be soccer stars or League of Legends summoners This year has seen several university-related announcements from eSports organizations and the developers who make the games. In...
7 Comments

Telltale turns on the ultraviolence in Game of Thrones

Telltale Games has had an extremely productive 2014. They successfully juggled four independent storylines between The Walking Dead, Tales From the Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us and now Game of Thrones. Released just last week, you can check out the Polygon review here. Charlie Hall spent time playing through the first episode, released earlier this month, and asked Griffin McElroy to stop by for a quick tour. Note that this is by far one of the most violent Telltale games, and it also includes massive spoilers for the third season of the television show. If you have the stomach for it, come let us introduce you to House Forrester.
Video
8 Comments

Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion is live; watch us play it!

Griffin and I already got a taste of the new Hearthstone expansion last week with our arena video. Now the expansion is out properly, and we're back to document our time with it. In the video above, you can watch us open a stupidly large number of Goblins vs. Gnomes card packs. How many new murloc cards will we find? Will we get any legendaries? And what horrible excuse for a deck will come out of it all? Watch it for yourself and check back later this week for more Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes coverage.
News
22 Comments

Tim Schafer's plans for Day of the Tentacle Remastered, revisiting more LucasArts classics

At this weekend's PlayStation Experience, Sony and Double Fine announced that the studio would revisit classic LucasArts adventure game Day of the Tentacle with a remaster bound for PC and PlayStation consoles. Like Double Fine's remastering of Grim Fandango, which hits next month, Day of the Tentacle Remastered will be crafted to preserve the game for a new audience. In other words, it will be the same game, only prettier."We just knew that [Day of the Tentacle] was a game that we wanted to see again and have new people see it who hadn't seen it before," Double Fine founder Tim Schafer said in an interview with Polygon. "We had a lot of fun with [Grim Fandango Remastered] but when we first started, I thought 'No one's going to care about old games.' But they had such a passionate...
News
9 Comments

Gear VR is a closed system, but the Oculus Rift will (likely) remain open

One of the best aspects of the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is the fact that it's completely open. Anyone can download the SDK and get to work creating games and experiences, and the community of underground virtual reality developers making crazy, unlicensed demos has been amazing. Unfortunately for the just-released Gear VR, you have to release games through Oculus Home, the proprietary storefront controlled by Oculus itself. It's a closed system. During a recent talk with Oculus VR I asked if the Rift itself would remain open. "That's currently the plan," Oculus' Nate Mitchell said. "A lot of the reasons that Gear VR is, I guess you can say closed, is not because it was a strategic decision that we needed to have a closed store. There are a lot of actual technical reasons to do...
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