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Ultima Forever comes to an end months after closure of EA Mythic

EA will shut down online services for Ultima Forever on Aug. 29, the company confirmed on the game's official forum. The decision follows the closure of developer EA Mythic in May as part of an ongoing push to concentrate mobile game development in other EA studios. "This was a very difficult decision for us to make," reads the post. "We've seen the game through ups and downs, and hope that you've enjoyed playing it every bit as much as we had making it! Through it all, it's been players like you who've made it all worthwhile." Over the next month until its closure, rewards will be boosted, equipment degredation will be disabled, gold key drop rates will be increased and the in-game store will no longer sell premium currency. Ultima Forever follows on 21 years after the events of U...
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PAX Prime 2014's featured indies include Mushroom 11, Duet, Framed

Each year, 50 industry experts sit down to discuss which 10 up-and-coming indie games to feature in PAX Prime's PAX 10 showcase. This year's selection includes a few you may have already heard about and a handful of unfamiliar newbies. This year's PAX 10 featured indie games includes: Duet, by Kumobius: Set to a soundtrack by Melbourne composer Tim Shiel, players navigate two orbiting spheres past mazes of falling obstacles that get increase in difficulty as players progress. Flickers, by DigiPen's Neat Snake: In this abstract 2D platformer, players become a dying flower escaping a world in "perpetual twilight." Jumping through hovering "flickers," players must reach the moon and change the surrounding landscape. Framed, by Loveshack: An interactive comic book that allows...
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The Sailor's Dream is the new game from the dev of indie hits Year Walk and Device 6

Simogo, the developer behind acclaimed mobile titles Device 6 and Year Walk, will release its next game, The Sailor's Dream, for iOS in 2014. The Sailor's Dream is the story of "the burning desires of three hearts united by the wonderful, but unmerciful ocean." According to Simogo, the game is a culmination of concepts learned from past work, and it shares DNA with Device 6 and Year Walk in terms of navigation and interaction. Players will work to piece together the larger story. "We want to tackle a more philanthropic story, and instead of creating a feeling of suspense, we want to communicate something that feels warmer, yet melancholic," the developer wrote. "We're throwing out some more traditional game challenge-elements; in fact, The Sailor's Dream won't feature any puzzles at...
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Mobile brawler Marvel Contest of Champions coming this fall

Mobile games company Kabam has thrown its hat into the ring of Marvel Comics-based games with Marvel Contest of Champions, a new title slated to hit mobile platforms later this year, the company announced today during San Diego Comic-Con today. This "high action, high fidelity" title, according to a statement from Kabam, is a super hero combat game that will have players choose a hero and fight their way through a gauntlet of iconic Marvel Comics locations. Players will come up against well-known marvel heroes and villains and assemble their own ultimate team of justice-dealing champions. The game is being penned by comic book writer Sam Humphries, known for his work on Marvel's John Carter: The Gods of Mars series and the Ultimate Comics Ultimates. Check out the trailer above for a...
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Marvel is adding more Guardians of the Galaxy content to its games (Update)

In addition to a dedicated playset in Disney Infinity, Marvel is spreading Guardians of the Galaxy content across a handful of its other games, including Marvel Heroes and its social and mobile games, the company announced during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con today. (Update:) Additionally, in a surprise announcement, Marvel said a playable Green Goblin, Loki and more would join Disney Infinity 2.0 in a special Marvel Villains figurine set. The trailer for that set will be released on Monday. Villains had been seen in the original trailer announcing Marvel would join Disney Infinity's lineup, this confirms them as a separate set. Just in time for the launch of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy film in theaters on Aug. 1, free-to-play MMO Marvel Heroes 2015 will allow players to join...
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Play Settlers of Catan Anytime thanks to HTML 5

Microsoft today released a preview for a free browser-based version of tabletop game Settlers of Catan that will work across any online device with a modern browser regardless of operating system. Catan Anytime was built using the latest HTML 5 web standards with the help of the original creators of Catan, Mayfair Games and Bontom Games as part of Microsoft's Rethink "experiences." The beta version of the game, which is live now, supports four-player games, turn-based asynchronous gameplay with auto-trade and auto-roll features and the ability to keep up-to-date on your game via email. The Microsoft plans to release the full game, which will offer complete parity with the tabletop version, in August during Gamescom, according to Internet Explorer group product manager Justin Garrett. ...
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Square Enix's CTO and Final Fantasy 14 tech director has left the company

Square Enix chief technology officer Yoshihisa Hashimoto has left the company, it was confirmed to Polygon today. In addition to his role as CTO, Hashimoto served under director-producer Naoki Yoshida as technical director for Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Hashimoto was also manager of the company's Advanced Technology Division and headed development on Square Enix's new Luminous engine, which powers the 2013 Agni's Philosophy tech demo. Japanese site Game Watch reports that Hashimoto cited "personal reasons" for his departure. He had been with the company since 2009, having come over from Sega to help with development on the Luminous engine. Hashimoto will serve as technical adviser where needed for both Final Fantasy 14 and Luminous, but his remaining responsibilities will be...
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Skylanders launching more powerful premium figures this fall

This fall, Activision will launch Skylanders Eon's Elite, a premium toy line featuring eight new collectible figurines of the franchise's most beloved heroes, the company announced at San Diego Comic-Con today. The line will launch with two figurines, Spyro (above) and Chop Chop (below), with the remaining six Eon's Elite figures to be picked from the roster of the game that started it all, the original 2011 Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. In the lore of the Skylanders universe, these eight heroes have been selected for their "undaunted courage and commitment" in defending the Skylands for immortalization in special metallic figures with new decorations and a gold base. The Eon's Elite figures will also be up to three times more powerful in-game than typical Skylanders, the biggest...
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Shadowgate remake coming to Mac, PC on Aug. 21, mobile this fall

Zojoi's remake of 1989 NES adventure game Shadowgate will launch for Mac and Windows PC on Aug. 21, with Android and iOS versions slated to launch this fall, the developer announced today. Shadowgate will be available through Steam and other online distribution outlets for $19.99. This reimagined version, made possible in collaboration with indie company Reverb Triple XP, features new puzzles and harder difficulty levels, as well a bonus Retro Mode that let's players "experience the game like its 1989." Shadowgate was successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter in November 2012, pulling in $137,232 from 3,468 backers. For a better look at how the remake stacks up to the original, check out the below video comparing the two.
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Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes arrives Sept. 23

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, the next entry in the Disney-based, toy-filled franchise, will launch for  iOS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 23, Disney Interactive announced today. Disney Interactive announced the 2.0 Edition of the game in April. The game introduces a variety of Marvel super heroes, from the Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy. As of today, those interested can pre-order the game for a bonus Marvel figure. In Disney Infinity, players control popular characters from Disney's vast vault in a sandbox world. The game uses physical figurines, which players place on a an Infinity Base to activate. In Toy Box mode, players can craft their own worlds complete with items, characters and more. The original Disney Infinity...
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Bryan Cranston, Patrick Stewart, Stan Lee and more are coming to the Family Guy game

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston will soon be playable — and eating cartoon pizza, it appears — in the official Family Guy mobile game, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, alongside a half-dozen other pop culture favorites, just in time for Comic-Con. Cranston will be joined by actors Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Felicia Day (The Guild), George Takei (Star Trek), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Stan Lee (Marvel Comics) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) in a special event in the game that kicks off alongside San Diego Comic-Con. In the iOS and Android game, those celebrities will travel to Family Guy's hometown of Quahog for the Quahog Comic-Con — a fictional event that is actually sanctioned by the people who run Comic-Con International in San Diego. The celebrities and geek icons...
Culture
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Kanye West reviews Kim Kardashian's video game — with Twitter's help

The following is a review of Kim Kardashian's new mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood in the form of Kanye West lyrics submitted via Twitter. This is goon shit. Fuck-up-your-whole-afternoon shit.Things we see on the screen are not ours.I guess this is my dissertation, this shit is basic. Now I ain't saying she's a gold digger, but she take my money when I'm in need. Wait till I get my money right. I'm looking at her like this what you really wanted, huh? I'm doing pretty good as far as geniuses go. This is the story of a champion. I had a dream I can buy my way to heaven. I'm so appalled. How could you say they live life wrong? How much do I not give a fuck? My presence is a present. Kiss my ass. As soon as they like you, make 'em unlike you. I'm a star, how could I not...
Culture
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Find out which experimental games excite Korean devs

Note: A few frames of the above video are not suitable for work. A group of Korean game developers were inspired by GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop to host their own curated games exhibition. The festival, called Out of Index, opened for submissions June 22nd and just a short month later the games were demonstrated at a small party in South Korea. "People say ‘There is nothing new under the sun,'" reads OOI's mission statement. "Does that mean there wouldn't be any new grammar [of gameplay] then? No! "We would like to inspire new energy to the Korean game industry through various experimentation [sic]." The showcase featured 14 games, including Western games like David OReilly's Mountain. Check out the video for the highlights. You can find information, including videos, about...
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How to make a video game about drag queens

A California-based studio is developing the sequel to RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis, an iOS and Android game that will feature seven drag queens from the World of Wonder reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race. The ingredients? Queens, sass, glitter and glamor. Speaking to Polygon, So Much Drama Studios' founder Jeff Meador said the idea for the original Dragopolis came from the apparent lack of video games that targeted and spoke to the LGBT audience. "I think [drag] has such a celebratory element to it," Meador said. "Queens are such fun and they're such characters — it was a great opportunity to bring something like that that has such joy and passion to it, to bring it to life within a video game where we could really take it and make it very cartoony and over the top in a lot of...
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