Analysts weigh in on Tencent’s $8.4 billion purchase of Supercell

We asked industry analysts for their take on Tencent’s purchase of an 84.3% share of Supercell’s stock for $8.4 bullion. …

from Gamasutra News


Hadean Lands dev offers ‘no-hint pledge’ certificate as $35 DLC

“It might be easier to stick to that [no hints] promise once you’ve laid down some cash on it,” reads a post from the developer on the DLC’s Steam page. “Just a thought. It’s up to you.” …

from Gamasutra News

Steam Game Offers $35 DLC That’s Just A Certificate

Steam Game Offers $35 DLC That's Just A Certificate

Hadean Lands is a text adventure renowned for being good but tough. It’s been around for a couple years, and it just got a Steam release. Steam, of course, supports DLC. Hadean Lands’ developer decided to take advantage of that feature in an… unusual way.

Hadean Lands itself is only $12, but if you want, you can plunk down another $35 for a certificate. Yes, a certificate. It comes in PDF and JPG flavors. Here’s what it’s about:

“This DLC pack contains a high-quality certificate saying that YOU, the player, solemnly promise to finish Hadean Lands without looking at any hints or walkthroughs on the Steam forums or anywhere else on the Internet.”

“That’s all! You print out the certificate, sign it, and hang it on the wall. This is strictly on the honor system. The DLC does not change the behavior of the game at all.”

Here’s what it looks like:

Steam Game Offers $35 DLC That's Just A Certificate

It’s certainly cheeky, I’ll give developer Andrew Plotkin that much. It’s not like you have to buy it, either, so this isn’t really hurting anyone. I mean, really you can just download the JPG from the store page like I just did, and that’s it. Heist of the century, right there.

I’m guessing this is an attempt to poke fun at modern DLC, a substitute for a donate button (something Hadean Lands has in other stores, but that Steam doesn’t allow), or both.

There’s a whole FAQ, as well. Why a certificate when somebody can just promise themselves they won’t use a guide? “It might be easier to stick to that promise once you’ve laid down some cash on it,” Plotkin wrote. “Just a thought. It’s up to you.”

Then there’s this last bit:

You can’t be serious about this.

I assure you, I have never been more serious in my life.

Is he joking? About being serious? Whoa. #makesuthink

from Kotaku

Final Fantasy and More Discounted in PlayStation Square Enix Sale

Final Fantasy XV releases later this year, but you can get a bunch of older Final Fantasy games at a discount right now on PlayStation platforms. Square Enix is holding a sale on a bunch of Final Fantasy and non-Final Fantasy titles that you can take advantage of, as long as you own a PS4, PS3, or PlayStation Vita.

On the PS4, we have Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster for $25 and Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn for $10. You can also pick up some bundles for the aforementioned MMO, including the Collector’s Edition for $20.

The discounted PS3 games include Final Fantasy XIII-2 for $7.50 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII for $10. For non-Final Fantasy fans, there’s Drakengard 3 for $10, Elevator Action Deluxe for $5, and Moon Diver for $5.

There’s also a bunch of PSOne Classics on sale like Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy Tactics for $5 each. Parasite Eve and its sequel are also on sale for $3 apiece, while you can pick up Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross for $5 each.

You can check out the rest of the discounts on the PlayStation Store. We’ll have a full list for all of this week’s PlayStation sales later today.

from GameSpot

God of War PS4 Trailer Is Hiding Some Secrets

The new God of War‘s E3 stage demo had a lot you could miss, but some very attentive fans have discovered even more secrets. A NeoGAF user spotted three things that could hint at enemies Kratos will go up against in his new Scandinavian adventure.

The first is a dark, ghostly figure, which shows up after Kratos’s first battle with two smaller enemies. As he and his son walk through some arches, you can see the figure on the right hand side, just as it zooms off the screen to the right. You can see it for yourself in the gameplay demo at around 3:45 or in the GIF below.

The second mysterious creature is seen flying and holding a stick–my guess is that it probably hurts to get hit by it. You can see it following the troll fight, after Kratos and his son discover Dauthamunni. It appears in the top right corner at around 6:45 in the gameplay demo. You can see it in the GIF above.

The last spotting is a big one. As Kratos and his son look across the Scandinavian landscape, you might notice there’s an icy river flowing in the valley below. However, as NeoGAF user Fliesen points out, it’s not a river.

“Nah, man, those are scales,” they wrote. “And they’re clearly moving in front of the treeline–if that were a river, you’d see some kind of shoreline.”

Some users believe it points to an “epic” boss fight with the World Serpent, Jörmungandr. Its “World Serpent” moniker comes from the fact that it grew to be so big that it could stretch itself around the world and touch its own tail. The thing in the gameplay demo, which can be seen around 9:15, looks pretty big. You can see it for yourself in a GIF below.

Whether these findings turn out to be enemies remains to be seen, but we’ll keep you updated on all the God of War news as it’s revealed.

We recently got the opportunity to talk to game director Cory Barlog, who talked about the challenge of making people take Kratos seriously.

Barlog also joined us on GameSpot’s live E3 stage show, where he discussed reinventing Kratos and the series’ perspective. Additionally, he explained how Kratos could be in the midst of Norse mythology, after spending so much time in Greece’s mythos.

from GameSpot

13 Fast Facts About Forza Horizon 3

What’s on the horizon?

We recently had a chance to race through the Gold Coast of Australia in Forza Horizon 3, but we also sat down with the developers to learn a little more about the game’s deeper features and future plans. According to Forza developer Ralph Fulton

Massive World Map

The new Australian map is the largest and most diverse open world in Forza history. In fact, it’s approximately twice as large as Horizon 2‘s map. More importantly, it contains a huge variety of environments, including beaches, jungles, the Outback, and a modern highrise city. This should translate to new driving experiences, namely off-roading and 4×4 racing. The world map we saw was dotted with dozens upon dozens of event icons, which Fulton says will take ”easily 100 hours or more” to complete.

New Vehicle Types

Horizon 3 also contains more cars than its predecessors: 350 in total, with entirely new vehicle types like off-road buggies, trophy trucks, and even classic Australian muscle cars like the ’74 Sandman.

Authentic Natural Beauty

In order to capture Australia’s breathtaking natural beauty, the team created a custom 12K HDR camera rig and captured hours of footage of the Australian sky, which will allow the game’s artists to create dynamically changing skies that match the weather and time of day. When you see some clouds rolling in, just remember, those are authentic Australian clouds.

The Horizon Festival Returns

Horizon’s festival-focused career mode returns, but this time, you’re in charge. Whereas previous games cast you as a newcomer, it’s now your job to run the festival, deciding when to move or expand it. While it’s not clear exactly how or to what extent you’ll be able to exercise control over the festival, Fulton promises a full storyline within the campaign.

Customize Every Event

Though the broader impact of your new role as fest manager remains unclear for now, it does allow Horizon 3 to introduce a new feature: Horizon Blueprint. Basically, you can now customize nearly every aspect of every event–from the time of day to the required vehicle type. You can then rename the event and share the results with your friends. Your custom events will also appear as options when your friends activate event locations you’ve previously customized, though they can just stick with the default event created by the developers if they so choose.

Make New Events From Scratch

You can also create your own Bucket List Challenges entirely from scratch, employing the same tools the developers use. Chart a course, change the music, and complete the run yourself to set the difficulty. Once you’ve fine tuned your challenge (or beaten a friend’s), you can then pass the event on to other players, which Fulton hopes will allow worthwhile challenges to essentially go viral.

Fully Cooperative Campaign

If simply sharing events isn’t enough, you can also compete alongside your friends throughout the campaign thanks to the added four player co-op–a franchise first. According to Fulton, you can play as much or as little of the campaign in co-op as you want, but regardless of who’s hosting or how long you play, all your progress will automatically transfer back to your own game, meaning you’ll never have to complete the same content twice.

Hire Your Friends’ Drivatars

When your friends aren’t available, you can still include them in your game by ”hiring” their Drivatars–which, as returning Horizon players know, are basically custom AI racers that mirror your driving habits. As the festival boss, you’ll need to recruit star drivers to compete, and who better than the folks on your friends list, right? You’ll earn rewards anytime your Drivatar is hired, so keep your lap times low and your win-rate high to remain an attractive competitor.

Stunt Jumps

In addition to the usual collection of sprint races and time trial events, Horizon 3 now officially offers Danger Sign Jumps. As the name implies, you can find more than 50 ramps/jumps/cliffs scattered around Australia and compete to set distance records and more. These jumps are part of a ”suite of ambient gameplay,” according to Fulton, which still includes challenges like Drift Zones and Speed Traps.

New Vehicle Customization Options

Horizon 3 also adds a wealth of new customization options such as rally and off-road parts. You’ll find body kits and other officially licensed gear from new partners like Rocket Bunny, and can even choose the driver that appears inside your vehicle.

Upgraded Auction House and Storefront Tools

Forza’s trademark Auction House and Storefront return, but both have been revamped to make finding rare cars and following your favorite custom livery creators easier than ever. This means additional filters and a new section reserved for elite painters whose creations are consistently rated five stars. You can even jump directly from the Auction House to the seller’s Storefront, making it easier than ever for committed artists to grow their following.

Stream Your Own Music In-Game

Music remains an important part of the Horizon experience, so the team has added more radio stations that’ll let you blast everything from hip hop to heavy rock (which, somehow, weren’t options in previous games). There’s even a Groove station that will let you stream your own music in-game, assuming it’s saved to your Xbox One drive.

Xbox One and PC Cross-Play

Horizon 3 will launch simultaneously on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs–another franchise first. According to Fulton, developing for PC presented ”lots of exciting opportunities.” For example, Horizon 3 supports both cross-saves and cross-play–meaning yes, PC and Xbox One players will be able to enjoy co-op together. Its also a cross-buy title, so if you pick up the digital version for either platform, you’ll be able to play on the other platform as well for no extra charge.

Horizon 3 releases September 27.

from GameSpot