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Guitar Hero Live Drummer
First 10 ‘Guitar Hero Live’ Songs Revealed

When Jon Napier, FreeStyleGames’ director of projects, said that Guitar Hero Live would have something for everyone, he wasn’t kidding.

A screenshot posted to the official Guitar Hero Live Facebook page revealed the first ten songs included in the upcoming music game, and as promised, the track list is all over the place. Sure, the game looks like it still favors indie and hard rock, but what about players who prefer blues? Or folk? Or Norwegian pop? From the looks of things, Guitar Hero Live has all kinds of music fans covered.

The released song list is as follows:

Ed Sheeran, “Sing” American Authors, “Best Day of My Life” Jake Bugg, “What Doesn’t Kill You” Gary Clark Jr, “Don’t Owe You a Thang” Band of Skulls, “Asleep at the Wheel” Of Monsters and Men, “Little Talks” Alter Bridge, “Cry of Achilles” Biffy Clyro, “Sounds Like Balloons” Blitz Kids, “Sometimes” The War on Drugs, “Under the Pressure”

According to the Facebook post, these are just ten of hundreds of songs that will be available when Guitar Hero Live launches this fall. Presumably, that total is split between the game’s main campaign and its online mode, Guitar Hero TV.

Guitar Hero Live First Song List

Notably, all of these songs are pretty new – the oldest is Gary Clark Jr.’s “Don’t Owe You a Thang,” which was released in 2010. That’s a big departure from the original Guitar Hero, which came out a decade ago with a track list comprised almost entirely of older metal hits and classic rock standbys. While it’s hard to imagine a Guitar Hero game that won’t have some older music, the message here is pretty clear: Guitar Hero Live looks forward, and doesn’t draw on the past.

As most fans already know, the centerpiece of Guitar Hero Live is a first person mode that uses live action footage to recreate a rock concert from the guitar player’s point of view. So far, only one in-game band has appeared in the videos, raising concerns about how well Guitar Hero Live’s music will blend with its visuals. The energetic, crowd-surfing footage shown so far has a pretty distinct vibe, and it’s going to look awfully silly if, for example, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s voice starts coming out of Broken Tide vocalist Ryan Burnett’s mouth (notably, Hilmarsdóttir – singer for Of Monsters and Men – is the only female lead vocalist featured in these ten songs).

Obviously, FreeStyleGames must have some plan in mind, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how the developer plans to include such a wide selection of music in Guitar Hero Live while still keeping the amount of live action footage needed from getting out of hand. Keep an eye out for more information about the ground-breaking first person mode, as well as an expanded track list, as Guitar Hero Live‘s fall release creeps closer.

Guitar Hero Live is expected in late 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

Source: FreeStyleGames


Original author: Christopher Gates
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Black Ops 3 Zombies Logo
More ‘Black Ops 3′ Details Leak: Co-op Campaign, Zombies Mode, & More

In the past, Call of Duty reveals were major events carefully planned by marketing teams to include a trailer debut, first details, and typically some form of press event. The first Call of Duty: Black Ops, for example, was unveiled piece by piece, starting first with a trailer during the NBA Playoffs.

However, as Internet sleuthing has grown, the carefully planned Call of Duty reveals have given way to chaos. Whereas before we knew very little about each new game before Activision wanted us to, now leaks spill the beans ahead of time. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was mere days away from its official reveal date before a massive leak let all the secrets out ahead of time.

Now it appears Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has been hit with a similar leak, and again it’s just days before the official debut was set to take place. While we don’t know how exactly the info got out, it appears that someone at GameStop got their hands on some Black Ops 3 promotional materials and they have begun releasing gameplay details.

So far, we’ve already learned that the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 release date is November 6th, an unexpected Friday release for the franchise. Moreover, that same leak teased a potential beta test for Black Ops 3 on current-gen.

However, those details were small potatoes compared to the latest leak, which includes major gameplay secrets. According to the leak, Black Ops 3 marks a major departure for the franchise in some key ways, incorporating gameplay elements that fans have been requesting for years.

First and foremost, it appears that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will feature a 4-player co-op campaign. This won’t be a cooperative offshoot either, but Black Ops 3’s cooperative campaign will factor into the main story.

Black Ops 3 Campaign Details Leak

To that end, the leak reveals that player customization will be a major factor in the co-op campaign, letting players tailor their soldier’s loadout to their play style. Weapons, gear, look…all will apparently be part of that customization.

The campaign will also feature new arena-style areas that teams can approach in several different ways. The leaked materials claim that the multi-faceted levels will help encourage replayability, as players tackle the same sections but from different routes.

For multiplayer, the details are a little harder to come by, but it sounds as if the faster movement of Advanced Warfare may be making the leap to Black Ops 3. The brief details mention a new Movement System and ‘thrust jumps’, which suggests more than just the average Call of Duty multiplayer gameplay. The leaked images included with the promo flyers also seem to show some type of jet pack, but it’s hard to tell.

Black Ops 3 Multiplayer Leak

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will apparently add a Specialist character option to the mix, giving players one more thing to pour XP into. The description reads: “Black Ops 3 also introduces the new Specialist character system, which allows players to rank up and master each specific character’s battle-hardened capabilities and weapons. With this addition to Traditional and Weapons XP progressions system, Black Ops 3 multiplayer gives players three different ways to rank up.”

And finally, it wouldn’t be a Treyarch-developed Call of Duty game without Zombies, so rest assured the fan-favorite mode is returning. Like past Zombies modes, and Zombies spin-offs like Evacuation, Black Ops 3’s Zombies mode will feature a full campaign for players to experience.

This will also be the first year that the Zombies mode incorporates a fully-fledged XP progression system wherein players can improve their character as they go. Zombies fans have been asking for such a system for quite some time so it’s nice to see Treyarch is finally adding it.

Or are they? For now, it’s best to treat all this information with a grain of salt. Obviously, the images lend a ton of legitimacy to the leak, and we do know that a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is mere days away, but even then it’s best not to get too up in arms or excited about any changes.

That being said, if these new features are true, then it sounds like Call of Duty is finally ready to incorporate fan feedback into their games. The co-op campaign alone could be a huge selling point.

What do you think of these Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 leaked details? Do you like the idea of a co-op campaign?

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is rumored for a November 6, 2015 release date on current-gen platforms.

Source: Reddit (via Charlie Intel)

Original author: Anthony Taormina
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Is the Original 'Gears of War' Coming to Xbox One? - Marcus Fenix
Is the Original ‘Gears of War’ Coming to Xbox One?

For Microsoft, last year’s E3 was defined by Halo: The Master Chief Collection. One of the largest game collections ever released, it featured remastered versions of the first four games in the series, along with a slew of other features.

Despite the game’s issues, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has proven to be a success for Microsoft, and it most certainly was responsible for pushing more than a few Xbox One units into the homes of gamers. Now the rumor is Microsoft is hoping to win back some more of their Xbox 360 audience with a similar strategy, by bringing back another classic game.

The game in question is the original Gears of War, which was a huge success on the Xbox 360 nearly a decade ago. The game spawned a massive media franchise, including two sequels and a prequel, easily making it Microsoft’s second-strongest franchise next to Halo.

Polygon is reporting sources that have offered more information on the possibility of the original Gears of War coming to Xbox One. The game will apparently feature upgraded visuals, as well as reworked cut-scenes courtesy of Plastic Wax. Plastic Wax is an award-winning animation studio known for working on numerous video games in the past, including such high profile releases as BioShock Infinite and Fallout: New Vegas.

This news comes just days after the cinematic director for the Gears of War games, Greg Mitchell, jumped ship from Epic Games to Black Tusk Studios, the new studio handling the franchise for Microsoft. It is possible that Mitchell is aiding in the process of recreating the cut-scenes for the original Gears of War, or he could also be working on the brand new Gears of War that is in development at Black Tusk.

Gears of War - Gears of War 3 cover

Previously, there were rumblings about a Gears of War: The Marcus Fenix Collection in the pipeline for Xbox One, which would feature the first three games in the series. However, the head of Black Tusk Studios took to Twitter to deny these claims, also adding that the studio was working on multiple Gears of War projects, hinting at an E3 reveal.

A remastered Gears of War or a Gears of War Collection would certainly bolster Microsoft’s holiday lineup, and give them a significant edge over their competition. Sony has been forced to delay Uncharted 4 to 2016, and Nintendo has similarly made the decision to delay The Legend of Zelda out of 2015 as well. This leaves Microsoft in a position to make serious waves, and there’s no better way to do it than with Halo 5: Guardians and Gears of War, even if it is a remastered version of a previously released game in the series.

Speaking of Halo 5, The Master Chief Collection included access to a beta for Halo 5 to sweeten the pot. Perhaps the remastered version of Gears of War will do the same in regards to the next Gears of War title.

Whether the original Gears of War is brought to the Xbox One or not, Black Tusk Studios is currently working on a new Gears of War entry for the system, with a probable release of Fall 2016. Expect more information on the new Gears of War and any potential remaster or collection to be unveiled at this year’s E3 event.

Source: Polygon

Original author: Dalton Cooper
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Black Ops 3 Teaser Trailer
‘Black Ops 3′ Release Date Leaks, Current-Gen Beta Planned

Information about Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has been releasing rapidly over the last couple weeks. First, we were treated to social media posts that hinted at the game’s launch this year, followed by a short teaser video that confirmed those suspicions. Developer Treyarch then released another teaser trailer this week that provided a few details about the storyline in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Now, it looks like we have a bit more information thanks to a leaked GameStop pre-order promo card, which states Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be available on Friday, November 6th. The promo also reveals that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will only be available on PC and current-gen consoles, and those who pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will gain access to the game’s beta.

However, all this information is subject to change considering the promo states that “Actual platform availability and launch date(s) to be determined.” While the November 6th date falls in line with recent Call of Duty release dates, we find it interesting that the game would launch on a Friday. Most major video game releases, including past Call of Duty games, happen on Tuesdays. That being said, there’s nothing keeping Activision and Treyarch from releasing Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 on a Friday if they so desire.

Black Ops 3 GameStop Promo

We also suspect that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be available on last-gen consoles alongside current-gen, despite their absence from the promo. Activision’s three-year cycle for Call of Duty games means Treyarch has been hard at work on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 since its predecessor released in 2012, before the PS4 and Xbox One were available. Plus, making Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 available on last- and current-gen consoles would greatly benefit sales.

According to the person who leaked the info, GameStop is planning to hand out the promo card this Sunday in conjunction with the release of the first full Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 trailer. We’ll be interested to see what additional information is released with the new trailer and if it confirms the dates and platforms mentioned in the promo.

What do you think about the November 6th release date for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3? Will you pre-order the game to gain access to the beta? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is expected to release on November 6, 2015 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It may also release on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Original author: Boston Blake
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'Just Cause 3' Gameplay Trailer Coming Next Week, Box Art Revealed - Box Art
‘Just Cause 3′ Gameplay Trailer Coming Next Week, Box Art Revealed

Avalanche Studios has quite the busy year ahead of them. Not only do they have Mad Max releasing just right around the corner on September 1st, but by the time 2015 comes to a close, they also plan on putting out the third game in their popular Just Cause action series, the aptly titled Just Cause 3.

The game is set to release this holiday season on current-gen systems as well as the PC. Of course, that’s still quite a ways away, so to appease fans, Avalanche Studios and publisher Square Enix have slowly been releasing new info on the game.

The single-player focused adventure will offer an expansive open world to explore, along with a number of improvements over the previous games in the series. For example, random events and enhanced AI are both being added to the game, along with a number of other improvements, not the least of which are the enhanced visuals offered by current-gen hardware.

In anticipation of actually showing off the gameplay to be featured in Just Cause 3, the official box art for the game has been unveiled, and a new teaser trailer has been released as well. The box art (seen above) does a decent job of encompassing the spirit of the game, featuring the main character parachuting away from an exploding jet plane, with enemy helicopters pursuing him in the background.

The short teaser can be viewed below:

This teaser trailer for Just Cause 3 is only six seconds long, but it offers a glimpse into what the Just Cause franchise is all about. In just six seconds time, we see a jet plane zoom past a statue of a dictator, protagonist Rico Rodriguez soar over a field of sunflowers at break-neck speeds using a wing suit, and a helicopter fall out of the sky, exploding onto a jeep as it crashes to the ground.

This sneak peek is very exciting, but it’s still only six seconds. Luckily, those yearning for a more substantial trailer don’t have to wait long; a full gameplay reveal trailer for Just Cause 3 is slated to release next Tuesday, on April 28th. The trailer will debut on the official Just Cause YouTube channel.

Fans can expect the Just Cause 3 gameplay trailer to be exciting, action-packed, and full of pertinent information regarding the highly anticipated game; that is, if the recent Mad Max trailer is anything to go by. Avalanche put a lot into that trailer, and as a result built up considerably hype for Mad Max, even more so than before. Certainly they will be able to do the same with the Just Cause 3 gameplay trailer after it releases next week.

Just Cause 3 will release this holiday season for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Source: Game Informer

Original author: Dalton Cooper
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Gordon Freeman Half-Life 2 Strangle
Warren Spector Talks Cancelled ‘Half-Life’ Episode

Oh, to imagine what could’ve been. On one side, there’s Warren Spector, the legendary producer and game designer who contributed to Wing Commander, Thief: The Dark Project, and a murderer’s row of popular tabletop RPGs, before going on to create the action-RPG hybrid, Deus Ex. On the other, there’s Valve, the studio responsible for Steam, Portal, and Left 4 Dead. And they would’ve worked together, if Mickey Mouse hadn’t gotten in the way.

In fact, not only were Spector and Valve going to team up, but they were collaborating on Valve’s crown jewel, Half-Life 2. According to a new interview with Game Informer, Spector and his now-defunct studio Junction Point were working on a new “episode of Half-Life 2″ before Disney ruined everything. Given that the last entry in the Half-Life series, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, ended on a massive cliffhanger, and that Half-Life 3 is arguably the most desired game of all time, it’s easy to understand why that’s heartbreaking news.

The collaboration between Valve and Junction Point began when the latter was brand new and struggling to find its place in the game industry. “Valve actually stepped in and saved us,” Spector says. “[Valve] was really into episodic content at that point. We were working on an episode that would fill in one of the gaps in the Half-Life story.” That implies that development began in 2005 or 2006, roughly the same time that Spector opened Junction Point. Valve released Half-Life 2: Episode One in 2006, and Half-Life 2: Episode Two in 2007.

Warren Spector Mickey Mouse

Warren Spector


It’s not clear if Junction Point’s Half-Life episode would’ve been Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or another project set in Half-Life continuity; either way, it sounds like it would’ve been pretty cool. Spector sounds particularly proud of a new tool that Junction Point dubbed the Magnet Gun. Spector says, “We came up with so many cool ways to use a magnet gun that were completely different from anything [Valve] had done and was really freeform in its use… I still wish they would do something with [it].”

Junction Point worked on their Half-Life episode “for a year, maybe even two,” before Disney approved the game that ultimately became Epic Mickey. With a new studio and a small development team, Spector had to choose between the two projects. The choice was easy. “I just couldn’t say no to Disney,” Spector says, “I’d always wanted to work there, so we never completed the work with Valve.”

As fans know, Half-Life 2: Episode Two marks the unofficial end of the series – for now, at any rate – and Spector seems skeptical that any more episodes would’ve come out even if Junction Point remained involved. Near the end of their time together, Spector says that “Valve was rethinking their episodic plan, anyway.” Epic Mickey went on to sell about 2 million copies, and spawned a poorly received sequel. Junction Point closed in 2013; Spector now teaches game design at the University of Texas.

Source: Game Informer

Original author: Christopher Gates
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Destiny Trading Talk
Destiny: Bungie Talks Gear Trading System During Livestream

While every Destiny player has their own itemized wish list of features they’d like to see added to the game, there are a select few most can agree on. Obviously, a cohesive story and better gear allocation are two of the more pressing matters that Destiny fans would like to see addressed, but there’s another feature that could prove even more important.

Item trading is not something that all MMOs, or MMO-like experiences, allow, but it’s one that most players of said games have requested. Destiny is no different; many players regularly request item trading to either share some of their exotic gear wealth, or simply to help their lower level friends get a head start.

However, when it comes to adding item trading to Destiny, Bungie has been relatively quiet on the issue. And when they do address it, the best answer players can get is a curt, “No.”

During the latest Destiny livestream, Bungie once again addressed the topic of item trading, only this time they had a little more to say. Players hoping to get something in the form of an unequivocal, “Yes,” will likely come away disappointed by Bungie Creative Director Christopher Barrett’s response, but it does bode well for the future of the franchise.

While touring The Reef, the new social space launching alongside House of Wolves, Barrett was asked point blank whether item trading might be added to Destiny. He acknowledged the seemingly endless fan requests, and even said that item trading is something the development team is looking at, but right now they don’t have anything to announce.

“It’s something we’re…there’s downsides to it and there’s upsides…The investment designers, there’s a lot of conversations I’m sure that happen about that. We’re always considering features like that. Personally, I’d prefer not to have player trading. But you’ll get different opinions across the entire team.”

The good news is that Bungie seems to be considering a possible item trading system, but Barrett doesn’t appear to be a fan of the feature. He wouldn’t explain why Destiny item trading is not on his personal to-do list, but it’s not too hard to guess why.

See, while Destiny may have an active community of millions, it’s also built around earning ones own loot. Accumulating enough Strange Coins for Xur, completing the Nightfall Strike in the hopes of an exotic weapon dropping, or running through one of the raids and getting a lucky gear drop are all part of the Destiny experience, but item trading could remove the need to experience those pieces of content. In essence, it lets certain players skip past a lot of the more grind-y-elements of the game in order to reach the level cap.

Destiny Trio

That, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, since Destiny’s Random Number Generator can be extremely cruel. Some players have watched their friends earn and promptly dismantle Vex Mythoclast after Vex Mythoclast, while they have yet to see a single one drop. If that friend could simply trade that extra Vex Mythoclast over, it would eliminate a lot of that frustration.

However, a trading system also opens up room for exploitation, as has been seen with countless MMOs over the years. Since many players desperately covet some of Destiny’s best weapons, there’s the very real possibility that they might pay to get a weapon or piece of gear. Alongside that, it’s not hard to imagine an eBay channel opening up whereby Destiny players sell their gear to the top bidder. One player pays to skip the line, and the other profits off their frivolous spending.

In the end, since Destiny is mostly a cooperative experience we could see a future sequel adding item trading. But, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bungie put a lot of restrictions on the system in order to combat exploitation. We will have to wait and see.

Source: Bungie Twitch (via Gamespot)

Original author: Anthony Taormina
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'Resident Evil HD Remaster' Hits 1 Million Copies Sold - Chris, Jill, and Wesker
‘Resident Evil HD Remaster’ Hits 1 Million Copies Sold

Much to the delight of fans of the classic style Resident Evil games, Resident Evil HD Remaster released worldwide earlier this year on January 20th. While not offering much in the way of new content, the game is one of the few true survival-horror titles released in recent years, and its enhanced graphics, online leaderboards, and achievements galore make the purchase worth it even for veterans of the Mansion Incident.

The Resident Evil remake was originally released in 2002 on the GameCube, but later saw a Wii port, with added motion controls. However, Resident Evil HD Remaster marks the first time that this version has been available on non-Nintendo platforms, as it released for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox systems.

Bringing Resident Evil to the HD era has proven to be a smart bet on the part of Capcom, as the game is smashing digital sales records. For example, the game is now the fast-selling day one digital game in the history of the PlayStation Network. Furthermore, it is the fastest-selling digital game in the history of Capcom across both Europe and North America.

Not only that, but Resident Evil HD Remaster has officially reached a total of 1 million units sold worldwide, making the game a tremendous success for Capcom by any sense of the word.

After the generally poor reception of Resident Evil 6, it’s refreshing to see classic survival-horror not only be a hit with fans, but a commercial success as well. Hopefully this encourages Capcom to invest in more genuine, high quality survival-horror experiences.

Even if a new survival-horror Resident Evil game isn’t in the works, maybe the strong sales of this HD Remaster will convince Capcom to finally create the often fan-requested Resident Evil 2 HD Remaster.

'Resident Evil HD Remaster' - Chris attacked by zombie

In any case, recent evidence suggests that a new Resident Evil game is set to release in 2015. Considering the recent popularity of survival-horror experiences like this HD Remaster or titles such as The Evil Within (developed by the creator of the Resident Evil franchise, Shinji Mikami), it wouldn’t be out of the question to believe that Capcom plans on returning the series to its roots with the next game, whatever that may be.

The most recent game in the series, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, is definitely a step towards a more survival-horror feel, but it’s still not quite the complete survival-horror experience. Even so, Resident Evil: Revelations‘ existence shows that Capcom is willing to diverge from the action formula that they’ve utilized for the last few main entry games in the series, and perhaps a complete return to form is indeed in the cards. Revelations 2 also shows Capcom’s willingness to experiment with their biggest franchise, as the game utilizes an episodic format for its content; perhaps Resident Evil 7 might do the same.

It’s also possible that Capcom plans on rebooting the franchise, as the plot has become convoluted more or less to the point of no return, and such a possibility has been rumored in the past. At this stage, the stories in Resident Evil games are openly mocked by most, even by fans of the series, so starting over with a clean slate might be the best move Capcom can make.

Resident Evil HD Remaster is available to download on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Original author: Dalton Cooper
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Killing Floor 2 can ban players - Shooting Zeds
‘Killing Floor 2′ Can Ban Players for Cyber-Bullying

Killing Floor has come a long way since its origins as a mod for Unreal Tournament 4. It became a full retail game in 2009, courtesy of Tripwire Interactive, and it has become a genuine cult classic with a devoted following. Now, a full decade after it first came together, Killing Floor is finally getting a sequel, due out later this year. Fans of the game will once again get to square off against waves of zombie-like creatures called “Zeds.” But, as with many multiplayer games, occasionally the worst enemies can be the other gamers.

Anyone who’s ever spent any time wearing headphones in the trenches of games like Call of Duty knows that people can be pretty horrible to each other when they’re on the other end of a microphone and safely anonymous. For the most part, that’s just a known risk, but one that can be easily muted or ignored. The folks behind Killing Floor 2, however, are taking steps to keep things friendly in their online world, and to prevent abuses such as cheating and cyber-bullying. Those defenses can, in extreme cases, lead to consequences that have some gamers upset.

Killing Floor fans recently noticed a clause in the game’s EULA (end user license agreement) that lays out some harsh penalties for gamers caught engaging in activities such as “‘griefing’, racist bigotry, sexism or any other forms of ‘cyber bullying.'” Just how extreme a spanking can Tripwire deliver in cases where these issues are a persistent problem? The Killing Floor 2 EULA states that Tripwire can yank a player’s game license without prior notice. The relevant section reads:

“If we find you are a Cheater or Abusive, we will revoke your CD key and ban you from the KF2 servers and tell your mom! Your license will automatically terminate, without notice, and you will have no right to play KF2 or any KF2 Mods against other players or make any other use of KF2. End of story.”

Killing Floor 2 can ban players - Glowing monster

That potential threat rubbed some KF fans the wrong way, resulting in lots of debate in the game’s Steam forums. Some fans are even threatening to boycott the game, believing the EULA is at odds with basic notions of ownership rights. In other words, once they’ve paid for the game, the developer shouldn’t have the option to essentially revoke that purchase. However, other gamers point out that the terms of the Killing Floor 2 EULA are not substantially different from those of many other popular games and online services.

Tripwire Vice President Alan Wilson eventually stepped into the fray to sound off on the controversy. He started a new Stream thread where he pointed out that the EULA was “out in the open, so everyone can read it.” He then added:

“Just about ALL the games you are buying on Steam and anywhere else are actually a license to use. Yes, that is likely to become an issue in the EU at some point. Someone much smarter than me (probably at Valve, cos they’re all smarter than me) will work out how to handle that. If you are twitchy, because you’ve read our EULA — try reading everyone else’s! There’s some real horrors out there.

People are worried that we can ‘take your game away’. Well, yes, we can. We’ve sold around 10 million games over the last 10 years. We have, I believe, taken away games from about 2 people. One of those was later convicted as a hacker in court.”

That’s unlikely to sway the skeptics, but then again there probably isn’t anything that will sway the skeptics. This is a complex issue, and the notion of ownership is very much in flux in a world where physical media is more and more becoming a thing of the past. Game companies have a vested interest in keeping their online communities safe and welcoming, but the “nuclear option” of being able to revoke a player’s game license is also the sort of thing that will no doubt rankle some gamers regardless of how many times it’s couched as a rarely used weapon of last resort. Regardless, this isn’t a debate that’s likely to be settled anytime soon, in Killing Floor 2 or elsewhere in the industry.

Killing Floor 2 is in Early Access on PC and Linux. It’s also in development for PlayStation 4. GameRant’s early impressions of the game can be read here.

Source: PC Gamer

Original author: David Wharton
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Steam Workshop Sells Mods
Opinion: Why Steam’s For-Profit Mod System Is Bad

It seems oddly appropriate that since Oblivion ushered in an era of DLC with its horse armor, its predecessor Skyrim might usher in a new era of paid modifications.

Valve stirred up plenty of controversy last night when they announced mod creators could now sell content for profit in the Steam Workshop, prompting plenty of previously free modifications to suddenly have price ranges from $1-$10 (and, in some cases, even more). The move has riled up the community, which prompted us to take a look into the problems of a for-profit Steam Workshop, and how it might have a negative impact on the gaming community.

Much like Nintendo’s controversial Creators Program, Valve is introducing a platform where they take a cut of the proceeds off of user-created content. All profits generated from any game modification sales will be divvied up between Valve, the respective game developer, and the mod creator. The latter gets 25% of the cut, whilst Valve and the game developer will split the other 75% – quite an uneven system, especially for items that were universally hosted and distributed for free before.

It’s worth noting that mod creators can still offer their content for free, and not everyone is gung-ho about the for-profit system. Don’t get us wrong, if someone makes a quality mod, it’s good to see that they can get paid for their dedication – but plenty of large modifications out there already have donation systems. If the majority of this content becomes exclusively purchasable, it means far less people will be able to enjoy the mods themselves – especially with no guarantee that the aforementioned mods will work after developers release game updates, or for that matter, even work at all.

Steam Mods for Sale

The fact that Valve will have no quality control for the mods release over Steam Workshop is worrisome, as game updates and patches from the actual developers may end up breaking game modifications people have paid for. Since modifications were a free item before, there were some expectations of leniency in that regard, but now that it’s a product users have purchased, should the mod developers be responsible for ensuring the modification works after the game itself updates? Right now, it’s not their problem; gamers have to accept the risk that any modifications they buy might break at any time.

Currently, Valve has no proper system in place to detect stolen mods – it’s relatively simple for someone to take someone else’s mod and upload it to the Workshop for a profit. If the original creator sees that someone else uploaded it to the Workshop and is making money off of their own work, they must file a request to have the mod removed – a process which takes some time. While stolen uploads aren’t a new scene on the Steam Workshop, as soon as financial gains enter the equation, the situation becomes a lot more complicated.

Steam Debut Pack

Skyrim is currently on sale for $5.This mod pack costs $35.

When asked if modifications could use part of other modifications (insert your Inception bwoom here) while still generating a profit, Valve responded with a statement explaining a mod creator profit-sharing system is put into place, allowing them to divvy up their percentages even more. Of course, there’s an honor system in effect that people will ask for permission when using any files that were made by someone else.

During the Workshop feature’s launch yesterday, a modification Steam placed on the front page was removed because it featured stolen content from another mod creator. It’s not a great start for the idea, and it’s annoying for customers who had already purchased the modification prior to its removal.

Gamers will have 24 hours to get a refund if they are dissatisfied with any mod purchases, which is actually a step up from their usual refund policy. Of course, if a gamer runs into problems with the mod more than 24 hours after purchasing, they’re stuck with a defective item.

Skyrim Thomas The Tank Engine

It looks like the Steam Workshop will be going through a whole new frontier in the next few days. Steam is already bundling content together into packages that cost more than the game they play on, and we’re waiting with baited breath to see if people are still willing to spend their cash. Plenty of popular mods from free-host websites like NexusMods have packed up ship and moved over to Steam, selling their previously free items for fees (Wet and Cold being a good example).

Valve is often held in the high regard by fans for creating such a proficient gaming distribution system and developing stellar titles like Portal and Half-Life. They also heralded a system to digitally download games back when in-store retail copies dominated the market, and are often at the forefront of innovations. But this move seems like a large step backwards, and ensures gamers will get to enjoy far less content than they usually would be able to, at prices that may not match the quality they’re paying for.

What do you think about Steam enabling for-profit modifications, Ranters? Do you think the benefits will outweigh the negatives?

Original author: John Jacques
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Hopper Version 3 was released today.  The old Hopper will be discontinued March 8th 2013.  You must upgrade as it will no longer function.

Here are some of the new fetures in Hopper 3:

  • Full Family Bucket Support
  • Performance increase for FireFox users
  • Less memory on all versions
  • Stability improvements, Hopper keeps on going
  • https support
  • New GUI
  • Better logging
  • Ability to run our Beta Hopper on demand