Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

August 2015

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Want a Free Island? Just Cause 3 May Have One.

August 31, 2015

The headline may sound too preposterous to be believed, but new reports suggest that that's what Square Enix has in mind, offering players of "Just Cause 3" a chance to win their very own island, though there are set to be several strings attached.

The concept is simple enough; 90 days after the game comes out, the game's developers will check the Chaos Points leaderboard to determine who has not only bought the Day One edition, but also done the most damage and raised the most havoc on the island. Chaos Points are awarded for creative destruction of just about anything on the island, so the process should be fun enough for most anyone.

At the end of that, the top player on the leaderboard will subsequently, reports suggest, have a chance at taking an island of his or her very own. But before you grab the tanning butter and start designing a flag for your very own country, there are some fine print issues that may put you off the island life.

First, Square Enix doesn't actually specify just where this island is. Nor does it guarantee that the island in question will be "...inhabitable, developed, or reachable by any means other than a boat." That's disturbing, in its way; what kind of island is this, that floating patch of junk plastic out in the Pacific?

Bethesda's Future Plans Looking Plenty Ambitious

August 26, 2015

With time running out until the big release of Fallout 4--remember what it was like at the start of July, when November 10 looked like an eternity away--it's natural to start wondering about Bethesda's next title. But while the next title isn't exactly clear yet, what is clear is that Bethesda's got some very big plans afoot.

Some have already begun wondering if the next one in the barrel is a new Elder Scrolls, which would be about right given as Skyrim is on the other side of a lot of calendar pages; some might even say the appropriate number, given that it will be five years this November since our last non-MMO romp through Tamriel. But there's certainly room for more, here, and Bethesda's eager to take a bigger bite out of the market.

While talking to MCV, Pete Hines--Bethesda's top gun in the marketing department--noted that the company's ultimate aim was to release "...three or four big titles a year." Hines elaborated that he didn't want to end up like the company did in 2011, when it released four big titles and then "...went super quiet." No, it wanted to get to the point of "regular releases." Not so much eight to ten a year, of course, but rather one big release a quarter seemed about right by Hines' estimation.

Stop and wrap your head around that for a minute. Bethesda wants to bring out three or four games a year.

Wondering About Fallout 4's Story? Keep Wondering, Says Pete Hines

August 25, 2015

There has been plenty of speculation about "Fallout 4." Leaked video, a host of videos on various topics, the official E3 footage relentlessly picked apart and all manner of points discovered in the meantime. But what is the story? What's going on in this game? According to Bethesda's Pete Hines, that's a point we're not going to know until the  game actually releases.

The leaked video appears to have turned out right, in that it's about 20-odd minutes of Lexington, Massachusetts, getting shot up amid a horde of ghouls and raiders going to their collective reward under the withering fire of various Fallout-style weapons.

Techland May Be Ready for Another Crack at Dead Island 2

August 24, 2015

Back when Dead Island first came out, it was said there was a little--or maybe more than a little--friction between its developer Techland and its publisher Deep Silver. That didn't bode well for the creation of Dead Island 2, which at least partially explains why Deep Silver turned to Yager instead. But with Yager filing for insolvency, that leaves Dead Island 2 somewhat in limbo, a limbo that Techland, reportedly, might like to help fix.

Techland producer Tymon Smektala stepped in, noting that he would " to go back to Dead Island," and would be ready to serve should Deep Silver call. Smektala even charitably referred to the Yager insolvency as "sad news," not only believing that it could well have been Techland on the bad end of that news, but also hating to see progress halted on Dead Island 2 altogether.

Xbox One and Windows PC Starting to Look a Lot Alike

August 19, 2015

Not so long ago, when talking about the Xbox Preview Program and the games contained therein, I expressed the idea that it was starting to look oddly like a roster of PC titles. As it turns out, my original projection wasn't so far off after all, and some are already saying that Xbox One's Phil Spencer is out to take out the distinctions between Xbox One and a Windows 10 gaming PC, a development we're already starting to see.

First we saw "The Long Dark" and "Elite: Dangerous" make the migration, but there were plenty of others to follow, including "Ark: Survival Evolved" and "We Happy Few." But there were others as well afoot, ranging from "Sheltered" to "Day Z," titles that were formerly seen on PC, but looked to make the jump. The title roster wasn't the only place to see this sort of thing, either, and for the last decade, Phil Spencer has been pushing to make the Xbox One and the Windows PC a lot more interchangeable.

Spencer runs Xbox, and has since 2014, but he's been making mention of Windows about as often as he has Xbox, by some reports. Indeed, some even suggest that he's no longer really the head of Xbox so much as he is the head of gaming at Microsoft.

Catch the Leaked Fallout 4 Video Yet?

August 18, 2015

I think anyone who's been looking at the Fallout 4 situation figured it was only going to be a matter of time. The video being shown behind closed doors at Gamescom and, ostensibly, also at QuakeCon, has leaked, and is showing up in the strangest places.

Looking like it was shot on a potato--to use the common Internet parlance--the video first made an appearance on YouTube. It's not only rather poor-quality video, but it's also hidden behind the shoulders of other attendees. But after quick intervention from Bethesda got the video shut down, it made an appearance elsewhere, out at

Naturally, as is commonly the case with video a lot of people care about on YouTube, Bethesda's move to quash it had the half life of molten boron.

No One Cares About the Indie Game? Don't Say That At PAX Prime.

August 17, 2015

With so much going on in the next couple months in terms of gaming--the Paris Games Week expo coming up, a host of releases on tap--it might be easy to overlook one of the newest major forces in gaming, the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime event. Held out in Seattle, the home of the original PAX event, it's going to be a huge exhibition for games of all stripes. But for those who think that the independent game may have lost its luster in the face of all those big, shiny, triple-A releases, you can count that right out: the Indie Megabooth is making its return, and showing off a huge slate of titles.

This is actually the fourth appearance of the Megabooth, and contained therein will be over 70 different titles from independent developers worldwide. Nearly half of the games being shown are actually new to the Megabooth, and some are new period, making public debuts at the show.

YouTube Ready to Make a Move on Twitch?

August 12, 2015

An exciting little leak slipped out just recently, and based on that leak's information, by the time the kids go back to school, Twitch will have some newly-minted competition from no less a force in the market than YouTube itself.

The project is said to be called "YouTube Gaming," and while perhaps the least original name the project could have taken, the idea is still more than sufficiently clever. Not only will the channel feature content from the creative community--the raftload of Let's Play videos and the like--but will also offer up live streaming of e-sports events, as well as game reviews and similar content. Users will be able to browse a list of trending games, and there will even be a chat window said to be a parallel for Twitch's now infamous chat system.

Reports suggest that things could be changing from here, and Android users are reportedly currently able to give the system a test drive. So what's known of it so far may not reflect the final product.

This is actually pretty exciting news; we're looking at a competitor to Twitch, which is about the largest name in the game right now when it comes to e-sports streaming, that has the muscle and market power of YouTube. That could be a very big deal, and destabilize the market as it's known today.

So Who Won Gamescom 2015, Anyway?

August 11, 2015

The ink has dried on another Gamescom event, and with it and E3 now a memory and the year in gaming pretty much laid out before us, I like to turn my thoughts to the inevitable question: who won, anyway? While E3 gave me something of a nebulous winner--there was just too much goodness coming out on all sides to really declare a company the winner--Gamescom, I think, is more specific.

This year it was all about Microsoft.

Microsoft was flooding the show floor with impressive titles, and while it was hardly alone, Sony's seemingly tactical move to push back to the Paris Games Week instead may leave it in a better position at that show, but it may have had to concede Gamescom to win. Microsoft also gets something of an edge in PC gaming, because let's face it, most PCs these days run on Microsoft products. Any Windows game is a Microsoft game of sorts, and an Xbox One game is likewise.

There were some serious titles out there showing some impressive trailers and providing some release dates as well; once September 1 hits, it's going to be an absolute avalanche of top-flight titles hitting the grid, with only a couple weeks between each.

20 Million Players, Two Billion Hours: Destiny

August 10, 2015

Activision's quarterly investor call offered up one major surprise: word about the performance of one of its newest titles, "Destiny". The word, meanwhile, seems to be "popular", and that's a point backed up with the newest numbers.

The word from the investor call says that, so far, the game has fully 20 million players, who have put in a cumulative average of two billion hours of gameplay. That, no matter how you slice it, is a huge number, and one that proves that Destiny's easily one of the biggest games around. Gamers have logged an average of 100 hours of play per person.

What's more, the game won't be just resting on its laurels, either.

Gamescom 2015: Microsoft's New Xbox Preview Program Titles

August 5, 2015

I have to admit, I wasn't expecting hearing anything about the Xbox Preview Program out of Gamescom, but the program bringing early-stage release titles to users is making a bit of headway, adding two new titles set to come out in the next few months.

The first of these is coming this winter--which means it might end up seguing into 2016--and is the survival experience par excellence "Ark: Survival Evolved." Meanwhile, sometime this holiday season--which pretty much means before 2016 hits--will be the Kickstarter-funded "We Happy Few," a game described as "a game of paranoia and survival."

I've seen enough Let's Play videos of "Ark: Survival Evolved" to be excited about this one. It looks like nothing so much as a 3D "Minecraft" with a load of weapons--even some guns--and the ability make stuff, roam the world, and tame dinosaurs.

"We Happy Few," meanwhile, I'd never even heard of before this announcement. That was a surprise for me, and the trailer that came out was even more so.

Gamescom 2015: It's a Bigger Event Than You Think

August 4, 2015

Gamescom isn't exactly a big name for a lot of people; it's certainly no E3, and it's even not quite a match for the Penny Arcade Expo. But this German game trade show is regarded as one of the biggest events of the year, and with good reason.

No matter what your gaming system of choice is--whether you take a side in the console wars, believe Nintendo still has a chance to take it all, or count yourself as part of the Glorious PC Master Race--you've got a lot to look forward to. In fact, one recent listing found out at IGN suggests fully 65 games making some kind of appearance at the show,with quite a few to get playable versions on the show floor.

First, Nintendo's actually going to have a fair crop of games on hand here. "Chibi-Robo!

Twitch Drops its Flash Viewer for HTML5

August 3, 2015

You might have heard recently that Mozilla and Google actually dropped support for Flash from their Firefox and Chrome browsers. This isn't great news for Flash, which had already been taking it on the chin for some time as far back as when Steve Jobs gave it a metaphorical working-over. But Twitch has joined a host of other firms pulling support for Flash and putting that support behind HTML5 instead.

Twitch, owned by Amazon, is rolling out controls with an HTML5 basis on what's described as a gradual basis. Right now, it's mostly focused on the video player's controls, but it's likely to carry on from there.

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