Refunds Offered as Former Sony Online Boss's New Game Canceled

Hero’s Song, the new RPG from Pixelmage Games, has been canceled less than two months after it launched through Steam Early Access. Pixelmage will shut down along with it.

Pixelmage first revealed the game earlier this year as its debut title. The studio was founded by John Smedley, the former head of Daybreak Games/Sony Online Entertainment, and was pitched as an “open-world roguelike fantasy action RPG” that you could play alone or with up to 25 others.

Refunds Offered as Former Sony Online Boss's New Game Canceled

Smedley tweeted about the news today, saying, “It breaks my heart to have to do this,” and linking to the Pixelmage website. It has been replaced with a single page that informs players of the game and the studio’s fate. It also describes how it will handle refunds.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I have to report that Pixelmage Games is going to be shutting down and we have ceased development on Hero’s Song,” the message reads. “For the last year, our team has worked tirelessly to make the game we’ve dreamed about making, and with your support, and the support of our investors, we were able to get the game into Early Access. Unfortunately sales fell short of what we needed to continue development. We knew going in that most startups don’t make it, and as an indie game studio we hoped we would be the exception to that rule, but as it turned out we weren’t.”

Anyone who purchased the game is entitled to a full refund. Those who purchased it through Steam can go through the normal refund process, while Indiegogo buyers can send an email with the necessary information to get their money back. More details on that are outlined here.

“Thank you for all the support you showed us,” the message continues. “We’re sorry things worked out the way they did, but we feel strongly that we gave it our all and we’re proud of how far we came with the game. The fact that we weren’t able to finish the game is painful, but the journey of making Hero’s Song has been a great experience for us and we’re just sorry we couldn’t take it all the way.”

Hero’s Song was originally intended to be funded through Kickstarter, but the campaign was canceled when it got off to a slow start. It raised just under $137,000 in about a week, and all indications were that it would not reach its $800,000 goal. That funding was to be used in addition to $1 million that had already been raised.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/refunds-offered-as-former-sony-online-bosss-new-ga/1100-6446519/

Grab an HTC Vive for $700, $100 Less Than Usual

If you’ve found yourself with money burning a hole in your pocket or a virtual reality-capable PC after Christmas, the HTC Vive is $100 off right now.

Amazon and the official HTC store are offering the headset for $699 as of this writing. Vive deals haven’t been especially common, but it did also drop to this price briefly around Black Friday.

Grab an HTC Vive for $700, $100 Less Than Usual

This comes with the headset itself, two SteamVR wireless controllers, headphones, and two base stations that track your movement and allow for room-scale VR. It also comes with free copies of Zombie Training Simulator and The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed.

At a hair under $700, this brings the Vive closer in price to the Oculus Rift, which costs $600 (without its pricey but very good Oculus Touch controllers). For more on what to expect, check out GameSpot’s Vive review. Bear in mind, you’ll need a fast-enough PC–HTC calls for at least a GTX 1060 or RX 480.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/grab-an-htc-vive-for-700-100-less-than-usual/1100-6446518/

Double Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old School

Although Christmas may be over, the gifts still keep coming. In a trailer reveal today, Arc System Works unveiled both that Double Dragon IV exists and that it’s coming to PS4 and PC on January 30, 2017.

The trailer is less than two minutes long and it contains a long montage showing the original NES game in action, which might lead you to think that this sequel is going to have some kind of graphical reboot along the lines of Double Dragon Neon. And then, at the 1:09 mark, the new gameplay footage starts…and it looks very, very true to the original game. The gameplay and sprites are straight from the NES classics.

Sure to please fans of the originals, especially those riding high on the wave of nostalgia from the hard-to-find NES Classic Edition (which included Double Dragon II), Double Dragon IV will also include a few new extras. In addition to the story mode, the main menu for the game includes 2P Duel, Japanese mode, and an unspecified “???”

Double Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old School
Double Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old SchoolDouble Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old SchoolDouble Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old SchoolDouble Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old SchoolDouble Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old SchoolDouble Dragon 4's Gameplay Looks Unbelievably Old School

According to the game’s official website the title will retail for 800 yen (approximately $8) for the downloadable version of the game. It has received a rating of T from the ESRB and 12 from PEGI.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/double-dragon-4s-gameplay-looks-unbelievably-old-s/1100-6446515/

Play "Snow Brawl" in Heroes of the Storm Right Now

The newest weekly Heroes Brawl event for Heroes of the Storm is now available–and as you’d expect, it has a winter theme. The game mode is called Snow Brawl, and it involves chucking snowballs.

There are two types of snowball items–fluffy snowball and heavy snowball. You can pick them up throughout the map, and you’re able to hold one at a time. As usual, the goal is to destroy the enemy side’s core. You can see the full rundown of Snow Brawl rules below.

Players who complete three matches will earn 1,000 Gold and this rad-looking portrait:

Play "Snow Brawl" in Heroes of the Storm Right Now

Snow Brawl Rules

As written by Blizzard (via DualShockers)

  • Snowballs
    • Pick from one of three randomly selected Heroes before entering the Cursed Hollow. Be quick about it though, you only have 30 seconds to choose!
    • Two types of Snowball items will appear on the ground throughout the match
      • Fluffy Snowball
        • A speedy snowball that hits a single enemy Hero in a line skill-shot while ignoring Minions and Structures
        • Knocks targets back and deals significant damage
      • Heavy Snowball
        • An area-targeted explosion of snow that deals extra damage to non-Heroic targets
        • Adds a 60% slow to all damaged targets that decays over 2 seconds
      • Throw Snowball ability will appear next to your ability bar when you are holding a Snowball (Default Hotkey: F)
      • Heroes can walk over Snowballs to pick them up and can only hold one Snowball at a time
  • Tribute Spawns
    • When the first tribute phase arrives, two tributes will initially spawn together – one five seconds after the other.
    • When a player picks up a tribute, a new one will spawn somewhere else after a 5 second delay, meaning there will generally be two tributes alive.
    • This type of “rolling” tribute spawning continues until either team is cursed.
    • Tributes do not spawn during a curse or for 60 seconds after a curse.
    • The event will never spawn enough tributes to allow both teams to get cursed at the same time.
  • Destroy the enemy team’s Core to win the match!

In other news about Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard recently revealed the game’s newest playable hero character.

For more on how other games are celebrating the holidays, check out GameSpot’s roundup.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/play-snow-brawl-in-heroes-of-the-storm-right-now/1100-6446512/

Xbox Exec Clarifies Comments About DLC Exclusivity and More

Xbox executive Phil Spencer has spoken out to clarify some comments he made earlier about how the video game industry can grow in the future.

In 2015, Spencer said he wanted that year’s E3 show to focus more on Microsoft’s own franchises and expanding them. Asked on Twitter recently if this is still Microsoft’s directive, Spencer said it is. He cited things like EA Access, Fallout mods, the Game Preview program, and cross-play between Xbox One and PC that are things that “move gaming forward,” and in some cases are only available on Xbox.

“Our [first-party] IP should do the same,” Spencer said, referencing efforts that push gaming forward.

He went on to say the continued support for Halo 5, particularly its Forge mode, is an example of Microsoft continuing to invest in and grow its own franchises.

As for what Spencer doesn’t want to do, he said, “Paying marketing funds so another console’s base can’t play a piece of content doesn’t feel like growth.”

This might sound like a dig at Sony’s timed-exclusivity deal with Activision for Call of Duty and Destiny DLC, but Spencer doesn’t see it that way. “People getting worked up on this,” he said when someone suggested he was being hypocritical. “Never said Xbox has never done this, not calling out others, just not practice I like, that’s it.”

Microsoft has its own co-marketing deals, too, one of which is with Ubisoft for The Division DLC.

What do you make of Spence’s comments? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xbox-exec-clarifies-comments-about-dlc-exclusivity/1100-6446511/

Star Citizen Switches Game Engines

Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games announced today that the studio is using Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine for Star Citizen and the single-player game Squadron 42. As reported by Polygon, Cloud Imperium began development using Crytek’s CryEngine.

“We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” creative director Chris Roberts said in a statement. “Lumberyard provides ground breaking technology features for online games, including deep back-end cloud integration on AWS and its social component with Twitch that enables us to easily and instantly connect to millions of global gamers.

“Because we share a common technical vision, it has been a very smooth and easy transition to Lumberyard. In fact, we are excited to announce that our upcoming 2.6 Alpha release for Star Citizen is running on Lumberyard and AWS.”

Star Citizen Switches Game Engines

Amazon Games head of business Dan Winters added: “Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are incredibly ambitious projects which are only possible with great engine technology paired with the transformative power of the cloud.”

This news comes just days after Crytek announced it was closing five studios around the world amid financial difficulties. According to a spokesperson for Cloud Imperium Games, the Crytek news does not impact Star Citizen at all. “We are totally not dependent on them for anything at this point,” communications director David Swofford told Polygon.

Star Citizen was announced in October 2012. The crowdfunded project has since raised more than $139 million, making it the most successful crowdfunded project of any kind in history.

The game’s single-player campaign mode, Squadron 42, was recently delayed out of 2016, while the game’s FPS mode, Star Marine, is now playable in beta form. The full game, meanwhile, remains unreleased almost four years after its crowdfunding campaign first began.

This story has been updated.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/star-citizen-switches-game-engines/1100-6446503/

Star Citizen Switches Game Engines After Years of Development

Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games announced today that the studio is using Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine for Star Citizen and the single-player game Squadron 42. As reported by Polygon, Cloud Imperium began development using Crytek’s CryEngine.

“We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” creative director Chris Roberts said in a statement. “Lumberyard provides ground breaking technology features for online games, including deep back-end cloud integration on AWS and its social component with Twitch that enables us to easily and instantly connect to millions of global gamers.

“Because we share a common technical vision, it has been a very smooth and easy transition to Lumberyard. In fact, we are excited to announce that our upcoming 2.6 Alpha release for Star Citizen is running on Lumberyard and AWS.”

Star Citizen Switches Game Engines After Years of Development

Amazon Games head of business Dan Winters added: “Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are incredibly ambitious projects which are only possible with great engine technology paired with the transformative power of the cloud.”

This news comes just days after Crytek announced it was closing five studios around the world amid financial difficulties. According to a spokesperson for Cloud Imperium Games, the Crytek news does not impact Star Citizen at all. “We are totally not dependent on them for anything at this point,” communications director David Swofford told Polygon.

Star Citizen was announced in October 2012. The crowdfunded project has since raised more than $139 million, making it the most successful crowdfunded project of any kind in history.

The game’s single-player campaign mode, Squadron 42, was recently delayed out of 2016, while the game’s FPS mode, Star Marine, is now playable in beta form. The full game, meanwhile, remains unreleased almost four years after its crowdfunding campaign first began.

This story has been updated.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/star-citizen-switches-game-engines-after-years-of-/1100-6446503/

Final Fantasy 14's Stormblood Expansion Release Date Announced

Final Fantasy XIV‘s next expansion, Stormblood, will launch on June 20, 2017, Square Enix has announced. The date was confirmed during the game’s Fan Fest event this weekend.

As announced previously, Stormblood takes place in the location of Ala Mhigo and will have players face off against a bad guy by the name of Zenos.

It also adds new areas, and you can expect there to be a “full standalone game’s worth of content.” A fourth residential area is also being added, while there will be new Primals, dungeons, and high-end raids, too.

Read GameSpot’s previous coverage to learn more about Stormblood. You can also watch a teaser for the expansion in the video embed above.

Final Fantasy 14's Stormblood Expansion Release Date Announced

When Square Enix announced Stormblood in October, it scheduled it to launch in early summer 2017, so the June date aligns with that.

Stormblood is a follow-up to a previous expansion called Heavensward; read GameSpot’s review of that expansion here.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/final-fantasy-14s-stormblood-expansion-release-dat/1100-6446506/

Star Citizen Switches Game Engines Four Years Into Development

Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games announced today that the studio is using Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine for Star Citizen and the single-player game Squadron 43. As reported by Polygon, Cloud Imperium began development using Crytek’s CryEngine.

“We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” creative director Chris Roberts said in a statement. “Lumberyard provides ground breaking technology features for online games, including deep back-end cloud integration on AWS and its social component with Twitch that enables us to easily and instantly connect to millions of global gamers.

“Because we share a common technical vision, it has been a very smooth and easy transition to Lumberyard. In fact, we are excited to announce that our upcoming 2.6 Alpha release for Star Citizen is running on Lumberyard and AWS.”

Star Citizen Switches Game Engines Four Years Into Development

Amazon Games head of business Dan Winters added: “Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are incredibly ambitious projects which are only possible with great engine technology paired with the transformative power of the cloud.”

This news comes just days after Crytek announced it was closing five studios around the world amid financial difficulties. According to a spokesperson for Cloud Imperium Games, the Crytek news does not impact Star Citizen at all. “We are totally not dependent on them for anything at this point,” communications director David Swofford told Polygon.

Star Citizen was announced in October 2012. The crowdfunded project has since raised more than $139 million, making it the most successful crowdfunded project of any kind in history.

The game’s single-player campaign mode, Squadron 42, was recently delayed out of 2016, while the game’s FPS mode, Star Marine, is now playable in beta form. The full game, meanwhile, remains unreleased almost four years after its crowdfunding campaign first began.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/star-citizen-switches-game-engines-four-years-into/1100-6446503/

GTA 5: New Mode Out Now, Snow Begins to Fall, More Xmas DLC Announced

GTA Online’s holiday event kicks off in full today, as a rare weather event–snow–begins to fall in the world now through Monday to celebrate the holidays, Rockstar Games announced on its blog.

A new Adversary mode has also been released. Titled Juggernaut, this is an “all-out brawl for dominance,” with two players suiting up with heavy armor and a chaingun to become a behemoth.

“In this brutal war between two opposing teams, the Juggernaut is your greatest asset and your only liability,” reads a line from its description.” As an Attacker, you’ll need to flank, swarm and successfully execute the opposing team’s heavily-reinforced Juggernaut–while protecting your own–to take the win. If your team is unable to wipe out the opposition’s Juggernaut in time, Sudden Death rules go into effect and everyone becomes a Juggernaut. First kill wins though, so you’ll want to be aggressive in trying to take first blood.

You can earn doubled GTA$ and RP in the mode now through January 1.

GTA 5: New Mode Out Now, Snow Begins to Fall, More Xmas DLC Announced

More holiday-themed content has now arrived as well in the form of a custom version of the Pfister Comet that’s been morphed into a “gritty urban dragster suitable for the rough-riding drifters of Los Santos.” You can find the vehicle at Benny’s Original Motor Works.

As mentioned, snow is now falling in Los Santos and Blaine County, continuing through December 26. Also, snowball fights are back. You can press left on the D-pad to collect up to nine snowballs

Additionally, Rockstar announced some holiday presents for GTA Online. Everyone who logs in on Christmas Day (December 25) will receive a unicorn mask (see it below) and some pajamas, either the White Graphic or Blue Check items. Players also receive the following ammunition for loggin in:

  • Fireworks Launcher plus 10 Fireworks rockets
  • Carbine Rifle plus 200 rounds of Ammo
  • Marksman Rifle plus 200 rounds of Ammo
  • Basic Knuckle Dusters
  • 25 Sticky Bombs
  • 25 Grenades
  • 5 Proximity Mines
  • 5 Molotovs
  • Full Snacks
  • Full Armor
GTA 5: New Mode Out Now, Snow Begins to Fall, More Xmas DLC Announced

You don’t have to wait until Christmas to get a gift in GTA Online, however, as Rockstar said people who log in December 23, 24, or 26 will get the Fireworks Launcher and 10 rockets, as well as a t-shirt.

Lastly, Rockstar announced a bonus for select criminal activities; on December 24 and 25 only, you can earn 50% more from the list below:

  • 50% more GTA$ on all Vehicle Exports
  • 50% more GTA$ on all Biker Business Sales
  • 50% more GTA$ on all Special Cargo Deliveries

For more on how other games are celebrating the holidays, check out GameSpot’s roundup.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/gta-5-new-mode-out-now-snow-begins-to-fall-more-xm/1100-6446496/