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    The infamously clumsy xenomorphs in Aliens: Colonial Marines may have been caused by a coding typo.

    News Ryan Lambie
    Jul 16, 2018

    When Aliens: Colonial Marines came out in 2013 after a hideously long production, it generally provoked shudders of laughter rather than fear. Intended as a direct sequel to James Cameron's classic Aliens, Colonial Marinesat least looked the part in still photographs - but as critics and players quickly noted, the shooting action was full of glitches and bugs.

    Memes and gifs featuring the xenomorphs' less-than-threatening behavior quickly circulated, and Colonial Marines was left to shuffle off awkwardly into the mists of history.

    More recently, however, there have been attempts to overhaul Colonial Marines, with modders improving its character movements and refining its graphics. In 2016, for example, we covered the work of TemplarGFX, who was working on an extensive mod that fixed the game's particle effects, lighting, and AI. 

    Taking up the baton, another Moddb user, JamesDickinson963, started combing through the original code that shipped with the game five years ago. In one config file, he found the following: 

    ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather

    As you can see, the second line has a spelling error in it: "Teather" should be spelled "Tether" as in the line above. 

    Intrigued, Dickinson963 fixed the typo and fired up the game to see whether it had any effect. One lonely typo couldn't derail an entire game - could it?

    As it turns out, the answer's yes: according to him, the AttachPawnToTether bit of the code is pretty key to how the xenomorphs behave: when it's spelled correctly, they'll hunt and attack the player more aggressively. In the original game, they were more prone to walking in circles, bumping into things, or running away from players completely.

    This discovery was made several months ago, but wasn't brought to wider attention until it was spotted by a user on Resetera. Since then, PC Gamer has gone back to its Windows edition of Colonial Marines to run its own tests.

    Sure enough, the "Teather" typo's in there, and fixing it really does appear to make the aliens more smart and aggressive. So there we have it: Colonial Marines may have been a disappointment when it came out, but as many of us suspected, there was a far better game in there somewhere, struggling to emerge.

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    This deep Fallout 4 mod forces you to navigate the frozen wasteland.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 16, 2018

    The most ambitious Fallout 4 mod yet will allow you to explore a frozen corner of the apocalypse. Here's a new preview video for Northern Springs:

    Created by Jshrapnelc, and available now on Nexus Mods, Northern Springs adds a new area to Fallout 4 that described as being larger than the areas added by Fallout 4's Far Harbor and Nuka World DLC releases. You can't access the new area until you've accepted a quest in the game's Commonwealth area, but once you're there, you can expect to encounter a variety of new content. 

    Said content includes more than 50 new map marker locations to discover, new weapons and armor, four new followers, and a variety of full quest lines and mini-missions to complete as part of the mod's story. If you happened to enjoy the settlement building from Fallout 4, you'll be happy to know that you can build settlements in this mode across three different locations. You can also just choose to complete one of four jobs (Cage Fighter, Deathclaw Hunter, Book Collector, or Bounty Hunter) if you're looking to earn some extra caps. 

    Just be warned that this mod is only intended for veteran players. In fact, the mod's creator doesn't really recommend that you attempt to play it until you've reached level 40 in the base game. It seems that Northern Springs plays host to some vicious new creatures as well as amplified takes on previous enemies. 

    The mod's creator notes that it took over two years to make this mod, which really isn't a surprise when you consider the scope of the new world as well as the fact that it features an original soundtrack and full voice acting. To be honest, it's the kind of add-on that many Fallout 4 fans were hoping to see Bethesda add to the game after its release. With the possible exception of Far Harbor, though, Bethesda opted for more specialized pieces of DLC content. 

    Just be warned that this mod is in beta. In other words, you might encounter an unusual number of bugs (even in terms of Fallout games). The mod's creator has also promised to fix issues with the game, as well as add new content, in the coming weeks and months. 

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    The ultimate case of Uncharted dream casting has been fulfilled in this short film

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 16, 2018

    If you've ever doubted that Nathan Fillion was born to play Nathan Drake, then just take a look at this short film that Fillion starred in that sees him play the legendary Uncharted protagonist. 

    First off... we have to thank Allan Ungar for putting this film together. It's not every day that a bonafide piece of dream casting comes to life in such a professional-looking manner. Indeed, this Uncharted short film is remarkably well-produced and creatively fully-realized for a project that is pretty far removed from the studio system. 

    However, the real star of this show is Nathan Fillion. Many have long speculated that Fillion would be the perfect person to play one of gaming's greatest adventurers. One member of the said many includes Fillion himself who once started a grassroots online campaign intended to alert studios to the fact that he was born to play this part. Some have even speculated that Drake might have been partially based on some of Fillion's performances (most notably in Firefly/Serenity). 

    While we completely understand why Tom Holland was chosen to play a young drake in the "official" upcoming Uncharted film, Fillion's performance in this short really tells you all you need to know about why so many Uncharted fans have been championing him for so long. Fillion's quips, build, and general mannerisms represent everything that makes the Drake character so much fun. Remarkably, though, his performance feels genuine even though he is playing an intentionally over-the-top character. 

    All that being said, we'd be perfectly happy to see Fillion and Ungar team-up again to turn this short film into a full-length feature. Granted, a snapshot isn't a motion picture, but there's enough promise in this preview to suggest that the two could pull of some real movie magic if given the opportunity to do so. 

    Will that ever happen? It certainly wouldn't be the first time that a director of an "online video" has gone on to work on a bigger project using the same subject matter, but the question is whether or not there will ever be another Uncharted movie featuring an older Nathan Drake. If so, then it's blindingly obvious who should play Drake. 

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    Yet another attempt to remake PT has been shut down by Konami.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 16, 2018

    Konami has shut down a 17-year-old fan's attempt to remake the classic horror experiment, P.T. 

    A young developer named Qimsar has been trying to remake P.T. in the Unreal Engine as his first development project. In a Reddit post made in January, he noted that "Many others have begun trying to make their own ports, but as far as I can tell, I'm the only person who is still working on it, and I'm the only one who will finish."

    While Qimsar has made some amazing progress on the game since then (he even released a playable early build of the concept just a few days ago) his progress and enthusiasm hit a major wall when Qimsar received a message from a Konami representative who informed him that the project was going to have to be taken down. 

    "He essentially told me that he was very sorry for being the bearer of bad news, but I would have to take down my remake," said Qimsar in a blog post. "I was told that he and many other people at Konami saw and really liked my remake, but legit due to legal issues that were out of his or anybody else's control really, he had to ask me to take down my remake."

    Qimsar seemingly holds no ill-will towards Konami over their decision to remove the project (he even talked about maybe participating in an internship at the studio), but he does state that he may still finish the project privately "just to show it to my dad to make him extra proud."

    For those who are unfamiliar with P.T., we recommend you check out our retrospective of the horror phenomenon. However, the short story is that Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro collaborated on P.T. and released it as a barely-announced demo on the PlayStation Store. As word of the game's incredible frights began to spread, players also discovered that the demo was meant as a preview to a Silent Hillsgame that Kojima was reportedly working on at the time. Konami removed the demo around the time that Kojima departed the studio. 

    However, information such as this story suggests that the legal rights for P.T. are more complicated than Konami just letting it exist. What complications may exist that prevent them from doing so have been a source of great debate. 

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    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta dates have been announced! Here's when you get your hands on the multiplayer and Blackout battle royale mode.

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 16, 2018

    Activision has confirmed that the next Call of Duty game will be Black Ops 4. The publisher has promised to reveal more information about the game on May 17 during a live stream event. What we do know is that veteran CoD studio Treyarch is developing the game.

    Some reports suggest that Treyarch is even working on a Switch version of Black Ops 4. Whether or not that version of the game will launch alongside the other versions of Black Ops 4 has not been confirmed at this time. There are also reports that Black Ops 4 might be available via 

    It makes sense that the next Call of Duty title would be Black Ops 4 considering the previous release schedule of recent Call of Duty games. Recently, Black Ops games have arrived on a three-year release schedule and it has been three years since the last Black Ops title. Furthermore, the Black Ops games have historically sold quite well in comparison to even the "main" games in the Call of Duty franchise.

    What is somewhat surprising is the rumored notion that Black Ops 4's setting may be impacted by the negative reception to recent Call of Duty titles. Historically, the Black Ops games have kind of marched to their own beat. As such, it's admittedly odd to consider that the next installment in the franchise may adopt a more crowd-pleasing setting and tone. Of course, we have no doubt that some of the trademark weirdness of Black Ops series will live on regardless of the era this game happens to take place in. 

    Here's what else we know about the game:

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Beta

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is on the way, but before the full game arrives in October, Treyarch is going to host a few beta sessions to test out the PvP multiplayer as well as the new battle royale mode, Blackout. Here are the dates:

    If you pre-order the PS4 version of the game, you'll be able to jump into the PvP multiplayer beta on Aug. 3 at 1 pm ET. This is a timed PS4 exclusive beta. Xbox One and PC owners can play the beta on Aug. 10 at 1 pm ET. Six maps will be playable in Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, and Control modes.

    The Blackout beta will take place sometime in September. This beta will be available to those who pre-ordered the PS4 version of the game first. 

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Trailer

    The first multiplayer trailer has arrived and it showcases all the explosive online combat action you should expect in this new installment. Check it out below:

    You can watch the very first teaser trailer below:

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Release Date

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will arrive on Oct. 12, 2018. It's coming to PS4, XBO, and PC.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Campaign

    During the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reveal stream, the developers confirmed that Black Ops 4 will not feature a traditional campaign. However, it will feature extensive zombie mode options - including the ability to play zombie mode with bots - and there were hints that the multiplayer mode's various operatives will be playable in short single-player modes that will allow you to learn their abilities.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Battle Royale

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will feature a battle royale mode called Blackout. You can read much more about this new mode here.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombie Mode

    Black Ops 4's zombie mode is shaping up to be the series' largest and most impressive take on the concept yet. From time travel to custom match options, you can read about all of the mode's features here

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    Its story was billed as a true sequel to James Cameron's Aliens. Five years on, we look at where Aliens: Colonial Marines went awry...

    FeatureRyan Lambie
    Jul 17, 2018

    Back in 2011, there was every reason to look forward to Aliens: Colonial Marines. Sure, it was a licensed game, and games adapted from movies and TV shows were seldom classics, but Colonial Marines promised to be something rather different.

    First, it wasn't some hurriedly-made cash-in on a hot summer blockbuster; Colonial Marines was billed by Sega and 20th Century Fox as a belated sequel to James Cameron's 1986 film, Aliens, and its story would be regarded as official canon by Fox. Second, its development was being handled by Gearbox Software, whose Borderlandsand Brothers In Arms shooters were generally praised by critics.

    Then there was the live presentation of Aliens: Colonial Marines at 2011's E3. Presented by Gearbox head Randy Pitchford himself, his voice trembling with a note of pride, it gave the world its first glimpse of what the studio had in mind for its much-anticipated shooter set in the Alien universe.

    And what a universe it looked like. The sights, sounds and atmosphere all looked authentically like Aliens: the assault weapons wielded by the futuristic soldiers in the title. The setting, the planet LV-426, which looked just like it did in Aliens. Even before the skittering, screeching aliens leapt into view, and the shooting action finally commenced, it was enough to get the goosebumps rising on an Alien fan's skin.

    Pitchford certainly seemed to think he was on to something special.

    "I'm freaking out," Pitchford said gleefully, as the words 20th Century Fox appeared on screen, "because we're making an Aliens game [...] We're gonna become one of those Colonial Marines and go back to LV-426, investigate Hadley's Hope, board the Sulaco... we're really excited about it. We're big Aliens nerds. It's a big, exciting thing that we're really committed to, and proud to be a part of."

    To say that Aliens: Colonial Marines fell short of expectations would be an understatement. When it launched in February 2013, reviews were not only scathing, but also laced with a measure of bafflement. The game certainly looked the part at first, but there were bugs and glitches all over the place; human characters would scream things like, "They're coming outta the ceiling!" even when nothing was happening. The programming of the xenomorphs was even worse; the creatures would frequently run around in circles, get stuck in the scenery, or just run away from the player entirely.

    More strangely still, long sections of the game did away with the aliens completely, and had the player facing off against an army of identical human enemies billed as Weyland Yutani's private army. Other sections felt half-formed or incomplete; the Loader, the yellow lifting suit that Sigourney Weaver so memorably wielded in Aliens' third act, felt unpleasant to use and was abandoned almost as soon as it was introduced.

    As gifs of xenomorphs glitching through walls and comically waving their arms about began to filter around the web, it became increasingly clear that something had gone wrong behind the scenes. Not only did Colonial Marines look unfinished, but it also looked notably worse than the demo (billed as in-game footage) shown off about 18 months earlier. It certainly didn't look and feel like a game developed over the course of almost six years. So what exactly went wrong? 

    Although Sega announced Colonial Marines in late 2006, the ink was still drying on the contract between the publisher and Gearbox Software. Back then, Gearbox was in the process of making Borderlands, which came out in 2009; partly as a result of this early production on Colonial Marines appeared to be quite tentative - in 2012, Pitchford told Gamasutra  that it "began building prototypes" in 2007.

    Indeed, the entire project was almost cancelled before it had even properly begun; when Sega was hit by a financial slump in 2008, it axed a proposed Aliens RPG then in the works at developer Obsidian, and there were rumours that Colonial Marineswould also be cancelled.

    Sega soon refuted those rumours - the game was instead postponed from its original 2009 release but behind the scenes, it appears that something else was happening. According to Kotaku's sources, Gearbox made a major decision in 2009: it outsourced work on Colonial Marines to an external developer, TimeGate. This way, the sources claimed, Gearbox could concentrate on making a sequel to its then-new hit, Borderlands.

    TimeGate had form in the first-person shooter genre, having worked on expansions for the F.E.A.R. franchise and striking out with its own, original FPS, Section 8, in 2009. Gearbox had, it seemed, developed assets for Colonial Marines by the time TimeGate got to work on it in late 2010 or early 2011; there was clearly a commitment to making the game design match the 1986 movie, since Gearbox had hired futurist designer Syd Mead to help develop additional set designs for the game. 

    When TimeGate started working on what was then codenamed Pecan, however, it seems that Gearbox hadn't expended a great deal of time on the engine itself. This was somewhat worrying, given that Gearbox had announced a release date of spring 2012. TimeGate had approximately one year to get the shooter into a playable state.

    So while TimeGate worked on the single-player campaign, Bearbox was working on the multiplayer element, while another external studio, Demiurge, was given the task of working on both DLC and a port for the then-popular Nintendo Wii (the Wii edition would later be axed). According to more than one outlet with inside knowledge of the situation, though, the production of Colonial Marines remained rocky - Pitchford later admitted, in an interview with IGN, that making the Aliens game was "a slog." 

    According to Kotaku's sources, the script was still being written and rewritten even as levels were being coded and designed. As a result, a number of missions were planned out, constructed and then promptly scrapped - including an escort mission with a scientist who turns out to be a mole working for Weyland Yutani.

    On Reddit, a poster claiming to have worked on Colonial Marines during this period backed up this story. Writing in 2013, the anonymous poster described a game in a "pretty horrid state." 

    "[The] campaign didn't make much sense, the boss fights weren't implemented, PS3 was way over memory [...] campaign maps were completely redesigned from scratch."

    To add to the pressure, the relations between Sega and Gearbox appeared to be fraying. Sega had become frustrated by the game's repeated delays, and were also making changes to the story  - including the addition of a female Colonial Marine character akin to Vasquez from Aliens. (Sega reportedly also insisted on adding the armies of white-clad human soldiers.) 

    With a further delay pushing Colonial Marines' release from the spring of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, the game's makers were beginning to run out of time. Gearbox reportedly took Colonial Marines back in-house in 2012, and while it wasn't happy with what had been made up to that point, it was committed to getting the game completed by the following year.

    As one Kotaku source put it, "The game feels like it was made in nine months and that's because it was."

    Gearbox then reportedly doing the best it could to get Colonial Marines up to scratch.

    "Considering that Sega was pretty close to taking legal action against [Gearbox], asking for an extension wasn't an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping," the Reddit poster continued. "Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in an incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn't cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn't because GBX didn't care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn't risk changing anything that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get." 

    Evidence of Colonial Marines' rushed path to release can still be found in its code. As was verified in July 2018, a single typo in the xenomorphs' coding was at least partly responsible for some of their glitchy, comical movements. In this line of code, the word "Tether" is misspelled:

    ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather

    Correcting the spelling mistake results in a marked improvement in the aliens' movements. It's a lasting sign of how fraught those final months before release might have been.

    As for the way Colonial Marines looked - well, the E3 demo was created to run on a top-end PC. And with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 unable to display the same fire and particle effects with the fidelity of a cutting-edge gaming PC, it was inevitable that the console editions had to receive something of a visual downgrade. All the same, the glaring disparity between all versions and the demo was pretty marked, and was, it seems, another symptom of a project in crisis - there simply wasn't time to refine everything before launch. 

    When Colonial Marines appeared in 2013, the game quickly became infamous. Stories of the game's development soon emerged, though Pickford resolutely stuck by what his studio had handed over. According to Pickford, TimeGate had worked on "probably about 20 or 25 percent of the total time", but at least admitted that "if you take [Gearbox's] preproduction out of it, their effort's probably equivalent to ours."

    Whatever the percentages were, the fact remained that Colonial Marines' launch was an ugly one. Aggregate scores were low (Pickford maintains that it's still a "seven out of 10"). An ultimately fruitless class action lawsuit was filed against Sega and Gearbox for false advertising, claiming that the demos shown off by the two companies didn't match up to the finished game.

    Worse still, the fractious relationship between Sega and Gearbox burst out into public view. In response to that lawsuit, Gearbox claimed that it had just served as a contractor, and hadn't been involved in Colonial Marines' marketing; Sega fired back that it was a joint effort, and that Pitchford had a tendency to reveal things he wasn't supposed to; a thread of emails, made public as part of the legal case, repeatedly talk about "persistent panel leaking" and information coming out when Sega wasn't expecting it to, from the involvement of actor Michael Biehn to the game's budget (circa $40 million). 

    Not long after Colonial Marines' launch, TimeGate sadly closed down. For his part, Pitchford claimed in 2015 that he lost "somewhere between $10-15 million" on Colonial Marines, though he still maintains that the game is nowhere near as bad as critics said it was. When Eurogamer asked whether Gearbox might apologize for Colonial Marines, as 343 Studios had with Halo 5 and Master Chief's absence, Pickford's response was unequivocal.

    "Apologize for what?" Pickford said. "Earlier in the conversation I said I'm sorry if you didn't like it. I want you to like it, and I failed if you didn't."

    For all the anger and recrimination buzzing around Aliens: Colonial Marines, there remains the underlying sense of a missed opportunity. The game may have been bug-ridden and messy, but there were slivers of something better struggling to emerge;  the background designs, music and sound effects all looked and sounded the part. Colonial Marines, for all its faults, clearly isn't just another terrible game.

    Had Colonial Marines been handled differently, it's just possible that the game could have emerged not as a jerky disappointment, but as the love-letter to Cameron's classic film that fans were roundly hoping for.

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    Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 will not return to Destiny 2.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 17, 2018

    In case it was heartbreaking enough that Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 is going to die in Destiny 2's Forsaken DLC, it seems that Fillion will not reprise his role for the character's final appearance. 

    Fillion informed Kotaku that he was unavailable to voice the character at the time that Bungie needed to record Cayde-6's final lines. Instead, Cayde-6 will be voiced by Nolan North (who also voices Destiny's Ghost). Ironically, the world just saw a short film featuring Fillion as Nathan Drake; a character voiced by Nolan North in the Uncharted games. 

    "Unfortunately these things don't work out and it's a little bit heartbreaking but if it has to go to someone else, then thank god it goes to someone I absolutely love and the fans love," said Fillion. "The character was in good hands."

    Fillion also revealed that he was surprised Cayde-6 really is going to die in the next expansion. This makes him one of many Destiny 2 fans who hoped that Cayde-6's seeming demise in the Forsaken DLC trailer was but a flesh wound. Unfortunately, that's not the case. 

    "He's dead. His ghost is dead," said Bungie Principal Producer Scott Taylor (and confirmed heartless being) in an interview with GamesRadar. "We wanted to establish the tone of the game and show that we're serious about it. We also want people to process it. You'll play a mission with him, and you're not really sure when this is going to happen, or how, so the emotional experience of that would be very different if you just turned on the game, you saw it and it was all just a shock. It's actually a little more rich and interesting if you have time to sit with it and reflect."

    Prior to Taylor's statements, many Destiny 2 players felt that there was a good chance Cade-6's death was simply a marketing ploy. After all, the Nathan Fillion-voiced characters is one of the most beloved members of the Destiny universe. In fact, he offered a great deal of humor, personality, and character at a time when Destiny was largely devoid of such things. 

    Of course, that's precisely the reason that Bungie decided to kill him off. They feel that they needed players to truly hate the lead villains in the upcoming Forsaken DLC and that the best way to accomplish that would be to have said villains brutally murder one of Destiny's most beloved characters. It's a lot like how nobody really hated Game of Thrones' Ramsay Bolton until he killed the most beloved member of the Stark family, Rickon Stark. 

    "We built out from those early ideas about loss and revenge and a western atmosphere, lawless frontier and this horrible thing happening," said Taylor to Eurogamer. "It was always Cayde and it was always that idea."

    Bungie has also stated that they have plans for what to do about Cayde 6's missions now that he is dead, but they are not ready to reveal the details of those plans at this time. 

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    No Man's Sky is getting a bit of a revamp, thanks to the upcoming NEXT update. Here's your first look...

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Jul 17, 2018

    No Man's Sky is coming to Xbox One alongside a massive update to the base game itself. The update, called No Man's Sky Next, is being referred to as the biggest addition of features to the game yet. It arrives on July 24.

    Check out the trailer for the update:

    According to No Man's Skycreator Sean Murray, the team decided to call this update Next because "it’s an important next step on a longer journey for us and the community." He goes on to say that the team has been "working their socks off" on this update and that it will be free to No Man's Sky owners. 

    The Next update introduces online multiplayer to the game. Players will be able to explore the galaxy and go on quests together, as well as build bases (you can build them anywhere you want and have multiple bases across the galaxy) and much more. A new third-person perspective is also being added to the game. Best of all, you can interact with random players during your travels -- and even fight them. 

    The Xbox One version of the game will feature HDR and 4K support as well as every major content update released for the game thus far (which includes the Foundation, Pathfinder, and Atlas Rises updates). 

    “We’ve learned a lot over the last few years, faster than we would have liked!" said Murray. "I’d love to avoid talking completely and just make things people can play, but we knew this was going to leak anyway, and I think it’s news that should make a lot of folks happy."

    That statement - as well as some statements in the official press release - seem to be the team's way of referencing the controversial launch of No Man's Sky. As you might remember, the game was blasted by many for its overall lack of content and for not living up to some of the ambitious promises that preceded its highly-anticipated release. There was a time when the game looked to be dead and buried. 

    However, a series of regular updates to the game have brought No Man's Sky closer to becoming the experience that it probably should have been at the start. We're eager to see whether or not this next update will bring the game even closer to being a title worth coming back to even if it burned you initially. 

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    Jordan Vogt-Roberts is sharing a variety of artwork in celebration of Metal Gear's 31st anniversary.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of the planned Metal Gear film adaptation, is taking to Twitter to share 31 never-before-seen pieces of Metal Gear art in celebration of the franchise's 31st anniversary. 

    There are no "rules" to this art, which means that it seems to be a mix of official artwork and pieces that modern artists have contributed in celebration of the series. For instance, Eddie Del Rio (who helped with some of the design of Kong: Skull Island) did a wonderful piece showcasing Cyborg Ninja squaring off against the Gekkos. Art Director Ben Mauro did a wonderful piece showing a kind of mythical/horror side of the Metal Gear Solid franchise that has previously existed somewhere on the edges of the series. 

    One of the most fetching pieces, though, comes from Jakub Rozalski whose famous "sci-fi rural" art style inspired the all-time great board game, Scythe. Rozalski imagines what might happen if Metal Gear were to wander into a paddy field.

    So far, none of the art that Vogt-Roberts has shared is directly tied to his planned adaptation of the franchise. What it shows, though, is both the director's love for the series and just how many artists and creators have been inspired by Hideo Kojima's legendary stealth series. You'll have to keep an eye on his feed if you want to see the rest of the images (as well as some that fans are sharing with his account). 

    As for the Metal Gear Solid film, the latest updates suggest that the movie's script is finished (or at least finished for the time being). It seems that the story exists sometime after the events of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (the first two games in the series) which means it would be closer to Metal Gear Solid in terms of the timeline. 

    Can Vogt-Roberts perform the seemingly impossible task doing justice strangest, boldest, and most beloved video game franchises of all-time via a film adaptation? He's certainly got the passion needed to make it happen, but we'll have to wait and see whether that's enough. 

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    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is now free of those annoying in-game purchases.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is dropping all microtransactions. 

    This significant alteration comes in the form of a patch that will remove the game's War Chests (loot boxes) from the digital store. While you can still earn chests, you will only be able to do so through Online Conquests and Online Vendettas. Why is developer Monolith making these major changes to the game's online marketplace? The answer is pretty simple. 

    "The core promise of the Nemesis System is the ability to build relationships with your personal allies and enemies in a dynamic open world," said developer Monolith. "While purchasing orcs in the Market is more immediate and provides additional player options, we have come to realise that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game, the Nemesis System."

    In other words, the wave of complaints regarding the game's aggressive microtransaction system and the way that it cheapened the heart of the game seems to have broke on Monolith's offices. While the game's loot boxes weren't quite as egregious as those featured in the infamous Star Wars Battlefront II(which also had its microtransactions altered), many felt that Shadow of War's loot box system was the weakest part of an otherwise impressive game. 

    Fans will also be happy to know that this patch does more than takeaway in-game transactions. For instance, the end-game has been significantly altered and renamed "Epilogue." Along with new narration sequences from various characters, the Epilogue will now allow you to earn the Masks of the Nazgul and unlock a series of new abilities. You'll also be able to continue to build your army after the "conclusion" of the game's narrative. 

    You can read everything that this patch includes by checking out the game's Steam page, but the long and short of it is that Monolith has made Shadow of War a significantly better game with a single free update. 

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    A manipulated Star Citizen fan is trying to do everything he can to get his money back.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    A Star Citizen backer attempted to sue developer Roberts Space Industries in order to recoup the $4,500 he pledged towards the game. 

    Ken Lord has been a Star Citizen supporter ever since the game's Kickstarter campaign launched in 2012. He is reportedly a fan of Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander games and believed that Star Citizen could have been an evolution of that concept. Perhaps that helps to explain why he continued to donate thousands of dollars to the game as its development "progressed."

    You may be thinking that Lord eventually became disillusioned with the game as Star Citizen's development dragged on without many substantial updates. That's partially true, but Lord has a very specific complaint about the development of Star Citizen that drastically impacted his ability to enjoy even the brief gameplay demos the developers have released thus far. See, Lord suffers from multiple sclerosis and tremors. So, when the Star Citizen team decided to remove co-op and add first-person shooter gameplay, Lord found himself unable to properly enjoy the new direction due to his condition. 

    Lord's frustration finally reached the point when he decided to just ask for his money back. The problem is that RSI changed their terms of service to say that no refunds would be issued to anyone requesting a refund more than 14 days after they sent the money. RSI claims that the terms of service are not retroactive, but since many of Lord's 61 (!) contributions were made after the new terms of service were in effect, they do apply. 

    Still, Lord did try to ask for a refund via the usual means (customer service, community forums, etc.). When that failed, he turned to the court. Unfortunately for him, the West District Santa Monica courthouse dismissed his case. 

    The saddest part of this story, as Lord tells Kotaku, is that he received an e-mail from Chris Roberts as one of the benefits for his pledges. In that e-mail, Lord told Roberts of his condition and how he "wasn’t ever going to be much of a fighter pilot." Roberts supposedly assured him that everyone would have a place in Star Citizen

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    The Xbox team is teasing the reveal of some new technology at the upcoming show.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    Microsoft is ready to show-off some new Xbox hardware at Gamescom 2018. 

    This news comes from a Major Nelson blog post that hints at what the Xbox team has in store for those attending Gamescom. Tucked amongst the announcement is the promise of "all-new Xbox hardware and accessories."

    What that means is anyone's guess, but we feel confident speculating that this announcement has nothing to do with the next Xbox. You probably shouldn't expect to see that until E3 2019. Whether or not Microsoft may hint at what they have in mind for the future at Gamescom is another matter entirely. 

    However, so far as what will actually be on display at Gamescom, the popular theory at the moment is that the biggest reveal will be the introduction of the next Xbox Elite controller. Earlier this year, some websites got there hands on what seemed to be leaked photos of the next Xbox Elite controller. If those photos and accompanying reports are to be believed, then the next Xbox Elite controller will feature Bluetooth support, USB-C charging, a longer key travel, and more. 

    Beyond that, it's tough to say for sure what hardware Microsoft might be showing off. However, we'd be willing to bet it's probably nothing more exciting than some new Xbox brand accessories minor gadgets, and other such retail goodies. It's possible they have something else in store, but considering that the Xbox One is nearing the end of its lifespan, we doubt that they're going to reinvent the wheel at this point. 

    Besides hardware, the Xbox team is also planning on showcasing more information on some upcoming games. We imagine that includes titles like Crackdown 3 and Forza Horizon 4, but here's hoping that we might get some more information on Battletoads or some of the other major Xbox exclusives coming up. 

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    World of Warcraft's monthly fee will now include almost all of the game's content.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    Blizzard has drastically changed World of Warcraft's subscription model

    While the monthly costs of World of Warcraft won't change (it will still set you back $14.99 a month) you will now get significantly more content for your monthly subscription fee. Specifically, you get access to the base World of Warcraft game as well as all of the content associated with every WoW expansion through Legion. In the past, players had to buy each of these expansions on top of paying the monthly fee. Naturally, this means you can no longer buy the game's Battle Chest (which included the base game and all expansions). 

    At present, it doesn't appear that this new model will include content associated with the upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion. That expansion will still retail for full price when it releases on August 14th. There's no word on whether or not Blizzard will eventually roll Battle for Azeroth into this deal or when they may do so. 

    There doesn't seem to be an official word on why Blizzard decided to make this change, but it's not too hard to make some educated guesses. In the modern age of "games as a service," the idea of forcing consumers to pay the retail price for new content releases on top of a monthly fee is kind of a stretch. Many already wondered how Blizzard was able to get away with that model for as long as they did. Given that World of Warcraft isn't exactly as popular as it once was, it seems that the studio is hoping that this new pricing structure will bring some players back into the fold as well as attract new subscribers. 

    So far as that goes, it's hard to fault this new model. We've already talked about how the upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion is going to add some significant new pieces of content to the game, so now is a pretty good time for people who have walked away from WoW - or never played the game in the first place - to give it a shot. 

    Still, we'll see how effective the pricing change proves to be in the long run. 

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    Here's everything you need to know about Fallout 76, including latest news, release date, trailers, and more!

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Jul 18, 2018

    Fallout 76is the next entry in the Fallout series from Bethesda Game Studios. Based on a brief teaser, the game is set in 2102 and centers around a survivor from Vault 76. The story takes place in the hills of West Virginia. You play as one of the first survivors to leave a vault in the aftermath of the nuclear war that turned the planet into a wasteland. It'll be your job to rebuild civilization.

    This sequel is actually an online survival RPG in the same vein as Rust and DayZ. The game, which reportedly began as a multiplayer mode for Fallout 4, will feature quests and a story as well as base-building mechanics. Bethesda confirmed at E3 2018 that the game is four times the size of Fallout 4.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Fallout 76 News

    In an interview with The Guardian, Bethesda's Todd Howard threw cold water on those who are eager to describe Fallout 76 as a "survival" game. 

    "We avoid the word 'survival', because people’s minds immediately go to DayZ and Rustand certain other games, and those comparisons are not really accurate for what we’re doing," says Howard. "If you think about the survival modes we've made in Fallout 4, it has that vibe… Fallout 76, although it’s an online game, when I play it, I mostly still play it solo. We like those experiences as much as our fans do." 

    Howard also assures gamers that the studio is looking into ways to ensure that the penalty for death in Fallout 76 isn't so great that you will lose all progress. 

    Fallout 76 Release Date

    Fallout 76 will arrive on Nov. 14, 2018. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, and PC. 

    Fallout 76 Trailer

    Bethesda has dropped a new gameplay video previewing the base-building element of Fallout 76. Check it out below:

    A new trailer debuted at E3 2018. Check it out below:

    Check out the announcement trailer:

    Fallout 76 Details

    According to an interview with Todd HowardFallout 76 will not feature an offline single-player option. 

    What that means is that there is no way to play the game without other people somehow being involved in your experience. Why you don't technically have to interact with them, they can theoretically interact with you whenever they'd like. However, there will be private servers meaning that it is possible to host a server for yourself or a small group of people. 

    Additionally, it seems that the game will not include any NPCs that are not robots. This does raise some questions regarding how, exactly, quests in the game will be given out. Our guess is that most of the game's quest will be very simple fetch and enemy elimination affairs. 

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    Fear the Wolves will miss its originally intended July release date.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    Developer Vostok is delaying the release of Fear the Wolves due to player feedback. 

    "We've already seen tens of thousands of players battling in Fear the Wolves over the last week of the Closed beta," says Vostok via a blog post. "The positive community feedback encouraged us to delay the release of the Early Access to ensure the well-received core experience isn’t marred by technical issues. On top of fixing these issues, this delay will also allow us to further improve other aspects of the game, thanks to the masses of data and player feedback gathered through testing."

    Fear the Wolveswas originally set to be released on July 18th. It will now release via Early Access sometime later this summer. In case you haven't been following the game, check out this debut trailer. 

    Like many battle royale games, Fear the Wolvessees 100 players parachute onto a battlefield, scrounge for weapons, and try to be the last person standing. In that sense, this is very much the "yet another battle royale game" that people "joke" would be featured heavily at E3 2018. 

    However, there are a few aspects of this game which help separate it from the battle royale herd. For instance, the world of Fear the Wolves is a stone cold post-apocalyptic nuclear nightmare. Poisonous radiation fills the land, weapons are far from refined, and there are mutant wolves that roam the map who also want to be the last ones alive. While you may be able to kill a lone wolf, you probably won't survive an encounter with a full pack of wolves. What chance you have to do so will depend on whether or not you are able to scrounge the game's best resources. 

    So far as that goes, even gathering resources in Fear the Wolves works a little differently than it does in other battle royale titles. There's a far greater emphasis on the value of equipment in Fear the Wolves. If you manage to find a hazmat suit, you can even wade into the most radiated areas of the map and find some of the game's best loot. 

    The other major way that Fear the Wolves differs from PUBG and Fortnite is in its overall objective. Yes, you can win by killing everyone, but it's also possible to be the first one to make your way to a helicopter extraction point and simply be the one who escapes all of the madness. 

    Some are describing Fear the Wolves as a battle royale version of the Stalker franchise, which is a pretty great way of summarizing what makes this title stand out. After all, it was made by many of the same people who worked on that post-apocalyptic franchise. We'll know whether it lives up to the hype when Fear the Wolves enters Steam Early Access later this summer. 

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    What you need to know about Call of Cthulhu: The Video Game, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 18, 2018

    Call of Cthulhuis a new detective game that takes place in the grotesque world of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of cosmic horror. Strange creatures from beyond our plane of existence, gruesome murders, and an evil cult make up the meat of this yarn, which might very well be the best game based on the Lovecraftian mythos.

    This journey into madness comes to us courtesy of developer Cyanide Studio, who you may know from their work on the Blood Bowl series. Though the studio has never developed a pure horror game before, you would never know it based on Call of Cthulhu's trailers, which show private investigator Edward Pierce navigating the terrifying island known as Darkwater in order to investigate a mysterious string of deaths. 

    Here's everything we know about the game:

    Call of Cthulhu Release Date

    Call of Cthulhu will arrive on Oct. 30, 2018. It's coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.

    Call of Cthulhu Trailer

    Here's the new E3 2018 trailer!

    Call of Cthulhu is bringing H.P. Lovecraft's famous mythos to consoles and Cyanide Studio's released a trailer at E3 2017. Check it out below:

    Here's another preview - titled Depths of Madness - gives us a brief glimpse at protagonist Edward Blake's descent into Lovecraftian madness. 

    Though the dark cosmic entity known as Cthulhu has made quite a few appearances in video games over the years, few titles have attempted to really capture the Lovecraftian horror atmosphere that typically accompanies the tentacled wonder's exploits. In fact, the last game that was able to really successfully convey the horrific elements of this character's world was 2005's Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

    The upcoming Call of Cthulhu game may not share a direct lineage with Dark Corners of the Earth but, if its first trailer is any indication, this project most certainly shares that title's love for a good gothic atmosphere.

    Call of Cthulhu Story

    Here's the official synopsis:

    Plunge into the troubled mind of private investigator Edward Pierce, as his perception of reality becomes more and more skewed the closer he gets to the Great Dreamer’s sphere of influence. Clutch to your withering sanity to discover the conspiracies, the cultists and otherworldly terrors that inhabit the twisted universe imagined by Lovecraft… it is said that madness is the only way that can bring you to the truth.

    Sent to Darkwater Island to uncover the truth behind a mysterious death of a family, your original assignment spirals out of control against a backdrop of suspicious locals, mutilated whales, and disappearing bodies. Pierce’s mind will suffer - balancing a razor-thin line between sanity and madness, your senses will be disrupted until you question the reality of everything around you. Trust no one. Creeping shadows hide lurking figures… and all the while, the Great Dreamer prepares for his awakening.

    Call of Cthulhu Screenshots

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    Everything we know about Telltale's The Walking Dead season 4, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Jul 18, 2018

    "Clementine, now a fierce and capable survivor, has reached the final chapter in her journey. After years on the road facing threats both living and dead, a secluded school might finally be her chance for a home. But protecting it will mean sacrifice. Clem must build a life and become a leader while still watching over AJ, an orphaned boy and the closest thing to family she has left. In this gripping, emotional final season, you will define your relationships, fight the undead, and determine how Clementine's story ends."

    So reads the official description for Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Yes, this really is the end for the series that put Telltale on the map and once won just about every game of the year award. What began as the story of a man trying to find a home in the zombie apocalypse has become the tale of a young girl whose growth was shaped by a harsh world. Soon, we'll finally know how her adventure ends. 

    Here's everything else we know about Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4 News

    The latest trailer for the final season of The Walking Dead has arrived. Check it out below:

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4 Release Date

    Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season is set to release on August 14th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is expected to release sometime later this year. 

    Players who pre-order The Walking Dead: The Final Season will receive download access to each of the season's four episodes as they become available. Players who pre-order on PS4 and Xbox One will also receive immediate access to The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection, which gathers all 19 existing episodes of the award-winning series into a single package. 

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4 Trailers

    You can check out the first trailer below:

    Players who pre-order The Walking Dead: The Final Season will receive download access to each of the season's four episodes as they become available. Players who pre-order on PS4 and Xbox One will also receive immediate access to The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection, which gathers all 19 existing episodes of the award-winning series into a single package.  

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    In a sport where toxicity is a barrier to entry, we try to find the soul of competitive gaming.

    Feature Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    In a perfect world, the raw emotion and skill on display at the 2018 Call of Duty World League Open in Dallas would have dominated headlines about the competition. You would have read about groups of friends banding together to take on the pros. You would have heard stories about kids wistfully staring at the main stage, hoping one day to be good enough to compete themselves. Maybe you would have even seen reports about tearful winners being presented like rock stars with assistance from a lighting and sound system that would make old Pink Floyd concerts look like middle school plays.

    Instead, the headlines were dominated by threats of violence. Not the threats many of us have heard screamed over microphones during online Call of Duty matches but something far more sinister.

    The weekend’s competition was interrupted by calls from someone who claimed to have planted a bomb in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. As attendees made their way outside and reactions appeared online, shockingly few people seemed surprised at all. Instead, many saw this as another chapter in the familiar narrative of the toxic world of eSports.

    “Toxicity” is the catchall phrase used to define the staggering levels of hostility and hate among some of the stars, fans, and teams of eSports. It’s an attempt to apply some kind of understanding to the severity of the worst incidents. Incidents like when TerrenceM, a black professional Hearthstone player, took the stage at a 2016 tournament and was greeted by racist jokes on Twitch chat alongside the spamming of an all-too-familiar word.

    Those who spread hatred online have always had the luxury of doing so behind a wall of anonymity. Natalie Sest and Evita March, two Australian researchers, conducted an all-too-rare study on the psychology of online trolls. Their findings - that such actions can be attributed to poor social skills and low empathy - were remarkable in how unsurprising they were.

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

    Recently, Overwatch pro Félix “xQc” Lengyel was kicked out of the Overwatch League for making offensive comments towards fellow players, league casters, and for using emotes in a racist manner during League streams. His excuse? “I was fucking born and raised by Twitch chat.”

    The scariest thing about that statement is the inescapable truth of it. The worst aspects of eSports culture are just that. A culture. They’re a series of beliefs and social norms that are shared by certain groups of people. Considering 61 percent of United States eSports viewers are between 18-34 years old and 55 percent of Twitch users fall into that same age range, it means that we’re talking about a lot of young, impressionable people who make up the average eSports viewership; they are then subjected to those who practice a culture whose values resemble messages of hate, ignorance, and negativity.

    Aspects of that culture may stem from the potentially dangerous competitive mentality of eSports players. Dr. Itzik Zur studied the mental health of eSports players and found that the mental and physical stress competitive gamers endure makes them prone to “frequent emotional fluctuations, more so than athletes in other sports.” He also suggested that those feelings of anger can be utilized by trainers to increase a competitor’s performance.

    In Korea, it’s common for players to practice up to 14 hours a day. The mechanical nature of the most popular eSports games demands such intensity. Sometimes, players are even conditioned to treat socialization and emotional maturation as distractions.

    “In a Korean team house in StarCraft II, you’re waking up at 10 or 11 a.m., everyone practices the same hours per day, you have team lunch breaks,” said StarCraft player Ryan “State” Visbeck in an interview with Complex. “You play soccer as a team. You do everything as a team. There’s no time at all to actually have a life.”

    That’s a side of eSports that’s hard to process for those who look at gaming as a hobby. None of that excuses bad behavior from fans or players, but it does lend a level of understanding regarding the humanity that drives competitive gaming.

    A lack of understanding may actually be at the heart of the toxic eSports narrative. Competitive gaming is nothing new, but it has absolutely exploded in popularity in recent years. This has led to a gold rush for the mainstream media, as publications everywhere race to claim their share of eSports audiences.

    Some within the eSports community feel that the mainstream media has shed its integrity in order to hop on the eSports bandwagon. There are eSports fans who believe that certain reporters and outlets assigned to cover eSports are inherently cynical and even disinterested. Their perception of that industry is not entirely unfounded.

    “I got some really bad advice about how to get into the eSports scene,” says eSports journalist Kevin Hitt. “That advice was, ‘Go in with your guns blazing and be aggressive. Go in with your guns blazing because memes and insults are everything in eSports.’"

    That advice was given to Hitt in 2015 when he was transitioning from sports to eSports coverage. Since then, he has gone out of his way to learn the industry and form meaningful relationships with players and teams. However, doing so has required him to break through a thick protective barrier that surrounds the scene.

    “Organizations are basically telling [eSports players], ‘Don't talk.’ They don't want them to say something damaging to their personal brand or the organization they play for,” says Hitt. “Media can set traps for young people in the questions that they ask. We can set them off.”

    That distrust has manifested itself in unfortunate ways which have only broadened the gap between media and eSports players. The most notable of those manifestations is the traditional absence of all-inclusive post-game conferences in competitive gaming.

    “In traditional sports, even the losing team does interviews,” says Hitt. “In eSports, they don't do that. Losing teams simply just leave. I think that has to do with the organizations not wanting somebody in a bad place between the ears speaking. Maybe that 17-year-old who’s not media savvy yet is going to say something perhaps damaging to himself and the organization.”

    The guarded nature of the eSports industry and professional gamers is more than speculation. Despite having reached out to several eSports players and organizations, we were unable to get anyone from professional gaming to go on record for this story.

    While this is an aspect of eSports that is improving - Hitt credits Blizzard and the Overwatch League for allowing an impressive degree of media access - the lack of traditional channels of communication between media and players has contributed to an increase in articles about eSports drama. The worst of what is said is used to confirm larger – sometimes manufactured – narratives.

    Sometimes the bias is all too overt, as in the case of Chester King, founder and acting CEO of the British eSports Association. He told, “I was introduced at an event once after someone did a great speech about traditional sports as someone who was going to talk about 'the dark side of eSports.’ That's not the intro we want. Others describe us as 'the biggest niche in the world.' No, we're not that at all. We are eSports. Those in the industry hate being classified and put in a box.”

    Team Dignitas manager and founder Michael O'Dell told that he’d “like to reverse the media's thinking and show the cool stuff rather than the very tiny incidents of bad stuff that does sometimes happen to all sports."

    Easier said than done. Hitt points out that preventing readers from flocking to the negative side of eSports isn’t always easy in the digital age, especially when a bad act is on social media or Twitch before it’s ever picked up by an outlet.

    “You have to understand that we're in a technological age and that everybody is going to see when one person does something silly, and they're going to extrapolate that and make the entire scene guilty by association,” says Hitt. “Reporting things like that needs to be accurate. It needs to make sure that it's focused on the person that did the egregious act, and try not to paint the broad brush that everybody is like this person.”

    The fact that audiences tend to respond more to negativity, both on social media and through the news cycle, has led to those who say something ignorant on Twitter garnering more attention than eSports’ best players. Hitt believes that “the number one most important thing to growing the game is giving access to the media.” The great shame of the relationship between media and eSports isn’t limited to a lack of growth, though. It’s that those who only know of eSports from what they read in headlines rarely get to hear about the exceptional people who make up the majority of competitive gaming.

    Consider stars like Sasha Hostyn, a transgender StarCraft pro who recently became the first female competitor to win a Majors tournament and one of an elite group of North Americans to do the same. There’s also Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, who helped Cloud9 become the first North American Counter-Strike team to win a Majors tournament. Over a million Twitch viewers watched him break down in tears during the post-game interview. And then there’s Jong-yeol "Saebyeolbe" Park, who has helped lead the New York Excelsior to a top spot in Overwatch League and did so with a picture of his wife on his keyboard.

    If you truly want to appreciate the other side of eSports culture, though, don’t look up at the stars but rather at its fans. Not the people who spew venom on Twitch, but rather the supporters who show up to cheer for their favorites and live and die by their success.

    “I just moved to New York in August and I didn’t know anyone,” says Arina Wu, a member of the Five Deadly Venoms, a New York Excelsior fan club for Overwatch League. “It was just natural to say, ‘Ok, it’s time to make friends.’ It’s totally the city-based thing that Blizzard was going for. It helped them connect many of the people from that city to that team. Now I’ve got a great group of friends and family.”

    Fellow FDV member Mike Padro’s love for the NYXL is tied to his love for the city and what it represents.

    “When you make it about a place that you’re so proud to live in, people have that sense of camaraderie and belonging,” Padro says. “Maybe the players aren’t from this place, but maybe I’m not from this place.”

    Most eSports squads don’t typically attract a traditional fan club such as the Five Deadly Venoms. Yet, Overwatch League’s city format has brought out a sense of pride in some of the teams’ fans. The FDV club began as a small gathering at NYC’s Waypoint Cafe. Supporters squeezed into a small section between the PC game stations and the barista’s bar to cheer Overwatch’s NYXL. Clad in team jerseys and streetwear, the attendees spoke mostly through cheers, but found common ground in conversation over their shared amazement of the atmosphere. Even for eSports fans like Padro and Wu, events such as these felt different than anything that had come before. Even those who attended the event out of curiosity soon found themselves caught up in the energy.

    “When we first approached the [new] venue (Mr. Wu’s Basement) about this party, they were like, ‘What are you guys talking about? You want to do a party for what?’”  Padro says. “Let me tell you, at the end of the night when all things are said and done, the whole staff is like ‘That was awesome. I don’t even know what took place, but whatever that was, it was cool.’”

    Arina believes that the city element of the League makes it easier for people to “have more stake in” the outcome. She thinks that helps them break down the walls that people sometimes have when they come to these events. As far as the group goes, they notice they’re attracting nearly every type of fan.

    “We have people ranging from eight years old to well into their professional careers,” Padro says. “It’s been really cool to see how many women are in the room. You come to our parties, and the whole front row is women most of the time. You don’t always see that in other sports. With OverwatchLeague, they come because they play this game too.”

    Despite the popular eSports connotation, neither can cite many instances of toxicity at the events. Wu believes there’s a simple reason for that.

    “No one comes to these events and says ‘Oh, I’m going to be mean,’” said Wu “People are just more reasonable in person because you have a better read on who you’re talking to.”

    There it is again… understanding. John Hubert, a former Rutgers football player, was a participant in the first intercollegiate game of American football. He famously said that  “To appreciate this game to the fullest you must know something of its background.” Well, the background of eSports is passionate gamers. People who want to come together to compete, but also to share their passions.

    “eSports fans that attend events are the most inclusive, wonderful human beings I've ever been around, and I mean that in all sincerity,” says Hitt. “In the three years that I've gone to live events, I haven't seen a scuffle. I haven't seen a fight. I haven't seen a yelling match. All I see are high fives and people rooting their team.”

    Toxicity is present in certain corners of eSports, but that doesn’t prevent eSports fans from cheering for the home team, the underdogs, the outsiders, the good guys, and promoting the idea that there is a future for eSports worth rooting for.

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    Everything we know about Madden NFL 19, including latest news, release date, and more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 18, 2018

    Another year, another Madden game. What's new about Madden NFL 19? Why should you pick this football simulator up? Here's everything we know about EA Sports' yearly football extravaganza:

    Madden NFL 19 Cover

    The cover for Madden NFL 19has been revealed! Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown will grace the cover this year. You can check out the cover below:

    Madden NFL 19 Trailer

    You can check out the trailer below:

    Madden NFL 19 Release Date

    Madden NFL 19 is set to release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Aug. 10. Madden fans will also have the option of picking up the game's Hall of Fame Edition and gaining early access to the title on Aug. 7.

    Along with early access, Hall of Fame Edition players will get a special cover for the game starring former NFL receiver, Terrell Owens, 12 gold team fantasy packs, immediate access to an elite legend player for their Ultimate Team, two custom uniforms for Ultimate Team, and more. 

    Madden NFL 19 Details

    Regardless of which edition of Madden 19 you purchase, you'll be able to enjoy what EA is referring to as Real Player Motion Technology. This new animation system is supposed to offer the most authentic digital football experience yet by greatly improving the quality of Madden's player animations. This new system apparently "unlocks next level responsiveness and player personality, players will experience more precision as they run, cut, catch and celebrate on the gridiron this season."

    Madden 19's Franchise Mode will differ slightly from previous versions by offering expanded training tools, a custom draft class creator, and the ability to designate offensive and defensive schemes for your team based on your play preferences. We're waiting to hear more about the full functionality of these additions, as well as more information on the Ultimate Team's "Solo Battles" that allow you to compete for a spot on an online leaderboard by completing solo challenges. 

    While none of these alterations and additions are what we'd consider being sweeping changes, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise considering that former Maddencreative director Rex Dickson still worked on Madden 19 and that the potential new direction for the franchise that he alluded to in his farewell statement likely won't go into effect until a new creative director takes control (if those changes come at all).

    We'll bring you more information about Madden NFL 19 as it becomes available. 

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    Developer Rich Geldreich shares what it's really like to work at companies like Valve.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 18, 2018

    Rich Geldreich, a former Valve developer, has taken to Twitter to share quite a lot of information about what it's apparently really like to work at major gaming companies like Valve. While he doesn't name Valve directly, he does use phrases like "Bellevue company" that suggest some of his statements apply to the gaming giant.

    To make a very long story as short as possible, Valve has seemingly come to embody the kind of "big company culture" that has been cited to the point of parody. According to Geldreich, there's a company store kind of logic to the way that management at such places works. He references an unnamed friend who let a manager know he was locked into a long-term lease and was instantly exploited by the company. He also notes how important it is to not become too close to the people you work with at such places and how these famous companies will just run through employees. Again, such statements could be interpreted as more of a general observation regarding major companies like Valve if they do not apply to Valve specifically. 

    However, there are other notes which feel much more specific. For instance, he refers to "some companies [that] make temporary strategic hires to help recruit from your social network." He then talks about a "temp strategic hire" that was fired one year later with no warning after her friends had been hired by the company. Many believe this applies to Jeri Ellsworth, a "hardware hacker" and inventor who was hired by Valve to work on gaming hardware after she achieved some fame and was mysteriously fired the next year. He also insinuates that Valve will hire outside famous people (such as authors and economists) to come work for them long enough to say some nice things about the company in public before they are let go. This could seemingly apply to Yanis Varoufakis, a former Valve employee who went on to become the Greek Minister of Finance

    It gets better. Geldreich seemingly references the infamous Valve employee handbook, which contains numerous allusions to a relaxed corporate environment and structure. He notes that, "All legit self-organizing firms have to 'leak' an official unofficial Company Manual. It’s got to be slickly made and fun to read." He also pokes some holes in the idea that Valve and other companies successfully utilize a system where people don't have direct bosses by stating that, "If you’re dealing with a self-organizing company, it’s more complex. You will be triangulated against multiple people and you’ll have to deal with group consensus."

    Based on what Geldreich is saying, it seems that there is a hierarchy of employees at such places who basically serve as the KGB of the company. They're very powerful, but you're never quite sure who they are or what they are capable of. As such, it's almost impossible to know who to actually trust. He also mentions "Pet Projects" that the CEO of the company will want to work on. He says that this can be an ideal situation as working on such a project means you have someone with real power "watching your back" in case other people at the company try to harass you. Some already believe that such projects might refer to the Steam Machines, Steam Link, or the Steam Controller.

    So what are the developers actually doing at these "self-organizing" companies? Apparently, it's not uncommon for many of them to be used as pawns. For instance, when a "local competitor (a well-known company)" moved across the street from a studio that Geldreich is describing, he says the company he worked for used its "license to print endless money in the basement" to steal as many employees from its competitors as it could to "lower the average IQ and talent level of your competitor’s new hires." Geldreich also says that the work of some big profile developers is actually "just marketing." It will only be used to appeal to developers the company hasn't managed to hire yet. 

    The posts go on - and on, and on - but there are a few major things to take away from these statements. First off, we must emphasize that it's entirely possible that Geldreich's thoughts are not limited to Valve. At one point, he even states, "I’ve seen this up close with a small game company negotiating with Microsoft. They knew the small company had zero alternatives so they got treated incredibly badly." Secondly, even if many of these statements are about Valve, Geldreich notes that much of what he is talking about happened at least five years ago. He can't necessarily say with certainty whether these companies have changed since then. 

    Still, much of the information in his tweets verifies what many have suspected about Valve for quite some time. Steam has given the company the license to print "endless money," which in turn seems to have drastically changed the company's goals and culture. Of course, we wouldn't be shocked to learn that much of what Geldreich talks about in his messages applies directly to some of the world's largest companies in every field. 

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