Take-Two has a promising new publishing label for indie studios

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Take-Two Interactive's stable includes 2K, Rockstar Games, and now a newly-formed third publishing label, Private Division, which will focus on independent studios with proven talent.

"We have spent more than two years laying the groundwork for Private Division, building an experienced publishing team, and signing projects with some the most respected and talented creative leaders in our industry," says Michael Worosz, SVP and Head of Independent Publishing at Take-Two.

As detailed in the video, several veteran creators and their teams have already signed on:

Rare talks progression and quests in Sea of Thieves

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I'm on board with Sea of Thieves. I have been for some time now. But there's still one question hampering my excitement for Rare's multiplayer pirate adventure: how long will it last?

Long-term player progression and motivation has been a concern with this game and today's video attempts to address some of those points with a look at quests, customization, and factions.

Much of the structure -- aside from just getting into trouble with your pals on the open sea -- revolves around building your "reputation" by climbing the ranks at NPC-run trading companies. The Gold Hoarders are after buried treasure chests, the Merchant Alliance deals with transporting cargo, and the Order of Souls will send you off to skirmish with skeleton pirates and raid fortresses.

Battery Jam looks like a great little action party game

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It only took a few seconds for this Battery Jam trailer to tell me what it's all about and wholly sell me on the idea. This "territorial mayhem" multiplayer game has players smashing boxes around to paint the ground with their chosen color and also wipe out the competition in the process.

The concept itself is straightforward, but it looks punchy and frenetic in all the right ways.

It's coming to Steam Early Access in January, with the developers at Halseo adding that they're working toward having the game "completed and officially released around March 2018."

Enter the Gungeon and the Switch are a match made in heaven

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Enter the Gungeon and the Switch are a match made in heaven

When I first experienced Enter the Gungeon on the PS4, I couldn’t help but think of how great the game would play on a portable system. Today, that dream finally comes true, and it’s everything I could have hoped for.

While it doesn’t feature the Advanced Gungeons and Draguns Update yet, I have confirmed that it will launch simultaneously across all platforms, including the Switch, sometime in early 2018. What we get here is the base game along with the Supply Drop Update. It features fully customizable controls, local co-op, and the ability to take this disgustingly addictive game on the go with us wherever we want.

EA thanks Ajit Pai for taking the heat off them (Fauxclusive)

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EA thanks Ajit Pai for taking the heat off them (Fauxclusive)

Following weeks of negative press and irate consumers due to its recent business decisions, sources within EA say the company is quietly thanking FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for getting the internet to momentarily stop paying attention to the company’s string of scandals and instead focus all its attention on him.

“It’s been a rough couple of months for us, public relations wise,” explained one EA employee. “First we closed down Visceral, which pissed a lot of people off. Then everyone found out why we did that, which just made them angrier. And then of course there’s the whole Battlefront II loot box fiasco. That’s why we’re thankful to Mr. Pai for taking the entirety of the internet’s universal hatred of us and directing it all onto himself.”

Since Mr. Pai voted to repeal Net Neutrality, sources we spoke with say the number of emails sent to the company with the subject line “Fuck off and die” has dropped by nearly 50%. The number of Twitter accounts sarcastically mentioning microtransactions on every tweet it sends out is down 70%.

Payday 2 adds a Reservoir Dogs heist

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Payday 2 adds a Reservoir Dogs heist

Reservoir Dogs, a movie where some men argue about tipping and then almost all of them die, is the film that started Quentin Tarantino's ascent into prominence. Nearly 26 years later, a very popular video game is paying homage.

Payday 2 just added a free Reservoir Dogs-themed heist. The clowns and jokers of the Payday gang are headed to Tinsel Town to try their hand at robbing those banks. The add-on comes with a Union 5.56 rifle, an Alabama Razor melee weapon, and three masks.

But, and this is truly what's important, developer Overkill created Payday's version of the infamous ear scene from Reservoir Dogs:

Nominees for Destructoid's Best Wii U Game of 2017

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Nominees for Destructoid's Best Wii U Game of 2017

If future historians or whatever alien race eventually colonizes Earth and wipes out humanity – my money is on the Tollybex of Urutha XXI – look back on the brief but bountiful life of the Nintendo Wii U, they will no doubt point to this year, 2017, as its crowning achievement. Jam packed from beginning to end, the past twelve months have been without question the best year the Wii U has had on the market. It sold in the literal dozens around the world and introduced gamers to some of the all-time classic of the medium.

Who out there can say the Wii U wasn’t the absolute must-own console of the year? With its second-screen controller that you could take anywhere you wanted (technically) and its astounding graphics that rivaled the best PC (built in 2005), it was a behemoth the world has never seen. And as it conquered the world, the system was flooded with top quality first- and third-party games from all the best publishers. Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Atlus, Sega, 2K, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, and Capcom are all companies I can name off the top of my head. I think we all remember lining up for the midnight launch of that great EA game that came to the Wii U over the summer.

Get drunk with Satan in Afterparty, the next game from Oxenfree devs

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Get drunk with Satan in Afterparty, the next game from Oxenfree devs

Night School Studio's Oxenfree stuck with me throughout 2016. I couldn't get its unique story and tone out of my head for months. One of the things I loved most about it was its characters' irreverent attitudes in the face of total horror. They're stuck on an island where ghosts are pouring out of time rifts and one of their friends is missing, but they still manage to make dick jokes. Laughter is the best coping mechanism, which is why horror-comedy is so great.

Continuing in that vein, Night School Studio has announced their next project, an adventure game called Afterparty about partying in Hell and outdrinking Satan.

Company of Heroes 2 is free through Humble

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The folks at the Humble Store have been in a giving mood as of late and that trend continues today with yet another freebie. For a limited time, you can score a free Steam key (Windows, Mac, Linux) for Relic Entertainment's 2013 World War II real-time strategy title Company of Heroes 2.

Once you redeem your copy, it's yours to keep -- this isn't a trial or a "free weekend" offer.

I've always been more into Relic's Warhammer 40K strategy titles, but this is worth nabbing.