God Of War Creators Thank Fans With Free PS4 Dynamic Theme And Avatar Set

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God Of War Creators Thank Fans With Free PS4 Dynamic Theme And Avatar Set

Santa Monica Studio is celebrating God of War's one-year anniversary and thanking its fans by offering a free dynamic PS4 theme and avatar set, both based off the game.

The PS4 theme is available now, whereas the avatar set is coming Wednesday. You can view a preview of the theme below which shows Kratos and Atreus canoeing through the Lake of Nine.

"Like so many in our industry, at Santa Monica Studio we craft games and strive to tell powerful, emotionally connecting stories," writes head of studio Shannon Studstill on the PlayStation Blog. "This year marks 20 years since our studio was founded. If I had to predict the next 20 years of Santa Monica Studio, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, we will continue to create games whose art reflects life, life reflects art, with stories we want to resonate for years to come.

"The Way The Studio Was Shut Down Was Horrifying To Me" Says Telltale Co-Founder

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Earlier this week, we published an investigative piece that delved deep into the circumstances leading to last year's closure of Telltale Games. One of the major voices in that story was Kevin Bruner, co-founder and former CEO of Telltale. 

In our interview, Bruner candidly spoke about his thoughts on the shut down, saying he was disappointed and appalled with how it was handled. Bruner left the company in 2017 after being pushed out by board members (he also has a lawsuit against the company for financial damages), so he was not present during the majority studio closure.

"If I were an employee there, I would feel wronged, definitely," he says. "We’ll see what becomes of that. It’s tough now because there’s not much of a Telltale left to right the wrongs."

A.I.-Powered Dota 2 Team Beats World Champions, Now Taking On Challengers

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A.I.-Powered Dota 2 Team Beats World Champions, Now Taking On Challengers

The reigning champions of Dota 2, European team OG, today lost a best-of-three exhibition match against a team of five A.I.-controlled opponents.

The match (which starts around the 45-minute mark in this archive) was a stomp by the comps (for once!), with the set going 2-0 in the A.I.'s favor. The team is powered by tech firm OpenAI, which is researching the technology for multiple purposes, including robotics learning.

The first match was a back-and-forth for most of its duration, while the second was a blowout. The exhibition then featured a co-op match featuring two teams with a mix of human and computer players.

Reader Discussion – Have You Ever Paid To Unlock Content You Could Otherwise Earn?

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Reader Discussion – Have You Ever Paid To Unlock Content You Could Otherwise Earn?

With the recent news of Capcom offering players the chance to simply unlock everything in Resident Evil 2 by paying $5 instead of playing through the game multiple times, it raises the question: How many among us have paid to unlock something we'd otherwise be able to earn ourselves?

I've technically done it. The Street Fighter V character passes have you pay for characters you can otherwise "earn" through fight money get from playing the game itself, and I've paid for those. That approach is more like a free-to-play scheme, where you grind for currency and are then tempted to skip that grind by paying real money. Resident Evil 2's unlock DLC feels different in that you're not skipping a currency grind, but you are paying for the option to skip playing the game multiple times (something you should do with Resident Evil 2, specifically) but it's more or less the same thing, right?

Have you ever done it? Have you paid for that Resident Evil 2 DLC? Or paid to play as a character in League of Legends? Can you think of other games that do something like this (bonus points if they're not free-to-play games)? Let us know in the comments.

Nintendo Used Some Pretty Cool Tricks To Get Mario Kart 64 To Run On The Nintendo 64

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Nintendo Used Some Pretty Cool Tricks To Get Mario Kart 64 To Run On The Nintendo 64

Mario Kart 64 is still one of the Nintendo 64's best games (if you disagree, fight me!). Its set of iconic racing tracks (some of which show up in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe), catchy soundtrack, and strong sense of speed for a mid-'90s racer made it one of the console's standout titles, and many people remember it fondly today. But if you were wondering how Nintendo gave its character models their fidelity while making sure everything else ran smoothly, you can now learn how.

Youtube channel A+Start's latest video breaks down how it all works. Essentially, the technique has Nintendo building 3D models of the character, then "running" them through a flat model, which is what you control on the track. As you're racing, all you see is a single, flat sprite, but those sprites are taken from a 3D model in real-time, giving the effect of your character being 3D as you play. If that's hard to visualize, the full video explains the concept in more depth, and uses visuals, to boot!

Oculus Co-Founder Regrets Accidental 'Easter Egg' Messages Inside Touch Controllers

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Oculus Co-Founder Regrets Accidental 'Easter Egg' Messages Inside Touch Controllers

Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell has taken to Twitter to state that, "unfortunately," hidden messages not meant for consumers found their way into the guts of Oculus Touch controllers.

As Mitchell states, the messages, which read "This Space For Rent," and "The Masons Were Here," (likely a reference to the Freemasons) on final production hardware, and "Big Brother is Watching You" and "Hi iFixit! We See You!" (a reference to online repair manual website iFixit) on some of the development kits sent out to developers, were not intentional. The messages can be found by opening up the controllers and checking the wiring.

"While I appreciate the easter [sic] eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed," Mitchell stated. "The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we've fixed our process so this won't happen again."

Watch The First Trailer For Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

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Watch The First Trailer For Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

During a panel for this year's Star Wars Celebration, EA and Respawn unveiled the first trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

The trailer is story-based, not showing actual gameplay but, according to director Stig Asmussen, using in-game assets. The trailer follows protagonist Cal, and we see a few shots of him traveling throughout the galaxy and fighting The Empire as a one of the few Jedi remaining after Order 66. He abides by three rules for survival: Don't stand out, accept the past, and trust only in the force.

Hideo Kojima And Norman Reedus To Discuss Death Stranding At Tribeca Film Festival

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Hideo Kojima And Norman Reedus To Discuss Death Stranding At Tribeca Film Festival

Last we heard of Kojima Productions' much-anticipated and very mysterious game Death Stranding it was behind schedule, which is not a good sign. It looks like creator Hideo Kojima is ready to give us another update in just a couple of weeks, though it may not be a major one.

Kojima and actor Norman Reedus (who stars in the game), along with The Game Awards' Geoff Keighley, are set to discuss the game for an hour at a panel at the Tribeca Film Festical on Thursday, April 25. The panel description says that "together, they [Kojima and Reedus] will discuss pushing the boundaries of the video game medium and talk about how their relationship has established over working on the title together."

The panel doesn't say any new gameplay or concepts will be revealed, and it's likely to be more of a "behind-the-scenes" discussion rather than a deluge of new info. Still, it's possible some new details might spill out of the panel, so if you're just dying to see what Death Stranding really is (something even several trailers haven't made completely clear), it might be worth marking April 25 on your calendar.

Assassin's Creed Creator Says Amsterdam 1666 Is Still Happening

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Assassin's Creed Creator Says Amsterdam 1666 Is Still Happening

Although Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets and his studio Panache are currently working on Ancestors (you can find our impressions of a recent build of that game here), the studio originally wanted to work on Amsterdam 1666, a game set in that location and year that was something of a mix between Assassin's Creed's historical intrigue and Ancestors' animal-manipulating hook. While that project has since been officially canceled, Désilets hasn't given up on it completely.

Speaking with VG247, Désilets said Amsterdam 1666 is still happening. "For sure, Amsterdam 1666 is gonna happen," he told them. He also mentioned that Ancestors, which also has players controlling different animals, could work as a proof-of-concept of sorts to further refine many of the concepts shown in an off-screen gameplay video of Amsterdam 1666 shown a few years ago.

The game was the subject of a protracted legal battle between Désilets and Ubisoft, after the two parties had a dispute over the project's development and Ubisoft decided to cancel development and terminate Désilets. 

What To Watch This Weekend: League Of Legends, Apex Legends, And Tekken 7

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What To Watch This Weekend: League Of Legends, Apex Legends, And Tekken 7

We've got a cavalcade of competition this weekend! Shootin' and fightin' reign supreme as League has its biggest NA match of the season.

The League of Legends North American LCS comes to a head this weekend as Team SoloMid takes on Team Liquid to determine the champion of the League league. Should be exciting! (Stream / Schedule)

Meanwhile, the Overwatch League continues, with eight more matches happening across today and tomorrow. (Stream / Schedule)