New Steam-style store coming from Kongregate

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New Steam-style store coming from Kongregate

You might be familiar with Kongregate for its browser games portal, or its mobile games. Now the company has plans to take on the likes of Steam with its own indie-focused PC games retail portal.

Called Kartridge, it’s due to launch this summer, offering a range of pricing models including direct payment, free-to-play and Humble Bundle-style pay-what-you-want. Like Kongregate, the online retail hub will encourage social interactivity and feature an achievements program, from which discounts and deals can be earned.

Trump invites game industry to gun violence meeting this week

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Trump invites game industry to gun violence meeting this week

The Entertainment Software Association, the leading video game trade group, tells Polygon that it received today an invitation to meet with the Trump administration. That invitation comes four days after a meeting with “members of the video game industry” was announced during a White House press briefing.

The meeting will take place Thursday, March 8, and is expected to discuss gun violence in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. Authorities have announced no connection to video games, and it’s unclear what role, if any, games played in that incident.

Ubisoft wants to put an end to hate speech in Rainbow Six Siege

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Ubisoft wants to put an end to hate speech in Rainbow Six Siege

Ubisoft announced over the weekend that it would begin to issue bans against players using “racial and homophobic slurs, or hate speech” in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. In a post on the game’s subreddit, the developers said that these new consequences, including permanent bans, will only be levied against users on PC. Players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will continue to be subject to Sony and Microsoft’s own codes of conduct.

“We will be tracking the frequency at which language that violates the Code of Conduct is used by individual players,” Ubisoft said, referring to published guidelines that have been in place for some time, “and will apply the appropriate ban on a case-by-case basis.”

It’s official: Mario is a plumber again

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It’s official: Mario is a plumber again

Nintendo shocked the world last fall when it seemed to declare that Mario, who first made a name for himself in the plumbing business, had abandoned his trade. But the company has now updated Mario’s profile on its Japanese website to indicate that he hasn’t forgotten his roots.

Redditors first spotted that Nintendo had again adjusted its official profile for Mario this week. Google Translate roughly suggests that Nintendo now mentions that Mario’s “occupation is plumber” — suggesting a return to the status quo.

Former GameStop CEO Paul Raines dies at 53

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Former GameStop CEO Paul Raines dies at 53

Former GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines, who left the company in late 2017 for medical reasons, has died. Raines was 53, according to his profile on Bloomberg.

“We are profoundly sad to learn of the passing of our friend and former chief executive officer, J. Paul Raines,” Mike Mauler, GameStop CEO, said in a statement. “His spirit is woven into the fabric of our company and the entire GameStop family mourns this loss. Paul was a brilliant man and remarkable visionary, as well as a compassionate, caring and inspirational community leader who was beloved by many. Paul cared deeply about his work and his GameStop family, but his greatest love was for his family. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to them and all those whose lives and hearts Paul touched during his journey.”

Fortnite players are having a blast creating epic hoverboard racetracks

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Fortnite players are having a blast creating epic hoverboard racetracks

Epic Games added hoverboards to Fortnite’s Save the World mode on Feb. 22, and the community immediately got to work creating racetracks using the game’s building options. What they’ve been able to accomplish in under two weeks is hard to believe.

These racetracks are pretty spectacular, and further hint at the game’s potential to be used as a creative sandbox for other types of games. The videos shown in this post only scratch the surface of what has been released online.

Way to the Woods looks like a beautiful dream in debut trailer

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Way to the Woods looks like a beautiful dream in debut trailer

The last time we saw Way to the Woods — an adventure game that made the rounds on Tumblr and Reddit in late 2015 — it was just a series of screenshots with a teenage developer behind the wheel. Since then, 18-year-old developer Anthony Tan has secured a publishing deal for the project and made major headway on a playable version of the game, all while still in high school.

Tan is now ready to show off his last two years of work, courtesy of the game’s first trailer. The one-minute teaser above shows off the pair of deer that players will embody, as they travel through a mysterious woodland area. Along the way, they encounter floating sewer fish, wild hounds and talking cats, some of whom are friends, and others ... not so much. The whole aesthetic is reminiscent of Studio Ghibli classics like Spirited Away, as we first saw in those initial screens from long ago.

Monster Hunter: World is now the best-selling game in Capcom’s history

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Monster Hunter: World is now the best-selling game in Capcom’s history

Monster Hunter: World has shipped over 7.5 million units worldwide, Capcom has announced, making it the best-selling game in the company’s history.

Monster Hunter: World is “the first title in the series to be given a global simultaneous launch, and was given an ambitious worldwide promotional campaign in order to further build upon its fan base both in Japan and in markets overseas,” said Capcom in a news release.

Tennis World Tour puts a top spin on the career mode

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Tennis World Tour puts a top spin on the career mode

If you play Tennis World Tour’s career mode, be prepared to suffer from jet lag.

Career modes across every type of sport represented in a video game have all featured rest (MLB The Show, for pitchers) recovery (EA Sports UFC 3, between fights) or injury systems. But none have deliberately involved skipping an event as a strategic choice. Tennis World Tour, coming in May from Breakpoint Studios and Bigben Interactive, will make a player plan their schedule, just like a real world pro.

Blizzard celebrates StarCraft’s 20th anniversary with in-game giveaways

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Blizzard celebrates StarCraft’s 20th anniversary with in-game giveaways

The original StarCraft turns 20 years old on March 31, and Blizzard Entertainment is celebrating that anniversary with a series of streams and in-game giveaways. The celebration will extend to all of Blizzard’s active games, with skins and in-game rewards coming for Diablo 3, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, StarCraft 2, Starcraft: Remastered and World of Warcraft.

Here’s a peek at what Blizzard has in store for players for StarCraft’s 20th anniversary, followed by how players can earn these in-game rewards.