Report: Volition hit with layoffs one month after Agents of Mayhem launch

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Report: Volition hit with layoffs one month after Agents of Mayhem launch

More than 30 people at Saints Row and Agents of Mayhem developer Volition have been let go this week, according to a report from Kotaku. Among those reportedly out at the 200-person studio include its general manager, Dan Cermak.

We’ve reached out to Cermak and other members of Volition, as well as representatives for its parent company Deep Silver. Deep Silver picked up the studio in 2013 following former owner THQ’s exit from the games industry. Under Deep Silver, Volition released Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell and Agents of Mayhem — two titles that suffered poor critical reception.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins zero-combat mode coming next year

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins zero-combat mode coming next year

An Assassin's Creed: Origins education mode will be released in early 2018. Absent combat and action, it's being designed to teach students about life in ancient Egypt.

“Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt” is due to be released as a free update for owners of Origins, which will be launched on Oct. 27 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

Resident Evil 2: The Board Game is already a runaway success on Kickstarter

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Resident Evil 2: The Board Game is already a runaway success on Kickstarter

A board game based on fan favorite Resident Evil 2 is up for funding on Kickstarter, and it’s already reached its goal. Steamforged Games, the makers of the Dark Souls board game, have already raised $500,000 dollars for their four-player cooperative tabletop version of Capcom’s survival horror classic.

Steamforged Games set the goal at $201,584 when the Kickstarter opened on Monday. Two days later, it’s more than doubled that, and the tally continues to grow. As part of both pledge tiers — including an Early Bird special that’s almost gone — all backers will receive the game, an expansion set, an alternate costume for hero Leon S. Kennedy’s minifig and every subsequent stretch goal.

PlayStation Plus subscribers get MGS 5: The Phantom Pain free in October

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PlayStation Plus subscribers get MGS 5: The Phantom Pain free in October

October 2017’s lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers is a top-heavy one, with two terrific PlayStation 4 games in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Amnesia: Collection.

The Phantom Pain is the critically acclaimed 2015 follow-up to the appetizer that was Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and it was the final project that Hideo Kojima worked on at Konami. He parted ways with the company that year and re-established Kojima Productions as an independent studio.

Xbox Games With Gold offers Gone Home and more in October

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Xbox Games With Gold offers Gone Home and more in October

October 2017 looks to be a varied month for the Xbox Games With Gold program, with the list of titles for subscribers led by the acclaimed interactive adventure Gone Home.

The Console Edition of Gone Home, the debut title from Fullbright (née The Fullbright Company), is free all month long on Xbox One. If you haven’t played it yet, see why it was our top game of 2013. The other Xbox One title for the month is Bulkhead Interactive’s The Turing Test, a well-received first-person puzzle game that debuted in August 2016. It will be available free for Gold members from Oct. 16 through Nov. 15.

Pokémon Go event extended after widespread login issues

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Pokémon Go event extended after widespread login issues

Pokémon Go’s autumnal equinox event wasn’t scheduled to end until early next week, but prolonged server problems have led Niantic to extend it for an additional 24 hours. Players will now be able to reap the fall bonuses, which include additional Stardust and special boxes containing the new Super Incubator item, through next Monday, Oct. 3.

“We discovered an issue which prevented several players from logging into the game,” Niantic wrote on the Pokémon Go social media pages. “After working with our partners, we were able to resolve the issue and can now confirm that login functionality has fully stabilized.”

Middle-earth: Shadow of War withdraws controversial memorial DLC

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War withdraws controversial memorial DLC

Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC will be offered free to everyone, with publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment making a single donation to the family it was meant to assist, the company announced yesterday.

The announcement ends a controversy that had apparently begun with good intentions but which WBIE agreed “was not the best way to achieve our goal” of memorializing executive producer Michael Forgey of Monolith Productions, and raising money to support his wife and children.

Atlus hits emulation group with copyright claim over Persona 5

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Atlus hits emulation group with copyright claim over Persona 5

Atlus has issued DMCA takedown notices to the developers of RPCS3, a popular PlayStation 3 emulator for PCs, after they promoted the program’s compatibility with Persona 5. Both the emulator and the developers’ Patreon page are affected, according to Atlus and the RPCS3 team, with Atlus urging Persona fans to play the game on consoles as intended.

“We believe that our fans best experience our titles (like Persona 5) on the actual platforms for which they are developed,” Atlus wrote in a statement on its website. “We don’t want their first experiences to be framerate drops, or crashes, or other issues that can crop up in emulation that we have not personally overseen.”

John Boyega really wants you to know Battlefront 2 is a bigger game than the first

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John Boyega really wants you to know Battlefront 2 is a bigger game than the first

Today’s big Star Wars: Battlefront 2 trailer wants you to know one thing: It’s a bigger game than its predecessor.

As John Boyega mentions in this five-minute trailer (with a helpful infographic) Battlefront 2 has more than three times the number of locations (not total maps, the overall settings) and vehicles of 2015’s Battlefront, not to mention a single-player campaign mode that the actor himself asked for in the original.

Valve removes nearly 200 cheap, ‘fake’ games from Steam

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Valve removes nearly 200 cheap, ‘fake’ games from Steam

Almost 200 games developed by Silicon Echo Studios, which Steam users have criticized for selling low-quality shovelware made to peddle trading cards, have been removed from the PC storefront. It’s the latest step in Valve’s continuing battle against so-called “asset flippers,” or developers who abuse the Steam Direct system in order to cut a profit on cheap — and cheaply made — titles.

The 173 removed games include titles like Clickey, Grim Banana and SHAPES. If you’re unfamiliar with those names, it’s likely because these and the rest of the Silicon Echo games were poorly received and what Valve calls “fake” games. Each one used pre-made Unity assets, so that the developer could churn them out quickly and on the cheap through the Steam Direct program. Additionally, by pushing through multiple games under one Steam Direct application, the studio was able to circumvent paying the $100 fee for every individual title.