Eurogamer


You can now play demos of Alice: Madness Returns and Arcania: Gothic 4 through your browser, right here on Eurogamer.


Gaikai's new-fangled streaming technology means gamers can play console-quality games without downloading a thing.


The two new trials are the latest to become available on Eurogamer's new Gaikai in-browser streaming page.


Samples of Crysis 2, FIFA 12 and The Sims Medieval are already available.


Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Magicka and The Witcher 2 demos are also available to play.


See how it works on Eurogamer's Gaikai page now.

Product Release - Valve
Fall of Setarrif, an all-new standalone expansion for Arcania: Gothic 4, is now available on Steam!

A new threat casts its shadow over the Southern Isles. A mysterious demon, consumed by hatred, terrifies the population and pools his force against the coastal city of Setarrif. Experience a new, compelling part of the chronicles of Argaan. Face the last challenge - determine your destiny!

Eurogamer

Gothic 3 scored only 8/10 because developer JoWooD "forced" the game's release when it was "not ready", developer Piranha Bytes has revealed to Eurogamer.


That was the final nail in the coffin: Piranha Bytes walked away from its long-term publisher partner and the renowned RPG series it had created.


"The problem was - to cut a long story short - there were a couple of differences in opinion between the publisher and us," said Piranha Bytes co-founder Michael Hoge. "And the whole thing collapsed when the publisher forced us to release Gothic 3 while it was not ready."


"To be fair, if we had finished it in the time that we promised, it would have been fine. But as it was, the development took longer on the project, and instead of trying to find a solution with us - how to get this right - they just wanted to release it. It was because of their stock market orientation, I think. So we decided to go separate ways then."


JoWooD went on to attempt a fourth Gothic game using developer Spellbound Software. The results were dire: ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale was "a dry spreadsheet" of ideas that "neither mentally or materially" rewarded players - 4/10.


Meanwhile, Piranha Bytes threw together Risen, which fared only slightly better, earning 6/10 on PC and 4/10 on console.


"For us it seemed to be a win-win situation," said Hoge of the impact of ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale, "because we knew we would get the brand back.


"Currently, JoWooD has no more rights on developing any further Gothic titles, so the rights are back - they will be back I think next year. I don't have the contract here. Very soon the contract runs out and we will get the rights back. And we knew that from the start.


"We thought, OK, scenario one: they do a good game and it furthers the brand. Scenario 2: they fail and everyone knows why."


Risen brand manager Daniel Oberlerchner added: "I'm not sure everyone is aware that the proprietary of the Gothic brand is actually Piranha Bytes - it wasn't JoWooD."


"Actually Piranha Bytes just lent the brand to JoWooD for a couple of titles."


JoWooD, today, faces bankruptcy. All current projects, including Gothic 4 expansion Fall of Setarrif, have have been suspended.


Piranha Bytes, on the other hand, beavers away on Risen 2, a game Hoge and Overlerchner were at lengths to explain will be much improved in all areas over Risen 1.


When work on that comes to an end and the Gothic IP returns home, will Risen become Gothic?


"That's a dangerous question," laughed Oberlerchner. "That's a big secret!"


"No, we can't talk about that - seriously."

Video: Risen 2: Piranha Bytes' new game.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

I’ve been travelling for 25 hours, and now I’m in Utah. There’s snow, and buildings made from wood. Why do I tell you this? Because I’m knackered and want to have a little moan. Pity me. Weep for me. Tell me you love me.

Cheery news, however: 1) there’s a big pot of coffee right next to me. 2) Gothic creators Piranha Bytes might be getting their original franchise/universe back, having had to hand over the rights to erstwhile publisher JoWood some time ago.
(more…)

PC Gamer

JoWood have released Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Enhanced Edition, a revamped version of their 2006 RPG complete with improved graphics, a retuned combat system and scores of new monsters and magical weapons. The new version of the game is on sale on Steam now, at 75% off. If you already own Gothic 3, all of the upgrades are available as a free patch. You can grab that now from JoWood.

Blue's News point the way towards the full patch notes for the update. The trailer below provides a prettier overview of the changes.

Eurogamer


Nearly bankrupt Austrian publisher JoWooD has had to "indefinitely" delay the release of AcaniA: Gothic 4 expansion Fall of Setarrif because of the add-on's "unclear" legal background.


A confusing statement pointed to "diverse legal positions" with German investor BVT, which once funded Obsidian-developed RPG sequel Neverwinter Nights 2.


JoWooD filed for bankruptcy in January. Fall of Setarrif was supposed to release this Friday, 25th March.


"The legal background of the official add-on to ArcaniA: Gothic 4 is unclear and diverse legal positions with the BVT fund that financed the main game are present," a confusing statement read.


JoWooD business development manager Stefan Berger commented: "It's uncertain whether the game can be released onto the market in its current form. Of course this must be investigated and settled before the release, unfortunately."


Eurogamer was unable to reach JoWooD for comment at the time of writing.


ArcaniA: Gothic 4 was JoWooD's first attempt at the Gothic series without founding developer Piranha Bytes; the honours instead falling to Spellbound Software. Sadly, the resulting RPG was dreary, scoring a leave-it-on-the-shelf 4/10 from Eurogamer.


Meanwhile, Piranha Bytes went off and created new IP Risen, which was decent but divisive on PC, and shonky on Xbox 360. A piratical-themed sequel has been announced.

Video: ArcaniA: Gothic 4.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

‘Bittersweet’ covers this news, I suppose. Arcania: Gothic 4 was a picturesque but depressingly stupid RPG, and one I couldn’t bear to finish despite a lingering hope that at some point it would suddenly open up and improve. None of this was the fault of series creators Piranha Bytes, who lost the rights in a spat with publisher JoWood, but fortunately went off to make the far more interesting Risen instead.

Nonetheless, Arcania was deemed successful enough to warrant a standalone expansion, Fall of Setarrif, which promised 10 more hours of monster-bothering and a bit more variety. It sounded quite literally “okay.” We shall never know for sure – Setariff has indeed fallen. And in a really weird way.
(more…)

Product Release - Valve
Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Enhanced Edition is now available on Steam. In commemoration of its release, all Gothic games, including Forsaken Gods Enhanced Edition, is available at 75% off now through Thursday, March 24th 2011 10am PDT.

Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Enhanced Edition is a completely remastered version of the official add-on to Gothic 3 that includes new quests, monsters, weapons and armors with revamped graphics and updated combat system. This standalone quest (Gothic 3 is not required to play the add-on) will answer all questions which have risen in the past and will slowly introduce fans to a new chapter.

Announcement - Valve
Act now and save 75% on all Gothic titles including Gothic, Gothic II: Gold Edition, Gothic 3, Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods Enhanced Edition, and Arcania - Gothic 4, or get all 5 games with the Gothic Complete Pack for additional savings!

Offer ends this Thursday at 4pm PDT.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Quintin Smith)

PC gaming truth machine Blues News reports that Fall of Setarrif, the standalone expansion for ArcaniA – Gothic 4 has both a trailer (which you’ll find below) and a new site, bearing a new release date. March 25th! It’s like Christmas in March, except a slightly underwhelming Christmas where all the food is a bit cold. Anyway, March 25th- that’s barely enough time to get the game and finish it! You may be better off reading if Alec’s impressions of Gothic 4.
(more…)

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