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Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization V may be getting another large chunk of content. A listing for an expansion titled "One World" has been spotted on a database, fueling rumors of more content to come for the world culture simulator.

The executable file listing was spotted on the Steam Apps Database, and then spotted by users on the 2K forums (via Joystiq). This is far from a solid confirmation, especially as Firaxis hasn't mentioned any upcoming content, but it does give eager world-conquerors reason to hope for some more variation coming to the game--as if it didn't have enough already. 2K has responded with the usual "we do not comment on rumors or speculation" line.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

If you have skipped the BioShock series for some reason, perhaps due to a lengthy coma or immense silliness, you'll soon be able to make amends with one handy bundle. Publisher 2K today announced the BioShock: Ultimate Rapture Edition collection, which bundles the first two games together with all their DLC. Super keen BioShock fans may be interested too, as it introduces a new virtual museum level filled with BioShock history.

The merry bundle is coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on January 14 in North America for $29.99. Sorry, PC pals, though you've probably snapped them up cheap in sales already anyway.

It includes the original BioShock and its two DLC releases, the power-adding Plasmids Pack and previously PS3-exclusive Challenge Rooms, not to mention that intriguing museum level. What 2K has to say about that is, "Take a tour of a never-before-seen BioShock museum and view early concept art, character models and more set within the halls of Rapture." Interesting!

Then, along with BioShock 2, you'll get the thoroughly splendid single-player mini-campaign Minerva's Den, Protector Trials challenge mode, and the frivolous multiplayer add-ons.

With BioShock Infinite arriving on March 26, keenly anticipated by our Jeff, 2K's looking to introduce the series to people who skipped it or are new to these here video games. And you poor coma folks, of course. Gosh, it's been five years since BioShock and three since the sequel.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Now is your chance to shoot up with plasmids and waltz with a few Big Daddies and Little Sisters. The GameFly PC client is coming out of beta today, and to celebrate, the company is giving away a trip to Andrew Ryan's underwater paradise of Rapture with a free PC copy of BioShock.

The digital PC client has been in beta for almost a year, and offers 350 Windows games for Unlimited PC play to GameFly members. The catalogue also includes more than 1,500 PC games and 8,000 console and handheld titles to buy or rent. There is also a growing selection of Mac titles.

"We used the positive and constructive feedback from our community during the beta to help make the best product possible," said Sean Spector, GameFly co-founder and SVP of Business Development and Content.

If you have a desire to get back to Rapture, do it quick. Free copies are in limited supply. Just download the client, log in and grab a copy.

[Disclosure: Shacknews.com is part of GameFly Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of GameFly, Inc.]

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Ever keen to experiment with digital distribution, Steam is trying something unusual on XCOM: Enemy Unknown pre-orders with publisher 2K. Rather than offering fixed bonuses, Steam will unlock increasingly fancy goodies as more people pre-order, including extra character customisation options, Team Fortress 2 hats, and a free copy of Civilization V.

Everyone who pre-orders through Steam will help the "reward" drive, which seems to hope it'll inspire a little of that Kickstarter feeling. Customers are fast approaching the first unlock, a pack of cosmetic XCOM pretties including shiny new armour, paints for armour, and a recruit with the classic X-COM: UFO Defense flattop haircut.

The flattop also features, in the second tier, a pack of TF2 goods. This offers that good old flattop for the Soldier, a creepy sort of alien head for the Pyro, and a very swanky medal. Lastly, if loads and loads of people pre-order, everyone will also get a free copy of Civ V, or a gift copy if they already own it.

Of course, Steam's charging the full $50 for XCOM, so you might instead fancy buying it from somewhere that simply knocks a few dollars off the price instead. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 9.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Just in time for the release of Borderlands 2, PlayStation Plus' "Instant Game Collection" will add the original Borderlands next month. PlayStation Plus owners will be able to download the game "for free" as part of their membership beginning September 4th. As usual, the game will remain accessible as long as you maintain your Plus subscription.

Plus subscriptions start at $17.99 for 3 months, $49.99 for a year.

In addition to the free game, PS+ members will also receive a 50% discount on all Borderlands DLC. The full list of discounts can be seen here. Catching up on the original game will also unlock goodies in the sequel, making it quite the bonus for anyone intending on playing the sequel.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization V recently got a lot more holy with the Gods and Kings expansion, but some of you fence-sitters haven't yet indulged in abusing religion for your own selfish ambitions. If you're still itching to give your theocracy a try, you'll be happy to know that a demo for the game is now available.

You can grab the demo from Steam and give it a try. The expansion adds new civilizations, religion and city-states, new wonders, new scenarios, and espionage. It seems like a pretty hefty chunk of Civ for $29.99, but the the demo is one way to test the waters for yourself.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Firaxis is cutting out Civilization V's existing mod browsing system to slip in Valve's sleek and chic Steam Workshop, publisher 2K Games has announced. As in Portal 2 and Skyrim, it'll let you easily peruse, download, rate, and submit mods through your browser or the Steam client.

While the announcement comes shortly before the launch of Civ V: Gods & Kings on June 19, it's not exclusive to the expansion, and will be patched into the base game too.

If you've yet to use the Steam Workshop, have a gander to get an idea of what's on offer in other games. As for more information on the shiny new things coming in Gods & Kings, the official site has great big bags of it.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization V is getting ready for some of that old time religion, also known as polytheism. To mark the Gods and Kings expansion, Firaxis and 2K Games are offering the game as free to play for this weekend, lasting from today until Sunday, May 27.

If your taste of ruling over kingdoms tempts you to buy the full game, this weekend is a particularly cheap way to do it. All of the Civilization V content on Steam is 75% off, which means the standard game can be had for $7.49. You could get the Cradle of Civilization downloadable content for $2.49, or the Game of the Year edition with extra maps and civilizations for $12.49.

The Gods and Kings expansion is scheduled for June 19 in North America. It will add religion and religious city-states, new diplomacy options with espionage, new scenarios, and a reworked combat system.

Shacknews - John Keefer

GameFly's Unlimited PC Play program has expanded today. Members that missed out on BioShock, Civilization IV or X-Com: Enforcer, can now play them as part of a paid GameFly membership.

As part of a new deal with 2K Games, GameFly has added the three classic games to its Unlimited PC Play library. Members can play as many games from the Unlimited PC Play library as part of their subscription.

2K's rationale for offering the free games was simple: Introduce gamers to a series they may not have tried, especially with BioShock Infinite, Civilization V: Gods & Kings and XCOM: Enemy Unknown expected to hit shelves this year.

[Disclosure: Shacknews.com is part of GameFly Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of GameFly, Inc.]

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Two video game movers and shakers are getting high-profile attention from outside the video game sphere, as part of Time's Top 100 Influential People. Irrational head and gaming luminary Ken Levine and Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus share the honor with political figures, entertainers, and thought leaders across a broad spectrum.

Readers can vote for whether the two deserve a spot with a "Definitely" or "No Way." The poll closes Friday, April 6, and the official results will be released on April 17.

Time's description of Levine credits BioShock as helping to spark the "games as art" debate, and says his games "elevate the conversation" while pointing to BioShock Infinite as an upcoming example of his politically-tinged design. Currently the results give him over 90% "Yes" responses, putting him in second place to Adele for the most votes in favor of inclusion. Then again, Adele has the most "No" votes as well.

Pincus is honored more for his business acumen, racking in $1.8 billion to join the Forbes Billionaires List, and having recently purchased Draw Something developer OMGPOP. His results so far aren't quite so high, but ultimately Time may decide he deserves a spot since the final decision comes down to editors.

Time has credited game developers in its Top 100 lists before; Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto made the list in both 2008 and 2009. If Levine or Pincus do make this year's list, that's pretty good company to be in.

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