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Rumour has it that the decrepit Arkham Knight port beat a retreat on account of Steam refunds. After all, what better way to get a dastardly developer to blush and shuffle its hooves than to reverse its cash flow? Until June, when no-questions-asked refunds came into force, such a feat was impossible. Perhaps, after years of pro-consumer jabs at Microsoft and other corporates, Valve sought to make a material gesture that player interests are truly the heart of the Steam empire. Or perhaps they dislike being sued. Hint: they are currently being sued.
By now, you ve likely encountered a shop and have a reasonable feeling about how refunds should work: if it doesn t do what it s meant to, you take it back. Nothing could be simpler. Refunds for digital products or, as is often the case, licenses for digital products are a legal hellscape of false assertions and misinformation, in large part a product of outdated legislation that no one is keen to test in court. To sift through the muck, I got in touch with Ryan Morrison, founder of the New York law firm by the same name (and no relation of mine this side of the 17th century). Whether you re European, Stateside or in the wrong hemisphere altogether, here s the plain English version of where and through which service your purchases are best protected and why some retailers still risk refusing refunds.
Gearbox Software, the studio that developed dreadful nonsense in the misshapen form of Aliens: Colonial Marines [official site], have been dropped from a lawsuit that claimed the developers – with publishers Sega – falsely advertised the Aliens game with unrepresentative demos.
As Sega and Gearbox scrap over liability in the class action lawsuit from folks who bought Aliens: Colonial Marines and felt more than a mite deceived, it’s getting a bit messy. Sega have dug out a big bag of internal e-mails to establish who exactly is responsible for some of the misleading marketing, including the E3 2011 demo that looked better than the finished game. Naturally they’re saying Gearbox were complicit, and that at times Gearbox president Randy Pitchford was “doing whatever the fuck he likes”. Oof.
We sent Brendan to Creative Assembly to meet the star xenomorph of their new first-person survival horror, Alien: Isolation. While he was able to file yesterday’s extensive hands-on report from the field, he has not been seen since. But a crack team of RPS androids infiltrated the facility and recovered a sticky voice recorder with his name on it, containing an interview with Al Hope, Creative Lead on the project and Jon McKellan, Lead UI Art & Design. Here is a transcript of that interview, in which they discuss why this is true to Alien, who else players may encounter, how they think they can keep a single foe scary throughout, hiding in lockers for ten minutes and how and why Ripley’s daughter is the protagonist. (more…)
We have all been burned by past Alien games and I would like us to maintain a healthy scepticism about Creative Assembly s recently unveiled Alien: Isolation, which I went to see and play just before the turn of the year. With this in mind, I believe it an obligation, before we begin discussing this new threat, to observe a moment of silence in which we can all remember the brave souls we lost to the Colonial Marines disaster.
*an eerie hush envelopes the world as billions of people solemnly mute Spotify>*
The good news is that, despite keeping that scepticism intact, my recent hands-on with Isolation has given me cause for hope. With luck (and no small amount of effort from the development team) we are a little closer to having an Alien game that actually captures the feel of the original movie. (more…)
Welp, seems that time’s up for TimeGate. After the Section 8 and Aliens: Colonial Marines campaign dev filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, reports recently surfaced that the entire operation’s now kaput. I did a little digging of my own, and sources very close to the company confirmed the reports to RPS without hesitation. Details are still fairly scant at the moment, but you’ll find a few after the break.
Despite what its name might imply, bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean death. Not for businesses, anyway. But yeesh, Aliens: Colonial Marines co-developer and Section 8 mastermind TimeGate has some far more frightening numbers to deal with than the looming specter of Chapter 11. The short version? The developer’s total liabilities (i.e. the amount they owe various creditors) fall in the $10 to $50 million bracket, presumably including $7.35 million stemming from a fraud suit by Section 8 publisher Southpeak. Things are not looking pretty, to put it lightly.
Oh, TimeGate. Still>-unconfirmed (or denied) rumblings have linked you to a rather sizable portion of Aliens: Colonial Marines’ acid-puking awfulness, so there’s your legacy for now. I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t point out that the recently reviled studio’s proven reliably inoffensive in the past, producing middle-of-the-road manshoots like Section 8 and a few FEAR expansions. So it’s with a slightly less mountainous mound of trepidation than expected that I bring you word of Minimum, TimeGate’s new free-to-play shooter/slasher/watch two Greek-mythology-inspired titans go all Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots on each other-er. Promisingly, its inspirations seem to run the gamut from Quake’s speed to Unreal’s arcadiness to Minecraft’s adaptability, but obviously, snapping all those puzzle pieces into a coherent whole is another matter entirely. I must say, though, the achy, breaky, blocky trailer after the break has me sort of intrigued.
Seeing that Gearbox have put out a 3.8GB patch for their rather woeful Aliens: Colonial Marines makes me feel like a nurse in a hospital drama, the one who sadly, calmly puts an hand on the shoulder of a crying, screaming doctor who’s desperately trying to resucitate an expired patient he thought he could save. “It’s no good,” I would say. “It’s over.” Then we’d have a hug and a cry, and maybe a slice of cake. Only I don’t think it’s possible to hug an entire game development studio, and I don’t know whether Randy Pitchford likes cake or not. (more…)