World of Tanks has suffered a security incident, and as a result Wargaming is suggesting all players change their passwords. To make sure users follow through, it's even offering a one-time reward of in-game currency for taking the security measure.
A notice from Wargaming says that no financial information was accessed, but "some password hashes and e-mail addresses may have been affected." It also recommends you change your password on any sites that share your Wargaming ID password, for obvious reasons. A follow-up promises 300 gold to each player that successfully updates their password. It notes, of course, that this is a one-time payment, so you can't just keep changing your password to rack up the money.
If you own an Xbox 360, and particularly if you only own an Xbox 360, the Gold requirement for online play and services can be a pain. This weekend, Microsoft is offering a cooling salve, in the form of free access, so you can join those with disposable income in watching movies and hearing preteens shout racist epithets at you for stealing their kill.
The free weekend was announced on the Major Nelson blog, which also highlighted a few events going on this weekend to make it extra-special. Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3, and Far Cry 3 are all offering double XP for a limited time, so you can play online to rank up this weekend. In addition, Borderlands 2 has a SHiFT code for a Golden Key that's only active during the free weekend. The Netflix original series Hemlock Grove also debuts today, letting Netflix subscribers actually access their paid membership without an additional Microsoft-mandated paywall.
Combine the eerie hand of Jurassic Park: Trespasser with the Trauma Center and a wacky modern physics engine, and you may end up with something like Surgeon Simulator 2013. The maim 'em up which began life at a game jam is out today on PC, letting you operate on unsuspecting patients in gruesome ways and fling sharp objects all over the place.
Surgeon Simulator 2013 has you performing operations from heart surgery to brain transplants, both in operating theaters and in the back of an ambulance. An ambulance whose doors you can open. Doors you can toss organs out of. Sure, you do have a full spread of surgical instruments, but a truly great surgeon can improvise. Oh, and you need to juggle a ludicrous number of keys and buttons to control your hand and fingers.
It's out on Steam now with a 30% discount that brings the normal $9.99 price down to $6.99.
Bossa Studios created the game in 48 hours at a game jam earlier this year. People were so enamored with cracking a heart transplant patient's ribs open using a radio that the developer has turned it into a full game, this time taking 48 days. You can still play that game jam game.
SimCity is getting its version 2.0 patch on Monday, a major update that will make quite a few changes and fixes. EA calls it the game's "first significant update," and says it will pull the game down for approximately two hours at 1 PM PST to issue the changes.
A post on the EA Forums detailed the new features. The HUD will color-correct when set to colorblind mode, and data maps will show a filtered color when enabled, except when in colorblind mode. You can also drive your helicopter, limo, or sports car to work, because Mayors get to do that sort of thing.
The list of fixes and updates is much longer than the list of new features. The region filter will sort ones with available spots at the top, and invitations to regions should transfer more quickly. Various fixes are coming to casinos, education systems, transit, air pollution, recycling, and more as well.
Heavy Rain was a showpiece for the PlayStation 3, and could have even been thought of as a vanity project. But the game actually did very well for Sony, according to Quantic Dream's producer Guillaume de Fondaumiere, reinforcing the studio's belief that new ideas can be financially successful.
Speaking at a conference in Poland reported by Eurogamer, Fondaumiere claimed that Heavy Rain took only 16.7 million euros (approximately $21 million) to make, but Sony earned more than 100 million euros (approximately $131 million) in return. He used the example to illustrate the point that game developers shouldn't think of innovation is always unprofitable.
He also pointed out that people traditionally outside the video game market, like wives and girlfriends, would play it with their partners. That might tempt those same people to go buy their own games with similar narrative strengths. "Creating new experiences is also a way to expand the market," he said.
Fondaumiere also noted that the perception of games is shifting. In 2004, he said he met with actor Leonardo DiCaprio about doing games, but he was hesitant. Beyond: Two Souls, by comparison, has snagged both Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.
The social experiment game Curiosity from developer 22Cans has added another layer of interest to the app. Now, a new update allows players to purchase cubelets to add back to the layers being chipped away, prolonging the previously overriding goal of revealing what was in the center of the cube.
"We don't know quite what will happen," a note within the app said (via Eurogamer). "Curiosity may very well rapidly degrade to reveal its innermost secret or maybe the effects of automatically removing cubelets will be neutralized by players keen to keep Curiosity going."
Players can now buy back 10,000 cubelets (99 cents), 100,000 cubelets ($6.99) or 500,000 cubelets ($10.99). So far, people have bought more than 5.1 million cubelets to add back to the next layer, and 260 layers have already been removed in since the app launched a day early on November 6.
After an ESRB leak, Sony has announced that the Jak and Daxter Collection is coming to the Vita in June. Like the PlayStation 3 collection, it will include the three main series titles, without the racing or PSP spin-off games. It will cost $29.99.
The PlayStation Blog delivered the news, along with word that it will sport its own collection of Trophies. Some of the mini-games have also been revised to use the Vita's touch features as well. The PlayStation 3 version, released last year, is still available for $19.99 if you want the games on a big screen without the touch features.
Shinji Mikami's mysterious new survival horror codenamed 'Zwei' has been unveiled today as The Evil Within, coming in 2014 to PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and next-gen consoles. Despite this being the game's second announcement, we still don't know much more than we did a year ago. Still, Bethesda has released a pretty live-action trailer to look at.
The creepy trailer offers the sorts of nasties you'd expect from a survival horror: eerie environments, mutilation, monstrous human-ish figures, and the sound of grating metal. Live-action trailers are often worthless, but gosh, this is pleasant tone-setting.
"We're incredibly proud to announce The Evil Within," Resident Evil creator Mikami said in today's announcement. "My team and I are committed to creating an exciting new franchise, providing fans the perfect blend of horror and action." And that's about all.
Mikami's leading development at his new studio Tango Gameworks, which is owned by Bethesda parent company ZeniMax. Bethesda Softworks is publishing.
Here's the trailer, currently exclusive to IGN:
Unlike other publishers, Activision has been lagging behind in selling content for mobile phones and tablets. For example, the publisher has only released a handful Call of Duty games on the App Store, all watered-down ports of the console games' zombies mode. The ports were merely "okay," Activision Blizzard senior director of global digital and mobile sales Jon Estanislao said. But, he promised that going forward, the company will be focused on avoiding ports, and making original experiences.
"Going forward for us, how do we really take that Call of Duty experience, what is the essence of it? These kinds of grandiose, immerse experiences--how do we move that to mobile or tablet? From a development perspective, we're investing a lot more in understanding how to marry that together with how customers expect to play on those devices," he said.
Speaking at DMW Games in Los Angeles, Estanislao says that future Call of Duty experiences on mobile will "evolve" the way customers interact with the brand, offering new ways of utilizing Call of Duty Elite, for example. "We're definitely looking to reach out to our core audience and engage them beyond their TV or PC and then give them new experiences around Call of Duty that are unique for that device," he said.
Given the amount of money that's in mobile gaming nowadays, it's surprising to see Activision so slow to capitalize on it. However, Estanislao says that the publisher's size can get in the way of being agile. "Sometimes it takes a bit longer for large companies like ourselves because our DNA isn't necessarily that flexible," he said. "But I think we're at that stage, we have dedicated internal studios to work on it, and folks from outside the industry that we're bringing in."
If you've managed to go the last two years without picking up The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim or its downloadable content, Bethesda might be making it easier for you to catch up soon. A Polish retail site has listed a Skyrim "Legendary Edition" that includes all prior DLC. It's said to be coming later this summer.
The Polish site Ultima (via Eurogamer) listed the collection for PC and Xbox 360. The cover says that it includes the Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn packs. The Xbox 360 is listed for 169.90 Polish zloty (approximately $54), and the PC version is listed for 139.90 zloty ($45). The two are tentatively dated for June 7 in the region.
A comprehensive set with all the DLC would make sense now, as Bethesda recently said that it's finished with developing DLC for the game. Its final patch, appropriately enough, added Legendary difficulty and skills. Bethesda gave similar treatments to both Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
Shacknews has contacted Bethesda and will update as more information becomes available.