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Quantic Dream’s PS4/PS3 Exclusives Detroit, Beyond, And Heavy Rain Are Coming To PC

French developer Quantic Dreams today announced a big change. Some of the studio’s most popular games, including Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human, are coming to PC. They’ll debut first on the Epic Games Store, with a one-year exclusivity window before launching on other, unspecified PC stores, Quantic said in a press release.

This is a big deal, considering these games were previously not only exclusive to console, but only the PlayStation family. And in the case of Detroit, it was released as a PS4 exclusive back in May 2018, less than a year ago.

“We are so grateful for twelve fantastic years of collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment and all they have allowed us to create and produce,” Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere said in a statement. “With this new partnership with Epic, we can now expand our products to a wider fan base and allow PC players to enjoy our titles.”

Quantic’s earlier titles, including The Nomad Soul and Fahrenheit, were released on PC, along with additional console platforms in some cases.

“We are extremely excited for the Epic Games Store to host such a well-known and established video game studio like Quantic Dream,” Epic Games’ Steve Allison said in a statement. “Their games have truly pioneered the genre of interactive storytelling, and with their expansion onto other platforms we are truly honored they chose to take that first step with Epic Games.”

Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human will launch on the Epic Games store later this year. However, Quantic didn’t provide specific release dates or pricing details.

Quantic is going through big changes. Though it was never owned by Sony, the company exclusively released its games on Sony machines since 2010 with Heavy Rain. Now, the company is working on a new IP that will come to multiple platforms, while it’s taken on NetEase as a minority stakeholder to help fund its “future technologies.”

NetEase, a Chinese internet company, is itself making moves lately. The company also invested $100 million into Bungie to develop non-Destiny games. The company also poured $30 million in Second Dinner, a small team founded by Hearthstone developers who are making a Marvel game.

Looking to Quantic’s future, studio boss David Cage said the company aims to become a “global, multi-franchise company” that retains its independence, and raising the money from NetEase will help it achieve that. “We want to keep developing original games in the genre we pioneered, but also expand our audience by being present on all platforms,” he said.

As for the Epic Games Store, it’s attracted a number of developers since its launch in 2018. Unlike other PC game stores, the Epic Games Store gives developers 88 percent of revenue, while keeping only 12 percent.

Source: GameSpot.com

Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls coming to PC this year

The three most recent games from French studio Quantic Dream — Detroit: Become Human, Beyond: Two Souls, and Heavy Rain — are all PlayStation exclusives at the moment, but they’re on their way to Windows PC with the help of Epic Games, the companies announced Wednesday at the 2019 Game Developers Conference.

PC ports of all three games are scheduled to be released “later this year,” and each one will be sold exclusively in the Epic Games Store for one year, Quantic Dream said in a news release. The company “partnered with” Epic to bring the titles to PC, according to the announcement. It’s unclear if Epic is funding the development of the PC versions, or if the company merely paid for the timed exclusive on the distribution arrangement. We’ve asked the companies for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.

The news comes as no great shock. In January, Quantic Dream announced that it had taken an investment from Chinese internet company NetEase for a minority stake in the studio. At the time, Quantic Dream executives said they would take their future projects to multiple platforms, suggesting that the company’s long-running exclusive partnership with Sony had come to an end. The wording in Wednesday’s announcement underscored that.

“We are so grateful for twelve fantastic years of collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment and all they have allowed us to create and produce,” said Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière. “With this new partnership with Epic, we can now expand our products to a wider fan base and allow PC players to enjoy our titles.”

Paris-based Quantic Dream was founded in 1997 by David Cage, who directs all the studio’s games and also serves as co-CEO alongside de Fondaumière. The company has a reputation for making action-adventure games in the science fiction genre, with a stated focus on telling interactive stories with branching narratives — although the stories themselves, written by Cage, often leave something to be desired. Quantic Dream’s games are also known for pushing the medium forward on the technical front, with high-fidelity performance capture and impressive visuals.

Following the multiplatform releases of its first two games, 1999’s Omikron: The Nomad Soul and 2005’s Indigo Prophecy, Quantic Dream signed an exclusive publishing contract with Sony in 2006. The first project under this deal, Heavy Rain, was released in 2010 on PlayStation 3. Next up was Beyond: Two Souls in 2013, also on PS3; both were ported to PlayStation 4 before the release of the studio’s latest game, 2018’s Detroit: Become Human.

Sony published all three of the PlayStation-exclusive games. But Quantic Dream is an independent studio, and it appears that the developer retains ownership of the intellectual property for its games — otherwise, Sony would have to agree to the PC versions. (Neither Quantic Dream nor Sony responded to requests for comment regarding their publishing arrangement.) We’ve also asked Quantic Dream for information on who is developing the PC ports, and are awaiting details.

Source: Polygon.com

Nintendo Direct: Spring Nindies Showcase — All Switch Games And News

On Wednesday, Nintendo hosted its annual Nindies Spring Showcase. Running for nearly 30 minutes, the Direct-style video presentation provided us with a look at a bunch of new games headed to Nintendo Switch this year, including a couple that are available right now.

Among the highlights of the event was word that Cuphead, previously an Xbox One and PC exclusive, is headed to Switch. We also learned of a Zelda-themed successor to Crypt of the NecroDancer called Cadence of Hyrule. Below, you’ll find a roundup of all the games and news from the event, along with many of the best new trailers. For more, check out our coverage of the new Switch game sale that’s now live on the Eshop in the US.

Also of note, this presentation didn’t include all of the day’s Nintendo Switch news. Separately, during Epic’s GDC keynote, publisher Funcom and developer The Bearded Ladies announced that XCOM-like game Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will release for Switch on June 25. It will launch alongside a new DLC expansion.

Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda

Brace Yourself Games is making this spin-off follow-up to its 2015 indie hit. Cadence of Hyrule takes the familiar rhythm gameplay from Crypt of the NecroDancer, but this time Cadence finds herself in the land of Hyrule, assisted by Nintendo’s Link and Zelda. It’s coming this spring.

Switch Gets Zelda-Themed Crypt Of The NecroDancer Crossover This Spring

Cuphead

The acclaimed 2D action game Cuphead, noted for its gorgeous 1930s cartoon-style visuals and brutal difficulty, is officially coming to Switch. Notably, the Studio MDHR-developed game was previously an Xbox One and PC exclusive. The showcase specifically shouted out Nintendo’s “friends at Microsoft” for helping to make this port possible. The game releases on April 18.

Cuphead Coming To Nintendo Switch Next Month

Stranger Things 3: The Game

The retro Netflix show is getting a game to match, with this co-op action game that sports a 16-bit style. In Stranger Things 3: The Game, you can fight your way through Hawkins and the latest threats from the Upside Down as one of 12 playable characters. It will release alongside the Season 3 of the show (which just got a new trailer) on July 4.

Red Lantern

Red Lantern is set against the harrowing backdrop of the real-life Alaskan Iditarod race. As the Musher for a team of five sled dogs, you’ll have to contend with bears, frostbite, and catching food to survive as you navigate the wilderness and make your way back home. It’s coming this year.

Rad

Double Fine is teaming up with publisher Bandai Namco for an action roguelike called Rad. A post-apocalyptic wasteland is crawling with monsters and mutants, but you’ll develop your own mutations to unlock new powers and attacks as well. It’s coming this summer.

Katana Zero

Devolver Digital’s stylish action-platformer Katana Zero arrives in the Switch Eshop on April 18. As an assassin known enigmatically as “The Dragon,” you’ll cut your way through side-scrolling levels, using your precognitive powers to see into the future and manipulate time. You’ll need to tread carefully, however, as a single hit from an enemy will be enough to bring you down–but even if you fall in battle, you’ll rewind to the beginning of the level and get another chance.

Nuclear Throne

Vlambeer’s Nuclear Throne is out today for Switch. The roguelike-style shooter first launched for PS4, PS Vita, and PC in 2015, but is now available for download on Nintendo’s hybrid console.

Super Crate Box

Another Vlambeer game coming to Switch is Super Crate Box, which releases in April. It’s a single-screen action game in which you fight off an endless horde of enemies and collect weapon crates in an attempt to set a high score. On Switch, there will be exclusive multiplayer modes for two players, with co-op and competitive options available.

Vlambeer Arcade with Ultrabugs

Whereas the previous two Vlambeer games are existing ones, the third is something new and different. Vlambeer Arcade will serve as a collection of “bite-sized games” that will expand over time. The first of these games it will include is Ultrabugs, an action game in which you kill enemies using a spaceship but then have to deal with the additional enemies those spawn when defeated. Vlambeer Arcade is slated to launch with Ultrabugs later this year.

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a quirky balletic action game that has you running and gunning and pirouetting through a series of gangsters, with the help of a talking banana named Pedro. The game from Devolver Digital and developer Deadtoast is coming this June.

Creature in the Well

Blaster Master Zero 2

Blaster Master Zero II is another of the games that is already available for download from the Switch Eshop. It’s a sequel to the 2017 3DS platformer Blaster Master Zero, itself a remake of the NES’s 1988 title Blaster Master.

Pine

Described as a primeval fantasy, Pine stages a war between anthropomorphized moose, foxes, and alligators. Five different factions do battle across six biomes, and you’ll have to harvest and craft your wares to take on the other tribes. It launches in August.

Bloodroots

Bloodroots is a top-down action game built around pulling off combos and using every tool in the environment to your advantage. The fast-paced revenge tale launches this summer.

Overland

The squad-based survival game Overland is coming to Switch this fall. The procedurally generated levels will get increasingly hazardous as you make your way westward, in a post-apocalyptic roadtrip.

Darkwood

Darkwood is a survival-horror game played from a top-down perspective. It doesn’t feature a single linear path and is said to not rely on jump scares to terrify you. The game is set in a European forest where evil is abound, and you’re forced to fight back by injecting an “essence” from mutated plants into your blood to obtain new powers. It releases in May.

Neo Cab

Neo Cab is a narrative-driven survival game from Fellow Traveler and Chance Agency that puts you in the shows of Lina, the last human rideshare driver in a city driven by automation. You’ll need to pick up fares and control your emotions while searching for your missing friend. It’s coming this summer.

Swimsanity

Swimsanity is a side-scrolling multiplayer shooter that is set underwater. You can play with a total of four players (or bots) through online and local multiplayer in co-op and competitive game modes. Based on what we saw, the game has a vaguely Castle Crashers-like vibe to it. It releases this summer.

Source: GameSpot.com

Epic Snags More Major Store Exclusives, Including Quantic Dream’s Games

A screen from the PlayStation 4 version of Detroit: Become Human. Epic said on Wednesday that the game will come to PC exclusively on its digital store.
Screenshot: Sony

Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human are all coming to the PC, all exclusively to Epic’s store, Epic said today at Game Developers Conference. Other games whose PC versions will come to Epic’s store exclusively include Control, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, and Afterparty.

All three Quantic Dream games were previously published by Sony and were exclusive to PlayStation platforms. Epic did not say in its “State Of Unreal” keynote on Wednesday morning when the games would be released.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey from Panache Digital, published by Take-Two’s indie label Private Division, will also be coming exclusively to the Epic Games Store. So will Control, the new game from Alan Wake developer Remedy. Epic also announced 10 other games that will be released exclusively on its store:

  • Afterparty (Night School Studios)
  • The Cycle (Yager)
  • Dauntless (Phoenix Labs)
  • Industries of Titan (Brace Yourself Games)
  • Journey to the Savage Planet (Typhoon Studios and 505 Games)
  • Kine (Chump Squad)
  • Phoenix Point (Snapshot Games)
  • The Sinking City (Frogwares and Bigben)
  • Spellbreak (Proletariat Inc)
  • Solar Ash (Heart Machine and Annapurna Interactive)

Epic has been on something of an exclusive-grabbing spree since the launch of its store in December, locking up the PC versions of games like Metro: Exodus, Ashen, and Hades. Clearly, it’s not done yet. Soon, PC players will be able to press X to Jason, but not on Steam.

Source: Kotaku.com

Anastasia is not an automatic Disney Princess after the Disney-Fox merger, thanks to bylaws

Now that Walt Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is complete, a load of movies, TV shows, and characters officially belong to Disney. This includes the Fox-owned Marvel superheroes like the X-Men and Deadpool. It also means Fox’s animated princess, Anastasia now falls under the Disney banner.

Released in 1997, Anastasia arrived at the tail end of the Disney Renaissance, amidst other coming-of-age movies involving sweeping ballgowns and catchy musical sequences, so Meg Ryan’s plucky, animated heroine is often assumed to be a Disney Princess. Now that she belongs to Disney, many are celebrating the fact that Anastasia can be annointed with the title.

Not to be a Disney purist and a spoilsport, but I’m here to be a Disney purist and a spoilsport: just because Anastasia is a princess that belongs to Disney doesn’t mean she qualifies as a Disney Princess. There are objective reasons.

“Disney Princess” is not an arbitrary character title; it is a franchise and the line-up is prestigious. The franchise was created in the early 2000s, recounted Disney chairman Andy Mooney to the New York Times, mainly to sell merchandise. The official Disney Princesses included Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Mulan, Pocahontas, as well as Esmeralda and Tinkerbell, who aren’t quite princesses, but earned the status anyway.

These characters weren’t chosen based on whether they were royalty or not; they were chosen because they fit the criteria of the mysterious “Princess mythology” — a term coined by Disney executives. Case in point of how strict the logic is: In 2005, Esmeralda and Tinkerbell were removed for not fitting this criteria: Esmeralda likely because The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a pretty dark movie and Tinkerbell because she had to launch her own Disney Fairies franchise.

Princesses from films released subsequent to the original line-up, and made the Princess mythology cut, all had “coronations” at Walt Disney World, an in-park celebration that introduced their living counterparts, or “face character,” to the attractions and officially inducted them into the franchise. As of writing this, only three princesses have joined the original line-up: Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida.

The Disney Princess line-up as seen on the official Disney Princess website
Disney

Notice a few popular names missing? Frozen’s Elsa and Anna are not considered Disney Princesses. Neither is Moana. All three had face-character welcomings, but were never coronated, and are still not considered part of the official Disney Princess line-up, despite what Ralph Breaks the Internet will have you think. Disney theorists assume the reason why is marketability; because Frozen was such a smashing success, Disney considers Elsa and Anna keystones of a separate, parallel Frozen franchise. There is no given reason to why Moana isn’t included; my working theory that by the time Moana came out, people were getting a little critical about the concept of Disney Princess.

These aren’t the only princess characters excluded, or even the only ones who were considered. Jane Porter from Tarzan was announced in the Disney Princess magazine as the newest member, but never actually made it in. Giselle from Enchanted had also been in the talks to be added, but Disney backed out when they realized they’d have to pay Amy Adams to use her face.

Additionally, there are plenty of Disney characters who could possibly be Disney Princesses, but don’t meet the criteria. Kida from Atlantis is a princess, but her movie bombed. Alice is very popular, but belongs staunchly to the darker Alice in Wonderland brand.

So what does this mean for Anastasia? Or for Ferngully’s Crysta and Avatar’s Neytiri and every other princess who now belongs to Disney? For now, they’re just Disney-owned history. Considering how picky Disney is about adding its own characters to the sacred line-up, the pomp and circumstance of an in-park ritual, and how the line-up itself is fading in favor of individual movie-specific franchises like Frozen, it’s very unlikely all these potential princesses will ever become Princesses.

Source: Polygon.com

Nintendo’s spring Nindies Showcase: Watch every game trailer

Nintendo put the focus back on indie games for today’s Nindies Showcase, and there were some big surprises during the event. Many of these smaller games look interesting, sure, but did anyone expect to see a Cuphead announcement? Or a game in which Crypt of the Necrodancer comes together with characters from The Legend of Zelda series?

I really enjoyed my time with the preview build of Katana Zero on the PC, and the game should feel right at home on Nintendo Switch.

Today’s event was a dense, fast-paced affair at times, so give yourself a moment to take a deep breath, contain your excitement, and watch any of the trailers you might have missed.

Cuphead

Overland

My Friend Pedro

Neocab

The Red Lantern

Darkwood

Katana Zero

Rad

Creature in the Well

Bloodroots

Pine

Nuclear Throne

Swimsanity

Blaster Master Zero 2

Stranger Things 3: The Game

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necrodancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda

Super Crate Box

Source: Polygon.com

Red Dead 2 Online’s Next Big Update Releases This Spring

Red Dead Redemption 2 released to a wave of positive praise. However, its online mode, Red Dead Online, hasn’t been met with the same positive reception. With outlaws incessantly griefing players out in the Wild Wild West, Rockstar Games has tasked itself with addressing the problem in a new update releasing later this spring.

Alongside the release of a new game update, a blog post on the official Rockstar website details some of the additions and changes coming to the game. Keeping in line with anti-griefing methods implemented in February, Red Dead Online will add a hostility system. Players who defend themselves against attackers won’t receive a bounty or an increase in their hostility meter as long as they don’t initiate the gunfight. If you happen to gun down your griefer, your hostility meter won’t increase. The hostility meter won’t affect Free Roam events and missions, Showdowns, Races, and other structured events either.

Rockstar acknowledges not every cowboy’s an outlaw. “Some players just want to immerse themselves in the world, riding, hunting, and fishing in peace,” the post reads. To this effect, the developers are including two modes of play: Offensive and Defensive. Offensive play lets players interact with the world however they see fit, like the current Free Roam mode. Defensive play is, according to Rockstar, “a more evolved version of the Passive Mode concept,” giving players access to the entire open world while de-emphasizing conflict.

Choosing to play in Defensive changes some of the game’s mechanics. For example, Defensive players can’t be lassoed, but if you, in Defensive play, lasso a player, you’ll be removed from the playstyle with a “significant Hostility level increase.” Further, you won’t be able to lock-on to players in Defensive play. But in the same token, players can’t lock-on to you either. Sounds like a fair trade-off for those looking to bask in the world a little longer.

Additionally, this Red Dead Online update will bring about new A Land of Opportunities missions, more Free Roam missions, an introduction to dynamic events (ambushes, resues, etc.), and more. And another Red Dead Redemption classic weapon, the LeMat Revolver, will make its way to the game with this update.

In our Red Dead Redemption 2 review, we called the game “an excellent prequel, but it’s also an emotional, thought-provoking story in its own right, and it’s a world that is hard to leave when it’s done.”

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Source: GameSpot.com

All the news from Nintendo Direct spring Nindies showcase

Does Link have rhythm?

In the midst of GDC 2019, Nintendo held a live streamed a spring showcase for indie titles coming to the Nintendo Switch, which started with Cuphead (coming in April) and ended with a wild mash-up of Crypt of the Necromancer and… Legend of Zelda. Here’s everything you need to know from the Nintendo Direct.

Source: Polygon.com

Oculus Rift S promises higher resolutions for PC gaming without external sensors

Oculus’ newest virtual reality headset is called the Rift S. The $399.99 device, which includes a pair of newly redesigned Touch controllers, will offer higher resolutions for PC gaming and not require external sensors. The headset launches this spring.

The announcement was made today in a blog post and coincides with the Game Developers Conference, taking place this week in San Francisco.

The Rift S will feature a display for each eye that’s 1280 pixels wide and 1440 pixels tall. The original Rift only offered displays that were 1080 pixels wide and 1200 pixels tall. That alone should improve the user experience. It should also help to eliminate the so-called “screen door” effect, where the empty space between individual pixels can be perceived by the user.

Oculus
Oculus

In addition, the Rift S will not require external tracking sensors. Instead, its new Insight system will use computer vision algorithms fed by five sensors embedded in the device to track movements in real time. That should dramatically reduce the complexity of installing and calibrating the the Rift at home.

According to Oculus, the device was designed in partnership with Lenovo. Their input led to a redesigned headband, which includes a halo-like tensioning system similar to the PlayStation VR. While the device is slightly heavier than its predecessor, it is expected to be more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Oculus stressed that the new Rift S would be compatible with all existing Oculus games, allowing legacy users to quickly and easily upgrade their devices.

Source: Polygon.com

Blaster Master Zero 2 is available on Nintendo Switch today

Blaster Master Zero 2 is now available on Nintendo Switch. The surprise reveal and launch happened during Wednesday’s Nindies Showcase, which focused on independent games coming to the company’s hybrid console.

In a nice bit of symmetry, Nintendo announced the original Blaster Master Zero during its first “Nindies” Nintendo Direct in 2017. That game was a loose remake of the original Blaster Master for the NES.

It appears the sequel is a new adventure. The trailer shows franchise hero Jason fighting inside and outside of his buggy-like vehicle. At one point, the craft takes off into the sky, allowing Jason to explore the game’s various planets. While the game still features the retro aesthetic of its predecessor, the combat and boss battles look notably bigger and flashier.

Blaster Master Zero 2, developed by Inti Creates, is available now on Nintendo Switch for $9.99.

Source: Polygon.com