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Crawl devs devise a better way to announce a delay

Just like Mother always said: "If you have to deliver bad news, use a gif."

Crawl, the monster-infested multiplayer dungeon crawler from Powerhoof, won't launch on its promised July 17 date. Powerhoof is an independent studio in Melbourne, Australia, and the team has run into tax issues that prevent the game from coming out on time. Right now, founders David Lloyd and Barney Cumming are waiting to clear the final pieces of red tape as they transform Powerhoof from a partnership into a company, meaning a delay of days or weeks.

"Everything was on track until pretty much the last step, where we got hit with an unexpected bit of red tape that we were told 'may take up to 30 days' to resolve," Cumming writes. "We tried to find a way around it, but there's nothing we can do."

Crawl is ready to roll, Cumming says, so with the extra time, he and Lloyd will look at adding some of their wishlist ideas. Crawl was Greenlit in March, and we thought it was the clear standout from that batch of 50 games. It's a pixelated multiplayer montser mash, where one player is the hero and the rest are evil beasties out to kill him – the monster who kills the hero becomes the hero, and the goal of the game is to escape the dungeons. It's like Evolve had a baby with Binding of Isaac (and didn't name it Isaac). Crawl is due out on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux.
[Image: Powerhoof]

Sins of a Solar Empire dev discusses 'Rebellion' lawsuit

Following two years of legal battles, Ironclad Studios has been granted the right to use the word "Rebellion" in the title of its latest space exploration epic, a decision it hopes will set a precedent for the increasingly litigious gaming industry.

"Rebellion Developments [developer of Alien vs Predator] and its founders (Chris and Jason Kingsley) have aggressively opposed or petitioned to cancel trademarks containing the word 'Rebellion' and have been very successful in preventing third party use of the word 'Rebellion' in conjunction with video-games in the U.S. and Europe," Ironclad stated in a recent blog entry. In court, Rebellion attempted to argue that the title Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion was an attempt by Ironclad to trade on Rebellion's success as a developer, but Judge Victoria Roberts saw things differently. "...Defendants' use of REBELLION is expressive speech and is protected under the First Amendment," Roberts stated in her judgement. "Plaintiffs cannot satisfy the Rogers test; they cannot establish that REBELLION has no artistic relevance to Defendants' computer game, or that it is explicitly misleading as to source or content. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED."

Though this is good news, Ironclad isn't out of the woods just yet. The studio recently learned that Rebellion has filed to oppose Ironclad's trademark in Canada, and there have been "unconfirmed reports that [Rebellion] issued a cease and desist order to our partner in the United Kingdom."
[Image: Stardock]

Joystiq Deals: Hacker Monthly, The Witcher 2 for Mac

Joystiq Deals offers a three-year subscription to Hacker Monthly for the price of one as part of today's discount lineup, delivering an $87 value for just $29. Buyers will receive the next 36 issues of the acclaimed tech publication in a variety of digital formats, along with access to all back issues at no additional cost.

Also up for grabs is the Mac version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, available today through Joystiq Deals for $9.99. The package includes all previously released software updates, and is available for download via the Mac Game Store client.

Over on the Xbox Marketplace, Microsoft continues its week-long Ultimate Games Sale with discounts for Titanfall, Fable Trilogy, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, and many more titles from its back catalog. Discounts offering up to 75 percent off of featured games are available through July 14.

Pillars of Eternity enters beta next month for backers

Obsidian Entertainment has announced that a beta version of Pillars of Eternity will launch exclusively for Kickstarter backers next month, marking the first playable release for the team's long-in-development crowdfunded RPG.

Noting that Pillars of Eternity has entered the "finalization stage," producer Brandon Adler revealed that Early Access beta keys will be available on August 18 for supporters who pledged $110 or more. Launched in late 2012, the Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter project racked up nearly $4 million in backer pledges, resulting in a delay as the game's scope ballooned to meet its expanded budget.

Obsidian additionally announced that it has canceled its plans for a DVD and Blu-ray Pillars of Eternity making-of documentary release, as physical discs would need to enter production prior to the project's completion. Rather than release the documentary without a conclusion, Obsidian is opting instead to launch a "digital downloadable extended version" of the film at a later date. A replacement reward for backers who pitched in for DVD and Blu-ray copies of the documentary will be announced soon.

[Image: Obsidian Entertainment]

The Last of Us: Remastered available for pre-order on PSN

The Last of Us: Remastered is still a few weeks out, but North American and European PSN users can now pre-order the prettied-up post-apocalyptic adventure.

Not only does The Last of Us: Remastered include a full, 1080p remake of one of the few games that we've awarded a five-star review score, it also includes a host of digital bonus items, aptly dubbed the "Survival Pack." This pre-order incentive grants players extra starting cash, new costumes for protagonists Joel and Ellie, upgraded healing, crafting and reloading speed and bonus experience points in multiplayer, among other additions.

Neversoft nevermore, team now fully merged with Infinity Ward

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series creator Neversoft is no more, as remaining team members have now merged with fellow Activision studio Infinity Ward to work on current and upcoming projects.

Neversoft's Matt Canale posted the above image via Twitter, bringing the studio's 20-year run to a fiery end. After being acquired by Activision in 1999, Neversoft went on to create standout games like 2000's Spider-Man, Xbox 360 launch title Gun, and several entries in the Guitar Hero franchise following the departure of series creator Harmonix.

Neversoft worked closely with Infinity Ward in developing its final project, the "Extinction" gameplay mode in 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts. Infinity Ward is one of three studios devoted to the Call of Duty series, and is slated to produce a new entry in 2016 following this year's release of Sledgehammer Games' Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and a 2015 follow-up project from Treyarch.

[Image: Matt Canale]

World's largest fighting game tournament, Evo 2014, begins today

Today marks the debut of the Evo 2014 fighting game tournament in Las Vegas, but those who didn't book airfare to the City of Sin won't be entirely left out thanks to a bevy of broadcast streams covering all the virtual fisticuffs.

Eight top fighting games are officially represented at Evo 2014: Ultra Street Fighter 4, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Killer Instinct, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, The King of Fighters 13 and Injustice: Gods Among Us. Capcom's official "Capcom Fighters" stream on Twitch has you covered for all the Ultra Street Fighter 4 matches, while Shoryuken offers two streams to cover the remaining games: SRKEvo1 and the similarly-titled SRKEvo2.

The official Twitch streaming schedule offers a full rundown of what games will be shown. Today is a dominated by Ultra Street Fighter 4, Tekken and Injustice, but tomorrow features the more esoteric King of Fighters, Killer Instinct and BlazBlue tournaments.
[Image: Capcom]

Destiny beta grants three download codes for each player

Platform selection for the Destiny beta is live today. The beta itself is still a few days out, but eager Guardians are already getting some good news: Beta participants will be given three download codes for the platform of their choice. Whether you're planning to play on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 or PS4, you'll be able to fight wizards from the moon with two buddies, whether they've pre-ordered the game or not. Talk about viral marketing...

If you haven't done so already, you can redeem your 9-digit pre-order code at, after which you can select your platform. The beta kicks off on PS4 and PS3 starting July 17, followed by Xbox 360 and Xbox One on July 23.

Oh, and if you haven't pre-ordered Destiny, keep an eye on Joystiq. We'll be giving away hundreds of beta codes in the very near future (no, really).
[Image: Bungie]

WRUP: What are your '10 Years, 10 Great Games' ?

In celebration of our tenth anniversary, all this week the Joystiq crew have been sharing our 10 favorite games of the past 10 years. You can watch all of the top picks from the Joystiq staff in the YouTube playlist above. Now let's hear yours!

Here are the rules we had to follow:

1) Yes, they must be from 2004-2014.
2) No remakes, reissues, HD remixes, etc. The original version of the game must be from the past decade.

Share your top ten after the break or just let us know what you're playing this weekend.

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10 Years, 10 Great Games: Ludwig's picks

Throughout the week, Joystiq celebrates its tenth anniversary by revealing each writer's favorite - not "best" - games of the last decade. Aside from selecting a number one, each list is unordered.

To close out the Joystiq staff's picks for favorite games of the last decade, Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann ventures to a beautiful and peaceful land and proceeds to destroy every living creature.

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Joystiq Streams: CounterSpy sneaks onto PlayStation 4

No Luddy does it better/Makes me feel sad for the rest/No Luddy does it half as good as you/Baby, you're the best/I wasn't looking for video games/I tried to read a book/But like Heaven above me/The spy named Luddy/Is playing all my PS4 games tonight

CounterSpy is appropriately named. Dynamighty's stealthy blend of sneaking, shooting, and bananas pop art for PS3 and PS Vita quietly disarmed E3 2013 attendees and then disappeared for months and months. In June, it popped back up at E3 2014 and joined the PlayStation 4 library looking every bit as slick as before. When will we get our mitts on a sweet finished version of the game? Unknown, but today Joystiq is getting an early look on a very special Joystiq Streams.

Starting at 2PM EST, Joystiq's Ludwig Kietzmann will be streaming CounterSpy alongside Dynamighty co-founder David Nottingham. Enemy bases will be infiltrated, martinis will be shaken provided a tumbler is available, and everyone hanging out in the chat will get a look at the one of the most promising PS4 games no one's talking about yet.

Tune it at at 2PM EST!
[Image: Sony]

Super Joystiq Podcast 104: Star Citizen, Alien Isolation, Divinity Original Sin, PlayStation Plus

This week's Super Joystiq Podcast is thinking about bringing a classic theme song back as a pre-order bonus.

Real, true, big games. Sorry Willy Beamish. Ludwig, Xav, Alexander, and Sinan convene to cover the week's big release, classic-style computer role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin. The guys also talk about their excitement at word of the original Alien cast returning for Alien: Isolation DLC, and Xav shares some thoughts on Star Citizen after putting some time into the dogfighting module. And if that's not enough, here are some non game-specific topics in-store: discussion of the top 10 games of the past decade feature, lamenting of broken Obsidian RPGs, appreciation for good voice acting, and so much more!

Listen to the Super Joystiq Podcast: Podcast timestamps and relevant links are available after the break.

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Joystiq Discussion: Should consoles have early access games?

The age of early access is upon us! No longer the domain of PCs, the alpha build is becoming a central tenet of the modern game industry, even on consoles. "We have a global strike team, plus an SCEA strike team, who are in charge of trying to figure out how to look at what's happening with early alpha access, or paid betas," explained Adam Boyes, Sony VP of developer relations, in a new interview with Gamasutra.

The merits of early access game design are plain. The risk of prolonged game development is mitigated by an influx of consumer cash before the game's even complete. What's more, an audience can be built gradually over time rather than all at once through sheer force of marketing.

Early access design is, however, contrary to the spirit of game consoles. The whole point of a game console is ease of use and standardized quality. They are not PCs, variable and in need of constant tweaking, so games should presumably be ready to go as soon as you put it in the disc slot or have it installed. Even in the decade since Xbox 360 brought beta testing, DLC, and content patches to the consoles, that's remained true. Does early access gaming have a place on consoles?

Take our poll and discuss in the comments.
[Images: Mojang]

10 Years, 10 Great Games: Xav's picks

Throughout the week, Joystiq celebrates its tenth anniversary by revealing each writer's favorite - not "best" - games of the last decade. Aside from selecting a number one, each list is unordered.

For his top selection, Feature Content Director Xav de Matos discusses the industrywide implications that have evolved out of the release of a shooter sequel in 2004.

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Alien: Isolation pre-order DLC available separately 'at a later date'

The Creative Assembly moved to answer concern regarding its newly revealed pre-order DLC for Alien: Isolation by confirming the content will be available separately after release.

Earlier in the week, Sega revealed the content starring the cast of the original film would be tied to pre-orders, with one of the two DLC missions, "Last Survivor," only available at GameStop in the US. However, the news drew disapproval from some quarters, with many dismayed to see substantial content limited to pre-orders and used to promote them.

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