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Gamescom 2014: WildStar abandons monthly update pace

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Yet another MMO has fallen into the trap of promising monthly updates after launch only to realize that it's not as feasible as once thought. A mere two content updates into the live game, WildStar announced that it will be abandoning its monthly pace in favor of major drops every few months.

At Gamescom, Senior Game Designer Megan Starks fessed up to the change of release cadence: "Originally our idea was to have a really aggressive post-launch schedule, just constantly provide stuff for our players so that there's always things for you to do. Now that we've put out two of our updates, our schedule is still planned out. [...] We decided to work on [the upcoming patch Defile] until it's a really good quality state. We do know that we want it to come out in the next few months. Instead of saying that we have this hard deadline, that it's going out no matter what, we're going to take the time to make sure that the quality is there."

When asked if this is going to be the case for updates in the future, Starks said, "Yes."

Upgrade Disney Infinity Wii to Wii U free of charge

Still on the fence about buying a Wii U? Disney Interactive is offering a new reason to move to Nintendo's latest home console by allowing Disney Infinity players on Wii to upgrade to the Wii U version free of charge. Beginning today, those that own the Disney Infinity Starter Pack on Wii can download the Wii U version of the sandbox game from the eShop, including the game's multiplayer components.

The offer arrives just in time for the next game in the series, Disney Infinity 2.0, which stars Marvel's super heroes when it launches on September 23. The upgrade deal also makes sense for the publisher, as Disney Interactive would certainly love for the series' sizable fanbase on Wii to make the trek to Wii U, given that Disney Infinity 2.0 won't be available on Wii.
[Image: Disney Interactive]

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Adventure Time: Nameless Kingdom debuts November 21 in Europe

WayForward's next Adventure Time game, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, premieres in Europe for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, and PC platforms via Steam on November 21, publisher Bandai Namco revealed this week.

Announced earlier this year, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom takes gameplay cues from classic entries in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, and models its structure after the lauded 16-bit action-RPG A Link to the Past. Gameplay focuses on solving environmental puzzles to progress through the game's many dungeons, ditching the roguelike-styled gameplay of its predecessor Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! for a more traditional approach.

A North American release date for The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom was not announced.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Humble Bundle adopts Mobile tab, launches Sega Android bundle


Humble Bundle organizers have added a dedicated Mobile tab to the Humble storefront, pledging to increase the frequency of Android-focused bundle releases from today forward.

Humble Bundle kicks off its new initiative this week with the Humble Sega Mobile Bundle, which collects the Android versions of ChuChu Rocket, Virtua Tennis Challenge, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 for a buyer-chosen price. Beat the bundle's average purchase price (currently $3.83), and you'll also get copies of Crazy Taxi, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and Sonic 4: Episode 2.

Bundle proceeds benefit the Child's Play Charity, WaterAid, and UNICEF. The Humble Sega Mobile Bundle is available through September 4.

[Video: Humble Bundle]

Devs would rather work for Valve than go indie, IGDA finds

Given an open field, developers in the gaming industry would most want to work at Valve, according to the 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey conducted by the IGDA. The IGDA surveyed more than 2,200 developers to gather the top 10 most desirable employers in the gaming industry.

Valve tops the list, followed by "my own company," Activision Blizzard, BioWare, Ubisoft and "current employer." According to these results, the desire to go independent is alive and well in the industry, trumped only by what we assume is a deep need to know the status of Half-Life 3. See the complete list in the below press release.

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Op-ed: NHL 15 and the Case of the Missing Modes

It would come as no shock to anyone, as stereotypical as it may seem, that I have been looking forward to NHL 15 on Xbox One and PS4. I am, of course, Canadian. Some of my chief complaints from the series in recent years have been its presentation, which has made a habit of reusing animations, commentary, presentation packages and more. I apparently wasn't the only one with these issues. By E3 2014, the language coming from EA was "We heard you, NHL 15 is going to pull out all the stops."

A brand new and impressive presentation package, in collaboration with NBC Sports, was created bringing the quality of the NHL series to heights that I haven't seen (or felt) since I watched an animated Rob Barr welcome me to a game in NHL '94. EA Canada also added a new commentary team to the mix, piled on new physics that brought the series closer to reality and seemingly shoehorned an impressive list of other technical ideas into a game that, on paper, seemed bursting at its seams (or laces, whatever floats your boat).

And then the shoe (or skate, perhaps) dropped.

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Killer discount temporarily drops Hitman Go to $2

If you've been waiting for the right moment to pounce on Square Enix's bold yet surprisingly successful mobile reimagining of the Hitman series, now's your time to strike: Both iOS and Android versions of Hitman Go are currently available at $2, a 60 percent discount off its standard price.

Unlike its console- and PC-based third-person action game forebears, Hitman Go is akin to a puzzle game played out on a board of stylized miniatures. All of the murder-for-hire action of the franchise is included in Hitman Go, but the game itself is a more tactical experience that requires careful planning and execution. Rushing in with a basic idea of who you have to kill and then deciding to dispatch everyone with akimbo pistols will almost never accomplish your mission, and most often will riddle your character's bald corpse with innumerable bullets.

Those intrigued by this price cut should be sure to grab Hitman Go as soon as possible. This discount is only valid until August 25, after which the mobile game returned to its standard $5 price point.
[Image: Square Enix]

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Destiny launch trailer debuts sans moon wizards

Image While this trailer is sorely lacking in the histrionic musings of Peter Dinklage, it does an excellent job of conveying the core idea behind Destiny: The only friend mankind has among the stars is a big gun. ... Continue Reading

CounterSpy review: That slinking feeling

CounterSpy has a lot going for it: a slick visual style filled with bright colors and distinctive silhouettes, a handful of interesting gameplay ideas, a lovely Mancini-esque soundtrack and an opening sequence that would make James Bond blush. For fans of an older era of espionage – when microfilm was king and USB was still decades away – it's very promising.

Like a lesser Bond film, however, these polished elements never quite come together.

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Joystiq Streams: Putting Madden 15 through its PS4 paces [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]



There's a lush place where video games and football meet, and it's not just in EA and the NFL's island industry known as Madden NFL. In the heart of August, when the temperature and light start to drop, these pastimes begin their full bloom seasons. Today, we play Madden NFL 15 not just because we are Steelers fans and Packers fans and Eagles fans. We play Madden NFL 15 not just because we thrill in the coming rush of new games from Destiny to Alien Isolation. Today we play Madden to open the season. Today we open the floodgates to fall!

Whew. That got romantic. Just make sure you read all of that in Don Cheadle's voice. When you're properly psyched, get ready for a tour of Madden NFL 15 on PlayStation 4 at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch.

Expert Mike Suszek will show you the ins-and-outs of this year's much scrutinized entry and then join Anthony John Agnello for some spirited scrimmages.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but we broadcast at random times as well so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Electronic Arts]

The Walking Dead Season 2 finale hits next week

The fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two launches for PC, Mac, PS3 and Vita on August 26 in North America, and then on Xbox 360 on August 27. Episode five hits iOS on August 28 as an in-app purchase.

Episode five is titled "No Going Back" and it wraps up all of the bone-chilling insanity within Season Two so far. The trailer released today contains spoilers for seasons one and two of The Walking Dead, though Telltale promises no spoilers for episode five itself. It does, however, contain a heartbreaking home video of Clementine before the outbreak. Grab some tissues and see the trailer below.

If you've been playing along this season, read our reviews of each episode under the Walking Dead home page. Episode four's review can be found here.

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Report: Free Play Days appear in Xbox One preview program

Microsoft has a new promotion in store for Xbox Live Gold subscribers dubbed "Free Play Days," assuming a screenshot captured by Reddit users under the Xbox One preview program can be taken at face value.

Redditor JBurton90 posted the above image to the online discussion hub last night. It appears to depict Xbox One game Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, only the cutesy platformer bears the words "Free Play Day With Gold" in place of a price tag. Nearby, Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut are also listed as "free" for Xbox Live Gold subscribers owing to the ongoing and well-known Games With Gold promotion - the same promotion that offered Max: The Curse of Brotherhood to Gold subscribers at no charge just last month.

Though it's unclear exactly what the Free Play Day promotion entails or when it will officially launch for members of the general public, it seems pretty self-explanatory. Presumably, Xbox Live Gold members will be granted one day to play games available as digital downloads through the Xbox Live Marketplace at no charge. Microsoft has yet to officially acknowledge the promotion, though a recent tweet from Xbox Support confirms the validity of this report and claims that the company will offer more information shortly.
[Image: Reddit]

In the garden of Eden Hazard, don't you know that I love FIFA 15?

Belgium and Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard is the new face-next-to-Messi's-face for FIFA 15, at least in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Voted the best young player in the English Premier League last year, Hazard is also a less hazardous proposition to have on the cover than last year's choice, Gareth Bale. If you'll remember, Bale left for Real Madrid after appearing on the FIFA 14 cover in a Tottenham shirt, leaving EA Sports in a bit of a pickle. No such fun, sadly, is on the cards for Hazard this year.

To see the full box art, dribble below the break and remember to wipe.

EA's sportsball sim will once again grace a myriad of platforms starting September 23 in North America. Three days later it'll come to Europe, where Microsoft's once again offering it as part of a Xbox One bundle, priced 400 euros or £350.

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Elder Scrolls Online introduces subscriber loyalty program

ZeniMax has just announced a subscriber loyalty program for Elder Scrolls Online that is slated to start in September. If you're eligible, you'll receive an email and subsequently a High Hrothgar Wraith vanity pet provided that you've been subscribed for three months.

"The loyalty program will keep expanding over time," ZeniMax says, and you'll be able to collect pets and other upcoming rewards once you meet the requirements, so don't worry if you've canceled your sub already but plan to return.

Amazon: Wii U game pre-orders up following Gamescom

With all the news that surfaced last week during Gamescom, it makes sense that video game pre-orders would increase at retailers like Amazon. As it turns out, the biggest winner coming away from the show is Nintendo, as Wii U games saw the biggest boost in pre-orders on Amazon (8.67 percent). By comparison, pre-orders for PS4 games rose 5.16 percent and Xbox One games increased 2.81 percent.

The largest increase for a single game was 42.3 percent for Slightly Mad Studios' Project Cars. Bandai Namco announced a limited edition version of the game last week, which likely spurred new pre-orders. Rounding out the top five are Rise of the Tomb Raider (30.25 percent), Bloodborne (16.08 percent), Hyrule Warriors (11.77 percent) and Quantum Break (10.77 percent). You'll find the full list of the top ten games whose pre-orders increased on Amazon after the break, courtesy of MCV.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast Special: Gamescom 2014 Day 5

Latest episode: Friday, August 15th, 2014

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