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Apple changes 'free' button to 'get'

The Apple iTunes and Mac App Stores have converted from labeling games with in-app purchases as "free," instead inviting you to "get" them. As TechCrunch reports, this follows a similar change by Google under pressure from the European Commission.

There is an odd inconsistency to the change. First-party Apple apps appear to still be "free," while all other free apps, whether they have in-app purchases or not are "get." Under the "get" button there is a notation if there are in-app purchases.

Bladestorm: Nightmare carves a path through history in March


Omega Force's history-based brawler Bladestorm: Nightmare is coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PS3 in North America on March 3, publisher Koei Tecmo revealed this week.

Taking place in Europe during the Hundred Years' War, Bladestorm: Nightmare recreates a series of 14th and 15th century battles in the context of a hack-and-slash story mode similar to Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series. In addition to a port of Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War's campaign, the game boasts an alternate-history Nightmare mode in which players fight off armies of dragons and giants, helmed by a demonically possessed Joan of Arc.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Bladestorm: Nightmare will launch digitally and at retail in North America and Europe the week of March 3. The PlayStation 3 edition is available exclusively as a PlayStation Store download.

[Video: Koei Tecmo]

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GameStop stock drops on declining sales, despite new hardware

GameStop's third quarter financial results show global sales are down for the quarter ended November 1, 2014, totaling $2.09 billion, compared to 2.11 billion over the same period last year. Net income fell to $56.4 million, as compared to $68.6 million during the third quarter last year.

Despite this overall decline, the company says that sales of new hardware rose 147 percent, adding that after a year on the market, the installed base of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is 73 percent larger than that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 after their first year of availability. GameStop's bread-and-butter pre-owned sales, meanwhile, grew by 2.6 percent over last quarter. Sales of mobile devices, a new focus for GameStop, grew by 125 percent thanks to "continued expansion and strong results" for the company's new Spring Mobile stores.

So, with all of this apparent growth, why the drop in sales? GameStop CEO Paul Raines pins the decline on Assassin's Creed Unity, which was delayed to November 11 earlier this year, meaning it couldn't be included in GameStop's third quarter results. Wall Street hasn't taken kindly to the news, with VentureBeat reporting that GameStop's stock has dropped by 13 percent.

TVs, tablets headline Walmart's pre-Black Friday sale

Like Gamestop, Walmart has revealed plans to host a sale prior to the annual consumerist land rush known as Black Friday. Games are sparsely represented, but those looking for new gadgets may be intrigued.

In the realm of video games, the sale includes two key offers: A $400 PlayStation 4 that grants buyers a $50 gift card, and a number of "select games" priced at $30 that includes Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases such as NBA 2K15 and Watch Dogs. If you need something to play those games on, Walmart is offering either a Sony or LG-branded 60" 1080p LED HDTV for $648 and a 40" Emerson LED HDTV for $115. If you're looking for a new tablet, you could purchase either a 16GB iPad Air 2 at $489 or a 16GB iPad Mini 3 at $389, as both items come with a gratis $100 Walmart gift card.

Walmart's pre-Black Friday sale begins on November 21 and runs through November 27, after which time Walmart's Black Friday sale begins.
[Image: Walmart]

Destiny's Dark Below DLC trailer leaks

A cinematic for Destiny's The Dark Below expansion has reportedly leaked. The video found after the break, courtesy of YouTube user Mr Jester6598, seems a lot like a standard trailer that sets up the game's upcoming DLC.

Information on future Destiny add-ons has been prone to spill across the web in the past few months; Bungie confirmed a leak of two DLC packs' mission names and descriptions in September, followed by the discovery of an entire map on Venus for the House of Wolves expansion in October.

The Dark Below will launch on December 9 for $20, and is part of the game's $35 season pass program. Aside from The Dark Below's story missions fixated on the Hive's plans to summon a pretty mean god known as Crota, the DLC adds a special Sparrow vehicle to the game that allows players to perform tricks at high speeds. Bungie will also add some free content to the game at The Dark Below's launch, such as additional gear and five additional bounty slots.

hose still on the fence about playing Bungie's latest FPS can check out the game's trial, which launched this week with the ability to transfer players' demo progress to the full version of the game, should they choose to upgrade.
[Image: Activision]

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Elite: Dangerous devs counter outrage with select refunds

To appease fans outraged at the recent announcement that freeform space sandbox Elite: Dangerous will not include an offline single-player mode, the game's developers are now offering refunds, but only to certain customers.

"Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund," writes David Braben, founder of developer Frontier Developments, in the latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter. "Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund." Braben then adds that the developers will consider each case, even those that don't necessarily fit the above refund criteria, "with the thoroughness it deserves."

Finally, Braben explains why the planned single-player offline mode will not be included in Elite: Dangerous. "It is a creative decision, not wanting to produce an empty game. It is technically possible, but it would be a largely separate game development." Elite: Dangerous is slated to reach the PC on December 16, with an OS X release following three months later.
[Image: Frontier Developments]

Matchmaking targeted in new Halo: The Master Chief Collection patch

Halo: The Master Chief Collection has suffered from serious matchmaking issues since its launch earlier this month – when we reviewed it, matchmaking was "barely functioning." However, today's content update aims to fix many of these issues. In a blog post, developer 343 Industries outlines the changes, the most crucial of which are fixes to the wait time and success rate in matchmaking.

"With this update, you'll see better, more frequent and more informative status updates throughout the matchmaking flow – so 'Players Found' for example, will be displayed to let players know where they are in the matchmaking process instead of simply wondering if it's going to connect," 343 writes.

The update also ensures players stay together after reviewing the post-game carnage report, removes the ability to kick players from matchmaking games, and it removes an exploit that allowed players to boost their rankings.

Also part of the patch, the Master Chief Collection's overall UI and campaign processes get a spit-shine, and Halo: CE, Halo 2 and Halo 2: Anniversary get improvements. Today's patch was originally supposed to launch on November 19, but was delayed.

Mewtwo may become premium DLC for Super Smash Bros.

Nearly one month ago, Nintendo revealed legendary Pokemon Mewtwo as a playable fighter for Super Smash Bros, available only to those that own both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Expected to arrive in spring 2015, the downloadable character will be free to the dual-Smash players, but new information on Club Nintendo notes that all players may have access to Mewtwo down the road. While it's no guarantee, the promotion page includes a footnote that the "Mewtwo DLC may be available for purchase in the future," as corroborated by the game's Japanese site.

To make the prospect of purchasing the Pokemon character in Super Smash Bros. cloudier, Game Director Masahiro Sakurai told Video Gamer this week in regards to paid DLC for the games that the development team isn't "working on anything at the moment." Those looking to guarantee that they'll get a download code for Mewtwo will need to register their copies of both Smash Bros. games on Club Nintendo by March 31, 2015. Super Smash Bros. will launch on Wii U tomorrow in North America and November 28 in Europe. For more information on the game, be sure to check out our review.
[Image: Nintendo]

Watch every taunt in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is still a few hours away, so we whipped up a little video to help you pass the time. Here's every single taunt in the game. Once you're done with that, you can read our review. We're waiting until Nintendo switches on the game's online modes before we give it a final score, but so far we've enjoyed every smashing minute.

Free Shadow of Mordor DLC drops today on PC, PS4, Xbox One

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor players will be able to put their warrior skills to the test in a free batch of DLC launching today, publisher Warner Bros. announced.

Today's "Power of Defiance" DLC pack includes a new character skin (seen above), introducing Lady Marwen's daughter Lithariel as a playable character. The bundle also adds the new Test of Defiance Challenge Mode, which disables Wraith powers during battles with Sauron's Warchiefs. If you're looking to take an easier route through Shadow of Mordor's storyline, the DLC additionally includes an Epic Rune that grants players an additional Last Chance after falling in battle.

Power of Defiance is available as a free download for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions of Shadow of Mordor. Additional expansions will launch in the coming months as part of Shadow of Mordor's Season Pass.

[Image: Warner Bros.]

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Joystiq Streams: That's a tiger in my Far Cry 4 and I'm happy to see you



Smell that fresh air! Glory in the plush, pink suits! Grapple hook a gun-toting lunatic to an elephant and grab a drink, because it's time to head into the wilds of Far Cry 4 and see what there is to see.

Today on Joystiq Streams, our very own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will climb back up the mountain after completing his 4.5-star review of Ubi's new open world shooter. Joining him for the stream and feeding your chat questions directly into his earholes will be Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello).

All the action starts on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST, just like it does every Tuesday and Thursday. Remember: if you dig these streams, make sure to follow us on Twitch and we'll serve up a whole lot more.
[Images: Ubisoft]

Buy Destiny expansion, get a Sparrow that lets you do tricks

To make the first Destiny expansion, The Dark Below, just a bit more attractive to prospective buyers, developer Bungie has decided to throw in a new Sparrow, one specifically designed for awesome stunts.

While its possible to surf on Destiny's current class of Sparrows, the new EV-30 Tumbler handles like a futuristic, floating ATV, allowing players to pull off jumping aileron rolls, flips and other stunts usually reserved for Trials Fusion. Granted, these aerial maneuvers won't help you kill any of the local moon wizards, but only half the battle is about gunplay. The other half is about looking cool in front of a robotic Peter Dinklage.

Getting your hands on a virtual Tumbler is simple: Just purchase either the Destiny Expansion Pass or Destiny Expansion 1: The Dark Below by January 15. If you've already purchased one of these items, your Tumbler will be distributed via the in-game Postmaster starting on December 9. Beyond the break you'll find footage of the EV-30 Tumbler in action.
[Image: Activision]

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Bayonetta 2, Hearthstone among first Game Awards nominees

The maiden voyage of Geoff Keighley's new video games awards show, the cleverly titled "Game Awards," won't kick off until December 5, but today we've learned which games are up for recognition.

You'll find a rundown of the key categories beyond the break, but the big one, the Game of the Year field, includes such notable standouts as Dark Souls 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hearthstone, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Bayonetta 2. You can peruse the other categories at the Game Awards website, though at the moment the site is only sporadically functional.

The Game Awards will take place on December 5 at the Axis theater in Las Vegas. If you can't attend the event in person, you can watch the spectacle live on Twitch.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Joystiq presents Humble Weekly Bundle, made just for you

The Joystiq staff tried to package and send out boxes love to everyone on the internet, but shipping costs were crazy, so we helped prepare this Humble Weekly Bundle instead!

The Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition includes Beat Hazard Ultra (plus DLC), Intake, Dungeon of Elements and The Dream Machine chapters 1 - 4, all for whatever price you care to pay. For $6 or more, add on Slender: The Arrival and Primal Carnage. Pay at least $15 and also get Costume Quest 2.

Joystiq's Humble Weekly Bundle supports The AbleGamers Foundation, an organization that advocates on the behalf of the disability community to make games more accessible for players of all types. We spoke with AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn this year about the climate facing players with disabilities.

"When we are denied something, the walls come down around us and we're locked, trapped," Spohn said. "When you break that barrier the walls come down again, and you feel like you can rejoin the world. What we do is for the people. That's what this is about. Giving people a sense of control over their own lives."

Check out the Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition right here, or use the sweet widget below.

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New Super Mario Bros Wii crosses 10 million copies sold

New Super Mario Bros Wii reached 10 million copies sold, Nintendo announced via Twitter. The side-scrolling platformer first launched on Wii in November 2009 and became Japan's fastest-selling game for the console two months later.

Nintendo's return to 2D platforming action in the Mario series was popular for its multiplayer offerings; up to four players could traverse the Mushroom Kingdom's environments together, knocking into one another along the way. The publisher has since returned to Mario-leaping action on Wii U with games like 2012's New Super Mario Bros. U and last year's Super Mario 3D World, the latter listed by Joystiq as one of the ten best titles that launched in 2013. Nintendo shipped over two million copies of Super Mario 3D World as of May.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Super Joystiq Podcast 121: Assassin's Creed Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition, Harvest Moon

Latest episode: Friday, November 14th, 2014

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