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You mayfly around in musical adventure Ephemerid for $1

Ephemerid is a beautiful game about an unlikely beast, the mayfly, and it's now available at a reduced price of $1 on the App Store. This is a limited-time sale, so jump on it like a mayfly on corn (we don't know much about mayflies).

We do know that Ephemerid is a musical adventure game and it's "just plain gorgeous." The graphics are composed of paper, glass and paint, and the music elevates the gameplay and story with rocking guitar riffs. Ephemerid follows the entire life of a mayfly – just one day – and asks players to make every moment count for this fluttering insect's sake.
[Image: SuperChop Games]

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Killer Instinct hits retail with bonus Season 2 fighter

Come September 23, Xbox One-exclusive fighter Killer Instinct will make its debut on retail shelves as the "Killer Instinct: Combo Breaker Pack."

Included in the $20 Pack are the eight fighters currently available in Killer Instinct: Jago, Orchid, Sadira, Sabrewulf, Fulgore, Thunder, Glacius and Spinal. The retail package also includes a code for TJ Combo, an additional fighter slated to appear in the imminent second season of Killer Instinct DLC releases.

For comparison, the digital Combo Breaker Pack, which includes only the eight Season One characters and no access to TJ Combo still features an identical $20 price tag, while the free-to-play, one-character version of Killer Instinct asks players to spend $5 for each additional fighter.
[Image: Microsoft]

Humble Weekly Bundle shoots for the stars

Brace yourself for an influx of neon, spaceships and robots in the Humble Weekly Bundle: Sci-Fi Edition. Available for any price you wish is Velocity Ultra, Cosmic DJ (Early Access game) and QUBE. For $6 or more, add in The Fall, Strike Suit Infinity and Strike Vector. The Last Federation is available for $15 or more.

These purchases include the soundtracks for Velocity Ultra, QUBE, Cosmic DJ and The Last Federation. As is the case with these delicious Humble Bundles, part of the cash goes to charity, this time Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Also, pay at least $1 and grab Steam keys for all of the games in the bundle.
[Image: Humble Bundle]

God game Maia pulls in $1 million while in Early Access

Maia, a sci-fi colony management sim from developer Simon Roth, has pulled in more than $1 million, and it's not even fully out yet. This figure includes the £140,481 ($225,219) Maia secured on Kickstarter in 2012, plus $11,000 on Indiegogo, pre-sales on Roth's site and Steam Early Access sales, Develop reports. Maia was Greenlit on Steam in August 2013.

Roth is using the cash to set up a new development house called Machine Studios. He's hiring developers and may get to work on another, new project once everything is settled.

"The real reason I wanted Machine Studios rather than Simon Roth Incorporated is I thought it would be really narcissistic and weird, for one," Roth said. "And also, I didn't want my employees to have to put on their CV, 'I worked at Simon Roth,' when it could be Machine Studios. And so it gives them a better thing to say what they worked for."

Maia is $25 on Steam Early Access for PC, Mac and Linux, and it's currently $21.70 on the game's site (purchase includes a Steam key).
[Image: Simon Roth]

The Dota 2 International pulls in 2 million concurrent views

The Dota 2 world tournament, The International, drew a digital crowd of more than 20 million people, Valve has revealed. Of the 20 million, 2 million watched The International 2014 at the same time, meaning the peak number of concurrent users was more than triple the population of the city where the tournament was held, Seattle.

While impressive, the true numbers for viewership is actually higher, as the 20 million and 2 million figures do not include views from MTG Europe, CCTV China TV or ESPN, the latter of which hosted Dota 2 events on both ESPN2 and ESPN3.

So, a record-shattering prize pool, a broadcast partnership with ESPN and now more than 2 million concurrent viewers out of 20 million total. Not too shabby, Valve. Not too shabby.
[Image: Valve]

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Rayman creator starts a studio but remains at Ubisoft

Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman, is starting his own studio called Wild Sheep – though he'll remain at Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft says in a statement to Game Informer.

"We are fortunate to have some of the industry's finest talents, including Michel Ancel, working with us at our studio," Ubisoft Annecy, Paris, and Montpellier Managing Director Xavier Poix said. "In addition to spending some of his time on this new venture, Michel is leading the creative development of select projects at Ubisoft Montpellier, including an extremely ambitious new title that is very close to his and the team's heart."

Sounds like Ancel has a lot of projects in progress. Managing all of them will be like herding Wild Sheep or something.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Final Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC pack hits Xbox Live August 5


The fourth and final round of Call of Duty: Ghosts DLC will make its debut on Xbox platforms next week, Activision announced.

The Nemesis DLC pack adds four new multiplayer maps: Goldrush, Subzero, Dynasty, and Showtime, a "reimagined" version of the Shipment map originally featured in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Nemesis also includes the final chapter in the co-op Extinction storyline, pitting players against a new alien breed equipped with psychic powers.

Nemesis premieres on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 5. Releases for the PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC platforms will follow in September.

[Video: Activision]

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Guardians of the Galaxy skins to appear in Minecraft

The latest intellectual property to appear in the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft via DLC skin pack are the Guardians of the Galaxy, just in time to promote the Marvel Studios film of the same name.

According to Play XBLA, the Guardians of the Galaxy skin pack will include 24 skins "inspired both by Marvel's blockbuster film and the comic books." This means you get the expected faces like Starlord and Thanos, but also more esoteric characters like Angela, an angel Neil Gaiman first debuted in the pages of Spawn, before convoluted legal wrangling and a cosmic wormhole recently shunted the half-naked celestial warrior maiden into the Marvel Universe.

Lacking from the Play XBLA announcement are any details on when this DLC pack might arrive or what price point it may feature. Instead, we're told that more information will be coming soon.
[Image: 4J Studios]

Get double RP in GTA Online this weekend

Career criminals will soon have an opportunity to make a name for themselves in Grand Theft Auto 5's online multiplayer mode, as Rockstar announced that all GTA Online players will receive double RP throughout this weekend.

This week also marks your last chance to pick up GTA Online's Independence Day content, so if you want to outfit your character with a fireworks launcher, an American flag t-shirt, or a glorious flowing mullet, you'd best make plans to join in this weekend's bloodbath.

Rockstar's Double RP event kicks off tomorrow, and extends through August 3.

[Image: Rockstar]

WildStar's Sabotage update is now live

WildStar
PvP fans who were miffed at the PvE focus of WildStar's first major content update, Strain, will be mollified by today's release, Sabotage, which is now live. It introduces a new level 30+ 15v15 battleground called Daggerstone Pass and adds new achievements and decorative housing items -- because nothing says PvP like new housing items.

PvE gamers needn't worry, however; Carbine says "the next drop is for you!"

Massively's WildStar expert Eliot Lefebvre previewed Daggerstone Pass and the rest of the patch earlier this month.

PSA: Titanfall Frontier's Edge DLC out now


Respawn Entertainment has launched the "Frontier's Edge" expansion DLC for the Xbox One and PC versions of its mech-blasting first-person shooter Titanfall, adding three new maps to its multiplayer modes.

Frontier's Edge introduces the "Dig Site," "Export," and "Haven" maps, and is bundled as part of Titanfall's Season Pass. The pack can also be purchased separately for $9.99.

Today's DLC release follows up on the recent introduction of an in-game "Black Market" that allows players to purchase burn card packs and insignias using in-game currency. Frontier's Edge is the second in a series of three planned batches of Titanfall Season Pass DLC.

[Video: Electronic Arts]

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Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity pre-orders live on Steam

Ubisoft has made it a bit easier for fans to fork over their money by opening Steam pre-orders for two of the publisher's biggest upcoming releases, Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity.

Players will be rewarded for pre-ordering either game with a host of bonus content. A Far Cry 4 pre-order awards players three extra missions starring the lovably combustible Hurk of Far Cry 3 and an exclusive weapon. Those who pre-order Assassin's Creed: Unity will pick up a new mission (dubbed "The Chemical Revolution"), as well as special in-game pants, shirt and rapier.

Both Assassin's Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4 can be pre-ordered from Steam for $60, though especially devoted fans can instead opt to pre-order the Gold edition of either game for $90 which includes a DLC Season Pass. Assassin's Creed: Unity is currently slated to launch on October 28, while Far Cry 4 debuts on November 18.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Catch the Metal Gear Solid 5 preview at the Gamescom gala

In a powerful demonstration of the mantra "go big or go home," Konami will be previewing Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain not on a show floor, but at a special gala event in Cologne, Germany, the company has announced. The celebration will take place at the Cologne Musical Dome at 8 p.m. CET on August 13, coinciding with Gamescom 2014.

The event will also be streamed via Konami's Twitch page, meaning you won't have to be a globe-trotting super-spy in order to attend. Simply tune in at 11 a.m. Pacific / 2 p.m. Eastern to catch the preview as it happens.

A related Konami press release promises a live Q&A session with Metal Gear Solid series creator Hideo Kojima, as well as "a few surprises." Considering the last "surprise" turned out to be a massive fake-out revolving around a fake company and a Swedish pseudonym, we can't even begin to imagine what Kojima has in mind.
[Image: Konami]

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Galaga star makes Super Smash Bros. cameo

For his latest Miiverse Super Smash Bros. tease, director Masahiro Sakurai has put his roster of Nintendo characters on the shelf in favor of a Bandai Namco arcade icon, the Boss Galaga.

"If you get caught in the Boss Galaga item's tractor beam, it will carry you away to the top of the screen," Sakurai wrote. "You can shoot it down, but it won't join you in battle for double the firepower."

For those too young to recall the early arcades, the Boss Galaga made its debut in the 1981 hit Galaga. Unlike other Galaga critters which sought only to destroy the player's ship, the Boss Galaga attempted to draw the ship in via tractor beam. If the Boss Galaga stole a player's ship and was then killed, the ship it swiped would be combined with the player's existing ship, doubling its effective firepower.

As Sakurai mentioned, none of this takes place in Super Smash Bros., but at least now you know why the pixelated bug is attempting to abduct Donkey Kong.

Dead Rising sales still good, can't save Capcom's Q1

Capcom's first quarter in the 2014 - 2015 fiscal year starts on a down note, with a 45.1 percent decrease in net sales compared with the previous year. Operating income is up 75.3 percent, while net income is down 7.5 percent year-over-year, Capcom says in its Q1 financial report.

Capcom attributes the downturn to a lack of major new releases in Q1, though it says that Dead Rising 3 "continued to show a robust sale" during the quarter, as did the online game Monster Hunter Frontier GG. For mobile, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (iOS) performed well, Capcom says.

"Capcom has promoted measures to improve earnings by reducing the cost of sales in the Mobile Contents sub-segment, etc. and cutting back on selling, general and administrative expenses, which resulted in 75.3 percent growth in operating income," Capcom says.

The company's forecast for the year ending March 31, 2015, remains the same – net sales of 80,000 million yen ($786 million) and an operating income of 10,500 million yen ($103 million).
[Image: Capcom]

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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