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Warframe registers 10 million space-ninjas, adopts space-pets

Warframe has surpassed 10 million registered users, according to a recent press release, and developer Digital Extremes is celebrating the free-to-play game about exoskeletal space ninjas' success with a new patch. Dubbed simply "Update 14," the update revamps several areas of the game while adding to others. Highlights include:
  • An overhauled user interface
  • Pets
  • New Warframe, Mirage - a trickster-style character who can create copies of herself to fool enemies
  • Pets
  • New weapons
  • Seriously, did we mention pets? Because there are pets now. Look, we're not sure you understand, so feel free to check out the behind-the-scenes video above to see what we're talking about. They're like little bat-wolf-bears! So cute!
While Update 14 is already available for PC users, Digital Extremes notes that PS4 players will have to wait "a few more weeks" to get their hands on the patch, as the revamped UI requires additional tweaking to work with the DualShock 4. It's not clear if Update 14 will be applied before or after Warframe makes its way to Xbox One later this year.
[Image: Digital Extremes]

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Report: Google deal to acquire Twitch for $1 billion is so on

Google has acquired Twitch for $1 billion, Venture Beat reports, citing people "familiar with the matter." This follows a report in May that Google (via YouTube) was in talks to acquire Twitch. Twitch offered no comment on the new claim.

Venture Beat notes that details are scarce on the deal and the precise purchase price is still unknown, but early Twitch investors "are pleased that they will be getting significant returns that are multiple times the amount they originally invested."

Reports from May place YouTube at the head of the acquisition. Twitch, after all, is a live game streaming site, and YouTube handles all things in online video.
[Image: Twitch]

Epic debuts concept footage from next Unreal Tournament

In a lengthy, official video preview, members of the Epic Games development team have unveiled the first look at the upcoming Unreal Tournament sequel. Jump to the 1:30 mark in the above video for a brief tour.

Keep in mind, the above video includes very early, work-in-progress footage taken from within the engine that will power the upcoming Unreal Tournament. There are no guarantees that the final game will look this good, though at this early stage of development it's entirely possible that the final product will look even better than what Epic has shown us here.

While the final version of Unreal Tournament is still a ways off - Epic has yet to announce a release date, or even a vague release window - the developer is still seeking input from fans on how best to craft this latest entry in the long-dormant series. If you're interested, register an account on the official Unreal Engine forums and give the developer a piece of your mind.
[Image: Epic Games]

GOG adds more than 50 Linux games, including many exclusives

DRM-free game distributor has introduced support for Linux platforms, adding more than 50 Linux-compatible games to its online catalog.

GOG's initial lineup hosts a number of exclusive Linux debuts for many featured games, including Pirates! Gold Plus, Flatout 2, and Rise of the Triad: Dark War. Today's rollout is the first stage in GOG's previously announced initiative that will bring more than 100 Linux games to the service by this fall.

Other recent Linux-compatible additions to GOG's storefront include VVVVVV, Gods Will Be Watching, Kentucky Route Zero, Surgeon Simulator 2013, and SteamWorld Dig. Many classic games are currently discounted by up to 75% to commemorate GOG's Linux launch.

[Image: GOG]

Boy races against his dead father's ghost, unleashes feels

A YouTube commenter's story of racing the ghost car of his deceased father has been making laps around game and car blogs. Yahoo! Autos has the full tale, in which a boy's father dies when he's six and ten years later the boy boots up his dad's Xbox to find his father's ghost car to race against in RalliSport Challenge.

"And so i played and played, and played, until i was almost able to beat the ghost," he wrote. "Until one day i got ahead of it, i surpassed it, and... I stopped right in front of the finish line, just to ensure I wouldn't delete it. Bliss."

The comment was in response to a video by PBS's Game/Show asking: Can video games be a spiritual experience? We've placed the video after the break.

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Sonic Boom reaches Wii U, 3DS in November

Sonic the Hedgehog will grace the Wii U and 3DS with his newly-lanky, traumatic dimensions in mid-November, according to Sega.

First up is Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, a 3DS game crafted by Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time developer Sanzaru Games, which is slated to appear on November 11. Then, a week later, Big Red Button Entertainment will debut the Wii U-exclusive Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Collectively dubbed the "Sonic Boom initiative," these two games will tell complementary tales that are linked in the surprisingly extensive Sonic the Hedgehog canon.

While you won't need to play both games to receive a full story, those who fall hopelessly in love with this most recent incarnation of 1992's favorite spiny rodent can also look forward to comic books and an animated series to quell their thirst for hedgehog hijinks.
[Image: Sega]

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Gratuitous Space Battles 2 coming soon to PC, Mac, Linux

Positech Games has announced a sequel to its interstellar strategy hit Gratuitous Space Battles, that, the developer claims, will make the titular melees between massive spaceship armadas even more ludicrous.

"[Gratuitous Space Battles 2] uses an entirely re-written custom engine, vastly better visual effects, a much-improved GUI, and will feature steam achievements, mod support and some very sexy undisclosed new features," reads Positech's official announcement. "The game is especially targeting gamers with multiple monitor setups who enjoy ridiculously over the top space battles, but the engine should comfortably scale down to much older PC's too. The aim is to replicate all of the OTT silliness of sci-fi movie user-interfaces."

Though Positech has yet to nail down a solid release date, Gratuitous Space Battles 2 should reach the PC, Mac and Linux platforms in late 2014 or early 2015. More information can be found on the game's newly-launched website.
[Image: Positech Games]

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Out of nowhere, 3D Realms teases return of Major Stryker

In the most unexpected news you'll read today, publisher 3D Realms appears to be planning the return of Major Stryker, assuming a vague, 38-second YouTube clip is to be believed.

For those who don't keep meticulous tabs on the minor shareware hits of 1993, Major Stryker was a 2D, MS-DOS-exclusive vertical shooter that dropped players into the boots of the titular Major as he soared through the skies blasting enemies and collecting power-ups. At debut Major Stryker received middling reviews and the game was released as freeware in 2006.

What 3D Realms has planned for the archaic shooter is unknown - the only reason we know the above teaser is even related to Major Stryker is the video's title and its catchy music - but the tweet accompanying this footage urges fans to "Get Ready for August!" If you'd rather not wait, you can download Major Stryker from 3D Realms' website.
[Image: 3D Realms]

Neverwinter unveils the Dragonborn Pack

FUZZ ROW D'AWW!  Please don't sue.
Were you worried that Neverwinter's fourth major update, Tyranny of Dragons, would feature too few dragons? We're not sure how you could have been worried about that, but the good news is that you can bring even more dragon into your play experience by playing a Dragonborn. No, not that kind of Dragonborn; the kind that's literally half-dragon. Or all dragon, but... humanoid dragon. You get the idea. And you can play one.

Buying the game's Dragonborn Legend Pack unlocks the new race as well as a set of cosmetic armor for your new man-dragon, the special Heart of the Red Dragon artifact, and a variety of other rewards including a race change token. The pack is on sale until August 18th, allowing players a chance to get in on the race at a discount. Whether you want to just one-up roleplayers claiming to be half-dragon or can't get enough lizards in your gameplay, you can pick up the pack now if it's your sort of fun.

2K is teasing something BioShock related

2K Games' UK branch has posted a teaser image recalling earlier entries in the BioShock series, sparking a new wave of fan theories and speculation.

"Come bite the Apple!" reads a faux advertisement from Eve's Garden, an exotic dancing club featured in the original BioShock and BioShock 2's multiplayer component. The Biblical allusion accompanies BioShock's narrative focus on "ADAM," a liquid substance that allows players to equip new Plasmid superpowers.

Developer Irrational Games wrapped up its DLC plans for BioShock Infinite with the release of Burial at Sea Episode Two earlier this year, and series co-creator Ken Levine recently reflected on the now-lost possibility of a turn-based BioShock game for the PS Vita. 2K itself, however, has not elaborated on the posted image's meaning. What do you think they're teasing?

[Image: 2K]

Put those goats to use in Tropico 5's 'The Big Cheese' DLC

Mmm, cheese. Tropico 5's first DLC pack is called The Big Cheese, and it involves actually making cheese in El Presidente's very own artisan factory, The Creamery. The Big Cheese is available now for $4, or free for those who pre-ordered the game via Steam or purchased a physical boxed copy.

"'The Big Cheese' DLC, available today, challenges players to create and promote an artisan cheese brand by introducing a new production chain with The Creamery: a new building that enables you to make the most of Tropico's local goats and llamas," Kalypso says in a press release. "Put on the chef's hat and face international competition in an epic quest to create the best cheese in the world!"

Update 1.04 is live today as well, enabling saves in multiplayer and squashing some bugs. We can't have bugs in the cheese factory, after all.
[Image: Kalypso]

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Joystiq Streams: Killzone Shadow Fall Intercept brings us together [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]

Joystiq Streams simply can't stop shooting things on We tried not to, we really did. First we tried to play The Crew beta, but technical issues forced Anthony John Agnello and Xav de Matos to retreat to the warm climes of Far Cry 3 co-op. On Wednesday, Joystiq succumbed fully to Destiny's charms, so Susan Arendt, Jess Conditt, and Xav put the beta through its paces on Xbox One. Now it's time for Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept, the new cooperative campaign for PlayStation 4's signature shooter.

Starting at 4PM EST, Joystiq Streams will play through Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept with an all-star cast. Danny Cowan and Earnest "Nex" Cavalli will be on hand for some Helghast-flavored firefights, while Xav de Matos pulls off a streaming hat trick for the week. Anthony John Agnello will be hanging in the chat, feeding your myriad questions to the squad.

Joystiq Streams regularly broadcasts at 4PM EST on every Tuesday and Thursday. Little secret: We stream a lot outside that regularly scheduled programming, so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live!
[Image: Sony Computer Entertainment]

No bones about it: Silent Scope returns to Japanese arcades

After more than a decade, Konami's fan-favorite sniper simulation franchise Silent Scope is making a return to the arcade with the decidedly anime-styled Silent Scope: Bone Eater.

What peering through the lens of a high-caliber rifle has to do with munching skeletons is anyone's guess, but according to the intro cinematic seen above, Bone Eater bears all of the series' trademarks: a reduced, simulation-style field of view, bonus points for long distance headshots and endless legions of nondescript thugs unwittingly begging for a bullet through the brain pan.

According to Siliconera, Silent Scope: Bone Eater boasts network connectivity, allowing up to four snipers to work together to dispatch enemies. Bone Eater is currently in development for Japanese arcades, with an estimated launch date of later this year. An international arcade release is possible, though given the dearth of arcades elsewhere in the world, it's unlikely you'll ever see a Silent Scope: Bone Eater machine outside of Japan.
[Image: Konami]

Halo still evolving its combat, graphics and more on PC

Halo: Combat Evolved has already had its Anniversary edition on Xbox 360, and later this year, we'll see its remastered form once again as part of The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One. But official efforts from Microsoft and 343 Industries aren't the only ones working to update John-117 and Cortana's adventures; a group of modders has created "SPV3," a mod that improves the visuals while adding features not only from later Halo games, but some completely new ones as well.

Want to hijack a Ghost? Take out a Brute with the Battle Rifle? Such are the dreams that SPV3 makes into reality. The mod is a work-in-progress, however, and won't be ready until later this year. The recently-released trailer shows that instead of being made available all at once, the group behind SPV3 is aiming to release individual levels over the course of two months later this year. Check out the full list after the break:

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Titanfall adds 'Black Market' and in-game currency system

Respawn Entertainment added a new in-game market to Titanfall known as the "Black Market," which allows players to redeem credits in the game for burn card packs and insignias. For instance, the game's standard burn card pack costs 5,000 credits and contains six random pilot and Titan burn cards. Players will have access to the Black Market once they reach level 11 and have opened the burn card menu.

Respawn emphasized that the game's new currency and market updates do not indicate that Titanfall players will be spending real money in the game at any point, driving the point home with an all-caps "NO MICROTRANSACTIONS" note in its announcement.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 105: Wildstar, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Wolf Among Us, GaymerX2

Latest episode: Friday, July 18th, 2014

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