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Steam reaches 100 million users, adds Curators feature

Valve's digital distribution platform Steam surpassed 100 million users this week, adding over 25 million customers and 3,700 unique titles since January.

Valve commemorates the milestone with the launch of the Steam Discovery Update, making it easier for users to find games that fit their interests. Homepages now closely reflect user activity and preferences, and players can further refine their recommendations to include new releases, Early Access games, and DLC.

Steam's new Discovery Queue further refines the store browsing process, giving players a daily lineup of recommendations that they can choose to follow, ignore, or add to their wishlist. The update also introduces a Steam Curators feature, allowing users to craft lists of recommend Steam games with short blurbs and supplemental links.

[Image: Valve]

Xbox One price cut in UK

The Xbox One is now £329.99 in the UK, a 20 squid drop from the console's previously suggested price of £349.99. Oh, I'm sorry, quid? And here I thought it was a calamari based economy. Videogamer notes this is the third price cut in the region within 10 months for the console, which originally launched at £429.99. The latest model does not include Kinect nor bundled games.

We've reached out to Microsoft about a price drop in the States. The console's price has held steady in the region at $499 for a unit with Kinect and $399 for the currently available Kinect-less version.

Xbox Deals with Gold discounts Spider-Man, 1001 Spikes

This week's Deals With Gold lineup is now live on the Xbox Marketplace, giving a 33 percent discount on the Xbox One versions of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, shadowy puzzle-platformer Contrast, and maddeningly difficult side-scroller 1001 Spikes.

Xbox 360 owners, meanwhile, can grab The Orange Box for 75 percent off of its regular retail price. Syndicate, Fuse, and Grid Autosport are also on sale this week, and a number of DLC packs from Mass Effect 2 and 3 are currently half-off.

Sale prices are exclusive for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Current discounts are available through September 30.

[Image: Activision]

WildStar puts megaserver names up for a vote

I promposed naming one of them something to the effect of 'so long, roleplayers' but the suggestion was not heeded.
Do you have strong feelings about the name of your server? Then you'll want to make sure to get involved with the poll for WildStar players that's running until September 24th at 12:30 p.m. EDT. While the megaserver system has not yet been rolled out, the team is nearly ready and is looking for feedback on just what to call the new PvE and PvP servers for each region.

Both server types have five names to choose from. Currently, the North American vote is leaning toward Entity for the PvE server and Deadeye for the PvP server, but there's still enough time for players to change that trajectory. If you don't care about your server name, it's nothing to worry about, but if it matters a lot, jump on over and share your feelings.

The Long Dark ventures to Steam Early Access

Hinterland Studio launched its first-person exploration game The Long Dark on Steam Early Access this week, making the in-development survival simulator available for PC and Mac users for $20. Set in the pacific northwest, the game forces players to scavenge for resources and survive the threat of starvation, wolves and more.

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston joined the developer earlier this month. Rolston adds to a well-credited crew at Hinterland, which includes Far Cry 3 Narrative Director Raphael van Lierop. The Long Dark's journey took off with its success on Kickstarter in October 2013, at which point the developer earned $248,899. Those that want a taste of the game should revisit Joystiq Streams' archive from July, in which Hinterland took us through the dark woods for an hour.
[Image: Hinterland Studio]

Why Omeed Dariani left EverQuest Next

Don't fall in love with videogames, they'll just break your heart.
When SOE Brand Manager Omeed Dariani left the EverQuest Next team suddenly, there was no small amount of curiosity and speculation over his reasoning. Obviously he knew something that fans didn't, but what was it? He recently appeared on Reddit to briefly explain his departure, stating that it was the result of an ideological difference that could not be corrected. Dariani states that his immediate supervisors did not support the community-first structures that have been established for both Landmark and EverQuest Next, so he ultimately felt that he had no options beyond resigning in protest.

No personal issues were involved, contrary to some fan speculation, and Dariani was quite clear that his departure was entirely voluntary and he was in no way given an ultimatum. He maintains that he has the utmost respect for the teams still working on the games and that neither of them caused his departure. It might not be the happy news of another job just waiting in the wings that fans would like, but it at least explains why he left.

Triad Wars is online PC game in Sleeping Dogs universe

United Front Games has begun detailing Triad Wars, the studio's follow-up to Sleeping Dogs and set in the same world, which was revealed by trademark filing last year. Using Sleeping Dogs as a foundation, Triad Wars is an online open-world action game.

"Your goal is to rise to power as a criminal kingpin of the Triad underworld. As an Enforcer and mastermind of your criminal enterprise, it's up to you to construct an empire the likes of which your enemies would never dare to mess with," United Front Community Manager James Baldwin describes on the game's site.

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2DS to go see-through in EU with new designs, out in Nov.

Two new transparent 2DS skins are coming to Europe in November, letting continentals take a peek at the innards of the 3DS variants. The red and blue models first launch in the region on November 7, with Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby bundles arriving alongside the Poke-remakes on November 28. Nintendo of Europe didn't disclose prices in its press release (2DS standalones are regularly priced £110 on Nintendo UK's online store)

The transparent bundles clearly come with the games pre-installed on a 4GB memory card, with the red system including Omega Ruby and the blue system Alpha Sapphire.

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Legend of Grimrock 2 plumbs the depths in mid-October

Developer Almost Human has revealed that its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock 2 will debut on October 15.

Alongside the announcement, the developer also revealed that pre-orders for the game are now open, and those who purchase the game within the next 22 days will receive a 15 percent discount, which reduces the game's price to $20.39. Additionally, fans who somehow missed the original Legend of Grimrock can purchase a bundle which includes both that game and its upcoming sequel. Like the aforementioned pre-order this bundle has also been discounted, allow players to grab both fantasy adventures for a total of $25.49.

For more details on Legend of Grimrock 2, including its required tech specs and a bullet list of features, visit the game's website. If you'd rather just toss your money at Almost Human immediately, drop by the new pre-order page.
[Image: Almost Human]

A trio of Super Smash Bros. TV ads settle everyday disputes

Someone on Twitter once told the internet a story that is slightly related to these three Super Smash Bros. 3DS television ads, so we'll paraphrase it here: This person was playing Pokemon X PVP on the bus, against someone else also on the bus. The storyteller defeated the opponent just as the bus stopped and its doors opened so people could disembark. As passengers began to shuffle out, someone shouted "GG" and disappeared into the crowd.

Life sure is strange when online-only terminology makes its way out of the screen. Nintendo thinks it's pretty cool when this happens, if its new round of "Settle it in Smash" Super Smash Bros. ads are anything to go by. See all three below.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Report: Lords of the Fallen PS4 is 1080p, Xbox One is 900p

The only difference between the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Lords of the Fallen is in the resolution: Xbox One is 900p, while PS4 is 1080p, City Interactive Executive Producer Tomasz Gop tells VideoGamer.

"Probably the resolution [on Xbox One] is like 900p instead of 1080p on PlayStation 4," Gop says. "But apart from that there's nothing different, I would say."

Lords of the Fallen is a dark fantasy RPG due out on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on October 28 in North America. Gop first compared Lords of the Fallen to Borderlands and Dark Souls, and he later told Joystiq that it was a complicated, strategy-inspired game. "You can imagine Lords of the Fallen as a game that has all the layers, all the complexity, all the mechanics, all the elements of very advanced tactical combat," Gop said. "But it's not being mindlessly punishing at the same time."
[Image: City Interactive]

Joystiq Streams: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! with Gearbox [Update: It's over]

Moons haven't gotten so much love as they have by video games in the past month since Buzz Aldrin landed on one in 1969. Link pulls one down to smash up dragons in Hyrule Warriors, and the good Guardians playing Destiny have spent an inordinate amount of time blowing up Wizards from around the lunar neighborhood. Everywhere you look, moons! In anticipation of even more moon action, Joystiq is bringing you an early look at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, a game that places tiny, chatty robots on the moon and gives them many, many guns.

On at 6:00PM 6:30PM EST, 2K Games and Gearbox will be hanging out with Joystiq's own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) to check out the ins and outs of this side story to the only shooter RPG with a bartender named Moxxi. Come by and ask questions of both the team and Luddy in the chat.

We regularly broadcast on every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but if you want to catch specials like today's show, make sure to follow on us on Twitch.
[Images: 2K Games]

Humble's End of Summer Sale Encore offers free Tropico 3

The Humble Store's End of Summer Sale Encore event features a number of solid deals in its final hours, including free copies of Kalypso's dictator sim Tropico 3 for all customers.

Sale highlights include Telltale's episodic adventure game series The Wolf Among Us for $9.99, Messhof's one-on-one swordfighting game Nidhogg for $4.99, roguelike side-scroller Risk of Rain for $2.49, and FTL: Advanced Edition for $3.33.

The sale also features several games from Ubisoft and Warner Bros, including Far Cry 3: Deluxe Edition for $7.99, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition for $4.99, Rocksmith 2014 for $14.99, and the Game of the Year Editions of Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Asylum for $4.99 each. Sale prices are effective through September 24.

[Image: Kalypso]

Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass includes game set in China

Ubisoft unveiled a season pass for Assassin's Creed Unity today, and it includes a full standalone game. The pass costs players $30 and "opens up every piece of DLC" for the game, including Dead Kings, a story campaign set after Assassin's Creed Unity. The full game available to Unity's season pass holders is Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, which has players hopping and skipping along the Great Wall of China.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is set in the 16th century Middle Kingdom and stars Shao Jun, a female assassin that trained under Ezio Auditore, star of Assassin's Creed 2. Shao Jun previously appeared in the 2011 animated short Assassin's Creed: Embers as well as the Assassin's Creed Revelations novel by Oliver Bowden. It's noteworthy that Ubisoft is opting for a female lead with the 2.5D side-scrolling platformer, as it suffered criticism for its growing lack of diversity in the past with Unity's co-op multiplayer mode prior to its introduction of Elise, a Templar in the game.

Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass will also give players "over 30 new weapons, equipment and outfits" on launch day. The game will arrive on November 11 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and the season pass content will all be released by early 2015.

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P.T.'s ghost makes a spooky cameo in Metal Gear Solid 5

Lisa, the terrifying ghost woman featured in the Silent Hills demo P.T., will make an appearance in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, developer Kojima Productions revealed during TGS.

The video above, cropped from a streamed TGS presentation, shows Snake harassing enemies with the "Active Decoy" item, which summons Lisa to the battlefield. Naturally, a ghostly demonic figure has plenty of useful combat applications, letting players spook enemies off cliffs and scare away curious wolf puppies. Kojima Productions gave another glimpse at Silent Hills with a TGS concept trailer last week, following up on the recent launch of the PS4 demo version P.T.

Metal Gear Solid 5 is slated to launch in 2015.

[Video: The Grate Debate / Konami]


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 113: Hyrule Warriors, The Master Chief Collection, Murasaki Baby, Theatrhythm

Latest episode: Friday, September 19th, 2014

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