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Nordic officially purchases de Blob series from THQ

Over a year and a half after it won dozens of intellectual properties in THQ's back catalog auction, Nordic Games announced that it closed an asset purchase agreement with THQ for de Blob today. With the rights to the series now officially owned by Nordic Games, de Blob joins properties such as Darksiders, Red Faction and MX vs. ATV on the Austrian company's list of games. The publisher acquired those brands in April 2013 for $4.9 million.

"We are excited about what the future holds for this polychromatic extravaganza as the newest addition to our portfolio," Business and Product Development Director Reinhard Pollice said in an update on the publisher's site. "We will evaluate opportunities with the existing games, as well as potential sequels." De Blob launched in 2006 on PC before a THQ-published Wii version arrived in 2008. The paint-splattering, platforming follow-up de Blob 2 launched on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii in 2011. Nordic Games also reportedly acquired the THQ trademark under a separate agreement revealed in June, though the mark's listing on the USPTO's website still notes THQ as its owner.
[Image: THQ, err, Nordic Games]

Telltale's Game of Thrones stars five playable family members

In an interview with the UK's International Business Times, Steve Allison, Telltale's senior vice president of marketing, let slip a crucial detail about the developer's upcoming, largely mysterious Game of Thrones adaptation.

"In Game of Thrones we're taking that multi-protagonist design even further with five playable characters from the same family whose choices affect everyone in the family, and that adds a whole new layer to things that we're really excited about," Allison stated. He makes no mention of which family that might be, nor does he name any of the five playable characters, but Allison's comment still stands as one of the more comprehensive details we've learned of the game to date.

Despite this dearth of information on Telltale's adaptation, Allison reiterates recent claims that Game of Thrones (and Borderlands spin-off Tales from the Borderlands) will be released by the end of the year. "We are on track to launch both premiere episodes of Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones before the end of [2014], so stay tuned."
[Image: Telltale Games]

WRUP: All Hallow's Firmware Hiccups



Why look! The ol' PlayStation 4 is blinking its orange light really fast. It must be a Halloween miracle! No wait, now it's ejecting the disc and powering on all by itself. The PS4 is possessed! THE SHARE PLAY IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE?!

What's everyone playing?

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PS4 sales up to 13.5 million consoles

Sony reported 309.5 billion yen in sales ($2.77 billion) for its Game and Network Services division for the second quarter, ending September 30. It represents an 83.2 percent improvement year-over-year thanks to the continued success of the company's latest home console, PlayStation 4. Shipments for the PS4 have now reached 13.5 million, as the company moved 3.3 million units during the quarter.

The Games and Network Services division also posted an operating income of 21.8 billion yen ($195 million), a massive increase compared to the 4.8 billion yen ($43 million) reported in the last quarter and the 4.2 billion yen loss ($37.6 million) year-over-year. While the gaming division thrives, Sony itself is in the red, reporting an 85.6 billion yen operating loss ($766 million). The company increased its loss forecast in September due to its struggling smartphone sales.
[Image: Sony]

Super Joystiq Podcast 119: Sunset Overdrive, Tie Fighter, The Master Chief Collection

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This week's Super Joystiq Podcast thinks energy drinks are worth the risk of zombification.

Do you like 5-star games? Hope so, because we are talking about one this week. Ludwig, Susan, Xav, and Sam convene to discuss the Xbox One's latest killer exclusive, Sunset Overdrive. Ludwig talks a bit more about Halo: The Master Chief collection and Susan hits The Sailor's Dream, while Xav revisits an all-time PC classic, Tie Fighter. Breathe it all in because were are just a few weeks away from release-ocolypse with GTA V, Assassin's Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, and more just over the horizon.

Listen to the Super Joystiq Podcast: Podcast timestamps and relevant links are available after the break.

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Resogun sets course for PS Vita

Arcade-style shooter Resogun will receive a PlayStation Vita version, developer Housemarque confirmed via Twitter today. The Vita port will be handled by Climax Studios, which developed the PS4 and Vita versions of another Housemarque original, Dead Nation. While no release date for the Vita version was given, the developer noted that "more details on the port will soon be released by Sony."

Resogun launched alongside the PS4 in November 2013 as a free download for PlayStation Plus subscribers. The game's first major "Heroes" expansion arrived this past June and added new survival and demolition modes to the shooter. The DLC launched shortly after a free update for the game patched in a ship editor and local cooperative multiplayer options.
[Image: Housemarque]

Barely Related: Marvel movie madness, Harry Potter can rap

Happy Halloween, everyone! Stay safe and have fun.

Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.

Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.

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What a treat: Play tons of indie games free on Saturday in SF

The second annual Day of the Devs, an independent game showcase hosted by Double Fine and iam8bit, kicks off on Saturday, November 1 at Mint Plaza in San Francisco. It's free, open to all ages, and runs from 4 - 11PM PT. And it's probably tons of fun.

Games on display and available to play include Costume Quest 2, Axiom Verge, Escape Goat 2, Classroom Aquatic, Gang Beasts, GNOG, Grim Fandango Remastered, Hyper Light Drifter, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Massive Chalice, Night in the Woods, Push Me Pull You, Titan Souls and Videoball. There will also be musical entertainment from Doseone, Disasterpeace, David Kanaga, Lifeformed and Fez-developer-turned-DJ Phil Fish. Hear some of Fish's mixes here.

If you're not in San Francisco this weekend, you can follow along with the fun live on Twitch, streaming the show from 4PM - 11PM PT on Double Fine's channel. Last year's Day of the Devs drew in more than 1,800 fans.

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NBA 2K15 face scan nightmares are now Halloween masks

In the market for a last-minute Halloween mask that's both cheap and terrifying? 2K Sports has released a series of print-out masks inspired by NBA 2K15's infamous face-scanning feature -- an ideal finishing touch for that Texas Chainsaw Massacre costume you've been working on.

Ostensibly designed to allow players to map their own faces onto NBA 2K15 players, the face scan feature instead generated sheer horror in the wake of the game's launch earlier this month. The mechanic left many custom-created players with misshapen facial features, multiple sets of eyes, and other uncanny disfigurements.

Instead of locking its unholy creations in the basement, 2K wisely decided to repurpose its barely-human menagerie for Halloween fun. It all makes sense now. See, that character you generated with a tongue sticking out of his neck wasn't a glitch -- he just showed up to the costume party a few weeks early!

[Image: 2K]

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U bumped up to Nov. 28 in the UK

Nintendo has pushed up the UK release date for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, announcing that its crossover brawler will now hit Europe on November 28.

Nintendo originally pegged Smash Bros' UK debut for December 5 before deciding to bump it up a week. A special edition GameCube controller, four-port adapter, and controller bundle will also premiere in the UK in November, but players holding out for the region-exclusive Mario Amiibo bundle will need to wait until December 5 to join the battle.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will launch in North America on November 21.

[Image: Nintendo]

Nintendo's next gadget to track, improve sleep patterns

Following earlier reports that Nintendo had plans to join the health-monitoring industry, company president Satoru Iwata has revealed that the gaming giant is currently developing a device to track a user's sleep patterns and encourage them toward more healthy, restful sleep.

"Since fatigue per se is not regarded as a disease in the medical world, it is said to be a field where sufficient research has yet to be conducted," Iwata stated. "We have been fortunate to encounter several experts who have been conducting cutting-edge research in the science of fatigue. Together, we are now developing technology to estimate fatigue."

The unnamed device, which is currently being developed in cooperation with medical device manufacturer ResMed Inc., is "about the size of a hand and can be placed on a user's bedside table," according to Reuters. It uses microwave sensors to track the length and quality of a user's sleep cycles, then collects that data and sends it to applications which can then help users develop better sleep habits.

There's currently no release date for Nintendo's sleep monitor, though Iwata hopes to have it available to the public at some point during the 2015 financial year.
[Image: Nintendo]

Report: Xbox 360's GTA: San Andreas HD is an Android port

In lieu of rebuilding Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas from scratch for its recent Xbox 360 re-release, Rockstar Games simply ported the existing Android version of San Andreas to Microsoft's console, according to the tech sleuths at Digital Foundry.

In a test comparing numerous versions of San Andreas, Digital Foundry noticed numerous similarities between the Xbox 360 and Android releases. "Viewed side by side, Xbox 360 and [Android-powered] Shield Tablet games appear to be a close match - the higher-resolution 2D artwork and the new front end are much the same, though the new console release appears to possess enhanced draw distance over the Android version (even when it's set to 100 per cent on the mobile version)," the report states. "Unfortunately, aside from the inclusion of Achievements, there's very little love given to this new edition. Just like the Android release, there's absolutely no anti-aliasing available, whereas even the original PC version supports this, while the vast majority of Xbox Originals on the 360 emulator supported 2x or 4x MSAA depending on the title."

Further, Digital Foundry notes that the game's mobile roots have left its framerate capped at 30 frames per second, a decision that results in frequent hitching and stuttering. "What could have been an opportunity to produce the ultimate, definitive version of GTA: San Andreas comes across as something of a missed opportunity," the group concludes.
[Image: Rockstar Games]

Joystiq Deals: iOS 8 developer's bundle

The latest edition of Joystiq Deals is aimed squarely at would-be iOS 8 app developers.

Bitfountain's Complete iOS 8 Course With Swift is the crown jewel of the bundle. It includes over 36 hours of guided instruction as well as "over 350" primer videos that should bring you up to speed on how to build apps for Apple's latest mobile operating system. Since those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, the bundle also includes Bitfountain's Complete iOS 7 Course.

While normally these two courses would be priced at nearly $1,000, for the next three days Joystiq Deals users can pick up both for $89. Visit the Joystiq Deals website for more information and details on how to order.

Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare kisses goats, leaks zombies

Not even a sloppy, overly-moist kiss from a goat can distract Call of Duty fans from gunning down zombies, as the two most recent pieces of footage from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare handily demonstrate.

Below the break you'll find the latest, official trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It's a live-action affair and the aforementioned amorous goat basically steals the entire thing, but otherwise it's got all the explosions, gunplay and overtly macho posturing we've come to expect from the near-future military shooter.

More intriguing however, is a 52-second clip that recently appeared on the Internet that seemingly depicts previously unknown zombies in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Though the footage is not an official release, it does appear to be legit. Zombies are a Call of Duty tradition at this point, and when asked about the leak, Sledgehammer Games head Glen Schofield made no effort to deny its authenticity. "[N]othing I can do about [the leak] now," Schofield tweeted. "But yeah it sucks. Imagine you're playing and this comes up - you'd be psyched up, right?" Our attempts to pry further information from Activision were met with no response.

Whether you're psyched or not, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brings zombies, goats and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey to retail on November 3.

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Evolve's alpha test delayed on PS4 due to firmware issues

Evolve's "Big Alpha" test has been postponed on PlayStation 4, 2K announced today. After the PS4's recent version 2.0 firmware update resulted in a number of issues for players, the publisher also began "experiencing difficulties with the Evolve Big Alpha" on Sony's home console. "PlayStation and 2K are working together on a resolution," 2K noted.

The test was expected to hit PS4, Xbox One and PC this weekend, and it will still happen for the latter two systems. PS4 owners that happen to have an Xbox One or PC capable of playing Evolve are encouraged to use the registration code "05379-29749-32069" and referral code "EvolveBigAlpha4v1" to register for the alpha test on either of those systems via Turtle Rock Studios' site. Those suffering from the PS4's Rest Mode issues after the version 2.0 system update may also want to consider trying one possible fix listed here. Evolve will launch on February 10, 2015.
[Image: 2K Games]

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 119: Sunset Overdrive, Tie Fighter, The Master Chief Collection

Latest episode: Friday, October 31st, 2014

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