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Joystiq Giveaway: SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controller times 2

So you're playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on your iPhone and you're thinking, "Man, it sure would be a lot easier to slice this Dark Jedi directly in their stupid cowled faces if I was using a controller." Than you're playing BioShock on your iPad and you're all, "Stupid Big Daddy wouldn't have drilled a giant hole in my abdomen if I were using a controller." The thought comes again and again while you play Limbo, XCOM, and myriad other games.

Don't worry about it! Joystiq has your back. We're giving away two, that's dos, SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controllers. These babies work with any iOS device with a Lightning connector and running iOS 7 or higher.

Here's how to get the prizes: Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between January 23 and January 30. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email (so make double sure you use an email we can actually contact you at!) Full rules and details after the break.
SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controller times 2
[Images: SteelSeries]

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Jon Snow brings lack of knowledge to Game of Thrones Episode 2

The second episode of Telltale's six-part Game of Thrones saga debuts early next month, starting February 3 for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS3. Titled "The Lost Lords," the episode is also coming to Xbox One and 360 on February 4, iOS on February 5 and Android at a later date.

The Lost Lords continues the story of House Forrester, a Westeros family who in history have aligned with the Starks - not always the wisest alignment, it has to be said. Telltale's game is interwoven with HBO's TV series, and the plot takes place between the end of the third season and the start of the fifth.

If you've played the first episode then you've already had a few chit-chats with Cersei Lannister, her brother Tyrion, Margaery Tyrell and the huggably lovely Ramsay Snow. As the teaser trailer below the break reveals, another Snow is coming to the game in Episode 2.

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The Witcher Battle Arena launches

Geralt of Rivia and friends are available now for a witchin' good time on tablets. The Witcher Battle Arena, a MOBA designed by Fuero Games and CD Projekt RED specifically for tablets, is available now for iOS and Android devices.

"We will have different modes in the future. There will be a monster-hunting mode, kind of an isometric multiplayer. There will be a boss mode, where you will be able to fight the bosses - that will be purely a (player verses enemy) experience. And we are thinking of other competitive modes," said Tadek Zielinski, project manager on the game to us at E3. "We have a classic one-lane MOBA experience with towers, but we have a different approach because we don't want to have minions, we don't want to have farming."

The game is free-to-play with in-app purchases, but all content is unlockable by playing. If you're into The Witcher or want to see a MOBA in action on a tablet, it won't cost you a bit of gold to take it for a spin.

Xbox apps, DVR, cross-platform streaming heads to Windows 10 [Update: Video]

Windows 10 will feature Xbox system-level apps, including friends lists, activity feeds, messages, clip sharing and clip recording services, Microsoft announced during a conference today. The Xbox app will appear on every Windows PC and tablet. Each user's list of games in Windows 10 will be platform-agnostic, meaning Steam games are listed next to Windows games, and so on. Windows 10 PC players will be able to record 30-second game clips – after the fact – just like on Xbox One.

Players will be able to stream any Xbox One game to any Windows 10 PC or tablet. Fable Legends will launch on Windows 10 PCs in addition to Xbox One, and it will feature cross-platform co-op. Additionally, Windows 10 universal apps are on their way to Xbox One. Unity is adopting DirectX12, which consumes half the power that DirectX11 does, Xbox head Phil Spencer said.

Microsoft posted a list of some coming Windows 10 Xbox functions, shared below.
[Image: Engadget]

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Windows 10 is a free upgrade for 7, 8.1 users

Windows 10, the new operating system from Microsoft, will be available as a free upgrade for one year after launch for current Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Windows Phone 8.1 users.

"I'm very excited to announce that for the first year after Windows 10 is available we will be making available a free upgrade to Windows 10," Microsoft EVP of Operating Systems Terry Myerson said during a conference today.

For anyone gaming on Windows, this means one fewer roadblock to keeping that library current. Xbox will receive "core components" of Windows 10 in an update this year, and Microsoft is poised to deliver Xbox news during today's conference.
[Image: Engadget]

Humble Card Game Bundle deals out Scrolls, Star Realms

Humble Bundle has a new promotion on deck: digital card games. From Mjoang's newest (and previously most litigious) Scrolls to the granddaddy of deck-builders Dominion, the Humble Card Game Bundle has plenty to offer those looking for a reprieve from that pesky Hearthstone addiction.

The "pay what you want" portion of the bundle includes copies of Scrolls (PC, Mac), SolForge: Dino Starter Deck (PC), Star Realms (a personal favorite for PC, Mac and Android), Talisman: Digital Edition and Talisman: Prologue (PC, Mac). Purchasing the bundle for more than the average price, which currently rests at $6.71, adds Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers Special Edition (PC), Dominion Online (Browser-based) and additional decks for SolForge.

Purchasing the bundle for $12 will unlock additional expansions for Dominion Online, a Deluxe Edition of Scrolls and add the basic edition of the free-to-play browser game Card Hunter. For $35 players can also gets their hands on a physical copy of Star Realms with an exclusive card and a t-shirt.

The bundle will be available to purchase for two weeks with proceeds going to charity organizations Block by Block, Save the Children and World Land Trust.
[Image: Humble Bundle]

'Her Story' FMV crime fiction game coming from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer

The latest game from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer and writer Sam Barlow is a little different. It's not survival horror, it doesn't have motion controls and ... it's entirely full-motion video. Entitled Her Story, the game revolves around a police database containing several taped interviews with a female subject, concerning the disappearance of her husband.

Rather than interacting directly with the game, players "type search queries and the database returns clips of the answers where the woman speaks those words." Barlow claims, "If you can Google, you can play Her Story," elaborating that, while the search mechanic is simple, it "quickly reveals its richness and complexity." Non-linear storytelling seems to be the game's hallmark, with Barlow himself calling it "a sculptural way of viewing a story."

We're still not clear on exactly how it will work, whether players will directly affect the narrative or solve the mystery, or just soak in a unique, interactive crime fiction story. Either way, it certainly sounds different.

Her Story is set to arrive early this year on PC, Mac and iOS, and it's currently listed on Steam Greenlight.
[Image: Sam Barlow]

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Bounden, Fingle studio closes its doors in April

Game Oven Studios, the independent Dutch team behind body-morphing mobile games Bounden, Bam fu, Fingle and Friendstrap, will be disbanded in April, studio co-founder Adriaan de Jongh announced in a blog post today. Game Oven will release its final game, Jelly Reef, in March on iOS and Android. Game Oven developers de Jongh and Bojan Endrovski will continue to support Bounden, Fingle, Bam fu and Jelly Reef, but they will remove Friendstrap from stores on February 1.

De Jongh and Endrovski founded Game Oven in November 2011 with their first game, Fingle, which was nominated for an IGF Nuovo award. Bounden, a two-player dancing game for mobile, is nominated this year for an IGF Nuovo prize and a GDC Innovation Award. Game Oven received financial support for Bounden from the Dutch grant program, Game Fund, and worked with the Dutch National Ballet to create the choreography.

And, despite Game Oven's closure, Bounden is doing "really well," de Jongh told me today.

"We're not making millions, no, but Bounden's profit is larger than the development costs, so maybe awards are not that disconnected from the financial success of the game," he said. "With Fingle, IGF helped us build an audience, helped us reach that critical mass, and even though we no longer do any marketing effort for Fingle, we still make one minimum wage from the game every month. The way things look now, it seems like Bounden is on that same road."

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Joystiq Deals: Java Developer Course Bundle

Want to build up your Java programming skillset? Today, Joystiq Deals is offering the Java Developer Course Bundle, a collection that features more than 70 hours of in-depth instructional content.

The package includes the Beginner Java Essentials for Android Course, the Dynamic Website Building with Java Course, the Java Spring Framework Course, the Beginner Java Programming Course, the Java Data Structures & Algorithms Course, and the All-Level Java Swing Course. Normally priced at $399, the six-course package is available today through Joystiq Deals for only $39.

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.

Sid Meier's 'Starships' blasts off this year

The house Sid Meier built, Firaxis, will send out an "interstellar strategy game" for PC, Mac and iPad in early 2015. According to 2K's initial announcement, players will research new technologies and spaceship designs, pierce through the unknown reaches of the galaxy and fight in turn-based combat, all hinged on "distinctive" maps and dynamically created combat missions.

"My goal was to create an experience that focuses on starship design and combat within a universe filled with interstellar adventure, diplomacy, and exploration," says Meier.

Publisher 2K is also teasing cross-connectivity between Starships and last year's turn-based Civilization spin-off, Beyond Earth.

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WWE Immortals is free-to-play wrestling kombat for mobile

Have you ever found yourself playing NetherRealm's Injustice: Gods Among Us and thought, "You know, I like Superman and all, but what if he was actually John Cena?" Alternatively, perhaps you've looked at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and wondered, "What if this guy were an actual, literal rock-man?" Well, you might want to check your brain for transmitting devices, because NetherRealm and Phosphor Games have made your thoughts reality with WWE Immortals, which is now available on iOS and Android devices.

Revealed just last month, WWE Immortals transforms various WWE superstars into warriors, mages, ninjas, knights and monsters, then pits them in touch-based battles with each other. The game is free to play and features support cards to bolster your fighting rosters' power. There's also a story about a magical lamp and alternate dimensions, but really, this is a game about men and women who get paid to fake-punch each other being transformed into mythical warriors. Plot is not going to be its strong suit.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive]

Minecraft getting in-game name changes, Pocket Edition sells 30 million

Minecraft players will be able to change their in-game name soon, development studio Mojang has announced. The process is set to go live on February 4, and looks to be pretty straightforward; once the name-changing system is in place, players can change their in-game name simply by logging into their account. Any name that is not being used by another player will be available, but players will have to wait 30 days before they can change again.

If you're worried about someone swiping your name while you wait said 30 days to come back to it though, don't be: it takes 37 days for an old name to become available for someone else. So if you were to change your name from, say, "MinecraftMasta" to something else, we wouldn't be able to swipe MinecraftMasta for ourselves before you had a chance to reclaim it. Changing names does not change inventory or character status, meaning if someone has blocked you, changing your name won't allow you to circumvent said block.

Mojang also announced that to date, Minecraft: Pocket Edition has sold a combined total of more than 30 million copies. Pocket Edition surpassed 21 million copies back in April, and expanded its reach to Windows Phone users in December, though Mojang did not share how many of the 9 million new sales were due to releasing on a new platform.
[Image: Mojang]

Monument Valley made $5.8 million, over 80 percent on iOS

Monument Valley developer Ustwo earned $5,858,625 from sales for the game as of this past Monday, as highlighted in a fancy infographic breaking down the puzzle game's earnings. Of that revenue, 81.7 percent was earned on iOS, compared to 13.9 percent on Android (where it was released about a month later) and 4.3 percent on Amazon. Ustwo says Monument Valley was installed on over 10 million unique devices, though its profits come from 2,440,076 official sales.

The original game took $852,000 to develop while its eight-level Forgotten Shores update cost the developer $549,000. It first arrived on iOS in April 2014 and recouped its development costed in its first week; Ustwo has now clarified that its launch day on the App Store amounted to $145,530 in revenue.
[Image: Ustwo]

GDC survey: eSports rising, consoles cresting

The Game Developers Conference revealed its third annual "State of the Industry" survey results, which found that 79 percent of North American game developers believed eSports is a "sustainable business." GDC surveyed over 2,000 developers, 12 percent of which said they are working on an eSports-style, skill-based, competitive multiplayer game.

The State of the Industry survey also found that 21 percent of developers said they made most of their profits from microtransactions, whereas 29 percent said "direct sales to consumers or digital sales" was their biggest draw. This compares to 13 percent of the developers surveyed, which pointed to sales at retail as the source of the majority of their profits. Of those surveyed, 41 percent said profits for their companies were higher in 2014 compared to the previous year.

Lastly, 56 percent of the polled developers said their current projects would launch on PC and 50 percent said their games would reach smartphones or tablets. 26 percent said they were currently working on a game for PS4 while 22 percent said they were developing an Xbox One game. Head over to GDC's site for a more detailed breakdown of its State of the Industry survey results.
[Image: GDC]

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Joystiq Deals: One Free Month of OnLive PlayPack

Today at Joystiq Deals, we're giving away one free month of OnLive PlayPack, letting you check out the service's 250-game catalog free of charge.

No game downloads are required - all you need is a compatible PC, TV, or tablet device to start streaming games directly from the cloud. Just sign up through Joystiq Deals and your trial month will begin instantly.

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.

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