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Big Huge Games lives again with original founder, mobile strategy

Big Huge Games, known for PC strategy games such as Rise of Nations and the RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, was a casualty of 38 Studios' financial troubles in 2012 and its bankruptcy in 2013. 38 Studios closed Big Huge Games in 2012 and sold off its properties for $320,000 in December 2013. Turns out, the original Big Huge Games founder, Brian Reynolds, is the one who picked up those IPs. He's been operating under the studio name SecretNewCo (which really should have been a hint to the rest of us) since 2013, and now Big Huge Games is back with its first game, a mobile, empire-building strategy title called DomiNations. It will be published by Nexon.

Prior to re-launching Big Huge Games, Reynolds was Chief Designer at Zynga, and before that he co-founded Civilization studio Firaxis Games. In between, he helped found Big Huge Games the first time around. Reynolds is now CEO of the shiny, new Big Huge Games.

"We're honored to continue the legacy of Big Huge Games, which we founded on the concept of making fun, beautiful and innovative gameplay experiences on mobile devices," Reynolds says in a press release. "Nexon is lending us its proven free-to-play expertise in pursuit of that goal, and we can't wait to show players what we've created together."

DomiNations allows players to craft empires from the stone age to the space age, with single-player and co-op modes. It's free and due out on iOS and Android devices in 2015.

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Dying Light cancelled on Xbox 360, PS3

Developer Techland has announced it has halted production on Dying Light for Xbox 360 and PS3. In a Facebook post announcing the plan, Techland explained "older consoles just couldn't run the game and stay true to the core vision" at the same time.

"To ensure you enjoy Dying Light as much as we would like you to, we chose to release it without any compromises on the three strongest systems available," the post reaffirmed. Dying Light – a zombie-infested, open-world game with parkour-inspired movement – will now launch only for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Dying Light, from publisher Warner Bros., has seen multiple release date changes since it was announced in May 2013. Originally slated to arrive this March, the game was subsequently moved to February 2015 before settling on a January 27, 2015 launch.

Techland's complete statement on the decision to cancel the game on Xbox 360 and PS3 can be found after the break.

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Costume Quest 2 dresses up on PS4, PS3 tonight


A follow-up to Double Fine's Halloween-themed adventure game Costume Quest makes its console debut tonight, publisher Midnight City announced.

Costume Quest 2 once again finds twins Wren and Reynold dressing up in outlandish costumes as they take on enemies in turn-based combat. Our review praised Costume Quest 2's dialogue and humor while criticizing its "plodding, padded pacing," describing the overall experience as "often sweet, sometimes sour, and (for the most part) worth the occasional tummy ache."

Costume Quest 2 will hit the PlayStation Network following tonight's PlayStation Store update, and will be priced at $14.99.

[Image: Double Fine]

Battlefield Hardline delayed to deepen cops vs. robbers fantasy

Battlefield Hardline is due out in March 2015, following a delay announced in July this year. During EA's financial call today, CEO Andrew Wilson explained that feedback from beta tests and trade shows drove the decision to give developer Visceral Games more time.

"The cops and criminals fantasy – this is kind of the foundation for the game – resonated very, very strongly not just with existing fans, but with new players to the Battlefield franchise," Wilson said. "But the feedback was also universal that we should go deeper with that fantasy and really deliver against that to a greater degree. What we've done is given the development team that time to go back in and really look at how to truly deliver on that cops and criminals kind of gameplay as it exists in a Battlefield world."

Battlefield Hardline pits players against both police officers and well-supplied criminals in large cities, rather than taking place in the traditional military FPS landscape of a warzone. When Battlefield Hardline was delayed, Visceral said it wanted to flesh out the game's multiplayer experience, single-player story depth and its overall stability. Pre-delay, Beta testing spawned a list of the "Community's Most Wanted" tweaks to the game.

Destiny hollows out some pumpkins for Halloween treat

Visit the Post Master at the Tower in Destiny to grab a free trio of pumpkin head consumables, in celebration of Halloween week. The Post Master gives players three pumpkin heads, each lasting 30 minutes and wearable throughout your travels to other planets (via Eurogamer). Friendly reminder: Halloween is on Friday! Get those costumes together, people.

Bungie retweeted a few photos taken by players with their three-eyed squash heads on, and we're left with just one question: Where does the candle go?
[Image: @MoreConsole]

Breaking kayfabe: How WWE video games are impacted by the 'Reality Era'

Let's start with a concession: there is a large swath of readers who are hesitant to discuss professional wrestling with any sort of seriousness. It's viewed as a low art form by some, and many others would balk at even considering it art. But even those readers can concede that professional wrestling is a popular form of entertainment.

There are very few people, perhaps other than than young children, who believe that professional wrestling is real in the way that a boxing match or MMA fight is real. That's not, however, to say that professional wrestling is 'fake,' as some of its detractors deride. The proper term would be 'scripted,' because when a person falls off a 12-foot ladder, it's going to hurt. That pain is real, regardless of whether or not it was pre-determined.

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EA reports 18% drop in revenue, increased projections

Electronic Arts reported $990 million in net revenue for the three-month period ending September 30, the publisher revealed in its second quarter of fiscal 2015 financial results. That represents an 18.5 percent decline from the $1.21 billion in revenue reported in the last quarter, though it's also a 42.4 percent increase year-over-year. EA also posted a net income of $3 million, a massive improvement compared to its $273 million loss reported at the same time last year.

While EA's digital revenue slipped 5.2 percent from $536 million to $508 million in the past quarter, it still represents a 12.9 percent increase year-over-year. EA stated back in August that it hopes to earn $1 billion from add-on content this year, and its Ultimate Team sales in the NHL, FIFA and Madden series may continue to help with that. EA reported a 96 percent increase in revenue on a non-GAAP basis (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) from those three series' Ultimate Team modes over the past year.

The publisher also adjusted its expectations for the fiscal year (ending March 31, 2015), adding $75 million to its projections to total $4.375 billion. As for the next quarter, EA expects an increase in net revenue during the holiday season to $1.1 billion. EA also revealed the release date for its popular military shooter in the financial report: Battlefield Hardline will launch on March 17, 2015.
[Image: EA]

Report: PS4 users report myriad issues following 2.0 update

Though today's PlayStation 4 system update brings with it a host of new features - most notably Share Play functionality - the new software has also been causing problems for a number of users.

As Videogamer points out, numerous reports of issues stemming from the 2.0 update have appeared across the spectrum of social media. On NeoGAF, PlayStation 4 owners are reporting problems ranging from odd volume fluctuations to issues connecting to YouTube to an inability to play previously purchased games. Responses to Sony Europe's PlayStation.blog announcement include players unable to sign in to the PlayStation Network following the update.

Despite these reports, these issues seem to affect a relatively small number of PlayStation 4 owners, though our own Alexander Sliwinski is one of them. We've attempted to reach Sony for more information on these update issues and its plans to fix them, but have yet to receive a response. If you're having an issue with your PS4 post-update, let us know in the comments.

Dragon Quest Heroes hits Japan in February, Metal Slime PS4 out this year


Square Enix's Dynasty Warriors-styled action-RPG Dragon Quest Heroes will launch for PlayStation consoles in Japan on February 26, but series fanatics can grab a special edition PlayStation 4 adorned with a Metal Slime later this year.

The Metal Slime PlayStation 4 retail package debuts in Japan on December 11, bundling a limited-edition console with a silver DualShock 4 controller, a code for a Dragon Quest Heroes PS4 theme, and a voucher that allows console owners to download Dragon Quest Heroes 24 hours before it hits store shelves.

If you'd rather not coat your console in metallic goo, the Metal Slime figurine itself is detachable. Look at that goofy grin, though! How could you even think of removing it from its rightful place atop the PS4? You monster.

Square Enix additionally revealed that Dragon Quest Heroes will run at 60 frames-per-second on the PlayStation 4, while the PS3 edition is locked at 30 FPS. Neither Dragon Quest Heroes nor the limited-edition PlayStation 4 have been announced for a North American release.

[Video: Sony / Square Enix]

Battlefield Hardline launches in March 2015

Battlefield Hardline is due out on March 17, 2015, in the US and beginning on March 19, 2015, in Europe. EA announced the dates in its financial report released today.

Battlefield Hardline was delayed in July to a 2015 launch window. In an attempt to assuage fan fears, Battlefield Hardline Creative Director Ian Milham promised earlier this year that the game will work at launch. Previous EA games, including Battlefield 4, encountered connectivity and playability issues for months after release.
[Image: EA]

Put your clothes back on, Twitch streamers

Twitch updated its rules of conduct today to include the requirement that streamers dress "appropriately," meaning no "sexually aggressive clothing – including lingerie, swimsuits, pasties, and undergarments." This isn't a new policy and it isn't related to Twitch's $970 million sale to Amazon, Twitch PR Director Chase (just Chase) tells Joystiq in an email.

"This is a long-standing policy meant to create an open, supportive, safe environment for all gamers," Chase says. "We are not the fashion police and this is not a new policy, just clarity on a long-standing one rooted in common sense. In other words, don't broadcast naked or in lingerie, swimsuits, pasties and undergarments. We don't actually get many cases of dress code violations, but felt it should be clarified since our community has occasionally asked about specifics."

The updated policy notes that the dress code applies to both men and women. Basically, the rules boil down to, "Keep your shirts on, you sexy nerds."

Twitch employees don't actively monitor streams for dress code violations, Chase says: "If our community reports things they believe are against our rules of conduct, we will investigate the claim and determine repercussions at that time. Offenders are few and far between since we're really just clarifying what most broadcasters already know."

Twitch recently updated its policies to ensure that sponsored broadcasts are clearly labeled.

Halloween Horror Streams: Resident Evil 2's righteous Raccoon City



Resident Evil's amazing remake is coming back in HD next year. The Evil Within made us remember Resident Evil 4's raw magic. Next year's brand new Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has us reflecting on Code Veronica's gothic madness. But where is the love for Resident Evil 2, that slice of brilliance which moved the original's haunted house horror into the big city? It had intersecting campaigns! It had giant, un-killable freaks in trench coats and people with spiky tongues and exposed brains! A young lady's father grew an eyeball on his arm! Then an alligator shows up for no good reason. It's one of the best horror games ever made. It put director and Platinum Games co-founder Hideki Kamiya on the map.

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch we'll be streaming Resident Evil 2 from the start. Leon meets Claire. Claire wears a weird leotard. Leon wears football shoulder pads for no reason. It's great.

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but we stream at odd times all the time so make sure to follow us on Twitch.
[Images: Capcom]

Joystiq Streams: Long live the Empire in TIE Fighter

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the writing was on the wall for LucasArts. The company had been shuttering studios for years already, slimming down Disney Interactive piece by piece. LucasArts did die, but with the house's best years long past them the real fear was that its long-dormant catalog would just be buried by Disney in the process. What would come of all those '80s and '90s LucasArts classics that had never been digitally released? Turns out those fears were unfounded. Good Old Games is bringing the LucasArts catalog back to the masses, including much-loved space flight sims like TIE Fighter.

To celebrate, Joystiq will stream TIE Fighter at 5:30PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch. Resident EVE Valkyrie and Star Citizen pilot Xav de Matos (@Xav) will dust off his flight stick and take to the skies.

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST but irregular streams like these happen all the time so follow us on Twitch to catch them all.

[Images: LucasArts]

Return to Excitebike Arena in first Mario Kart 8 DLC

Alongside Yoshi's Circuit and Link's Master Cycle, the first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack will also include a dirt track inspired by NES motorcycle racing classic Excitebike.

For those too young to remember console games that debuted in 1984, Excitebike saw players racing from right to left and leaping off dirt ramps while attempting to speed to the finish. Think of it as a proto-Trials without the modern physics technology and you've got the basic idea. The Excitebike Arena track updates the aesthetics of the NES classic for the Wii U, but as you can see in the footage below the break, is otherwise an unmistakable homage to one of Nintendo's lesser hits.

The first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack is slated to launch at some point in November. It will feature an $8 price tag, but fans willing to go as high as $12 can grab both the first DLC pack and a second, Animal Crossing-themed DLC pack to be released in May 2015.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Report: PS4 Share Play caps at 720p for guests

The PlayStation 4's latest update, codenamed "Masamune," adds a major feature, Share Play, to the console today. PlayStation Plus members can now share their games over PSN with friends that don't own a copy (and aren't necessarily PS Plus subscribers themselves unless both are playing), hosting one-hour play sessions at a time. As a Sony rep confirmed to Video Gamer, Share Play sessions are capped at 720p and will "have a limited frame rate" for friends partaking in the action, while those hosting the game will still see 1080p games on their screens at the full resolution.

SCEE product planning manager Kazuhiro Yanase said that while Share Play "doesn't require any super-fast broadband," the company won't disclose recommended upload and download speeds for those looking to share games sessions with friends over PSN. "The internet environment is really different user by user. For example, some users will be using a LAN cable, some users will be using Wi-Fi, sometimes you use the microwave in your house," Yanase told Video Gamer. "It's very difficult for us to guarantee you can use Share Play if you have [a certain] speed."

Today's update also adds the ability to play music from a USB device with support for MP3 and AAC file types. The Masamune update introduces YouTube as an option for gameplay clip uploading as well as home screen themes. We've reached out to Sony to confirm the Share Play restrictions and will update as we learn more.
[Image: Sony]

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 115: Alien Isolation, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Oculus Crescent Bay

Latest episode: Friday, October 3rd, 2014


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