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Joystiq's got a new home! As of February 4th, Joystiq and Engadget are teaming up on a new project that will live on Engadget: 'Joystiq X Engadget.' There's a new logo and everything! Our focus is on the intersection of life and games: what, why and how we play. Expect more streams, more reviews and more news, but also expect a renewed focus on the way games intersect with our world. This is just the beginning.

Battlefield Hardline beta test arrives February 3

Hoping to both stress test its servers and drum up an extra bit of pre-release hype, publisher EA has announced plans for a five-day beta test of its imminent cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline scheduled to begin on February 3.

"There's nothing more valuable to our team than the relationship we have with our community. Their passion feeds our passion and their feedback has definitely helped make Hardline a better game," said Battlefield Hardline executive producer Steve Papoutsis. "We want them to play the hell out of the beta next week and trust that they'll keep that feedback coming so we can continue to fine tune the game."

The beta test will be available on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and on PC via the Origin digital distribution platform. No purchase is necessary to join the beta, but the file is likely to be a big download, so hopefully you have bandwidth to spare.

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Valve: Steam Workshop creators have earned over $57 million

There's tidy cash to be made in designing virtual items for players on the Steam Workshop. According to a recent Valve announcement, the platform has paid out over $57 million to creators since 2011.

That figure represents items created for three of Valve's most popular games: Team Fortress 2, Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Valve claims the $57 million sum was split between 1,500 creators representing 75 different countries from around the globe. That works out to an average of $38,000 for each creator.

Alongside the financial milestone, Valve has announced plans to launch new curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, as well new Steam Marketplace analytics tools that should make buying and selling items both easier and more nuanced. For more, visit Steam.

Rovio's head of games flies the coop

Jami Laes has departed Angry Birds developer Rovio where he lead the games division for nearly the past two years, reports Reuters.

Laes was hired in April of 2013 as Rovio's EVP of Games. At the time, he claimed he was a huge fan of Angry Birds and looked forward to building on the franchise's already phenomenal success. "[W]e've only seen a fraction of what can be achieved with great brands like Angry Birds and Bad Piggies and I wanted to be a part of building that story," Laes said.

Since announcing his departure from Rovio, Laes has offered no information on why he left. He hopes to launch a new startup in the near future, but offered no further information on his plans when questioned by Reuters. Laes' departure comes just over a month after Rovio laid off 16 percent of its workforce.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Laes' role will be filled by industry veteran David Byrne.

Conan O'Brien takes a field trip to Minecraft

Image In a promo no doubt aimed at those lucrative younger demographics, talk show host Conan O'Brien transports his co-host, set and musical accompaniment to the wildly popular cubist sandbox known as Minecraft. [Image: Mojang/TBS] ... Continue Reading

Joystiq Deals: Xbox One, Beats by Dre giveaways

If you're on the hunt for free stuff, Joystiq Deals has a pair of giveaways you won't want to miss. This week, we're giving away a free pair of Beats by Dre headphones and an Xbox One bundled with a free copy of Grand Theft Auto 5. Enter today for a chance to win, and be sure to share our contests with your friends on Twitter to increase your odds of winning.

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.

Visit exotic locations and grind on them in OlliOlli 2

Image The debut trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood (sequel to the addictive skateboarding platformer OlliOlli) promises "bigger tricks, epic new locations" and a "silky new style and flow," alongside locations ranging from Aztec temples to carnivals populated by zombies. [Image: Roll7]... Continue Reading

Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy remastered for Steam, iOS

The "definitive version" of Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy is now available on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam as well as iOS. Crafted by porting specialist Aspyr Media, the updated version of the "supernatural murder mystery game" goes by the name Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered as a nod to the 2005 adventure's European name. Players can download it for $9.99 (€8.99 / £6.99).

Aspyr noted in its FAQ that there is "absolutely no cut or censored content in this version" of the game. Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered features updated graphics that can be toggled on and off on the fly and controller support across all platforms. While the Heavy Rain developer's original game was capped at a resolution of 1024 × 768, Aspyr said the remastered version supports native resolutions up to 2880 × 1800. Aspyr claimed it "gave every texture in the game a facelift," giving some elements four times the detail as the original game, but the 2 GB size limit on iOS forced remastered textures to only double in size in the mobile version. While it won't provide a release date just yet, the developer did add that an Android version of Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy is in the works.
[Image: Aspyr Media]

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Grand Theft Auto drives off with top UK spot for third week

Oh, hey! Ok, so, we know it's Thursday and all, but there's a perfectly good reason we're posting the UK sales data late this week. First off, Grand Theft Auto 5 was top of the pops for the third week in a row. Now, excuses time: Monday, the Chart-Track site was down all day. Tuesday, we were dealing with some relationship drama. Wednesday, we were eating pints of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. And, so, here we are: Thursday. A glorious day for your weekly dose of charting UK sales.

Beyond the GTA, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and FIFA 15 swap places to take two and three, respectively. The PS4 and Xbox One version of Saints Row IV Re-Elected / Gat Out of Hell takes the number four spot and... Rugby 15 debuts at eight. Rugby 15. Don't ever change, UK. We love you!

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Transistor, Yakuza 4 heading to PlayStation Plus next month


Sony has revealed next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Transistor, Yakuza 4, and more starting next week.

Featured PlayStation 4 freebies for next month include Supergiant Games' Bastion follow-up Transistor and Alien Trap Games' side-scrolling action game Apotheon, while PlayStation 3 owners can expect to see Sega's open-world crime drama Yakuza 4 and Eidos Montreal's first-person stealth game Thief. The PlayStation Vita will host Jaywalkers Interactive's Kick & Fennick, and Cellar Door Games' roguelike platformer Rogue Legacy will be freely downloadable across the PlayStation 4, PS3, and Vita.

All featured games will be available as free downloads for PlayStation Plus subscribers after the PlayStation Store updates on February 3.

[Image: Sony]

Super Smash Bros. Wii U update opens 15 more 8-player levels [Update]

Nintendo updated Super Smash Bros. for Wii U today, adding new levels to the game upon which fans can kick the crap out of their loved ones. The update gives players 15 new levels for free, each one for the game's eight-player Smash mode. Nintendo of Japan listed the new stages on its site:

Normal:
  • Mario Circuit (X)
  • Luigi's Mansion
  • Pyrosphere
  • Norfair
  • Lylat Cruise
  • Pokemon Stadium 2
  • Animal Crossing: Town and City
  • Animal Crossing: Smashville
  • Wii Fit studio
Omega:
  • Mario Galaxy
  • Mario Circuit (X)
  • Kirby: The Great Cave Offensive
  • Lylat Cruise
  • Pokemon Stadium 2
  • Town and City
The publisher revealed its latest sales numbers this week, noting that the Wii U's lifetime sales reached 9.2 million consoles. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sold 3.39 million copies by the end of 2014, topped only by Mario Kart 8's 4.77 million units as the system's best seller last year.

Update: Thanks to a translation error on Nintendo of Japan's page, some of the stages were incorrectly named. We've updated the list.

Nintendo Creators Program shares ad revenue with YouTube users

Nintendo unveiled its new revenue-sharing affiliate program for YouTube users, offering up to 70 percent of ad revenue to video makers using Nintendo-copyrighted content. The House of Mario's christened it the Nintendo Creators Program, and users with both Google and Paypal accounts can take the open beta for a spin right now.

The beta is currently offering 60 percent of ad revenue for individual videos attached to the program, and 70 percent for channels. Nintendo will calculate revenue shares on a monthly basis before sending them out to video creators via Paypal. Furthermore, videos and channels have to be approved by Nintendo before the company begins doling out the cash, and the big N says that process can take up to three business days.

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Lego Jurassic World, Lego Marvel's Avengers announced

No word yet if Lego Chris Pratt will feature those Guardians of the Galaxy abs, but he will feature in the upcoming Lego Jurassic World. Also announced this morning is Lego Marvel's Avengers. Although that's quite exciting, there's still a part of us pining for regular ol' Lego Avengers, starring Emma Peel and John Steed.

"We look forward to expanding the successful [Lego] series with this very exciting line-up of new LEGO experiences for players of all ages to enjoy on console, handheld and mobile gaming devices," said Executive Vice President and General Manager of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment David Haddad, betting his little blue bonnet.

The slate of upcoming Lego games includes the aforementioned titles, along with Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, The LEGO Movie Video Game for mobile (more Chris Pratt abs!), which is actually out now, and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (more Bat abs!) for mobile. There are plenty of apps to refine your abs on mobile also.

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Xbox Games with Gold in Feb: IDARB, Brothers, Sniper Elite V2

Heartstrings-tugger Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is one of three Games with Gold freebies for Xbox Live Gold subscribers next month. On Xbox 360 you can grab the Joystiq Top 10 of 2013 puzzle-platformer for zero centage between February 1-14. Then, after taking a deep breath, you can grab Sniper Elite V2 between February 15-28.

As revealed last month, #IDARB's pixelated sportsball madness is also free through February for Gold members. The Xbox One eight-player side-scroller has a regular launch price of $15.

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Torchlight 2 is finally coming to Mac next week

Torchlight 2 for Mac hits Steam on Monday, February 2, just over 28 months to the day Runic said a Mac version would take a "couple of months at least."

Why has it taken so dang long? Last we heard, the answer was "unexpected complexities." - that was back in August 2013. As for details... well, Mac owners, you've waited 861 days so far for Runic's action-RPG sequel. Apparently you have to wait a little bit longer for more info.

Runic is not unaware that this development is somewhat surreal. Check out how the studio announced the news below the break.

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Watch Dragon's Dogma Online gameplay in the debut trailer

Going by its first trailer, Dragon's Dogma Online plays much like its name indicates. The newly unveiled RPG allows parties of up to four players to take on a variety of monsters, small and large - sometimes very large. Like in the original Dragon's Dogma, players can cling to bigger beasties and get their Wander on, as you can see in the video below the break.

Along with the video, new screenshots some of the "Online" side including towns that players can congregate in and the chat windows pictured above.

Finally, the trailer confirms initial reports that Dragon's Dogma Online is a free-to-play game for PS4, PS3, and Windows PC, and that it's coming to Japan this year. According to Capcom, a Western release isn't in the company's plans.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 126: Dying Light, Bloodborne, Evolve, story in games

Latest episode: Friday, December 19th, 2014


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