Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer is leaving Activision Blizzard for Epic Games, where he will oversee the company’s esports division.

Nanzer is known as one of the founders of the Overwatch League, which began back in 2016. Blizzard has confirmed that Pete Vlastelica, who is head of esports products at Activision Blizzard, will act as Nanzer’s replacement.

On Friday, Nanzer announced his departure, calling it “one of the toughest decisions” of his life.

“I get way too much credit for the success of the Overwatch League,” he continues in the tweet tread. “It’s been awesome to be our public face, but too many overestimate my role in making the league great. It isn’t about me; it’s never been. It’s about all of you.”

For more on the Overwatch League, read executive editor Andrew Reiner’s piece about its hits and misses.

[Source: ESPN]

We’ve seen several video game adaptations of The Simpsons over the years, including 2003’s The Simpsons Hit & Run and 2012’s The Simpsons Tapped Out on mobile.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the famed dysfunctional family in video game form, and it’s very possible a new iteration is coming soon. During this year’s E3, we’ll be hearing from both the producers and writers of the popular cartoon during a panel taking place on June 11.

Want to know what else you can expect from E3? Read our in-depth feature that outlines everything you need to know including Game Informer‘s coverage plans, the biggest confirmed games, and the press conference schedule, by heading here. Earlier this year, The Simpsons aired a video game-focused episode about esports, which you can read more about here.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Koji Igarashi’s spiritual successor to Castlevania, will be receiving tons of DLC content after it launches next month.

Publisher 505 Games recently divulged its extensive and specific post-launch DLC plans. These include speedrun and bosh rush modes, and an outfit called the Pure Miriam outfit (which will be added for free at launch). More freebies include modes called Boss Revenge, Roguelike, Classic, and Chaos, as well as two additional playable characters. Co-op and a versus mode, for both online and local play, will be added later on too.

A premium DLC pack that will sell for $9.99, called Iga’s Back Pack, is coming at launch. This DLC lets players go head-to-head against Koji Igarashi himself, and if you manage to defeat him, you win a powerful Swordwhip weapon.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night arrives on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on June 18, and Switch on June 25.

No More Heroes spin-off game Travis Strikes Again is getting a few more jabs at success, as it’s currently on its way to PlayStation 4 and Steam.

Announced during the Travis Strikes Again panel at this year’s Momocon event, the ports do not have a release date or price, and it’s not currently known whether the game’s DLC will be making its way over, though it seems likely.

It’s unlikely, however, that we’ll see any of the in-game T-shirts with Nintendo characters on them, such as the one featuring Majora’s Mask. It also won’t be as fun recharging your beam katana with the right analog stick, key, or mouse as it is by waggling the Joy-Cons. Maybe the DualShock 4 will support motion-controlled charging?

For more on Travis Strikes Again, you can read our review of the Switch version, and see how it teases a potential No More Heroes 3.

Players who’ve kept up with Pathfinder: Kingmaker’s steady stream of DLC will find a number of quality-of-life improvements waiting for them when they load up the latest bit of content launching next month.

The game’s June 6 update will include the Beneath The Stolen Sands DLC (which is included in the game’s season pass), but will also add a number of features that will transform the game into its “Enhanced Edition.” The update is free for anyone who already owns the game.

The Enhanced Edition update adds a new Slayer class, as well as more items and weapons. The update also offers new ways to build characters, balances characters, enemies, and counters “especially in the beginning and last two chapters of the game,” improves kingdom management, adds more kinds of random encounters in the global map, and adds “Numerous gameplay-enriching content additions and dozens of quality-of-life features,” according the developer Owlcat Games.

[Source: Owlcat Games on Steam]

Square Enix has announced that Star Ocean First Departure, a PSP remake of the first Star Ocean game, is now headed to PlayStation 4 and Switch with an additional letter in its name.

Star Ocean First Departure R is a hi-res update to the original PSP game. Gematsu is also reporting the title will include “additional features.” No release date or price has been announced.

This isn’t the first time a Star Ocean game has seen the re-release treatment. The fourth game in the series recently saw a 4K update for PlayStation 4 and PC. That one was priced at $20.99, which hopefully means First Departure R will launch for a similar price, and that it will come to Steam at some point down the road.

[Source: Square Enix on Twitter, Gematsu]

world health organization logo

The World Heatlh Organization (WHO) voted today to adopt the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), an update to what the WHO views as a serious diseases that includes a new entry called “Gaming disorder.”

Gaming disorders are now part of a pair of “Disroders due to addictive behaviors” that also includes gambling disorders. While the WHO previously recognized gaming disorders as a disease back in June, today’s vote officially adopts the ICD-11, making it the standard members of the WHO (which includes the United States along with much of the world) must use when making their own decisions about healthcare, treatment, prevention, and more going forward. Member nations must begin reporting health data using the ICD-11 by January 2022.

For reference, here is the official entry on gaming disorder in the ICD-11.

Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour [sic] (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

  1. impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);
  2. increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and
  3. continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

Also last June, the ESA responded to the WHO’s recognition of gaming disorders as a disease with a statement opposing it, citing that “its inclusion remains highly contested an inconclusive.”

The Best Alien Games

Alien turn 40 today! Ridley Scott’s horrifying sci-fi masterpiece has inspired a number of well-loved video games – everything from Doom to System Shock to the recently released (and fantastic) Observation. However, actual games based on the Alien franchise has been, uh, well a rollercoaster ride in terms of quality. To be frank, reader, most of them are bad. Real bad. However, among that sea of terrible licensed titles are several fantastic games set in the Alien universe.

If you’re looking to celebrate the release by digitally eviscerating (or getting eaten by) xenomorphs, here are the best Alien games to play.

Alien 3

Platforms: Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo
Release: 1993

Funny how one of the most critically panned (undeservingly so, your humble narrator might argue) entries in the series have resulted in one of Alien’s most interesting and even fun games. This side-scroller isn’t that scary, but it does let you play as a very bald Ellen Ripley burning through hordes Aliens and Facehuggers with a flamethrower. Not bad.

Alien Versus Predator

Platform: PC
Release: 1998

Long before developer Rebellion was getting into the slo-mo headshot game with Sniper Elite, it turned the popular comic crossover series pitting two of 20th Century Fox’s biggest baddies against each other into a video game – and a pretty darn good one to boot. Alien Versus Predator (AVP) has three campaigns that each have their own distinct tone and playstyle. If you play the Marine path, you are a soldier stumbling around in claustrophobic and dark environments, blasting Aliens and hopefully not getting insta-killed by a Facehugger. If you chose the Predator, you lop heads off from the shadows and blow people into pieces with your shoulder cannon. And, of course, as the Alien, you munch on scientists and throw androids into whirling fans to cut them up. With a ridiculous amount of gory slapstick, AVP is one of the most enjoyable games of its era, and still holds up today.

Alien Versus Predator 2

Platform: PC
Release: 2001

Alien Versus Predator 2 didn’t mess that much with the formula of the first game. Monolith, taking over for Rebellion, just added in a decentish story, made the game a bit brighter, and buffed out the gore. Honestly, more of the same when it comes to Alien Versus Predator’s zaniness is fine by us.

Alien Versus Predator: Extinction

Platforms: PS2, Xbox
Release: 2003

Look. We’re not going to sit here and tell you that Extinction, a real-time strategy game pitting the Aliens against the marines and Predators is up there with the likes of Warcraft or Command and Conquer. However, to reiterate: it’s a real-time strategy game pitting Aliens against marines and Predators. You’re either onboard or not at this point.

Aliens Infestation

Platform: Nintendo DS
Release: 2011

Infestation is a thing you didn’t know you wanted: a game that uses the Metroid formula set in the Alien universe where you play as a squad of colonial marines. And guess what? It’s actually good. Really, really good (read our review if you don’t believe me). If you’ve got a DS (or 3DS) somewhere, this one is definitely worth playing. It even has a touchpad five finger filet minigame that mimics the famous barracks scene from Aliens.

Alien: Isolation

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: 2014

Easily the crown jewel of the Alien games, Isolation is a treat for fans of the movie. After years upon years of mediocre licensed shooters and games that cribbed hard from Aliens, Isolation put players on a giant space station that faithfully recreated the original film’s retro-future style with analog computers and blinking lights and pitted them against an invincible killing machine. Gone are the fragile bugs of Aliens that blew apart in a hail of bullets. Isolation treats the classic 1979 version of the monster with reverence, forcing you to stick to the shadows and use your wits (and whatever gadgets you have) to outwit your pursuer.

Sure, Isolation is about 10 hours too long and can be a bit tedious at times. However, it’s the only licensed game in the Alien universe that understands and respects the power of the original film. As an homage, Isolation is nearly impeccable.

We know a few details about Sony’s next PlayStation console, like how it supports ray-tracing, 8K graphics, and will come with a solid-state drive that will make for shorter load times in games like Spider-Man. We know also know we won’t be getting a new VR headset to match for a little while.

Speaking with CNET, Sony Global Head of R&D for PlayStation Dominic Mallinson talked about the future PlayStation VR, but also laid out plans for Sony’s current headset. It will be compatible with the next PlayStation, which means players won’t have to buy a new headset when the console.

In fact, there won’t be a new headset for a good while, including during the console’s launch. “There’s no reason for us to coincide it with a new console,” Mallinson told CNET. “From the point of view of the consumer, to be bombarded with many, many things – oh, you have to buy this, you have to buy that – is a message that we don’t want to send. In some ways, it’s good to have a little breathing space between those things.”

While those who have a current-gen PSVR need not worry about their device becoming obsolete in the near future, Mallinson did mention a few directions the device could take going forward. “We do want it to be lighter weight, and easier to put on, less cables, less mess,” he said. However, he mentioned a new wireless headset could end up being expensive. Mallinson also mentions eye-tracking, and the need for the current Move controllers to evolve.

[Source: CNET]

Bungie is making changes to just about every aspect of Destiny 2 next month. We already knew a number of exotic items, including a fan-favorite, would see some nerfs. This week, Bungie outlined some changes it’s making to how players make their way to the new raid, Crown of Sorrow, as well as the real-money Eververse shop.

Destiny 2’s raids have normally launched after the start of their respective seasons. The Crown of Sorrow, however, will launch on the afternoon of the first day of the season, and accompanying that change are some tweaks to how players make their way up to it, as well as the race to be the first fireteam to clear the raid.

Before you can even enter the raid, you’ll have to complete a new quest that will reward you with 690-level gear not just for one character, but for all characters on your account after completing it just once. Until Crown of Sorrow is beaten, the two previous raids (Last Wish and Scourge of the Past) will be unavailable to prevent players from saving up Ethereal Keys (items acquired at the end of the Last Wish raid) from using them all at once to gain a large amount of power quickly.

What’s more, there will be a new modifier called Contest for the first 24 hours of the new season that will scale encounters more actively, preventing power levels beyond a certain threshold (700 for the raid’s first encounter, 720 for the final encounter) from providing a bonus. You can find out more about this change here.

Bungie is also making changes to the Eververse, its cosmetic item shop with real-money hooks. All new cosmetic items from this new season will be available for direct purchase on a weekly rotation. Cosmetic armor sets, also will be available as a bundle with fixed perk rolls, as well as individually. Additionally, this season’s cosmetic engram (the ones that drop when your experience bar fills up), will offer items from past seasons, with a focus on the game’s first year. Finally, items purchased for silver (the currency you pay real money for) are now “wrapped” and must be opened before you can use them normally. Any wrapped item can be refunded within seven days of purchase.

[Source: Bungie]