Ian Curran

Ian Curran, who worked for THQ for more than a decade in various managerial positions, has been appointed chief operating officer and president of Sega America. Prior to his new role at Sega, Curran was CEO of Gioteck, an electronic accessories company, and also worked for Acclaim.

The press release detailing the news explains his role saying, “In his role, Ian will be responsible for utilizing all resources available to maximize the profitability of the publishing and Sonic business units within the Americas and EMEA, serving also on the board of Atlus U.S.A., Inc. He will report directly to the CEO of SEGA West, Tatsuyuki Miyazaki and will work with employees in SEGA’s offices located in Irvine, Burbank and London.”

Additionally, in the press release, Atlus’ CEO and president Naoto Hiraoka and Tatsuyuki Miyazaki outline ambiguous growth plans for Sega and speak optimistically about the future. “Coming off the success of Persona 5, Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania Plus, and the Yakuza series, and with so much more on the horizon, including Valkyria Chronicles 4, it is an incredible time to join the team. As part of the SEGA family, we are inheritors of an expansive body of work and opportunity which I plan to help reach its full potential,” Curran writes.

Curran officially takes on his new role today, August 1, 2018.

 

Our Take
With games like Sonic Mania and Yakuza and Persona 5 coming from the Atlus side of the partnership, Sega seems to be on an upswing. The 3D Sonic games are still consistently disappointing, but I am optimistic about Sega’s future. Being associated with THQ might not be the greatest bullet point on Curran’s resume considering its collapse, but he seems like he could be a good fit. Time will tell, I suppose.

FoxNext has announced the newest playable additions to its popular mobile title, Marvel Strike Force. This month, players will be able to recruit Scarlet Witch, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Nick Fury, and Loki.

Scarlet Witch is known by many as one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe, and her powers in the game reflect her ability to alter reality to disorient and confuse her enemies. Ms. Marvel features shapeshifting and fast healing powers make her a unique challenge for opponents. Loki and Nick Fury have long been in the game as A.I. enemies, but August will see them playable for the first time.

Marvel Strike Force

Ms. Marvel was announced as San Diego Comic-Con last month during Marvel Games’ panel, but it was unclear as to when she’d be introduced. Scarlet Witch is available starting today, with the other three characters joining the roster throughout the month of August. For more on Marvel Strike Force, check out my thoughts on why it’s one of the most addictive games I’ve played all year.

Sony has announced its PlayStation Plus title for August, and the lead titles are pretty solid.

Mafia III and Dead by Daylight will be available for PlayStation Plus subscribers to download on PlayStation 4; Bound by Flame and Serious Sam 3 BFE will be available for PlayStation 3; Draw Slasher and Space Hulk will be available on Vita; A bonus game, Here They Lie, will be available for PlayStation VR; And finally, Knowledge is Power, a PlayLink trivia game will also be available to download.  You can follow the links for our reviews.

[Source: PlayStation]

Stardew Valley’s long-awaited multiplayer update is now available for the PC version of the game, and with it comes a bunch of additional updates that change or add to the game in big ways.

A traveling festival now comes through town for a few days in the winter, there is a new mysterious collection type, there are new character events, Skull Cavern has changed, you can now change your profession if you regret your choice, you can craft signs, there are items to help you automatically harvest certain things, and that’s just a few of things available in the update. You can find the list here, but developer Eric Barone says it is not a comprehensive list because he wants players to discover much of what is new on their own.

For more on Stardew Valley you can pretty much listen to and episode of The Game Informer Show and host Ben Hanson will find an excuse to bring up the game. You can read our review of Stardew Valley here.

[Source: Stardew Valley]

Lylat Cruise Stage Confirmed

The big selling point of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is it will include every fighter that has ever appeared in the game, but its stage selection has not yet been promised to be as comprehensive. The official Smash Bros. website has been offering frequent updates for the game and the most recent one confirms the inclusion of the Lylat Cruise stage that originally appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Nintendo also recently confirmed that Princess Peach’s Castle will be making an appearance in Ultimate.

 

For more on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, here’s just about everything we know so far.

[Source: Super Smash Bros.]

PUBG Corporation has released PC patch #19 to its test servers addressing various quality-of-life issues and bugs – something that people have been asking for.

Fixes encompass performance improvements, weapon attachment management (including drops to the floor), a bullet penetration system for arms and hands, right-click map marker placing, additional custom match presets, and more.

Also, dynamic weather has been added to the Erangel and Miramar maps.

For the full contents of the patch, click the source link below.

[Source: PUBG Corporation]

All good things must come to an end, as they say, and so it is with Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead. The first episode of the final season is out on August 14 but you can go ahead and get a taste of it with a 15-minute demo that’s available on PS4 and Xbox One.

The Walking Dead has been making a big return to gaming this year, with Overkill’s take on the franchise finally arriving as well.

For more on Telltale, be sure to check out our review of the previous season of The Walking Dead.

Shenmue I & II is anticipated by a lot of long-time Sega fans, but it has been almost 20 years since the first game released on the Dreamcast. That’s a long time to remember a story for people who want to skip straight to Shenmue II or just rant to remind themselves of the game story to get hyped up.

Thankfully, Sega has released a retrospective for Shenmue, with the first episode focusing on the story. As a bonus, the video is narrated by Corey Marshall, the voice actor for Ryo Hazuki.

It’s a good recollection of all the dive bars and sailors and fighting weird gremlin people in arcades and getting screwed out of a ticket to China by a shady travel agent firm.

Shenmue I & II releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 21.

The Sinking City, the open-world Lovecraftian game, has released a new trailer and it’s definitely not for those who get queasy at the idea of small acts of body horror. The trailer, titled A Close Shave, the trailer sells the detective-meets-supernatural premise of the game with some genuinely off-putting images. 

“It starts with the nick of a razor blade, a small pool of blood forming on the surface of the skin,” the description reads. “From there, it only gets weirder, my thoughts a whirlpool that drags me down, into a world unlike anything I’ve ever known. It all starts with the nick of a razor…”

Check out the trailer below.

 

The Sinking City is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 21.

God of War is one of 2018’s best received games, with people praising the game’s portrayal of a father-son relationship between the stoic and pained Kratos and his growing son. A novelization of that story isn’t anything unexpected, but the choice of J.M. Barlog, God of War director Cory Barlog’s father, is definitely appropriate.

The senior Barlog is actually a fairly well-known author of young adult fiction, having written a number of fantasy and mystery books in his career. JM Barlog’s autobiography on his website talks about what got him into writing.

“A Chicago native, I served in the Air Force during Vietnam,” he writes. “That was when the writing bug took me. I started (with no success) writing short stories about things that interested me. Before long I was expanding into novels and exploring many different facets of life. I came to realize that stories were all around. All I had to do was be observant and let my imagination go where it wanted.”

Turns out one of those stories is the game his son wrote, as the two were able to collaborate on the God of War novelization. The Barlogs also teamed up on God of War II way back in 2006.

God of War is available on the PlayStation 4. You can read our review of the game here.