Creative Assembly released a pair of new videos for its upcoming Total War spinoff, Thrones of Britannia, which focuses on the strategy game’s Gaelic campaign. Take a look at a cinematic starring king of Mide, Flann Sinna, and then watch a lengthy look at gameplay.

In the Gaelic campaign, Sinna is fighting to become the high king of Ireland. That’s easier said than done, since his kingdom is landlocked and surrounded by potential enemies. You can get a taste of the overall climate in the cinematic trailer below.

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The next clip is a deeper dive into the campaign. You’ll see how players can recruit and mobilize their armies, and see why the Viking interlopers should have probably pointed their ships elsewhere.

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A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia is coming to PC on April 19.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has already had an impressive run of awards, including being named Game Informer‘s 2017 Game of the Year. Nintendo’s latest success story added more accolades at the 21st annual D.I.C.E. Awards, taking home four more trophies. The upstarts at Studio MDHR also had a night to remember, racking up three awards for its impressive action platformer Cuphead. Horizon Zero Dawn, Lone Echo/Echo Arena, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Snipperclips each took home two awards apiece as well. Rounding out the awards ceremony, Nintendo’s Genyo Takeda received a lifetime achievement award for his work creating Punch-Out!! and designing the Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii hardware. At the end of the night, Nintendo took home a whopping 12 awards, nearly 50 percent of the total tally.

Here is the full list of winners:

Outstanding Achievement in Animation: Cuphead
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction: Cuphead
Outstanding Achievement in Character: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition: Cuphead
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design: Super Mario Odyssey
Outstanding Achievement in Story: Horizon Zero Dawn
Outstanding Technical Achievement: Horizon Zero Dawn
Action Game of the Year: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Adventure Game of the Year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Family Game of the Year: Snipperclips
Fighting Game of the Year: Injustice 2
Racing Game of the Year: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Role-Playing Game of the Year: Nier: Automata
Sports Game of the Year: FIFA 18
Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Immersive Reality Technical Achievement: Lone Echo/Echo Arena
Immersive Reality Game of the Year: Lone Echo/Echo Arena
D.I.C.E. Sprite Award: Snipperclips
Handheld Game of the Year: Metroid Samus Returns
Mobile Game of the Year: Fire Emblem Heroes
Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Game of the Year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

At the beginning of the year, Blizzard announced they were hard at work on a new hero for Overwatch. A picture of a small bit of backstory might be hinting at who that hero could be.

In the tweet from the Overwatch account, the caption reads “[DECLASSIFIED] After-Action Report: Operation ‘WHITE DOME’.”

The actual text says:

Strike team under the command of myself, CAPTAIN ANA AMARI, was deployed to the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey to deal with a remaining pocket of omnic resistance. Personnel included Lieutenant Reinhardt Wilhelm, Chief Engineer Torbjörn Lindholm, and Private First Class Emre Sarioglu. After routine insertion, the team was ambushed, taking heavy fire from the entrenched combatants without casualties, the battle resulted in serious injuries to Lindholm and lesser injury to Lt. Wilhelm. Had it not been for Lt. Wilhelm’s timely intervention, it is likely that Lindholm would have been killed. Due to conspicuous bravery on the part of Lt. Wilhelm, I am suggesting a commendation for his actions.

The new name, Private First Class Emre Sarioglu, appears to have been a part of Ana, Reinhardt, and Torbjörn’s squad in the old days. Other heroes have been introduced similar ways, being names in files or in-game lore dropped over time and eventually fleshed out. It is definitely curious how Sarioglu is only mentioned once in the file and then never again.

What do you think? Is this a new hero or a just a name in a file?

 

Our Take
Blizzard learned a lot of lessons from the way the Sombra ARG backfired, so hopefully they put those lessons to work here and don’t tease the new character for too long.

In a messy legal situation that has been continuing since at least December, Star Control’s original developers, Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, are filing a counterclaim against Brad Wardell and the company Stardock over the question of who owns Star Control.

We talked about the story in December, but the short version is that Reiche and Ford believe that the rights to Star Control belong to them and have been working on a new game under the company name Dogar and Kozan, while Stardock believes it belongs to them and have reportedly been trying to stop the development of the pair’s sequel to the game.

From our original story in December: “In order to understand Dogar and Kazon’s claims, we need a bit of history. Toys for Bob (which Dogar and Kazon founders Fred Ford and Paul Reiche also founded) developed the original two Star Control games, which the now-defunct company Accolade published. After Accolade published a couple of sequels not developed by Toys For Bob, the franchise went into deep sleep, and its rights were later picked up by Atari. In 2013, Stardock bought the rights to series from Atari when the company liquidated its assets as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy (Stardock is currently listed as the publisher of the series on Steam). Stardock is creating its own entry in the Star Control series, Star Control: Origins.”

Today, the pair announced via their website that they are filing a countersuit against Stardock.

Stardock filed a complaint in Federal court against us, personally, alleging among other things that we are not actually the creators of Star Control,” the post reads. “This is news to us! Are we clones of the original Fred and Paul, just now learning of our squelchy vat birth?  Unfortunately, Stardock’s complaint is not a prank – so, today we took action and filed a response in Federal court answering Stardock’s false claims. Of course, we’ve also filed counterclaims against Stardock, as the original Fred and Paul would have wanted.”

It is impossible to say outside of a courtroom how this will turn out, but it looks like both sides are digging the trenches for a protracted battle.

 

Our Take
While I legally have no idea who is in the right here, the biggest takeaway from this is that IP and copyright law is messy. I can’t wait to see this untangled and see who has the correct claim, though my guess is that it’s not that simple.

Welcome back to The Game Informer Show! On this episode, Ben Hanson is joined by Joe Juba, Elise Favis, and Suriel Vazquez to talk about the shocking state of Metal Gear in a post-Kojima world, the bizarre and impressive Assassin’s Creed Origins Discovery Tour mode, the future of Rainbow Six Siege, and much more! After some great community emails, we’re joined by former Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw to explain why he recently left BioWare and why he’s looking forward to CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077. We hope you enjoy the show, and be sure to participate in the #gishowchallenge… there are details in this episode.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, or listen to episode 387 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your questions to podcast@gameinformer.com for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

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Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below…

2:45 – Kingdom Come: Deliverance
5:30 – Game Informer’s 300th Issue Party at Fulton Brewery
6:20 – Metal Gear Survive
36:45 – Assassin’s Creed Origins Discovery Tour
46:00 – Rainbow Six Siege’s Future
50:10 – Florence
1:00:50 – Community emails
1:02:20 – Introducing the #gishowchallenge
1:33:25 – Our entrance music
1:53:10 – Mike Laidlaw on Dragon Age and leaving BioWare

The Xbox 360 version of the Kinect was not exceptional at performing its base functions. However, artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles defied the odds in October 2015 by steathily using the device to capture a near-perfect 3D replica of Nefertiti, and they have been curiously public about their actions since.

Eurogamer‘s video editor Chris Bratt got in touch with the architects of this bizarre art heist to see how they pulled it off. The artists mentioned how they prepared a complicated “mobile setup” with lots of prep work. They observed the security guards’ patterns in Berlin’s Neues Museum on Sundays: the busiest day for visitors. They even took calculated breaks to avoid suspicion. Check out the video below for more details.

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A controversy arose over the probability of using Kinect to create the high-resolution scans of the Egyptian Queen’s bust, and some believe that the artists might have stolen the museum’s own scans instead of creating their own. Nelles offereed a comment on this version of events in his interview with Eurogamer:

“Officially we claim to have scanned the bust at the museum at this point. But frankly speaking, I can tell you that this was part of the process to acquire the data. We have combined technologies. We have not only done the scan with the Kinect, but you can use the data of the Kinect for certain parts of the measurements and then you combine other data that you acquire through other methods. This leads to this kind of high resolution, high poly dataset.”

Either way, the duo want to add to the a discussion about the possession of art and who has the right to house historical artifacts taken from other countries. The artist could face some significant legal repercutions for their scans, but the museum hasn’t pursued action yet.

[Source: Eurogamer]

 

Our Take
However the age-old controversy about art ownership plays out, the artists’ use of the Kinect is one of the most interesting points of this tale. While the story loses a bit of its magic with “combined technologies,” the fact that Microsoft’s peripheral played a role is undoubtedly impressive.

According to an interview from Dengeki Online, Final Fantasy XV’s roadmap of DLC episodes will continue until at least 2019.

In the interview, director Hajime Tabata and game designer Takefumi Terada discuss the current three-episode plan for the remainder of 2018, starting with the announced Episode Ardyn. While working on that, Tabata realized they wanted to do more content for the game, and added a fourth episode to the docket.

That means that all four episodes spread out will go through 2018 and into 2019. As for future content beyond that, it’s undecided.

Final Fantasy XV’s previous DLC episodes – Episode Gladiolus, Episode Prompto, and Episode Ignis – have been released as part of the game’s season pass, while the next four episodes should be part of the second season pass, though they have yet to be extensively detailed.

Final Fantasy XV is re-releasing as Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition, containing the first game’s DLC and multiplayer expansion, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and for the first time on PC on March 6. Square-Enix revealed today that Steam pre-orders and early purchases for the game will receive a Gordon Freeman skin for Noctis. There will also be a free PC demo on February 26.

[Source: Dengeki Online]

Bandai Namco have announced two patches to hopefully iron out issues the game has been having with online matches. 

The two major issues, an inability to match with other players in Ring Match and getting disconnected from the lobby, will be the focus for a patch at the end of February. Bandai Namco producer Tomoko Hiroki says, however, that one patch is unlikely to solve all the problems, so they are preparing another patch for March, as well. 

“Rest assured,” states Hiroki, “that we will not stop until the fix has been completed.”

You can see Hiroki’s video talking about the patches below. She has, in the last few weeks, also signed up for the EVO Championships to play Dragon Ball FighterZ competitively.

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Our Take
To some extent, I kind of want them to take the entire online mode back to the workbench and rethink it from a fundamental level. I guess this is a good start, though.

The first sales numbers from 2018 show Capcom’s Monster Hunter World and Dragon Ball FighterZ, both games releasing on January 26, are the best selling games of the month.

The two Japanese titles were strong contenders to come out on top, as they were the most significant retail releases so far in 2018. Dragon Ball FighterZ had the strongest debut of any Dragon Ball game in the U.S. since Dragon Ball Budokai on the PlayStation 2 in 2002. Monster Hunter World was the best selling title overall, while also topping both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sales rankings, cementing it as the best debut in the series in the west.

Capcom has previously stated that Monster Hunter World is the fastest selling game in the publisher’s history.

Here’s the list of the top 20 games for the month of January.

Monster
Hunter: World
1
Dragon Ball: FighterZ 2
Call of Duty: WWII 3
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds 4
Grand Theft Auto V 5
NBA 2K18 6
Super Mario Odyssey* 7
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of
the Wild*
8
Mario Kart 8* 9
Madden NFL 18 10
Star Wars: Battlefront II 11
Assassin’s Creed: Origins 12
UFC 3 13
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six:
Siege
14
FIFA 18 15
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 16
The Sims 4 17
Splatoon 2* 18
Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT 19
Need for Speed: Payback 20

Titles with an asterisk do not count digital sales. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds does not count digital sales on PC.

Many of 2017’s biggest games, such as Call of Duty: WWII and Assassin’s Creed Origins are still hanging around with nearly as much strength as the previous year. Microsoft have positioned PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds well, tying the game’s console release to the Xbox with a strong sales presence. Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, the newest game in the 3D fighter series, debuted at 19th, despite releasing only a few days after Dragon Ball FighterZ and Monster Hunter.

In terms of hardware, the battle between Switch and PlayStation 4 continues to be one of victories on both sides. While Switch sold the most units, the PlayStation 4 generated the most revenue. Microsoft was not incredibly far behind, as the gap between the PlayStation 4’s revenue and Microsoft’s revenue, even at third place, was only three percent.

Much like December, the 3DS had one of its best month-aligned sales records, having its best January in terms of dollar amount since January 2014, and best in terms of unit sales since January 2013.

 

Our Take
It’s incredible how well Monster Hunter and Dragon Ball did. While they are the most notable releases so far, they sold incredibly well in a vacuum, and their rankings are not due to a lack of competition. Capcom and Bandai Namco are likely incredibly bullish about the rest of the year, especially after Capcom admitted disappointment in the sales of their 2017 titles Resident Evil VII and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

Nintendo have run afoul of European regulators with its eShop return and cancellation policies; which is to say, Nintendo does not allow either of those things, and that doesn’t fly in Europe.

The Norwegian Consumer Council has accused Nintendo of practices that violate European law with its very strict no-refund policy. In a letter published online, the Consumer Council harshly condemned pretty much every digital storefront, worst of all Nintendo, for inadequate digital rights compliance. From the summary:

The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) has found that out of the seven leading digital video game platforms, only Origin and Steam had adequate systems in place for refunding purchased video games. Out of the seven platforms, Nintendo in particular violates consumer rights by not offering any way to cancel a pre-ordered game.

Nintendo, for their part, has a policy of not allowing refunds under any circumstances, including accidental purchases. From the company’s support site
  • We are unable to provide refunds or exchanges for mistaken purchases.
  • Please be sure to read the game descriptions and check out the screen shots available through the Nintendo eShop before making purchases.
  • We also encourage you to visit www.nintendo.com for information about the games available for our systems.
  • In addition, many websites make reviews available of games which you can use to make your purchasing decisions.

    Nintendo’s policy of “all sales are final” explicitly goes against European laws for digital purchases. While other services might also not have consumer-facing refund procedures, they do perform limited refunds through customer service, which Nintendo reportedly not do. The letter petitioning Nintendo points out that Nintendo cannot enter into a contract with consumers that bars them from exiting or dissolving the contract before the game is even released.

    The eShop, which includes all of Nintendo’s modern platforms including the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch, was the only digital store examined that was found not to be complying with European law.

     

    Our Take
    European digital rights are taken extremely seriously and I was wondering when they would start holding Nintendo’s feet to the fire. It will be interesting to see how Nintendo responds, as not complying with the law is probably not a valid option.