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Via: Xbox
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Microsoft seems ready to commit to its past as it continued reviving old franchises during Gamescom 2015 Aug. 4.

After presenters gave plenty of space to a new Forza game, a new Rainbow Six game and a new Crackdown game at the Xbox One press conference, Xbox head Phil Spencer gave a 'one more thing' to the audience in the form of announcing a sequel to 2009's Halo Wars.

If you don't remember Halo Wars, we'll forgive you. It was an odd duck of a real-time strategy game, a la StarCraft or Age of Empires. In fact, the original game was developed by Ensemble Studios, creator of the Age of Empires series.

The original Halo Wars was a cult fan favorite and remains highly regarded in certain circles, though it never reached the sales numbers of traditional FPS Halo games.

Ensemble will not develop this sequel, instead it's being handled by 343 Industries, who took over the Halo franchise after creator studio Bungie ended their exclusivity deal with Microsoft, and British game devleloper Creative Assembly, responsible for the very many Total War games.

Via: Xbox
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Microsoft first pulled back the rotten, diseased curtain of Dark Souls 3 at E3 with a teaser trailer.

It did one better at Gamescome, highlighting the gameplay we can expect from the next miserable death-fest created by From Software.

It looks like a Dark Souls game.

And that is wonderful.

The movement speed seems slightly increased, which is probably an evolution off the studio's most recent game, the fantastic Bloodborne.

It also looks like the giants are back...

Via: Xbox
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Five years after Crackdown 2 came to the Xbox 360, Microsoft showed off the long-coming sequel at its Gamescom 2015 press conference Aug. 4.

The short story? You can blow up everything.

All in all the game looks exceedingly similar to the first two, though the presenters did say that the city in which you desperately search for orbs will be brand new. The trailer showed off other differences like an upgradeable car and new gang enemies.

However, the most important thing about the game according to the trailer is the allegedly complete environmental destruction.

Like this building you can just demolish:

If you destroy all the buildings though, won't that just make the orbs harder to collect??

Via: Xbox
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Remedy has not released a full game since 2010's Alan Wake and the build up for their next project, Quantum Break has grown since they first revealed it in 2013.

During the Microsoft press conference at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany, Remedy gave up the ghost on when you can play the odd time-shifting game and a little more about what you can expect.

A full seven minute experience trailer led the Microsoft event and at the end it announced that Quantum Break will see its release on April 5, 2016.

Also, Little Finger from Game of Thrones is in it.

Konami is turning into a crazy Orwellian place to work.
Via: Kotaku
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Even if you hate where you work, count your lucky stars that you don't work for Konami.

A report from the Japanese outlet Nikkei recently found out some terrible employment practices from the legacy video game company behind some enormous titles like the Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill franchises. Kotaku kindly translated it for our English consumption.

Nikkei's report alleges that the culture at the corporation's video game division, famous for its console games, worsened in around 2010 when a mobile title called Dragon Collection became a smash hit. As a social game for phones, development costs were low and profit returns were huge. Not long after, the report says, Konami's corporate bosses shifted the company's focus away from traditional, hardcore games and towards cheaper, and potentially more lucrative social titles.

The allegations from the report cover some of the following crazy details:

  • The studio behind the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V use computers allegedly not connected to the internet and are only able to send internal messages.

  • Employees are monitored during their lunch break with time cards and if they take too long, their names are announced to the whole company.

  • There are cameras in the office not for security, but rather to monitor the movements of the company's employees.

  • Most Konami employees don't have their own permanent company email addresses, instead are given a randomized one that changes every few months.

  • If game developers aren't thought to be useful at that time, they are reassigned to jobs as security guards, cleaners or in pachinko machine factories.

  • The report describes one former employee who announced leaving the company on Facebook and then all the fellow employees who "liked" the status were reassigned into new jobs within the company.

CRAZY, right?

And it sounds like it's at least partly true from game journalists in the know.

Konami has run into a swath of recent fan turmoil. First by systematically removing Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima from having anything to do with the company. And second, by ending the Guillermo Del Toro revamp of the Silent Hill series after the well-received P.T.demo.

Many speculate that Kojima is trying to focus on its less costly business endeavors like it's chain of fitness centers and its many pachinko machines.

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News of the Street Fighter V roster has been a slow drip that will probably continue until the game releases in spring 2016, but the latest will surely make that wait even longer for some fans of the fighting series.

The Official Playstation Blog, too excited to contain themselves, announced that Vega will return with his mask and three-pronged claw for the next Street Fighter iteration.

A mainstay in the franchise since his introduction in Street Fighter II, Vega believes that beauty is the truest form of strength and that he alone is the epitome of perfection. The mask he wears serves to protect his face from the blood of his victims, and his deadly three-pronged claw ensures he is able to dish out pain from a safe distance away. Learning ninjutsu at a young age from a Japanese acquaintance, Vega quickly shot up the ranks in Shadaloo, eventually becoming one of the four bosses of the criminal organization.

...[H]e now has the ability to sheathe his claw during battle in exchange for new moves, such as a command grab, as well as new attack properties, greatly changing the way he approaches each fight. Knowing when to toggle between the two styles will be the key to success, and it also allows for new combo possibilities. Conversely, Vega will no longer be able to pick up his claw once it's knocked off, so knowing how to fight without the claw is a must!

Capcom has only announced 10 of the 16 total launch characters so far with Vega joining Ken, Ryu, Chun-LI, Nash, M. Bison, Cammy, Birdie and Necalli. Four characters will be completely new to the series.

The announcement might have been a way to take attention from the disappointing beta over the July 25 weekend that kept the vast majority of players from testing the game.

For all of you Xbox One owners out there, Sony has bought exclusivity rights. So the only way you're going to play it is by buying a Playstation 4. Does Vega make it worth it for you?

Sony will let Playstation Plus people vote on the next month's games
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Playstation Plus has been a huge success for Sony and it's about to get a lot more friendly for the gamers that take advantage of it.

Though the membership service includes regular deals on games and movies, the big draw has been the rotating selection of free titles that come with the $18 for three months or $50 every year subscription price.

Now, players who pay for that program will have a say in which games Sony will offer for free the following month.

The Official Playstation Blog announced the feature and offered a few new details

The game with the most votes will automatically be included in our future free game lineup for PlayStation Plus. If your pick didn't make the lineup, don't worry. In the first promotion, PlayStation Plus members can get the runner ups at a discount. We love to listen to our fans – and we're super excited to launch this promotion.

We'll have more details for you soon on when voting begins, what titles will be up for voting, and how you can cast your vote.

While we're on the subject, the Playstation Plus games for Playstation 4 are Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Limbo. Sound Shapes and Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will be available for PS4, PS3 and the Playstation Vita. CastleStorm will be available for the PS3 and the Vita, while God of War Ascension will be available for PS3.

Via: Ubisoft
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We've heard rumors about it for a while, but Ubisoft made the porting of ZombiU official July 30 with a bloody reveal trailer.

It's now just called Zombi, by the way, for obvious reasons.

The London-based zombie survival shooter will arrive, digitally only, Aug. 18. It will come to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. That marks a pretty quick turn around between reveal and release, but Ubisoft just probably wants to wash its hands of the whole affair.

Ubisoft created ZombiU as one of the only third-party launch exclusives for the Wii U, when Nintendo released the console in late 2012. As we all know, the console and therefore the game, didn't sell all that well. It was only July 29 when Nintendo announced that the Wii U had sold 10 million units.

In the middle of 2013, Ubisoft came out with zombie-preventative guns blazing about the Wii U's poor performance. First, the giant game developer and publisher canceled a ZombiU sequel, saying the sales didn't make the game "even close" to profitable.

Then, Ubisoft said that it would no longer develop exclusive titles for Nintendo until the Wii U has more users. There's no telling what number it would take to bring back that relationship.

So, if you've waited around, refusing to buy a Wii U but thinking ZombiU looks cool, now's your chance. It received a number of positive reviews and currently sits at 77 on Metacritic.

If only that 'London Bridges' rendition in the trailer wasn't so goofy.

10 million Wii U consoles are sold.
Via: Polygon
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It took more than two and a half years, but Nintendo's Wii U console has managed to clear 10 million units sold.

According to Polygon:

Nintendo's Wii U console crossed the 10 million units sold threshold in the three-month period ended June 2015 (PDF link), while the console's new shooter, Splatoon, sold 1.62 million units.

Worldwide Wii U sales reached 470,000 units, compared to 510,000 units in the same quarter last year in the wake of Mario Kart 8's May 29, 2014 release. The Wii U was released in November 2012 and has struggled to sell, compared to Nintendo's previous consoles and its current competitors.

The console has been famously slow selling, though those Splatoon numbers are good news for Nintendo's newest franchise.

For comparison, it took the Wii a little under a year to sell through 10 Million units, as you can see in this fancy chart:

Additionally, it took the Playstation 4, the fastest selling console of this generation, 10 months to sell that many units.

If you want to look at the whole Nintendo sales report, like some crazy, you can do that here.

mafia 3,mafia,video games
Via: mafiagame
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Mafia game developer 2K Czech put out something very similar to an announcement for Mafia 3 July 28.

On the Mafia game Twitter account, they said to wait for an official reveal Aug. 5 and pointed hungry, open world fans to their YouTube page for a trailer on the same day.

But isn't this already an official reveal?

Not coincidentally at all, Aug. 5 is the same day that Gamescom, the worlds largest video game convention, begins in Cologne, Germany. So, obvs, that European-based studio wants to show off their new game with others who live on the same continent.

Until then, you'll just have to sit on your brass-knuckled hands and wait for more information.

Here's the tweet:

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