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    Runescape Classic Servers Shutting Down After Seventeen Years

    By GameInformer,


    Ever since its launch in 2001, the proto-MMORPG Runescape has been a cornerstone of a lot of formative gaming moments. Sadly, that all ends this August as the servers are finally going offline.

    Runescape was developed by Jagex in the early 2000s and is likely familiar to people who read magazines like Next-Generation or, well, Game Informer back in the day. The online PC game introduced a generation to what might be possible with online interaction in the future and shaped a lot of what the modern game industry takes for granted.

    It is not like the game has been continuously supported for the last two decades, though. Jagex stopped supporting the game years ago, which has lead to the title running wild with bugs, bots, and cheaters. The developers feel this has gone too far and become game-breaking and need to put the game out of its misery.

    "We've not fully supported RuneScape Classic for years, so why are we suddenly seeing it as a problem now?" Jagex wrote in a blog post. "The truth is that bots and lack of community safety tools are serious problems, however, we also feel that we can no longer offer long term service reliability due to the growing risk of unrecoverable game breaking bugs. The number of bugs is getting worse, and we're gradually seeing the game breaking. It's important to highlight that these are bugs which we can't fix due to the unsupported nature of the game."

    The servers will shut down on 12:00 AM PT August 6.


    Our Take
    It's a shame, but I was a little surprised it was still running. Seventeen years is a pretty good run.

    View the full article

    We Happy Few Refused Classification In Australia, Developer Responds

    By GameInformer,


    We Happy Few, the fascist nightmare about oppressive drugs and the oppressors who distribute them, has been refused classification in Australia, leaving the developers baffled about what to do next.

    The game appeared on Australia's ratings board's website yesterday, stating that the title was refused classification. This effectively means that the game can't be sold in Australia, which is especially an issue since the game was crowdfunded. It isn't clear why the game was denied classification, but the website states that the rating is reserved for games that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

    We Happy Few is about a dystopian society where people take a drug called Joy to distract themselves from the horrors of society, but the drug use also mollifies people. Drug use has prevented some games from classification in the past, with Fallout 3 being the most notable example, where the Med-X item had to be renamed to Morphine due to the Australian ratings board's ban on the use of real drugs. Joy, however, isn't real, and it is impossible to know what the issue is without the board releasing a statement.

    Developers Compulsion have released a statement also expressing confusion and asking backers not to seek refunds quite yet.

    "As many of you may know by now, yesterday the Australian Classification Board chose not to classify We Happy Few, effectively banning We Happy Few from sale in Australia," Compulsion wrote in a blog post. "We are looking into it, and have asked for more information on the decision. To our Australian fans, we share your frustration. We will work with the ACB on the classification. If the government maintains its stance, we will make sure that you can get a refund, and we will work directly with affected Kickstarter backers to figure something out. We would appreciate if you give us a little bit of time to appeal the decision before making a call."

    Compulsion also slyly took an implied shot at the banning with a reminder of the game's themes being somewhat ironic to this decision.

    "We Happy Few is set in a dystopian society, and the first scene consists of the player character redacting material that could cause offense to 'society at large', as part of his job as a government 'archivist'. It’s a society that is forcing its citizens to take Joy, and the whole point of the game is to reject this programming and fight back. In this context, our game’s overarching social commentary is no different than Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, or Terry Gilliam's Brazil."

    The game was originally scheduled for release in April, but was delayed into the summer for fine-tuning. The title is being published by Gearbox for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


    Our Take
    This is certainly odd, but I think the thing I find most odd is the board not effectively communicating their issues with the developers. You would think that would be part of the board's function.

    View the full article

    PlayStation Boss Says Sony Portable Gaming Could Return

    By GameInformer,


    John Kodera, the new chief of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has been speaking his mind about the future of the PlayStation brand and has mentioned what he thinks of Sony and portable gaming.

    Speaking to Bloomberg, Kodera broke with his predecessor Andrew House on the subject of portable gaming like the PlayStation Portable and the Vita, which House has said he believed to be limited globally. Kodera disagreed and wasn't sure that abandoning the idea is a final decision for Sony.

    “In my opinion, rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of [portable gaming] as one method to deliver more gaming experiences and exploring what our customers want from portable,” Kodera said at a roundtable interview on Wednesday in Tokyo according to Bloomberg. “We want to think about many options.”

    Rumors have been circulating about a Sony-made hybrid of a console and a handheld a la Nintendo's Switch, though they appear to be mostly more in wishes than evidence that Sony is planning such a thing. Kodera himself avoided relating his comments to the Switch, but when considering how Sony has felt about the success of the Vita, it is likely that a dockable handheld is not far from his mind.

    Sony established an internal initiative for mobile games two years ago called ForwardWorks, though it has yet to deliver the company any major hits.

    [Source: Bloomberg]


    Our Take
    House was pretty firm in his belief that the Vita and the decline of the 3DS compared to the DS meant that portable gaming was dead outside of Japan, but Kodera is seemingly a lot more open to it. I think another device like the Vita is probably not going to do well, but I would be interested to see how they're observing global trends and what they would build in line with that.

    View the full article

    Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS Demo Out On PS4

    By GameInformer,


    Konami has somewhat of a spotty history with HD remasters, so ZOE fans unsure about the newest update have a demo to take for a spin.

    The Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS demo takes advantage of all permutations of your PlayStation 4 hardware. On the PS4 Pro, you can play the demo at 4K. With the PSVR, you can obviously play the game's hopefully gentle VR mode. Both versions allow you to play with something called Pro controls, which allow you to have even more control over Jehuty and is designed for veterans.

    The demo also has a training zone that you might want to spend some time in before heading out there. ZOE2 is hard to get the hang of and is designed to have a slow ramp from a very simple mech to basically being a god in mech form, so it doesn't demo extremely well. 

    Zone Of The Enders: The 2nd Runner – M∀RS releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on September 4.

    View the full article

    George R. R. Martin To Produce Animated Movie

    By GameInformer,

    Image Source: George R. R. Martin Blog

    George R. R. Martin is working with Warner Bros. Animation to bring his 1980 children's book The Ice Dragon to life on screen. The book follows a girl named Adara, who befriends a legendary ice dragon to save her world from destruction by fire-breathing dragons.

    Martin announced April 25 that The Winds of Winter, the next novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, will not release in 2018. His book Fire & Blood, a history of the series' Targaryen family, is set to publish November 20.

    Publisher Tor Teen released an updated edition of Martin's The Ice Dragon in 2014 with illustrations from Luis Royo. 

    [Source: Deadline via IGN]


    Our Take
    I'm eager to see the movie, but I imagine A Song of Ice and Fire fans are confused as to why Martin keeps taking on other projects before moving on with his most famous series.

    View the full article

    Artifact Appearance Availability Change in Battle for Azeroth

    By Curse,
    Artifact Appearance Availability Change in Battle for Azeroth
    Blizzard recently made an adjustment to what artifact appearances are going away in Battle for Azeroth. The appearance awarded for completing a Mythic +15 will now still be obtainable after Legion ends. This means that only the Mage Tower base artifact appearances will no longer be available to unlock in Battle for Azeroth.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    As testing continues in the Battle for Azeroth Beta, and we specifically consider the transition from Legion to BFA, we’ve decided to make the existing Keystone Master achievement permanent. There will not be a new achievement for completing a Mythic 15 or higher dungeon in the new expansion.

    The artifact appearance associated with Keystone Master will still be available in Battle For Azeroth. Players can earn the achievement in Legion through August 13, or players can complete a Mythic 15 BFA dungeon at level 120, once Mythic Keystone difficulty opens a few weeks after the launch of Battle For Azeroth.

    This means that the only artifact appearance that will become unobtainable with Battle For Azeroth is the Mage Tower base appearance.

    As always, thank you for your feedback!

    View the full article

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