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Say farewell to Steam - every publisher may soon get its own digital distribution platform

Bethesda’s decision to keep Fallout 76 off Steam has made some waves. The spin-off to the iconic series isn’t the only exception, though – an increasing number of big publishers decides to end their partnership with Valve, focusing on their own distribution platforms.

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The Phoenixes of Video Games, or How Flops Become Hits

We're going to play a bit of the devil's advocate today. While we're not going to defend lootboxes and microtransactions, we'd like to point out the positive implications of these practices, collectively referred to as "video games becoming a service." During the recent months, we've experienced quite an outcry across all major video game news outlets and communities with regard to the "lootbox crisis". The monetization in video games, however, cuts both ways: true, it drains money from players after they’ve purchased the game, which seems a bit unfair (no one asks you to pay 5 dollars to see the end of a movie in the cinema, right?). But it also provides the developers with a steady income, allowing them to improve their games when they need it. Hop in for a more complex synopsis of the trend.

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No one really cares about crossplay

After it turned out that running Fortnite on PlayStation 4 effectively prevents the user to log in to their account through Switch, Sony found itself in the epicenter of fierce criticism aimed at its crossplay-defying policy. Among the flak rained down by developers and – more or less hardcore – fans, many people seemed to be missing one crucial part – that nobody really seems to care about crossplay; certainly not to the extent that would warrant such backlash, even if Sony’s move was indeed nasty.

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Silence is golden, but No Man’s Sky starts the chatter again

Two years ago, Sean Murray became the unfortunate symbol of all the industry’s hype, lies, and unfulfilled promises – all after the release of No Man’s Sky. After the judgment day came, the studio went completely silent, having decided that actions rather than words will speak for them. And when finally, thanks to this strategy, NMS began enjoying a moderately good opinion, Mr. Murray makes a comeback, starts giving interviews and… ruins the positive impression.

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Nothing to play – why don’t big games come out in summer?

July has “always” been a slumbery time for the industry. Big releases are few and far between, and if there’s anything interesting, it will be most likely indie games, remasters or small expansions. What are the reasons behind the game publishers’ aversion towards this month?

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Sunny Cyberpunk is not a bad thing, so don't worry about Cyberpunk 2077

Having divided fans of the genre across the world, the now infamously bright-and-colorful Cyberpunk 2077 E3 trailer left everybody asking, ‘OK, so can it be both sunny and cyberpunk?’ The definitive answer is: hell yes. And there’s plenty of evidence lying around to back it up. Just look at what cyberpunk games gave us up until this point – and how we really loved most of these titles.

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The dawn of Steam? The Netflix of gaming is getting closer

Fifteen years ago, people used to get wound up at having to register their Half-Life 2 copy on some bizarre desktop app. Today, the very same invention, called Steam, holds all the cards and is culpable for an almost complete extinction of physical distribution of PC games. “Long live the king,” we might soon shout again – if the digital distribution giant won’t be able to adjust to the new trend in the industry, i.e. the subscription-based gaming.

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The Last of Us: Part II looks just too good

The trailer for The Last of Us 2 presented during the E3 left us in awe because of the attention paid to the most minute details. Naughty Dog has surpassed another frontier in terms of visuals, offering a level of detail previously unheard of. Unfortunately though, along with achieving new heights in the graphics department, the stone wall of narrative dissonance becomes ever more evident.

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Downfall of demo versions – why developers no longer release the demos?

Once common, now almost forgotten, demo versions of computer games, although liked by players, are nowadays an increasingly rare sight. Why are developers so reluctant to release popular "demos"... and do we need them at all in the era of digital distribution?

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IMHO: David Cage is overrated

David de Gruttola, aka David Cage – the creator of Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls – has for years been considered one of the greatest video game designers, oftentimes viewed as peer to Hideo Kojima or Sid Meier; deemed one of the paramount visionaries of the industry. And I can never shake off the feeling that delivering solid stories has been something he never seems to be able to accomplish. It's a great and perplexing paradox that Cage's games, which are entirely story-based, can be so successful if it's exactly the story that's their weakest link.

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Urban legends about video games... part 2

Urban legends, the today’s equivalent of mythologies, tales and fairies. They’ve been around since forever, accompanying humans since the dawn of mankind. The video games, naturally, also have their own share of such stories. Some are ludicrous, others are obviously fake and some of them are… unsettling. Join us once again for a ride down two more stories about a letter from the afterlife and a cursed cartridge.

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Isn't it too soon for PlayStation 5?

It's actually been over four years since PlayStation 4 was released, and the rumors concerning the specification of a successor have been increasingly widespread, same as voices of analysts predicting that PlayStation 5 will be released sooner than you could expect. Would that be a good decision? Do we really need the next generation so soon, and who would it actually benefit?

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Stories are not dead – do we really want battle royale or single player campaigns?

There seems to exist an opinion, prevailing among serious videogame publishers, which says that the time of cinematic, linear stories in videogames has passed. That the new is coming and that video games as online service is the way to go. I couldn't disagree more. I think – and I conclude this after considering many cases, both recent and more distant – that there's nothing that sells a game better, nine times out of ten, than a proper, closed storyline with a definitive beginning, middle and end. Here, I will try to explain my approach, aiming to prove that linearity in video games is going to prevail and thrive during the coming years, despite the current fads.

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Are platform-exclusive games a good idea?

A conversation about the supremacy of the consoles over PCs, Xbox over PlayStation or Sega Genesis over Super Nintendo wouldn’t be legit without bringing up the issue of exclusives available for the systems in question. Those games have always been stirring lots of emotions – both positive and negative. But what’s the thing laying at the heart of the issue – and does it ultimately benefit the players? We will try to determine just that in the following article.

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2018 - The Year of Games Leaving Early Access

Five years ago, the popularity of survival games surged, and different games of the genre have clogged early access programs ever since. Years went by and progress of some of the biggest titles was hardly noticeable, prompting people to believe that some things never change, and others never leave Early Access. But 2018 might finally bring change, proving the skeptics wrong and finally abolishing the eternality of the Early Access.

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Realism is the jam! Kingdom Come and the Czech school of gamedev

If you think about it for a while, it will become clear as day. The Czech school of video games is a peculiar one. If you’ve never played any games from the European country, you might have been baffled by some of the mechanics featured in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Otherwise, you probably felt that you’ve seen all this: inconvenient saving, long journeys, and difficult combat. In any case, here’s our attempt at defining the Czech school of video games.

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50 Shades of Geralt - if The Witcher was made by different developers

Did you ever think what would happen if your grandparents never met each other? If your father asked another girl out to prom instead your mother? If you took a left turn instead of going right that one day? If you ate a taco instead of a cheeseburger? Well, we wanted to know what would happen if The Witcher was made by another developer and released under different circumstances. Take a look at the many faces of Geralt… under different management.

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What makes a console successful? Xbox One, exclusivity according to Microsoft and its implications for the players

Xbox One didn’t actually deliver. While it wasn’t really a failure, its performance on the market has been poor enough to spur some discussion about what is it actually that makes a console successful? Is it the hardware; the sheer power to generate more realistic graphics? Is it the number of exclusives you can play on the given console? Is it something else still? Today, we’ll try to examine these matters, giving particular attention to Xbox One, and the direction that Microsoft seems to be taking.

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Input lag - the killer of PlayStation 4 remasters

In times of retro, remasters became extremally popular. Sony also wants to earn as much as possible by releasing new versions of the greatest titles available on PS2 and PSP. The problem is that many of these ports are almost unplayable because of the huge input delays.

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Curious Case of Saviour Schnapps: A hardcore saving system that divided gamers

Much has been said about Kingdom Come: Deliverance since the game’s release. The main subject, however, appears not to be the game’s greatest attributes or its worst shortcomings. The attention of the press and gamers alike focused on the game’s saving system – for some, a bliss that makes this game a lot more interesting; for others, a pointless and pestering obstruction.

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