The Escapists: No time off for good behaviour, just Early Access.

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The first I was aware of this game was after the Xbox One Indie games showreel at GamesCom this year, though in an apparent trend many of the games featured in that presentation are slowly all arriving on Steam or are already there for your delectation in one form or another. Yes, The Escapists about prison life, though you’d be mistaken to think it’s anything like the equally prison-themed Prison Architect from Introversion Software.

Visually the game conjures up my early memories Pokémon, its deceptively cute depiction of life in the slammer makes me think that somewhere there’s some weird parallel universe where Ash ends up in prison on charges of Poké-manslaughter… Maybe that’s just me then...

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Card Hunter: Mobile remake is now Loot and Legends

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As you may know Card Hunter is one of my favourite online CCG games, well back in March Jonathan Chey (former director and co-founder of Irrational Games, the developer of BioShock) announced that his company Blue Manchu Games would be handing over their highly acclaimed game to the newly-formed DropForge Games so they could bring the Card Hunter experience to mobile and tablet devices.

Fans of the game and reviewers alike have been asking for this to happen for some time with good reason, the format lends itself incredibly well to those platforms but making it had some complications...

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World of Price-hikes: The UK to pay more for WoW

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In the wake of GamesCom and the announcement of the release date for Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard have dropped some unexpected news on those who pay for their World of Warcrack subscriptions in Great British variety of Pounds (GBP). Buried in the depths of the forums, kept away from their homepage’s news-stream or limelight of Cologne, was the sad news for UK subscribers that Blizzard have decided to apply a price increase to the UK market.

We regularly look at our pricing around the world and from time to time we make changes in light of local and regional market conditions. As such, we want to give everyone a heads-up that we will shortly be adjusting the pound sterling subscription price of World of Warcraft. – Taepsilum

As of the release of the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor, ...

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GamesCom 2014: Bonus Content

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With the two major press conference media thingies from Xbox and PlayStation over, there was still that of EA and everything happening on the trade floor to rummage through. News has poured forth from every corner of GamesCom, to fill in blanks and create new ones; surprises abound this year it seems. So what happened beyond the press and trade days? Let’s take a look at some of my preferred snippets of news:

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Despite my refusal to succumb to its siren-like lure and my journey of self-discovery when it comes to my MMO addiction, Blizzard are the masters of gorgeous CG cinematic trailers, with the premiere of the intro for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion being no exception...

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GamesCom 2014: The PlayStation briefing round-up.

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The PlayStation briefing went down yesterday afternoon/evening, initially plagued by some internet issues it started late with their streamed content being plagued with a myriad of technical hiccups. From there, whilst the event was packed with content, the presentation felt a little disjointed to me with the focus shifting constantly between games, business performance, hardware and services; there were no defined sections to speak of other than the blocks of Indie and first-party titles, which were interspersed by other content in an order only Sony know the logic of.

Whilst my assessment of their event may sound negative because of the seemingly haphazard nature of who got to talk about what games in what order, they actually showcased some really interesting looking new games...

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GamesCom 2014: My favourite Xbox briefing bits.

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Well that was something. Typically Xbox don’t go in for major surprises at GamesCom, as I mentioned just the other day they tend to use the opportunity that the Cologne trip affords them to announce new bundles and feature some more cut-scenes and gameplay of titles that were previewed or announced at E3. Whilst we got a whole bunch of the things we expected, there was also a few bits that were completely out of left field.

Under the ‘expected’ column we can firmly place the console bundles aimed at boosting profits on the way to the ‘holidays’ as the Americans like to call it, we got a look at a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare themed console and controller, that has a with 1TB hard drive, along with a pre-downloaded Day One edition of the game retailing at around the £429...

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GamesCom 2014: What to expect when you’re expecting.

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Good afternoon, welcome to Monday and the beginning of GamesCom 2014 week. People make the comparison between this Cologne-based event and the spectacle that is E3, in fact some call it the E3 of Europe because it’s the biggest gaming showcase event that us non-US people have, where as I would argue that it’s actually better than the LA hosted media splurge given that they actually let the public have a look at what’s on offer. Many say they prefer the laidback, quirky European vibe of the event to that of the hectic ambush that E3 has become, with more Indies being able to take part meaning there’s better representation of the industry as a whole; I imagine that all that excellent German beer can’t hurt either.

There’s a lot of conferences and events on the run-up to the event p...

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Twitch: Targeting Music and Saved Content

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Yesterday saw the popular streaming outlet bring in some changes to the way they run things, some were relatively inconsequential and others were a little more sweeping than some people had anticipated.

Outwardly it seem that Twitch.tv are cleaning up their act and their storage, with most of the measures taken targeting the masses of VOD content they have that no one looks at. At around 17:45 BST on Wednesday they sent out details regarding how they’re tackling their catalogue of content by introducing the “New Video Management & Rolling Storage System”, this boils down to them making it easier to export your recordings to YouTube along with changing the amount of time content sits within their framework, with all broadcasters getting 14 days to sort something out and Subscribed/Partn...

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Hearthstone: Plagues and the Military

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Hearthstone, first there were plagues to be spread and now there’s some no-nonsense military planning and execution to be done. In other words the Plague Quarter opened its fetid gates on 30 July and the Military Quarter ushers in new recruits and adversaries today.

As it turns out the release of Naxxramas has been a pretty big deal for Blizzard, Hearthstone is doing a great job of bolstering their coffers and last week with the release of the Plague themed wing saw their best week yet in terms of revenue and engagement, according to company president Mike Morhaime...

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Falling Out of Love With MMOs

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Massively Amorphous

MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online games) burnout is a real thing, I’m pretty certain I experienced it a while ago and up until now I’ve been going through the stages of loss. You know, anger, sadness, denial… I’ve been stuck in the denial phase till now. I was obsessed, I loved them despite them not loving me back, the most unfair of exchanges. You could say that at one point I maybe had a bit of a problem with World of Warcraft, but that was partially a product of having a habit of playing for hardcore raiding guilds, an environment and a game I moved away from. I thought that the move had opened me up to be able to appreciate all of the other MMOs out there, but it didn’t.

The only thing is that this wider appreciation for the genre does open you up to a cer...

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