In 2011 Valve president Gabe Newell recruited economics professor Yanis Varoufakis to oversee the markets for virtual goods in Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, and Dota 2. Now Varoufakis has taken the role of finance minister in Greece's new government, and the fate of the Eurozone may be in his hands.
Anti-austerity party Syriza swept to power in Greece at a snap election in the weekend, after campaigning to renegotiate the terms of bailout loans from Germany and other European lenders which have crippled the country's economy.
Newell contacted Varoufakis three years ago after realising that the problems Valve was seeing with a shared currency across its virtual economies were analogous to Greece's situation with the Euro: “This is Germany and Greece,” Newell wrote, as he proposed that the economist might take a consulting role with Valve to help the software developer understand these issues. “Rather than continuing to run an emulator of you in my head, I thought I’d check to see if we couldn’t get the real you interested in what we are doing.”
Varoufakis almost deleted the email after reading just the first line, thinking it another business proposal from a “crackpot”, but he read on and became intrigued by the offer.
In a blog post after he joined Valve, the economist wrote that he had been hired “to forge narratives and empirical knowledge that (a) transcend the border separating the 'real' from the digital economies, and (b) bring together lessons from the political economy of our gamers' economies and from studying Valve's very special (and fascinating) internal management structure.”
Brian Fargo has announced plans for a sequel to The Bard's Tale 3 some 27 years after the game was released.
Fargo and inXile will seek the funds to develop The Bard's Tale 4 through Kickstarter.
In 2004, inXile released a comedic action adventure spin on the series called The Bard's Tale. Fargo said The Bard's Tale 4 would return to the series' roots, and would be "a proper sequel to the trilogy".
Capcom has announced that it is developing a Dragon's Dogma MMO, but has also stated it has no plans game to release it in the West.
Dragon's Dogma Online was revealed in Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (translated by Siliconera, Gematsu, and NeoGAF). It will be a free-to-play action-RPG for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3.
Online supports up to 100 players per lobby, and parties of up to four players and pawns can tackle its quests. Raids support up to eight.
A nationwide product recall has been issued for Saints Row 4: Re-Elected on PlayStation 4.
According to a statement issued to press, the version of the game sold in Australia over the weekend was incorrectly classified.
"Unfortunately over the weekend, it has come to light that the PlayStation 4 retail release of Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has a serious manufacturing issue and a nationwide recall is now underway in Australia," reads the statement.
A remaster of David Cage's 2005 adventure Fahrenheit (AKA Indigo Prophecy) is allegedly coming to PC and Mac this month.
Eurogamer spotted a since-removed Amazon entry for the game, titled Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered.
The release date was stated as January 29, and the price was US$10 for a Steam key for the uncut (European) version.
Feminist critic and gaming gadfly Anita Sarkeesian has announced plans to create a new series that explores masculinity in video games.
Sarkeesian made the announcement in non-profit Feminist Frequency's first annual report.
In addition to producing new episodes of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, Sarkeesian and company will produce a new miniseries that presents "examples of positive female characters in video games", and a series that explores "the representation of men and masculinity in video games."
Dying Light’s Be the Zombie mode will now be made available to all players for free, Techland has announced.
The mode, which allows a player to control certain zombies in the game and attack others online, was originally a pre-order-only bonus.
However, Techland has announced that physical copies of Dying Light have been delayed a month in regions outside of North America, and so by way of apology, it will gift the mode to everyone for free.
Game designer and former Microsoft insider Peter Molyneux has warned the company not to overpromise on what its holographic headset can deliver.
"I did see the early versions of HoloLens and played around with a few things on it," Molyneux told GamesIndustry.biz. "It was very, very early days in the technology. It is, I have to say a magical experience, seeing these objects in the real world. The problem I think is to make it feel like it is in the real world and not projected into your eye. I think it's, for me, more exciting than even VR but it shares a similar problem as VR does and that is: what is the application going to be?"
"For me, some of the stage demos they had were magical as they were building drones on stage and you start to think back to your Kinect days and how exhausting that would be to move your arm around and tap with your fingers. And this is the problem with VR - the applications that we think are going to be great on it quite often are exhausting or very challenging. My hope is that their concept video doesn't over promise what the technology can deliver. Because the actual experience of seeing a 3D object projected into the world is a magical one.
The latest project to emerge from Ubisoft’s passion project incubator is Grow Home, a physics-based platformer for PC.
Grow Home is being developed by an eight-person team at Driver: San Francisco studio Ubisoft Reflections, and was inspired by the likes of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Wall-E.
According to Ubisoft, Grow Home is the story of BUD, a Botanical Utility Droid sent on a mission across the galaxy to seek out a new species of flora to help oxygenate his home world. He finds the perfect specimen in the Star Plant – a giant beanstalk he must climb so he can harvest its seeds.
“By combining two very different playstyles and providing some surprising depth, Evolve just might be the multiplayer game to look out for this year.”
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