Valve announced its long-rumoured Source 2 engine at GDC 2015 in San Francisco this week.
The company said that, unlike other engines that have licensing fees and royalty costs attached, Source 2 will be entirely free. The only condition is that any game made with Source 2 must also be released on Valve's proprietary storefront and PC gaming portal, Steam.
Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Valve’s Erik Johnson explained that games don't need to be exclusive to Steam, only that the platform must be included among the distribution channels used.
Elsewhere at GDC, Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free. The only stipulation on the engine's use is a 5 percent royalty on gross revenue after the first US$3,000 per product, per quarter.
Meanwhile, Unity boss John Riccitiello described royalty systems as "f**king around", and said his company's new Unity 5 engine would be free for amateur dabblers but come with a license for professional shops: either US$1,500 up front or a US$75 monthly subscription.
The launch of Diablo 3 is the case study cited everywhere when speaking against always-online singleplayer games.
The infamous "Error 37" kept untold numbers of players from being able to play a game they'd waited 10 years to buy.
Blizzard said the issue was due to unexpected demand. Speaking at GDC this week, incumbent Diablo game director Josh Mosqueira elaborated.
Turtle Rock's four-versus-one monster hunt, Evolve, will soon be updated with an Observer mode.
The new mode will allow one player to watch the match from multiple perspectives, add audio commentary and livestream.
Observer mode comes with a new, customisable HUD. "Want to see stuff like the current perks being used and expected survival odds? Done," said Turtle Rock. "Want to overlay the minimap? No problem. Just want to enjoy a cinematic angle? Toggle the whole thing off, kick back and enjoy the view. On top of all this, you can even outline characters, making it easier to see them across the map."
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has been named 2014 Game of the Year at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Monolith's licensed adventure beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
Shadow of Mordor was the Gameplanet Critics Game of the Year, and one of the Gameplanet community's top three Games of the Year. Shadow of Mordor also cleaned up at the DICE Summit, but was pipped for the top honour by Dragon Age: Inquisition.
As rumoured, Rock Band 4 is on the way.
Mad Catz Interactive and Harmonix are partnering up to launch the title, which will release later this year for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Mad Catz will develop and manufacture a new generation of wireless music game controllers for the game, although old peripherals will work as well.
Nvidia has unveiled a streaming-focussed game console for the living room called the Shield Android TV Console.
Like the Shield portable and Shield tablet, the Shield TV’s primary focus is as a recipient for games streamed from Nvidia’s new cloud system at 1080p/60fps.
That cloud system, Nvidia Grid, will be a subscription service that offers top-tier PC titles for streaming at two price points: one for 720p and one for 1080p.
Valve has unveiled its new Steam Controller.
It includes two touch pads that work as buttons, triggers, bumpers and three tow buttons on the back on each side of the controller, for a total of six. On the front there are an additional four face buttons.
The controller also has a thumbstick on the left.
“In 2013, The Creative Assembly came close to conquering Rome. But this time around, and like Attila before them, they too have been beaten back at the gates.”
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