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The International: A History Valve’s Dota 2 Championships

The International is the largest annual Dota 2 tournament of each year. Hosted by Dota 2 developer, Valve, the prize pool this year has reached an astounding, record-shattering $17.6 million USD.

The International 5 takes place at Seattle, WA’s Key Arena once again in 2015, but before we get there, here’s everything you need to know about the storied history of how Valve’s eSports debut became an industry juggernaut.

Prize Pool: $1.6 million USD

Dota 2 wasn’t even out yet when the first International swept through Cologne, Germany in 2011. Valve invited 16 of the top performing Dota teams to compete in the event. The purpose was basically a big publicity stunt for the launch of the Dota 2 beta, and it worked. With a whopping $1.6 million USD on the line, the debut of a beloved rebooted franchise, and an impressive live venue, the first International was the start of something special.

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Firaxis Games Confirms Second Annual Firaxicon

2K and Firaxis Games today confirmed the second annual Firaxicon will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday, October 3.

Hosted by the Firaxis team, developers of the Civilization and XCOM series, fans will be able to meet and greet members of Firaxis, enjoy several in-depth panels featuring the lead developers of XCOM and Civilization: Beyond Earth (plus legendary game designer Sid Meier), and play Civilization: Beyond Earth — Rising Tide and XCOM 2 prior to launch.

“Firaxicon provides us with a rare opportunity to sit down and talk with the people who enjoy our games most,” said Sid Meier, creative director at Firaxis Games. “This has quickly become one of the studio’s most popular events of the year. Our team members very much look forward to giving the fans an in-depth look at our latest projects this fall.”

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Dying Light Expansion The Following Announced

Techland has announced The Following, a story-driven expansion on the way for Dying Light.

As previously hinted at, the main addition to the game is drivable all-terrain dirt buggies, along with a new map set to be the same size as all the other maps in Dying Light combined.

Season Pass holders will be getting The Following for free, while everyone else will be able to buy it separately. No release date or pricing has been revealed, but much more is set to be shown off at Gamescom next week behind closed doors, so hopefully we’ll know more shortly.

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New iPhone Games Coming Tonight: ‘Race The Sun’, ‘Operation Dracula’, ‘Cube Jump’ and More

These have been a strange couple of weeks on the App Store as the New Zealand game release schedule has been totally different for whatever weird reason that can’t be explained in any way other than “It’s the App Store, of course it’s crazy.” Last week we didn’t even see new games appear in New Zealand (which is why we didn’t have this post), thankfully things seem to be back to normal… Or, as normal as things can be in the world of iOS gaming.

Games on the NZ App Store that will be available in the US at 11:00 PM Eastern:

Games that should be out everywhere right now:


‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Creator Scott Cawthon Eloquently Addresses Legions of Haters

Five Nights at Freddy’s creator Scott Cawthon is a bit of an enigma. He barely seems to do any interviews, and his public presence is basically limited to doing basic updates to his web site, I mean, he’s posted on reddit just once, and that was to get people to quit calling some pizza place that was believed to be part of some FNAF puzzle. Anyway, like anything obscenely popular, Scott Cawthon deals with his fair share of haters. Since the game is universally adored by its fans, the main vector of attack seems to be going after the popularity of the games themselves. The ol’ “I hate it because it’s popular,” which has been around since the dawn of man, even gets some traction in comments to stories around here to do with the series.

Cawthon addresses this in a recent post on the Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 Steam forum, not only touching on haters, but also what he’s done with his new-found success which has been another point of speculation amongst internet commenters. Suddenly, it’s all starting to make sense why Scott hasn’t done tons of interviews, or had a bigger role in the public …read more



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Massive Miiverse Update Arrives Today

Nintendo has announced a massive Miiverse update is rolling out to users today.

The update, first detailed at the start of the month, brings a big redesign to the 3DS and Wii U feature.

A new Play Journal feature allows you to record your thoughts on games as you play them. It’s accessed by opening Miiverse when you’re playing, doing so will also take a screenshot to show what was happening in the game when you did so, unless the game doesn’t support screenshots. The Play Journal is a replacement for posting to your activity feed, so you won’t be able to do this any longer once the redesign launches.

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‘Guardian Sword’ Review – A Silly and Strategic Match Three RPG

It’s hard to turn any corner in the app store without bumping into a match three game clad in plate mail, wielding a sword, slinging some spells and grinding experience these days. Block Legend [$1.99], 1000000 [$2.99], Hero Emblems [$3.99], Dungeon Raid [$1.99], and even Puzzle Quest 2 [$2.99] back in the day. It’s hard to stand out in this genre, but shockingly, each of the games I listed is very different from the next, and there is a crazy amount of flexibility and variety in what you’d call a match three RPG. Guardian Sword [$2.99] from Picsoft doesn’t look like much at a glance, but under the surface lies a deep and strategic experience worth checking out.

From the same developers who brought us Tiny Defense [$2.99], Guardian Sword is not without its charm. Mainly that charm comes in the form of the cheese that is the badly translated and juvenile dialogue, but no hard feelings meant there. It actually kind of sets this game apart from the rest. You play as a giant sword wielding protagonist named Guts. Probably an homage to Berserk and its protagonist, but nothing more. In the place …read more


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PlayStation Store Summer Sale Begins Today

Sony has kicked off the annual PlayStation Store Summer Sale with a host of deals.

The sale will be taking place for a month in total, though things are working out differently depending on where you live. Those of you in North America, Sony will be changing the deals offered every week. Europeans, on the other hand, will have two waves of offers. The first wave of discounts are only available until August 12. After that, expect to see new titles having their prices knocked down until August 26.

The full list of titles is pretty extensive and can be found over on the PS Blog now, but be sure to look at the North American version or the European one depending where you live. In addition, Sony has reiterated PS Plus members will be getting even greater discounts.

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A Brief History of Metal Gear Solid

This is an extract from A Brief History of Videogames by Richard Stanton, available now. (It’s rather good.)

Metal Gear Solid is one of video gaming’s longest-running, most critically acclaimed and commercially successful series. Hailed by fans as the greatest games ever, scorned by detractors for narrative indulgences, and leaving many in the middle baffled either way, Metal Gear Solid is also notable for its indelible link to creator/director Hideo Kojima. The auteur theory is always dodgy ground with modern big-budget video games, which are made by teams of hundreds, but in this case the stamp of one man’s personality is all-pervasive and impossible to ignore.

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