The second part of the news:
Encanto is finally getting its moment in Disney Dreamlight Valley
Gameloft has been pushing out some consistently ace updates to Disney Dreamlight Valley, the best Animal Crossing-like you can get on PC. We already know features like multiplayer are in the works, and characters across the House of Mouse are being regularly added. A February 16 update will be the turn of Encanto's Mirabel and Frozen's Olaf to join the valley. As always, the developer has dropped some nice key art with details to pick out for the new patch.
Pharaoh: A New Era used a 'certified Egyptologist to ensure the game's historical accuracy'
Pharaoh: A New Era, a remake of the classic 1999 city builder from Sierra, is set to launch on Steam next week, and to ensure fans are ready for it publisher Dotemu has released a lengthy trailer showcasing its overhauled graphics and gameplay, and also dropped some hints on how to get off to a strong start.
One of the biggest games on Steam right now is a Next Fest demo
There are literally hundreds of game demos to choose from during the current Steam Next Fest, but gamers are gravitating to one in particular: Dark and Darker, "an unforgiving hardcore fantasy FPS dungeon PvPvE adventure," which has managed to become one of the top ten most-played games on Steam.
No, Avalanche Studios did not develop Hogwarts Legacy, you're thinking of the other Avalanche
I was a little confused when I first read that Avalanche was making the Harry Potter RPG Hogwarts Legacy—it seemed like a real step sideways for a studio best known for Mad Max and the Just Cause games. It turns out that I really was confused, because it's not that Avalanche at all, so now I'm here to help everyone else get it straight.
The Avalanche Studios I think of when I hear the name Avalanche is a Swedish developer that released its first game, Just Cause, in 2006. (...)
Hogwarts Legacy, on the other hand, is developed by a completely different Avalanche. That would be Avalanche Software of Salt Lake City, Utah, which is actually a much older operation: It was founded in 1995 (...)
Diablo 4's open beta might be real soon
When Blizzard set Diablo 4's release date to June 6, it also announced that it would get an open beta. Right now, you can't sign up for it anywhere, but if you preorder the game, you're promised early access. According to the game's producer, it might be coming very soon.
Hearthstone Mercenaries is getting one last big update before Blizzard mothballs the mode forever
Blizzard's reveal of Hearthstone's Mercenaries mode in September 2021 was, as we put it not too delicately, "a masterclass in how not to announce a game." Despite that inauspicious beginning, it actually turned out to have real potential: Hearthstone streamer and podcaster Ben "RidiculousHat" Goodman said that after a few days with it, "I feel the pull of the couch and just one more run."
Unfortunately, it looks like his longer-term concerns about competition and economics were prophetic. Blizzard announced today that Mercenaries is getting one more big update in patch 25.4, after which there will be no further new content released.
Production has begun on EA's singleplayer Iron Man game
In September, Electronic Arts announced that a singleplayer Iron Man game was in pre-production. That game, which is being developed by a team at EA Motive in Montreal in collaboration with Marvel, is now officially being worked on, as a recent AMA on Reddit (via GamesRadar) revealed.
Bobby Kotick blasts UK over Microsoft deal, says regulators lack 'independent thought' and Britain risks becoming tech 'Death Valley'
Activision overlord Bobby Kotick took to the airwaves for the first time in a while recently, telling us what a wonderful world it would be if various national regulators approved Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In a chat with CNBC, the CEO made a case for the acquisition that differed slightly from talking points we've heard from Microsoft lawyers, arguing that the merger is the only way for western games companies to break into "protected markets" in China and Japan, and warning that the UK would become "Death Valley" if it shot down the deal.
>> The best reason to give the greenlight to the deal would be to get rid of this assh*le.
Whisker Squadron: Survivor is a neon Star Fox roguelite that you can play on PC right now
The creators of the excellent, minimalist Race the Sun have once again tasked us with pushing a high-speed ship to its limits, this time in the Star Fox-inspired Whisker Squadron: Survivor. Instead of a race against time, it's a shooter, with neon corridors filled with obstacles and laser-spitting enemies. It's a good time, and you can take it for a spin now by downloading the Steam Next Fest demo.
After a long train of farces, The Day Before devs put out statement decrying 'disinformation' about their game
The developers behind The Day Before, once upon a time Steam's second most-wishlisted game, have struck out at what they call "disinformation and lack of fact-checking" in discussions about the game. In post made to Twitter last night, Fntastic said that "Disinformation needs to be dealt with as it can not only harm us but also other indies and small/medium studios," and highlighting the negative "mental impact on the members of such teams" that disinfo can have.