News Posts matching #EPIC

Return to Keyword Browsing

Free Game Alert: Layers of Fear 2 Available in the Epic Games Store

Players familiar with Bloober Team's psychological horror who haven't played Layers of Fear 2 will be happy to know they can now grab this gut-wrenching game free of charge from the Epic Games Store. Bloober Team has cemented itself as one of the foremost games developers in the psychological horror genre ever since Layers of Fear (an interesting, albeit flawed, game), and have since brought their expertise to Layers of Fear 2 and the excellent Observer (which will see a System Redux version with new quests and ray tracing, among many other improvements). In Layers of Fear 2, you are cast as a Hollywood actor taking on the main role in a movie being shot on an ocean liner - but obviously, the terror starts after that. The game has a 70% Metacritic Review Average and a 6.3 User Average.

Another game available in the EPIC Games Store is Costume Quest 2, a Japanese-style action RPG where you're tasked with saving Halloween via time travel and other artifices. The game currently stands with a 68 Metacritic Review Average and a user score of 7.5.

Total War Saga: Troy to Be Free on Launch Day via EPIC Games Store

(Update 13AUG2020: The game is now available for free on the EPIC Games Store platform, so make sure to go there and add it your basket STAT.)

Here's EPIC kicking up its free game offerings up several notches at once. Sega and Creative Assembly, developers of the user and critically-acclaimed Total War videogames, have announced that their latest release on that series, titled Total War Saga: Troy, will be available on launch day, August 13th, when it launches exclusively on EPIC Games Store. Based on Homers' Illiad, "A Total War Saga: TROY focuses on the historical flashpoint of the Trojan War, bringing the conflict to life as never before."

A caveat: the game will only be available for free in the first 24 hours following launch. Any claims after that will be met with the games' real price-tag. How's that for EPIC Games Store exclusivity deals? Check the games' trailer and confirmation of this promotion after the break.

Unreal Engine 4.25 Released Featuring Beta Support for Next Generation Consoles

EPIC Games has announced that a new version of its industry-spanning Unreal Engine is now available. Version 4.25 adds Beta support for development specifically geared for upcoming, next generation Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles, thus allowing non-first-party studios to accelerate their development on the platform using the tried and true Unreal game engine. Part of this support includes development modules for next-gen audio features - remember these consoles will feature hardware-accelerated audio that's supposed to kick audio development in games towards the next gear.

It remains to be seen what exactly developers will be ready to achieve, but has consoles become the most common development dominator for upcoming games, their specs will definitely facilitate advancements in game development for the future. High core-count CPUs and GPUs, right alongside high-speed storage in the form of NVMe-based systems will now become the norm, which means us PC gamers will also reap some benefits from these development requirements. Version 4.25 of the Unreal Engine also adds production-ready support for Niagara VFX (used for water animations), as well as for the Chaos physics and destruction system that is already employed in Fortnite. New shading capabilities are also in store for developers.

Free Game Alert: Just Cause 4, Wheels of Aurelia Are Free to Grab at EPIC Games Store

EPIC has made available two more free games this week. One of them is the well-known, Bethesda-published and Avalanche Studios-developed Just Cause 4, which sees players diving (sometimes literally) into the open-world city of Solis. Featuring complete mayhem and a third-person gameplay perspective, the game was received to lukewarm reviews (currently stands at 68 Metacritic score) and even worse consumer reception (sitting at a not-so-pretty 4.8 user score).

The other entry is Wheels of Aurelia (developed by Santa Ragione srl), which is pitted as a "immersive road trip" through the 1970's Italian West Coast (in the coherently-named Via Aurelia). The soundtrack and experience, as well as the chance to learn some history and cultural context of 1970's Italy, should be your main expectations while diving into this game; as a gameplay experience, it seems to have left much to be desired, sitting with a Metascore of 63 and a 4.0 user score. You can grab these via the EPIC launcher, as always.

Free Game Alert: Watch Dogs, The Stanley Parable Now Free to Grab from the EPIC Games Store

The current quarantine situation can be cut in two ways: as a major setback for your life, or as an opportunity. An opportunity, for instance, to mow down all the games you've got on backburner. To that end, and in case you're running low in Triple-AAA or quirky, interesting game experiments, the EPIC Games Store has now made available for free download both Ubisoft's Watch Dogs and Galactic Cafe's The Stanley Parable. Both offer a distinct gameplay experience, with EPIC thus catering to two completely different gamer demographics.

Watch Dogs is a well-known action-adventure RPG launched back in 2014, set in a fictionalized version of Chicago. Playing as Aiden Pierce, a hacker with a personal revenge motivation, you hack your way through security systems in a somewhat dystopian society. The game was not very well received, standing with a 77 score on Metacritic and a 4.9 user score (in no small part due to the considerable graphics downgrade seen between the showcased version and the final graphics the game shipped with). The Stanley parable, on the other hand, is a quirky first-person exploration game based on a mod to the Half Life 2 engine that seems set on exploring a quantum approach to storytelling. This one features a much healthier 88 score in Metacritic and an 8.0 in user score.

Free Game Alert: Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Faeria Now Available for Free from EPIC Games Store

Another week, another interesting free game being driven upon us by the EPIC Games Store. This time, it's Ubisoft's 345th entry in the Assassin's Creed series: Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Set in 1868 London, smack in the middle of the Industrial Revolution, this is considered to be the title that straightened out the franchise after the ill-received Assassin's Creed Unity, with an overall 76 score in Metacritic.

Also available for free is Faeria, a collectible-card game from developers Abrakam, which has a very respectable 81 score in Metacritic and an average 7.6 user score, putting it ahead of Syndicate in both metrics. Gameplay is often compared to a mix of Catan (with its hex-based, living board) and Heartstone (due to the collectible 300+ cards the game has to offer). It has single-player and PVP modes to scratch your particular craving at the moment, so it might be an interesting (and free) addition to your library.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Aztez Now Available for Free in the EPIC Games Store

The EPIC Games Store has been a great source of free weekly games, with such offerings such as Observer, The Witness, and Surviving Mars all seeing their way into players' libraries without spending a penny. Now, a juggernaut of last year's releases comes our way as well in the form of Kingdom come: Deliverance, the immersive open-world sim from Warhorse Studios. If you'll remember, our own W1zzard has taken a look at this game, and even in its release state, found it to be hugely engrossing. Now, with months of active bug fixing behind it, it should be an even better, more polished experience.

The other title on offer, Aztez, is described as a hybrid beat-them-up and turn-based strategy game, with striking black, white and red visuals (and developed by Team Colorblind, so that might have something to do with the aesthetic choice). The game actually looks like a lot of fun, and the visuals are what they are already, so why not get yourself another game for your already endless waiting list?

NVIDIA's GeForce Now Service is Launched - And You Can Stream Games for Free

NVIDIA today has finally launched its GeForce Now streaming gaming service, and users can enjoy partial amounts of free gaming under the business model. There are two tiers of users on offer: Free, and Founders. The free tier, which you may give a go to check the streaming infrastructure and if it's something you would enjoy paying for, is limited to 60-minute play sessions. This means that after the clock has stopped ticking (with potentially intrusive pop-up notifications reminding you of how much time you have left every 10 minutes), you'll be forced to quit the game, and submit yourself to a playing queue until your next 60-minute window is up. RTX isn't available in this tier, though - so if you also wanted to see for yourself what the raytracing talk is all about, you'll have to pay $5 (monthly subscription) to cross that particular river.

Founder-tier members, however, will be able to enjoy the latest RTX-enabled games. The only ones listed on the service, for now, are Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Call of Duty: modern Warfare, Metro Exodus, and Deliver Us the Moon, which NVIDIA has recently started bundling with select RTX graphics cards). There is still a catch though: play sessions will be limited to 6 hours, after which time you'll be brought back to a gaming queue (though you'll have precedence over Free tier accounts, should there be many Founders-tier players in the queue, you might have to wait a while). There's a limited-time 90-day introductory period of which you can take advantage while subscribing for the Founders tier right now, which means you will only be billed after that 90-day grace period is over. Remember - you have to own a digital copy of the game you want to play in any of the more popular storefronts, such as EPIC and Steam, before you can game - but it's still a nice way to experience RTX should you currently own a non-RTX-enabled graphics card.

EPIC Announces 100M Subscribed Users to EPIC Games Store in Just One Year of Operation

Cut from the digital storefront cloth as you will, the EPIC Games Store has come to stay. EPIC has just announce that its digital distribution platform has achieved over 100 M subscribed users (which is different from active users, so mind the gap). That is still a success by any metric, since the digital games storefront was such a one-sided market before EPIC entered the fray - you'd be forgiven for describing the PC games distribution platform network as being composed of "Steam and the others".

Through platform exclusivity deals for new PC launches, a more enticing profit split between developers and games that are available through its store (with its headline and exclusive-grabbing 88-12 percent revenue split), monthly game giveaways and the power of Fortnite, EPIC has said that the EPIC Games Store alone generated $680 million in revenue thus far. Of that amount, Epic says $251 million represents sales of third-party games. part of that revenue has been channeled back at gamers - $23 million has been distributed in coupons and discounts toward game sales. According to EPIC, the nine most successful games in its platform are World War Z, Borderlands 3, Untitled Goose Game, Metro Exodus, Control, The Outer Worlds, The Division 2, Dauntless, and Satisfactory.

EPIC Games Store Offering Copies of "Metro 2033: Redux" and "Everything"

The EPIC Games Store, the digital storefront most PC gamers love to hate, has made available two free gamers for those who want to simply login to their store. The first game is Metro 2033: Redux, the updated Metro 2033 version that uses its sequel, Metro: Last Light's graphics engine. Besides the updated graphics, there are numerous quality of life improvements in the game, making it the definitive version of it to try out (if you have been living under a rock, or just haven't had any time for gaming in recent years whatsoever).

The other game is Everything, a procedurally-generated game that simulates mechanics and systems of nature. There is no objective in this game - the objective is just to immerse yourself and your time on a leisurely approach to space and planet-bound systems. Just log into your EPIC games account via the store and you can add both these games to your digital library (did I mention they're available for free?)

Exclusivity Costs: EPIC Games Store's Control Cost $10.5 million to Become PC Exclusive

Control is one of the better single player releases of this year already, and has been enough of a success for Remedy and 505 Games to launch a content roadmap stretching all the way to 2020. The game is being served on PC exclusively through the EPIC Games Store, which, besides offering developers higher revenues than Steam, has also launched an all-out campaign to secure high-profile exclusives such as Control and Metro: Exodus (even if some of them are timed exclusives).

Now, an Italian earnings report from 505 games highlights that the developers received a lump, $10.5 million upfront from EPIC; according to the report, "Revenue comes from the computer version of Control (...) The game was released on August 27 but the structure of the marketplace who requested the PC exclusivity has made possible to gain the revenue starting from this quarter." It appears EPIC is offering a safety net for developers in exchange for the exclusivity deals, paying upfront the amount of revenue developers expect to receive from the games' sales throughout the PC platform. In this case, the $10.5 million correspond to a total of 200,000 individual sales of Control. Until that number is achieved, EPIC keeps the full revenue from every sale. Any units sold starting from 200,000, and the revenue is split between the developer and EPIC. It's a win-win, really: EPIC gets more and more traction and publicity on its store, and developers guarantee they get the minimum amount they'd expect to earn by selling the game across the full spectrum of PC marketplaces.

Gearbox Reveals Minimum, Recommended Specs for Borderlands 3

Gearbox today revealed the minimum and recommended specs for their upcoming Borderlands 3, to be distributed digitally as an EPIC Games Store exclusive. Developed in close partnership with AMD, Borderlands 3 is being pitched by the company as playing best on AMD-based CPUs and GPUs. There's support for AMD's FidelityFX Sharpening, and graphics settings can be finely tuned for your desired level of performance and IQ, with plenty of options for users to play with - including resolution scale, where you can set your render resolution lower than your display resolution, or higher (with the resulting increase in IQ).

These are relatively standard requirements, as you can see in the image below. Nothing jumps to mind as being out of place: we've already seen 16 GB and a midrange RX 590 as the recommended specs before. Keep in mind Minimum Requirements are listed for 1080p resolution, whereas the Recommended specs are geared for a 1440p presentation. Borderlands 3 releases on September 13.

EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney: "Exclusives do Work"

EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney in a veritable Tweetstorm detailed EPIC's strategy on gaming exclusivity a bit more - and to listen to the CEO, EPIC is doing this as a way to break Steam's grasp on the PC games distribution market and their 30/70 distributor's cut. Asked on games exclusivity and their usage as a digital storefront strategy, Sweeney said that EPIC "believes exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry." He also says that this split is a "disastrous situation for developers and publishers alike."

Sweeney says that other independent storefronts that have been launched over the years (we imagine he's speaking of GOG and Humble Bundle, just to name a few), "none seem to have reached 5% of Steam's scale." He goes on to say that "this leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts and by the key Epic Games store releases compared to their former Steam revenue projections and their actual console sales." His stance is that EPIC's 12/88 split is fairer for developers (stating that a 30% cut would almost totally cut into their profits), and that this additional money that enters studios' pockets will necessarily be split among "(1) reinvestment, (2) profit, and (3) price reduction", and that in this way, EPIC's solution is both proportionate to the problem, and a move that will benefit gamers in the long run.

Epic Announces the "EPIC Mega Sale", with $10 Off on Every Game Above $14.99

EPIC today announced their first ever EPIC Mega Sale, which brings a pretty linear discount across the games catalogue the online store has available for purchase. The company announced it is slashing at least $10/£10/€10 from every game priced above $14.99/£13.99/€15.99. This includes preorders on their own page, which means you can pre-purchase one of those soon to be released Quantic Dream games on the cheap (Heavy Rain and Beyond: two Souls can be yours for €9.99 right now, for instance), and Close to the Sun for €19.99. So if you are looking for some Epic Games Store exclusives (such as Metro Exodus for €34.99), go on and run.

Epic's Tim Sweeney Says They'd Stop Hunting for Exclusives if Steam Matched Epic Games Store in Comission Rates

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has come out with an interesting commitment: that EPIC would stop hunting for exclusives in the PC platform is Steam were to match them in their 88% return to developers for each game sold. Being a developer themselves, Epic games have certainly looked into creating their own storefront as a way to escape the clutches of Steam's cut in the digital, PC distribution market (a move that had already been done by the likes of EA and Ubisoft, if you'll remember). A commitment to stop hunting for exclusives (and thus segregating the PC games offering across different platforms) is a clear indicator of Epic's mission with the Epic Games Store: to bring back power and returns to developers such as them (while taking a cut from the profits for themselves, obviously).

Check out after the break for the full content of Sweeney's remarks regarding their Games Store and the problem with Steam. I, for one, don't see much of a problem with virtual segregation of games across multiple PC-bound platforms - one of the strengths of PC gaming is actually the ability to install multiple applications that increase functionality, after all. But if the end game of all of this is simply to give more back to developers and Epic's move facilitates that by forcing Valve's hand in matching them for fear of drying profits - then so be it.

"Steam Was Killing PC Gaming", Former Valve Dev Says

The EPIC confrontation with Valve has become a hot topic in recent months, as a veritable Exodus of titles have migrated to the greener, 12%-limited cut that the EPIC Games Store takes from publishers who put their games on the EPIC Games Store digital storefront. Mostly, user reception of EPIC's practice of securing mostly one-year timed exclusivity deals for games that would otherwise also be available through Steam has left a sour taste oin gamers' mouths, as it is seen as a forced way for EPIC to fracture the PC gaming space.

However, a former Valve developer has come forth to say that in his view, Valve's 30% cut was already way behind the times, and was actually "killing PC gaming". The train of thought is that Steam itself changed Valve from a software company to what mostly amounts to a service provider, with Steam serving as a veritable digital money printing machine, that stole focus from games to games publishing, due to higher margins and much lower development costs. It's interesting - and logical - to assume that the reason an Half Life 3 never saw the light of day was because Valve had its revenue stream well secured in Steam. Why invest for a game that could be a flop, when you can just take a 30% cut from other developers' efforts?

Borderlands 3 Confirmed to be EPIC Games Store Timed Exclusive on PC, Developed in Partnership with AMD

Well, that tweet that fans of the Borderlands series feared meant platform exclusivity on PC actually manifested itself. Gearbox today announced that Borderlands 3, the hit sequel to one of the first loot-shooters, will indeed be releasing on September 13th for all platforms - but will be distributed exclusively on the PC digital platform via the EPIC Games Store. Other storefronts will have to wait until April 2020 to sell copies of the game.

The game will also feature optimized performance for AMD's CPU and GPU portfolio, with AMD aiding in performance optimizations for its Ryzen CPUs, current GPUs and, expectedly, next-generation Navi. The announcement trailer and 2K's press release points to a story-driven shooter, that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford pitched (ahem) as "a love letter to fans of the series, but also as an ideal entry point for new players to jump-in alone or cooperatively, on or off-line, in the latest and greatest installment of the definitive best-in-class benchmark shooter-looter." The announcement trailer follows.

EPIC Games Shows Off Unreal Engine 4.23 Physics, Destruction System "Chaos" at GDC 2019

Not all news coming from EPIC covers its EPIC Games Store - though according to the relative attention they've been garnering with the constant scooping up of PC timed exclusives, perhaps it should. This piece of news, alas, covers the company's unreal Engine, which has been one of the hallmarks in games development for a while now, being used for a number of disparate games such as the gears of War games, or even a relatively obscure, Xbox 360 exclusive title, Lost Odyssey. At GDC 2019, EPIC showcased version 4.23 of its Unreal Engine, with particular attention to its improved destruction and physics engine, which they've aptly named "Chaos".

Quantic Dreams' PlayStation Exclusives Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human Announced for PC as EPIC Games Store Exclusives

The unthinkable, never-before-seen, has happened: games that were developed as PlayStation exclusives are finally making their way to PC (outside of any PS Now streaming shenanigans). Developer Quantic Dreams has announced at GDC 2019 that Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human are coming to the PC platform. And if you didn't read that title, you probably wondered, and yes: they are exclusive, for a period of one year, to the EPIC Games Store.

The EPIC Games Store Odyssey: Obsidian's "The Outer Worlds", Remedy's "Control" Exclusive for One Year

It seems that the EPIC Game Store exclusivity saga is still coming strong, with not one, but two AA games coming to PC that are exclusive to the new games distribution platform. Obsidian's The Outer Worlds is likely one of the most anticipated RPG games this side of Fallout 76, and Remedy has always been known for great single-player games that push the boundaries of the medium - and sometimes wreck those boundaries completely, as it happened with Quantum Break.

Now, both games are known to be part of EPIC's Game Store in a time-limited exclusive format for one year after launch, much like has happened with Metro Exodus - though here there is no sudden Steam departure to be met with. The Outer Worlds will also be available in Microsoft Store, true (Obsidian is now part of Microsoft's Game Studios, remember?).

The Division 2 Skipping Steam, Available Only on Ubisoft and Epic Stores; System Requirements Outed With Radeon VII

The Epic Games Store with its aggressive developer earnings program is drilling away at Steam's already-installed hegemony as the PC gaming platform of choice. A mere 12% royalty for the storefront means much more money goes back to the developers, and the more copies are sold of a given game, the bigger the profit will become. This is why some games have already even left Steam's shores to find a home on the Epic Games Store, and now, a AAA title in The Division 2 will be skipping Steam entirely. With launches on Ubisoft's own store and an 88% cut on the Epic store, Ubisoft will be looking to maximize their profits.

That part of the story is done; Ubisoft has also outed the system requirements for the PC version of The Division 2, which, for a minimum of 30 FPS at 1080p, will require either an AMD FX-6350 or Intel Core I5-2500K CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 2 GB of video RAM on an AMD Radeon R9 270 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 670.

Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

Crossplay has become an interesting point of contention for the industry, with some very popular games and companies advocating for a unified, non-fractured player audience enjoying their games across different media consumption screens, and even gaming platforms. Microsoft has been pushing this kind of capability for some time now, launching their Xbox Play Anywhere initiative which aims to bring PC, Xbox (or both) gamers to parity - acquiring a game on one platform equals having it on both, with all game data being synced.

A new update in the Steam beta update code explicitly refers to Xbox, with an "Xbox_pairwise_id" being present, which could point towards exploration of a future feature. Microsoft adding keyboard and mouse support to their Xbox consoles, news of a new streaming-based console for Microsoft's xCloud efforts, and Steam already offering controller support are some of the little details that could make this a winning bet for both companies.

Battle Royale? More Like Profit Royale: Fortnite Reportedly Tops $1 billion in Revenue

A report from analyst firm Superdata has put in perspective the craze regarding Battle Royale-type games. Fortnite, developed by EPIC, is now estimated to have earned more than $1 billion in revenue since its launch last year. And it all seems to be going uphill - the game earned some $304 million in May alone solely on its in-game microtransactions, a 4% increase over the still impressive $296 million figure in April. Consider that EPIC only added the Battle Royale game mode last September, and the voracious pace of revenue increase becomes obvious - just the months of May and April account for more than half of the $1 billion being reported here.

Make no mistake: like in all things, there will be an inevitable tumble in popularity and revenue as the game ages, even if it has just now entered its fifth season. However, the rhythm at which funds are flowing into EPIC's coffers will surely enable an even bigger, more impressive experience come Fortnite's successor, which you can bet will be ready to pick up the slack once revenue slows down. It becomes hard not to justify developers' options towards developing these kinds of games over others - it really does seem to be this is where most money's at.

EPIC Games Shows off Homonymous Raytracing Proof of Concept Videos

EPIC delivered their "The State of Unreal" presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week (which had a great deal much time devoted to raytracing technologies). EPIC Games has been at the forefront of graphics development for some years now. Their engines (alongside a few other key players in the industry) routinely push the boundaries of graphical fidelity. And naturally, something would be amiss if they weren't jumping on the raytracing bandwagon as well with some of the most impressive proof of concept videos I've ever seen in real-time generated graphics. The company took their time, then, to unveil their artistic interpretations of real-time ray tracing, motion capture and real-time facial animation mapping. Cue many videos, after the break.

EPIC games Acquires Cloudgine, Welcomes It to Its Fold

EPIC Games has made an investment that was both likely and unlikely: the acquisition of Cloudgine, a software company based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that specializes in real-time cloud computing technologies. The company's name has appeared associated with Microsoft's now almost infamous Crackdown 3 project for the Xbox One console, which has been met with delays after delays. The sum for the acquisition hasn't been announced, though EPIC was forthcoming with the intention: they aim to integrate Cloudgine's software and cloud computing solutions on their Unreal engine. The full EPIC press release follows.
Return to Keyword Browsing