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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Now Free on Epic Games Store

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is currently free to keep on the Epic Games Store until June 4th at 4 PM BST. This game is the third major game Epic has given away in the past few weeks after Grand Theft Auto V on May 14th and Sid Meier's Civilization VI on May 21st. The fourth and final rumored major game to be given away on the platform is Ark: Survival Evolved which should be available after June 4th.

Get the game: here

Epic Games Store Gives Away Civilization VI

On a charm offensive with big game giveaways such as Grand Theft Auto V, and partial refunds for those who missed sales, Epic Games Store is now offering "Sid Meier's Civilization VI" for free. This is a great deal considering that the game is listed on Steam for $59.99 in the U.S. HotHardware reports that EGS has several other fairly new AAA titles lined up for the taking in the coming weeks. The store plans to give away "Borderlands: The Handsome Collection" from May 28, and "Ark Survival: Evolved" in the following week. "Civilization VI is the latest entry in the smash hit turn-based strategy franchise.

Epic Games Store Set To Offer Partial Refunds For Recent Sales

It seems that Epic Games has quietly rolled out a new automated partial refund feature to games purchased via its storefront which later had their price cut in a sale. Studio Mayday founder Joshua Boggs shared an automated email he received from the Epic Games Store on Twitter, which stated that he would receive a partial refund for the difference in the game's price he recently purchased which shortly afterwards went on sale. This is the first we've heard of such a system and Epic Games may well be keeping the update quite to prevent abuse of the system.
Epic Games Store email
You recently placed orders from the Epic Games Store. The price of the game(s) you purchased were recently lowered, so we are issuing partial refunds for the difference(s).

2K Announces Mafia: Trilogy

2K and its Hangar 13 development studio today announced Mafia: Trilogy, a new collection featuring the only interactive entertainment series that lets players live the life of a gangster across three distinct eras of organized crime in America. Combined, the critically acclaimed Mafia crime dramas have sold-in more than 18 million units worldwide. Now, for the first time on modern consoles, experience all three entries of the revered action-adventure series together in one definitive organized crime saga.

Players who purchase Mafia: Trilogy digitally prior to August 28 will be able to access Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition immediately on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam, and will be able to download Mafia: Definitive Edition as soon as it becomes available on August 28. The Mafia: Trilogy physical edition will release in full on August 28, and is currently only planned for release in select EMEA and Asia regions. (For full release details, please refer to the Mafia: Trilogy fact sheet.)

Epic Games Store Finally Adds Automatic Refunds

We've recently enabled the ability to self-refund qualifying purchases online by yourself. When you sign into your account on the Epic Games website, click the "Account" dropdown in the top right corner of the webpage, go to the "Transactions" tab and click the game title. If the game is eligible for a self-service refund, please click the "Refund" option to initiate the refund process.

All games are eligible for a refund within 14 days of purchase for any reason. However, you must not have played more than 2 hours.You will not be eligible for games from which you have been banned or for which you have otherwise violated the terms of service. In addition, you may not be eligible for refunds if Epic determines that you are abusing the refund policy.

Unreal Engine 5 Demo to Require RTX 2070 SUPER GPU at Minimum for Smooth Gameplay

Epic Games has just recently unveiled its Unreal Engine version 5, which was demonstrated on next-generation PlayStation 5 console. Showing off some impressive details, Epic Games has managed to use all of the power available to them from the new hardware in the PS5 console. Rocking a custom APU from AMD, the PS5 console has 10.28 TeraFLOPs of computing power, which is paired with a fast NVMe SSD. Such a combination allows for the impressive demo we have seen just a few days ago.

However, if you wonder what equivalent PC hardware would you need to run the demo on, World Today News has concluded that you would need at least to have NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER graphics card to run a demo if you could. The RTX 2070S GPU has 9 TeraFLOPs of computing power, and the demonstration would "run pretty good" on that GPU. By the time first Unreal Engine 5 based games come out, next-generation graphics cards should already be available and you wouldn't need to worry if you are getting an upgrade. For the people owning RTX 2070S and faster, they should be good to go for when games based on Unreal Engine 5 hit the market.
Unreal Engine 5 Unreal Engine 5 Unreal Engine 5 Unreal Engine 5

Grand Theft Auto V Premium Edition Free to Grab on Epic Games Store

Epic Games has just done something that's sure to garner a lot of attention: they're offering free copies of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V. Yes, you can stop reading now and go on and grab it; you know you want to, even if you've played it on console already. The game is the latest entry in one of the most legendary franchises in gaming, and as it stands, counts with a 96 Metascore and a 7.8 user score. Even though the game has been released over five years ago, it's still one of the greatest, featuring a live community on its online components.

Epic Online Services Launches with New Tools for Cross-Play and More

Epic Games today announces the launch of Epic Online Services, unlocking the ability to effortlessly scale games and unify player communities for all developers. First announced in December 2018, Epic Online Services are battle-tested and powered by the services built for Fortnite across seven major platforms (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android). Open to all developers, Epic Online Services is completely free and offers creators a single SDK to quickly and easily launch, operate, and scale their games across engines, stores, and platforms of their choice.

"At Epic, we believe in open, integrated platforms and in the future of gaming being a highly social and connected experience," said Chris Dyl, General Manager, Online Services, Epic Games. "Through Epic Online Services, we strive to help build a user-friendly ecosystem for both developers and players, where creators can benefit regardless of how they choose to build and publish their games, and where players can play games with their friends and enjoy the same quality experience regardless of the hardware they own."

Epic Games Gives Mesmerizing Look at Unreal Engine 5 Running Real Time on PlayStation 5

Epic Games has just released a trailer for version 5 of their industry/acclaimed Unreal Engine. Dubbed "Lumen in the Land of Nanite", the demo they've shared is nothing short of mindblowing when it comes to the amount of environment and character detail. Unreal Engine 5 will feature a new geometry processing engine Epic is calling Nanite, which the company promises will virtually eliminate polygon budgets for developers, with automatic stream and scaling, thus eliminating the need to develop LOD levels for particular assets. Another addition, and an as impressive one, is the Lumen global illumination engine, which will save developers the need to manually bake lightmaps accounting for every little change in a scene's lighting - the global illumination system makes these changes in lighting conditions as seamless and integrated as they can be. This among other features already introduced with version 4.25 such as Niagara VFX and Chaos destruction systems.

Unreal Engine 5 is pegged for an early 2021 release; Epic Games has already announced they will be porting their popular Fortnite videogame into the engine, which makes sense, considering it's being particularly optimized for PC and next-generation consoles. These will become the backbone of games development - and an important source of Epic's Fortnite revenue stream. Take a look at the trailer after the break - and remember this was all running real-time in a PlayStation 5 console.

Epic Games Store Adds Support For 5 More Local Currencies

The Epic Games store has seen continuous updates since its launch in 2018 adding various additional features, now surpassing many other game launchers such as Origin, Uplay, and battle.net in terms of features and hot on the heels of Steam. In the latest update to the platform Epic has added support for five new local currencies, users in Canada, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway can now pay for games on the launcher in their native currencies. This addition is one of many Epic have been releasing from their public roadmap which lists trending pages, mod support, and offline sign-in all as features coming soon.

Epic Games Store will Require 2FA to Claim Free Games Next Month

Beginning today and ending on May 21, we will periodically require two-factor authentication prior to claiming free games on the Epic Games Store. We are making this change in an effort to encourage our players to take steps to strengthen their Epic account security. If you do not have two-factor authentication enabled on your account, you will see the following message when attempting to claim a free game:

"Two Factor Authentication Required, Claiming this free game requires you to have Two-Factor Authentication setup on your account. Two-Factor Authentication provides an additional level of security to your Epic Games account and will help prevent unauthorized access."

Epic Games Abandons Android Strategy & Publishes Fortnite on the Google Play Store

Epic Games launched Fortnite for Android in 2018 players had to sidestep the Google Play Store and download the game directly from Epic as an APK. The reason Epic Games chose to go this route was the 30% fee Google Play takes on all in-app purchases, this move was understandable at the time. Over the last 18 months Google has vastly increased Android security measures with features such as Google Play Protect and "security pop-ups" in an attempt to increase control over Android. Epic Games wanted Google to revise their policies and take a smaller cut however Google has won out and Epic has announced that Fortnite will be available via the Google Play Store going forward in addition to the direct download from the Epic Games site.

Khronos Group Releases Vulkan Ray Tracing

Today, The Khronos Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces the ratification and public release of the Vulkan Ray Tracing provisional extensions, creating the industry's first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration. Primarily focused on meeting desktop market demand for both real-time and offline rendering, the release of Vulkan Ray Tracing as provisional extensions enables the developer community to provide feedback before the specifications are finalized. Comments and feedback will be collected through the Vulkan GitHub Issues Tracker and Khronos Developer Slack. Developers are also encouraged to share comments with their preferred hardware vendors. The specifications are available today on the Vulkan Registry.

Ray tracing is a rendering technique that realistically simulates how light rays intersect and interact with scene geometry, materials, and light sources to generate photorealistic imagery. It is widely used for film and other production rendering and is beginning to be practical for real-time applications and games. Vulkan Ray Tracing seamlessly integrates a coherent ray tracing framework into the Vulkan API, enabling a flexible merging of rasterization and ray tracing acceleration. Vulkan Ray Tracing is designed to be hardware agnostic and so can be accelerated on both existing GPU compute and dedicated ray tracing cores if available.
Vulkan ray tracing

Rune 2 Developer Human Head Studios Shuts Down, Immediately Sets Up Shop Under Bethesda as Roundhouse Studios

Well, this is something new. Human Head Studios, who have developed and just released Rune 2 yesterday on the Epic Games Store as an exclusive release, today announced their studio was shutting down. At the same time, Bethesda announced it was founding a new game studio, Roundhouse Studios, which would be fully populated by the Human Head Studios' staff, left unemployed from the closure of that developing label. While it's obviously great that in effect nobody was left unemployed... Does this "make sense much"?

It does. However, there are some interesting tidbits to this story. One of the more pressing questions is: how will Rune 2 be supported in the future? That question wasn't addressed by now Roundhouse Studios Creative Director Chris Rhinehart - we just assume the game has been released in an "as is" state and it doesn't matter whether there are some breaking bugs in that release. Any reported bug will be filed under "no developer found; won't fix". There are also some more interesting nuances to this deal, though. You might remember Human Head Studios previously worked on Prey 2, with Bethesda acting as publisher, but was removed from the project after the studio declined Bethesda's offer to buy Human Head Studios. This action cost the studio the IP, and led them towards development of Rune 2. However, all of that bad blood has seemingly been left behind them, according to press releases from both parties. You can read those after the break.

Free Game Alert: "Observer" and "Alan Wake's American Nightmare" Free in the Epic Games Store, Halloween Sale Launched

Free games are always hard to pass, so if you are craving some meaty releases to tide you over until something new and fresh that catches your fancy comes along, this Epic Games Store might (and might not) be for you. From October 17th through October 24th, the digital storefront so many love to hate is offering two generally well thought-off games i the form of Observer and Alan Wake's American Nightmare.

Whether you crave a meaty, cyberpunk-inspired detective story in Observer, or a not so meaty, all-hell-broken-lose experience set in the excellent Alan Wake universe, you can drop by your Epic Games Store Launcher (we know you have it installed, come on) and just add them to your cart for free. They're yours to keep forever. And if you don't have the Epic Games Store launcher, perhaps you should. Observer might very well make it worth all the hassle of downloading and clicking through a menu three or four times. And as a very relevant footnote, the Epic Games Store has just started its Halloween Sale, which goes from today, October 18th, through November 1st. You can find some older games discounted up to 70%, with the discount decreasing somewhat linearly according to release date.

Red Dead Redemption 2 to be Epic Games Store Exclusive for a Month

Rockstar Games revealed that its hotly anticipated PC version of "Red Dead Redemption 2" will launch across three digital platforms. Pre-orders for the game will open on Rockstar Games Launcher on October 9th. At launch on November 5th, the game will be available on the Epic Games Store. This "exclusivity" will remain for a month, when in December, the game becomes available on Steam. Both Steam and Epic Games Store form concentric DRM layers to the Rockstar Games Launcher, and the game will be available on this launcher throughout, including pre-orders. Buyers are expected to be drawn to Epic Games Store or Steam to take advantage of regional pricing.

PC Teaser Trailer Released for Detroit: Become Human

Well, Quantic Dream has been on a roll launching its formerly PlayStation-exclusive titles in a remastered form on the PC platform. I hope you've been having fun with them - if you crave strong, cinematic storytelling and complicated, branching choices and dynamic narratives, David Cages' brainchilds will be right up your proverbial alley. And it seems the PC versions of the games are well optimized and have more than adequate compatibility and stability - and I might be making the ports a disservice by using those particular adjectives. Just keeping your expectations in check.

I'd say this is one of the more aspiring stories told by Quantic Dream - easily. The scenarios that play out in the course of the game are all too real (at least in my own personal view of society and our systems) not to take a look at. It's a human dream, this one game. Take a look at the trailer after the break. Detroit: Become Human will be available for the PC platform via the Epic Games Store, and is expected to drop before the end of this year.

Epic Games Supports Blender Foundation with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant

Epic Games, as part of the company's $100 million Epic MegaGrants program, is awarding the Blender Foundation $1.2 million in cash to further the success of Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the full range of tools empowering artists to create 3D graphics, animation, special effects or games.

The Epic MegaGrants initiative is designed to assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

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 Games Purchases Rocket League Creator Psyonix, May be Sold as Epic Games Store Exclusive Late 2019

Update: A clarification was sent out earlier today where Epic said that they won't stop supporting Rocket League on Steam, as they never could actually do, since legions of players that had already purchased the game on that platform would pick up their pitchforks with a vengeance. However, wording on Epic's clarification leaves much to be desired, and seemingly confirms that the game will not be available on Steam:
"The PC version of Rocket League will come to the Epic Games store in late 2019. In the meantime, it will continue to be available for purchase on Steam; thereafter it will continue to be supported on Steam for all existing purchasers. (...) "Rocket League remains available for new purchasers on Steam, and long-term plans will be announced in the future."
Epic Games has announced the acquisition of Rocket League developer Psyonix, which created one of the most addictive non/Battle Royale game of recent times. The move by Epic will see the games- introduction to the Epic Games Store, with platform exclusivity confirmed for late 2019 / which means that anyone looking to purchase the game on a PC/centric digital storefront will have to go to Epic's, since Steam will be leaving the vendor equation.

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 AAA Bleed Continues: Anno 1800 to be UPlay and Epic Games Store Exclusive

Ubisoft has pulled the upcoming entry to its smash-hit RTS franchise, "Anno 1800" from Steam. For the PC platform, the game will be available only through Ubisoft's own UPlay, and the Epic Games Store, which continues to vacuum AAA titles from Steam on the promise of higher revenue share for the game developers. Ubisoft is giving Steam fans a chance to put their money where their mouths are, though.

You will be able to pre-order "Anno 1800" on Steam until April 16. The pre-ordered game will remain in your Steam library, and you will receive updates for the game through Steam. Also, people who purchased the game on Steam will be able to play multiplayer with those who bought their copies through UPlay or Epic Games Store. This presents Steam fans with a unique opportunity to tell a big studio like Ubisoft what they want.

Bethesda Bringing Fallout 76, Rage 2, Doom Eternal, and Wolfenstein Games to Steam

Bethesda had concerned a few people last year when they had announced most of their new games would be available on the PC platform only via their own store and launcher, at least initially. People were quick to speculate whether this was Bethesda wanting a bigger share of the pie than Steam would allow, which is hilarious in hindsight with everything Epic Game Store related since then, and also whether this was because they were worried that Fallout 76, the first of these games affected by said decision, would have generate refunds galore on Steam as a result of bugs, bugs, and more bugs. Today Bethesda took to social media to make good on their promise, saying that all their upcoming games will be simultaneously available on both Steam and the Bethesda Store, including Rage 2, Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot.

Interestingly, it will still be a while before Fallout 76 will make its way on Steam, which does not help its cause as far as far as having a depreciating player base goes. The move in general also plays into the larger dynamics of PC game stores, with game exclusives suddenly becoming a valid point of consideration as the competition from Epic Games heats up. It is also interesting to see how few complaints there are online of how these games are not available on, say, the Epic Games Store, or Discord, or GoG, and points further to the loyalty-factor of the populace complaining about exclusives on PC game stores in 2019.

Borderlands 3 Possibly Exclusive to Epic Games Store on PC, Fans Worry Based on Old Tweet

Randy Pitchford is an interesting character even as game company CEOs go, with a.. checkered history in the last few months that go from funny all the way to controversial at minimum. As the head of Gearbox, he holds a lot of power when it comes to the Borderlands franchise, which itself teased a third numbered entry to be revealed at PAX East later this month. His social media activity has been a prime example of what not to do as a CEO owing to some personal and professional issues alike, which meant that this latest tease not only got people looking at more about the Borderlands franchise, but also his twitter account.

Users dug up an old tweet from December 2018 wherein he claimed he was "excited to support the Epic Games Store", and this was enough to initiate concerns that Borderlands 3 might be an exclusive to the Epic Games Store on the PC platform. Subsequent replies did nothing to quell these concerns, although there was nothing to confirm anything either. This may all be making a mountain out of an imaginary molehill, but it makes sense for Epic Games to go after Borderlands 3 to get more customers on their side- especially knowing that such exclusivity deals could be in the millions of US dollars. We will know more when the game is officially announced, so keep an eye out for that.
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