News Posts matching "Steam"

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Epic Games Store to Launch Soon, Developers to Receive 88% of Revenue

With more and more companies creating their very own digital storefronts in the PC gaming space, it was only a matter of time until Epic Games threw their hat into the ring. With an announcement posted today, by Tim Sweeney the Epic Games store is now officially a reality. The new digital storefront will be made available for PC and Mac to start with, while other platforms will be added throughout 2019. In regards to games available on the platform, Epic will offer Fortnite alongside a set of hand-curated titles at launch. What those games might be is currently unknown.

Delivering a shot across the bow at Steam and their 30% revenue cut, Epic's game store will instead only take 12%, resulting in developers earning 88% of sales revenue. If they are using Unreal Engine the 5% engine royalty will be waived by Epic and instead is factored into their original 12% take. Putting that into perspective, an Unreal Engine based game released on Steam currently gives developers only 65% of the revenue with Steam earning 30% and Epic 5% due to engine royalties. Going from 65% to 88% is a significant increase in earnings, and it doesn't matter what game engine a developer uses, the revenue split will remain the same. This should leave developers quite happy since they are not limited by game engine choice and Epic benefits from a vastly increased selection of titles they can offer in their digital store.

SteamVR's Motion Smoothing Exits Beta, Enabled Now By Default on Windows 10 PCs With NVIDIA GPUs

A few weeks ago Valve developers announced a new technology called Motion Smoothing that would enable low-end GPUs to support VR games without problems. The system "looks at the last two delivered frames, estimates motion and animation, and extrapolates a new frame. Synthesizing new frames keeps the current application at full framerate, advances motion forward, and avoids judder".

Motion Smoothing has been available in Beta for some time, but the test phase has come to an end and it seems the technology is ready to enter the final, stable stage. You'll still need an HTC VIVE or HTC VIVE Pro headset -Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality headset have their own display drivers with other tricks to sustain frame rates-, and the lack of AMD GPU support is somewhat disappointing, but hopefully Valve will fix this in future iterations of this technology.

Bethesda Continues to Struggle With Fallout 76, Refunds Now a Possibility

With the release of Fallout 76 a week ago, Bethesda continues the tradition of releasing buggy games that are full of glitches and issues. These problems are always expected to come from Bethesda; typically the game is still fun however unlike previous titles, Fallout 76 is has been universally panned by gamers and critics alike. At this point, some of the bugs, exploits, and problems are just hilariously bad. Tools such as Nukacrypt are already available online, using only a partial code it can decrypt the in-game nuclear launch codes drastically speeding up the overall process. Keeping with nuke theme, players working together were able to crash a Bethesda server by launching three nukes simultaneously. There are more glaring examples but when you add them to the laundry list of problems its begins to look pretty bad even for Bethesda.

Then there is Brogadyn on Reddit, who for a week now has been stuck in a semi-god mode. Usually that would be something to rejoice about but in this case, has caused many issues with the game's mechanics as the player is seen to have 0 HP. Worse yet, Bethesda has been dragging their feet when it comes to looking into the problem with Brogadyn speculating that they could reproduce the issue based on the circumstances in which the issue occurred. When you consider all this along with the general bugs, glitches, and problems that are typically a minor annoyance, you end up with a game that likely should have stayed in beta.

The 2018 Steam Autumn Sale Now Live, Let The Wallet Draining Begin

As Thanksgiving nears, Steam's Autumn Sale has officially started. Offering multiple deals to be thankful for, such as, Assassin's Creed Odyssey (33% off), NeiR: Automata (50% off), Monster Hunter World (34% off), Shadow of The Tomb Raider (50% off) and Civilization VI Gold Edition (69% off) just to name a few. Even virtual reality titles like Doom VFR, Skyrim VR, and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality are now on sale for (50% off). That said, PC gamers can breathe a sigh of relief as the latest Steam sale will run from November 21st until November 27th at 10:00 AM Pacific. Meaning you have plenty of time to spend all your hard earned money, so open up your wallets and let the shopping spree begin.

Valve Says Goodbye to Steam Link But Will Continue to Offer Support

Valve seemed to have the ambition to become a hardware company when he launched peripherals like his Steam Link and its Steam Controller. The scope of these products has been limited, and now the company reports that "the supply of physical Steam Link hardware devices is sold out in Europe and almost sold out in the US". Valve has discontinued the product, although the company will continue to offer support for the Steam Link.

The idea was (and still is) really nice: any decent PC or laptop can be converted into a video game and even video content server, allowing the user to enjoy those experiences on much less powerful devices through an Ethernet or a good wireless connection. They started supporting Linux and Windows desktop and laptops, but Steam Link made it possible to stream video games to Android devices (Apple rejected the application for iOS) and Samsung Smart TVs. The product, announced in 2015, therefore says goodbye, although surely those who already have it will be able to continue enjoying it for a long time.

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z 2.15.0, Features Hardware Giveaway in Partnership with PowerColor!

TechPowerUp today released the latest version, 2.15.0, of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility. This brings along with it support for AMD's Radeon RX 590 GPU, two reviews of which can be seen here and here for those interested. In addition, GPU-Z 2.15.0 adds support for Intel Whiskey Lake, UHD Graphics 617, and NVIDIA Tesla V100-SXM2-32GB along with minor bug fixes including detection of certain Quadro cards as fake, as well as an updated Vega 20 release date.

While this alone is plenty to merit an update, there is a special giveaway added to this version. Indeed, to the left of the "Close" button at the bottom is a temporary button that opens up a giveaway window listing a collaboration with PowerColor enabling users to potentially win the following (one per winner):
  • 2x PowerColor Radeon RX 590 Red Devil
  • 2x AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
  • 15x $30 Steam Wallet Coupon
The terms and conditions can be found in GPU-Z again, but know that the contest runs through Dec 6, 2018 and you will have to enter via the form in the utility itself. The full change log can be found in the download link seen below, and do let us know what you feel about integrating our giveaways with our utilities in the comments section below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.15.0

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Available For Free From Humble Bundle

Stardock's Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is currently available for free until November 18th from Humble Bundle. All you need to do is subscribe to the Humble Store Newsletter, at which point you can request a Steam key for what is considered one of the better space-based 4X grand strategy titles available. Although the title was originally released in 2012, Stardock has since further polished the game by optimizing the in-game graphics, removing the 2 GB RAM limit, adding larger worlds, better stability and improved mod support in an update back in April of 2017. All these changes made what I would consider a good game better, having played it quite a bit myself. That said if 4X strategy titles interest you give Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion a shot, after all, it is free so what do you have to lose?

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Falls Short of Initial Sales Expectations

The latest game set in the The Witcher universe has been met with slower initial sales than CD Projekt Red expected. According to the company's CEO Adam Kicinski, who spoke in the last earnings call, the slower uptake was the reason for the game's offering on Steam (it was initially launched as a GOG exclusive, but quickly made its way to the much more ubiquitous Steam store.)

As it is the latest game set in The Witcher universe, community interest and excitement surrounding the title increased the sales forecast, but perhaps the "slightly" different take on a Witcher game has turned some buyers' excitement to other pastures. Thronebreaker: the Witcher Tales is a single-player, story-driven adventure with card mechanics, a far cry from the third-person goodness of the now legendary The Witcher 3. Of course, the game now has a long time to rake in funds through continued sales, and it's unlikely the developer will leave The Witcher world behind even if it flops - which it definitely won't, at least not in the long run.

Bethesda Extends Fallout 76 Beta After "Spectacular" Bug Causes Download Deletes

Well, I suppose we were warned about bugs in the Fallout 76 Beta in advance but no one could have predicted it would be this.. freeing. So much so that a not insignificant fraction of participants in the Fallout 76 beta found their storage drives to be free of all 50 GB of downloaded files without notice. It got to a point where the Bethesda support account on Twitter put out a spectacular tweet saying "PC #Fallout76 B.E.T.A. players: We are aware of an issue with the client and are investigating. Do not click any buttons on the client for the time being." which has since been deleted. There were understandably upset people, including those on a metered or slow internet plan to whom downloading 50 GB again is a lot to ask for- even assuming they could do so and play again before the original beta period ended.

It must be noted that a beta test is for identifying issues such as this to begin with, and this is not the full game that one has paid for either. Although this bug not being caught until a public beta is still worrying, the public outcry to this bug has been a touch overblown and this is coming from the guy who gave Bethesda some unpleasant news and then some over their treatment of the latest addition to the Fallout game IP. To their credit, Bethesda have extended the beta session, as noted in the image below, to allow for a patch to the launcher client and that should hopefully fix this issue as well. Whether or not they did the right thing by not using Steam as a client is a matter for another discussion, relevant as it is now, and you are welcome to carry it out in the comments section.

Steam Halloween Sale 2018 is On, Up to 85% Off in Some Titles

Halloween is here, and gamers can enjoy these holidays with some new "terrifying" offers on Steam. The dirt-cheap prices affect some new and classic games for Windows, macOS and Linux, but there are also interesting discount on VR titles. The sale will run from October 29th until November 1st, and several games have big discounts of up to 85%. The available horror games include "Plague Inc Evolved" (60% off), "Metro Redux Bundle" (75% off) or "Limbo" (80% off), but there's a special section for top sellers including "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" (34% off), "Rocket League" (40% off) or "We Happy Few" (25% off). Have a great and horrific time with those, my dear readers.

Two Months After Proton Over 2,500 Windows Games Work On Linux Through Steam Play

Proton is a new tool released by Valve Software that has been integrated with Steam Play to make playing Windows games on Linux as simple as hitting the Play button within Steam. Underneath the hood, Proton comprises other popular tools like Wine and DXVK among others that a gamer would otherwise have to install and maintain themselves. This greatly eases the burden for users to switch to Linux without having to learn the underlying systems or losing access to a large part of their library of games. Proton is still in its infancy so support is inconsistent, but regularly improving and the list of supported Windows games is growing each day.

In fact, this project has announced that it has now over 2,500 Windows games (2,663 at the time of writing) that work on Linux with Proton and Steam Play. Beyond those supported "whitelisted" games, there are several others that although not-whitelisted are supported and "play just as well as on Windows". Some examples are "No Man's Sky", "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt", "Wolfenstein: The New Order" or "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim". Any user can contribute and report about the titles in his game library thanks to ProtonDB.

Valve Approves Team Fortress 2008 Mod, Reverses Decision, Angers Modding Community

Well this was a tale that took a roller-coaster ride, and then some. It started with a YouTube trailer for a mod that promised to take back Team Fortress to its 2008-era, which unsurprisingly got many fans of the game excited. The developer/modder who went by the handle XYK initiated a website (now inactive), along with other social media channels that included an active Discord server for the project. Timely updates followed, and good news came in the form of news from Valve that informed the modder of approval of a Steam release, as well as upcoming beta test keys as well. This was followed by Valve wanting some things to be changed, which were also done and things looked smooth at the time.

Then Valve decided they were not sure the mod was more than just a re-purposing of leaked game code, and decided to reverse their decision of approving a Steam release for the mod. This, as expected, did not go well with the vast majority of fans. The killing blow to the project came, however, not from Valve but from the modder himself who decided to go out with a negative bang of sorts instead of working with Valve. As it is, not only is the game community upset at both Valve and the modder but the u-turn taken by Valve has since been negatively criticized by other modders as well.

Nadella Announces Xbox Game Pass, 'Microsoft's Netflix of Video Games', Is Coming to PC

Microsoft launched Xbox Game Pass in June 2017. This video game subscription service allows users to install and play Xbox games (not just Xbox One ones, there are titles from the Xbox 360 and even the original Xbox) , with over 230 games currently available, a number that is constantly growing. Often called 'The Netflix of video games', the service has been improving its offering, but now the project will go beyond it's initial focus. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, announced during an investor meeting that Xbox Game Pass will come to PCs soon.

Nadella gave no further details, so we still don't know what games will be included on that service or the subscription price (currently $9.99/month), but the announcement is promising and another sign that the company is moving forward to expand their reach and, of course, their earnings. On the latest earnings release (FY19 Q1) Microsoft pointed out how gaming revenue "increased 44% with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36% mainly from third-party title strength". This move could make that growth go even higher, and it joins other recent announcements that could improve Microsoft's role in this market.

Motion Smoothing in SteamVR Will Make Low-End GPUs Ready to Support VR Games

Developers at SteamVR have announced a new feature called Motion Smoothing that will enable "more players on more PCs to play high-fidelity VR games and experiences". This technique works in a similar way to what it does on flat screen TVs. In this case, Motion Smoothing interpolates between two existing frames and creates a new in-between frame that smooths the experience and increases framerate. That adds latency, which is not a good idea in VR experiences, and that's precisely what's different at SteamVR implementation.

With that feature enable, SteamVR detects when an application is going to drop frames. If that happens, "it looks at the last two delivered frames, estimates motion and animation, and extrapolates a new frame. Synthesizing new frames keeps the current application at full framerate, advances motion forward, and avoids judder". This allows the user to enjoy full framerate while the performance requirements decrease. That way, even users with graphics card not specially powerful can still enjoy VR experiences without problems.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown System Requirements and Performance Revealed

In a continued effort to support the PC platform, BANDAI NAMCO previously announced they would be releasing Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown on PC. At the time, there was no mention of what the game's system requirements would be. However, thanks to an NVIDIA blog post, we now know not only the game's system requirements but an estimate on system performance as well- at least with their own graphics solutions.

Overall, the minimum and recommended requirements appear to be quite reasonable. BANDAI NAMCO even went so far as to make note that the recommended requirements are representative of what is needed to run the game at the 1920x1080 resolution with max settings. NVIDIA's own testing backs up those claims with the GeForce GTX 1060 offering a comfortable 100 FPS at 1920x1080, and 60 FPS at 2560x1440 resolutions. Meanwhile, those wanting to push the game at 4K will need a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or better which should offer a steady 60+ FPS.

Humble Bundle Offers Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

If you're looking for a new game to pave your way through some dead hours of your days, and like space marines, the Humble store has you covered. They're offering up copies of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine to anyone and everyone that goes into their store page, adds the game to their cart, and checks-out. You can redeem the offered code on your Steam account for a limited time - et voilá. Simple and easy. If you have the time, peruse their other options as well. Any piece of code you purchase from their store helps different charities, so if you can prioritize your purchases through them, there's always also that warm fuzzy feeling of maybe having done something right.

Valve Apparently Working on Compatibility Tools Allowing Windows Games to be Played on Linux

Keen-eyed Linux and Valve uses have noticed what could seemingly be a big reveal and shake-up to games' compatibility with the Linux platform. If you're a die-hard Linux fan, or even if you're just a curious dabbler in that operating system, you know that there aren't many concerted efforts of bringing game experiences to that operating system. A good port requires many more hours than game developers are willing to put into it - let alone compiling a native implementation of their game for that OS.

However, Valve, being the most important digital games distributor through their Steam platform, know there's an untapped source of income in that part of the market. And if developers won't do it themselves, then Valve seem to be willing to take the matter into their own hands. This speculation arises from Steam's GUI files, which when looked at with SteamDB's Steam Tracker, include a hidden section with unused text related to an (as of yet) unannounced Steam Play system, which "(...) will automatically install compatibility tools that allow you to play games from your library that were built for other operating systems."

Monster Hunter: World is This Year's Biggest Game Launch on Steam

Monster Hunter: World has cemented itself as this year's biggest Steam launch (at least hitherto). The popular game which has been one of the most popular console launches of this generation has again done it on the PC platform, where it achieved an astounding 239,779 concurrent players a few hours after launch, more than any Japanese game ever achieved - and this comes at a time that's after the Dark Souls phenomenon. This year's previous biggest launch was Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which pulled in nearly 96,000 players - a far cry from Monster Hunter: World's achievement.

Here's our performance analysis and port impressions article.

Discord Dips its Toes in Games Distribution

Discord is currently (maybe not so arguably as that) the most popular social gaming platform there is, and counts with millions upon millions of players (it counts some 150 million users) using its services daily. Of course, after a userbase has been defined and taken a hold of, new opportunities and ways of increasing the bottom line - while simultaneously, if possible, adding more value to that same userbase - becomes paramount to growth.

Discord thus has decided to dip its toes in the games delivery service. On the one hand, it's yet another platform for game splintering across multiple accounts and services, thus vying for app attention in our systems. On the other, it's another competitor to the juggernaut that is Steam, but comes loaded with already-implemented social features which the latter will take a long time - if at all - to correctly implement. Discord is choosing to take this time at first, with just 50,000 users enrolling in their store interface, and offering a drum-roll selection of games - which they aim to be more of a curated service than a "rolling snowstorm of titles" affair. Besides directly selling games, they'll be adding free games accessible to subscribers of Discord's Nitro service.

Bethesda Readies Appetites for Quakecon With a Catalog Sale on Steam, Bethesda.net

Bethesda has taken it to Steam's platform to throw around a sale party that looks to whet appetites for their legendary Quakecon. They're doing this sale on a platform which, by the way, won't be the home for Fallout 76 and possibly other, future titles from the company. But that is neither here nor there; this here is for users to be able to snag an awesome deal on what are definitely some of the better games in the industry.

The discounts range from 25% (for the recently released Prey Mooncrash DLC, for example) all the way to 75% (for games such as Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel and the original Fallout), but most games are seeing a 50% mark-down from their current pricing. If you have any extra money you weren't counting on and some Bethesda games on your wishlist, now might be the best time to get the ball rolling.

Bethesda Ditching Steam With Fallout 76 - Available Only via Bethesda.net

The ease of digital distribution means companies can always try to maximize their profits by cutting the man in the middle - saving in on any distribution fees that third party would demand for its services. Of course, this is easier said than done, and most small companies wouldn't be able to set up their own digital distribution service - Steam as a platform is a great alternative for these, since it couples simplicity with a grand user base, and Steam's own in-house publicity and user data allows these companies to achieve a much wider audience than they likely would should they try to use their own distribution platform.

Of course, Bethesda isn't a small company, to say the least; that's why it has the resources to pour into its own digital platform, and part of the reason why Fallout 76 won't make it to the PC's leading distribution platform, Steam. In the game F.A.Q., Bethesda has made it clear that Fallout 76 will only be available via Bethesda.net, meaning that users will be left in the cold with some of Steam's exclusive features. Of course, one might argue that those are all peanuts compared to the actual game.

Valve Reportedly Bringing Flash Sales Back from the Dead

It's been two years since Valve decided to take away the excitement of their flash sales out of the equation. The thought-process was that by having sales go uninterrupted from the beginning through to the end of each sale period would maximize chances of users being able to find it in their budgets - and in their time - more chances to purchase said games. However, one thing is for sure: that means that for users who see the sale in the first day, they've really seen it all.

Valve News Network's Tyler McVicker says the flash sales are returning in a different way now. This time, developers will be able to choose how long they want each game's flash sale to last: 6, 8, 10, or 12 hours, meaning Steam's front page will likely be updated every hour. This is both good and bad, as we've seen; however, it seems that Valve is erring towards the side of excitement and daily viewing of flash sales as being quantifiably better than the alternative. For one, I can see that users that see a flash sale are much more likely to do some impulse buys than if they know a sale will last for a long time. It's basic psychology here.

This Is the Police 2: Out Now on Early Parole

Publisher THQ has just announced that the sequel to the well-received This is the Police, This is the Police 2, has now been released - for early parole! The previous August 2nd release date has been superseded by a sudden influx of criminality in Sharpwood - and gamers will now have the privilege of partaking in the crime-fighting brigade and become the new Sheriff in town.

This is the Police 2 improves on its 2016 predecessor in every which way, and it seems it's off to a good start, as reviews have already come out praisingly. A mixture of adventure and management, This is the Police II puts you in the boots of a Sheriff in Sharpwood, and you'll have to manage your retinue of police enforcers, their personal needs, their weakneses and their strenghts... much like in the real world. This editor enjoyed the easy-going nature of the first game, but it hits a little too close to home. The revamped This is the Police 2 now is saddled with much better code, deeper mechanics, and difficult moral choices as in the first game, and is now available on Steam, with Autumn availability for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X. Head on after the break for the game trailer.

PUBG is Still a Juggernaut: Sells 4.7 Million Copies in June on Steam

PUBG is still a juggernaut of a game and Battle Royale experience, no matter how much Fortnite has been making increasingly larger waves on PUBG's pond of success. To prove that is the fact that released reports for PUBG sales during the month of June point towards a grand total of 4.7 million copies sold during that month alone. That's the second-highest amount of copies in a single month the game has ever sold - only surpassed by October 2017 - and brings the games' total sales up to some 53 million copies. The reduced, sale-level price point of $19.99 (down from the usual $29.99) helped drive sales maybe even more than the games' popularity.

Valve Disables CS:GO Lootboxes in Belgium & Netherlands

Following Valve's decision to disable trading in the Netherlands due to that country's legal statutes regarding gambling, the company is now taking other steps to comply with the country's Dutch Gaming Authority. Players in the Netherlands and Belgium "will be restricted from opening containers" following this week's patch, according to the patch notes. This will prevent players in those countries from even opening the lootboxes. As the "Miscellaneous" section of the patch notes reads:
  • Updated Steam and CS:GO account restrictions for users in Netherlands and Belgium:
  • Steam Trading and Steam Market features are now re-enabled for Steam accounts in Netherlands.
  • Customers in Netherlands and Belgium will be restricted from opening containers.
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