Digital Download Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Digital Download RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Twitch Selling Games Is the No-Brainer Idea No One Thought About Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Rob Kershaw

If you think about it, the recent announcement of Twitch selling games makes perfect sense. With over 1.5 million streamers being watched by hundreds of millions of viewers per month, there is an audience ripe for pitching games to -- and who better to advertise titles than other gamers?

The only real surprise is that this move took so long to happen.

Twitch viewers can now buy games from two different areas on the site -- the game's detail page and the channel page itself, with the purchase link tucked under the game being streamed. For partnered streamers, this offers another revenue stream -- 5% of all sales made via their channel will go into their pocket. Twitch will take a quarter of the proceeds and the rest will go to the game developer.

It's basically an all-round win for all concerned.

Gamers get paid to stream, and encouraged to improve their content in order to attract more visitors and potential buyers. Game creators get exposure of their game on Twitch as before, but now with the added benefit of an extra shop front tagged on -- and thus generating money. Viewers will have a quick link to purchase if they like what they see, and will be given a Twitch crate on top as a bonus. Finally, Twitch (and therefore their parent company Amazon) will obviously pull in 25% of everything sold.

It should also be noted that the games will be installed via accounts linked through Twitch, such as Uplay, rather than redeemed via separate keys. But like Steam, a separate launcher will keep buyers cocooned within the Twitchverse.

Why did it take so long for Amazon to implement this on Twitch?

There are a number of factors at play.

Firstly, this move puts them in direct competition with Steam, the behemoth of the PC digital download industry. This isn't something that Amazon were going to just roll out without thought or analysis. Furthermore, the service will be reliant on publishers signing up to allow this link between stream and shop, and since big names like EA have their own Origin service to sell titles, they are currently keeping away. Activision and Square Enix are also absent, though this may change in the future.

With Valve's absence, the likes of DOTA 2 and CS: Go will be off the table -- at least for now -- and League of Legends developer Riot Games has not signed up either, taking out three of the biggest streamed games on the platform. It will be interesting to see how Twitch addresses this.

Ethics may also be involved here. Amazon will have also considered how blurring the lines between game streaming and retail will actually affect Twitch. Now, the biggest streamers could potentially be incentivized to only play games from the publishers who are affiliated with Twitch, leading to a narrower breadth of game coverage -- remember Amazon Game Studios is around, and that Amazon does own Twitch. Publishers could try and influence streamers to play their games to the detriment of smaller titles, which in turn would be bad news for both smaller studios and viewers wanting to learn more about new, lesser known games. The move is yet another blow for physical retailers too, in a time where digital download sales now exceed boxed copies, and the number of game stores in towns and cities is dwindling.

Until we see exactly what is lined up in the coming weeks, it's impossible to say exactly what impact the changes will have on the way that both Twitch and its streamers operate. Whether Amazon will subsidize games sold through Twitch in order to compete with the frequency of Steam sales is another unknown, but gamers are savvy enough to shop around for the cheapest price and won't fork out fifty bucks on a game if they can get it for half the price outside of Twitch. However, it's a bold challenge to Valve's dominance of the marketplace, and one we'll be keeping a close eye on this spring.

Nintendo Discounts for 5th Anniversary of eShop Wed, 08 Jun 2016 05:45:15 -0400 John Robson

The Nintendo eShop is celebrating its 5th anniversary with a massive discount on some of the most popular eShop download-exclusive games for both the Wii U and 3DS. This sale will run from June 9th through June 23rd

Various extremely popular franchises are available for the Nintendo 3DS at a 50% discount, such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Pokemon fans are also covered with the same discount available for Pokédex 3D Pro and Virtual Console title Pokémon Trading Card Game. Furthermore, there will be indie titles available, such as Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig and Hörberg Productions’ Gunman Clive, again at 50% off.

For fans of classic Wii titles, Metroid Prime Trilogy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 are available for the Wii U at 50% off. Other titles include Shin’en Multimedia’s FAST Racing NEO and F-Zero, both with 25% and 50% off, respectively. There are further discounts available on NES Remix and NES Remix 2, both again at 50% off, along with SNES Classic EarthBound.

A full list of discounted titles is available on Nintendo's official website. Remember, the sale runs from June 9-23rd. 

EA to offer subscription-based all-access PC service Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:26:20 -0500 Rob ChYph3r

EA has an upcoming "all you can play" PC subscription service called Origin Access. (Sorry Mac and Linux users, it's not available for you at this time.) The service is set to start on February 4th, 2016, at a cost of $4.99 USD per month.

This subscription gives you access to a "Vault" containing some of EA's top titles, which will eventually include non-EA titles. The Vault is currently offering Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 4, FIFA 16, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and more. So as of today it has 15 games, but EA says that number is going to grow as time goes on.

Members will also will get the ability to play upcoming EA games before they are released and get an automatic 10% discount on Origin purchases, which includes pre-orders, full games, DLCs and FIFA points. The games in Access will vary by each country's local laws.

To order the service on Feb. 4th, you will need a credit card or a PayPal account. Anything you order via this service only applies to the digital downloads that are provided via Origin -- in other words, you don't get the discount at a retailer.

Do you think this new service will fly or die? Let us know down in the comments section.

Tips and Fixes to Common Bugs in Dying Light (Film Grain Mod, PS4 Download Error, Character Resets) Tue, 03 Feb 2015 13:07:58 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

Thanks to much misinformation over the recent launch of Dying Light, there have been many angry gamers regarding the recent patch Techland put out. This simple mod allowed PC players to remove the game’s film grain filter by altering a data file.

The updated data file was uploaded to Media Fire and two days later the mod was pulled. Media Fire’s operators received a takedown notice from the ESA. Later on patch 1.2.1 was released to discourage cheating during the "Be The Zombie" PvP mode. This resulted with an error not allowing modders to make such tweaks like the film grain filter.

Here's what Techland had to say on Steam to their players.

"With the recent patch (1.2.1) on Steam we blocked cheating to make sure the game’s PvP system (Be The Zombie) would not be abused. This, however, had the side-effect of hindering mod-makers from making changes to the game."

"Creating obstacles for modders has never been our intention. We are now working on a quick patch that will re-enable common tweaks while stopping cheating in the game’s multiplayer mode.

"At Techland, we have always supported the mod community, and loved seeing how our own game can be changed by the players. A big part of the original Dead Island’s success was the passion and creativity of mod-makers from our community. We want the same for Dying Light."

Common Bugs and Issues

  • Numerous performance optimizations, both general and configuration specific, that resolve many performance problems
  • Compatibility fixes: related to language and regional system settings
  • Fixes a number of crashes in various situations
  • Blocked cheating by changing game’s data files
  • New issue tracking mechanisms (safemode switch, additional logs, minidumps always, full dumps on request)
  • Numerous audio compatibility fixes

1.2.1 Patch Notes (Windows and Linux)

  • Numerous performance optimizations, both general and configuration specific, that resolve many performance problems
  • Compatibility fixes: related to language and regional system settings
  • Fixes a number of crashes in various situations
  • Blocked cheating by changing game’s data files
  • New issue tracking mechanisms (safemode switch, additional logs, minidumps always, full dumps on request)
  • Numerous audio compatibility fixes
Bugs Fixed
  • Resolved disappearing inventory in a save game in specific circumstances
  • Resolved blocked using of items after breaking reloading of shooting weapon
  • Removed weapon duplication glitch of throwable weapons
  • Limited camera field of view on cutscenes when in-game FOV set to other than default
  • Lowered frequency of docket availability information
Known Windows Issues To Be Fixed
  • Performance issues of systems based on the AMD processor
  • Freezes when using Nvidia DoF
  • Unsatisfactory performance on multi-GPU systems

1.2.1 Linux Specific Patch Notes

  • added keyboard support for unicode characters
  • fixed crashes (when unplugging game PAD controller, on landing movie)
  • fixed primary weapon HUD selection via mouse controller
  • fixed input system performance (along with mouse wheel)
  • fixed v-sync in windowed mode
  • fixed fullscreen support
  • fixed game process priority
  • fixed water reflection
  • fixed in-game menu map background
  • fixed characters faces morphing (chatters)
  • fixed missing (yellow) materials, i.e. sense mode, bushes, rocks
Known Linux Issues To Be Fixed
  • The game does not launch on some systems (Linux Mint)
  • The game does not work with Radeon cards
  • Some rendering/OpenGL performance issues
  • Too intense blur effect

PS4 Download Issues

Some PS4 users had issues with their pre-downloaded versions of the game not loading up. On Twitter there was a post with this link to the PlayStation EU forums that explains a simple fix.

  • Go to Settings
  • Select PSN
  • Select Restore Licenses
  • Hit ok (Restore Licenses)
  • Go to My Library on console
  • You are now provided with the download option (single or multi-player)
  • The download should then begin

If you receive an error code, simply delete the failed or partially failed downloads from your “Downloads” section of the PS4’s Notification area, and properly install the game.

Reset Issues

Players are reporting a serious problem with Dying Light that deletes acquired items, blueprints, money, and levels by resetting entire characters.

The exact cause of this specific bug is unknown. Rumor has it to be caused by quitting the game straight after sleeping, while others have reported it after playing in co-op mode. This is affecting both the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game.

As of yet, Techland doesn't appear to have acknowledged this particular problem. I have reached out to Techland's PR for comment and am awaiting word currently. As soon as I have an update, I will provide it here.

Metroid Prime Trilogy - Wii U eShop MASTERPIECE Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:44:43 -0500 Autumn Fish

The Metroid Prime Trilogy finally went live on the Wii U eShop yesterday after being announced during the latest Nintendo Direct. It will take up a solid 8GB of your precious Wii U's flash memory, but it's worth every Megabit, especially for the outrageously low price.

For those who are unaware, the Metroid Prime Trilogy released as a Limited Edition retail game on the Wii. After the game sold out, that was it, no more copies were ever going to be produced. This is a game that sold regularly on eBay for $300 sealed, and easily $100 or more for a used copy.

When Nintendo announced that they were releasing Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii U eShop as a downloadable Wii title, everyone went bonkers, it was by far the most exciting news out of their January Nintendo Direct. If you own a Wii U and are missing a copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy, then I'm baffled by the fact that you haven't started downloading it already.

Well, what is the Metroid Prime Trilogy anyway?

If you have trouble answering that question, then please feel free to read on!

Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime, the first game in the Trilogy, blew fans away when it came out originally for the Gamecube in 2002. This game took a unique spin on the Metroid series and brought it to the 3D world after skipping the N64 generation--and it looked great. Hell, it still looks fantastic, the style has definitely aged well.

Metroid Prime is, at the core, a first-person shooter--but don't write it off right away. You play as an intergalactic bounty hunter named Samus Aran--one of the most badass women to ever appear in gaming. The game plays in first-person, for the most part, and controls really well with the Wii controls adapted from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

This is like a Sci-Fi Zelda that just feels a lot more open--at least at first. Exploring and retrieving all of your missing abilities feels like such a huge accomplishment, and the combat is far from dull. Metroid Prime is so different from other first-person shooters (FPS) that it seems to create its own genre.

I downloaded it yesterday, as a first-time Metroid player, and playing through it today has just been one of the loveliest experiences I've had in a game in a long time. The world is so rich with lore and is extremely unique, I can't seem to get enough of it.

Other 2002 Games

It is absolutely astonishing how well Metroid Prime stands up to 13 years of age, when other games quite obviously didn't. Take The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, for example, another "masterpiece" that came out within the same year.

Morrowind is pretty dated. The graphics are okay but paired with the ugly body models, the game just looks plain bad without any sort of modification. Not to mention the hardcore combat algorithms that go into whether you even hit your target--you heard me right, it lacks real-time combat. That has turned me away from the game many times.

It's like tabletop Dungeons and Dragons vamped up to extreme levels with some mediocre graphics and clunky animations. Luckily, to those willing to put in the time of downloading 80+ mods--guess what I spent my day doing--you can come out the other side with an adventure more suited to your tastes that is full of fantastic depth and lore.

First Impressions

Metroid Prime Trilogy is an excellent Wii U eShop release and a Masterpiece in its own rite.

I've spent a good part of my day playing Metroid Prime Trilogy, and I have to say, having never played a Metroid game before, I am having a blast. After the opening sequence, the game leaves you to your own devices to explore and recover your lost abilities. The game world is immersive as well. You can scan a lot of things to read up on the lore behind it. I never thought reading up on sci-fi lore could be so interesting!

I'm so glad I got the chance add Metroid Prime Trilogy to my collection.

Kalimba Review: Press Play's Clever Game Can Be Frustrating Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:16:32 -0500 Venisia Gonzalez

From the creators of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Danish developer Press Play brings us Kalimba now available on Xbox One and later in January on PC.

It's a puzzle platformer where you control animated totems on a quest to overthrow an evil shaman and reclaim the island of Kalimba for the Kalimbi people. It has a pixel art style that uses geometric shapes as its main influence and includes puzzles, enemies, and totems, to offer both a single player and local co-op mode.

Perhaps it would be easier with the game's local co-op...I'm just being honest here.

First off, I will be honest and tell you upfront that I couldn't complete the game. I found myself throwing my controller in absolute frustration. I had to replace it twice.

The game was frustrating the hell out of me due to the weird mechanics that my eyes just couldn't comprehend. It's interesting and the narrator makes some humorous comments but I couldn't finish since it was causing me migraines out of frustration. You need to control 2 characters simultaneously and that's where it gets complicated... and not in the fun way like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is with dual controls.

Your characters are on different "floors" at times and you have to act fast, so you end up doing a lot of rapid screen scanning which strained my eyes causing my migraines to increase.

Perhaps it would be easier with the game's local co-op but no one wanted to play it--I even offered to pay. Now don't get me wrong, just because I had a hard time, doesn't mean you will. But there was something totally obtuse about the gameplay experience.

Kalimba has some innovative platforming.

It's cute with its pixel art, has really tense puzzles, yet I found the game physics a bit frustratingly odd to work with. The soundtrack, or lack there of, is enough to accompany you during your gameplay and that's about it. The narrative dialogue from Hoebear--yes you read that correctly, can be funny at times but is nothing memorable.

While guiding your totem pieces through the obstacle-course levels, if either piece touches a liquid that isn't their color or an enemy, both pieces die and are sent back to a checkpoint. Getting through some of these challenges requires stacking both pieces and switching places (quick button move), at other points you need to put space between your pieces; being carefully aware of their movement is a must!

You're either sliding on slick surfaces, jumping on trampolines, flying via cannons, or experimenting with elements that normally mess with parallel movement and make one of the characters larger or stationary. It can be frustrating but has its charm at the same time.

Did I mention frustrating?

I know I'm not alone when it comes to struggling on puzzles that relied heavily on gravity being reversed for one of the totem pieces. This mechanic causes the one on the top to walk on the ceiling and the way they bounce off each other--very delicate physics.

Getting through some of these requires stacking both pieces and switching being carefully aware of their movement is a must!

Finishing a level without dying and collecting all 70 items stashed within unlocks a fully decorated totem piece. If you die, the level deducts the number of times you died and leaves you with a totem reflecting your results. It's up to you if you want to replay the level, but some levels were so frustrating I didn't even bother.

The game also has portals that allow you to discover new areas in which you can collect items as well. Beware of enemies that will cause you to restart!

Creative Director Asger Strandby calls it (in regards to the local co-op mode), “kind of a friendship tester – if you can play the game and high five more than you slap each other, you’re probably ready to get married.”

Your best bet for enjoying this game will be in co-op mode from my personal experience. If you do suffer from migraines or headaches, you might find the bright colors and rapid movements to be a strain. 

Kalimba is rated E for everyone but I'm not too sure about how well a young child would handle this game. It may or may not be too challenging for them. If anything else, it'll introduce them to some physics concepts and boost up their problem solving skills.

You'll find Kalimba in the Xbox Store via digital download for $9.99.

Wilson Wants Origin to Be Your Host Mon, 01 Jul 2013 11:26:33 -0400 Wokendreamer

Origin has made an impact on gamers.  Unfortunately for EA, most of the impact it has made has been decidedly negative, with some embarrassing moments and ideas.  Between tacking on multiplayer onto previously single-player games (like Mass Effect 3) to give an excuse to install Origin with the game, deriding the idea of giving a discount in price for a digitally-downloaded game, and the debacle of the SimCity 'release', Origin has left a sour enough taste in many gamers' mouths for even EA to have noticed.

Andrew Wilson, head of EA Sports and newly in charge of Origin, has re-stated the original idea behind the service as his goal, wanting to "re-establish Origin as a service to gamers, not as a means to drive transactions."  This would mean, for many gamers, a complete re-branding of the service, a difficult prospect for the company recently voted the worst in the world for the second year in a row.

EA seems to be pushing the social aspect of a service like Origin in their stated direction, describing the goal as having the service as a gracious host for the player's games.  As a gamer who had to sign up for Origin without ever installing it onto a computer for the single-player experiences of Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3, EA has some work to do if they want me to consider them gracious.  I am probably not the only one who feels thus.