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Epic Games stealth-launches Epic Store, its own digital storefront

Stealth-launch? Soft-launch? Accidental early release? Who knows; but the Epic Store is now live on the new Epic Games launcher.

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Epic Store

Stealth-launch? Soft-launch? Accidental early release? Who knows; but the Epic Store is now live on the new Epic Games launcher.

Everyone was wondering exactly what had prompted Valve to reduce its revenue share on games earning over $10 million. Clearly, there is a desire to keep big games on the platform and avoid publishers spinning off their own storefronts, like Bethesda with Fallout 76.

But it felt like there had to be something that spooked Valve, who has to date never blinked over its 30% cut on Steam, into action.

Perhaps it was the knowledge that Epic Games was about to launch its own digital storefront, the Epic Store.

A fairly unassuming patch note on the Epic Games website tells us that a new-look Epic launcher is available to all players, as of December 2nd, 2018. And that’s it. There are no details of what changes are included in this update, other than the new launcher features “a sleeker look with new visuals and functionality”.

Upon firing up the Epic Launcher today – and thanks to Ryan Evans on Twitter for the tip – we now see that one of these pieces of “new functionality” is a tab labelled simply “Store”.

Currently, there are only three things in the Epic Store: Fortnite and Unreal Tournament, both of which are free, and Shadow Complex, which is priced at $17.99. There are also a bunch of free dev and modding tools for games like Ark, Conan Exiles, and Unreal Tournament.

Yes, the Epic Store is such an early release that it only has three games for “sale” and the one game that isn’t free? It hasn’t even converted into our local currency. It’s not an auspicious start. You might even wonder if it soft-launched in error, given the lack of fanfare and the fact there is so little to populate the store, it doesn’t even have any search or discovery tools baked in yet.

But it’s not just a new digital storefront. The Epic Store is a statement of intent from one of the biggest players in the industry, that they believe there’s room for other distribution platforms to exist in addition to Steam.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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New PlayStation 4 releases: January 27-31, 2020

Kentucky Route Zero and Journey to the Savage Planet headline this week’s lineup of new PlayStation releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Kentucky Route Zero, Journey to the Savage Planet, and the return of a PSP classic are the highlights of this week’s new PlayStation 4, PS VR and PS Vita releases.

Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is our PlayStation 4 pick of the week. The new edition encompasses all five acts – and the ‘interludes’ – of Cardboard Computer’s acclaimed adventure game. It’s an atmospheric subversion of a time-worn genre, and one to be savoured. Enjoy the journey.

Speaking of which, Typhoon Studio’s debut, Journey to the Savage Planet, is a promising science-fiction adventure with a comedic edge. If the likes of No Man’s Sky and The Outer Worlds are too daunting, this could be the perfect trip. And speaking of games by Obsidian, the studio’s 2018 RPG Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire makes its long-awaited PlayStation 4 bow.

PSP classic Patapon 2 also makes a welcome return, marching onto PS4 in a remaster that includes 4K support and a host of new minigames.

Other new releases include Coffee TalkIt Came From Space And Ate Our Brains and Code Shifter. An early 80s classic also gets an update in shape of Lode Runner Legacy.

Here’s the complete lineup of this week’s new PlayStation Store releases.

New PlayStation 4 releases – January 27-31, 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

  • Balthazar’s Dream
  • Coffee Talk
  • Journey to the Savage Planet
  • Kamiko
  • Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
  • Pro Deer Hunting
  • Shadow the Ronin
  • Vigilante Ranger
  • Viking Days

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

  • Lode Runner Legacy
  • Music Racer
  • Paraiso Island
  • Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire
  • Top Run

Thursday, January 30, 2020

  • Arc of Alchemist
  • Arcade Archives Tecmo Bowl
  • Autobahn Police Simulator 2
  • Bookbound Brigade
  • Code Shifter
  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III
  • It Came From Space And Ate Our Brains
  • Mad Age & This Guy
  • Milo’s Quest (+ PS Vita)
  • Patapon 2 Remastered
  • Throw Anything
  • Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times

Friday, January 31, 2020

  • The Inner Friend
  • Heroland
  • Kwaidan
  • oOo: Ascension
  • Reknum
  • Saboteur!
  • Willy Jetman: Astromonkey’s Revenge

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Visit our new releases page for updates on the latest PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for a daily news delivery.

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Atari is now opening hotels, for some reason

The first “video game-themed Atari hotel” is set to break ground in Phoenix, AZ later this year.

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Atari Hotel
Atari

The first “video game-themed Atari hotel” is set to break ground in Phoenix, AZ later this year.

There’s very little of the modern Atari brand that links it to the original Atari of 1970s and 80s. The Atari of Warren Robinett and John Salwitz is long gone. The company has folded, re-branded, and folded again several times over the years. We believe that’s called “phoenixing” in business terms.

The modern Atari’s biggest claim to fame – and also perhaps its biggest problem – is the Atari VCS. It’s a new Atari console that, having been crowdfunded, has struggled to get to market. It looks the part, with a classic wooden chassis, but with high-profile departures, configuration changes and delays, it’s potentially turning into a millstone.

So what would any sane company do in that scenario? Why, they would pivot to building and operating hotels, of course!

No, really. We’re not kidding. We’ve received a press release that actually says “video game-themed Atari hotels” will be springing up in the US over the coming years.

“We are thrilled to partner with GSD Group and True North Studio to build the first-ever Atari branded hotels across the United States. Together we’ll build a space that will be much more than just a place to stay. Atari is an iconic global brand that resonates with people of all ages, countries, cultures and ethnic backgrounds and we cannot wait for our fans and their families to enjoy this new hotel concept.” – Fred Chesnais, CEO, Atari

It’s… well, it’s something, isn’t it? You can’t fault them for trying to do something different, something bold to change the company’s fortunes.

Good luck to them, we guess, but it’s hardly going to be Disneyworld.


Keep up to date with the latest video games news by following Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle NewsTwitter, and Flipboard.

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Save up to 80% in the Humble Lunar New Year sale

Save on a decent selection of PC Games in the 2020 Humble Lunar New Year Sale.

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Humble Lunar New Year Sale
Humble

Save on a decent selection of PC Games in the 2020 Humble Lunar New Year Sale.

The latest Humble Store sale marks the Lunar New Year (somehow) with a selection of discounts on some top PC games.

The sale highlight is a 67% price cut for Capcom’s excellent and terrifying remake of Resident Evil 2. It’s well worth playing before the April release of follow-up Resident Evil 3.

Players who prefer to explore huge open worlds could do much worse than taking a trip to ancient Greece in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or the American frontier in Red Dead Redemption 2. Retro gaming enthusiasts can get their thrills with both volumes of the Mega Man X Legacy Collection and The Disney Afternoon Collection.

Team Thumbsticks sale favourites include the beautiful remaster of Clover Studio’s epic Okami, and Ubisoft’s content-packed snowsports extravaganza, Steep. Visit the Humble Store for the full lineup of Lunar New Year savings. The sale ends on Friday, January 31 2020.

Humble Store Lunar New Year Sale Highlights

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – 60% off
  • Borderlands 3 – 35% off
  • Dead Rising 4 – 50% off
  • Devil May Cry 5 – 60% off
  • The Disney Afternoon Collection – 50% off
  • Dungeons 3 – 80% off
  • For Honor – 50% off
  • Mega Man X Legacy Collection (1 & 2) – 50% off
  • Monster Hunter World – 20% off
  • Okami HD – 50% off
  • Onimusha Warlords – 40% off
  • The Outer Worlds – 25% off
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 – 20% off
  • Resident Evil 2 – 67% off
  • Steep – 75% off

Don’t forget that a percentage of every game purchase on the Humble Store goes to a range of worthwhile causes.

Visit our sales page for the latest Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offers. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Twitter, and Flipboard.


We may receive a small commission for purchases made from online stores.

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The Resident Evil 3 Collector’s Edition is available to pre-order

Capcom has unveiled the Resident Evil 3 remake Collector’s Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Resident Evil 3 remake
Capcom

Capcom has announced a Collector’s Edition for the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 3 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

You’ll never guess what’s included with the Resident Evil 3 Collector’s Edition. What’s that you say? An art book? A soundtrack? And a figurine? Well, you might be on to something.

Capcom has unveiled a physical version of the game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that includes all the goodies you’d expect in a limited edition release. The pack includes a copy of the game with exclusive lenticular cover art, a Jill Valentine figure, a printed art book, a Raccoon City map poster, and a copy of the soundtrack. The soundtrack is included digitally in the US and on two CDs in other regions.

Resident Evil 3 Collector’s Edition

Resident Evil 3 is a ground-up remake of the 1999 survival horror favourite, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The game serves as a prequel and follow up, of sorts, to Resident Evil 2, which was itself remade and released to universal acclaim last year.

The game is the latest to be developed in Capcom’s RE Engine, which has already been put to spectacular use with Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2, and Devil May Cry 5. The game also includes Resident Evil Resistance, an asymmetrical 4 vs 1 online multiplayer game.

Resident Evil 3 will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on April 3, 2020. Pre-orders of the Standard and Collector’s Edition include an exclusive costume pack that features the original design for Jill Valentine and hairstyle for Carlos Oliveira. The game is available from the usual retailers, including Amazon, GameBestBuy. and the Capcom Store.


Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for regular updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 games.

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The next Metro Exodus DLC arrives next month

4A Games have announced a release date for Sam’s Story, the second major content expansion for Metro Exodus.

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Metro Exodus - Sam’s Story DLC
4A Games

Deep Silver and 4A Games have announced a February release date for Sam’s Story, the second major content expansion for Metro Exodus.

Metro Exodus – a game that, for all its flaws, we rather enjoyed – is getting a second story expansion on February 11, 2020.

Titled Sam’s Story, the DLC follow the adventures of Spartan Ranger who, following the nuclear war, yearns to return home to the US and search for his father. Cue a perilous journey through crumbling ruins, a tsunami wrecked harbour, and rolling meadows full of beautiful daisies. Well, maybe not the last one.

The non-linear sandbox survival level also adds new characters, weapons, and mutant variants to enjoy.

Metro Exodus - Sam’s Story DLC

Sam’s Story is released on February 11, 2020, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia. It’s included as part of the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass along with The Two Colonels DLC that was released last summer.

For more on Metro Exodus, read our guides to pumping the Tikhar air rifle, charging the flashlight, and using the gas mask. And check out details of the franchise’s imminent arrival on Nintendo Switch.


Read about this week’s new PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch releases, and stay abreast with the latest video games news by following Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Support Thumbsticks

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you like what we do and want to support free, quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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