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Sony splurges, buys Insomniac Games for PlayStation Worldwide Studios

Insomniac Games joins the likes of Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch Productions and Guerrilla Games on the roster of first-party PlayStation studios.

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Insomniac Games PlayStation

Insomniac Games joins the likes of Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch Productions and Guerrilla Games on the roster of first-party PlayStation studios.

The narrative of the current console generation has been split. PlayStation has had the “better” exclusives, says the narrative, while Xbox has – after a stumbling start – the “better” services, like backwards compatibility and Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox One X is also the more powerful of the mid-generation console upgrades, but Xbox has still struggled for exclusives.

In order to redress this balance, Microsoft has been on a spending spree, adding studios to the Xbox Game Studios banner left, right and centre. Undead Labs. Playground Games. Ninja Theory. Compulsion Games. InXile. Obsidian. Double Fine.

Sony, meanwhile, has been quiet on the acquisition front. Well, until today, and this is a big one: Insomniac Games is joining PlayStation Worldwide Studios.

The announcement was made, live on stage, during the Gamescom Opening Night Live conference. Shortly after the announcement, Insomniac Games’ creative director, Bryan Intihar, tweeted about the acquisition:

He’s happy, then. But what does Sony’s acquisition of Insomniac Games mean for fans, in real terms?

For PlayStation fans, probably not a great deal. After the massive success of Insomniac’s Spider-Man, a sequel seemed inevitable. Now that Insomniac is a first-party PlayStation studio, it’s absolutely nailed on.

But outside of Spider-Man (and a few other titles, like Ratchet and Clank), Insomniac also develops VR games. Thus far, however, none of these VR games have actually been available for the PSVR on PS4. Instead, you’ll have found them on PC, Oculus, and even the Magic Leap. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on Insomniac’s VR ambitions, as the upcoming Stormland – developed by Insomniac but published by Oculus, as an Oculus exclusive – is looking impressive.

What you probably can be certain of, though, is that there won’t be a sequel to 2014’s Sunset Overdrive. That was published by Microsoft Studios, originally on Xbox One but later for Windows PC.

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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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How to get a refund for Rocket League on Mac and Linux

Rocket League developer Psyonix is ending support for the game on macOS and Linux. Here’s why, and how you can get a refund for the game on Steam.

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Rocket League - Mac and Linux
Psyonix / Thumbsticks

Rocket League developer Psyonix is ending support for the game on macOS and Linux. Here’s why, and how you can get a refund for the game on Steam.

Psyonix announced last week that support for the Mac and Linux versions of Rocket League will end in March 2020. A final update for the game will disable all online functionality, including in-game purchases, and online multiplayer modes.

Why is support ending for Rocket League on Mac and Linux?

In a post on the Rocket League sub-Reddit, Psyonix has provided detail on the decision to end Mac and Linux support. The studio’s Psyonix_Devin explains that the forthcoming update to DirectX 11 is the primary factor, saying:

“Unfortunately, our macOS and Linux native clients depend on our DX9 implementation for their OpenGL renderer to function. When we stop supporting DX9, those clients stop working. To keep these versions functional, we would need to invest significant additional time and resources in a replacement rendering pipeline such as Metal on macOS or Vulkan/OpenGL4 on Linux.”

Coupled with the fact that macOS and Linux users account for only 0.3% of the game’s active player based, it becomes a little easier to see why the decision was made, however infuriating it may be.

Psyonix has now opened a refund programme on Steam for anyone who purchased the game on Mac or Linux. Its launch was not without a few problems, but things now appear to be running smoothly.

How to get a Steam refund for Rocket League on Mac and Linux

To get a refund on the Mac or Linux version of Rocket League, follow the following instructions.

  • Visit to the Steam Support website
  • Select Purchases
  • Select Rocket League
  • If necessary select View complete purchasing history
  • Select I would like a refund
  • Select I’d like to request a refund
  • From the Reason drop-down menu, select My issue isn’t listed
  • In Notes, enter the following statement: “please refund my Mac/Linux version of Rocket League, Psyonix will be discontinuing support”
  • If you encounter any issues, you can also try raising a ticket via the Steam Support page

Good luck!


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Save up to 90% in three new Xbox One sales

Another glut of video games get big discounts in this week’s new Xbox One promotions.

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Batman - Xbox One sale
Rocksteady Games / Microsoft / Thumbsticks

This week’s new Xbox One sales include savings on another glut of video games, including games from the Batman and Darksiders franchises.

The THQ Nordic sale includes a smattering of overlooked gems and cult classic remasters. Our picks include inventive painting platformer De Blob, and sci-fi FPS Red Faction Guerrilla. All three mainline games in the Darksiders series are also on offer with big discounts.

This week’s Spotlight deals include generous price cuts for both Batman: Arkham Collection and Batman: Arkham Knight. Annual EA Sports blockbusters, FIFA 20 and Madden NFL 20, are also reduced by a whopping 50%.

This week’s Deals with Gold highlight is the Yooka-Laylee: Buddy Duo Bundle. The double-pack includes both games in Playtonic’s retro-inspired platforming series.

The discounts are valid through to February 3, 2020. Visit the Xbox One digital store or the Microsoft online store for more details. Here are some more of our favourite sale titles.

THQ Nordic Sale Highlights

  • Aces Of The Luftwaffe – Squadron – 50% off
  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar – 75% off
  • Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition – 80% off
  • Darksiders III – 67% off
  • Darksiders Warmastered Edition – 80% off
  • De Blob – 80% off
  • Elex – 60% off
  • Fade To Silence – 67% off
  • Lock’s Quest – 80% off
  • MX vs ATV All Out – 70% off
  • Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered – 75% off
  • Sine Mora EX – 80% off
  • This Is The Police 2 – 70% off
  • Titan Quest – 75% off
  • Wreckfest Deluxe – 20% off

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Agatha Knife – 40% off
  • Blood Bowl 2 – 75% off
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – 35% off
  • Lost Sea – 80% off
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter – 80% off
  • Songbringer Bundle – 70% off
  • V-Rally 4 – 65% off
  • Yooka-Laylee: Buddy Duo Bundle – 50% off

Spotlight Highlights

  • Batman: Arkham Collection – 67% off
  • Batman: Arkham Knight – 60% off
  • EA Sports FIFA 20 – 50% off
  • Injustice 2 – Legendary Edition – 50% off
  • Madden NFL 20 – 50% off
  • Mortal Kombat 11 – 60% off
  • Sublevel Zero Redux – 75% off
  • Tennis World Tour – 65% off
  • WRC 5 FIA World Rally Championship – 90% off
  • Zombieland: Double Tap- Road Trip – 40% off

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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Surprise! Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is out now on Switch

CD Projekt Red has released Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales for the Nintendo Switch.

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Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - Nintendo Switch
CD Project Red / Thumbsticks

CD Projekt Red has released Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales for the Nintendo Switch.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s surprisingly robust Nintendo Switch port of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, comes the surprise release of single-player RPG spin-off, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales.

Ported from the CD Projekt Red original by Crunching Koalas, the game is a narrative-driven RPG that tells the story of Meve, a war-veteran queen who must confront an imminent Nilfgaardian invasion. The game includes five new regions to explore, devilish puzzles, and turn-based battles that riff off the mechanics used in the franchise’s popular Gwent card game.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - Nintendo Switch

Each purchase comes with a set of digital bonuses, including the game’s soundtrack, a map, concept art, and a graphic novel from Dark Horse. The goodies can be redeemed via the game’s official website.

Take a look at the Nintendo Switch version of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales in this new trailer.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is available now on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via GOG.COM and Steam.


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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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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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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.


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