The Dream Of DRM-Free Steam PC Games Is Fading Away

Good Old Games, or GOG, the digital-rights-management-free PC gaming marketplace and platform from CD Projekt, has officially ended a service that already didn’t feel terribly long for this world. What once seemed like a promising way to slowly import portions of your Steam library to GOG, where they could exist in an infinitely archivable format, has now finally evaporated.

GOG launched in 2008 as an alternative to other digital gaming storefronts on PC, focusing on making older, hard-to-find games purchasable. The cherry on top? All of these games would be available without any digital rights management software to restrict what you do with your .exe copies. Unlike Steam, GOG games are much easier to back up and re-install on multiple computers, all without ever needing to get tangled up in any sort of online account authorization. In 2012, the service expanded from older PC-gaming gems to modern titles, keeping the DRM-free policy in place.

In 2016, GOG announced “Connect,” a service that let you connect your Steam library to redeem select titles you already owned as DRM-free copies on GOG, with said games only eligible for redemption in a limited window of time. Those who’ve checked GOG.com/Connect in recent years, however, have found nothing but digital tumbleweeds. And now, in January of 2023, said link and service now just directs to GOG’s homepage, officially signaling the end of this once very promising program.

GOG.com/Connect always had an air of “this is too good to be true.” A service that gives you an extra copy of a game you already own, with no restrictions as to how you can backup, install, re-install, sell, or share it? How even?

But while the service was active, it wasn’t just a great way to migrate to a new platform, but rather a handy way to archive your Steam library. Though Steam is a pretty accessible and reliable platform that often gives you access to games you’ve purchased but have since been pulled off the storefront (2007’s Prey is one such example), DRM is still widely used on the Valve storefront and trying to use the service without a reliable internet connection can easily render a game unplayable, as many a traveling Steam Deck user has discovered. GOG Connect was once a promising solution to this issue. But, the idea of being able to some day move a substantial amount of your library into something archivable, without spending a dime, was just too good to be true.

Like many, I used this service a fair bit when it launched. I’d keep the link bookmarked to visit once a week. But as available games began to dry up, it drifted from memory. I still play the game of “should I get this on Steam or GOG?” every time something I want comes up on both services. The promise of GOG Connect once made that question irrelevant.

Dead Google Stadia Game Lives On Through Sneaky Steam Update

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Image: Necrosoft

As Google prepares to kill off its Stadia streaming service for good, there have been a few parting gifts to emerge from its demise. Users got a final game, along with the ability to unlock the Bluetooth capabilities of their controllers (even if that was something they should have been able to do from day one), but one of the last surprises can be enjoyed by all of us. Especially those of us who never paid for Stadia in the first place.

Back in 2020 Necrosoft (finally) released Gunsport, a sci-fi take on 2D volleyball, as a Stadia exclusive. It was pretty cool! It was also, as a Stadia exclusive, a game that most of us never got to enjoy. In June 2022 it was followed by a sequel, Hyper Gunsport, which was much more widely available, since it came out on PC, Switch, Xbox and PlayStation.

Gunsport Stadia Teaser

While two completely separate games, they’ve now been brought a lot closer, with Necrosoft saying in a tweet earlier today “Since we care about game preservation we’ve made an offline version of Gunsport available in the Steam version of Hyper Gunsport, through the beta channel.”

You can see a video of this game-smuggling move (done by Necrosoft’s Lotte May) in action below:

If you’ve never had to use a Steam game’s beta channel system before, the video above will give you a quick rundown on how to activate the original game, then be able to easily switch between playing it and the sequel.

This is a very cool move! Not just because people are getting essentially a free video game, but because this is a super interesting way to implement a form of game preservation, one that thinks way outside the box but which, thanks to the way Steam is structured, also seems to work pretty damn well!

GTA Trilogy Arrives On Steam, Still Broken (But On Sale)

Today, after some leaks and rumors, Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition on Steam. The good news: It’s on sale, meaning you can grab all three classic games for cheap. The bad news: It’s the same infamously messy remaster that hasn’t received a substantial update since nearly a year ago. As you might expect, folks ain’t too happy about the situation.

Let’s rewind a bit to November 2021. A few months after we first reported that Rockstar was planning to remaster Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, the games launched across PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC via Rockstar’s own store. And while they could look nice—especially in some of the urban areas at night—they were bug-riddled disasters filled with all sorts of odd visual glitches and mistakes. The community tried to fix some of this, but many modders decided not to help after Rockstar spent the past few months before launch going after PC mods and fan ports of old GTA games.

Rockstar ultimately had to apologize to the community because the remasters were so awful. Eventually, Rockstar and Grove Street Games did fix some of the problems players had cataloged online. But the last major update for the game was in February 2022. Since then, the remastered trilogy has remained in a fairly rough state. So it doesn’t seem like the best time to release it on a new platform and yet, here we are.

Released earlier today, the remastered GTA Trilogy is now out on Steam. You might be thinking that, after such a long wait between the initial release on PC via the Rockstar Launcher and today’s Steam launch, Rockstar has put out a new, big patch to further improve the collection. But while that’s a sensible thought to have, that’s not actually the case. Instead, these are the same broken and buggy games that haven’t received any kind of update at all since the tiny performance update in October 2022 that didn’t fix anything.

To be fair, GTA: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition is currently on sale on Steam as part of a larger Rockstar Games deal, so you’re only paying $30 for three games. But it still seems pretty audacious to ask people to buy something that has been so consistently reported as broken, buggy, and bad for the last two years and not even offer any kind of small patch to improve things at all.

Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar about any future updates to the remastered GTA trilogy.

Naturally, players aren’t happy about this. On Twitter, in response to Rockstar’s tweet announcing the Steam ports, you can find a lot of angry and confused players, unsure why this took so long, why it is still broken, and why Rockstar thinks this is okay. There aren’t many reviews up for any of the classic GTA games in the collection, but early reviews are filled with people complaining about bugs or that the games don’t run well at all on the Steam Deck.

While some hold out hope that Rockstar will still swoop in, patch these games up and fix all the visual bugs and other problems, that seems more unlikely after today. Instead, it seems this is as good as things are going to get. Not to mention that Rockstar has plans to release these games on the Epic Store later this month, too. It does seem as if the time to fix GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas has run out and Rockstar is ready to move on. What a shame.

Popular Steam Game Raises Price After 7 Years Without A Sale

Critically-acclaimed base-building hit Factorio is an odd duck. Since its 2016 Steam release, the game has never gone on sale. And now, the developer behind Factorio is changing the price of its popular game, but it ain’t getting a discount. Instead, the price is jumping up $5 next week. The devs blamed inflation for the sudden price increase, and interestingly enough, the general reaction from the community has been mostly positive.

Since its release seven years ago on Steam, Factorio has been a popular game, even though it never, ever goes on sale. On the game’s Steam page, it straight up has a disclaimer letting folks know that its devs have no plans to “take part in a sale or to reduce the price for the foreseeable future.” That’ll still be the case after it goes from $30 to $35 on January 26.

“This is an adjustment to account for the level of inflation since the Steam release in 2016,” the official Factorio Twitter account tweeted. You might expect a flood of angry responses from players, but it appears that the devs have done a good job of being transparent with their community, for example by giving them plenty of heads up about the upcoming price change. Factorio has also avoided microtransactions and other exploitative or expensive DLC. The end result is that not only are people fine with this price increase, but many are suggesting the studio offer more ways for players to help financially support the game.

“Fine, but now give me an add-on to spend more money [on] this game!” tweeted one player. “Honestly, I would love to see other ways to support the game as I already own it,” tweeted another fan.

Wube Software

You might be wondering why a studio would never let its game be a part of any Steam sale for nearly a decade. According to the makers of Factorio in a 2016 forum post, it’s about respecting players who bought the game and not rewarding people who “hold off” on buying it at a lower price.

“If you think [Factorio is] priced too high, then it is your choice to not purchase, and we hope that with enough time, and extra development, we will be able to convince you of its value.

Factorio isn’t the only game on Steam making changes to make more money as the economy continues to spiral down the drain. Military shooter Squad is going back on a promise its devs made about never doing paid DLC or cosmetics. In an upcoming update, Squad will get its first paid DLC in the form of new in-game emotes.

Here’s what the team behind the online milsim shooter had to say on Steam about the new, upcoming paid cosmetics:

As we look into the future we see a long and healthy life for Squad. It has a large and dedicated playerbase. We have plans for more updates and to support the game beyond 2023. While many of these planned updates will be free, we also realize that we need a way to continue to fund the development of Squad. Paid content like emotes is one such way to help fund that development and continue our work on improving the game.

Compared to how people reacted to Factorio’s price increase, the response from Squad’s player community has been far less positive, with some feeling betrayed after being promised that this wouldn’t happen. However, some were more open to the new option, understanding that developing a game isn’t easy or free and that at some point, studios need a way to bring in more income to help keep the lights on. That’s especially true as inflation continues to be a problem around the globe.

$2,000 Steam Game Starts With 8-Minute-Long Men’s Rights Rant

Steam gets a bunch of new games all the time, but one has been making headlines this week for its absurdly exorbitant $2,000 price tag. That game, The Hidden and Unknown, isn’t exactly worth your time, though, especially considering that it has this extremely long opening text crawl all about men’s rights and “the human cycle” of reproduction. Ew.

Developed by ProX.team, The Hidden and Unknown is the latest indie Steam game to capture some of the internet’s attention for a handful of reasons. Yeah, it really is $2,000. Yeah, it really takes less than two hours to finish. And yeah, it really does have a Star Wars-like opening scroll that’s eight minutes long and completely unskippable. These facets alone make the game somewhat curious for gamers like myself, those interested in what’s happening on Valve’s PC distribution platform. However, it’s the thesis of the opening sequence that has me raising my eyebrows as it posits that “most western men today are feminine” and “incapable of taking the lead.” In other words, soy boys are a no-no.

A The Hidden and Unknown image of the game's opening eight-minute-long Star Wars-like text scroll.

Just a sampling of the opening text scroll.
Image: ProX.team

“There is an idea called The Human Cycle which cannot be stopped as long as humanity continues to exist,” begins The Hidden and Unknown’s opening text scroll. “This has been the case since the inception of civilization, however, with unprecedented advancements in science, things might not be the same as they used to be. Whereas previously only a small portion of people could afford being weak, the situation is different today. Most western men today are feminine, while most of the western women today are masculine. Men mistake being weak as being good so they do not offend females, while women take on the more masculine role as their men are pathetic, weak, and incapable of taking the lead.” This goes on and on for eight minutes straight, y’all.

But what is The Hidden and Unknown? Well, it’s a non-interactive visual novel about some kid named Brian, whom you never actually see. Brian is like most kids in that he plays soccer, goes to school, sleeps in his bedroom, hangs out with his friends (who you also don’t see), and plays browser-based video games. The only difference is that, after Brian grows disenfranchised from his friends because the (similarly unseen) girls are making fun of him, he somehow becomes connected to the Super Artificial Intelligence 2123, which is actually just Brian from the future trying to save this digital world from the brink of extinction due to a lack of baby making. You see, Brian, now disillusioned and detached from everyone and everything, isn’t interested in relationships or reproducing now that his boys have turned on him and the girls are mocking him. 2123, this AI that supposedly strikes a balance between masculine and feminine energies, wants to help Brian make friends again and, ultimately, find love to prevent “this extinction-level danger” that is non-population growth.

The First 30 Minutes Of A $2K Steam Game

The First 30 Minutes Of A $2K Steam Game

There is so much to unpack here, I don’t even know where to begin. However, if you’re familiar with men’s rights activism, a political movement centered around the notion of structural discrimination against men, then these talking points should come into focus. It’s dangerous rhetoric peddled by the likes of self-proclaimed misogynist Andrew Tate and propped up by streamers such as Adin Ross, all of which basically advocates for men’s position on top in a horribly patriarchal society that still exploits women.

In Discord DMs with Kotaku, a The Hidden and Unknown developer known only as ThePro said the game is “loosely following my own experiences,” though it’s not “an exact copy.” ThePro explained that, though the game calls “most western men” feminine and weak, they don’t necessarily believe that “men generally are weak.” However, “anyone who has had an easy life” will be weak, ThePro said, breaking down how the game has been received so far and what they’ve learned.

A The Hidden and Unknown image of some supposedly AI-generated art of a school classroom.

I’m also “visibly surprised” by this game.
Image: ProX.team

“I’ve heard the world has become much worse than it used to be, but I admit that I prefer doing my own research before jumping to conclusions and the reception definitely proved to me that people are too consumed by the wrong things,” ThePro said. “They make a big deal out of a price tag that doesn’t affect their life in any way, instead of focusing on improving not only themselves, but the lives of people around them.”

ThePro said they fear we might “[lose] the one thing that makes us all human,” but refused to expound any further on what this could mean. Instead, they simply explained that “both men and women have testosterone and estrogen” and that these energies should be balanced.

“I have been accused of being ‘transphobic’ and ‘misogynistic’ and more, however, I would like to let everyone know that I have no problem with men, women, trans people, or any other group, as long as they are able to respect me as well,” ThePro said. “People that have been accusing me showed me no respect and went straight to conclusions, which doesn’t make a good image for them. It’s sad to see we have to live in a world where everyone grows aggressive straight away, however, I would like to have a positive belief that if we start working together instead of against each other, we will find a way to escape the dangers of extinction which are very possible during the current climate.”

ThePro then went off on a long tangent about the “many possibilities” that could contribute to or cause human extinction: nuclear warfare, global economic woes, the overuse of lithium, estrogen in plastic products, etcetera. At the end of the day, it seems ThePro is using The Hidden and Unknown to propel some form of ideological rhetoric about the need for men to “take the lead” because, if not, we’re all doomed. What a revelation.

So, yeah, you don’t need to check out The Hidden and Unknown. If you had the money and beat it in less than two hours (which is totally doable), you could get a refund as per Steam’s refund policy. But why you would subject yourself to such a boring and, frankly, philosophically barren game is beyond me.

 

Hogwarts Legacy’s Steam Forums Are A Mess Right Now

While not every Harry Potter fan is a transphobe like J.K. Rowling, the new open-world RPG Hogwarts Legacy seems to bring out the most dedicated bigots out in full force. As of the pre-launch period, the game’s discussion forums on Steam, the leading PC platform, are filled with hateful, transphobic posts from people who clearly need to touch grass.

While Hogwarts Legacy was developed by Warner Bros., the game has drawn significant controversy because of its series creator. J.K. Rowling is known for posting transphobic views on Twitter, opposing legislation that would make it easier for trans people to stay alive, and spreading misinformation about trans healthcare. The foremost LGBTQ media organization even keeps an “accountability” page on Rowling’s damaging actions against trans and nonbinary people.

Rowling is not directly involved with the development of Hogwarts Legacy, but she will reportedly earn profits from the game’s use of the Harry Potter IP. Understandably, many people who are sympathetic to transgender rights are uncomfortable with spending money on the game, and many have called for a boycott. The surrounding controversy has colored Legacy’s launch. From a cursory glance of the Steam discussions, there was one transphobic or defensive comment every one or two pages. Perhaps this was unavoidable, as Valve only moderates Steam forums if users flag problematic content. Now that the game has launched, Steam users have been posting 2-3 pages of comments every minute or so.

Content warning: Transphobic language

A lot of the comments on Legacy’s Steam forums weren’t even about the game itself. Several posts thanked Rowling for upsetting the “woke” players and “preventing” queer people from playing the game. Another read: “Dear gays and transgenders in the discussions… If you cannot handle people being different [from] you, you won’t survive five minutes outside.” Bro, I’m not the sad one posting transphobic garbage on the Steam forums. Another proudly proclaimed that they didn’t like Harry Potter, but wanted to buy the game to support Rowling.

Legacy includes a character named Sirona Ryan, who is the franchise’s first trans woman. Whether or not she’s an example of good representation isn’t the main discussion topic on the Steam forums. Instead, most comments are mocking her gender and inclusion in Legacy (including one particularly disgusting post about her skirt, which I won’t link here). I don’t know if Ryan’s existence was meant to be a genuine olive branch towards the trans community, but transphobes have poisoned any possibility of good faith discussion about her on Steam.

“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings  When people are literally trying to prevent other people from playing a video game, just because it has a sliver of a link to someone who is against their political agenda......  These zealots are no different than these jihadists in the Middle East or the neo-nazis all over the Western world, who wants to superimpose their own twisted ideology on the Free World and enslave the people in their own, twisted vision.  You don't want censorship? Well it is here now, and under the guise of "equality" and "fairness", it will be like a dagger under a beautiful silk cloak - ready to stab at the heart of the Free World as we know it.

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

Of course, there’s also the regular variety of transphobia that trans people have grown so accustomed to seeing on the internet. One thread with over 100 comments equated being trans to having a mental illness. Others wanted all queer people to die mad. Another thread that indirectly compared trans people to animals was so foul that it was actually locked by a moderator. The vast majority of the Steam forums are still the wild west, and some players were sick of the two sides arguing in the comments. Kotaku reached out to Valve to ask whether or not it intends to moderate these transphobic comments, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Not everyone was a hateful turd. Some were appalled at the volume of transphobia on a gaming discussion forum. Others tried to take a stand against the transphobes. Unfortunately, there might be only one way to save these boards: Nuking them entirely.

Update: 2/13/2023 at 10:17 A.M. E.T.: It seems that the Steam discussion forums for Hogwarts Legacy are more heavily moderated now. Several hateful threads that were linked in the original article have now been deleted. Moderators have locked recent threads that seem politically charged, and the recent topics are mainly about gameplay.

Armored Core VI Devs Are Battling Fans Over Sexy Tags On Steam

Mechs stand ready to do battle over Steam tags.

Image: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon is about a distant planet ravaged by war as factions fight for control of a dangerous new energy source. Fans of the upcoming FromSoftware game are currently engaged in a war of their own on the mech fighter’s Steam page, trying to tag the game as sexy and cute. The developers aren’t having it.

Set to release sometime this year, FromSoftware has said Armored Core VI will remain faithful to the series’ level-based, customization-centric approach to robot combat. Boss battles will be one of the main attractions, but the developers have tried to discourage speculation that the studio’s recent success with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Elden Ring will lead to the Dark Souls-ification of the beloved mech formula. They’ve apparently also been trying to discourage fans from suggesting erroneous tags on Steam.

Elden Ring dataminer sekirodubi recently noticed that the change log for the Armored Core VI Steam page includes a ton of updates to the user-defined tags. Players suggest “dating sim” and “sexual content,” and then other players or someone at publisher Bandai Namco tries to push back with different tags.

Immediately after its December 9 reveal at the 2022 Game AwardsArmored Core VI’s Steam page filled up with predictable tags like “action,” “futuristic,” and “third-person.” But before long, players were throwing “dating sim” into the mix. It was quickly removed to make room for “souls-like.” On December 10 “sexual content” was added, only to disappear later that same day as “souls-like” and “dating sim” returned.

A screenshot shows changes to Armored Core VI's Steam page.

Screenshot: Steam DB / Kotaku

In the weeks that followed, the user tags kept getting updated with things like “cute” and “relaxing,” later replaced by tags like “dark,” “story rich,” and “vehicular combat.” Most of the changelog on the third-party Steam Database site simply describes tags as switching places, most likely with more popular ones edging the others off the main page into the “see more” section.

Armored Core VI isn’t the only game to get pranked this way—players have tried to tag Star Wars Jedi: Survivor as hentai in the past—but it appears somewhat unique in just how much of a continuous and concerted effort fans have made. They’ve been closely watching the official tags that get added, hoping for any additional hints about what might be in the game. Unfortunately, it sounds like Armored Core will not be getting the Fire Emblem: Three Houses treatment this time around. Players will have to look elsewhere for the perfect mech romance game.

 

‘All Your Base’ Game Missing Famous Meme On Steam

Toaplan’s Zero Wing is the game that spawned the classic (ancient, even) meme of “All your base are belong to us.” And it’s now out on Steam, easily accessible on modern hardware. As you might expect, the game’s store page references the beloved memes Zero Wing spawned decades ago. However, this release doesn’t contain those memes because it’s the wrong version of the game. Whoops!

Popping up on Steam yesterday, Toaplan’s original arcade version of Zero Wing from 1989 has been ported and re-released to modern PCs by Bitwave Games. And that’s very cool. It’s always nice to see old games get re-released, preserving our history while letting more people play it, too. But with Zero Wing—a fairly generic space-based shoot ‘em up for the time—the only real reason anybody remembers it was that the Mega Drive (Sega Genesis) port included some truly hilarious, poorly translated dialogue that ended up becoming popular memes online over 20 years ago. (Side note: Oh god memes are reaching drinking age.) Even the Steam page for Zero Wing directly references all this, twice even.

Toaplan / zuchini

Unfortunately, the Steam version of Zero Wing only includes the original arcade release and not the meme-filled Mega Drive port. Technically, this is the better-playing version of the game, and it’s nice to have, sure, but it seems odd to not include the version of Zero Wing that contains the very memes that allowed it to be so well remembered in 2023. Without the Mega Drive version’s legendary contributions, I highly doubt I’d be here right now writing up a story about Zero Wing in the year of our lord 2023.

I first became aware of this lack of memes via a tweet from Giant Bomb co-founder Jeff Gerstmann. A few others have noticed the discrepancy, too. One negative Steam review even points it out clearly, stating: “Doesn’t even have the intro cutscene that it mentions being remembered for in the store page.”

And that’s the real problem here. If someone wanted to go and re-release Zero Wing’s arcade version to Steam, I doubt many would care that much. But using the classic memes on the store page as a selling point for this port feels a little misleading.

Kotaku has contacted Bitwave Games seeking comment.

However, there might be hope yet for all you fans of “All your base is belong to us.” On Zero Wing’s community page on Steam, a developer responded to criticisms over the lack of the cutscene, suggesting that it might be incorporated in some way in the future.

Alongside Zero Wing yesterday, Bitwave also launched Steam versions of classic Toaplan arcade shmups Truxton, OutZone, and Twin Cobra. Great games all, but less powerful on the meme front.

Update, 2/16/2023 11:15 a.m. ET: Bitwave Games explained to Kotaku that the meme is missing due to a “reimagined” version of the original cutscene getting delayed during production. And the team apologized for forgetting to update the Steam page before Zero Wing was released. Bitwave also told Kotaku that the meme-filled intro will be added in a few weeks.

Here’s the company’s full statement:

“For the last couple of months, we’ve been working on a reimagined version of the classic Zero Wing intro, as it originally wasn’t part of the arcade release. However, production got delayed, and unfortunately, we forgot to remove it from the Steam page. Sorry about that, and thanks for pointing it out. We never intended to mislead anyone, and we posted a “teaser” on Twitter the other day:

The reimagined intro will come with new art and graphics, but with the “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” copy that we and the rest of the shmups community love. It’s all approved by Tatsujin, and we expect it to be added via a patch within the upcoming weeks.

City-Builder PC Game Taken Off Steam After Fan Goes Rogue

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic is a city-builder that has a particular focus on how urban planning worked alongside the communist economies of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. It’s not for everyone, then, but it certainly has its fans.

Sadly those fans are now the only ones able to play the game, because it is now unable to be purchased by anyone else after a DMCA takedown reportedly got the game removed from Steam’s marketplace.

In a post made by the game’s developers, Slovakian studio 3Division, it’s claimed that a player, “once a respected member of our community”, has gone rogue and begun attacking the game’s online presence, trying to get everything from trailers to the game’s website taken down.

Why Is Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic Off Of Steam?

It’s alleged that this player had written a guide on a way to play the game more realistically, and that while the developers had already been working on a game mode that did just that, they had agreed to add him to the game’s credits as a goodwill gesture given his prominence in the community.

3Division say this player then, having been told they wouldn’t added to the credits until after this new mode had been completed and released, “started to abuse the YouTube report system issuing copyright strikes to one of our most helpful influencers”, and that as a result of this behaviour they withdrew their offer to officially thank him.

In response to this, it’s claimed the player then reported the game’s website and had it taken down (the link now directs back to 3Division’s main company page), then began reporting other official YouTube videos from the studio as well. Matters have now escalated to the point where the game itself has been taken off Steam due to a DMCA request, and the player is “now claiming that they own the rights to the [realistic] game mode”. For what it’s worth, 3Division say they are “are working to resolve the issue”.

UPDATE 4:55am ET, February 17: 3Division’s Peter Adamcik says the fan in question is a lawyer, and tells Kotaku:

It is very disturbing. First, the individual with law knowledge think he can better secure his rights than some other players. Another aspect why we would afraid to put him into credits would be that other players would get angry about it because his ideas was definitively not new. It seems like he just abuse the fact he is attorney at law – he will definitively handle the suit cheaper than us, so he think he may get anything he wanted from us because we will not go for costly suit. But legally he not have any ground under his foot to stay on and we will probably fight to the end! According to our opinion he is at big risk also – reputation, financial damage, also what he is doing is not with ethic either) If the game stays banned this will result into a enormous financial damage (aside from suit cost) for us and also for Valve…

Another aspect what is very sad is that, DMCA mechanics just not works, seems like anybody can claim anything, the service provider is just forced to remove the content and in general not ask or nor the considering if the claims are real. Signed lawyer seems enough and everybody get fear from long and costly suits, content is then removed.

This is Sad!

Batman’s Birthday Sale On Steam Includes Game That Kills Him

A screenshot from Steam shows an ad for Bruce Wayne's birthday sale and Gotham Knights.

Screenshot: Kotaku / Steam / DC / WB Games

Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (don’t tell anybody that secret, okay), is a person just like the rest of us. This means, just like you, he has a birthday, and in honor of his upcoming b-day, WB Games is advertising a big sale on…Gotham Knights. You know, the game where Batman dies in the first 20 minutes and you don’t actually play as him at all. Huh.

If you are wondering: Batman/Bruce Wayne’s in-universe birthday is officially February 19. Or is it? If you do even a light amount of internet searching, you’ll quickly discover that there have been a few different dates given for the superhero’s b-day, including days in April, June, and October. However, in recent years, DC and Warner Bros seem to have settled on February 19 as the real and official birthday of Gotham’s caped crusader. Bats must be bummed that he’s down to one birthday again; he was probably drowning in parties and presents for a while there.

Anyway, with February 19 fast approaching, WB Games and DC are celebrating the Dark Knight’s birthday with a large sale on Steam. And to advertise this sale they’ve plastered the store with ads wishing Bruce a happy birthday while advertising a big discount on Gotham Knights aka the game that kills him right at the start.

WB Games / DC

To be fair to WB Games and DC, there are plenty of other Batman-related games and DLC on sale, too. So it’s not just Gotham Knights being awkwardly discounted on what should be the Bat’s celebratory weekend. Still, I wonder if anyone who isn’t familiar with Gotham Knights is going to end up buying it, thinking it’s a cool new Batman adventure, only to discover that it ain’t at all that.

Here are some of the other games on sale during this birthday blowout, along with their normal Steam prices.

  • Batman: Arkham Collection – $9 ($60)
  • Batman: Arkham Origins – $5 ($20)
  • Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edtion – $5 ($20)
  • Injustice 2 Legendary Edition – $9 ($60)
  • Lego Batman Trilogy Pack – $5 ($50)
  • Lego DC Super Villains – $6 ($40)
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure $5 ($20)

And hey, Batman, maybe the best gift of all was that you got to skip Gotham Knights?

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