Author - Jerry Paxton

Knott’s Announces Re-Opening for May 21st

It’s official: Knott’s Berry Farm is reopening its gates next month as the theme park safely resumes regular operations with limited capacity and new reservation requirements. The park will reopen to season passholders May 6, with plans for a grand reopening to the general public on May 21 for a summer-long, Knott’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. “The Knott’s Family Reunion” looks to reunite family and friends in a safe and fun environment after a year-long closure due to COVID-19.

New and unforgettable experiences await in honor of the park’s 100 years of history and family fun for all. During the 100th anniversary celebration, guests can experience the brand-new Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, a 4-D interactive dark ride that pays tribute to the classic attraction from 35 years ago. Guests also will have the opportunity to meet Knott’s all-new lovable costumed characters and enjoy special evening entertainment as Knott’s Summer Nights returns with live music, DJs and one-of-a-kind food and drink specialties. In addition, the theme park is planning a nightly ceremony featuring multiple attractions lighting up the evening and culminating in a special moment with the redesigned illuminated K-tower. Guests also will find festive new park décor, including special photo settings that pay homage to favorite attractions from the past and commemorative merchandise celebrating the park’s vast history. These are just a few of the many special surprises that can only come from your friends at Knott’s.

The anniversary celebration runs through September 6, 2021. In accordance with current state guidelines, capacity will be limited and available to California residents only with reservations required for both single-day visits and Season Passholders. Ticket sales and reservations will be available starting April 26.

All 2020 and 2021 season passes purchased through May 5, 2021, will be valid through May 5, 2022. Knott’s Season Passes are now available starting at $101 or six easy payments of $13.50 after an initial payment. Gold Passes are $135 or six easy payments of just $17.00 after an initial payment. Information regarding Soak City Waterpark will be coming soon. These offers end on June 20, 2021. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.

The safety and health of our guests remain our top priority. Knott’s Berry Farm continues to follow state, county and local health guidelines. There are several continued safety measures and operational changes established to ensure guests’ safety. Our current approach is listed on our park website. For more information on the park’s latest updates, please visit knotts.com.

For more information about this year’s milestone celebration, reopening, “Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair,” and Knott’s Season Passes, please visit knotts.com. Join the conversation at Knott’s this year using #Knotts100 #KnottsGrandReopening or #KnottsFamilyReunion.

More Details on Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Ever since we announced Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition on N7 Day and revealed a first look at it earlier this year, your passion and excitement have blown us away. Today, we’d like to give you more details on what you can expect to see in this remaster. You’ll find the latest information on the Legendary Edition, from gameplay tuning to rebalancing and more. Next week, we’ll provide an additional look at the remastering process with a strong focus on the visual changes across the trilogy.

Let’s get into it. Here’s what this post contains, in order:

  •  Combat Tuning (Mass Effect)
  •  Additional Gameplay Improvements (All)
  •  The Mako (Mass Effect)
  •  Unifying & Modernizing the Trilogy (All)
  •  Galaxy at War Rebalancing (Mass Effect 3)

“I don’t need luck—I have ammo.”

Combat Tuning

Combat in the Mass Effect trilogy has evolved across the series, with each game’s experience being different. We wanted to make the experience better across the board, but we didn’t want to unnecessarily change what our fans have come to love about each game. That proved a unique challenge, as the first game is quite different from the second and third in terms of gameplay and combat. Mass Effect was heavily influenced by traditional RPG mechanics, like the randomness of a dice roll and pen-and-paper stat building. As a result, weapons in Mass Effect often felt less accurate and reliable than the gunplay in Mass Effect 2 and 3.

We heard the consistent feedback that it was pretty frustrating to take a few shots with an assault rifle and suddenly have the reticle enlarge to span a large portion of the screen, so we looked at tuning the mechanics to provide better handling without outright scrapping the spirit of the original games.

In the first Mass Effect, accuracy (including reticle bloom and weapon sway) has been tuned across all weapons to allow players to maintain more consistent firepower while still managing their shots/overheat meter. We’ve also improved the aiming down sights (ADS) camera view to be tighter on combat so that ADS is more accurate (like the second and third games), and we’ve improved the aim assist to provide better precision. These small behind-the-scenes changes collectively make combat much “snappier,” putting more control into the player’s hands.

Abilities have also been rebalanced in the first game. For example, the “Immunity” ability now grants a powerful defensive buff that lasts a brief period of time instead of being a small buff that lasts indefinitely.

The following overview lists gameplay changes we made specifically to the first Mass Effect, with the goal of bringing it a bit more in line with the rest of the trilogy:

  •  Shepard can now sprint out of combat
  •  Melee attacks are now mapped to a button press rather than automatically occurring based on proximity to an enemy
  •  Weapon accuracy and handling has been significantly improved
    •  Reticle bloom is more controlled
    •  Weapon sway removed from sniper rifles
    •  Aiming down sights/”tight aim” camera view has been improved
    •  Improved aim assist for target acquisition
  •  All relevant enemies now take headshot damage in the first game
    •  Previously some did not, including humanoid enemies
  •  Ammo mods (Anti-Organic, Anti-Synthetic, etc.) can now drop throughout the whole game
    •  Previously, these stopped dropping at higher player levels
    •  They are now also available to purchase from merchants
  •  All weapons can be used by any class without penalty
    •  Specializations (the ability to train/upgrade certain weapons) are still class-specific
  •  Weapons cool down much faster
  •  Medi-gel usage has been improved
    •  Base cooldown reduced
    •  Levelling benefits increased
    •  Increased Liara’s bonus to cooldowns
  •  Inventory management improvements
    •  Items can now be flagged as “Junk”
    •  All Junk items can be converted into Omni-gel or sold to merchants at once
    •  Inventory and stores now have sorting functionality
  •  Some abilities have been rebalanced
  •  Weapon powers (i.e., those that are unlocked on each weapon type’s skill tree) have been improved:
    •  Effectiveness/strength is increased (duration reduced in some cases)
    •  Heat now resets on power activation

“If this is a war, I’ll need an army…or a really good team.”

Additional Gameplay Improvements

Beyond general gunplay changes, we’ve made some specific changes to encounters, enemies, and how you engage in combat. We found a few opportunities to bring the first game in line with the second and third games, and we also found some systems across the whole trilogy that needed a tune up.

Without spoiling too much for new players, one example is the boss encounter on Noveria. The boss room has been slightly reworked, keeping it very familiar but making it less cramped. You’ll also be much less prone to being thrown around by biotic abilities.

Other targeted combat updates we’ve made include:

  •  Squadmates can now be commanded independently of each other in the first Mass Effect, the same way you can command them individually in Mass Effect 2 and 3
  •  Some boss fights and enemies in the first game have been tweaked to be fairer for players but still challenging
  •  Cover has been improved across the trilogy
    •  Additional cover added to some encounters
    •  Entering and exiting cover is now more reliable
  •  XP has been rebalanced in the first game (details below)
  •  Ammo drops have been rebalanced in Mass Effect 2 (details below)

With combat comes XP. XP gained during the first game has been rebalanced for better consistency, especially towards the game’s end. Players who complete most aspects of the game should be able to more reliably get to higher levels on a single playthrough rather than needing to play through a second time to do so. Additionally, there is no longer a level cap on a first playthrough.

As a final gunplay change, we also tweaked ammunition in Mass Effect 2. We found that ammo was spawning too scarcely in the original game, so we’ve increased the drop rate for ammo in ME2, particularly when using a sniper rifle since that had a reduced ammo drop rate in the original release.

“It’s got heart, you know?”

The Mako

But of course, we’ve got to talk about the (in)famous M-35 Mako. This legendary vehicle from the first Mass Effect has been “calibrated” to perform better than ever. In the original game, the physics tuning for the Mako made it feel too light and bouncy, even at times becoming uncontrollable, but it’s now a much smoother ride while still being “loveable” like before. (Yes, you can still drive off cliffs to your heart’s content).

Its functionally has also been improved with faster shield recharging and new thrusters added to the rear, allowing for a speed boost when you’re inevitably trying to scale up the side of a near-vertical cliff. (We all do it.) This boost’s recharge is independent from the jump jets on the vehicle’s underside, so you can use both at once or separately.

These are the calibrations you can expect to experience when driving the Mako:

  •  Improved handling
    •  Physics tuning improved to feel “weightier” and slide around less
  •  Improved camera controls
    •  Resolved issues preventing the Mako from accurately aiming at lower angles
  •  Shields recharge faster
  •  New thrusters added for a speed boost
    •  Its cooldown is separate from the jump jets’
  •  The XP penalty while in the Mako has been removed
  •  Touching lava no longer results in an instant Mission Failure and instead deals damage over time

“Well, what about Shepard?”

Unifying & Modernizing the Trilogy

For the Legendary Edition, our goal was to tune up the trilogy and make it more consistent from game to game while honoring the things that made each unique.

For example, we’ve unified Shepard’s customization options in the character creator and even added some new options, like additional skin tones and hairstyles. You can use the same character creator code (seen bottom-left in the image below) across all three games, meaning your Shepard can now have a consistent appearance across the trilogy, or you can choose to change their appearance at the start of each title. Customization options and character appearances have also been improved with updated textures and hair models.

We’ve also added the Mass Effect: Genesis comics by Dark Horse into the base experience before Mass Effect 2 and 3 as an optional experience so players can make choices from previous games no matter where they choose to start.

Of course, the Legendary Edition includes a variety of additional enhancements. Here are some of the things you can look forward to:

  •  New unified launcher for all three games
    •  Includes trilogy-wide settings for subtitles and languages
    •  Saves are still unique to each game and can be managed independently of each other
  •  Updated character creator options, as mentioned above
    •  FemShep from Mass Effect 3 is the new default female option in all three games (the original FemShep design is still available as a preset option)
  •  Achievements across the trilogy have been updated
    •  New achievements have been added to the trilogy
    •  Progress for some achievements now carries over across all three games (e.g. Kill 250 enemies across all games)
  •  Achievements that were streamlined into one and made redundant were removed
    •  A number of achievements have had their objectives/descriptions and/or names updated
  •  Integrated weapons and armor DLC packs
    •  Weapons and armor DLC packs are now integrated naturally into the game; they’re obtainable via research or by purchasing them from merchants as you progress through the game, rather than being immediately unlocked from the start. This ensures overall balance and progression across ME2 and ME3
    •  Recon Hood (ME2) and Cerberus Ajax Armor (ME3) are available at the start of each game
  •  Additional gameplay & Quality of life improvements
    •  Audio is remixed and enhanced across all games
    •  Hundreds of legacy bugs from the original releases are fixed
    •  Native controller and 21:9 display support on PC, with DirectX 11 compatibility

“Consider yourself reinstated, Commander.”

Galaxy at War Rebalancing

As Commander Shepard, you’re tasked with the hardest mission of all: defeating the Reapers and saving the galaxy from annihilation. This comes to a head in Mass Effect 3 when the galaxy unites, but your choices from across the trilogy lead you there and determine who fights at your side. The Galaxy at War feature puts you in the heart of the Reaper War from the Normandy’s Combat Information Center, which has been rebalanced in the Legendary Edition. For example, Galactic Readiness is no longer impacted by external factors that aren’t part of the collection, like multiplayer or the old companion app for ME3. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean defeating the Reapers will be easy.

The more content you complete across the entire trilogy, the more likely you’ll be prepared for the final fights in its conclusion. If you only play Mass Effect 3, you’ll have to do just about every option available in the game to be eligible for an ending that doesn’t result in massive galactic losses. Playing the first two games and carrying over your progress is the most reliable way to get good results in the final hours of the Reaper War. For comparison, if you previously played ME3 with the Extended Cut (which included Galactic Readiness rebalancing), fully preparing for the final fight will be more difficult to achieve in the Legendary Edition. And on that note: the Extended Cut ending is now the game’s default finale.

However, readying your intergalactic armies will be made a bit easier by a number of critical bug fixes and backend improvements made to the Paragon-Renegade system in ME2; we resolved some legacy issues that inhibited accurate reputation stats from being displayed and outright prevented certain dialogue options from being selectable when they should have been. Because of this, key moments that have been notoriously difficult to achieve in ME2 (and impacted ME3) can now be completed more reliably, leading to better results in the story’s final act.

“You know, for old time’s sake.”

Getting to go back to the roots of the Mass Effect franchise—our roots, as a team now celebrating our 25th anniversary—has been an incredibly nostalgic and emotional experience for us, and we’re sure a lot of you will feel similarly when you get to play Legendary Edition! We’ve heard from so many of you that you want a way to play the original trilogy today, either for the first time or the…well, let’s just say “again.” We don’t need to keep count.

Returning to where it all began, as members of our team revisited the work they did over a decade ago, has been a bit surreal, but it felt like the right thing to do; a passion project from us to thank you for the many years of incredible support. (And maybe to help tide you over until the next game, too!) There’s more to come, including a deeper dive into the visual changes we’ve made, so stay tuned for that! Also, thanks for requesting this so much that you practically willed it into existence! It’s meant a lot.

From all of us on the Mass Effect team,

Good luck, Commander.

Corsair Launches New Champion Series Peripherals

CORSAIR®, a world leader in high-performance gear for gamers and content creators, today announced the launch of three new products in its CHAMPION SERIES range of competition-grade peripherals, built for and tested by top esports professionals. Headlining the new launches is the streamlined K70 RGB TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, with 8,000Hz hyper-polling driven by CORSAIR AXON hyper-processing technology in a compact, tenkeyless design, enabling you to take pro performance to your next event.

Two new CORSAIR gaming mice also enter the CHAMPION SERIES lineup: the SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO. The first CORSAIR mice to also utilize AXON hyper-processing technology and 8,000Hz polling, the SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO deliver lightning-fast inputs, along with a comfortable ergonomic shape and ultra-light weight for superior agility and control. Together, these CHAMPION SERIES gaming peripherals give you the tools you need to cut through the competition.

The K70 RGB TKL is built from the ground up for competitive players, powered by CORSAIR AXON hyper-processing technology to enable an incredible 8,000Hz hyper-polling, so that your keystrokes are delivered to the PC up to 8x faster than standard gaming keyboards. Whether you’re honing your skills in practice or playing for the championship, AXON ensures that all your inputs are transmitted as fast as possible.

CORSAIR iCUE software enables full customization of your keyboard, from per-key RGB backlighting to flaunt your team’s colors, to powerful custom macros, key remaps, and more. When taken to tournaments that often carry strict guidelines, the K70 RGB TKL’s one-of-a-kind tournament switch locks the backlighting to a static color and disables macros for instant guaranteed tournament compliance.

Every facet of the K70 RGB TKL is crafted to help players perform their best. Available with a selection of 100% CHERRY MX Red, Silent Red, or SPEED Silver mechanical keyswitches*, each key is topped with durable, wear-resistant PBT double-shot keycaps. Full N-key rollover with 100% anti-ghosting ensures every keypress registers exactly as intended, and a dedicated Windows Key Lock mode guarantees you’ll never interrupt your game.

With a portable tenkeyless design, iconic and durable aluminum frame, and detachable USB Type-C cable, the K70 RGB TKL is easy to take on-the-go and connect to any system. Dedicated media keys and the signature CORSAIR aluminum volume roller easily control media playback and volume to keep you focused on the game, while 8MB of onboard storage allow you to save up to 50 profiles to the keyboard for use anywhere.

Designed with the feedback of leading esports pros from teams such as Team Secret, Vitality, and Envy, the new CORSAIR SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO strip the gaming mouse back to its purest form, and then add the latest in cutting-edge high-frequency performance to ensure every click counts. Weighing just 74g and 69g respectively, the SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO have been optimized for lightweight performance, with a flexible paracord cable and an ergonomic shape that’s ideal for both claw and palm grips.

The first CORSAIR mice to feature CORSAIR AXON hyper-processing, SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO transmit your clicks and movements up to 8x faster with 8,000Hz hyper-polling, so every action is delivered as fast as possible when the game is on the line. CORSAIR QUICKSTRIKE buttons – pre-tensioned for zero gap between the primary mouse buttons and their durable OMRON switches – ensure every left and right-click registers with crisp instant clicks and a difference your fingers will immediately feel.

The SABRE RGB PRO is lit by two-zone dynamic RGB backlighting customizable in iCUE, while the SABRE PRO sheds 5g for an even lighter weight without the RGB LEDs. A native 18,000 DPI optical sensor ensures high-accuracy tracking, using a dedicated DPI button to cycle through five onboard DPI presets that can also be adjusted on-the-fly independent of software.

With specially designed form and function required by top esports professionals to perform at their best, every new addition to the CORSAIR CHAMPION SERIES is an indispensable companion on your journey to the top.

*Keyswitch availability limited by region. Please visit corsair.com to view the keyswitches available in your region.

Availability, Warranty, and Pricing

The CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL CHAMPION SERIES Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, CORSAIR SABRE RGB PRO CHAMPION SERIES Gaming Mouse, and CORSAIR SABRE PRO CHAMPION SERIES Gaming Mouse are available immediately from the CORSAIR webstore and the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors.

The CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL, CORSAIR SABRE RGB PRO, and CORSAIR SABRE PRO are backed by a two-year warranty, alongside the CORSAIR worldwide customer service and technical support network.

For up-to-date pricing of the CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL, CORSAIR SABRE RGB PRO, and CORSAIR SABRE PRO, please refer to the CORSAIR website or contact your local CORSAIR sales or PR representative.

Web Pages

To learn more about the CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL, please visit:

http://corsair.com/k70-rgb-tkl

To learn more about the CORSAIR SABRE RGB PRO, please visit:

http://corsair.com/sabre-rgb-pro

To learn more about the CORSAIR SABRE PRO, please visit:

http://corsair.com/sabre-pro

For a complete list of all CORSAIR keyboards, please visit:

http://corsair.com/gaming-keyboards

For a complete list of all CORSAIR gaming mice, please visit:

http://corsair.com/gaming-mice

Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game Out Now

Iron Tower Studio announces the Early Access release of Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game launches today on Windows PC via Steam and GOG for $24.99.

Colony Ship is a turn-based, party-based RPG set aboard a generation ship launched to Proxima Centauri. The game features a detailed skill-based character system, multiple ways to handle quests, choices & consequences, and branching dialogue trees.

It is the Year of Our Lord 2754…

You will never feel the sun’s warmth under a blue sky, never hear the wind in the branches of a tree, and never swim in the ocean, all because you had the misfortune to be born on the Ship, chained to a fate you didn’t choose. You have never seen Earth and you’ll never see Proxima Centauri either. You’re doomed to live and die on the Ship in the name of the Mission, like your father before you, like his father before him.

The Ship is old. She had already been twenty years in service when she was rechristened Starfarer – a pretty name for a retrofitted interplanetary freighter. No one is certain the Ship will actually reach its destination, and nobody much cares, since no one alive now will live to see it. Might as well get on with your life and try to make the best of it.

Colony Ship is an isometric RPG inspired by Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky. Your character’s world is a “generation ship,” a massive spacecraft on a centuries long voyage to colonize a distant planet. The Ship’s original government has been disbanded following a violent mutiny and you must negotiate a treacherous path among your fellow passengers and the contentious factions striving to dominate the Ship. Your choices alone will determine who your friends and enemies are.

Features
Skill-based character system, with feats and implants.
Tactical turn-based combat, featuring standard, aimed, and weapon-specific attacks.
Multiple quest solutions, mutually exclusive questlines, and a branching main storyline.
10 recruitable party members with different personalities, agendas, and beliefs (only 3 available in the first chapter).
3 main factions and a score of lesser factions and groups
A large arsenal including melee weapons, firearms, energy pistols, grenades, and futuristic gadgets like the Energy Shield, Reality Distortion Generator, and Cloaking Field.
Different environments to explore, from the Engine Room and Hydroponics to the dystopian cities of the Habitat and the Mission Control ruins (only the Pit, Armory, and Hydroponics are available in the first chapter)
Colony Ship 1.0 is currently scheduled to launch in 2022 for $39.99.

To learn more, visit: http://irontowerstudio.com/colony-ship-news
Twitter: @IronTowerStudio

Curse of the Dead Gods x Dead Cells Crossover Event Announced

Focus Home Interactive and Passtech Games have partnered with Motion Twin and Evil Empire for “Curse of the Dead Cells,” a new crossover event featuring the smash-hit indie roguelikes Curse of the Dead Gods and Dead Cells. On April 14, players will be able to download a free update for Curse of the Dead Gods on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC featuring special new content inspired by Dead Cells.

Here’s what surprises Dead Cells fans can discover in Curse of the Dead Gods when the new event kicks off next week:

  • New Curse — Curse of the Headless: Players will move faster but take more damage, with a visual twist emblematic of Dead Cells’ main character.
  • Three New Weapons: The Sword of Conjunctivius, the Broadsword of the Knight, and the Crossbow of the Condemned.
  • New Challenge Room that can be found during runs featuring a Dead Cells Cursed Chest, a special challenge and a rare weapon.

The update will also include other new content for Curse of the Dead Gods players, including a new two-handed weapon style and an additional Curse. For more on the game, visit www.focus-home.com/en-us/games/curse-of-the-dead-gods.

PAC-MAN 99 Out Now on the Nintendo Switch

Leading video game publisher and developer BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. has announced that PAC-MAN™ 99 will be available later today for the Nintendo Switch. PAC-MAN 99 is the latest entry in the long-running PAC-MAN franchise with an online multiplayer experience unlike any other in the series’ history. Ninety-nine PAC-MAN players compete against each other until one remains. Chomp down on Power Pellets to activate special power-ups and send Jammer PAC-MAN to opponents’ mazes to become the last PAC standing. PAC-MAN 99 is a special offer for Nintendo Switch Online* members at no additional cost.

Developed by Arika Co., Ltd., PAC-MAN 99 takes the classic PAC-MAN arcade gameplay that has been loved by millions around the world for the past 40 years and creates a brand-new multiplayer battle royale experience against 98 other players. Knock out other players by sending Jammer PAC-MAN to opponents’ mazes by touching a Power Pellet and defeating ghosts. Jammer PAC-MAN will clog up the competition’s maze and slow their PAC-MAN down, making it harder for them to avoid ghosts and clear out their maze of Pac-Dots. In addition to making ghosts vulnerable, Power Pellets also give PAC-MAN special abilities including increasing his speed or sending more Jammer PAC-MAN to other players’ mazes. Each ability comes with a drawback so choose your strategy wisely.

“PAC-MAN 99 delivers a frantic and fun multiplayer take on the storied PAC-MAN gameplay,” said Pearl Lai, Brand Manager for BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “The quick pick-up-and-play structure of the game coupled with the play anywhere nature of Nintendo Switch makes it the perfect experience for anyone looking for a bit of good-natured competition PAC-MAN has always been known for.”

A paid DLC bundle will be available at launch to enhance the PAC-MAN 99 experience with additional modes including an offline CPU Battle mode, private matches to play against friends, special score and time-attack challenges, and 20 alternate skins of classic BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. games including DIG DUG®, GALAGA®, and more! The PAC-MAN 99 DLC bundle can be purchased $29.99 and the classic character skins can be purchased individually for $1.99 through the Nintendo eShop.

For more information regarding PAC-MAN 99 and other titles from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. please visit https://www.bandainamcoent.com, follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoUS, or join the conversation on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/BandaiNamcoUS.

E3 2021 to Be An All-Digital Event

It’s “Game On.” for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere. With early commitments from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media, and more to come, E3 2021 will take place June 12 through June 15.

Developers will be showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world. The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free.

“For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President & CEO of the ESA. “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”

While maintaining E3’s longstanding position as a central destination for industry networking — where new partnerships and connections between video game publishers, developers and media are made — the digital format for E3 2021 means more people than ever can participate.

The ESA looks forward to coming back together to celebrate E3 2022 in person. In the meantime, see you online this June!

Summer Game Fest Announced for 2021

It’s official: Summer Game Fest, an industry-wide all-digital celebration of video games, will return in June, and once again include Day of the Devs: Summer Game Fest Edition. Following successful digital events in 2020, the showcase will once again digitally spotlight a select group of upcoming indie and AAA video games. Curated by the Day of the Devs team and Geoff Keighley, producer of The Game Awards, the developer showcase will feature new video game content, including world exclusive news and gameplay, plus video game musical performances.

Day of the Devs, a platform co-produced by Double Fine Productions and iam8bit, is now in it’s 9th year as the industry’s foremost indie games showcase. Day of the Devs celebrates the creativity, diversity and magic of the indie game community, taking on the form of virtual and physical events.

Developers interested in participating in the event can submit their games for consideration starting today. Developers from diverse backgrounds working on interesting and unique games are welcome and encouraged to apply through the form here: http://bit.ly/DOTDSubmit21. Submissions close on April 9.

The roster of participating publishers and developers, along with an event schedule outline will be revealed in the coming weeks. Fans will be able to tune into the showcase via all major streaming platforms and summergamefest.com.

For more information and to stay up to date on the latest, please visit summergamefest.com or dayofthedevs.com or follow @summergamefest on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

IFC Midnight Acquires Rights to Neill Blomkamp’s DEMONIC

IFC Midnight and AGC Studios announced today that IFC Midnight is acquiring U.S. rights to DEMONIC, written and directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie), from AGC Studios. Blomkamp first earned critical acclaim across the board for his debut feature and sci-fi allegory on immigration District 9 before going on to further success with such films as Elysium and Chappie. DEMONIC was co-financed and co-produced by AGC Studios and STABILITi Studios last summer and marks Blomkamp’s fourth film. Joining Blomkamp is Oats Studios collaborator, editor Austyn Daines. The film stars up-and-comers Carly Pope (Elysium), Chris William Martin (The Age of Adaline, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, TV’s The Vampire Diaries), and Michael Rogers (TV’s Siren, TV’s The Blacklist, TV’s Supernatural). Neill Blomkamp, Mike Blomkamp of STABILITi Studios, Stuart Ford and Linda McDonough of AGC Studios are on board as producers. Serving as executive producers are AGC’s Miguel Palos Jr., Alastair Burlingham, Charlie Dombek, Viktor Muller, and Steven St. Arnaud. IFC Midnight will release the film on August 20, 2021.

The film was also a strong seller internationally during EFM including deals with VVS in Canada, Metropolitan in France, Koch Media in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, NonStop Entertainment AB in Scandinavia, Signature Entertainment in the UK and Ireland, Top Film in CIS and Baltics, Just Entertainment BV in Benelux, Odeon in Greece, Blitz Group in ex-Yugoslavia, Monolith in Poland, Reset Collective in Australia and New Zealand, Selim Ramia & Co. in the Middle East, NOS in Portugal, Movie Cloud in Taiwan, and Sahamongkolfilm in Thailand.

In DEMONIC, a young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed in this horror-thriller from director Neill Blomkamp.

Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films said, “Neil Blomkamp exploded onto the filmmaking scene with DISTRICT 9 and has made his mark by creating films that challenge and subvert the genre. It’s exciting to work together on this highly anticipated new vision, and be immersed in yet another world terrifyingly similar to our own.”

Said AGC Chairman and CEO Ford, “IFC Midnight is an ideal brand for Neill’s first foray into supernatural terror to be released theatrically and in other media and we’re very confident in the job that Arianna and her team are going to do.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ President Arianna Bocco and Director of Acquisitions Aijah Keith with ICM Partners and SVP of Business and Legal Affairs Anant Tamirisa for AGC Studios and STABILITi Studios.

Samurai Warriors 5 Unveils its Ultimate Skills

KOEI TECMO America and developer Omega Force are excited to announce the latest upgrades to the SAMURAI WARRIORS 5 arsenal, introducing stunning new Ultimate Skills into the exhilarating warfare. The electrifying 1 vs. 1,000 tactical action game is currently under development for the Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4 Computer Entertainment System (playable on PlayStation®5 via Backward Compatibility), the Xbox One consoles (playable on Xbox Series X|S via Backward Compatibility), and Windows PC via Steam®, and is set to launch across North America on July 27, 2021.

SAMURAI WARRIORS 5 takes place inside the Sengoku period, during which an inverted social order extends across Japan. As war rages, several influential figures appear across the country seeking to reign supreme over these turbulent times. Among those figures, the great daimyō, Yoshimoto Imagawa, dispatches his troops to escort the minor daimyo of the neighboring nation – Ieyasu Tokugawa – as a hostage. While everyone is assessing the situation, there is one person watching all of this occur from high above … Nobunaga Oda. SAMURAI WARRIORS 5 begins with Nobunaga, along with his childhood friend Toshiie Maeda, as they make a raid on the Imagawa Army in order to rescue Ieyasu from his captors.

In SAMURAI WARRIORS 5, this and every raid will be complemented by the all-new ability to unleash Ultimate Skill attacks on enemies. Ultimate Skills are incredibly powerful actions that can be used during battle, with players able to equip up to four types of Ultimate Skills at any one time. Ultimate Skill types include the Avalanche, enabling you to thrust your Great Spear into the earth to create a shockwave that stuns nearby enemies; Recuperation, where you can either increase your attack power or defense, or recharge your Musou Gauge; Relentless Storm, where you throw enemies into the air, beat them to a pulp, then bring them down to the ground with a strike from your Great Spear; and Pulse, an Ultimate Skill suited for continuing combos, enabling you to connect Pulse Ultimate Skills and Musou attacks.

In addition, Hyper Attacks return to the battlefield, enabling characters to travel great distance while assaulting enemies. As the Hyper Attack allows you to round up combatants and can be connected to a standard attack, it acts as the perfect starting point for any battle.

Alongside the new battle details, nine characters were also announced to join the fray. These larger-than-life personalities include Kanbei Kuroda, Shikanosuke Yamanaka, Sena, Hanbei Takenaka, Kazuuji Nakamura, Tadakatsu Honda, Toshiie Maeda, Oichi, and Nagamasa Azai. All of the game’s character models have been completely redesigned and re-imagined in a vibrant new style to help showcase the storyline’s Sengoku time period in spectacularly impressive fashion.

For more information on SAMURAI WARRIORS 5, please visit the official site, Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/koeitecmous and Follow us on Twitter @koeitecmoUS.