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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor writer says it's built on the foundation of Tolkien while still being new

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Shadow of Mordor trailer

Warner Bros. and Monolith have thrown up a new trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which is unfortunately going to be competing with Dragon Age: Inquisition when it launches on October 7th. 

Troy Baker - who voices protagonist Talion and is starting to become as prolific as Nolan North - joins co-writer and director Christian Antamessa for a blether about where the game sits in the story of Middle-earth and what the team is trying to do with the IP. 

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Dragon Age: Inquisition E3 demo is chattier and more moustachioed than the last

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Dragon Age: Inquisition E3 demo 2

BioWare’s just posted the second part of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s E3 demo. Part one showed off dragon-slaying and a spot of exploration, but the second part focuses on the Inquisitor's companions and they make their way through Redcliffe Castle. 

We get to see an angrier, more savage version of Leliana, obviously hardened since Origins, and we’re introduced to the moustachioed mage, Dorian, who David Gaider says is the first gay character he’s written. 

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Starcraft 2

Spend the weekend watching Red Bull Battle Grounds Atlanta right here

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Red Bull Battle Grounds

Red Bull Battle Grounds is in Atlanta for the weekend, seeing competitors duke it out over three days in StarCraft 2. The victor gets a spot in the Battle Grounds Grand Finals in Washington DC this September. 

A whopping 128 players will be whittled down to one across the three day event. It’s a diverse bunch of players, too, as it was an open registration format, welcoming old pros and new competitors alike. Take a gander below to watch the stream, and come back each day for more StarCraft 2 battles. 

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Blizzard

Blizzard's Mike Morhaime on inclusivity: "We are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices"

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Blizzard inclusivity

Blizzard president Mike Morhaime has said that the studio is making and effort to ensure that its games and stories are as inclusive and epic as possible.

The comments were made in a response to an open letter from a player who has drifted away from Blizzard’s games due to the lack of gender and ethnic diversity in the likes of World of Warcraft and Diablo III. 

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Divinity: Original Sin review

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Divinity: Original Sin review

It took all of five minutes for Divinity: Original Sin to charm the pants - talking pants, no less - off me. Standing on a beach, talking to a flowery giant clam, I didn’t have a clue what was going on, and I couldn’t have been happier. It was the first bizarre surprise in a long, long series of novelties, quirks and clever moments that make up what is undoubtedly Larian’s greatest ever game. 

The influence of the classics, Ultima VII, Baldur’s Gate II, they’re in there, but Original Sin is very much its own, unique grand adventure. Like an alchemical concoction, bright and experimental, it stands out even from its clear inspirations. And it makes all the Divinity games before it - a diverse bunch - seem like preparation. 

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Gather your army: Mount & Blade Warband is free for the weekend

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Mount & Blade: Warband free

Mount & Blade: Warband is a medieval simulator, an action RPG, a strategy game where you command an army of heroes, of mercenaries or maybe of monsters. It’s a game where you can be a brigand, a lord, a famed jouster or a penny-pinching merchant. It’s lots of different things and most of them are great, which is why I included it in my list of the 15 best RPGs on PC

And for this weekend, it’s completely free on Steam

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Pillars of Eternity hits the homestretch: backer beta launches on August 18th

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Pillars of Eternity Beta

Backers of Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity are on the cusp of being able to get up to their elbows in isometric RPG goodness. A backers-only beta will kick off on August 18th, the studio announced in an update on the Kickstarter page. 

Obsidian hasn’t made it clear how much of the game will be made available or how backers can join the beta, but says that more details will be revealed in the next backer update this month. 

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Spotlight
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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Article submitted by Melon Dog Interactive

Stomping Grounds reaches Steam Greenlight

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Stomping Grounds is an eight-player arena brawler designed for local play and made in Unity3D, where players control Elemental Titans and smash each other to pieces! Cast devastating attacks to crush your opponents and protect yourself with walls and evasive dashes; one-hit KOs mean you’ll need...

Article submitted by Chriss

Astrons - A creative sci-fi adventure simulator

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Hey there! I'm Chriss, an indiegame developer wannabe, working with my friend in full time on our game called Astrons and we would love to hear your opinion about the game. It's a 2D space-adventure simulator, where you can rely only on your own creations. You build your own ship from...

Overkill Software

Overkill tease what’s next after Payday 2

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overkill software

We liked Payday 2. We liked how unrepentantly bad it made you be. We liked its focus. And we liked its crimes. We could happily play a Payday 3 and 4. But Overkill might have other plans.

A page went live yesterday on the Overkill website that teases what’s next. So far, it’s suggested something to do with personal trainers and loo seats.

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Riot Games plan to increase number of teams in 2015 League of Legends Championship Series

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League of Legends Riot Games

Expect ten, not eight, teams in the North American and European LCS playoffs next year. While Riot “can’t promise it’ll happen”, they’ve outlined a number of reasons why they’d prefer that setup. They want abolished Super Weeks, a consistent schedule, shortened splits, longer, more exciting playoffs - and more diversity in the players and teams we see filter through to LoL’s top competitive layer.

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InXile on Early Access success: “we have doubled Wasteland 2's initial budget”

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Along with Double Fine, InXile were one of the big Kickstarter successes, raising almost $3 million for Wasteland 2. Turns out they’re also a big success in Steam’s Early Access program. According to a post on Kickstarter, by selling copies of the unfinished game InXile have “doubled Wasteland 2's initial budget.”

“Every penny coming in from sales is still going back into making Wasteland 2. I can promise that the game we are close to releasing would not have been the same without [Early Access].”

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Bleszinski on BlueStreak: a skill-based shooter in a living world

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BlueStreak AMA

After a brief hiatus, Cliff Bleszinski is back in game development with a new studio, Boss Key Productions, and a new game, BlueStreak. The free-to-play arena shooter was announced a couple of days ago, but nothing more than the name and genre was revealed. 

Yesterday, Bleszinski took to Reddit, hosting an AMA (along with his dog). The game is so early on that few specific details could be talked about, but he answers burning questions about it being free-to-play and how his outlook on the industry and game development has changed. 

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Riot declares war on League of Legends skin resellers

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League of Legends skin resellers

A number of naughty sites and skin resellers have gained the ire of Riot. The League of Legends developer has declared war on these illegitimate resellers after it noticed an increase in fraud.

As of today, Riot will start to deactivate all previously issues codes for champion skins, and the studio is working with payment companies, recommending that they no longer process payments from these sites. 

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Spotlight
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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

8 million copies of Watch Dogs shipped; Ubisoft calling it a "major franchise"

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Watch Dogs ships 8 million

In its quarterly financial report, Ubisoft has revealed that it’s shipped over 8 million copies of its new IP, Watch Dogs. That doesn’t equate to 8 million copies sold, rather it’s how many units have been shipped to retail outlets. This doesn’t include downloads, which would bump it up quite a bit. 

In my Watch Dogs review, I criticised the game for struggling to find an identity and for its boring protagonist, but there were moments of brilliance found within. The IP has potential, it just wasn’t very well realised. The game’s success means that future titles could do this, though. 

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