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Marvel Games declares war on homogeneity

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Marvel Games' creative director Bill Rosemann used his DICE keynote earlier today to urge games companies to focus on inclusiveness and diversity. Like Jeff Kaplan's Overwatch keynote yesterday, Rosemann chose to use the DICE 2017 theme of "world building" as an opportunity to celebrate inclusivity. Taking Marvel's history of creating great superheroes as his central narrative, he called on developers to step up. "We can create worlds that affect others," he said. "When you go back to your studios and your teams and it's time to make decisions about the worlds you build, be like Spider-Man and realize the power we have and use it wisely. Be like Captain America and do the right thing." Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy In an interview with Polygon after his...

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Overwatch’s defining characteristic is its location

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Blizzard has taken its players and fans to many strange players. They've visited the fantasy lands of Azeroth, StarCraft's alien-infested outer space and the gothic underworld of Diablo. But for the famed company, one of its biggest challenges yet was setting a game on Earth. Speaking at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas today, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan explained why the team wanted to make a game set on Earth, and why the prospect was so daunting. As previously chronicled on Polygon, Overwatch was born from the disaster of failed MMO project Titan. A rump Titan team was tasked with coming up with a new game concept. In the “despair” and “dark situation” of Titan's cancellation, Kaplan said the team was naturally drawn to "a bright and hopeful world." They wanted to create a...

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For Honor’s accidental alt-right connection

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A rallying cry adopted by For Honor players may sound familiar to those well-versed in the conservative political landscape. “Deus vult,” a phrase that’s become popular with the multiplayer game’s community, may have origins in 11th-century Europe, but it’s more recently been associated with the alt-right movement. “Deus vult” is Latin for “God wills it,” which became a stirring declaration for the Crusaders. It concluded a speech made by Pope Urban II, calling defenders of Christianity to action in the fight to win back their Holy Land from its Muslim occupants. It became symbolic not just of pride in the Christian state, but in Western culture as a whole. The religious, historical nature of the phrase is obvious and inextricable, and that’s what accounts for its use by the community...

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Overwatch’s gamer girl hero inspires a feminist movement

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On Jan. 21, millions around the world took part in a peaceful protest for women’s rights. Among the groups participating in the international Women’s March events was one that caught Overwatch fans by surprise: the National D.Va Association, which came to worldwide attention after a flag sporting the titular hero’s logo was photographed at the Women’s March in Seoul, South Korea. 2000 people participated in the sister march in #Seoul, Korea (pic via @MarchSeoul) #MarchOnWashington pic.twitter.com/zSgc4sOYuw— Paperclip-News (@aerdt) January 21, 2017 It turns out that the National D.Va Assocation is a group of huge Overwatch fans with a feminist bent. Based in South Korea, the organization is meant to galvanize female-identifying and genderqueer gamers who could use some...

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‘Leaked’ Steven Universe episodes weren’t leaked at all, Cartoon Network says

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A new set of Steven Universe episodes were set to premiere at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 30 on Cartoon Network, but the entire so-called “Steven Bomb” has instead made its way to various unofficial channels online, more than three weeks before its official airdate. While many of the beloved fantasy-comedy cartoon’s fans — and some folks behind-the-scenes — are convinced that the episodes went up by way of an accidental leak, a rep for Cartoon Network confirmed to Polygon that the early uploads were, in fact, intentional. Around 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, Steven Universe fans discovered that all five upcoming episodes were available on Cartoon Network’s mobile app for iOS and Android. This took many by surprise, as viewers were convinced that the installments were viewable by mistake. HOLY SHIT THE NEW...

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More than four years into development Star Citizen changes game engine

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Star Citizen, the spiritual successor to the Wing Commander franchise and the single largest crowdfunding effort of any kind, has announced it will be using a new game engine going forward. In a press release issued today, the team at Roberts Space Industries announced they would be moving on from Crytek’s CryEngine in favor of Amazon’s Lumberyard. That means they’ve spent a significant amount of time effectively gutting their game, which is not yet finished, in order to make that transition possible. “We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” said the game’s creative lead and studio head Chris Roberts. “Lumberyard provides groundbreaking technology...

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Why are Nintendo 3DS systems so hard to find right now?

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Even with the Nintendo Switch on its way, there are plenty of reasons to pick up a Nintendo 3DS this holiday season. Trouble is, many shoppers are having a rough time finding the handheld at retailers, with severely limited stock reported nationwide. Browsing through the websites of big-name stores like Amazon, Target, Best Buy and GameStop shoppers will notice that they have one thing in common: They have zero Nintendo 3DS units available. This has been the case since at least after Black Friday, when members of Polygon went looking for Nintendo 3DS systems to make up for the quick sellout of Nintendo’s limited-edition, $99 holiday handheld deal. While it was no surprise that the $99 special New Nintendo 3DS systems sold out fast, it was perplexing that none of the other models of...

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Super Smash Bros. Melee on Switch could be a huge boon for esports

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Super Smash Bros. Melee remains one of the biggest games in the competitive scene, and recent rumors about its potential high-definition, Virtual Console debut on Nintendo Switch has gotten many pro players excited about its next-generation prospects. While there are still reasons to be hesitant about Melee’s viability as an esports favorite on the upcoming hybrid console, we spoke to one of the community’s most visible members, who seemed optimistic about the Switch’s potential to shake up competitive Smash. To D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, who works at Twitch as the Smash Bros. strategic partnerships specialist, a Virtual Console re-release of Melee would make the game far more accessible. “If you were to visit a local game store and ask for a copy of [Melee], you would either not find it,...

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How Dead Rising 4’s Frank West is the new George Bailey

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If good ol' George Bailey ever wielded a chainsaw, you can be certain he'd read the manual, understood the safety procedures and took care to avoid the kickback zone. Dead Rising 4’s Frank West, on the other hand, only ever uses a chainsaw to cleave zombies in two, generally prefers the one-handed, swinging approach and has even been known to dual wield while whirling. If George's forte is carving the Christmas loin of beef, Frank is happiest carving up undead hordes. So how can It's A Wonderful Life's mild-mannered banker be compared to daring slayer Frank, whose current kill-count dwarfs the entire population of Bedford Falls? It's all about warm-hearted Christmas messages, at least according to Dead Rising 4's executive producer Bryce Cochrane. "What is Christmas...

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With Final Fantasy 15 finally out, fans shift desires toward Kingdom Hearts 3

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Square Enix finally released Final Fantasy 15 today, which means role-playing game fans can check off one of their most elusive and anticipated titles from the list. With that game finally out into the world after 10 very, very long years, there are a handful of other titles that players are keeping their fingers crossed for — and none have players more anxious than Kingdom Hearts 3. The wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 has in fact lasted just as long as the one for Final Fantasy 15, its Square Enix-developed cousin. Kingdom Hearts 2 launched stateside in March 2006, just two months before the reveal of Final Fantasy Versus 13. The end of that wildly popular PlayStation 2 game teased a third entry in the series, which set diehards off in search of Kingdom Hearts 3 news. Since then, there have...

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