humble bundle

IGN Acquires Humble Bundle

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The biggest news over the weekend was media titan IGN acquiring Humble Bundle in an undisclosed deal. Humble Bundle will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of IGN, with no major staffing or business changes.

Humble Bundle is the digital distributor known for raising millions of dollars for various charities through their well-received pay-what-you-want bundles of video games and comics. It began in 2010 with indie games, and has since expanded into its own digital store, subscription service, and publishing division.

“We chose IGN because they really understand our vision, share our passion for games, and believe in our mission to promote awesome digital content while helping charity,” wrote Jeffrey Rosen, Co-founder and CEO of Humble Bundle in a blog post. “I can’t think of a better partner than IGN to help Humble Bundle continue our quest.”

Rosen added: “We will keep our own office, culture, and amazing team with IGN helping us further our plans. We will raise even more money for charity.”

According to Rosen, Humble Bundle has served over 10 million customers and raised $106 million for charity.

Earlier this year Humble Bundle expanded into games publishing, called Presented by Humble Bundle. They revealed their first five games back in August: A Hat in Time, No Truce with the Furies, Staxel, Keyboard Sports, and Aegis Defenders. A Hat in Time recently launched on PC. The other titles are coming later this year or early 2018.

There has been concerns raised over how IGN will treat games published by Humble Bundle. In a statement to USGamer, IGN General Manager Mitch Galbraith said: “Editorial integrity is something we take very seriously at IGN, and I am confident that we will strike the right balance when it comes to our coverage of Humble Bundle and the games they sell. Our readers and customers have always come first – and that won’t change.”

 

Xbox one S

Microsoft Announces Four New Xbox One S Bundles

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This week Microsoft has announced four new 500GB Xbox One S Bundles. The four bundles provide different gaming options that are included in the box (as download codes). All four bundles are priced at $279.99 MSRP.

Xbox One S Minecraft Complete Adventure Bundle 

  • Xbox One S 500GB Console
  • Wireless Controller
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft Explorers Pack
  • Minecraft: Story Mode Season 1: The Complete Adventure
  • 3 months of Xbox Live Gold
  • 1 month of Xbox Game Pass

Xbox One S Rocket League Blast-Off Bundle

  • Xbox One S 500GB Console
  • Wireless Controller
  • Rocket League
  • 3 months of Xbox Live Gold
  • 1 month of Xbox Game Pass

Xbox One S Ultimate Halo Bundle (Available exclusively at Walmart)

  • Xbox One S 500GB Console
  • Wireless Controller
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • 14 days of Xbox Live Gold
  • 1 month of Xbox Game Pass

Xbox One S Starter Bundle

  • Xbox One S with 500GB hard drive
  • Xbox Wireless Controller
  • 3 months of Xbox Live Gold
  • 3 months of Xbox Game Pass

An Xbox Live Gold subscription is required to play Xbox games online. Note that the Halo Bundle only comes with a 14-day trial. Xbox Live Gold normally costs between $4.99 and $9.99 per month depending on your subscription. Like PlayStation Plus, being an Xbox Live Gold subscriber also provides monthly free and discounted games.

The Xbox Game Pass is a separate Netflix-like subscription service that provides access to over 100 Xbox 360 and Xbox One games. New titles are added each month, though it typically doesn’t include brand new games. The Xbox Game Pass is normally $9.99/month. You’ll still need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play any games online.

If you’re looking for a beefier Xbox One S bundle, there’s a recently released 1TB Xbox One S Shadow of War Bundle, and a 1TB Xbox One S Assassin’s Creed Origins Bonus Bundle launching October 27. Meanwhile, the new Xbox One X is launching November 7.

Civilization VI

Civilization VI Fall 2017 Update Will Expand Religion

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Civilization VI is getting a large Fall 2017 Update soon. In a blog-style news post Firaxis developer Sarah Darney explains what’s being worked on, including a large focus on religion.

“We heard your requests for a deeper overall experience – and took that to heart with revamped religious combat,” writes Darney. “Religious units can now exert Zone of Control and receive Flank and Support bonuses in religious combat. Meanwhile, the Guru religious support unit can heal nearby religious units. Finally, the Religion Lens has been overhauled to improve overall usability and readability. You’ll also find UI touches, such as religion indicators on unit flags, to remove all guesswork on where a unit’s allegiance lies.”

New content is also being added to the religion side of Civ 6, including two new Pantheons, and new Founder, Follower, Enhancer, and Worship Beliefs. These new beliefs will unlock two new religious buildings as well as a new religious unit, the warrior monk.

In addition to religion, the Fall 2017 Update will also improve the much-maligned AI as well as the interface. In particular the AI’s use of oceans and navies is being improved, which will hopefully make water-covered maps as challenging as land maps – a frequent balance issue in Civ games.

For UI changes, menus have been made more moddable and the Diplomacy screen more intuitive.

There’s more coming to the Fall 2017 Update, but for now Firaxis isn’t even providing a release date yet. The previous big update, the Summer 2017 Update, also worked on AI improvements.

Civilization VI released almost exactly one year ago for PC (read our review). It was well-received by critics and fans, though notably feels like a step down compared to Civilization V’s several years worth of updates, patches, and expansions. Civ 5 still maintains more active players, though both games are within the top 30 games played on Steam.