World of Warcraft subscriptions have nearly halved since 2010

Shaun Prescott at

World of Warcraft has experienced a pretty hefty population drop since 2010, with Activision Blizzard announcing during an investors call today that the MMO currently hosts 6.8 million subscribers. That's nearly half what the MMO boasted in 2010, with 12 million active subscribers recorded during that year. Nearly a million of those have departed since July last year, if you compare the figures.


Here's when Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas' Military Quarter opens tonight

Andy Chalk at

Right on schedule, the Curse of Naxxramas Military Quarter is on the cusp of opening up to all. Blizzard has announced the launch times for the next chunk of Hearthstone content, so we know when each region will get the update.


SimCity free trial offer launches on Origin

Andy Chalk at

Remember SimCity? Specifically, the disastrous launch of SimCity, followed by a year-long slog to implement a proper offline mode that we'd previously been told wasn't possible? It's the sort of business that might have put you off of buying the game, even at the current, vastly-reduced price of 20 bucks. But if you're curious, you may now indulge yourself without cost, and without risk.


Evolve delayed until early 2015

Andy Chalk at

Take-Two Interactive has announced that Evolve, the team-based shooter being developed by Left 4 Dead studio Turtle Rock, has been delayed from its planned October release until next year.


The best PC joysticks

Dave James at

Space trucking and exploring in Elite: Dangerous. Dogfighting in Star Citizen. For the first time since the glory days of 1990s space sims, the flightstick is a must-have peripheral. An Xbox controller just can't compare to the feel of a flight stick and throttle, and you'll want every one of those buttons and switches for controlling a space ship or dogfighting above a Battlefield ground skirmish. We've tested out seven sticks to help you decide which to buy. If you're on a budget, never fear—one of our favorite sticks is a mere $50/£40.


Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger goes free on Origin

Andy Chalk at

It's hard to be too critical of anything that's free, assuming that the free thing in question isn't actually doing you harm. So even though I'm not a big fan of Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, I can recommend it right now because it's free—"On the house," you might say—and it's probably not going to set your PC on fire.


XCOM: The Board Game combines tabletop play with digital enhancements

Andy Chalk at

Back in June, a man on the internet asked, "Why isn't there an XCOM tabletop game?" There is, as it turns out. But now there's a new kid on the XCOM board game block, and while I haven't played its predecessor and thus can't make any hard-and-fast judgments about which one is better, Fantasy Flight's upcoming XCOM: The Board Game sounds awfully promising.


Star Citizen hits $49 million in funding, Chris Roberts explains why that's not enough

Andy Chalk at

The Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign broke the $49 million mark yesterday, a sum that's especially astonishing because it's being thrown at the niche—some would say dead—space combat sim genre. Yet even with all that scratch at his disposal, Cloud Imperium mastermind Chris Roberts wants even more! Why? Well, because he's building a really big game.


Broforce and The Expendables 3 combine to form free crossover The Expendabros

Phil Savage at

There was an official game of The Expendables 2. Naturally, it was awful. Fortunately, for The Expendables 3, we're being treated to something good. The Expendabros is an official crossover between the increasingly tiresome film franchise and Broforce, the excellent run-'n-gun platformer. The ten-level tie-in will not only promote whatever nonsense plot the film has cooked up, but also act as a handy demo for the Early Access main game.


Nosgoth open beta announced, free weekend starts this Thursday

Phil Savage at

Let's play a quick game. Pretend your job is to promote a new free-to-play, team-based PvP game about warring humans and vampires. It's set in your typical medieval-Europe styled world. There is violence and dark magicks. A new trailer arrives to inform viewers of both an upcoming open beta, and a free weekend that takes place this Thursday, 7 August. Got all that? Okay, what music do you pick to accompany the trailer? If, for some bizarre reason, you answered "dubstep", it's possible you're the person responsible for this Nosgoth teaser.


The pleasure of space trucking in Elite: Dangerous

Andy Kelly at

You can be anything in Elite: Dangerous. A fearsome pirate. A daring adventurer. A galactic explorer. But I’ve decided to be a trucker. See, combat is not my strong point, and most enemy encounters end with me warping away like a massive space-coward. So I’ll be making my living in Frontier’s huge galaxy as a trader. It’s a perfectly legitimate way to play the game, and although not as exciting as dogfights and bounty hunting, is weirdly compelling in its own uneventful, slow-paced way.


Thief 2 HD mod is due out later this week

Phil Savage at

Thief Gold's HD mod is, along with the unofficial TFix patch, now a standard part of my elder Thief install. It's something of a no-brainer for the game's fans—offering a noticeably more detailed set of textures without warping the game's deliberate aesthetic. Hence my pleasure when, on a recent trawl through ModDB, I discovered that the team behind the mod are giving Thief 2 the same treatment. Even better, it's due out later this week, on August 8th.

Guild Wars 2 trailer announces The Dragon's Reach: Part 2

Phil Savage at

Those damn dragons, always up to their dragon tricks. If they're not hoarding gold or flying in circles near an ice-topped mountain, they're threatening to awaken and envelop the world in their evil shadow. You don't get unicorns pulling this shit. Continuing on from last week's chapter, Guild Wars 2's next update escalates the threat posed by Elder Dragon Mordremoth.


Resident Evil 1 returning to PC in remastered form, will release early 2015

Phil Savage at

My research suggests that Resident Evil's PC port wasn't an unholy crime against taste, decency and badly translated dialogue. Certainly nothing that would forewarn players of the horrors contained within Resident Evil 4's first PC release. Despite not being actively terrible, Capcom are fast becoming the remasters of unlocking, and so have decided give Resi 1 a brand new makeover for PC (and consoles).


Counter-Strike: GO launches Cologne 2014 Pick'Em Challenge ahead of ESL One

Phil Savage at

Pro Counter-Strike players are, like their job suggests, really good at Counter-Strike. They are better at Counter-Strike than, say, you (even though I'm sure you are really good). That's why, for the upcoming ESL One Cologne 2014 CS:GO Championship, Valve have arranged a system in which the pros get to play Counter-Strike, and you get to play with stickers.


Evolve gameplay footage shows the Kraken in action

Shaun Prescott at

If you're lucky enough to have access to the Evolve alpha then this video won't be of much interest, but to everyone else: here's over 20 minutes of raw footage from the forthcoming cooperative shooter. Watch as YouTube user jackfrags plays as a Kraken, trying his darndest to stay alive in the face of a four-strong human onslaught. Watch as he prevails against the odds.


Oort Online is a new Voxel-based MMORPG by former Lionhead and EA veterans

Shaun Prescott at

The world may not be wanting for a new procedurally generated, Voxel-based open world game, but Oort Online looks very promising. In development at Guildford studio Wonderstruck Games, the crowdfunded title is the work of former Lionhead, EA and Hello Games talent. The MMORPG will be set across a variety of worlds, all of which exist in the same universe where players can "explore, fight, survive, build and craft".


Gone Home studio changes name, announces work on new title

Shaun Prescott at

Gone Home studio Fullbright Company has changed its name. The small Portland-based studio will now go by the name Fullbright. Snappy, isn't it? The folk at Fullbright describe it as more "streamlined", which makes sense as now instead of four syllables there are a mere two. They also have a new logo, which you can look at above.


World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor release date to be announced next week

Shaun Prescott at

Blizzard has announced it will announce the release date for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor next week. That's the modern world of blockbuster video games for you: announcements for announcements are announced.


The Stomping Land developer goes silent for two months, Kickstarter backers get nervous

Andy Chalk at

The Stomping Land went to Kickstarter last summer seeking $20,000 and came away with more than $114,000. The Early Access launch took place on May 23, and the first big content update, focused on "balancing and optimization," was released a week later. Another Kickstarter update followed the next day, May 30, promising that "development is still in full force" and asking for suggestions on the future of the game. But since then, the developer has gone almost completely silent—the last communication appears to be a tweet on June 20—and backers are starting to worry that they've been left in the lurch.