The word on the grapevine that Marvin Gaye was so fond of is that Arkane Austin (of Dishonored and alliteration fame) may be taking over the reins of the much-troubled Prey 2, rescuing Human Head's ambitious open world sci-fi thingy from a fate worse than death: permanent hiatus. Kotaku and premature Prey 2 fansite Alien Noire have been stuffing that grapevine with the juiciest of rumours, including the startling not-quite-news that the Dishonored devs will be scrapping all of Human Head's work and re-creating the entire game from scratch. (You know, if any of this is true.) Arkane Austin devs have apparently been told to "just treat it like a new System Shock," and-dammit, I just spat beer all over my keyboard.
Ubisoft have perched themselves on the top of a tall building, hoping to scan for clues as to the direction to take the inevitable next entry in the Assassin's Creed series. TGL have posted a series of screenshots of a survey sent out by the company, hinting at possible features that may be introduced.
The LinkedIn resume of an EA Shanghai level designer suggests that Dragon Age 3: Inquisition may now miss its vague "late 2013" release date. Kotaku spotted that the developer, who had done work for DA3 earlier in the year, updated his profile to say, "scope of the DAIII has been chaged [sic], which will target next gen platform [sic] and will be postpone [sic] to 2014."
The profile is now unavailable, presumably after EA deployed Strike Team: PR to stand in the relevant offices, glowering.
Skyrim fans have been data-mining patch 1.8 for hints at future updates and posted some very interesting tidbits on the Bethesda forums. The files contains quest markers for the island of Solstheim, the setting for the Bloodmoon Morrowind expansion pack. Bloodmoon locations like Castle Karstaag and Raven are listed alongside new animation entries that hint at mounted dragons.
Veteran concept artist and art director Peter Konig has done a lot of work for Valve over the past few years. His resume lists work on Dota 2, Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. According to a photograph of a wall of concept art in Valve's offices that appeared earlier this year, he has also been drawing spaceships for them.
Several of those wall images match artwork in Peter Konig's online portfolio, sparking speculation on Facepunch that Valve have worked on, or are working on, something set in space. All hands on deck, man the rumour cannon.
Mass Effect 3's Leviathan DLC will add extra dialogue to the ending according to code pulled from the recently released Extended Cut DLC. Eurogamer spotted chatter on this (very spoilery) Bioware forum thread, which contains a link to this pastebin with new script lines referring to the upcoming DLC pack.
And that's as much as I'll say about that in case your eyes betray you skip a few sentences and start automatically absorbing spoilers at a rate of three twists per minute. Like mercury sinking into skin, once that knowledge is in there, it ain't coming out. However, you might be interested in the other files found in recent Mass Effect 3 updates, which subtly hint at some DLC related to Mass Effect's wretched hive of scum and villainy, Omega. Mass Effect 3 spoilers lie ahead.
So it begins, the rush of rumours surrounding the release of the next generation of consoles. It's interesting to keep an eye on what the console chaps are into, if just to gossip about what the big launch games are and ponder when they'll be coming to PC.
Rumours, then. There are two small morsels teasing two exciting prospects. CVG note a report on Eurogamer.cz that suggests that 2K Czech are working on a new Mafia for the Durango (the codename for the next Xbox, supposedly) and the Playstation 4. OXM, meanwhile, suggest that the Thief 4 release date has been set for late next year when the Durango is thought to be coming out. CVG sources "indicate the report is accurate."
This video, spotted by Beefjack, seems to show footage from a Thief 4 CGI demo reel. The demo was uploaded to YouTube by "garrettisback" and the video tagged "thief4demoreel." Eric Wong is mentioned at the start of the video, which seems to be this chap. His experience list mentions a stint as a lighting artist with Eidos Montreal working on Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Thief 4 back in 2010/2011. Some leaked storyboard images tagged 2010 showed a few scenes similar to those in the video above. They're embedded below.
So, all in all, it looks like this is Thief 4. Or an elaborate hoax. Either way, it seems to capture the Thief vibe quite nicely, with a few extra flourishes, like the unfolding/folding Hawkeye bow, and Garret's new "look I have a lockpick!" pose.
The creator of DayZ and Bohemia Interactive employee, Rocket, has been instructed by Bohemia to work on the mod full-time. That's according to an account of a fan who chatted with him at E3 earlier today, spotted by Craig over on the DayZ subreddit. The account says that Rocket believes that DayZ is "the first step towards Bohemia gearing up to make it into a full standalone game."
It looks as though Vostock Games might not be the only studio to form in the aftermath of the break up of STALKER developers, GSC. Russian gaming site, StopGame reports that a significant element of the GSC STALKER team have set up shop in Kiev, and have formed a new outfit called Union Studio.
There are a few tidbits to back this up. A description on UnionStudio's sparse LinkedIn page describes the developer as a "new company, created together with the best professionals that worked for GSC GAME WORLD and other AAA class studios." The page announces that they're making a "cross-platform action shooter which will be available for PC, Mac, PlayStation, XBOX." There's also a work-in-progress Union Studio site, which simply says "coming soon."
An Elder Scrolls MMO could be announced as early as May according to a report on Tom's Guide. An unnamed source has told them that Elder Scrolls Online is in the works, and will be set in the Second Era, hundreds of years prior to any of the Elder Scrolls games.
The source mentioned that the game will include three playable factions represented by a lion, a dragon and a bird of prey. Beyond that, details are scarce, but Zenimax Online Studios have been building an MMO for years. The Elder Scrolls certainly has the depth of lore to support a massively multiplayer world. This could be pretty special. If it's real. Bethesda have issued a "no comment." Would you play an Elder Scrolls MMO?
There have been huge rumours this weekend suggesting Valve could be working on a "Steam Box" mini-PC designed to sit under your TV in your front room. The Verge dropped a payload of as-yet unconfirmed information on Friday which suggested that a prototype of the box was shown off to potential partners at CES. The Verge suggest that it would be an open platform capable of running different types of client software, not just Steam, and would receive regular hardware updates at set intervals every few years, allowing developers to plan their games around a predictable upgrade cycle. The base unit is said to contain a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GPU.
Kotaku have dug up a tweet posted by Valve's Greg Coomer showing him working on a mini-PC with very similar specs back in November. The Verge also have word that Valve are working on a controller for the Steam Box. A patent filed last year suggests that it could have swappable components, and it's thought that Valve intend to put biometric measuring tech into the controller.
That might sound insane, but Valve have previously talked to us about how they use gaze tracking, skin galvanic response and pulse rate to gauge player reactions. They also made some surprising discoveries when they let players in a co-op session together see each other's pulse rates. Here's what Gabe Newell had to say about this back in 2010.
The rumour mill is awash with whispers of a sequel to Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops. Last month it was noted that Activision had bought up a series of Black Ops 2 domain names, a hint compounded by the recent appearance of an Amazon listing for Black Ops 2. The ad has since been pulled, but not before a screenshot appeared on Gameblog, spotted on Joystiq. That's not the only place that Black Ops 2 has appeared recently.