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Guardians of Ember, delisted from Steam last year for review manipulation, is coming back

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The MMO hack-and-slasher Guardians of Ember was removed from Steam in February 2018 after Valve determined that publisher Insel Games had been manipulating review scores—specifically by compelling its employees to purchase the game and write positive reviews for it. (Or explain to the studio CEO why they don't want to.)   

But it's coming back: Gameforge recently announced that it acquired the publishing rights to Guardians of Ember from Insel last year and plans to launch it as a free-to-play game. The updated game will feature improvements to gameplay, mission design, character customization, and the interface, with "expanded regional localization support across North and South America, Europe, and select Asian territories." 

Closed beta signups are open now at gameforge.com, and everyone who had the previous version of the game will be granted access automatically. It's not clear whether Guardians of Ember will actually return to Steam: There's no new listing for it and the closed beta client is a standalone download, but the Steam Database shows quite a bit of activity on the account since December 2018. A full release date hasn't been set. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.