Today, Blizzard announced that its hit real time strategy game StarCraft be getting remastered. It will be called, well, StarCraft Remastered no less and is due out this summer for PC.

This new version of StarCraft will feature 4K graphics and cutscenes that run at 1080p. Additionally, the game’s audio will be receiving a massive upgrade. Graphics and sound aren’t the only thing that will be brought into 2017, though. StarCraft Remastered will also support online multiplayer play through Battle.net – which is now known as the Blizzard App. This will allow players of similar skill to face off against one another in a way that the original game never allowed.

If you’re worried that the original gameplay of StarCraft will be altered in this new version of the game, then you can breathe easy. Blizzard has confirmed that while there will be many changes coming to Remastered, tweaks to the gameplay will not be among the alterations. “Updated graphics, modern amenities, and other new features won’t matter if we ruin gameplay,” said Classic Games senior producer Pete Stillwell.

Source: Dualshockers

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

GameStop is set to close between at least 150 stores following fourth quarter sales declines in almost all of its segments.

The Texas-based company said Thursday that hardware sales declined 29.1%, and new software sales fell by 19.3% for the quarter, CNBC reports. Shares of GameStop then dropped more than 10% in early trading Friday.

GameStop said it expects to close 2-3% of its stores, however it will be opening 65 new Technology Brand stores and 35 Collectibles stores, according to USA Today. The American video game and electronics retailer cited weak sales of particular video game released during the holiday season as well as other retailers using “aggressive” promotional techniques as reasons for the decline.

A spokesperson from GameStop told Fortune that the closure of the stores is part of an “annual strategy” to close up to non-productive stores that was announced more than three years ago. “This is something that will take place throughout 2017,” their statement added.

Source: Fortune

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

In what can only be described as the strangest story of the month, a Black Desert Online player has written a short erotic story in order to escape a ban.

The mods of the online game caught player Kimochi repeatedly griefing a gang of roleplayers, but instead of banning him, they opted to offer him a chance at rehabilitation.

Lead gamemaster Rhotaaz stepped in to address Kimochi with the charges held against him – he decreed that Kimochi could escape a ban if he joined in with the roleplaying he so despised and wrote a 501 word piece describing the backstory of his character.

You have to hand it to Rhotaaz – he has a solid sense of poetic justice. Of course, Kimochi was aware that the Black Desert Online mods can be ruthless with bans, so he decided to oblige and write the story… with a twist.

Kimochi’s backstory was essentially a 501 word piece of erotic fiction, so uncomfortable and strange that it was swiftly deleted by the moderators, though it survives on Reddit.

Escape!’ she thought to herself frantically. But it was too late. She counted them, seven, eight, nine… their numbers too many to determine at a glance. Her fear shifted to debilitating hopelessness in an instant upon realizing her fate was sealed. The largest of the cyclopes reached down gripping her waist with one giant, brutish hand. He lifted her off her feet. The cyclops accessed every inch of her naked body as if a beast preparing to devour her. Its gruesome eye lingered at her supple breasts, but then lowered. His insatiable gaze yielded for a moment, replaced with temporary confusion. Where Kimochi’s womanhood should be, something additional was present. Tiny at this current moment due to her fear, but quite discernible nonetheless.

You can read the rest on Reddit if you’re really that curious, but be aware that it gets even weirder. Still, the mods acknowledged that he had done as asked, and Kimochi avoided the ban.

Source: Unilad

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Paramount’s live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii’s seminal animated film Ghost in the Shell opens in theaters next month, and IGN had the opportunity to get the director’s thoughts on the upcoming adaption of his 1995 anime classic.

While the casting of Scarlett Johansson has proven to be a point of controversy among fans because she isn’t Asian, Oshii doesn’t see any issue with her assuming the role of the Major, and said he believes she was “the best possible” choice for the live-action adaptation.

“What issue could there possibly be with casting her?” Oshii told IGN by e-mail. “The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one. The name ‘Motoko Kusanagi’ and her current body are not her original name and body, so there is no basis for saying that an Asian actress must portray her. Even if her original body (presuming such a thing existed) were a Japanese one, that would still apply.”

The director went on to point out how a number of actors in the past have played characters of different ethnic groups without issue. “In the movies, John Wayne can play Genghis Khan, and Omar Sharif, an Arab, can play Doctor Zhivago, a Slav. It’s all just cinematic conventions,” he explained. “If that’s not allowed, then Darth Vader probably shouldn’t speak English, either. I believe having Scarlett play Motoko was the best possible casting for this movie. I can only sense a political motive from the people opposing it, and I believe artistic expression must be free from politics.”

Oshii also doesn’t believe the live-action adaption needs to adhere strictly to the way everything was portrayed in his animated film. He said director Rupert Sanders should take some creative liberties. “If this is to be a remake of the anime, I don’t think it’s necessary to remain faithful to the way things were expressed in the anime. The director should exercise his directorial freedom as much as possible. If he doesn’t do so, there would be no point in remaking it,” he explained.

Souce: IGN

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

#GOPDnD recently popped up as a new trending Twitter hashtag that entertains the idea of how Republicans would go about handling a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Spoiler Alert: the hashtag does nothing if not make it seem like they’d be terrible to play with. And queue up the inevitable rage-riddled, politically-fueled shitstorm…

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Source: Cheezburger

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

The Australian Classification Board raised the ire of Australians earlier this month when it ruled that forthcoming survival horror game Outlast 2 should not be sold or distributed in the country. Implied sexual violence was cited as the reason, but the board has now revised its classification to an R18+ rating. That means the game is effectively unbanned.

Interestingly enough, the change of heart is not a result of studio Red Barrels amending the game for Australia, which has happened in the past (most notably with Fallout 3 and South Park: The Stick of Truth). In a statement provided to Press Start, the studio confirms as much.

“Outlast 2 has been rated R18+ by the Classification Branch in Australia and will be released 26th April 2017. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide.”

It’s unclear what prompted the revised ruling, though it’s doubtful people getting angry about it on the internet was much of an influence. Whatever the case, Australians can rest assured that they’ll have the freedom to walk across charred baby pits come April.

Source: PCGamer

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

The past month of AAA video game releases might be the most interesting I have ever experienced as a trans woman, meaning someone who was designated male at birth but is now living as female. While far from perfect in execution, I can point out three trans characters in three separate AAA video games released in the past four weeks. That’s pretty unbelievable.

Pop culture in general has gotten better about attempting to present trans characters without always resorting to using us as punchlines. We’ve seen trans actors and actresses find success, we’ve seen the overall positive representation of Krem in Dragon Age: Inquisition and developers of huge franchises have begun to tackle trans issues in their games.

We’ve seen three separate AAA games released with transgender characters, plotlines or themes present in them in this month alone. The differing ways in which they each try to tackle the subject shows that AAA developers want to start putting trans characters in their games, but don’t seem to know how to do it well.

Read the full article here at Polygon.

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Over the weekend, Naughty Dog artist Alex Neonakis started getting nasty Twitter messages from GamerGaters and other internet cretins. Exasperated, she tweeted some screencaps, along with a message: “I just donated to @GirlsMakeGames in honor of these lovely boys. Thanks guys!” Other developers followed her lead.

By Tuesday, hundreds of game developers had donated thousands of dollars to Girls Make Games, an organization that provides workshops and summer camps to young women who are interested in developing video games. (Before you start asking “why isn’t there a ‘Boys Make Games’?”, consider that, by the ESA’s account, just 22% of game industry employees are women. That’s why.)

Neonakis, who has written for Kotaku about her work on The Last of Us, started seeing angry tweets on Saturday night after she wrote a rant about the vile treatment of an EA animator who worked on Mass Effect: Andromeda. “I’ve worked in this industry for 10 years. I have clawed to where I am today despite people telling me I couldn’t and shouldn’t,” she wrote on Twitter. “And at every damn step some asshole likes to pass it all off as ‘well you’re a girl so obviously that helped.’”

Shortly afterwards, Twitter cretins started sending Neonakis messages, which led her to donate $500 to Girls Make Games. (She donated another $500 today.)

“I felt so beyond angry on behalf of that former Bioware animator,” Neonakis told me. “It can feel a little helpless to see this stuff and not feel there’s anything positive you can do. I keep coming back to just trying to be supportive of the women that are currently in it and the women who want to be. I think something like Girls Make Games is so cool because it simply sparks an interest in creating games. Some of those girls will go into tech, some of them will pursue journalism, some of them will just love games and cosplay and be fans.”

Following Neonakis’s $500 donation, dozens of other developers tweeted their own contributions, from Uncharted 4 director Neil Druckmann (“I look forward to one of these girls replacing me”) to Firewatch director Jake Rodkin and many more, including staff at Ready At Dawn, Disney, High Moon, Blizzard, and lots of others.

“I had been putting aside some money to potentially start a scholarship fund of some sort,” Neonakis said. “I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about that. This felt like the right time to use it.”

Source: Kotaku

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Bethesda’s vice president of PR and marketing, Pete Hines, has confirmed that Fallout 4 VR will get a demo during the company’s E3 2017 press conference. Hines also says that the virtual reality version of the post-apocalyptic RPG will “blow your mind.”

Speaking during an interview with Hip Hop Gamer at PAX East 2017, Hines said that he had recently spoken to lead designer Todd Howard about the game. According to the Bethesda executive, Howard said, “Fallout 4 VR is the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life. You can’t even imagine what it’s like playing in VR and how realistic it looks with everywhere you turn your head.” Howard also supposedly called the VR version of Fallout 4, which will include the whole game, the “craziest thing you’ve ever seen.”

As it’s Hines and Howards’ jobs to promote the game and get people thinking it’s the best thing since sliced bread, their words should be taken with a pinch of salt. While the earlier news that Fallout 4 VR will feature teleportation (to stop players from being sick) is promising, the lack of general information about the virtual reality game means that some fans may find it hard to get so hyped at the moment.

This could change soon enough, though, as Fallout 4 VR will feature during Bethesda’s E3 2017 press conference. Hines said, “We will have it at E3,” and presumably, with the game scheduled for a proper release this year, it will be a bona fide gameplay demo that shows much of what to expect, rather than the all-too-brief showing that fans and critics got during last year’s E3 press conference.

Source: GameRant

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

A Canadian photographer has been banned from Facebook after criticism over her photos of naked women posing behind a mannequin.

Julia Busato insists she won’t let the ban stop her, even though she says it’s putting her livelihood at risk.

The photos have been shared more than 200,000 times and Julia says women are still asking to join the series.

But the images haven’t been welcomed by everyone and Julia says she was banned after some Facebook users reported her.

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Although Julia’s photos became more and more popular, she can’t access her own Facebook page because her account has been suspended.

There have been thousands of comments debating the “Mannequin Series” but some users reported her over the content.

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Source: BBC

This is being discussed live on Episode 58 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.