The 2017 Steam Summer Sale Is Now Live

It is time once again for the annual ritual of buying PC games you’re never going to play—welcome to the 2017 Steam summer sale. The sale is live on Steam right now and includes major discounts on the Final Fantasy, Ghost Recon, and Call of Duty franchises. Today’s highlights include Shadow of Mordor for $4, Mafia III for $15, and Steamworld Heist for $5 among many other deals. Whenever Steam’s servers decide to start working again, you can also get Nier: Automata for $42, the entire first season of Hitman for $24, and Darkest Dungeon for $10. South Park: The Stick of Truth for $7.50 is also a steal. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Deals & Sales

Steam Link and Controller Get Steep Discounts, Just in Time for the Summer Sale

breaking point

Long-Time Commentator Says Dota 2 Is Reaching A Breaking Point

Image credit: Valve Toby Dawson has been commentating in the Dota pro scene for over a decade, and has been the voice behind some of its biggest moments. In a recent post on the Dota 2 subreddit, Dawson voiced his concerns on the continued viability of the scene. It started with a tweet, where Dawson laid it out in simple terms: we are approaching a breaking point, and Valve (publisher of Dota 2) will be the ones to determine whether it happens or not. In a more detailed explanation, Dawson highlighted issues that have been brought up by others as well. Tournaments being eclipsed by the majors with little competition and a lack of crowd-funding for events, which in the past created staples like The Summit and experimental leagues like Captain’s Draft. These are two tournaments closely tied to the community, with the long-running Summit series having its seventh installment this weekend, and without crowdfunding they wouldn’t have started in the first place. These tier-two and tier-three tournaments are also the events that help support up-and-coming teams, and without the possible influx of new talent, high-level Dota risks becoming stale. Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Valve has closed down Steam Green light, Steam Direct launches June 13th

I’m more than aware that most of the Gaming world is having their eyes focused at E3 2017 at the moment. Even so, I couldn’t help to notice that it appears as if Valve has closed down it’s Steam Green light service. Well, I don’t know if I’m one of the few that has noticed this…But since I haven’t heard… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!


Dota 2's Brutal Co-op Campaign Might End Some Friendships

Siltbreaker, a cooperative Dota 2 campaign event, launched its first act yesterday, and it’s been driving my Dota group mad. Between the exponential difficulty spikes, impossible bosses and wave after wave of enemies, it plays less like a jolly ol’ game of Dota and more like a genuine raid. A comic handles most of the exposition before you start: an evil force called the Siltbreaker could soon escape from its prison, and the various heroes of the Dota-verse have been called into action to stop it. The way to Siltbreaker’s confines is beset by ancient evils, presumably spurred on by its growing power, and so you have to clear a lot of quests and bosses on the way there. If you’ve been playing Dota since the WarCraft III days, Siltbreaker will feel at home right away—it plays a lot like Warchasers, the pack-in dungeon-crawling custom game. Four players team up to roam through a map, combing every corner for treasure and mobs, pressing forward with each new objective. There’s a tinge of Diablo as well, though the game gradually becomes less about loot after the first fifteen minutes, and more about handling the monstrous READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Jay Pinkerton

Portal 2 Writer Jay Pinkerton Leaves Valve; Is the 4th Veteran Writer to Leave the Company in the Last 18 Months


Valve has announced that the fee to publish a game on Steam via Greenlight replacement Steam Direct

Valve has announced that the fee to publish a game on Steam via Greenlight replacement Steam Direct will be $100. Originally, they were leaning toward $500, but impassioned feedback changed their minds. They also told Ars Technica that the fee will be recoupable if a game makes $1,000. Valve added that they intend to inject more “human thinking” into the algorithm, which is good, because that recoupable fee probably won’t dissuade people from posting joke games. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Cloud Pirates

10 Free Steam Games Worth Playing

While Steam gets a lot of hype for discounted prices, you don’t actually have to spend any money to enjoy some of the best games the service has to offer. Over the years, Steam has accumulated a number of great games that are free-to-play, and I’m here to tell you which ones you should check out. Some of these recommendations will be obvious, as some of Steam’s biggest games are free-to-play—so why wouldn’t I suggest them? But, I also want to make sure to tell you about some offbeat free games you might otherwise not hear about, especially when it comes to games that try something new. With that in mind, here are our top free Steam games that everyone should try. Note: this article originally ran in 2015, but has now been updated with newer picks. Dota 2 If you’re looking for a game to really sink your teeth into, Dota 2 is probably your best bet: I spent dozens of hours trying to master Valve’s MOBA, and barely scratched the surface. While your goal is straightforward—lead your creeps and team to the enemy base, so you can destroy a large structure known READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotaku core

Neill Blomkamp Is Making Short Movies For Steam

Director Neill Blomkamp, the guy behind movies like District 9 and Elysium (not to mention a very good attempt at Halo), is now heading up a studio that is going to be releasing “experimental short films” on Steam. Here’s the first trailer for the films, coming out of a company called Oats Studios: Steam has been home to movies and documentaries for a while now, many of them short indie projects, but this would be the first time someone with that kind of resume was working specifically with the platform. Ditto for the actors involved: that’s Sigourney Weaver 0:40… The only word on a release is that these are “coming soon”. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

counter strike

Surprise Counter-Strike Update Adds New Operation With Wacky Game Modes

In recent times, official in-game Counter-Strike events—Operations, as they’re known—have grown rare. Valve only created/curated one in all of 2016. Today, though, without any real warning, they’ve kicked off a new one. It’s called Operation Hydra. Operation Hydra is set to run for 18 weeks. It adds new community-created maps, an Operation pass with a full Guardian mission campaign, an upgradable Operation coin, event XP and leaderboards, and Operation weapon drops and cases. Business as usual, for the most part. What makes Hydra more than just a scaly, green re-skin of what’s come before, however, is a series of new modes called Hydra Events. Hydra Events are special game modes that pop up on a week-by-week rotation. There’s Wingman, a 2v2 best-of-16 match that’s all about companionship and resisting the urge to scream at each other when the pressure’s on, Weapons Expert, a 5v5 best-of-30 match where any weapon you purchase can’t be used again for the rest of that match, and War Games, which is a grab bag of outlandish game types; you vote on which you’d like to play. Your War Games options are as follows: Advertisement Heavy Assault READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Jury To Decide Whether Valve Actually Owns Dota 2

It probably does, but that hasn’t stopped a federal court from taking a closer look at the question. Two mobile developers, Lilith Games and uCool, have tried to make clones of Dota 2 for smartphones and been sued by Valve as a result. Their games, Dota Legends and Heroes Charge respectively, are slimmed down MOBAs that are popular in China. As Ars Technica reported, in response to Valve’s copyright claim against them, uCool has argued that the company doesn’t actually own the source material that Dota is based on, make its claim illegitimate. Dota started originally as a mod for Warcraft 3, making the question of who owns the rights a complicated one. Citing a forum post from 2004, uCool argued that because the original creator of the mod that would eventually evolve into Dota, Eul, had “released” it to the public, the lore and characters are fair game for anyone to use. Advertisement “I wish I could give you a last map that’s playable, but I can’t. Instead, from this point forward DOTA is now open source,” Eul wrote back in 2004. “Whoever wishes to release a version of DOTA READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Thousands Of People Are 'Playing' A Hidden Steam Game

Spacewar is a game that draws thousands of players every day. If you search for it on the Steam store, though, you’ll never find it. Advertisement You might recognize the name. Spacewar is, after all, Valve’s take on an influential early video game that went by the same name. It’s an extremely basic space shooter where ships are represented by little triangles, swirling forever around a doomed sun that looks kinda like a Tinker Toy. Valve made their own version as a tool for developers to test Steamworks features like achievements and the Steam Workshop. Technically, anybody can obtain Spacewar, albeit not through regular Steam channels. Instead, you’ve gotta enter “steam://run/480″ in Windows’ “run” dialogue box, which you can access by pressing Windows key + R. At that point, you should get a prompt from Steam asking if you want to install Spacewar. That’s pretty much it! Advertisement Now, here’s where it gets weird: if you try to join a match or lobby, you’ll find only a handful of options, at best. However, trackers on reliable sites like Githyp, Steam Charts, and SteamDB—which all pull READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Valve is Making Changes to Steam Trading Cards To Combat “Fake Games”


Valve Making Big Changes To Steam Trading Cards To Combat 'Fake Games'

Steam is littered with games of, shall we say, questionable quality. This has been a known issue for quite some time. Only recently, however, has Valve begun to directly address it. Last month, they said they’re taking aim at so-called “fake games.” Now they’ve detailed their first plan of attack. Advertisement As Steam users have long suspected, Valve has admitted that “fake games”—that is, slipshod games that clog up Steam—often make the bulk of their money through Steam trading cards. Valve explained that developers of these games generate thousands of Steam keys for their games and hand them off to bots that idle to unlock trading cards. “Even if no real players ever see or buy one of these fake games, their developers make money by farming cards,” wrote Valve. The solution? A new “confidence metric” that won’t allow games to drop trading cards until it’s “clear [the game is] actually being bought and played by genuine users.” When a game clears that hurdle, cards will drop for all users, even if they played before cards were unlockable. Advertisement Interestingly, Valve insisted that regular Steam READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!