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Plarium has reached an agreement to acquire Finnish mobile game studio Futureplay in order to expand its leadership in the casual games market


TEL AVIV, Israel – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Plarium, a global leader in mid-range PC and mobile games with more than 390 million users worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Helsinki-based games studio, Future game, creator of mobile titles: Merge the Gardens, Battlelands Royale and Idle Farming Empire. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of August 2021, subject to closing conditions.

“We are delighted to welcome the talented Futureplay team to the Plarium family,” said Plarium CEO Aviram Steinhart. “The acquisition is a significant addition to our portfolio of world-class studios. Combining the game development infrastructure and marketing capabilities of Plarium with the talent of Futureplay will allow us to further expand and diversify our game portfolio.

The two companies will work side by side; share knowledge, expertise and resources to expand Futureplay’s existing game catalog and introduce new titles to the casual space.

“Plarium will focus on investing in Futureplay, enabling it to accelerate its growth and footprint in the Finnish gaming market, which is well recognized as a global hub for top gaming talent,” said Steinhart. “We see Futureplay as a talented and ambitious team to involve for the long term, as the two companies share a similar culture and vision. ”

The two companies are well positioned to grow faster together. Futureplay has released six games that have been played by over 140 million users, and grown its social media and community channels to 2.1 million subscribers.

“We look forward to growing and learning from Plarium’s expertise as veterans of the mobile gaming market,” said Jami Laes, CEO and co-founder of Futureplay. “This collaboration will help improve our existing games and bring new offerings to our players. Beyond the resources and talent provided by Plarium to help us create even better gaming experiences for our players, we share a similar vision of sustaining a creative development environment where business growth does not prevent never our passion to simply create games that we want to play.

About Plarium

Plarium Global Ltd. is dedicated to creating the best mobile and PC experience for its community of over 390 million hardcore and casual gamers worldwide. Our diverse portfolio includes over 20 games ranging from hardcore RPGs to casual adventures, with acclaimed titles such as RAID: Shadow Legends, Vikings: War of Clans, Lost Island: Blast Adventure and the Stormfall franchise. The App Store and Google Play regularly offer our games, with Facebook twice recognizing us as one of the best hardcore Facebook developers. Plarium employs more than 1,600 specialists at its head office and in eight development offices and studios in Europe and the United States. Our games are available on iOS, Android and PC. They are also available through Plarium Play, our game launcher optimized for PC and Mac gamers. Plarium is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX code: ALL). Visit www.plarium.com for more information.

About Aristocrat

Aristocrat Digital is the free digital and social games company of Aristocrat Leisure Ltd (ASX: ALL). Aristocrat Digital is a leading publisher in the Western Tier 1 mobile markets, with approximately 2,300 employees worldwide at more than 14 locations and a diverse portfolio of successful game titles. Aristocrat Digital comprises three major operating companies; Plarium Global, Product Madness and Big Fish Games, and boasts leading creative talent, live operations and marketing capabilities, along with a strong commitment to invest in innovation and growth. Citi served as financial advisor to Aristocrat. For more information, see www.aristocrat.com.

About Futureplay

Futureplay was founded in early 2015 by a team of five Finnish gaming veterans who shared a vision to transform the way mobile games are played around the world. Based in Helsinki, the company has grown to more than 38 people, releasing six titles that have been played by 140 million people worldwide. Futureplay is focused on creating beautifully designed mobile games that are accessible and easy to play, including their catalog of inactive games. Idle Farming Empire, Idle City Empire, Idle Crafting Empire and Idle Tuber Empire. Futureplay MOCCA (Massive online casual competition arena) Game, Battlelands Royale, was the first of the truly mobile-designed battle royale genre that became a worldwide hit and was named one of Google Play’s best games of 2018. For more information on Futureplay, visit, www.futureplaygames.com.

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Inside the Video Game Asking You to “Cure Hitler” – The Forward


In a nicely furnished psychologist’s office, under a picture window offering a view over the city skyline, a reclining figure, looking at a majestic portrait of Freud, talks about his loving mother and his abusive father. The patient, a man in his mid-thirties, is a veteran and amateur artist with a criminal record; he is prone to paranoid tangents and is sometimes elusive. He wears ankle boots and an iron cross.

It’s 1925, and the man is Adolf Hitler. In less than a decade, he will take control of Germany and begin implementing a genocidal program against, among others, the nation’s Jews.

Unless you can cure it.

So goes the premise of “Heal Hitler”, a video game released on the Steam PC market on July 22. In this game, players act as a psychologist probing Hitler’s past traumas in an effort to heal him from his delusions and prevent his rise to the rank of Chancellor. and the establishment of the Third Reich.

While the premise sounds sensational, it is actually a historically grounded case study in which little other than the Nazi leader seeking help premise is invented. And it is, in fact, not a bad entry point to understand what motivated Hitler. Its creator, a 27-year-old Czech game developer who released it under the pseudonym Jon Aegis, says he lost his family to Hitler’s wars. He did not come to imagine advising Hitler as a fan of his work.

Instead, Aegis said he was simply a game developer with an interest in psychology – specifically the work of Carl Jung. Reading Jung’s work, including his thoughts on Hitler’s pathology, he began to play around with the idea of ​​a psychology simulator franchise. He thought it would be good to start with an interesting person to analyze, and already knowing something of Jung’s Hitler profile, the idea fell into place.

“Finding out more about Hitler was a very difficult thing,” wrote Aegis, who declined to provide his real name, by email. In creating the game, he studied Hitler’s analysis by social psychologist Erich Fromm, “The Spirit of Adolf Hitler” by Walter Langer, a DSM-IV Assessment of the Dictator, and “1924: The Year That A made Hitler “by Peter Ross Range.

“At this point, I’m repelled by him and I don’t really want to find out more information about him,” Aegis said. “I had enough.”

But despite his clear disgust – and the lucid in-game accusation of Hitler’s anti-Semitism – Aegis was inundated with online abuse when he began marketing the game on Reddit.

“I had anticipated some controversy,” Aegis said. “But what happened on Reddit, I’ve never experienced in my life.”

Aegis has received what he believes are hundreds of personal attacks calling him a Nazi apologist, anti-Semite and “racial realist,” a term he had never heard before.

Aegis understands that the name he has given his game can seem creepy. But he is frustrated by the critics who, he said, “read the name ‘Heal Hitler’ and assumed I wanted to heal Hitler to enable him to be more effective in suffering.

After playing the game, I can confirm that this is by no means the point. The game treats Hitler as a human being whose problems can be reduced to the usual mundane baggage that comes from having parents, family tragedy, and a dotted creative dream. It seems taboo to suggest that Hitler could have been cured – that to avoid the horrors of the Final Solution, all he had to do was spend time on the analyst’s couch. But it helps to recognize that Hitler, although capable of monstrosities few in history matched, was not just a monster.

“Hitler was human,” Aegis said. “And he was a pretty boring and weak human. This is exactly what I mean – a guy like this could exist even today and people who are not really used to facing their own evil would have no way of detecting it in others.

As an anonymous analyst, you can make a limited number of choices about how to run the session, and you can gauge your success in the form of newspaper headlines. If you are successful in convincing Hitler to consider the source of his anger – the reason he came to see you, after his colleagues noted his lopsided speech in a public speech – the headlines report that he quit the Nazi Party. , abandoned the publication of “Mein Kampf” or, if you win the game, quit politics.

The attraction of attempting to diagnose one of the world’s greatest tyrants is by no means new. What is new here is the presentation. There is an understandably reflective unease that comes with gamifying the subject matter, although “Heal Hitler” is far from the first game to address this possibility. Considering the stakes – the deaths of millions are at stake – a simple “game over” notice or a headline letting you know Hitler formed the SS can be frightening.

Subtle changes in the questions and the sequence can change the outcome, which is one of the main failures of the game. It does not always make sense for a certain choice to give a positive or negative result. A question about why Hitler dates very young girls, rather than a question about a Jewish gallery owner who doesn’t like his work, can make the difference between publishing or putting “Mein Kampf” on the shelves. I asked Aegis what tactic might change the ending, and he replied that in the end there weren’t a lot of options available to the player, and the method just follows what therapy looked like in the end. period, with a Freudian vision of Hitler’s relationship to his parents. Hitler’s worldview and feeling as the savior of Germany and other tenets of his manifesto are also explained in his own words in the game.

I think the discomfort with the game comes down to a story change that comes a bit too close to denial, in a way that violent video games where players kill Hitler in a hail of bullets or thought experiments on the end of his life as an infant doesn’t. The act of psychoanalysis has the intrinsic precondition of seeing another person like that – a person, and a person who can change for the better. For someone like Hitler, steeped in not only psychological damage but a centuries-old background of fanaticism, one hour a week would probably never be enough. So, receiving it in human terms may still be controversial.

“People think I’m trying to humanize Hitler and make them sympathize with him,” Aegis said. That’s not entirely true, he argues, but he says understanding Hitler’s darkness is imperative to understanding how tyrants take power – appealing to our darkness as well. “A lot of people were deceived by Hitler. And I think it is still possible today.

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Devilishly Tricky ‘Sokobond’ Puzzle Game Slides On The Switch This Fall


A long time ago, in 1982, a game called Sokoban was released for the NEC PC-8801. It was a simple puzzle game about pushing boxes through a warehouse to get them to certain places; it has come to captivate the imaginations of so many puzzle designers that it has become its own genre of jigsaw puzzles.

30 years later, in 2012, two game designers called Alan Hazelden and Lee Shang Lun met, and after playing (and liking) each other’s games, they decided to work together on “a jam game. four hour quick “. This game rolled up way out of reach and eventually became Sokobond, a chemistry-themed re-imagination of the Sokoban genre, in which you have to move atoms around in order to create beautiful compounds.

And before you start worrying that your C in GCSE Chemistry won’t get you very far in this game – there is “no chemistry knowledge required” just like you don’t need to know plumbing to play. a Super Mario game.

But what is Sokobond Is have hundreds of mind-boggling atomic puzzles ready for your review, a September 2 release date on the Switch eShop, and an all-new localization for French, Italian, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Portuguese Brazilian.

Now how do you say “this puzzle makes me wanna melt my own eyes” in Brazilian Portuguese?

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Valve says the Steam Deck runs every PC game it’s tried, if you’re happy with 30fps


One of the more curious aspects of the Steam Deck recently revealed by Valve is the type of performance that will be available from the custom APU based on Zen 2 and RDNA 2. Although we haven’t seen any actual benchmarks yet. for the portable gaming PC, Valve makes lofty claims telling IGN that the new device has the “level of performance required to run the latest generation of games,” and that “we haven’t really found anything. that we could launch on this device that it could not manage ”.

You’ll have to temper your expectations though, as Valve has said that the level of performance they are aiming for is lower than what you would usually find on the best gaming monitor. The device sports a native 800p resolution display and aims to achieve an average frame rate of 30 frames per second, which makes it more in line with previous generation consoles than PC games. Of course, less demanding games will be able to make the most of the screen’s upper 60Hz. limit, but we still do not know exactly which ones will be able to reach more than 30 frames per second.

It remains to be seen how Steam Deck’s performance will differ when users go down the route of installing Windows on the device on its native Linux operating system, as games could run more smoothly on either or both. ‘other.

You’ll want to achieve these higher frames if you plan to play FPS games on the device, where a smoother frame rate is more important. Even still, 30fps is impressive considering the form factor of the Steam Deck, and it’s similar to what we see on other portable devices like the Nintendo Switch.

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Fans ask PC game to ditch Denuvo – and developer agrees, blames “performance impact” [Updated]

A video game logo and a company logo are combined on a rutted pavement.
Enlarge / the Humanity hand slams Denuvo in this week’s latest story on the woes of DRM.

For years, PC gamers have wondered aloud if anti-piracy solutions like Denuvo hurt game performance, as the solutions tend to run in the background looking for indicators related to piracy. Game tests related to Denuvo in the wild range from inconclusive to overwhelming.

This week, that debate escalates for the creators of Denuvo: A video game developer made the rare move to ditch the DRM platform for the PC version of its next game – and he blames the related performance issues squarely. to Denuvo for the decision.

Amplitude Studios, a French studio known for PC-exclusive 4X strategy games, previously announced that its upcoming game, Humanity, would ship with a Denuvo implementation in August 2021. This sparked an article titled “The Day Amplitude Broke My Heart” on the official Amplitude forum, with a fan declaring his love for previous Amplitude strategy games , then expressing his disappointment that Humanity had a Denuvo tag on its Steam page.

After pointing out their disagreement with Denuvo’s practices, including blocking offline-only gameplay, the fan made a reasonably balanced plea: “To be fair, I fully understand why Denuvo was chosen (probably by [Amplitude studio owner] Sega). I understand how important it is for sales to protect the game around release, but PLEASE Amplitude, PLEASE consider removing Denuvo after a few months! ”Passed.

“We take it off”

Amplitude and CCO co-founder Romain de Waubert de Genlis responded to the thread on Thursday, July 15, with a surprising announcement: the fan would not have to wait “a few months” to see Denuvo withdrawn. In place, Humanity will launch on August 17th with no actual Denuvo implementation.

On his company forum, de Genlis admits that commercial considerations played into Amplitude’s initial decision: “We’ve been one of the top-rated games on Steam this year, so we know we’re going to be the target. pirates, more than any of our previous games, ”he wrote. “If Denuvo can hold back a cracked version, even for a few days, that can really help us protect our launch already.” (This is precisely Denuvo’s sales pitch to game publishers, even in a market where its flaws only lasted a day, not to mention negative periods.)

But ultimately, his teammates felt they couldn’t justify his inclusion after running into problems. While de Genlis admits there is a chance his team could have added Denuvo to the game without affecting PC performance, testing during the game’s closed beta in June showed performance to be too high – and that it’s “not something that we can fix before release. So we take it out.”

In other words: when given the choice between delaying the game to optimize a Denuvo implementation and running the game without Denuvo at all, Amplitude opted for the latter.

Humanity gameplay demo, March 2021.

“Our priority is always the best possible experience for the players who buy our games and support us,” writes de Genlis. “Denuvo should never have an impact on player performance, and we don’t want to sacrifice quality for you guys.” After that, the thread’s creator changed the title of the thread to read: “The Day Amplitude Broke My Heart (& How They Went It Up).”

Interestingly, this post came a day after Capcom admitted that its May 2021 game Resident Evil: Village worse on PC with anti-piracy protections enabled, which combines a mix of Denuvo and Capcom’s own proprietary DRM system. While Capcom did not initially respond to our July 12 report on the matter, which included firm confirmation of the performance gap between the retail and cracked versions of TOWER on PC, the developer ended up confessing once Digital Foundry’s video analysis on it went live.

[Update, July 22: On Thursday, a Denuvo representative replied to Ars Technica’s questions, but the response did not include any answers. Instead, the representative CC’ed two outside parties—one from Amplitude Studios and one from Sega—writing, “There seems to have been a misunderstanding on what was said” and suggesting the CC’ed parties should “clarify” their position. The Denuvo representative did not acknowledge that the original Amplitude announcement included an allegation that directly tied Denuvo’s DRM system to Humankind‘s in-game performance.]

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