News to ruin your Christmas

Vale Max Payne

Actor James McCaffrey best known for his role of Max Payne from the Max Payne series and the very Max Payne-like but legally distinct Alex Casey from Alan Wake has died at the age of 65. He passed at his home in New York after battling with cancer.  Despite voicing multiple iconic video game characters James never became a fan of the medium saying in a 2020 interview with Saratoga Living:

“I’m not a big fan of video games, and I never have been. The first time I did Max Payne, it was, like, six hours a day in a sound booth, and it was about 400 pages of script. But, I’ve never seen it, I’ve never played it, I have no desire to. I lack the proper appreciation for video games.”

Marvel's Wolverine | Insomniac Games

Insomniac Leak + Suicide Squad Leak

Marvel’s Spiderman 2 developer Insomniac has fallen victim to a massive 1.67 TB data leak by ransomware group Rhysida. Included are development files for released and upcoming projects such as Wolverine, details on cancelled projects like Sunset Overdrive 2, business contract and personal HR records and communications. After failing to ransom the data for $2 million some data was sold to undisclosed buyers and the rest released.

In other leaks the files of a closed alpha version of the upcoming Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League have been pored through by dataminers and released details on the game’s plot including some major character reveals.

“It is very disappointing to see details being shared ahead of the game’s release, so we can only urge you to try to avoid spoilers where you can. And please try not to impact the enjoyment of other players by posting spoilers.”

Naughty Dog Ceases Development Of The Last Of Us Online - Game Informer

Last of Us Online Dead

If you were looking forward to Naughty Dog’s long-teased multiplayer spin off for The Last of Us 2 than I have bad news for you. It has been cancelled. The troubled development saw the studio trying to wrangle their traditional style of development with a live service model at one point even bringing in Bungie to try and find a path forward. This week the studio announced it will be ceasing development on the title after being unable to find the needed balance. In a statement on their website Naughty Dog justifies their decision as such:

“In ramping up to full production, the massive scope of our ambition became clear. To release and support The Last of Us Online we’d have to put all our studio resources behind supporting post launch content for years to come, severely impacting development on future single-player games.”

DOTA2 Bans

Valve has been spreading the holiday cheer in DOTA2 this year with their festive Frostivus event where players have a chance of getting a wide range of gifts. Including bans. Some players found their stocking filled with “Highly Toxic Lump of Coal” when opening their Frostivus gift which liberally gave out timed and permanent bans to accounts who were toxic, smurfing or otherwise violated the Terms of Service. The studio have taken an aggressive position towards cheaters and other toxic members of their community, stating in the release notes:

“If you’re on the Naughty List, we’ve got great news for everybody else and bad news for you because this year is gonna be a bloodbath.”

Hitman's holiday bonus level is a silly, brilliant and entirely welcome little extra | VG247

Game releases

December 25th will see Santa come down your chimney if you’re that way inclined.