19 Years Later, Germany Gets the Uncensored Version of Half-Life
The original Half-Life is an undisputed classic whose influence on the FPS genre and virtually all modern gaming truly can’t be understated, but it was deemed a bit too violent for German audiences when it launched in 1998. It’s commonly known that Germany takes a stricter stance on violence in gaming than we typically see in the U.S. with many (of what we’d call) M-rated games being outright banned in the country. To ensure that doesn’t happen, devs often tweak their content to ensure that they can slip under regulations and release at least some version of their game for German audiences. Such was the case for Half-Life, in which enemy marine soldiers were replaced by robots and civilian scientists were rendered invincible.
As of this week, however, a free DLC pack is available via Steam that removes the German version’s censorship and presents Half-Life in its original, fantastic, and violent format.
Valve Update Steam Gift Policy, Upset Fans
In other Steam-related news, Valve have updated their policies regarding gift copies of games purchased via their service. Gifts can now be scheduled for future delivery (e.g., for an upcoming holiday), and non-accepted gifts are now refunded directly to the purchaser’s credit card rather than being stashed in their inventories. That all sounds pretty good, but some users are upset about the change because Steam will no longer allow users to stockpile gift copies of games during Steam’s oft-publicized sales to be handed out on a whim.
Bethesda Asked an Indie Dev to Chang the Name of their Game Because It Contained the Word “Prey”
Prey, the sci-fi horror game by Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks, launched this week, and word on the street is that it’s pretty great. The game’s title is a holdover from a unique 2006 FPS that 2K published, a sequel to which was announced but ultimately canceled in 2014. This week’s release has a great deal more in common with the System Shock series than it does to its own namesake, but that doesn’t mean that Bethesda aren’t very concerned about preserving the integrity of the title.
In a post on their official blog, No Matter Studios announced that their upcoming indie game, inspired heavily by Shadow of the Colossus, was officially changing its name from “Prey for the Gods” to “Præy for the Gods” in response to a request they received from Zenimax’s (the parent company to Bethesda) notoriously over-eager lawyers. They explain:
“We could’ve fought this and we did think about it for quite a while. Something like a trademark opposition can be long and depending on how far someone wants to fight it can be very expensive. We didn’t want to spend our precious Kickstarter funds, nor did we want to have to ask for additional funds to fight this in court. “
Eventually, they say, they came to an agreement with Zenimax in which No Matter Studios will continue to use their original logo for the upcoming release while still tweaking the way its title will be formally written out.