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January 15, 2021
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Best of 2020: How System Era overcame creative paralysis to fix Astroneer's crafting system  
by Staff [12.18.20]
System Era designer Aaron Biddlecom and gameplay programmer Elijah O'Rear explain how they mined their own game design to invigorate Astroneer's "flat" crafting system.
Console/PC, Design

CD Projekt now pledges to help refund retail copies of Cyberpunk 2077 1
by Alissa McAloon [12.18.20]
CD Projekt Red now says that it intends for "every owner of a physical copy, or a digital copy bought at retail" to receive a refund for their purchase of Cyberpunk 2077.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Xbox offering full refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 but isn't removing it from sale  
by Alissa McAloon [12.18.20]
Microsoft is offering full refunds to those that bought Cyberpunk 2077 digitally but doesn't currently plan to delist the infamously buggy console game.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Microsoft Flight Simulator has amassed over 2 million players in four months  
by Chris Kerr [12.18.20]
Microsoft Flight Simulator has become the fastest growing entry in the series after attracting over 2 million players in four months. 
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

CD Projekt hasn't discussed removing Cyberpunk from Xbox platforms  
by Chris Kerr [12.18.20]
Cyberpunk 2077 likely won't be removed from the Microsoft Store, according to CD Projekt chief executive Adam Kicinski. 
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Blog: Developing Raji: An Ancient Epic and crossing the finish line  
by Gamasutra Community [12.18.20]
Raji: An Ancient Epic is developed by Nodding Head Games. It is an action-adventure storyline, where the human realm is witnessing a demonic invasion.
Design, Production

Sony removes Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store, promises refunds 3
by Bryant Francis [12.17.20]
UPDATE: Sony has taken the unprecedented step of not only allowing players to get refunds for Cyberpunk 2077, but de-listing the game from the PlayStation Store.
Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Opinion: Game company acquisitions & the 'growth stock bubble' 2
by Gamasutra Staff [12.17.20]
Why are some companies in the game biz - from Embracer Group to Keywords - going on studio buying sprees right now? Should we be worried about it, and what are the larger financial underpinnings?
Console/PC, Indie, Art, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Best of 2020: Breaking linear character progression with Outer Worlds' flaw system 5
by Staff [12.17.20]
The Outer Worlds co-director Tim Cain tells Gamasutra about the thinking behind the game's unique "flaw" system, and how its design entices players to develop their characters in an organic, non-linear manner.
Console/PC, Design

Blog: Hands on - Predicting players' thinking  
by Gamasutra Community [12.17.20]
A hands-on guide to how you predict and control the player's meaning-making by differentiating between cognitive and behavioral goals in sequencing a motivating game space.

Deadline for GDC Core Concepts talk submissions extended to Jan. 11th  
by Staff [12.17.20]
Good news game developers! The deadline for submitting a GDC 2021 Core Concepts talk has been extended to January 11th.
Console/PC, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, GDC

Blog: Musical approaches to timed challenges - Part 2  
by Gamasutra Community [12.17.20]
Part two of this two-part article series explores musical approaches to timed challenges in Fail Factory and Spyder.
Audio, Design

Unity partners with Snap to extend reach of Unity Ads and deliver Snap Kit integration  
by Chris Kerr [12.17.20]
Unity has partnered with Snap to extend the reach of Unity Ads to Snapchat advertisers, while also bringing Snap technology to game devs through the Snap Kit SDK.
Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Keywords acquires PR company Indigo Pearl and recording studio Jinglebell  
by Chris Kerr [12.17.20]
Game service provider Keywords has continued its recent string of acquisitions by nabbing PR firm Indigo Pearl and recording studio Jinglebell. 
Audio, Production, Business/Marketing

Blog: 5 technical lessons learned making Art Sort in VRChat  
by Gamasutra Community [12.17.20]
We developed a serious game using Social VR application VRChat to see how well the Unity development process could support serious game development.
VR, Design

Switch cracks down (further) on extreme discounting  
by Gamasutra Staff [12.16.20]
Switch can still be quite a discount-centric platform - especially for games that cost $20-$25 on launch. But Nintendo has made some changes to shut down more egregious discounts - here's how.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Get a job: Join Guerrilla Games as a Senior Producer  
by Staff [12.16.20]
As a Producer you will be an integral part of development team, constantly looking for opportunities to improve efficiency, introduce new ideas and evolve our production techniques.
Production, Recruitment

Best of 2020: How Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other studios went remote in the time of COVID-19  
by Bryant Francis [12.16.20]
Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other game development studios and publishers explain how their companies transitioned to remote work to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Console/PC, Production

Stadia is now on iOS, but not through the App Store  
by Alissa McAloon [12.16.20]
Google has officially launched its game streaming service Google Stadia on iOS devices but, like many of its competitors, had to bypass the App Store to do so.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Blog: A developmental look at game aesthetics 1
by Gamasutra Community [12.16.20]
What emotions do children want to experience when they play games? To answer this question, we present a framework that theorizes how game aesthetics evolve as children age.