Picture of Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

Roughly a year ago I found myself in a 'games as art' conversation - a conversation I know is tired, but one I hadn't heard of in earnest for a few years. But the person doing the talking wasn't wearing a beret or holding a painter's palette or anything like that. He was a very down to earth man called Simon Meek, making a game called Beckett, and what he said made a deep impression on me.

The closed Sea of Thieves beta had 332,052 players

Hurry up launch, I capstan the wait.

Sea of Thieves is a big game for Microsoft and Xbox but how popular will it really be? Last week's closed beta might be an early indicator and the signs are good, with more than 332,052 people logging in to play, Microsoft has said.

How should you play Sea of Thieves? Think about what we've seen so far of the game, what the message has been: play with your friends, take control of a pirate ship and hunt treasure and other players on the high seas. But what if you don't want to play like that? What if you want to play alone? And what if I told you some of the best experiences I've had in the Sea of Thieves closed beta were while playing solo?

When Camelot Unchained ran out of crowdfunding money, Mark Jacobs did something unusual by today's standards: he put his hand in his own pocket and paid for development himself. Camelot Unchained didn't begin offering houses or castles or spaceships (let's call them horses) for real money, didn't become an intoxicating shopping mall for pledging support. Being delayed was developer City State Entertainment's fault so why should the community foot the bill?

They Are Billions is an unputdownable RTS revelation

"Infected horde approaching from the west!"

How long can you survive? It's so simple and so effective: build a base and protect it from the enemy zombie hordes. Not the ones milling about on the map, although they do trickle towards your base and sometimes with proper intent, but the actual hordes. When they approach they get a special announcement and a clock ticks down to their arrival, and a big skull represents them marching across the map. So much drama! When they turn up, you'll know why.

CD Projekt Red has been at pains to keep the conversation away from Cyberpunk 2077 in recent years. The Polish developer announced the game very early in order to attract talent to the studio, but then stopped discussing Cyberpunk 2077 entirely while The Witcher: Wild Hunt launched. This secrecy only intensified after the enormous success of The Witcher 3, as expectations rose dramatically about what the studio would be able to achieve next.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been patched - the game's first update of 2018. The headline features are a new map for Blast mode - on the eye-catching red/salt planet of Crait - and a new Hero ship for Starfighter Assault in the form of Iden Versio's modified TIE fighter.

UPDATE 15TH JANUARY: This article previously translated a passage of a French report to say Guillaume de Fondaumière was accused of "pushing kisses" on staff at parties, but the translation is incorrect, as de Fondaumière himself later pointed out to me. After further consultation we have a more accurate translation. The accusation revolves around the common French greeting of air-kissing when two people meet. Guillaume de Fondaumière is accused of making more contact with his kisses than is considered appropriate.

In one month, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - you might have heard of it - has amassed 3 million players on Xbox One. This doesn't equate exactly to sales (as many of you have pointed out - my apologies) as multiple accounts can access a game on an Xbox One. PUBG raced to 1 million players in 48 hours on Xbox One.