Last week Two Worlds 2, a seven-year-old role-playing game, got an expansion. But the PC version got something else too, something unwanted: microtransactions.
In a new Marketplace section of the game's main menu - screenshots from a Reddit thread - were optional purchases for in-game skill books, materials, crystals, cards and money, each ranging in price from $0.50 to $2.
Exacerbating their surprise inclusion was the removal of the game's console commands - a place where you could type cheat codes and spawn exactly the kind of content now being sold - although they have since been reinstated.
Two Worlds 2 to receive new story DLC and engine update.
Two Worlds 3 is officially happening, series developer Reality Pump Studios has announced.
The developer said it's in the concept stage and scheduled for development over the next three years.
In the meantime, Reality Pump hasn't given up on Two Worlds 2. Far from it. Despite being released over five years ago, the developer is giving its open-world RPG a major push with an all new engine update and story DLC.
There's still no Payday: The Heist on the European PlayStation Store. But Sony offered a few words about the game's continued absence.
"We are close to being able to confirm the release date of Payday: The Heist and are just waiting for Sony Online Entertainment to provide 100 per cent confirmation, which we hope will be with us later today," wrote EU PlayStation blog manager James Gallagher. "Sony Europe and SOE are working hard to get the game in your hands as soon as possible; thank you for your patience."
The content that is available this week relates to Halloween, which happens on Monday, 31st October. There's a sale, which includes a half-price deal on the Prince of Persia trilogy, plus extra discounts for members of PlayStation Plus.
Two Worlds 2 expansion Pirates of the Flying Fortress will be released on PS3 the week commencing 10th October, TopWare has told Eurogamer.
"There was no earlier timeslot available," the company said.
Pirates of the Flying Fortress was released for PC on 20th September and Xbox 360 earlier this week (27th September). It costs a swarthy £24.99 on PC, or 2400 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live. PS3 prices tend to match those on PC.
TopWare has surprised us all by announcing the next Two Worlds game - presumably Two Worlds III - despite the second instalment still days from its Friday UK release.
"We are trying to do a better job every time and have brought in a brand new 3D modelling, animation and CG team for the next Two Worlds game coming out in 2012," TopWare managing director James Seaman wrote on Destructoid.
Eurogamer contacted Seaman who said an official date and title announcement was "about three months" away. It's true, then.
There's been another UK release hiccup for Two Worlds II; the ambitious fantasy RPG has been pushed back from a 4th February release (this Friday) to 18th February, TopWare Interactive has confirmed to Eurogamer.
That's after slipping from a 25th January date before that, and an autumn 2010 date before that.
As fantasy action-RPGs go, 2007's Two Worlds may have been a bit shonky, but it certainly had a lot of heart. The sequel goes one better: it's got a lot of lung.
Loot a slain animal and, with a squelchy audio cue, you'll fish out one of its meaty gasbags and flop it into your backpack. But even the gizzards of a lowly hyena are worth collecting in Two Worlds II. In fact, absolutely everything is worth looting, as the game's superb crafting systems enable you to repurpose every piece of trash in your backpack to useful ends. It's almost a meta-commentary on recycling.
Basic alchemy is available pretty early on, and lets you combine reagents into healing, mana, and stat-buff or resistance potions. The entire process is affably simple, too. Looting can be done from a distance, and a single click sucks everything into your backpack. You find yourself running at breakneck speed through the countryside, snatching indigenous herbs without pause and emptying foes' pockets, post-massacre, with Dyson-like efficiency.
For all the shortcomings of Reality Pump's rather awful RPG Two Worlds, at least it gave the developer something to focus its efforts on for a sequel. Most reviewers quickly decided that the original game was buggy, ugly and fairly dull. There's three things to get to work on already.
SouthPeak has told Eurogamer that RPG sequel Two Worlds II is, despite misleading statements to the contrary, in development for PS3.
Yesterday, TopWare - the European publisher and owner of game developer Reality Pump - announced Two Worlds II for Xbox 360 but made no mention of PS3. And as the game had been unveiled as a PC and "next-gen console" title the natural assumption was that the Sony version had been dropped or had never gotten off the ground. Given the PC/360 nature of the first Two Worlds game, this would make sense, but apparently the sequel is coming to PS3 after all.
SouthPeak, incidentally, will publish Two Worlds II in the UK, US and Australia.
TopWare has explained that elements of scrapped expansion Two Worlds: The Temptation will appear in recently-announced sequel Two Worlds II, but made it clear that the latter is "for sure a different title and not a simple rename".
"After Two Worlds the dev team started an add-on. Later this was too huge and became a full product (Two Worlds: The Temptation), but in the last year as the development went forward, we found the technology outdated and started a new engine generation from the scratch. Now it is a real Two Worlds II with state-of-the-art technology," TopWare boss Dirk Hassinger told Joystiq.
"Of course some ideas and story partly developed in the last couple of years, which could have been a part of Two Worlds: The Temptation (PC/360) and Revelation (PS3), will be used for TWII, but it is for sure a different title and not a simple rename."
TopWare (now owned by Zuxxez) has announced a sequel to Oblivion-alike RPG Two Worlds.
Memorably dubbed Two Worlds II, the game will appear on Mac, "next-gen consoles" and PC this winter.
The sequel has been in development for two years and makes "quantum leaps" in all areas, boasts the press release. AI has been overhauled, authors ditched and a brand-new combat engine employed. Not in place of the authors, obviously.