New and used games retailer GameStop reported its third quarter financial results this week, which fell below what analysts were expecting. GameStop's total global sales for Q3 came to $2.09 billion, a drop of 0.7 percent compared to the $2.11 billion in the same quarter a year ago and below the $2.2 billion analysts on average were predicting. As a result, GameStop's stock went into free-fall mode.
Many things retro end up coming back in style years after the fact, though what about old school adventure gaming? You know, the point & click variety that was so popular in the 1980s and early 1990s with games like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, and several others I recall playing on a Commodore 64, and then later on an IBM compatible 286 PC. Well, after years of waiting, I'm happy to report that Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick have teamed up once more to create a point & click adventure game called Thimbleweed Park.
11 Bit Studios, the developer behind This War of Mine, has been hanging around The Pirate Bay lately, though not because it's looking to get anyone in trouble for pirating its game. Instead, 11 Bit Studios is handing out Steam codes to gamers who would otherwise pirate This War of Mine, an unorthodox strategy that it hopes will win the company a loyal following and buy it some goodwill.
Latest technical preview build changes the way OneDrive files get synced
The latest Windows 10 technical preview build rolled out this past Wednesday with a number of changes supposedly inspired by user feedback (or, as the the company put it on the Windows Blog, by user “awesomeness”). User feedback may very well have inspired most of the changes contained in Build 9879, but the removal of the “smart files” feature from OneDrive does not appear to be one of them, at least going by the amount of flak it has drawn over the past few days from Windows Insider Program members.
This time around, Microsoft isn't repeating its past mistake and will instead do Lumia phone customers a solid by committing to a Windows 10 update for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets. Microsoft made the promise in response to a customer's question on Twitter. The customer said he was interested in buying a Lumia 930 phone but wanted to know if it would get the update to Windows 10.
Make browser-based calls via Skype using a new plugin
If for whatever reason you don't want to download and install Skype to your PC but are still interested in making calls through the service, you now can (or soon will be able to). Microsoft today introduced Skype for Web, a beta plugin that allows you to make Skype calls from your browser without having the download and install the full software package. You can also use it to send and receive chat messages.
It's a good week to be a PC gamer, isn't it? GOG.com just kicked off its autumn sale with deep discounts and free games, and if you still want to add to your collection, the Humble Jumbo Bundle 3 gets you a handful of titles, including four copies of Insurgency -- one for you to keep and three to share with others. Talk about good timing now that the holiday shopping season is virtually upon us!
Free tool promises to bust a cap in uninvited browser add-ons and other adware
We've praised Bitdefender's Internet Security software on more than one occasion, as it typically performs well in our annual antivirus roundups. The company also offers a free antivirus solution for those who don't need a full fledged security suite, and adding to its pro bono portfolio, Bitdefender just launched a free tool to scan for and rid your system of various kinds of adware.
Microsoft this week started rolling out Clutter to Office 365 business customers to help them better manage their emails. Previously known as Delve, Microsoft's Clutter tool uses machine learning to de-clutter your inbox by moving lower priority messages into a dedicated folder. In theory, what gets left behind are more urgent emails that need your immediate attention.
Epic Games made the decision earlier this year to offer up its Unreal Engine 4 to anyone and everyone for $19 per month (plus 5 percent of gross revenue resulting from any commercial products you build using UE4), affording game developers of any size and budget a chance to play with a complete and popular game engine. Wondering what you can do with it? To get a taste, there are two new UE4 demos available, one for HTML5 and the other for Nvidia's Maxwell GPUs.