Intel Unveils Three Free Game Promotion on Select Core i7 CPUs

Intel’s flagship mainstream and enthusiast processors incur a hefty price increase compared to their i5 counterparts. Despite this, the lack of competition in the elite CPU tier, means Intel can charge extremely high prices and still manage to shift a large number of units. This is illustrated rather well by the current Skylake pricing scheme. For example, in the UK, an i7-6700K varies dramatically in price between £270-£360. Arguably, this is due to supply issues, but I haven’t seen any substantial reductions as of yet.

As you might expect, Skylake is designed to replace many of the older CPU architectures and Intel has launched an intriguing promotion on select models. When you purchase any qualifying product, Intel will provide a ‘Master Key’ which grants access to the Intel Enthusiast Game Voucher. The voucher contains the following three free games which apparently equates to $124.98:

  • Counter Strike: GO ($14.99 Value)
  • Just Cause 3 ($59.99 Value)
  • World of Warships ($50 Value)

According to early listings from Newegg, it appears the promotion only applies to the following CPUs:

This is subject to change, but the key omissions are the i7-4770K and i7-4790K. This is bizarre considering these two chips have been the primary choice for the enthusiast market. However, perhaps Intel feels there’s no need to incentive sales on the i7-4770K and i7-4790K. This exercise appears to be designed to shift old stock, and transfer people to Intel’s latest products.

The promotion is valid until the 15th February 2016 from participating retailers.

Gigabyte is Exclusive World of Tanks Motherboard Partner

The first pictures of Gigabyte’s World of Tanks themed Z170 motherboard already showed up prior to the official release and now we learn that Gigabyte is the exclusive partner for World of Tanks motherboards. World of Tanks is a massive multiplayer online game where, you guessed it, you battle it out with tanks. The game has over 110 million registered users and holds the Guinness World Record of 1,114,222 simultaneous players on one single server.

The Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 3 is the first motherboard with the WoT theme and it also comes with some in-game goodies for the ones purchasing it. World of Tanks players in the EU and CIS area that purchase one of these motherboards will find a leaflet inside the box with a bonus code, an invite code, and unspecified exclusive perks.

Gigabyte also has some bonuses for those who purchased the better Z170 motherboards in the same area (EU, CIS), namely the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 5 motherboard or a Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard. These aren’t for World of Tanks, but for World of Warships instead. Users who purchase these boards will get an invite code to give them access to a Diana Russian Premium Cruiser, a Tier II Port slot, 7 days of Premium membership, and 500 signal flags (currency).

If you’d like to check out all the details on the three Wargaming partner motherboards from GIGABYTE, then you can do that at the official product pages for the Z170X-Gaming 3Z170X-Gaming 5, and Z170X-Gaming 7.

Wargaming Announces the Open Beta for World of Warships With New Trailer

Wargaming has just announced that it pushed its upcoming title, World of Warships, to open beta. This means that everybody can download and enjoy the naval warfare game and if you were already in the closed beta, you can now have your friends join and help you through the PvE or even test your skills in PvP with them.

The open beta is said to have 10 unique maps and over 90 ships, split into two historic naval ship banners, the Americans and Japanese. The tech tree has four ship classes, all with their unique gameplay and tactics. You can either choose to have Destroyers, boasting big torpedoes, extreme manoeuvrability and smoke screen capabilities, or take the helm of Cruisers and intimidate your opponents with big, powerful guns, anti-aircraft guns, and a lot of firepower to support your teammates.

The remaining two classes consist of Battleships, who are goliaths that can pierce through the thickest armoured ships in the game, sustain a lot of damage and act as the “guardians” for your fleet, and the almighty Aircraft Carriers, who can be your fleet’s eyes and firepower support.

Aside from the American and Japanese banners, you can also take the helm of a few Russian and British. So whether you want to try it out or get your friends to help your fleet, it’s definitely worth giving it a try. You can download it from its website here.

Fan Backlash Causes Wargaming to Partially Honour Humble Bundle Deal

After facing severe fan anger over their handling of the Humble Bundle deal, Wargaming has changed their tune. After deciding not to honour the original Humble Bundle due to mixed messaging, developers have announced that those who purchased the Humble Bundle will be able to regain their beloved Murmansk. However, the rest of the bundle will not be credited to customers.

Today Wargaming released a statement on their change in tune. Anyone who purchased the E3 Humble Bundle will be credited the premium ship Murmansk permanently through the open beta and beyond. However, the 1000 gold doubloons/5 inventory slots still won’t be credited to accounts so Wargaming is still only partially honouring the deal. The relevant parts of the statement are as follows:

With the World of Warships Open Beta merely days away, we want to make sure your first experience with our latest game is a great one: those of you who purchased and redeemed the Humble Bundle E3 Digital Ticket codes for World of Warships will be credited with the Murmansk shortly.

This ship will remain on your account through the remainder of Closed Beta, into Open Beta, and through to release. To be clear, players will receive only the Tier V Russian Murmansk if they purchased the Humble Bundle E3 Digital Ticket to keep permanently.<

As the now 32 page thread and the reddit post show, while fans are happy that they are getting the Murmansk back, they aren’t satisfied that Wargaming has done enough. Many are clamoring for Wargaming to fulfill the terms of the entire deal and that failure to fulfill all the terms means Wargaming is still regening on the deal. To some fans, only PC gamers are shafted so frequently with raw deals that would be unacceptable in other parts of the economy. Others though, are satisfied with getting the Murmansk as that amounts 75% of the total value of the Humble Bundle.

Hopefully Wargaming has learned its lesson from this debacle and won’t this mistake. It is important for developers and others in the PC gaming industry to be able to keep their commitments and be clear about their messaging. Failure to do so can result in fan backlash and a lost of trust that is not easily regained. We will continue to follow the story and update you on any developments if they occur.

Wargaming Backtracks Over World of Warships Humble Bundle Purchases

MMO developer Wargming is in hot water over their treatment of customers. Earlier this month, the developer partnered with Humble Bundle to let players purchase in-game cash and ship for  their still in beta title, World of Warships. At the time, anyone who purchased the bundle would get access to the closed beta, get premium ship Murmansk  and 1,000 premium credits. These items also would have carried over into open beta and beyond. After the latest game patch however, the deal has been altered and many fans have found their beloved ship missing.

In a June 16th post on game forums, developers confirmed that those who purchased the Humble Bundle would get to keep  the ship and cash after the end of closed beta. This made a lot of sense as the closed beta period was about to end and it wouldn’t make sense to buy something that would later get wiped. With confidence their purchase would be secure, many fans took advantage of the Humble Bundle deal to snag themselves some steel.

Today, World of Warships transitioned to open beta and fans were met with a bad surprise. Upon viewing their ship inventory, many players were shocked to find that their beloved Murmansk and their premium credits had gone missing. Re-entering the code also did not yield any results but at first fans were patient and hoped it was simply a bug. However, developers soon posted a statement that the Humble Bundle deal was only meant for closed beta. Moreover though, developers also admitted that they had bungled the message and had taken a week to fix their mistake. The crucial parts of the clarification statement can be found below with bold being mine own emphasis:

Being involved with Humble Bundle, an organization that supports a wide range of charities such as the ESA Foundation, Child’s Play, and Video Game History Museum are a noble cause, and one we’ve always wanted to be a part of. Unfortunately, we bungled this first-time effort. This is on us, not Humble Bundle.

Last week we said you’d get the Murmansk on your accounts after we went into Open Beta. That was incorrect; we had only ever intended to treat this partnership with Humble Bundle as an opportunity to preview premium World of Warships content and to help drive donations to charity.

While we were quick to work with Humble Bundle to revise messaging on their web portal on June 17, we neglected to revise our own forum thread topic from June 16. Should we have left that thread unaddressed for a week? No. That’s our failing in effectively communicating back to you.

We screwed up, plain and simple, and we hope you understand that we’re sincerely sorry. This was never our intention and we hope that you can forgive us for this blunder.

Many angry fans have taken to reddit and the game forum to voice their complaints. During the mixed messaging period, a large number of players had bought in, thinking that the official stance was that they would keep their items. Furious accusations have ranged from deception, fraud, and a bait and switch and many are demanding that their purchase be honoured under the original terms. So furious was the response that the forum thread has grown to over 57 pages in the 6 hours since the company backtracked and the World of Warships sub-reddit is swarming.

Wargaming has stated that the bundle was meant to help support charity and bring in more players to experience the closed beta. One does have to at least give credit that Wargaming has owned up to their mistake so easily. However, given that fact that Wargaming have admitted they screwed up the messaging, the least they could do is give the items the fans purchased with real money. Given the fact that these are digital items and many might not have purchased the Murmansk had it not been for the bundle, that only seems fair. The lost trust of players is something that no amount of perceived revenue lost could justify, not in the least for free to play games.

World of Warships Hits Closed Beta

Wargaming’s latest MMO title, World of Warships, has just hit closed beta status. The developer states that, as with their other titles, World of Warships aims to deliver an authentic experience to all players.

There are reports that a total of 50 ships, both American and Japanese, and 5 maps are present in the beta. However, expect Wargaming to add a lot more once the title is released. Fans who would like to participate in the closed beta can sign up on the developer’s website here.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information