We recently had the opportunity to speak with Richard Garriott de Cayeux, known to his fans as "Lord British," and Starr Long about the current designs for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. One of the design aspects I found truly fascinating was their player-driven economy model. This shouldn't sound that strange, as almost everyone MMO appears to hype such ambitions, but few actually manage to produce an economy that doesn't self-destruct.

2015 promises to be one of the most-celebrated years for video games in recent memory. The Witcher 3, No Man’s Sky, Uncharted 4, and Halo 5: Guardians are among the heavily discussed titles to release this year. Q1 should keep gamers fairly busy with remastered classics, new IP from acclaimed studios, a strong showing of 3DS games, and a PC-optimized title we’ve been demanding for quite some time. Among these, we’ll be reviewing and benchmarking major PC titles, as we’ve already done with Evolve’s beta.

Here’s GamersNexus’ most anticipated games releasing in Q1 2015, listed by order of confirmed release date.

The first PAX South sees the showcasing of several indie titles, a few mid-sized titles (Grey Goo, Dreadnaught), and the occasional hardware vendor. We figured a quick sales recap could commemorate the first major gaming convention in the southern US.

The next installment in the Total War series has been revealed as one that details a darker chapter in history: The reign the Huns.

Raptr is back with their Most Played Games stats for the month of December, showing a rise for WoW, Hearthstone, and CSGO.

In Left 4 Dead-like form, Evolve reintroduces the concept of monster vs. humans multiplayer gameplay with high-fidelity graphics. 2K's soon-to-be released “Evolve” has already been analyzed by us a few times, but now we're returning to specifically benchmark the game's PC FPS performance. 

This Evolve GPU FPS benchmark tests the game on Very High (max) and Medium settings, pitting some of the best graphics cards against one another. On our Evolve graphics bench, we tested the GTX 980 vs. the GTX 780, 770, 750 Ti, & R9 290X vs. the R9 285, 270X, R7 250X, & HD 7850. Once we got past the FPS limitations (resolved easily, as explained in an upcoming guide), testing Evolve was fairly easy and unrestrictive.

NOTE: This game is in BETA. Although it is near completion, results could be significantly improved prior to launch as GPU manufacturers move to finalize drivers specific to Evolve. The same is true as 2K continues to implement optimization patches.

After going big on family gifts, it's not always in the funds to get things for gaming friends and clanmates; the rise of Steam, Origin, and other services have changed that. There's a huge Steam sale right now, but you can also grab games like Battlefield for $1, Dragon Age: Inquisition for 30% off, and Titanfall for $10 via EA's revamped Origin store.

We've already overviewed Steam's sales – here's what Origin's got.

'Tis the season for humiliating Sony, and it just keeps going. First, the company was hacked and embarrassed publicly with its own incompetence. Next, they were besieged by class action lawsuits against them for data breaches. Then, they announced they were pulling the movie that everyone believes is responsible for the hacks. Finally – and this is the only tidbit that I actually find interesting in any way – a previous class action lawsuit about false advertising for one of the PS4 release titles has been allowed to proceed.

In a somewhat unexpected turn for the firmly established Minecraft franchise, a new “Story Mode” episodic game is being developed by Telltale Games in collaboration with Mojang.

Story Mode will feature a narrative-driven approach to gameplay, likely utilizing Telltale Games' famous dialogue wheel showcased in The Wolf Among Us & Tales from the Borderlands. Mojang promises that the collaborative project will feel “as Minecrafty as possible,” noting that they're providing input during design and development.

Raptr has just posted its Most Played PC Games for November 2014, a list on which World of Warcraft continues to shine.

The “Most Played” list captures the total amount of time Raptr users spend playing a given game.

World of Warcraft (#2) continued its climb up the charts following the release the Warlords of Draenor expansion. Since its release, playtime has nearly doubled.

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