Cars, spaceships, and a metal band star in this week’s game news recap -- actually, two metal bands, and they’ve both got forthcoming games. In the past week, Epic Games pushed critical announcement regarding its new Paragon MOBA: The game will be entirely free-to-play -- access to all heroes included -- with only monetized cosmetic items. Early beta access costs $20, but will be waived at launch (similar to the successful Dota 2 model). Time will tell how financially viable “cosmetic items only” is for yet another game on the market, but it’s been working out well for Dota 2 so far. Not a bad model to follow.

Other news includes No Man’s Sky, a game we think is well worth a follow, and Dream Theater’s new The Astonishing game and album. Maiden’s in there, too, because Steve Harris has decided to bring Eddie to mobile devices. More in the recap video below. Script follows.

Every year at PAX, the hardware vendors compete with one another to become the center of attendee attention. There's an inherent challenge to running a hardware booth at a consumer-oriented gaming show: Everyone's there to see the games, so there's got to be something free (or tremendously cool) at the hardware booths.

Amazon game streaming subsidiary Twitch has announced its new gaming convention, “TwitchCon,” to take place in Moscone Convention Center (West) this September. The company, which was recently acquired by Amazon, issued the following statement:

Amazon announced Monday that the company negotiated a deal to purchase Twitch.tv for the small sum of $970 million. Google (YouTube) had been in negotiations since May to acquire Twitch, but were unable to close the deal. This gives Amazon the most popular avenue for game streaming. Although Google owns YouTube, Twitch reaches a very different market, and this can't be seen by Google as anything other than a slap in the face. It will be interesting to see if Google rises to the challenge and duels it out with Amazon – hopefully bringing their YouTube streaming service to a more complete status (corporate blood sport, how wonderful).

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As video game streaming takes off on a tear, we see the relatively new concept of watching others play games increase in its global domination. Twitch.tv, the most prolific game streaming service, recently announced its traffic and demographic statistics for 2013 in its annual review. Some of the stats are shocking -- although perhaps least surprising is the growth of MOBAs in popularity. Let's tear-down the stats.

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Twitch is now in the top 300 websites in the world.

By the beginning of 2012, Twitch.tv had just barely broken into the top 3000 websites in the world (source); entering 2014, Twitch is presently ranked 223 in the US and 336 globally. Alexa is admittedly not the most accurate site analytics system, but given the volume that larger sites move, it's a fair estimate for a site like Twitch. For a website entirely dedicated to gaming and streaming, those stats are pretty damn impressive -- we have to keep in mind that the average internet user doesn't even understand the concept of watching gameplay (top sites still include Google and Facebook).

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