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Kotaku Splitscreen

Kotaku Splitscreen

Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton, Jason Schreier, and Maddy Myers talk about all things gaming... and maybe more.


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Cyberpunk 2077, Crunch, And One Very Ambitious Game

E3 2019: Jason Schreier sits down with Marcin Iwi?ski, founder and co-CEO of Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red, to follow up on their conversation about crunch a few weeks ago. They also talk about Cyberpunk 2077's ambitious scope, controversies over trans issues, racial stereotypes, Keanu Reeves, GOG financial issues, and whether Cyberpunk will come to Switch.

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Everything Is Esports Now

At E3 2019, Maddy sits down with Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez, esports commentator and event host best known for his work on Overwatch League, Call of Duty, and Halo. Mendez actually used to cover esports for Kotaku years ago; now, he commentates and hosts massive esports tournaments in stadiums around the country. We talk about the traditional sports influences on the esports industry, the wide spectrum of esports personalities out there, and whether Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games will be the next great esport (it will). Lastly, Mendez talks about his new show, LVL UP, which is like Pimp My Ride but for gaming rigs.

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The Future Of Destiny 2

E3 2019: Jason Schreier sits down with Destiny bosses Luke Smith and Mark Noseworthy for a deep dive into the future of Destiny 2, which is an MMO now. They talk about RPG elements, story loose ends, technical challenges, cross-play (or lack thereof), whether there will ever be a Destiny 3, Stadia latency, and what 2020 looks like for this franchise.

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How Baldur's Gate 3 Came Together

E3 2019: Jason Schreier talks to Larian Studios boss Swen Vincke and D&D creative chief Mike Mearls about how the Baldur's Gate 3 deal came together, what it's like to make a video game based on Dungeons & Dragons in 2019, and whether Minsc and Boo will be in the game. They talk about the confusion of D&D spell slots, the "infinite possibilities" in a game like this, and how great role-playing games are made.

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Breath of the Wild 2!!! And Other E3 Reactions

Nintendo just announced a sequel to Breath of the Wild?? Also, a bunch of other E3 press conferences happened, with some good-looking games, some Keanu-shaped surprises, a very good dog, and a lot of loud music.

Kirk, Jason, and Maddy get together to talk through it all, breaking down highlights from Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Nintendo. Jason and Maddy will be back all week with interviews from the E3 show floor, so stay tuned to your feed for more.





Square Enix:


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Our E3 2019 Hopes And Predictions

Episode 182: Hell yeah, it's time for E3! Kirk, Jason, and Maddy talk about the games they've been playing (Outer Wilds, Timespinner, Gato Roboto) before jumping into E3 guesses, hopes, predictions, and rumors (32:46) involving EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Nintendo, and much more. Will The Avengers and FF7 live up to the hype? With Sony skipping this year's show, can Microsoft blow us all away as it fights for console dominance? And what kind of whispers has Jason heard about Ubisoft's showcase this year? You'll have to listen to the show to find out. The gang closes things out with off-topic talk (1:24:38) including Dragon Ball Z, 24, and Rocketman.


Music pick of the week: ?Hangin? with My Baby? by Tower of Power from their 2018 (!) album Soul Side of Town

Jon Bois on 24:

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Death Stranding Looks Chill and Normal

Episode 181: Baby Ghost... Recon? Kirk, Jason, and Maddy talk video games, from Dark Souls 3 to Observation, then dive into news of the week (29:00) including Death Stranding's ridiculous new trailer (and 2019 release date!), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and EA Play. The crew hears from a listener who does game analytics for a major video game company, then they get into off-topic talk on Veep, Educated, Fleabag, 24, 24, and 24 (1:04:54).

Music Pick of the Week: ?Grey Seal? by Elton John from his 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


Politico Article:

Justin McElroy on Anor Londo:

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More Data, More Problems

Episode 180: We've gotten so many interesting listener e-mails about privacy in gaming, we just had to keep talking about it! First, the Splitscreen gang talks about some of the games they're playing including Phoenix Wright, Rage 2, and Destiny. Then they get into the news of the week (28:18) on Minecraft Earth, the God of War documentary, and a major shakeup in Call of Duty-land.

After the news, Kirk, Maddy, and Jason read some listener emails and talk more about advertisers using our data, targeted marketing, and whether the internet is just broken or what. Then it's time for off-topic talk (1:11:55) on Designated Survivor, Lemony Snicket, and much more.

Music pick of the week: ?Ageless Beauty? by Stars from their 2004 album Set Yourself On Fire

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Game of Thrones Season 8, Ep6: "The Iron Throne"

The game of thrones has ended, and so has Game of Thrones. On this final bonus episode, Jason and Kirk wrap up their coverage of HBO's grand fantasy series by recapping the events of "The Iron Throne," then looking back at the show as a whole.


Zeynep Tufekci on the series' shift from sociological to psychological storytelling:

Zach Kram on its shifting relationship with consequence:

Gita Jackson on Game of Thrones' Fullmetal Alchemist problem:

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Your Gaming Data, Up For Sale

Episode 179: Jason's wisdom tooth removal has left Kirk and Maddy by themselves to discuss Phoenix Wright and the music of mystery games. Kirk is also playing Rage 2, Destiny 2, and a tabletop game about bluffing called Sheriff of Nottingham. This week's news (33:32) includes a very pretty Final Fantasy 7 teaser and the announcement of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which Kirk is excited about. We also discuss the Vox article ?Angry Birds and the end of privacy? and our own concerns about games and apps that collect our data. We close out with off-topic talk (58:50) that ends up veering off into discussion of the works of Patrick Rothfuss.

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Game of Thrones Season 8, Ep5: "The Bells"

With each new episode of Game of Thrones, the gods toss a coin and the world holds its breath. Too bad for us, "The Bells"' coin landed on the "unfortunate plot developments" side.

Kirk and Jason talk through the ins and outs of Dany's big day, along with the highs and lows of what was, in the end, a pretty disappointing episode.

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The Government's Coming For Your Loot Boxes

Episode 178: Jason, Kirk, and Maddy talk about the new Kotaku piece about what it was like to work on Mortal Kombat 11's ultra-violent scenes, then get into the games they're playing: Danganronpa, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and a potpourri of Kirk video games. This week's big news (35:05) includes a U.S. senator introducing an anti-loot box bill, Riot employees walking out, and the Sonic movie changing course. Finally, lots of off-topic talk (1:01:28) on all sorts of TV shows and movies.

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Game of Thrones Season 8, Ep4: "The Last of the Starks"

Kirk and Jason discuss the fourth episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, "The Last of the Starks." Jon's secret gets out, Brienne has some wine, Dany has a latte, Varys and Tyrion scheme, Cersei does evil stuff, and no one pets the dog. Let's discuss.

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The Excellence Of Avengers: Endgame (with Evan Narcisse)

It's time for Teeth Talk with Kirk, Maddy, and Jason! First the Splitscreen gang talks about some video games they've been playing, like Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Danganronpa, along with dropping some wisdom about just letting games go (like Days Gone) when you've had enough. Then they bring on former Kotaku writer and current comics writer Evan Narcisse (30:49) for a big spoilery chat about Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the future of Marvel movies might go, comic references you might have missed, and much more.

Music pick of the week: ?Juice? by Lizzo from her new album ?Cuz I Love You?

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Game of Thrones Season 8, Ep3: "The Long Night"

Squint and turn up your monitor's brightness, and you'll see that our special coverage of Game of Thrones season 8 continues with episode three, the nightmarish "The Long Night."

Our surviving heroes wage a desperate battle against the Night King's overwhelming zombie army - will the walls of Winterfell hold? Could the good guys possibly win? And in a battle like this, what does "winning" even look like, anyway? Let's discuss.

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Game of Thrones Season 8, Eps 1&2: "Winterfell," "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"

Kotaku Splitscreen's special Game of Thrones coverage returns with a double-header recap of the first two episodes of the show's final season. Kirk and Jason go over what they liked (and didn't like) about both "Winterfell" and "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," then share their hopes for the future, make some wild predictions, and guess who'll live and who'll die this coming Sunday.

We'll be back to recap that episode on Monday, and will be publishing Monday recaps from there on out to the end.


"The Key to ?Game of Thrones? Season 8 Isn?t Dragons or Swords or White Walkers or Even Incest. It?s Consequence." - The RingerA post from r/GameofThrones listing parallels between S8E1 and S1E1"Exhuming Lady Stoneheart: What We Lost in Game of Thrones? Biggest Cut" -
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The Days Are Definitely Gone

Episode 176: Jason's back from vacation to talk about all sorts of video games with Kirk and Maddy, including Mortal Kombat 11, Baba Is You, Hitman 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Phoenix Wright. Then the trio dives into Days Gone (42:16), the new PS4-exclusive that's all about killing zombies -- sorry, freakers -- and being sad on a motorcycle. Finally, some off-topic talk (1:02:10) on Avengers: Infinity War, Carmen Sandiego, and Barry.

Music Pick of the Week: ?First it Giveth? - Queens of the Stone Age from their 2002 album Songs for the deaf

Show notes:

"I watched 21 Marvel movies this month ? and witnessed a decade of progress for women" - Washington Post
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You Cheated Not Only the Game, But Yourself

Jason's on vacation, so Maddy and Kirk get the podcast to themselves. We start with a listener email about how we'd react if our significant others broke our game consoles, then we cover the news, from the PlayStation 5 announcement (!) to the way that the Notre Dame fire has brought Assassin's Creed: Unity back to the forefront. We then talk about games we're playing (32:15); Maddy's enjoying a Switch indie puzzle game called The World Next Door, and also some good old Street Fighter. Kirk's still playing Root and Sekiro, the latter of which inspires us to discuss difficulty, accessibility, and the ways people say games "should" be played. We wrap up with off-topic talk (1:05:23) about what we're watching (Leaving Neverland, Shazam, and Captain Marvel) and reading (Kim Stanley Robinson?s Red Mars). Kirk's music pick of the week is ?Bustin? Out? by GRiZ, featuring Bootsy Collins.

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The Future Of Dragon Age (And Assassin's Creed)

Episode 174: Lots of video game news this week! Maddy talks about her trip to Disney World, Jason describes the new Danganronpa-ish game Zanki Zero, and Kirk raves a bit more about Sekiro and The Division 2. Then the Splitscreen crew gets into a newsy week (39:57) full of info on the next Dragon Age, the next Assassin's Creed, and a few listener questions, followed by off-topic talk (1:16:31) on Golden Girls and Veep.Music Pick: ?Sight of You? by Sigrid from her 2019 album Sucker PunchLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Anthem's Development And BioWare In Crisis

Baba is... everyone? Kirk, Jason, and Maddy are all playing the wonderfully clever puzzle game Baba Is You, which they're talking about this week alongside Sekiro, Pokemon, and Phoenix Wright. Then it's time to dive into Jason's new article about the making of Anthem (30:20) and the crisis of burnout at BioWare. Topics discussed include the video game industry's sustainability, how Anthem turned out the way it did, and whether big-budget video games can ever be made in a healthy way. Finally, some off-topic chat on PEN15, The Orville, and Captain Marvel (50:18).Music pick of the week: ?Moanin?? by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers from their 1959 album Moanin?Show notes: How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong by Jason Schreier; The Writer Will Do Something by Tom Bissell and Matthew BurnsLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
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Stadia: Streaming Dies Twice

Episode 172: Just what does newly minted Bloodborne expert Jason think of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? How does Kirk feel about missing out on all that sweet, sweet GDC content? And why is Maddy playing Pokemon Go? Today on Kotaku Splitscreen, all those questions are answered and more. First it's video game talk, on the likes of The Division 2, Baba Is You, and Sekiro. Then it's the news of the week (50:29) on Zelda indies, Switch rumors, and Google Stadia, followed by off-topic talk (1:20:19) on The Dropout, Hamilton, and Umbrella Academy. 

Music pick: ?When it Rains? by Brad Mehldau from his 2002 album ?Largo?  

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What It's Like To Start A Game Studio With No Bosses

Scott Benson and Bethany Hockenberry, two members of the team that made Night In The Woods, are now part of a games studio without any bosses. It's a worker co-op called The Glory Society, and at GDC 2019, Scott and Bethany dropped by the podcast to explain why they prefer bylaws to bosses. In the second half of the episode, longtime Splitscreen guest Matthew Burns came by to talk about his new visual novel about artificial intelligence and also, how cool he thinks SpeedTree is.
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The Creators Of Into The Breach Came Very Close To Giving Up On It

Justin Ma and Matthew Davis, the creators of FTL and Into The Breach, sat down with Jason and Maddy at GDC 2019 to discuss the intense creative stress involved in making their most recent game. Despite wanting to pull the plug on Into The Breach many times, the duo forged onward and made a strategy game that is elegant in its simplicity. In the second half of the show, Christine Love joins us to talk about her past visual novels (Analogue: A Hate Story, Ladykiller In A Bind) and her pivot towards making an RPG called Get In The Car, Loser! which will have actual combat mechanics alongside the dialogue trees.
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Tim Schafer Talks Unionization, Streaming, And The Future Of Double Fine

At GDC 2019, Double Fine boss Tim Schafer is losing his voice, but he still croaked through his annual Splitscreen appearance to discuss the union joke he told on stage at the IGF awards, the state of Psychonauts 2, and his thoughts on Google Stadia. We explained to him how unions work so that he can tell even better jokes about them next year. In the second half of the episode, Gabe Amatangelo of QC Games told us about his history at Bioware, the cancellation of Shadow Realms, and the eventual creation of a not-so-different dungeon crawler called Breach, which launched in early access earlier this year.
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Sacrificing Sleep To Raise The Dead With Jesse Snyder

Jesse Snyder, creative director at NantG and formerly the creator of Call of Duty's Zombies mode, sat down with Jason and Maddy at GDC 2019 to tell the real story of how the zombies came to life. The mode began as a late-night passion project that actually got a lot of internal pushback, and eventually, Snyder realized he'd rather make "crazy" games than super-realistic ones. After that, we talked to Andrew Maximov about Promethean AI, a piece of software aimed at helping artists create in-game universes more easily. If it works the way that Maximov says, this AI tech will be like a (robot) junior artist who does the boring, fiddly grunt work so that video game artists can focus their creative attention on grander things.
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Google Stadia Boss Answers (And Dodges) Our Questions

At GDC 2019, shortly after announcing Google Stadia, Phil Harrison sat down with Jason and Maddy to reveal more details about Google's new game streaming platform. He didn't say how much it will cost, but he did clarify the importance of a good internet connection to making this service work as well as it should. Plus, you'll need a Chromecast and one of Google's new controllers to make Stadia work on your TV. After we try and fail to get Phil Harrison to tell us whether Google has official E3 plans, we sat down for another interview with Sarah Elmaleh, the voice of Anthem's female protagonist.
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Devil May Cry 5's Outrageous Cutscenes

Episode 171: Devil May Cry 5 is outrageous, and Splitscreen's here to talk about it. First, Jason, Kirk, and Maddy get into the games they've been playing -- Breath of the Wild, Broken Age, Destiny, etc. -- before diving into the mania of the newest Devil May Cry. Then it's time for news of the week (36:03) on Nintendo's Labo VR, EA skipping E3, and Valve removing a game called Rape Day from Steam. Finally, some off-topic chat on Captain Marvel, Succession, Leaving Neverland, and tips for working well from home (59:53).

Music pick of the week: The Wood Brothers, ?Snake Eyes? from their 2015 album Paradise

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Days Gone Is One AAA-Ass Video Game

Episode 170: Surprise! It's a one-day-early episode of Kotaku Splitscreen, here to talk to you about Bloodborne (which Jason's finally finished), Danganronpa (which Maddy's almost finished), and the many games Kirk is playing, like The Division 2 and Ape Out. There's news of the week (36:13) on Pokemon, Anthem crashing PS4s, and THQ Nordic's major screw-up, and then Jason shares some impressions of the upcoming zombie game Days Gone, which he got to play for an hour and a half at a Sony event two weeks ago. Then it's time for some off-topic talk (59:16) on Killing Eve, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Big Mouth, followed by Kirk's music pick of the week and a brief Russian Doll spoilercast.


?Under the Sea? by Fearless Flyers from their Debut EP

Watch the video here

LINKS:Wesley Morris on Michael JacksonSlate Culture Gabfest Russian Doll spoilercast

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The Nintendo-Microsoft Love Affair

Episode 169: Kirk's on jury duty this week, leaving Jason and Maddy to talk about Bloodborne and Danganronpa without him. They also talk about beloved Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime retiring and the rumors of a Nintendo-Xbox love affair, then take some listener questions on Anthem and games as a service (35:10). Then it's time for off-topic talk (52:40) on X2 and Russian Doll as well as JASON'S surprise Music Pick Of The Week. It's a good one.
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Anthem Feels Broken And Unfinished

Episode 168: BioWare's Anthem is out! But is it any good? First up, the Splitscreen crew talks about the games they've been playing, like Bloodborne, Tetris 99, and Far Cry New Dawn. Then it's time for a breakdown of BioWare's new loot shooter (31:16), which Kirk and Jason have both been playing. They discuss Anthem's many bugs, the problems with EA's early access program, and how the game generally looks and feels. Finally, off-topic chat on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Russian Doll, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Show notes

Music pick of the week: ?Bohemian Rhapsody? by Queen from their 1975 album A Night At The OperaLindsay Ellis - 'Independence Day vs. War of the Worlds': Kaufman & Tommy Pedrini - Final Fantasy VI 'The Impresario':

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167: Link's Remakening

It's Nintendo Direct week, and you know what that means: Everything old is new again. First, Jason, Maddy, and Kirk talk about the games they've been playing, from Danganronpa to Bloodborne. Then they talk about Nintendo's big announcements including Super Mario Maker 2, Box Boy+Box Girl, and a remake of Link's Awakening (22:31), and close off the show by talking Sex Education, Big Mouth, and other shows they've been enjoying (49:43).

Kirk's music pick of the week: ?Dancing Queen? by ABBA from their 1976 album Arrival

Kotaku's music pick of the week Spotify playlist 

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166: Live From New York

Maddy, Jason and Kirk take the stage at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY for a live episode of Kotaku Splitscreen. They talk Apex Legends, Battle Royale games in general, Mario vs. Zelda, and take a bunch of audience questions. Thanks to everyone who came out!
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165: The Joy Of Kingdom Hearts

Maddy, Kirk, and Jason unite to talk about the many games they've been playing, including Resident Evil 2, Wargroove, Bloodborne, and Destiny 2. Then they take a deep dive into Kingdom Hearts (34:01), debating over whether the story is convoluted, analyzing why people love it so much, and dissecting the pros and cons of the brand new Kingdom Hearts III. Finally, off topic talk (1:06:45) on the Fyre Festival documentaries and Happy Endings.

Music pick of the week: ?Use It? by The New Pornographers from their 2005 album ?Twin Cinema?

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164: Mailbag: Bloodborne, Dream Assassin's Creed Games, and More

Jason, Kirk, and Maddy open up the mailbag to answer some of your great questions on Bloodborne, video game music, the cults of personality that surround the video game industry, our dream Assassin's Creed settings, and much, much more. Plus: NFL playoff stories!

Music pick of the week: ?Green Lights? by Sarah Jarosz from her 2016 album ?Undercurrent? (video here)

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163: Destiny, Star Wars, And Wild Allegations

Kirk, Maddy, and Jason unite to talk about one of the wildest video game news weeks in recent memory! First they talk about the games they're playing, including Resident Evil 2, Danganronpa, and Destiny 2. Then they dissect this week's news (32:41) on Bungie ditching Activision, the messy Gearbox lawsuit, and EA canceling its open-world Star Wars game. They close things off with off-topic talk (1:18:58) and the NFL playoff story of the week.

Music pick: ?Overtime? by Knower, from their YouTube channel (seriously, watch it!) 

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162: Our 2019 Video Game Predictions

Maddy, Jason, and Kirk talk about Pokemon Let's Go Eevee, Destiny 2, Crosscode, and Bloodborne before listing their video game predictions for 2019 (38:22). Each one makes 10 predictions, and whoever gets the most right throughout the year will get to force the other two to play a game of his or her choice. Then on off topic talk (1:03:13), Orphan Black, trackpads, and one wild football story.

Music pick of the week: ?Thriller? by Michael Jackson from his 1982 album of the same name 

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161: Who Won The 2018 Predictions Bet?

On the very first Kotaku Splitscreen of 2019, Kirk, Jason, and Maddy talk about the games they've been playing to kick off the year, including CrossCode, Life Is Strange Season 2, and Minit. Then Kirk and Jason revisit their 2018 predictions (34:19) to figure out who won their big yearlong bet and gets to force the other to play a game of their choice. Finally, off-topic talk (52:09) on Into The Spider-Verse, Vice, Widows, Happy Endings, and The Fifth Risk.

Music pick of the week: Vulfpeck, ?Animal Spirits,? from their 2016 album The Beautiful Game   

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160: Every Game We Played In 2018, Part 2

It's time for the biggest episode of Splitscreen ever as Kirk, Maddy, and Jason gather for part two of Every Game We Played In 2018, starting with June and July, then August and September (42:28), October (1:13:37), and then November and December (1:47:20). The team discusses dozens of games this week, from Hollow Knight to Sushi Striker to Return of the Obra Dinn to... well, many, many more.
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159: Every Game We Played In 2018, Part 1

Kirk, Jason, and Maddy unite for Splitscreen's annual GOTY coverage! This week it's all the games we played from January through May, including Dragon Ball Fighter Z, Celeste, Secret of Mana, Into The Breach, Far Cry 5, A Way Out, God of War, Pillars of Eternity 2, Monster Prom, and much more. Next week: June through December.
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158: New Challenger Approaching!

Everything changes on today's episode of Kotaku Splitscreen. We start off the episode with a very special surprise, followed by some discussion of games like Celeste, Obra Dinn, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (33:28). Then The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley joins the show (48:34) to talk about the success of last week's show, how he puts together his exclusive reveals, and why he chose to support the streamer Ninja. Finally, off-topic talk and Kirk's music pick of the week (1:15:25).

Show notes:

Kirk's Music Pick Of The Week: Beyoncé, ?Single Ladies,? from her 2008 album I Am? Sasha Fierce [Also examined on this week's Strong Songs]

Legendary Cypher on Twitter

"How To Travel In Time" exhibition

Celeste original soundtrack by Lena Raine

Cecilia's tips for playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate 

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157: The Game Announcements (And Some Awards)

It's nearly time for December E3, aka The Game Awards, and there's lots to discuss! First, Kirk and Jason talk about slaying Sean Bean in Hitman 2, the great new platformer Monster Boy, and the excellent Prey Mooncrash. Then they get into Game Awards talk (30:10) on what to expect at this year's show, hype versus awards, and whether game reveals actually matter. They close out the show with off-topic talk (59:47) on The Bodyguard, She-Ra, and To Kill A Mockingbird.Music: Hanne Hukkelberg, ?Cheater?s Armoury,? from her 2006 album Rykestrasse 68
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156: Catching Up On Fall Games

There are oh so many games to play this fall, and you should start with Return of the Obra Dinn, the fantastic puzzler that Kirk and Jason both adore. This week they talk all about that, along with Hitman 2, the Sega Genesis Classics collection, and other games they're playing. Then it's time for the news of the week (37:50) on Red Dead Online, Diablo 4, and The Game Awards rumors, along with some off-topic talk on Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born.

Music pick: Paul Simon, ?You Can Call Me Al,? from his 1986 masterpiece Graceland 


Subscribe to Kirk?s new music podcast STRONG SONGS on Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

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155: Fallout 76, Red Dead 2 Spoilercast

It's an extra-special-early Thanksgiving episode! This one's a two-parter. First, Kirk and Jason bring on Kotaku's Ethan Gach to talk about Fallout 76 (06:51), the buggy new multiplayer game from Bethesda Game Studios. Then, it's the long-awaited Red Dead Redemption 2 spoilercast (35:32) as Kirk and Jason dive into the game's lengthy story and talk about everything they liked and disliked. (Warning: SPOILERS!!!!)Music pick: Mika, ?Grace Kelly,? from his 2007 album Life in Cartoon Motion
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154: Stan Lee's Legacy

Kirk and Jason talk about the games they're playing, like Tetris Effect and Hitman 2, then jump into the news of the week (21:36) on Detective Pikachu, Final Fantasy XV's canceled DLC, and Destiny 2's "disappointing" sales. Then old friend Evan Narcisse joins the show (40:56) to talk about Stan Lee's legacy and what he meant to nerds all across the world. Finally, some off-topic talk (59:53) on House of Cards season 6 and Bohemian Rhapsody.Music pick: Roy Hargrove & The RH Factor, ?Common Free Style,? from their 2003 album Hard Groove
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153: The Diablo Disaster

Kotaku's Maddy Myers returns to the show this week, joining Kirk and Jason to chat about the big Diablo disaster. First they talk about some of the games they've been playing, including Assassin's Creed Origins, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Red Dead 2. Then the three get into the news of the week on Nintendo removing a racist animation from the new Smash, BlizzCon announcements, and the big Diablo controversy. They talk about why Diablo Immortal frustrated fans and offer some theories as to why marketing is such a large part of video game culture. The three of them close things out with off-topic talk and Kirk's Music Pick Of The Week.MUSIC PICK: Lake Street Dive, ?You Go Down Smooth,? from their 2014 album Bad Self Portraits
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152: Red Dead 2 Is Big And Weird

Who would've thought that the biggest game of 2018 would also be one of the strangest? First up on this week's episode, Jason and Kirk talk about the news of the week including the PlayStation Classic's sad lineup, the buggy Fallout 76 beta, and a surprise new game from the creator of Undertale. Then Kirk and Jason take another deep dive into Red Dead Redemption 2 (21:14), now that Jason's actually had a chance to play it. They talk about how Rockstar's new game subverts AAA open-world tropes, the intense level of detail, and why RDR2 has grown on them both so much before moving into off-topic stuff and Kirk's Music Pick Of The Week (KMPOTW).
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BONUS: Kirk's Red Dead Review

Kirk reads his full review of Red Dead Redemption 2. 

Read it for yourself here, if you prefer. 

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151: Red Dead Redemption 2

Over the past week, Kirk has spent all of his time playing through Red Dead Redemption 2, while Jason has spent all of his time talking to the people who made it. Today's show is a lengthy dissection of the newest epic from Rockstar, the conditions under which it was made, and how the game's story parallels its creators in so many ways. Kirk and Jason talk about how RDR2 works and what makes it so special, dig into the nuances of working overtime, and discuss their own relationships with crunch and how it's affected them.
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150: 'Working 100-Hour Weeks'

Kirk and Jason chat about rock climbing tents, meta-baiting, and Assassin's Creed Odyssey before getting into this week's big news story (26:51) on Rockstar's work conditions. What did Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser mean when he said they put in 100-hour work weeks? Why do people equate working hard with working long hours? And how should we balance our desire to play the hell out of Red Dead Redemption 2 with our concerns about how it was made? This is just the first part of this conversation -- much more to come next week, too!
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149: The Big Microtransaction Question

Kirk and Jason briefly gush about the new Wonder Woman emulator Assassin's Creed Odyssey before bringing on Stephen Totilo for a lengthy chat about microtransactions (21:43). The three talk about how Assassin's Creed Odyssey's microtransactions work, whether they affect the game, whether their sheer existence plants a seed of skepticism inside the player's head, the "poisoning the well" argument, how video games have always been after your money, whether games should still cost $60, and much, much more. Finally, Kirk and Jason briefly chat about some off-topic stuff (1:19:55) like Better Call Saul and the new season of American Vandal.
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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