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New Steam Chat App Debuts Today

Today marks the debut of Steam's chat app on mobile devices. The free app for iOS and Android allows you to take your conversations on the go for a modernized chat experience. 

The app includes many features from the desktop client. Valve lists the following: 

You can check it out for yourself by heading over to the App Store or Google Play.

Valve is also currently working on the inclusion of voice chat for the app. It also confirmed that the original Steam mobile app will receive significant upgrades, primarily centered on account security, from one-touch login to QR codes.

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 4:37 pm

Mobile Version Of League Of Legends Reportedly In The Works

Reuters is reporting via multiple sources that U.S.-based developer Riot Games (which has been under the spotlight recently for ignominious reasons) is working with its Chinese owners Tencent on a mobile version of its popular MOBA League of Legends.

This is apparently an idea that has been kicked around for years between the two companies as Tencent aims to capitalize on the title's popularity and make further inroads into the lucrative mobile market.

"League of Legends is not doing as well as it used to," Newzoo industry analyst Gu Tianyi told Reuters, "so Riot badly needs a new way to monetize the game, especially considering that it is Riot’s only game."

It's currently unknown when the title will be ready for release.

[Source: Reuters]

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 3:42 pm

This Is No Hallucination

Click here to watch embedded media

Detective Charles Reed travels to the water-logged town of Oakmont looking for answers, but all he finds are hallucinations and the town's particular terror. In the latest trailer for The Sinking City (out June 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC) Reed reaches through the fog and the madness.

The trailer not only gives you the unsettling atmosphere of Oakmont, but also a look at some of the puzzle-solving, investigative, underwater, and weapon gameplay. 

For more from the title, check out this episode of New Gameplay Today where we wade through some of the mysteries of The Sinking City.

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 3:00 pm

The Ouya's Store Closes Next Month

The little Ouya caused a stir in 2012, with a crowdfunding campaign bringing in nearly a million dollars for what its creators promised would be a fully-fledged console for under $100. When the Ouya launched in 2013, the console technically lived up to that description but failed to match the power of what Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft had on the market. Cheap plastic controllers and a minuscule library of selectable titles also alienated possible customers.

In the end, the Ouya was a dud. By July 2015, manufacturing for the console had been discontinued, and now it appears that it's finally being laid to rest for good. Razer, which owns Ouya now, has announced that the digital storefront where players can buy games is going away on June 25, 2019. Given that the Ouya has no disc drive, this is the only portal to purchasing content for the device.

Basically, if you're someone who owns an Ouya and wants to buy something for it, you've got until June 25. After that, what's on your console is likely all it will have forever.

[Source: Razer]

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 2:52 pm

The Deadly Daemons Of Oninaki

Click here to watch embedded media

Even lost souls have their use in Oninaki, Square Enix's action-RPG from Tokyo RPG Factory and Chrono Trigger director Takashi Tokita. The game comes out this summer (PS4, Switch, and PC) and its latest trailer shows off how protagonist Kagachi uses souls as powerful weapons known as Daemons.

Daemons are lost souls that cannot be reincarnated. Kagachi, who is a Watcher ferrying souls to the next world, puts them to work on his behalf in battle. Each one can be used as a different type of weapon (as well as assist Kagachi defensively) and they can be swapped in and out in real time. 

For more on Oninaki, check out the game's debut trailer.

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 2:26 pm

Sega's Judgment To Go Back On Sale In Japan

A few months ago, Sega pulled their Yakuza spin-off Judgment off store shelves following a drug scandal with one of the actors. When actor Pierre Taki was arrested for cocaine possession, Sega moved quickly to pull Judgment from store shelves, with promises to recast the actor and put the game back eventually. Now, several months later, Sega is finally ready to put the game back in retail and on PSN with a new actor in July.

Last month, Sega showed the new actor for the game replacing Pierre Taki. The voice actor, who is separate from the acting likeness, will be Miou Tanaka, who played a character in Yakuza Kiwami 2 just recently. While the recall on the game was immediate, many copies still managed to filter through to consumers in Japan, and likely command an exceedingly high price as an incredibly rare print featuring Taki.

This new version of the game will be what we get on the western shores next month on disc on June 25, releasing a few days earlier on PSN for pre-orders. Judgment is currently exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and, for the first time since Yakuza 1, will contain an optional English dub.

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 1:50 am

Dota Getting Standalone Auto-Chess From Valve

It probably has occurred to Valve by now that the most popular Dota 2 spinoff in the world is not their card game Artifact, which ended up being such a failure that Valve had to nix their roadmap in order to work on it from the foundation, but instead is the fan-made Dota Auto-chess. We explored the popularity of the mod a little while back and it has only gotten bigger from there. It even got to the point where the developers have launched an original mobile version without Dota characters in China.

In that context, it makes perfect sense that Valve is taking the idea and doing it officially.

The news comes from a Dota 2 blog post, where Valve explains that they flew the mod team to their headquarters where they got their blessing to make an official Dota 2 version of the game. In exchange, the Auto-chess mobile game in China will be able to import the Dota Auto-Chess accounts that already exist into their game.

The actual post is pretty heavy on the corporate speak, but this paragraph in particular leaped out as...likely quite a bit more sanitized than what most people think happened.

"And if you’ve followed Valve closely over time, you know what usually comes next: we’ll play something we love or meet some people we’re inspired by and then figure out a way to work together," Valve wrote. "In fact, Dota 2 exists because a group of us here at Valve couldn’t stop playing the original mod. After we played the game, roughly 1 billion times, it was pretty clear that we should reach out to the creators, Drodo Studio, and start a conversation about working together.""

Valve promises more details on their own version of Auto-Chess sometime down the line.

Posted on 22 May 2019 | 12:25 am

Mortal Kombat And Days Gone Duke It Out As The Top Selling Games Of April

April tends to prove out to be an interesting month for game sales, as it starts a new quarter for a lot of companies and begins the financial year for others beyond that. That makes it an odd combination of some publishers putting their best put forward while others have already spent whatever is in the chamber the month prior, meaning that April game sales tend to be a combination of what's new and what stuck.

This year is no real exception. The month's biggest release was the multi-platform Mortal Kombat 11, a series which has been on an upward trend since the release of Mortal Kombat 9 last generation. MK11 was critically acclaimed and featured a drastically shorter marketing cycle than other NetherRealm Studios games, having only been announced in December, and crucially was also on the most platforms ever at launch this time around. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC all got the game, meaning it was well-primed for success in terms of sheer volume if nothing else.

Days Gone follows behind it. While not quite a critical success, fans were still eager to take the latest Sony-developed PlayStation exclusive for a spin. The open-world zombie game ranked at the #2 spot for the month, a strong debut for a new property that has been fairly well-marketed in the last few months. As the last major first-party game from Sony currently on the release schedule until possibly Dreams, Days Gone could stay there for some time.

The rest of the top ten software list is not terribly surprising, with MLB: The Show now edging in as the 10th best selling game of the year so far and as the best selling MLB game launch-aligned. 

Note that items with an asterisk only have physical sales counted while everything else has both digital and physical.

Mortal Kombat 11   1
Days Gone   2
MLB 19: The Show   3
Tom Clancy's The Division 2   4
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*   5
Grand Theft Auto V   6
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice   7
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII   8
NBA 2K19   9
Yoshi's Crafted World*   10
Red Dead Redemption II   11
Mario Kart 8*   12
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey   13
Minecraft   14
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*   15
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster   16
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild   17
Jump Force   18
Battlefield V*   19
Borderlands   20

Borderlands is still hanging on at the tail end thanks to the Remastered edition, which seems to be whetting brand appetite before Borderlands 3 comes out this September. In the world of remasters, Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remaster has popped back onto the list likely owing to the recent release of the Switch version of the game.

It is also worth noting that, one year after the Labo concept's launch, Labo VR has failed to make any of the waves Nintendo likely expected. This puts it in line with the other Labo kits, which didn't set the world on fire. It is unclear what Nintendo plans to do with this initiative now, but it would not be surprising to see few, if any, more releases.

Hardware is mostly unchanged from previous months. While the Switch experienced growth, and was the best selling console of the month, hardware overall declined. This is not unexpected, as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are winding down, and any last-minute revitalization plans ahead of next-generation consoles will provide temporary boosts, at best.

Next month's sales should mostly focus around Rage 2 as the biggest release of the month, but it will be interesting to see if Team Sonic Racing can capture any of Mario Kart's evergreen audience. 

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 11:10 pm

Report: Disgaea Developer Nippon Ichi Can No Longer Pay Employees

Nippon Ichi, the company behind games like Disgaea, Phantom Brave, and Labyrinth of Refrain, is reportedly unable to pay its employees after a recent Disgaea title met unexpected financial hardship. The new report might be the first steps of the end of the company, if accurate.

The news comes from Japanese site from Ha-Vi, which reports that Nippon Ichi has had to issue a MS Warrant to shift stock at a reduced price to investment firm Daiwa Capital in order to raise emergency funds. This is generally done when a company cannot raise funds through other means, such as loans or advanced payments, due to already being at a deficit, but needs the money immediately.

The cause of this issue appears to be the flubbed launch of the online mobile game Disgaea RPG. Technically launched on March 19, the game only survived for about two weeks until it was taken down indefinitely due to technical issues. All progress from the game was wiped and Nippon Ichi has not spoken publicly about the game since taking it down. They have, however, encouraged consumers to request refunds, a policy which is no doubt contributing to their poor financial state.

It is unclear what the next steps will be for the company.

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 10:30 pm

PlayStation Boss Believes The Streaming Era Is About To Experience Rapid Growth

With the shocking announcement last week that Sony will be working with Microsoft to engineer and incorporate new cloud streaming technology into future gaming initiatives, it is no surprise that Sony thinks streaming will be big soon. The question is, then, how soon? Does Sony expect this to be a big deal with the PlayStation 6? A new remote play initiative? According to Jim Ryan, we're already there.

During an Investor Relations meeting yesterday, where Sony showed off a bit of what they expect from next-generation hardware, PlayStation's newest boss Jim Ryan spoke a little bit about Sony's next big initiatives with streaming services. The PlayStation chief said "we believe the streaming era is upon us and is about to begin a period of rapid growth."

This does not simply mean streaming games from a server, but an emphasis on things like Remote Play as a major feature of the PlayStation ecosystem (and is returning for the next generation console). According to Ryan, Sony's experience with PlayStation Now gives them a leg up in this upcoming world of streaming things to consoles, allowing them to be ready when it does really blow up.

"While others are in startup mode or in catchup mode, SIE has been steadily investing, organically and through acquisition, for over 20 years, and now has a network of over 13 powerhouse studios in all regions serving gamers across the globe," Ryan said.

One important delineation the PlayStation boss makes is that a digital future does not come at the expense of a physical one. When asked about a disc drive in the next PlayStation, Ryan said "We never forced the digital model on any one," reiterating that gamers value choice most of all.

While Sony is not attending E3 in 2019, it is likely that they will talk more about their next-generation console by this time next year.

[Source: Ars Technica]

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 9:25 pm

Twisted Metal TV Series Already In The Works At PlayStation Productions

Sony's new production studio has wasted no time getting to work on adapting its games. Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra confirmed in an investor relations presentation earlier today that a TV series based on the Twisted Metal franchise has begun development. "We have a TV show we just agreed to get underway that will be developed from the IP on PlayStation, it’s called Twisted Metal." Vinciquerra stated. The explosive car battle series has been dormant since 2012, with a film adaptation announced but never acted upon.  

Vinciquerra also confirmed that the Uncharted film has not fallen by the wayside, describing it as in 'advanced development' after the director of 10 Cloverfield Lane attached himself to the project. While very little information was given about either project, neither are expected to be released any time soon. "We don’t have to rush to market. We don’t have a list of ‘X number of titles must be done in this year.’ None of that," says chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden. "The company has been very accommodating to our ambition around this, to grow this in a measured, thoughtful way.

You can read more on PlayStation Productions here.

[Source: IGN]

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 8:30 pm

Valve Was Not Sure What To Do About Positive Review Bombing

A few weeks ago, after the unfortunate fire that hit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Ubisoft decided to briefly give away copies of Assassin's Creed Unity due to how much that game featured the famed historical landmark as part of its French Revolution-era city. The free copies meant a huge influx of new players who were, emboldened by the publisher's generosity or the inclusion of the cathedral, motivated to provide hundreds of positive reviews for the game on Steam even if the game itself was not free on Steam.

But this introduced a problem for Valve, which had recently instituted a new method of combating review bombing for what they deemed as irrelevant reasons by not factoring anomalous reviews into the overall score. Theoretically, this is to stop things like review bombing Borderlands 2 because Borderlands 3 is going to be a timed Epic Game Store exclusive or reviews hitting a game hard because the audience does not like the developer. Under those rules, however, the positive reviews for Assassin's Creed Unity, which also had more to do with Ubisoft giving it away for historical significance reasons rather than the game itself, would need to be similarly dismissed.

In a blog post published today, Valve explains their decision-making on ignoring the positive review bombs, though granted a month after it actually happened. The post goes into the complexities of dealing with situations like this and, in perhaps a reluctant implied admittance by Valve, the necessities of looking at them in a case-by-case situation rather than just having hard and steadfast rules with clamor-driven exceptions.

"In this case, the Notre Dame tragedy has made it so that AC:Unity happens to now include the world's best virtual recreation of the undamaged monument," Valve wrote. "That's a context change that could be increasing the value players are getting from the game, so perhaps the game really is better than it was before? Or maybe that's unrelated, and it's actually players feeling good about Ubisoft's significant donation to rebuilding the monument? Irrespective of the reason, perhaps this is a short-term temporal effect? Should temporal effects even be included in Review Scores? If a game was heavily focused on a time of the year, like Christmas, we suspect we'd see it have Review Score fluctuations around Christmas-time, as more people bought it and thought it was better on average than people who bought it at other times of the year."

At the end of the day, it does look like Valve is hoping to better understand what makes user reviews tick and simultaneously protect both developers from a mob mentality and potential buyers from anti-consumer practices. It's a bit of a tight rope to walk, and one that comes down almost entirely to judgment calls, but seemingly one Valve understands better now.

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 7:10 pm

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch Very Soon

Click here to watch embedded media

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons has been available for nearly every platform imaginable since its launch in 2013, and now it's coming to Nintendo's latest console. Directed by Josef Fares, the action adventure title tells the story of two brothers going on an emotional fantasy journey. 

Exclusive to the Switch version of the game is a new co-op mode, where each player controls one brother with one Joy-Con. In all previous games, the player would control both brothers with each analog stick, an option that also returns for the Switch version. The game will also feature director commentary and a concept-art gallery, both of which were also present in the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

Brothers will run at 30 FPS, with a 720p resolution in handheld mode and 1080p resolution docked. The game has previously been available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS, Andriod, and PC.

The game lands on Nintendo Switch next week, on May 28. The game retails for $14.99, but there's a 10% discount for those who pre-order. For more on Brothers, check out our review for the game, or Fares' subsequent project, A Way Out.

[Source: 505 Games, Nintendo via Nintendo Life]

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 6:49 pm

Nintendo Pulls Animal Crossing And Fire Emblem Mobile Games From Belgium

Belgium is in the midst of a war about loot boxes and their classification as gambling. On one side is, well, the government of Belgium, which classified loot boxes as illegal one year ago. On the other are the video games that use loot boxes, which have either changed things to avoid trouble or become a target before they changed anything. Now two more notches are added to the wall as Nintendo has just totally pulled two of their mobile games from the country.

Both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes are not only being removed from the app store, but a message that appeared in both games today stated that they will go offline within a few months. Both games use a loot box model for monetization, though Animal Crossing only added that feature recently. In a statement provided by Nintendo and translated by Eurogamer, the company explained that it was specifically Belgium's new laws that forced this change.

Moreover, Nintendo says they do not plan to release any games with loot boxes in Belgium in the future. This does not mean these games will not exist, just that they do not plan to release them in Belgium.

It is an interesting move, as Nintendo has seemingly decided there is no reason to rejigger the games to work without the offending portions, which is more of a problem for Fire Emblem than Animal Crossing. Perhaps they believe it would be better to get the populace to demand exceptions to the rule or end the loot box laws as a whole. 

With new Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem games coming soon for the Switch, maybe pulling the mobile games is not that big a problem.

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 5:50 pm

George R.R. Martin Consulted On Japanese Game Rumored To Be From Software Title

A Song of Ice And Fire author George R.R. Martin is working on a number of projects in various mediums, and a recent blog post from him mentions that he has "consulted on a video game out of Japan."

Gematsu and Wario64 have tied it to an older rumor that Martin is working with Hidetaka Miyazaki and From Software on an open-world action title to be published by Bandai Namco and announced at Microsoft's E3 press conference next month.

Certainly a collaborative work between Martin and Miyazaki involving the latter's hardcore action gameplay would be a match made in video game heaven, and Gematsu's rumor states the game involves visiting various kingdoms to obtain abilities by killing their leaders.

What about The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited next novel in the Song of Ice And Fire series? Martin assures the world it's coming. Stop by George's blog and read what he has to say on the matter and more – including what he thought of the ending of HBO's A Game of Thrones.

[Source: George R.R. MartinGematsu, Wario 64]

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 2:30 pm

Codemasters Announces New Entry In The Grid Racing Franchise

Codemasters has announced it is rebooting the Grid racing franchise, with a new title expected on September 13 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This is the series' debut on this generation of consoles after starting out as story-based racer TOCA Race Driver in 2002.

The game's reveal trailer (which you can see over at IGN) highlights extensive car damage as well as a nighttime street circuit involving different types of cars/racing disciplines. The Grid franchise has always been about multi-discipline racing involving sponsorships and teammates (check out the review for the last one, Grid Autosport), and the reveal trailer suggests it is continuing on this course.

The race is on. GRID - coming September 2019.

Head over to IGN to watch the announcement trailer now ➡️ https://t.co/KfVAqUs1jj pic.twitter.com/2dGlb9Mstw

— GRID (@gridgame) May 21, 2019

[Source: Codemasters, IGN]

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 2:29 pm

Investor Relations Sony Video Shows Difference Between PS4 And Next Generation Loading And Content Streaming

While Sony has already confirmed the existence of their next-generation console through a Wired interview with Mark Cerny, but the article was obviously quite reliant on Cerny explaining features for the system rather than a formal presentation of what Sony wants their PlayStation 4 successor, presumably called the PlayStation 5, to do. Seemingly, we might have gotten our first look at what Sony expects from it, at least in terms of power compared to this generation, through a video of a presentation to investors.

The video was posted by Takashi Mochizuki of the Wall Street Journal, who has a long history of insider information.

Sony's official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq

— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019

The video, as Mochizuki tweets, compares the performance of Spider-Man on PlayStation 4 versus what it would be on PlayStation 5. This is only for performance, not a hypothetical if that game were made for the PlayStation 5, including texture work. The PlayStation 4 version takes quite a while to load and, when streaming through the city, occasionally hitches up. The PlayStation 5 version loads much quicker and does not seem to have any problems going through the city at a high speed.

It isn't exactly a big flashing sign saying "This is a PlayStation 5 game," but it is interesting to see where Sony is hanging their hat within the company and to investors.

In further tweets, Mochizuki translates a bit of what is being sad.

Sony:
In explaining PlayStation's seamless feature, the company used the phrase "anytime, anywhere, without disconnections"

— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019

So, at the very least, it does look like Sony is taking the idea of quick data loading and keeping performance up through seamless streaming to be paramount within their new consoles. Mark Cerny talked the talk in his interview with Wired, but it's nice to know they're planning to walk the walk.

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 1:50 am

John Wick 4 Gets A Release Date Just After Third Movie's Theatrical Release

Even though John Wick 3: Parabellum only recently came out in theaters, it doesn't seem that anyone is willing to rest on their laurels with the series quite yet. As fans of the movies are still filtering in and out of theaters to see their favorite action movie star do action movie things, it seems like the team is ready to announce a new sequel already. John Wick 4 will be released almost exactly two years from now on May 21, 2021.

The news came from a text message to fans and media who have seen the third movie, saying "You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming - May 21, 2021."

That's pretty straight and to the point. It also makes the recent announcements of a John Wick video game, titled John Wick Hex and developed by Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell, as well as John Wick's Fortnite appearance make a lot more sense. The game isn't scheduled to come out anytime in the next few weeks while the current movie remains in theaters, which means they hope to have the license's momentum to aid it down the line as well.

Posted on 21 May 2019 | 1:20 am

Marvel And NetEase Sign Deal For Future Collaboration

Today, Marvel announced a deal for an extended collaboration with NetEase, the Chinese internet technology company. This deal allows Marvel and NetEase to pursue a number of new media opportunities for TV shows, comic books, and video games, which holds a lot more possibilities within that last option than the other two.

While it has long been known that NetEase has been looking for footholds into western media markets and Marvel similarly wants to get a deeper cultural foothold in China, NetEase's western investments make this deal somewhat curious. It is important to note that neither NetEase nor Marvel have detailed what their plans are for this collaboration with any specifics, but if NetEase were looking to expand this new license deal beyond the requisite mobile phone games, their eye might look toward their recent investments in Bungie and Quantic Dream.

NetEase dumped $100 million into Bungie at a crucial time for the company's future as their split from Activision on Destiny was already being considered, allowing them to pursue self-publishing for the title. To date, the two companies have not explained what the other plans to get out of it, but the former Halo developer would be a prime pick to develop a Marvel title.

Similarly, Detroit developer Quantic Dream also received an undefined cash infusion from NetEase earlier this year as the studio announced intentions to pursue multiplatform development rather than simply developer PlayStation exclusives. Marvel partnered with Telltale on licenses like Guardians of the Galaxy; with Telltale having closed down without paying severance to its employees, Quantic Dream makes for a logical extension of that same genre.

It could be that NetEase has no intention to be that ambitious with its Marvel collaboration, but the pieces are in place in case the company wants to pursue a big title on the level of something like Insomniac's Spider-Man.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 11:10 pm

Report: Sony Employees Were In The Dark About Microsoft Partnership

A few days ago, Sony and Microsoft broke bread over an announced partnership to pioneer new streaming technologies in the future using Microsoft's vast server bank and engineering initiatives. This collaboration is intended to be used to bolster both companies' game streaming technology in the future, which obviously is a major dream for two long-time rivals. It was apparently so secretive that many within Sony had said they had no idea about it until the press release went out.

According to Bloomberg, Sony employees who were working on the upcoming successor to the PlayStation 4 (presumably but not necessarily called the PlayStation 5) had to be assured that this out-of-left-field announcement was not changing their plans and work on the console. While Bloomberg confirmed with Sony that the talks for this partnership had been ongoing for a year, it seems not everyone knew that.

Cloud technology is being an increasingly important part of every platform holder's future plans, with Microsoft having made their intentions clear at last year's E3, Nintendo experimenting with streaming in Japan, and Sony having been at least partly on board since they acquired Gaikai ahead of this generation. Now it looks like everyone is eager to take it seriously, but it might be years if the people working on the new consoles aren't aware of its inevitability.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 9:40 pm

A Fan's Custom T-Shirt Design Will Appear In Pokémon Sword And Shield

The UT Grand Prix (UTGP) is an annual design competition where each year, a different theme is chosen, such as Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars. The theme this year was Pokémon, and 18,000 contestants from all around the world submitted their T-shirt designs, a new record for the UTGP. The winner, Li Wen Pei with his totem design of Gyrados and Magikarp, will see his design in-game with the upcoming titles Pokémon Sword and Shield.

This also seems to suggest that clothing customization options will return for Sword and Shield, although it was a safe assumption that they would. The T-shirt seems to be edited onto the Pokémon trainers as they appeared in the initial reveal trailer, so unfortunately no new screenshots or details of the games appeared.

Among the judges for the contest were Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and Ken Sugimori, the managing director of Game Freak.

"There were so many good T-shirt designs, and the submissions came from over 40 countries!" they said in the judges' comments. "We are so impressed with how you express your design mindset and techniques using the world of Pokémon as your inspiration."

Pokémon Sword and Shield are scheduled to release sometime in late 2019 on Nintendo Switch. For more on the upcoming games, check out 15 things you may have missed from the initial trailer.

[Source: Uniqlo via Serebii]

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 8:55 pm

Control Physical Tanks Online With Project Tankball

Mike Mika wants you to help him make a game. As the designer behind #IDARB, Mika is no stranger to letting fans help him make games. This time around, however, Mika has teamed up with Mixer and Tested to allow users to control miniature tanks remotely within the real world.

“We started talking to Microsoft and the Mixer team years ago about how we could use their Mixplay functionality to create online games, which we thought was cool because the latency was some of the fastest we’d seen,” Mika says. “We thought we could do some amazing games with that. We started doing several experiments, but the one that intrigued us the most was the idea of controlling real-world things with an audience.”

After much trial and error, Mika and his team have created several 3D printed, remote-controlled tanks that can be used to play two-on-two soccer matches over Microsoft’s streaming platform, Mixer. However, a lifelike version of Rocket League isn’t really the goal. Mika’s team wants to continue to expand on the project with new, user-generated ideas. Mika even dreams that they might create escape room-like scenarios where players use tanks to navigate physical mirror mazes, solve laser puzzles, and interact with other uniquely crafted sequences.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

 

                                                                                                            

“We can actually do augmented reality with this,” Mika says. “Our original plan was like a first-person shooter with remote-controlled tanks, but the bullets wouldn’t be real. We’d augment the camera view with virtual bullets. We could go back to that concept. We can add fake damage on tanks, we could have one of the treads slow down like it’s damaged … we could also throw virtual oil slicks or turbo boosts onto the field and see how players deal with that.”

Project Tankball has already officially launched on Mixer, so you can jump in and play for free on Xbox One, PC, or any mobile devices that has the Mixer app. Check out their site for the official schedule. Much like #IDARB, Project Tankball could evolve a lot over the coming months, so this is your chance to influence development.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 8:00 pm

New Elder Scrolls Tabletop Game In Development

Fans of Bethesda and tabletop games can rejoice as an Elder Scrolls miniature game is currently in development. Modiphius Entertainment, the creators of Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, are bringing the world of Tamriel to the table, starting with the province of Skyrim. Fans can expect to see iconic characters such as Ulfric Stormcloak and General Tullius in high quality 32mm resin.

Called The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, the figures will begin production with Stormcloak and Imperial Legion miniatures with additional races and factions planned for release later down the line. While the first wave of figures are Skyrim-exclusive characters, expansions based on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls Online are also scheduled for production. 

Take charge of up to six hero characters with troops in tow and tackle in-game scenerios like 'dungeon delves, where you seek out lost treasure, to running battles across the ruined outposts that dot the landscape of Tamriel, all the while fulfilling quests and narrative-driven scenario objectives that will see your band of heroes grow from game to game' according to a Modiphius statement. 

Modiphius will begin shipping their first figure, Dragonborn Triumphant, the first week of June 2019. The full game is slated for release around Christmas 2019.

For more on tabletop games, be sure to check out Matt Miller's column on the subject: Top of the Table.

[Source: Polygon]

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 7:25 pm

Outer Wilds Releases At The End Of This Month

Ever since Annapurna Interactive announced Outer Wilds, an adventure title that charts a middle path between Majora's Mask and No Man's Sky, we have been eagerly awaiting the chance to take the full game for a spin. It seems we'll get out chance sooner than we thought, as Outer Wilds releases in just ten days, May 30, on Xbox One and PC via the Epic Games Store.

The game is about all about exploring a pre-designed galaxy with planets that take different shapes, forms, and environments. As an alien explorer, the protagonist is eager to get off his small backwater rock and explore the galaxy in a spacecraft, but space is as dangerous as it is vast. We have played the game at a number of events over the last year and it always manages to surprise us and pique our curiosity.

You can check out the launch trailer below.

Click here to watch embedded media

Annapurna Interactive is releasing Outer Wilds as a console exclusive on Xbox One and a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store, though it will eventually filter out to other storefronts. On the Xbox One, it will be a day-one Game Pass title, so subscribers to Microsoft's game download service can start playing it for no extra cost on that first day. 

Hopefully you do not get caught in a time loop between now and May 30.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 7:15 pm

The Division 2's Raid Took Console Players Three Days To Beat

Funny To A Point: The Division 2 Is Actually Fun – At Launch!

Raids in The Division 2 were always meant to be tough. But seeing how even the most accomplished of players have handled the challenge, Ubisoft may be reconsidering the difficulty, especially when it comes to console. PC players were the first to complete a raid -- five hours after Operation Dark Hours' launch. As for console players, it took three days.  Players were split between wanting the raids to cater more towards those that don't have hours on end to play, while the other side embraced the challenge wholeheartedly.

A huge factor is PC players using a keyboard and mouse, which has quicker aiming and sleeker movement compared to console controllers. Ubisoft is taking this into consideration and has come forward on Reddit addressing the concerns of the challenge. The company has claimed the raids are supposed to be the game's toughest challenge yet, but "That said, raid difficulty is certainly feedback that we have been looking at since the release of Dark Hours, and it is not outside the realm of possible that tweaks will be made moving forward".

This is not a confirmation changes will be made but it does point to the possibility that the company is considering tweaking the difficulty.

[Source: Eurogamer}

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 6:55 pm

Xbox Head Phil Spencer Addresses Toxicity In Gaming And Outlines A Plan To Combat It

In a newly published op-ed by Phil Spencer, the Xbox executive outlines the Xbox team's plans to fight toxicity in gaming. Leading with a short anecdote about how gaming served as a portal for him and his father to begin programming, Spencer then transitions into the two "fundamental truths" he holds about gaming: Gaming is for everyone, and it should protect everyone who partakes in it.

"If you imagine gamers as predominantly men and specifically teen boys, think again," Spencer says. "We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers connecting with their folks back home. Most gamers today are adults; nearly half are women."

Spencer continues to overview the ways games and gamers have been "dismissed or maligned," offering counters to this viewpoint with multiple studies showing the mental, social, and academic benefits gaming offers both children and adults.

"Gaming is uniquely designed for equality," Spencer says. "We don’t just walk in someone’s shoes – we stand on equal footing, regardless of age, education, socioeconomics, race, religion, politics, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, or ability."

Spencer then outlines his and Xbox's plan to combat toxicity. The first step, says Spencer, is to expand the reach and scope of the Xbox Safety team, nicknamed the "Defenders of Joy."

"A welcoming community is the key to a safe community," Spencer says. "Our 150,000 Xbox Ambassadors – community leaders, stewards, and allies – will be engaged to embark on new community missions to help create an inviting and safe environment for all gamers."

Additionally, Spencer delves into content moderation for children and teens, citing workshops and online resources Microsoft has offered to parents looking to protect their children from adult content or online harassment. Spencer also mentions the upcoming "Gaming Summer Camps," where children can be offered "new ways to explore life skills and practice healthy habits that can be used in gaming and everyday life."

"We’re innovating now in these and other concrete ways to reduce, filter, and develop a shared understanding of toxic experiences, and to ultimately put our community of gamers, and their parents or guardians, in control of their own experiences," Spencer says.

According to Spencer, Microsoft intends to share this technology and knowledge with police and other technology companies to create a safer universal gaming space.

Closing his statement, Spencer cites the approaching launch of streaming services such as Microsoft's Project Xcloud, as well as the Apple Arcade and Google Stadia, to stress the importance of immediate improvements to player safety from abuse and harassment.

"Our industry must now answer the fierce urgency to play with our fierce urgency for safety," Spencer says. "We invite everyone who plays games, and industry partners, to join us in following these principles to help unify the world and do our part: make gaming accessible for everyone and protect gamers, one and all."

[Source: Microsoft via The Verge]

Xbox's supposed willingness to share its safety resources with other tech companies is a good move, and continues the trend of Xbox listening to its fans. Toxic culture in games isn't going away any time soon, but if Spencer's promises are followed through, there might be more resources for people to fight it.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 6:40 pm

Garfield Goes Lovecraftian In Nightmarish New Game Boy-Inspired Animation

Click to watch embedded media

For anyone who thought Garfield was just too family-friendly, animator and YouTuber Lumpy Touch released a mock-up of a Game Boy game based on the internet sensation lovingly dubbed 'Gorefield' inspired by the art of William Burke. Burke, who posted his first Gorefield concept art to Instagram in September of 2018, has seen the work take a life of its own, spawning new additions to its canon with thousands of likes and upvotes across several platforms. 

The latest entry to the Gorefield canon is Garfield Gameboy'd, a 13 minute collection of lovecraftian horror mixed with a heavy dose of Jim Davis's lasagna-loving cat. The fictional game itself is well fleshed out, showing off an in-depth inventory system and branching narratives with multiple endings. While Lumpy Touch confirmed in the video's description that the ending shown in the video is canon and the other endings will not be animated, the video does set up a compelling sequel. Whether or not Gorefield can be stopped is another matter entirely.

Remember: Bullets won't work Jon.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 5:38 pm

Everything You Need To Know Ahead Of E3 2019

Every good journey has a roadmap and E3 is no exception. For the gaming media, E3 can be a golden opportunity to get all the best coverage we can and even help us plan out how we handle the rest of the year. As we're preparing for E3 here at the Game Informer offices, we want to help you prepare for the show, as well. Whether you're attending the show in Los Angeles or watching it all from home, we're here to help out with the information you need, both about the show and what we're doing during it.

Game Informer's Coverage Plans
While we'll be on the show floor trying out as many games as reasonably can until scientists invent a way to add more hours in the day, we'll be rushing back to the website every day of the week to report back what we see, heard, felt, and experienced there. That means you'll get tons of written content on the website not just this week, but for the entire month. If you're looking for content more geared toward both audio and visual inclinations, we will be livestreaming the press conferences with commentary as they air. You can watch those on our Twitch or YouTube channels or on both at the same time for a stereo experience.

We will also be doing The Game Informer Show every night, June 10th through June 14. You can subscribe to our channel on YouTube to prep for that, or use this link to subscribe using your favorite podcast delivery service. Again, your preference is our preference.

Press Conference Schedules
This year is seemingly the most conference-lite that E3 has ever been, at least from the outside. But every time one press conference goes away, two more spring up to take its place. That's a lot to keep scheduled! Thankfully, we got you covered here with a handy-dandy list of the press conferences in the order they'll take place. You don't even have to think, it's that easy.

While EA is not holding a press conference this year, they are showing off their games across livestreams during the weekend.
Saturday, June 8 – 11:00 a.m. PT

Microsoft Press Conference
Sunday, June 9 – 1:00 p.m. PT

Bethesda Press Conference
Sunday, June 9 – 5:30 p.m. PT

Devolver Digital Press Conference
Sunday, June 9 – 7:00 p.m. PT

PC Gamer Show
Monday, June 10 – 10:00 a.m. PT

Limited Run Games E3 Press Conference
Monday June 10 - 12:00 p.m. PT

Ubisoft Press Conference
Monday, June 10 – 1:00 p.m. PT

Kinda Funny Games Showcase
Monday, June 10 – 4:30 p.m. PT

Square Enix Press Conference
Monday, June 10 – 6:00 p.m. PT

Nintendo Direct Press Conference
Tuesday, June 11 – 9:00 a.m. PT

Show Schedule
E3 opened its doors to the public two years ago and that trend is continuing this year. Here are the hours for the show. Whether you're attending or not, knowing when the show is live can be helpful when tuning in for coverage of the show.

Tuesday, June 11
Industry Pass - 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gamer Pass - 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 12
Industry Pass - 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gamer Pass - 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 13
Industry Pass/Gamer Pass - 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Extracurricular
There are a number of events happening outside the definition of press conference. Here are some of the big ones.

Nintendo's Splatoon And Smash Bros. Tournaments - Much like last year and the few years prior, Nintendo is pushing hard on their own brand of esports with a tournament at E3. This year, both Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are headlining the event with competitors from all over the world. You can catch the tournament a little bit before E3 on June 8.

Final Fantasy VII Concert - On the Sunday before E3, Square Enix will be holding a concert celebrating Final Fantasy VII. It's no shock why, what with Final Fantasy VII Remake apparently coming to E3. If you don't have tickets, they're still available. Maybe they'll show a new trailer for the game there ahead of Square Enix's press conference.

The Big Confirmed Games
We already know a number of the games that will be making an appearance at E3. These have all been announced and will 100% be at E3 2018 in some form.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 5:00 pm

Welcome The Summer 2019 Game Informer Interns

It's not technically Summer, but give us a break – the weather is finally getting nice. And you’re not going to stop us from calling in our next crew of interns for the summer 2019 term! You'll be seeing their bylines a lot on the site over the coming months, so we want to introduce you to them. They'll be covering news, gamer culture, and more as they build up their portfolios. These three young writers come from a variety of places across the country, but they all have one thing in common: video games.

Blake Woog (@woog_blake) – Every kid wants to turn their passion for video games into a career. For me, to actually be able to go and do that is absolutely incredible. In my 21 years on this Earth, I have spent 17 of them playing games more than I probably should and stealing Game Informer magazines from friends (sorry) to learn about the industry I love. Now I am at the Game Informer offices! I used to write about games for website after website, but I am in awe that I have the opportunity write for an organization that inspired me to do all of that. After my dad’s Super Nintendo broke when I was a kid, I began a desperate, never-ending quest to get my hands on as many games and consoles as I could. On consoles like the GameCube, Xbox 360, and PS Vita and games like Sonic Adventure 2, Halo: Reach, and Persona 4, I have always been open to exploring new places and conquering new worlds. Now I am studying English and Film at St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota so I can do more of what I love and learn more from it. I am incredibly excited and honored to learn from Game Informer and its amazing staff for the next few months.  

Emma Welch-Murphy (@emmamcmurphy) – What a privilege to have the opportunity to be an intern at Game Informer this summer. I subscribed to the magazine back when I was a kid and even hung onto the Rise of The Tomb Raider issue. It was the inspiration for my first cosplay as Lara Croft that Summer at Phoenix Comic-Con. That ice-axe prop bruised my knee pretty badly after banging against it all day. Even when I was very young, I loved video games; although I rarely managed to beat them consistently until I was in junior high. My first experience with video games was limited to Barbie games on both the Game Boy Advance and CD-ROM’s. Barbie: Magic Genie Adventure was always one of my favorites, probably because I especially loved the genie bottle that came with it. Now I am all about the fantasy single-player RPGs, such as Skyrim, the Dragon Age Series, and Kingdoms of Amalur. I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in digital video from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona. I’m originally from Peoria, Arizona, so the trek out to Minneapolis was a bit of an adjustment, but I know it will be well worth the experience and knowledge I gain about the industry.

Joseph Stanichar (@JosephStanichar) – I almost didn’t send my application to Game Informer. The day before it was due, I was busy and exhausted, and I wasn’t able to start piecing the application together until late that night. After myriad of technical issues, our dorm’s fire alarm went off, and I had to stand in the rain for 15 minutes – without shoes. By the time I got back, I was grumpy, wet and tired. The last thing I wanted to do was work for another two hours one an application I was certain I wouldn’t get. Needless to say, I’m glad I finished that application. If I had to pick five games to describe my taste, I’d pick The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Celeste, Nier: Automata, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Outside of games, I’m a huge theater nerd, having acted in eight shows, including productions of Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. I’ve been writing about games since I was 15, and have wanted to make a career out of it ever since. Time will tell if that will ever happen, but I’m getting to live a part of that dream for these next three months. That, in and of itself, is unbelievably exciting.


Are you considering a career in video games writing? If you’re looking to further your existing writing or journalism education through an internship at Game Informer, we’re currently accepting applications for the upcoming summer term. For more information, email me at the address below, or click here to learn more.

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 4:00 pm

PlayStation Productions To Bring Sony Interactive Video Game Properties To Film & TV

Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Sony Interactive Entertainment is starting up PlayStation Productions – an internal studio geared towards bringing the company's video game properties to film and TV.

The studio is headed by Asad Qizilbash, SIE vice president of marketing, and overseen by Shawn Layden, SIE chairman of worldwide studios, and it has already started working on multiple projects.

"Instead of licensing our IP out to studios," says Qizilbash, "we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves. One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves."

Layden believes PlayStation Productions taking control of its own properties could eliminate some of the factors that create poor video game adaptations.

You can see just by watching older video game adaptations that the screenwriter or director didn’t understand that world or the gaming thing. The real challenge is, how do you take 80 hours of gameplay and make it into a movie? The answer is, you don’t. What you do is you take that ethos you write from there specifically for the film audience. You don’t try to retell the game in a movie.

For more from Qizilbash and Layden on PlayStation Productions, head over to the Hollywood Reporter.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 3:04 pm

Capcom Will Continue To Use The Same Engine That Powered Devil May Cry 5 And Resident Evil 2

At its recent financial earnings report, Capcom answered a number of questions about the company's plans for the future. Amidst technical questions about percentage profit increases and share buybacks, were two interesting questions about the RE Engine, which has powered the likes of Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Devil May Cry 5.

When asked how many games were on the way that used that tech, Capcom opted for a informative yet vague answer, saying, "While we are unable to comment on the specific number of titles or release windows, there are numerous titles currently being developed internally with the RE ENGINE." 

However, the most interesting part of Capcom's report was when the company spoke a tad more in-depth about its plans for the future with the engine: 

The games we developed using the RE ENGINE during this current hardware generation have received critical acclaim, and from the early stages of building this engine, we kept the ability to augment it for next-generation development in mind; as such, we view the RE ENGINE as one of our strengths that will contribute to next-generation game creation.

While on the surface-level this reinforces the earlier answer that more games are on the way with the RE Engine, the "next-generation" line implies that we'll be seeing games on the next generation consoles made with the engine.

For more on games powered by the RE Engine, check out our reviews for Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Devil May Cry 5.

[Source: Capcom FY 2018 Results]

Posted on 20 May 2019 | 2:55 pm

Skyrim Mod Makes Fun Of Game Of Thrones' Starbucks Cup Mistake

In a recent episode of Game of Thrones, fans spotted an out-of-place Starbucks coffee cup beside Daenerys which was accidentally left there during production. Since then, the internet pulled no punches when poking fun at HBO for the mistake, and even some video game modders have joined in on the joke.

The "Skyland Coffee" mod, for example, was created by JohnRose81 and is available for players who own Skyrim: Special Edition. The mod replaces in-game tankards with coffee cups that resemble the Starbucks brand.

If you don't own Skyrim: Special Edition, there is a mod available for the standard game as well. It's called "Mysterious Coffee Cup" and was created by Sphered. Instead of replacing tankards, this mod specifically adds a Starbucks-styled coffee cup to the Solitude Throne room and the main Dragonsreach area.

As for Game of Thrones, HBO has since removed the Starbucks coffee cup from the episode thanks to some editing magic. The company issued a statement as well: "The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea."

Game of Thrones' finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Posted on 19 May 2019 | 10:37 pm

Mortal Kombat 11 Developer To Remove 30 FPS Cap For PC

In Mortal Kombat 11's latest patch notes for PC, NetherRealm noted that it's working to remove the 30 FPS cap for certain parts of the game (i.e. fatalities and the Krypt), so that players will have the option to run these sections at 60 FPS.

You can read the quote from the team down below, or head to the post about the recent patch by heading here.

Additionally, on the topic of having the certain parts of the game run with a framerate cap of 30 FPS, we hear you. We’re currently working on providing the option to increase the caps in those areas to 60 FPS. We’ll have more details soon, stay tuned!

Click here to read our review of Mortal Kombat 11. The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Posted on 19 May 2019 | 8:33 pm

Minecraft Has Sold 176 Million Copies Worldwide

To celebrate Minecraft's tenth anniversary, Mojang has given a slew of announcements for the sandbox game recently, including an upcoming AR component and more information on Minecraft: Dungeons. However, the news hasn't stopped there: Mojang has also revealed new sales figures, stating that Minecraft has sold 176 million copies worldwide since its initial release back in 2009.

With Minecraft's intense popularity for many years now, it's not surprising that the sandbox game continues to be so profitable, but it's nonetheless impressive. In fact, these numbers could make Minecraft the bestselling game ever.

These sales figures surpass Tetris' success, at least when compared to numbers that were released back in 2010. At that time, The Tetris Company said that Tetris had reached 170 lifetime sales. Unfortunately, the developer hasn't released any updated figures so we can't know for sure if Minecraft has indeed dethroned Tetris or not.

Read more about Minecraft by reading about our visit to Mojang, where we played the upcoming AR version and checked out Minecraft: Dungeons.

Posted on 19 May 2019 | 6:31 pm

Dead Cells Rise Of The Giant DLC Comes To Switch This Week

Rise of the Giant, a massive (and free!) DLC for the action-packed game Dead Cells, is finally heading to Switch next week.

Dead Cells fans have been eagerly awaiting the DLC release on consoles. It released in late March for PC, but now we finally have a date for the DLC on Switch: May 23.

Rise of the Giant brings a bevy of new content to the dungeon-crawling roguelike: two new areas, two new boss battles, 10 new foes, three new skills, 10 new weapons, and a new Skinning system. 

The Skinning system lets players change the protagonist's appearance with 50 new outfits that can be unlocked after collecting blueprints that defeated enemies leave behind or that are found when exploring.

Dead Cells is also playable on Xbox One and PS4, but we have no news on when Rise of the Giant is coming to those systems.

At some point this summer, Dead Cells will arrive for mobile devices as well, with iOS first and Android later on.

Read our review of Dead Cells by heading here. You can also check out our detailed interview with the developer about several scrapped ideas that didn't make it to the game.

Posted on 19 May 2019 | 5:00 pm

Here's What A John Wick NES Game Would Look Like

What would the John Wick franchise look like if it were adapted as an NES game? Brazilian indie game developer JoyMasher and Swedish sound designer Dominic Ninmark teamed up to find out.

With John Wick 3's recent release to theaters, JoyMasher and Ninmark created a video that shows off a fake NES game. You can watch an 8-bit Keanu Reeves shoot foes, fight a giant enemy chopper, and finally be reunited with his dog in the video below.

Click here to watch embedded media

While this NES game isn't real, there is an actual John Wick game in development right now. John Wick Hex is being created by Thomas Was Alone and Volume developer Mike Bithell. You can watch a trailer for the upcoming game here

Posted on 19 May 2019 | 3:30 pm

Lords Of The Fallen Sequel Switching Developers Again

After a successful foray into the Dark Souls mould with Lords of the Fallen, developer Deck 13 moved on to work on The Surge, leaving fans to wonder if they'd get a proper sequel to the hardcore fantasy game. Those fans eventually learned they'd be getting a follow-up to the medieval fantasy game when, in June of last year, publisher CI Games said the game would be developed by Defiant Studios instead. That is no longer the case, as the team has decided to oust the studio and move to develop the game in-house instead with the help of outsourcing.

Eurogamer reports the split between CI Games and Defiant Studios wasn't exactly friendly. According to a translation of Polish press release, "The termination of the agreement was submitted due to inadequate execution by Defiant [of] a key work stage (milestone no. 11), a so-called vertical slice." That vertical slice simply wasn't up to par, and after repeated calls for CI games to improve the game's quality, CI Games cut ties with the developer.

Defiant Studios founder David Grijns disagrees, though somewhat vaguely. In a statement to Eurogamer, Grijns says the team working on the game was "exceedingly talented," having worked on the likes of Just Cause 3, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Far Cry 5, DmC: Devil May Cry, and "many other top tier projects," but, due to confidentiality agreements, couldn't expound further on the matter.

In our review, Dan Tack said the original Lord of the Fallen managed to imbue to Dark Souls with some of its own flair, making for a game worth playing.

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 10:15 pm

Overwatch Anniversary Event Returns Next Week

Blizzard has announced its annual anniversary event celebrating Overwatch's initial May 2016 release is coming back for another year.

The event is right around the corner, starting on May 21. Blizzard has made no other official announcements regarding the event.

https://twitter.com/playoverwatch/status/1129808873873977344

In past years, the event has offered the chance for players to earn skins from other events, new skins, and additional game modes. The teaser for the event shows logos from other Overwatch events, which likely means that at least one of those features will return this time around.

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 7:52 pm

Epic Games Store Mega Sale Causes Developers To Raise Prices, Temporarily Delist Games

Epic is having a major sale across its entire storefront, which includes deep discounts on popular games and $10 off any game over $15 until June 13. That's a pretty good deal if you're thinking about picking up some major upcoming games or getting recently-released ones. Good enough that it's also causing some confusion across regions, as well as some developers to either raise the price of their games, or remove them from the store altogether until the sale is over.

At the heart of the issue is that store-wide price reduction. For context, this discount is seemingly coming out of Epic's pocket, according to John Wick Hex developer Mike Bithell. "This is Epic paying towards your bar tab, not the drinks being cheaper," he said on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/mikeBithell/status/1129047708453486592

This didn't stop the sale from giving rise to some issues. As part of the sale, Supergiant Games' Hades sold for a historically-low $7 ($17 minus Epic's $10 discount), which is impressive for a game still in its early access stage. However, in Europe, the game's sale price was €14.86, making it ineligible for the $10 discount by mere cents. In the hours that followed, the company raised the regular price of its game to $25 (making it a total of $15 with the Epic discount), though Supergiant did honor purchases made at the lower price point. This was after the company had stated in a tweet it would announce any potential price increase well ahead of time.

https://twitter.com/SupergiantGames/status/1129055307169116160

Some time after that, Supergiant Games' Greg Kasavin announced the game would return to its original launch price, $20, until the end of the sale (making it $10 during the sale). After that, the price will go up to $25, partly to coincide with the number of updates and content additions Hades had received since launch. "We had intended to raise the retail price of the game soon, but made the decision rashly as part of the sale -- we didn't provide advance notice to our customers, despite previously stating we would do so. That was our mistake, and we sincerely apologize," Kasavin said.

Supergiant isn't the only developer having issues with Epic's sale. Another major game, Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was available with the $10 discount for a short while, before being delisted. "Paradox Interactive has chosen to not participate in the Epic Mega Sale and the game has been temporarily removed from sale," an Epic representative told PC Gamer. It does plan to honor purchases made during the short period the game was on sale, however. Paradox separately confirmed to PC Gamer the game will return to the storefront after the sale is over. Other games not currently available on the store include Klei Entertainment's Oxygen Not Included and Borderlands 3.

In the wake of these issues, Epic has changed how the sales prices are displayed on the store to show both the publisher's discount and the overall discount with the store-wide discount.

https://twitter.com/EpicGames/status/1129504856820076545

[Source: PC Gamer]

This definitely sounds like a miscommunication between developers and Epic, and it's unfortunate developers who would want their game listed on all major storefronts and consumers who were confused by all the price changes and de-listings are the ones caught in the crossfire. It isn't a good look for Epic, either, as it continues its attempt to compete with Steam as users lambaste it for a lack of features and scoring PC exlcusives in order to entice users to stick with it.

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 7:21 pm

2020's Call Of Duty Game May Be Developed By Treyarch Instead Of Sledgehammer

An earlier version of this article erroneously reported Glen Schofield had joined 2K Games. We regret the error.

Activision has released at least one Call of Duty game every year since 2005, and while we haven't heard much about the series' 2019 entry, it's safe to say it'll make it out before the end of the year. As for the entry after that, the one releasing in 2020, we can't be as sure.

A new report from Kotaku indicates that, in order to keep up its yearly release schedule, Activision has shifted duties around a bit. Currently, we get a new Call of Duty year every year from one of three major studios (with other studios pitching in to help): Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Sledgehammer, with each releasing a new game every three years. 2020 was previously on track to see the next game from Sledgehammer and Raven (the ladder of which is reported to have been taking lead on this project), but will now instead see another Treyarch-helmed Black Ops game, which, considering Black Ops 4 released just last year, would mean that team would have to turn around another game in just two years, as opposed to the usual three.

One reason for the change, according to Kotaku's report, is "tension" between Raven and Sledgehammer, which had been arguing frequently about the project. "Two people familiar with the project described it as a mess," the report states. Both Raven and Sledgehammer are now reportedly working to support Treyarch on Black Ops 5 instead. Some developers tell Kotaku they're afraid this will lead to crunch time on the studio, while others are excited about the change.

Recently, Sledgehammer had seen some upheaval of its own. Founder Glen Schofield had left the company in December.

We've reached out to Activision for a statement on the report, and will update this story if we hear anything back.

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 7:17 pm

CD Projekt Red Promises Development Crunch For Cyberpunk 2077 Won't Be As Bad As The Witcher 3's

Funny To A Point –18 Astute Observations From Cyberpunk 2077’s Crazy Demo

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red says it's taking the issue of crunch more seriously than it has in the past, and hopes to treat its workers "more humanely" during the development of its futuristic RPG.

Speaking with Kotaku, CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwiński stated that, while the company is "known for treating gamers with respect,” they would also like to be known for doing the same with its employees and workers. 

The company plans to do that by more actively pushing its "non-obligatory crunch policy," which includes the understanding that requests for workers to work through nights and weekends are not binding or mandatory, a policy Iwiński says they've already been working toward. “We’ve been communicating clearly to people that of course there are certain moments where we need to work harder – like I think the E3 demo is a pretty good example – but we want to be more humane and treat people with respect," he told Kotaku. "If they need to take time off, they can take time off. Nobody will be frowned upon if this will be requested.”

CDPR has taken flak as an employer in recent years, most notably during the development of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, including reports of crunch time at the studio. In speaking with Kotaku, studio head Adam Badowski promised work-life balance during Cyberpunk 2077's development will be better. "I think we can promise that it’ll be better than The Witcher’s finishing period,” he said.

However, Kotaku also received reports from anonymous employees that development on Cyberpunk is about as rocky as Anthem's, which faced its share of development problems, though other employees also said their work hours have not been as severe.

The statements come in the wake of rumors and reports of crunch across several studios, including BioWare, NetherRealm Studios, the now-defunct Telltale, and more, making the work-life balance of workers at major game studios a major topic as of late.

[Source: Kotaku]

It's good to know CDPR is going to be more forceful about making sure employees know they don't have to work overtime, but this feels more like a first step than a full initiative to me. Even if a stated policy says overtime isn't mandatory, it can hard to turn down a "voluntarily" request from boss. There can also be immense pressure from peers to put in extra work, especially when others are voluntarily working extra hours to make sure a project is at its best. Hopefully this is part of an overall attempt to move the company towards a less intensive work culture.

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 6:12 pm

Destiny 2 Heavily Nerfs Whisper Of The Worm, Other Popular Exotics Next Season

A new season of Destiny 2 begins June 4, and when that date hits, one of the game's most reliable damage-dealers will likely drop out of many players' rotation.

Whisper of the Worm is currently one of, if not the, most potent single-target damage weapons in Destiny 2. It has higher a base precision damage than most other weapons, but what makes it such an outstanding weapon is that, if you land three precision shots (critical hits in Destiny parlance) with it in a row, the gun magically refills the magazine, letting you fire non-stop without reloading. This makes it perfect for unleashing on bosses during damage phases. A little too perfect for Bungie's taste, in fact.

"An Exotic that can generate an infinite amount of Heavy ammo is still a gigantic outlier and renders many weapons irrelevant for certain encounters," Destiny's development team said in a statement. "While Exotics are intended to be powerful and novel, bypassing the ammo economy can tend to force us to adjust enemies to compensate. This effectively results in Sniper Rifles as a whole being punished because of Whisper’s unique ammo ability."

When the Season of Opulence begins, Whisper will still give you more bullets when you land precision shots, but those will be pulled from your reserve ammo, instead of from nothing. To compensate, the weapon's reserve ammo will be increased to 18. Still, running out of ammo on the weapon will now be far more common, knocking down its power ranking for cooperative encounters quite a lot.

Other exotic weapons are also getting tweaked. Sleeper Simulant, itself one of the most powerful weapons before Whisper came along, is having its damage normalized. The damage from its reflected shots is now universal against bosses (it used to be case-specific), but its precision damage is "significantly more forgiving" in favor of non-precision shots. Ace of Spades is now a bit harder to wield, as its Memento Mori damage power-up now vanishes when you swap to another weapon, and Lord of Wolves is having its unique perk, which doubles its fire rate after a kill, swapped to a hold-during-reload ability, similar to Borealis and Hard Light.

Bungie is also nerfing exotic armor pieces which are designed to generate additional super energy. Skull of Dire Ahamkara, Orpheus Rig, Phoenix Protocol, Shards of Galanor, Ursa Furiosa, and Gwisin Vest have all had their super-generate abilities curbed. For a full list of changes, check out Bungie's official blog post on the topic.

As a Hunter main who can acknowledge how good Whisper of the Worm and Shards and Galanor are, and how these were more or less locked into my exotic slots in certain encounters, I get that these changes are meant to bring these weapons in line with everything else and make other options more viable. However, because all of these changes are nerfs, it's also hard not to feel like the overall changes make the game less fun, as though Bungie is acting as a bit of an overprotective parent. My favorite memories of games with regular balance changes is when there are multiple options that feel totally broken, not when everything feels "fair."

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 5:02 pm

What To Watch This Weekend: League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, And Dragon Ball FighterZ

We're back, and as good as ever! Summer isn't quite here yet, but several scenes are showing up nonetheless, which means we have more events than you could possibly watch in one weekend. We dare you.

The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational will be capped off by a pair of matches: One today between SK Telecom T1 (a team name that just rolls off the tongue) and G2 Esports, and one tomorrow between the winner of today's match and Team Liquid to determine the champion. (Stream / Schedule)

The Dreamhack Open tournament in Tours, France is your Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event for the weekend. Next weekend, the Pro League concludes! (Stream / Schedule)

And in Milan, Italy, the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League Finals will have some intense matches, as well as news about upcoming content for the game, most likely! (Stream / Schedule)

We have a group of fighting game events this week. First, there's Stunfest in Rennes, France, which has major tournament for Mortal Kombat 11, along with the usual helping of Dragon Ball FighterZTekken 7, and TWO Street Fighter III: Third Strike events! (Stream / Schedule)

There's also the Super Smash Bros.-oriented Get On My Level, which has events for UltimateMelee, and the original, with some Street Fighter V and more on the side. (Stream / Schedule)

We also have the European and North American Championships for Brawlhalla, which include both one-on-one and two-on-two events. (Stream / Schedule NA / Schedule EU)

The Hearthstone Grandmasters season has begun, so you can watch top card players duke it out for the next few weeks. (Stream / Schedule)

You can also catch the tail end of the qualifying rounds of the Dota 2 Epicenter major, which looks to have some interesting upsets as top teams fight for their spot. (Stream)

Finally, you can tune into some Gears of War 4 action this weekend and watch the 2v2 Summer Showdown! (Stream)

That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there's a scene you'd like us to cover, in the comments.

Posted on 18 May 2019 | 4:00 pm

HBO Releases First Trailer For 'His Dark Materials'

The Philip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy of books is being adapted to an HBO series, and the network has shared the first look through a teaser trailer. The book series consists of three fantasy novels: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Northern Lights was previously adapted to film through the 2007 movie The Golden Compass.

The His Dark Materials HBO series stars Dafne Keen (best known for her role as X-23 in Logan), James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Oddly enough, McAvoy also starred in the film adaptation of C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, which some have viewed His Dark Materials as a direct rebuttal to Lewis' work in those books.

You can get your first look at season 1 of His Dark Materials, which is set to release later this year, below.

Click here to watch embedded media

[Source: HBO on YouTube]

Posted on 17 May 2019 | 9:20 pm

Four New X-Men Coming To Marvel Strike Force

 Marvel Strike Force's ever-growing roster continues to expand to different corners of the Marvel universe. Originally primarily (but not exclusively) focused on characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the mobile RPG has since added several additional heroes and villains from the Spider-Verse and the X-Men franchises. However, to this point, the only true X-Men who have appeared on the playable roster have been Wolverine and Storm – Magneto, Mystique, Pyro, Juggernaut, and Sabretooth have also joined the roster, but they are their own contained Brotherhood of Mutants unit.

Now, FoxNext has announced that four new X-Men are on the way, three of which will be added relatively soon. The three that are coming soon are Psylocke, Colossus, and Phoenix. Psylocke can remove negative effects from allies and apply them to enemies, and possesses the ability to deal big damage. Colossus serves the protector role for the X-Men squad, with the ability to apply positive status effects to teammates, including deflect. Phoenix rounds out the first iteration of the X-Men team, with extremely powerful attacks and the ability to boost her teammates.

You can see a low-quality image of the first full X-Men squad in-game below.

Marvel Strike Force on Instagram

Psylocke will first be available via an in-game event campaign, while Phoenix will only be obtainable via a new legendary event. In addition, FoxNext has announced that Cyclops is currently in development, but he appears to be further out in terms of release.

Outside of the announced X-Men, Marvel Strike Force will be receiving new additions like Agent Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D. and America Chavez, a brawler from the Ultimates.

For more on Marvel Strike Force, check out the full roster of characters, and look back at the first year of the game with the VP of FoxNext.

[Source: Marvel Strike Force]

Posted on 17 May 2019 | 7:51 pm

Every Johto Pokémon Is Getting Its Own Plushie

The Pokémon franchise has been a merchandising machine ever since it burst onto the scene in the late '90s. While most Pokémon-loving households have had a Pikachu plushie at one point or another, what is your interest level in bringing home a Remoraid or Sunkern?

The Pokémon Fit plush line (or Sitting Cuties as it's known in the West) is banking on your interest in the lesser known creatures, as it is adding the entirety of Generation 2 to its already robust collection of creatures. In addition to each distinct Pokémon from Johto being represented, the line includes all 28 forms of Unown. We hope you've been building up your savings account. The plush line already features the entire first generation of Pokémon, which you can see for yourself here.

For more on other branches of the Pokémon merchandise empire, check out our feature on how Pokémon cards are made, our spoilerific discussion on Detective Pikachu, or our photos of some recent Pokémon figures.

[Source: SunyShore via Nintendo Life]

Posted on 17 May 2019 | 7:13 pm

Robert Pattinson In Talks To Star In Next Batman Film

Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis'

After it was announced earlier this year that Ben Affleck would be vacating the cowl following Caped Crusader appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, the fate of DC's upcoming The Batman was left up in the air. Variety is reporting that Robert Pattinson, best known as the star of The Twilight Saga, is filling that role for the upcoming solo film.

According to Variety, the deal isn't done quite yet, but Pattinson is the top choice and is expected to sign on before long. When Affleck was still in the role, he and DC writer Geoff Johns revealed that Joe Manganiello would play longtime Bat-versary Deathstroke (Manganiello later appeared as the mercenary assassin in the post-credits scene of Justice League alongside Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor). Writer/director Matt Reeves has previously said the story of The Batman is not an origin story, but rather a noir-style detective story featuring a younger version of Batman, and that it would be a part of the ongoing DC Extended Universe that began with 2013's Man of Steel.

Those details very well could have changed in the time since their announcements, however, as the script is reportedly still being finalized. According to Variety, the movie is set to begin filming later this year or early next year. The DC Extended Universe has experienced tumult following lukewarm receptions to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. Since then, the release schedule has dialed back some, with Aquaman serving as the only 2018 theatrical release, and last month's Shazam! the only 2019 theatrical release currently announced (Joaquin Phoenix's Joker is not a part of the DCEU continuity). Presently, Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 are scheduled for 2020, while 2021 is currently set to see three films release in the DCEU including The Batman, The Suicide Squad, and The Flash.

The Batman is currently set to hit theaters on June 25, 2021.

[Source: Variety]

Posted on 17 May 2019 | 5:01 pm

Minecraft Earth Adds A Fun, Familiar Layer To Reality

Mojang’s Stockholm headquarters are a shrine to its biggest game, but in a few moments it’s going to somehow get even more Minecrafty. I’m handed an iPhone and directed to point it at a pool table. I do, and suddenly a three-dimensional Minecraft building springs to life on the screen. As I circle around and walk closer and farther, the model seems fixed in place – I can even peer inside the windows and see villagers wandering around within. This is Minecraft Earth, an augmented-reality project that combines elements of Pokémon Go-style exploration with one of the biggest game franchises on the planet.

There’s a lot to cover, but the essence of Minecraft Earth is divided into two main sections. Using a map interface (themed, of course, to look like Minecraft), players are encouraged to walk around their neighborhoods and other real-world locations to complete tasks. Those tasks unlock blocks, which can then be used to create Minecraft creations in a free-building mode – either alone or with other players.

“The important thing to think about is not only is it a free-to-play Minecraft in AR, it is the full Minecraft experience,” says Brad Shuber, art director for the Microsoft team that’s developing the game in Redmond, Washington. “We didn’t build a new Minecraft to fit AR. We didn’t reduce it. We didn’t take it away. We didn’t remove features. It is the game you know, the features that you’re used to – the mobs, the landscapes, the redstone – all those things are here for you to use.” And, because you’re probably wondering, Microsoft answers the question of whether Minecraft Earth will have loot boxes with an unequivocal “no.”

It's not flawless, but the demo is some of the best-looking AR tech I’ve seen. The structures seem rooted in place convincingly, without most of the weird jittering and flickering that can often destroy the illusion when you walk around the virtual objects. The demo uses a scannable QR code, but the actual game will rely on Microsoft’s spatial-anchors technology, which Shuber says enables devices to better and more accurately simulate interactions with virtual objects. That’s vital, since that illusion is a fundamental part of the experience.

Click here to watch embedded media

In a demo reel, we see simulated versions of some of the tasks players will be able to participate in, which are called Tappables. You might see a mining opportunity a few blocks away. When you get there, a section of the pavement in front of you convincingly looks as though it’s made from Minecraft blocks. Tapping on your screen breaks them apart with your trusty pickaxe, and the resources are added to your inventory. In the trailer, the participants peer down into a newly revealed abyss and see monsters below, in addition to the dizzying depths.

Shuber says the team is being extremely careful with these public events. “We’re using layers upon layers upon layers of data – and Open Street Map is just part of it – to find places that we expect will be good places to play. So we can automatically populate large sections of areas with things.” The goal is to not only create positive experiences, but to also avoid problems that other games have had with putting points of interests in sensitive locations, such as war memorials and cemeteries. 

I get to check out one of these events, where I have to take out a bunch of skeleton archers with my bow. I draw back the string by holding my finger on the button, and fire a shot by releasing it. It’s simple, but still satisfying to watch the enemies shatter with my attacks. Afterward, I’m rewarded with some new blocks.

You can think of these blocks as a giant chest of Lego pieces. The more you have, the more options you have for building. They’re not consumables, but you can’t use the same blocks simultaneously. “You can always go back and get them, but you can’t use them in multiple build places; they’re a currency of blocks that once you spend them you have to reclaim them to use them again,” Shuber says. He says they were considering the idea that, once used in a build, players would have to physically revisit that site to reclaim them. Shuber says it’s a sensation that’s similar to trekking great distances in Minecraft, but that it has the possibility of being annoying for players. How it will work in the finished game is still a work in progress.

Minecraft Earth also has the concept of Build Plates, which is essentially like setting aside a flat space for free building. Here, you build your creations with your touchscreen, using the blocks in your inventory. If you want someone to join you, all they have to do is scan your phone – an interaction you have to choose to allow; strangers can’t jump into your project and start tearing things apart without that invite. Once builds are completed, they can be shared with other players.

“After my son’s soccer game, the fields cleared out and I stayed behind and placed a giant build plate in the soccer field and recorded it,” Shuber says. “It’s really cool. It’s funny how far back you have to get back with some of the larger builds, but when you’re looking at the sky and you see Minecraft clouds floating through the real sky and the lighting just is right, it’s a really believable experience.” During my hands-on demo, I got to see some of the subtle details, such as seeing other players from behind flowing waterfalls or stepping on a pressure plate and watching a door slam shut in their faces.

The team is adding some new mob variants, too, such as a muddy pig. It comes with a special mud block, which allows the pig to wallow around and get nice and dirty – to the point where a flower is able to grow on its head. 

In the video, we see someone “fishing” near a body of water, which made me wonder how closely the real world and Minecraft Earth’s version connect. As Shuber says, these things can get complicated. For instance, do seasons matter? “When we first started, that was our thought. How cool would it be if you had to travel to a snowy place to get snowy blocks? You’re really reinforcing that sense of travel. But funny enough, we thought what if there’s a kid in Alaska who never gets to see the desert? Man, that would suck, and it wouldn’t be very Minecrafty. The goal is that as we introduce new biomes, the map changes over a period of time, whatever that period is. It might be desert today, it might be snowy tomorrow, it might be plains the next day, it might be flowers the next day after that. So that the world is coming to you constantly. But we always have that option to decide if we want to do a special thing at this time and this place.”

And then there’s the obvious question about monitoring what people build. What’s to prevent someone from building a huge, inappropriate structure and leaving it in public? “We will have places we determine are good places for community placed builds, and that’s where you can leave them permanently, but you always have the option of placing them wherever you want,” Shuber says. “And we’ll lean on the community managers that we already have who have lots of experience filtering through community builds and photos and interactions to help manage those things.”

Minecraft Earth is coming to iOS and Android devices this summer, though there’s no concrete date attached to its release at this point. There will be a closed beta before its release, and participants will get a special Minecraft Earth skin after registering. Shuber says the focus is on rolling the game out slowly, to make sure that they’re able to deliver something that’s a positive experience for everyone. Hopefully, we’ll have time to explore before having to put on our boots and winter coats.

Posted on 17 May 2019 | 1:01 pm

What If Pokémon Starters Were Different Types?

Yeah, everyone knows Charmander is a fire-type Pokémon. But what if it evolved into a grass-type Charizard somehow? You can see that answer for yourself (and answers to many similar questions) thanks to the work of an artist who has created a variety of experimental swaps. 

Kotaku compiled the images from Reddit by artist abz-art, so you can get some help imagining what Venusaur would look like as a water-type, or Pikachu as a dragon-type Pokémon.

If that captures your interest, then click the links to see more!

[Source: abz-art via Kotaku]

Posted on 16 May 2019 | 11:24 pm

Sony And Microsoft Team Up On Tech

Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony's president and CEO (left) and Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO (right)

We know them as competitors in the gaming space, but today Sony and Microsoft announced a partnership that involves the companies working together and leveraging their unique strengths to explore some tech-related issues.

The press release says both companies signed a memorandum of understanding that declares an intent to collaborate on future cloud-based solutions that will help both sides with their game and content-streaming services. 

Before you get too excited: Don't expect a joint Xbox/PlayStation console to come out of the deal. The scope of this cooperation deals with things like semiconductors and Microsoft's Azure A.I., and cloud technology. It allows Sony and Microsoft to work together and share information to solve problems that are currently facing the tech industry as a whole. In short, the two companies can innovate in ways they couldn't alone, and everyone benefits.

Posted on 16 May 2019 | 8:30 pm