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TweakTown News Posts - Page 66

EA strongly hints Battlefront II has microtransactions

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 11, 2017 11:45 pm

We originally predicted that Star Wars: Battlefront II would have microtransactions, and here's how EA reinforced our forecast with some very specific descriptions.




Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson recently affirmed that Battlefront II would launch with three times as much content as the original Battlefront game. Given what I already suspect to be true, I immediately wondered how much of this content would be gated off behind in-game purchases. Wilson said that Battlefront II would have an extensive live service plan that will add more content to the game over time, which is typical for all of EA's big online-based games. To understand how this live service equates to microtransactions, we have to take a look at how EA defines live services, and what they mean.


"Star Wars Battlefront II will have more than three times the content of the previous game at launch, with a brand new story, a new singleplayer campaign, new modes, characters, vehicles and planets from all eras in the Star Wars universe, as well as a live service plan that will continue to add even more fun for the global community. " Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said in the company's recent earnings call. As I reported earlier, EA makes huge revenue from live services: last year EA pulled in $1.68 billion from live services. In fact, most of EA's digital net sales were made up of earnings via live services.

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Star Wars: Battlefront II is 3x bigger than Battlefront

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 11, 2017 10:31 pm

Star Wars: Battlefront II will release on November 17 with triple the amount of content that it's predecessor offered at launch.




EA has put considerable effort into hyping up Star Wars: Battlefront II, affirming gamers that all the features they wanted will be available. With the help of three studios--DICE, EA Motive and Criterion--EA has packed Battlefront II with a fully-fledged offline singleplayer campaign that connects Return of the Jedi with The Force Awakens, split-screen co-op, maps from all three eras, 20v20 multiplayer, galactic space battles, and a new class-based system. Now EA goes a step further by saying Battlefront II will feature three times as much content than the original Star Wars: Battlefront remake did at launch.


"We're also incredibly excited to bring Star Wars Battlefront II to the massive Star Wars community later this year. This game is made possible by the collaboration of three incredibly talented studios - DICE, Motive and Criterion - bringing together their individual strengths and building on the feedback from our passionate fans. Star Wars Battlefront II will have more than three times the content of the previous game at launch, with a brand new story, a new singleplayer campaign, new modes, characters, vehicles and planets from all eras in the Star Wars universe, and more," Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said in the company's recent earnings call.

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Games industry to earn $108.9 billion in 2017

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 11, 2017 9:28 pm

The international games industry will hit an astronomical $108.9 billion in 2017, and continue to grow to $128.5 billion by 2020, market analyst firm Newzoo predicts.




Newzoo's latest Global Games Market Report delivers some fascinating and mind-blowing predictions for the games industry, especially for mobile gaming. According to the report, 2.2 billion gamers are expected to a staggering $108.9 billion in games market revenues in 2017 alone, which represents a year-over-year increase of 7.8% (or $7.8 billion). The report also forecasts that digital will account for 87% of total revenues, or $94.4 billion, but remember that digital includes all facets of digital gaming--not just game sales: subscriptions and subscription-based services, microtransactions/DLC/add-ons, live services, freemium mobile games, full game downloads across all platforms (PSN, Xbox LIVE, Steam, GoG, etc), and other content.


The analyst firm says that mobile is by far the most lucrative segment in global gaming, and is projected to make up more than half of the games market by 2020. In 2017, mobile gaming (smartphone and tablets) is expected to hit $46.1 billion, or 42% of all revenues. This represents a 19.3% year-over-year increase. As mobile is digital-only, it's one of the major prime movers for the digital sector, and crosses over between full game downloads and in-game purchases.

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Huge security flaw: Keylogger found on HP laptops

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: May 11, 2017 8:23 pm

Swiss cyber-security company Modzero discovered some worrying security flaws in certain HP laptops and made them public.




According to their report, some HP laptops come with an audio driver that includes a feature which would be best described as a keylogger. This feature records all the user's keystrokes and saves the information into a local file, which is accessible to third-party software or malware.


The keylogger feature was discovered in the Conexant HD Audio Driver Package version and earlier. The audio driver in question is preinstalled on the HP laptops.


The problem with this is that it shouldn't be storing a local unencrypted record of your keystrokes. This behavior opens your personal keystrokes to anyone that has access to your computer. Both local and remote, which means your passwords can be compromised. This is a huge risk, especially because the affected laptops from HP are enterprise notebooks that could make businesses vulnerable.

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Square Enix drops Hitman dev IO Interactive

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 11, 2017 7:32 pm

Square Enix today announced that it will be breaking away from Hitman developer IO Interactive, but the publisher will still retain the ownership of the Hitman franchise.




Square Enix spent $43.05 million (4.989 billion yen) to de-couple itself from IO Interactive, which used to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix. Essentially the publisher carved a piece of itself off to make it more lean and profitable, shedding IO Interactive for undisclosed reasons, however we think it's because Hitman 2016 didn't perform to Square Enix's expectations. The publisher's statement is a bit confusing, but it seems to indicate that Square Enix made an agreement with IO Interactive to terminate their business contract, and paid the studio part--or all--of the $43.05 million in "extraordinary loss of income." Note that extraordinary in this sense is used as "uncommon or irregular," not to denote size or value.


"To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly‐owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017," Square Enix said in a statement. "This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017."

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Tesla releases solar roof prices: Cheaper than expected

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 11, 2017 6:27 pm

We've heard a lot about Tesla's solar roof tiles products, but the most important piece of information was missing - the price.


The company has now announced the prices, and they are lower than expected. Consumer Reports estimates that a Solar Roof for an average size U.S. home would need to cost less than $24.50 per square foot to be cost-competitive with a regular roof. The cost of Solar Roof is less.




Tesla says that typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof. The $21.85 per square foot price point was calculated for a roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar (solar tiles cost more per square foot than non-solar tiles). A 14kWh Powerwall 2 is also an available option.


Solar Roof uses two types of tiles - solar and non-solar. Looking at the roof from street level, the tiles all look the same. Customers can select how many solar tiles they need based on their home's electricity consumption. For example, households that charge an electric vehicle every day may want more solar tiles on their roof.

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Overkill's The Walking Dead game gets new info blowout

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 11, 2017 5:18 pm

Payday developer Overkill has released new info about its upcoming The Walking Dead online shooter, and the details are quite interesting.




Overkill's The Walking Dead game is an online-based multiplayer shooter with dynamic drop-in/drop-out co-op. The game will have classes, as well as new unique characters that have set classes and abilities based on their personalities. Robert Kirkman's Skybound is collaborating on the project to ensure the game preserves authenticity, and from what I've seen and heard, this could be the ultimate TWD game. Key Overkill devs discussed the game's details on Starbreeze's recent Starstream livestream, revealing fresh info about the once-mysterious shooter.


"Overkill's the walking dead is a multiplayer online first person shooter in which you will need to co-operate with your friends to fight your way through an apocalyptic Washington, DC," said Saul Gascon, Executive Producer. "We designed the game so that players can jump in and out whenever they want, so they can do one mission, five missions, twenty missions in sessions like fifteen minutes or two hours if they want to. We want to incorporate what we've learned from Payday 2, and fun is our main focus."

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Two teens create Tesla's Model 3 in Minecraft

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: May 11, 2017 4:34 pm

Minecraft studio Block, led by the UK's youngest CEO Brandon Relph (16) and youth marketing expert Florian Funke (19), built a replica Tesla Model 3 in Minecraft.




The duo met Elon Musk in 2015 at the Minecraft convention Minecon in London, and since then, they wanted to create a Tesla & Minecraft project. They saw the opportunity when Tesla announced 'Project Loveday', a video contest where fans from around the globe are asked to create an ad-like video. The winners will win a chance to attend the launch of one of upcoming Tesla's products.


The 51-second video shows the Tesla Model 3 replica in six custom-created environments. The duo said that their project involved a lot of stressful, sleepless nights, but they are happy with the result.

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Gionee S10 photos leak shows dual front and rear camera

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 11, 2017 3:28 pm

Gionee's next smartphone, the S10, is expected to launch sometime this year. The specs of the phone have been rumored for a while now, and recent leak gives us the best look of the phone so far.




The mentioned images showed up on Chinese Weibo and confirm that the S10 should come with dual rear and front camera setup. The back cameras are reportedly 16MP + 8MP, while the front shooter should rock 20MP + 8MP, for 'flawless selfies.' Of course, these are rumors, so take this info with a grain of salt.


The phone should come with 5.5-inch display and leaks claim that it will be powered by a MediaTek 6755 processor. There should also be 4GB of RAM on board plus 64GB of internal storage.

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HTC reports 9% revenue decline in April, 6.4% drop YoY

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 11, 2017 2:33 pm

HTC has reported their monthly revenue for April 2017, and it doesn't look good. The company marked a 9.29% decline in revenue compared to March and 18.03% decline compared to the same month last year.


HTC's revenue for April 2017 was NT$(Taiwan New Dollar)4.71 billion or $155 million. The total of revenue for this year is NT$19.24 billion or $625 million, which means that the revenue dropped 6.45% compared to the first four months of 2016.




It seems that the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play sales aren't that great, and they aren't helping the company to get back on track. The two phones were launched in January, but many were left disappointed with the last year's processor and a steep price that can be compared to the price of Snapdragon 835 powered Galaxy S8.


In March, the company announced their previously teased "big surprise" - a limited edition of the U Ultra with a sapphire glass screen and 128GB of internal storage. However, the Taiwanese company set a steep price for the device - $946, which is around $200 more than the regular U Ultra. This means that for almost $1000 you'll get a phone with a Snapdragon 821, 4GB of RAM, 12MP main camera, 16MP selfie shooter, and 3,000 mAh battery.

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