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Dota 2 has surpassed 10 million gamers logging in each month, with the Valve title evolving into one of the most popular multiplayer online battle arena style video games.
Dota 2 has also shown the lucrative potential of e-sports, as large numbers of people enjoy watching elite Dota 2 gamers battle. MOBA video games involve small teams competing online, and should help promote e-sports further in 2015.
Dota was released in July 2013, and has much work to do if it hopes to catch up to League of Legends, which has almost 70 million gamers playing each month.
In an official statement, Devolver Digital and Dennaton Games have publicly stated that "in response to the report itself, we are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review."
Unhappy with the Australian Classification Board and their decision to refuse Hotline Miami 2 classification in Australia, the Devolver Digital and Dennaton Games teams have pointed out misconceptions revolving around the apparently classification report. They state that "the opening cinematic that was first shown in June of 2013 has not changed in any way. We also want to make clear that players are given an choice at the start of the game as to whether they wish to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence. The sequence in question is presented below in context, both after choosing the uncut version of the game and after choosing to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence."
Not only is the public quite annoyed thanks to the boards standings, but it seems the developers are claiming fair-play was not on the agenda. It's been further noted that a Reddit user has captured a screenshot of an email sent from the co-creator of this title, Jonatan Söderströmm, in which he tells people to "just pirate is after release" if "it ends up not being released in Australia." He went on to state that there is "no need to send us (the developers) any money, just enjoy the game!."
Australian residents have been, once again, told to take a long walk off a short pier - with Hotline Miami's long-awaited sequel being refused classification in Australia due to sex and drug usage.
What does the Australian Classifications Board have to say for themselves?
The computer game is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Computer Games Table, 1. (a) as computer games that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.
The launch of Watch Dogs was filled with controversy, with a delay, and then a deliberate bake down of graphics. But, we all knew Ubisoft were only beginning to start its downhill sprint toward pissing gamers across the world off.
Now we have Jonathan Morin, the Creative Director behind Watch Dogs talking about the sequel to the action adventure hacking title. Morin spoke with GamesTM about Watch Dogs, saying the team won't be keeping things the same when it comes to the sequel. Morin explains "I don't think Watch Dogs is perfect in any way and there's a lot of room for improvement. But you don't always see this when you ship a game. We deliver what we believe the brand should be at the time".
Morin continued "But afterward, when you cool down after five and a half years [of development] and take your vacations and people play the game, certain elements become clear. They let you continue to bring what you envision to the next level with the fans included this time, which is where I think it really gets interesting. When you start a new project [and new IP], it's a blank page and everything you do is what you want to do. With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way". Morin added: "We have to give [the development team] something hard to do. If we don't, they could fade out, which means you don't benefit from their knowledge or they will leave. Our team is really assimilated with the challenge we have and who knows where it will lead us next".
While DayZ has the hearts and minds of PC gamers across the world, H1Z1 is an up-and-coming zombie shooter from Sony Online Entertainment which has just entered into its Early Access territory... and it is making huge headlines already, and not the good ones.
SOE has pushed in "paid airdrops" into the Early Access of H1Z1, which lets gamers purchase airdrops of crates that have ammo and guns inside, which is just a different way of having a "pay-to-win" title. It gets better, as keen-eyed gamers have noticed that 8 months ago SOE President John Smedley said on Reddit "We will NOT be selling Guns, Ammo, Food, Water ... i.e. That's kind of the whole game and it would suck in our opinion if we did that". There was an update to that thread, where Smedley added "We are not interested in selling weapons. Weapons are only acquired by crafting or exploring and finding one. We are not selling power".
Considering H1Z1 is a free-to-play, paid airdrops are kind of the reverse of that. More so when the President of SOE comes out and blatantly calls it out months and months ago, saying they would "NOT" be selling guns, ammo, and more in-game items. But don't worry, Smedley understands that you're pissed off, as he said on Twitter that he can't disagree with people that are upset about the changes. He said "here's what I can't disagree with - people that are pissed off at us that we changed our minds about it. fair point".
2014 was a massive year for gamers, but more specifically PC gamers were able to enjoy multiple digital distribution services like Steam, Origin and that inbred cousin we all love to hate: uPlay.
EA has just released some great details on Origin, showing that there were over 1.1 billion hours of games played on its service, which is 7,483 times longer than the average person sleeps in a lifetime. When it comes to their free games through Origin's 'On The House' service, over 25.2 million games were given out for free, or one free game for every seven gamers in the US (of which there are a total of 188 million).
As for gaming sessions, there were 1.7 billion game sessions over the year, and over 1.4 billion logins, too. That's close to one login for every single PC in the world, which is a huge number. But when you have games like Battlefield 4, Titanfall, and more - you can see why these numbers will only continue to grow going into the New Year.
Rockstar Games delayed the launch of Grand Theft Auto V until March 24, and has given gamers incentive to pre-order. Any gamer who preorders a physical versions or digital copy, automatically receives $1 million in-game currency, which is split between GTA Online and Story Mode.
Pre-ordering costs $59.99.
Gamers who preorder the PC version via the Rockstar Warehouse will also receive an additional $300,000 GTA Online cash - and one of the following games for free: Bully, La Noire, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Manhunt, Max Payne 2, Max Payne 3, or Midnight Club II.
There's another Battlefield: Hardline beta coming, which will reach the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC sometime soon. There's no solid ETA on it just yet, but it should be in the immediate future.
EA hasn't mentioned the date yet, but it does tease what we can expect. We will continue to see the main Conquest mode features, but the new beta will include a new game mode: Hotwire. Hotwire is explained by DICE as "an all-new mode coming to Battlefield focused on combining all-out warfare with all-out speed".
There will be no progression cap during the beta, so you can go rank crazy if you want. Any and all progress will not be carried over to the full game, which is still on track for release on March 17.
Twitch has finally unleashed something broadcasters can jump for joy over, with a new music section launched which features over 500 royalty-free tracks that broadcasters can use in either live, or archived videos.
These songs, according to Twitch "will not be flagged by the audio recognition system implemented in 2014 to protect audio copyright holders and Twitch broadcasters alike". Twitch's Chief Strategy Officer Colin Carrier said: "Our community has been vocal about the importance of music for their broadcasts and their love of music in general. By working with both established and upcoming record labels, we are now able to offer music for them to use that is cleared for live broadcasts and archiving."
Not only that, but the new Music section has been added to Twitch's main game directory. This provides artists with a way of "creating, performing and presenting original songs" after Twitch approves it of course, where they continue "certain established labels and artists" may also host "radio-style listening shows and broadcast large scale events, such as music festivals".
The video game industry had a lot to cheer for, as developers are excited to make games for the Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4 and PC, but slumping game sales caused major headaches.
Hardware sales are racking up strong sales numbers, but not enough gamers are purchasing new titles, according to The NPD Group. Hardware sales increased 20 percent, up to $5.07 billion throughout 2014 - but Microsoft and Sony are engaged in a price war, with console prices continually dropping.
Disc video game sales in December dropped 2 percent year-over-year, down to $1.28 billion, as the industry strives for stability. A 2 percent year-over-year drop is smaller than previous months, and could indicate that gamers were willing to break out the wallet for new titles.