Some of the main creative forces behind World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Battle.net have jumped Blizzard's ship to form their own games development studio with League of Legends' Riot Games picking up the check.
Blizzard is losing a lot of their talent lately: legendary Warcraft and Diablo co-creator Chris Metzen has retired, and now three more devs have left: Blizzard's cinematics expert Nick Carpenter, Diablo III's game director Josh Mosqueira, 16-year vet and Battle.net director Matthew Versluys, and Nexon's ex-CEO Min Kim have joined ex-World of Warcarft lead director Rob Pardo as the "original five" to form the new Bonfire Studios.
In an announcement blog post, Rob Pardo says that the original five left their cushy jobs at Blizzard so they could have more freedom and creative control over their projects. "Often developers must compromise and decide - do I work on a blockbuster game where I have less personal impact or the gutsy indie studio that struggles to get noticed? Our vision is to create a studio that doesn't require them to choose."
To no one's surprise, Riot Games' MOBA League of Legends has hit astronomical popularity.
Everyone knows that League of Legends is a celebrated PC game--over the past seven years, the MOBA has risen to become one of the most renown titles in history of the platform (and gaming in general), surpassing Valve's own mega-famous DOTA 2. Riot has become a juggernaut in the industry with an estimated worth of $1 billion. But up until now, we didn't really know just how popular the game was.
Riot Games' co-founders Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck now reveals that League of Legends pulls in roughly over 100 million players each month. "It's hard to parse, but at the end of the day, those things don't even feel real. The coolest thing is actually when we're at the live events and get to meet fans face to face. Only then does it start to feel real. Otherwise, they're just numbers on a screen all over the world,"Beck told Polygon in a recent interview.
Destiny, one of the PS4's best shooters, won't harness the power of Sony's new 4K-ready PlayStation 4 Pro console.
One of the best things that Sony could do to sell PS4 Pro consoles is to work with Bungie to upgrade Destiny to native 60FPS. I could care less about 4K support or HDR, just enable 60FPS and I'll be happy. Destiny is an extremely competent console shooter that clearly carries forth everything Bungie's learned from the Halo series, but there's just one problem: the game is locked at 1080p 30FPS.
Sadly, Bungie has no plans to upgrade the current form of the game, Destiny: Rise of Iron, to enable native 1080p 60FPS on the PS4 Pro. Speaking to Gamespot, Destiny executive producer Scott Taylor said Bungie has no plans to upgrade the game on PS4 Pro right now, but that could change in the future. "No, we're not planning on any support for PS4 Pro. Not for Rise of Iron. Maybe as far as the future, but we have nothing to announce today. But I mean we'll be looking at [PS4 Pro upgrades]."
BioWare and other key EA talent gets lumped together in a new label, complete with new management.
EA has announced its new Worldwide Studios, which groups BioWare, DICE, Maxis, and EA Mobile together. EA CEO Andrew Wilson says that this decision was made in order to "strengthen our studios and technology platform," but I'm a bit concerned about the new chain of command.
Patrick Soderlund will lead EA's Worldwide Studios as the main boss. BioWare now has a very distinct chain of command, and will be led directly by Samantha Ryan, who will oversee the studio above Aaron Flynn, BioWare's current GM. It's true that big publishers always have a very real chain of command, but this move could be problematic for future BioWare games, especially if the bosses clash with one another.
Valve is applying some major changes to Steam's review system in an effort to thwart fraudulent and misleading reviews, and everyday gamers will be affected.
Steam's review system is being overhauled once again, this time to counter the rampant problem of fake reviews. Valve found that developers have been manipulating aggregate review scores of specific games by providing free copies of the games as incentive for favorable feedback--and some devs go so far as to make dummy accounts and redeem their own game codes to write fake positive reviews.
To counter this, Valve has taken a simple approach: if you buy a game outside of Steam or use a free product key provided by a dev, your review will no longer count towards that game's aggregate review score on Steam. "As of today, the recent and overall review scores we show at the top of a product page will no longer include reviews written by customers that activated the game through a Steam product key. Customers that received the game from a source outside of Steam (e.g. via a giveaway site, purchased from another digital or retail store, or received for testing purposes from the developer) will still be able to write a review of the game on Steam to share their experience. These reviews will still be visible on the store page, but they will no longer contribute to the score," reads the update.
Sony's new 4K-ready PS4 Pro may be a pretty impressive deal at only $399, but that's only half of the equation: to get the most out of the console, Sony wants you to annihilate your bank account with an expensive 60-inch+ 4K HDR UHDTV.
I've been quite vocal on the new PlayStation 4 Pro over the past week or so. I think it represents a tremendous value for what it does, leveraging a Polaris GPU at 4.20 TeraFLOPs to hit up to 1080p 60FPS native gaming and 4K 30FPS with HDR and tons of other graphics/environment settings to boot, all for just $399. But you won't hit the console's full potential unless you grab a 4K TV that's equipped with High Dynamic Range (HDR), and as you'd expect, these TVs are pretty expensive. In fact, Sony wants you to get a 4K HDR TV that's at least 60-inches, so a $399 purchase just turned into a $1,500+ purchase.
"Unofficially, the staff of PlayStation.Blog has observed good results in average living rooms with 4K TVs sized 60'' and up. If you're in the market for a new 4K TV for PS4 Pro, we strongly recommend selecting a model with HDR10 compatibility, which will enable increased image vividness and contrast in HDR10-enabled games and movies," Sony wrote on its official PS4 Pro FAQ.
The collector's edition for Sonic Mania has been revealed, and it's an amazing throwback to Sega's golden days of 16-bit glory.
Nowadays, video game collector's editions are quite dull: we get stickers, patches, artbooks, "lithographs", socks--you name it, and companies have likely thrown it in the box. But Sega's new Sonic Mania collector's edition is something new: it's a retro explosion of radical awesomeness that makes you feel like a kid again.
Following a leak just hours prior, Sega has announced the new Sonic Mania Collector's Edition on PS4, Xbox One and PC, which comes with a 12-inch Sonic replica standing on a Mega Drive that makes the infamous console siren song Sega fans know and love, a download code for the game, and a cartridge affixed with a golden ring that resembles those golden games of yore. And the best part? It only costs $69.99. The worst part? It's only available for North American fans, and won't be coming to Europe.
Pokémon GO fans can now suit up and take their buddy along for the ride with the latest Pokémon system update, allowing users to assign a Pokemon as their buddy as they walk alongside your avatar.
The new feature is available now for Apple and Android users with Niantic's latest update that lets the likes of Pikachu, stand on the ground beside the trainer avatar in the details screen. The cuteness overload factor comes into play after accumulating 10km, the little yellow mon hops onto your shoulder, replicating the bond and friendship that character Ash experienced in the original TV series.
Other Pokémon such as Jigglypuff, Charmander and Evee are amongst the available mon for the update. The advantage of having an active Buddy Pokémon while walking earns candy for that particular species, which can then be used to increase status.
Team Ninja's hard-as-nails action survival game NiOh will launch in February of next year on PS4...but the studio has no plans to bring the game to PC.
At Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show 2016 extravaganza, Team Ninja finally revealed a concrete release date for their celebrated sadistic samurai slasher NiOh. Sadly the game won't be launching in 2016, and Koei Tecmo has announced that NiOh will instead launch on February 9, 2017 exclusively to the PS4.
The game itself incorporates elements from Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls while mingling feudal Japan into the mix for some Japanese mythology and mysticism, providing an interesting--if not extremely difficult--mix of gameplay mechanics. After trying out NiOh's early alpha and demo test, I can say without a doubt the game has staggering potential to become one of strongest PS4 exclusives available today: the swordplay is extremely satisfying, and you have a huge array of RPG upgrades and weapons to choose from--all of which have different stances and functions in battle.
For the upcoming release of Battlefield 1, Microsoft has created a new bundle pack for customers purchasing the latest Xbox One S console. The new look is for the Xbox One S (1TB) bundled with Battlefield 1 Special Edition , which is available for pre-order from various game stores, and Microsoft itself.
Gamers wanting to purchase this exclusive model, won't have to wait too long as it will be available 13th October. The Battlefield 1 themed Xbox One S console will be setting gamers back around $449 from the Microsoft store, depending on the region.
One of the biggest changes made is the appearance. The obvious colour difference is in keeping with the army/battle theme from the game. The dark, military green console comes with a matching controller and stand. The bundle pack also includes Battlefield 1 Early Enlister Deluxe Edition, which comes pre-installed on the console. The Deluxe Edition also provides the Hellfighter Pack, Red Baron Pack, Lawrence of Arabia Pack, and a new visual appearance of the Behemoths