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Ubisoft is in a tough spot with PC gamers right now, but is the company finally starting to see the light? Probably not, but it is promising that it is trying to focus more on the PC, in the form of simplified DRM activation, and a better commitment to multi-platform releases.
During an interview with MVC, Ubisoft's European boss Alain Corre said: "We listen to feedback from players and continue to adapt accordingly. For instance, we switched to a simple, one-time activation for our PC games; a standard practice in the industry. We're also doing our best to bring our games to PC at the same time as the console versions".
We should begin to see the fruits of Ubisoft's labor in its upcoming titles, two of the biggest releases of the year: Assassin's Creed Unity, and Far Cry 4. Corre has said that the company is seeing an increase in revenue from the PC side of things, with its PC market growing from 11% in 2013 to 15% this year. Corre continued: "We recognise the importance and needs of PC gamers, and want to continue to improve how we create and support games for PC. We are committed to improving the optimisation of our games for each platform on which they're released, including PC".
Atari Interactive has announced that RollerCoaster Tycoon is making a comeback next year, in the form of RollerCoaster Tycoon World. RollerCoaster Tycoon World is coming to the PC, and it should include all of the same mechanics that made the original game a massive hit with gamers.
Players will have the ability to share blueprints of their setups that they've created, where they can then visit other players' theme parks to check them out. Fred Chesnais, the CEO of Atari, said: "Many of the new features in RollerCoaster Tycoon World were not possible a few years ago, but we have taken advantage of technological improvements to offer a wildly fun gaming experience that stays true to the storied franchise. This is the game fans have been asking for".
Pipeworks is the company developing RollerCoaster Tycoon World, with previous games in their history being the World Series of Poker: Full House Pro and the Deadliest Warrior franchise. Expect RollerCoaster Tycoon World sometime early next year.
During an interview with Joystiq at Gamescom, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said that the three-year cycle that the Call of Duty franchise finds itself in, is something its audience is used to. But even though we see a game released every year, we have three studios working on the franchise at all times.
Hirshberg explained: "That extra year of development time, particularly with the new consoles and the more powerful hardware, has really paid off thus far to iterate, innovate and try new things. To find out which things didn't work and have the freedom to fail in the creative process, so what goes on the disc is the best ideas".
It's interesting to see that the company knows it has the ability to fail, with Hirshberg continuing: "The thing that the three-year development cycle allows is these games have gotten so ambitious, we're packing so many different modes of play onto the disc. The things that started off as flyers, like zombies or co-op became their own whole games". Hirshberg says that even though the franchise is annualized, the structure it has for Call of Duty sees that the quality of the series is sustainable. He finished off by saying "Activision has a narrative that doesn't match the reality, which is quite potent".
It looks like Mario Kart 8 is selling quite well, with over one million copies sold in the US alone. This makes it the second title on the Wii U to sell over one million copies in the US, with the other game being New Super Mario Bros. Wii U.
Nintendo has said: "Mario Kart 8 continues to drive momentum for the Wii U platform", also claiming that hardware sales have increased by "nearly" 60% in the first seven months of this year, versus the same seven-month period of 2013.
When NBA 2K15 is released in October, PC gamers will reportedly get the best version of the game. Visual Concepts, the developer behind the game, is working together with 2K Sports on a fully next-gen basketball game that will see the PC lead when it comes to visuals.
2K Sports has said: "The complete NBA 2K15 experience found on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles will also appear - fully realized - on the PC platform. Gamers will be able to experience the full breadth of new modes and features found on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with even more graphical fidelity".
This is a big change compared to NBA 2K14 from October last year, which was released on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. A month later, it launched on the PS4 and Xbox One with better graphics and new modes, but the PC version was left on its own, as a last-generation effort. This time around, the PC version will be the stand out version.
NBA 2K15 will reach the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on October 7.
In just a couple of months time, 4A Games will launch its Metro Redux, which sees remastered versions of two of the most popular first-person shooters of the last few years: Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.
NVIDIA is backing this new remastered copy, so on top of the enhanced graphics, countless changes within the game, we can expect GPU-accelerated PhysX effects thanks to NVIDIA's technology. 4A Games have painstakingly changed so much of the two games, with improved geometry, encounters, lighting, and even how levels themselves end and transition.
The biggest change is going to come from Metro 2033, which will receive a graphics engine overhaul, with PnP tessellation, and some gameplay refinements that were found in Metro: Last Light. The PC side of things will see "higher-resolution textures, higher-quality effects, greater levels of PnP tessellation, support for 4K resolutions, and most significantly, re-tooled NVIDIA GPU-accelerated PhysX effects built using PhysX 3.x, the latest version of the critically acclaimed physics software".
Metro Redux launches later this month on August 26 in the US, and August 29 in Europe.
Gamescom has been filled with some big announcements, with the creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima announcing that Metal Gear Solid V will be coming to the PC. Well, he also unveiled the new Silent Hills game, too.
Silent Hills is an interactive horror game that Kojima, Sony and Konami have been working with Guillermo Del Toro, who directed movies like Hellboy and the recent Pacific Rim. Joining them is Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on AMC's The Walking Dead. Kojima has promised that the new Silent Hills will be so scary that it will make gamers "s**t their pants". Kojima wants to create a game so scary that you'll want to turn your machine off to stop it from scaring you.
At Gamescom, Kojima said: "That's why there's a limit on how scary you can make a game, but in this case we're ignoring that. If you don't want to keep playing through the game, so be it we don't care. That's the game we're aiming for. We're aiming for a game that will make you shit your pants". We don't know what platforms Silent Hills will be hitting, but we can almost guarantee that the PlayStation 4 will be one of them.
When the new Unreal Tournament was announced, people were excited - finally, an arena shooter for the PC, and PC only. Well, 'raxxy' on the Unreal Forums has compiled Epic Games' builds of the new Unreal Tournament, and has just unleashed the pre-alpha version of the game, which is available right now.
Everything is in very early, very unfinished form - with maps being untextured, weapons completely unbalanced, and things are only going to change very quickly from here. The pre-alpha of Unreal Tournament 2014 is constantly updated, so you'll need to manually download it when it's updated. If you want to download it, hit this link.
I'm sure that when you woke up this morning you didn't expect to read this news, but here we go: Metal Gear Solid V has been announced for the PC! MGS Director, Hideo Kojima, officially announced the news at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.
The PC releases of Metal Gear Solid V include both stories, with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Both of these titles are now on Steam, and both games are powered by the Fox Engine. As a PlayStation exclusive, this is an interesting announcement for the world of PC gamers. Now let's just hope the controls on PC are worked on, with precision, and it's not just a sloppy port.
Mad Catz has been making some very cool gaming peripherals for a long time now and it is back with a new gaming keyboard that is available for pre-order. The new keyboard is called the S.T.R.I.K.E. TE mechanical gaming keyboard and as the name suggests, the keys use mechanical switches. Mechanical key switches are something that many gamers and touch typists require for tactile feel and feedback.
The keyboard has 130 Kailh Brown mechanical switches and a metal frame for durability. The keys can survive 50 million keystrokes. Mad Catz uses anti-ghosting technology with 30-key rollover, and the keys are optimized to 45g of actuation force.
Other features of the keyboard include 12 programmable macro buttons and easy macro planning. The keyboard is backlit and the user has the ability to individually brighten specific areas of the keyboard. Pre-orders are underway now with the keyboard selling for $127.99.