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Mobile gamers are spending a lot of time playing their favorite games, with more than two hours played per day in 2014, according to The NPD Group. The latest figures note a dramatic 57 percent increase, as consumers are even more comfortable using their smartphones and tablets.
Not surprisingly, kids are helping drive revenue, with kids from 2 up to 12 years of age spending the most amount of time gaming over other activities, according to the report.
"Continued mobile growth will stem from existing customers paying more to play, especially in the free-to-play portion of the market," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst at The NPD Group, in a statement. "A positive sign of consumer behavior trending this way is the fact that more than twice the number of app gamers reported making an in-game purchase than they did when we conducted this study two years ago."
It's been a rough few months for the CS:GO community, seeing six top figures from the North American and Canadian scene get pinned with match-fixing, a betting ring scandal and then a plethora of bans from almost-all major tournaments across the globe.
In unusual fashion, even Valve spoke up - damning the betting ring and match-fixing, personally banning the players involved from all future Valve major events.
One of the players involved in this scandal was 17 year old Braxton Pierce - gamer name 'swag'. Name aside, he first hit it big in the North American Counter Strike 1.6 scene where he competed in many top level tournaments at the ripe old age of 15, often surpassing many players 10 years his senior and proving himself as a major player to watch in the future.
He released a long-winded apology on his public Facebook page recently, admitting the match was lost on purpose, explaining that although only one skin was won by him - he was still in the wrong and that "the ban was necessary in order to set a precedent for future players to come."
When Valve launched Steam Workshop, I don't think most people could have imagined it would grow this large. Well, it has continued to grow and there's no signs of it stopping, with the company announcing it has given out over $57 million to content creators since 2011.
Creators of in-game content for titles like Team Fortress 2, DOTA 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have made quite a lot of money over the years, with over 1500 creators in 75 different countries. Valve has also announced that it has curated Workshops opening for two non-Valve games which will allow gamers to purchase in-game items for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
Valve has also added that "We expect more curated Workshops to become available for creators and players in various games over the coming weeks and months". The company also teased that it would soon be releasing new tools for these content creators, something that will allow them to keep track of their sales, for both individual items and overall, both in real-time.
Dying Light launched yesterday, but it looks like the PC version is filled with various performance-related issues, as most games are these days that are multi-platform.
Techland has been seeing Dying Light gamers experience random crashes and stuttering issues, low FPS or FPS drops, sound stuttering or noise and sound lag issues, DLL crashes on startup of "DyingLight.exe has stopped working", SLI problems, and even a total failure of starting the game itself. There are various things you can do to get around these issues, but I think there's a bigger issue at hand here: why are these problems here in the first place?
Dying Light isn't a small game on Early Access (which if it was, it would probably not have 75% of these issues). But, if you need to get it working and you're experiencing these issues, you're going to have to do some work to get it working.
Ken Levine, otherwise known as the creator of BioShock, has taken to Twitter to tease that he's working on a new game. What can we expect? Levine has teased that the game is set in an original universe, and that it's in a first-person perspective.
On top of that, the plot is "sci-fi-ish" as Levine explains, with the game being "large-ish" in scope. The untitled game will rely heavily on its story and gameplay elements, something that can be repeatedly recombined with one another in really interesting ways, something that Levine calls "narrative Legos".
Levine has disappointed most, stating that his team will not be showing off the game at E3 2015 in June, adding that his game has only just started getting into development. When asked how the progress of the game was coming along, Levine said: "Stuff in engine. Very rudimentary gameplay. Concept art. Passion system in code. A working board game to demonstrate passions".
Microsoft clearly is excited about the potential for its HoloLens platform to succeed in gaming, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella both promoting how augmented reality can boost the gaming experience. Microsoft hasn't disclosed gaming projects for its HoloLens platform, but gaming is expected to be a major effort to help push AR mainstream.
"It's also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 and HoloLens create," Nadella said during a Microsoft financial call. "Just imagine what is possible with Minecraft. Gaming truly is a valuable part of millions of people's lives and Microsoft will excel and increase our lead."
The HoloLens headset and Windows Holographic platform can be paired with video games to provide a unique environment - while Microsoft and Mojang have already created two HoloLens demonstrations that they look forward to launching.
Ubisoft isn't going to win many customer appreciation awards with their recent move to ban game key licenses purchased through third-party key resellers. Sites such as G2A and Kinguin (among others) buy license keys in countries where prices are lower, then offer them for sale globally. Ubisoft isn't appreciative of the practice, so they took the step of wantonly deploying the Ubisoft Banhammer and revoking the keys. The problem with this approach is that it punishes the customer, instead of pursuing litigation or other methods against the resellers. In many cases, the user who purchased the key is unaware there is an issue with the practice.
G2A has taken to Facebook to respond, and first denied involvement in any wrongdoing, and then offered refunds on all keys purchased with G2A Shield. It is important to note that only G2A Shield customers are protected, and that other situations will be decided individually.
"As some of you may already know, steps have been taken to remove games purchased indirectly from a publisher, via main marketplaces in the web. G2A.COM is not in any case responsible for any of these procedures. However, we are well aware of this process and will do everything possible to compensate for that. For users who have made transactions without G2A Shield, we will check if the corresponding merchant was responsible for the withdrawal of the code. If so, these users will get a compensation. Any user who used G2A Shield affected by the current process will get either a new code for the game or the money back. G2A.COM will make every possible exertion to prevent this kind of procedures in the future and exclude merchants responsible for such incidents from the marketplace."
Yesterday we told you about how ESEA and the all-mighty Valve had spoken up, banning numerous American and Canadian professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players from their future events due to match fixing and a betting scandal.
In recent news, two other large-scale CS:GO entities have followed suit - seeing FACEIT and CEVO both taking action against these players.
FACEIT have removed the ex-iBUYPOWER team from their 2015 league, further stating that Joshua "steel" Nissan and Derek "dboorN" Boorn from Torqued will be barred from competing in their league closed qualifier. Not only the players were affected, with Casey Foster (pictured above), a member in this scandal and a head admin of FACEIT North America, being dismissed from his position.
CEVO is where the actual match fixing event took place. Their CEO & President, Charlie Plitt, has joined the anti-betting fight by stating "I am truly disappointed in these gentlemen who have been long time members of the CEVO community. It saddens me to think that they were willing to throw their individual reputations and competitive gaming careers away all out of greed." He went on to explain that "I want to further reiterate to the CEVO community that CEVO vehemently opposes these actions and will suspend anyone who engages in like actions. We will remain vigilant in upholding and refining our rules in an effort to provide the fairest gameplay possible."
While CD Projekt Red may have delayed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to May 19, we're finding out more information on the game thanks to various members of the press playing with the latest build of the open-world title.
The developer has revealed that the most recent build of The Witcher 3 is running at 1080p on the PS4 while the Xbox One version is knocked down to 900p on the Xbox One, which is the least impressive version of the game against the PS4 and PC. The Witcher 3 on the PS4 is running at 1080p at 30FPS with higher fidelity graphics than the Xbox One version, even though it's been knocked down to 900p.
What's more interesting is that gaming industry insider 'shinobi602' reporting that the PCs that CD Projekt Red had setup with The Witcher 3 were "specced to consoles" or whatever that means.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was delayed recently, all the way through to May 19. But the developer behind the open-world title, CD Projekt Red, has allowed some of the media to play the game, and release some really eye-opening videos.
As you can see above, the game looks delicious as we all expected, with some truly great graphics. The world is absolutely mammoth in size, and so to is the level of detail in both the world, and the conversations with NPCs.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is scheduled for launch on May 19 for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.