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Indie devs already have it pretty hard, and getting the attention of the gaming community can be even harder. Some devs turn to YouTubers as a natural way to advertise their games...but when you're asked to pay $22,000 for a single sponsored video, it makes your jaw drop.
"On one of my normal PR rounds I received an email from a very popular YouTuber with a few million subscribers offering to have one of our games featured on their YouTube channel for a rate of either $17,600 for 2-3 talking points or $22,000 for 2-3 talking points AND a description link," Ben Tester, whose indie studio Wales Interactive is responsible for games like Soul Axiom and Master Reboot, said on Reddit.
This kind of huge payoff isn't anything new. YouTubers have done promos and sponsored videos all over the place, earning up to $15,000 to $30,000 for a single video. This kind of cash is enough to fund an indie game and it's as much as some people make in a year. It got to the point where advertisements and original content bled so closely together that no one could tell what content was promoted. Eventually the Federal Trade Commission had to step in and force regulations on YouTube's multi-million dollar system, ruling that YouTubers now have to make promoted videos explicitly clear to viewers.
Yep, this isn't a joke. Devolver Digital's Dropsy the Clown hit Steam not to long ago, allowing users to become a heavily misunderstood love-filled clown in this "non-traditional take on the classic point and click adventure formula."
Complete with a sing-along trailer (seen above), this title can be played in an open world adventure, puzzles and hugs or text free experience mode. Seeing each option set on a similar path, Dropsy's goal is to turn this community around through the power of pixelated love.
Including the ability to talk to animals, Dropsy will "help those in need, hug total strangers, and unravel dark and shameful secrets from his past on the way to redemption" as stated in a recent press release.
Including "NHL 16 (because Canada)," Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo reached out to us to say that this Ontario-held gaming event will feature $100k worth of eSports tournaments, a tabletop arena, a cosplay competition and more.
If the above activities don't tickle your fancy, some AAA publishers and indie developers will be in attendance, alongside gaming celebrity meet and greets, talks and lectures, a kids zone and a designated marketplace for selling games, equipment and collectors items.
Set to kick off on November 13-15, this event will be held at International Centre in Mississauga, boasting what is claimed as "Canada's largest eSports event" to date. If you would like more information or to buy a ticket, you can do so through the official website.
After reports of Gaming Paradise in Slovenia seeing participant Passports confiscated, players ill and hotels unpaid, news has come to light of issues at the next-held global CS:GO tournament - ESL ESEA Dubai.
ESL is well-known for hosting not only the largest CS:GO tournaments in the globe, but always presenting them professionally, gathering the full support of the CS:GO community and Valve alike. Set to offer a respectable prize pool of $250,000, the fans expected this event to be no different.
The first issue was raised when the pricey spectator tickets ended up with fans being unable to watch most of the tournament in person. Charging approximately $68 for a one day pass (and up to $272 for a 3-day VIP), spectators were told that the originally-planned outdoors venue would only be used after 7pm - with players located inside due to extreme heat (In excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit). As the spectators were told that they were unable to watch any games until after 7pm local time, this means they were only able to see, at most, three group games plus the finals series.
While eSports organizations are often looking for 'mainstream' brands to sponsor gaming teams and events, WBSC's Premier12 global baseball event has recently announced in a press release that GungHo Online Entertainment will be a gold sponsor of its upcoming tournament.
With games released such as 'Puzzle & Dragons', GungHho's titles will be seen displayed on signage throughout all fields and on media backdrops throughout the 2015 season.
Calling this sponsorship a "natural fit," WBSC's President Riccardo Fraccari claims this support will help "create a very special synergy dedicated to the fan and game-experience." Does this mean we may see a baseball mobile game next? We'll have to wait and see.
While we've been hearing about other game engines being powered by DirectX 12, we haven't heard much from the developer of the Battlefield series and Star Wars Battlefront.
The news is coming directly from Technial Director Stefan Boberg on Twitter, where '@CentroXer' asked "when is DX12 going to be part of frosbite?" with Boberg replying that "it already is, no word on which game will be first though :)". With DICE working very closely with AMD on Mantle, which was used in Battlefield 4, it's only a few steps away from Battlefield 5 being announced on the latest Frostbite engine with DirectX 12 capabilities.
Then we have to think about the amount of Frostbite-powered games in the next year or so, with Mass Effect 4 at the end of 2016, Need for Speed on November 3, and Star Wars Battlefront two weeks later on November 17. Let's not forget Mirror's Edge Catalyst on February 23, 2016. So we should expect a next-gen Battlefield game to be announced early next year, with a release date later next year, hopefully.
As if there was ever any doubt, Bethesda has revealed that Fallout 4 will have its own season pass for future DLC...and even calls the pass a "reward for our most loyal fans". The real reward, though, is the full unrestricted set of modding tools that gamers will get across consoles and PC.
While just about every gamer feels that season passes are a terrible scheme on par with the pre-order gamble that sadly funds the industry, Bethsoft affirms that the pass will unlock access to "all DLC ever released for Fallout 4". There's no Evolve-style multi-passes going on here.
On the up-side Bethsoft plans to give players the very same construction software that the studio used to create the game. So the paid season pass DLC could end up being a non-issue. But there's a catch...the tools won't be up at launch. "Early next year we'll release for free the new Creation Kit for the PC. This is the same tool we use in the studio. You'll be able to create your own mods and share them with others. We're especially excited these same mods will then be coming to Xbox One, and then PlayStation 4."
The USC Institute for Creative Technologies and Imperial College London showed off a new technique for "synthesizing the effects of skin microstructure deformation by anisotropically convolving a high resolution displacement map to match normal distribution changes in measured skin samples" during SIGGRAPH 2015.
In a more simple way, it is a new technique that will hopefully one day find us with games with super-realistic dynamic skin, that will have characters in games that look ultra-real. The USC Institute for Creative Technologies and Imperial College London noted that the technique can be used in real-time, with the videos we have embedded including both real-time renders, that have used GPU shaders and offline renders.
We know that Crytek has an impressive graphics engine with CryEngine, but YouTuber '18T220' has used CryEngine for a super-impressive video showcasing a new custom rain splash refraction effect.
As you can see above, it's a kick-ass example of CryEngine, especially if developers can get this new rain splash refraction effect into their game. What do you think? What game would you want to see using this new effect?
The release of Elite Dangerous on the Xbox One is not too far away, with Frontier Developments sayuing that it will arrive on October 6. The news came directly from the developer in a new Q&A with fans over the weekend from CEO David Braben.
Elite Dangerous launched on the PC last December while the space combat simulator has been in the Xbox Game Preview program for a couple of months now. Elite Dangerous is also set to arrive on the PlayStation 4, but Frontier Developments hasn't provided a date for that just yet. The first expansion for Elite Dangerous, Horizons, will be made available on the Xbox One, but no date has been provided for that, either.
Interestingly, Braben hinted that we will "probably" see account transfers between Xbox One and PC editions of Elite Dangerous, which would be pretty cool. Horizons will be launching on the PC later in the holidays for $59.99 and will introduce the ability of landing on any of the billions of in-game worlds, dogfighting over their surfaces, or driving on them with vehicles.