IO Interactive has officially negotiated a buyout with Square Enix and is now fully independent.
Square Enix and IO Interactive have reached an agreement with Square Enix, who recently jettisoned the developer to focus more on core IP. IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak today delivered an official message confirming the studio has gone indie, and retains full rights to the Hitman IP.
"I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio. We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP," Hakan announced in a statement.
"This is a watershed moment for IOI. As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP - we're about to forge our own future and it's incredibly exciting."
Atari may be resurrecting the classic home console that ushered in a golden age of gaming.
Atari has recently teased the "Ataribox", which may be a re-release of the classic Atari console for the modern age. The Ataribox is an officially licensed "brand new Atari product years in the making," and if I had to guess, it's an official Atari console pre-loaded with old-school Atari games not unlike Nintendo's NES Classic Edition system.
The teaser reveal makes it pretty clear the Ataribox is a console complete with that old 80s wood paneling. The company has launched the Ataribox.com website to promote the product, but we have no clue when an official reveal will take place.
The very first gameplay footage of Hunt: Showdown from Crytek has been released, with the E3 2017 gameplay video showing off Crytek's latest game - that's not a Crysis sequel.
Hunt: Showdown is a game where 5 teams of two players each track down, and kill demons in a PvE and PvP style manner - similar to survival games that are super popular right now like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Hunt: Showdown is powered by Crytek's own CRYENGINE, with perma death, and isn't a casual game by any means. It looks pretty gorgeous with its lighting effects at night, but I'm not convinced just yet, Crytek.
Microsoft killed it this year at E3 2017, announcing its next-gen Xbox One X console, but they were also teasing they have a bunch of first-party Xbox exclusives in the development oven, that aren't anywhere near ready to begin showing off.
During an interview at E3 2017 with VICE's Waypoint, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said: "When I started this job three years ago, hardware was a real focus for us because I thought we had more work to do there. Xbox One S shipped last year, the X is shipping this year, I love our hardware line. Xbox Live was something I wanted to focus, coming on Android, iOS, Windows PC because I really want people to play games on the place they want to go play".
Spencer continued: "Our first party is a critical part of that equation. Yesterday, I know people want to see what we're investing in new. We are investing in new things, we signed things just recently that I thought, 'Hey, from a PR standpoint it would be really easy for me to put a trailer on screen', but then I know the game is not coming for another two and half or three years, so I didn't want to do that. I understand some people would say, 'Hey, that would give me confidence in the future of Xbox'...".
Bethesda has confirmed that Elder Scrolls Online will be running at 4K 30FPS on the Xbox One X, and not the previously rumored 60FPS mark.
Elder Scrolls Online has already hit the PS4 Pro, giving gamers the option between 4K 30FPS and 1080p with better graphical details with shadows, ambient occlusion, and water reflections. Elder Scrolls Online Game Director, Matt Firor, said at E3 2017 that his team are making improvements on Xbox One X all the time, but 4K 30FPS will be the limit for Microsoft's new console.
The PC version will be the only destination for 60FPS+ gameplay, but we're used to that right, guys?
E3 2017 - Ubisoft is set to pull in big revenue with its new South Park mobile game.
At its E3 2017 showcase Ubisoft announced South Park: Phone Destroyer, a new free-to-play iOS and Android smartphone game set in massively popular South Park universe. And as South Park devotees know, Freemium Isn't Free. The very first South Park mobile game will be monetized with microtransactions, and herein lies Ubisoft's golden opportunity for a massive tail of recurring revenue.
South Park: Phone Destroyer incorporates some of the most popular and lucrative elements of mobile gaming with its unique hybrid design, combining card gaming with real-time strategy with other players online. Armed with these mechanics the game will be able to facilitate near-infinite replayability and therefore continue earning big over time. Gamers will be able to buy optional time-saving items in the in-game store, likely in blind-bag card packs, all of which are tied into the comical universe and adding a splash of hilarity to the experience.
The new smartphone game combines some of the best-known and beloved South Park characters and themes to boot. The game not only features a fully-fledged singleplayer storyline that's set up to build off of some of the most popular episodes and themes, but the content itself will be borrowed from the universe and set up in such a way that simulates an actual episode. This combined with microtransactions, online play, and a card-based ecosystem that leverages strategy is essentially the framework for a massive mobile game.
E3 2017 - With its 6TFLOP GPU, 12GB GDDR5 RAM, and boosted CPU, Microsoft's new $499 Xbox One X is the most powerful console on the market, but developers have total free reign over how to tap the hardware. Microsoft has set no restrictions to developers or publishers despite the constant requests for a 60FPS standard from gamers. Xbox division head Phil Spencer talks about why Microsoft doesn't want to set those kinds of mandates on the Xbox One X.
Microsoft has said from day one that developers have full control over how they want to use the new 4K-ready Xbox One X (aka "Project Scorpio"). I re-iterated the point days ago by reminding everyone the Xbox One X won't play every single game in native 4K at a "rock solid" 60FPS. Every game is different, every engine is different, and every developer is trying to do different things.
Gamers, on the other hand, are frustrated with the lack of confirmed games that run at native 4K with higher frame rates, especially third-party games like Assassin's Creed: Origins and Destiny 2, which both run at upscaled 4K at 30FPS, similar to their PS4 Pro counterparts. The community has wondered why Microsoft just doesn't force developers to maintain a solid 60FPS for all experiences, whether checkboard, native, or even raising games past 60FPS in 1080p resolution. Xbox division head Phil Spencer says that's not where Xbox wants to be, and it doesn't want to dictate to developers how to make their games--it just delivers the box with the power and ability to hit high-end console performance. The rest is up to developers, and they're able to do it as they see fit.
"With Xbox One X, I wanted to make a console that can deliver native 4K at frame rate. That's what we've done. Of course developers will choose how they use it," Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in a recent interview on the Giant Bomb at Nite E3 show. "Some people say 'hey you should mandate 60 FPS.' As a platform holder, when you start mandating those kind of creative decisions...I mean there are great immersive scenes where the developer wants to use the render time to do things that take more time than you can do in the cycle time for 60 frames per second, so they go to 30 instead. So you get some beautiful games that run that way."
E3 2017 - Bungie confirms that Destiny 2 will run at 4K 30FPS and deliver the same exact experience on both PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft's new high-end Xbox One X.
Microsoft's new $499 Xbox One X (previously "Project Scorpio") might be a good leap ahead of Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro, with the Xbox One featuring a 6TFLOP GPU, 12GB of GDDR5 RAM at 326GB/sec, and a massively customized Jaguar CPU at 2.73GHz, but that extra horsepower won't be tapped in Destiny 2--at least not at launch.
Bungie has confirmed to WCCFtech that Destiny 2 on consoles will have performance parity on both systems, meaning the game won't run better on Xbox One X despite its beefy hardware boost.
Bungie Design Lead Lars Bakken told the outlet that Bungie is "aiming to deliver the same experience on all platforms, and so far, there are no specific enhancements planned for Xbox One X."
E3 2017 - Microsoft exec Phil Spencer confirmed that the company isn't making a profit by selling the Xbox One X at $500.
Microsoft isn't making a profit on its new 4K-ready Xbox One X system, and that's okay. Console-makers typically don't make a profit on hardware, but the software and service ecosystem that powers the hardware. This has been true for Xbox for quite some time, especially after its cross-platform union with Windows 10 PCs, effectively turning Xbox into a service rather than a console platform. Microsoft's new $499 Xbox One X console is definitely the world's most powerful console to date with its 6TFLOPs GPU and native 4K gaming support, but the hardware is just the gateway to the real lucrative core of console gaming: software, live/subscription services, microtransactions, and other monetized content that spans a years-long tail.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Xbox division head Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft isn't selling the $499 Xbox One X at a profit. Unless you're Sony, who's banked very hard on hardware sales with its 60 million strong PlayStation 4 userbase, software is typically more important than harwdare.
"I don't want to get into all the numbers, but in aggregate you should think about the hardware part of the console business is not the money-making part of the business. The money-making part is in selling games," Spencer said.
E3 2017 - Now we know why Sony refused cross-play with Microsoft's wholly-owned Minecraft game: it requires users to sign into an Xbox LIVE account.
Nintendo Switch's Minecraft cross-play hinges on one very important detail: you have to sign into an Xbox LIVE account even when playing on Nintendo's handheld Switch console hybrid. So even if you don't own an Xbox product, you'll have to make an Xbox LIVE account and sign to play online with other platforms.
As Mojang CEO Jonas Märtensson confirms, Minecraft is unified through all platforms via Xbox LIVE and requires sign-ins on all devices for cross-play--even the Nintendo Switch.
"We link together all platforms through Xbox Live. So you log in with your Xbox Live [also on the Switch]. It's also quite unique! But all those who are involved in this, all platform holders have been very pragmatic and understand that what we want to do is create a good experience for the players. So we needed a good system to get everyone together - and Xbox Live is a good system," Märtensson said in a recent interview with PressFire.