Bungie is ramping up to the big release of Destiny 2, with the sequel being made available to the PC for the first time, after the original Destiny was locked to being a console exclusive. The new trailer is available below, in 4K 60FPS.
NVIDIA is backing Destiny 2 as one of the biggest PC releases of the year, with Bungie and Activision offering 4K resolution support (which should be a default by now, and not a bragging point), as well as uncapped framerates (so should this).
Destiny 2 will be available to play through the PC Open Beta between August 29-31, and you can also pre-purchase Destiny 2 exclusively through Blizzard Battle.net, where you'll get 24 hour early access into the beta that will begin on August 28.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds continues to gain traction, with the game passing over 7 million sales, a gigantic achievement for a game that isn't backed by a huge AAA studio or developer.
Bluehole now enjoy 617,000 concurrent gamers playing Battlegrounds on Steam, and with the price at just $29.99 the developer has pulled in a hefty $209 million since launching PUBG into Steam Early Access in April.
Better yet, PUBG is turning into a huge beast on Twitch... with Battlegrounds beating out League of Legends and the amount of Twitch hours streamed this week. The only game bigger on Twitch right now is Dota 2.
Microsoft's high-profile first-party exclusive Crackdown 3 will miss the Xbox One X's launch in November, the company today confirmed.
Crackdown 3 has been delayed to a nebulous Spring 2018 launch window, meaning the game could be delayed as much as five months from its original November 2017 release window. This announcement means that Microsoft's already-shaky first-party lineup is dealt with another blow, and that the company's new $499 high-end 4K-ready Xbox One X console will have one less title to tap the full brunt of its hardware.
The delay shouldn't come as much of a surprise to keen gamers. Crackdown 3's E3 2017 showcase was rough around the edges, and Microsoft hinted at a delay by not showing nearly as much in-game footage as publisher's typically offer when a game is months away from release. Microsoft Studios' Shannon Loftis says the extra months of development will ensure Crackdown 3 lives up to fans' expectations across the board.
Final Fantasy 14's new Stormblood expansion launched with much fanfare and acclaim, sparking big earnings and record subscription numbers.
Paid subscribers for MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV are at an all-time new high, Japanese publisher Square Enix confirmed in a quarterly earnings report. "Sales of the expansion pack have been brisk, and our paying subscriber numbers are at a record high," company president Yosuke Matsuda said during the earnings call. "We expect the expansion pack to make a sustained earnings contribution going forward."
The game's new Stormblood expansion, which retails for $40, was responsible for a swell in players that pushed Final Fantasy XIV past 10 million cummulative players. Although Stormblood was only available for 10 days of the company's fiscal period, it strongly contributed to Square Enix's MMO segment earnings: in that 10-day period, Stormblood helped the segment earn 9.3 billion yen ($84.304 million) in net sales, which is roughly 21% of the total Digital Entertainment revenues for the quarter.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds publisher Bluehole denies Tencent investment.
Reports from Yicai Global maintained that Chinese titan Tencent had backed PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds publisher Bluehole with an undisclosed sum. Now the South Korean publisher has spoken out, squashing the report. "These reports are not accurate. Tencent didn't make an investment into Bluehole," the company told the Esports Observer in an official statement.
With the massive success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, it's easy to see why companies like Tencent would mull an investment. The game has crested multiple milestones, including selling 4 million copies in three months and making a whopping $100 million in revenue. The game enjoys a massively engaged playerbase that continues to grow, and now sits at the top non-Valve game on Steam in concurrent players.
Rovio, the mobile titan behind the massively popular Angry Birds, sees its second quarter and first-half revenues take flight.
Following an earnings slide in 2016, Rovio Entertainment has rebounded thanks to the mighty success of the Angry Birds film, which helped kickstart new interest in its mobile titles. The Finnish games-maker today posted second quarter earnings of 86.2 million euros ($101.31 million) in total revenues, up a mighty 94% year-over-year. Of that value, 61.3 million euros ($72.04 million), or 71%, was gleaned from its games segment, representing another strong 65% year-over-year increase. Rovio reports that new mobile games like Angry Birds Evolution and Battle Bay saw the most ARPDAUs (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) in company history at launch.
"The second quarter of 2017 evidenced true delivery of our Games-First strategy with very strong growth in revenues and profits. During the second quarter, we also finalized Rovio's restructuring and moved towards a licensing model of lower operating and capital expenses in the consumer products and animated content businesses. The benefits of these structural changes, however, have not yet been reflected in the strong financial performance we achieved in the first half of 2017," said Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta.
Angry Birds developer Rovio may take some big steps for the company's future earnings.
Rovio Entertainment has laid plans to publicly trade its shares via an IPO that may value the company at a staggering $2 billion, sources have told Bloomberg. People familiar with the matter assert Rovio may start the initial public offering as early as next month, and the Angry Birds-maker could rake in as much as $400 million from a local market listing.
The company recently reported strong earnings growth for its second quarter and first-half cycles, up considerably from last year's drop in revenue which triggered restructuring and job cuts across the board. Rovio reported second quarter revenues of 86.2 million euros ($101.31 million), up 94% year-over-year, and 61.3 million euros ($72.04 million) from its games division, up 65% year-over-year. First-half revenues sit at 152.6 million euros ($179.35 million), up a substantial 94.3% year-over-year, of which 77% was made from games, or 117.9 million euros ($138.56 million).
After much soul-searching (and realizing its a bad idea to erase 21 years of brand awareness), Blizzard reverses plan to scrap the Battle.net naming scheme.
Blizzard has announced that it won't go through with its plans to remove the instantly recognizable Battle.net moniker from its online service and games. The Battle.net network, which serves as the core to mighty Blizzard IPs like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, is still getting re-named, but the "Battle.net" brand name will still be attached.
In a recent news post, the billion-dollar games-maker says the service will be re-named to "Blizzard Battle.net". The company had originally planned to simply call the service "Blizzard" and remove the Battle.net name completely, but had a change of heart due to strong fan feedback.
Rather than constricting a dynamically, continually-evolving storyline, BioWare has decided not to set limits on Dragon Age's canon, but that doesn't mean they're not planning ahead.
The fan favorite medieval fantasy Dragon Age series has no real ending in sight. That is according to Dragon Age series Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, who recently said some interesting tidbits on Twitter. "There is no planned ending for Dragon Age. There is an evolving plan that tends to look two games ahead or so," Mr. Laidlaw said on Twitter, adding some insight on the beloved universe where dragons, knights, and magic co-existing in a fanciful--and often bloody--timeline. The developer goes on to say that outlining an ending puts undue pressure on writers and can create a very real tunnel vision that robs creators of their keen mindsight--the very same sight that's responsible for creating unique fell-magisters like Corypheus, or the deep-rooted reverence of Andraste throughout the fantasy world.
"I strongly believe that if you try to hold to a rigid plan that is a decade old by the time you reach the end, you are wasting opportunities," the creative director affirmed. This structure reminds me of Final Fantasy games, which are all indirectly linked with interwoven themes, characters, ideas, and visual content. Every Final Fantasy game is a different reflection of the same crystal, so to speak. History is folding back into the present, the future is a wide, ever-branching path rather than a clear linear tunnel.
Bethesda is well-known for extending the life of its products with tons of remasters and re-releases--this year marks the fourth release of Skyrim, for example--and now its post-apocalyptic RPG is getting the traditional game of the year treatment.
The Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition retails for a full $59.99, and as you'd imagine, the game is bundled with the full suite of expansions like Far Harbor and Nuka World alongside baked-in updates like the esteemed Survival mode. The GOTY edition comes after Fallout 4 soaked up big sales over two years, and more than a year after Bethesda hiked the season pass to $50. The game's absurdly popular $99 Pip-Boy collector's edition is also getting a limited re-release (because of course it is).
Bethesda has some interesting motivations for this re-release. Outside of the obvious push for more money, the company is delivering an easily accessible all-in-one package to prepare gamers for Bethesda's new Creation Club monetization scheme, which launches this summer. The Creation Club initiative allows gamers to buy small slices of DLC add-on content like weapons and armor, and also includes big expansion-sized updates. Essentially Bethesda is making an on-demand DLC marketplace where gamers can buy high-quality content made by the modding community's top content creators and Bethesda themselves. But the real trick to Creation Club's success is compatibility, and the DLC or "paid mods" need to be 100% compatible with all official Fallout 4 DLC and updates. Thus Bethesda is releasing the all-in-one package at a full $59.99 price tag to get players started.