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Just yesterday, Ubisoft removed some of their biggest upcoming games from Steam. Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity and The Crew, three of Ubisoft's soon-to-be big sellers, disappeared from Steam.
In the last couple of hours, these games have returned to Steam. So fear not, you can now purchase Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity and The Crew all from Steam, with pre-orders back to where they were. Now we need to ask the question: why did these games return? Did Ubisoft see the light after the massive backlash it received from the PC gaming community? If so, why aren't we seeing a change to this 30FPS scandal, and the dumbing down of the PC versions of its games? Come on Ubisoft, what's going on over there, guys?
Massive Entertainment, the developer behind The Division, recently sat down with Open World Games, talking about its open-world tactical shooter. Martin Hultberg, Head of Communications at Massive, said that the developer will be optimizing The Division for all three platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC, instead of optimizing for a single platform.
He added that the game will not be "downgraded" from consoles to the PC, with each version receiving its own attention, utilizing each platform's strengths. With a capable PC, it means that the best version of the game will again be on the PC. Hulberg said: "Downgrading is a weird term to use. Obviously, we want to make a game that looks the best it can on its respective format, so Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. So I think the term downgrade is a bit confusing and weird because we're trying to get the most out of every machine we use. So Xbox gets its attention, PlayStation gets its attention, and PC of course will be able to cram it up a bit more depending on the hardware you have".
Hulberg continued: "We address every console, every platform, as its own version, so we try to stay away from the thing where you go for the least common denominator, and everybody suffers for it". Hulberg added that each version of The Division will be handled individually, with resolutions and frame rates decided on a platform-to-platform basis, instead of pushing one standard across multiple platforms to hit uniformity. He added: "We want to make a good experience on all respective formats". Remember, the last time we heard about The Division was that it was locked at 30FPS, so this is a 180-degree change in direction for Massive and Ubisoft, but it's not confirmation that we should expect over 30FPS, which is what we need to hear most of all.
DICE has been working on something behind the scenes, porting its Frostbite engine over to iOS, the engine that powers its Battlefield games. Kristoffer Benjaminsson, Product Owner for Mobile at Frostbite has talked about the ways of getting Frostbite on iOS on the Frostbite blog.
Parts of Frostbite are already working on iOS, with DICE and its Battlefield 4 Commander app, but the company also showed off Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare on an iPad Air earlier this year at Apple's WWDC event, which is powered by its Frostbite engine. After that, the company wanted to see Battlefield 4 running in iOS, which has been quite the task.
With the Frostbite engine handling dynamic features like destruction or moving light sources in real-time, rendering all of this on a mobile device is extremely hard. But, DICE says that this "puts extra demand on performance to be able to deliver large, highly detailed world's with superb visual quality. We were making great progress feature-wise, but hardware and software limitations forced us to either scale down the number of objects and their complexity to retain visual fidelity, or accept lower visual fidelity to cope with a larger number of objects".
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt comes out early next year, but we're being introduced to its DLC a little early - but it's not all bad, as CD Projekt Red are offering all 16 pieces of DLC for free.
The developer has said that each piece of DLC will be free on all three platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC, no matter what - whether you pre-order the game now, or buy it down the track. After years of developers and companies sucking money from gamers in the form of DLC, it feels like a really nice breath of fresh air to see a big title like The Witcher 3 enjoying free DLC, and even better, that there's 16 parts of it.
Far Cry 4, The Crew and Assassin's Creed: Unity are some of Ubisoft's biggest games coming out this year, and early 2015 have all but disappeared from Valve's digital distribution service, Steam.
A representative for Ubisoft UK told PCGamesN: "We've been in discussions with Valve about Assassin's Creed Unity but for the time being the game is not available via Steam in the UK". I've just checked Steam here in Australia, and all of those games do not show up, but I did see them just two days ago. This could be because Valve takes a cut of the sales, while Ubisoft has games big enough they'll still sell through their own distribution software: uPlay.
With everything going on surrounding Ubisoft pissing PC gamers off, you'd think the company would be trying all attempts to make up for it, and not dig the hole deeper. This move feels like the company has hired machinery to help dig its hole quicker from a construction company called 30FPS Construction, which would probably have a slogan like: "Digging At 24FPS Is More Cinematic".
Far Cry 4 will be released by Ubisoft later this month, and the official minimum and optimal PC requirements were recently released. The game will be available on November 18 for the PC, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Minimum system requirements:
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit only)
Processor: Intel Core i5-750 @ 2.6GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.2GHz
Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / AMD Radeon HD5850 (1GB VRAM)
DirectX: Version 11
Storage space: 30GB
Sound: DirectX 9.0c sound card with newest drivers
Optimal system requirements:
Supported OS: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit only)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400S @ 2.5GHz / AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0GHz or faster
Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 / AMD Radeon R9 290X or better (2GB VRAM)
DirectX: Version 11
Sound: DirectX 9.0c sound card with newest drivers
It looks like we should expect Just Cause 3 to be announced soon, if the leaked screenshots are anything to go by. Four leaked screenshots from the alleged title are coming in from the Xbox One version of the game, which popped up on the Xbox-Underground forums now too long ago.
The four shots show the main character, Rico, and an overview of a massive, massive island. Eurogamer is reporting that it has a source close to the game itself, confirming that we are looking at images from Just Cause 3, going on to say that it is showing off the game's "Black Market". The anonymous source added that the PC version was meant to be entirely free-to-play, while the console version of Just Cause 3 would be financed through microtransactions.
Eurogamer has added though, that "the plan changed and this may no longer be the case". When it comes to the microtransactions argument, Avalanche Studios' boss, Christofer Sundberg, said last year on Twitter: "Microtransactions, subscriptions, and other biz models will be the next generation of games. It is that simple. We'll never compromise on quality or sell our souls for a quick buck. Things are changing and we need to adapt".
A few months ago we heard that some of the developers from Infinity Ward had formed Reload Studios, a VR-based first-person shooter studio. Reload Studios is now teasing its upcoming multiplayer VR shooter, which will arrive as a VR first-person, arena-based multiplayer shooter which currently has no name.
Founder and CEO of Reload Studios, James Chung, has said that the studio is aiming at VR as the primary platform for their unnamed shooter, acknowledging the challenges that building an FPS for VR gives them. Chung said: "Our focus is on virtual reality because you can't just port or make a non-virtual reality game and expect it to work. The games on VR have to be made from the ground up. So we are making a game from the ground up to make sure it will work on VR".
Although an FPS from the ex developers of Infinity Ward, who focused on FPS titles like Call of Duty, is something that isn't breaking the mould, making a VR-focused FPS is. Chung continued: "Trying a shooter in VR is actually difficult because nobody has a solution on how to make the experience compelling, especially on the controls issue. A lot of people have a lot of points on what not to do, but not a lot of people are coming up with what to do. And that's the side that we're trying to resolve".
Four years ago, the Unity Asset Store opened its doors, and by the end of the year it should see close to one million users. The Unity Asset Store is a marketplace for user-created development tools, services, assets and more, including environment art, animation tools, sound effects, shaders and more.
In the first three months of it opening, the Asset Store saw 10,000 users sign up, and fast-forwarding to today, the top sellers are making over $30,000 a month from their creations. Unity took to their Asset Store blog to announce the news, adding that the store has over 15,000 pieces of content right now, from over 3,800 creators.
Unity said in its press release: "Unity estimates that the Asset Store ecosystem, empowering Unity developers to create games and apps with a more efficient and effective production process, saves developers 6 million workdays over a 12-month period, which roughly equals a savings of $1.4 billion".
Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches on November 11, just days away, so what better time for Microsoft and 343 Industries to announce a new eSports league dedicated to Halo.
Xbox Wire explains: "The 'Halo Championship Series', or HCS, was born of 343 Industries' desire to curate a quality eSports experience - for pro players, enthusiasts, and spectators - by creating a single sanctioning body for Halo. Designed to foster the best environment and platform for competitive multiplayer, the HCS will showcase, sponsor and support existing tournament organizers in the growing landscape of eSports today".
Halo Championship Series' first season will start this month, seeing teams and four hitting the battlefield both online, and offline through LAN events. The winners of these events will earn Halo Championship Series points, and those with the most points will be invited to the finals in March 2015. On November 9, we'll hear more details on the Halo Championship Series, as 32 of the world's top Halo players will be duking it out for a $50,000 prize at the Halo: The Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational Tournament. This tournament starts at 5PM Eastern Time, and will be streamed through the official Halo Twitch channel.