Blizzard is currently planning to ramp up its mobile games offering, and is hiring new engineers to power the platform's dev toolset.
The news was gleaned from a new Blizzard job listing that calls for a software engineer for its mobile initiative. "Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a talented and enthusiastic software engineer to contribute to Blizzard's mobile gaming efforts," reads the listing. "In this role, you will create tools that will empower our talented designers and artists. The ideal candidate will be self-directed, and have proficiency with developing powerful tools and content creation pipelines."
NeoGAF's Nirolak posits that the new game could be related to Overwatch, and that makes sense, as Blizzard typically ties in its key IPs with its mobile-based titles. Blizzard's mobile gaming arm has been quite stagnant, but interestingly enough it actually released a StarCraft mobile game called Supply Depot 2. If the mobile game isn't Overwatch related, it could be attached to Heroes of the Storm via a mobile-based spinoff. Expect these mobile games to feature the industry's lucrative microtransaction-based sales platform, and to tie into their respective IPs in some form.
Ubisoft is continuing to improve the experience for The Division players, with the company preparing its new v1.6.1 patch that will include the new loadouts feature, something that wasn't expected this early, but has been dragged up to May.
There are also two free expansions coming this year, but the first one won't drop until late July or August, but the new loadouts feature will make it into the v1.6.1 patch that's due next month - and is available right now in the Public Test Server (PTR). The new feature will let you "store up to six different character configurations, with each loadout reflecting the weapons, gear, skills, talents and mods you had equipped when you hit 'save'. You can swap between loadouts pretty much instantly from the menu, and pick from a established list of names ('Marksman', 'Assault' etc.) to help you remember which is which", reports PC Gamer.
The patch notes on The Division's upcoming v1.6.1 patch can be read here.
Cliff Bleszinski is preparing his own new game with Lawbreakers under his studio Boss Key Productions, but he is known for his work in developing Unreal and Gears of War, talked at the recent Dubrovnik's Reboot Develop 2017 saying that AAA games of today cost too much to make.
We know that game development costs are ridiculously high, with CliffyB saying: "$60 is still a lot of money to ask people for. And to ask them to make that bet multiple times per year? Gamers are picky, they're smart. This is a nearly unsustainable model, unless you're an Activision, 2K or a Sony". He even went as far to compare it to the restaurant scene in the US, saying: "They're not bad, they're not great, they're just there".
CliffyB said that this sees game developers wanting to imitate successful games or franchises, because big AAA developers can't afford for their game to fail. Instead of near guaranteed failure in the big AAA leagues, CliffyB said that developers could do something he calls AA game development, adding: "Games that look and play great but pick their battles in terms of budget and marketing".
This is definitely something I agree with, especially when you look at the recent success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - or even the massive giants like League of Legends, CS:GO, DOTA2, or Overwatch. Apart from Overwatch, there's no huge $60+ investment (or $100+ in the case of Premium/Season Passes) but near unlimited fun.
The ambitious modding project to put Red Dead Redemption's in-game world into GTA V has been shut down by Take-Two Interactive.
Rockstar Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive has forced the developers behind the anticipated "Red Dead Redemption V" mod to cancel the project. The mod itself aimed to offer a Red Dead Redemption experience on PC by bringing Red Dead Redemption's full in-game map into GTA V as a "story mode modification." The modders were extracting game assets--textures, models etc--from the Xbox 360 version of RDR using the .White (dot white) toolkit and importing them into a PC port of GTA V.
Sadly all of this work was for naught: Take-Two Interactive has reportedly issued a cease and desist letter to the team. "I know this is hard pill to swallow, but as you may have noticed we did get contacted , and we sadly have to say we are stopping this project," the project's leader Mr LeisureWear confirmed on the GTA forums. "So thanks guys, we were all so happy to see this, but it isn't going to happen, sorry."
Twitch is giving streamers even more ways to make money and key YouTube Gaming streamers and content creators could be pulled over to the platform.
Since the recent controversy that caused major advertisers to break ties with YouTube, content creators are weighing their options. Amazon's Twitch platform took advantage of the situation by announcing its new revenue sharing system, which allows viewers to tip streamers via "Cheers" that use "bit" emotes. These "bits" are a virtual currency that represent actual cash values that viewers buy; prices range from 100 bits for $1.40 to 10,000 bits for $126, and even a whopping 25,000 bits for $308. Streamers, however, only earn a cent per bit.
Twitch promises that more streamers will get access to its new tipping system next week. Apart from tips, Twitch also allows streamers to sell games on their streams and gives 5% kickback for any games purchased this way. These initiatives make the platform more and more attractive for key content creators and Amazon no-doubt hopes that big-name YouTubers will jump ship and cross over to the service.
Crytek's Shanghai studio has reportedly closed down because the company couldn't pay its rent.
According to Niko Partners games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, Crytek Shanghai suffered a humiliating closure and was kicked out of its offices by the building's owner. What's even worse is that all of the company's remaining employees still remain unpaid despite promises of payment for their loyalty. Ahmad notes that employees hadn't been paid since September 2016.
An anonymous Crytek Shanghai employee corroborates Ahmad's claims with an older Reddit post. "After never been paid again in 7 months, today finally the landlord kicked us out as he must have not been paid either," the purported employee wrote on Reddit. "Thank you Crytek for destroying our lives."
Only yesterday Activision officially confirmed Sledgehammer Games' new Call of Duty is set in World War II, and today we have a fresh batch of leaked campaign and multiplayer info.
According to the leaks, Call of Duty WWII's campaign should be told through the perspective of the Allies, and touts a "gritty, intense journey through the battlegrounds of war" with higher-end "bold, lifelike visuals found in cinematic blockbusters." We also get a tease of the game's co-op mode, which will be a "high-octane" standalone experience with its own storyline. The info also says Call of Duty WWII will release November 3, 2017.
"Call of Duty returns to its roost with Call of Duty: WWII--a breathtaking experience that redefines World War II for a new gaming generation. Land in Normandy on D-Day and battle across Europe through iconic locations in history's most monumental war. Experience classic Call of Duty combat, the bonds of camaraderie, and the unforgiving nature of war against a global power throwing the world into tyranny."
Planning on playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on-the-go with a friend? You might want to grab an extra Switch Pro controller.
Polygon has confirmed that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn't support the JoyCon Grip in local wireless multiplayer modes. That means players can't combine two JoyCons into the comfortable JoyCon Grip when playing split-screen--even if one player uses the Switch Pro controller, the other player still has to use a single JoyCon. Why? Because every JoyCon counts as its own controller, so a JoyCon Grip counts as two controllers for one person, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe apparently only supports a two controllers max for wireless split-screen play in Tabletop Mode.
Remember that the Nintendo Switch's two detachable JoyCon controllers are meant to be split up and used by two players while in Tabletop Mode, facilitating the popular arcade style play the system is known for. In fact, the official Switch reveal video shows people playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in wireless splitscreen using two individual JoyCons. Interestingly enough, Polygon doesn't answer the more pertinent question--is the JoyCon Grip supported in two-player splitscreen when the Switch is docked?--and I'm pretty sure this restriction is in place for a good reason.
Call of Duty WWII is the official name of this years annual FPS, and Activision is set to reveal the game during a livestream next week on April 26 at 10AM PST / 1PM EST. Sledgehammer Games' Michael Condry confirmed the game would release in November, as every Call of Duty game has before it.
Sledgehammer Games has teased that their new Call of Duty will "return to its boots on the ground roots" and make us go "absolutely nuts" when its revealed. Call of Duty WWII is Sledgehammer's biggest game project yet.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will feature a fully-fledged singleplayer campaign that bridges the 30-year gap between Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode VII: The Force Awakens. While penning and plotting the story arc, EA's Criterion studio worked closely alongside Lucasfilm and analyzed the old original trilogy for inspiration, hinting the campaign should hearken back to the original Star Wars magic.
What interests me the most about Battlefront 2 is the singleplayer campaign. Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams help plan out a 30-year multi-perspective story arc that shows the fall of the Empire from the eyes of the Imperial forces, and how they carried on, emperor-less, scrapping together the rubble and ruins to eventually make The First Order. EA says the story is "emotionally gripping" and features "revenge, betrayal, and redemption." Players will literally be turned to the dark side for the campaign, humanizing a foe that's always been the villain...but the intrigue thickens as we take the role of characters like Luke Skywalker, and even Kylo Ren.
To weave this interconnected 30-year story--and make no mistake, the campaign is indeed a full story that spans three decades--Criterion looked closely at everything that made the original Star Wars story so great.
"We take all of our cues from how to tell a Star Wars story working with Lucasfilm story group, analysing the movies, breaking down the beats and flow of Star Wars storytelling," Battlefront 2 single player game director Mark Thompson told Eurogamer in a recent interview. "So yeah, it is a continuous story with a beginning, middle and end and you follow Iden's journey for 30 years from the end of Jedi up to the Force Awakens at Starkiller base. It isn't a discrete set of missions or separate War Stories like Battlefield 1, you do follow Iden through this journey whilst from time to time, switching sides and playing from the perspective of one of the iconic heroes because again that's just part of Battlefront's DNA. Sometimes you're a Trooper, sometimes you're a pilot and sometimes you're Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber."