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Social justice has been steadily creeping its way more and more into gaming culture, seeing many people fight back on social media and news outlets posting opinion articles damning certain games, developers and personalities who express views that are alleged as misogynist, promoting senseless violence and/or rape culture.
In recent news, since the next-gen and PC release of Rockstar Studio's latest hit, Grand Theft Auto 5, there has been a major public outcry globally against the game. This passionate dislike for the game and it's morals has seeing peoples social media feeds explode with petitions to take the game off the shelves, alongside many negative opinions of the game they have worked so hard to produce.
The latest group targeting this game is a group of former sex workers, who are spearheading a Change.org petition to remove this title from the popular Australian department store, named Target. Their allegations include the statement that it "encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women".
343 Industries is promising a patch for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, something that should fix the matchmaking issues that the reworked series of first-person shooters has been experiencing since it launched on the Xbox One a couple of weeks ago now.
The developer has said that "the next of which will specifically make improvements to the matchmaking system and flow". Not only that, but some gamers are peeved at Microsoft over one of their promotions, with the company teasing a deal that offered 15,000 credit bonus to any Xbox Live Rewards member who purchases Halo: The Master Chief Collection before December 31.
This means that $15 of credit is up for grabs within the Xbox Live Marketplace, with early adopters arguing that this is pretty much just a discount on the game itself. Considering the issues that the game has had since launch, this isn't too good at all for both Microsoft and 343 Industries.
Valve has launched Steam Broadcasting, which if you didn't guess is the company's own version of livestreaming, ala Twitch. You can watch gamers play games through the Steam Community, and stream games yourself, if you want to.
Steam Broadcasting also offers streaming games privately, as well as to the world, so if you want to have a private broadcast between friends, the option is still there. Gamers can set Steam Broadcasting to automatically stream games to your friends list on Steam if they want to watch it, or friends can alternatively send you a request to view your stream.
This is where Valve is making it different to Twitch, which requires software to get it up and running. Steam doing it natively, and very easily, is definitely the way to go. Valve obviously has the game library to back it up, as well as a few exclusives of their own like DOTA2 and CS:GO.
Riot Games has announced that over 27 million tuned into the League of Legends finals, and even with that astonishing number of people checking in, it is still down from the 32 million the developer saw tuning in last year.
The drop is a 15% dip in viewership, but for those who did tune into the finals, they stayed around longer. Riot noted that fans averaged around 67 minutes, while last year the average was just 42 minutes. The developer also saw a larger peak, with 11.2 million people watching at a single time during the showdown between Samsung White and Royal Club, compared to the peak of 8.7 million in 2013.
Over the entire Season Three World Championship, over 70 million hours were watched online, which spanned stages from Taipei to Seoul. Riot streamed over 100 hours of live content across 15 days, in 19 languages through 40 broadcast partners.
Just three days ago, we reported on Blizzard Entertainment's apparent DDoS/Lag issues happening within their game servers globally - seeing some players being unable to log in for up to 30 minutes, reports of friend lists not functioning and customers experiencing up to 5,000ms of in-game latency.
This issue was fixed just mere hours after the story was reported, however in today's news, Blizzard have issued multiple statements across their Customer Service Twitter account alongside their Battle.Net client claiming of Authentication and log in issues - mainly based around their North American server cluster.
It doesn't look like Ubisoft has learned anything from the recent release of Assassin's Creed: Unity and all of its issues, as rumors are now arriving about the next game in the series, Assassin's Creed: Victory.
The story came from Kotaku reporting that the new game would be set in 19th century London during the Victorian era, according to "a person familiar with the game" reported Kotaku, a game that would arrive in fall 2015 for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Ubisoft Quebec is the studio working on the game, unlike Ubisoft Montreal which worked on the currently still a work-in-progress Assassin's Creed: Unity.
There was also seven minutes of "target gameplay footage" which was shown, which was being rendered in real-time by the Assassin's Creed engine, and not pre-rendered. Personally, I think Ubisoft needs to be very, very cautious with this release. I think we should see a demo of the game released, so that the faith can be restored into the series, as I think over half the audience of the series would be very unsure of trusting Ubisoft again with another Assassin's Creed game following the recent train wreck that was the AC:U launch.
Deep Silver's Dead Island 2 beta doesn't have a release date, but it will be released for the Sony PlayStation 4 30 days ahead of the Microsoft Xbox One and PC. Dead Island 2 is scheduled for release on the PS4, PC and Xbox One in spring 2015, but an exact date hasn't been made available.
To be accepted into the Dead Island 2 beta, gamers were required to purchase Escape Dead Island (Xbox 360, PS3 or PC) game title. Unfortunately, Deep Silver hasn't provided details about any other way someone can get into beta testing, though will probably expand entrance into the program as the beta nears launch.
It looks like the DreamHack Winter LAN was a success, with over 26,672 people in attendance. Out of those, 22,483 people toted their PCs into the LAN, enjoying one of the biggest LANs ever hosted, setting new records.
There was the much-discussed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, as well as the usual favorites in StarCraft and DOTA also being played. The LAN even included a live DJ booth, cranking out tunes for the lanners, as well as an awesome cosplay competition.
We've been told not to read early reviews of The Crew, as Ubisoft couldn't provide game reviewers with the right situation to play in. But now the Lead Game Designer of The Crew, Serkan Hasan, has said that the upcoming game should have no problems at launch.
Hasan talked with The Metropolist, where he said that the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of The Crew will be working at 1080p at 30FPS at launch. He also said that he had faith in the game's online functionality, explaining that he has confidence in The Crew, as it has "reaped the benefits of a long term beta program, designed specifically to push our infrastructure as far as possible in real-world situations, with thousands of players from all over the world playing the game at the same time".
This news is coming after Ubisoft stated that copies of The Crew were not sent out to the press in advance, like they normally are. The reason behind this is that the press couldn't review a driving game that is primarily an online, social title, without ripping apart these functions in their review. The Crew requires "thousands and thousands and thousands of players - something that can't be simulated with a handful of devs playing alongside the press".
Rocksteady Studios is back in the driving seat of the Batman series, with Batman: Arkham Knight being revealed during their recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit (with some spoilers for Batman: Arkham City, so if you haven't played that, turn your eyes off).
The studio revealed that Arkham Knight will continue right after the Joker's death, with the studio adding that the Joker's death is the point we jump off, asking "what happens when Joker is removed from Gotham" and then looking at the fallout from this event. Batman's suit also mirrors the Batmobile in many ways, with Rocksteady adding that the new suit "impacts gameplay as well, as it enhances some of Batman's abilities, particularly in the way the Batman and the car work together".
When it comes to the Batmobile, this is the biggest addition to the Arkham Knight, with Rocksteady teasing that there will be some missions that require the Batmobile in order to complete them. Rocksteady said: "When we added the Batmobile to the game, we wanted to make sure it's a fun, meaningful addition to every part of the game. Batman wouldn't use it if he didn't need it. So there will be points in the main story where you will need to use the Batmobile to progress, and if you're anything like me, there will be points where you can't use the Batmobile and wish it was there!".