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The Federal Trade Commission has officially confirmed that Warner Bros. Interactive paid up to "tens of thousands of dollars" to bribe key YouTube personalities like PewDiePie for favorable coverage of Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor.
According to reports published by the FTC, Warner Bros. Interactive has now settled its charges pertaining to its deceptive marketing campaign with Shadow of Mordor. The publisher caused quite a row when YouTuber Total Biscuit revealed the shady early access deal, but the deception went much farther: Warner Bros. paid anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars to well-known YouTubers (including PewDiePie) for positive game videos. The FTC notes that the publisher "failed to require the paid influencers to adequately disclose [the sponsorship]," meaning everyday gamers thought the videos were genuine instead of paid ads. However PewDiePie made it explicitly clear on his original video that the content was sponsored by Warner Bros.
"Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc. has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers during a marketing campaign for the video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, by failing to adequately disclose that it paid online 'influencers,' including the wildly popular 'PewDiePie,' thousands of dollars to post positive gameplay videos on YouTube and social media. Over the course of the campaign, the sponsored videos were viewed more than 5.5 million times," reads the FTC press release.
There's magic in old-school sci-fi book covers. Even if you didn't grow up in the '70s and '80s you can still appreciate the wonder and splendor that artists like John Berkey and Ralph McQuarrie unfolded before our eyes: the covers spoke of fanciful treks across exotic universes, of strange and exciting tales of derring-do, aliens, advanced tech, and infinite possibilities. In this respect, No Man's Sky--Hello Games' ambitious indie about exploring an infinitesimal universe--is a lot like like a sci-fi book cover, and it's only fitting that the game gets its own series of mock covers.
NeoGAF user ichtyander created these awesome book covers using released No Man's Sky artwork, and I have to say they're quite effective at capturing the same mystique as those olden covers of yore. Ichtyander's covers have actually caught the attention of the devs, who wholeheartedly approve of the art.
This artwork actually links to an interesting thing that the devs said about the game: Sean Murray told IGN that he wants gamers to "feel as if they've stepped into an old sci-fi book cover" every time they play No Man's Sky. So these mock-ups actually resonate quite strongly with the developer's own goals for the in-game experience.
In order to hit "true" 4K gaming with 6TFLOPs of performance with its new "monster" Project Scorpio console, Microsoft apparently won't use existing silicon that's currently on the market. Instead the new 4K Xbox will be built around its own custom graphics solution that will likely sit between AMD's mid-grade Polaris and enthusiast Vega families.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has pretty much confirmed that Project Scorpio won't use outdated hardware to enable native 4K gaming. "We had the ability to look at doing an interim console this year if we wanted to. We thought about that. But we didn't think we could deliver, with the silicon that's out there, a true 4K gaming six teraflop machine this year. So we decided to wait until we hit the real spec that people were asking for."
We've already speculated that the Scorpio's new custom AMD SoC would be made up of 14nm Polaris GPU alongside a Zen CPU, and Spencer seems to have confirmed our findings. But what if both Scorpio's GPU and CPU tech are 2017 hardware? This means that the Scorpio's graphics hardware might not be based on Polaris or AMD's new Vega GPU, but a new scaled custom GPU that sits in the middle between the two.
We all know Pokemon GO has absolutely exploded into the world, in a way that I've never seen before - it is the first game that I've seen that has people of all ages going out into the world, and playing a game.
Deadline is reporting that Pokemon GO's runaway success has "all Hollywood has renewed the chase for a deal to turn Pokémon into a feature film". Rumbles of a live-action Pokemon movie have been around for a while, but now things have been amplified after Pokemon GO became oxygen to gamers, with Deadline saying Legendary pictures "is moving toward a deal".
The report adds that there is a "scenario" where Max Landis, who directed Chronicle, could write the Pokemon movie, while Legendary made the film. The report adds that "everything went silent" a few months ago, but now that Pokemon GO has exploded in popularity, "it's come back around".
Do you want to see a Pokemon movie become a reality? Let's just hope it doesn't end up like the Super Mario Bros. movie.
There's been a debate raging the past few weeks about whether or not Blizzard should implement a one hero limit for Overwatch. As it stands, there's no such limit, which sometimes leads to silly compositions that are tough to beat in some situations like double Winston, double Lucio, and double Tracer.
After much vocalization (particularly from the eSports scene), the developer is going ahead and implementing the limit, which it says is because stacking has decreased overall fun. As you'd probably hope, this is only for Competitive Mode; Quick Play remains the 'let's do silly things / try out heroes we're not good with' mode. A side effect of the limit is you'll likely notice more compositions that double up on effects but with different heroes as opposed to using the same heroes: for example, area control from Pharah and Junkrat, double turret action from Bastion and Torbjorn, and so on.
Also on the way is a balance patch which features buffs to a few heroes and a nerf to one.
Last week, a sniper rifle that appeared to have healing functionality was teased for Overwatch and today it's revealed as well as the hero that wields it. As some suspected, that hero is Ana Amari, mother to Pharah and a one-eyed sniper who has come out of retirement.
Ana's rifle allows her to deal perpetual damage to enemies (when zoomed out). When zoomed in, she acts like a traditional sniper. As well, the weapon can be set to restore health to allies. Other equipment includes a "sleep dart" that renders a foe unconscious until damage is dealt to them, a biotic grenade that deals damage to enemies and prevents them from healing while also healing any allies in the area of effect, and a nano boost (appears to be her Ultimate), which will inject a foe with a shot of adrenaline, allowing them to move faster, deal more damage, and take less damage from enemies.
With all of this high-value utility, it's not hard to imagine Ana as a Competitive Mode and tournament mainstay, but of course, time will tell. Whatever happens, it seems clear either Widowmaker will need a buff or Ana will need a nerf in order for both to be viable.
Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive will be at Gamescom 2016, so we could see Red Dead Redemption 2 teased and/or revealed onstage.
Take-Two Interactive skipped E3 2016 and missed the opportunity to reveal Red Dead Redemption 2: Legends of the Old West, but we could see the hugely anticipated sequel announced at Gamescom. The publisher will be in attendance (although Rockstar won't be tagging along) and has two separate booth areas that could feature demo builds of RDR2 and other titles.
Evidence of a Red Dead Redemption sequel--actually it might be a prequel--has been mounting, especially now that a copy of the game's map leaked out, adding more credence that the game will feature a "much bigger open world". The most convincing evidence comes from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, who confirmed the company is working on some "exciting future projects" that culminate in a "robust development plan that extends well beyond the current fiscal year."
Eidos Montreal confirms that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will have a NewGame+ mode to allow players to continue their journey even after the game ends.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a game about choice, and like any Deus Ex game, it gives a staggering amount of freedom to the player. Not only do we get to choose how to handle any given situation, how to build up Jensen's huge armory of weapons and abilities, or how our decisions impact everyday people, gamers get to choose when Jensen's story actually ends.
"We know New Game + totally breaks the narrative, but this is a game about choice, so we wanted players to explore that in this aspect too," Eidos Montreal Executive Narrative Director Mary DeMarle said in a recent PlayStation Blog post. "Your augmentations in New Game + really let you take advantage and get access to stuff that you didn't know was there the first time, especially as we designed the game to feature more verticality and 360 entrances for some of the buildings."
Modder Trix and his team breathed new life into Just Cause 2 (JC2) and its sequel Just Cause 3 (JC3) with well-received multiplayer mods. In the case of the JC3 mod, that's now being put on indefinite hold, and Trix is taking a job at Avalanche Studios (where the Just Cause series is made). Presumably, this means the next Just Cause title will feature native multiplayer.
"As part of Avalanche, I'll be able to bring many of the things you know and love from JC2-MP into future Avalanche experiences, while reaching heights that a mere mod couldn't facilitate," Trix states. "Unfortunately, due to time constraints, neither I or the rest of the team can actively pursue development on JC3-MP; our lives are just too busy to allow for it right now."
Doom now supports the Vulkan API, meaning improved performance for you thanks in large part to more efficient CPU usage. While Doom already ran incredibly well on high-end hardware, this could mean 4K is now viable for you whereas before it was not. As well, those on low-end or midrange setups may now be able to run the game more smoothly.
Doom's Vulkan support also benefits from AMD's work in supporting Async Compute (only AMD GPUs support this for now), "Shader Instrinsics", and "Frame Flip Optimizations", three techniques designed to make GPU usage more efficient.
AMD claims up to 27% better performance with Vulkan on an RX480 at 1920x1080, and 23% on an RX480 at 2560x1440, which appears to be in line with user reports. The API is by no means restricted to AMD cards only though; NVIDIA users should see about the same improvement.