I fervently believe Halo 5: Guardians is the worst Halo game ever made, and that 343 Industries doesn't know what it's doing with the franchise. Now the developers say they've learned a lot from their terrible decisions with Halo 5, and promise to do better with future games.
One of the biggest disappointments about Halo 5 was its truly awful storyline. It started out with so much promise; with the help of his beloved Blue Team (and some of the most deadly Spartans alive), Master Chief goes "rogue" to find Cortana. Then 343i decided to throw in Osiris Team, a group of throwaway "heroes" led by one of the most one-dimensional characters in video games history. So instead of playing as Master Chief and his esteemed Blue Team, who haven't ever been in a Halo game before Halo 5, we spend half of the game chasing after Chief as Osiris Team. Most gamers--myself included--didn't care about Locke and Osiris, we wanted the Chief.
In a recent interview with GamesTM, 343 Industries executive producer Kiki Wolfkill they've heard our feedback...but in the same breath she proves she doesn't really understand Halo--or what Master Chief means to gamers and the franchise. "We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief's story of Halo 5. For some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief," Wolfkill said.
Nintendo has a long tradition skipping E3 pressers, and this year will be no different.
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima confirms that the Japanese console-maker won't be holding a press conference at E3 2017 in June. "The video game tradeshow E3 will be held in Los Angeles this June. Again this year, we will not be hosting a large-scale press conference for institutional investors, analysts and the media," Mr. Kimishima said in the latest investor relations report.
This doesn't mean Nintendo won't reveal new games at or around E3: it just means Nintendo won't physically have a massive showcase at the event. Nintendo is hosting a Splatoon 2 tournament at E3, so it will be at the show, but it just won't hold a presser. It's likely that Nintendo will instead opt for a massive Nintendo Direct livestream versus an on-stage conference and disseminate tons of new info on its three gaming pillars: the Nintendo Switch, the 3DS, and smartphone mobile games.
Unikrn is making big moves into Las Vegas by acquiring LEET, a tournament organizer that works with casinos run events, and recently working with Downtown Grand to become the first casino in Vegas with eSports betting, setting a new trend leading into Luxor, and other casinos.
I reached out to Unikrn boss Rahul Sood, who said: "Far and away the biggest threat to casino operators is their complete lack of understanding and empathy to their future customer. This is a pretty big issue, and I believe alot of it stems from trying to protect old business models". He continued: "So the best way to start is with some smaller, less risky changes".
"So the best way to start is with some smaller, less risky changes. Over time those smaller changes become bigger cultural changes. I think this is what LEET does really well. The Downtown Grand is a good example of how a casino client started out with an idea and a vision, and they have now turned it into a money making business. Granted these changes were driven from the top, and Seth Shorr should be credited for making esports a "thing" in Las Vegas casinos".
Sood even referred to the UFC, saying "There was a time when UFC was really small. They had this big idea that Vegas would eventually become the mecca for UFC, and the entire city bought into it - the rest is history". But when it comes to Vegas, Sood added: "Vegas is the mecca of entertainment, and as such I have no doubt that esports and video games will be embedded into the fabric of Las Vegas over time. Needless to say we are excited to get to work!"
Just hours after reporting its latest yearly earnings, Nintendo starts off its new fiscal year with a brand new handheld in the 3DS family: the New 2DS XL.
Nintendo's New 2DS XL is perhaps the logical successor to the 3DS that doesn't actually replace it, and represents an incredibly smart move in Nintendo's part. The New 2DS XL hits all the right checkboxes: it has a clamshell folding mechanism with dual XL screens, no pesky 3D gimmick, a faster processor, a C-stick, and the best part: it'll play all existing and new 3DS games.
We also expect the New 2DS XL to have access to the Super Nintendo Virtual Console library too. The New 2DS XL launches July 28, the same day as Hey Pikmin! and Miitopia, for the lower price of $149.
Nintendo has made dozens of partnerships with third-party publishers and developers to fill out the Switch's games library, and now the company re-affirms its commitment to keeping Switch owners happy.
As a Nintendo Switch owner I'm not so happy with the games lineup so far, and would like more of a selection of games. The console's first-party lineup has been described as an "IP treasure trove", with strong games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey in the holiday season. But what about third-party games?
"In addition, we will maintain favorable conditions surrounding Nintendo Switch by providing a continuous stream of appealing third-party titles across varying genres. We aim to stimulate the platform and expand sales going into the holiday season this year," Nintendo said in its latest FY 2016 earnings report.
UPDATE: Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima recently issued the following statement on the company's fiscal earnings briefing:
"As we conveyed at the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in February, Nintendo 3DS has characteristics as a handheld system that differ from those of Nintendo Switch. We do not think that they compete directly in terms of price point or playstyle. We will run businesses separately and in parallel.
"We have also already stated that we think it is critical that we provide software unique to Nintendo 3DS in order to run both the Nintendo Switch business and the Nintendo 3DS business in parallel.
"At the same time, we will also provide new hardware options to help maintain the momentum of the Nintendo 3DS business."
The 3DS and Nintendo Switch will live alongside one another at least for another year.
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima has already said the company's new Switch handheld-console hybrid won't cannibalize its long-running 3DS handheld, iterating that the "Switch and the 3DS can co-exist for the time being." Now the company's latest fiscal year earnings report reaffirms Mr. Kimishima's commitment.
Why won't Nintendo just phase out the 3DS and focus solely on the Switch? Well for one the handheld has now accumulated 66.12 million sales in its lifetime, and an incredible 329.25 million software sales. There's tons of 3DS owners out there who avidly consume software--2016 was a big year for 3DS game sales, with Pokemon Sun & Moon racking up 15.44 million units globally, and Super Mario Maker pushing 2.34 million units. Nintendo would be quite foolish to just flush the platform down the drain, especially since this platform was a big part of its massive 521% FY2016 profits boost. In fact, Nintendo says its focus on the 3DS will continue throughout 2017 and 2018. "Total sales volume for the Nintendo 3DS hardware worldwide has surpassed 66 million units and it has developed into a platform that we can rely on for software sales," the Japanese console-maker said in its latest earnings report.
In Nintendo's latest yearly earnings report the Japanese console-maker confirms the Nintendo Switch sold 2,740,000 units in its first month of global availability.
By selling 2.74 million units across the globe, the Nintendo Switch's first-month performance has overshot Nintendo's original sales projection by 740,000 units, or 37%. Nintendo Switch software sales were just as impressive, hitting 5.46 million units totally, including physical cartridge, bundles, and digital game sales.
In fact, Nintendo actually sold more copies of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Switch than it did Switch consoles: Breath of the Wild sold 2.76 million units on the Nintendo Switch, passing the console's 2.74 million units by some 20,000 sales. The new Zelda game also performed strongly on the Wii U with 1.08 million sales.
Thanks to strong Switch console sales and the company's diverse portfolio, Nintendo's bottom line profits have surged by over 500% from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.
Nintendo has just reported its Fiscal Year 2016 earnings and it's fair to say the Japanese console-maker is back in the game. The company made an incredible 102.5 billion yen ($922.5 million) in profit attributed to parent (total profit gains) in its last year of operations, up by 521.5% from last year's 16.5 billion yen. It's worth noting, however, that this total profit represents Nintendo's complete portfolio of investments, sales, owned subsidiaries, share trades, etc after taxes and other deductions.
What's even more impressive is how valuable Nintendo's shares are now. We've reported that Nintendo's shares have skyrockted in price after the Switch launched. Nintendo reports its profits per share for FY 2017 are at 853.87 yen ($7.68), up by an incredible 521.44% from last year's 137.40 yen ($1.24). At the time of writing Nintendo's stock sits at 27,460 JPY.
Roger Jr., the hilarious (yet still pretty badass) boxing kangaroo found in the Tekken series, won't be making a return in Tekken 7.
Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada confirms that Roger Jr. has been cut from Tekken 7's roster due to animal rights activism and sensitivity. While activists didn't actively campaign against Tekken or Bandai Namco to remove the kangaroo, the decision to cut Roger Jr. was a preemptive one. The publisher just didn't want that kind of bad press for their hit new fighting game.
"There was a video of a man's dog being headlocked by a kangaroo, and he punched it in the face. It turned into a big problem. People were complaining about him punching a kangaroo. It seems that in the last few years there's a lot more animal activists - even though they probably wouldn't play our game they would still hear about that, about a kangaroo in our game being punched, and would complain about it," Harada said in a recent interview with VG247.
With Call of Duty: WWII, Sledgehammer Games aims to create an authentic and bloody adaptation of a nation-sundering war--and it'll do that by creatively stripping players of their near-invincible FPS might.
Today's shooters are all about empowerment at the sake of realism but Call of Duty WWII hopes to marry the two with a kind of visceral focus that emphasizes skill and teamwork. One of the most creative ways the game achieves this is by not refilling your health bar after a short period of resting behind cover.
The chaos of war should be simulated in such away to reflect the anything-can-happen sandbox nature of militant combat, forcing players to use their wits, adapting skills, and accuracy to survive. But it's not just about you: the 12 men that make up the 1st Infantry Division all have specific roles in combat such as medic or ammo-replenisher, meaning you have to work together with your team to survive.
"You have to worry about every bullet. You're not the superhero. You can't just stand there taking seven bullets, ducking, shooting again," Sledgehammer Games' general manager and co-founder Glenn Schofield told Polygon in a recent interview. It's refreshing for us to deal with recruits who aren't Tier One warriors, to show that vulnerability. They're naïve. It's been a really cool challenge creating this different kind of gameplay."