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Microsoft has confirmed it will pay $2.5 billion to purchase Mojang, the company responsible for Minecraft. Minecraft has sold more than 54 million copies across the world, and the three founding executives of Mojang will reportedly leave the company. The game is the top paid app for both the Google Android and Apple iOS, and with only 4 employees, brought in $287 in revenues during 2013
"At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people," the company said in a press statement. "Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise."
News of the acquisition sent shockwaves through the Minecraft community, with many gamers worried about which direction Microsoft would take. Meanwhile, Microsoft hopes to draw gamers mobile platform instead of focusing on the Xbox One or PC.
Rockstar Games made an announcement that GTA V for current-generation gaming consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will start shipping on November 18th. There will be a PC version as reported earlier, however the PC version's launch is delayed to January 27, 2015. Rockstar games also revealed a new trailer for GTA V, which is an actual gameplay recorded from the Sony PlayStation 4 console.
Rockstar did reveal some in-game improvements and features. One of them is that those who pre-order the console or PC version of GTA V will receive $1,000,000 in-game cash as a bonus to spend at Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online. The game studio also confirmed that its in-game radio stations will now play more than 100 new songs and DJ tunes.
The rest of the features are as follows:
- New weapons, vehicles and activities
- Additional wildlife
- Denser traffic
- New foliage system
- Enhanced damage and weather effects
Destiny shook up the gaming industry after launching earlier this week, topping $500 million in sales to retailers during launch day. The game title was made by Bungie and published by Activision, with hype surrounding the game building over the past few months. Sales to retailers doesn't provide an exact tally of game sales to consumers, but indicates retailers expect it to continue to be a sought after game title.
"Since the beginning, we've been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off," said Eric Hirshberg, head of Activision game publishing. "But not many people believed we'd be able to say it did so on day one. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation, and Activision's next billion dollar brand."
Video game blockbusters are big money, with gamers often preferring to continue playing storylines as they develop over multiple titles. Some analysts predict Destiny could sell 10 million units to consumers before the end of the year, indicating it could become a major influence to help push console sales.
The gaming market is a multi-billion-dollar industry and most of the attention is directed towards game consoles, but PC gaming has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years. A recent study found 37 percent of U.S. residents nine years old and older play PC games for an average of 6.4 hours per week, separated into the following categories: Casual, Light Core, and Heavy Core.
The Casual gamers enjoy non-core games, while Light Core gamers play less than five hours per week, and Heavy Core gamers play five or more hours per week. Digital game downloads have also helped shake up the PC gaming industry, as Steam and similar platforms offer gamers the chance to play demoes, view trailers, and download entire games without a physical disc.
"Consumers' expectations may be the greatest barrier to maximizing spending in the PC gaming space," said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a press statement. "Since half of PC gamers who play digital and/or physical games on the computer are expecting there to always be a sale right around the corner, publishers and retailers alike need to better manage these expectations."
Grand Theft Auto V is expected on PC soon, but the latest rumor is that Rockstar Games has been working on GTA V for PC since 2012. This news comes from a leak for GTA V's internal builds, with the PS4 and Xbox One not mentioned in these logs.
If this is true, it means that the PC version of GTA V could be the lead platform. With the new version of Grand Theft Auto V coming soon to the Xbox One, PS4 and PC after close to a year of being exclusive to the previous-generation consoles, the PC being the lead platform would be some good news for Rockstar Games' open-world title.
Warner Bros. and DC have announced the release date for Batman: Arkham Knight, with June 2, 2015 to see two special editions released. The first is the Limited Edition, but the second sounds a bit nicer: Batmobile Edition. Both of the special editions will be made in limited quantities across the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The Limited Edition provides an art book, SteelBook case and game disc, the Arkham Knight #0 comic, and exclusive skin pack with three The New 52 skins, and a Batman memorial statue. The Limited Edition will set back gamers $144 for the PS4 and Xbox One version, but on the PC, and limited to the European, Australian and New Zealand gamers, it will be priced at $120.
For $200, the Batmobile Edition is limited to consoles, and comes with everything that the Limited Edition version offered, but removes the memorial statue and replaces it with a transforming Batmobile statue.
Amazon recently purchased videogame streaming service Twitch for $1 billion, and ESPN President John Skipper doesn't have any current interest in promoting "eSports" in the near future. Although ESPN is still known for mainstream sports, the broadcaster has shown everything from bowling and darts to bass fishing and poker.
"It's not a sport - it's a competition," Skipper recently said. "Chess is as competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I'm interested in doing real sports."
There is money that could be generated from streaming eSports, with 2.4 billion hours of eSports footage watched online in 2013, according to an HIS Technology report. The growing market could have an estimated $300 million value by 2018. Ironically, ESPN and Valve partnered to stream the Dota 2 world championship tournament on ESPN 3, the online and Web-based branch.
When Destiny launches on the 9th of September on the Xbox 360 and PS3, gamers who purchased it will have a limited window to upgrade their last-generation copies to current-generation consoles.
Activision and Bungie have announced a "digital upgrade" for Destiny, that will see Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers moving over to the Xbox One and PS4 with their copies of Destiny, for a limited time. We should see the end date for this migration offer on January 15, 2015, so you've got a decent chunk of time to upgrade and keep your copy of Destiny for the new consoles.
Better yet, when you move over from the previous-gen consoles to the current-gen with your copy of Destiny, any season passes, DLC and whatever else you've collected along the way will make the trip to your new console.
A documentary on Western, state-run propaganda used during World War I is being shown on Russia's Channel One, where the doco used a fan-drawn poster from Team Fortress 2.
The poster was drawn during a publicity campaign back in 2009 when TF2 was rolling out with a new update, which saw a backstory for the conflict between two of its classes: Soldier and Demoman. The posted itself says "Join Team Demoman TODAY" instead of the usual "Join the Marines" that the posters would've said all that time ago. Blogger Nikita Likhacehev spotted the posted in the documentary, which has now ended up being reported about online.
The Sims 4 has now been launched, and as you can imagine, there are pirated copies being downloaded. The pirated versions of The Sims 4 has seen EA use some anti-piracy measures, where the pirated version of The Sims 4 seeing a massive injection of pixels, making it look like a retro mess.
The pixels kick in when a Sim steps into the shower, or gets naked for whatever reason. But the pirated versions of the game will see pixels continue to expand and blur, where it will eventually cover the entire screen. The results? What you see in the screenshot above. EA has had many customers already complain on The Sims 4's official forums about their "broken" copy of the game, but EA has said that they have no plans to help these customers enjoy their pirated version of the game, and to just purchase the legit copy if they don't like their pixelated experience.