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Video game studios want to keep gamers engaged on PCs, consoles and mobile gaming, but trying to convince hardcore gamers to play on smartphones and tablets remains difficult. Hardcore gamers largely stick to their console or PC and shrug off mobile games, which are typically designed more towards casual gamers.
"There are a number of developers targeting hardcore PC gamers and trying to get them to pick up their phones," said Brian Blau, Gartner analyst. "Some of them are labeling them mid-core, to describe something sort of halfway between hardcore and casual."
Some game studios that have large followings in the console and PC space could try to convince customers to give mobile gaming a serious look - but they don't want to do so at the expense of their own traditional software titles. However, the Nintendo 3DS, NVIDIA Shield, Sony PlayStation Vita and other mobile gaming hardware have been able to find success - but with heavy smartphone and tablet saturation, studios want to tap into the booming mobile market.
The online PC gaming industry will grow from $24.4 billion this year up to an estimated $30.7 billion in 2017, the performance marketing agency Ad2Games and analyst firm Newzoo recently reported. The PC and MMO game market will account for 31 percent of international video game revenue, with Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America expected to see 95 percent of growth over the next three years.
Trying to expand to attract - and retain - new gamers proves to be extremely expensive, with costs as low as 37 cents up to $5.63 per user, the report indicates.
The sector will see 7.9 percent year-over-year growth over the next three years, while free-to-play video games continue to woo new gamers. These types of games
343 Industries had a promised patch for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, something that was meant to fix the massive multiplayer matchmaking problems that the first-person shooter is experiencing, but the patch has now been delayed.
The developer was meant to release it sometime today, but has delayed it until "later this week". The patch was meant to provide a "a variety of fixes across the title, including Matchmaking performance issues, general UI and game stability improvements" that have plagued the game since it launched.
Microsoft has said: "This week's content update, which was originally scheduled for release this Wednesday, Nov. 19, will now be releasing later this week to allow for additional fixes, as well as the completion of the testing and certification process".
Maniac Mansion is one of those games I will forever cherish, with the point-and-click adventure game being one of the big Lucasfilm Games of their time. Well, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick are now making something they're calling "the true spiritual successor" to Maniac Mansion, called Thimbleweed Park.
The developing duo are taking Thimbleweed Park to Kickstarter, hoping to hit $375,000 in required funds to get the point-and-click adventure off the ground. When explaining the game, they say it "cuts to the core of what made classic point-and-click adventure games so special ... It's deep, it's challenging, it's funny, it's everything you loved about adventure games". On Kickstarter, it says: "It's like opening a dusty old desk drawer and finding an undiscovered LucasArts adventure game you've never played before".
Thimbleweed Park will tell the tale of a pair of "washed-up detectives" who are in charge of an investigation into a death in Thimbleweed Park that "once boasted an opulent hotel, a vibrant business district and the state's largest pillow factory, but now teeters on the edge of oblivion and continues to exist for no real reason".
Electronic Arts will give gamers a break from the traditional warfare featured in the Battlefield franchise next year, but already is excited about the next title in 2016. The new game was announced last month and will be a military-focused game that is reportedly a "fun, new Battlefield," according to an Electronic Arts executive.
"That will be a return to a Battlefield military-style game; more to come on that," said Blake Jorgensen, EA CFO, in a recent statement.
Meanwhile, EA CEO Andrew Wilson wants to "give Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline players more time to enjoy these games and immerse themselves in a game, the live service, and the community," when explaining EA's decision to release Battlefield games as they are finished.
SCEA head Shawn Layden recently said online harassment in gaming is "completely unacceptable," and is one of the highest profile executives to speak out against cyber harassment. Layden also complemented his own company's stance on women in gaming, saying Sony is "best in class," in its efforts to get women more involved in the gaming industry.
"Over the past couple of months, there's been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things," Layden recently noted. "They have been making some people's lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It's not right."
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo offered public statements, published by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), speaking out against harassment in the gaming world.
It's almost here! Battlefield 4: Final Stand will hit gamers' rigs across the world later today, as long as you're a Premium member, while the rest of the world waits until December 2. Until then, enjoy the gameplay trailer, below.
Battlefield 4: Final Stand features some sweet new stuff, such as snow-themed maps, new vehicles, and some new weapons, too.
Bungie is currently pushing out a new patch for Destiny, bringing the open-world title up to version 1.0.3. The new patch has the developer baking in fan-requested features, such as a beta for voice chat when in the matchmaking screen. The full patch notes are available on Bungie's website.
The problem is, if you're playing Destiny, you're going to need to leave your game in order to download, and install the patch - something that weighs in at a very connection-straining 2.44GB. Bungie has released this patch, as the start of a series of updates that will end in the first DLC for Destiny, The Dark Below, being released on December 9.
Bungie has also doubled the number of bounty slots, upping the number from five to 10, provided gamers with the ability to preview emblems, and armor shaders, too. The new update also makes some slight changes to Destiny's Iron Banner: Fireteam leaders, which now need to be at level 10. Players will also need to be within three levels of their opponents in order to be competitive. Players below level 20 will also need to be with a Fireteam leader in order to enter. There's also a 10-15% increase in the incidence of public events, descriptions for skull modifiers, as well as the usual slew of fixes, bugs and other bits and pieces.
While many gamers across the world are looking forward of their copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition, those in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will not. EA has cancelled pre-orders from these countries and started refunded money to those who placed an order for physical and digital copies.
EA said in its EA Help website: "In order to avoid a breach of local content laws, EA has withdrawn Dragon Age: Inquisition from sale in India and the game is no longer available for pre-order. Customers who pre-ordered the game will be contacted directly and will be fully refunded."
EA regional marketing director Simon Smith-Wright said, "The current action we've taken only affects Dragon Age Inquisition." It should be noted that EA did not give any proper reasons for refusing pre-orders from these countries. Later, nation-wide distributor Milestone Interactive confirmed speculation made by many gamers that it was due to the options of engaging in same-sex and bi-sexual relationships. For those who don't know, India has a law under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1861 declares that having sex between two consenting adults of the same gender punishable by law.
Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't the first game where publishers were sceptical to release in the local markets, especially for India. It was pointed out that Dante's Inferno was not sold in India as some took offence to the game's content. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas were also not sold in the country, as it offended Indian sentiments. Interestingly, Mass Effect series that also had options to engage in same-sex relationships were sold in India with no hiccups to physical and digital copies.
It looks like myself, and countless other gamers aren't the only ones pissed off with Ubisoft right now, with a former Minister and Presidential Candidate in France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, denouncing Assassin's Creed: Unity as "propaganda" that favors the "favors the narrative of France's ruling elite over the revolutionaries" reports Polygon.
Mélenchon spoke on French radio, with the Daily Telegraph translating him, where he said: "[Unity] presents an image of hatred of the Revolution, hatred of the people, hatred of the republic which is rampant in the far-right milieu". He added a description of Marie-Antoinette as "that cretin, who is celebrated as a poor little rich girl" in AC:U.
He also said: "The man who was our liberator at a certain moment of the Revolution, because the Revolution lasted a long time, Robespierre, is presented as a monster. It is propaganda against the people, the people who are [portrayed as] barbarians, bloodthirsty savages. In 1789 there were the poor aristocrats, and they are presented as fine upstanding people".