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110GB of Intel's Optane memory or 1TB of Samsung's 960 Pro for high-speed NAS cache.
110GB of Intel's Optane memory or 1TB of Samsung's 960 Pro for high-speed NAS cache.
Following an anxiety-filled dev cycle, Anthem is a mess right now...but Cloud Imperium's Chris Roberts is confident that BioWare could save it.
With enough determination and effort, BioWare's big ambitious new IP Anthem could make a big No Man's Sky-style comeback story. That's according to Chris Roberts, who said in a recent Newsweek interview that BioWare and EA shouldn't give up on their vision. They could turn things around and salvage the sinking ship, the same way Hello Games saved No Man's Sky and Square Enix pulled Final Fantasy XIV from the rubble. It'll just take time and lots of iteration.
"I would say the same [thing with No Man's Sky can happen] for Anthem. I've played it, so I know there's plenty of nice stuff in there, stuff that works, and then there's some stuff that doesn't work. It's like what we're doing on Star Citizen. It's just iteration," Roberts said. "I hope EA and BioWare don't give up on it, that they get their heads down, roll out and improve things to make it work. Destiny was an ongoing process. That's kind of how these games are."
RAGE 2 may not be a monetized online service game, but it still aims to capture engagement by creating long cycles of play with tons of stuff to do. As some Ubisoft games prove, this could actually be a bad thing.
When I saw this RAGE 2 gameplay stream from Twitch user CohhCarnage, I immediately thought: "Hey, this looks like a Ubisoft game." A lot of my hype died on the vine right there. Instead of the chaotic, in-your-face explosive action RAGE 2's trailers showed, I was met with a very lifeless-looking open world filled with exploration, vehicles thrown in to make foot travel less montonous, and oodles and oodles of stuff to collect. There's objectives telling you to uncover chests, do X to get Y, and a massive array of abilities to unlock by collecting in-game materials. Throw in tons of enemies on a huge map and we have all the trimmings for a singleplayer grind-fest.
I think this is exactly what Bethesda wants...but it doesn't exactly fit with the publisher's current live focus. The game is clearly designed to be repeatedly played over and over again and grinded to eternity. Everything looks like it'll be stretched way too thin, though, to make the experiences really count. What's weird is that RAGE 2 is missing the most important engagement hook: online play. Every bit of gameplay reminded me how much more fun the experience would be with another player, especially during the hulking boss fights.
Kojima has a big idea for streaming, and we could see an ambitious interactive game-style film of show from the illustrious creator's imagination.
Hideo Kojima loves movies. In fact, he might like movies more than he likes games, despite making some of the best ones in the industry. Kojima's games like Metal Gear Solid are littered with references to classic films, from 80s action movies like Escape from New York to Akira Kurosawa's works, and the mastermind is constantly raving about new movies on his social media. His games are undoubtedly cinematic in scope--his latest, Death Stranding, is like a bizarre sci-fi horror film with a star-studded cast. I've long thought Kojima always wanted to be a film director, but chose games because these experiences can be more intimate, profound and engaging.
But what if Kojima didn't have to pick? Armed with the versatility of streaming, he may not have to. A recent interview with Nikkei caught my attention. In it, Hideo Kojima talked about how streaming will unify everything. Kojima said it was his dream to see a platform combine gaming and movie-watching into one singular experience, and the boundaries that separate these experiences will fade away. In short, gaming and film will merge together.
Mortal Kombat 11 is out in the wild, and early copy holders say it's an immensely grindy, frustrating experience that requires frequently online syncing.
Reports say Mortal Kombat 11 is more of the same live service-style grind found in Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat X, complete with microtransaction time savers and an intensely complex, layered system of unlocks. The grinding is facilitated through Mortal Kombat 11's tower system, which is designed to do one thing: keep gamers playing for as long as possible. Mortal Kombat 11's Towers of Time mechanic, which sees players tackling repeatable fights and challenges to unlock randomized rewards, is much more expansive this time around. From where I sit, MK11 is a dizzying array of RPG-style augments, unlockables, and other content put in to pad out the drops so gamers play more to get the stuff they actually want. RNG is the tool used to frustrate players and keep them actively in the online-driven mode so they eventually spend cash on microtransactions.
We recently predicted MK11 would have cosmetic microtransactions, but the game's premium currency, Time Crystals, may have many uses. Gamers may be able to buy unlockables like brutalities, intros/outros, augments, and other cosmetic gear that can be unlocked in the tower mode. In pure live game form, gamers will likely be able to spend extra cash to unlock things directly--or pay for the chance to unlock them.
Console gaming has proven to be immensely lucrative for big players like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Activision, cementing the platform well into the industry's future.
Cloud game streaming may be on the horizon, but consoles aren't going anywhere. Consoles act as a conduit for money-making services, subscriptions, game sales, and engagement strategies, all of which can be carefully cordoned off and fragmented to serve the whims of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. A recent report from Newzoo underlines these points with the most powerful metric of all: money.
According to Newzoo's 2018 market report on the top 25 biggest public earners in gaming, consoles made quite a bit of cash in the year. Out of the huge $107.3 billion earned by the top 25 games titans in 2018, consoles accounted for 38% of revenues of the top 25 earners, or about $40.7 billion. Predictably enough, platform-holders like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft made the most from console gaming (and rightly so given they all have their own consoles with strong digital ecosystems).
With action games and shooters typically reigning sales and earnings, RPGs are due for a comeback...and ex-BioWare boss wants to make it happen in a unique way.
Aaryn Flynn left BioWare in 2017 following a debilitating and crushing studio culture. Now Flynn is working on a new ambitious-sounding RPG at Improbable, the studio behind the SpatialOS engine tech. Like BioWare's current focus, Flynn plans to use live gaming as a means to explore how RPGs can evolve and deliver deeper, more meaningful experiences.
In a recent interview with PC Games Insider, Flynn affirmed his team's live RPG isn't about huge MMO numbers, but about helping rebirth the genre in a new way using online gaming as a delivery mechanism. "Roleplaying as a genre, I feel, is due for a renaissance. So many folks have maybe softened the edges of roleplaying a bit too much," Flynn said in the interview. "There are so many teams who are doing experiences, like Larian, and I look to them for inspiration. I'm asking myself: 'How can you do that in a multiplayer situation? What kinds of things can you do there?'."
It's no surprise Rockstar Games is making a new Grand Theft Auto. The franchise is a billion-dollar juggernaut and GTA V is the best-selling entertainment property in history. And sadly, it's not very surprising GTA 6 should be monetized with its very own Grand Theft Auto Online mode.
Current and past industry trends give us both short- and long-term visibility into the future of gaming. Coupled with successful business models like the billion-dollar microtransaction market and key investor incentive strategies, these trends arm gamers, analysts, and experts with foresight to predict how the industry will unfold. Monetization is a big part of this foresight, and we can use these tools to anticipate how big franchises like Grand Theft Auto will take shape.
According to a Rockstar Games artist's resume, Grand Theft Auto 6 is happening, but in pure Rockstar fashion, we don't know what, where, or when. We've heard buzz on it since 2015, and recent reports say it'll be a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive. We don't know much about GTA 6, but based on Take-Two's trajectory, Rockstar's push towards live services, and internal company incentives, it should have a monetized online mode similar to GTA Online and Red Dead Online.
PUBG Corp, the company made specifically to manage the wildly popular battle royale sensation PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, reports strong earnings for 2018 across Asia and the PC segment.
Although Fortnite is the latest billion-dollar hit, PUBG is still doing quite well and isn't about to knocked out any time soon (it's so addicting that countries are limiting playtime). The South Korean PUBG Corp earned $920 million in total revenues in 2018 across global PUBG sales and microtransactions, Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad reports.
Unsurprisingly, Asia was the dominant force in the market with 53% of total revenues, or $487.6 million. PUBG's earnings mostly come from PC, which makes sense given the popularity of South Korean and Asian game cafes, as well as enthusiast BR gamers worldwide. PC made up 85% of total revenues, or $790 million, with console lagging way behind at $60 million or a measly 6.2%.
Take-Two Interactive gets lucrative monetary incentives to push microtransactions, subscriptions, and DLC into its biggest games.
A recent Take-Two SEC filing revealed some interesting info on why the company includes live services into marquee titles. Sure there's the obvious reason; live services in games like NBA 2K make hundreds of millions over time via microtransactions, which makes investors happy and raises the value of the company's stock. Take-Two earned roughly $300 million last quarter from recurrent consumer spending, or 24% of its total $1.249 billion net revenues. When handled right, live services are a boon for any publisher. But there's a ceiling, as EA and Activision-Blizzard are now learning.
But Take-Two's company is set up to directly award its biggest shareholder, ZelnickMedia (aka Zelnick Media Capital), for making a certain amount from microtransactions. ZelnickMedia is of course run by Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick. So the more money huge games like Grand Theft Auto Online and NBA 2K make from full sales and monetization, the more restricted shares Take-Two can issue ZelnickMedia. It's a big compensatory reward for doing well in the industry's most important metrics: short- and long-term earnings.
Gamers make PCs out of all kinds of things like toasters, tires, and even old liquor bottles...but what about food? Can you make, say, a pasta PC? Why yes, yes you can.
YouTuber Micah Laplante made a working pasta computer using lasagna as a makeshift chassis. The internals were from a stripped ASUS laptop, and with enough hot glue and layered carbs, the weird hybrid of food and fun was born. The pasta PC not only turned on and worked, but Laplante was able to play Rocket League for a bit.
This illustrious build began with a joke...which naturally turned into a challenge. "My wife said something one day joking about making a PC out of Pasta... Never joke with me on such things because I may just do it... and done it I have. Behold... The LASAGNA PC V.1," Laplante said. "Clickbait you say?! NAY! This is the real deal. The first ever crazy PC build on this Channel, and the first ever Pasta PC in the world. You're welcome."