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Capcom's next game may be called Pragmata, new trademarks filed

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 16, 2020 06:15 pm CST

Capcom just filed an interesting trademark for something called Pragmata, and it could be a new games IP, a new sequel in an established, or some kind of new product.

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The new Pragmata trademark was actually filed three days ago on the European Union Intellectual Property Office, and is currently under examination so it's yet to be officially registered. Predictably, the trademark gives absolutely no clues on what Pragmata means or what it refers to. It simply follows the same classification as Capcom's other game trademark filings. It's one of the three EUIPO listings attributed to Capcom. The others, Resident Evil Resistance and Shinsekai: Into the Depths, are games that've already been announced.

All signs point to this being a new IP of some sort that'll be optimized for next-gen systems.

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Tony Hawk was paid a $4 million royalty check for Pro Skater games

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 16, 2020 05:25 pm CST

Back in the day, Tony Hawk games were all the rage with tremendous sales, which of course led to some pretty sizable royalty checks to the legendary vert skater.

In an older 2018 interview with skater show The Nine Club, Tony Hawk discusses how his life changed forever after receiving a huge $4 million royalty check from Activision, and also talks about why the games are so MIA.

In 2002 before Activision made Tony Hawk 4, a studio rep sat down with the halfpipe master and handed over a substantial amount of cash. "He's like, 'here's what's happening, we're releasing a fourth game, and the last three are still in the top 10 of sales.' One of them was going into classics mode, where they sell it at a lower price but at way more volume. So he's like 'things are so much bigger than you've ever thought.' Then he handed me a check for four million dollars. It was my annual royalty. I could tell when he was saying it, it was leading up to something big. I was like 'cool, I might get a million dollars' and then he just slides the check over."

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Someone recreated Fallout 4 in new PS4 exclusive Dreams game

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 16, 2020 04:47 pm CST

Media Molecule's latest PS4 game Dreams is a big playground for creatives. It basically lets you make anything you want, and you can also load up creations from other people to try out, kind of like mods. Skilled artisans are using it to not just make amazing things, but recreate current-gen games in Dreams.

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Dreams master Robo_killer_v2 has painstakingly recreated Fallout 4 in Media Molecule's new community game, showing just how powerful the tools really are. The game, which is essentially a player-made slice of gameplay similar to a mod, features Fallout 4's distinct style, open-world environments, locations, and first-person shooter gunplay complete with VATS targeting. The Pip-Boy is there with a fully-functioning inventory UI and there's even robot enemies and mirelurks straight from the game.

The game also has quests, exploration mechanics, and mini-games. It's a work-in-progress so more content is coming soon...and eventually we could see it expand radically to include even more of the irradiated Commonwealth. There's some hiccups though. The frame rates aren't good, and it's not going to replace the native Fallout 4 experience (nor should you expect it to). But it's still an incredible achievement that shows just how flexible and potent Media Molecule's latest game can be.

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Quantic Dream will self-publish its future games

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 16, 2020 04:17 pm CST

Quantic Dream is now fully in control of its destiny and plans to keep making interactive cinematic experiences under its own terms.

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Like Bungie and more recently PlantinumGames, David Cage's studio Quantic Dream now has full independence and doesn't have to rely on partners like Sony to get games funded. The company recently announced that they're now in a position to self-publish their own games, which is huge on a business and creative level.

As IP-holder and publisher, Quantic Dream not only gets to fully control the scope of their games, but also keep the revenues from each sale (outside of distributing deals, of course). The studio says the recent success of Detroit: Become Human on PS4 and PC helped make this possible (the game has sold more than 2 million copies).

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Matrix 4's death-defying stunts spotted in San Francisco

By Derek Strickland | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 16, 2020 03:16 pm CST

Principal shooting for The Matrix 4 has begun in San Francisco, and now we have a glimpse at the crazy skyscraper-leaping stunts that'll return for the sequel.

The Matrix wouldn't be the same if people weren't jumping off of buildings and risking their lives for impressive scenes. A bystander recently captured The Matrix 4's stunt shooting in San Fran, showing cable-assisted leaps of faith off of skyscrapers. It looks like Neo and Trinity are doing the stunt, and Trinity may now be able to fly in the movie--unless it's just part of resetting the cable rigging.

We can't tell if its Keanu himself performing the stunts (probably so), but the actor has been recently spotted in San Francisco recording other scenes for the movie.

The sequel is expected to release in May 2021 on the same day as John Wick 4.

Some actors like Hugo Weaving aren't returning to reprise iconic roles. Lana Wachowski is currently assisting in writing and directing the film, and Keanu Reeves recently said the script is quite ambitious.

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Activision-Blizzard heavily investing in new tech to power engagement

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 16, 2020 02:28 pm CST

Activision-Blizzard's latest earnings give lots of clues on what to expect from its future games, especially its spending habits.

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Activision-Blizzard is evolving. The company is doubling-down harder on engagement strategies than ever before with a multi-faceted plan that embraces new games, live services, mobile ports, and lots of things behind the scenes that gamers don't actually see. We've taken a close look at the company's latest 2019 financials for clues on what's next for the company, and the results are pretty interesting.

To really understand what the future holds for its upcoming games, we have to take a look at spending, certain vocabulary from executives, and what's being done to make those games--both developmental and business-based decisions.

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ASRock takes out 5 world records with its TRX40 Taichi motherboard

By Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards | Feb 16, 2020 02:05 am CST

AMD rocked the CPU world with its Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor, packing an insane 64 cores and 128 threads of Zen 2 goodness -- but it took ASRock's awesome TRX40 Taichi motherboard to crank that CPU right up to the now world record 5748.66MHz.

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It wasn't just the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X frequency world record that ASRock bagged with its TRX40 Taichi motherboard, but instead a total of 5 world records. The wPrime-1024M new record is 11sec 541ms by SPLAVE using the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor, while also setting the GPUPI for CPU 1B record with 21 sec 622ms.

SPLAVE also smashed the Cinebench R20 benchmark record using AMD's flagship Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor and ASRock TRX40 Taichi motherboard with 39,518 marks. Geekbench 3's multi-core benchmark didn't have any relief from SPLAVE's domination with the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X pushing a huge 293,771 points while finishing off his benchmark domination smashing the HWBOT x265 benchmark record at 1080p with 384.389FPS.

Mass Effect writer: BioWare's new games are based on market research

By Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 16, 2020 12:15 am CST

At the beginning, BioWare was a fountain of RPG mastery. Then after they got famous they started to focus more on what's popular versus what they actually wanted to make. Ex-BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn gives a brief but illuminating look at how BioWare has changed over the years.

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BioWare isn't what it used to be. The studio used to be known for great RPGs like Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age: Origins, all games that made you feel and had an impact. But something happened after BioWare got big: The studio started chasing money instead of chasing its passions (likely at the behest of its owner, EA). BioWare shifted its focus to action games and massively watered down its RPG elements, casualizing everything and betraying its key skills. We've seen this with Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, both of which are heavily action-based and embrace live services. And this erosion of BioWare's RPG talents may not stop here, but only continue with its new projects like Dragon Age 4 and the new Mass Effect--both of which could have live service ecosystems.

This shift, along with a terrible work environment that's endemic with anxiety, mental breakdowns, and miscommunication, led many key BioWare vets to leave. Devs who had been with the company for decades didn't want to hang around and work on something they didn't love. Now ex-Mass Effect writer Drew Karpyshyn reveals what it was like from inside BioWare, and why he left.

"I've been in the video game industry for twenty years now. When I started at BioWare, everything was fresh and exciting. It was a dream job - talented people working together to create epic games like Baldur's Gate, KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But as we grew and became more successful, things changed. We became more corporate. We were less able to make what we loved, and the teams were pushed to create games based on market research rather than our creative instincts and passions. My dream job became just a job, and I lost the enthusiasm and excitement I once had."

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AnandTech founder sent confidential Apple material to Nuvia staffer

By Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Feb 15, 2020 11:09 pm CST

Apple and Nuvia are in the headlines over the weekend, with a former Apple chip executive being sued for 'betraying' Apple by launching a new startup and poaching Apple employees... while Apple is also reportedly trying to poach his new staffers. But the story is a lot juicier than that.

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Bloomberg is reporting that Gerard Williams III, who left as the lead chip architect at Apple and co-founded Nuvia, says that Apple is stopping his new company from hiring engineers, all while hiring Nuvia staff from under him. Bloomberg reports that Apple's new lawsuit was made to "suffocate the creation of new technologies and solutions by a new business, and to diminish the freedom of entrepreneurs to seek out more fulfilling work".

But where this gets interesting is that Williams said he is maintaining a distant relationship with Apple and his former colleagues, but AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi -- who left his site to work for Apple, has "sent him numerous texts after Williams left the company, including material marked "Apple Confidential" in an April conversation. Williams said he told Shimpi this was "inappropriate and unwelcome," according to the filing. Apple didn't immediately respond to a query about Shimpi", reports Bloomberg.

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Subway tweets Zack Snyder about a Justice League sandwich

By Anthony Garreffa | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 15, 2020 10:48 pm CST

I have been a part of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement since day one, after WB completely screwed over the best director in the DCEU -- Zack Snyder, after his daughter tragically took her own life when he was working on Justice League.

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But ever since the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement took more and more momentum, the removed director of Justice League has seen his fan base take things to the next level. Every few weeks Snyder releases a new part of his version of Justice League, leading up to 14/2 or 214 -- a reference to the 214-minute cut of Justice League.

WB directed The Avengers director Joss Whedon, who replaced Snyder towards the end of Justice League's production, to force the move under two hours -- so Whedon re-shot a bunch of Justice League and chopped the movie down to 119 minutes -- 1 minute under 2 hours. The 214 reference has been huge on February 14 or Valentine's Day, or to us Snyder Cut fans -- 214 day. To celebrate, Snyder released a new photo of The Flash using his Speed Force.

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