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EA cancels new Star Wars game, disrupts release timeline

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 18 hours ago

Disney's multi-year exclusivity deal with EA is being stressed even further as the games publisher cancels yet another Star Wars game.

 

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Electronic Arts has cancelled the new open-world Star Wars game that was in development at its Vancouver studio, three sources tell Kotaku's Jason Schreier. EA Vancouver's unannounced project was built on the bones of Project Ragtag, a linear narrative-driven singleplayer third-person action-adventure game in development at the now-defunct Visceral Games and led by Uncharted dev Amy Hennig.

 

After EA closed Visceral Games it handed the scraps of Project Ragtag to EA Vancouver who then morphed it into a new entity, one that EA hoped would deliver consistent engagement. Despite all the work and effort that was put into Ragtag, EA shut down the studio and other teams cannibalized its assets.

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New Evil Dead game still happening

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 20 hours ago

Bruce Campbell may have retired Ash on the big screen, but he'll come back to play the chainsaw-wielding maniac hero for a new video game.

 

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It's been a long, long time since a new Evil Dead game hit the market. The last one was a 2011 mobile game that slipped under the radar as most niche smartphone games do. But back in August, Bruce Campbell confirmed that Ash will break out his boomstick for a fresh "immersive sort of dealio" at some point. It's been a while since we've heard about the project but it looks like it's still in development.

 

A fan recently asked Campbell about the chances of a new Evil Dead game, and the groovy movie star responded with a simple affirmative. So it looks like the game is still happening and hasn't been canned yet--Campbell would know as he's lending his voice to in-game Ash. Hopefully the new game will be as over-the-top, gory, and chaotic as the beloved classic trilogy.

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Digital-only Xbox One may have pre-loaded services, games

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day, 22 hours ago

Microsoft's making a new digital-only Xbox One box that aims to connect directly into the Xbox-as-a-service ecosystem, sources say, and now there's evidence the console may come pre-loaded with specific content.

 

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The new disc-less Xbox, codenamed Maverick, is specifically designed to introduce consumers into Microsoft's lucrative digital-based ecosystem, which includes services like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox LIVE, Mixer, and a host of games sold on its storefront. Sans disc drive, the new console will be a lower-cost option that's more accessible and serves as a viable entry point into the Xbox framework. Sources say the system is coming in 2019 and may be built off of the Xbox One S hardware, but we're thinking the original 2013 model would be the cheapest option. We expect the system to cost about $150 or about $50 less than the current Xbox One S MSRP.

 

To make things even more instantaneous and improve ease-of-use, Microsoft may use a new initiative called Project Roma to pre-load specific content onto Maverick including Game Pass. We'd bet that Game Pass pre-loads would include select first-party games from Microsoft, thereby alleviating the need to download them individually at home.

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Xbox Game Pass is wildly successful

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 1 hour ago

Now that the Xbox brand has shifted from a console and to a cross-platform service, Microsoft has adjusted its aims accordingly. Xbox is now all about engaging users across consoles, PC, and mobiles, which drives up sales, ad revenue, subscriptions and more. Game Pass has become a successful way to make this happen.

 

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Not only has Xbox Game Pass subscription has changed Microsoft for the better, it's also changing the industry as more publishers adopt the model (even Nintendo's getting in on it with Switch Online's buffet of all-you-can-play retro titles). Riding the Xbox LIVE framework that connects multiple platforms, Game Pass is instrumental for churning digital engagement that sees 57 million people playing and buying more games, spending more on microtransactions, and watching more streams--all of which fuels Microsoft's gaming revenues.

 

Now in a recent Xbox Wire post, Microsoft gives a closer look at how well Game Pass is doing its job. The short answer is its games. The service is now a lucrative avenue mainly due to its massively attractive games lineup: not only does it feature old Xbox 360 games, full Xbox One games, and a plethora of indies, Game Pass will include all of Microsoft's first-party exclusives when they launch. All of which are rotated monthly for fresh content.

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Netflix's new price hike is biggest in company history

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: 2 days, 4 hours ago

Netflix is raising its prices once again to help pay for service costs and thwart competition from major broadcasters.

 

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Netflix announced all of its subscription plans will now cost more. The basic tier will increase from $8 to $9, the HD plan gets a steeper two dollar price increase from $11 to $13, and the 4K plan also jumps two dollars from its previous $14 to the new $16 rate. Existing subscribers will have their rates grandfathered for three months, but new subscribers must pay the full cost. Netflix stock has surged nearly 6% following the price hike.

 

The increase comes at a point where Netflix not only faces steep competition but as it focuses more strongly on exclusive movies and TV shows. The company plans to use earnings from the price jump to fund these new projects, which should transform it as a "Netflix channel" as major studios pull content to make their own respective streaming services.

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Hitman HD Enhanced Collection released with launch trailer

By: Jak Connor | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 9 hours ago

Warner Bros., the publishers for the Hitman series have released the launch trailer for the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection onto their YouTube Channel.

 

 

We first heard about the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection last week where Hitman developers IO Interactive took to their Twitter account to announce the news of the remasters. The Hitman HD Enhanced Collection features a complete remaster of both Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution. Both of these games will have visual and performance upgrades in the form of 4K and 60FPS support. Improved textures and lighting will also be added to Enhanced Collection.

 

Moving onto pricing, the Hitman HD Enhanced Collection will be coming in at a cost of $60, quite steep for two games that have been remastered. It is also not possible to purchase each remastered game individually, I feel as if this will certainly hinder the sales of the Collection as some Hitman players would only want to play Blood Money or Absolution, or vise versa. The Hitman HD Enhanced Collection is now avaialble on the PlayStation and Xbox stores, for more information visit the official Hitman website here.

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Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition teased, coming 'soon'

By: Jak Connor | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 10 hours ago

The Age of Empires: Definitive Edition that was released back at the start of last year paved the way for what fans really want out of the iconic strategic game series. Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, complete with improvements across the board.

 

 

Without mentioning Age of Empires IV and the complete lack of news we have heard about the title, all Age of Empires fans are looking towards the next definitive edition that Microsoft have planned. Arguably the most popular Age of Empires game, Age of Empires 2 is next in the pipeline for a ground-up remaster, but when will that be?

 

Looking towards the official Age of Empires Twitter account, we can see an image posted by Age of Empires showing the graphical improvements from the classic 1997 game to the 2018 remastered one. Within that thread a fan asked Age of Empires "when we gonna have Age2DE?", the Twitter account replied with a gif that says "soon." It seems that 2019 might be the year we get the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, or at least we can hope so.

Sony enables cross-play for Rocket League, available now

By: Jak Connor | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 11 hours ago

Slowly but surely the cries from PlayStation gamers were heard by Sony, cross-platform play is now available for another title in Sony's library of games. PlayStation Rocket League players start-up your engines, as you are now versing the rest of the world.

 

 

Most gamers remembered the controversy surrounding Sony not allowing cross-platform play for Fortnite between Xbox One players and their playerbase. Eventually the Japanese giant conceded and allowed for Xbox One players and PlayStation players to compete against eachother in Epic Games' battle royale, but this opened the gates to the possibility of more games having cross-play enabled. Psyonix's Rocket League is next in line to pass Sony's "PS4 Crossplay Beta program" and it has already been made available to the public.

 

Psyonix has taken to their website to celebrate this announcement, the developer thanks everyone at Sony for assisting in this process and also details that cross-platform parties will be available in the next coming update to the game. The developer also gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to make sure your cross-platform play is enabled, here is the guide; "head to the "Main Menu," select "Options" and then make sure the "Cross-Platform Play" box is checked in the "Gameplay" tab." Psyonix say that there will be more information "coming soon" regarding the first update of 2019, I'll be sure to follow-up as soon as this information is released.

Valve to add account-based AI to Steam in 2019 Store plans

By: Jak Connor | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 12 hours ago

Valve has addressed the Steam community in a brand new blog post released onto their website. Within the blogpost we learn what Valve has in store for Steam users throughout 2019.

 

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On the blogpost, Valve address a lot about what they achieved throughout 2018 and surprisingly gives us some solid statistics as well. Those achievements will be discussed in another article, what we will be looking into in this news piece is what Valve will have in-store for us throughout 2019. Valve says that they are "working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes", basically Valve will be adding its own account-based AI to each user. This will allow for the user to have more personalized games recommended to them when browsing the Steam Store.

 

Valve also addresses the current state of the Steam Library and how that is subject to change in the future; "Some long awaited changes to the Steam Client will ship, including a reworked Steam Library, built on top of the technology we shipped in Steam Chat." So with this we can expect a UI change that will coincide with the visuals of the new Steam Chat, quite possibly some new functionality features will come with this update as well. Valve will also be issuing out their very own Steam Chat mobile app, this app is aimed at people that would like to chat to their Steam friends on the go. For more information regarding the coming Steam updates, check out the dot points in the entirety of this post.

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Smash Ultimate beats Smash Bros. 3DS sales in just 5 weeks

By: Jak Connor | More News: Gaming | Posted: 2 days, 13 hours ago

Nintendo's launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate certainly pushed the game to new heights, we are seeing evidence of that through the recently released sales data for Japan as a new milestone has been reached by Ultimate.

 

 

According to Game Data Library, who tracks Japanese sales data for recently released games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has already beaten the likes of its predecessor Super Smash Bros. 3DS Edition. Just within 5 weeks of its release, Ultimate has already managed to topple the 3DS version in sales despite it being available to market for three years. Keep in mind these sales are strictly based in Japan where handheld and portable consoles thrive.

 

From the above image we can see Smash Ultimate coming in with 2.6 million units sold, just scraping ahead of the 3DS Edition that has 2.5 million units sold. What are the total sales in both physical and digital for Smash Bros. Ultimate? Well, we will have to wait for Nintendo's 4th quarter fiscal year results to truly know those figures, everything else would just be rough a estimation. If I was to estimate where the sales would be at, I would say Smash Ultimate would be pushing the 10 million mark. Nintendo themselves have stated that it sold 3 million copies in 11 days, and that Ultimate is the best pre-selling Nintendo Switch title. With big calls like this, backed up with the extreme popularity in Japan we could see Ultimate reaching 20 million copies throughout its lifetime.

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