Stunlock Studios' has announced that November 8, their arena-brawler Battlerite will be leaving Steam's Early Access and officially launching.
Currently you have to pay $19.99 to purchase Battlerite to gain acess, come November 8 Battlerite will transition into free-to-play. So why should you purchase prior to full launch? Well...
"By purchasing Early Access, you are granted instant-access to the game, all champions, and all future champions as well as a unique founder avatar and title," according to Battlerite's Steam Early Access page. "This bundle will not be available at launch. It's likely that the same amount of content will cost more once the game is released."
The Chinese Room, the independent developer best known for hits like Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, is taking a break from games development.
"We're going dark for the next few months," creative director Dan Pinchbeck said in an eye-opening blog post. Mr. Pinchbeck says the decision to steer the dev's figurative ship towards the docks and take a long-deserved break was caused by a jolting health scare, which caused him to re-think The Chinese Room's toll on his life.
"To cut a long story short, the situation - between financial pressures, trying to keep the lights on for the employed team, the stress of end-of-development, health issues - just wasn't a tenable thing anymore. It was time to take a break, recharge, recover and have a good think about the future," he said.
Bethesda has pledged to support Nintendo's new Switch console-handheld hybrid for the long run, and sees the system as a viable platform for some of their most popular games.
With so many third-party developers and publishers supporting it, the Switch has broken the terrible bonds of the Wii U. After many many years of avoidance, devs like Bethesda, who make the popular Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, see Nintendo as a partner. The publisher has made good on its initial promises to support the Switch by announcing two of the most mature, bloody, and adult-themed games for the platform: id Software's grisly demon-slaying FPS Doom, and MachineGames' upcoming Nazi-blasting Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. And of course there's Bethesda's perennial Skyrim which is also coming to the handheld-console.
But this isn't the end--in fact, these games kick off the beginning of a long-lasting union between Bethesda and Nintendo. The publisher is keen on building a solid business relationship with Nintendo--which in of itself speaks volumes in how much the Japanese games-maker has changed. "We're obviously excited about these two games, but it's not as if we're going to just do these two games and that's it. We want this to be the start of a relationship that we build with Nintendo and Nintendo fans," Bethesda Softworks VP of Public Relations Pete Hines told GamesBeat in a recent interview.
Following PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' massive success, key publishers and developers are chasing the battle royale market--and the indie studio may find itself eclipsed by more powerful games makers quite soon.
Bluehole is finding out sooner rather than later that it doesn't own the battle royale genre, and game developers are starting to cash in on the market. After all, you don't sell 10 million copies of a game without the world's most profitable publishers taking notice. The game has broken record after record, and is now the most popular game on Steam in concurrent players, and sees tremendous engagement via Twitch and YouTube streaming. It's a smash-hit juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing down--until, that is, other publishers step in and wave around big budgets and resources and ultimately flesh out the genre more efficiently than Bluehole can. The recent debacle between Epic Games and Bluehole is just the beginning, and the PUBG dev better get used to more battle royale iterations flooding the market.
The real problem that Bluehole is facing is that it literally can't keep up with its playerbase. PlayerUnknown himself Brendan Greene said that PUBG is expanding too fast and the team can't keep up with its millions upon millions of players that step into the game every day. In fact, if it weren't for Microsoft's massive team and monetary investment, PUBG wouldn't be coming to Xbox for quite a while.
"Like, we have to keep reminding people that we've only been on Early Access for five months," Mr. Greene said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. "The biggest problem we're having at the moment is the server platform, because we're trying to develop it on a production system, which is super hard because you've got millions of players - literally millions - coming through the doors every day."
Blizzard has formally revealed the full roster of teams in the Overwatch League, and an official season kickoff date for the big-money competition.
The Overwatch League is an incredibly important milestone in the franchise's rapidly expanding history. The shooter, which became Blizzard's most recent billion dollar franchise in May of this year, has been a transformative force in the games industry in terms of monetization strategies, engagement, and monthly active users. And like the dragons in Blizzard's World of Warcraft, the FPS juggernaut is set to grow to leviathan proportions thanks to eSports initiatives like the Overwatch League. The games-maker even created its own stadium-like venue to host the event, further adding a real sports-like feel to the experience. Fans and viewers will also buy tickets to watch the experience at the arena.
Blizzard has announced the Overwatch League will begin on January 10, 2018 with twelve global teams competing for the seven-digit grand prize. The pool will likely be funded with exclusive in-game loot purchases made by consumers to support their favorite teams, similar to Valve's prize funding for DOTA 2 competitions. The Overwatch League teams are:
PlatinumGames' tech-infused action RPG has enjoyed strong acclaim and sales across the globe, so much that Square Enix is committing itself to the franchise.
NieR: Automata has shipped and digitally sold more than 2 million units worldwide across PC and PlayStation 4, Japanese games publisher Square Enix today confirmed. Back in April we reported the grim action role-playing game hit 1 million shipments and sales, and now the game has more than doubled that milestone in the span of five months.
"NieR:Automata, which we released in February 2017, has proven a global hit far in excess of our expectations. It has not only reminded the world of the high quality of Japanese games, but also demonstrated significant potential for future franchise development," said Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda in the company's recent Annual Report 2017 filing.
This timely success was a significant boon for developer PlatinumGames, who was apparently in dire straits before NieR: Automata's widespread sales. "NieR's success has to this point given Platinum a new fanbase, a growing staff, a brilliant success story, an increase in qualified job applicants, and a great benefit," PlatinumGames executive Hideki Kamiya said on Twitter. "To say that Yoko-san (the director for NieR: Automata) saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough."
Rockstar Games today posted up a simple advertisement promo for Red Dead Redemption 2, promising more content updates coming next week.
New info on Rockstar's massively anticipated Western sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, will be announced and showcased next week on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11 AM EST, the developer announced today. In a very cryptic Rockstar fashion, no specifics accompanied the simple picture billboard, but it's possible the team will finally reveal the game's exact release date in 2018.
Red Dead Redemption 2's absence at E3 2017 and successive games industry trade shows was marked by gamers and industry figures alike, but Rockstar Games typically moves at it's own pace and doesn't need big showcases to draw millions of viewers. In fact, it's extremely simplified social media presence is enough.
The game was originally slated to release Fall 2017 but was delayed to Spring 2018 to ensure the experience lived up to players' expectations. The CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games' parent company, affirmed Red Dead Redemption 2 is being "built from the ground up for consoles."
France's Florange Law may arm Vivendi with enough shares to forcibly take over French games-maker Ubisoft.
The long-standing battle between Vivendi and Ubisoft's founding Guillemot family may conclude in November, the Financial Times reports. Vivendi, who currently owns 26.6% of Ubisoft's share capital and 25.2% of voting rights, may see its stake in the company doubled under France's Florange Law, thus boosting the company's stake in the games-maker past the 30% needed for a takeover.
Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot warns Vivendi that an aggressive takeover would be very risky. "The question is whether Vivendi will then make a tender offer or not. We feel it wouldn't be in the best interests of their shareholders because buying a company in our industry aggressively is actually very risky," Mr. Guillemot said during Ubisoft's Annual General Meeting of shareholders yesterday. The CEO goes on to say that being a part of a big conglomerate like Vivendi would essentially cut it's Achilles heel and significantly stifle agility--which Mr. Guillemot calls "a death sentence in our industry."
"A videogame company cannot grow within a media conglomerate," Mr. Guillemot said in an interview before the annual meeting, as reported by Bloomberg. "In our industry, independence is needed to take risks, to be innovative. That is not compatible with Vivendi's way of operating."
In wake of Steam's Review system being abused by gamers due to Dota 2 being blamed for killing Half Life 3 and gamers supporting PewDiePie regarding Campo Santo's DMCA, Valve have made some changes in how Steam's game reviews work. Valve hope to prevent incidences like the two mentioned don't reoccur as those reviews don't provide a true reflection of the experience with the game.
Valve have immediately introduced a new feature called Histograms, a feature that shows a histogram of the positive to negative reviews since the game was released on a daily basis. This data reflects dramatic increases in positive or negative reviews from a certain period, indicating a time where possible outside influences (eg. No Half Life 3 or Campo Santo's DMCA) have affected reviews. You can isolate days to read particular reviews for the day, or days of your interest.
New heroes always add a new element to a game, too many new heroes too quickly can generally lead to balancing issues that can break a game. During a video withIGN's new Expert Mode, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan discussed Overwatch's next hero, referred to only as "Hero 26".
"Hero 26 is very playable and very fun internally, and that's all I'll say. It's not coming out as soon as you think, but Hero 26 is already amazing." Kaplan then further elaborated "I don't think there's such a thing as too many heroes, but I think we also need to come out with heroes at a good pace."