Red Dead Online's new microtransactions are now live, and if you want to buy everything outright it'll cost you the equivalent of two PS4's.
It's no surprise that Red Dead Online, Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode, is monetized in a similar fashion to GTA Online. After all, GTA Online has pulled in over $1 billion and remains a top earner for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar. Red Dead Online lets players buy a premium currency called gold that can quickly unlock items and gear, or earn it for free at a slower pace by playing the game.
Based on current numbers players can earn a gold bar every two hours. Unlocking everything in the store with gold costs about 2,134 gold bars, as per Forbes' calculations. But what if you want to just buy everything right away with real money? Let's take a look at the easiest possible route to buy that much gold. Rockstar current sells gold in five tiers ranging from $10 for 25 bars to $100 for 350, and of course this last one gets you the most bang for your buck. So 2,134 divided by 350 is roughly 6.09, meaning you'd have to spend $600 to buy six 350 gold bundles to unlock everything.
Fallout 76's launch has been mired in controversy and poor decisions, but adding more microtransactions this early would be a death sentence.
Like all service games, Fallout 76 needs to follow a very particular sequence that revolves around full game sales, engagement, and monetization. This billion-dollar cycle takes the utmost care and dedication to get right, a balancing act that requires diligence and intense risk-management. It's a linear sequence with steps, so one wrong step up the ladder could send the whole thing crashing down. This is what will happen if Bethesda adds more monetization options in an already badly-designed service game.
But who says Fallout 76 will get extra microtransactions? In a recent YongYea video I discovered that Reddit sleuths have uncovered some potential hints in the source code for the game's recent update. The code mentions lunchboxes, which have users concerned Fallout 76 is getting more spending opportunities. Lunchboxes are lootbox-style pails that are monetized in Bethesda's free-to-play Fallout Shelter and contain random rewards like guns, items, and more. It's believed that lunchboxes could make their way into Fallout 76 in a similar fashion, albeit in a more limited cosmetic sense as the game is only monetized via cosmetic microtransactions and not those that actually affect gameplay.
Blizzard is dialing back its rapid development of Heroes of the Storm so it can focus on bigger games.
In a bid to change direction and push onward to potentially better things, Blizzard has cancelled Heroes of the Storm's eSports tournaments and is shifting some resources from the live game. The company announced the decision earlier this week, which sees Blizzard slowing down the game's updates and content rollouts. Heroes of the Storm isn't dying but is instead being stretched more thin across a longer period of time. New characters and events will still happen, the devs say.
This is nothing new for the games industry. Months before a game is finalized or even shipped, whole dev teams typically begin work on the next project. Live games that stagnate or lose their money-making potential follow a similar pattern as developers hop to other teams to work on new games. And we know Blizzard is working on a number of unannounced projects, including Diablo 4.
Sony's PlayStation 4 has sold-in more than 88 million consoles worldwide, sales tracker VG Chartz reports.
According to the latest stats, Sony's PlayStation 4 family of systems has now sold-in 88.05 million units globally since 2013 and dethroned the PS3's lifetime sales of 86.09 million. The data doesn't stipulate whether this is sell-in (shipments to retailers) or sell-through (direct purchases and shipments to consumers), but the latest figures from Sony have PS4 sell-in at 82.2 million. We'll have to wait official metrics from the company to find out actual figures.
This continued momentum in PS4 sales aligns with Sony's recent forecast bump. The games-maker recently raised its PS4 sales target by one million and now expects to sell 17 million consoles up until the fiscal year's end in March 2019. It also underlines an interesting future for the PlayStation brand, namely with a possible continuation of the iterative console cycle.
Recent events in eSports reminds competitors, athletes, and players about the dangers of over-relying on a big publisher for specific things, especially non-employee incomes.
Blizzard's arbitrary and sudden decision to cancel Heroes of the Storm's future eSports tournaments has left many without a job or a source of income. This kind of switch-off can happen at any time to any eSports branch, effectively cutting hundreds of people off from a paycheck. A recent Kotaku article really drove the point home and really made me think about what eSports actually is and how it can be a risky venture for competitors.
Let's get one thing clear: eSports exists solely as a marketing tool. It's all about engaging players with the promise that, if you play hard and long enough, you could one day be on that stage earning millions. It's not about the betterment of the community, so to speak, or arming pro players with cash: it's about bringing maximum exposure to millions of consumers in a competitive sports-like setting. eSports is only a thing because corporations use it as a combined way to reach average consumers, engage a playerbase (which is then monetized with special events, themed skins, or even paygates), and run ads. This can be lucrative, and SuperData says Gaming Video Content (streams, eSports, etc) made $4.6 billion in 2017. It's a mish-mash of different strategies, a kind of TV show broadcast for a game, and operates on specific metric goals. When those goals aren't met and when the tournaments no longer spark game sales or, in the case of Heroes of the Storm, player spending on microtransactions, these tournaments are typically dialed back or cancelled altogether.
In a bid to pull users away from Steam, the newly launched Epic Store is giving away two games every month for an entire year.
Many PC game stores already offer free games without any kind of purchase or subscription--GOG, Humble Bundle, and of course Steam--and Epic Games' new digital games store is following suit. The fledgling marketplace, which aims to compete directly with Valve's reigning platform, will give away a free game every two weeks. The promo starts with the excellent exploration sim Subnautica (ends Dec. 27) and follows up with the massively tough platformer Super Meat Boy (Dec. 28 - Jan. 10).
There's a caveat to these free games, though. The publishers and devs offering the free games may flood your inbox with newsletters, announcements, and other info about upcoming products in exchange for the free game. On the checkout page for Subnautica's free version there's a curious opt-out tickbox that reads: "The game you are purchasing is licensed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment. Click here to not receive emails from them with the latest information about similar products and services."
Quantic Dream, the developers behind the exclusive PS4 title Detroit: Become Human have announced that their title has surpassed the 2 million units sold mark.
We are thrilled to share that Detroit: Become Human has sold through more than 2 million units worldwide on PlayStation 4 since its launch on May 25, 2018. Congratulations, @Quantic_Dream! pic.twitter.com/b3xVGeerth— PlayStation (@PlayStation) December 12, 2018
The announcement comes from the official PlayStation Twitter account and celebrates that Quantic Dream's title "has sold through more than 2 million units worldwide on PlayStation 4 since its launch on May 25, 2018." The developers also commented on the post saying that Detroit: Become Human has become the companies fastest selling title they have ever made, creating a new milestone for the company.
Detroit: Become Human could be considered a title that wouldn't be for the average gamer as its gameplay is so in-depth and plethora of options could scare some players away. It isn't a battle royale and isn't necessarily a fast-paced game but despite all of this, Quantic Dream has created an experience like no other and should be proud of the milestone they have hit. For more information regarding Detroit: Become Human, visit the official website here.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is one of the best games of 2018, and honestly sits as one of the best games I've played in the past few years. It's a sprawling adventure set in the heart of ancient Greek myth and legend that's full of action and interesting locales. In short, you should totally play it if you haven't already. And you totally can for free without having to download anything if the gods are willing.
If you got into Google's big beta test for its streaming service, then you can get a free copy of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on PC. Ubisoft today announced the promo and confirmed that all Project Stream saved data progress would carry over to your new PC version, but your Helix credits won't make the jump. We got into the Project Stream beta and I can honestly say it paints a very bright future for gaming.
There's some rules though. Getting in isn't enough; you have to play at least one hour of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey within Project Stream from now until the beta test ends on January 15. It doesn't matter if you've played over an hour in the past, and to get the free copy you need to log an additional hour of playtime...which shouldn't be hard to do in Ubisoft's vibrant and massive open world.
Google's new game streaming service gives us a glimpse at a brighter future of gaming.
I remember when gaming was convenient. It used to be you bought a game, popped it into your console or PC, and started playing. But today's gaming landscape is fraught with large day one patch downloads, long disc installs, and even more frustrating game downloads. Then there's the required patches for live games like Fallout 76 and Destiny 2 that typically annoy gamers when they fire up the game unawares. The point is there's always something to wait on in gaming these days,
and now that most games have live service elements, there's even more opportunities to spend money.
But Google's new Project Stream service introduced me to a convenient, accessible, and easy-to-use gaming experience that really underlines the potential magic of game streaming. Google's remote cloud servers beam games directly into a Chrome browser on your PC and laptop and let you jump right into the action. We got into the Project Stream beta test for Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, and going into it I was pretty skeptical. But I can say my experience is one of impressed joy. There's no downloads or wait times, no day one patches, just a recreation of that old feeling of popping a game into your system and playing.
In a bid to continually add value to its lucrative subscription-based game services, EA is bringing Battlefront II to its Access program for free.
EA is one of the major games-makers pivoting towards subscription models to help fortify its business model, which principally includes live games and the billions gleaned from engagement monetization therein. But it's always important to make these services worthwhile so gamers continually spend money on them, especially now that EA is inadvertently competing with Microsoft's own successful $9.99 a month Game Pass on the Xbox platform.
One such way EA is making its subscriptions more attractive is adding new games, and the latest one, Battlefront II, is now free to play for EA Access subscribers on Xbox One. EA Access currently costs $5 a month or $30 a year, and only active subscribers can play the vaulted games--similar to Sony's PlayStation Plus. What's particularly interesting about this is Battlefront II isn't free on the basic Origin Access subscription, which costs the same as EA Access on Xbox One. To play Battlefront II on PC, users have to buy into the steeper Origin Access Premiere which costs $15 a month or $100 a year to maintain.