Just last week, Microsoft and Forgotten Empires revealed Age of Empires IV, bringing it back from shadows of what was assumed to be development death.
The reveal was held at the Microsoft event in London, XO19, and during the event, one critical aspect was discussed 'how is Age of Empires IV going to be monetized after its initial launch?' Age of Empires' Creative Director Adam Isgreen tuned in to answer this question, and luckily, microtransactions aren't on the table for the upcoming RTS.
Here's what Isgreen had to say, "The idea of microtransactions in a real-time strategy game isn't a thing. DLC, expansions - all of that is things that we're going to be exploring for Age 4." He continued and said, "While we definitely already have ideas in terms of where we want to go past Age 4, in terms of expansions and stuff, a lot of that is going to be driven by the community and the players, where they want to see the game going".
Activision is going big with Modern Warfare's future content, complete with a huge 200-player battle royale multiplayer mode with full cross-play.
A new Reddit leak confirms Modern Warfare will soon get a massive BR free-for-all with up to 200-players. The info was datamined from the game's source code, and contains references to playlists like solo, duos, and squads, and in-game maps.
The BR mode is designed to be a mix of tactical strategy and randomized chaos. It will have plenty of loot across all rarities scattered across the map including all weapons, attachments, and killstreaks from the base MW multiplayer, and it'll also have perks that boost efficacy in battle. There's even missions for teams to tackle during the 200-player warzone havoc.
A new report says Hangar 13 is working on the most ambitious Mafia game to date, and it picks off right where Mafia III left off.
Rumor has it Mafia IV is happening, and it'll take place during the 1970s when the mob ruled the casino-ridden streets of Las Vegas. The entire game centers around your ascension as a gang boss who eventually takes control over Sin City, building an empire of gambling, mayhem, and drug-fueled organized crime along the way.
Apparently Hangar 13's fleet of studios is working on the project, and it'll be bigger than Mafia III but filled with more meaningful quests and activities--gone are the annoying repeatable missions from Mafia III.
Dead Island 2 is still in development, but it could miss the original 2020 release date we had pegged for the sequel.
After years of development hell and trading hands, Dead Island 2 has found a new home at Homefront: The Revolution's Dambuster Studios. As for a release date, that's a bit more complicated. We've had no development updates on the game, and the only assurances it's still happening is from higher-ups at THQ Nordic and Deep Silver's Koch Media. But now it sounds like Dead Island 2 may not launch until 2021 at the earliest.
In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Koch Media CEO Klemens Kundratitz strongly hints Dead Island 2 may not release in 2020. The CEO says Dead Island 2 won't launch close to Dying Light 2, another competing zombie game that Deep Silver is publishing. "It would be conflict if we were launching on top of each other. But that's not going to be a problem."
Just a couple of days ago, Golden Joystick Awards were held and Nintendo representative fighter took home the crown prize.
You might be confused by the fact that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has won a 2019 award when it was released back in December of 2018. Well, that's because the release of Smash Ultimate fell short of the cut of time for the Golden Joystick Awards of 2018, which is why it was run in 2019 awards.
Even though it might be a year out from its release, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate still managed to scoop a really nice award up. According to Golden Joystick's official Twitter account, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate won the Nintendo Game of the Year award for 2019. This isn't the first time Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has got some decent awards, at the Japan Game Awards it got awarded the 'Grand Award', more on that here.
Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service is getting so good that I'm starting to feel bad for subscribing.
Game Pass is the best value in gaming right now: For $10 a month, you get access to over 100+ games across the entire Xbox spectrum, from the original Xbox all the way to Xbox One. Microsoft has invested tremendously with partners to bring some of the biggest games over to the all-you-can-play service, and now Square Enix is jumping into the fray with their beloved Final Fantasy series.
At the XO19 event in London, England, Square Enix confirmed that multiple big Final Fantasy games will be on Game Pass in 2020. The following games are coming to Game Pass on both consoles and PC:
- FINAL FANTASY VII
- FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered
- FINAL FANTASY IX
- FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster
- FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE
- FINAL FANTASY XIII
- FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
- LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII
- FINAL FANTASY XV
The Switch has now sold over 41 million systems worldwide on the backs of a big quarterly surge.
Nintendo sold 6.93 million Switch consoles in the six-month period ended September 30, 2019, with 2.13 million systems sold in Q1'19 and 4.8 million sold in Q2'19. This brings total lifetime Switch sales to 41.67 to date, including the 2017 base model, the new Switch Lite handheld-only system, and the new Switch revision with improved battery life.
Total hardware sales made up 53.2% of Nintendo's total gaming platform sales, or roughly 214.961 billion yen ($1.99 billion). Nintendo attributes this staggering 125% jump in quarter-over-quarter numbers to strong software sales including first party games like Super Mario Maker 2 and Link's Awakening.
343i has two weeks to fix some pretty big issues with Halo: Reach on PC, and if they can't, the game might not hit promised high-end performance targets.
Right now Halo: Reach on PC is locked at 60FPS for its beta testing flights. But it could stay that way when Reach launches in December, possibly even for an undetermined time after release. In a recent forum update, 343i's Tyler Davis says the team's work will carry over long after Reach's release with "more improvements beyond launch."
He also said the team still isn't happy about Reach's frame rates:
"In the current flight, we were able to further test our experimental implementation and the feature does not meet our quality expectations. From our learnings we're currently investigating and working on fundamental improvements. When we have a solution that meets our quality bar we will first flight it with the community before releasing it more broadly."
Nintendo platform holders are mostly buying first-party games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Maker 2, and Link's Awakening over third party games.
Surprising absolutely no one, consumers buy Nintendo hardware specifically to play Nintendo games. The company's recent 2H'19 financials highlighted the continuing trend, showing that Nintendo's first-party games made up 75% of total software sales during the six-month period. Nintendo managed to sell roughly 58.54 million Switch software units in 2H'19, of which 43.90 million were first-party titles.
Nearly all of Nintendo's major first-party games have made it big on the Switch, especially newer titles. Super Mario Maker 2 has sold 3.39 million units so far, and others like Link's Awakening moved 3.13 million and Fire Emblem: Three Houses moved 2.29 million copies.
Nintendo is making big strides towards digital-based revenues, propelled by game sales, services, and add-on content.
Nintendo's recent financials show a huge surge in digital earnings. The company made 71.6 billion yen ($663.45 million) from digital in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2019, up a tremendous 83% year-over-year. Nintendo attributes this big jump in digital revenue to strong Switch Online subscriptions, massive add-on sales like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's fighter pass, and more direct consumer spending on digitally-delivered games.
Interestingly enough, the digital still isn't the preferred method consumers actually use to buy games. Retail box sales still hold the lion's share of Switch game sales. Only 36.2% of Nintendo's total 58.54 million software sales in 2H'19 were from digital--the rest were from physical sales.