Driven by popular games like Fortnite, Dungeon Fighter Online, and League of Legends, the free-to-play sector made a whopping 80% of 2018's total digital game revenues, analyst firm SuperData reports.
Thanks to lucrative monetization, successful engagement strategies, and easy smartphone accessibility, free-to-play continues its long-standing reign on the industry. The F2P segment managed to rake in a whopping $87.84 billion across all platforms in 2018, or 80% of total digital game revenues for the year.
The digital market pulled in $109.8 billion throughout 2018, up a strong 11% year-over-year and sending clear signals to publishers like EA, Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft, Tencent and Nexon that their live service plans are working. Asian territories fueled these billions and the region generated the lion's share of earnings for the segment. Conversely, areas like North America and Europe prefer bigger buy-to-play games like Red Dead Redemption 2, PUBG, and Black Ops 4.
Danish games dev IO Interactive has opened up a brand new studio in Malmo, Sweden that will help co-ordinate on the studio's projects.
Like any game developer, IO Interactive is likely working on multiple games at the same time. Games development is a collaborative effort that sees multiple teams synergizing and combining their strengths to make new games and big-name companies typically have multiple worldwide branches. Now IO Interactive, who's best known for the Hitman series, has launched a new studio.
According to IO CEO Akan Habrak, the Malmo studio will help the main Copenhagen headquarters develop Hitman games along with new franchises. We've recently reported IO is working on a brand new IP, however details have been light following the studio's split with Square Enix.
The Dragon Ball franchise shows no signs of slowing down and will continue spirit-bombing the industry with a new game in 2019, Bandai Namco confirms.
Today the devs at Bandai Namco announced Project Z, a new action RPG set in the Dragon Ball Z series. Other than the confirmation, official details are light but more information will be announced later this month during the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour Finals starting on January 25.
A new DBZ game makes a lot of sense considering Dragon Ball makes a good portion of the publisher's revenues. 2018's big marquee fighter, Dragon Ball FighterZ from ARC System Works, was a big success worldwide and became the fastest-selling franchised game with 2 million units sold in a week's time. No developer details were announced, neither was an actual title for the new action game.
Capcom's Resident Evil 2 Remake demo is one of the best slices of survival horror I've played yet. Here are some quick impressions that underline why I'm excited about the final game.
Any good horror game makes you feel like you're in another dimension. We're transported to the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, to a dark pocket of reality where our worst nightmares come true. As players we surrender to the whims of the developers and are taken on a thrill ride where we can experience terror without the real-life ramifications. With their gritty style, claustrophobic environments, and dire feel, Resident Evil games have always done this--well the early ones anyway--and the RE2make brings back those old-school sentiments in droves.
Built on the new proprietary REngine that powered Resident Evil 7, the RE2make looks beautiful in its hallowed glory. High-quality atmospheric and lighting effects bring a new sense of realism and add another layer to that choking fear of impending doom, and the sound direction is absolutely amazing. This brings me to another point: if you play the Resident Evil 2 Remake 1-Shot Demo, make sure you do so with headphones on and in the dead of night. Turn out all the lights, put your headphones on, and be whisked away to a creepy, haunting slice of gameplay.
EA actually cancelled its new Star Wars game to preserve the release slate timeline and fill in gaps, not disrupt it.
EA Vancouver's open-world Star Wars game was cancelled so the studio could work on a smaller, more condensed project that releases sooner, sources tell Kotaku.
The plan is to shift focus from EA Vancouver's previous project, a big galactic bounty hunter affair called Project Orca, into a more streamlined and self-contained game. This would allow the Vancouver studio to release a game sooner and fill in obvious gaps in the original Star Wars timeline of games. It's possible this new project will utilize and iterate key elements, assets, and content from Project Orca while depending less on live services, as online-driven games with microtransactions and digital economies typically take years upon years to make. How Kotaku frames Orca makes it seem like a live-based experience with a wide content roadmap.
Ubisoft has released the official PC requirements for the next installation of the Far Cry series, Far Cry New Dawn.
For those that don't know, Far Cry New Dawn is a sequel to the quite successful Far Cry 5. New Dawn is a continuation of the Far Cry 5 story and gives a fresh new spin on the events of Hope County after what happened in Far Cry 5.
Raphael Parent, the Technical Director at Ubisoft Montreal commented about the PC release for New Dawn, here is what he had to say; "We are very proud of what our team achieved with the PC version of Far Cry New Dawn and cannot wait for PC players to discover the post-apocalyptic scenario we've created. The bold art direction we have taken for this game is all about a colorful, hopeful, and inviting world, which we know will benefit a great deal from the power of current PC hardware. We hope that players will love the fresh new look of Far Cry New Dawn."
Take-Two Interactive's subsidiary company 2K Sports have announced an extension of a partnership between 2K Sports and the NBA. The extension has reportedly amounted to $1 billion dollars.
In an official press release, NBA 2K and Take-Two Interactive Software will be expanding on their partnership with a "multiyear global partnership extension". The extension is of course based around the success of the popular NBA 2K franchise and shows how much faith Take-Two Interactive has in the future games to come. According to The Wall Street Journal, sources close to the deal that is being made have said that Take-Two Interactive is set to pay as much as $1.1 billion to the NBA over a seven year deal.
The Wall Street Journal also says that this new deal is "more than double" what was originally expected of Take-Two in the previous extensions of their partnerships. This could mean that it's entirely possible that Take-Two Interactive's forced introduction of microtransactions into their games (NBA franchise) is much more profitable then once assumed. Take-Two also plan to keep the microtransaction trend going for future NBA games, so expect them within NBA 2K20.
Death Stranding, the mysterious title from Metal Gear Solid creator, Hideo Kojima has been presented to the developers at Guerrilla Games and has left them "so impressed".
Three years ago we gave @KojiPro2015_EN a copy of our @DecimaEngine in this box. Today @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN came back to @Guerrilla to show us the incredible things he's making with it in #DeathStranding. So impressed! pic.twitter.com/8dLpdIh1bI— Hermen Hulst (@hermenhulst) January 15, 2019
The story between the two development studio spans back three years ago when Hideo Kojima was deciding what engine to create his Death Stranding universe on. It was finally decided that Kojima would use the Horizon Zero Dawn engine 'Decima', Guerrilla Games handed over the source code of the engine in a small box to Kojima so he could begin his creation. Three years later, Kojima hands back the very same box with the Death Stranding demo inside, after watching what Kojima has manifested within the Decima engine, Guerrilla Games' co-founder Hermen Hulst says that he was left "so impressed".
Not only did Hulst get to see the demo but so did the rest of the Guerrilla Games team, Guerrilla's Technical Director, Michiel Leeuw spoke a few words about the demo, saying to Kojima that he was "so proud of what you've achieved!" As per usual, we still no basically nothing about Death Stranding and I feel as if it is going to stay that way until Kojima is ready to release some information. At the moment Death Stranding has a planned release date for 2019, but has no specific date attached as of yet. What we do know though, is that Death Stranding will be launching exclusively on the PS4.
Many die-hard Resident Evil fans are going to rejoyce at the recently released screenshots from Capcom, make way for the bean curd as the additional character Tofu is looking better than ever.
For those that don't know, Tofu was a playable character in the original Resident Evil 2 and was available in the scenario "The Tofu Survivor." This scenario was more of a parody of Hunk's unlockable mission "The Fourth Survivor" Capcom's original plan when developing Tofu was to test the polygons within the world they created, and to see just how the Resident Evil 2 world would manage with a character as big as Tofu bounding around within it.
Players got their very first look at Tofu in the recently released "1-Shot Demo" for Resident Evil 2 and I'm sure that fans aren't disapointed. From the above screenshot we can see a nice glistening film across the whole body as well as the classic STARS (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) hat. Tofu simply looks more life-like then ever, but also doesn't have the hands that were found floating around him in the original game.
So you are getting sick of the Fortnite and PUBG battle royale experience and want to spice things a up abit? Well, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's battle royale mode 'Blackout' is about to go free-to-play for a limited amount of time.
Players will be able to jump into all of the fast-paced action beginning on January 17th. The free-to-play period will be lasting an entire week and is planned to end on the January 24th. It should be noted that Blackout will be the only mode that will be free-to-play, so if you would like to enjoy slaughtering of zombies or the classic Call of Duty multiplayer a full purchase of the game will be required. Looking towards the positives now, if throughout this trail period you realize that you would like to continue to play Blackout or the multiplayer, a $30 Black Ops 4 Battle Edition pass will grant you access to both of these permanently.
Check out the above trailer for a better look at what Blackout offers. Personally, after playing both PUBG and Blackout I can say from my experience that I enjoyed Blackout's fast-paced action much more. The responsiveness and smoothness of the controls is unparalleled for a battle royale game in my opinion, and I'd certainly recommend anyone who enjoys battle royale to have a shot at Blackout. Why wouldn't you have a taste though? its free...