Gaming News - Page 4
Microsoft's contractor policy could slow down game development at Activision-Blizzard if the proposed merger goes through.
In our previous coverage I've expressed thoughts on how Microsoft's business plan could significantly disrupt Activision-Blizzard earnings by offering key premium games on Xbox Game Pass. I've also discussed that Microsoft could lay off many Activision Blizzard King employees post-merger, especially in "cost synergy" areas like marketing and HR. Now another interesting point could be worth exploring: How would Microsoft affect game development at Activision Blizzard King?
Microsoft's recent 10,000 employee layoff spree could give us a few clues. On Twitter, ex-Halo developer Tyler Owens reminded me of Microsoft's contractor policy, which got the wheels turning. "Between the contracting policies they abuse for tax incentives," Owens said, expressing frustration due to all of the 343i employees that were recently laid off.
343 Industries has been 'hit hard' by Microsoft's recent mass layoffs, sources have told Bloomberg's Jason Schreier.
Microsoft has announced that it will lay off 10,000 employees across multiple divisions including Xbox gaming. The layoffs will affect first-party game development studios and branches like Elder Scrolls and Fallout developer Bethesda Softworks, who is ramping up for Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI, and embattled Halo developer 343 Industries. Sources have told Bloomberg that 343i may have been significantly affected by the restructuring.
The news comes years after 343 Industries drew ire from the Halo faithful for Halo Infinite's tumultuous launch. The game released in 2020 with many features missing, some of which, like split-screen co-op, were cancelled outright. It appears Halo Infinite's campaign team was downsized--which could eliminate any possibility of story-based DLC for Infinite.
Sony and Housemarque have released spec requirements for Returnal's incoming PC port, and they're more lenient than other newer games.
Want to try Returnal but aren't sure if your rig will support the game? Gamers with older hardware can breathe easy: Returnal's PC specs aren't extremely demanding. Users who are still rocking GTX 10 series GPUs can still get away with 1080p 60FPS in Returnal, but like any other game on the market today you'll need a hefty hardware boost to hit 4K 60FPS in Housemarque's bullet hell survival game.
Returnal's minimum PC specs will deliver 720p 60FPS gaming on the low preset. We're talking bottom of the barrel here. To play the game you'll need at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or an AMD Radeon RX 580, an Intel Core i5-6400 or an AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and 60GB of HDD or SSD space.
Microsoft will lay off 10,000 workers as it attempts to cut costs and reduce spending during an uncertain economic environment.
Microsoft today announced that it plans to fire 10,000 employees from now until March 31, 2023 across its various divisions and segments, from app development and marketing to entertainment and cloud. Xbox video game developers at first-party studios like Bethesda Softworks will also be affected by the layoffs, sources tell Bloomberg, despite the Xbox games division generating a record-breaking $16.22 billion last fiscal year.
Here's what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the announcement: "First, we will align our cost structure with our revenue and where we see customer demand. Today, we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3. This represents less than 5 percent of our total employee base, with some notifications happening today."
Ubisoft workers may go on strike in protest of controversial comments made by company CEO Yves Guillemot.
Ubisoft is not in a good place right now. Years ago, the company's internal culture was rocked by a scathing sexual harrassment and discrimination controversy, putting many high-ranking Ubisoft executives under the crosshair. Developer morale was damaged in the process and CEO Yves Guillemot was criticized for not taking action on the issues sooner.
Now Ubisoft's CEO is in hot water again, this time for further hurting worker confidence and morale. Guillemot reportedly said that developers, not executive management, are responsible for Ubisoft's future: "The ball is in your court to deliver this line-up on time and at the expected level of quality, and show everyone what we are capable of achieving," Guillemot said in an internal email to employees that was acquired by Kotaku.
Walking into a Porsche dealership to buy a gaming chair sounds like a phrase you'd type into an AI image generator for a bit of fun. As it turns out, the new Porsche gaming chair is real and expensive to boot - with the new RECARO × Porsche Gaming Chair Limited Edition launching at a retail price of USD 2499.
Now, that might make you do a double take, but it's worth noting that this collaboration is exciting. RECARO is a company dating back to the early days of cars, where it even designed the seats found in the iconic Porsche 911. So you're getting a premium slice of gaming chair action here. And as it made its debut at the recent virtual 24-hour Le Mans race, it's been designed with esports and racing games in mind.
Square Enix's new interesting-looking fantasy IP Forspoken demands some serious PC horsepower.
Japanese games typically aren't very well optimized on PC, and that seems to be the case for a few Square Enix titles (remember NieR: Automata's issues?) Now it looks like the publisher's latest game Forspoken could be affected as well, which makes sense considering Luminous Productions titles are pretty intensive.
The devs just released Forspoken's PC spec requirements and they're pretty hefty. The game will require at minimum an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of VRAM, an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU, and 16GB of RAM to deliver...720p at 30FPS. That's rough performance but the spec-perf ratio reflects how the PC gaming world is moving on.
Activision-Blizzard games will be taken offline in mainland China next week as negotiations with publisher NetEase have terminated.
Back in November, Activision announced that it will be suspending many of its games in China because it couldn't iron out a deal with Chinese games juggernaut NetEase. American companies typically team up with a Chinese-based publisher to navigate China's strict mandates on video games, and that's how Activision and NetEase started working together. Now it looks like NetEase is not interested in working with Activision to publish key Blizzard games like Overwatch and Diablo III.
As reported by Reuters, Blizzard's Chinese division has issued a statement saying that NetEase has rejected a deal that would extend their partnership by six months. The deal would ensure that Blizzard games would not be taken offline until July 2023. While NetEase hasn't issued a statement on this new deal, the company did say Activision-Blizzard's previous terms were unacceptable and that it tried to negotiate a better offer.
The European Commission is preparing to publish a Statement of Objections against the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision merger, sources tell Reuters.
European regulators will soon file a particular document that outlines all of the issues that the commission has regarding the Microsoft-Activision merger. This brief is called a Statement of Objections and is essentially akin to the Issues Statement that the UK's Competition and Markets Authority filed months ago.
We'll see the commission discuss possible antitrust and anti-competitive worries with the deal, and how the deal could affect vertical or horizontal markets--as well as a deep dive into data points that reflect the overall performance metrics of Xbox, PlayStation, and Activision Blizzard King games in the European Union.
If you grew up in the 90s then you're probably asking one question: How do I play PS1-style games in the modern age? There's emulators and subscriptions...and then there's Dread Delusion.
While AAA games are raking in billions of dollars, there's lots of little indie gems that fall through the cracks. A lot of the time it's the indie games that carry players through large years-long lapses between big gale launches, and for this reason they've become more and more special to gamers who probably wouldn't have seen or tried them otherwise.
One such game is Dread Delusion, an interesting indie from DreadXP and developer Peter Wragg. The project is a first-person fantasy game in the vein of Daggerfall and the early first-person FromSoftware titles. It's a bizarre open-world game with trappings from familiar old-school RPGs with the basics intact; there's stats, skills, spells, gear, and exploration. It's kind of like if Daggerfall or another Elder Scrolls game would look if it released on the original PlayStation.