Gaming News - Page 6
Xbox chief reiterates game plan: 'We want gamers to play everywhere'
Xbox executive Phil Spencer walks us through Microsoft's game plan as it relates to its pre- and post-merger video games operations.
The Xbox ecosystem has evolved beyond its console roots. Xbox is now a service that connects multiple platforms together with one principal goal: Gaming for everyone, everywhere. Now that its biggest games are monetized, Microsoft benefits tremendously from this approach--more players can lead to more payers.
Xbox's core gaming focus has been dissected as part of regulator's ongoing scrutiny on the Microsoft-Activision merger. We've talked about the Xbox business in length, but Microsoft's own gaming VP Phil Spencer has a quick breakdown to remind players, investors, and regulators what the goal of Xbox is.
Continue reading: Xbox chief reiterates game plan: 'We want gamers to play everywhere' (full post)
Take-Two executes $50 million 'cost-reduction program' with company layoffs
Video games giant Take-Two Interactive makes a round of layoffs as it tightens its belt against economic uncertainty.
Following record earnings during the pandemic, the video games industry is now contracting to reflect the current economic backdrop affecting the market. Inflation and rising costs mean consumers have less discretionary income to spend on gaming, leading to lower-than-expected quarterly results at lots of video games companies. Take-Two Interactive has been impacted--Q3 net bookings missed guidance by $77 million--and now the company is responding by making layoffs to reduce overall expenses and costs.
Sources have told Bloomberg's Jason Schreier that Take-Two is starting to make layoffs and job cuts across its company. The layoffs have affected workers at Take-Two's Private Division video games publishing label, which is responsible for hit games like The Outer Worlds, Hades, and Kerbal Space Program 2.
Continue reading: Take-Two executes $50 million 'cost-reduction program' with company layoffs (full post)
Minecraft has 'maybe 120 million active players,' Xbox's Phil Spencer says
Xbox's Phil Spencer reveals some very interesting numbers that confirm Minecraft is still one of the most-played video games of all time.
Most gamers inherently know how popular Minecraft is. The voxel block-builder is on practically every video games platform and never truly seems to fade out of the public eye, despite what big flashy AAA game has been released. Microsoft's purchase of Mojang for just $2.5 billion in 2014 was the best video games purchase that the company has ever made, with the past 8 years delivering tremendous revenues and Xbox platform engagement.
But how big is Minecraft really? New figures provided by Xbox's Phil Spencer helps illuminate the incredible popularity of this franchise.
Continue reading: Minecraft has 'maybe 120 million active players,' Xbox's Phil Spencer says (full post)
Report: Counter-Strike 2 reveal imminent with a beta coming soon
Valve may reveal a new Counter-Strike game very soon, sources have told esports reporter Richard Lewis.
Valve's major first-party cash crop may get a big revamp sometime this year. Reports indicate that Valve is readying a new entry in the old-school shooter, with a beta test possibly coming this month. Sources have told that Counter-Strike 2 is very real and that Valve has been working on the project for quite some time, with teams focusing on bug fixes and optimizations in the Source 2 engine.
Official details are non-existent and the current CS:GO release is still doing extremely well thanks to its lucrative skin market where gamers can buy and sell in-game items. Valve also sells premium upgrades for $14.99 that matches players up with others who have paid the Prime States upgrade fee.
Continue reading: Report: Counter-Strike 2 reveal imminent with a beta coming soon (full post)
New Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi revealed, DBZ expected to hit $1bn this year
Bandai Namco and Toei Animation make a surprise announcement that has ignited Saiyan fans everywhere.
It's official: Budokai Tenkaichi is coming back after 16 years. Bandai Namco made the announcement at the most recent Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour esports tournament at the World Market Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The short teaser confirmed a new Budokai Tenkaichi game is currently in development, and also revealed that Dragon Ball Super will be a big part of the next game.
Budokai Tenkaichi 4's teaser reel showed a brief history of the series and then finished off with an explosive reveal of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku in all of his teal-haired glory. Not a whole lot was revealed about the game and there's still much we don't know, but for now Bandai Namco has announced a new game and cautioned viewers that the "footage shown is under development."
Continue reading: New Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi revealed, DBZ expected to hit $1bn this year (full post)
Final Fantasy XVI's exclusivity deal gave direct access to PS5 engineers
Square Enix's Yoshi-P gives a candid explanation on why the publisher has signed exclusivity deals to bring certain Final Fantasy games to PlayStation first.
Gamers everywhere know that PlayStation is at the top of gaming's Big 3 in terms of both revenues and installed base. Publishers must respect Sony's position and offer their games on PlayStation in agreeable terms and contracts that benefit both parties. That's why we've seen Square Enix, a Japanese games publisher, focus more intently on PlayStation.
Final Fantasy XVI is yet another example of such a deal. Square Enix signed a six-month exclusivity deal for Final Fantasy XVI on PlayStation platforms for this reason and another that may get looked over. The deal with Sony gives Square Enix direct access to PlayStation 5 console engineers that can significantly help the developers optimize their game on PS5. The result is what looks to be a stunning spectacle of console power that may flex the PS5's overall performance and gameplay capabilities.
Continue reading: Final Fantasy XVI's exclusivity deal gave direct access to PS5 engineers (full post)
Analysis: Will Square Enix's new president make more deals with Xbox?
Square Enix's new management offers fresh opportunities to reach a wider global audience with the Xbox brand.
Japanese publisher Square Enix has lofty ambitions in expanding its games to a global audience, however it seems that its exclusivity deals are getting in the way of this plan. Now that Square Enix is about the get a new president, the company could make a turn around and start to work closely with platform-holders like Microsoft to bring more of its games to Xbox and better execute on this plan.
It's clear that Square Enix isn't where it wants to be right now. The company isn't in dire straits and is still pulling in respectable revenues, however we've seen Square Enix take drastic measures to counter rising costs and diminishing returns. The first major shock came when the publisher sold its entire Western games division to Embracer Group for $300 million, including heavy-hitting IPs like Tomb Raider and Deus Ex. The sale was a reaction to the commercial failure of two of its most expensive games, Marvel's Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, which lost an estimated $200 million.
Continue reading: Analysis: Will Square Enix's new president make more deals with Xbox? (full post)
Steam Deck now supports real-time ray-tracing in DOOM Eternal, and it's playable
The latest Steam Deck OS 3.4.6 Beta driver features a surprising addition, with Valve noting, "Ray-Tracing is now available in DOOM Eternal."
This is surprising for several reasons, with most of them being a variation of the fact that the Steam Deck is a handheld and designed to deliver optimized performance for modern games played at a lower resolution instead of running everything with Ultra settings enabled like it's a GeForce RTX 4080.
Support for DOOM Eternal's real-time ray-tracing for reflections is the first time Steam Deck users can enable the hardware-intensive but visually impressive effect on the handheld - thanks to id Software's implementation being via the Linux-friendly Vulkan API.
Continue reading: Steam Deck now supports real-time ray-tracing in DOOM Eternal, and it's playable (full post)
Original Diablo devs wanted to sell small expansion discs for $5 a piece
The original Diablo developers at Condor had a novel idea to make money after the game released: Physical microtransactions.
While gaming has certainly evolved since the 70s and 80s, parts of the market have remained the system. Coin-op arcades were the original microtransactions and games were designed to be as hard as possible to ensure players keep pumping in quarters for another chance. The video game crash changed things and it took a while before this kind of small accruing monetization arrived on consoles, but then Bethesda introduced horse armor and gave rise to gaming's current billion-dollar mTX economy.
Even back in the 90s, PC developers were trying to find ways to monetize their games over time. The original Diablo devs came up with the interesting idea to sell small "expansion discs" that would contain little extras like armor, weapons, and even new environmental effects. The idea was to sell off small pieces of the game for $5 a piece--kind of like a physical microtransaction.
Continue reading: Original Diablo devs wanted to sell small expansion discs for $5 a piece (full post)
Dead Island 2's crazy combos cause catastrophic chaos
Deep Silver's Dambuster studio introduces yet another big reason why we should be excited about Dead Island 2.
New Dead Island 2 gameplay footage revealed a closer look at one of the game's most interesting mechanics. While the sequel preserves a lot of the features and tropes from the first two games, Dead Island 2 has a new way to augment your zombie superpowers that offers lots of customization.
The game will use skill cards to boost abilities with new modifiers. Dambuster's new system lets gamers mix and match cards to create interesting scenarios of havoc and destruction. Think of these cards as yet another way to execute devastating combos in addition to the weapons, gadgets, and environmental hazards throughout L.A.
Continue reading: Dead Island 2's crazy combos cause catastrophic chaos (full post)