Blizzard has formally revealed the full roster of teams in the Overwatch League, and an official season kickoff date for the big-money competition.
The Overwatch League is an incredibly important milestone in the franchise's rapidly expanding history. The shooter, which became Blizzard's most recent billion dollar franchise in May of this year, has been a transformative force in the games industry in terms of monetization strategies, engagement, and monthly active users. And like the dragons in Blizzard's World of Warcraft, the FPS juggernaut is set to grow to leviathan proportions thanks to eSports initiatives like the Overwatch League. The games-maker even created its own stadium-like venue to host the event, further adding a real sports-like feel to the experience. Fans and viewers will also buy tickets to watch the experience at the arena.
Blizzard has announced the Overwatch League will begin on January 10, 2018 with twelve global teams competing for the seven-digit grand prize. The pool will likely be funded with exclusive in-game loot purchases made by consumers to support their favorite teams, similar to Valve's prize funding for DOTA 2 competitions. The Overwatch League teams are:
PlatinumGames' tech-infused action RPG has enjoyed strong acclaim and sales across the globe, so much that Square Enix is committing itself to the franchise.
NieR: Automata has shipped and digitally sold more than 2 million units worldwide across PC and PlayStation 4, Japanese games publisher Square Enix today confirmed. Back in April we reported the grim action role-playing game hit 1 million shipments and sales, and now the game has more than doubled that milestone in the span of five months.
"NieR:Automata, which we released in February 2017, has proven a global hit far in excess of our expectations. It has not only reminded the world of the high quality of Japanese games, but also demonstrated significant potential for future franchise development," said Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda in the company's recent Annual Report 2017 filing.
This timely success was a significant boon for developer PlatinumGames, who was apparently in dire straits before NieR: Automata's widespread sales. "NieR's success has to this point given Platinum a new fanbase, a growing staff, a brilliant success story, an increase in qualified job applicants, and a great benefit," PlatinumGames executive Hideki Kamiya said on Twitter. "To say that Yoko-san (the director for NieR: Automata) saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough."
Rockstar Games today posted up a simple advertisement promo for Red Dead Redemption 2, promising more content updates coming next week.
New info on Rockstar's massively anticipated Western sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, will be announced and showcased next week on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11 AM EST, the developer announced today. In a very cryptic Rockstar fashion, no specifics accompanied the simple picture billboard, but it's possible the team will finally reveal the game's exact release date in 2018.
Red Dead Redemption 2's absence at E3 2017 and successive games industry trade shows was marked by gamers and industry figures alike, but Rockstar Games typically moves at it's own pace and doesn't need big showcases to draw millions of viewers. In fact, it's extremely simplified social media presence is enough.
The game was originally slated to release Fall 2017 but was delayed to Spring 2018 to ensure the experience lived up to players' expectations. The CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games' parent company, affirmed Red Dead Redemption 2 is being "built from the ground up for consoles."
France's Florange Law may arm Vivendi with enough shares to forcibly take over French games-maker Ubisoft.
The long-standing battle between Vivendi and Ubisoft's founding Guillemot family may conclude in November, the Financial Times reports. Vivendi, who currently owns 26.6% of Ubisoft's share capital and 25.2% of voting rights, may see its stake in the company doubled under France's Florange Law, thus boosting the company's stake in the games-maker past the 30% needed for a takeover.
Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot warns Vivendi that an aggressive takeover would be very risky. "The question is whether Vivendi will then make a tender offer or not. We feel it wouldn't be in the best interests of their shareholders because buying a company in our industry aggressively is actually very risky," Mr. Guillemot said during Ubisoft's Annual General Meeting of shareholders yesterday. The CEO goes on to say that being a part of a big conglomerate like Vivendi would essentially cut it's Achilles heel and significantly stifle agility--which Mr. Guillemot calls "a death sentence in our industry."
"A videogame company cannot grow within a media conglomerate," Mr. Guillemot said in an interview before the annual meeting, as reported by Bloomberg. "In our industry, independence is needed to take risks, to be innovative. That is not compatible with Vivendi's way of operating."
In wake of Steam's Review system being abused by gamers due to Dota 2 being blamed for killing Half Life 3 and gamers supporting PewDiePie regarding Campo Santo's DMCA, Valve have made some changes in how Steam's game reviews work. Valve hope to prevent incidences like the two mentioned don't reoccur as those reviews don't provide a true reflection of the experience with the game.
Valve have immediately introduced a new feature called Histograms, a feature that shows a histogram of the positive to negative reviews since the game was released on a daily basis. This data reflects dramatic increases in positive or negative reviews from a certain period, indicating a time where possible outside influences (eg. No Half Life 3 or Campo Santo's DMCA) have affected reviews. You can isolate days to read particular reviews for the day, or days of your interest.
New heroes always add a new element to a game, too many new heroes too quickly can generally lead to balancing issues that can break a game. During a video withIGN's new Expert Mode, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan discussed Overwatch's next hero, referred to only as "Hero 26".
"Hero 26 is very playable and very fun internally, and that's all I'll say. It's not coming out as soon as you think, but Hero 26 is already amazing." Kaplan then further elaborated "I don't think there's such a thing as too many heroes, but I think we also need to come out with heroes at a good pace."
Cross-platform between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sounds like a complex dream, or perhaps it's as simple as setting a few parameters?
It was reported and later confirmed by an Epic Games representative, that cross-platform play between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for Epic's Fortnite was enabled over the weekend due to a configuration issue.
"We had a configuration issue and it has now been corrected" the spokesperson said.
We're still just under two months away from the release of Need for Speed: Payback, with publisher EA and developer Ghost Games releasing the PC system requirements.
Need for Speed: Payback requires a Core i3 6300 or AMD FX 8150 processor as a minimum, coupled with a GeForce GTX 750 Ti or Radeon HD 7850, which will be good for 720p @ 30FPS with low settings. If you want 1080p 60FPS at high settings, you'll need a Core i5-4690K or AMD FX 8350 along with the Radeon RX 480 or GeForce GTX 1060.
NVIDIA is celebrating Need for Speed: Payback with a new 4K gameplay video, powered by a single GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. NVIDIA explains: "Check out our exclusive Need for Speed Payback Graveyard Shift PC gameplay in 4K running at 60 FPS, captured on a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti PC. Watch as Tyler heads to the airfield and takes on the street league Graveyard Shift, race down the runway, grab some serious air, and work his way up through Silver Canyon".
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has left effects throughout the entire gaming industry, and now Epic Games is getting into the Battle Royale style games with their own Fortnite title.
Fortnite: Battle Royale will be - if you haven't already guessed it, a Battle Royale gameplay mode for Fortnite. If you don't know about Fortnite, it's a cartoonish (think Team Fortress 2) style, building-focused, zombie game.
The new Fortnite: Battle Royale will be released on September 26 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 - and it'll be free to play, too.
Project CARS 2 is about to slide onto the market, with news breaking that developer Slightly Mad Studios is working on a new Fast and the Furious game.
Eurogamer reports that the CEO of Slightly Mad Studios, Ian Bell, teased the game in a big way. Bell said: "Guess what the latest Need for Speed game is doing and have a think about which Hollywood film they're copying, and then I can tell you we have a six-year deal with that major Hollywood company that'll beat what Need for Speed is doing. For the next six years".
Considering the kind of money that Fast and the Furious makes with each movie, it makes sense for there to be a game to tie into it. What do you think about the Project CARS developer making a Fast and the Furious game? What would you want to see in the game itself?