Star Wars Battlefront 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Star Wars Battlefront 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network PlayStation Store Kicks Off Games Under $20 Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/83ci3/playstation-store-kicks-off-games-under-20-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/83ci3/playstation-store-kicks-off-games-under-20-sale Wed, 29 Apr 2020 12:26:09 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The PlayStation Store is launching yet another sale today: a PS4 games under $20 sale. As you can imagine, everything on the list is under $20, and it includes a good mix of old and new classics too, ranging from Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair and My Time at Portia to Dragon Age: Inquisition's massive DLC bundle, and Star Wars Battlefront 2: Celebration Edition.

Here's some of what's on offer. The sale is live now through May 13.

Game Sales Price Original Price
Assassin's Creed: Origins $14.99 $59.99
Blasphemous  $16.74  24.99
Call of Cthulu  $9.99  $39.99
Cities: Skylines — Premium Edition 2  $17.49  $69.99
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin  $9.99 $39.99
Dead Cells  $16.24 $24.99
Diablo 3: Rise of the Necromancer  $7.49  $14.99
Dishonored 2  $11.99  $29.99
Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC bundle  $7.49  $29.99
Fallout 4  $14.99  $29.99
Far Cry 5  $14.99 $59.99
Hello Neighbor Bundle  $9.99  $49.99
Human: Fall Flat  $6.74  $14.99
L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files  $17.99  $29.99
Lego DC Super-Villains  $17.99  $59.99
Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds $11.99  $19.99
Metro Redux  $8.99  $29.99
My Time at Portia  $14.99  $29.99
Outer Wilds  $18.74  $24.99
Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition  $12.49  $49.99
Saints Row 4 Re-Elected: Gat out of Hell $3.74  $29.99
Slime Rancher $9.99 $19.99
Star Wars Battlefront 2: Celebration Edition  $19.99  $39.99

 

That's just a portion of the PS4 games under $20 sale going on now. You can check out the full list over on the PlayStation Blog, and the sale page is on the PlayStation Store.

If nothing here piques your interest, remember the second Big in Japan/Golden Week sale is still live as well. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more video game sales as they pop up.

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DICE Ends Battlefront 2 Updates Ahead of New Battlefield Game https://www.gameskinny.com/6ha2s/dice-ends-battlefront-2-updates-ahead-of-new-battlefield-game https://www.gameskinny.com/6ha2s/dice-ends-battlefront-2-updates-ahead-of-new-battlefield-game Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:36:14 -0400 Josh Broadwell

EA and DICE are gearing up for a brand-new Battlefield game set to launch next summer, according to IGN. Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Battlefield 5 are both getting their last content updates soon so the DICE team can concentrate resources on the new Battlefield game.

EA posted the Star Wars announcement on the Battlefront 2 website, though the Battlefield news comes from a statement EA gave to IGN.

The end of the statement is where EA mentions Battlefield: "Longer term, the studio is focused on the future of Battlefield that we’ll be bringing to players in 2021."

However, EA also confirmed it will continue supporting both titles through in-game events and the like. It's just the massive content updates that will stop:

The team at DICE is working on the standalone Battlefield V update releasing this summer, and continuing their work on delivering Community Games.

While the studio’s vision for Star Wars Battlefront II is now complete with this week’s The Battle on Scarif Update, the servers, in-game challenges, recurring events and game support will continue as the game lives on with players and the community.

And that's basically all anyone outside DICE knows about the new Battlefield title. Seeing as it'll launch in 2021, it's probably safe to say the next Battlefield will be a next-gen or cross-gen game as well.

Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launch this holiday season, and both Microsoft and Sony have repeatedly said cross-gen titles will be important moving forward.

The upcoming Battle on Scarif update for BF2 is a pretty big one, introducing a new map and putting The Age of Rebellion in Supremacy and Instant Action modes. There's the usual series of heroes, costumes, and other upgrades too, and you can check those out in full over on the Battlefront 2 website if you're interested.

The original story complete with EA's statement is over on IGN. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Battlefield news as it develops.

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EA Succumbs to the Dark Side, Cancelling Another Star Wars Game https://www.gameskinny.com/k0qkf/ea-succumbs-to-the-dark-side-cancelling-another-star-wars-game https://www.gameskinny.com/k0qkf/ea-succumbs-to-the-dark-side-cancelling-another-star-wars-game Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:09:08 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Kotaku's Jason Schreier recently reported on yet another canceled EA Star Wars project, the third in four years. Schreier says this time, it was a semi-open-world Star Wars: Battlefront spinoff that got the axe.

The game was codenamed "Viking," and its development followed the two previously canceled projects — Amy Hennig's "Ragtag" and EA Vancouver's "Orca" — as a way to "fill a financial hole." EA originally planned for the title to launch in fall 2020 for the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. After seeing the development timetables and realizing it wasn't going to work, though, executives decided to scrap the entire project.

The issue was, as is often the case with EA, conflicts with development studios. EA Vancouver was working on "Viking" with assets from the abandoned "Orca" project, but then San Francisco-based Criterion was brought on board as well.

Schreier's sources from EA said there were simply too many people involved and too many challenges coordinating production between the two studios in separate countries.

So, that leaves us with... apparently nothing Star Wars-related for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch lineups. Along with a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel, EA is also reportedly working on an "unusual" Star Wars title. Rumors are also still a'swirling about the Knights of the Old Republic remake titles, so perhaps there will be something in that.

Either way, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars news as it comes out of hyperspace.

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Witness The Power of the Fully Operational Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/uvuk4/witness-the-power-of-the-fully-operational-battlefront-2-celebration-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/uvuk4/witness-the-power-of-the-fully-operational-battlefront-2-celebration-edition Wed, 04 Dec 2019 14:42:20 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is getting a digital Celebration Edition on December 5. It will release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The Celebration Edition will include the Battlefront 2 base game plus all past and future paid content. It will retail for $39.99. This is all ahead of The Rise of Skywalker content coming in Battlefront 2 over the next month.

Hard to see, EA's intentions are. Once upon a time, Star Wars Battlefront 2 was basically dead in the cold of space, hobbled by EA's inscrutable decision to lock important content behind paywalls. After sizeable backlash, EA changed its mind on paid content and made Appearances and Poses the only paid material.

Having said that, there is still a sizeable audience for BF2 more two years after release, with thousands of players still battling it out in a galaxy far, far away. 

Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition Content

The Celebration Edition lumps two years of content in a bargain-priced package. The caveat is that you need PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to update the game and receive the new content.

Here's everything Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition will include:

  • Base Game
    • Including all past and upcoming free game updates as they release
  • More than 25 Hero Appearances
    • Including six Legendary Appearances, plus one Appearance each for Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, coming December 17
  • More than 125 Trooper and Reinforcement Appearances
  • More than 100 Hero and Trooper Emotes and Voice Lines
  • More than 70 Hero and Trooper Victory Poses.

Those who already have the base game can upgrade to the Celebration Edition for $24.99.

Battlefront 2 Rise of Skywalker Content

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker content is also coming to Battlefront 2, bringing Jakku and the film's new jungle planet to the Co-Op Rotation. There will also be four reinforcements from the sequel trilogy era and new Hero Appearances from TRoS.

In January, Jakku and the jungle planet join Capital Resistance, featuring the Resurgent-Class Star Destroyer and the Resistance's MC85 as massive targets to take on. More importantly, BB-8 and BB-9 will be new playable Heroes.

---

It's safe to say Battlefront 2 has moved a bit beyond the original state we found it in after it launched. Whether the Force stays strong with it or EA turns back to the Dark Side remains to be seen, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars Battlefront 2 news as it develops.

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The Spooktacular List of Games with Halloween Events 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/dnx32/the-spooktacular-list-of-games-with-halloween-events-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/dnx32/the-spooktacular-list-of-games-with-halloween-events-2019 Mon, 07 Oct 2019 12:56:55 -0400 Josh Broadwell

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e626515cbdb4a5380b3a06fb9ecdc8c0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e626515cbdb4a5380b3a06fb9ecdc8c0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12967","description":"

Ark: Survival Evolved

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Running from October 22 to November 5 on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Ark's Halloween event is scarier than a velociraptor opening a door. Fear Evolved 3 brings a ton of ghoulish surprises to the survival game, including pumpkins, skeletal dinos, and more. 

\n

There are "new items to collect, cool skin costumes to try out, and a Blood Moon casting a pale shadow over it all." Players will be treated with increased XP, harvesting, and breeding rates. Here's a list of everything you can expect: 

\n
    \n
  • New cosmetic items: Jack O' Lantern Mask, Hockey Mask, Headless Neck Stump, Halloween-inspired Dino Colorization Candy and event-themed undergarments (tops and bottoms)
  • \n
  • New emotes: Panic, Spooky Dance and Zombie
  • \n
  • Event-themed wild dinosaur spawns
  • \n
  • Randomly spawning gravestones, scarecrows and pumpkin patches
  • \n
  • A candy corn-themed supply drop brings an abundance of useful Halloween treats for players, surprises like berries, cooked meats, heal brews, veggie cakes, consumable buffing soups, dino Halloween candy and dino skins from past Halloween events.
  • \n
  • The environment and trees to be Halloween themed
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/w/o/two-point-hospital-halloween-2deb7.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/w/o/two-point-hospital-halloween-2deb7.png","type":"slide","id":"203582","description":"

Two Point Hospital

\n

Not to be outdone by Tropico 6, Two Point Hospital also has a Halloween event going on right now. Of course, the hospital sim was already kinda' spooky with ghosts floating about, but things are even more terrifying with the "boo-tiful update."

\n

From now until November 1, players can decorate hospitals with Halloween bits and bobs, listening to scary music over the hospital PA, and duck boisterous bats in the hallways. 

\n

Certain illnesses will even get Halloween-themed updates, such as Lightheadedness getting renamed Firghtheadedness, with patients sprouting pumpkins for heads instead of lightbulbs. 

\n

those who don't already own the game can grab it for 66% off on Steam until November 1. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/o/tropico-halloween-adb45.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/o/tropico-halloween-adb45.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203581","description":"

Tropico 6

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Even city-builder Tropico 6 is getting in on the Halloween festivities. From now until November 7, players will see new content updates bringing Autumn foliage, pumpkins, Halloween palace decorations, and a themed main menu to the game. 

\n

The update is live across all platforms, including PS4, Xbox One, and PC. El Presidente is in the spirit. 

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/l/d/elder-scrolls-blades-halloween-event-6a4e9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/l/d/elder-scrolls-blades-halloween-event-6a4e9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203580","description":"

Elder Scrolls Blades

\n

The Elder Scrolls Blades is celebrating the spooky season with the Witches Festival. New quests have been added to the game alongside a spell overhaul, new Nightmare Town, and brand-new decorations. 

\n

The 1.4 update includes myriad fixes to combat, weapons, armor, items, and more. It even squashes a few pesky bugs. But(!), it doesn't squash spiders, which feature heavily in because Halloween. 

\n

Creatures lurk in dark caves and mysteriously abandoned villages dot the land. Are you brave enough to venture out into the land of the living dead? 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/r/mortal-kombat-halloween-d1a68.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/r/mortal-kombat-halloween-d1a68.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203579","description":"

Mortal Kombat 11

\n

Fighting game fans can celebrate Halloween with one of the most macabre fighting games around: Mortal Kombat

\n

The free Halloween-themed event starts on October 25 and runs through November 1. There will be four new boss fights, all with spoopy modifiers such as witches and bats and pumpkins. There are even new terrifying Brutalities to be had. 

\n

The Masquerade Skin pack will retail for $5.99 and include skins for Jade, Kabal, and Liu Kang. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/i/t/hitman-halloween-b53d6.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/i/t/hitman-halloween-b53d6.png","type":"slide","id":"203460","description":"

Hitman 2 Halloween Escalation Contract

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Hitman 2 is even getting in on the Halloween shenanigans with a special, Halloween-themed Escalation Contract. This new contract is included as part of October's free content update for those who downloaded the Hitman 2 Starter Pack, and it takes place in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

\n

Along with the obligatory skeletons, pumpkins, and other spooky accouterments, the Contract includes special rewards for those who manage to survive the horror-filled wasteland that awaits them: the Tactical Wetsuit and Bat Shuriken.

\n

The Contract is live now, and you can check out the event's official trailer here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/a/gears-halloween-15f97.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/a/gears-halloween-15f97.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203452","description":"

Gears 5: Pumpkin Ball and More

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Gears 5 is bringing Pumpkin Ball back for Halloween this year, which is basically a pumpkin version of dodgeball, and it's also giving you the chance to earn a special Frankenstein skin by winning 13 matches of Pumpkin Ball before the event ends on November 4.

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This isn't your typical game of dodge, er, Pumpkin Ball, though. Players automatically revive unless you target specific, zombie-like weak points, including the head or the universal weakness to massive explosions.

\n

The event started on October 22, with more planned sometime this week as well, so stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/s/o/eso-halloween-218db.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/s/o/eso-halloween-218db.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203200","description":"

Elder Scrolls Online: The Witches Festival

\n

The Witches Festival returns once more in Elder Scrolls Online, bringing with it a gaggle of ghoulish goodies for your Halloween pleasure. The event starts October 24 at 10am EST and ends November 4 at the same time.

\n

One way to get the party started is earning tons more XP, and to do that, you'll need to complete "The Witchmother's Bargain" quest from the Crown store then use the Whistle you get as a reward.

\n

The Witches Festival has plenty more on offer as well, including Festival-themed collectibles and costumes, Dremora Plunder Skulls (complete with new items) earned through defeating special bosses once per day, and the Glenmoril Armor set.

\n

See the set in all its glory, and find out all the details about The Witches Festival here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-kart-tour-halloween-76544.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-kart-tour-halloween-76544.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203128","description":"

Mario Kart Tour Halloween Event

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Mario Kart Tour is joining in the spooky fun this season, with some sort of Halloween event centered around a Luigi's Mansion course. The official tweet announcing the event only said we can get tricks and treats out of it.

\n\n

Sort of unrelated to the event, but not really because it is Luigi's Mansion after all, is the announcement that Luigi is coming to Mario Kart Tour as of now. (Apparently, he lost his keys and couldn't get there when the game first launched).

\n

Much to Luigi's undoubted dismay, the Halloween event is adding King Boo as a playable character too.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/hallowed-nights-dont-starve-5285e.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/hallowed-nights-dont-starve-5285e.png","type":"slide","id":"203113","description":"

Don't Starve: Hallowed Nights 2019

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Klei Entertainment's lovable death simulator Don't Starve Together's Halloween 2019 event is the return of Hallowed Nights, starting October 24. The Klei blog post announcing the event's return said it'll largely include the same things as last year, with a few new treats and tricks.

\n

That means Candy items, Halloween Decorations, and Trinkets you can give to the Pig King for Candy. Candy is good in Don't Starve, because unlike other food items, it never spoils.

\n

Last year's Hallowed Nights also introduced the Mad Science Lab, where you could engineer a number of potions with a variety of positive effects — but at the expense of your sanity.

\n

Though not technically part of Hallowed Nights, October 24 is when we'll see Wurt the Merm make her debut in Don't Starve as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3332dad840d87b9bcbed42f7ac3a2c01.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3332dad840d87b9bcbed42f7ac3a2c01.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12948","description":"

Dragalia Lost: Halloween Fantasia 2

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Dragalia Lost's popular Halloween Fantasia event returns as the game's big Spooktober event, bringing with it new items, quests, and summons. It all kicks off at 2am October 18.

\n

First is the Trick or Treasure! Facility Event, which introduces Nightmare difficulty, new items to obtain, and more. It's accompanied by a new set of Daily and Live Endeavors that'll run through October 31 as well.

\n

Thanks to Perfectly-Nintendo distilling the patch notes, we also know the special Halloween Fantasia summoning event will include the following:

\n
    \n
  • Halloween Mym (Adventurer)
  • \n
  • Halloween Maritimus (Dragon)
  • \n
  • Halloween Lowen (Adventurer)
  • \n
  • Halloween Odetta (Adventurer)
  • \n
\n

and a few more, all of which will be available until the end of Halloween.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/fort-damned-sea-thieves-halloween-653dd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/fort-damned-sea-thieves-halloween-653dd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203038","description":"

Sea of Thieves: Fort of the Damned

\n

Things are taking a decidedly spooky turn for Xbox One and Windows 10 players this month in Sea of Thieves. The game's monthly content update this time around is, naturally, Halloween related, and it's no barebones update either.

\n

Old Boot Fort has been overrun by the forces of evil, turning it into the Fort of the Damned, managed by the Shadow of Fate Skeletons.

\n

This fort can be activated as long as the requirements are met, and it brings with it new Voyages, new Contracts from Duke, and some big rewards. More importantly, these additions aren't just for October; they'll continue on as a permanent part of the game.

\n

There'll also be new arena rules, new items and pets from the Emporium, and even a new way to play Shanties. The full details are here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout-event-fallout-halloween-2019-949be.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout-event-fallout-halloween-2019-949be.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202849","description":"

Fallout '76 Mischief Night

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Fallout '76's Halloween event this year is Mischief Night, letting you take full advantage of the day to wreak utter havoc on Whitespring. Mischief Night kicks off at noon EST on October 26 and runs until the same time on November 5, and it begins "every hour, on the hour." It's a public event, which means free fast travel too.

\n

You'll start off at the Mischief Pyre near the Springhouse Gazebo, and after hearing about the rogue Eyebot JES-2R's dark plans, you're in for a quick tour of the resort area.

\n

From there, you can destroy property and vehicles, vandalize buildings, risk getting tricked at one of the treat bowls, and basically do whatever your little black heart desires — as long as the Whitespring Elite Security Force doesn't catch you.

\n

Complete JES-2R's missions to earn rewards, and wearing or crafting your own costume helps further your progress towards unlockables.

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Check out the full details here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/for-honor-halloween-2019-60b92.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/for-honor-halloween-2019-60b92.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202848","description":"

For Honor's Otherworld 2019 Event

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For the past two years, Ubisoft's For Honor has hosted an event centering around the Otherworld concept, with plenty of spooky challenges, quests, special rewards, Halloween versions of familiar characters, and of course, loads of lootable gear.

\n

The event usually runs well beyond Halloween too. As yet, like with many others, there aren't any concrete details about For Honor's Halloween event, but we'll update as soon as we find out more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/67d75415ab37974a70b42b5b78ed14eb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/67d75415ab37974a70b42b5b78ed14eb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12937","description":"

Hearthstone Hallow's End: Doom in the Tomb

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Blizzard finally lifted the lid on Hearthstone's Hallow's End 2019 event. This year's special Halloween event is Doom in the Tomb; it starts October 8 at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT and runs for three weeks until October 30 at 9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT.

\n

As always, there'll be unique Tavern Brawls with rewards for completing missions under a certain time, plus trials in the Haunted Temple for both good and E.V.I.L. to overcome. Naturally, the Headless Horseman will be making his appearance as well.

\n

Some of the Tomb's treasures might seem familiar to longtime players as well, with classic cards like the Druid, Imp Gang Boss, and Imp Burglard making a return.

\n

There's a lot more involved, and you can read about it plus all the rewards on offer here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/z/wizards-unite-03a5d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/z/wizards-unite-03a5d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202662","description":"

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Dark Arts Month

\n

While Harry Potter: Wizards Unite might not generate quite the same levels of interest as Niantic's other AR mobile game, it's still got plenty to offer for Dark Arts month.

\n

Fighting Forces Brilliant Event Part 1: October 8-14

\n
    \n
  • A new quest featuring the spine-chilling Brilliant Death Eater and an Azkaban Escapee
  • \n
\n

October Community Day: October 19

\n
    \n
  • Expect more uncanny creatures including Vampire, Werewolf and Doxy oddities appearing more frequently in the game
  • \n
\n

Fighting Forces Brilliant Event Part 2: October 22-28

\n
    \n
  • A new sinister quest featuring the Brilliant Sirius Black and a Dementor
  • \n
\n

Exclusive Halloween Quest: October 31

\n
    \n
  • Get ready for an exciting and exclusive Dark Arts-themed Wizarding Challenge Fortress Chamber and quest with limited-time rewards.
  • \n
\n

More details will be announced on the game's Twitter and Facebook pages throughout the month.

\n

---

\n

Those are most of the games hosting Halloween events this year. Be sure to bookmark this article and check back throughout the month for updates and new games. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/l/killing-floor-grim-treatments-adbec.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/l/killing-floor-grim-treatments-adbec.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202628","description":"

Killing Floor 2: Grim Treatments

\n

Tripwire Studios' Killing Floor 2 Halloween event is already underway, with the launch of Grim Treatments earlier this month.

\n

Grim Treatment is a free update that brings in a variety of Halloween Zeds, up to their ears (or whatevers) in blood and gore, a brand-new map in the form of Ashwood Asylum, special cosmetic items, and Nuked Objective Mode.

\n

Nuked has special quests and cutscenes, but the main objective centers around the attempt to rescue a small child in the aftermath of nuclear fallout, and of course, there are plenty of Zeds trying to stop you.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/r/harrowing-lol-32666.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/r/harrowing-lol-32666.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202627","description":"

League of Legends The Harrowing 2019

\n

The Harrowing is basically an institution in League of Legends. It's a yearly fright-fest that ties in with the game's lore, focusing on the Black Mist and, well, death. Because it's Halloween.

\n

The big draw in The Harrowing tends to be the special Champion skins on offer, plus various ranks of gear, and plenty of other additions to get you in the Halloween spirit.

\n

So far, there's absolutely nothing about this year's Harrowing, but since we're well into October now, that'll likely change soon.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battlefront-halloween-32d3d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battlefront-halloween-32d3d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202626","description":"

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Halloween Event

\n

There will, in fact, be a Star Wars Battlefront 2 Halloween event this year. Shared on EA Star Wars' official Twitter account, the event will begin on October 23 and end on October 31. 

\n

The event might not feature ghouls and ghosts, but it will allow players to earn 2X experience for the entire period. That includes all game modes. 

\n

The event will center around the Ewok hunt on Endor, which, unsurprisingly, will be at night. 

\n

It's worth mentioning that Battlefront 2 will have events the entire month of October, even though there is only one Halloween-themed event. 

\n
    \n
  • October 4-6: Battle Point Event
  • \n
  • October 11-18: Community Quests
  • \n
  • October 18-20: Battle Point Event
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/hallowed-blight-event-dead-daylight-0afdc.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/hallowed-blight-event-dead-daylight-0afdc.png","type":"slide","id":"202625","description":"

Dead by Daylight Withering Blight Event

\n

This year's Dead by Daylight Hallowed Blight event, called Withering Blight, was leaked during the Stranger Things event over the summer. That said, only the existence of the Halloween event was leaked. Since then, we've learned a little bit more. 

\n

The event will run from October 22 to November 1. Not only will it bring "spooky decorations" to the world of Dead by Daylight, but items from Halloweens past, including: 

\n
    \n
  • The Will O' Wisp flashlight
  • \n
  • The All Hallows' Eve lunchbox
  • \n
  • The Pustula Petals offering
  • \n
\n

Per the game's official blog: 

\n
\n

You can find these limited-time items scattered throughout newly generated Bloodwebs and in chests for the duration of the event. You will keep any leftover items and be able to use them year round, but be warned: Any unused Pustula Petals will stay in your inventory, but will not be useable after the event period. 

\n

Following feedback from the Hallowed Blight event last year, Pustula Petals will instead create a pair of event Hooks and Generators for each Offering used. Survivors who burn one of these Offerings will receive bonus Bloodpoints whenever an event Generator is powered, and Killers receive a bonus each time a Survivor is hooked on a special event Hook. If you don’t burn an Offering, you’ll still receive some bonus Bloodpoints, but not as many as those who do. 

\n
\n

The event will also bring new challenges and rewards to Dead by Daylight. Putrid Serum will be a new currency for the event, which can be used to acquire cosmetics. Though there are a finite number of these items in the event, finding them all will net you "six hallowed cosmetics."

\n

Last year's event featured an adrenaline-filled rush to gather antitoxins to fend off an army of mutated creatures bent on destroying everything in sight, plus the slightly less tense inclusion of new items and gear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/i/rainbow-six-siege-260a1.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/i/rainbow-six-siege-260a1.png","type":"slide","id":"202622","description":"

Rainbow Six Siege Halloween Event

\n

Last year, Ubisoft treated us to the Mad House Halloween event in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, and while the company's been silent so far about this year's Halloween event, a set of rather frightening looking skins was recently leaked.

\n

obutu3_ posted a video on YouTube showing off new skins for Doc, Ela, and Vigil, among others, all of which are pretty obviously meant for Halloween.

\n

If it's anything like last year, expect to see plenty of Halloween decorations around the Rainbow Six Siege world and, hopefully, see the previous year's skins available again as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/l/call-duty-halloween-cb111.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/l/call-duty-halloween-cb111.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202621","description":"

Call of Duty Halloween 2019

\n

Just like we can count on a new Call of Duty game every year, we can count on a Call of Duty Halloween event, too. Only — Activision hasn't announced one yet.

\n

Last year's was all about Black Ops, and the year before focused on Infinite Warfare. This year saw Call of Duty Mobile finally launch, so it's possible any new event could center around that since Modern Warfare won't release until October 25. Of course, we could also see something in Black Ops 4 ... 

\n

Either way, these usually involve the same thing: new skins, stickers, and gear, all won through reaching specific tier levels and completing certain missions.

\n

Stay tuned for more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/g/hogwarts-mystery-halloween-e5710.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/g/hogwarts-mystery-halloween-e5710.png","type":"slide","id":"202616","description":"

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery Halloween Event

\n

Harry Potter and Halloween are perfect matches for each other, not least because something interesting — or deadly — always happens on Halloween.

\n

Hogwarts Mystery will be no different this year. The game's official Twitter account teased the game's Dark Arts Month earlier this month on Twitter.

\n\n

We know what's going on with Wizards Unite, but we're still in the dark about Hogwarts

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-mobile-halloween-56da1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-mobile-halloween-56da1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202620","description":"

PUBG Mobile and The Walking Dead

\n

PUBG Mobile is getting its own Halloween crossover event with The Walking Dead in the form of daily boardgame missions.

\n

Players can log in every day to complete special The Walking Dead-themed missions to unlock a special version of Daryl Dixon's motorcycle, plus enter for a chance to win a new iPhone 11.

\n

More details about the events and giveaways are going to be shared on Twitter through the month.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-halloween-pubg-mobile-halloween-6d7eb.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-halloween-pubg-mobile-halloween-6d7eb.png","type":"slide","id":"202615","description":"

PUBG Halloween 2019

\n

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is getting a special set of Halloween skins this year. They're pretty much what you'd expect from Halloween costumes, too, ranging from The Wizard of Oz-themed Kansas and Scarecrow sets to pirate gear, and more, though the, er, happy Lion costume has received some changes since it first launched.

\n

These costumes will all be sold individually and can be bought as sets for a discount.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/t/r/ctr-halloween-grprix-ae07b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/t/r/ctr-halloween-grprix-ae07b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202613","description":"

Crash Team Racing Halloween Grand Prix

\n

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled has made a name for itself by offering regular Grand Prix events, and it's a theme Beenox is continuing with a special Halloween-themed event: the Nitro-Fueld Spooky Grand Prix.

\n

Top on the list is the return of Nina Cortex as a new playable character, complete with new karts and a brand-new track. There'll be missions and challenges to complete, tiered rewards to earn, skins, items, and lots more.

\n

The Spooky Grand Prix kicked off on October 4 and runs through November 3, and you can find out all the specifics here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/p/maplestory-halloween-874f2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/p/maplestory-halloween-874f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202607","description":"

MapleStory Hallowkitty Event

\n

MapleStory's usual Hallowkitty event is back in full force this year as part of the Fabled Melody content update, but it won't start until October 23 at 7 p.m. EST.

\n

It's a big event, too. There's a disco-themed set of Halloween items to purchase:

\n
    \n
  • Hallows Disco Chair: Ghost: 1,500 Mesos. Untradeable.
  • \n
  • Hallows Disco Chair: Mummy: 15 Million Mesos. Untradeable.
  • \n
  • Hallows Disco Chair: Frankenstein: 15 Million Mesos. Untradeable.
  • \n
  • Hallows Disco Chair: Vampire: 150 Million Mesos. Untradeable.
  • \n
  • Hallows Disco Chair: Skull: 150 Million Mesos. Untradeable.
  • \n
  • Hallows Disco Chair: Master
    \n
      \n
    • Non-Reboot worlds: You can obtain the Master chair through the Ghoulish Meso Cascade Mount event.
    • \n
    • Reboot world: 1,500,000,000 Mesos. Untradeable.
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

And there are plenty of disco activities, too, with stat growth rewards for hanging out and greeting friends, plus costumes you can earn.

\n

Finally, there is a Halloween-themed monster hunt event, complete with daily missions and plenty of rewards. You can check out the full details here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/s/festival-lost-2019-7097a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/s/festival-lost-2019-7097a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203310","description":"

Destiny 2: Festival of the Lost 2019

\n

Festival of the Lost is back once more as Destiny 2's Halloween event in 2019. What's more, New Light players — those playing the new free-to-play Destiny 2 version —can take part in Festival of the Lost, so long as their power level is at least 770.

\n

As always, Eva Levante is your host, and she brings with her all manner of Halloween decorations and costumes. And candy. Lots of candy, which you'll earn and can use towards rewards like the Braytech Werewolf Legendary Auto Rifle.

\n

Weapons will serve you well in the Forest trials, 15 minutes of terror fighting against monsters galore, but there's plenty of Halloween customization for those who just want to make some haunting memories for the future too.

\n

You can see all the details here.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/r/borderlands-bloody-harvest-3fd1e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/r/borderlands-bloody-harvest-3fd1e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203149","description":"

Borderlands 3: Bloody Harvest

\n

Borderlands 3's Halloween event is part of a brand-new content update, and, as always, it's called Bloody Harvest. Bloody Harvest starts October 24 and lets you take on haunted enemies, challenge a new boss, earn rewards by completing challenges, and, of course, don new skins for your Vault Hunters. What kind of Halloween would it be without dressing up, after all?

\n

You can see the full details in the event's announcement video below.

\n"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/21afce125e56b94761bd3b71e4d3a6be.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/21afce125e56b94761bd3b71e4d3a6be.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12945","description":"

Overwatch Halloween Terror 2019

\n

Now that it's actually begun, Blizzard released details about this year's Overwatch Halloween event. Dr Junkenstein makes his return, changing all the heroes into spooky Halloween versions of their usual selves and bringing along new weekly challenges as well as the usual Junkenstein's Revenge seasonal brawl.

\n

Here are the full details:

\n
    \n
  • Weekly Challenges are back for Halloween Terror, allowing you to unlock limited-time rewards by winning nine games.
  • \n
  • Rewards include the Legendary Demon Hunter Sombra skin, as the final earnable skin in the 3rd Weekly Challenge.
  • \n
  • Emotes
  • \n
  • Player Icons
  • \n
  • Sprays
  • \n
  • Voicelines
  • \n
\n

5 Legendary Skins 

\n
    \n
  • Pharoah Ana
  • \n
  • Warlock Ashe
  • \n
  • Demon Orisa
  • \n
  • Will-o’-Wisp
  • \n
  • Scorpion Widowmaker
  • \n
\n

3 Epic Skins

\n
    \n
  • Inferno Junkrat
  • \n
  • Vampire Baptiste
  • \n
  • Gorgon Lucio
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/l/all-saints-wake-carriage-70e51.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/l/all-saints-wake-carriage-70e51.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203024","description":"

Final Fantasy XIV: All Saints' Wake 2019

\n

All Saints' Wake returns for Final Fantasy XIV's Halloween 2019 event, and yes, the spoopy Moogle carriage is included.

\n

If you're looking for some Final Fantasy Halloween fun, head to Gridania Woods from October 17 to November 1 to check out the Continental Circus and its special Ahriman attraction, which is something you'll have to see to believe, or so they say.

\n

As always, there's a bevy of in-game items to earn during the event, but here are some of the highlights:

\n
    \n
  • \n

    Circus Resonator mount - this unique voidsent was bred by the Continental Circus

    \n
  • \n
  • \n

    Pumpkin Carriage - embrace the spirit of the season with this spooky - but regal - outdoor furnishing item

    \n
  • \n
  • \n

    Fantastical All Saints’ Wake Advertisement - a notice that will be a welcome reminder about this year’s spooktacular event.

    \n
  • \n
\n

If you didn't get around to last year's event, you'll get the chance to purchase some of the special themed items you missed out on.

\n

The full announcement is here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocket-league-haunted-hallows-2019-2f1a6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocket-league-haunted-hallows-2019-2f1a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202603","description":"

Rocket League Haunted Hallows

\n

Psyonix has revealed new information regarding Rocket League's Halloween 2019 event. This year, things get a little peculiar with the game's Stranger Things crossover during the Haunted Hallows event. 

\n

The Farmstead map gets transformed into the Upside-Down, reminiscent of the opening portions from Stranger Things Season 2. The map is now steeped in red with the Mind Flayer lurking in the background. 

\n

The event runs from October 14 to November 11. During that time, players can earn unique toppers, banners, titles, decals, avatar borders and more. These fiendish flourishes will be available for a certain number of Candy Corn, which players can earn by playing matches. 

\n

There are even golden pumpkins that hold special surprises. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-halloween-2019-91996.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-halloween-2019-91996.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202914","description":"

Pokemon GO Halloween 2019

\n

Pokemon GO's 2019 Halloween event kicks off soon, on October 17 at 4pm EST/1pm PST and runs through November 1 at the same time.

\n

The first big feature of the event is adding Darkrai to five-star raid events, which you can find out more about here

\n

There's going to be more Shadow Pokemon at your local PokeStop. Specifically, you'll have a chance to see

\n
    \n
  • Weedle
  • \n
  • Kakuna
  • \n
  • Beedrill
  • \n
  • Electabuzz
  • \n
  • Magmar
  • \n
  • Lapras
  • \n
  • Mareep
  • \n
  • Seedot
  • \n
  • Nuzleaf
  • \n
  • Sableye
  • \n
  • Trapinch
  • \n
  • Cacnea
  • \n
  • Shuppet
  • \n
  • Duskull
  • \n
\n

If you're not quite sure what to do with these Shadow Pokemon once you catch them, check out our Shadow Pokemon and Purifying guide.

\n

Additionally, Yamask will make its debut, along with its shiny variant (if you're lucky), amidst a slew of other Ghost types that will be more common, like Gastly and Murkrow.

\n

Other Pokemon, including Cubone, Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur, might appear in raid battles donning special Halloween costumes.

\n

And on top of that, there's a range of Halloween-themed avatar items is coming to the Style Shop, including a Pikachu onesie, Litwick cap, and Mimikyu bag.

\n

You can see the full details here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/p/e/apex-halloween-d2d71.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/p/e/apex-halloween-d2d71.png","type":"slide","id":"202688","description":"

Apex Legends Fight or Fright

\n

Respawn Entertainment will be adding a bevy of Halloween goodies and tweaks to Apex Legends with the first ever Fight or Fright event, starting October 15 and running through until November 5.

\n

Fight or Fright introduces new cosmetic items for weapons and Legends, some of which can be obtained through completing special, limited-time challenge missions.

\n

King's Canyon is getting a spooky, night-themed makeover, but it's the new mode Shadowfall that brings the biggest change.

\n

Legends who fall in battle will be reborn as zombies and receive new abilities, like a vicious melee attack and, in true Titanfall fashion, the ability to run up walls.

\n

Once the field only has 10 living Legends left, the game changes to an escape mode. It's a race for the 10 Legends to make it to the evacuation ship while the undead zombie Legends do all they can to stop the evacuation from happening.

\n

You can head over here to check out the full details and get a glimpse at some of the skins.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/fortnite-halloween-fortnite-haunted-hills-d9222.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/fortnite-halloween-fortnite-haunted-hills-d9222.jpg","type":"slide","id":"202599","description":"

Fortnite Halloween 2019

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Epic Games hasn't yet announced any Halloween events for Fortnite, but fans are expecting something soon. Expectations were heightened when Twitter user HYPEX posted information gleaned from datamining, reportedly showing at least part of the Halloween skins that might be added to Fortnite sometime this month. 

\n\n

HYPEX is a well-known dataminer in the Fortnite community, but as always, it's just a rumor until Epic confirms the information.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/bloodborne-halloween-2351f.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/bloodborne-halloween-2351f.png","type":"slide","id":"202594","description":"

Bloodborne: The Official Return to Yharnam

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Bloodborne's Halloween event is fully organized by the Bloodborne fan community. It's an unofficial official event (just go with it), and rules are determined on the Bloodborne sub-reddit based on which suggestions get the most upvotes.

\n

Currently, the rules include choosing and creating a specific costume, like the Grim Reaper or Masked Hoonter, and using the invasion and resonance bells as often as possible.

\n

The event started on October 5 at midnight and runs all the way through November 5. This is still very much an event in the making, so it's bound to change as more rules develop.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halloween-game-events-2019-8b8cb.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halloween-game-events-2019-8b8cb.png","type":"slide","id":"202632","description":"

This is Halloween — well, almost.

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This is early October, which means it's time to get ready for all your favorite games to kick off their spooktacular Halloween events.

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From Fortnite and Apex Legends to Call of Duty, Hearthstone, and even Star Wars Battlefront II, there's a lot going on this Halloween.

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We've gathered together a sampling of some of the biggest Halloween events set to start sometime this month. While not every game has begun its festive happenings yet, we will continue updating this piece all month, so check back regularly for more information as it pops up.

"}]]]>
EA Defends Lootboxes As "Quite Ethical" In Statements to U.K. Parliament https://www.gameskinny.com/u49f8/ea-defends-lootboxes-as-quite-ethical-in-statements-to-uk-parliament https://www.gameskinny.com/u49f8/ea-defends-lootboxes-as-quite-ethical-in-statements-to-uk-parliament Fri, 21 Jun 2019 12:17:27 -0400 Jonathan Moore

The conjecture surrounding lootboxes is widespread. Some see them as insidious devices by which money-hungry corporations feed their greed. Others seem them as less invasive tactics by which games-as-services operate, chocking it all up to capitalism, baby. 

One that's certain, though, is that EA has been at the forefront of nearly all lootbox discussion over the past several years. The implementation of pay-to-win lootbox mechanics in Star Wars Battlefront 2 assured that. It was one of the biggest controversies of 2017, after all. 

The micros in Madden Ultimate Team and FIFA Ultimate Team only serve to further strengthen the connection between the company and the conversation. 

Now, EA has added fuel to the proverbial fire by saying lootboxes are "surprise mechanics" and "quite ethical." 

The comments come from Kerry Hopkins, vice president of legal and government affairs at EA, while speaking with the United Kingdom Parliament regarding the practice. Hopkins went on to compare loot boxes to other luck-based, prize-giving items such as Cadbury Eggs and Kinder Eggs, saying they are essentially one and the same. 

We do think the way we’ve implemented these kinds of mechanics is quite ethical and quite fun. They aren’t gambling and we disagree that there’s evidence that shows they lead to gambling.

Regardless of how one feels about the efficacy and ethical nature of lootboxes and pay-to-win microtransactions, there's no debate surrounding EA's commitment to the practice at this point in time. 

Players, despite their complaints, still pour millions of dollars each year into these systems that benefit they purveyance. According to GameIndustry.biz, EA's CFO Blak Jorgensen said that Madden and FIFA's Ultimate Team modes generate roughly $650 million each year by themselves. 

Recently, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo) brought the issue to the United States Congress by introducing the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act. It would seek "to curb what he calls the exploitation of children through loot boxes and microtransactions."

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EA Access Making Its Way to PlayStation 4 Soon https://www.gameskinny.com/9lga4/ea-access-making-its-way-to-playstation-4-soon https://www.gameskinny.com/9lga4/ea-access-making-its-way-to-playstation-4-soon Tue, 07 May 2019 16:41:13 -0400 Josh Broadwell

PlayStation 4 owners will soon be able to take advantage of EA Access, EA's subscription and early access program, according to a recent EA announcement.

The program will make its way to the PS4 sometime this summer and costs $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.

EA Access offers early trials of new EA games — both those that have launched and those that aren't yet out. The program lets players carry their save data over if they decide to purchase the game when it launches.

Subscriptions also include access to  EA's "Vault," a library of the publisher's most popular games, such as Star Wars Battlefront 2, several NHL, Madden, and FIFA games, Burnout: Paradise Remastered, and more.

The announcement webpage shows a wide range of Vault titles, including those listed above. However, EA hasn't yet provided a list of Vault games that would be available to PS4 owners.

It's also worth pointing out the selection would be slightly more limited compared to what's available for Xbox One owners. The Xbox One EA Access plan includes Xbox 360 games, but the PS4 architecture doesn't support backwards compatibility, unlike its successor.

EA Access doubles as a discount program too. Subscribers get 10% off on fill digital game purchases for the PS4, DLC, season passes, and in-game items (think Apex Coins, for example).

The announcement comes as a bit of a surprise, given Sony's statement on the subject in 2014, shortly after EA Access debuted on Xbox One. At the time, a Sony representative said the cost wouldn't be good value to PS4 owners.

It also shows that Sony isn't completely opposed to reversing its isolationist stances. Whether that means we'll end up seeing Sony also reverse its stance on cross-platform play or if this new move is simply in response to more anticipated third party support in the coming fiscal year is another story, though.

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Classic Galactic Conquest Could Revitalize EA's Modern Battlefront Series https://www.gameskinny.com/m64qu/classic-galactic-conquest-could-revitalize-eas-modern-battlefront-series https://www.gameskinny.com/m64qu/classic-galactic-conquest-could-revitalize-eas-modern-battlefront-series Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:11:18 -0400 Miles T

One of the defining features of 2004's Star Wars: Battlefront and 2005's Star Wars: Battlefront II was Galactic Conquest, a turn-based strategy mode that thrust players into the heart of an expansive conflict. In the mode, players sought to systematically gain an edge against the A.I. to dominate planets on both the ground and in space. 

For many, Galactic Conquest allowed players to create their own narrative campaigns that could have circumvented the relative dearth of single-player content in both the modern Battlefront and Battlefront 2. Like many of my friends at the time, I spent many hours role-playing, tinkering with the various classes and options that the mode provided.

It came as a surprise — and a mighty disappointment — for me and many other fans when 2015’s Battlefront reboot was released with nary a hint of the beloved mode. 2017's Battlefront 2 featured a mode with a similar name, Galactic Assault, but one that reflected very little about what made the original mode so strong. 

The Loss of Individual Tales

While 2015’s Battlefront launched without a single-player campaign and 2017’s outing was bland, uninspired, and short, the freedom afforded in Galactic Conquest allowed players to build their own Star Wars stories and narratives to enhance the gameplay experience, creating moments of nostalgia that many still reminisce about today.

I still remember the first time I throttled into an opposing capital ship in a troop transport filled with my allies, storming the control room, sabotaging the shield generator, and destroying the engines before being mowed down by defending pilots.

It was invigorating stuff. 

The inclusion of multiple planets and expansive lore from the movies allowed the gameplay to feel as though real stakes were involved. Battling on Hoth and Kamino felt awesome because it felt like something was being won or lost. These would be the rebels' or the clones' last stronghold, the last line of defense keeping you from fully realizing your stranglehold on the galaxy.

Even innocuous planets like Utapau or Mygeeto made battles feel intense if you had just started your campaign as a particular side, up against the enemy force which controlled the majority of the planets you hoped to liberate.

The newer Battlefront games feel distinctly lacking in comparison. When online matches are contested, there isn’t an overarching conflict driving you forward — something to make victory more rewarding or defeat more devastating.

In the newest games, battles are simply maps that host tug of war gameplay, with little purpose outside of servicing that small lobby of players. 

A Galaxy In Battle, But Not At War

In its design, Galactic Conquest allowed for variety in gameplay options, something that simply isn’t available in traditional linear campaigns or multiplayer modes, and which is largely absent in modern Battlefront’s single-player offerings.

The skirmishes in the original Battlefront featured ebbs and flows which would change based on bonuses that could be purchased with credits. Strategic use of these bonuses could swing battles wildly in favor of one side or the other.

Couple this with opportunities to purchase new classes of troopers during your conquest, as well as being able to call upon a faction hero (which would vary per map, adding even more variety), and there was a wealth of opportunity in Galactic Conquest on a large scale. 

The offerings in the modern Battlefront series could have expanded on this RTS-lite mechanic. 

Increasing options for attacking and defending, placing more emphasis on the use of building and managing space fleets, utilizing modern class customization, all of it could have gone a long way to creating engaging content to which players could continuously return. 

For multiplayer, expanding the gameplay beyond the simple team deathmatch or planetary assault to a wider strategic element would have given the modern Battlefront games more scope. The recent addition of the Geonosis Galactic Assault to 2017's Battlefront 2 was a step in the right direction but had it been part of a wider Galactic Conquest mode, it could have captured the feeling from those previous games.

Faction Options Are Endless

Most disappointingly for me, however, was how DICE and EA failed to maximize the potential of the new factions introduced into Star Wars lore with the new Star Wars trilogy, namely The First Order and The Resistance.

The original titles made phenomenal use of the source material, with multiple scenarios for Galactic Conquest featuring various factions, the 501st battalion campaign, and a wealth of instant-action variables with which to tinker and experiment. With all-new planets, heroes, units, weapons, and story beats to work from, a Galactic Conquest mode would be ripe for development from the newest trilogy of movies.

Leading First Order troopers with Kylo Ren or Captain Phasma, resisting the onslaught of troopers as Rey or battling in space as Poe was a missed opportunity in the newest Battlefront games. DICE did well to replicate some of those nostalgic moments in 2017’s Battlefront 2, but it would have been all the more enthralling had those experiences played out across a series of battles, conflicts, and tugs-of-war to gain supremacy.

The Past Will Have To Do

The modern Battlefront games are fun. 

While they provided some solid gameplay experiences and multiplayer action, I feel the exclusion of the Galactic Conquest mode, and to a lesser extent the instant-action offering, proved to significantly depreciate the value of the titles, rendering much of their potential null.

Galactic Conquest helped fans establish their own stories, engage with unique gameplay mechanics, and develop their knowledge and understanding of the factions and overall lore. The mode's inclusion wouldn't have fixed everything "wrong" with EA's efforts, but it would have made things more exciting. 

I still revisit 2005’s Battlefront 2 on Steam, diving straight into a new galactic conquest readily. Despite its age and rust, it still provides the same undying thrill of being part of a large-scale conflict in a galaxy far, far away.

Perhaps there’s hope for the future, that EA and DICE may come to the light side and provide the long lost Galactic Conquest mode. Though it’s more likely it will be relegated to Boba Fett’s fate — lost to a Sarlaac Pit with little chance to escape.

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EA 'Fully Committed' to Star Wars Despite Recent Pivot https://www.gameskinny.com/e8yjl/ea-fully-committed-to-star-wars-despite-recent-pivot https://www.gameskinny.com/e8yjl/ea-fully-committed-to-star-wars-despite-recent-pivot Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:08:29 -0500 Jonathan Moore

The past 36 hours have been somewhat of a whirlwind for Star Wars video games. EA, who holds the exclusive rights to develop games within the Star Wars universe, has reportedly canceled one project and started another, albeit on a "smaller scale." 

Following a Kotaku report from January 15 detailing that EA had canceled project Orca at its Vancouver studio, a company spokesperson told Variety in a statement Wednesday that the company was "fully committed" to Star Wars.

There’s been speculation overnight about one of our Star Wars projects. As a natural part of the creative process, the great work by our team in Vancouver continues and will evolve into future Star Wars content and games.

We’re fully committed to making more Star Wars games, we’re very excited about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn, and we’ll share more about our new projects when the time is right.

While EA has yet to officially confirm the cancellation of project Orca, anonymous sources familiar with the situation have told Kotaku that the cancellation is all but certain, with the Vancouver team pivoting its resources to a new, smaller project. According to those reports, EA put the kibosh on Orca to meet a tighter release window, presumably one that sees a release within the next year or two. 

Orca, originally code-named Ragtag, was to be an action-adventure game similar to those in the Uncharted series. The game began development at Visceral Games but shifted to EA's Vancouver studio when Visceral was closed in late 2017, where it underwent significant changes. 

As stated by the sources that spoke with Kotaku, those changes shifted Orca to a more open-world design that consisted of both single-player and multiplayer elements. Although it would contain both new elements and some of those found in Ragtag, not much else about the project is currently known. 

Since acquiring the exclusive rights to develop and publish Star Wars games in 2013, EA has done very little with the property, releasing only two Battlefront games in the past six years. While there are myriad factors that have contributed to EA's languid development pace, it's certainly disappointing that the company has not made better use of the storied IP. 

Notoriously, the Battlefront games have seen their fair share of controversy, from loot boxes to poorly implemented leveling systems. Despite how fun Battlefront 2's campaign was to play, many fans were displeased by its presentation — and that the first single-player Star Wars experience to be released after EA acquired sole rights to publish games under the IP came in a multiplayer-centric title. 

What's next for Star Wars games? EA-owned Respawn Entertainment is currently working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Set to release later this year, the title is "a brand-new action adventure game which tells an original Star Wars story around a surviving Padawan [sic] set shortly after the events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith."

Time will only tell if Fallen Order survives EA's stringent development gauntlet — and if it delivers the single-player experience fans have been craving for more than a decade. 

More details can be found on Kotaku and Variety

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EA Doesn't Care About Star Wars, Another Canceled Game Proves It https://www.gameskinny.com/6idt0/ea-doesnt-care-about-star-wars-another-canceled-game-proves-it https://www.gameskinny.com/6idt0/ea-doesnt-care-about-star-wars-another-canceled-game-proves-it Wed, 16 Jan 2019 12:22:05 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Update 1/17/19: EA has released a statement saying it is "fully committed" to Star Wars games. The original story follows. 

In a move that is as unsurprising as it is painful, EA has, according to multiple sources familiar with the project, canceled yet another Star Wars title. As first reported by Kotaku yesterday, the unnamed, open-world game was being developed by EA Vancouver, which took over development of the title after Visceral Games was shuttered more than a year ago. 

Since the game changed hands in 2017, details on its characters, mechanics, and place in the Star Wars universe have been essentially non-existent. From various reports, it's evident that Vancouver had scrapped nearly all of Visceral's Ragtag, the code name by which the project was originally called, and started on something mostly new.

According to a 2017 statement on the EA news wire written by Patrick Soderlund, who was EA's chief design officer when the game shifted from Visceral to Vancouver, the developer decided the best course of action was to "reboot" the game after the Visceral episode. It would shift from "a story-based, linear adventure game" a la' Uncharted to a more open-world experience that would, in some ways, include multiplayer elements.

At the time, Soderlund said the "pivot" would allow "for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining [sic] central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore."

With everything we now know about Visceral's closing, from unhealthy working conditions to gross internal strife and unrealistic expectations, it's no wonder that Ragtag was in utter disarray when Vancouver finally took complete control of the project in late 2017.

The game was, in fact, due for a significant reboot. 

However, the way in which EA sought to re-frame Ragtag, which eventually became known internally as Orca, was never very clear, and what was conveyed to fans led many to believe that this new, open-world version of the game would be saddled with unnecessary multiplayer elements and plagued with microtransactions.

If EA's maladroit handling of Battlefront 2 loot boxes and its stubborn stance on microtransactions is any indication, fans' fears most certainly would have been realized; there's a high probability that the re-tooled project would have suffered from the same, or similar, afflictions as its predecessors.  

While all of that is currently pure speculation, what isn't supposition is that Star Wars fans have spent years begging for a gripping single-player Star Wars experience. For some of these fans, there was hope that Vancouver's now-canceled project would, in some way, deliver on what they had been asking for. 

Now, none of that matters. 

When Battlefront 2 released on November 17, 2017, we praised the narrative for keeping "enjoyment and entertainment front and center." Regardless of that adulation, it was painfully obvious that EA simply tacked single-player on to a multiplayer-centric title in an effort to appease disgruntled fans. Woefully short and stuffed with a few too many fan-servicey asides, BF2's campaign ultimately serves as an excruciating tease of what could be. 

And what we all hoped Orca would be.  

For a company so obsessed with fan feedback and market research, it's utterly mind-boggling that nearly six years after striking an exclusive deal with Disney, we still don't have a full-fledged single-player Star Wars experience. 

Instead, we're burdened with two mediocre Battlefield re-skins that have been plagued with problems from the start. Consider for a moment that both Battlefront titles were released within 730 days of each other, and it's easy to see that EA's primary concern is getting games out fast, not making them the best they can be. 

In an update to the original Kotaku report released yesterday regarding Orca's purported cancellation, sources familiar with Vancouver's project have said that the open-world title would have contained single-player, story-driven elements. All things considered, that is certainly a promising prospect, one that shows EA is, on some nanoscopic wavelength, listening to fans and attempting to give them what they want. 

However, those same sources also conveyed that Orca was canceled by EA because it wouldn't release "soon enough." Jason Schreier, who is the primary reporter on the alleged cancellation, relayed that this may have something to do with the rumored launch of next-generation consoles sometime around 2020. 

While that is certainly conjecture at this point, the fact remains: If EA is shooting for a 2020 or 2021 release window for a reportedly "smaller-scale" game it hasn't even begun work on, Star Wars fans can once again expect a haphazard, unfinished mess that's been rushed out the door to meet an arbitrary quota. 

When EA can't even get Battlefield 5 right, there's little hope they'll ever get Star Wars right, especially on such short timelines.

As more reports funnel in on project Orca, it's likely that a complicated picture of events will only get more so. However, from all of this fumbling, something certain emerges: EA does not truly respect the Star Wars brand. 

I'm not talking about the hard-working developers, artists, designers, writers, sound engineers, and myriad other employees toiling away on these projects in the trenches. Instead, I'm talking about the executives that obviously have little insight into the brand they've been entrusted with.

Star Wars was supposed to make EA "cool again" in the eyes of many gamers. EA was a company that would harness the power of the Force to rediscover itself, shedding the mantle of "Worst Company in America." Where, in a fever dream, we thought botched or incomplete releases would be a thing of the past for EA and Star Wars, it's now clear that nothing was further from the truth. 

Fans don't deserve this mess, and EA doesn't deserve Star Wars

Thankfully, it appears the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will dump multiplayer for a single-player focused campaign. But are we simply getting our hopes up to be let down yet again? 

Help us Respawn Entertainment, you're our only hope — and EA's last chance to turn away from the dark side. 

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What the FTC's Loot Box Investigation Could Mean in the U.S. https://www.gameskinny.com/hg1mc/what-the-ftcs-loot-box-investigation-could-mean-in-the-us https://www.gameskinny.com/hg1mc/what-the-ftcs-loot-box-investigation-could-mean-in-the-us Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:23:12 -0500 Gabriella Graham

On Tuesday, November 27, Sen. Maggie Hassan called for the serious scrutiny of video game loot boxes from the Federal Trade Commission. Hassan said she requested the inquiry as an investigation into loot box marketing and its potential effects on children. 

Hassan also stated that the inquiry would work to educate parents on the potential dangers loot boxes pose as it relates to gambling and virtual chance. 

In response, FTC Chairman Joe Simons and fellow members of the FTC pledged, without hesitation, to investigate the matter of loot boxes.

The pledge, alongside recent developments in countries such as Belgium, could indicate upcoming regulations in the U.S., depending on the FTC's findings.

Gateway Transactions

Loot boxes are virtual items awarded at random in an increasing number of video games. There are two ways to acquire loot boxes in-game: using in-game currency or real-world money. 

Although many games do allow players to purchase some or all loot boxes with in-game money, that in-game money is often very hard to acquire, making the use of real-world money more enticing.  

Loot box "prizes" range from various in-game boosts to weapons to new characters, skins, and/or outfits. More often than not, loot boxes do not grant access to items that help players beat other players.

Although there are pay-to-win structures in place for some games, specifically in the mobile space, players typically buck against pay-to-win structures in most console and PC games, such as those originally found in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.  

When Hassan introduced concerns about loot boxes to the FTC, those concerns were not unique to the United States but rather common in the gaming industry. She reported:

Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smartphone games to the newest, high-budget video game releases. Loot boxes will represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022, according to the latest research estimates.

So why does this matter to the FTC? Primarily, the children.

The rising correlation between loot boxes and gambling may come as no surprise to seasoned players or anyone paying attention to the gaming industry as a whole.

Hassan reminds us that Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan have all already made moves to regulate the use of loot boxes. These efforts have been attempts to curtail gambling in younger generations.

To correlate this further, Hassan also cited that earlier in November, the United Kingdom's gambling commission reported that "30% of children have used loot boxes in video games."

To further drive this point home, Sen. Ed Markey cited the rise of manipulative marketing techniques in correlation to loot boxes. Although the game and character were not named, Markey pointed to a virtual character that continually cries if an in-game purchase isn't made, effectively manipulating some players (such as children who are more susceptible to such tactics) to make purchases they otherwise might not have. 

Talk about laying it on thick.

A Point of Contention

Hassan made claims that loot boxes constitute an "integral part" of video games.

Regardless of your personal opinion on chance-based revenue, this precise wording may become part of the debate and could influence FTC investigative findings.

It's true that titles like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 have been criticized for play-to-win structures. But not every game that features loot boxes punishes players' who don't fork over extra cash.

Consider Nintendo's response to digital revenue concerns. Back in June, Reggie Fils-Aimé, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, addressed the nasty reputation of loot boxes in an interview with Bloomberg.

He compared loot boxes to the same sort of chance kids have taken for decades with packs of baseball cards. This example is admittedly outdated, but his point still stands with cards for tabletop games like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Magic: The Gathering.

Fils-Aimé further differentiates loot boxes as a necessity versus an engaging option:

What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items. And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game.

Fils-Aimé isn't alone in his interpretation. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released a statement to Variety regarding Senator Hassan's assertions:

Loot boxes are one way that players can enhance the experience that video games offer. Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase. They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not.

Why the Definition Matters

Let's back-track for a moment and look at this from a slightly different perspective.

Sen. Hassan cited Belgium as an example of countries that have raised flags on loot box inclusions in games. Interestingly enough, the Belgian Gaming Commission (BGC) has emphasized how loot boxes alter gameplay experiences in their own studies, considering massive titles like FIFA 18 and Overwatch.

The stance it's taken could be bad news for the ESA if America follows suit; according to the BGC, "enhancing" the experience through loot boxes still equates to gambling, where the BGC defines gambling as "a game in which a cost from the player can lead to loss or win for at least one person, and where chance plays a role in the progression of the game, the winner, or worth of the winnings."

The concern then shifts to the possibility of how gained advantages manipulate players into making loot box purchases. Since children aren't known for their impressive impulse control, that temptation becomes more pronounced.

Some suggestions from the BGC for loot box regulation mirror those implemented by other countries, as well as those suggested by a range of psychologists.

They include:

  • player-spending limits
  • age verification methods to avoid targeting children
  • easy access to the odds of winning and the value of the rewards
  • clear indication on any and all titles that contain gambling

Depending on the FTC's findings, the United States could see similar adoptions of these recommendations. 

How do you feel about loot boxes? Are you hoping the FTC pushes regulation in the United States?

Share your thoughts and/or loot-driven horror stories in the comments.

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Halloween Events in The Star Wars Universe https://www.gameskinny.com/c36m5/halloween-events-in-the-star-wars-universe https://www.gameskinny.com/c36m5/halloween-events-in-the-star-wars-universe Wed, 24 Oct 2018 14:48:12 -0400 Zack Palm

What better to celebrate Halloween than to see it in a galaxy far, far away? Two notable events are happening in the Star Wars gaming universe, and they're happening in Battlefront 2 and the mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

Battlefront 2 event

In Battlefront 2, take part in new haunted maps on Mos Eisley, Endor, Kashyyyk, Naboo, and Kamino. These haunted maps change the game's traditional settings to a night-mode, creating the eerie feeling that you're about to run into an enemy around any corner.

The developers are also releasing the Death Star II and Jabba's Palace as playable areas, through this limited event. In the middle of it all, you'll also have the chance to earn double XP during a Double XP weekend. All of this starts on October 26th and continues until the 31st. Also, don't forget, General Grievous releases on the 30th!

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes event

Moving on to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, we have the Defense of Dathomir event. For fans of the Clone Wars television show, many of you may recognize the inspiration for this appearance. In this mode, General Grievous and Count Dooku are leading their droid army on Dathomir to do war against the Nightsisters. 

This 2-tiered event features players defending the planet from the droid invasion. The first tier rewards players with Mother Talzin shards and the second tier provides 2 to 4 Zeta Ability Materials. This event kicks off on October 30th and finishes on the 31st.

Make sure you're in-game to take advantage of these limited time events! We've also compiled a list of notable Halloween events happening in other games.

Be sure to visit GameSkinny daily to check out the latest in video game news and reviews.

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E3 2018: Did EA's Conference Signal a Change of Heart? https://www.gameskinny.com/pmqzc/e3-2018-did-eas-conference-signal-a-change-of-heart https://www.gameskinny.com/pmqzc/e3-2018-did-eas-conference-signal-a-change-of-heart Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:57:49 -0400 Edgar Wulf

For the better part of the previous decade -- and perhaps longer depending on how you look at it -- Electronic Arts has been gradually losing the trust of its fans.

There's no doubt EA is a monolith in the video game industry; with nearly four decades of experience, the company commands a vast legacy and owns an array of highly acclaimed franchises. It is among the biggest brands represented in gaming, period.

Alas, as Uncle Ben once said: "With great power, comes great responsibility" and while definitely multiplying its powers over the years, EA has undoubtedly neglected its core responsibilities.

It's in the Game(?)

EA's revenue for fiscal 2018 is reported to be north of $5 billion, with company worth totaling more than eight. The company's catalog of games is awe-inspiring with the likes of FIFA, Need for Speed, Battlefield, Dragon Age and Mass Effect, just to name of few on the tip of the iceberg.

Each of these games, and many more, are celebrated all around the world. So how come EA, despite seemingly noble efforts, is receiving so much hate from its community? How come players have become so distrustful of this corporate entity?

For starters, EA is so far the only conglomerate to have been deemed "worst company in America" by Consumerist for two consecutive years. Not only that, but EA was ranked against other companies which, arguably, had/have a much bigger impact on the world and its inhabitants -- and thus more total employees and leverage.

For instance, EA beat companies like AT&T, Ticketmaster, and even Bank of America to gain the infamous title as recently as 2013; it was also the only company to be nominated based exclusively on video game development and publishing that year.

Perhaps it's deserved. Perhaps EA's consumers were (are) simply more vocal about their opinions than others. Perhaps it was both. Nonetheless, the company earned its first title in 2012 and retained it for 2013. And it may have been because of a not so small reason. 

Monetise Me

Particularly at the beginning of the seventh console generation, EA shifted its focus from publishing games in beloved franchises -- most of which were significant in the context of the industry's long history -- to exploring new avenues of revenue. Games were no longer being made for fun; instead, the company was using the guise of "fun" to entice the consumer into a very specific trap: microtransactions.

Whether it was season passes, premium skins, special weapons, or other additional content -- and that's to mention loot boxes -- EA is not the only company to take advantage of the relatively recent advent seeking to monetize digital content. However, it is always at the forefront, always pushing the limit to see if the consumer notices a nimble hand in their pocket.

Unfortunately, it is now the norm for every EA game -- everything seems to have a season pass and/or offer a variety of downloadable assets. Games like FIFA are unimaginable without post-investment premium player card packs.

Perhaps I'm somewhat bitter because I never got Ronaldo, but I don't think I'm alone.

For a very long time, EA's business methodology has seemingly been tremendously anti-consumer. And there are many instances indicative of that: the always-online features of SimCity, the closure of many studios which didn't correspond to EA's plans of games-as-a-service, and most recently, the whole controversy with Star Wars Battlefront II.

Has anything changed recently?

EA at E3 2018 -- Somewhat of a Changeup

EA is not known for surprises; it is a predictable company with a similar plan each year. During its press conference at E3 2018, however, it did surprise slightly. Not in terms of games -- most of which were expected -- but rather in its approach to those games.

The conference began with additional details on Battlefield V -- no loot boxes, no season pass. It was a decision clearly made based on recent experience with games such as A Way Out, which, because of its success, showed EA games can be profitable without a plethora of add-ons. A battle royale mode is coming (not enough of that on the market), so it will be interesting to see how and if it will be monetized separately, but as of now, we know that BFV won't be additionally monetized.

After a short speech by CEO Andrew Wilson, Dennis Brännvall, Design Director behind Battlefront II, came to the stage to discuss the prospects of the somewhat maligned Star Wars game: "Clearly, we didn't get it quite right," he said.

He continued by addressing changes, new additions to the game, and upcoming content. He seemed genuinely excited and passionate about the franchise. So, if you're a Star Wars fan, there may yet be a glimmer of hope. Interestingly, there was no mention of loot boxes or microtransactions. 

Afterward, Patrick Söderlund, Chief Design Officer of EA, arrived on stage to make a surprise announcement for Unravel 2 -- a sequel to a reasonably successful platformer -- which was available for download on all major platforms straight away. He also affirmed the company's dedication to supporting small developers via its "EA Originals" program and welcomed Cornelia Geppert from Jo-Mei Games to present her most recent indie project -- Sea of Solitude.

Those are by no means big titles for EA, but they perfectly cater to anyone who is looking for unique experiences, without any content hidden behind a paywall.

Finally, right before the show's highlight event -- Anthem which, by the way, would include cosmetic-only loot boxes -- Andrew Wilson took to stage once again. Before touching upon a charity program "Play To Give", supported wholly by EA, he had this to say: "We are always trying to learn, and listen, and strive to be better".

This was no doubt in great regard to the mistakes made when releasing Battlefront II -- and perhaps to EA's recent ethos in general; it has all been heard before and is very typical of EA -- damage control and empty, unfulfilled promises.

But Did It Signal a Change of Heart?

All of this has hardly been praise of EA; their presentation was bland and predictable as ever.

However, the biggest takeaway is there were at least some minor positives to be taken away. It's nice to see that EA is still supporting smaller developers, giving them complete creative freedom. Josef Fares' A Way Out is a resounding example of that.

It's even more noteworthy that microtransactions and profits seemed to take a backseat to creativity, community engagement, and (perhaps even) fun this year.

It's entirely possible EA has merely entered a state of hibernation and is, once again, testing the public waters to see how much it can actually push the consumer without attracting a negative response. Only time will tell.

But I'm still somewhat hopeful. I'm hopeful that a once-respected company will manage to look past its wealth and will instead focus its attention on what's meaningful -- its fans and games, its ethos, and its legacy.

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What did you think of EA's presentation; where there any takeaways for you? Let us know in the comments below. And for everything that is happening at this year's E3, stay tuned to GameSkinny.

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Going Solo: Best Scoundrels Smuggled Into Star Wars Games https://www.gameskinny.com/ur2er/going-solo-best-scoundrels-smuggled-into-star-wars-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ur2er/going-solo-best-scoundrels-smuggled-into-star-wars-games Tue, 22 May 2018 14:31:25 -0400 Anthony Merklinger

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Han Solo

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Lots of Star Wars Games ... He's Been in Lots ... 
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A common trend in Star Wars video games is the use of heroes to tell engaging stories. These characters not only act as narrative vehicles that give players the opportunity to discover unexplored elements of the franchise’s current nine feature films, but they arguably serve as the template for character development as a discipline. In this regard, Han Solo is the scoundrel prototype by which all Star Wars scoundrels have evolved, and the Star Wars story would not be the same without him.

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Undeniably, Han Solo is more than just a character, but the symbolic manifestation of the franchise’s “third estate” -- the independent space privateer clinging to high-risk, high-reward opportunities with little to no regard for moral rights or wrongs.

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Scoundrels as playable classes offer a degree of emotional excitement unfound in Jedi or Sith paths, which can be attributed to the epic, fluid, and fate-defining adventurers of characters like Han Solo. Scoundrels, like Solo, act as free agents and can participate in a stronger and more satisfying character arc -- typically.

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---

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Is there a Star Wars scoundrel you believe helped elevate the franchise that's not on this list? Let us know in the comments below! As always, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more on Star Wars and the galaxy far, far away.

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Oh, yeah, and check Solo: A Star Wars Story. We've heard it might be pretty good. 

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

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Chewbacca

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Battlefront, Battlefront II, Masters of Teras Kasi
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Brute strength is not a trait one commonly associates with scoundrels featured in Star Wars video games, particularly characters who find themselves on the losing end of a Dejarik game; however, players have undoubtedly come to enjoy the piercing amicability and resourcefulness of the Wookie warrior Chewbacca -- the longtime friend of Han Solo and co-pilot of the infamous Millennium Falcon.

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What about this versatile character has enamored audiences throughout the franchise’s gaming history? Chewbacca remains an underdog, a hero of war-torn Kashyyyk, and a champion of an oppressed race. His ability to dispatch enemies with an array of explosives and the exceptionally accurate bowcaster has made him a standout powerhouse among blaster-wielding characters and even revered Force-users.

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Though Chewbacca’s gaming presence is limited compared to other heroes borrowed from the film series, his usefulness is no less prominent. From the Battlefront series to Disney Infinity 3.0, Chewbacca continues to be a vibrant Star Wars character that reminds players of the significance of camaraderie.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

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Dash Rendar

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Shadows of the Empire
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Born to a Corellian family, Dash Rendar -- the Imperial turned mercenary -- is one of the franchise’s early examples of developers breaking from established characters to create a story associated with the films. LucasArts’ 1996 third-person shooter, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, flexed Rendar’s rudimentary scoundrel abilities across 10 levels to defeat Prince Xizor, the leader of the Black Sun Syndicate.

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The Outrider captain’s limited video game presence underscores the archetype’s effectiveness in manipulating galactic events. Certainly, the Republic-Imperial struggle dominates the political atmosphere of the Star Wars saga, but Rendar and his scoundrel counterparts denote the underlying ebb and flow ultimately contributing to that conflict.

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Shadows of the Empire succeeded in crafting a believable Star Wars experience wherein the player had a direct hand in shaping the events surrounding the film series. With each new game title released, however, the scoundrel’s sophistication evolved to include grenades, flashbangs, self-healing abilities, and even protective barriers. Rendar’s inclusion in the franchise's gaming portfolio helped set the stage for future scoundrel player engagement.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/c/nico-okarr-917d1.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/c/nico-okarr-917d1.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184051","description":"

Nico Okarr

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Captain of the XS stock light freighter Redshifter, Nico Okarr is a legendary scoundrel and master escapist whose exploits rival those of Han Solo. His experience in the Outer Rim led to a successful flight from an embattled space station above Korriban -- a feat that would prove singularly responsible for preserving the Republic against a resurgent Sith Empire in the Great Galactic War.

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Scoundrels in Star Wars video games are indeed ubiquitous, but few champions rise to galactic stardom like Okarr. His actions, abilities, and general demeanor are consistent when compared to criminals from other franchise IPs; however, Okarr subverts the scoundrel tropes by displaying an uncharacteristic heroism in dangerous situations. Many scoundrel characters -- particularly enemy NPCs -- use exaggerated reputations to buffer or intimidate for self-preservation, whereas Okarr boasts pragmatism and skill over ego.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

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Hylo Visz

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Considered to be one of the most prominent scoundrels from the Old Republic era, Hylo Visz is a female Mirialan responsible for breaking the Mandalorian blockade of the Hydian Way: a major hyper-trade route between the Outer Rim and Core Worlds heavily used by the Republic.

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As each new Star Wars title seeks to achieve singularity in an overtly saturated franchise, Visz’s character is a sobering reminder that Force-users are not the be-all and end-all in the galaxy. In fact, Visz is perhaps one of the earliest examples of an independent actor to dramatically shift a major military power’s ability to wage war without using the Force. She is the paragon of adventure and glory, predating Han Solo by some 3,000 years.

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Her legacy in galactic history stresses the point that Star Wars games simply do not represent scoundrels to the degree to which Jedi and Sith are portrayed. Scoundrels represent the middle ground between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force, serving as ancillary vehicles to move a plot forward -- often in isolated incidents. Indeed, performing heroic actions for the purpose of earning cash loses its luster in the face of preserving millennia-held traditions.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/n/canderous-ordo-316b6.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/n/canderous-ordo-316b6.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184048","description":"

Canderous Ordo

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Knights of the Old Republic
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Canderous Ordo, the battle-hardened Mandalorian from Knights of the Old Republic, invigorates the Star Wars scoundrel archetype by imbuing the role with ceaseless commitment to self-evolution. As a man of challenge, the champion of Clan Ordo shies from the scoundrel’s distinctive charm, bringing a more aggressive, militaristic stance to the table that other scoundrel characters simply don’t.

In fact, Ordo’s single-minded Mandalorian philosophy dictates his motivation: resolution by combat.

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Ordo’s inclusion in the Star Wars gaming portfolio paves the way for future characters that wield strength over reason, such as Khomo Fett and Skadge, featured in Star Wars: The Old Republic; however, as many scoundrels will operate for the purposes of acquiring credits, Ordo, as a Mandalorian, seeks sport -- a quality that may perhaps blind him in regard to a character’s moral alignment.

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The antithesis of the famous quip “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Canderous Ordo is a seasoned gunslinger and an even more dangerous opponent.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/s/mission-vao-5f851.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/s/mission-vao-5f851.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184049","description":"

Mission Vao

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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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Many scoundrels in the Star Wars franchise have emerged from difficult situations with a few well-aimed blaster shots or by the sheer convenience of astromech droids. In the case of Mission Vao, however, cunning and intellect proved to be equally effective.

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From the thralls of desperation, the young Twi’lek girl forged a life in the slums of Lower Taris, capturing the scoundrel archetype’s instinctive motivation to survive and the unfortunate circumstances by which characters ultimately fall victim to the criminal lifestyle in the Star Wars universe. Where other scoundrels may succeed in brashness, Mission Vao retains interesting and unique mechanics that set her apart from other NPCs, particularly her uncannily optimistic disposition.

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Still, Vao’s character shows that even scoundrels who suffer loss and betrayal can be loyal to a fault, as exemplified by her actions in Knights of the Old Republic. More importantly, she adds credence to the efforts of female and alien characters in preserving the integrity of the galaxy.

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Image courtesy of Wookieepedia

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/t/intro-c8542.JPG","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/t/intro-c8542.JPG","type":"slide","id":"184047","description":"

For more than 40 years, the epic space opera Star Wars has dominated the mainstream, weaving its influence across the global tapestry as a cultural adhesive. With three film trilogies, two independent anthologies (including the yet-to-release Solo: A Star Wars Story), and countless television series, comics, parodies, musical performances, and video games, Star Wars and its respective worlds from galaxies far, far away have become deeply embedded in the cultural lexicon.  

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To say Star Wars would not be the same without its eclectic roster of scoundrels, however, is a gross understatement. Indeed, as scoundrels have shaped the political, economic, and social tones of the galaxy, we look back on some of the most influential scoundrels smuggled into Star Wars video games.

"}]]]>
The Trophy Dilemma: When Striving for Platinum Derails Enjoyment https://www.gameskinny.com/f68ce/the-trophy-dilemma-when-striving-for-platinum-derails-enjoyment https://www.gameskinny.com/f68ce/the-trophy-dilemma-when-striving-for-platinum-derails-enjoyment Wed, 04 Apr 2018 14:17:21 -0400 Miles T

Ding! Another bronze trophy pops up in the top-left of my TV screen, coupled with the usual sensation of satisfaction -- or is it more like mundane acceptance?

Choice or fixation?

Collecting and hunting trophies has been a very time-intensive hobby of mine since they were first introduced by Sony, building upon my already established eagerness to plow dozens of hours of my life into the virtual world and generally into video games. More recently, though, I've started to wonder if my desire to hunt trophies and hoover up those elusive platinum figures has been something I've actually wanted to do, or whether it's been driven by a more habitual, routine, or automatic instinct. Basically, I've been wondering whether I still do it because I enjoy it, or just because it's something I've become so used to doing that I don't know how to play any other way.

Early satisfaction, initial buzz

Following my dearly heartbreaking yellow light of death on my first PlayStation 3 (RIP Borderlands disc), I picked up a slim PS3 and had to create a new account, spawning a fresh start for my gaming obsession. The first 14 games I played on the new console were devoured by my attention and focus, and for each one I achieved Every. Single. Trophy -- including particularly rare platinums of Aliens vs Predator, Red Dead Redemption, and Alpha Protocol. Over the years, this trend continued, passing over into the PS4 era and into the present day, where I currently stand with 114 platinum trophies, and almost 9,000 total.

                       

Each time I heard that compulsive ping of the trophy sound, each time I saw that little gray icon, each time I worked towards getting that full blue or white bar on the trophy screen, I found myself getting excited, becoming notably enthused and experiencing a surge of motivation to keep playing and pushing forward. At the time, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the games I played (though not you, Brink; you were awful), and gathering up trophies felt like a rewarding way of showing my willingness to earn their completion, gleefully informing my school or college friends whenever I hit another milestone in my collection.

Indeed, trophies for me then were something to feel proud about, and I excelled at earning them like very few others around me at the time. I hadn't discovered PSNProfiles, trophy guides, or any of the related sites that are now so popular in people demonstrating their greater pull with the mini, virtual statues. Despite the allure of trophies, I still would play games I enjoyed simply because I enjoyed them. I fell into a roughly 360-hour abyss of MGS4's Metal Gear Online mode (and finished its campaign roughly 18 times, even earning Big Boss rank!), I had 6 days of play time on Modern Warfare 2, once getting an 81-0 record in a match. My point is, I remember those moments and single experiences more so than I do most of my recent trophy successes. Before, I could become wrapped up in an experience, whether it was good or shockingly terrible (looking at you, Stormrise).

Where did it all change?

Fast-forward to the current day, however, and my affinity for Sony's reward system has changed quite dramatically. No longer do I go into a game without having first consulted its trophy list, no more do I play through a game without having a consistent nagging feeling in my mind about a potential miss-able trophy. Within about five minutes of concluding and gobbling up all available trophies for the last two games I played through, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, I had purged them from my hard drive and was 75% through installing the next game on my backlog. I couldn't feasibly achieve Wolfenstein 2's "Mein Leben" trophy without dozens of hours of practice, and The Evil Within 2's platinum would require another three playthroughs for me to achieve. As such, I disregarded and ejected them from my console and my mind, despite me thoroughly enjoying them! In fact, I'd have rated The Evil Within 2 as one of my favorite games of 2017, and Wolfenstein: A New Order is one of my top-rated FPS games of all time, but its sequel didn't even get a second thought of another playthrough.

                 

Of course there are exceptions, notably The Last of Us and more recently, Nier: Automata, both of which I rate incredibly highly in my personal favorite video games. Ditto that for the entire Metal Gear Solid series, games where I've played and experienced every inch of their content, without even so much as a fleeting consideration of a trophy. Is it a coincidence that I remember these experiences so much more fondly and vividly than those in games like Star Wars Battlefront 2, where the excessive and ridiculous grind to its platinum actually soured my entire experience with the game? 

Conversely, the opposite has also been true for some of my trophy exploits. I definitely wonder whether I would remember the aforementioned The Last of Us as fondly as I currently do had I not bothered to replay the game twice more to earn the rest of trophies, or delved into its surprisingly enthralling online multiplayer. In this case, and in the more recent incidence of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the trophy list actively encouraged me to dive back into the game, immersing myself in its world all over again, honing my skills or giving me the opportunity to spot the details I may have missed the first time around. Unfortunately, this is also countered with a game like Tekken 7, where I put the bare minimum into the game to achieve its platinum, then deleted it before I even tried to master a character or any of the mechanics that were available. All of this was despite me being incredibly excited to play Tekken. But the trophy motivation wasn't there, so I moved on.

Just move on?

The solution seems to be fairly obvious: Simply stop caring about trophies. Go back to my old self, and focus on the experience rather than an artificial "reward" system, which doesn't actually offer any achievement other than personal pride (here in the UK anyway).

In some aspects, I've done so. I regularly play Rocket League with a friend; I purchased games like A Way Out and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice not with trophies in mind, but the overall package and what they could offer me in terms of an experience; and I would add I have never bought a game with the sole purpose of earning its trophies. Unfortunately, the pull of wanting to achieve their platinums was still there throughout, nagging away as a persistent annoyance and source of some minor frustration.

                          

I spent some time considering how this bothersome feeling was maintaining itself in my mind, noticing the frustration when a platinum proved out of reach, too time-consuming or just generally being too difficult to achieve. I don't have the time and the opportunity to play through games as much or as many times as I could when I was younger. Maybe this has also been coupled with the sheer ridiculous number of games released in 2017 and early 2018 that I wanted to pick up and enjoy, of which I still have about 10+ to play. My enthusiasm for gaming is clearly still present and accounted for, but maybe the expectation to earn each games trophy list has proved far too high to reach. Maybe this acceptance that I can't attain 100% completion or every platinum I want to is what's souring my experience of now earning the ones that I do.

A trophy still worth striving for

There are still times despite all of this when I very much value and appreciate those trophies that require my full skill set as a gamer or that test my abilities in order to prove I've earned the right to own them. The euphoria of earning both the Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat X platinums was palpable. Finally disarming the nuke to pop the last bronze on Metal Gear Solid 5 to earn my first MGS platinum after being a fan for years was fantastic. Those moments make earning trophies genuinely exciting and serve as a reminder that letting the excitement and motivation drive me to earn them, rather than the other way around, is the best way to get the most of its positive reinforcement system.

Perhaps this experience I've recently gone through with trophies is simply a change to my lifestyle, reflecting that I can't neglect my responsibilities and my time like I used to as a teenager. That I can't expect some virtual, artificial statue to provide me with the enjoyment and satisfaction that the game itself is offering, instead of expecting the reward in isolation to provide that enthusiasm.

                          

Time to lower expectations

Trophy hunting has become something of a big deal -- a quick look on PSNProfiles or other trophy-related website forums can testify to that. I'm no longer the top trophy earner of the people I know. In fact, I'm actually relatively low on trophy leaderboards, and that's all right. Perhaps it's time for me to return to actually enjoying earning those satisfying noises and blips on the screen, not enjoying the fleeting and passing moment of them popping. Time to get back to actually enjoying the games, and letting the trophies pop themselves.

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Loot Boxes Are Not the Issue — Gamers Are https://www.gameskinny.com/y72hc/loot-boxes-are-not-the-issue-gamers-are https://www.gameskinny.com/y72hc/loot-boxes-are-not-the-issue-gamers-are Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:58:49 -0500 SinOfApathy

Before you pull out your ritualistic, sacrificial knife: just hear me out.

The video game industry is a business, and businesses will always prioritize profit; otherwise, they will crash and burn.

So they will often put trends into practice whether that is a last man standing-style game or the much-dreaded loot box  because it works.

Perhaps one of the worst PR disasters of 2017 involved the terrible way that Star Wars: Battlefront 2 handled loot boxes: by having them actually affect gameplay, therefore creating a "pay to win" game. Even with all the bad publicity that followed, the game still made $7 million in sales and micro-transactions combined.

It's even more now, especially considering the game is regularly on sale across various storefronts. 

Blizzard's Overwatch, a game that first popularized the loot box system, made $1 billion by 2017, and as reported earlier this year, had reached another milestone: $1 billion just in micros.

That is a lot of money and a lot of loot boxes. However, the system here was well integrated, with the loot boxes rewarding purely cosmetic items — and not changing anything to do with the gameplay.

The two games mentioned above demonstrate that there is a wrong way to handle loot boxes and a right way to handle loot boxes.

Battlefront 2 may have flopped, according to sales expectations, but it still pulled in $7 million from sales and loot boxes just months after release. The latest Lord of the Rings-based game, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, also did well, even with including loot boxes in a single-player title.

If gamers detest loot boxes so much, why are we buying them?

The only explanations I can come up with are either:

  1. The majority of gamers don't have much of an issue with loot boxes and that the people complaining are a small group with a loud voice

  2. We don't even know what we want from game developers, and we purchase the products that we complain so much about anyway

It's clear that most companies benefit these practices, as gamers can and will spend over $100 on loot boxes (not including the initial price in most cases), which is far more than a game usually costs.

For a business, it is an obviously sound choice to include loot boxes in their game.

Recently, I wrote an article on Rainbow Six Siege and the price changes following the Outbreak event. When researching the topic, I found many conspiracy theories on how the price change was intended to avert eyes from the game's loot box-style system.

From all the information I had at the time, it didn't seem that bad, as there were 50 cosmetic-only items to unlock, and you couldn't get duplicates. So there was only so much you could spend on them.

We often see complaints that games are not venturing out of their comfort zones, but our money is far louder than our words  and our money disagrees.

For example, games in the Call Of Duty and Battlefield franchises held the top spots in sales charts for a while by refining the same game again and again, and as soon as they introduced a dramatic change in the core formula (as in Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Battlefield: Hardline), sales started to decline.

This is another possible piece of evidence that suggests the gaming community either doesn't know what it wants or that the people complaining are actually in the minority.

So what should we do about it? Well ... nothing. If you want to buy loot boxes, go ahead; if you don't, then don't buy them. But as long as people keep having the urge to purchase them, they are going to be here to stay even if they are being increasingly regulated

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More Updates on the Horizon for Star Wars Battlefront 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/7tnny/more-updates-on-the-horizon-for-star-wars-battlefront-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/7tnny/more-updates-on-the-horizon-for-star-wars-battlefront-2 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 15:11:17 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

Time for advances from a galaxy far, far away. With The Last Jedi season well underway, and with battles for space and resources raging between the First Order and the Resistance, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has released some information that any soldier should catch up on. Here are the updates from the EA blog:

  • We're working on a revamped progression system. Your feedback has been essential here, and we are preparing significant changes to progression that will address many of the things we've seen players asking for. We'll be sharing more details about these changes in March.  
  • A game mode called Jetpack Cargo is coming in February. Two teams of eight players equipped with jet packs compete in Jetpack Cargo, a frantic, fast-paced way to play. This mode will only be available for a limited time, so don’t miss it.
  • A new Season is coming soon. We’ve learned a lot from the first season of content for Star Wars Battlefront II, and we're integrating those insights into our plans moving forward. We know you’re waiting for details on what’s coming in the next season, and we’ll have more to tell you soon.

If you want more statistics on The Last Jedi season, check out the Battlefront 2 blog on EA's website. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars: Battlefront 2 news!

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 Patch Adds New Vehicles, Map Updates, and Other Improvements https://www.gameskinny.com/hq78f/star-wars-battlefront-2-patch-adds-new-vehicles-map-updates-and-other-improvements https://www.gameskinny.com/hq78f/star-wars-battlefront-2-patch-adds-new-vehicles-map-updates-and-other-improvements Tue, 23 Jan 2018 12:54:03 -0500 pithyalyse

Star Wars: Battlefront II’s first patch of the new year released last week, bringing with it an additional mode for one of the game’s newest map as well as an added hero vehicle among minor tweaks and updates.

Players can now battle it out in the game’s Blast mode, a 10v10 deathmatch to the first 100 kills, within the mines of Crait. DICE added the planet in December as part of Battlefront’s The Last Jedi Season event, coordinated with the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, during which Luke Skywalker stares down the First Order on Crait’s salt-strewn planes.  

And in Starfighter Assault, Iden Versio's TIE/In fighter has joined the fray. The modified TIE fighter features abilities that break missile locks (Afterburner), shoot laser barrages, and fire multiple torpedoes that track locked targets (Dual Proton Torpedoes).

Another ability, Inferno Leader, harkens back to Versio’s days as the commander of the Imperial Special Forces unit Inferno Squad. It alerts all allied players to enemy locations within a radius for the ability’s duration. These enemies also take increased damage during this time.     

Further details can be found in the patch notes, but other notable updates include:

  • Finn received nerfs to his EL-16 (from 65 to 45) and Deadeye shot (from 40 t0 30), but his cooldown time was similarly decreased.
  • Two trip mines can now be deployed at the same time, and they’ll stick around longer after the player’s death.
  • Boba Fett’s Rocket Barrage damage fell from 90 to 78 per rocket, as did its radius of impact.

Knowing EA, this is likely only the first of many patches to come in 2018, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your Star Wars Battlefront II news.

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2017's Biggest Gaming Controversies https://www.gameskinny.com/b402t/2017s-biggest-gaming-controversies https://www.gameskinny.com/b402t/2017s-biggest-gaming-controversies Sat, 23 Dec 2017 19:00:01 -0500 bazookajo94

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/5/1/551883-call-duty-wwii-loot-crate-9cd8e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/5/1/551883-call-duty-wwii-loot-crate-9cd8e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176480","description":"

So, clearly, 2017 wasn't our year in gaming. Bullying is still a problem, both by other gamers and apparently by the companies too, and everyone's out for a quick buck. Racism is still happening, and having quarrels over who stole whose idea is running amok in the threads of the internet. 

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Woven together, these controversies create a giant tapestry of hatred, greed, and apathy. 

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Where can people turn when what once served as a distraction from the harsh realities of the world becomes one of the harsh realities? 

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Suppose we could always just play Mario. He'll always be there for us.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-43fc4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-43fc4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176479","description":"

You're either the type of person who saves the best for last or the worst for last; in this instance, it's both. 

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Battlefront 2 stands at the forefront of 2017's biggest gaming controversies with their stance about loot boxes, their players, and their company policies. 

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Everyone and their mother has probably heard by now about the rigged Battlefront 2 loot crate and hero unlocking system as an obvious ploy for money. Players could grind for an unreasonable and nearly impossible amount of time, or they could instead just buy upgrades that have significant impacts on gameplay and progression. EA's initial response earned them the most downvoted comment in the history of Reddit (maybe even the world). 

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Obviously, that didn't go over so well with the community. 

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Threats of refunds and abandonment of the franchise caused EA to suspend their microtransaction feature, but no one's holding out hope that when it returns, they won't still have to pay money for features that should already be available to them in a $60 game. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/r/stronghold-metadata-image-23679.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/r/stronghold-metadata-image-23679.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176477","description":"

Apparently, if you wanna be considered a game these days, you gotta have loot crates. 

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But with so much strife surrounding the term "loot crates," it's a wonder how any game hopes to survive with them as an added feature. 

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Call of Duty: WWII brings their loot crates into the ring with a more "prestige" flair than money-grubbing, but for some reason, Call of Duty is also giving incentives not only for opening a loot box, but for watching another player open theirs, too.

\n

Though these boxes can be purchased with both real money or in-game currency, the whole ordeal feels perilously close to gambling, and the game's schemes are more about psychological manipulation than they are a blatant grab for money. 

\n

This instance is just another in a long list of reminders that modern gaming puts a lot more focus on a grab for money than they used to. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-b94b3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-b94b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176473","description":"

There's nothing quite like discovering that the system is rigged. You don't know whether to be outraged by the mistreatment or proud of yourself for finding it out (probably both). 

\n

That's certainly how players felt about the controversy surrounding Destiny 2 and the fact that during one of the game's experience boost events, players thought they were gaining experience as usual, when in actuality, Bungie was "throttling XP progress invisibly while telling players they were earning XP as usual."

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Because this process is tied to the game's microtransactions, needless to say, players felt that a ploy was afoot. Bungie rushed to fix the discrepancy, but once that kind of evil enters the world, it will never leave. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-5f1a2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-5f1a2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176471","description":"

This next controversy is best described as a hissy fit. That's right: a hissy fit. 

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When Fortnite released their own battle royale mode after the already successful PUBG, developer Bluehole, outraged, complained that Epic Games stole the idea from them and took legal action against them. This spurred on a whole debate over developers "owning a genre," as the concept of a battle royale is not an entirely original idea, and began a race between the two games for supremacy (and for a moment, the winner was Fortnite). 

\n

Though I haven't heard anything bad about either game, when one developer throws shade at another, people are probably more likely to side with the developers who aren't trying to own an idea. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/e/thelastofuspartii-pgw-5142b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/e/thelastofuspartii-pgw-5142b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176469","description":"

The Last of Us is a brutal game. It's rated M for a reason. Scary, bloody, traumatizing things happen in the game to both the characters and the players.

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These same scary, bloody, and traumatizing things happen in The Last of Us: Part 2 trailer -- and people didn't feel too good about it. 

\n

Though the first trailer is everything everyone's ever wanted out of a sequel for the game (Ellie playing a guitar and Joel calling her kiddo), the second released trailer had a lot more violence. Like, a lot more violence. 

\n

\n

In a Forbes article about the game, they mention that the needless violence of the trailer felt more like "shock value," while others argue that it's a grown-up game for grown-up people, and violence is okay. 

\n

Regardless of which stance someone takes about the violence, we won't really know for sure what to expect until the game's release. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/r/persona-listing-thumb-ps4-30jun16-3b07c.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/r/persona-listing-thumb-ps4-30jun16-3b07c.png","type":"slide","id":"176467","description":"

As an avid watcher of streamers and an eternal fan of RPGs, I was surprised that I hadn't seen much about Persona 5 until I started reading the lists praising it. 

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And then I found out about the streaming controversy surrounding it, and everything suddenly made sense. 

\n

After its Japan release, developers disabled Persona 5's PS4 share features in order to avoid spoilers for other players. As soon as the game was released worldwide, Atlus allowed shared footage (but still no screenshots), though players had to follow a few guidelines and read a few disclaimers first. 

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This was a valiant effort to try to keep the ending a surprise for the people who care about the storytelling experience, but there's no way to stop people from posting spoilers on the internet. 

\n

Let me reiterate: there is no way to stop people from posting spoilers on the internet, and if you try to stop them, you are going to have a bad time. 

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Just remember that, kids. Stay away from the internet if you don't want spoilers. Because even with the lack of footage I found for the game, if I really cared that much, I could have just Googled it. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-ccd3c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-ccd3c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176465","description":"

So far, the controversies I've mentioned have consisted of someone being punished because someone has been an asshole. This next controversy follows along that theme. 

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Following the release of Friday the 13th: The Game, players anticipated a unique horror game they could play with their friends in a scary environment. Instead, they dealt with the aforementioned assholes who would verbally abuse other players (including the threat of rape/sexual assault), racism, and exploitation, among other offenses. 

\n

Developers Gun Media took action against these malicious players, banning them from Friday the 13th -- which, naturally, made these players angry, as well as others who thought they were unfairly banned. Though Gun Media allowed players to come back if they were simply taking advantage of a bug that had since been fixed, for those who displayed verbal abuse and racism, their ban was not lifted. 

\n

So maybe our take-away lesson for this is to stop being an asshole.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-6902c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-6902c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176461","description":"

There's a fine line between people doing what they want and people taking that power and doing things they shouldn't. 

\n

Rockstar Games and their parent developers Take-Two tried to cross that line, and public outrage ensued. 

\n

Back in June, Take-Two issued OpenIV tools to no longer allow online players the modding feature in Grand Theft Auto 5, as they were using the mods to not only be malicious to other players but to "allow third-parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software."

\n

Though their ban was in noble pursuits -- trying to stop bullying and retaining a fun environment for all players -- taking away creative licenses from people who expect the gaming feature made quite a few players a little testy. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/o/yookalaylee-6c17d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/o/yookalaylee-6c17d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176457","description":"

Racism is bad. I can't believe we still have to say this in 2017. I can't believe we still have to tell people that they can't be racist. 

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And if a beloved public figure is racist, they are soon to be not beloved anymore. 

\n

Earlier this year, popular YouTuber JonTron released a series of comments reflecting his racist and political views. Upon discovery of the comments, Playtonic, developers of Yooka-Laylee, a game in which JonTron had a voice acting role, removed JonTron from the game. 

\n

It is refreshing to see a developer act so fast when a public figure does something wrong. 

\n

Let me reiterate: it is refreshing to see someone be punished for doing something wrong rather than keeping their position. 

\n

Good on you, Playtonic. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/starwarsbattlefront2lootcrate-66877.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/starwarsbattlefront2lootcrate-66877.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176296","description":"

Just when people started to think that 2017 couldn't get any worse, so close to the end, it, well, got worse. Though I am reluctant to bring more negativity into the world by mentioning the repeal of a basic human right, the loss of net neutrality is but another reminder that no one in a position of power cares what the public has to say anymore. 

\n

And when there are those who hope to avoid this negativity and distract themselves from the horrid way the year is ending by visiting a beloved pastime, they find they cannot even avoid the drama anywhere. 

\n

Yes, 2017 was a year for controversies in the gaming industry, with Battlefront II and PUBG taking the forefront near the end. Many of this year's controversies also dealt with corporate greed and lack of compassion for players (read: the public). 

\n

So I better get this article published before no one's allowed to read it anymore.

"}]]]>
Coolest Things That Happened in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/t6lco/coolest-things-that-happened-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/t6lco/coolest-things-that-happened-in-2017 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 14:37:18 -0500 Josh Broadwell

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SpecialEffect

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You might not have heard about SpecialEffect, a charity focused on providing ways for disabled people to enjoy video games as if they had no impediments. It's been around for ten years, yet as Christopher Dring of GamesIndustry.biz discusses, 2017 was SpecialEffect's best year so far.

\n

In addition to being in contact with more people than ever before about how the charity can help, this year's One Special Day fundraiser was the biggest on record. One Special Day is where developers and companies, including Sega, pledge to donate the full day's revenue to SpecialEffect, and many of this year's partners have already signed up for next year's event as well. It's a good reminder that aside from the competition, profits, and backlogs, video games are really about making people happy. And that, in this writer's opinion, is probably the coolest thing of all for this year.

\n

---

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2017 certainly wasn't short on major developments, events, and game releases. Naturally, we've only touched on a few of them here, so feel free to chime in with your coolest things from this year down in the comments!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-9ef5f.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-9ef5f.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"176255","description":"

Back from the Beyond

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It's not only 3D platformers that experienced a long-awaited resurgence, though. Sonic Mania marks the first well-received and well-constructed outing for Sonic in a long time -- too long, many fans would say. It manages to capture what made Sonic so popular back in the '90s without feeling stale, and one can only hope that it is a sign of things to come (especially if we forget about Sonic Forces).

\n

 

\n
\n

But there's more! Capcom's recent Mega Man 11 reveal was meant to show that the company is still dedicated to its rock-solid IP, intending to give the series a true resurrection, and not a halfhearted Mighty No. 9 attempt at it.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-28129.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-28129.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176234","description":"

The Resurrection of 3D Platformers

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After Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, lighthearted, charming 3D platformers essentially fell off the face of the Earth, replaced by the gritty realism and edginess inspired by Grand Theft Auto. But that changed this year. The excellent, though initially-not-well-received, Yooka-Laylee saw the rebirth of classic collect-a-thon, 3D platform gaming, but that was just the start of things to come. There were a number of others this year, some not quite so notable (*cough* Ginger *cough cough*) but many that were, including Poi. Oh, and there was that Super Mario Odyssey thing that a few people talked about when it first came out. If you count that as big.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-ab2ea.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-ab2ea.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"176233","description":"

E3 2017

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This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was the first to finally be open to the general public -- if one was lucky enough to get in. Apart from being a good means of marketing and generating profit, opening E3 to the public is a recognition of the fact that gaming is much more mainstream than it has been in ages past.

\n

And this year's expo was certainly one worth attending. For the first time in far too long, there was actual competition between the so-called Big Three, each of which showed off some fine titles and made us realize just how good it is to be gamers.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-ea18f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-ea18f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176232","description":"

The Loot Box Controversy

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Loot boxes themselves aren't cool, even though they have the potential to be. Many see them as representing everything wrong with the gaming industry. That's why this year's developments are especially noteworthy. On the political side of things, the EU and UK Parliament actually conducted separate investigations into whether the boxes constitute gambling, accompanied by a slew of complaints from gamers and parents pushing for greater regulation.

\n

Then there was the EA incident, where fan protests influenced the developer's decision to alter its plans, changing the Battlefront II situation into something slightly more palatable. Sure, the fact that it's a Star Wars game and thus has a huge fan base probably helped, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-d3ac1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-d3ac1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176231","description":"

The Game Awards 2017

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"What's so special about an award ceremony held every year?" you might be asking. This year was pretty extraordinary, though: Nintendo won Game of the Year for the first time. Of course, Nintendo fans will find that more interesting and exciting than anyone else. But, Horizon: Zero Dawn fans (and others) should still dry their eyes and clean their hankies.

\n

Even though Sony and Microsoft execs have been quoted as saying Nintendo invigorates the market so much that it's almost become trite, there's truth in those words. Nintendo won with a complete reimagining of one of its foundational franchises. Even if you aren't a Nintendo fan yourself, it still shows that the gaming industry is alive and thriving, unpredictable and dynamic. And that's something to be excited about.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-28283.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-28283.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176230","description":"

Xbox One X

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Nintendo wasn't alone in putting out a new console this year, and even though Microsoft's latest box isn't necessarily brand-new, it promises quite a bit of innovation. It's the most powerful system available and the only one that can deliver a true 4K experience.

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Granted, some believe you'd have to have a TV the size of your living room wall to really experience the difference between 4K and HD, but that's not the point. What matters for most is that it's a brand-new step that can only drive the industry forward in terms of visuals and technology in general, offering a different vision from Nintendo as far as what gaming can and should be.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-header-719e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/u/b/pubg-header-719e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176228","description":"

PUBG

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Despite not being the first of its kind, Brendan Greene's runaway hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (popularly known as PUBG) certainly set the standard for battle royale-style gaming and popular games in general.

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A couple of things in particular stand out about PUBG's success, one of them being the fact that the game wasn't even officially released before it started taking the world by storm. The other would have to be Greene's story itself, a modern-day rags-to-riches story that saw a father struggling to make ends meet suddenly become one of the best-known figures in the gaming industry.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/s/w/nsw-87b82.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/s/w/nsw-87b82.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176227","description":"

Nintendo Switch

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Of course, it'd be impossible to talk about 2017 without mentioning the launch and success of Nintendo's latest system. Not only does it combine console with handheld, but it actually manages to do a good job of it too, boasting an impressive first-year library of games to boot (and it's not even the end of its first year yet).

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However, it isn't just the system itself that should catch your attention. It's the fact that Nintendo managed to turn around four years of failure, learning from its many mistakes with the Wii U and re-entering the industry with a bang, demonstrating how important the relationship between a company and its consumers is. Not that there aren't still issues in that particular area, but it's a mighty fine start nonetheless.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-header-68263.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cool-things-header-68263.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"176265","description":"

2017 was a fantastic year for gamers. There are the obvious things, like Nintendo's massive success with the Switch and the rebirth of several franchises and genres, and then some not so obvious, including the success of a charity dedicated to helping disabled people. From Microsoft's most powerful console ever to the loot box controversy and everything in between, it's been a year full of companies and organizations actually responding to consumer desires, sometimes effectively -- as with Nintendo -- and sometimes not so much (that one's directed at you, EA). But in the end, amid the controversies and kerfuffle, it's really all about having fun. So with that in mind, here are our top picks for this year's coolest events, in no particular order.

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