News Category RSS Feed | News RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Population Zero Science and Technology System Outlined Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:07:50 -0500 William R. Parks

Since the beginning of the year, Enplex Games has continually shared new details on what players can expect from the company's upcoming survival MMO, Population Zero. The latest of these details concern the game's science and technology system, which will act as an opportunity for character progression.

Sciences provide an avenue for specializing a character in Population Zero, and there are currently four disciplines for players to focus on: chemistry, mechanics, metallurgy, and survival. Advancing in these areas will require exploration of the game's animals, plants, minerals, and more, and the chosen disciplines will inform what technologies are available.

These technologies materialize as schematics that will allow players to craft certain items. For example, someone that specializes in the chemistry and metallurgy sciences will have access to the "Steel Processing" technology, granting them the ability to "study steel weapon production" as they build their base.

As some will expect, technologies require resources to enact, but it seems that there is more going on here than a simple crafting system. That is, the developers have noted that the technology tree draws influence from the Civilization series, and "players can get an increase of one of their related technologies" when "exploring a technology."

Furthermore, it has been indicated that players will be limited in the number of technologies that they can master. One way that Population Zero does this is through its faction system — players may find themselves aligned with a particular faction that prohibits the study of a certain science, thus preventing them from obtaining the related technologies.

The reason behind such a limitation is that Enplex wants to encourage players to interact with one another in order to access the technologies that they may be missing. Specifically, it has been confirmed that players can share schematics with those that are not able to obtain them through their own scientific research.

While fans that are following the production of Population Zero may still be catching up on everything that the developer's have shared thus far, including details on how the title's unique art style is realized, Enplex is showing no signs of slowing down. It appears that the next word from the company will be on the game's quest system — information that will certainly be welcomed by a number of players.

More details on Population Zero's science and technology system can be found on the game's website.

Apex Legends Sets New Single-Day Twitch Viewership Record Thu, 14 Feb 2019 22:59:19 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends launched less than two weeks ago, and it has already reached a staggering number of total and concurrent players. Now, the free-to-play battle royale game can boast a new record, as it recently surpassed the single-day Twitch viewership record that was previously set by Epic Games' Fortnite.

On February 12, during the Apex Rivals competition, Apex Legends garnered 8.2 million cumulative viewing hours on Twitch. In this contest, 48 of Twitch's top streamers competed against each other, and fans were clearly interested to see the results firsthand.

Once upon a time — July 12, 2018, to be exact — Fortnite set the single-day viewership record, clocking in at approximately 7 million cumulative viewing hours on Twitch. This was achieved at the time of Season 5's launch, shortly after the title debuted on the Switch and when Fortnite mania seemed to be at its peak.

While Apex Rivals certainly bolstered viewership for Apex Legends, allowing it to quickly surpass Fortnite's feat, data suggests that the record might have been broken soon even without the streamed competition. That is, reports indicate that 6.9 million viewing hours were spent watching Apex Legends on February 10, and this number increased to approximately 7.1 million viewing hours the next day.

That level of viewership is right near Fortnite's record, and it occurred on days when only normal gameplay was being streamed. Time will tell what other records Apex Legends may break amidst the game's ever-increasing popularity.

More details on Apex Legends viewership can be found on Gamasutra.


Check out our other Apex Legends coverage for news, tips, and more.

Wondering if Apex Legends will ever be cross platform or have crossplay? Read our cross platform insight piece.

If you're new to Apex Legends and wonder which characters are the best and which abilities to focus on, head over to our Apex Legends character rank list and ability guide.

Just started Apex Legends? Our beginner's guide to winning faster lays out some great tips. And if you're looking for the best guns, we have that, too.

We also have recommended landing spots, recommended PC settings, and the seven best loot locations in Apex Legends.

Sealed Super Mario Bros. Sells for Record-Breaking Price Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:22:07 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

People collect video games for various reasons. Some do it for the nostalgia, some simply love collecting, and some collect to eventually sell — ideally for a good price.

One copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES recently sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas for a tidy sum. Although, that isn't anything to be too surprised about.

Heritage Auctions has been selling collectibles for years and recently started selling collectible video games, most of which bring in anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

But this particular copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for $100,150 on February 6.

It's worth noting that this was a joint purchase, including Heritage Auctions founder Jim Halperin; Zac Gieg of Just Press Play Video Games; and Rich Lecce, an up-and-coming game collector and renowned coin collector. However, the sum is still staggering. 

Apart from the record-breaking sale, there are a number of factors that made this copy of the game very special. Kenneth Thrower, chief grader and co-founder of collectible video game grading company Wata, said, "Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation."

During the days of the NES, Nintendo didn't have a set method of packaging its products. In fact, the company went through several different box styles, sealing methods, and seal of quality prints over the system's lifespan.

The first method is known as the sticker seal. Instead of shrink wrapping boxes, Nintendo used a small black seal with the word "Nintendo" on it to seal boxes shut. This method was only utilized in test batches of the NES distributed in New York in 1985 and Los Angeles in 1986, making it quite rare indeed.

Image via Wata

It's so rare, the copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold is the only known copy with the seal intact and the box in high-quality condition; Wata actually rated it "Near Mint" condition, with a 9.4 Sticker Seal rating.

That's impressive for a non-shrink wrapped game, according to Thrower. He said, "Not only are all of NES sticker sealed games extremely rare but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap, they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years."

There are other details making this copy so special as well. Being one of the Sticker Seal copies, it also has a hangtab — a cardboard hanger stores could use to display the games, only used on the Sticker Seal games.

It also features the round Seal of Quality, not quite as rare as the other two aspects, but still something indicative of Nintendo's early days.

It's rarity and fine quality aren't lost on the buyers, either. Gieg said:

This is the first appearance of Superman of video games. We all knew how hard it is to find an open copy of this version in nice condition, but to find one still sealed is truly something I thought I would never see, even after selling vintage video games for over 20 years.

Lecce, the third buyer, predicts interest in quality collectible video games like this will only continue increasing, what with video games and their characters permeating culture like never before, such as with the upcoming opening of Universal's Nintendo theme park and various game-themed films.

Stylized Mech Action Game Astral Chain Announced For Switch Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:06:02 -0500 QuintLyn

Yesterday, during the Nintendo Direct stream, a new title from Bayonetta and Nier Automata developer Platinum Games was revealed. Titled Astral Chain, the game is set in a near-future city known as the Ark, where giant creatures, somewhat reminiscent of the angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion, appear to have run amok.

It's a classic story: Citizens of a multi-cultural futuristic city are going on about their lives when a dimensional rift opens up letting giant scary creatures in to wreak havoc.

To combat this, the police force creates a special police unit known as Neuron. And that's where the players come in to take on the role of an officer who is literally connected to a living weapon known as Legion by an astral chain. This weapon can transform into various mech types, two of which we've seen in the debut video, one more humanoid and another more dog-like.

The astral chain keeps them tied together so that they may execute moves that involve one of them tossing the other at the enemy, or working together to wrap their opponent in a chain. Interestingly, the combat seems inspired by an old PlayStation 2 game called Whiplash. Although, in that, you play as a weasel chained to a rabbit, and you can use the chain for more than fighting.

The game's unique combat allows players to direct Legion to attack specific creatures during battle. This means that the duo can attack a single entity together or they can fight two different opponents.

For the more strategically minded, there's also the option to send Legion in to do all the heavy lifting while the player character stands back and doles out support items.

For those wondering: Yes, you can choose your player character. At the beginning of the game, you can pick between a male or a female. Whichever character you don't pick appears in the game as a member of Neuron and as your younger sibling.

The game also includes a two-player option for those wanting to bring along a friend.

Astral Chain is slated to launch on Nintendo Switch on August 30.

Recap of Announcements from February Nintendo Direct Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:48:57 -0500 Ceedi

Yesterday, Nintendo held its first Nintendo Direct of 2019. During the 35-minute presentation, the company unveiled quite a few games, as well as the release windows for some future Switch titles.

There were also new details on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and the surprise unveiling of a Zelda remake.

Here is a quick recap of the announcements from the direct.

  • Super Mario Maker 2 was revealed and is planned for release in June 2019.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was revealed, confirmed to have online co-op and launch this summer.
  • The 3.0 Update for Super Smash Bros Ultimate is planned for this spring, with the Persona 5 DLC pack coming before April.
  • BoxBoy + BoxGirl was revealed. The game features 270 stages and two-player co-op.
  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for Switch received an update that adds co-op; paid DLC is coming that adds 18 courses. A pre-purchase is available today that gives early access to one of the DLC stages.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is scheduled to release this summer.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 is set to release July 12.
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition is set to release this fall.
  • Disney Tsum Tsum Festival was announced; it is scheduled for release later this year.
  • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: EVERY BUDDY! is set to release in March.
  • Starlink Battle for Atlas' next update will introduce Star Wolf squad and the rest of the team to Star Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy.
  • A Rune Factory 4 remake for Switch was announced.
  • Rune Factory 5 was revealed to be in development.
  • Oninaki, an action RPG from Square Enix, was announced; it is set to release this summer.
  • A Yoshi’s Crafted World demo is available now; the game is set to release March 29.
  • Fire Emblem Three Houses is set to release July 26.
  • Tetris 99 is available to download now. The game is a free-to-play battle royale where 99 players compete for supremacy.
  • Dead By Daylight is planned for release this fall.
  • Deltarune Chapter 1 is set for release for free on February 28.
  • A Daemon x Machina demo is available now; some participants will be sent surveys to give feedback on the game, which is set to launch this summer.
  • GRID Autosport is set to come to Switch this summer; the release will include all DLC.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is set to release on the Switch this spring.
  • Mortal Kombat 11 is set to release on April 12.
  • Unraveled 2 is set to release o nMarch 23.
  • Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered was announced; the release also includes the game Assassin’s Creed Liberation; it is set to release on May 21.
  • Final Fantasy VII is set to release on the Switch on March 29.
  • Final Fantasy IX is now available on the Switch eShop.
  • Astral Chain, a new Action game by Platinum Games, is set to release August 30.
  • A remake of the Game Boy classic, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, is due out later this year.

The latest Nintendo Direct provided a solid layout of the releases coming in spring and summer 2019.

However, notably absent were a few titles that are scheduled for this year, like the new Pokemon RPG for Switch, Luigi's Mansion 3, and the new Animal Crossing. There were also no games announced for the Nintendo 3DS.

It is very likely that further details for these games will be announced later this year at Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation.

Hollow Knight Sequel Announced For PC And Switch Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:22:51 -0500 QuintLyn

Today, developer Team Cherry officially revealed its next gameHollow Knight: Silksong, the sequel to 2017's Hollow Knight. The followup to the popular Metroidvania platformer takes the princess-protector of Hallownest to new lands where she'll discover new powers and battle all-new creatures.

The game takes place in a "kingdom haunted by silk and song". Hornet finds herself there against her will after being captured. But she can't wallow in self-pity, as even in this new land there are others to help.

Throughout Hollow Knight: Silksong, players will explore unique lands ranging from coral forests to gilded cities, all on their journey to the citadel at the top of the world. They'll also fight over 150 new enemies, including rare beasts, assassins, and monsters. And they'll craft weapons, traps, and more in order to defeat them.

When players complete the game, that won't be the end of it, though. Once they complete the main goal, players will have access to a new mode that offers them even more challenges.

Hollow Knight: Silksong started out as DLC for the original Hollow Knight game, but as the developers worked on it, it became obvious it was becoming too big to be just that. So, Team Cherry took their time and developed it into a full game.

That game will soon launch on PC  including Mac and Linux  and Nintendo Switch. The game may be made available for other platforms in the future, but the developers remind everyone they're just a three-person team, so it may take a while.

In the official game announcement, Team Cherry had great news for everyone that backed the original game. All 2,158 original backers will be getting a copy of Hollow Knight: Silksong for free.

Backers who donated more than $7 ($10 AUD) will get a choice as to whether they get their free copy on PC or Nintendo Switch.

Download First Deltarune Chapter For Free On The Nintendo Switch Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:59:30 -0500 QuintLyn

Deltarune, the successor to Toby Fox's highly popular title Undertale, is making its way to the Nintendo Switch. On February 28, the first chapter of the game will be available to download, for free, with subsequent chapters to follow at an unknown price. 

Nintendo teased Deltarune's release on its platform today, showing a video during the Nintendo Direct event. Fortunately for those that want to play the game without any information, most of the trailer is covered in dogs, so there aren't any spoilers. Actually, I'm not sure any of the scenes in the video are in the game.

This isn't the first time content for Deltarune has been made available for free, as Fox released the first chapter to PC players last year following some mysterious social media activity. It also appears that it will not be the last time, as Fox tweeted on the Undertale account today with indication that the game is getting a PS4 port too:

All three systems will see the rest of the game roll out in chapters, and yes, those will have to be paid for. As with any good drug, the first hit is always free.

Square Enix RPG Oninaki Revealed During Nintendo Direct Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:50:32 -0500 QuintLyn

During today's Nintendo Direct, a new JRPG from Square Enix's Tokyo RPG Factory was announced. Titled Oninaki, the game tells the story of a Watcher, a member of an organization known as the Veil Watch.

The Watchers maintain order between the realms of the living and the dead by traveling between the planes and battling souls that have gone astray. In Oninaki, the dead are restored to life through reincarnation, but a soul that is mourned for may feel regret. Those that regret go astray and become monsters.

When a player defeats these monsters, and rescues the souls within them, they can then take on the powers of those souls and "manifest" them during battle — the game's version of a class system. Players may switch between these souls and will need to figure out which soul is best to use during any given situation.

Oninaki is the third game to come out of Square's Tokyo RPG Factory since  it launched the subsidiary. The other two titles are I Am Setsuna, which released in 2016, and Lost Sphear, which came out in 2018.

Oninaki is set to release on the Nintendo Switch this summer.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Detailed at Nintendo Direct Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:43:38 -0500 QuintLyn

Among the games coming to the Nintendo Switch this summer is a new take on the genre of side-scrolling gothic horror RPGs in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. A teaser was revealed for the game during today's Nintendo Direct stream.

This new game, from ArtPlay and 505 Games, is set in 19th century England. In the title, players take on the role of a cursed orphan, named Miriam, as she fights her way through a demon-infested castle in order to save herself and humanity.

Thanks to her curse, Miriam boasts some unique abilities. Not only is she able to steal the abilities of the creatures she's fighting, but she can also bend gravity to her will, adding an extra layer of depth to the side-scrolling mechanics. In addition, she can zip around portions of the castle in a beam of light.

This is the first real news we've had on the game since the Nintendo Switch version was delayed back in August. When 505 Games global brand manager Roberto Piraino announced the delay, he apologized, stating that players could "trust that this really is in the best interest of the game." He continued:

We assure you we're using the extra time to make Bloodstained even better, based on [players'] input.

The finished version of the game consists not only of the primary story, but there are side quests that help flesh out the main narrative. It also allows for character customization, which NPCs will comment on.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night began life as a Kickstarter project from Castelvania Series Producer Koji Igarashi. During its fundraising period, it brought in $5.5M from nearly 65,000 backers.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Revealed for Nintendo Switch Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:26:31 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The last announcement of today's Nintendo Direct was a reveal trailer for a Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The trailer offered several gameplay snippets and a release window.

Specifically, this new take on The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is set for release in 2019, but no other details on a release date are available at this time. Furthermore, Nintendo did not provide specifics on whether the game is simply a port of the 1993 title, with updated graphics, or if it contains new features.

In the trailer, Nintendo showed off several iconic areas from Koholint Island. This includes Mabe Village, Goponga Swamp (the area outside Bottle Grotto), Kanalet Castle, Toronbo Shores, and the Mysterious Woods, complete with Link's owl guide, Kaepora Gaebora.

The game's famously quirky approach appears to be kept intact as well. The trailer features the original side-scrolling areas, Goombas appearing in dungeons, and bosses like the Genie.

No information was given about the graphics engine. However, the trailer showcases a cartoonish art style used for the characters and monsters uniquely mixed with high definition effects for things like the trees, grass, lighting, and water.

Dragon Quest XI S Definitive Edition Gets A Switch Release Window Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:05:56 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Dragon Quest fans only recently started receiving details on a Switch version of Dragon Quest XI, but today's Nintendo Direct had more to offer on the matter. Specifically, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Definitive Edition is now set to release on Switch this fall.

The Switch version of Dragon Quest XI boasts a number of new features, including dual audio that will allow players to change between English and Japanese voice actors at any time. Furthermore, Dragon Quest XI S is the first time the game delivers a fully orchestrated score, though players can switch to the original score at any point, if they so choose.

Despite these changes, the game's main storyline remains the same. That is, the hero of Dragon Quest XI bands together with a ragtag group, known as the Luminaries, as they evade their mysterious hunters and track down the cause of the darkness plaguing their land.

However, the Switch release will also contain new stories, one for each party member. These tales will place secondary characters in the spotlight, revealing hidden truths and new information about them.

Super Mario Maker 2 Revealed During Nintendo Direct Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:46:51 -0500 QuintLyn

A sequel to Nintendo's Super Mario Maker is on its way, with Nintendo revealing Super Mario Maker 2 during this afternoon's Nintendo Direct presentation. This announcement was accompanied by a trailer highlighting some of the things that players will be able to do when creating their very own Mario levels in the new game.

Fans can build a wide range of levels in Super Mario Maker 2, including old-school 8-bit Mario offerings as well as more current 3D-style ones. All of these levels will be side-scrollers, and, in a major improvement over the original game, players will now be able to create slopes for the very first time.

The trailer further revealed all of the creatures that players can make use of, along with various mechanics. It even seems possible that two players might be able to work together on a level, as, near the end, both Mario and Luigi are shown in construction uniforms.

Super Mario Maker 2 will release exclusively on the Nintendo Switch in June of this year. It will be the first new entry in the franchise since Super Mario Maker launched on the Wii U in 2015, although a version of this original title was released for the 3DS in 2016.

Both versions of the game were received fairly well, with the Wii U version of the title earning an 88 out of 100 on Metacritic and the 3DS version coming in a bit lower at 73 out of 100. The game also won several awards, including "Best Console Game Nintendo Wii" and "Best Social/Casual/Online Game" at Gamescom as well as "Best Family Game" at the 2015 The Game Awards. It won two technical awards from NAVGTR, and it was nominated for several more.

Since the original launched in 2015, players have created over 7 million courses, and they have been played more than 600 million times. As such, today's announcement should mean that a lot of Mario fans are going to be having a lot of fun very soon with Super Mario Maker 2.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Release Window Delayed, New Details Revealed Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:20:33 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Nintendo provided a bevy of new details on Fire Emblem: Three Houses during today's Nintendo Direct. Amongst these details was the news that fans will have to wait a little longer than expected to enjoy the new entry in the franchise, as Nintendo has pushed the game's release date back.

Initially promised for a spring launch, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is now set for release on July 26. Nintendo indicated that the title is being delayed in order to polish it.

Additionally, the company used the presentation to offer further details on the game. While no concrete information was provided about the overarching story, it is now known that players will choose their avatar character and begin life as a mercenary in their father's mercenary group. As the story unfolds, players will find themselves acting as a professor at the Garreg Mach Monastery, a center for religion, combat, and education.

From there, players will choose one of three heroes to teach, each representing a specific house at the school and, by extension, one of the nation's major powers. They are Edelgard of the Adrestian Empire and Black Eagles House; the Blue Lions House leader, and prince of Faerghus, Dimitri; and Claude from Leicester Alliance and Golden Deer House.

The professor will also take other students under their tutelage, traveling throughout the land of Fodlan to fight bandits, suppress rebellions, and, sometimes, work alongside the Seiros Knights, a branch of the Church of Seiros. Part of this process will involve training each student in their use of weapons and magic, plus skills like horsemanship.

It isn't clear whether units will be tied to specific weapons, as in previous Fire Emblem games, or if they can switch between them. However, training, studying, and passing exams will serve to boost proficiency and experience, and students will form bonds with one another, and their professor, through various skit-like events. These bonds will help boost combat power, though what other purpose they serve is yet to be revealed.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses will also be available as a special edition, titled the "Seasons of Warfare Edition." This will include a steel book case, calendar, art book, and soundtrack featuring selections from the game.

New Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order Details Revealed Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:57:14 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

One of the surprises out of last year's Game Awards was the announcement of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, the first game in the series in almost 10 years. During today's Nintendo Direct, more details about the title were revealed.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order releases in June 2019 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The game brings together a massive cast, with characters from The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and more, but there is a main character that the title focuses on: the ultimate cosmic defender, Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is a 4-player game, and players can team up as they take on Thanos and his team of galactic warmasters, the Black Order. In order to stop the supervillain, these teams will need to find mysterious Infinity Stones before Thanos does, and they will venture to locales like the X-Mansion during their search.

In the process, players will level up their heroes and learn new skills, which will allow them to devastate foes on the ground and in the air with Hero Skills and each unique Alliance attack. While individual heroes will continue to get stronger through this system, teaming up for attacks is a core component of Marvel Alliance 3's gameplay.

For example, Hero Skills can be combined with other heroes' moves to create more powerful attacks. Furthermore, if you combine Alliance attacks with other heroes, you can pull off Alliance Ultimate Extreme attacks and wipe enemies from the field.

There are two ways of playing multiplayer in Marvel Alliance 3: sharing Joy-Cons or using local wireless. All four players can also choose to share the same screen when playing cooperatively, or everyone can play on their own individual systems.

The game can be enjoyed with two unique camera modes. One is the normal third person camera and the other is the dynamic Heroic Camera, which zooms in and emphasizes the action taking place.

These are all of the details Nintendo has shared for now. However, expect more information as the summer release date gets closer.

Blizzard Has No Major New Releases Planned For This Year Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:28:29 -0500 QuintLyn

Despite what many may have been hoping for, Blizzard has announced that it has no plans to release Diablo 4, or any other major new titles, this year. This news comes as part of a recent Activision Blizzard earnings call, during which the company noted seeing "record results" in 2018 while simultaneously laying off 8% of its staff.

As it turns out, some of these layoffs may be attributable to a projected decrease in financial performance for Blizzard, which is tied to the fact that the company has no major releases planned for 2019. That is, World of Warcraft won't be getting a new expansion, nor will fans of the Diablo franchise see anything new over the next ten months.

It should be noted that the lack of a WoW expansion this year isn't all that surprising. The game's last expansion, Battle for Azeroth, launched in August of last year, and there's typically a two year wait in between these types of releases.

However, the lack of anything in the Diablo franchise will likely be the most disappointing thing for Blizzard fans. Yes, Diablo Immortal is on its way, but, as has been made abundantly clear, that's not what many long time fans were hoping to be playing this year.

This is not to say that Blizzard isn't working on either of these things. The next World of Warcraft expansion is likely in the planning stages, if not actually being worked on, and Blizzard has had job listings for an unannounced Diablo project posted since they revealed Immortal. Indeed there's a chance that we'll hear something about these titles during BlizzCon in November.

This news also doesn't mean that there won't be anything at all coming out of Blizzard this year. As was pointed out during the call, World of Warcraft Classic will arrive this summer and Warcraft 3: Reforged will hit later in the year.  Technically, these releases are not entirely new content, but they are things that fans have been asking for over the years. Additionally, it's likely that we can expect smaller content releases for some of Blizzards other games as well.

More details on the Activision Blizzard earnings call can be found on Polygon.

HyperX And 1,000 Dreams Fund To Offer Grants To Women Seeking Esports Jobs Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:47:17 -0500 QuintLyn

HyperX, a manufacturer of a wide range of gaming peripherals from headsets and mics to mice, announced a new partnership today. The company is teaming up with the national non-profit 1,000 Dreams Fund to provide nine young women pursuing careers in esports and gaming $1,000 microgrants.

This partnership is an expansion of the BrodcastHER Academy Powered by HARMAN program announced at E3 in June of 2018, and in collaboration with Samsung subsidiary HARMAN and Allied Esports.

Together, the organizations are launching the first BrodcastHER Academy Challenge today.

During the next four weeks, women seeking careers in esports and gaming can enter for a chance to win one of the nine available microgrants along with an all-expense paid trip to the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. During the trip, the recipients will have the opportunity to work with the productions and executive teams on an esports event.

Those wishing to apply for one of these grants will be able to enter via a photo challenge on the 1,000 Dreams Fund microsite or Facebook. Any U.S.-based college-aged woman 18 years of age or older may enter by submitting a photo that showcases their talent, commitment, and interest in gaming and/or broadcasting careers.

The first winners will be announced February 18, with more being revealed February 25 and March 3. The three final winners will be announced on March 15 during a live event at the HyperX Esports Arena.

The 1,000 Dreams Fund has provided more than $100,000 in scholarships to young women looking to further their education since it first launched in 2015. The organization's aim is to help these women with the extra expenses associated with college education, including exam fees, tutoring services, and book purchases.

More than 100 women have received funding to pursue a wide range of programs.

With the creation of the BroadcastHER program, the 1,000 Dreams Fund is expanding its focus to women hoping to become part of the ever-growing esports and gaming industry.

Sony Is 'Open For Business' On Cross-Play, Devs Feel Otherwise Wed, 13 Feb 2019 10:34:17 -0500 William R. Parks

Over the years, Sony Interactive Entertainment has shown a great deal of reluctance in allowing PlayStation 4 owners to play multi-platform titles with players on other consoles and PC. While a recent interview with SIE Chairman Shawn Layden suggests that the company is now open to facilitating cross-play, a number of developers have come forward indicating otherwise. 

Speaking with Game Informer, Layden says that while some players may be questioning why Sony does not allow games other than Fortnite and Rocket League to support cross-play, the company is "open for business on this one." He continues by explaining how a title should go about pursuing cross-play as an option:

All it takes is for publishers and developers who wish to permission it. As ever, just work with your PlayStation account manager, and they will walk you through the steps that we’ve learned through our partnership with Epic on how this works.

While this seems to be a straightforward process, certain developers are suggesting that this is simply not the case. For instance, the CEO of Chucklefish took to ResetEra, the home of a popular forum for video game discussion, to elaborate on the company's experience trying to get cross-play support for its new turn-based tactics gameWargroove.

"We made many requests for cross-play (both through our account manager and directly with higher-ups) all the way up until release month," Chucklefish's CEO claims, but it seems that these asks were ineffective. "We were told in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen."

Furthermore, it is indicated that Chucklefish could have cross-play working for PlayStation 4 players with the "toggle of a switch." This may leave some players wondering why Sony would simply not allow them to do so.

A recent tweet from Hi-Rez Studio CEO and President Stew Chisam suggests that the reason is that Sony is "playing favorites" with what titles are given cross-play support, despite Layden's statement that he doesn't believe there is "any gating factor." As with Wargroove, Chisam additionally indicates that his company has SmitePaladins, and Realm Royale ready for cross-play.

Regardless of the reasons for Sony's reluctance, some fans are certain to be disappointed to hear that the company is still withholding cross-play support from eager developers. Perhaps Layden's remarks mean that a change is indeed on its way to the company, but Chucklefish and Hi-Rez's statements do seem to suggest that it has not yet arrived.

The interview with Shawn Layden can be found on Game Informer. Chucklefish's CEO's statement can be found on ResetEra. Stew Chisam's statement can be found on Twitter.

Activision Blizzard Announces Layoffs of Almost 800 Employees Tue, 12 Feb 2019 21:23:42 -0500 QuintLyn

Over the past week, rumors have been circulating that "hundreds" of Activision Blizzard employees would be laid off this week. As most that were aware of these rumors suspected, they were true.

Today, during an earnings call, the company announced it would be letting 8% of its staff go. That's approximately 800 employees total across Activision, Blizzard, and Candy Crush company, King. 

The interesting thing is that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told investors on the coll that the company received "record results" for the year. In fact, during its fourth quarter, the company brought in $7.26 billion from physical and digital sales. That's up from $7.16 billion in 2017.

Despite these results, Kotic said he felt the company missed the mark when it came to meeting the expectations set forth for 2018. Because of this, the company will be cutting personnel not related to game development. According to Kotaku, that includes Blizzard publishing and esports.

As it turns out, the layoffs also impact community management and social media staff. Robert Taylor, a PR staffer at Activision Blizzard, was let go after 12 years with the company.

In the wake of the layoffs, #gamedev and #gamejobs are once again trending on Twitter, with developers encouraging anyone affected to apply with them. So far, Riot Games, Ready At Dawn, Hinterland Games, Sumo Digital, 2K Games, and many others have tweeted their current openings.

Prior to the announcement — and in reaction to the rumors  individuals compiled a list of developer job listings in a handy Google Docs file.

The list is being constantly curated and updated.

World War Z Gets Release Date, PC Version Will be Exclusive to Epic Games Store Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:54:35 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Although Paramount Pictures might have unceremoniously killed the cinematic sequel to 2013's World War Z, the eponymous co-op third-person shooter based on the property is alive and well. 

Coming after a spate of recent announcements highlighting the World War Z's classes and PvPvE game modes, Saber Interactive revealed today that zombie-infested title will release on April 16 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One for $39.99. 

Tacked on to the announcement was confirmation that the PC version would follow in the footsteps of both The Division 2 and Metro Exodus by leaving Steam behind. Indeed, World War Z on PC will be an Epic Games Store exclusive at launch. 

For those following the game closely, the revelation might not be much of a surprise. In late 2018, multiple reports surfaced that Saber Interactive had removed the Steam logo from World War Z's product page. Although the game's official Twitter account confirmed it would be featured on the Epic Games Store, it was not clear at the time that Saber would not be working with Valve to bring the title to the Steam platform. 

As of this writing, it is unclear if World War Z will ever find its way to the house of Valve. 

Since its reveal, World War Z has drawn numerous comparisons to the Left 4 Dead franchise. While it might appear similar on the surface, Saber's foray into the zombie genre looks to differentiate itself from Valve's IP, namely by featuring a PvPvE mode where players not only contend with another team of four but also the frenetic undead

For those more interested in working together to test their mettle against zillions of ravenous zombies, World War Z also features a campaign spread across a set of survivor stories that take inspiration from scenes found in the 2013 film. Confirmed locations include New York, Jerusalem, and Moscow, the latter of which was part of the film's original ending before later being cut. 

Additionally, the game features 12 characters and six classes from which players can choose. Classes include the Gunslinger, Hellraiser, Slasher, Medic, Fixer, and Exterminator. Each of these has unique abilities and is capable of "customizing powerful weapons to survive higher difficulty challenges," according to the game's official website

Although it remains to be seen if the game can emerge from the still-looming shadows of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, Saber promises "a nail-biting action experience" with World War Z

Nintendo Direct Scheduled for February 13 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 14:53:08 -0500 Ceedi

Nintendo has announced that a Nintendo Direct is scheduled for February 13, starting at 2 p.m. PDT/5 p.m. EDT. This will be the first Nintendo Direct of  2019.

The Direct will be 35 minutes, and it will contain information on upcoming games for Nintendo Switch, including revealing some new information on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which was revealed during Nintendo's E3 presentation last year and is currently expected to release later this year.

During a shareholder Q&A last week, Nintendo revealed that there are a few currently unannounced games that will be released during 2019. As the company expects fans will be very excited over these announcements, some fans are speculating that these games may be revealed during this upcoming direct.

With the news of Metroid Prime 4's delay, there also came rumors of a Metroid Prime Trilogy release for the Switch, leaving expectations high for a potential announcement during this direct. Super Mario Maker 2, a possible Pikmin 3 port, and a new Legend of Zelda title have joined Metroid Prime Trilogy among the most strongly supported reveal rumors.

Alongside those potential announcements, is also expected that Nintendo will announce that SNES games are coming to the Nintendo Online service; the rumors are based on data mining that revealed the names of several SNES classics.

This latest Nintendo direct also comes ahead of Pokemon Day, which takes place on February 26, leading to some speculation on whether there will be any information on the new Pokemon RPG that is scheduled to release this year.

We will have full coverage of the Direct following tomorrow's stream. Check back for all of the highlights, and to see if any of these rumors turn out to be true. 

Cyberpunk 2077 Developer Speaks On Epic Games Store Release Tue, 12 Feb 2019 11:05:53 -0500 William R. Parks

With Deep Silver's recent announcement that the PC version of Metro Exodus will be an Epic Games Store exclusive release, some players appear to be concerned about other developers and publishers following suit with future titles.

Fortunately for fans of CD Projekt Red, the company has confirmed that it has no intention to make its highly anticipated upcoming RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, exclusive to the store.

In a Twitter exchange that took place at the end of last week, user WannaPlay95 implored CD Projekt Red to not make the game an Epic Games exclusive title. Responding through the official Cyberpunk 2077 account, the company made its position on the matter clear, stating that it would "pass" on restricting the release of the game to Epic's new platform.

Some outlets took this statement to mean that CD Projekt Red would be eschewing release through the Epic Games Store entirely. However, the company has offered some clarity on the matter, responding to an article published by TweakTown that indicated that Cyberpunk 2077 would not be available through the Fortnite developer's storefront:

While, of course, this tweet does not offer definitive confirmation that the title will release through the Epic Games Store, it does indicate that it is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility.

For players that believe titles released on PC should be available through a number of platforms, this will undoubtedly come as a welcome piece of information.

That said, CD Projekt Red does have a recent history of releasing titles exclusively through its own distribution platform, At the end of last year, for example, the company's Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales had an exclusive launch on GOG, though it ultimately found its way to Steam following its poor sales performance

As such, it is possible that the company might try GOG exclusivity again with Cyberpunk 2077. However, at this time, all that can be known for certain is that if Epic does offer the game through its platform, other storefronts will be doing so as well.

The initial tweet indicating that the game will not be an Epic Games Store exclusive can be found on Twitter.

Respawn Shares New Apex Legends In-Game Updates Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:43:49 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Respawn's unexpected battle royale smash hit Apex Legends surprised everyone last week not just with its launch, but with its one million concurrent and 10 million total players in a mere four days after release.

But according to a recent update from Respawn's Vince Zampella, Apex has garnered even more players -- 25 million total, with approximately 2 million concurrent players.

Zampella promised future updates as well, including how Respawn is taking player feedback under consideration, but for now, offered some tidbits about a few key upcoming events.

First is the Twitch Rivals Apex Legends Challenge, sponsored by Twitch, taking place Tuesday, February 12 and then the following Tuesday, February 19. It'll feature 48 of Twitch's most popular streamers all competing against each other in Apex Legends. If you're interested, you can watch it on the Apex Legends Twitch channel.

Apex Legends will also be celebrating Valentine's Day on February 14 with some special Valentine's-themed loot. Nothing was said about the nature of this loot, though, so players will have to keep an eye on the game to find out more.

And then Zampella reminded fans that Season One of Apex Legends will begin sometime in March. Fans got a glimpse of what Season One might offer in the Deep Dive trailer. And while there's no new detail about specifics, players can look forward to season loot, weapons, Legends, challenges, and more. There's also no word yet about how much the Season Pass will cost once it's made available and, of course, nothing about Apex Legends cross platform gameplay yet.


If you're new to Apex Legends or need some help in specific areas, GameSkinny's got you covered.

We have character ranks and abilities guides, plus guides for the best guns, and a useful beginner's guide as well.

Check back for the latest Apex Legends news as it breaks!

ELEAGUE Signs Deal With Psyonix On Cross-Platform Rocket League Content Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:16:44 -0500 QuintLyn

Today, ELEAGUE announced a deal with Rocket League developer Psyonix. The media company owned by Turner & IMG will be collaborating with the game company on a variety of content, including a live event designed as part of the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest.

For their part of the deal, ELEAGUE has agreed to create a wide range of content. This includes a series focusing on the Rocket League Championship Series that will air on TBS later this year.  It will feature the players and their teams, as well as include content from both Season 7 and Season 8 of the RLCS.  Fans will be able to relive the highs and lows of both seasons of the RLCS during the show.

Also included in the deal is an agreement for the Turner Sports ad sales team to have their advertisements featured during both Season 7 and 8 of the Championship Series.

Finally, the four top ranking teams will be featured in an exhibition competition to be held during the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest in Minneapolis this April. Details on the exhibition will be released at a later date.

In a press release issued earlier today Psynoix's VP of Publishing, Jeremy Dunham had this to say about the partnership:

“We’re excited to bring Rocket League Esports and the Rocket League Championship Series to new television and collegiate audiences. This is a significant step forward for our sport and ongoing relationship with our partners at ELEAGUE. We’re excited to see what the future will bring!”

Turner Sports Chief Content Officer, Craig Barry added that the partnership is unique in that it allows the companies to "create compelling experiences for fans and work collaboratively to identify new strategic business opportunities."

“We’re excited to partner with them as we build on the success of the previous ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League events and launch new fan-friendly live experiences, including at this year’s Final Four in Minneapolis.” 

This isn't the first time ELEAGUE has partnered with Psyonix. In fact the two companies worked together this past Novemer on the ELEAGUE Rocket League Cup. This is, however a much larger deal between the companies, and a pretty good sign that they intend to work together for a long time to come.

Chernobylite Is A Survival Horror Game Set After A Nuclear Disaster Sat, 09 Feb 2019 10:53:24 -0500 William R. Parks

The extraordinary success of the recently released Resident Evil 2 remake has established just how popular survival horror games continue to be. While some players may still be attempting to escape the terrors of Raccoon City, a newly announced title, Chernobylite, looks to offer fans of the genre more thrills later this year.

As recently announced by The Farm 51, the developers behind 2017's Get EvenChernobylite is a science-fiction survival horror title headed to PC and consoles in the fall. Taking place 30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the survival-horror game focuses around a physicist who returns to the horrifying site to find a lost loved one.

Of course, this task will not be easy, and the situation at Chernobyl has not improved since the preceding nuclear catastrophe. Pollution levels continue to rise due to a dangerous substance that emerged from the explosion, and stalkers roam the irradiated zone, telling tales of strange occurrences in the area.

In order to survive the horrors that populate the world of Chernobylite, players will need to carefully prepare. This includes making use of the game's crafting system in order to build up a cache of helpful gear and supplies. With these tools in hand, players can freely explore, hunting for clues that will unravel the mysteries of the zone. 

However, there is no time to dally, as each day in the game will add to the
"ever-increasing severity of your current situation." Players are advised to plan their strategies well if they wish to elude the adversarial military personnel and supernatural forces that inhabit the zone. 

Chernobylite is currently in development, with a Fall 2019 release date. It utilizes Unreal Engine 4 and employs Reality 51's scanning technology to create a "horrifyingly accurate 3D-scanned recreation of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone."

While the release of Chernobylite is still months away, the announcement of the title is certain to pique the interest of many genre fans. Fortunately for these players, the upcoming post-launch content for Resident Evil 2 remake means that there will be no lack of horror to enjoy in the upcoming months.

More details on Chernobylite can be found on the game's website.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Trailer Highlights Story Sat, 09 Feb 2019 10:41:39 -0500 William R. Parks

Since the announcement of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software has given fans multiple looks at the gameplay features of its upcoming action-adventure title. Now, the company is back with a new trailer that briefly homes in on the story that the game looks to tell.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is set in Japan's Sengoku era, a time when, as indicated by the trailer, the country was "consumed by perpetual conflict." This is made quite clear in the opening moments of the new video, as bloodied men brutally execute one another with arrows and swords.

However, out of this conflict comes a stillness wrought by total destruction, and a young boy sits in the midst of a former battlefield, clutching the sword of a fallen solider. "Nothing left to lose?" the Owl, a hulk of man, asks after approaching the child.

According to the description that accompanies the trailer, this is the beginning of an apprenticeship for the boy, something that will ultimately transform him into Sekiro. Ominous words from the Owl suggest that this transformation was anything but ordinary — "I had no idea what you'd become," he says as he addresses the shinobi.

While the details offered by this video are slim, fans that are eagerly awaiting the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are certain to welcome even this small bit of content. For these players, the trailer's emphasis on story may also prompt some curiosity about how the narrative will unfold throughout the game.

With From Software's acclaimed Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, subtle environmental details and context clues play major roles in communicating the games' stories. Using this approach, the company is able to build rich worlds that reward players for thorough investigation.

It remains to be seen if Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will employ this method or opt for a more straightforward narrative structure instead. Indeed the gameplay looks to distinguish itself from previous From Software titles in a number of ways, including the ability to move vertically, and this new approach may just extend to how the game chooses to present its story.

Is Apex Legends Cross Platform? Fri, 08 Feb 2019 15:07:56 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Respawn's new, smash-hit battle royale game Apex Legends took the world by surprise when it launched unexpectedly February 4. As with all battle royale games, Apex Legends pits players against each other to see who's left standing at the end. Only Apex places players in squads of three instead sending them into the map solo. 

Needless to say, these games rely on as many people as possible playing at any given time. And that's not a problem for Apex right now, having already garnered 10 million users 72 hours after launch, with 1 million players online at a given time.

Other battle royale games like Fortnite and PUBG have implemented cross platform play to connect more players and enhance the overall gameplay experience. So the natural question is, will Apex Legends ever be cross platform?

The answer is... eventually.

Respawn spoke with Eurogamer shortly after launch and said it plans to implement Apex Legends cross platform play in the future — possibly this year. However, it can't comment further or more specifically right now.

Respawn didn't offer any concrete reasons for why cross platform gameplay isn't available at launch, though it's reasons for never introducing cross play in general give a few clues.

Because development began early, and cross play wasn't as widespread until fairly recently, Respawn said the game just isn't built to allow it. In short, the goal was a functional, quality game first, with extra features later if possible.

So for now, you'll have to make do with Apex Legends on your system of choice.

It's also worth noting that system won't be the Nintendo Switch any time soon either, as Respawn stated there is nothing to announce at this time regarding a Switch port.

What Apex Legends cross platform gameplay will look like once it does arrive is another matter — whether it will follow Fortnite's lead, only letting gamers play with others on the same platform at first, or branching out, letting PS4 players immediately jump in with their Xbox One and PC friends.


Have you made the switch from Fornite to Apex Legends completely? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for future Apex Legends news!

For our tips and tricks for EA's new battle royale, be sure to head over to our growing Apex Legends guides hub

Get Ready To Boogie During Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery's Celestial Ball Fri, 08 Feb 2019 12:06:35 -0500 QuintLyn

Players of Jam City's mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery have a new special adventure to take part in, and it's the social event of the season. The Celestial Ball is an adventure directed at players who have reached fourth-year or above. These players will be able to participate in after-class preparations for the formal dance.

In order to participate, players will need to help other Hogwarts students prepare for the ball. Some students want to help put the ball together, others want to sabotage the whole thing. Still others would just like a little help putting together the perfect makeup and outfit.

Once everything's prepared, players will need to find a date. To do this, they'll need to go to the Great Hall and mingle with classmates. When that's taken care of, there's only one thing left to do -- chose your own special outfit from a collection designed by Ravenclaw's Andre.

This will be the first time players of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery will be able to take part in the Celestial Ball -- just in time for Valentine's Day. The devs believe it offers players an opportunity to explore more of the social aspects of the game, providing all the excitement that should be expected from a Hogwarts school dance.

The dance adds to a long list of things players are able to do in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. The game allows players to create their own characters and experience life as a Hogwarts student. Just as with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, players will attend classes, learn magic, and make both friends and enemies. There are even duels to deal with and quizzes to take.

The game offers a decision based encounter system that determines their character's story arc. With this system, players create their own experience within the game, rather than sharing the exact same storyline with all the other players.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Sadistic Pikmin-like Terrorarium Hitting Steam Early Access in March Thu, 07 Feb 2019 16:11:42 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Games focused around level-making can burn a mountain of hours if you're creatively inclined, and next month, players will get another one to add to the ranks this one laid thick in a distinctive Pikmin flavor.

Indie developer Stitch Media has announced Terrorarium will be making its way to PC and Mac on Steam Early Access in March. The game asks players to show little mercy to an array of adorable mushroom people in the name of good fun and a lot of mayhem.

Using a control system much like the one seen in the Pikmin series, Terrorarium will put players in the shoes of the Gardener, a "powerful and indestructible space grandma" and villain, who has way too much control over the lives of dozens of tiny mushroom people than she should.

Using the Gardener, players will be able to control legions of little creatures in this case, the diversely adorable and distinctly mushroom-y Moogu  to solve puzzles and blast the ecosystem to smithereens in the name of science, revenge, and fun.

Terrorarium Gooey MooguToo cute to kill? Ehhh.

More Pikmin-esque gameplay always sounds great, but the real draw here is the game's Maker Mode, which will allow players to create and share their levels with the community. If players want to decimate a few dozen Moogu for their own entertainment, they can; if they want to create a peaceful landscape stage, they'll be able to do that, too.

Terrorarium will be launching on Steam Early Access next month with just the game's Maker Mode, which the developers promise will have a robust selection of assets and options to start while they work on the game's campaign mode and additional creation assets.

At the time of writing, they've announced the game will have over 100 assets for players to use in level creation. Whether that amount will be packaged into the initial Early Access launch is to be seen, but we'll find out soon enough!

Check out Terrorarium on Steam, and keep your eyes here on GameSkinny for additional Terrorarium news.

Epic Games Expands The Support-A-Creator Program To All Titles In Its Store Thu, 07 Feb 2019 12:54:22 -0500 QuintLyn

Epic Games is expanding its Support-A-Creator program. Initially launched in October, the referral program offered content creators the opportunity to make money from Fortnite V-Buck sales.

This allowed qualified YouTubers and Twitch streamers to receive $5 when fans entered the creator's Epic tag while purchasing 10,000 V-Bucks.

Now, that program is expanding to other games on the newly released Epic Games Store. Just as with Fortnite, creators will need to have fans use their Epic tag during purchases in order to receive a cut of the profit.

This is facilitated with referral links that the creators can add to their Twitch or YouTube channel information.

Unlike the deal with Fortnite, creators will not be recieving a set $5. That's partially because creators won't be dealing with V-Buck sales. Instead, eligible creators will earn a percentage of a game's selling price. Developers are allowed to decide what share creators will recieve, but it's will be no less than 5% of the purchase price.

The program is open to almost every type of content creator  video makers, streamers, artists, cosplayers, and more. However, to be considered, content creators need to have at least 1,000 followers on any of the major social platforms.

Once both requirements are met, creators will have to fill out an affiliate agreement and agree to the Creator Code of Conduct. 

There are, unfortunately, some restrictions. Creators located in countries disallowed by U.S. law, including China, Iran, and North Korea, are ineligible to participate in the program. This is also true of any creator whose content goes against the Affiliate Agreement or the Fortnite EULA. 

ull details on how to apply for the Suppor-A-Creator Program can be found on the Epic Games website

For everything else Epic, be sure to head over to our Epic Games hub page

Anthem Announces First Post-Launch Content Update Thu, 07 Feb 2019 10:06:42 -0500 William R. Parks

While players have not yet started their adventures in Anthem, BioWare and EA are already offering details on what fans can expect from the action RPG's endgame content. Part of this content will include post-launch additions to the title, and the companies have recently shared a schedule of when these updates will begin.

Anthem's post-launch updates are called "Acts," and they will include "content, features, and quality-of-life fixes." Act 1, which is titled "Echoes of Reality," is scheduled for release in March, and it is is set to be implemented over three updates.

Details on exactly what these updates will bring is limited, however, Act 1's finale is said to contain something major: a Cataclysm. In a recent blog post from EA, this incident is described as "a world-changing, time-limited event that comes with extreme weather, dangerous new enemies, and new mysteries to solve."

What will happen after this Cataclysm is unknown, but Anthem's post-launch calendar shows two Acts looming beyond Act 1. No information is provided about when Acts 2 and 3 will be available, but the images included in the schedule may offer some insight into the content that they will contain.

"Anthem is designed to be a living, changing world, so that your experience constantly evolves over time," EA's post state, and it seems that Acts will be a key factor in keeping players engaged and returning to the game. That said, they are not the only thing Anthem offers to fans at the endgame.

As outlined by BioWare and EA, players that finish the main story have a number of options to pursue. This includes completing contracts and challenges as well as exploring the game under harder difficulty settings.

Last week, EA released a chart that outlined when fans will be able to begin playing Anthem, which is contingent upon platform as well as if the player subscribes to Origin or EA Access. While indeed it seems that not everyone will be able to start their journeys at the same time, the announcement of Act 1 means that more content is on the way for anyone that wants it.

Details on Anthem's first post-launch update can be found on the game's website.

Population Zero Video Showcases Building System Thu, 07 Feb 2019 09:57:34 -0500 William R. Parks

Earlier this week, Enplex Games gave fans a look at the perk system that will be featured in the company's upcoming game, Population Zero. Now, the studio is back with more information to keep players interested, and this time it is centered around the importance of building in the survival MMO.

"Building in Population Zero will be more than just making square textured boxes to store your resources and wait out the night," a blog post from Enplex states. Instead, the company suggests that the title will make base building a central gameplay element, and it all starts with gathering resources.

As players explore the world of Population Zero, they will be able to harvest materials from numerous resource points. The tools used to harvest will play an important role, as these points will grant different items based on the extraction method a player chooses, and factors like the time of day will also inform what materials are available.

After gathering resources, players can then begin on their constructions, using a number of different "shapes and forms" to do so. While it appears that Enplex wants to be certain that distinct and unique buildings are possible, a durability and weight system is also in place that will require players to consider structural integrity as they create their bases.

This emphasis on bases being architecturally sound also acts as a foundation for player vs. player engagement. Specifically, weak points will be opportunities for raiding players to bring down opposing structures, and defense mechanisms will be needed to keep a base protected.

Buildings will not only be sites for hostile interactions, as the game's guild system will allow players to combine forces and build settlements together. Enplex indicates that the end result of this type of cooperation could be domination of "entire regions of the planet."

With Population Zero now in its pre-alpha testing phase, Enplex has been diligent in sharing information about the game, including details on its unique art style. While it remains to be seen if the title will be able to "reimagine" the genre in the way the company hopes, the material that has been made available thus far is certain to pique the interest of some.

More details on building in Population Zero can be found on the game's website.

Crackdown Currently Free Ahead of Crackdown 3 Launch Wed, 06 Feb 2019 17:56:46 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Leading up to the February 15 release of the highly-anticipated Crackdown 3, Microsoft is currently giving away the original Crackdown for free. 

Players interested in snagging a digital copy of the game can do so on the Xbox Marketplace. To claim their copy, all players have to do is log into their Xbox account and download the game. As of this writing, it is not known how long the game will remain free on the digital storefront. 

When it was first released in 2007 for the Xbox 360, Crackdown was met with positivity, garnering a Metacritic score of 83. Many reviewers praised the game for the way it rewarded and empowered players as well as the creative chances it took to do so.

Although some critics, such as Xboxic, said Crackdown would not "be remembered for years to come," the game has managed to remain relevant some 12 years after its release. Indeed, many players cite its accessible arcade style, explosive co-op, and unique superhero-with-guns conceit as reasons for coming back to it. 

A backwards compatible version of Crackdown was eventually released on the Xbox One in 2018. That version keeps most of Crackdown's gameplay mechanics intact but offers players modern upgrades such as 4K resolution.  The game also takes advantage of the Xbox One's graphics settings so that players can choose increased performance over aesthetics. 

There is currently no word on if Crackdown 2, which released in 2010 to middling reviews, will become backwards compatible. Although some players hope a backwards compatible version will be released alongside Crackdown 3, there's has been little to nothing that indicates Microsoft is planning to do so. 

The months leading up to Crackdown 3's launch have been incredibly silent. Announced in 2014, the game was originally slated for release in 2016. For some time, the game was trapped in veritable development Hell. No matter how much progress was made, delays continued to push its release date further and further back. 

However, over the past several weeks, more news about the open-world shooter has begun to break. Yesterday, Microsoft released the game's launch trailer and confirmed that Crackdown 3 would be available on Game Pass at launch. Other reports have pegged the game's campaign length at 15 hours. 

While it remains to be seen how Crackdown 3 will fare in a landscape that's gone through significant changes since its initial announcement, those that have played early demos and previews of the game have come back with mixed reviews.

Both Polygon and PC World have said the game is simply "average," and that it's "doubtful" that Crackdown 3 will make any considerable waves in 2019. However, Windows Central has said that the game is "a promising glimpse at the future."

Crackdown 3 is set to release February 15 on the Xbox One for $59.99. 

More Than 5 Million Copies Of Kingdom Hearts 3 Sold Since Release Wed, 06 Feb 2019 13:31:45 -0500 QuintLyn

Among console gamers, Kingdom Hearts 3 is the current darling of the day. Fans of the Square Enix/Disney crossover JRPG have been waiting for this particular installment of the franchise for an extremely long time. And if the current sales numbers, social media chatter, livestreams, reviews are any indication, it was well worth the wait.

According to a post on the Kingdom Hearts Twitter account, over 5 million copies of the game have been shipped worldwide. In fact, the game has done so well in the UK it knocked Resident Evil 2 down a peg, stealing the number one spot on the sales charts.

At a minimum sales price of $60 for the standard version of the game, Kingdom Hearts 3 has brought in over $300 million in sales.

Of course, that number doesn't account for individuals who spent $230 on the KH 3 Special Edition bundle or $80 on the Deluxe Edition. Nor does it take into account regional price variations or the cost to make and ship each individual copy.

Still, that's a heck of a lot of money in such a short time frame.

Considering the game's title, it may seem there's not too much to the Kingdom Hearts series. But longtime fans of the franchise know that's not the case. Kingdom Hearts doesn't consist of just three games but boasts 16 entries across a variety of platforms.

Granted, roughly six of those are remakes and collections designed to introduce new gamers to the series, but overall, it's impressive, especially impressive considering Square and Disney are telling the same story across all of the games.

Not only does the Kingdom Hearts series allow players to revisit their favorite characters from Square Enix's Final Fantasy games, it also allows them to spend time with the Disney characters they grew up with. The series also benefits from the fact that Square has done a good job crafting the games, making them fun to play and telling good stories.

So it probably shouldn't surprise anyone that Kingdom Hearts 3 is doing so well.

Crackdown 3 Confirmed For Xbox Game Pass, Gets Gameplay Trailer Wed, 06 Feb 2019 10:41:43 -0500 William R. Parks

After several years worth of delays, Crackdown 3, a Microsoft exclusive that promises fully destructible environments, is set to release in just over a week. While some may be gearing up to purchase the game when it launches, the company has recently confirmed that it will be available to Game Pass subscribers on the same day as its retail release, February 15.

This announcement may not come as a surprise to some, as, last year, Microsoft indicated that all games published by Microsoft Studio would be released through Game Pass simultaneous to their retail launches. However, with the continual delays that have plagued Crackdown 3, fans may be happy to have official confirmation that the title is still on track to come to Game Pass.

Additionally, Microsoft has announced that the game is available to pre-install through Game Pass. This news will undoubtedly be welcomed by those subscribers that want to be certain that they have access to Crackdown 3 as early as possible.

While the premiere of Crackdown 3 may be the highlight, February will also see a number of other games released on Microsoft's subscription service. This includes Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which will be available beginning February 7, and Batman: Return to Arkham, a Batman collection that will be accessible starting February 21.

Along with the confirmation of Crackdown 3's appearance on Game Pass, Microsoft has also released a launch trailer. With the trailer, players get a peek at the game's story, which focuses on an agent's not-so-subtle attempt to take on an evil corporation

Furthermore, the trailer showcases gameplay footage. As those that are familiar with the project might expect, this footage features big guns, vehicles that can be thrown, and lots of explosions.

Players do not have to wait much longer to finally get their hands on Crackdown 3, and its inclusion on Game Pass is certain to bring a great number of players to the title, including those that may not have considered purchasing the game outright. That said, only time will tell if these players ultimately feel that the experience was worth the wait.

The Outer Worlds Set For Physical Release on PS4 and Xbox One Wed, 06 Feb 2019 10:15:24 -0500 William R. Parks

Correction 2/8/19: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that The Outer Worlds would have a physical PC release. However, it will only release on PC digitally. 

The announcement of Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming RPGThe Outer Worlds, at last year's Game Awards was met with a great deal of excitement. While details on the sci-fi title have been limited since its reveal, recent reports suggest that a physical release will be available alongside a digital version.

As indicated by Game Informer, players will be able to purchase copies of The Outer Worlds on disc for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version of The Outer Worlds will be digital only. Retail price for all three versions will be $60.

With confirmation that there will be physical editions of the RPG available, some players may want to know exactly when they will be able to purchase their copies. While it has been announced that The Outer Worlds will see release in 2019, Obsidian and Private Division, the game's publisher, are not yet able to confirm a definitive launch date beyond that.

Until these companies are ready to say more, anxious players will have to find solace in the information that has already been made available. One such piece of information is that The Outer Worlds will not feature microtransactions, something confirmed in an interview between Senior Narrative Designer Megan Starks and RPG Site.

Furthermore, Starks has indicated that the game will feature companions, a staple of many modern RPGs, that will abandon players based on their actions. "There are some things you can do that will make a companion leave you, personal to that companion," Starks wrote on Twitter at the end of last year.

With respect to companions, it has also been stated that player characters will not be able to engage in romantic relationships with the NPCs. While romance options are featured in many games, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, co-creators of the original Fallout titles, clarified, in an interview with Polygon, that it was left out due to its potential negative impact on roleplaying.

The news that The Outer Worlds will get a physical release may not satisfy those that are hungry for details about the title, but at least it suggests that the game is being taken seriously by its publisher. Hopefully, for those that are eagerly anticipating the title, more information will be available soon.

Details on The Outer Worlds physical release can be found on Game Informer.

Pokemon Go Players Can Now Catch Shiny Meltan For A Limited Time Tue, 05 Feb 2019 17:58:30 -0500 QuintLyn

Pokemon GO players may already have caught Meltan — and even transferred it to their copies of Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! or Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! on the Nintendo Switch — but they still don't have a Shiny Meltan.

There's a good reason for that: The shiny version of the mythical metal pokemon hadn't appeared in the game until today.

Now, players everywhere have a chance to obtain a Shiny Meltan whenever they open a Mystery Box in Pokemon GO

In order to obtain a Mystery Box, players will need to link their Pokemon GO accounts to their copy of Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! or Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! Once a box is acquired, players just need to open it for a chance to catch the Mythical Shiny Meltan.

Keep in mind, though, this is a limited-time event. Players will need to open Mystery Boxes between today and March 4. The best news is that Niantic has shortened the wait time between box openings, giving players more chances to catch Meltan before the event ends.

Meltan is a special pokemon that was originally introduced in October as part of a campaign to encourage players to connect their Pokemon GO accounts with Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! or Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! when the games launched on the Nintendo Switch.

The pokemon's introduction consisted of a series of videos featuring Pokemon GO's Professor Willow and Let's Go!'s Professor Oak trying to solve the mystery around a previously undiscovered pokemon. As the video's continued, the duo discovered that it's not only an ancient pokemon but that it has some very unique abilities.

Both Let's Go! games allow Pokemon GO players to transfer pokemon captured in the mobile game into them, giving them a chance to build their Let's Go! collections even while they're away from the game. The system also encourages Pokemon GO players to stick with the mobile game.

Hi-Rez Employee, Twitch Partner Arrested In Georgia Child Sex Sting Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:25:23 -0500 QuintLyn

Yesterday afternoon, news broke that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, arrested over 20 men after a five-day long sting operation. According to the official report from the GBI, the men were charged with a variety of crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children.

Among those arrested was Hi-Rez employee and Twitch partner, Thomas Ho-Yan Cheung, 32, widely known by his online personality, Elvine.

Cheung has been part of the gaming community for years. He got his start creating gold-making videos for World of Warcraft, has worked with various WoW-sites, and appeared at various industry events. He also worked for CCP Games in Atlanta prior to joining Hi-Rez Studios as a Community Specialist.

The sting was part of a months-long investigation called "Operation Interception," which targeted individuals who "communicate with children [sic] on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex." Over five days beginning January 30, law enforcement officials from 22 different organizations arrested 21 men who not only believed they were having sexually explicit conversations with a minor but also reportedly traveled to meet them for sex.

Some of the charges against the men are as follows:

  • O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007
  • O.C.G.A 16-5-46, Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude

The GBI notes that more arrests and charges may take place. The official report from the organization notes that over 63 cases were established during the investigation and only 21 of those have resulted in arrests thus far.

Following news of Cheung's arrest, gamers on Twitter noted that both Cheung's website and Twitch channel had been removed. Cheung's Twitter account listed him as a "SteelSeries / NZXT ambassador."

In an email comment to GameSkinny on the situation, SteelSeries said Tuesday morning that it had revoked all support and sponsorship for Cheung as soon as the news broke.

Cheung's former employer CCP Games offered an official statement on Twitter:

GameSkinny also reached out to Hi-Rez studios for comment. The studio shared the following from Hi-Rez CEO Stew Chisam: 

On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. At this point, we know only what has been reported in the local news and by local law enforcement, and cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung's case, other than to say that, as of today, Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios.

As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports. We commend the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement to protect our state's children and to send a strong message that the behavior targeted in their Operation Interception will not be tolerated in Georgia.

This is a developing story. 

Metro Exodus Controversy Prompts Official Response Mon, 04 Feb 2019 16:47:54 -0500 William R. Parks

Last week, Deep Silver announced that the PC version of Metro Exodus, 4A Games' upcoming open-world shooter, would be available exclusively through the Epic Games Store. This led to notable backlash from players that do not want to use Epic's new digital distribution platform, prompting a controversial response from one of 4A's employees along with an official statement.

Following the announcement from Deep Silver, some players took to Steam to voice their discontent about the situation. This materialized as hundreds of negative reviews left on the Steam pages for the previous entries in the Metro franchise, with many suggesting that they will skip Metro Exodus if forced to purchase it through the Epic Games Store.

In response, a 4A developer, posting under the handle Scynet, made a seemingly hostile statement, calling out players that "just waited for a reason to pour out their bile." The developer further indicated that a boycott of Metro Exodus from PC players would mean that any future entry in the series would "definitely not" be released on PC.

These statements have prompted an official response, which offers some insight into the matter. Specifically, a tweet from the Metro Exodus Twitter account has stated that the decision to make the game an Epic Games Store exclusive was the decision of Koch Media and Deep Silver alone. Furthermore, it is noted that the publisher has "every intention of continuing the franchise," with PC versions being "at the heart of [their] plans."

This statement was also used as opportunity to address Scynet's post directly:

The recent comments made by a member of the 4A Games development team do not reflect Deep Silver’s or 4A Games’ view on the future of the franchise. They do reflect the hurt and disappointment of a passionate individual who has seen what was previously nothing but positive goodwill towards his work turn to controversy due to a business decision he had no control over.

While the official statement may do little in quelling the frustration some players are experiencing, it at least clarifies 4A's involvement in the distribution decision for those that may have been unclear about it. That said, many players already seemed to show a full understanding of the situation, with much of the antagonism already being pointed at Deep Silver rather than the game's developer.

Since the launch of the Epic Games Store, several developers have opted to skip releasing through Steam, instead giving preference to Epic's platform. The response to Metro Exodus's exclusivity is, perhaps, the most vehement, but time will tell if this directly impacts the sales of 4A's new title.

The full official statement can be found on the Metro Exodus Twitter account.

Track Your Pokemon TCG: Sun & Moon Series Cards With The Card Dex Mobile App Mon, 04 Feb 2019 16:34:34 -0500 QuintLyn

Soon, fans of the Pokemon TCG: Sun & Moon Series will be able to easily track all their cards with the help of an official app from The Pokemon Company. The Pokemon TCG Card Dex is a free app that tracks not only the main series of cards but all expansions and even promo cards some lucky players may have acquired.

Pokemon TCG: Sun & Moon players in Sweden already have access to the app thanks to a soft launch in their country. Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to wait until it rolls out in our countries in order to give it a whirl.

The Pokemon TCG Card Dex isn't just a spreadsheet-like program that requires players to manually enter their card information. Instead, players will use the built-in cameras on their phone to scan cards and add them to the Dex.

The excellent news is that even damaged or obscured cards can be recognized by the app. As for cards in different languages, they are translated into the user's language of choice.

Once scanned in, cards in the Dex can be sorted by expansion, card type, rarity, Pokemon type, energy type, HP, and a variety of other options.  Players can also search the Dex for cards they haven't yet entered in order to discover new ones they'd like to add to their collection.

The Pokemon TCG Card Dex is free to download in Sweden, via both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It supports several languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Brazilian Portuguese. So several countries are already localized for when it rolls out in their areas.

At present, no other languages are included, but seeing as this is Pokemon we're talking about, it probably won't take long for the app to include more. Although, it is a bit surprising that Japanese isn't listed as one of the available languages.

Population Zero Perk System Detailed Mon, 04 Feb 2019 15:03:59 -0500 William R. Parks

Part of Enplex Games' stated goal for its upcoming survival MMO, Population Zero, is to "reimagine" the genre from its very core. The studio has previously showcased the game's unique art style as one way the game will distinguish itself, and a recently detailed perk system may just be another opportunity for the game to standout amidst titles like Ark: Survival Evolved and Atlas.

As players explore the world of Population Zero, known as Kepler, they will be granted perks that will allow them to "perform many actions much more effectively." This includes perks that will increase stats as well as those that will unlock new combat skills or crafting recipes.

In order to obtain these perks, players must meet certain conditions; however, they will not know exactly what these conditions are. That is, players may find that they have received a perk after doing something like killing 100 alien animals, but there will have been no previous indication that doing so would indeed unlock a perk.

Furthermore, players can assign the perks they acquire to three categories: temporary, permanent, and saved. These categories have their own distinct functionalities, and they will require players to consider what they value most for their characters.

Temporary perks have an immediate impact on a player's character, and an unlimited number can be acquired. However, these perks are lost upon death, and players will not want to keep their most prized perks in this category as a result.

Perks that a player wishes to hold onto can be assigned to the permanent category. The number of permanent perks a player can have is limited, and resources are required to make a perk permanent. These perks will not be lost when the player dies.

Saved perks also persist through death, but they do not alter a character until they are reassigned as a temporary or permanent perk. As with permanent perks, resources are required in order to save a perk.

Enplex Games has begun pre-alpha tests for Population Zero, and the company has indicated that it is open to making adjustments to the perk system based on player feedback. While the release of the title may not be imminent, these detailed systems are an opportunity for fans to get a good sense of the project before they have the chance to play it.

More details on Population Zero's perk system can be found on the game's website.

Microsoft Live Coming Nintendo Switch and Mobile Devices Mon, 04 Feb 2019 14:24:55 -0500 QuintLyn

It looks like Microsoft is planning to spread the Xbox Live love around — and to some rather unexpected places.

The company is currently preparing Xbox Live support for not only mobile devices both iOS and Android but also the Nintendo Switch.

Set to be officially revealed at GDC in March, the cross-device Xbox Live integration will allow users to view friends lists, game history, and those all-important achievements on any supported device. This is fantastic news for anyone who wants to show off their scores on the go.

Of course, Microsoft's goals are a bit loftier than that. The intent is to offer players support for cross-platform play on more titles. Now, third-party games will join Minecraft and other Microsoft-specific titles in the company's cross-platform library as Microsoft will provide everything developers need in order to do so.

This move seems to also be directed at getting mobile game developers to join the Xbox Live network and bring their players along with them. According to Windows Central, Microsoft estimates the expansion will expand their base from 400 million devices across Xbox consoles and Windows machines to over 2 billion devices, a fairly impressive growth margin.

In order to make the process of building games for Xbox Live easier, Microsoft will also make use of the PlayFab suite of tools, which offers developers a complete backend for developing games. It includes support of player management, leaderboards, real-time analytics and reporting, messaging, content update, in-game events, and more.

Bringing Xbox Live to more devices is an interesting move for Microsoft, which is known specifically for Windows and console play. Even more interesting will be the reaction of the most vocal part of its player base who largely see themselves as "hardcore" gamers and consider mobile gaming to be the opposite of everything they stand for. 

That said, as mobile devices continue to become more powerful, it's not surprising that Microsoft wants to get in on the action and bring in that sweet mobile gaming cash.

Street Fighter 2 Mini Arcade Cab Announced By New Wave Toys Sat, 02 Feb 2019 09:23:32 -0500 William R. Parks

While some fighting game fanatics may have their eyes fixed on one of the many new titles scheduled for release this year, including Jump Force, Mortal Kombat 11, and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, others may prefer to stick with the classics, like Street Fighter 2. Fortunately for those players, a recent announcement by New Wave Toys confirms the company is set to release a new way for fans to play two fighting games of yore.

Specifically, the company has indicated that it is currently accepting pre-orders for its Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition X RepliCade, a "limited edition 12-inch tall, fully-playable replica of the original arcade machine in 1/6-scale, officially licensed by Capcom."

This mini arcade cabinet will give players access to both Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.

With the RepliCade, SF fans can play these titles solo, or they can test their skills against friends in two-player combat. Two USB Mini Fight Sticks are included with the cabinet, but players can opt to use a modern USB controller as their weapon of choice if they prefer.

The Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition X RepliCade features a 3.5" flat LCD color screen and "amplified-stereo audio reproduction." The cabinet itself is wood construction, and it is wrapped in high-resolution art printed on 3M vinyl material.

Retail for the cabinet is $119.99, however, players that pre-order during the month of February can expect to pay a discounted rate of $99.99. Pre-orders are available through New Wave Toys' website, and it is expected that the product will ship in the Summer.

Last month, My Arcade unveiled its own new line of retro mini cabinets, offering fans the opportunity to add versions of Bubble BobbleMs. Pacman, and more to their collections. With New Wave Toys' announcement following suit, it is clear that a number of companies have sights set on vintage gaming.

Indeed, following the success of the NES and SNES Classics, it is unsurprising that this would be the case. However, these products take a decidedly different approach than Nintendo's, offering luxury items to serious collectors.

More details on the Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition X RepliCade can be found on New Wave Toys' website.

The Epic Games Store Is Adding Reviews, But There's A Catch Fri, 01 Feb 2019 15:11:01 -0500 QuintLyn

When it comes to selling anything in an online store, having a review system of some sort is almost obligatory. It doesn't matter if the company is selling physical items or digital ones, consumers will want to express their opinions on the products they purchase.

So, it should come as no surprise that Epic Games will finally be adding a review system to its online store. After all, EGS' major competition offers that feature, and to say it's heavily used by gamers on the platform would be a gross understatement. 

That said, there is going to be something a bit different about the review system on the EGS. Epic is making the review system opt-in for developers.  According to Epic founder Tim Sweeny, this decision is spurred by the issue of "review bombing" and attempts at "gaming-the-system".

Review bombing is a common issue on any site that allows general public participation. It occurs when consumers work together to leave negative reviews with the intent to harm sales of a particular item.

In many cases, such as the current review-bombing of the Metro series on Steam, these reviews have nothing to do with problems the consumers have with the item itself. Often the reviewers haven't even purchased the item in the first place, or are angry for other reasons.

Not surprisingly,  gamers are already questioning the decision. Many note that if developers have the option, they will not allow reviews. These gamers assert that an opt-in system "completely defeats the point of having review sections."  

On the other hand, some note that any dev that opts out of reviews should already be considered "shady" as a good game won't need to hide from reviewers, and the developers shouldn't be concerned about review bombing in the first place.

While review bombing is certainly an issue, Epic's current stance seems a tad harsh and overreactive. Surely there is a more centrist approach that could be taken.

For example, Epic could make it so that only those who own the game on the Epic Store can review the game. Although it might alienate some users who own particular games on other systems or through other storefronts, it would be a reasonable compromise among Epic, developers, and the gamers who use the marketplace. 

Still, this move is presumably another example in a growing line of how Epic Games plans to differ from Steam; it may be just another incentive for developers to forgo Valve's platform in favor of the EGS.

It remains to be seen how users will ultimately react. 


Epic Games Provides Price-Adjusted Refunds in Special Cases Fri, 01 Feb 2019 11:55:00 -0500 QuintLyn

Since announcing its own digital storefront just two months ago, Epic Games has made clear that it intends to shake up the digital distribution space doing some things a bit differently than its long-established competitors. 

Although it can be argued that some of these changes are more to the benefit of developers than gamers, the waves Epic has made are nonetheless industry-altering.

When the digital distribution shakeup began, Epic came out swinging with a profit-split deal that leaves developers with higher profit shares than Steam. Then things began to tidal wave when Ubisoft snubbed Steam, electing to release Tom Clancy's: The Division 2 on Epic's store.

Soon after, Deep Silver not only elected to publish Metro Exodus on the EGS, but it actually pulled listings for the game from Steam and other platforms. And, of course, early yesterday, Phoenix Labs announced it would be shutting down its own Dauntless launcher once the developer moved the game over to the EGS platform.

Amongst all of that, the Epic store managed to make yet another, if smaller, wave when WCCFTech published an article stating Epic had refunded one of WCCFTech's writers after it adjusted prices on some of the games currently listed in the store.

According to the article, the writer received an email from Epic stating that the company had adjusted pricing in his region "to be more [sic] favourable," and that Epic would be refunding him the difference.

However, according to Epic, such refunds aren't part of an innovative new business practice. Instead, such refunds are only applied in special cases.

In an email to GameSkinny late Thursday afternoon, representatives said if users have overpaid for games prior to the application of regional pricing in a certain area, the company refunds the user the difference. 

Looking at the Bigger Picture to See the Finer Details

WCCFTech's article ponders whether or not Epic might be looking to fix some of the pricing issues often brought to bear by regional pricing. To better understand what's actually going on, we need to take a quick, oversimplified look at how prices are affixed to games around the world. 

In the United States, taxes are applied at the register and vary from state to state. This means that when a game costs $60, gamers can easily pay upwards of another $6 in taxes.

However, in the case of, say, the United Kingdom, taxes are accounted for in the sales price of the game. So when a U.K. citizen buys a game, it costs exactly what the sticker says it costs.

Of course, digital sales have been somewhat of a different beast. For some time, certain U.S. states have charged tax on digital products while others have not, even despite a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Let's look at an example: Subnautica: Below Zero currently retails for $19.99 on Steam. If a gamer buys Below Zero in the state of Georgia, which currently exempts "canned software" purchases from its sales tax, that gamer pays $19.99, or face value upon checkout.

However, if a gamer were to purchase Below Zero in another state, such as Ohio, which does not exempt digital purchases from its sales tax, that same gamer would be charged $21.14 upon checkout. 

This type of discrepancy is often exacerbated in other regions of the world. As laid out by this in-depth article by PC Gamer and referenced in the WCCFTech article above, publishers adjust game prices based on region so that they are more balanced with specific variables, such as brick-and-mortar storefronts.  

Of course, there are myriad reasons why certain pricings might be more or less competitive in specific regions. However, this oversimplification of the forces at work might become increasingly moot as governments the world over continue to make changes to tax laws in relation to digital sales.

A quick look at the site Quaderno shows how countries are adjusting tax laws to increasingly include digital sales and the companies that make games. But of course, even if taxes are initially paid by the seller, its a safe bet gamers will be paying in the end.

Circling Back to Epic and Its Price-Adjusted Refunds

With this in mind, it's easy to see why some would hope that Epic's recent price-adjusted refunds are a signal the company is stepping up to encourage developers and publishers to adjust regional prices so that things are more balanced. 

So, while Epic generally won't make changes to game prices on its own, it would be nice to think they might convince publishers to do so.

Considering that, it's not inconceivable that some might think that's exactly what happened here; that this price-adjusted refund might be the first in such a pivot. But as it turns out, the refund was the result of Epic Games implementing regional pricing in the EGS, something that Steam and other stores already have.

Being that Epic recently added more than 230 countries to its regional pricing list, it's safe to assume any further adjustments will be relatively minimal. 


That said, even offering an automatic refund for such an issue seems to give Epic extra points.

In the amount of time we've used Steam, we don't recall the company ever automatically refunding players for an error on their end, although there have been players who have received free games due to pricing errors during a Winter or Summer Sale. 

In fact, if you take a peek at Steam's refund system FAQ, you won't see anything like this mentioned at all. 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Has Multiple Endings Fri, 01 Feb 2019 10:24:40 -0500 William R. Parks

As players gear up for the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software's upcoming shinobi-fueled action-adventure game, new details on the title continue to emerge. One such aspect was recently confirmed in an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game's director and president of From Software, and it focuses on Sekiro's ending.

Specifically, Miyazaki was asked, when speaking with Game Watch, if there are different possible conclusions to Sekiro based on certain playthrough conditions. Miyazaki confirmed that indeed, there are multiple endings, and accessing them is "even more rooted in the story" than in previous From Software games.

While this point was not expanded upon in the interview, fans of the studio's recent titles will not find it surprising that Sekiro features a number of finales. Bloodborne, for example, has several endings, and each must be individually accessed by completing a full playthrough. That is, players must start from the game's beginning for every one of the endings they wish to view.

One of the ways that this 2015 title kept players interested after finishing it was a NG+ system. Under this system, each subsequent playthrough of Bloodborne, up to the sixth, featured enemies with increased health and damage, and Miyazaki has confirmed that Sekiro will also use a system that makes continued play more challenging.

As a result, many players will likely wish to experience the new title multiple times just to test their skills against more difficult opponents. For these players, getting to see a multitude of endings may just be icing on the cake.

While From Software has confirmed some details about Sekiro's story, including information about its protagonist and setting, the contents of any of its conclusion are unknown at this time. That said, if the company's previous titles are any indication, those endings are certain to be grand in their scope.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is still nearly two months away from release, and players are, no doubt, champing at the bit for this highly anticipated game. While these fans wait for its release, it may be advisable for them to brush up on their combat prowess, as From Software has indicated that the title will be "extremely difficult."

Miyazaki's interview with Game Watch, as translated by Reddit user Zelda_2017, can be found on Reddit.

Phoenix Labs Eliminating Dauntless Launcher In Favor Of Epic Games Store Thu, 31 Jan 2019 14:26:03 -0500 QuintLyn

Dauntless players will soon be another fanbase that needs to install the Epic Games launcher provided they don't already have it if they wish to continue playing the behemoth hunting game.

Phoenix Labs, the game's developer, announced the transition to the Epic storefront yesterday in a post on the Dauntless website.

According to the post, the decision for the move is based on Epic's history of creating a game with "true cross-play," one that's on almost every device available, ranging from PC to mobile. 

As Phoenix Labs wishes to do the same with Dauntless and is already in the process of preparing to launch the game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, they thought it wise to partner now.

Of course, this means a transition period for Dauntless players. Those who already have an Epic account will need to connect their game accounts if they wish for them to be the same. Those who don't do so will have a new Epic account created for them based on their existing Dauntless account.

That said, players don't need to worry about not being able to log in prior to the transition being complete. Phoenix Labs promises that until that point, players will be able to log into Dauntless using the same patcher they always have.

They even added that all current progress in the game will carry over.

Once the transition is complete the old Dauntless launcher will be retired. After that point, the Epic Games launcher will be the only way to log into game.

This latest partnership is yet another feather in the cap of the Epic Games Store, which seems to be snapping up games left and right even games already available on other stores have become Epic Games exclusives.

Less than a week ago, Deep Silver announced that Metro: Exodus would only be available on the Epic Games Store moving forward, severing ties with Steam until 2020, and even the Humble Store completely.

Needless to say, other companies aren't exactly pleased with the situation. Many players aren't either as digital store exclusivity forces them to download more and more launchers onto their devices.

In what looks like an unspoken battle between the two companies, there are sure to be more defectors in the weeks and months to come.  

MAINGEAR Announces Its Most Portable Hi-Performance Notebook, The Pulse Thu, 31 Jan 2019 12:18:06 -0500 QuintLyn

Today, MAINGEAR announced two new notebooks designed specifically for gamers and content creators. The new Pulse 15 and Pulse 17 gaming notebooks use the NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUS, and allow owners to play the latest games and easily run content creation software, including graphics and video creation programs.

The Pulse series comes with either 15" or 17" 1080p displays -- hence the names -- and are ultra-thin. The Pulse 15 is .86" thick when closed and weighs 4.4 lbs, while the Pulse 17 is .98" thick and weighs 5.2 lbs. Both features a back-lit mechanical keyboard with controllable lighting and replaceable keycaps. This makes them the thinnest laptop available with mechanical keys.

As for graphics, the Pulse 17 does offer a slightly better graphics card than the Pulse 15. The former runs an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q while the latter has a 2060.

Both computers can be purchased with up to 2TB of storage space (according to the press release, the site says 4TB) in the form of 970 Pro NVMe M.2 SSDs from Samsung.  Both will also allow for up to 32GB of DDR4 memory.

As with any laptop that's sold as a gaming rig with promises to perform as well as a desktop PC, players may be concerned about the possible heat issues -- especially with these being so thin. According to MAINGEAR, the Pulse line is designed to stay cool using a dual fan copper pipe cooling system. This system is "thermally balanced to deliver maximum performance with minimum noise."

For those concerned about how their laptop looks on the outside, the standard look of the Pulse series is fairly clean -- with either a black or silver, brushed stainless-steel look. But those wanting something more flashy can order theirs in a variety of MARC III texture finishes. (This is an automotive paint finish, so it won't just peel off.) Purchasers can even upload their own art to be used as the finish.

Of course, all these options will make the price of the Pulse laptops vary, but the base price starts at $1,499 for the Pulse 15 and $1,899 for the Pulse 17. That said, buyers can easily run that price up to over $4,000.

PlayStation Plus Cloud Storage Increasing to 100GB in February Wed, 30 Jan 2019 17:40:19 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Announced alongside February's PlayStation Plus games lineup, Sony has revealed that it will be increasing the service's cloud storage space from 10GB to 100GB. The 10x expansion will be available to all PS Plus subscribers starting in "early February." 

For those with burgeoning hard-drives, the news is sure to come as somewhat of a relief. Growing install sizes for games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have meant that less and less on-system space is available for saved game data and character profiles. 

While most saved game data is typically in the realm of only ~20MB, saves from multiple games can quickly add up. For compulsive savers or those with various character profiles, HDD and cloud storage space is an even greater commodity. 

In 2015, Sony increased PlayStation Plus storage from 1GB to 10GB. In the four years since that upgrade, PlayStation 4 users have relied on external drives such as the recently unveiled Seagate Game Drive to manage the myriad data types on their PS4s. Some have opted to replace the PlayStation 4's factory hard-drive completely.  

Although the impending storage update is a repose from constant shuffling, it's still a shame more data types can't currently be saved to the PlayStation Plus cloud. 

Steelseries Stratus Duo Dual Wireless Controller Unveiled For PC Wed, 30 Jan 2019 16:53:24 -0500 QuintLyn

SteelSeries recently introduced a new dual wireless controller for use with PC, potentially giving the Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers often used for PC gaming a run for their collective money.

Called the Stratus Duo, the controller includes support for Bluetooth 4.1 as well as 2.4GHz wireless, meaning it can be used with both PCs and Android phones with 3.1 software and above.

Owners of mobile-based VR headsets such as the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR can also add the device to their list of supported peripherals. 

The Stratus Duo is able to reportedly switch between Bluetooth and wireless modes with the simple flick of a button, although wireless will require the included USB adapter.

Users can also charge the device over USB while playing. According to the Steelseries website, the controller's battery lasts about 20 hours or so, so the inclusion of wireless charging appears to be a big quality of life inclusion. 

Those looking to use the Stratus Duo with Android devices will have to purchase a separate item that clips the phone to the top of the controller if they would like to avoid sitting at what might be an odd angle to play. The adapter will cost $10 on top of the $60 price tag for the Stratus Duo itself.

For Steam players, SteelSeries promises the device will work with over 5,000 Steam games, allowing players to better enjoy Big Picture Mode as well as the now-defunct Steam Link.

Those playing on Android should be able to easily use the Duo for all controller-enabled games as there is no additional software or downloads needed. 

The SteelSeries Stratus Duo is available for purchase now via the company's website. The mobile adapter will be available for purchase around mid-February.

Seagate Unveils 2TB Game Drive for the PlayStation 4 Wed, 30 Jan 2019 15:48:59 -0500 QuintLyn

PlayStation 4 players in dire need of extra drive space, but who might be concerned about getting a drive that will easily work with the system, have something to look forward to. Yesterday, Sony and Seagate unveiled a 2TB external hard drive specifically for the PlayStation 4 system.

Title the Game Drive, the new HDD is optimized for use with the PS4 and is officially branded to go alongside the system.

Reportedly, the drive is easier to set up than other third-party solutions and uses a USB cable to connect to the system. It's lightweight and portable, and best of all will have enough space for approximately 50 average-sized games, freeing up some of the space on the PS4's internal drive.

For those concerned that playing games from an external drive will cause issues such as stuttering or delays, for example, Seagate promises there won't be any difference between it and the PlayStation 4's internal drive. So anyone using it will experience full-speed gaming. 

The compact design, coupled with the fact that the drive has been optimized to work with every model of PS4 running system update 4.50 or higher allows players to take the drive with them everywhere they go. Seagate Game Drive owners should note that they will need to be logged into their account on any system they elect to use the drive on since save files won't be transferrable to the drive. 

Price-wise, the Seagate Game Drive is a bit expensive compared to other 2TB external drives. A quick look at Amazon shows starting prices between $60 and $70, although some do skew higher. In comparison, the Seagate Game Drive will run $89.99 when it's made available sometime next week. 

It's worth noting that Sony just revealed that it will be expanding its cloud storage size to 100GB in February for PlayStation Plus subscribers.  

Metro Exodus Handgun Trailer Shows Most Extensive Customization Yet Wed, 30 Jan 2019 13:04:11 -0500 Jonathan Moore

From the first game in the series until now, 4A has always looked for ways to make Metro something "new and uncharted." While it's arguable that the company achieved that goal with the first two games in the franchise, one thing is certain: The Metro games have always iterated in intriguing ways. It appears that this will be the case once again with Metro Exodus, and a new trailer showcases one way the title will distinguish itself from previous entries.

In Metro 2033, gun customization was non-existent. Metro: Last Light changed that by allowing players to customize weapons at vendors. Later, Last Light's customization options were retroactively added to 2033 with the Redux collection, fleshing out the systems in that game even more.  

But with Metro Exodus, 4A has taken things to a new level by allowing players to upgrade and customize weapons in the field. While the studio showcased Exodus' situational options in the official weapons trailer released last week, the newest trailer for the Handgun Class goes into greater detail about the game's close-range death dealers. 

In previous Metro titles, arms like the revolver and bastard gun were seen as last-resort weapons, used only in close quarters or when assault rifles and shotguns ran out of valuable ammunition. Now, with the ability to make them into rifles and submachine guns on the fly, it appears handguns may very well be the most versatile weapons class in Metro Exodus

While 4A has created some of the most unique guns in video game history with the Metro series, such unique and varied customization options have allowed the studio to create an arsenal in Exodus that is "as varied as the stops on your journey." 

From what we know so far, Exodus appears to be 4A's most ambitious project to date. Acting as a "breath of fresh air" for the series, Exodus looks to literally breathe new life into the series by taking players to the surface, showcasing a vast open world ready for exploration. Indeed, it will be the first Metro game to focus so heavily on the world outside of the underground tunnels featured in 2033 and Last Light

In a recent making-of video, 4A detailed the journey to Metro Exodus, explaining that it was time to "take a really huge step forward" with the series. Specifically, the team desired to make the world unique by not only taking players to the surface but by purposefully showcasing "the beauty of the world" through seasons and new locations. 

While it remains to be seen if Exodus will make headlines for its uniqueness and creativity, the game has already found itself the topic of discussion for many players around the world. In an interesting turn of events, Deep Silver, the game's publisher, recently announced that Exodus would be exclusive to the Epic Games store

While the publisher did not explain why it chose to leave Steam behind, it's possible that the more attractive revenue split offered to publishers by Epic Games had something to do with the move. 

Metro Exodus will release on February 15 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Those interested in pre-ordering Metro Exodus can see what editions and pre-order bonuses are available here

Rumor: Batman Arkham Crisis Leaked, Set to Release in 2019 Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:24:19 -0500 Jonathan Moore

It's been four years since a mainline Arkham game has been released. Now, the wait may be coming to an end. 

According to a rumor being reported by various outlets, including PlayStation Lifestyle and SegmentNext, Rocksteady is on the verge of revealing Batman: Arkham Crisis, the next game in the Arkham series. Although nothing concrete has been revealed by either Rocksteady or WB Games, both publications reference an alleged leak by a playtester who says they have played the game. 

The leak seems to have first been published to an unspecified Discord server by the playtester and then disseminated by YouTuber The Flix Fix

If the leak is to be believed, Batman: Arkham Crisis will be officially revealed by Game Informer in March and is currently aiming for an October release. The campaign will reportedly be 12 hours long, feature multiple, hours-long sidequests, have a map 1.7 times the size of Grand Theft Auto 5, feature multiplayer elements, including co-op, and employ other elements found in open-world games such as a dynamic day/night cycle.  

The game's story will allegedly revolve around The Court of Owls, an archaic crime organization operating in Gotham since "Colonial times." The crime ring is known for kidnapping circus performers and indoctrinating them into the syndicate.

According to the leak, both Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, sons of circus acrobats, will appear in the game. 

Between 2015 and now, there have been several Batman: Arkham spinoffs released on portable and VR devices. However, Arkham Crisis would be the first game in the mainline series to be released in that time. 

Over the past several years, the rumor mill has been full of speculation that either Rocksteady or WB Games was at work on the next game in the acclaimed franchise. Since many believed that Rocksteady was well into the process of developing a Superman game that would utilize the best elements of the Arkham titles, WB Games was the logical bet to make that game. 

However, Rocksteady confirmed in November that the studio was not working on Superman, but instead an unnamed project. In December of last year, WB Montreal assistant producer Valerie Vezina appeared to tease WB's next game as well as the symbol of The Court of Owls. 

While the current rumor about Arkham Crisis should be taken with a very small grain of salt, it is interesting that parts of this rumor, such as the game's length, fall in line with what we already know about the series. It is also interesting that a current WB employee would tease the sigil of The Court of Owls when referencing a WB development team. 

As of this writing, neither Rocksteady nor WB Games have commented on the alleged leak. There is currently no confirmation that a Batman: Arkham game is in development. 

Valve Responds To Metro Exodus PC Exclusivity Tue, 29 Jan 2019 16:08:29 -0500 William R. Parks

Yesterday, Deep Silver announced that moving forward, the PC version of Metro Exodus would be exclusively available through the recently launched Epic Games Store, promptly ending pre-orders of the title through Steam and other platforms. Now, Valve has responded to the announcement, providing information to fans that have already pre-ordered through Steam and offering its opinion on the matter.

Specifically, Valve has used the Metro Exodus Steam store page to indicate that the developer and publisher behind the game have offered assurance that all Steam pre-orderers will have their copies fulfilled through Steam. Furthermore, it is stated that all title updates and future DLC will be available to players that have secured copies through Valve's digital distribution platform.

Valve has also taken this opportunity to editorialize on the decision to remove Metro Exodus from Steam, calling it "unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period." The company continues with an apology:

We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15 release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.

Indeed, making Metro Exodus exclusive to the Epic Games Store is causing notable frustration for a vocal portion of the community. This can be seen across a number of platforms, including ResetEra, a site that hosts a popular forum for video game discussion, where some players are suggesting that the decision will prevent them from purchasing the title altogether.

Certainly, a number of PC players want the freedom to choose the service they use when buying their games. While an exclusive platform may offer incentives, such as a cheaper price, some will simply opt not to support a practice that feels in conflict with this freedom.

When the Epic Games Store was announced last year, a conversation emerged around its revenue split and how it might act as competition for Steam. Since then, Epic has continually shown that exclusive releases will be one of the methods they employ in battling Valve's Goliath, which may be leaving some players with a single question: Is this type of competition actually in their interest?

More of Valve's response can be found on the Metro Exodus Steam store page. More of the conversation surrounding Deep Silver's announcement can be read on ResetEra.

Resident Evil 2 Set to Receive Free "The Ghost Survivors" DLC in February Tue, 29 Jan 2019 11:05:16 -0500 Edgar Wulf

The remake of Resident Evil 2 just hit store shelves and for many players, it's more spectacular than they anticipated. True fans of the game have probably already finished Leon's and Claire's scenarios, survived the action-packed extra mode featuring Hunk and Tofu, and are now pondering on what to do next.

Well, ponder no more: Capcom has more content coming. Starting February 15, Resident Evil 2 will be treated to three new DLC stories brought under one umbrella, titled "The Ghost Survivors." 

No Time to Mourn will be the first of the three DLCs and is set to release on February 15; Runaway, and Forgotten Soldier will come sometime later. Each of the three DLCs will be free and will be automatically added to the game via updates. 

Although the highly-anticipated remake of Resident Evil 2 launched just last week on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Capcom has confirmed that it has already shipped 3 million units. The game's one-shot demo was played by more than 2 million gamers ahead of launch, garnering acclaim from both players and critics. 

See why we said the remake is worth playing, but not worth dying for. And be sure to check our Resident Evil 2 guides page for tips and strategies on the survival-horror remake.  

PC Version of Metro Exodus Will be Exclusive to the Epic Games Store Mon, 28 Jan 2019 18:35:49 -0500 QuintLyn

Update 1/29/19: Metro Exodus is no longer available on Steam. Valve has released a statement concerning the removal of Metro Exodus. The original story follows.

For players looking to pick up a digital copy Deep Silver's Metro Exodus for the PC and haven't already pre-ordered it on Steam, the window of opportunity is quickly dwindling.

Today, Deep Silver announced that the digital version of Metro Exodus would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store until 2020. 

The game is available to pre-order on the Epic Games Store and, as of this writing, it is still available for pre-order on Steam at a slightly higher cost. Pre-orders on Humble Bundle and other key seller sites appear to have ceased. 

Epic has said that the game will only be available for pre-order on Steam until sometime "later" on January 28. After that, players will only be able to purchase it through Epic. 

That said, according to an FAQ sent out by Deep Silver, anyone who has already pre-ordered Metro Exodus from one of these other storefronts will have their pre-orders honored and in the case of Steam pre-orders, will even be able to purchase the Expansion pass in the future. Pre-order bonuses will be honored as well.

Currently, the Standard Edition of Metro Exodus is available on the Epic store for $49.99. The Gold Edition, which comes with the game's expansion pass, is $74.99. 

There is no other difference between the Epic Games Store version of Metro Exodus and the Steam version. Both will include all pre-order bonuses, future updates, patches, and DLC.

Unfortunately, the FAQ provided by Deep Silver does not mention future updates for copies bought through Humble Bundle or key sellers. It does, however, promise those purchases will be available in February along with all the others.

This development comes after Ubisoft announced The Division 2 would be skipping Steam

New Dragon Ball FighterZ Characters Announced Mon, 28 Jan 2019 12:56:42 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

The first new characters for Season 2 of Dragon Ball FighterZ have been announced with a new trailer shared by Bandai Namco. The trailer was revealed at the conclusion of this year's Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour tournament finals.

The characters joining the Dragon Ball FighterZ roster in 2019 include Jiren from Dragon Ball Super and Videl from Dragon Ball Z. Both characters will be available beginning January 31.

Jiren is the strongest elite Pride Trooper that fought against Goku in the Universe Survival Saga from Dragon Ball Super. Videl is the daughter of Mr. Satan, the world's strongest martial artist and "Savior of the World," and Gohan's wife.

Along with Jiren and Videl, the recent film version of Broly as well as Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta will be coming to the fighting game soon. While no release date for these two characters has been announced, it seems that we can expect to see them in the not too distant future.

Dragon Ball FighterZ was released last year to critical acclaim, winning numerous awards, including "best fighting game" at last year's Game Awards. It has shipped over 3.5 million copies since October of last year.

Dragon Ball Project Z Gets Its First Trailer Mon, 28 Jan 2019 12:24:15 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

After being announced two weeks ago, Bandai Namco has shared the first trailer for a game currently known as Project Z, an upcoming title based on the long-running anime series Dragon Ball Z. This game will be the first Dragon Ball Z action RPG to release on home consoles.

The new trailer for Project Z shows that the game is going to be a re-telling of the events of the Saiyan and Frieza Sagas from the series. It's currently unknown if the Android and Buu Sagas will be included.

Project Z is be developed by Cyber Connect 2, a studio that is known for its work on the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series as well as the 2012 cult-hit Asura's Wrath. Furthermore, the new action RPG is being designed using Unreal Engine 4, the same engine that powered last year's Dragon Ball FighterZ.

The game will feature an open-world, allowing players to explore the land that Akira Toriyama created. It will also feature both Japanese and English voiceovers.

Project Z is currently planned for release sometime in late 2019, and it will be available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Metroid Prime 4 Development Restarted Sat, 26 Jan 2019 00:46:32 -0500 Lee Forgione

In a surprising video announcement released on Friday, Nintendo's general manager of entertainment planning and development, Shinya Takahashi, revealed that development on Metroid Prime 4 has reached a barrier. 

Specifically, Takahashi indicated that the current build of the new entry was not meeting Nintendo's quality expectations, and the company has decided to start from scratch, handing the project over to the original Metroid Prime developers, Retro Studios.

The game's producer, Kensuke Tanabe, has been asked to "work in trust and collaboration with the studio that developed the original Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios in the United States, and restart development from the beginning."

Community reaction to the announcement has been more positive than negative, with fans saying that they are more than happy to wait for a product that is polished to Nintendo's standards. That said, the development restart means that new information on Metroid Prime 4 may not surface for another few years.

Nintendo is sincerely apologetic and promises to deliver a finished product that meets what fans have come to expect from the company. With development in the hands of the original studio, the wait should be well worth it. 

Wii Shop Channel to Shut Down on January 30 Thu, 24 Jan 2019 12:04:01 -0500 Lee Forgione

The Wii Shop Channel will officially be discontinued on January 30, nearly 13 years after the service launched.

Along with it, the ability to purchase any Virtual Console or WiiWare titles will come to an end. Any remaining Wii Points must be redeemed before this date.

In addition to the Shop Channel closing, all video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video will shut down as well.

For many, the closure of the Wii Shop Channel means that, for now, several exclusive titles that launched with WiiWare, including Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth and Contra ReBirth, both titles that echoed the mechanics of their classic progenitors, will no longer be available.  

Some original concepts that made their way to WiiWare, such as Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, which spun an interesting take on the classic RPG series by putting you in the shoes of the King of a random city, will also become unavailable.

Unfortunately, there are currently no plans for future re-releases of these titles; interested players should grab the titles within the next seven days. 

ELEAGUE Hits the Pitch, Announces New EA Partnership Thu, 24 Jan 2019 11:23:52 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Through a new partnership with Electronic Arts, esports broadcaster ELEAGUE will be the first North American partner to host a FIFA 19 Global Series FUT Champions Cup. 

Taking place February 22-24 at the ELEAGUE arena in Atlanta, GA, the worldwide competition will see 64 of FIFA 19's best North American and South American players contend for $100,000 in prize money. 

The ELAGUE FUT Champions Cup February will be one of six Majors in the upcoming FIFA 19 Global Series. Fans can watch the Cup live on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel as well as B/R Live. Following the tournament, TBS will air a series showcasing the Cup's best moments. 

In addition to the Champions Cup, ELEAGUE will also host a licensed FIFA 19 qualifying event May 3-5. During the event, players will earn Global Series points and have the chance to win additional prizes. As of this writing, neither play times nor prize pools for the qualifying event have been announced. 

Todd Sitrin, senior vice president and general manager of the EA Competitive Gaming Division, said that the new partnership with ELEAGUE is the perfect fit for the EA Sports FIFA brand, especially considering Turner's 2017 acquisition of UEFA Champions League broadcast rights

ELEAGUE is a fantastic viewership platform for competitive FIFA and accelerates the mainstream esports and sports connection thanks to the power of Turner Sports. We’re seeing rapid growth for EA Sports FIFA competitive gaming right now around the world, and the opportunity to host a major event in North America will be an accelerant to this growth.

This partnership with ELEAGUE is perfect given EA Sports FIFA’s global reach, its instant accessibility for spectators, and the millions of FIFA competitive gaming players that are participating in the
Global Series.”

It's been a busy four months for ELEAGUE. In October, the company inked partnerships with both Nintendo and Activision. At the same time, the broadcaster also kicked off the Rocket League Cup and announced its plans for the 2019 CS:GO Invitational

During a 2018 interview, Matt Mosteller, vice president of content for Turner Sports, told GameSkinny that it is important for ELEAGUE to constantly search for ways to "bring the fans closer to the action, giving them a chance to know [players]." 

Considering the growing popularity of FIFA and soccer in the United States, as well as Turner's close association with major American sports leagues, the partnership with EA fits perfectly into those plans. 

Fans who would like to attend the FIFA 19 Global Series FUT Champions Cup in person at the ELEAGUE arena in February can get free tickets from

GIANTS Software Launces Farming Simulator League Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:07:21 -0500 QuintLyn

Last year, GIANTS Software stuck its toe into the esports arena with the first run of the Farming Simulator Championship. This first season apparently went so well that the company has announced not only is Season 2 of the Championship happening, but that a "full-fledged esports league," known as the Farming Simulator League, will be held alongside it.

The new league will feature 10 tournaments across Europe, with the best teams competing for the title of Farm Simulator champion and $113,848.50 in prizes. Players will also have a chance at more money during the duration of the championship, bringing the prize pool up to $284,621.25.

To make the Championship happen, GIANTS Software has teamed up with a selection of well-known companies from the gaming industry to provide the prizes, including Logitech G, Intel, Nitrado, and noblechairs.

According to GIANTS Software CEO Christian Ammann, "competitive farming" has been a big deal among Farming Simulator fans for a while now. However, it's not something that's been done in an esports format.

Since the company is comprised of quite a few esports fans, GIANTS decided it would be a good idea to create the League and "show the world that farming can indeed be fun and competitive at the same time."

Admittedly, as a fan of esports ourselves, Farming Simulator isn't really a game we'd first considered as a potential focus. After all, we're used to MOBAS like SMITE and League of Legends, World of Warcraft PvP focused tournaments, CCG-related competitions, and fighting games like Street Fighter V and Super Smash. 

But there's a fan base for everything, and among real-world farmers, Farming Simulator is the main attraction. So, why wouldn't we eventually see it in esports, too?

The Beast Inside Re-Emerges With Terrifying Teaser Trailer Wed, 23 Jan 2019 12:17:10 -0500 Jonathan Moore

After nearly a year of intermittent development updates and little new footage, PlayWay and Illusion Ray Studio have finally released a brand-new teaser trailer for the upcoming horror game, The Beast Inside

Although only 44 seconds long, the teaser shows off what appears to be a new location as well as a new ghoulish adversary. More importantly, it is clear that the two teams have been hard at work re-tooling the game's "photorealistic" graphics, which were seen in last year's Kickstarter-only demo, putting increased emphasis on lighting and environmental detail. 

The trailer also features more legitimate scares than many horror games do from start to finish. For an unreleased game that has already been called by some YouTubers and Kickstarter backers "one of the scariest horror titles ever made," that's little surprise. 

In our time with the demo last year (which was provided by PlayWay without contribution to The Beast Inside Kickstarter campaign), we agreed with that sentiment, noting that the game shares striking similarities with games like Resident Evil 7 and Layers of Fear as well as the now-defunct Silent Hills demo, P.T. 

However, those similarities are intended. 

Speaking of the game's atmosphere and story, PlayWay has said that the team aims "to create a game with a very strong, twisted narrative that will keep players on the edge. We're all big fans of horror games ... so while creating The Beast Inside we took the inspiration from our personal favorites." 

For those unaware of The Beast Inside, the game is currently being developed by Illusion Ray Studio following a successful 2018 Kickstarter campaign that raised $62,810. PlayWay, the game's publisher, has said that The Beast Inside uses Unreal Engine 4 to achieve "photorealistic supernatural horror," and it is "set in a complex, semi-open world." 

The game's interconnected storyline spans two eras and follows two protagonists: Adam, a CIA cryptanalyst living during the Cold War, and Nicolas, a man living during the waning years of the American Civil War. Both are inextricably connected, although it is not immediately clear how or why.

What is certain, however, is that The Beast Inside is a terrifying horror game that seeks to both honor its forebears and subvert genre expectations. 

PlayWay is currently aiming for a 2019 release on PC. In a recent email to GameSkinny, the company confirmed that, despite not meeting the original console stretch goal during its Kickstarter campaign, the game would also be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One "sometime after" the PC release.

More information on The Beast Inside's development can be found on the game's Kickstarter page.

Population Zero Video Showcases Unique Art Direction Tue, 22 Jan 2019 20:04:34 -0500 William R. Parks

Something that will stand out to many when first seeing Population Zero, Enplex Games' upcoming survival MMO, is its distinct art style. Bright and vibrant, the game's alien planet Kepler looks to provide a unique setting for players to explore, and a recent video gives a peek at the process behind these visuals.

Featuring interviews with members of the Russian studio's art team, The Art of Population Zero paints a picture of how Enplex has ultimately arrived at the aesthetic pervading its new MMO. According to Concept Artist Anastasiya Smirnova, collaboration is the key:

Teamwork is at the core of our creative process. We share everything we create, and new things are born through collaboration.

This birthing process is something that Art Director Aleksei Samokhin focuses on heavily in The Art of Population Zero, specifically noting that this type of early development is not always about "beautiful concept pieces." Instead, Samokhin indicates that the team initially brings life to ideas with quick sketches, which are drawn in "huge numbers during the meetings and discussions."

The most compelling of these sketches are then developed, with some becoming fully realized assets set to appear in Population Zero. Others may be summarily discarded, something Samokhin suggests happens "quite often."

One of the ideas that has made it through the preliminary sketch phase is the Yutt, a creature that is "cute" with a "wisdom in his eyes." Smirnova speaks to the process of developing these beings in The Art of Population Zero, musing on the difficulty of arriving at a universal "concept of cuteness."

With Population Zero, Enplex is looking to "reimagine the foundation of the survival MMO genre." Featuring servers with player populations in the hundreds, those that want to make it on Kepler will need to learn to navigate its dangerous creatures and ability to "defend itself" against explorers.

Indeed the game's art direction appears to be one of the areas that Enplex is focused on distinguishing from other survival MMOs. With Population Zero entering its alpha testing phase, it may not be long before players have the chance to experience the dynamic world of Kepler first hand.

More information on Population Zero is available on the game's official website.

System Shock Remake Video Teases New Art Style Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:50:33 -0500 Ty Arthur

Nightdive Studios' long-awaited full remake of the cyberpunk/horror classic System Shock easily made our list of most anticipated games of 2018. Obviously, it didn't actually meet that hoped-for release window.

This ground-up remake was successfully crowd funded in a week on Kickstarter back in 2016, but it has since been in an on-again, off-again development cycle that has left the game's future uncertain. 

However, it would appear that development is most definitely back on at this point, as a new art video just landed online showing off what fans can expect from a graphical standpoint.

The video replaces all the temporary art previously used in the Adventure Alpha, which backers got access to awhile back, and it features a look that is much smoother and more updated than the source material. The textures and lighting are definitely more on par with 2017's Prey than the original rough '94 iteration of System Shock.

A collection of misty floors and ominous red lighting, while the all seeing eye of SHODAN watches down from above, maintains on old school feel that should please fans of the original game, while you also get some hive-like classic Alien concepts with the corridor design.

After previously offering up new versions of Forsaken and Turok, Nightdive additionally announced last month that a remastered version of occult horror FPS classic Blood, which originally dropped way back in 1997, is also now in the works.

While the developers have not officially announced a release date for the System Shock remake, previous updates have indicated that the release window is expected for Q1 2020 at this point. Another video showing off the combat mechanics is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Still want to see more of what the new System Shock will offer? Additional new art assets and the latest backer update can be found on Kickstarter.

Layers Of Fear 2 Trailer Reveals New Theme And Location Tue, 22 Jan 2019 12:18:39 -0500 Ty Arthur

Bloober Team's next foray into psychological horror is creeping ever closer, and this time around, we're being treated to a cinematic motif rather than admiring bloody impressionist paintings.

Originally announced as Project Méliès with obvious inspiration from French filmmaker Georges Méliès  Layers Of Fear 2 is set to drop via publisher Gun Media later this year.

As anticipation for the follow-up to the cult horror classic builds, today, Gun Media dropped a teaser trailer to provide hints as to what chilling terror awaits the new series protagonist.

The video shows off a complete change in location and cast from the previous entry, which focused on a mad painter going through his memories in Layers Of Fear and then switched gears to the painter's daughter returning home in the Inheritance DLC.

This time around, we're clearly delving into the history of cinema and again will be inundated with the recurring theme of losing yourself in your art.

Time and broken clocks both make frequent appearances, providing a few hints as to where the story will go; it would appear the main area of the game is a ship this time around, rather than a dilapidated mansion.

There still seems to be some sort of ghostly creature from the past chasing after the player, although the developers have stated we can expect some changes to the main formula in the final product.

Bloober Team and Gun Media additionally hosted a panel at PAX South today to discuss the upcoming sequel and how the series is advancing from its origins.

Video of the panel will land online in the coming days, but for now, the team has released a development diary covering the fundamental themes of Layers Of Fear 2. Check it out below.

Look for this hotly anticipated horror title to release in 2019, with a firm release date to be announced soon.

Resident Evil 2's Half-Hour Demo Played By Over 2 Million Gamers Mon, 21 Jan 2019 19:31:27 -0500 QuintLyn

To get fans hyped for the upcoming release Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom released a special half-hour long demo on January 11. The demo gives fans the opportunity to spend 30 minutes in the game's police station, doing what they can to avoid being being eaten by the undead that have taken over Raccoon City.

In just 10 days, the demo has been played by nearly 2.5 million players. 

According the Resident Evil 2 Global Stats page, 2,402,376 players who have shared their data information with Capcom have logged into the demo as of this writing. Of that number, the most players are from North America with 556,746 players. It does look as though Capcom is counting the U.S. and Canada together.

We also know that among all those players, the demo has an average completion rate of 26% — which isn't as high as would be expected. In fact, it's about 7.8 minutes of the demo. The data doesn't share more detailed stats on completion.

Of course, some players may be worried about spoiling themselves for the full game, which is set to release on January 25

If you haven't preordered there are some options you need to be aware of. Buying the game from different retailers will net you different bonuses. Luckily, for you, we've compiled a complete list of options so you don't have to run all over the place trying to figure them out.

For those of you wondering if you can run it on your PC, we have you covered there too, with the game's full PC requirements.

The Division 2: How Long is the Campaign? Sun, 20 Jan 2019 11:49:02 -0500 William R. Parks

In an interview that took place in August 2018, Massive Entertainment's managing director, David Polfeldt, told GamesIndustry that he expected The Division 2 to feature a longer campaign than the first entry in the series. Now, the developers of the upcoming third-person shooter have expanded on this statement, revealing an approximate length for The Division 2's story mode.

As reported by Xbox Wire, fans can expect to spend approximately 40 hours completing the campaign in the highly-anticipated sequel. Furthermore, while players will have the option to tackle the sizable campaign cooperatively, the report reconfirms that The Division 2's story mode can be played solo as well.

According to HowLongToBeat, a website dedicated to compiling user-submitted game completion times, it takes approximately 20 hours to finish The Division. For those that wanted more out of the first entry's campaign, the news that The Division 2's story mode will take twice as long to complete is certain to be an exciting prospect.

Regarding the contents of the campaign, The Division 2 takes place months after the events of The Division, wherein a deadly virus was unleashed in New York City. With the United States now in shambles, the new entry sends players to Washington D.C. where they will be responsible for preventing enemy factions from taking over the nation's capital, an event that would lead to society's total collapse.

Additionally, Massive has emphasized that The Division 2's campaign is "designed with end-game in mind first." This is a sentiment that has been voiced previously, and the implications are that completing the campaign will naturally supply players with the equipment necessary to begin participating in the game's end-game content.

Part of this content will undoubtedly be the three Dark Zones featured in The Division 2. These distinct areas will not only be sites for active PvP, but they will also serve as locations where players can acquire powerful loot.

With The Division 2, Massive appears to be operating under the belief that bigger is indeed better. While players will still need to wait two more months before they can confirm firsthand if this idea holds true, surveying the recently revealed PC requirements may act as a distraction in the interim.

Be sure to check out our PC beta impressions of The Division 2 ahead of its March 15 release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. 

Days Gone Trailer Details a Dangerous World Sat, 19 Jan 2019 15:08:57 -0500 William R. Parks

After a number of delays, the release of Bend Studio's zombie-centric Days Gone is finally approaching. In preparation for the game's April release, Sony has unsurprisingly started ramping up its marketing efforts around the title. A newly released trailer now gives fans a peak at what they can expect from Days Gone's open-world.

As indicated by the video, the world of Days Gone is equal parts "breathtaking" and brutal, and the trailer begins by outlining the natural phenomena that players may encounter on their journeys. These include rivers, waterfalls, dense forests, and lush valleys; however, players are advised to avoid the temptation of casually admiring the scenery, as danger is said to lurk around every corner.

Additionally, the video looks at some of the more heavily populated areas of Days Gone. Specifically, players should expect to encounter survivors and Freakers alike as they ride through the small towns and checkpoints that fill the game's six regions. Furthermore, approaching dangerous enemy camps will require players to use "different tactics and strategies" if they hope to survive.

The most dangerous areas of all, however, appear to be mass graves that now act as feeding grounds for Freakers. It seems that players wanting to pass through these regions should not stray far from their motorcycles.

Separately, the trailer focuses on how weather impacts the game's world. Those that have been following development will know that Days Gone takes place in a post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest, and the region's weather, which is described as "harsh and unpredictable," is set to play a role.

This may mean something as simple as muddier terrain following a heavy rain, but there is indication that the effect may be greater than that. For instance, it is stated that the snow found in the game's mountains and foothills will "make the Freakers even stronger and more dangerous."

While there is not a great deal of gameplay information available in the new trailer, many players will simply be excited to see more footage of this highly anticipated title. For those fans, hopefully more will become available in the months leading up to release.

Square Enix Delays Kingdom Hearts: VR Experience For Second Time Fri, 18 Jan 2019 17:03:19 -0500 QuintLyn

Kingdom Hearts fans who have been waiting for the KH VR Experience will have a bit longer to wait — once again. Originally intended to launch on December 25, it was first delayed to January 18.

Unfortunately, it seems that the "experience" which promises fans the ability to experience cutscenes, gameplay, and other content from the popular series in a VR format has been delayed once more, although the wait won't be quite as long this time.

Square Enix has pushed the release date for Kingdom Hearts: VR Experience to January 23. This means that fans will still be able to check it out prior to the launch of Kingdom Hearts 3 on January 25.

Worthy of note is that the experience is available for free. Unfortunately, it is also only available on the PlayStation VR. This means that even though Kingdom Hearts 3 is being released on the Xbox One, the VR Experience won't be available to those players.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is the long-awaited sequel to the Disney/SqureEnix cross-over series. Despite the game's title, it is not actually the third entry in the series, but the fifteenth.

Although some of those entries are remakes and collections that allowed fans on different platforms to play the games they missed, they still count in the release numbers. What's more, all of them are fairly necessary for new fans as the Kingdom Hearts series is an ongoing story rather than a series of stand-alone entries.

KH 3 will mark the end of what is known as the "Dark Seeker Saga" and will tie up a variety of loose ends for several of the game's characters. However, this does not necessarily mean the end of the series overall. In fact, it's a pretty sure bet it won't be.

Square Enix knows a money maker when they have one. After all, they're still rolling out Final Fantasy offerings.

Anthem Video Dives into Story, Customization, and Progression Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:47:49 -0500 William R. Parks

Leading up to Anthem's February release, BioWare has continually given fans a peek at what they can expect from the upcoming multiplayer action-adventure game. Previously, these looks have come through trailers and developer livestreams, and this trend continues with a new video that has recently been shared by the developer.

In the first part of what is presumably a multi-part series, This Is Anthem homes in on several facets of the much-anticipated title. This includes its story as well as how progression and customization work.

While most of these details will not be news to those that have been closely following the game's development, part one of This Is Anthem functions as a nice summary, and it is chock-full of information for those that are not familiar with the game.

As outlined by BioWare's new video, Anthem is set in a hostile world where humanity relies on the use of Javelin exosuits to survive. This powerful armor grants its wearer superhuman abilities, and players will don these suits as they work together to prevent the evil Dominion from taking control of the Anthem of Creation, "the power of life and death, creation and destruction."

In order to undertake this task, players will need to fine-tune one of four base Javelins with loadouts of their own design. Each Javelin has a number of slots for customization, and these slots allow players to alter aspects of their suits ranging from offense to support. Additionally, Anthem offers players the opportunity to save a number of custom loadouts, giving them quick access to several different playstyles.

With a Javelin customized and ready to go, players can choose between a number of options when determining how they will progress through the game. This might mean moving ahead with primary story missions and side quests, or it might mean simply roaming the open world in Anthem's free-play mode.

Whatever they choose, the game's heavy emphasis on multiplayer means that individuals will not need to tackle these tasks alone. Players will get a chance to experience the matchmaking that will facilitate this co-op play in an upcoming demo, and, perhaps, more details will become available in a future episode of This Is Anthem.

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid Announced Fri, 18 Jan 2019 01:15:05 -0500 Erroll Maas

Hasbro, Lionsgate, and developer nWay have announced a new Power Rangers game, titled Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid has been said to be a "highly approachable" fighting game with a streamlined combat system and simplified controls. The new title will feature a variety of heroes and villains from the franchise, but the Mighty Morphin' Red Ranger, the Mighty Morphin' Green Ranger, the Super Megaforce Yellow Ranger, and Lord Drakkon are the only characters that have been confirmed so far.  

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid will also feature online multiplayer where players can compete against their friends and others to test their skills. Additionally, the game will feature cross-play and cross-progression between the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC versions.

The Standard Edition of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid will cost $19.99, while the Collector's Edition will cost $39.99 and include three additional characters (and their stories in Arcade Mode), an additional warrior skin, and character skins for Lord Drakkon Evo II and the Mighty Morphin' Pink Ranger. Players who pre-order either version will also receive the Green Ranger V2 skin, which first appeared in the Superpower Beat Down YouTube series. 

nWay's previous game based on the franchise, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, was released for iOS and Android on March 23, 2017, and it featured characters from throughout the franchise's history. Legacy Wars even featured Ryu, Chun-Li, and M. Bison from the Street Fighter franchise as guest characters, with Ryu getting a Power Coin of his own and becoming the "Ryu Ranger."

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid  will be available April 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Interested players can find more information on the Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid website.

If Blizzard's Job Listings Are Any Indication, Diablo 4 Is On The Way Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:33:30 -0500 QuintLyn

When BlizzCon 2018 took place in November, Diablo fans were expecting something big. Perhaps there'd finally be another expansion for Diablo 3, or maybe Blizz was ready to announce Diablo 4. Either way, most fans were hoping to continue the story.

Of course, fans didn't get exactly what they were expecting and, well, Blizzard's Diablo Immortal announcement didn't go over exactly as planned.

While the existence of the game shouldn't be a problem on its own since there's certainly a market for it, making it the headline announcement at BlizzCon was a huge miscalculation by the company.

It made long-time fans of the PC and console versions of the game feel they were being shafted in favor of a new mobile audience one that technically didn't even exist at the time.

However, Blizzard did promise that there are a few Diablo related projects in the pipeline. They even hinted before BlizzCon that fans wouldn't be seeing anything about Diablo 4 at the conference, but that it would instead happen sometime in the future.

As it turns out, there is, in fact, a Diablo game for PC and consoles in the works. We know this thanks to a job listing on the Blizzard careers page looking for a quest designer that has experience with PC and consoles for an unannounced Diablo project.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves: No, we don't know for certain that this is Diablo 4. It could be a Diablo 3 expansion  or something else.

But considering how long it's been since the last D3 expansion, it seems most likely that this project would be a new game. And while Blizzard may not seem to be making all the best choices as of late, it's hard to imagine the company producing another Diablo game that's not the one fans have been clamoring for.

Is there anything else we can glean from the quest designer job listing?

Unfortunately, not really. For the most part, it's pretty much what you'd expect for a listing related to Diablo: The company's looking for someone who knows how Blizzard storytelling works, understands quest design, can work in the dark fantasy and gothic horror genres, and has experience writing for RPGs.

One thing we do know, however, is this job is for a game project, and not a Netflix series.

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

Metro Exodus Gameplay Video Showcases Open World Wed, 16 Jan 2019 22:12:36 -0500 William R. Parks

With Metro Exodus, 4A Games looks to expand the scope established by previous entries in its post-apocalyptic, first-person shooter franchise. Part of this expansion takes the game's action above ground into what has been described as an "open world," and a newly shared video sheds some more light on what exactly that means for the game.

Recently, Polygon was given access to a portion of one of Metro Exodus' chapters and the online publication has since uploaded a video of parts of that experience. With the video, viewers get an opportunity to have a real look at how the game's open world has been realized, and, as Polygon notes, it appears to be "pretty desolate."

That is, Metro Exodus' open world does not seem to be filled with hordes of enemies or random events — things that are customary in many traditional open world RPGs. Instead, it appears to function as a vast and beautiful wasteland for players to navigate as they make their way to mission objectives and the familiar corridor-style gameplay the series is known for.

For some players, the term "open world" is sure to evoke a specific image, one that is closely aligned with games like those found in the Fallout franchise and The Elder Scrolls series. While Polygon's report does suggest that Metro Exodus will feature a navigable over-world that allows players to make choices about what location to visit next, this is not exactly in keeping with what can be found in these massive open world RPGs.

This information may leave some individuals that have been following the game's development cold, as the promise of an open world has certainly drawn new eyes to the franchise. However, others may be happy to know that the next Metro entry is fundamentally sticking to its roots amidst the expanded gameplay options presented by its over-world.

That said, Polygon's video only offers a brief look at the new first-person shooter, and, of course, the experience may vary throughout the game. Fortunately for those looking for more details now, an ongoing behind the scenes documentary may just be the perfect opportunity to get a better understanding of Metro Exodus prior to its release.

More details on the featured gameplay footage can be found on Polygon.

Bandai Namco and V Jump Tease Upcoming Dragon Ball Z Action RPG Wed, 16 Jan 2019 16:11:30 -0500 QuintLyn

It looks like fans of Dragon Ball Z have plenty to look forward to this year in the gaming arena. Not only can they expect updates to Dragon Ball Fighter Z, which include the introduction of the Warrior from Universe 11, but there is also a new Dragon Ball Z action RPG in the works.

The new project, currently titled Dragon Ball Game Project Z Action RPG, was teased first on the V Jump Twitter account and later shared by Bandai Namco.

The Microsoft translation of V Jump's tweet is a bit shaky, but it seems to promise a large universe. Bandai Namco's tweet promises that the game will focus on the "world of Dragon Ball Z." 

As fans of the manga and anime can confirm, that's a pretty vast universe not just covering a landscape that always seems to have more land to explore every time you turn around, but also a large array of different worlds and dimensions. Depending on the scope of the game, players may find themselves exploring everything from Earth to Namek to the various dimensions of the afterlife.

Of course, we really can't tell exactly how this will all shake out based on two little tweets, and we will have to wait until the developers are ready to share more information with us on the game. But it will be interesting to see if the upcoming action RPG consists of new adventures or is a retelling of the stories fans of the series are already so familiar with.

The only thing that does seem confirmed — in the V Jump tweet anyway is that Goku will be in it. 

The Pinkertons Sue RockStar Over Their Inclusion In Red Dead Redemption 2 Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:19:21 -0500 QuintLyn

While most of us might think of the Pinkertons as a part of American history long past, the security company still exists as part of the firm Securitas AB. As it turns out, they're not happy with Take-Two Interactive using their "likeness"  in their popular open word western, Red Dead Redemption 2. In fact, the company is demanding royalties for the Pinkerton name being used in the game.

For those unfamiliar, the Pinkerton's were established in the mid-1800s. During the Civil War, they worked as personal security for Abraham Lincoln and did everything from guarding military contractors to functioning as a private law enforcement organization. They were also very involved in putting down union strikes during the late 19th and early 20th century, which makes them more villain than hero to a lot of people.

Unsurprisingly, this isn't the first time the Pinkertons have been represented in popular media. In fact, Wikipedia lists over 30 movies, TV shows, and other entertainment media in which the company has been depicted.

This does, however, appear to be the first time the organization has taken issue with a company depicting them in a work.

Securitas AB sent a cease-and-desist order to Take-Two regarding the two Pinkerton agents depicted in the game: Andrew Milton and Edgar Ross. The company claims that Take-Two's inclusion of the duo in the game might give the impression Red Dead Redemption 2 is connected with the Pinkertons in some way, and that people might even think they made the game.

Securitas AB also demands that Take-Two pay Pinkerton, either in a lump sum or in royalties.

Take-Two, for their part, has filed a counter-claim, noting that their depiction of the Pinkerton agents is protected by the First Amendment. They go on to note as we did above that the agency has been included in a large amount of popular media, particularly that dealing with the "Wild West."

For example, the agency is even referenced in BioShock Infinite.

As the Red Dead Redemption series has proven extremely popular, where we raved about the newest entry, Take-Two contends that the Pinkertons are trying to cash in.

As the complaints are still relatively new, it will be a bit before we find out the actual outcome. One thing is certain, however: Whatever the outcome, it will be an interesting statement regarding copyright in popular media.

A copy of Take-Two's counterclaim can be found below. And, as always, check back with us for future updates on this situation.

Take-Two Interactive vs. Pi... by on Scribd

Valve Reveals Plans To Improve Steam In 2019 Mon, 14 Jan 2019 17:51:55 -0500 QuintLyn

With every new year comes a selection of posts from gaming related companies that are (generally) celebrating what they've managed to do in the previous year while offering a look at their plans for the next 12 months.

Normally, this isn't the kind of content we get out of Valve, but this year is different.

Today, Valve dropped a fairly lengthy post highlighting the things it has done over the past year. For the most part, the letter seems to be written for the benefit of developers who will use the service -- and who, because of recent shifts from companies such as Epic, have even more platforms to chose from when deciding how to distribute their games.

The retrospective discusses various things the company has done to make it easier for players to spend (and developers to take in) their respective currencies. It also addresses how the store has been changed to improve communities around games, to allow people to highlight games they're interested in, and to give players more ways to play those games.

Once the progress made over the past year was covered, Valve went on to discuss its plans for 2019. Again, most of the changes discussed seem to be directed at game developers -- although the outlined changes will obviously affect players as well.

Of note to players are the changes to the Steam Library, the events system, and Steam chat. There are also changes specific to CS:GO players and players who use PC cafes to get online.

Per Valve, here's what players can expect:

  • Store Discoverability: We’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes. Algorithms are only a part of our discoverability solution, however, so we're building more broadcasting and curating features and are constantly assessing the overall design of the store.
  • Steam China: We've partnered with Perfect World to bring Steam onshore into China. We'll reveal more details about this in the coming months.
  • Steam Library Update: Some long-awaited changes to the Steam Client will ship, including a reworked Steam Library, built on top of the technology we shipped in Steam Chat.
  • New Events System: We're upgrading the events system in the Steam Community, enabling you to highlight interesting activities in your games like tournaments, streams, or weekly challenges.
  • Steam TV: We're working on expanding Steam TV beyond just broadcasting specific tournaments and special events, in order to support all games.
  • Steam Chat: We're going to ship a new Steam Chat mobile app, so you can share your favorite GIFs with your friends while on the go.
  • Steam Trust: The technology behind Trusted Matchmaking on CS:GO is getting an upgrade and will become a full Steam feature that will be available to all games. This means you'll have more information that you can use to help determine how likely a player is a cheater or not.
  • Steam PC Cafe Program: We are going to officially ship a new PC Cafe Program so that players can have a good experience using Steam in hundreds of thousands of PC Cafes Worldwide.

It should be noted that this is a short list of changes the company has planned -- and since Valve put them out there, the ones it is probably most confident will be taken care of before the end of the year.

Metro Exodus Documentary Goes Behind the Scenes Sun, 13 Jan 2019 13:10:03 -0500 William R. Parks

It has been almost five years since the last entry in 4A Games' Metro franchise, and the fast approaching release of Metro Exodus is certain to have many fans excited. While these players eagerly await the first-person shooter's launch, a new three-part documentary series will give them the opportunity to go behind the scenes with the developers responsible for the game.

Filmed at 4A's facilities in Malta and the Ukraine, The Making of Metro Exodus takes viewers from the foundation of the studio to its work on the upcoming title. This includes "interviews with key personnel at 4A Games, archive footage and photos, and never-seen-before materials from the five-year development of Metro Exodus."

Episode One of The Making of Metro Exodus focuses on the developers responsible for the series' humble beginnings, and it showcases the extent of 4A's expansion since the release of Metro 2033. Furthermore, it highlights how this growth has facilitated the company's "most ambitious project to date" in Metro Exodus.

Indeed Episode One points to some advancements in the new entry that could only be realized with an expanded team. For example, Lead Environmental Artist Dmytro "Paramon" Zenin notes the team's desire for "huge locations," as players are given access to a world above the tunnels they inhabited in the previous two Metro entries.

Lead Game Designer Viacheslav "Must" Aristov additionally notes that 4A's "major goal" was to add unique and fully rendered seasons to these expansive locales. "Metro is a handcrafted experience," Viacheslav states, and it has no doubt required a great deal of work from the many individuals involved.

That said, the members of the 4A team do not seem daunted by the task. "We are not going to stop," Creative Director Andrew "Prof" Prokhorov suggests following remarks on how "cool" it is to have the opportunity to make games.

Episode Two of The Making of Metro Exodus will be available next week on the official Metro YouTube channel. Until then, fans can take some time to decide which edition of Metro Exodus they want to add to their collections.

To keep up-to-date on The Making of Metro Exodus, fans can subscribe on YouTube.

Tech Giants Want in on Cloud Gaming Sun, 13 Jan 2019 13:07:27 -0500 notat_hall

The future of gaming is streaming, as two more companies are set to create cloud gaming services.

With Google, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, having already teased their streaming plans, two more companies have staked a claim in the streaming sphere.

Amazon, who own Twitch, are reportedly set to start their own cloud-based streaming service. Following up from an initial report on The Information, The Verge found job listings from Amazon, calling for engineers to work on cloud-based games. There is also a listing for a “Lead Cross Platform Game Engineer.”

Amazon Games does already exist (although it has done very little) so they already have the infrastructure in place for game development. Their infrastructure is perhaps what makes Amazon one of the more viable success stories in cloud gaming. The more servers you have around the world, the wider the audience your service will function for, as proximity does make a difference to quality.  

They join telecommunication giant Verizon, whose streaming service is already functioning on the Nvidia Shield TV box and is set to come to Android phones. According to The Verge, the service is being shipped out to testers for a trail period running up until the end of January. It seems to be controlled by an Xbox One controller, and screenshots show an unbelievable array of games, including PS4 exclusive God of War, and the console only Red Dead Redemption 2. As exciting as that sounds, this is very early days for the service, and these are likely placeholders.

Look out for more details on these services, and perhaps for more names to step forward with streaming services as the race for dominance in this burgeoning market continues.

Razer's Turret For Xbox One Makes The Mouse & Keyboard Experience More Comfortable Fri, 11 Jan 2019 16:24:35 -0500 QuintLyn

The addition of mouse and keyboard compatibility for the Xbox One last November may have given players the opportunity to take advantage of the gaming experience most PC players are familiar with for the most part. 

The problem with mouse and keyboard gaming on a console is that it's never been exactly comfortable when it works. Players sitting on a couch must find a way to balance their keyboard and have somewhere to put their mouse, too. Often, you end up hunched over the peripherals on your coffee table or on the floor.

With the announcement of the Turret for Xbox One, Razer endeavors to solve this perennial problem. The new peripheral is a proper Razer keyboard with a hideaway magnetic tray for the mouse. This allows players to keep the mouse in line with the keyboard rather than trying to use the mouse from the seat next to them, the arm of the couch,  placing it on a book, or trying to find some other workaround.

The tray features two different strength magnets that hold the mouse in place, even if the keyboard and tray are held vertically.

To make things seemingly easier, the entire Turret system connects to the Xbox One via a single USB dongle, meaning players take up fewer USB slots. The keyboard charges via a USB-C port, while the mouse uses Micro-USB and plugs into the keyboard's side.

It should be noted that players are likely going to want to charge their device daily, as it only has about 11 hours of battery life if Razer's Chroma RGB is on. With the lights off, Razer says players can just about quadruple that.

The Turret for Xbox One is available to purchase via the Razer site and will run players $249.99. That's not too bad when you take into consideration that it's both a keyboard and a mouse and each can be pretty pricy on their own.

Looking for a list of Xbox One games that are compatible with mouse and keyboard, and specifically the Razer Turret? Be sure to head over to this list

Metro Exodus: Which Edition Should I Buy? Fri, 11 Jan 2019 14:24:12 -0500 William R. Parks

With the release of Metro Exodus about a month away, some fans may now be trying to determine exactly which version of the first-person shooter they want to purchase. Ranging from very simple to extremely elaborate, there are indeed a number of editions to consider. 

The most straightforward version of Metro Exodus is its Standard Edition, which simply consists of the base game. Physical copies are available through normal channels for $59.99. Digital copies can be purchased through the Epic Games Store at $49.99 for the PC version, and the Microsoft and PlayStation Stores have them available for $59.99.

The Gold Edition is a digital-only option available through the Epic Games Store as well as the Microsoft and PlayStation Stores. It costs $74.99 for the PC version and $84.99 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It consists of the base game along with the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass, which will give players access to the game's post-release content.

For players that are interested in a more elaborate release, the Aurora Limited Edition is available at standard retailers for $89.99. This edition includes the game in a Steelbook case, a 32-page art book, and the aforementioned Metro Exodus Expansion Pass, all contained within "a metal outer case inspired by the Aurora."

Additionally, the most dedicated fans can pick up the Spartan Collector's Edition exclusively on the Metro Exodus website. This special edition comes bundled with the Aurora Limited Edition, and it features a premium statue, collectible postcards, dog tags, and patches for $234.98 plus shipping and handling.

Finally, the ultra-rare Artyom Custom Edition has recently been announced. The only way to obtain one of these versions is to win it through a series of upcoming promotions, which will be announced on Metro Exodus's social media pages, and it contains the following items:

  • A fully-functional, hand-made Nixie Watch
  • A Gas Mask and Filter
  • A working Bullet Lighter made from a decommissioned shell
  • A hand-made steel Spartan dog tag to be engraved with the recipient’s name
  • A leather map case and map of the Aurora’s journey
  • A personalised Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Dmitry Glukhovsky and Andrew ‘Prof’ Prokhorov

As is common, there are also a number of pre-order bonuses for those that wish to confirm their copy of Metro Exodus prior to release. This includes a "panoramic poster that showcases the range of mutants that the crew of the Aurora will encounter as they forge across post-apocalyptic Russia" for anyone that pre-orders a physical copy of the Standard or Aurora Limited Editions.

Furthermore, pre-orderers will receive varying perks based on their preferred platform:

  • All Xbox One pre-orders, physical or digital include a copy of Metro 2033 Redux – the first game in the Metro saga, remastered for the Xbox One
  • All PlayStation 4 pre-orders, physical or digital, include a stunning Dynamic Theme based on the Metro Exodus ‘Winter’ artwork

Players that are excited about the release of Metro Exodus have quite a bit to mull over with respect to which edition to buy. With the additional pre-order bonus opportunities, there are certainly a number of bonus perks available for those who are interested as well.

To order the Spartan Collector's Edition or receive more details on the Artyom Custom Edition, fans should visit the Metro Exodus website.

Full PC Specs, Features Revealed for The Division 2 Fri, 11 Jan 2019 11:37:13 -0500 Jonathan Moore

While we're still a little more than two months away from the release of The Division 2, Ubisoft has gone ahead and released the PC requirements for the game. Whereas only the minimum and recommended requirements for a game are typically released ahead of launch, those for The Division 2 also include specifications for "High" (1440p) and "Elite" (4K). 

Specifications include both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, as well as Intel and AMD CPUs. Additionally, The Division 2 will run on on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10; even though it's probably safe to say most PC gamers have moved on to Windows 10, it's nice to see Windows' legacy OS making an appearance on the spec sheet. 

Per Ubisoft, here's what The Division 2 will need to run at 1080p (30fps), 1080p (60fps), 1440p (60fps), and 4K (60fps): 

Minimum: 1080p (30fps)
  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD FX-6350 | Intel Core I5-2500K
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R9 270 | Nvidia Geforce GTX 670
  • VRAM: 2 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12
Recommended: 1080p (60fps)
  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1500X | Intel Core I7-4790
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: AMD RX 480 | Nvidia Geforce GTX 970
  • VRAM: 4 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12
High: 1440p (60fps)
  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | Intel Core I7-6700K
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: AMD RX Vega 56 | Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070
  • VRAM: 8 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12
Elite: 4K (60fps)
  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X | Intel Core I9-7900X
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon VII | Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 TI
  • VRAM: 11 GB
  • DIRECT X: DirectX 11 | 12

Worth noting is that Ubisoft built the PC version of The Division 2 from the ground up. According to a recent news post on the Ubisoft website, "the development team at Ubisoft Massive has fully optimized the game for PC". This means the game will feature certain functionalities sometimes not found in one-to-one console to PC ports, such as: 

  • Uncapped frame rate
  • Uncapped display resolution
  • Full UI and HUD customization
  • Multi-screen support
  • Widescreen support
  • Variable refresh rate support
  • HDR support

Earlier this week, Ubisoft made waves by revealing that The Division 2 would skip Steam; instead of partnering with Valve for its latest release, like it did with Assassin's Creed: Odyssey late last year, Ubisoft decided to partner with Epic Games as the exclusive third-party marketplace for The Division 2. Ubisoft will still sell the game through its first-party store

With Far Cry: New Dawn set to release in February, it's interesting that The Division 2 is the first Ubisoft game announced for sale through Epic's new storefront — and the first title that will be skipping Steam. As of this writing, it remains to be seen if New Dawn will also shun Steam for Epic Games.

The Division 2 is set to release on March 15 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read our beta impressions and see why we're hopeful for the release. 

Amazon Reportedly Developing Game Streaming Service Thu, 10 Jan 2019 23:49:41 -0500 William R. Parks

With Google and Microsoft both currently pursuing game streaming services, an opportunity for players to access games whenever they want, on whatever device they want, appears to be arising. Seemingly, this opportunity may be bolstered even further, as recent reports suggest that Amazon is also throwing its hat into the ring of streamable gaming.

As indicated by The Information, "two people briefed on the plans" have confirmed that Amazon is currently developing a service that would let players stream games over the internet. Not only would this service make it easier for fans to access titles, these streaming games would be playable on an array of devices, including tablets and smartphones.

Furthermore, the report indicates that Amazon is already working with publishers and developers, looking for games that could be made available through its service. However, players should not expect these games to be made available immediately, as one of The Information's sources indicates that Amazon's platform will release in 2020 at the earliest.

According to reports, the Verge has also done some follow up research on The Information's claims, and two job postings from Amazon may act as corroboration. Specifically, Amazon is the process of searching for engineers in Seattle and California to work on "Cloud Games."

A third posting has also been noted, which may have ties to the new streaming service. This posting is for a Lead Cross Platform Game Engineer, and it indicates that the position is an opportunity to "shape the foundation of an unannounced AAA games business."

Without official confirmation from Amazon, these reports should still be considered speculative, but the company certainly has the infrastructure in place to pursue such a service. That is, offering streamable games will undoubtedly require a powerful foundation of servers, something that Amazon has in spades.

If game streaming is to supplant physical copies or digital downloads, the experience is going to need match what is being offered by traditional consoles and PCs. The scale of a service's infrastructure is certain to play a critical role in offering such an experience, and, as a result, Amazon's offering could be serious competition to Google's Project Stream and Microsoft's xCloud

More details can be found on The Information and The Verge.

Fallout 76 Bobby Pins Now Weigh Less Thu, 10 Jan 2019 23:44:29 -0500 William R. Parks

Bugs and glitches are not the only issues players have taken with Bethesda's new multiplayer RPG, Fallout 76, as some of the game's fundamental systems have been under fire since its release. One such system is related to how much weight players can carry before their characters become over-encumbered, and a recent update looks to offer some small relief on the matter.

Specifically, players will find that the weight of Fallout 76's bobby pins has been reduced from 0.1 to 0.001. This change means that a significant number of these consumable items can now be held without having a serious impact on a character's overall carry weight.

While a seemingly minor adjustment, managing carry weight is a task that can occupy a significant portion of a player's experience with Fallout 76. As such, any change that reduces the time required for inventory management is certain to be welcomed by many players.

Between the hefty weapons players need to advance through the game and the resources they farm for crafting, it is very easy to become over-encumbered in Fallout 76. While not as punishing as in previous Fallout entries, being over-encumbered causes a player's AP to continually drain, severely limiting a character's movement and combat prowess.

Recently, Bethesda has increased stash sizes in an attempt to alleviate how much weight players need to store on their characters. However, this change has not fully addressed the issue of the strict carry weight limits, which means that players that want to minimize the amount of time they spend with inventory management have limited options.

One approach is to select perks that reduce the weight of an array of Fallout 76's items, but this requires making serious sacrifices to the overall power level of a character. Certainly, some players are unwilling to make these types of sacrifices, which has led certain individuals to use glitches to fully bypass carry weight restrictions.

Of course, reducing the weight of bobby pins is not going to make a major difference as players fight against their inventories. However, it does suggest that Bethesda is willing to make adjustments to reduce the burden of Fallout 76's carry weight limits, and fans may see more such changes in the future.

This update is included in a large patch to Fallout 76, and full notes can be seen on Reddit.

The Division 2 Is Jumping The Steam Boat In Favor Of The Epic Games Store Thu, 10 Jan 2019 14:52:29 -0500 QuintLyn

It isn't taking long for the Epic Game Store to make a few waves in the digital games distribution community. Aside from being the sole retailer of their own games, the store offers somewhat better deals to developers hoping to bring in the most cash from their products.

Today, those waves got a bit bigger when Ubisoft announced it would be bringing its games to the new store. Chief among the company's offering that will be (somewhat) exclusive to Epic's store is Tom Clancy's: The Division 2. We say "somewhat" because Ubisoft will still be offering the game on its own platform.

Ubisoft and Epic haven't revealed what other games will be listed on the store but instead promised that they will be announced in "the coming year".  Ubisoft's Vice President of Partnerships Chris Early noted that the company trusts Epic "to deliver a smooth journey for (their) fans" from preorder to launch.

He went on to add that Epic's new store is an example of how the company "continues to disrupt" the industry.

Speaking of preorders, fans can now pre-purchase The Division 2 on the Epic Games Store for $59.99.

Red Dead Online Updates Look to Stop Griefing Thu, 10 Jan 2019 14:14:14 -0500 William R. Parks

Since the release of Red Dead Online, griefing has been a frequent topic of conversation amongst the community, with some players indicating that the game's open approach to PvP often makes it difficult to simply explore or complete missions. It seems that Rockstar has heard these concerns, and the company has recently announced its plan to address them.

Rockstar's approach to combatting griefing in Red Dead Online is three-fold, and it begins with forthcoming changes to the game's law and bounty systems. Specifically, there will be an increased incentive for players that commit crimes to pay off their bounties promptly, lest they be hunted down by a squad of NPC bounty hunters.

Additionally, the company will be making it easier to initiate parleys, an option that allows players to become temporarily immune to the damage of a repeated assailant. Currently, players can start a parley after being killed four times by a single opponent, and this change may mean that number will be decreased in the future.

Conversely, Rockstar will be making it easier to start feuds as well. Feuds function as the counterpart to parleys, allowing players to engage in structured PvP battles in the open world, and increasing their accessibility could help satisfy PvP-hungry players before they resort to consistently killing those that want to play more passively.

Finally, Red Dead Online players will see a change to how player locations are displayed. As it stands, blips for all active players can be seen on the world map, which makes it easy for dedicated killers to target an individual and hunt them down repeatedly.

Under the new system, blips will only be visible when players are in close proximity, making it easier to evade unwanted combat. Rockstar also plans to establish a mechanic that makes the blips of aggressive players visible across longer distances, which will allow players to avoid these bloodthirsty individuals or work together to take them down.

Rockstar has not provided a specific date for any of these changes, but players that have been experiencing issues with griefing may be happy to know that they are in the works. In the mean time, Red Dead Online's new battle royale variant, Gun Rush, could keep PvP-focused players occupied and out of Free Roam.

More details on Gun Rush and Red Dead Online's upcoming updates can be found on Rockstar's website.

Dates, Teams, Talent Announced for CS:GO Invitational 2019 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:48:51 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Last January, Cloud 9 was the first North American team to ever win a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major. That win was not only a watershed moment for CS:GO as an esport, helping the game garner more than 54.1 million hours watched on Twitch during a single event, but it also cemented the ever-growing relationship between the game and esports broadcaster ELEAGUE. 

Now, one year later, C9, CS:GO, and ELEAGUE are back, bringing viewers what's sure to be another interesting, if not gripping, tournament: CS:GO Invitational 2019. 

In typical ELEAGUE fashion, the stakes are high. Four teams will compete over three days for a prize pool of $150,000. Matches will begin on Friday, January 25 and run through Sunday, January 27; coverage of the tournament will begin at 2 p.m. EDT each day and will be broadcast on ELEAGUE's Twitch channel,, and B/R Live

Team's competing in the double-elimination bracket competition include: 

  • Cloud 9
  • FaZe Clan
  • BIG
  • CompLexity

Aside from the sure-to-be electric competition, there will be a cast of familiar faces and voices reporting on the action from both the ELEAGUE studio floor and from behind the desk.

Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez will be hosting the Invitational, and he will be joined by casters James Bardolph, Daniel "DDK" Kapadia, Jason "Moses" O'Toole, and Sean Gares. Reporting from the floor will be veteran Sue "Smix" Lee. 

As has become tradition with ELEAGUE tournaments, there will also be a TBS episodic series created to recap the tournaments most explosive moments. According to the release provided by ELEAGUE, the series will "include feature content, player interviews, and other behind the scenes access to the teams." 

For fans in the Atlanta area, there will be a limited number of free tickets available for watching the tournament live, in-studio on Saturday and Sunday. Those interested can visit for more information. 

While ELEAGUE's first Invitational of the year isn't as "big" as some of its tournaments from last year, such as the CS:GO Premier, there's no doubt the broadcaster has larger, even more extensive tournaments planned for the year. 

In many ways, it's logical that ELEAGUE will only grow in 2019, considering the monumental success the brand has seen in such a short period of time in not only viewership, but also attracting the attention of influential gaming brands such as Nintendo and Activision. That's not to mention the cache the broadcaster commands by being a branch of Turner Broadcasting. 

As ELEAGUE continues to bridge the gap between gamer and the casual viewer, tournaments such as this upcoming CS:GO Invitational will only become more frequent. 

You can find out more about what ELEAGUE's up to by following them on Twitter and staying tuned to GameSkinny for more updates and coverage. 

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Pre-Order Bonuses Revealed Thu, 10 Jan 2019 10:48:34 -0500 William R. Parks

With the release of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries this upcoming September, Piranha Games will put an end to a more than 20 year absence of a single-player MechWarrior title. For fans that are already certain that they will want to pickup the new game, Piranha has recently outlined the perks that are available for pre-ordering it.

There are currently three pre-order tiers for players that want to reserve their copies of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries in advance. Not only do these tiers offer bonuses that are applicable to the upcoming release, they also come with rewards that can be redeemed in the multiplayer MechWarrior Online, which has been available since 2013.

To note, Piranha has indicated that these pre-order opportunities will be available for a "limited-time," but the company has not confirmed when pre-orders will close. Until then, the available bonuses are as follows:

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Standard Community Edition ($49.99)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Content:

  • One digital copy of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Digital Game Manual
  • ‘Instant Action’ Closed Beta Access with Co-Op support (estimated availability early August 2019)
  • Digital Soundtrack
  • Access to the Official MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Discord Server
  • Access to Bi-Monthly AMAs
  • Early Access to the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Mod Maker Discord Channel

Bonus MechWarrior Online Content:

  • Marauder II Assault ‘Mech Standard Edition Pre-Order ($20 USD value)
  • 12,000 MC ($49.99 USD value) (original MechWarrior Online Founder accounts get double the amount of MC)
  • 30 days Active Premium Time ($12 USD value)
  • 72,800 GXP & 4.1 Million C-Bills (enough to cover 91 skill points)
  • MW5-themed Title, Badge, Decal, Cockpit standing Item, Warhorn item, Hanging Cockpit Item

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Collector's Community Edition ($79.99)

Includes All Standard Community Edition Items (with changes to amounts in currency, etc. below)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Content:

  • Exclusive MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries “Chloe’s Cavaliers” Legendary Pattern
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Desktop Pack

Bonus MechWarrior Online Content:

  • Marauder II Assault ‘Mech Collector’s Edition Pre-Order ($40 USD value)
  • 20,000 MC ($79.99 USD value) (original MechWarrior Online Founder accounts get double the amount of MC)
  • 60 days Active Premium Time ($24.00 USD value)
  • 145,600 GXP & 8.2 Million C-Bills (enough to convert 182 skill points)
  • 2 MW5-themed Titles, Badges, Decals and 3 Cockpit Standing Items, Warhorn items and Hanging Cockpit Items

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Collector's Community Edition ($119.99)

Includes All Standard & Collector's Community Edition Items (with changes to amounts in currency, etc. below)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Content:

  • Exclusive MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries “Interstellar Expeditions” Legendary Pattern
  • Digital Technical BattleMech Manual

Bonus MechWarrior Online Content:

  • Marauder II Assault ‘Mech Ultimate Edition Pre-Order ($70 USD value)
  • 30,000 MC ($119.99 USD value) (original MechWarrior Online Founder accounts get double the amount of MC)
  • 90 days Active Premium Time ($36 USD value)
  • 291,200 GXP & 16.4 Million C-Bills (enough to convert 364 skill points)
  • 3 MW5-themed Titles, Badges, Decals and 9 Cockpit Standing Items, Warhorn items and Hanging Cockpit Items

Notable amongst these offerings is the beta access that comes with all three pre-order tiers. While it appears that this closed testing phase will not be available until August, fans that want to experience MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries as soon as possible may be happy to see this as an option.

Furthermore, there seems to be a great deal of value in the MechWarrior Online bonuses that come through pre-ordering. Players that spring for the $120 Community Edition, for example, are set to receive almost $230 worth of perks to be redeemed in the multiplayer MechWarrior.

To coincide with the announcement of these pre-order bonuses, Piranha has also released the new trailer featured above. This video gives a look at MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries' gameplay, which the company states is modeled after MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, and it may entice some to jump on a pre-order sooner rather than later.

Players interested in pre-ordering a copy of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries can do so on the game's website.

Resident Evil 2 Remake PC File Size Revealed Wed, 09 Jan 2019 16:53:27 -0500 William R. Parks

With the release of the remake of Resident Evil 2 less than three weeks away, details about Capcom's upcoming offering continue to surface. The most recent of these is the size of the PC version of the game, which has recently been made available on Steam.

Specifically, the PC release of the highly anticipated survival-horror game will require 26GBs of hard drive space. For some players, this may be surprising, as many contemporary PC games have significantly larger file sizes.

Additionally, the game's Steam page provides details on the minimum and recommended system requirements for Resident Evil 2. They are as follows:


  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: WINDOWS® 7, 8.1, 10 (64-BIT Required)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4460 or AMD FX™-6300 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 760 or AMD Radeon™ R7 260x with 2GB Video RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11


  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: WINDOWS® 7, 8.1, 10 (64-BIT Required)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3770 or AMD FX™-9590 or better
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon™ RX 480 with 3GB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 11

For those that are not sure if they want to dedicate funds or digital storage space to Resident Evil 2, details on its file size come hot on the heels of the announcement of an upcoming demo for the game. That is, PC owners, along with those that play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will have the chance to try out the remake beginning this Friday, January 11.

The Resident Evil 2 demo will allow players to take control of Leon S. Kennedy, one of the game's two protagonists, as they explore the Raccoon City Police Department. However, these players will only have 30 minutes to do so, at which point the demo will end and an exclusive new trailer will be played.

While this may not be a great deal of time to get familiar with the game and its mechanics, the demo may function to convince those that are uncertain about Resident Evil 2 to take the plunge. For players that do decide to pick up the game, there will be plenty of time after completing the demo to free up the requisite hard drive space.

Fallout 76 YouTubers Reportedly Receive Bans for Glitch Videos Wed, 09 Jan 2019 13:23:19 -0500 William R. Parks

While Bethesda has been slowly working to improve the Fallout 76 experience, some significant bugs and glitches are still present in the company's newest multiplayer RPG. One such glitch allows players to endlessly duplicate items in-game, and a YouTuber has recently reported that their Fallout 76 account was suspended after posting videos showcasing the exploit.

Last week, a Fallout 76 YouTuber took to Discord to indicate that they, and a fellow content creator, had just received bans from Bethesda for "exploiting a system issue that results in item duplication." This account suspension is indefinite, and the poster notes that this is the second time the pair has been banned.

"This all stems from our videos," the post states, and it has been reported that these two players have detailed methods for duplicating items on their YouTube channels. The poster's justification for the belief that these videos are the cause of their suspensions is two-fold. 

To begin, the poster accurately notes that other players are exploiting item duplication glitches to a high degree and that they have yet to be punished for it. Indeed the community has been continually noting their encounters with vault dwellers that are using these glitches, and, thus far, there has been little indication that Bethesda is banning these exploiting players.

Furthermore, the YouTubers in question had created new Fallout 76 accounts following their first suspensions. While it seems that these players continued to duplicate items on their primary accounts after their initial bans were lifted, the post indicates that they had never duplicated items on these new accounts, yet they were suspended as well.

This suggests that Bethesda may indeed be monitoring YouTube for players that are promulgating duplication exploits, and then banning accounts connected to these players even if these glitches had not been used on a particular account. That said, Bethesda has not provided official word on this matter.

Item duplication can have a major impact on a multiplayer game, ranging from destabilizing its economy to creating server issues. Certainly, the most effective method for addressing these glitches is to remove them through updates, but it seems that Bethesda may finally be issuing bans until it is ready to fix the exploits.

More details on the YouTuber's Discord post can be found on SegmentNext.

GTA Online Gets New Weapons, Bonuses, and Discounts Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:49:42 -0500 William R. Parks

While Red Dead Online may be Rockstar's newest multiplayer offering, the developer continues to support its highly successful GTA Online. This support includes the recent Arena War update, which brought new vehicles and game modes to the title, and Rockstar is back with two new weapons for fans to enjoy as well as some bonuses and discounts.

The Unholy Hellbringer and Widowmaker are GTA Online's newest firearms, and they have a futuristic bent. Rockstar elaborates on these stylish guns in its announcement:

Are you concerned that your favorite rifle doesn’t spit molten chunks of Second Amendment hot enough or fast enough for the 21st century? Well fret no more, and welcome to the future of freedom: you can now own the new and exclusive Republican Space Ranger Edition weapons...

Both of these weapons are now available from any of the game's Ammu-Nation locations. Players that want to add the Unholy Hellbringer and Widowmaker to their arsenals will need to spend $449,000 for each of them.

For those that are cash poor and cannot afford this new firepower, Rockstar has a solution: the Arena War Series is currently providing double GTA$ and RP through January 14.

Fans that want to obtain these bonuses should participate in the Hasta La Vista, Vehicle Vendetta, and Vespucci Job modes, and double cash can also be accrued on all Biker Business sales.

Furthermore, a number of discounts are available this week, which will give players an opportunity to try out businesses and vehicles at a cheaper rate. These discounts include:

  • Biker Businesses – 35% off
  • Facilities – 30% off
  • Grotti X80 Proto – 35% off
  • Mammoth Hydra – 35% off
  • Nagasaki Shotaro – 35% off
  • Weeny Issi Classic – 35% off
  • Dewbauchee Vagner – 30% off
  • Mammoth Thruster – 30% off
  • Mammoth Avenger – 35% off
  • Ocelot Stromberg – 30% off
  • Pegassi Zentorno – 30% off

Community response to this week's offerings seems quite positive, with players suggesting that the Biker Business sales bonus is an excellent way to build up a sizable bank account. However, with the discounts and new weapons enticing fans to spend, these cash holdings may not last long.

Details on the update are available on Rockstar's website.

Rumor: The Last of Us Part 2 Will Release in 2019 Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:49:02 -0500 William R. Parks

Since The Last of Us Part 2 was officially announced at PSX 2016, fans have been clamoring for the followup to Naughty Dog's acclaimed action-adventure game. While the company has provided no official word on its launch, a former IGN Editor, Alanah Pearce, has recently claimed that players will get their wish when the title is released this year.

Last week, Pearce took to Twitter to express her surprise that The Last of Us Part 2 was not included in a list outlining the most anticipated games of 2019. This prompted users to point out that the game had not been confirmed for release this year, to which Pearce responded that "TLOU2 100% has."

Following a three-year stint as editor at IGN, it may be plausible that Pearce has details on The Last of Us Part 2 that have not yet been made available to the public. She further substantiates her claim with some additional information regarding the potential release date:

So I have been told multiple times by multiple people. Not like things can't change or it's set in stone if it hasn't been publicly announced though.

While Pearce's suggestion should certainly be approached with skepticism, this is not the first indication that The Last of Us Part 2 is coming in 2019. Last December, for example, the game was listed on Amazon Italy with a 2019 release date, and a recent video from Sony titled "Coming Attractions" includes gameplay footage.

Both of Pearce's Tweets have since been deleted, but they certainly suggested confidence about the game's release window. The reason for their removal can only be speculated upon, but fans should indeed take these statements with a grain of salt until an official release date has been confirmed.

While some expected a trailer for The Last of Us Part 2 to make an appearance at The Game Awards 2018, it was notably absent. Naughty Dog did use this opportunity to indicate that it was "hard at work" on the game but confirmed details about The Last of Us Part 2 have been sparse since its announcement.

This silence may indicate that the title is further away than Pearce is suggesting, or perhaps Naughty Dog has a surprise in store for fans over the upcoming months. Whatever the case may be, The Last of Us Part 2 is certain to remain a highly desired game until it is released.

Images of Pearce's Tweets can be found at

Devil May Cry 5 Director Confirms Game Length Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:10:03 -0500 William R. Parks

As the release of Devil May Cry 5 inches ever closer, fans continue to have questions about what the upcoming action-adventure game will offer. For some, one of these questions may be exactly how long the experience will last, and Director Hideaki Itsuno has recently offered clarification for those wondering. 

Speaking with Korean website Game Shot, Itsuno indicated that a playthrough of Devil May Cry 5 will take approximately 15 hours. If accurate, this figure would mean that the new title is amongst the longest in the series.

For comparison, HowLongToBeat, a website dedicated to compiling user-submitted game completion times, has lengths recorded for the previous entries in the franchise. Specifically, the site indicates that Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening is currently the lengthiest experience, with the time required to complete the main story clocking in at around 12 hours.

On the flip side, it takes under seven hours to finish the original Devil May Cry, as well as Devil May Cry 2. By today's standards, where adventure games can easily exceed 20 hours, these may feel like very short offerings, and it appears that Devil May Cry 5 looks to expand the experience.

Notably, all of these games do contain additional content outside of the main story. This can facilitate longer playthroughs than indicated above, and it is possible that Devil May Cry 5 will also feature optional material to push the experience beyond the 15 hours suggested by Itsuno. 

Furthermore, the director mentions that there may be post-launch opportunities for those that want to extend their journeys. That is, Itsuno claims that additional playable characters may be introduced into Devil May Cry 5 if fans show interest, but there has been no official word on who these characters might be.

With Devil May Cry 5's new demo launching next month, anticipation for the release of the title continues to grow. Fortunately for fans that are looking to sink their teeth into a sizable game, these new details on its length suggest that they will have the opportunity to do so.

The translation of Itsuno's interview with Game Shot is provided by Wccftech.

Prison Architect IP Sold to Paradox Interactive Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:06:47 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Prison Architect's gotten a handful of updates since its full release, but even more updates may be in store if Paradox Interactive's track record is any indication. After all, they did just buy all of the rights and assets for Prison Architect from developer Introversion.

Since its release on Steam Early Access, Prison Architect has stood both as one of the most prolific indie games on Steam and as one of the most played management simulation games on the platform. It has also been released on PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, and mobile. It's stretched far past its initial aspirations as a PC game.

Paradox is best known as a strategy publisher and Prison Architect fits right within the rest of their IPs. This acquisition will allow Paradox to continue development of the game and develop other titles based off the Architect IP.

If you're a fan of Prison Architect, this news may be a little worrying as Paradox is very well known for releasing long lists of DLC for individual titles. The game thus far has been free of DLC, with its big updates simply being released as free patches. On the other hand, even more content for Prison Architect is more than welcome as its patches have been releasing in a slow roll over the years.

I, for one, welcome our Paradox overlords to take the reigns and give me more ways to manage and torture my prisoners. Don't you? Let us know in the comments below!

Dark Devotion Gameplay Trailer Shows Off New Ghoulish Footage Tue, 08 Jan 2019 12:15:51 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Although it's been a long, arduous road for Dark Devotion, the self-ascribed "gloomy indie Roguelike RPG" that's been in development since 2015, light has finally begun to creep through the game's previously dark release window.

In a presser issued today, not only has publisher The Arcade Crew released a new gameplay trailer, which you can see above, it has also revealed that it plans to bring Dark Devotion to the PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch during Q1 2019. 

For those not up on the periodicity of quarters, that means the game is scheduled to release sometime between now and March 31. However, it's worth noting that Dark Devotion was originally scheduled to release in April 2018, but per Gematsu, was delayed to Q1 2019 late last year.

From what we've seen from trailers and screens so far, Dark Devotion shares striking, if exciting, similarities with the recent Soulsvania titles Death's Gambit and Salt and Sanctuary. True to the developer's description, the game adheres to the gloomy atmospherics of both titles, while echoing the punishing combat fans of the ever-growing genre have come to expect. 

Like the games above, as well as the series they're based on, The Arcade Crew stresses that Dark Devotion will reward patience and calculation over brute force. 

Dark Devotion has received praise throughout its development cycle, including being nominated for Bitsummit's Visual Excellence award and Vermillion Gate award at the 2018 Kyoto Indie Festival. The Vermillion Gate award is one "given to the project that was determined the best among all projects at A 5th of BitSummit."

While there was a Dark Devotion demo previously available on back in 2017, that demo is no longer available. There is no word if a new demo will become available before launch later this quarter.  

You can learn more about the game by visiting its Steam page

New Devil May Cry 5 Demo Announced Mon, 07 Jan 2019 23:54:50 -0500 William R. Parks

Last month, Xbox One owners were treated to a playable demo of Capcom's much anticipated action adventure game, Devil May Cry 5. While that demo is no longer available for download, the company has just announced that another one is on the horizon.

Taking to Twitter, Capcom confirmed that the next Devil May Cry 5 demo will be available beginning February 7. Additionally, this demo will be playable on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — news that is certain to be met with excitement by those that were not able to play the first demo on their Sony consoles.

Furthermore, Capcom's Tweet thanks those Xbox One players that downloaded the previous demo. It also features a GIF of Nero showing off his new robotic arm, the Devil Breaker.

In Devil May Cry 5's first demo, fans were able to play almost an entire mission from the game, controlling the aforementioned cybernetically appendaged character. This included a boss battle with Goliath, and the demo gave players access to several weapons: the Red Queen sword, the Blue Rose hand cannon, and two different Devil Breakers.

Of course, many fans are champing at the bit for their next opportunity to experience Devil May Cry 5, and some are trying to cope with the fact that they will have to wait another month to do so. However, the most disappointed group is certain to be PC owners, as no demo has been announced for them at this time.

It has been 11 years since the release of the last mainline Devil May Cry, which has built considerable excitement for this new entry. While the full title will not be available until March, the February demo will be a great opportunity for fans to get their fix in the interim.

Hyperkin's New Light Gun Will Let You Blast Away On HDTVs Mon, 07 Jan 2019 15:29:56 -0500 QuintLyn

When it comes to using light guns in video games, there's a growing problem. True light guns, which were made to work with old-school CRT TVs (the big fat TVs of yesteryear) are pretty much an extremely niche technology in the console gaming space.

That is until now.

As it turns out, peripheral maker Hyperkin has an HD-friendly light gun in the works. Named the "Hyper Blaster HD," the peripheral will work with any game designed for light guns. Yes, that includes non-HD games like Duck Hunt.

An actual image of the new device hasn't been released at this point, but it's certain the company is waiting for a full reveal at CES later this week; it's part of a lineup of items the company plans to show off at the conference, Including a RetroN DIY kit for SNES that makes use of the Raspberry Pi.

Currently, speculation is that it will share some similarities to Hyperkin's Hyper Blaster set with VIVE Tracker.

We'll share more when we have it. 

HyperX Unveils Suite of New Peripherals at CES 2019 Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:39:24 -0500 Jonathan Moore

As expected, peripheral-maker and PC parts manufacturer HyperX unveiled a handful of new gaming gear at CES 2019. Fresh off the heels of Cloud Mix release back in October, the company continues to increase its product offerings across the board, from mics to mice to headsets. 

Some of the products, such as the Quadcast standalone microphone, are brand-new additions to the HyperX catalog. Others, such as the Pulsefire Raid RGB gaming mouse and the Predator DDR4 RGB 16GB RAM module, are ostensibly variants of current offerings. 

Regardless of their novelty, Mark Leathem, Vice President of HyperX, said that it's the company's goal to continually design and manufacture peripherals that meet the needs of all gamers. 

There’s nothing like CES to put a spotlight on the HyperX commitment to delivering high-performance gaming products for all levels of gamers.

Whether immersing yourself in a game of battle royale, battling friends while playing online basketball, or throwing down from your couch in a fighting game on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox, the new high-performance HyperX products further enhance your gameplay experience. 

While it remains to be seen how much the company's new offerings will "enhance your gameplay experience" since we haven't yet been able to get our hands on them, we do know a little bit about them and what they'll bring to the table when they release later this year.  

Quadcast standalone microphone

Availability: March 2019

While HyperX has been making RAM, headsets, and mice for some time now, the Quadcast will be its first microphone. 

Built specifically for PC, PS4 and Mac streamers, the Quadcast will come with an anti-vibration shock mount, on-mic gain control adjuster, up to four polar patterns, and tap-to-mute functionality. 

Interestingly, the release materials don't mention anything about Xbox compatibility. However, other HyperX products, such as the Cloud Flight gaming headset, aren't compatible with Xbox either. 

Cloud Orbit/Cloud Orbit S headset

Availability: Q2 2019
$299.99 (Orbit); $329.99 (Orbit S)

OK, another set of HyperX headphones — this brings the current count to 10 if you count every current variant and the upcoming Alpha Purple Edition. And while that number is surely indicative of Leathem's previous promise to provide "high-performance gaming products for all levels of gamers," that's still a lot of headsets from one company. 

However, what's might really set these two headsets apart from everything else HyperX has on offer is the inclusion of Audeze 100mm planar magnetic drivers and Waves NX 3D audio tech. Both of these audiophile-level technologies look to vault HyperX into the high-end headphone sonisphere if everything's pulled off just right. 

Pulsefire Raid RGB gaming mouse

Availability: Q2 2019
Price: $59.99

We think both the Pulsefire FPS and Pulsefire RGB are pretty great gaming mice. But not all gamers can get away with having only a few buttons at their disposal. Some, like MOBA players, just need more. 

That's where, presumably, the Pulsefire Raid RGB will come in. Featuring 11 programmable buttons, the mouse is designed for customizability (among other things). 

Of course, the mouse will also feature other gaming mouse staples such as customizable DPI (up to 16,000 DPI), responsive tracking, and a Pixart sensor, which is the same 3389 found in the Pulsefire Surge RGB. The mouse's Omron switches will also be rated for 20 million clicks. 

Cloud Alpha Purple Edition

Availability: Q2 2019
Price: $99.99

The biggest takeaway here is that the Cloud Alpha headband will be getting an upgrade, "featuring softer, more pliable leatherette." It might also be purple, but HyperX didn't say in its release. 

Other than that, it appears to be essentially identical to the current Cloud Alpha


HyperX also said that it has expanded the availability of the recently-released Cloud Mix headset, which can now be found worldwide. 

The company also released a new 16GB module for its Predator DDR4 RGB RAM, which will be available at speeds of 3000MHz and 3200MHz starting this month for $167. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on HyperX, as well as reviews for the Quadcast, Cloud Orbit/Cloud Orbit S, and Pulsefire Raid RGB. 

Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash Mod Brings New Content to Lordran Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:39:15 -0500 William R. Parks

While the Dark Souls series may have come to an end with the release of Dark Souls 3, fans are continuing to keep the kingdom of Lordran alive with community-run events and mods. Recently, yet another of these fan-made offerings has been made available, and it looks to be one of the most ambitious yet.

Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash is a new mod for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition on PC that offers a "re-imagined and massively expanded" experience. Specifically, this mod, created by Reddit user Grimrukh, takes the original Dark Souls and adds an "enormous" amount of new content.

This content includes new pathways through the game's world, which are filled with new secrets and NPCs to discover. These NPCs offer entirely new quests, which intersect as players make their way through Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash, and new events will expand upon the established lore.

Furthermore, Grimrukh has added weapons with new abilities, and players will find that most of the preexisting equipment has been altered in some way. It also brings new enemies, including some that have been culled from cut content, and bosses to Dark Souls.

Indeed Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash sounds like quite an extravagant overhaul, and, amazingly, Grimrukh has been the sole programmer working on it. In a Reddit post, Grimrukh notes that over 1,000 hours were spent on the mod throughout 2017 and 2018, including hundreds of hours of playtesting.

While this effort has led to "more content than the original game," Grimrukh notes that the mod is not filled with brand new assets. That is, players will be able to interact with a myriad of elements that are functionally new, but the art of these elements are taken from the original Dark Souls release.

Furthermore, Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash does not support multiplayer, and Grimrukh recommends playing the mod offline in order to avoid game-breaking invasions. As expected from a mod of this scale, especially one built by a single person, players also may encounter bugs on their journeys through Lordran.

Despite these few shortcomings, it is hard to deny that Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash is an impressive undertaking. While some players seem to be having problems with the mod's approach to weapon durability, which has them breaking much more quickly, many will simply be happy to have a seemingly new Dark Souls experience to enjoy.

More details on Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash can be found on Reddit.

My Arcade Reveals New Retro Consoles and Peripherals Mon, 07 Jan 2019 13:02:24 -0500 William R. Parks

With the recent success of the NES and SNES Classics, Nintendo has proven just how extensive the market for retro gaming truly is. That said, Nintendo is not the only company offering platforms for fans of classic games to enjoy, and My Arcade has just announced several of its own retro offerings.

The first of these releases is spawned by My Arcade's new partnership with Taito Corporation, a company known for its release of the arcade classic Space Invaders in 1978. Specifically, My Arcade is releasing mini-arcade cabinets, seven-inch tall collectible arcade consoles, featuring Bubble Bobble and Elevator Action

Furthermore, My Arcade is expanding their collaboration with Taito by releasing two traditional handhelds. One of these Pocket Players will give players access to Bubble Bobble while the other will let them play Don Doko Don on the go.

Similarly, the company is deepening their partnership with Bandai Namco with another mini-arcade cabinet and three more handhelds. The cabinet will feature Ms. Pac-Man, and there will be individual Pocket Players for Ms. Pac-ManGalaga, and Dig Dug.

With the release of a number of games solidly established, My Arcade has also turned its attention to releasing a console and a peripheral. The console is called the Retro Champ, and it "breathes new life into retro gamers’ NES and Famicom cartridges without the need for a legacy console."

This console will allow players to enjoy their NES cartridges with mobility, featuring a built-in seven-inch screen and a three- to five-hour battery life. Additionally, the Retro Champ can be connected to a TV via an HDMI cable, and it includes a cleaning kit.

The peripheral is a wireless controller that can be connected to the recently released PlayStation Classic. The controllers that were included with the PlayStation Classic had cables measuring approximately five feet in length, and this wireless option may be a boon for those looking to get further away from their TVs.

Currently, these new products are scheduled for release on My Arcade's website and Amazon before summer. In the meantime, retro gaming fans that are attending CES in Las Vegas can demo them at My Arcade's booth until January 11.

Further details on these items will be available on My Arcade's website.