What Comes With Rainbow Six Siege's Update

What Comes With Rainbow Six Siege's Update

6:33pm, 9th September, 2018
The game continues to grow and continues to expand with each new update, some adding wildly unique gameplay content to the offerings while others continue to flesh out the ever-expanding roster of Operators. With the latest DLC update having gone live, you can now find out exactly what you get in...
Explainer: Riot Games’ summer of controversy continues at PAX West in Seattle

Explainer: Riot Games’ summer of controversy continues at PAX West in Seattle

2:40pm, 8th September, 2018
“Stickies of Support” from Riot Games at PAX. (Thomas Wilde Photos) Riot Games, the California-based studio behind the mega-popular PC game League of Legends, is having a rough summer. After that depicted the company’s internal culture as a hotbed of gender discrimination, Riot entered this year’s Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle on stage one of a new mission. As part of , Riot held a series of presentations during PAX in Room 613 of the Washington State Convention Center, on topics such as narrative design and video game production, as well as opportunities for one-on-one resume review and feedback, in order to reach out to and potentially recruit new employees. Further, as part of Riot’s goal to “ Riot limited attendance to its presentations to women and non-binary people until 2:30 PM. Official art for Riot’s League of Legends. (Riot Games Image) Subsequently, all hell broke loose. You wouldn’t necessarily have noticed it if you were at the show — Riot’s presence was mostly on the sixth floor of the convention center, well away from most of the major events and booths, and their activities were primarily advertised via their own website; the most visible thing they did from the show floor was the –but on social media and Reddit, the League of Legends community The discussion became heated, to the point of personal insults and worse being directed at Riot employees. The worst of the online abuse, in conjunction with the at a Madden tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., has caused Riot to at the next League of Legends e-sports tournaments. Several members of Riot’s staff participated in the social-media discussions surrounding the panels, speaking up in defense of the practice and against the loudest critics from outside the company. On Friday, it was that two Riot staff members, Daniel Klein and Mattias Lehman, were dismissed from the company, over what was a violation of Riot’s internal social media policies. Both Klein and Lehman had been vocal about the need for internal reform at Riot, on Twitter and elsewhere, with Lehman writing an essay . This reddit thread about some events we're hosting at PAX being open to women and non-binary people only was just as much of a toxic landfill as I expected it to be: So let's talk about this for a little bit! — Daniel Z. Klein (@danielzklein) Riot Games has offered the following comment when contacted by multiple sources: “These departures are independent from our efforts to evolve our culture. Our culture remains our top priority, and we remain committed to taking the steps that we need to become a leader in Diversity & Inclusion. We will always encourage Rioters to share their perspectives, and we fully support efforts by Rioters to further our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. We are committed to making real, positive change in Riot’s culture and internal advocates are a crucial part of making that happen. Beyond that, we can confirm that these individuals are no longer with Riot Games, but we cannot provide further details on personnel issues.” Klein and Lehman’s dismissal over their social media usage echoes from the Bellevue, Washington-based Arena.net, developers of the Guild Wars series, back in July. The Background Gameplay in League of Legends. (Image: Riot Games) If you follow video games at all, you’ve probably at least heard of League of Legends. An estimated 100 million players log into the game every month, League is a perennial hit on streaming services like Twitch.tv, and it has several professional competitive divisions, such as the League Championship Series (LCS). Seattle is represented in League competitive play via the , which competes regularly in both and . League is one of the most visible games in a genre called the MOBA, for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The genre, which originally developed from a player-created mode for StarCraft, is a team-based competition in which each player controls a single character. Both teams’ goal is to besiege and destroy the other team’s base, despite opposition from both other players and AI-controlled units. Other popular MOBAs include Defense of the Ancients and Heroes of the Storm. Riot Games was founded in 2006 by Brandon “Ryze” Beck and Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill, who raised money from private investors to work on what would become League. Their game plan from the start was to focus on , rather than releasing multiple titles, which eventually turned into League‘s business model. Anyone can start playing League for free, but you can spend real money to get various cosmetic options such as new costumes, or to get new characters faster than you’d otherwise be able to unlock them through standard play, and Riot continually releases new content, including short films, to keep players engaged. Riot is currently owned by the Chinese company Tencent, which in late 2015. As of 2018, it employs over 2,500 people in 24 locations worldwide, including an office for player support services in Redmond, Washington. The Controversy Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasio released “” on August 6th, after months of research and interviews with current and former Riot Games personnel. It’s a comprehensive, well-sourced piece about the company’s internal politics, which was backed up by from . Despite the runaway popularity of League of Legends, Riot has struggled with PR problems–it’s had to take significant strides in the past to of its community, as it was creating a problem for the game’s ability to retain players. The company quickly responded, indicated by D’Anastasio’s piece. It then followed up with a longer essay on August 29th, just before PAX West, detailing the steps the company is taking. Riot’s plan for moving forward includes the expansion of its preexisting Culture, Diversity & Inclusion initiative; the improvement of its internal investigation process; and bringing in exterior consultants for evaluation. In an essay published on its website, Riot mentions that “we’re accelerating our efforts to make our recruiting system more open. We’re overhauling our job descriptions to ensure they’re readily accessible to all demographic groups; reassessing which universities we recruit from; and expanding the pools from which we target our candidates.”
Fortnite Monopoly Is Coming In October

Fortnite Monopoly Is Coming In October

12:40pm, 8th September, 2018
Epic Games has managed to join with one of the most recognized board game makers around in order to create a version of Monopoly based on the very popular (and still growing) Battle Royale game, Fortnite.
Soul Calibur VI Will Include Raphael And Cervantes

Soul Calibur VI Will Include Raphael And Cervantes

8:34pm, 7th September, 2018
The game is gearing up for the big release but still has a lot of surprises left to uncover. Some gamers aren't content to wait an entire month to get their hands on Bandai Namco's fantasy-history sword and staff game, and have managed to get their hands on new screenshots that verify the...
Fortnite hits 15 million installs on Android

Fortnite hits 15 million installs on Android

8:23pm, 7th September, 2018
Circumventing the Google Play store wasn’t exactly a gamble for Epic, given the fact that Fortnite is essentially a license to print money. But even by its own standards, the game is posting some impressive numbers three weeks after hitting Android. In a this week, Epic noted that the wildly popular sandbox survival game hit 23 million players on Google’s mobile operating system, spread out across 15 million APK installs. Those numbers are arriving 21 days after the title launched on the OS. This, like every other piece of Fortnite news, means big bucks for Epic. That’s especially the case here, however, given that the launch means the gaming company is cutting Google’s 30 percent take out of the equation. Along with the numbers, Epic also highlighted some of its efforts to tackle potential malware threats — an added issue given that the game isn’t distributed through Google’s official channel. “So far, Epic has instigated action on 47 unauthorized “Fortnite for Android’ websites,” the company writes, “many of which appear to be run by the same bad actors. We continue to police the situation with a goal of taking them offline, or restricting access by leveraging Epic’s connection to a network of anti-fraud partners.”
Fast-growing game engine startup Unity loses its CFO

Fast-growing game engine startup Unity loses its CFO

6:14pm, 7th September, 2018
Unity Technologies, the highly valued startup behind one of the most popular game development tools, lost its CFO Mike Foley last week, (paywalled) reported. A company spokesperson confirmed the CFO’s departure, saying it was a “friendly and mutual decision between both parties,” while also noting that the company was searching for a replacement and had some candidates and hoped to announce more details soon. In a statement, Foley told TechCrunch, “I look forward to seeing Unity’s continued success under its strong leadership team.” Unity has raised north of $600 million at a valuation over $3 billion, CEO John Riccitiello confirmed to us earlier this week. In an interview at our Disrupt SF 2018 conference, Riccitiello told TechCrunch that the company’s game engine platform now powers about half of all new games. In April, Riccitiello told the publication that the company was on the “general path” toward an IPO. “We’re not putting out dates but I do believe the company is strong enough financially to go public now.” The company is not the only third-party game engine tool available for developers, but Unity has become a favorite for indie developers due in large part to the breadth of integrations for various game platforms and the ease of deploying to them. The game engine company was started 14 years ago scraped from the remains of a failed video game title, but has begun to grow rapidly in the past couple years particularly due to investor bullishness around AR/VR and the potential for a real-time rendering engine to shape everything from manufacturing design to autonomous systems training. Update: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Foley left his position in June, rather than last week.
Steam adds new tools to help users find games they want — and avoid ones they don’t — in its store

Steam adds new tools to help users find games they want — and avoid ones they don’t — in its store

5:41pm, 7th September, 2018
It’s been a strange summer for Steam. Since the implementation of the last year, the service has seen a tidal wave of new, largely unfiltered content, much of which has proved to be controversial,, or in a couple of cases, . Steam’s moves to curate its new releases have been unfocused, inconsistent, and/or simply nonexistent, finally settling on the principle, as they stated in a blog post in June, that they “.” In the same blog post, Steam’s representatives promised that new tools were in the works to help users filter their experience in the storefront, and to help cut down on trolls, scammers, and other bad-faith users of the Steam publication process. This included a rework to how the system worked, where games would no longer automatically receive card sets until they This addressed an exploit where players would generate “fake” games in order to farm them for trading cards with bot accounts, which could then be redeemed for , coupons, and other items, many of which could be traded for real money on the Steam Marketplace. On Wednesday, Valve provided a to the community. The company has introduced a number of methods to make it easier for users to explore Steam, such as , a rework (in July) to how its worked, and provided more and better options for you to filter the types of content you can see when randomly browsing the store. One big change here is that you can now tick a series of boxes in your account settings that determines what you are and are not willing to see on Steam, based upon not only the general age rating, but the type of content involved. For example, I unchecked the box on my personal Steam account for nudity and sexual content, so now, when I go to search for Funcom’s survival game Conan Exiles, which is notorious in certain circles for not only frequent but intensely customizable nudity, I simply can’t see its store page at all. A screenshot from the author’s personal Steam account. Steam now also requires publishers of games that feature mature content to go into detail about the type and context of that content (i.e. Left 4 Dead 2 being listed as featuring not just explicit violence, but “decapitation and dismemberment of zombie-like creatures”), in order to assist players in determining whether or not a game is suitable for them. Previously, a game’s Steam page would typically only hint at whatever the game might actually contain, through marketing copy and a handful of keywords; now, a consumer should know exactly what they’re in for before they purchase a game. What’s likely going to be the most controversial part of these changes, however, is Steam’s ongoing attempts to remove “bad actors” from its storefront. They describe a relatively small population of would-be developers that are simply out to release titles with which to troll Steam’s userbase, but then remain vague on what precisely fits their internal definition of trolling. “Our review of something that may be ‘a troll game’ is a deep assessment that actually begins with the developer,” Valve wrote on its blog. “We investigate who this developer is, what they’ve done in the past, their behavior on Steam as a developer, as a customer, their banking information, developers they associate with, and more. All of this is done to answer the question ‘who are we partnering with and why do they want to sell this game?’ We get as much context around the creation and creator of the game and then make an assessment. A trend we’re seeing is that we often ban these people from Steam altogether instead of cherry-picking through their individual game submissions. In the words of someone here in the office: ‘it really does seem like bad games are made by bad people.'” In other words, they know trolls when they see them. It’s an open-ended declaration that seems guaranteed to cause some problems, just as soon as a given issue comes down to a matter of interpretation. As for the issue of sales bloat and a lack of curation on Steam, Valve currently remains quiet. The new systems they announced are in place on Steam accounts as of this writing, but the store is still flooded with new games every week, and Valve still considers it, for the time being, the community’s job to police their storefront.