Part of the big news coming out of this year's QuakeCon has to deal with some brand new additions to the ongoing first-person shooter project from id Software and Bethesda, Quake Champions. A brand new trailer was released to introduce gamers to a new class known as the Death...
Details on the Nintendo Network's premium services have been kept under wraps by the Big N just up until the spring, when we learned more about the pricing and family plans. Just recently, we've now learned when the premium network will roll out and it's a lot closer than you probably...
A non-final version of the cover art for Magic: The Gathering — Chandra No. 1, by Ken Lashley and Matt Burns. (IDW Publishing Image) Wizards of the Coast and IDW Publishing announced this week that, as part of the ongoing festivities surrounding the 25th anniversary of Magic: The Gathering, the franchise would be returning to American comics. Magic: the Gathering — Chandra No. 1, written by (Supergirl, Wonder Woman, The Wilds, Submerged) with art by Harvey Tolibao (X-Men, Jean Grey, Green Arrow), will be available in stores this November. The new book follows one of the card game’s signature characters, the and pyromancer , known to many casual Magic fans as “the one whose hair is on fire all the time.” The comic is set slightly ahead of the current story in the card game, and according to the official blurb for the first issue, picks up with Chandra “in the wake of a devastating loss.” She sets out on her own to prepare for her next challenge, and ends up dealing with both old and new threats. According to Magic‘s senior art director Daniel Ketchum, , the new Magic comic is intended to be set in the same universe as the card game, but is intended to focus on different events than the game’s lore. Specifically, the comic will focus on exploring the Magic universe with Chandra as a viewpoint character, checking in on places and people that the game might not get back to soon, if ever. Chandra marks the latest in a series of licensed comics for Magic, and the first new one in five years. The franchise’s history in comics began in 1995 with limited series and one-shots by Armada Comics, such as Arabian Nights, Antiquities War, Wayfarer, and Homelands. The line ended suddenly in 1996, as Armada’s parent company Acclaim started to run into financial trouble. The Portland-based independent publisher Dark Horse picked up the next Magic comics, a four-issue limited series by Mike Grell (Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, Jon Sable: Freelance) called Gerrard’s Quest. The California-based company IDW (the current home of the Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, among many other licensed properties) took over publishing duties for Magic‘s comics in 2012, releasing a number of limited series focusing on a new character, Dack Fayden, planeswalker and thief. Chandra is the first new Magic comic in four years, since the final issue of Theros in early 2014. The new comic is another Magic product intended to celebrate the line’s 25th anniversary, alongside the most recent Pro Tour and the recently released cards.
Say goodbye to Communities. The game-streaming service says it’s soon killing off this still relatively new addition to its site in favor of implementing a tagging system instead. With the changes, users will be able to filter streams by tags within a directory or across different games on the Browse page, in order to better find the sort of streams they want to watch. The closure of Communities and addition of tags is being planned for mid-September, says Twitch. Twitch , with the goal of better catering to users’ unique interests. For example, different types of gaming, like retro, or different activities, like speedrunning, could then have their own community. There are also communities centered around titles like Fortnite Battle Royale, PUBG, League of Legends and others, as well as those focused on creative endeavors like music, drawing, cooking, cosplay and more. But the system has become less helpful as Twitch itself, the number of streamers and the number of communities grew. Today, there’s a lot of overlap between different Communities or between Communities and games, says Twitch. This is attributable, in part, to the open nature of Communities — there are many with similar names, and no good way to tell what makes them different from one another at first glance. “Communities were one solution for giving viewers information to help them decide what to watch, but viewers weren’t able to see that information while browsing within a directory they were interested in,” the company noted in an announcement. It also found that Communities weren’t driving viewers to watch streams — in fact less than 3 percent of Twitch viewership was from users who found streams through the Communities feature. That points to a pretty broad failure of Communities serving as a discovery feature. Twitch now hopes that the implementation of tags will make things better on that front. The company says it will add tags to the site in mid-September, and these will be used to identify a stream across Twitch’s directory pages, the homepage, search, channel pages and everywhere else. The main Directory pages and the Browse page will also be able to be filtered by these tags, some of which will be auto-generated. Twitch says it will automatically add tags like game genres, and some it can auto-detect — another project it now has in the works. But most of the tags will be selected by the streamer — not user-generated, to be clear, but selected. Streamers will be able to suggest new tags, however. The tags will appear alongside the video thumbnail, stream title and the game or category being streamed. The change is one that speaks to the limitations of portal-like interfaces being used to access a large amount of information — that is, browsing to a particular section to find things you like, then scrolling through those results takes too much time. It isn’t that helpful in the long run. Tagging lets users filter information, paring down, in this case, a large number of Twitch streams to find just those you like. That being said, not all Twitch users are happy about the changes. But some are happy about it and others are cautiously optimistic about tagging. So in case you haven't heard the news, is removing Communities because "they werent being used" which means that The Cookout Community page that we've built up over this past year wont exist a month from now. We will have to come up with new ways to find each other. — The Villain. (@DennyVonDoom) It is with a heavy heart i must share the sad news,That Twitch Communities will be removed,say goodbye to Communities we are being introduced to Tags. Unsure on how this will work out on twitch. I only have but one thing to say, Everything We Do Will Remain The Same — Letseuq [CE] (@Letseuqion) We feel communities gave streamers a sense of self identity that was much needed It is worrisome to see tags implemented instead of more freeform communties as it removes agency from the streamers in how they choose to define their stream and themselves. What are your thoughts? — TwitchKittens (@TwitchKittens) It’s a shame that are removing Communities, but the implementation of tags is a really cool idea, and I look forward to the possibility of seeing a tag. — Lt Zonda [SC] (@LTZONDA) I'm happy with it to be honest, 3 communities is extremely limiting anyway especially when the majority of people have more than 3. I dunno how anyone was supposed to find community pages easily, think more traffic came from external sources and game listings than community pages — OK Sauce (@oksaucedesu) Honesty, I don’t see how this’ll hurt anyone. You can still make communities outside of Twitch. Then you can just use a tag instead. Same idea really. What is a community? A bunch of people using the same tag? I’m still not even part of a community. — Vanilla Bizcotti (@VanBiztheRapper) The interesting thing about rolling out this tags feature is that they're gonna eventually include them on mobile….which they never did for Communities. So how can you accurately measure the usefulness of the Communities feature if not everybody had access to it? — Jae. (@JaeTheTerrible) Everyone is getting up in arms about Twitch removing communities. Believe it or not, communities can be used to push away gamers just as much as bring them together. — Vanilla Bizcotti (@VanBiztheRapper) Twitch says tagging will first launch on the web, and the company will then listen to feedback about missing tags before launching the feature on mobile. The mid-September launch date could change, but is the target for now.
If you really want to feel like you're wielding the power of Olympus, then you'll probably want to check out the New Game+ mode Santa Monica Studio recently announced for God of War.
When Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, it made an unusual choice: it in favor of offering the game directly from Epic Games’ own website. Most apps and games don’t have the luxury of making this choice – the built-in distribution Google Play offers is critical to their business. But Epic Games believes its game is popular enough and has a strong enough draw to bring players to its website for the Android download instead. In the process, it’s costing Google around $50 million this year in platform fees, according to a new report. As of its Android launch date, Fortnite had grossed over $180 million on iOS devices, where it had been exclusively available since launching as an invite-only beta on March 15th, before later expanding to all App Store customers. from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the game has earned Apple more than $54 million thanks to its 30 percent cut of all the in-app spending that takes place on apps distributed in its store. That’s money Epic Games isn’t apparently willing to give up to Google, when there’s another way. Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be downloaded from its own storefront, Google’s platform is more open. There’s a way to adjust an Android device’s settings to download apps and games from anywhere on the web. Of course, by doing so, , malware infections, and other malicious attacks. For those reasons, security researchers are saying that Epic Games’ decision sets a dangerous precedent by encouraging people to remove the default security protections from their devices. They’re also concerned that users who look for the game on Google Play could be fooled into downloading suspicious copycat apps that may be trying to take advantage of Fortnite’s absence to scam mobile users. Google seems to be worried about that, too. For the first time ever, that a game is not available for download. Now, when users search for things like “Fortnite” or “Fortnite Battle Royale,” (One has to wonder if Google’s misspelling of “Royale” as “Royal” in its message was a little eff u to the gamemakers, or just a bit of incompetence.) In any event, it’s an unusual response on Google’s part – and one it was done to serve users as well as protect them from any potential scam apps. However, the message could lead to some pressure on Epic Games, too. It could encourage consumer complaints from those who want to more easily (or more safely) download the game, as well as from those who don’t understand there’s an alternative method or are confused about how that method works. In addition, Google is serving up the also hugely popular PUBG Mobile at the top of Fortnite search results followed by other games. In doing so, it’s sending users to another game that can easily eat up users’ time and attention. For Google, the move by Epic Games is likely troubling, as it could prompt other large games to do the same. While one odd move by Epic Games won’t be a make or break situation for Google Play revenue (which always lags iOS), if it became the norm, Google’s losses could climb. At present, Google is missing out on millions that will now go directly to the game publisher itself. Over the rest of 2018, Sensor Tower believes Fortnite will have gained at least $50 million in revenues that would otherwise have been paid out to Google. The firm expects that when Fortnite rolls out to all supported Android devices, its launch revenue on the platform will closely resemble the first several months of Apple App Store player spending. It may even surpass it, given the game’s popularity continues growing and the standalone download allows it to reach players in countries where Google Play isn’t available. Meanwhile, there have been concerns that the download makes it more difficult on users with older Android devices to access the game, because the process for sideloading apps isn’t as straightforward. But Sensor Tower says this will not have a large enough impact to affect Fortnite’s revenue potential in the long run.
The launch of Fortnite Battle Royale has left in a slight predicament. While Google is , Fortnite Battle Royale for Android certainly represented the potential for a relatively big revenue stream for an app. That is, until Epic Games decided , circumventing the Play Store. But revenue aside, there’s also the matter of Google probably not liking the idea of huge titles circumventing the Play Store as a precedent. Plus, the lack of Fortnite Battle Royale within the Play Store poses a slight security risk to users, as there are quite a few V-bucks scams and malicious clones looking to capitalize on the popularity of Fortnite. That’s why the Google Play store now displays a message to users in response to searches for “Fortnite,” “Fortnite Battle Royale,” and other similar search queries. “Fortnite Battle Royal by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play,” reads the message. That’s right. Google mispelled the “Royale” in Battle Royale. It was likely an honest mistake, but given the fact that Epic Games is making upwards of $300 million in revenue a month, which Google is not getting a cut of, it makes for some fun back-and-forth for us spectators. Google lists PUBG Mobile, Fortnite’s biggest competitor, at the top of all Fortnite Battle Royale queries, but doesn’t include anything in its message around how to actually find the real Fortnite Battle Royale for . While Google Play’s app review process should catch the vast majority of malicious clones, the message is at least moderately helpful for folks hearing about the Android version of Battle Royale without knowing the details around Epic’s launcher. For what it’s worth, Fortnite for Android isn’t yet available to everyone. The game launched yesterday as a for folks with a Galaxy S 7 or higher, and will become available to all Android phone owners on August 12. [via ]
The first episode for the final season will debut next week on August 14th, and Telltale released the launch trailer, which is intense and emotional, as it covers Clementine and AJ's fight for survival in the zombie-infested world.
Epic recently launched the playable beta for Fortnite on Android devices, but there's a bit of a catch to this massive news: you'll only be able to participate in the beta for the Android version of Fortnite if you're using a Samsung device.
Open worlds have been a staple of gaming for a long time, but recent titles like Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn have significantly pushed the boundaries of what players expect from their environments. Rockstar, of Grand Theft Auto fame, is looking to make them all look like toys with Red Dead Redemption 2 and its wild west frontier that looks to be not just huge, but refreshingly real. Rockstar is certainly best known for the immensely popular GTA series; but it’s arguable its most beloved game is actually 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, which, though a sequel, so spectacularly transplanted the run-and-gun outlaw freedom of GTA to the American West that gamers have been clamoring for a sequel for years. RDR2 was teased back in late 2016, but only recently have we seen hints of what it will actually look like. And today brings the first of a series of videos from the developer detailing the world, character and gameplay systems. The natural beauty of the frontier is, of course, simply amazing to see rendered in such fidelity, and Rockstar’s artists are to be commended. And it is realism that seems to be defining the project as a whole — which makes it a departure from other games whose creators bruit a living, breathing open world to explore. Take Far Cry 5, which came out last year to mixed reviews: The natural landscape of fictional Hope County in Montana was roundly agreed to be breathtaking, but the gameplay and story were criticized as artificially and (strange juxtaposition) monotonously intense. It’s clear that Far Cry 5, like other Ubisoft games, was a sandbox in which interesting but unrealistic situations were bred by the developers — a helicopter crashing on the person you’re rescuing from bandits, and then a cougar mauling the pilot. Horizon: Zero Dawn and Breath of the Wild were both praised for the depth and extent of their worlds and gameplay, but they both had the significant advantage of being fantasies. A mechanical dinosaur or ancient killing machine (same thing?) arrests the eye and imagination, but because one can’t really compare them to reality, they can stay definitively unrealistic. Creating a compelling sci-fi or fantasy world has its own significant challenges, but on the whole it’s considerably easier than creating a convincing replica of the real world. RDR2 seems to be attempting real realism in its game, to the extent that it’s possible. Take for example the fact that your items and cargo actually take up space on your horse. Your horse isn’t 20 more grid spaces of inventory — you can tie a deer you hunted on top, but then it can’t run. There are loops for two long guns but not three, and you can’t carry an arsenal yourself. The flora and fauna are real frontier flora and fauna; they’ll react realistically. Encounters can be approached in multiple ways, peaceful or violent. Your fabulous hide coat gets dirty when you fall in the mud. You get new things to do by getting to know people in your gang. Many of these have been seen before in various games, but what Rockstar is going for appears — and for now only appears — to be taking them to a new level. It will of course have the expected cartoonish violence and occasionally eye-roll-worthy dialogue of any game, but the attempt to realistically, and at this level of fidelity, represent such a major and well-known portion of history is an undertaking of gargantuan proportions. Will the game be as good as the amount of work that has clearly been put into it? We’ll find out later this year when it comes out.