All posts by Jon Ireson

Epic Games Store goes head to head with Steam, offering better incentives to devs and curators

Not that long ago we looked at the many ways Steam has severely gone downhill over recent years and even listed some viable alternatives. There weren’t many, and each had its own fair share of problems holding them back from competing with Steam in a real way. However, it appears we may finally get some competition for the defacto monopoly on PC Gaming software.

Epic Games has introduced a new revenue sharing system making it drastically cheaper to sell your games on the Epic Games Store in the face of new criticisms against Steam’s tiered system, and they’re even making it cheaper to make games with Unreal Engine 4, which has already seen a historically affordable IDE (Interactive Development Environment) compared to previous generations of the engine.

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When will PlayStation 5 release? Games, specs, backward / forward compatibility?

That’s a good question. No one knows for sure, but there is evidence to suggest that next year Sony will formally announce and begin to reveal their next-generation home video games console. One of the hot topics of debate is whether that system is coming out too soon. Most gamers seem to be split on the issue, with one side claiming that they just bought a PS4 and wish to see it supported for a long time. The other side feels that the current generation has had its spotlight long enough and they’re ready for new technology to take the industry further. However, Sony may have found a way to satisfy both camps in a way that gaming has never seen before in the console space, taking a page out of PC Gaming’s playbook. In this article we will dive through the sea of evidence, hints, rumors, leaks, and probabilities surrounding the sequel to this generation’s most popular console and identify our opinions on what the truth is.

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New IP from Obsidian Entertainment said to be a Fallout-style RPG

[Update: This title has been confirmed and announced as The Outer Worlds at The Game Awards 2018 but may or may not be published by Take-Two Interactive as previously expected although the game will be developed by Microsoft-owned Obsidian Entertainment and remain multi-platform.]

You may have heard that the team over at Xbox has been purchasing big name studios in an effort to increase the output and quality of their first party lineup of games next-gen. As part of these high profile acquisitions Obsidian Entertainment is now a subsidiary of Microsoft Studios Global Publishing and has been promised an unlimited budget as well as creative freedom for its projects.

While this should lead to some very exciting releases during the next generation of video game consoles, there was already a nearly finished product getting ready to prep for reveal and subsequent launch in the works at Obsidian. The game appears to be an RPG title which Obsidian has begun teasing and will release under publishing and distribution by Take-Two Interactive.

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Over 250 games discounted in PlayStation Flash Sale! ending December 3rd

This weekend there’s a huge amount of titles available at varying discount levels on the PlayStation Store. Headlining the sale are a number of big budget titles including Hitman: Game of the Year Edition on PlayStation 4 for $14.99 USD (or $19.99 CAD) instead of the normal $59.99 ($79.99 CAD). At the time of this writing there are nearly 280 games on sale including PS4, PSVR, PS3, Vita, and even PSP titles, but it won’t last long! The chance to pick up titles at their lower prices ends at 8am Pacific Time on Monday, December 3.

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Free PlayStation Plus games announced for December 2018

If you’re a member of PlayStation Plus you’ll be getting some new games for free this upcoming December. Currently, November subscribers are able to download Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, Yakuza Kiwami, and a handful of other titles. Even if you don’t have the space on your PS4’s hard drive, you’re able to add the games to the PSN account’s library for downloading at any later date, so long as you remain subscribed to the PS+ service. If at any time you are locked out of playing your free PS+ games, all you have to do is re-subscribe to the service and they’ll unlock again.

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Xbox promising unlimited budget & creative freedom for first party studios

Phil Spencer has been quoted as saying that “for a long time, Xbox was like the Garage of Microsoft”. His aim to re-invent the Xbox brand has begun to take shape behind-the-scenes, but will only truly be felt during the next-generation of consoles games. It takes time to make changes at major companies, Spencer inherited a mess from Don Mattrick whose infamous DRM scandal can be largely blamed for the deficit between PS4 and Xbox One this generation. Earning back the reputation of Xbox with gamers will take time. It also takes a long time for game studios to produce new games, and that’s a big part of what Phil Spencer has been initiating, exclusives for Xbox.

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Inside The Vault: Upcoming Fallout 76 Patches adding Bulldozer, Re-spec, Stash, and more

In a new series of articles to be released periodically by Bethesda Game Studios, it has been confirmed that Fallout 76 will be receiving an update on December 4, 2018 as well as December 11, 2018 providing a bevy of bug-fixes as well as new features to the game. Among the features included in the announcement are some we’ve heard about before (such as an increase to the game’s stash limit, push-to-talk voice chat on PC, etc.), as well as brand new features announced for the first time in this article.

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Fallout 76 will get increased stash limit soon, 1.02 patch fixes bugs for now

Bethesda has launched a new update for Fallout 76 through a 47GB update which will attempt to address a number of minor bugs in the game. The patch also aims to improve frame rate and game stability which had sometimes suffered from dips, freezes, and crashes. User interface improvements, C.A.M.P. tweaks, and other changes are also expected to be made.

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Microsoft Xbox X018 – Inside Xbox Event Full WrapUp & Videos

Xbox provided a 2 hour livestream from Mexico City during their X018 Event showcasing their lineup for 2018 / 2019 and revealed world premiere content for first party and third party games. There was also two new studio acquirement announcements for Microsoft Studios and a large number of ways that Xbox plans to get more gamers into their brand by remaining consumer-friendly and increasing their investment on quality content for the future.

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Party Hard 2 Review

Party Hard is a unique serial killer simulator released in 2015 that attempts to combine dark comedy with enjoyable gameplay and gruesome, but calculated murder. The result was a huge hit with the Steam version of the game receiving very positive reviews from thousands of gamers. With a pixel art landscape, stealth objectives, and various strategies to enact in order to achieve your goals, players must take out certain members (or the entire crowd) of an ongoing party. This has to happen with the least disruption and panic as to avoid being caught by the police. Witnesses are also not good!

Tons of Easter eggs, hidden objectives, and secret interactive objects leading surprising and satisfying moments are present in the original and in the sequel. Party Hard 2 is different in a number of ways, and gradually provides more reasoning behind the events of the two games.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Real Gamer Review

Black Ops 4 marks the first Treyarch developed COD game since 2015 and the extra time taken for its development certainly shows. While not perfect, this year’s Call of Duty has taken on a lot of praise from skeptics and loyalists alike. There’s a reason why sales in the series have been going downhill whenever Treyarch isn’t involved, and with BO4 they’ve proven once again that they’re not to be underestimated. At the top of the priority list for BO4 is quality, performance, precision, and a brand-new take on battle royale.

There’s a lot of reason as to why players may be hesitant to embrace a Call of Duty game with no offline campaign mode, including previous problems in the series like Treyarch de-ranking players in Black Ops 2 for having high-speed internet, rather than admitting their own game engine problems. While those kinks have been ironed out this time around, there’s still a few issues to be had. Despite a well-intended Black Ops Pass and reduced Black Market grind, the micro-transactions in Black Ops 4 don’t manage to feel appropriate.

With all of that being said, the game still accomplishes a lot for the series and has won back many gamers leading to over $500 million USD in sales within the first 24 hours alone. For the 30% (on average) of folks who earn trophies in the single player campaign modes of COD, you’ll have to dedicate to online multiplayer this time around. However, for the other 70% of the franchise audience, you’ve been given more bang for the buck with 3 full online games packed into one – and hosting many different modes and variations.

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Crisis Core Game Director Hajime Tabata departs Square Enix to focus on new project

It has been announced on November 7, 2018 that Hajime Tabata is departing from his position at Square Enix which included Game Director of Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox as well as Game Director of 2007’s Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Portable (a beloved fan favorite), among others. The decision was explained to fans in a heartfelt letter revealed during the pre-recorded Final Fantasy XV Second Anniversary Special Program broadcast to fans in Japan with English subtitles.

Although this news is certainly disappointing and has resulted in the cancellation of almost all Final Fantasy XV DLC (yes, there was more in development), it can also be understandable from certain perspectives. Tabata was a director of dedicated handheld games who took the reigns of directing FFXV for Tetsuya Nomura who needed to walk away from the project to complete the repeatedly delayed Kingdom Hearts III project. It does feel saddening to see any type of negative Final Fantasy news in a time where some fans could see the series as fragile, having nearly entered a period of peril.

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Square Enix considering Final Fantasy VII spin-off compilation Tetsuya Nomura says

Recently Final Fantasy fans got teased with the possibility of a Final Fantasy VII compilation comprising of every relative title ever made. The idea was proposed by interviewers in Japan after an inspiration from the announcement of Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far exclusively released on PlayStation 4 last week. Among the names include rarities that even the most die-hard FFVII fans may have never heard of. Take a look at the list of potentials for yourself.

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Blizzard facing backlash as Diablo Immortal petition reaches 30,000+ signatures

[Update #2: Lord Fluffy, the Diablo streamer who asked if Diablo Immortal will come to PC, has released a detailed overview of the context behind his question and Activision Blizzard’s reaction]

[Update: Activision Blizzard stock value has dropped 7.2% (resulting in $3.7 billion USD lost) following the Diablo Immortal announcement discussed below]

Some companies are so loved by gamers that they can do no wrong. Others discover, they are no longer part of that club! In a disastrous move, Activision Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal for mobile to close out their keynote speech at this year’s Blizzcon 2018. The game is being developed by NetEase and will see the franchise delve into the free-to-play MMO genre.

The original Diablo 2 producer has come out and said he doesn’t believe Blizzard understands gamers anymore. Fan reactions to this announcement have been so negative that the PR team behind this game is now censor criticism from the internet as a petition against its release is gaining momentum. So why are people so upset? Where did it all go wrong?

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Expert console designers making Intellivision Amico, a 2D gaming platform for everyone

Tommy Tallarico (formerly of G4TV fame, music producer behind Video Games Live concerts, Metroid Prime, and currently President of Intellivision), has teamed up with creators who worked on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS to produce a brand new system with a totally different approach to gaming. While the console currently known as Intellivision Amico will not attempt to compete with PS4 and Xbox, it will instead forge out its own path co-existing alongside the current console market.

At first glance, this could seem like another Kickstarter project waiting to disappoint folks like Ouya or Atari VCS. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s no Kickstarter involved. Some of Intellivision’s team members include the minds behind cloud gaming, the marketing team for Wii Sports, developers of Metal Gear Solid, and more. Real developers are putting hard work into bringing a very unique and interesting vision to life.

Amico, which means “friend” in Italian, is a new 2D console that will release in 2020 with major hardware and software development behind it, numbering in the tens of millions, by industry veterans who know what they’re doing. With a keen eye for high quality games, a unique hardware setup at an affordable price range, and a totally different approach to the industry, Amico stands a real chance at being something special.

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