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Doctor Omega

Moderator
Bungie Leaves Activision & Takes “Destiny”


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Famed game developer Bungie and publisher Activision are divorcing, and in the process of the split Bungie is taking full custody of their biggest kid together – the “Destiny” franchise.

Bungie, the studio that created the “HALO” series and has led development on the “Destiny” franchise, reportedly told employees during a team meeting in Thursday afternoon that it has long grown sick of dealing with its publisher. That news was met with “cheers and popped champagne”.

In an official post, Bungie says: “We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.”

Destiny launched in September 2014 and has met with multiple problems along the way, even as its formula has become the go-to online-only and microtransaction-centric model that numerous other franchises have begun adopting.

Tensions between the companies were reportedly high due to Activision’s mandated release of a new “Destiny” game or expansion every Fall. Now, Bungie will no longer be constrained to that schedule. “Destiny 2” will remain on Blizzard’s Battle.net and Bungie says the transition is ‘already underway in its early stages’/

Bungie also reportedly has a brand new game in development thanks to a $100 million investment from NetEase, while Activision is in the midst of a major shake-up with cost-cutting, executive turnover and now having dropped both the “Skylanders” and “Destiny” franchises.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Americans Spent $43B On Gaming In 2018


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United States gamers spent a record-breaking $43.4 billion in revenue on products from the video game industry in 2018.

Entertainment Software Association and The NPD Group released the stat yesterday, which hails from marketing analysis company Sensor Tower, and that revenue number is up by a whopping 18% on the $36.9 billion spent in 2017.

Hardware revenue was up 15% in 2018 to $7.5 billion. Software was up 18% to $35.8 billion the following year. All areas including console, PC and mobile saw significant growth along with subscription and game streaming services.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Insomniac Working On PS4’s “Spider-Man 2”?


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Last year’s video game awards and ‘best of’ lists were dominated by three titles – “Red Dead Redemption 2” and the PS4 exclusives “God of War” and “Marvel’s Spider-Man”.

The latter, which hailed from “Ratchet and Clank” and “Sunset Overdrive” developer Insomniac Games, scored stellar reviews and massive sales with the Marvel Comics-inspired title both a critical and commercial success with over nine million copies sold by Thanksgiving.

Shortly after its release, the game’s creative director Bryan Intihar told DualShockersthat there already were plans in place for future “Spider-Man” games: “I think that’s the fun. There’s a plan. I think there are many different ways we can go. Also, I just want to digest what people are thinking about the game.”

Now, a few months on from that, Intihar posted a tweet (via CBM) suggesting the project is happening, saying: “Few things are more nerve-wracking than sharing your first story draft to others.”

Nothing official has been announced about a follow-up at this point. Intihar also previously suggested a Venom storyline could be a possibility for a future game which is one of the reasons the black Spidey suit wasn’t one of the unlockable ones in the first game as it “wouldn’t be doing it justice” he indicated.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
“Batman: Arkham” game trilogy developer Rocksteady Studios is rumored (via PlayStationLifestyle) to have been secretly working on “Batman Arkham Crisis” – a new title in the series and one with deeper side quests, the inclusion of a day/night cycle along with the Batwing, and a massive GTAV-scale map.

They also claim the game will be announced in March, so we’ll find out if it’s true soon enough. Rocksteady Studios certainly has been working on a secret project but so far haven’t offered any details.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
“Witcher” Developers Tease ‘Important’ E3


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While much of the talk about this year’s E3 has been about giant publishers like Sony and EA not attending, those that are staying are hinting they’re going to make a splash.


CD Projekt Red, the developer behind “The Witcher” franchise, has dubbed this June’s E3 convention the ‘most important’ in the company’s history according to CEO Adam Kicinski during a financial results presentation this week.

The company says they are planning a surprise for its presentation and added that it is the best place to announce release dates for games.

The hope is the company will set a release date for “Cyberpunk 2077,” the long in the works sci-fi gaming title first announced in 2012 and which is one of the most anticipated video games currently in development. Last year’s E3 saw the developers announcing that the game would be coming to the PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

It’s also expected we might hear something more about the next entry in the “Dragon Age” game series.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
“Wolfenstein: Youngbloods” Set For July 26th


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Bethesda has just announced that the new “Wolfenstein: Youngbloods” is coming to Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on July 26th.


In addition, the company has released a new story trailer to celebrate the news. Machine Games and Arkane are developing the games which open in the 1980s with major character BJ Blazkowicz missing.

The only ones who can save him are his twin daughters Jess and Soph who venture to Nazi-occupied Paris to start the hunt.

Gamers can liberate Paris from the Nazi threat as you search for your father in the first open-ended co-op adventure in the series, either with a friend or an AI companion. The game features new tag-team maneuvers, the two-player weapon the Tesla gun, and the ability to perform emotes.



 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Game Trailer: “Borderlands 3”


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They’ve been teasing it for a while, now Gearbox Software (“Bulletstorm,” “Battleborn”) has announced the highly-anticipated full third installment of its first-person shooter series “Borderlands” with a trailer which was just released at PAX East.


Set on the planet Pandora in the 29th century, the games follow players as they journey through the wastelands in search of legendary Vaults, mythical hidden zones with untold treasures and wealth hidden inside.

They battle against various enemies including the native alien creatures inhabiting the planet, numerous corporations seeking to take back the land, military branches seeking to maintain control over the local populations, and crazed civilians roaming the world.

Further information about the title, which hopefully will include a release date, will be revealed on April 3rd.

Additionally, April 3rd also sees the previous games in the series getting a visual upgrade with the release of an Ultra HD texture pack. The games and all their elements (including the cinematics) are being remastered for 4K along with improved anti-aliasing, dynamic shadows, and SSAO along with HDR for consoles.



 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
SEGA
SEGA has announced that it will release a retro version of its Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console later this year – specifically September 19th. The device will come with forty built-in games including Altered Beast, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Comix Zone, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco the Dolphin, Gunstar Heroes, Shining Force, Sonic The Hedgehog, Space Harrier II, and ToeJam & Earl. Additional games will be announced later.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Prince Harry Wants “Fortnite” Banned In UK?


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Prince Harry is reportedly calling for the ban of popular battle royale game “Fortnite” according to The Daily Express.

The British royal family member visited a YMCA in West London recently and spoke to mental health experts about addictive games and social media which are said to be ‘more addictive than drugs or alcohol’.

Speaking at the event, Prince Harry specifically called out Epic Games’ “Fortnite” saying it shouldn’t be allowed: “That game shouldn’t be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household? It’s created to addict. An addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible. It’s like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down”.

The BBC says research shows that 200 divorces in the UK from January to September 2018 mentioned addiction to “Fortnite” and other online games as one of the reasons for relationship breakdown.

The remarks came just before the BAFTA British Academy Game Awards last night, one of the biggest nights in the UK’s gaming calendar. Sony Santa Monica’s “God of War” swept the night with five British Academy Games Awards, including best game. “Fortnite” took the ‘Evolving Game’ honor while other winners included “Return of the Obra Dinn,” “Forza Horizon 4,” “A Way Out,” “Into the Breach,” and “Florence”.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
First Details Of The PlayStation 5


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Sony tends to operate on a seven-year cycle with its consoles and with the PlayStation 3 launching in 2006, and the PlayStation 4 in 2013, it’s not unreasonable that speculation has been high about a forthcoming PlayStation 5 which is aiming for a 2020 debut.


Wired has now posted a feature piece offering the first details on the upcoming console and specs wise it sounds like a monster. The new console will be capable of 8K, but since so few TVs are 8K the demonstrations are all being done on 4K TVs. As it’s based in part on the PS4’s architecture, it will be backwards compatible with PS4 games and will still accept physical media and the existing PSVR hardware.

The CPU will be based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line with eight cores (with new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture). The GPU, is a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family and will support real-time ray tracing – something no game console has been able to yet manage.

The console’s secret weapon though? A solid-state drive, but not just any SSD. Cerny says they focused on raw read speed, IO mechanisms, and a software stack to accelerate loading times. The result is this SSD “has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs” and exponentially improves loading times and how quickly a character can move through new worlds and environments.

Demonstrating the power of the new machine, Cerny booted up the “Marvel’s Spider-Man” game and initiated a fast-travel within it to a different part of Manhattan. On the PS4 Pro, the load time for the task took 15 seconds. On the devkit for an early ‘low-speed’ version of the PS5? – it took 0.8 seconds.

The console will also develop an area that’s rarely discussed – sound. The AMD chip includes a custom unit for 3D audio which lead system architect Mark Cerny says: “will redefine what sound can do in a videogame… with the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it.”

No word as yet on game titles. A few hours before this report went up, another was up at TweakTown whose sources seemed to be pretty spot on – matching what was revealed here. Those sources also claim that the console will have 24Gb of GDDR6 RAM (currently only in use in Nvidia’s high-end RTX cards) with 4Gb of that going to the OS, while the SSD will be “some sort of NAND storage” and have 2TB capacity. There’s even a rumored price – $499USD.
 
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