The holiday frenzy is officially here and video game publishers are feeling the heat as they watch the sales numbers tally - or do nothing at all.
That’s right, the make-it-or-break-it season is here and there’s not only more than enough gaming goodness out there for you to choose from this winter, but we've also got some hot news fresh off the presses to tide you over until the presents arrive.
Whether it is the resurrection of the PlayStation 3’s Home by fans or the rumor that the folks behind DC Universe Online are making a Marvel game, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this week’s news headline roundup.
Video game fans are some of the most dedicated, talented, and persistent individuals around because they not only won’t take “no” for an answer, but also they’ll come up with their own solutions in the meantime. When Sony debuted Home on its PS3 back in the day, it was almost like a preview of things to come with that system.
For those of you who might not recall, the PS3 era was one in which Nintendo’s Wii came out of nowhere to reclaim the crown for the generation, Microsoft seriously brought the heat to Sony in the form of the Xbox 360, and everything the Japanese titan attempted seemed to fall flat or, at least, come up widely short of the legendary PS2. Home was promised as a social interactive space a la Second Life but, once it finally arrived, people had moved on from the concept. Those that didn’t, however, found Home an enjoyable virtual space within which they fostered friendships and community. As you can imagine, once Sony pulled the plug, the dedicated hardcore was more than upset. Now, they’re bringing Home back for the modern age and all without Sony’s help.
Black Friday has come and gone but we already have a sales winner and, no, it isn’t the Switch. This year Nintendo had to make room for Microsoft’s digital-only Xbox variant, the Series S, as it took the top spot in sales. Likely boosted by its $100 cheaper price tag and release of Halo: Infinite, the Series S Black Friday triumph is a big deal for Microsoft as it seeks to gain traction for its newest system in the face of overwhelming competition from Sony and Nintendo’s new OLED Switch effort.
For many DC fans that happen to be gamers, DC Universe Online was a diamond in a sea of Warcraft clones. Now it looks like the team behind that storied game is taking on Marvel’s canon with a rumored MMO game featuring Disney’s latest (and hottest) acquisition. Of course, industry watchers will note that an attempt in this direction was made in the past year or so with Square’s Avengers game but that title’s inability to catch on in the market shunted it aside and it looks like Marvel is already looking ahead (and towards fresh partners).
What happens if you steal hundreds of thousands of dollars to play a gambling game that doesn’t pay out? You face a world of trouble and become the Internet’s latest meme as to why loot boxes and things like it are terrible from a consumer’s perspective. And one woman is learning the hard way with 25 counts of electronic fraud and another count for fraud for stealing $AUD 680,000 to play Heart of Vegas, a game that accepted real money but which paid out winnings in virtual, in-game cash Womp, womp. Don’t gamble on an app, folks.
Trolling is part-and-parcel with the Internet, right? Not if you’re the Roblox company that is suing one YouTuber for doing just that. Racial slurs, nude pictures, references to Hitler, and just general bad behavior are all here and Roblox says the YouTuber in question owes them money for poisoning their community - $1.6 million to be exact. Whether they’ll actually collect or not is another thing entirely but it looks like the company wants this behavior to stop and now.
Fortnite players are eagerly anticipating the end of the second chapter in the game as December 4 is the set end date for the current arc in Epic’s popular game. Naturally, there’s an event planned with all sorts of fun stuff in store for Fortnite players and shockingly not much word on what to expect from Chapter 3 when it debuts shortly after though we expect Epic has more than a few things cooked up for the future.
EVE is everyone’s favorite MMO to read about but not play and, apparently, there’s another in-game riot going down as players protest the in-game economy. How do they do this? Simple, they log in to the game, cluster in the trading hub system of Jita, and fire their lasers at the monument there to express their dismay. This concerted effort results in slow as molasses gameplay and renders the game somewhat unplayable. Interestingly, this is the typical route that rioting players take and, previously, the monument was selected because it was indestructible but, since it is such a focal point for rage, even CCP is updating the aesthetics of the monument to reflect in-game player rage. What made everyone so upset? It all has to do with resources and the relative scarcity of them with CCP making them hard to obtain, then doubling them but adding in a new “waste” modifier for mining, it’s all pretty obscure stuff unless you’re into EVE. Basically, it can be summed by the phrase “it’s the economy, stupid.”
Is this why we can’t have nice things? When Halo: Infinite announced its samurai armor for players, people were ecstatic, then some of them were angry and that cohort was loud enough to cause a stink. Now the Halo: Infinite samurai armor thing has become an early boondoggle for the game and one that seems to almost punish the devs for trying to do something nice for players.
Fresh off of the success of their latest series, The Wheel of Time, Amazon is reportedly pursuing a Mass Effect television series for its Prime streaming network. Featuring an amazing story and rich cast of characters, a Mass Effect television series makes tons of sense from a fan’s perspective but we’ll just have to wait and see if Bezos and company actually make this concept into a reality.
Was your game room littered with a ton of Fisher Price-esque plastic instruments back in the day? Neither was mine, but Rock Band and its clones basically printed money in the late 2000s. Epic wants to bring that magic back hence their purchase of Rock Band’s creators makes perfect sense. Will we see a resurrection of the music game genre? Who knows, but Epic does have a reputation for making things happen in the industry so we will see.
Counterfeit Pokemon cards are a big business and a huge dump of them just got seized at customs. How do you tell a fake card from a real one? Sometimes it isn’t that hard, and sometimes it is which makes collecting and cataloging that much harder for collectors.
Things aren’t getting any better for Activision as calls for Kotick’s resignation continue and execs flee a perceived sinking ship. Couple this with news that many major products are being delayed and you have a vision of chaos over at one of gaming’s largest publishers.
Remember when Sony was suing indie makers for producing PS5 plates? Well, soon you’ll be able to get your own officially licensed PS5 plates as a patent for the product just cleared and Sony looks set to cash in on the latest bit of flare for consoles.
Let’s talk about a company that rarely, if ever, puts things on Sale and that is Nintendo. That strategy is probably why they have so much money in the bank (and why some of us have so little) but there are some cracks in the facade as the Big N is finally bowing to market pressures and joining in on the Black Friday bonanza with lower prices for Switch games. If you’ve been waiting to scoop up a title or two, now is your chance.
Amazon’s New World debuted to roaring success then collapsed into a bit of a whimper shortly thereafter as experienced MMO players exploited bugs and absolutely tore apart the game’s systems. Subsequent fixes haven’t totally righted the ship’s course and a recent change that made the endgame much more difficult is creating a fresh wrinkle in the seemingly endless launch issues this game has faced since its debut.