EA announces almost $1b revenue from microtransactions
In the last quarter of 2019, popular sports games developer and also the developer for the Star Wars games, EA announced 993 million USD in revenue from microtransactions in the Live Services department, with most of the revenue coming from its Ultimate Team feature in games such as FIFA, Madden and NHL. EA's Star Wars: Battlefront II also exceeded expectations due to renewed interest after the latest Star Wars movie.
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Bethesda announces fire relief sale
Bethesda, developer of popular games such as Fallout, Skyrim and Dishonored, has announced a day-long sale in collaboration with its online stores Bethesda.net and the Humble Store, in order to provide charitable contributions during Australia's devastating fire season. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Australian Red Cross.
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China's Overwatch League matches have been indefinitely postponed due to virus outbreak
Blizzard, the developer behind Overwatch, has announced that it will be canceling the Overwatch League matches that were going to take place in China due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The company has yet to announce a new time and place for these matches although they did say they were excited to play in China later this season.
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Google Stadia adds more games to subscription service
Subscribers of Google Stadia's Pro version will be receiving two more games to play for free with the subscription. The games are Metro Exodus and Gylt, joining previous games such as Thumper, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Samurai Showdown, Farming Simulator 19 and Destiny 2, with 100 more games planned for addition to the service soon. Stadia's Pro service costs users 9.99 USD per month.
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Ubisoft has released a new Rainbow Six Siege update to alter the game's current meta
Giant game developer Ubisoft has released the latest patch for their incredibly popular tactical first-person shooter, 'Rainbow Six Seige'. The update includes nerfs to all of the most dominant characters in the game's current meta as well as buffs to a number of under picked characters. Fans have been demanding such an update for some time.
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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game sequel underway
A report by gaming news site Cinelinx has revealed that a sequel to the popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game may be underway at EA, with the new game combining elements from the previous two games. Cinelinx reported that the game has been in development since 2015 but was put on the backburner by developers until recently.
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Battlefield 5 to get new 'Jungle' expansion
EA has announced that Battlefield 5 will be getting a new installment in its Tides of War expansion series. The new expansion is called 'Jungle' and will focus on the war in the Pacific, where fighting mostly done by the US and Japan. The new maps will most likely focus on fighting in the jungle, a whole new terrain for the game.
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China postpones League of Legends tournament due to Coronavirus
China has announced that its annual League of Legends tournament has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis that is currently gripping the country. Travel in and out of the country has become very difficult and the government has banned all large public gatherings so hosting the tournament had become logistically impossible.
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Digital card game Duelyst to shut down permanently
Duelyst, a unique title released in 2016 by Counterplay Games combining the mechanics of digital card games and combat strategy games, has announced that it will be closing down its servers permanently in February 2020 due to a declining player base. Since the game was online-only, playable on Steam, shutting down servers effectively spells the end of the game's run.
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Digital card game Duelyst to shut down servers
Duelyst, a tactical digital card game created by Counterplay studios in collaboration with Bandai Namco, has finally shut down its servers. The game was seeing a decline in its userbase for some time and is now effectively shutting down entirely. The game failed despite it getting largely positive reviews from critics.
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GOG launches Lunar Sale to celebrate Chinese New Year
Popular gaming platform GOG has launched its Lunar Sale to celebrate the Chinese New Year, including a mechanic that recommends games for users based on their Chinese animal, derived from the Chinese year they were born in. The sale offers up to 90 percent off on many popular titles, including the 2019 Game of the Year award winner Disco Elysium, which has been discounted by 20 percent.
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Youtube to become a new hub for esports streaming
Activision has announced that it has signed a new multiyear deal with Youtube for the exclusive rights to stream Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and many other high profile competitive gaming events. Twitch previously had the streaming rights for these competitions but that deal has expired and will not be renewed.
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Alan Wake is again available on the Microsoft Store
After Alan Wake developers Remedy took the game offline from multiple websites, including Steam and the Microsoft Store, in 2017 due to expiring music licenses, the game has finally been made available on the Microsoft Store again, with relicensed tracks, while it has been available on Steam since 2018. Alan Wake is currently priced at 19.99 USD.
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Plague Inc rises to bestselling game in China
Amid China and the world's coronavirus fears, with at least 17 dead and hundreds more infected in China alone, a 7-year-old game called Plague Inc has risen to become the bestselling game in China. The game. by indie UK developers Ndemic Creations, places players in control of a deadly virus with the goal of eventually infecting and killing off the entire global population.
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Revolutionary indie game Stardew Valley hits 10 million sales
Stardew Valley, an indie game created by just one person that revolves around resource collection and management, has sold 10 million copies. These sales numbers account for sales on all platforms, although most of the sales have been through Steam. The game is now also available on mobile phones and Linux computers.
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Paradox experimenting with a subscription model for Europa Universalis 4
Paradox Games, developers behind popular grand strategy games such as the Crusader Kings and Imperator series, have announced that they will be trying out a subscription model for Europa Universalis in response to players' opinion that the cost of purchasing the seven-year-old game along with its many expansions was becoming prohibitive. The paradox states that the new model is only in the testing phase and will not otherwise affect gameplay.
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Beloved 80s RPG 'Wasteland' to get giant remaster
'Wasteland', an RPG originally released in the 1980s, is receiving a large remaster where its graphics will be upgraded to meet modern standards while still keeping the gameplay the same. The remaster will release on 25th February, just before 'Wasteland 3' is released in March. The remaster raised more than $3 million in crowdfunding.
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Half-Life is free to play on Steam until Alyx release
As part of a pre-release promotion for its long-awaited VR game Half-Life: Alyx, Valve has made all Half-Life games available to play for free on Steam. The games are not free to own, only free to play until Alyx's release, with the promotion including Half-Life 1 and 2, additional episodes and add-ons like Half-Life: Opposing Force and Half-Life 1: Source.
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Doom Eternal developers had to put in extremely long hours for months to complete the game
Doom Eternal, the sequel to the massively successful Doom reboot that came out a few years ago, will be released in March 2020 after having been delayed from November 2019. According to the game's executive producer, the project required most of the developers to put in insanely long hours for months at a time. This practice is known as 'crunch' and has become common in the industry.
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Pandemic Express is now free on Steam
Indie developer Tinybuild's zombie survival game Pandemic Express has been made available for free download on Steam, due to declining player counts. Pandemic Express pits 30 players against a horde of zombies with the added mechanic that one of the players is already infected with the virus. For Steam users who had already purchased the game, certain in-game perks will be granted as a token of appreciation from the developers.
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Ubisoft rehires creative director of beloved Splinter Cell games
Maxime Béland, the man who served as the creative director for both Splinter Cell Conviction and Blacklist, has been rehired by Ubisoft as the vice-president of the company's editorial team. Although Unisoft has not revealed any Splinter Cell news, this could be a sign that they are bringing back the beloved franchise.
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Guilty Gear Strive will be made available in Japanese aracades
Due to the continuing massive popularity of arcades in Japan, developers have announced that Guilty Gear Strive, a cult favorite game that aims to deconstruct the fighting game genre, will be receiving an arcade release too. However, given the rarity of arcades outside of Japan, most users will still be playing the game upon its PlayStation 4 release later in the year.
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Halo Combat Evolved to begin first public PC testing in February
343 Industries, the developers behind the current Halo games, have announced that Halo Combat Evolved will be available to pc users very soon. The game will enter its public testing phase-in February and will be released soon after. The company intends to release the entire Halo collection on pc by the end of 2020.
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Experts claim loot boxes in video games encourage children to gamble
The mental health director of England's National Health Service has said in a new report that loot boxes in videogames are encouraging gambling in young people. She encouraged game developers to avoid all loot box mechanics and said that they should provide the odds of receiving special items from the boxes to the players before they buy any.
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Valve shoots down "Left 4 Dead 3" rumors
In a recent conference, HTC China president Alvin Wang Graylin alleged that Valve was working on a 4th addition to the "Left 4 Dead" franchise, the developer's cult favorite zombie apocalypse survival game. In a response released to IGN, Valve clarified that while the company explored a third Left 4 Dead title briefly last year, it has no such project planned for the near future.
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