The news from immersive experience and beyond

EA announces close to 1 billion USD in revenue from microtransactions. Image via EA.
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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Fri Jan 31 - Gamespot
Bethesda announces day-long sale to fund Red Cross fire relief efforts in Australia. Image via Screenrant.
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 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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Thu Jan 30 - PCGamer
Overwatch League is one of the largest competitive gaming events in the world, image via Blizzard Entertainment
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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Thu Jan 30 - PCGamer
Google Stadia Pro service adds two more games for monthly subscribers. Image via The Verge.
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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Wed Jan 29 - TechRadar
Ubisoft also released some player data to give context to their nerfs, Image via Ubisoft
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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Wed Jan 29 - PCGamer
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic sequel underway at EA, according to Cinelinx. Image via Game Post.
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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Tue Jan 28 - TechRadar
The expansion will add a number of new maps , image via EA
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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Tue Jan 28 - PCGamer
The tournament has been postponed indefinitely, image via Riot Games
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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Mon Jan 27 - PCGamer
Counterplay Games announces Duelyst is shutting down permanently due to declining player base. Image via Eurogamer.
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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Sun Jan 26 - PCGamer
Players who spent money on in game currency will get a refund, image via Counterplay Games
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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Sun Jan 26 - PCGamer
GOG launches Lunar Sale to celebrate Chinese New Year. Image via GOG.
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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Sat Jan 25 - PCGamer
The terms of the deal are unknown, image via Getty Images
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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Sat Jan 25 - PCGamer
Remedy has finally made Alan Wake available again on the Microsoft Store. Image via Microsoft Store.
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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Fri Jan 24 - Gamesradar
7-year-old Plague Inc becomes China's bestselling game due to coronavirus fears. Image via Sputnik News.
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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Fri Jan 24 - BBC
The game is a kind of farm life simulator, image via Concerned Ape
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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Fri Jan 24 - PCGamer
Paradox Games announces it is trying out subscription model for Europa Universalis. Image via Paradox.
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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Thu Jan 23 - PCGamer
The remaster will not be available on PS4, image via InXile
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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Thu Jan 23 - PCGamer
Valve makes Half-Life games free to play until Alyx release. Image via Slashgear.
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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Wed Jan 22 - Gamesradar
Crunch is now a standard practice in the video game industry, image via id Software
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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Wed Jan 22 - PCGamer
Indie developer Tinybuild makes zombie survival game Pandemic Express free on Steam. Image via Happygamer.
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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Tue Jan 21 - PCGamer
He only worked for Epic Games for eight months, image via Ubisoft
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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Tue Jan 21 - PCGamer
Guilty Gear Strive to receive arcade release in Japan. Image via Angle News.
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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Mon Jan 20 - Gamespot
It is the second Halo game to be ported to PC in the new collection, image via Microsoft
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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Mon Jan 20 - PCGamer
Children may become addicted to gambling at a very young age, image via NBA 2k20
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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Sun Jan 19 - PCGamer
Valve shoots down HTC China president's rumors of a Left 4 Dead 3 game. Image via Valve.
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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Sat Jan 18 - PCGamer