News of the Week – 14 October 2019

 

000 overwatch meiLast week I wrote for a local gaming website called NAG, and so instead of writing up the usual News of the Week article, here’s a list of links to all the stuff I wrote during the week! So check em out:

3 October 2019:

Could Overwatch characters end up in… Smash Bros.?

Sonic the Hedgehog is going to spaaaaaaaace

There’s big drama between Troy Baker and Gearbox about Borderlands 3

4 October 2019:

Discord has decided to lay some people off

Epic Games is like “nah, it’s fine” over Fortnite cross-play concerns

House of the Dead is crawling back out of the grave

7 October 2019:

EA leaks FIFA players personal data

Disney blocks Netflix from advertising on its networks

The man behind the name “Kirby” has died

8 October 2019:

The new season of Rick and Morty starts next month, Morty, you and me, Morty, new season dot com

Mommy and daddy are suing Fortnite because it’s bad for kids

Rockstar’s Bully 2 development “fizzled out”, according to studio sources

9 October 2019

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop has cast its very good boy

Sony launches 2020 for the PS5

China bans South Park for making fun of its government censorship policies

10 October

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s PC system reqs include 175GB(!) HDD space

Epic Games pledges support for freedom of speech

Overwatch’s Mei has become a Hong Kong liberation icon

11 October 2019

Nintendo has sold a lot of Switch consoles

Ubisoft announces new animated TV shows

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Opinion: Shadowrun’s wonderful world

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For those unfamiliar with the Shadowrun franchise, it’s a series of tabletop RPGs that were later adapted by Harebrained Schemes into a trilogy of fantastic tactical RPG games. You take command of a group of “shadowrunners”, individuals who live off the grid and generally dislike the corporate control that has gripped the entire world, and you use them to go on illicit runs that in some way damage the gigantic megacorporations that rule the world. It’s a big mishmash of cyberpunk (with its hacking and futuristic design), dystopia (with its corporate control over the world that leads to massive injustices in the name of unchecked capitalism) and fantasy (with its alternate history of the earth in which fantasy races like elves and trolls reappeared in the world following a magical past event). The game has a world unlike any other, and it’s always a treat to explore.

Following in the footsteps of properties like Blade Runner, this cyberpunk fantasy series has a dedication to diversity, intellectualism and multiculturalism. The various races present in the game can also be a member of any human race, such as there being African elves or Asian humans or European trolls, and on top of this there are equal numbers of men and women. Including the fact that the good guys or the bad guys (and there does tend to be a surplus of bad people) can be male or female. The game wants you to know that regardless of whether someone is black, white, man or woman, they will be equal in this world.

The inequality is more likely to be found in the intense levels of poverty that are depicted in every iteration of the franchise. People live in horrible slums that are subjected to cruel rule by heartless, faceless corporations that can never again be reigned in by governments seeing as they own the governments. Because when a corporation runs an entire city’s police force, who’s exactly going to stand in that corporation’s way?

The world is filled with this inequality, but the inequality damages everyone equally. The first video game adaptation (by Harebrained Schemes) was Shadowrun Returns and it was set in Seattle. Which may be an American city but it’s not as synonymous with popular culture as New York or Los Angeles. That first game is the least diverse of the lot. But fast forward to Shadowrun Dragonfall and you find a game set in Berlin, in an anarchic city-state in which everyone coexists regardless of their level of humanity, where techies run their areas and the more spiritually inclined run theirs, and everyone is willing to chat to you and help develop the world in which everyone lives.

The game wants us to see this world. There are characters that chat philosophy, some that discuss the new magic in the world, some that spout hateful rhetoric against this race or that race, news stations that show how the people are lied to by the corporate-controlled news stations and of course there is gorgeous environmental design which reflects the nature of each individual game’s setting. Not to mention the idiosyncratic dialogue that each character spouts; each character feels unique, and their dialogue is never purely functional. Every character actually feels like a person. They each have their own turns-of-phrase and likes and dislikes. Especially when it comes to the protagonist’s crew.

Your crew tends to be a collection of people from different walks of life who are all willing to share their personal stories the more you chat to them. Let’s take the last game in the series as an example (I only now got around to playing and finishing it because I didn’t want Shadowrun to be over for me). In the final iteration, titled Shadowrun: Hong Kong, the protagonist and another character grew up in a poor area in Seattle (although their lives there are not particularly developed, but there is always Shadowrun Returns if you want some Seattle info), but then there’s Gobbet, isObel, Racter and Gaichu.

Gobbet grew up on the streets, and she can commune with a rat spirit, and that spirit helped her one day save her best friend isObel from a horribly impoverished life. She loves food and she’s an optimistic sort of person, but when confronted with her past she becomes serious and knows that the time for fun and games is through. Whereas isObel grew up in the slums, became a hacker and later electronically hid her memories away so that she would no longer have to deal with her childhood trauma. She shows the player the world of the deckers, the hackers who practically live inside the internet as digital constructs. Racter is a Russian-born tinkerer and psychopath who is trying to develop the perfect robot, and he discusses philosophy and the nature of being with you (his discussions are like something you’d expect to hear out of a philosophy graduate, and they are genuinely fascinating for people who are into that kind of stuff; people like me). Then there’s Gaichu, a former Japanese secret police-type soldier who reveals the isolationist and racist ideals of an alternate Japan that shunned all non-humans as inferior creatures to be destroyed, and through him we learn about Japanese culture in this new world.

Every one of these characters has something to give. They teach you so much and they are interesting to talk to as individuals and as conduits of the fictional culture of Shadowrun. These games have one of my favourite worlds, and upon finishing Shadowrun: Hong Kong I was saddened by the knowledge that Harebrained Schemes only made three of these things, but all three of them are superb games with one of the most interesting fictional worlds ever created. For everyone who appreciates intelligent world-building, well-written characters and dialogue and an open-ended design that allows violent and non-violent options then these games could not come more highly recommended. They are worth your time from a narrative and gameplay perspective, but just be ready for some reading, because there is quite a lot of that.


News of the Week – 7 October 2019

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Troy Baker didn’t appear in Borderlands 3 for union reasons:

The voice actor Troy Baker turned in a fantastic performance for the beloved 2014 Telltale game Tales from the Borderlands, and it was expected that he would be reprising his role as the fun and interesting Rhys. However, that has not come to pass, and he recently stated that he was actually invited back to reprise that role but that Gearbox was unwilling to go through a union when dealing with voice actors, and so he was forced to turn the role down.

He did this because the Screen Actor’s Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has rules against signing to places that refuse to work with union workers. Thanks to this, Gearbox instead cast Ray Chase in the role, and after Baker explained the situation Gearbox released a statement to claim that they never discriminate against workers in unions, and legally can’t.

However, Gearbox, and especially their CEO Randy Pitchford, get into the news far too often for things that seem unscrupulous. So it was unsurprising that SAG-AFTRA came forward and released a statement to say that the reasons Gearbox gave are of no legal consequence and so it should not have stood in their way when attempting to get Troy Baker onboard. So… we have a game of he said she said going on and we’ll have to see who stops first.

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PlayStation Now gets a price cut and new games:

If you have a good enough internet connection to handle the upcoming Google Stadia and you also happen to not have a PS4, well then PlayStation Now is the thing for you! The service is essentially their version of video game streaming, and there is going to be a substantial price drop very soon, and in addition they will be adding a bunch of new games to the service.

This is most likely because Google Stadia and the Xbox Game Pass have been seeing success and attention over the last few months, and Sony actually has something interesting to dangle in front of their prospective audience. They have a few exclusives, like God of War, Uncharted 4 and Infamous: Second Son. These games are clearly intended to attract people to the service and the reduced cost is there to keep them sticking around.

PlayStation has mostly ignored their game streaming service, but seeing as other companies are getting into the ring, they clearly also want a piece of the pie.

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Bungie’s doing something non-Destiny:

Bungie have announced their plans to develop and release something that is not Destiny­ by 2025. They have been separated from Activision for some time now and they are close to releasing Destiny 2 as a free-to-play game so they can focus on turning it into the game they want it to be, and that should be viewed as a positive thing, but seeing something new from them should also be interesting.

They have received funding from NetEase, a Chinese publisher, and with that nice $100 million shot in the arm, they should have all they need to start developing their company into a far larger thing that does a lot more than just Destiny. It should be interesting to watch them going forward, and I’m sure many people are watching with rapt attention.

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Duke Nukem 3D’s composer sues Gearbox and Valve:

Bobby Prince, the man behind the Duke Nukem 3D soundtrack, has been struggling with Gearbox for some time. Gearbox, a few years after acquiring the rights to Duke Nukem, decided to release Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary World Tour. This was a remaster of sorts that retained the old graphical style and added in a few new levels. It was meant to be a fun romp through a classic game from the nineties.

But even though Duke Nukem 3D was released back in 1996, copyright law still applies. Bobby Prince is entitled to compensation with regards to that soundtrack’s use, and because he has essentially been ghosted by Gearbox, despite assurances from Randy Pitchford that he would receive said compensation (who was mentioned just a few stories above this one), he has decided to sue the company. He has also decided to sue Valve because they refused a takedown request. So it looks like we should be getting ready for another man versus corporation showdown. Fun.

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AlphaDream, the Mario & Luigi RPG devs, has gone bankrupt:

Another company will soon be hitting the chopping block. AlphaDream, the company behind the Mario & Luigi RPGs, which had its start all the way back in 2000 under the name Alpha Star, is officially filing for bankruptcy after a few years of financial decline. They were successful with their early games but repeated sequels no doubt took their toll and the company’s last release will be Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. That’s all she wrote.

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Opinion: Comics – an interesting form of rewriting

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Let’s get a bit theoretical for a while. Before I start on the whole comic aspect of this, let’s first look at the concept of rewriting. Rewriting is a very common technique in some postcolonial texts, and the practice has been taken up by writers such as Alan Moore. Rewriting is simply the concept of taking an existing narrative and rewriting it in a new context, and often with changes to the actual narrative and such. This has been done in movies that take the general baseline laid down by Shakespeare, for instance, and then create their own new narratives based on that. An example people like to flock to in this regard is Lion King and its connection to Hamlet. The connection being that Lion King features a power struggle in which the protagonist, who is a prince, loses his father to his uncle’s desires for the throne, and is forced to flee but then return to his kingdom. And this is the basic plotline of Hamlet too.

Rewriting is a fascinating concept, and it allows us to breathe fresh life into past narratives. It may be typically associated with postcolonial writers, writers who usually have an agenda of some sort, such as J.M. Coetzee when he rewrote Robinson Crusoe as Foe or how various anti-Apartheid writers used Sophocles’ Antigone in various stages of rewriting and homage (such as Athol Fugard’s The Island), but rewriting is not an exclusively postcolonial technique, and this is where we finally arrive at comics.

Comics, or graphic novels, don’t really need any explanation. We all know what they are, and while many of them focus on topics far removed from superheroes (such as Maus or DMZ), they are still often associated with superheroes in one way of another. Comics are associated with superheroes in the same way that rewriting is associated with postcoloniality, but in this instance, we’re going to talk about how rewriting and comics have found a good way of co-existing with one another in a way that gives comics a unique narrative flair that is quite unlike any other medium.

I once questioned and criticised the way that comic books  never seem to come to an end, how when a series about Batman, as a random example, comes to an end another one just starts up and redoes his origin story but in an ever so slightly different way. However, I was never raised on comic books and I hardly read them to this day. This is especially true when it comes to superhero comics; I am mostly uninterested but my academic interest in them has been steadily growing for months.

Superhero comics, as I discussed in a previous opinion piece about Gotham, feature so many continuities in which things are changed up and altered, yet no one can really point towards the “correct” continuity. They may be able to point out their favourite, but never the definitively correct one. Most people don’t believe that the original run of a comic, by the original creators, is necessarily the correct or even the best continuity. Instead, these narratives are iterated upon over and over again. The general gist behind them remains the same, such as Batman’s parents being killed and him eventually becoming a masked vigilante. But this general gist then differs in the details; who killed his parents changes, the origins and abilities of his enemies changes, the very nature of his butler and his own gadgets and capabilities change. His outfit changes. His mannerisms change. He is forever the same basic character archetype but he’s changed up over and over again.

So which Batman is the correct Batman? This can further be asked of every other superhero who has been going for a few decades. Why are there three or four people who have taken up the mantle of Spiderman? There are endless questions we could ask, and then you look at the movies based on those comics. The movies often don’t even follow the narrative of any specific comic book storyline, yet we do not look at them as incorrect in their adaptation. In this regard, comic book movies have a much better time with fans than movies based on books.

Imagine if someone did their own version of Harry Potter. Rewrote the books but this time it’s set in the future. Then another person does it where Harry’s actually a bad guy. Then someone else makes it that Dumbledore’s the villain. Another rewrites his origin story entirely. We see this as ridiculous yet this is what we have come to expect from comic books. There’s a sense of collaboration from all the writers who have come before. When some writer introduces an idea that everyone likes, that idea becomes part of more narratives. It becomes part of the meta-narrative.

Comic books offer a very different form of narrative than every other medium, and while I personally doubt I will ever invest my time in actually reading most of them (the sheer scale and variety of comic book narratives is enough to scare many people off), I still wish to admire them from afar. They are an underrated medium, one that has actually done more for the advancement of what we consider “narrative” than novels have done in the last century, and I say this as one of those pretentious sorts who studied literary theory. Comics deserve our respect as a narrative medium, and the things they get right should be lauded as such.


News of the Week – 30 September 2019

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Devs are getting paid by playtime at Google Play Pass:

Google, not willing to be one-upped by Apple and their new Apple Arcade subscription service, has decided o create their own subscription service for games called the Google Play Pass. This thing will give members access to over 350 apps and games from the offset; all the games will be selected via invitation only to ensure quality control, and the subscription is only $4.99 a month. All of which sounds good and fine.

However, Play Pass has to pay those game devs somehow, and the way they’re doing it is somewhat problematic. They are awarding devs cash based on playtime. So the games that get the most playtime net the most reward. This becomes an issue when you start looking at narrative games with short runtimes. A game like Gone Home, which takes about two hours to finish, will never get the same kind of cash as a game that drags you in for hundreds of hours.

It’s easy to see the reasoning behind this, but it makes things a bit difficult for any game that has an actual ending rather than simple endgame content. These games will definitely suffer as a result of this, and it may stifle the mobile market going forward. But we will just have to wait and see what happens.

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The Playing for the Planet Alliance has been announced:

The UN recently hosted its Climate Summit and various news stories came out of that event, but one that was tailored to the video games industry was also announced. Various companies, such as Microsoft, Google Stadia, Sony, Ubisoft, et cetera, will all be committing to the Playing for the Planet Alliance.

This “alliance” entails companies doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint or to find ways of promoting positive green-centric advancements. This may lead to console manufacturers improving production line creation or altering the hardware itself, such as Sony announcing a power saving feature for the PS5, and for the companies that don’t directly contribute in this sense, such as Twitch, they will focus on other methods, such as establishing campaigns for the promotion of climate work.

While this is a lovely thing in theory, it is often not enough. Many of these companies have enormous carbon footprints and a few changes here and there won’t do much good, but it’s a start. Hopefully this causes more companies to be willing to adopt better practices with regards to the environment, but just shaming them probably won’t be enough. Maybe gaming companies also need an angry teenager to make them all feel bad for contributing to the slow destruction of the planet.

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Sony is now selling consoles online:

Game publishers have always had an uneasy relationship with retailers. Retail stores cut into their profits and serve as middlemen, and as digital goods have increased in prevalence there has been less need for retail stores at all. Many people still struggle with weaker internet connections, but the shift is happening. However, hardware has always been something the console manufacturers have needed the retailers for, but that may be starting to change.

Sony has announced that they will start selling consoles, controllers, VR headsets, et cetera on an online store just in time for the big holiday rush. They are looking to cut out that middleman a bit. This will probably not result in the death of the game retail store just yet, but it certainly is another nail in the coffin, and if companies like Sony can prove that you don’t need a retailer for consoles then what purpose will they serve once even more game sales become solely digital?

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Borderlands 3 is banking it:

Did anyone expect any differently? Borderlands 3, the much anticipated sequel to the mega-successful Borderlands 2, was always going to be a massive success. The game has so far outstripped the second in terms of first week sales (it nearly doubled it) by selling a ludicrous five million copies. This also makes it the fastest selling 2K IP and the second 2K franchise to surpass a billion in sales.

Borderlands 3 was always going to do well, and regardless of the critical reception that it receives (which appears to be mostly positive), this game was always going to make Gearbox an absolute killing. Love it or hate it, Borderlands is here to stay and it’s here to make all the money that it can possibly make while managing to be one of the less nefarious AAA games in terms of post-launch monetisation (well aside from the flood of DLC that is doubtless on its way).

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The Last of Us 2 will be single-player only:

Naughty Dog, concerning their next game The Last of Us Part II, has made an interesting announcement. They have announced that the sequel to their wildly successful post-apocalyptic game will not feature multiplayer. In the original game, there was a multiplayer mode called Factions but it was definitely not the most famous part about that game, but this time around they have decided to state that there will be no multiplayer whatsoever.

Originally, they had announced that there would be a multiplayer component but have since apparently changed their minds on the topic. Perhaps the success of other single-player Sony exclusives like God of War and Spiderman swayed them towards abandoning that aspect of the game. They have stated that they would like to eventually return to that multiplayer aspect, but they were also rather short on the details.

But hey, at least the proclamation that single-player games are dying has definitely come to pass…

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Opinion: The confidence to skip content

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Most games, especially nowadays, do not have the confidence to allow the player to miss out on entire aspects of the game. There are some games, such as various RPGs, that incentivise multiple playthroughs by having branching narratives, but that is not the kind of thing I want to discuss here. Instead, I want to discuss a game that would usually never come up when it comes to content in games: the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 (so not the newer one that caused all that loot box controversy when it was released).

Battlefront 2 is a game that added a few new things to the first game in the series by introducing new maps and some space combat, but other than that’s not a particularly different game. It’s in a similar vein to Left 4 Dead 2 in that the sequel is essentially the first game with some new stuff. The narrative in the game is nothing to write home about and the gunplay does feel outdated by today’s standards, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fun ole romp in the Star Wars universe.

The reason this game has confidence is because of that aforementioned space combat. In the game, there are two main “narrative” modes. One is the story of a stormtrooper division that played an integral role in the rise of the Empire narrative, and the other mode is a conquest mode that allows you to play as various factions as you try to take over the galaxy from another faction (although there’s no actual story there), and in both of these modes there is the opportunity to engage in some classic Star Wars space battles.

These battles are, however, entirely optional. In the story mode they can literally be skipped with a button that says “bypass space” and in the conquest mode you can just avoid them. You can go through an entire game without ever engaging in one of the central gameplay modes. You can simply ignore it, and this was exactly what I did.

I adored the original game because it was a fun Battlefield-like game set in the Star Wars universe, and I only got around to playing the sequel when it was already ten years old (and I decided to replay it recently). When I first played this game I tried out one or two space battles but despised them, and was delighted to find that I could just skip over them, and upon replaying it recently I rediscovered the joy of being able to skip an aspect of a game that I quite simply dislike.

The space combat is not for me, but I don’t think it’s necessarily bad, and it’s wonderful that it is there for people who do enjoy it. However, that “bypass space” function does not hurt anyone. If you like the space battles, play the space battles. If you dislike the space battles, don’t play the space battles. It’s that simple, and it should be that simple in games going forward.

There is a common gamer feeling, often found in the more pretentious type of gamer, that you need to “git gud” at a game, that if you dislike an aspect of it you shouldn’t be allowed to play it. These people are horrible people, and they are attempting to be exclusionary. They are attempting to gate content for themselves so that they can feel superior because of something as arbitrary as a video game.

A video game should not be something you use as a justification for your identity as a jerk. If these space battles had been mandatory, then I would likely have stopped playing. I don’t enjoy them, I find them tedious and they simply aren’t fun, but they account for probably less than 30% of the main story mode, and if I had been forced to stop playing the game because of them I would have been unable to continue experiencing a game I actually enjoy.

I will probably always advocate for the inclusion of player choice in how games are consumed. I will advocate for level selects from the offset, for the inclusion of cheats and difficulty settings, for accessibility options. Because sometimes you just want to play the parts of games that you enjoy, and I for one will always be disappointed that I have to replay Far Cry 3 from the beginning every time I want to re-experience that drug field burning mission. That irritates me because sometimes you just want to jump ahead to the highlights. Imagine having to rewatch an entire movie every time you just want to rewatch a scene that you love, imagine not being allowed to skip over pages in a book, imagine having to listen to an entire album when you just want to listen to track five.

We should allow people to choose the content they want to consume. Developers should have the confidence to have a skip feature in their games, to know that their artistic vision is actually less important than giving the consumer the right to do what they want. And I say this as someone who writes fiction. If someone just wants to skip ahead to one part of a book I wrote then what am I supposed to do about it? The creator’s wishes don’t matter. It’s the people, the people that buy your product, the people that support your work that should have the final say. Who are you to deny them that?

No creator’s vision is more important than the people who are expected to consume what they create. The people who make these things aren’t gods, and they shouldn’t act as if everything they create is pure gold that must be completely consumed by someone every single time they want to experience it. Sorry, but no one is good enough to warrant that kind of devotion.


News of the Week – 23 September 2019

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Control exclusivity cost Epic Games a lot of money:

The exclusivity deals that Epic Games makes with the companies they sign onto their platform are often rather secretive, but part of a recent deal may have been inadvertently leaked. The parent company of 505 Games, Digital Bros., reportedly made €9.49 million (or $10.45 million) a few days before the launch of their game. It would appear that these millions of Euros were from Epic Games so that they could keep Control exclusively on their platform for a year.

This amount is particularly enormous because Remedy Games’ development budget for the game has been listed as €20-30 million, and so this deal possibly paid for roughly a third of their budget. We don’t know how much has been paid for other exclusive games, but if this is anything to go by, then we can only imagine how much cash Epic Games has spent on their many exclusives in the past. Clearly, they have exceedingly deep pockets.

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French court says Steam users should be able to resell their games:

A French court in Paris has made a decision that may end up negatively affecting Steam’s cashflow. The pro-consumer group UFC Que Choisir took Valve to court over issues such as the fact that you can’t resell games on Steam and that if you delete your account you are not refunded for the cash you have left over in your Steam wallet. And the court sided with the consumer advocacy group rather than with the multi-billion dollar company. However, that is not the end of the dispute.

Valve has obviously decided to contest the court’s decision and will be pursuing this further. The precedent has always been that you cannot resell digital goods, but this court’s decision may present something of problem for digital sellers going forward because it could change things quite drastically. Digital storefronts essentially provide access to games but do not actually sell you something permanent because the games are only there so long as the storefront doesn’t go down.

This ruling may change things by forcing companies to provide consumers with better products upfront to incentivise better practices from the get-go, and therefore companies need to make better products that don’t get refunded. Otherwise they could be flushing cash down the toilet by allowing consumers to just send the games back. And so it should be interesting to see how this develops.

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Borderlands 3 has been doing well:

Borderlands 3, a game that has received a huge amount of publicity over the last few months and that follows on from the insanely popular Borderlands 2, has managed to break all kinds of records for Gearbox. They announced that their player numbers for launch is double what they had when Borderlands 2 launched. This is rather impressive but also ignores the fact that this was rather obviously going to happen. The second game was the one that exploded, so of course the sequel to it would explode too.

Regardless of that, it is an achievement and Randy Pitchford, Gearbox’s CEO, has been vocal about how happy he is about this news. The game’s launch has been plagued with connectivity issues, which is not unusual for a new game with an online multiplayer focus, but they do ultimately deserve at least some recognition for putting out a game people want and for those people to be enjoying it enough to play it en masse.

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The PS4 continues to sell big:

The PS4 has a few more stats. Several months ago it was announced that 100 million PS4 units had been shipped worldwide, and now it appears that the United States accounts for 30% of the entire global market for that console. This is a rather massive chunk of the console economy. Other markets that top the charts include Japan, Germany and the UK. The PS4 will likely continue to dominate in the console space until the next generation finally comes along and resets everything. Then the competition cycle can begin all over again…

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Rockstar is doing their own game launcher:

Rockstar Games, the people behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, have put out their own online store like other big publishers, such as EA and Ubisoft. This new game launcher will first appear on Windows systems but will presumably eventually make its way to Mac and Linux, but we don’t yet know whether their games will be released on Steam anymore. They seem to have a good relationship with Steam, but Rockstar is a famous enough company that they might just be able to make PC gaming work without Steam’s playerbase.

In the meantime, the new store actually does have important features like cloud saving at launch (unlike certain other storefronts) and as an incentive they will be giving away one of their best games (and my personal favourite game of all time): Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This news may further damage the monopoly that Steam has cultivated over the years, but we will have to see whether anything more comes of this.

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