Rumors Category

We do our best to confirm rumors before we publish them. Heed the caveats and have fun speculating! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Rumor: Is Blizzard working on another shooter game – or an Overwatch expansion?

Strange as it is be to consider, but Blizzard might not be solely satisfied with the rampant success of Overwatch in the shooter market.

VG247 notes that several job listings on Blizzard’s site points to the studio’s intent to possibly develop a new game. Four “unannounced project” posts are listed, with one particularly telling: “Blizzard Entertainment is seeking an experienced engine engineer to work on a robust first-person engine for an unannounced project.”

The same job listing mentions that it is a plus if the candidate has experience working on first-person or action-based games. Another post seeks artists who have worked on first-person perspective titles.

So what does this mean? It’s definitely too early to draw any conclusions, but this raises the possibility that Blizzard could be working on a new FPS game or an expansion for Overwatch.

Source: Blizzard via VG247 via NeoGAF

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Will Smed’s Amazon game utilize shooter mechanics?

Back in February, we learned the fate of MMORPG industry veteran John Smedley: He’s heading up a new game for Amazon Game Studios.

Smed is well known for his 20-year reign at SOE and then Daybreak, which he departed in 2015, and most recently for Hero’s Song studio Pixelmage Games, which closed down last year ostensibly for financial reasons.

While Smed wouldn’t speak about the game on the record back then, Amazon did cite his MMO experience when telling gamers that his game is “an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world.” We might have a clue today as he’s tweeted about PC shooters, soliciting opinions on gunplay.

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Wild West Online addresses Sergey Titov rumors [Updated]

Rumors spread on Reddit yesterday suggesting that Sergey Titov is involved in Wild West Online have been partially but not fully debunked. Titov, you’ll recall, was the controversial personality behind scandal-riddled The War Z aka Infestation: Survivor Stories aka Infestation World, a survival game so terrible our original reviewer called it “worse than actually being killed by zombies.”

Reddit user TheSkiesAreShattered (now deleted) posted his hypothesis (now deleted) that Titov was involved in Wild West Online’s development and indeed was its mysterious investor. The Redditor offered circumstantial evidence including an engine comparison, domain name patterns, and Facebook friends lists, chastising the press for missing those “clues.” Similar threads on the official forum have been locked and heavily moderated with links to the Reddit thread removed, but a forum moderator confirmed that the team licensed the engine from Free Reign Entertainment – that’s Sergey Titov’s outfit.

“No, Sergey Titov is not involved in the development of this game, but yes we use a game engine developed and supported by one of his companies,” the mod writes. A second followup post from the developers also homes in on the engine rumor specifically but doesn’t address the other allegations:

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Is Cryptic Studios creating a Magic: The Gathering MMO?

For years now, we have been pondering what “top secret” project might be in development over at Cryptic Studios. Well, the studio isn’t talking — yet — but there are indicators that suggest that Cryptic might be working or collaborating on an MMO set in the Magic: The Gathering universe.

PCGamesN connects a few sparse dots to point to such a project, noting that Cryptic ex-devs have gone over to work for Wizards of the Coast and that a new Cryptic job posting for an art director on the unnamed title mentions that the game will be “based on an extremely exciting, well-known fantasy IP.”

“We’re very excited about what we’re working on,” Cryptic has had posted on its top secret project page. “Our top secret work represents our continued commitment to diversify and reach beyond the boundaries of traditional MMORPG gaming.”

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Jagex leaks ‘Next-Gen’ project slide; is it for RuneScape?

During a weekend stream of RuneScape, Jagex Community Manager Shaun “Shauny” Akerman appears to have let slip a logo for an unannounced Jagex project called “Next-Gen.” The community is more or less united behind Shauny, who expresses concern on the video that he may be fired. He won’t be, by the by; another mod posted,

“Don’t worry, Shauny! Honest mistake, we all make them. This was a slide from an internal company livestream, so there must have been something leftover from that. God bless you Shauny – we just have to teach you to cut feed when a stream is over!”

Other folks on Reddit are a bit more cynical, suggesting that the whole thing was an intentional leak by the studio in the service of starting up the rumormill on whatever Jagex is working on next.

So what the heck is it? It could be RuneScape Remastered, which Jagex confirmed last year. It could be the VR tech for RuneScape the company hinted at earlier this spring. It could be just a throwback to RuneScape 3’s internal name. Or it could be a new property altogether, though it hasn’t had the best track record there (RIP, Stellar Dawn and Transformers Universe).

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Overwatch: Hero leaks, lockbox probabilities, and Korean political humor

As Asian countries are cracking down on online games with lockbox gambling, gaming companies are complying with transparency. To wit: Blizzard’s Chinese Overwatch website has published lockbox probability parameters. Here’s the paraphrase of the translation:

“Each lootbox will contain 4 items, including cosmetics or game currency for direct unlocking cosmetics. Each lootbox will contain at least one item of excellent or higher quality. An epic quality item will be availabe every 5.5 lootboxes on average. A legendary quality item will be availabe every 13.5 lootboxes on average.”

Since it’s leak week, here’s an Overwatch one for you, unconfirmed:

Click to reveal spoiler/leak
According to SegmentNext, a 4chan user who claims to be a Blizzard artist says that Doomfist will roll out much sooner than anticipated and that the studio is working on two other heroes: Bria (a tiny character who locks off map chunks, now in testing) and Ivon (an older gentleman, defense-based, but not coming soon). Still other gamers are digging into game files for evidence of an event on the way soon.

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BioWare delays SWTOR 5.2 for a week, might be working on KOTOR 3 and a ‘semi-MMO’

Let’s rip off this band-aid quickly: There will be no SWTOR Update 5.2 today. BioWare announced on the forums that it is delaying the patch, which contains the MMO’s first new raid in two years, to next week. In the meantime, SWTOR will be extending its XP/CXP event through the 18th as compensation.

The studio said that the delay was due to a quality issue with the update: “At this point in time, we are not satisfied with the quality of the Iokath update. For that reason, we are delaying the release of 5.2 by one week, to release on April 18th. This allows the team more time to make improvements to address some of the issues still pending.”

And as one Old Republic game sees a delay, another might be forthcoming. Scuttlebutt this week is that BioWare Edmonton is working on a Knights of the Old Republic game. The rumor’s source said that it is unclear whether this is a remake of the original, a revival of the franchise, or something else entirely, but that BioWare is currently working on Star Wars games exclusively.

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Secret World Legends beta leaks show a vastly changed game [Updated]

Funcom has issued a statement about the leaks; we’ve included it in its entirety at the end of this post.

For those assuming that Secret World Legends will be only slightly different from the existing MMO, it may be best to rip off that band-aid early to get used to the truth. While the game is currently under NDA in closed beta, that doesn’t stop information from leaking out that appears to show a vastly changed title in the making.

On the new Secret Worlds Legends subreddit, a beta tester has unloaded a ton of information and screenshots that mostly center on the action-RPG’s combat system. With the understanding that this is beta and all may be changed, the tester claims to shows how the different combat weapons have been streamlined and modified (for example, shotguns now have different types of shells that perform various tasks and assault rifles have grenades). The tester notes that most classes should self-heal now as in most other MMOs. Players will use a reticle system for combat and will need to worry about overheating at least some of their weapons.

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Rumor: Destiny 2 leak hints at September 8 launch

Reddit is buzzing this morning over posters uploaded across the internet that if legit — and they do look legit — seem to reveal a September 8th release date for Bungie’s Destiny 2.

That revelation comports with Activision-Blizzard’s last investor call in February, during which the companies said the game was on track for a fall 2017 rollout and would be catering to a “casual first-person experience.”

The posters also suggest a June beta. Is everyone excited about watching the world chase this game and hearing people fight over whether it’s an MMO? No? Yeah.

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EVE Evolved: Hints of EVE Online’s summer update

The EVE Online community was a little surprised this week by what appeared to be the accidental early reveal of the feature list for this summer’s update. Someone noticed that the official EVE Updates page had a new “summer” section filled with details of upcoming features but with placeholder images attached. The page disappeared shortly thereafter, but not before someone snapped a screenshot of it and published it to Reddit. CCP Falcon tweeted that this wasn’t a leak but that “a few cards were published early without images” and they’ll be re-published properly on Monday. This hasn’t stopped the EVE community and bloggers from speculating heavily on the content of the early reveal, and I must admit that I can’t resist doing the same.

The summer update comes ahead of the Drilling Platforms discussed in my previous article, but it looks like part of the impending resource-gathering revolution is coming early in the form of a complete re-design of the mechanics behind asteroid belts. Strategic cruisers will also be getting a significant balance pass across the board, and the recently announced Exoplanet search minigame will be coming to Project Discovery. The update also includes graphical overhauls for several space station types, redesigns of the Vexor and Ishtar drone ships, new explosion graphics, and improvements to the new player experience. Outside the game, we’ll be getting all-new forums boasting new features for sharing and engagement, and a chat system that keeps going even when the server is offline.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into a few of these early reveals and speculate on what they might mean for EVE. Is a total mining overhaul coming earlier than expected, and could we get EVE chat on our phones?

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Rumor: Lost Ark’s next Korean CBT is coming this summer

What’s going on with Lost Ark anyway? It’s been a good long time since we heard anything about this promising and stunning-looking MMOARPG, including whether or not it was actually confirmed to arrive in the west.

We are tracking a rumor this week from Steparu that Lost Ark is planning on a new Korean CBT for sometime this summer. “Although just a rumor and nothing set in stone, someone from LostArkDB had a chat with a Smilegate employee, and they mentioned that the next closed beta for the Korean version of Lost Ark is scheduled to start sometime in June or July,” he posted.

If true, that means that the title is still slowly progressing through its overseas beta cycle and will probably be a while yet to arrive in North America and Europe — if ever at all. Still, it’s something, so cling to hope!

Source: Steparu

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We may have already known about Overwatch’s next hero… for months

The next Overwatch hero is a quadraped Omnic named Anchora, and she appears to be a tank. This isn’t a new announcement, though; it’s from a leak that’s months old. The question is whether or not it’s accurate, and at the time of the leak, it certainly didn’t seem accurate. Then again, at the time of the leak we also didn’t have an interview with a robotics prodigy talking about her next project, so that certainly changes the evaluation.

The leak successfully forecasted the Lunar New Year event and the accompanying Mei skin, as well as going into more detail on Mei’s origin story. It is, of course, a leak rather than an official announcement, so it could prove to be completely incorrect. But if the next hero really is scuttling around on all fours, perhaps we shouldn’t be all that surprised after all.

Source: Reddit via VG24/7

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