convention

Red Dead Redemption 2 appears to be headed to PC based on a LinkedIn profile

There are a lot of ways to announce adding a new platform to your game’s release lineup. You can do so at a major convention, put out a new ad, send out a big press release, add it to someone’s profile on LinkedIn… the last one is admittedly not traditional, but it’s the biggest piece of evidence that Red Dead Redemption 2 is indeed heading for the PC.

A developer whose identity remains unstated updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his work on RDR2 for various platforms, including the PC. He has since removed the reference from his profile since it seems to be an obvious mistake, but the Internet never forgets these things. Again, it still doesn’t quite have the appreciable tang of having an actual announcement about what platforms the game will be playable on, but it seems like pretty strong evidence in favor of a desktop release. We’ll probably know for sure as October gets closer.

Source: VG24/7

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E3 2018: Bill Roper on gaming’s smoke and mirrors, Worlds Adrift, and building on SpatialOS

For MMO players, Improbable brought some interesting ideas to GDC this past spring. It also brought some games I wasn’t expecting, and the ones I was expecting were kind of downplayed. On the ground floor, developers from some of our favorite MMOs hadn’t heard of SpatialOS, a platform that allows games to be “bigger” by running multiple game engines in an innovative way, with a few developers being exceptions. I was set up for a meeting with Improbable CCO Bill Roper to help figure things out, but soon into our physical meeting he was pulled away and we had to follow up with emails, which rarely goes as well.

Fortunately, Roper had time to sit and chat again with me at E3. With SpatialOS’s first game out in the wild and more on the way, I felt like there was a lot Roper could explain about SpatialOS, MMOs, and Improbable’s role in it all.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Descent, the future of space mining

Fallout 76 wasn’t the only Interplay throwback at E3 2018: Descent, one of the games that defined the six degrees of freedom genre, is no longer underground. That is, the former title has changed because Interplay’s embraced the game and given the developers full support.

Descendent Studios team is hard at work on launch, Little Orbit CEO Matt Scott met with us to discuss what’s been going on in the past several years of development. Nostalgia aside, I went in expecting the worst: long-abandoned IP, Kickstarted game, indie team, extended public development, and fairly quiet presence on social media. However, I came out very pleased. While the game may not be an MMORPG, what I saw and heard makes me think that this may be the space experience I’ve been waiting for.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with ReEvolve, Perfect World’s new mobile sandbox MMORPG

Remember how we learned that Perfect World would be showing off some new games at E3? Well, things happen at conventions like this – they don’t always go to plan. My FarSide didn’t materialize, for example. However, ReEvolve did happen, just not without setbacks. Our PR contact, Michael Meyers, did his level best to help me understand what was up with the game, despite the realization that PWE’s Chinese branch hasn’t pushed much information westward just yet. All this could have ended with my not writing anything, but despite it all, enough of the game showed through, and I’m definitely intrigued.

If a sandbox version of something like Adventure Quest 3D exclusively on mobile sounds like your thing, read on.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with the superb (and hopefully Switch-bound) Black Desert Mobile

While I’ve had kind words to say about the potential for mobile in the past – particularly MMOARGs – I just haven’t been able to get into mobile MMORPGs. The point of view, the auto-follow, the lack of chat, and a generally cheap feeling leave me feeling a bit ill. However, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on Black Desert Online’s mobile port this year at E3, which might just change my mind.

Now, let me preface this by saying I am not an active player of the PC version of the game, and my brief time with the console version of the game only confirmed to me that Pearl Abyss has competently adapted controls and UI for console, but oddly enough, the work on the mobile client stood out to me as particularly superb. And as Pearl Abyss CEO Kyungin “Robin” Jung told me during our interview, the company is indeed considering porting the title to the Switch. While it sounded interesting (and a bit odd considering Nintendo’s general status as an online-outsider), it wasn’t until I personally played BDM that I seriously started to consider the possibility.

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Final Fantasy XIV could still arrive on Nintendo Switch if console companies decide to play nice

Naoki Yoshida of Final Fantasy XIV fame was at this year’s E3, and that means interviews with the man himself. One of those interviews from VGR brought up the question of whether or not the game could possibly arrive on the Nintendo Switch, which prompted some excitement about the idea that it might come to the platform. After all, Yoshida says that he would like that!

Except that this isn’t a new answer; it’s the same answer that fans have been getting since the last hardware generation when people were asking about the game arriving on the Xbox 360. It’s always been the same answer.

The team behind FFXIV insist on the game having full cross-play compatibility between all platforms it can be played on (so console players and PC players are on the same servers) and no additional monthly fees beyond the subscription. Those two requests long prevented it from appearing on Xbox consoles (as Microsoft didn’t like the idea of the game not requiring an Xbox Live subscription or cross-play with PlayStation users), and they’re likely the same things holding back any Switch port. So we remain in a world where you have to play on your PlayStation 4 or your desktop.

Source: VGR via Techradar; thanks to ChaosConstant for the tip!

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Funcom’s upcoming Mutant Year Zero

Apparently, GDC was good to Funcom, The Bearded Ladies, and Mutant: Year Zero. The teams had originally thought to skip E3 this year, but after the reveal led to even one developer’s mail attendant in Sweden fanning out a bit, it became clear that an appearance at the Expo might be in order (and to maybe not wear developer t-shirts in public).

The Bearded Ladies developers said that they’ve received nothing but positive comments so far, and I can’t say I’ve been able to give them more critical feedback either. Part of that is because my tactical RPG experience is limited to super casual Fire Emblem outings that never end with my finishing the game. Admittedly, I also didn’t have a ton of questions to bring with me this time because the guys were just so open at GDC. It’s probably for the best, though, as I was finally able to get my hands on the game. Spoiler alert: Not only did I fail my mission, but so did almost everyone else!

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Global Chat: The fallout of Fallout 76

Bethesda’s E3 reveal of Fallout 76 had many gamers and franchise fans talking, no more so than out among MMO bloggers. After all, taking the series online for the first time is a pretty notable occasion, is it not?

“As I said before, I am all onboard with a Fallout survival game,” wrote In An Age. “Exploring the wasteland and looting all the things consists of about 80% of my gameplay in this series, and I am currently on an extreme survival game kick the likes of which I have not experienced since my high school JRPG days. All of that sounds fantastic to me.”

Leo’s Life isn’t as enthusiastic: “I was certainly interested last week. Now, not so much. It’s not the game that I wanted, but it’s probably the game that someone else did.” And Endgame Variable notes that, “The first thing they showed was your basic animalistic gankbox-style PvP. That’s got to be sending a message.”

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Rend showcases new Stagswood biome with video

Frostkeep Studios showed off plenty for Rend at E3, as you can see from our hands-on with the game, but the studio still has more to share. It unveiled another boime last Friday, showing off the lush landscape that surrounds hearthhome with a flyover video. Stagswood is home to — you guessed it — stags. But this survival PvPvE game doesn’t feature just ordinary stags. No, these majestic luminescent creatures have beautiful flora growing out of their mighty antlers. They live among the skogurfrut bushes and hardwood saplings under the canopy. Also living amid the foliage (likely stalking you) are wargs, and down in caves you’ll find vicious looking Ursas. Check out some screens below, then watch the flyover and collect a few survival tips on Rend’s official site.

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Sea of Thieves does a 180 on skeleton boats and is fine with it

With skeleton ships sailing, volcanoes erupting, rowboats rowing, and the three-player brigantine vessel tempting, Sea of Thieves is firing a publicity broadside following its E3 2018 showing.

The team admitted that it had changed its mind on a long-held stance against instituting skeleton ships. This was, apparently, due to player feedback: “Players have wanted it for a period of time and now we’re going to do it.”

The Sea of Thieves team got together to talk about the big changes coming to the multiplayer pirate simulator, and you can drop in on that chat with the latest Tales from the Tavern podcast after the break!

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E3 2018: A second look at Trion’s Defiance 2050 reboot

GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.

At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.

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PUBG admits to reusing assets but argues that doesn’t make it an asset flip

Tired of hearing the words “asset flip”? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is too. Apparently at E3 last week, PUBG creator Brendan Greene gently joked that he “want[ed] to kill” people who claim his game maps are an asset flip. Now, PUBG Corp. communications lead Ryan Rigney has jumped into the fray on Reddit, where he addresses long-running accusations and rumors on the platform that the game’s maps are “either outsourced or entirely built using store-bought assets.”

“The first thing to understand is that if you’re just starting up a team, you’ve got to lean on asset store work because that’s the only way you can spin up a game fast, and for a reasonable price, to quickly find the fun. Hiring an art team of 40 people to ‘try a game’ and ‘see if it’s fun’ is simply not a smart way to work—this is what the asset store is for! It’s a great resource for teams that want to work smart.”

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Ubisoft’s open-world pirate PvP game Skull & Bones

So, you want to be a pirate, but Sea of Thieves isn’t your cup of tea? If the issue was PvP, well, you’re probably out of luck, as Ubisoft Producer Karl von der Luhe emphasized at E3 this year that one of Skull and Bones chief strengths is that it lets you decide what kind of pirate you want to be: the kind who backstabs and murders his fellow buccaneer, or a wolf running with a pack. There’s no room for pacifists who just want to share Earl Grey and crumpets, alas.

While von der Luhe admits that Ubisoft admires what Rare’s done with SOT, it’s been clear for a long time that the two games are different enough to co-exist. They’re different takes on the pirate lifestyle. Even with the new hideout system for off-ship… um, town interaction, my demo of the open PvPvE area, the hunt grounds, further confirmed my feeling that Ubisoft’s game is more about the ship than it is about the pirate, something that surely has its own audience.

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