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Grand Theft Auto Online just hit peak monthly concurrency – and it’s five years old

There aren’t many online games that can honestly say they’re still growing and setting records years and years after their launch, but that’s exactly what Grand Theft Auto Online – which launched way back in 2013 – is doing.

Earlier this week, Rockstar announced the good news in a blog post, stating that “2017 was the biggest year of GTA Online yet, capped off by an epic December that saw more players in the game than ever before.”

The news won’t surprise anybody who’s been watching Superdata’s monthly reports, as the game’s been sitting toward the top of the console charts for a long time, peaking at #1 for several months in the summer of 2017.

Rockstar’s blog post further notes the introduction of the Lampadati Viseris as well as sales and bonus events running through this weekend.

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Players discover Red Dead Redemption 2 pistols in GTA Online files

Is Rockstar Games planting little Easter eggs in Grand Theft Auto Online for its upcoming multiplayer western? And are the two games connected?

This seems to be the case, as player dataminers have discovered GTA Online files that indicate the studio is setting up a treasure hunt that will lead gamers to a special chest that holds signature Red Dead Redemption 2 gold-plated pistols. Even better, the chest may also bestow an in-game benefit for the upcoming western title.

The treasure hunt should be coming with the next update, called “The Doomsday Heist.” If all of this is shown to be true, then it might confirm that both games share the same world, just in different timelines.

Like GTA Online, Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature some online multiplayer functionality, although the exact specifics of this have yet to be revealed. We do know that it’ll have lockboxes, however.

Source: Polygon

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Grand Theft Auto Online previews its high-adventure Doomsday Heist update

Sometimes, robbing banks gets boring. Specifically, robbing banks in Grand Theft Auto Online; you should not be robbing banks in real life under any circumstances. Don’t rob banks. But the next update for the game is promising a robbery involving jetpacks into a mountain, transforming DeLoreans, and doomsday scenarios. You probably shouldn’t be involved in that sort of heist anyway, but it’s a little more unclear what is happening here that is actually illegal.

This is GTAO, so something illegal is probably happening. But what is a bit more unclear.

You can check out the trailer for the update just below; at a glance, this “epic online adventure” has a lot of story hooks that seem more like single-player content, like promising to investigate the mysteries of Mount Chilliad. You’ll have to see how it plays out for yourself when the update goes live on December 12th; until then, watch the trailer to get all of the aforementioned transforming DeLorean action you could ask for. (In short bursts. You should not continually watch a one-minute trailer for the next several days.)

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Overwatch snags two Game Awards while Destiny 2 is honored by six nominations

Did you catch last night’s Game Awards from LA? If not, you probably didn’t miss anything super-groundbreaking, although Overwatch did quite well for itself amid a crowd of mostly single-player titles. Blizzard’s team shooter won two awards, one for Best Ongoing Game and one for Best E-Sports Game (see if you can spot what’s wrong with those awards).

There were several other online games nominated for awards but losing out to other titles. Destiny 2, in particular, had six nominations in categories such as Best Art Direction, Best Ongoing Game, and Best Multiplayer. Other nominations of note included PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (which had a Game of the Year nod), Warframe, Grand Theft Auto Online, Monster Hunter World, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Dota 2.

Don’t put too much stock in these results; after all, the Massively OP end-of-year awards are coming to you very soon, and we actually understand what an ongoing game really is! You can watch the full three-hour stream below to get the full experience if you so desire or just catch our favorite highlight.

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The Stream Team: Halloween on the streets of GTA Online’s Los Santos

Do you know where Massively OP’s MJ hasn’t been in over a year? Los Santos, that’s where! And she’s dying to see the Halloween goodness that GTAO has to offer. There are some pretty sweet cars like the Fränken Stange and the Lurcher that she wants to check out. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for a ride on the wild side of Halloween.

What: Grand Theft Auto Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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GTA Online drops wild ‘transform’ stunt races in tomorrow’s update

If you ever get tired of mayhem in Grand Theft Auto Online… just kidding, nobody ever gets tired of mayhem in GTAO. That’s why you’re playing GTAO. And it’s why in tomorrow’s patch, Rockstar is offering an all-new flavor of chaos: “Transform Races,” stunt races “with a twist.”

“Instantly mix vehicle and race types as you switch between land, sea and air in Transform Races, the next evolution of stunt racing in Grand Theft Auto Online. Jump instantly from the curves of a gritty, downtown street race straight into a speeding jet high above Los Santos, then dive face first down Raton Canyon on a jet ski and more. Transform Races are new and unique stunt tracks that seamlessly transition across land, sea and air, running the gamut of available vehicle types – everything from Supers and Off-Roads, to Boats, Planes, and Helicopters – and even some skydiving thrown in for good measure.”

The update’s out tomorrowday; check out the new trailer down below. Maybe don’t if you get airsick, though, because whoa.

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PUBG dev argues Fortnite spat is about Epic and Unreal Engine’s conflicts, not about owning the battle royal genre

Last week, following Epic’s announcement that PvE-centric Fortnite would be getting a PvP-centric battle royal mode its paying PvE players apparently didn’t want (but that’s OK because it’s free?), we all rolled our eyes at the transparent attempt to capitalize on the runaway success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Developer Bluehole, however, did more than that: In a press release, it all but accused Epic of ripping off the mode and suggested it’d be contemplating some sort of action against the company, causing a market run on virtual popcorn as everyone watched two massive video game companies prepare for a possible legal war over what seemed to many gamers to be a pretty old game trope.

But in a new PC Gamer interview, Bluehole has since clarified its position: It’s not about the games’ shared ideas but about Epic specifically.

“This is not about the battle royale game mode itself,” VP/EP Changhan Kim told PC Gamer. “There were other BR gamemodes earlier this year that were released, like last man standing or GTA 5’s battle royale game mode, and we never raised an issue. […] Battle royale is just about last man standing, it’s a simple game mode, and we’re not claiming any kind of ownership over the game mode or genre itself. It’s not for us to even comment.”

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Smuggler’s Run is live in Grand Theft Auto Online today

Grand Theft Auto Online doesn’t want to be left out of the ridiculous launch-day extravaganza the end of August is having, which is why Rockstar’s just launched the Smuggler’s Run update.

“With a name that’s a nod to an early classic from the Rockstar Games catalog, Smuggler’s Run opens up the air corridors above Los Santos and Blaine County, providing new business opportunities while introducing a range of planes, choppers and even ultralights as highly viable options for transporting criminal cargo across the state – simultaneously opening up some creative new methods of dispatching any rival gangs along the way. Smuggler’s Run delivers a massive range of new, customizable aircraft perfect for any mission along with expansive new aircraft hangars in which to stash your fleet of fantastic flying machines.”

Expect seven new aircraft from “getaway racers” to zippy badasses that only look like hunks ‘o junk, plus a couple of cars for the landbound gangsters and a new scavenger hunt-themed adversary mode called Motor Wars. There are even new tats. Try not to die!

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Grand Theft Auto Online launches Smuggler’s Run next week

GTAV and GTAO are having a good summer, sitting at the tippy-top of SuperData’s console revenue charts for the last couple of months in spite of the modding fiasco last spring. So why stop there? Rockstar isn’t — it’s launching the Smuggler’s Run update on August 29th.

“With a name that’s a nod to an early classic from the Rockstar Games catalog, Smuggler’s Run opens up the air corridors above Los Santos and Blaine County, providing new business opportunities while introducing a range of planes, choppers and even ultralights as highly viable options for transporting criminal cargo across the state – simultaneously opening up some creative new methods of dispatching any rival gangs along the way. Smuggler’s Run delivers a massive range of new, customizable aircraft perfect for any mission along with expansive new aircraft hangars in which to stash your fleet of fantastic flying machines.”

The studio’s also busy prepping a fall update with vehicle racing, new wheeled vehicles, new competitive adversary modes, and holiday stuff — yep, bonus point for being the first Halloween tease of the year. The new trailer’s down below.

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SuperData’s July 2017 report sees PC rank reshuffle, Pokemon Go’s return, and GTAO’s console dominance

SuperData’s July 2017 revenue report isn’t going to surprise anyone, I suspect, but it’s worth a look. On the PC side, there are no new entries since last month, and though League of Legends still tops the list in terms of global revenue, the rankings have been reshuffled, with World of Warcraft moving up to 5th, Dungeon Fighter Online displacing Crossfire, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds holding steady in the middle of the pack, and Dota 2 slipping down several places. (Expect Dota to resurge next report.)

On mobile, Pokemon Go has returned to the list for the first time in several months, landing at #7. Lineage M debuts at #3 for mobile, but Honor of Kings and Fantasy Westward Journey retain their top spots.

The analysis firm throws nods to Grand Theft Auto V, still riding in the front car of the console train. “Grand Theft Auto V stands strong for another month,” SuperData says. “Through its microtransactions model, GTA Online grew significantly year-over-year for the month of July across console and PC. It did not outperform its record-breaking numbers in June.”

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The MOP Up: Portal Knights splits up the party (August 13, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Planet of HeroesThe Black DeathMu LegendRobloxCabal IIPortal KnightsMaster X MasterHellionElswordSoulworker OnlineAr:piel OnlineCaravan StoriesSword of Legends OnlineVainglory, and Aion, all waiting for you after the break!

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SuperData’s mid-2017 report reflects a wildly expanding gaming industry

Gaming analysis firm SuperData is touting a new report for marketers today, shedding some light on the shape of the industry so far in 2017 — for everyone. Yep, today’s report is free, as long as you’re willing to hand over a mailing address, so let’s run down the highlights:

  • 46% of US gamers are now women.
  • 665 million people glue their eyeballs to gaming videos and streams — more than HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu combined.
  • “The global market for games and interactive media will grow 12% this year,” for the first time crossing the $100B threshold.
  • A streadily increasing percentage of that dough is coming from digital console revenue.
  • By 2020, SuperData argues, “players will spend $4.5B on immersive gaming — more than 20 times what they do today.”
  • Rocket League shows that console gamers are willing to spend on optional cosmetic items in multiplayer games.” Stop buying lockboxes, people.

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GTAO profits are soaring, but we still don’t know whether Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC

It’s still not a sure thing that Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC.

During its recent earnings call, Rockstar parent company Take Two heaped praise on the PC platform, calling it a vibrant and big digital market with plenty of potential for “engagement with a consumer” – “the PC market as a company is very important and very exciting and something we focus on.” But when pressed for a statement from an investor on the status of a possible PC version of RDR2, CEO Strauss Zelnick deferred comment to the studios, meaning Rockstar itself.

“Any updates about any of our titles will come from our labels,” he said.

Read Dead Redemption 2 was announced last October with a fall 2017 date and promises about the “online multiplayer experience.” But just ahead of its last investor call — and on the heels of the announcement of potential rival Wild West Online — Rockstar announced a delay of RDR2 to spring 2018 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to give it more time to cook (and causing a dip in Take-Two’s stock).

The good news for both companies this time is that Grand Theft Auto Online is in the middle of a surprise record year and best quarter ever.

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