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See: Grand Theft Auto Online

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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Perfect Ten: 20 multiplayer games to watch in 2018

A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.

There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!

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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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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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Red Dead Redemption 2’s trailer is finally here, still launching on console spring 2018

It didn’t quite make summer, but close enough: Rockstar has finally rolled out the new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2. We’ve been keeping an eye on the western as like its sister GTAO it’s got some MMO-ish elements: “The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.”

The trailer description doesn’t mention deployment for PC, so we still don’t know whether that’s happening, but at the very least we can assume it’s not happening right off.

“The all-new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they rob, fight and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive. Coming Spring 2018 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems.”

Likewise, the game was originally set for fall of this year, then delayed to spring of 2018, which apparently holds. The trailer’s down below.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 kicks the can on its ‘summer’ announcement

Rule lawyers, please advise: Is it fulfilling the terms of a verbal contract to have promised more details on a delayed game by the end of summer and then announce hours prior to the start of autumn that an announcement was coming? Does that count?

Because that’s exactly what Rockstar Games did with Red Dead Redemption 2. When the studio revealed back in May that it was delaying the multiplayer sequel to its hit western game to 2018, Rockstar promised more details by the end of summer. The details that we got just before the seasons passed the baton? An announcement of an upcoming September 28th announcement. Seems a little disingenuous from where we are sitting.

Rockstar previously said that RDR2 would contain an “online multiplayer experience” when it arrive on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but the studio’s been considerably more cagey about whether or not the rumored PC version will actually happen. Maybe we’ll find out more next week?

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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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Destiny 2’s Pop-Tarts and energy drink promo is everything wrong with this industry

Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine! This is not a joke: ActiBlizz just sent ’round a press release announcing a partnership with Rockstar energy drinks and poptarts, which I’ve just learned is actually properly formatted as Pop-Tarts. This was important enough that it needed to invade my inbox, and by god, I’m going to make sure you’re informed of this critical partnership development too.

Destiny 2’s international collaboration with Rockstar Energy Drink includes limited edition ‘Destiny 2 themed’ cans in different flavors available in the U.S. and Canada, U.K. and Germany. The U.S. flavors are Original, Punched, and Zero Carb. Canada flavors include: Original, Punched and Burner. The U.K. flavors include: Original, Punched Guava, and XDurance. The Germany program features flavors: Original and Sugar Free.”

For some reason we all need different flavors? Guava? What? “Score loot with cans!” No!

“The U.S. partnership with Pop-Tarts® will fuel players’ Destiny 2 gaming experience by offering XP Boost, free with purchase of specially-marked packages of Pop-Tarts®.** In addition to this limited time offer, Pop-Tarts® will feature custom-designed, collectable packs highlighting each Guardian Subclass.”

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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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The Soapbox: The disastrous Pokemon Go Fest was just Niantic being Niantic, and that has to stop

I know I complain a lot about Pokemon Go in my articles here, but there’s a reason for this. I’m a huge fan not just of the Pokemon series but of what Niantic is trying to do with its game on a basic level. The idea of getting games outside with the rest of the world instead of hidden in our rooms and offices is hugely appealing. I’ve even applied to work at Niantic before (though obviously I wasn’t selected), so for me especially it’s frustrating to see a company I want to succeed repeatedly making the same kinds of mistakes. These are mistakes that plagued the game’s launch, several events, feature reworkings, and now not one, but two birthday celebrations within the same year. 

I actually got sucked into the hype recently and even said that the events surrounding the festival might give people a reason to come back. I’ve finally removed my foot from my mouth after previously downing some crow, but I’ve realized that, now more than ever, Niantic needs some tougher love, and here it is.

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GTAV OpenIV modding continues, but Rockstar’s barred the Liberty City module

The Rockstar modding fiasco still isn’t over.

Back in June, Rockstar and TakeTwo began sending takedowns to the operators of modding tools of varying skeeviness, including OpenIV, a decade-old foundational toolset used by countless modders for the Grand Theft Auto series. The legal threats to a community staple, demands that cheater-centric mods donate their profits to charity, and dubious claim that the move was intended to protect Grand Theft Auto Online — which doesn’t allow mods to begin with — caused players to riot across the forums, Reddit, and Steam, where reviewbombing caused GTAV’s rating to plummet, in spite of Rockstar’s relatively noncommittal statement that the companies “generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties.”

The good news is that this means OpenIV is back in development. The bad news is that one of its biggest projects is toast.

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GTA Online’s Independence Day content is absurdly awesome

Nothing says Independence Day like gang warfare in the streets of Los Santos using guns painted like flags, am I right? Yep, Rockstar is following up GTA Online’s Gunrunning update with some July 4th content, new and old, including a new supercar, bonus earnings in the Dawn Raid adversary mode, and free digital t-shirts just for logging in.

“Raise the flag, put your hand on heart, and wipe that red, white and blue tear from your eye – a wave of Independence Day mayhem is erupting across San Andreas. Firework launchers, classic outfits, the Western Sovereign and the Liberator Monster Truck are all back through July 10, and 25% off their original price. Plus this year also brings patriotic new liveries for your Mobile Operation Center and Mk II weaponry to help you flaunt your love of country.”

But me, I’ll be on the yacht.

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