rumor

Amazon’s New World video possibly leaked, New World Amazon page has vanished

A short, anonymous video posted to the New World subreddit has the community buzzing that this might be an authentic leak from the secretive massively multiplayer game that Amazon has been developing for the last few years now.

It appears to be part of a marketing trailer that lays out how players will interact with each other in small- and large-scale activities. We also get glimpses of some of the graphics, including players running around with muskets and armor, a town fort, and interactive maps.

The full narration of the video is as follows: “Group up in parties large or small for coordination. Share chat, maps, status awareness, buffs, and experience. Working together has never been so easy. Guilds and alliances enable the organization of hundreds of players, with their own tasks and roles in large-scale efforts toward a massive martial and economic power.”

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Destiny 2 leaks out the second DLC, Gods of Mars, via the PlayStation store

It’s long been known that the next Destiny 2 DLC will be out next year, with most players figuring on early in the year, but beyond that there has mostly been rumors and speculation. Now… there’s more than that. A page for the next DLC showed up on the Japanese and American PSN stores and was swiftly taken down, but as you no doubt surmised, fans took all of the necessary screenshots and have already spread the information. Short version? It’s going to be called Gods of Mars, and it’s sending you to… some planet.

Fine, it’s Mars, yes. Specifically, it’s the Frigid Vale of Mars, where players will find new quests, new landscapes, and perhaps most importantly new enemies to shoot. (And hopefully fewer bits of content retroactively locked behind the expansion.) You can check out the screenshot of the store page below, although you should be warned that any of these informational tidbits could be subject to change before its actual release date in March.

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Rumor: Blizzard’s next title involves vehicles and may be an Overwatch spinoff

There’s a title under development at Blizzard that’s been hiring for a while now, but no one actually knows what it is. So when a new job opening goes up looking for people familiar in working with vehicles, the assumption that the title has vehicles in it seems… well, rather natural. Another job listing is just looking for a software engineer, which doesn’t suggest much about the content of the game.

The current speculation is that the title is some sort of Overwatch spinoff, although nothing has been confirmed or stated about that; it just matches the first-person design requirements, some job listings have mentioned familiarity with character sheets in existing Blizzard properties, and there’s more than enough material to mine out for more games. But what does it actually entail? We won’t know until these positions are filled and something is actually announced, sadly.

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RIP Marvel Heroes

It’s gone, gang, and I’m so sorry.

Following the disastrous silences and accusations that unfolded over October and November, Marvel announced that it had terminated its relationship with gaming studio Gazillion and canceled MMOARPG Marvel Heroes, which was then scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.

However, on Wednesday, Gazillion employees began reporting that they’d been sent a letter by company CEO Dave Dohrmann announcing the end of Gazillion, the loss of their jobs (and some of their benefits), and a rushed end to Marvel Heroes as the bank called in its debts. The letter said the game would be shut down on Friday following an announcement, causing panic among MMO players who thought they had a bit more time. But no announcement came, and the game stayed up through the weekend.

Now, players on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 report that the game has indeed gone fully offline as of this afternoon.

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Gazillion is dead and Marvel Heroes is shutting down Friday, NOT at the end of the year

Massively OP has received a credible tip from a former Gazillion employee who told us under condition of anonymity that Marvel Heroes will be over significantly sooner than Disney and Marvel previously declared.

The ex-employee says he was terminated as of today, that Gazillion is being shut down entirely, and that Marvel Heroes will sunset this coming Friday, not at the end of the year as originally announced.

The termination letter written by CEO Dave Dohrmann was shared with Massively OP and claims that banking creditors have effectively pulled the plug on the company, leading to the termination of almost every employee at the studio and the apparent renege of benefits including accrued PTO.

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EA disables all Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransaction crud – for now

Whenever you see a studio call fans “passionate,” it’s almost always shorthand for “rioting with pitchforks and torches.” Guess what Star Wars Battlefront 2’s execs are calling its players this week?

DICE GM Oskar Garbrielson apologized to the game’s “passionate” community about the missteps that EA made in locking its characters behind a prohibitive grind and aggressively pushing microtransactions. He said that the team is disabling all in-game purchases with crystals, at least until the company can figure out a better way to implement them:

“But as we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right. We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.”

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PWE confirms Motiga layoffs and Runic Games closure, but MOBA Gigantic will stay up

Last night, we reported on multiple employees and former employees’ allusions to the closure of Motiga Games, the studio behind MOBA Gigantic. “Today marks the end of Motiga and my time with an absolutely amazing team,” wrote former audio lead Dan Crislip. “If anyone is hiring, we’re all looking!”

Perfect World has now responded to Massively OP with a statement on what’s going on – in fact, it’s not just Motiga affected, as apparently Runic Games is also shutting down. PWE is distancing itself from the decisions.

“Following the news that Motiga has reduced the staff of its studio, Perfect World Entertainment can confirm that as the publisher of Gigantic, the game will continue to be available on our platforms. A core team of developers remains at Motiga, who will work with us to support the game and its players, including moving full steam ahead with the upcoming November update and future content. We cannot thank everyone enough for their contributions in making Gigantic the outstanding experience it is today.”

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Rumor: Motiga, the studio behind Gigantic, is closing down

Multiple employees and former employees are tweeting tonight alluding to the closure of Motiga Games, the studio behind MOBA Gigantic.

“Today marks the end of Motiga and my time with an absolutely amazing team,” wrote now former audio lead Dan Crislip. “If anyone is hiring, we’re all looking!”

It is not clear yet what the future of the game will be and how and whether Perfect World Entertainment, which added the studio and game to its umbrella last year following multiple rounds of layoffs and financial difficulties at Motiga, will continue Gigantic’s development. As of the time of this post tonight, no official statement from either company has been issued.

We have reached out to PWE for a statement and will report back when we have it (we doubt we’ll get it before sun-up on the west coast tomorrow).

Our hearts go out to the entire team.

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Amazon confirms that Breakaway is on hiatus

Is Breakaway dead? We don’t know for sure, but the rumors started flying yesterday, and the latest official word certainly reads like a death certificate. In the announcement, Amazon has announced that Breakaway is going on hiatus while the core gameplay experience gets retooled, with no actual timeframe for when this will take place. It’s possible that it’s temporary, but it’s also possible that this will result in the game quietly slipping from memory.

There’s no word about how this will affect any other titles in development or even the core team behind the game (or Amazon’s other games), although the prospect of wildly retooling what was originally meant to be the first launch title has to sting a bit. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for more information, but don’t expect more news to be forthcoming quickly.

Source: Official site; thanks to Sray for the tip!

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World of Warcraft has a Tortollan pet in its data files

Because World of Warcraft and Hearthstone ostensibly take place in the same world, the latter frequently gets to fill out the lore of the former. In Hearthstone, for example, you get extrapolations on ideas like Gadgetzan being an actual city, or you get the Tortollan being added to the world’s lore. They’re a diminutive race of turtle-people not seen in the MMO… at least, not seen there before now, judging by the Tortollan pet that’s been datamined in the game.

Obviously, there’s no word about how you’ll get this pet, nor are there even screenshots of what it will look like. It could be a cross-promotion between the games (which seems likely as the model is encrypted), or it could be a major reward from the next expansion. But it’s in the game’s files, meaning that at least some work has been done on it. Good news for everyone whose pet collection doesn’t include enough turtles at this point.

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H1Z1 has defeated its ‘King of the Kill’ branding in a last-man-standing battle royale

Looks like at least some of the rumors last week have proven true, as Daybreak is indeed removing the “King of the Kill” branding from H1Z1, meaning the battle royale half of the zombie survival sandbox is now getting the unified game’s original name free and clear.

You’ll recall that in 2016, Daybreak split H1Z1 into two separate games, H1Z1: King of the Kill and H1Z1: Just Survive; this past summer, the company dropped the “H1Z1” from Just Survive’s branding, cutting loose the survival sandbox half of the original split-apart game, and then it announced a pro league for H1Z1 just last week.

“Throughout development we’ve continued to define the vision for H1Z1, which is competitive at its core with fast-paced and action-packed combat,” Daybreak explains. “Over the past year, the game has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of both player base and development, so we thought it was time to evolve the game’s look to something that better represented the spirit of H1Z1 and the level of quality we aspire to. H1Z1 is also the name that our players connect with most, so it was just natural evolution for us to transition back. We’re also working to ensure that H1Z1 can be enjoyed by players around the world, and having the word ‘Kill’ in the name of the game can be limiting with some global audiences.”

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Rumor: H1Z1 is about to drop King of the Kill branding (and maybe it’s really launching)

Remember in 2016 when Daybreak split H1Z1 into two separate games, H1Z1: King of the Kill and H1Z1: Just Survive?

Remember back in August when Daybreak dropped the “H1Z1” from Just Survive’s branding, cutting loose the survival sandbox half of the original split-apart game?

And remember earlier this week when Daybreak announced a pro league for H1Z1 – without using the words King of the Kill?

Put that all together and you may be figuring that King of the Kill is about to get its own rebrand. Indeed, while it hasn’t been officially announced or confirmed, it seems backed up by a video pulled of a new splash screen on King of the Kill’s test server, which shows just the term H1Z1 by itself. Redditors are further speculating the game will finally go free-to-play, which was SOE’s original plan, though that was chucked overboard pretty early on.

Hey, while we’re making crazy predictions, maybe we can predict that the game will finally launch. Because it still hasn’t. That was slated for a year ago, but it (and its console port) was indefinitely delayed.

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