rumor

Another writer allegedly leaves BioWare – what on earth is going on with Anthem?

Surfacing at the tail end of last week was the news that multiple former BioWare devs who’d all contributed heavily to Star Wars The Old Republic at one point or another in their careers were moving on to a new studio called FogBank to work on unnamed narrative-centric games. The Fogbank roster includes Daniel Erickson and Alexander Freed, both of whom left BioWare and SWTOR years ago. But it also includes renowned storyteller Drew Karpyshyn, who’d returned to BioWare specifically to work on Anthem, which certainly cast some doubt on the state of that game, which has been delayed at least once (though EA denies it).

On Saturday, Anthem studio boss Casey Hudson address growing player concern on Twitter, suggesting rather ambiguously that Karpyshyn had simply finished his work on the game and was moving on as part of the natural course of development. “Story will always be an important part of every BioWare game,” he wrote. “Drew has wrapped up his work on the project, but Anthem’s Lead Writers and their teams continue to do amazing work developing the world, story, and characters.”

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Anonymous sources confirm that Diablo III is headed to the Nintendo Switch

You currently cannot play Diablo III on as many different platforms as you can play, say, Skyrim. But it looks like the number of available platforms will go up soon; Gamespot is reporting that anonymous sources indicate the title is indeed coming to the Nintendo Switch. Those sources have nothing to say on the topic of whether or not the game’s expansions will be included, but one can certainly assume that will be the case.

So why the silence after an earlier tease for exactly this? Well, it may be because Nintendo seems to prefer to remain tight-lipped about these ports until they’re closer to release, or it may be that the current testing is more about seeing if it’s doable than specifically making it happen. Or it could just be willful obtrusiveness, or the anonymous sources are wrong. You get to decide!

Source: Gamespot

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Rumor: Disney eyes Ubisoft and Activision to take over Star Wars video game IP

Raise your hand if you’re a little tired of Electronic Arts’ handling of the Star Wars video game franchise since its acquisition in 2013. One… two… yeah, a few of you.

Well, there might be A New Hope in the future for a new handler. Rumors are emerging that Disney is eyeing two different publishers to take the reins of the Star Wars IP in the video game market, especially in light with the Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco last year.

Cinelinx has the possible scoop: “From what I’ve heard Lucasfilm is upset as well and looking for other options. I’ve had a couple sources reach out to me about the current state of Star Wars gaming. According to them, Disney/LFL higher ups pulled EA to the ‘principal’s office’ to talk about what’s going wrong (which is what others have reported as well). Moreso, they’ve apparently reached out to both Ubisoft and Activision about developing Star Wars games.”

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Villagers and Heroes asks for more iOS beta testers, addresses bizarre rumors

With the launch of Villagers and Heroes on iOS mobile devices this February 26th, the team desperately needs all testers on deck to make sure the version is ready to release. In addition to asking for more applicants, the studio is running community challenges that will result in free goodies for everyone (in fact, the first such reward has already been reached).

On a rather strange note, the devs took to the forums this week to address various rumors that have been circulating about the title. These include the nature and number of moderators, accusations that the title has degenerated into a “Lord of the Flies” situation (their words), and alleged discrimination against the elderly.

The devs weren’t brooking any of it, especially that last one: “Are you kidding me with this? This one is so ludicrous, I’m not even going to respond to it.”

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Persona series dev Atlus could be considering an online RPG

Would you be up for Persona Online? This might not be as far-fetched as you may think.

Atlus, the developer of the popular PlayStation RPG series, put out a recent survey in which it asked fans what direction they would like to see the series head. One of these options is a “Persona series online RPG,” which certainly teases the possibility of an MMO emerging from this popular franchise.

The studio had a lot of other options in the survey too, such as bringing the franchise to the PC and remaking older titles. The latest entry in the series, Persona 5, was a big hit and followed a group of Tokyo students as they used their hidden identities to fight against The Man.

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Another rumored New World trailer surfaces with hints about the game’s premise

Amazon’s New World is a game that’s captured quite a bit of rumor and speculation lately, and here’s a fresh video to throw more wood on the rumor pile! It’s difficult to impossible to tell how legit it is, but it certainly does seem to match up with the first promo we saw for the game, so if it’s a hoax, it’s at least a consistent one. And if it’s legit, it’s still not clear whether it’s a leak or a deliberate tease.

The video on Reddit hints at what amounts to an alternate version of colonial America, as filled with superstitions and magic as it is with actual settlers trying to not starve to death and all of that. Hopefully this particular rumor doesn’t end with the game’s page getting yanked and prompting another string of furious concern and anxiety, but there’s no way to be certain of it right now. If you’d like to see what may or may not be a reveal, check out the leak.

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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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