There are some gamers who never played LA Noire, and I'm one of them, but I admired the game from a technological standpoint. LA Noire is a neo-noir action-adventure game that was originally released in 2011, and developed by Australian gaming studio Team Bondi, and published by Rockstar Games.
After the release of LA Noire, developer Team Bondi shutdown - and even though the game was a big seller, the studio had many things going on behind the scenes that caused them to crumble. Now we're seeing Rockstar Twitter tipset Yan2295 saying that Rockstar Games is working on a remastered version of the game not just for the PS4 and Xbox One, but for the Nintendo Switch.
And not just a single remastered verison, but the improved version of LA Noire would reportedly include a first-person and VR mode. The one-two punch of first-person and VR modes would be huge, and so would the release of LA Noire on the Nintendo Switch. We should hope to hear something more concrete in the coming months.
SEGA today revealed its new ambitious plan to further monetize its mobile games focus in the West.
SEGA's new SEGA Forever initiative is a tactical move on the publisher's part, and could end up sparking other major games-makers to follow in its footsteps. The program is SEGA making good on its promise to revitalize and resurrect key IP on PC, consoles and most importantly, smartphones, and follows the company's massive success in the free-to-play mobile gaming sector. But what is SEGA Forever, exactly? It's simply SEGA bringing back its old-school retro games to smartphones as free-to-play titles on Android and iOS, complete with lucrative in-app purchases.
Essentially SEGA is doing what Nintendo should've done long ago, and is a genuinely well-strategized free-to-play "Virtual Console" service that offers key SEGA classics for free on mobile devices. SEGA Forever is a collection of games that will soon grow to include titles from Master System, Genesis/Megadrive, Dreamcast, and more. New games will release every month for free--there's no subscription plan--all of the content is free-to-play, and SEGA gets revenue from ads. Users can also buy the game for $1.99 to get an ad-free experience.
Rocket League developer Psyonix has partnered with NBC Sports Group to broadcast televised eSports tournaments centered around the popular multiplayer game.
As eSports flourishes, more and more major entertainment broadcasters are getting involved. eSports content is typically consumed via spectators on the internet, but NBC wants to do their part to bring the growing games phenomenon to the television world. Per the recent agreement, NBC Sports will televise Rocket League tournaments starting with the first-ever $100,000 2v2 international Rocket League tournament. The Grand Finals phase of the tournament will be shown on NBC Sports on August 26-27. NBC has kept their eye on the eSports world for quite some time, and wants to grow well past Rocket League to help bolster its network viewership.
"We looked at lots of different games in lots of different genres," Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president of NBC Sports Ventures, told Mashable. "We ultimately landed on Rocket League for a number of reasons. Number one, it's growing at a nice clip. We see its audiences are growing. It's got great buzz out there; the [Rocket League Championship Series] did pretty well this summer."
Nintendo of America affirms that the hugely anticipated Metroid Prime 4 and new upcoming mainline Pokemon RPG will release in 2018 on the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo has spared no time or expense creating a massive IP selection to power its new Switch handheld-console hybrid, releasing key first-party titles like ARMS, Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey in 2017 alone. During its E3 2017 livestream, Nintendo announced two heavy-hitting powerhouses, Metroid Prime 4 and a new Pokemon RPG, both of which are Switch exclusives. But until now we had no clue when those big-name games would actually release.
In a recent interview with VentureBeat, Nintendo of America's corporate communications director Charlie Scibetta confirmed both games would release next year. "If you want to be able to play games and not have a dry spell between any of the big launches, we think Nintendo Switch is a good place to be. We have a nice drumbeat of first and third party. You'll never have to wait long," he said.
"Just as you get through a game and you're starting to put your head up, put the periscope out to see what else is out there, hopefully we'll have something right there for you. We've announced a nice lineup through this year, and next year we have some big games coming with Metroid 4. 2018 will be around Metroid, Kirby, Yoshi, new Pokemon game has been announced. We feel good about the lineup for this year and beyond."
Blizzard and Twitch today signed an agreement that's set to earn massive engagement and spectatorship for Blizzard's billion-dollar franchises like Overwatch.
Twitch today announced that it has partnered with Blizzard in a two-year deal to stream more than 20 major eSports events based around Blizzard IPs, including the Overwatch APEX League and the Hearthstone Championship Tour. Twitch will have third-party rights to stream key Blizzard eSports events through 2018 that range across the company's games catalog including Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Overwatch.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the deal is how Twitch Prime subscribers in over 200 countries and territories will receive free loot for Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes of Storm. Blizzard will give away a premium Overwatch golden lootbox to all Twitch Prime subscribers from now until August 10. More free Overwatch loot boxes and in-game rewards for Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm will continue flowing to Twitch Prime subscribers in the coming months.
Essentially this is an incredibly smart move on both party's behalf. Since Twitch Prime is free with Amazon Prime, this partnership has a multiple benefits that naturally pull more viewers and shoppers into the ecosystem. Blizzard handing out free loot to players is a great way to reward existing gamers and attract new ones. eSports spectatorship is proven to be a major engagement builder that organically feeds any video game community, however since Blizzard is handing out the content free regardless of viewership, that gives everyday non-eSports fans to get pulled into Blizzard's IP as well.
PC gaming owes a portion of its yearly global revenues to browser-based games like Runescape and Drakensang Online.
The PC gaming segment isn't just about high-end 4K visuals, thread-ripping CPUs and the most powerful video cards--it has an accessible side to it where anyone can jump in and play even with older laptops and hardware. The PC browser market is filled with free-to-play games with freemium-style microtransactions that earn quite a bit of revenue every year. According to Newzoo's latest 2017 global games market report, browser-based gaming will rake in $4.5 billion in 2017, down 9.3% year-over-year. Since PC gaming is forecasted to make $29.4 billion in total revenues, PC browser games will be responsible of 15.3% of the segment's total earnings.
Traditional digital and boxed PC games are to make $29.4 billion in 2017, down 1.3% year-over-year, compared to console gaming's $33.5 billion, which is up 3.6% year-over-year. Console gaming is expected to make up 31% of total game sales revenues in 2017, versus PC gaming's 27%. This is likely attributed to the influx of new titles to be released throughout 2017 including Call of Duty WWII, Destiny 2, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Assassin's Creed: Origins onto the console market's massive install base. Sony recently confirmed that it's sold more than 60 million PlayStation 4 consoles, and reports indicate Microsoft may have sold as many as 39 million Xbox One units to date.
Nintendo isn't just competing against major console-makers like Sony and Microsoft to win over each console's respective userbase, but also competing against smartphone-makers like Apple and facing a very real issue in its own supply chain. Due to shortages the Japanese console-maker's new transforming Switch handheld-hybrid is in high demand, and analysts predict that the supply situation will be tight throughout the year.
As we reported earlier this month, the Nintendo Switch is facing a supply shortage due to rapidly evaporating components such as flash memory and LPDDR4 RAM needed to make the device work. Key OEMs like Apple and Samsung have laid claim to a portion of these chips, leaving Nintendo in a tight spot. According to IHS Markit's Piers Harding-Rolls, the Nintendo Switch's supply constraints should stretch throughout the remainder of the year. But even still, Nintendo is expected to meet its conservative goal of 10 million unit sales worldwide in the fiscal year ending March 2018.
"With this improving pipeline of content, it is now clear that the major challenge to potential sales of the Switch in 2017 is product availability, with pricing being a secondary consideration during the early adopter phase," Mr. Rolls wrote in a recent highlight article. "Supply remains constrained and we expect it to remain constrained on a regular basis during the rest of 2017. Switch sold through 2.3 million units to consumers in its opening month of March. In the following two months of April and May we estimate that Switch has added a further 1.3 million in sales to consumers for a total of 3.6 million at the end of May. It has regularly been in and out of stock in major sales territories."
Blizzard today confirmed that it has multiple new projects in the works, re-affirming recent reports of a new FPS and a new Diablo release.
Prominent games-maker Blizzard, who's responsible for multiple billion-dollar franchises such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch, has officially confirmed that it has "multiple games in development" and is currently on a hiring spree. Past job listings give major clues on these new projects and indicate the company is currently making at least two projects: a "next-generation first-person shooter" as well as a new entrant in the beloved Diablo series.
The developer's official jobs listing page shows that Blizzard has openings for 267 positions. Further scouting of the job listings sees Blizzard hiring a Production Director on an "unannounced project" with "Diablo" as the subject.
Blizzard's new Rise of the Necromancer expansion for Diablo III will release this month on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Blizzard today announced that it's latest (and possibly last) paid expansion for Diablo III, Rise of the Necromancer, will launch on June 27 for all major platforms. The Necro DLC costs $15 and includes the new playable Necromancer class and other content including:
- The twisted and misshapen Half-formed Golem in-game pet
- Cosmetic Wings of the Crypt Guardian
- Two additional character slots
- Two stash tabs (PC only)
- Necromancer portrait, banner, sigil, and accent, and Blood Master pennant
"While players often ask us to bring back their favorite characters from our classic games, few classes have been requested as often, or as passionately, as the necromancer," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.
"Reimagining the necromancer was a labor of love-we worked hard to capture the essence of what made the class so iconic, while taking advantage of everything Diablo III has to offer."
Take-Two Interactive has earned the ire of Grand Theft Auto gamers across the globe, but PC players are still playing GTA V. In fact, more PC owners are playing GTA V on Steam this month than the last three months. For instance, the Steam GTA V playerbase has jumped 107% from May to June.
Five days ago Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive shut down prominent GTA PC mod OpenIV, and the community has responded with revolt. The mod itself was used by countless PC gamers to mod their GTA IV and GTA V games for offline play for years and years now, but in an official statement Rockstar says OpenIV has been linked to "malicious mods that allow the harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody." However the developer of OpenIV insists that it's impossible for anyone to connect to GTA Online while using the mod, and naturally the community sees this move as a war on mods so that gamers are pushed towards playing GTA Online and spending money.
The GTA PC gaming community, which is responsible for a massive array of video content that builds engagement and brand awareness all across the world, has collectively revolted against Take-Two and Rockstar Games in specific ways. Grand Theft Auto V's Steam reviews have taken a massive hit and its recent ratings are now Overwhelmingly Negative, and its Overall rating went from "Positive" to "Mixed". The same has happened to Grand Theft Auto IV's steam page. A petition for the reinstatement of OpenIV has reached almost 60,000 signatures so far. Despite this frustration, the bulk of PC gamers appear to be playing the game and GTA V's Steam userbase is pretty healthy.