Paradox Interactive has added another strategy games titan to its already potent arsenal of RTS mastery.
Triumph Studios, the developers behind the long-running Age of Wonders PC strategy game, has been acquired by Swedish publisher Paradox Interactive, joining the banner of acclaimed titles as Europa Universalis, Pillars of Eternity, and Crusader Kings. Paradox confirms that the acquisition is essentially in name only and is less of an acquisition and more of a kind of long-term partnership.
Triumph's full development team and executive leadership will stay on, including the original co-founders Lennart Sas and Arno van Wingerden, and all of the studio's current projects will continue and be fully published by Paradox Interactive.
If you haven't had your eyes on Unikrn, it's a company started by a man years ahead of his time in multiple businesses - with Unikrn itself being the first eSports betting company in the world. Unikrn lets gamers bet and then win or lose real money on eSports tournaments and games around the world, with games like CS:GO, League of Legends, and DOTA 2.
Unikrn then had another world's first when it launches Unikoin, a digital currency that could be used for eSports betting on its own site. But just last week the company announced UnikoinGold, Unikrn's own token that is designed as a decentralized ERC20 token on the hugely popular Ethereum blockchain. This means that you can buy, sell, or trade digital currencies on an exchange that supports Ethereum. This also means people can mine their own Ethereum at home and exchange them into UnikoinGold, betting on eSports games through Unikrn using mined Ethereum. That's pretty awesome.
I reached out to Rahul and asked him some questions:
TT: Tell me about the evolution between Unikoin... how long was it until you saw digital currency like Ethereum as the spark for UnikoinGold?
Rahul @ Unikrn: "About two years ago Mark Cuban tried to push us to look into Blockchain. He said it could change our business completely. We had already created the Unikoin knowing that as it gets popular we would have to find a way to add more utility to them. We started looking at Blockchain and Ethereum, and we knew eventually we would find an opportunity to turn the Unikoin into a cryptocurrency. The rest is history, our investors are in love, and we are very optimistic about the future".
"As far as Mark and others influence on betting... our investors appreciate that we are a licensed operator. We love and know esports like no other... We all know that sports betting increases fan engagement and that's absolutely true for esports as well. Unikrn builds a very engaging esports betting experience, and our new crypto platforms are going to be nuts".
As I predicted earlier this month, EA will monetized Star Wars: Battlefront II with a card-based microtransaction system in the form of blind loot crates, not unlike Halo 5's REQ packs.
If you've read our previous coverage then you have a good idea how this monetization system works. YouTuber Battlefront Updates reveals that Battlefront II features loot cases which contain 5 Star Cards of random quality which are denoted by color (White = Common, Green = Uncommon, Rare = Blue, Epic = Purple, Legendary = Orange). These loot crates can be purchased with real money, meaning gamers will effectively be able to pay for the chance of earning powerful loot--not unlike Halo 5.
Star Cards typically include randomized ability buffs for classes and heroes, ie boosting the efficacy of certain abilities like reducing damage taken during Darth Maul's Spin Attack or boosting the fire rate of Boba Fett's Rocket Barrage or reducing cooldown timers as well as adding combat-enhancing bonuses like extra score per attack. As you'd imagine, the better effects are added by higher-tier cards like Epic and Legendary class Star Cards.
EA has thought out this monetization path very well, and the mTX potential is inherently bound within the core framework of the game's progression. Like Halo 5: Guardians' REQ system, Battlefront II will grant players a daily loot pack (likely common) every day they log in. This is to keep engagement and MAUs up by creating a sense of reward. Like Halo 5's REQs, Battlefront II loot crates can be purchased with credits that are earned freely after every battle. The crates can also include credits and crafting parts, too. As you'd expect, the loot crates are tiered in Common, Uncommon, and Rare, with appropriately adjusted credit costs.
Thanks to RUST developer Garry Newman, everyday gamers get a glimpse into how Steam's refund system can affect sales of any widely popular game.
Newman, who's responsible for popular games such as Garry's Mod and RUST, is one of the thousands of developers and publishers that has to deal with refunds. As PC GamesN rightly puts it, an actual game sale on Steam doesn't mean that money will actually stay in the developer's pocket--there's a chance players will simply refund the game before the allotted limit and get their money back. Newman recently revealed that RUST has been refunded 329,970 times, amounting to a loss of over $4 million.
Added sales stats to our backend today. These are Rust's real Steam Refund figures. pic.twitter.com/IhjUsJUN9N— Garry Newman (@garrynewman) June 28, 2017
A $4 million loss in potential sales will certainly make any developer or publisher wince, but this is simply the reality of selling games on Steam (and, more recently, on Xbox LIVE). However, Newman affirms that refunds make up just 6% of RUST's 5.5 million total sales.
Months after its release, Ubisoft is still updating Watch Dogs 2 with new content and features. This time the huge open-world hacktivist adventure is getting a four-player party mode for co-op free roam or multiplayer activities.
Watch Dogs 2's new four-player party mode allows gamers to team up with 2-4 players in private or public parties and go carousing across San Francisco. Sadly four-player parties can't actually do any co-op missions since the quests are specifically made for 2 player parties.
The update will go live on July 4th on all platforms, but don't expect any singleplayer fixes or updates/patches this time around.
Bandai Namco today announced that its Namco Museum collection on the Nintendo Switch is coming to the West in late July.
The Namco Museum collection really does exemplify the Nintendo Switch's unique transforming form factor, and shows how old-school classics should use the system. SEGA and Capcom could learn a thing or two from this--so could Nintendo themselves--but in lieu of traditional Virtual Console support, Switch owners have been limited in old-school gaming fare. Now their diets are about to be enriched with a nice helping of arcade games.
The retro collection features 11 classic coin-op arcade games that any 80's kid will recognize, and even sports one of the hardest Turbo Grafix 16 games ever made: Splatterhouse. What's so impressive about Namco Museum collection is that gamers can flip their Switch consoles vertically to simulate a coin-op arcade, adding a splash of authenticity to their experience. This is something that I've wanted to see for a while, and I'm glad Bandai Namco has had the foresight to include something like this--Tabletop Mode's "arcade mode" euphemism really sticks here as gamers are literally turning their Switch consoles into miniature arcade machines.
Nintendo has expressed interest in bringing more of its massively popular mainline IPs like Yoshi to cross-media experiences like anime.
During Nintendo's 77th annual meeting for shareholders and investors, the company answered a number of questions from stakeholders. One of those queries was about the future of Nintendo's cross-media focus and whether or not more key IPs and series will get anime adaptations like Kirby's recent Kirby: Right Back At Ya! and the Super Mario Bros Super Show and Legend of Zelda cartoon series from the 80s.
"We hold the Kirby IP and it's growing in Europe. It's selling in Spain; watched in places w/out game hardware," Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto answered when asked about new non-gaming content such as video and anime. "We want to make anime for Pikmin, Star Fox, Yoshi, etc. and distribute it freely, or integrate into games," he said.
Halo Wars 2 now has multi-GPU support, something that was baked into its rather packed update, alongside a slew of new changes to Halo Wars 2.
The new update will provide an update UI, new AI, art, buildings, and units. The big news is multi-GPU support for Windows 10 users, and owners of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards in either SLI, or CrossFire. We've got the full patch notes below:
- The patch notes contain more content than a single post will allow so please see the next post for the continuation.
- In addition to the notes below there will be a service-side balance update released after the game patch has been deployed. The details of these additional balance changes are NOT currently included in the notes below. We will update once that information is finalized.
The news of Ubisoft working on a new Splinter Cell game has been floating around for a while now, but Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot virtually confirmed a next-gen Splinter Cell game is in the works.
At E3 2017 earlier this month, Guillemot was asked about a new Splinter Cell game, where he said: "What we can say is we're receiving a lot of sketches and proposals around the brand and we're going to pick one up. I think you will be able to see something, but you will have to wait for that". It's not confirmation, but if the developer is looking at sketches and proposals, and then says that we'll be able to "see something" but we'll have to "wait for it"... all I can do is get excited.
Splinter Cell was one of the first largely successful Tom Clancy-based games, but a new game with next-gen lighting and shadows alongside a next-gen engine could be truly awesome.
Star Wars Battlefront II is sure to be one of the biggest games of the year, and with so much riding on its success, a massive alpha and beta process is sure to take place.
But the surprise news for Battlefront II fans is that the alpha will be made available to all game platforms, and not just the Xbox One or PC. Star Wars Battlefront Community Manager 'Sledgehammer70' posted on the official Star Wars Battlefront II forums, where he said if you have "a bug or issue to report within the Star Wars Battlefront II Alpha" that you follow a few steps, including which platform you have: PS4, PC, or X1.
The post was quickly removed, but Reddit user 'CaptainPhantasma21' took a screenshot which we've embedded above. If the news of the alpha hitting PS4, Xbox One and PC happens, we'll let you know the second it's announced.