This week in video games: PUBG in talks to extend Xbox exclusivity, Fortnite boosted by Battle Royale, and Street Fighter V to get an arcade mode. Here’s your whistle-stop tour of the last week’s news from the wacky world of video games.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to stick with the Xbox One
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) could remain an Xbox One exclusive for longer than originally planned, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Details of the current agreement between Microsoft and Bluehole Inc. are unknown, but it’s thought the existing deal only runs into the start of 2018.
The rumour follows last week’s news of the formation of PUBG Corp, a new company dedicated to the development PUBG, and its various business opportunities.
Fortnite reaches 7 million players, bans thousands
Fortnite‘s new Battle Royale mode has helped the game reach 7 million players. Of course, with a large player base comes the problem of cheaters. Epic has been quick off the mark and banned thousands of ne’er-do-wells. In a blog post, Community Coordinator Nathan Mooney said:
“We’re exploring every measure to ensure these cheaters are removed and stay removed from Fortnite Battle Royale and the Epic ecosystem. We don’t want to give too many clues about what we’re doing, but we are rolling out tools and will continue to do so.”
Middle-earth: Shadow of War review round-up
Reviews of Middle-earth: Shadow of War focus on the return of the first game’s nemesis system, and the controversial introduction of loot crates.
On the first point it appears that things are as they were, as Johnny Chiodini at Eurogamer explains:
“The good news is that the nemesis system returns for the sequel in fine shape. The core experience of tracking down a named orc and learning every last detail about their strengths and weaknesses before destroying them – or getting destroyed – is very much intact, but it now boasts both considerable depth and greater purpose.”
In Philip Kollar and Chris Plante’s joint Polygon review, the upgrade and loot systems cause some head scratching, with Plante saying:
“I sure was overwhelmed by the wealth of skill tree unlocks, weapon modifications, loot, follower upgrades and fortress modifications. Rather than taking a complex system and making it more accessible, the developers have taken a complex system and added layer upon layer.”
These thoughts are echoed by GamesRadar:writing at
“There’s almost an Assassin’s Creed 2 feel of map spatter to all the markers for towers, collectables, bits and so on. I’ve not 100% -ed it but you’re easily looking at a triple figure time should you try.”
Capcom reveal Street Fighter V Arcade Edition
Follow a leak, Capcom has confirmed that Street Fighter V Arcade Edition is real, and will be released in mid-January, 2018. The game features 28 characters from the get go – the full season one and two rosters – and each character gets a second V-Trigger. An extra Battle Mode and a revamped UI are also added, along with the all important return of Arcade Mode.
Miiverse channel set up to mark its own demise
There’s only a month to go until Nintendo’s Miiverse social network is shut-down. Along with the various efforts to capture and save its content so that future generations can learn how weird it was, Nintendo has set up its own Everybody’s Message Community. As you might expect, it’s a bittersweet hive of activity, appreciation, and general bonkersness.
Arms goes graphic
Comic book publisher Dark Horse and Nintendo have announced a series of comics based on the hit Nintendo Switch beat ’em up, Arms. The series will launch in 2018 and will feature the work of illustrator Joe Ng.
Ubisoft reveals buy-back program
Ubisoft has announced plans to buy back up to 4 million shares in order to ward off a hostile takeover from Vivendi. The move is the latest in a series of manoeuvres designed to ensure the company’s independence.
Forza 7 review round-up
Forza Motorsport 7 is out now and, well, Forza is Forza is Forza. The game’s VIP pass has caused consternation among players, however, leading to developer Turn 10 promising to make amends. On the road, the franchise remains top of its class.
Joao Diniz Sanches, writing at The Guardian, says:
“This is a rare example of racing fun for the masses and the maestros, one that’s expertly engineered and polished to a level that would make a Concours d’Elegance winner envious.”
Eurogamer‘s Oli Welsh also liked the game, with a few caveats:
“How much you will enjoy Forza 7 may well rest on your ability and willingness to tune out the systemic noise created by the mods and prize crates. I can look past them easily enough, which is why I’m recommending what is, in every other respect, a dazzling, expansive and engaging driving game.”
Swery’s hard life
It’s not looking good for Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro’s The Good Life. The game’s Fig campaign stands at 22% funded with four days to go. In an interview with Polygon, Swery says he remains committed to the game, despite its likely failure to reach the $1,500,000 funding goal. Perhaps $1,500,000 was too much to ask for a game that, well, looks a little duff?
House leaves the building
After six years in the role, Andrew House has departed as president and chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment. In a press release, Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony, said:
“Andy and I go back more than 20 years and spent much of this time together, dedicating ourselves to ensuring the success of the PlayStation business. I would like to thank Andy for his contribution over many years, and wish him every success in the future.”
John Kodera, the current deputy president at SIE, will take over.
Developing The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
We reported on Breath of Wild‘s design process from this year’s GDC, but Nintendo aren’t done giving up their development secrets yet. Capcom’s Matt Walker translated 4gamers‘ write-up of Nintendo ‘s CEDEC talks in a series of tweets, and to make things easier, he’s now compiled them on Medium.
FIFA 18 shoots to No.1
FIFA 18 remains as popular as ever, going straight to the top of the UK charts. This year there’s also a custom-built Switch version, which Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has put through its paces. Meanwhile, over at USGamer, Kat Bailey takes an in-depth look at how PES 2018 and FIFA 18 compare. And don’t forget, you can now download your favourite team’s FIFA 18 custom cover.
Gran Turismo Sport gets a limited time demo
If you’re struggling to choose between Project Cars 2, Forza 7, and Gran Turismo Sport, here’s a little something that might help. Gran Turismo Sport is getting a free, four-day demo from October 9th. The demo will include a taste of the game’s Sport, Campaign, and Arcade modes.
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