This week in video games: PUBG gets a new mode, Fortnite mobile brings in the money, and Spider-Man PS4 gets a release date and trailer. Here’s our digest of the week’s top gaming news stories.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news
The developers of PUBG have revealed a new War mode that takes its cues from traditional video game deathmatches. Teams in War mode continue to respawn until one achieves enough kills, knockdowns and revives to reach an 80 point total. At the time of writing, War mode is only available to streamers, devs and PUBG community members through Custom Games.
There’s good news for players of PUBG on Xbox One. The game’s Miramar desert map will finally come to console next month.
And, as always, there’s a little bit of business news to cover. PUBG Corp has filed a lawsuit against Chinese game publisher, NetEase, makers of two PUBG-like mobile games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out. The suit alleges that both titles violate PUBG’s copyright and trademarks.
Fortnite Battle-Royale news
Epic Games’ iOS version of Fortnite is proving to be moderately popular. Mobile analytics company Sensor Tower estimates that the game earned $15 million in its first three weeks on sale, with $6.4 million coming in the last week of that period. This puts the game far beyond other popular iOS cash cows like Pokémon Go,and Candy Crush Saga.
Much of Fortnite‘s success can be attributed to its popularity with streamers. Polygon reports from the recent Twitch town hall on how the game is bringing new users to the platform.
Spider-Man trailer and release date
The promotional campaign for the Insomniac’s PS4 exclusive, Spider-Man, swung into action this week. The game has a confirmed release date of September 7, 2018. There’s a glut of preorder bonus content on offer, and a collector’s edition that includes a statue, art book, steelbook, and, most importantly, a sticker! Check out the game’s wonderful new trailer.
Valve to support Steam Machines
Steam machines haven’t been the success many expected – we’d sort of forgotten about them, to be honest – but Valve says they aren’t done with them yet. In a community post, Pierre-Loup A. Griffais says that the company is still working on SteamOS, and the Vulkan graphics API:
“While it’s true Steam Machines aren’t exactly flying off the shelves, our reasons for striving towards a competitive and open gaming platform haven’t significantly changed. We’re still working hard on making Linux operating systems a great place for gaming and applications. We think it will ultimately result in a better experience for developers and customers alike, including those not on Steam.”
Assassin’s Creed’s Origins Cheats on PC
Ubisoft are to release an ‘Animus Control Panel’ for the PC version of Assassin’s Creed Origins. The control panel will let players tweak and change 75 adjustable parameters across 11 categories. Variables include hit points, movement speed, and damage scaling. The panel will be released later this month. In the meantime, why not check out our review of the game.
Nintendo talks Bezel Engine
Nintendo has created a middleware tool called Bezel Engine for third-party developers who want to create Nintendo Switch games. According to a translated quote from Nintendo’s Takashi Daisuke, the aim of Bezel Engine is “to provide an environment that can create interesting games in a short period of time while keeping development costs as low as possible”.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy confirmed
Following on from the unexpected success of Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, Activision has confirmed that everyone’s favourite dragon is also getting the remaster treatment. Spyro Reignited Trilogy will include the first three games in the series – Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Revenge, and Spyro: Year of the Dragon – and will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 21, 2018.
New Final Fantasy XV DLC is coming… eventually
Square Enix has announced four new DLC episodes for Final Fantasy XV, each focused on a different character. Hold that enthusiasm though, they are not due for release until 2019. Here’s the confirmed line-up:
- Episode I: Ardyn – The Conflict of the Sage
- Episode Side Story: Aranea – The Beginning of the End
- Episode II: Lunafreya – The Choice of Freedom
- Episode III: Noctis – The Final Strike
Square Enix has also announced that the Ebony level editor and character creator tool will be released for Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition later this year. A crossover event with Shadow of the Tomb Raider is also in the works.
Ghost Recon Wildlands Season 2 starts this week
Ubisoft has confirmed a second year of content for Ghost Recon Wildlands. There will be four major add-ons – titled Special Operations – each with a unique theme. There will also be updates for the PvE campaign, free missions, and updates to the Ghost War 4×4 PvP mode. Special Operations pack 1 launches on April 10, 2018.
Hitman dev signs deal with Warner Bros
Hitman developer, IO Interactive, has signed a publishing and distribution agreement with publisher, Warner Bros. Both parties are excited by the deal, with Warner Bros president David Haddad saying:
“We’re very excited.”
And IO Interactive CEO, Hakan Abrak, adding:
“We’re super excited.”
The first fruits of the partnership will be a physical release of the content-packed Hitman: Definitive Edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in May.
Firewatch and Don’t Starve on Switch
Yes, the Nintendo Switch eShop is rapidly filling up with all sorts of shovelware, but the good games also keep coming. This week, Campo Santo announced that they are retooling Firewatch for Nintendo Switch, and Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve will also be arriving this week.
Bookmark our new releases page for the updates on all the latest console games.
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine post-mortem
Gone Home developer Johnnemann Nordhagen has published a revealing post-mortem on his narrative adventure, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. Despite some of the more salacious headlines, Nordhagen’s post is refreshingly honest account of modern game development.
Conan Exlies gets an official release date
Open world survival game Conan Exiles will finally leave Early Access on May 8, 2018. In anticipation of its full release, we sent Josh Wise along to meet developer Funcom to see how the final game is shaping up.
Our own Mr. Wise continues his series of articles that examine the intersection of film and video games. This week’s Cut Scenes looks at Firewatch and Rear Window.
Remember Destiny 2? Daniel Friedman, writing at Polygon, looks at why the game has fallen of the map, and how Bungie is trying to rebuild the community’s faith in the game.
Video games news from Thumbsticks
- Xbox One digital releases for 9–13 April, 2018
- PlayStation Store releases for April 10, 2018
- Next Overwatch seasonal event adds new Retribution mission