This week in gaming: One million PUBG cheaters are banned, and Nintendo wants everyone on earth to own a Switch. Here’s our digest of the week’s top video games news.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news
PUBG‘s war against cheaters continues, with BattlEye estimating that over one million players were banned from the game in January. This brings the total number banned accounts to over 2.5 million. Developer Bluehole has now deployed a PC update to the game’s test servers that adds the new anti-cheat measures detailed earlier this month.
Last week’s Xbox One patch – which reduced the damage a player takes when hit by a vehicle – has been reversed due to player feedback.
Meanwhile, PUBG‘s Miramar map continues to furrow brows. A lukewarm response from players has resulted in a number of changes and updates. Speaking to USGamer, PUBG producer Jang Tae-sok says it was the release plan, rather than the map itself, at fault:
“I wouldn’t change anything in the map, but if I had the chance to turn back time, I’d release Miramar earlier when it’s less finished so we can get our players’ feedback much earlier and build the map with our players, just like we did with Erangel for over a year since our first closed alpha test in July 2016.”
And if you spend your moments AFK wishing you could play PUBG on the go, we have good news. The Chinese mobile game PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield looks rather, well, exhilarating.
Battle Royale is here to stay
The popularity of the Battle Royale genre looks to continue throughout 2018. This week, Vostock Games announced Fear the Wolves, a cheery 1v100 shooter set in the remnants of Chernobyl. And a clutch of rumours circulated by Trusted Reviews suggests that Red Dead Redemption 2 will also offer up its own spin on the genre, despite comments this week from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick.
Grand Theft Auto V sells and sells
During that Take-Two earnings call, it was also confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V has now sold 90 million copies worldwide to retailers and via digital platforms. The publisher also estimates that Red Dead Redemption 2 will help generate $2.5 billion in revenue during in the next financial year.
Nintendo aims high with the Switch
It’s also been another busy business week for Nintendo. During a recent earnings call Shigeru Miyamoto stated the company’s desire to further increase sales of the Nintendo Switch, saying:
“Our ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person.”
Miyamoto is also keen for the Switch to have a longer lifespan than is usual for a Nintendo system:
“Nintendo also has a system in place whereby the software developers focus on these hardware features in their development efforts for the continuation of the Nintendo Switch business. Up until now, the hardware lifecycle has trended at around five or six years, but it would be very interesting if we could prolong that life cycle, and I think you should be looking forward to that.”
In other news, the My Nintendo loyalty programme will get a welcome update in March. Gold Points will become eligible to redeem against the purchase of Switch games on the Nintendo eShop.
E3 opens its doors to the public again
The Entertainment Software Association has confirmed that public tickets for E3 2018 will go on sale this Monday. This year’s event will feature extending opening hours to help distribute the increased attendance. Geoff Keighley’s E3 Coliseum will also return for three days of talks and panels.
Last chance to vote in the GDC and IGF audience awards
Public voting has opened for the 2018 Game Developers Choice, and Independent Games Festival audience awards. You have until February 12th to vote.
New Crash Bandicoot game in the works?
Eagle-eyed Resetera users have found evidence that Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is heading to PC and Switch later this year, and that a new Crash game is in the works fora 2019 release. The news is culled from the most recent edition of that fabled tome of secrets, the Licensing Source Book Europe. All references to the game have since been removed, effectively confirming the rumour.
PSA: Toad’s head is a head
Toad’s head is not a hat, it’s a head. It’s Official. It’s a head, not a hat.
Quantic Dream take legal action
Quantic Dream has released a new statement in response to recent claims of toxic working conditions at the Paris-based studio. The statement – translated by Eurogamer – says that Quantic Dream has been “the subject of a veritable smear campaign” and that legal action is being taken to protect the studio.
Bandai Namco developing Metroid Prime 4?
Eurogamer has followed up on recent rumours surrounding Metroid Prime 4, saying that development of the Nintendo Switch game is being led by Bandai Namco Studios Singapore, in collaboration with Nintendo. The three previous games in the series were all produced by Austin Texas developer, Retro Studios.
Billy Mitchell vows to clear his name
Gamespot’s Kevin Wong digs deep on Billy Mitchell’s attempts to clear his name from accusations that he used MAME to achieve high-scores on Donkey Kong. Mitchell maintains that no foul play has taken place, saying:
“In some ways, it’s a bummer. There’s a lot of other fun stuff I would rather be doing [than clearing my name]. But if it’s a cross I have to bear for a little while, that’s okay.”
Next PlayStation 4 software update detailed
Sony has confirmed the new features arriving with the next PlayStation 4 system update. Update 5.50 adds a Playtime Management option to help parents – or control freaks – limit console use. Other new enhancements include various menu and UI tweaks, the ability to add custom wallpapers via USB, and, finally, the option to hide purchased games and demos in the Library. Bye-bye FIFA 14 demo, FIFA 14, FIFA 15 demo, FIFA 15, FIFA 16 demo…
PS4 Pro users will also get a new ‘supersampling mode’ which gives compatible games an ‘enhanced visual experience’ when played on a standard 1080p HDTV. The update is currently in beta.
Microsoft release new Xbox One PUBG bundle
You can now buy a brand new Xbox One console, bundled with an unfinished game! What times we live in. The new PUBG bundle includes a white Xbox One S with a 1TB hard drive, plus a download copy of the work-in-progress game.
If you’ve been enjoying the recent remake of Shadow of the Colossus, read Miguel Penabella’s piece on how the game underscores the quietude of solitary travel and hardship. USGamer’s Caty McCarthy also hopes that we won’t forget The Last Guardian.
Polygon have published a fascinating look at how Analogue remade the Super Nintendo for the HD age with the new Super NT console.
And finally, a mention for Thumbsticks editor Tom Baines, who has been moonlighting at Eurogamer with a look at the strange appeal of non-sports sports games.
More from Thumbsticks
- PlayStation Store releases for February 13, 2018
- Xbox One digital releases for February 12 – 16, 2018
- Splinter Cell: Conviction joins the ranks of Xbox One backwards compatibility