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Month: May 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Epic Makes Big Announcement Concerning Competitive Fortnite

Epic Makes Big Announcement Concerning Competitive Fortnite

Epic Games recently showed off their latest plans regarding competitive Fortnite. The developer officially revealed that they will provide $100 million in various prize pools for the 2018-2019 season. They clarified this in a small blog post where they shared their thoughts on making competitive Fortnite along with the overall experience of playing and watching the game more inclusive.

“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different,” Epic Games explained. “We plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.” (https://bit.ly/2IwOWJM)

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More details on how the tournaments will be structured and the platforms they have planned will be revealed in the weeks ahead. (We will be sure to offer an update whenever the company shares what its plans are.)

That’s Big Money

According to the website E-Sports Earnings, the $100 million that Epic Games plans on dishing out more than doubles the $38 million in total prize money that Valve had given out for all of the Dota 2 tournaments that were held through 2017. Valve’s biggest Dota 2 event, The International, paid out what was once the biggest prize pool in gaming history with an astounding $25 million for the one event. To compare another ultra-popular game, Blizzard’s first Overwatch Tournament only has a prize pool of 3.5 million for its entire season.

Fortnite brings in almost $1 million a day from just the mobile version of the game and according to analysts, the PC and console version both make more money than that in a single day. The game may be free, but the industry is quickly embracing the trend of charging for cosmetics that have no impact on gameplay. Most developers see this as a fair revenue source that makes their game both competitive and profitable.

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Epic Games currently has a competitive Fortnite competition planned for E3 2018, where celebrities and players will play Duos together.

In other news, Fortnite just received another big update that finally added the long-awaited jetpack into the game. This is shortly after the game’s latest limited time mode, Solo Showdown, which was a competitive version of Fortnites’ famous solo mode. For more information on competitive Fortnite, be sure to keep checking back with GigamaxGames.com!

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Indie Game Publisher Devolver Digital Returns to E3

The indie game publisher behind many beloved titles in the indie genre such as Hotline Miami, Enter the Gungeon, Shadow Warrior, and Broforce, will be making their way back to E3 this year. Devolver Digital announced that the company would host another press briefing at E3 2018 and it sounds about as crazy as most of the games that they produce.

Indie Game Publisher Devolver Digital Returns to E3 2018

Devolver’s “Big Fancy Press Conference” as they have taken to calling it, will be broadcast live on Twitch, Sunday, June 10th at 8 PM PT / 11 PM ET. The company claims that the conference will be held in the Dave Lang Memorial Convention Center, which is not an actual venue. The event’s description is very strange, but it befits Devolver’s love of the weird.

“This year’s Big Fancy Press Conference will feature real, actual game reveals and technological innovations from Developer Labs, the research and development arm of Devolver Digital responsible for last year’s Earliest Access program and making ‘throwing money at the screen’ a valid form of payment. There will almost certainly be blood, possibly loss of life.” (https://bit.ly/2kcWcMi)

Devolver Digital

Hotline Miami

Devolver Digital said to expect this year’s briefing to be a complete “Dumpster Fire.” The company added that fans may want to re-watch their insane briefing from last year so that they’re completely up to date on what Devolver has called “Devolver Digital Press Conference Universe (DDPCCU) through the blatant reuse of jokes and vague callbacks to the original. Pray for us.” (https://bit.ly/2rWA519)

E3 2018 Is Almost Here!

E3 2018 is set to take place between June 12th-14th in Los Angeles, California. Although, the first briefing of the conference will take place on June 9th, with a show from Electronic Arts. The conferences will continue through Tuesday with shows from big names like Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and Ubisoft. For a full list of special events and conferences check out the E3 2018 website.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Getting Battle Royale Mode

Black Ops 4 Getting Battle Royale Mode

After a multitude of teases and consistent leaks over the past couple of weeks, Activision finally revealed their latest addition to the Call of Duty series, Black Ops 4. Like the games that have come before it, Black Ops 4 will contain a variety of new and returning game modes such as Call of Duty’s hit zombie mode. This year’s installment to the series will feature Treyarch’s take on the Battle Royale genre.

Who’s Surprised?

Currently being called, Blackout, the new mode will have players battling until there is only one left standing much like the popular games PUBG and Fortnite. Blackout sets itself apart from the aforementioned titles by relying heavily on the previous Black Ops titles. Treyarch already stated that it wants to make a Battle Royale mode in their own way and to achieve that, they added elements from the entire series into the mode.

According to the developer, the map that players will drop into is the biggest one the company has ever made and will incorporate locations from previous Black Ops games. Players will also be able to use weapons and items from every entry of the series, including the infamous RC Car. Another new twist that Treyarch is including is land, air, and sea vehicles that will randomly spawn around the map. Finally, players will be able to take control of famous names from the series like Reznov, Hudson, and Mason.

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The Reveal Continues

Activision also dropped a bunch of other details about Call of Duties: Black Ops 4 during today’s special reveal event. On top of Blackout, the developer discussed the brand new zombies campaign at length. The mode places a stronger emphasis on mystery and is set across three maps. The company mentioned that Black Ops 4 won’t have a traditional single player campaign, instead, the game will have solo missions that focus on each of its Specialist characters.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12th, which is a month earlier than the series typically releases. PC players will need to have a Battle.net account in order to buy the game as it is being exclusively sold through the service. A beta is going to be held for the game but Activision has yet to set a date for the test. Pre-ordering Black Ops 4 will gives gamers a chance to take part in the highly anticipated beta-test.

Be sure to stop by Gigamax Games in October for gameplay as the crew will surely be picking this game up if nothing else out of curiosity.

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Indie Developers Feeling The Pressure

Indie Developers Feeling The Pressure

Indie games are rising in popularity but the market is becoming saturated with AAA titles, other indie games, and now even video games in-between these two categories. These indie developers are left scratching their heads, wondering how they can make any kind of impact in an industry that’s overwhelmed by all these games releasing at such an impressive pace.

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In the wake of Cliff Bleszinski’s studio, Boss Key Productions closing their doors after three years, the video game industry is paying close attention to this massive misstep. Boss Key Productions’ independently released, “Radical Heights”, failed to make up for the financial void their previous release, Lawbreakers left behind. When a studio led by such a prominent name in the video game industry can close after three short years because of one major failure, indie developers worry if there is any room left in the market for them.

Both a Blessing and a Curse

Indie developers may face shoestring budgets but this is both a blessing and a curse. Development might take longer and the resources they have are limited but one failed game might not sink an indie studio. Boss Key Productions had 65 employees as of September 2017, whereas Studio MDHR, the developers of the indie hit, Cuphead has 15. These smaller developers have much more room to experiment with ideas, fail and bounce back, and remain agile when compared to larger studios.

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Even with the benefits of being an indie studio, the indie market isn’t immune to over saturation. A recent report from SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin showed there were an incredible 7,696 games released on Steam in 2017, up from 4,207 in 2016. This is making it challenging for indie developers to find a spot for their games and get the recognition some of them deserve. Still, time and time again, an indie game will pop up and make waves worldwide just like Cuphead mentioned above or even Illfonic’s Friday The 13th: The Game. Yet, as the video game industry continues to mature, the fear remains that these independent developers might be pushed out of the market by not only AAA developers, but the massive increase of indie games making their way to both consoles and PC.

The Double-Edged Sword

In a previous article on Gigamax Games titled, “The Best Time For Indie Developers” it took a different view on the current state of the industry. Focused on the technologies available and range of marketing methods at indie developers disposal, on one hand, things are looking up for these creators. Now with a studio like Boss Key Production closing their doors, it’s a stark reminder that even having the resources, technologies, big names, and capabilities to create a game like Lawbreakers or their independently publish Radical Heights at the height of Battle Royales popularity isn’t enough to turn a small studio into a major player within the video game industry.

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One thing is certain, the video game industry in its current form is still relatively new and figuring itself out. The popularity of indie games is growing exponentially but all this uncertainty surrounding the market may steer would-be amazing indie creators away from releasing their games to the world. However, when quality content is released to the world, people will notice. Indie games aren’t going anywhere any time soon as they continue to find their place, but Gigamax Games will be keeping a close eye on the market to see how this sector continues to progress.

Are You an Indie Developer?

Are you an indie developer? Let us know your impression of the current indie game scene and if you have a game, post it in the comments below so the Gigamax Games crew can give it a try!

If you’re an indie developer struggling to break into the market, Woodstock Productions might be able to help!

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For Love of the Game: Sea of Thieves Review

For Love of the Game: Sea of Thieves Review

Review by, William Griston – Gigamax Games Contributor 

Rare always managed to excite my imagination, starting with their entries in the Donkey Kong Franchise on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and the Highly Underrated(amongst people who haven’t played it, that is) Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the Nintendo 64. When Microsoft acquired Rare from Nintendo in the early 2000s, I was pretty disheartened. I had expected the monolithic Microsoft to utterly destroy the Rare I knew. I am sure many of you have experienced the same palpable dread from time to time when it comes to this hobby.  With Bethesda’s acquisition of id Software, those fears were proven immature with the eventual release of Doom(2016). Easily one of the best shooters I’ve played in the last decade.

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After a faltering start on both the Original Xbox and the Xbox 360, those misgivings were finally assuaged with Sea of Thieves. Sea of Thieves is a return to form for the legendary Rare. the world is brimming with soul, passion, and character. Often criticised for its’ lack of content, the much-maligned Sea of Thieves quickly endeared itself to me. I wasn’t a “day one” player like much of the initial player base, but I did get into the game shortly after it was released(about a week), and was quite enamored with the world that Rare managed to craft.

From The Beginning

Sea of Thieves offers a rather large oceanic sandbox with a plethora of well designed and unique islands to explore by yourself or with a cadre of like-minded scoundrels of the sea.

The game opens up inside a fairly nondescript tavern with a bevy of pirates for you to choose as your avatar, you can lock specific models and generate more if you so choose. After choosing your pirate, you’re greeted with a screen giving you the option of playing on a Galleon(3-4 Player Vessel) or a Sloop(1-2 Player Vessel).

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The names of the various islands and outposts have a pirate-y feel to them(Keel Haul Fort, Shark Fin Camp, Skull Keep, Tri-Rock Isle). The dearth of Ocean to explore is both a blessing and a curse, with a tailwind you can cross the map in short order. With a headwind, you’re in for a slow trek across what seems to be an endless sea pocked with little bits of adventure. The RNG factor of the Wind led my crew and me to name our vessel “The Br(e)aking Wind” because you’re never too old for fart jokes.

The weakest part of the game is definitely the PVE(Player vs Environment) aspect of the game, as you’re limited to four different kinds of radiant quests given to you from one of three factions.

The Gold Hoarders, The Merchant Alliance, and finally The Order of Souls.

I am partial to the Gold Hoarders quest line, which has the stereotypical pirate’s map with an X marks the spot mechanic as well as cryptic poems of the riddle maps which start of with something like “Crescent has riches vast, from forgotten stories in the past.”

Next is the Merchant Alliance Quests, which are in essence timed fetch quests.

Go collect 300 chickens and go to this island before a fixed amount of time has passed. I found these quests to be pretty mundane if we’re being honest.

Finally, we have the Order of Souls quests, which give you a single quest or a series of quests to find and eliminate a crew of skeletons and claim the skull of the Captain.

The faction quests are akin to the quests that you are given in Skyrim, in that they generally target islands in fairly close proximity to each other, and if you pray to RNGesus, your vessel.

Where Sea of Thieves Shines

Where the game truly shines is the PVP(Player Versus Player) aspect, assuming you can find a crew of individuals with the few things required for success in Sea of Thieves: A working mic,  ears, and a couple thumbs. Sarcasm aside, with a properly crewed and run Galleon, you can rule the seas with nary a vessel to challenge your prowess. I have had the most fun trying to hit the other vessels with a Gunpowder Barrel, or simply firing myself over in a Cannon and attempting to wreak as much havoc as I can while my shipmates send a barrage of lead. The cacophony of cannons playing a boisterous dirge for the soon to be doomed ship. Something my crew and I try to do is start off our play with a Skull fort, after which we try not to visit an outpost until someone has to log off, we find that having a belly full of loot makes the PVP that much more exciting.

You play a bit harder when you have something to lose.

The meat and potatoes of the game is definitely the sailing aspect, and you are going to be doing a lot of it. Steering the vessel is done on the poop deck with the wheel, which will turn one or two full revolutions left or right depending on whether or not you’re on a Sloop or a Galleon

On each side of the ship, there are controls to raise, lower, and rotate the sails. Which controls operate which sail are pretty obvious even to a neophyte. The main key to traversing the seas is catching the wind as much as possible, otherwise, you are in for a long voyage.

Final Thoughts

Graphically, Sea of Thieves has the best looking and most realistic water effects I’ve ever seen in a video game. The character models are cartoony and have that stylised Rare feel to them, as do much of the Islands, vessels, and buildings themselves. Assuming you’re on a PC, even on the lowest graphical settings, you’ll have a gorgeous well-designed game to play.

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If you’re looking for a sandbox pirate game with enough content to keep you going for at least a week or two at a casual pace, and you enjoy PVP interactions, you’ll love Sea of Thieves.

If a set goal with a clear road of advancement is more your speed, I’d give Sea of Thieves a pass.

Regardless, I’ll be continuing my journey.

See you on the Seas, Y’arr. This article was based upon the PC/Microsoft Store version of Sea of Thieves, and may not be applicable to the Xbox One Version in any way shape or form.

Review by: William Griston, games way more than he should, but still not enough.

Want to get involved with Gigamax Games and start contributing your own content? Find out, how!

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PlatinumGames Teases New Action Game

PlatinumGames Teases New Action Game

The studio behind the hit action game, Bayonetta, teased a new game in the same genre they perfected. PlatinumGames, also behind the canceled Xbox One game Scalebound, revealed their plan at the Bitsummit event when Platinum boss, Atsushi Inaba announced that the company has a number of new projects in the works. These games include Bayonetta 3 and something never before seen in the action genre.

According to the video game publication DualShockers, Inaba teased  that the game would “turn the action genre on its head.” Although, it sounds as if the game is still early in the development process as only a certain group of people are even aware of its existence at PlatinumGames.

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Platinum is also behind the cult classic Metal Gear: Revengeance and the recent hit Nier: Automata. On top of Bayonetta 3 and this mysterious game, the company is co-developing Lost Order and Granblue Fantasy Project Re: Link for both mobile and PlayStation 4.

This Is Only The Beginning

Inaba also said that back in January that PlatinumGames was already in the beginning stages of developing new games. “We’ve pretty much opened the company up to ‘Anybody can pitch a game,’ and so over the last year we’ve gotten about 70 design documents from different people,” Inaba said. “So [2017 was] about us basically diluting which stuff we wanted to focus on and not focus on, and drilling down to the point where we now have two designs that we’re genuinely focused on.” (https://bit.ly/2IDNyEt)

The studio head told fans to expect the next couple of titles to have a mid-range budget. “We can’t put together a AAA, $10 million-plus game, because we just don’t have that sort of cash as an independent developer. However, we don’t plan to go the indies route with just a few people on a team making a game, so it’ll be somewhere in the middle, looking at probably about 20 people on the staff making the game, so that’ll still be a healthy [size].” (https://bit.ly/2IDNyEt)

PlatinumGames is certainly a trustworthy studio that specializes in making games that break the mold, not only in terms of gameplay but story as well. It’ll be exciting to see what revolutionary ideas the studio will explore next and Gigamax Games will be sure to report the latest details when this new game is revealed.

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Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Coming To Switch This Summer

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Coming To Switch This Summer

The Nintendo Switch title, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is making its way west this summer. This game is the same as Monster Hunter XX which released last year in Japan on the portable console. The upcoming online action RPG will be exclusively released on the Switch in both North America and Europe on August 28th.

We had the chance to play the Japanese version when it was first released on the Switch. Find gameplay below and learn how to pick up the untranslated version in the video below!

Unlock Monster Hunter XX for North American Switch & Gameplay

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is an updated version of the popular series last appearance on the 3DS family of systems. Extra features include additional content, two new fighting styles, named alchemy and valor, a new Elder Dragon, and a brand new end game boss. Fans of the series will also be able to take on “G” ranked quests. Capcom says these new quests will feature tougher versions of the monsters players know and love.

Players that also own the 3DS version of the game will be able to transfer their save file over to Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on the Switch and continue playing with the hunters they have already built up. The game also adds the ability to control Hunter Arts with touchscreen inputs. Hunter Arts are powerful attacks that were introduced in the 3DS version of the title and allow players to activate devastating attacks. The game will also support both local and online multiplayer, which is nothing new for the series.

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It’s About Time

Until recently, Monster Hunter XX was only available in Japan. The game initially launched on the 3DS last March and was ported over to the new system in August. Although the Switch version was a huge success for Capcom, the publisher said it had no plans of porting the game outside of Japan.

Like most of the games before it, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate will be receiving cross-promotional content with Nintendo. The Japanese version of the game included an event that allowed players to earn Link’s Champion Tunic from Breath of the Wild. It’s been a great year to be a North American Monster Hunter fan. Monster Hunter: World is spectacular and now Switch owners will be able to pick up where they left off in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate in August.

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EA Reacts to European Regulators Classifying Loot Boxes as Gambling

EA Reacts to European Regulators Classifying Loot Boxes as Gambling

Electronic Arts’ responded to select regulatory bodies in Europe now classifying loot boxes as gambling. The discussion took place during the conference call where EA released Q4 and fiscal year 2018 results. EA is notorious for including, sometimes seemingly malicious, loot boxes in their games. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was the most recent loot box controversy that the gigantic game company stirred up and the latest announcement by countries like Belgium could put this relatively new revenue stream for video game developers in jeopardy.

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Belgium had a complete ban on “games of chance” since 1999 until 2010 when illegal games of chance began getting out of control. The Gaming Commission was instituted to regulate any games they considered to be gambling. The Belgian Gaming Commission reviewed a total of four games, Star Wars Battlefront 2, FIFA 18, Overwatch, and CS:GO and found all but Star Wars Battlefront 2 were classified as “games of chance”.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 removed their loot boxes during the investigation, which avoided any backlash over the game that brought about so much hate from the entire gaming community.

The Double-Edged Sword

EA’s products weren’t the only games mentioned in the investigation but EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson still felt compelled to make a statement during the call. He stated, “We strongly believe that our games are developed and implemented ethically and lawfully around the world, and take these responsibilities very seriously. We care deeply that our players are having a fun and fair experience in all of our games, and take great care to ensure each game is marketed responsibly, including in compliance with regional ratings standards. We welcome the dialogue with Minister Geens on these topics, as we do not agree that our games can be considered as any form of gambling.” https://bit.ly/2rt7dwg

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The company is putting on a strong face for investors as FIFA Ultimate Team is still incredibly profitable. However, losing out to a market like Belgium could have a bit of an impact on their earnings. With a population of a little over 11 million, it can be compared to losing out on a market with the same population as the state of Pensylvania. 

The Battle Isn’t Over

EA has a global reach and isn’t expected to give up without a fight. Gamers and governments all around the world have recently been contemplating if loot boxes are a form of gambling. Before more European countries follow suit and classify loot boxes as gambling, EA will need to aggressively campaign in order to convince global policymakers that what they’re doing is different than a trip to a casino.

Microtransactions and loot boxes are a double-edged sword. On one hand, there are companies like Blizzard that use loot boxes for their massively popular first-person shooter, Overwatch. Blizzard is able to release free DLC’s and consistently support their creation because of the steady revenue generated by their loot boxes. On the other hand, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and their original loot box system that was essentially “Pay to Win” for multiplayer. This blatant money grab threw the gaming community into an uproar, and for a good reason. Gamers don’t want to put their time into a game, only to be trampled online because a person dumped extra money on loot boxes. 

There’s no telling what the future will hold for loot boxes but this is a monumental development for the gaming community around the world. Gigamax Games will keep an eye out for any more news on this battle against loot boxes and what this means for the video game industry as a whole.

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Bungie Plans Unprecedented FPS Mode for Destiny 2

Bungie Plans Unprecedented FPS Mode for Destiny 2

Destiny 2’s Warmind DLC is quickly approaching its release date. Many fans are already excited for what Bungie has planned for after their second expansion. The game’s publisher, Activision, is teasing players with the promise of an unprecedented mode for not just Destiny 2, but all first-person shooters in general. Although, details of this new mode will not be revealed until E3 2018.

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Activision’s Big News

This news was revealed in a post-earnings conference call with investors where Activision’s president, Cody Johnson, responded to how Bungie plans on continuing to improve the Destiny 2 experience through the rest of this year. Johnson added that the company recently invited some dedicated Destiny fans to the office to preview Warmind and their response was “very positive.” Apparently, they were not only pleased with the upcoming expansion, but with the roadmap and teased fall content as well.

Johnson was sparse on details but said that the content is “an incredibly engaging new mode–one that introduces a whole new style of play for first-person shooter gaming generally and certainly for the shared-world shooter space that Destiny created. It’s a really exciting development. It’s one of the things we think will really speak to the community when it comes out in the fall.” (https://bit.ly/2roqcJ9)

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What Will The Fans Think?

While fans are surely sitting on the edge of their seat to see what Bungie has planned, Johnson clarified the full details will not be revealed until after Warmind is released. The company is expected to make their big reveal at E3 this year, which is taking place in LA on June 12th through 14th.

All of this information is part of Bungie’s effort to help make their future content vision more visible to the community. Currently, the company laid out a roadmap that extends through the summer, but very little is known about the third expansion that is slated for this fall. The original Destiny faced some of the same criticism that Destiny 2 is receiving, while the first game made up for these mistakes with The Taken King expansion, fans are now eagerly awaiting to see if Warmind or the fall expansion will be the same saving grace.

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A Hat In Time and A Game To Remember

A Hat In Time and A Game To Remember

This endearing title was suggested by a Gigs-Knight and the crew was excited to give it a try. A Hat In Time is straight out of the Nintendo 64 era, except with much better graphics. The simple platforming nature of this game and the interesting environments make it an indie game to remember. Bringing in a 10/10 on Steam, Gigs, and Mack were both excited to jump in blind.

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With no idea of what to expect, Gigs and Mack gave an undoctored view of what people will get when they first buy A Hat In Time. From the opening cutscene to every learning curve along the way, see what this unique indie game is really made of.

A Hat In Time – Indie Game – PlayStation 4 on YouTube

The graphics and art truly stood out. This on its own is enough to give the game some well-deserved recognition. The 2D art told a story by itself and all the animations were seamless and spectacular. The gameplay was enjoyable but a bit clunky at the beginning. That quickly clears up once the player starts to progress. New hats, weapons, and powers begin to pop up and it becomes clear why A Hat In Time is so popular on Steam. If you’re wondering if this game is worth the money, be sure to check out some gameplay first. A Hat In Time won’t be for everybody.

Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to watch. This will be the place to find any new videos or content surrounding this interesting little indie game. Let Gigs and Mack know if you want to see more of A Hat In Time in the comments at the bottom of this page!

Don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Subscribe on YouTube to keep up with all the videos from Gigamax Games!

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