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Layoffs Hit The Chinese Room as Studio Plans to Go Dark

Layoffs Hit The Chinese Room as Studio Plans to Go Dark

Unfortunate news from The Chinese Room has reached media outlets today. According to a blog post from founder Dan Pinchbeck, the studio laid off most of its staff and has plans to go dark. The independent games creator is most famously known for works like Dear Esther, the Amnesia series, and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Now the company is facing an uncertain future but there is still hope for this small studio.

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Pinchbeck detailed in his post that he had suffered from a non-life-threatening health condition back in June, which gave him and his team time to reflect on the condition of the company. This was following the development of their latest game, So Let Us Melt, and negotiation meetings for the next project the team was planning.

The Bottom Line

“To cut a long story short, the situation–between financial pressures, trying to keep the lights on for the employed team, the stress of end-of-development, health issues–just wasn’t a tenable thing anymore. It was time to take a break, recharge, recover, and have a good think about the future,” Pinchbeck said in the blog post.

Ultimately, this led to the decision to lay off the development team. “So we let our team go,” Pinchbeck continues “Layoffs are never pleasant, particularly when you’re all trying to wrap a game. We did our best to try and help the team secure new positions, and then we all–the whole team–threw everything we had at wrapping the game. It didn’t feel fair to anyone, least of all people who had spent a year working on a project, to have its completion and release overshadowed by news about the studio closing, so we’ve held off on the announcement until we felt we were clear of all of that.” (http://bit.ly/2ftvjFo)

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Time To Reflect and Recover

The developer also detailed that he was not the end of The Chinese Room, merely a small break to recollect their thoughts and goals. As of now the games currently released will stay on sale as well as merch and the fantastic soundtracks that accompany their projects. Currently, the studio has been downsized to just three people, they are working on a game known as the 13th Interior and will bring on a bigger team when the time is right. As for the future, Pinchbeck said the studio has secured funding for a follow-up game called Little Orpheus and is expected for prototyping by the end of 2017.

Pinchbeck finished the post with “Is it the end of The Chinese Room? No, I don’t think so. But it’s the end of a chapter, and we hope you can all be patient with us whilst we figure out what happens next.” Hopefully, this statement rings true because this studio is one of the most talented and has created some of the most beautiful stories in gaming. It is never easy for a studio to downsize like this but unfortunately that is the nature of the industry. An official media meeting is expected to take place later this week so keep your eyes peeled for more information.

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Square Enix Embraces “Games As A Service” Model

Square Enix Embraces “Games As A Service” Model

Square Enix has previously stated that they felt the gaming industry was heading toward a “games as a service” model, saying that the publisher “will approach game design with a mind to generate recurring revenue streams.” In a recent note to shareholders, the President of the company, Yousuke Matsuda,  said that this model is the current way forward in the industry.

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“Gone are the days in which single-player games were of primary status and multiplayer games secondary,” Matsuda said. “Lately, multiplayer games have taken the lead, and it is standard for games to be designed for long-term play.” (http://bit.ly/2fmyhLO)

In terms of a concept, games as a service are nothing new to the industry. Each company has their own way of defining this philosophy and for the Final Fantasy publisher, it means a strong emphasis on long-term user engagement.

Here’s A Bonus!

Square Enix will start making more of an effort to release games that drive the player to engage with a game for a longer period of time instead of a quick completion and moving on. The company believes that this will increase their overall customer satisfaction and create a lifetime value to the games themselves.

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To show their commitment to this style of game, Square Enix added multiplayer to Final Fantasy XV through an upcoming expansion. The company also announced a new shooter this week called Left Alive, which will have a significant online portion to keep players interested. This model makes plenty of sense as a developer can sustain their game over a period of time and sell content and the game for much longer.

Streaming and Shareholders

Matsuda also recognized the importance of streaming in the note to shareholders. He wants the company to place a growing emphasis on the matter and look into using it as a revenue stream.

“An increasing number of our customers around the world enjoy not only playing games themselves, but also watching other gamers play them. You do not actually need to play a game yourself to enjoy it,” Matsuda said. “Watching the advanced techniques of professional gamers and the unique broadcasts of game streamers is another way to enjoy games. Watching gaming is growing into a major form of entertainment thanks to considerable advances in the online streaming environment. It is the presence of e-sports spectators that make this meaningful.” (http://bit.ly/2fmyhLO)

This is big news for any Square Enix fan. It shows that the company is learning from the market instead of sticking to old ideas that gamers are getting sick of. Games like Overwatch and Destiny 2 show that the industry is moving toward a community driven experience that receives new content on a monthly basis instead of something that can be finished in a few hours. Hopefully, this note to shareholders shows the true direction of the company and isn’t just business rhetoric. If you’d like to see the full note you can find it on their website.

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Friday the 13th Developer Provides DLC Roadmap

Friday the 13th Dev Provides DLC Roadmap

Fans of the very popular Friday the 13th game will be happy to hear that the developer behind the game, Gun Media, has no plans to abandon the project. In fact, to show players that they are still working hard, the team has provided a “DLC Roadmap” in the form of a colorful infographic that seems like it is intentionally drawn like a camp brochure. The indie developer shared this chart on their forums where they also addressed plans for upcoming single-player content.

While the roadmap itself does not share any dates but does show the long-term goals of the developer and a ton of the DLC’s coming to the game. According to the chart, fans can expect new maps, modes, and a lot of new cosmetic options for Jason and the councilors. Other updates include new emotes, Jason types, and councilors. This all comes in the wake of the developer’s teaser video, released in August, that gave vague details of their DLC plans.

The Roadmap:

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In the forum post, the developers explained their progress for fixing bugs across the various platforms Friday the 13th is available on. Most importantly they laid out plans for getting content onto the Xbox, a process that has been admittedly too slow. According to the developer, this is because of Microsoft’s strict rules and guidelines for updating games.

That’s Not All!

The team also explained that single player was delayed from its previous summer release because they wanted to focus on fixing the core game first. Now that the stability issues have been addressed, the developers are reassigning resources to make sure that this feature gets added as soon as possible, including hiring additional staff. The Roadmap indicates that single-player mode will seemingly be a number of different challenge modes rather than a conventional campaign.

Hopefully, players will start seeing this content soon as the game was relatively bare bones when it first hit consoles. We are big fans of this game over here at Gigamax and are excited to see more DLC come to this exciting indie game. Make sure to keep checking back with Gigamaxgames.com for more on Friday the 13th’s DLC roadmap as information becomes available.

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Nintendo Reveals More Details for Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon

Nintendo Reveals More Details for Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon

During the most recent Nintendo Direct event the company had plenty of details to share for Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon, the latest game in the main Pokemon series. The biggest announcement out of the Direct itself was the addition of two new “Ultra Beasts” which are wacky looking creatures from another dimension that took the form of Sun/Moon’s legendaries.

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Details Are Scarce 

Nintendo was sparse on the details for the announcement revealing little other than the code names and pictures for the beasts. The first of the two new Pokemon is UB-Burst, a clown like monster resembling something out of your worst nightmares. Don’t worry, Ultra Moon gets its own monstrosity known as UB-Assembly that is reminiscent of a giant stone tower.

Much like the other Pokemon games third entry, Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon will focus on the end game Legendary that can be caught. This time around it’s Necrozma and he has a problem with Solgaleo and Lunala not being under his mind control. Fortunately, this means that players will be able to catch new forms of the aforementioned legendaries. In Ultra Sun trainers can catch Dusk Mane Necrozma and in Ultra Moon Dawn Wings Necrozma.

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Wrapping It All Up

To round out their announcements, Nintendo detailed an exclusive move for the preorder bonus Pokemon, Dusk Form Lycanroc. The new Z-Move is known as Splintered Stormshards, this rock type move will be available to all forms of Lycanroc and can eliminate terrain as well as inflict damage. To secure this new Pokemon players will have to preorder Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon before January 10th to get a special Rockruff that will evolve into Dusk Form Lycanroc.

Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon releases on November 17th for the Nintendo 3DS. Players who also purchase the virtual console edition of Pokemon Gold/Silver will receive a special edition as a free gift for their copy of Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, or Ultra Moon.

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Destiny 2: Was It Worth The Hype?

Destiny 2: Was It Worth The Hype?

Many players had a strange relationship with the first Destiny. Bungie told people to expect a 10-year game that will continuously grow and improve as time went on. However, this was far from the truth. The original Destiny left a bad taste in many gamers mouths, feeling as though it was disrespecting the players time and just adding enough content to string people along. Some loved the game, but there is no doubt that the game, at its core, was seriously flawed but now all eyes are on Destiny 2.

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The Worry Was Real

This left gamers worried if Destiny 2 had the potential to save the franchise. When people found out all of their hard earned rewards would be stripped away and then be forced to start from scratch, it wasn’t the best introduction. But to the surprise of many Destiny 2 and the developers at Bungie took the community’s criticism of the first game to heart and it shows in a big way.

Destiny 2 – Nightfall Strike [Gigamax PowerHour]

One of the main issues with original Destiny was the lack of rewards and the countless hours spent on repetitive grinding to receive any piece of worthwhile gear. This was far beyond the expected grind in this kind of ‘open’ exploration game. Bungie seemed to put all their chips in the exquisite gunplay and ignore a fully fleshed out campaign or any substance when it came to the grind. Running around a small map searching for chests that spawn in the same location on a timer is not an exciting gaming experience.

Destiny 2 May Have Done It

Destiny 2 is a monumental improvement over the original. Even though players have to start from scratch, the intro of the game provides a nice flashback of their time in the original. Milestones are remembered with a slideshow once a player starts the game, showing off their greatest achievements and even lists the players that were in the group when completed. This short but sweet ode to your original Destiny fireteams was the right kind of send off for the misstep that was Destiny.

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Even those that truly enjoyed the original Destiny have said it felt as though it was just one big beta for Destiny 2. Bungie did it right with this latest installment. Each planet has a more robust environment giving the sensation of being alive, more so than anything the original ever offered. The amount of story, strikes, and content offered at launch puts the original to shame and is an incredible indicator of things to come. The story evoked emotions and NPC’s have relatable personalities. With Bungie stating that they will be adding content much more regularly, one can only imagine where it will go from here. 

Overall Bungie redeemed themselves with Destiny 2. This latest title truly shows that the developers listened to their audience and put some real thought into the new game.  It feels as though this is just the beginning for one of the most highly anticipated shooters in history. If Destiny was able to reach impressive heights with lackluster content, there’s no telling how far the second game can go.

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The Nintendo Switch May Not Make It Home for the Holidays

The Nintendo Switch May Not Make It Home for the Holidays

During a recent speaking event, CEO of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime said that the company could not guarantee the availability of the Switch this Holiday season. As of now, the executive has elaborated further on what he meant by the statement.

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Source: http://bit.ly/2wSvh0h

Speaking to The Financial Times, Fils-Aime said that the console’s supply chain was “complex” going on to say that there are multiple factors that could be considered “choke points.” Some analysts in Japan are calling out Alps Electric in particular, who makes the necessary components for the Joy-Con controller system. Although, the CEO himself wouldn’t clarify which parts of the supply chain were holding production back.

“There is not one choke point, there are multiple choke points,” Reggie Fils-Aime explained. “I won’t go into any more detail but it’s not just one component. I’m going to make millions of these units to flow into the marketplace. But what I don’t know is what the demand is going to be. And there is a potential that demand is going to outstrip supply.” (http://bit.ly/2ePLXLc)

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Source: http://amzn.to/2ma0NS9

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

The executive moved on to say that the company wants to avoid any situation where a consumer wants a Switch and can’t get one. But unfortunately, production realities and the extremely strong demand for the console are making it impossible for him to guarantee that everyone will get their hands on the system.

Fils-Aime finished the interview by stating “We don’t want to have a consumer disappointed by not being able to get one for the holiday season. But managing that complex supply chain is a challenge,” but this has left many Nintendo fans with the feeling that getting a Switch this year is almost hopeless.

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Source: http://bit.ly/2rc2DFA

Nintendo has previously stated their intention was to ramp up production this holiday season but it could prove difficult with suppliers creating issues with previously agreed upon terms.  Currently, the company has modeled 10 million Switch sales for the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2018. As for sales, the latest data shows that the console has sold over 4.7 million units worldwide.

Hopefully, Nintendo is able to increase production enough so that most can get the system but unfortunately not even the CEO can be overly optimistic. The holidays are typically rough on retail and new hardware usually sells the fastest. The bright side of the production issue is that this shows the Switch’s growing popularity and how Nintendo is recovering after the disaster that was the Wii U.

Be sure to check back on Gigamax for the latest updates and details surrounding the Nintendo Switch and it’s availability.

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Battlefield 1: In the Name of the Tsar

In the Name of the Tsar

The next big update for Battlefield 1 is available now. Aptly named, In the Name of the Tsar, this DLC offers players an opportunity to take part in the Russian civil war. As per usual, the download includes new maps, a new mode, more weapons, vehicles, and a host of various bug fixes. Remember as of now, the update is only available to season pass holders. Without exclusive access, players will have to wait two weeks before they have a chance to play.

Maps

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  • Galicia – An entrenched fight across a war-torn river valley.
  • Brusilov Keep – A small village high in the Carpathians braces for a Russian siege.
  • Albion – German ships invade the West Estonian Archipelago.
  • Tsaritsyn – Old and new Russia clash in the war-torn streets of Tsaritsyn.
  • Volga River – An epic tank battle along Volga River.

Maps for this update try to capture the severity and brutality of the Russian Civil War in the early 1900’s. The locations range from blown apart tundras to cities in all out war barely being held together. Dice also made sure In the Name of the Tsar had big vehicle battles where No Man’s Land is a death sentence for anyone outside of the metal behemoths.

Game Mode

Supply Drop is the newest way to experience Battlefield 1. Made to capture the impact planes had on resupplying across the WW1 battlefields. Players will have to rush for supplies that fall from the skies and defend the box until it’s empty and the team that comes out with the most supplies is the victor.

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New Operations

Fans of the Operations game mode, which recreates battles from WW1 in a conquest style fight, will be happy to hear that two new battles will be available.

  • Brusilov Offensive – The Russian army deploys new tactics on the Eastern Front in 1916.
  • Red Tide – The Russian Red Army and White Guard clash in civil war during 1919.

Weapons and Vehicles

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While Dice didn’t detail all of the weapons and vehicles they provided a full list of the technology included in the update.

Vehicles

  • Putilov Garford
  • Ilya-Muromets
  • Y-lighter
  • 305/52 O Coastal Gun
  • Hussar Cavalry Unit

Weapons

Assault

  • Model 1900
  • SMG 08/18

Medic

  • FA Automatic Rifle
  • General Liu Rifle

Support

  • Parabellum MG 14/17
  • Perino Model 1908

Scout

  • Mosin Nagant M91
  • Vetterli Vitali M1870/87

Pilot

  • C93 Carbine

Sidearm

  • Nagant Revolver
  • Obrez Pistol

Melee

  • Cossack Dagger
  • Dud Club

Bug Fixes

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UI

  • Fixed issue where the wrong rank icon was displayed on the Kill Card for Rank 110.
  • Fixed issue where some weapons were not being fully customizable from the front end.
  • Replaced shortcuts on Home Screen with dynamic Battlepacks and Service Assignments widgets.
  • The name filter now trims empty filter texts in the Server Browser.
  • Game servers with custom configuration are now designated as CUSTOM in the Server Browser.
  • Fixed issue accessing Options menu after leaving the server queue.
  • Fixed an issue in the End of Round screen where all Class Rank icons were gold instead of the corresponding Gold, Silver, or Bronze Rank value.

Vehicles

  • Bombers should no longer take multiple damage pings from a single bullet.
  • Changes to stationary weapon repair and respawn – if not repaired for two minutes, the QF1 AA, FK96 Field Gun, and 305/52 O Coastal Gun will be restored to full health. Players can still use a repair tool to get them back into action faster.
  • Fixed issue where dismounting a horse while it was jumping would cause it to get stuck in the jump animation.

Weapons

  • Fixed issue where it was possible to spawn with duplicate gadgets.

Maps and Modes

  • Fixed collision on staircase in Fort de Vaux to allow players to climb them while prone.
  • The Best Squad screen will now appear after an operation is completed.
  • Fixed issue where character models would appear blurry in the Best Squad screen.
  • Improved loading of the Customize Soldier screen on the main menu.
  • Fixed issue where the kill card would sometimes not show while spectating other players.

Other than a few other minor changes that is everything that is added with the In the Name of the Tsar expansion. This DLC gives the perfect excuse to hop back into the game and test out all the new equipment available. This is not the end of Battlefield’s expansions though, two more are currently planned with no confirmed release date. Make sure to keep checking back with GigamaxGames.com for more information when it becomes available!

Image and Content Source:

https://www.battlefield.com/news/update-notes/in-the-name-of-the-tsar-update

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Biggest September Game Releases

September Game Releases

September is here, school is back in session, and vacations are over but that only means this year’s biggest game releases are about to start! This is the time of year developers start letting the punches fly in an attempt to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. With so many big name games coming out in a short timeframe, it can be hard to keep track of what’s coming out and when. But fear not, Gigamax has your back! Below you’ll find the top September game releases so you know when to save those hard earned dollars. Check back next month for the biggest games coming out in October!

See what you might have missed in August!

Destiny 2

It’s finally here fellow guardians, Bungie’s follow up to arguably one of the best shooters of all time. It’s time to prepare your ghost for resurrection and step back into the fight to reclaim your light. This time around, Bungie promised to fix many of the problems that fans found with the previous entry. More story, more loot, more planets, and more fun. Definitely don’t miss this big hit!

Marvel VS. Capcom: Infinite

Fighting fans, prepare yourselves for more universe combining action with the next game in line for the Marvel VS. Capcom series. This time around, Ultron and Sigma believe all human life needs to be killed so they’re teaming up to take care of the problem. Unfortunately for them the heroes from both universes feel differently so the ultimate alliance of heroes is joining forces to make sure humans keep on living. If you’re into Marvel or Capcom, make sure you pick up this love letter to the series!

Metroid: Samus Returns

Hunters, it’s time to return to SR-388 and fight the metroid menace in this reimagining of Metroid II released all the way back in 1991 on the Gameboy. This is the first core Metroid game to come out since Other M, meaning we haven’t seen our hero, Samus in seven years. This is a perfect addition for any Nintendo lover’s 3DS library and the perfect start for newcomers to the Metroid series!

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

Alright Dishonored fans you’re in for a treat this month! Step into the shoes of Billie Lurk a companion from Dishonored 2 and start your quest to kill the omnipotent Outsider. Typically known as the guy who hands out super powers, this time around the Outsider is the hit and the only solution to Billie’s beef with him is a knife in the throat. This expansion is similar to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in that it is a small addition that is separate from the main game but also a little cheaper. If you’re a fan of Dishonored and stabbing Gods then this game is for you!

Full List of the September Game Releases

  • Knack II (PS4) – September 5th
  • Destiny 2 (PS4, Xbox One) – September 6th
  • NASCAR Heat 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – September 12
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) – September 12
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 (PC) – September 14
  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – September 15
  • NBA Live 18 (PS4, Xbox One) – September 15
  • NHL 18 (PS4, Xbox One ) – September 15
  • Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS) – September 15
  • Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – September 19
  • NBA 2K18 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – September 19
  • Pokémon Gold/Silver (3DS) – September 22
  • Pokkén Tournament Deluxe (Switch) – September 22
  • Project Cars 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – September 22
  • Blue Reflection (PS4, PC) – September 26
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4, Vita) – September 26
  • Ruiner (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – September 26
  • Cuphead (Xbox One, PC) – September 29
  • FIFA 18 (PS4, Xbox One Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – September 29
  • Gundam Versus (PS4) – September 29
  • Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) – September 29

That wraps up the September game releases! Make sure to keep an eye on the list whenever you’re itching to spend some cash. Make sure to check back next month for a look into October’s biggest releases!

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Pokken Tournament DX Gameplay on YouTube

Pokken Tournament DX Gameplay on YouTube

Pokken Tournament DX offers something many games cannot, full blown 1v1 pokemon battles. Forget the old way of training your pokemon, Pokken Tournament DX, pokemon, gaming, fighting games, nintendo, nintendo switch, switch, video games, gigamax, gigamax gamesPokken Tournament DX takes it to an entirely new level. Developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment, known for the Tekken series, they created a Tekken like pokemon fighter and it’s a blast to play.

A Dream Come True

The pokemon use real moves from the games and series and the animations are impeccable. This playlist opens up with the Demo of the Switch version of Pokken Tournament DX. Already released for the WiiU, Nintendo wanted to create an entirely new version of the game for their new system. Even though this shows they want to deliver something even better to the gamers, it’s a little unfortunate because they’re forced to wait until the new version is released for a chance to play.

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More to Come!

Be sure to keep checking back with the Gigamax playlist of Pokken Tournament DX. Gigs and Mack will continue to revisit this exciting fighter and of course battle against each other to see who would have been the best pokemon. Forget about becoming the best pokemon trainer the world has ever known, now it’s about being the best actual pokemon and the Gigamax crew couldn’t be more excited.

Pokken Tournament DX YouTube Playlist

Thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by. You can always keep up with the latest videos from Gigamax by Subscribing!

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Destiny 2 Server and Raid Launch Times

Destiny 2 Server and Raid Launch Times

It’s finally here, Destiny 2 launches next week and Bungie has clarified many of the specifics behind their first person shooters release. To kick off the list of big announcements, the developer confirmed when Destiny 2’s servers will go live. The game will be officially released at Midnight in countries around the world and for the U.S. that means Midnight EST.

While Destiny 2 may not go live until September 6th, Playstation 4 players can start pre loading the game if they have the game pre purchased (Like the dedicated guardians in the Gigamax crew). Unfortunately, Bungie has yet to state when pre loading on the PC and Xbox One will start but hopefully it will be soon.


Superbiiz - PC Hardware E-Tailer

The Hype Train Is Here

To further build up the hype, Bungie detailed when Destiny 2’s first Nightfall Strike, Raid, and Trials of Osiris will begin. As for the Nightfall Strikes, they will be available from the start of the game but probably won’t be completed for at least a week due to their difficult nature. The Raid will kick off at 10 AM PT/ 1 PM ET/ 6 PM BST on September 13th, with Trials of Osiris launching at the same times on September 15th.

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Those that don’t enjoy spoilers will be happy to hear that Bungie is being super protective of details on the raid so that nothing is ruined by a leak. “If you have witnessed the race to become the first to topple the final boss, you know we keep Raid info well under wraps,” Bungie said. “These are your moments to discover–your mysteries to solve. We’ve given you the when. You will soon discover the who, the what, and the where. Together, as a team, you might even discover the how.” (http://bit.ly/2wsXTuq)

New Features!

The Guided Games feature won’t roll out until September 12th at 1 PM ET and Bungie explained it will be a “Soft Beta” which essentially means only certain players will have access to the experience. Guided Games is Destiny 2’s new feature that hooks solo players up with clans to help take on some of the more daunting tasks throughout the game. This may help keep people without a solid raid crew interest in the game and lend a helping hand so they can experience what the full game really has to offer.

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Well this is it fellow Guardians, the countdown has started and the long awaited sequel to one of the most controversial shooters of all time is almost here. We hope to play with as many fans, friends, and newcomers as possible in the coming weeks so fill your magazines, charge your supers, throw on your freshest gear… AND LET’S GET RAIDING!

Source:

https://www.bungie.net/en/News/Article/46226

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