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So, About That Single-Player Star Wars Game

So, About That Single-Player Star Wars Game

News broke late yesterday, 10/17/17, that Electronic Arts will be shutting down Visceral Games. Well known for games like Battlefield Hardline and Dead Space, this studio was working on another highly anticipated title and people are worried about its future. Visceral has been developing a new action-adventure Star Wars game that EA compared to Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series. However, now with Visceral dissolving, the fate of this Star Wars project is up in the air.

star wars, visceral games, EA, game development, new games, latest games, gigamax, gigamax games

The studio was working on this single-player Star Wars game since 2013. It had a lot of people excited and EA expected to release the game in 2019 but now it has been pushed back without any information on when it could eventually be released.

A brief look at the E3 2016 preview of Visceral’s Star Wars project.

The Official Word

“Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe,” EA”s Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund said. He continued to explain, “In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design.” http://bit.ly/2l0clZ1

This ‘pivot’ in design and the fall of Visceral forced other EA studios to take over the development of the Star Wars project. The shift in direction could create an interesting final product, but that would only be if it ever reaches market. Söderlund offered a few details on who will be taking lead on the project. He stated, “A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project,” http://bit.ly/2yuvQvK

Few Details But Many Questions

Electronic Arts may have offered extremely few details throughout the development process of the new Star Wars game but they did have an incredible concept and was working with some incredible talent. Amy Hennig, former Naughty Dog creative director was working on the new title, co-writing the Star Wars adventure with Todd Stashwick.  An update from the site Polygon, shed some light on Amy Hennig’s future at EA. A company representative explained, “We’re in discussions with Amy about her next move.” http://bit.ly/2yuvQvK

Our thoughts are with every team member affected by the closing of this renowned studio but EA did say they will be shifting as many of the team over to other projects in the EA family.  With the EA Star Wars project still in limbo as of now, Gigamax will be keeping a close eye out for any developments. Be sure to check back as the dust settles from Visceral Games closing.

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Sources:

https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/17/16490960/ea-closing-visceral-games-star-wars-game-delayed

https://kotaku.com/ea-shuts-down-visceral-games-1819623990

https://www.ea.com/news/an-update-on-the-visceral-star-wars-project

Fortnite: New Twist or Blatant Ripoff?

Fortnite: New Twist or Blatant Ripoff?

Video games are constantly evolving. A lot of the time, developers take successful ideas from other games and change it up a bit to make an entirely new title. However, sometimes, a game can be a little too similar to the original title which they took their ideas from. This has been the discussion surrounding Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.  

Let’s take a look at the similarities between the two games and how they differ. It’s an interesting list and one that might lead to more questions than answers.

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Similarities:

1) 100 person deathmatch and the last one standing is the winner.

2) Squad mode, where players can team up to compete against other squads and the last group standing, wins.

3) Both of the games begin in ‘lobby island’ where all 100 players can run around, shoot guns, and scream loud into the mic.

4) Once the game officially starts, players are flown toward an island and can choose when to jump out of the aircraft.

5) After players jump out of the aircraft, they skydive down to their desired location and eventually float down and land gently.

6) Both only have one map as of now and bear striking similarities.

7) Players start unarmed and must scavenge around the map looking for weapons, ammo, and protective items.

8) The map begins to shrink because of an outside force which continues to close in on the players as the game goes on, forcing them into each other.

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Differences:

1) Cartoony graphics give Fortnite a different feel from the more gritty, realistic PUBG.

2) Fortnite has no prone, changing the stealth aspect when compared to PUBG.

3) Players jump out of a floating bus instead of a plane as in PUBG.

4) Gamers cannot find armor around the map in Fortnite, instead, they pick up ‘Shield Potions’.

5) Fortnite offers no attachments for the guns like in PUBG, what you see is what you get.

6) PUBG has first person servers and an option to aim down the iron sites. Fortnite is stuck in 3rd person. 

7) The feature that separates Fortnite the most from PUBG is the building aspect. Players can collect materials from around the map and build forts and cover. This is the key feature that has the most dramatic effect when it comes to the differences of  Fortnite from PUBG.

Final Thoughts and Your Input

Just from looking at the lists above, it’s clear that there are more similarities than differences. Most of the differences are even just splitting hairs, like not being able to go prone. However, these unique aspects from Fortnite do add some interesting dynamics which PUBG cannot provide. Still, PUBG seems as though it’s the superior shooter but this is not to say Fortnite doesn’t deliver a quality gaming experience. 

The question remains, is Fortnite walking a very fine line between blatant ripoff and unique interpretation? Or did the Fortnite developers, Epic Games, simply steal an innovative idea and implement their mechanics on top of PUBG?

With PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer, Bluehole, releasing a statement on September 22nd explaining that they felt Fortnite copied their game and might pursue legal action, the world may soon find out.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, we want to see how gamers feel about this complicated situation.

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Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. recently announced the formation of a new division which will oversee Overwatch’s esports efforts. This will be a separate entity from Blizzard’s current Esports division and will use the Major League Gaming name and all of the organization’s assets which the company acquired in 2015 for $46 million. Blizzard made a statement back in November of 2016 that it planned to launch an Overwatch league with hopes of building the “world’s premier esports league.”

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The new division will oversee management, operation, sales and distribution for all Overwatch’s esports programs which include the upcomingOverwatch World Cup and Overwatch League. The Overwatch World Cup finals will take place at BlizzCon 2017. It will be interesting to see how the finals go as Blizzard has complete control over every facet of their hit titles’ championship event.

What’s The Official Word?

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“The new division which will retain the MLG name, will build on Blizzard’s nearly 20-year history as a leader in esports and leverage MLG’s extensive experience with live events and content distribution,” Blizzards press release read. “It will also operate the MLG-branded media network, which will broadcast both Blizzard and Activision esports content as well as other premium gaming programming.” http://pvp.live/2q1Rxkr

Blizzard thinks Overwatch is the next big thing and it’s beginning to look as if they’re absolutely right. However, the organization isn’t putting all their eggs in one basket. Their other games will continue to be run by Blizzard’s original team for games like, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, leveraging the MLG division’s sales, media production and distribution capabilities along the way.

Nowhere To Go But Up

Esports continues to become more popular, gaining international attention and expanding every year. Blizzard is an economic powerhouse and it’ll be exciting to see how far Overwatch can go in the esports world with a dedicated division focused on the development and expansion of Overwatch’s competitive presence. However, Blizzard’s new division could just be a way for the company to keep tabs on the quality control of all Overwatch tournaments, media and advertising. Only time will tell how or if this new move will impact  MLG’s future. Be sure to check back on Gigamax soon for the latest gaming industry developments.

For more, take a look at the complete Press Release from Blizzard

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Sources:

https://pvplive.net/c/blizzard-forms-new-division-to-oversee-overwatch-l
http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-integrates-mlg-to-form-new-esports-division-dedicated-exclusively-to-overwatch/
http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/802496/Overwatch-World-Cup-2017-Group-UK-USA-Blizzard

Playground Games Changes Gears – New Franchise with GIGAMAX

Playground Games Takes The Open-World For A Ride

Every racing game fan has played or at least heard about Forza Horizon game. A staple of the genre, developer Playground Games has set the standard for racing games. Now, Playground Games is ready to try their hand at something new and it could be big, literally.

Headquartered in Leamington Spa, UK they are currently seeking a new location that will be the base of operations for their second studio. “Ideally within walking distance” according to Playground Games. The makers of Forza will be directly overseeing the development of their new project but it will create two distinct teams.

Expected to be an open world, non-racing game, this is truly out of their element. GameIndustry.biz had a diolog with Playground Games founder and creative director, Ralph Fulton where he offered his reason for experimenting with this new kind of game. The new studio will be “a great opportunity for us to test ourselves in a different genre.” Fulton said. He continues by saying, “ we’re going to need to hire some very talented people with experience that we don’t have.”playground games, forza horizon, gaming, video games, new releases, gaming industry, video game industry, gigamax, gigamax games

Expanding and Improving

A promising sign is that Playground Games is absolutely aware that they have limited means to get this new open-world game off the ground. Currently staffed with 115 people, they have plans to grow to around 200. The independent studio opened in 2010 and has only focused on Forza Horizon titles. Understanding that it will be absolutely vital to expand and take on new creative talent shows that they’re on the right tract to meet impressive challenge.

Playground Games will now be effectively controlled by two separate leadership teams. Each team will be able to work independently, able to focus on their own project. Great news for Forza fans as Fulton ensured this will not impact their successful racing franchise. Forza Horizon “remains the cornerstone of our business” said Fulton. “We’re not running away from racing, we still feel passionate about making new racing games and delivering new experiences for our players.”

We here at Gigamax Gamers will be keeping a close eye on the developments surrounding Playground Game’s new project. No details have emerged about the theme or scope, open-world is the only information available to the public so far. Stick around, we’re excited.

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