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Is E3 Getting Old? What Does the Future Hold?

High costs and more effective ways for game companies to spread the word about major announcements could be killing E3. The video game industry is maturing and these events may become a thing of the past.

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Press events like E3, Gamescom, and PAX play a major role in the video game industry. It’s the time of year where even casual gamers spend a little time tuning in to these highly produced conferences to see what’s on the horizon. Events like E3 are a time for gaming companies to make their major reveals, new console announcements or showing off a highly anticipated or completely secret title. However, companies like Sony and Activision have turned to other means to share their news with the gaming community. Nintendo never takes to the main E3 stage and instead holds a Nintendo Direct. E3 is an exciting time for gamers, but the cost and effective alternatives to a massive press conference are becoming more attractive.

E3, or Any Game Conference is Costly

It isn’t cheap for a company to attend E3. In 2017, a large scale E3 booth cost around $6,600 per day and that’s the low end according to Gameindustry.biz. Booth space is only the beginning. At the Game Developers Conference in 2017, a pre-cut 10ft x 10ft carpet cost $191, a simple plastic chair runs $60, and GDC charges $118 per day for electricity (10 Amp/1000 Watts). These were the prices in 2017. As with any event, product, or service, expenses increase over time.

All the prices listed above only include the bare minimum, just a carpet, a chair, and electricity. It still requires a tremendous amount of money to ship equipment or a booth to a conference. Shipping 1,000 pounds of freight through UPS Air Freight can cost upwards of $6,500. Now it’s time to think about hotel rooms for staff, travel, and all the marketing materials adds up quickly. An E3 conference could cost as much as a house. Companies are beginning to question whether the cost is justifiable.

E3 2019 wasn’t quite the same without some of the massive names in gaming. Both Sony and Activision were a no show. Instead, they decided to host streams rather than physically attend the conference. Blogs, social media, YouTube, there are multiple avenues for Sony and Activision to inform their fans. These massive companies were both able to get their announcements out and at the same time avoid the monstrous expense that comes along with attending E3 2019.

Phil Spencer Misses His Friends

Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft came out after E3 2019 and expressed concern about the future for this staple of the gaming industry. He made the point to state that E3 isn’t just about the new releases and company announcements, it’s about the perception of the industry. The World Health Organization classified Gaming Disorder as a recognized disease and E3 is a time to show gaming is beyond just the anti-social kid in the basement. Spencer does have a vested interest in how E3 performs. He currently sits on the board of directors at the Entertainment Software Association, the group responsible for hosting E3 every year.

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As the video game industry continues gravitating toward streaming as a way to communicate with the community, an E3 kind of conference begins to look less and less worth the expense. Nintendo crushed it with their Nintendo Direct. Streaming news costs a mere fraction of a ticket to E3. Of course, smaller companies are at a massive disadvantage. Sony, Activision, Nintendo; these organizations have a pile of money to throw at advertising and already have a huge community.

E3 2019 was always a time to gather around and watch the highly produced press conferences. It’s unclear how long this will last but it’s unimaginable to think E3 and similar events will disappear altogether. Instead, it’s much more likely for big name companies to take a back seat when it comes to attending these conferences. This would leave room for smaller game companies to use the main stage to build their notoriety.

Only time will tell what the future holds for E3 and other large scale gaming conferences. There’s no word about Sony or Activision regretting their decision to sit out of E3 2019. If this trend continues, it may leave room for smaller companies to take their place and reach a worldwide audience. As the video game industry continues to evolve, GigamaxGames.com will continue to watch and report. Be sure to keep checking back for all the latest news, reviews, and gameplay and to stay up-to-date with this ever-changing community and industry.

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Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Urges Sony & Activision To Return To E3

Xbox was lonely at E3 2019. Phil Spencer asks Sony and Activision to come back and partake in next year's E3 conference.

E3 2019 is wrapping up and this year Sony was noticeably absent from the festivities. Sony didn't have a floor presence or offer a press conference. Activision also took a leave of absence from the event as well as many other companies. Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, recently shared that the conference did not feel the same without Sony or Activision, and he wishes they would come back.

Phil Spencer Opens Up

During an interview with website Giant Bomb for an E3 live stream, he spoke on the relevance of the event and what it means for the game industry and how the show's profile is hurt by Sony and Activision not being there. "I wish Sony was here," Spencer said. "E3 is not as good when they're not here," is what Spencer had to say on the two companies opting out of this E3 2019.

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E3 is an important event for the gaming world, Spencer said. He expressed that it's a time of the year when people around the world are watching the industry, even those who are not particularly interested in gaming. One recent threat, Spencer pointed out, was the World Health Organization classifying Gaming Disorder as a recognized disease.

He said that E3 is an important time to show the world that video games go beyond just kids in basements. Without the help of industry juggernauts like Sony and Activision the event could take a huge hit in terms of recognition.

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Spencer is on the board of directors at the Entertainment Software Association, the group in charge of running E3 every year, so obviously he has a vested interest in both companies returning to the event. Other board members include Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, and ZeniMax's CEO, Robert Altman.

Sony explained they did not attend E3 this year due to wanting to find new ways to engage and entertain their fans around the globe. Before the show started, they gave PS4 owners their first look at Death Stranding and shared the first details about PS5. Although, without the company being at E3 2019, it is unclear when fans will hear about upcoming first-party titles like The Last of Us 2.

Even with Sony's and Activision's absence, E3 2019 offered an incredible lineup of gaming news. Be sure to keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com to catch up with all the most exciting announcements from this monumental event.

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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Posts Impressive Sales Numbers

The latest unforgiving entry made by From Software, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, appears to be a critical and economic success. Activision, the publisher of the title revealed the sales numbers for the game so far, showing that Sekiro has already sold over two million copies.

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Over 2 Million People Love To Torture Themselves

This news is pulled from a post on Activision's website that reveals Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice sold two million copies across all of its platforms including Xbox One, PC, and PS4 in only 10 days. The announcement was also quick to note that the game was sitting at a 90 Metacritic rating across all platforms as well.

Sekiro Pulls an Audience

Sekiro was a massive hit on Twitch as well. It brought in 631 million minutes watched on its launch weekend. In only a week the title went on to be viewed for 1.1 billion minutes.

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Activision's VP of Product Management and Marketing, Michelle Fonseca, was impressed by players love of the game. "The fans have made Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice one of the most incredible game launches of 2019 thus far," Fonseca said. "The game has performed well on all platforms including PC and we’re excited by the continued support from gamers and critics alike. It has been gratifying to see the enjoyment from fans when they overcome each challenge."

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is currently out on Xbox One, PC, and PS4. If you're in the mood for a challenging but rewarding game we highly recommend you check it out! For all the latest on all things From Software be sure to keep checking back with us here at GigamaxGames.com.

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Treyarch Outlines Next Black Ops 4 Update

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is set to receive another round of patches throughout the month. The updates began earlier in the week when they added featured playlists, but now the developer is breaking down what fans can expect to see in the popular first person shooter.

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Treyarch delivered the news over on the Black Ops 4 Subreddit and it appears that each of the game modes will be receiving some new content. Zombies will get "Gauntlets" which are curated 30 round challenges that give players unique rules every level. A 115 Day Celebration Event is also set to take place between January 15th to the 18th and will net players extra XP, weapon XP, and Nebulium Plasma.

Black Ops 4 Blackout Additions

Blackout is getting a new looting interface that will hopefully make picking up items a quicker/smoother experience. Treyarch also teased that two limited time modes are making their way into Blackout, but no further details were given. According to the developer, info on the modes and "more Blackout news" are on the way soon.

Multiplayer mode is receiving two new maps in next week's update, both Madagascar and Elevation will join the rotation for season pass holders. The developer stated that future maps will join the full rotation as they're released. Featured Playlists will be added with the update along with stability and performance fixes.

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Toward the end of January, Treyarch will implement League Play into Black Ops 4. This will make competitive more like the professional matches already being held for the game. For more information on Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 keep checking back with us here at GigamaxGames.com.

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Bungie Details Destiny 2: Black Armory Launch Plans

Bungie is giving Destiny 2 fans some information on what to expect with their next big paid DLC, Black Armory. The company also detailed issues that players may encounter in the week leading up to the update. Black Armory officially launches on December 4th, and Bungie wants to make sure that Guardians are aware of the changes coming to the popular FPS.

Curtain Lifted Off Destiny 2: Black Armory 

In the most recent Destiny 2 developer blog, the team announced that they were working on a list of temporary changes to keep players informed and encourages fans to post any bugs they encounter on the official help forum so they can get to work on the issue.

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Black Armory will be launched after the start of Destiny 2's next season, Season of the Forge, which begins on November 27th. It will be followed by the Season of the Drifter, which is proceeded by a season that Bungie has yet to reveal. Season of the Forge will add The Dawning event, new crucible content, and a variety of weapons. Holders of the annual pass that access Black Armory will obtain Light and Fury weapons, the new Forges of the Chain activity, a Raid Lair, and new exotics/legendaries.

Are You Ready Guardian? 

Bungie also suggested that the transition into the next year of Destiny 2 will come with a new set of changes and plans for the future. As of now, Bungie has a full year of content planned for the game and hasn't been clear on what comes after.

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"The time has come to begin a new conversation about how the Destiny endgame will continue to thrive in the months to come," says the blog. "What will each Season hold for every player of Destiny 2? How will the Annual Pass add to that experience? These are the questions we want to answer as we introduce you to a whole way to enjoy your hobby as a Guardians with new challenges to conquer and new rewards you’ll want to add to your inventory." (https://bit.ly/2TlxXMz)

This is the first developer update after Activision revealed that Destiny 2: Forsaken failed to meet sales targets. As Bungie moves forward with their plans for the game, they will definitely need to keep their revenue issues in mind. Black Armory is only a couple of weeks away so be sure to keep checking back with GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details on the expansion.

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Destiny 2: Forsaken Did Not Meet Sales Targets

Destiny 2's latest expansion, Forsaken, on Xbox One, PS4, and PC failed to meet Activision's sales expectations and the DLC's ability to re-energize the franchise. This report comes from the most recent Blizzard-Activision earnings call.

"While forsaken is a high-quality expansion with strong engagement and new modes of play, it did not achieve our commercial expectations," Activision Publishing boss Coddy Johnson said during the earnings call. "And there is still work to do to fully re-engage the core Destiny fanbase." (https://bit.ly/2DaAMdt)

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The images we've chosen for the article do not reflect our view of the situation...

Johnson also mentioned during the call that Activision plans on improving the pace of innovation and cadence of in-game content in Destiny 2. The company wants to create new ways for players to engage further with the game and purchase more in-game currency via microtransactions. This statement doesn't only reflect Destiny 2, but all of Activision's current franchises.

According to the company, those that are currently playing Destiny 2: Forsaken are deeply engaged with the content. However, Activision is starting to shift their focus on drawing in old players and bringing in a new audience. This is clearly evident with Activision's recent decision to make vanilla Destiny 2 free on PC for a limited time.

"We have not yet seen the full core re-engage in Destiny, which has kind of led to the underperformance against expectations to date," Johnson said. "Some players we think are still in 'wait and see' mode. If you're in, you're deeply engaged. If you're not, we're hoping now's the time to bring players back in and win them back." (https://bit.ly/2DaAMdt)

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nope definitely not...

Despite not reaching sales goals, monthly active users for Destiny 2 grew quarter over quarter and year over year for the period that ended on September 30th. Activision attributes the increased player figures to the release of Forsaken at the beginning of September.

The next big update to Destiny 2 comes in the form of the Black Armory expansion in December, which hopefully will take the games sales numbers a little closer to their projections. We here at Gigamax Games are big fans of the Destiny franchise so be sure to check back at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details.

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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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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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Microtransactions Pay Off Big For Activision Blizzard

Microtransactions Pay Off Big For Activision Blizzard

Microtransactions are a huge source of revenue for the video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The company announced today in an earnings report that revenue from "in-game net bookings," which contains DLC sales, loot boxes, and in-app purchases on mobile games, reached $4 billion in 2017. The fourth quarter alone secured the company $1 billion for additional content sold.

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Around $2 billion of Activision Blizzard's revenue in 2017 came from in-game net booking's in their mobile subsidiary, King, which owns and operates Candy Crush. The other $2 billion came from Activision Blizzard's console and PC efforts, along with the rest of their mobile ventures like Hearthstone. These two revenue streams were pointed out by Daniel Ahmad, an industry analyst, on Twitter.

More Games, More Money

Call of Duty: WWII offers microtransactions that give players their own in-game currency, Call of Duty Points. These points can then be used to purchase in-game items like loot boxes that net players cosmetics for their avatars. Additionally, Activision recently launched the first paid DLC pack, Resistance, which is being sold at $14.99 USD. In Overwatch, players spend their money on loot boxes that offer a variety of different skins and other cosmetic items. World of Warcraft also offers a vast in-game economy allowing players to spend real-world money on mounts, pets, and a host of other items.

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The Trend Continues

Microtransactions are a growing trend throughout the gaming industry with many companies jumping on the bandwagon. EA recently suffered serious backlash with their title Star Wars Battlefront II, which players believed contained a very hostile microtransaction system.

Not every modern game contains a microtransaction system. However, it is becoming a major profit earner and difficult to ignore for many businesses in the industry. Especially when Activision Blizzard was able to put up numbers like the $4 billion in revenue earned. Hopefully, gamers can continue to fight toxic systems like the one EA tried to put in place and show developers what a proper loot box structure should look like.

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New Crash Bandicoot Rumor and Gamers Heads Spin

New Crash Bandicoot Rumor and Gamers Heads Spin

Activision is rumored to be working on a brand new Crash Bandicoot game. With the incredible success of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, selling over 2 million copies, it would be a good move for the company and for gamers. The rumor broke after people spotted the 'Spring 2018 issue of Licensing Source Book Europe'. This game may have been a breakout hit but there is still no confirmed reports by Activision on if they will be delivering a new Crash Bandicoot game in 2019. There is, however, a lot of evidence pointing to it being a reality.

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Max Arguile, a manager of the merchandising company GB Eye reportedly shared some information he may not have had permission to disclose. “The new game was a huge success at retail with no marketing spend. Next year it will be going broader (Switch and PC) and there will be another game in 2019,” he said. “Activision has a five-year plan for this and GB Eye is delighted to be fully on board for all products.” http://bit.ly/2E5ZRrM

It would make sense for Activision to ride the Crash wave as long as possible. This PlayStation exclusive took the spot for the top-selling remastered collection in Sony's recent history. With the rumors causing so much excitement and the previous success of the remastered collection, it looks like Activision would be able to drop a successful new Crash Bandicoot game tomorrow without spending a dime on marketing once again. 

The Rumor Mill Keeps On Spinning

The rumors don’t stop at just a 2019 release. Those precarious parentheses in the alleged quote recorded by IGN did hold the names of two important consoles, Switch and PC. With the runaway success of the Switch and the massive popularity of PC gaming, a Crash Bandicoot game would be a wonderful addition to both consoles. Still, this is just a rumor but one that holds a lot of validity since Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was such a money maker. Opening up its audience would mean even more access to gamers wallets.

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Gigamax Games will be keeping a close eye on the progression of these developments surrounding the brand new Crash Bandicoot game that could possibly be released in 2019. Be sure to check back on this page for any updates or additional news from Activision. The gaming world couldn’t believe the headlines and with good reason, they’re not confirmed. However, let’s keep those fingers crossed because a new Crash Bandicoot game would put a smile on millions of gamers faces around the world.

Gameplay Anyone?

If you haven't had the chance to see gameplay from the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, this will help. Hope you enjoy!

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Sources:

http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/gamingnews/rumor-new-crash-bandicoot-coming-in-2019-r1483/

http://www.ibtimes.com/new-crash-bandicoot-game-rumored-be-released-activision-2019-2650114

http://www.ign.com/articles/2018/02/05/new-crash-bandicoot-game-rumoured-for-2019

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/09/24/crash-bandicoot-n-sane-trilogy-has-sold-over-2-5-million-copies-on-ps4/#69de39655a70

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