BioWare launched their new shared world shooter last week and although the game received mixed reviews on release the developer isn't giving up on the title. This has been made clear with BioWare's reveal of what changes and events players can expect over the next 90 days.
In a post that BioWare on their blog, Chad Robertson, Head of Live Service on Anthem, shared his vision for the first couple months of the game with a look at the 90-Day Roadmap of what the live-service team has planned.
Anthem in 90 Days
Below is a list of the activities in order of the month that they will be deployed. None of these updates have been given proper release dates, just timeframes. We'll be sure to keep an eye out for any official word from BioWare on a hard release date.
Anthem – February 2019:
New Freeplay Event: "Outlaw Outrage"
New Freeplay Event: "There Be Giants"
New Freeplay Event: Shaper Surge
Anthem Live Services – March 2019:
New Cosmetics: "Elysian Stronghold Caches"
Rewards: New Items
New Missions: Legendary Missions - Phase 1
New Freeplay Event: TBA (To Be Announced)
Freeplay Event: "There Be Giants"
Freeplay Event: "Outlaw Outrage"
Anthem Live Services – April 2019:
Expanded Progression: Mastery System
Rewards: New Items
Multiple Freeplay Events: TBA
Freeplay Event: Shaper Surge
New Missions: Legendary Missions – Phase 2
New Stronghold: "The Sunken"
Social Play: Weekly Stronghold Challenge
Social Play: Leaderboards
Social Play: Guilds
Anthem Live Services – May 2019:
Freeplay Events: TBA
New Missions: TBA
Rewards: New Items
Anthem fans have a lot to look forward to in the next couple of months. While post launch content has been a bit of a struggle for other shared world shooters, it seems BioWare is trying to get ahead of the issue by being clear with players on what gamers can expect.
New Battlefield V Trailer Teases Battle Royale Reveal
It is time for Battlefield fans to rejoice as the company behind the series, EA DICE, offered a brand new trailer for the next title, Battlefield V. This news comes only days before Europe's Gamescom convention and is followed by a teaser EA released to fans. Battlefield V is set to drop on October 11th for EA Access subscribers, October 16th for Deluxe Edition purchasers, and October 19th for those that only want the standard edition on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Battlefield 5 - Official Gamescom Trailer
The trailer certainly doesn't pull any punches when it comes to action sequences. It showcases a multitude of ways players will be able to shoot, stab, and destroy each other. All set to a sweet rendition of House of the Rising Sun, the trailer is definitely trying to portray the emotional turmoil taking place at the time. It definitely feels like DICE is going for a more cinematic experience in Battlefield V even during multiplayer battles as buildings crumble like never before and soldiers fall and climb over rubble while firing shots at each other.
Things Take a Mysterious Turn
During the final moments of the trailer, the gameplay footage takes a mysterious turn. With a plane flying over and focusing on a devastating ring of fire that is closing in around a group of feuding soldiers, this is almost certainly a tease for the Battle Royale mode that DICE said it will introduce in Battlefield V. The ring of fire seems to represent the "Circle" that is found in games like PUBG and Fortnite. When the trailer zooms in on the combatants, it shows not only classic ground soldiers but tanks as well. This addition of heavy vehicles will offer an extra layer to the Battle Royale formula that has yet to be seen.
Hopefully, this new trailer bodes well for whatever DICE is set to reveal at this year's Gamescom conference. We here at Gigamax Games are huge fans of the Battlefield series and absolutely can't wait for the next game in the series, Check back on GigamaxGames.com soon for all the latest in gaming news and industry updates!
Last month, DICE held an early Alpha for their upcoming game Battlefield 5. This gave players a chance to try out the Arctic Fjord map. The developer released a comprehensive blog post where it discusses the data and feedback they generated from the most recent trial.
Battlefield 5 Alpha: What DICE Needed To Know
One of the main reasons DICE held the Alpha was to test Battlefield 5's technical component, including backend systems, player scoring rate, and other critical aspects of the game. Another area the developer wanted to focus on was gameplay, more specifically, actually joining matches. Over the course of the Alpha, many issues occurred that were related to matchmaking configuration These issues resulted in players receiving error messages or being placed into less than suitable server locations leading to latency.
According to DICE, over the course of the Alpha, players found it easier to join matches by using the server browser. While many take the manual approach of finding a server, DICE said that it is important that regular matchmaking works reliably as well. Effective matchmaking relies on a multi-layered system that involves things like server location, skill level, and more.
"There are many factors to juggle when it comes to matchmaking: finding players with equal latency and skill level, and more--and these factors all need to co-exist," DICE said. "Getting the best possible matchmaking is a challenge of balance; we want to match you into the best possible server and experience, which may take a few moments of waiting, but at the same time not have you waiting too long to deploy." (https://bit.ly/2LbIm8O)
DICE also reported that they found many issues in keeping squads together during matches. The developer wanted to assure fans that these problems would be fixed by launch, as they said: "keeping you and your squad buddies together is a big priority for us." (https://bit.ly/2LbIm8O)
More Fixes Incoming!
On top of on working on various improvements to stability and matchmaking. DICE is finding time to work on improving the queue system, minimizing toxicity with a non-cross-faction chat room, and taking care of strange bugs.
Here is a look at some of the gameplay issues DICE is addressing after the Battlefield 5 Alpha:
Revives will feel "less clunky."
Buddy revive will be 2.5 seconds faster.
Starting ammo will remain limited, but some changes are being made for "optimal balance."
The use of "reinforcement" weapons--which are really powerful and are meant to help turn the tide of battle--will be toned down in some regards.
DICE will continue to tweak Time to Kill (TTK) values with things like tuning the amount of camera shake when you're hit. The developer will consider making weapon damage changes, too, if its current efforts aren't enough.
Recoil for some weapons will be tweaked
Battlefield 5 is set to launch on October 19th, but subscribers to EA/Origin Access can start their war on October 11th. Fans that purchase the Deluxe Edition will be able to play on October 16th. If anyone is a big fan of Battlefield, definitely look into the various ways to play early.
Battlefield is back in a spectacular way. It’s been sixteen years since Battlefield 1942 revolutionized first-person shooters and now DICE wants to shake things up once again with Battlefield V. Set in World War II, Battlefield V brings with it brand new game modes, mechanics, and systems. These changes will excite and possibly even worry some longtime Battlefield fans.
This week, DICE released the official reveal trailer for Battlefield V. Besides being visually stunning, it offered some great insight into what fans can expect in October of this year.
Free DLC But At What Cost?
DICE officially revealed that Battlefield V DLC's will be following a similar model to the way Overwatch handles theirs. Any and all DLC’s will be completely free for all players, no Premium Pass required. However, DICE will be relying on a steady stream of income from selling cosmetics that will not impact a players effectiveness in combat. The developer did make it clear that all the cosmetics will be able to be unlocked by playing the game as well.
New game modes - Multiplayer and Singleplayer
Eliminating paywalls isn’t the only way DICE plans on improving their latest Battlefield game. A new cooperative mode called ‘Combined Arms’ is being added. It was designed to bridge the gap between singleplayer and Battlefields in-depth multiplayer. This four-player co-op mode uses a mission generator that gives players the power to customize their experiences easily and can take place in a variety of different environments. If a mission gets out of hand, players will be forced to make a hard choice. They can either choose to keep everything they found up until that point, or push through and complete the mission which pays off in a big way.
[Image Source: Gameinformer.com]
Operations, the new mode that made its first appearance in Battlefield 1 is returning as ‘Grand Operations”. Not only will the maps evolve throughout the game, the game modes will change throughout the duration of the battle as well.
DICE gave an example of how one of the Grand Operations will play out. Set in Rotterdam, the attacking forces will begin in an airplane and drop down behind enemy lines, tasked with taking out the Defenders long-range artillery cannons. Defenders, in AA cannons, will be targeting these troop-carrying planes. Day two is a classic Operation game mode but it’s now called Breakthrough. Day three, the map transformed into a battle-torn version of Rotterdam. This is where players can see the destruction bombing runs have left behind. If attackers are able to score a decisive victory, the battle will end on day three. The battle will progress to day four if the score is close and that will be the new Last Stand mode. Ammunition is low, vehicles are either far and few between or nonexistent. If a squad is wiped, they cannot respawn so cooperation, revives, and resupplies are essential.
DICE wants to put more emphasis on squad cooperation. Players will only get a limited amount of ammo and grenades and players can’t regenerate back to full health after being shot. This will make medics and classes with ammo resupply gadgets absolutely vital. Gamers can also pick up ammo from downed enemies or regenerate health on a flag position. Resupplying at a flag point is only possible if one was constructed.
All of this could have a massive impact on the way snipers play the game. So before a sniper finds that perfect hiding spot far away from the front lines, they’ll need to either have a buddy there with supplies or go around and collect enough ammunition to hold them over. This could address those frustrating moments where it seems like there’s just no place to hide from an ace sniper in a well-fortified position.
Fortifications and Improvements To The Frostbite Engine
Speaking about fortified positions, every player will be capable of making fortifications. They will even be able to rebuild parts of broken down structures. This new mechanic isn’t just isolated to the inside of buildings, gamers can deploy sandbags out in the open, set up anti-tank obstacles, barbed wire, and even resupply centers near flag positions.
[Image Source: Gameinformer.com]
The Frostbite Engine has been a staple of the battlefield games. Being able to destroy buildings and cover not only changes the landscape but it can also force the opposing team to change their strategy. However, in Battlefield V, DICE takes it even a step further. Now, the broken parts of buildings aren’t just rendered objects, they are actually the “real” pieces of the structure. If an artillery shell hits the outside of the building, debris will be launched inwards and vice-versa. Furthermore, pieces of a destroyed wall might even be hanging on by a thread, only to fall after a nearby explosion shakes the Earth.
Towing Weapons and Grenade Spam
Coming to Battlefield V is the ability to move around those once stationary AA guns or the mighty .50 cal. Tanks can tow these tide-turning weapons around the combat zone, absolutely transforming how these weapons will be utilized. Repositioning these heavy-hitting weapons to where they will be most useful, either to defending important objectives or use them as a means of attack. Players can use the towed AA guns or .50 cals while attached to the tank. Tanks can fire the main gun as soldiers on the towed AA or .50 caliber guns launch a barrage of lead at the enemy.
The issue with grenade spam is something DICE has been working to address for quite some time. Their response to this is letting players shoot grenades out of the air and if they react quick enough, throw grenades back.
Character Environment Interaction
The way characters interact and affect the environment has also been upgraded in a massive way. Not only have the graphics taken a massive step forward, the environment reacts to gamers being present in the landscape. Adding an incredible layer of realism, when players are wading or running through water, they will lift their legs higher. Soldiers can even slip when running on mud or rocks. Characters will also charge to cover will all their might, aggressively throwing and banging their bodies on the cover when running to the new position. High grass will respond to gamers movements, potentially giving away their position to the enemy.
[Image Source: Ign.com]
Character customization has become incredibly popular throughout the gaming community. DICE took a good hard look at Battlefield V and invested in the trend. Gamers can now customize their soldiers head to toe. Face paint, facial features, hair, pants, upper torso, and accessories are all in play. This new mechanic will give players a chance to truly make their soldier their own. Female soldiers can also be found around the battlefield. DICE announced they are always willing to sacrifice historical accuracy for fun and having the option to choose and customize their character to their liking always makes a game more enjoyable.
There are so many impressive improvements and changes coming to Battlefield V. The Gigamax crew are all huge fans of the series and cannot wait to get their hands on DICE’s next game. The new WWII is expected to release on October 19, 2018, but if this seems like an unbearable weight, there’s always some Battlefield 1 gameplay below.
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.
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
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.
News broke early this year that Electronic Arts will release the new Battlefield in fall. At that time there were details available but fans speculated that it could be a new Battlefield: Bad Company. Unfortunately for those looking forward to a new Bad Company, reports came in from GamesBeat that the next game will be called Battlefield V.
Known as Battlefield 2 internally, it changed names before word reached the public. The report from GamesBeat also made it clear that this would not be a remaster of the 2005 Battlefield 2. It insists the upcoming entry will be an entirely new game set during WWII. EA is expected to make the official announcement soon. The new title will be playable at EA Play in June and as for now, is still slated for release in the fall of 2018.
Back To World War II
Battlefield V will be set in World War II, much like the most recent Call of Duty: WWII. Many were happy that CoD took the jump back in time to the 1940’s but it’s yet to be seen if audiences will be as excited for Battlefield V’s visit to second world war.
EA proved that the gaming community was ready for a change with the success of Battlefield I. No previous Battlefield game ever went back to World War One and it ended up being an extremely good move for the company. Selling faster than Battlefield 4 and it even reached over 25 million players as of December.
Apparently, there is still a heavy appetite for historically based first-person shooters. The market has been flooded in recent years by modern or future warfare. There was a rumor floating around that the developer, DICE, was working on a Vietnam War series but this was found to be false. The developer did say that they will remain open to fan feedback and may consider bringing the series back.
Unfortunate news for anyone excited about the upcoming action RPG, Anthem. Gamers are going to have to wait an extra year for the ambitious title to come out. Anthem was initially slated to be released in 2018 but now the game that shares many qualities with Destiny will release in 2019. EA confirmed the delay in their quarterly earnings calls with investors. Although, BioWare is claiming that this move is not a delay.
Right before the call, EA spoke with the Wall Street Journal, confirming a recent report from Kotaku that claimed Anthem was delayed. While speaking with the Wall Street Journal, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen said that this was not actually a delay, but when the game was supposed to come out all along, going on to state that people were "just trying to make a story." However, this story doesn't seem to be line up because the company had previously slated the game to release on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018.
EA did not go into further detail into why their latest IP is now expected to drop in 2019. The initial Kotaku report claims that it was due in part to issues with development. Their statement to Wall Street Journal seems to suggest that BioWare instead wants to wait for a less saturated period for their launch window. Their earnings report made no mention of the news either, so it seems they are sticking to their guns continuing to insist it was not a delay.
In other Anthem news the executive producer behind Dragon Age, Mark Darrah recently confirmed he had joined the project, maintaining his role as executive producer. BioWare has recently gone through a ton of restructuring after the critically frowned upon launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda. While there's not much hope we'll hear about an Anthem release date anytime soon, we'll be sure to deliver all the latest news surrounding the game so be sure to check back for more information.
Seeing the success of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu inspired some of the leading game companies to emulate the idea. Sony used their own game streaming service, PS Now to some extent to show that it is possible, but more work needs to be done to make it a viable application. While speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference this week, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen said you can expect the company to launch its unannounced streaming service within the next 2-3 years. According to Jorgensen, the company doesn't plan on doing this alone and is working with an undisclosed partner.
The Time Is Now To Do It Right
Jorgensen also said one of the variables holding back streaming in recent years was the lack of widespread data centers. If your home is located relatively far from one of these facilities, then your streaming quality immediately goes down. He credited the work of companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple, saying that thanks to these companies and the data centers they've created, EA now has the confidence to build their own game streaming service.
The CFO also noted a host of other issues that needed to be addressed while they develop their platform. He added that internet speeds were going up in a lot of places, but not everywhere. This fact is one of the biggest downfalls of streaming services. Jorgensen also made it very clear that he doesn't see game streaming replacing console gaming anytime soon if not ever.
The Idea Is Building Steam
Interestingly enough head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has been openly discussing Microsoft's own plans to release a game streaming service. Maybe not so coincidentally, the company stated that their service will launch around 2020 as well. This would match up with EA's timeframe also indicating that these two gaming powerhouses could be working on perfecting the medium.
With streaming becoming the norm for most peoples TV and movie watching, it is no surprise that gaming companies would want to get in on the action. Ultimately, this work could pay off big time if the service hammers out the issues that currently plague services like PS Now. An incredible amount of effort is needed, but we're confident EA has the resources to put together a decent game streaming service (whether or not you agree with their sometimes shady business practices). We'll be keeping a close eye on their work so be sure to check back with GigamaxGames.com for all the latest in gaming news and industry updates!
Despite working with EA for most of Titanfall's lifetime, Respawn Entertainment wasn't actually owned by the gaming giant. As of today, EA announced that it has purchased the California based developer and their mech-based FPS.
EA has been the publisher for all of Respawn's games so far, which includes last year's hit Titanfall 2. Also announced today was that the studio is working on a new Titanfall game, a third person Star Wars title, and a VR game that has not been detailed. Not much has been said about the next new Titanfall but Respawn previously expressed interest in continuing the series. Currently, the only details known about the Star Wars title are that it is being directed by Stig Asmussen, who was previously the director of God of War III. This is good news since EA recently shut down Visceral Games, the studio behind Dead Space that was also working on a Star Wars title.
The Offical Word
EA CEO, Andrew Wilson, said in a press release "We've seen firsthand the world-class caliber of Respawn as a development studio with incredible vision, deep talent, and an inspiring creative mindset," He continued "Our longtime partnership is grounded in a shared desire to push the boundaries and deliver extraordinary and innovative new experiences for players around the world. Together, we've brought this to life in the Titanfall franchise, and now with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more amazing things in the future." (http://bit.ly/2hoC104)
Why Did Respawn Sell?
In an open letter on Respawn's website the CEO, Vince Zampella, detailed the decision to sell the company, which specifically notes that he will remain acting CEO. "While it wasn't necessary, going with EA made a lot of sense," he said. "With Titanfall and Star Wars, EA has been a great development partner that supports us and doesn't interfere with our process for making games or studio culture. EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we've always had. We've been talking closely with the leadership at EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first." (http://bit.ly/2zK2uNt)
EA was an integral force in getting Respawn Entertainment off the ground after its founders, Zampella and Jason West, were fired from the Call of Duty developer, Infinity Ward. The deal cost EA $151 million dollars in cash and up to $164 million in equity. Performance indicators could also raise the cash figure by another $140 million.
While many may worry that EA will ruin the Titanfall series, it must be remembered that EA was acting publisher for the series already, meaning they made a ton of major decisions for the previous games already. This move makes sure the studio has the resources necessary to continue making great games for fans of their beloved series. It will be exciting to see what the talent at Respawn will make with the vast resources EA has to offer.
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.
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.
Coffee Stain Studios, the original team behind Goat Simulator and Sanctum just released Satisfactory for PC on Epic Games Store for early access. Satisfactory is a gorgeous first-person factory builder sim, with a dash of No Man’s Sky and a splash of mystery. The game has been in closed alpha since October 2018 but Coffee […]
Valve has revealed that it's going to reassess user reviews on its digital game market, Steam, in order to ensure developers products are not being review bombed. In a post on the Steam blog, Valve stated that it will now "identify off-topic review bombs, and remove them from the Review Score." "We define an off-topic […]