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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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New Tool Will Help Valve Address Steam Review Bombing

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."

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"We define an off-topic review bomb as one where the focus of those reviews is on a topic that we consider unrelated to the likelihood that future purchasers will be happy if they buy the game, and hence not something that should be added to the Review Score," Valve continued. The company admits there's still a bit of a grey area with this definition, so it's developed a tool that "identifies any anomalous review activity on all games on Steam in as close to real-time as possible."

After the new tool finds reviews that pose a problem, it will alert Valve who then will launch their own investigation into the matter. If Valve then finds the user reviews are malicious and not real, the developer of the title will be notified that every review within the time period of the review bomb will be removed from the game's overall score on Steam. After all of this, the developer will have to go through the reviews and decide which ones will be deleted.

Steam

Unfortunately, the new tool is unable to make the distinction between a good and bad review so even the real ones will be deleted in this new process. "But as we mentioned back in our first User Review post, our data shows us that review bombs tend to be temporary distortions, so we believe the Review Score will still be accurate, and other players will still be able to find and read your review within the period," Valve wrote on the blog. Negative comments that pertain to DRM or EULA changes will be considered off-topic review bombings.

If developers don't want their game included in the new algorithm, they are able to opt out of the process when putting their game on the Steam Store. The company is also working on a number of new updates for User Reviews but those won't be revealed until a later date.

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Creator of Left 4 Dead Announces New Zombie Survival Title Back 4 Blood

The developer behind Left 4 Dead and Evolve, Turtle Rock Studios, has announced a new zombie co-op shooter that's set to be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Back 4 Blood is said to be a premium Triple A title that utilizes the studios talent at making similar titles while also leveraging new tech to create a better experience on current gen systems.

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Left 4 Dead 2 Screenshot

Have Questions About Back 4 Blood?

Turtle Rock released a faqs page that has some extra details about the game. Although, it never mentions post-launch content or microtransactions, and reinforces that Back 4 Blood is a brand new IP that has nothing to do with Left 4 Dead. It also states that the game will contain a campaign and PVP, but points out that it is not a Battle Royale title.

Some information can be gathered from the way key individuals are talking about the project. The Creative Direct, Phil Robb, said the studio is adding talent to the team and is using knowledge from previous titles on Back 4 Blood. While the Design Director, Chris Ashton, explained that this project has been on the team's mind for quite some time.

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Left 4 Dead 2 Screenshot

"It's hard to overstate what an awesome opportunity this is," Ashton said. "We get to return to a genre that was born in our studio with over 10 years of additional experience and zombie ideas racked up in our brains. We also have some of the best teammates in the business at WBIE, who understand our development process and are equally committed to our player-first mentality. We love being able to announce, so we can start working with the community right away."

After making Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock made Evolve which borrowed ideas from the aforementioned title but added a fifth player that took the role of a monster trying to murder their human counterparts. Recently the studio was allegedly working on a new fantasy game for Perfect World, but according to the faqs page that project has stopped development.

Be sure to stick around Gigamax Games as more details become available!

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Nintendo Japan Reveals Typical Employee Salary

Nintendo, a company that has become increasingly transparent with fans over the past couple years, recently offered an inside look into its Japanese workforce. Spotted by industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, the Nintendo of Japan recruitment page delivers some interesting statistics about their employees including average age, salary, length of employment, and more.

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Closer Look at Nintendo Japan

Nintendo of Japan employs more than 2,000 people, and the average age of the staff is 38.6. The typical employee of Nintendo makes $80,000 per year, and has worked for the company an average of 13.5 years. Another interesting statistic is that a typical work day for an Nintendo employee is 7 hours and 45 minutes.


As mentioned above, this information only relates to Nintendo of Japan. The famous company behind Mario, Zelda, and Metroid has subsidiaries around the world including Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe.

It's always interesting to get an inside look at the inner workings of a company, especially for those that are interested in a career working for a major video game developer. Although, it is important to remember that these numbers are simply averages and of course there will be some outliers.

For more news relating to the corporate side of the video game industry, be sure to keep checking back with us here at GigamaxGames.com.

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Farming Simulator 19 Breaks Franchise Sales Record

While it hasn't been for out long, Farming Simulator 19 is already proving to be the most successful game in the franchise. 1 million copies of the game have been sold, counting both digital and physical sales. The press release that announced this big achievement also pointed out that Farming Simulator 19 was released on November 20th, around the same time many major titles were also dropped. 

Farming Simulator: 1 Million Copies, 10 Days

1 million copies sold in 10 days represents a new sales record for the series according to the CEO of Giant's Software, Christian Amman. "It's incredible to see the impact of the team's hard work. Farming Simulator 19 offers so many new opportunities and our players are thrilled about them. Never before has a Farming Simulator game reached the one million mark so quickly and we are proud and happy that so many players join us on this amazing journey," Amman stated.

John Bert, COO of Focus Home Interactive, the publisher for Farming Simulator 19,  added that the company is very proud of Giants Software and their commitment to providing fans of their series top notch quality. One look at various score aggregators around the web reveals that the game is being well received by critics. 

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Farming Simulator 19 features a completely overhauled graphics engine that delivers the best graphics the series has ever seen. John Deere has also been added to the game as a new major license. Along with John Deere's precense, gamers will find new locations across America and Europe to start your farming operation, along with a variety of horses to ride around your property. 

It is great to see a game find its niche and really succeed in providing fans exactly what they want. Farming Simulator may not be for everyone, but its sales numbers and reviews show the impact of this unique game. 

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Fallout 76 & Black Ops 4 Did Not Meet GameStop Sales Projections

Fallout 76 & Black Ops 4 Did Not Meet GameStop Sales Projections

The latest GameStop earning report revealed that two of the year's biggest releases failed to meet the company's sales projections. Both Fallout 76 and Black Ops 4 did not sell as well as the major video game retailer expected and Gamestop had some answers on why that could be.

CFO of GameStop, Rob Lloyd said that Black Ops 4 was "Not as successful as we had hoped." As for Fallout 76, the executive attributed the poor sales to the negative review scores the open world RPG received. "Obviously, you can see in the market what the Metacritic scores are around Fallout 76, and that's impacted its sell-through. I'll probably just leave it at that."

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Some of the big name sports games that were released also failed to meet the company's expectations in regards to sales. While Lloyd didn't mention any names, Madden NFL 19, Fifa 19, NBA 2K19, and NHL 19 were all released between August and September of this year.

It's Not All Bad...

Not all of the news from the earnings report was negative, though. According to the CEO, both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spider-Man PS4 were GameStop's highest selling games. Even though Black Ops 4 did not meet their sales expectations, the game releasing in October instead of November helped boost Gamestop's overall games sales for the quarter by 10%.

GameStop's total global sales which include hardware, software, accessories, and more, rose by 4.8% to $2.1 billion for the quarter, which ended on November 3rd. New hardware sales rose 12.8% due to increased sales from PS4 and Xbox One. Games sales had a massive jump of 10.9% and accessories sales had the biggest gain of 32.6%. Despite these sizable increases, pre-owned sales dropped by 13.4%.

The company posted a loss of $488.6 million for the quarter, which compares to a profit of $59.4 million in the same quarter last year. GameStop says that this loss was attributed to an impairment charge that was worth $587.5 million that it paid as a result of the "sustained decline in the company's share price."

What's Next?

It seems as if the trend in gaming from physical to digital purchases is impacting GameStop in a big way. Physical sales and reselling were once the money maker for the games retailer, but now the company must focus on finding new ways of generating revenue in online markets. We'll be sure to keep a close eye on the future of GameStop, so be sure to keep checking back with GigamaxGames.com for all the latest information.

Source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4225543-gamestop-corp-gme-ceo-shane-kim-q3-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript

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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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Telltale Announces Majority Studio Closure

Telltale, the developer behind many successful story-based games such as The Walking Dead, Batman, and The Wolf Among us, has released a statement confirming that the studio is at least partially closing down. While the announcement doesn't include what will happen to their titles that are currently development but the studio did promise more updates in the upcoming weeks. Telltale is now run by a skeleton crew of 25 employees, but it is unclear how long they will be working for the company. You can see the full statement below:


Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company's employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company's obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement:

"It's been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.

Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.


Telltale Games

Unfortunately, other than this report and some tweets from employees, details surrounding the closure are few and far between. It is always a shame to see a developer of this caliber forced to shut their doors, but in an industry that is quickly growing saturated, it is a sad consequence of having access to a massive amount of quality games. Gigamax Games will be sure to keep an eye out for more details so check back here on GigamaxGames.com for all the latest.

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1 Day, 5 Titles, Game Changing Updates

1 Day, 5 Titles, Game Changing Updates

One summer day shook the world of video games to its core. Yesterday, 7/24/18 didn’t bring along a major release but it did offer game changing updates to major titles and a controversial one as well. No Man’s Sky, Overwatch, Fortnite, GTA Online, and Metal Gear Solid 5 all received impressive, game changing updates, all on the same day.

Some of these games are years old but continue to flourish as game changing updates continue bringing new, fresh content to gamers around the world. The video game industry is changing and now an update can create the same or even more excitement than a brand new video game release.

Fortnite Birthday Patch

Everyone loves cake and now Fortnite players will be able to celebrate Fortnites 1st birthday by finding cakes around the island. Each birthday challenge completed will unlock a “slice” of the birthday cosmetic set. Playground mode is coming back today, Wednesday, July 25th as well. In Playground mode, new team select options are being added so friends can squad up and organize team battles for fun, training or practice. The compact SMG, the newest Battle Royale weapon has also been added. 

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Cake Cake Cake Cake Cake

Save the World mode is receiving a new, #Fortnite1st special in-game quest line. The reward for completing it will be “Birthday Brigade Ramirez”. Players will also be able to find and eat birthday cakes to earn tickets which they can spend on a limited time Birthday Llama. Along with the birthday celebrations, Save the World players will be able to venture into the desert of Canny Valley and explore Thunder Route 99. New story, secrets, and environments await!

No Man’s Sky NEXT

Over two years after its release, No Man’s Sky is much closer to the game the developers first promised.

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No Man's Sky is back in a big way!

No Man’s Sky NEXT brings with it a variety of game changing updates, including weekly content and community events. They are free for all players and requires no microtransactions. Explorers will take part in these community missions to unlock rewards and customizations. People will also be able to interact with Xbox One Mixer streamers by modifying gameplay. Now, for even more game changers…

  • The previously announced multiplayer features and third-person mode are live.
  • All main resources have been reworked to increase realism.
  • Planetary resources have been expanded. Unique substances and items are determined by the planet’s biome, atmospheric conditions, and stellar classification.
  • Pack up deployable tech in your inventory.
  • Crafting has become more robust, allowing for buildable refineries to convert raw substances into valuable materials.
  • Unique procedurally generated tech to update the Exosuit, Multi-Tool and Starships have been added.
  • Players can excavate buried runes, find hidden treasures and turn salvaged components into raw base parts with the Terrain Manipulator and Blueprint Analyser, respectively.
  • Creatures will take on a more realistic feel and act more natural, herding together, grazing and fleeing from danger.

Overwatch New Character

The 28th hero has been added to the Overwatch roster. Hammond, aka “Wrecking Ball” is now available to play on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This adorable hamster is a rolling and swinging, ball of death. Overwatch embraced its wackiness with this unique character and the community is loving every second of it. Take a look at what makes this unique character so deadly and adorable in the video below.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain  

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Make some noise for Quiet!

Three years after its release, Metal Gear Solid V releases a brand new patch. The multiplayer mode received its first update in a year. New weapons, gadgets and difficulty missions have been added, too. Fans of the series will also be happy to hear gamers can play as Quiet to infiltrate FOB missions as well as having access to additional difficulties.

GTA Online: After Hours

Rockstar Games brought the world of Grand Theft Auto V, GTA Online: After Hours. The most profitable entertainment product of all time is giving gamers the chance to create their own entertainment for the crime-ridden online world.

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Criminal Clubbing!

  • Run missions to secure bar and security staff, equipment and resident DJ.
  • Acquire your Nightclub Warehouse where players can manage all current businesses and expand your criminal empire.
  • Turf wars take on a new light with Business Battles. This is a first-come-first-serve opportunity for business owners, MCs and Organizations to steal “product” for their personal gain.
  • GTA Online: After Hours is also bringing seven new vehicles to Grand Theft Auto 5.

One day brought game changing updates to five titles. Years after their release, these games continue to be supported by developers, entertaining fans and expanding their universes.

The video game industry has gone through some interesting changes over the past few years. "Games as a service" has dominated the industry and the community is torn over how they feel about the business model. However, one undeniable benefit of this model is that the games people love continue to evolve and that seems to have gamers excited.

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We Happy Few Will Release In Australia

We Happy Few Will Release In Australia

Australia has incredibly strict censorship laws, especially when it comes to video games. We Happy Few was the most recent video game to face the Australian Classification Board (ACB). This game was at risk of becoming unavailable to Australian audiences when it's released on August 10th, 2018. 

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The ACB released a statement last week announcing that they would reconsider their initial ruling of completely banning the game. News broke yesterday (7/3/18) that We Happy Few would receive an R18+ rating instead of being completely banned from the country. This all comes after their decision in May where the ACB said the game incentivized drug use. A made-up drug called “Joy” is a primary plot point in the game and that was considered to cross a line.

“A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the computer game We Happy Few is classified R18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice Fantasy violence and interactive drug use,” read the official statement from the Classification Review Board. 

History of Australia’s Video Game Censorship

Banning video games in Australia was a much more common occurrence before 2011. Before then, Australia could only rate video games up to MA15+ (similar to T in the United States). R18+ was reserved only for film, and video games with similar content would be completely banned from the country as the appropriate classification wasn’t available. In July and August of 2011, the Australian Attorneys-General finally opened up the R18+ rating for video games as well.

Some Games Banned In Australia Over The Past 10 Years

  • Dark Sector
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
  • MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death
  • NecroVisioN
  • Omega Labyrinth Z
  • Risen
  • Saints Row IV
  • State of Decay
  • Shellshock 2: Blood Trails
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Syndicate
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  • Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni
  • GTA 5

A Close Call for We Happy Few

We Happy Few almost made it on this list above before the ACB came to their senses and awarded this video game an R18+ rating. Australia takes its censorship extremely seriously. There have been many games like the massively popular Left 4 Dead 2 that were initially banned from the country, but only after a highly edited version of the original game was it made available. 

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Since the R18+ rating began covering video games, Australian audiences have been granted access to some of the most popular titles on the global market. This was arguably the most important development in the Australian video game industry in the past 10 years. Especially now, as video games become more realistic, there's no telling which hits would have never made it to the massive island country. 

Gigamax Games played the alpha of We Happy Few before the substantial updates the game received over the past year. This interesting universe was a colorful world filled with mystery and imagination. Gamers in Australia would have missed out on a potentially incredible adventure if the R18+ rating still didn’t cover video games.

Watch Gameplay of We Happy Few Early In Its Development

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