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Blizzard Cuts Back Heroes of the Storm Development

Things are not looking good for Blizzard's MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, a title that blended together all of the company's games like Overwatch, Diablo, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft. The president of Blizzard, J. Allen Brack, and chief development officer, Ray Gresko, announced today that developers are being pulled from the game and being transferred to different projects within the company. 

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In a press release that was made public today, Brack and Gresko said that it was a difficult decision to make and it will ultimately impact the future of the game. 

“Over the past several years, the work of evaluating our development processes and making hard decisions has led to new games and other products that we’re proud of,” Blizzard said. “We now have more live games and unannounced projects than at any point in the company’s history. We’re also at a point where we need to take some of our talented developers and bring their skills to other projects. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to shift some developers from Heroes of the Storm to other teams, and we’re excited to see the passion, knowledge, and experience that they’ll bring to those projects. This isn’t the first time we’ve had to make tough choices like this. Games like Diablo II, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Overwatch, and more would not exist had we not made similar decisions in the past.” 

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This Isn't the End for Heroes of the Storm

The company assured they will continue development of the title, supporting the game with new characters and events, but the time between these updates will increase. According to the two executives, this is to set up Heroes of the Storm for long-term sustainability. 

Unfortunately, this news also means that Blizzard had to cancel both of their planned eSports events for Heroes of the Storm. The pro-level tournament, Heroes Global Championship, and the collegiate level contest, Heroes of the Dorm will get the axe. 

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Tough Call for Blizzard

“[A]fter looking at all of our priorities and options in light of the change with the game, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019,” the press release read. “This was another very difficult decision for us to make. The love that the community has for these programs is deeply felt by everyone who works on them, but we ultimately feel this is the right decision versus moving forward in a way that would not meet the standards that players and fans have come to expect.” 

It is a shame that this is the beginning of the end for a game that many enjoyed so much. Blizzard is making a responsible move by reallocating employees internally rather than laying people off. The MOBA space has plenty of competition in today's market and it looks like Heroes of the Storm couldn't keep up with games like League of Legends and DOTA. We here at Gigamax will keep a close eye on these deveopments, so be sure to check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details. 

Source: news.blizzard.com/en-us/blizzard/22833558/heroes-of-the-storm-news

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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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Fortnite Season 7 Has Arrived With Plenty of Changes

Fortnite Season 7 Has Arrived With Plenty of Changes

Epic Games officially kicked off Season 7 of their insanely popular shooter, Fortnite, with the launch of their 7.00 update. As with every other season before it, this is a substantial patch that signifies the start of major changes to the game in the form of an event. In this update, an iceberg has collided with the Fortnite island, which expanded the map, added an icy look over sections of the terrain, added a plane, new skins, and plenty more.

"Discover new areas such as Frosty Flights, Polar Peak, and more," Epic says in the patch notes. "Uncover what’s in the new Battle Pass, rule the skies with the new X-4 Stormwing plane, and change the style of some of your favorite weapons and items with Wraps in Battle Royale."

Take to the Skys

The plane is able to hold five players, the pilot and four other people who ride along on the wings. The flying vehicle features a mounted turret that makes it a devastating mobile weapon.

With the new season also comes a new battle pass that features over 100 new cosmetic items for players to unlock by completing challenges and playing the game. Along with the typical cosmetics, Epic created a new type called Wraps which "allow you to customize your weapons and vehicles with all new looks to match and complement your favorite outfits." (https://bit.ly/2RDLdeb)

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Balloons have been adjusted so that players can still use their guns with the item. Epic also gave the boot to a bunch of items with the start of Fortnite Season 7 including Shadow Stones, Port-A-Fort, Chiller, Clinger, Double Barreled Shotgun, and Shockwave Grenade.

One of the biggest additions to Season 7 is Creative Mode, a sandbox based experience that encourages players to build unique Fortnite adventures either alone or with friends on their own private island. "It's a brand new way to experience the world of Fortnite," Epic said about the mode. "Design games, race around the island, battle your friends in new ways and build your dream Fortnite. It's all happening on your own private island where everything you make is saved."

Fortnite is currently a powerhouse in the multiplayer gaming space and it appears that Epic has no plans of slowing down on releasing updates for their popular shooter. If you'd like to see a full breakdown of all the changes, check out the full patch notes on Fortnite's website.

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Bethesda Reveals December 4th Fallout 76 Patch Notes

Bethesda Reveals December 4th Fallout 76 Patch Notes

Bethesda recently announced that a big patch was heading to Fallout 76 on December 4th, and now the developer has revealed exactly what's coming to the open world RPG.

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One of the biggest changes coming to the game is a huge increase to stash space from 400 to 600 that could go even increase later. The update is also set to include a host of stability improvements to the client and servers that will ultimately improve the game's overall experience.

Fallout 76 Impressions and Gameplay

Fallout 76 will be receiving a variety of balance changes such as increasing the number of loot drops from boss type enemies and automatic weapon damage is being boosted by 20% to help players feel more powerful while traversing the wasteland.

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There are also plenty of bug fixes in the massive update. One fixes an issue where an infinite loading screen would occur if a player got signed out of their console while playing. On Xbox One specifically, the patch repairs an issue that would crash the game upon accepting team invites. Bethesda has also added some UI, survival, and perk changes. For a look at all the changes being implemented to Fallout 76, you can find the full patch notes from Bethesda's website.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Aiming For Red Dead Redemption 2 Quality

The developer behind the Witcher, CD Projekt Red, plans to make their next major RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, as detailed and refined as the recently released Red Dead Redemption 2. CD Projekt Red's CEO, Adam Kicinski, revealed during an investor call that the western themed shooter has taught the studio that they have to release amazing titles so that they can earn a "nice fat slice of cake." (https://bit.ly/2KwJzYU)

These comments were a response to an investor's question on what lessons CD Projekt Red took away from Red Dead Redemption 2 that will help them make Cyberpunk 2077 even better, and if the studio believes it can score as high critically as Rockstar's title.

CD Projekt Red Confident in Cyberpunk 2077

"Without a doubt, quality is of paramount importance," Kicinski said. "We strive to publish games which are as refined as Red Dead Redemption 2, and recent Rockstar releases in general. That game is excellent, by the way, we are rooting for it. Rave reviews, excellent sales. What does that teach us? Well, it teaches us that we need to publish extraordinary games, and that's exactly what we are planning." (https://bit.ly/2KwJzYU)

Kicinski has seen a trend in gaming today where people focus on more hit releases and ignore titles that don't necessarily capture their attention. Most people don't have much time to commit to games so CD Projekt Red is dedicated to making Cyberpunk 2077 the best it can be.

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"Gamers, it seems, tend to focus more and more on hit releases. There's only so much time one can devote to video games, and while their gaming community is growing, time cannot be stretched," he said. "There is--well, maybe not a surfeit, but a fair deal of good games out there, and playing them consumes a lot of time." (https://bit.ly/2KwJzYU)

"So it pays to be among the best--that's how you get a nice fat slice of cake, businesswise, and the same cannot be said for the lower leagues. In summary, we are rooting for Rockstar and for Red Dead Redemption 2, and we're happy to see that excellent games continue to sell well." (https://bit.ly/2KwJzYU)

Cyberpunk 2077 on the Horizon

Another detail Kicinski revealed during the presentation is what stage of development Cyberpunk 2077 is in. As of now, the team is working on fleshing out the game world and working on making it even more detailed than the gameplay demo that was shown off during E3 2018. Development appears to be on schedule but there is still plenty more to be done before the game is ready for release.

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"We are filling the world with content and tweaking things, and this involves a great deal of hard work on the part of developers," Kicinski said. "What I can say today is that we're progressing fast and according to plan. When we finish, there's also the hugely important phase of polishing all that game content. There was a question about the quality of the game we plan to deliver at launch and our intention is to deliver something of great quality. Once the game is complete, we can begin to patch various bugs, both major and minor, and we are setting aside time to complete this process." (https://bit.ly/2KwJzYU)

Cyberpunk 2077 gives players control of a mercenary named V who can be augmented with a variety of cybernetic augments that improve his/her skills or give the player more abilities. The game is set in the futuristic locale of Night City and plays in first-person as opposed to Witcher's third person perspective.  This title is sure to make the headlines when it releases so be sure to check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details.

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Kingdom Hearts 3 Gets New “Together” Trailer

After over a decade of work, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally finished development. For those that grew up with the series, this is a wild statement and Square Enix released a trailer to celebrate. Most of the previous trailers that the company showed off featured one or two of the Disney characters such as Pooh Bear or Rapunzel, but this one is meant to show off the full scope of the mash-up.

Playing Kingdom Hearts 3 Together

The "Together" trailer, which you can watch above, includes characters and worlds from Frozen, Tangled, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Big Hero Six, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hercules. These locations join a number of worlds fans will recognize from the series as the game seeks to wrap up Sora's fight against the forces of darkness that plagues these realms.

Square Enix announced in a tweet that development had been completed and also mentioned that now would be a perfect time to play through Kingdom Hearts 1.5, 2.5, and 2.8. Those that want to own all of these games can purchase the Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far Bundle for $40. This includes both of the remastered versions of the main games along with the side adventures; Chain of Memories, Birth By Sleep, and Dream Drop Distance.

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Kingdom Hearts 3 is set to release on January 29th, 2019 and will be the first numbered game in the series since Kingdom Hearts 2 released in 2005. Square Enix and Disney know fans have waited a long time to see the conclusion of this epic story and put in a ton of work to ensure that it was a perfect experience.

We here at Gigamax are certainly excited to see what Kingdom Hearts 3 has in store for us and will certainly have plenty of coverage as the release date draws closer so be sure to check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest information!

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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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Ubisoft Reveals Operation Wind Bastion Operators

Ubisoft revealed the next two battle-hardened operators that are making their way to Rainbow Six Siege in the next major update, Operation Wind Bastion. The two new characters go by the names Kaid the defender, and Nomad the attacker.

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Operation Wind Bastion New Operators

According to the lore of Rainbow Six Siege, Kaid is a traditionalist soldier who encourages his team to stop over-relying on technology. This new operators main gadget is the Rtila Electroclaw, which can be deployed on reinforced walls, hatches, barbed wire, and deployable shields to add an electrical effect that shocks opponents. While this may sound close to Bandit's ability, Kaid is much more of a tank and his Electroclaw is a more versatile tool that can be fired from a distance to quickly close off walls and hatches from enemies, but at a lower damage percentage.

While the second operator hasn't officially been revealed by Ubisoft, leaks popped up on the Rainbow Six Siege subreddit showing off the new character. Nomad's abilities appear to be a bit more mystical than players are used to, with the unique power of keeping enemies away with the wind. This appears to be a re-tooling of an enemy ability from Siege's limited time event, Outbreak. When used in the zombie mode, this ability also broke walls and objects.

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How her gadget works is less clear, but the trailer for Operation Wind Bastion seems to suggest she utilizes some sort of proximity dart. Ubisoft did drop a hint in a blog post earlier in the month that Nomad had a knack for pushing the enemy back.

Fans of Rainbow Six Siege won't have to wait long for the full reveal of Operation Wind Bastion as a full breakdown of both Kaid and Nomad, and the new fortress map will all be shown during the Pro League Finals on November 17th and 18th. Fans can watch the event on the official Siege Twitch channel. We'll be sure to keep an eye out on the latest update so be sure to check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details.

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Xbox Acquires Fallout: New Vegas Developer Obsidian Entertainment

Microsoft officially announced that it will be acquiring Obsidian Entertainment  This is the developer behind some major RPGs like Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Alpha Protocol. The company made the announcement during X018, an Xbox focused fan event that took place in Mexico City.

Microsoft Sets Sights on Xbox Exclusives

"As one of the industry's premiere RPG developers, we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to add their expertise to Microsoft Studios, while enabling the studio to preserve its unique culture and build on its talent and vision to fully realize their creative ambitions," Microsoft said in their statement.

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According to Microsoft, this is only one of two major acquisitions the company will be making, the second being inXile Entertainment, the studio responsible for Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep. Microsoft pointed out that both of these developers make relatively similar games and they will continue to utilize their talents to make games for Xbox consoles.

Big Moves for Microsoft Game Development

The company also mentioned that with the acquisition of both Obsidian and inXile Entertainment, Microsoft Studios is now made of 13 development teams that differ in development expertise. During this year's E3 press conference, Microsoft confirmed that they were acquiring Santa Monica-based, The Initiative, a new studio led by Darrell Gallagher, former Head of Studio for Tomb Raider developer, Crystal Dynamics.

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Microsoft recently purchased State of Decay developer Undead Labs, Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games, and the developer behind Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, DmC: Devil May Cry, and Heavenly Blade, Ninja Theory.

Obviously, Microsoft needs to make up for their lack of unique console exclusives that has consistently kept Xbox behind Playstation. We'll keep a close watch on this story to see what Microsoft has planned for the future for these companies. Be sure to keep checking back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest updates.

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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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