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Tencent didn't invest in PUBG studio Bluehole

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 15 hours, 36 mins ago

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds publisher Bluehole denies Tencent investment.

 

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Reports from Yicai Global maintained that Chinese titan Tencent had backed PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds publisher Bluehole with an undisclosed sum. Now the South Korean publisher has spoken out, squashing the report. "These reports are not accurate. Tencent didn't make an investment into Bluehole," the company told the Esports Observer in an official statement.

 

With the massive success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, it's easy to see why companies like Tencent would mull an investment. The game has crested multiple milestones, including selling 4 million copies in three months and making a whopping $100 million in revenue. The game enjoys a massively engaged playerbase that continues to grow, and now sits at the top non-Valve game on Steam in concurrent players.

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Rovio's earnings soar from Angry Birds film success

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 19 hours, 25 mins ago

Rovio, the mobile titan behind the massively popular Angry Birds, sees its second quarter and first-half revenues take flight.

 

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Following an earnings slide in 2016, Rovio Entertainment has rebounded thanks to the mighty success of the Angry Birds film, which helped kickstart new interest in its mobile titles. The Finnish games-maker today posted second quarter earnings of 86.2 million euros ($101.31 million) in total revenues, up a mighty 94% year-over-year. Of that value, 61.3 million euros ($72.04 million), or 71%, was gleaned from its games segment, representing another strong 65% year-over-year increase. Rovio reports that new mobile games like Angry Birds Evolution and Battle Bay saw the most ARPDAUs (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) in company history at launch.

 

"The second quarter of 2017 evidenced true delivery of our Games-First strategy with very strong growth in revenues and profits. During the second quarter, we also finalized Rovio's restructuring and moved towards a licensing model of lower operating and capital expenses in the consumer products and animated content businesses. The benefits of these structural changes, however, have not yet been reflected in the strong financial performance we achieved in the first half of 2017," said Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta.

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Rovio valuation may soar to $2 billion with IPO

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 21 hours, 27 mins ago

Angry Birds developer Rovio may take some big steps for the company's future earnings.

 

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Rovio Entertainment has laid plans to publicly trade its shares via an IPO that may value the company at a staggering $2 billion, sources have told Bloomberg. People familiar with the matter assert Rovio may start the initial public offering as early as next month, and the Angry Birds-maker could rake in as much as $400 million from a local market listing.

 

The company recently reported strong earnings growth for its second quarter and first-half cycles, up considerably from last year's drop in revenue which triggered restructuring and job cuts across the board. Rovio reported second quarter revenues of 86.2 million euros ($101.31 million), up 94% year-over-year, and 61.3 million euros ($72.04 million) from its games division, up 65% year-over-year. First-half revenues sit at 152.6 million euros ($179.35 million), up a substantial 94.3% year-over-year, of which 77% was made from games, or 117.9 million euros ($138.56 million).

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Blizzard keeps Battle.net naming scheme

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 day ago

After much soul-searching (and realizing its a bad idea to erase 21 years of brand awareness), Blizzard reverses plan to scrap the Battle.net naming scheme.

 

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Blizzard has announced that it won't go through with its plans to remove the instantly recognizable Battle.net moniker from its online service and games. The Battle.net network, which serves as the core to mighty Blizzard IPs like Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, is still getting re-named, but the "Battle.net" brand name will still be attached.

 

In a recent news post, the billion-dollar games-maker says the service will be re-named to "Blizzard Battle.net". The company had originally planned to simply call the service "Blizzard" and remove the Battle.net name completely, but had a change of heart due to strong fan feedback.

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Dragon Age series: ongoing evolution, no end in sight

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 4 days, 18 hours ago

Rather than constricting a dynamically, continually-evolving storyline, BioWare has decided not to set limits on Dragon Age's canon, but that doesn't mean they're not planning ahead.

 

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The fan favorite medieval fantasy Dragon Age series has no real ending in sight. That is according to Dragon Age series Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, who recently said some interesting tidbits on Twitter. "There is no planned ending for Dragon Age. There is an evolving plan that tends to look two games ahead or so," Mr. Laidlaw said on Twitter, adding some insight on the beloved universe where dragons, knights, and magic co-existing in a fanciful--and often bloody--timeline. The developer goes on to say that outlining an ending puts undue pressure on writers and can create a very real tunnel vision that robs creators of their keen mindsight--the very same sight that's responsible for creating unique fell-magisters like Corypheus, or the deep-rooted reverence of Andraste throughout the fantasy world.

 

"I strongly believe that if you try to hold to a rigid plan that is a decade old by the time you reach the end, you are wasting opportunities," the creative director affirmed. This structure reminds me of Final Fantasy games, which are all indirectly linked with interwoven themes, characters, ideas, and visual content. Every Final Fantasy game is a different reflection of the same crystal, so to speak. History is folding back into the present, the future is a wide, ever-branching path rather than a clear linear tunnel.

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Fallout 4 gets $60 GOTY re-release with all DLC

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 4 days, 21 hours ago

Bethesda is well-known for extending the life of its products with tons of remasters and re-releases--this year marks the fourth release of Skyrim, for example--and now its post-apocalyptic RPG is getting the traditional game of the year treatment.

 

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The Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition retails for a full $59.99, and as you'd imagine, the game is bundled with the full suite of expansions like Far Harbor and Nuka World alongside baked-in updates like the esteemed Survival mode. The GOTY edition comes after Fallout 4 soaked up big sales over two years, and more than a year after Bethesda hiked the season pass to $50. The game's absurdly popular $99 Pip-Boy collector's edition is also getting a limited re-release (because of course it is).

 

Bethesda has some interesting motivations for this re-release. Outside of the obvious push for more money, the company is delivering an easily accessible all-in-one package to prepare gamers for Bethesda's new Creation Club monetization scheme, which launches this summer. The Creation Club initiative allows gamers to buy small slices of DLC add-on content like weapons and armor, and also includes big expansion-sized updates. Essentially Bethesda is making an on-demand DLC marketplace where gamers can buy high-quality content made by the modding community's top content creators and Bethesda themselves. But the real trick to Creation Club's success is compatibility, and the DLC or "paid mods" need to be 100% compatible with all official Fallout 4 DLC and updates. Thus Bethesda is releasing the all-in-one package at a full $59.99 price tag to get players started.

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Nintendo sued over Switch patent infringement

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 5 days, 2 hours ago

Gamevice, a company that makes a unique snap-on controller for Apple's iPhone, is suing Nintendo for patent infringement.

 

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With its detachable controllers and handheld form factor, the Nintendo Switch's design may seem unique, but the device is actually an evolution of other various mobile devices on the market--most notably the Wikipad and Gamevice's detachable snap-on controllers for mobile phones. Now Gamevice is suing Nintendo for willful patent infringement and is seeking damages.

 

Gamevice alleges that the design of the Nintendo Switch infringes on a patent filed by the company in 2012 which served as the core to its Wikipad and attachable mobile iPhone controller products. In the suit, the peripherals-maker asserts that Nintendo has infringed on no less than eight different parts of the patent with the Switch's components, including the device's detachable JoyCon controller. Nintendo filed the Switch's patent (then called the "NX") in 2014, two years after Gamevice's patent.

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Battlegrounds' first-person mode is a game changer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 5 days, 10 hours ago

If there was one thing that makes the world of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds easier, is that you're playing in third-person mode, something that lets you peer around corners in a way that you would NEVER be able to do in real-life.

 

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PUBG is no stranger to first-person mode, but it has been limited to solo and duo matches only, and now it's available for squad matches. The first-person mode in squad play is going to change the dynamic of PUBG, as the first-person only mode is a hardcore play mode. Until now, third-person mode is really cheating... especially if you wanted to make it more realistic.

 

Have you tried an entire match of first-person PUBG? What did you think?

Overwatch is finally getting deathmatch

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 5 days, 17 hours ago

Overwatch is getting two new deathmatch modes, but they won't be coming to Competitive or or Quick Play.

 

 

Blizzard today announced that two new deathmatch modes will soon come to Overwatch: free-for-all and team deathmatch. The new modes are currently available to sample on the Overwatch Public Test Realm (PTR) for interested PC gamers, and the modes will roll out to all platforms including PS4 and Xbox One at a later date.

 

However, Overwatch will retain its core focus as a team-based shooter, and the new deathmatch modes are exclusively available in the new Arcade mode and Custom Games, and won't be available in the principal Competitive or Quick Play session types.

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Lawbreakers player count drops shortly after launch

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 5 days, 18 hours ago

Boss Key's new class-based shooter Lawbreakers launched to a diminished playerbase on Steam, and has failed to gain momentum in the crucial days after launch.

 

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Any developer will tell you that the first few days of a game's launch are absolutely critical defining moments. Not only are developers constantly scouting data--playerbases, engaged users, DAUs, MAUs, you name it--but sites like Githyp are aggregating key insights to gauge a game's success. Sadly, it appears that Lawbreakers may end up crashing to the ground, much as the site predicted.

 

Since its launch on August 8, Lawbreakers has yet to break Steam's top 100 most-played games list. The game's playerbase at launch saw just 3,019 peak players, down 34% from the second open beta test and a massive 60% from the first open beta test conducted on June 30. A day after Lawbreaker's release on Steam the game had 2,739 peak players, and continues losing players every day since.

 

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