Hello Games boss Sean Murray gives a rare, candid talk on No Man's Sky's successes, failures, and how the team kept hope.
Few games have a comeback story like No Man's Sky. The game launched in 2016 to explosive hype that quickly plummeted when gamers realized the tedious, often-frustrating mechanics. There was no multiplayer, no cohesion, no centrality to it at all--the experience was about getting lost in a kind of cosmic loneliness (as we noted in our review). It felt like a bait-and-switch and players weren't given the game they had been promised. This led to months of ridicule and lambasting, but rather than give up, Hello Games took everything in and kept working. With determination, they turned everything around, releasing six major patches in two years that dramatically changed the game. And they did it all for free.
A lot of what happened during those critical months wasn't actually known until now. Following No Man's Sky's PR nightmare, Hello Games went dark and stopped talking to the press. This, Murray says, was a big turning point. At GDC 2019, Sean Murray finally discusses how the team persevered during those dark times. He talked about No Man's Sky's sales--which are astronomically high--and how Hello Games weeded out nuggets of wisdom and golden feedback from the overwhelming tide of negativity.
As its competitors embrace more open-ended platforms and adopt future-thinking strategies, Sony's grip on the walled-garden PlayStation approach is about to get even tighter.
According to a leaked memo sent to GameStop, Sony will no longer sell digital PlayStation Network game keys to third-party retailers starting April 1, 2019. This likely includes online shops like Amazon, Best Buy, and even Green Man Gaming.
If this memo is genuine, gamers will have to buy digital PS4 games directly from Sony and won't be able to purchase them at discounted rates from external sellers. This includes pre-orders as well as post-launch purchases.
Epic Games divulged some impressive numbers at a GDC 2019 panel, but there's more than meets the eye.
According to Epic's internal metrics, the Epic Store is hope to 85 million users who peruse, shop at, and play on the digital storefront. There's a catch to these figures, though. The Epic Store is entwined with the Epic Games Launcher that millions of gamers use to start up and play Fortnite on PC. So the real question is: how many of the 85 million are active users, how many are shoppers, and how many of them are playing games other than Fortnite? Plus how many of them made an Epic Store account just to nab the monthly free games?
Epic goes on to say that 40% of these users don't actually have Steam. That means 34 million PC gamers who're registered with the Epic Store don't have Steam, or they lied on the survey. Again, I'm wondering how many of these users are active, and if they're playing Fortnite. The devs aren't done just yet; surveys also say 58% of the userbase, or 49.3 million gamers, have Steam but they don't use it regularly.
Google's new Stadia platform promises a new era accessibility and convenience, but it's not as open as you'd think.
Google hopes to revolutionize the industry with its new Stadia game streaming service. Using powerful AMD-built servers with 10 TFLOPs of compute power, Stadia will beam high-end AAA games to devices that aren't able to run them otherwise such as mobile phones, laptops, desktops, and even TVs. There's no downloads or patches: Stadia can wirelessly serve games natively in Google Chrome. Consumers will even be able to launch games in seconds directly from YouTube videos, or shared Tweets, emails, and Discord chats. But there's some restrictions and requirements outside of a high-end Wi-Fi connection, at least for right now.
Stadia works differently on each device. The Wi-Fi game streaming service currently doesn't work with all Android phones, only Google's newer Pixel models (it may not even work with competing iOS handsets, although Google asserts Stadia will come to iOS and Mac). Game streaming to a Chrome browser is apparently only available for laptops and desktops.
The Microsoft-Nintendo relationship could get very interesting from a development standpoint, and the Switch could benefit tremendously from Xbox technology.
At GDC 2019, one sharp-eyed Reset Era user spotted something interesting at Microsoft's PlayFab booth: a Nintendo Switch handheld. Microsoft is making big waves to arm devs with more cohesive packaged toolsets to make games, services, and content with. It just released Game Stack, which brings Xbox LIVE to Android and iOS devices (and likely Switch), and now it wants to bring a new feature called PlayFab Party to Nintendo's popular handheld-console hybrid.
Microsoft acquired PlayFab, a cloud infrastructure, back in 2018 to help bolster its growing roster of services and live games. The Azure-powered system has evolved since then with new content including PlayFab Party, which bakes in key online features like voice chatting, matchmaking, voice-to-text, and servers and lobbies.
Brace Yourself Games, the devs behind Crypt of the Necrodancer, are making a groovin' action game in the Zelda series.
Nintendo is typically fiercely protective over its IPs--sometimes to a fault--so when it lets an indie studio create a game in something as big as the Zelda series, it says a lot. Introducing Cadence of Hyrule, a new spritely beat-based adventure set in the mystical land of Hyrule. The game is very much like Crypt of the Necrodancer but with a fantasy twist: not only does it take place in that beloved world of yore with its castles, moblins, armos knights, and fearsome bosses, but Link and Zelda are playable characters. And they both have some serious moves.
Cadence of Hyrule features 25 randomly generated dungeons and a shifting overworld to match, complete with unique movesets, weapons, items, and content found in The Legend of Zelda franchise. Since indies are a huge hit on the Switch, this move lets Nintendo earn some cash via licensing, create more brand awareness for its core franchises, and help promote a strong indie in the process. The game is set to release in Spring 2019 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.
BioWare's big new IP sold quite well on PS4 and Xbox One at launch, but its long-term monetization could falter.
To survive, all live service games need to correctly monetize their audiences. Whether it be with lootboxes, cosmetics or even subscriptions (or a combination of all three), these online-only experiences need continual funding to make them worthwhile in publishers' eyes. Companies like EA and Activision-Blizzard put up tens of millions to create the games and they expect profits over time. Anthem follows this same requisite path, but BioWare's new game may have a have a longevity problem.
According to latest stats from analyst firm SuperData, Anthem made $100 million in digital revenue on PS4 and Xbox One. But only $3.5 million, or 3.5% of that sum, is earned from its optional cosmetic microtransactions on two platforms that are specifically geared towards monetization. This is actually impressive for launch figures. But the real issue is that these earnings probably won't remain consistent. They're likely the result of the launch-hype spurt. Anthem's litany of problems have pushed gamers to other titles like The Division 2, and the game is already at a critical re-engagement point--most service games take 3-5 months before big issues arise.
During 2019's Game Developers Conference, Nintendo revealed the top 10 best-selling indie games on the Nintendo Switch.
If you own a Nintendo Switch then you understand that Indie titles at absolutely imperative to the handheld console. The portability of the console makes for some of the games mentioned here to be just that much better, as Nintendo Switch users can enjoy them whenever and wherever they so choose.
The list is in no particular order, nor do we have any confirmation to how many copies each of the titles mentioned have sold. The list consists of the following titles; Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, Overcooked 2, Undertale, Dead Cells, Enter the Gungeon, Graceful Explosion Machine, Celeste, Golf Store, Overcooked!. Each of the titles mentioned here come with their own respective merits and certainly have lived up to expectations from the community.
Ubisoft has issued out the official Assassin's Creed III Remastered PC specifications, detailing what is required to run the coming remastered title.
The requirements have been released onto the official Ubisoft blog through a post that details the minimum and recommended PC specifications. Since the Assassin's Creed III Remastered features a new graphics engine that can support HDR and 4K textures, players may need more higher-end PC components to enjoy the title in all its glory.
In the entirety of this post I have provided both the minimum and recommended PC requirements for hitting certain resolutions at specific framerates. Assassin's Creed III Remastered will be released on March 29th for PC and consoles. The Nintendo Switch version is planned for about a month later, will release on May 21st. For more information, visit the official Ubisoft website here.
A Twitch streamer posed a monumental task to himself, 'beating all the Soulsborne games without taking a single hit'. Long story short, he did it and hugged his dog shortly afterwards.
Fancy deciding to not only beat one Souls game without taking a hit, but instead taking on five of them, and if you take any form of damage that isn't self-imposed you restart back at the first game. Well, that is exactly what The Happy Hob decided to do in what he has called the "God Run" of all of the Dark Souls games, Demon Souls and Bloodborne.
The Happy Hob beat the games in this order; Bloodborne, Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls, Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 3. The full five-game roulette took the streamer over 16 hours to complete, the final moments are captured in the above video. We can see the last remaining 47 seconds of the Dark Souls III final boss fight, after Hob beats the boss he lets out a well deserved cry "Soulsborne no-hit run! We did it!". Shortly afterwards he begins to cry with happiness and hugs his dog. Now that is pure a mechanical god if I have ever seen one.