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E117: Microsoft takes a big step forward in their acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Good morning gamers! Previews of Arkane’s vampire hunting game Redfall started to surface last week, which were overwhelmingly positive. Players think it’s an extremely fun single-player experience filled with amazing gunplay and a very immersive design. Some are even calling it Arkane’s best ever shooter, a “compelling mix between Dishonored, Borderlands & Buffy”.
In an interview with IGN, Redfall’s Creative Director Harvey Smith was asked about Microsoft’s takeover mid-development and he said they were told, “No PS5, we’re focusing on Xbox, PC and the Game Pass”. Smith went on to say that he thinks the change was a good decision because it’s “one less platform to care about, one less complexity” and that Game Pass could help make Redfall their biggest game ever. Microsoft addressed the comments saying “we haven’t pulled any games from PlayStation”.
Redfall is scheduled to launch on May 2nd, 2023 for Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC and Game Pass. Here are a few new details about the game,
There is no in-game store or any microtransactions.
Arkane is working to make the game playable without an internet connection.
Redfall will be their most supported game yet, with post-launch DLC already planned (characters, guns, monsters, expansions etc.).
There are four boss fights in the game, but the focus is on the open-world (vampire encounters are procedurally generated - all different).
The main story can be completed in about 20 hours but will require multiple playthroughs to fully level your character.
Finally, Counter-Strike 2!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was originally released on August 21st, 2012. More than a decade later, Valve Corporation has officially announced that Counter-Strike 2 will launch in Summer 2023. A limited test for select CS:GO players is currently underway.
Counter-Strike 2 is built on Valve’s Source 2 engine, which will feature improved maps, visuals effects and audio. Valve confirmed that the oldest maps in the game have been completely rebuilt from the ground up and that there will be game-changing dynamics. It will be a free upgrade for players who own CS:GO and all their items will be transferable to the new game.
Microsoft Pulls Ahead
Phil Spencer says that Microsoft has plans to launch a mobile games store that will rival Apple and Google, and it could launch as early as next year. Microsoft has argued that Apple’s App Store rules make it difficult for them to offer cloud gaming through one app, which forces users to use the lower performance web browser.
The Competition & Markets Authority has updated their findings on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The CMA has determined that the acquisition will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in console gaming services (UK). The CMA also said making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox would not be financial beneficial to Microsoft.
Microsoft reportedly believes that 10 years is “sufficient for Sony to develop Call of Duty alternatives”. The statement comes in light of Microsoft promising to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles for 10 years following the completion of the ABK acquisition.
🥇Congratulations to FaZe Clan for winning the ESL Pro League Season 17 Finals. They are also the Intel Grand Slam champions!
The Virtus.pro brand is being reintegrated into ESL and BLAST tournaments after spending a year playing under the neutral name “Outsiders”. The brand was banned from appearing in international events starting March 2022 because of their alleged ties to the Russian government. As a result of Virtus Pro’s parent company was sold and the organization no longer meets the criteria for a suspension.
Riot Games have officially announced that the Valorant Game Changers World Championships will take place in São Paulo, Brazil from November 28 to December 3. Each region will host a qualification circuit where 8 teams will make it to the Grand Final (2 from North America, 2 from EMEA, 1 from Brazil, 1 from LATAM, 1 from SEA and 1 from Japan/Korea/China). The event will be played at the CBLOL Arena in front of a live audience.
BLAST has renewed its partnership with Epic Games to produce the 2023 Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) events. They will be responsible for hosting three Major tournaments, and the Global Championship. The season finale Global Championship will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark and will feature a $4 million prize pool.
According to the Sports Business Journal, FaZe is reportedly exploring the possibility of restructuring into a private company again. Less than a year after going public on the NASDAQ and being the first esports company valued at $1 billion, their stock price has plummeted to $0.50. FaZe needs an estimated $40-$60 million to transition back to a privately owned structure, but according to their most recent quarterly report, they only have $43.9 million in cash assets.
Bungie has announced that they will continue to honor the life of Lance Reddick, “through his performances yet to come in the game”.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Venom voice actor Tony Todd says the game will be launching in September with advertising ramping up in August.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor official story trailer has been released by Respawn Entertainment. The trailer showcases lightsaber combat and new details.
Respawn Entertainment has opened a third studio dedicated to the development of Apex Legends that will keep the game going for another “10 to 15 years”.
CD Projekt Red announced that their studio The Molasses Flood has rebooted the development of the new multiplayer Witcher game.
Gears of War’s live-action adaptation has hired Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Jon Spaihts. He co-wrote Dune, Dune: Part Two and Doctor Strange.
Ghost of Tsushima has had increased interest in a film adaptation following the success of HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin video game is reportedly in development. It’s a 3rd person Action RPG inspired by the God of War games.
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