Good morning gamers. Just like that, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the weekend are over.
Hackers continued to plague the gaming world last week but publishers are trying their best to shut them down. It’s also an exciting time for Call of Duty and Ghost of Tsushima fans because both are receiving some amazing new content. On the competitive side of gaming, Esports continue to grow through historic partnerships.
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Cheating and Hacking have no place in multiplayer games. Obviously, playing a single-player game and enabling cheats can be fun but the fun stops when it negatively impacts other people. Last week, Ubisoft and Bungie joined forces to file a lawsuit against Ring-1.
Ring-1 is a major cheat distributing website that sells cheats as a subscription service for games such as Destiny 2 (Bungie), Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft), Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Activision) and more. Ring-1 cheats are designed to be undetectable and they include weapon modifiers, aim-bots, wall hacks, item unlocking and the ability to unban player accounts.
Communities are collapsing due to the amount of people cheating. Ubisoft cites that players are moving on to other games, causing theirs to “wither and die”. The lawsuit states that these games are being devalued by the cheaters resulting in irreparable damage.
Here we go again, as just this past March Chinese police shut down the world’s “biggest” video game cheat provider organization, which reportedly earned more than $750 million. The organization sold similar services to Ring-1 for games such as Overwatch, Valorant and more. It seems that once the authorities put a stop to one cheat provider, two more appear.
The State of Call of Duty
Call of Duty Season Five is set to begin on August 12 and players are not happy. Season Five is “hacker” themed despite the major ongoing hacker issue in Warzone. Don’t worry CoD, there’s a lot to look forward to.
Black Ops Cold War multiplayer is getting an Among Us style game mode where double agents are sabotaging the mission while the investigator and operatives try to expose them. There will also be 5 fresh multiplayer maps added, the return of the Demolition game mode, a new Flamethrower scorestreak and more.
Warzone gameplay meta will be changing as Raven Software is adding two new Perks. Combat Scout will allow players to briefly see their enemies through walls if they damage them and Tempered will allow players to reach full shield with only 2 shields equipped instead of the standard 3. Warzone will also get new points of interest, a new gulag (Rush - Black Ops II map), 50v50 mode, more Red Doors, 4 new weapons and several new operators.
Modern Warfare 3 is not getting remastered according to Activision. After Modern Warfare 2’s campaign was remastered in 2020, several insiders claimed that MW3 would also be. Although Activision has yet to announce any plans to remaster another CoD game, fans of the series are holding out hope for a MW2 multiplayer remastered.
Call of Duty 2021 (Vanguard), will be in a “setting fans know and love”, and will have Warzone integration according to Tom Henderson. The game will run on an upgraded IW8 engine that was used for CoD Modern Warfare (2019) and Warzone.
Call of Duty Mobile is getting a new unannounced game set to take the franchise to new heights according to Activision President Rob Kostich. Activision has established a new mobile internal studio alongside their Beenox and Shanghai teams.
Ghost of Tsushima is giving us more!
PlayStation exclusive Ghost of Tsushima is highly regarded as one of the best games of 2020. Fast forward a year later and the game will be receiving a story expansion, an enhanced PS5 version, cross-generation save transfers and a major update to the games add-on multiplayer mode, Ghost of Tsushima: Legends.
Ghost of Tsushima Directors Cut includes a campaign expansion releasing on August 20, which brings Jin Sakai to the neighbouring island of Iki where he must stop the Mongol invasion from threatening his home. The expansion will deepen the game’s combat and story, and for PS5 owners, it will offer gameplay enhancements that take advantage of the DuelSense controllers’ haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. It will also include audience enhancements, improved load times and 4K resolution at 60FPS. Players can buy the new expansion for $69.99 on PS5 or $59.99 on PS4, and current owners can upgrade their existing version for $19.99.
Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, the co-op multiplayer mode separate from the single-player campaign, is getting a standalone release on August 20 for $19.99. It will come with an all-new mode called “Rivals” where two teams of two compete against each other to defeat waves of enemies. Alongside the new Rivals mode, Sucker Punch is releasing the Gear Mastery System. This expanded progression system will allow players to upgrade their gear to level 120 and eventually unlock a second perk slot. The mastery challenges will also unlock a new Ability and new Techniques for each class.
Doing the Right Thing
Multiple major advertisers and partners have started to pull away from Activision Blizzard's Overwatch League and Call of Duty League due to the ongoing harassment and discrimination lawsuit. Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, State Farm and Kellogg’s have all announced that they’ve either cut ties or paused their partnership activities. We’ve already seen the T-Mobile logos be removed from team jerseys, and both State Farm and Kellogg’s Pringles and Cheez-it branding have been quietly removed from the Overwatch League website. A Coca-Cola spokesperson commented on the situation saying, “we are working with our partners at Blizzard as we take a step back for a moment to revisit future plans and programs”.
FaZe is Lovin’ It
McDonald’s and FaZe Clan have announced a North American content partnership designed to “highlight the evolution of diversity within the gaming industry”. Both partners will create a series of content initiatives featuring the diverse stories of various FaZe clan members in the gaming space. Additionally, FaZe co-owner and streamer Nickmercs has partnered with fitness brand Under Armour and will serve as one of their global ambassadors. Nickmercs is a major fitness advocate in the gaming industry and he does fitness livestreams alongside his gaming sessions.
Crypto is Mining Into Esports
The world of crypto is starting to become more intertwined with Esports as two new partnerships were formed last week.
Beyond the Summit announced that crypto platform Coinbase intends to sponsor three major Super Smash Tournaments including Ultimate Summit 3, Mainstage and Summit 12.
Building off their historic $210 million naming rights partnership with TSM, crypto exchange FTX has inked a seven-year deal with the LCS which includes on-screen branding for all major event broadcasts, a sponsored “Most Improved Player” award and various other unannounced activations. FTX is now the “official cryptocurrency exchange of the LCS”.
Game Review - Splitgate
Splitgate, dubbed by IGN as “Halo meets Portal,” is a unique free-to-play multiplayer first-person-shooter. The game was developed by 1047 Games based out of Zephyr Cove, Nevada and originally released for PC in May 2019 as an early beta. As of July 27, 2021, the game is in open beta with cross-play enabled for Xbox, PlayStation and PC. The ability to portal from point to point while fighting adds depth and creativity to the multiplayer similar to how Fortnite introduced building to Battle Royale. The only negative aspect is the long queue times that the developers are actively working to fix. We give Splitgate a grade of A-.
Blizzard President J. Allen Brack is leaving the company to pursue new opportunities. According to a letter from Activision Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre, the duo of Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal are the leaders of Blizzard.
The Pokémon Go community is in uproar after PokéStops have been reverted back to pre-pandemic levels. The community came together to launch a #HearUsNiantic campaign and Niantic did eventually release a response.
The Nintendo Switch has now sold more than 89 million units globally, surpassing both benchmarks set by the PS3 (87.4m) and Xbox 360 (86m). Nintendo’s hybrid console is now the 7th biggest-selling console of all time.
Sony will produce another 12 million PS5s prior to March 31, 2022. According to their Q1 Financial Results, they’ve sold 10.1 million consoles since release and plan to hit 22 million by the end of the Fiscal Year.
Amazon’s fantasy MMO New World has been delayed to September 28. The game was initially supposed to launch at the end of August but Amazon decided to take a bit of extra time to address beta feedback and polish the game.
PlayUnknown’s Battlegrounds has officially been renamed to PUBG: Battlegrounds. According to PC Gamer, future games in the franchise will now have the PUBG abbreviation before their name.
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