At one point in time, media giant Disney published video games like Disney Infinity and Epic Mickey in-house through its now-defunct Disney Interactive Studios. That's no longer the case, as it now primarily licenses its franchises to outside studios instead. One major partner is Electronic Arts. In 2013, Disney and EA signed a 10-year deal to make EA the exclusive publisher of Star Wars games on console, and now Disney chief Bob Iger has commented on the company's philosophy about publishing games and its relationship with EA.
He said on an earnings call that Disney's history of internal development and publishing of games has been shaky, so he's happy that Disney has now shifted to a licensing model.
"Over the years we've tried our hand in self-publishing, we've bought companies, we've sold companies, we've bought developers, we've closed developers. And we've found over the years that we haven't been particularly good at the self-publishing side, but we've been great at the licensing side which obviously doesn't require that much allocation of capital," Iger said.
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Would you like to hear a Tale of Terror or a Sky-Story? Relay some Salon-Stewed Gossip or pass on a Savage Secret? The names given to the various forms of currency exchanged across Sunless Skies give you a good idea of what sort of game it is. This is a world where words flow like water and stories hydrate whole planets. Where a turn of phrase is just as likely to unlock a door as the turn of a key.
Sunless Skies is a narrative-heavy adventure where every dramatic event is conveyed through beautifully written text. A delicate, customizable layer of "rogue-lite" action and survival encases a beating heart of vivid location descriptions, verbal flights of fancy, and giddy, spiraling story paths. Developer Failbetter Games has cleverly built upon the foundation of Sunless Sea, designing a sequel that improves core mechanics and spins its world into imaginative new orbits while easing the avenue of entry for new players. You're welcome here as long as you love words.
In the first Kombat Kast livestream since the reveal of the upcoming fighting game Mortal Kombat 11, the NetherRealm team unveiled that Kabal is returning to the roster. In addition, D'Vorah was announced to be another returning character during the Inside Xbox stream. However, it may come as a disappointment to some, but NetherRealm confirmed that Shaggy of Scooby Doo fame will not be a guest character, regardless of how loud you scream the memes.
Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon himself got in on the meme when he tweeted a fan art mock up of "Hack and Slash Shaggy variation" hitting Scorpion with a brutal knee. But today during the Kombat Kast, community manager Tyler Lansdown stated, "Shaggy will not be in the game, ever, sorry, dead meme!" The series has a strong history of bringing in guest characters with the likes of Leatherface and Jason, but Shaggy will not be using any percentage of his power for Mortal Kombat 11.
Hack and Slash Shaggy variation
Video game giant Electronic Arts reported earnings today for its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, and it could have gone better during the all-important holiday period. While EA did post gains in revenue and profit, the company said in its official remarks that it was a "difficult quarter" that saw the company fail to meet its commercial expectations.
CFO Blake Jorgensen said in prepared remarks that 2018 was a "tumultuous" year for the gaming industry overall. Though he did not share any specifics, he might have been referring to the way in which the absolute juggernaut Fortnite shook up the industry in the past year. Not only that, but Red Dead Redemption 2's release in October might have impacted sales of EA's games.
While it might not have been the quarter EA wanted, Jorgensen said EA is "making adjustments to improve execution and we're refocusing on R&D." EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the company is looking to "sharpen" its execution going forward.
Electronic Arts has offered a tease about bringing a subscription service to a new platform, and it could be EA Access for PlayStation 4. During the company's latest earnings call, management said, "In the year ahead we plan to offer a subscription service on another major platform."
No further specifics were divulged, but EA Access for PlayStation 4 lines up with the tease. It is one of EA's subscription services, and PS4 certainly is a "major platform."
EA Access launched in 2014 on Xbox One, before coming to PC in 2016 under the name Origin Access. A Sony representative said in 2014 that EA Access "does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect."
February is upon us, and Microsoft has announced the next round of Game Pass games that will hit the service for Xbox One over the coming month. This is the shortest of all months but the company still has plenty of games slated for its all-you-can-eat games subscription service.
Crackdown 3 is the headliner of the month, and like other first-party games it will be included on its release date, February 15, for Game Pass subscribers. As you may expect if you've played other Crackdowns, you're a super-powered agent taking on a gang-filled city. This one adds the new Wrecking Zone 5v5 multiplayer mode. We recently had a look at it and came away surprised.
The rest of the month is no slouch. Hot on the heels of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, which was added on January 31, you can play Shadow of the Tomb Raider on February 7. Since Rise of the Tomb Raider is already on the service too, that makes the whole trilogy right available to play through from start to finish.
Microsoft has announced a nice new deal for Sea of Thieves that lets you invite friends to play for free for a limited time. If you own the game--or possess an active Xbox Game Pass subscription--you can gift copies of the pirate-themed game to three people, who can then play for free until February 13.
The offer starts on February 6. All you need to do is visit the Sea of Thieves website to grab your codes. After the promotion ends on February 13, anyone who received free play codes can purchase the game permanently at a 35% discount. Note your friends will need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play on either Xbox One or PC.
Developer Rare has also teased "big news" for Sea of Thieves scheduled for its one-year anniversary on March 20. The company has continued to support the multiplayer adventure since launch last year with all sorts of free DLC.