State senator wants to regulate loot boxes in Washington

about X hours ago from
State senator wants to regulate loot boxes in Washington

Despite its long-awaited single-player story and gorgeous graphics and sounds, Star Wars Battlefront II will likely be remembered for one thing: Loot boxes, or the mismanagement of. The game's rewards took so long to earn that players were incentivized to buy crates of randomized extras that could speed the process up...or not. That uncertain outcome paid with real money, which is becoming increasingly common in games, sounds like gambling to some legislators, and Belgium moved to ban SW Battlefront II-style loot boxes outright. This month, a Washington Senator introduced a bill that would require the state's gambling commission to determine whether loot boxes are, in fact, gambling -- and suggest how to regulate them across gaming.

Atari wants your help to make 'RollerCoaster Tycoon' for Switch

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Atari wants your help to make 'RollerCoaster Tycoon' for Switch

How badly do you want a version of RollerCoaster Tycoon for the Nintendo Switch? Bad enough that you'd be willing to claim a direct stake in the game's success? If so, Atari has a sales pitch for you. The company's Game Partners division (tasked with making money from classic franchises) has launched a crowd investment campaign to raise money for a Switch port of the theme park construction title. Pour at least $250 into the project and you get a pro rata (proportionate) share of 50 percent of profits until you recoup 120 percent of your investment, and then a pro rata 25 percent share of profits for the 18 months following the game's worldwide launch. Ideally, you'd actually make money from backing the game's release.

'RunGunJumpGun' is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 8th

about X hours ago from
'RunGunJumpGun' is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 8th

Deceptively-simple automatic runner RunGunJumpGun is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 8th, according to a tweet by its developers, Good Shepherd. The game first hit iOS and Android in 2016, amassing an army of fans initially intrigued by its simple premise -- shoot, jump, survive -- and subsequently ensnared by its addictive intelligent level design and masterful difficulty curve. Under the slightly tweaked moniker ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun, the game will offer Switch players the same twitchy platforming fun -- and for just $8/£8.

'Minecraft' is a microcosm of Microsoft's gaming strategy

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'Minecraft' is a microcosm of Microsoft's gaming strategy

Minecraft is pretty important to Microsoft. Not only did the company spend $2.5 billion in 2014 to own the world's most popular building-block game, but just last week it promoted Matt Booty, the head of Minecraft, to Corporate VP of Microsoft Studios. As far as Microsoft sees it, there's a direct line from Minecraft to Gears of War, Halo and all of the company's major first-party games. And now, with Booty's ascent, there's a new Minecraft boss.

Indie hit ‘Dead Cells’ is coming to consoles this year

about X hours ago from
Indie hit ‘Dead Cells’ is coming to consoles this year

In May of last year, indie developer Motion Twin launched Dead Cells in early access on Steam. By blending 'Metroidvania' platform exploration with roguelike random generation, the game quickly became a hit with fans and our own editors, selling over 600,000 copies, according to the studio. But for every non-PC player left in the cold, don't worry: Dead Cells is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Switch sometime in 2018.

Pre-match 'PUBG' meet-ups won’t be nearly as violent

about X hours ago from
Pre-match 'PUBG' meet-ups won’t be nearly as violent

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is shaking things up. But why improve a formula that's already helped it nab 25 million PC players and over three million Xbox One players? Well, the problem lies with its pre-match meet-ups, which spawn players in the same area causing strain on its servers. Bluehole's solution is to plop groups of players in different starting locations on both its maps, according to a Steam community post. Anything that solves the game's rocky performance issues should be welcomed by fans.

Ubisoft's Sam is a virtual assistant meant solely for gamers

about X hours ago from
Ubisoft's Sam is a virtual assistant meant solely for gamers

Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, and now, Ubisoft has Sam. Yes, really. It's a virtual assistant geared specifically toward gaming, and Ubisoft has started to weave a beta version of the service into its Ubisoft Club companion app... well, for Canadian gamers, anyway. Ubisoft is clearly treating Sam as a test balloon of sorts, meant to gather data and gauge people's reactions to the idea of a game-fluent concierge. After a brief demo, though, it seems pretty clear that not everyone will find Sam useful in the short term.

VR pioneer Edward Saatchi: VR films aren't the future of storytelling

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VR pioneer Edward Saatchi: VR films aren't the future of storytelling

As one of the founding members of Oculus Story Studio, Edward Saatchi has spent years exploring how VR can be used to make narratives more immersive. But with his latest virtual reality outfit, Fable Studio, Saatchi has come to a surprising revelation: The future of storytelling doesn't lie in VR movies. That's an odd, but interesting, stance for someone who's devoted years of his life to the potential for VR narratives. Instead of trying to mimic the experience of films through virtual reality, Saatchi believes there's even greater potential in designing realistic characters for AR and VR. Imagine a virtual companion that can learn over time, and interact with you and your family naturally.