FTC Holding A Public Workshop On Loot Boxes Later This Year

about X hours ago from
FTC Holding A Public Workshop On Loot Boxes Later This Year

Late last year, the Federal Trade Commission, a government-connected but independent regulatory agency, signaled intentions to look at the controversy of loot boxes within the gaming space. The Entertainment Software Association, or ESA, immediately fired back that such a move was unnecessary, and the FTC was fairly quiet about it in the ensuing months. Now it seems they're back on the trail, as the agency has indicated that they will hold a public workshop on the topic later this year.

The FTC has been conducting their own investigation in the intervening months since their November declaration, but is not able to comment on anything the investigation entailed.

"I appreciate the FTC's continued engagement on the issue of loot boxes, particularly in regards to the well-being of young gamers," wrote New Hampshire senator Maggie Hassan, who kicked off the investigations by requesting the FTC's intervention. "A public workshop on loot boxes is a step in the right direction, and I encourage the FTC to continue working with consumer advocates, parents, gamers, and industry members to ensure that meaningful improvements are made to increase transparency and consumer protections around loot boxes."

FTC Holding A Public Workshop On Loot Boxes Later This Year

about X hours ago from
FTC Holding A Public Workshop On Loot Boxes Later This Year

Late last year, the Federal Trade Commission, a government-connected but independent regulatory agency, signaled intentions to look at the controversy of loot boxes within the gaming space. The Entertainment Software Association, or ESA, immediately fired back that such a move was unnecessary, and the FTC was fairly quiet about it in the ensuing months. Now it seems they're back on the trail, as the agency has indicated that they will hold a public workshop on the topic later this year.

The FTC has been conducting their own investigation in the intervening months since their November declaration, but is not able to comment on anything the investigation entailed.

"I appreciate the FTC's continued engagement on the issue of loot boxes, particularly in regards to the well-being of young gamers," wrote New Hampshire senator Maggie Hassan, who kicked off the investigations by requesting the FTC's intervention. "A public workshop on loot boxes is a step in the right direction, and I encourage the FTC to continue working with consumer advocates, parents, gamers, and industry members to ensure that meaningful improvements are made to increase transparency and consumer protections around loot boxes."

Report: Microsoft Revealing Multiple Consoles At E3, Halo Infinite Is A Launch Title

about X hours ago from
Report: Microsoft Revealing Multiple Consoles At E3, Halo Infinite Is A Launch Title

With discussions going back and forth on whether E3 still makes sense as a show, Microsoft, the one major platform holder still seemingly holding a physical press conference at the event, is still hoping to make a big splash at the annual expo this year. According to reports from different outlets, Scarlet might get detailed with multiple options in just a few short months.

French outlet JeuxVideo, commonly thought of as one of the best-connected video game outlets in Europe, released a report this morning saying that Microsoft's Scarlet console which was announced last year is actually two consoles, as indicated by Thurrott last year. Codenamed Lockheart and Anaconda, one version would be primarily digital at an entry-level price, while the other would be similar to the Xbox One X in pricing but act as a traditional local console.

JeuxVideo indicates that Fall 2020 is the presumed launch for these systems, but a disc-less Xbox One will be coming in a few months, again originally rumored by outlet Thurrott.

Report: Microsoft Revealing Multiple Consoles At E3, Halo Infinite Is A Launch Title

about X hours ago from
Report: Microsoft Revealing Multiple Consoles At E3, Halo Infinite Is A Launch Title

With discussions going back and forth on whether E3 still makes sense as a show, Microsoft, the one major platform holder still seemingly holding a physical press conference at the event, is still hoping to make a big splash at the annual expo this year. According to reports from different outlets, Scarlet might get detailed with multiple options in just a few short months.

French outlet JeuxVideo, commonly thought of as one of the best-connected video game outlets in Europe, released a report this morning saying that Microsoft's Scarlet console which was announced last year is actually two consoles, as indicated by Thurrott last year. Codenamed Lockheart and Anaconda, one version would be primarily digital at an entry-level price, while the other would be similar to the Xbox One X in pricing but act as a traditional local console.

JeuxVideo indicates that Fall 2020 is the presumed launch for these systems, but a disc-less Xbox One will be coming in a few months, again originally rumored by outlet Thurrott.

You Can Now Book A Final Fantasy XIV-Themed Wedding In Japan

about X hours ago from
You Can Now Book A Final Fantasy XIV-Themed Wedding In Japan

A new service from Square Enix will allow Final Fantasy XIV players in Japan to have a wedding themed after the developer's MMORPG. It's not something you should tread lightly into, but if you have the desire to seal your love in a ceremony that celebrates a video game, Square Enix has you covered.

The Japanese publisher is working with a wedding planning company named Bridal Hearts to give the themed ceremony a go. There is already an in-game event called the Eternal Bond, a faux-wedding within the virtual walls of Final Fantasy XIV for players to swear an everlasting betrothal to each other. The Bridal Hearts-run physical version bases itself on the in-game ceremony, except in an actual place.

A couple took this for a test run on Valentine's Day in Japan, which came with a wedding dress and tuxedo based on the Eternal Bond outfits, replica weapons the players used in the game, a cake with Final Fantasy monsters on it, and more. Final Fantasy XIV director and community figurehead Naoki Yoshida even walked the bride down the aisle, though I imagine that's only for the first wedding and he's not part of the general wedding package.

You Can Now Book A Final Fantasy XIV-Themed Wedding In Japan

about X hours ago from
You Can Now Book A Final Fantasy XIV-Themed Wedding In Japan

A new service from Square Enix will allow Final Fantasy XIV players in Japan to have a wedding themed after the developer's MMORPG. It's not something you should tread lightly into, but if you have the desire to seal your love in a ceremony that celebrates a video game, Square Enix has you covered.

The Japanese publisher is working with a wedding planning company named Bridal Hearts to give the themed ceremony a go. There is already an in-game event called the Eternal Bond, a faux-wedding within the virtual walls of Final Fantasy XIV for players to swear an everlasting betrothal to each other. The Bridal Hearts-run physical version bases itself on the in-game ceremony, except in an actual place.

A couple took this for a test run on Valentine's Day in Japan, which came with a wedding dress and tuxedo based on the Eternal Bond outfits, replica weapons the players used in the game, a cake with Final Fantasy monsters on it, and more. Final Fantasy XIV director and community figurehead Naoki Yoshida even walked the bride down the aisle, though I imagine that's only for the first wedding and he's not part of the general wedding package.

Where's Our Anthem Review?

about X hours ago from
Where's Our Anthem Review?

Anthem's confusing release schedule is finally behind us. Players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC can now jump into the game without concerns of a 10-hour trial ending or the game not having the day-one patch. Over the last week, I spent roughly 30 hours in this fascinating cooperative shooter, and have given all of the javelins a test drive, but feel I need to dive deeper into the endgame before I can give a verdict.

I also need to replay the opening moments of the game to see if the day-one patch affects one of my biggest criticisms: needing to complete various freeplay activities to open four tomb doors. Prior to the patch hitting, one of these activities ended up being a grind. I needed to open 15 chests, but the activity wasn't designed with co-op in mind. Only the player who opened the chest got credit for it, so I had to say goodbye to my friends to hunt down chests in the open world. This proved to be maddening, as some of the chests I came across were already opened by other players (yes, even randoms you don't play with can get them first), and they won't return unless you go back to Fort Tarsis and return to a new instance of the world. Post-patch, every player in the party now gets credit when a chest is opened. What does that mean for the overall design of the tombs now? I need to find out.

Where's Our Anthem Review?

about X hours ago from
Where's Our Anthem Review?

Anthem's confusing release schedule is finally behind us. Players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC can now jump into the game without concerns of a 10-hour trial ending or the game not having the day-one patch. Over the last week, I spent roughly 30 hours in this fascinating cooperative shooter, and have given all of the javelins a test drive, but feel I need to dive deeper into the endgame before I can give a verdict.

I also need to replay the opening moments of the game to see if the day-one patch affects one of my biggest criticisms: needing to complete various freeplay activities to open four tomb doors. Prior to the patch hitting, one of these activities ended up being a grind. I needed to open 15 chests, but the activity wasn't designed with co-op in mind. Only the player who opened the chest got credit for it, so I had to say goodbye to my friends to hunt down chests in the open world. This proved to be maddening, as some of the chests I came across were already opened by other players (yes, even randoms you don't play with can get them first), and they won't return unless you go back to Fort Tarsis and return to a new instance of the world. Post-patch, every player in the party now gets credit when a chest is opened. What does that mean for the overall design of the tombs now? I need to find out.

The Occupation's New Gameplay Trailer Puts Players On A Deadline

about X hours ago from
The Occupation's New Gameplay Trailer Puts Players On A Deadline

The Occupation is an upcoming first-person thriller that puts players in the role of an investigative journalist in 1987 who has only four hours to crack the case of a terrorist bombing. The latest gameplay trailers walks players through a portion of the game, illustrating the branching paths players can take to gather leads for their exposé.

Time is your greatest threat in The Occupation – one hour in real-time equates to one in-game hour (which, in a way, reflects the nature of being a journalist under a deadline). In the new gameplay trailer, the protagonist learns that the head of the local news organization might be printing lies about the terrorist bombing, and proof might exist on a floppy disk that's lost somewhere in the office.

The game evokes Dishonored in the way that players can approach a task in a variety of ways. The floppy disk might be hidden in a specific office, and players can sneak in through certain vents, spy from the shadows as an NPC puts in the office passcode, or locate a fuse box in order to shut down the security system completely.

The Occupation's New Gameplay Trailer Puts Players On A Deadline

about X hours ago from
The Occupation's New Gameplay Trailer Puts Players On A Deadline

The Occupation is an upcoming first-person thriller that puts players in the role of an investigative journalist in 1987 who has only four hours to crack the case of a terrorist bombing. The latest gameplay trailers walks players through a portion of the game, illustrating the branching paths players can take to gather leads for their exposé.

Time is your greatest threat in The Occupation – one hour in real-time equates to one in-game hour (which, in a way, reflects the nature of being a journalist under a deadline). In the new gameplay trailer, the protagonist learns that the head of the local news organization might be printing lies about the terrorist bombing, and proof might exist on a floppy disk that's lost somewhere in the office.

The game evokes Dishonored in the way that players can approach a task in a variety of ways. The floppy disk might be hidden in a specific office, and players can sneak in through certain vents, spy from the shadows as an NPC puts in the office passcode, or locate a fuse box in order to shut down the security system completely.