Amazon Game Studios Lays Off 'Dozens' Of Employees

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Amazon Game Studios Lays Off 'Dozens' Of Employees

This week Amazon has laid off "dozens" of its Amazon Game Studios employees, who have 60 days to find another job within Amazon proper or receive a severance package on their way out.

The news comes from a Kotaku article that reports the layoffs were made during the week of E3, and that AGS has also canceled some unannounced games.

In a statement to Kotaku, an AGS spokesperson confirmed the layoffs, saying the move was made to consolidate development on its upcoming New World and Crucible games. "These moves are the result of regular business planning cycles where we align resources to match evolving, long-range priorities," the spokesperson said. The company would not confirm the exact number of employees affected.

Cyberpunk 2077's Character Creator Will Include Nonbinary Gender Options

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Cyberpunk 2077's Character Creator Will Include Nonbinary Gender Options

Among the many cool things we saw about Cyberpunk 2077 is its character creation tool, which allows you customize your character's look and stats, even allowing you to modify their street cred. However, the demo we saw this week showed only two cosmetic renditions of the character, one male and one female with different skill builds. CD Projekt Red has confirmed the creation tool will be much more diverse than this in the final version of the game, especially when it comes to physical appearance and gender.

For context, while Cyberpunk 2077 was being shown off at E3, a controversy regarding a risque in-game ad depicting a transgender character emerged, with some taking offense to how the ad fetishized or dehumanized trans people. 

Speaking with Polygon, CDPR art director Kasia Redesiuk said the ad is meant to be dystopian satire, and the company's goal is to create more acceptance for trans people and those with non-binary genders.

Red Dead Redemption II Original Soundtrack Coming Next Month

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Red Dead Redemption II Original Soundtrack Coming Next Month

Rockstar has announced a 13-track album called The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2 (Original Soundtrack), which collects some of the original music written for the game.

Out July 12, the soundtrack is produced by Daniel Lanois and includes vocal work from D'Angelo, Willie Nelson, Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens, and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. There's also a track written, produced, and performed by country-music producer David R. Ferguson.

The full song list is as follows:

What To Watch This Weekend: Call Of Duty, Hearthstone, And Brawlhalla

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What To Watch This Weekend: Call Of Duty, Hearthstone, And Brawlhalla

E3 may have had an esports zone, but this is the REAL esports zone, folks! We have a bunch of events going on this weekend across several genres, so watch something while you wait for your favorite upcoming games!

We have another weekend of the Overwatch League upon us, and the Boston Uprising (the new underdogs I am rooting for now that the Shanghai Dragons are winning matches) are playing! Let's all root for them now. (Stream / Schedule)

Of course, we also get 10 more League of Legends matches courtesy of the LCS, so if MOBAs are more your thing, have at it! (Stream / Schedule)

Weekend Warrior – Some Good Old-Fashioned Rest

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Weekend Warrior – Some Good Old-Fashioned Rest

It's finally over! Video games are cool and all, but sometimes you just have to take a break. With another E3 come and gone, it's time to kick back, relax, and not think about video games. Except for those of us who are still playing video games. What are you all playing? Let us know!

Jeff Cork – E3 is kind of an all-consuming time for gaming, so I’m going to carve out a nice chunk of time for doing literally anything else other than playing video games. Lawns don’t mow themselves, or at least they don’t until I teach my kids how to use the mower. Hey! That’s really boring! Moving on, I am playing something for review, and I’ve been having a good time with it so far. I can’t be specific right now, but take solace in the fact that an upcoming entertainment product is fun. What a time to be alive!

Emma Welch-Murphy (@EmmaMcmurphy) – This weekend we all finally get time off! We all had to come into the office over the passed weekend for E3 and after 12 days of gaming coverage, it's finally over. I have a lot of freelance writing to get done but sleeping in is what i'm looking forward to most.

Clueless Gamer Returns For Crash Team Racing With Conan O'Brien And Billy Eichner

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Clueless Gamer Returns For Crash Team Racing With Conan O'Brien And Billy Eichner

The fate of Conan O'Brien's recurring video game segment was called into question with the recent reformat of his show, but a recent episode confirms that it is still a thing, and O'Brien still doesn't seem to know much about video games, but in a way that's entertaining. In the latest episode, O'Brien is joined by Billy Eichner for a few rounds of the upcoming Crash Team Racing remake. You can watch the video above.

For more on Conan O'Brien's video game-related shenanigans, you can read this interview with O'Brien's cohort, Aaron Bleyaert, where he talks about his favorite video games of all time.

2019 Video Game Release Schedule

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2019 Video Game Release Schedule

If you're wondering what games are coming up in 2019, we've put them all in one convenient location. This list will be continually updated to act as a living, breathing schedule as new dates are announced, titles are delayed, and big reveals happen. This should help you plan out your next several months in gaming and beyond.

New additions or changes to the list will be in bold.

As the gaming calendar is constantly changing, we highly recommend you bookmark this page. You'll likely find yourself coming back to this to find out the most recent release schedule for the most anticipated games across PC, consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices. If you notice that we've missed something, feel free to let us know! Please note that games will not get assigned to a month until they have confirmed release dates.

Japanese Persona 5 Royal Trailer Shows Off Gameplay Updates

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Japanese Persona 5 Royal Trailer Shows Off Gameplay Updates

In an update trailer for the upcoming Japanese release of Persona 5 Royal, developer Atlus showed off some updates to palaces and battles to make the Phantom Thieves even more stylish. While the video is in Japanese, there is enough information in what is shown to cast educated speculation on some of the game's changes.

The trailer shows off a number of combat updates, including purchasing bullets and customizing guns to use elemental effects in battle. In the base game, bullets could inflict status effects, like despair or fear. Now bullets will be capable of striking with elemental effects that were previously attached exclusively to player skills, like electricity or fire.

Another update is Joker's use of the grappling hook. While the hook was shown off in Joker's Smash Bros. appearance, fans had yet to see it in the actual game. Now, in the trailer, you can see the grappling hook being used for palace traversal, dodging traps and crossing gaps, but it can also be used to start a battle from a distance. If you see an enemy walking around in the palace, you can grapple yourself right to it, leading to a quick battle in your favor. 

No Man's Sky Fans Thank Hello Games By Purchasing Ad Space On Billboard Visible From Its Offices

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No Man's Sky Fans Thank Hello Games By Purchasing Ad Space On Billboard Visible From Its Offices

No Man's Sky was a game that became infamous for undelivered promises way before Anthem did. But even after all this time and harsh criticisms, the developers did not give up hope and worked hard to make the game into what they knew it could be. The community is very happy with what the game has become and the thought of it getting better moving forward is beyond what they could have hoped for.

Besides just kind words sent Hello Games' way through social media, the fans wanted to go above and beyond just like the developers have. So how do they go about it? By buying ad space on a billboard outside of Hello Games' office.

our community has bought the billboard outside our office to say Thank You
Oh. My. God.https://t.co/oGTjFI4WWG

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Is A Total Game Changer

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Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Is A Total Game Changer

If you’ve played one Lego game, you’ve played them all. As much as I love the Lego games, I usually know what I’m in for when they boot up. That all changes with The Skywalker Saga. TT Games has completely rebuilt its engine and reimagined its classic Lego formula, and the results speak for themselves. (Actually, results can’t speak, so I’ll do that for them. The results say: This game rules.)

One of the biggest changes for this new Lego game is the camera, which now sits behind the shoulders of each character. The game looks great, the worlds are highly detailed, and the Lego characters have a nice fluid animation.

The Skywalker Saga not only looks different, it plays different. Have you heard of combos? Because TT Games has. Now characters can perform a series of attack combos. Of course, you can still button mash your way through most encounters, but you’ll also have more attack options in combat. The behind-the-shoulder camera also highlights the new shooting mechanics, which are now more precise and feel more like a third-person shooter (think of an adorable Gears of War).