ESA Backs Up Loot Boxes As FTC Begins Investigations

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ESA Backs Up Loot Boxes As FTC Begins Investigations

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission, an independent regulatory agency within the United States government, agreed to begin investigating the subject of whether video game loot boxes could be or should be classified as gambling. While not an official announcement, the FTC openly discussed that they are looking into the issue, which is a further step than most expected.

In the face of these investigations, the Entertainment Software Association is standing by their long-held stance that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, an ESA spokesperson said "Loot boxes are one way that players can enhance the experience that video games offer. Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase. They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not."

The spokesperson went on to point out that the ESA has in fact moved toward making parents more aware of loot boxes by putting labels for it on the back of game boxes.

Super Smash Bros. Director Explains Why Only Kirby Survived The Opening Cutscene

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Super Smash Bros. Director Explains Why Only Kirby Survived The Opening Cutscene

At the end of the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, a cutscene from the game's World of Light singleplayer mode was shown. In the cutscene, almost everyone dies, except for the pink puffball Kirby, who managed to use the Warp Star to teleport out of the galaxy before it is absorbed by the formless Galeem. It was long suspected that director Masahiro Sakurai chose Kirby to survive, and thus start off the World of Light mode, because Sakurai created Kirby when he was at HAL and thus maintains some preference for the character. Not so, says Sakurai.

In a column for Japanese magazine Famitsu, translated by Source Gaming, Sakurai dismisses the idea that his own bias for the character contributed. Instead, it was actually a lore-dependent decision sprinkled with some gameplay considerations that lead to Kirby being the best choice.

Gears Of War Movie Adaptation Finds A Screenwriter

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Gears Of War Movie Adaptation Finds A Screenwriter

It seems like video game movies are all the rage these days, as studios see the money some games make and publishers are eager for the boost in mindshare that comes from a major mainstream film. In 2016, Universal and Microsoft found themselves in agreement that a Gears of War movie would work well for both of them, so Universal optioned the rights and has found a screenwriter for the project.

F. Scott Frazier, best known for 2016 action film Collide and 2017 equally-action film xXx: Return of Xander Cage, has been tapped for the project, according to TheWrap. The movie is being co-produced by Dylan Clark, producer of the recent Planet of the Apes movies, and Rod Fergusson, who helped create the Gears of War franchise and now oversees it as head of the Gears-focused Microsoft studio The Coalition.

A Gears of War movie written by the people who make action movies like Gears of War makes total sense, as the "War is hell" angle probably diminishes when you start chainsawing dudes or pointing a gun that drops a satellite beam on their heads. 

New Dragon Ball FighterZ Update Adds Online Tournaments

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New Dragon Ball FighterZ Update Adds Online Tournaments

Dragon Ball FighterZ is still fresh on people's minds despite coming out nearly a year ago at the beginning of 2018 and Bandai Namco seems keen to keep it that way with further updates. A new update out today adds online tournaments to the game with custom rulesets, allowing players to fight together in a winner-moves-on structure. Considering how important tournaments are to the world of Dragon Ball, this only seems appropriate.

Players can create custom rules that get as granular as a tournament of only Yamcha or a tournament where only Kamehameha variations can defeat the opponent. You can also just have a clean match if you want it. You can browse tournaments by their rulesets and fill in empty spots if it's open to you or join in with friends and see who is actually the best Goku Black out there. You can even schedule them for specific times.

Winners get trophies which are then displayable in a trophy room. The themed areas mimic the game's lobby and even let you place lobby avatars down as decorations. You can check out the update in action in the video below.

World War II Multiplayer FPS Hell Let Loose Announced

about X hours ago from
World War II Multiplayer FPS Hell Let Loose Announced

Team 17, the indie publisher behind games like Overcooked and Yooka-Laylee, has revealed a new multiplayer first-person shooter set in the well-tilled grounds of World War II. Hell Let Loose intends to differ itself, however, by being a 50 vs. 50 multiplayer game with an emphasis on capturing territory.

You can check out the reveal trailer for the game below.

"Featuring sweeping maps modeled on real reconnaissance images and satellite data, the entire battlefield is divided up into large capture sectors - allowing for emergent and constantly unique gameplay that pits two forces of fifty players in a fight to the death across fields, bridges, forests and towns on an ever-evolving front line," Team 17 writes on the game's store page. "When a sector is captured, it will generate one of three resources for your team, creating a complex meta-game that will influence your team’s march to victory."

World War II Multiplayer FPS Hell Let Loose Announced

about X hours ago from
World War II Multiplayer FPS Hell Let Loose Announced

Team 17, the indie publisher behind games like Overcooked and Yooka-Laylee, has revealed a new multiplayer first-person shooter set in the well-tilled grounds of World War II. Hell Let Loose intends to differ itself, however, by being a 50 vs. 50 multiplayer game with an emphasis on capturing territory.

You can check out the reveal trailer for the game below.

"Featuring sweeping maps modeled on real reconnaissance images and satellite data, the entire battlefield is divided up into large capture sectors - allowing for emergent and constantly unique gameplay that pits two forces of fifty players in a fight to the death across fields, bridges, forests and towns on an ever-evolving front line," Team 17 writes on the game's store page. "When a sector is captured, it will generate one of three resources for your team, creating a complex meta-game that will influence your team’s march to victory."

Obsidian Teasing New Sci-Fi Game With Countdown

about X hours ago from
Obsidian Teasing New Sci-Fi Game With Countdown

At XO18 earlier this month, Microsoft announced that they intend to acquire Obsidian Entertainment, the RPG studio behind games like Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, Alpha Protocol. Now, not even a month out from that announcement, Obsidian looks ready to announce their next new game and is giving hints of what it might be.

Geoff Keighley, host of The Game Awards, has already confirmed that the next game will be premiering at the awards show. 

Don't miss the global premiere and announcement of the upcoming RPG by @Obsidian and @PrivateDivision at @TheGameAwards streaming live everywhere next Thursday, December 6 at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT. #WorldsWillChange pic.twitter.com/LjW8GmdwcB

Bethesda Responds To Complaints About Fallout 76's Special Edition Merchandise

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Bethesda Responds To Complaints About Fallout 76's Special Edition Merchandise

The Fallout 76 special edition, known officially as the Power Armor edition, was announced during Bethesda's E3 conference earlier this year. Todd Howard introduced the collectibles by showcasing a CG trailer of someone putting on a power armor helmet, then including an image of the special edition's contents. That picture, which has been and is still being used in marketing materials, is part of what's causing a new round of frustration with fans.

In the advertisement, the image shows a heavy duty canvas bag for carrying your brand new Power Armor helmet around. The actual product released is a nylon bag, which is a lot less durable and made of significantly cheaper materials.

It's no shock that items in a special edition's advertising are different than how they come out once they're mass produced, as anyone that has ever bought one with a statue included will certainly tell you. Materials being entirely different, especially when specifically outlined in the advertisement, is a different ballgame altogether, however. 

Netflix Creating Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Series

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Netflix Creating Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Series

Fans of Shinichiro Watanabe's 1998 classic animated series Cowboy Bebop remember the show for its specific character writing, jazzy soundtrack, and unemulatable style. Now, Netflix is hoping to capture some of Watanabe's vision with a live-action series announced via their Twitter.

Guess it’s time to announce that Cowboy Bebop, the live-action series, is heading to @Netflix. pic.twitter.com/bKe0d8EKoH

While details are scant, Variety reports that the series has been in the works for about a year and will have an initial run for ten episodes. Netflix themselves later tweeted, perhaps to calm the reaction to the initial announcement, that director Shinichiro Watanabe is a consultant on the series.

Get Must-Have Indies Alongside Headliners Soma And Onrush In December’s PS Plus Free Games

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Get Must-Have Indies Alongside Headliners Soma And Onrush In December’s PS Plus Free Games

December’s free PlayStation Plus games will get your heart pounding in two very different ways. Soma, Frictional Games’ sci-fi survival horror, received a 8.5 from us back when it released in 2015. Tim Turi wrote that, “All the core genre tenets are still in place, wrapped in a tense, underwater setting that tells one of the most intriguing sci-fi stories in recent memory.”

While Onrush’s bright and colorful vibe is about as far from horror as you can get, the arcade-style racer will make your heart beat equally fast. You can watch Jeff Cork, Matt Kato, and Leo Vader in friendly car-smashing competition on this episode of New Gameplay Today.

PlayStation Plus members can pick up these two headliners as well as the critically acclaimed indies Iconoclasts – which Kyle HIlliad gave a 9 ­– and Papers, Please – developed by Lucas Pope, creator of recently released Return of the Obra Dinn.