EA’s stock price takes a beating, and analysts see change coming to loot boxes

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EA’s stock price takes a beating, and analysts see change coming to loot boxes

A monthlong slide in Electronic Arts’ stock price, which mainstream financial press has attributed to the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box controversy, has caught the company’s attention, and is likely to spur changes to EA’s microtransactions approach.

But one prominent analyst says any changes won’t come imminently. And, it must be said, EA’s stock price today is still almost $25 above what it was a year ago.

December’s PlayStation Plus games end 2017 with Death and pandas

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December’s PlayStation Plus games end 2017 with Death and pandas

The final batch of games offered to PlayStation Plus subscribers this year includes Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition and, more importantly, Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends. It’s perhaps an unexciting way to end 2017, a year that was nothing if not ... exciting?

Both Darksiders 2 and Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends will be available for PlayStation 4 owners to download. Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition is a remaster of the 2012 original; the Deathinitive Edition was released on PS4 and Xbox One in 2015. Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends is a Smash Bros.-like fighting game in which four players duke it out as protagonist panda Po and all those other anthropomorphic animals you love from the Kung Fu Panda franchise.

Star Citizen is now selling plots of virtual land

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Star Citizen is now selling plots of virtual land

Star Citizen, the ambitious collection of spacefaring games from Chris Roberts and his team at Cloud Imperium Games (CIG), is now offering backers the opportunity to buy plots of virtual land.

Neither the plots of land, nor the planets that they will be on, are currently available. CIG said that land rights, which cost $50 each, will entitle the purchaser to a single four-kilometer square plot zoned for either commercial, residential or industrial use as well as an in-game item with which to make their claim. No date has been given as to when land claims can be made.

Nintendo’s new Super Mario breakfast cereal is also an amiibo

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Nintendo’s new Super Mario breakfast cereal is also an amiibo

Kellogg’s and Nintendo have teamed up for Super Mario Cereal, a sugary breakfast cereal designed to promote Super Mario Odyssey. In addition to bringing Nintendo-themed cereals back to store shelves, the release is noteworthy for another reason: The cereal box is an amiibo.

Super Mario Cereal hasn’t been officially announced by Nintendo and Kellogg’s yet, but it’s already reportedly showing up on store shelves. Cereal blog Cerealously uncovered the product earlier this week, and Super Mario Cereal — a mixed berry-flavored cereal with “power-up marshmallows” — is starting to be stocked in stores.

Magic: The Gathering cosplayer quits over harassment, forcing Wizards to speak up

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Magic: The Gathering cosplayer quits over harassment, forcing Wizards to speak up

Wizards of the Coast, the company behind popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering, is speaking up about harassment and cyberbullying after a popular cosplayer publicly left the community following months of alleged abuse from a YouTube user and his subscribers.

On Nov. 24, cosplayer Christine Sprankle tweeted that she was unloading her Magic: The Gathering costumes and cosplay gear in the wake of months of harassment. Sprankle, who has been contracted by Wizards of the Coast in the past and is considered one of the most popular cosplayers in the Magic scene, spoke about harassment she suffered after Jeremy Hambly, a controversial YouTuber who is seen as a toxic member of the community by other YouTubers and personalities, posted a degrading video about her and other cosplayers.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’s pizzas take absurdly long to make

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’s pizzas take absurdly long to make

Everyone loves pizza. Even the animals in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp love pizza — especially Ketchup the duck. But the kind of pizza that Ketchup asks players to order for her in order to lure her to their campsite doesn’t sound like any kind of pizza I want to eat: Not only is it pricey, but it takes way, way too long to make.

In Pocket Camp, every piece of furniture requires a certain amount of time and materials to build. Pizza counts as furniture, which should be the first warning sign here. The second problem: In order to bring that pizza into your camp, you have to spend a cool 1,940 bells. There’s no exact exchange rate for bells into U.S. dollars, but if we imagine that 100 bells is, say, a dollar ... you do the math. And even without that relative comparison, the pizza is still way costlier than less perishable items like chairs.

Bungie cancels Destiny 2 livestream as tensions with community rise

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Bungie cancels Destiny 2 livestream as tensions with community rise

Bungie will not hold tomorrow’s planned reveal livestream for Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris expansion, the studio announced today. Instead, said Bungie, it will publish a blog post with “higher priority information” about the future of the game.

“We are investing all our efforts into delivering some higher priority information about Destiny 2,” said David “DeeJ” Dague, community manager at Bungie, in a post on the studio’s forums this afternoon. “You’ll hear from studio leadership about their assessment of Destiny all up, they’ll talk about our goals for the game going forward, and you’ll also learn about how we’re reacting to your feedback with some game updates that will arrive in the next few weeks.”

EA explains why Battlefront 2 didn’t focus on cosmetics in loot boxes

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EA explains why Battlefront 2 didn’t focus on cosmetics in loot boxes

Electronic Arts’ confusing and controversial in-game economy for Star Wars Battlefront 2 was so unpopular with fans of the franchise, the publisher was forced to rip out in-game purchases from the game just hours before it officially launched. So why did EA and DICE opt for a complex economy of credits, crystals, Craft Parts and Star Cards instead of, say, cosmetic skins for its heroes? In part, it seems, it was due to concerns with violating the Star Wars canon.

Cosmetic items have proved popular in games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty, and with a wide variety of costumes available to Star Wars’ heroes and villains, treating the heroes of Battlefront 2 more like Kenner action figures seems like a logical monetization solution for EA.

Yooka-Laylee comes to Nintendo Switch on Dec. 14

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Yooka-Laylee comes to Nintendo Switch on Dec. 14

Yooka-Laylee, the 3D platforming homage to Banjo-Kazooie made by veterans of that series, will launch on Nintendo Switch on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Yooka-Laylee had been announced for the Switch back in February, and given a launch date some time this year. Playtonic, the game’s developer, originally promised a version on Wii U during Yooka-Laylee’s 2015 crowdfunding campaign. Those plans were scrapped at the end of 2016, when Playtonic announced a Switch port was coming.

PUBG is heading to mobile

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PUBG is heading to mobile

A mobile version of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is in development, Tencent announced this week. The mega-publisher is working with developer Bluehole to port the Windows PC hit to smartphones for Chinese audiences.

Tencent promises a similar PUBG experience on mobile as on PC, although it remains to be seen how the company will translate the shooter to a smaller screen. (There are plenty of battle royale-style games already on mobile that may give fans an idea of what to expect, at least.)