US-China trade agreement lowers the cost of next-gen consoles, but not board games

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US-China trade agreement lowers the cost of next-gen consoles, but not board games

In December, the United States and China reached a so-called “Phase One” trade agreement that suspended proposed tariffs on video game consoles indefinitely. While it’s not quite the comprehensive reform package that the Trump administration has been after, it does remove a significant threat to the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X this holiday season. Meanwhile, those in the tabletop games industry are still suffering.

President Donald Trump first adopted his combative stance against Chinese trade policies while on the campaign trail in 2016. After his election, he went on to raise existing tariffs and create new ones. The situation came to a head last summer with the threat of 25% tariffs on some $160 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consoles. Those tariffs had the potential to increase the cost of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which will likely be built in China this year for sale in the United States and elsewhere.

League of Legends, CS:GO events in China canceled amid coronavirus outbreak

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League of Legends, CS:GO events in China canceled amid coronavirus outbreak

Two esports events in China have been canceled following the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan City.

The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) has postponed week two of its 2020 season until it “can ensure the safety and health of our players and fans.” English commentators Jake “Hysterics” Osypenko, Robert “Dagda” Price, Oisín “Penguin” Molloy, Clement Chu, and Joe “Munchables” Fenny are also leaving the country out of fear of the virus. None of the casters are showing symptoms of the virus, they said.

New Torchlight game ditches free-to-play model, renamed Torchlight 3

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New Torchlight game ditches free-to-play model, renamed Torchlight 3

The developers of Torchlight Frontiers, a free-to-play, shared-world version of Runic Games’ Torchlight action role-playing game series, are overhauling the game and renaming it Torchlight 3. The developers pitched the change as taking Torchlight “back to its roots,” and will sell the game on Steam this summer for an undisclosed price.

Torchlight 3 will feature a linear progression system, similar to 2009’s Torchlight and its 2012 sequel.

Plague Inc. isn’t a reliable source of information on coronavirus, dev says

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Plague Inc. isn’t a reliable source of information on coronavirus, dev says

Following the coronavirus outbreak in China, developer Ndemic Creations’ Plague Inc. saw a boost in players — something that happens often when there’s an outbreak of a new illness, despite the game being eight years old. But with the surge in players, Ndemic Creations is reminding players that Plague Inc. isn’t a “scientific model” and people interested in the outbreak should seek official information elsewhere.

“We specifically designed the game to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalizing serious real-world issues,” Ndemic Creations wrote in a statement on its website. “This has been recognized by the CDC and other leading medical organizations.”

The mass Twitch exodus: Why streamers are leaving

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The mass Twitch exodus: Why streamers are leaving

A few years ago, if you were a streamer, you were on Twitch — simple as that. Outside of a few select content creators, everyone who wanted to be a streamer had to use Twitch’s platform. It was the only viable game in town. But over the last year, the streaming landscape has changed. Twitch still remains the largest streaming platform, but some of its biggest creators are signing exclusive contracts with platforms like Mixer, Caffeine, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming.

Which leaves fans with a question: Why? The answer is a lot more complicated than you might think.

Fortnite pro, big-time streamer and good son pays off his mom’s student loans

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Fortnite pro, big-time streamer and good son pays off his mom’s student loans

Here’s a heartwarming story to close out your weekend: A top flight Fortnite pro and streamer paid off all of his mother’s student loans. His livestream at the end of the week captured the moment, and his mom’s delighted, genuine surprise.

As to that, Aydan Conrad’s mother sounds more surprised by her son’s ability to engineer the payoff, rather than coming up with the money for it. Aydan has 1.4 million Twitch followers and, as a member of Ghost Gaming, more than $125,000 in Fortnite winnings, so his mom reasonably knows he has the means of retiring her loans. Still, she says, “I don’t need anything, Aydan, You’ve done enough for me.”

Doom documentary discusses demon designs

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Doom documentary discusses demon designs

Noclip, the documentary team that delivered deep dives on Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios’ origins, and the history of Quake, is back on the case with a 20-minute look at the demons of Doom Eternal. It’s part preview, part design documentary, and it gives ample time to the game’s all-new foes as well as icons updated for present day.

Hugo Martin, Doom Eternal’s game director, starts with four throwbacks to 1994’s Doom 2: Hell on Earth: The Arachnotron, Archvile, Hellified Soldier and, of course, Pain Elemental, one of the series’ more iconic beasts.

Soulcalibur’s samurai gets a showdown with Haohmaru

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Soulcalibur’s samurai gets a showdown with Haohmaru

Announced this weekend at Evo Japan 2020, here is Haohmaru from Samurai Shodown crossing over into Soulcalibur 6. He’s taking on his Soulcalibur counterpart Mitsurugi in this reveal trailer.

Haohmaru is the second of the four characters comprising Soulcalibur 6’s second season of downloadable content. He’s the protagonist of the Samurai Shodown series (and cover star for the 2019 game), first appearing with the franchise’s debut in 1993. He previously crossed over in the two Capcom vs. SNK collaborations of 1999 and 2001.

Uncharted movie bumps Masters of the Universe off March 2021 release date

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Uncharted movie bumps Masters of the Universe off March 2021 release date

Sony Pictures still thinks its Uncharted movie is coming out at some point during our current space-time continuum, even as it hunts for yet another director, the seventh for the 13-year-old project. Sony on Thursday moved the film from a Dec. 18, 2020 release date to March 5, 2021.

That’s bad news for He-Man. Deadline reports that Masters of the Universe already had the March 5, 2021 date; now it simply has no release date. Masters of the Universe is also listed in pre-production, per IMDB.