Game News

Subscribe to Game News feed
The latest News from GameSpot
Updated: 2 hours 51 min ago

Brightburn Director Explains Why It's Not A Supervillain Movie

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 06:11

Tired of the hopeful sentimentality of the superhero movie genre, or just looking for something different, scarier, and much, much darker? Brightburn could be your ticket. As a movie that begins and ends with the question "What if Superman, but evil?" Brightburn isn't a movie for the young or faint-hearted. It takes the concept to the extreme, following a young super-powered boy who gets more and more murderous as he discovers his incredible abilities.

But while "evil Superman" sounds like a great concept for a comic book supervillain, Brightburn director David Yarovesky told GameSpot that his titular protagonist/antagonist is not a supervillain, and certainly not an anti-hero--but simply an evil superhero. The distinction is somewhat fuzzy, but it's crucial to the movie's indentity.

"I've heard people talk about this as a supervillain story. I've heard people talk about this as an antihero story. I've heard people talk about it as a superhero story. It seems to be one of those things, you know, 'Are you looking at a blue dress or a white dress?' kind of a situation," the director said. "I would say that it is an evil superhero movie--I like 'evil superhero.'"

Calling Brandon Breyer, who comes to be known as Brightburn, a supervillain isn't quite right. But it's not completely incorrect, either, the director said, "because supervillain has a connotation to it--that he's the counter to some other power. And it's also, [a supervillain] feels like, not central--it feels like the B-plot, the supervillain story. You know? This is an evil superhero story."

Brightburn is, indeed, the central figure of the movie, for better or worse. There's no counterpoint or foil for Brandon, no scrappy hero to rise up and thwart his evil plans.

"It's a challenging idea, because you have potentially the most powerful villain in a horror movie that I can wrap my mind around right now," Yarovesky said. "He's so powerful--how do you fight that? How do you survive an encounter? And so that was one of the challenges of the movie, was finding clever, creative ways to play cat-and-mouse with him, to build anticipation, to make it scary."

Brightburn obviously straddles two genres: superhero and horror. "The fun of this movie was always where superhero and horror meet, like, the corner of that street," Yarovesky said. "So finding ways to take any beat that felt horror and inject superhero into it, and at the same time, finding any moment that felt too just purely superhero, finding ways to tell it in a new way--tell it in a scary way."

Ultimately that meant leaning more into the horror side of it. "I approached this movie like a horror movie," he said. "I wanted people to be scared, you know? I wanted to tell a [superhero] origin story, but I wanted to tell it through the lens of horror. To me, it was a horror movie, and I had a clear intention of how I wanted you to feel in the movie."

A Promise to Fans

Brightburn gets really intense with its gore, including gruesome close-up shots of a car crash victim, an injury involving an eyeball, and much more. Yarovesky said he wasn't afraid to go there, because he believes he understands who this movie's audience is.

"I felt like I made a promise to the audience," he said. "I knew the trailer that we were going to be putting before people. I knew what we were telling people the movie was going to be: We're telling the definitive superhero horror story. And what that means is, I'm going to show you what it looks like if someone starts using superpowers on us. And it's horrifying. I felt like I absolutely had to give you the most f***ed up superhero movie you could possibly imagine."

"I always kept my eye on the prize of, I know what this movie is. I know who my audience is, you know? I'm making this movie for people who think seeing a scary, evil superhero would be cool," he continued. "16-year-old me, knowing that, would have gotten incredibly excited to hear that that movie was R-rated. And knowing that it was R-rated, it felt like a promise to the audience that we were going to go there. And so we went there."

Yarovesky said the movie is meant to feel hopeless; it's a response to the contemporary superhero movie landscape.

"I think that if you look at the sort of more family-friendly, altruistic superhero movies that we've all grown up with and that we all love--and that I will still continue to pay money for every time they come out and see every one of them again and again and again--but if you look at those movies, they are full of hope and joy and optimism," he said. "The evil superhero in this movie is is the counter to that, and is the inverse of that. So I would be failing at my duties of making that evil superhero story if I filled you with hope and optimism."

Brightburn was produced by MCU heavy hitter James Gunn, and written by Gunn brother Brian and his cousin Mark. Yarovesky has also appeared in Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as one of Yondu's Ravagers (he's credited as "Goth Ravager," which Yarovesky said is indeed his character's official name). The Brightburn director is well aware that the movie is a weird fit for this moment in cinematic history.

"I mean, sure. In one part, it's hard not to see this movie and think about Avengers and the scale of superheroes these days," he said. "You know, we'll all look back at this era in pop culture and see how superheroes infected all aspects of storytelling in so many ways. And this is certainly one of those ways. I grew up loving horror movies and watching horror movies, and I'd watch interviews with the people who created horror movies of the '80s, and of the '90s, and even of the '70s. And so much of those stories were birthed out of that time period and what was happening then to inspire the things that scare them. And there's no way to look at this movie and not see that it is absolutely inspired by the time, in so many different ways."

In addition to current superhero movies, the director leveled some criticism at modern horror: "I think that sometimes the era of horror that we're in right now can feel overly supernatural and soft and without consequence," he said. "I wanted [Brightburn] to be scary and threatening. When you know he's coming for you, he's going to get you, and it's going to be real bad.

"I think that we fulfilled that promise."

Brightburn hits theaters Friday, May 24.

One Of The World's Biggest Games, League Of Legends, Reportedly Headed To Mobile

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 05:55

It seems developer Riot Games is looking to bring one of the world's most popular games, the MOBA League of Legends, to the mobile market. According to a Reuters report, a mobile version of League of Legends is reportedly in development.

Both Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Riot did not provide comment on the matter, but Reuters reports that "one of the sources said Tencent and Riot have been working on a mobile version of 'League of Legends' for more than a year." A separate source, according to Reuters, says this mobile League of Legends probably won't launch this year.

Reuters cites data aggregator Statista, which states that League of Legends raked in $1.4 billion last year, a 21% decrease from the year prior but a huge sum nonetheless. Bringing League of Legends to mobile, a game with 10 years of history under its belt, would bode well for both Riot and Tencent. As Reuters puts it, "Mobile games accounted for 57% of videogame revenue in China in 2018 but only 36% in the U.S. market."

As Newzoo analyst Gu Tianyi states, "League of Legends is not doing as well as it used to and so Riot badly needs a new way to monetise the game, especially considering that it is Riot's only game."

In our Most Influential Games of the 21st Century series, we covered the impact League of Legends has had on things like the burgeoning esports industry. "From record viewership numbers on Twitch to hosting one of the biggest esports events ever at Madison Square Garden in 2016, Riot Games' prodigal son has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2009. Blizzard and Valve, the top dogs when Riot Games entered the scene, are now playing catch-up to the well-oiled Ferrari that is the League of Legends production model, and it shows."

While there's no doubting the significance of League, developer Riot has received an increase amount of attention recently due to complaints from its employees. Most recently, more than 150 members of its staff staged a walkout to protest company policies.

Nioh 2: New Trailer And Closed Alpha Test Announced

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 05:40

Developer Team Ninja is back with some new, if scant, information on Nioh 2. This time, the Toyko-based studio has unveiled a new trailer detailing a closed alpha for the upcoming hack 'n' slash title.

The closed alpha trailer looks very much like Nioh, with all the same imagery and iconography. Something new, however, is the change in characters. Alongside playable male samurai, we see a female samurai (Onna-bugeisha) do battle against yokai throughout the trailer. Later in the trailer, the playable characters transform into yokai themselves with what looks to be different forms and movesets, suggesting that Nioh 2 will feature some sort of transformation state players can use in battle. The game also seems to feature several new weapons, including a longer, nodachi-style blade, duel-wielded axes, a naginata (a pole weapon similar to a spear), and more. You can check out the closed alpha trailer below.

As indicated by the trailer, Nioh 2's closed alpha will be held for a full week, starting on Saturday, May 25 and ending on Sunday, June 2. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to request an invite. According to a tweet from the official Team Ninja Twitter account, "Some PS4 users are invited to take part in the Nioh 2 closed alpha to help gather feedback for the development." Team Ninja didn't clarify how it will notify PS4 users that they've been granted access, and the studio currently has no plans to expand the alpha.

Some PS4 users are invited to take part in the Nioh 2 closed alpha to help gather feedback for the development. To ensure the team can manage the feedback, there are no plans to expand the alpha at the moment, but please keep an eye on our channels for more info in the future. pic.twitter.com/hS1l0rHLFa

— Team NINJA (@TeamNINJAStudio) May 22, 2019

Nioh 2 was revealed during Sony's E3 2018 press conference. The short teaser, at the top, sees a wounded samurai fleeing into a marsh field before defending against a few yokai. After succumbing to wounds, the samurai falls to his knees, at which point he grows horns on his forehead and pulls them both out of his skull, revealing the demon underneath. With Sony skipping E3 2019, it's unclear when we'll be getting our next look at Nioh 2.

What's Coming And Going From Netflix In June 2019? New Movies, TV, And Originals (US)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 04:42

It's almost June, and that means a wave of new content is coming to Netflix in the upcoming month. From movies that hit theaters earlier in the year to brand-new Netflix originals, there is plenty of content coming to the service next month.

The final season of any Netflix/Marvel joint venture hits the streaming service in the upcoming month. Season 3 of Jessica Jones is set to debut on Netflix sometime in June. However, no specific release date has been announced. There will be no more Marvel TV series on Netflix, as Marvel is moving its properties to the new streaming service, Disney+ later this year.

The most-anticipated release this month is Season 5 of Black Mirror on June 5. The last release of the series, a choose your own adventure-style episode called Bandersnatch, actually delayed Season 5 of the hit show. This season will only contain three episodes,--Striking Vipers, Smithereens, and Rachel, Jack And Ashley, Too--but it's looking like it will be an exciting one--also, super-depressing.

As usual, there are plenty of movies coming to the service in June, including Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, which arrive on June 1. And while Disney is pulling its content this fall, there are still a few things coming, like on June 15 when Ralph Breaks the Internet arrives.

But Netflix is also giving content the boot in June, so you have a limited amount of time to watch some movies. On June 1, Stargate, Doom, and the Kill Bill movies exit Netflix, so watch them before they leave. On June 5, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 leaves, so it'll be your last chance to check that one out as well.

Below, you'll find the full list of everything coming and going from Netflix in June. For more on streaming services, check out the June releases list for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Coming To Netflix In JuneNo Date
  • Marvel's Jessica Jones: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Trinkets -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/1/19
  • Arthdal Chronicles -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Oh, Ramona! -- NETFLIX FILM
  • 50/50
  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
  • Batman Begins
  • Cabaret
  • Carrie
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Dynasty: Season 2
  • Good Night, and Good Luck
  • Gran Torino
  • Life in the Doghouse
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
  • Magic Mike
  • Network
  • Platoon
  • Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World Of Ben Ferencz
  • Satan & Adam
  • Small Soldiers
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Space Between Us
  • What a Girl Wants
Avail. 6/3/19
  • Documentary Now!: Season 3
  • Malibu Rescue: The Series -- NETFLIX FAMILY
Avail. 6/4/19
  • Miranda Sings Live…Your Welcome -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/5/19
  • A Silent Voice
  • Black Mirror: Season 5 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Dr. Seuss' The Grinch
Avail. 6/6/19
  • Alles ist gut -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Todos lo saben
Avail. 6/7/19
  • 3%: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Belmonte
  • The Black Godfather -- NETFLIX FILM
  • The Chef Show -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Designated Survivor: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Elisa & Marcela -- NETFLIX FILM
  • I Am Mother -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Pachamama -- NETFLIX FAMILY
  • Rock My Heart -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Super Monsters Monster Pets -- NETFLIX FAMILY
  • Tales of the City -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/8/19
  • Berlin, I Love You
Avail. 6/11/19
  • Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet
Avail. 6/12/19
  • Jo Koy: Comin' In Hot -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese -- NETFLIX FILM
Avail. 6/13/19
  • The 3rd Eye 2 -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Jinn -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Kakegurui xx -- NETFLIX ANIME
Avail. 6/14/19
  • Aggretsuko: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ANIME
  • The Alcàsser Murders -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Awake: The Million Dollar Game -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Charité at War -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Cinderella Pop -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce: Season 5
  • Leila -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Life Overtakes Me -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Marlon: Season 2
  • Murder Mystery -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Unité 42 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/15/19
  • Grey's Anatomy: Season 15
Avail. 6/16/19
  • Cop Car
Avail. 6/17/19
  • The Missing: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/18/19
  • Adam Devine: Best Time of Our Lives -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Big Kill
Avail. 6/19/19
  • Beats -- NETFLIX FILM
  • The Edge of Democracy -- NETFLIX FILM
Avail. 6/20/19
  • Le Chant du Loup -- NETFLIX FILM
Avail. 6/21/19
  • Ad Vitam -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Bolívar -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • The Casketeers: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • The Confession Tapes: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Dark: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • The End of Evangelion
  • EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)²
  • Girls Incarcerated: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • GO! Live Your Way: Season 2 -- NETFLIX FAMILY
  • Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil -- NETFLIX FILM
  • La misma sangre -- NETFLIX FILM
  • Mr. Iglesias -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Shooter: Season 3
Avail. 6/24/19
  • Forest of Piano: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ANIME
Avail. 6/25/19
  • Mike Epps: Only One Mike -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/26/19
  • The Golem
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • The Zookeeper
Avail. 6/27/19
  • Answer for Heaven -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/28/19
  • 20th Century Women
  • 7SEEDS -- NETFLIX ANIME
  • Dope: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Exhibit A -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Instant Hotel: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • Motown Magic: Season 2 -- NETFLIX FAMILY
  • Paquita Salas: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
  • The Chosen One -- NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. 6/29/19
  • Scare Tactics: Seasons 4 & 5
Avail. 6/30/19
  • Madam Secretary: Season 5
Leaving Netflix In JuneLeaving 6/1/19
  • An Extremely Goofy Movie
  • Apollo 13
  • Cold in July
  • Disney's 101 Dalmatians
  • Disney's The Fox and the Hound 2
  • Disney's The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story
  • Doom
  • Freddy vs. Jason
  • Friday the 13th
  • Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves
  • I Am Legend
  • In the Army Now
  • Inspector Gadget 2
  • Jason X
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2
  • Legally Blonde
  • Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Playing It Cool
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Reindeer Games
  • Stargate
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The Bone Collector
  • The Constant Gardener
Leaving 6/4/19
  • District 9
Leaving 6/5/19
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Leaving 6/6/19
  • The Soloist
Leaving 6/14/19
  • Grand Designs: Australia: Season 4
  • I Own Australia's Best Home: Season 1
  • I Own Britain's Best Home: Season 1
  • Mother
Leaving 6/15/19
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
  • National Lampoon's Van Wilder
  • The Pianist
Leaving 6/16/19
  • Death Race
Leaving 6/24/19
  • Disney's Mulan 2

Mario Kart Tour Closed Beta Raises F2P Concerns

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 03:48

The mobile spin-off Mario Kart Tour has just launched its closed beta, available to select users who pre-registered. Those early impressions are giving us some of our first indications for what to expect from this new type of Mario Kart game.

On the whole, it seems like a greatest hits of tracks and racers from throughout Mario Kart history. And mechanically, it appears stripped down and simple, but functional; you drag from one side to the other to steer your go-kart around the tracks. Like Mario Kart 8, your loadout includes a racer, kart, and glider selection. It also uses auto-accelerate similar to the Mario Kart 8 option.

However, the game is facing criticism over its approach toward microtransactions. Rather than a traditional Mario Kart game with unlockable racers, Mario Kart Tour is said to have free-to-play loot mechanics for earning additional racers and karts.

In a preview, Kotaku reported green gems serve as the premium currency. You can use those to pull a random racer, kart, or glider out of a golden pipe. But some characters get bonuses based on the track, so it's possible that to compete at higher levels you may need to use particular characters, creating a loot grind. The game also uses a stamina mechanic, represented by hearts, which bars further play once you run out. You can either wait a requisite time for them to refresh on their own or you can pay the premium currency to refill them.

This is a beta test, so Nintendo could still be testing and balancing these mechanics. The company recently announced it will be pulling Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes from Belgium, due to the country's recent laws against loot box mechanics in games. Meanwhile US Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has recently proposed a bill that would forbid loot box mechanics in games targeted at minors, which would likely impact most of Nintendo's catalog including Mario Kart Tour if passed.

PS Plus Members Get Twice The Discount On Select PS4 Games This Week (US)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 03:43

The PlayStation Store's Totally Digital Sale continues this week with markdowns on PS4 games like Dead Cells, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Superhot VR. Plus, more game deals have been added, including a batch of over 200 titles that PS Plus members can get twice the discount on. There's also a new Warner Bros. sale with markdowns across franchises like Batman: Arkham, Lego, Hitman, and Mortal Kombat.

A PS Plus membership will come in handy with this week's PS4 deals (and by the way, you can get a 12-month membership for only $40 right now). PS Plus members can save twice as much on hundreds of titles, like Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition ($19.79), Dirt Rally 2.0 ($30), and XCOM 2 ($14.39). Other notable deals include BioShock for $4, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden for $25, and No Man's Sky for $25. You have some extra time to claim these discounts--the deals end June 4 at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET.

The Warner Bros. sale is also worth checking out for its deals on Batman: Arkham games and Lego titles. You can get the entire Batman: Arkham collection for $30, which includes the definitive versions of all three games, plus all DLC. Injustice 2's Legendary Edition is marked down to $24 from $60, and Mad Max is only $7. Meanwhile, the Lego games are all available for $8, except for Lego: Marvel Super Heroes 2's Deluxe Edition, which is $14. These deals end May 28 at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET.

See some of the best game deals below, and browse the full offering of deals at the PlayStation Store. Plus, don't forget to check out the deals posted last week as part of the Totally Digital Sale--those discounts will also expire May 28.

Double Discounts Sale

Prices shown reflect full PS Plus discount.

  • Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion -- $8
  • Battlefield 4 -- $4.79
  • BioShock -- $4
  • BioShock: The Collection -- $14.39
  • Borderlands -- $4
  • Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition -- $19.79
  • Borderlands 2 -- $4
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered -- $4.79
  • Cities Skylines -- $12
  • The Crew -- $7.49
  • Dirt 4 -- $12
  • Dirt Rally 2.0 -- $30
  • Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition -- $10.39
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition - Game of the Year Edition -- $9.59
  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen -- $18
  • Fe -- $4.79
  • The Gold Club 2019 feat. PGA Tour -- $30
  • Grand Theft Auto V -- $15
  • Just Cause 4 -- $30
  • Lego: The Incredibles -- $12
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden -- $25
  • NBA 2K19 -- $19.19
  • No Man's Sky -- $25
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 -- $2
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider -- $30
  • Song of the Deep -- $4
  • Surviving Mars -- $15
  • Tacoma -- $6
  • Tom Clancy's The Division -- $10
  • Unravel 2 -- $4.79
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- $12
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition -- $15
  • XCOM 2 -- $14.39

Warner Bros. Sale

Prices shown reflect the standard discount; PS Plus members will save a bit more.

  • Batman: Arkham Collection -- $30
  • Batman: Arkham Knight -- $10
  • Batman: Arkham Knight - Premium Edition -- $18
  • Batman: Arkham VR -- $14
  • Batman: Return to Arkham -- $10
  • Hitman HD - Enhanced Collection -- $30
  • Injustice 2 - Legendary Edition -- $24
  • Lego: Harry Potter Collection -- $8
  • Lego: Jurassic World -- $8
  • Lego: Marvel's Avengers -- $8
  • Lego: Marvel Super Heroes -- $8
  • Lego: Marvel Super Heroes 2 - Deluxe Edition -- $14
  • Lego: Star Wars - The Force Awakens -- $8
  • Mad Max -- $7
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Game of the Year Edition -- $12
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War -- $17.49
  • Mortal Kombat XL -- $10
  • Mortal Kombat X - Kombat Pack 2 -- $10

E3 2019 Rumor Roundup

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 03:30

With the approach of E3 2019, the rumor mill is abuzz with the possible announcements, trailers, and reveals that will come out of the show. Quite a few aren't very likely--they're more pipe dreams than anything really. However, some of the rumors carry some weight to them. Of everything rumored to come out of E3 2019, the reveals listed below are (in our opinion) the most likely to carry some semblance of truth.

Remember, nothing detailed in this article has been confirmed (yet). It's a collection of speculations based off of small tidbits of information, leaked details, and investigative reports. That said, if our collection of E3 2018 rumors is any indication, some speculations can turn out to be fact. Last year, rumors that E3 2018 would see the announcement of Hitman 2 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey ultimately turned out to be true. Prior to E3, there was also speculation that CD Projekt Red would show off Cyberpunk 2077 (and boy did they) and that Bethesda would announce something Fallout related (and we got Fallout 76).

More leaks and rumors are bound to pop up the closer we get to E3 2019, so continue to check back on this article as we get closer to June. We'll continue to update the following list of rumors as they come up (provided there's weight behind them).

Infinity Ward's Call Of Duty 2019 Is Revealed To Be Modern Warfare 4

Traditionally, Activision reveals the name of its new Call of Duty games in May, but the month is already almost over and there's no planned announcement in sight. That hasn't stopped fan speculation though, and rumors are pointing to the new Call of Duty game being Modern Warfare 4. Whatever the game is, it's been confirmed to appear at E3 2019, and it's already playable.

Following the established rotation, Infinity Ward has been confirmed as the developer for Call of Duty 2019. Other than revealing Call of Duty will include a traditional single-player campaign and co-op gameplay in a "huge expansive multiplayer world," Infinity Ward hasn't announced any concrete details about the game. However, several teases and tweets from the developer's staff have hinted towards Infinity Ward working on a game related to its popular Modern Warfare series.

Rumors that Call of Duty 2019 is Modern Warfare 4 began when Infinity Ward senior communication manager Aston Williams dropped a hint pointing back to the series. Those rumors gained traction when five Infinity Ward veterans--all of whom had a major influence in developing Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, and Modern Warfare 3 before leaving Infinity Ward to go work with Respawn on Titanfall and Titanfall 2--changed their LinkedIn profiles to showcase their return to the Activision studio and crucial roles in Call of Duty 2019's development.

Microsoft Unveils At Least One Of Its Next-Gen Xbox Consoles

Microsoft is rumored to be working on two next-gen Xbox consoles, and it's possible at least one is being announced at E3 this year. The first, codenamed Lockhart, is supposedly the budget-oriented, standard edition of the console. Meanwhile, the second, codenamed Anaconda, is the high-powered version--equivalent to Xbox One's more powerful One S and One X variations.

Microsoft is already expected to discuss its plans for next-gen at E3 2019, but it's unclear if the company is planning something as big as a full reveal (complete with price points, launch titles, and features) or smaller teases of what's to come. There's been speculation that the next-gen Xbox consoles will be geared towards wider audiences with a lower price of entry, and include new technology in line with Microsoft's focus on selling games as opposed to hardware. This would fall in line with what Phil Spencer told GeekWire in regards to consoles.

"That is not where you make money," Spencer said. "The business inside of games is really selling games, and selling access to games and content in means like that is the fundamental business. So if you open it up, the more often people can play, the more they're enjoying the art form. It increases the size of the business."

Though it's still speculation, Microsoft's next-gen Xbox consoles are expected to release no earlier than Fall 2020.

From Software Teases The First Of Its Two Upcoming Games

This theory largely rides on whether A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin is actually working with From Software. The novelist has already confirmed he's been consulted on some game that's being made by a Japanese developer but hasn't revealed which one. Rumors popped up in March that the developer in question is Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice creator From Software. Gematsu has since reported that someone "familiar with ongoings at From Software" has confirmed the rumors to be true, but neither Martin nor From Software have made an official statement.

Regardless, the rumors go on to say that, whatever the game is, it will feature various kingdoms to explore and that killing the rulers of each kingdom will allow you to unlock powerful abilities. Gematsu's source (which the outlet has stated they have not been able to verify) has added that the game is internally known at From Software as "GR," has been in development for three years, and contains a world and story that's a collaborative effort between Martin and Dark Souls III and Bloodborne director Hidetaka Miyazaki. The game is also supposedly scheduled to be revealed at E3 2019 during Microsoft's press conference.

Even if the source hasn't been verified, it all sounds fairly plausible. Especially since, back in January 2019, Miyazaki announced From Software was already working on two games, both of which would come out after Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and be similar in scope and tone to From Software's Soulsborne titles. Both Miyazaki and Martin are known for their intricate dark fantasies, so a partnership between the two is very believable. With Sekiro only a few months old, though, it doesn't seem likely From Software would announce another new game for 2019 (even if it has been in development for three years). Seeing a trailer at E3 teasing a TBA 2020-2021 release seems a bit more plausible. We'd happily love to be wrong though.

Microsoft Brings Back The Fable Series With A Brand-New Game

Speculations about a fourth Fable game have been circulating the internet for years, but a new rumor published by an alleged industry insider has revealed Microsoft is finally set to tease a new title for the series during the company's E3 press conference. Between the rumors that Microsoft is revealing a new console, a new From Software game, and now a new Fable, it certainly seems like Xbox boss Phil Spencer is keeping his promise the company would "go big" at E3 this year.

The industry insider, whose whole report can be read on NeoGAF, writes, "Some speculate it's actually Fable IV, but the reality is that it's a new beginning for the Fable franchise. This game started development in late 2017 and has been in development now for little over two years now. It is a next-gen game only and you will most likely not see it until 2021 at retail at the earliest. You will see a glimpse of a small teaser trailer most likely at this year's E3 and in 2020 you will see much more of the game."

Petri executive editor Brad Sams, who's well-known for his track record in reliably breaking Microsoft news, has confirmed on Twitter that he's heard a new Fable game is in the works. He doesn't know if Microsoft plans on revealing the game during E3 2019, but thinks it's "highly plausible."

If the full NeoGAF report is to be believed, we'll see quite a few other Xbox console exclusives at E3 2019, including previously announced Gears 5 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Perhaps more importantly, the report suggests Microsoft is ready to start revealing the games being made by all the studios it acquired in 2018--starting with Ninja Theory, which is supposedly going to announce a sci-fi game scheduled for 2020 called Bleeding Edge.

Nintendo Announces A New Switch Prior To Or Just After The Show

Nintendo has already confirmed it won't be announcing a new Switch iteration during E3, but that doesn't mean the company won't reveal its existence in the weeks prior to the show or immediately after. Sure it's no longer an E3 announcement at that point, but we're including it in this list anyway since we imagine the reveal is happening close to the dates of the show.

Unlike Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch is still relatively young and nowhere near the end of its lifecycle. That hasn't quelled the rumors of new iterations of the Switch, consoles that would be similar to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Nintendo has a long history of making multiple versions of its hardware. That history is mostly handhelds, like the DS and 3DS, but Nintendo has made multiple iterations of its consoles too.

Seeing as it's been two years since the Switch's release, it stands to reason that Nintendo has a new iteration (or two) of its latest console in the works. This past March, The Wall Street Journal reported two new Switch models would release by the end of 2019. The first would be a cheaper, pared-down version while the second would be an enhanced variation aimed at more "avid" players.

In April, Japanese newspaper Nikkei seemingly confirmed the existence of the first Switch, again writing that it would release by the end of 2019. Later that month, Bloomberg lent further weight to the rumor of a new, pared down Switch coming in 2019 (only this time suggesting it could possibly release as soon as June). However, neither source confirmed the existence of a rumored enhanced Switch.

Nintendo has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors. But there's enough there to believe the pared-down Switch is coming this year, and empty spaces surrounding E3 present the perfect opportunity for an announcement--especially if the console does release in June. Nintendo has already confirmed it's holding its annual E3 Direct this year. The video presentation will feature quite a few games, but will most likely focus on Pokemon Sword / Shield and Animal Crossing, both scheduled for Switch releases in 2019.

Pokemon Go: June 2019 Community Day Details And Featured Pokemon Announced

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 03:00

This month's Community Day in Pokemon Go may have just ended, but Niantic has already announced the first details for next month's event. June's Community Day is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 8, and this time, the featured Pokemon will be another fan-favorite from Ruby and Sapphire: Slakoth.

Throughout the event, the adorable sloth Pokemon will appear in the wild more frequently than it normally does, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch it and stock up on Slakoth candy. On top of that, you'll have your first chance to encounter a Shiny Slakoth, and any Slaking that you evolve up to an hour after the Community Day ends will learn an event-exclusive move, although Niantic hasn't revealed what that will be just yet.

In addition to increased Slakoth spawns, you'll be able to take advantage of a few other bonuses during June's Community Day. As usual, any Lure module you use will remain active for three hours rather than their usual 30 minutes. On top of that, Eggs will hatch at a quarter of the distance they typically require, which will come in handy if you're trying to hatch some of the new Gen 4 Pokemon that were recently added to the game.

Continuing the trend of the past few Community Days, June's event will run from 3-6 PM local time. Previously, Niantic would hold Community Days during specific windows of time for each region, but this makes it much easier to remember when the event is happening in your area. You can read more details about June's Community Day on the official Pokemon website.

In the meantime, Pokemon Go is in the midst of an Extraordinary Raid Week event. From now until May 28, new Pokemon, such as Bronzor and Clamperl, will appear as Raid bosses. You'll also have a chance to encounter Shiny versions of Bronzor and Lapras, and you'll earn twice the usual amount of Stardust and XP for participating in Raids. In addition to the event, Niantic recently introduced new items that let you evolve Eevee into Glaceon and Leafeon.

GOG Announces GOG Galaxy 2.0, An App Designed To Fix Gaming's Platform Problem

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 02:00

GOG is the PC game platform you might know and love for its anti-DRM stance. It's a consumer-friendly policy that's the exception to the rule, and while it may also eat into GOG's marketability as a distribution platform in the eyes of AAA publishers, it sends a clear and positive message to consumers.

GOG's goodwill towards its customers got its foot in the door, but the pressures of competition from the likes of the Epic Store and Steam are no doubt hurdles to overcome. The trick to getting over these obstacles and ensuring growth for GOG may lie in the upcoming launch of GOG Galaxy 2.0, which doesn't merely overhaul the look of the platform's desktop client but expands its functionality in a bid to offer even more services and conveniences to users.

In a recent meeting with GOG's managing director Piotr Karwowski, and SVP of business development Oleg Klapovskiy, I got the first taste of their vision for GOG Galaxy 2.0: "All your friends and games in one place." What this means is a few things, including collating all of your digital PC games, across all platforms and services, and making them easy to launch and install directly from Galaxy.

Though you obviously can't launch PS4 or Xbox One games from the app, you can add your PS4 and Xbox One games to your index to use Galaxy as a general purpose library management tool--which includes the auto-population of cover art and basic meta info for each game you add.

These are handy additions with arguably modest benefits that have been offered by other apps in the past, but what really makes the pitch for GOG Galaxy 2.0 attractive is that it aims to connect you and all of your friends, across all consoles and PC platforms, to create an all-encompassing gaming portal. Their ambitious approach goes beyond collections, accounting for gameplay data, achievements, and direct messaging. GOG Galaxy 2.0 can even find friends on one service, and if they are also a Galaxy user, help you connect on services where the friendship hasn't yet been established.

Throughout my demo, GOG Galaxy 2.0 looked both orderly and attractive. The inviting user interface made looking at arrays of data and comparison points a relatively painless process, and it was surprising how many useful modules could fit on a single screen. Users will also be able to get into the weeds and alter the look and feel of their interface by configuring existing pages and menus, as well as create new menus with custom logic and layouts to suit their organizational and analytic needs.

Piotr and Oleg aren't shying away from the challenges in front of them. It's one thing to create an elaborate tool for PC games, and it's an entirely different beast to bring the traditional walled gardens of consoles into the mix. GOG has access to Microsoft's API already and is aiming to support all platforms including PlayStation 4 and Switch. That being said, part of my live demo included a look at Piotr's entry for the PS4 exclusive God of War. This included a detailed record of trophies, both locked and unlocked, and their logos and descriptions. These unofficial integrations and plugins are possible due to Galaxy 2.0's open-ended nature, which allows for user-made extensions.

All of the data that goes into your GOG Galaxy 2.0 library and profile will live on GOG's servers, which means that you get the convenience of portability, but also that GOG will potentially know a lot about you and your gaming habits. Piotr was very adamant that GOG is not in the business of selling data. He also stressed that users can both deactivate their profiles and strip their info from servers whenever they so choose. Where there would normally be ground for heavy skepticism against other companies, GOG's promise feels genuine in light of its consumer-friendly reputation.

When asked to explain how GOG Galaxy 2.0 makes business sense for GOG, Oleg and Piotr simply stated that their hope is that users who use the app will also take advantage of the built-in store. Though I'm sure there's more thought put into the design and integration of features in order to drive sales of games on GOG, you can't argue with the fact that much of what GOG Galaxy 2.0 offers to consumers bears no connection to sales nor advertising. It's not a work of charity, to be certain, but as GOG has proven in the past, showing customers that your platform is built to make their hobby a markedly better experience can be reason enough for loyalty to set in, and sales to follow.

GOG's promises seem to come from the right place, and more importantly, most of them are proven to be achievable today. Anyone who wants to give the GOG Galaxy 2.0 a shot can volunteer for the upcoming closed beta launching soon, over at http://www.gogalaxy.com/.

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise Of Skywalker Will Feature The Knights Of Ren

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 01:40

The hugely anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is set to feature a variety of new characters alongside the series' regular cast. One villainous group that has been teased since 2015's The Force Awakens is the Knights of Ren. It has now been confirmed that they will appear in The Rise of Skywalker, which is directed by JJ Abrams.

The news comes via an article published by Vanity Fair about the making of the new Star Wars movie. In one of the various behind-the-scenes images we see a group of masked characters standing in the desert with stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart. The caption reads: "J.J. Abrams, alongside Stunt Coordinator Eunice Huthart, directs the Knights of Ren; elite fearsome enforcers of Kylo Ren's dark will." Check the image out below:

V.F. can exclusively confirm that the mysterious Knights of Ren—first seen in #StarWars: The Force Awakens—are back in #TheRiseofSkywalker https://t.co/ER4XSJmZ8k pic.twitter.com/cBrdAOrqSv

— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) May 22, 2019

The Knight of Ren did feature in The Force Awakens, during one of Rey's visions on the planet Takodana. But that scene was short, dark, and set in the pouring rain--this new image gives us a much better idea of what to expect. According to Lucasfilm's creative art manager Phil Szostak, the look of the Knights in The Force Awakens was based on rejected designs for Kylo Ren, and you can certainly see how their appearance influenced Kylo's.

While the Vanity Fair article doesn't provide any further details about how the Knights of Ren will feature in The Rise of Skywalker, we do know more about some of the other new characters. Keri Russell will play a masked villain named Zorri Bliss, Richard E. Grant is First Order leader Allegiant General Pryde, and Naomi Ackie plays Jannah, who is pictured riding a creature called an Orbak.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 19. It stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Mark Hamill as Luke, and Billy Dee Williams as Lando. For more, check out the movie's first trailer and everything we know about Star Wars Episode IX.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker isn't the only new Star Wars release that fans have to look forward to this year. It has also been confirmed that the live-action TV show The Mandalorian will be available on the streaming service Disney+ when it launches on November 12.

Pet Sematary: Here's What Special Features Are Included On The Home Release

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 01:12

Stephen King's classic horror novel, Pet Sematary, had another big-screen adaptation earlier this year, and in June, it will be available to own. Details for the home release were recently revealed, and there are a few special features on both the digital and physical copies of the movie.

On June 25, Pet Sematary will get a digital release on storefronts like iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and more. The film will see its 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD release a couple weeks later on July 9. The home releases will contain over 90 minutes of special features.

There are deleted and extended scenes as well as an alternate ending to the film. The home release also contains numerous featurettes about putting the film together and talking about the themes of Pet Sematary and bringing the novel back to the big screen. There are also three videos with the "Night Terrors" label, but there are no indicators as to what those special features are about.

If you're looking to pre-order the movie, digitally or physically, here are some places to pick it up.

Below, you'll find all the special features solicited for the upcoming June and July home release for Pet Sematary. All these special features are available in all formats for the movie: Digital, 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD.

Pet Sematary Special Features
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Night Terrors: Family Haunting Visions (Louis, Rachel, and Ellie)
  • The Tale of Timmy Baterman
  • Beyond the Deadfall
  • Chapter One: Resurrection – Directors, screenwriters and cast discuss bringing this classic back to life
  • Chapter Two: The Final Resting Place—A deeper look into finding the right location for the terror to unfold
  • Chapter Three: The Road to Sorrow— Inside the film’s tragic themes and creating the iconic cat “Church”
  • Chapter Four: Death Comes home—Unearth the creepy elements behind the climax and final scenes of the film

Some links to supporting retailers are automatically made into affiliate links, and GameSpot may receive a small share of those sales.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake - What We Want At E3 2019

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 01:00

It's been four long years since Square Enix announced it was going to remake Final Fantasy 7. Since that E3 2015 reveal, we've only been privy to brief glimpses of gameplay, the most substantial of which is the recent trailer (seen above) revealed during Sony's May 9 State of Play stream. At the end of that trailer, the words "more to come in June" appeared onscreen. Is Final Fantasy 7 confirmed to be at E3? Not yet, but the insinuation that it will make an appearance during Square Enix's E3 broadcast is hard to ignore.

Assuming that Final Fantasy 7 will be featured during that livestream and that it might also be on the show floor, we've put our heads together and come up with a list of topics and details we hope to learn more about. But before diving into that, let's revisit what we already know about the highly anticipated remake.

What We Know So Far

Broadly speaking, we know that the remake will be a complete overhaul of the 1997 game. It's being recreated from the ground up to tell roughly the same story, featuring the same locations and characters, but it will be presented in a modern fashion, as a third-person game with a free roaming camera and real-time combat, similar to Final Fantasy 15.

The trailers released thus far primarily focused on Midgar, the city run by the nefarious power company, Shinra Corporation. With the recent trailer taken into account, we've now seen familiar sights like the slums, the subway system, and the inside of the reactors that line the edge of the city.

Needless to say, the modern look of the Final Fantasy 7 remake looks a lot different than the 1997 original. Every environment and character has been recreated to modern standards, which in the years prior to the remake's announcement was cited by developers as a task too hard to accomplish given the scale of the game. This is likely the reason why the remake in progress will come in multiple episodes--the number of which is still a closely guarded secret--rather than as one big release.

Lastly, we know many of the lead creatives behind the remake, and their names will look familiar to fans of the original, and Final Fantasy at large. Yoshinori Kitase, the director and co-writer of the original Final Fantasy 7, will sit in the producer's chair this time around, leaving the directorial duties split between series veterans Naoki Hamaguchi and Tetsuya Nomura. Nomura will also lead the art and design teams. Kitase's former writing partner Kazushige Nojima is back to pen the story once more, and last but not least, Final Fantasy's legendary maestro Nobuo Uematsu is reprising his role as the composer for the remake's new soundtrack.

What's Confirmed For E3?

Nothing! All we can say for certain is that Final Fantasy 7 fans can try to attend a concert before the convention in LA on Sunday, June 9. We also know that something will be said during the month of June and that Square Enix will have a broadcast filled with announcements during the show, but there's been no confirmation that the June tease and the E3 presentation are connected. If they aren't, we'll be as shocked as you.

What We Hope To See At E3

Given that Midgar has been the focal point of every trailer shown so far, it would be great to see a bit more of the world beyond the city. Final Fantasy 7's massive world map is (or at least was) home to a wide variety of natural environments and locales like towns and villages, all of which were important pieces of the overall experience and identity of the world, and which yet remain a mystery so far as the remake is concerned.

There are also numerous characters that have yet to make an appearance, so fingers crossed that we get to see the likes of Cait Sith and Vincent, and maybe even the ghastly remains of Jenova. More than just see what they look like, it would also be nice to get a sense of what they will sound like, especially given the divided opinions on Barrett's voice after the most recent trailer.

Square Enix would also do well to dive into combat a bit more, to explain how the skill-giving Materia will work and how their behaviors may have changed following the shift from turn-based to real-time combat. You also can't talk about Final Fantasy 7's combat without mentioning summons, the show-stopping and combat-halting spells that call forth punishing mythical beasts and spirits to pummel your enemies. Perhaps we can look to Final Fantasy 15 to imagine how these might work, but it would be better if Square Enix could just show us during E3 to dispel rumors and speculation altogether.

While there are a ton of questions to be answered when it comes to gameplay and the translation of old mechanics into modern systems, most people just want to know one thing: when will Final Fantasy 7 Remake be released? Second to that: how many episodes are Square Enix planning to make?

Truth be told, if all we got was a release date, I feel like most people would be satisfied. After all, Final Fantasy 7 may be the most requested video game remake of all time, and to reveal too many of its distinguishing features could ruin some of the surprises that await fans returning to the game more than 20 years after its release.

The Most Influential Games Of The 21st Century: League Of Legends

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 01:00

Join GameSpot as we celebrate gaming history and give recognition to the most influential games of the 21st century. These aren't the best games, and they aren't necessarily games that you need to rush out and play today, but there's no question that they left an indelible impact on game developers, players, and in some cases, society at large.

League of Legends exploded onto the scene in 2009 as the start-up brainchild of Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck, poised to disrupt an esports market that would end up being helmed by two heavyweights--Dota 2 and StarCraft. The idea that a bunch of enthusiastic DOTA fans were responsible for what is now the game's biggest competition may come as a surprise to the uninitiated, but the humble beginnings of League of Legends can be traced all the way through to two college roommates essentially wanting to turn a Warcraft III mod into a standalone title.

Now, League of Legends is synonymous with esports and the MOBA genre. While companies like Valve and Blizzard were forces to be reckoned with in the pre-2010 era, there's now no question that Riot Games and its lone video game are essentially household names. Whether it's a new champion, a new in-game event, or Mid-Season Invitational which drew 19.8 million concurrent viewers last year, everyone who has even a passing interest in the game stops and stares.

The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational

Starcraft is often credited with the birth of esports but Riot Games were instrumental in ensuring that there was an appeal to translate to a mainstream audience. We're talking merchandising, booking out stadium shows, international gauntlets and tournaments pitting fan-favorite players against each other. We're talking sponsorships outside of the tech sphere, ranging from underwear to energy drinks. By drawing on the cult of personality that the League of Legends esports scene has built around some of its top players, Riot Games and the teams fielding these players have brought a whole new audience to the MOBA genre that other competitors have been unable to capitalize on.

Riot Games stepped onto the competitive esports scene around the time that Starcraft II was gaining momentum. However, where Starcraft II had to deal with a tiered release date in terms of the content like its various campaigns and the gradual integration of multiplayer accessibility, League of Legends exited a relatively short beta period with all guns blazing. And, unlike the model that was being relied on by Valve and Blizzard at the time, where second-party tournaments were the name of the game, League of Legends had its competitive esports nature in-built when it came to everything from matchmaking to the evolving meta that was governing the title.

League of Legends had its competitive esports nature in-built when it came to everything from matchmaking to the evolving meta that was governing the title.

Upon release, the title was praised by critics for its game design ethos and characters, which are now features of League that have taken on a life of their own in the form of ore codexes of a density that rivals established MMOs, cosmetic lines with accompanying music videos and original songs, and engaging in-game events created both for home enjoyment and for the spectator stage.

Outside of gaming, the fact that a MOBA has garnered Emmy nominations is impressive in itself. League of Legends has been nominated for mainstream accolades not necessarily for triumphs of design that are part of the gameplay mechanics, but for the wealth of creative material built by Riot Games around its existing product. From anime-inspired trailers to K-pop crossovers, League of Legends has consistently had its finger on the pulse of what's hot (and selling like hotcakes), and it's managed to execute on concepts like through said Emmy-nominated multimedia projects which have served to expand the title's reach beyond the gaming sphere.

The League of Legends K-pop group, K/DA

In general, League of Legends has spawned a wave of competitors since it cemented itself on the MOBA scene. Arena of Valor is one such title that comes to mind, which ironically was fronted at the time by Tencent, who is now the majority shareholder in Riot Games. Mobile MOBAs featuring bad rip-offs of League characters were a dime a dozen on any online store, some more shameless than others. However, all these imitations really served to do was cement League's status as the superior product. There was absolutely no way for these other titles to execute on player-centric initiatives the way that Riot's product had: technical limitations aside, League of Legends was already more than just a video game at that point. It was an entire brand, from international tournaments to in-jokes to larger-than-life media personalities whose own identities were intrinsically associated with the game as a product.

Arguably, a lot of League of Legends' success came from them having the distance to observe their competitors before essentially pivoting away from what they were doing. Riot Games' original ethos with its title, which has persevered to this day, is a focus on player and community feedback. League was both competitive and casual play rolled into one, with Riot heading up every aspect of the commercial and competitive sides of the game as a unified product. Instead of waiting weeks for a patch in Dota 2 or Starcraft at the time, League players could expect patches as soon as the community saw a problem. The game quickly evolved and iterated, and even though it's gone through some huge design changes since release, these have always been done in consultation with the community, with the team at Riot happy to roll back anything that might not be working.

This rapport with the community would serve Riot Games well over the years to come, and the community itself would reap those rewards; many community initiatives born from the passion of fans turned into features that Riot would then implement into the League of Legends product. Things like detailed match statistics were first provided by OP.GG, which has now become LCS Stats. The original League of Legends wikia provided the framework by which Riot now deals with its interlocking lore and displays it. The League community was, and still is, full of people who managed and ran third-party infrastructure that eventually became critical to the influence of the game. The title inspired fans to not only consume it but also to contribute to it, including the now-famous example of Chinese region superfans doing their own illegal broadcasts before Riot officially taking them on board.

That being said, while Riot Games has grown in profile alongside its sizeable community, the company itself has also grown in notoriety. Current and ex-Rioters have spoken out against the company’s toxic corporate culture in the past year or so, which has led to victims coming forward about sexism, harassment, and toxic workplace attitudes. While the company has tried to make strides towards addressing concerns after immense public pressure. It’s not as simple as wanting to implement a diversity initiative at the company; just a few weeks after employees filed lawsuits stating that Riot is in violation of the California Equal Pay Act, there has now also been walkout in protest of the forced arbitration clauses in Riot employment agreements. Riot’s internal issues have started to bleed over into a lot of how League of Legends is covered in mainstream media and how it’s talked about, and this has definitely affected the perception of the esport in a way that it’s still currently recovering from.

While it's near impossible to set aside the recent reports when discussing Riot, League of Legends' legacy is a different story. It's obvious that the game helped put esports on the map for a lot of mainstream audiences before the explosion of titles like Fortnite and PUBG. From record viewership numbers on Twitch to hosting one of the biggest esports events ever at Madison Square Garden in 2016, Riot Games' prodigal son has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2009. In doing so, it's changed the way that people experience and access esports, taking fans from the days of bootleg broadcasts of regional streams to an international gauntlet of iconic stadiums at every year's World Championships. Blizzard and Valve, the top dogs when Riot Games entered the scene, are now playing catch-up to the well-oiled Ferrari that is the League of Legends production model, and it shows.

For a look at the rest of our features in this series, head over to our Most Influential Games Of The 21st Century hub.

Fallout 76's New Wild Appalachia Patch Out Now

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 20:38

Fallout 76's latest patch, Wild Appalachia, is finally out for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The patch, approximately 5.5GB on console and a little under 9GB on PC, adds a new Project Paradise event, addresses various bugs regarding C.A.M.P. and challenges, and improves game performance.

The headlining feature of the patch is the introduction of the Project Paradise event. Players will team up with Arktos Pharma to explore labs underneath the building. Traveling to the labs and participating in experiments will result in new loot and experience. But be warned: enemies encountered will be level 50+, so players are encouraged to explore above ground before going below.

Elsewhere, the Wild Appalachia patch addresses a number of bug fixes and performance issues with regards to C.A.M.P., challenges, items, and quests. Two big fixes center around infinite loading after accessing Player Vending Machines and frequent PC crashes. This patch should eliminate both occurrences, effectively stabilizing gameplay.

Fallout 76's last patch, Ever Upwards, landed earlier this month. The patch let players carry more out into the world with the introduction of backpacks and allowed those brave enough to join the Pioneer Scouts. You can check out the full patch notes for Wild Appalachia below.

Wild AppalachiaProject Paradise Event
  • Sink your teeth into some experimental testing by joining the Project Paradise event, which takes place in cavernous Biome Labs that are now available for exploration beneath Arktos Pharma
    • To start Project Paradise, head to the Arktos Pharma building in the Forest region of Appalachia. Enter the building's lobby, and then use the elevator to descend into the labs.
  • Product research has never been so wild! Aid Arktos Pharma with their experiments on the Appalachian creatures that inhabit the labs and you’ll be rewarded with new loot and XP.
    • All three Biome Labs will require your attention if you'd like to claim the best rewards, so most adventurers will find it beneficial to form a group.
  • Note: This event will be daunting for Dwellers who are fresh from the Vault, as you will encounter enemies who are level 50+.
Player Vending Machines
  • The "Inspect" option can now be used to view additional details about items in other players' Vending Machines, making it easier to find that perfect Legendary for your collection.
Bug Fixes

C.A.M.P., Crafting, and Workshops

  • Scrapping: Fixed an issue that could cause an unintended item to be scrapped when rapidly scrapping items.
  • Vending: Fixed a rare issue that could prevent a player from purchasing items from another player's Vending Machine under specific circumstances.
  • Vending: Reaching the maximum C.A.M.P. budget no longer prevents the player from assigning items to their Vending Machines.

Challenges

  • Weekly: Fixed an issue in which Survival Mode Weekly Challenges could be completed in Adventure Mode.
  • World: Taking a picture of a frog with the ProSnap Deluxe now correctly counts toward Herpetologist World Challenge progress.
  • World: Building a frog habitat now correctly counts toward Herpetologist World Challenge progress.
  • World: Updated the wording on several Tadpole Badge World Challenges to help clarify the objective.

Items

  • Apparel: Fixed an issue in which some Apparel items were incorrectly providing +1 Damage Resistance when equipped.
  • Floor Décor: Cat and Deathclaw Topiaries can no longer be built if they have not yet been unlocked in the Atomic Shop.
  • Exploit: Addressed an exploit that could cause the High Capacity Backpack mod to become duplicated.

Performance and Stability

  • Loading: Addressed a rare issue that could prevent players from loading into a world after using Player Vending Machines.
  • Stability: Fixed an issue that could cause the PC game client to crash.

Quests and Events

  • Exploit: Addressed an exploit that could allow players to earn the rewards from the Athletics and Swimming Tests multiple times.
  • Miscellaneous: The objective to "Investigate Seismic Activity," obtained from the Personal Terminal, now correctly completes upon reaching the Purveyor’s shop.
  • Miscellaneous: Fixed an issue that could cause an error message to appear after selecting Biv's entry in the Personal Terminal’s Daily Planner.
  • Pioneer Scouts: Completing Stings and Things, Operation Tidy, and Campfire Tales will no longer award Possum Badges to players who have not yet been promoted to the Possum rank.

Until Dawn Dev's New Game Given Release Date

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 20:31

We aren't getting another Until Dawn, but developer Supermassive Games' next horror title, The Dark Pictures - Man of Medan, has received an official release date. The supernatural horror story will land on August 30 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The Dark Pictures is an anthology series first unveiled at Gamescom 2018. Man of Medan stands as the anthology's first entry. Pre-orders are now available and doing so secures the Curator's Cut, which opens up new options including alternative paths, a new perspective from unlocked characters, new choices within each scene, and new scenes and secrets. Accessing the additional content requires a full, completed playthrough.

Those who would rather wait won't miss out on the content featured in the Curator's Cut, as publisher Bandai Namco has confirmed that it will all be made available to everyone who owns the game at a later, unspecified date. Check out 10 minutes of gameplay below.

Though Until Dawn was well-received by critics, the Supermassive decided to forgo a sequel to pursue new stories. According to Supermassive CEO and executive producer Pete Samuels, "A lot of [creating the anthology] is about our desire to serve that [Until Dawn] fanbase from our perspective and to serve us ourselves in what we love to do, which is do more stories and characters, and do it more frequently than one or two every few years."

Game director Tom Heaton echoed the sentiment, saying that creating a sequel puts too many restrictions on storytelling and character interactions. "You're not tied to historical characters that you have to use," Heaton said. Producer Dan McDonald followed Heaton's words, saying, "If we were making sequels, we don't know who survived. I mean we could probably work it out from your game save, but we don't want to make a sequel to that. We want to make a different story with different people."

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Headed To Switch This Month

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 20:22

Critically-acclaimed indie platformer, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, is making its way to the Nintendo Switch--and it's coming a lot sooner than you would think. Publisher 505 Games, in partnership with independent production hub Turn Me Up Games, announced that the game will be available on Nintendo's platform from May 28.

It wouldn't be a Switch release without some exclusive features, and in bringing the game to Nintendo's console-handheld hybrid, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons will include local co-op, a first for the game. Additionally, the Switch version will ship with bonus content including commentary by director Josef Fares and a gallery of concept art. The game will cost $14.99 / £9.99 / €11.38.

During 2014's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Games Awards show, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons took home the Best Game Innovation Award trophy.

In our Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons review, we said that while the game's length left a lot to be desired, "It's not enough to detract from what is a great achievement: an ambitious, emotionally affecting adventure that's short, but oh so sweet."

Fortnite Update 9.10 Patch Notes: Jordans, Hot Spots, And More

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 19:48

Epic Games has detailed updated 9.10 for Fortnite, which is available now for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, and mobile. The official patch notes confirm that, among the new additions, is Hot Spots, which are "randomly selected locations on the map that have a high loot rate with an increase of Supply Drops."

On top of that new gameplay addition, the Limited Time Mode rotation now includes Sniper Shootout Duos, Unvaulted Squads, and Close Encounters Squads. For those who use Creative, you'll now be able to check out the Fornite x Jordan event.

"Show off your moves in the New York City inspired, Downtown Drop LTM by Jordan featuring Creative artists NotNellaf & Tollmolia," reads the official description. "Launch off massive jumps, grind down city streets and collect coins to win! Score big when you cop the Hang Time Bundle. Get the Grind Outfit, Clutch Outfit, and a challenge pack unique to the set."

You can see the full list tweaks, changes, and new additions in the full patch notes below.

Weapons + Items
  • Shadow Bombs
    • Reduced availability from floor loot from .835% to .677%
    • Reduced availability from chests from 4.65% to 3.98%
    • Reduced drop count from 3 to 2.
      • Shadow Bombs have seen a lot of late-game use, and we wanted to encourage risk vs. reward when picking the item up. By leaving maximum stack size the same & reducing availability, the item’s potential remains the same but swapping a spot for it early on is riskier.
  • Unvaulted Semi-Auto Sniper Rifle
    • Available in Vending Machines, Chests, and Floor Loot
    • Available in Uncommon and Rare variants
      • Since the Thermal Rifle and Scoped Revolver have both recently been vaulted, this week we wanted to bring back an oldie but goodie to round out the medium/long-range item line-up.
  • Combat Shotgun
    • Reduced the availability from floor loot from 2.015% to 1.409%
    • Reduced the availability from chest loot from 2.183% to 1.846%
      • When compared to other items of similar rarity, the Combat Shotgun was dropping a bit too frequently. This change will put it closer in line with other items.
Bug Fixes
  • Dropping part of a consumable item stack no longer interrupts using the consumable.
  • Shadow Bombs correctly leave the players inventory when no charges are left.
  • Shadow Bombs are consumed properly when quickly picking up a replacement item during activation.
  • Combat Shotgun now applies appropriate environmental damage falloff.
  • Ability to move is no longer lost if Rift-to-go was used with Balloons.
  • The Bush now correctly attaches to players in specific animations, such as skydiving.
  • Resolved inconsistent behavior while using Flint-Knock pistol during crouch.
  • Air vent audio is now correctly removed upon on destruction.
  • Boogie Bombs now properly prevent affected players from skydiving.
  • Camera issues when exiting a Mounted Turret have been resolved.
  • Remote Explosives will now open and close with doors they are stuck to.
Gameplay
  • Introducing Hot Spots!
    • Every match, select named locations will be marked in gold text on the map.
      • These Hot Spots represent the presence of Loot Carriers. Shoot down the carriers for additional high-quality weapons.
        • Minimum of one Hot Spot
        • 25% chance for 2 Hot Spots
        • 5% chance for 3 Hot Spots
      • Loot Carriers
        • Loot Carriers drop a weapon of Rare or higher quality along with two stacks of ammo.
        • Hot Spots will have between 12 and 16 Loot Carriers depending on the size of the location.
  • Equipping the blueprint to start building has improved in high latency situations.
  • Added crosshair dot while skydiving to allow for more precise map marking.
Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue with auto material swap canceling turbo build if the client can’t predict the material amount quick enough.
  • Updated Environmental and Cozy Campfire Trap collision to better allow players to walk over campfires.
  • Players can no longer fire/reload weapons while reviving a DBNO teammate.
  • Contrails are no longer stuck on the player if they dropped from the bus directly into a Slipstream.
PerformanceBug Fixes
  • Fixed a regression in level streaming performance introduced in v9.0. This should significantly improve loading times for buildings, and reduce instances of players landing on low-LOD meshes.
  • Reduced hitches shortly after landing, especially on lower-end hardware (e.g Switch)
Audio
  • Improved enemy jump sounds.
  • Reduced the time that it takes the enemy in-air audio loop to kick on, for better awareness of an enemy dropping in on you from above.
  • Boosted the volume of nearby footsteps and landing sounds of enemies not in line of sight.
  • Tighter spatialization of close-range pickaxe sounds from other players.
  • Added clearer sound when an enemy confirms an edit on a building piece within ~2 tiles of your position.
  • Removed glider audio tell for players traveling through a Slipstream.
  • Your emote music is now prioritized over other players emotes in the front-end.
  • Emote music is now full stereo when in the front-end.
  • Added a new Headshot + Shield Break sound, for when the two events occur at the same time.
  • Lowered the minimum velocity required to trigger a landing sound
Bug Fixes
  • Walking up on the edge of a building piece plays correct material specific footstep audio.
  • Enemy pickaxe sound now plays correctly from impact point and not from player using the pickaxe.
  • The Boom Bow’s fire sound has been fixed to not cut off when switching weapons immediately after shooting.
  • Firing weapons no longer lowers building sounds.
UI
  • Changed "Return To Lobby" to "Leave Match".
  • Adjusted the “damage” color when taking shield damage back to an increased-contrast version of the original.
    • The intent is increased readability of current shield value immediately after taking damage, but red was causing players to believe they were taking more damage than they were.
Bug Fixes
  • Party Leaders who left their party’s current match could start a new match and take the entire party with them.
SpectatingBug Fixes
  • Focus no longer changes when watching a server replay during the bus phase.
  • Watching live games will no longer change players when joining the Battle Bus.
Mobile

We've noticed iOS patches have experienced delays appearing in the App Store recently. Apple has stated that any application can take up to 24 hours to appear in the App Store. If no update is available, be sure to check our social channels for more info.

  • Removed the HUD when respawning.
  • We’ve made improvements to the UI by adding an exit button to the following:
  • Squad Formation in the lobby
  • Playground Match Options
  • Events screen
  • Removed vibration toggle settings for devices that do not support vibration.
Bug Fixes
  • Players ammo count now correctly displays in all languages.
  • The Mini Map has been adjusted to fit correctly in large team LTM’s.
  • Bluetooth headset sound quality has been improved.
  • The interaction loading bar no longer progresses counter-clockwise.
  • Start Game widget in Creative no longer overlaps with the inventory hot bar.
  • Phase Mode Button now correctly displays in Creative.
  • FPS counter not being fully displayed on curved screens.
  • Emote audio now plays for the full duration on the Nintendo Switch.
  • Scoped weapon fixes:
    • ADS perspective could remain on-screen when switching weapons.
    • Player's view could be inverted when aiming.

Fortnite's weekly challenges will roll over into Week 3 on May 23. To help you complete them and stay up to date, we've put together a comprehensive Fortnite Season 9 challenge guide. Each week we update it with details on the latest challenges and include any guides you'll need to complete the more difficult challenges. Take a look.

John Wick Creator Joins The Just Cause Movie As Its Writer

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 15:58

The Just Cause movie has been in the works for nearly a decade, and now it's crossed another significant milestone. It's been confirmed that John Wick creator and writer of the film series, Derek Kolstad, has joined the movie as its screenwriter.

According to Deadline, which first reported the news, the Just Cause movie will basically follow the foundation of the Square Enix action game series. "Rico Rodriguez is on a race-against-time mission to stop The Black Hand, a lethal mercenary group," the site reported.

The producers are looking to secure a director and lead actor soon, with filming expected to begin in 2020.

The Just Cause film is coming from the film company Constantin, which also made the popular Resident Evil series starring Milla Jovovich. Constantin is also behind the upcoming Monster Hunter movie that also stars Milla Jovovich.

It was previously announced that Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa would play Rico Rodriguez, with Rampage director Brad Peyton set to direct. However, with Constantin now developing the film, it appears a new star and director and being sought. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World writer John Collee was attached to write, but he appears to have been replaced by Kolstad.

2018's Just Cause 4 is the latest instalment in the video game series that began in 2006.

As for the John Wick series, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum recently opened to a huge box office number that took down Avengers: Endgame. John Wick 4 is coming in 2021.

Game Of Thrones Creators' Controversial Civil War Show Not A Priority At HBO Right Now

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 15:23

Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's controversial HBO TV show, Confederate, is no longer a priority for the network, it seems. Programming boss Casey Bloys told Deadline the show is "not on the front burner" right now for HBO. That's all Bloys had to say on the subject.

Confederate was announced in 2017. The show takes place in an alternate version of the United States where the Confederates won the American Civil War, thereby allowing slavery to continue. Benioff and Weiss were announced as the program's showrunners, which is the same role they had for Game of Thrones.

The show's announcement was met with swift criticism over its subject matter. HBO stood behind the show, saying it had faith in its creators to "approach the subject with care and sensitivity." Benioff, meanwhile, said the outrage was "a little premature" because the show was so early in production.

"We haven't written any scripts yet," he said. "We don't have an outline yet. We don't even have character names," he said. "So everything is brand new and nothing's been written. I guess that's what was a little bit surprising about some of the outrage. It's just a little premature. You know, we might f**k it up. But we haven't yet."

Production was scheduled to begin after Game of Thrones ended, which it now has, but the program was delayed after Weiss and Benioff took jobs with Disney to work on a new trilogy of Star Wars films.

In February this year, Bloys told TV Line that the delay of Confederate comes down to Weiss and Benioff taking the Star Wars job, not because of the controversy.

"Dan and David are finishing up the final season [of Game of Thrones] and then they are going to go into the Star Wars universe," Bloys said. "When they come out of that, I assume they will come back to us."

The first of the new Star Wars films from Weiss and Benioff is scheduled to hit theatres in 2022, so it could be a very long time before Confederate is released.

Weiss and Benioff are now visiting studios in an attempt to secure a new "overall" deal. WarnerMedia, which owns HBO, is among those speaking with the pair about a new deal, though it remains to be seen which company Weiss and Benioff may sign with.

For more on Game of Thrones, you can check out GameSpot's recap of the series finale, "The Iron Throne," in the video embed above.

New Coke Returning For Stranger Things Season 3 Promo

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 14:43

New Coke, the controversial flavor of Coca Cola released in 1985 and removed from sale quickly, is coming back this year for a promotional release tied to the upcoming season of Stranger Things.

Stranger Things Season 3 is set in 1985, the same year New Coke was released. New Coke will be featured in "several" episodes during Season 3, and it's not being added for the sake of making an extra buck. "It was one of the first ideas in our Season 3 brainstorm. It was the summer of '85, and when you talk about pop culture moments, New Coke was a really big deal," creators Matt and Ross Duffer told The New York Times. "It would have been more bizarre to not include it.”

New Coke was introduced in April 1985, and it was removed from sale after just 79 days in the wake of a community outcry over the flavor, eventually replaced by what would be called Coca-Cola Classic. That same controversial flavor, New Coke, is now returning with the same exact recipe.

Additionally, the Duffer Brothers worked with Coca-Cola on a new advertisement that they directed, It showcases familiar Stranger Things characters drinking New Coke in a movie theatre. You can see the ad in the video embed above.

"One thing that makes Stranger Things so special is its commitment to authentically portraying the decade in which the show takes place," Coca-Cola North America boss Stuart Kronauge said. "When we heard that Season 3 would be set in the summer of 1985 and they wanted to integrate New Coke, we knew we had an opportunity to revisit that time period in a fun and unexpected way that would also allow us to be part of one of this year's most anticipated pop culture moments."

You can read more about the partnership between Netflix and Coca-Cola here on the Coca-Cola website.

All the main cast of Stranger Things return for Season 3, along with Princess Bride star Cary Elwes who plays the sleazy politician Mayor Kline. There's also the offspring of some '80s stars; Jake Busey, son of Point Break star Gary Busey, will play a journalist named Bruce, while Maya Thurman-Hawke (daughter of Uma and Ethan) is set to play a character named Robin.

For more on Stranger Things Season 3, which premieres in July, check out the first trailer and this early teaser and poster, plus GameSpot's look at everything we've learnt about the season so far.

Pages