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HBO Boss Defends Game Of Thrones Season 8 Ending

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 13:55

Game of Thrones is over. The final episode of the final season aired Sunday night with "The Iron Throne." And it was controversial. People created a petition asking for a remake with new writers. Now, HBO's top programming boss, Casey Bloys, has responded to the feedback from the series finale.

He told Deadline that he was not surprised by the reaction. He said there was no way for creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to craft an ending that everyone enjoyed, given how passionate the show's fanbase is. "I think based on online reaction, which you do have to take with a grain of salt, it does seem split and I think that's about right--some people are going to love it, some people are going to hate it. But the point is, everybody is feeling really passionate about it," he said.

Bloys said Game of Thrones fans had their own hopes and wishes for how each character's story would wrap up. However, Weiss and Benioff had a plan for a long time, and "they did it the way they thought fit as creators," Bloys said, adding that he thought the pair did a "spectacular job."

"They landed a big plane, which was not easy. You are never going to keep everybody happy, but I don't think that's what they were trying to do," he said.

In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bloys said Benioff and Weiss never intended to try to make everyone happy with their Game of Thrones ending.

"You just have to accept that not everybody is going to agree with the choices," he said. "For a show this big and this epic and this sprawling, [Benioff and Weiss] have to make choices. What's great about the show is it made people feel a lot of things--positive and negative. A lot of people had invested in characters and hoped for certain things and wanted to see certain twists. There's probably a little bit of mourning going on that the show is over. I get it, I understand it: It's a big show and people really invested a lot in it--and that says a lot about what the show did. People really cared about it."

Fans and critics have commented that the final season (or two) sped along too quickly, and in turn, some of the key moments lacked weight or significance. Bloys said Weiss and Benioff had a plan for how they wanted to end the story "for a long, long time." Bloys admitted that he would have liked Weiss and Benioff to make five more seasons, but Weiss and Benioff had a different vision.

"They've had a plan that they wanted to do and this made sense to them," he said. "They made this decision a long time ago and they're doing it exactly how they planned to do it. They made that decision a long time ago. But no, I'm not aware of any conversations that anybody thought it was crammed or anything like that."

While not everyone might have loved the Game of Thrones finale, it was a ratings juggernaut. More than 19 million people tuned in, which set new records for the series and HBO overall. For more on the episode, check out GameSpot's video recap in the embed above.

Next Game Of Thrones Book, The Winds Of Winter, May Release In 2020

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 13:35

The airline company Air New Zealand has offered George R.R. Martin a free trip to New Zealand so he can finish his next book, The Winds of Winter, which the author now says should be finished by July 2020. In a cheeky video, the airline talked about how the country only has six people per square mile and fantastic views to get inspired by.

Martin responded to the video on his blog. He says he was "tempted" by the offer, and added that he's been to New Zealand before and has enjoyed its beautiful scenery. "I love New Zealand. You don’t need to convince me," he said to the airline.

New Zealand is so beautiful that it might actually distract Martin from finishing his book, he said. "I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce," he said.

Regarding the offer of a free flight, Martin said he appreciated the generous offer, but acknowledged, "I do have enough money to make it to New Zealand on my own."

Instead, Martin said Air New Zealand should offer to fly other writers to New Zealand to help fuel their own creativity and to fall in love with New Zealand as he has. "And you have such big plans, I'm sure you could squeeze them in," he said.

Martin will be back in New Zealand in 2020 for the World Science Fiction Convention in Wellington, at which he will serve as Toastmaster for the Hugo Awards. Intriguingly, Martin said he expects to have finished The Winds of Winter by the time the Convention is held in July 2020.

"If I don’t have The Winds of Winter in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I'm done," Martin said. "Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I'll be fine."

The Winds of Winter is the latest chapter in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, upon which HBO's Game of Thrones is based. The final book, A Dream of Spring, will follow. According to Martin, the ending to his book series might be different to the HBO show. Or not.

The entirety of Game of Thrones Season 8 was controversial, and specifically the finale. Fans created an online petition asking for a remake, and Sansa actress Sophie Turner slammed it as "disrespectful."

Game Of Thrones Boss Leaves To Work On Amazon's Lord Of The Rings Show

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 11:10

Amazon has made a huge hire for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show. Bryan Cogman, who worked on HBO's Game of Thrones since the beginning and wrote 11 episodes of the fantasy drama, is joining Amazon to contribute to its ambitious Lord of the Rings TV series.

George R.R. Martin confirmed this on his blog, writing that Cogman will contribute to the Lord of the Rings show at Amazon in addition to developing his own series. Variety reports that Cogman will do some consulting work for the Lord of the Rings show, though his exact title is unclear.

Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff hired Cogman as their assistant at the start of the show's production a decade ago. Weiss and Benioff had no experience writing for TV before Game of Thrones, so they turned to Cogman. Benioff knew him as his nanny's husband.

Cogman eventually became the co-executive producer for the entire Game of Thrones series. The 11 episodes he wrote for Game of Thrones is only eclipsed by Weiss and Benioff. He was instrumental to Game of Thrones, according to cast members and Martin himself.

Sophie Turner, who played Sansa Stark, told Vanity Fair that Cogman was the backbone of Game of Thrones, while Jaime Lannister actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said Cogman is a "walking encyclopedia" of knowledge about Game of Thrones. Martin himself said Cogman was "the third head of the dragon" as it relates to his relationship with Weiss and Benioff.

You should really read this Vanity Fair story to find out just how important Cogman was to the creation, development, and success of Game of Thrones.

Cogman had a pitch for a new Game of Thrones prequel show for HBO, but the network reportedly decided to pass on it, which might have contributed to his decision to leave to join Amazon.

At Amazon, Cogman will work alongside the Lord of the Rings TV show's creators, JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who--like Weiss and Benioff before them--have no experience writing a TV show.

The Lord of the Rings show doesn't currently have a title or release date, and no casting has been announced as yet. We do know that it's set in the Second Age, long before the events of The Lord of the Rings.

April's Best-Selling Consoles And Games Revealed (US)

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:37

The NPD has released its report for April 2019, revealing the best-selling consoles and games of the month in the US , and providing an overall snapshot of the industry's health during the month.

Starting with game sales, Mortal Kombat 11 was April's best-selling game of the month, and immediately became the No. 2 best-selling game of 2019 so far, only behind Kingdom Hearts III. Also of note is that Mortal Kombat 11 is the first time a third-party game was the Switch's top-seller for a month since Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was No. 1 back in September 2017.

Days Gone was No. 2 in April, and it achieved sales that amounted to the seventh biggest ever for a Sony-published game during its launch month. It is also developer Sony Bend Studio's best-selling game ever after just one month on sale in the US. MLB The Show 19 finished No. 3 in April, and it continues to be the best-selling sports game of 2019 so far (a lot of the big ones are still to come such as FIFA 20, Madden 20, NBA 2K20, and more).

Overall, video game sales across console, PC, and portable reached $427 million in April 2019, which is up 15 percent year-over-year. On a year-to-date basis, game sales have now reached $1.9 billion, which is up 4 percent.

Moving to hardware, the Nintendo Switch was April 2019's best-selling console in terms of units sold and dollars driven, outperforming the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The 32GB neon red/blue system is 2019's best-selling individual piece of hardware.

The strong performance of the Nintendo Switch was not matched by all platforms, as total hardware spending dropped 29 percent to $160 million in April 2019. All other platforms posted declines during the month. For 2019 year-to-date, hardware spending is down 16 percent to $918 million.

The Accessories category, which includes game cards, jumped 5 percent to $256 million. The Amiibo Super Smash Bros Series 1 packs sold the best in April, while the black DualShock 4 controller is 2019's best-selling accessory so far. Game card and controller spending led the way. Year-to-date, Accessories spending is up 3 percent to $1.2 billion.

With hardware, software, and accessories combined, total video game spending in the US in April reached $842 million, which is up 1 percent. For 2019 so far, total spending dropped 2 percent to $4 billion.

April 2019 Best-Selling Games In The US All Platforms
  1. Mortal Kombat 11
  2. Days Gone
  3. MLB 19 The Show
  4. The Division 2^
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice^
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4^
  9. NBA 2K19
  10. Yoshi's Crafted World*
  11. Red Dead Redemption II
  12. Mario Kart 8*
  13. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  14. Minecraft#
  15. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
  16. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
  17. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  18. Jump Force
  19. Battlefield V*
  20. Borderlands

* Digital sales not included

^ PC digital sales not included

# Minecraft digital sales on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One included

The Best Memorial Day Game Deals For Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:10

Somehow, Memorial Day (May 27) is nearly here, marking a day of remembrance for those who died serving in the US military, as well as the unofficial beginning of summer. Hopefully, you have a three-day weekend ahead of you and some extra time to relax, but even if this weekend is the same as any other, you can still get in on all the Memorial Day deals retailers are offering this week. We're rounding up the best Memorial Day gaming deals, including PS4, Switch, and Xbox One games, so you can save yourself some cash and secure some great games for your collection this holiday weekend.

We'll continue to update this story as we find more notable deals, but you can check out the best games, consoles, and accessories currently on sale below.

Nier: Automata - Game of the Yorha Edition - available for $28Amazon

While Amazon hasn't posted a Memorial Day-specific sale, the digital store is currently offering some of the best game discounts available online. You'll be able to find many recent titles, first-party Nintendo games, and more marked down right now. Both Pokemon: Let's Go games are discounted at $45; Monster Hunter World is only $18; Devil May Cry 5 is selling for $40; and Kingdom Hearts 3 is on sale for $30, to name just a few available deals.

See more of the best game deals at Amazon below.

Nintendo Switch

PS4

Xbox One

Nintendo Switch - available for $243.95Google Express

Google Express is a delivery service from Google that lets you order from a variety of online stores--no premium membership required. All you have to do is add items to your Google Express cart and choose your delivery day. Your order will arrive within a few days, and shipping is free if you hit the purchase minimum (usually between $25 and $35).

One of the best deals is the Nintendo Switch, which you can get on sale for just $243.95. The console rarely strays from its $300 price point, but it's already discounted to $287, and by using promo code MEMORIAL15, you'll drop the price by an additional 15%, a full $55 savings. All you have to do is add it to your cart and enter the code during checkout to see the full discount.

Another can't-miss deal is this Xbox One S bundle with Minecraft (plus the Starter and Creator packs and 1,000 Minecoins) for only $180. Add it to your cart and choose the Memorial Day promo code; you'll see $120 slashed off the price. And if you're into drones (or have always wanted to try one out), we have to point out this pocket-sized rechargeable drone, which normally sells for $150 but is on sale for $99 with the same Memorial Day promo code applied at checkout. Please note estimated taxes based on your location may affect the total price.

There are plenty of other non-gaming-related Memorial Day deals--you can check them out at Google Express. The below three deals expire Sunday, May 23, but we wouldn't advise waiting, as some offers are already beginning to sell out.

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - available for $37Ebay

Ebay is going hard for Memorial Day this year, with discounts across not only gaming but smart home devices, outdoor essentials, kitchen accessories, and more. There are some great game and console deals here, and everything we've linked below is brand new--or in the case of the New Nintendo 2DS XL, refurbished by Nintendo. Plus, check out the full offering of gaming deals at Ebay.

Games

Consoles & accessories

Nintendo 64 console bundle with Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 64 - available for $150GameStop

GameStop's big Memorial Day sale just kicked off on May 19 and runs through Monday, May 27. There's a small selection of Switch deals available, including Disgaea 1 Complete for $38.97 and Mega Man 11 for $25. Select pre-owned games are up to 50% off, and you can also get refurbished console bundles on sale, including this Xbox One bundle with Wolfenstein: The New Order, Fallout 4, Just Cause 4, and Forza Horizon 3 for $180. Select toys are 20% off, specifically Bendy and the Ink Machine, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Roblox toys. You can also save on some Nintendo Switch accessories.

See more of the best Memorial Day deals at GameStop below.

Games

Consoles

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - available for $25 (Walmart exclusive: includes 2 hours of 2XP)Walmart

As part of Walmart's Memorial Day sale, the store is offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 at one of the lowest prices we've seen it: $25. That includes a Walmart-exclusive offer of two hours of double XP gameplay. The standard edition for Rage 2, which just released May 14, is selling for $10 off on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And if there's any random gaming accessory you've been needing, Walmart's a good place to look, as the store has an assortment of useful accessories, like this portable charger for the Nintendo Switch (on sale for $25).

See more of the best Memorial Day gaming deals at Walmart below.

Games

Gaming accessories

God Of War Sales Exceed 10 Million

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 09:59

Sony has provided a new sales update for God of War PS4--and it's huge. The title has now sold more than 10 million copies, according to a slide from Sony's recent investor day briefing.

The 10 million sales was shown to demonstrate the strength of Sony's owned franchises across platforms. As you can see, God of War franchise sales have grown across their entries on PS2, PS3, and PS4. The same is true for the Uncharted and Last of Us franchises.

It's not clear if the God of War (or other games mentioned in the graphic) count copies sold in console bundles, but that seems likely. God of War launched in April 2018 and became the PS4's fastest-selling exclusive game ever.

For more on God of War, you can check out the GameSpot Audio Logs episode where game director Cory Barlog breaks down one of the most impactful scenes that almost didn't happen. Check it out in the video embed above.

Will There Be A Game Of Thrones Sequel? "Nope, Nope, Nope. No," HBO Says

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 09:43

HBO's Game of Thrones recently ended its eighth and final season. We know who lived and died. We know who won The Iron Throne. The ending was divisive. It tied up loose ends but also posed more questions about the future of Westeros. Could any of that be explored in a Game of Thrones sequel show? No. There will be no sequels, HBO programming boss Casey Bloys says.

"Nope, nope, nope. No," Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter.

HBO is working on multiple prequel TV series with new characters and actors in a story set in a different time period. Bloys says there won't be sequels, however, because he wants the Game of Thrones created by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to stand on its own.

"Part of it is, I do want this show--this Game of Thrones, Dan and David's show--to be its own thing. I don't want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it," he said. "I want to let it be the artistic piece they've got. That's one of reasons why I'm not trying to do the same show over."

The world that George R.R. Martin created is "massive," Bloys said, so HBO wants to keep trying new things instead of bringing back familiar characters and settings.

"We're trying to do things that feel distinct--and to not try and re-do the same show," he said. "That's probably one of the reasons why, right now, a sequel or picking up any of the other characters doesn't make sense for us."

The entirety of Season 8 was controversial, and specifically the finale. Fans created an online petition asking for a remake, and Sansa actress Sophie Turner slammed it as "disrespectful."

Sophie Turner Slams The Game Of Thrones Season 8 Petition: "It's Disrespectful"

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 09:22

Some people on the internet are not happy about the final season of Game of Thrones. They created a petition asking for a remake of Season 8 with new writers. Of course that will never happen. But almost 1.5 million signed the petition, which means it's getting attention.

Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on the award-winning HBO show, told The New York Times that the petition is "disrespectful" to everyone who worked so hard for so long to make Game of Thrones over the past decade.

"All of these petitions and things like that--I think it's disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season," she said. "Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it's not what they want to see is just disrespectful."

Turner said she's not surprised that people got angry on the internet about Game of Thrones.

"People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish, and so when it doesn't go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel," she said.

The actress added that Game of Thrones has always been a show with "crazy twists and turns," starting with Season 1, so she doesn't understand why people got so upset with how the story went in Season 8. "It shouldn't be such a negative thing for fans. It's a shock for sure, but I think it's just because it hasn't gone their way," she said.

Whatever people thought about Game of Thrones Season 8 and the finale specifically, the show was a massive success for HBO. The finale, "The Iron Throne," tallied more than 19 million viewers to set a new record for the show and HBO overall.

For more on Episode 6, check out the show's latest coffee cup-style gaffe (this time featuring a pair of water bottles) and a reminder of who was at the council meeting (there were some faces present who we hadn't seen in years). For our thoughts on the final episode, check out our "The Iron Throne" review.

E3 2019: Apex Legends -- What We Know And What We Want

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 07:27

After blasting onto the battle royale shooter scene back in February, Apex Legends became a relative powerhouse among major players like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The free-to-play game brought a level of polish and shooter design skill to the genre that was lacking in some of its biggest competitors, and that made it a refreshing new entry into the popular subgenre.

That popularity has waned some for Apex Legends since its launch, partially because the early honeymoon period in which the game attracted tons of attention (and streamers) is over. Another culprit: The game's first three-month season was lackluster in terms of content. Apex introduced a new character and a new weapon with Season 1, but little else that makes the game dynamic as a live-service title. Earning its first season's rewards also came through as a lot of grind for little payoff among some players.

The first content season of Apex is set to wrap up in June, though--right around E3. We're expecting to learn a lot more during the event.

What We Know So Far

A big push for Apex Legends so far has been in cleaning up issues in the game. The latest Apex patch focuses on reducing the number of crashes suffered by PC players and addresses audio problems. We've also seen developer Respawn Entertainment put a lot of focus on stopping cheaters in the game, while also attempting to make effective balance changes by doing things like reworking character hitboxes to make them more viable on the battlefield. As the developer has worked in dealing with those issues, it hasn't released much in the way of new content for Apex in Season 1--but given player complaints, that's likely to change in Season 2.

As for exactly what content is coming in Season 2, the specifics are anybody's guess. At least one new character, known as Wattson, is expected to join the game based on past leaks. Trailers have also suggested a new weapon coming to the game to go with Wattson, as well. But nobody knows for sure at this point what Season 2 will entail, or how broad its changes to Apex Legends will be.

What's Confirmed For E3?

During its latest quarterly earnings call, Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts said it would announce new details about Apex Season 2 during E3--specifically, during EA Play, the public event EA throws in Los Angeles every year during E3. There are few specifics as to what that announcement will entail, but we know a few of the broad strokes. A new character is coming, as are changes to the game's single map, Kings Canyon.

"For Season 2 you can expect a Battle Pass with more meaningful content, the introduction of a new Legend, the debut of a new weapon... and you didn't expect Kings Canyon to stay the same forever, did you?" Respawn wrote in a post on the EA blog.

What We Hope To See At E3

It's a little bit tough to speculate about what Apex Legends needs when players complain about a lack of "content." For sure, we want more characters in the game--each one's abilities and characteristics are a big part of what sets Apex apart from other battle royale games. Each one's strengths and weaknesses add to the overarching strategy needed to win the game. But Respawn has previously said it means to take a lot of care in introducing new elements to Apex Legends, which is why balance changes and updates are somewhat infrequent. We want Respawn to continue to thoroughly test everything it does to Apex to avoid adding new issues to the game and having to roll back changes. So while it'd be nice to have more characters in Apex sooner, one per season is probably a good pace; the same is true with the introduction of new weapons.

Respawn has also suggested that Apex would see its game map evolving and changing over time, and if we can't get lots of new weapons and characters in Season 2, we'd love to see the terrain become altered and more dynamic. The alien worlds of the Titanfall universe allow for a lot of possibilities, and speculation based on leaks has already suggested that the huge, deadly creatures who inhabit the world of Kings Canyon could get in on the action in Apex. New dangers and obstacles, as well as new places to fight and develop strategies, would be welcome additions to the base Apex Legends formula.

Apex could also stand to improve in adding more for players to do while they're playing. Taking a page from Fortnite in this respect is probably a good idea. With each new season, developer Epic Games adds a mess of challenges to the game that help players earn experience and rewards faster. Some are simple, requiring little more than getting into fights with specific weapons, but others require exploring the map and finding strange Easter eggs that give players hints at the overall shifting nature of the game. There's always something weird to discover in Fortnite, it seems.

Challenges would grow the replayability factor for Apex, especially if they helped give players more to strive for in earning cosmetic and customization rewards. But apart from just new skins for guns and characters, Apex could use challenges and Easter eggs to expand on the lore and story that surrounds the game, giving players cool secrets to discover that enhance their understanding of Apex's characters and world. Respawn has hinted at the more in-depth story surrounding Apex--we know it's part of the Titanfall universe, after all, which has quite a bit of lore of its own. At E3, we'd love to see Respawn start to push the boundaries of Apex Legends in a way that's similar to what Blizzard does with Overwatch, telling more stories about its characters and giving players a broader look at its world.

And of course, it'd be great to see Respawn enhance the battle pass of Apex Legends to give players more cool stuff to hunt. Fun as the game is itself, solid battle passes (as well as things like challenges and other content) help hold interest in games like Apex, which keeps players returning. In fact, it'd be nice to see Respawn experiment with the battle pass formula the way it has the battle royale formula, to further set the game apart from contenders like Fornite. We're not sure what form those experiments might take, but we're willing to give them a shot based on how much we've enjoyed what Respawn has created so far.

Oh, and while it's known that Respawn is actively trying to stamp out cheating in the game, a longer-term solution to the problem of hacks that ruin the game would make an excellent E3 bonus. Dealing with all cheaters might be wishful thinking, but if one thing would enhance the fun of Apex immediately, it's that.

Hearthstone's Next Big Update Buffs Cards For The First Time Ever

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 06:26

Blizzard has announced a big update coming to Hearthstone in June, which suggests a noticeable change to its approach to game balance going forward. In addition to introducing a new card in the middle of an expansion, it's also the first time in the game's history that existing cards will be see a buff.

Though Hearthstone has often made card changes, the vast majority of these have been nerfs--usually lowering stats, raising the Mana cost, or changing a condition slightly. Some others have been lateral changes, with phrasing to clarify or add consistency. The closest the game has ever gotten to buffing cards is when it has added tribal synergy, such as making Molten Giant an Elemental card.

With the announcement on the Hearthstone Blog, the game appears to be changing that approach. According to the blog, the update will take two cards from each class introduced in last year's Boomsday Project expansion and boost their existing power. These are cards that have often gone underused, so it seems aimed at increasing the power level of some decks that the community has rejected. According to Blizzard, these changes aim to inspire "metagame outliers" for new decks.

These changes are part of the "Rise of the Mech" update, which also marks a significant change for Hearthstone. The game traditionally releases three expansions per year, and the time in-between those expansions lasts 3-4 months without significant changes. This time, in addition to these card buffs, the game is introducing an entirely new card. The Legendary SN1P-SN4P is a magnetic Mech card with Echo, letting you attach it multiple times in a given turn. Anyone who logs in during the Rise of the Mech event between June 3 and July 1 will get a Golden copy for free.

(Blizzard notes that SN1P-SN4P will be officially counted as a Boomsday Project card, and will rotate out when the rest of those cards do. However, it won't be available randomly in Boomsday packs. You must either claim it during the event period, or craft it using Arcane Dust.)

Finally, the Rise of the Mech event will rotate the current Arena sets. With the game growing so large, Blizzard has begun implementing Arena rotations that limit the sets for more cohesion. Starting on June 3, Arena will be limited to Classic, Basic, Goblins vs Gnomes, Grand Tournament, Karazhan, Boomsday Project, and Rise of Shadows cards.

If this suggests a change in philosophy, we may see more frequent updates coming from Blizzard, and more cards added midway through an expansion period to mix up the meta-game. That would be a welcome change for a community that often complains of the meta growing stale by the time a new expansion comes around.

Before these buffs, though, there's one more set of nerfs coming. Blizzard recently announced changes to several cards, hitting the Rogue class particularly hard.

Lance Reddick On The John Wick 3 Action Scene That Didn't Happen

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 05:06

If you hit up the local cineplex to catch John Wick Chapter 3 over the weekend while eagerly awaiting the Game of Thrones finale, you got to see some incredible action scenes on the big screen. Keanu Reeves' titular anti-hero clawed his way out of a New York City where seemingly half the population was out to get him, teamed up with Halle Berry's Sofia and her very good dogs for a guerilla battle through a Moroccon market, and punched through the High Table strike team's impenetrable armor with sheer force of will (and several well-aimed slugs).

One thing you didn't see: John Wick and Lance Reddick's character, the New York Continental concierge Charon, fighting alongside one another. But according to Reddick, that was originally supposed to happen in John Wick 3.

When John returns to New York and joins forces with Winston against the Adjudicator and the High Table, John and Charon gear up together in the Continental's weapons vault. But although they leave together, they're never actually seen fighting alongside one another--despite the occasional quick cuts between the two actors that make it seem like they're part of the same scene.

Read more: Why John Wick's World Of Secret Assassins Is So Alluring

"Interestingly enough, [Keanu and I] actually didn't fight alongside each other," Reddick told GameSpot. "And I say interestingly enough, because there was a scene where we were supposed to, but there was just so much shooting, and there was already so much action, we just didn't get around to it."

Reddick said the extra scene would have taken place after the two reconvene again in the Continental's vault following their realization that their opponents' armor is nearly impervious to bullets. "The second time, when he goes off and then I go off, at some point we were supposed to kind of meet up, and that didn't happen," he explained.

While watching the scene toward the end of John Wick 3 play out, you might not have even realized that the two fought completely separate battles. Reddick attributes that to good editing.

"It's because we leave [the vault] together," the actor said. "Because the action goes so fast between what I'm doing and what he's doing, back and forth, and it feels like we're fighting together. But we're actually going in separately."

Charon has typically been confined to scenes behind the Continental's front desk, and Reddick said it was fun to get out and be part of the action this time. "It was a blast!" he said. "When you're little kids, playing shoot 'em up and cops and robbers, and all that stuff, you love to do that. So to actually get to be part of the action was fun."

He also said he hopes we get to learn more about Charon's backstory in future installments (such as the just-announced John Wick 4). Considering that Chapter 3 revealed more about John's origin, that's not outside the realm of possibility.

Whatever else happens, it seems Charon will remain loyal to Winston and the Continental, as he did in Chapter 3's climax. "It wasn't about taking sides, in terms of two factions fighting," the actor said. "It was about, 'The Continental is my home, and my loyalty to Winston is my life.'"

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum is in theaters now, and John Wick 4 is scheduled to arrive May 21, 2021.

Read more: John Wick 3's Ending Explained

New Red Dead Online Update Sees The Return Of Two Notable RDR2 Faces

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:53

Rockstar has revealed the details for its newest content update to Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode, Red Dead Online, which recently left beta. If you play on PS4, you'll have early access to some of the content, but those with an Xbox One will also get the update's entire collection of add-ons soon enough.

The update adds new Free Roam missions, which see the return of two characters from Red Dead Redemption 2's campaign. You can join Sadie Adler on a ride out to the Adler Ranch or head to Lemoyne to seek out Black Belle. These Free Roam missions will be made available on both PS4 and Xbox One at the same time.

Both PS4 and Xbox One players will also receive a 25% increase when it comes to A Land of Opportunity and Free Roam missions, as well as all Showdown modes, Races, and Free Roam events. If you're a part of a posse, you'll also earn an extra five Gold Bars, RDO$, and XP as a bonus when your friends play together.

The rest of the update's content is coming to PS4 first but will make its way to Xbox One eventually. On PS4, Red Dead Online will provide early access to the Ancient Tomahawk weapon, two new Showdown modes, and the Perlino Andalusian Horse, as well as new horse equipment, clothing, and emotes. The two new Showdown modes are Make It Count: Ancient Tomahawk and Last Stand. The new clothing includes items from the Wheeler, Rawson and Co. Catalogue, such as the Wescott Skirt, Valdez Vest, Citadel Boots, and Plaid Cap.

In a blog post, Rockstar also mentioned that the update makes several quality-of-life fixes to Red Dead Online. "We continue to work behind the scenes to address overall game stability and performance with recent fixes including closing some duplication exploits, resolving issues related to reduced numbers of animals in sessions, updating Defensive mode to revert Playing Style to Offensive and apply a Hostility penalty when stealing cargo from another player's horse and more," the developer wrote.

E3 2019 Date, Press Conferences Schedule, Games, And More

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:32

E3 2019 is almost here. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is one of the biggest gaming events in the world, and always home to the biggest game announcements. Though the event itself is only three days long, the show has been slowly expanding to encompass the whole week around it. EA holds its annual EA Play event, big publishers take their turns holding press conferences, and this year, the event will be capped off with a Fortnite block party.

Here's a complete rundown on everything you need to know. From the games and companies we know will be there to the press conference schedule and details on the event, you'll find all of the key information about E3 2019 below. Be sure to stay tuned to GameSpot in the lead-up and through the event for full coverage.

When And Where Is E3?

E3 officially begins on Tuesday, June 11, and runs through Thursday, June 13. Those are the dates you can roam the show floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where publishers and developers will show their latest and upcoming games to press, investors, and the general public.

However, E3-adjacent events unofficially begin much sooner. Electronic Arts has branched off from E3 and now hosts its own event, EA Play, the weekend prior. That will begin on Friday, June 7 at the Hollywood Palladium. Starting Sunday, June 9, publishers like Microsoft, Bethesda, Nintendo, and Ubisoft, will host press conferences before the event starts, signaling what will be shown at their booths.

When Are The Press Conferences?

EA Play won't be hosting an official press conference this year, but EA has signaled that its livestreams from the event will serve to make its announcements. Then on Saturday, June 8 Nintendo is hosting a series of invitational tournaments, including one for the unreleased Super Mario Maker 2. Press conferences will begin on Sunday, June 10 starting with Microsoft and Bethesda. On Monday, June 11, we'll see the PC Gaming Show, and press conferences from Limited Run Games, Ubisoft, and Square Enix. Nintendo, as usual, has claimed the morning of Tuesday, June 11, just before the show floor opens.

You may notice one conspicuous absence from this lineup. Sony has opted out of E3 this year, which means it won't be giving its usual press conference or occupying a booth on the show floor.

How Do I Watch The Press Conferences?

You can watch all of the press conference streams right here on GameSpot, naturally. We'll be streaming the press conferences live, followed by reactions from our staff. We'll have a livestream filled with developer interviews and game demos throughout the week. Meanwhile, Nintendo will follow its Direct-style press conference with a Treehouse stream that showcases games coming to its platforms. The PC Gaming Show will stream on platforms like Twitch.

What Companies Are At E3?

A huge number of developers and publishers, both big and small, will be in attendance at E3. Of course, just being there doesn't mean they have something to announce or show, as the conference is often home to B2B meetings between developers, publishers, investors, and license-holders.

What Games Are At E3?

Even weeks away from the big event, we already know about quite a few of the games coming to the show. Some of them have been known for some time, while others were recently announced with teases of more to come soon. We even know that some already-released games, like Apex Legends, will use the event to debut substantial announcements of upcoming live events.

Is E3 Open To The Public?

Like the last few years, E3 is once again open to the public, but you can't just show up and get in. Tickets for the Gamer Pass are up for sale for $249, though you should be prepared for long lines to get into see most things on the show floor. Hours for Gamer Pass holders are slightly shorter than those for Industry Pass holders on each day except for Thursday, June 13, so make sure to check when you'll be allowed in the doors.

What Does E3 Stand For?

It's a seemingly silly question, but given how often the term "E3" is used, it's easy to never consider what it actually stands for. E3 is short for Electronic Entertainment Expo, although as the show has evolved, the name has changed slightly at times over the years.

Game Of Thrones Isn’t Ruined, Just Like Phantom Menace Didn’t Kill Star Wars

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:14

I felt a great disturbance on Sunday night. It was as if millions of tweets were suddenly sent out in anger (and millions of fans were definitely not silent). That’s what happened after Game of Thrones aired its final episode. The North may have survived the Battle of Winterfell, but the internet looks more like the people of King’s Landing right after Daenerys showed up and burned them all to death.

After the show became a worldwide cultural phenomenon, Game of Thrones turned its fans against each other with this final season. Beyond the online discussions on Twitter and Reddit, the disappointment-turned-into-hatred toward Game of Thrones has reached the point where well over a million people--at the time of writing this article--have signed a petition begging HBO to remake the last season with new writers.

Many critics have correctly pointed out that this season felt rushed. GameSpot’s Michael Rougeau wrote about why the last few episodes have been full of misplaced fan service. Wired covered the notable differences in storytelling from when the show passed the books, focusing on how the showrunners gave themselves a fixed endpoint instead of accepting more episodes like HBO offered. That forced the narrative of this season to become more of a checklist of what people wanted to see than the natural story of the characters making decisions and following the consequences of those decisions. Daenerys going Mad Queen and slaughtering the people she vowed to free was the moment that seemingly broke the fandom, and many fans felt betrayed by the choices in this season.

Of course, this is far from the first time a giant franchise released a new installment that split the fandom right down the middle. Coincidentally, this past Sunday also marked the 20th anniversary of the release of the start of the prequel trilogy and a film absolutely everyone loves, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Remember that one? The movie people hated so much, with characters so loathed by fans, that one of the stars of the movie considered suicide because of the backlash against his character, and another one destroyed all his Star Wars memorabilia after being bullied endlessly? Maybe an online petition isn’t so bad, considering.

That movie wasn’t a masterpiece either, and despite news clips of early reactions showing satisfied viewers (watch this below), the film is now regarded as one of the worst things to happen to the Star Wars franchise and the start of a trilogy that threatened to destroy everything the franchise had built.

Except it didn’t. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Star Wars in general? Is it Jar Jar Binks doing fart jokes? Qui-Gon Jinn talking about midi-chlorians? Probably not, unlike you actually love the prequels, which is totally fine. Otherwise, you probably think of scenes in the movies that you love, like the Binary Sunset scene, the Darth Vader reveal, or maybe even Han and Chewie arriving on the Falcon in The Force Awakens. No matter what your favorite Star Wars movie is, you always remember the moments that made you happy more than the ones that disappointed you.

Confession time: I used to love the prequels. Despite having memories of seeing the special edition of A New Hope shortly before the release of Episode I, the movies I vividly remember seeing in theaters were Episodes I-III. Even if I always thought it was weird that Anakin was so much younger than Padmé and I had no interest whatsoever in the taxation of trade routes, I still loved the podracing sequence, the Battle of Naboo, and of course the lightsaber battle between Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon. If I think back to 1999 it is those scenes that come to mind.

Likewise, no matter what you think of this last season of Game of Thrones, we will always have those early days. More than that, we survived up to this moment. We survived seeing Ned Stark beheaded in the first season, the massacre of the Red Wedding, and that awful, awful Dorne storyline. It is entirely within everyone's right to criticize the show, but a handful of disappointing episodes won't take away all those moments of thrilling political intrigue, staring in awe at the cunning conversations between Arya and Tywin, the horror of seeing Oberyn suffer such a horrible death, the collective anger after watching the Red Wedding, and the many tears we all shed every time a favorite character bit the dust.

I get it. You can only do the series finale of Game of Thrones once, just as you could only tell the story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader once--or could you? There probably won’t be a remake of the prequels, and you can’t go to the past and change the script or the acting, but you can build up from what’s already there and try to make it better. Star Wars has the Expanded Universe, and even though most of it is technically not canon anymore thanks to Disney, there are still plenty of stories that expand on what we see in the movies and even improve them. After the prequel trilogy was over, Dave Filoni made Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and in the show’s six (soon to be seven!) seasons: Darth Maul came back, Jar Jar became a bit less annoying, and we got to know more about Qui-Gon Jinn and how the clones were created and their purpose in the creation of the Empire. More importantly, it got us to care about Anakin Skywalker even if the prequels didn’t. The Phantom Menace may not be fully vindicated in the eyes of fans who were burned after spending years waiting, but thanks to the ever-expanding EU, the prequel era feels fresher than ever.

And if even after all that you still don’t want anything to do with the prequels, there’s still Disney’s sequel trilogy, and the recently announced non-Skywalker movies, and the Disney+ TV shows. Star Wars fandom survived the prequel era, and the dark times before it when fans had to wait a decade and a half for more Star Wars. There has truly never been a better time to be a fan of the galaxy far, far away.

The same thing applies to Game of Thrones. For better or worse, the series has become a cultural phenomenon bigger than any single episode or season of the show. Not only did we all become addicted to the endless cycle of rooting for a character only to see them mercilessly killed by their own stupid decisions, but an entire tourism industry flourishes in Northern Ireland and Dubrovnik thanks to filming locations for the show. A few polarizing episodes do not take away from all the discussions regarding what characters were secretly planning, debates over what Hodor meant, and the watch parties that occurred all over the world.

HBO is still working on those prequels. And best of all, we still have the books! Even if you end up disappointed by the finale, remember you can still look forward to reading George R. R. Martin’s ending eventually. Being the rare adaptation that got ahead of its source material, we still don’t know what the original ending is, or if it will change because of the show. In any case, that’s as close as you can get to a remake, even if you have to use your imagination to picture how it all looks.

Game of Thrones, and by extension its fandom, will be OK. We may argue, we may fight, but even if we don’t love it now, we all used to love this show and watched it religiously every Sunday night. Winter came and went, and there will be other shows in the future, but for now--and only for now--our watch has ended.

The Sims 4 Now Free On Origin For A Limited Time

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:06

The Sims 4 has quietly been one of EA's longest-lasting games, putting out regular updates since its launch in 2014. Now the company has made it free through its Origin storefront, but only for a limited time.

You can pick up the game now through Origin, but only for a week. Clicking on the purchase link will forward you to an offer to subscribe to Origin Basic or Premiere, but just under those options is a third that allows you to grab the game without subscribing to either service. If you do have a Basic subscription, though, you can get the Digital Deluxe edition with some extra goodies.

The Sims 4 has gotten a ton of updates over its long lifespan, from fun cosmetic crossovers like it did with Final Fantasy XV, to a first-person camera mode, to expansions and updates focusing on diverse topics like pets, seasons, parenthood, and even a spooky mystery. Those regular updates have helped give it more longevity, matching and exceeding its predecessors that had a similar wealth of content.

You can grab The Sims 4 for free through May 28.

Nintendo Is Pulling Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem Mobile Games In Belgium Amid Loot Box Concerns

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:05

Nintendo is shutting down two of its mobile games in Belgium this summer, the company has announced. Both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes will be taken offline on August 27, after which point players will no longer be able to download or play the titles in the country.

According to Nintendo, the decision to shut the games down is due to the Belgian government's stance on loot boxes (via Games Industry). The Belgian Gaming Commission ruled last year that loot boxes constituted gambling and recommended criminal prosecution against game developers who utilized such mechanics in their titles.

Nintendo is only the latest gaming company to change or outright pull its games in Belgium following the BGC's ruling. Valve, Blizzard, and Rocket League developer Psyonix have removed the ability to purchase loot boxes in their titles in the country, while Square Enix shut down three of its mobile games. Nintendo says it will not release any future titles that employ loot box-like mechanics in the country.

Like many other mobile games, both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes feature a form of premium in-game currency. In the former, these come in the form of Leaf Tickets, which can be exchanged for Fortune Cookies that contain a random item. The latter, meanwhile, has Orbs, which can be exchanged to summon new heroes. Players in Belgium can continue to purchase and redeem these currencies until the cutoff date.

Loot boxes have come under scrutiny in a number of different countries of late, including the US. Senator Josh Hawley recently announced he was introducing a bill that would ban loot boxes in games targeted at minors. Meanwhile, New Zealand and France had also recently undertaken their own investigations and ruled that loot boxes are not gambling.

How Miz's WWE Career Helped Develop His Reality Series

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 03:17

While Miz just had a battle with Shane McMahon at the WWE PPV Money in the Bank, he and wife Maryse are wrapping up the first season of their reality series on USA Network Miz and Mrs. on May 21. Neither of them are strangers to television, with nearly 30 years combined experience on WWE programming.

18 years ago, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin appeared on the Real World, and following that, he had a career on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, so jumping into a new reality series following he, his wife Maryse, and their newborn daughter Monroe Sky isn't uncharted territory. Their USA Network series was actually in the works long before filming actually began. "It was actually pitched to us three years before," explained Miz. "They saw the way we were together on Total Divas a little bit and, from there, they were like, 'They need their own reality show,' but I was a little hesitant because I was on The Real World about 20 years ago. I loved being on The Real World and I always thank MTV and Bunim/Murray for putting me on that show because it gave me, I feel like, everything."

There was a stigma on reality stars the first decade the genre existed on television, as early reality TV was a lot more reality-based and a whole lot less scripted. "Hollywood looked at it as that I had no talent," continued Miz. "Whoever is on a reality show, like, you have no talent, you're just standing in front of a camera, and that's who you are, and that's what you did, back in those days. But things have changed in the world and back then, we didn't have camera phones. We didn't have social media. So now, everything has changed to where everything is a reality show, whether it's YouTube, internet, Instagram, and Twitter. Everything. I know exactly what people are doing. The biggest stars in the world, I know what they're doing because they're on their Instagram all the time doing stories.

"So, I looked at that and I said, 'You know what? We can make something really special here.' And my wife and I looked at each other and we were like, 'We really could.' We have the family, we have the friends, and we have the support we need. And our stories are so well done and my experience on The Real World and on The Challenges, as well as being at WWE has taught me how to tell a story. How to create characters. How to make sure that you entertain an audience while being true to who you are, who we are."

Three years later, both Maryse and Miz are executive producers on USA's Miz and Mrs., and they're doing the show the way they want to. "I feel like Maryse and I have made a show that both of us are very proud of," Miz explained. "And when people watch it, the only negative thing that I ever see or ever hear is that it's not long enough, it's not 60 minutes, and I like the 30 minutes, though, because I think it's fast-paced, it's fun, and you can watch it with your whole family."

The season finale of Miz and Mrs. airs on Tuesday, May 21 on USA Network at 10 PM. For more from the "It Couple," check out Maryse talking about her potential return to WWE and the women's revolution.

Path Of Exile's Legion Update Overhauls Combat And Sets The Stage For The Future

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 03:13

In 2019, Path of Exile has had several changes that have grown the action-RPG in some exciting ways. In addition to the launch of the ambitious Synthesis update, which added in dynamic levels, loot, and new leagues to take part in, the free-to-play action-RPG finally made its way to the PS4 in March--bringing the game to all three core platforms. However, the developers at Grinding Gear Games still have a lot in store for the game, and their next major update plans to set the stage for what's to come in Path of Exile in the years to come.

In the upcoming Legion update--releasing on PC June 7 and on consoles June 10--Path of Exile will introduce a suite of new changes and quality-of-life upgrades to the game's meta. In addition to adding new class archetypes and a new league, there are also some unique forms of loot to find and monsters to fight. However, the most significant change is the overhauled combat system, with the intent to make melee in PoE feel more responsive and punchy.

Speaking with managing director Chris Wilson from Grinding Gear Games, he detailed what was to come with Legion, and some of the surprising lessons they learned from their last expansion Synthesis.

"Synthesis was a tricky one for us, because to some extent we may have bitten off more than we could chew in terms of complicated designs," said Wilson. "We were pretty happy with how it went out the door, some players weren't, so we made a bunch of improvements and were happier with it after that. Looking ahead after that, we knew we had to make melee better, and that was going to take quite a lot of extensive improvements. So are our initial plan was to do this alongside our mega-expansion, which is coming out in another year or so. We have to make a lot of updates to it so it can stand up alongside other games that are coming in the future. So we worked out a plan and managed to get it done in time for Legion. We figured instead of saving it; we would make the game better now and release it."

In terms of scale, Legion is a bit more light in terms of large-scale content compared to the Delve and Synthesis updates--both of which added in procedurally generated maps and complex progressions systems assigned to each. While Legion has its story missions and unique enemies coming in the form of the generals, this particular update is about upgrading the game's existing systems and improving the meta. However, as Wilson stated, the primary focus for Legion was to offer enough content for "repeatable fun".

Here's a quick breakdown of features coming with Legion:

  • Legion League: The new expansion will focus on two warring armies who fight in perpetual conflict over the course of thousands of years. Engaging in these fights can yield powerful weapons and artifacts to use for your character.
  • Melee Overhaul: The core combat of PoE will see some fundamental changes. In addition to changes in attack animations, speed, and flow, all attacks can be canceled before their use, allowing you greater control in combat.
  • The Map Device: Legion will offer an update to the existing Map Device, which allowed players to access hidden areas of the world. Previously, devices had only four slots, but in Legion, it's possible to find devices that have five slots--greatly amplifying the effectiveness when used.
  • Incubation Items: In the past, Path of Exile has included numerous ways to gain new items outside of the flow of combat. With Legion, another unique way to acquire gear is through incubated items. Dropped from enemies, these unique forms of loot will gradually unlock after enough enemies have been wiped out.
  • New Archetypes: As a refresher, archetypes are suggested builds that allow you to mix skills from a variety of different classes. One of the new builds is the Blood and Sand Gladiator, a unique form of Duelist that can use blood magic and sand-based abilities.

Of course, this is only the just a brief rundown of some of the key features of Legion. In addition to these new features, this update will also include a whole suite of quality-of-life improvements to the atlas map, new socketed jewels, and also a substantial rebalance to monsters found in the early portions of the campaign. The Legion update is still one of many planned expansions for Path of Exile, which is gradually building to the announcement of its next large-scale expansion in November at ExileCon.

For more on Path of Exile and its new Legion update, be sure to visit GameSpot in the weeks ahead.

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Trailer Is A Truly Bizarre Time Capsule

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 03:11

It's been nearly four years since Quentin Tarantino had a movie in theaters. That's about to change, though, thanks to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. A trailer for the director's latest film--his ninth overall-- has released, showing what Hollywood in 1969 looks like through the eyes of the man also responsible for titles like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Django Unchained. Spoilers: It's weird.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio as an aging movie star, with Brad Pitt playing his closest confidante and stuntman. The film intertwines multiple stories, including some that pull from actual Hollywood history, to set the stage for what an official synopsis calls "a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age."

One of those stories, which Pitt's Cliff Booth seemingly finds himself a part of in the trailer, is the Manson family murders. In the first look at the film, Booth ends up at George Spahn's (Bruce Dern) movie rank, where Manson (Damon Herriman) lives with his followers--Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (Dakota Fanning) is shown in the trailer, however "Tex" Watson (Austin Butler) and Catherine Share (Lena Dunham) are among those appearing in the film.

The movie also features Luke Perry, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Rumer Willis, Maya Hawke, Al Pacino, Damian Lewis, and Emile Hirsch, to name a few.

The release of the trailer coincides with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's premiere screening at the Cannes film festival. It will be in theaters on July 26.

Xbox One Game Deals: The Best Xbox One Titles On Sale This Week

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 03:09

As usual, the Xbox Store is kicking off the week with some new game deals, and there are some worthwhile discounts to put on your radar this week. First of all: Today (May 21) is the last day to get three months of Xbox Game Pass for just $1 if you're a new or returning subscriber. New games were just added to the lineup in May, including Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Wargroove, Surviving Mars, Tacoma, and The Surge.

On the game side, a batch of indies is available, including quite a few critically acclaimed titles, such Divinity: Original Sin 2's Definitive Edition for $36, Firewatch for $6.59, and Dead Cells for $20. Narrative-adventure What Remains of Edith Finch is $10, and open-world pinball platformer Yoku's Island Express is only $6.59. If you're feeling spooky, the Amnesia Collection is marked down to $15.

Finally, you can explore the universe with No Man's Sky, which is on sale for $37.49. With last year's large-scale update, "Next," and the upcoming "Beyond" free expansion releasing this summer, No Man's Sky has come a long way since its initial launch and is worth picking up if it's not already part of your collection.

One of the Xbox One's selling points is its expansive collection of backward-compatible games, and the Xbox Store is offering hundreds of those older titles at a discount this week. That includes games like Red Dead Redemption for $9.89, Catherine for $10, and BioShock for $8.

See the full offering of Xbox One deals at the Xbox Store, and see more of our picks from this week's sale below.

*plays on Xbox One due to backward-compatibility

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