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WWE's Maryse On Whether She'll Return To The Ring

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 05:11

The "It Couple" of WWE, Maryse and The Miz, have both spent over a decade working for the wrestling promotion. In addition to appearing on Raw and Smackdown, they star on the USA reality TV series, Miz and Mrs., which follows their day-to-day life as they work at WWE, raise a child, and go on wacky adventures with Maryse's mom.

While Miz is currently performing at WWE shows and PPVs, Maryse is pregnant with the couple's second child. After briefly returning to the ring for WWE after the birth of the couple's first child, Monroe Sky, Maryse spoke to GameSpot about her possible future in the WWE.

"I never say never," Marsye told us. "When I had Monroe, I was back in the ring four months after giving birth. Five months after giving birth, I was main eventing Smackdown Live in a singles match, which has never really been done before, ever. So, if you were to ask me that when I was pregnant with Monroe, I would of laughed. I would have said, 'No, come on. Let's not get crazy here.' And that happened. So, this second time around, I really don't know what to expect because you never really know what to expect with WWE. That's the beauty of WWE is that you just never know. And it just surprised us also because I been with this company for almost thirteen years and I still get surprised, so, never say never. You never know."

Because she's been with the company for 13 years, Maryse has seen the the full evolution of women in the WWE. "I think Evolution was a big moment where we really recognized women in this industry," the former Divas Champion explained. "To me that's when I really felt in my heart, 'Wow, this is happening.' And I was there with Monroe because that was a very important moment for me and for every other woman. We had women from every generation, also, that showed up because that really was a big moment."

The biggest moment to Maryse, however, was this past year's Wrestlemania, where Ronda Rousey, Charlotte, and Beck Lynch headlined the event. "It's just to show you that there is no limits to all of this," she continued. "And I know it might sound cheesy, but it's true. The sky's the limit. And for me, having a daughter, it just made me really happy. Women made it. It's becoming the norm. Women are going to be in the room running stuff. It's going to be the norm. It's going to be the normality. So I think that the next goal is just that. It's just to have men and women. You're qualified, you're good, then just go rock it, you know? It's just a crazy time for the women in this industry. It's just really insane to watch."

While Maryse may not be involved in this Sunday's Money in the Bank PPV, you can see The Miz take on Shane McMahon in a cage match, which Miz discussed with GameSpot recently. The season finale of Miz and Mrs. will be on USA Network on Tuesday, May 21. And make sure to come back to GameSpot on Sunday, May 19 for live coverage and a review of MITB.

GameStop's Huge One-Day Sale For Pro Members Launches Saturday

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 05:11

GameStop Pro members, that annual membership is about to come in handy big time. GameStop is launching a one-day Pro Day Sale in stores and online Saturday, May 18, with some pretty solid deals on PS4, Switch, and Xbox One games; consoles; Funko figures; and more. Plus, you'll get extra credit when trading in consoles, games, and accessories. Here's an overview of all the deals that'll be available tomorrow (so you can brace your wallet now).

There's quite a good selection of PS4 and Xbox One games that will be on sale, such as Devil May Cry 5 for $40, Spyro Reignited Trilogy for $25, and Monster Hunter World for $20. On PS4, you can grab Tetris Effect for $20, Nier: Automata's Game of the Yorha Edition for $25, and Marvel's Spider-Man for $30. As usual, the pickings are slim for Nintendo Switch, but Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is an excellent purchase for only $20. All pre-owned games will be buy one, get one 50% off.

If you were planning to purchase a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, or PS4 soon, you'll save some money at GameStop tomorrow in the form of a $25 gift card (Switch), $50 gift card (Xbox One), or $20 off (PS4, if you bundle it with PS Plus). Various gaming accessories are also discounted, including headsets, controllers, chairs, and blue light-blocking glasses. Funko Pop Vinyl figures will be $9 each, and collector's boxes will be 50% off.

Finally, Pro members can receive 10% more trade-in credit for games and accessories tomorrow (that bumps it to 20% credit for Pro members, and 30% credit for any existing Elite Pro members). You'll also get $300 trade credit for a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, $225 credit for a Switch or PS4 Slim, $175 credit for an original PS4 or Xbox One S, and $125 credit for an original Xbox One.

As a reminder, GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro membership costs $15 per year and doubles your points earned with every purchase, boosts your trade-in credit by an additional 10%, decreases the cost of pre-owned games and accessories by 10%, and more. If you're interested in any of these Pro Day deals and don't have a membership, you can always enroll during checkout.

SHOP GAMESTOP'S PRO DAY SALE »

See more of the upcoming deals below, and browse the full offering of deals at GameStop. The following prices will become available on May 18.

GAMES

Nintendo Switch:

PS4:

Xbox One:

PC:

CONSOLES & ACCESSORIES

TOYS & COLLECTIBLES

TRADE-IN CREDIT BONUSES

A Detective Pikachu Movie Sequel Is Reportedly In The Works

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 04:01

Hopefully, you haven't gotten your fill of live-action Pokemon movies. Following the box office success of Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, which has already earned over $60 million after one week in theaters, it's being reported that a sequel is being developed. Though there aren't many details at this point, it's hardly a surprise that a property with as much lore as Pokemon is being looked at for more big screen adaptations.

The news comes from ComicBook.com, which cites numerous sources that claim Legendary Entertainment is moving forward with a sequel to the film, which stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular yellow pocket monster. Based on the report, it sounds as if the next movie will be a direct sequel to Detective Pikachu, while further Pokemon films will be explored in the years to come.

While a second Detective Pikachu film would likely put its primary focus on Pikachu once again, there are still tons of Pokemon that populated the world of Ryme City and beyond in the first film. GameSpot's resident Pokemon experts managed to identify nearly 100 different little monsters in the movie, as well as a slew of Easter eggs that hint at even more.

While Detective Pikachu is the first live-action foray for the franchise, it's not the first movie. The animated Pokemon: The First Movie was released in theaters in 1998, with a long line of sequels and spin-offs in the years since.

Where Is Xur? Destiny 2 Location, Exotics, And Invitation Of The Nine Guide (May 17-21)

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 03:50

Destiny 2's Season the Drifter is quickly coming to an end. The season's last Exotic, Outbreak Perfected, is out in the wild, and we're currently seeing the final Iron Banner before the Season of Opulence starts on June 4 and brings new content for Annual Pass holders. And with his arrival this weekend, Xur brings not only another stash of Exotic weapons and armor, but the final Invitation of the Nine, completing the story of the Drifter and the Emissary. Unfortunately, at least one of those Exotics has a nerf coming its way.

Head to Titan if you're looking for Xur. He's hanging out on The Rig in a small building to the north of the spawn point. Ride your sparrow until you've got water on your left, then head into the low building to your left to find Xur inside. He's offering D.A.R.C.I. this week, an Exotic sniper rifle that gives you information on enemies when you aim down the sights at them with its Personal Assistant perk, and which amps up the damage you do when Personal Assistant is active.

For armor, Xur offers Celestial Nighthawk helmet for Hunters, which gives you one high-damage shot for your Golden Gun Super, rather than several weaker shots. It also makes enemies explode, and killing enemies with your Golden Gun gets you Super energy back. Titans get the Ursa Furiosa gauntlets, which give you Super energy back based on how much damage you absorb with your Sentinel Shield Super, and gives you faster movement speed when you're using it. Finally, for Warlocks, there's Geomag Stabilizers, a set of boots that increase the duration of your Chaos Reach Super as you do damage with it. You can also sometimes get Super energy for sprinting.

Here are all the Exotics Xur offers this week and what they'll cost you:

  • D.A.R.C.I. (Exotic sniper rifle) -- 29 Legendary Shards
  • Ursa Furiosa (Exotic Titan gauntlets) -- 23 Legendary Shards
  • Celestial Nighthawk (Exotic Hunter helmet) -- 23 Legendary Shards
  • Geomag Stabilizers (Exotic Warlock leg armor) -- 23 Legendary Shards

If nothing Xur has strikes your fancy, you can also purchase a Fated Engram from Xur. Thanks to a recent update, Fated Engrams can now dish out Exotics from the Forsaken expansion, as well as from the original Year One group (but not from the Black Armory or the Jokers Wild expansions). Grabbing one of the engrams gives you a random Exotic that you don't already have--if you can afford it. Fated Engrams will run you 97 Legendary Shards, and you can only get one per account each week. Xur also offers the Five of Swords challenge card for free, which allows you to add difficulty modifiers that increase your score in Nightfall runs.

Finally, this Xur visit marks the arrival of the final Invitation of the Nine weekly bounty, which you can also snag one from Xur. Completing these gives you a Powerful gear drop, as well as a bit of story about the Nine and the Drifter and a new Lore entry that fills in the history of the Emissary of the Nine. Unlike the other bounties that have had players visiting planets and completing Strikes, this one takes you to the Crucible to play through nine different matches. If you're not finished with your older Invitations, you can still complete one per week until you've received them all. Be sure to finish the bounty by Thursday's daily reset, or you won't be able to grab a fresh bounty from Xur on Friday.

Take A First Look At DC Comics' Mysterious Event Leviathan

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 03:40

Legendary creators Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev are teaming up for the first time at DC Comics with a six-part mystery thriller event called Event Leviathan this June--and it's already shaping up to be an ominous affair. Take a look at these promotional posters highlighting each of the characters caught in Leviathan's web, from Batman and Batgirl to Plastic Man and Lois Lane.

"You have tried everything," Leviathan's message reads. "The world needs us to do better."

Likened more to Agatha Christie novels than typical superhero bombast, Bendis teased the event in an interview with GameSpot at DC's Burbank offices late last month.

"[By the end of the story] Leviathan will have risen and what it is and what they've done will have landed," Bendis said. "And so there are a lot of pieces that are going to shift and a lot of heroes are going to have a kind of a new purpose--like a new motivation, because the enemy will have revealed itself. He's not selling villainy and he's not selling antagonism. There are heroes and there are villains and then there's this other thing right now. And that other thing isn't playing by the rules dictated by the rules of the genre. That's going to mess up a lot of people's heads."

While Event Leviathan itself is a self-contained six-issue series, it's being supported by various specials and one-shot issues, like the preview in last month's Year Of The Villain kick-off special and next week's upcoming Superman: Leviathan Rising special by Bendis and artist Yanick Paquette.

Take your first look at the Leviathan Rising special here.

Superman: Leviathan Rising hits shelves on May 29 while Event Leviathan #1 arrives June 12, everywhere comics are sold.

Pokemon Go Week-Long Raid Event Announced, Features Two Shiny Pokemon

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 03:30

Pokemon Go's next Community Day is this weekend, but that isn't the only event on the horizon. Niantic has announced it is holding an Extraordinary Raid Week for the mobile game beginning Tuesday, May 21, and it'll give players a chance to earn special bonuses for participating in Raids--and even catch a couple of Shiny Pokemon.

The Extraordinary Raid Week kicks off at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 9 PM BST and runs until the same time the following Tuesday, May 28. During that week, new Pokemon will be featured as Raid bosses. Bronzor, for instance, will appear in Tier 1 Raids, and you may even come across its Shiny form, while the rare Clampearl will be one of the possible Tier 2 Raid bosses. On top of that, you'll receive twice the usual amount of Stardust and XP for participating in Raids.

There are also a couple of dedicated events within the broader Raid week. On Wednesday, May 22, Niantic will host a special Raid Hour from 6-7 PM local time, during which there will be more Raids occurring than usual. Then on Saturday, May 25, a special Lapras Raid will occur from 11 AM-2 PM local time. During that time, Lapras will appear as a Raid boss, and you may even come across a Shiny one. Additionally, you'll receive up to five Raid Passes from Gyms during the event. You can find more details on the Pokemon Go website.

In the meantime, the next Pokemon Go Community Day takes place this Sunday, May 19. The featured Pokemon this month is Torchic, the Fire-type starter from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. If you manage to evolve it into a Blaziken up to an hour after the event ends, it'll learn the powerful Fire attack Blast Burn. On top of that, you'll receive triple the normal amount of Stardust for catching Pokemon during the Community Day.

The Legendary Gen 4 lake trio Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie are also still available in the game. Each one is appearing as a Raid battle in certain parts of the world until May 27. Azelf is currently available in the Americas and Greenland; Mesprit is spawning across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; and Uxie is appearing in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Trials And Tribulations Of Being An Overwatch Pro

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 02:04

Unaware that the Overwatch League's main camera was broadcasting him live to audiences watching around the world, London Spitfire player Joon-yeong "Profit" Park--one of the team's big stars--looked straight into the camera and threw up the middle finger, with a cheeky smile to boot. He wasn’t flipping off viewers; he flipped the bird to his team watching from Blizzard Arena's dugout area. Profit later said he made the gesture in response to jokes from players and coaches off-stage. He didn't expect the gesture to be broadcast to the world, but it was. While many found it funny--even London Spitfire owner Jack Etienne joked about it--Profit was fined $1,000 and had to apologize for his actions.

Profit's on-camera slip-up is a microcosm of the issues esports players face in the spotlight. When Blizzard Entertainment announced the Overwatch League in 2016, it touted the clear-cut "path to pro," which would allow any player with a high enough rank to get noticed by Overwatch League teams. Overwatch League's path to pro would turn ladder warriors into global superstars, but the speed at which people were elevated from casual players to public figures created unique challenges. While newfound fame for esports players does have major upsides, some players have struggled with the challenges of being in a global competitive gaming league--namely a lack of anonymity, language barriers, and long training hours, all of which are difficult pressures to prepare for.

Profit's infraction was on the lower end of the seriousness scale, and yet it was still something that impacted him: "I will take the time to deeply reflect upon what I say and do to make sure that nothing like this takes place again," he wrote in his apology. "I'm sorry [to] the fans that I have let down through my actions."

In November, 2018, Daniel "dafran" Francesca retired from the Overwatch League, before the 2019 season even began. That retirement didn't stick and, days later, dafran tweeted that he would still play with the Atlanta Reign in the upcoming season, and that he wasn't really going to retire. "I messed up, don't know what to say except sorry to the community, my fans, and ATL," he wrote. "It wasn't [a] jebait, sometimes I have these days and make dumb mistakes."

Just after the 2019 season's first stage, dafran retired from the Overwatch League--for real this time. He's staying with the Atlanta Reign, but as a full-time streamer. For dafran, it wasn't life in the public eye that was the problem; instead, it was being a public figure specifically in the Overwatch League. And he's not the only one. Washington Justice general manager Kate Mitchell stepped down from her position in May. Dallas Fuel DPS player Hyeon "Effect" Hwang retired from professional play, but not before the team's assistant coach, Christian "cocco" Jonsson, left his position. Do-hyung "Stellar" Lee also left Toronto Defiant for "personal reasons."

"In the end, you see a lot of people in Overwatch that are facing an immense amount of challenge," Mitchell told GameSpot. "Numerous players have negative public events unfold because they’re not used to the level of attention and pressure."

Given the Overwatch League's long season--five four-week stages--players must adapt to the pressures of the space away from already established support systems. “"With the amount of emotional stress and endurance, it's a marathon," Los Angeles Gladiators player Aaron "Bischu" Kim explained in an interview conducted for GameSpot's Building Overwatch League series. "It's so easy to get burnt out. There’s tons of players that really didn’t know how to balance life."

While other esports grew organically from grassroots scenes, like League of Legends' continuous growth since its release in 2009, the Overwatch League popped up fully-formed not too long after the game's launch. Though many of the players had participated in smaller Overwatch tournaments--namely, OGN’s Overwatch Apex event in South Korea--and sometimes other esports, the jump to the Overwatch League was a major lifestyle change. The Overwatch League’s franchised structure helped the transition from amateur or semi-pro Overwatch player to full-time esports pro, offering players a minimum salary of $50,000, benefits, and housing. But even with help from the teams and the league, it’s a major change for the players. Even those who do have experience at tournaments, it’s never been on a stage as big as the Overwatch League's. The Overwatch League is one of the more involved leagues in esports--a custom-built arena, with the promise of one in each team city, high-profile sponsors like Toyota, and major broadcasting rights deals that bring the competition to the likes of ESPN and ABC. Since the beginning, the Overwatch League has been positioned for the spotlight, and some players weren't ready.

Since the beginning, the Overwatch League has been positioned for the spotlight, and some players weren't ready.

It’s a challenge that professional sports leagues have spent decades perfecting--and they’re still working on it. Professional athletes have notoriously tough schedules with lots of travel. Even the NFL, which has been around since the 1920s, still hasn’t gotten it right. An ESPN report from mid-April said that the NFL has even agreed to a three-year research grant to study how to use "a mathematical approach" to make better schedules, for instance. The Overwatch League has no such history behind it; many of the players are new to it all, too. The league's front office is certainly thinking of these things--and has provided support, like a player summit with media training--but players are still working out life in the public eye, adjusting to both the good and bad of it all.

"If you make Major League Baseball, you've already been traveling, living in hotel rooms, and traveling on buses in the crucible of the minor league before," former Washington Justice general manager Mitchell said. "There's no massive professional infrastructure [in minor league esports]. There isn’t a ton of institutional memory and knowledge of how to navigate spaces." Blizzard has positioned Overwatch Contenders as a minor league of sorts, but many players don’t find it an adequate preparation for the Overwatch League; with most events held online. Online tournaments certainly have value, but it doesn't prepare players for a life in front of a camera broadcasting on a global stage.

"In the Overwatch League and most esports, these are brand new spaces where we don’t really have best practices for how to thrive in these jobs yet," Mitchell added. "That's something we’re all figuring out together, and that’s a tremendously exciting thing. Being able to try and set down a culture here at [Washington] Justice that's inclusive and understanding was my favorite part of this role, and it's also part of the challenge."

Understanding life in the public sphere, specific to the Overwatch League and the new kind of celebrity it creates, is one of the biggest hurdles for up-and-comers. The Overwatch League's players have a situational kind of fame that’s akin to internet celebrity--an umbrella term Dr. Crystal Abidin, digital anthropologist and author of "Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online," defines as "high visible," personality-backed media content that's native to the internet. "High visibility can be attributed to fame or infamy, positive or negative attention, talent or skill, or something else," Dr. Abidin told GameSpot.

Overwatch League pros' fame is based on a number of factors, but that celebrity isn't predicated on a surge of virality that fizzles away; instead, it's sustained. It's a level of internet celebrity that's closer to influencers--"careerist internet celebrities." But, of course, not all Overwatch League players elevate their celebrity to influencer status. There are some players in the league who aren't necessarily looking to create a "brand" out of their skill. They just want to play the game. The balance between these players' desires--to just play--and the expectations of teams and the league--for them to be personalities, too--can cause misalignment that leads to the pressure and burnout that players face.

Players, like many on Seoul Dynasty, Houston Outlaws, Atlanta Reign, or Los Angeles Valiant, have secondary pursuits, like streaming or vlogging, on top of their day jobs of playing video games at a professional level. A lot of these players practice what's called micro-celebrity. This means micro in their reach, typically to a specific demographic, and in what's shared, as in a micro-look at the personal details of a person's life.

We follow Overwatch League players because we like to watch someone playing the game we play at the highest level. We keep following them because we feel connected to them in some way. Maybe they play for our city's team. Maybe they're entertaining. Or maybe they play the same hero we do. There's definitely an aspirational aspect to the celebrity, but it's the perceived interconnectedness of influencers, Dr. Abidin said, that draws people in.

Esports stars are uniquely positioned in their fame, as opposed to, say, traditional athletes, given the "micro"-ness of their celebrity. Players are accessible. "You can’t get onto the basketball court and LeBron James is playing beside you," Immortals and Los Angeles Valiant PR manager Jen Neale says. "It'd be very rare that you’re going to play a pick-up game and he would be there. But if you're high enough [on the ladder] in Overwatch, you can play alongside these players."

Will Partin, a doctoral candidate researching esports at the University of North Carolina, said that accessibility is partly what makes the esports celebrity so appealing to fans. (This is in comparison to more traditional celebrity, which is predicated on a person's status and skill, but also in how they're perceived as untouchable or elusive.)

Image via LA Valiant Twitter

Los Angeles Valiant team manager Mike Schwartz said most players on the team are embracing life in the public eye, with support from the Immortals staff. According to Schwartz, Los Angeles Valiant is "proactive" in preparing its players for both the pressures and benefits of being a public figure, setting up scenarios where players can succeed not only in Overwatch, but in life.

"It's just about making sure that the players know how to answer questions and be their honest, true selves," Neale said. "But not to a point where they’re giving away the farm and unveiling their deepest, darkest secrets. It's a really unique atmosphere to have to manage and it’s constantly evolving."

Players in the Overwatch League are still learning to live as internet celebrities--and that comes with conflict. A number of players were suspended and fined in the inaugural season because of bad behavior, including boosting, an act where a player helps artificially inflate another's skill level, and trolling in game. Eight players have been fined so far in the Overwatch League's 2019 season, preceded by plenty more in the first.

One the more severe infractions was when Los Angeles Gladiators streamer Félix "xQc" Lengyel was dropped from his former team, Dallas Fuel after being suspended and fined multiple times for his actions while streaming--which included using a homophobic remark and “racially disparaging” emotes. These are actions go beyond just a struggle to adjust to public life.

Elsewhere, Overwatch League players have been punished further for infractions well beyond adjustment problems. Former Boston Uprising player Jonathan "DreamKazper" Sanchez was dropped from the team for allegedly abusing his status as a player in the league to take advantage of an underage fan. DreamKazper's actions can’t be considered a gaffe triggered by life in the spotlight; instead, it's a player directly using his newfound power and fame in a predatory way to exploit his fans.

For the struggle of life in the spotlight, Atlanta Reign support player Dusttin "Dogman" Bowerman told GameSpot that some of the stress of the Overwatch League is mitigated by just turning off social media. "It's a lot easier to turn my brain off when it comes to social media and focus more on the game and controllable factors, rather than social media," Dogman said. "It’s easy to let that impact you."

Fellow Atlanta Reign support Steven "Kodak" Rosenberger agreed: "I have to take a lot of care about what I do and write on social media,” he explained. "Everybody is looking at Overwatch League players and keep judging them, but I guess that’s normal once you hit the highest stage in a profession."

Stress has unique ways of being expressed--it's different for everyone. In the Overwatch League's inaugural season, we saw players and staff burnout. Multiple players and coaches have spoken out about it. Florida Mayhem coach Vytis "Mineral" Lasaitis took time off during the season to address burnout. New York Excelsior DPS Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon cited an anxiety disorder for his mid-season break.

"The biggest challenge is not letting the stress break you," Houston Outlaws general manager Matt Rodriguez said. "People talk about 'gamer moments,' but they do happen, especially to people under extreme stress [or] not thinking straight. I think when a player snaps or says something they regret, it can haunt them. Trying to keep your cool all the time to avoid any bad press or media is definitely a challenge, and there is a lot of pressure to make the right decisions and represent yourself well in all situations."

No player is immune to the emotion and stress of competition; even the most composed of players have their moments. Take, for instance, Houston Outlaws' Jake Lyon, often seen as a face of the league. The Overwatch League's camera crew cut to Jake after a particularly rough map loss against league titans New York Excelsior. Jake is visibly upset--with a balled up fist and his head in his hand--before he slams the desk. It's a rare scene of emotion from one of the more stoic players in the league. Fan response was mixed. Some were worried about Jake. Others liked seeing raw, authentic emotion.

"Thanks to everyone who reached out to offer me support," Jake wrote on Twitter after the match. "I'm doing fine, just had an emotional response to a rough series. Luckily, I have great teammates around to pick me up when I'm down."

It's not only what players expect out of themselves that cause these outbursts of emotion. Outside pressure, perceived or real, seeps in. Sometimes it's an "angry dude out there ready to shit talk you after every loss or to tell you to quit the team because you’re the reason they failed," according to Rodriguez. Other times, it's more subtle. It's internalizing what others are telling you--a lot of unseen emotional labor that’s often ignored when the real work of the job is written off.

Dr. Abidin said viewers or followers don't always remember about players is that there is real work "beyond the fun and frivolity of their craft," even beyond the labor of managing emotions. There's also, then, the push-and-pull of competition vs. corporation. "Teams are interested in cultivating their talent not just as elite players, but, in essence, influencers, whose popularity can ultimately be monetized on behalf of team owners," Partin added.

Partin said that it’s not necessarily good or bad, but just something that needs to be acknowledged: "Do you invest time and resources into self-branding, or do you just focus on practice? Which one is more valuable? Or what’s the right balance?"

Creating a stable infrastructure for players is essential in adapting to newfound celebrity and stress of the job. Without it, teams will only see more and more players racking up demerits on the Overwatch League's discipline tracker, which was introduced in December as a way to name-and-shame players that have been punished for bad behavior.

Each organization has a different way of helping their players adjust. Seoul Dynasty operations manager Annie Cho explained that the team provides a safe environment for players to be open about their emotions, approaching each player's needs individually. Dallas Fuel's Taylor said a core part of the structure is creating future stability--setting players up for long-term success. Some teams have private chefs, a way to alleviate some of the stress of life outside the game. Teams have psychologists, trainers, and mentors, resources becoming increasingly common in esports organizations involved in other games, too.

"Our coaches are very understanding," Dogman added. "Generally, we work things out as a team. A lot of it is internal [things] that we really work on together."

Many players have spoken about how surreal it is to have fans, people who recognize them on the street. People who support them unconditionally. It’s exciting, and many players are thriving in that environment. Los Angeles Valiant, in particular, created a community-like fanbase--it helps that Blizzard Arena is based in the team's home city--that’s built around the team. The roster has held everything from fan meet-and-greets at the Immortals campus to a Valiant fan-art showcase.

Seoul Dynasty players Jehong "ryujehong" Ryu and Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim's lives have “drastically” changed since joining the Overwatch League, and not just because they’ve moved to Los Angeles from South Korea. "I really didn’t feel like I was a celebrity in [Overwatch] Apex," Fleta said. "But once I joined Seoul Dynasty, even before the league started, it felt like people noticed me more. Now that's been tremendously increased.”

Kodak added: “You can inspire a lot of fans and people who look up to you by being a good person and not doing the wrong thing, [by] showing them that everything is possible if you just try hard.” A few Los Angeles Valiant players are reveling in it, too: "[The players] just really appreciate these people coming up to them and telling them how awesome they are," Neale said. "Who wouldn’t, really?"

E3 2019: All The Xbox One Games Confirmed So Far

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 02:00

As the days tick by, E3 2019 gets closer. Even though Sony has decided to forgo a press conference this year, plenty of other companies will be putting on a presentation to announce what games are coming in 2019 and beyond.

Microsoft has a big show planned, and there are rumors the company will reveal its next-gen Xbox console. Which isn't to say Microsoft is completely ignoring the Xbox One. On the contrary, quite a few of the games already confirmed to be at E3 2019 will be making their way onto Xbox One. We've compiled the full list below, and will continue to update it as additional titles are announced prior to and during E3.

Other than it's rumored next-gen console, Microsoft's biggest planned E3 presentation (based solely on what's been announced) is Halo Infinite. The sixth mainline game in the franchise, Halo Infinite was first teased during E3 2018. A year later, Halo Infinite game director Chris Lee is scheduled to discuss more details about the game during E3 2019. Little is currently known about what Lee plans on discussing, but 343 Industries boss Bonnie Ross has teased one of the topics will be Halo Infinite's use of the studio's new SlipSpace engine and what it's capable of from a technical standpoint. Halo Infinite has been described as a "spiritual reboot" to the Halo series. The game might have more RPG mechanics than its predecessors too, and its multiplayer and single-player may release separately.

Though they haven't been confirmed for E3 2019, several other Xbox One console exclusives could show up during the show. Gears 5, Battletoads, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Sea of Solitude, Session, and Tunic (all of which were showcased during E3 2018) are all scheduled to release in 2019. Chances are some--if not all--will be at E3 this year.

Even if none of those games show up at E3 this year though, plenty of other games coming to Xbox One are. Some, like Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, are already scheduled to release this year, so chances are we're getting gameplay trailers. Others, like Infinity Ward's Call of Duty, still haven't even been officially revealed, so chances are E3 will be used to announce them.

All Xbox One Games Confirmed For E3 2019
  • Anthem (EA Play)
  • Apex Legends
  • Battlefield V (EA Play)
  • Bee Simulator
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty 2019
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Doom Eternal
  • Dying Light 2
  • FIFA 20
  • Fortnite (Summer Block Party)
  • Halo Infinite
  • John Wick Hex
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • The Fisherman – Fishing Planet
  • The Sinking City
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

John Wick 3 Is A Symptom Of A Much Larger Problem

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 01:00

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is in theaters now and, if you love the first two John Wick movies, chances are you'll enjoy yourself. GameSpot's Michael Rougeau certainly did in his review of the film. It's loaded with the kind of action and fight scenes that make the John Wick franchise so great, and there are some interesting new characters that expand this crazy world even further. That said, it's not perfect. In fact, it's staring down the barrel of a massive problem that could spoil the franchise if left unchecked. If you haven't seen John Wick: Chapter 3 yet, stop reading now. This is your one and only spoiler warning.

The first John Wick is a practically perfect movie. It's a revenge tale that sees Keanu Reeves at arguably the best he's ever been, with fantastically choreographed fight scenes and an urgency to the story that leaves you tense and on the edge of your seat. It's also self-contained. While there are hints of a larger world within the society of assassins introduced in the film--the High Table--the story is resolved, and it's utterly satisfying as a single film.

Then Chapter 2 came along in 2017. The action and fighting fans loved was back, and the movie further expanded the world of the Continental Hotels. And it ended with a cliffhanger setting up an incredible third chapter with Wick facing off against the High Table in a final showdown. One way or another, it left us thinking John would find peace, either in defeating the High Table and riding into the sunset or in death to be reunited with his wife.

That doesn't happen, though. Instead, after Chapter 3, nothing has really changed. John fought the High Table, dispatched of seemingly hundreds of assassins around the world, and still somehow ended Parabellum as the secret society's most wanted man with a big price on his head--just like he was at the end of Chapter 2.

After waiting for what many of us thought would be the conclusion of the John Wick franchise--or at least to this storyline--the series is instead spinning its wheels in a way that keeps fans on the hook long enough to want to see the next part. If you're looking for closure, you will have to wait until the filmmakers decide it will come--if they make that decision at all.

In essence, it's like the middle episode of a TV show season. It's that filler episode that doesn't forward the story at all but gives just enough to make you want to stick with it This is something that's all too common in the era of the cinematic universe.

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe running strong for over a decade at this point, it's clear that every movie studio wants a never-ending franchise of its own. How can you blame them, given how massively it can pay off at the box office. And looking at the 2019 movie release schedule, there's a number of franchise extensions still to come, from the expected--Toy Story 4--to the downright surprising--Shaft, a sequel to 2000's Shaft. Of course, 2000's Shaft is a sequel to 1973's Shaft in Africa, even though it was marketed as a reboot of the property. And Shaft in Africa was the third film in the franchise at that point.

Meanwhile, a big-budget standalone movie isn't necessarily something that happens all that often anymore. And even when it does, there's usually some caveats. A director of Christopher Nolan's stature can make something like Inception, while studios are finding financial success in remakes--A Star Is Born--and biopics--Bohemian Rhapsody.

By and large, though, theaters are filled with sequels and spin-offs. In some ways, film is becoming TV. Each movie is an episode of a larger story arc that will continue until an ending at some undetermined point in the future. While that might work in some cases, like with the MCU, which enjoys untold box office riches, not every franchise is so lucky.

Despite all of its fanfare, Universal's "Dark Universe" lasted long enough for one Mummy film to fizzle at the box office and a single tweet to live forever in infamy. A third Kick-Ass movie was planned but never came to be. The Divergent film series, based on a popular series of young adult novels, saw its fourth and final movie canceled with the idea that it would be turned into a TV series, which was also dropped.

When everything is a cinematic universe, this is something that's going to happen more and more often. While franchises like the MCU and Star Wars have built-in audiences that can help them thrive for years to come, can the same be said of the John Wick films?

As it stands, John Wick Chapter 3 makes a John Wick 4 a necessity. What's more, it was announced in 2017 that a spin-off film centered on a young female assassin was being developed. And, of course, there's also a TV show; Starz is developing The Continental, a series set in the Los Angeles location of the franchise's infamous assassin hotel.

So when is enough enough? The John Wick franchise is continuing to grow, with no end in sight. And while, on the one hand, that's very exciting, it's also troubling. Not everything needs to be turned into a franchise. Some things work best when presented as a one-and-done. Even a simple trilogy is rare these days. That's not possible for the John Wick series anymore. With more movies and a TV show in various stages of development, we're going to be exploring this world of assassins for years to come.

When each new film in a series simply sets up the next one instead of having any kind of actual ending, the franchise runs the risk of fizzling out before the story can actually be completed. Hopefully, this franchise will wrap up its story arc before it wears out its welcome with audiences. After all, even Reeves himself knows how quickly the tide can turn. The Matrix, like John Wick, is pretty much a perfect movie. However, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions are anything but. Don't let John Wick become the next Neo. Keanu doesn't deserve that, and neither does the audience.

The Most Influential Games Of The 21st Century: Minecraft

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 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.

If anything, the success of Lego should have foretold how popular Minecraft would become. Both Lego and Minecraft are built on the same idea: the joy of creating something extraordinary from many pieces of ordinary blocks. Today, Minecraft has grown beyond this simple premise to become one of the best-selling video games of all time, with nearly a dozen versions existing across PC, console, handhelds, mobile, and VR platforms.

Of course, it takes more than popularity to be influential, and we wouldn't have included Minecraft in this list if all it was known for was being well-known. Minecraft launched into a gaming industry that was mostly devoid of standout successes from solo developers. Months before Jonathan Blow's 2009 Braid sparked the push for indie games to enter the mainstream limelight, Minecraft released in beta and helped lay the kindling. Many individual indie developers found success in the wake of Minecraft, Braid, Super Meat Boy, and other 2009-2010's indie game success stories. The popularity of these indie games at the turn of the decade pushed indie gaming into the mainstream and created a new demand that continues to exist alongside the triple-A market. Years later, this push for more indie games would create spaces for major indie titles to thrive, such as Stardew Valley, Undertale, Iconoclasts, Gone Home, and Return of the Obra Dinn--the latter of which is even one of GameSpot's best games of 2018.

But even before indie gaming took off, Minecraft had a more immediate effect on the gaming industry. Though in no way easy (anyone who tells you different has never tried to make a complex redstone circuit), Minecraft remains one of the most accessible games out there. When Minecraft first launched, it offered a means for plenty of people to pick up and play a video game for the first time. You don't need fine motor skills or perfect vision to play Minecraft, and the game doesn't require a high-end PC to run. Younger players could easily jump into Minecraft, both because you could play it on most low-end PCs and because there wasn't a huge learning curve to it. Plus, Minecraft has no definitive end. It's a game designed to appeal to people's innate creativity, allowing them to play in open sandboxes and continue building for as long as they want. There wasn't much like Minecraft before it--accessible enough for pretty much anyone and yet complex enough to keep you playing for years. But thanks in large part to its popularity, it would not be the last. Other games would emulate Minecraft's mechanics and features, or promise similar experiences.

Perhaps it goes without saying, considering its popularity, but Minecraft has been a hit with critics since its release. In GameSpot's initial Minecraft review, published when the title left beta and officially launched in 2011, Nathan Meunier gave the game an 8.5/10, writing, "Visual glitches pop in at regular intervals, and some game elements seem incomplete or thrown together in haste. What's amazing is that the core game is so ridiculously absorbing that these flaws matter little in the grand scheme of things. Even in its current form, Minecraft remains one of the most conceptually impressive indie games out there. It's a game changer to be sure and one that will live on in the annals of gaming history for a long time to come." We'd continue to critically praise Minecraft as it evolved and released on different platforms, with additional reviews devoted to the Xbox 360 version in 2012 and PS3, Xbox One, and PS4 versions in 2014.

While Minecraft evolved and became more complex, it continued to influence the rest of the gaming industry. Survival games that relied on complex crafting systems, like 7 Days to Die, emerged in the wake of Minecraft, as did sandbox games that focused on crafting better tools to build structures, such as Terraria. Scavenging, hunting, crafting, and base building snuck their way into more mainstream genres as well. The first-person shooter Far Cry series began restructuring itself around crafting as a means of survival with 2012's Far Cry 3, for example, and you can find elements of base building in games like Gears of War 3 (specifically trap placement in horde mode) and the battle royale game Fortnite.

The impact Minecraft has had on the industry for the past decade is irrefutable, even if the game's influence has changed and evolved over the years.

Minecraft helped create some of gaming's first social media stars, too--a role that, today, we call "influencer." Halo: Combat Evolved is largely responsible for the resurgence of machinima in the 21st century, but people also found success creating step-by-step build instructions for complex structures in Minecraft--which went on to inspire "how to" and guide videos in other games. The "Let's Play" community latched onto Minecraft as well, as the game offers an easy way to play with friends in a variety of ways for a very long time. And with the rise of game influencers, more developers realized curating experiences that could last for months or years through near-constant updates and expansions, like Minecraft, is an important part of getting free marketing from popular YouTubers and Twitch streamers.

Today, Minecraft is still changing. It has a battle royale-inspired mode called Hunger Games, and an Education Edition of the game is included in some classrooms to help teachers explore a variety of topics with their students, such as STEM and liberal arts. Minecraft even has a story now, with credits that roll once you've completed the lengthy quest of tracking down and slaying the Ender Dragon. Both official expansions and fan-created mods continue to add new content to the PC version of the game, ranging from space travel to Pokémon. Minecraft is one of the strongest examples that, if made with the idea of longevity in mind, certain games can just stubbornly last and evolve to fit the current market. Consoles? Minecraft is there. Handhelds? Minecraft thrives on both Switch and mobile devices. Virtual reality? Not only does Minecraft exist on VR headsets but an AR version may be in the works as well. Minecraft will surely make the jump to cloud gaming too.

And despite being 10 years old, Minecraft still manages to inspire the inclusion of new features in other games. Alongside games like Rocket League and Fortnite, Minecraft is at the forefront of the charge to include cross-platform play in games. One of the first major games to ever support cross-platform play, Minecraft's PC, Switch, mobile, and Xbox One versions all support the feature with each other.

The impact Minecraft has had on the industry for the past decade is irrefutable, even if the game's influence has changed and evolved over the years. In its humble beginnings, Minecraft stood as a counterpoint to developers' worries that releasing an indie game in beta against triple-A giants might be a mistake. Minecraft reminded the 21st century that games didn't need detailed narratives, challenging gameplay, or HD graphics to be popular. A game that's accessible for all can create a community built to last, and one that's open to updates and expansions can endure for a decade. Since officially launching in 2011, Minecraft has changed how we experience games as well, helping create a community of internet personalities and building support for cross-platform play. And, of course, Minecraft has also just had a huge effect on how survival games work--creating an emphasis on crafting and building to outlast threats. Minecraft may not have inspired brand-new ways to experience games like 2006's Wii Sports or created and popularized an entirely new subgenre like 2011's Dark Souls, but the influence it has had in the 21st century is no less prevalent.

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

Minecraft Earth Is A Pokemon Go-Style AR Game

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 00:46

Following up on its teaser, Microsoft has announced a new Minecraft AR mobile game called Minecraft Earth. The game will be free-to-play on iOS and Android, letting you explore and create within the real world. A closed beta is scheduled for this summer.

As you explore in Minecraft Earth, you can find treasure chests, clusters of blocks, or mobs that the company has nicknamed "Tappables." You can also stumble across Adventures, which overlay a full Minecraft-like area with resources to collect and mobs to dispatch. As you take on Adventures, you'll gain experience to progress in your career. The studio also promises new mobs and variants especially for Minecraft Earth.

Obviously it wouldn't be Minecraft without building, and in Minecraft Earth you can build permanent structures on Build Plates. These let you make small environments on your tabletop or expand them to life-size scale when placed on the ground. It also promises multiplayer.

You can sign up for a chance to participate in the beta through the official site. Signing up gets you an Earth skin that can be claimed within 24 hours. In a FAQ, Microsoft says the game will not use loot boxes. It also addresses safety concerns.

"We take safety seriously and are taking measures to make Minecraft Earth an enjoyable and reliable experience for all our players," the FAQ states. "Players and parents will be able to use Account Management to adjust safety and privacy settings. A reporting system will allow players to report any concerns in-game and on our website. In addition, we will also have a moderation team working 24/7 to manage and respond to reports."

E3 2019: All Games Confirmed Not To Appear

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 23:15

E3 2019 is just weeks away, and publishers are preparing to announce and show off some of the year's biggest games. There will be a lot of surprises in store, but we already know some games that won't be there. Through expectation-setting announcements and financial disclosures, we already know a good deal about games that won't be appearing at the show.

Skull & Bones

In its financial earnings, Ubisoft said it has three unannounced games coming early next year. But at the same time, it delayed another of the games that was already known. Skull & Bones, the high seas pirate combat game, has been pushed back to 2020, and it won't be shown at this year's conference. Ubisoft told GameSpot, "For new IPs, it is common to have evolutions of creative vision and this requires more development time."

Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield

Bethesda is holding its games showcase once again this year, but two of the most intriguing teases from the last one aren't ready to show in more detail quite yet. Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield were both announced last year as long-term projects, so it's not too surprising that they aren't making an appearance--especially since Bethesda tends to focus its conferences on games that are releasing in the fall.

The Last of Us 2, Dreams, Or Anything Else From Sony

One of the biggest changes to this year's show is the total absence of PlayStation, which announced that it wouldn't be at this year's show at all. That means no press conference, no booth, and no first-party Sony games. PlayStation boss Shawn Layden said the show hasn't kept up with the needs of the industry, calling it "a trade show without a lot of trade activity." Sony has suggested it will use other avenues to make its announcements, including its new State of Play videos. The company also began to detail its plans for the next-generation PlayStation.

A New Nintendo Switch Console

Rumors have been circulating for months that Nintendo is planning at least one and possibly two hardware revisions for the Nintendo Switch. One, a simpler model to reduce costs, and the other, an upgrade for power-users. The cheaper version is still said to be aiming for this year. But Nintendo has ruled out announcing any new hardware at E3 this year, and its Nintendo Direct showcase announcement specifically says it will focus on Nintendo Switch software through 2019.

EA Games, Technically

While not pulling out of the event altogether, Electronic Arts has made itself more E3-adjacent than a part of the show proper. For the fourth straight year, EA will be holding its own event called EA Play at the Hollywood Palladium the weekend before E3. It won't be holding a formal press conference this year, but it will be holding multiple live streams that are likely to house any of the company's announcements. As always EA Play is free, and those in town for E3 are likely to attend it as well, so it's essentially just extended the event. But if you're only going to the actual show floor, you won't see any EA games represented.

Blood & Truth Dev Happy To Be Sony's Innovator, "Excited" By PS5

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 20:43

London Studio is a perhaps overlooked, but definitely vital part of Sony's Worldwide Studios group. Over the years it's made games such as The Getaway, the EyeToy series, the Singstar series, Wonderbook, and PSVR Worlds. The developer is about to release Blood & Truth, the spiritual successor to PSVR Worlds' London Heist mini-game, and it says it's happy to be one of the studios at the forefront of Sony's development group.

"I think we've created a niche for ourselves in [that] we are innovators," the studio's senior principal designer, Simon Hermitage, told GameSpot. "We will take hardware and do the difficult legwork to prove that thing can work.

"That relationship goes both ways. When we get a new bit of hardware, we get to feed into its development. It's the reason why I work at London Studio, I love that side of things. It is a speciality of London Studio."

He adds: "As a first-party studio, our job is to grow that [PSVR] market. You can't look at the numbers and go, 'They're small because we just released this [for PSVR rather than for non-VR PS4 owners].' PSVR has grown consistently, and titles like Blood & Truth are so important to invest in and make so that people can see, 'Wow, that's what VR is.'"

On Blood & Truth, Hermitage claims it's the ideal next step for PSVR. "We've brought the triple-A game quality and polish--we knew that was what VR needed next: a full, feature-length, amazing blockbuster game. That's what Blood & Truth is."

Finally, when looking to the future, Hermitage is excited by the possibilities future technology will offer developers. "I was excited, as everyone was, to read [lead system architect] Mark Cerny's article with Wired, and the potential of that system means I'll be sticking around here to get my hands on that as soon as possible. We'll do what we always do: push that as hard as it can possibly go."

Sony has already confirmed that the PS5 will support PSVR, but it refused to comment further on whether it's working on a successor to its existing virtual reality headset. For now, Blood & Truth launches for PSVR on PS4 on May 28.

Capcom Says It Has The Right Game Engine For Next-Generation Consoles

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 15:25

Next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony are coming, and Capcom says it is prepared in at least one way. One potential development issue when moving from one generation of consoles to the next can be related to game engines, or the tools used to make games.

Capcom's proprietary engine, the RE Engine that is used for the Resident Evil games, was specifically designed from early on to be able to be tweaked for new consoles, management said during a recent earnings report. As such, Capcom sees its engine as one of its strengths heading into the new wave of systems.

"The games we developed using the RE Engine during this current hardware generation have received critical acclaim, and from the early stages of building this engine, we kept the ability to augment it for next-generation development in mind; as such, we view the RE Engine as one of our strengths that will contribute to next-generation game creation," management said.

As one of the biggest publishers in the world, and one that has a close relationship with Microsoft with the Dead Rising series, it seems likely that Capcom would be among those companies who are briefed on next-generation plans ahead of time.

Microsoft is expected to announce at least one next-generation console at E3 in June. You can read GameSpot's breakdown of the new Xbox console rumors here to find out more. Sony, meanwhile, will not be at E3, but the company has already shared the first details of the PS5. For its part, Nintendo is rumored to be working on new consoles but it won't announce them at E3.

One company that has created a new game engine recently is Microsoft. The Halo team created a brand-new engine called Slipspace that is powering the ambitious Xbox One and PC game Halo Infinite. According to a report, Microsoft might have spent around $500 million to develop Halo Infinite, a figure that also includes the cost of creating the Slipspace engine.

Crysis Dev's PvP Bounty Hunting Game Hits Xbox One In Beta

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 13:38

Crysis developer Crytek's new first-person, match-based survival/bounty hunting PvP game, Hunt: Showdown, is now available on Xbox One in beta.

To get into the beta, you need to sign into the Xbox Insider Hub on your Xbox One. From there you'll see Hunt: Showdown. Click "Join" and then you'll be able to download it.

Crytek notes that space in the beta is "limited," and spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you're interested you'll want to act quickly.

The playtest runs until 6 AM PT on Monday, May 20. Since it's a beta/playtest, the game in unfinished and you may experience some bugs or other oddities. Crytek encourages player to report issues and other feedback through the Xbox One's built-in reporting tools.

"There are a lot of ways to play Hunt. You can work alone, or you can work in pairs," Crytek says. "You can take a smaller risk and grind for XP, or you can risk it all and try to take out every enemy, every Hunter, and every boss you come across. And those are just a few of the options. There are so many strategic possibilities that players have a lot of space to make the experience theirs."

Hunt: Showdown is currently in Early Access on PC as well.

See How They Made The Music For PS4's Days Gone

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 13:03

Sony has published a neat mini-documentary about the music of the latest big PlayStation 4 exclusive, Days Gone. In the video, composed Nathan Whitehead, who worked on the Purge film series before this, talks about how he went about creating the music for the game.

He speaks about how the sounds he went for--acoustic, organic, folk, Americana--are rough around the edges just like main character Deacon St. John is. Another cool part of the video is Whitehead talking about how he came up with the musical expression for the Freakers.

"Scoring Days Gone is the same as scoring three movies, plus figuring out how the music can be interactive and how it can respond to what the player is doing," Whitehead says.

GameSpot spoke to Whitehead recently, and he told us all about making the game's dark and grimy music. He also offered some thoughts on the kind of music that Deacon might like.

You can listen to Days Gone's complete soundtrack through the Spotify embed below.

Next Batman: Robert Pattinson And Nicholas Hoult Are Frontrunners; Other Actors Considered

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 10:49

Twilight and Harry Potter actor Robert Pattinson could be the next Batman. Variety reports that Pattinson will play the Caped Crusader in the new standalone film, The Batman, which is releasing in June 2021. The film is directed by Matt Reeves, who made the latest Planet of the Apes movies.

Deadline, however, reports that the deal isn't done yet. X-Men actor Nicholas Hoult is also reportedly a top choice to play Batman in the film. According to Deadline, Warner Bros. likes both actors, but Pattinson is the No. 1 choice at this stage.

The Hollywood Reporter also weighed in. Their sources said Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were also considered for the role of Batman in the movie.

Pattinson or Hoult will take over as Batman from Ben Affleck, who played the character in Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. At 29, Hoult would be the youngest-ever actor to play Batman. As would Pattinson at age 32. Other actors to have donned the cowl include Christian Bale, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, and Michael Keaton, among others.

"Warner Bros., in giving Reeves plenty of time to develop the script, is hoping the latest iteration of the DC icon is done right, following the disappointments of Batman v Superman and Justice League," according to Variety.

Sources told Variety that filming might begin on The Batman later this year or early 2020.

The Batman would be Pattinson's latest project with Warner Bros. He's also set to appear in Christopher Nolan's untitled "event movie" that's coming out in July 2020.

Affleck--who won Oscars for Good Will Hunting and Argo--was initially attached to write, direct, and star in a new Batman movie called The Batman. However, he eventually dropped out. Explaining his decision to leave, Affleck told Jimmy Kimmel that he "couldn't crack it."

Michelle Rodriguez Joins Fast & Furious 9 After Studio Agrees To Bring On Female Writer

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 10:30

In 2017, actress Michelle Rodriguez said she might quit the Fast & Furious franchise if the producers do not "show some love to the women" for the franchise going forward. Now, she's decided to come back for Fast & Furious 9 because the producers hired a female writer.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Rodriguez said about the Fast & Furious series, "I felt like there was not enough of a female voice in the franchise."

Rodriguez said Universal Pictures executive Donna Langley agreed that the Fast & Furious franchise needed to do better, and it was decided to hire a female writer. "If I'm coming back, I really want there to be a female writer to give it a female voice. And finally, they showed me some love, and said yeah!" Rodriguez recalled.

The actress went on to say that she was tired of having to re-write lines that men wrote for her to say on the Fast & Furious series. Rodriguez didn't say who the female writer joining Fast & Furious 9 is, but that information should become known in due time.

Rodriguez and Vin Diesel are the only remaining members of the Fast & Furious original cast still involved in the series, so it would have been a big deal if she left.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 2017, Rodriguez talked about the "male-dominated environment" that she works in for the Fast & Furious series. "My heart doesn't feel right doing this in front of millions of people, so I can always oblige myself and depart because money, to me, isn't as important as my lines that you're not allowed to cross," she said.

The next Fast & Furious movie is the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw starring The Rock and Jason Statham. Fast & Furious 9 with Michelle Rodriguez is slated for 2020.

PS3/PS4 Exclusives Heavy Rain, Beyond, And Detroit Get PC Release Dates

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:17

Since 2010, developer Quantic Dream only released games for the PlayStation family of consoles. But that's changing this year when the studio launches Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human on PC through the Epic Games Store.

The French studio has now confirmed release dates for each title. Heavy Rain will debut first on June 24 for $20 USD. Beyond: Two Souls will follow on July 22 for $20 USD, with Detroit: Become Human, the newest release, launching sometime this Fall 2019 for $40 USD.

Each title will also have a "sizeable" free demo available about a month before the full release. Here is the full release schedule:

Heavy Rain

  • Demo: May 24
  • Full Release: June 24

Beyond: Two Souls

  • Demo: June 27
  • Full Release: July 22

Detroit: Become Human

  • Demo: Summer
  • Full Release: Fall

Each title is available to pre-order now on the Epic Games Store. The titles will be released on other digital PC stores later, but no official announcements have been made at this point.

Quantic is going through big changes. Though it was never owned by Sony, the company exclusively released its games on Sony machines since 2010 with Heavy Rain. Now, the company is working on a new IP that will come to multiple platforms, while it's taken on NetEase as a minority stakeholder to help fund its "future technologies."

"We are so grateful for twelve fantastic years of collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment and all they have allowed us to create and produce," Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere said in a statement. "With this new partnership with Epic, we can now expand our products to a wider fan base and allow PC players to enjoy our titles."

E3 2019 : All The Activision Games Confirmed So Far

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 08:14

E3 2019 is just a few weeks away. Surprisingly, Activision hasn't announced the name of the Call of Duty it will show off during E3, something the company traditionally does prior to the show in mid- to late May. But we do know Activision will be showcasing 2019's Call of Duty at E3, whatever it may be.

So far, Call of Duty is all Activision has planned for E3. Granted, the company doesn't need to announce anything else. Clues have been hinting that the upcoming Call of Duty will be Modern Warfare 4, a sequel to one of the franchise's most popular series. If that's all Activision has for E3 2019, that'll be enough.

Activision has no scheduled E3 press conference, so the next Call of Duty will most likely premiere outside of any show. Sony won't be holding a press conference during E3 this year, and they're usually the one to host Call of Duty announcements.

Activision does have a few more games scheduled for 2019: Crash Team Racing and Call of Duty: Mobile. However, neither has been confirmed for E3. They could be shown off, though.

We don't know too much about 2019's Call of Duty. Even its name is still unknown. Infinity Ward has been confirmed as the developer behind the new game though. Five former Infinity Ward developers--most of which went on to work with Respawn on Titanfall and Titanfall 2 after finishing Modern Warfare 3--have returned to the studio to work on the new Call of Duty. Unlike last year's Black Ops 4, 2019's Call of Duty will have a traditional single-player campaign. Activision has confirmed 2019's Call of Duty will have a "huge expansive multiplayer world" and "fun co-op gameplay," but did not clarify any further. The game is already in a playable state.

The one and only Activision game confirmed for E3 2019 has been listed below. If additional Activision titles are announced prior to or during E3, we'll update the list.

All Activision Games Confirmed For E3 2019
  • Call of Duty 2019

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