Dying Light: Bad Blood Fails to Break 500 Players at Launch

Battle royale is undoubtedly one of the hotter sub-genres in multiplayer gaming right now, but matching the zeigeist of games like PUBG and Fortnite is pretty challenging. This looks to be the roadblock Dying Light: Bad Blood is running in to, as Bad Blood player numbers have not had a particularly impressive peak.

bad blood player numbers

According to tracking site GitHyp, Dying Light: Bad Blood hit a concurrency peak of 455 total players during its first week. At the time of this story’s writing, the game has 117 current players and an average daily high of 271.

These numbers put Bad Blood below the concurrency numbers of other underperforming battle royale shooters, and puts the standalone battle royale shooter at 94% below the concurrency of its mothership single-player title Dying Light for the month of September.

GitHyp reasons that the game’s $19.99 box cost is the biggest wall for the shooter, assuming that the title’s transition to a free-to-play model could be imminent. Current reviews of the game on Steam also point to issues with lag as well as long wait times for a match, with one user review noting that matches are too short to make sitting in the queue worth it.

Our Thoughts

As is often the case with stories like this, we can never say never for a game to bring itself from the brink. That said, it seems pretty apparent that something needs to be done to right the ship, so perhaps a shift to free-to-play would be enough to entice players in. What do you think?

Source: GitHyp via IGN

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Crowfall Hits Over 50k Backers and $20M Total Funding

The numbers don’t lie: people seem to be pretty invested in Crowfall. The devs behind the throne war MMO are marking new totals for Crowfall backers and overall funding to see the game make it to release by next year. Hopefully.

crowfall backers

Specific numbers aren’t available, but the announcement from ArtCraft Entertainment notes that over 50,000 people and nearly 300,000 registered players are helping to make Crowfall a reality. This is further bolstered by licensing and investment money that’s seen the MMO rake in over $20 million in total funding.

“We are extremely grateful to those who have come on board to supported us, both as backers and as testers,” notes ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. “We see our community almost as an extension of our development team; we are harnessing the creative energy of thousands of players to help us build this game.”

“We set out to build something unique – a bold, audacious vision that ‘industry experts’ told us would never work,” adds creative director J. Todd Coleman. “Our community has not only validated that vision, but they have become a critical partner in helping us build it.”

Our Thoughts

Those are certainly impressive milestones for Crowfall, but they also look to be pretty well earned, as the game’s pace of development has been extremely steady and likely rewarding to backers of the MMO. Here’s hoping to more of those same development updates through 2018 and into the game’s ultimate launch!

Source: press release

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Destiny 2 to Retool Masterwork Core and Exotic Drop Rates

Destiny 2: Forsaken has certainly done its job in making the online shooter a “hobby” once again, but a couple of those aspects of the hobby still grate. Namely, Masterwork Core and Exotic drop rates, which are either not terribly plentiful or just not working properly. In both cases, the devs at Bungie are aware and working on some fixes.

masterwork core

As players of the game are aware, Masterwork Cores are an item that now are required in order to upgrade weapons via Infusion. The problem, however, is that the supply of these Cores is nowhere near high enough to meet demand. To address this, additional “reliable and plentiful” sources of Cores are in the works, along with a renaming of the item to better line up with its current use.

As for Exotics, while drop rates themselves are not increasing in an effort to make them feel “rare but impactful”, the devs are going to adjust drop rates to ensure that players don’t see duplicate Exotics land in their lap, increasing the chances you’ll get an Exotic you don’t already own.

The Bungie weekly update blog has also provided a few words about its upcoming holiday events, adjustments coming to Bounties in the next Iron Banner, and other things that Destiny 2 players will want to keep track on. Here’s the link for all those details.

Our Thoughts

Getting more Masterwork Cores more often would certainly be nice, especially considering that gathering materials for Infusion is now more involved than its ever been. We also like the idea of seeing more unique yellow items drop. Overall, good adjustments.

Source: Bungie website

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Fallout 76 Beta Dates Revealed

It’s been a slow but steady drip of information from Fallout 76, most of which involving the animated shorts that expand upon the game’s systems in suitable propaganda film form. One detail that many have been wondering about, though, is the Fallout 76 beta launch dates. Well, we now have an answer to that question.

fallout 76 beta launch dates

Beta, or B.E.T.A. (Break-it Early Test Application) as the game likes to call it, will arrive to Xbox One players on Tuesday, October 23rd. PC and PlayStation 4 players will get their shot a week later, on Tuesday, October 30th.

As one would expect, the game’s FAQ page has been updated with a number of important details about beta. Some of the more important highlights are the fact that PS4 and Xbox One players will need to be subscribers to each console’s online membership program to access the game, and word that beta will run at very specific time frames for approximately four to eight hours in order to stress test systems.

As for gameplay, the beta build will indeed be the full game, and the team is hoping that progress in beta will carry over to the full game as reported previously.

A new trailer has also come along for the ride with the beta launch date announcement, offering the first look at the game’s intro cinematic. That can be viewed below.

Our Thoughts

Well, at long last, everyone’s going to the Appalachian wasteland. While it would be nice to have the beta running 24/7, we appreciate the decision to run things at certain times in order to maximize opportunities to break the infrastructure. Here’s hoping testing goes successfully!

Sources: press release, official site

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Rend Plans a Series of Updates through Winter

As the weather outside begins to cool down for those of us hanging out in the northern hemisphere, the development of Rend through the sandbox title’s early access will only warm up. A new Rend update roadmap has been laid out by the devs with another general look at a number of features planned through 2018.

rend update roadmap

Between now and December, Rend looks to introduce several updates to enhance gameplay in a variety of ways. First on the list are combat improvements that hope to bring the gunplay of Rend up to par with modern shooters. The team are also looking to streamline features like storage and crafting to make the early game more accessible.

Later down the line, players can expect siege weapons including catapults and personnel flingers; legendary weapons and armor that draw inspiration from Norse mythology; and additional social mechanics that let players party up for PvE or PvP actions and add permission request and voting tools.

While a timeline for these updates is not on the table just yet, the devs promise that each subsequent system update will come accompanied by dev blogs that will explain how each feature will improve the gameplay of Rend.

To that point, you’ll want to keep your eyes on this part of the game’s website, which will likely update as features get revealed and ultimately released.

Our Thoughts

A variety of these updates are likely going to be extremely welcome by Rend players, particularly those that enhance the game’s social mechanics and refine storage and combat. We’re also curious just how the team will implement legendary items and how they’ll balance them. Or if they’ll even worry about balancing them too much.

Sources: press release, official site

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MMO Money: Guild Wars 2 Halts Belgium Gem Sale and China Blocks Twitch

Guild Wars 2 players in Belgium got quite a surprise this week as in-game purchases have been deactivated without warning. It isn’t clear yet if this was in error or not. China has continued their campaign against gaming this time blocking Twitch in most of the country. Finally, France has fined Steam and Uplay over their refund policies. Find all of that plus the UK’s gaming charts in this week’s MMO Money.

 

Guild Wars 2 In-Game Purchases Blocked in Belgium

Guild Wars 2 players from Belgium have been reporting both on the official forums and on Reddit that they are unable to buy gems to use in the in-game store. This prevents them from purchasing the keys required to open loot boxes but also prevents them from buying the latest armor, weapons, and mount skins. There are a few workarounds, however. The first is to purchase gems using in-game currency, and the other is to use a VPN to make it look like you’re in another country.

There was no official announcement from ArenaNet before this happened, but the community manager for Guild Wars 2 recently made this statement on the forums:

“In order to conform to changes in Belgian law, purchases of gems, the Ultimate Edition, and the Ultimate Edition upgrade have been disabled for residents of Belgium. We are continuing to investigate more flexible solutions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our players.”

Source: Guild Wars 2

 

Twitch Blocked in China

german twitch streamers

The crackdown on gaming by the Chinese government continues and this time it is Twitch who is feeling it head on. Twitch has been blocked in China, this coming after the streaming service saw a massive boost in watchers after the Asian Games last month. During that time it jumped up to the number 3 spot on the free apps charts. While no official statement has been made about the block it is assumed that this is either part of the crackdown on games or censorship of the app because anything could be seen on the service. There are still a few pockets of China where Twitch can be used but most of Mainland China cannot access the service. It isn’t clear why some areas still have access while others do not.

The block leaves Chinese audiences with few choices for watching gaming as Youtube, the second most popular game streaming service is blocked in all of China already. It would appear that for now at least, China is left without a place to watch gaming, which may be exactly what the government was hoping for. Twitch has confirmed that their service is blocked in China but in the statement offered no further information, including possible reasons why or if they’re attempting to work with the government to get it running again.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz

 

France Fines Valve and Ubisoft For Anti-Consumer Protection Practices

Valve and Ubisoft are both being fined by the French government because of their return policies on Steam and Uplay. Valve has spent the last few years in a similar battle in Australia, one which went all the way up to the highest court in the country. There, Valve was fined 3 million Australian dollars for failing to offer the legally required refunds. However, the fine in France is slightly different. In France, the services are allowed to deny refunds but consumers must be adequately informed beforehand; this is something that French officials believe isn’t happening. Valve will have to pay €147,000 while Ubisoft is being hit for €180,000. This is pocket change for both of these companies, but clearly not something they want to have happen again.

Both services now have an alert at the top of the page in France clearly outlining their return policies and citing the recent fine. From the consumer’s side of things, there will be no change to the services they’re used to getting. However, instead of having to dig through those massive terms of service to find the refund policy it is clearly laid out at the top of both sites. Though this is likely a temporary measure until both sites get something more permanent in place.

Source: PCGamesN

 

UK Game Charts

Last week The Elder Scrolls Online made a surprise appearance in the top 10 best selling games of that week. This week’s chart, however, shows that it has completely dropped out of the top 20. On the other hand, PUBG managed to push into the top 10, taking the number 9 slot. Much of the chart remains unchanged from last week. This includes Grand Theft Auto V which has been slowly dropping down the chart but remains at number 6 this week. Check out the full top 10, including Spider-Man’s continued domination of the charts below.

Source: GFK Chart-Track

 

Imperia Online Acquired by Stillfront Group

Belgian studio Imperia Online which owns and operates the game Imperia Online has been bought by Stillfront, a collection of independent developers, publishers, and distributors. The studio has developed 25 titles in all and is joining studios like Goodgame Studios and Coldwood Interactive. The acquisition is expected to be completed on October 11th for €10 million. This number could go as high as €27 million depending on how the studio performs over the next few years. Goodgame joined the Stillfront Group just 9 months ago.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz

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Battlerite Royale Enters Early Access With A Bang

Battlerite Royale entered Early Access on Steam yesterday and just a few hours later, found itself at #1 on Steam’s Global Top Seller List.

While the MOBA and battle royale mash-up currently runs for $19.99/€19.99, they do plan a full free-to-play commercial release some time in 2019. Regardless, players were so eager to leap from the backs of their trusted wyverns as one of the 20 available Champions, revamped especially for Battlerite Royale, seeking out collectibles that allow them to take out everybody and leave themselves as last one standing that it finds itself right there at the top. No easy feat, particularly for a battle royale title in the current market.

“We’ve taken MOBA and battle royale and blended the best of both worlds to create something different and worthy of all MOBA fans,” says Peter Ilves, Game Director at Stunlock Studios. “Featuring a third person perspective, unique combat, and MOBA elements, Battlerite Royale is a truly unique take on the BR genre. The Early Access version not only plays smoothly, but is already visually captivating, and so we look forward to players joining us on this journey in bringing Battlerite Royale to its complete release next year.”

Meanwhile, if you bought Battlerite Early Access and still don’t have your 50% coupon for Battlerite Royale Early Access, Stunlocke say that these have all been sent out now, so check your junk mail folders and so on. If you were affected by the delay, you should receive compensation, also the validity of the coupons has been extended by 24 hours to give you all a little more time to use them. Best be quick!

Our Thoughts

It’s nice to see somebody doing things a little differently with the current battle royale trend, so it’s easy to see why Battlerite Royale’s Early Access is roaring ahead the way it is. Let’s hope they continue down this path and do good things for their game and the community! Are you trying this one out? Let us know what you think!

Source: Press Release, Twitter

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Funcom Are Expanding With 40 New Jobs To Fill

It’s been a pretty low week in the games industry, so it’s like a breath of fresh air to being able to report to you that Funcom are expanding, and beginning to look to start some rather interesting new projects.

Yes, that’s right, seemingly in dire straits a couple years back, Funcom are now in the position to expand, and they have more than 40 new job positions to fill in both its Oslo, Norway studio and its North Carolina studio. Celebrating 25 years in the industry in 2018, this is the perfect timing for them. If you’re interested, hop on over to Funcom’s jobs page for more information and the positions available.

Conan Exiles Review

What does this mean for us gamers? Well, we already know that Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will release December 4th this year, published by Funcom and that one’s looking pretty darn interesting. We also know that Funcom themselves are starting to work on developing a few new projects for PC and console systems following the success of Conan Exiles, including a co-op multiplayer game and a new singleplayer Conan game. These seem to be very early days at this point, they’re looking for people to fill the positions of Producer, Senior Designer, Lead Programmer, QA Lead, and all sorts, but it’s certainly interesting!

Our Thoughts

It’s seriously a delight to see a studio that we were genuinely concerned for just a short time ago pull themselves back from the brink and be able to expand like this, and we are eager to see what is next for Funcom! Especially that singleplayer Conan game… if done right, that is something that could be really, really awesome. If you’re a developer looking for something new, get on that!

Source: Press Release

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WoW Classic to be Playable for BlizzCon Attendees and Virtual Ticket Holders

In a first for the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket offerings, a playable World of Warcraft Classic demo will not only be available to folks attending the event itself, but will also be accessible to people who are Virtual Ticket holders. As in you’ll get to play the demo from the comfort of your own home. No pants necessary.

world of warcraft classic demo

Shortly after the opening ceremony on November 2nd, fans can download the WoW Classic demo and play the game for themselves. The demo will showcase a limited questing experience through some of the MMO’s early zones – one on the Horde side and one on the Alliance side.

There’s a limited length of time for this World of Warcraft Classic demo, however: specifically, you can get your hit of nostalgia until Thursday, November 8th at 10am PST/1pm EDT.

In addition to this announcement, there’s also been a reveal of the in-game goodies WoW fans are getting with the Virtual Ticket: a pair of mantles and war banners done up in either the design of the Horde or the Alliance, which can be seen in this video.

Speaking of video, game director Ion Hazzikostas and executive producer J. Allen Brack have a few words about World of Warcraft and the Virtual Ticket. That video is embedded for you below.

Our Thoughts

Consider us extremely surprised. Not only is World of Warcraft Classic in something of a playable state, it’s actually accessible to those with a Virtual Ticket. We actually really hope this sort of Virtual Ticket feature gets extended to other games in the Blizzard stable, if not for this year’s BlizzCon then next year’s.

Source: official site

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