E3 2019: Fortnite Was Almost Canceled

During an interview at E3, the world learned that Fortnite was almost canceled before it ever got massively popular. The interview, conducted by Game Informer was with former Epic Games Production Lead Rod Fergusson who now works at The Coalition on Gears of War.

“If I had stayed at Epic, I would have canceled Fortnite,” Fergusson says. “Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite. When it was Save the World, that was a project that just had some challenges. And as a director of production at the time, that game would not have passed my bar for something we should continue to keep going.”

He also went on to say, “That game you love, the worldwide sensation, would not exist had I stayed at Epic.”

Of course, he is referring to Fortnite Save the World, the PvE mode that came before the massively popular Battle Royale mode took over the world. Back then the game wasn’t performing very well and was barely known at all. Thankfully, Epic saw the Battle Royale light and the game has become a global sensation.

What would the world and the gaming genre have looked like if Fortnite Battle Royale had never come to be? Would we all still be playing PUBG or would the shift to the next big fad have come even faster? For the record, we here at MMOGames have 4v4 being the next big gaming fad, especially after this year’s E3.

Some may say that the world would have been better off without Fortnite Battle Royale. We don’t agree with that sentiment but that’s only because we’ve seen the numbers and know that Fortnite actually helped bring in a whole new generation of gamers. Gamers who are now venturing out to find other games to play.

 

Source: Game Informer via USGamer

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E3 2019: Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game Launches August 8th

We mentioned it in our roundup of multiplayer games at the Xbox Press Conference, a brief glimpse of a Lord of the Rings card game that got only a few seconds of attention. Now we finally have more information about the game. As it turns out Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game is the first adventure card game based in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien and it has been around a while. It was first introduced on Steam back in 2017. Then in late 2018, it started Early Access where it has been and will continue to be until August 8th when the game officially launches. But, this isn’t a Steam exclusive. You’ll be able to play it on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.

The game right now has 3 different campaign modes with more than 35 hours of gameplay. There are more than 150 cards to play with and more is already in the works. There are 2 free encounters available and there are more planned post-launch. They’re already working on more campaign modes as well. The game can be played solo or co-op.

The Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game will also be featured in the ever-growing library of games with the Xbox Game Pass. The game officially launches on August 8th, but if you want to play on PC you can head over to Steam and pick it up right now. Be sure to check out the E3 trailer which you can find below.

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E3 2019: Dr Disrespect has Been Banned from E3 for Streaming in the Bathroom

In news that will make you ask WTF was he thinking, Dr. Disrespect has been banned from E3 for streaming in the bathroom. Not only has he been banned from E3 his Twitch account has vanished as well. Though it hasn’t been confirmed yet if he’s been banned from the platform. Ninja’s wife and manager Jessica Blevins tweeted without context “Doc’s channel got banned.” So while it hasn’t been confirmed, it seems pretty likely this is the case as he quite clearly violated Twitch’s rules. Oh, and he broke California law by live streaming in the bathroom. In California, cameras are illegal in the bathroom as they’re considered an invasion of privacy.

In the live stream, you could quite clearly see men and minors using urinals, completely oblivious to the fact that they’re being recorded. We won’t be linking to that or including any images for obvious reasons. At the time he entered the bathroom 60,000 people were watching his stream. Oh and because the internet the place that the internet is, there are people who don’t think it was a big deal and have started a hashtag in his honor, which again, we won’t be sharing.

Since this all took place yesterday Dr. Disrespect hasn’t been seen online. His twitter account hasn’t had any new activity on it and he hasn’t responded to any media requests. Today is a new day however so it is likely we will hear from him soon. When we do we will update this page with any new information.

For now though, the important things to know are that Dr. Disrespect live-streamed, illegally, in the bathroom at E3. The ESA has confirmed that his access to E3 has been revoked, just as E3 is properly getting started. Finally, his Twitch channel is no longer online and there has been no official word yet from Twitch.

 

Source: Kotaku, Twitter

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E3 2019: Ubisoft Press Conference

The E3 2019 Ubisoft Press Conference is now done with and…well, we hope you like Tom Clancy. Several new Tom Clancy games were announced along with updates for The Division 2 and much more. We’ve picked out just the multiplayer games to focus on. You’ll find all of them plus trailers below.

 

Mythic Quest Raven’s Banquet

Actor Rob McElhenney took to the stage to announce Mythic Quest, a new sitcom about a game studio making the most popular MMORPG in the world, Mythic Quest. McElhenney plays the creative director of the game with a massive ego. Mythic Quest will be on Apple TV Plus and is expected to debut in the Fall.

 

Adventure Time Coming to Brawlhalla

You can now find Adventure Time characters Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum in Brawlhalla, the free to play platform fighter game with more than 25 million players. To celebrate this momentous occasion a limited time event will also be running until June 25th. Wondering what the characters will be like? Here you go.

Finn – the young human kid, this Epic Crossover mirrors the powers and abilities of the Brawlhalla Legend Jhala, but with six signature attacks and two Adventure Time themed weapons skins for axe and sword.

Jake – the magic companion, with six signature attacks and two Adventure Time themed weapons hammer and gauntlets. Jake mirrors the Legend Kor. Let’s kick their digital bootays!

Princess Bubblegum – Ruler of the Candy Kingdom, with six signature attacks and two Adventure Time themed weapons for blasters and rocket lance. Bubblegum mirrors Lord Vraxx. We’ve got science!

There’s also a new Adventure Time themed game mode called Buddy Mode. In Buddy Mode, you are your own team as you control two legends simultaneously. It’s 2v2 but with 1v1 number of players. There’s also an Adventure Time themed map called The Treehouse Stage. Finally, the crossover wouldn’t be complete without some themed KO effects.

 

Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad

It would seem that Tom Clancy games are joining the ranks of those like Heroes of the Storm and Master X Master, games that take a few iconic characters from a particular catalog and stick them all in one place. In Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad you control an elite squad of legendary characters from past Tom Clancy games in real time shooting battles. The part that is of most interest to us, of course, is the PvP aspect, an Arena where squads can compete. The game also has a campaign mode with a unique Tom Clancy storyline. Elite Squad will be available on mobile and if you pre-register you’ll unlock an exclusive character, Colonel Cole D. Walker from Ghost Recon Breakpoint. No word yet on when this game will be launching.

 

The Division 2

There was a lot of information given during the press conference for The Division 2 and its first year of post-launch content, so if you’re a fan grab a drink and get comfortable.

The first year of content will include three free episodes with story-driven missions, new areas, and much more.

Episode 1 D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions is all about exploring the outskirts of DC, who would have guessed with a name like that?. Head into the woodlands of Washington DC. (admittedly this California girl had no idea there were any.) You’ll also get to explore the 11 biomes of the Washington National Zoo. Episode 1 also includes Expeditions which players will have to participate in every week to progress through the different wings of Trinity College. Episode 1 is expected to launch in July.

Episode 2 Pentagon: The Last Castle …you’ll never guess where it takes place….The Pentagon! Agents will have to defend the Pentagon from the Black Tusks while in the main missions trying to solve the ongoing outbreak crisis. Episode 2 will introduce the game’s second 8-player raid. Episode 2 is expected to launch sometime in the Fall.

Episode 3 Coney Island: Homecoming leads players to Coney Island where players will face an old familiar nemesis while facing the biggest threat of them all. Episode 3 is expected to launch in early 2020.

If you haven’t had the chance to play The Division 2 and you have a PC or a console you can play the game for free this weekend.

The Division 2 will also be on Stadia as a part of Uplay+.

Finally, it was announced that there is going to be a movie on Netflix about The Division. Sadly those are all the details we have about that right now.

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E3 2019: Xbox Press Conference

E3 got off to a hell of a start and if I’m totally honest I feel ok declaring here and now that the Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference was the best we’re going to see this year. Yep! Pack it up boys, we’re done here. Nevermind that we’re only getting started. We picked out just the online and multiplayer games and we’ve got the info about them below plus the trailers.

 

Bleeding Edge

Need a new 4v4 game in your life with some really unique looking characters? Of course you do! Ninja Theory debuted Bleeding Edge, a 4v4 third-person melee combat game. It looks and feels a lot like Overwatch if we’re being perfectly honest. Technical alpha for this game starts on June 27th. The game will be available on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

 

Minecraft Dungeons

It looks like someone developing Minecraft played some Trove and loved the idea so much they did it for themselves. Yes, Minecraft Dungeons is exactly what it says on the tin. You go in some Minecraft style dungeons. It’s a 4 player co-op RPG with local and online multiplayer. The game will be playable starting Spring 2020.

 

Cyberpunk 2077

The biggest highlight of the night was easily when Keanu Reeves came out on stage to fans cheering around the world for him. He’s going to be in Cyberpunk 2077 which will release on April 16th, 2020. Yes! We finally have a release date for this game we’ve been waiting for years to play. The game is available for pre-order now, including a collector’s edition with a number of collectibles, including a 10-inch statue of the game’s Protagonist, V. Along with bringing Keanu Reeves out on stage we saw an all-new cinematic trailer that reveals one of the key characters, Keanu Reeves himself…as Johnny Silverhand.

 

Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

While they were quickly going through a few different indie games, in a blink and you’ll miss it type of moment we saw Lord of the Rings Living Card Game. What is it? Well, other than a card game we just don’t know yet. But we’re going to be keeping an eye out for it so watch this space.

 

Phantasy Star Online 2

It isn’t every day you see hype for an 8-year-old game. But with Phantasy Star Online 2 FINALLY coming to the West that’s exactly what we saw during Xbox E3 2019. Fans of the original have been waiting for this for a VERY long time…and now they have to wait a little longer. Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to the West early 2020 and it will be free to play! Add this to our must play list for next year!

 

Project Scarlett

The moment we were all waiting for came at the very end when the next generation of Xbox was announced, currently called Project Scarlett. For the record, they missed out on a hell of a trick by not getting Scarlet Johannson involved in the announcement for this. As you would expect it’s the most powerful, most gamey game machine that ever game machined. Oh yeah, and it’s launching with a new Halo game, because of course it is. Project Scarlett is coming just in time for the holiday season in 2020 and Halo Infinite will be right there with it!

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Pearl Abyss Fanfest “Into the Abyss” at E3 2018

Pearly Abyss had its first Fanfest called “Into the Abyss” at the Regal LA LIVE Stadium 14 during E3 2018. While I may not be a core Black Desert Online player, I’ve played the game for a few levels, kept up on some of the PvP news, and somehow was lucky enough to represent MMOGames at the festival this year. CEO Robin Jung hopes this will be one of many, as the company certainly wishes to grow beyond a single PC game.

Into the Abyss

Secrets Unleashed

One of the nice parts about the festival was that it wasn’t just the team giving itself a pat on the back. Yes, we were given some interesting information, like a representative from Samsung saying the mobile version of Black Desert Online is one of the top data-eaters on people’s cell phones in Korea, up there with Facebook, and it’s currently the #1 mobile MMO title (which means something there). The game has apparently been translated into 12 languages and is available in more than 150 countries. It’s neat information, but the series of collected fan questions answered was meatier.

For example, the company name: Pearl Abyss. The idea is that it’s light in the darkness. Something precious from the deep. However, it’s also just a “gorgeous name.” It’s funny to see the developers go from something serious and deep sounding to admitting that their name just had a nice ring to it.

For those wondering why the game isn’t big on instanced dungeons and raids, it’s because Pearl Abyss didn’t think they felt right. They actually had over a hundred dungeons before they realized they wanted a living game world in a persistent space. It wasn’t an executive decision, but something everyone had a chance to express their opinion about before they reached a consensus to ax their babies. It’s naturally hard to make a great game with a single “voice” with so many developers and so many of their own passions, but the fans come first. Hidden caves felt more fun than another static pocket in the world.

The other part here is that by talking these things out, the team can avoid repeating the same mistakes again and again. There’s a certain balance between realism and convenience that the team straddles, and communicating this and trying to keep everyone on the same page ensures that the company is developing content for its actual audience.

Raids are a similar issue. It’s not that outdoor raids are impossible to craft, but they’re certainly more difficult, which is why Pearl Abyss chooses to put manpower elsewhere. Like in its mobile game. While not exactly a 1-to-1 recreation of the original BDO, there’s enough in common that people who played on the PC should feel at home. The same idea is mostly true for the upcoming Xbox version of the game. I was told the console version is 99.9% the same in terms of familiar aspects of the game, like classes, attacks, fishing… the 0.1% is only to account for error, supposedly.

Part of this includes the fact that the game needed a control and UI overhaul. While it’s physically possible to just shove the console players together with PC fans, it creates problems. Using the PC UI on consoles would be rough, much like with mobile being, well, literally smaller. Changes need to be made not just to fit the machine, but audience expectations. For example, you can’t maximize text windows outside of the PC game, but looting is handled differently. PC gamers have their mouse and incredibly versatile keyboard of many buttons. Phones have a small touch screen while console has buttons. While you could just have a lot of combos, changing the UI to do things like having an option wheel helps greatly. Sadly, it’s not enough to close the advantage gap between PC gamers and console controllers, so don’t expect to see cross-platform play.

However, Pearl Abyss also said they want the game to be available on every platform. No names were dropped, but it’s not like there are too many consoles to imagine (unless Pearl Abyss also wants to create games for pagers). Focusing on the present, however, you’ll have to remember that Black Desert Online isn’t launching on the Xbox One, it’s starting a beta this fall. That beta is there because the team knows there are bugs to fish, optimizations to make, and a UI to tweak, all based on what players find in the beta. That’s what it’s there for! The hope is that the beta won’t last too long, but it seems to have an understandable goal even an EA leery vet like myself can appreciate at face value.

Console is just another long arm of Black Desert though. While this will be the third platform for the game, the team does feel their world has so much more it can share. There are some ideas and projects related to spinoffs that would also take place in the Black Desert world, but there was nothing specific to mention at the time. With that in mind though, the team also doesn’t want to pigeonhole itself. They’re working with Counter-Strike co-creator Minh Le to create an unnamed FPS. We’ll have to wait and see where that goes in the future.

Hands-on With Black Desert’s Mobile Self

To be completely fair, I really haven’t enjoyed any core mobile MMOs. The genre generally doesn’t feel like it lends itself well to the smaller screen for me. I dislike the 2.5 perspective they use. Automating a lot of the work is boring. Black Desert’s mobile version does a lot of this but, somehow, works. Part of it may be because our characters were pre-leveled and equipped. Spamming buttons made things die, and that can be highly satisfying sometimes, especially when you’re feeling casual.

In the video, we saw group content, farming, pets, and other very “MMOy” activities. We were told we’d have guilds, 20vs20 guild wars, and duals in shared gameworlds. No asynchronous lies, but actual multiplayer. And I saw it, at least in 1v1 duels. Win or lose, several of us gave up some gourmet sounding food to just smash buttons and kill our digital co-festival-goers for far longer than we reasonably needed to in order to get a basic feel for the game. It’s embarrassing to write that, but true.

Unlike in the above picture, everything I saw was in understandable English, though admittedly I was mostly doing combat. You move with a virtual left control stick, then attack via “hotkeys” on the right-hand side, with dodge being in the lower left-hand side. It doesn’t feel precise at all, but attacks felt wild and wide enough to mostly hit the general area I wanted to be hitting anyway. I did a little gathering for fun, but no major quests, crafting, or anything non-combat, which is generally my focus. It could be the lack of sleep, but the spammy attacks were fun enough for a while, and I started to “wake up” and play for real after some of the other attendees started to get some wins against me. I think that’s a good sign.

Normally I’d be more cautious but one big thing struck me: the game was running live. On servers in Korea. This wasn’t something running off a local version of the game, which happens a lot at trade shows (online games really do get the shaft when it comes to showing themselves off in public displays). This was a specific build, yes, but a build populated with at least some other people. We could interact with each other (even if it was mostly murder). It just kind of clicked.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you all to get ready to download BDO Mobile when it (hopefully) comes out next year. I will say, however, that Pearl Abyss was wise to bring it, and that players should consider giving it chance, especially if they’re already enjoying Pearl Abyss’ world

 

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