Campo Santo announced that the company has agreed to join Valve. I haven’t been able to find a statement about this from Valve. Kotaku reported that three people familiar with the news confirmed that Valve had purchased Campo Santo.
Campo Santo describes itself as “a small but scrappy game developer in San Francisco, CA.” They released Firewatch in 2016 and have sold over 1.5 million copies. They are co-producing a full adaptation of Firewatch and working on their second game, In the Valley of Gods.
Valve has produced award-winning games, leading-edge technologies, and a groundbreaking social entertainment platform. They are the makers of Half-Life, Half-Life Episodes 1 and 2, Left 4 Dead, Left for Dead 2, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Portal 2. Valve has a social entertainment platform called Steam that gives players instant access to more than 1,800 game titles and connects 35 million active users to each other.
Campo Santo posted a blog titled “Campo Santo News” that has more details about their recent decision to join Valve. Here are a few key points:
The twelve of use at Campo Santo have agreed to join Valve, where we will maintain our jobs as video game developers and continue production on our current project, In the Valley of the Gods…
…In Valve, we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day). In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match…
Campo Santo states that they are still making In the Valley of the Gods (as a Valve game), and will still support Firewatch.
Heroes of the Storm, made by Blizzard Entertainment, is now able to silence the accounts of players who use offensive language and harass their teammates. This is being implemented in addition to the weekly suspension and ban waves.
Community Manager Nate Valenta posted the following on a Heroes of the Storm Forum post on April 18, 2018:
Starting today, we’re implementing new technology that enhances our ability to validate the accuracy of reports. This will allow us to increase the rate that we issue account silences and ranked suspensions to players who are frequently and consistently reported for using offensive language. These actions are aimed at those who regularly use offensive language to harass, antagonize, and abuse one or more of their teammates. This type of behavior not only ruins the experience for those who are targeted, but also damages team morale, effectively degrading the fun for everyone in a match.
The post continues by making it clear that the weekly suspension and ban waves for non-participation and intentionally dying will continue. Players who have recently reported another player for going AFK (away from keyboard), refusing to participate, or intentionally dying should keep an eye on their email inbox associated with their account for updates regarding actions taken by Blizzard agains the player they reported.
Heroes of the Storm is a game that requires a team of players to battle against an opposing team of players. It makes absolutely no sense for a player to use offensive language to harass or antagonize teammates. It’s nice to see Blizzard doing something to curtail this type of behavior.
Blizzard Entertainment is now allowing players to send Blizzard Balance to their friends. This is a brand new change that will give players the option to send some of their own Blizzard Balance to a friend who also plays Blizzard’s games.
We’re expanding our gifting service by allowing you to send Blizzard Balance to your friends, offering you the benefits of retail gift cards in a new and easy-to-use digital format.
Blizzard Balance is an electronic balance players can use to purchase Blizzard Entertainment games and services. Funds added to Blizzard Balance are not refundable and cannot be converted into cash. Blizzard Balance can only be used to buy designated Blizzard Entertainment products and services.
You cannot use Blizzard Balance to make a purchase on the PlayStation Store or Xbox Marketplace. This is worth pointing out because some players are playing Overwatch and Diablo III on consoles.
To send a Blizzard Balance gift, the first thing you need to do is visit the Blizzard Shop. Select one of the suggested values – or enter a custom amount. Click the “Gift Balance” button and select the friend you want to send it to.
Blizzard will deliver your gift to your friend, along with a notification and personalized message. Your friend will then be able to claim the digital gift card balance onto their account. Players will also be notified on the Blizzard App when a friend has sent them Blizzard Balance – and can claim that gift through the app.
Activision has launched the Call of Duty: WWII Alexa Skill. It is currently available in Beta, and will function as an additional ally for Call of Duty: WWII players.
The Call of Duty: WWII Alexa Skill features an array of support options, including personalized player recommendations, updates on in-game achievements and the ability to stay connected with and compare your play with friends.
Did you just play a match of Call of Duty: WWII and want to know how you did as well as how to improve your chances next time? Ask Alexa how to improve your skills, and you’ll get a personalized recommendation ready for your next match. Want to know if your friends are online and playing Call of Duty: WWII? Just ask Alexa. The skill supports Call of Duty: WWII and is available free of charge, through the Alexa companion app.
The Call of Duty: WWII Alexa Skill employs AI and machine learning to create personalized recommendations, including specific loadouts, play styles, maps, modes, perks and divisions for each player. Using cluster analysis, the machine learnng model analyzes more than 20 factors, including accuracy, movement, engagement distance, K/D, shots, score per minute, time played, and relationships to other players to make personalized recommendations for each player.
The Skill then employs natural language generation to create personalized responses to 2,500 questions about the game and an individual’s performance. Using a soldier-like voice, the Skill can deliver 250,000 distinct responses that incorporate real-time statistics, status and recommendations from the game.
There are 15 categories of features in the Call of Duty Alexa Skill for Call of Duty: WWII, including:
- Personalized recommendations to improve your skills
- Match summaries, and highlights of your recent gameplay
- Social features, including whether friends are currently playing, and comparing your stats and achievements to theirs.
- Contract and order status, both during and after a match, so that you see how close you are to completing the contract and earning a reward
- Latest in-game news, including events and game updates
- Game and feature descriptions
Steam Spy announced that it will be shutting down. This decision comes as a result of Steam’s new Profile Privacy Settings. The result is that Steam Spy will no longer be able to obtain the information it needs to keep going.
Ars Techinca reported that Steam Spy was a sales-estimate service, born from an Ars data project. The service launched in 2015, nearly a year to the day that Ars senior gaming editor Kyle Orland published his extensive, data-sampling “Steam Gauge” feature. That feature measured game ownership and playtime estimates based on the huge sampling size afforded by Steam’s default privacy settings.
Valve recently updated Steam’s Profile Privacy Settings. The update expanded upon user’s Profile Privacy Settings page, and is intended to give user’s more control over the privacy of their Steam account.
You can now select who can view your profile’s “game details”, which includes the list of games you have purchased or whitelisted, along with achievements and playtime. This setting also controls whether you’re seen as “in-game” and the title of the game you are playing.
Additionally, regardless of which setting you choose for your profile’s game details, you now have the option to keep your total game playtime private.
The Steam Spy Twitter account (which is run by Sergey Galyonkin) posted a tweet in response to Steam’s Profile Privacy Settings update. The tweet said “Valve just made a change to their privacy settings, making games owned by Steam users hidden by default. Steam Spy relied on this information being visible by default and won’t be able to operate anymore.”
A follow up tweet provide some clarification. “To reiterate – it’s not because of the new privacy settings. It’s because Steam just made everyone’s gaming library hidden by default (this wasn’t in their blog post).”
Phoenix Labs has announced the date of the Dauntless Open Beta. Phoenix Labs thanked everyone who had joined the Closed Beta and shared their feedback.
We’re dedicated to expanding the world of Dauntless with your continued feedback and inspiration. Open Beta is an exciting milestone, but we’re still far from done. We will continue to create the game that Slayers will be proud to call their own for years to come. You can stay up to date with what’s coming to Dauntless at the Dauntless Road Map.
Phoenix Labs said that the Open Beta signals a foundational level of stability and permanence. They will be looking to players to provide hands-on feedback with the new improvements and systems that are coming to the game.
In order to fully Beta test the changes that Phoenix Labs is making to progression, island exploration, and other systems, they will be performing two full-server wipes in the coming months. The first one will happen on May 2, coinciding with the release of a major update to progression and Evergame content. The second full-server wipe will take place on May 22, in preparation for the Open Beta.
Phoenix Labs will be announcing a reward structure for current Beta testers. “Depending on your progress in the current and future stages of the Closed Beta, you will receive special cosmetic items as a reward for your support.” More details about that will be coming soon.
Blizzard Entertainment announced the dates for BlizzCon 2018. Those who want to attend can start making plans, booking hotel rooms, and hoping they will be able to purchase a ticket. BlizzCon is a huge convention that showcases Blizzard’s many games.
Team up with your friends and family and get ready for a journey to Southern California for BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard’s epic celebration of games and esports and the communities that bring them to life! Tickets to the main event, taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center on November 2 and 3, will go on sale May 9 and May 12, with tickets to a special pre-BlizzCon benefit dinner going on sale May 16.
Here are the dates you need to know:
- BlizzCon Ticket Sale #1: Wednesday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m. PDT
- BlizzCon Ticket Sale #2: Saturday, May 12, 10:00 a.m. PDT
- BlizzCon Benefit Dinner Ticket Sale: Wednesday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m. PDT.
BlizzCon 2018 tickets will be available for $199 USD each (plus applicable taxes and fees) through the online ticketing service Universe. Tickets include two-day admission to the main event at the Anaheim Convention Center on November 2 and 3, and attendees will receive a commemorative BlizzCon goody bag containing a cache of loot based on their favorite video games.
This year’s BlizzCon will commence with the esports action of BlizzCon Opening Week, taking place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles from October 25-29, where the initial rounds of the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals, the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Finals, and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship Finals will unfold.
The competitions will culminate in Anaheim on November 2 and 3, where the champions of these tournaments, along with those of the Overwatch World Cup and Hearthstone Global Games, will be crowned.
The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, which allows fans to watch many of the events that take place at BlizzCon 2018 online, is “coming soon”. It offers live-streaming coverage of the event and a variety of bonus content, including this year’s BlizzCon in-game items.
Blizzard Entertainment announced that the World of Warcraft Remote Auction House will be deactivated on April 18, 2018. Players that are currently using the app will have to do their Auction House related activities in-game, once again.
The WoW Remote Auction House will be deactivated on April 18, 2018. On that date, you will no longer be able to view Auction House listings or make Auction House transactions through the official WoW website or the WoW Armory app, and all links will be removed from our website. After April 18, you’ll still be able to use the WoW Armory app for all other purposes, including accessing your character profile, talent calculators, event calendars, and more.
In a post that was updated three months ago, Blizzard stated that the Remote Auction House allowed players to browse the Auction House in World of Warcraft. They could check the status of existing auctions, purchase items, and create their own auctions. A single World of Warcraft account could preform up to 200 Remote Auction House transactions per day (including bids, buyouts, and creating auctions).
Blizzard is aware that some World of Warcraft community sites make use of Blizzard’s API to access Auction House-related data. Blizzard is going to continue to support for that. In short, those community websites will still be able to provide players information about things like prices for a specific item in the Auction House. The app, however, will stop doing that as of April 18, 2018.
Pokémon GO has added quests to the game. The quests are based around a storyline that involves Professor Willow. Players are asked to help him find out if a series of mysterious happenings occurring all over the world are connected to the Mythical Pokémon Mew.
There are two different types of research you can contribute to: Field Research and Special Research. Gather Field Research tasks by spinning nearby PokéStops, which will give you objectives that include discovering and catching certain Pokémon or engaging with battles, among other things. Special Research may be requested by Professor Willow himself, and will take you on a journey to make important discoveries!
Pokémon GO isn’t calling these new research tasks “quests”, but that’s exactly what they are! Completing the quests gives you rewards, including “a variety of useful items and even encounters with certain Pokémon.” The tasks have different levels of difficulty. The more challenging a Research task is, the greater the reward.
Players can earn one Stamp per day by completing at least one Field Research task. When a player has obtained seven stamps, they can achieve a Research Breakthrough to receive even greater rewards. The new quests could freshen up the game and give players more to do.
Hearthstone is celebrating their Year of the Raven by giving players the opportunity to earn free card packs. The Year of the Mammoth, which began on March 29, 2017, is coming to an end. The Year of the Raven will begin in mid-April when The Witchwood expansion arrives.
To celebrate the upcoming Year of the Raven, we’re throwing a New Year of the Raven party! Every time you complete a daily quest, you’ll also be awarded a card pack! These packs can be from Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, Kobolds & Catacombs, or even The Witchwood! You can tear open The Witchwood card packs once the expansion goes live in April!
This event begins on March 26, at 11:59 pm PDT, and will last until April 9, 11:59 pm PDT. Players need to be aware that the rewards take effect after Midnight. The Hearthstone blog post asks players to please wait to complete their daily quests until after the clock strikes 12!
In addition, Hearthstone is offering players a way to obtain Lunara. She is a Druid Hero that can replace the Hero on the Druid deck that players started with. To get it, players have to win 10 games of Hearthstone in Standard Ranked or Casual mode after The Witchwood expansion has launched.
Two weeks after The Witchwood expansion is released, a single-player Monster Hunt event will begin. It is similar to the Dungeon Run from the Kobolds & Catacombs expansion. Players will defeat bosses and collect their bounties to build a deck that will keep them alive as they continue through the Monster Hunt.