Category Archives: Gaming

RIFT Introduces RIFT Prime

RIFT announced that they will be launching RIFT Prime this year. The decision appears to be based on feedback from users who did not like the current way RIFT was monetizing the game.

In the Spring of 2018, we will launch a new server, RIFT Prime. We’ve paid a lot of attention in discussions with all of you and within the broader gaming community regarding business models in the MMO and games industry as a whole.

We have the opportunity to experiment with this fresh RIFT server using an oft-requested subscription model and progressively unlocked content. Our goal for RIFT Prime is to provide the experience that many of you have requested: no lockboxes, a significantly reduced store with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay (or removed entirely) – plus the excitement of sequential progression through RIFT’s content with monthly milestones and achievements.

In the same blog post, it says that they on the RIFT Prime sever, they plan to present RIFT at its roots as much as possible. The Prime server will progress at a faster pace than the original launch, and will eventually “come to an end in spectacular fashion”.

Other details that have been revealed about RIFT Prime:

  • Dynamically matching characters to their current zone’s level
  • Dungeons dropping loot specific to your character’s true level
  • Caps on the number of professions available to a single character’s
  • Participation awards that carry over to your characters on existing servers

God of War Launches in April on PS4

Cory Barlog, the creative director at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio, announced on the PlayStation Blog that God of War will launch on the PS4 on April 20, 2018. You can pre-order God of War right now.

It’s a new beginning for Kratos. Living as a man, outside the shadow of the gods, he seeks solitude in the unfamiliar lands of Norse mythology. With new purpose and his son at his side, Kratos must fight for survival as powerful forces threaten to disrupt the new life he has created…

You can pre-order the Collector’s Edition, the Digital Deluxe Edition, and the Stone Mason Edition now. Those who preorder any edition at a supporting retailer will acquire three legendary shield skins for Kratos to use to bash and defend against all manner of creatures. Players will need internet connectivity to access the shield skins.

If you pre-order any edition of God of War at GameStop or EB Games, you will also receive the Luck of Ages XP Tailsman, which improves the wearer’s luck. It increases XP gain, increases Hacksilver gain, and increases the ability to trigger perks.

The God of War Digital Deluxe Edition is $69.99 USD / $89.99 CAD. Digital contents include: Death’s Vow Armor Set, Exile’s Guardian Shield Set, God of War Comic #0 by Dark Horse Comics, God of War Mini Artbook by Dark Horse Comics, and Dynamic Theme. Those who pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition in the US and Canada receive an exclusive, limited-run God of War physical pin.

The God of War Collector’s Edition is $129.99 USD / $169.99 CAD. It comes with a 9” statue of Kratos and Atreus by Gentle Giant, a limited edition steelbook case, 2” Huldra Brothers Carvings, an exclusive Lithograph, a cloth map, and the full God of War game. It also includes everything in the Digital Deluxe Edition.

The God of War Stone Mason Edition is $149.99 USD / $199.99 CAD (EB Games Exclusive in Canada). It includes everything in the Collector’s Edition – plus four very distinct, rare items from the game. These include the Stone Mason Ring and the talking Mimir Head keychain.

Rust is Leaving Early Access

Rust, a game created by FacePunch Studios, is leaving Early Access. Rust was first created in 2013, and was originally being tested as a browser game. In December of 2013, FacePunch Studio released Rust on Steam in Early Access. The game has been in Early Access for years.

We plan to leave Early Access on the 8th of February 2018. We’re not planning any big reveals, launch parties, around the world tours or cash prize giveaways for this event. We’re not going to move staff onto other projects. It’s very much going to happen without much fuss. It’s business as usual.

Leaving Early Access does not mean that Rust is finished, or that it will disappear. They intend to keep updating and improving the game. The reason they left Early Access was to make the development more stable. Rust will be transitioning to monthly updates.

Players can help by continuing to play Rust. There will be two versions of it: Main Branch and Staging Branch. Main Branch will have monthly tested updates with smaller, irregular hotfixes between them. Staging Branch will be “bleeding edge” with daily updates. Players can have both versions installed at the same time.

Another thing to be aware of is that there will be a price change. The current price is $19.99. The new price will be $34.99. FacePunch Studio wanted players to be aware of that ahead of the change.

Heroes of the Dorm Returns for 2018

Heroes of the Dorm is a competition where teams of college students play Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Storm video game in an attempt to win money for their college tuition. This is the fourth year of Tespa’s collegiate Heroes of the Storm league.

This year, Tespa is adding regional play. Each college will field their strongest Heroes team to battle to the top of their regional division for a chance to play in the National Championship tournament. This year, we’re also partnering with Raycom Sports on a weekly broadcast for matches in Heroes of the Dorm’s Atlantic Coast Region for one-for-a-kind sports network viewing experience.

To enter, you must be a legal resident of the United States or Canada, who is at the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence.

You must also be currently enrolled full-time (or will be enrolled full-time) in the 2018 Spring semester in an accredited graduate school, four-year college, four-year university or community college that is located in the United States or Canada. The school must have a physical campus location.

Registration for Heroes of the Dorm 2018 started on January 22, 2018, and will end on February 5, 2018. Make a team, or find an open spot on a roster at your school. Once your team has five eligible players, you are ready to battle!

Teams will be split up into Regions of 12-16 teams. Online matches begin February 7, 2018. Eventually, the top four teams will make it to the Heroic Four Event and be awarded a custom gaming rig brought to them by ASUS ROG. All five off the players on the team that becomes the championship team will earn tuition for their college careers.

Overwatch League Names Toyota as Launch Partner

Blizzard Entertainment announced that a major new brand-marketing partner has signed on to support the Overwatch league during its inaugural season: multinational automative manufacturer Toyota. This partnership marks the first time Toyota has partnered with an esports league.

The Overwatch League is further supported by sponsors HP and Intel, with players competing on cutting-edge gaming hardware including HP’s OMEN gaming PCs, powered by the latest Intel Core i7 processors.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Toyota to the Overwatch League,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment’s MLG division. “When we were building the league, our desire was to create a premium experience for players and fans, and partners like Toyota are helping us do just that.”

As part of the partnership, Toyota and the Overwatch League plan to develop an exclusive series called Access Granted that will present behind-the-scenes content to the community, centered around the unique journey of the esports athlete.

The series, produced by Blizzard Entertainment’s MLG division, will air featured clips in live matches that promote the series. The featured clips will include players driving Toyota vehicles to and from the competition at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, where all regular-season games of Overwatch League will take place.

“Toyota is excited to be a launch partner of the Overwatch League,” said Steven Curtis, Vice President, media & engagement marketing for Toyota Motor North America.” We love the passion of esports fans, and the goal of our partnership is to help take the Overwatch League and the fan experience to the next level.”

The Toyota C-HR will have on-site presence at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and media placements surrounding Overwatch League.

Facebook is ESL’s Main Broadcasting Platform

ESL, the world’s largest esports company announced that it will bring content from two of the top esports competitions exclusively to Facebook in 2018. Facebook will be their main broadcast partner.

WESA, the World Esports Association, along with ESL, announced that the world’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, CS:GO Pro League, will be broadcast exclusively on Facebook, kicking off with the upcoming Season Seven. Distribution will begin on February 13, 2018, and will run for four seasons of Pro League, through December 2019.

ESL will also broadcast one of its flagship circuits, ESL One on Facebook, featuring Dota 2 and CS:GO. The first event this year will be ESL One Genting 2018, taking place January 23-28, 2018, bringing 16 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams to Malaysia for a six day event. Additionally, ESL will produce and broadcast a weekly five-minute show celebrating the Dota community on Facebook Watch, Facebook’s platform for shows.

Competitions will be streamed exclusively via Facebook Live in English and Portuguese, with other languages available as well. All live broadcasts from CS:GO Pro League and ESL One will be available in 1080p/60fps on Facebook. Both Pro League and ESL One will also be streamed in VR.

ESL will also leverage Facebook’s innovative cross-posting feature. With cross-posting, ESL can easily post videos and reach audiences on all participating team and player Pages. The feature will work with live and 360 video, and it will be available soon for videos that were previously live.

Although Facebook users will have the easiest time finding and following the action within the platform, it is not required to have a Facebook account to watch Pro League or ESL One. Embedded streams will continue to be shown on the respective product pages.

Pokémon GO Will Discontinue Support for Some Apple Devices

Pokemon Go logoPokémon GO announced an upcoming update that could potentially affect your ability to continue playing Pokémon GO. Players are warned that Pokémon GO will discontinue support for Apple devices that are not capable of upgrading to iOS 11.

This change is a result of improvements to Pokémon GO that push the application beyond the capabilities of the operating systems on such devices. This change will take effect on 02/28/2018. After that date, Trainers using affected devices may no longer be able to access their Pokémon GO accounts from that device, or use their PokéCoins or other items in their Bags.

If the Apple device you play Pokémon GO on is affected by this change, and you want to keep playing the game, you will need to switch to a device that can upgrade to iOS 11.

Pokémon GO has more specific information about devices that it will discontinue supporting. They include:

  • iPhone 5c – released in 2013 – Model numbers A1456, A1507, A1516, A1532
  • iPhone 5 – released in 2012 – Model numbers A1428, A1429, A1442
  • iPad (4th generation) – released late 2012 – Model numbers A1458, A1459, A1460
  • iPad (3rd generation) – released early 2012 – Model numbers A1416, A1430, A1403
  • iPad mini (1st generation) – released late 2012 – Model numbers A1432, A1454, A1455
  • iPad2 – released 2011 – Model numbers A1395, A1396, A1397

Grand Theft Auto has a Headshot Challenge

Rockstar Games, maker of Grand Theft Auto, is having a Headshot Challenge. Players need to acquire a special item before they can begin the Challenge.

Rumors of a lost relic from the frontier have begun to surface, and treasure awaits those bold enough to seek it. Keep an eye on your iFruit for a special in-game email containing the first clue, then follow the trail to unlock the Double-Action Revolver in GTA Online.

Once you acquire your gratis Double-Action Revolver, complete the Headshot Challenge in Freemode for a GTA$250,000 reward and unlock it for future gun-slinging exploits in Red Dead Redemption 2 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience. Red Dead Redemption 2 is now available for preorder, and will release in Spring of 2018.

Take-Two Announces Formation of Private Division

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. announced the formation of Private Division, a new publishing label comprised of proven games industry veterans that is dedicated to bringing titles from top independent developers to market.

Private Division is a developer-focused publisher that empowers independent studios to develop the games that they are passionate about creating, while providing the support that they need to make their titles critically and commercially successful on a global scale.

Private Division will publish several upcoming titled based on the new IP from renowned industry creative talent, including the previously announced Ancestors: The Humankind Odyessy from Panache Digital Games, a studio led by the creator of the Assassins’s Creed franchise Patrice Désilets; an unannounced RPG currently codenamed Project Wight from The Outsiders, a studio founded by ex-DICE developers David Goldfarb and Ben Cousins; an unannounced sci-fi first-person shooter from VI Interactive, a studio founded by Halo co-creator Marcus Letho.

Additionally, Private Division is the publisher for Kerbal Space Program, which Take-Two acquired in May, 2017. With the exception of the Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion that is slated for release in the winter of 2018, there are no titles from Private Division currently planned for release during Take-Two’s fiscal years ending March 31, 2018 and 2019.

Private Division is headquartered in New York City with offices in Seattle and Munich, and is a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Private Division is the third publishing label within the Take-Two Interactive family, operating independently from Rockstar Games and 2K.

EVE Online Created the “Blaze” Squadron Skin Set

EVE Online has created a skin to honor CCP Blaze, one of the Senior Software Engineers with their Audio & Graphics team. He passed away suddenly on November 14, 2017, and is survived by his fiancée and one year old daughter.

EVE Online will be hosting their own internal fundraiser and will be supporting his family, friends, and co-workers as best as possible. They also are honoring CCP Blaze by releasing a new skin. It is called the “Blaze” Squadron Skin Set. All profits from this set will be donated directly to the fiancée and daughter of CCP Blaze on behalf of the EVE Online Community.

The special skin will only be available as a one-off between now and December 19, 2017. After that, it will be retired from the New Eden Store, and will never be sold again.

It will be available for the following hulls, in a bundle for 495 PLEX:

  • Barghest
  • Cerberus
  • Hurricane
  • Ishtar
  • Oracle

It will also be made available separately for the Armageddon, CCP Blaze’s favorite ship, for 110 PLEX. EVE Online wrote a special description for the “Blaze” Squadron SKIN. It honors CCP Blaze and writes “Blaze” into backstory as an immortalized part of New Eden’s history.