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This was the best Xbox showcase in years (and the hardest to root for)

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AND campaign This looks like an Adam Curtis documentary prequel introducing fans to E-Day and the birth of the series’ iconic “Lancer” chainsaw, in addition to a trailer showing not only is he still alivepotentially blooming. Microsoft’s summer presentation for 2024 was the best the Xbox had looked since the Xbox One. But this comes at an enormous cost, which the company doesn’t seem ready to admit publicly.

Insiders have been raising interest in the presentation for several days, partly because the full list of disclosures and announcements has already been leaked to some media and others. Fans were already furious, expecting Xbox to finally turn the corner, just for football to be dragged out of the field once more and realizing that the platform was still in one other of its inevitable “recovery” years. The proof is at all times in the games themselves, and their effectiveness can only be truly assessed once they’re in the hands of players. For now, though, the presentation has been delivered.

There were over sixty minutes of games small and huge, offering every part from zombie survival to nostalgic teen hangouts, punctuated by massive first-party games and third-party teases. If you own an Xbox Series X/S console, there’s plenty to play this yr and next. Xbox gaming studios lead Matt Booty’s long-running promise of a consistent variety of quarterly Xbox games price appearing in may finally come true. The only thing missing from this event was accountability for what and who Microsoft sacrificed to get here.

Just over a month has passed since the company’s announcement closes three studios and reorganizes the fourth. One of the victims, Tango Gameworks and is the hit of 2023 , seemed to symbolize the best of Xbox in the Game Pass era: a highly stylized passion project from a more moderen team that wowed critics and won awards, and would not have been possible without the “let a thousand flowers bloom” strategy behind the platform go to a subscription library similar to Netflix. But in a devastating turnaround, the deep-pocketed tech giant has parted ways with the team together with renowned immersive sim creators Arkane Austin and others. According to internal comments from Booty and the head of parent company Zenimax, there was simply not enough bandwidth for one in every of the three Most worthy corporations in the world to manage so many studios.

The bad news and nonsense explanations wouldn’t have fallen like a lead balloon if Microsoft had not announced mass layoffs in several departments just a number of months earlier, including the newly acquired Activision Blizzard. The cuts affected everyone from the team to developers Sledgehammer Games and included the cancellation of , a fantasy survival game that would have develop into Blizzard’s first latest franchise in nearly a decade. Microsoft spent $69 billion on the acquisition, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer visited the Activision Blizzard King offices shortly after the deal closed last fall, after which in early 2024 the mask got here off.

In interviews with and , Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer blames the heel activate a mix of investor pressure and a stagnant console gaming market. In other words: capitalism. But completely shutting down Tango Gameworks, originally founded by director Shinji Mikami to train a brand new generation of creators, seemed particularly capricious. The Xbox team didn’t mention the developers it fired or their contributions in its remarks to the live audience before today’s presentation or during the pre-recorded event itself. (Even after learning his fate, Arkane Austin worked hard to post a much needed final update.)

Instead, Spencer opened the presentation promoting the company’s desire to bring one in every of its hottest franchises to much more gamers through the power of a $17/month subscription. This was perhaps unsurprising given the billions Microsoft paid to acquire the series, but the decision to open the series in this fashion underscored a brand new reality for the Xbox brand, which now must return a return worthy of all those investments. “I haven’t talked about it publicly because now is the time for us to focus on the team and the individuals.” Spencer said later that dayaway from the a whole lot of 1000’s of fans watching the show.

He continued:

It’s obviously a really difficult decision for them and I would like to make certain, through departures and other things, that we do the right thing for the individual people in the team. It’s not about my PR, it isn’t about Xbox’s PR. It’s about these teams. After all, as I actually have said again and again, I actually have to run a sustainable business inside the company and grow, and that implies that sometimes I actually have to make difficult decisions that, truthfully, usually are not decisions that I like, but decisions that somebody has to make.

Meanwhile, the presentation didn’t even explain itself the bar set a number of days earlier by Geoff Keighley during the Game Awards host’s presentation. Xbox CEO Sarah Bond, who he responded with a word salad of corpo when asked about the studio’s closure last month, he closed the Xbox presentation by pointing to the future fairly than dwelling on the recent past. “Our mission is to make Xbox the best place to play by including games from our own studios on Game Pass at launch, to take gaming into the future with our commitment to game preservation, to push the boundaries in our future hardware, and to enable you to play games, wherever you want, on Xbox, PC and in the cloud,” she said. “This is what defines Xbox today and in the future, and that’s why we’re working hard on the next generation.”

This was a pledge intended to reassure fans who are still reeling from the shock of the recent changes to the franchise’s history. But the future is built on the past, and every new shiny Xbox game now raises the question of what happens to the teams Microsoft has bought or partnered with when they no longer feel like they’re serving its bottom line.

IGN

This article was originally published on : kotaku.com
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The creators of Street Fighter VI talk about monetization, M. Bison and the first guest fighter in the series

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It’s hard to consider that the most famous franchise in the history of fighting games has never had a guest before. Kratos was present. Yoda was inr. there are actually more characters from outside the series than from inside the lineup. But optimistic, jeans-wearing, urban sweater Terry Bogard (who can be inside ) will mean that for the first time you’ll have the option to play as someone from one other series inside.

The news was announced during the Summer Game Fest show as part of the season two reveal. In addition to the return of Elena and series villain M. Bison, the game’s second 12 months can even see the addition of Terry Bogart and ninja Mai Shiranui, the result of a collaboration with SNK that first launched at Evo 2022, the in-person return of the fighting game event following the Covid-19 pandemic. 19. Fighting game illustrators Toshiaki “Shinkiro” Mori and Eisuke Ogura created a “Welcome Back” crossover sign consisting of characters from each games and .

“It was a big hit and really exciting,” director Takayuki Nakayama and producer Shuhei Matsumoto, who are actually the faces of the series, told me in an interview conducted through a translator at Summer Game Fest. Teams from each firms talked over the following years, which ultimately led to the decision to bring Terry, principally Ken from SNK, to the rival franchise. What’s it prefer to remake an external character in the Street Fighter universe?

“When introducing non-Capcom or non-guest characters into this game, of course (we must) respect the intellectual property and characters and make sure fans of those characters appreciate it,” they said. While Terry and Mai will follow the same rules as the existing lineup, the essential goal of the collaboration is primarily to bring their unique personalities and fighting game flair with them.

Screenshot: : Capcom/Kotaku

Nakayama and Matsumoto demurred once I asked for specifics on what this might mean for his or her styles and move sets, but emphasized that the band has some ideas that they’re excited about. “ this is a long series for SNK. Characters like Terry have also appeared in other games such as , which is also a very long series. The team working on 6 are huge fans of fighting games in general, including games like i. They have a lot of things they want to include, people they think Terry and Mai fans will like, and that’s something they’re really putting a lot of energy into .

However, before Terry and Mai arrive at the end of the year, players will get their hands on M. Bison, the head of the crime syndicate who has been a fan favorite ever since. Ryu killed him at the end, but as everyone suspected he’s back and I look weirder than ever. His new gray, tattered alternate costume, a striking contrast to his traditional imperial uniform, earned him the nickname “homeless Bison” from some, and the revamped arsenal of moves looks borderline broken.

“As for his backstory and why he looks the way he does, that is something you may learn more about by playing arcade mode and seeing him in World Tour while he’s away,” Nakayama and Matsumoto said. While this is his return to the series, M. Bison’s new set also marks the return of some old abilities in new forms. One of them is his ultra combo, which is now a super art in the . Other moves play a role in the story and the crime boss’s new level of cunning. This includes a back fist combo that tosses the opponent with a psychomine that will explode if M. Bison isn’t hit for a while.

“It kind of adds a mental game aspect to his game and kind of forces his opponent to play a certain way when it happens,” they said. Psycho Mine also changes some of M. Bison’s attack effects and combos while active, also changing the rhythm of the match. He is also a hybrid of charge and command fighter, meaning some of his abilities require holding inputs, while others are just simple sequences. His iconic Double Knee Press attack will now simply be a “fireball move” attack, for instance, potentially making him rather more appealing to more players.

It’s shaping up to be another cool addition to a game that still feels like it’s in the honeymoon phase with its fans. After a disappointing launch that was marred by numerous complaints and incomplete modes, it was back into shape both because of the fundamentals and the positive sentiment among fans. Despite Modern being a fighting game rooted in a rich history of arcades and player-to-player competition, Modern is as much a live service platform as anything else. In May, Akuma appeared in the game as part of an event that was part of it Playing on Twitch AND part of an MMO boss fight.

Nakayama and Matsumoto pointed to all the data they collect from players and the latest ways they’re experimenting with online events to assist develop the game. “We published an infographic that shows about 20 billion matches that took place over the last year, which is very surprising,” they said. “When we did a raid boss event with Akuma at the center of the battle, it was a huge hit. “That’s what made us realize that there should be more opportunities to get people excited about events like this, and that’s something we want to explore in the near future.”

When they told me that it’s easier than ever to see what players do and don’t like, I asked them if they ever felt like there was too much data and wished they could go back to the days when developers were more cut off from community opinion and behavior. “Honestly, not really,” they replied, laughing. “It’s really exciting to see everyone really having fun playing the game and seeing what people are interested in.”

One thing that at least some players still don’t always have fun with is the game’s aggressive microtransaction model. Outrage erupts from time to time when Capcom asks players to pay for something they think is particularly egregious, such as color variations on costumes. There is also no way to pay exact amounts for most in-game purchases, as players must first purchase any number of Fighter Coins, which often leaves them with remaining premium currency. Is the team satisfied with the current level of monetization?

A Giant Akuma appears in the center of the battle.

Screenshot: : Capcom/Kotaku

“I mean, people seem to be very interested in the purchasable content, especially that related to the actual characters in Fighting Ground mode,” they said. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in this, so we’re going to continue to look at it and see if there are any new things that come up that we can just… but as far as the system goes, it’s probably going to stay as is.”

Reading between the lines, it certainly seems like this is a version of what you hear from many companies, which is that while many people complain about microtransactions, just as many, if not more, are reluctant or even willing to put down money for them. Perhaps the sea of ​​player data that developers have access to helped make this point.

Despite only including four new characters, the Season 2 Hunt Pass costs $30, which is half the price of the full game. But to sweeten the deal, the full game is currently 50 percent off to celebrate its first anniversary. Meanwhile, M. Bison arrives in the summer. But the most important part of the legacy and its potential future may lie in more social experiments like Akuma’s online event.

“it gave us the opportunity to try a lot of new things that we had never done before in any other fighting game,” said Nakayama and Matsumoto. “We feel like (we) have been able to see a resurgence of a younger audience that has become interested in the game through alternative areas outside of combat.” We hope this means more live events are planned for year two. The social experience of arcades was crucial to how many people fell in love with fighting games. Finding more ways to recreate this online could be the key to keeping them.

This article was originally published on : kotaku.com
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‘Honkai Star Rail’ Pre-install Update Version 2.3 ‘Farewell Penacony’ Now Available, PC and Mobile Download File Size Revealed

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Following the announcement of the discharge date, a (free) pre-installation of version 2.3 is now available. Version 2.3 is titled “Farewell, Penacony” and shall be available from next Wednesday, depending in your time zone, on iOS, Android, PS5 and PC. The 2.3 update will include the completion of the Penacony adventure, Firefly (5-star character), Divergent Universe, Ruan Mei and Argenti in replays, and way more, including Origami Birds appearing as a brand new mini-game and Jade (5-star character) Watch the next update videos for the new edition 2.3 “Farewell, Penacons”:

You can pre-install version 2.3 from the title screen after logging in on each mobile and PC platforms. The download size for version 2.3 is roughly 12.7 GB for iOS and 21.3 GB for PC. If you haven’t got it yet, you possibly can download it within the App Store for iOS Hereon Google Play for Android HereAND Here on the Epic Games Store, along with the regular PC version. test it out Here on PS5. Have you played recently and what do you’re thinking that of version 2.3?

This article was originally published on : toucharcade.com
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How to prepare for Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree and more gaming tips this week

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Illustration: : From software

the primary and only expansion for the sport, it includes an exciting recent storyline with dozens of hours of gameplay to experience, but accessing it is just not a walk within the park, and the info suggests that there are key steps that many players haven’t yet taken. If you wish to see what the difficult recent DLC has to offer, you’ll have to find your way to a well-hidden section of the major game and defeat numerous optional bosses, including one in all the toughest in the sport: Mohg, the Blood Lord. – Billy Gives read more

This article was originally published on : kotaku.com
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