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Doublejump Digest: April 22, 2018

This week in gaming: E3 2018 starts taking shape, Black Ops 4 won’t feature a campaign, big PUBG updates are in the works, and more!

In the spirit of keeping our readers up-to-date with what’s going on in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories that happened in the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head into the archive if you’ve missed any!

From Doublejump:

  • We have officially concluded our first round of new staff applications, and we can’t wait to introduce you to all the new faces once they’re settled in!

Major news releases:

Microsoft and Ubisoft date their E3 2018 media conferences:

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is starting to take shape, with both Microsoft and Ubisoft providing dates and times for their press conferences at the event over the past week.

As per its tradition, Microsoft is planning to hold its conference the day before the event actually begins, going live on June 11 at 6am AEST (June 10, 1pm local time), while Ubisoft will occupy the same time slot the next day. Bethesda has set its showcase for 11.30am AEST on June 11 (June 10, 6.30pm local time), while EA has scheduled its conference for June 10 at 4am AEST (June 9, 11am local time).

Report: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 won’t include a single-player story mode at launch:

Sources close to the project told Polygon that developer Treyarch has opted to ditch the traditional story mode in order to focus on expanding the game’s multiplayer offering as well as the ever-popular Zombies game mode, making Black Ops 4 the first mainline Call of Duty title without a single-player campaign.

Activision responded to a call for comment by noting that it “[doesn’t] comment on rumour and speculation…[and looks] forward to revealing Black Ops 4 on May 17.”

Map selection and weapon balance changes are headed to PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS:

PUBG Corp. Community Coordinator Hawkinz made the announcement through a Steam Community post late this week, admitting that it was a feature that players “have continuously asked for”.

Hawkinz noted that two concerns had been partly responsible in the delay in publicly announcing the feature: the likelihood of increased matchmaking queue times and ensuring that differing player preferences could be catered to with a single solution. He also attached the following screenshot of what the “Map Select” option currently looks like:

A work-in-progress version of the Map Select menu.

In a separate post, fellow Community Coordinator Mephie Kim revealed that the developer is also working on rebalancing weapons and weapon attachments to encourage diverse loadout selection.

“We believe the choice about which gun to use should be based on personal preference and its effectiveness in any given situation, rather than simply ‘which gun is strongest’,” he explained. “Our goal is to make it so [that] no one gun will feel objectively better than the others.”

Furthermore, level three helmets will no longer spawn at the start of a round and will only be found in care packages following the balance patch. Kim did not provide a specific date for the patch, he did confirm that the changes will first go live in the game’s test servers on PC.

Next month’s Xbox One update adds a high refresh rate option:

Xbox Insider Team Lead Bradley Rossetti recently took to the Xbox Wire blogto announce that system owners will soon be able to display their consoles at 120Hz at 1080p and 1440p resolution on compatible monitors and televisions.

In addition to this, Microsoft will also begin testing the ability for players to “group” their various games and apps to improve dashboard organisation.

Hearthstone’s Game Director is leaving Blizzard:

Game Director Ben Brode made the announcement in a post on the game’s official forum, citing the desire “to embark on a new journey” as the reason for his departure.

“I am very fortunate to be able to take a crazy risk right now in my life, and I’m excited to be scrappy and a little scared,” he wrote. “I’m going to help start a new company. We’ll probably make games, but we haven’t figured anything else out, yet. I’m looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again.”

Brode joined the veteran studio in 2003 after spending many evenings speaking with various staff members while delivering pizzas during late-night work shifts. He joined what was to become the Hearthstone development team in 2008 after years spent in various roles since being hired as a “Night Crew Game Tester”.

He expressed confidence in the team going forward and attributed the game’s success to the work that the team has put in over the past decade.

“I get too much credit by virtue of being a public face, but the 80+ people on the development team are still there, and they are the ones actually making the cards, brawls, events, missions, and features,” he wrote. “I am confident [that] the game is in the best possible hands, and I’m excited to see where a new generation of leaders takes Hearthstone from here.”

Major video releases:

God of War — The Evolution of Kratos

Creative Director Cory Barlog takes viewers through Kratos’ journey from 2010’s God of War III to fatherhood in the freshly-released title.

God of War — Dog of War:

This game HAS to be made!

Street Fighter V — Falke Gameplay Trailer:

Another one of M. Bison’s “Bison Dolls” is headed to Capcom’s most popular fighting game franchise.

Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass — Teaser Trailer:

Croteam is back with its own brand of zany shooter action!

Overwatch — Mural Timelapse | Melbourne, Australia:

The world’s greatest city was gifted with a magnificent mural to celebrate the current Retribution event.

Indie spotlight:

  • The Arcade superfans at Housemarque have announced a new game named Stormdivers that features a more realistic art style than its previous titles.
  • Crema’s time-travel trucker-hat-starring shooter Immortal Redneck is coming to the Nintendo Switch on May 10!
  • Another Indie announced that Dark Star is also working on bringing its action title SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption to Nintendo’s latest system later this year.

Other news:

  • Fans aghast at Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor — Martyr developer who promised 90-hour work weeks after delay: Polygon
  • Report: there’s a new DOOM movie in the works: GameSpot
  • Netflix’s The Witcher show will be filmed in Eastern Europe and feature 8 episodes: GamesRadar
  • EA has announced a new NBA Playgrounds title: Polygon
  • Capcom is already shutting down Puzzle Fighter on iOS and Android: Polygon
  • Destiny 2’s latest Iron Banner event marks the return of 6v6 Crucible gameplay: Official