This week in gaming: Epic takes Steam head on, Fortnite Season 7 embraces creativity, Bethesda makes more blunders, and more!
In the spirit of keeping our readers up to date with what’s happening in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories from the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head on into the archive for news from weeks gone by!
- Industry veteran and Doublejump newcomer Steve Polak got down and dirty with this year’s instalment of Just Dance and found it to be a “solid” if unexciting entry in the series.
Epic Games announces Steam competitor with more favourable revenue split:
Early in the week, co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney took to the official Unreal Engine blog to announce his company’s competitor to Valve’s ever-popular Steam digital marketplace, the Epic Games Store. Developers/publishers will be given 88 percent of sales revenue from titles sold through the store, with Epic waiving its 5 percent royalty fee if a game is made using Unreal Engine 4. This compares favourably to the maximum 80 percent that developers/publishers can currently earn through Steam, which Valve only just increased (in an apparently-preemptive move) last week.
Fortnite Season 7 adds player-customisable islands:
In more Epic-related news, Fortnite Worldwide Creative Director Donald Mustard took to The Game Awards stage to announce that Season 7 of Fortnite Battle Royale will include a new “Creative Mode” that will let players create their own custom-made island maps. The company will also highlight a special space on the official map titled “The Block” where it will feature community-made areas. Season 7 has already begun for Battle Pass owners with a public release slated for December 13.
Bethesda accidentally reveals customer details, relents to Fallout 76 preorder pressure:
Bethesda Softworks Support has publicly apologised for accidentally exposing the personal details of customers who lodged support tickets this week, with the company later revealing that “no more than 65” customers may have been affected. Many of these customers may be ones who submitted a support ticket to claim the “replacement canvas bags” that they were promised when preordering Fallout 76’s expensive Power Armor Edition.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now free-to-play with a battle royale mode:
For the first time in the series’s nineteen-year-history, Valve has made its hugely-popular multiplayer shooter free-to-play, with “new players” given “access to all game modes, matchmaking, and a limited set of item drops and weapon cases”. The game also now features a battle royale mode named “Danger Zone” that brings the mode to a much smaller scale and trades loot crates for drone deliveries.
God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 win big at The Game Awards:
As expected, developers Sony Santa Monica (God of War) and Rockstar Games (Red Dead Redemption 2) led the charge at The Game Awards, with the former taking out the coveted Game of the Year award as well ones for Best Game Direction and Best Action-Adventure Game. Meanwhile, Rockstar took out gongs for Best Audio Design, Best Narrative, Best Performance, and Best Score/Music. Check out our excellent Spotlight for the full list of winners and “World Premiere” reveals.
NVIDIA makes PhysX code open-source:
Graphics hardware manufacturer has announced that, as of this week’s SDK 4.0 release, its once-proprietary “physics simulation engine” is now free for all to use under the BSD-3 license. This move should lower the barrier to entry for smaller game developers to take advantage of the realistic physics modelling that PhysX can produce.
Yakuza developer’s latest game is coming to the West:
SEGA has announced that it is planning to release Judgment (originally announced as Project JUDGE) in Western territories in Winter 2019. The company also revealed that the game’s English voice cast will feature veterans Matthew Mercer, Yuri Lowenthal, and Fred Tatasciore among others.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES:
- Just Cause 4 (PC, PS4, and Xbox One)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
- PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PS4)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
Mortal Kombat 11 – Official Announce Trailer:
Who knew that 21 Savage was an MK fan?
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – Reveal Trailer:
fingers crossed Please support cross-play, please support cross-play… fingers crossed
Dragon Age – Official Teaser Trailer:
The Dread Wolf Rises is bloody sick subtitle!
Far Cry New Dawn – Announcement Trailer:
Far Cry goes post-apocalyptic in this colourfully-violent trailer.
Destiny 2 – Black Armory Weapons Trailer:
The Last Word is back, Guardians!
- A Panda player took out this years TEKKEN World Tour championship: Kotaku
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is coming out next year: Polygon
- NVIDIA has unveiled a new flagship TITAN graphics card: Engadget
- A Brisbane Lions player has joined the Chiefs Esports team: Fox Sports
- Soulja Boy has released a legally-questionable game system: IGN
- H1Z1’s developer has laid off more staff: Gamasutra
- Warframe’s Switch version has been downloaded more than one million times: GamesIndustry.biz
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Also published on Medium.