This week in gaming: Apex Legends enjoys an epic launch, Microsoft expands Xbox Live, Fortnite players can finally merge accounts, 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!
- Editor-in-Chief Jake dusted off his byline to explain why PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is facing an “uphill battle” by coming to PlayStation 4 so late in the game.
- Meanwhile, Abir told Valve to suck it up after the company complained about Metro Exodus heading over to the Epic Games Store.
Respawn Entertainment formally unveils Apex Legends:
Following a weekend of leaks, Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment officially announced and released its take on the battle royale genre: Apex Legends. Both publisher EA and Respawn opted to release the free-to-play game without a lengthy pre-release promotion period, and it seems to have paid off. Respawn CEO Vince Zampella later revealed that the game boasted more than 1 million concurrent players and 10 million total players in just over 72 hours, which is an even better time than Fortnite Battle Royale.
Various Respawn staff members told multiple outlets that the studio has been working on the game and not Titanfall 3, with Executive Producer Drew McCoy also explaining that Titanfall’s Titans and enhanced movement mechanics aren’t in this game due to playability reasons.
“A lot of the stuff [from Titanfall] that was brought over was brought over purposefully. Our goals are really to make a masterable, learnable, deep game with a lot of strategy,” he told PC Gamer. “When we first started making [Apex Legends], to be completely honest, we had double-jumping and wall running. We had triple-jumping for awhile. We had Titans in tons of different forms.”
McCoy expanded by noting that the aforementioned gameplay elements hurt the “strategic and learnable aspects of combat” by providing too many variables for players to keep track of in the heat of the moment.
Microsoft reveals plans to bring Xbox Live to Switch and mobile:
The company accidentally showed its hand in a now-removed listing for a Game Developers Conference presentation originally titled “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC (Presented by Microsoft)” (via GameSpot). While Microsoft has not revealed any more details since, the listing did show that the company plans to use Xbox Live to let players synchronise “their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more” across multiple platforms.
In related news, the company has renamed its internal development division from Microsoft Studios to Xbox Game Studios, which includes developers such as Turn 10 Studios and Obsidian Entertainment.
Epic opens Fortnite account merging:
Fortnite players who were previously forced to create separate Epic Games accounts between PS4 and other systems can now merge their accounts and combine their earned and purchased in-game items, Perk Materials, XP, V-Bucks, and more. Candidate accounts must have played the game on a PS4 and another system before September 28, 2018 to be eligible for the merging process.
Report: Activision Blizzard to lay off “hundreds” of staff:
Anonymous sources have reportedly told Bloomberg that the mega publisher is set to announce that it will lay off hundreds off staff in a renewed effort to improve profitability following its announcement of slowing sales last quarter. This news comes just one month after Bungie ended its ten-year Destiny deal with Activision Publishing, with neither Activision nor Blizzard responding to requests for comment from multiple outlets.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES:
- Apex Legends (PC, PS4, and Xbox One)
- Warframe: Fortuna (Switch)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
Anthem – Launch Trailer:
BioWare’s make-or-break multiplayer game is coming out next week!
Metro Exodus – Artyom’s Nightmare:
As far as nightmares go, this one fucking sucks!
Mortal Kombat 11 – Official Kabal Reveal Trailer:
Kabal is back and has pledged his allegiance to the Netherrealm forces.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – Gameplay Video:
Doesn’t this just take you back to happier times?
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – Story Preview Trailer:
This mentor guy has a very twisted way of recruiting students.
Assassin’s Creed III Remastered – Comparison Trailer:
The series’s arguably least-liked game looks better than ever.
- Warface’s development is splitting from Crytek to continue working on the game independently: Official
- Twitch Prime users can get base Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for free until May: Polygon
- CD Projekt RED has agreed to increase its royalty payments to author of The Witcher book series: DualShockers
- Activision has begun issuing refunds to Guitar Hero Live owners: GamesIndustry.biz
- Dead Space’s creator has started a new studio with 2K Games: GameSpot
- Rare claims that Sea of Thieves’s player count has been “super healthy”: DualShockers
- PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS took out Game of the Year in the 2018 Steam Awards: GamesIndustry.biz
- 343 Industries says that it’s focussing on Master Chief’s story in Halo Infinite: GameSpot
- American McGee has begun designing a new Alice game: PC Gamer
- The Walking Dead: Final Season’s last episode is due next month: GameSpot
- Nioh’s worldwide sales have reached 2.5 million units: DualShockers
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