This week in gaming: PSN name changes are coming, Microsoft talks cloud gaming, Epic sues Fortnite cheaters, 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!
French studio DONTNOD is back with a new season of Life Is Strange, and John delivered his take on the first episode.
Sony will finally start testing PSN name change support:
SIEA Social Media Director Sid Shuman recently announced that Sony will “soon” begin testing the ability for select PlayStation Network users to change their usernames via the PlayStation Preview Program. From “early 2019”, the company expects to rollout the feature to all users.
As of this writing, users will get one free name change, with subsequent changes charged at €9.99/£7.99 and €4.99/£3.99 for non-Plus and Plus subscribers respectively. Australian pricing has not yet been announced.
Games released after April 1, 2018 already support the feature with Sony working on adding compatibility for “a large majority of the most played PS4 games” released earlier. Users will have the option of choosing to display their old name beside their new one, but they will not be able to reverse this decision after they have completed the name change process.
Microsoft formally introduces its game streaming service:
The company’s Corporate VP of Gaming Cloud, Kareem Choudhry, took to its official blog to unveil Project xCloud, which is Microsoft’s take on a cloud-powered game streaming service.
Developers can already access tools to bring their games to service “with no additional work”, while the public is slated to get its opportunity to test Project xCloud next year. The service will make use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers, with the company integrating “the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles” into existing data centres “over time”.
Choudhry also noted that Project xCloud currently works on connections as slow as 10 megabits-per-second, and that Microsoft plans to make the service 4G-compatible before supporting gaming over 5G connections.
Epic Games suing YouTubers for selling Fortnite cheats:
According to a filing made in North Carolina (via TorrentFreak), the company is suing Brandon “GoldenModz” Lucas and collaborator Colton “Excentric” Conter for showing off various hacks and even selling them (in Lucas’s case).
“This is a copyright infringement, breach of contract, and tortious interference case in which the Defendants are infringing Epic’s copyrights by injecting unauthorized cheat software (‘cheats’ or ‘hacks’) into the copyright protected code of Epic’s popular video game Fortnite®,” the company wrote in its filing.
Lucas has defended his actions by noting that other YouTube personalities have also covered such hacks and modifications in their videos, but Epic Games remains unconvinced and is seeking Lucas and Conter’s profits in addition to paying damages and the company’s legal fees.
Report: One-third of full-time Aussie game developers earn less than the legal minimum salary:
Game Works Australia has renewed its call for local developers to unionise after finding that “developers are struggling against poor pay, a lack of job security, and limited opportunities” as part of its survey of 155 Australian developers.
Only about a third of survey respondents were full-time, salaried employees, with the rest being made up of various contractors and/or part-time workers. Of the full-time employees, only 35 percent were paid more than the $49,998 annual salary stipulated in the country’s Professional Employees Award.
While the survey did not include every single game developer currently employed in the country, it does paint a pretty grim picture of our local development scene in terms of employment.
Notable game releases:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PC, PS4, and Xbox One)
Child of Light (Switch)
Videos and trailer releases:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies – Blood of the Dead Trailer:
Children singing is not what you’d expect from a typical Call of Duty trailer, right?
HITMAN 2 – Ghost Mode Gameplay Reveal:
Competitive multiplayer in a Hitman game? Why not?!
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales – 37-minute Gameplay Walkthrough:
Yo, dawg. We heard you like spin-offs, so we made a spin-off of a spin-off, so you can Witcher while you Witcher.
Just Cause 4 – Story Trailer:
Rico Rodriguez is cleaning up his dad’s mess this time around.
Resident Evil 2 – Licker Battle Gameplay:
This remake looks quite faithful to the original’s fear-inducing atmosphere.
SOULCALIBUR VI – Swords and Souls: The Rise of SOULCALIBUR Part 1:
Here’s the first part of a documentary about BANDAI NAMCO’s second-oldest fighting game series.
Squadron 42 – CitizenCon Trailer:
Enjoy this awkwardly-edited but star-studded story trailer.
Capcom’s CEO wants the company to release three big games a year going forward: DualShockers
Some PS4 users have reported that certain messages are bricking their systems: Kotaku
The Brazilian government is investigating one of the country’s studios and Valve over a beat-em-up featuring anti-female and anti-LGBTIQ gameplay: Eurogamer
Next week’s For Honor update overhauls the game’s visuals: Official
Razer has announced a new Blade 15 laptop and Phone 2: Official (1, 2)
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 players are using emotes to see through walls: Kotaku
Star Citizen raked in almost US$380K in a single day: Eurogamer
EA’s upcoming Command & Conquer remasters will not include microtransactions: Kotaku
Netflix has cast actors for Ciri and Yennefer for its upcoming Witcher series: Gizmodo