This week in gaming: Steam gets Aussie currency support, Fortnite’s studio inks an epic deal, Battlefield V skips battle royale this year, 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!
Steam will soon use Australian dollars, boasts 90M monthly users:
Valve revealed the news during a Game Connect Asia Pacific presentation as part of Melbourne International Games Week, with attendees reporting that Steam will support Australian currency from “mid-November” (via Kotaku Australia). Valve is also working on an alternative to Steam Spy, which used once-public Steam user data to generate general sales figures – something that Valve itself does not provide to the public. Furthermore, the gaming giant revealed (via Gamasutra) that Steam now has more than 90 million monthly users – which is 23 million more than the same time a year ago.
Report: Fortnite studio secures US$1.25B in funding:
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a group of companies led by private equity firm KKR & Co. have invested approximately US$1.25 billion (AU$1.76 billion) into Epic Games. Furthermore, an anonymous source “familiar with the matter” said that the deal was based on a valuation of approximately US$15 billion. A separate source also claimed that Epic Games is slated to earn more than US$4 billion this year alone.
Battlefield V’s battle royale mode won’t launch until next year:
Developer DICE has revealed that the game’s battle royale mode, Firestorm, is now slated for a March launch – four months after Battlefield V’s official release and five months after that of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode. It appears as if DICE and co-developer Criterion Games are primarily focussing on Battlefield V’s Tides of War live feature while continuing to work on a new entry in the crowded battle royale genre.
Xbox Game Pass is coming to PC:
Speaking during the company’s recent first-quarter earnings call (via Windows Central), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the company plans to expand its Xbox Game Pass program to Windows 10. The decision appears to have been partly based on the fact that the Xbox division’s revenue grew by 36 percent over last year’s first quarter, with overall Microsoft gaming revenue up by 44 percent.
Twitch is working on a karaoke game:
The popular streaming platform announced that it has recruited Rock Band and Dance Central developer Harmonix Music Systems to develop a karaoke game designed around live streaming. TwitchCon attendees already got to try out the game, but a closed beta is slated for later this year on Android, iOS, and PC.
Assassin’s Creed creator leaves EA’s main Star Wars studio:
The Battlefield and FIFA publisher confirmed to VentureBeat that former studio head Jade Raymond has left EA Motive and has been replaced by Samantha Ryan, who is currently responsible for overseeing BioWare, Maxis, and various mobile studios. Raymond joins Uncharted lead writer Amy Hennig as yet another prominent game designer to leave EA after working on an untitled Star Wars projects; however, EA declined to provide any specific context surrounding Raymond’s exit.
Report: Oculus VR’s CEO quits Facebook over cancellation of a Rift 2:
Brendan Iribe, who co-founded the company in 2012, took to Facebook to announce that he has resigned as Oculus VR’s CEO and Facebook employee “to recharge, reflect and be creative”.
TechCrunch reported that Iribe has left Facebook not long after it cancelled an alleged PC-based “Rift 2” headset project, with an anonymous sourcing claiming that he and Facebook’s executives held “fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time”. This seemingly refers to Iribe wanting to push technical limits using external hardware, while Facebook was interested in a “race to the bottom” in terms of performance and pricing.
The company later told TechCrunch that it is, in fact, “planning for a future version of Rift” but stopped short of confirming whether or not it cancelled a more-powerful, “Rift 2”.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES:
- Castlevania: Requiem (PS4)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4 and Xbox One)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
JUMP FORCE – Paris Games Week 2018 Trailer:
This game’s roster is just getting bigger and bigger!
Spyro the Dragon Reignited Trilogy – Launch Trailer:
Not long left, folks.
HITMAN 2 – Untouchable:
The slums of India aren’t often seen in video games.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales – Official Launch Trailer:
CD PROJEKT RED sets the scene for its latest spin-off.
INTERESTING READS FROM OTHER OUTLETS:
- Kotaku’s Jason Schreier interviewed more than eighty past and present Rockstar employees about their experiences at the controversial studio.
- Meanwhile, GamesIndustry.biz’s Rebekah Valentine spoke to Dotemu’s CEO and Head of Marketing about the company’s efforts to revitalise classic games like Windjammers.
- New gaming streaming data has shown that YouTube is gaining traction: GamesIndustry.biz
- Zombie Orpheus has cut ties with GOG.com following its latest offensive tweet: GamesIndustry.biz
- The Esports Integrity Coalition has banned former Optic India CS:GO player from competition for five years: GamesIndustry.biz
- The Pope has approved the release of a Catholic-based Pokémon GO clone: Eurogamer
- One of the people behind Disney Infinity has joined Gearbox Software: GamesIndustry.biz
- Alan Wake is returning to digital storefronts: Gamasutra
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