Friday, April 30, 2021
It's Souls farming time! Wait, is that actually on a t-shirt? Anyway, we're back today with more Super Replay and more Bloodborne! The journey has been a terrifying one, and with many bosses behind them, the crew is about to face some of its biggest challenges yet. Join us for part eight of the Bloodborne Super Replay today at 2 PM CT!
Are you ready for a chilling thrill ride through FromSoftware's masterpiece? Bloodborne is a dark horror action/RPG that tasks the player with navigating through haunted streets full of werewolves and shuffling, shambling ghouls – and that's just the first hour. Bloodborne showcases immaculate environments dripping with atmosphere, creative and cruel monster designs, and terrors ripped from the great beyond. And we're going to play through it! Super Replay, the legendary Game Informer series that pairs pro players with even more professional commentary, is back.Click here to watch embedded media
As the flagship revival title, Bloodborne is going to be live and uncut every Friday at 2 PM CST. So won't you come join us for a blood-tinged brawl? How many times will I choke during boss fights? Will I even remember how to use the parry guns? (Probably not).
But I have faith that together, we will make it through, even if that includes farming up a mess of blood vials to get past a grotesque pig and other creatures of the night. This is a raw, organic playthrough at its finest, as I haven't really touched the game since my second playthrough of The Old Hunters shortly after it launched. In short, it's the perfect way to bring all the fun and intensity of the Super Replay directly into your eyeballs, shot live and beamed into reality via livestream.
"Bloodborne is a blood-drenched horror gem that has only the faintest of cracks in its façade. Bloodborne succeeds through sparse storytelling, lush atmospheres (conjuring up notions of the best of Lovecraft’s work), and tight combat that forces you to be aggressive," I said in my Game Informer review. "While this new IP doesn’t stray far from the established Souls franchise, it is a magical, wondrous work that admirably instills both terror and triumph in those brave enough to delve into it."
Do you like Super Replay? Are you glad to see it back? What other games would you like to see featured in the future? Let us know in the comments!
A Dungeons & Dragons podcast with Jeff Goldblum as an elf? We're calling it now, we're rating it 10 out of 10 Goldblums. In this new D&D podcast, Goldblum takes on the role of a sorcerer that goes by the name of Balmur as part of the Dark Dice podcast. This makes a new season for the ongoing D&D campaign, which is slated to kick off next month.
The Jurassic Park star is getting in touch with his magical side for his latest role alongside five other characters. Just like with any other Dungeons & Dragons campaign, we have no idea how his character will fare until the dice are rolled. The plot thickens, and so does our excitement because Goldblum is a national treasure.
As reported by Deadline, the newest season of the Dark Dice podcast is called The Long March and is set to air on May 12. This is an audio-only podcast, so we can't see his exaggerated expressions as an elf in person, but his voice can be recognized from a mile away. You can catch up on the journey thus far right here.
We are proud to announce that JEFF GOLDBLUM will be joining the cast of Dark Dice, starting May 12th, as an Elven sorcerer named Balmur.— The Dark Dice Podcast (@DarkDicePod) April 28, 2021
More Info here:https://t.co/xGI3z3hEDW pic.twitter.com/frVVA4ubQR
Interested in learning more? Dark Dice is a horror podcast that centers on the Dungeons & Dragons universe and uses incredible sounds, music, and other special audio effects to create an immersive experience for listeners to enjoy. The main scope of this horror adventure focuses on six travelers that set forth on a journey into the "ruinous domain of the nameless god." The podcast creators promise that there are plenty of twists and turns, and that "they will never be the same again."
I honestly haven't heard this podcast myself until writing this, but listening to the first season while typing this up and imagining Goldblum in the mix has me excited. The audio craftsmanship is impeccable. I genuinely can't wait to dive deeper into this D&D experience more in detail this weekend.
Are you excited to see how Goldblum takes to the world of Dungeons & Dragons? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!
May is Military Appreciation Month, and Activision is lending a helping hand to veterans in need by launching the Call of Duty Endowment Medical Heroes campaign. The initiative aims to raise money to place combat veterans, such as medics and hospital corpsmen, into high-quality jobs. Beginning today, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty: Warzone will feature a special battle pack with proceeds from its sale helping fund the initiative.
This pack, dubbed the Call of Duty Endowment Battle Pack (posted above), includes a new Operator skin created in partnership with Timothy Hobbs Jr., an Army Veteran Combat Medic and Call of Duty fan. Endowment helped find Hobbs a job once he returned home, and all net proceeds from the pack will fund the campaign with $2 million being the goal. You can get a look at the battle pack and hear all about Hobbs’ story in the short video below.Click here to watch embedded media
Also beginning today is the Revival Challenge. Until May 9, reviving five people while playing Warzone unlocks the unique Endowment calling card. If one million players complete the challenge, all Warzone players will be treated to a double-XP day. Furthermore, Activision will donate $1 to Endowment for every completed challenge up to $1 million.
Activision hopes to raise $3 million total between the Battle Pack and Revival challenge, which would be enough to help $5,800 veterans find work. The Call of Duty Endowment program has used similar events through the years to help place over 81,000 veterans into quality jobs and hopes to raise that number to 100,000 by 2024.
Helping veterans successfully transition back into the workforce has been a growing issue in the U.S. for decades. If you’re interested in helping veterans get back to work beyond this specific campaign, you can visit the Call of Duty Endowment webpage to learn other ways of providing aid.
Destiny 2 Season 14 is just around the corner, which means a ton of new features and gear to look forward to. With the return of the epic Vault of Glass raid from the first Destiny game, some have questioned how Bungie is going to handle the World's First event that puts prizes on the line for the fireteam that can run it blind first. Since Vault of Glass isn't new, will there still be a World's First? Or are there enough changes to justify this tradition? Luckily, Bungie has given Guardians some answers.
It's time to take the fight back to Antheon once more and the ability to do just that is least an a month away! While the overall story of Vault of Glass isn't being touched at all, that doesn't mean that the raid mechanics are staying the same. "Our goal is to keep the feeling similar to how you remember, but we have made some updates to bring this content to Destiny 2 standards," said Bungie in its latest update blog post.
Tweaks are expected, but what does that mean for the event that hardcore Guardians crave? Ignoring that I hilariously failed even remotely placing with Deep Stone Crypt's arrival, which I documented here, it's a little tricky doing a World's First when many of the competing Guardians took part in the raid when it was first released. Not to worry, Bungie planned for that. While the overall raid hasn't evolved beyond recognition, there have been changes that players will have to adapt to. According to Bungie, here is how the team is "shaking things up" a bit:
- Vault of Glass will launch with Contest Mode (explained here) enabled for 24 hours
- You will need to be at 1300 Power to be at the cap for all of the encounters
- Clearing Vault of Glass with Contest Mode active is the first step to access the new Challenge Mode in the Director and the Tempo's Edge Triumph
- Completing Tempo's Edge, a curated list of Triumphs, in this newly unlocked Challenge Mode, will be how a fireteam crosses the World First finish line and claims their prize
- To enforce the Triumph requirements in the Challenge Mode, your team will wipe if you fail the success conditions during each encounter
It wouldn't be a World's First without prizes, right? Bungie made a belt, seen below, to commemorate those that place, but the studio also wanted to do something special for those that took part in the original World's First for Vault of Glass. Because of that, you'll notice the OG World First fireteam emblazoned in the belt below:
Both the Tempo's Edge Triumph and Challenge Mode will only be available to players for the first 24 hours of the race to World's First before it disappears. If you miss out, don't worry; Bungie promises that those challenges will make a comeback later on in the season. Rewards, a shiny new emblem, the adrenaline of just kicking ass? It's going to be glorious. The adventure begins on May 22 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Are you excited to see who wins the latest Vault of Glass World's First? Are you going to be joining your fireteam to try to be the Guardian that secures the win? Sound off in the comment section below. Zavala would want you to.
Resident Evil Village could have skipped last-gen platforms entirely, with the developers waiting to make sure it ran well enough before committing to making a PS4 and Xbox one version.
Resident Evil Village is gorgeous on next-gen platforms and PC, but recent demos and IGN’s own hands-on time have indicated that the game also looks great and runs smoothly on last-gen platforms, the PS4 and Xbox One. However, according to producer Tsuyoshi Kanda, Capcom did not decide to release the game on last-gen platforms until after Village was announced in June last year.
“We developed Village as a game for next-gen hardware, but in order to make it accessible to more players, we went through a lot of trial and error to somehow provide a comparable experience on last-gen hardware,” Kanda told IGN. “In the end, we were able to deliver a high-quality product for last-gen hardware as well. That being said, if the quality hadn’t been sufficient, I don’t think we would have released it.”
“If there was a big difference in graphical quality or framerate, it would not have been something we could deliver to players, so we did our best to make sure it would be satisfying on any platform,” added director Morimasa Sato.
Fans were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the PS4 Pro footage IGN exclusively revealed earlier this month, which was captured by us from a preview build of the full game. With the recent demos, players have been able to directly test a cut-down version of the game on their platform of preference.
If you’re not sure whether to get Village on last-gen or next-gen consoles, don’t worry, as Kanda emphasizes that the last-gen versions can be upgraded to next-gen free of charge, if you buy a next-gen machine later.Resident Evil Village will be released on May 7. Learn how the game was inspired by both Resi 7 and Resi 4 in our interview with the developers, and be sure to check out our in-depth preview of the first five hours as well as our impressions of extra mode The Mercenaries. If you can’t wait to get your blood drained by Lady Dimitrescu, don’t miss our feature on the towering villain and her daughters, and also be sure to check out our reveal of the game’s other main villains. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Esra Krabbe is an editor at IGN Japan.
How Resident Evil Village Is a Direct Sequel to Resident Evil 7, but Heavily Inspired by Resident Evil 4
A horror theme park that’s yours to exploreThe village that you will be exploring is much more than just a collection of streets and houses. The player will be discovering four different areas surrounding the village, with one of four Lords (the game’s main villains) awaiting the player in each area. From a gothic castle with a giant countess to a reservoir area ruled by a merman-like creature, the variety of characters and locations shape what Capcom calls “a theme park of horror”. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=resident-evil-village-playstation-5-screenshots&captions=true"] “By implementing a wide array of horror elements within one game, Village is not only one of the most voluminous entries in the franchise; it also offers different kinds of horror experiences within one package,” Kanda explains. Sato says that this aim for variety was inspired by Resident Evil 4. By delivering variety in its scenarios, locations and gameplay, Resident Evil 4 managed to feel fresh until the end. For Village, Sato says that he sought to continuously create new experiences for the player. “Also, when you think of the characters, I think that (Resident Evil 4’s) Ramon Salazar is the kind of character that everyone still remembers,” says Sato. “The appeal of a character like that is something very powerful, so we aimed to design characters with the potential to resonate with players like that. Seeing how well Lady Dimitrescu has been received made me confident that this had indeed been the right approach.” [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/04/27/resident-evil-village-the-mercenaries-mode-hands-on-ign-first"] While in size they’re quite the opposite, what Ramon Salazar and Lady Dimitrescu have in common is the fact that their appeal goes beyond pure creepiness. With such characters, Sato hopes to target a broader audience than just the typical horror fan. That being said, the element of horror definitely isn't going anywhere. “While aiming for a broader experience, I didn’t want to lower the game’s peak of fear,” Sato says. “Keeping the peak intact is essential, but if the game is tense throughout, it can become too much for certain players. That’s why we needed a change in pace, and included elements that afford the player a feeling of safety.” With more freedom of exploration than in previous entries, the player can – to a certain extent – pace his or her own experience. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=resident-evil-8-village-showcase-screenshots&captions=true"] “The village is a more open and expansive location which the player can freely explore and get lost in,” says Sato. “As you play, you’ll gain access to more parts of the village. Making sure that the player knows where to go next in a larger environment is something we had to be really careful about. We consciously designed it so that you would see and notice the right things from the right locations.” “If you give the player freedom in a wider area, it becomes easy to lose track of the next objective. On the other hand, if you guide the player too much, you lose that sense of freedom. We went through a lot of trial and error to get that balance right,” Kanda recalls. While Resident Evil games have always had plenty of secrets, until now the series has offered more narrow and focused experiences. With more detours and optional elements, Village seems to be different. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/04/25/resident-evil-village-14-minutes-of-the-castle-demo-gameplay-full-playthrough"] “This is indeed one of Village’s newest evolutions,” Sato says. “We’ve prepared a more open environment, and basically we just tell the player to go and have fun with it, which is something Resident Evil hasn’t done before. While the main story still advances in what we think is the best order to experience it, it is totally possible to ignore the objectives and just get lost in the game’s world. There are many houses you can completely ignore, but as we feel it’s important to reward the player’s eagerness to explore, there will always be something interesting to discover. We really put a lot of effort into making Village’s exploration worthwhile.” Sato believes that this freedom of exploration will create a different experience for each player, and hopes that it will become a reason to make players want to come back to the village again and again. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/04/18/resident-evil-village-22-minutes-of-the-village-demo-gameplay-full-playthrough"] “The fact that Village has so many optional things to do makes it very different from previous installments in the series,” says Sato. “I’d almost go as far as to say that we prepared too many detours, so if you want to experience everything, it’s really going to take you a long time.” On top of all that, the entirety of Village is explorable without coming across any loading screens, regardless of your platform of choice. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/04/23/resident-evil-village-demo-ps5-vs-ps4-performance-preview"] “For the PS5 and Xbox Series X, there’s no loading at all, as the area is completely connected. On the PS4 and Xbox One, the game is loading at certain points, but it’s always done in a way the player won’t notice, so you’ll be able to enjoy a seamless experience – like Resident Evil 7 was – on those platforms, too,” Sato assures us. While it’s up to the player to decide how thoroughly to explore the village, systems have been created to stimulate and reward exploration, which connects to the game’s other main theme: “ultimate survival horror”.
Overcoming your fears“By ‘ultimate survival horror’, we mean that this time you won’t just be experiencing fear like in the previous game; you’ll also have to find ways to overcome it,” Sato explains. Just like in Resident Evil 7, Ethan is constantly hounded by terrifying creatures and characters, but Village offers more options in how to defeat them. “Giving the player more options means that we had to evolve the action,” says Sato. “This is where we really learned a lot from Resident Evil 4.” Sato and his team attempted to capture the essence of Resident Evil 4’s action, and then reworked it to suit Village’s first-person perspective. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=resident-evil-village-playstation-5-showcase-screenshots&captions=true"] “For example, you could block attacks in Resident Evil 7, but in Village you can block, then kick the opponent away, then follow up with a counterattack with your gun,” Sato explains. “The environments have more verticality as well, so the player can climb up rooftops or barricade themselves into a house. With some of Resident Evil 4’s staple elements adapted for a first-person view, the player can come up with more strategies and use the environments to their advantage.” If you have played the demos released over the past couple of weeks, you probably noticed that Village’s enemies are tough. However, with the right strategy it becomes possible to defeat multiple enemies at once. But if even that doesn’t do the job, you can always upgrade your weapons or increase the stats of your character; another element that Resident Evil 7 didn’t have. “We wanted to offer multiple ways to play the game, which is where weapon merchant The Duke plays an important role,” Sato says. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/04/15/resident-evil-village-story-trailer-2"] Resident Evil 4 also had a weapon merchant, and in similar fashion, The Duke allows you to buy weapons, ammo and health items, and to upgrade weapons. But that’s not all. “This time, you’ll be able to increase Ethan’s own character stats,” says Sato. “Inside the village, you can find animals like chickens and pigs that have been left out in the open. By hunting those animals, you obtain ingredients, which can be brought to The Duke. He can then cook meals for you, which will increase your stats.” [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/01/21/resident-evil-village-story-trailer"] You can increase stats like health and attack power through these meals, and these upgrades will remain throughout the game. Even if you don’t feel comfortable with Village’s first-person action elements, it should be possible to beat it by leveling up your character as you would in an RPG. That said, given Village’s intricate action systems, Sato hopes that players will enjoy trying out the wide array of available strategies. “The amount of weapons available has increased, too,” he says. “Quickly switching from a handgun to a shotgun and then a sniper rifle within the same battle and figuring out which weapon is best for each moment should be a lot of fun.”
The village as a lead characterWhile Resident Evil Village primarily portrays Ethan’s story, Sato sees the village itself as the game’s second lead character. He recalls that for Resident Evil 7’s visual presentation, the team set out to portray the filthy locations as beautifully as possible. This time, he went for the exact opposite: portraying the beautiful as something horrific. This can be said for the village itself, too. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=resident-evil-village-3-exclusive-new-screenshots&captions=true"] “The traditional depiction of horror is dark, narrow and dirty. But there are plenty of horror movies with beautiful visuals that are scary at the same time,” Sato says. “I think that beauty and horror don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Castle Dimitrescu, for example, is gorgeous at first sight, laden with beautiful furniture. However, if you take a close look there might be something eerie lying on the table. When you see a patch of blood on an otherwise elegantly decorated wall, the beauty of the wall gives the blood a stronger impact. “By adding a sense of beauty that wasn’t present in Resident Evil 7, I think we can make the presentation and atmosphere even more horrific.” The main aspect of the village’s beauty has to be the snow. As a natural element that is often beautiful and terrifying at the same time, snow was the perfect choice for the theme of Village’s visual presentation. That being said, the village wasn’t covered in snow in its original design. Chance played a crucial role in what undoubtedly became the location’s most iconic characteristic. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/01/22/resident-evil-village-maiden-demo-gameplay"] “We went to a country in Eastern Europe for research during spring that year, but we encountered a record-breaking cold snap. We had to continue our research under -13°F conditions in the midst of a blizzard. I really thought we were going to die!” Sato recalls, laughing. “The circumstances were so extreme that our guide – a local – proposed we call it a day.” Reminiscing on this trip, Sato says it completely reshaped his vision for what the village would look like – and without this extreme experience, the village would have been a different place. “To this day, I still wonder what the village would have looked without it,” says Sato. Given Sato’s original goal to portray both the horror in beauty, wouldn’t it be creepy if the cold snap was an act of fate? [caption id="attachment_2506884" align="aligncenter" width="512"] Tsuyoshi Kanda (left) and Morimasa Sato.[/caption] Resident Evil Village will be released on May 7. Be sure to check out our in-depth preview of the first five hours as well as our impressions of extra mode The Mercenaries. For those curious about the last-gen version, take a look at our PS4 Pro gameplay footage. If you can’t wait to get your blood drained by Lady Dimitrescu, don’t miss our feature on the towering villain and her daughters, and also be sure to check out our reveal of the game’s other main villains. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Esra Krabbe is an editor at IGN Japan. He thinks that Ethan should start wearing gloves outside.
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IO Interactive is still celebrating the successful launch of its most recent Hitman game, but that doesn't mean that the studio is resting on that alone. In a new report, it is revealed that the studio could very well be working on a brand new fantasy IP for Xbox (in addition to the James Bond game that is also in the works).
The latest report comes via Windows Central in the video below. In the video, it is revealed that Microsoft has a few exciting projects in the works concurrently, among them being a fantasy game from IO. This is interesting because several weeks ago I had an anonymous message tell me through the social app Tumblr that a game with "dragons" (likely saying this knowing my love for fantasy games) was coming from the Hitman studio, though my trail ended there. Now, Eurogamer is stating that their own sources have seemingly corroborated that message, and the report from Windows Central, stating that it is a AAA game and is years away from being revealed.Click here to watch embedded media
IO working on a new IP isn't a surprise. IO's own Hakan Abrak previously spoke on what's next as part of the GameIndustry.biz keynote when looking back on self-publishing the Hitman franchise. In that video, which you can see here, Abrak talks about the trials and success of the Hitman series and teased that the team is working on a "third universe" that is a "bit different" but something the studio is excited about. With the most recent Barcelona IO location opening up, the dev team is heads-down on working on its next big adventure, including a new James Bond game.
Whatever the new game aims to be, it's reported that it will be under the Xbox Games Studio umbrella. This will give the studio more resources and more support to see their vision flourish. Xbox, under the leadership of Phil Spencer, has pivoted sharply in the last few years, taking a more aggressive approach to game development that was significantly lacking in the Xbox One era. Aggressive in terms of being unafraid, yet maintaining a creative distance from studios working under its name so that the process remains undisturbed and true to original ideation.
So what do you think? A fantasy game with dragons? A medieval fantasy game about dragons? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below, we'd love to hear what you think!
The Cyberpunk 2077 launch was one of the most anticipated launches in recent years, making its post-release hardships all of the more shocking. From mismarketing to veiled review restrictions to even game-breaking bugs where many felt last-gen version of the title was something else entirely, it's been a tumultuous post-launch period for the Polish company. With sales-tied bonuses acting as a light at the end of the tunnel, how that bonus was allocated has been made public and sees top-level executives winning big with other employees receiving less than what was expected.
The report broke over at Bloomberg about post-launch Cyberpunk 2077 bonuses. While the entire staff is expected to get the promised incentives, the numbers don't add up to what was expected. Keep in mind that the gap between executives and the rest of a company is nothing new, but that doesn't mean it's right. More than that, however, the gap between what the execs are getting and what the devs are getting is raising more red flags. Especially given the talk leading up to the game's launch, including members of the team calling out leadership and shareholders on the development road leading up to this point. Before diving into the numbers a little bit here, I do want to call attention to the fact that the original report even states that it's "not all bad," and that the attention surrounding everything that went wrong with Cyberpunk 2077 beyond its glitches has put an effective spotlight on the studio's culture. Mixed messaging, a "wing it" attitude, and poor planning are all just some of the many puzzle pieces that made up this chaotic picture. However, that is changing, and the higher-ups are looking at restructuring to make CDPR a healthier place to work for retentive purposes. This was publicly acknowledged during the financial call, as well.
Despite a rocky launch and even being de-listed from PSN by Sony, Cyberpunk 2077 was still the biggest selling game for the studio. An annual report document has been released, citing that CDPR CEO Marcin Iwinski is netting a $6.3 million bonus, with co-CEO Adam Kicinski making the same. Board member Adam Badowski is slated to take home an estimated $4.2 million.
It was relayed to the broader team that the profit-sharing bonuses would range between $5,000 - $9,000, with senior personnel netting anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000. A spokesperson told Bloomberg that there was a total of $29.8 million allocated for bonuses across nearly 870 employees. That number seems odd, given that five CDPR board members netted a total of $28 million. The former number, the $29.8 million, breaks off to be around $34,000 each, according to the spokesperson, in addition to smaller bonuses that were granted earlier this year, including the stock bonuses that were allocated late 2020.
That being said, even the higher level members of the board took some financial hits as CDPR stock took a sharp dive following the launch chaos and formal investigations into the studio. Even with the knocks, the bonuses that executives received are astronomical and were, according to the CEO, just. "We earned this money and the company earned this money," said Kicinski when he was asked if the top-level bonuses were "appropriate." He added, "But more net profits, more bonuses."
This isn't the first studio to suffer mismanagement, but the many layers as to why the launch went so wrong dives into several deeper issues within many industries, not just gaming: Management not effectively caring for those that work under them, non-transparency with the public (though they did a phenomenal job at making it look the opposite), and the refusal to make adjustments when certain aspects along the process no longer made sense (e.g. the base PS4 and Xbox One launch).
The studio has promised to correct the issues the Cyberpunk 2077 launch faces, and has done just that with countless patches post-release. Still, the board of directors needs to be clear about how they are going to make the work environment safer and better for employees; now is not the time for vague replies. That being said, after speaking with a few developers ourselves, there are some that are reporting a feeling of hope that the changes ahead will be good.
Sports Interactive wrote, "Today, we join the EFL and English football in a united stand against online abuse. Social media companies must do more to #StopOnlineAbuse. Join us and switch off too, as we collectively demand change." The boycott follows repeated racist and discriminatory hate speech used towards football players, and the boycott aims to put pressure on social media platforms to do more to clamp down on abuse.
Football is for everyone. Our social channels will be silent from 15:00 (UK) on Fri. April 30 until 23:59 (UK) on Mon. May 3.No #TopBinsLive Community stream this week. pic.twitter.com/KN0i0T3XMD — EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) April 30, 2021
To learn more about the boycott, the Premier League has put together a piece on why it's taking place, and what the movement hopes to achieve. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, we join the EFL and English football in a united stand against online abuse.Social media companies must do more to #StopOnlineAbuse. Join us and switch off too, as we collectively demand change.#StopOnlineAbuse pic.twitter.com/sNFCKI6Yp6 — Football Manager (@FootballManager) April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
New Pokémon Snap is out today, and while we've gotten some good looks at most of the game's main characters and a number of its Pokémon, The Pokémon Company has remained rather precious about a major cameo that happens early in the game: the appearance of Todd Snap.
If you're not familiar with Mr. Snap, he's the main protagonist from the original Pokémon Snap, who also makes a few appearances in the Pokémon anime and manga. Back in the original Pokémon Snap days, Todd was a goofy kid with a big camera who Professor Oak hired to take photos of wild Pokémon. Over the course of the game, he discovered mysterious "Pokémon Signs" that Professor Oak somehow connected to constellations in the night sky, leading him to send Todd to space (???) to take photos of Mew.
In New Pokémon Snap, those Mew photos have launched a promising career for Todd, and now he's a world-famous photographer. He's also an adult now, with marginally better hair and far better fashion sense than he had as a kid in those giant cargo shorts.
Yes, I know it sounds like Todd's appearance should be a major spoiler, but I promise it's not. Todd Snap shows up within the first hour or so of New Pokémon Snap and hangs out with you and your photography friends the rest of the game. He mostly shows up in cutscenes alongside Professor Mirror and research assistants Rita and Phil to give you direction and photography tips.
[widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=our-favorite-photos-from-new-pokemon-snap&captions=true"]
Unfortunately, he doesn't get much of a plot role despite his apparent success as a photographer. Phil initially seems to treat you as a photography rival vying for Todd's attention, but this never really plays out in a way that matters. The only other role Todd has during New Pokémon Snap is to offer "Todd's Tips" on the loading screens to help you take better photos. Oh, and a bit of lore suggests he had a critical role in helping Professor Mirror develop and name the Neo-One vehicle you take photos out of, which makes sense given that it's just a nicer version of the Zero-One from Pokémon Snap.
Still, it's genuinely cool that good old Todd Snap is lurking around the Pokémon photography scene and helping uplift the next generation of young photographers. Glad to have you back, Todd. You're looking good.
New Pokémon Snap is out now on Nintendo Switch, with our review finding it to be a delightful photography adventure that adores the creatures on the other side of the lens, even if some of its progression systems could be a bit clunky at times.
[poilib element="accentDivider"]Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
When the Epic Games Store announced its low cut from games sold through its storefront, it was a big deal. This is the first time in a long time that Steam has had a viable competition on the business-facing side, and it looks like that studio-positive step has encouraged Microsoft to do the same. Microsoft is now reducing its own PC cut to match that of the Epic Games Store, further putting more of a spotlight on Steam and Valve's refusal to tweak its monetary demands.
In a recent Xbox Wire blog post, Microsoft has confirmed how it is "helping developers deliver an exceptional experience," including more resources for these teams with a smaller sales cut. "As part of our commitment to empower every PC game creator to achieve more, starting on August 1, the developer share of Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88 percent, from 70 percent," reads the new post. "A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so."
Head of game creator experience & ecosystem at Microsoft Sarah Bond went into more detail about the revenue shift over on LinkedIn, including further breaking down Game Pass PC stats and outreach initiatives for indies. The shift to 88 percent from 70 percent is an exact match for Epic Games Store, with the previous 70 percent matching Steam's current quo.
The Epic Games Store itself is very developer-friendly when with its sales cut, especially with the boom in the indie scene in recent years. Valve has been the epitome of PC clients through the years, and while there have been challengers to that space, such as GOG, Valve has largely remained untouched by the need to change its monetization model in relation to studio cuts.
CEO Tim Sweeney has previously addressed the company's decision to come into the space with the smaller cut number and how exclusives play a part in that, saying, "This question gets to the core of Epic's strategy for competing with dominant storefronts. We believe exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry."
More money in the studios' pockets that create these amazing adventures means more resources for continuations, expansions, and more support. It's a great move on the industry side, a move that will also positively impact consumers.
Thoughts on the recent changes that Microsoft has detailed? Thoughts on Epic Games Store and its part in the evolution of the industry? Sound off with your hottest of hot takes in the comment section below!
Lost Soul Aside seemed like it was lost in the wind for years now, but the stylish action game created by a single developer is very much alive. Creator Yang Bing shared 18 minutes of brand-new footage during a recent Chinese Sony conference, showing off how far the game has come. We also learned that it's also heading to PlayStation 5.
If you need some catching up, Lost Soul Aside first emerged in 2016 and turned heads for its fast-paced action and triple-A presentation despite Bing being its sole developer at the time. It was so impressive that Sony stepped in to publish the game, turning Lost Soul Aside into a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive. Subsequent gameplay showings over the years continued to impress, and Bing now has a team working on it called UltiZero Games. Today’s footage marks our first real look at the game since August 2018.
Lost Soul Aside has always been compared to Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy XV in terms of its action and presentation. That hasn’t changed much, with the protagonist Kazar ripping through all manner of foes using a variety of weapons (courtesy of his transforming dragon companion) including swords, lances, and even melee-focused claw/boot weapons à la Dante. The flashy, combo-heavy combat is dazzling to watch, and the video also provides a few story beats to boot. Check it out below.Click here to watch embedded media
The reason Lost Soul Aside looks even sharper than you remember is because it's running on PlayStation 5 in this demo, according to the game's official Twitter account. We wondered if it would make the jump to Sony’s current platform, so the confirmation, while unsurprising, is good to have. Not to worry, PS4 owners; Lost Soul Aside is still slated to launch on last-gen as well.
Unfortunately, there’s still no release window for Lost Soul Aside. In the meantime, we’ll continue to salivate over its wicked action and hope we’re now closer to getting a release date.
How do you think Lost Soul Aside is shaping up so far? Share your thoughts in the comments.
CEO Bobby Kotick has been in the headlines for his leadership practices and inflated salary, especially back in 2019. During that time, Activision Blizzard laid off more than 800 employees despite a profitable year, only to have it revealed that Kotick's salary came in at $30 million. Since then, more layoffs have occurred and big names at Blizzard have been moving on to pursue other ventures. The state of Blizzard following its absorption into the Activision Blizzard umbrella has been a constant source of scrutiny in the gaming community, especially in regards to Kotick and his extravagant salary. Now, the CEO has agreed to a 50 percent bonus reduction and a salary cut moving forward, in addition to several other key changes that could be a positive step for the folks at Blizzard.
The move came to light when a portion of the extension agreement filed with the SEC went public (via WoWhead). In the documentation, it was revealed that Kotick both agreed to slashing his salary and cutting his bonus by 50 percent. In addition to the pay changes, he also agreed to terminate the Transformation Transaction Award and the Shareholder Value Creation incentives.
According to the SEC filing, "Under the Extension Amendment, effective January 1, 2021, the Compensation Committee and CEO agreed to reduce his contractually agreed-upon base salary by 50 percent to align with targets established at the bottom 25th percentile of the Company's peer group, despite the Company's strong relative performance."
The base salary for the executive has been slashed from $1,750,000 to $875,000 on an annual basis. The 50 percent bonus reduction also has a ceiling of $1,750,000 for each fiscal year, both for 2021 and for 2022. The moves made with the CEO's reductions are based on feedback from shareholders after a steady incline of concerns from the games industry, both on the consumer and the business side.
Back in 2017, Kotick netted $28,698,375 even after a pay cut, which is around 300 times more than the average employee. While a massive pay increase is nothing normal for a person in a CEO position, eliminating 800 employees only to immediately turn around and say, "Just kidding, we need 2,000 more to fill those spots" is not normal. At least, it shouldn't be. Seeing this new agreement is a positive first step, but one of many that must be made to ensure the integrity of Blizzard and to start the long road ahead of reparative actions following a declining public perception around the work culture.
There will be another earnings call with stakeholders on May 4 to discuss the next steps for the brand and what is coming for Activision Blizzard and all of the properties under that name.
Want to know what you can expect from the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons May update? We have the return of several events, including the May Day celebration, Museum Day, and the arrival of the Wedding season. That being said, seasonal events that are making a comeback aren't going to quite be what players will expect, because Nintendo was very careful to tell fans that these returning festivities will have "new twists" to enjoy. Additionally, we also have the full patch notes for what's new starting today.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons May Plans
There are a few events on the way, including one that begins today! For those interested in those extracurricular celebrations while living out that island fantasy, here are the dates you should be paying attention to:
May Day - April 29 through May 7
- With your May Day ticket, take an interesting island tour for a special surprise
International Museum Day - May 18 through May 31
- Stamp Rally returns. Talk to Blathers to receive a special stamp card, which you can use when inspecting a variety of creatures in New Horizons
Wedding Season - June 1 through June 30
- Love is in the air following Reese and Cyrus' wedding last year, now it's time to celebrate again by meeting back up on Harvey's island
- Exclusive wedding-themed items will also be returning at Able Sisters and Nook Shopping
Nook Shopping will have special new items throughout the month of May and June, including furniture and DIY recipes to celebrate Mother's Day, Cheese Rolling, and more.
The usual changes can be expected as well, including new bugs and fish making their way into the game. Nintendo has also said that there will be differences noted in the returning events, giving players a fresh reason to jump back into island life and the ability to play new content.
New Patch v. 1.10.0
The most recent update includes the following, courtesy of Nintendo:
- The May Day, International Museum Day, and “wedding season” seasonal events have been updated.
- It’s now possible to wake up from a dream by using the – (minus) Button.
- The following content has also been added:
- Additional limited-time seasonal items from Nook Shopping.
- Fixed an issue where the player could build a fence on the pier when standing on top of a custom design placed on the ground.
- Other adjustments and corrections were made to improve the game play experience.
Thoughts on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons May update? What has you the most jazzed up about what's on the way? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!