In The News
Activision Blizzard’s “Revenues were $1.9 billion, up from $1.57 billion a year earlier,” Venture Beat’s Dean Takahashi reports. “Activision Blizzard actually beat the earnings projections, as the proper adjusted numbers include GAAP net revenues of $1.61 billion added to GAAP deferrals of $284 million, for a total of $1.9 billion in adjusted revenues.”
The Entertainment Software Association supports Republicans’ newly-released tax plan. “Igniting greater economic opportunity and innovation, today’s tax reform proposal promises to boost the US tech sector,” the press release reads. “For the 2,600 US-based video game companies competing in the $100 billion worldwide video game market, a competitive, pro-growth tax system that encourages IP development and investment in US jobs is imperative.”
Ubisoft is fighting back against accusations its DRM is jacking CPU usage for Assassin’s Creed: Origins up to around 90%, Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett reports.
“Voksi, a member of the Revolt team of game crackers … believes the slowdown is due to Ubisoft using two forms of DRM on the game: Denuvo, which has been having some problems of late, with VMProtect layered over the top.”
Ubisoft shot back, saying in part, “We’re confirming that the anti-tamper solutions implemented in the Windows PC version of Assassin’s Creed Origins have no perceptible effect on game performance.”
Community spotlight: Andrew “Dat” Tran!
TheDW loves community members with artistic talent (seeing as we have none) and this week’s final newsletter showcases Dat, whose artwork is seriously impressive. If you dig his stuff, swing by Dat’s store.
TheDW: What inspires your mash-up creations?
Dat: The mash-ups I create are almost always games/media that I enjoy watching or playing myself. That’s why I do a lot of gaming mash-ups cause it’s simply what I like. I think it also gives me the ability to sneak in small little details that other fans would appreciate. For example, in the Rockabilly Bastion painting I did, his license plate says POTGE54 which is a nod to how people complaining about Bastions always getting the Play of the Game and his model number E-54.
TheDW: When did you first fall in love with gaming? What’s your favorite game and what are you currently playing?
Dat: I don’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t love gaming. Ever since the SNES days with Super Mario Bros. and the PSX era when renting games from Blockbuster was still a thing, I’ve been gaming. I’d say my favorite game in recent memory is probably Divinity: Original Sin 2 followed very closely by the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’m currently playing a lot of Overwatch and South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
Gaming is an escape from reality for me. It challenges me in abstract and unique ways that no other medium seems to.
TheDW: Are you doing any holiday promotions, and do you take requests?
Dat: Yeah! I’m doing $15 off on any order with 5 or more prints for November with the word SPOOKY. I’m also just starting to promote my Patreon so check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/Doctaword. Although I can’t promise it will happen [requests], send me a message so I can gauge interest.
TheDW: Plans for your next piece?
Dat: I’m going to be working on some original content this month! It’s going to be a continuation of my Seven Deadly Djinns series called the Seven Heavenly Kami. After I finish the paintings, I’m thinking about doing a kickstarter for them hopefully soon.
Canada has been quite busy in the game development sphere. GamesIndustry.biz’s Brendan Sinclair reports that “The games industry contributes $3.7 billion annually to Canada’s GDP, up 24% from 2015 … There are 596 active studios in Canada (up 21% in the past two years), and 21,700 people directly employed in full-time or full-time equivalent positions (up 6% since 2015).”
Don’t hack PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in an internet cafe, you may get beaten up. Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft posted about a video showing “people not exactly pleased when they see fellow players using speed hacks in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.”
Speaking of PUBG, the vaulting update has been delayed until further notice due to “an unexpected issue during internal testing,” Dot Esports’ Scott Duwe writes.
Sony isn’t backing down from criticism that The Last of Us Part II’s trailer was too gory. It’s “‘ a game made by adults to be played by adults,’” PlayStation’s Jim Ryan said, according to GameSpot’s Eddie Makuch.
What’s Magic: The Gathering Arena? Wizards of the Coast’s Christopher Clay says it’s “enhancing Magic by providing an intuitive digital interface that focuses on providing players with meaningful actions and eliminating needless clicks,” AListDaily’s Steven Wong reports. “Arena was inspired by the team’s shared love of Magic as they look to bring new life to the game. The game is being developed with ‘full transparency,’ which means that the game is being made for and in front of fans, according to Clay.”