In The News
Weekend in Review:
Call of Duty:
There’s been a shuffle with 2020’s Call of Duty title. “Publisher Activision informed developers this week that studios Raven and Sledgehammer, which had until now led the project, will no longer be in charge. Instead, according to three people familiar with goings-on at the companies, Treyarch will lead development on a new Black Ops for 2020,” Kotaku’s Jason Schrier reports. “According to those briefed on the overhaul, Treyarch will take creative leadership on this new Black Ops while Raven and Sledgehammer will serve as support studios for the game.”
More information is available about Call of Duty mobile, Dot Esports’ Cole Ricke reports. “There will be two modes that players can choose from in terms of how they want to control their characters … Servers won’t be too crowded because it looks like there will only be room for eight to 10 players in a single game.”
Epic Mega Sale isn’t without its issues. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 and Oxygen Not Included disappeared from the store during the Mega Sale, Engadget’s Christine Fisher writes. “‘If a developer or publisher chooses to not participate in our sales, we will honor that decision. Paradox Interactive and Klei Entertainment have chosen to not participate,’” Epic told Engadget.
2K Games also yanked Borderlands 3 during the sale. “Borderlands 3 still appears on the storefront, though it’s no longer available to pre-order. Unlike Bloodlines 2 and Oxygen Not Included, the next entry to the Borderlands series is an Epic Game Store PC exclusive until 2020,” GI.biz’s Haydn Taylor writes.
Nippon Ichi Software is having trouble paying employees, Taylor reports. It was “forced to remove mobile title Disgaea RPG from service … The developer has issued a warrant to shift stock at a reduced price of 90% to Daiwa Capital in order to raise emergency capital.”
Marvel and NetEase are partnering “to create new original entertainment, including games, TV shows, and comic books based on Marvel’s universe of superhero characters,” VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi writes. “The companies will develop entertainment for both the China market and beyond.”
Unity is being criticized “for supporting the gambling industry with its first release of 2019,” Taylor writes. “In a since-deleted post on Twitter, the engine provider said its new release included over 300 new features, ‘many of which are especially helpful for developers in the gambling industry.’”
CI Games removed Defiant Studios as Lords of the Fallen 2’s developer. Here’s Eurogamer’s translation of CI Games’ statement: “The termination of the agreement was submitted due to inadequate execution by Defiant [of] a key work stage (milestone no. 11), a so-called vertical slice. The quality of the work was lower than expected by the company, as precisely described in the agreement, despite three calls to improve the quality of this stage of work.”
Rage 2 sales has “significantly fewer sales than the 2011 original,” Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips writes. “In its opening week, Rage 2 sold just a quarter of Rage 1’s physical launch sales. (Rage launched here in the UK on a Friday. Rage 2 launched on a Tuesday, so had longer on sale, too.) Meanwhile, on Steam, Rage 2 launched with a peak of 13,591 players, according to Steam Charts.”
Minecraft has sold “176 million copies,” Engadget’s Steve Dent reports. “Microsoft added that it has passed 200 million registered users of the Microsoft China edition and completed 130 million Minecraft ‘Hour of Code’ sessions.”
Interviews: ESA’s Stanley Pierre-Louis (VentureBeat), Nvidia’s Jensen Huang (VentureBeat), Interactive Gaming Ventures’ Jack Tretton (VentureBeat), Celia Hodent (VentureBeat), Microsoft’s Dave McCarthy (GI.biz), Tilting Point’s El Agili (GI.biz),
Extra Esports News:
The NCAA has decided “to table the issue of governing and holding championships for collegiate esports,” TEO’s Andrew Hayward reports from SBJ. “The collegiate sports organization had explored the topic with help from a consultancy firm, to see how it could approach esports and overcome challenges.”
Full Sail University’s esports arena opens this week.
IN: Cole Gurman joined H4X as CEO.
John Brackens joined Esports Entertainment Group as CIO.
OUT: Reciprocity Call of Duty player Thomas “Tommey” Trewren is taking a break.
Interviews: G2 Esports’ Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez (TEO).
Happy birthday Juan Carlos “SpeCial” Tena Lopez!