In The News
Blizzard Korea and PC cafes are tiffing over Blizzard’s decision to charge them a fee for every hour of StarCraft: Remastered gameplay. “South Korea’s PC cafe owners have accused Blizzard Entertainment of breaching the local antitrust law,” The Korea Herald’s Sohn Ji-young reports. “The Internet PC Culture Association, which represents local internet PC cafes where people play online games, also known as “PC bangs” here, said Monday that it had petitioned the Korea Fair Trade Commission to investigate Blizzard for unfairly charging them for the new game.”
Don’t worry, Battle.net isn’t going anywhere. After receiving feedback, Blizzard announced, “The technology was never going away, but after giving the branding change further consideration and also hearing your feedback, we’re in agreement that the name should stay as well,” according to VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb.
A For Honor tournament ended over the weekend; the guy who won used an exploit to do it — and everyone knew. “‘Unlock tech,’ as the exploit is known, creates an an attack that cannot be blocked or parried.” Polygon’s Owen S. Good reports. “Jakub Palen, who wrote a 1,000 word explanation of the Nobushi’s exploit a month ago, used it to win the For Honor Hero Series Grand Final in Burbank, California on Saturday … Roman Campos-Oriola, For Honor’s creative director, congratulated Palen, but archly warned that he ‘might have to change your playstyle’ for future tournaments.”
Cosplay requirement step 1: Get buff. This excellent Master Roshi cosplay by Taichi Shimizu was done at the Comic Market in Tokyo, Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft reports.
Esports is getting another professional sports-style upgrade. Esports One is a startup hoping to “provide esports fans with the same depth of viewing experience as traditional sports fans currently have,” according to AListDaily’s John Gaudiosi. “Using computer vision, real-time analysis and databases of historical information, the company creates modules updated to the second, which users can insert into an esports stream to show more detailed information.”
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has officially noticed esports. ESPN reports that the “NCAA’s board of governors will discuss esports at its scheduled meeting in October after holding a preliminary conversation last week.”
Esports industry veterans were quick to voice their — ahem — displeasure at the idea:
“No. Go away.” Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles tweeted with a link to the ESPN article. He sent a followup tweet in response to Stuart Saw asking why he’s opposed, saying, “Because the NCAA screws over the student athletes by denying them any way to monetize their athletic talent.”
“Good thing they hold zero power here,” Tomi “lurppis” Kovanen replied.
ESG Law founder Bryce Blum also chimed in, saying, “NCAA, please stay far far away from our industry. This is one area where I can’t wait for esports to fully forge its own path.”
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will soon have vaulting so you don’t have to hop-skip-trip-jump over walls. “The vaulting system will allow players to access certain areas of the map for the first time. At the touch of a button you’ll be be able to climb over walls, scramble out on top of roofs and even leap through windows to safety.” The most use vaulting is going to get, Polygon’s Charlie Hall reports, is from people in first-person mode. A vault can be cancelled, which allows players to look around corners without moving themselves into a position where they can be shot.
Hearthstone players are reportedly cranky after a change to the game’s drafting mode. PC Gamer’s Bo Moore explains that “the new ‘forced synergy’ picks in Arena” are what have people riled up. “The gist is this: the synergy cards offered are the sort that get more powerful by having multiple minions of a certain type, such as Servant of Kalimos or Book Wyrm, but drafting one doesn’t guarantee you to get the synergy cards needed to make them good.”
NBC Sports Group is sponsoring a Rocket League tournament, San Francisco Chronicle’s Benny Evangelista writes. “The NBC Sports Group, which operates a handful of regional sports networks like NBC Sports Bay Area, is sponsoring the tournament, which began July 19 with online qualifying rounds … NBC Sports officials aren’t expecting ‘Rocket League’ to immediately attract huge viewership levels. Rather, the tournament represents the network’s acknowledgment that viewer habits are shifting rapidly away from traditional TV programming to online alternatives.”
The Secret World is getting a TV series. It will be produced by Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva and Denise Petski report.
Infinitum Nihil is working “with G4C Innovation’s Gudrun Giddings to produce The Secret World, a television series based on the globally successful MMO game The Secret World and its recently released reboot Secret World Legends. The TV adaptation, which is being written by James V. Hart (Hook, Crossbones) and Jake Hart, with former CSI: NY showrunner Pam Veasey on board as showrunner, will be based on the universe of the Secret World IP.”
NieR: Automata apparently “saved Platinum[Games],” Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya tweeted. GamesIndustry.biz’s Will Freeman reports that, “NieR gradually established something of a cult status among players, ultimately leading to its sequel, NieR: Automata … ‘Normally, I [Kamiya] can’t help but do everything by myself… it’s a pitiful story, but to say that Yoko-san saved Platinum would not be an exaggeration. I cannot thank him enough.’”