Gaming News Roundup – Oct 23: Visceral Games Closes, Activision Manipulative Matchmaking, Battlefront 2 Story Trailer
Gaming News Roundup – Oct 23
EA Shuts Down Visceral Games
Very sad news for fans of the Dead Space franchise and those who were anticipating the in-development Star Wars game from the same creators and the creative director of the Uncharted series. Sadly, EA has shut down Visceral Games due to some apparent differences in direction for their highly anticipated take on Star Wars. EA has stated that they may be reworking the Star Wars project.
“To deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design,” said EA executive vice president of Worldwide Studios Patrick Söderlund in a blog post. “Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.”
The statement from EA has many losing hope for the quality of the project, with many thinking that it’ll be filled with microtransactions and including some kind of unnecessary multiplayer aspect, due to EA’s history and what they did to Dead Space 3. The project is now led by a team from EA Vancouver who has already been working on it. We will deliver more details as they come. Best of luck to those from Visceral, but this news really makes me worried for Bioware as well.
Activision Patents Manipulative Matchmaking System
Do you ever think about how much worse microtransactions can get? How about a matchmaking system in a multiplayer game that matches you based on what the game thinks you want out of a loot box instead of skill? I would say we’ve hit rock bottom, but every time I think that, the industry digs deeper. Glixel has recently unearthed a patent from Activision that is apparently a matchmaking method that deliberately puts you in games with players with premium items, hoping that you getting killed by those players influences you to pay for those items. Sounds wild, right?
“For instance, the microtransaction engine may match a more expert/marquee player with a junior player to encourage the junior player to make game-related purchases of items possessed/used by the marquee player,” the patent reads. “A junior player may wish to emulate the marquee player by obtaining weapons or other items used by the marquee player. In a particular example, the junior player may wish to become an expert sniper in a game (e.g., as determined from the player profile). The microtransaction engine may match the junior player with a player that is a highly skilled sniper in the game. In this manner, the junior player may be encouraged to make game-related purchases such as a rifle or other item used by the marquee player.”
Activision has stated that no games have implemented this system yet, but it goes to show how manipulative the lengths that these publishers will go to to nickel and dime us after we’ve already paid the entry fee.
Star Wars Battlefront 2’s Story Looks Fantastic
I really can’t get enough of seeing the Frostbite engine in action, every game using it looks so very cinematic and gritty, yet beautiful. As you know, Battlefront 2 will be including a story mode for those itching for an FPS that looks amazing and isn’t recycling the standard military shooter environments and weapons. A new trailer for the story dropped just this week, and while it doesn’t reveal too much more than what we already knew, it does showcase just how grandiose the story will be. The music in it gives me a bit of a Mass Effect vibe, not sure why. Also, the lead character, Iden Versio, is so damn cool. You can check out the trailer below:
Nintendo Does An Almost Good Job With Game Saves
The Nintendo Switch just got a pretty alright update, adding 30 second game recording and the ability to transfer game saves between consoles. For some reason, someone thought it would be a perfectly fine idea to allow players to transfer game saves to another Switch, but that’s it. Meaning if you lose or break the Switch you transferred to, you’re still screwed. What an odd decision, Nintendo. Also, the game recording feature only works for select games, those games being Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2. You can also edit your recording and post it on Facebook or Twitter. The update also included a pre-purchase option for the eShop that allows players to pre-load a game prior to release.
That’s the news for this week. Saddened by the closing of Visceral? Excited about Battlefront 2’s story? Let us know below! In case you missed last week’s roundup, you can click here to get caught up. If you’re interested in becoming a streamer, one of our newest contributors compiled a list of tips that may help you out; you can check that out here. Be sure to come back to Fanbros.com for all things geek and next week for another gaming news roundup.