Greetings NAGilkiloos, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. In the news this week we have a PUBG backtrack, a victory for Nintendo, Wizards talking inappropriate neckbeards, Square Enix breaks their silence on Deus Ex, and Take Two and EA both talk lootboxes. All that, some videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
PUBG will actually run at 30fps on all Xbox One consoles
Earlier this week, we and everyone else reported that PUBG would be aiming for the gold standard of 60fps, particularly on the beefier Xbox One X. This was according to creator Brendan Greene, who said as much in an interview with GamesTM.
In a tweet this week however Greene has backtracked, acknowledging his previous statement and correcting it to say that the game will run at 30FPS on all Xbox One devices.
Which is a bummer, to be honest. If my frames dip below 60 in everything I basically start frantically turning down video settings while wiping tears from my eyes, it’s hard to imagine 30fps being the goal. And with PUBG being unstable at best as it is, I can only imagine players may experience the unthinkable – frame dips below 30.
It’s depressing that with all the fancy tech and the mid-cycle upgrades, we’re still sitting with this paltry performance. Console folk may be used to the 30fps cap by now, but my snobby PC eyes can’t cope with it.
Nintendo Switch claims bestseller spot for Cyber Monday
Black Friday’s nerdy cousin, Cyber Monday, saw Nintendo emerging with the most sales for their Switch, continuing to secure its role as the console they needed to save their hardware business.
The best part about this is that the Switch wasn’t even on sale. In spite of PS4 and Xbone offering discounts on their hardware, Nintendo held firm and still managed to outsell the competition. I guess Black Friday just gets people in the spending mood.
It’s a great way to finish up a strong 2017 for Nintendo, who’s seen their stock rise an incredible 88% over the year.
On the software side, the top spots went to Wolfenstein II and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. I approve of this, particularly Wolfenstein, which is great.
Wizards of the Coast calls out “harassment and bullying culture” in the gaming world
Elaine Chase handles community stuff over at Wizards, and in a recent statement she condemned harassment and bullying in the Magic community.
“We at Wizards of the Coast are disheartened about bullying and harassment in the gaming community; unfortunately, the Magic community is not immune. No one should be subjected to threats and intimidation. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome while enjoying something they love. All people should be able to express their joy for the game without being attacked, whether that’s in a local game store, online, or somewhere in between.
“We recognize that it is time to carefully reconsider how we work with retailers, tournament organizers, players, and community members to deal with harassment and bullying—online and offline. We have been working on this, but we will work faster.
“We are going to be more proactive about setting expectations for behavior at Magic events and in all Magic spaces. Some of you may have taken a survey recently about what makes you feel comfortable and included at Magic events and what doesn’t. That is part of a project we’ve been working on that will clearly express how players, retailers, tournament organizers, and us here at Wizards expect each other to behave anywhere people are enjoying Magic.”
Sometimes I think these issues are massively overcomplicated. This isn’t a “gaming” problem, this is a “people being assholes” problem. Assholes or people behaving inappropriately should be removed immediately, easy problem resolution. Have it explained to said asshole while they’re being removed, and you’ve done your due diligence.
Games like Magic, for whatever reason, tend to attract a somewhat socially inept crowd. Actions have consequences, and those consequences can be clearly and concisely outlined and enforced. Easy peasy.
Square Enix talks the future of Deus Ex
CEO Yosuke Matsuda finally spoke about the future of Deus Ex – the first time since ten months ago rumours emerged that it had been put on hiatus. This after Mankind Divided didn’t achieve the levels of sales needed to get the franchise rolling again.
This hurt fans as before the game’s release Square Enix had big plans for a connected universe across multiple titles. Then when sales kind of sucked, it was conveniently never brought up again. Until now!
“What I can say is Eidos Montreal has always developed Deus Ex, and the issue is we do not have limitless resources.
“We have several big titles that we work with and that’s partly a factor in what our line-up looks like. Of course, it would be ideal if we could work on all of them all of the time, but […] some titles have to wait their turn. The reason there isn’t a Deus Ex right now is just a product of our development line-up because there are other titles we are working on.”
I guess the answer here is pretty much what you’d expect – the publisher would rather spend money on games that will make them more money. Can’t say I blame them.
Take Two on loot boxes: “We don’t view them as gambling”
Oh, boy. Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind GTA, has come out and said they take the same position as the Entertainment Software Association, with president Karl Slatoff saying: “We don’t view that thing as gambling.”
He continues: “It’s about making making sure you’re focused on engagement, and I think that has been our strategy; that has been our focus. And as long you keep your eye on that ball, you’re going to be okay. The consumer’s going to be really happy with what they get.
“You can’t force the consumer to do anything. You try your best to create the best experience you possibly you can to drive engagement, and driving engagement creates value in franchises. That’s how it’s always been and how it always will be.”
I’m not surprised by this. Loot boxes and all these other soft-gambling devices are profitable as hell, and any publisher denouncing them outright now faces missing out on potentially huge profits in the future – or getting called a hypocrite.
EA refuses to drop microtransactions in Battlefront 2
While we’re riding the lootbox train, we might as well take another swing at this dead horse.
In spite of losing the battle, EA continues with the war. Speaking at a conference this week, CFO Blake Jorgensen said that the publisher is not giving up on microtransactions.
As for the lootboxes in BF2 which have been suspended for two weeks and if they’re coming back, Jorgensen had this to say:
We haven’t decided yet,” he said.
“We’re really watching how people are playing the game. We’re trying to understand are there certain modes where MTX may be more interesting than not? What are the consumers saying about it? How are the consumers playing the game? What do the metrics look like? We’re learning and listening to the community to decide how best to roll that out in the future.”
There’s a bunch more as well, but as you can imagine it’s the same sort of PR rhetoric we’re all used to. It’s all very consumer-focused and “we’re listening” and “we want to do our best” and all that beautiful corporate bullshit, when it really comes down to the best way to milk the cow without it noticing.
This new trailer for Past Cure has all kinds of time-bending wizardry. But can they make it not Monday?
Next up is this new fast-paced dungeon crawler, Wizard of Legend.
Seven: The Days Long Gone is a game you can play right now, but this trailer should help you figure out if you want to.
Abandon Ship has been delayed, but to tide you over (see what I did there) you can check out this dev Let’s Play.
Best of NAG
Logitech mice are kind of the shizniz. So when they name something the MX Master 2S, it’s probably worth checking out.
Next up, RPG fanatic Miklos takes on Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds.
Now for the self-promotion, I review the best board game I’ve ever played – Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition.
Finally, as always, soothe your ears with The NAG Online Podcast and special guest UFDisciple.