Greetings NAGilziors, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming, 2018 edition, exactly the same as 2017 edition. In the news this week is a key Activision staff member pisses off, Ubisoft pisses me off, Bungie pisses everyone off, Crytek pisses nobody off, PUBG tries to stop players being pissed off and Fortnite pisses PUBG players off. All that urine, some videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is leaving
After many quotable quotes over the last eight years, CEO of publisher powerhouse Activision is leaving. The company said the following in a statement:
“Eric has had a great run, has delivered many historic successes and is departing on a high note after a great year in 2017. As of December 21, 2017, Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 were the #1 and #2 top-selling console games of 2017 in North America, based on revenue. Additionally, Call of Duty was the top video game franchise for the ninth year in a row in North America, and eight of the last nine years globally, based on revenue.”
Man, couldn’t they have taken Kotick instead? Hirshberg gave his own statement, with the typical praising of everyone he worked with and what a great company Activision is. He did not, however, state why he is leaving, or what he may be leaving for.
Ubisoft ad calls PC “the lead platform in terms of innovation”
It seems the most hated games publisher in the world (sample size: me) has started pandering to PC gamers.
The company has released a video with various employees talking about how much they love PC gaming. These include quotes like “Pc is still the lead platform in terms of innovation” and “It’s very apparent that for a lot of developers and for the industry, PC is the testing ground”.
It’s certainly the testing ground for Ubisoft’s horrible shitheap ports that feature such innovation as terrible optimisation and generally not giving a damn. But don’t get me started, I’ve made my thoughts on Ubisoft very clear.
Noticeably absent from the video was CEO Yves Guillemot, who famously said that “only 5% of PC Gamers pay”, with the rest being pirates. One could perhaps make the observation that if you want people to buy a product, make it a product worth buying.
Ubisoft is going to have to do a lot more than this contrived pandering nonsense to get any of my money ever again.
Bungie forced to apologise for another Destiny 2 cockup
The only Destiny 2 I’ve played was the beta, and I was pretty impressed with it. Since the release, however, I’ve seen little but internet rage and the people who tell me not to play Destiny 2 the most are the people who play it every day. Seems about right.
This week Bungie is apologising for the way they handled Faction Rallies and adding weapons in Season 2, saying that the mistakes are on them. Once again this has to do with how rewards are doled out, and changes are coming again.
“We have heard player feedback that this solution was too disruptive,” Bungie said. “We’re looking at a change that won’t make players feel forced to run to and from a single chest for hours while also not placing a hard stop on enjoying Lost Sectors. We want to ensure that every time you open a chest there is loot inside.
“It was not made clear beforehand that the new Season 2 weapons would be added throughout the events of the Season rather than all at once in the beginning. This was on us. No excuses. We will be remedying this lapse in communication next week with details on what you should expect when the next Iron Banner rolls out in Season 2.”
The studio has seemingly got a lot wrong with this release, but at least they do seem committed to trying to fix it – and have seemingly become a lot more transparent about it.
Crytek’s multiplayer monster marshrunner Hunt: Showdown starts closed alpha this month
I’m pretty excited for this relatively unique PvP/PvE combination FPS, and can only hope it can find more traction than Evolve, a game with a similarly unique premise that was so forgettable I just had to google the name.
In this game, up to five teams (of one or two players) will be tasked with hunting down a big nasty and being the first people to kill it.
If you’re the ones fortunate enough to claim the bounty, you must then escape all the other teams who’ll be trying to kill you. Nice.
There isn’t a release date for this one yet, but it will be an Early Access game with closed alpha sessions happening even before that. You can sign up right now, and testers will be randomly selected across multiple waves.
PUBG to ban 100,000 cheaters in a single wave; changes to blue zone coming
PUBG is an international sensation, but the game has been widely criticised for its issues with cheaters – a problem which appears to be coming out of China, and is more prevalent on the NA servers and third-person perspective. As someone who plays on EU servers in the first-person perspective, I haven’t had to deal with it too much.
Still – it’s a massive problem, one which PUBG Corp is promising to be tackling. In a Steam Community post this week, they had this to say:
“We recently discovered a new pattern of cheats in action. This week, we performed a thorough gameplay data review of 10 million players and completed analysis of tens of millions of data logs. Through this exercise, we were able to identify over 100,000 instances of the new pattern related to use of cheat and now we have confirmed that it was clearly an attempt of compromising our game.
“These players will be permanently banned in a single wave. This is an example of additional measures we will be taking on top of the basic detection systems in place. We will continue to check the data logs like this even if it means the anti-cheat team has to filter through hundreds of billions of data logs manually.”
Meanwhile, users can report cheaters directly from the deathcam replay if something looks shady.
Fornite Battle Royale reckons they could be “the biggest game in the Western world”
Fornite’s Battle Royale afterthought has become the game’s biggest sensation, totally eclipsing the actual game that spent years in development which everyone has seemingly forgotten about.
Epic’s take on the hottest genre of 2017 has passed the 30 million players mark back in December, with 1.3 million concurrent players.
Now that number is 40 million, and just last week it managed 2 million concurrent players. Epic have done a great job of capitalising on the mode’s success, and have no doubt thrown their full weight behind Battle Royale at this point.
“To put it in context,” lead systems designer Eric Williamson told Eurogamer, “some of the folk around the office are saying hey, we could be the biggest Battle Royale game in the western world, which is crazy.
“Some people are saying we could be the biggest and best-played game [full stop] in the western world.”
The game’s big map update has just gone live as well. I’m personally more of a PUBG fan, but I’ll take as much Battle Royale as the games industry is willing to throw at me.
Let’s start strong – with a bit of Genital Jousting (now out of Early Access!)
Next up, Elite: Dangerous gets a teaser for their upcoming beta.
Are you a Total War: Warhammer 2 mad genius? Check out 37 minutes of gameplay for first of the DLC races, the Tomb Kings.
Finally, check out this Harry Potter mobile game, which doesn’t look awful!
Best of NAG
Wes’s ever-useful System Builder’s Guide gets its 2018 debut with the budget range.
Why not watch tech enthusiast Reej explore the best way to view porn? Or play games or whatever, I suppose.
Tarryn is rebooting GG. No idea what that is? Luckily this handy highlighted text has all the answers.
Finally, as always, soothe your tired eyes with the NAG Online Podcast.