Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer - A Quick Look

It's likely you're aware that yesterday, Treyarch let the whole world view Black Ops Cold War gameplay for the first time ever. A massive array of content creators were invited to take part in a closed alpha and allowed to stream. There's a lot to dig into and through this article, we'll be highlighting some of the biggest changes transitioning from Modern Warfare to the next title of Black Ops Cold War.  Developed by Treyarch and Raven Software, the game seemingly borrows the in-game engine from Modern Warfare but at its core, it's very different. Multiple online maps were showcased showing off different locations such as 'Miami' and 'Moscow'. With regards to scenery, the splash of colour was highly welcomed - gone is the somewhat drab contrast of Modern Warfare as the 80s theme shines through.  From the maps shown, a variety was present corresponding to game modes as follows:  6v6 Control  12v12 Combined Arms Domination  Fireteams  VP Escort  The 12v12 Combined Arms Domination is incredibly similar to Battlefield type Domination, though with much small maps. Vehicles? Yep, vehicles were shown off as combined arms, including snowmobiles, boats and tanks. Traversal also comes in the form of ziplines at times too.  With regards to map design, Treyarch is showing the community some love once again. The insanely complicated maps of Modern Warfare with their doors are now gone. For the most part, smaller maps will feature the classic three-lane layout which has made the titles so successful in the past.  And no, there are no specialists or unique rechargeable abilities in this title. 'Operators' will act as simple cosmetic items.  Also back from the grave, is the perk system and a classic array of weapons. Together with the returning Field Upgrade from MW classes look to be variable. Sliding around with 150Hp is great especially if you manage to rack up scorestreaks.  The open beta is scheduled for 10th October for PS4, coming out a few days later on Xbox.  Did you get a chance to view some Cold War gameplay? If so, let us know your thoughts of the game in the comments section below! 

Is VALORANT Really the Next Big Esport?

When it comes to the esports industry, I'm always on the look-out for the next big game. In this sense, I also tend to be very wary as to where I place my excitement as certain titles may grab a lot of attention, but are intrinsically not built for esports - take Fall Guys for example. Another game released earlier this year is VALORANT, which threw the community into a hot discussion over whether it'll 'kill' CS:GO or not as the next big esport. After playing it plenty, here are my thoughts on the comments made earlier this year - is VALORANT the next big esport?  The Most Hyped Game of 2020 I'll preface my main point in this article with a small history lesson.  I think we can all recall the hype earlier this year behind the title, with everyone fishing for beta codes to play it pre-release as every content creator was hosting his own copy of the game. The merging styles of harsh gameplay reminiscent of tactical shooters such as CS:GO mixed with the role/champion mechanics and art style of League of Legends made for a fresh outlook. All of a sudden, the community realized that the genre of tactical shooters could be reinvented.  Pairing the growing viewership behind the game, and the slight drop in CS:GO player count, many were quick to name it a 'killer'.  Viewership Drops on Release Heading into launch, everyone was hyping it up as the next massive viewership titan on platforms such as Twitch, However, upon launching the game, it suddenly dawned on the community that casual gaming in a tactical shooter isn't the greatest viewership experience at times. Indeed, on launch, VALORANT lost roughly 600,000 of its viewers before launch.  However, while the casual community faded slightly, the competitive side of things exploded.  Causing Roster Havok in Other Esports  Almost immediately, the esports potential of VALORANT was realized by many professionals across many titles, mainly from CS:GO and Overwatch. Many young amateurs and also world champions from both scenes rushed to enter the scene and catch an early spark.  Seemingly prepared for this, Riot Games had the Ignition Series ready to go. Acting as a framework of small events putting a lower amount of money on the line, it's been acting as a trial to test viewership and competitive settings. Personally, it can be said that everything's going great so far.  The Potential for VALORANT - My Personal Experience  I'll start off my main argument by stating that I'm no tactical shooter guru. I play these types of games on my ultrabook on integrated graphics great for writing articles, but not so much for gaming. Otherwise, I have experience in CS:GO and Call of Duty, much preferring the latter due to the less brutal approach to the skill gap.  I love playing the objective, in whatever shooter I'm putting my time into. Sitting in a corner and camping is not me, but flying into an objective is. In my past experience playing CS:GO I always found it somewhat tough to make a consistently impactful performance each game to help my team win. Apart from the fact that the lighting is moreso drab than colourful, I felt like I had to put in a lot more time in the game to do well.  With VALORANT however, each game I've played I've managed to single-handedly affect the map. Yep, the addition of champion/hero gameplay gives every single member of the team an intrinsic value with game-winning capabilities if used at the right time regardless of mechanical skill. In my opinion, this is VALORANT's greatest asset - this thick layer of variety and mastery involved in agents and their abilities over the regular concepts in a tactical shooter.  Here are other massive feature which have me hopeful for VALORANT as an esport:  Consistent and involved developers of Riot Games rolling out frequent updates and addressing bugs immediately  Unique map design and art styles - three bomb sites, portals and doors allow for more strategies  Balancing - picking an agent is done to compliment the remainder of the team, each one designed with a specific role Other small things made the game easier for me to play, as I ended up performing better than in CS:GO. One massive example is the fact that enemies are highlighted in a small red outline - great for distinguishing the enemy.  Even though agents play a massive role and allow for an endless amount of variety, nothing will ever top the ability to be a headshot machine. The competitive side is awesome to watch as professionals are constantly pushing the envelope on how to use abilities to complement one another.  Conclusion - It'll Take Time Right now, I'd consider VALORANT a Tier 3 esport, which is great. Riot Games' patient approach to developing the title as a competitive one is respectable. They're taking it slow, listening to the community, learning from the events their hosting and making plans accordingly. For that reason and because of those mentioned, VALORANT should be on your radar as the next big esport.  And no, in no way am I saying that 'VALORANT is better than CS:GO' - it just appeals more to me personally.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Pusha T, Logic, Post Malone, The Weeknd, Offset, Drake - The Music Industry in Esports

If you follow us on Facebook, you probably saw our news announcement with regards to Post Malone entering the esports industry. Consider this a follow-up article as take a step back and look at the other names sticking their heads into the esports industry. It's exciting stuff and here's why it's beneficial to esports.  Let's start with the freshest piece of news. Post Malone, the hit artist many of us love, has become a co-owner of Dallas Empire through a massive equity stake in Team Envy. As an organization, Envy has names in multiple scenes such as the Dallas Empire for the Call of Duty League and Dallas Fuel for the Overwatch League. Here's his reasoning behind the decision:  I grew up in Texas and I’ve been gaming my whole life, so this just really felt right.  I have always wanted to be a part of bringing gaming into the professional sports world so to be involved with what Envy is doing in my hometown feels like such a perfect fit. - Post Malone Happy to announce i’m now part owner of @DallasEmpire Let’s take this throne and win these playoffs:)— Posty (@PostMalone) August 28, 2020 Such a deal has massive implications. While fans of Team Envy may become fans of Post Malone, vice versa will also take place. With 6.6 million followers on Twitter, that's an incredible amount of people being exposed to his interest in esports.  The same runs true for the other investors listed in the title. Let's make a quick round-up of where they're putting their names:  Offset - FaZe Clan  Drake - 100 Thieves  Pusha T and Logic - Chaos Esports Club The Weeknd - Overactive Media  Celebrities and stars outside of the scene, including traditional sports stars such as David Beckham are beginning to realize the massive potential in esports. By making the most of their own following and by tying into a popular esports organization, a merge and trade of success are bound to happen.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Digital vs Physical Copies - Pandemic Playing a Part in Threatening CDs?

Another day, another discussion. This pandemic has really thrown the gaming industry into a weird spot as trends start to change throughout. One thing I've wanted to discuss for a while is the relationship between physical and digital games and how the pandemic has affected it. I'm sure you can guess the outcome of the past few months, but I've got some numbers to back it up too. Let's dive right in.  For this discussion, we'll be focusing on console sales as it's uncontested that digital sales dominate PC gaming due to the ease of use thanks to stores like Steam.  Last year, sales for PS4 for the time-span of April to June 2019 added up to 49.8 million games sold. From these, the split came as follows:  Digital - 26.4 Million Physical - 23.4 Million A pretty even split, right? It's all because for consoles, there's a massive second hand sale market, which I can vouch for myself. Almost all of the games I buy on PS4 go through this system - I buy them second hand for a lower price, play through it and when done with it, resell it on FaceBook Marketplace for an even lower price. Besides that, the ability to share games on consoles is made easy thanks to standardised hardware - it's harder to share physical copies of PCs due to this.  Another point, besides price and accessibility, is the limited storage on consoles. While on PC you can throw in a handful of internal and external drives, most console users are limited to either a 500GB or 1TB of storage, which may sound like a lot - but with games like Call of Duty Warzone and Red Dead Redemption 2 that space quickly fills up. That's why physical sales make sense as you can uninstall the software but have it installed in a moments notice thanks to the CD.  Looking at COVID-19 Numbers  Here is where things get interesting as the 50:50 split goes uneven. In the same time span a year later, making it April to June 2020, a total of 91 million games were sold. Here's how the split fared this time:  Digital - 67.3 Million  Physical - 23.7 Million  Yep, time to whip out a calculator for some quick math. Digital sales made almost 75% of total game sales thanks to a growth of 154% from last year.  Naturally, yes, the pandemic had something to do with this. However, something tells me that it was somewhat coincidental and the market shift was bound to happen soon in the console department. Such a drastic shift will affect the next-generation of consoles.  Justifying Digital-Only Consoles  As you're all aware, the PS5 will be releasing in two main forms - one with a disc reader and the other without. Following our analysis of the numbers, it's easy to see why. Why not use the space for a disc reader to improve other aspects of the hardware if it's not being used? I'm glad though, that Sony has given buyers a choice.  One thing many people overlook, however, is the fact that Microsoft already invested in this department back in 2018 when they released an Xbox One S Console digital version. However, some might say they jumped the gun in this regard.  Game developers such as EA and Take-Two have also come out to publically affirm this statement - digital games are definitely taking over the console game market.  Is this solely an effect of the pandemic or was this shift always bound to happen? That's what I'm curious to know.  Let us know what you think on the matter in the comments section below! 

The Greatest Generational Jump Ever - RTX 3090/80/70 Revealed!

Finally, finally, finally - the next generation of Nvidia Geforce graphics cards are finally here. Revealed through the Nvidia GeForce Special Event live stream, the PC gaming community was shown a piece of the future. Upon checking YouTube this morning, my phone was bursting wth coverage of the reveal. Apparently, Nvidia has reworked their production line to offer the greatest generation jump ever. Let's go over a small recap.  If you're into PC tech anyways, you've probably seen one of the many content creators already cover the topic as I have. Here are some takeaways from the event which I've recovered through YouTube and TechRadar's article on the matter:  Nvidia Reflex - a new feature which looks to lower graphics latency especially for esports which will make the most of the new 360Hz monitors we've been seeing Nvidia Broadcast - another new feature for their GPUs, now dedicated to streaming which supports RTX voice and allows for features such as a virtual green screen.   Nvidia Omniverse Machinima - cool name, apparently supports content creators in recording games Nvidia Ampere Tensor cores are 3x more powerful than Turing Tensor cores and almost twice RTX. Ampere RTX will have 28 billion transistors and 8nm architecture.  Nvidia RTX IO - new way of moving information from SSD to GPU without affecting CPU GDDR6X is twice as fast as GDDR6 Then, of course, the graphics cards themselves:  Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 - GDDR6X memory, 3rd, Gen Tensor Cores, 2nd Gen RT Cores. Twice as fast as RTX 2080 and at the same price of $699.  Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 - the lower option, still faster than 2080 Ti and at $499. Could be awesome for those on a tight budget.  Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 - the BFGPU, triple slot card and can play games at 8K HDR! I'm not gonna pretend that I'm a tech wizard and fully understand the function of transistors and all the other technical specifications listed. What I do know, however, is that Nvidia is bringing its A-game and responding to everyone thinking they're dead in the water. Available from the 17th September, everyone is anxious to see benchmarks for the cards and see if Nvidia is really back on top.  For a list of full specifications, I'd recommend visiting Nvidia's site or viewing a YouTube video like that of Hardware Canucks. 

Reverse Compatibility of Next-Gen Consoles - Is it Really That Important?

Xbox vs PS5 is the talk of the town, as it has been for the past few months. Every now and then there's a surge of news on the tiniest fragments of new information flooding news sites. In this small peek at the current console war, we'll be taking a look at backwards compatibility and understanding from the leaks - who's winning in this regard so far?  This discussion stems from a recent bursting headline due to an announcement from Ubisoft. which was relatively harmless - but the fact that it has been removed since does give it additional weight. Accordingly, on its next-gen support page for its customers, it offered the following statement:  Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games Now, is this surprising news? Hardly, but the fact that Sony forced Ubisoft to remove the statement is interesting and could mean one of two things:  Sony has no interest in supporting physical and digital copies of PS1, PS2 or PS3 games  Sony is interested in the support and is leaving it as a final surprise before launch  While the second statement is promising, I believe that the former is true. Naturally, if you think about it, why would Sony want to support old physical and digital copies of previous generations when that would undermine their Playstation Now service? As the next generation pushes to cloud gaming, it makes sense to me that Sony would have this reservation.   Then, of course, the main reason why they haven't mentioned it much and only talk about the PS4 generation compatibility is due to the competition from Xbox. Reverse compatibility is where the Xbox Series X looks to strike hardest.  Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before. Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you Sony have not come out with a similar statement at all - they remain as quiet and sneaky as ever. It's clear here that Microsoft has the edge and if you have an established Xbox game collection, you're probably thrilled by the already official news.  The Dilemma of Reverse Compatibility - An Intrinsic Design Choice  Instead of concluding there, I'd like to dwell on the discussion a little more. What implications does reverse compatibility have for console developers and game publishers? Of course, as gamers, we love the idea of saving money - but I think there's more to it than that.  Here are some positives and negatives behind reverse compatibility.  Positives:  Gamers can save on costs for games they bought now, right before the end of the PS4's life cycle, which they'd like to play on the PS5  Gamers may touch their inner nostalgic side and establish a new found love for older games that already touched their profound spiritual being (had some fun with that one).  Negatives:  Less profit as gamers won't have to purchase new copies for PS5 - affects both Sony and game developers Less need to subscribe the paid services such as PS Now and Project xCloud, again reducing costs Development resources used on stabilizing reverse compatibility instead of developing other aspects of the new console  The decision for reverse compatibility could reflect on the developers' interests - the new vs the old. Could it be that Xbox is more focused on last-generation technology while the PS5 has sacrificed this in order to make way for more next-gen breakthroughs?  I'm not sure, but it's something to consider in this discussion. Neither approach is necessarily objectively 'wrong', but simply different in its aim and targetted audience. Ideally, no compromises are made, but we all know that everything takes up space in a console and above all, money.  Hope you all enjoyed that! Let us know your personal thoughts in the comments section below! Would you prefer a focus on reverse compatibility or next-gen technology or should there simply be no compromises? 

Fall Guys - Does it Really Have a Chance at Esports?

With any game which endures a surge of popularity, the question of esports is always drawn into the conversation - which is great! This is certainly the case for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, the new battle royale which everybody's favourite content creator and streamer has played. Acting as this year's summer hit. the title seemingly has everybody's attention, while some esports organizations have taken it upon themselves to form an esports roster ahead of time for any competitive events. Here's my opinion.  Really, an esports team? Let's start by tackling what I mentioned right there, as it was the trigger for this article. Panda Global announced the world's first esports team for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Take a look at it below:  It's happening. Introducing the world's first ever professional @FallGuysGame esports team. πŸ‘‘@CONEY πŸ‘‘@FullStream πŸ‘‘@Jaaahsh πŸ‘‘@Marss_NE Please welcome our Fall Pandas to the team! #KeepItPG — Panda Global (@PandaGlobal) August 25, 2020 Jumping the Gun (Literally)  If you haven't realised, I don't think that Fall Guys is a title viable for esports. Why not you may? Because it's childish? Fortnite looks pretty chidlish but still manages to pull off crazy events! I'd reply by saying there's a massive difference - the skill and depth of gameplay involved in Fall Guys is not comparable to something like Fortnite.  In Fortnite, players have to micro-manage inventory, movement, item use, structural building, spatial awareness and aiming all at the same time. The only thing one does in Fall Guys is jump, jump and jump and at times, grab things. This alone doesn't make it viable as a competitive esport due to this, together with a limited number of maps and unique mechanics with a high skill ceiling.  Fall Guys will not become a major esport - however, it has an opportunity to be something else for the competitive gaming community. Competitively, it may have a few invitationals and a Twitch Rivals event but nothing much beyond that.  How about a Pre-Event Show?  What Fall Guys has above many other games is the ease to play and understand what you're watching. You instantly understand what's going on when tuning into anybody playing the title.  That's why I think Fall Guys could be an incredibly fun pre-event laugh for many events. Get the pros to all enter one lobby and have a laugh while also entertaining the community at the same time. Honestly, I love the thought of this idea as it sounds like a lot of fun for everybody involved.  Perhaps, if the developers of the title could partner with ESL for instance, it could lead to some awesome fun. Hell, maybe here at GMR Entertainment we might host a friendly competition at our next event! Not All Popular Games are Destined to Become Esports  Here's a concluding remark for this discussion - not all games were made to be played at a competitive level. Remember Teamfight Tactics by Riot Games, and how everyone thought that would become the next big thing? Luckily, Riot Games came out to officially state that the game will remain strictly casual despite the community's demand for it.  Now take a look at Fall Guys - is this a game that was built for the purpose of high-level, competitive play? No, it was designed to give everyone some colourful, fun and new way to claim a battle royale title, especially for those not fond of shooters. This new droplet of colour is something we should embrace as casual fun in these tough times, and certainly should not push it where it isn't designed to go.  Let's see how long this title will survive anywhere. Will it make it to the end of summer before dying like so many other battle royales out there? One which comes to mind is PUBG at this point in time, as it struggles to compete with the current competition.  Let me know if you agree or disagree with me on this in the comments section below!

Nintendo Switch Pro Will Have 4K? Here's Our Wish-List!

It's safe to say that Nintendo hit a home run with their Nintendo Switch console, one desperately needed following the failure of the Wii U, and I'm sure many of our readers own a version of the console which has helped so many get by in this lockdown. Now, leaks have it that a new version is on the way next year, and many have a 'Pro' version coming out - here's what I think should be included to deserve a 'Pro' tag.  Let's start off by saying this was expected. Nintendo has a history of releasing multiple versions of the same console, especially the portable Nintendo DS which has gone through multiple renditions of XL, Lite, 3D and 2D. Up until now, the Switch has had the original version, a second one with improved battery and the Nintendo Switch Lite. This new Pro Switch model was first rumoured back in 2019.  Secondly, before moving on to the list, I'd like to tackle the term 'Pro'. More often than not, the term is thrown around as a marketing stunt across the technology industry - laptops, PCs, peripherals and so much more. For a console, I'd like to think that 'Pro' targets serious gamers, invested in competition and esports too. As an example, the most popular esport title on the Switch would have to be Super Smash Bros. The console needs to be able to support longer and more intense game sessions as well as possible.  Without further delay, here's what I think should be added:  A better display - releasing with a 1280 by 720 screen on launch was somewhat understandable for casual gaming. However, I'd expect at least a 1920 by 1080 display to hide those pixels and make for a better gaming experience. 4K here is definitely out of the question and not necessary for a device of this size.  A larger battery - to support a more demanding screen, a larger battery will probably have to come with it to make the on-screen time roughly equivalent  More powerful internals - apart from a battery, perhaps a slight spec up could help with improved performance to support the better display. Of course, optimization is still the name of the game with this console.  Bluetooth headphone support - it's mind-boggling that the Switch still isn't directly compatible with bluetooth audio devices in 2020 without the use of a dongle. I'm hoping this gets fixed too.  Changed button layout - 'Pro' devices prioritise single player and not multiplayer. For this reason, I think it might be worth changing the button layout for a more ergonomic experience. Many have complained about the poor ergonomics of the device due to the focus on symmetrical Joy-Cons. Personally, I think the Joy-Cons should either be changed or removed to maximize ergonomics.  Improved integrated memory - in an age of downloadable games, a 64GB SSD just won't cut it.  Fresh colours - grey and red/blue have gotten old. The Nintendo Switch definitely needs an overhaul and some new colours to give it a spicey look.  Continuing on my point with changing the button layout, I don't think Nintendo will do it for the simple fact that they'd like to conserve Pro Controller sales. Otherwise, many have hoped for a 4K output dock. In my opinion, I don't think the Switch games are optimized for 4K performance, and if so, the current dock isn't.  Do I own a Switch myself? No, is the short and painful answer. As a Nintendo DS fan, my heart yearns for the console but as a student, I find the console too expensive - especially with the non-depreciating price of games. I've seen many reviews and videos on the console, which is why I'm aware of its flaws.  Will all of these wishes be ticked off? Possibly, but which each one, a price jump is expected. Many have the upgraded version filing at an added $100 over the original, touching the $400 mark. The community wants a no-compromises version of the Switch - let's see if Nintendo delivers.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

DC Comic Fans - Here are all the Games from DC FanDome!

Recently, a conjoined effort between both DC Comics and Warners Bros. resulted in the birth of a glorious coming together of love for DC - the DC FanDome. A tonne of sweet stuff was announced here, mainly in the form of a movie or a game. Here at GMR Entertainment, we're more interested in the latter. So sit back and relax as we dive into all of the best announcements from the online event! Gotham Knights - Open World, Open Characters First off, I'll have to admit that I am, by no means, a DC Comics fan. However, I do like Batman, his gadgets, his butler and ninjitsu. The announcement of Gotham Knights looks to focus on the Bat's sidekicks, each one celebrating the core mechanics of the notorious hero while bringing fresh elements to the table as Batman is somehow dead.  Supposedly, the title looks to be an open-world game where players may pick which heroes to play as, such as Batgirl and Robin. Overall, they kind of nailed the cinematic trailer.  The gameplay also looks solid here too. My worries here would have to be with regards to the variety of gameplay across characters and how the story ties into all of their personalities. The title looks to release in 2021.  Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - More Characters? The people behind Gotham Knights are not those responsible for the original Batman: Arkham games. In fact, Rocksteady Studios are, and they're up to a project of their own. Indeed, a focus is being made on another corner of the DC Comics family - the Suicide Squad.  Unlike the previous game though, gameplay is scarce and all we have is a cinematic trailer. We don't know whether all the characters will be playable from the roster of infamous villains. However, what we do know is that it continues where Arkham left off. Take a look at the cinematic trailer yourself:  Having Superman as the main villain definitely adds to this game, together with the apparent humour on the table. I'll say it again, in a game with multiple characters, the gameplay variety and inclusion of everybody is the studio's biggest challenge. A release date has been set for 2022.  In short, those are the two games everyone has their eye on. In my opinion, they both look to have their own appeal, but I'm leaning towards the Suicide Squad game.  Let us know in the comments section which one you're more excited for! 

Prince of Persia Remake - Leaks are Live for September!

Apart from suffering from franchise sickness (the inability to invent and to rely on established game IPs), one other thing Ubisoft struggles with is keeping secrets. Reveals from their titles tend to always make their way to the internet before official game shows. Now, this strike of carelessness has struck once again as leaks for a so-called 'Prince of Persia' remake are live and viral. Let's see what's going on.  Here's what Twitter user 'KenXyro' found on the internet:  Hey psss... Prince of Persia REMAKE listings have appeared online. For now the game is listed for Nintendo Switch and PS4 with an estimate release date of November 2020. • — 🍎 Ken Xyro (@KenXyro) August 19, 2020 For those unaware, Prince of Persia is a classic video game franchise created in 1989. Developed by Ubisoft since then, the Iranian prince has found himself in multiple titles across a variety of platforms. The titles are mainly based on action-adventure story-driven gameplay, packing mechanics such as platforming, stealth and hand to hand combat. Some have called it in the past, Assassin's Creed set in Iran.  The last title in the series was 2018's, relatively unsuccessful, Prince of Persia: Escape by Ubisoft. According to the leak above, a remake is inbound for the final stand of the PS4 together with the Nintendo Switch - no details are present for a possible Xbox or PC release.  What's really got the community scratching its head is a simple question - which one? Ubisoft has tried to reboot the series twice so far - which title exactly will they be remaking?  Some have guessed at one of the original trilogy titles. Personally, my only exposure to the series has been the movie and a small PSP game I used to enjoy when I wasn't playing God of War. My only worry, as someone not too involved in the series, is why now? Why not wait for the PS5 and fully utilize that hardware for a remake instead of the PS4, as that would be more graphically impressive?  Otherwise, a trailer or announcement is expected soon, probably in September for a Fall release.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! Will Ubisoft do a good job?

New Study Shows There Are 3 Billion Gamers Worldwide - PC Master Race On Top

A new study released by DFC Intelligence titled 'Global Video Game Consumer Segmentation' has analyzed the gaming industry to the utmost extent. From this study, a tonne of new information has emerged and there are some facts which you'll definitely be interested in. Read on for a quick summary!  Before continuing, do note that I do not have access to the study itself (it costs roughly $3,000 to own!) and will be basing this article on previews from other sites which will be accredited. Anyways, the aim of the study is in the title - to sort out the gamers of the world and to observe how exactly it's sorted. With the pandemic these past few months, one can expect some super numbers.  Note that 'plays videogames' refers to any form on any platform - mobile, PC and console mainly.  Here's a list of the most interesting facts:  Right now, there are roughly 3.1 billion gamers  40% of the global populations plays video games  Over half of video gamers play on their smartphones - mobile gaming is growing quickest  248 million play exclusively on console, making up 8% - having the highest spending  1.5 billion, making up 48%, are non-exclusive PC gamers (people who also play on console and mobile)  Here are some facts by region:  Asia - 1.42 billion paying game consumers Europe - 668 million paying game consumers Latin + North America - 644 million paying consumers  I've got this information thanks to IGN's article on the subject.  For me, the biggest take away is the statistic relating to consoles. With such a low exclusive gaming rate, it just goes to show how essential console exclusive titles are for the console industry, as that's honestly one of the very few advantages over PC gaming. Otherwise, the popularity of PC and the growing rate of mobile gaming doesn't come as much of a surprise.  This is definitely an opportunity for the PC Gaming Master Race to flex its muscles. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Teaser - Know Your History!

Finally, it’s that time of year when the Call of Duty community eagerly rubs its hands after wearing out their excitement of the current title, setting their gaze to the future while the rest of the gaming community also checks it out. That’s right, as you’ve probably seen in the reveal streams of content creators decoding the cypher, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is on its way and a teaser trailer is live right now! So there's a tonne to dig into here.  First off, that name is quite a mouthful - I wish they had shortened it to just "Call of Duty: Cold War" but I guess the addition of 'Black Ops' should add some legitimate reference to past titles. Anyways, back to business - we're winding back the clock as Treyarch is taking us back to the most climactic and turbulent state of the Western world post-World Wars. It's definitely a unique angle on the controversial and hushed up part of history, as both sides of Russia and USA aren't too frivolous with the details.  The story looks to hijack the life of KBG defector Yuri Bezmenov, an actual person, who spread the news of the Soviet Union's deception in arguably, its last stand before falling. As he narrates this trailer, it's undisputedly epic and looks like a seriously good history lesson.  A New Look at Russia vs USA? Personally, as a Call of Duty enthusiast, I've played almost all the campaigns in the series. It's safe to say that Call of Duty is probably as American as, let's say, Transformers. Harping on that, many of the campaigns have relied on an anti-Russian/anti-Soviet Union storyline where American soldiers take down a Russian terrorist of some form, as continued in Modern Warfare.  Accordingly, Modern Warfare, the most recent title, has been banned in Russia due to accusations of 're-writing history'. The same had happened to Modern Warfare 2 - remember 'No Russian'?  As a fan, I'm hoping for a more balanced storyline where we get to view the Russian side of things more to offer a balanced narrative and avoid the same typical story. Reminds me of why I hardly liked that boxing film of "Creed II", where the Russian boxer offered so much more character than the American, but the film stuck to portraying the American as the only one with a soul.  If Treyarch can strike a balance here, this could be a fantastic game for the campaign. Otherwise, gameplay for potentially other components of the game will be releasing August 26th! Let us know your thoughts on this discussion in the comments section below! 

Gamescom 2020 - Rising Expectations

Due to the cancellation of E3 this year, game developers have had to host their own showcases such as EA Play and State of Play. Besides E3, the community has also been concerned over gamescom 2020 too - will it be taking place? Yes, although it may be online, gamescom 2020 is on its way: here are all the details!  I guess we'll jump straight into the action. Firstly, let's dive into the partners for the event so like this, we can have an idea as to what games we'll be seeing. There are roughly 300 partners for the event, which is absolutely mind-blowing and a full list is available right here. Below I'll be listing some of the larger names who are likely to reveal some awesome stuff:  Bethesda Xbox  Activision - Blizzard  EA Sega Ubisoft Bandai Namco  ESL  Right off of the bat, it's clear that Sony Entertainment will not be showing off anything at gamescom 2020 which is somewhat surprising. Though, this is possibly a tactic to let Xbox show all their cards while Sony keeps all the big drops closer to their chest. Meanwhile, Xbox has the opportunity to educate fans further. Personally, I expect further details on Halo: Infinite together with a live showcase of Project xCloud, their new cloud gaming service to come with the Xbox Series X.  Another missing company besides Sony is CD Project Red - the community continues to grow anxious for Cyberpunk 2077. Speaking of Cyberpunk, its direct competition in AC Valhalla will definitely get some exposure from Ubisoft. Destined to release 2 days before CD Project Red's game, the competition is intense in this regard - Ubisoft's new game could either triumph or fall flat on its face. Remember Watch Dogs trying to compete with GTA V? Yeah, me neither.  However, I believe that most attention will be towards EA and Activision Blizzard.  Firstly, Activision Blizzard has the ball in their park on two occasions, To begin with, they have stage to set when it comes to Overwatch 2; this sequel needs to be as successful as the original though the community questions how 'new' the game will be if not just an incremental upgrade. Otherwise, and probably more importantly, the next Call of Duty title is still in the dark. Small in-game reveals have been made through Warzone, but the community still patiently awaits an actual trailer or teaser.  Secondly, EA have a lot of gameplay to back up from EA Play earlier this year. Namely, Star Wars: Squadrons has reinvigorated the fantasy community which wants more details. Also, one can expect more gameplay for FIFA and MADDEN 21.  For the remaining publishers, I'm not sure what to expect but I'm certain it'll be great. In these troubled times, a bit of excitement should help us get by! Running from the 27-30th August, we'll see you there. For details and schedule:   Let us know your thoughts for gamescom 2020 in the comments section below! 

Banned from App Stores - What is Going on with Fortnite?

So, you've probably heard the words "Fortnite", "App Stores" and "controversial" all in the same sentence in this past week without really understanding what's going on. In all honesty, so have I, as I've never been a dedicated fan of the battle royale. However, the situation is a lot more serious than it seems as it may affect mobile gaming for years to come. Read on as I try to get a handle on the situation.  Understanding the App Store  First off, let's understand how an application store works, applying to both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Regardless if the game is free-to-play and has in-game purchases or costs a certain amount but has no in-game purchases, any transaction made through the game downloaded from the store, in particular, is partially accredited to the store. Like any other store, an application store purchases the product from producers/developers and resells it to the customer - a profit needs to be made somewhere.  In the case of app stores, it's by taking roughly 20-30% of in-game transactions though this may vary depending on the contract between the store and developer. So, what did Epic Games do?  Epic Games Tries to Be Sneaky Out of the blue, on August 13th, Epic Games updated the options to purchase V-bucks or whatnot at a lower price of 20% less. That's great right? Sure, on PC and console this didn't make any difference as the rules aren't comparable to mobile devices here.  On mobile devices, due to the policies imposed by Apple and Google, allowing players to avoid processing transactions through the stores and instead to directly pay Epic Games is unacceptable. Supposedly, they made the decision without consulting either store. Indeed, such a shady move violated both application store guidelines.  And no, before typing #FreeFortnite on Twitter, you need to understand that Apple and Google are in the right here. This move by Epic Games looks incredibly greedy to me.  Just imagine - you own a store and sell a product given to you and you take a small cut to make some profit according to a signed contract. Now, imagine if the producer suddenly allows customers to pay him/her directly to bypass your profit while understanding that were if not for you, the product wouldn't even be available for purchase. On all that, it's your most popular product too - so just think of all the profit you're losing.  On that last point - we all know how popular Fortnite is. By trying to bypass Apple and Google here, both companies would probably lose quite a bit of money. For these reasons, that's why Fortnite is not available on either store at the moment.  All-in-all, in my opinion, I stand by Apple and Google here. The move from Epic is an explicit money-grab - every other mobile game developer abides by these policies, so why should Epic Games be an exception?  Epic Games Sues Apple and Google - Apple Shutting Down Unreal Engine  Then, in retaliation to the removal from stores, Epic Games whipped out a lawsuit against Apple to try and:  "end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market. A similar lawsuit was made against Google.  Here's Epic Games' angle to their lawsuit, as explained in the Mega Drop FAQ:  "Epic’s position is that all mobile developers and consumers have the right to choose alternate payment providers that charge less, as is the norm on all other general-purpose computing platforms, including Web, Windows, and Mac. We expect to see a general change in smartphone practices industry-wide for all developers that brings greater value and freedom of choice to consumers. We expect Apple to unblock Fortnite. Before proceeding, I'd like to credit Gamespot's article as a great source for this topic and the quotes.  Anyways, all I'd like to ask Epic Games is - how are Apple and Google meant to make a profit then? Hosting an application store doesn't sound like a free ordeal.  Of course, I'm not 100% on the side of Apple and Google here. As a journalist, I've gotta stay open-minded. Epic Games definitely has a point in wanting more freedom of payment although completely trying to bypass policies definitely isn't the way to go here. Epic Games' stance on open gaming, allowing cloud gaming and cross-platform ecosystems is definitely one every gamer should support.  Apple has outlawed the metaverse. The principle they state, taken literally, would rule out all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user created modes: not just XCloud, Stadia, and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox. — Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 6, 2020 Also, making enemies of both Apple and Google is definitely not the way to go. However, Epic Games has shown resilience against others such as Microsoft and Valve for their own policies.  Apple, however, are taking it one step further. In response, the company has stated that they'll be removing "Unreal Engine" from Mac. As you can imagine, this will impact all developers trying to get on iOS devices and is not acceptable. All indie developers for Mac will be stopped dead in their tracks. Epic Games has thrown jabs moreso at Apple than Google, as shown in that parody video they made.  As this situation escalates, one begins to realise that both parties have their own reasons to confront one another.  Will Fortnite be Back on Mobile?  Yes, it'll be back in my opinion. Soon enough, Epic Games will realise that by being removed from the store, at the end of the day, they're losing players and ultimately, money. Apple and Google have plenty of other games to support, which is quite the understatement and can easily stand their ground.  Due to Fortnite's popularity, I'm certain that the parties involved will sort things out and resolve the situation back to normal.  Both stances on the situations are respectable. The app stores' approach to exclusivity and fees does seem monopolistic while on the other hand, policies must be abided be and cannot simply be violated. I've tried to keep the argument as balanced as possible though at the end of the day, more details will come out over time and may shift the balance.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

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