Tag Archives: Gaming

Red Dead Redemption 2 Sets New Records in Sales

The critically acclaimed game, Red Dead Redemption 2, was destined to be one of the games of the year, but most people could not have seen what RDR 2 would end up accomplishing.

Rockstar announced on Monday that within the first three days of release, Red Dead Redemption 2 sold over $725 million in copies, around 10 million units sold. Rockstar is also projecting that the game will have made a profit by December and will have sold over 20 million units by then.

Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two also has stated that RDR 2 had the most pre-order sales in PlayStation Network history.  However, RDR 2 is only second behind Grand Theft Auto 5, another Rockstar game that was released in 2013, for most sales in a three day period, with GTA 5 hitting the billion-dollar mark within that time period.

Most people don’t think about the cost that goes into making a game like RDR 2, and they may wonder why the game is not profitable as of right now. But if you think of it, this is very normal.

Since the release of the original Red Dead Redemption, developers have been working on the second one. There was controversy regarding paying employees, with some developers working over 80 hours in a week to get RDR 2 to the point where it is at now.

Not to mention, Red Dead Online has not been released as of press time. Take-Two will break even before the release of the online mode (release date is unknown), so do not feel bad for them as we will be giving them our money soon enough.

Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place in 1899 in the Wild West where you play as Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde gang. The game follows the story of the gang as well as a young John Marston, the protagonist of the first game.

First impressions on Red Dead Redemption 2

NOTE: This will not have any spoilers until the author of this story has completed the game.

Rockstar has finally released the most anticipated game of the year in Red Dead Redemption 2. It took 8 years before gamers around the world got to play as Arthur Morgan, a thief and lead enforcer of Dutch Van Der Linde’s gang. This gang has gone through anything and everything, and now, you can experience it yourself.

However, most people are very impressed with the graphics of the game and how the characters act towards you. Here are a few things that RDR 2 does differently from other open world games.

The world that you are playing in:

I can’t even begin to talk about how your interactions in the open world in this game can affect your playing experience. The way that you hunt to what you eat and how you dress for the weather—it feels like you are living in a real-life simulator and I freaking love it. Rockstar has finally produced an open world game with factors like these. This stuff matters to a gamer who wants to live like they were in the late 1890s and not have to deal with the real life heat.

The animals in the game

I don’t remember ever playing a game that shows the diversity of the animals in the world that you are playing in. I have seen animals as big as bison and bears and as small as songbirds and rats. And by the way, you can hunt all of them. This is one of my favorite parts of the game. You don’t need to hunt them, but it is fun to explore the different animals in the game.

The weapons and maintaining them

Of course, the weapons in a western game are very important for your survival. Another new thing that has started in this game is the cleaning of your weapons. If they get too “dirty” then you need to clean it; otherwise, it will affect the strength of the bullet and the path of the bullet as well.

I am looking forward to playing more of this game and finishing the story mode on there, but so far, so good for Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2.

 

A New PlayStation in the Works According to Sony CEO

Anytime a new generation of gaming systems is in the works, it is hard to keep it a secret, and this news is no exception. In fact, this story was probably the worst kept secret in the gaming industry.  However, the news was made official by Sony CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, in an interview with the Financial Times. Sony is currently working on a successor to the PlayStation 4 but has stopped short of calling it the PlayStation 5.

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“At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware,” Yoshida said.

This announcement comes after Microsoft announced that they are currently testing Project xCloud, streaming technology for playing any Xbox games on phones and tablets. The public will be able to test this project beginning next year.

Sony does offer streaming games on the PS4 and PC with its PlayStation Now service, which was previously available on Samsung Smart TVs.

Yoshida did not give an exact date for when the new system would be available on the market, but according to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO John Kodera, the new system is hinted to be released in 2021 as reported by Digital Trends. Kodera previously stated in May that the PS4 has entered “the final phase of its life cycle.”

Do not expect for Sony to drop the PlayStation name as the game systems with the name have been very successful in the past 3 decades. The PlayStation 2 is the best selling console of all time with 155 million units sold. The PS4 since it was launched in 2013 has sold 80 million units, and it will likely pass the sales of the PS3, which sold 83.8 million units according to GameSpot.

Sony Cancels PlayStation Experience for 2018

After a very quiet E3 from Sony on the PlayStation side of things, it was announced that there will not be a PlayStation Experience for 2018, at least in the United States.

No PSX for PlayStation fans this year leaves questions; photo from kotaku.com
No PSX for PlayStation fans this year leaves questions; photo from kotaku.com

Shawn Layden, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) Worldwide Studios chairman made the announcement. His reasoning behind the decision was that he believed they would not be able to live up to the expectations of a high-profile media event with not much to show.

Layden said on the PlayStation Blogcast that with the focus on the recent and successful release of Spider-Man and the future releases of games like Dreams and Days Gone, there was no way there would be enough people from North America to appear for the event.

Sony has had a very successful year with games like God-Of-War, which broke Sony’s game sales record with 3.1 million copies sold within the first three days of release. This record would not last for long as Spider-Man would break the record with 3.3 million copies sold.

However, at E3, Sony only focused on four games: Spider-Man, The Last of Us: Part II, Death Stranding, and Ghost of Tsushima. 

PlayStation Experience, which is also known as PSX, first appeared in Europe in the 2000s, disappeared for a number of years, and then reappeared in the United States in 2014.

Layden did not rule out the possibility of the return of PSX in the future.

This news comes after rumors of Sony allowing PlayStation Network users the ability to change their usernames. PSN users were hoping that the rumor would had been confirmed at PSX.

Sony to Release a “New” PlayStation

We all know what you are here to read about—a “new” PlayStation. It can’t be, right? Can it really be the PlayStation 5 that everyone has been looking forward to for the past few years? Well… maybe not. While many may be getting their hopes up for something new from Sony’s most successful gaming platform, but this newest update to the PlayStation family is going a slightly different direction.

All of the accessories of the PlayStation Classic including the console itself. Photo from blog.us.playstation.com
All of the accessories of the PlayStation Classic including the console itself. Photo from blog.us.playstation.com

Sony has announced a throwback version of the PlayStation 1 to celebrate 24 years of PlayStation and to follow in the same path that Nintendo has done for the past few years now.

This new version of the PlayStation 1 will be called the PlayStation Classic and will feature 20 games from the PS1’s original library that will be built into the station. The system will be updated in order to work on a modern television, and much smaller than the original PS1—so small, in fact, that you could hold it in your hand.

Sony has only announced five of the 20 games to be on the PlayStation Classic, including Final Fantasy 7 and Tekken 3.

On a video posted to Sony’s YouTube channel, the PlayStation Classic will not be able to play games from the original PS1, but only its 20 pre-loaded games. The PlayStation Classic will come with two retro controllers, will not have an AC adapter, and only possess HDMI for audio and video and a micro-USB for power.

Sony will be releasing the PlayStation Classic on December 3, the same day that the original PS1 was released 24 years ago, for $99.99 to buy—to compare, some games with bonus features, additional content, and free virtual cash (much like the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2) will have a roughly similar cost all its own.

 

Belgium bans “loot boxes” in video games

Microtransactions have been a hot topic in the gaming industry. The question has been, should they be allowed in games? Well, one country has decided that one form of microtransactions is illegal.

Belgium has decided to ban so called “loot boxes” from video games in their country, labeling it as gambling. This is just a week after The Netherlands declaring some “loot boxes” as gambling as well.

The Minister of Justice in Belgium has said that publishers of games that have “loot boxes” risk fines or prison time if these games with loot boxes are distributed in Belgium.

Games like FIFA, Overwatch and CSGO were determined to promote gambling and thus will be subject to Belgian gambling laws. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was able to escape the ban to due the outcry of there being loot boxes in the game when it was released, the publisher, EA removed them.

The main reason for the decision from Belgium is to stop minors from being exposed to gambling when they are only trying to have fun, the Minister of Justice noted.

Publishers who don’t remove the “gambling” from their game could face up to five years in prison and fines up to $800,000.

However, for those who hate these loot boxes in America, don’t expect anything to happen since most forms of gambling are legal.

Lindsay Lohan Loses Lawsuit Against Take-Two

The never-ending lawsuit between Lindsey Lohan and Take-Two Interactive has finally ended in favor of the makers of Grand Theft Auto 5, but next time, they may not be so lucky.

The real life Lindsey Lohan and the GTA 5 character "Lacey Jones;" photo from digitaltrends.com
The real life Lindsey Lohan and the GTA 5 character “Lacey Jones;” photo from digitaltrends.com

Judges from New York state’s highest court ruled in favor of Take-Two Interactive in a lawsuit case. Lohan had sued Take-Two over the likeness of the GTA 5 character “Lacey Jones” who only appeared in one mission during the storyline game in a random event. Lohan had been fighting the case since 2014 which was called a “publicity stunt” by Take-Two.

Lohan’s case nearly was dismissed in 2016 but she was able to get her case to a New York Supreme Court judge who ruled against her. Then she appealed her case to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of the state’s judge.

The unanimous ruling did find that video game avatars constitute a portrait of someone. However, Lacey Jones, described as a “beach-going young woman” lacked characteristics that reasonably identified the plaintiff.

Lohan’s lawsuit will most likely end here unless she can prove and show how the ruling and New York’s privacy laws conflict federal Constitution laws. If she can prove that, her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court but the possibility of that happening is slim to none.

Even though Lindsey Lohan didn’t get the result that she was looking for, the ruling is very significant in New York. Video game avatars can be a likeness equivalent to photographs, films, or other depictions under the law.

Video game companies will have to watch twice before making a character that is similar to a celebrity because otherwise, they could end up in court and lose.

 

The Latest Update on GTA Online on PC Results in Many Bans

If you are a PC gamer with Grand Theft Auto 5 Online, you may had gotten banned for no apparent reason.

GTA Online's latest update is NASCAR on steroids but some PC users are unable to play due to a ban; photo from egmnow.com
GTA Online’s latest update is NASCAR on steroids but some PC users are unable to play due to a ban; photo from egmnow.com

After the “Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series” update, many users on PC have been reporting a wave of bans, either mistaken or for no good reason. Users on PS4 and Xbox One have not had the same bug as of now. Most of the bans on the PC have only been for 30 days instead of a lifetime but it still frustrates players who want to play the game and the latest update.

It is believed that Rockstar’s “anti-cheat” system has failed and according to one player on the GTA Online forum who has their own “anti-cheat” software, everyone in his session was labeled as cheating even though they haven’t been.

The system is singling out everyone who might be an illegal-modder which has resulted in bans for many who have done no wrong.

While it is natural for someone who has been caught cheating to say that they haven’t been, something has been amiss with the recent bans. Most of the players that have been banned have fewer than 10 hours of game time which suggests overreach on the game moderators’ parts.

Another thing that might be causing the bans is that some users do have a modder on their PC but the modder is only being used offline, not online.

Neither Rockstar or its parent company, Take-Two Interactive have made a statement to the GTA Online forum or a public statement about the situation.

‘Freemium’ and DLC is killing gaming

Remember the days when you’d buy a game and you’d get a 100 per cent completed package? Now, it’s the norm to expect a half-finished game that’ll get fixed later on with downloadable content, or DLC.

In the beginning, DLC was a welcome change to gaming. It meant you could get more from your already complete game in increments. It gave you a reason to keep coming back to your already great game. But now it seems that games are intentionally giving you less content so that they can charge  more to get the full experience.

Clash of Clans. Graphic from Neo Seeker
Clash of Clans. Graphic from Neo Seeker

The problem  got worse with a system called microtransactions. This system of DLC has always been a common element of mobile gaming. It’s when you play a game that has an artificial currency, such as lives in Candy Crush or gems in Clash of Clans. You can get them yourself over long periods of time, or you can pay and get them instantly. This currency can be spent in the game to speed up your upgrades and reduce the time it takes for you to be able to play again. It goes without saying that many of the highest-level players are the ones who spent money.

This is the problem gamers have with “freemium,” or pay-to-win games. They’re used to games where the best players rise to the top and  casual gamers have to work to earn their place of respect. With microtransactions, it‘s just the opposite. Skill becomes  irrelevant, and the richest players win every time –which is fine for mobile gaming , where the most casual gamers will be.

That all changes when microtransactions are introduced into console gaming. EA was shameless in their experimentation with this form of bleeding their fans dry. We paid $60 for Dead Space 3, and were surprised with a cool material crafting system you could use to create and modify weapons. We were even more surprised to see that you don’t have to grind through hours of killing enemies to get these materials; you only had to pay $0.99 apiece for the new guns. You can then easily breeze through the game on your first run without much worry. It was a slap in the face to fans of the franchise, for selling out to the casual gaming crowd.

But that’s the way things are now. Games are released unfinished, and all it takes is an apology and an update to make things right. Mass Effect 3 was criticized for having the worst ending of all time, leaving fans to make extensive videos rationalizing why anyone would ever make an ending this bad– but developers fixed it with a downloadable update. You can also pay along the way to open up missions and unlock characters that would dramatically change the course of the game. Or you could not, and only get some of the experience.

Evolve is undoubtedly the most recent culprit and one of the biggest offenders of charging for complete content. At launch, you’re given a selection of three monsters and twelve hunters, which you had to unlock by playing in a certain style and by all-around being good at the game. Either that, or buy the shortcut. On day one, you could see people playing as the most overpowered monster, because they spent the extra money to win before anyone else could earn it.

Many games nowadays have a ‘season pass’ option, where you pay a one-time fee and it pays for all of the content for that year. Evolve has this as well, for $20. But there’s still a total of $74.49 worth of skins and other content that isn’t covered by this season pass. That’s more than double the original price of the game — just in added content that doesn’t even change the game.

This is just one step in a slippery slope, where games will give you less, and charge you for more, despite not even changing the base price of the product. We’ve seen this with Destiny, Titanfall, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and it’s become the norm for nearly every game that has come out this year. It’ll only get worse, because this business model has worked for mobile gaming–so these video game publishers want to push it onto the rest of us.

This is the end of the article. Sure, it’s abrupt and doesn’t seem like a sensible stopping point, but if you want the rest of the article, it’ll be made available in two months for a small fee of $14.99. Enjoy your incomplete content.

Law, order, and video game ISIS

Gaming has always been that one habit that people are hesitant to tell others about. It’s mostly because the default image that pops in a non-gamer’s head is that of a fat kid with an overabundance of Doritos and Mountain Dew raging at his TV screen. Whether they’re bragging about the things they’ve done with your mom, or tripping over themselves at the first girl who hops in a game lobby, gamers aren’t well liked by a great number of demographics.

It doesn’t help that every time a shooting happens, the news media tries to find which violent video game to point to as a possible motivator for such an act. In fact, the media as a whole doesn’t seem to understand gaming at all–and when it tries, it seems to miss the mark every single time.

A recent “Law & Order” episode aired, loosely based on the events of what has been dubbed Gamergate. It’s a scandal that involves accusations of both misogyny and journalistic ethics. It’s a topic that deserves further explanation, but I’ll do so after you watch the episode.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7faUHdlh9g

Putting aside the fact that they felt the need to use and explain just about every outdated and unused piece of gamer lingo, this episode tried to take on way too much. Granted,  Gamergate is a monster of an issue to tackle with multiple facets that someone from the outside would never understand.

To grossly oversimplify, the actual Gamergate started after evidence came out that a Kotaku reviewer had given a game good review because of an intimate relationship he had with the developer. It raised questions about corruption in gaming journalism, due to the fact that many large game developers have been known to give sponsorships and other gifts to entice positive reviews.

It then devolved into an issue of trading sex for coverage, after a writer put out a prolonged blog post about how his ex-girlfriend Zoe Quinn had cheated on him with another writer. As a natural internet reaction to this blog post, people began to question if this is true for all female game developers.It further descended into madness from there.

New characters started to spawn into the Gamergate battlefield after feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian took this opportunity to criticize the gaming community and the culture that surrounds it. She made the points that games often portray women in scantily-clad clothing or as supporting roles for the male protagonists. In doing so, she inadvertently generalized gamers as sexists, largely due to what they are exposed to in games.

As one could imagine, gamers didn’t like being labeled, and she became a vilified character among the community–but championed by many feminists who have long held the idea that video games aren’t a safe place for women. It got worse, however, when Sarkeesian began receiving death threats that prevented her from speaking at several events. This helped to serve her point that gamers are these monsters that want to silence women.

There’s plenty more that I’ve unfortunately had to leave out, but there’s a lot of bias and contradictory information that tends to muddy the water. The point is that it’s a big deal due to the fact that it hits on about four different issues at once. The media completely dropped the ball on the issue by siding against the gaming community, because it’s a community that’s already so misunderstood by the general public.

It’s almost too easy to get it wrong, because it won’t matter to the general public (who don’t care enough to make the effort to understand). It’s so much easier to write gamers off as sexist nerds than it is to understand that this is an issue of journalistic ethics. Yes, it’s wrong that a select few took it upon themselves to send death threats to any female who covered the issue from a feminist standpoint. Yes, it’s wrong that there aren’t more realistic female protagonists in games. However, it’s also wrong to use an entire demographic of gamers as the scapegoat any time anything goes wrong in society.

The reason gamers appear so defensive about what they do is because of negative media portrayals. After making the point that a shooter enjoyed playing violent video games , news anchors always seem to encourage family to talk to their loved ones. This often results in the taking-away of said violent video games. There’s an inherent distrust of the media every time they decide to cover gaming, because they always get it wrong.

What “Law & Order” did here was a prime example of why there was a need for gamers to speak out against the media in the first place. This hypothetical video game equivalent of ISIS will only further make the non-gaming community wary of gamers and what twisted ideas they have in their heads.

Maybe we need more gamers in the media, or maybe the media just needs to do more research before they try to cover topics like this. Gaming impacts such a large demographic that it’s impossible to generalize everyone to one collective hive-mind. We’re not all sexists, and we’re not a mean joke away from shooting up a school. We’re everyday people who happen to enjoy escaping this reality to one with less rules.

Twitch plays Pokémon and so does the rest of the Internet

In the most rapidly growing fad on the Internet right now, an anonymous Australian Reddit user started live streaming of a modified version of Pokémon Red. Members of the chatroom can input commands to control a bot. This group-play of a traditionally single-player game is at the center of a self-proclaimed “social experiment” known as “Twitch Plays Pokemon.” Continue reading Twitch plays Pokémon and so does the rest of the Internet

Games to play if you don’t have a modern gaming system

A lot of people who haven’t played video games before may wonder why gamers are so attached to them. So, I’ve compiled a list of games you should play to better understand gamer culture. Without further ado, here are four fantastic games you should play that don’t require a modern gaming system: Continue reading Games to play if you don’t have a modern gaming system

OnLive: the future of gaming…or not

OnLive is being billed as the future of video gaming. To explain Onlive is sort of difficult. It works via the principle of cloud processing. Cloud processing is where the majority of the processing and the work that would normally be associated with something like playing a video game or running a CPU-intensive program is done in a remote location and the results are streamed back to you.

Onlive plans to use cloud processing to run video games and then stream the video content back to the individual’s computer or OnLive console. The idea behind this is that it would eliminate the need to constantly buy games. Instead, one would sign up to a subscription service, allowing them access to the Onlive system. From there, they would be able to purchase licencing for games stored on the Onlive servers. No more waiting to receive a game disk or even download and install it. Also, there would be the entire death of the whole console-wars concept, since what would be updating would be the massive amounts of servers that would be required to run this system.

Onlive often-times seems as though it is going to run purely upon voodoo magic. Many of the designers’ concepts and ideals seem rather unrealistic. One of the major claims that the makers of Onlive are claiming is that Onlive will eliminate lag all together. While that seems like a great idea, how will there not be lag when the video stream on which you are playing is streamed to you from a central server somewhere? Another one of the company’s strange and somewhat premature claims involves claiming to have a massive community when the system has just entered beta.

Most recently, Onlive got a huge shot in the arm as far as its finances were concerned. It looked as though the Onlive project was going to be a pipe dream lacking serious capital to help support the massive amounts of servers required to for the system to work as proposed. The sudden addition of sponsorship by AT&T is making people look again at Onlive’s somewhat outrageous claims. Perhaps there is more to it than a company just trying to drum up business.

While this concept seems rather ideal at the time being, it may be harder to take off in the gamer community that still looks somewhat wearily at the latest and greatest concepts of motion-capture gaming. To them, this will just seem like one more abrupt change for the game community, a change that will take more of the material aspect of games away. However, there is something to be said about being able to hold a game in your hands and know that you own it. That will ultimately be lost by this streaming gaming concept.

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