And if you've played even a minute of Planet Coaster then you'd probably be inclined to immediately agree with that statement. And that's because Planet Coaster not only provides players with a fun theme park sim but also a truly staggering level of customisation and creative options to explore. Which makes what we see in the new Summer Update trailer, even more impressive.
Fireworks are an explosive new way to customize parks in Planet Coaster’s Summer Update. Celebrate the Fourth of July, New Year, Bonfire Night or any other occasion with the most detailed fireworks simulation ever created for a videogame. Design epic firework displays with the new Display Sequencer, trigger them alongside other park events, and even choreograph them to custom music! Create the ultimate sky-high summer spectacle, or download the most explosive displays from the Planet Coaster community.
New Video and Image Scenery unlocks the ultimate in creative customization for Planet Coaster players. Fully customizable wall panels and screens let players place their own images and video into Planet Coaster and create parks unlike any other.
And give a boost to every ride with the new Flatride Sequencer and Painted Wooden Coasters. Take total control over your favorite rides, and give your wooden coasters a whole new look with a lick of paint.
The Planet Coaster Summer Update also feature more flatrides, new coasters, new scenarios, custom biomes and the Stars and Stripes scenery pack, alongside a host of game fixes and quality-of-life improvements.
After 18 years at the helm. Over that time, Arkane Studios has risen to prominence with Arx Fatalis, Dishonored, and most recently Prey -- with Raphael Colantonio serving as Game Director on the excellent System Shock inspired sci-fi released in 2017. With the studio's close ties to Bethesda the announcement was made with a statement posted at Bethesda.net earlier today.
A message from Raphael Colantonio
The last 18 years have been an amazing adventure - from starting Arkane in 1999, to making our first game, Arx Fatalis, to joining ZeniMax Media in 2010 and releasing the Dishonored series and Prey to critical acclaim - it is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son and reflect on what is important to me and my future.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest people in the industry, and I feel extremely lucky to have been part of this journey with everyone at Arkane.
I’ve lived many magical moments. I’ve also been through the hard times. But, I can say that joining ZeniMax took things to the next level and gave Arkane the opportunity to emerge as a world-class studio. ZeniMax enabled us to make the best games that we’ve ever made. And I know there is even more to come.
ZeniMax strongly believes in Arkane’s ability to make great games, and is committed to supporting the studio. My long-time friend and colleague, Harvey Smith, will oversee the team in Austin and I will be around for as long as necessary to ensure a smooth transition to the new management team in Lyon.
I wish the best to everyone at Arkane, Bethesda, and ZeniMax. Without a doubt I will miss everyone.
As I close, I’d like to thank the Arkane fans for their passion and support. I proudly join them as Arkane Studios' biggest champion, and I look forward to playing the extraordinary new games the studio is working on.
As noted in the letter, management will shift to the Lyon, France arm of Arkane Studios. No word on what plans Raphael Colantonio has after his departure. We had the chance to speak with Raphael a couple of months ago ahead of Prey's release, which you can find here.
Even though the release of the new Necromancer class into the hell-spawn wilds of Diablo III is more than enough cause for celebration, the next free content patch has also surfaced today. Diablo III Patch 2.6.0 brings two new zones to Adventure Mode -- The Moors and The Temple of the Firstborn. Very Necromancer-y in their look, they also bring a batch of new monster types to the game.
Also coming in the update is a new mode called Challenge Rifts, which represent a sort of static time trial meets competitive Diablo, as players take on the same rift (with the same character builds) in order to beat times and claim weekly rewards.
New Class: Necromancer As a master of the dark arts, you wield the powers of life and death necessary to restore the Balance! Necromancers are powerful spell casters who lay waste to their enemies using curses and reanimation—along with an obedient cadre of pets. This new class employs a controlled gameplay style using the raw materials of life: blood and bone.
Note: This class is available through the Rise of the Necromancer pack. For more details, please click here.
New Items for the Necromancer Over 30 new Legendary items have been added for the Necromancer class, along with four class-exclusive Sets featuring unique themes. Set Dungeons have also been added for each of the new Sets, providing you new opportunities to test your mettle.
New Feature: Challenge Rifts Explore new builds created by your fellow players in a weekly static dungeon! You can access these through the main screen, similar to Adventure Mode and Campaign Mode.
New Zones: The Moors & The Temple of the Firstborn The fog-enshrouded Moors and the darkened Temple of the Firstborn can be explored in Adventure Mode through a new waypoint on the Act 2 map.
New Bounties: Realms of Fate Four new Waypoints have appeared in Adventure Mode. Each one has bounties to complete. These Realms of Fate are the unintended consequences of the battle between the nephalem and Diablo in the High Heavens.
Of course the real star of the show is the arrival of the Necromancer! For detailed info on the new class, skills, runes, and items, be sure to check out the full Patch Notes.
A "free-to-play strategy RPG" where players are tasked with building "their own Assassin Brotherhood, managing a fortress, and engaging in covert missions against the Templars". Yeah, and based on the visual style in the teaser trailer, this iOS and Android release looks to provide a somewhat similar experience to Bethesda's Fallout Shelter.
Which, could be a lot of fun.
Set in Spain during the height of the Inquisition, Assassin’s Creed Rebellion lets you build out your Brotherhood HQ with new rooms that enable you to train your Assassins and craft new items and equipment. As you level up your Brotherhood, additional rooms and other content become available, opening up new upgrade options. Your fortress also serves as a base of operations before taking teams of three Assassins into various infiltration missions. Different skills and character combinations are better suited to some missions than others, so the way you develop your Brotherhood can have a big impact on gameplay. The types of missions you pursue also have an effect on how your Assassins develop: standard missions are key for gathering resources to upgrade your Assassins, while Loot missions will earn materials for crafting. New Assassins are unlocked by collecting their DNA fragments in Story or Legacy missions.
Developed in partnership with Behaviour Interactive, Assassin's Creed Rebellion is listed as coming soon to Android and iOS devices.
Announced at BlizzCon last year, much to the surprise and joy of Diablo II fans everywhere, the Necromancer class is now available to play in Diablo III with the release of the Rise of the Necromancer Pack for PC and Consoles. Available for $21.95 the pack comes with a bunch of in-game cosmetic items, additional character slots and stash tabs.
“We’re excited to continue our celebration of the 20th anniversary of Diablo by reimagining one of the community’s all-time favourite classes in the Rise of the Necromancer pack,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to seeing a new generation of necromancers exploring Adventure Mode, discovering new character builds, and exploding corpses in Greater Rifts throughout Sanctuary.”
Included in the Rise of the Necromancer Pack:
The grotesque Half-formed Golem in-game pet
Cosmetic Wings of the Crypt Guardian for all your Diablo III characters
Two additional character slots
Two stash tabs (PC only)
Necromancer portrait, banner, sigil, and accent, and Blood Master pennant
The Necromancer becomes the seventh class to join the fight against the hordes of hell in Diablo III, joining the Barbarian, Wizard, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Monk, and Crusader. Which means it's class photo time!
Well, a cool as hell pic of all the Diablo III classes taking on ol' Deebsy himself.
In addition to the pack a special digital only Diablo III: Eternal Collection has also been made available for consoles with a special introductory price of $59.95 AUD. So, if you haven't made the plunge into Diablo III yet, well, now's the perfect time.
We'll be bringing impressions and hands-on of the console reincarnation of the Necromancer throughout the next week, so stay tuned.
Gorn, a name that makes perfect sense once you see the, well, gore porn that makes up the majority of the gameplay trailer, is a new physics-based Gladitorial combat VR game from Devolver Digital and Free Lives. Less Gladiator starring Russ Crowe, and more ludicrously violent in the same way that many of us loved games like Mortal Kombat and Rise of the Triad growing up. That being said, Gorn also looks like a competent room-scale VR experience to boot.
If a slightly shallow one. Shallow pool of blood that this.
Cheeky description too.
GORN is a ludicrously violent VR gladiator simulator, made by Free Lives, the developers of Broforce and Genital Jousting. Featuring a unique, fully physics driven combat engine, GORN combatants will be able to creatively execute their most violent gladiatorial fantasies in virtual reality. Savagely strike down an infinite supply of poorly-animated opponents with all manner of weapons – from swords, maces, and bows to nunchuks, throwing knives, massive two-handed warhammers or even your blood-soaked bare hands. The only limits to the carnage are your imagination and decency, in the most brutal and savage VR face-smashing game ever produced by man.
Gorn will be available to play via Early Access for the HTC Vive on July 10.
And that's for PS4 and Xbox One, with a PC release to come later. Anyway, as the second high-profile Aussie sports game to be released this year here's hoping that Rugby League Live 4 turns out better than AFL: We Didn't Spend Much Money At All On This 2017 Edition. And based on the new trailer, the answer to that could be a "yes".
As a Melbournite who has never watched a Rugby League match or taken the time to understand the rules, this looks -- okay, I guess.
Hey, they took the time to model some cool looking stadiums with grass and crowds and feature a bunch of realistic looking tackle-based animations. Hehe, tackle-based.
Which is more than can be said about AFL: What Was It Called Again? 2017 Edition.
Coming from Saints Row developers Volition, we're quietly optimistic that its spiritual successor Agents of Mayhem is as much fun to play as the wacky later Saints games. With a bright, vibrant, cartoon vibe and a colourful cast of characters (three of which are being introduced today in a new trailer) this could be a lot of fun when it launches August 18 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
The only real problem we see is that instead of offering up a co-op campaign, Agents is a strictly single-player affair where you can swap instantaneously between three different Agents. In a Street Fighter versus X sort of way with characters being able to heal when swapped out. The mechanic sounds interesting, but with the great Saints Row 4 co-op here's hoping that it doesn't become a feature that we're going to miss this time around.
With the announcement earlier today that Nintendo will be continuing its line of Classic Mini consoles with the release of a Mini Super Nintendo Entertainment System in September, comes word of two other HDMI-era classic console re-releases. With both an Atari 2600 and Sega Mega Drive Flashback coming in September.
Both classic consoles are priced at $149.95 AUD for the HD versions, but will feature a lot more games than the mini-SNES.
The Atari Flashback 8 Gold will come packed with 120 games, including Missile Command, Asteroids, Centipede, and Activision’s Pitfall!. But as the Atari 2600 is just about the oldest console ever created, and the games today do not hold up well at all, it's a little telling that the trailer for the console re-release only showcases the still sorta-playable Pitfall!.
The Sega Mega Drive Flashback is, thankfully, an entirely different story. With its impressive 85 built-in games featuring a number of classic games including the Sonic series, Mortal Kombat II, Shining Force, Comix Zone, Golden Axe, and many more.
Like with Nintendo's re-releases these Flashback consoles will look like the real deal, only smaller, and with wireless controllers modeled in the style of classic one-button joysticks and six-button game pads.
And to stay ahead of the backlash, Nintendo are stating that there will be more Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System stock this time around. Which we would hope so, considering how hard it was to find a mini-NES last year (see: impossible). The mini-SNES has a release date of September 30, for the price of $119.95 AUD and will launch with 21 games pre-loaded -- including the never before seen Star Fox 2.
Yeah, that last one is one hell of a surprise, as Star Fox 2 has slowly become a thing of legend over the years. With development handled by Argonaut and Nintendo the game was scrapped prior to its planned 1995 release -- with the game supposedly complete. And now, it'll be included as part of the mini-SNES release!
Which also comes with 20 other titles.
Contra III: The Alien Wars™
Donkey Kong Country™
Final Fantasy III
Kirby™ Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course™
The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™
Mega Man™ X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox™ 2
Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV™
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts™
Super Mario Kart™
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars™
Super Mario World™
It's a pretty good collection of SNES games, and includes another never-before-seen in Australia title -- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Naturally, we could think of 20 more games we'd like to see included but it's hard to fault the line-up. And compared to last year's mini-NES these 16-bit titles offer way more value for money.
And are, well, much better games.
* - Yeah, it's time to face facts Mega Drive fans. Sure SEGA's 16-bit output was cool, but the SNES is one of history's greatest consoles. Period.
Yesterday it came to light that Cloud Imperium Games took out a second Star Citizen loan in the UK, from the bank Coutts. What caused quite a bit of stir among those that have been following the development of both Star Ctizen and Squadron 42, was that terms of the loan made it sound like defaulting on a single payment would result in all IP ownership reverting to the bank.
In response to the news CIG took the time to explain the situation, and that the loan simply falls in line with a tax credit rebate that it gets.
Our UK companies are entitled to a Government Game tax credit rebate which we earn every month on the Squadron 42 development. These rebates are payable by the UK Government in the fall of the next following year when we file our tax returns. Foundry 42 and its parent company Cloud Imperium Games UK Ltd. have elected to partner with Coutts, a highly regarded, very selective, and specialized UK banking institution, to obtain a regular advance against this rebate, which will allow us to avoid converting unnecessarily other currencies into GBP. We obviously incur a significant part of our expenditures in GBP while our collections are mostly in USD and EUR. Given today’s low interest rates versus the ongoing and uncertain currency fluctuations, this is simply a smart money management move, which we implemented upon recommendation of our financial advisors.
And that the collateral only refers to the UK-developed portion of the game -- Squadron 42.
Which, is fair enough. The troubling aspect that many saw as red flags coming from this revelation is that with over $150 million in crowdfunding being poured into Star Citizen, the last thing they'd want to see would be ownership shifting to a bank. Also, with development on the ambitious project now entering its sixth year, after first getting announced in 2012 the modular approach to its design and release so far has left many wondering when the final game will be made available.
And to answer the question posited by the headline -- no, probably not. But hey, we're still waiting patiently for any Star Citizen related release date news.
One of the currnet it games, the battle royale brilliance that is PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS has sold more than four million copies since its PC debut as an Early Access game on March 23, 2017. For developer Bluehole that has resulted in a very impressive $100 million in revenue.
Globally, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS boasts a wide-ranging audience with 24% of players based in the US, 19% in China, 6% in Germany, 6% in Russia and 4% in the U.K. Although not listed, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (or PUBG) is also very popular here too. In terms of player counts, it has peaked at 230,000 concurrent users on Steam.
And it's fun to watch too, with 15% of all Twitch users watching PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS content each and everyday.
As per the trailer above, the game will be making its console debut later this year on Xbox One. And to see what all the fuss is about be sure to check the game out on Steam.
With the beta in full swing, a lot of players have assumed that when the full release happens Quake Champions will also launch exclusively via the Bethesda.net launcher. In a new Q&A posted over at the online Bethesda community, id Software has confirmed that "Quake Champions will indeed be released on Steam."
You'll still need a Bethesda.net account to play, but not the launcher. Now, normally this wouldn't be all that newsworthy but with all the big publishers releasing their own digital PC platforms -- having to juggle Battle.net, Origin, Uplay, and now the Bethesda.net launcher, in addition to Steam, can become a bit of a hassle. Of the too many icons in your system tray variety. Of course this revelation also helps shed some of negativity surrounding the Bethesda.net launcher, which feels a little slow and buggy in its current state.
In the discussion id Software also confirms that it is currently hard at work optimising all aspects of the game including working on stuff like tutorials and training maps for those that might be new to the whole Quake thing.
In other recent Quake Champions news, to go along the announcement of Wolfenstein II at E3 earlier this month, BJ Blazkowicz has been added to the roster of champions.
Over the weekend in Adelaide, the Hi-Rez Oceania $35,000 Mid Year Finals took place. With Legacy Esports crowned the best SMITE team in the region and Kanga Esports victorious in the Paladins Path to Dreamhack grand final. The event saw a number of match-ups take place over two days of esports action.
Teams competing in the Hi-Rez Oceania Mid Year Finals included SMITE teams LG Dire Wolves, Legacy Esports, Kanga Esports and Dark Sided. Paladins included Kings Esports, and reigning OCE champions Kanga Esports -- who are currently ranked 3rd in the world. With the win over the weekend, Kanga will now fly to Valencia to part in a 8 team Paladins global tournament. Go Aussies!
Results are as follows for the SMITE matches.
Details for SMITE Oceania Pro League Split 3, and Paladins Oceania Esports are coming soon. In the meantime be sure to check out all the action over at twitch.tv/HirezTV and twitch.tv/PaladinsGame
Coming to PlayStation 4 tomorrow, June 27, with a PC and Xbox One version to follow. For the price of $69.99 AUD, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered offers the full Call of Duty 4 campaign remastered for modern hardware with 16 fan favourite multiplayer maps.
Previously only available as part of the ultra limited edition of Call of Duty: 2016 Edition, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is still a very good looking remaster.
Work on the remaster was handled by veteran studio Raven Software, "It’s been an honour to bring this great title, which holds such a special place in our hearts, to a new generation of players," said Brian Raffel, studio head of Raven Software. "With Modern Warfare Remastered, we’re able to relive our favourite campaign levels and multiplayer moments in full HD visuals and remastered audio. No detail was too small, as the team pored over every aspect of development."
Also to celebrate the release (for PS4) there will be a special in-game Call of Duty “Days of Summer” event across multiple Calls of Duty where bonus XP and in-game goodies will be given away.
After making its console debut on the Xbox One, Cities: Skylines is back again with the very easy to understand title - Cities: Skylines - PlayStation 4 Edition. Self explanatory really, and with development duties being handled once again by Melbourne-based Tantalus Media, expect this to play just as well. In that it works as a console game, and if you don't have a gaming PC its a great way to experience Cities: Skylines.
Here's a trailer to go alongside the announcement.
Cities: Skylines – PlayStation 4 Edition will retail for $69.95 when it launches August 15. And like the Xbox One edition will feature the core game and the After Dark expansion.
No word on if the we should expect an enhanced version for the PS4 Pro.
Okay, so two items on the long list of most fan-requested Overwatch features and changes are coming with the next update. First off, and this is a big one, is a complete revamp to the Highlight Reel system. So, instead of the game storing its own highlights that disappear as soon as you log off, now they'll last a lot longer. Plus, players will also be able to set bookmarks in-game to capture and then export their own highlights at even higher qualities than the settings they use to play!
Very cool. In addition to that the Loot Box system is also getting an update to drastically reduce the number of duplicates and increase the number of credits. Win, win.
Here's Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan talking about the changes.
Loot Box Updates
We always want the experience of opening an in-game loot box to feel exciting and rewarding, and in our latest patch we’re working to improve that experience in two key ways. First, we’re drastically reducing the amount of duplicates players will receive when opening loot boxes. Second, to compensate for this reduction of duplicate items, we’re also increasing the overall amount of credits players will receive from loot boxes. On average, players should be earning just as many credits, if not slightly more, from loot boxes than they did prior to these changes.
New Highlight Options
The game will continue to automatically generate highlights for you based on your recent gameplay. These auto-generated highlights—now categorized as "Today's Top 5"—will be surfaced on a daily basis and persist for a full 24 hours (or until the game client is patched, whichever happens first).
Players can now generate their own highlights! The ability to capture 12 seconds of your own gameplay has been added to the game, and can be bound to a single button of your choice (or a button per highlight slot) in the Options menu under “Request Highlight.” These player-generated highlights will be saved under a new section called “Recently Captured” and will persist until the game client is patched. Players can have up to 36 recently-captured highlights stored at one time.
With the above, players can now record any of their "Top 5" or "Recently Captured" highlights, exporting them as a video file to their gaming platform’s designated media library (on console) or directory (on PC). On PC, players will also have the option to select the quality at which these highlights are exported, supporting up to 4K at 60 FPS for Windows 8 or higher operating systems, and up to 1080p on Windows 7.
One of the surprise reveals at Ubisoft's E3 conference was the very cool Beyond Good and Evil 2 cinematic trailer that closed out the show. It displayed a strange and exciting sci-fi world full of character, colour, and action. What we didn't see though was any gameplay, with Creative Director Michel Ancel stating that with work on the engine complete, development on the actual game portion has only just begun.
And now we have a fascinating look at an in-engine demo of what Beyond Good & Evil 2 currently looks like. And we have to say, it's certainly impressive. But also highlights the fact that we'll probably be waiting a few years to see the final product. In the demonstration, presented by Michel Ancel we see shades of both Star Citizen and No Man's Sky. Yeah, Beyond Good & Evil 2 features the sort of crazy sci-fi stuff that game have only begun to scratch the surface of, with intricately designed systems around planetary time, celestial bodies, and being able to zoom out from a character standing on an impressive structure, all the way into space. And beyond.
And then there's the ship stuff. It looks and sounds pretty amazing. But again, as an in-engine demo, how long will we have to wait until the game is out?
It's that time of year again, when the weather heats up for our friends up north and we brave the cold by staying indoors and snapping up a few bargains at the annual Steam Summer Sale. With the theme this year being around a sticker book. That, and great deals on games. Click through for some of our picks.
The sale, which kicked off today will run through until July 6. Here's a few highlights.
And to make it even more impressive, in a "well now, would you look at that" sort of way, it's a life-size recreation too. Created in Unity for the Microsoft Hololens by software developer Abhishek Singh, he shows off his creation with a demonstration in New York's Central Park. Dressed as Mario to boot.
Basically any object that Mario would either jump on to reach a new height is walked around, but still, impressive. Or, interesting.
Announced at its E3 conference last week, much to the surprise and joy of everyone in attendance, Ubisoft's Skull and Bones was a dream come true for anyone that wanted a full pirate game based on the ship-to-ship combat found in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Which was basically everyone that played it.
With a 2018 release date, the gameplay we saw focused exclusively on the multiplayer side of things.
Although the announcement did state that the game would support both solo and group play, a recent comment from a Ubisoft rep over at PC Gamer has dropped a few more details about the single-player side of the game.
[Skull and Bones] will offer a narrative campaign which will be integrated into the game and will not be something aside of the multiplayer experience. In this campaign, players will encounter iconic characters and memorable rival pirates. More details will be shared at a later date.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this statement is that the campaign will be integrated into the game, possibly pointing to single mode for Skull and Bones that can either be tackled solo or in co-op. A single, large open-world full of beautiful oceans to sail through and treasure to plunder -- with the option of taking part in either narrative-based content, PvP battles, or even just messing about in the world. You know, living the life of a pirate.
The E3 demo basically only showed one PvP mode, and according to Ubisoft only represents the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to Skull and Bones content.
In a new interview with Uncharted developers Naughty Dog over at Eurogamer, we get word from the team that the Uncharted series could and probably will continue after the release of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in August. After Uncharted 4 served as the swan song for series protagonist Nathan Drake many wondered, or expected that it would serve as the last Uncharted game for quite a while.
And then with the perspective shifting to other characters, Nadine Ross and Chloe Frazer, for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy the same group of people probably saw this new game as a victory lap for the franchise.
Not so, according to Naughty Dog's Shaun Escayg.
I wouldn't say it's the end. This thieving world is huge. There's so many characters. Even before we settled on this particular story we were exploring Sullivan, we were exploring Cutter, and pairing each other up, thinking what would be right, what would have conflict, growth, something new, something fresh. And Chloe was the one that kept jumping out.
But to say the Uncharted world is done... I doubt that highly.
The entire interview is worth a read if you consider yourself a fan of the series, with another interesting bit of information being that most of the Naughty Dog team (which includes hundreds of people) are currently hard at work putting the final touches on Lost Legacy. Which means that development on The Last of Us Part II has been progressing with a fairly small team, by comparison, in recent months.
Which makes Lost Legacy sound like Uncharted 5. Here's the impressive gameplay demo from the other day.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy comes out August 22 for PlayStation 4.
Ahead of this weekend's StarCraft II WCS event in Sydney, Daniel "Deth" Haynes, StarCraft II Player, and host at the event takes through the story so far -- TV show recap style. Or, to use a more appropriate sports word -- highlights from the action so far in the StarCraft II WCS ANZ Challenger.
Take it away Deth...
This year has been action-packed and full of opportunity for our local talent in WCS. Last season we saw 16 players duking it out for their share of $10,000 and two qualifying spots to travel overseas, representing our region in WCS Jönköping.
Season 2 boasted enough upsets and nail-biting moments to satisfy even the most seasoned StarCraft II fan. Ryan “NXZ” Jones came out of presumed retirement to defeat Varun "DemiLove" Immanuel. Jamie "Peppy" Austin slayed the up-and-comer Tran "MeomaikA" Hong Phuc, and David "MightyKiwi" Gore wowed the audience with an impressive performance - falling a whisker short of the finals.
Sheldon "Seither" Barrow’s performance was a pleasant surprise after his miserly performance in Season 1. He burst forth like a phoenix from the ashes, demolishing each opponent with ease and quickly securing a finals placement.
The tumultuous bracket resulted in a photo finish towards the Grand Finals. Ethan "iaguz" Zugai and Sean "Probe" Kempen were tied in a best-of-three, locked in battle on Abyssal Reef. Winner-takes-all. After some calculated pressure, Probe over-committed his army and lost a critical engagement. Iaguz fought back with a huge advantage, clinched the win, and tickets to Jönköping.
The Grand Finals produced close games and intense battles as each player poised for position. Seither favoured ground-based compositions, scrappy engagements and multi-tasking, while Iaguz was more comfortable maintaining air control and and patient play.
The series eventually tied at 2 maps apiece. Iaguz set a trap for Seither and took control of the map, positioning himself to starve Seither’s economy until victory was inevitable.
Earlier this year ZeniMax managed to win a $500 million outcome on its lawsuit against the Facebook-owned Oculus for illegally using its VR technology. A staggering amount of money, offset by the equally staggering fact that for Facebook that figure isn't enough to cause any major damage to its brand. But, that's just the opening salvo as ZeniMax are looking to block sales of Oculus Rifts or impose a 10-year 20% royalty fee. Plus, increase the damages to... 1 billion dollars.
Bonus points if you read that last bit in the voice of Dr. Evil.
According to the latest developments, thanks to ArsTechnica.
US District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Southern District of Texas heard arguments in that injunction case Tuesday, and he also addressed a ZeniMax request for an additional $500 million in false designation damages and lawyer's fees. In court filings, ZeniMax argues that "the jury verdict clearly establishes that Oculus wrongly obtained ZeniMax VR technology under the NDA and used it... to establish a business that would not have existed without ZeniMax."
In its defense Oculus points to the fact that ZeniMax currently doesn't offer any products that directly compete with the Rift, and that because the original events that led to the current situation happened years ago, well, its too late. Plus, it claims that ZeniMax hasn't been able to offer any evidence of current Oculus source code that infringes on the early code that the jury found to infringe on ZeniMax's copyright.
And to think, we didn't know if we'd ever be able to run on our go-to Oculus header pic.
Yeah, the game maker and streaming platform equivalent of a Dream Team (see: the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team), are partnering with popular streamers from Australia and New Zealand for ANZ Community Battles. Which means they'll get to pick members of their communities to play Overwatch, Quake Champions, or PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS in official gaming tournaments. And it starts next week with Overwatch!
This sounds like a lot of fun.
Each week starting the 26th of June, content creators are given the chance to hand-pick members of their community to take on teams assembled by other Partners in one of three popular competitive games: Overwatch, Quake Champions, and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Participants will compete for a chance to win prizes as well as bragging rights.
Creators are given four days from the start of each week to choose members for their teams and train in a montage-type format. On Friday evening, teams will square off in one of two formats: round robin or free-for-all. The winning team will receive a unique trophy.
As mentioned above Overwatch will be kicking things off on the week of June 26, with Quake Champions scheduled to commence July 3, and finally PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS on July 10.
The tournaments will be streamed live on each of the partner's channels. With the Overwatch ANZ Community Battles streamers including: Loserfruit, Livibee, Crayator, and Rudeism. Streamers for Quake Champions and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS will be announced on Twitter closer to those dates.