EA Says Battlefront II’s Microtransaction Change Will Not Affect Earnings

After Electronic Arts made a last-minute adjustment to Star Wars: Battlefront II’s microtransactions by turning off the ability to buy its virtual currency, the publisher has issued a statement to investors that they do not expect this to change earnings much at all.

The statement comes as EA attempts to assuage investors’ fears that microtransactions are a big part of the revenue EA was expecting from Battlefront II this financial year. EA does not believe it will impact things too much.

“On November 16, 2017, Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”) announced in a blog on its website at www.ea.com/news that it will turn off all in-game purchases for the Star Wars Battlefront II title until further notice,” said the statement. “This change is not expected to have a material impact on EA’s fiscal year 2018 financial guidance.”

EA plans to bring the microtransactions back at a later date, but has not specified in what form beyond stating that it will still be tied to progression.

Star Wars: Battlefront II is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can find our review of the game here.

[Source: EA Investor Statement]

 

Our Take
While EA is right to be concerned about investor feelings after the story got mainstream attention, it does come off as surprisingly tone deaf to the consumer furor around the title, especially the week after release and the week of Black Friday when sales are important. It undercuts the change they made by hoping people only care about the results and not the intention.

Monster Hunter: World Bestiary Day 3 – The Destructive Titan Nergigante

Last week, we explored Monster Hunter: World’s Coral Highlands map, a striking location that looks like a dried-out version of an underwater paradise. This week, we’re taking a similar approach with three of the upcoming game’s monsters. During our visit to Capcom’s Osaka offices, we got exclusive presentations on the design process for each of these beasts, including a look at their early iterations and how they finally arrived at the versions you’ll be able to hunt in January.

We’ve been building up to a crescendo this week, with our earlier examinations of the Paolumu and Tobi-Kadachi. Not to take anything away from those two monsters, but they’re barely in the same league as our final bestiary entry, the mighty Nergigante. There’s a reason why this massive elder dragon made our cover.

Monster Hunter: World’s executive director and art director, Kaname Fujioka, says his team wanted to defy its own conventions with Nergigante. “We wanted to make the flagship an elder dragon, but elder dragons have typically had the more fantastical abilities in the series,” he says. “I wanted to have a more grounded version of that and think about what type of capabilities he would have. My initial concept was two keywords: destruction and regeneration. He has great destructive power, but he can also regenerate.”

Nergigante is a lumbering beast that attacks without much regard for its own safety. In fact, the strength of its attacks cause it to break off pieces of itself. Fortunately for him, it’s able to regenerate those spikes and other parts.

“Our initial concept, based on the regeneration idea, was that it would have these limbs and wings that would be growing out spikily as they regenerate and are destroyed,” Fujioka says. “The reason we didn’t proceed with this design was that it didn’t give us enough of a sense of the cycle that’s going to repeat throughout the battle, where it’s going to be destruction and regeneration recurring over and over. It’s difficult to determine from the design if that was actually happening, so we didn’t go with it.” 

The next iteration was closer to what Fujioka had in mind. “We moved on to this design. While it was interesting because it was very spiky and it gives the idea that they’re growing back on top of each other in a twisted, experimental way, it was just too alien. It didn’t have that ‘creature-ness’ that we wanted it to have, where it looked like a more grounded animal for the series. There were some interesting directions, but it wasn’t the way we wanted to go.

“The design went more in the direction that it’s going to be very powerful and have destructive power, and we decided that it was going to be very front loaded, that it was going to have these very powerful forelimbs and that the front of its body would be where it counts. However, that design didn’t have any particularly special feature around it. It was basically just a lizard, so the designer started to add more interesting aspects such as the unique spikiness. The idea that the spikes themselves are the part which will be used to attack and they’ll break off and then regenerate, I thought was a really good fit for what we were going for in the first place. I really liked the silhouette that the monster has and thought this was the direction we had to pursue.”

Fujioka jokes that that concept came at a price. “The person who has to actually design the monster model wasn’t too happy, because there are so many spikes on this thing and he could see a long road of modeling spikes on him,” he says. “There are 1,000 or more spikes on the front alone. There’s a lot of work to do that.”

As we’ve been discussing throughout the week, the monster itself is only part of the design process. Since players can use parts of the monsters to build unique-looking armor and weapons, the team has to find ways to incorporate monster designs into gear.

“The first design concept focused on the demonic appearance of the Nergigante, and that’s where you get this demon king sort of armor,” Fujioka says. “But Nergigante is more wild than that. The first design looked too neat, so I wanted to take the barbaric, wild nature of the monster and express that through the armor. The silhouette has been broken up more substantially here with the addition of all the spikes.”

For the weapons, Fujioka wanted to push the idea of Nergigante’s squat profile and overall strength. As a result, the weapons that players can craft using his parts are unique – serving a dual purpose as trophies, showing off to others that players who wield them have earned the right through intense combat.

“The monster has really powerful forelimbs, so the dual blades are normally two blades – these are almost like two clawed gloves that the character has on and the players attack with the claws instead of blades,” Fujioka says. “The lance basically looks like you’ve taken the forelimb off of a slain Nergigante and cut the lance right out of it.

“For the greatsword, we’ve taken the way that the monster’s spikes unfold, and when you do a charge attack the spikes are going to suddenly pop out. The bowguns take the powerful silhouette of the monster and also its spikiness and implement that into some seriously dangerous-looking guns. Most of the bowguns are quite long and slender, so having this more close-cropped, almost sawed-off shotgun approach makes them look more dangerous, and they’re quite unique in the universe of Monster Hunter.”

 

We’ve got more Monster Hunter: World features and videos on the way, so be sure to come back to our hub in the days and weeks to come!

First Trailer For Rampage Movie Stars Dwayne Johnson And Other Giant Monsters

Rampage, the movie inexplicably based on the 1986 Midway arcade game, has its first trailer starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, released today.

The game was based on the idea of monsters, usually a King Kong-like giant gorilla and a Godzilla-like giant lizard, tearing through cities and causing destruction. The movie’s interpretation of this is Dwayne Johnson befriends one of the giants and the two of them fight back evil forces, so it is basically the latter Fast & Furious movies.

Check out the trailer below. Rampage releases on April 20.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

New Sea of Thieves Trailer Encourages Players To Be More Pirate

The latest trailer for Rare’s upcoming pirate MMO makes the case for players to let out their inner swashbuckler.

Released earlier today, the trailer shows off the many different options players will have in Rare’s Sea of Thieves. From comandeering vessels to traversing long distances via being shot out of a cannon, players have more than a few ways to mix up their online experiences with friends and enemies alike. Likewise, the game’s insider program is open for registration, offering the chance to stay up to date on the game’s development as well as admission into the drawing for early access to the game’s builds.

Players can dive into Sea of Thieves in earnest when it hits Xbox One and PC in 2018.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
The game looks to have some cool features in the works, and considering the strength of the Xbox One X, it could be quite the experience for MMO fans.

Armature Studios Announces Gear VR Title Fail Factory

Armature Studios, a developer made up of former members of Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime team, has announced that their newest project is a collaboration with Oculus Studios for the Samsung Gear VR.

The new title, named Fail Factory!, is a VR title with a cute style.

The game was teased by the studio as a big announcement yesterday and was revealed today with a teaser trailer. Armature is best known for the 2016 and 2017 releases of Recore on the Xbox One. Their previous work also includes the handheld Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate. The studio had been tasked with porting Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained to Wii U and Vita due to their incompatibility with Unreal Engine 4, but it’s not clear what has become of that contract with the Wii U version cancelled and the Switch version being worked on internally.

You can check out the teaser trailer for Fail Factory! below.

The game will release on December 7. Samsung Gear VR is used exclusively with Samsung phones.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Details Emerge About Ubisoft Berlin And The Future Of Far Cry Development

Ubisoft announced earlier this year its plans to open a new studio in Berlin, Germany. Today brings new details from the publisher about its plans for the studio, including who will be running the show and a little bit about what the team is working on. 

Ubisoft Berlin is set to begin work in early 2018. Istvan Tajnay is set to act as studio manager. Tajnay has previous experience at Ubisoft prior to his elevation to running the new Berlin studio. Prior to that, he worked as a producer at Sega. 

Ubisoft Berlin seems like it will start out in a collaborative role with other Ubisoft studios on some of the company’s major properties, including the Far Cry franchise – a statement that certainly seems to imply that we can expect more from the Far Cry brand after the impending release of Far Cry 5 in 2018. It’s not unusual for Ubisoft to tap its newer studios for additional work on major brands before having a dedicated project of its own, and that seems to be the strategy here as well.  

Ubisoft Berlin is targeting a staff of 50 developers in its first year as it ramps up to speed. The new development house will join two other development Ubisoft studios in Germany – the Blue Byte teams in Düsseldorf and Mainz.

 

Our Take
Ubisoft has faced threats of takeover by Vivendi in recent years, but the publisher’s expansion into new territories and studios shows signs of continued growth in the face of those challenges. 

The Game Awards Reveals 2017 Award Nominees

The Game Awards has released its list of nominees for this year’s show, with fans able to cast their votes for the first time.

In an announcement released earlier today, The Game Awards host lays out its nominees across all categories for its upcoming 2017 award show on December 7. In terms of games, knock out hits like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Destiny 2 lead the pack, while titles like Persona 5 and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are in the running for more than a few themselves.

There’s also a host of other catagories and nominees which can be viewed down below. It should also be noted that this is the first year fans can vote for their favorite entries through several social media platforms [Full Disclosure: Game Informer is on the voting jury]. Be sure to check out The Game Awards’ official site for instructions on how to cast a vote.

Game of the Year

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Game Direction

  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Narrative

  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Art Direction

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Score/Music

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)

Best Audio Design

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Performance

  • Melina Juergens, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (as Senua)
  • Laura Bailey, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (as Nadine Ross)
  • Claudia Black, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (as Chloe Frasier)
  • Brian Bloom, Wolfenstein II: The new Colossus (as B.J. Blazkowicz)
  • Ashley Burch, Horizon Zero Dawn (as Aloy)

Games for Impact

  • Please Knock on my Door (Levall Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm (Deck Nine/Square Enix)
  • Bury Me, My Love (The Pixel Hunt/Figs, ARTE)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)

Best Ongoing Game

  • Warframe (Digital Extremes)
  • Rainbow 6: Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Grand Theft Auto Online (Rockstar Games)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)

Best Mobile Game

  • Super Mario Run (Nintendo)
  • Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules)
  • Monument Valley 2 (ustwo games)
  • Hidden Folks (Adriaan de Jongh/Sylvain Tegroeg)
  • Fire Emblem Heroes (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

Best Handheld Game

  • Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World (Good-Feel/Nintendo)
  • Monster Hunter Stories (Marvelous/Nintendo)
  • Metyroid: Samus Returns (MercurySteam/Nintendo)
  • Ever Oasis (Grezzo/Nintendo)
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

Best VR/AR Game

  • Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft)
  • Lone Echo/Echo Arena (Ready At Dawn/Oculus Studios)
  • Farpoint (Impulse Gear/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

Best Action Game

  • Prey (Arkane/Bethesda)
  • Nioh (Team Ninja/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Role Playing Game

  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Ubisoft San Francisco/Ubisoft)
  • Final Fantasy XV (Square-Enix Business Division 2/Square-Enix)
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Games)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)

Best Fighting Game

  • Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Nidhogg 2 (Messhof Games)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite (Capcom)
  • Injustice 2 (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Arms (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Family Game

  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Sonic Mania (PagodaWest Games + Headcannon/Sega)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft Paris + Milan/Ubisoft)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Strategy Game

  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (Fire Axis Games/2K)
  • Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)
  • Total War: Warhammer II (Creative Assembly/Sega)
  • Halo Wars 2 (Creative Assembly + 343/Microsoft Studios)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft Paris + Milan/Ubisoft)

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • Project Cars 2 (Slightly Mad Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PES Productions/Konami)
  • NBA 2K18 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
  • GT Sport (Polyphony Digital/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • FIFA 18 (EA Vancouver/EA)

Best Multiplayer

  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • Call of Duty: World War II (Sledgehammer Games/Activision)
  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)

Most Anticipated Game

  • The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Red Dead Redemption II (Rockstar Games)
  • Monster Hunter World (Capcom)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • God of War (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Independent Game

  • Pyre (Supergiant Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)

Best Student Game

  • Meaning (Hariz Yet; DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore)
  • Level Squared (Kip Brennan, Stephen Scoglio, Dane Perry Svendsen; Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Impulsion (Hugo Verger, Rémi Bertrand, Maxime Lupinski; IIM – Institut de l’Internet et du Multimédia)
  • Falling Sky (Jonathan Nielssen, Nikolay Savov, Mohsen Shah; National Film and Television School)
  • Hollowed (Erin Marek, Jerrick Flores, Charley Choucard; University of Central Florida – Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy)
  • From Light (Alejandro Grossman, Steven Li, Sherveen Uduwana; University of Southern California)

Trending Gamer

  • Steven Spohn (AbleGamers)
  • Mike Grzesiek (Shroud)
  • Guy Beam (Dr. Disrespect)
  • Clint Lexa (Halfcoordinated)
  • Andrea Rene (What’s Good Games)

Best Esports Game

  • Rocket League (Psyonix)
  • League of Legends (Riot)
  • DOTA 2 (Valve)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)

Best Esports Player

  • Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi (Team Liquid, DOTA 2)
  • Je-hong “ryujehong” Ryu (Seoul Dynasty, Overwatch)
  • Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovac (FaZE Clan, Counter-Strike: GO)
  • Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David (SK Gaming, Counter-Strike: GO)
  • Lee sang-hyeok “Faker” (SK Telecom 1, League of Legends)

Best Esports Team

  • Team Liquid
  • SK Telecom 1
  • Lunatic Hai
  • FaZe Clan
  • Cloud 9

Best Debut Indie Game

  • Slime Rancher (Monomi Park)
  • Mr. Shifty (Team Shifty)
  • Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)
  • Golf Story (Sidebar Games)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Best Chinese Games

    • Monument Valley 2(《纪念碑谷2》) (ustwo)
    • jx3 HD(《剑网3》重制版 (Kingsoft Corporation)
    • Gumballs(《不思议迷宫》) (QcPlay Limited)
    • ICEY(《艾希》) (FantaBlade Network)
    • King Of Glory(《王者荣耀》 (Timi Studio Group)


The announcement video featuring the show’s host Geoff Keeley can also be viewed down below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
If anything, this year’s nominations show just how strong 2017 has been for games. Aside from a slew of Massive Multiplayer games and shooters, games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are strong single player contenders. Likewise, Nintendo’s glut of nominations show the strength of their in-house releases since the launch of the Switch. It’ll certainly be one interesting show come December 7.