Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - RSS Headlines   RSS Headlines   Twitter   Twitter

Archived News:

Thursday, Aug 04, 2016

Activision Blizzard Financials: 15M Overwatch Players

Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected and Record Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results. These include strong growth and a record billion dollars in digital revenue for the quarter. Here's a rundown of revenue, "On a Non-GAAP (as previously defined) basis, the company’s net revenues were a Q2 record $1.61 billion, as compared with $759 million for the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 112%. Non-GAAP (as previously defined) net revenues from digital channels were an all-time quarterly record of $1.40 billion, up 76% quarter-over-quarter and 129% year-over-year. Non-GAAP (as previously defined) earnings per diluted share were a Q2 record $0.54, as compared with $0.13 for the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 315%. Note that we are providing these Non-GAAP (as previously defined) measures for comparability one last time this quarter." Here are some highlights, including word that over 15 million gamers are playing Overwatch:
Audience Reach

  • Activision Blizzard had 491 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in the quarter.
  • Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history, with MAUs of 33 million, up 29% quarter-over-quarter and 13% year-over-year. This reflects the successful launch of Overwatch® and strength across the broader portfolio, including Hearthstone®: Heroes of Warcraft™, which had record quarterly MAUs, and World of Warcraft®, which had double-digit MAUA growth quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.
  • On May 24, 2016, Blizzard launched Overwatch which now has over 15 million players globally, including box and digital sales, internet game room players, and multi-user console households. In China, Overwatch broke the previous record set by Diablo® III as the fastest-selling PC game in the market’s history. Overwatch also currently holds the number one position in Korean Internet Game Rooms with over 30% share of play time.
  • Activision had the biggest second quarter online player community in its history, with MAUs of 49 million, up 11% year-over-year. Activision continues to have four of the top ten games on current-generation consoles life-to-date, including Call of Duty®: Black Ops III at No. 1.
  • King MAUs of 409 million declined in the quarter as expected due to seasonal trends and launch timing. King had three of the top-15-grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for the tenth quarter in a row.

Take-Two Financials

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Reports Results for Fiscal First Quarter 2017. Here are some numbers to crunch, "For fiscal first quarter 2017, GAAP net revenue grew 13% to $311.6 million, as compared to $275.3 million for fiscal first quarter 2016. The largest contributors to GAAP net revenue in fiscal first quarter 2017 were Grand Theft Auto V® and Grand Theft Auto Online, NBA® 2K16 and Battleborn®. The change in deferred net revenue, which represents revenue recognized during the current period that was deferred in prior periods, net of revenue that is being deferred into future periods, was ($39.0) million in fiscal first quarter 2017 versus $91.1 million in fiscal first quarter 2016." Though that quote mentions Battleborn, Gearbox's new shooter is not included in management's comments:
Management Comments
“Fiscal 2017 is off to a solid start, with first quarter net revenue up 13% year-over-year,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “Our results were driven by the continued strong performance of Grand Theft Auto V and NBA 2K, coupled with growth in revenue and bookings from recurrent consumer spending, including record bookings from Grand Theft Auto Online.

“We anticipate a robust holiday season for Take-Two, anchored by the upcoming launches of Mafia III, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, NBA 2K17 and WWE 2K17. We plan to continue to support our titles with an array of innovative offerings designed to promote ongoing engagement and drive recurrent consumer spending, including additional free content for Grand Theft Auto Online. Looking ahead, our exciting development pipeline extends well beyond the current fiscal year, and we expect to grow bookings and cash flow from operations in fiscal 2018.”

The Elder Scrolls: Legends Beta Begins

Open beta testing is now underway for The Elder Scrolls: Legends, the virtual card game based on the RPG series. Anyone interested in checking this out can download it and get playing right away. has the details on how to get your copy and what to expect. Word is, "Our constructed (Battle) mode uses 50-card decks. That means you’ve got more cards to work with, and a greater variety of cards. This really changes how games are played. You’ll see a more diverse lineup with each match, as opposed to seeing the same cards every time."

DOOM: Unto the Evil Released

DOOM – Unto the Evil is now available, offering the first DLC for id's first-person shooter. celebrates the news with a new trailer from the add-on. Along with all the details they also announce a double XP weekend is now underway:
Unto the Evil includes the following:

  • Three new multiplayer maps: Offering, Cataclysm and Ritual
  • A new player-controlled demon: Harvester
  • A new weapon: UAC EMG Pistol
  • New equipment: Kinetic Mine
  • New ways to customize your DOOM Marine, including additional armor sets, patterns, colors and taunts
  • New hack modules

At QuakeCon, DOOM Executive Producer Marty Stratton announced a double XP weekend to coincide with the launch of Unto the Evil. Also coming soon is classic deathmatch, which attendees got to try exclusively at the show.

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Free Weekend

A free weekend has begun for Call of Duty: Black Ops III along with a sale on the military shooter sequel. The game is also on sale right now. Steam News has all the details:
Play Call of Duty: Black Ops III free* as part of this week's Weekend Deal! Save 50% on the base game, 25% on the Digital Deluxe Edition, and 20% on the Season Pass.**

Welcome to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, a dark, twisted future where a new breed of Black Ops soldier emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the technology we created to stay ahead, in a world where cutting-edge military robotics define warfare.

*Free play ends Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time
**Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Mordheim: City of the Damned Free Weekend

Steam News also announces a free weekend and sale are now underway in Mordheim: City of the Damned. Here's the deal:
Play Mordheim: City of the Damned free as part of this week's Weekend Deal! Save 60% on the base game and up to 33% on the DLCs.*

Mordheim: City of the Damned is the first video game adaptation of Games Workshop's cult classic tabletop game Mordheim. Set in the Warhammer World's decimated Empire city, Mordheim: City of the Damned is a turn-based tactical game where you lead warbands into bloody and lethal skirmishes. The game blends RPG elements, fast-paced tactical combat and intricate unit customization in a time wrought by chaos and rivalry where only the strongest survive.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Quake Champions Gameplay Trailer has a new Quake Champions trailer that debuted today at QuakeCon. The clip features the first look at gameplay from the upcoming first-person shooter. Here's the description:
id Software Studio Director Tim Willits took to the stage at QuakeCon 2016 to debut the first Quake Champions gameplay trailer. Packed with blazing-fast action and explosive rocket jumps you know and love, get first look at the game’s Champions – including new characters and franchise favorites.

In true Quake fashion, you’ll have an arsenal of powerful and unique weapons, each of which will feel familiar to long-time Quake players. There’s no loadouts, and no limit to the amount of guns you can carry. Quake Champions will be going into closed beta in 2017, so it won’t be too much longer before you’ll be able to get your hands on the heart-thumping arena-style FPS and see for yourself just how fast it is, running at 120hz with unlocked framerates.
Continue here to read the full story.

Prey Trailers offers Secrets from the Announce Trailer with more on what to expect from the new Prey. This went up yesterday, and today is followed by this post from today at QuakeCon offering the first look at gameplay from the first-person shooter. Here's word on what was seen of the game at the show:
Set in an alternate future, Prey puts you into the uniform of Morgan Yu, the subject of morally dubious experiments designed to grant you alien powers. At QuakeCon 2016, Arkane’s Co-creative Director Raphael Colantonio and Lead Designer Ricardo Bare delivered a first look at Prey’s gameplay, followed by the worldwide premiere of the first official gameplay trailer, which you can watch right now.

In addition to the gameplay trailer, Colantonio and Bare also showed off an extensive gameplay demo. While the gameplay presentation was revealed behind closed doors exclusively to QuakeCon attendees, we’ve got the full rundown of what was shown, including new insights into how Prey plays.
Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: WARHAMMER for OS X & Linux Coming

Feral Interactive announces it will release Linux and OS X editions of Total War: WARHAMMER this autumn. These versions were part of the original announcement of the fantasy-themed strategy game but were not part of its release. Here's the announcement:
Feral Interactive today announced it is bringing the hotly anticipated Total War™: WARHAMMER® to Mac and Linux this autumn. Developed by Creative Assembly, in partnership with Games Workshop, and published by SEGA for Windows PC, Total War: WARHAMMER unites two of the greatest names in gaming under one mighty banner.

A fantasy strategy game of titanic proportions, Total War: WARHAMMER combines an addictive turn-based campaign of skilful empire building with colossal real-time battles as players strive to conquer all at the head of one of four mythic Races.

The deep and rich universe of Warhammer opens a new era for Total War by taking the series into a magical realm of grand high fantasy. Gigantic monsters, flying dragons, legendary heroes and regiments of nightmarish warriors all take their place on the bloody battlefields of Warhammer’s Old World.

The first in an epic trilogy of titles, Total War: WARHAMMER delivers hundreds of hours of absorbing gameplay and will combine with two further standalone instalments and additional content packs to create the single largest Total War experience ever.

“This is the stuff of dreams,” said David Stephen, Managing Director of Feral Interactive, “The extraordinary gameplay of Total War matched with the fantastical universe of Warhammer is a match made in gaming heaven. We’re incredibly excited to bring Total War: WARHAMMER to Mac and Linux.”

Pricing and system requirements will be announced closer to release.

Steam VR Tracking Royalty-free

Valve announces the royalty-free licensing of Steam VR tracking for third-party hardware manufacturers. This is to boost the virtual reality ecosystem as they want to bring "new and innovative experiences for all VR customers." This is the tech behind their HTC Vive headsets, they are offering training and hardware to licensees. This page is home to the endeavor, and here's word:
Valve, creators of Steam, industry-leading virtual reality hardware and software, and several of the most popular online games on the Internet, today announces royalty-free licensing of SteamVR Tracking for 3rd-party hardware makers.

This tracking technology enables hardware developers to build highly precise position and orientation sensing into devices of all kinds. It is the same tracking technology currently being used in the HTC Vive, the most advanced virtual reality product on the market today. Valve expects the technology to be used in a variety of devices, such as VR peripherals and other input devices.

In-person training is being offered to the first wave of licensees, to help each device maker become acquainted with the technology. Online training materials and documentation are planned for a future release.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ashes of the Singularity Adds Maps

A new patch is now available for Ashes of the Singularity, updating Stardock's RTS game to version 1.3. This makes units more responsive and adds a map ping feature along with five new maps. This post has all the details. Here's an overview of the new features:
Unit Responsiveness - Units now respond faster to move orders and reach their destination more efficiently. Adjusted acceleration and banking speed makes units more responsive to your input, which allows for greater control of your armies.

Upgraded Movement - Larger units are now upgraded with improved movement and physics. The new AI tweaks will prevent them from clumping up (and becoming sitting ducks) or for jockeying with each other for position instead of fighting the enemy.

Map Ping - You can now coordinate attacks with your teammates by placing a marker on the mini-map. Visible only to members of your team, this feature will allow you to group up before your big assault.

Tempest this Month

Developer Lion's Shade and publisher HeroCraft announce they will unleash Tempest on August 22nd. This follows eight months of early access for their seafaring RPG for Windows and OS X. The official trailer and gameplay trailer show this looks more like The Tempest than Tempest, though it bears no direct relation to either. Here's what this will offer:
Hire your crew and level them up by completing quests and missions to create the most fearsome cutthroats on the high seas and then use them to board and capture other vessels. Choose from an array of weapons suitable for every type of sea battle including cannons, mortars and flamethrowers. Discover and unleash powerful artefacts such as mystical crystals to escape the enemy’s cannonballs, bring down meteorites from the heavens on to your rivals or summon a giant octopus to your aid.

With over 100 single-player quests to complete, a multiplayer mode for three players in both co-op and PvP and a vast open world to explore, Tempest truly allows you to choose how ruthless and cut-throat a pirate you want to be!
Continue here to read the full story.

F1 2016 Trailer

Multiplayer action from F1 2016 is on display in a new trailer from the upcoming Formula One racing sequel. Codemasters announces the game will allow 22 players to compete for the championship over the course of a season. There's more on this on the Codemasters Blog, and there are additional details in their announcement:
F1 2016, the official videogame of the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™, has the most immersive Career Mode ever seen in the franchise. Today Codemasters® and Deep Silver have released a new gameplay video that highlights many of the key features in the extensive and enthralling ten-year Career. It is available to view now on the official YouTube channel:

It was also announced today that F1 2016 will feature Multiplayer Championship, a brand new game mode that allows up to 22 players to compete against each other over the course of a season. The new mode allows players to race as team mates or to battle it out as different teams as well as offering great possibilities for league play.

In F1 2016’s Career Mode, players select their character, helmet and race number that will stay with them throughout their time in FORMULA ONE™. They then select which of the 11 official teams they wish to join to start their journey, as well as which member of the team will be their team-mate, before taking to the track for the first race of the season. The higher ranked teams will have steeper expectations for the player.

The in-race experience has never been more immersive. Players will experience the tension of the Formation Lap as they weave to warm their tires, before facing the drama of the manual race start, where they have to balance their revs and release the clutch at the right time. Get this wrong and players could jump the start and face a penalty or fail to get away from the line as the anti-stall kicks in.
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Cutscene

Activision seeks to whet our appetites for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare with a new video from the upcoming shooter. This is a cut-scene, but is created using the game engine. Here's an explanation of the scene, "After the brutal Settlement Defense Force attacks leave SATO forces devastated, Lt. Reyes is suddenly field-promoted to Captain as the highest-ranking officer remaining aboard the UNSA Retribution." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Honest Trailers - Watchmen.

Sudden Strike 4 Announced

Kalypso Media announces Sudden Strike 4 is coming to Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, and Linux in Q2 of next year. This World War II RTS series originated at Fireglow Games, but the new game is in development at Kite Games. This is actually the fifth Sudden Strike game, as they don't seem to be counting 2010's The Last Stand. They also stress that this is a full sequel, rather than a reboot or remake. This trailer teases the game, offering a mix of historical footage with gameplay. They say pre-purchases will go live on Steam today. Here's word:
Developed as a fully-fledged series entry and not a remake or reboot, Sudden Strike 4 sends you off on three extensive campaigns set amongst the battlefields of World War II. Commanding the British and American, German or Soviet troops, you will lead over 100 different units into battle, including the German bomber Heinkel He111, the Russian T-34 tank, the British Hawker Typhoon fighter plane and the notorious German Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger. In a first for the Sudden Strike series, you can now choose from one of nine individual commanders, such as George Patton or Bernard Montgomery, who will each allow for different approaches to combat and boast unique abilities.

Prove your tactical expertise in over 20 demanding single player scenarios, the challenge-focused skirmish mode, and the competitive multiplayer mode. A new reward system rewards clever and tactical play, awarding the player with skill points and bonus content, such as historical film footage of the era.

Sudden Strike 4 offers countless ways to vanquish your opponents. Exploit the weak spots of tanks, set up an ambush, occupy buildings with infantry, outmanoeuvre the enemy with clever positioning or unleash devastating air strikes – how you approach each mission is up to you!
Continue here to read the full story.

Planetoids DLC for Stellaris

Paradox Interactive now offers Planetoids, a new species pack for Stellaris, their sci-fi grand strategy game. A new trailer shows off what this first DLC pack adds to the game. This can be picked up on the Paradox store, where there is also currently a 20%-off sale on the Standard, Nova, and Galaxy editions of the game. Here are the details:
Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer with deep roots in strategy gaming, today released Plantoids, a new species pack for Stellaris, the sci-fi grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. Stellaris, a game that allows players to find their place in the stars as an empire at the dawn of space exploration, can now be expanded with Plantoids, a new in-game phenotype featuring plant-like lifeforms. Plantoids includes fifteen new species portraits, a set of new templates for plant-styled civilian and military ships, and new art for the Plantoids’ terrestrial cities. The new species pack is available today for Stellaris players on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs for $7.99.
Continue here to read the full story.

Too Angry to Space Next Week

A new launch trailer from Too Angry to Space shows off this arcade shooter coming to Windows on August 8th. The trailer offers a tongue-in-cheek look at the story and the game's retro, platformer gameplay. This was recently greenlit on Steam, and word is OS X and Linux editions will follow. Here's the pitch:
Too Angry To Space encourages you to sit back, relax and get ready for some classic 2D side-scrolling action reinvented and reimagined! With its clever blend of platforming trickery and old-school pixel-perfect jump’n’fun, lock-and-load and embark on a dangerous mission to defend your base… Mission objective: kill robots, destroy enemies, kill more robots, survive and escape! Who knows, there might be a few surprises along the way? (or you get lost or trapped! HA!) Can you discover the exit in 14 challenging levels and return to earth for a well-deserved brew? Purists of the genre seeking intense hardcore action without the useless post-RPG nonsense like levelling the hero or sneaking around will instantly feel at home!
Continue here to read the full story.

The Fall Part 2: Unbound Announced

Indie developer Over The Moon announces The Fall Part 2: Unbound is coming in Q1 of next year for Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and WiiU. This will be the second chapter in The Fall Trilogy, and in celebration the first game is currently on sale on Steam for 90% off. Here's a trailer and here are the details:
The Fall Part 2: Unbound picks up right where we left ARID at the end of The Fall. Featuring new characters, new gameplay twists, superb art direction and an even more engrossing story, The Fall Part 2: Unbound is a bold leap forward for the franchise.

“The Fall Part 2: Unbound takes everything we learned with The Fall, adds to it and improves on it exponentially”, said John Warner, Director of Over The Moon. “After seeing the reception The Fall received, we knew that people were excited to see ARID’s journey of self-discovery continue. We want The Fall Part 2: Unbound to deliver a thought-provoking story that will linger with players long after they finish the game, with gameplay that’s as fitting with that story as it is addictive.”

The Fall series combines Metroidvania-style exploration and combat with point and click adventure-style puzzles to create a fresh experience that fans of both genres will love. Players control ARID, an AI on-board a futuristic combat suit. In the original game, ARID was lost on an alien planet and struggled to save the life of the severely injured human occupant of the suit. After the unhinging events of part 1, ARID’s very existence is threatened when she is ejected from her body and projected onto a vast global network. In a desperate attempt to save herself, ARID invades and attempts to control several other robots she finds there, each with wildly different personalities and gameplay styles. Will ARID successfully enlist their help before it’s too late? One thing’s for certain – the process will change her.

With a deep, engaging narrative; fully realized, layered characters; stark, minimalist art direction and sparse, haunting sound design; The Fall Part 2: Unbound is Metroidvania for a new generation.
Continue here to read the full story.


A new Kickstarter update from Harebrained Schemes announces the release of a new "super-pre-alpha" trailer from their upcoming BATTLETECH game (thanks nin). The post is for backers only, so all the rest if us can see is the headline. It reads, "A 'Super-Pre-Alpha' First Look at BATTLETECH Combat - And It’s Playable at GenCon! Plus a New Late Backer Opportunity!" That said, the video itself is not actually private, so unless that changes, it is viewable by us unwashed masses. Word is:
A short sneak-peek of combat in an early pre-alpha build of BATTLETECH! We look forward to showing you more of the game later this year. And if you happen to be in Indianapolis this weekend for GenCon, stop by Booth 2329 to say hi and try the demo out for yourself!
Continue here to read the full story.

Disney Platformers on announces the addition of three 16-bit platformers to their market place. They now offer DRM-free editions of Disney Aladdin, Disney The Lion King, and Disney The Jungle Book, all on sale for the first week. Here's a rundown on the releases:
Good stories never fall out of style. And if someone knows how to tell a proper fairytale, that's got to be Disney. Today, three of their most celebrated, charming platformers of yore based on such tales are coming back, exclusively on Disney Aladdin, Disney The Lion King, and Disney The Jungle Book are all household names that still captivate our imagination, decades after we got introduced to their cinematic and videogame worlds.

That's why and Disney heave teamed up to bring these beloved classics of the 16-bit era to a new generation of gamers and Disney fans. All three titles have been meticulously updated to be compatible with modern operating systems while preserving the original graphics, sound, and gameplay.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Had a great time yesterday visiting the canoe regatta and seeing old summer camp buddies. This turned out to be a brief reunion, but that was fine. I've attended this several times over recent years but found this one especially enjoyable. I'm not sure why, but I felt a little more tuned in to the spirit of the present-day campers. They were all bundles of enthusiasm, and the love and support they have for each other was uplifting. A good time was had by all and I can't wait to do it again next year. Speaking of reunions, QuakeCon 2016 gets underway today. Here's a shout out to old friends currently escaping the summer heat in Dallas to attend the event. Enjoy!

Eventful Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Story: Three billion to watch Rio opening ceremony.
Science: First Reprogrammable Quantum Computer Created.
Media: Heroes Form Human Chain To Rescue Woman From Flood.
A (comedic) Tour of Academia - exurb1a.
1974 - Suntory Whisky, 'Sammy Davis Jr ad libs.
Follow-up: 'Suicide Squad's' Secret Drama: Rushed Production, Competing Cuts, High Anxiety. Thanks nin.
Support the Site!