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Monday, Aug 02, 2021

Take-Two Financials; GTA5 Passes 150M Sales

Take-Two Interactive Software reports Results for Fiscal First Quarter 2022, calling these "better than expected." Word is GAAP net revenue declined versus the same period last year: "GAAP net revenue decreased 2% to $813.3 million, as compared to $831.3 million in last year’s fiscal first quarter. Recurrent consumer spending (which is generated from ongoing consumer engagement and includes virtual currency, add-on content and in-game purchases) increased 15% and accounted for 70% of total GAAP net revenue. The largest contributors to GAAP net revenue were NBA® 2K21 and NBA 2K20; Grand Theft Auto® Online and Grand Theft Auto V; Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online; Borderlands® 3; the WWE® series; Dragon City®; Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI; and Two Dots®." A tweet from Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad (thanks Mat Piscatella) shows that stealing cars is still driving the revenue stream:
Rockstar Games has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V has surpassed 150 million units sold in.

The franchise has sold in over 350 million units. The next gen version of GTA V / GTA Online is set to launch this holiday.
Update: The headline of this story originally mistakenly referred to 15M GTA5 sales, rather than 150M. Apologies for the error.

Take-Two: Franchise Reveal This Month; Two New Core Games This Fiscal Year

During a Take-Two post-earnings conference call, the company revealed plans to unveil a new 2K game franchise later this month. Giant German gaming show gamescom runs from August 25-27, so it seems likely that's when to expect the announcement. According to VGC the first game in the new series is expected this fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2022: "Later this month, 2K will unveil details of another exciting new franchise planned for launch during this fiscal year," Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said. VGC also says Take-Two plans a total of four "core" releases during this period, two of which are new:
During Monday’s earnings call, Take-Two also said it had delayed the launch of two of its “immersive core” titles to later in the current fiscal year than originally planned.

The company said in May that it intended to release 21 games during the current fiscal year, including four immersive core games – two from “proven” franchises and two from “new” ones, according to CEO Strauss Zelnick.

Battlefield 2042 Short Film Next Week

Electronic Arts and DICE are preparing to release Exodus, a short film to promote Battlefield 2042, the upcoming installment in the military shooter series. This will debut at 11:00 am EDT on August 12th on YouTube, where there's a brief tease for now. The lobby is already filling up, so head on over if you feel like spamming chat for a few days while you wait. Here's the description:
Witness the events that will trigger an all-out war in this standalone short film set in the World of 2042. Premieres August 12th at 8am PDT, 5pm CEST
Continue here to read the full story.

ActiBlizz CCO Blocking Staff on Twitter

Finding herself in a hole, former Homeland Security Advisor and current Activision Blizzard CCO Frances Townsend continues to dig. After criticism from both inside and outside the company for her response to the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, she offers this tweet. It points to an article on The Atlantic on "the Problem With Whistleblowing." Or, as it's more commonly put, snitches get stitches. This is going down about as well as could be expected, and Jason Schreier points out on Twitter that it has led to the unusual situation of the company officer blocking company employees on Twitter:
Activision Blizzard CCO Fran Townsend, whose recent letter addressing the lawsuit was criticized by employees at the company and even CEO Bobby Kotick, is now under fire for this tweet. Multiple Activision Blizzard employees say Townsend has blocked them on Twitter for responding

Microsoft Flight Simulator Graphics Petition

The new Microsoft Flight Simulator Patch released last week included some PC performance improvements through CPU optimizations among other things. And while there's the promise of improved visuals like ray tracing in a future PC DirectX 12 patch, there are complaints that the PC edition has suffered a visual downgrade in the current version. This petition seeks a restoration of the game's prior look. This is having trouble getting traction because you apparently can't link to such things from the game's official forums. Here's part of that:
Since the SIM Update 5, released 28th of July, Microsoft Flight Simulator has enjoyed better performance in terms of frame rates and smoothness over previous releases. However, the visual fidelity - LOD, lighting, anti-aliasing have all been sacrificed to achieve this. It is far from the same PC game that thrilled me graphically every time I did a flight, no matter where I flew (urban, country, islands, mountains).

Simply, the "WOW" factor is gone from flights. Graphics no longer look realistic, but cartoony and simplified. In my 35+ years of gaming, this is the only time I have experienced a game take a turn for the worse graphically with no options to turn back. On each new software update - features are usually added (ray tracing, screen space reflections, ambient lighting, upsampling technology), but never taken away. Forcing users to have a worse experience I feel is unacceptable.

GRIME Outbreak

Change out of your good clothes, as GRIME is now available on Steam, offering a high-speed action/RPG from developer Clover Bite and publisher Akupara Games. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's the dirt:
What awaits you is a world unknown, alien in its own familiarity, and you must survive what terrors you face. Explore your surreal surroundings, absorb the many enemies you encounter, and use their own traits against them as you let yourself become far more than you once were.

GRIME lets you play to your preference, upgrading only those traits you feel most suited to your unique style. You’ll find there is more than one way to break open an enemy as you move through a variety of evocative environments, meet their inhabitants, and discover the source of their madness.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Okay, so here's the payoff on the teasing I did the other day about a project here. Blue's News has been database-driven since February 1999, but it was in operation years before that. And while older news was unfortunately deleted in the earliest days, about two-and-a-half years of news beginning in July 1996 in the HTML News Archive was never included in the database. Now, thanks to some clever scripting and hard work by Frans, all of those stories have been imported into Blammo (the name of our proprietary CMS). I mentioned tempering expectations when I teased this, as it is obviously not life-changing. But it does mean that results from the late 90s now appear in news searches, which is neat. In fact, they've been doing so for a couple of weeks now, which is why I previously said it was possible some of you have come across the change already. I hope this proves useful, or at least interesting to some of you. A huge thank you to Frans for his hard work, attention to detail, and incredible patience (you have no idea) in making this happen.

A couple of other notes about this. The stories in the database use the current design of the site, rather than any of the earlier iterations of our look. Also, as you can see from developer .plan updates at the time, this community was not big on spelling in those days. Blue's News was no exception, and the HTML editor I was using back then did not even have a spell-checker. So along the way, many misspellings were corrected for the database. Things were more skimmed than proofread, so errors doubtlessly still abound in the imports (and elsewhere for that matter), but this explains discrepancies between the html and the database. For the record, the HTML News Archive remains in its original state, typos and all, for future historians to marvel over and treasure.

Finally, there are plenty of broken links in the older news. I'm on an ongoing quest to find and restore what I can of these. Missing articles are hard to find, but I have been more successful at locating missing images (there were far more embedded images in this site 25 years ago than there are today). This clean-up project will continue, so you may find broken images in the older news getting fixed as time goes on.

So there. The over 25 years of Blue's News is now properly recorded in over 25 years of stories in our news database. Thanks again Frans!

Obituary: ‘General Hospital’ Actor Jay Pickett Dies While Shooting Movie Scene.
Obituary: Fetty Wap's 4-Year-Old Daughter Lauren Maxwell Has Died, Shares Her Mother Turquoise Miami.

Retro Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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