Archived News:

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Electronic Arts Financials

Electronic Arts Reports Q4 and FY23 Results, offering the company's latest financials. Word is: "EA delivered a strong Q4 with record net bookings, up 11 percent year-over-year, demonstrating the strength of our business." Bookings are not exactly the same as revenue, and the phrase "net bookings" appears 14 times in the results. The results mention FIFA 23 has become the most successful launch in franchise history and Apex Legends Season 16 was more successful than Season 15. It also notes that The Sims 4 has served over 70 million worldwide players over the years, fueled, no doubt, by the game going free-to-play. Here's more on the financial impact of the quarter:
“EA delivered a strong Q4 with record net bookings, up 11 percent year-over-year, demonstrating the strength of our business. Our teams continue to create high quality entertainment, fueled by amazing games and deeply engaging live services,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “We're excited to continue our momentum, including the highly anticipated launch of EA SPORTS FC later this year.”

"Record live services performance and increased engagement, particularly from our EA SPORTS FIFA franchise, drove better-than-expected Q4 net bookings, capping a strong finish to the fiscal year," said Chris Suh, CFO. "Looking ahead, our teams remain disciplined in prioritizing the player experience as we continue to focus our investments on long-term growth."

Amazon Anywhere Will Sell Inside Games

Amazon announces a new service called Amazon Anywhere, as the retail giant has found a new area to expand its ubiquity. This will allow physical products to be sold from within video games and virtual reality. We thought this was praiseworthy for not using the term "metaverse," but it just takes a couple of paragraphs for that to appear. Here's word:
Amazon wants you to buy something while you’re having fun.

On Tuesday, the company launched a new service, called “Amazon Anywhere,” that will allow customers to purchase physical products from its online store while playing video games or interacting in virtual reality.

With the new service, customers can purchase items from Amazon without having to leave the game, or whatever mobile app they might be using, the company said.
Continue here to read the full story.

Mouse Announced

Here's a Steam Listing for Mouse, an upcoming first-person shooter from Fumi Games (thanks Gematsu). At first glance this appears to be another beneficiary of copyright law, defiling Mickey Mouse rather than defiling Winnie the Pooh. As has been noted, just the original 1928 Steamboat Willie version of the cartoon mascot will lapse into the public domain next year. But the mice (rats?) in the Steam Trailer don't resemble that cartoon. Interestingly, your hands are shown wearing Mickey Mouse's signature white gloves, which are not part of the Steamboat Willie version of the character. So this appears to be an homage. Here's word:
Step into a world of cartoon animation and retro action-packed adventure in Mouse. Inspired by the best of 30s rubber hose animation and the classic noir style, this retro shooter is a story-driven experience that will take you on a thrilling journey through a dangerous and corrupt city.

Armed with a variety of mid-century firearms and explosives like the Revolver, Tommy Gun, Hammer, Carcano, Dynamite, you'll be able to take on enemies in any way you choose. Whether you prefer to run and gun, jump and dodge, or carefully plan your attacks, Mouse gives you the freedom to approach combat your way.
Continue here to read the full story.

Stellaris Galactic Paragons Released

Paradox Interactive has launched Galactic Paragons, a new expansion for Stellaris, the science fiction 4X strategy game. This is for PC and consoles, and the Windows, macOS, and Linux edition is available on* and Steam, depending on where you bought the base version. But all owners of the original game are getting an update today, regardless of whether they purchase the new DLC. Word is this includes quality of life improvements and two new multiplayer modes: "All Stellaris players will also receive the free 3.8 ‘Gemini’ from the Stellaris custodians team, which includes a tremendous number of Quality of Life updates. Alongside Galactic Paragons, two multiplayer game modes are now available in open beta: Cooperative PvE and Competitive PvP." Here's a Release Trailer with a look at the new add-on, and here's more:
Paradox Interactive today launched Galactic Paragons, the latest expansion for the sci-fi strategy game Stellaris. Players can strengthen their empire by customizing and fine-tuning their empire’s leaders to make the most of their unique characteristics. Galactic Paragons is available today via online stores for a suggested retail price of $14.99/£12.79/€14.99.

Galactic Paragons expands Stellaris’ Council mechanic, introduces leaders who bring specialized abilities to your empire, and adds tons of additional features. Players gain control over how they invest in and strengthen their leaders to guide their empire and influence the galaxy’s future.
*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item. Continue here to read the full story.

Gone Gold - System Shock

It may come as a shock, but Prime Matter and Nightdive Studios announce that development on the full remake of System Shock is now complete. This means the now-gold new version of the 1994 action/RPG-first-person shooter is on track to launch on May 30th. This supports Windows only, and will be available on the Epic Games Store,,* and Steam. Each site promises a free copy of the upcoming System Shock 2: Enhanced Edition as a preorder incentive. Version for PlayStation 4|5 and Xbox One and Series S|X are still planned, word is these will come "in due course; more details will be shared in the future." The news includes the game's system specifications, so here are those:

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit only)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400/AMD FX-8320 or better
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 2 GB available space

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit only)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770/AMD FX-8350 or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 2 GB available space
*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item.

Diablo IV GeForce Bundle

With the Diablo IV Server Slam set to kick off on Friday, NVIDIA takes the opportunity to remind us of the game's DLSS 3 support. And since that feature requires a 40-series GPU, and NVIDIA also announces a new Diablo IV with GeForce RTX 40 Series Bundle which includes a free copy of the action/RPG sequel for purchasers of qualifying cards. This is the standard edition along with a mount, a pet, and some cosmetics. Here's word:
Diablo® IV is the ultimate action RPG experience with endless evil to slaughter, countless abilities to master, nightmarish dungeons, and legendary loot. Raise hell with the ground-breaking AI-accelerated performance of NVIDIA DLSS 3 and the best responsiveness with NVIDIA Reflex at launch, and ray tracing post-launch.

For a limited time, get Diablo® IV with the purchase of a qualifying GeForce RTX 4090, 4080, 4070 Ti, 4070 desktop or GPU.

Saints Row The Heist & The Hazardous Released

It's time to open a Corona and wax on about the importance of family. The Heist & The Hazardous is now available for Saints Row on PC and consoles, adding the first DLC to the open-world action game reboot. The Launch Trailer is here to introduce the add-on. The Windows edition is available on the Epic Games Store. Owners of the Saints Row Gold Edition should already have this in their libraries thanks to its DLC pass. Here word on the first of three such releases, which also comes alongside a massive free update for the base game:
Deep Silver and Volition today are happy to announce that the first DLC expansion for Saints Row is out now. Releasing alongside a massive free content update, the crime-infested city of Santo Ileso just got bigger and better.

As the first of three planned DLC expansions for Saints Row, The Heist & The Hazardous adds three new story missions for single player or co-op sessions, a new weapon and helicopter, rewards, cosmetics, and more. The Heist & The Hazardous is available now as a standalone purchase or as part of the Saints Row Expansion Pass.

Bosses across Santo Ileso will also be able to access a new part of the city for free starting today. Adventure through the all-new district of Sunshine Springs – inspired by Palm Springs – and check out the suite of new features, improvements, and bug fixes implemented with this update.
Continue here to read the full story.

Age of Wonders 4 Declares Launch Success

Paradox Interactive reveals sales figures for Age of Wonders 4, saying that, including preorders, Triumph Studios' strategy sequel sold over 250,000 units in the first four days of availability. You might find yourself wondering if that would make it the fastest-selling entry since the launch of the series, to which the answer is an emphatic yes. Here's the news:
Paradox Interactive, a developer and publisher of truly magical experiences, today announced that Age of Wonders 4, the latest entry in the cherished fantasy strategy game series from Triumph Studios, has sold over 250,000 copies since its launch on May 2, 2023. Including pre-orders, these sales reflect total copies of both the standard and premium edition of the game across all platforms where it is available, including PC, PlayStation®5, and Xbox Series X and S consoles. Age of Wonders 4 reached this milestone in only four days, making this the fastest-selling title in the Age of Wonders series to date.

“Triumph and Paradox have so much in common, from our design ethos to our close relationship with our player communities, and working hand-in-hand over the development and release of Age of Wonders 4 has been a very rewarding journey,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “Longtime Paradox fans have identified a number of ways in which the game draws inspiration from other Paradox titles, but Age of Wonders 4 retains Triumph’s signature style and perfect blend of strategy, role-playing, and fantasy storytelling from start to finish. It’s a wonderful testament to how our two companies match, right down to the DNA.”

PUBG Drives Krafton's Q1

Krafton announces its Q1 net income is up. Word is this exceeds expectations: "Krafton Inc. on Tuesday reported its first-quarter net profit of 267.2 billion won (US$201.8 million), up 9 percent from a year earlier. The company said in a regulatory filing that operating profit for the January-March period fell 10.2 percent on-year to 283 billion won. Revenue increased 3 percent to 538.7 billion won." Word is that the ongoing success of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS is one of the main factors here:
PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, KRAFTON's flagship title, achieved an all-time high in in-game sales for PC and console, with PC sales growing 28% QoQ and 68% YoY, accounting for 33% of total sales. The development team, which celebrated PUBG’s 6th anniversary in March, plans to maintain momentum with a variety of updates, including improvements to Arcade mode, a new Clan system, an assortment of brand collaborations, and new map release."

Dark and Darker Early Access Delay

PCGamesN has the latest on Dark and Darker, the RPG project that's been plagued by accusations of copyright infringement by Nexon. This started with a DMCA takedown and led to a lawsuit. The latest news is that all this has pushed back the game's Early Access release "a bit." Here's word from a Discord post:
We truly hate not being able to communicate as freely as we usually do, however due to the sensitive nature of our current situation, we can't divulge too much information right now. I know this isn't the announcement everyone wanted to hear but we needed to let our fans know that the Early Access release has been delayed a bit. Just know that we are working on a ton of things to ensure the game gets out to you as soon as possible. We ask everyone to hold the line just a little longer. Thanks!

Mr. Run and Jump Announced

Revived publisher Atari announces Mr. Run and Jump, a speedrunning game that advertises its platformer bona fides right in the title. This is set to arrive later this year for PC on the Epic Games Store and Steam, as well as for PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, Switch, and Atari VCS. An Announcement Trailer is here to show off the game's neon graphics along with all the running and jumping you'd expect. Here's more:
It’s dangerous business going out your front door, especially when you’re exploring the Realms of Color, where the titular Mr. Run and Jump must embark on a fast-paced, fluorescent adventure to defeat the ghastly Void and find his missing dog, Leap.

Mr. Run and Jump features precise controls, silky smooth gameplay, and free-flowing level design, making it a speedrunner’s dream. Run, jump, dash, and roll to hard-to-reach locations to find collectibles, or adjust the difficulty level via Dynamic Assistance to enjoy a more approachable experience with the heart-pounding peril cranked down a couple of notches.
Continue here to read the full story.

Biz Buzz

Out of the Blue

NextGen Healthcare says hackers accessed personal data of more than 1 million patients (thanks Ant) is one of those stories that's become too common to even notice. I'm not as gung-ho about these issues as some and have willingly given up some privacy for some convenience along the way. But I just had a fight with our dentist about patient records last week. I was scheduled for a cleaning and got a note saying I needed to fill out my complete medical history online. I've been their patient for around 20 years, and this seemed silly, so I simply refused. This was brought up when I visited, and I said I didn't trust that it was secure to enter this information online. So the receptionist said no problem and handed me an iPad. I explained that using their computer rather than my own to enter this into their online database was the same thing. At which point she handed me a printout and said I could fill it out by hand. You can see where this is going right? I said I'd be happy to do that if they were going to just file the paper away. But of course, she planned on entering my info into the computer from my form, so that ended that. My hygienist tried to assuage me, telling me this is required of them, and they've been putting it off, and that it would come up again. So I looked it up, and I don't think it's the case that they need my medical history. It looks like they are just required to keep records of my treatment by them for six years. So I may continue to fight this. I can't say for sure why I'm willing to die on this hill. I don't think it was a case of picking one's battles. More like I just wanted to pick at least one battle on this front.

Impatient Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link


Thanks Max.



Creature Features


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