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CEO and President of Riot Shift Roles

CEO, Brandon Beck and President, Marc Merrill of Riot Games announced in a blog post that they will be stepping down from their respective leadership roles to work on a new project. The pair will be focusing more on game design, the passion that originally drove them to create League of Legends. While no details were shared about the nature of their new project, it will likely be a hot topic among the community.

Gamestop Assassin’s Creed Pre-Order Ad Causes Stir

Gamestop’s latest advertisement for Assassin’s Creed Origins pre-orders has taken things too far in the eyes of many gamers. The advertisement essentially tells players that a bonus mission that will be in the game at launch is blocked unless they pre-order the title from Gamestop, and it’s communicated in bold letters. Players have already lashed out over the idea of base game content being locked behind pre-order walls, and in a week that has been full of microtransaction ire from the community, it is unsurprising to see this advertisement coming under fire as well. While locking missions behind a pre-order wall is not new in the industry, Gamestop’s ad is the first to address it so blatantly, and players feel as though it is tainting their motto of “Power to the Players”. Assassin’s Creed Origins is set to release on all platforms later this month.

Iconic Counterstrike Map Gets Overhauled

For those who play Counterstrike Global Offensive, or any entry in the series, the Dust map series has become a fast icon. Dust 2, CSGO’s version of the map has just received a major visual overhaul, with both cosmetic and practical upgrades. The main goals behind this change were to make the map more readable to players, refine movement through the map, and update the visuals to fit with the aesthetics of the more modern maps. The new map is currently in beta before being released onto the competitive scene.

ESRB Says Loot Boxes Cannot be Classified as Gambling

Loot boxes have been a hot topic this week with players taking to social media and forums to express their distrust with the mechanic’s inclusion in Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Forza Motorsport 7, and Star Wars Battlefront 2. After Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor received a “gambling” tag on Steam earlier this week, it seemed timely that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) released a statement determining that having a loot box mechanic in a game does not constitute gambling. Their reasoning is that loot boxes have “guaranteed value” for the player, and thus are not gambling in the strictest definition of the word. This is a big deal, as any games determined to be a form of gambling are instantly assigned an Adults Only (AO) rating from the board which can be a severe detriment to sales.

Fortnite Sues Cheaters for Copyright Infringement

Fortnite has been battling cheaters and exploiters in its new Battle Royale mode since launch, but it appears things have just taken a more serious turn. Using one of the strongest tools at their disposal, Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against two particularly prolific cheaters for copyright infringement. Their case states that by altering the game’s code to create a cheating modification they used it without Epic’s permission and thus committed copyright infringement. This marks one of the most punitive responses to in-game cheating to date, and may have a significant impact on the practice in the Fortnite ecosystem.

Notable Game Releases:

Evil Within 2 – A horror game sequel to the popular Evil Within from Bethesda

Middle Earth: Shadow of War – The follow-up to Monolith’s successful Lord of the Rings RPG, focusing around the alliance of a ring wraith and a ranger attempting to take down the forces of Mordor