Earlier this week, Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts, Patrick Söderlund announced that Visceral Studios would be closing, and the development of their action-adventure game set in the Star Wars universe would be moving to EA Vancouver. Reasons for this closure were attributed to player feedback on early builds of the game, and a shift in its focus. Originally slated to be a linear action-adventure game releasing in FY19, the game will now be focused on providing a more open experience and has been pushed back indefinitely. This closure has led to some worry in the industry about the future of single-player, linear storyline games, and concerns regarding the future of the unnamed Star Wars project in general.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Activision revealed that they had an exploratory patent for videogame matchmaking (placing players in multiplayer games) that would push players to monetize more. The method involved selecting matches for players that would make them more or less difficult depending on a players monetization pattern, and what the algorithm thought would make them monetize more. For example, if a player had yet to purchase, the algorithm might put them in a more difficult match against someone who had to make them feel as though purchasing was necessary to succeed. Activision did state that this system is not implemented in any of their current games and was purely an “exploratory Research and Development project”.
Team Fortress 2 has been out for over 10 years now, but Valve has shown this week that they’re not done providing new content for the game. The Inferno update takes players to the abandoned remains of what once was “Yeti Park”, an island very similar to Jurassic Park, but of course with yetis. The park has been out of service (may not have ever been in service at all) and appears to be empty, except for one lone mercenary who has remained. The update will include a new map from Valve, five community maps and a host of new yeti-themed emotes.
Last Friday, IGN acquired the pay-what-you-want Humble Bundle shop. Humble Bundle said that they chose to join the IGN family as they felt IGN understood their vision, and shared their passion for games. Many are concerned that this merger might pollute the true spirit of the Humble Bundle, which is raising money for charities through bundled game sales, but only time will tell.
Despite very positive reviews, it appears that the Evil Within 2 sales are not quite living up to those of its predecessor. The early UK launch numbers showed it debuting at third place behind Fifa 18 and Middle Earth: Shadow of War, but it was behind the latter by a considerable amount. It is possible that sales will pick up as time goes on, but October has been a stacked month for game releases and November, as always, will be full as well.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole [All Platforms] – An open-world 2D RPG from the creators of South Park, and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Stick of Truth.
The Evil Within 2 [All Platforms] – The sequel to the action-horror-survival game The Evil Within.