Blizzard’s latest Overwatch patch, released June 26th, introduced an Endorsement system that enables players to acknowledge other players for having a positive impact on their gaming experience. The Endorsement system is user generated feedback to reflect teammates who are coordinating well with other players, giving great direction, or just being positive. The higher the endorsement number, the more sociable and positive other players can assume that Overwatch player is. So far, the forums and first-hand accounts of players using the Endorsement system are positive. Overwatch continues to have a report process for poor conduct, and the Endorsement system is a step in the direction of diminishing the effects of toxic players. Overwatch has also introduced a new character named Wrecking Ball, which is a tank class hero piloted by a scientifically altered hamster named Hammond.
The Parliament of Australia’s website expressed concern that loot boxes are a way of prying more money off of their players. Australia’s Senate passed a motion to investigate the use of loot boxes in videogames. The Environment and Communications References Committee will lead the probe and will report back in September on the recommended course of action, if any. Notably Netherlands and Belgium have recently enacted legislation. To comply with Netherland’s laws, trading of the content of loot boxes was disabled on Valve’s CS:GO and Dota 2. Belgium declared three popular games that contained loot boxes were in violation of their gambling laws.
In an update to our previously reported story regarding the lack of crossplay on other consoles for Fortnite players with profiles created on PS4, it appears that Sony may revisit that policy. A high level company representative reported they heard their fan’s reactions and are contemplating a solution. Note, however, there is no time table or even a firm commitment to do so. But hope springs eternal for now.
Gamers were not the only audience keenly focused on the announcements and highlights from last week’s E3. Among the millions paying attention to the event were stock investors who took note of the activities and rewarded several stocks of hardware and software companies with gains that were above and beyond the broader market during the same period. Software winners from E3 included Two Interactive Software, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard, all with gains of more than 4%. However, as of June 27th, all had retreated to near pre-E3 levels. Hardware gainers were Turtle Beach, Logitech, Advanced Micro Devices. While the gains were anywhere from 4% to 9%, all have since reverted to near pre-E3 prices. Perhaps the declines were sparked by trade war fears as the broader market indices saw 3% and 4% declines respectively for the S&P500 and the Nasdaq after E3. It will be interesting to see if these stocks, briefly anointed the winners of E3 by investors, will outperform most brethren stocks between now and the next E3.