The battle royale genre is a cut-throat business, and its latest victim appears to be Hi-Rez Studio's Realm Royale.
The game was released on Steam in early access on 5th June, and despite attention from high-profile streamers such as Ninja it has failed to retain public interest. According to stats on Steamdb (via GitHyp), the game has lost 94 per cent of its player base in only two months. Peaking at 105,440 players on June 10th, the number yesterday slipped to a mere 5561.
Realm Royale began life as a game mode in Hi-Rez's (more successful) hero-shooter Paladins. Realm Royale differs from other battle royales in a few ways: there are five different character classes, there's a crafting system, and players transform into chickens when killed. Yet even this gimmick has failed to prevent players from flying the coop.
Diablo 3, as many had surmised following a sneaky tweet by Blizzard earlier this year, is on its way to Switch - and should be with us by the end of 2018.
That's according to a since-deleted article by website Forbes (as spotted by Reddit), which looks to have slipped free of some kind of embargo chains, and merrily confirms information that trusted sources shared with Eurogamer back in March.
Diablo 3 for Switch will, says the report, go by the moniker Diablo 3 Eternal Collection, and bundles together the original game, 2014's Reaper of Souls expansion, alongside last year's Rise of the Necromancer pack - which adds a reworked version of Diablo 2's Necromancer class, among other bits and bobs, to the core experience.
Arkane Studios has confirmed that its superb first-person assassination series Dishonored is "resting right now", with no further instalments seemingly currently planned.
News of Dishonored's dormancy comes via Arkane Studios lead designer Ricardo Bare (speaking to VG247 during QuakeCon), who qualified that, "I can't say definitively what might happen down the road, anything could happen".
The original Dishonored launched back in 2012 to much critical acclaim, with reviews celebrating its superb world design and the sometimes dizzying freedom with which the game's supernaturally enhanced assassination missions could be approached.
Insurgency: Sandstorm, the latest entry in developer New World Interactive's popular team-based tactical shooter series, will launch on PC on September 18th.
Ahead of release, New World is holding two beta events for those players that pre-order the game. The first scheduled beta is already underway - running until Monday, August 13th - and the second is currently due to begin around three weeks before launch. Pre-orders, incidentally, feature 10% off the usual £25.99/$29.99USD asking price, or 20% off if you own the previous Insurgency game.
Three maps are available as part of Insurgency: Sandstorm's first beta - Hideout, Farmhouse, and Refinery - and all four modes from the final release are included too. That's Push, Firefight, and Capture the Base modes for Versus play, and the co-operative Checkpoint mode. An additional three maps will feature in the second beta.
In case you'd not noticed it already, QuakeCon 2018 has kicked off as of today and from now until the end of the weekend, Humble is celebrating that very fact with a big ol' sale range specifically on QuakeCon-centric games. There's up to 75 per cent off the lot and a whole lot to choose from.
As you may have already assumed, there's an unsurprisingly Bethesda-centric nature to all the titles on offer, but even among an exclusively Beth-range, there's quite a lot on offer. The sale range comes to a close on Monday, 13th August.
Quake Champions, in its early access glory, is discounted to £13.19 for the time being, Prey's brand new Mooncrash standalone title is up for grabs at £9.74, Doom is down to £7.49, Wolfenstein 2 is available at £19.99, Skyrim Special Edition is £14.99 to anyone who doesn't already own Skyrim somehow, and you can even nab a copy of Rage for £1.99.
Released more than 12 years ago, the original Okami arrived during the PlayStation 2's twilight years. It's a sprawling open-ended action RPG fusing The Legend of Zelda with ancient Japanese history and at the time of its initial release, it was also one of the most ambitious and expensive games undertaken by publisher Capcom. It's a beautiful adventure and one the firm has seen fit to re-release across three generations of consoles - and it now arrives on Nintendo Switch, boasting new features including touchscreen input and motion control, along with HD visuals in line with the other current-gen ports.
And honestly, it works. The visual aesthetic is timeless - it's one of those games that manages to hold up even when viewed through the lens of a modern 4K TV. Okami is one of those titles with timeless charm, created by genuine gaming artisans. Back in the day, Capcom's Clover Studio was a development group formed by Capcom to develop new IPs and explore new genres. With the talents of Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya, Atsushi Inaba and others behind it, Clover produced some true classics during its short lifespan. While the studio no longer exists today, the spirit of Clover lives on through Platinum Games - but Okami remains a superb example of this remarkable team's early work.
With an enormous pool of talent and money behind the game, Okami was released to critical acclaim back in 2006. It may not have ignited sales charts, but it's widely...
Move over Steam - there's a new digital game store in town, and it's springing from the well-known voice and text chat programme for gamers: Discord.
The store's beta, which is due to be rolled out today in Canada, will allow Discord users to buy games from publishers such as THQ and Deep Silver, in addition to games from indie publishers such as Raw Fury (Bad North, Sable and The Last Night). From the list drawn up so far, some of the most noteworthy titles include Frostpunk, Hollow Knight and Dead Cells.
Participants in the current beta will be able to use an upgraded version of Discord Nitro (Discord's monthly subscription service). Subscribers will be able to play a selection of games curated by the platform, which Discord describes as "an easy opportunity to play the golden games you've missed". It's basically like Xbox Live Gold. The games available to subscribers so far include Saints Row: The Third, Metro: Last Light Redux and Darksiders: Warmastered Edition to name but a few. The Discord Nitro subscription service will cost $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year.
Ubisoft has finally confirmed that its long-missing-in-action Switch port of extreme winter sports game Steep is, as many had speculated, no longer in development.
Steep for Switch was originally announced in January last year, several months before Nintendo's console even launched in the wild - but not even a hint of the game running on Switch has been seen in all that time. Inevitably, there've been persistent rumours of development woes behind the scenes, but Ubisoft has continued to claim that a Switch version was still on the way.
However, responding to a fan request for news on the long-awaited Switch instalment of Steep, a Ubisoft representative has now, via the official Steep Twitter account, revealed that the publisher is currently "wholly dedicated to supporting the live game, and made the decision to stop Steep development on the Nintendo Switch platform to focus on bringing new live content and challenges to Steep players instead."
My cab driver is a fiery, sunburst-haired Celtic fan who has plenty to say about the current state of Scottish football.
As we drive from Glasgow airport to Celtic Park to play PES 2019, the latest version of Konami's long-running football video game series, he mentions a player who arrived to play in the Scottish league thinking the standard would be awful, but told press he was impressed by the level of play and enjoyed the challenge.
All the Scottish transfers last season amounted to as much as Chelsea paid for one player, he adds.
Yesterday I sat down with Doom Eternal duo Marty Stratton (executive producer) and Hugo Martin (creative director) and rattled through a list of questions I had about the freshly unveiled game.
Excitingly, there's a suggestion Doom Eternal may take us up to Heaven as well as down to Hell. That bluey-grey fantastic city we flew through in the trailer? That could be it - that could be Heaven.
id Software is also working on a new kind of multiplayer experience in addition to the Souls-like Invasions - where players play demons in other people's games - for the game, and id is making it internally.
Bethesda could be heading towards a standoff with Sony over cross-platform play. Not over Fallout 76, which does, as a multi-platform online multiplayer game, fall squarely into the 'wouldn't it be nice if PlayStation and Xbox and PC audiences could play together?' debate, but over The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a card game.
"It's way more pertinent to Legends," Pete Hines, Bethesda's senior vice president of marketing and communication, told me at QuakeCon 2018.
"Fallout 76, sure: it would be nice if I could play on my Xbox and my kid is playing on his PC and we can play together, but if we can't, OK. There's lots of games - I play Overwatch on Xbox and he plays on PC separately and has a whole separate account. It's not critical.
If there's one gaming genre that embodies the spirit of late 90s PC gaming, it's the six degrees of freedom shooter. Dropped into a labyrinthian mass of tunnels, players are tasked with navigating complex spaces utilising a full six degrees of freedom while dealing with enemies, hunting for keys and finding exits. Interplay's Descent popularised the concept, but other brilliant games followed in its wake, including Probe Software's stunning Forsaken. And now, thanks to the efforts of Nightdive Studios, Samuel 'Kaiser' Villarreal (the developer behind the EX versions of Turok, Doom 64 and Powerslave) and other talented coders, Forsaken has returned.
The original game launched in 1998 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation and Nintendo 64. It was developed in the UK for PC and PlayStation by Probe Entertainment while Iguana Entertainment UK handled the N64 version. Forsaken featured much the same gameplay formula as Descent, but thanks to its more advanced graphics engine, the visuals are less abstract than Descent, making it easier to navigate the complex structures. The action features a Doom-like quality to it with large numbers of enemies swarming the player at any point - and this mix of hectic action with fluid controls and puzzle solving feels great even today.
It was also a showpiece for 3D accelerator cards at the time. With its fast 3D engine, Forsaken could fill the screen with coloured, dynamic lighting - a look so 90s it hurts - along with large, detailed stages to explore and lots of enemies....
Fornite has begun its first steps towards season six with its latest round of skybox changes.
The battle royale mode's magical sky rift - which brought desert and Viking areas to the map this season - is slowly starting to shrink away as of the game's latest update.
The rift closing up is a subtle effect, with small changes every day until it shrivels up completely.
Bloober Team, the developer behind the wonderfully surreal haunted house horror Layers of Fear and cyberpunk spook-'em-up Observer, has revealed a new teaser trailer for its latest horror title, Project Méliès.
Project Méliès was originally unveiled back in March, with an appropriately enigmatic, cinema-themed announcement trailer. It's being published by Gun Media, and is yet another first-person horror experience from Bloober Team - but given that I've absolutely adored the developer's previous dalliances with the genre, you won't hear any complaints from me.
Both Layers of Fear and Observer, while far from perfect, are rich in disorientating dream-like terror and surreal, breathlessly inventive visual set-pieces - and Bloober Team's brief new 35-second snippet of Project Méliès suggests that the studio isn't yet out of ideas when it comes to finding visceral new ways to unsettle its audience.
Publisher Devolver Digital has announced that SCUM, its insanely detailed multiplayer survival game, will be available in Steam early access from August 29th.
Developed by Gamempires and Croteam, SCUM is a ridiculously ambitious, although still somewhat evasive, mix of open-world survival simulation and more traditional game-like multiplayer murder-shenanigans.
Broadly though, the idea is that 64 players are dropped onto the prison island of Bagne de Cayenne, with an immediate goal of survival (by staying sufficiently nourished and suitably alive), and a secondary objective of eventual escape.
Capcom has confirmed the existence of a fancy (if familiar) Resident Evil 2 Collector's Edition for PS4 and Xbox One in the UK - which contains, among other things, a poster, some keys, and a 12" Leon.
Resident Evil 2's UK Collector's Edition is admittedly not quite as fancy as the top-tier special edition available in Japan, which contains a vintage-style bluetooth keyboard inspired by the classic Resident Evil typewriter save points. On the plus side, the UK edition doesn't feature the same 75,000 yen/£530 price tag either.
Instead, Capcom's UK offering is very similar to one of its (many) other Japanese special editions, this one featuring the aforementioned 12" Leon, in imposing figurine form, a classic-style Raccoon Police Station poster, a box of actually-rather-nifty police station keys (complete with playing card suit motifs), plus an art book, soundtrack CD, and a Made in Heaven pin. The latter being inspired by the design on Chris Redfield's jacket.
EA is testing Battlefield V again with a second PC-only alpha event kicking off on 14th August, 2018.
After outlining the lessons learned from the first closed alpha, EA confirmed that further testing would be coming, and recently detailed what to expect in a new blog post by live producer, Alexander Hassoon.
For Closed Alpha 2, EA would like testers to focus on the matchmaking and squad joining functionality, as well as "simply playing as you normally would", so it can evaluate the "tweaked leveling curves".
K1nzell and Dmitri "Mitr0" Van de Vrie from Team Atlantis have won the European leg of Fortnite Summer Skirmish's Week 5 tournament.
After duo Not Vivid and Liquid Poach secured a win at the North American competition, K1nzell and Mitr0 teamed up and topped the leaderboard in Europe, netting the $75,000 top prize.
The Fortnite Summer Skirmish is an 8-week series of competitions offering $8 million in prize money. The format and competitors change on a weekly basis and this week, players were competing in King Pin, a duos match in which points are amassed by eliminations (worth one point), a Victory Royale (worth a 3x elimination bonus in their next match), and bagging seven or more kills (a 2x elimination bonus). K1nzell and Mitr0 finished with most points at the end of all eight matches.
World of Warcraft's latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, came out last night - and already someone hit the new level cap.
Gingi, of hardcore World of Warcraft guild Method, went from the previous level cap of 110 to the new level cap of 120 in a blistering four hours and 17 minutes, playing as a troll druid called Luigingi (thanks, Icy Veins). Here's the moment he hit the cap.
How did he do it so quickly? Completing quests as fast as possible, with help from fellow Method players Meeres and Deepshades, with a plan based on time with the recent Battle for Azeroth beta.
Anyone's who's fussed with FIFA Ultimate Team will know how important chemistry is to the performance of your players.
Apply special chemistry cards to your players and you'll increase their statistics. In 2016, EA Sports revealed the numbers behind chemistry, publishing a table outlining the attribute values a player with 100/10 chemistry receive, broken down by chemistry style.
That's easy to understand, but the problem has always been the game itself did not show the player exactly how chemistry boosted player stats. All you could see were boosts to bundled stats such as "shooting", not boosts to actual attributes within the bundled stat. So, you'd know your player had a boost to shooting, but you wouldn't know which exact attribute, such as Finishing or Long Shots, were boosted. That meant it wasn't clear, for example, whether you'd want the Sniper or Finisher chemistry style applied to your striker.