GTA Online Gets Cool New Racing Update.

There are few games in the industry like GTA Online and the developers at Rockstar are working to keep it that way. The hit online game has been getting consistent updates for the past several years in order to keep gamers plugged in and now the developers are unleashing something extra special: the San Andreas Sports Series. This event will be running for several weeks and it will feature a string of new cars, a new racing mode, and new ways to earn some GTA$.

The new update will be aping some of Rockstar’s past successes. Fans of the series will notice the influences from Vice City that the Hotring Circuit, which is currently online, has embraced. They’ll also notice a large improvement thanks to the recently released ‘Cunning Stunts’ update. The Hotring Circuit allows up to 30 players to join in on the mayhem and participants will be gaining double GTA$ and RP for their effort all the way until March 26th.

There are a slew of new cars available for purchase but they are going to cost players a pretty penny. Head to Legendary Motorsport in order to test your wallet buying the Overflod Entity XXR or the Vulcar Fagaloa station wagon. Just for reference, the XXR will cost players over $2.3 million. These cars all boast tangible benefits in comparison to other, older GTA:O models, but they aren’t going to be must-use for the Hotring Circuit.

Looking past the San Andreas Sports Series, Rockstar has also been talking about their Target Assault mode. In this new game mode, players will match up in teams of two versus up to eight teams at a time. Basically, this game mode will be like GTA:O’s version of ‘Death Race’ where you have a gunner on your back and a mandate to eliminate all of your enemies at your own discretion. This new mode looks like another great layer of mayhem to one of the more successful online games around in the current generation of options.

Nvidia’s GeForce Partner Program May Hurt PC Gamers (And AMD)

According to Nvidia, the GeForce Partner Program benefits everyone in numerous ways. Manufacturers that produce Nvidia GPUs receive early access to new technologies. They also receive extended support and marketing services. On the other hand, gamers are supposed to see more transparent companies and superior products. The official GPP announcement may have left a few details out of the situation, though. It turns out Nvidia may be the only winner in this entire situation.

What Joining The GPP May Mean

New claims suggest that GeForce Partners must dedicate their “Gaming” brands to Nvidia alone. Currently, many GPU manufacturers assign their “Gaming” designation to both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. This includes companies like MSI, Asus, and a handful of others. If a company joins the GPP, then they must reportedly give that branding exclusively to Nvidia. How this benefits Nvidia is obvious. Still, not everyone may realize how it hurts AMD, and more importantly, consumers.

How This Setup Hurts A Lot Of People (And Companies)

When consumers build high-end PCs, they often opt for the “Gaming” variants of those GPUs. Of course, these variants aren’t leagues beyond similar options, but the “Gaming” designation makes a difference nonetheless. Manufacturers in the GPP will spend more marketing efforts on Nvidia GPUs rather than AMD GPUs. Consumers may not know which AMD alternatives are comparable to the Nvidia GPUs. This confusion and ensuing lack of brand recognition could easily hurt consumers above all else.

Consumers will eventually feel the pain because Nvidia GPUs are always more expensive than comparable AMD GPUs. In some cases, they provide better performance, but not everyone prioritizes performances over price. AMD could lose its ability to compete in the high-end GPU market thanks to the GeForce Partner Program. Other consequences from the GPP could include less innovation from AMD and less consumer choices. With that in mind, the GPP is anticompetitive at least and a huge blow to transparency and consumers at worst.

‘Sea of Thieves’ Launches, Fans Excited for Pirate Sim

There are few games in the industry right now that have generated as much excitement as ‘Sea of Thieves’. The pirate simulator has essentially captivated the imagination of would-be scallywags all around the world. The game is finally going live after a prolonged beta period and it is hitting consoles and PC’s around the world in style. There is a lot to learn about the new pirate sim so let’s not waste any time and jump right in.

The first thing that you need to know about Sea of Thieves is that the developers at Rare are serious about making this a playable online experience for everyone. While the game is a sandbox -themed pirate sim with a focus on obvious behaviors, Rare still wants a certain style of play to be encouraged. Joe Neate is the executive producer on Sea of Thieves and he had a few pointed words about the title. Neate’s first statement is in response to gamers who were dissatisfied that they could not attack fellow crew members. Neate said, “As a crew, you can’t harm each other and all of the rewards shared.” Neate went on to explain, “There’s literally no reason or motivation to do anything other than cooperate.”

Neate and the rest of the developers on the team went on to explain that they are focused on changing the culture surrounding online gaming. Right now, there is a definite stigma attached to online gaming that seems to imply a certain level of hardship and frustration. Craig Duncan is the Studio lead at Rare for Sea of Thieves and he had his own words to impart. Duncan said, “We’re going to bring a load of people into multiplayer gaming that have maybe rejected multiplayer games before.”

Sea of Thieves is currently available for players who had pre-purchased the game. Right now the developers are going through stress tests on the server which means that they are limiting the number of new players that can register.

Fortnite Outsells PUBG in Microtransactions

Epic Game’s “Fortnight” is swimming in cash thanks to in-app purchases. Specifically, the game earned $126 million from that side of the business in February, exceeding the monthly revenue of rival title “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and marking a marketing first for the game. Those familiar with Fortnite’s rising star, especially after implementing a 100-player battle royale mode, will find this information as nothing new.

While Epic Games co-opted PUBG’s idea of parachuting onto an island with a large group of players vying to be the last man standing, it has a few tricks up its sleeve. First, Fortnight is completely free-to-play. Second, PUBG earning $103 million in February, the bulk of that figure came from one-time $30 purchases of the title on Steam. Fortnight, conversely, makes the bulk of its earnings through in-app purchases of cosmetic items like alternate costume skins and special emotes.

While PUBG also offers the option of purchasing cosmetic items, it falls behind Fortnite’s offerings. PUBG Corp/Bluehole, developers for PUBG stated that it would be adding emotes in the future, while Fortnite has had emotes since its September launch. Fortnitt also has a benefit when it comes to platform: in addition to PC users, the title is also available to PS4 and X-Box one users, with iOS play currently undergoing closed beta testing. Analysts predict that the iOS port of Fortnite has earned Epic Games $1.5 million in the one week that that version has been remotely playable.

Beyond the monetary reasons or venue, Fortnite also features a learning curve and aesthetic that makes it more endearing to younger players than PUBG’s dark, gritty and realistic aesthetic. The addition of mobile play means that younger gamers, who may lack a proper console or gaming-tier PC, can participate. One final consideration in Fortnite’s favor is the notion of cheating, cheating within PUBG is such a rampant problem that Bluehole has had to prioritize resources toward anti-cheating measures instead of new gameplay features.

DRM Preventing PC Gamers from Playing Final Fantasy VII

Fans of one of the most popular Final Fantasy games were disheartened recently to find that, like with many games of the modern era, their digital copies of Final Fantasy VII would not run.

This phenomenon occurred due to a piracy prevention method known as DRM (digital rights management). With DRM, anyone who wishes to play a game must first login to a server owned by the game’s publisher. If the game cannot make that connection, like if it was obtained illegally through piracy, then the game will not be able to run and players will not be allowed to play.

While this seems like a good system in theory, there have been numerous problems with DRM over the years. In this case, it was something as simple as the servers at Square Enix being down for a few hours. During those few hours, though, no one with a digital copy of Fihttp://omtgames.com/wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=post_tagnal Fantasy VII, even those who bought it through a legal channel like Steam, could actually play the game.

This is a common headache for many in the modern age of gaming as more and more game companies turn to DRM to try and prevent piracy. In addition to situations like this, there are many cases where DRM simply fails to recognize a legally obtained copy of a game, shutting out players with proof of purchase for no reason. Compound this with publishing company Ubisoft (who uses DRM in all of its games) admitting that DRM does not work to stop piracy, and many players are left wondering why it continues to be a thing in gaming.

Modern gaming aside, many players take solace in their older releases, knowing that a copy of their favorite classics on the PlayStation 2 or Gamecube won’t force them to login to a server before starting. However, as more and more of these classics are placed onto a digital marketplace (which is not a bad thing in and of itself), the constant specter of ineffective and annoying DRM continues to appear to haunt gamers worldwide.

PC Game Streaming Comes To Facebook Live To Compete With Other Platforms

Facebook Live has never captured a gaming audience since its inception. Despite streaming Overwatch events though the platform, nothing ever captured the hearts of gamers. A new Games SDK for PC from Facebook could change things up, though. The social media platform wants to allow gamers to stream PC titles at the push of a button. However, it remains to be seen whether the company can give users an incentive to switch from Twitch or YouTube.

Simply put, Facebook wants to make it easier for developers, streamers, and gamers to stream on its own platform. Popular streamers from Twitch and YouTube pull in a lot of money for their respective companies. It’s no surprise Facebook wants to join the action with its own Live platform. The company knows that incentives are necessary to pull in an audience, so various benefits will be rolled out for everyone involved.

Since its inception, Facebook Live hasn’t done much except draw controversy due to the content of users’ streams. Catering to gamers is a brand new direction for the platform because game streaming was almost nonexistent in the past. A lot of time, effort, and incentives will need to be brought to the platform to attract developers, streamers, and viewers. Twitch and YouTube are already kings in the market after all.

In fact, even Microsoft runs its own game streaming platform with a small user base. Facebook’s first step toward gaining a foothold will be to topple Microsoft’s user base for Mixer. All the money in the world won’t guarantee success in this venture. Still, Facebook wants its Live platform to be the perfect place to stream anything and everything. The tides could turn in Facebook’s favor in due time.

Twitch, YouTube, and even Mixer have nothing to fear at the moment. With a strong enough push and innovative features, Facebook Live’s PC game streaming could gain an audience. Catering to both developers and streamers will be key to starting out on the right foot. Even a minor misstep could doom Facebook Live to a status of last place in the streaming world.

Facebook Hopes to Compete with Twitch

It’s no secret that Facebook wants to dominate the internet. Mark Zuckerberg wants his sight to be the place people go to share photos, connect with friends, read the news, seek entertainment, and a myriad of other activities.

That’s why the development of Facebook Live comes as little surprise. Facebook Live is nothing new, per se; Facebook Live has enjoyed a streaming relationship with video game giant Blizzard since 2016. What is new is the expansion of Facebook Live to be more competitive with Twitch and YouTube.

Video game streaming makes a lot of money. Successful streamers not only earn significant in-game bonuses; they earn a revenue as well. But that’s not the only way streaming is profitable. Streaming drives traffic. Due to monetized ads and other means, internet traffic means profit.

Right now, Twitch is the go-to for live game streaming. YouTube is the preferred source for walkthroughs and Let’s Plays. Facebook is hoping to change that.

With their latest update, Facebook now makes it easy to stream PC games through the Facebook Live platform, with minimal external hardware or additional software required. Facebook is also providing incentives for viewers to watch on Facebook instead of elsewhere, including in-game bonuses and other features.

While Facebook Live is unlikely to have a serious impact on the legions of streaming enthusiasts on YouTube and Twitch, they no doubt hope to attract more casual viewers, making it easy for people to transition from browsing through their feed to watching a live stream. Since there are undoubtedly people who are not fond of the communities on YouTube or Twitch, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Facebook to lure some of those viewers to their own streaming service.

Dragon Ball FighterZ Attracts the Big Names of Fighting Games

Even before its launch, Namco Bandai’s newest venture Dragon Ball FighterZ was turning heads. Developed with Arc System Works (creators of the popular BlazBlue and Guilty Gear fighting games), this new entry into the storied Dragon Ball series of games looked to be like nothing fans had ever seen before.

Upon release, this hype proved to be more than just talk, as 2 million copies sold within just the week of release made it the quickest selling Dragon Ball game ever made. This momentum hasn’t slowed a month later, as the competitive scene is finally taking off at tournaments, with some interesting developments not commonly seen within the community.

With most fighting games, a certain niche of players is the goal of any developer. Rather than attract a wide variety of players, they try to court certain groups that like a particular franchise, combat system, or other feature that their game has that others don’t. As a result, many of the biggest names in fighting games stick to their particular title of choice for competition.

Not so for FighterZ, as it has somehow managed to draw in some of the most highly ranked gamers from other franchises, many of which do not typically stray from their game of choice. According to Steve Barthelemy, a longtime veteran of the anime fighting game genre using the name “Lord Knight” at competition, FighterZ has done what few games before it could and attracted a sustainable number of players post-launch.

In his experience, all four lobbies the game has at present are consistently packed with players, and offline spaces like Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California draw huge crowds wanting to compete in or watch the game being played. Others, too, like Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, champion of games like Skullgirls, Mortal Kombat, and many more, as well as his longtime rival William “Leffen” Hjelte, the undisputed “god” of Super Smash Bros. Melee, have both joined the fight in FighterZ.

It’s easy to see why, though. With so many people having grown up with the Dragon Ball franchise across the world, it makes sense many of those people would want to take a crack at the series’ newest venture into video games. And momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, meaning there might be more than just nostalgia attached to this game.

The Joys of PC Gaming

There are reasons that people get involved in PC gaming even with all of the available technology in gaming consoles. One of the reasons behind gaming with PCs is that PCs are known for their versatility more than consoles. The idea of consoles being used for more than video games is still relatively new. It is less than 5 generations ago that video game consoles were only able to play video games while PCs could do so much more.

When people use some of the older consoles, one thing they will notice is that it is not possible to download games onto the hard drive. PCs have been able to download games and update them. This is one thing that was missing from the older gaming consoles. If anyone wanted an update or a patch to their game, they would have to wait for an updated CD of their game. Even then, they would have to hope that the gaming console would release the product. Meanwhile, patches could be downloaded from the internet onto the PC. Therefore, if there are any errors in the game, they can be corrected without having to buy the game over again.

Video game consoles have recently caught up with the PCs. Gaming consoles have become so advanced that they might as well just be called consoles as opposed to video game consoles. While they can play video games with some of the most advanced graphics, they can do so much more for the user. This is one thing that makes the system like the PS4 compete with PCs like the new Zenbook 13 and other PCs that can be used for video games.

Blizzard Announces Updates to Long-Running Warcraft III

After 16 years, Warcraft III is still going strong. Although many Blizzard fans have moved onto other games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch or Starcraft II, Warcraft III has a dedicated fan base that refuses to abandon the beloved classic. Blizzard has taken notice and announced a slew of new features to update the game.

According to Kotaku, Blizzard is rebalancing the game and increasing the size of custom games from 12 to 24 players. Blizzard has also updated the in-game editor. Players can use this editor to create their own maps and challenge friends. Dota 2 and League of Legends were originally custom maps on Warcraft III and have now spun off to become full-fledged games of their own.

Fans are speculating about what the changes might mean. Is Blizzard planning to re-release the game or even develop a sequel? The company is famous for maximizing the value of its intellectual property. World of Warcraft continues to receive expansions over a decade after its original release. A few years ago, Blizzard updated the original Starcraft and released a popular sequel to the hit strategy game.

Revamping Warcraft III wouldn’t be a challenge for the mega-successful company. Blizzard could reuse its engine from Starcraft II, meaning the biggest change would be updated, high-definition character models. The company might even decide to update Warcraft I and II as a true reward for long-time fans. Of course, Blizzard is famously tight-lipped and hasn’t released concrete details of its plan for the series. For now, Warcraft III fans can only speculate about the potential changes coming to the Warcraft universe.