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 Fi 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.

‘Papers, Please’ Short Film Adaption Goes Live Online

A short film has just been released based on Lucas Pope’s 2013 indie hit Papers, Please. Available now for free on both YouTube and Steam, it adapts the game’s story in a 10 minute run time, potentially turning out as the best video game film adaption to date.

The film, as well as the game, are told through the perspective of an inspector, guarding the border of the fictional fascist nation of Arstotzka and deciding who is allowed entry into the country as they present their papers. The inspector’s job is not as simple as presented, as he (and the player in the game version) must try to cope with the please of those trying to cross and their own conscience as they make the call on whether or not someone is allowed entry into the country.

Having to balance the emotional toll of the job, morality, and the threat to the inspector’s own life and the lives of his family, the game tells a complex narrative about the effects or authoritarian oppression and what it can feel like to be a worker drone on the lowest level of an unfathomable nightmare. For this reason, Papers, Please was nominated and received numerous awards at the time of its release, making a movie adaption all but inevitable.

However, the movie diverges somewhat from the original story of the game. Though changes are to be expected with any adaption, the way the film’s plot proceeds seems to be somewhat antithetical to the message and nuance of the game. It would be hard to say more without spoilers, so to fully understand the differences, one would need to watch the film for themselves. And at only ten minutes with incredible production values, that’s hardly a steep price to pay.

The Importance of a Powerful Processor in Gaming PCs

One of the most common ideas at a certain time was that computers were not for gaming. However, there have started to be plenty of PCs for video gaming. For one thing, the PCs had the most powerful processors for graphics and sound. This has given people the chance to enjoy some of the best graphics available as well as a connection to a community of game players. However, as more people play and games become more advanced, it is increasingly important for computers to have very powerful processors. This will increase the enjoyment of the games that are available.

It is not just for the high quality images, it is also for the speed of the gaming. One common problem with video games is lagging. If the computer system is taking on content that goes beyond its power limits, then this could result in a lot of slow down and lagging. This is one other reason that it is important for computers to have a fast and powerful processor. People will be able to have a better time playing and winning their favorite games whether it is playing the solo story mode or playing against other players.

Another good feature for processors is the sound. A lot of games are going to have some of the best music and sounds. However, processors do not necessarily need to provide catchy music. Some games benefit from certain sounds being picked up in that it can help the players avoid certain traps or ambushes. The top processors can help people play the type of games they enjoy and even discover new things that can enhance their experience even further.

New Screenshots Confirm Shenmue III Will Be Released in 2018

Shenmue III, one of the most anticipated PC games in recent history, is getting closer to becoming a reality. During a recent anime convention in Monaco, Shenmue III producers introduced a new set of screenshots and assured fans that they are still on schedule to deliver the game later this year.

The Magic Monaco convention is organized by Shibuya Productions, one of the companies involved in the development of Shenmue III. The screenshots shown at Magic Monaco are mostly in-game scenes featuring the main characters. Production of this title, which is an official sequel of the legendary action-adventure series originally released for the Sega video game console, started in 2015 after producers successfully raised more than six million dollars on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.

The original Shenmue is remembered as being one of the most expensive games ever developed; it is frequently mentioned on lists of the greatest video game titles, but it ended up becoming a cult hit. The initial chapter of the series was released in 1999 to critical acclaim, but sales figures were lower than Sega expected. Shenmue demands a certain level of immersion and devotion from players, and this is something that American gamers were not ready for.

The story of Shenmue III will continue the events of Shenmue II; the story will move from Yokosuka to a mountainous town in China, where a young Japanese martial arts enthusiast will continue searching for those responsible for his father’s death. The game is set in 1980s and features many Japanese cultural references of that period. The immersion of the game emanates from its life simulation features, which require players to follow certain schedules as the game unfolds.

The PC system requirements for Shenmue III have not been announced. The game will be simultaneously released on the Sony PlayStation 4 console.