EA Moves Back Release Date of Anthem to 2019

After much speculation, Electronic Arts has officially confirmed to be moving back the release date of the new BioWare-developed RPG Anthem from fall of 2018 to sometime in 2019.

First announced at E3 2017, EA presented a gameplay trailer of a new gaming property, marketed as multiplayer action-RPG in similar fashion to Bungie and Activision’s Destiny franchise. From what information is available, players will seemingly be able to interact with each other in an open world environment filled with various alien creatures, collecting equipment and rewards through a randomized drop system.

No concrete reason has been given yet as to why Anthem has been delayed, though EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen claims that “it’s not a delay” despite having the release date moved back. Jorgensen has so far mentioned that the company hopes to give Anthem more time to gain attention as a new franchise, as well as give developers a chance to develop the game’s story. He also claims that, contrary to a Kotaku report released recently, the game’s development is not behind schedule.

It is also possible EA has chosen to delay the release of Anthem due to the massive loot box controversy the company found itself in following the release of Star Wars Battlefront II, fearing that the blowback could negatively impact the sales of a new title. Instead, EA will be releasing a new, so far unnamed entry in its Battlefield series of games.

Overall, this will likely be a beneficial decision that might help Anthem succeed. With the fall season being a popular release time for many AAA game publishers, EA could find more success for a new property at a later date. This strategy also avoids the same pitfall the company fell into with the Titanfall 2 release which, while better received than its predecessor, did not sell quite as well due to major competition from other studios and EA itself with the release of Battlefield 1 in close proximity.

How To Score Deals On Gaming PCs

Building gaming PCs used to make a lot of sense. You could customize a computer desktop to fit the specs required to play any games you wanted to play. Creating your own PC was also cheaper than buying a ready-made desktop that was designed for gaming.

Unfortunately, building a custom gaming PC is no longer economical. This is because the components used to make a gaming PC are extremely overpriced. It now makes more sense to buy a pre-made PC by one of the big manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo or HP.

You may be thinking to yourself, how much money will I save by buying a pre-built gaming PC? The answer to that question is hundreds of dollars. Yes, it may seem strange, but building your own custom PC is now more expensive thanks to the outrageous prices for graphics cards and RAM right now.

If you are a gamer looking to score a deal, then these five pre-built PCs can really save you a lot of money. All of them will get the job done for gaming. They will also show graphics at the high to ultra quality. The less expensive ones will have reduced quality but a lower price and more portability. Here they are.

The Dell Inspiron 5680 is a PC that is built for gaming. It is also ready for virtual reality if you want to try that. At only $800 you will get everything you need to play video games at 1080P and enter the virtual reality realm. Performance is excellent and the system is upgradable in the future too to boot.

If you are looking for portability, then you cannot beat the Alienware Alpha R2. It is so small and slim that it is smaller than a gaming console! While it is not as powerful as the other gaming computers, it will still get the job done.

The Cost Of The Mining Boom

If it isn’t clear by now, the day of cryptocurrency is upon us. Despite a bumpy start to 2018, ‘miners’ all over the world are still building rigs with the industry-leading desktop GPUs. No one could have predicted the crisis that cryptocurrency would cause for PC gaming.

As gamers will know, keeping a gaming desktop up-to-date requires regular upgrades in the form of solid-state drives, processors and, perhaps most importantly, video cards. Unfortunately, video cards are the main source of power for mining rigs to complete their equations and generate currency over time.

The popularity of cryptocurrency mining has risen the demand for top-level and mid-level graphics cards through the roof. Those gamers looking to purchase their cards for the legitimate purpose — gaming — are the ones paying the price. In some cases, major retailers are getting away with charging more than double the suggested retail price for cards of all varieties.

It will be interesting to see how card manufacturers react to the growing shortage. They’ve already implored retailers to limit miners from buying several cards in one visit, but the numbers don’t lie: Micro Center and similar retailers have no incentive to make any change at all. In fact, doing so would be a deliberate assault on their bottom lines. Any regulations set against mining-specific purchases must be put into play by NVIDIA and AMD.

At large, the worst possible outcome would be a premature ending of the current PC gaming ‘golden age’ we’ve enjoyed for the past two years. Unreasonable prices could send gamers right back to consoles. Though not even as powerful as mid-level gaming PCs, consoles come with the benefit of staying at a consistent price.

The Future Of Sea Of Thieves?

This morning marked the end of the Sea of Thieves closed beta. The week players spent with the game saw its fair share of bugs and server crashes, but it’s hard not to feel the beta was a massive success. At one point, the game had over 250,000 viewers on Twitch.

The question now is how much additional content the game’s full release will feature. Despite the technical marvel Sea of Thieves already is, some players felt the beta was a bit light on content. Aside from invigorating PvP battles against other crews, the beta only featured quests that send you off to collect hidden treasure on the game’s various islands.

Rare has promised all kinds of content upon the game’s full release, but, for better or worse, the final game will play out a lot like the beta already has. The main draw of Sea of Thieves is the way its rugged sandbox nature that promotes an entirely different play session every time you log in. No two voyages will feel the same.

Still, the game’s public first impression brought in a number of naysayers. Some people are saying that despite how much fun Sea of Thieves can be, it may have trouble building a solid player base. The main reason? The game is much more fun with three of your friends. In fact, playing alone puts you at a severe disadvantage.

Whether you were a fan of the Sea of Thieves closed beta or not, the game’s release date of March 20th is a day to keep an eye on. As other sandbox games have done before it, this is a title that could explode into the next big thing. Depending on how Rare navigates their pre-launch situation, Microsoft may finally have its next big exclusive.

Did Adventure Time Just Land an Open World Video Game?

The answer is simple: mathematical! Adventure Time is one of the hottest entertainment properties in the world, at least if you are a teenager, and the IP has been longing for a high-quality video game adaptation. With nigh infinite imagination, a great Adventure Time game has been a long time coming. Bandai Namco must have heard the collective yearning of fans everywhere, because it was recently announced that the property would be getting an open-world game: Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion. This will be the most ambitious Adventure Time-related property that has ever been released and we are all in on the fun.

In Pirates of the Enchiridion, players will get to control any one of a number of different popular AT-related characters including Finn, BMO, Jake, and Marceline. Players will wander all over the Land of Ooo in order to discover different Kingdoms and recruit new players to their team. Finn and Jake get to traverse the suddenly flooded Land of Ooo in their special boat. While details are scarce at this point in time, we do know that Bandai Namco is trying to do something a little different. The goal in this open-world game will be to use detective skills, such as interrogations and clue finding, as well as ‘tactical combat’. There is also a progression system with light RPG elements.

Pirates of the Enchiridion will be released for all major consoles as well as PC some point in Spring of 2017. The developers of the game, Outright Games, are right now engaging in a naming competition that fans can partake in. The winner of the competition will have selected the name for Jake and Finn’s ship. If you’ve ever wanted to cement your name in Adventure Time history, now is the chance. All you need to do is head to the Facebook page for Outright Games in order to enter the competition. Who knows what the internet will come up with, but we’re excited to see it!

Microsoft Leak Suggests Xbox One May Get PC Gaming Controller

While the games often play almost the same, PC gamers and gamers using a console are very separate groups of consumers. A major reason for that the controllers fro the two platforms are very different. But one major difference may be going away, if a report by the PC gaming web site VG24/7 is accurate.

The site noticed a press release put out by Microsoft Poland, which claimed the company was set to release a keyboard and mouse for the Xbox. The press release was quickly deleted, but just the mention of a new Xbox peripheral has been enough to spark the imagination of both PC and console gamers. If it is released, the new keyboard and mouse would blur the lines between the gaming platforms and open up new possibilities for player interaction in the booming eGamer sports leagues.

While some Xbox gamers are excited about the possibility of using a PC gamer control set-up, not everyone is eager to give up the current iconic Xbox controller. In fact, the Xbox controller is beginning to be used in a number of non-gaming situations. For instance, the United States Navy is planning to add Xbox controllers to some controls, because they work much better and are more functional than the ones developed by the military.

Despite the leaked press release, it’s not clear if Microsoft has really decided to release a commercially sold keyboard and mouse for the Xbox. The company has declined to comment on the release and no further information has surfaced publicly about the product. But just the hint of a release has energized the Xbox gaming community and an online petition requesting the release of the product has already gathered 35,000 signatures.

Battlefront 2 Found to Have Cosmetic Customization Days After EA Claims it Does Not

PC Gamer reports on further dishonesty coming from Electronic Arts, as datamining has now revealed that Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has an unused cosmetic customization feature within the game’s files, a revelation that comes just days after the company’s CEO said that no such feature currently exists within the game.

In an interview given on November 28, EA CEO Blake Jorgensen specifically stated that Battlefront 2, at least at this point in time, did not have any form of cosmetic customization. As this was a feature in EA’s first Battlefront game in 2014, many fans had been justifiably confused and upset at its absence in the new installment.

Jorgensen gave the reasoning behind this change, saying that the company did not want to “violate canon”, citing an absurd example of a pink Darth Vader as justification. Though many were quick to point out the illogical reasoning behind this answer, given that the first game had this feature and that the Battlefront games themselves are essentially a “violation of canon” simply by existing, many were shocked to find out just a day later that this feature had been in the game’s files the entire time.

In a YouTube video posted by Redditor uninspired_zebra, the user showcases a cosmetic customization menu with numerous options contained within the PC version of the game. And, rather than simply wait to release the feature in the full game, EA’s statements on the matter seem to suggest that this form of customization was never meant to see the light of day at some point in the future.

Caught in what can only be described as a deliberate lie, this newest bit of controversy comes right on the heels of Battlefront 2’s massive loot box scandal, leading countries like Belgium to call for a ban on loot boxes in all games released in Europe and the stock value of multiple video game publishers to plummet, EA’s in particular losing the company over $3 billion in value.

The company had first taken flack upon the Battlefront 2’s beta release, with players finding the absurd costs necessary to play competitively with other players using the randomize loot boxes matched only by the time investment it would take to do so without spending extra money (approximately 40 hours to unlock characters like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker). With things only getting worse from there – and quickly – EA and the rest of the games industry has seen massive backlash over what many describe as simulated gambling aimed at children (in the form of the loot box) and dishonesty on the part of the company.

With this newest revelation managing to anger all but the most ardent of EA’s fans, it remains to be seen whether the company can find a way out of this latest PR nightmare.

‘Secret World’ Made Great Again by Team at Funcom

In 2012 there was this little MMORPG that hit the internet. Released by Funcom as the third MMO that they developed, ‘Secret World’ hit the shelves one summer out of nowhere. Fans clamored after the game thanks to the exhaustive story details, interesting quests, and excellent voice acting. However, Secret World would head the direction that so many ambitious MMO’s end up in this day and age: complacency. The title never pushed to a higher level and the game leveled out, never really reaching the heights of its inaugural months. Five years later, fans should be ready to jump back in as Funcom recently re-launched, re-branded, and re-invigorated the title.

Now known as Secret World Legends, Funcom is focusing on giving fans everything that they had hoped for in the initial release. The title is no longer purchase/subscription based and now operates on a free-to-play model like so many other titles. Shifting to free-to-play (FTP) means that the game will see a larger influx of users as the developers try to hone in on what made their title so special, so long ago. Rui Casais, the CEO at Funcom, said, “We always felt that The Secret World was undiscovered.” This line of thinking brought Casais and his team to really analyze what had gone wrong with ‘Secret World’. They saw sales declining, players leaving the game, and the title slowly dying. It was time for a re-invention. Their focus this time was to put the game in as many hands as possible.

In the original Secret World gamers had to play characters without levels or any sort of class system. it was a completely free and open concept that never latched on with gamers. So the developers at Funcom brought levels back as an easy way to get gamers comfortably back into the game. There are also extensive additions to the core gameplay as well as extended quests and new storylines for gamers to check out.

World of Warcraft Brings Back the Fun With New Races

World of Warcraft revolutionized the MMO genre when it released back in 2001. Now, 16 years later, the franchise is still going strong and fans are getting hyped up for the next expansion: Battle for Azeroth. Blizzard has been busy getting World of Warcraft fans ready for more content with both the Classic announcement and the Battle for Azeroth expansion. We think that 2017 and 2018 could be incredible years for the longest-running active MMO on the planet and it has a lot to do with how credible the new playable races are.

Playable race expansions are as part of World of Warcraft as quests are for the rest of the genre. With Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard will be releasing six completely new races: Lightforged Draenei, Dark Iron Dwarves, Void Elves for the Alliance and Nightborne Elves, Zandalari Trolls and Highmountain Tauren for the Horde. While WoW fans have some trouble getting into new race releasees, it appears that we have more than just some newly skinned races coming into the game.

While the resemblances between the new races and old races in the game are strong, particularly between the elf classes, there is something special about this expansion. The biggest thing about the new races is that they are more than just a graphical update, they are setting the stage for the lore going into the future. WoW used to have a problem with races becoming quickly outdated and left by the wayside, but that isn’t the case. Blizzard has already gone on the record as stating that these races will be heavily involved in future storylines and that should get fans more than a little bit excited.

In any event, we also appreciate the fact that the new characters have a ton of customization available to them. WoW has always been known for its unique take on the fantasy aesthetic and that will continue here. It looks like there will be complete character customization options for the new races, including tattoos, fur, antlers and different hairstyles.

Hearthstone to Receive Renewed Attention from Blizzard

‘Hearthstone’ has turned into Blizzard’s calling card, pun completely intended, over the past several years and for good reason. The mobile/PC based cardgame has essentially given Blizzard an inside track into a world apart from their work on ‘World of Warcraft’. For fans that felt like the game was getting stale, the few that are out there complaining, they should worry no longer. It was recently announced that Blizzard is turning full tilt toward 2018 filled with expansion releases for the title.

Ben Thompson is the lead artist for Hearthstone and he went on the record with Metabomb in order to talk about what is to come in the series. Thompson said, “At this point, we feel it’s best to continue to add mission content to the actual release set for several reasons.” Thompson goes on to hint that three will be three major new expansions for the game coming up and each of them will be “full sets of cards with new missions in each.” While this is good news, there is some minor bad news to release — Adventures won’t be making a return to the franchise.

The reason that Adventures is getting sidelined, despite it upsetting some fans, is that the game-type fundamentally made the title imbalanced. Blizzard is paying close attention to how hard it is for newcomers to get into the game and be active, especially when there is already such a learning curve. Adventures essentially made that learning curve a little bit too difficult for Blizzard to be comfortable with. Thompson finished by saying, “For that reason, putting together three full releases with mission content is a big part of how we see the game going forwards.”

Peter Whalen, Senior Adviser for Hearthstone, was also present in the interview. Whalen made sure to focus on how important it was to continue bringing a diverse and interesting metagame to the new releases. With Whalen and Thompson both on the record , comfortable with the direction of the game, Hearthstone players should be too.