Ubisoft had a very positive 2017. Sure, For Honor had one of the roughest launches for an online game in recent memory, but the year quickly turned around for Ubisoft. Assassin’s Creed: Origins boasts some of the best reviews since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, setting the series on a more positive course. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was hailed as an unexpected success on the Switch. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon opened to tepid review scores, but updates and patches have transformed the game. Ubisoft has also had success this past year with the release of South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Far Cry 5. Can Ubisoft’s presentation get even better than last year’s? How will they capitalize off a year of success and keep fans excited for the future?
Square-Enix, despite being a long time publisher and developer with dozens of franchises under their wing, has spent very little time with E3 press conferences. Their last E3 showing was three years ago, where they showed trailers that were already shown at Sony’s conference that year. With two long-awaited titles in Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remake finally happening (eventually), Square has a lot to show, with room for plenty of surprise announcements. If fans are expecting something on the level of Microsoft yesterday or Sony later tonight, they’re going to be disappointed. After watching the event, even fans with tempered expectations were most definitely disappointed.
Bethesda’s theme at E3 this year was “create”. They wanted to create something unique and new that nobody was expecting them to do. And while some things like Rage 2 had been leaked beforehand, there were still plenty of huge surprises Bethesda had yet to show off. I, for one, can’t wait to play Skyrim on my Etch a Sketch.
Microsoft, and in particular the Xbox brand, has struggled to get a leg up over the competition throughout the current generation. The Xbox One was controversial out of the gate, and even with continuous effort from Microsoft to improve user experience they aren’t keeping their customers. With previous major releases like Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 underperforming and potential system sellers like Scalebound getting cancelled, Microsoft has a lot of ground to make up. With only Crackdown 3, another Gears of War, another Halo, and another Forza on the horizon, Microsoft needs to make some major announcements of big, and most importantly new, exclusives to get people back on Xbox.
This week, Steam announced that it no longer plans on moderating any content put on it’s store, barring things that are “illegal” or “trolling.” What this means is obviously open to interpretation, with legality varying from country to country and trolling being possibly the most vague term they could have chosen.
The latter half of 2017 and the fist few months of 2018 were very eventful for Electronic Arts. Visceral Games was shuttered, and EA acquired Respawn Entertainment. The company almost singlehandedly launched a wave of government regulation because of the loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront II. A Way Out was released and was very positively received by critics and players alike. More recently, the trailer for Battlefield V stirred controversy by showing a woman fighting in WWII (the gall of them).
So it's no secret that gaming online can be a really toxic, and playing online as a woman or a person of color comes with the hazard of ten year olds targeting you for that. There's plenty of evidence of this kind of griefing online, but what can be done? Systemic overhaul of the problematic culture around gaming? Turning off voicechat? No... clearly the only effective solution is hunting the bullies down.
Matt and Tt break down Rooster Teeth opening a London branch, Valve acquiring the company Campo Santo, and a recent God of War update.
This week on Pop Tabs Matt, Tt, and Dylan discuss Fortnite destroying social lives, South Korea cracking down on lootboxes, and YouTube’s unknown kids app.
On this week's episode of How It's Played we are discussing "Ready Player One." The movie, VR, Nintendo, technology in general, and the future of gaming will be talked about on this week's episode of How It's Played.