Microsoft shook the industry today with the announcement of its biggest acquisition yet, not just in gaming but across all industries. The $ 70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard will bring together two of the biggest companies in gaming. Activision Blizzard has some of the most successful franchises in the industry, which will fall under the ever-growing umbrella of Microsoft once the deal finalizes.
Part of the size of the deal comes from Activision"s own spate of acquisitions over the last decades. Though Activision is no slouch with big franchises, most notably its annualized Call of Duty releases and the ongoing battle royale Call of Duty: Warzone, it has also made big moves of its own that will now fold into the Microsoft umbrella.
In 2008, Activision merged with Blizzard, bringing the wildly successful World of Warcraft franchise along with games like Starcraft. Blizzard has several other IPs under its belt as well, including more recent ones like Overwatch and the WoW spin-off Hearthstone. Following the success of Hearthstone on mobile devices, Blizzard has also started to stretch into the mobile market with games like the upcoming Diablo Immortal.
Roku announced that it was partnering with Funny Or Die to produce a feature film about Grammy Award and iconic comedic musician «Weird Al» Yankovic starring Daniel Radcliffe as the Weird One himself. The biopic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, will be available exclusively on The Roku Channel with production beginning in February. No additional cast has been announced.
«When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I"m very happy to say we"re on schedule,» said Yankovic in a press release. «And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.»
«When Weird Al first sat me down against my will and told me his life story, I didn"t believe any of it, but I knew that we had to make a movie about it,» writer and director, Eric Appel, added. Appel, whose credits include directing episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Son of Zorn, New Girl, and even the Funny or Die short about «Weird» Al over ten years ago, will finally direct his first feature film with this production.
Microsoft has announced that its Xbox Game Pass service now has more than 25 million subscribers globally. With Activision Blizzard joining its ranks, Microsoft is preparing to expand the Game Pass library with a number of games pulled from that company"s catalog.
«We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers,» Microsoft said in the announcement. «As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.»
«We will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard"s incredible catalog,» Microsoft said.
Following reports, Microsoft has now officially announced it has acquired Activision Blizzard in a deal said to be valued at nearly $ 70 billion.
«Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world,» Xbox boss Phil Spencer said. «We are incredibly excited to have the chance to work with the amazing, talented, dedicated people across Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, Treyarch, and every team across Activision Blizzard.»
Until the deal closes, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will operate independently, Microsoft said. If and when it does, the Activision Blizzard team will report to Spencer as the CEO of Microsoft Gaming.
According to Japanese publication Nikkan Gendai and spotted by Kotaku, Sega"s Judgment series of games may be getting a live-action TV adaptation for Asahi Television, the flagship station of the All-Nippon News Network. The show"s working title is Sabakarezaru, which means «The Unjudged» when translated, similar to how Lost Judgment"s full title in Japan is Lost Judgment: Sabakarezaru Kioku or «Unjudged Memory.»
The series will reportedly star Takuya Kimura, who lent his likeness and voice to Judgment and last year"s sequel. If you haven"t played the games, both of them center around former attorney Takayuki Yagami, who becomes a private investigator in Tokyo"s Kamurocho district. Both games feature heavy themes and deep mysteries, such as Lost Judgment"s plot that focused on bullying, high school suicide, and a murder mystery that threatened to topple the Japanese legal system.
Each game features an episodic structure and plenty of plot development between rounds of acrobatic action, which would make a translation to television series that much easier. As for the future of the Judgment series, it appears to be in an uncertain phase right now. Back in July, it was reported that Lost Judgment could very well be the last game in the franchise due to a conflict over Kimura"s likeness rights and a disagreement on bringing the game over to PC that was being waged between the actor"s talent agency and Sega.
Nobody Saves the World is an action RPG dungeon crawler, with a twist. The latest from Drinkbox lets you change at will between 15 different forms, from fantasy mainstays like Knight and Rogue to stranger selections like Turtle or Zombie. Each form has its own suite of abilities, and as you progress you"ll unlock the option to mix and match abilities to your liking.
How Abilities Work
In Nobody Saves the World, each form has one signature active ability, and one signature passive ability. These are locked to the character and can"t be swapped out for anything else, and no other class can use them. Most forms (aside from Nobody and Egg) also progressively gain two additional moves, which can be swapped freely with other abilities, and likewise can slot into other forms.
So, you"ll have four Active abilities at any given time, one for each face button. Those will consist of your signature ability and three additional abilities, including the option of continuing to use your two other form abilities. That always leaves at least one slot open for importing abilities from other forms, but you can always change all three of the swappable spots as well.
Nobody Saves The World is an action-dungeon-crawler, but not like any other you"ve played before. The new game from Drinkbox is a hodgepodge of wildly different gameplay elements. While it eases you in, there are a few things you may like to know before you start shapeshifting your way around its mix of dungeons and traps. Here are eight tips to get you heading in the right direction.
Experiment with different forms
This may seem obvious, since changing into different forms is the crux of the game. But actually, it can be very easy to lean too hard on one of your favorites and overlook another one. Upgrading your forms is how you unlock new ones, as well as how you earn the vast majority of stars to open up dungeons. Don"t waste too much time chasing down a single form quest while other forms remain totally untouched.
Explore the overworld
The world of NSTW unfolds progressively as you advance and new areas become available as you gain new forms, but at each phase there are tons of nooks and crannies to explore across the map. Your curiosity will almost always be rewarded with treasure, enemy encounters to continue building up your experience, additional sidequests, and other goodies. Make sure to take a look around frequently and uncover as much of the map as possible at any given point in the story.
Nobody Saves the World is the latest from Drinkbox Studios, the developer behind the Guacamelee games. This is the studio"s first action-RPG, though, making it more in line with a series like The Legend of Zelda. But progression isn"t quite as straightforward as some others in the genre, instead relying on a system that combines classes (called Forms) and sidequests to advance the story. Here"s how progression works in Nobody Saves the World.
Advancing the story in NSTW usually involves venturing into and clearing specific dungeons, but the game is actually chock full of optional «demi-dungeons.» You can tell which ones are story-locked because they"ll require a certain number of stars for entry. There are hundreds of stars to collect in the game, and later dungeons will require you to put up some big numbers. Those stars are consumed once you enter a dungeon, so if you have two dungeons that each require 40 stars-as you will in the mid-game-you"ll need to collect 80 stars total to enter both dungeons and advance the story.
So, how do you get stars? NSTW rewards you with stars frequently, for completing all sorts of tasks. They can be as simple as talking to a specific NPC to completing a sidequest to finishing a demi-dungeon. Some sidequests with multiple steps will even give out multiple stars as you complete each step along the chain. If you"re looking to maximize your stars to get into the next dungeon, there are a few surefire ways to gain them quickly:
Fortnite"s 19.10 patch notes have been revealed, and this next patch looks like a game-changer. Along with the usual bug fixes and weapon adjustments, Patch 19.10 will finally answer some pressing questions about this new Chapter 3 island.
Fortnite 19.10 Patch Notes
The latest patch brings news that Fortnite fans have been waiting for since the beginning of Chapter 2: Tilted Towers makes its long requested return to the game. The massive snowdrift near the center of the island--the one with the completely inconspicuous frozen blocks--has melted away, revealing the popular POI from Chapter 1"s map. All of the original location"s buildings have returned, including the clock tower, underground garage, and apartments, which should give longtime Fortnite players a welcome blast from the past.
Meanwhile, those snoring hills that were dotted around the island? Those are Klombos, the massive dinosaur-like creatures from the Chapter 3 Season 1 trailer. Despite their appearance these new creatures are gentle giants, not attacking players unless they"re provoked. They"ll even let you climb on them, with the blowholes on their backs able to shoot you into the sky to escape danger or move quickly.
Aardman, the acclaimed UK studio known for the Wallace and Gromit series, is making what sounds like a big and ambitious video game as one of its next projects, according to job listings.
TechRadar spotted multiple job postings that call for applicants to work on «visually unique games for PC and console,» featuring humorous characters and the kind of «love and craftsmanship» that Aardman is known for. As for the new project specifically, a job ad for a level and narrative designer says it will be an «incredible, brand-new IP with a major publisher.»
The successful candidate would work with Aardman to «build a mad, open world and fill it with compelling stories.»
Among Us developer Innersloth has revealed more details on the future of its popular social game, which includes the addition of friend lists as part of the next major update. A fan-requested feature, friends lists will be followed by several quality-of-life improvements for setting up a new account and more tweaks to the overall user experience.
«Finally you"ll be able to keep in contact with any Crewmates you get along with… or keep tabs on your greatest enemies,» the developer wrote in an update post. «We know a ton of you have found some lifelong friendships from this game and that"s really cool--we want to allow you to keep in touch and continue playing games together!»
The best-selling games and consoles of 2021 have been revealed for the UK. Data from GSD and GfK shared by GI.biz reveals that the best-selling console in the UK for 2021 was the Nintendo Switch, which outperformed the PS5 in the final weeks of 2021 to claim the top spot.
The OLED model release and the launch of the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe bundle for Black Friday helped the Switch shoot up the charts, the report said. The PS5 finished second, with the Xbox Series X|S family coming in third. In terms of breakdown by system, 57% of units sold were Xbox Series S, compared to 43% for the Series X.
Sales of Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles were together up 14% year-over-year in 2021. Additionally, a total of 35.8 million games (combined digital and physical) and 3.36 million consoles were sold in the UK in 2021. More than 10.6 million accessories were sold in the year.
The next wave of Xbox Game Pass titles for January has seemingly been leaked. Posted on Reddit was a lineup of nine titles that are reportedly coming to the subscription service later this month, including some we know about--like The Hitman Trilogy and Rainbow Six Extraction--and others that are a total surprise.
Titles said to be on the way for Xbox Game Pass in the second half of January include Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition, Death"s Door, The Hitman Trilogy, Nobody Saves The World, Pupperazzi, Rainbow Six Extraction, Windjammers 2, Taiko No Tatsujin The Drum Master, and Rainbow Six Siege Deluxe Edition, according to the leak. No release dates were mentioned in the leak.
Note that this has not been confirmed as of yet. But Microsoft typically announces two batches of Game Pass updates for a single month, and with January now at the half-way point, it"s about time. So keep checking back with GameSpot for if and when Microsoft confirms these titles.
A new trailer for Marvel"s next TV series, Moon Knight, has been released. Additionally, a release date for the series has been confirmed for Disney+: March 30. The first trailer shows actor Oscar Isaac as the vigilante Marc Spector/Moon Knight, and it provides a good look at the new series. We also get a glimpse at Ethan Hawke"s character, who invites Isaac to «embrace the chaos.»
Perhaps the most exciting moment in the trailer is when Isaac is revealed as Moon Knight in full costume. Check it out below. The Moon Knight trailer aired during the NFL playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams, which ran on ESPN--Disney owns both ESPN and Marvel.
«The series follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc"s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt,» reads a line from the show"s description.
As more companies look for ways to try and implement blockchain technology into video games, many NFT advocates have imagined a system where gamers can buy an asset like a skin or an item in one game, and transfer it endlessly into any other game they play. While some game devs have explained in simple terms why this idea is unfeasible, indie developer Rami Ismail has put together an epic 45-tweet thread on Twitter, running through all the fail points a system like this would encounter.
Ismail, who was one half of indie studio Vlambeer and created games like Nuclear Throne, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, and Ridiculous Fishing, started the thread with a relatively simple proposition: «Let"s imagine making dice in a game.»
Let"s imagine making dice in a game.— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) January 10, 2022
The thread goes over all the different elements involved in creating something as simple as a six-sided die--not just the physical asset and its texture, but also the animation involved in rolling the dice, the surface the dice are being rolled on, the simulated gravity and force that will cause the dice to fall in a realistic way.
After appearing as a side character in a number of DC"s TV projects, David Ramsey"s John Diggle, AKA superhero Spartan, will headline a new Arrowverse show called Justice U, Deadline reports. The show will follow Diggle as he recruits a team of five young meta humans, placing them undercover at a prestigious university so he can oversee their education and training as heroes.
Ramsey has played John Diggle, a former U.S. Army soldier turned superhero and friend to Oliver Queen, since the first season of Arrow released in 2012, and has since reprised the role in a number of DC shows including Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Superman and Lois, Supergirl, and Batwoman.
Warner Bros. hasn"t yet revealed what other cast or characters will star alongside Ramsey in Justice U, though the series has the co-executive producer of Superman and Lois, Michael Narducci, attached.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is the latest industry figure to express excitement about the concept of play to earn games. The serial entrepreneur, who has now turned his attention mainly to blockchain and crypto-related projects, is optimistic about the promise of play to earn, predicting that it will dominate the gaming world in just a few short years.
«90% of people will not play a game unless they are being properly valued for that time,» Ohanian claimed in the podcast. «In five years, you will actually value your time properly, and instead of being harvested for advertisements, or being fleeced for dollars to buy stupid hammers you don"t actually own, you will be playing some on-chain equivalent game that will be just as fun, but you"ll actually earn value and you will be the harvester.»
Monster Hunter Rise has passed 8 million copies shipped worldwide following its release on PC last week. This is up from the 7.5 million figure from September 2021. The game has now reached 8 million sold across Switch and PC together.
The entire Monster Hunter series has exceeded more than 78 million copies sold as of September 30, 2021, Capcom said in a news release. With 8 million in sales, Rise is now tied with Resident Evil 6 as the sixth best-selling Capcom game of all time. Capcom"s No. 1 all-time best-selling game is Monster Hunter World, which has sold 20 million copies.
The PC release of Monster Hunter Rise was hugely successful, only trailing another high-profile new release, God of War, in terms of sales last week for PC on Steam. Next up for the Monster Hunter series is Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, which is described as a «massive premium expansion» coming to the game in Summer 2022.
God of War"s recent launch on PC is proving to be a big success right away, it seems. Sony"s action game was the No. 1 best-seller on PC Steam by dollar sales last week, according to SteamDB.
The game also had more than 73,000 peak concurrent players at its highest point, and the game remains massively popular. This is thousands higher than Horizon Zero Dawn"s peak concurrent player record and factors bigger than Days Gone in terms of peak concurrent players.
God of War for PC released on Steam and the Epic Games Store on January 14. Valve shares data publicly but the same can"t be said for the Epic Games Store, so we don"t know exactly how well the game is performing on Epic"s platform.