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EA Says Old Console Cycles Were “Painful;” New One Better

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Xbox One, PS4 controllers

At the Nasdaq 35th Investor Program Conference, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen praised the mid-generation console refresh being carried out by Sony and Microsoft and condemned the old console cycles as “painful”.

The executive pointed out that in previous console cycles investors always tried to identify the peak earning period, seeing as moving from a generation to generation involved huge expenses to upgrade.

The fact that consoles were also highly customized didn’t help matters — each iteration of the Xbox and PlayStation were very different mainly as a result of being built on customized chipsets that were difficult to program for in the early years of their release.

And then there was the issue of compatibility between between cycles, which forced gamers to stop buying games for the older consoles…

According to Jorgensen, EA cut down the number of game engines from 25 to only two in a effort to control the high costs of developing for drastically different platforms, but games were still not compatible across generations.

The situation is of course different today, with both Microsoft and Sony releasing micro-upgrades more often, allowing for more compatibility of games with previous generations.

That’s to say the market now looks a lot more like a traditional PC market than the specialized console market of yore, which Jorgensen believes is “great for the industry, great for their [Sony and Microsoft’s] production, great for software costs, and great for the consumers.”

Consoles will still continue to get more powerful, making older software less appetizing, but “the whole notion that investors had of the cycle is gone away.”

What do you think about the new direction Microsoft and Sony are taking with this console generation? Was it long overdue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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PC

This Is Mortal Kombat 11’s Official Cover, What Do You Think?

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Mortal Kombat 11 official Cover art with Scorpion

It’s familiar, but different; simpler, but engaging.

Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has revealed the official cover art for Mortal Kombat 11, and its of little surprise that it only features Scorpion.

Compared to Mortal Kombat 10, the overall design is brighter and simpler, featuring a yellow, hot background that surprisingly works well with Scorpion’s yellow outfit.

Scorpion’s pose is imposing, and its interesting that NetherRealm chose go with the more modern version of the character rather than the classic one that appeared in the reveal trailer.

Mortal Kombat 11 releases on April 23, 2019 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

What do you think about the cover art? Better yet, what’s you favorite Mortal Kombat cover art of all time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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PC

Epic Games Store New Return Policy Allows Unlimited Refunds, But…

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Epic Games Store logo

Gamers get more leniency and a simplified verification process.

Epic has updated the Epic Games Store’s return policy to make it more competitive with other digital storefronts.

With the old policy, you were allowed just two refunds per year, but now everyone has unlimited refunds within 14 days of purchase and with under two hours played.

The Epic Games Store doesn’t have a “self-service” solution, at least not yet, so you will have to go through Customer Support to request a refund.

A change was also made to the verification process for receiving a refund. Customers no longer have to provide their IP address, last four digits of the card used, account creation date, and other information if the return meets the set criteria, though a contact form will still need to be used.

Epic plans to add more regional pricing options to the store. There are currently 30 different regions available, encompassing a total of 130 countries.

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Microsoft

Microsoft Is Buying Fallout: New Vegas Developer Obsidian Entertainment

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Fallout New Vegas

The tech giant is just about ready to own the highly-acclaimed game studio.

Microsoft is preparing to buy Obsidian Entertainment, according to a new report.

Sources close to the matter revealed to Kotaku that the deal, which has been the work for a while, is “90%” finished, and it’s only a matter of time before everything is finalized.

Founded in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment is best know for its numerous RPG titles, which in addition to Fallout: New Vegas, include Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Neverwinter Nights 2, Alpha Protocol, and Pillars of Eternity.

Many of their games are sequels based on licensed properties.

Obsidian is just one of slew of notable video game-related purchases by Microsoft in 2018. Earlier in June, it announced the acquisition of Hellblade studio Ninja Theory, State of Decay 2 developers Undead Labs, and Compulsion Games, the studio behind We Happy Few.

The company may have dropped the ball against Sony’s PlayStation 4 this gaming generation, but it appears to be setting itself up for a resurgence for the next generation.


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PlayStation 4

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Records Highest Concurrent Player Count In Series History

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey Medusa battle

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has revived the series’ player base.

The latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed series has set a new record for concurrent player counts on Steam, according to GitHyp.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey garnered 62,000 concurrent players on Steam in its launch week, which is a 33% increase over the 41,000 concurrent players of its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed: Origins.

That makes Odyssey the highest played title in series history in terms of concurrent players on Steam.

In the UK, the game took the number two spot on the sales chart, failing to knock FIFA 19 from the top.

Moreover, physical sales were down compared to Origins, although the situation is likely better when digital copies are taken into account.

In case you missed it, you can watch Odyssey launch trailer here.


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PC

Forza Horizon 4 Reviews Round-Up, It’s Love All Around

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Forza Horizon 4 Racing Game, Porsche

Forza Horizon 4 is arguably the best installment in the series to date.

Reviews for the latest Forza Horizon are in, and Microsoft, Playground Games and, most importantly, racing game fans have a lot to be happy about.

Forza Horizon 4 is a resounding hit with critics and gamers alike, earning an average score of 92 percent on metacritic as of the time of this writing.

This time around, car aficionados take to a shared open-world Britain that has been fine-tuned to take into account both the seasons and the time of day, with seasonal changes altering the driving conditions and the accessibility of pathways. The game world literally changes over time.

There are 450 unlockable cars, including the Warthog for the Halo series, that can customized and raced to the heart’s content.

If you are still on the fence about getting Forza Horizon 4, check out some of the more notable reviews and scores here…

If you’ve played Forza Horizon 4, what would you personally rate it, and why? Let us know in the comments below.


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PlayStation 4

Get Hyped With The Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Launch Trailer

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, River Kill

This is an Assassin’s Creed game unlike any other.

Set in ancient Greece, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey builds on what made origins so good, bringing back some of the beloved features the franchise is known for while introducing radical new changes and departures — most notably, an RPG-driven dialogue wheel, the ability to play either as a male or a female protagonist, and the ability to choose between romance options — that could potentially change the face of the series forever.

Unlike the previous Assassin’s Creed games, this launch trailer uses gameplay footage rather than CGI, but it still manages to be engaging. It showcases some of the gameplay elements players can expect, as well as the locations they will frequent. We also get a bit on the story and how the choice you make will affect it.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is playable on the PS4, Xbox One and PC. Watch the trailer here, and let us know if it gets you hyped…


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