epic games

PUBG juggernaut hits 400 million users, and for a limited time, players can get the PC version for $19.99

Posted by | Android, battle royale, bluehole, ceo, computing, epic games, fortnite, Gaming, player, Software, TC | No Comments

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, the progenitor and once-reigning champion of last-player-standing battle royale gaming that’s swept the video game world by storm, has hit over 400 million players globally across all platforms.

As a perk and potential sop to bring new players to its personal computing platform, PUBG is offering the full version of its full-throttle game for $19.99 — a 33.33 percent cut from the game’s regular price.

The offer includes classic maps Erangel and Miramar and the all-new Sanhok, launching on June 22, according to a statement from the company.

PUBG has already moved 50 million units of its game across PC and Xbox One consoles and has hit 87 million daily players. Roughly 227 million players engage in PUBG’s particular murder-death-kill competition every month.

“We are genuinely humbled by the ongoing success and growth of PUBG,” said CH Kim, CEO, PUBG Corp. “We are not resting on our laurels though, as we continue to focus on performance and content updates for current players to enjoy, and look to our future as we aspire to deliver the signature PUBG experience to fans worldwide.”

While PUBG’s rise has been swift, hitting the 400 million figure in a little over six months since its worldwide release (and over 15 months since its early access release), the game’s publisher has been beset with competitors nipping at its heels.

Already, the game has been toppled from the top slot by the new player on the battle royale block — Fortnite.

In April alone, Fortnite pulled in $296 million for its own last-avatar-standing game — and the game’s popularity likely will only grow once the title takes its bow on the Android gaming platform later this month.

PUBG, the company, and its parent company, Bluehole, aren’t taking the competition lying down. They’ve taken Fortnite’s creators to court, filing a suit against Epic Games over copyright infringement concerns. As we reported earlier, the South Korean suit, noted by The Korea Times, takes particular issue with Fortnite’s battle royale mode.

PUBG leadership declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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Reflections on E3 2018

Posted by | e3 2018, epic games, Gaming, Microsoft, Nintendo, nvidia, Sony, xbox | No Comments

After taking a year off, I returned to E3 this week. It’s always a fun show, in spite of the fact that the show floor has come to rival Comic-Con in terms of the mass of people the show’s organizers are able to cram into the aisles of the convention center floor.

We’ve been filing stories all week, but here is a very much incomplete collection of my thoughts on this year’s show.

Zombies are still very much a thing

I’d have thought we’d have hit peak zombie years ago, but here we are, zombies everywhere. That includes the LA Convention Center lobby, which was swarming with actors decked out as the undead. There’s something fundamentally disturbing about watching gamers get pictures taken with fake, bloody corpses. Or maybe it’s just the perfect allegory for our time.

Nintendo’s back

A slight adjustment in approach certainly played a role, as the company has embraced mobile gaming. But the key to Nintendo’s return was a refocus on what it does best: offering an innovative experience with familiar IP. Oh, and the GameCube controller Smash Bros. compatibility was a brilliant bit of fan service, even by Nintendo’s standards.

Quantity versus quality?

Microsoft’s event was a sort of video game blitzkrieg. The company showed off 50 titles, a list that included 15 exclusives. Sony, on the other hand, stuck to a handful, but presented them in much greater depth. Ultimately, I have to say I preferred the latter. Real game play footage feels like an extremely finite resource at these events.

Ultra violence in ultra high-def

Certainly not a new trend in gaming, but there’s something about watching someone bite off someone else’s face on the big screen that’s extra upsetting. Sony’s press conference was a strange sort of poetry, with some of the week’s most stunning imagery knee-deep in blood and gore.

Reedus ’n fetus

We saw more footage and somehow we understand the game less?

Checkmate

Indiecade is always a favorite destination at E3. It’s a nice respite from the big three’s packed booths. Interestingly, there were a lot more desktop games than I remember. You know, the real kind with physical pieces and no screens.

Death of a Tomb Raider

I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider on a PC in NVIDIA’s meeting space. It’s good, but I’m not good at it. I killed poor Lara A LOT. I can deal with that sort of thing when my character is in full Master Chief regalia or whatever, but those close-up shots of her face when I drowned her for the fifth time kind of bummed me out. Can video games help foster empathy or are we all just destined to desensitize ourselves because we have tombs to raid, damn it?

I saw the light

NVIDIA also promised me that its ray-tracing tech would be the most impressive demo I saw at E3 that day. I think they were probably right, so take that, Sonic Racing. The tech, which was first demoed at GDC, “brings real-time, cinematic-quality rendering to content creators and game developers.”

VR’s still waiting in the wings

At E3 two years ago, gaming felt like an industry on the cusp of a VR breakthrough. In 2018, however, it doesn’t feel any closer. There were a handful of compelling new VR experiences at the event, but it felt like many of the peripheral and other experiences were sitting on the fringes of the event — both literally and metaphorically — waiting for a crack at the big show.

Remote Control

Sony’s Control trailer was the highest ratio of excitement to actual information I experienced. Maybe it’s Inception the video game or the second coming of Quantum Break. I dunno, looks fun.

AR’s a thing, but not, like, an E3 thing

We saw a few interesting examples of this, including the weirdly wonderful TendAR, which requires you to make a bunch of faces so a fake fish doesn’t die. It’s kind of like version of Seaman that feeds on your own psychic energy. At the end of the day, though, E3 isn’t a mobile show.

Cross-platform

Having said that, there are some interesting examples of cross-platform potential popping up here and there. The $50 Poké Ball Plus for the Switch is a good example I’m surprised hasn’t been talked about more. Along with controlling the new Switch titles, it can be used to capture Pokémon via Pokémon GO. There’s some good brand synergy right there. And then, of course, there’s Fortnite, which is also on the Switch. The game’s battle royale mode is a great example of how cross-platform play can lead to massive success. Though by all accounts, Sony doesn’t really want to play ball.

V-Bucks

Oh, Epic Games has more money than God now.

Moebius strip

Video games are art. You knew that already, blah, blah, blah. But Sable looks like a freaking Moebius comic come to life. I worry that it will be about as playable as Dragon’s Lair, but even that trailer is a remarkable thing.

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Here’s what having the biggest game of the year looks like at E3

Posted by | e3 2018, epic games, fortnite, Gaming, TC | No Comments

For all of the beautiful photo-realistic titles shown off at E3 this year, for all the mind-bending storylines and beautiful art styles, it seems that nobody can stop thinking about Fortnite.

The battle royale title has picked up users at break-neck speeds, announcing yesterday that it now has 125 million active users logging in and dropping into battle. The Epic Games title is available across a wide variety of platforms — it just launched a version for the Nintendo Switch yesterday, successfully rounding out the most viable gaming platforms.

In short, this is Fortnite’s year, and on the E3 show floor, Epic Games made quite the splash with one of the more elaborate booths, complete with mechanical llama piñatas, photo ops, merch, snacks and plenty of opportunities for fans to stop and play a little Fortnite.

Check out some more of the ridiculous opulence below.

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Fortnite is headed to the Nintendo Switch, according to new leaks

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, Gaming, Nintendo Switch | No Comments

The question at this point, really, is which platforms Fortnite isn’t being planned for. The Amazon Echo, maybe? Fitbit? Honestly, those are probably just a matter of time, too, as Epic’s massively popular sandbox survival title steamrolls its way across the industry.

The latest rumor finds Fortnite headed for the Nintendo Switch, just in time for E3, later this month. The rumor arrives through what appears to be a one-two punch of leaks spotted by Eurogamer. First, an image said to be of Nintendo’s E3 booth layout and, more convincingly, the Korean ratings board, which has been something of a game rumor sieve in recent months.

After posting ratings for upcoming versions of Sunset Overdrive and Borderlands, the board has just gifted the gaming world one for Fortnite on Nintendo’s convertible console. The listing puts the title at “12 years old,” courtesy of a “comic expression of a slight level of attack.”

If true, the Switch version would join an iOS port, which arrived in March and one for Android arriving this summer. We’ve reached out to Epic for comment, but I wouldn’t expect to hear much on that front until around, say, the second week of June. Until then, there are no shortage of ways to get your hands on the title.

And Epic, it seems, won’t be hurting for cash. For now, at least. 

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Fortnite had a $296 million April

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, Gaming | No Comments

Just how big is Fortnite? Very big. Very, very big. $296 million in April, big. That’s according to SuperData Research (via The Verge), a service that tracks digital game sales. The number, which includes sales from the console, mobile and PC versions of the game, is up $73 million from just last month.

The sandbox’s survival game’s April numbers are also more than double the $126 million it earned back in February. The title is currently atop Superdata’s console chart, and is number five on the PC, several slots ahead of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. According to the survey it “once again it broke the record for most additional content revenue in a single month by a console game.”

As for mobile, the title didn’t crack the top 10, but the smartphone has clearly been a driving force in recent growth. Fortnite arrive on iOS in the middle of March, and its upcoming jump to Android is likely to push the title’s success even further. And then, of course, there’s the prize pools.

Earlier this month, Epic added a competition that let players compete for large sums of its in-game currency, V-Bucks. And just this week, the company announced plans to spend $100 million real world dollars on Fornite eSports competitions for the next two years.

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Fortnite is finally coming to Android this summer

Posted by | Android, epic games, fortnite, Gaming, Mobile | No Comments

Fortnite is finally coming to Android…in a matter of months. After dominating the iOS gaming charts since March, the wildly popular sandbox survival game will be hitting the world’s top mobile operating system at some point this summer.

Creator Epic Games buried the news in the middle of a larger blog post titled, “The State of Mobile,” noting, vaguely, “We know many of you are excited for this release, and we promise that when we have more information to share, you’ll hear it from us first.”

That news comes amid a flurry of other Fortnite-related announcements this week. Earlier this morning, Epic unveiled a Battle Royale competition with a large in-game cash prize. This morning, the company also laid out plans to bring voice chat and improved gameplay and controls to the mobile side of things. Stats are coming to mobile, as well, along with a reduced install size.

Not that any of those issues have hampered the game’s success, of course. Earlier this year, the game was reportedly bringing in $126 million in monthly revenue — even before it arrived on iOS. With its imminent release on Android, that number’s likely to get a whole lot larger. 

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Fortnite Battle Royale’s Solo Showdown lets players compete for up to 50,000 V-Bucks

Posted by | Entertainment, epic games, fortnite, fortnite battle royale, Gaming, Startups, TC | No Comments

For the first time ever, Fortnite Battle Royale players have the chance to compete with one another for a huge amount of V-Bucks, the game’s virtual currency.

Fortnite Battle Royale often adds new wacky game modes, like 50 vs 50 or the much-memed Thanos game type made in conjunction with Marvel for Avengers: Infinity War.

Unlike those other game modes, however, Solo Showdown will not change the underlying game in any way — there is no extra shield, the storm doesn’t move any faster, and there are no extra weapon sizes or different team sizes.

Instead, Solo Showdown is a way to compete with other Battle Royale players in solo mode to discover who is the true GOAT.

Players must compete in 50 matches to join the leaderboard, and placement in each of those first 50 matches will determine overall ranking.

Prize pools are as follows:

  • First Place: 50,000 V-Bucks
  • Second Place to Fourth Place: 25,000 V-Bucks
  • Fifth Place to Fiftieth Place: 13,500 V-Bucks
  • Remaining Players in Top 100: 7,500 V-Bucks

Up until this point, V-Bucks could only be earned in increments of 100 after purchasing the Battle Pass, which lets players complete challenges and rank up to earn various cosmetic rewards and V-Bucks. Earning V-Bucks, rather than purchasing them with real money, has never netted much of a return. You can only earn enough V-Bucks to purchase maybe one mid-range item per season, or you can save them over the course of multiple seasons to purchase a high-end item.

For perspective, the most expensive items on Fortnite Battle Royale often cost around 2,000 V-Bucks, so a player with 50,000 V-Bucks is a rich player indeed.

Fortnite Battle Royale has been free to play since its launch, and its virtual currency represents a major revenue stream for Epic Games . While items purchased in the store offer no competitive advantage, they make the game fun and fresh.

However, the ability to earn these V-Bucks (in this large of a sum) is a welcome change to the current meta.

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Drake and Ninja are playing Fortnite live on Twitch

Posted by | Drake, epic games, esports, Gaming, Livestreaming, Ninja, TC, Twitch | No Comments

What do Drake, Ninja the professional esports player, Kim Dotcom, Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster have in common?

They’re all playing Fortnite together right now and live-streaming it on Twitch . Yes, seriously.

You can tune in to Ninja’s channel here to check out the action.

playing fort nite with @ninja https://t.co/OSFbgcfzaZ

— Drizzy (@Drake) March 15, 2018

Right now the amount of live viewers is hovering around 600,000 which smashes Twitch’s previous record of 388,000 live concurrent viewers.

Drake and Ninja started playing together a few hours ago on Ninja’s channel, and were soon joined by the other members as word spread of the livestream. Ninja is playing on a PC while Drake is on a PS4, but the two can play together thanks to Fortnite’s cross-platform support for those two systems.

The group had their fair share of technical difficulties – especially when it came to adding new players to their party, mainly because everyone’s friend requests were maxed out. That’s definitely something Epic will to work on if Fortnite continues to be the preferred game of celebrities and athletes.

In all seriousness, it’s a big moment for esports and livestreaming in general. The fact that mainstream celebrities are not only spending their time playing (and talking about) massively popular video games, but doing it live so hundreds of thousands of others can watch is a huge validator for the future of the two industries and companies like Twitch and Epic Games .

As you can imagine, Twitter is going insane and we’re already getting some amazing memes.

Drake’s next album cover… pic.twitter.com/gKOvRxwkFD

— Miguel Lozada (@Miguel_Gator) March 15, 2018

Drizzy super generous with his items to @Ninja tonight pic.twitter.com/NoeoCVJhlN

— Barstool Gametime (@StoolGametime) March 15, 2018

Oh, and one more thing. Epic Games (the company that created Fortnite) is supposed to take down the game’s servers at 2am PT / 5am ET. Anyone want to bet that they’re going to reschedule?

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Fortnite is coming to iOS, will sport cross play with PC and PS4

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, Gaming, TC | No Comments

 Fornite is on fire. The popular game takes the familiar artistic direction and freemium structure of popular mobile games and combines it with the last-person-standing gameplay directive of other viral titles like PUBG to get users running and gunning through its maps. The game will be expanding beyond its home on consoles and PC/Mac with the launch of “Fortnite Mobile” in iOS… Read More

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Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2015 Will Launch On July 20

Posted by | Android, Enterprise, epic games, iOS, Microsoft, microsoft windows, TC, unity, visual studio | No Comments

RTMannounce Microsoft today announced that Visual Studio 2015 (VS 2015), the latest version of the company’s integrated development environment, will launch on July 20.
This latest version greatly emphasizes cross-platform development, with support for targeting Windows, iOS and Android, in part through its support for the Apache Cordova project and Xamarin’s app development platform. Read More

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