Plus: Player Drops Causing Issues for Anthem and Nintendo Switch Online Nears 10 Million Users…
Gamescom missing Blizzard Entertainment this year possibly due to Activision cuts. Plus, Anthem is having matchmaking issues and Switch Online nears 10 million.
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Today’s News Headlines:
- Blizzard not Attending This Year’s Gamescom Conference
- Declining Player Base Causing Problems for Anthem
- Nintendo Switch Online Subscriptions Almost 10 Million
Blizzard not Attending This Year’s Gamescom Conference
It has been recently confirmed that Blizzard will not be attending this year’s Gamescom conference.
In a statement, Blizzard have cited their renewed focus on development as the reason for not opening a booth at the conference this year.
The studio, famous for hugely popular online games World of Warcraft and Star Craft has suffered some controversy lately at the hands of their parent company Activision.
Activision recently made major job cuts to all of their divisions and child companies, blaming Blizzard as one of the reasons, citing poor performance of the development studio.
This could be the real reason that they won’t be in attendance this year as they may really have nothing to show.
However, when Activision made these cuts, they did state that they would be focusing purely on new development, as stated by a representative for Blizzard.
Given the huge popularity of Blizzard, and the advertising potential of Gamescom, this still seems like an unwise move.
However, this news comes as part of an emerging and unsettling trend this year, that could mark the beginning of the end of large, multi-developer game conferences.
Many large developers and publishers have pulled out of major game conferences and trade shows.
A couple of months ago Sony announced that they would not be attending E3 this year, and then last week, Electronic Arts also announced the same.
Instead these publishers are to host their own separate conferences.
Sony hosted “Destination PlayStation” in February for retailers, with no news as of yet for an E3 consumer parallel event.
Electronic Arts is to hold their own “EA Play” event in Hollywood one week before E3 this coming June, the 7th to the 9th.
Gamescom is a massive event for gaming publishers and studios, drawing hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to Cologne, Germany.
Gamescom is a more open event than E3, open to general consumers and gaming fans, retailers and journalists.
The event will be running from 21st August to 24th August 2019.
E3 is a more retailer and journalist focused event and runs from 11th to 14th June this year.
Declining Player Base Causing Problems for Anthem
A steep drop in active players of Anthem is reportedly causing match making issues for players in the game.
Anthem was released in February to much fanfare and bloated hype, only to be extremely disappointing.
While the game isn’t bad, it has been plagued by major bugs and gameplay issues including inconsistent connections, long load times, desktop crashes and even machine restarts on PlayStation 4.
Due to these issues Sony has even had to refund players in record numbers as angry players demanded their money back.
A lot of issues were addressed in a massive day one patch and numerous subsequent patches, however the game continues to suffer from major issues.
A lot of these issues aren’t necessarily bugs, but mismanagement of the game’s mechanics in terms of loot and scaling difficulty.
The game is now known for dropping wildly inconsistent loot levels, with higher level loot being extremely rare. The problem is that decent loot is required to progress in the game.
The game’s scaling difficulty is also under fire and coincides with the loot problem.
Higher level mission and bosses can take a lot of time to complete, with no guarantee of good loot for your troubles.
So, players are opting to play lower level missions and bosses at a higher and most importantly quicker rate in order to get more frequent loot drops with a higher chance of good loot.
This is causing epic matchmaking problems for players who want to play at the higher levels as most players are just staying away from these higher levels.
Coupled with a rapidly declining player base, the game is on track to becoming a wasteland of scattered players on empty servers.
Bioware, the game’s developers, are frequently releasing statements insisting that they are working hard to fix the issues.
However, in a game of Anthem’s scale and scope, this could take a long time.
Some people have blamed the game’s rushed development as the cause, since it recently emerged that Bioware were given just two years by Electronic Arts to create the game. Nowhere near enough time for a game of this magnitude:
While it does suffer it’s issues, Anthem is an epic game with a scope never before seen and has been given good to excellent reviews from major video game websites such as IGN, Gamespot and Destructoid.
Anthem is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Origin.
Nintendo Switch Online Subscriptions Almost 10 Million
Nintendo have recently confirmed the good news that their online subscription base for Nintendo Switch Online has reached 9.8 million users.
However, when the online service was launched in September last year, it was the cause of much controversy.
The problem is that you don’t get much for your money, and a subscription to the service has since be made a requirement in order to play online components of most games, which were previously free.
The main features are basically a handful of classic NES games and cloud saving. That’s pretty much it.
You do have the ability to use NES controllers for your Switch, which are of course purchased separately, and there’s also access to the Nintendo eShop.
This is probably why although 10 million subscribers might be a positive for the company, it is still only 25% of actual Nintendo Switch consumers.
Perhaps Nintendo could take a leaf out of Sony’s book and offer more features for subscribers such as free current generation games and exclusive downloadable content.
More recent Nintendo news:
- Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey VR Confirmed
- Warframe Transfer: PC to Nintendo Switch
- Nintendo Direct Shows off Upcoming Games
That’s it for our gaming news Today.
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Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.