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Paladins’ Controversial ‘Cards Unbound’ System To Be Removed

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Paladins‘ ‘Cards Unbound’ system is only a few months old, but it is already on tap to be removed from the game in the coming future.

Paladins’ partially pay-to-win system of Cards Unbound came under an intense fire of criticism from the Paladins’ player base and also staff members within Hi-Rez Studios.

The game’s new Executive Producer HiRezChris has announced that the system is soon to be a thing of the past.

“We know this system has angered many of our most loyal fans and become a point of continuous contention in the Paladins community (and even inside of Hi-Rez). Your voice has been heard loud and clear.

Our team will be working over the next major release cycle to remove Cards Unbound from the game. We will be replacing it with a new system that I believe the community will be really excited about — including the re-introduction of the deck building point system, and a method for obtaining cards that will be way less grindy.

We want the focal point of the card system in Paladins to be about fun ways to customize your champion to your favored playstyle.  We also want to unify the COMPETITIVE and CASUAL experiences with the card system so that we use the same system for both (no more separation of bound vs unbound).

We are still working out the details of the new system, but the rough outline of our current thinking is as follows (NOTE: Subject to some change, but hopefully this communicates the general direction we want to head):

  • Legendary Cards will now be called Talents.
  • Talents will only have a single level.
  • Talents will be unlocked for free by earning XP and gaining Champion levels (for example; level 1,5,10,15).
  • All Champion Cards will now be free (No cost or grind).
  • Deck creation will return to a point system where players can distribute 15 points across the five cards they select for their loadout. Each Champion Card will have five ranks to choose from.
  • Talents will not have ranks, and are not included in the loadout point cap.
  • Talents and Decks will continue to be chosen at match start to allow players to tailor their playstyles based on their opponents.
  • New Talents will be added over time and give further varied playstyles.
  • Champion Mastery will no longer be capped at level 25. Instead, it will work similarly to Player Account leveling (which has no cap).
  • Card chests will be removed from the game.
  • We are evaluating the best options to compensate players for their previously earned cards, and hope to share details soon.

The release plan is to start testing this new system as soon as we can on PTS (hopefully, next week).  Your analysis and participation will be very important over the next few weeks as we work the kinks out of this design and deliver the best possible product to you in the next update.”

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Microsoft Unveils Xbox Developer Sustainability Toolkit

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Xbox has officially unveiled the Xbox Developer Sustainability Toolkit which is aimed to help creators reduce energy consumption and measure carbon emissions during game development processes.

The Xbox Developer Sustainability ToolKit includes resources that include:

  • Power Monitor tools
  • Certification reports
  • Power consumption dashboards
  • Best practices

Ubisoft and 343 Industries were named as early users of the Xbox Developer Sustainability ToolKit with 343 Industries able to reduce energy use by 15% without impacting the player experience at all.

Ubisoft and Xbox are co-developing an energy-efficient eco-mode for users.

You can check out the full report right here.

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Epic Games Store Hits $820 Million in Player Spending During 2022

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Epic Games has officially released financial data related to it’s growing marketplace on PC, showing that $820 million was spent on the Epic Games Store during the 2022 year, and promised support for third-party subscription services and new ‘content hubs’ to help companies promote their titles.

According to the data:

The numbers

  • Total users of Epic Games Store PC: 230 million (up 19% year-on-year)
  • Epic cross-platform accounts: 732 million
  • Daily active users peak: 34.3 million
  • Monthly active users: 68 million (up 10%)
  • Total spending, incl. Epic’s games: $820 million (down 2%)
  • Spending on third-party games: $355 million (up 18%)
  • Free games claimed: 700 million
  • Number of new PC releases: 626
  • Total library of PC games: 1,548 (up 68%)

Epic Games stated on it’s blog that more PC games launched during the 2022 year than in any year prior.

Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto 5, Rocket League, Genshin Impact, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands were among the most popular titles related to player engagement and player spending, and Epic Games looks to deepen their focus in 2023 as they aim to improve the store launcher’s performance.

Epic Games also aims to add support for subscription services from third-party publishers and live service products by the end of the 2023 year, adding that they are also working on ‘content hubs’ which will be separate from product pages and will enable publishers to “share information with users in a robust editorial format.”

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California Judge Dismisses Gamers Lawsuit Filed Against Microsoft

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A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that the group of 10 plaintiffs “[lacked] allegations” in their lawsuit filed last year that claimed Microsoft’s ownerships of Activision Blizzard would harm consumers and competition in the video games market, according to a filing shared by Reuters.

While US District Judge Jacqueline Corley dismissed the case, she also gave the plaintiffs 20 days to refine their lawsuit and resubmit it, and the group’s lawyer, Joseph Saveri, said that there are plans to officially submit an amended lawsuit with “additional factual detail” that will address the judge’s concerns.

It marks a victory for Microsoft, but their battles are far from over as they still face a hearing over the Federal Trade Commission’s legal complaint, which is currently slated to take place in August of this year.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard originally expected the transaction to be complete by June 30, 2023.

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