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Black Ops 4 Balances Shotguns, Adds Depth to Pistols

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Black Ops 4 has made a few tweaks that are certainly noticeable and have an impact on overall gameplay.

Shotguns have been rebalanced and placed in the secondary weapon slot next to the pistols.

“We talk about shotguns all the time,” Treyarch expert game designer Tony Flame said, according to VG247.

“They’re the hardest guns to balance. According to players, they’re either underpowered or overpowered, even when they’re actually both at the same time. For example, when we see the shotgun gets just near the level of effectiveness of an assault rifle, from the players’ experience they feel too powerful.

“So we have to get that balance just right. It’s always a tricky one. We wanted to make sure they weren’t overly frustrating – that’s the number one [priority] – but also make them satisfying.”

The intention is to redefine the shotgun’s role in the game.

“We’ve gotta balance them in line with a secondary,” Flame continues. “They’ll be balanced against pistols, each in their own role.

“Shotguns have their own unique playstyle where you get a consistent number of hits to kill. It’s not going to be as much about getting the one hit kill with the shotgun. It’s more about getting the first hit, taking cover, rechambering the shotgun, then popping out for the second hit.”

Additionally, shotgun players can use all of their customization points into attachments for their gun, providing it with better range and more power with longer barrels and chokes.

“Then you can actually extend your one hit kill range quite a bit, but you’re investing heavily in your gun from the attachment side,” Flame says. “That’s an example of the attachment strategy we’ve got for each weapon.

“Internally, we’re going back and forth. By the time we come into beta, we think we’re going to be in a really good spot.”

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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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