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Overwatch’s Competitive Mode Undergoing Changes

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Blizzard has made Overwatch’s Competitive Season 6 critically important as it eyes to turn the page on what has been a rather rocky Season 5.

No, gamers won’t see a complete overhaul, but they will see a ton of new changes that should help address numerous issues that have plagued Season 5.

Game director Jeff Kaplan discussed all of the changes in Season 6 in a video posted on YouTube, with the big change being that seasons will now be two months long as opposed to three months.

Some of the other changes (h/t Kotaku) include:

  • Changes to skill rating decay. In order to avoid decay, you’ll only need to play five matches per week at Diamond and above. Also, if you do suffer decay, you’ll only lose 25 SR instead of 50.
  • Control maps are changing. “We’ve noticed that an inordinate number of these matches are going into overtime… this is resulting in very long match times,” said Kaplan. To solve this problem, control maps will be best out of three from now on. Due to the lower time investment, Kaplan thinks this will also make losing a control map “sting less.”
  • Placement matches will work differently. In seasons four and five, Blizzard experimented with placing people lower than where their SR should’ve been so they could climb more. This, however, left a lot of people feeling bummed out. “It felt wrong deflating you on purpose just so you would have a sense of progression later,” admitted Kaplan. Placements in season six, then, will more accurately reflect your actual skill level right off the bat.
  • Higher tiered matches should now be more balanced. Players won’t be put in as many matches where they stomp the other team and barely gain any SR, but queues might take longer. “Hopefully it’s not super noticeable for most of us… despite the fact that you might have to wait for a long time,” said Kaplan. If times are out of control, however, Blizzard will change it.

You can see the video, right here:

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Soedesco Acquires Superlumen

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Game publisher Soedesco has officially acquired 100% of the share in Spanish studio Superlumen for a pricetag that has not been disclosed.

Sperlumen, which was founded back i 2015, specializes in virtual reality development, and is the team behind the point-and-click game Desolatium, which is set to make it’s official arrival later this year.

“We strongly believe the acquisition of Superlumen to be a great long-term strategic decision,” Soedesco Ibericá general manager Barnando Hernandez said in an official statement. “The studio has a talented and passionate development team, a strong brand identity and a lot of creative potential which we intend to leave uncompromised as we move forward. We’re looking forward to bringing new IPs and games to our audience in the coming years.”

“After 6 years of developing virtual experiences for prominent Spanish brands, we have decided to focus more on developing our own IP” Superlumen CEO Juan Cassinello commented. “We are eager to work and learn alongside our new colleagues and create the best possible video games for our audience.”

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Microsoft Accuses Sony of Paying Game Devs to Stay Off Game Pass

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Microsoft claims that Sony has been paying video game developers to keep their games off the Xbox Game Pass subscription service offering, according to VGC.

As part of a document sent to Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) to justify its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company claimed that Sony actively attempts to “inhibit growth” of Game Pass by trying to prevent content from landing on Game Pass.

“Microsoft’s ability to continue expanding Game Pass has been obstructed by Sony’s desire to inhibit such growth,” the company said in the documents. “Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to prevent developers from adding content to Game Pass and other competing subscription services.”

Additionally, Microsoft called Sony’s concern regarding the potential that Call of Duty could become an exclusive Xbox title “incoherent”, pointing to Sony’s own exclusivity strategies related to Playstation.

“It only reveals, once again, a fear about an innovative business model that offers high-quality content at low costs to gamers, threatening a leadership that has been forged from a device-centric and exclusivity-focused strategy over the years,” Microsoft said.

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Sales Drop 15% in Square Enix Q1 Report

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Square Enix

Square Enix, the team behind the classic franchise Final Fantasy, has officially released their financial earnings for the three months ended June 30th, 2022, and numbers demonstrate a drop in sales.

Square Enix’s Digital Entertainment division is comprised of HD Game, MMO, and Mobile/PC browser sub segments as well.

In summary:

  • Net sales: $553 million, down 15.5% year-on-year
  • Profit: $136 million, up 45% year-on-year
  • Digital Entertainment net sales: $397 million, down 23% year-on-year
  • Amusement segment net sales: $89 million, up 27% year-over-year
  • The HD Games subsection generated $89 million, a decrease of 52.2% from the same period last year
  • Mobile/PC Browser games saw a 17% drop year-over-year, clocking $202 million
  • MMOs clocked $104 million, a 20.7% growth year-over-year

Square Enix attributed the decline of HD Games to the lack of game releases for the quarter, while also adding that its MMO Final Fantasy XIV continued to see an increase in its monthly subscribers.

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