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  1. Kotaku’s extensive report on the human cost of getting Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ready was shared earlier today as the outlet shines a light as to the extensive crunch the studio goes through with QA and contractors to get Call of Duty ready for launch. As part of that report, Kotaku has expanded just a bit on their own story from late May that Activision had decided to make Treyarch the lead on the 2020 Call of Duty after tensions between SHG and Raven continued to escalate. The 2020 game is set to be in the Cold War era. Kotaku reports that many staffers at Treyarch only find out about the change after Kotaku reported that they’d be lead on the 2020 Call of Duty game. “We didn’t know about the new title until your article dropped,” one tester told Kotaku. “A couple days later we received an email that wasn’t meant for us, confirming the new title… When we tried to ask about it, they said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’” In addition, Kotaku reports that developers at Treyarch are already preparing for the crunch of what’s to happen with the series going back to a 2 year development cycle for the first time in years. Kotaku even noted that some at the studio have grumbled that they fear Call of Duty is feeling stale to fans as they pump out yearly releases. Late last month, Treyarch informed staffers (except QA) that they would be taking a lead role on a new Black Ops game in 2020, one that takes the series back to its Cold War roots. There are concerns in the studio that returning to a two-year development cycle (after getting three years for each of the last two games) will exacerbate the crunch and worsen the issues that Treyarch has been facing. Even with sister studios Sledgehammer and Raven working on the game alongside Treyarch, will the development team be able to finish a new Black Opsin the next year and a half without killing themselves along the way? Without burning out all of their employees? Several Treyarch employees said they’ve grumbled about the long-running shooter series feeling stale, pointing to Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed as an example of how taking off a year can revitalize a franchise. There’s been a new Call of Duty every year since 2005, and so far, Activision has not shown any willingness to give the series a break. SOURCE: Kotaku The post Kotaku says Treyarch informed staff late last month that they’d be lead on 2020 Call of Duty, some feel franchise getting ‘stale’ appeared first on Charlie INTEL. View the full article
  2. Back in late May, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, when he dropped the bombshell report that Treyarch will be developing Call of Duty 2020, also mentioned he would be releasing a behind the scenes report on what happened at Treyarch during the development of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Schreier today posted the full article, which is available to read here (which we recommend doing so). We wanted to pull just some of the highlights of what this article mentions and what happened during Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s development at Treyarch. Here’s some highlights from the article: QA had to work extensive hours on the game, even told not to party during the game’s launch window in order to ensure all aspects were ready for launch The contractors working at Treyarch have had to work extensive hours for limited pay and did not receive a share of the game’s bonus Black Ops 4’s campaign mode was canceled in early 2018 Black Ops 4’s campaign was to be played alongside a friend You would pick enemies to battle against and work to take down different enemies as the game progressed It was almost like a 2v2 campaign. The team was working to get it to Activision for a milestone demo in late 2017, but the mood changed when Treyarch executives shifted direction to cancel the campaign of the game in early 2018 Black Ops 4 was originally set to launch in November 2018, but changed the date to October 12 because of Red Dead Redemption 2’s October 26 launch There was an extensive crunch period for the developers at Treyarch, working long weeks and hours in order to get the game ready for the October launch Kotaku says that QA testers in Treyarch found out that Black Ops is returning in 2020 as the new Call of Duty game for that year after the Kotaku article dropped, and then a few days later got an email from heads of department confirming the news Staff at Treyarch received a bonus for Black Ops 4 earlier this year, and many of the higher levels had an extensive bonus to the point that parking lots were filled with Teslas at offices Kotaku says that many at Treyarch are just as frustrated with Black Ops 4’s microtransactions and are struggling with Activision’s decisions to force revenue Treyarch informed employees late last month that the staff would be taking on a new Black Ops project for 2020 release, after a shift in Activision’s plans resulted in SHG and Raven becoming support studios Activision issued a non-answer response to Kotaku about the development crunch at Treyarch: Black Ops 4 represents three years of hard work, creativity, and passion from hundreds of talented individuals across Treyarch, Activision studios and publishing teams, as well as agency partners around the world. It represents the culmination of a wide variety of development initiatives, the best of which comprise the game that our fans are playing today. The teams who created this game are diverse and widespread. It’s important to us that everyone working on the game, or any of our projects, is treated with respect and that their contributions are appreciated. If there is ever an instance where this standard is not met, we work to remedy it immediately. We constantly strive to provide a rewarding and fun development environment for everyone. Everyone at Treyarch is extremely proud of Black Ops 4. We love bringing games to life, and we always want to do the best work of our careers. We realize this is only made possible through the varied perspectives and contributions from every individual working on the team. SOURCE: Kotaku The post Kotaku releases extensive report on what happened at Treyarch during Black Ops 4 development appeared first on Charlie INTEL. View the full article
  3. PUBG Corp. has announced this morning that they have brought on Glen Schofield, former co-founder and studio head of Sledgehammer Games, to be the CEO of the newly created studio under PUBG Corp called Striking Distance. The news was announced in a Twitter video on PUBG’s social channels this morning with a video of Glen Schofield talking about what the new Striking Distance studio is and will be. In the video, Schofield says they are working with PUBG to build Striking Distance from the ground up as a new studio part of the PUBG Corp family. Both of the Sledgehammer Games studio heads left Activision in 2018 as the company made changes to the studio following the launch of Call of Duty: WWII. Michael Condrey joined 2K to lead a new 2K Studio, and now Schofield has joined PUBG Corp. The post Former SHG Studio Head Glen Schofield joins PUBG Corp to lead new Striking Distance studio appeared first on Charlie INTEL. View the full article
  4. The Steam Summer Sale has revved up its engines, offering a truckload of discounts on PC games. The store has paired its annual promotion with another minigame this year, and if you're on one of the winning teams you could score some free games. The Steam Grand Prix pits players from different teams in a virtual race. You build up your "Boost Meter" by completing quests, and then you can hit the boost to help your team. Teams are split into Pig, Hare, Corgi, Cockatiel, and Tortoise. At the conclusion of each day's race, random members of the three winning teams will earn free games. Steam notes that you should make sure to update your wish list, since that will determine the free games. Aside from free games, you can also trade in your race tokens for personal prizes at the "Pit Stop." Those include cosmetics like emoticons, profile backgrounds, as well as store coupons for further discounts. Meanwhile, the Steam Summer Sale is worth visiting just to get your hands on some cheap games. Some notable deals include Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for $48, Devil May Cry 5 for $40, and Dead Cells for $17. Check out our Steam Summer Sale roundup for our picks of the best deals the event has to offer. View the full article
  5. The next Playerunknown's Battlegrounds game is in development, the game's publisher has announced. The as yet untitled game is being made by a new studio named Striking Distance, which has appointed ex-Call of Duty and Dead Space developer Glen Schofield as CEO. The project is seemingly in its infancy, so little is known about the game at present. PUBG Corp.'s press release states the game is an "original narrative experience within the PUBG universe," while Schofield hints the game might not be a battle royale title. He said: "As a creative, the freedom to explore the PUBG universe has me excited about the possibilities, which I view as beyond the battle royale genre." Schofield went on to tweet that the new game is not a sequel to PUBG. PUBG began life as an Arma 2 mod, before being spun off into its own battle royale title--in early access on PC--in early 2017. It later came to both Xbox One and PS4. PUBG has also been one of the most influential games of the 21st century. It remains a huge game in its own right, but it has also inspired and influenced what is possibly the industry's biggest trend right now in the battle royale genre, including successful titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. View the full article
  6. MyCiTi employee goes beyond call of duty CapeTown ETCMyCiTi employee 37-year-old Siyabonga, whose name means "We are grateful" in isiZulu, has been working as a regulator at the MyCiTi Civic Centre station for ... View the full article
  7. PUBG Corporation Names Glen Schofield as Head of New Studio, Striking Distance Business WirePUBG Corporation has named Glen Schofield as the CEO of its new game development studio, Striking Distance, which is building a experience in PUBG. View the full article
  8. If you have even the slightest inkling that you might ever want to play the newly-revived Samurai Shodown fighting game, head over to the US PlayStation Store: this week anyone can get the season one DLC pass for free, even if they don't yet own the game itself. Normally $20, the season one pass is free from now through 11:00 am ET on July 2. If you're then eager to see those weapons clashing, you can save $10 when you buy the game itself from Amazon US. Get the Samurai Shodown season 1 pass on PS4 for free » Just released on June 25, Samurai Shodown is actually the 12th main entry in the eponymous fighting game series from Japanese developer SNK. The games have released on a variety of platforms, but most iconically on SNK's own Neo Geo. The series traditionally simplifies the often-complex combo-focused dueling of other fighting games into an accessible, but nuanced system of timing and anticipation. This latest iteration is no different, refreshing the still-solid basic mechanics with vivid graphics that are reminiscent of Street Fighter V. If you're looking for more great PlayStation deals, check out the latest sale and weekly deals on US PSN. There's also a sale on MassGenie for one year of PS Plus for just $36. Amazon Prime Day is also right around the corner, so expect more great discounts on PS4 games and gear in the coming weeks. View the full article
  9. Kratos might seem inextricable from God of War, but Sony Santa Monica considered dispensing with him early on in the PS4 reboot's development, fearing that his anti-heroism had become a liability. During an on-stage stage interview at Gamelab in Barcelona today, game director Cory Barlog discussed the game's change of direction and what almost got hacked out of the package along the way. "Early in discussion, people were saying we had to get rid of Kratos," Barlog told Stuart Whyte, director of VR Product Development at Sony London, in an hour-long post-mortem. "It was like, 'he's annoying, he's done'." Kratos began life as an anti-hero at a time when anti-heroes in games were scarce, Barlog went on. He was designed to be intensely unlikeable, which made sense back in 2005, but after three mainline games, some members of the God of War team felt the character had run his course. They suggested a brand new protagonist, arguing that the game's surrounding mythology was more important to the God of War brand than the character. "Kratos is not God of War - Greek mythology is God of War". Barlog, however, argued that there was a great story to tell about rescuing such a man from his worst impulses. "They really did not like the character. They wanted a new character. It took a lot of convincing to make them think it was a good idea." Read more View the full article
  10. Game Critics Best Of E3 2019 Award Nominees Have Been Announced UNILADE3 2019 is done and dusted, which leaves us with two things; a massive vaccuum where all the gaming news used to be just a few weeks ago, and plenty of ... View the full article
  11. When former Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime left the company in April, he had worked at the studio he helped co-found for more than 28 years. Morhaime was at Blizzard before it was called Blizzard, when it was named Silicon & Synapse and when its employee count was three. He decided to leave to spend more time with his family, Morhaime told an audience at Gamelab conference in Barcelona today, attended for Eurogamer by Edwin Evans-Thirlwell. The talk was hosted by GamesBeat's Dean Takahashi, and Morhaime's wife and four-year-old daughter were in the front row. Morhaime said he'd begun thinking about what was next for him - and had been busy attending conferences to hear more from others who make games. But the lion's share of the talk centred on his past - on his time at Blizzard, and its many ups and downs. Read more View the full article
  12. Local News, Gamer, 47, released to care of mother Coeur d'Alene PressA Coeur d'Alene man who solicited sex from an Ohio 14-year-old he met online while playing Call of Duty was re. View the full article
  13. Super Mario Maker 2's release date is fast approaching. The game launches for Nintendo Switch in just a few days, and now reviews for the platforming game have started to hit the internet. GameSpot's Super Mario Maker 2 review-in-progress awards the game an 8/10, with Peter Brown stating "the Mario series is worth all the admiration it gets." You can check out much more on the game in the selection of reviews below. Alternatively, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic for a wider view on the game's critical reception. Game: Super Mario Maker 2 Developer / Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Nintendo Switch Release date: June 28 Price: $60 / £60 / AU $80 GameSpot -- 8/10 (Review-In-Progress) "With the story mode and dozens of custom-built stages under my belt, I'm anxiously waiting for the floodgates to open upon Mario Maker's 2 release. What I've played so far has proven, once again, that the Mario series is worth all the admiration it gets, and Mario Maker 2 is an excellent tool for picking it apart by pushing its enemies, mechanisms, and Mario, to their limit. I've yet to make a stage of my own that I think is worthy of sending out to other players, but I'm committed to getting there. Whether exploring the full potential of a single element or throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, I've got the itch to join the creator's club. And thankfully, even if you aren't an instant success (like me), Mario Maker 2 makes the learning process intuitive and enjoyable." -- Peter Brown [Full review-in-progress] IGN -- 9.5/10 "Super Mario Maker 2 is the most accessible game design tool ever created, and that core is just one part of a greater whole. I spent hours building levels, testing them, and starting over again, and I feel like I've only barely scratched the surface of what's possible. The Story Mode has a basic story, sure, but it's still a great excuse to introduce hundreds of novel, professionally made levels to play. Its design tutorials are so much more in depth than they ever needed to be, and you can take them or leave them as you see fit. Super Mario Maker 2 affords so much freedom in how you play, how you make, and even how you learn, it's astonishing how incredibly well it's all held together in one cohesive package." -- Seth G Macy [Full review] Eurogamer -- Recommended "Like the first game, this is a warm bubble bath to settle into, or an afternoon on the sofa with the Sunday papers and nothing else in the diary. Has it changed? Not too much. But it is wonderfully soothing to have it back." -- Christian Donlan [Full review] Game Informer -- 8.75/10 "Super Mario Maker 2 is not a radical reinvention of the original Mario Maker, but it earns the "2" in its title with a story mode full of great Mario levels, worthwhile additions to the creation toolset, and new options for playing and creating cooperatively. The future is bright for Super Mario Maker 2, and I can't wait to see what the community makes with it. But even at this starting line, I had plenty of Mario to play and enjoy." -- Kyle Hilliard [Full review] US Gamer -- 4.5/5 "Players now have the chance to make their own hellish, evil Mario levels on Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Maker 2 starts with the foundation established in the first game, and adds new themes, new game styles, and new items. It falters due to the loss of the second screen of the Wii U and 3DS iterations, and the lack of Amiibo costumes hurt, but this is still a fantastic package for a Mario fan or budding lever designer." -- Mike Williams [Full review] Video Games Chronicle -- 5/5 "For 2D Mario fans, Super Mario Maker 2 is a classic in the making. There's already a consistently surprising and delightful offering at launch for creators and non-creators alike, but we suspect this sequel will continue to impress--and improve--well into the future." -- Andy Robinson [Full review] View the full article
  14. Final Fantasy XIV's Shadowbringers expansion launches for PS4 and PC in just a few days, and developer Square Enix has now revealed the expansion's full patch notes for the accompanying 5.0 update. The update will add two new cities, The Crystarium and Eulmore, as well as new field areas Lakeland, Kholusia, Amh Araeng, Il Mheg, and The Rak'tika Greatwood. Main scenario quests will of course be included, along with "myriad" side quests. Notably, those side quests will utilize a new "automatic level adjust system known as quest sync." Square Enix says the new side quests "will have their difficulty and EXP rewards adjusted to match your current level." Plenty more content will be added in the 5.0 update, though Square Enix says some Shadowbringers features are being withheld until future patches. The Eden's Gate raid will be added in version 5.01, for example, while a New Game+ mode will land in update "5.1 or later." For the full patch notes, you can check out the Final Fantasy XIV blog. You can also take a look at our list of Shadowbringers' biggest changes for FFXIV. Also bear in mind you can grab a previous Final Fantasy XIV expansion for free right now. That promotion is to celebrate the impending release of Shadowbringers, which launches on July 2 and enters early access on June 28 for those who pre-order. On PS4, the expansion costs $40 / £37 / AU $68, while PC players will need to fork out $40 / £30 / AU $60 for the standard edition. View the full article
  15. Valve has launched its annual Steam Summer Sale, with thousands of discounts now live. Offers available right now include Assassin's Creed Odyssey for £25, Prey for £10, Devil May Cry for £30 and Two Point Hospital for £12.50. Monster Hunter World is £25. Witcher 3's GOTY Edition is £10.50. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is £4.73. Read more View the full article

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