We’re at the end of a fairly uneventful E3. The Japanese giants present may have managed to save the show a few days in, but their Western competitors stayed safer, bringing cinematics and a few reveals, but only light gameplay. Word on the street is all the big boys are huddling up and preparing for the next generation of consoles, leaving us little to contend with in the meantime. With less available meat to offer their audiences, a few of gaming’s giants are, instead, giving us a glimpse into the potential future of video gaming.
In late 2018, after an amazingly successful year for their flagship title, Fortnite, Epic Games announced it would put some of its newly-acquired capital toward supercharging its proprietary games launcher. Previously a platform for first-party titles exclusively, the freshly-renamed Epic Games Store is now one of the top contenders in a party looking to dethrone Steam, Valve’s industry kingpin. While Epic is far from the first company to take aim at Steam, its strategy so far appears to be one of more direct competition than usual. Where EA before them introduced Origin to claim a deeper portion of proprietary profits, Epic’s strategy seems to be aimed less at maximizing income from first-party titles and more toward creating and maintaining a digital storefront for external developers. The company’s announcement of this new direction came with a promise of a 12% price cut on titles sold from the store, significantly lower than Steam’s current figure of 30%. In the weeks following this announcement, press and industry response was generally positive, but Epic’s strategy has since evolved, and the company’s effort to attract developers is more complex than a singular price incentive.
Inspiration from competitors will define Treyarch’s next Call of Duty title.
On Friday, developer Treyarch launched a weekend-long open multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the latest title in its titanic series. Sitting on a history of slight changes to an overall-stable FPS experience, Black Ops 4 takes a few more risks than usual. In an industry where “adapt or die” is a commonly-adhered to maxim, Treyarch takes extensive notes from at least three popular competitors, hoping to reestablish Call of Duty‘s industrial dominance.
Yesterday, Steam revealed its lists of the year’s most played and purchased games. Broken up by magnitude (Valve uses “platinum”, “gold”, “silver”, and “bronze”), the lists give us some idea of what games have found the most success on Steam this year, but games within each magnitudinal category are presented in a random order that changes with every page refresh, so we’re still left unable to determine just how well each title has done. Additionally, while the lists are presented nicely, the data behind them is also unavailable, so we’ll just have to trust Steam on this one.
In the weeks leading up to this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, Bethesda put forth effort in hyping fans up with promises of ‘more than one surprise’, as well as updates on their favorite games and franchises.
We streamed Bethesda’s conference, but if you couldn’t catch our reactions live, or you’re looking for a more detailed look, check out our recap down below.
Two weeks ahead of E3 and at the tail-end of a multi-hour stream, Bethesda dropped a teaser trailer for a new Fallout title, Fallout 76. Here’s what we know so far.